Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for June 2009

People who keep their dogs outside think nothing of having a simple dog house for their pet to call his own.  I wonder why they don’t think to do the same for their indoor pet.  It doesn’t have to be large…but just big and comfortable enough to be their own cozy den.  If they can stand up, turn around, have some peace and quiet when they feel the need for it, they will be happy and feel safe and secure.

You can arrange this spot in a corner of the family room, a bedroom, or even a laundry room or basement.  Give him a nice bed in his own private space.  It can be something as simple as a crate or a carton with some soft blankets that he can nest in. It will help him conserve his body heat in winter, and should be soft and comfortable for his bony parts, easy to clean, and in an area that stays dry and isn’t drafty.

If you have more money to spend, there are dog bed that have plush or fur cushions in them and hoods that can be raised to give them dark privacy.  Some are made much like bean bags, which allow him to shape the bed to fit him perfectly.  Some are filled with cedar chips to neutralize odors and control moisture.

If your dog is satisfied with his spot, chances are good that he will not choose your bed or the living room furniture to lounge on. And if you are training him, it is a good place to send him to if he has displeased you.

Even if space is limited in your home, your should have some area that is designated as a home office.  If you take the time to organize it well, you will easily be able to deal with paperwork, bills, lists, planning, etc..

When the space allows for it, use an L-shaped desk, so that you can still have full use of one surface when there is a computer, monitor, and printer that are always up and in use.  A slide or hinged area for your keyboard will allow you to push it out of the way when not using it.

If you are going to be spending a lot of time at the desk, try to invest in a good chair.  Have a small adjustable footstool under the desk so that you can ease your back by changing positions and angles now and then.

A two-drawer file cabinet placed next to the desk will be very handy for storing paid bills, etc. Place in/out files on top, and perhaps a desk lamp.  In fact, task lighting should be available in all three work areas…at the computer, on the main part of your des, and over the file cabinet.  Overhead lights cause glare on monitor screens.

If you have the room for it, you should have a table height credenza running parallel to your desk.  This allows you to spread out, and also to have paper, clips, stapler, and so on available by simply swiveling your chair.  However, if you don’t, pick up on of those long folding tables they use for picnics, and open it up when you are working on a large project.

Sometimes, what you think you want, and what is practical, affordable, and appropriate are two different things.  For example, that white plush carpeting is the stuff dreams are made of.  But if you have kids and pets, it can easily become a nightmare!

The same goes for brocades, velvets and silks.  Washable, stain-resistant, and long wearing fabrics are what you need to live with until the kids are grown.  Express your artistic desires, instead, by using middle toned fabrics of heavier textures; patterns, instead of solid colors; and hanging your paintings slightly higher than is fashionable, which will keep them safely out of reach of your young and rambunctious family.  And save the Aubusson  area rug for the future!

Coffee and end tables should be varnished, made of laminate, or covered in glass to allow for sweating beverages  and feet.  And have plenty of them for your snackers and their guests.  Have lots of comfortable seating for TV watching…chairs and sofas for adults, stools, bean bags, or even soft floor cushions for the kids to roll around on.  Have a big rocking chair for Grandma, and a little one for your toddler.

If you have an entertainment center, and etegere,  or a curio cabinet, it can serve both adults and kids.  The top shelves can have “grown up” things, and the bottom ones can house the children’s books, games, and treasures.

Use this same method when doing decorating in any room of your home, except the bedrooms.  Kids’ rooms should be exclusively theirs, and your room should be just for you and your spouse.

Are you planning a decorating project soon? Redecorating your home is fun and very exciting for several reasons. For instance, it means that you now get the opportunity to finally create the environment that you always wanted. Still, it can be quite a job as well. This is especially true if you’re not organized and ready for the task at hand. That’s why planning out your project in advance can make it much easier so the whole project will go smoother. Below are some simple but easy tips that can help make your next decorating project less complicated and more enjoyable.

10 steps for planning your decorating project:

  1. Decide exactly which areas you want to decorate in the home.
  2. Determine which changes you want to make.
  3. Set goals and determine how much you would like to have done within a certain amount of time.
  4. Get rid of anything that you no longer have a use for. These items will only make your newly decorated rooms look cluttered.
  5. Set your budget and do a rough draft to determine the amount of money needed for the project.
  6. Choose your theme or the style that you want to use.
  7. Decide what you want the focal point in each room to be.
  8. Design a floor plan that shows the way you would like things to be arranged in the room.
  9. The lighting in your home is vital to any design so decide which type of lighting you want to use and where you want it to be placed.
  10. Have fun and don’t be afraid to be creative.

