Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Everybody is talking about change.  
But some people are afraid.  Thoughts about the tanking economy are paralyzing.   Some may try to convince you that you can't afford to revitalize your surroundings.
But what if it's less about purchasing power and more about alternative sources?  A change in perspective?
Why not start by changing color?
Look at the color wheel.  One great way to choose a color scheme is to pick a favorite color or a color of a large piece of furniture that you know you won't be able to afford to replac now and then go across the color wheel to find it's opposite, it's complement.  This will be your theme, your color scheme.  Though before, it was easy for you to sit in your room and knit-pick on 
differences, from now on, you are going to concentrate on unifying atttributes.  Let's get excited about facing challenges!  If you go to a paint store and pick out sample cards that have these colors, you can bring them around with you as you choose accessories for your new room.  I like to start by going to Sally or Conway's and go directly to the linens:  sheets, curtains, table cloths.  All of these provide huge amounts of fabrics to work with.  If I'm still searching, I go to the garment district.  Those fabric stores can be intimidating, but make sure they don't say wholesale only.  Paron Fabrics on 40th St. has reasonable prices and not-too-snobby salesclerks.   In my bedroom, I mixed sheets and pillow cases I found at Sally that seemed incongruous (celebrate diversity!) except they all fit into my unifying color scheme:  Blue and yellow with white as my neutral.  (always a fresh choice)  I chose these two colors from the antique map print pictured here.  The headboard was a Ted-and-Leenya project from plywood we found on the street cut to size wrapped in what was left of a navy blue duvet that Maya chewed in her puppy days.  See, she's a designer, too!  The trivets are a collection from my Mother and the matching lamps were made by Ted's father.  I made a bedskirt cut on a bias from a sheet matching the second pillows from the top.  Curtains in the bedroom are white with a valance draped from fabric matching the long roll pillow.  
(see my earlier post entitled The Gene)  Curtain tips:  Use the lines in your wood or tile floor to cut 90 degree angles in material for curtains.  Hem them after they are hung, just like a skirt.
Now, some of us want to cling to our white walls.  We've had white for a long time.  We know what white is like.  Choosing a different bold color for the walls can seem scary and it's hard to look at a small sample card and really imagine what it will look like on an entire wall.   Though it seemed like a dark bold choice, I knew I wanted Colorado Sky Blue on our bedroom walls, a reminder of home.  In our living room, we painted terra cotta (our 2 main colors are purple, chosen because of the one nice piece of furniture I owned already, the couch I purchased during Cabaret days, and terra cotta) but on a large surface, it looked too orange for us.  We bought a smaller can of brick brown paint, added one part water to one part paint and after loosely applying it with a roller, wiped it off with a ripped up towel.  It was much easier than sponging.  The more we wiped, the more the walls looked like they were covered in rich suede.  And don't we all wish that we had money to add beautiful crown molding?  My answer to this is tape right under the ceiling with wide masking tape so that you're leaving a white strip.  Leave the baseboards white as well.  This gives the illusion of molding and adds a fresh pop of white and you don't have to "cut" into a popcorn ceiling when you're painting.  
It's time for a change.  Don't let fear or the country's financial woes stop you.  Go bold with color in a completely new way.  Yes we can!

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