cake with 7 candles


This is my 184th column. My first column was published on August 29, 2008. Holy Moly.   It’s SEVEN years old. Thanks for reading; thanks for commenting; thanks for listening. It is such fun when you stop me in the grocery store to talk about the last column or call me to help you with a Decorating Dilemma because you read about just that problem in the column. Writing it is one of my favorite things to do, and your support makes it one of the most rewarding things I do. Thank you very much. Here’s to 184 more…

I was reading a column the other day about a designer’s bag of tricks — things he goes back to over and over. I thought I’d share my dozen adages and tricks with you here.

1 Hang the curtains and drapes as high above the window, and as wide off the window, as you can. This will make the window look larger, the walls look taller and wider, and the room look bigger.
2 Make those new drapes in a color similar to the wall color unless you want them to be the focal point of the room.
3 Add an area rug. Don’t underestimate its power in almost any room. Buy a small one and take it home to check the color if you don’t want to schlep a big rug around.
4 Remove the area rug to help you see things in a fresh light if you are trying to rearrange the room. (Put it back later, but removing it helps you see things from a fresh perspective).
5 Add an extra lamp, just to be sure.
6 Pull the furniture out from the wall if the room feels cramped. I know this sounds crazy, but it works.
7 Give serious thought to traffic flow.
8 Don’t let the cable installer tell you where your TV should go.
9 Hang pictures with the horizontal center at eye level. In a grouping, eye level is reserved for the most important pieces.
10 Keep the number of ‘big’ colors in a room to three. Take a picture of your room and if you can easily identify more than three, you probably have too many. Pare it down. The room will feel more calm, and by extension so will you.
11 Pay attention to the psychology of color. And the heat of color.
12 Do what is right for you and your family, let the ‘pooh-bah’s’ (including me) fly a kite.

Thanks again for your loyalty.

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