I by NO means really know what I'm doing when it comes to decorating, but I'd love to share a few thoughts on the subject with y'all, and I'd really love to hear your opinions as well. Decorating can really be tricky. It's time consuming and expensive, and really I think it's more fun in theory. It's not as much fun when you're spending your own hard earned money. So, I have a few "rules of thumb" that I really go by that I'll share, and in return, I'd really love for you to comment and share any tricks or helpful things as you go to decorate your own home. Let's all share and make it a bit less painful!
Pinterest - Go ahead and pin away all the things you love. This may seem so obvious, but I think the trick is in editing. Leave Pinterest alone for a while (a month or so at least) and then go back and look through your saved images. See what still resonates with you, what you still love, then delete the rest. With blogs and Pinterest, we see so many beautiful images, but truthfully, just because something is beautiful doesn't mean it's your style. You may love it, but it still may not be for you. Ruthlessly edit your saved pins and save only what you really want to live in forever.
Pick a Fabric - Pick a fabric or something to use as your starting point. For some reason, I always seem to find a fabric that I love that I'll end up basing my entire room around. Your starting point doesn't have to be a fabric though. Maybe it's a rug. Just pick something that you really love and start there. When selecting fabrics, I ideally prefer three different fabrics in one space. Ideally the three should be different in patterns and scale. So you fall in love with a large floral, with it you may want to add a simple pretty texture that almost is a solid and then a really small scale geometric. Three patterns, three scales seem to make a room seem complete generally.
Paint is Your Friend - This, again, is obvious, but I tend to really add color with paint. Paint is SO cheap compared to furniture and fabric. If your den is beige, sofa is beige, all of your furniture is brown wood, and then your dining room is beige, it can be bland. If all you do is add a beautiful rich color to one room, the room instantly feels more put together and "done." I tend to gravitate toward dining rooms in color just because you don't spend as much time in there as the living room. And if you've been to my house you know I love bright color (hello my dining room is practically neon green!) but even if you don't love bright colors, a beautiful rich grey or moody taupe-green can really make a difference from everything being monotone. (And it's so much cheaper to repaint a room when you're tired of it in 5 years vs. recovering the sofa in that trendy fabric.) A tip when picking a bright color, go with something that it technically a historic color. You'll see this section in every paint line. In my opinion, these are usually the most beautiful colors when it comes to brights!
Mix the Materials - If everything in your room is a wooden piece of furniture, considering adding something that is a different material. Maybe a lucite table, a ceramic garden stool or a metal piece. I'm really bad about this. Just about everything I buy is wood but I'm trying to mix things up with a few small pieces that are different to keep things fresh and less predictable. I really like antique stores, consignments store and Craigslist for wood pieces. I think you get so much more bang for you buck. I like West Elm, Crate and Barrel and even Ikea for pieces that are a little less traditional.
Accessorize Away - This is really the final layer, but it's arguably the most important layer. I really think accessories are what give a space life. I guarantee you if you think of anyone's home that you really love, if you take a close look, they have great accessories. You can have the most expensive sofa but if the rest of the room is bland, the sofa doesn't seem so special. On the other hand, you can seriously have your husband's old bachelor sofa, and if you have quirky interesting accessories on the coffee table and bookshelf, I think the room has life. Accessories take time, but pick them up here and there when you're shopping, traveling, thrifting, etc. (Plants make perfect, easy "accessories." Love Trader Joes inexpensive orchids. Just put them in an inexpensive pot.)
Alright, phew, that was long! Please share any thoughts/tips. I'd love to hear. I'm in major "finish up the house" gear over here. I'm ready for this place to be decorated so I can have my weekends back! :)
Images: The Nero Chronicles . The Foo Dog Ate My Homework . Love with the Proper Stranger . Mark D. Sikes . Camille Styles