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.
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.
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.
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 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 wall art vintage decorating theme, or a wrought iron wall art sculpture would fit perfectly into an old country house style decoration.
The first impressions your home creates is an important one because you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money decorating your home, repainting rooms and choosing new furniture if no one even wants to come inside. Therefore, as well as redecorating the inside of your home, you should also pay attention to the outside as well to make it as stylish and welcoming as possible.
To begin with, if you’ve just redecorated inside you know how much of a difference a lick of paint can make, so take to your front door with a brush too. Having a front door in a unique colour or texture will grab your visitors’ attention and give them an idea of what to expect from your decor before they’ve even stepped inside.
Also, if you’re not inviting your guests inside at all – that is you’re planning an outdoor lunch or a delicious barbeque for the day or evening, then your outdoor furniture choices are important too. They need to be comfortable, but also sturdy enough to withstand some elemental pressures, as well as chunky and natural enough not look out of place in the garden.
And of course while red may have been a feature colour in your decorating, it doesn’t look quite as stylish on your guests so make sure your outdoor settings are well shaded if you’re planning long afternoons in the sun. Still looking at your outdoor colours though and a quick and easy way to brighten up your place – kind of like the outdoor equivalent of a paint job – is to add pots of fresh annuals like petunias, as the colours will add energy and you can coordinate the shades to your existing colour scheme.
Redecorating your home for the change of the seasons or just for a change in scenery in your life does not have to be an expensive operation, sometimes you don’t even have to buy a thing. For example, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference simply moving your furniture around can make.
You may choose to reposition your couch to make the most of the glowing winter sunshine which streams through your lounge room in the afternoons. And in the summer time, move your bed around so that the morning sun falls on you for a gentle wakeup call from nature.
You’ll also be amazed at how much of a difference decluttering can make to your home’s appearance. This doesn’t mean just putting old magazines away and packing the kids’ toys away, it means actually pulling out all of your cupboards and getting rid of clothes, old electronics and everything else you’re hanging onto so that the things you do use can be stored properly and old treasures can be discovered and displayed.
If you are going to make decorating purchases, go for colour and texture. If you have a neutral monotone canvas of a home, add reds or yellows, blues or greens, and even some gold for the ultimate refreshment. These colours can be in curtains which change with the seasons, or cushions and throws which do the same.
Texture is also important to consider and if you have neutral tiles, a stainless steel kitchen and a home full of sterile electronics, add some wooden furniture for a natural, tactile and welcoming effect.
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.
I have spent countless hours observing and digitally photographing the ocean reef. Fascinated by the movement of the sea foam, I pondered about the possibilities of capturing the fundamental nature of what makes the ocean reef so beautiful. My wonder soon transformed into resolve. For four years, it was been my aim to paint wall art that gives the observer a sense of being right there, in the moment, at the ocean’s edge.
I have taken countless digital photographs in various places like Laguna Beach, Morro Bay ,Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, , Big Sur, San Simeon, and Carmel. High speed digital photography gives me an great opportunity to observe the character of the ocean’s movement, I figured out that the resulting images did not often give a sense of action. If fact, more often than not, they literally appear to be frozen like ice. Often, the sea-foam would look like snow. Every once in a while, there would be images that did capture the agitated seawater. These pictures displayed shapes that traced the gushes and spirals of the churning water. Another characteristic I noted was a slight blur in the foam swirls at specific points along the arms of the swirls. I’m not one to appreciate the long exposure type photography of water. Often they make all the moving water look like a mass of white blur. The water images that really gave a sense of action while maintaining an overall clarity contained individual blurry areas of sea foam or water. Barely noticeable, these areas seemed to be strategically placed. The Pacific Ocean has been my teacher.
I am excited to share with you the “Receding Tide” series of paintings. You will find them under the category “Ocean Reefs” in the store menu. My goal is for people to enjoy a sense of getting their feet wet when they stand in front of these up close and personal seascape paintings. If you smell the salt air and get the urge to roll up your pant legs then I will have succeeded.
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—-artists, Paul Leasure
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If you want a striking new look in your room but are not ready to repaint it, don’t give up yet. You can transform the complete space in your room or even your entire home by not painting the walls, but rather painting just the woodwork or trim. Not only is it quick, but also quite easy! Just painting the trim in your room can really change the complete area and according to the specialists, also be the initial ‘stepping stone’ to decorate and repaint the room at a more convenient time for a complete, brand new finish.
The experts confirm that you can virtually paint any type of woodwork, metal or even vinyl. Baseboards, Crown molding, doors, window frames, mantles, chair rails, and staircase railings are all very suitable for the purpose. Prepare beforehand on how much changes you would like to make and how each of them work. At the outset, prepare the surface that you would be painting, by carefully cleaning and drying it. Next you can scrape away flaking paint and make rough surfaces or edges smooth by sanding it. Further, prime all the chosen surfaces by a top quality primer. Decide on the gloss level and quality of the paint you would like to use keeping in mind that a glossy interior paint can add a good visual appeal on the trim. Besides, higher gloss levels are more durable, stain resistant and easier to clean than flat paints, hence are some important points to remember regarding trim like doors and windows, which are likely to be handled frequently. Top quality paints are recommended to be used while painting trim and a top quality acrylic latex paint is the best choice according to experts at Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute. These coatings not only cover well in a smooth and even manner but resist stains, are easily cleaned and even touch up better than the other common paints. You could go for a fresh white color on your trim for that bright, spacious look or experiment with light tints like off-white, beige or ivory for your accents to get a pleasant surprise. If you like to have a more vibrant look and have neutral walls, you could zero in on your favorite bold color as almost any color is well coordinated with neutral colors. Pastel accents add sophistication and deep ones look fabulous on neutral walls. But if the walls already have a bold color, you can choose a deeper shade for your trim to create a color-coordinated look. Complex colors too, can be used in a beautiful manner where the trim does not match but is a slightly different hue, complementing the color of the walls. Get creative ideas about compatible shades, hues and tints from your color catalog’s, a knowledgeable salesperson, or the internet on sites such as www.paintquality.com before you actually buy the paint. You can also look up further articles here on how to choose your color and how using top quality of paint can pay in the long run.
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