Home Improvements – The
by: Raynor James
Planning home improvements necessarily involves addressing numerous
practical matters. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the fun stuff!
The Fun Stuff
The first thing to plan for in home improvements is the practical
stuff. The second thing you need to talk to family members about is the
Most people have colours they like and colours they don’t like. They have
things that interest them and things that don’t. Get your family to talk
to you about those things. Each person’s bedroom, or bedroom area, should
reflect his or her taste and interests.
A boy who likes green, football, and backpacking can easily have a sage
green (it “reads” as more neutral than many shades of green if re-sale of
your home is a concern) room with cream woodwork, cream interior shutters,
and cream ceiling. Framed football posters and wilderness scenes might be
pleasant. Bedding with a rustic motif (rows of stylized pine trees?) from
L.L. Bean or Plow and Hearth would work right in. Add a touch or two of a
bright colour like red or yellow.
Does he need a desk in his room? A chest of drawers? A bookcase? Would
he enjoy having a bulletin board? Even if they’re small, most rooms need
at least three lamps so that illumination is general and even. The shades
are usually best in warm, neutral colours. (Light coming through green
shades tends to make people look sick.) Lamp shades should be level and
the seams should be toward the wall so they’re not visible. When the
bottom edge of most lamp shades in a room are the same height from the
floor, the room tends to look serene and cohesive.
Hanging pictures usually look best if the bottom edges of the frames
are the same height from the floor and level with each other, too. There
are exceptions to this and every generalization of course. A grouping of
pictures can have the bottom tier follow the “rule” while all of the other
pictures are higher. A picture over a fireplace often looks good higher
than the other pictures in the room.
Pictures usually look best when they have a relationship to furniture
or an architectural feature. Pictures centreed over a chest, bed,
bookcase, or fireplace are good examples. Pictures don’t tend to look good
if they’re scattered willy-nilly around a room, or if they’re up near the
ceiling (unless they’re part of a grouping), or if the height at which
they’re hung varies wildly with no rhyme nor reason.
A girl who loves pink, the ballet, and swimming can have woodwork the
same cream as her brother’s while her walls are a soft pink (a pink with a
hint of yellow in it tends to go well with cream), and her art work
reflects her interests. If she loves to read, make sure she has a good
reading lamp near her bed, or near a comfortable chair, or both.
A cream coloured dust ruffle with widely spaced pink stripes and a
quilted plaid coverlet in pink, green, yellow, and blue on a cream
background might look nice. Add cream fabric window shades with large pink
polka dots and I’ll bet she’ll smile.
The bigger point is to simply have fun with some of your home
improvements. There is no need to look exclusively at practical matters.