Decorating Tips & Advice – Design Basics

Dear Rhonda:

My bathroom has one very big, blank wall that the you face when you use the toilet. How do I decorate such a huge wall, When I put pictures on the wall they seem to look like they are just floating out there. If I put a lot of things it looks globy. How should I place things on the wall to make it appealing to the eye?

Get a theme in the room. Make it a gazebo and have the space directly across from the ‘water closet’ be the opening into a beautiful meadow or garden. Hang a window frame on the wall directly opposite the ‘water closet’ and place a print of some beautiful flowers or something behind it. Add some furniture. People are afraid to use furniture in their bathrooms. Why is that? Put a narrow table with some fun things on it. I personally think getting a theme and using that is the best solution. Bathrooms and powder rooms should be fun and different. It isn’t always pleasant when you are in these rooms, so make it so it CAN be fun! Think outside the box and have fun!

-Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

Could you kindly set me off on basic interior design ? Any bits of advice are most welcome, however basic. Thanks a lot.

I studied for 6 years to learn the basics and then when I began working in the field, had even more to learn. There are so many facets to design including texture, color, composition, and arrangement. Each designer has a different focus on how to approach a room. I, myself, begin with proper furniture arrangement and then arrange accessories and artwork. There is skill involved in creating a proper story in a room. There are some really great books out there to help you with this kind of thing and I highly suggest a book entitled: The New Decorating Book by Denise L. Caringer (Editor). Its an excellent "Bible" type book for decorating.

Thanks,

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I have a center-hall Colonial in northern NJ with no closets on the first floor. I’m tired of piling coats & jackets on a chair in the living room. What is a neat way to add closet space in a situation like this? On entering the house, the staircase is in the center, the living room to the left, the dining room to the right. We have windows on three of the four walls in the living room, as well as a fireplace, so we don’t have a nice long stretch of wall on which to build a spacious closet. Many thanks for any suggestions/advice.

First, love New Jersey! Its one of my favorite places to visit. It’s the Garden State you know!

If the long wall works for a closet, then place a closet there. My concern is that it will look like you added it and it was not a part of the original home. Instead why not look at a beautiful hall tree or coat rack in which to hang your coats. Sometimes you can find antiques from old courthouses or public buildings that will work well. That is my first suggestion. You live in a great part of the country for wonderful finds such as this. I don’t think I would add a built in closet just because unless it was done correctly, it will look like you added it later and not work with the flow of the home.

Add a piece of furniture instead! Enjoy Jersey!

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I have found a vast void in the decorating world…how to deal with Ranch style homes! Window treatments in particular. Also tips on updating the front doorways of this style of homes. We love all the positives of our Ranch home but would like to have more ideas how to make the most of them. Help please! There are thousands of us throughout the country!! Thank You!

My feeling on this is regardless of the actual style of your home, be it ranch, two story, split level, earth dome, or log cabin, the way you decorate them on the inside is exactly the same. I am afraid I don’t see any problem. You dress the windows in a ranch house just as you would in a two story or split level. Your windows may be of different sizes but every home has windows in odd places or of odd sizes.

About the front door and this is across the board regardless of what type of home you have: if food is the way to a man’s heart, then your front door is the "food" to visitors. It is the first experience people have with you. It must be eye catching and inviting. Always, always, always make your door a different color than your trim or siding. It should stand out and say, "Hey, this is where you enter this really wonderful home! You are invited to come in!" If you live in an area with a home owner’s association or town council that requires pre-approved permission for home color changes, then by all means get that permission. Don’t change the color then ask. It doubles your work and possibly a fine.

So, don’t feel that your ranch style home has been forgotten, just change your perspective and know that decorating it is the same as any home.

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I have a large three bedroom apartment and would like help decorating it. I love clocks, mirrors, pictures, and swags. Please tell me were can I order these type things, down here in Alabama?

With the invention of the Internet, you can pretty well go online and find such items. In fact this web site itself is filling its store to carry such things. As far as decorating your room, I hate to sound like an advertisement, but there are design services on this web site as well that can help you get the direction you need. With a plan for a direction to begin, you will be able to create the room you want.

Rhonda

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