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How to Decorate Your Home Like a Professional

interior design of apartment Learn how to decorate your home like the professionals by using the furnishings you already own. You can create eye-catching visual appeal and a warm, inviting atmosphere with these designer secrets.

Traditionally, decorators start by deciding on a "decorating style". Popular styles include Traditional, Contemporary and Cottage. There are also geographic themes like Southwest, Oriental and French as well as styles that recreate an era like Victorian or Art Deco.

If you've furnished your home with random pieces that came from a variety of sources, then you probably have the informal Eclectic look. Whether you call it a decorating style or a hodge-podge of furniture finds, Eclectic pieces are a reflection of your individual tastes and almost anything can be used. Simply keep these professional tips in mind.

Proportion: Balance your room by placing large pieces of furniture around your living space. If possible, tall items like bookcases and grandfather clocks should be across from one another to keep the room from looking lop-sided. Then add smaller pieces like tables in the spaces where they will be convenient and attractive. If you have small furnishings or decorator objects, group them in uneven numbers like one, three or five items together.

Color: Nature's colors like white, cream, brown, green and blue are normally neutral in a decorating scheme. Black is grounding and should be saved for small pieces.

Large areas like walls look best with a lighter color. A darker or contrasting color can be used on one wall for a dramatic effect. Beautiful paint makes pictures and decor "pop" out of the background and increases their intensity. Try using warm colors like pink, peach or mauve. Or paint with soothing colors like blue or green. Remember, if you don't like it, you can always paint over it!

Floor coverings may be wood, tile or carpet of the same color or a darker hue than the walls. Area or throw rugs may then be added to add interest, color or texture. Rugs also serve as protection from dirt and scuffs.

Accents: These include small decorator pieces and items of personal interest. Keep collections together in one area to highlight their uniqueness. Very small collections can be placed on a tray or attractively displayed on a table. You may also want to consider using some of your flat items as wall decor, especially if you are limited on space.

Throw pillows make a room feel comfortable. They are an easy and inexpensive way to change color accents. Afghans, throws and quilts thrown casually over a sofa or chair add texture and warmth.

Lighting: Good lighting is the key to your decorating success. Attractive floor lamps with light colored shades provide ambient light for the entire room. Table lamps highlight small decorating objects as well as providing concentrated light for reading, working and study. Shades for small lamps can match your furnishings or be conversation pieces with a different color and style.

If you want a warm and inviting atmosphere that is unique to your home and personality, then the Eclectic look is for you. Have fun with your furnishings and create your own "decorating style" today.

About The Author
Candy Arnold began designing home interiors in Dallas, Texas in 1975 where she and her husband built custom homes. A demand for unique furniture and lighting accents led to Candy's interest in Victorian furnishings. She has been sewing and restoring antique and traditional lamp shades ever since. Candy now lives with her family in the Tri-Cities, Washington. If you would like to purchase a lamp shade or have a lamp shade restored, visit

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