Room by Room Decorating Basics
You may well have a general decorating style chosen for your entire home, but within the overall style, each room has its own purpose and style. How the room is used, and by whom, should be considered as you arrange each room and choose materials, accessories, and accents.
Consider the needs of each individual room, and research related articles pertaining to those spaces. Home decor should reflect your personal taste and interests, but it must also address the particular function of those rooms.
- 01 of 08 Living Rooms and Family Rooms Chuck Schmidt / Getty Images Living rooms can fill many functions, from a formal “parlor” used to greet guests to a space where the whole family gathers for study, entertainment, socializing, and play. In modern homes, the living room is often a “great room” that is contiguous with the kitchen and dining area. One of the first considerations is choosing a focal point for the living room and especially where you want to create conversation areas. Your selectionand arrangement of living room furniture should keep this element in mind. Only then can you move to the details of planning lighting, then choosing area rugs, art and accessories.
- 02 of 08 Bedrooms Astronaut Images / Getty Images You spend a third of your life in the bedroom, so you should carefully consider strategies for making it a restful place. Start with choosing the bed and the other bedroom furniture. While you may be able to save money in other areas, buying a good-quality mattress and pillows is always a sound investment. Your choice of color is also critical in a bedroom—choose a lighter hue if you are a morning person, or a darker color if you are a later riser. The bedroom lighting is important for setting the right mood, as well as for allowing you to read and get dressed in the space. If you don’t have a large master suite, look for practical ideas for decorating small bedrooms. And guest bedrooms have their own unique needs for decorating.
- 03 of 08 Children’s Rooms Melissa Ross / Getty Images For decorating kids’ rooms, it’s still common practice to use themes traditionally assigned to boys and girls, although today’s parents are increasingly sensitive to making kids’ bedrooms more gender-neutral. A nursery for an infant has its own decorating needs, especially where young families where budget may be a consideration.
- 04 of 08 Bathrooms Johner Images / Getty Images Do you want to turn your master bath into an elegant spa? Then research general design ideas for bathrooms, including how to make the room feel soft and sophisticated, and how to choose the cabinets, tile, sinks, mirrors, lighting, and accessories. In small bathrooms, the challenge is decorating it to make it feel and look larger. If your new bathroom involves a full remodeling project, look for tips on working with contractors. Other key decisions will be choosing colors and selecting the right vanity and sink for your bathroom.
- 05 of 08 Kitchens Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images The kitchen can be an expensive room to remodel, so you’ll want to carefully plan your project. If a complete remodel is not affordable or practical, there are any number of budget kitchen makeovers you can consider—including giving your kitchen deep cleaning, freshening the paint, adding lighting, replacing cabinet hardware, adding new accessories, and replacing the sink and faucet. Finally, simple decorating choices all on their own can make a kitchen look brand new. And of course, these decorating choices are part of any budget kitchen makeover or major remodeling project.
- 06 of 08 Dining Rooms Martin Barraud / Getty Images The dining room table is the centerpiece of the room, so its choice and placement are critical to any decorating project. Choosing the right furnishings can be especially important for a small dining room. Other important elements to consider are the chairs and the chandelier—both of which help define your style and set the tone for meals. Finally, give careful consideration to the curtains and drapes and to your tableware.
- 07 of 08 Foyers Chuckcollier / Getty Images A foyer should be an inviting space that sets the tone for the rest of your dwelling, but there are also many practical things to be considered as you design and decorate your foyer. Flooring, storage, and fixtures are all important considerations in designing a foyer.
- 08 of 08 Home Offices Lumina Images / Getty Images You will have different needs if you will be seeing clients in your home office and using the space for professional reasons. But even if it is just a place for you to conduct family business, there are specific tips for planning and decorating a home office. Where budget is a consideration, seek out money-saving options.