How do you get a beautifully decorated home if you don’t have an eye for color, pattern, and style?
- You don’t have to pay big bucks and hire an interior designer.
- You don’t have to spend top dollar on expensive furniture and artwork.
- You don’t have to be an expert a picking colors, combining prints, or choosing artwork.
As an art major in college, I considered majoring in interior design. That was until I took a few required courses and was bored out of my mind. Studying the differences between French Provincial, English Victorian and all the other myriad of subjects I needed to know were about as dry as Phoenix in August.
I didn’t need to know all that stuff to work as a designer for a furniture store helping people decorate their spaces, and I certainly didn’t need to know it to decorate my own home either!
I know what I like when I see it. I bet you do too!
The easiest way to decorate is to first get your inspiration from something else someone else has done and then go out and replicate it your way with pieces that fit your budget.
There are places to get inspired everywhere!
If you’re already on Pinterest, then you know exactly what I am talking about! There are hundreds of thousands of pins of home decorating ideas, gardening tips, color combinations, DIY projects etc. floating around it’s members!
Home Decorating Blogs
I’ve discovered several awesome home decorating blogs lately, again through Pinterest. I’ve become a regular reader of a few.
Magazines & Catalogs
Is there anything better than curling up with a cup of coffee and a magazine or a book when you’ve got time to yourself? Get on the mailing list of some of your favorite stores and subscribe to great home and garden magazines for a monthly dose of inspiration!
We’ve got three exclusive deals here on FatWallet (valid through 4/20/12 at 6:00 a.m. Central) for the follow magazines.
- Better Homes & Gardens $3.99 (up to 4 years)
- Country Living Magazine $4.99 (up to 3 years)
- Family Handman $4.99 (up to 4 years)
Home & Garden Channels on TV and Their Web Sites
This is a bit more time consuming than the other options I’ve mentioned in this list, but TV shows geared around interior design are another source of inspiration for me at times. They often give suggestion for affordable shortcuts to expensive designer styles, ideas for tricky spaces, and give you the option to see the process come together instead of just looking at the finished product. This can be valuable in helping to think through your own project.
Friends’, Family, and Neighbors’ Homes
I am in the process of redecorating my office and in order to choose my colors I walked around to everyone’s office here in the building to see which colors I liked together. I ended up with an unexpected combination of a grayish purple with a taupe. I never would have chosen those colors on my own without the inspiration.
When you’re at your friends’ homes, notice their paint colors, furniture, window treatments, etc. If there is something you love, ask them if they know the color number and brand of paint. If not, maybe they have a little extra you could put on a notecard and take to the paint store to have matched.
Brick & Mortar Store Window Displays
I am laughing as I write this because I picked the colors of my family room after I saw them on a mannequin in a store window and liked them so well together. Look for color combinations and patterns as you’re walking through the mall and apply them to your home spaces.
Furniture Store Show Rooms
Furniture stores have come a long way from just being an open warehouse with rows of sofas and recliners! Most are separated into many different vignettes and furniture groupings to entice shoppers to buy. Take a few pictures with your phone while you’re in the stores of furniture placements, color combinations, and individual pieces that you like to help you remember them wen you get home.
Also many furniture stores have interior designers who will come to your home, measure your space and give you ideas for a very low cost which is often refunded with the purchase of your furniture. I used to give my clients an assignment to pull together a portfolio of photos with colors, spaces, and styles they liked! It really helped me to be able to offer suggestions for them that they would like rather than spending my time coming up with something and begin way off the mark.
Whether you do it on your own or get a friend or a designer to help you, I know these ideas will help you to get a better idea of your style. If you live with a significant other, make sure to include them in the process. And more than anything have fun with it. A little paint goes a long way when it comes to giving your home a new look!