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How To Decorate A Whole House

How To Extend Your Color Palette

5 Tips for Decorating a Whole House

The steps above result in a 5-color palette. A good rule of thumb for a cohesive color palette is to use no more than 5 distinct colors throughout your home. In this case, a white, a neutral, and 3 colors.

But, that doesnt mean you are limited to only 5 paint colors in your home.

Here are two ways to extend your palette and stick within the 5 distinct color rule:

  • Choose more colors that are a shade or tint version of your chosen colors.
  • Choose colors that match an undertone in one of your neutrals and fit within your overall color scheme.
  • My whole house color palette only has 5 distinct colors white, blue/gray, dark gray, blue, and green. But, our actual paint palette has over 10 colors, because we have a few shades and tints of blue, green, and gray.

    The dark gray we use in our living room, office, and master bedroom, was the inspiration for the wall color in my sons room. The dark gray color, called Zinc, has a green undertone. So we chose a green, called Schoolhouse Slate for my sons room. With our overall blue and green analogous color scheme, it fits right in.

    For more help with understanding undertones and creating your whole house color palette, check out the Create a Cohesive Home with Color class.

    Why Do You Need A Whole House Color Palette

    Besides making your house look good, there are actually a couple of other benefits to having a whole house color scheme.

    First, it reduces the number of color choices you have when you are updating a room. When it comes to choosing color, the biggest problem is usually that there are just too many options available. A whole house color scheme makes that process so much easier and faster. However using color families still gives you some flexibility to update your colors as you go.

    And, if you like to move your furniture around as much as I do, you get an extra bonus! A lot of your furniture and accessories will go in most of your roomsso youll have lots of ways to rearrange them.

    Home Decor Idea #: Add Molding

    If your walls are bare besides the occasional artwork, consider adding molding to the baseboard, chair rail, or ceiling for house decorating ideas. It doesnt even have to be a gaudy, Victorian-style moldinga simple and single-shape, single-depth piece of molding will do the trick, says interior designer Erica Leigh Reiner, owner of E. Leigh Designs. Here are 10 budget-friendly decorating ideas to help make your home more expensive.

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    Start With The Biggest Piece In The Room First

    Now that youve broken down your decorating plan to one room at a time, take the same concept and focus on finding the most important piece in the room.

    The biggest piece in the room is usually the most important and most expensive. Thats why its important to start with that one piece and work your way from there. In a dining room, start with the dining table. For your living room, choose your sofa or sectional first. In your bedroom, the bed is the most important piece in the room.

    Pro decorating tip: The biggest piece in the room is likely where youll invest the most money. It usually gets the most use in the room, therefore quality is important. You can probably save some money on accessorizing, picking up secondhand bedside tables or finding an inexpensive coffee table, but never skimp on your sofa!

    If You Had A Whole House To Decorate From Scratch How Would You Do It 30

    Interior Design Ideas

    LadyOfWaffle · 14/11/2007 20:26

    We totally decorating the whole house, we have been here 18 months and everywhere was painted magnolia to do for now and I am so so sick of it. Most walls need re-plastering anyway, so it really is from scratch. The only thing decided on is the flooring which is an wooden oak veneer. Now the work has started I cannot think how I want it, I keep changing my mind and really just have no idea now! Hopefully someone can give me some inspiration! We have DSs room to decorate , L – ish shape living/dining room, my room, bathroom, kitchen, hall ways and entrance hall inc. stairs and spare bedroom.

    oreGOREnianabroad · 14/11/2007 20:30

    Two tips:

  • don’t rush — costly mistakes made that way. let each room evolve around things you already have that you like, and things you find to add.
  • Keep a file of ideas that you like from magazines.Have fun!
  • Message withdrawn at poster’s request.

    Astrophe · 14/11/2007 20:33

    My friend who is very arty and has the most wonderfully decorated house said this:For each room, choose something small that you love – I might be an upholstered chair, a funky cushion, tile pattern, a certain lamp shade, or a paint colour…and then you build the rest of the room’s theme and colours up from that one thing.

    SpeccieSeccie · 14/11/2007 20:37

    Wheelybug · 14/11/2007 20:42

    We have just done this and we have gone neutral, various creams and off whites . We will then accessorise with colour.

    choosyfloosy · 14/11/2007 20:43

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    Home Decor Idea #: Pick Towels Youre Actually Excited To Use

    Its time to get rid of those dingy old bath towelsdiscolored whites and bleach-stained colors make your space look dirty and cheap. Proudly display crisp white, fluffy towels like the kind you would find in a fancy hotel or spa, says Drew Henry, founder of design firm Design Dudes. This will immediately trigger a feeling for your guests, and they will have a more luxurious feeling towards the space. These towels have great customer reviews and they come in white and 17 other colors. Steal these other 16 decorating tricks hotel rooms use to feel luxurious.

