Interior Decorating 101

(ARA) – Another change of seasons is upon us. As the first daffodil buds signal welcome signs of spring, let them serve as a reminder that it is time to revitalize your living space.

Before uttering a collective groan, don’t worry. Home redecorating projects don’t have to result in major facelifts like new flooring, paint or furniture. They can be as simple as utilizing a color wheel and working with the accessories you already own.

If you were to hire an interior designer, the first thing they would tell you to do to achieve high impact change is switch out your accessories room by room. A good place to start is in the room that gets shown off the most – the living room. Clear off the mantle for a fresh clean look, and replace the clutter with a vase filled with colorful fresh-cut or silk flowers.

If you have a dark-colored couch, buy a new throw to toss over it that “screams spring.” Look for something that has one or more of the colors that are in for the season. Bright, brilliant reds, golds and red-oranges complemented with warm, rich brown-based neutrals are going to be hot in 2006.

To make sure your new color scheme is a winner, use a color wheel, available from most hardware stores. Complimentary colors are found opposite each other, while dominant and accent colors appear side-by-side on the wheel. It’s a great tool that will help ensure your success.

Perhaps the most important change you can make will be one that’s so obvious, most people would never think of it on their own. Why not switch out the pictures on your walls with new images and mat colors to enliven your space. Your living room can go from drab to fab easily.

Most people have family photos hanging in the living room. Move those to the hall or a family room and replace them with art work that really makes a bold, color statement.

“Some important trends in the art world this spring include anything that is Asian-inspired, framed maps and charts, vintage giclee prints, tapestries, canvas transfers and hand-colored prints,” said Linda Crisolo, director of merchandising for, a Web site featuring more than 300,000 pieces of original art, prints, posters and photographs.

Want to see what an image that appeals to you will look like in your room before you buy it? After you’ve selected an item on, click “see it framed” and a new window will open up. Then the fun begins.

You can choose the approximate color of your wall, and play with different frames and mats. You can automatically see how your finished image will look custom-framed, mounted or laminated — even what it would look like when transferred to canvas.

“This system takes the guess work out of choosing something perfect for your home,” said Crisolo. Ready to redecorate? Log on to and get started.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Caption 1: (After) Hanging framed art in a room can really dress it up.

Caption 2: (Before) Here’s a room with nothing on the walls. The best way to describe it is “boring.”