Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Soothing Decorating Tips from BHG

Some interesting tips from BHG today. Nothing new,or exciting, really, but worth remembering.And in time to put us in the mood of homecoming.

Go with White
If white or light-toned neutrals (such as cream, off-white, or taupe) appeal to your calming instincts, use plenty of texture: Flat white walls and smooth white furnishings can readily blend into boredom. And add shades of warmth: Use gold, pale tans, or faded yellows to keep white from looking too sterile.

Create a Cluster of Color
Bright hues attract the eye and focus the mind. Maximize the comforting effect of favorite colored accessories by clustering them together to create a focal point. That way every time you pass by, you'll take in the collective joy of the items. Be sure to choose a place you notice every day, such as a fireplace mantel.

Maximize the Appeal of a Fireplace
Make the most of the relaxing appeal of the entire hearth area. Extend the decorating scheme to the walls around and the floor below a fireplace to create a vignette. Include a decorative screen, a cluster of birch branches, or a silk flower arrangement for the firebox when the fireplace is not in use, or the dark, empty spot will detract from the relaxing effect of your arrangement.

Warm an Area with Candles
The soft glow of candles adds a sense of ease to any space; they're conducive to both quiet thoughts and lively conversation, so use them generously throughout your house. Be it tapers, pillars, or votives, keep a substantial supply on hand. Also collect several favorite candleholders so you'll have fresh candles and clean holders on hand when you want them.

Work with Light
Most every day, the sun casts an evolving, flowing pattern of light through the rooms of your house. Take advantage of nature's gift by throwing back the blinds and enjoying the sunlight that rushes in. At night a room will have a more peaceful feeling with fixtures and bulbs that cast a gentle, friendly light.

Add the Sounds that Soothe
The hands-down winner of calming sounds is running water. Mind that the sound must be the kinetic sound of flowing water. Fountains are the perfect mimic of this sound. Whether it's outdoors or in, add a fountain to your life, and when you need a few moments of peace, sit close, close your eyes, and let your mind float away for a few precious moments

Scent the Air
One of the quickest routes to relaxation is introducing a pleasant fragrance. It's a biological fact: The receptors in your nose have a direct route to the portion of the brain affecting a sense of well-being. In addition, scented candles and attractive perfume bottles cue the eye to expect an engaging sensory experience.

Bring Out the Family Photos
One way to create a relaxing space is to take your mind to the pleasant places you've been, such as trips to the beach or a beautiful family wedding. Keep images of loved ones in your daily line of sight. Another key move is storing photos in a way that draws you to them: Albums, organized boxes, or even just piled high in an attractive container.

Use Flowers and Other Natural Touches
A bunch of flowers, a sprig of branches, or a tiny indoor topiary garden -- all bring a breath of fresh air into a room. Flowers and plants are, however, in need of regular attention, so choose wisely. Nothing is more sad than wilted flowers and neglected plants. If your hectic schedule doesn't allow for regular attention to such details, choose dried flowers or hearty plants, and indulge in fresh flowers on special occasions.

Create a View to the Outdoors
Taking in the changing patterns of days and seasons helps keep one centered. The easiest way to do that is to frame nature's evolving portrait with smart window treatments. First, consider the view. If it's great all the time, play it up. If there are some less-than-pleasant features, downplay those but still let in light and the good features of the view.

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