“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” — Hal Borland (1900-1978), American Author, “The Tomorrows — December 30,” Sundial of the Seasons (1964)
As another year has ended and a new one is here, I once again want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading Inside Spaces and for sharing your decorating issues with us. Enriching lives through our home environment is foreign to some but not to me and not to you, our readers. We know how important it is to have just the right lamp, the perfect color in the floor tile, the most luxurious throw on the sofa and exactly how high to hang those pictures.
And while making sure the traffic pattern works in the public spaces of your home may not contribute to world peace, it will surely help those in your household achieve harmony. Being organized in your domain will add much clarity and ease in your life.
Never underestimate the value and impact of a beautiful home. And that’s whatever “beautiful” means to you. We may not share the same views on that, but we all agree that it’s very personal. And, thank goodness, we don’t all like the same thing.
We know also that it’s not about the “things.” It’s about the comfort and serenity our special belongings bring to us.
So, as we move into this new year, here are a few of my favorite fun tips that have served me well over the years. I hope some are useful to you and others may even make you smile. From my home to yours, many blessings and happiness in 2017.
1. Make your space look like “your” space.
2. Glass tables take up less “visual” space.
3. Ottomans make great coffee tables.
4. Use the rule of three, five or any uneven number for groupings.
5. Establish a focal point in each space.
6. All furniture in a room doesn’t have to match; mix old and new; mix many, many patterns in a room.
7. You can put large pieces of furniture in a small space.
8. Buy furniture that has a dual purpose.
9. Water features bring great calm to a room.
10. Pillows soften a room and make it more welcoming.
11. You cannot have too many pillows.
12. Every room should have some of the color black.
13. Each room should have an anchor — the color black.
14. Don’t put fresh flowers in a guest room; your guests may have allergies.
15. Make your patio an outdoor room.
16. Do not line your furniture up around the walls.
17. If there are too many “legs” in a room, drape the table or slip cover the chairs.
18. Plants make great softeners for hard corners.
19. Make your home office more like home than office.
20. Cover up “bad” paint cut-ins with trim, a fun stamp or molding.
21. Pick out one major wall or architectural feature and paint it a bold color.
22. Put “stuff” on top of your chests and cabinets. It draws the eye up.
23. Put a fancy rug in your kitchen rather than a kitchen rug to dress up the space.
24. Beds with comforters are easier to make than those with bedspreads.
25. Dish towels make great napkins, especially for really messy meals.
26. It takes about half a yard of fabric to cover a dining room chair seat — and it takes about five minutes. Change them often for new looks.
27. Every room should have a clock.
28. Hang a pretty shower curtain in front of your impossible-to-clean shower doors.
29. Be sure to use a floor mat under any kind of rolling office chair.
30. Use up-lights behind greenery or on top of bookcases to bring the eye up.
31. Everybody should own a hammer, a Phillips screwdriver, a glue gun and a heavy-duty stapler.
32. A soft chair or piece of furniture makes a standard bathroom more elegant and warm.
33. Every room needs greenery.
34. Every room needs books.
35. Family photos are better in a bedroom or den.
36. The best “live” flower is the orchid.
37. Bookcases are not just for books.
38. Group collections for a greater impact. Three or more is a collection.
39. You can put area rugs over carpet.
40. Rotate your accessories like you do holiday decorations. You don’t have to use them all at one time.
41. It takes about 18 yards of fabric to cover an overstuffed, rolled arm sofa.
42. You can elevate lamps and photos by stacking them on books.
43. Eye level is your eye.
44. You can mix artificial and live plants. Remember which is which.
45. In the cooler months, bring out throws and area rugs to warm up the space.
46. A room that smells good and is neat will cover a multitude of clutter.
47. Spaces should always be works in progress.
48. Dead plants and flowers will ruin the best interiors. Remove them quickly.
49. Every room should have a mirror.
50. Moldings dress up any room and add style.
51. Mix styles — every room doesn’t have to be Mediterranean.
52. Room dividers soften corners and can hide things. They can also divide rooms.
As you can see, these fun ideas are in no order — just ideas to incorporate into your beautiful homes. Enjoy the new year and make your home a work in progress.