When decorating your home, you spend hours deciding on color choices, furniture, paintings for your walls… but it still doesn’t look inviting?  The little things are missing that make your home inviting!  Candles, personal family photos, fresh cut flowers, a couple of table books, even a dish of hard candies add a personal touch that makes your home feel lived in. 

Music creates a mood and can be as simple as a wind chime or a water fountain.  Turn off the tv and play some of your favorite tunes on the stereo; you will feel your spirits start to pick up!

Remember as a child visiting grandma knowing she was baking your favorite cookies?  Scents are just as important as the color you choose for your walls!  There are so many options; scented candles, potpourri, oils, even a clean house smells good! 

You can do these things in no time and you deserve to enjoy the little things that you really only do if you are entertaining or having company.  What are you waiting for?

I am sure most of you have been following my wife’s journey through the various topics of waterfalls and faux painting, and baskets, but living with it is an entirely different experience.  I love my wife dearly, let me just state that fact first, and no that does not mean that I am now going to trash what she does as I am not.  What I am going to highlight is that sometimes when you walk into your own home, you need to turn around back out the door to verify that you actually came into the right house because it is not what you left in the morning.

There is a level of obsession when married to a person passionate about decorating, things change all the time.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes not, sometimes an improvement, sometimes an experiment.  Our Roomba is even so confused as to what is going on that she refuses to come out and vacuum anymore, now what does that tell you!.  Don’t get me wrong, most of these changes I think are great, they enhance our home and make it more enjoyable to live in, but there are others that makes you want to say “What the heck were you thinking”.  In either event, there is never a dull moment in this house with all of these changes.  I just hope I never go blind because I think I will end up starving to death trying to get to the kitchen!

I love to decorate!  My mind goes a hundred miles a minute just thinking about all the facets involved with decorating a room.  HGTV is always on at my house, almost every magazine is about decorating on the coffee table, I have books on the subject, folders filled with torn pages on things I love…  I am hopeless!

When my two daughters and son-in-laws bought their first homes I got busy decorating them; I know it’s not my place to butt in and it was very difficult to keep my thoughts to myself.  I think I did pretty good though and only encouraged them and offered to lend a hand painting or whatever else I could.  Okay, I have to admit that I did put a little of myself in each of their homes by painting a series of canvases in their colors to hang on their walls.  Opps!

I am truly an addict; I hear someone talking about doing a room and I just have to get involved!  A friend of mine is buying a new home and she wants to change her whole decorating style – yes!  I scored big time!  I sat down on the floor with her two daughters, pulled out the color pencils, paper, and got to work designing their rooms.  (I’m preparing for decorating my first granddaughter’s room when she gets a little older, and yes, I have permission.)  We went with bright colors on the walls – stripes, cirlces, and at least two or three colors.  Billowy curtains with jewels, lots of pillows, dust ruffles on the beds, and of course reversible comforters on the bed to get more milege from the look we can create! 
We poured over  my paint color pallete (I own my very own paint contractor wheel – I am very serious about this!)   Pulled together all the fabrics and started editing pieces they already have in their bedrooms and  plan on reworking other items to fit the current look we are striving for.  The girls and I worked on their rooms for about an hour and I can hardly wait to get started!  I hope I have instilled in them some excitement to work on their rooms as well. 

Everyone is “Going Green” today.  You hear the term in the tv commercials, your favorite decorating shows and there’s all sorts of new products that have hopped on the train.  It isn’t anything new, just a fresh awareness of the importance of being green.   

I know what you’re thinking… “what does this have to do with decorating?”  Everything!  Beyond the new home building materials, the cleaning products, the renew, reuse and recycle things you can do to help your enivornment; you can use these same concepts in decorating. 

Adding real green plants to every room is a great way to start.  Every room deserves a little “life” by simply adding plants using the same ideas from “Decorating with a Collection.”  Use baskets or similar containers to hold the plants and place them in groups of uneven numbers or an unusual or large plant can stand alone.  There must be a balance of using green plants in a room as with any other decorating element.  Also, using natural items such as shells, rocks, drift wood in recycled containers to hold them brings a bit of nature indoors. 

