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Where To Get Your Decorating Inspiration

The hardest part of decorating a room and my most asked questioned is where does the inspiration come from. There is nothing more difficult than staring at an all white room with your same old furniture and accessories and waiting for a brilliant idea.

Here are some helpful ways to get you started!

Create a Reference Guide

One of the most useful suggestions I can give you is to have you create an idea reference guide. Purchase three ring binders; label the inserts, for example; dining room, kitchen and bedroom etc. Fill them with pictures from catalogs, magazines, wallpaper samples, paint chip samples, fabric swatches, etc. Make sure in each section you identify what you like, briefly write down what inspired you about the picture. Spread out all the pictures and make a list of the common factors: Are all the rooms bright and cheerful? Are they elegant and formal?

It could be a painted chest and colorful chenille rug that may inspire your next decorating project. As a decorator I find this most helpful to assist my clients in achieving their decorating goals. Take your time in this phase of the project choosing a look for your home is a process.

Please use all available resources. Visit furniture showrooms, antique stores, and consignment shops. The showrooms are fully decorated with accessories, colorful, textural fabrics and beautiful color palettes to inspire you. Ask for furniture brochures or take your camera along and take a picture of what you love.

Use the Internet and visit furniture websites such as, Ethanallen.com, Thomasville.com, Harden.com, DrexelHertiage.com, Horchow.com, or Furniturefind.com, The selections are endless.

Do some research at your local bookstore visit Barnes & Noble or Borders for an afternoon. Take a pen and pad and do some research. Look at window treatment ideas, painted furniture techniques, table arranging, faux finish or holiday decorating. Check out your local library for resource information.

Just beginning a big decorating project? Follow these suggestions.

Set a budget. You might not be able to decorate your entire home right away. Do the rooms you use the most first; this will help you gain confidence while you enjoy your home.

Choose your style.
Look through magazines and clip pictures of rooms you like.

Select your color scheme. Pick colors that you and your family love. Carry your color scheme throughout your home, letting one color dominate in each room. Most people feel comfortable with one dominant color and 2-3 accent colors in a room.

Mix and match prints. Begin with a "signature print" that you love. This is the print around which you will design the rest of the room. Freely mix and match florals, stripes, plaids, checks or textures with your signature print. As long as you use the same colors throughout the room, you can mix and match a number of patterns in one room.

My last suggestion would be to have you purchase a photo album
and take before and after pictures. Keep a portfolio of all your projects whether it is a room redo or a painted piece of furniture. It is exciting and rewarding to look back and see what you have accomplished.

Most importantly, have fun. Fill your home with the things you love. Remember we do not live in the pages of a Design House Magazine. We have careers, kids, carpool, meals to cook and laundry to do.

~ Tracy Lee
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