Decorating Tips For Better Looking House

Moving into a new house can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a stressful time, particularly when it comes to decorating. How can you make your place appear its finest while also reflecting your own particular style? If you do it well, you’ll end up with a cozy, happy house. If you do it incorrectly, you’ll end up with a mishmash of furniture, fabrics, and paint colors that never come together to form a pleasant whole. You’ll have a far better chance of success if you prepare ahead and follow the same processes as expert interior designers.

Laying the Foundation for Interior Design

Before you can get to the finish line, you must first figure out where you’re heading.

Don’t Begin Your Search at a Furniture Store

Many people have heard that going grocery shopping at when you’re hungry leads to poor decisions. In the same way, don’t go furniture buying in a rush just because you have an empty house. Yes, you will require a sofa. However, if you choose the pink-striped sectional only on the basis of its appearance in the store, without collecting measurements or considering the rest of the space, you’ll be stuck with it. The remainder of the room will have to be created around that sofa, and if it’s too big for the space, it’ll appear out of place for the rest of its life.

Armed with a measuring tape and a notepad, begin in the room you want to furnish.

Be Aware of Your Measurements

It’s crucial to match the scale of furniture to the scale of a room. A large sectional sofa can easily overwhelm a small space, while slim chairs can get buried in a spacious loft. Measure the length and width of each room you want to decorate, as well as the ceiling height and any obstacles such as stairwells, columns, radiators, and other obstructions, before you start planning. To prepare for window coverings, it’s also a good idea to measure window openings, as well as the wall space below, above, and to the sides of each one.

“The first mistake most people make is buying the wrong size furniture – sofas that don’t fit in the room, sofas that don’t fit through doorways, tables that are too small, desks that are too big, nightstands that hang into the doorway,” said David Kleinberg, founder of David Kleinberg Design Associates in New York. Avoiding such issues can be as simple as carefully gauging your space.

Make a floor plan.

Once you have your room’s measurements, you can use them to create a floor plan that offers you a bird’s eye view of your entire home. “Every project should begin with a floor plan,” said Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton, her father’s New York interior design firm. “You must be familiar with the area.”

One option is to sketch a floor plan with paper, a pencil, and a ruler the old-fashioned manner. Most professional designers, on the other hand, use drafting software such as AutoCAD. Between those two extremes are programs like Magicplan, Floor Plan Creator, and RoomScan Pro, which promise to make it simple for homeowners to produce simple floor plans (some even automate measurements with your smartphone’s camera, but double-check those numbers).

Start experimenting with furniture placement once you have the space’s layout, making sure that the footprint of each piece is sized to match the size of the drawing.

Make a decision on how you want to live.

This is the most difficult phase, since there are no correct or incorrect responses. Traditional or modern, formal or easygoing, and aesthetically warm or cold, rooms can be created. “To the best of your abilities,” Ms. Hampton added, “you must try to understand how you would like to live in a specific environment.” “How will you spend your time?” How many people do you think dwell there? Is there a family? What are your goals in terms of how you want to live?”

A home for someone who routinely throws huge dinner parties, for example, should be decorated differently from a home for someone who eats out every night. Someone who thinks of crashing in front of the TV should have a different living room than someone who dreams of hosting costly fundraisers.

Follow in the footsteps of the experts

To hone your personal style, go through design books and publications, as well as online resources like Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. “Develop a dossier of preferred photographs based on the style that you respond to the most,” said Brad Ford, an interior designer in New York City.

Mr. Kleinberg recommended that once you’ve found photographs you like, you should look into the specifics. “Look at where pattern is employed vs solids, and whether or not color can be used successfully,” he said. It will also assist you in deciding on everything from the style of furniture you want to a possible window treatment approach.

Tape It Out

Use painter’s tape in the real space to define where furniture will be placed on floors and against walls to take floor plan ideas a step further.

