Tag Archives: interior decorating

Interior Decorating 101- Creating Good Feng Shui with Accessories

You can make inexpensive accessories for any room in your home.  When you’re redecorating a space after you select the “big” stuff  like furniture, window treatments, and flooring, you’ll need the right accessories to complete the room and add warmth.  When a room feels warm and appealing, it has good Feng Shui.

Here are five easy, affordable and fun ideas to create good Feng Shui.

1.  Fill a pair of glass jars or bottles with layers of dried white rice, red lentils, black beans, and green peas.  These accessories look great on bookshelves, on either side of a large television, or anywhere the room needs more energy.

2.  Spray-paint accessories, either old or new, to match one of the brightest colors of your room.  Painting two or three items will create a pulled-together look and add visual interest.  You can create a designer look by spray-painting large sea shells gold or silver and placing on top of a pile of books or on a coffee table.

3.  Add character to lamp shades by glueing ribbon around the bottom and top of the shade.  Select colors that contrast and blend with the room’s color palette.

4.  Create your own contemporary artwork.  Buy sheets of decorative art paper from a stationary store or hobby shop and frame in a poster frame from a craft store.  You can use a couple of the same pieces of paper and hang them side by side, or pick three different sheets which relate to each other.

5. Buy a large, colorful vase at a thrift shop and add dried ornamental branches or silk flowers.  Place in a corner or on a fireplace for instant visual appeal.

Have your own ways to create accessories on a budget?  I’d love to hear about them!

Redecorating Your Home for the Holidays?

If you’re feeling like your home isn’t quite ready for the Holidays and house-guests, you’ll benefit from these 10 quick decorating tips. 

Thanksgiving is just a week away and Christmas is right behind it so time is of the essence.  You need time-tested interior decorating tips to use immediately so you’ll feel confident about entertaining.  The key is to accentuate the positive and keep your guests’ eyes away from design or repair issues.

1.  Painting makes an immediate impact and is affordable. Repaint a room to instantly give it new life.  Select a dependable neutral color like these from  Benjamin Moore ~ Barely Beige, Bleeker Beige, Happy Valley or Monterey White. 

2.  If there’s no time to paint an entire room, pick one wall and paint it with an accent color that relates to the rest of the walls.  Try a rich red like Benjamin Moore’s Moroccan Red, or Georgian Brick,  Hawthorn Yellow, Van Cortland Blue, or Georgian Green.

3.  To add a focal point, purchase a large floor rug at Lowe’s or Home Depot for under $300.  Pottery Barn‘s rugs work beautifully too but they’re priced higher.

4.  Have bare windows? Or have your drapes turned shabby but not chic?  Get new pre-made lined drapes that fit your budget from Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, JC Penney, or Pottery Barn.  Simply adding an area rug and changing drapes quickly refreshes a room.

5.  Add interesting fresh flower arrangements in different size vases throughout the  house.  Every try succulents? If you live in Austin, Texas, try http://www.succulentpots.com for colorful and unique arrangements that will sure to get people’s attention off the peeling paint or the water stain on the ceiling.  They’ll even deliver!

6.  Declutter.  It’s not sexy but it’s cheap and effective.

7.  Buy a large budget-friendly piece of artwork to give the space a new focal point.  Try Bed Bath and Beyond or Target for large-scale art work.

8.  Rearrange the furniture.  Try an arrangment you haven’t tried before.

9.  Add decorative pillows and a throw blanket in updated colors on couches or chairs.

10. And put up your Holiday decorations to add light, sparkle, and warmth.

Interior Decorating 101 – Things to Consider when Selecting Wall Color

Selecting the right paint color for a room can be challenging.  Here are six easy tips to make your decision easier.

1. Understand that the paint chips you select from the store are just the first step to selecting the right wall color for your room.  They’re too small to give an accurate reading of how the color will look in your room.

2. It’s best to bring home samples of the paint chips you like best and paint them on at least three walls of your home.  Two things influence paint color: the amount of natural light you have and the color of the surrounding furniture, flooring and accessories.  For example, a cream wall can seem pink when combined with a red carpet.

Metamerism is a phenomenon in which colors seem to change when viewed under different light sources.  Some colors are particularly prone to metamerism including tans, taupes, grays, gray-blues, mauves, lilacs and grayed yellow-greens.

3. Plan on sampling three to six colors on your wall to get a good selection but not get overwhelmed. 

4. View the samples in morning, afternoon, and evening light. If you can sit with them a few days, you’ll also be able to see which color appeals to you as your mood changes.

5. Remember that although it’s an investment, paint can always be changed so paint with confidence.  Until you finish painting and move your things back into the room, you really won’t know the full effect.

6. And most importantly, have fun!

Interior Decorating 101 – Choose Wall Colors to Create Good Feng Shui

Creating a fresh feel and tone in a room can be easily accomplished by a change in color.  You can create warmth or coolness, expansion or contraction, and formality or casualness with your color selection.  The right wall color positively influences the Feng Shui or energy you feel in a space.  

Taking an inventory before you get started will help you pick out the color(s) that will create the feeling you want in the room.

Here are the First Steps:

1 – Determine your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, consider which changes will have the most impact for the least investment.  Generally, these are paint, accessories, and simply re-arranging furniture.

