Walk into just about any house that hasn't been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you're bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It's no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these common decorating mistakes and how to avoid them

Use too small rug area
Postage stamp-size rugs are one of the most common decorating mistakes. All of the furniture should be sitting on the rug. If this simply isn't possible, the front legs of larger pieces can be on the rug with the back two needn't be. All four legs of smaller pieces should be on the rug.

Decide the paint color first
Paint is available in thousands of colors and can easily be changed. Choose your most expensive pieces first then decorate around them.

Hang chandeliers too high
You want to light up the room, not the ceiling.

Hang artwork too high
People have a tendency to hang art closer to the ceiling than it should be. Artwork should be hung at about eye-level. Obviously this varies from person to person, so use your judgment. But it's better to err on the side of lower rather than higher.

Use short curtains
Curtains and drapes should just skim the floor. It's okay if they're longer and they puddle a bit, but they should never be shorter. Curtains that are too short have the same effect as pants that are too short: they make the wall look truncated and shorter than it is.

Use too many throw pillows
Throw pillows are great decorative accents but don't use so many that you have to move them all of the couch, chair or bed before you sit or lie down. Just because it's displayed that way in a store it doesn't mean the look should be repeated in your home.

Use tiny accent pillows
The throw pillows you use should relate to the piece of furniture. A tiny pillow on a large chair looks bitsy and lost.

Create a theme room
While they can be fun to decorate, people tend to get sick of them really quickly. Theme rooms look old and outdated very quickly and then you're stuck having to spend more money replacing items you no longer want. Instead try to add elements of the theme you like into a regular room. For instance, if you like jungle themes toss in a few animal prints such as zebra print cushions or an ottoman.

Opting for style over comfort
There are a lot of great looking items out there that look great but are totally uncomfortable to sit in. Always think about how you're going to use the piece before you buy.

Push all the furniture against the walls
Sometimes the room size can make this difficult, but try to pull furniture away from the walls to create more intimate conversation areas. This is particularly important in living rooms and family rooms. Some people are hesitant to show the backs of furniture pieces but if they're finished there's absolutely no reason why this should be so.

Rely on overhead lighting
While it's good to have, it doesn't offer enough lighting, and it's not particularly flattering. It's better to have a mix of overhead, ambient and task lighting. Use table lamps, floor lamps, sconces – whatever you like. Just be sure to use a mix. It will provide more light as well as make the room and everyone in it look better.

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Where To Find Decorating Inspirations

With endless design choices it can be ultimately intimidating to stare at the walls of an empty room. Should you wallpaper or paint? Put what color where? Go with curtains or blinds? Dark colors or light? You might be tempted to just go out and start shopping.

But, consider this. 

Most of us would never just show up at an airport, get a ticket and take off on vacation. First, we'd sit down, do some research, get advice, consider the possibilities and our budget, choose a destination, and have a PLAN -- all before buying anything. Only then would we purchase our airline tickets, pack a suitcase, and go to the airport.

So it is with decorating. Just showing up at a furniture or paint store, where you will be presented with thousands of samples, is asking for frustration and may lead to a less-than-desirable outcome.

Start slowly. Figure out what you really want. Then what you really need. But before you buy furnishings for your home, you need a little INSPIRATION. Inspiration gives you a vision, a roadmap, for your project.

Here are some of the ways you can search for inspiration for your rooms:

Put Yourself into Model Rooms
Visit some model homes, take home tours, or go to decorator showhouses put on by local charitable organizations. These showhouses feature the work of talented interior designers and showcase their style and sense of design. Quality furniture stores are another possibility, but do not go to buy just yet.

Stand in each room for a few minutes and question yourself. Don't look at individual pieces so much. Consider the basics (walls, floor, ceiling) and ask yourself: “How does this room make me feel? Are the colors too light or too dark for me? Is it too formal? Do I like white carpeting, or would I rather have something darker and more anchored? Is that stripe wallpaper crisp or just annoying? Is the furniture warm, dark, white, or colored? What do I like (or dislike) about it?”

Design Shows on TV
Television is a wonderful resource for home decorators. Try a few shows to see which ones you like. Tape some to view later. Visit websites such as HGTV for project information. Continue to use the "model home" approach by mentally stepping into each room. Do you like it? What are the elements that "work" best? Be critical, but do it in a way that will refine and define your own taste.

Museums, Auctions, Antiques
If you are interested in period or antique furniture, you might want to visit the decorative arts departments in area museums. Other possibilities would be auction houses, antique stores, and antique shows. Again, you may want to hold off buying anything, but finding out about beautiful items will increase your appreciation for them and educate you in the value of such pieces.

You can put yourself into the pictures by reading to define your style and develop your decorating eye. Browse your local or online bookstore or library for books and magazines on homes and decorating. Read them for inspiration. Read decorating books and magazines to expand your knowledge of the design process and learn about some of the materials and choices available to you. Keep your notes and favorite photos in a file or a decorating notebook. 

