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Three Essential Starting Points When Creating Your Ideal Home Decor.

Three Essential Starting Points When Creating Your Ideal Home Decor.

By Diane M. Hoffmann, I.S.R.P.
(International Staging & Redesign Professional from QC Design School)

Have you ever been in some places where, even though there were nice furniture and accessories in the room, it just didn't feel right? That's because it lacked balance or harmony somewhere between the colors, patterns and textures.

Missing out on any one, some or all three of these essentials will throw off a whole room and even a whole home. Not only do you need to pay attention to these details within one room, but you need to care about it from room to room throughout the house also.

For example, if you can see the dining room from the living room, you should see a harmony and balance between the two rooms – like the flooring color and pattern, the color of the walls and accessories, the furniture, etc.

There has to be some common elements carrying throughout as you look and walk from one room to another.

The three essential starting points are

1. Color
2. Patterns
3. Textures.


When planning your home d├ęcor, consider color carefully. This is the first thing that will either make or break your harmony and balance. Harmony and balance not only of the colors themselves throughout your home, but of the feeling it will cast on your emotions.

For example decide what color scheme you will have – warm, cool, complementary, split-complementary, adjacent, triadic, monochromatic… then harmonize this throughout your home. You might want to do one room in a warm color and another in a cool color, so you would chose a scheme that will give you that capacity to work it together. Example: red is warm, blue is cool. By working with the above-named schemes you can blend these beautifully. (I have a post that can help you on this at my web site


The same idea is worked within the patterns of your furniture and drapes or curtains throughout your house. Patterns will also follow a scheme or sense of warm and cool with the addition of styles such as contemporary, country, tradition, etc. So again chose carefully, planning first what style you want to live with. Here too, you can have one room in traditional and another contemporary, but the transition will have to work together from the one room to the other.

For instance, you might have furniture with large flowers. Don't use large flowers in your accent cushions; instead, use a geometric pattern of the same colors or complementary accent color... or tiny complementary flowers -- same with your drapes, etc.  You can pick up a lot of ideas in decorating magazines by watching for that balance in photos.


Here again, textures have the same effect and require the same care and attention to details. Here, you are looking for the effect of the texture. For example you cannot have a heavy tweed in a fine traditional setting of brocade and silk. You may want to make a boy’s room more masculine than a girl’s, so you will have to transition the textures so that going from one room to the other will be a pleasant experience.

In this case, rather than going from one extreme feminine to another extreme masculine, you might want to use a middle point between the two rooms and carry some aspect of the three points from one room to the other to tie them together. Now if you have one room in the basement and another upstairs, then you don’t have to be concerned about tying the two together.

So the key is to be aware of these 3 points and look for ideas as you plan what you want to achieve. And then, develop and build from there one upon the other./dmh

Article copyright(c) by Diane M. Hoffmann. You may re-print this article without any changes, making sure to include the following bio:

Diane M. Hoffmann, I.S.R.P., is owner/manager of Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications and the blog . She holds a diploma in interior decorating and a certificate on home staging and re-design.


Re-decorating your Home or Office -- Working With Colors.

Re-decorating your Home or Office: 

Working With Colors.

by Diane M. Hoffmann, I.S.R.P.
HRC Home Staging and Desing
div. Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications

Color is one of your most effective and economical primary tool.  You can make a dramatic change just by using colors. But get the color wrong and it doesn't matter how beautiful your furniture, drapes and accessories are -- your room will be out of harmony.

I remember a friend of mine who decided to re-do her living room area.  The existing furniture were her starting point.  Her biggest change would be the paint (color) and the large window drapery area.

She wanted to make it antique pink.  Her husband had indicated that he really liked a gold color. He suggested that, not because he knew to pick and match the right color in the room, but simply because he liked the color of the sunshine in the room.

It so happened that the largest piece of furniture in the room was a sectional sofa of olive green subtly tufted upholstery with a tiny golden specks background.

