7 Tips on Using Color to Enhance the Interior Design of Your Home

The decision to add color to your home either through painting, wallpaper or other decorative effects is potentially a bigger interior design decision that you may think. The psychological effects of color have been studied to such a degree that it is a truly a wonder that colleges across the country do not actually offer an advanced degree Psychology of Color. Interior design specialists look to experts in the field of how color affects everything from mood to appetite when they enter into a contract to help create the décor of commercial enterprises. Most homeowners and apartment dwellers and beach condo buyers who don’t realize the extent of the damage they have done to local beaches with their incessant need to live on the beach combined with an unwillingness to take responsibility for their wrongheaded decision when the inevitable natural disaster occurs probably don’t have the finances available to help them learn about how to handle the decisions that come with color décor. That’s where this article comes in handy. A little free help never hurt anyone…except for all those victims of Timothy McVeigh who were definitely not helped by the free advice that came his way courtesy of right-wing nutjobs from Andrew McDonald to Sean Hannity.

1. Sheen ain’t just a bad actor on a sitcom that overstayed its purpose. Experimenting with the sheen of the paint you choose can have significant effects on how color affects your décor. Keep in mind that flat paint will absorb light while glossy paint will reflect it.

2. An effective way to use color and keep the paint buying process simple is to reuse the same colors in different ways throughout the house. For instance, if you’ve got reddish carpeting and pale green walls in the living room you might put this interior design idea into a blender and decorate a bedroom with light red walls and pale green vinyl flooring.

3. Did you ever wonder why legal pads are colored yellow? Those non-degreed experts in the psychology of color long discovered that the color yellow has quite specific stimulatory effects on the brain. Yellow is believed to heighten retention of memory and jumpstart the logical patterns of thinking. This is why yellow is a favorite color for kitchens and also why you should consider choosing a yellow color scheme for your home office.

4. It will be nearly as impossible as watching a three-hour long block of programming on the Bravo network to make sure that the colors you use for interior design are chosen under the same lighting conditions that will exist in your house. Ignore Master Yoda’s advice and try to get to a situation where you can choose your paint colors or wallpaper or furnishings under lighting conditions similar to that inside the house. Lampshades and the color of light bulbs all affect the appearance of color.

5. You may not think of your 10 foot high ceilings as being particularly high, but imagine them from the perspective of your child. To little kids, everything is massive and imposing and probably a little scary. A combination of color and décor can change the face of the interior design of your child’s bedroom to bring down that ceiling to a more manageable aspect. Place some molding below the ceiling line and then paint the area above the molding in a different color than the rest of the wall. Soft blues, lavenders and even understated reds can create either a cool sensation of protection or a warm feeling of security.

6. Vivid contrasts in color design from room to room can lend some excitement to a house, but there is one particular interior design component inside many houses where this is not a good idea. If you have an archway or a large open passage that takes you firmly from one room to another, then you want to avoid color schemes that clash rather than complement. You can still be bold in your choice of color, but make sure that you don’t decorate one room in a traditional muted style and another in a way that looks like a set from A Clockwork Orange.

7. Designing your home with color means taking notice of the patterns you choose as well as hues, tints and shades. Take notice of the patterns in your upholstery, on your carpet and within your draperies or curtains. You will want to coordinate effectively not only the colors contained within those furnishings, but also the patterns. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can’t mix diamond shapes in your vividly colored wallpaper with muted solids in your carpeting. It’s all up to you what is appropriate, but you should just keep it in mind.

Tips for Arranging Furniture

Arranging the furniture in your living room begins with a floor plan that takes into account the décor, your home’s layout and the traffic flow you want to create. Traffic patterns can help dictate how you arrange your furniture and choose to decorate the living room. 

Take a good look at your living room and determine if there is one spot or piece of décor that you want to make your centerpiece. This could be a fireplace or a sofa or an entertainment center. Anything that draws attention should be established as the center point from which you arrange your furniture. 

