General Decorating Ideas
1. What feeling do you want from your room?
Regardless of the actual size of your room, there are
techniques to help you create a sense of spaciousness or coziness -
depending on your personal desire.
You like it spacious or contemporary...
You love wide-open spaces. Maybe you want to bring the
outside in or
simply emphasize the openness of your room. You may prefer contemporary
design and think of your decorating style as "light and airy". Here’s a
few tips on achieving that sense of spaciousness.
To create a feeling of openness in your room, eliminate
tend to cut a room up into smaller spaces. Try lighting the room with a
soft, even light. Avoid ceiling lights, as they tend to make the
ceiling feel lower. Diffused lighting will tend to enlarge the room.
Use soft, monochromatic color schemes. Cream, beige,
gray or cool
pastels on your walls and floors make them recede. The ceiling should
always be the lightest color in the room.
Keep the walls and ceiling free of heavy textures.
tend to reflect more light and make the room feel larger. For the
floors, choose tile or stained concrete over patterned or textured
carpeting. Reflective and shiny surfaces such as mirror and chrome also
make the room feel more open.
Limit the use of patterns in the room to create a more
A small application of pattern is appropriate in your accent pieces.
Pillows, light window treatments or carefully selected table
accessories like candles or sculptures are all good choices.
Selection and placement of furniture in a room is
creating an open, contemporary space. Choose furniture colors that
compliment those selected for the walls and floors. Select pieces that
stand off the floor on legs and are made of materials that reflect or
let light through. Use as few furniture pieces as possible in the room
to avoid over crowding.
You desire a cozy, intimate feeling...
Your room is your nest, surrounded by warmth
spaces. Here are some tips to consider when creating a more intimate
Create nooks through the use of directed light. Lighting
ceiling will appear to lower it, enveloping the room and creating a
more intimate atmosphere. A reading lamp will cast light down,
highlighting a comfortable space. Use incandescent rather than halogen
or florescent lamps to create a warmer glow.
Choose strong, even darker colors for your walls and
floor. A dark
floor of wood, carpet or area rugs combined with walls of brown, blue
or green tones will create the feeling of a smaller, cozier space.
Heavy textures add warmth to a space. Heavily patterned
throws on a
sofa, plush pile carpeting and draperies are all textural elements to
consider. Use rougher textures for the hard elements in the room; wood
instead of chrome, brick instead of tile. Consider plastering a wall or
using a faux finish to add texture to the room. There are numerous faux
techniques available to add dimension and interest.
The use of strong patterns in a room can also convey a
coziness to the space. Oriental rugs, printed wallpapers, patterned
upholstery; the more patterns in a room, the cozier it will feel.
However, care must be taken when combining patterns so it’s not
mis-matched or over done.
Choose dark finishes and fabrics to make furniture
than it is. Heavily textured fabrics and larger patterns will add a
cozy feeling to a sofa or chair. Use tall pieces to divide and define
smaller spaces for greater intimacy.
2. Home Decorating Ideas for your
Walls are the largest expanse in any room, and how they
and decorated is a real challenge to every homeowner. Should you paint
a wall, paper it, or cover your walls with fabric or a faux treatment
like plaster or lime washing? What colors should you select for each
Choices can be simplified if you begin analyzing the
walls of each
room in relation to three basic decorating guidelines - function, mood,
First, consider the function of a room and make sure
wall coverings are appropriate. For example, silk may be appropriate in
a bedroom but not in a den or game room. Other functional
considerations include dirt-resistance, the proximity of water,
durability and length.
Wall treatments will strongly influence the mood and drama your room
projects. The walls establish the brightness of your room. Brightly
colored walls convey a happy or cheerful mood, inviting for
conversation and gatherings. If you paint in darker tones, the mood
will be subdued and can be portrayed as a quiet, relaxing space, one to
be kept for yourself or with a partner. Drama may be created through
the use of high gloss paints, faux treatments or wallpaper with bold
patterns. Paneled walls are more masculine; floral wallpaper more
feminine; bright primary colors more for children. These are all
elements of mood.
Wall treatments are the backdrop for all other elements
in a room
and tie everything together. If you use a dramatic pattern in the
draperies, don't use a competing pattern on the walls or elsewhere. But
you can repeat the drapery pattern in items such as pillows or throws.
Try to incorporate a touch of red or black in every room. The addition
of these colors, even in just a small dose, adds depth and interest.
Think in terms of accessories like a fireplace screen, sculptures or
candles. A great way to add this color is also through the selection of
your art work and the mat/frame combinations you choose.
