Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Basics of Using Patterns in Home Decorating

Pattern refers to the way colors lines and textures are arranged in an object. While the word pattern generally refers to something which repeats itself, such as a checkerboard, in decorating terms it can just refer to the layout of design elements, and can be quite chaotic, such as in a floral pattern.
In decorating, patterns can be used for several purposes.

- You can use it to create a focal point in a room.

- You can use it to create a theme throughout a space.

- It can add interest to an otherwise dull space.

- Or you can use it to reproduce a particular historical style.

Traditional patterns are generally taken from historical decorating schemes. Chintz is often associated with English decorating, while calico patterns have a strong association with country style. Contemporary patterns are being designed everyday, but are usually based roughly on traditional ideas.

Picking Patterns

Other people prefer to have a plan. Maybe you are trying to recreate a traditional look, or maybe you are trying to achieve a specific ambience. Whatever your goal, you should remember the following tips when panning your strategy.

- Small rooms should use smaller more intricate patterns, which will fill the space with more interest.

- Large rooms should use grand patterns, that stretch out throughout the space and keep the room in proportion.

- Use your patterns to add interest to places that lack architectural features.

- Make sure your pattern is matched to the style of the houses architecture. If your
home is a grand old Victorian you don’t want to create a confusing décor with contemporary silver geometric lines.

You can use some patterns on everything in a room, the walls, furnishings, floors, and accessories. However the room will be immersed in the very particular ambiance created by the pattern, so be careful of overwhelming yourself with anything you won’t love for a long time.

Traditional pattern decorating is done with a single pattern, being matched against a solid background. In this way a boring white room is given vibrant life by a series of brightly upholstered chairs.

Mixing patterns with different colors and with other patterns can be a little tricky. You have to both create harmony between all of the different colors, and create contrast to give the space interest.

- Mixing patterns is tough! Start with just one or two, decide how you feel about them together, and then add more.

- Try to maintain one dominant pattern, and let the others act as support.

- Use patterns which have a single consistent color that runs through all of them

When working with patterns, many people find it useful to use a board, and samples of the various patterns, to get an idea for how they feel together. You can use samples of cloth from the store, matched with paint chips, and magazine clippings.
Set several patterns up together, and then leave them on the board for a couple of days, so you can see how you really react to them.

The most important thing when using pattern is to be willing to change your mind. If a pattern doesn’t feel right, or stops feeling right after a time, then you have to get rid of it. Patterns can create powerful feelings in a space, and you have to pay attention and be aware of those feelings in order to control the ambience of the room.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indoor Decorating Projects Under $1000

Homeowners don't need to have a big budget to give their home a remodel straight out of the magazines. Any ambitious do-it-yourselfer can have a room looking sleek and chic for under $1000. Remodeling with a budget in mind saves money, and can also increase the resale value of your home.

Painting the interior can change the mood of your house, especially uplifting your spirits during the cold season. Painting your house is a home improvement project that's easy on your budget if you do it yourself. Don't buy the most expensive paint on the market; expensive doesn't necessarily mean good quality paint. An estimate of how much you will spend painting just one room that is approximately 350 square feet will be $50-$200, including necessary supplies of rollers, paint roller tray, duct tape and paint brushes. Other materials such as a drop cloth, paint bucket, or rags are optional. Instead of buying a drop cloth, you can use old blankets that you don't mind getting paint on, or cardboard. Rags can be replaced with old towels or damp paper towels, and paint buckets will only be necessary if you plan to mix paints for faux painting. Remember your price will increase as you add more rooms to your painting plan, and other areas such as trims, windows, doors, etc.

Another cost-effective way to remodel a room or your home is to wallpaper instead of paint. Wallpapering can suit anyone's need and budget, setting a mood and adding elegance to a room. Choosing the right wallpaper can make a room appear larger or smaller, providing an illusion of height for a room with low ceilings. Wallpapering can also add a design and pattern that is difficult to replicate with paint. The average price for a single roll of wall covering is about $12. The price is affected by the type of wall covering, how elaborate the design, the exclusivity of the design, and designer name. For more wallpapering information, check out our wallpapering how-to projects.

