Decorating Guide

Decorating Guide

These decorating ideas are tailored to homeowners, but the same principles apply to commercial property managers.  You can express your temperament and artistic flair through the decoration of your home.  The feeling created is derived from a combination of factors:  style, colors, lighting, textures, material types, patterns, shapes, and sizes.  First, let's look at the subject in general and then focus on how flooring products influence decor.  A review of the quality and durability of flooring products is found under their respective headings.  Here we focus on how they look!


Decide on a style if you have not already.  There are many different styles like Contemporary, Country, Formal, Victorian, and so on.  If you're having trouble selecting a style or simply want more ideas, we suggest that you check out some magazines.  There is nothing wrong with imitating the work of high-priced professionals who've done a great job.  Sometimes the construction style of your home lends itself to a particular interior decorating style.  For example, a contemporary, beach-front condo is not a likely candidate for a Victorian decorating scheme.  Your existing furniture may give some direction.  Once a style is selected, unify the entire house with the theme.  That is, maintain the same color scheme throughout.  Alter the emphasis of the colors and textures to give the different rooms variety.  Next, we need to consider the factors within a style as they relate to flooring.

Colors and Lighting.

The overall decorating style may give guidance to the colors you'll choose.  Your house needs to have a flow of complimentary colors.  Pick some primary colors (two to four) and secondary colors (two to four) for your palette.

Primary colors will be displayed in major furniture pieces, the walls, and the flooring.  If you have preexisting primary colors in your furniture and walls, you can blend the colors of the floor with them.  The primary colors will establish the overall atmosphere.

Secondary colors can be sprinkled throughout the room in the smaller furnishings.  You can always mix in a dash of neutral colors, e.g., off-white, gray, beige, etc.  Sofa pillows, window cornices, paintings, bedding fabrics, and wall trim are great ways to pull in the color diversity.  Also, accents in your flooring products like moldings, trim pieces, and boarders allow you to subtly blend the minor colors.  Rugs are the best flooring product for connecting a room's colors.  An oriental style rug may easily incorporate six colors, while a custom rug may even incorporate fabric from your drapes.

Colors create feelings.  Room dimensions create feelings as well.  We can select colors to amplify or tone down the moods created by our room sizes.  For example, we can use light colors in a small room to add a scene of spaciousness.  In contrast, we can use darker colors to make a large room feel more intimate and warm.  Dark colors also distribute an illusion of weight.  Lighting renders the same effect as color.  Darker lighting means a cozier setting; brighter lighting means airy and spacious.  If you want dark colors and the spacious feeling, a supplement with additional lighting.  The carpet in the family room does not necessarily have to be the same color as that of the master bedroom.  Likewise, the wood floor in the foyer can be light and the wood in the home office can be dark.  Before leaving colors, let's mention the practical fact that dark colors hide soiling better.

Textures and Types.

Almost all homes will have a variety of flooring types—usually two to three.  For example, you may have wood in the foyer and kitchen, vinyl in your bathrooms, and carpet in your living room, family room, hall and bedrooms.  The variety is good for artistic, for comfort, and for practical reasons.  Tile or wood throughout the whole house may leave the home feeling like a cold, echo chamber.  Carpet throughout the whole house could be problematic in the bathrooms, foyer, and kitchen.  Each flooring type has its pros and cons.

It's good to have a mix of soft and hard surfaces.  The typical house has about 62% carpet and with the remainder split amongst the other surfaces.  The hard surfaces usually go in areas of heavy traffic, pivotal traffic, soil localization, moisture, and accidents.  Carpet and rugs contribute warmth and softness.  Vinyl, laminate, wood, tile, and stone offer easily cleaned surfaces.  There is always a practical tradeoff between texture and cleanability.  To illustrate, high-gloss tile adds more openness, light, and cleanability than matte finished or slip-resistant finished tile.  Again, the variety is good. Another benefit of texture is that it hides soiling until you have time to catch up on housekeeping.  Carpet probably delivers the widest selection of textures within a single product type which you can read about more under the carpet product pages.

Patterns, Sizes, and Shapes.

Patterns are found in all sorts of places in the home.  Sheet vinyl, laminate, rugs, and carpet frequently have patterns.  Tile, stone, and wood are usually solids; although, stones like marble and some woods naturally have noticeable variations.  Patterns are one of the key ways to harmonize the colors of an area because patterns typically comprise a plurality of beautiful colors.

The size of patterns also influences the dimensional feel of a room.  Large patterns tend to make a room feel smaller.  Smaller patterns seem to enlarge a room's size.  The size of tiles has an impact on dimensions just as patterns do. Large tiles (e.g., 12" or 18") consume space.  Small tiles (e.g., one inch mosaics) fill space. (Some designers use small tiles as the trim pieces for large tiles.)  Hence, if you'll be using patterns, select patterns that are in proportion to the area.

One of the practical benefits of patterns, like dark colors and textures, is that patterns facilitate in hiding soiling.  The benefit of solids is that they bring simplicity.  Mixing solid decorations with patterned decorations prevents a room from appearing too busy or too flat.

Patterns may have a floral or geometric look.  So, let us say a brief word concerning shapes.  Just as we integrate complimentary colors and texture types and patterns with solids, we can also blend shapes.  For example, a round coffee table goes great with a rectangular rug or you can place a circular oriental-style rug in his square foyer.

Wood, tile, and stone can also be included in this discussion of patterns.  These predominately solid products can be installed in a patterned way.  Pattern installations do not alter the colors but provide a well appreciated nuance.  For example, wood strips may be installed perpendicular to one another.

In conclusion, we hope you have fun expressing yourself.  Don't forget to checkout some magazines for more brilliant decorating ideas.  Finally, remember that luxurious products are incomplete without an exquisite installation.

If you would like personal guidance from an interior decorator on how to bring new life to your home, please contact us.