Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
The furnishings, wall art, table objects, accouterment and knickknacks that represent your home’s decor serve an important function – creating an inviting mood and comfortable atmosphere while adorning each room with attractive functional and aesthetic elements. But if they are not chosen, grouped, matched and displayed properly, the living space will appear chaotic, disharmonious and reflective of bad taste.
That’s why it’s important to carefully consider and ultimately choose an interior decor theme that works for your interiors.
“Picking the perfect interior decor theme is like setting the stage for your home, where each theme has its unique vibe and characteristics that create a certain ambiance. Imagine a beachy theme with soothing blues and whites, nautical touches and natural materials like wood and rattan, making you feel like you’re on vacation. Or a minimalist theme with neutral colors, sleek lines and a clutter-free design that gives your space a Zen-like home,” notes Julio Arco, an architect and interior designer with Bark and Chase.
John Hayes, owner/founder of House to Home in San Diego, seconds those sentiments.
“A well-chosen decor theme can enhance the visual appeal of a room or area, create a cohesive look that is attractive to the eye, reflect your personal style and tastes, make your rooms feel more personalized and unique and even improve the functionality of a space by providing appropriate furnishings, lighting and organization,” he says.
Before selecting decor items, think carefully about the purpose of the room.
“This will help you choose decor items that are functional and aesthetically pleasing,” says Hayes. “Also, give thought to your chosen style, whether it be minimalist, rustic, bohemian, or otherwise. Next, create a budget that will help you stay on track and avoid overspending on décor.”
When displaying decor, it’s important to remember scale, proportion, balance and color harmony.
“You want to consider the function of the space, its existing elements and your personal style,” suggests John Linden, an interior designer in Los Angeles. “The goal is not to overcrowd a space with too many pieces while also not being afraid to mix patterns and textures.”
To effectively create a cohesive look and feel, it’s crucial to have focal points throughout the room, such as one or two main pieces of furniture or wall art, suggests Sunny Stafford, owner of New York City-based Ramble & Roam Co.
“In the living room, the focal points will usually be a couch or sofa. In other rooms where it’s harder to define, the focal point is often the biggest or tallest item,” adds Stafford. “I recommend no more than two focal points in any room at one time. That multi-wraparound sectional next to both a fireplace and a huge entertainment center? Apologies, but one of these needs to go. Or you can tone down an excessive focal point by blending it into the background through color, which helps balance out the space and make it look more intentional.”
When selecting colors for a given room, a common rule of thumb is to follow the 60-30-10 ratio.
“That means 60% of the room’s color should be the dominant hue, 30% should be the secondary color, and 10% should be an accent color,” recommends Arco. “Also, mixing textures and patterns adds depth and character to your space. Layering various fabrics, such as throw pillows and rugs, creates a sense of warmth and comfort. Just be mindful to not overdo it – stick to a few coordinating patterns and textures to avoid overwhelming the room.”
Additionally, select pieces that are in proportion to the size of the room and each other. Large items can overpower a small space, while too many small objects can make a room feel cluttered.
“Distributing visual weight evenly throughout the room by balancing large and small items, as well as different colors and textures, can be achieved through symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements,” Arco continues.
Lastly, when arranging decor items, ponder grouping them in odd numbers – such as 3, 5, or 7. This lends more visual appeal to objects like candles, vases and decorative ornamentation, creating a dynamic sense of balance and interest in the space.