Home décor isn’t limited to ‘show pieces’ set on tables or shelves; it flows from the floors all the way up to the ceilings in various forms such as rugs, paintings and chandeliers.

Interior Designer Uzma Abbasi shows how paintings can be the focus of a room

When it comes to outfits, accessories can make or break your look. Jewelry, shoes and bags are the final finishing touches that make you look polished and proper. Similarly, this is exactly what décor does to your home. It brings it all together cohesively.

You don’t need to buy everything, and definitely not all at once. All you need are select pieces to enhance your space, whether they’re DIY, thrift finds or store bought. Here’s a step-by-step guide to decorating your home, no matter your needs, style or budget.

Step 1: Pick a room

Is your living area looking a little worse for wear? Are you tired of your bedroom? The first step in shopping for décor is deciding where you need to place it. The nicest place in your home should be the place where you spend the most time. So be it your TV lounge, bedroom or even your bathroom, work towards making it your haven.

A bedroom by Renaissance Home Store

Step 2: Decide what you need

Take a good look at the space you plan on adding to, from the floor up. It may simply be a rug, a lamp or a painting that will bring it to life. Do you need new bedding, cushions or even curtains? Take a moment to visualize the space with these new elements, and make a list of all the potential things you want to get.

Step 3: Look for inspiration

Pinterest, magazines, even the homes of your friends and family can serve as inspiration for whatever you have in mind. Search online; look through catalogues and be sure to screenshot, save and take pictures if you see something you like! Houzz.com is a great site for home decor inspiration and locally, some of our favourite home decor stores in Karachi have fabulous instagram feeds that are full of great ideas.

Houzz.com is great for inspiration

Step 4: Set a budget

Decide how much you want to spend on your décor. If you’re looking to invest in lifetime pieces such as paintings or carpets, it’s best to set aside a little more. However, if a lamp or a few throw pillows is all you need, then a few thousand rupees should cover it.

Placement, colour, size and juxtaposition all play a part in the perfect look

Step 5: Shop your home

This is a step most people skip right over, running straight to the store instead. Take a walk around your home, especially in less frequented areas such as formal living spaces or guest areas. See if there’s anything that might fit in the space you’re decorating. Would the guest room curtains look better in your bedroom? Or would those cushions strewn on your daughter’s bed look mighty fine on your couch? Have a look through things you’ve packed away or that you’ve received as gifts. Shop your home; don’t be afraid to move things around. In the end, if it doesn’t work out its much easier returning items to their rooms rather than to a store. Also, if you end up finding some of the pieces you need right at home, your budget will automatically stretch to allow for more, or better items!

NOTE: Steps 4 and 5 are interchangeable based on your preferences. Once you’ve moved a few things around to make your space feel more put together, you can then set a budget for whatever is left. This helps especially if you don’t want to spend too much and prefer to work mostly with what you already have.

Dolce Vita Home

Step 6: Decide where to shop

Do you want to hit the malls or the markets? Will you be winding through the narrow stores at Gul Plaza or roaming the aisles of Interwood? This is a personal preference, but one that goes hand in hand with your budget. You can even go down the DIY or thrift store route. In Karachi, Thursday Bazaar at Boat Basin and Sunday Bazaar at Korangi are great options. Fabric stores like those off 26th street are great for curtains, cushions or throws. There are some great home decor stores in town. Exhibitions are also a fantastic way to source items not commonly available, so keep a look out for those!

Step 7: Prep, prep, prep!

Don’t forget to prepare for your trip. Take a few pictures of your space before heading out so you can take a quick look to refresh your memory when on the move. Make an album on your phone with all your inspiration pictures. Measure, measure, measure! This is essential especially if shopping for larger items, as you don’t want to end up bringing something home that’s too small or too big. Go one step further and drop a measuring tape in your bag so you can measure at the store, they have them at IKEA for a reason!

Abbas Carpets and The Design Souk with a winning combination

Step 8: Go shopping

There’s a whole process that goes into shopping for décor, but this is the best part! Head out, over the course of a few days preferably, and get whatever it is you’ve been wanting! Stores like Dolce Vita Home, Renaissance and Interwood have a wide variety of options to suit multiple tastes. Places like Glass Tower and Gul Plaza are great options if you’re good at bargaining, and don’t forget the bazaars and exhibitions!If you’re ordering something custom-made, particularly furniture, do shop around. The stores in Nursery can be cheaper and better quality than that of some home-based ‘designers’. Also, always ask about returns and exchange policies before investing in anything too pricey. Lastly, make sure you thoroughly inspect the item before purchasing to make sure it isn’t damaged or faulty in any way.

Step 9: Put it all together

The moment of truth, the unveiling. When you first switch on that lamp, or roll out that carpet. When the painting is finally up on the wall or the cushions nest perfectly on your couch. Take it all in, and enjoy your home.

A little to the left – Team Baroque at work

Step 10: Try different placements

For the most part, following all these steps should result in a carefully curated selection of items that fit well with your present décor. However, if this isn’t the case, take a moment before heading back to return something. Move things around, play with placement and see if the items mesh well in the space. If not, you can return them, sell them, keep them as gifts or simply place them in another room!

There you have it, your all-inclusive, complete guide to shopping for home décor, now go forth and make your house a home!

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