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Free Monthly E-Zine
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Designer Tip of the Week


Free Monthly E-Zine

We at Great Lakes Window Coverings would like to welcome you to the DecoDreams monthly E-Zine. This E-Zine is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your home decorating, and the best part is - it's FREE! To subscribe to this E-Zine, click here, or enter your information at the bottom of this page. Enjoy this month's E-Zine!

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DecoDreams
Your Guide to Creating Beautiful Spaces, FAST!
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March 01, 2004
Issue #017
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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!
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*********ACKNOWLEDGEMENT********
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.

Submit 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

~~~~~~~~~~~~NEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Last month, we launched our newest decorating Web site
called Kids Rooms and Crafts. It offers ideas for decorating kids' rooms and creating decorative crafts to fill them.

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 looking for.

Thanks in advance for your help and I'll be in touch next month. :-)

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~~~~~~ FEATURED ARTICLE ~~~~~~
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Getting the Most Out of Odd-Shaped Rooms

Many homes have that one (or sometimes, more than one)
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 wouldn’t you rather your visitors focus on the room’s 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 used.

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 sofa.

Besides helping a room to look softer, there’s 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 room.

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 and partitioned.

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 doesn’t 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 room’s 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, don’t hide your room’s 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 "odd
wall":

· Paint a single wall a dramatic color

· Paint a mural on the wall

· Cover the wall with a collage or an unusual collection

· Hang multiple paintings or prints on the walls of a room to create a dramatic "gallery look"

· 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 don’t let a willy-nilly nook or a crazy cranny get in your way.

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~~TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION!~~~
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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: There’s one way to successfully camouflage a
big column like the one in your bedroom, and that is to cover all sides of it with mirrors. It’s 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 can’t make the pillar disappear, I’d suggest you make unique use of it by actively incorporating it into your room’s them e. Here are a few ideas:

· 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 l’oiel 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 it’s 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. It’s a spacious room, rectangular in shape, with the w/d hookups on one far end. I can’t afford to put a wall up to divide the room. What can I do to make a utility room and a casual family room work together?

ANSWER: To keep your family room as cozy as possible, I’d 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 it’s 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 it’s easy to get in and out of the utility area.

-----Recommended Resource------
"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!
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*********** 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

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Wishing you all the best,

Michael J. Holland - President
Home Decorating Made Easy
Copyright © 2004

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