The Great Room - Your Daily Guide to Window Coverings, Decorating Trends & DIY Projects

Mixing Color and Texture for a Delicious Design Recipe

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One of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the feeling of a room is to add texture. There’s nothing quite like sinking into a luxurious velvet couch stacked with silk pillows. Texture is a key factor in setting up a room that’s both interesting and inviting. Using high contrast, eye-catching textures and unique accents can make bringing a room together simple. A room is a sum of its parts, and mixing decorative elements the right way will result in a balanced, pleasant aesthetic. Contrasting Textures Better Homes & Gardens design experts suggest using contrasting textures to add richness and interest to a room. For example, pair ultra-modern furnishings with a sumptuous and tactile shag rug. The deep, furry pile is a cozy contrast to the clean lines and geometric shapes of modern couches and chairs. A faux fur area rug or a nubby, thick knitted throw would complement a lush leather sofa nicely. Other general tips include: Pair…

Light Up the Room With Color (and Light)

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One of the trickiest problems to solve when decorating a room involves color selection and lighting, most often the natural light from windows. Using the wrong window treatment can change the way furniture or accessories look in unfiltered light. Finding the right window treatment isn’t difficult, though, if a few basic steps are followed. First consider your light filtering or light blocking requirements. Then choose colors that work with your existing color scheme. Lastly, select window covering products that complement the style of your room. Light Filtering vs. Light Blocking When deciding on window treatments, the first question is whether the room requires light filtering or light blocking shades or curtains. While both can be achieved through layering window treatments, carefully consider what the most important function of the window treatment should be. In bedrooms, the greatest concerns are usually light blocking and privacy. Shades and curtains designed to block light are opaque and often constructed from dense materials to…

Setting the Mood in Your Rooms—Not With Candles, But Color

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When choosing to redecorate a home or decorating a new space for the first time, one of the first decisions to make is the paint color. Often décor is a reflection of one’s personality and tastes, but color choices can also communicate moods and ambience. Many believe in color psychology, which explains that certain colors create or align with different moods and feelings; for example, reds can be stimulating and blues can be calming. When choosing colors for a room, it’s important to consider the room’s use and what colors create the ideal setting for that purpose. Bedrooms should feel warm and cozy in order to calm the mind after long days and create optimum sleeping conditions. Home offices should establish a setting of productivity. Kitchens should feel inviting and clean. Just choosing the right colors can convey all of those feelings and foster a welcoming environment. Color Theory While there is a basic rubric in color psychology that can…

How to Improve Your Color Coordination

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The start of a large decorating project can be stressful, especially when it comes time to choose a color palette. Whether venturing into a brand new color scheme or simply updating and refreshing a room, it can be hard to know where to start. A simple way to decide on a color palette is to choose a focal point or decide on the mood that you’d like the room to convey. Using basic color theory and the color wheel can be an instrumental step in knowing what colors look best together. First establish the ambience of a room by choosing either warm or cool color families, and try to choose colors that complement other schemes already in the home. Find a Focal Point Home decorating authority HGTV says that an easy way to begin designing a room is to base the color scheme around a focal object. Select a piece of furniture or a favorite painting, and use three of…

Blinds and Shades for Renters

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Renters, like homeowners, desire warm and inviting spaces and well-decorated rooms. Unlike those who own their homes, renters often have limited options when decorating. One fantastic way to spruce up an apartment or rental home is to install or replace the window treatments. Window treatments can range from a simple set of mini blinds to customized curtains and draperies. Most window treatments are easy to install and can be purchased inexpensively, making them ideal for both short- and long-term tenants. Before purchasing window treatments, renters should keep a few things in mind. First, it is important to check with the landlord or property manager to ensure the window treatment they choose will be appropriate for the building, especially when drilling holes in the wall or choosing dark or brightly colored pieces. Some landlords and even neighborhood associations may have rules or preferences about how street-facing windows look. Two general points to consider for a renter: Cost and ease of installation….

Get Cooking With the Right Window Treatments for Your Kitchen

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If you enjoy cooking or entertaining, it’s likely that you spend quite a bit of time in your kitchen. However, the kitchen is one area of the home that can often be overlooked when it comes to extra decor. What many people don’t realize is how much of a difference window treatments can make in a room. By taking the time to pick out the proper window treatments to fit the colors and styles of your kitchen, you can totally transform the room, even on a budget. Adequate Lighting & Privacy A kitchen needs plenty of light, but it also requires some privacy. It’s important to find a window treatment that strikes the right balance between the two. Options like a valance provide plenty of light, but not much privacy, while wood blinds allow in enough light but can be closed when privacy is desired. Top -down, bottom-up shades are increasing in popularity, due to their ability to let in…

Watts Up With Light Bulbs? Part 3: Sockets

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How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one, if you can find the right replacement light bulb in the first place! As we’ve discussed in this series on new light bulb technologies, many different bulb options have been produced to replace the familiar incandescent bulbs. Some of the changes in bulbs mean changes in the base shape, which is where the bulb connects to a socket. In order to replace a bulb, you still need to find one that fits the socket in your light fixture. Here is a rundown of the most common socket types, as well as adapter choices if you need to fit a new bulb in an old socket. Screw Base Bulbs and Sockets The most familiar type of light bulbs for many consumers is the screw base bulb. Many standard lamps and wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted light fixtures have screw base sockets. This type of bulb base is given a…

Watts Up With Light Bulbs? Part 2: Illumination

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Light bulbs aren’t what they used to be. Fortunately, that’s because they’ve improved in many ways. In the first part of our series on light bulbs, we described the main types of consumer light bulbs available today (CFL, LED, incandescent, and halogen). All of these bulbs have been made more energy efficient than older incandescent bulbs, and there are actually more options available in these new light bulbs—if you know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, knowing what you’re looking for is more complicated than it used to be. To buy an incandescent bulb, you only needed to know what wattage to buy. Some companies produced bulbs with slightly different light characteristics, but any incandescent bulb with the right wattage would work. Part of the updated energy standards regarding light bulbs requires bulb packaging to provide more information regarding the light produced and the energy consumed. There’s more to read and digest than a simple wattage number, but when you understand…