She went ahead with the pink color and chose a multi-color antique pink and green flowery drape to match. The drapes were too heavy for the window and size of room which made of an out-of-proportioned look for the small sized, slightly rectangular room.

When I visited their place after the make-over was done, of course I immediately saw the clash between the large sofa and the walls.  It just didn't work.

Funny thing is that the correct color harmony for the room would have been to go with the golden  background of the olive-green sofa for the wall with matching drapes because it was a perfect match for the existing furniture.

When choosing a color for your home, always look at what you already have in the largest furniture or focal point that you will be keeping.  Then work your color possibilities from there.

The best place to start is a color wheel from which you will be able to see the color schemes available to you. There are five basic color schemes: Complementary, Split-complementary, Adjacent, Triadic and Monochromatic. P, S, and T, in the diagram above, means Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colors.

Complementary are colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. They are of the same intensity, so they will compete with each other when placed side by side. But if you use a large amount of one color with a smaller amount of its complement color -- or a larger amount with another large amount of a lighter intensity, tint or shade of the complementary color -- they will work to enhance each other.  Often, depending on the area being painted, these will need a neutral color in between in order to eliminate a clash.

Split-complementary are colors that are placed on the color wheel with one color on one side of the wheel and the two colors right on both sides of the direct complementary across the color wheel. The lone color should be the dominant color and the two split colors opposite will be the second and third accent colors, again using variant complementary tints or shades throughout.

Adjacent are those colors on the wheel that are adjacent to each other in two or three side-by-side colors. You should use one color to be the dominant color with accents of the other one or two colors, varying the intensities, tints and shades and the size of the areas being painted.

Triadic are the colors that are in exact equal triangular lines across the color wheel. Again, one color is used as the dominant and the other two as accents, in a variety of tints and shades.

Monochromatic are colors of the same hue throughout the room.  You pick one color on the wheel and use it in different intensities, tints, shades and tones. In order to work together all the colors you use must derive from the same hue. However, be careful to chose a color that will work. For example if you want to achieve a blue monochromatic theme, don't pick a blue-green color. The hue should have a true balance of intensities, tints and shades to work well.  Also consider the fact that most monochromatic schemes tend to be built around neutral colors such as greys or browns because they are less intense when used largely in a room.  Too much of one color can be overwhelming -- like red, pink, yellow, etc. Try to limit this scheme to only one or two rooms.

Once you decide what scheme you will choose, place the possible colors against your existing starting point and see if they work together. Obtain some color chips in those colors from the paint store and match them for the correct hue.  Make sure the colors are of the same hue or pigments. 

For example, if you are working with green, take the color chip and place it next to the variety of green items, articles and materials - even furniture woods and flooring.  You will see which ones work and which ones clash together. Each color will bring a hue in the other. One green might look more olive next to one thing, and the same green may look more jade against another. Pigments will come out that you would not normally see if observed by themselves. 

That's where most people make the mistakes with matching colors in a room. They chose a color at the paint store and when they get home, it doesn't work!  Take time to go through this extra step./dmh

Article copyright(c)2009-2011 Diane M. Hoffmann. You may reprint this article without any changes, making sure to include this bio.

Diane M. Hoffmann is owner/manager of Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications and this blog . She holds a diploma in interior decorating and a certificate on home staging and re-design.
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Three Things to Consider First When Planning Your Home Office.

by Diane M. Hoffmann, I.S.R.P.
HRC Home Staging and Desing
div. Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications

As a certified International Staging and Re-design Professional click here for info I'd like to help you with this article I put together to ease the task of planning or re-doing your home office.

So you decided to set up an office at home. Or you've had a home office for some time but you realize that a makeover is due now.

Where do you begin?

Well, first, consider what part of the house you will set up your office in. Personally, and many other practical self-employed entrepreneur, I use the living room for an office.

The reason is because it is the first room you come into from the entrance. This makes it more business and professional for your visitors (and your friends and family who often don't take you seriously if you work from home).

