Decorating 101 for a Novice

Decorating a house is definitely not an easy job. If you do something wrong, it could ruin your whole vision. And, unfortunately, it’s not hard to mess something up. You can notice that by, for example, going on the internet, where everything just screams ‘click here’ and ‘buy me’. People are simple to manipulate, and they end up buying things that they don’t really need and have no idea where to put them.

So the most important thing you need to remember when decorating is to do everything wisely, and not rush anything. But that’s just one thing. Below, you will find a list of things that you should keep in mind while decorating your apartment or house.


Balance in interior design is nothing more than equal distribution of visual weight in a room, that creates a feeling of equilibrium. Apart from the shape, you can create balance through pattern, colour and texture.

There are three kinds of balance:

  • symmetrical/formal – in a nutshell, space is divided into two parts, that mirror each other; it’s easy to achieve – repeat the element of decor on both sides; if you’re not careful, it can become dull and monotonous
  • asymmetrical/informal – everything is balanced, but not duplicated; less ordered and more complex and interesting than symmetrical balance
  • radial – central focal point, around or from which other elements radiate; repetition of texture, colour and form

Rhythm and Harmony

If we’re talking about rhythm in design, it’s all about repetition and contrast that creates the visual interest. It can be done by using the same colour or shape in different parts of the room. It should make your eye move around the room.

To achieve harmony, all the elements of the room needs to come together. In contrary to rhythm, that is supposed to evoke enthusiasm, harmony should create a sense of restfulness.


In every room, you need a focal point – something that will bring attention as soon as you walk into it. It could be, for example, a fireplace or a window. Without having something like an anchor, the room will look dull or scattered.


You need to remember that colours matter. Wisely chosen colour has the ability to influence your mood and emotions – there’s a whole psychology behind that if you want to find out more. Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle with picking the right one. Another problem is that the majority of people chooses the paint colour before buying everything else. Painting is inexpensive and relatively easy, so it’s better first to select the more expensive pieces. It’s a lot easier to match the paint to the furniture, than match the furniture to the colour of the walls.

What you should do is choose the colour of the walls after choosing everything else. Don’t make spontaneous decisions – pick it wisely.


As it was already mentioned above – people tend first to buy paint and buy furniture as a last step of the renovation, causing them to spend a lot more money than they would pay if they did it first. Furniture can always stay in the store and knowing what kind you bought can help you with buying, for example, decorations.

Another problem is that people often have no idea how to arrange their furniture, and they end up putting everything against the walls as if they were afraid to put it in the middle of the room. The last mistake is that they often choose form over function. Why would you need a beautiful dining chair, if you can’t even sit on it?

What you should do is pick the furniture first so that you can match other things to it. Don’t be afraid to put pieces, like a sofa, it in the middle of the room – just make sure that they don’t restrict the movement. When arranging furniture, focus on choosing a focal point, consider traffic flow and create conversation areas. Choose pieces that will be not only pretty but most importantly, functional.

Art and Decorations

Let’s be honest – if you enter a room that has nothing on the walls, you would as if it was incomplete. Of course, it doesn’t mean that every inch of the wall has to be covered in paintings, pictures or whatsoever – there needs to be a balance. Also, remember that what you consider art might not be it for someone else.

Follow your instinct. Choose what you like, and what you think will go better with the room altogether and follow simple rules not to make it overwhelming.


When you are decorating an apartment or a house, there are specific rules that you need, or at least should follow. It might seem to be a lot, but if you actually put some time into planning, you will realise that doing as the rules say is not that difficult – quite the contrary. So now all that is left to say is – Good Luck!

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