When it comes to making a home look ‘decorated’ the tendency is to feel intimidated. The walls should have a silky-smooth finish, the color palette should be exquisite and the furniture placed just so.
The reality is that there are people like that, who want an exact effect, but for the rest of us, we’d like it to look nice enough and to create a good feeling when you get home after a long day, but it is not our most pressing concern.
Where do ideas come from?
Think back to the times of the Founding Farmers. They had to make do with what they found. The ships coming here from the old world were not bringing rolls of wallpaper and cans of paint.
The inspiration for the décor back then was simply what was available. They took their ideas from the surroundings and the things they saw. Using colored limewash or earth colors or even soot for stencils homeowners decorated in a way that was intensely practical and definitely not time-consuming.
Bringing in imagination
Imagination is the source of inspiration and it is for the designer too. The only difference is they apply a set of principles underlined with experience from things that worked before.
The key to adding imagination is knowing what you like and then tempering it with a dose of reality.
If you love the effect of a faux finish on a wall but can’t be bothered with a four or five stage process to get a rag rolled effect. If you a hate preparation and need the job done now, this probably is not for you.
There’s the reality. If your imagination says do it, and your practical side says ‘never in a million years’, consider wallpaper or getting someone else to do the paint job.
Décor is not just the walls, ceiling and floor
There is much more to a room than the four walls. Furniture that worked in the last place might not fit in the current. If you live in a modern high-rise apartment and then moved to a turn of the century house you don’t need to throw everything away and start again.
Chairs can be covered with slipcovers. A settee can be covered with a throw to change the entire feel.
Imagination takes what there is and looks to move it slightly cover a new situation. The effect is to create something different from what was.
This is the easy bit. There are whole magazines, books, internet pages out there. How you start is to look at things that are like the things you already have. If your table is circular, look at rooms with a circular table as a starting point. The idea is to take what someone else has done well and use that as your starting point.
With ideas in place you can create décor rather than just the place where you put your stuff.