Decorating doesn’t come easy to everyone, including me. I’ve lived in my home for almost a year now and I’m still working at the whole decorating thing. I’ve read magazines. I’ve watched home decorating shows. I’ve spent countless hours online looking at all the so-called perfect bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens. I so desperately want my home decorated to perfection, but if there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s there is no such thing as perfect (at least not in my house). Perfectly imperfect, yes. Perfect? No.
I know I’m not alone when it comes to my decorating skill set, but I’m working at it. Recently, I reached out to some professionals for advice on decorating dos and don’ts. Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or you’re looking to update your current home’s style, follow these professional tips.
Do Invest in Your Own Comfort and Style
“Expect to invest a minimum of 1% of your home’s value into maintenance and upgrades each year,” says Darla DeMorrow, certified professional organizer at HeartWork Organizing,. “So a home worth $500,000 will need at least $5,000 of upgrades and maintenance to stay in good shape. Don’t wait until you sell to enjoy a lovely, well-maintained home,” she says.
Do Start with What You Love
“If you have a large-scale painting that really sings to you, emotionally as well as aesthetically, start there. Work your color scheme around it, and choose furnishings that play it up, either reflecting it or contrasting,” suggests Sally Morse, director of creative services at Hunter Douglas.
Do Use Mirrors to Expand Your Space
Amy Bell, of Red Chair Home Interiors, suggests using mirrors to visually expand your space. But, don’t hang them so the only thing they reflect is the ceiling fan. “Adding a mirror can be like adding a window, so it’s important to be mindful of the view that is reflected.”
Professional organizer at ACK! Organizing, Alison Kero, says she’s had pieces of furniture she’s used for a different purpose every time she’s moved. “Don’t be afraid to use a plant holder for your candles, a baker’s rack to hold your plants, or a quirky table as a decorative piece,” she says.
“Painted furniture is definitely a trend these days,” says DeMorrow. “Repurpose treasures from your family or second-hand stores easily and to your taste. Add one painted piece in a bold color like sapphire blue or sunshine yellow, or paint mismatched furniture all white to create a coordinated look.”
Do Focus on the Outside
“When decorating your home, your exterior matters just as much as your interior,” says StrataShops Anna Daugherty. “Changing the look of the outside of your home can be as simple as a new coat of paint, some simple landscaping, or some new walkway lights.”
Don’t Forget to Use a Tape Measure
“Many people tend to gauge the dimensions of an object with their eyes and this could end up being a disaster when you’ve already went to the store and bought all the items,” says Celeste from Live in a Story. “Always write down the dimensions and double check them before heading out
to make your purchases.”
Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself into One Style
“Your home should be a bit eclectic and personal,” says Corinne Von Guenthner, in-house designer at Allen Construction. “A variety of styles will help your home evolve over time, and not be stuck in one style or time period.”
Don’t Rush to Commit to Paint or Wall Décor
“One of the biggest complaints I hear from people in the decorating process is that they painted their walls or installed art first thing and later regretted the results,” says Paula Berberian, creative director of Brewster Home Fashions. “It’s difficult to visualize how an empty space will look after it’s filled with furniture and accessories, and paint is a hefty commitment that can become an unwanted hassle if you change your mind.”
Don’t Buy It Just Because It’s Cheap
“I’ve seen so many clients buy something just because it was cheap. Buy items you absolutely love and are excited to use or at least look at. Buy quality pieces rather than going for cost- you’ll be happier with your decision every time,” says Kero.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move Things Around
“When placing furniture, live with what you have put together for a few days. If it isn’t working, the flow isn’t right or it’s difficult to function properly in the space, then move things around,” says Von Guenthner.
In the end, decorating should be fun. If it’s causing you grief and frustration, step back and take another look. “The key is to choose what is most important to you and go from there, says Morse. “Remember, there are many designers who say, if you love it, you can make it work.”
Do you have your own Dos and Don’ts when it comes to decorating? Share in the comments below! In the market for a new home? Contact a Home Loan Expert today!
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