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LIVING ROOMS – how to decorate

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Usually in a home the most important rooms are the “PUBLIC ROOMS”; rooms that we usually open to our guests and visitors. Our living rooms, our dining rooms, our foyers, the porch in the front of the house, and of course the powder room.

 These places reveal a lot about our taste, style, and likes. They reveal visually what we like ‘others’ to see in us;  they are our ‘made-up’ face – the one we always want to show to the outside world.

We tend to do up these rooms very consciously, and with a keen awareness that other people would be looking at our possessions and somehow judging us – they would be making a quick analysis of who we are, how we think, and most importantly what we value in life – The rooms reflect us like mirrors. They open up a little window to our lives, and our personalities.

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But I have a quip here. Why are we always so concerned and anxious about what others think of us. In my view our home should be done up, and done up well, not because the society will commend us, but how it will give us comfort and pleasure, and for sure be a reason to be proud. Having said that, it is essential that areas of our homes which we open to welcome others must be decorated. In this post I will talk of living rooms, which may be drawing-room or, a lounge in which are generally used for entertain friends and relatives. Here are my tips for lovely and lovingly done up living rooms:

    • Never try to copy another.
    • It is perfectly legitimate to admire a friend’s living room, or something in a magazine, but instead of ‘copying’ be inspired. Now you would wonder how the two are different for they are. Copying or imitating means you blindly follow another person’s vision, in fact you haven’t a clue of another’s vision, you are merely ‘seeing’ individual sections of the room, and trying to recreate the same thing in your home. The end result is usually, and quite predictably a mish mash of design, a clash of what was and what is for there will always exist a gap in what your eyes see, and most importantly what your eyes miss. But don’t get me wrong. Looking at other homes, and pictures in magazines/web is a wonderful way to get ideas, and of developing your own personal style. It’s a good way to start looking for what looks appeal to you, and what isn’t very attractive to you.
    • If you are unsure about using color then stick to white. Ivory and magnolia is quite dated now. White – bright and brilliant – is the color of today. Please – always use good quality paint, its worth the money you spend for the finish will be smooth, will last longer, and the color will come out true. I have done enough experiments with cheap color and all have ended up is distaster – by spending more than I initially planned on saving. White is a safe and a fashionable at the moment.
    • I recommend using different shades of white in one room to add depth. But if you doing the room for the first time I’d advise sticking to just one plain shade of brilliant white. And you’ll always come out a winner. – By using white I mean going monochromatic. Just use one color for walls, sofas, furniture, and accessories. If you are feeling confident then any wood color furniture apart from yellow artificial oak will go wonderfully, and add traditional class.
    • For texture add different finishes of fabric on curtains and walls, go for mixing cotton with silk, taffeta, damask, velvet.
    • Accessories should be minimal unless you have a collection of white decorating pieces that coordinate; you can develop a story line with them or else the room will look cluttered. For instance, selection of white vases grouped together, white picture frames, white cushions and so on.
    • White is very easy to mix with other colors or just one color. If an all white room sound daunting to you then add one color to create drama. One bright color like blue, bright yellow will give the room oomph factor and make it stand out.

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    • I am a color person. I love bright vibrant colors as well as dark moody ones. So if you want to be dramatic and create a room with most impact go for color with all the zest. If you use color fearfully, it will show and it will show very badly. So unless you love a color, and you want to create a room to remember and be different; go for shades like thunder grey, dark aubergine, deep mustard, mossy green, navy. These can be accented with either one or several colors you may like or you can always consult the color wheel which gives an idea of complimenting and contrasting colors.

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    • Color adds excitement – gives me goose bumps, and is the perfect backdrop for all kinds of things. Your accessories don’t have to match in a colored room they just stand out on their own. But a warning, color has to used keeping in view the position of the room, what purpose would it be used for, and of course the light in it. 
    • Another myth that I would like to debunk is – using light colors in smaller rooms makes them look bigger and brighter.Nothing could be far from the truth. Small rooms look dingy, boring and just ugh with flat colors. It’s best to use dark, deep colors in dark small areas again to give character and personality.

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