Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some thoughts about decorating our homes for Fall,choosing paint colors and just in time before the holidays.

While having lunch with some of my friends in my neighborhood, we were discussing how we chose some of the colors in our home. As some of you already know, I am an artist. They suggested that I devote this article to explain how to use colors, from an artist’s perspective, in our homes. I mentioned that often when decorating, it is a good idea to select one item that has colors that speak to you. It is a very good way to chose colors that work and coordinate with each other. It might be a pretty rug or a mug painted in wonderful colors or it might be a print of a famous painting. Whatever you chose doesn’t matter. What matters is that the colors “feel right” to you.
Once you have chosen your particular “muse” you can then set about choosing how you would like to use those colors in your decorating scheme. Let’s use a rug as an example. Study that rug you liked so much and isolate the colors in it. Pull out colors for the walls. Perhaps those will be the pastel colors in the rug. Then study it some more and recognize the other colors you want to use in your house; for example, black, beige, white, and hits of red. The beige and white become your neutrals to use on such things as carpeting, wood trim, ceilings and other basic elements in your home. The black and red can be “accent” colors. Use those colors sparingly and in strategic places where they will pack a lot of punch in limited quantities.
Now back to the wall colors and our hypothetical rug. They were more pastel/mid-value colored, in shades of green, yellow and blue. In order to make these colors work, search for other places you can use these colors but in varying intensities of value (lightness or darkness of color.) For instance, the green that you chose for your kitchen will be used in many other places in the home and that green may be used in a lighter or darker shade. Be careful, however, to make sure that the greens are in the same or similar color family. What I mean by that is that if I am using a yellow-green, I am not using a darker blue-green and thinking it is going to match or co-ordinate. It is important to also spread the colors around different rooms in your house. Now, one might think that using the same colors becomes boring. Surprise! It does not! The trick to that is to use one predominant color in one room and all of the other colors as accents. Then in the next room, use another of the colors as the predominant color in the second room and use the other colors as accents. As you go through the rooms, keep changing it up and using a different color or variation of your colors in each room while accenting with the other colors. It makes the rooms in your house flow easily, one into another. Remember to keep using the neutrals that you chose in the beginning throughout your home in each room to provide continuity. The last thing I always try to remember is that while our homes are our canvas, we also live there. So sometimes there are things that are in our homes that really do not match at all! That is fine, too. The element of surprise can be very charming! The most important thing to remember is that our homes are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. The most important decorations of any home are the friends that frequent it!

How to be creative in your home this Fall :
· Find Fall items you like and put them around your home. Decorating your home seasonally can really give you a perk from season to season. You might even want to find an area you can devote to seasonal changes, like a bookshelf, etagere or a place in your kitchen where it will be noticed.
· Take a walk and notice the beautiful changing leaves that are beginning to fall. You can press them in a heavy book and they will be a sweet reminder of Fall when you find them in the Winter. You can even take some of those leaves, paste them on a piece of paper and bring them to your local color copy place and color copy them for use all year!
· Pick pinecones, large and small, and put them in a beautiful bowl with some cracked pieces of an old flowerpot. Add a few drops of scented oil to the cracked pottery and you have a lovely Fall potpourri. You can even add dried flower petals to add some softness to your arrangement.
· Visit a farm market and pick out some interesting gourds and pumpkins. Place them around your home to remind you of the season. Put some of the gourds in a large bowl on your table and enjoy their simple beauty. Or go apple picking! Put those red and yellow beauties in a bowl and let them be your decorations. Best thing yet...you can eat them when you need a sweet snack AND it is healthy, too!

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