Saturday, March 22, 2008

Decorating 101 - Tips

Home Decorating 101: 10 Tips To Prevent Decorating Mistakes

By Jessica Ackerman

Has the fear of decorating has overwhelmed you? Even if you have never held a paint roller or repositioned a sofa, take comfort. These tips will empower you and engage your creative gene.

1) The first rule is to be familiar with the space you will be decorating

Grab a pencil, tape measure, and graph paper and make a scale layout of the room’s perimeter. Even if you possess excellent spatial relational abilities, this is recommended because the best visual remembrances fail against the reality of a scaled drawing in front of you.

With the representation of the room, it is possible to determine the sizes of furniture you have or that you wish to purchase.

2) Making a checklist helps

Shopping for decorating supplies? Writing a list now will save you frustration later. Even if you do not purchase everything, check off what you get as you get it. Keep those paint chips, fabric samples and flooring swatches with you to coordinate with furniture, lighting and accessories, whether shopping online or in a brick and mortar store.

3) Establish a budget range

The guidelines of a budget save not only your wallet but sometimes your relationship. If you choose to splurge, at least you do so intentionally.

4) Walls and floors are your frame

Consider the floor and walls as your frame. Pay attention to the colors and coverings of your frame. As you decorate within this canvas, remember that this “frame” unifies your decorating, so it is most the logical place to start.

5) Lighting can set a mood

With the lighting possibilities today, you can set a mood in every room. Specialty glass, bulbs, dimmer switches and modules are available for everyone’s decorating style and budget.

6) Create interest

Stretch your decorating dollar and maybe your decorating comfort zone by mixing colors, textures and patterns. Take cues from pictures in magazines or displays in stores. Adapt ideas from design shows and make them your own.

7) Sense of style

Whether you prefer traditional, contemporary, or modern, decorate with your personal sense of style. Be bold not intimidated by mixing period pieces. Eclectic style works provided proportion, color, pattern and texture appear harmonious.

8) Research products

Happy consumers are those who do their homework before they buy. You may be a buyer instead of a shopper, but you would reap the rewards of some time spent learning more about the products you use to decorate—especially big-ticket items.

9) Balance and scale work together

When you look at the positioning of elements in your room and something hits a discord in you, chances are proportions clash. Getting the balance and scale right takes some practice. Again, take cues from other resources.

10) Use space effectively

It is eminently helpful to make scaled cutouts of the furniture and position all the pieces to your liking within your scale drawing. Gather large pieces to make the most of a focal point. Arrange some informal seating areas.

Now that you know these tips, you’re ready to begin. Decorate yourself happy!

About the Author: Jessica Ackerman writes articles for Wall Décor and Home Accents, which offers unique products like divine wrought iron wall décor and antique wall candle sconces.


Permanent Link:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kitchen Decorating Tips

Kitchen Decorating Tips

By Lee Dobbins

Small changes can have a big effect on how your kitchen looks. Below are 11 decorating ideas that you can do yourself in a day or less. Not only are these simple changes are easy to do, but they are inexpensive too!

1. Afraid of changing your drab white kitchen walls? Instead of choosing rich, deep colors for your first project, you will likely feel more comfortable with a neutral such as beige or gray which will not date the room or create a jarring palate that you will easily tire of.

2. Brighten up the kitchen. Use mirrors to capture the sunlight and bounce it around. Try putting a mirror across from a window or on a wall that corners against the window wall for the most light distribution.

3. Make seasonal changes. Moving the kitchen furniture into a 'summer arrangement' can optimize your space and give it a more airy feel. Make it light and breezy - think about removing some of the furniture and decorations for a lighter feel. Open those curtains and let the sun shine in!

4. Use slipcovers. Slipcovers over your chairs can soften the room and add to your decor. For the holidays, try using special covers in holdiay patters or colors. For a nice summer change use white cotton or canvas slipcovers on the chairs.

5. Get ideas from the pros. Look in magazines, books, television or the internet to get a flavor of the accessories and designs you would like to see in your kitchen. IF you see a kitchen decorated in a way that you like, think about how you can duplicate the same decor in your home.

6. Decorate with cookbooks. You can make a nice display with your cookbooks. Try grouping them in interesting configurations with some laying down and some standing. Don't put small books next to tall books but align them in graduating sizes.

7. Warm it up with rugs. Area rugs can add a splash of color or cover up an old or unmatching floor. When buying rugs, measure the space so you can be sure to get the right size. Rugs used under a table should be large enough to also accommodate the chairs when fully pulled out.

8. Bring the outdoors inside. Don't be afraid to hang plants from any bare ceiling corner to give a lived in feeling to a plain kitchen. Plants provide interest and soften up the room. For above the cabinets or hard to reach places, silk plants work just as well as real ones, however, if you do buy silk, go with a good quality arrangement that looks realistic.

9. Change your look with accessories. A few strategically places accessories can change your kitchen from dull to dramatic! Maybe you want to go with a certain theme and you might be able to give your kitchen a whole new look just by replacing some key accessories like toaster covers, dish towels, cannister sets, salt and pepper shakers and pot holders.

10. Change your cabinet pulls. Theres so many different styles of cabinet pulls these days - figural, wooden, ceramic, glass - you should be able to find a design that matches your new decor easily. They are easy to install yourself and your friends will think you got new cabinets!

11. Add a border. wallpaper borders are easy to put up and can add color and interest. You can use them at the top of the wall or go with a less traditional use underneath the cabinets. Use them at chair rail height to break up long walls. An even less expensive (but more labor intensive) alternative is to use stencils and paint.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins writes for where you can find tips to decorate your kitchen no matter what your budget. Find out more about decorating your kitchen for less at


Permanent Link:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Flooring: It Isn't All Carpet

Flooring: It Isn't All Carpet

By Jon Kilminster

Flooring: it's one of the most conspicuous things in any house, or building of any type. Why? you might ask. After all, no-one looks down at their feet when they walk into a room. They notice the color of the walls first, or the paintings, or the curtains. Or any number of things. The floor is usually last.

This is true. We don't usually notice the floor. At least not in a visual way. But what we do notice about it is the feel. Hard or soft. And whether or not it sounds hollow or solid. When it comes down to it, the type of flooring we have in our rooms is one of the thing which really gives it character.

Now, many people think of carpet when they think of flooring. It's what usually comes to mind. But there's more to flooring than carpet. A lot more.

And for my money, there is nothing to beat a non-carpeted floor. Whether it's a laminate floor, a vinyl floor, cork floor, or even the old-fashioned hardwood floor, there's something about all these types of floors that impart a real touch of elegance and permanence to a room. And that's what we're looking to achieve in any room, right?


With the huge range of flooring materials available today, there's no need to fall back on the traditional carpet. Those people looking for a twist to their flooring can choose from a huge range of materials and styles.

A laminate floor can give the appearance of real wood, but be easier to maintain and easier to clean. Nothing makes a room look so elegant as a wood grain underfoot. Modern laminate flooring is hardwearing and easy to clean.

Vinyl floor is easy to lay down and comes in a huge range of styles and colors. Whatever mood you want to create, you'll find the way to do it with vinyl.

Cork is extremely hardwearing. Lay down a cork floor and you'll have little to fear from damage.

And don't forget a relative newcomer to the flooring scene: bamboo. A bamboo floor can add a real individuality to any floor.

So next time you think flooring, don't just automatically think "carpet". Take a look at some of the alternatives and give your room a real makeover.

About the Author: Jon Kilminster writes about the home. His website gives more information on how to choose a floor that is right for your room.


Permanent Link: