Home & Garden: Turning a House into a Home

Interior decorating is about more than just furniture and carpets. It’s about ideas. Whether it’s making your home a comfortable retreat from the Oklahoma heat or catching up with the fall fashions, creativity – not stuff – carries the day. Three of Edmond’s best interior decorators, Rhonda Nixon of Rhonda Nixon Interiors and Anne McCarthy and Patricia Fransen of First Dibs, have advice for homeowners looking to punch up their decor.

Nothing gets done without getting started. But for many, knowing where to start the process is half of the problem. “One of our biggest tips for decorating a room is for people to pick out something that inspires them – whether it’s a fabric, a painting or a rug. Most people pick out the paint first. The trouble begins when they pick out a weird color, and finding everything to match the paint becomes impossible,” says McCarthy. “But if they start with something else they love, then the rest is easy because everything else falls right into place.”

Sometimes homeowners – particularly new ones – shy away from taking that first step because the project seems overpowering. “People building new houses from the ground up start decorating, for instance, by getting their colors together and then just get overwhelmed,” says Nixon.

Being overwhelmed by the prospect of decorating a house or new room is the biggest problem that would-be decorators can have. Changing up the look and feel of a room or a house doesn’t mean tearing the whole space apart or buying a lot of new stuff. The little things can make a strong difference and transform an entire space.

“One of the easiest ways to update an existing look is by adding, for instance, a few new lamps. That will change a room dramatically,” says Fransen. “With lamps, artwork and a new rug, you’ve pretty much transformed your room into something fresh and updated.”

“Sometimes people can’t afford to go out and buy all new furniture, but they can rearrange their existing furniture and add some accessories. It can give a room a whole new look. Also, paint and faux finishes often give homeowners the big-gest bang for their money,” says Nixon.

If a space isn’t comfortable, it’s not doing anybody any good. Most people think of interior design as entirely visual. But one key to making a space comfortable is to make it appeal to all the senses.

If you’re going for a simpler visual effect, think about punching up a space with with a difference you can feel. “For the people who like the monochromatic look, one thing they need to keep in mind is that when you’re using the same tones and colors throughout the room, texture is the most important thing. You have to bring in different fabric on your walls, different carpet, so everything touches and feels different,” says McCarthy.

And don’t neglect the nose. “Add some scent to your home,” says Nixon. “People respond to smells in very positive ways. Aroma is a personal thing, so you may have to experiment to find the right fragrance for you. Fragrances create a calming and relaxing atmosphere that promotes wellness.”

Naturally, lifestyle plays a key role in home decoration. Sometimes it’s not smart to invest in new things. But that doesn’t mean a room or a house can’t get a dramatic makeover. Many homeowners, according to Nixon, say, “I’m not going to go out and buy a $3,000 sofa when my kids are going to crawl up there with buckles on their shoes or hop up there with their sippy cups and stain the sofa.” But again, little things like shifting furniture, new paint and plants will give a house a completely different look and feel.

Clutter is another aspect to consider when transforming a space. Says McCarthy, “A lot of people don’t realize they need to declutter their house. People are very attached to their things. Often they try to use everything they have at one time. Less is more important and bigger is better. We see people with a lot of small things when one accessory would make more of a statement.”

A house should be a home – comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable. The vast majority of homeowners’ time is spent in their homes. Whether a homeowner does the decorating themselves or calls the experts, making a home a pleasant, tranquil place is the most important investment they can make for their homes.  

To reach McCarthy and Fransen, visit www.firstdibsedmond.com or call 405-206-4317. For more information about Rhonda Nixon Interiors, call 405-340-8761. 

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