Thursday, August 30, 2012

Decorating Rules You Can Break

Paint the Ceiling
Ceilings don't have to be white. Painting the ceiling a color adds interest to the room and brings harmony to the walls and ceiling. Choose a color similar to the walls, or have the wall color mixed a shade or two lighter or darker.

Make Rooms Multitask
A room doesn't have to have just one purpose. Make the most of the space you have by sharing. A less-used guest bedroom with a pullout bed is the perfect place for a home office contained in a storage armoire. The family room media entertainment space can have a playroom corner.

Paint It Dark
A small space can handle dark walls. In fact, deep and strong hues can be better in small spaces because a little goes a long way. The bold statement adds personality and impact.

Mix Plaid and Floral
Patterns don't have to match, they just need to coordinate. Put geometric patterns with florals. Mix modern designs with traditional. The key: Make sure they share a common color.

Raise the Curtain Rod
Hang curtains near the ceiling rather than the typical placement just above the window trim. This gives the illusion of height, which makes a small window appear larger or a low ceiling appear higher.

Layer Floor Coverings
Wall-to-wall carpet doesn't eliminate the use of rugs. Add an area rug in the bedroom to create an intimate sitting area, just as you would under the dining room table and chairs on a wood floor. Layer multiple rugs of coordinating colors and patterns in different sizes atop one another to make a striking design statement.

Think Big
You can put oversize furniture in small spaces. Too much small furniture in a small room can make the space feel cluttered and full. Instead, buy fewer, larger pieces to make a small space feel roomier.

Make Your Own Art
Wall art doesn't need a famous signature or even have to be purchased. Personalize your space by hanging a puzzle you put together or framing a map showing your favorite destination. Dig out family treasures -- old pictures or your grandmother's platters -- to appreciate instead of collect dust. For a creative twist, hang dinnerware in open frames.

Add Furniture with Character
Not every piece of furniture has to be what is expected. An old grain cart discovered at a flea market makes a whimsical coffee table that keeps this room casual. Not only is it movable, the low height is easy for stacking books, and it could hold a tall flower arrangement that might sit too high on a standard table.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets
While stained-wood and white-painted kitchen cabinets are the norm, it doesn't mean you have to stick with tradition. In a room ruled by function and sometimes lacking in decorating opportunity, painted cabinets can add interest and color. Use a solid, bright finish for a contemporary space, or distress door and drawer edges for a more casual look.

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