Creating a Home with Atmosphere

The blogger Seth Godin  said, ” In every city there are expensive hotels that are noisy, with $56 breakfasts, no parking, blinds that don’t make the room dark and rooms that don’t have enough closets. But the fact of paying extra to stay there ensures that you’ll be surrounded by others just as wealthy as you, and just as interested in proving it.”

Paris hotel

I consider there is a little more to a five-star hotel than location, wealthy clientele and flashy decor.

Did you know that the luxury hotel market was first created in France with a hidden agenda. The country desperately needed to improve their balance of trade so they decided to get creative. Can you believe that a whole country invented a luxury culture that they then used for the country to prosper. The French created an image and a style that was uniquely French and tourists flocked into the country to wine and dine, and shop. I know that the French were successful, for we visited with Peter’s brother, who was living on a house-boat on the Seine, and we were shown the  best of Paris. My mouth still waters as I recall the subtle tastes of the delicious food and I can still see the fancy, fashionable ladies swaying down the Champs Elysee.

I am not trying to talk you into going to France for nowadays who wants to go through Airport Security?  I m rying to show you that what the French can do so can you. You can create a uniquely stylish home and it won’t even cost all that much money. You can even add French pictures and they always add a touch of class and at Picture Lady they are not expensive.

french cafe onefrench two

So I don’t quite agree with Seth although I do know of some hotels that are overpriced.  What I believe though is that there is a subtle quality in the best hotels, which I like to call it “atmosphere”   As a creative homemaker you can become a master of atmosphere in your own home.  I believe that a loving atmosphere in your home can become the foundation of your life.

My message is that if France could do it, so can you and creating a home with atmosphere does not need to cost a great deal.  With a little bit of imagination you can create your own  home culture, something special for your family, and it need not be based on pretension, it need not even be expensive. It is all in your attention to detail.

Much can be done with lighting. Ever notice how many lamps hotel rooms have – at least five lights in the room? Real estate agents will turn on every light in a house they are showing. Lamps create atmosphere faster than anything else!  Much can also be done with Aroma. I invite you to check out the Aroma Lamps from Picture Lady Home Products.

Even more can be done with color.Here is the color palette for 2013:

art palette

We are fortunate this year in that the fashionable colors in 2013 are positive, and strong. For some years we have lived with tepid colors, but all that is gone. Now opposites attract  like never before, exerting a magnetic pull on the spectrum. Today’s colors may fight with each other, yet they always make a strong statement.

color palette 2013

 Quote for the Week

Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” 

Happy Decorating!

Lynn
The Picture Lady

Let the Holiday Festivities Begin!

Holiday Decorating Tips

(Why do we write these blogs?)

christmas tree and snow flakesChristmas Decorating Tips for you.

For working women it seems there is not enough time in a day to decorate for the season, take care of the boss and still go out and have some fun!

We need, we want, we demand a quick, quick, and easy solution!

  • Fill large tubular vases or long wine glasses with red cranberries to add a beautiful splash of Christmas red to your dining area. Add Poinsettias to virtual vase as an option. (after you have added water).
  • Take some small household, clear glass bottles or old glass vases. Throw some holiday-colored drops of paint inside, shake it up and the paint will splatter inside to look like a modern piece of art. Decorate with a fancy ribbon and voilà, you have some unique holiday decorating!
  • Pick a short craggy branch from a tree. Spray paint it silver. You can stand it in a glass vase or hang it from the ceiling above your dining table and drop tinsel balls from it.
  • For a daughter or granddaughter put a Poinsettia on the mantel and arrange some Holiday dolls bought at a Picture Lady Holiday Boutique around the Christmas flowers. It adds a festive touch and can be set up in less than half an hour.
  • All you need now to set the Christmas mood is Fragrance Candle Lamps from Picture Lady. We recommend Apple Cinnamon Aroma Oil. It fills the house with Christmas cheer and sets the mood for the holidays!  Oh so quick & easy!
  • We suggest you get your Christmas Pictures and stocking stuffers from the Picture Lady Five Dollar Fun Table.
  • Take two or three little Christmas pictures (depending on the size of the wall) and hang them on the wall. String yarn from picture to picture and add your Christmas Cards in a loop from one picture to the next.

