Introduction: How to Decorate Effectively

When you have a good hard look at where you live, you might get quite a shock. A lot of people neglect to do any kind of decoration. And this can have a negative effect on mood and well-being. That’s right, your décor affects how you feel.

As a result, it’s important to get it right. But there’s not much point in venturing down the path of decoration only to get it wrong. There are several things you need to know before you can decorate effectively.

Before we start, I should just say that literally anyone can decorate their surroundings to some degree. Granted if you’re renting a small flat you may have some difficulty painting the walls pink, unless the landlord agrees of course, but there are lots of simple tricks that mean that you can always do something.

So, let’s look at some of the principles of effective decoration in the home – or anywhere else for that matter.

Step 1: Light Matters a Great Deal

Let there be light! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But there’s nothing worse than a dark cramped room if you’re trying to be energetic or productive. Darkness has the effect of making you feel tired and sluggish, and can actually also make you feel depressed. Humans need light to be able to function properly, so there’s a distinct need to make an effort to brighten up a dark room.

You might be saying that your home is just naturally dark, but it’s actually pretty simple to make an impact;

Focus On The Window – Presuming you have a window in the room you’re trying to decorate, you should focus the décor and structure the furniture around it to maximise light. Don’t block any light coming in with tables or dressers. Consider ditching curtains and using a blind as curtains can block some light from coming in even when they’re open.

Reflect The Light – Making the most of the natural light that you have is a great way to make sure that you’re not living in a cave. Try and use a reflective surface, such as a white table or carpet, and put some mirrors up too to reflect the light deeper into the room and perhaps even outside of it.

Use Light Fittings – A great way to get light is, you guessed it, installing light fittings. These are not only beneficial for when it’s dark and dingy outside, or when there’s no natural light to speak of, but you can also strategically place them to enhance the sense of light in a room. Try pointing a lamp at a wall, the light will bounce off of it and illuminate the room – and if it’s painted a particular colour there will be a nice hue from the light too. 

There are many ways you can brighten up your home, and it’s very important for effective decoration.

Step 2: Know Your Colours & How They Work

Different colours correlate with certain moods or feelings, and it’s important to remember this when you’re decorating. You’ve probably heard the expressions ‘green with envy’ or ‘red with rage’, and that’s an indicator of how much colour plays in the way we feel.

This is called colour theory, and the idea is that certain colours are conducive to certain types of mood. So, make sure you think about them when you’re decorating or you might end up creating an atmosphere you don’t want.

Red – The colour red is very much associated with passion. It’s the colour of fire and blood, so it’s a very intense mood that results from such a colour choice. If you want a relaxing mood, then it’s probably not a wise choice.

Blue – By contrast, blue is very much associated with calming things. It’s the colour of the sky and also of the sea,
which are both generally considered to be quite relaxing. So if you’re looking for a soothing colour for your bathroom then blue can be a good choice.

Orange & Yellow – These are very warm colours, they are associated with things like sunshine so the association is very important for establishing the feel of warmth in a room. Decorating a room with orange pillows, perhaps a drafty attic space, can promote a feeling of warmth. 

Choosing the right colours for a room is dependent on what you want the room to feel like. Some other interesting colours are white, which is associated with purity and perfection in the mind, and black, which is associated with death and power. The latter probably won’t be appropriate if you’re trying to create a welcoming guest room!

Step 3: Be Artful

A fantastic way to spruce up a room is to make use of art. There are many types you could use; a common choice is art prints. These are good, but you could consider choosing carefully selected art canvases – this makes for a bit more of an imposing view. You can also get prints of your canvas and use them in other rooms or give them as art gifts too.

Giving a room a splash of personality is a great way to make it more appealing when you’re in it. There are several things to look out for when choosing art though;

Originality – If you’re buying some art, try and make sure the print is of a good quality and that it’s not too ubiquitous. If you’re buying from a chain store or department shopping centre then it’s likely many people have the same art, which reduces its impact on guests as they’ve likely seen it everywhere.

Price – If you want to go above and beyond to buy an original piece, then great. But it’s not strictly necessary. You could even try and find a local or unknown artist to give yourself a break in the price. This is a good way to get some originality.

Size – One of the most important things to think about when it comes to choosing art is whether or not it will fit nicely in the room you’re putting it in. You don’t want it to overwhelm, but at the same time you don’t want it to be dwarfed by the size of the room. Choose appropriately. 

Art is a fantastic addition, and can really finish a room with a flourish. Just make sure that it’s something you’re happy with and you’ve got a good grasp on how you want the room to feel before choosing.

Step 4: Effective Décor for Effective Living

Well there you have a range of very practical and useful tips for decorating. The intention of effective décor is to make a space a lot more liveable and help you get the most out of it. As a result it is well worth doing.

Thanks for reading. Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Please comment if you do! I’d also suggest reading the rest of my work on Instructables, especially “5 Steps To Becoming A Successful Project Manager”.

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