When decorating a home, choosing a cohesive style that reflects your values is worthwhile. Learn tips on different home styles and how to decorate a home.
Finding a decorating style for your home can be a challenging but rewarding process. With so many different styles and tastes available for a home, narrowing down your preferred decor might be a daunting task.
With a little research and awareness though, you will be able to zero in on exactly what you want your home to look like and the feel you want it to exude and it will be a very worthwhile endeavor.
What Kind of Decorating Style Do You Want?
Is it the clean lines and no-fuss design of contemporary furniture? If you have furniture with straight lines and sleek designs, and typically lots of black or white or bold solid colors, the modern design decorating style might appeal to you.
Country Home Decor Style
Does country home decor style appeal to you? White furniture, rustic or homemade designs, and florals are all hallmarks of the country design style. It gives off a casual, homey feel.
The French decorating style entails rich fabrics, ornate furniture, and an antique feel; the mixing of rustic and ornate is a hallmark of French decor. Couches and pillows are fluffy and have a lot of curves, and the furniture has extravagant details. Many times a single color is layered and repeated throughout the home.
Traditional decorating styles involve classic styles and wood pieces or leather furniture to give structure to a room. Simplicity is important in traditional decorating, giving order to a home, using soft colors, designs, and fabrics.
The Southwestern style is characterized by an earth-toned color palate. Rough textures, open space, woven and rustic furniture, and craftsmen items such as pottery range throughout the home. Red, orange, turquoise, and browns create a southwestern feel in the house.
Shabby Chic is a popular home decorating design. Shabby chic involves vintage white pieces that bring a sense of calm to a room.
Varying pieces of furniture are placed in the home to give a look that has a sense of history to it, as opposed to purchasing an entire matching set bought on one occasion. This home design emphasizes antique pieces while achieving a welcoming and elegant result.
Shabby Chic Home Decor
Home Should Be a Reflection of Values and Personality
Maybe a decorating style has stood out as being the way you wanted your home to be decorated but it is not that style yet.
Keep in mind that decorating your home in a way that speaks to you is a process that typically does not happen over one weekend. It is an ongoing endeavor that takes time. It brings with it an awareness of what you like and doesn’t like and shopping in a way that reflects that.
Walking into a home that does not reflect your personal decorating style can be disheartening and unwelcoming. But once you can decorate your home in a style that reflects your desires and taste, the home will be a place that you want to spend time and will be proud to show off.
There are many more styles than described in this article, so continue to research and be aware of styles that sound appealing. Achieving a home that is decorated according to your personality and taste is something to celebrate. It will fill your home with peace and bring comfort and relaxation to family and friends.
For ideas on how to decorate on a budget, see How to Decorate Your Home Interior on a Budget.
A beautifully decorated home interior doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Learn tips on how to decorate a charming home interior on a budget.
When decorating a home, it is easy to feel that the project requires saying goodbye to the next year’s worth of disposable income because decorating a home interior will wipe the bank account dry.
That doesn’t have to be the case. It is entirely possible to decorate a home on a budget, without it looking like the home was decorated on a budget.
Simplify Interior Decor
When decorating a home, keep in mind that sometimes the easiest makeovers of a room don’t involve spending money at all. Maybe the furniture has been in the same configuration for the last ten years; think out of the box and rearrange things a little. All it takes is moving the TV to another wall or separating the couches to breathe new life into a room.
Interior decorating does not have to mean a full and busy room; another easy task is to de-clutter. People will often stick items on shelves for sentimental reasons, or simply because they have nowhere else to put it. Too much ‘busyness‘ in a room makes it feel smaller, unorganized, and cheap.
Removing extras from the shelves and furniture pieces that don’t fit open up the room, make it feel more classy, and ultimately saves money. Designing a room sometimes mean removing items from a home interior rather than adding them.
Decorate Your Home Interior by Shopping Garage Sales
For bigger changes in a home, think garage sales. It is often easy to find like-new items, and this is the best place to shop when wanting to re-do a home because most times the sellers have the piece marked down to a steal of a price.
Some garage sales won’t have like-new conditions, but that is a part of the fun. There might be an antique dresser that has seen better days, but that becomes a Saturday morning project to repaint it.