To tie the holiday decorating all together it is a good idea to select a theme. Here are some popular themes:

  • Angels (Great selection at a Picture lady Boutique)
  • Rustic – don’t omit the candles or the gold painted pine cones and the scent of pine
  • Modern and/or abstract – add colorful shapes on solid poster board. Instead of florals suggest you put colored tissue in your vases.

ackaging pictures

Christmas Decorating One thing you absolutely DO NOT WANT TO DO. Don’t wrap your pictures in Christmas paper unless you want your house to look like a fast food restaurant!

 Quote for the Week

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

 Hamilton Wright Maple

The Joys of Summer

Is it time to summerize your home?

The sun is rising early, your days are long and warm, and best of all are those slightly cooler, long, lazy, summer evenings, ice clinking in the glass!

You will be wanting to spend much of your time outdoors perhaps at the beach or on holiday or with the kids at the pool. There will still be times when you will want to retreat alone  into the ‘coolth’ of the house. As a creative homemaker you can prepare for those quiet, alone moments of cool retreat that help you get back into the comfort zone.

As a creative homemaker you may also want to prepare for the extra guests you are going to enjoy in the summer. Expect your kids to bring over their friends, expect your husband to invite guests to the barbecue.  So you may want  to spruce things up a bit.

Curb Appeal and the Outside of your Home 

  •  Sweep the path to the front door and dust off the planters.
  • Think about cleaning, re-painting or replacing your house numbers. It’s the first impression of your home.
  • Get your hubby to repaint the front door, a lighter and brighter color.
  •  Vital and Important: Note any areas of clutter in the yard or in the house and very quickly fix them. Clutter detracts from the charm of summer.
  • Here is an engaging suggestion: Find one unique, outdoor chair, and place it near the mailbox. Make this the comfortable and inviting place you always sit while you sift through the mail.  A good idea is to have  easy access to the garbage bin on the way back to the house. After all, why take the junk-mail into your house?

Summerizing the Inside of your Home  

  •  There is nothing like a fresh natural summer scent to fill your house with joy. The easiest way to turn your house into a summer garden is with the Picture Lady Aroma Lamps and the Natural Oils from Africa. 
  • Use mirrors to lighten up your rooms and to set a magical, airy, look. Did you know that you can order mirrors in any of the Picture Lady exquisite frames?.
  • Take down any pictures with dark or heavy colors (or people in winter garb). This will include your winter family pictures which you can bring back again for Christmas. Replace these with lighter summer themes.
  • Fill bowls with citrus to add color and to also freshen the scent. Place these on your dining and coffee tables.
  • On your coffee tables place summer magazines with pictures of  gardens or vacations homes on the cover
  • Microfiber summer sheets Last but not least an excellent choice for summer sheets is the silky Microfiber sheets from Picture Lady where you have a choice of many summer colors.  It is vital to find your good summer sheets before the autumn nights, because nothing is worse than feeling hot and sticky in your bed at night. Men seem to suffer worse than women on hot summer nights and you can expect them to get crabby.

Often parents wonder what they can do over the summer to keep the children busy. We suggest if you can,  that you fill your long, lazy summer days with PLAY. My mother taught me how to water-ski and precious are those memories of a time shared with her and of gliding over water that was as smooth as a mirror in the late, long, summer evenings. I remember seeing a lazy duck swim out of the reeds, the only movement beside the wake of the boat in my laid-back summer world.

It is with memories of family quality time, of a lazy life in the comfort zone that filled my childhood with joy!

Quote for the Week

Flip flops & sunshine = FUNTIME!  –  Source Unknown.

 

 

Decorating Ideas for a Pretty Stairwell

Stairwells are usually ignored or overly decorated.

The stairwell, a place you and your family pass several times in a day – is the perfect place for those precious smaller pictures, the ones you love but have nowhere else to go and here is a space where you can put them all together. There is an art to creating an effective montage. (A montage is a pictorial composition made by juxtaposing (or superimposing) many pictures in one place in order to create a new cohesive, total creation from the many). The important thing is not to think of your stairwell in parts – stand back and get a comprehensive view of the overall space.