An oversized living room should be arranged so that it can be used for more than one activity. Arrange the furniture so that you have cordoned off specific sections for things like playing video games, watching TV, listening to music, reading or just vegging out. The key here to arrange and decorate so that traffic patterns don’t overlap and disturb. Consider utilizing screens, cabinets, bookcases and high-backed chairs to isolate one section of the room from another. 

Long, narrow living rooms should be arranged so that the furniture helps to cut the perception of length. Place chairs or the sofa or even a desk at right angles to the wall to create defuse the problem of the narrow shape. A corner unit is an effective way to deal with the problem of where to put the TV.  

A large square-shaped living room can be helped immensely by investing in a focal point that draws attention away from the boxy feel. The idea is to make one side seem longer and an effective way to create this illusion is by investing in a short set of bookcases that span the entire length of one wall.  

“The ABCs of Decorating” recommends that you take into account the fact that much of your living room furniture will be moved when larger groups gather for conversation or to watch the Super Bowl or to play video games. You might to invest in lighter chairs and tables or furniture with casters so that your layout can be easily and rearranged to suit the social need for grouping. Designing with easily moved furniture also gives you greater flexibility for changing your mind about how the living room is arranged. 

Walk into almost any living room in America and chances are you will see one item of furniture there not suitable for sitting upon that you don’t usually find in other rooms. Coffee tables today come in all shapes and sizes. When arranging your living room, keep in mind that while the coffee table is useful for temporary storage of everything from dishes to textbooks, it can also become an obstacle to free movement. Pick your coffee table with mobility in mind as well as a large enough surface area for storage.  

Creative Room Divider Ideas

The person who love the open space afford by a loft design may eventually reach the point where divisions of space saves their sanity. If you don’t have a loft, but you do have a large open space you want to carve into smaller sections, you’ve got some alternatives to building a wall.

Sandblasted Glass Screens

If you need to make sure that all points of the divided rooms receive light, consider the addition of either a sliding or fixed screen fitted with sandblasted glass. This allows stark lighting to be diffused to create a warmer, more comforting style of illumination. Another cool thing about screens are that they offer interesting shadow formations that a random quality to your overall design.

Glass Blocks

You can build a wall of glass blocks to divide a larger living area. You probably don’t want to build an entire floor to ceiling wall, but if you do, consider adding a pass-through window into the design. You could even construct a glass block wall with a few small open areas to provide it with a more decorative design.

Translucent Screens

Dividing a room with translucent screens helps to maintain the connective tissue of the area by virtue of the translucence. Translucent screens are probably more effectively utilized to screen off several small sections like a gaming area, reading area and TV area. Huge translucent screens to accomplish the same tactic as sandblasted glass screens are not really an ideal way to do about your interior design.

CD Curtain

You could go the old hippy route of dividing a large space by hanging up a bead curtain. Of course, this the 21st Century we’re talking about so your curtain should reflect the changes in society that have occurred over the last half-century or so. Make a curtain divider not of beads, but by stringing together a collection of compact disks. Head to a yard sale or flea market and buy up a host of CDs that you would never listen to and string them down a piece of twine. This room divider idea is not just artistic, it lends an ever-changing glittering effect to the interior of your home.


A tall armoire can be introduced into a single room situation to create two sections. The part of the armoire that faces the sleeping area can be the section with doors, drawers and cubby holes to keep your attire. Decorate the other side of the armoire by painting or using decoupage to transform it into a statement of art.

Tips for First-Time Apartment Dwellers: How to Fit an Entire Life Into a Studio Apartment

Perhaps none of the many tips for apartment life that you may come across during your time living on top of other people will be as useful as insight from those who have gone before you and know how to comfortably fit an entire life into a studio apartment. The claustrophobic nature of the space makes these most affordable of apartments a make or break deal for some. It can be a tough nut to crack, but the tips of the trade of living large in a studio apartment is something that has been passed down since struggling cavemen found they couldn’t afford the big cavern on the left.

