Guide To Interior Home Decorating

When you’re searching for inspiration, not just on what to put in your place, but on how to actually decorate with it, the possibilities are nearly endless. There’s tips and guides and suggestions, all talking about totally different approaches to totally different topics. Trying to sort your way through it all can turn into a full-time job all by itself. Well, we’d like to do something to rectify that situation and help you get right to the business (and fun) of actually designing your home. So here’s our Ultimate Expert Guide – sort of a guide to all of our guides, covering just about every area of home decorating, from sofas and rugs to dining tables and art. Best of all, we’ve broken everything down to it’s simplest units – things to do and things not to do. So jump right in, and get to the good part that much faster.

Walk into just about any house that hasn’t been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you’re bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It’s no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these rules on how NOT to decorate. Just because most people make these mistakes, there’s no reason why you should have to.

One of the biggest furniture investments you’ll make is a sofa. Sofas cost a lot of money, they take up a lot of space, and they’re where you and your family will likely spend a lot of time. So make sure you know what you’re doing before you go out and buy one. Check out these sofa do’s and don’ts to make sure you get the best sofa for your investment.

Framing windows with long curtains and drapes is a great way to add glamor and personality to a room, but before you head out to the store to buy some check out these curtain do’s and don’ts.

Modern Living Room Elements

If you want to remodel your home in the style of mid-century modern (MCM), incorporating the following elements will take you a long way towards your goal.

The quintessential MCM-style living room from the early to mid-Sixties period would have included some of these things:

 

Vaulted Ceiling With Exposed Beams

The prototypical MCM low-vaulted ceiling had exposed natural wood beams.  For the mid-century Jet Agers, a feeling of openness–of soaring to the sky–was always emphasized.

Wood Panel Accent Wall

The accent wall in the center of the room is paneled in dark, rich walnut.  For your home, you’ll want to panel sections of the room, not the entire room.  And go for real veneer wood panels rather than cheap Home Depot panels.

 

Horse Sculptures

Depictions of horses were a feature in 1960s homes.  Look no further than The Brady Bunch set and its famous prancing faux Tang Dynasty horse sculpture.  In this living room, you will count no less than six horses.

 

Danish Modern Chairs and Coffee Table

Danish Modern furniture pieces found in common MCM homes on the whole were not expensive Drexel Declaration sideboards, coffee tables, and chairs.  They were knock-off Danish Modern pieces purchased from local department stores.

 

Two-Tier Coffee Table

The prototypical Fifties and Sixties double-level coffee table is found today at many antique stores or on eBay.

 

Linoleum Floor

In the Sixties, the linoleum industry was heavily promoting the “durability” and “beauty” of linoleum floors all throughout the home.

 So, even though MCM homes are frequently depicted in movies as being heavily shagged, MCM homes in most of the United States often had hard floor coverings, like linoleum or vinyl.

Sunburst Clock

Sunburst clocks are so Sixties-looking that you risk going over the top by putting one in your living room.

 

Remnants of the Past Era

Hugely important, yet rarely found in MCM installations.  Except for homes of the wealthy few, most homes had mixed-era decor.  In this image you see:  the 1940s radio still hanging around in the corner; twee items on the curio shelf; overly sweet floral wallpaper.

Russian Hill and so Great Home

A focus on bespoke, vibrant homes, interior designer Kari McIntosh takes us inside her latest project – a modern family home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The project had a tight deadline as the family of soon-to-be three needed a designer who could help them complete their newly renovated home just two months before their first child was about to be born. Under a strict deadline, McIntosh was able to design a home that’s warm, colorful and perfect for a young family with a newborn on the way. 

“I worked quickly to curate a fashion-forward and family-friendly home fit for a young family that loves wine, sports, and entertaining.” McIntosh started with a blue and green color palette in the living room. A choice of furnishings and art lends to the rich palette that’s warm and cozy, perfect for a family that desires a stylish environment.

The colorful interior has a mix of modern elements as well. Perfect for a newly renovated home in the Bay. In the office, a lacquered white desk with chrome legs keeps things contemporary. A structured desk chair is the perfect complement.

