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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
5 Tips for Mixing and Matching Your Home Decor
by Jane Blanchard
The idea of traditional decor is being challenged every day by homeowners who want a style that goes beyond the basics. Creating your own design is easy and doesn't require anything other than a little imagination, some planning and a willingness to experiment.
Decide on a Theme
Designing a themed room gives you a blueprint to work with as you choose furniture and accessories. Think about whether you want a formal look or something relaxed. Do rugged, outdoorsy styles appeal to you or are you a lover of modern minimalism? Your preferred theme will create a unified look for the finished room.
Anchor the Style with Consistency
Start with one color or pattern that you love and work your way up from there as you decorate. This may be your favorite deep blue or the pattern on an overstuffed sofa that you've loved for years. Repeat this motif in other elements of the room to create a consistent backdrop for your more unusual decor elements.
When introducing wood pieces, choose those made from the same type of wood or stained in similar colors. The idea is to create uniformity that allows different styles to work together. However, try to avoid picking two styles of furniture that noticeably contradict each other such as mixing ornate antiques with do-it-yourself bookshelves from a department store. Keep color choices to a minimum to ensure that the room doesn't wind up looking busy.
Add a Modern Edge
Once you've established a basis for your design, it's time to get creative. Look for accent pieces that complement the look of the room while adding visual interest. Try placing boldly patterned pillows on your sleek modern sofa or hanging café style art in your formal dining room. Introduce a few mismatched furniture pieces that share a color or texture element with other fixtures of the room for a unique twist.
Go Beyond Traditional Use
A fun way to mix and match styles is to place furniture pieces in rooms they're not traditionally meant for. Nightstands, for example, make fun end tables in the living room. A sideboard can be moved from the dining area to the front hall and used as a unique place to display photos or flower arrangements. You might even want to shake things up in the bathroom by adding a dresser for storing linens or creating a themed display with an open-back bookshelf.
Make it Personal
You're never obligated to stick to a particular style just because it's how your home is "supposed" to look. What works in the houses you see in magazines or online may not work in your home. Don't be afraid to try new designs and mix things up to find a style that's truly yours. Use decorating advice as a general guideline rather than a strict set of rules. Thinking outside the box can lead you to a style that no one has ever tried before and open up new possibilities for decorating other rooms in your home.
For more home design ideas and inspiration check out Modernize.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The Story of the Caterpillar
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.