using fabric or paper light shades in a
kitchen, as they are likely to harbor grease and cooking odors. Glass
and metal fittings are more practical.
- If you have a small room don't paint it white to make it seem bigger.
Instead, go with the architecture of the space and paint it a rich, warm
color to make it more intimate and cozy. Let your big rooms expand with
light, while your small rooms should wrap around you with the use of warm
- When hanging photography or artwork, be
aware of whether sunlight will be directly hitting it or if it will be
underneath another direct light source. It is hard to enjoy art or
photography without lighting, but indirect lighting will be less harmful to
a framed item. Try to avoid hot spotlights when displaying art because they
can cause quicker fading and overall deterioration to a special or cherished
- Floral furnishings and decorations create a look, but fresh flowers and
plants can really bring a room to life. Display potted orchids to enhance an
oriental theme, colorful spring blooms for country style or lush green
foliage for a
- Furnishing a covered porch or patio by mixing
outdoor furniture and accessories is a terrific way to combine the
interior and the exterior. Plus, it allows the decorating scheme to flow
seamlessly from the indoor spaces into the more seasonal space without the
two places looking disconnected.
- Swags and scarves add a striking accent to curtains. Layering a printed
swag or scarf over coordinating solid curtains will bring all of the colors
of your room together to create a romantic focal point. If privacy is not an
issue, swags and scarves can be hung alone on a rod or through a sconce for
a distinctive look.
Photography or artwork that is hanging in a high traffic area often
bears the brunt of all the activity and becomes crooked and misaligned. A
way to alleviate such a problem is to use Velcro circles (available at
hardware stores) on the back of the picture. Stick one side of the Velcro
on the picture and the other side on the wall remembering to keep them
level. Now, your pictures will not move when that basketball goes bouncing
down the hall.
- A single shelf or a collection of corner shelves are surprisingly
appealing offering an opportunity to show off collectibles in an exciting
new way. Plus, they also work well in more compact homes with smaller rooms.
- A dining room table's style and shape affects the look of a room. As a
general rule, many designers suggest buying a table that mimics the shape of
your room for clean lines that are appealing to the eye.
- Learn the "rule of threes" and apply to your home decorating projects.
Overall, odd numbers of objects when decorating are more eye-catching and
interesting than even numbers.
- A colored ceiling can make a room much more
interesting. If the walls have been
painted, but the ceiling is still white, the eye is drawn to the white
ceiling because of the contrast. Why not make the contrast an unexpected
color to complement the space creating an element of surprise?
- Elegant arched windows can be challenging to dress. A rounded track or
rod can be installed to follow the line of an arch. Curtains can then be
hung from this fixed track though they will have to meet in the middle and
gathered on each side. Alternatively, a rod may be fixed across the window
below the semicircular part. Then either leave the arched portion bare, or
fill it with a fixed, shaped shade or fan-shaped curtain.
- Flexible lighting is essential for a living room. Aim to include three
different types of light source: ambient, for general illumination; task
lamps to focus on activities such as reading or sewing; and decorative
lighting, which gives you the chance to introduce unusual and attractive
fittings or interesting effects.
- Emphasize favorite accessories or pictures by giving them their own
special lighting. Spotlights fitted into the top of display boxes or niches,
or wall lamps that shine directly down onto prints or paintings, will
increase their decorative value and impact.
- Not crazy about draperies to decorate your
windows? Then shutters may be your treatment of choice. Uncluttered and
classically stylish, shutters offer a range of choices in color, depth and
style. They also look fabulous in any
home style, from
- Don't crowd out a small spare room with a double bed, especially if you
have to place one of its sides against a wall. A single bed and futon
combination frees up floor space and also provides more flexibility for
- Inexpensive canvas Roman shades or bamboo blinds may be all you need for
window treatments in a room that features a natural palette. Alternatively,
consider leaving windows bare, as natural interiors embrace light.
- According to
feng shui principles, choose bedding and linens in solid colors. If they
have patterns, avoid geometric, angular
designs that emanate negative energy and disturb your rest.
- When hanging wallpaper, place pieces of tape
over outlets and switches to minimize exposure to paste or water. But, keep
in mind, tape won't protect you if the electricity is still on.
- Coastal colors, from watery pale aquamarine to dark blue-green, refresh
and invigorate. Seek the colors of this palette for their renewing
properties. A variety of marine hues are rejuvenating, crisp, clean and
ever-popular for the bath and bedrooms.
- Tranquil interiors are mood enhancing and nurturing. A cool palette will
blend comfortably with a wide assortment of furnishings and often feature a
variety of greens, one of nature's most abundant, peaceful colors.