Dining Table

Think you can’t bother with a dining table in a studio apartment? Resigned to eating meals while sitting back on the Murphy bed or struggling vainly to fit a dish, bowl and glass on that tiny little thing they advertise as a desk? The thing you learn most quickly about studio apartment living is that everything must serve more than one purpose. You can enjoy sitting at a table while you eat just like the person in that one-bedroom unit across the way, however. As long as you invest in a dining table that can also answer the call of duty when you need a work desk or a storage unit or, well, pretty much anything else that isn’t a dinner table. Sure, you could just go with the folding poker table option. But when you fold up that table after every meal, it just becomes more unnecessary stuff taking up valuable space somewhere.

Room Dividers

Here’s a great tip for studio apartment dwellers. Room dividers are worth their weight in gold. And the value of gold doubles in price when the room divider inside your studio apartment can be accessed from either side. As long as the room divider can be accessed from both sides, price should not be your number one consideration. Whether see-through or double-sided, a room divider is incredibly useful both storing things and for instilling a sense of organization. If you do the work that is your job out of a studio apartment, one side of the divider could be your workspace and the other your personal space.

Nesting Tables

No studio apartment is ever quite complete without a set of nesting tables. You know what nesting tables are right? Nesting tables are those matching tables of increasingly smaller size that can be stacked one on top of the other when you don’t need them all. A set of three nesting tables of various heights can come in amazingly handy for a number of reasons that you may not even be considering right now. The magic of investing in at least one set of nesting tables is that you get multiple tables that only take up as much space as one.

Vertical Management

One of the tips for apartment life that the first time renter of a studio unit needs to learn is the art of vertical management. You need to reinvent your sense of spatial organization by escaping from the constraints of the horizontal norm. In other words, find ways to fully exploit every available of inch provided by the height of your walls instead of cursing their lack of width.

5 Great Home Redecorating Ideas

Great ideas for decorating the rooms of your house can be found all around you. The secret to choosing a great redecorating tip is to make sure that it is applicable to your situation. Don’t be tempted to try something that just isn’t suitable for your needs.

5. Molding
One great redecorating tip guaranteed to increase the elegance of any room is to add molding. Options include crown molding, chair molding, baseboard molding and window molding. While not exactly cheap, adding molding is a very affordable way to redecorate your home in a way that transforms its entire ambiance.

4. Take a Chance on Vibrancy
Sometimes you just have to let go of preconceived notions when you start planning to redecorate a room in the house. While looking at paint or wallpaper, check out the more whimsical or seemingly crazy patterns or colors. The addition of offbeat wallpaper patterns or paint colors to just one wall inside a room can have an enormously transformative effect. The same deal goes with choosing some flooring that you might not necessarily have put at the top of your list.

3. Secondhand Junk Put to New Use
Head to your area’s junk stores, flea markets and antique shops to browse around for items and decorative objects you won’t find in the newer stores. Look for something old that can be made new. For instance, solid wood table legs can be recycled into a chandelier. A discarded cheese grater can make a weird but entertaining wall sconce. Photos from old glamour magazines can make a very cheap but striking wallpaper.

2. Retro, Not Vintage
Going for vintage d©cor when you are redecorating your house can quickly become an expensive endeavor. It makes far more sense from a budgetary point of view to choose new reproductions of vintage furniture and accessories. Another effective element in choosing retro reproductions over actual vintage furnishings and accessories is that they are much easier to track down.

1. Silhouetting
Sure, you aren’t exactly going to have a piece of your artwork hanging in the Louvre, but then again you have to be endowed with great talent to pull off a silhouette. The addition of a silhouette figure on the walls here and there throughout the house creates a definite motif that just about anyone can do. Redecorating your home with the addition of silhouettes is as simple as holding up the object and tracing its outline on the wall before painting in the solid color innards.