3. What color scheme should I use?
Here are tips on selecting the right wall color under
various lighting conditions:
White and off-whites are the safest colors to use;
with them and makes furniture and accessories stand out. However,
whites and pale shades tend to reflect other colors in the room. White
walls may appear pink, for example, if red carpeting or tile is used on
the floor. Wall color should not be decided in an empty room. Since
furniture, draperies, and accessories reflect color in different ways,
color on the walls and ceiling may vary, becoming subdued and changed
by a room's furnishings. When using dramatic colors, experiment first.
Paint a sheet of large poster board and view it under the true lighting
conditions for that space.
The color on ceilings behave entirely different than on
surface. This surface is usually lit from below by floor lamps.
Incandescent light angled up makes the color on the ceiling appear much
richer than. If no light hits the ceiling, the colors will appear much
darker and deeper. The look of a room can be easily altered with
lighting. Consider using mood lighting. Can lights, using 15 or 25-watt
bulbs, positioned on the floor behind chairs or plants creates a
romantic and comfortable mood. Special lighting is usually not used in
the bathroom where true lighting is required for daily hygiene but is
fine for powder rooms which are used only occasionally.
Gloss levels of paint will impact how color appears in
light. The higher the gloss level of paint, the more light is
reflected. More light is reflected on a wall painted with a high gloss
finish than a flat finish. A satin finish is the best option for most
Tips On Choosing Your Art work
Attractively framed art prints provide a custom look to
your home or
office and greatly enhance its environment. Framed art represents one
of the best home decorating values. Through the use of carefully
selected fine art you canadd great impact to your home at a very modest
1. How to select art for you bedroom.
A bedroom is your personal and private space. The walls
are for you
and your partner's eyes-only. More personal subjects may be selected
for the bedroom, such as art that reflect personal interests, hobbies
or places you have traveled. This is also a good location for nudes or
A. Decide on a color scheme if
you haven't already.
B. Identify the spaces you
want to fill. Larger,
horizontal pictures are good for over a bed; smaller pictures for
inside doorways or between windows. Groupings of small pictures make a
nice collection of personal subjects. If the space above your bed is
large enough, consider grouping a horizontal piece and two accompanying
C. Look for pieces that
complement your color scheme and
theme. Remember, your color choice of matting can tie the room together
and highlight special colors in your accessories. Matting is also a
great way to add that dash of red or black every room needs.
2. How to select art for your dining
A dining room is a public and usually formal space.
Here's how to
choose and display art that complements great meals and great times.
A. Decide on a color scheme if
you haven’t already.
B. Identify the spaces you
want to fill. Large horizontal
pieces are used for over a sideboard or mantle. Smaller pieces on
either end of a china cabinet or stacked next to windows. Choose a
common theme for all pictures, or choose ones that work well together.
Common subjects for dining rooms might be landscapes, garden scenes, or
scenes of people gathering like in bistros or cafes. Is your dining
room decorated in formal elegance? Perhaps Impressionism or classical
subjects would coordinate well. Is your room more Americana, with a
farm table and butter churns in the corner? Then traditional subjects
such as country scenes or farm life would be appropriate.
C. For a dining room, it's
best to avoid anything too
controversial or that might upset someone's stomach. Still lifes are
fine, but people fighting or nudes may not be appropriate.
D. If you've got big spaces
and your décor is somewhat
contemporary, choose large, colorful vintage advertising posters, hung
3. How to select art for the living
The living room is where we celebrate family and the
and holidays throughout the year. The framed art you choose speaks to
your family and guests.
A. Decide on a color scheme
and mood you want to create.
Do you like rustic or more traditional? Tuscan or contemporary? The
interior design options are endless when it comes to home décor.
B. There are many places for
framed art in your living
room. Over a sofa, bookcase or fireplace, next to chairs or a love
seat, or between windows.
C. From still life, to
scenery, to abstract art, the
pieces art work displayed in the living room provide the opportunity
for self-expression. If you have the space, the living room is a great
place for an oversized piece of art. Oversized art is ideal for rooms
with cathedral ceilings, which aretruly a focal point to the room. Art
work communicates our emotions and should be purchased for your
enjoyment, not only for the investment value. Picture lights will
emphasize your art work.
4. How to select art for home offices.
Ancient Chinese philosophy on the relationship between
interior design, suggests the best color for a home office is yellow
because it stimulates thought, creativity, discipline, and mental
activity. Many interior designers recommend keeping everything in your
home office from the furniture to the walls and windows light in color.
This promotes a feeling of lightness so as you enter the office, you
feel motivated and not depressed. Don’t paint the ceiling a dark color,
you’ll always feel as if there’s a dark cloud hanging over your head.
