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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 24, 2015

Best of the decorating hacks


Do It Yourself



April Sherrill

Decorating can be a daunting task, and it takes a certain skill level to execute it properly in the home. There are many elements to take into consideration, such as paint colors, window treatments, furniture placement, and the list goes on.

With a little bit of research, anyone can decorate like a pro. Thus, I’ve corralled together a list of good tips and ideas to make your next decorating project that much easier.

When working on furniture placement, take in consideration the size of the space versus the size of the room, and make sure the furniture is not too large for the space. Also, start arranging pieces with the best seat in the room, and work from there.

Arranging artwork on the walls can be a pain. If the painting you want to hang above the sofa looks too small, don’t fret. Start by not centering the painting; offset it a few inches to the left. The negative space, called ‘ma,’ becomes part of the image.

Always start the decorating with accessories you may already have on hand. Search through all the items thought to be no longer needed, and breathe some new life into them. For example, old vases can become chic pencil holders or makeup brush holders. Turn the ordinary into a special moment.

Go for a strong accent in a room with wallpaper. One of my favorite areas in my mother’s old home was in a hall bathroom. She applied leopard wallpaper on the ceiling, and every time I was in there, I was in awe. It worked so wonderfully and gave the ceiling so many dimensions. Who ever said wallpaper was only for walls?

Never push the furniture directly up against the walls. By pulling pieces away from the wall, even a few inches, you instantly create warmth and flow in a room.

If you love to have fresh flowers around the home, use carnations. They are like the iceberg lettuce of the flower world. They are readily available everywhere, all the time, and are also very cheap. Be sure to remove the fern-like green foliage that is included.

Every room could use a touch of black as well as one antique piece. It is very easy to incorporate an antique item into the home by redoing the finish to fit the style of the room. 

Here’s a helpful paint tip. The perfect paint color formula for the ceiling is 50 percent the trim color, plus 50 percent white.

Instead of a towel bar, mount robe hooks 68 inches high for towels and robes. Also, when able, always place the sconces in the bathroom at flank position. Sconces over the mirror cause unflattering shadows across the face.

Always use white linens and towels, never use colors. White is bleachable and sends a message of cleanliness and refinement. This was the best change I ever made, and I love everything about having all white sheets and towels. I learned this from my mother, and slowly switched everything out. Along the same vein, if you are going to use sheers in your home, stick to white or off-white. 

The ideal height to hang the television on the wall is at eye level when in the viewing position. The ideal viewing distance is 1.5 times the size of the television screen.

The perfect amount of space between the top of the mantel and a mirror is 7 inches.

Bleach your floors before staining them to avoid the zebra strip effect. Bleaching the floors first will kill the color in the darker sections of the wood, and then when the stain is applied, it will absorb more evenly.

Dining room chandeliers should hang 60 to 66 inches above the floor.

If possible, keep a minimum of 15 inches between coffee tables and sofas.

To create flattering light, line lampshades in a soft pink, or use GE soft 100-watt bulbs.

Measure the depth of the dressers, desks, and other furniture before purchasing a rug. The rug should either fully fit a piece of furniture, or fully exclude it, in most cases.

When doing curtains and shades, take them all the way up to the ceiling – this will instantly increase the height of the room.

When hanging a series of pictures together, keep the gap between them 2 inches to 2.5 inches to utilize the wall space, and keep a minimum of 9 inches between the art and the tops of sofas or chairs.

As I said before, decorating to create the best flow in a room can be a daunting task. These are some of the best tips I have learned, heard, or read. I hope this helps when you begin that next decorating project. 

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com. 

Decorating can be a daunting task, and it takes a certain skill level to execute it properly in the home. There are many elements to take into consideration, such as paint colors, window treatments, furniture placement, and the list goes on.

With a little bit of research, anyone can decorate like a pro. Thus, I’ve corralled together a list of good tips and ideas to make your next decorating project that much easier.

When working on furniture placement, take in consideration the size of the space versus the size of the room, and make sure the furniture is not too large for the space. Also, start arranging pieces with the best seat in the room, and work from there.

Arranging artwork on the walls can be a pain. If the painting you want to hang above the sofa looks too small, don’t fret. Start by not centering the painting; offset it a few inches to the left. The negative space, called ‘ma,’ becomes part of the image.

Always start the decorating with accessories you may already have on hand. Search through all the items thought to be no longer needed, and breathe some new life into them. For example, old vases can become chic pencil holders or makeup brush holders. Turn the ordinary into a special moment.

Go for a strong accent in a room with wallpaper. One of my favorite areas in my mother’s old home was in a hall bathroom. She applied leopard wallpaper on the ceiling, and every time I was in there, I was in awe. It worked so wonderfully and gave the ceiling so many dimensions. Who ever said wallpaper was only for walls?

Never push the furniture directly up against the walls. By pulling pieces away from the wall, even a few inches, you instantly create warmth and flow in a room.

If you love to have fresh flowers around the home, use carnations. They are like the iceberg lettuce of the flower world. They are readily available everywhere, all the time, and are also very cheap. Be sure to remove the fern-like green foliage that is included.

Every room could use a touch of black as well as one antique piece. It is very easy to incorporate an antique item into the home by redoing the finish to fit the style of the room. 

Here’s a helpful paint tip. The perfect paint color formula for the ceiling is 50 percent the trim color, plus 50 percent white.

Instead of a towel bar, mount robe hooks 68 inches high for towels and robes. Also, when able, always place the sconces in the bathroom at flank position. Sconces over the mirror cause unflattering shadows across the face.

Always use white linens and towels, never use colors. White is bleachable and sends a message of cleanliness and refinement. This was the best change I ever made, and I love everything about having all white sheets and towels. I learned this from my mother, and slowly switched everything out. Along the same vein, if you are going to use sheers in your home, stick to white or off-white. 

The ideal height to hang the television on the wall is at eye level when in the viewing position. The ideal viewing distance is 1.5 times the size of the television screen.

The perfect amount of space between the top of the mantel and a mirror is 7 inches.

Bleach your floors before staining them to avoid the zebra strip effect. Bleaching the floors first will kill the color in the darker sections of the wood, and then when the stain is applied, it will absorb more evenly.

Dining room chandeliers should hang 60 to 66 inches above the floor.

If possible, keep a minimum of 15 inches between coffee tables and sofas.

To create flattering light, line lampshades in a soft pink, or use GE soft 100-watt bulbs.

Measure the depth of the dressers, desks, and other furniture before purchasing a rug. The rug should either fully fit a piece of furniture, or fully exclude it, in most cases.

When doing curtains and shades, take them all the way up to the ceiling – this will instantly increase the height of the room.

When hanging a series of pictures together, keep the gap between them 2 inches to 2.5 inches to utilize the wall space, and keep a minimum of 9 inches between the art and the tops of sofas or chairs.

As I said before, decorating to create the best flow in a room can be a daunting task. These are some of the best tips I have learned, heard, or read. I hope this helps when you begin that next decorating project. 

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.   v