Decorating Ideas and Styles

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Home Décor

Home decorating isn't a task that comes easily to everyone. There's a lot to choose from with a sea of paint colors, flooring options, furnishings, and ideas available on the Web. We've sorted through the best the Web has to offer to help you freshen up your home's look, whether you're looking to find general inspiration, get ideas or buy items for specific rooms, or hire a professional.

Decorating Ideas and Styles

When it comes to décor, the Internet offers a wealth of inspiration and resources. Whether you're sprucing up the guest bedroom or revamping your entire home, the sites in this section help get your project off the ground.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • As you begin to plan a decorating project, identifying your preferred decorating style is key. Whether you're choosing a new bedspread or doing a complete home makeover, knowing your color palette and having an overall aesthetic can help you create rooms that complement each other. You will also save time when searching for design solutions. However, don't feel limited by your chosen style—it's meant to be a guide and you are welcome to choose eclectic pieces that don't necessarily match your aesthetic, but just feel right.
  • If you don't have a particular project in mind but know that you need a change, try browsing through some Web sites and see what other people have done to the interior and exterior of their homes.
  • Consider buying a Decorating Assistant; this handy filing system keeps all of your plans, samples, and contact information in one portable container.
  • If you start to feel overwhelmed and want to hire a professional decorator, read this article first.

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Interior Decorating Prices

Decorating your home doesn't have to bust your budget. There are tons of deals to be had. The sites in this section steer you toward those gems, and help ensure you're not spending a dollar more than you must.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Keep a running list of the items with the best prices you've come across and be sure to note or bookmark the Web sites where you found them. Even if you don't buy the items online, your research can give you an idea as to how much you ought to pay when shopping.
  • Be willing to splurge on a few essentials—the things you can't live without. More money can often mean better quality, and your home is a worthy investment.
  • Before you go hunting for bargains, stop by home improvement sites such as Home Depot or Lowe's first to calculate an initial price range for your project.

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Living Room Decoration

Redecorating what may be the most well-used room in the home can seem like a monumental task. The sites in this section shrink the challenge to a more manageable size and help you tackle with ease what otherwise might appear to be a gargantuan project.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Print out pictures of rooms you particularly like and keep them by your side for inspiration and reference as you surf.
  • Most online decorating magazines price the products featured and list places where you can buy them-making it easier for you to shop.   

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For general tips about decorating your living room ...
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Kitchen and Bathroom Decoration

Renovating these two seemingly very different locations requires similar products such as tiles, sink fixtures, and plumbing materials. Here we'll point out sites where you'll be able to meet your kitchen and bathroom decorating needs.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The inner workings of kitchens and bathrooms tend to be more complicated than other rooms in the house, so you may want to consult an expert before getting started. Even speaking with the kitchen and bathroom experts at Home Depot or Lowe's can help, and many Web sites have "ask an expert" or "contact us" sections through which you can query professionals. 

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How do I decorate my bedroom?

The most private of rooms, your bedroom is where you can decorate with total independence, without regard to what others might think. The Internet can assist you in fashioning a serene and stylish bedroom-the ultimate place for you to relax and recharge.

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  • While many of the best deals on mattresses can be found online, nothing beats a test run. Visit a local mattress store to get an idea of what you'd like before searching online for the best price.

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Home Office Décor

An increasing number of people can commute to work without opening the front door. If you're one of them, then you might want to consider the design of your home office. The ideal domestic workspace is an area distinct from the rest of the residence, a place where you can mentally, if not physically, leave your home to concentrate on business. The following sites help you create an office bubble that is both a separate unit and unobtrusive.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you don't have an extra room to turn into an office but do have a guest room, consider combining the two. Have a bed and side table for your guests and leave the rest of the space for a desk and possibly bookshelves, or an armoire outfitted with a desk, filing drawers, and computer equipment that can be shut away when not in use. You might also consider transforming an attic or basement into an office if the temperature there is comfortable. 
  • Be mindful of lighting in your office. It's an easily overlooked detail, but can seriously affect your productivity. 
  • Different jobs require very different home offices. Consider these tips from iVillage as you start to put yours together.

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Wall Treatments

Changing the wallpaper and repainting are among the more manageable tasks in home improvement but they can easily have pronounced and lasting effects on the ambiance of your home. If a visual rather than a functional change is in order, then consider the patterns and colors of your walls first. Altering them is relatively easy and might satisfy that craving for something new. The sites in this section aid you in envisioning that new look, and making that vision a reality.   

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Visit Domino Magazine to use the "Design Calculators" (under "Resources"). The calculators help you figure out how much paint and/or wallpaper your project requires. The site also has articles about how to apply paint and wallpaper.
  • If you need to remove some wallpaper, read this article from HGTV.

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