Home decor can be a touchy subject. Like most things in life, there are no black and white answers about what constitutes proper home decor. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. But as long as you feel at home, that’s all that really matters. There are some fundamental basics, however, which we feel make for good design.
The most basic fundamental element is to create a sense of space. With a large room, there is freedom to incorporate expansive furniture, robust light fixtures, large wall hangings and multiple accessories. But in a small room, more attention must be given to the total combination of elements, so that it won’t seem cluttered. To create space in a small room, take a close look at how much furniture you have and the relative space it takes up. A room with minimal furniture offers more space for accessories and larger decorations. The more furniture in the room, the less space you have for accessorizing. Simplifying is always a good idea. Hang smaller paintings on the wall. Let the space breathe. Here, less is more.
Creation of Balance, Harmony, and Emphasis
Balance and harmony are key to successful design. Regarding harmony, the components of the room should relate to each other whether by style, finish or both. The connection should be just enough to set the eye at ease. Expensive furnishings can be combined with lower-priced items as long as the look is harmonious. One example might be that if a table lamp and floor lamp are of different styles, a similar finish can bring them together nicely.
Balance in design relates to creating a feeling of equilibrium, where the visual weight of items is considered to achieve an overall effect of cohesiveness. Balance can be established not only by sizes and shapes of various furnishings and décor, but through color, pattern and texture. There are three types of balance in design, consisting of the following:
- Symmetrical (or Formal) – Traditional or more conventional spaces use this type of symmetry, wherein the two sides of the room mirror each other. Repetition of décor makes this type of symmetry relatively easy to achieve; however, one has to be careful to avoid monotony of design.
- Asymmetrical (or Informal) – Equilibrium is achieved in a less ordered manner than symmetrical, using the visual weights of lines, colors, forms and textures to balance one another in a more complex and interesting way.
- Radial – In this balancing technique, a central focal point is surrounded by additional elements. An example would be a dining room with a large table in the center, surrounded by a set of same-style chairs. There is a good deal of repetition in radial balance.
Another component to consider is emphasis. If all the elements in a room get equal emphasis, the result is either a scattered or boring look. Find an anchor or point of emphasis, such as a large window, fireplace or even a sizable or unusual piece of furniture, and place other décor such that they highlight this point of focus.
Things to Keep in Mind When Decorating Your Home
Shape plays a bigger role than you might think in a room. Curved items provide softness and a sense of comfort, while straight and angular lamps and furniture suggest a more formal, professional look.
Style falls into one of three primary categories: Contemporary, modern and traditional. Contemporary design stresses clean lines, simplicity and functionality. In a contemporary home, track lighting can be used to illuminate large photographic prints, paintings, or other works of art. Lamps might have silver or nickel finishes, and the furniture is usually sleek and sophisticated.
Modern design focuses more on bright colors and bold geometric shapes. The furniture can be both simple and eye-catching. Creative lighting choices like hand-blown glass pendants are appropriate. Similarly styled vases, clocks and other tabletop items can be used to accent the room.
Traditional design typically includes items with dark finishes and ornate features. Impressive chandeliers, dark bronze-finished lamps, and decorative lampshades are not uncommon. The furniture often has an antique feel. Ornate rugs, large brass candlestick holders, and old-fashioned clocks are other familiar traditional accents.
Some of this home décor information may seem basic and obvious, but reminding yourself of these principles is important when it comes to designing the overall tone you wish to create in your home.