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.
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.
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.
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.
Like the power of music is widely known to sooth and cure emotional hurts, viewing beautiful paintings can reduce pain as being a third less intense as when compared to viewing a blank panel. Like actual ocean waves with their reassuring rhythm and freshness can revive any sagging spirit, the mere picture of such a calming and soothing scene can lower BP and fatigue in the elderly or highly stressed individuals.
The reports at the Neuro-physiopathology Pain Unit also confirm that beauty triggers a response in the orbitofrontal cortex ( part of our brain) that helps reduce the stimulus of pain. The more beautiful something is perceived to be, the more that part of the brain lights up!
Beauty obviously offers a distraction that blank and bare walls do not. Art like tranquil scenes, colorful tropical paintings, enchanting murals, beach views and similar sights of innocence, freshness and nature plays a vital part in soothing physical as well as mental agony. Beautiful surroundings can even aid the healing process as per the findings reported in the ‘New Scientist’.
In fact, I too, personally recommend the magnificient art by the fabulous artists in this site; Paul, Suzanne and Richard. Their paintings have helped immensely when I had been bedridden for a long time in India due to a severe road accident. Not only the pain was lessened, but my spirits and will power were tremendously multiplied! Cheers and God bless their fantastic endeavours! : )
If you’ve ever gone shopping, you will know that the more sure you are about what you are looking for, the harder it will be to find. We all have an image in our minds of the decorating colors and styles we want in our home, and sometimes it can be hard to marry up those ideas to the paint samples we see on the shelves of the hardware store.
Well don’t worry because if you have a color in your mind because you have seen a certain green in a leaf, a particular shade in one of your shirts, or have fallen in love with the colors your favourite magazine has used on its cover this month, then you can have this color matched, created and ready for you to put on your walls.
Often color matching technology can be done with any sort of sample, as long as it is flat, and no smaller than 3 cm2. Some paint manufacturers can even create a color based on the colour of one of their competitors so if you have seen the colour you want to paint with in one store but their paint was a poor quality, they were rude or expensive, take your color sample to the store which is more convenient for you to use.
This is also a great way to ensure that you match your paint colors to exiting wallpaper, wall art or furniture as you can color match your paint to the exact same color to ensure your decorating color scheme doesn’t clash.
We have all passed along a road or path like the one which Susanne Leasure has captured in the wall art print ‘Filtered Light in Montana de Oro Giclee’ and we know the feeling of magic and wonder at the beauty of this natural spectacle, and the desire to linger in this wonderful canopy for just a little longer.
Such a common and unique image at the same time, this landscape painting will evoke the emotions and memories of many who view it and when it does, it has achieved its purpose. While the painting is of a real roadway in the California State Park, the feelings and the magic of the image are universal. The image is captured just before a bend in the road, making us believe that while we are in the most beautiful part of the world we could ever imagine, there is something even more special waiting just around the corner.
The clarity of the image in the forefront of the painting and the misty, softer image at the bend in the road lends more possibility to the surprises awaiting you just around the corner of the print.
Such a captivating and engaging landscape painting makes the perfect balancing piece of wall art for a space opposite a picture window or a set of large glass French doors in your home. While you can enjoy the view out of your window and you know you can go out into your garden and enjoy the view you see from inside, the painting gives you the same impression, making you feel like you could just as easily decide to turn around and take a leisurely walk through the California State Park, or even through another world.
‘Golden Hills I’ is not just a landscape painting, because while it shows the stunning hillsides of the Los Padres Range, to me, the hills, slopes and valleys have a special personality, and seem to come to life as you look closer, or more precisely, seem to have stopped whatever they were doing as soon as you gazed upon them and are waiting for you to look away before they can come back to life.
The smooth– and as the artist points out, naked – hills look like they could be huge people, nestled under a blanket, round tummies and heads creating the shapes we accept as a natural formation of hills and valleys. But the hills are just resting and as you watch the shadows creeping across the painting and see the golds being transformed into deep greens and violets, and I get the impression that the hills are just waiting for the sun to pass over them and set before they throw off their blankets and start up their party. They’re waiting for you to go too of course.
The perspective of this landscape painting is also unique as while the viewer knows that, because of their nature, the hills are enormous and imposing natural creations, we feel just as big as we look upon them. While many landscape paintings depicting hills and mountain ranges are painted from within a valley, or looking up at the hills, we see the Golden Hills full on, on their same level and the effect is one of empowerment and peace.
Empowerment at feeling as on top of the world as a mountain range must feel every day, and peace at knowing that being confronted with this normally imposing mountain range, you are right up there with it, you can take it on, or you can join its party, but you have the choice.
Dear Mr. Leasure,
I was stricken with awe when I saw the original of your painting featuring sea stars (“Rising Stars”). I was on that reef once and when I saw the painting, it brought back the memory of that day in full force. I could hear the roaring of the sea; feel the spray on my face as the wave reared up in expectation of crashing on the reef. The stars were clinging to the rock face just as they are in your painting. But the wonderful detail in the painting…the pearl like portrayal of the stars’ surface…is so beautiful, I felt as if I could reach out and touch them, feeling the texture beneath my fingers. The seaweed swirling at the base of the rock as if it was trying to reach out to halt its motion like that of its companion weed draped already motionless on the surface of the reef…the swirling of the water are so lifelike. The painting is so beautifully executed. You are truly a gifted artist. Thank you so much for your beautiful portrayal…Marie