I wanted to bring fall directly into my home and found the perfect way to do so inexpensively while still maintaining my basic decor.
Since my children are all grown and on their own, Halloween decorations in my home have been toned down to those I can use all through the thanksgiving season. The scenic harvest pumpkin I place on the end table near the lamp is an example of my “Halloween” decorations.
Don’t fret though, I still adorn the front yard with gouls and ghosts the children enjoy when they trick or treat through the neighborhood.
How many hours did you spend picking out the paint for your room? Now, how long did it take you to decide on the lighting? No other single element influences what we do and how we feel, yet we overlook this element of design.
Each room in your house is unique and needs to be illuminated to meet your needs day and night.
Ambient lighting is the base from which all lighting is layered. It is the natural light from windows and those lights that fill the space with an overall glow. These usually include ceiling fixtures, pendant, track, recessed lights and wall sconces.
While a pendant light might be your first choice for over the breakfast bar, don’t forget what they can add to a living area, entry or stairwell. Pendants can be hung in pairs or groups for added effect.
Task lighting is illumination for a single activity. This is achieved by using desk lamps, table lamps, under-counter lights, pendants and swing arm lights. You should use this type of lighting near your sewing machine, office desk, kitchen counter or any place you may sit to read.
Accent lighting will give you shape and depth. This type of lighting may show off a particular piece of artwork or lighten a dark corner. Wall sconces, torchieres and pedestal lamps would be appropriate fixtures for this type of lighting.
Chandeliers and wall sconces with dimmer switches can provide accent or mood lighting as well.
Decorative lighting is a design element. It is meant to look good while providing a little light as a bonus. Unique candle stands and novelty lamps work well here. Your choices are almost unlimited.
Beware of the common mistake of using one overpowering bright overhead lamp. That is usually harsh and unflattering to your decor. Instead, use a varity of lamps and lighting fixtures that will give you soft and warm light.
If you have high ceilings and want to cozy up the room, use light shades with pierced patterns that will cast patterns on the wall or tiffany style lamps that throw off varying colors.
Now is the time to transform your home into a cozy nest where friends and family want to gather.
Rearrange your furniture and create a conversation pit in front of your fireplace. If you don’t have a built-in fireplace, many electric fireplaces are available on the market that give the same feel and warmth with no mess or outside venting needed.
Light the candles. Choose candlesticks in metallics or warm colors. Gold is popular now. Or purchase votive candles, colored and scented, and place them into gourds or apples you have hollowed out using a votive carver, making your own unique candle holders.
Add fall color pallets by selecting fabrics in shades of browns, reds, oranges and yellows for throw pillows and table runners. These same colors can be incorporated into the area rugs, which are cheaper to replace than the carpet.
Take down the summer sheers and add some substantial curtains, consider thermal window treatments which will help keep out drafts.
A touch of black adds sophistication to your home decor. Use it sparingly, a few picture frames, a ceramic vase, a unique candle holder because too much black looks dreary.
Decorate using nature as an inspiration. Continue the theme using fall flowers, or artificial flowers, set about in unusual containers. Try china pitchers, ceramic teapots or watering buckets instead of your normal run of the mill vase.
With these few changes, you are ready to entertain family and friends. Fall is the lead into the holidays. Don’t hesitate, there is no reason to wait for the holiday’s to make decor changes that will uplift your spirits.
These are just two ways a mirror can be used to make your home look more spacious. There are numberable mirror sets and ensembles that can quite inexpensively make your rooms look larger and more spacious. You can match nearly any decor. Some have matching candles and shelves, others may have painted graphics on the mirrors themselves. Every mirror on your wall does not have to be meant to check your make-up and straighten your hair. Mine, however, tend to be a last quick check on the way to answering the door, just to make sure I am somewhat presentable.
We all love our candlelight, but many areas of our homes are not suited for an open flame. When you find yourself saddled with this dilema, don’t sell yourself short and change your decorating plan. You can have the candlelight effect without the flame.
Technology driven by necessity, has evolved and allowed us to keep the design aspects we love without the dangers. We use beautiful candleholders in our decor as accent pieces and focal points. We have been limited in the past by the placement of these items because of the open flames. We now have access to flameless candles that have improved drastically in recent years. They now look life-like when lit, no longer taking on the plastic flashlight aura they had in the beginning. Some even come made of scented paraffin wax making them even more realistic.
If you have avoided the lovely glow of candlelight because you have children, pets or high traffic areas, use this completely safe alternative for the same effect.
The trend is: less is more.
Still, how many times do we purchase elaborate candle holders with large candles just to get hours of burn time? We really are not in need of anything quite so elaborate, we aren’t looking for anything but the ambiance of the candlelight and a light fragrance for the room. Why not go with an elegantly uncomplicated enhancement that is appropriate most anywhere.
Scented jar candles are long lasting and highly scented. This cheerful bright red candle enlivens a room with the sweet scent of nature and a dash of color, yet takes nothing away from the decor you have in place. Highly scented candlescan be purchased in a wide assortment of fragrances. Nature scents and florals are always popular, but you can purchase richly scented candles that smell of different favorite foods for your kitchen as well. You have to love it: comfort food without the calories!
When you have had a tough day at the office, or the kids just wouldn’t behave, you need to allow yourself at least 30 minutes of down time before you try to sleep.
An easy way to do that, is to place a decorative candle fountain in your den. Start the fountain, light the candles and lay back and close your eyes. You may feel that you cannot afford to take time from your day for this, but you will find that you will go to sleep much faster, and you will sleep much deeper if you take the time to relax and unwind before you go to bed. The decorative candle doesn’t hurt your decor either.
This decorative candle works well in the bathroom as well, if you get the chance to steal away for a relaxing bath, as it has no electric cord and runs on batteries.
Life is more sophisticated in black and white. Words you can live by, especially if you live in rented quarters, when you aren’t allowed to paint your walls. Add an instant focal point which is removable.
Take a hall table (black or white), add a narrow table runner (red or bright yellow for a dash of color), place a black birdcage candleholder on one side of the table and a bright colored birdhouse on the other side of the table. Following me so far? Now take a removable graphic wall decal like the singing bird decal shown here, and center it above the table on the wall.
With all the wall decals available to the public, there are millions of combinations you could come up with. Candles and candleholders come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Replace the birdhouse with a statue, books with decorative bookends, picture frames, vases with brightly colored flowers, the alternatives are extensive.
Regardless of what you decide to do, both you and your landlord will be pleased. You have the focal point needed with stark white walls and they have no marks or holes to repair in the walls when you change your address. Win/win situations are always good solutions.
One Color – Monochromatic
This scheme is one color in varying intensities from light to dark.
This living room is one example of a monochromatic color scheme. It is done in shades of gray. You could change the live floral arrangement for a dried arrangement in a darker gray vase ensemble for a different look.
Two to Six Colors – Analogous
This scheme is 2-6 colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel.
This den is one example of an analogous color scheme. The colors used are green through a red-orange. An ornate vase in the same color scheme can replace the solid black on the table and still hold the same basic look.
This scheme uses two colors located directly across from each other on the color wheel.
This bedroom is one example of a complementary scheme. The colors pink and green are across from each other on the color wheel. You could replace the photo frame with a decorative night light for a younger female.
This scheme is made up of any three colors that form a triangle in the center of the wheel. This scheme is bold but balanced.
This room is one example of a triad scheme. The colors purple and green with a splash of orange are used in this room. If you are not a fan of long tapers, an alternative in this room could be a modern stair-step votive candle holder.
Soon we will cover color dimensions. There are three dimensions to color, hue, value and saturation. We will also cover the natural reactions to color.