“We use blue tape on the floor to block out different aspects,” Anne Maxwell Foster, owner of Tilton Fenwick in New York, explained. “How will the rug be placed?” Is it necessary to clip it? How far is the coffee table coming out? Even though we have everything on a furniture plan down to the sixteenth of an inch, visualizing everything in the room and being able to walk around helps.”

Make a financial plan.

There’s no way around it: if you spend too much money on an unusually pricey chair, you’ll have less money to spend on the rest of your house. “You want to make sure you’re spending your money strategically,” Mr. Ford remarked. “A budget provides a road plan for dividing the costs of items between rooms.” You can still make an exception if you locate a one-of-a-kind dining table, he said, but you’ll have to think about where else you might save money to pay for it.

Phases should be planned.

Drywall finishing, hardwood floor restoration, and ceiling painting are all nasty jobs. It’s preferable to do this type of work before moving any furniture or accessories into the room, if at all possible.

If it’s not possible to avoid it, cover large furniture with plastic drop cloths and tape accessories in boxes to safeguard them.

Ideas for the Entrance

The initial impression is made in the foyer or entrance hall, so make it a good one.

The New York Times’ Daniel Gonzalez

Make a Statement

Don’t be stingy with your words. “When someone goes into your home, that room is the power moment,” said Suysel dePedro Cunningham, owner of the interior design business Tilton Fenwick. “It can reveal a lot about your personality and design preferences.”

As a result, a wall finish that might be too much in a living room or bedroom can be perfect in a foyer. “It’s a location where you can use a bold color, lacquer, or wallpaper for a ‘Wow’ moment that you would be afraid of in a big living room,” she explained.

Is there a bonus? Wall coverings and finishes that make a statement can be costly, but because foyers are often tiny, these goods can easily be put on a budget.

Create a routine for yourself.

You can make your everyday arrival and departure sequence a breeze with a few crucial furniture pieces and accessories. “Typically, it’s not a vast space, so you’re working with a restricted amount of pieces,” said Mr. Ford. “A console with drawers is fantastic, since it’s a perfect spot to hide your keys and mail,” Mr. Ford added, if you’re the kind to drop everything when you walk in the door. If drawers aren’t available, a bowl, tray, or other sculptural container might be used as a catchall to keep items tidy.

A bench or two that slide under the console can provide a place to sit while lacing up shoes while taking up very little space on the floor.

A wall-mounted mirror is also useful, according to Mr. Ford. “It offers you one final chance to check yourself before you walk out the door.”

Plan for the Weather

The entryway, as the first room guests enter when entering from the outside, has to cope with a lot — ice, snow, wetness, muck, and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at it. To avoid having these things crawl into the remainder of the home, you need to deal with them at the front door.

Even before you go in the door, the work begins. Mr. Ford explained, “I like to keep a mat at the door so visitors may clean their feet before even walking inside.”

Inside, you can follow up with an indoor-outdoor rug. Umbrella stands not only keep umbrellas handy, but they also keep wet umbrellas from dripping on the floor. Soggy hats and gloves can be stored in storage bins or baskets that can be kept under a console (provided the space isn’t taken up by stools). If your foyer lacks a closet, invest in coat hooks or a rack. All of these items are utilitarian, but they can also be used as ornamental features.

Dining and Living Room Decor Ideas

Whether they are separate rooms or merged in an open-concept space, the primary living areas set the tone for life with family and friends.

The New York Times’ Brad Dickson

Make the Color Palette

You can view colors, patterns and metal finishes online, but digital photos are only approximations of what the genuine objects appear like. Order color chips, fabric swatches, and material samples wherever feasible to ensure that the final product meets your expectations. Mr. Kleinberg explained, “You can order samples from most providers, and it’s always better.” When viewed on a screen, “certain colors blur together,” he added, making it impossible to distinguish between cool and warm tones.

Don’t merely examine the samples on their own. To observe how well they operate together, pin them to a board or place them in a tray. Mr. Kleinberg stated, “All greens play well together.” “It’s a war for all blues.” Putting samples next to each other allows you to determine if different colors and patterns will work well together or clash.

