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Maria Harris' Blog

By Maria Harris | Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

Casual Decor with just a Touch of Formality

Many people crave casual decor these days; especially with young families and busy lives, there is not much room or need for decor that rivals Buckingham Palace on a smaller scale. However, sometimes a home can feel a little too casual and lacking in a sense of sophistication and flair. If your home is feeling a bit too laid back, you’ll be glad to know that you can add a hint of formality to give it a sense of style without having to completely change your decor or the overall ambiance that you and your family enjoy. The following tips will take your decorating skills and kick them up a notch.

Try a Little Elegance

Adding a few elegant details to a casual room will give it a fresh, sophisticated look and a designer touch. Try to incorporate elements that add either rich, deep color; pleasing texture or bold designs that grab the eye. For instance, in a living room with lots of neutral tones, jewel tones like regal purple or elegant gold can add a more formal feeling. In your master bath the look can be simple and clean but with understated elegance when you choose luxurious floor rugs and thick towels. A few silky or beaded throw pillows on the bed and a bit of beaded fringe around the base of a lampshade or along the hem of a curtain panel makes a bedroom more romantic, elegant and mysterious – and who doesn’t love that?

Change out your Wall Decor

Fewer decorative accessories can change the overall look of a room as quickly and easily as wall art and wall decor. Walls that are devoid of decoration or that have wall art that is ineffective, tacky or boring can be totally transformed with the right wall art. For an elegant look, try hand carved wood wall panels, wrought iron grilles or wall decor, candle wall sconces, a Persian area rug, elegant wall mirrors or framed reproductions of classic art. Wall shelves are also terrific for adding a sense of formality to a room: Use them to display small plants, leather bound books, framed photos, collectibles, pottery, glass and more. 

Two by Two

Formal decor is always symmetrical in design: What is done to one side of a room is repeated on the other. While you don’t need to do this in every aspect of every room, a few pairs of items here and there can add not only a bit of formality, but a sense of order that might be lacking in a home that is casually decorated. For example, in the bedroom, place matching lamps or wall lamps on each side of the bed. On the family room mantle, a pair of candlesticks underneath glass hurricanes can do the trick, while you may decide to hang a pair of framed prints on either side of the front door in the entry. 

Finally, bring in something natural and living, such as green or seasonal potted plants, fresh cut flowers, or an artistically arranged bowl of fruit. Thoughtful touches such as these give the home some elegance through repetition, order and symmetry that will happily comingle the casual, comfortable atmosphere you’ve already established. 

Senior staff writer for Metal-Wall-Art.com, Maria Harris, offers design advice on decorating with tin wall art.

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