Your Guide to Creating Beautiful Spaces, FAST!
July 14, 2003
THE MISSION...DecoDreams is the home-decorating-made-
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ideas, and solutions to enhance all rooms of your home.
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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
1) What Do You Think?
o Featured Article
1) Decorating Around Lousy Paint Colors!
o Turning Ideas Into Action!
1) Ask the Decorator
- Marney Makridakis, The DecoDiva, Answers
Your Questions About Dealing With Lousy Paint Colors
o Today's Quote
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FEATURED ARTICLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Decorating Around Lousy Paint Colors
If you’ve just moved into a home, there’s a good
chance that you may not like the paint color that’s
already on the walls. However, you may not have the
time, money, or inclination to repaint them anytime
It may seem like you’re stuck, but there actually are
some easy tricks that can help an undesirable paint
color take a back seat to the overall look of the
These tricks are also helpful if you’re renting your
home or apartment, and you’re not permitted to paint
On the other hand, perhaps you’re just not sure of
your decorating plan for your new space. Or maybe
you’ve already painted your walls, but you don’t care
for the result.
If any of these sound like your predicament...don’t
worry, you’re not trapped!
In this article, I’m going to give you a few tricks
that will make it easier to live with a paint color
you don’t like.
Before I launch into the tips, I’ll point out that a
less-than-desirable paint color in a room doesn’t
necessarily mean you don’t like the color. It could
be that the color just doesn’t fit the style of your
For example, a deep, dramatic eggplant color may not
work well with American Country wicker. And bright
turquoise may not blend with your traditional Louis
XIV living room set.
On the flip side, it could be that the lack of color
is what’s bothering you. If your home is painted in
neutrals and you’re longing to add more personality to
your rooms, you’re bound to be frustrated until you
infuse the room with color.
It’s also worth noting that colors have a huge impact
on your emotional and mental attitude.
Some colors make you feel energized, while some make
you feel restful. Some make you feel sociable, while
others make you feel more reserved.
You may find that while you love the color orange, a
tangerine-colored bedroom is not allowing to you wind
down at the end of the night.
If selecting colors terrifies you,
then take the color quiz in our book,
Awaken Your Interior Designer. On
top of that, we provide 135
ready-to-go paint color schemes
that make selecting unifying colors for
all rooms in your home home a no-brainer!
No matter your reason for wanting to camouflage, tone
down, or "tone up" your existing wall color, here are
some hints and tricks to try:
- Hang artwork generously, with an emphasis on
This is an easy way to ensure that the wall color
takes up less visual space in a room. When large
portions of the wall are covered, you see less wall,
and therefore the wall color becomes more subtle.
If your walls are neutral, you can add a lot of color
to the room by selecting vivid and dynamic artwork.
If you are looking to tone down an intense wall color,
wall hangings and artwork in neutral tones will soften
But be careful when using black and white photographs
and/or artwork on a brightly colored wall. The stark
contrast between black and white tends to draw more
attention to the bold wall color.
The type of artwork you select will depend largely on
the style of your room. For traditionally-decorated
rooms, large paintings with wide or elaborate frames
work well… as do tapestries or oriental rugs hung on
For more contemporary styles, art posters (framed or
unframed) are great to cover large walls. Place them
symmetrically across the wall to create a gallery-type
Rustic styles are greatly enhanced by Native-American
tapestries, weavings, and blankets.
American Country and the very popular romantic styles
such as “cottage style” and “shabby chic” are paired
wonderfully with quilts hung on the wall, either on a
quilt rack or just hung with tacks or nails.
- Cover the wall completely with fabric
This is an easy way to camouflage an undesirable wall
color. You can purchase fabric yardage and use a
staple gun to staple it right into the wall.
Covering a wall with fabric is quicker than both paint
and wallpapering, and is easily reversible.
The most time consuming element of this kind of
project is if you are using a patterned fabric that
needs to match up from panel to panel. It’s like
matching patterned wallpaper.
If you have our book, Quick & Stylish
Decorative Crafts, you'll find a great
Pleated Wall Fabric Treatment project
Another bonus to this technique is the fact that
staples leave very subtle marks in the wall. These
marks are much smaller and easier to manage than holes
left my nails.
