What does the term ‘Simple Home Decorating’ mean to you? For many, it can mean a decorating style that is quick, easy and inexpensive. For others, simple home decorating implies a look that is uncluttered, understated and natural. My definition of the term includes all of the above, as all of these attributes can be incorporated into a home decor that will appeal to just about anyone, particularly those who are decorating on a budget but still want to create an appealing look for their home.
A very important starting point in this and any home decor project is to spend some time de-cluttering the area. Remove everything that you can physically carry out of the room, to give yourself a fresh start and the ability to really see what you are working with. This includes any accessories on shelves, throw rugs and wall decor – everything must go, at least for now. The only furnishings in the room should be large upholstery and casegoods that are too heavy to remove.
Simple home decorating implies light, natural and easy to look upon, so with those thoughts in mind, look at the walls and floor in this area. Do you need a fresh coat of neutral colored paint on the walls and ‘Ceiling White’ on the ceiling? How about the floor? If your budget can handle it, consider light carpeting, wood floors (natural or faux), or tile, all in lighter, natural finishes. If your budget will not allow for that expense, make sure the floors are sparkling clean. If your decorating style includes a more colorful approach for the walls, then use just one color and opt for a shade that is not overly bright.
Your next step is to carefully consider the upholstery in this room. Is the fabric dated, dark, stained, or generally not pleasant to view? A quick, easy and inexpensive solution is to discover the world of slipcovers. There are so many more choices, styles and fabrics now than there were five or ten years ago. You can find slipcovers for sofas, easy chairs, dining chairs, etc. They are made to fit particular styles of upholstery and look great. This is a wonderful way to create a different look in a room without spending a lot of money. If you choose this option, look for fabrics that fit your lifestyle as the first priority,then seek out lighter colors and patterns. These choices, along with the lighter colored walls, will keep your room looking fresh, open and uncluttered.
Now that you have addressed the ceiling, walls, floor and larger pieces in the room, it’s time to think about the smaller items and accessories. Bear in mind the goal is to look for natural, uncluttered, simple and inexpensive. First, do an inventory of all of the ‘stuff’ you have in your closets, kitchen cabinets and other storage areas. You are looking for something that you have never used in this room before, or perhaps never considered using as an accent or accessory. For example, you may have a lovely and unique piece that has been tucked away in a china cabinet for years. Or, you may find the perfect accent in a rug that you put away long ago and haven’t used. If you come across a piece that is hand painted, hand woven or made from natural material, even better.
Bring each piece you have identified into your project room and try to find a place for it that will show the piece off to it’s best advantage, with a goal of minimal accessorizing. You want to avoid filling the walls with pictures just to take up space. Instead, try just one or two of your favorite pieces, a picture or mirror you just ‘discovered’ or an interesting combination of the two. By putting less on the walls and on display, each piece will gain more attention and dimension. For example, you may have placed an antique accent table against a wall in this room. You hung a beautiful oval picture above it, placed a hand painted pitcher on the table with an antique piece of lace as an underlayment, and as a finishing touch placed some natural type of organic such as Baby’s Breath in the pitcher (instead of the usual silk flowers). The particular style used as an example may not match your personal decorating taste, but the result would be the same; simple, understated, inexpensive and natural.
If your closets and cabinets are ‘bare’, try shopping at a discount home decor store and select one or two items that you love, to add to your decor project. Again, keep it simple and understated as you make your selections. When you add these pieces to your room, place them in a way that will emphasize their character and beauty (which is to say, if you purchased a new accent table, don’t put so much stuff on it and around it that you can’t see the table!)
Simple home decorating should be just that – simple. By incorporating these suggestions into your decorating project, you will create a room that is uncluttered and understated, and have accomplished this quickly, easily and inexpensively.