Starting to decorate a space is always challenging! To avoid getting overwhelmed, choose a starting point and build the rest of the room off of it. Sometimes this starting piece can be something big like an important piece of furniture, and sometimes a starting point can be something small like a collection of black antique paper mâché boxes.
There are many different ways to approach either decorating a new home or redecorating your existing home. Yet, over the years of decorating for myself, and for clients when I had an interior design business, I’ve found that there are a few things that seem to work flawlessly over and over again regardless of the person’s style.
Building a room’s design off of one of the 5 Starting Points detailed out below is a sure way to end up with a room that is both beautiful and reflects who you are.
There’s no one that’s better than another. It’s more a matter of using a jumping off with a point that really speaks to you aesthetically and put in simple terms, just makes you happy when you look at it. So let’s talk through them one by one, find something that you love, and build from there.
1) An area rug. Rugs really define and frame a space with ranges from sleek to textured, solid to vibrant pattern and a myriad of styles from tribal to contemporary. There are tricks to getting the correct size of a rug for a room or conversation area within a room and I’ve give some details at the end of the post on this.
2) A painting or other piece of art. More than the other Starting Points, art evokes emotion and is intensely personal. This is a good starting point if you are in love (or fall in love) with a piece of art. As I mentioned in my post NQM House Tour: Living Room (+Decor Tips for You), I did this in my last home with an oil painting I found on a trip to Provence, France. The photo below uses a group of prints instead of just a single piece to form the anchor of the room. On a side note, you can get spectacular paintings these days on canvas for not much money so don’t rule this out if you don’t have a big budget.
3) A focal color. Color is also a factor that can change mood in a heart beat and they can expand or contract a space as well. The color can be an architectural part of the room, like the brick walls below, or it can be a color that runs through all the furniture or that you paint your walls. If you’re considering painting the walls a focal color be sure to get 8.5 x 11″ swatches (called draw-downs) or paint large sample swatches and view the colors during different times of the day. If it’s a room you only use in the evening and the color isn’t at its best in dim light, then you should rethink your options.
4) A defining fabric or wallpaper print. Prints whether bold or diminutive greatly impact a space and what else should be added to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think prints can be layered or mixed, it’s just that prints set a mood and tone and affect a room quite a lot. This is especially true if the print is bold or colorful. I’ve worked with people that have based an entire room off of a pillow and they’ve turned out extraordinary so don’t feel like you need a huge sofa or wallpapered room to use this starting point.
5) A statement piece. If you have a already own (or want to own) a showstopping piece of furniture, this is where you should begin. Much like wearing a stunning designer dress and not needing much in the way of accessories due to it’s bold, super stylish design, a statement piece in a room is just that: a major statement that draws your eye and anchors a room. I’m talking about things like a red sectional, teal couch like ours below, ornate fireplace, over-sized chandelier and a pair of leopard chairs.
No matter which of the 5 starting points you use, it will give you the spring board that you need to redecorate with things you already own or build a fantastic, from scratch room. Just take your time and add things that you genuinely connect with—not just filler items from your nearest big box decor store. The end result will be a cohesive reflection of you and your family. Happy decorating!
Feature Photo by Angela Carlyle