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Tips for Interior Design and Decorating

Decorating a home is a rewarding experience and not necessarily a costly one. However few of us embark on a decorating project with total and absolute confidence.

We may know in our mind's eye what we want our home (or a particular room) to look like, but turning this vision into a reality is often easier said than done. The difficulty, usually is simply not knowing where or how to begin. Sometimes it's not being sure how to best express our tastes in a personal way. With so many options available, so many directions to go, it's not wonder we need help getting started on a decorating project. The best way to get over the initial hurdle is to spend some time making a realistic appraisal of your own and your family's living needs, your house and the space within it, and, or course, your budget. Make this appraisal and you will be well on your way to creating a home that not only look good but truly right for you.

The space inside your home is your own little slice of the universe. It's where you do what you want. Where you shut out the rest of the world if you choose, or invite others in to share your surroundings and hospitality. When you think of it like this, the space that is your home takes on new meaning and importance. How you use this space should, too. To best use the space you have---both aesthetically and functionally---try to visualize a room totally empty. The space itself should dictate how the you approach a decorating plan. Study the light in the room, the architecture that surrounds the space, the view out the window. Decide what elements you want to play up and the ones you'd like to minimize. Add furnishings to the space little by little so you don't obscure its characher.

It isn't necessary---or even wise---to decorate an entire room all at once. To do so is hard on the budget. More importantly, additions to a room need to "settle in" before you can accurately assess what other furnishings are necessary. Only when several pieces are assimilated into the space around them should you think about adding more.

Be open-minded about your space as you begin this fun and creative undertaking, keep the following five basics in mind---and don't forget that when you approach a project with a little imagination, there are no limits to realizing your dreams

The Five Basics

1. Paint is always the least expensive way to change the look of any space, and you can do it yourself. Go neutral or light in consideration of the colors to come.

2. Slipcovers, custom or ready made (even cheaper) area budget alternative to replacing worn furniture and making a tired room look new.

3. Fabrics, don't hide those collections in a linen closet. Place them around for impact and consider making some contrasting or matching pillows.

4. Artwork, again most of us have more tucked away than we can display on our walls. Change is good.

5. Windows, there are literally thousands of budget window treatments available online or-at retail stores. Changing the quality of light in a room will change its mood.

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