Category Archives: Decorating Tips

Hanging Pictures


I often get people asking me how to properly hang pictures. Here are my guidelines.

CHRISTINE’S 10 PICTURE HANGING GUIDELINES:

  1. Artwork should not be wider than the piece of furniture below it and if narrower then it should be at least half the length.
  2. If narrower, then it should be accompanied by smaller pieces of art work or other pieces (irons, plants) hung so it is centered according to the larger piece.
  3. Artwork groupings should be spaced no further than 8” apart and no closer than 3”.
  4. The bottom of the artwork should never be so far away from the furniture item below it that it no longer can relate. Hang it generally no more than 6”-10” away.
  5. If you are hanging a picture above a table that will have items on it such as picture frames or a vase, make sure that the picture will not be blocked completely by these items, a little bit is ok but you don’t want to over crowd the area.
  6. When hanging multiple pictures make sure the frames either coordinate or complement each other. A simple black frame could ook silly next to a chunky ornate gold frame.
  7. Hang artwork of similar styles & coloring together.
  8. Smaller pictures looks best when hung in a group, either all lined up or mixed around and hung with other artwork of different sizes
  9. Heavier pieces of artwork should be hung below lighter pieces, whether it’s heavy in size, weight or color.
  10. When it doubt either tape off the frame size or cut paper the sizes of your artwork and tape it to the wall. This is so you can see what it would look like BEFORE you put holes in your wall.

Chalkboard Paint!!!


Create a fun, functional chalkboard in any room of your home with paint that is erasable, washable, and fun!

Fun all year long. Turn your kids room, play room, office, or just about any area you can think of into your own personal blackboard. You can get Benjamin Moore’s  Studio Finishes® Chalkboard Paint from their Online Store or at your local Benjamin Moore retailer. You apply it just like any other paint, add chalk, get an eraser and voila…a place to create artwork, leave eco-friendly messages, a reminder calendar and whatever else you wish to do with it.

SOME IDEAS FROM BENJAMIN MOORE….

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for an Eco-Friendly Message Board
Eco-Friendly Message Board 

Wouldn’t it be convenient to scribble down your shopping list, phone messages, reminders, etc. right on your pantry door or fridge? Just use chalkboard paint to create a handy and reusable space for any kind of list.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for the menu of the day
Menu for the Day 

In the kitchen, frame a chalkboard square on the wall with decorative molding or a colorful paint to display the day’s menu. This can be a great touch for special family meals and when entertaining guests.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for creating a cool canvas for your kids'  artwork
Let Your Kids Draw on the Walls 

Create a cool canvas for kids’ artwork by painting a chalkboard square in their bedroom or playroom wall and drawing a frame around it with a fun paint color. They’ll love to see their artwork in a frame—and be less likely to paint on the other walls!

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for a cool family planner - paint color razzle dazzle 1348
Cool Family Planner 

A home office is the ideal spot for a family planner. Coat part of a wall with chalkboard paint and create four weeks’ worth of squares in a variety of chalk colors. Use it just like a regular planner for events, reminders, school schedules, and lots more.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for naming your flower pots
What’s in the Flowerpot? 

If you enjoy growing herbs indoors, paint terracotta planters with chalkboard paint and label them with chalk to keep track of exactly what’s growing where—from basil to mint.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for a tabletop canvas
A Tabletop Canvas 

Kids love to draw on “forbidden” surfaces like tabletops or closet doors. Turn these surfaces into wondrous canvases with chalkboard paint and multicolored chalk—they’ll love it, and it’s easy to clean up.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for storage compartments
Organize Your Bins 

Do you have to rummage through your storage bins every time you need to find something you put away? Problem solved: Just paint chalkboard squares on your bins and label them. It’s a great way to keep things organized.

Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint for personalized coasters
Personalized Coasters 

Personalize your coasters with chalkboard paint for just about any occasion. Use them as name cards at your dinner parties, draw storks on them for your best friend’s baby shower, or use magnetic tape to put them on your fridge as mini-blackboards.

