Decorating is creative interior design decisions about the details in a home. Learn to embrace beauty in the details, with 31 creative home decor ideas!
There is beauty in the details of a home. When it comes down to it, Creating a Home is the culmination of numerous creative interior design decisions… over months (likely, years)… related to hundreds of small details.
Therefore, it is wise to be intentional through the process of Creating a Home. Rather than picking wall colors or buying a furniture set, start with these questions:
- How will we use this room?
- What features would I like to highlight/minimize in this room?
- How will I give this room character, warmth, coziness?
- What is the overall style and aesthetic of the house?
- How will this room tie into the adjoining rooms?
How to make Creative Interior Design Decisions
Let’s take a look an example: the Dining Room in our cottage-style fixer upper. In the listing photo, you’ll see the hardwood floors and beefy crown molding.
We’ve actually stuck with a similar layout. Our dining hutch is in the right corner, and – of course – the table is in the center of the room. We switched out the chandelier and hung new curtains, but hadn’t changed much beyond that… until now. It’s in-progress as we speak, so I’ll walk through the creative interior design decisions for this room.
Q: How will we use this room?
A: We use this room for most meals and as a homeschool room. Therefore, it needs storage for books and school supplies, in addition to typical dining room storage. Our plan includes a set of 3 low bookcases on the left side of the room, which can also double as a serving buffet.
Q: What features would I like to highlight/minimize in this room?
A: The crown molding is gorgeous, but the chair rail and baseboard are uninspiring. I’d like to highlight the crown molding while downplaying the rest of the trim. To do this, we’ll paint the walls white, the baseboard white, and the chair rail white, but leave the crown molding as it is.
Q: How will I give this room character, warmth, coziness?
A: The room’s character is found in the crown molding and our antique, handmade dining cabinet.
Q: What is the style and aesthetic of the house?
I’ve defined the style of our home as a modern cottage (read more about the plan for our cottage style home, here). That includes antiques and cozy cottage elements mixed with clean-lined modern design.
Q: How will this room tie into the adjoining rooms?
A: The living room features the same dark crown molding. The walls in both the kitchen and living room are painted the same white color that will be in the dining room.
That’s a glimpse into how to make creative interior design decisions for your home, without getting overwhelmed in the details. Once these questions are answered, use it as a guide when choosing paint colors, accessories, furniture, and lighting.
Of course, I don’t want to leave it at that. Sometimes we need concrete examples as inspiration, too (just make sure you do the pre-work and answer those questions, first!). So, let’s take a look at 31 creative interior design ideas that you can try in your home.
Open Things Up
Yes, closed storage is a must in homes... however, not all storage should be closed. Open storage lets a room "breathe" by allowing light to filter through the space.
Choose an Unexpected Color
A light grey board and batten is an unexpected detail, instead of standard white trim.
Don't Paint the Window Trim
The dark stain in this white kitchen creates warmth and points your focus to the view outside it.
Cover it Up... Somewhat
Like the character of dark wood or brick, but need a lighter room? Try a mortar wash or limewash to brighten a room while retaining the character.
Distress Oak Cabinets to a Raw Finish
Who said that oak cabinets were outdated? Distress them with sandpaper and dark wax; then surround them in white.
Choose Beautiful Necessities
Buy useful things… that are beautiful. Just because an item is practical, doesn't mean it has to be basic.
Paint Furniture in a Bold Color
Use a bold, unique color on one piece of furniture. This deep teal is sophisticated and daring.
Do you love neutrals but don't aren't a fan of all-white homes? Go green. So prevalently found in nature, green is the neutral that's still packed with color.
Hang a Colorful Painting as a Focal Point
Find (or create) one large painting to bring the colors in a room together.
Use Heirlooms as Art: Silver Platters
Mix family heirloom platters and collected silver platters from flea markets to fill a wall in the Dining Room.
Add Texture with Rustic Doors
Fill an empty wall by leaning a rustic door. Leave it plain or use it as a backdrop for seasonal decor.
Display Life with Photos
Have a spot to display photos of everyday life with family and friends.
Try Textured Wallpaper
Grasscloth wallpaper in a deep blue adds texture and depth behind a gallery wall.
Hang a Vintage Chalkboards Wall
Instead of painting a chalkboard wall, collect vintage chalkboards and fill a wall in your child’s bedroom.
Choose Bold Ceramic Tile
Classic in design, but bold in scale — this black and white tile transform this kitchen.
Pick Pattern over Plain
A floral headboard is a romantic backdrop to classic, neutral bedding.
Don't Overlook Stripes
Color and style are introduced in a neutral bedroom by repeating a pattern. The thin stripes in the pillows and duvet give this room its personality.
Install Trim to Define a Space
Don’t assume you can’t have an entry, just because you are short on space. This small nook becomes a mini-mudroom with the addition of trim and wall hooks.
Use Symmetry, but Keep it Interesting
This room might be neutral, but the symmetry around the window makes it beautiful to the eye. A painting — but only on one side — keeps it interesting.
Match the Bedding, not the Bed
If you are matching the bedding, don’t match the beds in a shared bedroom
Collect Woven Baskets
Laundry rooms must be functional, but they don’t have to be cold and utilitarian. Place woven laundry baskets on a vintage cart for warmth and texture.
Paint a Solid Backdrop
Paint the walls and trim — even built-ins — all with the same color. This will let your furniture, art or accessories shine.
Print Large Scale Photographs
Go big when it comes to photographs. A black and white effect makes them feel like artwork.
Hang a Salvaged Door
Switch out the builder-basic door on your pantry with a salvaged one. Paint it or leave it in it’s natural rustic state.
Install a Punched Metal Light
A punched metal flush mount bounces lights across this entryway beautifully.
Find a Paint-Chipped Chair
Does your bathroom feel too modern, cold, or basic? Pull up an old, paint-chipped chair next to the tub for storage and character.
Add Purpose to a Space
If you are lacking a formal entry, use a piece of furniture to create one.
Try Modern Decals as Wallpaper
Vinyl decals are a modern take on wallpaper or stenciling.
Toss an Antique Quilt over a Chair
Children’s rooms are colorful. Use an antique, handmade quilt to bring the colors in a room together.
Combine Contrasting Accessories
A vintage rug and a modern painting contrast in this white kitchen. Kitchens don’t always offer a lot of room for accessories; so, choose items that are large in scale and interesting in style.
Change the Dimensions
Have the right piece, but it's not practical? Change the dimensions or structure of a piece. Shorten or lengthen the legs... install a wider top... remove a drawer and make it a shelf... the options are endless.