Many homeowners are thoroughly intimidated by the concept of decorating their home. But the simple truth is you don't need to hire an expensive interior decorator or get help from a reality TV home improvement show. All it takes to redecorate your space is a little bit of common sense, a modest budget, and your own personal taste. Sounds easy? Well, it is! With today's real estate market down in the dumps, many homeowners are feeling a little trapped in their houses-moving anytime soon really isn't an option for most people. But all it takes to shift gears from "trapped" to loving the space you're in is a little bit of redecorating. With judicious use of paint, a few accents, and some new furniture, you'll easily be able to revitalize your home and make it a place you truly love, rather than somewhere you're stuck. Don't believe me? Keep reading and you'll see how truly simple it is. First things first, you need to define your vision. Pick one room to start with and outline its current and future uses. If you're tackling the kitchen, you'll probably still want it to function as a cooking and eating space. However, if you're taking on the spare bedroom or an unused den, you have a few more options: do you want the space to remain dedicated to the same use or would it be better utilized with a different purpose? Some ideas include a children's playroom, home office, media/game room, or library/reading room.
While reinventing the use of an entire room can seem overwhelming, let logic guide you. What kind of a room do you need? If the kids' toys are always in the way, it sounds like you need a rec room. If you're up to your ears in books, a library might make sense. Ponder how your family lives and uses your home and you're sure to come up with the ideal use for your redecorated room. Once you've identified how you want to use your space, the next decision is paint. Keep in mind that the key to smart decorating is using the purpose of the room as the basis for all your decisions. That's not to say that function should overrule aesthetics, but rather that your aesthetic choices should all be made with that underlying purpose in mind.
Here's a great example: textured faux finishes are all the rage in wall coverings these days, but they can be delicate, making them inappropriate for, say, a kitchen wall that will need to be wiped down frequently. On the other hand, high-gloss paint formulated especially for the rigors and moisture of a kitchen is perfect! With the purpose of your room in mind, first select a paint line. Choosing a quality paint appropriate for your space's use will ensure that your walls look great for years to come. Once you know what paint you plan to use, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of picking out a color. Deciding on a paint color doesn't have to be stressful, but there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
- Warm vs. cool colors: Warm colors (reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows) tend to be invigorating and stimulating tones while cool colors (blues, greens, and purples) are typically more relaxing and calming. Is your room more suited to a warm color or a cool color?
- Color consistency: What colors are adjoining rooms? What is the overall color palette of your house? While contrast can create interest, you want to ensure your choice of color in the redecorated room isn't jarring. A deep red color might look great if the rest of your home features rich, dark colors, but it might be startling if the adjoining hallway is pale green. Unless you're eager to repaint the entire house, be sure you're happy with the color transitions between the existing paint in nearby rooms and the hue you're planning to use in your redecorating plan.
- Color preferences: What colors do you like? What colors do you hate? Once you've narrowed down your selection to warm or cool colors and have considered the shades of neighboring spaces, let your gut take over. Prefer a harvest gold to lemon yellow for your rec room? Love blue but hate purple for the new guest bedroom? Let your preferences guide your final decision and you're sure to be happy with your final color choice. One final note-before you purchase your paint, be sure you've looked at the paint color in the actual space itself. Whether on the small paint chip or painted on the wall with a sample can, it's important to confirm that your choice of hue works with the lighting in the room itself. Once you know the natural and artificial light in your space complement your paint color, it's time to get out the brushes and rollers. A few hours of work and your room will be well on the road to a total transformation.