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Decorating Facts

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Here you will find helpful interior decorating tips to solve pesky household problems or to improve the appearance of your home.

Home Decorating
  • Avoid 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 paint tones.

  • 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 piece.

  • 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 colonial room.

  • Furnishing a covered porch or patio by mixing indoor and 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 traditional to contemporary.

  • 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 sleeping arrangements.

  • 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 modern.

  • 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.

  • Café curtains are short curtains hung from a rod suspended halfway across a window, as in some French cafés. 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 enjoyable.

  • Decorating with mirrors illuminates your home. Hang them strategically to capture the light of glowing candles, sconces and chandeliers.

  • 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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