Welcome to week six, the final week of How to Create a Decorating Plan. This week, we’ll cover Step 6 – Styling and Pulling it Together. You can have a great selection of furniture and decor, but you need to take some time to style it properly to really finish off your room and pull everything together. Here are my tips to create magazine worthing styling in your room.
Lesson 1: The Secrets of Styling
Stylists will have you believe that styling is a true art. Although there is an art to styling, there are also simple styling recipes you can follow that will really help you style and finish of your room. Before we get into the styling secrets, let’s learn a couple more principles of decorating.
The principle of balance is achieved when you arrange your elements (decor pieces) so they have equal visual weight either side of a central axis to achieve a visual balance.
Balance can be achieved by three popular ways:
Symmetrical – a space is divided into two equal halves and both the halves have equal visual weight to give a calm feel to the space. The elements on one side a re usually a mirror image to the elements on the other side.
Asymmetrical – with asymmetric balance both sides have equal weight but they are not symmetrical. You use different elements on both sides. You may use a different number, size or shape of elements, but the overall visual weight of both sides is in balance. Asymmetrical balance is a little harder to achieve than symmetrical, but it can look more natural.
Radial balance involves a central piece (like a ginger jar lamp on a round table) from which all other elements seem to radiate to arrange themselves around in circular symmetry.
Rhythm or Repetition
The principle of Rhythm is essentially the flow or movement. The way your eyes move around the room is essential to maintain a visual tempo between elements that have different visual weights. When you repeat elements in an orderly fashion and the spaces between them create a sense of rhythm.
Repetition refers to the repeated use of the design elements like colour, texture and pattern. By repeating our design within a room, we join the elements together. To understand the concept of repetition more, read Styling Secret Number 2
Choose a Colour or Theme
Choosing a common colour scheme or theme will help connect your home decor so it form a pleasing collection.
To learn more about choosing a colour or theme in your styling, read Styling Secret Number 3
When you arrange items together, add some contrast in size, shape or colour to stop it all blending in to each other.
Decorating in Clusters
When you are displaying your home decor objects to form a setting or vignette, it can help to create small clusters of pieces that can either stand alone or be combined to form larger displays.
I will often decorate in two’s. It can be a pair of the same object, or the one bigger one smaller arrangement. Sometimes I’ll add a third object to a group of 2 just to break it up.
Two photo frames – one bigger, one smaller, and a small candle. The small round candle contrasts the straight lines of the books and frames.
In this sideboard display I have 2 photo frames – one bigger, one smaller, the books plus a topper styling recipe on the right and a central asymmetrical arrangement based on a blue and white colour theme.
Styling Tips & Recipes
Here are some How To Style recipes that you can use when styling your room:
- How to Style a Coffee Table
- How to Style an Ottoman Coffee Table
- Quick Guide: Bedside Table Styling
- What Pottery Barn Taught Me About Bed Styling
- Grab the Bed Styling Tricks PDF from the Resource Library
- How to Style Your Fireplace for Spring
- How to Create a Reading Nook
Lesson 2: Install Day the Slow Way
If you employ an interior designer and hand over wads of cash, they will have an install day where they magically transform your home in one day – new furniture, furnishings all laid out and styled perfectly.
When you decorate your home for yourself, your install day is often a continual work-in-progress. It’s only when you look back to where you started that you appreciate how much you’ve achieved. You can watch the video about My Decorating Journey to see how different my first home was!
Here’s how to do your own install day (or weeks!)
Arrange your furniture according to your furniture layout in your decorating plan.
- Follow your plan
- Tweak it – move things around slightly until it looks just right.
- Make sure it works for you and there is a good flow in the room
Lay your rug out. Use a rug underlay to hold the rug in place. If your rug has creases in it, lightly steam it or place moderately heavy items on the creases to flatten them out. If your using your rug in the living room, arrange the rug as either a coffee table rug, anchor rug, or extended rug. If you are placing the rug under a bed read this guide.
Artwork & Mirrors
Work out where you will hang your artwork and mirrors. Often you will want the artwork to be a primary or secondary focal point of the room.
- How to Hang a Picture Frame Perfectly
- How to Hang a Gallery Wall
- Display Photo Frames – 1,2 Styling Recipe
Usually you will have your curtains, blinds or shutters professionally installed. If you are installing curtain rods yourself, make sure you read 4 Curtain Mistakes to Avoid.
Cushions & Throws
Cushions are one of the most fun parts of decorating as they add colour, pattern and personality to the room.
Cushion & Throw Styling Tips
Decorator accessories are on of the key ingredients for styling and creating vignettes.
Here are some styling tips and tricks for using decorator accessories:
- Styling Secret – Books plus a Topper
- Book Toppers to Try at Home
- How to Style a Bookcase in 5 Easy Steps
- How to Decorate Your Cloche
- Decorating with San Pellegrino
- How to Style Coral at Home
- Bookends Styling Tips
- Styling with Trays
Flowers & Foliage
Whether you use fresh flowers and indoor plants, artificial flowers and greenery or you forage your local neighbourhood, styling with flowers and foliage is a MUST.
How to Arrange Flowers in Your Home:
- How to Arrange Artificial Flowers
- Create Beautiful Flower Vignettes at Home
- Stylish Baskets for Your Indoor Plants
- For multiple tips on flower arranging from a florist, read How to Create a Christmas Flower Arrangement
- To keep your real flowers fresher for longer read How to Make Flower Food
Lighting should always be installed by a qualified electrician, but you can easily add lamps to your decor scheme.
Play Around With It
Keep playing around with the decor in your room. This is what is known as “faffing”. Faffing really means to spend time on a ineffectual activity (an activity that does not produce a significant result). But I’m here to tell you that faffing is not only therapeutic, you will have amazing moments of clarity, where suddenly the perfect arrangement comes to you bringing a significant amount of personal satisfaction. So “faff” away.
I really hope you have enjoyed this series on How to Create a Decorating Plan for your Home. I’d love to know what you thought, and if there are any other questions you have. Please leave a comment on the blog or social media, or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Can I ask a favour? If you haven’t already done so I’d really appreciate if you could share this blog series. I really think it will be a great help to people who find decorating a real challenge.