The home’s dining room has an open plan right into the kitchen. A mix of color and texture creates a striking statement in the dining area. The dining table is burled wood. A beautiful, natural wood tone that’s warm and inviting. Surrounding the table, a set of modern classic Panton Chairs add some soft curves. On the wall, green malachite wall art is the perfect pop of color. And overhead, the modern chandelier is the perfect way to bring home some ambiance.

Had You a Dreamy Home

There are some interiors that push the envelope. Some that go beyond the typical homes you see while idly spending time on Pinterest. And this home by interior designer Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten 25, definitely pushes the envelope in some truly exciting ways. Fenimore, who is based in Dallas, is recognized as one of the city’s top designers. So, it is no surprise that she is the designer behind this Dallas dream home where color, pattern, and a sophisticated mix of the two truly shines.

No stone was left unturned in the design of this two-bedroom home. Stepping into each room, you can see that Fenimore thought about each and every detail that would contribute to her bold vision for the interior. In the home’s guest bedroom, Kelly Wearstler’s Channels Wallpaper makes quite an impression. The backdrop creates a striking statement wall, where Wearstler’s edgy brush strokes are featured.

To keep things cozy in the guest bedroom, a reading nook was designed. For seating, Fenimore went with custom upholstery. An oversized foliage print is extremely modern and the shade of emerald green is a nice contrast to the cream and white design on the walls. The addition of a gold side table becomes the perfect moment of warmth, echoing the metallic frame of the room’s canopy bed.

Living in Dallas, a city with a well-known design scene, Fenimore was able to work with local designers. The bed is from Scout Design Studio Dallas. And bedding is from Peacock Alley, which also has a home in Dallas. A shop-owner herself, some of the pieces in the interior are from Abbe’s online boutique, Shop Ten 25, that offers a range of decorative elements including furniture, lighting and pillows.

Neutrals for a Flexible Background

Are you getting ready to redesign a bedroom, or throw some new paint up on your living room walls? You may be wondering what neutral colors are in interior design.

 

Neutral Colors

In the context of interior design, neutral means without color. Neutrals such as beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and shades of white appear to be without color, but in many applications these hues often have undertones. Be aware of these underlying tones as you match colors or choose paint.

For example, beige might have an undertone of pink, tan or gold. White might be slightly ivory, yellow, bluish or peachy. Neutrals can be used in decor in two basic ways — either as a soft, neutral only, quiet look or as background colors for dramatic accents.

The All-Neutral Room

If you are going for an all-neutral look, layer different hues of the same color for a classy and sophisticated look. Follow the suggestions of paint chip families to choose colors that are harmonious. Choose a lighter shade for the walls, with darker upholstery. Choose an area rug in a color that complements the wood flooring but also is just a shade darker than the walls so the furniture stands out; choose the same color if you prefer carpeting. Tie the room together with accessories that include some or all of the shades you have used. This color scheme lets hardwood flooring; beams; fireplace surrounds of wood, brick or stone; and window frames make a warm statement within this understated room.

Neutrals as Background

In this scheme, as with the all-neutral room, start with neutral walls. Choose the neutral based on what other colors you wish to use, how much natural light the room receives and your personal preference for lighter or darker walls. Be mindful that darker walls seem to close the room up and make it feel smaller, as well as darker, especially if there is little natural light.

So if your room is large and light, you can consider all options. If it is small and on the dark side, a lighter neutral would likely be a better choice.

If you like gray, also decide whether you prefer a warm or cool shade; the same goes for shades of white. Say you choose a rich taupe for the wall color. Turn up the volume with a navy blue sofa and chairs covered in a stripe of ivory, taupe and navy. Add an area rug or carpeting in the same shade of taupe as the walls or a bit lighter. Pair throw pillows in taupe and the same pattern as the chairs with a taupe throw for a cohesive look. Place books and art objects with dashes of brick red on a brass and glass coffee table to add interest and color. In this color scheme, you have taupe walls and floor accent or carpeting for a neutral canvas, with drama added via the upholstery in navy and small bits of red in decorative pieces for further interest.

