Ahhh, Spring! Temperatures are warming. Crocuses are popping up, and the birds are back in action, getting their nests in good order. It’s a great time, too, for people to get their own “nests” in order, and a few basic interior decorating tips can get you started on the right path.
Whether you’re selecting a few pieces to freshen up a room or reworking your space from the floors up, your first and foremost consideration should be functionality. What is each piece’s function – is it practical or purely decorative? If the piece has a practical use, does it meet that use?
For instance, if you’re purchasing a reading lamp, is the shade high enough to light a person’s reading material? Or in considering window treatments, does your selection provide the privacy you need? Few things ruin an interior decorating project more than getting your purchases home and finding they don’t actually meet your needs.
Functionality is particularly important in selecting the right furniture for a room. The furniture should fit the room’s scale and dimensions, but it also needs to be comfortable and fit the people who will be using it most. Furniture isn’t meant to just be pretty; it’s meant to be used, too.
Once the functionality of each piece is decided, the old rules are thrown out: Today’s style doesn’t require rigidly matched suites of furniture and accessories. Personalization is the key. You can mix contemporary furniture with antiques from your local shop, or find a special piece that stands out and serves as a focal point in the space. The old requirements for wall-to-wall carpets are gone now, too. Instead, home owners are turning to hardwood flooring for many living spaces, sometimes coupled with patterned carpets that provide interesting visual or sculpted designs.
When it comes to windows, the drapery-and-sheers routine is no longer the current style. Blinds can provide a contemporary look, while fabric treatments provide more warmth. Roman shades with a decorative panel on each side are an interesting update on the old sheers and drapes.
As long as you keep functionality in mind, your choices for window treatments, furniture and accessories are nearly endless. But don’t think of the array of interior decorating options as intimidating; view them as liberating instead. Take the time to relax, think, dream about what you’d like your redesigned space to be. Start with something simple – the paint, the flooring, the sofa and then build from there.
Still feeling a bit daunted? A qualified interior designer can help identify the best choices for your space and provide interior decorating tips specific to your situation. Check with your local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for the names of qualified professionals in your area.