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Escape with Tropical Beach Art

Has Old Man Winter been over staying his welcome?  Are you feeling trapped under those heavy blankets and sweaters.  Even if you can’t splurge on an exotic vacation to a romantic island, our affordable tropical beach art posters can brighten your room and your mood!  Imagine cheerful art that takes you far away to your ideal escape paradise.  Can you feel the soft ocean breezes?Hammock between palm trees on a tropical beach

This has been a particularly bitter Winter for many people, and given the ongoing struggles with our economy, most of us cannot afford to take off to some gorgeous, balmy beachSAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) also can be a factor in our mood during the long Winter months, when sunlight is diminished.  For those afflicted with the depression associated with this season or even those with a case of the winter blues, it can be difficult to feel motivated.  Many doctors have prescribed doses of vitamin D along with light therapy to assist those with SAD.  Perhaps a cheerful, sunny beach scene along with those treatments can elevate the mood.

Try this:Colorful beach umbrella and chair
Display a large art print of your favorite location or even a place you have always dreamed of visiting on a well-lit wall in your home or office.  Play soft music, waves, or nature sounds and picture yourself in the scene.  Imagine the feel of the soft sand against your skin.  Hear the birds call and the waves lap the shore.  Perhaps you hear laughter of children in the distance or your loved one’s voice.  Take deep cleansing breaths, letting them out slowly.  While you breathe out, try to relax your muscles more and more each time.  These relaxation techniques have proven very helpful to many in alleviating stress and depression when used on a regular basis.

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Bring Warmth Inside with the Change of Seasons

When temperatures are falling outside, it is the perfect time to give our interiors a little face lift.  Using warm colors on our walls can help us beat the ‘Winter Blues’.  If repainting your walls is not in your budget, well placed and chosen artwork can create an inviting and cozy feeling in your home.  By choosing wall art that features gold, red, orange or brown in whatever style or subject matter you appreciate, the earth-tones add richness and warmth to your decor.  The changing seasons are the perfect time to make a few changes to the areas in your home you will be spending much more time in during the winter months to come.

Warm colors create a cozy home
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How to Folk

Folk is said to be the hottest style for 2009 so forget about the winter chills and start preparing for summer right now with these fresh, floaty and bright ideas for folk decorating.

Chances are the walls of your home are a neutral white or cream color, and this is the best possible base for folk decorating. This is because folk decorating is all about natural products and traditional designs, which are reinterpreted for modern living. These traditional floral fabrics and handmade items are then the stars of the show against their white backdrop.

And there is no need to clear out your whole home to begin again from scratch with this decorating style either. Natural products are a feature of folk decorating and so your wooden dining table and chairs will be right at home, and you can add a calico table runner or paper doilies to bring it in line with the rest of your folk style.

This could be a handmade woollen throw rug draped over the back of your couch, in rich chocolate, red, pink, blue and green colors to pick up the pastel tones of the floral fabrics you have hung from the windows, and the cottage flowers you are displaying in a simple glass vase.

The feel for folk decorating is very bohemian and relaxed, so don’t stress out about matching your designs and colors. Simply have a look through op shops for colored ceramic plates and bowls, and select brightly colored and patterned throw cushions to liven up your couch.

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Change Your House

If you are still living in the family home, you may not technically still be ‘living at home’ you may be renting the house you grew up in because your parents have kept it as an investment property when they upgraded homes, or you may be renting your grandparent’s place for the same reason.

Regardless you want to make the space your own, rather than feeling like you really are still ‘living at home’ in the worse sense of the phrase. Well the simplest start you can make on making your home your own is to move the furniture around. Your home may be furnished with your parent’s furniture, your own pieces or a mix of both, but now is the time to move that buffet which you always told your mother would look better under the window, as well as add in fabrics and colors which suit your personal style.

An almost equally affordable way to change the look of your home is to repaint, and make sure you commit to one color for each room as this will give you a lot more furniture placement and decoration options than designating one ‘feature’ wall. While you may still have to check with your ‘landlords’ with regards to your paint color choices, a dramatic difference can still be achieved with only a subtle color change.

Now you can change the purpose of the rooms. Maybe there is a better view from the study so why not make that your new bedroom? Or perhaps you’d rather turn the formal dining room – who uses that?! – into a home office.

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Bright Not White

There is often a generic belief in decorating that to make a space look bigger you should paint it white. However, while an entirely white house or individual room will look lighter, it will also be very boring. While white may seem like the perfect base for any color of furniture, wall art and flooring you can think of, it can harshly reflect these color choices and show them off in stark relief against their pale backwash.

However, instead of choosing a shade of white, cream or off white, take the opportunity if you are decorating a small space to use color to its full advantage. Nothing is really going to make your postage stamp of a living room appear to be the size of a cinema theatre, so make the space interesting instead.

Take a chance and use color where you wouldn’t normally, paint the whole room a single bold color, instead of committing to only one wall. If you’re not sure that bold colors are really you, then choose a more subtle color like a pale blue or soft green which still give a feeling of airiness – which is what you would have been going for with the white – but also bring with them atmosphere and personality.

However, a small space will still feel dank and imposing if you have poor lighting. While you may not be able to replace the strip of fluorescent lighting due to budget or renting restraints, just don’t use it. Instead light up the areas you really want to see and add warm table lamps to create reading nooks or place a floor lamp behind your sofa where it won’t take up extra space, nor will it create annoying overhead reflections on the TV.

