WITH a little extra planning, that home of yours can bring added pleasure to your family and the visitors who drop by. All it takes is the application of a few simple principles in the element of design. This more gracious living can be yours whether you are building a new home or refurbishing an old one.
The general plan may begin with all new furniture or without buying one new piece. Furniture should always be purchased with the future in mind. You may have to live with it a long time, even though you didn't plan it that way. Fortunately, good furniture can last a life time with proper care and refinishing.
If you are moving into a new home that will be yours for a long time you have the decided advantage of purchasing the furniture for that particular house. Chances are, if involved in denominational work, you move rather frequently. This being so you will be more conservative and purchase what might fit a variety of houses. Since a large house is more appropriate for furniture with large floral designs, you would perhaps do better to have the large pieces of furniture in a plain or textured material. Then brighten the room with small accent pieces in the brilliant or figured colors or designs.
Color has a real bearing on our lives, creating atmosphere, influencing moods and actions. We choose the food that appeals to the eye. Imagine eating purple potatoes or brown lettuce! Remember this when planning decor for the home. God gave us a good guide when He made the sky blue and the grass and leaves green— lovely colors that relax and refresh. He then spiced it up with many accents of reds, oranges, golds, and other brilliant hues. Color psychologists have proved that all blue can be depressing, while the hot colors—red and yellow—used excessively can keep one keyed up.
In decorating, start with the item or items that will be around the longest. This may be the flooring. It may be the davenport, although changing the upholstery makes it a new item as far as decorating is concerned. Color will affect the apparent size of the room. To give a larger appearance paint the walls a lighter tint or shade than the main color in the carpeting. If there are many windows or doors in the room, have the draperies the same color as the walls, thus minimizing the breaks.
If there are small children it will be more practical to have carpeting with more than one color in it. Then select an other color for some of the larger pieces of furniture. If there are two chairs, not necessarily identical in size, have them matching in material rather than having one match the couch. A third chair may either match the couch or serve as an ac cent piece. Using textured material for either the two chairs or the couch will allow the use of a pattern—floral, stripe, or plaid—in the other pieces. These may be in either a tint or shade or the background color or a subdued contrasting color.
If the room has few openings and either side draperies or complete draperies of some pattern are to be used, then the colors used in the furnishings should be pulled from these draperies. Usually the draperies or flooring will serve best to bring the colors of the room together.
If contrasting color is missing from the carpeting or draperies, select the pillows for either couch or as an accent pile on the floor, with this in mind. Hold them next to a piece of the material—either carpeting or drapery—and be sure that one gives a good contrast. If the carpeting is green or blue, the accent color could be to a yellow or red side. The contrast might be a coral, or better, an orange-red.
Some will say, "Any color is good if you like it." The wise homemaker will, how ever, get her eye attuned to pleasing color combinations. Home magazines offer suggestions, as do store windows. When one develops the feel of good combinations, it is easier to realize that others may have a less relaxed feeling in some mixtures.
Pictures are quite a personal matter, and should be selected on the basis of what will please the family. Color again can add much to the total room balance. When a picture is a special thing to the family it is possible that the color in the picture, or pictures, could be used in furniture pieces that will help make up the room, providing it is of a pleasing shade. The balance for the room may be ex pressed in the arrangement of the pictures and furniture and in the colors used.
Take a new look at your home. Perhaps a little change in color or arrangement can add new restfulness and pleasure.