Paint can give anything new life. Look beyond the chips and beyond the rundown paint job to the character that piece would bring into the home. Painting doesn’t even have to stay in the black or brown family; think of what something would look like blue, green, orange, or red.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! These pieces will add character and charm to any home interior.
Decorate Homes on a Budget by Shopping Thrift Stores
If your home decorating project doesn’t warrant a day of going to garage sales, try out thrift stores. Try to stay away from true antique stores because those have a tendency of ruining budgets; pieces are typically priced fairly high.
With a little hunting, thrift stores often have great finds that help in redecorating homes without ruining a budget.
Paint the Room to Help Decorate a Home
When re-doing a home interior, sometimes a quick fix in the home is desired, in which painting the room is a good remedy. Painting is one of the fastest, cheapest and budget-friendly ways to give new life to a room.
An entire gallon of paint typically runs around $30.00, and which covers a lot of wall space. Dedicate a Saturday or Sunday to a painting party, and instantaneously the room will look new and improved.
Decorating Home Interiors is a Worthwhile Project But Doesn’t Have to be Expensive
When decorating the interior of a home, don’t fret over how much money it will cost. All decorating takes is a little effort to discover treasures or paint a room, but the result is worth it. It is entirely possible to have a large bank account and a beautifully redecorated home at the same time.
DIY repair for wood rot is not difficult. It will save you money.
If you are seeing wood rot around your wooden window ledge or the brick mould on your outside door frames you really should repair that wood rot now rather than later.
Don’t have a panic attack or nightmare but wood rot around windows and doors is more serious than some homeowners realize.
Why Wood Rot is Serious
- It means that water is getting to the wood in some way that it should not be.
- Your windows or doors may not be sealed properly. This could be a caulk, primer or flashing deficiency. It could be that water is getting behind your gutter into the soffit and down the inside of your walls. This is a more serious situation because it will surely cause structural damage if not repaired.
- Another consideration is cost. If caught in time an inexpensive DIY repair is possible. Believe me, the problem will only get worse. If you have to call in a contractor it just gets expensive. Small places wood rot that is evident can be pieced in. Do it now and save the cost of a window or door frame and install.
- In almost all cases wood rot in your home is worse than what you see. If you let your DIY wood rot repair turn into a structural damage repair it can cost you thousands.
Finding the Water Source of Wood Rot
Wood rot is a matter of cause and effect. First, fix the cause then fix the effect it has created. Look for water stains on your house and follow the stain back to its source. Go out when it rains and see where the water is coming from. Clean out your gutters.
Make sure roof flashing is not allowing water behind your gutters. Go into your attic with a flashlight and look for water stains on the rafter tails or anywhere for that matter.
Your DIY inspection is just as good as a professional inspection if you find the problem and fix it. It could be as simple as caulking your door or window. You will save the cost of an inspection and service call.
The DIY Wood Rot Repair for Windows and Doors
We will use an example of an outside door brick moulding that has sustained water damage and rotted. This example will give the DIY repair homeowner a good understanding of the process. Apply the same techniques to repair window mouldings.
For minor repair of softwood or very small wood rot repairs simply use an epoxy or wood putty. You can fill in or strengthen the wood. Sand, seal and paint to complete the job.
If you have brick moulding on an outside door frame that has wood rot of several inches it is a somewhat bigger job. Here is a material list for your trip to the building supply store.
- Brick moulding that matches the moulding on your door.
- A tube of good outside caulk.
- Wood screws 1 inch longer than the thickness of the brickmould.
Using a small square draw a straight line across the brick moulding a couple of inches above the wood rot. Cut the caulking next to the house along the side of the affected brick mould with a utility knife. Using a dove saw or cut off wheel cut along the line that you marked on the brickmould. Remove the bad wood.
Mark and cut a piece of the new brickmould the same size as the piece you removed. Drill a hole at the top and bottom of the wood repair piece that is a little smaller than the diameter of the wood screws. Using a drill bit a little larger than the head of the wood screws drill into the same holes about 1/4 of an inch.
Use two wood screws to fasten the new wood repair piece in place. Sink the head of the wood screw below the surface of the wood. Caulk the side of the new brickmould next to the house. Caulk the crack across the brick mould where the new piece has been placed.
Caulk over the holes where the wood screws were sunk. Let the caulking dry and then sand it to a smooth surface. Seal and paint your wood repair.