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Design Trends for 2011


With our economy in the dumps what we are all wanting is to remember happier times. With that what you will most likely see as a leading design trend for 2011 are throw backs. Look for newer versions of 1940’s design, Tudor to Elizabethan and some Tribal & Native American influences. Also animal and whimsical prints will be hanging around but beware of going overboard.

There will be a lot more mixing of old with new as people try to bring life back to their older. Also a lot more focus and use out of “grandma’s antique chair”, thus reminding us of the past and of happy family moments.

Watch out for colors that will aim to inspire and will be bolder and brighter while still using those subtle hues and classic neutrals.

Sincerely,

Christine Craig

Owner & Principal Designer of Designology Santa Barbara

http://www.DesignSB.com

COLOR TRENDS 2011 BY DUNN EDWARDS

Look for a lot of softer pastels as people seek to bring a sense of calm to their homes and offices. Bold colors such a jewel tones will still be featured but will be shown in a more subtle display than before.

FABRIC PRINTS BY GREENHOUSE DESIGNS

A bit of whimsy, traditional, modern and good old basics look well placed together if done  correctly.

RECYCLED BARN SIDING FLOORING

This weathered barn siding has been reused to become a rustic hardwood flooring. The flooring is made up primarily of white oak but with some red oak pieces mixed in and being outside and exposed to the elements has aided in creating a grayed patina look that translates beautifully into hardwood flooring. This is a perfect way to reuse something that would normally be thrown away and to bring a sense of warmth to your surroundings.

REUPHOLSTERY

Not many people have the money to spend on furnishings like they use to. Instead make something old new again. If you already have some old furniture you can reupholster you are already ahead of the game if not hit those yard sales and thrift stores for hidden gems. Jazz up an antique chair by adding a bold and fun print. A little sanding and refinishing never hurts either.

1940’s INSPIRED KITCHEN

Bringing the past into the future is not a new concept but this oldie but goody is definitely making it’s way back into our homes and hearts.

RETRO CHIC BEDROOM

A sense of calm mixed with drama creates a fun flair that does not go overboard and looks clean and fresh.

TRIBAL WHIMSY

Definitely more dramatic and it shouldn’t be used everywhere unless you love chaos. Use items seen in this room sparingly. Remember you can always add, it’s much more difficult to take away.

ENGLISH TUDOR GROTTO REPRODUCTION

Warm, elegant and comfortable. There is something so comforting about being surrounded by well tailored and aged elements. Mix dark with light and keep those family memories alive by surrounding your living room, study or game room with nostalgia games and well read books. Also don’t forget good lighting is key!

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Nine design tricks maximize small home spaces


—- Brilliant article posted on usatoday.com. I couldn’t agree more with their design tips. I currently am doing a remodel in which we are implementing a lot of the spacial intrigues and soffits that Sarah Susanka talks about it her books. If you haven’t yet check out all authors listed in the article below.

– Christine Craig

By Martin E. Klimek, for USA TODAY
Green living isn’t just about the latest solar-powered gadget or eco-minded iPhone app. It’s also about reducing utility bills and reusing what you have. So if you think your house is small, take a new look at your space before adding more or moving to a bigger house.

You can garner tips from Gale Steves’ new book,Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle, recently profiled in Green House.There’s also Sarah Susanka‘s Not So Big Remodeling, published last year, and Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s recentApartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces.

By Keith Srakocic, AP

Also quite helpful are nine design tricks for maximizing small spaces offered by Jenny Sullivan, senior editor of Builder Magazine. I’m using many of these tricks in building my ultra-efficient home, including pocket doors, skylights, open floorplan, multi-use rooms and indoor-outdoor living. Here’s Sullivan’s list:

  1. Go for pocket doors. A pocket or wall-mounted sliding door can yield 10 square feet of usable space that would otherwise by taken up by clearance on a swinging door. These nifty little space-savers can be particularly handy for closing off kitchen pantries, storage closets, computer niches, or even entire rooms.
  2. Improve circulation. Hallways tend to eat up precious square footage and can make a small house feel cramped. The good news is you probably don’t need them, seeing as how today’s casual lifestyles are conducive to open floor plans with fewer interior walls. When communal zones such as the kitchen, dining and living area flow together, narrow passageways are unnecessary.
  3. Build secret hideaways. Rule number one in making a wee space feel larger? Reduce visual clutter. Think about how to exploit wall cavities and other nooks and crannies to create clever hiding spots for things such as trash, recycling, canned goods, linens and seating.
  4. Aim high. You can do a lot with a tiny footprint if you think vertical. The mini-lofts of Olympic Studios are only 375 square feet each, but they feel pretty spacious, thanks to 17-foot ceilings and clerestory metal sash windows.
  5. Create memory points. The great thing about small spaces is that little touches can go a long way–particularly quirky little gems that fall at eye level, such as antique drawer pulls, a banister of reclaimed wood or an artsy door knocker.
  6. Say no to claustrophobia. There are ways to delineate functional areas in a small plan without resorting to closed-up drywall….
  7. Worship the sun. Natural daylighting can have a transformative effect in the tiniest and most awkward of spaces. Skylights (can) do the trick….
  8. Use it or lose it. Formal living rooms and dining rooms are dust collectors that more and more buyers seem willing to forgo in the new era of efficiency. Single-use rooms are giving way to flexible realms that do double or triple duty. Consider the kitchen island that facilitates food prep, casual dining, homework and happy hour. Or the study that morphs into a painting studio or sleeping porch.
  9. Bring the outside in. Architect Darrell Russell’s custom-built Florida home is a tidy 1,000 square feet, but it doesn’t skimp on views. The big windows were a splurge, yes, but … they deliver… sight lines that extend far outside the house and into the lush landscape. The result is a small envelope that costs less to air-condition and maintain, but offers the feeling of openness and light.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/07/small-spaces-live-large/1

How Do You Choose A Color Palette?


For some people choosing a color palette is easy, you use your favorite color and work other colors in with it but not everyone has an easy time of it. Some people can get so intimidated by color and don’t even know what they like until someone else brings it up or you stumble upon it. Of course I will point out that this is where home stagers, decorators and designers come in. But for those who still don’t know or need an idea of where to start, here you go.

Here is how to get started with those blank walls and way to neutral rooms.

Formal Areas: Chosing a color palette for your living room, dining room and entry way are not only crutial but by far the easiest. They tend to dictate the rest of the house and need a lot of punch as your want them to be your impact rooms. Take something you really like and use it as your focal point. Typically artwork (paintings, tapestries…etc.) are best for this. Once you have your item pull some colors from it. Don’t be afraid of bold or wild you can use toned down versions for your more private spaces such as your master bedroom, den or home office.

Pull from big printed pieces: Fabrics from your sofa, chair or even a rug will be another inspiration and a place to pull color from. If you’re looking for a neutral paint color for the walls, look for the beiges and whites in the pattern.

Look in your closet: This is mostly for those of you who love color but maybe aren’t sure where to start. Look in your closet if there is a particular color you see a lot of then you clearly wear it so why not decorate with it. Most closets will have a lot of whites, neutrals, blacks, browns and grays which is great but pay close attention to the other colors you seemingly love. Those colors will do great as your accent color.

Start dark on the bottom and move up: Taking a que from nature dark color reside at our feet and get lighter as it reaches the sky. Use this method while decorating. Start with a darker floor color, chose a medium color for paint and the lightest color for your ceiling.

Color Wheel: (See my “Color Psychology” post) Blues and greens are more casual and relaxing and work best in informal or private spaces, keep it out of kitchens unless you plan on not cooking or eating. This is a good strategy for a bedroom, where you want to rest and recover. Complementary colors—those opposite each other on the wheel, such as red & green, blue & orange and yellow & purple —provide more definition and tend to make rooms more formal and exciting. This is a good plan for areas where you plan on entertaining. The two colors together help balance a room.

Use the rule of 60-30-10: This is one of the best & most important rule to use when decorating a space. Divide the colors in the space into components of 60% of a dominant color, 30% of a secondary color and 10% will remain as an accent color. Typically your walls will be the 60%, your upholstery & furnishings would represent the 30% (secondary color) and lastly the 10% remaining would refer to your accessories (artwork, pillow fabrics, floral arrangements…etc. The colors are properly balanced and help in moving your eye comfortably through out the room and the accent color in there helps spark some interest.

