Touches - Part 1
I love to go on house tours because it is usually there that I see some very innovative decorating touches. It is inspiring to view someone else's creative genius. Rarely can I match or even imitate the many treats that I get to experience on these tours, but I always come away with a renewed desire to release my own creativity. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Have fun!
1. Use oversized candelabra on your dining room table to give the setting an uncommon elegance. There is no annoying glare as the light originates at a high level.
2. To delight the senses before any food arrives at the table, place tiny bowls of sweet-scented herbs at each place setting.
3. How's this for a visual treat? Balance ostrich eggs on top of candlesticks. Watch your guests as they experience this surprise element.
4. Top cupboards with crown molding, an unusual place for molding to be sure, but quite dramatic.
5. Use an antique rope bed, shortened and topped with glass, as a coffee table. I call this one 'creative recycling'.
6. Exhibit your collection of antique glass bottles on window sills where the light from outside can show off their beauty to those within. This adds an interesting touch of colour to a neutrally-painted room.
7. Install a crescent-shaped window under a gable to bring in additional light. Can one ever have enough windows? 8. Use an antique soda bin as a planter during the winter and a cold drink holder in the summer.
9. Use a portion of a concrete pipe for a flowerpot in your garden.
10. Hang tiny white lights in that small dead tree.
Unusual Decorating Touches - Part 2
by Patty Lee
If you are like me, home decorating inspiration comes at the strangest of times, usually when you are not even looking. Some of the following unusual decorating touches were seen on a recent daytrip. Some I saw in a magazine, and some just popped into my mind. I hope you enjoy these 10 ideas and that they will inspire your creativity.
1. An old-fashioned sleigh can be used throughout the year just by changing what it holds. In the fall, fill the sleigh with gourds, autumn leaves and acorns. For Christmas, fill with gold and silver balls or candies wrapped in brightly coloured paper.
2. Make a half-table console from a table whose usefulness has ended. A solid wood table with a removable middle leaf works best. Unscrew and remove the extension mechanism, sand the table half, prime it and paint it. Now, screw or nail a 2" X 2" piece of wood to the wall at the height of the table so that the edge of the table rests on this wood support. For extra support, screw through the top of the table to the wood support. Fill the holes with wood filler and paint over them.
3. Use the shells you collected on that summer trip to the beach for candle holders. Fasten a short piece of wicking to a metal wick holder and anchor inside the shell. Fill the shell with melted candle wax. Trim the wick. Allow to set and there you have it - a delightful way to relive those summer memories.
4. Make a nightlight more interesting by gluing a large scallop shell to the clear plastic nightlight cover.
5. Tiny frames can be used as placecard holders for that fancy dinner.
6. Turn belts into napkin holders by shortening them to just long enough to go around the napkin, approx. 6" depending on the thickness of the napkin.
7. Do you have a handknit sweater that is now just too small, or doesn't seem to go with any of your other clothes? You can turn it into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind cushion cover, by cutting off the sleeves and neck band to leave two square pieces. Place pieces right sides together and stitch around all 4 sides, leaving a small opening in the middle of one side for turning. Turn right side out, insert pillow form, blind stitch opening closed.
8. Lean a wooden ladder against a bathroom wall and place towels over the rungs. This makes an interesting addition to the room instead of the traditional towel rack.
9. For a nostalgic touch in the bathroom, place an old washboard across the tub to hold soap, shampoo, bath oil, etc.
10. Calling all Dollmakers! In place of a curtain, string a cord across your laundry room window, and use clothes pegs to hang doll clothes.
Unusual Decorating Touches - Part 3
by Patty Lee
Do you need an interesting touch for that special occasion? Or would you like to perk up that uninteresting corner of your house? Here are 10 ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Have fun.
1. Make tiny handbags, fill with mints, a special commemorative coin, or other special things, tie on a name tag or write the name of each guest on the handbag and set one at each guest's place at the table.
2. Create banquette seating along a wall in your small kitchen. Build plywood benches with hinged lids to store canned goods or seldom used cooking utensils out of sight, but within easy reach. Top with fabric-covered cushions to add colour and absorb sound.
3. Sink a decorative pottery bowl into a countertop to hold eggs and other items that tend to roll away.
4. Choose the prettiest new vase that you can find, place it on your counter, and store your cooking utensils in it.
5. Antique lovers will like this one. Use an old washboard as the door of your small laundry room or bathroom cabinet. The cabinet is constructed as a backless wooden box with one shelf placed midway. Attach the washboard with hinges and close with a latch.
6. Make use of that old suitcase or steamer trunk as a coffee table.
7. Instead of an expensive headboard, add an spring-like touch to your bedroom by making a headboard from a piece of picket fencing. Entwine the fence with ivy, real or silk.
8. For a country touch in your family room, use a wooden pail that was once used to draw water from a well to hold your fireplace kindling.
9. Attach brackets at the top of a window frame and add a shelf. On the shelf above the window, you can place coloured glass bottles, baskets, antiques, etc.
10. Tuck evergreen branches behind your pictures so that they decorate the top of the frame.
Patty Lee is the Manager of HerIdeas, a delightful place for crafters
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