    What Small Room Could You Tackle And Get Done Quickly To Get Off Your List

    This is why I love bathroom makeovers, especially powder room makeovers, because theyre usually super quick and easy.

    And when you get a whole room done, even if its just a tiny bathroom, it can make you feel SO accomplished and give you more momentum to keep going!

    Heres the before and after of our Milwaukee house powder room:

    GET THE LOOK: Flooring | Basket

    Bathrooms are small, so even if youre planning other, bigger room renovations down the road, think about if you can tackle a bathroom renovation sooner.

    Or maybe your bathroom doesnt need a total renovation just some quick fixes to make it feel new. There are plenty of things you can do to a bathroom that make a huge difference.

    Think painting the walls and swapping out the mirror. Check out this post on ways to update your bathroom when you cant renovate for more ideas!

    Heres the before and after of our rental house coastal bathroom:

    GET THE LOOK: Soap dispenser | Wooden spool towel rack | Hand towel

    Read Also: Joanna Gaines Bedroom Decorating Ideas

    Home Decor Idea #: Hunt For Real Stone

    Real granite and limestone countertops look much more luxe than your typical acrylic, but unfortunately, their prices usually reflect that. If youre willing to do a bit of hunting, though, you might be able to slash the price tag, says Bowry. You can sometimes find a great deal on a real stone top at your local stone yard, in the remnant section, she says. Check out these 10 other weekend projects that add value to your home.

    Upgrade Your Outdoor Seating


    When the weather improves, you want to spend as much time outdoors for your enjoyment as well as your mindset. The more you sit outside, the less likely it is that the old hand-me-down lawn chairs will prove as comfortable as they once might have been.

    Instead, choose some seating thats comfortable and functional for your specific outdoor living space to add fresh style that lures out into the fresh air. Its one of the home decor ideas that will make you happy you invested in an upgrade.

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    Ditch The Chunky Nightstands

    In recent years, large and heavy matching nightstands have been replaced with more eclectic side tables that serve the same purpose with more flair.

    This is one home decor idea thats fast and easy to do, maybe even with some side tables that you already own. Trade your traditional nightstands for bedside tables that have an interesting base or a really special top. If you absolutely need to have a little storage next to the bed, try adding a minimalist table with one drawer only on a single side of the bed.

    What Are The 6 Types Of Kitchen Layouts

    There are six basic types of kitchen layouts: Island, Parallel, Straight, L-Shape, U-Shape, Open, and Galley.

    Correspondingly, Why open concept homes are a bad idea? But perhaps the greatest problem with the modern open concept is that it simply doesnt work well for real life. Open concepts are loud and busy, requiring everyone in shared living spaces to accommodate each others activities or vacate the area to get a little peace.

    Are closed kitchens making a comeback?

    The New York Times real estate section says the closed kitchen is making a comeback. Several new residential buildings in Manhattan have offered separated kitchens a nod to prewar apartment design, but also to the growing demand from potential buyers looking for separate cooking and entertaining spaces.

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    Choose One Bold Color

    Bold is relative here, but this color will be the boldest in your entire color palette, meaning it will either be the darkest or most saturated color.

    What color should you choose? A version of your favorite color, which either matches or complements the undertone of your fixed elements . Your favorite color is probably the only one you wont tire of and the one you are most comfortable risk-taking with because you love it.

    My favorite color is turquoise, but I wanted to go even bolder. So, the boldest color in my palette is Plumage, a very dark, saturated teal.

    Your bold color might be a lot lighter and less saturated than mine, but it will be the boldest in your palette.

    If you are color-shy, start with colors that act as neutrals. In the Sherwin Williams paint deck, they call these Fundamentally Neutrals. You know how blue jeans go with everything? Its because they read as neutral. The Fundamentally Neutrals are the blue jeans of paint color.

    Start With The Room You Use The Most


    The order in which you start decorating your house can seem like a colossal choice, especially when faced with a whole house of decorating. My advice is to start with whatever room you spend the most time in – usually this means the living room. Most guests won’t see bedrooms, so the main living space is usually a good starting point.

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    Home Decor Idea #: Treat Each Room As A Blank Slate

    Take note of the preexisting features in your home you can highlight for house decorating ideas. Architectural details such as crown molding, wooden beams, hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves, and mosaic-tile backsplashes are all worth focusing on. These details dont just look expensive they are expensive. Make them as prominent as possiblekeep them clean, clutter-free, and the focal point of the room. For example, dont splurge on an expensive painting just to have it compete with a showstopping fireplace. For ways to make your home shine, here are 15 chemical-free ways to clean your home.

    Mix And Match A Kitchen Tile Backsplash

    Remodeling any part of a kitchen can be a big and costly undertaking, but refreshing your backsplash is usually less involved and can change the look of the whole space.

