A thoughtfully decorated interior not only has functionality but it also creates an ambiance and shows off the personality of the family or person living there. Paying attention to these three important ingredients

  • function
  • mood
  • personality

will ensure decorating success.

Before painting and reorganizing, spend some time thinking about how you and your family live. Look through magazines and on websites for inspiration. Get ideas from other rooms that appeal to you, gather objects from around the house that make you feel good; study them carefully for color cues and perhaps a clue to the mood you’re looking to create in your home. You’re on the right track for creating a beautifully decorated living area.

Let’s start with function.

Decorating is more than just eye appeal, decorating should make a room work for you. Here’s how to do it:

Find a focal point: Sometimes rooms have natural focal points (places the eye immediately travels to upon entering the room), examples are fireplaces, bay windows with a view, or a built-in bookcase. If your room is lacking a focal point create one with a dynamic piece of art or a colorful rug.

Furniture: Determine whether the furniture satisfies the functions you’ve set for the room.  If a piece isn’t working, if it’s too large or too small for the size of the room – it’s simple, get rid of it.  Exchange it for something that fits with the function of the room.

Lighting: Lighting should be selected carefully to serve and benefit the functionality of the room as well as adding visual appeal to the elements in the room. You should try to have direct lighting on the objects in the room you wish to stand out, and have indirect lighting on elements that aren’t focal points. Accent lighting is a great way to boost the general lighting of a room without overwhelming any particular area.

Next up, Mood.

The mood or feeling of a room is created by your choice of colors, furnishings, texture and patterns as well as accessories. Since there’s so much to think about when creating a mood, establishing a theme through an inspiration piece can make this part of the design easier and offer you easy guidance. Here are some areas to consider when setting up the mood:

The inspirational piece: The easiest way by far to decorate is to start with some inspirational piece; a decorative pillow, a favorite scarf, even a magazine photo are all good places to start. Select your inspiration piece wisely as this will be the foundation for all future selections.

Theme: Analyze your inspiration piece and develop a theme name for it. Be descriptive with your theme name, and all sorts of supporting ideas will come to mind.

Color cues: Color should always support the central theme. Many times, the colors that are most appropriate are found in the inspiration piece. Generally, it’s best to choose three colors in a room: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, found throughout the room in fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy and excitement to the room.

Patterns: Stripes, dots, florals and plaids are just a few of the patterns to consider as you continue supporting your theme. Don’t be scared to mix patterns and colors as long as you do three things:

  1. Maintain the same background color.
  2. Ensure all patterns maintain the same colors.
  3. Allow variation in scale or sizes of the patterns.

Texture: Too many smooth, shiny objects or too much nubby, rustic texture becomes overwhelming. varying things up will keep the room interesting.

Furniture: Your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme. Some pieces may have great functionality but their style or color may stick out. Try to salvage this with tablecloths, paint or blankets.

Lastly, give your room personality.

Here’s your chance to put your unique touch on a well-planned room, some things to consider:

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize: Do this with pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs, these are all integral parts of a great decorating plan. Generally, they should support your theme, but allow more flexibility here; an antique picture frame could add wonderful variety to a contemporary room.