Ms. Hampton occasionally goes a step farther. “We’ll put the fabric on the copier, reduce it, cut it into the correct shape for the floor plan, and paste it down when we’re working on a fabric scheme,” she explained, “so we can see how the various fabrics spread across the room.”

Treat the Walls with Care

Paint colors are infamous for changing colours depending on the light source (and seeming to change between the paint store to home). When you smear it across four walls, the effect is accentuated. As a result, committing to a paint color when you first see the chip in a store is never a good idea. At the very least, look at the largest chip you can find in the room you plan to paint. Better better, paint large sample patches on walls or on boards that can be moved and viewed at various times of the day.

Note: There’s no need to be afraid of strong, vivid colors if you test them out first before painting the entire space.

After you’ve decided on a hue, you’ll need to decide on a shine. Matte or flat paints provide a nice gauzy appearance that hides wall defects, but they can be difficult to keep clean, touch up, and maintain. Ms. Hampton, who prefers paint with an eggshell or satin finish that is slightly glossier and easier to scrub, said, “I don’t do matte walls in general.”

Baseboards, moldings, doors, and other trim can be painted the same color as the walls to blend in, or a contrasting hue — typically an off-white in a room with colored walls — to stand out. It’s also possible to paint the trim in a different shine than the walls. A semi-gloss shine will highlight moldings while also increasing durability.

You must also pick how the ceiling will be treated. You can paint it white to give it a clean look, or the same color as the walls to give it a cozy vibe. Because the ceiling is rarely touched by filthy fingers or smudge-causing objects, a matte or flat sheen is acceptable to use. If the surface is perfectly flat, it can also be sprayed with a glossy finish to reflect light into the living space as a design feature. (Don’t do it if your ceilings aren’t smooth; the glossy shine will just expose flaws.)

Consider exploring beyond paint for something different. Patterned wallpaper, grass cloth, upholstery fabrics, wood paneling, and even stone and brick veneer are all available from manufacturers.

Selecting Furniture

Working from your floor plan and inspiration photographs, choose the exact pieces of furniture — the sofas, chairs and tables — that will make the area livable. You can move in a variety of routes depending on the desired mood.

Focusing on a symmetrical layout in a classic space might help — for example, placing a sofa and coffee table in the center of a fireplace with matching armchairs on either side. Ms. Hampton explained, “A really symmetrical environment can be elegant and formal.” “If you chose a sectional sofa, it’ll probably be a less formal setting,” she remarked, referring to the asymmetrical configuration.

The height of the seat is also crucial. To avoid some persons sitting substantially higher than others, sofas and lounge chairs in the same area should have seats that are at similar heights. Lower seats provide a more informal, laid-back vibe, whereas higher seats have a more formal vibe.

Regardless of whether the room is casual or formal, there is a general rule to follow: the number of dining seats should nearly equal the number of reclining spaces. “That’s an old fact my father told me,” Ms. Hampton explained. “If you’re having 12 guests around a dining room table, you should have 12 seats in the living room for entertainment before and after the meal,” says one expert.

The Flow of Events

There should be no one-of-a-kind sofas or chairs in the living room. When individuals sit down, they almost always require a place to put their drink or book, as well as a source of light. Place a coffee table or end table, as well as a table or floor light, within easy reach of each seat.

No one wants to stub their toe on a chair leg, so make sure the living room has open walking paths and that no furniture blocks part of a doorway or makes it difficult to squeeze through.

Will there be a television in your living room? If that’s the case, you’ll need a wall mount or a media unit to hold it, as well as a cable path that isn’t unattractive.

Do you intend to host dinners in the style of a buffet? If that’s the case, a credenza or sideboard near the dining table will allow you to serve visitors without having to send them via the kitchen.

Rugs are a great addition.

The lack of a rug in a living room makes it appear naked. Add a rug for both visual and physical comfort.

