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Break the showroom mold when making home design choices

June 30, 2014

hardwood floorsFurniture showrooms are great places to get decorating ideas, but homeowners sometimes fall into the trap of letting these planned room designs rob them of their own ideas. It's better to envision a wide range of decorating options. The sand dollar finish on Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art collection, for instance, may evoke the floor style of a seaside cottage, but it's just as well-suited to a city loft or a suburban home.

Keeping an open mind about which features work best together often paves the way for decor that's unique and personal, according to She Knows. In addition to finding new furnishings that reflect their taste, homeowners who want to break the showroom mold should search through every nook and cranny of their homes to "unearth" older furniture that can be repurposed into one-of-a-kind pieces.

The final product may be a home design that may be out of the box for some people. But if it fits the particular taste of homeowners who live with a combination of treasured keepsakes and trendy finds, it's a great example of a decorating plan that no one else is likely to have.

Avoid an 'anything goes' attitude
Some of the most individualized homes are a mix of eye-catching decor and functional items. Designer Christiane Lemieux told the San Francisco Chronicle said consumers should view home decorating as an ongoing process that reflects their personal interests as they evolve over time. She cautioned not to take an "anything goes" attitude, however. That could lead to a mish-mash of furnishings that could seem cluttered and unfocused rather than attractively eclectic.

When she was researching her book, "Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design," Lemieux found suburbanites who maintained a down-to-earth decorating style even though they had a penchant for marble-topped tables and city dwellers whose Brooklyn apartment's high ceilings and large windows fueled their nature-inspired decor.

While homeowners are on their search for items they may have relegated to the back of closets and cabinets, She Knows suggested a list of things that make good accessories, both decorative and functional - family photos, old calendars, picture frames, china plates, baskets, candle holders and silver pieces.

These items may be vintage heirlooms or modern pieces that never got much use. In either case, with a certain amount of imagination, they can add a bit of whimsy to homeowners' existing furniture.