Clean and classic is a fairly broad term, but what it means is that whether your style is modern, traditional, romantic, or something else altogether, there are certain things you can do to keep it fresh and practical.
There's nothing worse than a house that's like a museum – where everything is so precious you're afraid to even sit down. A home is meant to be lived in, not just admired from afar. There are ways to be classic and beautiful without creating a precious showpiece.
Invest in Everyday Items
Decorating a home can be expensive. This style of decorating encourages investing in those items you use everyday. Spending thousands on a little objet that has no purpose doesn't make sense for this type of home – what does make sense is spending money on the things that will make your life a little more enjoyable every day. For instance, a really comfortable chair that makes you sign in pleasure every time you sit down; a showerhead that gives the exact pressure and water distribution you want; good kitchen knives that make the cook in your family enjoy his or her task that much more. These are the little things that can bring a great, yet understated joy.
A cluttered home can be distracting and stressful. It may seem silly, but when a house is clean and organized, it feels like a weight is lifted. Keep your accessories organized and designate areas to put the mail, household bills, newspapers and magazines – whatever it is that tends to cause clutter. A basket or tray near the front door is perfect for the mail while a pin board or special drawer is great for placing bills and other papers that need to be taken care of. The key is to designate spots that will work for you. In short, an organized home is a happy home.
Use Vivid Colors and Patterns
The colors you use will obviously depend on your personal style and the look you're going for, but keep in mind that certain colors are associated with happiness and energy. If your palette is largely neutral, accentuate it here and there with some hits of color (think of it like an exclamation mark in your home). Patterns also help bring life to a home. Stripes, damask, plaids, dainty florals – the sky's the limit.
No matter what your style is a worthwhile investment to purchase furniture in shapes that are simple and never really go out of style. When it comes to sofas look at styles like Bridgewater, Tuxedo, Lawson, and other classic styles. Make sure the frames are made form kiln-dried hardwood and look for eight-way-hand-tied spring construction (ask the sales clerk or manufacturer about this). When you invest in good pieces you can have them reupholstered or slipcovered as the years go by without having to purchase new pieces.
No matter what the piece, look for solidly built, sturdy pieces. Whether it's a chair, coffee table or dining room suite, invest in quality. Then you can be a little more carefree with your accessories like lamps and throw pillows. When you don't spend too much it's not as big a deal to replace them when you get tired of them.
Show Your Personality
No matter what your style it's always important to let your personality shine through. This can be done with the colors you use, the accessories you display or the artwork you hand on the wall. If something makes you happy – do it! (Even if it doesn't conform to the "rules" of decorating.) Always remember that it's your home and walking in the door should bring a smile to your face. Do whatever you have to do to make that happen.
Make Everyone Feel Welcome
It's very important that every member of the family feel welcome. If you have children and pets, invest in fabrics that are easy to clean and avoid putting expensive objects in places where they can get knocked over or damaged. Not only should kids feel welcome in their own home, but you don't always want to be worrying. Nothing should be more important than the happiness and comfort of the people living in your house.