Your Guide to Creating Beautiful Spaces, FAST!
March 01, 2004
THE MISSION...DecoDreams is the home-decorating-made-easy.com
e-zine that delivers interior decorating tips, ideas,
and solutions to enhance all rooms of your home.
Staying on top of what's hot in decorating has never
been so easy or fun!
Diversity of creative ideas has always been
the hallmark of home decorating. That's why I've
asked designer, artist, educator and writer, Marney
Makridakis, to share her own unique brand of decorating
advice in our "Ask the Decorator" column.
I think you'll enjoy her wit and original insights.
your questions to Marney by clicking here.
> TABLE OF CONTENTS
o Featured Article
1) Getting the Most Out of Odd-Shaped Rooms
o Today's Quote
Last month, we launched our newest decorating Web
Rooms and Crafts. It offers ideas for decorating
kids' rooms and creating decorative crafts to fill
There's simply no other Web site like it!
We're still adding lots of great content, but there's
plenty of original information and projects for
children's rooms of all ages.
Now, we could really use your help.
You see, we know that there are lots of people
out there who would love to get some easy and inexpensive
ideas for decorating their child's room, but they
haven't found us yet.
So, could you help us...and them...by sharing this
issue of DecoDreams or sending them a quick email?
Also, if you visit decorating discussion forums,
please let them know that Kids
Rooms and Crafts may have just what they're
Thanks in advance for your help and I'll be in
touch next month. :-)
~~~~~~ FEATURED ARTICLE ~~~~~~
Getting the Most Out of Odd-Shaped Rooms
Many homes have that one (or sometimes, more than
room that poses special decorating challenges because
of its odd shape. You know the one...the one that
when people walk into the room, they say, "Oh,
what an interestingly shaped room!"
Oddly-shaped rooms definitely add interest...but
wouldnt you rather your visitors focus on
the rooms décor, rather than its shape?
While older homes are more likely to have an odd-shaped
room, many modern homes also have puzzling nooks
and crannies that need your decorating attention.
The purpose of this article is to give you some
specific tips for decorating rooms that are, quite
literally, out of the box.
TIP #1 - If there are multiple windows in the room,
hang identical window treatments on each window.
This helps unify a room that may appear scattered
due to its shape.
TIP #2 - If the room is large, divide the oddly-
shaped room into seve ral "inner rooms",
organized by specific tasks for which the room is
For example, a large den could have the following
inner rooms: game playing room, TV watching room,
reading room, studying room. Organizing a large
room into inner rooms will make the odd space make
sense, both practically and aesthetically.
TIP #3 - Walls that connect to one another at sharp
angles can make a room feel cold and serious. Help
"cozy up" a room with sharp angles with
a decorating folding screen or a rounded sectional
Besides helping a room to look softer, theres
another reason to make those corners more subtle:
in the ancient art of Feng Shui, adding round features
to corners in a room is said to increase financial
prosperity and good health!
TIP #4 - If your room has several disjointed built-in
alcoves, consider joining them together with a painted
border. Take a look at the pictures of this dining
A bold red border has been painted across the entire
wall, cutting into each alcove, and also extending
up to include the ceiling area above each alcove.
By joining the alcoves together with this dramatic
border, the room feels whole, instead of separate
For a less dramatic but very effective variation
of this technique, simply hang a wallpaper border
across the wall, going into each alcove. However,
unlike the above technique, you would not wallpaper
or paint the ceiling area of each alcove. Just paint
the entire ceiling the same color.
TIP #5 - Place an area rug in the center of the
room, to draw attention away from the periphery
of the room.
TIP #6 - If there is an odd corner of the room
that doesnt get much use, use lighting strategically
to draw focus away from the corner. Focus your ambient
(general, or overhead) lighting on illuminating
the rest of the room.
TIP #7 - If an odd corner seems to really stick
out, it often is appropriate to create a small reading
corner with a chair, end table, and a small lamp.
A reading corner is appropriate for almost any room,
and it makes an awkward corner appear cozy.
TIP #8 - Use free-standing shelving, rather than
shelves attached to the walls. With freestanding
furniture pieces such as bookcases and armoires,
you can tweak the rooms shape by setting the
pieces away from the wall several inches.
TIP #9 - Keep the wall covering neutral and avoid
hanging bold or dramatic artwork on the walls. Look
to your furniture pieces to act as the focal point
of the room, rather than the unusual walls.
TIP #10 - All of these tips being said...if you
want to have some fun, dont hide your rooms
eccentricities! If you love a contemporary or eclectic
look, by all means, you should highlight the unusual
shape of your room!
