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Italian wrought iron as an item to cherish

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (12)

You know that you have made an impact on someone’s life if they give you Italian wrought iron as a gift. A dear friend of mine recently gave me a magnificent present made of this timeless material that I will always cherish. She chose Italian wrought iron for a few reasons and she shared those reasons with me.

The item is truly breathtaking. It is designed to hold decorative plates as a display. Actually, the Italian wrought iron is beautiful enough to stand by itself. The piece hangs on the wall and it has four platforms made to cradle plates perfectly in place. My friend said that she thought of me once she saw the Italian wrought iron object.

She said that the design reminded her of my home for some reason and she was quite right in that estimation. In fact, the Italian wrought iron plate holder looks as if it were patterned after my living room area rug. The piece has swirls and leaves that match the rug perfectly.

My friend also selected the Italian wrought iron plate holder because the piece was made by skilled artisans. She liked the idea of giving a present that took time and effort to make and I really appreciate her thoughtfulness in this decision. The Italian wrought iron holder is a newer piece but it is crafted as items were crafted centuries ago.

The craftsmanship of the item is part of what makes the plate holder so attractive to me and to everyone who sees it. The Italian wrought iron is a material that seems to transcend time and the object looks as if it is hundreds of years old. I love that this new item has such an antique appearance.

There is one slight problem with the Italian wrought iron plate holder. I really don’t collect plates and I certainly have no intentions of starting now. However, my husband and I figured out a great way to use this piece without purchasing plates that we really don’t want.

The item is perfect for holding votive candles. We actually use the Italian wrought iron plate holder as a wall candle sconce. The flickering light is magnificent in this piece because the illumination cast shadows on the wall that mimic the shape of the object’s design. That same design is repeated in our rug.

There are few items that really stand out. The Italian wrought iron plate holder is an object that I will cherish for many years to come, even if I am using it as a candle sconce.

by Carolyn Chambers


Bringing Back Art Deco

Posted on June 26, 2011 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The most glamorous artistic and design movement of the twentieth century, Art Deco flourished in the 1920s and1930s, declined in the 1940s, but experienced a resurgence of interest in the1960s with a revival of the style. In the 1980s there was another phase ofinterest with the growth of graphic design and typefaces as an art form, andsince then it has never really gone away.

Nowadays, it works equally well with any modern furnishing such as a leather recliner sofa or DVD cabinet, and many people are embracing the art form. So, what’s it all about?

Art Deco introduced elegant, linear symmetry with rich colors and much gold high lighting, drawing inspiration from several sources including futurism, cubism, ethnic arts such as ancient Egyptian and Aztec Mexican, as well as the clean lines of technology. Curves were huge, bold, and sweeping. It was a sharp contrast to the flowing pastels of Art Nouveau.

Unlike many artistic movements that have political or philosophical elements, Art Deco was purely decorative. But artists and designers working within this style turned their talents to a wider ange of areas: architecture, industrial items, household goods, paintings and,of course, interior design. The Chrysler Building in New York, built between1928 and 1930 is an iconic Art Deco structure, as is the Empire State Building.

Art Deco successfully married functionality and glamorous style. Many of its motifs, such as huge, symmetrical sunbursts and other geometric shapes such as chevrons and ziggurats, could be seen acrossthe whole spectrum of design, from clothes and shoes to skyscrapers and cars. Despite the glorious ornamentation, the style was practical and, in some ways,simple to achieve.

 Typical materials used in art decointerior design are hard and metallic: aluminum, stainless steel, chrome, Bakelite, and lacquer. It might be difficult to reproduce this at home, but brushed steel and glass can help with the look. One of the easiest ways to achieve an Art Deco design is to use one of the many available wallpapers with original patterns. Team it with a gleaming hardwood floor, colorful rugs, mirrors and stained glass, futuristic furniture, lacquered cabinets, lamps, and a print of one of the Deco skyscrapers. Being careful not to clash with wallpaper, if patterns are used they should reflect the geometric motifs orhave huge curves.

 Genuine Art Deco items from the 1920s and ’30s are now hugely desirable and expensive. But items fromthe 1960s and ’70s are still cheap enough to collect (though prices are rising), and while they don’t have the cachet of the original, they are still Art Deco pieces (just Revival).

Choosing Paint Colors and other Kitchen Ideas

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 7:27 AM Comments comments (0)

Painting is oneof the easiest ways to make a dramatic difference in a room, even in a kitchen,which often has less wall space. Paint is inexpensive, can be applied over aweekend, and can really spruce up a tired space without the hassle and cost ofa kitchen remodel. How do you choose the perfect kitchen color? Read on forsome tips and ideas.