To replace the entire piece of brick mould, follow the same procedure. It’s just a larger scale. You will have to miter the top of it to fit the crosspiece at the top.
You’ve done a great job and saved yourself some money both by doing it yourself and doing it before it becomes a bigger expense.
Carpentry is a beautiful trade, a much sought after skill and often produces some of the most valuable pieces of furniture in existence.
Wood is an amazingly friendly, soft, forgiving and ultimately rewarding material to work with.
Anyone can learn the skills necessary to become a carpenter but it takes years and years, dedication and passion, drive and ambition to become a master carpenter and distinguished craftsman.
Like everything in life you have to start somewhere and as they say the beginning is as good a place as any.
While you may dream of producing fabulous furniture one day, you need to realize that Basic Carpentry is where you need to start.
Don’t dismay for the personal rewards and self grin factor will be every bit as good as those of the old antique furniture makers.
The picture below shows a set of garage doors which can be made with basic carpentry tools and skills.
The picture below shows a view of the outside of the same set of garage doors as in the picture above.
Outside of Garage Doors
Think of it this way.
Today you don’t know how to make or put up a bookshelf.
By tomorrow you could have a beautifully sanded, stained, sturdy bookshelf adorning your wall while looking around your home for the next project.
You will find yourself visiting this shelf, standing in front of it while saying to yourself “I did that. I really did that”.
This grin will be virtually impossible to remove until you’ve finished your next piece, at which time it will only get bigger and why not.
This is the way life should be. This is the feel-good factor and the impetus to learn and improve your skills.
Before diving in we need to look at some basic carpentry tools and tips. Below is a list of carpentry tools and some tips about buying and using them.
Carpentry Hand Tools
The picture below shows two typical Hand Saws. The top saw with Yellow/Blue handle is old and not as sharp as it once was. I use this for cutting softer materials e.g. plasterboard, plastics and some thin delicate pieces of timber.
Note that both saws are shaped at the handle with both a 90 degree and 45-degree straight edge. Also, note the lines drawn on the timber with both these saws.
The hand saw should be your best friend as you start your carpentry journey. You need to learn how to cut squarely and smoothly.
The saw will do the work if you let it. This can take practice.
Old hand saws are great for cutting softer materials like plasterboard and plastics. Don’t throw out your old blunt hand saw.
The carpenter’s pencil differs from ordinary pencils in that it is flat in shape so that it does not roll and the lead in it is very strong as it often has to mark very course materials.
While the carpenter’s pencil is generally the tool for the job it produces quite a thick line and if you cut the wrong side of this, it could ruin your job.
While I have several carpenters pencils I tend to use ordinary pencils though quite a lot of them.
You will always set your pencil down somewhere and forget that location so having many to hand is a good idea.
You can also sharpen both ends for when the lead snaps mid line drawing.
The carpenter’s square or set square is invaluable and you will find that over time you will acquire many.
You need to square timber often i.e. draw four lines around the piece of wood you are working with.
One to see if you can cut along the lines and the other to see if the lines match up which is an indication of whether or not your square is still at 90 degrees or square.
The picture below shows two typical Set Squares. The top one with 3 brass rivets is fixed at 90 degrees and the one for the basic carpenter. The bottom one is an adjustable square and when set for an angle allows easy transfer of that angle from one timber to another.
2 typical Set Squares
One way to tell if your square is still square is to set it on a piece of timber and draw a line.
Without moving, turn the square over to start at the bottom of the line you have just drawn. Draw again. If you now see just one line, your square is square.
If it is not square it will show up as two lines going at slight angles indicating it’s time to get a new square.
Also, note that most hand saws are shaped at the handle to act as a square 90-degree angle and a 45-degree angle. This is very handy.
The tape measure is another tool that should be your best friend, always to hand and another tool that you will find you will collect many of over the years.
Most are still marked with both metric and imperial scales.
The picture below shows two typical Tape Measures. The top black one is 25 foot in length and wider than the red one below it which is 10 feet long and the most suitable for the beginner.
2 Typical Tape Measures
Tape measures come in many lengths and widths. The most common are generally 10ft long. This is a handy size and weight for most DIY home jobs.
If you are going to build something like garage doors or a pitched roof then you will find a 25ft tape measure is perfect for this sort of job.
You will need several sheets of differing grit (degree of roughness) sandpapers.
