Decorating Principles

Decorating any of the room depends on its color - pastel or bright and matte, egg-shell or glossy; focal point of the room such as a window with a great view, entertainment center, a beautiful vase or idol of Buddha; function(s) of the room - whether it is a bed room, drawing cum dining room study cum play room for kids; natural light coming in the room and its lighting system; and the traffic flow in the room, which is maximum in kitchen, bath and lobby. Here are some basic and important thumb rules and decorating principles to keep in mind before you start your home décor project:

Use of the room decides the furniture that goes in it.

A bedroom needs a bed, one or two nightstands, a dresser, chest of drawers closet and/or armoire and a chair or bench.

Kids room may be a nursery with crib and changing table or for older children, needs to be equipped with a study desk, a shelf, rack or chest to keep their toys and playthings and may be bookshelves.

Dining, breakfast or room where you eat must have a table and seats enough for all the daily users with options to expand to accommodate occasional guests. Extra chairs may be kept stacked in a corner when not in use.

Family rooms, living rooms, entertainment room or place for casual gatherings should have comfortable seating arrangements, television, area for playing (depending on personal choice) and may be a computer to work or chat on. You may add fireplace for warmth and elegance.

Potted or hanging plants and beautiful arranged flowers bring colors of Nature inside. Even a single rose in a sleek vase can spice up the table décor.

Do not think that daily-use instruments such as taps, showers, cables, wires, switches and sockets do not need to be included in your color scheme. They can become powerful accents in the hands of a skilful detail-oriented interior designer and they are very much visible.

Remember the color of the room affects your mood so choose them carefully according to your personality and if another room is visible through the room, try to create a harmony between their colors. Areas can be defined in a very large room with subtle changes in the color of walls.

White walls can be a good backdrop for your artwork or display of collectibles.

Light and cool colors seem to add space to the room while warm and dark colors shrink it and make them look cozy.

Painting them in contrasting colors can highlight attractive architectural elements such as trims and moldings. However, it shrinks the space a little bit.

Painting them in the same shades as the backgrounds can hide ugly elements. It opens up the space too.

Color trends keep changing so opt for a classic palette appropriate for the size, comfort level and function of the room. You may experiment with furnishing and accessories.

Direction in which the room is located in the home and that of the windows of the room determines the amount of sunlight that comes in the room and at what time. A window in the east brings in not-so-intense morning rays. You can use natural daylight to the utmost by assigning the rooms accordingly. A room to the east can be used for morning chores such as preparing and having tea and breakfast.

Blinds are good choices as window treatments for rooms that get more natural daylight as they allow you to welcome it or shut it off, as you like.

For evening gatherings, room with windows opening to the west is better as they allow you to have lovely sunset views. It can be used as family and living room or library. The light here plays along well with warm and rich colors.

For studying, home-office or craft room, you can choose a room with windows to the north that brings in soft daylight for longer periods of time that goes along well with light cool colors.

A room with windows to the south can work well as a green room and is good enough for indoor plants as it has more access to sun heat. Don't use accessories that will fade in sun here.

Daylight does not flicker and is still provide more illumination than electricity, so make more use of it in daytime. It is diffused enough to not hurt the eyes. The constant pressure to adjust to the bright area of electric task lighting and shadows surrounding it can be harmful for these delicate organs.

Artificial lighting is generally of two types - Incandescent lighting, which is warm and soft and Fluorescent lighting, which is harsh and glaring but focus-oriented.

Make a focal point of the room with the help of rare pieces, beautiful collectibles or contrast in colors. Some sure shot focal points are fireplace, window views, tabletop fountain, burning candles, entertainment center, piano, bed, sword and shield, giant religious statue or anything that is out of the ordinary in the room.

You may either highlight your primary and immovable focal point or distract the person with another focal point for a very large room.

Keep the area with traffic flow free to avoid bumping into furniture. Furniture arrangement should allow people to move easily through the room, to the door, window and closet and make use of the furniture, dresser or drawer without any problem.

Proper placement of furniture takes into account space available, size of furniture, the location of doorway, seating arrangement, obstructions, light fixtures and wiring.

The thumb rule is that traffic flow should not have too many curves and bends. So work on it.



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