Interior Design Magazines
Teach yourself more about design by looking through magazines. Subscribe to popular favorites such as Traditional Home Magazine, Country Living Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens or find others that appeal to your sense of style.

If you don't have any design magazines, try visiting your library or go to a large bookstore and see which ones appeal to you. Begin to look critically, then rip out photos you like. Make nototations on the picture. Even if you don't like everything in a photo, you can note what you do like. If the photos are small, tape them on pieces of white or black paper and put them in a notebook, file, or portfolio that you can refer to whenever you're looking for inspiration.

The Power of a Theme
For the home decorator, a theme is one of the easiest ways to decorate. Having a theme will automatically include elements to consider, just as it will automatically exclude the things that won't work. This makes your job easier.

What is a theme? Basically it's the MAIN IDEA of your room. It could be bunnies for a baby room, a car theme for a boy’s room, sunflowers for a laundry room, old world library for a den, pears for a kitchen, sun and stars for a bathroom. The list is endless and your theme can be as colorful and creative as your own personality.

Themes are a great way to jump start creativity and they will often inspire a very personal and fun room. Consider what hobbies, dreams, locations, interests, collections, or design elements could be used as themes in your home.

Use the terrific resources available on the Internet. This website has hundreds of terrific links to online decorating magazines, furniture manufacturers, advice on choosing colors, where to see wallpaper samples, or find the names of fabric stores near you. Keep notes of things you like and print out photos that appeal to you. Keep them in your clippings file. 

The starting point for many successful decorating projects is a wonderful piece of fabric. Visit a home fabric center such as Calico Corners and get cuttings of everything that appeals to you. In the store, be sure to stand back from a sample fabric at least ten feet, so you can get an overall sense of the design and color. 

Fabric, and wallpaper, can look completely different close up and far away.

Also, if you have a theme in mind, selecting fabrics will be much easier. For example, if you've decided on a "fishing lodge" family room then you don't have to look at the pastels, damask, shiny, or sheer fabrics. But you CAN look at hunter greens, navy blues, plaids, ducks, fish, and textures.

Get samples of any companion fabrics (stripes, checks, plaids, or plains) that may be possibilities for accents and trims. Then, take your samples home, and spread them out. Tape them up on a wall where you can see them everyday for at least a week. What are your favorites? If one or two stand out, buy a length of each and drape it over a chair or wrap it around a pillow. See if you still like it in a week.

Decorating File
This is the file you've started with your magazine clippings (see this article on organizing a decorating file). Add your favorite fabric samples and paint chips taped to some paper or white cardboard. Put in carpet, tile, and wallpaper samples. Keep looking at these items and how they relate to each other, then eliminate what isn't working.

Work with a Designer
An interior designer is a wonderful resource. Use a designer's services for the entire project, or find one who will come to your home and consult with you for an hourly or daily fee. To do some research on this topic, see the helpful resources on the hiring a designer page.

Be sure you prepare ahead of time by writing down questions, and have your decorating file available with the photos of things you like. (If you have a large number of photos, either sort them, or just pick out the ones that apply to your current project.) Give the designer copies of your blueprints or room floorplan so they can give you a sketch of potential furniture arrangements. Ask questions, listen and make notes.

In the meantime start your file of clippings. Read books and magazines and enjoy the process. Your decorating will begin to take shape so the things you purchase will be "just right". 
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What Have To Do Before Decorating

You’ve just moved into your first apartment or house. It may be old or new, in the city or in the country, large or efficient. But even though you live there, it may not yet feel like home.

What does it need? Some decorating!

You’ve come to the right place. Your About Guide to Interior Decorating will help you with ideas, pictures, community resources, and websites to help you create the home of your dreams.

So. . . let’s get started!

First of all, identify the major problems. Is the bedroom royal blue when you really want soft green? Are the floors carpeted when you've always loved hardwood? Are the windows bare and you require total privacy? Does everything need to be changed, but you have a limited budget? Or do you have sufficient financial resources but no idea what to do?

Of course, at some point you'll have to set a budget. If you're doing a complete change, it will cost more than just repainting. But even on the smallest budget, it's amazing what changes you'll be able to see.

Next, determine the scope of your project. It's helpful to decide if you're looking for an inexpensive change or a major transformation. Your ideas may go farther than your budget, but it's nice to have a plan. You can add to your project with an unexpected bonus or birthday gift.

If you're renting, try to find ways to change the look with by changing things you can take with you. Painting the walls is not expensive, but you may have to pay to paint them back when you leave. Can you achieve a transformation by changing the bed linens, putting up inexpensive curtains, or adding a few interesting accessories? You can take these with you when you move.

