Making your home comfortable, beautiful isn’t hard

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland (1900-1978), American author, “The Tomorrows – Dec . 30,” “Sundial of the Seasons” (1964)

As we welcome a new year I, once again, want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading Inside Spaces and for sharing your decorating issues with me. Enriching lives through our home environment is foreign to some, but not to me and not to you, my readers. We know how important it is to have just the right lamp, the perfect color in the floor tile, the most luxurious throw on the sofa and exactly how high to hang those pictures.

And while making sure the traffic pattern works in the public spaces of your home may not contribute to world peace, it will surely help those in your household achieve harmony. Being organized in your domain will add so much clarity and ease in your life you can’t believe it.

Never underestimate the value and effect of a beautiful home. And that’s whatever “beautiful” means to you. We may not share the same views on that, but we all agree that it’s very personal. And thank goodness, we don’t all like the same thing.

We know also that it’s not about the “things”; it’s about the comfort and serenity our special belongings bring to us.

So, as we move into this new year, I’m again sharing a few of my favorite fun tips that have served me well during the years. I hope some are useful to you and others may even make you smile.

1. Make your space look like “your” space.

2. Glass tables take up less visual space.

3. Ottomans make great coffee tables.

4. Use the rule of three, five or any uneven number.

5. Establish a focal point in each space.

6. All furniture in a room doesn’t have to match. Mix old and new; mix many, many patterns in a room.

7. You can put large pieces of furniture in a small space.

8. Buy furniture that has dual purposes.

9. Water features bring great calm to a room.

10. Pillows soften a room and make it more welcoming.

11. You cannot have too many pillows.

12. Every room should have some black.

13. Each room should have an anchor.

14. Don’t put fresh flowers in a guest room - your guests may have allergies.

15. Never buy blue carpet.

16. Make your patio an outdoor room.

17. Do not line your furniture up around the walls.

18. If there are too many legs in a room, drape the table or slipcover the chairs.

19. Plants make great softeners for hard corners.

20. Fresh fruit is an awesome accent in public spaces of your home.

21. Make your home office more like home than office.

22. Cover up bad paint cut-ins with trim, a fun stamp or molding.

23. Pick out one major wall or architectural feature and paint it a bold color.

24. Put stuff on top of your chests and cabinets. It draws the eye up.

25. Put a fancy rug in your kitchen rather than a kitchen rug to dress up the space.

26. Beds with comforters are easier to make than those with bedspreads.

27. Tables draped with floor-length cloths make great hiding places.

28. It takes about half a yard of fabric to cover a dining room chair seat, and takes about 5 minutes. Change them often for new looks.

29. Every room should have a clock.

30. Hang pictures in groups.

31. Everybody should own a hammer, a Phillips screwdriver, a glue gun and a heavy-duty stapler.

32. The best live flower is the orchid.

33. Group collections for a greater impact. Three or more is a collection.

34. It takes about 18 yards of fabric to cover an overstuffed, rolled arm sofa.

35. Eye level is your eye.

36. You can mix artificial and live plants. Remember which is which.

37. Tablescapes should have different shapes and heights.

38. Learn what a tablescape is.

39. Room dividers soften corners and can hide things. They also can divide rooms.

From my home to yours, many blessings and happiness in the new year!

Carolyn Muse Grant is a founder and past president of the Architectural & Decorative Arts Society, as well as an interior design consultant/stylist specializing in home staging. Send questions to creativemuse@cox.net.

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