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Wall Storage

If you are renovating or redecorating your home, then now is the time to create more wall storage. But don’t think that storage is only about functionality because your storage can be just as artful as the rest of your home.

Now you already know that effective storage is important to allow the artistic and creative elements of your home decoration shine through. So if possible build storage in everywhere, in every room and make it floor to ceiling, and wall to wall. This will give everything a neater and more streamlined appearance, and allow you to show off only what you want to, and hide away everything else.

Another storage trick when decorating is to suspend as many of your storage solutions as possible because if you can see the floor, the space appears larger. For example, attach a suspended storage unit along one wall of your dining room, at waist height, which can act as a buffet. You can even choose a storage system with glass doors to show off all of your best crockery and glassware subtly, as it is out of direct lines of sight.

Open shelving is also very chic when you are looking to redecorate and best of all, it’s cheap! This means you can make a feature out of just about anything if it’s carefully arranged. Add a skinny, free standing shelving system in the bathroom which is the same height as the basin to store your towels. They already match the room and this frees up precious space in your linen press.

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Renter’s Nightmare

There are some truly terrible rental apartments out there and you could be stuck with any combination of orange kitchen benches, brown carpets and cupboards, carved wooden shelving, not to mention smoke stains from when no one though twice about lighting up inside. And if you’re really unlucky you’re stuck with all of the above!

But don’t worry because we have a bit of decorating advice to get you through the rest of the term of your lease. Firstly think plain and simple decorating choices. There is probably already enough dramatic color choices in your apartment, so don’t just go and add the colors which appeal to you, without regard for what’s already there.

This means choosing plain floor rugs for example, and the biggest you can find to cover as much carpet as possible. Also choose plain colored, sheer curtains to let in as much light as possible to counteract the dark colors of the house. However, just because your curtains are sheer, doesn’t mean they can’t be a tasteful cream, gold or silver color to add a little style.

Still making over the curtains, if your horrid 1970s kitchen has a curtained pelmet over the window, you can change this fabric too. Match it to the color of your other curtains to ensure the change looks deliberate.

Most importantly though, give the whole place a good scrub. Smoke stains and alike should come off of the walls, and you may be surprised to find that the tiles in the kitchen are actually white not the brown you thought they were when you moved in.

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Party Decorating on a Budget

When you are throwing a party or hosting a celebration at your place you want to set the right mood for the event so that it really does feel exciting. However, at the same time you don’t want your house to look as though a party supplies truck has crashed into it, as your home and your life there has its own style already and you can make the most of that when you host a party, rather than just covering every surface with balloons and glitter.

Plus your house is already full of furniture and accessories too, so when you add in a lot of party decorations you lose a lot of entertaining space. Instead, why not consider simply enhancing what you already have. For example, why not string fairy lights across your ceiling to create a lighted pathway from the front door, but from above – it doesn’t take up any space at all but adds perfect mood lighting.

And why not decorate with streamers instead of balloons as they too take up much less space and can be a lot classier. Why not suspend a row of streamers from the underside of your kitchen’s breakfast bar, and hang a matching row of streamers across doorways or windows for a fluttery and fun display.

And don’t forget that most events have built in decorations. A birthday celebration will undoubtedly have an intricately decorated cake, while at Christmas time, you often don’t need much more decoration than a fully laden Christmas tree.

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Less Furniture

If you are looking to furnish a newly decorated room then you are probably wondering how you can get away with buying everything you need, when you should be considering saving more and spending less.

Well the solution is actually that you don’t really need all of the furniture you think you do anyway. Whether your space is big or small – but particularly if it is small – do not simply buy furniture to fill the space, it has to have a purpose. That may sound obvious but there are plenty of large lamps and funky footstools out there which you can do without, making way for a more spacious living area.

For example, don’t go stocking up on coffee tables, instead choose several side tables which can slide subtly next to the sofa when not in use, allowing for more space in front of the couch. You can even choose side tables which can act as stools when you need more seating.

A trick with your sofa is to look for one with legs will make it seem as though you have more floor area, and choosing a low line sofa will make the entire room seem larger. And with all of this money you have saved on not adding furniture you don’t need, enhance the space further by cleverly using mirrors. For example, mirror the wall behind your bed as a bed head is another piece of furniture you can pass on. This opens up the entire room because a mirror running the width of a double, queen or even king sized bed creates a lot of reflective space and light, without taking up any space of its own.

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Refresh Your Walls

You are probably well aware that your walls are more than just way for your home to hold up its roof. The walls of your home are also able to divide rooms as well as bring spaces together. And your walls are often also an important anchor for your furniture, not to mention a much favoured place to display wall art and family photos.

So rather than looking at your walls as a decorating afterthought make sure that they are part of your overall decorating plan. For example, if you have several sets of shelves or bookcases in your home, leaning up against various walls, sitting at different heights and all made out of different materials, you can give your walls and your entire home a fresh new look by transforming your storage shelves into one or two floor to ceiling solutions.

This makes for almost endless storage options for everything from towels and platter to books and vases, and you can paint your new shelving system the same colour as your walls, or a contrasting or complimentary colour to make it and its housed items, a feature.

Also make sure that your мебелиwall art itself is not an afterthought either, that is you’re not just buying and hanging it to fill a space, but that you have bought wall art which you like and will enjoy, and which fits into your decorating scheme either by colour, texture or even its shape or materials. For example, a 1950s film poster hung as wall art would be a valuable part of a vintage decorating theme, or a wrought iron wall art sculpture would fit perfectly into an old country house style decoration.