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Archive for January 2011

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It dawned on me this morning to ask our “Inside Scoop” readers to propose their own books &c. for a well-stocked Decorator’s bookshelf. So I pose these questions:

  • What books have you come across that were helpful, useful, or just plain fun to flip through?
  • What books did you just want to fling across the room? (and secretly wished to get your money back!)
  • Have you magazines you look forward to seeing in your store or mailbox every month/quarter?

I’ll start off with a magazine, which isn’t solely dedicated to decorating in any way, but always gives such great “hints” because of the homes, hotels, and businesses spotlighted in its pages: Bliss Victoria magazine. Now, I’m not talking the “over the top” Victoriana decor by any means; but fine furniture, tasteful decorations, the small welcome tidbits like embroidered linens and classic, framed family-silhouettes. Just starts the mind buzzing, don’t you think?

Do you like books? Or, are you like me and you LOVE books!?

Checking out my favorite book website, a search on decorating brought up this interesting find:

Domino: The Book of Decorating Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home that Makes You Happy

Home owners and apartment dwellers alike will find nuggets of information on colors, schemes and decorating suggestions — but no one on the design team thought (in 2008) to include cellular window shades when discussing curtains and window shades (pages 240-245)! So we are presented with the “usual suspects”: roller shades, “matchstick” (natural wood “mat-type” blinds) shades, venetian blinds, and then move off into the fabric shades: romans, balloons, etc.

Recommended for its look at “pattern” and blackout versus sheer versus opaque window treatments, there’s a GREAT page on inside versus outside mounting of your shades, especially for those who want the illusion {great word!} of wider or taller or longer windows.

Of interest is the section on CONSIDER LEAVING WINDOWS BARE. What do they put down as instances of when to consider this option?

  • When you want to accentuate a drop-dead view in a public room (living room or dining room).
  • When you want to highlight elaborately carved moldings.
  • When you have a pared-down room that begs for windows “free from frippery”.

So let’s consider these points. I live on a “neighborhood” street; unlike everyone else, I would never consider living or dining room so public that I had nothing in the windows that I could close at night! This seems a great suggestion if you live in Manhattan…. or on an island in the Pacific…

Carved moldings can be easily highlighted with an inside mount of your cellular shade. Perfect fit within the frame of wood!

As to the last, well, “frippery” certainly is the antithesis of the clean crisp look of cellular shades.

In short, check out this delightfully-presented design source:

Some reader reactions:

  • “I am a major Domino fan.”
  • “…a terrific book for beginner decorators and people in their twenties to thirties.”
  • “More often [than] not decorating books are just eye candy; after read[ing] them once you are satisfied but done. This is NOT the case with Domino’s first book. The domino team has managed to create a book that you will keeping reading…”

Received over email yesterday a little tidbit from designer Michael Payne (I love his “Designing for the Sexes” show on HGTV!): Michael discusses adding color to your home decor to “enliven” your living space.

Even a “splash” of color can really give a room a little pick-me-up. My living room is a shell of warm-toned wood: oak flooring and knotty pine panels on the walls. Add to that a fantastic “fan” plasterwork ceiling and a lovely (and large!) brick fireplace flanked by two bookcases and you have the setting of a cosy evening inside while the storms swirl outside.

Color can come anywhere — from throw pillows on sofas and chairs, to a popping piece of artwork. Experiment!

Michael’s advice includes bringing in plants — something blooming (especially in the middle of winter!) is just the tonic for winter blues. Among my favorites are the ever-in-bloom begonia and the “tropical” appeal of the broad-leafed peace lily. See Better Homes & Gardens for recommendations of “24 Beautiful Blooming Houseplants“!

<– Can you imagine having these plush “rose-blush” blossoms crowding in a sunny spot in your home? I can! Add a sharp straw basket planter, or my personal favorite the copper pot and you’ve added ‘zing’ to your room!

Michael stays focused on ‘windows’ by then moving from plants to tassels and curtain tiebacks. Readers of The Scoop know that the cellular shades on the window can also add that dash of color and pattern. We’ve plans to add some *NEW* light filtering fabric options in the near future — so stay tuned, and come back often to check out the latest thoughts, ideas and problem solutions.

To visit Michael Payne’s website, click here.

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