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Category:  Decorating

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Inexpensive Ways To Spruce Up Your Home

By Vince J. Paxton

Time for a change in you home? Where do you want to start? How do you decorate without risking making mistakes that may be costly or at least embarrassing? Do you even know what you want in your decorating style?

Here are some ideas that will help you take the guesswork out of decorating in new and fresh ways.

1. Use contrasting colors. Using dramatic color differences can really enliven a room and create a whole new mood. Try to use colors that are completely opposite each other and watch how your room will change.

2. Mix the textures you use on your window treatments. You can mix and match different materials to bring out the textures. Natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics, woven or knit. Bringing all of these different textures is a great way to add a new element of interest to your room. Think about the contrast between velvet and organza or sheer nylon. The softness of silk contrasted against the strong texture of linen. There are so many fabrics and textures to mix, such as velvet, taffeta, silk, satin, organza, muslin, linen, lace, gingham, damask, cotton, chintz, canvas, cambric, brocade, etc., etc.

3. Mix different patterns together. This is the latest trend and really makes a room stand out. There are no rules in mixing patterns, but some combinations work better than others. First, make sure the scale of the patterns match the area. This means that large pattern can be used on big expanses such as drapes, but smaller patterns should be used on valances or cornices. Secondly, mix geometric patterns freely for a new look: stripes with checks, plaids with florals, etc. Third, use a common color to tie the whole together. For instance, if you have a plaid mixed with a floral, the predominant colors of each of the patterns should be the same.

4. Play with the size of your windows. Small windows can be made to look larger, and large windows can be made to look smaller. All so that there is a harmony achieved in the room. Windows of different sizes will throw off the balance of a room. To make small windows larger, place a valance or a cornice at the top. Large windows can be made to look smaller by using different panels to break up the width. An extremely tall window, such as a cathedral window can have curtains only on the lower half, leaving the top uncovered, instead of having too great an expanse of fabric over the window.

5. Don't be static. Let your windows change with the seasons and with your life changes. Lighter, airier fabrics and patterns look better in spring and summer; dark, heavier colors and patterns work best in fall and winter. Rooms with young families need bright cheery patterns, and when the nest is empty, you can concentrate on luxurious, formal looks.

Once you have achieved the main purpose of light and privacy that windows give us, you can start to get fancy with your window coverings. Experiment with different designs, textures, colors and fabrics. Adding these different elements will relieve you of the boring window syndrome.

Vince Paxton published mainly for , an online site about curtains . His contributions on window coverings are found on


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