For even fewer staple marks, you can buy ready-made
drapery panels and hang them from the top of the
wall. Either staple or tack them at the top, or hang
them on a rod that extends across the wall.
Allow the panels to hang down freely, which provides a
subtle amount of movement and texture, and creates a
- Select eye-catching window treatments
Adding eye-catching window treatments is a great way
to take the attention off a wall color. If you make a
window the focal point of a room by framing it
attractively, then the window is seen first upon
entering the room.
After resting on the window, the eye moves inward to
the other elements in the center of the room (the
furniture, accents, lighting, etc.), never resting on
the wall color itself. It’s a deceptively simple
trick...and it works!
If your style is very casual, don’t think that the
window treatments have to be formal, elaborate, and
fussy. Take a look at the bedroom shown below
The homeowner didn’t care for the pale pink wall
color, so she used window treatments to distract from
This room has three windows, and each one is adorned
with the same treatment. The style of the treatment
is classic, yet whimsical.
The colors are bold and fun, and make even more of an
impact since they are grouped in a set of three
treatments over three windows. When entering the
room, it’s the windows that get the focus, not the
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ask the Decorator
DecoDiva, Marney Makridakis, Answers Your Questions
About Decorating Around Lousy Paint Colors
QUESTION: I have a bathroom with a lot of pink tile
and am not ready to rip it out yet and don't trust
that these type of surfaces can be successfully
So what color could I paint the rest of the walls to
coordinate with pink in a man's bathroom. Am I
correct in the assumption that the lighter the
coordinating color, the pinker the tile looks?
ANSWER: You’re right that painting the walls in a
light color will emphasize the pastel hues in the
bathroom. A darker color, such as a burgundy or
forest green, will tone down the pink in the tiles.
If your style is contemporary and you’d like to have a
little fun, a masculine way to pull off pink is to
combine it with a dark slate gray color, or even
These combinations result in a fun and
sophisticated “retro” look that will make your
bathroom look anything but frilly and feminine.
QUESTION: My wife and I have just painted our den. It
is kind of a Pumpkin color. We have painted over the
old paneling with vertical grooves. The job looks
good; however, the color is now too strong of an
orange and overpowers the room.
Is there something we could do to tone down the bright
orange without repainting the entire room and change
to a little lighter shade? Maybe some kind of
sponging with some kind of softer finish?
ANSWER: Adding a faux finish to soften a wall’s color
is an excellent, quick solution to your dilemma. The
trick is to select a color that is very similar to the
existing color, not more than three shades lighter
that the original color.
If you selected a paint color from a paint sample
strip, it’s easy to select a new shade…just go one to
three shades lighter on that very strip.
Mix the lighter shade with a glazing medium (available
at your paint store or home improvement store),
according to the directions on the product (it’s
usually 1 cup paint to 1 cup glaze). Dip a sponge
into the glazed paint and apply it to the wall.
You can experiment with different kinds of sponges (a
sea sponge leaves a different texture and pattern than
a kitchen sponge) and different spacing of the sponged
For a less subtle look, you can consider sponging on
top of the Pumpkin color with a cream, off-white, or
very pale yellow shade. There will be more contrast
between the two layers of paint, which will create a
dramatic texture and visual effect, without
overpowering the room.
Remember to use the glazing medium to ensure that the
sponged paint goes on smoothly and does not dry too
If you can get your hands on a piece of plywood, go
ahead and paint it in the Pumpkin color, and then try
different sponged top coats to see which look you prefer.
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***************** TODAY'S QUOTE ***************************
"We do not remember days, we remember moments."
Wishing you all the best,
Michael J. Holland - President
Home Decorating Made Easy
Copyright © 2003
P.S. Don't forget your fr*ee chapters of Awaken Your
Interior Designer. You'll get 72 pages, filled with
lots of ideas and photos to put you on the right
decorating path.Click here to download your copy right away
P.P.S. If you're thinking of starting a part-time or
full-time business for crafts or home decorating, be
sure to download our complimentary ebook called From Passion to Cash: How to Make Money With Your Passion of Crafts and Decorating. You'll find lots
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