Saturday, May 1, 2010

Big Advice

So they named the latest issue of House Beautiful the Big Advice Issue.  I adore that magazine.  Here were some of my favorite tips that they offered:

1.  Love your closets.  Paint them, paper them, hang pictures in them to inspire you.  And definitely light them.

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If I could walk into mine or fit all of my stuff in one, I'd heed this.  Definitely a dream one day.

2.  Small-scale furniture only makes a small bedroom look smaller.  Try a high bed and a tall headboard.  Your room will grow. 

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3.  Use a rug instead of a bath mat.  It was made to withstand a lot more wear than the occasional wet foot. 

Growing up my grandmother always had rugs in her bathroom.  It made it feel more like an actual room in the house.  I think bath mats are so ugly for some reason. 

4.  Mix up the seating at your dining table.  You wouldn't have eight identical chairs in your living room.

I love a banquette.  And I love the idea of mixing seating either in the fabrics and the colors or in the shape and design of the chairs themselves. 

5.  Two large mirrors will completely change any room. 

One can just as easily suffice but a mirror in a room is an essential.

6.  The most versatile coffee table you'll ever own is an ottoman topped with a large tray.

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I don't have one but I can see why it is so versatile.  Love that look.

7.  Gold is back in a big way.  A few accents will really warm up a room. 

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This picture was kind of a joke because it is over the top but I'm back on gold and off of silver. 

8.  Dark walls do the opposite of what you'd expect.  They make a small room feel bigger. 

I don't know if I'm brave enough to try a black or even a navy room but if I get brave one day, I do think it can open up a space.   And it definitely adds dramatic flair. 

9.  Four lamps are better than two.  You need ambient light for mood and direct light for reading. 

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I much prefer lamps versus overhead lighting.  In the winter especially, I love to be able to curl up on the sofa and cuddle under a blanket and look at magazines or read by lamp light.  There is something so much cozier about lamps.

That said, there were a few I disagreed with:

1.  An open armoire is more interesting than a closed one.  Let people into your secret world. 

Um, no.  There's a reason things like an armoire have doors on it.  So you can stash stuff without guests seeing the mess.  The exception to this in my opinion is that if you repurpose an armoire so that it serves as shelving in a dining room or a kitchen and you have enough nice things to show off - in an orderly way of course. 

2.  Don't be afraid to paint a vintage piece. Every piece of furniture can't be brown.

I'm a fan of painting furniture BUT I think it is important to be careful what you paint.  Sometimes an old beautiful piece of wood furniture just needs to be stripped and stained to bring it back to life.  Also, the older I get, the more I am a fan of different wood tones in the same room.  It adds interest and it is pretty hard to screw it up. 

3.  You'll never get tired of a white room. 

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I call bs on that.  If you've been living in a rental house as many years as I have, you'd be aching to get your hands on some paint brushes to liven up the walls.  That said, it doesn't mean that the color I choose won't be neutral, but I have a hard time thinking I'll go with white.

4.  There is no rule a living room has to have a sofa.

Correct, there is no such rule.  But it is a darn sight more comfy.  A house can be well decorated and beautiful but it should also be comfortable and livable in my opinion.  Watching tv in a chair every night is not my idea of a relaxed, comfy home.


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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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