Here are some ideas of what you can do with an
· Paint a single wall a dramatic color
· Paint a mural on the wall
· Cover the wall with a collage or an unusual
· Hang multiple paintings or prints on the
walls of a room to create a dramatic "gallery
· Place a sculpture or pedestal in front
of the wall and light it dramatically
· Cover the wall with pebbles, bamboo, moss,
or another organic material
Whether you choose to highlight the odd shape or
camouflage it, the important thing is not to let
a non-traditional room get you perplexed! Stay true
to your decorating dreams and dont let a willy-nilly
nook or a crazy cranny get in your way.
~~TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION!~~~
ASK THE DECORATOR
DecoDiva, Marney Makridakis, Answers Your Questions
About Odd-Shaped Rooms
QUESTION: I have a large upstairs bedroom. It was
the attic and some dry wall was put up before I
moved in. It has the typical slanted ceilings that
you might expect to see, as the house is almost
an A-frame house. Unfortunately, there is a big
square column in the middle of the room. It is about
2 feet by 4 feet. I guess it used to be the stack
for the old coal burning stove that was once in
the basement. I have no idea what to do with this
thing. Any ideas would be great!
ANSWER: Theres one way to successfully camouflage
big column like the one in your bedroom, and that
is to cover all sides of it with mirrors. Its
a surprisingly effective technique for making a
column all but disappear.
That being said, a column of mirrors may not meld
with your decorating style. Since you cant
make the pillar disappear, Id suggest you
make unique use of it by actively incorporating
it into your rooms them e. Here are a few
· To create a blissful country retreat,
paint a mural of a tree on the column that extends
its branches up to the ceiling.
To create a quaint European setting, hang a collection
of china plates on all sides of the column.
To create an old-fashioned garret, faux-paint the
column to make it look like it is covered with stones.
Add a trompe loiel painting of a wood- or
coal-burning stove for a real authentic touch.
To create a rustic cabin, cover the column with
log planks, and do the same on the ceiling, to create
the feeling of a log cabin. You can also simulate
this feeling with a faux painting technique.
To create a contemporary loft, paint each side
of the column a different bold color, or cover it
with fine art or an unusual collection.
To create an eclectic island getaway, decorate
your bedroom in a tropical style and create your
own large totem pole from the column, covered with
ethnic masks and artifacts.
Hopefully, you can see from this short list of
ideas that there are many ways to make the column
a part of your room. Take on this decorating challenge
with gusto and allow it to inspire you to see your
room in a new way!
QUESTION: Hi, our new home has a wonderful sun
room, and I would like for my family to spend a
lot of time there. The problem is that its
the only place with washer and dryer hookup, so
I need it to serve as a utility room, as well. But
I still want to use it as a living area, too. Its
a spacious room, rectangular in shape, with the
w/d hookups on one far end. I cant afford
to put a wall up to divide the room. What can I
do to make a utility room and a casual family room
ANSWER: To keep your family room as cozy as possible,
Id suggest sectioning off the utility area
completely, rather than trying to make them work
together as a single room. There are lots of ways
you can section off that end of the room, without
putting up a new wall.
One thing you can do is place folding screens across
the end of the room with the utility area. You can
have a lot of fun decorating the side of the screens
that face the family room to match its décor.
You can cover the screens with fabric, wallpaper,
a painted pattern or mural, decoupaged old postcards
or photographs - you name it! The screens become
the fourth wall to your family room and you can
really take advantage of such a unique formation
for your room.
You also can hang curtains from the ceiling to
the floor to split the room. This is a great way
to bring more elegance to the family room, while
making sure its easy to get in and out of
the utility area.
"How to Make Roman Shades"
I reviewed this ebook recently and it's the best
you'll find on how to easily create roman shades
on your own. Step-by-step diagrams and easy, yet
detailed, instructions will have you making beautiful
roman shades in no time at all. Even sewing beginners
will find the process easy to follow. Just think
of the money you'll save!
*********** TODAY'S QUOTE ***********
"The golden opportunity you are seeking is
in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is
not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it
is in yourself alone."
- Orison Swett Marden
Wishing you all the best,
Michael J. Holland - President
Home Decorating Made Easy
Copyright © 2004
ImagineQuest Information Products, Inc.
Copyright © 2002-2003. All rights reserved.
7667 W. Sample Road #233, Coral Springs, FL 33065
Phone 954-345-9972 Fax 954-346-5521