Determine Your Kitchen's Personality

Before you start the often arduous task of going through a paint book, stepback, take a deep breath, and then take a look at your kitchen.


Ask yourself some questions? Is it traditional, modern,country, etc.? What color is your kitchen now and why is it no longer workingfor you? Is it because you crave more excitement in your kitchen or do you wantto tone it down and make the space more relaxing? Are you tired of playing itsafe and want to choose a bold, trendy color or do you prefer to remainneutral?


Lots of questions! Not to worry, once you determine what personality you want yourkitchen to have, whether it will energize you and make a bold statement or calmyou down after a long day, you can get out the color wheel, and let the fun begin.

          What to do on your First Visit to the Paint Store

Ideally, you should not purchase anything on your first visit to the paintstore, since your initial goal should be to obtain ideas. Once you are able toview the color swatch display, put everything out of your mind and just choosecolors that appeal to you, even if you know that tangerine won't work in your house-if it speaks to you, pick it up. Make sure you choose a few neutrals thatcould work, cool and warm colors, so that you cantake the samples home and start the process of elimination. Warm colors,such as golds and reds, act as appetite stimulants and best complement food,although cooler colors can help calm and brighten your kitchen.

Once you're back in your kitchen with your color swatches, try and determine why tangerine appeals to you.


Is it thevibrant, cheerful nature of the color that inspired you, or does it make youhungry or inspire you to bake a cake? These inclinations, while they might not lead you to paint your kitchen tangerine, could tell you what you're reallylooking for in your kitchen color.

Now, start holding your swatches against your flooring, cabinets andcountertops, making sure to evaluate the colors in different lights atdifferent times of the day.


Then, narrow downyour possibilities to 2 to 4 options. It's best to purchase samples and eitherpaint them directly on the wall or paint them onto 8 by 10-inch canvasses foundat craft stores so you can hold each sample up in various places and next tomore of your kitchen fixtures. Then, choose a color and start painting.

Since kitchens typically have less wall space, a boldcolor won't overwhelm the room, so take a chance and choose that red or coppercolor and put it on the wall. Remember, it'sonly paint. If it doesn't work out, simply repaint. But if it does, you'll thank yourself for your brave color choice. It's all about testing, andmore importantly, having fun. Don't forget to take before and after kitchen pictures so that you can fully appreciate your work.

By: Bob Fischer


Article Source: Home | Home &Family | InteriorDesign

Bob Fischerwrites about unique kitchen ideas, and does product reviews of paintmanufacturers, such as behrpaint and others.  or



Great Kitchen Decorating Ideas and Tips

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 7:23 AM Comments comments (1)

Whether you love it or hate it, the kitchen is a necessary part of daily living for just about all of us. So, it would be a good thing to walk into your kitchen first thing in the morning and feel a little lift in your spirit as you start the day. If your current kitchen doesn't elicit that type of positive response, read on!

These kitchen decorating ideas are simple, easy to implement and most are very cost effective. And, some of the tips for decorating a kitchen that follow are just plain common sense! But when put together into a plan of action, the results are worth each step!

First, make a list of everything that you want to change, no matter what the cost. Just make a list.Then determine how much you want to spend, or can afford to spend, on your kitchen decorating project. With that number in mind, go back through the list you just compiled and decide what is going to get done at this time. Some of the items on the list for decorating your kitchen may have to wait until the budget catches up.

So, now you have a list in hand of things you want to change. For most folks, the list will include items pertaining to the colors, style, drabness, worn out (or tired of) accessories, etc.Here are the kitchen decorating ideas and tips that will help you take action and check off those items on your list!

1. Give the entire kitchen a thorough cleaning, including the floors, cabinets and windows. I know, it's not a fun way to start decorating your kitchen, but you will be amazed at how much brighter everything will look when it is freshly cleaned.Remove everything from the walls and countertops. You are going to start fresh there as well.

2. Assess the color scheme for the kitchen. Does it relate to the rest of your home? Even if a neutral background is your preference, accents of other colors found in your home would be a good addition to the kitchen decor. If everything is white or neutral in the kitchen it could be one of the reasons why you don't love the space so much.Consider putting some color on the walls. If your kitchen space is small, don't worry about that. Go ahead and make it as colorful as you please.Have you been thinking about introducing a new accent color in your home? Try it out in small doses in the kitchen area and see how it works. Use your new color in accessories that can be easily changed in case you are not so thrilled with the results.

