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Category:  Decorating

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Finding Your Decorating Style

By A.Caxton

"Where do I start?" is the lament heard from most people confronted with decorating a room for the first time. Understanding the problems of room layout, different styles of decorating, what period to decorate a room in, whether to use antiques or reproductions (as well as how to tell the difference and not be swindled) and all of the other problems of decorating overwhelm most people. Those of us who feel this way are better off leaving this issue to the experts -  professional interior decorators. If, on the other hand, the topic fascinates you and you want to try your hand at it, it can be learned, just like anything else you put your mind to.

First of all, determine what use the room will serve. Is it a bedroom, or a bed-sitting room? Is it a casual living room, a place for all of the family, or will it be more of a formal area to greet and entertain guests? Will the man of the house be using the room as an office/study, or will it be more along the lines of an old English library?

Depending upon the space you have to work with, you will have to make a choice between formal design and comfort. In a small space, the two are not usually compatible. If you are able to have a country home for comfort and a flat in town for formal entertainment, you have the perfect solution. Just host your formal occasions in town, and have family and close friends for comfortable weekends in the country.

It is easy enough to create a comfortable setting in your home. You have only to choose plush, cozy fabrics, seating that sinks when you sit in it, tables everywhere for convenience and clutter. In the bedroom, think low lighting, a variety of bed types depending on needs, such as king, queen or even twin sizes for guests.

To decorate a room in a certain period, or a combination of periods is a most difficult task if you are not familiar with decorating with antiques. The one surefire way is to shop each piece you are considering and then get a second opinion. If you are interested in a desk, look at many antique desks until you find the one that you like best, and then bring back a friend or acquaintance who is more knowledgeable than you are and ask them to help you with your final decision, especially concerning the authenticity of the antique. You should also do as much reading as you can about the particular period that your new antique comes from. Just as with any serious investment, you should be as well informed as possible about the subject. In addition to reading, buying additional pieces from time to time will help you become an expert in that period of antiques. Really good, very old pieces of furniture which are true antiques are not easy to find today. Private collectors rarely let go of quality pieces of fine old furniture, which makes them even rarer and more expensive. And many of the really old pieces are in museums today. These kinds of antiques are usually in excellent condition because they have been held by the same family or estate since they were originally built by the master furniture maker.

Many pieces such as this are signed, just like a work of art. At the most, you may be able to find some older furniture that has come onto the market because the family that held them has come into dire straits at one point or another. This usually means that the furniture has been handed from household to household and may have suffered some damage instead of being coddled at the same grand mansion for all of it existence. Though not as perfect, older pieces such as this have a character of their own and are usually very beautiful and demonstrate very fine workmanship as well as wonderful form to suit their function. Everyone has their own idea of what is beautiful.

About the Author: Andrew Caxton is the editor of . For additional information on home decoration subjects follow this link about decorating styles


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