The walls under and above your stairs provide a large amount of decorating play-space.  This part of the house leads up and into the more private parts of your house, and is the perfect place to hang family portraits, those private pictures you want to hang but not to put “in the face” of mere acquaintances who may pop in to visit.

Here is how it can be done right!

The Perfect Stairwell  It could be a Photo-to-Artwork Montage 
  •  The gray green walls recede giving the small space a bigger look.
  • There are family portraits, scenery and artifacts.
  • The white frames match the railings of the staircase, each enhancing the other.
  • The color of the wall is slightly different from both the upper and lower stories but it blends with both.

A very good idea is to mix family pictures with scenery, possibly places the family has been together. Contrasting black and white scenery with colored family pictures can produce a stunning effect especially if showcased against a pastel wall.

You have many topics to choose from on the Picture Lady web site to help you create a cohesive whole.  Spend a little time with virtual decorating before you decide what you want to do.

Have the goal is to provide the depth (perspective) in your nook, that makes the space look bigger and draws your family members in, and involves them.

Practical Details 

While you can do an eclectic mix of frames in your living quarters, it is wise to keep the frames and possibly even the mats the same on your stairwell wall.

Before hanging pictures, consider the lighting. If the stairs are dark, add overhead spotlights.

Storage opportunities

Downsizing Solutions

One last thought as many are thinking of downsizing right now; the area under your stairwell is the ideal place to find a little bit of extra storage. Planned well,  the area can become functional space as well as one of the most aesthetic corners in your home.

It is suggested that when planning your montage, that lay all the pictures on a large table or carpet, and shift them around until you get the effect that is pleasing.  Replicate the picture sizes in newspaper and stick these up on the wall before plugging in your picture hooks.

Quote for the Week

Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration.”  —Designer Kathryn M. Ireland

Beating Death by Volunteering

Age (or threat of death) could not dim those hazel eyes, filled with so much  life and intelligence.

“So what stands out in your volunteering as a special moment?” I asked.

She smiled.  “At the gift shop late one night,” she said, “I had almost closed when a big Spanish family came, maybe six or seven people. They were so happy I was able to relate to them. Their attitude  made it worthwhile for me to stay the extra 15 minutes or so.”

“How much did they spend? “ I asked.

“Over a hundred dollars,” she said proudly.

Volunteering

Taking Responsibility

Then she looked up at me, her hazel eyes laughing as she made sure I got the right importance. ” Money is not important.  I get much more out of working here than they could ever, ever pay me.”

“Do they pay you?” I asked.

“Of course not, but being a volunteer allows me to be part of something worthwhile.”

This was her story: She had had cancer and it had spread to her liver. She followed the standard therapy guidelines, surgery and chemotherapy but she had decided she was not ready to die.

“I just wasn;t ready to die,” she said.

So she made a strong decision to live and within days was given a chance to be a part of a special study for a new cancer drug which saved her life ,  no side effects..

“Yet you didn’t go back to work?” I watched her count out the change, far faster than I could ever do and I also keep a store.

“There are parts of my brain were impaired by the chemo.” she said, ” I may not be perfect but I decided I would still function and contribute. See here, this machine tells me exactly how much change to give. . . ”

Not just beautiful, not just intelligent but also practical.

I admired her.

 Weekly Quote 

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
-Albert Schweitzer

Color Trends for 2012

Here are the fashion colors for 2012: the terms they are using and what they really mean.

TANGERINE TANGO   – A burnt orange
SOLAR POWER- a dark yellow
BELLFLOWER – soft lilac
MARGARITA -dusty grass green
CABARET- loud and pretty pink
SWEET LILAC soft pink
STARFISH – dusty dark beige
SODALITE BLUE – almost navy blue
DRIFTWOOD – a rich dark brown
COCKATOO – a cross between light teal and aqua.

Weekly Quote

“Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.” — Lance Armstrong