Can I design a room?

Designing a room is easy, because nobody knows your taste better than you do. The key to a good design is a clear theme or visual idea that encompasses all of of the components of the design. Pick a theme or idea that suits you, and let your imagination go. You will find many ways to fulfill your vision and enjoy the process of discovering the colors, furniture and accent pieces to make the room come alive. The most important thing is feel free in your exploration, trust your eye and have fun. The possibilities are almost infinite.

Living Areas

Begin with a color idea or a style idea, and find the pieces that fit that concept. For example, a modernist style would feature clean lines, glass and metal; find furniture that highlights these materials, as well as straight lines and sharp angles. Keep colors cool and light, favoring white, light grays and cool beige. Throw in some accents, a la Mondrian, in the primary colors (red, yellow and blue).

If you prefer a less austere look, try a warm color scheme based around deep reds and browns. A distressed, faux finish in a burgundy glaze for the walls will exude comfort. Keep the furniture soft, with rounded profiles. Paint the ceiling a lighter color to reflect light and keep the room from becoming too dark.



A bedroom is enclosed, and thus is a good place to try a themed approach, such as an island style. Use carved wood furniture, blinds with wood slats and straw mats on the floor. Take advantage of as much natural light as you can. Bedding and walls in lighter, cooler colors such as light blues and soft greens will bring to mind sea and sky.


Kitchens are the heart of the home, so warm and light materials are appropriate. Try an Italian villa style for your kitchen. Terracotta tiles make an authentic foundation. Sun-washed colors such as golden yellow and soft orange are suitable for the walls. Natural stone such as marble or travertine are often found in Italian kitchens and a nicely-aged wood table makes a great centerpiece.


Home and Family Network: Contemporary Decorating for Real Life

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