Setting out to decorate a new home or redecorating your current abode without a plan can be like driving around an unfamiliar city without a map-you may end up somewhere, but it's probably not where you wanted go and you may have no idea how you got there. And you may just end up somewhere pretty ugly. Formulating a plan, however, can be a difficult task. Thumbing through home and furniture magazines often just leads to little more than an increased risk of paper cuts, and watching the countless home decorating "reality" shows, while sometimes entertaining, rarely results in an epiphanous (no, its not a word) moment. Actually, according to dictionary.com, it is a word, so take your red squiggly underline and shove it, Microsoft. Anyways…oh yeah, having a plan. This plan I speak of, doesn't have to be a 10-page manifesto or even a loose outline, in fact, it doesn't really have to be put in writing. I say, let your personality be your guide.
As hokey and simple as that may sound, it works. Too many people decorate their homes to please or impress others. Unless you're a close friend or relative or Martha Stewart, this is just ridiculous (I've heard she can be a little harsh). Remember, you live in your home, not them. Let your home be a reflection of yourself by choosing colors, furniture, and accessories that show your personality, as deranged and anti-social as that may be.
Many people with bright, vivacious personalities like bright, vivacious colors. Go figure. But these gregarious individuals often temper this when it comes to decorating their homes. You don't have to make your home look like Rainbow Brite (for those not in the know, she's a brightly colored 80's cartoon character) threw up all over the place to inject your personality. Pick a few colors and stick to them. As with most decorating schemes, bright colors work well when set against light, muted ones, like shades of white or beige. Paint your walls these muted colors and then go crazy adorning them with brightly colored artwork and accessories. Same thing goes for furniture. Back away from the teal couch and the orange upholstered chair. Look for boring colors and then add your personality in the form of pillows and throw blankets. If these tips still don't allow you to fully express how wild and crazy you are, experiment with your bedroom decor. You'll offend less people that way.
On the other side of the coin we have the more straight-laced, conservative types. Bright colors give these people headaches, as do the aforementioned people who like bright colors. But what these plodding individuals lack in personality they more than make up for with grace and sophistication, and this should come through in their home decor. Whether your style preference is contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in the middle, you can create a look that personifies you and at the same time is decidedly un-boring. Furniture and lighting isn't the difference-maker here, it's the accessories and decorations you should focus on. Artwork and other embellishments such as plants, knick-knacks on shelves, and framed photos can breathe life into rooms with less color. And speaking of color, you can still make a statement without fuchsia walls or a red leather sofa. The trick is to mix in lights and darks to create contrasts wherever you can. Use black and charcoal against whites and light grays or experiment with the many shades of brown, from light tans to deep, dark chocolate brown.