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Creative Places to Find Home Decorating Ideas

By Editorial Staff

african sunset colorStep outside. Look around you.

Look up at the sky and down at the ground and to your left and to your right.

You can find inspiration and decorating ideas everywhere in the world around you. Nature may be your ace in the hole when trying to figure out how you would like to decorate your home.

When you venture outside and really pay attention to your surroundings, you get an idea of the natural colors that work well together. This color inspiration can be transformed into the palette of a room. Take a walk by the creek. Look at the rocks, the twigs, the water and the foliage. Take notice of the colors and color combinations found in nature. Note the texture and forms, especially those that appeal to your personal aesthetic.

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When you travel to other countries, pay attention to the color and designs inherent in the culture and lifestyle. Even “arm chair travelers” can do this. Browse catalogs, travel magazines, and decorating blogs. Consider the weather of places that appeal to you. Is it a warm or cold climate? How does location and temperature impact the designs and colors that are used? If you are on the continent of Africa, you will see brilliant oranges, yellows, reds, purples, and cobalt blues, as well as rich earth tones. Browse African-inspired home decor. The colors, graphics, look and feel of figurines, floor mats, fabrics, textiles and the art work play off those colors you see in nature.

You can get ideas from nearly every facet of life, and it doesn’t have to be a decorating magazine or a furniture store showcase. Of course, flipping through decorating and design magazines can give you tremendous insight into what is available. Study the images you love. Anything can be the jumping off point for great home decor ideas, from a colorful calendar, to a vacation postcard.

Study your neighbor’s flower garden. She may have the inside track on what colors work well together. You can also get an understanding of height, placement and texture. Florists are great artisans and have a knack for color and design. Pay a visit to your local florist shop and see what tips you can pick up there.

Go to one of the online paint sites (i.e., Sherwin Williams) and try out the color visualizer. This gives you a great idea of how colors look in a room and which colors work well together. On some of these sites you can even download a picture of the room that you want to redecorate, which gives you an even better idea of what red is going to look like in your kitchen.

Look at your friends’ home. Notice what kind of window treatments they use. You are allowed to steal ideas although you don’t want to do a remake of someone else’s bedroom. Come up with your own twist. When you are in an upscale hotel look around you and see how they’ve chosen to decorate it. Look at the colors, the furniture, the paint or wallpaper, the molding, the carpeting or floor, and the accessories.

Take notice of the house interiors and apartments that are shown on TV shows. For example, Julianna Margolis’ apartment on The Good Wife is quite appealing. You can get lots of ideas from watching TV. Watch some of the decorating shows and see the befores and afters and what they do to change up a room. Do the same thing at the movies. Diane Keaton’s house in Something’s Gotta Give was pretty awesome and something that you may want to replicate, with your own twists, of course.

When you go to the theater, take note of the stage scenery. Some of it may be period décor, which may not be your cup of tea, but you can still get good ideas from how furniture and accessories are used and placed and how to use light to its best advantage.

Go to a lighting store and study the fixtures. Ask questions. Ask about ambient lighting, cove lighting, task lighting, track lighting, different types of lights and light bulbs, directional lighting and pay attention to the various kinds of shades that are available.

Get in the habit of making mental notes of what you like and what you would like to incorporate into your own home. Better yet, if you see something that resonates with your color sense, take a picture so you won’t forget.

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