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Gearing Up for Holiday Decorating

To properly decorate your home (or a client's home) for the holidays, you need a workable understanding of how color works so you can create a pleasing ambience. One of the best ways to learn is through the color wheel.

A color wheel can be understood best as the spectrum of colors bent into a circle. It organizes colors into an understandable and logical sequence. It describes the relationships between colors. If you will notice it is organized so that any two PRIMARY COLORS (red, yellow, blue) are separated by the SECONDARY COLORS (orange, violet, and green).

Notice there are three primary colors; red, yellow and blue. You can use primary colors to mix and create all other colors.

Primary Colors are your most basic colors and cannot be created from other colors. Think of them as you would prime numbers in mathematics. Two primaries can be mixed together to get a Secondary Color. Therefore each Secondary Color on the Color Wheel is flanked by two primary colors.

There are consequently three secondary colors: green, orange, and violet. Secondary colors are the hues between the primary hues on the color wheel.

Complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. Violet and yellow are complimentary to each other; Blue and orange are complimentary to each other; Red and green are complimentary to each other. You could say color complements are color opposites. These colors contrast each other in the most extreme way possible. They also help to make each other more active.

Intermediate colors. There are six intermediate colors: red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange. These colors are created by mixing a secondary color with a primary color.

You can never go wrong by mixing colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel or colors that are opposite one another on the wheel. So if you're not sure, start there; then experiment with other schemes.

But remember color has three properties:

1. Hue. Hue is the name of a color, such as red, blue, or yellow.
2. Value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a hue (color). The value of a hue can be changed by adding black or white.
3. Intensity. Intensity is the brightness or dullness of a hue (color). Pure hues are high-intensity colors. Dull hues are low-intensity colors. Vary the values and the intensities within the room, otherwise it might be over-the-top too bold.

Warm colors. Warm colors express warmth; they are red, yellow and orange.

Cool colors. Cool colors have the feel of being cold or cool; they are blue, violet and green.

However, it should be noted that all colors have a warm and cool version with more temperature neutral versions in between the two extremes.

Centerpiece Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table and More

I love fall colors.  I especially love getting to sleep in an extra hour this Sunday before going to church. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm already planning how I'm going to decorate my table.  I get a lot of pressure, you know, since I'm in the design trade. How about you?

So Thanksgiving becomes the perfect time of year to focus on fall colors and bring that influence into your home. Fall colors typically are nature's colors as opposed to the reds and whites and silvers of Christmas or the light bright colors of summer. The colors are nothing short of spectacular and provide an excellent palette upon which you can decorate your home.

The leaves and foliage of fall make excellent arrangements and garlands. If you want to hold onto the look for years to come and incorporate them into your regular fall decorating rather than simply enjoying them for one Thanksgiving holiday there are plenty of excellent and life-like silk leaf garlands that will make excellent additions to your home decorating contributions. The better quality you find in these the more likely they are to stand up to years of service and storage. The same holds true with any imitation items you purchase. Better quality typically indicates a much longer shelf life.

Fall fruits and vegetables also make excellent decorations when it comes to giving thanks and home decorating. In fact, the food from the harvest and the friendship of the Indians was the very reason for the first Thanksgiving why on earth shouldn’t it be included in your celebration of thanks?

Wreathes in fall colors are another excellent idea for decorating your home for Thanksgiving. It makes all who enter feel welcome and it is appropriate for the season. There is no such thing in this day and age as an all season wreath though there are many that can be adjusted to meet the needs of each season with simple steps. A grapevine wreath is a good start and can easily have seasonal things tied or attached to it in order to experience greater longevity.

Pilgrims also make an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving decorations. They were after all the original celebrants of this tradition that has become a holiday for this great nation. You can have your children help select or even make the pilgrims that you will be adding to your decorations as well as a handprint turkey or two. Not all home decorations need to be expensive or elegant. Sometimes the simplest decorations drawn by the hands of a child are the ones that make the most memorable impressions on friends and family alike.

Cornucopias are another great centerpiece and decoration for the Thanksgiving holiday. Not everyone has a large enough dinner table to accommodate one of these but they also work well on a buffet, a hall table, and almost any other location your heart can desire and you can manage to fit it in.

If all else fails however, the food for Thanksgiving is all the decorations that some at your table will need. Do not forget the meaning of this season a time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life and enjoy the food and the decorations but more importantly enjoy the friends and the family.

