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Happy Valentine's Day to All

Spread the love. Let your family members, co-workers, friends, prospects and clients know you care about them. Send out cards with your special sentiments - or a gentle reminder for future business. If a box of candy is out of the question for health reasons, do a good deed for someone. Acts of kindness will always be welcome and well remembered. Send a financial gift to storm victims, such as Haiti. Remember that it will take several years for these victims to recover from their disaster, so once you send a financial gift, be prepared to follow that up with more help over a long period of time.

Choosing the Right Colors

colored pencilsColor is one of the most important, yet one of the most difficult decisions you will make for your home. With the tens of thousands of possibilities, made up of shades and tints of every hue, it can be pretty daunting to hone everything down and make the right decision for you and your home.

Consider some of these facts before you decide:

1) Yellow, orange and red are very warm colors and will advance toward you. They will make objects appear closer than they are in reality. They are good for very large rooms where you want to make the room appear more intimate.

2) Violet, blue and green are generally cool colors and will do just the opposite. They will recede from you and make it look as if they are further away than they really are. These are good choices in very small rooms, like bathrooms, where you want the room to appear larger than it is.

3) Since kitchens are commonly very warm when it comes to room temperature, cool colors in this room will help to neutralize that warmth.

When You're Not sure

what when where why how1) Gather all the swatches and samples you wish to consider and bring them home.

2) Take the samples to the room under consideration and view them in the lighting conditions of the room, both during the day and at night. This is important because of a phenomenon called "metamerism". Colors will appear to "change" depending on the type of light source they are seen under. If you look at carpeting, for example, in a showroom lit by cool fluorescent lights, and you bring the sample home and view it under warm incandescent lights, you very may find the color appears to have changed.  Cool lights are notorious for sucking the life out of beige colors, for instance.

And it's not just whether you use incandescent vs. fluorescent lighting. Other factors that will influence your colors are: the time of day (morning, noon, late afternoon); the direction of natural light (north, south, east, west); the weather and season (summer, sunny, winter, overcast, rainy, snowy). Other factors include: color processes, color classes and color-matching processes between manufacturers.

Colors most likely to have a metameric problem are: tan, grays, taupe, lilac, mauve, blue/gray and celadon. 

4) Reflected light, say from large colored surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors can also change the way a color looks. If you doubt this, select one of your paint samples and put in the middle of a table. Place another sample right next to it.  Does the first color appear different?  How about the second color?  Now change the second color or a third color.  Has the first color changed?  How about the third color?

3) Frustrated by the small size of your sample and not sure how it will look en masse on a wall?  An easy way to get a better feeling: Hold the sample up close to one eye so that it "covers" the wall you are considering.  Keep both eyes open as you now look past the sample and at the wall.  The eye with the sample in front of it will see just the sample. The other eye will see the wall and the room.  The sample will appear to "fill" the wall and you'll get an immediate feeling for what it will look like once you have covered a wall with it.  This should help you make your final decision.

Finally, the only sure way to go, particularly with paint choices, is to purchase a small can of your final choice.  Apply a brush out to a large area of the wall.  To avoid color surprises, this is the only really safe way to preview interior or exterior paint colors.

On the Subject of Hue

Hue is a word often used in the same way as the word "color", but it actually is the distinguishing difference between colors. Hue is the redness of red, the greenness of green, the blueness of blue. Hues are pure and undiluted colors. The three primary colors are red, blue and yellow. It's the mixtures of these three colors that produce every other color. Secondary colors are green, violet and orange.

There are hundreds of different hues and millions of variations of each hue, all which can be detected by the human eye. 

Change a hue or create a new one by combining neighboring hues. For instance, when you combine blue and violet, you get blue-violet.

Create harmony or contrast by the way you combine hues. Create harmony and restfulness with combinations that are next to each other on the color wheel. Place yellow next to violet to create contrast and excitement.

Use hues to create the effect of the desired temperature in your home 

How to Create Mood

creating moodThe easiest way to create a new feeling in your home - the most sure fire way too - is by changing the mood or ambience of the room. What type of light you have in the room and how much saturation makes a huge difference.

