Your Guide to Creating Beautiful Spaces, FAST!
March 01, 2004
Issue #017
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!
DON'T FORGET Your Friends!...If you like DecoDreams, please
do a friend and me a huge favor and "pass it along"...

...or ask them to subscribe by visiting
Home Decorating Made Easy.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


o News

1) Have You Checked Out Our New Web Site?

o Featured Article

1) Getting the Most Out of Odd-Shaped Rooms

o Today's Quote

NEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Have You Checked Out Our New Web Site?

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. :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FEATURED ARTICLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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 several "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

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

  • 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 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



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

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 theme.
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----------

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Before you begin any decorating project,
do yourself a HUGE favor and get clutter
under control. Doing this alone will make
a room appear larger, and you'll feel more
relaxed. The crown jewel is that you'll get
more time back into your day. Click here to
learn more...


------Recommended Resource------

"How to Make Roman Shades"
I reviewed this ebook recently and it's
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------Recommended Resource------

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ***************** 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

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
of helpful ideas to get you going in the right
direction. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~