Potpourri of More Festive Ideas

Dried Floral Arrangements

Fall is particularly a good season for me, decorating wise, because my home is fill with the fall palette of colors anyway. . . . Dried Floral Arrangements

Holiday Time Management Tips

During the busy holiday season, it's more important than ever to organize and manage your time properly to maximize your enjoyment of the season. If you utilize holiday time management techniques, . . . Holiday Time Management

Making Time for Friends and Family

I'm not much of an entertainer, I must admit. It may shock you, but I dislike cooking and will do almost anything to avoid it. But of course that's not very practical . . . Making Time

Become the Perfect Party Planner

How to Host and Decorate for Great Parties! How to Create a Great Home! Have you ever wanted to host a fabulous party, decorated beautifully, and have all of your guests think you hired a professional decorator? . . . Planning Great Parties

Patriotic Children's Picture Books Teach the 1st and 2nd Amendment and More

Are you a conservative, concerned parent or grandparent? Are you concerned about the direction our country is going in?  Are you looking for great Christmas gift ideas? Are you looking for tools you can use to educate your children on the values of our founding fathers, our constitution, our flag and the Bill of Rights? Resources are available that will help you help them learn about our country and how to value the freedoms we all enjoy. One day they may be faced with the need to defend them vigorously - even more than today.

Help your children understand freedom and what it means. These books will not only be enjoyable stories for them to read, but they will probably create many opportunities for interaction and discussion.

Now you have access to some great story books to share with your children (ages 4-12) that they will absolutely love for you to read to them or to read for themselves. They will learn the Preamble to the Constitution with one; how to take care of the flag with another; the importance of freedom of speech and the right to assembly peacefully to express their wishes with yet another; the right of freedom of religion with another; and the right to bear arms to protect self and loved ones with another.

For details, please visit PatriotCats.Com. We are living in perilous times and our freedoms are being eroded away every day. Prudent parenting requires getting involved in your children's education at an early stage. Don't leave it up to others to make sure your children understand the wonderful heritage that is theirs.


Order your set of books in early and use Thanksgiving as a perfect opportunity to introduce the stories for the younger children after dinner is over. One family discovered their children were eager to draw cats for hours after reading just one story. So the books are great as activity motivators. Be sure to have plenty of drawing paper, pencils and crayons on hand.

Our Help Comes From Above

1. Wake Up - Mae a decision right with you get up to have a good day. "Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" - Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up - Your attitude is so important to how successful you will be. Start your day with a smile and end it the same way.  "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart." - I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up!! - Watch what you say, particularly if tempted to be critical. Be willing to listen more than you speak for we have been given two ears but only one mouth. "He who guards his lips guards his soul." - Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!! - What do you believe in? Are you willing to take a stand for your beliefs? "Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..." - Galatians 6:9-10 5.

5. Look Up!! - The wisdom of man is foolishness to God; and the wisdom of God is foolishness to man. Look for your wisdom from the God of creation. "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up!! - Reach beyond yourself to a power greater than you. No man is an island and God is waiting for you to turn to Him in good times as well as bad. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path." - Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up!! - Lift up your hands to the Lord in prayer. Pray without ceasing. Humble yourself before God so He can speak to you and guide you. "Do not worry about anything; Instead pray about everything." - Philippians 4:6

I hope you voted for people of integrity, who understand the constitution and value the precepts our founding fathers put in place. Send this page to the people you care about, especially those experiencing hard times. Pass this on and brighten someone's day! 

P.S. We lost our free discussion forum. Our hosting provider must have changed servers on us and failed to transfer the files supporting our free forum. So it's gone. We apologize for any inconvenience this unfortunate outcome has caused and sincerely thank those that worked so hard to make it a success.

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Instead of the traditional cornucopia, why not decorate up this year? Use your tiered display dishes or create one out of a set of baskets (each basket is smaller than the other).

Small clear glass containers are excellent ways to help bring out the festivities of the holiday. Fill them with colorful candies or nuts. Fill them with cranberries or grapes. Even corn will do.


Barbara Jennings is author of 17 decorating books/ebooks: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, A Real Estate Agent's Guide to Offering Free Home Staging Consultations, 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, Do's and Don'ts in Home Staging and Redesign, and Wall Groupings! The Secrets of Arranging Art and Photosos

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Barbara Jennings

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