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Home Decorating Tips

  1.  Every room needs a focal point, either natural or created. Natural focal points include such items as fireplaces and picture windows. Created focal points are devised using furniture such as an armoire or entertainment unit. Your furniture placement is determined by these points; they create balance and structure in a room.
  2. The furniture in a room should have backs of varying heights to provide visual interest; however, the seat heights of your upholstery should be within one inch of each other. The tallest piece of furniture should be placed in the far left hand corner of the room as you enter for the best overall effect.
  3. Use solid color fabrics on large pieces of furniture; patterns and geometrics on small to large scale pieces and ditz (or very small patterns) in two or more colors on small scale furniture (i.e., large-scale, large piece; small-scale, small piece).
  4. Two case goods (wood furniture) should not occupy the same wall without a break of upholstery or draped windows.
  5. You should allow 18 inches between a rectangular cocktail table and a sofa; 12 inches between a round cocktail table and a sofa.
  6. When painting a room, mix the same paint color from two different cans together to make sure that the color is not affected by dye lot.
  7. When hanging long drapery panels, if there is room on either side of a window, stack the fabric width on the wall instead of the window pane. This allows as much light as possible into the room and makes your windows look wider and grander.
  8. Always allow at least three extra inches in length when hanging drapery panels to allow for the natural shrinkage of the fabric; either puddle them or break them on the floor or window sill to give a softness to the flow of the panels.
  9. To give a room the appearance of having a higher ceiling, install half circle pediments above the windows and/or install your valances or window treatments from just beneath the ceiling line.
  10. Artwork in a room should be hung so that the center horizontal line of each piece is at the same level regardless of the size or shape of the piece. Artwork should be hung at eye level, approximately 5 feet off the ground. When in doubt, hang artwork lower rather than higher.
  11. Before hanging a group of decorative plates or prints, make paper templates for each piece and tape them to the wall to get the position just right before hammering hooks and nails into the wall.
  12. A dining room should always have more than one source of light for a soft, pleasing effect, i.e. combination of chandelier, candles, and sconces.
  13. Off season, stack white birch logs in a random pile in your fireplace to provide contrast with the dark interior
  14. Display items in odd number groupings. Odd numbers are more visually pleasing than even numbers.
  15. Never underestimate the effectiveness of plants and flowers, real or silk. They can add a punch of color to any room.
  16. Learn more about "going green".