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Practical Interior Decorating Calls For the Art Of Compromise

Aug 17, 2007
Creating a relaxing, inviting and attractive home environment is something most people want to do. Decorating that home with beauty and style in mind, however, can be difficult when kids are in the mix. But with a careful balancing of what's important and what's not, any home can be a showplace, complete with toys, spills and little boys and girls, too. There's no reason to sacrifice style, but some smart choices will no doubt need to be made.

Creating a home environment that looks finished and still feels warm and comfortable will be important for those with children. When youngsters are in the picture, functionality should not take a backseat. Achieving decorating goals can be a reality when careful planning takes place in advance. Before diving in to decorate a room, consider:

* The ages of the children. If you have a houseful of little ones, style doesn't have to go by the wayside, but some decorating ideas might need to for now. If, for example, you have your heart set on a "white room" forget about it - unless you lock the door and throw away the key! And old-world style room with rich appointments, however, could very much be in order.

* Durability of purchases. If you have a playroom or family room for the kids to hang out in, it's likely you'll have a few areas in the home where anything will go. But, when it comes to decorating the rooms where the family will spend a lot of its time, durability and function should come into play. That couch with the Queen Anne legs might look great in the store, but will it after little Tommy jumps up and down on it 100 times? Consider not only decorating items' appearances now, but also what they'll look like after a few years of wear and tear.

* Other ways to set the tone. If the furniture needed has to be a little less "decorator" and a lot more "heavy duty," don't fret - there are still ways to achieve a great decorator scheme. Turn to the walls, windows and even the flooring to help set the mood for a room.

Before setting out to buy items for a room take the above considerations to heart, but then also think about:

* Desired look. Set the theme and potential colors before you head out. This will help guide purchases and steer you in the right direction.

* Any outstanding features. If you have a special area in the house that really stands out, play up on that to help set the look of the entire home.

* Budget. Most people face the constraints of budgets. Set one for decorating and try to stick with it. There are very creative things that can be done on a shoestring if imagination and experimentation are employed.

Decorating a home for a family is different than creating a showplace for those without small children. This, however, doesn't mean style needs to go by the wayside. When purchases are made that reflect style while also paying heed to a need for functionality, the desired look can more than be achieved. Don't forget, your little ones live in your house, too. This means it should please you, but still make them feel at home.
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