yellow brick road

Step by Step Decorating

Here are the step by step directions for decorating a room. I want you to cut this column out and highlight the step that talks about choosing paint colors. Then keep this column in your files. When you decide you want to change the paint, or you are moving to a new home, get this column out and note the highlight. ‘Nuff said.

Follow The Steps:

1. Make a floor plan. Write down all the furniture you will need in each room, and include the lighting. Put all the furniture on the plan and draw lines indicating the traffic flow.  A sketch does just fine. Or check out the on-line furniture placement tools; almost every shelter magazine or paint company has one.

2. Plan the room lighting. Plan for the general movement through the room and the particular tasks that happen in the room.

3. Choose a style or theme for your room. Call it what you will, but defining your style gives you direction. If you head off willy-nilly, chances are the result will look like that’s exactly what you did.

4.Identify the boss in the room. It could be an inspiration piece that fits the style you have chosen. Maybe it’s an area rug, or a painting, or a cushion that you want in the room. Or it could be something already there, like a rock fireplace, granite counter-top, accent tile around the tub or the “No, we aren’t painting the wood”  kitchen cabinets. This is where your color scheme starts.

5. Identify the main color in your color scheme – from your inspiration piece. This is the color for the walls, the main pieces of furniture and the window coverings. This does not mean a monochromatic color scheme, but this is the basic color you will see on each of these surfaces. It is in the background on the print, the stripe in the fabric and the tone of the upholstered pieces. (Unless you are doing high-contrast but that’s another column.)

5. Pick your furniture, rugs and drapery based on your color scheme. Pick fabric you love; you will have to look at it for a long time.

6. Pick your paint color. It is a lot easier to pick a paint color to coordinate with fabric than to find fabric you love that matches a specific paint color.

7. Choose the colors for the secondary pieces – such as side chairs, chair seats, or  ottomans from your inspiration piece. This is typically the second most prominent color.

8. After the room is furnished and the accessories are in place add the accent lighting.

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