3. How much light does the kitchen get, natural or otherwise. If the kitchen area has poor lighting overall it can feel almost cave-like. So, here is your next kitchen decorating idea, and it is two-fold.First, replace one light fixture in the kitchen area with something new and fresh. It may be in the nook, over the sink or under the cabinets.Then, add one new source of lighting in this area. This can be a simple as do-it-yourself under cabinet lights, or possibly some 'mood' lighting on top of your cabinets if you have space above the soffit. Rope lighting can be a good choice in this area.As for the windows, in most instances you will want to have as much natural light coming in as possible during the daytime hours. Utilize a type of blind or shade that can fully open during the day and then close to give you privacy in the evening.Soften the windows with a valance. That will keep your area feeling open and light but will provide a counterpoint to the hard surfaces of the kitchen.

4. The next kitchen decorating idea is to use accessories to finish decorating your kitchen.You can go about this in the typical way and purchase a matching set of kitchen accessories such as place mats, dishtowels, salt/pepper shakers and the like, that contain the colors/theme/style you enjoy. Ho-hum.Or, you can spend a little bit more time and search for kitchen accessories that include the elements you want in terms of color/theme/style, but a not a matching set. Look for accessories such as small rugs, artwork (real artwork if you have room for it - not the 'kitcheny' looking stuff), place mats, dishes/serving pieces that have your colors in them. Put some different patterns together, use some solids, and look for one or two pieces that may seem more traditional for the kitchen.The key here is to find unique pieces that may even be unexpected in the kitchen area, but fit in with your own unique decor personality. Have fun and enjoy your newly decorated kitchen!


Candi Randolph is a Design Consultant and the author of 'Ten Simple Steps to Design Success', a simple and easy to understand guide with home decorating ideas and interior design tips. Please visit Great Home Decorating for home decor advice, tips, articles and help for all styles and budgets.

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How To Easily Accessorize Your Home

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (2)


You do not have to be an interior designer to understand the basics of interior home design. All you have to have is a basic idea of what your particular style is and the look that you are after when it comes to your home. What vibe are you trying to display?

A lot of your decisions can be made based on the time of year that it is and what the weather is like outside. Some people re-accessorize their homes several different times each year. Now is the time to start on yours!

Here, we will discuss the 7 tips that you need in order to accessorize your home with fashion and style.

1. When it comes to placing decorative items or antiques on table tops, make sure that you vary the height of the objects. Items that are all the same size do not stand out, and will probably just get looked over. Different heights provide an interesting look and a unique quality.

2. Make sure that any form of artwork that you own is placed at eye level. When you walk into the room, the artwork will be the first thing that you see. When paintings and other forms of artwork are placed down too low or up too high, they are not noticed. What is the point in having such beautiful pieces if no one notices them?

3. Try not to clutter your home with too many objects. A home that is full of clutter only displays clutter. You may think that the beauty is noticeable, but nothing takes away from a beautiful home like crowded objects. If you find that you have too many knick knacks lying about, then try to spread them amongst all of the rooms in your home. Build wall stands for them if you have to. It will look great.

4. All home pictures should also be at eye level and spaced out evenly. Make sure that the spaces appear to be just right, not too close together and not too far apart. Placing them in the forms of various shapes can also be very pleasing to the eye instead of in a straight line. Do not display pictures only in the living room. Put them in the hallway and in other rooms as well.

5. Display artwork in your bathroom. The bathroom is often the last thing that people think about as being glamorous, but it really should be. Decorate it with candle displays and a few small decorative mirrors to enhance the size. Place a few pictures of artwork in your bathroom as well in order to liven it up a bit. Purchase toilet seat covers and mats that match the theme.

6. Always decorate your kitchen table with fancy bowls of fruit or a beautiful display of flowers for a romantic touch. Use corner tables to place your plants on inside of your kitchen, and use decorative kitchen chair cushions for your table to enhance the kitchen's sense of style.

7. Use curtains and rugs to break up too much solid color. You can even use couch covers or chair covers in order to achieve this effect. For example, if you have a room that is painted white with white carpet, then you just have too much white. To tone down some of the white, you would need to invest in a colorful rug and decorative curtains, along with couch and chair covers to bring the room back to life.

These tips should serve as an essential guide each and every time that you decorate and accessorize your home.

Accessories for the home are not hard to find. Most local department stores carry them for very cheap prices. You can even make and design your own if you would prefer. For example, several people would much rather design their own curtains and bed pillows than buy them from the store. You can also find lots of great things online. However you choose to do it, just know that accessories have the ability to create a powerful and beautiful effect inside of your home.

Author: Patricia Bosworth-jones


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