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Decor for you

7 tips to find your personal decorating style
By Arren Williams
Decor for you Getty Images

Most of us look through decor magazines to ooh and ahh, all the while thinking that it takes a seasoned professional to pull such rooms together. Wrong! With a few simple tips and a little planning you can act as your own designer.

Flip and pick
Take a look through your favourite magazines and clip out images of rooms, accessories and colours you love.

Make a mess, then assess
Spread all the clipped images out on a table and step back to see what stands out. The room sets you've clipped will help you focus your design direction—are you traditional, modern or eclectic?


Review for a hue
Next, look at the images to find the colours you're drawn to—here you'll find the start for your own colour scheme. Don't forget to think of which room you're planning and how colour can make you feel. Choose bright vibrant tones and high contrast for energy and soft pastels or tone-on-tone combos for a more soothing environment.

Organize and fantasize
Pin all your images onto a notice board for easy reference—it'll help you stay on-track. Try out different paint swatches and fabric samples on the board to see how they work with the scheme; this will help you avoid expensive mistakes in the purchasing stage.

Once you're comfortable with your selections, pop favourite clippings, colour swatches and room measurements into a small file or notebook for easy reference while you're out and about. Carry it with you at all times—you never know when inspiration may strike.


Go big
Plan to shop for the largest investment pieces first, usually a rug or a sofa. Use these big pieces as your cue for the room, instead of hunting for a sofa to match your paint. Try and keep your larger purchases as simple and classic as you can so they will withstand the test of time.

Pretty little things
To add that final magical touch to your decor, look at your clippings to see how the rooms are layered with artwork and collectibles. You'll see they're placed in 'vignettes', or small groups. Shop for a few standout items and display them with favourite pieces already on-hand to create a stylish space that reflects you.


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