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If It Were Only This Easy

A friend sent this picture to my sister who forwarded it on to me. I couldn't resist sharing it with all of you. After days and days of rain here in California, and mud slides for our many burn victims, we are finally enjoying warm sunny days again, though we really needed the rain too. So for those of you caught in the depths of all of the snow storms, our hearts go out to you and I hope you can find some comfort in this bit of humor. You gotta love whoever posted this message. Things could always be worse, right?

Overcoming All Your Color Fears- Especially Red!

Well if you haven't noticed it by now, red always makes a big statement in interior design. It isn't just confined to living and dining rooms either. It's sizzling up bedding, tableware, accessories - even appliances: mixers, coffeemakers, vacuum cleaners and step stools. We expect it a Valentine's, but it is great all year long.

Red is the color of optimism. And as we become more global, we have been embracing ethnic cultures from India, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin countries - and all of those countries include a healthy dose of red in their fabrics, architecture and furnishings.

The Eastern influence is making people more brave about color too. There are no geographical boundaries to colors even though we often associate bright colors with warmer climates. Red also seems to be the color of choice when we want to add just a "touch" of color in a room. Like in a painting, a throw or pillows, a vase, an area rug. Red flowers in a vase. Beautiful!

Since most of us are more comfortable with red in small doses, you probably don't want to paint a large wall or two in red, or even upholster a sofa in the color. But a single wing chair in red is awesome! Only the truly confident can stand red in huge doses in a room. It can be very overpowering.

So if you're a bold personality, have fun with it. There are plenty of red shades from numerous paint companies that might cover a foyer, bedroom or library. For a family room, mix it up with white for the "diner-like" look. It can be fun. Consider red and white checked vinyl floor for the area. It can give you a really crisp, enlivened feeling. But it's not for everyone. But don't limit your color choices to red. Look at the amazing mix of the colors in this area rug. What will that do for a room? How will that energize you when you walk in?  Yes, color can be very fun or very relaxing. The choices are endless.

Principles of Good Interior Design

UNITY - Unity refers to the designer's concept and the honesty and thoughtfulness that is brought to achieve the concept. Through repetition and similarity, a single motivating idea emerges. When you design a home, make every effort to have the objects and colors relate to each other in some way. Use repetition of color, pattern, line and shape to establish unity. But use creative thinking to avoid being stuck in the theme. Too much unity becomes monotonous.

VARIETY - Vary your colors, shapes, patterns and themes within the rooms, but don't sacrifice unity to do it. The right combination of variety and unity will bring harmony to each room and ultimately to the home.

EMPHASIS - Give the appropriate amount of emphasis to each part of the room. Draw attention to the most important parts and less attention to the rest. Create centers of interest, or focal points, set against less important backgrounds. The final look you want to achieve will hinge on how well you downplay the least important parts.

To know what to emphasize and what to downplay, take a good look at the natural conditions present in the room. Let's say the room has a fabulous panoramic view - an obvious focal point. This is where you want to place the emphasis. Secondarily, let's say you have a great piece of art you want to place over the twenty foot high fireplace. This becomes the dominant level of emphasis. Then choose simple but elegant upholstered pieces that blend subtly with the room as your sub-dominant level of emphasis. Keeping the floors, walls, ceilings and other accessories rather neutral, they become even more subordinate to everything else. This way the eye of any viewer will first go to the panoramic view, then to the art above the fireplace, then to the seating arrangements and accessories, and finally to the background of floor, walls and ceiling.

RHYTHM - Simply put, rhythm is continuity. Movement and the direction rhythm implies will make your home come alive. You will achieve rhythm by using repetition and progression. This is easiest done with the repetition or lack of it in shapes, colors and textures. Avoid repetition of ordinary and commonplace things. Avoid boredom by utilizing contrast in color, size and shape.

PROGRESSION - This has to do with transition or sequence - how the colors, textures and shapes flow from one area of the room to another, from one room to another. Perhaps the color palette remains the same throughout the home, but one color is emphasized in one room while downplayed in another. Consider how the elements in one room alter slightly in passageways, emerging in a similar yet different fashion in another room.

Less is More - Are Your Rooms Over Cluttered and Messy?

I tend to fluctuate into different moods. Do you? Sometimes I want my home really full and cozy and lived in. Then at other times in my life, I want it clean and simple and straight forward, airy with plenty of space for movement. So I find myself putting things out and around one day and then a couple of months later I'm moving it all around again, and then a couple of months later I'm taking things out of the room altogether.

