Decorate Your Home with Your Own Style in Mind
From popular fabric choices to the unveiling of the color of the year, home décor can seem overwhelming. Trying to keep up with the latest changes can be a stretch for your wallet and your memory bank.
But filling your home with stylish trends, which complement the space, doesn’t have to be a challenge. Many people find decorating to be a fun way to experiment, said Erika Ranck Aronson, account executive and design consultant at Interior Furniture Resources near Harrisburg.
Don’t Focus on the Trends
The showroom at Interior Furniture Resources focuses on pieces that most people might feel drawn to, Aronson said. While Pantone’s 2015 color of the year is Marsala (red wine), it is being beat out by the popular grays and whites that provide a bright, clean look.
“Believe it or not, we tell our customers to avoid trends,” Aronson said. “Homes should be a reflection of what you like, and sometimes trends don’t always work with someone’s personal style.”
Working in What’s Popular
If your home is a true reflection of your personal style, but you still want to incorporate what’s popular, Aronson said mixing—whether it’s “old with new,” “classic with modern,” or “rough with polished”—is a great way to break away from the “matchy-matchy” style.
One example is taking a sofa with clean lines and a track arm and adding a funky accent that has a lot of curves and lines. These accents could be in the pillow, lamp, or an item on a coffee table.
A lot of trendy homes now also have monochromatic colors, helping certain pieces pop. A room that’s mostly white can have splashes of yellow in a throw blanket, a vase, or in the wall art, she said.
Cover the Floor
One of the biggest decorating mistakes Aronson sees people making is forgetting to cover the floor. Even carpeting can use a rug, she said.
Area rugs add color to the room and soften spaces that have hardwood floors, she said. Rugs also can be used over carpet to give the room a center or add texture.
Aronson tries to go for the largest rug possible. This helps to visually expand the space and ground a conversation area, she said. In most cases, she suggests grounding the furniture around the edge of the rug.
“By selecting the proper-size rug, you can create a bigger impact on your space and bring balance between all the items in the room,” she said.
Make the Room Feel Bigger
Space can be an issue for many home decorators. Instead of getting frustrated with what seems like a lack of space, Aronson suggests practicing a few decorating tips to make the room feel larger.
Mirrors are the best way to make a room feel up to double in size, she said. Mirrors help keep the room light and bright, while dark colors absorb the light and make it feel smaller.
She also suggests people clear out the clutter. With too many focal points in the room, it can feel smaller and more crowded than it is.
“It’s human nature to hold onto things,” Aronson said. “Whenever I know I have company over, I clear out all the unnecessary items to make it feel more open and bright.”
Selecting furniture that’s up on legs rather than hovering on the floor or has skirt also allows light underneath the furniture, making the room feel larger.
Don’t Hang Art Too High
Most people hang art too high, Aronson said. Next time you go to hang photos of the kids on the wall or mount the latest art fair steal, try to aim lower—about eye level.
For most people, that’s about 56 to 60 inches above the floor if hanging one piece, she said.
Redecorating or refreshing a room doesn’t mean breaking the bank to feel like you’ve made an improvement.
As simple as it seems, Aronson said, paint can make a huge difference in brightening a room. She also suggests updating throw pillows. If furniture is in great condition, she said, there is no need to replace it, so adding small touches helps give a space a new look.
Suspended decorations, such as indoor potted plants or pendant lighting hung at different lengths, also helps add something new to the space without having to spend a lot of money.
In her own home, Aronson tries to buy pieces that can be used in different rooms. An end table in the living room, for example, might be used as a plant stand in the hallway or as a nightstand in the bedroom.
Make it Your Own
No matter what style or trends you might be attracted to, Aronson suggests sticking to what makes you feel most comfortable. Home is meant to be a place of retreat, relaxation, and comfort, and what we put in our homes will help us feel at ease, she said.
“Don’t be afraid to experiment or ask someone else for advice,” she said. “Decorating is about finding something that works with your home, not finding something you feel you have to force in with your style. It should feel natural. It should feel like an extension of yourself.” BW