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Decorating Tidbits by Barbara Jennings

Here are some decorating tips that are easy to do. When you're trying to decide how to decorate your home or apartment, take a cue from how you decorate your body - your wardrobe. If you love to wear jeans all over town, you'll probably enjoy a more relaxed and casual decor. But if you love to dress up, no matter where you're going, you just might feel more at home in a more plush and traditional setting. So think about some of these decorating tidbits as you plan your projects.

decorating with art on wallsWhen picking out colors for a room, stand before a mirror and hold the swatches up where you can see them reflected back at you. See how well you look next to those colors. Paint is just about the easiest and quickest (and least expensive) products you can put on a wall to totally change the entire feeling of a room. What is so great about paint is that you can buy a small quantity of it first and test it out before committing to an entire wall or room.

Remember that the men of the home usually prefer the hard edges window treatments, such as blinds. Women, on the other hand, tend to prefer the softness that comes from curtains, especially the ruffly kind. Bear in mind who will be using the room the most and decorate with them in mind.

Consider mixing up your laminate flooring or tiles. You can create beautiful patterns or a stripe with the flooring itself. Just be careful as it may lock you into a set furniture arrangement because of the design. I love area rugs to help define a seating arrangement. But this is not always practical. A square or rectangular design in the flooring would have the same effect as an area rug. Just be careful how you design it.

Be careful of patterns, especially the little ones, which can make you feel dizzy. Watch out for the scale. Don't put a huge pattern on a dining room chair, for instance. The scale will be all wrong.

If you're decorating a very large space, section it off into logical smaller areas. It's far more interesting to pass through a large area and see smaller "surprises" here and there than to see it all at once.

Look for artistic accessories to bring into the home. Don't be predictable. Be daring and have fun. You should thoroughly enjoy your space, so as long as the colors blend, combine unusual ornaments together in odd numbers.

Fill up the room, then take away a couple of pieces. Learn when enough is enough. Just because you have it, that doesn't mean it all has to be used or shown at the same time. Switch things out periodically. You'll appreciate what you have so much more.

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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit: