How to Be Your Own Home Decorator

Designing and appointing the interior of your home can be a daunting prospect. The time and effort required is a major constraint, as is knowing how to coordinate pieces of furniture and décor to achieve a personal, cohesive look. Furthermore, hiring an interior designer can be inaccessibly expensive. To overcome this hurdle, you may want to learn how to be your own home decorator. Decorating your own home involves drawing inspiration from available resources and buying pieces that reflect your own personal style.


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    Browse design blogs and magazines for inspiration. Fortunately, interior design inspiration is abundant. Pick up a few interior decorating magazines at the store and browse through some design blogs online. Bookmark, dog-ear, and save photos that appeal to you, whether they depict entire rooms or simply a single furnishing or piece of artwork.
    • Another source of inspiration is TV programming that focuses on interior design. The only drawback to this type of inspiration is that you cannot easily save photos drawn from it for later use.
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    Create a notebook to store your inspiration ideas. A great way to begin bridging the daunting gap between finding inspiring photos online and decorating your own home is by creating an inspiration notebook. Print appealing photos from design blogs and clip pictures out of magazines. Use paperclips or paste to secure these pictures into a notebook.
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    Work your new design ideas around your existing décor. Redecorating your home entirely from scratch is not generally feasible. The first important step when accommodating your existing décor is deciding which pieces to keep. Keeping large, basic pieces like sofas and tables will save you money, and their appearance can be changed dramatically through the use of accessories like throw pillows.
    • Furniture and décor in neutral colors can be accommodated in nearly any design scheme. Even a drab beige sofa can be livened up with brightly colored pillows. When a major piece like a sofa is brightly colored itself, this tends to constrain your design possibilities more.
    • Use your redecorating ambitions as an excuse to discard or give away any décor that you are tired of or don't like. Keeping too many of your old furnishings will hamper your ability to create a new space anyway.
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    Introduce new pieces into your space gradually. Avoid buying whole rooms full of décor at once; if you decide you don't like it, you'll have a tedious returns process on your hands. Rather, look to your inspiration notebook for some of your favorite pieces or motifs. Search for similar pieces online or at home décor stores, and begin introducing them into your room. As you work, decide what does and doesn't suit your taste, and which pieces work with your existing elements.
    • During this process of introducing new décor, you'll need to decide on a clear direction in which to take your style. Is it traditional or modern, subdued or lively, matching or eclectic, casual or formal, sparse or cluttered? When purchasing new pieces, ask yourself not only if you like them by themselves, but also if they'll fit well into your design scheme.
    • Work one room at a time. Note that each room of your home does not have to follow the same exact template; some rooms can be more formal than others or more sparsely decorated. However, you do want to consider some overarching theme that makes your entire home cohesive.
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    Alter and improve your home décor as needed. Home decorating is best seen as something dynamic and fluid rather than something static. Even when you've completed your decorating, keep an eye out for new pieces and patterns that can be swapped out for stale ones in your home. As your tastes change, let your design change with them.


  • If you are working with a limited budget, consider shopping for large, basic pieces at low prices and limiting your expensive splurges to small accent items.
  • Don't be afraid to shop at thrift, antique, and consignment stores for design inspiration. Mixing new and vintage pieces is an effective way to give your home a lived-in charm no matter what your overall style is.

Things You'll Need

  • Design magazines
  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Printer
  • Notebook
  • Paper clips or glue

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating