What's your Style?
Start by taking a design quiz, and looking at other areas of your life where you use design and colors. Your office, wardrobe, and even favorite travel destinations can all give you clues to your personal decorating style. Don't feel like you have to choose a specific style; many great designers put different styles together flawlessly.
Here is a fun quiz to get you started.
So, now that you know your design style…
Choose Your Color Palette Wisely
My first rule of decorating is to decide on a paint color, and then choose a lighter hue of that same color on your paint chip.
Why? Because we are usually drawn to a color we love, but in a large area, that color can become overwhelming. I once had my entire livingroom (think cathedral ceilings with expansive walls) painted an aqua blue. I walked in after the painters were finished and was surprised at the depth of the color. I ended up painting my mantel and trim in the room white to tone the color scheme down!
Another good way to get started with color is to focus on a large peice of decor such as an area rug or work of art, and use that as your palette. Choose three colors that complement each other and use those in your room. Darker colors work great as anchor colors, so large items such as a sofa or an area rug, and lighter colors are great to draw your eyes upward. If you prefer a light area rug and dark drapes, just make sure you keep the colors balanced in the room.
Another easy design tip is to keep the walls and furnishings neutral while adding pops of color with small accessories, curtains, and throw pillows. If you tend to change style preferences often, this may be a good option for you.
Tip: Use the 60-30-10 color rule when decorating a room. 60% one color, 30% a second color, and 10% a third color.
So now that we understand color. Have you considered how much shape and texture affect the visual balance of your rooms?
Add some Texture and Shape to your Space
A balanced space has a good mix of textures and shapes. Circular shapes are thought to be more feminine, while straight lines are more masculine. A modern sofa with sharp angles could be balanced out by an oval coffee table. Choose different textures for your finishes and accessories. Woven baskets, soft throw pillows, and shiny book ends all go together in a space and keep the area pleasing to the eyes.
Add Life to Your Home with Indoor Plants
Indoor plants not only look great, but they pull toxins out of the air and calm the mind. If you don't have a green thumb try succulents or a small cactus garden for lower maintenance. Herbs on a kitchen windowsill, a potted palm in the corner of your living room, or an indoor bloom on your dining table can transform a space.