Vinyl flooring is an affordable upgrade that can be made to any room, and is especially suited to a kitchen or bathroom. Vinyl floors are easy to install and come in many styles, colors, sizes, and patterns to complement any décor. You can buy vinyl flooring in sheets or tiles. Vinyl tiles are comfortable, easy to clean, and skid resistant. For do-it-yourself installation, click visit our section on vinyl flooring.

Adding shelves to a room or closet can help eliminate clutter. Shelves in any room can be used to display collectibles, ornaments or pictures, and hold CDs, DVDs, books and toys. Shelves can be put anywhere, including in the corners, to add a sophisticated look. They are cost-effective and a cost-efficient investment that come in different styles, sizes, colors and materials to make any room look appealing.

Accessories such as candles, pillows, cushions, and artwork can add to the theme of a room without costing much. Accessories, when not cluttered together, can enrich your personal style as well as be inviting enough for guest to stop and look. Use candles to make your house smell fresh. Since they come in various colors, it's easy to match them to any décor. Pillows or cushions are good for a bedroom and living or family room, and can make any sofa or chairs look like new. You can change the color, design, and styles to whatever mood you are in. A plain wall will make any room look boring, but by adding artwork as the focal point of your theme or décor, you can make a room pleasant and enjoyable for everyone.

by Margareth Montenegro

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter Home Improvement Projects

During the long months of winter when exterior home improvement projects are on hold, you'll find plenty to do indoors. Warmer months aren't the only times to work on home improvement projects. Instead of spending time during the spring, summer, or fall working on interior home improvement projects, save them for winter. The following are some of the many home improvement projects you can work on during the cold months of winter, and staying busy will help winter fly by faster than you ever expected. Before you know it summer will be here, and many of your home improvement projects will be complete.

Are your carpets looking worse for wear, or have you always wanted hardwood or ceramic tile floors? Winter is the perfect time to complete these types of indoor home improvement projects. If you have the necessary skills to lay carpet, install hardwood floors, or install ceramic tile flooring, by all means do it yourself and save a considerable amount of money. Otherwise, shop around for the best prices on flooring and installation. Winter is one of the best times to find the lowest prices on flooring of all types.

Window Treatments
Window treatments become tired looking after several years of sunlight and use. If your window treatments are due for an update, start shopping around this winter. Replacing window treatments is one of the easiest and home improvement projects you can do yourself, and it's also one of the most noticeable and least expensive. Search your local department or discount stores for window treatments such as blinds, shades, curtains, draperies, and valances, or shop online to obtain the best prices and the widest selection from the comfort of your home.

Painting and Wallpapering
Who says you can't paint and wallpaper during the coldest months of the year? Latex paint these days isn't terribly odorous and fumes are barely detectable indoors. Wallpaper paste is also virtually odor-free. Just allow a small amount of ventilation in the room where you're painting or wallpapering to bring in adequate fresh air, and keep fans running to dry paint and wallpaper paste quickly. If necessary, turn up the heat to keep the room warm and to help dry the paint or wallpaper paste faster. Painting and wallpapering are great winter home improvement projects. Take your time, and once spring and summer roll around, you'll be ready to begin your outdoor home improvement and painting projects.

Many people aren't impressed with construction-grade lighting, and they eventually opt for more stylish light fixtures and ceiling fans. If you're looking for winter home improvement projects, consider changing unattractive, uninteresting, and outdated light fixtures and ceiling fans. These days you'll find hundreds of options to choose from. Visit your local home improvement store to view a vast display of choices, or shop online and have the light fixtures and ceiling fans of your choice delivered directly to your door. It's really very easy to install ceiling fans and light fixtures. If in doubt, visit HGTV for complete step-by-step instructions and clear color photos.

I don't know anyone who doesn't need to organize at least one area of their home, and this is one of the easiest home improvement projects you can work on during winter when outdoor projects are on hold. Even the neatest most organized people have at least one closet, dresser, or cabinet that needs a little revamping or organization. Take advantage of the extra time on your hands during winter to better organize your closets, drawers, cabinets, or any other storage areas. You might discover things you forgot you had, and you'll find it much easier to access items you use on a regular basis.

By Crystal Ray