Decorating Hints & Tips

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The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Recognizing the most common decorating mistakes and how to correct them, can turn a cramped and chaotic space into one that is organized and tranquil and can create a sense of order and balance. These invaluable lessons I learned from my teacher, mentor and friend, Lauri Ward, president and founder of Use What You Have Interiors® (UWYH).

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Lauri Ward revolutionized the interior design business with a simple idea – using what people already have in their home as the foundation to create a fresher, updated, more elegant look, without spending a lot of money.

This time of year, I like to look over my old notes and files for review and ideas for the coming year.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned from training with Lauri was The Ten Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

1.  Not Defining Your Priorities: Before you begin your room design, you should know what the room will be used for, which furnishings will be kept in the room and of course, your budget.

2.  An Uncomfortable Conversation Area: Can you and your guests have a conversation without straining your neck? A U-shaped furniture arrangement is best for conversation; least favorite is a L-shaped arrangement. And beware of the sofa/loveseat combination!

3. Poor Furniture Placement: Avoid placing all of your furniture up against the wall, but be sure there are open pathways to walk through the room.

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4. A Room That Is Off Balance: A room will look unbalanced if you have all of the taller, heavier furniture on one side of the room with smaller, delicate pieces on the opposite side of the room.

5. Furniture of Different Heights: If the seating heights of furniture are varied and/or artwork is hung at different levels, the effect creates a ‘roller coaster’ effect that causes the eye to travel uncomfortably up and down around the room.

6. A Room That Lacks Cohesion: A room without unity or a ‘pulled together’ look is easily solved using pairs of furnishings such as two chairs, two lamps and/or two end tables that will add symmetry to the room.

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7. Ignoring The Focal Point In The Room: Well-designed rooms have a focal point — the first thing your eye sees when you enter. Without it, the room lacks interest and direction.

8. Improper Use of Artwork: Hanging your artwork too high or scattering your artwork around the room is two of the most common ways artwork is displayed incorrectly.

9. Ineffective Use Of Accessories: As a general rule, less is more. Use larger accessories and keep the smaller pieces together as a group.

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10. Using Lighting Incorrectly: Every room should have general illumination, task lighting and mood/accent lighting. Lighting is one of the most important factors in a room and the right choices can make a great impact. Dimmers are invaluable!

These simple decorating principles are the basics in design to help find what is not working in your room and how to correct them.

If you would like to learn more about Lauri Ward and training for ‘The Use What You Have System’, read here.

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Inspiring Christmas Tablescapes

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

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Oh so pretty! I just love looking at beautiful Holiday tablescapes and I know you do too!:

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It takes a little planning to put something together as beautiful as these:

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I’m sure you could also set a beautiful table after you made a list of what you would need.

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I love so many of these vignettes, but where would you ever put the food?

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Look how gorgeous this is:

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Love, love this one!:

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Here is a close up of the one above:

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So simple and so gorgeous, don’t you agree?

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I hope you enjoyed and were able to get a few inspiring ideas for your Christmas table! I have Christmas on my mind, how about you?

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A Few New Favorite Decorating Books 2014

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

I found a few new design books just in time for my Christmas list. I love to receive new books and I think they make a perfect gift.

Here are some of my favorites coffee table book selections this year:

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

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This book is on the top of my list. I love Erin Gate’s style and the photos in the book are beautiful:

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House Beautiful Think Small: Make the Most of Every Square Foot by House Beautiful

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Below is another of my favorites. Look how pretty even the cover is:

Sarah Style  by Sarah Richardson

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Sarah definitely has style!:

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Creating Elegant Interiors: Designers in Their Own Words by Melissa Mather

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This book got great reviews:

Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer

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Here is a great resource gift for someone thinking of redoing their kitchen:

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The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by blogger Myquillyn Smith

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Just gorgeous!

One more book I thought would be interesting:

At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life by Jennifer L. Scott

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Hmmm… Interesting!

Happy Thanksgiving my Friends! I hope you have a safe and happy Holiday!

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Christmas Decorated Front Porches

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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I can’t help being excited about starting to decorate for Christmas:

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The Season is so short and I want to enjoy it all! One of my first and favorite projects for Christmas/Winter is decorating the front porch:

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I have been looking through a few inspirational photos and wanted to share. I know you love looking through them as much as I do!:

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From the dramatic:

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To the simple:

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All so pretty!

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Last year I decorated our NH front porch to enter a contest:

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And I forgot to enter! awwww…..

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This year I am keeping it simple and fun to do.

Have you started Christmas decorating at your house?

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