How do you decorate?

I have received several emails from friends recently asking me about design tips and just how to start decorating a room. Let me preface this by stating that I have no professional experience and am just starting training…I am a novice that stumbles upon beautiful combinations of things in a deliberate and instinctual manner. I was an art minor in college so the color aspect of design & decor is definitely a skill learned in my many painting classes spent mixing and turning paint brown by mixing just too much. But in my opinion–you learn best when you fail at something. I don’t have the personality that allows me to accept failure so if my mind is set on creating or finding the perfect green, I will do it! Much of the following starter tips have come from my recent basic education on decor & design. So how do you begin to decorate? We’ll start with three…

1. Create an inspiration book. Begin tearing out of magazines, ads, catalogs, newspapers-anything that has to do with the home or color combinations you love. Either file it in one location or compile it in a book for reference. You will watch your taste develop and clear color preferences emerge-I promise! Below you will find a short video of my work in progress-my favorite spaces & notes from the classes I have taken.

2. Lets talk about style. One of my design teachers introduced me to an interesting way of thinking about style. She didn’t like the categories like modern, traditional, Tuscan, french country etc. Instead, she used two categories to define a style and two categories to define a substyle:

Bold or Subdued?
Warm or Cool?
Some help:

Bold vs. Subdued

*bold can be used to describe patterns or color. Do you have a monotone room with one red pillow? That would be bold. Do you have a home full of neutrals with no standout patterns? That would be subdued.
Warm vs. Cool
*warm colors are those like red, orange, yellow; cool colors are those like blue, green, purple. However, every single color has a warm or cool version, so the aforementioned rule is general. Your home likely is one or the other already…
Thick or Thin?
Simple or Complex?

Some help:

Thick vs. Thin
*note the width of the furniture. Do you prefer thicker furniture or thinner furniture?

Simple vs. Complex

*Notice the amount of stuff in each room. Do you like to have a lot of “things” out on display or do you like to have very little in view?
Once you have determined what your style & substyle are, be sure that anything that you buy to add to your home fits into those categories. That way, you know you are building a visually cohesive environment. You may even want to keep a checklist with your four words on it in your wallet and pull it out every time you go to buy something. If you follow those styles, you will never bring something home that doesn’t “go.” (And just for reference on my site, my style is Subdued, Warm, Thick & Complex)
3. If you are beginning with just one room, find one thing and base the design of the entire room off one inspirational object. Surely you’ve seen this on design shows! Find one pattern and let everything grow from that one base. Problems most often occur when you have too many things you LOVE and you try to coordinate too much. Keep it simple and it will be easy!
Coming soon…the 10 commandments of good design…

Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.