If you have a new house, should you concentrate on investment pieces or cosmetic changes? How long will you live in this home?

Next, try to figure out what decorating style you like. A note to the novice: I feel it’s important that your home reflect your taste and likes and dislikes. Whether it's traditional or country, Scandinavian or Contemporary, it should show who you are.

There's no one way to decorate a room. You're the boss on your decorating projects. Look in decorating magazines, ask friends, do some shopping.

Another note: a home should always be a work in progress. You'll do major work like painting, getting new furniture, or installing flooring. But you should always have room to put some wonderful lamp you find at a swap meet. Or room for a new picture once in a while. Part of the fun of travel is picking up souvenirs. It's much nicer to have a special place to put them than having to put them away in a drawer.

You've come to the right place for all your decorating projects. The articles here will give you inspiration and the web links will guide you to products and resources for all your projects.

Happy decorating!
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Beautifying Ways to Up-date The Family Room: New Colour, A Open fireplace Mantel And much more

Your own family area will be the amusement and also residing heart in your home. Chances are that you have experienced a few incredibly memorable gatherings presently there, in fact it is where you unwind and enjoy the corporation involving family. Because this specific place is usually a really higher visitors region, in order to include much period invested in it, it is sometimes the very first place to exhibit symptoms involving deterioration in order to continue to look outdated. Luckily you can find little improvements (like switching out light-weight bulbs) and also massive improvements (like the installation of a brand new fire place mantel) that may give your own family area a brand new look and also is not going to change into a serious BUILD IT YOURSELF undertaking, or even turn your property right into a construction web site.

Think about artwork your own family area. Some sort of little involving coloring can certainly brighten items up or even give your own family area some other ambiance altogether. You possibly can repaint your own family area the identical coloration that can rekindle colour and also get rid of any scuff scars and also dents. If you opt to coloring the complete place, starting from the actual roof and also doing the job straight down is a great idea. Conversely, if you need a bit of a coloration alter without covering every thing within plastic-type material, a feature retaining wall could possibly be an option for you personally. Finding an interesting coloration which is going properly with the place but adds a bit piquancy is definitely an exceptional approach to enhance your own family area quickly in any respect.

Your fire place is surely an often overlooked part of numerous living rooms, and also it is a feel bad for since it is usually a really splendid center point if treated properly. Installing a brand new fire place mantel – both buying one pertaining to the very first time or even swapping a pre-existing one particular – will not consider all the work as you imagine. Minus some sort of fire place mantel, consider having one particular because it will offer your own fire place a done, polished look. When you have some sort of fire place mantel, swapping that having something a bit unique can offer a serious affect your own family area. Some sort of lumber fire place mantel is easy to setup so you don’t need to retain the services of some sort of specialist. You possibly can coloring or even discolor some sort of lumber mantel to complement the actual d├ęcor of this place. Fire mantels are usually exceptional spots to show components of relevance for you to your family for example heirlooms and also family members pictures. Some sort of fire place mantel is usually an outstanding place to suspend hose and also exhibit cards all-around Christmas time.

Adjusting the actual lights in your place also can come up with a important variation. Diverse lampshades can create some other atmosphere when they diffuse delicate light-weight with a touch involving coloration about the place. If you discover your own family area a bit dull, putting a few more bulbs can certainly brighten that up, as well as put highlight for you to specific regions. With an also simpler changes, try modifying the actual wattage of this recent light bulbs. Intending from 59 for you to 120 watts tends to make a positive change; you may notice items this is neglected were there in any respect! Adjusting to your decrease wattage can create some sort of cozier, personal sense.

A little hefty training can adjust your own family area; puting in order the actual furniture can create a uniquely unique sensation in the place. Build a brand-new center point to the place simply by orienting the actual seats throughout the fire place rather than the tv screen, or possibly put the actual couches and also seats to ensure consumers are much more inspired for you to speak to one another. And don’t simply think about the seats, shifting the actual gourmet coffee table, the end kitchen tables and also bookcases can certainly make any difference. When you need a brand new look without acquiring brand-new furniture consider switching out the actual family area furniture having goods from other suites of your home

Lastly, considering what we include about exhibit in your family area will give you some ideas pertaining to little improvements which may have a higher impact. Have some sort of classic vase involving phony blooms that has been presently there for the few years? Possibly currently is a superb time for it to replace that having something a little more current. Your graphics you might have with your rooms might additionally possibly be because of for many scrutiny as well. Images can be had rather effortlessly, which enables it to actually alter the actual ambiance of this place. Bear in mind each and every very little item and also picture adds something to the place – it truly is your responsibility to decide no matter whether it should be modified out pertaining to something brand-new.
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Space-Savvy Breakfast Room Banquettes

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Decorating Inspired by Fall Colors

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Cozy Color Schemes for Every Room

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