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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
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Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
travel decorating on the cheap 
what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
Stain Rx
o Hang-up Help
Cluttered place/ Spartan Space
Make a Duvet Cover
Roommates from Hell
o Build a Bookcase
o Fix-up a $1 Lamp

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painting 101 part I: picking the paint  
by Diana Goodman |
1 2 3 4 

continued from page 2

For those of you without a solid color couch, use the couch’s background color as the basis for your color scheme (or for the more adventurous, go with the second most obvious color in the upholstery print). As an example: Let's say your bedspread is beige with red flowers. Beige is your background color, green from the stems is the second most obvious color. Both are good places to start when trying to find that perfect paint color.

If you’re going the "different" route, your options are pretty open. You're probably not as interested in making everything match as with making everything look really cool. To start with, get your hands on a color wheel (you remember those from first grade, right? Red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple?)

Safe bets on color schemes are:

1. Totally complementary—colors straight across each other on the color wheel provide the greatest contrast (red wall, green sofa, very vibrant)
2. All primary — red, yellow, blue (although it’s my opinion that this color scheme was permanently ruined in the national psyche by Hot Dog on a Stick)
3. All secondary — violet, orange, green  (orange wall, purple sofa, very mod...)
4. All color wheel neighbors (red wall, orange sofa, maybe with yellow picture frames. Muy caliente!)


right: Use a color wheel as a starting point for finding interesting color contrasts. Remember, you can always tone it down by choosing a lighter tint of a color. Violet and green might be too bold for your tastes, but lavender and pistachio, the paler shades of those  same colors, might be perfect. 

Of course, you can never go wrong with random earthtones. Neutrals are easy. They all go together.

(Aside for the adventurous: A lot of paint stores have a clearance pile of random colors for next to no money. These were used in demonstrations, or were returned by persuasive picky people — most mixed paint isn't returnable. You can't be picky, and you can't take on something bigger than the amount of paint you have, but it can be an interesting place to start if you haven't got a clue what color you want.)

don't stop now!  still  more paint help this way ...


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