Tools For Living
Tools For Living
Set a Beautiful Table
If you’re going to have a dining table, use it! A table should always be dressed, even if there’s no food on it. Try candles or an artistic bowl, and add in earthy elements like flowers or a curly willow for organic texture. As for tablecloths, choose unexpected materials. Spread a beautiful sheet over the table and let it puddle on the floor, then drape an elegant shawl on top. You should also use your crystal and china-we pull it out even if we’re just eating pizza.
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Add Natural Color
If you have a home with a neutral palette, it’s easy to add color with natural accessories like flowers and produce, which you can get at any supermarket. Go for bright colors in summer, jewel tones in winter. Try blending textures: I buy bags of limes, lemons and artichokes and place them in bowls. They’re inexpensive, and I can use them afterward.
Splurge on Luxurious Fabrics
Rich fabrics are a great way to bring in color and warmth. Invest in something substantial and soft, like cashmere or velvet draperies, blankets or pillows. Experiment with a cashmere throw; they are more affordable than you think-some are not much more than $100. And consider using a luxe fabric to upholster furniture. Silk mohair, for example, has a rich, velvety look but is actually sturdy and easy to clean. It was used on the seats of the very first movie theaters because it was so durable.
Decorate with Art
It’s wonderful if you can afford great art, but if you can’t, create your own art. Take a photograph you love and have it blown up and mounted on foam core, or go to an art fair to discover new artists. When it comes to smaller pieces, I like grouping them into collections; it makes them seem much more significant, even if they’re just frames with pressed leaves in them.
Make your Bedroom Striking
You are the most important guest in this space, so splurge on things like a lofty down comforter and a great set of Egyptian cotton sheets. It’s also essential to make your bed when you get up in the morning. There’s a ritual aspect of turning in for the night, and if you walk into a room with a messy bed, it will affect your pre-bedtime mood. That’s why it’s also a good idea to surround your bed with beautiful things: flowers, photographs, a pretty carafe of water. I love to wake up and see a little bunch of gorgeous flowers.
Excerpt from Change Your Home, Change Your Life, published by Cool Springs Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Copyright e 2006 by Moll Anderson.