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Everyone wants to have a beautiful home where they can feel relaxed and comfortable.
A place where they can get away from it all.        

But how do you get that Fantastic Retreat at Home without spending a Fortune?

It's easier than you think if you know a few tricks.  Yes, TRICKS!!
You know, the secrets that decorators and artists know, but don't share. ( At least not for
Free! )  Well I am going to break the rules and share some of them with you, because I
feel that an informed client is a happy client.

So, let's start with some basics.
TIP #1      First,  What is the purpose of the area to be decorated.  Would your special place be romantic, lively,
calming, colorful, subdued, fun filled, or reflect quiet elegance.  Or maybe you would like it to be a place where
you can show your Artistic side.  This step is very important to the success of your project, so don't skip it!  
It's worth spending the time to consider your family's or your personality and lifestyle.
TIP #2      Now comes one of the most important consideration of all; STYLE!  Yes, style, or decor, is more
important than color at this point.   Many people think that color is the most important factor to pulling off  
the perfect room or home, but without a unified style, the look will seem disjointed and confusing to you and
everyone else who visits.  And your visitors should be as comfortable in your home as you are, (or maybe
not).

The Style, or decor, of your home can be Victorian, Mediterranean, English Country Manor, Contemporary,
60's, Gothic, Early American, French, Oriental...................
Get the Picture!  

Speaking of pictures, try looking at some of the Decorating Magazines, or speciality books on the market.  
There are many good ones out now.  For another Excellent resource, try visiting some of the many high-end
Hotels.  They hire top notch Decorators and Designers to design and furnish their lobbies and rooms in
lavish styles. This can save you a lot of time trying to figure out all the little details.
TIP #3     Let there be light!  Before color can be considered, the amount of light in your home will greatly
effect the appearance of your chosen colors, or at least to what degree you will see them.  If your home or
room is dark and adding a window is not an option, consider additional lighting.  Lamps, tract lighting, wall
fixtures, skylights, or even mirrors, are good options to brightening up a dark space.  Also consider dimmers.  
They allow you to change the Mood of a room.  And after all, if you are going to go through the all that time,
money, and trouble to decorate, you might as well see your results!
TIP #4     Finally, Color.  This is a tricky subject because there is more to choosing a color than just color!  
There are warm colors, cool colors, bright colors, dark colors, complimentary colors, greyed colors, and so
on.  Each generates a different feeling.   But for the sake of simplicity, I will speak to what I feel are the most
important factors to consider when decorating, or painting for that mater ( after all, I am an artist ).  Most artists
are familiar with the basic rules that make their paintings more appealing to prospective buyers.  Well the same
rules apply to decorating.  And one rule stands out amongst all the rest.  
 The 80/20 Rule!

That is to say, the 80% to 20% ratio rule, ( OK, you could use 70/30 also ).  This rule applies to the amount of:
light vs dark, warm vs cool, and the focal or dominant color to its complimentary color.

First decide whether the finished piece ( in this case your room ) will be mostly light with a few dark accents, or
mostly dark with a few lights accents.  Then, will it be mostly warm with a few cool touches, or mostly cool with
a few warm touches. And, based on the Main Focal color, don't forget to add a few touches of its
complementary color.   

Let me explain complimentary colors.  There are
3 Primary colors on the color wheel; red, blue and yellow.  
They can not be created by mixing other colors together.  THEY JUST ARE.  Each Primary color ( red, blue,
and yellow ) has a C
omplimentary color that makes that primary color Sing; stand out!  It is easy to find the
right  complementary color to a primary color.  Just pick one of the primary colors, say blue.  The two
remaining primary colors (red and yellow) when mixed together will create another color, orange. Orange is
the complementary color to blue.  The same process applies to red and yellow.
 It's that simple.   Why use
complementary colors when decorating?
 Complementary colors make their corresponding Primary colors
pop, giving you a more exciting result.

Keep this in mind when picking out  accessories like vases, pillows, lamps, chairs, or throws.  Use these items
in the complementary colors of your wall colors. And don't forget to add light or dark accessories.   If these
techniques are applied, your rooms will have greater interest and visual appeal.

If you prefer a more quiet look and feel, then use Greyed down colors.  Greying will not result in making a color
sing.  Instead it will dull down the color, making it more soft and subtle.  To grey down a color (and I don't
mean by adding black to it ) mix one of the primary colors
with its complementary color.  i.e. Mix blue paint with
a little orange paint to get a greyed down blue.
Tip#5  When you need HELP with decorating, who do you call!  I suggest calling a Decorator, Designer or
Faux Finisher.  But which one?  First of all, if you are planning on moving walls and such, call a qualified
Designer or Architect.  They will be an added expense, however, they will save you money and headaches in
the long run, and stop you from
tearing down Your Supporting Walls!  If you just want advice with color,
texture, and style, a Decorator or Faux Finisher can be quite helpful.  The trick is FINDING the
right one for
you.
 But how do you know which one is right for you?  Call them and ask them questions.  If you like what
you hear, meat with them.  Your meeting will tell you if you will enjoy working with them, which can be more
important than their expertise!  No matter how qualified someone is, if you don't like them, you will not
communicate well with them, and they will not give their best to You!  Besides, the process should be fun.

Where do you find them?  First look in the phone book, or talk to your friends or co- workers.   If you know
someone that has had decorating done recently, ask them if you can see the work.  But keep in mind that the
work may not be your style or taste,  since it is in someone else's home!  Look for the quality in the work.  Can
you see paint dirps, missed spots, or spots that don't belong in the technique.   Is the work "cartoony".  Ask if
the contractor was cooperative, or hard to get along with.  Were they neat, and careful with the existing
objects in the home.  Did they listen to your friends ideas, or just push their own style or taste on your friend!  
If your friend gives the seal of approval, then go for it!  Give them a call.  Keep in mind that Decorators and
Designers will charge for their time.  Everyone has to make a living.  
Keep checking our site for more Tips and Tricks. And feel free to email me with questions
that you have may about the above information, or with any Tips or Tricks that
you
would like  to share.  COLOR AWAY!!
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