Decorating Secrets

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Start with your Passion


If you display your passion, your style will come. That’s the hard-and-fast rule one decorator uses to elicit her clients’ style décor. And it can work for you too. Check out how she applies this rule to create individual style.<Get tips>

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What is your passion? What do you love? What makes your heart sing? What affords you, as Walt Whitman once wrote, “inimitable… never-failing living poems”? At, we say, If you love it, live it! So mix your passion into your style décor. Check out these 3 failsafe tips to individualize any room to reflect your passion.

Picture It Hanging artwork on the walls is an easy way to integrate your passion into your décor. Use posters of photos, maps, your favorite masterpieces, or whimsical prints to reveal your interests.

  • Frames should complement the picture. Think about the picture’s color and the style. Bear in mind, too, both the time period and artist’s intention—they’ll help to evoke the effect you’re going for.
  • Mounts or mats Choose a color that’s depicted in the picture—landscapes and seascapes mount beautifully on mid- or pale greens and blues, respectively; while black-and-white photos and fine art look great on shades of white.
  • Placement Hang pictures so that their centers are five feet from the floor (that’s the general rule, break it if the space dictates—like on a staircase or on high wainscoting).Three pictures hung side by side give a harmonious effect, especially when they reinforce other parallel lines in the room.

Reflect It Around the room, strategically place objectsthat evokeyour passion.  These treasures can be whimsical or literal: if your passion is boats, your collection might include small replicas of boats as well as a test tube of sand, a candle in the shape of a lighthouse, and pieces of sea glass. Consider also these seashell shadowboxes.

Color It Paint your walls a shade that brings harmony to your room, produce an overall pleasing effect, and, most importantly, reflect your passion. So boating enthusiasts might choose an exhilarating grey-blue to remind them of the squall they once experienced. 

If your passion is a particular color, then you should make color your starting point. Spend some time choosing the right shade for your walls (keeping in mind the other colors on the spectrum that will work well with it.) Then start painting! Look for artwork that complements the colors of your wall. Choose a style that suits you (decorative, vintage, photography) then choose your subjects. Remember: Picture it, reflect it, color it. Apply these simple ideas to show off your passion and watch your style emerge.