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Decorating a Home

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Need tips on decorating a home? Have a hankering to renovate, or perhaps just to rearrange a room but don't know where to begin? If you're in the planning stages of decorating your home, check out these tips to help you get started:

Budget. How much can you afford to spend on your decorating project? Don't worry if you don't have a lot of money -- you can create a warm and inviting home without spending a fortune. Creating a budget is important when decorating a home, however. Regardless of the size of that budget, it does allow you to quickly review your choices and also assist your designer -- if you choose to hire one -- in selecting the right furniture, paint and accessories for you.

Layout. What do you plan to decorate? Do you want to transform your whole house, or just a room or two? Each room has its own unique function and purpose, not to mention its own "traffic pattern," so you'll need to take all of these into consideration when determining your decorating plan. If you will be decorating your entire home, you may want to consider enlisting the services of a professional designer to help you sort through the myriad of layouts, furnishings, accessories, fixtures, paint choices, and wallpaper options that are available to you. Even if you would prefer to do the work yourself, a professional designer can provide invaluable assistance in narrowing your preferences into a workable design plan.

Style. Now comes the really fun part. What style (or styles) move you the most? Do you lean more towards a formal, polished look, similar to what you would find in Victorian- or French manor-inspired homes? Or are you drawn more to the streamlined, uncluttered and cool atmosphere of a beach house or Swedish cottage? You don't have to pick just one, of course. In fact, each room can have its own theme. Just remember to maintain a common thread that will tie the whole house together, whether it's a certain color (an indigo that can be found in a Japanese-themed bedroom and nautical living room, for example) or unusual motif. Working with a professional designer can be a big help in this process.

Time. Do you want to see big changes over a weekend, or do you have the luxury of time as you decorate your home? If you only have a weekend, you can still undertake a decorating project, but you may need to start with small changes first and build up over a series of weekends. Painting a single room can be done in less than a weekend but can pay off big dividends in transforming the look of that room. Similarly, you'd be surprised at how different a room can look simply by changing curtains or slipcovers or even just moving a chair around. If you have more time, you can think bigger and tackle more rooms, if not the whole house.

With just a little forethought and planning and a sense of adventure and experimentation, decorating a home can be a truly pleasurable and exciting experience.

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