by Staff Writer
When someone is invited into your home, you want them to see your personality. Just as with individual fashion choices, there are many home decor themes and quite a few design rules. Rather than following advice to the letter, you can use these rules and themes to create home design ensembles that are as unique as you are. Start with a basic knowledge of home decor elements and combine your favorites to create a mood.
Theme: A theme can guide you while shopping for home decor accessories and furniture. You can base your theme on a color, a movie, a song, or a travel destination. Immortalize your island vacation, showcase your love of jazz music, or work elements of your favorite television show into your home decor outline.
Focal point: Every room should have a focal point. A fabulous focal point makes a statement and highlights the entire room, while setting the mood for the theme. A purple velvet couch, for example, can set up your vintage romance theme and add instant drama. Fireplaces, picture windows, and large-scale artwork are great focal points.
Color: Color adds structure to your room, while influencing your mood. Using two or three different colors can add texture and dimension to your design without creating chaos. Start with a dominant color and add a complementary hue. A third color can be featured in accents throughout the room.
Lighting: The right lighting showcases your decor and sets the frame of mind. Beyond the style of the light fixtures, consider how the lighting enhances your home decor theme. A chandelier on a dimmer creates a formal, romantic mood. Floor lamps set next to reading chairs convey comfort and relaxation. You can designate cozy conversation areas with candles and wall sconces or turn a dark basement into a fun recreation space with recessed lighting.
Art: Choose art that displays your interests. A modern loft looks bright and friendly with walls of graphic prints and artistic posters. A large oil painting anchors a small and slightly crowded space. Family pictures bring traditional warmth to a home; keep your decor theme intact by grouping family photos together and choosing frames that match the rest of the decorative elements.
Floral elements: Bring life to a room with flowers and plants. Tropical plants and succulents look lovely against a backdrop of earth tones and nature photography. If your setting is sleek and contemporary, then choose the clean lines of bamboo arrangements.
Fabrics: Tactile elements are an important part of a decorating theme; texture can take a room from flat to fabulous. Slipcovers, curtains, pillows, throws, and table linens can match your other elements or add a bit of unsurprising color and texture. Add striped blue and green drapes to a room that is fairly minimal, or choose a white faux fur throw for a room that is done up in a range of neutrals.