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Invest in the Beauty of Your Home:
Decorating (and Paint) Improves Your Quality of Life


Your home is an expression of your taste, and can serve to express your inner beauty while magnifying your outer beauty too. Just as the right lighting choices impact your overall quality of life, the right colors in your home can affect your mood, your relationships, your concentration and your indoor complexion.

I was watching one of those HGTV shows the other night, and was intrigued by how the designer started with a fairly hideous loft and created something that seem an exact fit with the personality of the man who had bought it. He was a pretty macho guy, and wanted things to look "masculine": living in a purple painted loft had nearly done in his sense of self.

Fortunately, this particular guy was also a lawyer, so the designer had heaps of money to work with – always a plus. But what she did surprised me. She painted one of the walls to look like it was made of leather. She brought in some leather furniture and mixed it up with an antique Chinese cabinet, a fabulous mahogany table, and some custom-built cabinetry, and created a modern take on the old-fashioned men’s smoking club. It was extremely elegant.

--Editors Tip ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Easy Re-painting for Any Beginner Do It Yourselfer

Touch up paint kitOnce you've painted a room, it's bound to suffer a scratch. There's something about newly-dried paint that seems to draw nicks from passing cutlery, dings from table edges or the stains from grubby little hands. But fixing paint is a hassle—either you used it all up and can't ever hope to match the shade again, or you know the can is somewhere in the basement but can't find the time to hunt it down. And since painting means clean-up, most of us would rather just try to ignore the scratches and get on with our lives.

It would be so nice to be able to repaint easily, whenever one of life's little catastrophes puts another mark on the wall! We found a product that makes it easy. It's small enough to store under the sink, and comes with a built in brush. Just fill it with paint and put it away until you need it. It's airtight, so it won't dry out, and it's all ready to use and reuse. The Touch up Paint Kit: Why didn't anyone think of it before?

See a convenient touch up paint kit you should have on hand for any emergency paint touch-up project.

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Your Home Should Make You Feel Happy

There’s no law that says your house should look like other peoples’ houses. Your home can fulfill its practical purpose while feeding your artistic soul. And you don’t have to have Chinese antiques to match your surroundings to your own sense of self. Your place should first make you feel glad to be there. It should be comfortable and comforting. Secondly, it can express your personal sense of style; and it’s a great way to experiment with your dramatic, playful side.

Fix What Decore Makes You Unhappy or Bothered

My friends had to paint their living-room because they ceiling was falling in on their heads due to earthquake activity in their (rented) Oakland house. It totally depressed them to see the cracks in the ceiling and the peeling paint extending down the walls. So much so, that they took two weeks out of their summer to re-plaster (and sand, and sand, and sand) and finally, to paint the room, which included a fourteen-foot ceiling, an arch, crown molding and a deep cove. It was a huge task!

They could have painted the room the same off-white it had always been, but after putting in all that work, they didn’t want to end up staring at a white room. So they went to the paint store and picked out chips in their favorite fantasy colors. (The idea was, "If we hate it, we’ll repaint it!) After lots of discussion and weeding-out, they realized that what they wanted to express was cheerfulness, optimism, lighthearted feelings. They chose an ultra-pale blue-lavender tint that one of their friends dubbed "blueberry milkshake". That opened the flood gates, and they painted the cove a rich, royal blue, and used a mulberry-colored enamel on the crown molding.

That was two years ago, and they’ve had nothing but compliments since. But the really wonderful thing is, to this day, they both say that being in the room makes them feel happy. My point: they used a practical need to create something beyond practical, even spiritual.

Choose Paint Color to Make Your Attitude & Inner Beauty

Painting is a great way to fit your environment to your inner beauty. You can be sedate, elegant, silly or wild, just by using particular colors and paying attention to light. Paint is available in every color you can imagine, and the new paints have nearly no smell at all. If you open a can of paint and find you don't like the smell, add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla flavoring to the paint and stir it in thoroughly. Sweet!

People are afraid to paint, and I'm not sure why. Paint is a thousand times simpler than wallpaper, and much better than just living with ugly walls. I can probably give you enough tips right here to make painting a breeze.

Painting Tips for an Easy Decor Change

  1. Beige is for the fearful. Red can cause familial disharmony and should be used only sparingly. Blues and greens feel cool, serene. Yellow is cheerful . Don't be afraid of colors. Don't waste your life painting walls beige.

  2. Colors get darker once you put them on the wall. It's not because the colors actually darken: it's because, the more color that gets on the wall, the more reflected light affects the color of the other walls. The lesson here is to pick a shade somewhat lighter than you think you'll want. Start by choosing paint chips one, two and three shades lighter than your desired shade. Paint a foot-square patch of each on the wall, and compare their shades before moving on. Paint half a wall, then take a good, hard look at it and try to imagine how much darker it's going to get as you go along.

  3. Before painting, overprepare. The reason many people have problems with painting is that they don't spend enough time preparing the space. Walls should be dusted, or even washed, and all spider webs, bits of sawdust, old paint flakes and what-have-you should be removed before you crack that can of paint. If paint is flaking, sand it smooth. If it's flaking badly, scrape it, then sand what's left.

    Move furniture out of the room if at all possible. If you must keep things in the room, group them together and cover them securely with plastic or tarps. If you try to leave the computer uncovered, you will inevitably pour soapy water into the keyboard. It's practically a law of physics.

  4. Don't wing it. We all hate to tape around moldings, ceilings and floors. We all try to paint freehand, with the idea that we can mop up any drips or goofs. We all fail miserably, and have to go back and tape with a partly-painted room. Save yourself the hassle by taping every border before you even start. Also, get heavy tarps and tape them to the floor for the inevitable occurrence of someone tripping over the partly-filled paint can.

  5. Light colors may take extra coats when painted over dark ones. If you can, always paint a similar type of paint over the old one, or use a glossier paint. Flat is easily covered by semi-gloss, satin, or enamel. Enamel, on the other hand, is difficult to cover with anything but enamel. If you must cover a higher-gloss paint with a lower-gloss one, sand the original paint first, so the new paint with cling and cover rather than just beading up.

Change the Mood of the Room with Rugs

Once you've painted, you may want to consider floor coverings. Rattan, bamboo and sea grass make nice, outdoorsy rugs that feel cool on the feet and lend a touch of the seaside to any room. The dry-grass scent is light, herbal and sensuous. If you want something softer underfoot, hooked rugs from the Canadian Maritimes add brightness and charm in designs of lighthouses, fish, seabirds and colorful houses. For elegant coziness, you may decide on a Persian or Turkish area rug. A rug can change the whole feel of a room, and if it happens to have a gorgeous design, and a soft feel that invites harem-style lounging, what’s the harm in that?

Using Glass & Shimmer: A Neat Affect

I’m a big fan of most things glass, and when I was watching that show about the loft, I was making mental notes about how I would do things in my (fantasy) loft. One of the things that struck me was the fact that some loft owners create "rooms" by hanging partitions from the twenty-five foot ceilings. I thought it would be fun to create a curtain of shimmering beads hanging from those tall, tall ceilings. I envisioned a woven net of beads (individual strands would get tangled) that could be raised or lowered by means of a draw cord. Having a little time on my hands, I skipped over to www.auntiesbeads.com and checked out the Austrian crystal beads and the Czech glass beads in a million breathtaking colors. I figured I could do the curtain for under a hundred dollars! Now all I need is the loft..



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