Do Opposites Attract? See These 11 Surprising Decor Matches

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The 3 Principles of Interior Design

Account for function, mood and personality in any decorating project with these pointers.

By: Shari Hiller and Matt Fox

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A beautifully decorated interior not only functions well but it creates a mood or a feeling and shows off the personality of the family that lives there. It’s attention to these three important ingredients — function, mood and personality — that ensures decorating success.

Before painting and rearranging, spend some time thinking about your family and how you live. Look through magazines for inspiration and pull out ideas or rooms that appeal to you. Gather things from around the house that make you feel good and study them carefully for color cues and perhaps a clue to the mood you’re looking for in your home. This is the beginning of a well-planned and decorated living area.

As for the rest, let’s start with function.

Function

Decorating is more than just eye appeal — it’s making a room really work for you. Here’s how to do it, element by element:

  • The focal point: Sometimes rooms have natural focal points (places the eyes travel to immediately upon entering a room) — a fireplace, a bay window with a view, maybe even a built-in bookcase. If the room doesn’t have a natural focal point, create one with a dynamic piece of art or a colorful area rug.
  • The furniture: Determine whether the furniture satisfies the functions you’ve planned for the room. If a piece isn’t working or if it’s too large or too small for the size of the room, get rid of it or trade it for something else around the house that may be more appropriate.
  • The lighting: Lighting should be selected for the functions of the room as well as for visual appeal. Every task will require either direct lighting from a lamp or indirect lights that simply brighten the room for conversation or TV-watching. Accent lighting — floor spots, track lighting or recessed spotlights — enhance texture, color and room details.
  • The furniture arrangement: Draw your room on graph paper. Measure and mark electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Measure your furniture and place it in your floor plan. Generally, the main furniture pieces are directed toward the focal point, keeping the major traffic patterns open. Fill in with pieces you’d like to have that may or may not be available now. Be sure to balance high and low pieces as well as heavy and light ones around the room.

Image courtesy of Phillips Collections.

Mood

The mood or feeling of a room is created by your choice of colors, the style of furnishings, the amount of texture and pattern you choose and your accessories. Since there’s so much to think about when creating a mood, establishing a theme through the selection of an inspiration piece can make this portion of a decorating project much more fun and interesting. Here are the factors you need to address when setting a mood:

Image Courtesey of Company C, Inc.

  • The inspiration piece: The easiest way by far to decorate is to start with some source of inspiration. A decorative pillow, a favorite scarf and even a magazine photo are good places to begin. Select your inspiration piece wisely, and be sure it makes you feel good when you look at it. It’s the basis for selecting your theme, colors, patterns and textures.
  • Theme: Analyze your inspiration piece and develop a theme name for it. For instance, a needlepoint pillow with a botanical design on a black background may inspire a title like “formal botanical garden.” Be descriptive with your theme name and all sorts of supporting ideas will come to mind. Botanical prints, striped walls, greens and floral colors, formal fabrics and furniture, dark woods and black accents all fit this particular theme.
  • Color cues: Color should always support the theme. Many times, the colors that are most appropriate are found in the patterns and design of your inspiration piece. Generally, it’s best to choose three colors in a room: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, found throughout the room in fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy and excitement to the room.
  • Patterns: Stripes, checks, florals and plaids are just a few of the patterns to consider as you continue supporting your theme. It’s all right to mix patterns as long as you do three things:
  1. Keep the background color the same.
  2. Make sure all patterns share the same colors.
  3. Vary the scale or sizes of the patterns.
  • Texture: Too many smooth, shiny objects or too much nubby, rustic texture becomes tiresome. Use variety to keep the room interesting. Even a pattern can be used as texture. Many prints look dimensional and therefore add depth to a decorating scheme.
  • Furniture: Aside from being functional, your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme. Some pieces may function well but their style or color may stick out like a sore thumb. Try to salvage it with slipcovers, tablecloths or paint. If it’s a lost cause, remove it from the room.

Personality

Here’s your chance to put your personal stamp on a well-planned room. Here are some strategies:

  • Accessorizing: Pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs are all integral parts of a great decorating plan. Generally, they should support your theme, but allow more flexibility here; an antique picture frame could add wonderful variety to a contemporary room. Accessories are located on walls, mantels, furniture, tabletops and floors; they can be paintings and photos or pillows.
  • Whimsy: This is optional in your decorating scheme, but it can counteract any sterile quality that may have been created by strictly following all the guidelines. A beautiful country sitting room may get some relief from a playful quilt placed over the fireplace.
  • The unexpected: Interest doesn’t have to be whimsical; it can simply be something unexpected in a room, like a brightly-painted ceiling.