A. Decide on a color scheme
and identify the spaces you
can enhance with art. Your office presents an opportunity to reflect
the history of a career or special interest (use of certificates,
diplomas and plaques)mixed in with your framed art. The office may
present an opportunity to use abstract art or contemporary art if the
rest of your home décor is more traditional in nature.
B. Horizontal pieces may fit
over a desk or credenza. If
your office is small, maybe just one large picture or a few grouped
together will be enough to suit the space.
C. An office, like a bedroom,
is a personal space. Select
themes that interest you: novelty art, hobbies, or sporting events you
enjoy. Subjects that, for a moment, may take you away from the ringing
phone or spread sheet.
D. Select pieces whose matting
and framing designs
coordinate with your office furnishings, such as the desk or a chair.
But above all, choose subjects that are uniquely you.
Other Tips and Hints
1. How to use groupings.
Picture groupings are used when a large space needs to
be filled on
the wall and one large picture isn’t enough. Groupings can also be
arranged within a compact space using smaller frames for a more
intimate and complex look. Here are a few things to remember about
grouping art work:
A. Hanging art work close
together works best if you want
the viewers eye to move quickly around each piece. If you want guests
to look at each piece carefully, this may not be the best decorating
B. When using small prints,
try grouping them together so
they take a shape on the wall as a unit. This way if you have many
small frames, you can hang them in multiple groups, instead of trying
to hang them all evenly on the wall. Spacing of frames, large or small,
can be as close as two inches or as far apart as six inches.
C. When grouping frames, you
can choose to hang them
together with the same style of frame and same subject or go for a more
eclectic look and use a variety of frames that are different but still
complement one another. If you choose groupings with the same frame,
coordinating the frames with furniture and accessories is more
important than the art subject itself. With subject grouping, style and
content of the art work is more relevant to the overall feel of the
room than the frame. This allows you to manage color compliments with
walls and furniture rather than worry about trim. Using an eclectic
grouping creates a completely open interpretation of the subject and
color of a room. Mixing art work, frames, and sizes in this wall
collection works great with very neutral colors in the room and allows
you to only have to consider the layout of the grouping on the wall.
D. Remember to group pictures
using asymmetry. Instead of
putting two large pictures together, and centering them, try lowering
one and raising the other, so the top and bottom don’t match. Group
large and small pictures, but mix them, so the eye moves between large
and small, creating a dynamic collection. The same applies with
horizontal and vertical orientations. Don’t arrange them by separating
the taller from the wider. Consider grouping one tall frame with two
wide but short frames stacked on each other. These kinds of groupings
create wall units that are dynamic and integral to spatial decorating.
2. How to hang your art
Here are some steps to follow when hanging frames
crafted with a
wire hanger and wall hook. For heavier pieces, such as mirrors and art
with oversize glass, mirror hangers are used. This system provides
support on both sides of the frame, rather than from the center, and is
a little trickier to level. For institutions or offices that require
safety from theft or injury, security hangers are recommended and can
be purchased through ChoiceArt. These have hinges attached to the frame
and connect to the wall on the top and bottom, keeping the art immobile
and secure. The most common hanging system is wire run along the back
and hung off a wall hook. Remember, the wall hook is better than a nail
because it is scooped and provides a better slot for the wire to rest
in than a nail.
A. To center the frame on a
blank wall or over furniture,
measure across the entire distance of the object or wall and divide by
two. This will give you the center placement and the point where the
middle of your picture will rest.
B. Measure the left to right
distance of your art work and
divide by two. Take that number and make a mark from the center point
on the wall to the left or right. So if your picture is 24”, then half
of that is 12”, and you make a mark on the wall 12” from your center
mark. This will be the left or right side of the art.
C. Now you need to figure out
how high the picture will
hang. If you’re hanging on a blank wall, a typical measurement is 60”
from the floor to the center of the art work. If you’re hanging over an
object taller than 60”, figure on five to seven inches from the top of
the accessory or furniture to the bottom of the picture.
D. If on a blank wall, measure
60” from the floor and make
a new center mark (it will either be above or below your first center
mark). This will be the absolute middle of your art. Now measure the
height of your frame and divide by two. Mark this half-height from your
final centerline up the wall to determine the resting place for the top
of your frame.
E. The final step is to
establish where the hook(s) go.
Look at the back of the frame. Grab the wire and hold the frame only
from the center of the wire. Once the wire gets adjusted to the new
weight, you should be able to measure from the center arch of the wire
to the top of the frame. Take that number and measure down from the
last mark you made (top of the frame). This is where the hook goes.
Nail it in and slide the wire onto the hook using a level (or your eye)
to determine the correct orientation of your art work.
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