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Home Decorating Ideas

You may look around your living area and think to yourself, “I have no style. There's all this random stuff here. How come my house never looks like the ones on TV or in the magazines? There are kids' toys strewn around, and I've had that chair since college…the cat clawed it so that the stuffing is coming out. Style? Who has time for it?”

Initially, it may seem like you have a lot of work to do! But it may involve less time and money than you think. Here are some quick tips for finding your style and putting some good home decorating ideas into practice.

First, go on a “treasure hunt.” Find five to ten objects that you really like for their beauty: vases, cushions, wall hangings, baskets, or whatever else you encounter. Then, take a careful look at them. Chances are, you'll notice some commonalities. Perhaps they all have an interesting texture, or maybe there's a particular color that's repeated over and over. Maybe they represent your love of floral patterns, or strong minimalist lines. These objects are what you should keep in mind as you follow these additional steps.

The next crucial thing to do while trying to find home decorating ideas that work for you is to de-clutter. Put everything away that you possibly can. If it becomes too overwhelming, at least put it in bags or boxes and plan to sort through it a little at a time.

Start with just one room if you have to: let's say the living room, since it's where you probably spend a lot of time and also where you might entertain. Now that you've de-cluttered, you should be able to focus on the room more clearly. You have a few pieces of furniture, maybe carpet or hardwood floors, and a few pictures on the walls. First look at the placement of the furniture. It can be hard to envision a new floor plan when you're used to looking at the same layout every day, but give it a chance. Have someone help you move furniture so that you can try out some new ideas. Give the room a focus, for instance the coffee table in the center of a great conversation area. Then give the focus some pizzazz: a beautiful bowl, or a special book or photo album.

Then, look at the room in the context of the objects that you've gathered. Do they seem to belong in the room? Do they accent the room, or clash with it? If you've selected objects with a strong color preference for blacks, whites, and neutrals, but your room is full of pastels, you might have a conflict. Fortunately, inexpensive fixes abound. Love that shade of pale golden almond in your silk cushion, but your walls are a boring gray? Take that golden almond color and repaint your walls. Your local paint store can help you find a similar color.

Oh, and that chair the cat scratched, the comfy one that you've had since college? You could give it away, but why not reupholster it, or even toss a colorful blanket over Fluffy's handiwork? There's a reason you've kept that chair for so long, and there's no reason that comfort shouldn't be part of style.

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