It is also good for you as you come and go in your business activities to enter into your office as you open the front door. It gives you the feeling of real office and lets you take care of the business matters right away as you make your way to your domestic area of the house.

And using the living room also eliminates going through the personal belongings of a house, or the children's toys and activities, etc., in order to get to the office area.

If you cannot use the living room for whatever reason, or if you don't need to use it because you will not have business visitors, then you can look for the most practical place that you have for your purpose.

Wherever you chose to set up your home office, there are three things you need to consider first when planning a home office area:

1. Functionality.
2. Efficiency.
3. Convenience.

As you look at what area you should use, put these three items in you thought.

Some questions to ask yourself:

What tasks will I be performing.
Will I be drawing, computing, drafting, building, sewing, telephoning, etc.

What will help me accomplish the tasks I'll be doing?
Will I need a drafting table, a computer, work tables, printers, etc.

When will I be working?
During the day, at night, both (I often get up at 3 o'clock in the middle of the night and come down to my office and work till 7 or 8 am, then have breakfast and go back to work. For this, I need to have good lighting over my computer and desk area. So you need overall lighting as well as lighting over the work area.

For during the day, make best use of your natural light by placing your most important work area near the window. But consider your equipment so that you don't end up for example with the light glaring on to your computer screen.

Are there enough electrical outlets for all the operating equipment?
Consider the placement of your equipment to make the electrical connection as easy as possible.

For example, I always make sure to place my desk in such a way so that I can get to the back of my computer. I have found over the years this to be an issue whenever I've had to upgrade or fix computer equipment. You need to be able to get to the back panels or electrical power cords which usually accommodate other lighting and telephony equipment, printers etc.

And make sure you don't over power any electrical outlet. Spread it around and make sure it's not all on the same circuit breaker. Your home office area may require additional outlets which is a safer bet than to many extension cords.

Who else must be accommodated in the room?
Will there be someone else working with me? Will I be seeing salespeople, customers, prospects? Will I have a bookkeeper coming in part-time? Think of all these things because you will have to set-up an area either within the room or just outside close by.

Does the space suit your habits or personality?
Do you privacy or do you prefer to be accessible to your family? Are you more at easy with a casual environment or do you feel better in a more formal surrounding.

Once you've outlined your preferred requirements, make your home office a pleasant workplace.

Chose a decorating style from country and traditional to contemporary. Your choice of furniture and accessories will highlight these styles.

You can have a mix of casual and formal by placing one major furniture as a focus point that carries the primary style. For example, a large antique breakfront for your books, with a contemporary desk and a traditional looking chair, would make a statement of personal formality and professionalism.

Select furnishings and details you enjoy. Include some history. Set out some family photos, award items, travel souvenirs that will show up your personality.

Mix texture to soften the look. Use fabric-covered panels behind a laminate desk to absorb outside noises. Leave windows clear of curtains and drapes in order to let as much light as possible in.

Use clean, bright and light paint and colors to give maximum lighting and space. Bring your preferred accent colors in your furniture and accessories.

Allow room for expansion. You may have to add storage, working space etc. Make sure the place you pick has some area within or adjacent for this.

And last but not least, consider your personal influence within that home office environment. Your personal presentation. Dress for success.

I always cringe when I hear those who try to entice you to get into Internet business because you can "work in your pyjamas". Right, give me a break. Business is serious business. You could lose your shirt if you're not in the proper frame of mind at any time. Success requires self-discipline.

Even if you are at home, dress for business. You never know when someone might call on you to do business. Always be ready. It is a fact that when we are appropriately dressed we feel better, talk better and work better. It affects the whole psychy. and it is a good habit for yourself and a good example for others who follow./dmh

Article copyright(c)2009-2011 Diane M. Hoffmann. You may reprint this article without any changes, making sure to include this bio.

Diane M. Hoffmann is owner/manager of Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications and this blog . She holds a diploma in interior decorating and a certificate on home staging and re-design.