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Decorating & Furniture/Soft, light, warm instead of cold and cave like?


Hey there,
I hope you are able to help me!
This is the thing!

Here it is: I live in an architecturally designed home with windows and skylights and high windows abounding.  Yet my home is dark.  I am doing an Interior Design course (about 1/4 way thru) and have learned about flooring, colour, light etc., so working on the things I have learned I decided to go with the tiles and flooring colours existing (as this is rental and had little choice, although dark dreary natural colours of the earth are not my preferred choice) and I have put a link to pics in for you.  See:

The thing is, that though it seems harmonious, I feel it is drab and dark, dreary, dark and a bit more dark. Ok, yes, dark!  The whole home is large and the ceilings are 32 ft with slate floors in the delightful (sarcasm) tones of a creek bed, the feature walls are brick and the loft bedroom hangs over the kitchen and dining room.  The whole home seems cold and enclosed as though there are no other life forms on the planet.  IN the evening, when the lamps are lit and the fire is burning and the curtains are drawn it feels cosy, but I am a Mother with children, home all day and it gets me down, down, down. It needs something inexpensive and perhaps simple to brighten it up. Lighting?  Rugs, I am not sure.  I have tried about 8 different styles.
WE live in the hills, and are surrounded by forest, which we have cuts chunks away and left the garden very nice....  lately months and months of heavy cloud and dreary days have made in intolerable. (Aussie, Vic. at present)and try as I might to accept this home and try as I might to be content with what I have, I crave some pastels and light colours, as I have put in with my link.  The first 10 pics are my existing home in warm cinammons and chocolates and the other following pics are my preferred taste which I cannot incorporate into my home.  What I am hoping you can do, is show me how to liven the place up with bright, soft, warm, welcoming colour and to try to make the loud flooring not so loud.  
Can you help?  I used to have butters and creams and blues.  the link I sent you shows the home in varying stages, but the first few show it now.
Thanks for your time.

Meredith (Dee) -

Thanks for your descriptive detail about your home, and thanks for the questions.  

I am unable to see your photos since I do not have an account, but based on what you have shared with me, I'll pose some points for you to consider.

To warm up the space, use light, bright yet warm nubby textiles.  Rugs for the slate floors, voluminous curtains, wall hangings made of textiles over the brick etc.  Even painted canvas (canvas is available in several sizes at craft stores and easily painted) would be beautiful there, and serve as a sound dampener and mood lightener!

Go for the colors you love - the style of the home has nothing to do with that.  Working with what you have as a backdrop (like the background in a photograph) allows you to 'add to' at will and within your budget.  If there are areas that could be painted, paint them in a pastel.

Here's the bottom line - you have to get creative when you're in a rental, on a budget, and unhappy with your surroundings.  Not always an easy thing to do, but worth the effort!

Jennifer Taylor Wojcik, Author
From Day One  

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and HTTP:// (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at

BA, Psychology

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