Don’t waste time running around trying to figure out what to do next. Use these tips to stay organized and you’ll find planning your decorating project will go much smoother and be more productive. This way, you’ll be enjoying your newly decorated home right on schedule.

Does your sofa and chair look dull and worn out? Would you like to brighten things up a bit without spending lots of money? Then consider using slipcovers to bring them back to life. Slipcovers are a stylish way to change the look of your furniture without spending lots of money and they’re easy to create. Simply follow the easy tips listed below:

  • Decide what you would like to change in the room. For example, will it be the sofa, chair, pillows or all of these items.
  • Choose a new pattering or theme that you want to use for the new slipcovers.
  • Make sure the new patterns match the existing décor.
  • It’s suggested that you use the same type of fabric for all of your pieces.
  • It’s recommended that you don’t use complicated patterns for slipcovers that will be placed on the larger pieces of furniture because this can be a bit overwhelming. However, they’re fine for smaller items such as pillows.
  • Decide if you want to buy the slipcovers or make them yourself. If you would like to make your own, you can find step by step instructions on the Internet.

When it comes to brightening things up with slipcovers the options are plentiful. You can even use several different sets of slipcovers and exchange them whenever you would like something different. Use you imagination and get creative but don’t go overboard with color or this could make the room feel uncomfortable.

If you like the pattern that your furniture already has but you would like to cover the legs or bottom portion of the piece, you can do that as well. All you need to do is use furniture skirts to cover them up with style. Using slipcovers is a great and inexpensive way to make old furniture match new décor. Change a boring lifeless room into a bright lively environment simply by using slipcovers to bring life to that old furniture. It’s the fast and easy way to decorate.

Do you have fantasies of resting in a natural warm spring, surrounded by foliage, sweet scents, and tranquility?  They can be yours…in your very own bathroom! It doesn’t have to break the bank, either.

Start by painting the room a soft sky blue, or a pale leaf green.  Go a slightly darker hue on the ceiling, to draw it down and give you a feeling of intimacy.  Or, if you want to feel you are outdoors, use an intense sky blue and add some puffy clouds!

Paint a tree up the wall the tub is on, and extend some branches and leaves onto the ceiling. If you have wall space, stand a tall set of wicker shelves on it, filled with green vines, a vase of flowers, and interspersed with flower and pine scented candles. If not, hang a shelving unit and decorate the same way.  In a really small space, use hanging plants above the tub.

A small bamboo chest standing next to the tub can hold towels and provide a place to set your book, reading glasses, and a beverage.  A great accessory that would add the feel of an outdoor natural spa, would be to get a small, motion activated bird to stand on your shelf, that will burst into song when you move about in the tub.

For finishing touches, add a bowl of floating potpourri or flower petals to your counter, a big fluffy bathrobe hanging on the door, and a thick, textured throw rug to climb out of the tub onto. There are tapes you can get that are all the sounds of nature, such as falling rain, waterfalls, bird calls, and breezes.  Play one of these while you are lying amongst the bubbles, in your beautiful private spot, and you will truly be transported.

All moms want to have a cute room for their toddler to play and sleep in.  If you think creatively, this can really be done on a shoestring.   First off, you need to paint the room in a light, restful color, which means avoiding bright reds, purples and oranges.  Instead, choose a pale sky blue, a light apple green, soft yellows,  or a cotton candy pink.

Yes, wallpaper is back in fashion, but you can get a way with using just a border, placing it creatively around a window, doorway, or two-thirds up a wall to lower the room to a child’s level.  And if even that exceeds your budget, then simply paint a contrasting stripe in any of those places.  You can texture it by sponging it while it is wet, or add some stenciling, or even paste up some cute pictures along the stripe…all for the cost of a gallon of paint!

If you want to add interest to the walls, buy a  few sheets of craft foam  in various colors.  It cuts easily with a scissors, and you can trace anything the kids would like on it, cut it out, and use two-sided tape or glue it on the walls.  A few suggestions:

  • Cut out the alphabet, and either use that as the border around the room or zigzag it across a wall.
  • Cut out trains, planes, cars and motorcycles for the active boy.
  • Cut out little fluffy animals, or flowers, or whatever your little princess loves.

Hint:  If this exceeds your artistic ability, you can buy plain white foam sheets, paste pictures onto it and cut them out on the foam.  Then attach to the wall with your two-sided tape!

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