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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Question:  I love the color red but don't know how to integrate it into my traditional/casual decor without using an Asian theme.  Do you have any ideas for using red without overwhelming my casual environments. 

Answer:  My suggestion is that you use muted shades of red instead of bold red when choosing colors.  If you like red, you should also like burnt umber, Indian red, burgundy, and similar colors.  Also use red in small amounts.  Paint the upper half of your dining room walls red, and add white beadboard and a chair rail to the lower portion of the walls.  Paint your powder room red if you can't get enough of the color, just be sure to balance it with white or cream colored molding.  Pick accessories in a muted red color to decorate your home.  Use red toned woods such as cherry or redwood on your floors. 

Use an art piece like this Red Andrea Wooden Wall Plaque to set the tone for your red accented casual home decor.  As you can see, It is not true red, but a red stained wood with a natural colored design that balances out the strong color.  Wall art and accessories such as this unique and vibrant peice can create a great focal point on your wall.  It works well on its own or can be paired with similar peices to create a beautiful accent wall.

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Monday, December 15, 2008
As the cold weather approaches, images of plastic sheeting, and fleece blankets cross our minds.  For many, these steps are a necessary evil, not your idea of good design.  If it means, however, that heating bills will be reduced, these ideas should be considered... or should they?  Here are some more stylish tips you can use to winterize your home. 

Use thermal window treatments on your windows.  Besides being high useful in keeping the frigid air out of your home and the warm air in, these window treatments are also very attractive and come in several fabric options from velvet to Ultrasuede to cotton.  When using thermal window treatments, you don't need to keep the curtains closed at all times.  In fact, during the sunny part of the day, the curtians should be open to let the thermal heat in.  When the sun passes, the thermal window treatments can be closed to keep the heat in. 

Add area rugs.  Even if you already have wall to wall carpet adding an area rug on top will help to keep cold air from the basement or crawlspace from coming through the floor.  This will make your room much more comfortable. 

Be creative with throw blankets.  There are very attractive throw blankets on the market besides typical fleece winter blankets.  There are chenille blankets, fur blankets, and beautiful crochet wool blankets you can purchase.  If new blankets are not in your budget, grab a skein of eyelash yarn and update an older blanket by adding crochet trim. 

Hang more art on your walls.  Decorative wall art can insulte your walls when chosen carefully.  You can hang canvas wall art, tapestries, and ornate rugs on your wall to add an extra layer of warmth the the room and to prevent cold air from coming through thin walls. Stick to canvas and fabric based artwork to insulate your home. 

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Choosing furniture, paint colors and drapes go a long way toward setting the mood in your home.  Dark rich colors makes it warm and cozy.  Light colors and sparse furnishings create a peaceful atmosphere.  Beyond these well known basics, there are other things you can do to set a mood in your home.  In fact, you can set specific moods with the help of certain furnishings and and home decor items. 

If for example, you want to create a sophisticated atmosphere in your formal living room, you can use traditional furniture upholstered in leather with nail heads.  Add a chess set table between two side chairs, and place leather bound books on shelves flanking a fireplace. 

If you want to set a more relaxing mood, you can go with a jazz theme.  If a piano is in your budget, you can add one to your room along with candle lights and chaise lounge sofas.  Paint the room in rich deep colors such as plum or forest green, and use candles and low lights to illuminate the room.  Add wall art and accessories that remind you of jazz music and jazz players.  Take this Guitar Music Player Metal Table Art Sculpture, for instance.  It reminds you of a New Orleans type jazz player on guitar.  Pair this fine art piece with similar music player art pieces or musical abstract metal art to complete the mood. 

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

When most people think of purchasing art for the home they think of painted canvas wall art.  However, when it comes to art for the home, choices are numerous. Art for the home falls into several different categories.  They are traditional wall art, sculptural wall art, functional wall art, and sculptures. 

Traditional wall art is the most common and typical type of wall art and what many people seek when buying art for the home.  Prints and photography also fall into this category.