Don't overload your room with too much light. Too much of a good thing is simply too much. You don't need 17 lamps in a room to provide adequate lighting. On the other hand, too few can be hard on the eyes and detrimental over time. Here are some handy tips:

  • If you have tons of lights with full saturation, get to your home improvement supply store and buy some dimmers. You'll be amazed at how a dimmer can soften the room in the right places. Decide in advance which lights will be affected by which dimmers.
  • Use candles effectively to add mood. Now you don't want to light 1,000 candles so it looks like some kind of religious ceremony going on, but a few choice candles will really add a valuable dimension to the room. Candles are relaxing and inviting. Make sure they are placed in safe locations. Put them on stands and make sure they can't get accidentally knocked over. Common places to use them are: mantels, dining room tables, coffee tables, bathtub rims, countertops. When you're entertaining, candles make it appear that you've really given thought to the event.
  • Your choice of paint, believe it or not, can add or diminish light from a room. To reduce the light, go dark. Add glass or lacquer objects to pick up reflections. Black is back and oh so stylish, particularly for Asian, African or contemporary styles. Add drama by adding black accents - even a whole wall!
  • For the warmest glow in a room, choose pink halogen bulbs (not fluorescent). They cast a warm glow on everything. The bulbs should always be pink. This makes your skin tones look rosy too and that always will make you feel and look good in the room.

Choosing the Right Color Scheme

picking colorsLooking for a harmonious color scheme for a room? A color scheme provides a blueprint, guide, or plan for the furniture and accessories that will be used in a room.

Some Simple Steps:

Go with the colors you like. You will live with them a long time. Don't look to the current fad - it may be over very soon.

Magazine and decorating books are filled with ideas. You can start with simple things. I just finished redecorating my daughter's room who just graduated from college. She didn't know where to start or how, but she knew she loved crimson red. So we started with a fabric to be used as a valance over her only window. The other colors in the fabric determined the rest of the color scheme, which turned out to be antique gold, white and black, to go with the crimson. You can look to tapestries, art, a beautiful vase, your garden for your inspiration.

Be sure to consider the lighting in the room. If the room has little light, darker colors may seem too depressing. Remember you can lift a room of any color by the choice of pillows, art and other accessories.

Use each color (or at least a tint or shade of the color) more than once for a unified scheme. When a color is used just once, that element will tend to stand out too much and draw too much attention to itself.

Gather as many samples together as you can and try to make decisions for the whole room in advance, not as you go. Get one of my Decorating Organizer/Shoppers. It's great to take shopping. I never find myself without an important swatch or measurement when I have my Organizer with me. For more information on my organizer/shopping assistant, visit Decorating Shopper.

Keep the colors in adjoining rooms and spaces compatible with each other. You want the home to "flow". This will give it unity.

Some Extra Tips:

If you really can't decide, pick your favorite color and add white if the color is "cool". Add off-white if the color is "warm". Visit your local paint store. Picking warm colors to add to other warm colors will ensure that the colors blend well. Pick cool colors to blend with other cool colors. Paint chips are often pre-divided into warm and cool colors for you.

You can add drama into any monochromatic color scheme by varying the textures (so it doesn't become boring) and using a few accessories in bright, bold accent colors - a painting, a vase, a pillar candle. You get the point.

Start a New, Exciting Career Now!

diamond ruby home staging and interior redesign courseA huge number of readers have taken advantage of our Diamond Ruby course at $999.95, a 33% incredible reduction! This course used to sell for nearly $2000 - and more recently it sold for $1500 - but now it is priced lower than we've ever sold it for and you'd be foolish not to grab it if you're thinking of starting a home staging and redesign business. What an incredible deal to get the best, most comprehensive training in the industry.

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).

Here are the purchase links:


CANADA/ALASKA/HAWAII - Foreign countries please use this link. We will process any additional shipping charges to your country as a separate charge.

What to Do If Your Wallet Is Stolen

Not A Joke!! Even If you dislike attorneys, you will love them for these tips. Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company and I got it from my sister:

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line. Instead, Just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes Through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.

4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards. Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy A Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you Or someone you know:

5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy So you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)

7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
  • Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289
  • Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.

Enter email address in box and click on submit button below ($147 value).

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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

2002-2010 Present

Copyright Barbara Jennings

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