Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.
Elegance, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For one person sparkling crystal chandeliers and sumptuous fabrics might be a major elegance indicator. For another, natural fabrics and minimal furnishings are the epitome of casual elegance. Whichever the case, there are basic characteristics that define elegance in general terms that we can agree upon. Find out how to bring just the right balance of elegance into your home while staying true to your personal style.
Create a Comfortable Flow
This one is fairly straightforward. The placement of furniture in your home should allow people to move easily from area to area. Too much furniture will limit traffic flow and create a claustrophobic feeling for guests and family.
In small rooms less is more. In large open rooms carve out separate furniture groupings to create intimate areas for friends and family to mingle, read, watch TV or relax. The key to elegant furniture placement is creating a comfortable living space that doesn’t look too rigid or cluttered.
Include a Variety of Lighting
Every elegant room needs a combination of natural, ambient, task and accent lighting. During the day filter in natural light from the sun. At night provide overall illumination (ambient) to recreate daytime light levels. Include targeted lighting (task) for reading, dining, cooking and game playing. Incorporate mood lighting (accent) to add drama to the proceedings.
The best sources of ambient light are chandeliers, ceiling fixtures, track lighting, wall sconces and recessed cans. Task lights include pendant lights, under cabinet fixtures, desk and floor lamps. Accent lighting can be anything from sconces, picture lights to candles--any light that is used to highlight objects or create a specific mood.
Go Easy on the Glitz
Every elegant room deserves a little bling. Just don't go overboard with sparkle and shine. Instead of using too many crystals, sequins and rhinestones incorporate surfaces that reflect natural light such as mirrors, glass tile or wallpaper with a subtle metallic sheen.
Alternatively, you can use accessories for smaller bursts of glitz. Create an elegant display featuring a silver bar tray with a set of crystal decanters or an edited collection of silver frames filled with family photos.
Create a Sophisticated Color Palette
Working with a neutral color palette is a safe option to create a sense of elegance in any room. Be careful to avoid the monotony of a purely monochromatic room by injecting pops of color. Use shades one up or down on the paint color chip to create depth. For instance, go with a lighter colors on the upper half of your walls and one shade darker on the lower half. This is a surefire way to create contrast with elegant, neutral colors.
Consider gray as your go to color to add an air of sophistication. Or, opt for the classic combination of black and white for the ultimate in elegance. You can bring touches of a complementary third or fourth color with the inclusion of pillows, artwork and rugs.
I can't emphasize this enough. Nothing spoils the effect of an elegant space more than household clutter. That means those stacks of newspapers and magazines, remote controls, paperwork, toiletries or anything that disrupts the aesthetic of your room. A simple solution is to make a place for everything and put everything in its place.
Baskets, bins and storage cabinets are great places to store away daily clutter. Stylish magazine holders help clear off the tops of tables and counters. Place toiletries and beauty products in decorative containers to simplify your morning routine and give the bathroom an elegant appearance. Pick up after yourself when changing clothes, placing dirty items in the laundry hamper. Hang and properly store clothes to wear another day.
Select Meaningful Accessories
Don’t purchase accessories just because they are trendy. These items should be meaningful additions to your elegant home decor and not just a mish-mash of things to fill a void. Accessories should be a reflection of your personality and a source of pleasant memories. Whether it is a vase filled with freshly cut flowers from your garden, treasures from travels or a special work of art; choose items that you love and will enjoy sharing with others.
So, what are you waiting for? Reward yourself by creating an elegant home environment.
The Basics of an Elegant Dining Room
© 2013 Linda Chechar
Start a Conversation!
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on August 02, 2013:
Thanks ishwaryaa22! I too am moving soon. We can BOTH use these tips! :)
Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on August 02, 2013:
An elegantly-written hub! Shortly, I am going to move into a rented apartment with my husband and I decided to use your helpful tips. Way to go!
Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 18, 2013:
Thank you Nicole! I'm pleased you enjoyed this elegant Hub! :)
Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on April 18, 2013:
Great tips! I enjoyed looking over these ideas.
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 11, 2013:
Thanks, Om! I think you have hit the nail on the head when it comes to elegant decor--simple furnishings with a smidgen of sparkle. Always good to hear from you! :)
Om Paramapoonya on March 11, 2013:
Thanks for these lovely tips, Linda. I agree overly glitzy rooms don't look very elegant. I, for one, certainly prefer simplicity with just tiny hints of glitz. Rated up and awesome :)
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 05, 2013:
Thanks vespawoolf! Gray happens to be a very popular color these days, however it will continue to look elegant regardless of trends. In the past, I have even purchased accessories just to fill space. I now make thoughtful choices with regard to accent pieces. It really gives a room personality. Glad you stopped by for a visit! :)
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 05, 2013:
I like the idea of a gray decor with splashes of color and glitz here and there. I like what you say about buying pieces you like, and not just trendy things to fill a space. Very helpful! Thanks!
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 04, 2013:
Carol, sounds like you have a lot going on! No need to hurry the painting/decorating. All will get done in good time. Thanks for the vote and pin! :)
carol stanley from Arizona on March 03, 2013:
Everytime I read one of your hubs I think I need to do something with some of the rooms in my house. I guess I am so busy writing, painting, reading, cooking, sewing and numerous other things...However I still want to paint and now you stir up the ruffles of decorating. Great hub. Voting up and pinning.....
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 03, 2013:
Glad you liked the tips, Jackie! Clutter is the arch enemy of elegance. But it is difficult to keep under control on a consistent basis. It just kind of sneaks up on us! ;)
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 03, 2013:
Thank you Rebecca! Yes, bling doesn't have to be obvious to add elegance to a room. I seem to have a personal campaign against clutter-- I mention it in almost every decorating Hub. I appreciate the share and vote. Good to hear from you!
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 03, 2013:
Some great tips! Clutter is always my problem and that undoes elegant fast, doesn't it?
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 03, 2013:
Great decorating tips, Linda. I like the idea of having "bling" as light reflected of shiny materials. Love that one idea for a clutter free room,too. Shared! and voted useful!