- Brown, beige and tan colors represent spring, youth, prosperity, family,
harmony, nutrition, strength, growth and vitality.
- Combine classic blue with sage greens, purply blues and creamy oatmeal
hues to create a decorating mix that's not only historic but refreshingly
- Violet is the color of luxury, from pale
lilac to saturated purple. This color scheme can be exotic, regal and
magical. Use strategically placed candles and lamps to illuminate the jewel
tones and create an atmosphere of richness.
- Don't darken your hallway with an excess of art and family pictures.
Keep a balance of empty spaces and hanging objects.
- Use light tints when painting expansive interiors that feature multiple
windows. For example, paint the walls of a great room a very light ice blue
to create a spacious environment for daily life.
- One common mistake when decorating is homeowners tend to push all pieces
of furniture up against the wall.
- It is much more inviting to separate areas within a space by creating
little conversation areas.
- Spicy hues, from chili red to sari pink, blend well with organic shapes,
well-worn books, and objects collected on travels. Coordinate these seasoned
colors with your most cherished collections.
- Whatever makes your family room stand out
should be the main focal point. So, if you have a beautiful painting or a
stunning fireplace, accent it with lighting or furniture arrangements that
draw the eye to this feature.
- Preserve memories in a shadow box rather than a photo album for a more
interesting three-dimensional approach to family mementos.
- Mixing different fabrics on upholstered furniture adds a fun twist to a
room. Be sure to use the "squint" test. When squinting if one pattern stands
out a lot more than the others, it's probably best to choose another.
- For a good sense of feng shui, don't place all of your furniture against
the walls, which accentuates the straight lines of a room and creates a boxy
feel. Try arranging your furniture at 45-degree angles to the walls along
with a rug for a fresh look.
- Canvas paintings are not a good choice of decor for a bathroom. The high
humidity often causes the canvas to warp or shrink.
- A chalkboard is great for jotting down notes
and for kids to draw. An easy and inexpensive way to make your own is with
chalkboard paint. It looks like spray paint, but dries to a chalkboard
finish you can write on and wipe off.
- Decorating with a dynamic mix, hunt for colorful accessories that recall
the mid-twentieth century (think big dots, psychedelics and arrows).
Well-placed dashes of vibrant color add energy and vigor to a dynamic decor.
- Painting the cabinets in the kitchen with a high gloss paint bounces
even more light around making the space seem bigger.
- To distress wooden furniture, first paint it a light color. When dry,
rub a candle on areas where natural wear might occur, such as panel edges.
Paint with a deeper color. When dry, rub the waxed areas with steel wool to
expose patches of the base coat.
- According to the techniques of feng shui, it is a good idea to keep a
bowl or arrangement of fruit on your dining room table. This represents
continuous sustenance for your family. Add a mirror on the west or northwest
wall of the dining room to double the food on your table.
- Distressed cabinetry or flooring has become
a popular trend in recent years. Artificially antiquing the wood by adding
deliberate marks of wear and tear creates the feeling of timeless appeal and
a custom look as well.
- Cafe curtains are short curtains hung from a rod suspended halfway
across a window, as in some French cafes. This sort of curtaining is
sometimes hung in a double tier and is a useful treatment for windows that
open inward or face directly onto a street since the tier system allows
privacy with a minimal loss of light.
- Listening to music, watching a movie or even having a conversation can
be very unpleasant in a room with too many parallel hard surfaces. Adding
texture and soft surfaces like carpet and cozy seating can create a fuller
sound to acoustics and make movie watching or listening to music much more
- Decorating with mirrors illuminates your home.
Hang them strategically to capture the light of glowing candles, sconces and
- Combing is a paint technique that transforms a piece of furniture into a
treasure. Apply a base coat, then apply a glaze in a complementary or
contrasting color. While wet, drag the teeth of a comb over the glaze to
reveal the base coat.
- Floor-to-ceiling mirrors definitely increase the sense of volume in a
room. So, this style can be perfect when trying to make a room appear larger
than its true size.
- Feng Shui and other Eastern philosophies have been guiding builders
since ancient times. Today, these principles are gaining popularity in the
West. Believers say, if practiced you will soon begin to feel positive
effects in your life.
Garden furniture can be found in a variety of materials. Consider the
pros and cons of each before selecting. Wicker has a traditional look and
moderate cost but needs protection from weather. Metal is highly durable,
usually needs cushions and can be cold to the touch. Resin is an inexpensive
and light material and is easily cleaned with soap and water.
Weather-resistant hardwood can be left natural for low maintenance and is
durable but costly. Regular hardwood or treated softwood is inexpensive but
will need regular painting or staining.
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Beautify Your Bathroom by Dorothy
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