Five Decorating Essentials

The key to decorating your home is knowing what works best, what works least and what just won’t work at all. If you are in the mood to begin a full-scale semi-professional decorating job on your home, here are some important design elements to keep in mind.

Focal Point

Every room should have a focal point from which your design extends outward. The focal point of a room could be the fancy new furniture you just bought or it could be the fireplace or it could be a portrait hanging on the wall. Take the colors from that portrait and build your interior decorating plans around those colors. If your fancy new sofa and chairs are to be the focal point, then things like drapes and the colors of the wall and ceiling and rugs should complement or stand in sharp contrast to the colors of the furniture.

Hiding Flaws

One element of interior decorating that is the dirty little secret of design is that some decorating choices are picked for what they hide rather than what they reveal. You can introduce an interior design scheme that will hide existing flaws in your décor. A suspended ceiling can be build to cover up wires or pipes that adorn the

ceiling of your basement. You can even build a false wall by installing paneling over the much uglier existing drywall. Concealing things like radiators or storage units with decorative touches makes the task of design intertwine with pure functionality.


One of the easiest ways to bring decorative life to an existing room that you are almost depressed to live in is with molding. From crown molding to wainscoting to chair railing, molding instantly lends a room a bit of class that it simply doesn’t have without the molded touches. Older homes that you admire will almost always be a case of taking advantage of the different types of molding available.

Color and Texture

When decorating a room, don’t just think in terms of adding color and texture. Think in terms of adding color as texture and vice versa. Some textural components work best with certain colors. Velvet is ripe for introducing red or black to your color scheme along with the unique quality of its texture. Consider both the color and the texture when thinking of adding items like wood, paper décor, carpets and rugs, stone and even glass. Glass doesn’t have to be see-through; consider ways to introduce colored glass into your interior design concept.]


Lighting is an often-overlooked element of interior decorating. Keep in mind that the very same room with all its décor and furnishings is going to look noticeably different when illuminated with overhead track lighting as it does from fluorescent light bulbs. The best thing is to view your décor inside the store before you buy it under the same lighting conditions as will exist when it becomes part of your interior design. That’s not always feasible, of course, but do keep in mind the kind of lighting that is in place inside the store and consider how different your own lighting fixtures are and how that will affect things like color, hue, tone and shadow.