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Home Decorating Tips

Look for ways to add the unusual. Here a musical manuscript is placed on a wood stand. It could just as easily be an open book, a dictionary, the Bible. A unique conversation piece.

Another unusual idea. Rugs don't have to be square, oval, circular or rectangular.

This thinly framed metal and glass coffee table is barely visible. Open up your space by using furniture that is visually very light in appearance. The delicate lines of the table contrast with the sizable sofa and allow you to enjoy the beautiful Asian rug in all its beauty.

Decorating Halls and Hallways:
What Do You Do?

Struggling with a boring hallway? Don't know what to do? Sometimes this is an area of the home that is "thrown together" or "thrown away" because it is viewed as being less important than the rest of the home. But here are some ideas for decorating your hall that are easy and quick.

Naturally, the most obvious solution is to hang a framed work of art in the middle of the largest wall. Well, if you take this road, make sure that the art work covers 1/2-3/4 of the horizontal space of the wall so that the art will be in good proportion to the wall.

If you don't have a single piece or two companion pieces that will give enough coverage in the middle of the wall, then look for a doorway opposite the wall. Place a large framed picture directly across from the doorway. This is a logical place and when someone leaves a room, they have something attractive to look at.

However, if you don't have a doorway opposite the wall in question, and particularly if the wall is a long one, then divide the wall into two or three parts. Consider hanging two companions in one half and a single large picture in the other half. Even better, if you have two walls facing one another, divide the longest wall into thirds. Place a work of art in the first third, say on the right. Then place another work of art in the middle of the opposite wall on the left. Finally, place another work of art in the last third of the longest wall. This way you have two on the right and one on the left, but they are staggered, balancing the "hall room" from one end to the other. Avoid placing art across from another work of art, unless the hall is wide. You don't want the hall to appear closed in.

Hang the pictures at the eye level of a 5'6" person. If the focal point of the image is low, place that picture slightly higher on the wall than if the focal point is high in the picture.

An exception to this rule is if you choose to make the hall a family picture gallery. Family pictures are generally small in size and should be placed in close proximity forming a grouping. Don't get too carried away and try to hang every picture of your family that you have. Too much of a good thing is simply too much.

When I design family photo galleries, I place all of the black and white photos together and never mix them in with color photographs. I look for photographs that have a similar color tone, avoiding mixing anything into the grouping that tends to attract too much attention to itself. Begin by hanging the largest photo first to anchor the grouping.

Lay all of the elements out on the floor in front of the wall (if space permits) and rearrange until you get an arrangement that is pleasing to the eye. Place it in the center or just off center of the overall measurement of the grouping. Build from the center outward. Your grouping can be symmetrical or asymmetrical in design. I prefer the latter, personally.

Remove the easel on the back, if there is one. The pictures will hang more uniformly and rest snugly against the wall. For extra security and to keep them from getting dislodged and hanging off level, use some double back 1/8" foam tape placed in the center of the bottom part of the frame. In California I am always concerned about the possibility of earthquakes, so I always try to secure everything I hang in some manner.

Consider creating a vertically aligned grouping on a narrow panel of wall. Just make sure that the grouping fits snugly in the space, without feeling cramped. Avoid hanging something that is too narrow for the wall. It will feel dwarfed and overpowered by the wall. Covering 2/3rds of the width is just about the perfect proportion.

More Decorating Tips
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