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6 Tips for Understanding Regional Décor



It’s easy to fall in love on holidays. With décor, that is. Take that beachy Cape Cod cottage: muted blues and greys! Antique lobster traps! Nautical accents everywhere! Who could blame you for heading straight to the local boutiques and stocking up on charming seaside home décor items.

Yet, that gorgeous anchor accent pillow looks a little off in your Italian-inspired living room, and that rustic miniature lighthouse totally clashes with your super-modern bathroom. Yikes—it looks like you ignored the concept of regional décor.

“Regional décor” is a buzzword that’s making the rounds right now, and it refers to implementing home décor and design that works within the home’s existing context. Here are 6 things to understand about regional décor:

It Starts With the House
Context isn’t just about the rooms in your home: it’s about your home’s surroundings, too.

Architectural styles vary depending on geographic location, which makes sense, given that architecture is often inspired by the local environment for both practical and esthetic reasons. Although you might love the vibe of a post-and-beam log cabin, that style of home will stick out like a sore thumb in, say, New Mexico.

Yes, you can be different, but always consider your home’s surroundings before implementing a whole new style.

Consistency is King
Generally speaking, a consistent décor scheme will create a harmonious house. That doesn’t mean that every room has to look identical; it just means that the overall style of the home should carry from room to room.

More importantly, don’t try to cram ten different trends into a single room—the result will be an overwhelming, busy mess.

Instead of trying to replicate images from your favorite magazines or recreating your friend’s stunning kitchen, focus on finding your personal style. If you stay true to your own tastes, you’ll create that perfect consistency without even having to try.

Shopping Smarts
When shopping for your home—especially if you’re away from home, somewhere where the décor style is totally different from your own home—use your shopping smarts.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy anything—in fact, picking up one-of-a-kind purchases abroad is often a great idea. Instead, focus on what will work within your home, not just on what looks good on the store’s shelves. Pick items that work with the colors and textures within your home.

Room Overboard
Themes can be cute for kids’ rooms, but decorating your house around a single theme can be just as overwhelming as an all-over-the-place home. Focus on accents, and steer clear of overly matchy-matchy décor.

Do This…
Subtlety is your friend: highlight your home’s regional décor through textures, color palettes, and scale. Keep the little touches meaningful and personal. Be thoughtful with your purchases: don’t think of each item in isolation, think of it in the context of items you already have.

Not That…
Restraint is your friend, too, especially if you’re decorating a home that’s has a strong regional décor style, like a beach home or a cabin in the woods. Don’t think that every element of the room has to reflect the region you’re in.

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