The bed is the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom and it should be “dressed” to fit the decor of the rest of the room.  Besides doesn’t everyone deserve a little pampering and luxury?  I do! 

Buy the highest thread count cotton that you can afford and remember you really only need two sets of sheets, so splurge a little!  Like get one set in a tone on tone stripe and the other set in a coordinating color scheme; another pattern or solid.  I love mixing patterns and there really are no rules to follow, but one thing I like to make sure when selecting a mix is that at least all the patterns are casual or formal to fit the rest of the theme.  You would be surprised how many different looks you can achieve with just two sets of sheets!

You can stretch your dollar even further by buying duvet covers in different patterns and colors to match your decor and swap them up to create several designer looks!  The bed skirt should be a solid color that coordinates with all your colors and patterns.   To finish the look, buy pillow and shams to coordinate all the looks and pull the whole bed together.  When you buy your sheets, duvet covers, shams and pillows make sure you have a few solid colors along with the patterns.  You need a balance when putting the whole thing together!

Okay, now that you have selected all your bedding; it’s Time to Make the Bed!  Layering is key and you can mix the sheet sets anyway you want.  Go for it and have fun!

I have always had a problem completing a room’s design when it comes to the windows.  I love the designer look that you see in all the magazines, in the stores, model homes, and on decorating shows…  I just don’t care for the price tag and the permanantcy of creating a designer look treatment.

Today there are so many options and choices; even the local home improvement stores have tons of accessories to help you create your own designer look!

There are few “rules” to decorating that I follow myself when decorating my own home.  One of my pet peeves though is to pass a home that is nicely landscaped and compliments the colors of the home and then as you look at the windows…  Every window has a different treatment that throws the whole look out the window!  So my first rule to creating a beautiful window treatment is to start with a cohesive look to the outside of the home.  Simply stated, pick a type of shade, blind or sheer to put on every window in the house.  I use bamboo roman shades on all my windows.

Now, if you have been reading any of my blogs, you know I like to make changes all the time because I become bored.  Once you choose the base, then the sky pretty much is the limit! 

Besides all the choices at the home stores for curtain rods, finials, brackets, other choices (these are the ones I always like.. the other choices).  Bamboo poles and branches make good curtain rods.   Those metal art pieces made of rod iron work well with swags.  Tie back brackets work for tie or tab curtain panels instead of curtain rods and can be placed above windows in an arch or wave pattern.

Then there is all the fabric choices!  Okay, we’ve established I like change so this is where I get the most bang for the buck!  I can go from floral, plaid, paisley (my favorite!), colorblock or solid color in an instant!  Not only do I change my window treatment fabrics a lot, I can change them from room to room since I have stayed within five colors as my foundation for decorating my whole house!  Are you still with me?  Panels of fabric can be swags, or valances, or can be used for the intented purpose as panels.

You can get that really expensive look of designer fashions by buying panels in the normal length of 84″ and a second panel and make a panel with the combined two panels into floor puddling to ceiling height lengths at a fraction of the cost!  Not to mention unique one of a kind design!

Are you still reading?  Get up and start your own window designs, it’s that easy!

You can get some great ideas for decorating your home in magazines, catalogs, tv shows, model homes, even shopping at the mall or in a furniture store.   The problem is the designed spaces are perfect; too perfect.  It’s as though no one even lives in the space and it really doesn’t fit daily living.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t recreate the look and feel to fit your life style. 

If you are furniture shopping to re-do a whole room, don’t buy all the furniture in a day or in one place.  You want to create a room over time, with favorite treasures, memories of a past trip where you found the coolest coffee table you shipped back… 

So how do you get started then you ask?  Start with a journal or idea board to keep thoughts, pages of rooms or pieces of furniture you like.  Go around your home to pull in some of the things you already have to create the new room you want. 

Use items in a different way rather than the way they were meant to be used to create a unique space.   Mix and match colors and prints on fabric to use on windows, pillows, table runners and throws.  Collect various local artists pieces that pulls the colors from the fabrics you’ve chosen.  

This will help create an eclectic look all your own and you can be sure that you won’t have that “Cookie Cutter” look of your next door neighbor.