Visit White Owl Market For your Home decor needs

How to Get Organized in a Small House

During the past few years, many of us have had to adjust to downsizing due to our economy crashing, job losses and home costs.

Here is an article from The Inspired Room which was recently voted 2014 Readers’ Favorite Decorating Blog by Better Homes & Garden’s magazine! In this article there are ideas that can help you organize or re-organize your new small space.  We hope you like it.

Remember: Organizing and cleaning up the clutter will not only look more aesthetically pleasing but it will simplify your life leaving more time and energy for FUN!

XO,

White Owl Market

 

 

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I love small houses. Part of the appeal for me is the challenge to make the house cute, organized and functional all at the same time! I love a good house challenge! My favorite thing is to find a way to make everything in the house earn its keep while looking cute or stylish at the same time, and that often means things need to do double duty. It’s my favorite small house organizing trick! I happened upon some great ideas while scrolling through theBetter Homes & Gardens site today, so let’s take a look!

So many small houses don’t have separate foyers, and really that is OK if you can figure out how to create one simply with a piece of furniture. If you walk right into your living room from your front door as many people do, a small chest or dresser as you come in the door not only gives the entry a little definition, but it offers attractive storage for those excess shoes, hats and book bags!

In a small house, built ins can make a world of difference in how the home feels. Free standing furniture can appear cluttered and doesn’t always make the best use of the space you have. So tucking in a built in or a banquette, wherever possible, helps maximize space while offering attractive storage too. Glass doors on a built in keeps the visual space more open while offering organizational options at the same time.

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If you are fortunate enough to have a small breakfast nook or dining room, built in banquettes can offer tucked away storage for those extra dishes, entertaining platters, seasonal items and small kitchen appliances, as well as offer the maximum seating for sit down meals! That is a WIN WIN!

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Tiny awkward cabinets like this can end up being a jumbled mess. Instead of being frustrated or limited by its diminutive size, find attractive and appropriately sized containers to organize items inside, making it CUTE as well as useful! And when a cabinet is actually CUTE inside, you are much more likely to keep it looking that way. Am I right?

Hanging back of the door clear shoe storage racks also make the most of a small unused wall or cabinet door by rallying small items that would easily get lost or hard to find in a larger space.

Don’t let what little space you might have go to waste! Put it to good use and make it look pretty in the process.

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Big walls for hooks and memo boards such as whole wall “family command centers” can be so handy and attractive! But small houses do not always have large walls available to create an extensive system like that. But, you can still make the most of the space you have!  If you can carve out a small area to organize a “landing” space for each child’s school supplies, remember to think ‘double duty.’ A metal bucket for each child could have a magnet or clip for personalizing daily reminders! I like that idea!

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So, we don’t all have dedicated craft rooms. Bummer, how will we survive? Obviously craft rooms are nice, but in a small house space is at a premium. But living in a small house doesn’t mean we can’t have cute dedicated spaces for crafts and wrapping! Think beyond the “whole room” to how you could use portions the space you have. You probably will have to pare down and not keep as much or as many craft supplies as someone who has entire rooms dedicated to crafting or projects, but you should be able to find a little nook or cranny for the basics of what you love to do!

I have my eye on a couple of doors in my own house that I’m determined to use to store craft supplies and wrapping paper. I may not have an entire room for craft supplies, but that is no excuse for not getting organized! When you can find what you are looking for in just a few moments, you are much more likely to USE your craft supplies, so that is a big plus too!

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Do you have a lack of cabinet space in your small kitchen? I use a freestanding cabinet for extra dishes (see it above!). I also created a pantry under our staircase. By taking the door off and making the small awkward space an attractive little nook by the kitchen, it does double duty by enlarging our usable kitchen space. It even holds our microwave! You could create a pantry in a cabinet or closet in a nearby hall or other room or with a dresser next to a kitchen or dining table.

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Creating an attractive, dedicated space for everything you use in your home, no matter how small of a space you have, helps get a small house organized in style. I like that!

 

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