Tips for creating a home that's all your own
What makes a house a home? It's everything that you put into it. After all, your home is so much for than just four walls and a roof. It's one of the biggest investments you'll probably every make and the greatest expression of your personal style. No matter if this is your first home or you're a seasoned pro, brush up on these tips for filling that space with the things that will bring joy and function to your everyday life.
Before you start shopping for anything home related, carefully consider your interior design goals. You're never tied down by just one style, but for anyone looking to create a cohesive feel throughout the home, choosing compatible home goods is key. Here are seven popular interior design styles explained:Modern
Think sleek lines, minimal clutter, and simple designs. Modern design usually refers to Mid-century modern, which incorporates warm woods and vivid, saturated color like orange, turquoise, indigo, and red along with neutrals. Modern design typically relies on materials like wood, glass, and metal. Look for furnishings with sleek lines and minimal accessories. Use rich color and glittering metals to add interest and character to your space.Contemporary
If you thought modern and contemporary design styles were the same thing, you're not alone. But they aren't exactly the same. While modern design is all about the past, contemporary design is much more in the now. Colors are airy and neutral, typically with black, white, and gray dominating the palette. Incorporate sleek technology, plenty of open space and the occasional pop of unexpected color or mixed materials to add character.Minimalist
Minimalist is modern design at its most simplified and neutral, airy colors. Everything has a function and clean, sleek lines. Look for multi-tasking pieces that let you keep everything streamlined without sacrificing function. For example, kitchen appliances that offer all-in-one blending, chopping, and processing. In the living room, consider tables with hidden storage and convertible chairs or sofas that give you a little extra guest space if someone stays over.Industrial
Industrial is edgy with urban flair. Industrial design has a somewhat unfinished look, with exposed ductwork and worn wood. Think "warehouse-chic." Look for light fixtures with exposed bulbs or dangling lights. The color palette skews neutral with metal and reclaimed wood dominating many designs, but you could throw in abstract art, throw pillows, or live plants to add a pop of color.Farmhouse
Farmhouse style is an on-trend option that's very open to interpretation. Neutral paint colors, interesting architectural elements like shiplap and beadboard are big in farmhouse design. Don't shy away from mixing vintage (or vintage-looking) pieces and new ones for your own spin on the style. Distressed items and muted color add visual interest in keeping with this design choice.Traditional
Think classic. Rich furnishings, plenty of accessories, and European flair are hallmarks of traditional design. Ornate furnishings with dark wood, varying textures, and plenty of patterns keep this style from being anything but boring. Add luxe touches like velvet, silk, or brocade for a sumptuous feel.Transitional
Transitional is a little bit of everything. This style is popular among many people because it blends traditional and modern designs, letting you borrow the elements you like best from both. For example, you might choose glass and metal accessories blended with plush furniture and luxurious textiles. Stick with a calm and neutral color scheme for a warm yet sleek look that's all your own.
Tips for getting started
Now that you're more familiar with the different styles out there, it's time to have some fun and start shopping for everything you need to make that house (or apartment) feel like home.
- Create inviting arrangements: Think about how you would want everything arranged if you had company. For example, the sofa and accent chairs should lend themselves to easy conversation.
- Let the light in: Stick with functional, elegant window coverings that allow you to block the light as needed while giving you easy access to natural light during the day.
- Mirror, mirror: Did you know that adding a mirror to every room helps them look bigger? It also can help rooms feel brighter and airier.
- Layer the lighting: Overhead, wall, and table lighting: it's a winning combination. Consider adding multiple lighting elements for ambient light, task lighting, and highlighting key pieces like prized artwork.
- Scale artwork: The size of the artwork should be proportional to the size of the wall. That small picture you love might be perfect in a nook, but if you have an oversized wall, consider buying one big piece or creating a gallery wall.