    Rather than tiling the wall in a single style and color tile, try mixing and matching prints for a livelier, more up-to-date vibe. You dont even need to do the entire backsplash as this kitchen demonstrates.

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    Neaten Up With Pretty Storage Boxes

    Image credit: Future Plc/Sussie Bell

    Anyone who loves interiors knows that storage is their friend. Make a feature of your storage with cute trunks or pretty floral cardboard boxes not only will they give you extra space to store things in a calm and uncluttered way, but theyll look pretty fab, too.

    How Do You Set A Budget For Decorating


    The first thing you should do is to make a wishlist of things youd love to feature in your home. Make a moodboard or create a Pinterest board to get a feel for what you like and what you dont. For example, will you want to paint or learn how to wallpaper? Or perhaps you fancy a feature wall idea.

    Creating a decorating plan will help you figure out the actual look of the rooms, working from your wish list. Include everything from what the floor plan will look like and any extras like wallpaper, lighting, and artwork.

    Once youve figured out what you want to have, its a good idea to shop around for the right items to make sure you dont overspend on products you can get cheaper somewhere else. Think about delivery and any other costs associated so everything youre totting up is realistic. Be savvy!

    Next youll probably need to narrow things down further as more than likely, your budget doesnt tally up with your wishlist.

    Make sure you think about the practical needs of the rooms first, making adjustments where you can to get the things you need as opposed to want. For example, think about a sofa over decorative accessories like wall art or a mirror. Priorities are very individual so think carefully about what will be needed first and foremost.

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    Make A Modular Arrangement

    Using modular elements to create wall unit is a very versatile home decor idea because you can always swap out one or more of the units.

    This type of arrangement also has a more current vibe than basic cabinetry thats all the same size. Having some elements in color, some open, and some closed creates an interesting collection.

    Home Decor Idea #: Seek Out Softness

    Velvet or velour has both a luxurious feel and look, says Croughan. In fact, most soft-to-touch fabrics work best. Go bold with a deep jewel tone or pair a neutral color scheme with pastel ice cream shades like mint green or blush, she says. For some more decorating tips, heres how to create a stunning color scheme in your home.

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    Room By Room Decorating Basics

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    You may well have a general chosen for your entire home, but within the overall style, each room has its own purpose and style. How the room is used, and by whom, should be considered as you arrange each room and choose materials, accessories, and accents.

    Consider the needs of each individual room, and research related articles pertaining to those spaces. Home decor should reflect your personal taste and interests, but it must also address the particular function of those rooms.

    Home Decor Idea #: Throw A Backsplash On It

    Where to start when decorating a whole house

    A DIY backsplash is a great affordable home decor idea for jazzing up a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room without breaking the bank. This mosaic floor and wall tile backsplash comes with mesh backing for an easy installation. If tiling a backsplash is too intimidating, consider creating an accent wall with bright colored paint. Here are 17 clever home improvement ideas for less than $200.

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    Layer Each Room Over Time

    Decorating your new home is a marathon, not a sprint. As you spend more time in your new home, youll get to know it better. You may have new ideas on how you want a room to look and function a few months down the road, so no rush to get it all done at once! Be sure to check out second-hand decoration and furniture options to save even more. Here are the elements youll want to address over time:

    • Splashes of accent color

    Whole House Decorating Plan:

  • Collect Inspiration and Ideas from different interior designers
  • Find an inspiration piece
  • Have fun. Nothing is permanent
  • When I say start small, I suppose that is all relative depending on the scope of your project. But #1 and #7 really are just put in place to remind you to not get overwhelmed when designing your home and to have fun with it!

    So when people ask how long it takes to decorate a house, there is no perfect answer. However, if we take my guest bedroom project as an example, I can tell you how long it took to decorate just one room.

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    Understand Your Fixed Elements

    Before you do anything else, you need to understand the colors you are already stuck with. All of the fixed elements in your home automatically become part of your whole house color palette. The fixed elements in your home include trim, cabinetry, flooring , wall tiles, and countertops .

    Do not skip this step. Its the most important, which is why I included a 30-minute lesson on Identifying Undertones in my Create a Cohesive Home with Color class.

    Although most of your fixed elements are probably a neutral color, even neutrals have color undertones. To properly choose colors to go with your fixed elements, you need to understand what undertone colors you are working with.

    Make a list of all your fixed elements. Next to each element, write the undertone.

    If the person designing your house did a good job, you should see some trends in the undertones. For example, most of the undertones of the fixed elements in my home are warm colors. My dark wood floors have a red undertone. My cinnamon maple cabinetry has a distinctly orange undertone. My white trim has a yellow undertone. Tile throughout our home has a pink undertone. Even the slate on our fireplace has warm undertones.

    Check out the undertones in my kitchen:

    Once you understand the undertones in your fixed elements, you basically have two options for building your whole house color palette:

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