Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Embellished Home part 1

i was just rereading some things in the 7th issue of my zine, Mysterium. It's amazing how much I had forgotten about. Here are some decorating tips I'll share again. I will break this up over 2 days.

Home Sweet Home: Embellish it!
By Megan Noel, 2004, 2011

*You can never have too many pillows. Load up your bed, sofa, and chairs with art pillows. Make floor pillows too. If you make shams for pillow forms you can switch them out. [Ed. note: Also if you have kids or pets think about making shams of washable materials. If you have allergies it's best to wash pillow shams in hot water to kill dust mites.]

*Embellish with beads! Hammer tiny nails into your walls, door frames, or window frames and hang beads from them, strands of different lengths. You can put little hooks at the top of the strands to attach them with and switch them around at will. Do this at the top of your shower curtain too. [Ed note: you can put split rings at the top of your strands of beads and slip them over a nail or push pin.]

* Embellish with bottles. I saw some really neat ones recently. The artist had collected variously sized and colored bottles, created simple collages on them (also try in them) and wrapped the necks with ribbons, wire, and beads. You can either keep things in the bottles or leave them empty. This would be especially pretty on a windowsill. [Ed. note: you can fill clear bottles with water and food coloring if desired.]

* Go a little crazy with fringe, if you like. You can purchase beaded or fiber fringe by the yard and add to curtains, lamps, chairs, sofas, pillows, etc., OR you can make your own fringe.

* Remember anything can be artsy so do dress up your mirrors, light switch covers, and picture frames. You can paint them, collage them, glue beads or trinkets to them, etc.

* I have always wanted to paint door jams-- little swirling designs or dots as in Aboriginal paintings. Now that I am finally buying a condo I will be able to do this. Also write or paint blessings around your door jam, either visible to the casual observer or not. [Ed note: I have lived in the condo for a number of years now and alas never painted the door jams but I did paint a mural in the bathroom! You can see it here.]

*Art in unexpected places is also good. The bottoms of drawers, cupboards, closets. Don't be afraid to play. If you don't own your own place you can do art on canvas or similar material that is cut to fit and then take it with you when you move.

* Get weird old furniture from thrift stores, garage sales, or the attic. Clean, sand, prime, and GO! Paint, glue, draw, and more. You may want to seal when you are done with polyurethane or non-yellowing shellac, depending on what you will do with your creations. ALWAYS read the directions on your products. Use outdoors or with good ventilation, wear gloves and keep kids and pets away. Wear dust masks for sanding and painting. If you plan to do a lot of work with other toxic materials consider getting a respirator. A dust mask only keeps out particulates, not fumes.

* One cool technique to use on furniture is to paint it with a base color, allow to dry, then apply wax to the edges of things (drawers, a table edge, etc.) either using furniture wax and a small brush or by rubbing a candle over the edge. Paint on another color and allow to dry. Now sand off the wax from step 2. The result will be another color peaking through at the edges, as though the furniture had lead an interesting and multi-layered life. Try using various color combinations, both obvious and not. [Ed. if you are not afraid of color use opposites on the color wheel. Chartreuse and scarlet, Teal and orange.]

*Take a little field trip to the hardware store. They have tons of cool toys: new knobs, new legs for existing furniture (or build your own new piece), and fancy moldings and trim you can add to things, and more. Just go explore and get ideas.

* Remember you can paint stuff other than wood. You can use appliance paint in your kitchen and laundry room, metal tubs, etc. There is a new paint made for plastic by Krylon. [Ok it's not new anymore. I have not experimented much with this. I expect results would be best for indoor use.)

* Start a decorating scrapbook. Collect ideas from magazines, catalogs, the internet, paint swatches, etc. Even if you don't have space or money or time now you can save ideas for the future. [Ed. Note: if you've never played with Pinterest do so! It's a great way to visually organize information found anywhere on the web.]

more next time!

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