Every time you cut a piece of timber you will leave small rough splinters in the end which need to be smoothed off.
The picture below shows a typical sheet of Sandpaper along with some old used sanding discs from a power sander. While the sanding discs are too worn for the power sander they are still fine for hand use.
Always keep your sandpaper dry and away from moisture. It will be ruined in a shed during winter.
There are also metal types of sanding discs and sheets for various power sanders. Even a worn one of these nailed to a block of wood for hand sanding will last for years and years.
The list of Carpentry Hand Tools is endless and those above represent the very basic that you will need to get started with woodworking.
There was a hand tool for every conceivable carpentry job long before there was any power tool.
Carpentry Power Tools and Tips
As with the hand tools, there is an endless array of Carpentry Power Tools.
The more skillful you become the more you will come to appreciate these tools. There is no need to rush out and fill the shopping trolley.
As your skills improve and your workload increases you will start to find that there is a genuine need for these tools but not now.
Some basic power tools which will make your carpentry journey much easier are listed below along with some tips on each.
The Skill Saw
The electric skill saw or circular saw is a must if you are going to be cutting sheets of timber, say for a floor covering or your shed roof before applying shingles.
These are not expensive and the purists would advise that you buy at least good quality power tools.
I would suggest that you buy cheap power tools to start with, simply because you need to learn what these tools can do before you go shopping for one that will last for years and years.
The picture below shows a typical electric Skill Saw.
Electric Skill Saw
The cheaper skill saws will go off square quicker than the more expensive ones and you could find cutting a straight line difficult.
Bear in mind that when cutting sheets for covering a floor or roof that absolute straight is not always required since it is extremely unlikely the frame for the sheets will be square.
When you find the skill saw is wandering too much you can simply screw or nail at the straight edge to the sheet you want to cut and make your skill saw move against this while cutting.
You will then find you are cutting straight lines.
The jigsaw is a fabulous must-have power saw for small intricate work where you want to cut curves. It is best suited to thicknesses of up to 1 inch.
Again buy a cheap one to start with until you learn the limitations of this tool.
The picture below shows a typical electric Jigsaw.
The jigsaw blade is not supported at both ends so this gives it a tendency to wander off true.
Always go slow and appreciate that there are certain small radius curves that the saw will not cut.
There are special more expensive saws for this very purpose but you are not at that stage yet. Consider when cutting curves to go a little bigger and finish with sandpaper.
This needs no introduction and is a universal tool for any work you are going to do.
It is not limited to carpentry so this is one of those tools that you can go and should go expensive on.
There are many cordless drills on the market but I suggest you avoid those, to begin with simply because a drill that you can plug in and use, is vital.
Picking up a drill when you need it, only to find the battery is flat and the spare is flat and it will take at least 4 hours to charge to be of any use is let’s say undesirable.
Only you can imagine the sort of language you would use at this point but I’m pretty sure I could guess.
The picture below shows both a typical cordless Drill (top) and a typical electric Drill (bottom).
The electric drill is primarily designed to drill holes. Therefore the forces placed upon it are primarily designed to run along its length.
The reason for mentioning this is that there are so many attachments on offer to turn your drill into so many other tools.
There are attachments to turn your drill into a skill saw, a jigsaw, a power sander, and many other options.
From experience, these attachments will wear out your drill much quicker than only using your drill for drilling holes.
The reason for this is the end bearing of your drill is not designed to take lateral (sideways) loads.
For the most part, nearly all drills are encased in plastic and this also does not take lateral loads with ease. The best advice is, put more money into your drill and keep it for drilling.
Ignore the attachments route and but the cheap versions of the power tools until you know both their limitations and your own.
Only upgrade these tools as your knowledge and your needs grow.
The picture below shows timbers being set to start a pitch roof build.
The picture below shows the first roof timbers (ridge board) being set.
The picture below shows the roof frame well underway. This may appear to be advanced carpentry but it is not that difficult or far removed from basic carpentry. It mainly involves a lot of repetitive angle cutting.
Summary of Basic Carpentry Tools
So there you are. An introduction to the basics of carpentry tools and some tips to help you get started.
As with all skills attained, you must make mistakes, to begin with, but these are the best, never forgotten lessons.
Be prepared to have a go and learn a new skill.
To start with, go slow, take your time and you will be very pleased with your results and more importantly, pleased with yourself.