ome decoration is the art of decorating a room so that it looks good, is easy to use and function wells with the existing architecture, The goal of home decoration is to provide a certain "feel" for the room, it encompasses applying wall paper, painting walls and other surfaces, choosing furniture and fittings and providing other decorations like artefacts and sculptures.
- Cushions are great for adding pattern or colour in small amounts. They don't need much fabric, so search remnant bins in furnishing stores for offcuts at discount prices. This is a especially good idea if your scheme demands luxurious materials that are usually highly priced.
- Natural fibre floorcoverings, such as seagrass, jute and coir, have attractive textured surfaces and are extremely hard wearing. Some are difficult to keep clean as food spills easily become ingrained,, but seagrass matting is naturally stain resistant.
- If you want to make your own curtains but aren't much of a whiz with a sewing machine, cut out the stitching part of the process by using iron-on hemming and heading tape, available from haberdashery stores. You can also buy no-sew curtain kits which include full instructions.
- A fireplace is a desirable feature in a living room and may help to sell your home when you want to move on, so don't block up the opening. Even a simple plastered over hole can be focal point. If you don't want a fire, use it as a display area for flowers or candles.
- Planning the layout of a living room is as important as deciding on a colour scheme. To make it easy, draw a floor plan to scale on squared paper and cut out separate shapes of pieces of furniture. Place these on the plan and move them around until you have an arrangement that suits your needs.
- Flexible lighting is essential for a living room. Aim to include three types of light source; ambient, for general illumination; task lamps, to focus on activities such as reading or sewing; and decorative lighting, which gives you the chance to introduce unusual and attractive fittings or interesting effects.
- A colour wheel helps you avoid nasty clashes by taking the guesswork out of the colour scheming. Learn how to use one (it's easy) and you'll be able to see at a glance which shades are likely to work well together. Look for them in decorating books or interior design stores.
- Lend extra emphasis to favorite accessories or pictures by giving them their own special lighting. Spotlighting fitted into the top of display boxes or niches, or wall lamps that shine directly down into prints or paintings, will increase their decorative value and impact.
- Storage on open shelves becomes display, so consider what you want to show off. Shelves crammed with books look fine if you like a library effect, but interspersing them with ornaments or pictures gives a lighter, more attractive look.
- Pune wool carpets are luxuriously soft underfoot but for rooms with heavy traffic, a mix of 80 per cent wool to 20 per cent nylon is a more hard wearing choice.
- Jazz up plain curtains covers with trimmings to make them match the mood of your room. Snap up odd remnants as and when you find them and start a collection you can dip into when you fancy.
- Paint radiators to match the walls, to make them blend in. If you can't find a special radiator paint in your colour, a coat of multi-surface primer followed by oil based gloss or egg-shell ill do the trick. Make sure the radiator is cold before you start.
- Tongue-and-groove boards and wood paneling only give the room character but can also conceal uneven or cracked walls which would require lengthy preparation if they were to be painted or papered.
- Make sure rugs have a non-slip backing to prevent accidents when used on polished wooden floors. Paint the back of cheap rugs with PVA adhesive, which dries to form a rubbery coating. For others you can buy anti-slip underlay, which comes in a range of sizes.
- Sew your curtains with deep tower hems to help them hang nicely, You can also add small metal weights inside the hem, which prevent lighter materials from blowing around when the window is open.
- A large sofa can be expensive purchase, so choose a timeless design if you plan to invest in quality. Plain upholstery is more versatile than patterned, but remember you can always give your sofa a new look by having loose covers made.
- If you want to live up a roomful of white or cream walls, try painting the woodwork in colour. You could also use to highlight any period details such as picture and dado rails or cornices.
- Make sure that any fabrics you use for upholstery and curtains are flame retardant. All new sofas have to meet the strict fire regulations but second hand ones may have been made before they came into focus.
- Choose a curtain pole that extends at least 15 cm beyond the window recess on either side. This allows the curtains to be pulled well back for minimum light, and also makes the window appear wider.
- For a no-sew heading on light curtains, use pincer clips that simply grip the top of the fabric. They also let you turn tablecloths, throws and saris into instant curtains – fold over the top to adjust them into the right length and make a decorative valance.
- Reflective materials, such as glass, metallic and polished or varnished surfaces, not only add glamorous shine to the room but also bounce light around, making the whole atmosphere seem brighter and airier.
- Check that any sofa you buy will fit through your doors and be able to make its way through narrow hallways or around light corners before reaching your room. Many manufacturers offer an on-site assembly option for larger style.
- Plan your room scheme by making a sample board. Gather paint shade cards, pictures of furniture and swatches of fabric and flooring then an idea of the overall effect by showing you how patterns and colours work together.
- It can be difficult to find throws that completely covers a large sofa,, but ready-made curtain panels or bedspreads do the job just as well.
- Reinstating architecture features such as picture and dado rails helps to restore the original proportions of a period room. They are also useful for adding character to plain, boxy rooms in modern rooms.
- To keep leather furniture clean and supple, dust it regularly and rub the surface occasionally with hide food. Keep it away from radiators and open fires, which will dry it out.
- TV and audio equipment often looks out of place, especially in a period-style room. A screen will conceal that jumble of technology but a neater option is a specially made cabinet, with doors that open for easy viewing and a gap in the back to let cables pass through.
- Remember that light can affect colours dramatically. A shade may change many times throughout the day and will also look different under artificial light. Buy sample pots to try out paint colours on your wall, and view them under all conditions before making you choice.
- Look for antique textiles in charity shops, markets and car boot sales, where they can often be picked out cheaply. Used as sofa throws and table runners, lacy and embroidered fabrics are wonderful for adding a whiff of old-time charm.
- Buy all your wallpaper in one go, as batches may vary slightly in colour. Calculate carefully how much you'll need for the whole room, but always get one roll more than you reckon, just in case.
- If you want a convincing classic-style colour scheme, search out the heritage ranges now offered by several paint companies. These are based on original colours use in authentic period homes.
- Change the look of your home as often as your wardrobe – stretch canvas panels over wooden frames, then paint and hang instead of pictures. Keep the walls neutral and simply repaint the panels when you fancy a change.
- Add glittering effects to accessories using metallic leaf. Real gold and silver leaf is expensive but metallic alternatives look just as glitzy. Craft stores sell gliging kits complete with the special glue and brushes that you need.
- If you are painting adjacent walls in different colours, paint the lighter colour first. It will be easier to cut in with the darker shade at the corners where the colour meets.
- When painting sharply defined stripes or checks on a wall, use low-tack masking tape to get a straight edge. It lifts off more easily than most other tapes, leaving the paintwork beneath intact.
- Before you buy a sofa, especially a palecoloured one, ask whether the fabric has been coloured ones, ask whether the fabric has been treated to resist stains. If not, buy a stain proofing spray you can apply yourself, check that it is suitable for use on your particular upholstery material.