2 – Make a list of the key elements that will stay in the room such as flooring, rugs, furniture, and window treatments.  You’ll want to pick colors that tie these elements together.

3 – Ask yourself, what is the room’s purpose and how do I want to feel in the room? In Feng Shui terms, the question is “Is it an active area (Yang) or a quiet area (Yin)?”  Select colors that support the room’s purpose.  Warm colors support activity and cool colors support rest.

4 – What are your unique color preferences at this time?  Preferences change with time.  Honor your preferences at this time because they’ll make you feel good in the space.

5 – Look at photos in magazines and cut out colors that inspire you – from nature, from interior décor, and from anything else that gives you energy (energy is a key to knowing when a color is right for you).

6 – Stand back and view the room from another room.  Remember that the color you choose should relate to the rest of your home so your space feels connected and flows easily.

 Next time – where to go from here – Creating Your Color Palette!

Interior Decorating 101 – Using the Color Wheel

The color wheel is a terrific way to understand the relationships between colors.  You can use it as your guide for selecting color schemes for your home.  And it can give you inspiration for you next room makeover. 

There are 12 colors in a standard color wheel.  They are divided into three designations – primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors: red, blue and yellow. 

Secondary Colors: these are combinations of two primary colors – orange (red+yellow), green (yellow + blue) and violet (blue + red). 

Tertiary Colors: These colors are a combination of a primary and a secondary color; such as red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and red-violet.

Color Intensity describes the brightness or dullness of a color.  Color Value refers to a color’s lightness or darkness.  Tint is what you do if you add white to a color.  Shade is what you do if you add black to a color. 

Warm colors are oranges, reds, and yellows.  These colors create intimate, cozy rooms.  They make a space feel condensed so use them thoughtfully in small rooms. 

Cool colors are greens, blues, and violets.  These colors are soothing and create a feeling of expansiveness.  They’ll make a room feel larger. 

Color Schemes

Color schemes are based on the color wheel.  These four color schemes provide guidelines for selecting colors for a room.  Using these guidelines helps you have a cohesive, pulled-together look.

Monochromatic: Just one color, but add tinting or shading to that color to create different versions of the color in the room and using neutrals (black and white) to add contrast. 

Complementary: Two colors that are opposite on the color wheel.  For example, red and green.   

Analogous: Using adjacent colors on the color wheel.  For example, red, yellow and green. 

Triad: Using three equally-spaced colors from the color wheel.  Pick one dominant color, a secondary color, and then an accent color.  For example:  blue-violet, yellow-green, and red-orange. 

Using the color wheel helps take stress out of making color selections.  And finding photos in magazines of colors that make you smile is another good tool to make your color selections.  Once you paint the walls the rest of the design of the room will start coming together based on the feeling you’ve created by your selection of wall-color.  You can take it step-by-step and change your mind along the way if things don’t feel right to you.  Trust your intuition!

More on selecting colors next time!  Please feel free to leave me a question or comment.

Interior Decorating 101 – A Dozen (Quick) Tips for Choosing the Right Wall Color

Ready for a fresh look and feel in your home?  Painting is the quickest and easiest way to change the look and feel of a space.   And don’t worry, choosing wall color is the least expensive design “mistake” you can make, so make your choice unfettered by fear.  Painting with abandon makes the process fun!  The worst case scenario is that you’ll have to repaint. 

Tips to help you get started

1-  Test a color before committing to it.  Find three to five color possibilities from which to choose.  Paint a 2 x 3 box of each color on different areas of the room, or on a piece of poster board and move it around the room.  Sit with the colors for a couple days to see how each one  looks at different times of the day or night and how each one makes you feel.

2-  Pick colors using objects as your guide.  Flowers in a landscape, piece of artwork, a ceramic plate, or a piece of fabric can be the palette from which you choose your colors.

3-  Colors look darker on a wall then on the small swatches.  It’s safest to pick from the top two colors on a paint card unless you want drama.

4-  Using different shades of the same color in different objects is a harmonious way to pull a room together. 

5-  Follow the Rule of Three: when you pick a color, use it at least three times in a room.

6-  In a small room, if the walls are the same color as the primary upholstered piece of furniture the room will seem larger.

7-  Use off-white rather than pure white which can be harsh.  When you put a warm white next to color, it still looks crisp and bright.  Trim rooms in off-white.

8-  Use neutrals to harmonize colors and help them blend with each other.

9- Using a high-quality paint spreads easier and often makes only one paint coat necessary.

10- When purchasing paint, it’s best to buy a little more than you think necessary rather than too little. When paint is blended, each batch is apt to be a little different.  The paint you buy on Tuesday may be a little lighter than the paint you buy on Friday. It’s better to get all the paint for one room out of one batch.

11- If you’re hesitant about painting your entire home in just one color, rest assured that the color looks different in different rooms and at different times of the day.  The beauty of creating a one-color palette is that the rooms in your home will relate to each other and feel harmonious.  You can use different accent colors in each room to create interest.

12- Lots of paint stores offer $3.00-$4.00 samples but not all colors are available.  If your color isn’t offered in a sample, you’ll have to invest in a small can of paint.