The biggest fear that many homeowners have when decorating their home is to get it wrong and/or to end up with an interior that looks like a stage set, a furniture store or worse yet, like the Joneses. No matter how much you might like someone else's interior design, everyone wants a look of their own. Usually your home is your largest investment and source of pride. The bottom line is that most people want their homes to reflect their own point of view. Your home should and does reveal who you are.
Any space can become cozy and inviting when you create intimate seating arrangements. Depending on the size of your room, you can create more than one arrangement. It can be any combination of sofas, chairs, stools and benches, ideally anchored with a table, ottoman or side table. Adding a daybed in an unexpected room can help give a dash of personality to an otherwise generic room — and may be a great place to take a nap.
Rooms with matching furniture sets look contrived and uncreative. Break away from the showroom look by mixing something new with something old and combining different styles and periods. Also, don't be afraid to mix textures. Mixing rough with smooth or shiny with matte makes each piece seem a little more unique. You'll end up with a look that is interesting and exciting that showcases your creativity.
Let color express your mood. The power of color can certainly affect the look and mood of a space. For example, yellow is perceived as sunlight, so it's a great choice for creating a cheerful and bright environment. Red, on the other hand, creates a sultry, warm mood, while green has a calming effect. So before you choose that color swatch, think about the atmosphere you want to impart. And don't be afraid of color. Pale and cream-color rooms look great in magazines, but a room with some color usually creates a more interesting and comfortable place to really live.
Be Unique — use antiques! Break free from mass-produced catalogue furniture and throw in an antique piece for instant character and depth. Many antiques can be purchased at costs well below that of new furniture, and they have the added bonus of holding their value over time. Did I mention they are eco-friendly, too? That's because no new resources are used to produce them, which is another great reason to incorporate your Aunt Sally's Victorian lamps.
Escaping cookie-cutter interiors can be done in any room. Looking for a bit of the unusual is part of the game: Why not install a bar in your living room, or a book-filled etagere in your dining room in place of a China cabinet or hutch? After all, it's home show to show off the collection of antique fans you are so proud of — or a chance to display inherited china by hanging all the plates on a wall. While you are at it, break some rules to give your home the edge
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.