Go with the architecture: If you have a small room in your house, you don’t have paint it white just to make it appear larger. (See my “Optical Illusion with Paint ” post) Instead go with the architecture and paint it a rich, warm color to make it cozier. Let your big rooms expand with light, let your small rooms wrap you up and nurture you.

Your own style: Whatever style or color you decide make sure your home reflects you. If you are a warm, bubbly person it will seem odd for you to live a stark modern style home. Not that you can’t be different but your home should reflect you. People like going to other people’s homes because it gives them more of an idea of what you are like. Don’t be afraid to show that.

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10 Random Uses for Scrabble Tiles


Here are many of other way to use Scrabble Tiles other than playing Scrabble of course…

  1. Frames: Hot glue them around plain frames and spell out someone’s name or just do it at random and give it to someone as a gift.
  2. Magnets: Glue magnets on the back of them for a cheaper and prettier (in my opinion) way of displaying letters on your refrigerator for your kids to play with.
  3. Drawer Labels: Use them as labels on drawers, gluing them in sequence to spell something.
  4. Decorative Table Top: Cover the top of a table with them, if inlaid you can fill in the empty spaces with resin. This looks extra cool in a game room
  5. Bracelet: With a small bit drill a hole all the way through and string elastic and other beads if you want making a bracelet.
  6. Bookshelf: Cover the front of it with letters again either spelling things or at random
  7. Unfinished Edges: Is generally big enough to cover unfinished plywood edges
  8. Photo Albums: Use them to label the front of a photo album
  9. Decorative Candles: Glue around the outside of a candle for an interesting look
  10. Entertaining Fun: Leave a set of tiles on a tray during a party. By the end of the night guaranteed someone will have made something fun out of them. 😉

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Optical Illusions Using Paint


Using light and dark colors differently in a room can give an entirely perception of the space. Typically light colors and warmer tones will make a room look bigger while darker and cooler colors make a room look smaller.

Read below other optical illusions you can create using different colors and tones.

Boca_Grande_10

1 Color: Using the same color &/or various tints and shades of it throughout a room keeps the room looking as it actually is. Light makes it seem bigger though and typically dark makes it seem smaller.

Continue reading

How To Do A Room Layout


To start get a sheet of paper (preferably graph paper) and draw a quick sketch of the room you will be doing a floor plan for. You will need an architectural scale (you can find at most art stores) because later you will be doing a to scale drawing. To start a quick sketch is easiest.

Continue reading

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Color Psychology


So you need to pick some colors for your home. Bet you didn’t realise just how much of an affect color has on our senses. See more about it below…

  • Red packs a big punch which is why it is most often used as an accent color rather than a main color. In most people it increases blood pressure, heartbeat, energy and can bring about feelings of passion,  intimacy and oddly enough…hunger. Which if you may have noticed is why it is used so often in restaurants. It’s a great choice for kitchens and dining rooms.
  • Orange, is a friendly and welcoming color. Various shades, tints and hues of orange look good in living rooms and kitchens.
  • Yellow while it is like orange and is warm and welcoming it also packs a punch. It is a good paint color to use in darker areas of the home such as hallways or areas you want to brighten up such as entryways, bathrooms and kids rooms.
  • Green is probably the most relaxing of all the colors. It’s is most often found in nature and reflects a calmness and freshness and is more versatile than blue. Green of different hues, tones, tints are perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens,dining rooms and well basically anywhere. Since green is so soothing it is often used in hospitals, office buildings, schools and hotels.
  • Blue is ideal for bedrooms because it is a calm and tranquil color and has the same effect on our emotions. BUT stear clear of it for dining rooms and kitchens because unlike red it is an appetite suppressant.
  • Violet or purple can be very difficult. It is not often found in nature and many people often dislike the color all together unless it is close enough to the color found in roses and other flowers. Soft hues of purple look beautiful in rooms such as dining rooms, bedrooms, bathroom and kids rooms.
  • Brown is the color of earth and is found everywhere in nature. While brown can be a sad color is it also most typical of masculinity which is why men are more often drawn to brown than women are.

While these details are great to know. What you like and feel maybe different from the mentioned above so go with what you love and your home will reflect that.

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