Themes for House Decorating


Using a theme to decorate your house requires creativity and careful planning. Unlike specific styles, in which the characteristics are already laid out for you, theme decorating necessitates a dedicated approach to a singular idea.
Theme decorating relies on the selection of certain items that tell a specific story. These items can reflect personal interest, an era in time, an industry or geographical region. A theme can identify one subject within a decorating scheme.


  • A common decorating theme is the beach theme. This particular idea can be in the Cottage style of decorating. Colors consist of washed greens and blues, creamy whites and yellows along side splashes of richer hued greens and blues. Linen and canvas are popular fabrics in the beach theme.
    Accessories consist of seashell displays and oil paintings of the shore. Dried flower wreaths hang on the walls and fresh flowers fill vases on tables. Model sailboats and fishing gear fill the shelves and corners of the rooms.


  • A darker color pallet than that of the beach theme defines the nautical theme. The woods are usually oak and the furniture is less casual than the beach décor.
    The tools of the sailor's trade are found everywhere in this theme, including compasses and sextons, nautical maps and star charts. Paneling is popular in this theme, as is the color red for accent.


  • Antiques are common to both themes and styles in interior design and decorating. But theme decorating can emphasize a particular kind of antique.
    Antique maps as a theme for a home office is an example. While you may have a contemporary wood desk and file cabinets along with a bookcase in your office, filling your walls with antique maps gives the room a distinct appeal.
    Using antique pottery throughout your home in an eclectic setting can turn your pottery collection into an integral part of your interior style. Pottery lends a theme to your décor and brings to it a sense of unity and cohesion.
    Antique lamps, books, model cars or even vintage rock 'n' roll posters can lend a decorating theme to neutral of settings, allowing the antiques to tell their stories.


  • A symbol of hospitality, the pineapple has long been a popular motif in furniture and accessories. Creating a theme around pineapples, or any fruit, is particularly adaptable to the kitchen.
    Creating a theme using pineapples, or any fruit, requires a certain degree of restraint. It's easy to simply buy anything with your theme fruit on it. But the idea loses impact if every towel, every dish and backsplash tile has the same piece of fruit on it.
    Instead, choose specific items that emphasize the ideal of the pineapple. One tea towel with the pineapple hung from a rack with a plain towel to either side makes the pineapple more important.


  • This type of theme decorating, when you choose to borrow from times past, such as the Renaissance or the Roaring 20s, can be approached in two ways.
    Immersing your home in the theme can turn your home into a showcase. Modern appliances are still a part of your daily life. But you could replicate the furniture, the accessories and the architecture of the time to create a truly awe-inspiring theme house.
    The alternative is to create the theme through carefully selected pieces from that time or representative of the time. Showcase these throughout your home while keeping the rest of the house neutral in both color and style.


  • Theme decorating can be accomplished throughout your house or you can confine it to certain rooms, such as the family room or home office. The theme scheme usually works best, however, if it doesn't overwhelm your house.

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