There are three common approaches to this:

A large rug that takes up a lot of space. Install a rug that almost completely covers the room’s floor, leaving a border or just a foot or two around the edges. This is most effective in smaller spaces.

Rugs for the seating areas. By using carpets to visually connect each piece of furniture in a larger room, you may break it down into different seating sections. Or, in an open-concept room, use a rug to hold the living area together, while allowing the eating area to sit directly on the wood floor.

Rugs with multiple layers. Pile smaller rugs on top of a larger one to add visual interest while also reaffirming the room’s layout.

When choosing sizes, be generous. A tiny rug under the coffee table that doesn’t reach the sofa and chair legs will resemble a stranded raft. At its edges, the rug should stretch halfway or totally under the furniture.

Complete the look with art and accessories.

Art and accessories are the last touches to every home, but there is no one-size-fits-all method. It could be simply a few things in a minimalist space, or it could be huge collections and layers of objets d’art in a maximalist space.

Examine the manner the rooms in your original inspired photographs are decorated. Is there more than one vase on a table, or do they combine candles, boxes, bowls, and books? Is there a single piece of art or a freeform gallery wall above the sofa?

Consider your functional requirements. Remote controls can be kept on a tray on an ottoman. Deep sofas and chairs benefit from additional back support provided by throw pillows. Reading materials can be kept out of the way with the help of a magazine rack. Attractive baskets are perfect for quickly clearing up children’s toys.

Bedroom Decorating Concepts

A well-designed bedroom can act as your overnight retreat.

The New York Times’ Allegra Anderson

Make a Furniture Plan

The bed is the focal point of the space, which is why it’s named a bedroom. As a result, it should take center stage in the room, most likely with the headboard against one wall and walking paths on both sides.

“If at all possible,” advised Nick Olsen, a New York City interior designer, “don’t cram a bed in the corner.” “They’re impossible to make and inconvenient to utilize for two people.”

Children’s bunk beds are an exception. There’s no reason not to have one in a corner because they already have safety rails that usually only allow access from one side.

Install nightstands on both sides of an adult bed if there is enough room. Simple little tabletops, tables with a single drawer for essentials, or anything larger could be used. “Consider whether you require additional storage space,” Mr. Olsen advised. “To give space for folded clothing, two dressers can be used as nightstands.”

Do you enjoy watching television in bed? If that’s the case, you’ll need a dresser, cabinet, or console table near the foot of the bed to hold the TV while also providing storage (unless you plan to mount it on the wall or spring for a motorized stand).

Many interior designers choose to position a single chair in the corner of a bedroom, not only as a place to rest but also as a landing pad for discarded garments and personal items when you’re in a hurry.

Soften it up

A bedroom is generally not the place to employ vivid colors or graphic wallpaper because the idea is to create an environment that feels tranquil and pleasant. Mr. Olsen added, “I would avoid anything that feels confrontational.” “I enjoy soothing blues, greens, and yellows in the bedrooms, even though I favor bright colors in my designing.”

Some designers go so far as to upholster the walls of bedrooms for a real soft touch.

Mr. Olsen recommends adding some form of textile underneath the bed to warm up cold, hard floors — either wall-to-wall carpeting, a large rug that extends beneath the bed, or smaller rugs on either side of the bed, and possibly at the foot of the bed.

Make Your Bed

There are a variety of ways to make a bed, and the question of whether or not to use a top sheet has sparked heated controversy in recent years. Much depends on personal taste and whether you like a more relaxed or formal atmosphere in your bedroom.

A fitted sheet over the mattress, a lovely duvet, and a couple of pillows are all that’s required to make a bed. More layers are required for something a touch more formal.

Mr. Olsen has a unique method of making a bed, which he claims was passed down to him from designer Miles Redd, who acquired it from Bunny Williams, the doyenne of decorating. Mr. Olsen explained, “I make a fitted sheet, a top sheet, and some form of blanket, which varies in weight depending on the season – a cotton blanket in the summer, a wool blanket in the winter.” “After that, I stack four standard-sized pillows, typically down.” Then there’s a decorative pillow layered on top of the regular ones. Then, at the foot of the bed, I fold a down duvet with a cover.”

