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?
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 beach. SAD (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boys are notorious for not making good house keepers, they forget to take the rubbish out, leave pizza boxes lying around and seem incapable of ensuring their dirty clothes make it all the way to the wash basket. Well that’s what you’ve been told by the women in your life right? But at the moment you are residing in your very own bachelor pad – alone – so you don’t have to listen to any more blights on your ‘domestic god’ status.
Unfortunately, they’re right in suggesting that you should try to make your house into a home. This is your space and probably sooner than you expect you’ll be filling your live with a partner, pets and then before you know it kids, so make the most of having your bachelor pad to yourself by decorating it just the way you like it.
For example, adding a coat of paint is an easy way to freshen the place up, it’s even easier to paint not only the walls but the ceiling too as you don’t have to tape off areas, plus by painting the walls and the roof the same colour, the space looks bigger and airier. Start with a neutral white or beige coloured paint as it is easy to add masculine colours to this with navy curtains or a black sofa, coupled with cushions and rugs in the same shades.
Of course you still want a low maintenance pad so avoid displaying little knick knacks and instead spend your time finding comfortable and sturdy furniture, for example a leather couch is both luxurious to sit on, and is also easy to wipe down clean.
Mirrors are a fantastic decorating toll, most people have realised that by now and are using them to open up dark spaces, make rooms bigger and increase – by reflection – the effect of their other decorating features.
However, mirrors are not just useful for propping behind a vase of flowers to double the effect, nor should they be used only in their traditional flat form either. Instead look outside the square when decorating with mirrors, or more specifically, above it.
While placing a mirror on an opposite wall to a piece of art will increase its presence in the room, it can mean that you are over exposed to the image. So instead, take your cue from the Europeans who mount their art directly centred above a wall mirror, making use of all available wall space. However, reflecting a natural view by placing mirrors opposite a window or glass door can make a stunning display of art of your wall from your view. Just make sure you use one large mirror panel rather than several smaller ones as this can confuse the eye.
Using mirrors top to bottom in your home can also mean covering a whole wall in your reflection. While a painted feature wall is fine, you may want something more unique, or you may just want to cover up an imperfect wall and floor to ceiling mirrors will do just that. If a whole wall is too overwhelming, choose chandeliers with mirrored pendants, or lights with mirrored sconces.
Feature walls are just like any other new decorating technique – they came in, and everyone suddenly got out their brushes and now they have a wall in their home which is a completely different colour to the rest, and the top home designers are now telling us that feature walls are out now.
Well, when decorating your home, while you look at the current trends and ideas you see in new homes and magazine designs, at the end of the day, decorating your home and colouring your walls comes down to whether you actually like it or not. If you are still into the idea of a feature wall, but want to make your wall art a little different to just a plain painted wall, then how about this next idea – a feature door.
We suggest using a non solid, internal door because they are nice and light to work with and to display, but how does a door become a wall? Well it becomes feature wall art when you paint it. A good idea is to choose more than one door and mark a length from the top, around one foot and mask it off. Paint this top portion in a colour to suit your mood or your room and paint the larger bottom sections of the doors in a slightly darker or deeper shade.
Now all you have to do is prop your feature doors against the wall you want to liven up and you have a feature wall art display which is easy to change and move, not to mention renter friendly.
Earrings are considered an essential piece of art for a lot of women – and some men – when they are putting together their outfits and heading out into the world. Earrings can tell a story and show off your personality in one of the most deliberate ways possible; after all you have to wear clothes when you go out, but you have chosen to punch holes in your ears and decorate them.
However, as anyone who wears earrings knows, you often end up with so many earrings, it seems a shame to hide them away in your jewellery box when you’re not wearing them. Therefore, you may be interested in turning the earrings you can’t wear – because you can only wear one pair at a time – into wall art.
All you will need to do is select your favourite earrings, and the ones with the most eye catching designs and the most vibrant and interesting colours, to create an equally unique piece of wall art for your home. Now that you have a small selection of jewellery, around six pairs of earrings is a good start, choose a dominant or contrasting colour and look for wallpaper, gift wrap or even an artful post card to use as the backing.
Then choose a neutral coloured frame – black or white and even natural wood would work well – and glue the pretty paper you have found to a piece of foam board to fit inside your frame. Now you have a pretty picture frame which is actually a display case for your earrings as you can now punch them into the foam and display them.
Art Show: November 4-30, 2008
# 8 La Arcada Court
1114 State Street
Open Mon. – Sat. 11-5 and Sun. 1-5
Reception is Thursday, November 6 from 5 – 8 PM
Hosted by the Santa Barbara Art Association and Gallery 113
What a wonderful inspiration is this painting of the Tar Pits in Carpinteria. Once while walking along the bluffs above the tar pits in a very distressed state, I came upon a dear friend who was running along the bluff in the same condition as I. The day was common to Carpinteria; ocean waves back lit by sunlight, the surf pounding the beach 30 feet below, the warmth of a light breeze wafting on the shore. We began to try to encourage each other with words of wisdom, and as my friend and I were on an angle to the ocean, I looked off down the length of the shoreline and noted what I thought looked to be a great many dolphins churning the Pacific. Knowing that dolphins in large numbers often follow whale populations, I wondered if that might be what I was seeing. Calling my companion’s attention to the place in question I asked, “Could that be a whale?” To which he replied, “Well, it certainly looks like a whale footprint.” So as we stood there continuing our conversation, our eyes never left the sea. Of course, I am ever trying to get something really good on my camera to turn into a wall print, so I had it at the ready. We were bemoaning feeling lost and alone when, suddenly, not three hundred feet away, two whales surfaced! Of course I got my camera up trying to capture the experience until the moment was gone. In the interim, my friend was taking in all the event in glorious living color. He witnessed the breaching of one of the creatures while I had my nose stuck in the view finder trying to get the camera to work. I have never seen a whale breach, but did not feel robbed as we had had this wonderful experience which affirmed for us the love of our heavenly creator, given at a time when we both needed that affirmation so much. We fell on each other, hugging tightly, giving thanks for this fine revelation. Thanks to the artist for making that great experience come back to life in this wonderful wall art. His use of color, his realistic portrayal of the ocean, the angle of the beach in this painting, the moon rising while the sun is still awake…all serve to help me to relive the day that I remember as one of the best I have ever experienced.