Sculptural wall art includes metal wall art and low profile sculptures with a flat side so that it look like it protrudes from the wall. 

Functional wall art includes items you can use such as wall art mirrors, and wall clocks. 

Sculptures come in all sizes, but in homes you will rarely find a life size nude sculpture.  They are generally of a much smaller scale.  Art sculptures can be bronze, stone, or any other material the artist chooses.  One example of a sculpture for the home is this Lissus Music Player metal Table Art Sculpture.  It is 18" H X 10" wide and has a bronze finish.  It is the perfect size to display on a table top or shelf.  This music themed talble sculpture looks great alone or in a grouping with similar peices.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Question:  I am looking for a housewarming gift for my aunt who likes whimsical things and also nature. I don't want to bring her a houseplant as I feel she will already be getting plenty of those.  Do you have any idea for a fun gift idea for my aunt? 

Answer:  This question cannot be answered with a general solution as you need to gear the gift to things your aunt loves.  So far we know she likes nature and has a whimsical personality.  Now you have to ask yourself what kind of items she collects and displays around here home.  Does she have any themes in her home such as cats, butterflies, or windmills?  Does he collect knick-knacks or or sculptures?  These are things you need to ask yourself. 

If she is a person who likes butterflies for example, and owns, or your feel she would like sculptures, you can consider buying her this 41" Pretty Butterflies Metal Floor Art Sculpture.  This is a very pretty art piece that gives you a hint of nature in a beautiful sculptural design.

So in summation, I would suggest you take a look at things that she already owns and consider adding to a collection by purchasing wall art, floor art sculptures, or accessories to go with things you know she enjoys.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

There's nothing worse than that familiar thud, often accompanied by the sound of breaking glass.  When your artwork is not secure, you can damage and even destroy your valuable wall art.  To prevent such an atrocity, you need to use the correct hardware when hanging your wall art.  Here are some tools you should consider.

Cleat picture hangers should always be used to hang large pieces of artwork, wall art mirrors, and even lighter pieces in areas prone to earthquake.  Cleat picture hardware means installing a cleat on the wall, and another on the back of the artwork.  These cleats are then interlocked and are almost impossible to knock off the wall. 

If the idea of screwing a cleat into the back of your artwork makes you shudder, you should consider the wall dog wire hanger.  It is a very sturdy metal hardware that is 1 1/2 inches wide and will securely hold onto any wall art that is hung by a wire. 

For hanging very light pieces that have a gook or ring on the back, you should try bearclaw screws.  Bearclaw hangers look like regular screws, but they have two heads.  This mean you screw it as far into the wall as it will go and there is still a second section that allows you to hang the art.  This removes the problem of screws and nails falling out of the wall because you only screwed it part-way into the wall.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Furniture on display at High Point Market is at a much smaller scale than in previous years.  It seams that as people purchase more reasonable size houses and shy away from McMansoins, they are also purchasing furniture to fit into these more streamlined domiciles. 

According to The Los Angeles times, "Smaller furniture also is in line with moves by home builders to trim the scale of some new homes to meet reduced buying power. KB Home, which once offered large homes with expensive amenities, has redesigned its new home layouts from 3,400 square feet to 2,400 square feet. And it recently unveiled a 1,230-square-foot home for the foreclosure-stricken Southern California market."

Examples of items being made in a smaller size are sofas, cabinets, dressers, desks, and more.  For example, home office furniture being offered right now are single fold out cabinets that can be used in any room, or desks that hold no more than a laptop. 

This trend is not solely the fault of a bad housing market.  It is also due to a trend toward city high-rise living.  It also serves a trend toward minimalism and the need to reduce clutter in the home. 

Just as smaller furnishings are for sale right now, so are smaller scaled wall art and accessories.  This is not to say that newer wall art pieces are tiny, but they are on a more reasonable scale. They are also sold in groupings such as art tryptics and larger sets that can be displayed separately depending upon the scale of the wall.

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