Mr. Olsen suggests keeping the sheets simple, such as hotel-style white linens with a delicate embroidery design at the edge, and adding color and pattern with the top two pillow shams and decorative cushion.

Manage the Light

The capacity to manage light – both natural and artificial – is vital.

If you’re sensitive to sunlight when sleeping, you’ll want to be able to completely block it out. A blackout roller shade or a Roman shade with a blackout lining are the finest options. However, sunlight will frequently leak into the room through the shade’s edges. Add blackout lining to your curtains to block it out.

It’s beneficial to have multiple layers of lighting at night. While an overhead light can swiftly illuminate the entire space, it may not do much to set the correct mood.

The radiance from a couple of lamps on bedside tables is usually more inviting. On either side of the bed, several designers employ table lamps as well as wall-mounted lamps that are either hardwired or hooked into an outlet. The table lights create a warm glow, while the wall-mounted lamps give directional reading light. “It’s wonderful to have both,” Mr. Ford remarked, “but they shouldn’t fight for attention.” “You want a really plain table lamp and a very beautiful sconce, or the other way around.”

“Every light should be on a dimmer,” Mr. Olsen advised in terms of control – sound advice for every area of the house.

Bathrooms and Kitchens

Customizing these rooms can add personality without requiring a major makeover.

The New York Times’ Daniel Gonzalez

Take a look at the cabinets and counters.

Changing kitchen counters is a big job, but going from a low-cost material like laminate to a high-end material like marble, granite, or quartzite may drastically alter the look of a kitchen or bathroom.

Another area ripe for improvement is the kitchen backsplash. Even if the original counters are left in place, a favored ceramic, glass, metal, or cement tile can be used to enhance or replace an existing backsplash.

It’s generally possible to paint kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity cabinets a new color for a fresh look if they’re simple and in good repair. If the cabinet doors have an out-of-date design, you may be able to preserve the original cabinet carcasses and just replace the doors.

When it comes to a cheap bathroom vanity, it’s generally more cost-effective to replace the entire thing. Prefabricated vanities with matching tops and sinks are available from a variety of suppliers.

Concentrate on the Things You Touch

The aesthetic of a kitchen or bathroom can be dramatically improved by just changing cabinet handles with new hardware. Kitchen and bathroom faucets are likewise not places to cut corners – you use them every day, so choose models that not only look beautiful, but also have reassuring handles and heads that provide the performance you require.

This philosophy extends to bathroom accessories as well: high-quality towel bars, robe hooks, and toilet paper holders can all help to boost the room’s appearance at a low cost.

Textiles Can Be Refreshing

It’s pointless to have lovely towel bars if the towels on them are ragged or mismatched. Replace your old towels and washcloths with new ones that are all the same color (you deserve it). Add printed hand towels as a decorative touch.

Replace a mildewed shower curtain with one made of an attractive material, such as linen, or a glass panel if there is one around the tub.

If your bathroom or kitchen floor is in need of some TLC but you don’t want to go to the hassle or expense of replacing it, cover it with a wide woven vinyl rug or mat from Chilewich or Bolon.

Not to be overlooked is the powder room.

A powder room is the ideal spot to let your inner decorator loose with vibrant colors and wall coverings because it’s so small and rarely used.

Mr. Olsen, who has created powder rooms with crazy wallpaper and mirrored wall panels, said, “It’s so much fun to make it an unexpected, cool aspect” that will surprise guests.

Ms. Maxwell Foster shared this view, saying, “Find a wall treatment you like, and simply go for it.”

Finally, keep in mind that decorating should be enjoyable. You’ll find that starting with a strategy and following the same processes as the pros will make the experience far less stressful than going at it haphazardly. And, hopefully, you’ll walk away with the grand prize: your dream home.

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