Ready, Set, Decorate!

Decorating image 1
Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver
It is very important to decorate your home in a way that brings you happiness and comfort. It does not need to be perfect and photo shoot-ready but, when you come home from a long and stressful day, you want that welcoming feeling as you walk into your house. Whether you own it or rent it, personalizing your space gives you a sense of ownership and pride. Some people accomplish this with soft lighting or a particular paint color on the walls. Others enjoy having inspirational sayings or pictures of loved ones positioned around the house. Comfortable or elegant furnishings along with decorative objects that have a particular meaning or memory can also reflect your personality and history. Most importantly, when you get tired of things the way they are, you can change the d├ęcor a little or a lot, and freshen up your space to change the mood and energy of the entire room.

Different colors have a definite effect on your mood and disposition. Bright colors uplift your mood while softer shades and pastels have more of a calming effect. For example, different hues of the color orange are said to inspire energy and joy. Yellow is the color of warmth and light. Red, however, is the color of confidence and power. It is an overwhelming color and is usually used to accent rooms instead of being the main focus. Different shades of blues and greens generally set a relaxing tone for a space. There are tons of ways to create completely new looks or just update a current room using quick and colorful changes. I am always amazed and impressed when people are able to complete a creative project that transforms an entire space in just one weekend!

Young House Love; Paint & Color
Now as I was saying, paint is one of the most popular ways to change the whole tone and feeling of a room. You can paint just one wall of a room a bold color and keep the other walls a more neutral color to create an accent wall. This is a genius way to create a point of focus. The same effect can also be accomplished with wallpaper or even a fabric wall hanging on just one wall. You can paint all the walls of a particular room different shades of the same base color to create depth and light. Be careful though—many times the color you see in the store turns into a totally different color on your wall depending on the light that is in the room. The best way to avoid this dilemma is to buy different samples of paint and to paint little patches on the wall to see what the colors will look like. A while ago, when I decided to paint the family room, I chose what looked like a light mint green in the store. The furniture in the room was on the dark side and I wanted to lighten up the room
Decorating Ideas Under $100 from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
a bit. When I started painting the first wall, I began to realize that the color was way brighter than shown on the paint can. It was actually kind of on the neon side of the spectrum. Well, I continued to paint the entire room this color and, although it was not what I wanted, I lived with it for a couple of years. Neon green walls really do hide children's fingerprint stains well. When I became tired of the green, I painted the room again in a softer light blue. Even though the furniture is all the same, the room has a new, peaceful feeling about it.

Sometimes when you are in a rental property, you are unable to paint a wall or room. There are plenty of other temporary ways to personalize your home. You can put framed pictures of family members or inspirational sayings around the home to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. A great way to artistically do this is to find frames that are the same color. I prefer basic black frames to create uniformity and cluster them together. Many of the decorating books that I checked out suggested buying inexpensive frames in different sizes, taking out the glass, and spray painting them all in a bold, bright color. This way, the frames all match and can add brightness and fun to a wall or shelf.
The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Debora Needleman

Accessories are yet another wonderful and fun way to add color and function to a room. Table lamps, bright throw pillows, accent rugs, and meaningful and decorative objects are temporary ways to add points of interest to a room. After a memorable vacation at the beach, I put the shells that we collected on the coffee table in an inexpensive tray as decoration. Later, when I got tired of looking at (NOTE: dusting) the seashells, I hot-glued a bunch of them on a wooden frame and put in a picture of my boys from that summer trip. A vacation memento turned into a decorative object and then had a rebirth as meaningful memory. Whenever I see that framed picture of my boys on the beach, it makes me smile and I can almost smell the ocean.

Another way that I alter the ambiance of my living room is to change out the accent colors every few months. The neutral cream-colored walls and beige furniture serve as the perfect canvas to add accessories to brighten up the room in different ways throughout the year. By switching out the accent rugs in my living room and then adding complimentary throw pillows for a pop of color, I am able to change the entire feeling of the space. During the holidays one year, I decorated with beaded accent pillows and a fancy velvet throw in a deep burgundy. Another year, I was really into peacocks. I was given a HUGE floor vase with images of peacocks on it as a gift. I went to my local craft store and bought peacock feathers and long branches covered in silver glitter. I put those items in the vase and set it in the corner of my living room. Then I threw a few teal colored accent pillows on the couches and added a bronze and silver decorative bowl on the coffee table and voila! The point of all this is that it does not take much to change your entire room. Any new object or color can inspire you to redecorate your home to change the ambiance and mood. Check out some books from the library to get fun and interesting ideas to update your home in just a few easy steps.

Decorating Books

Living in a Nutshell by Janet Lee

Decorating Ideas Under $100 from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update and Show You Home Some Love by Sherry & John Persik

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Debora Needleman

Paint & Color by Jeanne Huber

Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver

—Kaneeze from the Hightstown Branch


  1. Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to using them to freshen up the house!


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