Spaces Design Studio

What can I do with my fireplace mantel?

Mantels are always a significant focal point in a room. Your goal in accessorizing a mantel should be to pair elements that are not only important but compatible with your mantel style. Often the mantel is a work of art in itself. Keeping a strong, yet simple design style might be the approach for a very detailed mantel. A mantel also presents a unique situation where the wall art is absolutely part of the composition of the arrangement on the mantel’s surface. Artwork or mirrors must be chosen as one part of the whole. Your wall accessories should be comparable in style and color with the objects on the mantel so the finished composition works in harmony.

Ask Your Question

How can I decorate my teens bedroom and make it stylish?

It is only a matter of time until your maturing child lets you know they have outgrown their kiddy room. At this stage, you are not so much decorating a room for them as you are doing it with them. Most likely they will have definite changes they want to make and you will have to accommodate their preferences as well as their lifestyle needs, which are increasingly more grown-up. Toys and other embarrassing reminders of your childhood are out. Teenagers require more storage for clothing, an expanding music collection, electronic equipment, a personal grooming spot, and a place to do increasing amounts of homework. On top of this, they need an environment they can consider private and totally their own.

Getting Started

Think of your teenager’s bedroom as the precursor to their college dorm room. It is their sleeping space, their study and work niche, a place to entertain, and their private domain where they can talk to their friends, hang out or just be alone with their thoughts and dreams, if they so choose. If it is comfortable, they will spend a lot of time there, rather in someone else’s home.

Encourage your teenager to become involved with the decorating and renovating process.

The following are steps to get your teenager to take more interest in and responsibility for the project.

Step One – Work Out a Budget Together

Tell them how much you can afford to spend and let them decide how to divvy up that amount on individual expenditures. If there is something they want and your budget cannot accommodate, maybe they can contribute some of their savings or money from a part-time job. Or, instead of paying a contractor to paint the room, suggest to your teenager that if they do the work, the money saved can be spent on something that was off-limits before, like special lighting or a piece of furniture.

Step Two – Let Them Do the Window Shopping

Magazine, catalogs, the internet, and even TV shows are good places to find ideas. Tell them to keep notes as well as prices.

Step Three – Be the Practical One

Determine the room’s measurements, and take along the measuring tape when you go shopping. These are some of the details they will regard as tedious and will be happy to leave to you. Draw the line on renovations that not only cost a lot but will require expensive making-over when your teenager leaves for college and you want to use the room for another purpose.

Smart Tip Furnishings Checklist

In the teen years, storage needs increase along with the need for extra seating pieces for studying and entertaining friends. Consider the following items:

  • Bed
  • Double- or Triple-Wide Dresser
  • Tall Chest of Drawers or Armoire
  • Desk and Adjustable Desk Chair
  • Shelving or Bookcases
  • Extra Seating
  • Nightstand or Bedside Table
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Flooring

Ask Your Question

Should I use the same color carpet throughout the entire house or can I change it in some rooms?

If you have a small house, keep the flooring colors and materials to a minimum. The fewer the changes, the larger your house will seem.  However if you have a large home, you can probably afford to make color changes and materials changes.

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How do I begin to choose my colors?

home-decorThere are a myriad of things to consider, complicated by many factors, such as one’s ability to get into the new house under construction to make your color selections under true-to-life lighting conditions. As well, you can only visualize colors against one another from small color chips from color chip samples. And you must take into consideration, the color preferences of other people who will also be living in the house.

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Are beige, brown, off-white and gray the only “neutral” colors?

Any color can be a neutral color, but these colors are neutral by definition. That is one of the great things about color. In general, a “neutral” is the color used most prevalently in a color scheme. In some countries, Russian and Peru for example, red is considered a “neutral” color. In nature, green is the “neutral” or “background” color for all other colors. Consider your own wardrobe. Is dark blue your personal neutral? Think about your favorite pair of blue jeans…just about any color gets paired with them!

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Do light colors make a room look larger?

If everything in the room is a light color, the room will look larger. It is not necessarily the color of a room that determines its perceived size, but rather the contracts in color values.

To keep a room looking as large as possible, use colors that are similar in value — that is, all light colors or all dark colors.

When choosing a color scheme, how do you arrive at the three basic colors?

Take inspiration from an existing pattern already in your room… in window coverings, upholstery, fabrics, cushions, etc. If there is no pattern already i the room, then your first job will be to introduce one. Pick a pattern with colors you like, one that contains some of the colors already found in the room’s carpet, window coverings, etc. Identify three color families in the pattern: the main color, the secondary color and the third color, which will act as the accent color.

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Where do I start when developing a color scheme?

A successful color scheme uses a minimum of three colors together.  If you have more confidence, you might consider using more colors, to a maximum of six, but remember, the more colors you use, the more difficult it is to achieve in decorating.

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