Hot Tips for Home Decor

A tall glass of lemonade and a comfy chair in a cool corner — relaxing within your beautiful home is a treat for the soul.

But … beauty and comfort don’t just happen.

Pulled from our magazine archives are some hot tips on home decor, from five area experts. Check out what these designing women have to say about color and character, walls and windows, and how to make wise choices.

Be inspired!


“Interior shutters maintain their value better than any other type of window covering. Plantation shutters are not only attractive and enhance your home's curb appeal, but their ability to regulate light, insulate, and fit any decor makes them virtually unsurpassed. 

The design of shutters should suit your home. Today’s homes are built with much larger windows, higher ceilings and bigger entertaining areas; take that into consideration when designing your shutters.

Go big! Go bold! Use larger louvers such as the 3 ½-inch or 4 ½-inch for better view and less wood in your window. For an even cleaner look, choose the hidden tilt bar as well.

I love the large louvers, yet stick to the traditional two panels per window to keep the look of the Plantation shutter — you don’t want these beauties to look like a blind. And remove window screens so you can really see shutters pop from the road.”  

From Monique Neville, ShutterSouth,


"Choosing a paint color for your next project can be as easy as 1-2-3. Even with computer color matching software available, don’t try to find an exact match of a color that exists in your fabrics, furnishings, etc. – choose a shade lighter or darker instead.

Find large color card swatches but don’t view the samples under lighting that differs from the type of lighting in the area you plan to paint.

Some paint manufacturers offer free 8 by 10-inch color swatch samples. Purchase a sample size of paint to preview a color before purchasing paint in large quantities.

Apply sample paint over a 3 by 3-foot minimum test area, on the same surface material, covering the same existing color and under the same lighting conditions as your project area. View the test area during morning, afternoon and evening.”

From Laurel Lane, Laurel-Lane Interiors,


“Buy the very best furniture you can afford. There is furniture available in every budget. When shopping for furniture, it’s a good idea to share with your salesperson not only what you want, but what you can afford. With a budget in mind, you can find the most durable and well-made furniture to meet your current needs.

It may be that you are looking for furniture that will take you through just a few years until your children are older, or your finances change. A heavy duty, easily cleaned fabric choice will get you the best value.

If you are at a stage where you can invest in more expensive pieces, then better made, longer lasting frames with eight-way hand tied springs are available choices.

How long you plan to keep your furniture may also influence whether you choose a classic, timeless design or a more trendy style.”

From Sandra Robinson, Garner Wayside


“Faux finishing can be a practical and sometimes money-saving solution for many rooms in the house. If you have ever removed wallpaper and found the underlying surface to be imperfect, a simple tone-on-tone ragging or sponging technique can give those walls a soft, classy look, while masking those imperfections. 

With a little practice and products purchased at your local paint or home improvement store, a DIY decorator can achieve an appealing new look for walls.
Other great ideas for faux finishes include furniture, kitchen cabinets and even laminate countertops, giving them new life and character with a durable, decorative finish. 

Having your kitchen or bath updated by a professional faux painter can save a substantial amount of money, while doing the environment a huge favor by recycling items and surfaces already in your home.”

From Penny Redfearn, Redfearn Decorative Painting & Faux Finishes,


“Imagine you are going out for an evening. You put on a little black dress, then look in the mirror. Something is missing. You add a ring, necklace and earrings. Now, you look like a million bucks!

The same goes for your home. You can put furniture in all the right places, but without the right accessories, your room looks unfinished.

Here are a few tips to help you dress your room:

1.  Pillows are the easiest way to change the look of a room. They add texture, color and patterns.

2.  Lamps update a room. Replace your outdated lamps with a new style.

3.  Rugs beautifully define your living spaces and add warmth to the room.

4.  It's easy to hang pictures too high. They should be hung at eye level.

5.  Group accessories and objects in odd numbers for visual interest.

Using accessories you love is the ‘jewelry’ that complements your living space.”

From Terrye Johnson, Whitley Furniture Galleries,

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