Sofa Style Ideas For New Home

The way we decorate says a lot about our personalities. When people walk into our homes they often get a pretty good sense of who we are. And perhaps no single item says more about us than the sofa. Not only is it a decorative item, but the sofa style speaks quite a bit to how we use our spaces.

 

Different sofa styles suit different decorating styles, and oftentimes the style of sofa chosen is related to a room’s overall decor style. Yet still, the sofa style we choose says quite a bit about..

If you have an English roll arm sofa in your home chances are pretty good that you’re a fan of classic style, but you don’t like things to be too formal. This style (also often referred to as a Bridgewater style) has a casual but sophisticated vibe that encourages you to lean back and get comfortable – but you probably wear slacks as opposed to jeans while doing it. This version from Restoration Hardware is a perfect example of this classic style – low arms, comfortable cushions.

You like your sofa the same way you like a finely tailored suit. It’s classic, sophisticated, and just a little bit dashing. While you may occasionally sit back with a glass of wine or a cocktail, there’s certainly no eating meals while sitting on this sofa. Since tuxedo sofas, like the Aidan sofa from Crate and Barrel have high arms and backs they’re not suited to lounging (and definitely not napping).

Eclectic Home Nestled In The Hollywood

In Beachwood Canyon, a community in the Hollywood Hills of California, sits a classic California bungalow. The home has great bones featuring exposed wood beams, arched doorways and a fireplace that’s original to the home. It’s these details that Karen and Guy Vidal of Design Vidal got to work with when they took on this design project.

 

With their love of culture and pattern shining through, Design Vidal featured an eclectic mix of elements from around the globe in the home’s design.

Above the fireplace, sits an array of colorful pieces that add to the room’s vibrant color palette. A collection of vases in yellow, green and blown glass create an artful display. The finishing touch – a colorful little painting displayed against the white stucco.

The credenza is the ultimate statement piece in this home’s hallway. Turned wood legs of the table offer a unique detail. Topped with more collected pieces, including vases and the homeowners’ favorite design books. The color palette of the vignette is captured in the painting that hangs above the table, with rich tones of red and blue that can be spotted throughout the entryway display.

The husband-and-wife team are also the owners of Granada Tile. One of top purveyors of cement tile in the United States, the couple knows how to use tile to accessorize in a space. Their collection of cement tiles can be seen throughout this home. In the kitchen they have installed a stylish wall of cement tiles. The lively color and pattern makes this one kitchen where you’ll want to cook and prepare many family meals in.

Dazzling Farmhouse Style

The key to achieving a classic farmhouse look is all about creating an atmosphere of comfort, and it starts with a warm, neutral color palette. The foundation should be made up of whites, creams, beiges or even light (but warm) greys, then add depth by layering in some natural wood tones. Floors should also ideally be some version of wood – preferably salvaged hardwood. Feel free to use colors you’re fond of as accent pieces (throw pillows, ottomans, window treatments, etc.)

Nothing says farmhouse like a good old fashioned barn door. Barn doors have become very popular over the last few years, and they’re great for several reasons. One is that barn doors can save a ton of floor space. Instead of needing clearance to open a door the way you normally would, it slides along the wall. There still needs to be enough wall space to accommodate it, but it can be a great option for small rooms where every inch of floor space counts.

If you want a hint of farmhouse style without going all the way, consider something simple but impactful such as a harvest table. Harvest tables work in all kinds of interiors because they’re simple and practical. In fact, the definition of harvest table is just a table with four corner legs and skirting – it doesn’t get much simpler than that! To give it that farmhouse vibe look for something made of reclaimed or vintage wood, and look for some turned details in the legs.

When it comes to furniture for farmhouse style rooms, nothing beats big, cozy sofas and chairs – preferably with casual white slipcovers. Since farmhouse style generally takes a no-fuss approach, furniture that is comfortable and easy to wash is ideal.What’s particularly great about slipcovers is that not only are they easy to remove and clean, but you can change them with the seasons and give your room a whole new look if you so choose.