Gray sofa with step by step tips on decorating

4 Easy Steps to a Cohesive Style

The decorating process is the key to a stylish room. Sure, decorating is an art and a creative endeavor but the decorating process has a specific method. Using a systematic approach cuts down on mistakes, anxiety, and not loving the outcome. In this example, the color driver is a large piece of art and you already own a basic lovely gray sofa but are just ready for a room makeover.

Introduction of the “Color Driver”

For the decorating process, the first step, in all cases is obtaining the room’s color driver. The Color driver is a large, impactful piece such as an area rug or large piece of art that you base all the other colors in your room on. This may be the opposite of what you thought you should do. Do not start a room with a paint color. This is the most difficult way to design a room. The color driver object should follow 2 major guidelines:

  • It needs to be large (an accent pillow is not a color driver).
  • It needs to have 3 different, distinct colors in it (gray, black, and white rug is not a color driver).

In this illustration, I am using a large piece of art as the color driver.

A large art piece (aka your color driver) is your first step in the decorating process

The next step, in this example, is the area rug. From the diverse colors in the art piece, choose one of those colors for the area rug. The guidelines for the rug are:

  • It needs to be big enough (at a minimum, all front feet of the furniture should touch the perimeter)
  • It needs to be a solid color (or a very subtle pattern with a small additional of neutral is ok too- see image)

A solid color area rug is your second step in the decorating process

Now that you have your gray sofa, color driver art piece, and area rug you are ready for the next step. This next step, in the decorating process, is the wall paint color. Here are the guidelines for paint color:

  • You must have the sofa, area rug, and color driver art in your possession.
  • Choose a lighter version of a color from the painting that is not the rug color.
  • Ask the paint store for large paint swatches (these are paper, not pots of paint).
  • Choose a color while looking at the sofa, rug, and art all together.

The third step in the decorating process is paint color

You are on the final part now. The final part of this systematic approach is accessories and chairs.

Looking at your color driver, what is a color you have not used yet? This becomes the chair. Simple, right? There are, of course, guidelines for this too.

  • I recommend getting 2 chairs that are identical (same shape, style, and color)
  • Chairs are a solid color (no pattern, especially if the rug has a subtle pattern)
  • The chair color is a color not yet used from the art.
  • Accessories, such as an accent pillows, are colors from the color driver.

The final and fourth step is chairs and accent pillows

Following the guidelines and four steps, in this order, makes a cohesive and beautiful room!

The color driver acts as a bridge and as a reason for all these other colors to be together. If you bought the sofa and rug or even the did the painting first, you will drive yourself crazy trying to find a piece of art that pulls the room together. Getting art last is the most difficult way to decorate. Frankly I have seen people put a “place holder” in the art spot for years, searching for the right color driver, Urhhgg! Make it easy on yourself by following the decorating process.

I would love to help you make a beautiful room, contact me.