Well, I doubt that I am unusual, though I do know some rare people who live with the rooms in their home the exact same way year after year. Personally that would drive me crazy. So this page is dedicated to all of you who think you have gotten your rooms the way you want, only to be dissatisfied in short order. So here is a word of caution. Don't think that dissatisfaction means you have done it all wrong or that you need to grab your wallet/purse and head for the store one more time. Your problem might just very easily be resolved by eliminating one or two things from the room, giving the room a little breathing space. That might be all you need to do.

The more contemporary the room and furnishings, the more the "less is more" statement is true. The goal is to create a soothing, comfortable room. I once rearranged my mother's living room. My awed sister remarked, "Wow! I can't believe how you organized all that clutter." While it is true that I did organize the room by putting "like kinds" together whenever possible, I also eliminated some things along the way too.

Look around your home. Do you have a lot of old family photographs cluttering up your piano, book shelves, walls? What you once enjoyed very much might now be old and you don't even enjoy all that much any more. Consider removing all or at least many of the photos and see how the room feels afterwards. Put them up in a wall grouping in the hall instead. Whenever possible, repeat the same frame to establish unity and this will make balancing the grouping much more easy.

Take a second look at your lighting. Consider colored bulbs to add more mood. Remove track lighting and anything that is harsh. Use halogens to highlight art. Bring in additional lamps to add warmth. Put them on low settings for conversations, and on high settings for reading.

Did you paint your walls some outlandish color that is just screaming out at you? Get rid of it. Tone down any part of the room that is not important. I usually keep my window treatments and door colors the exact same color as my walls. This really helps diminish the "parts" of the room and makes it look more unified. I would much rather the attention go to a great rug or work of art than to my windows, and most certainly not to my doors or door frames or the ceiling. The more contrast you put in a room, the more "pieced up" it will look and you may inadvertently be drawing attention to all the wrong things. For this reason, all background hues are kept subdued so that the furniture and accessories come alive and are properly featured.

It's also important to remember that you don't need to fill every wall or every nook and cranny. The eye needs a place to rest. Plan your room so that the furniture has breathing room and maneuvering in the room is not like doing an obstacle course.

When removing things from a room, don't give them away or sell them. Store them. You'll come back down the road and reuse them again. And you'll fall in love with them all over again too. By swapping things out from time to time, you'll be able to live with less and be comfortable and still own a lot of great furnishings.

It's Not too Late to Start!

diamond ruby home staging and interior redesign courseBy far and away our most popular course ever, the Diamond Ruby Course has received more praise than any other product we have ever offered. Pack with value, it is the most complete, most informative, most affordable course on home staging and redesign in the industry, bar none. Our students rave over the content, the stress-free process of learning our way, the confidence building it gives and the pride of achievement it gives them.

When you consider it is still prices $500 less than it used to sell for, the added value is incredible. You could literally pay off your investment price with one single project. Our certification designations are second to none - as a matter of fact, going through our certification (as part of your course) has proven itself to be most powerful when compared to other designations. You have to earn ours - it can't be merely bought. This preserves the prestige and integrity of the certification and wins over prospective clients because it has required proof of talent and knowledge before being awarded to any one.

So if you've been contemplating when you should start, the time is now, before the price goes back up! We're offering this exceptional price because it is the right price - the right value - the right road. It was so popular thru the holidays we just can't ignore the fact that many people need help to get started and to return to the higher price we used to charge just doesn't compute right now.

I cannot guarantee how long we will feel this way.  So don't wait. Act now so you won't be sorry later - and so you won't miss out on the start of the spring housing move and beautification efforts.

If you've already made some purchases that are part of the course, not to worry, as we will upgrade you manually and give you credit or substitutions so there are no duplications. But you'll have to contact us first (or make a notation of what you already have in the notation box under your shipping instructions, and we'll gladly make substitutions for you).

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Barbara is the director of the
Academy of Staging & Redesign, hosted at
the leading home study course in home staging and redesign.

About the Author

Barbara Jennings is author of 15 decorating books/ebooks: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Getting Paid: Financial Strategies for Home Stagers, Home Staging in Tough Times, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!, and Wall Groupings! The Secrets of Arranging Art and Photos

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