Twentieth century American architect Phillip Johnson once said, “I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?” Mr. Johnson evidently didn’t how to relax, but as another summer is slipping away, you can. Did you visit the beach this year? Do you wish you had? Either way, you can create a seaside feel in your outdoor space and enjoy memories of the shore at home! Here are some quick tips.
Your choice of color will be the biggest stress-reliever in your home “beach.” The relaxing hues of the beach are sun-bleached and sand- and water-washed. Think cool and inviting water, lapping on the shore; the pale sand underfoot; the tall pale green beach grasses; the pale pink and coral of shells; the white clouds in a the blue sky.
For your blue, try Kelly Moore’s Essence of the Sea or Sail Away, Beauti-tone’s French Blue, or Benjamin Moore’s Robin’s Egg.
If you prefer brighter colors use bright pink or orange, especially in striped fabric or small accessories such candles.
The beach calls for casual wooden seating. Try folding wooden chairs with colorful striped canvas slings, set under a pale colored canvas umbrella that you’ve propped in a large bucket of sand.
What do you take to the beach? Canvas tote bags, terry towels and flip-flops. Use these fabrics for cushions, throws and the seating itself. Install decorative hooks on a wall , and hang beach towels as “
Many beach goers return home with a collection of shells, beach rocks and smooth bits of colored glass. If you have such a collection, use them to good effect in your outdoor space. Clean up your treasures by running them through a cycle of the dishwasher in the utensil basket. You can also rub baby oil into rocks to bring out the shine that you saw under the beach sun.
The most obvious way to display your shells and pebbles is in a clear glass dish or jar, or a flat plate. Try filling a saucer with them and inserting a votive candle. Or if the shells themselves are large enough, pour candle wax around a wick in the shell cavity itself. Shells can be used in attractive tic-tac-toe games, for stamping fabrics and many other purposes.
You can easily change the feel of your beach theme by the use of different motifs. Perch a sea-gull on a piece of driftwood draped with a piece of fisherman’s net and use a lighthouse or two elsewhere in the space, and you’ll be reminded of a coastal fishing village. Folding sling chairs, an umbrella and pots of beach grass give a recreational feel to your space. Or combine the lighthouses with sailboat silhouettes for a more urban shore look.
Whatever kind of shore you prefer, use these ideas to recreate it at home. Put on a recording of ocean waves lapping on the sand, kick off your shoes and enjoy the beach!
Are you interested in the art of face painting? Maybe you are wondering whether it’s beyond your artistic abilities? I’ve discovered that face painting is really not a difficult art to learn, and is only as complicated as you make it.
I first discovered how much kids love having their faces painted when my daughter was invited to a birthday party of another 4 year old girl. When we arrived, the kids were delighted to find an older sister of the birthday girl was setting up to paint their faces. It was fantastic to see how the kids began to interact more to look at the designs each other had chosen, and to role-play their characters. My daughter was a little hesitant to begin with, but after watching some of the other children, she happily lined up and chose a ladybird cheek art design.
It was also surprising to learn how easy face painting was, and how happy the kids were with simple designs. It’s really not necessary to have elaborate and complicated designs to keep the kids happy. The face painter was only 13 or 14 years old and had no trouble quickly painting the requested designs before the kids got too restless.
The secret to keeping it simple? She had a small display book of simple designs the kids could choose from and didn’t paint anything that wasn’t in the book. There were about 10 designs, including a butterfly, ladybird, spider, puppy dog, cat face, bunny rabbit, princess, tiger, bear, and even an octopus! Her kit included face paints in a few colors, some brushes and wet wipes. That’s it! And the best part for the parents? It kept all the different age groups entertained! The teenager had a great time looking after the little kids and helping them decide what design to choose, and of course the little ones loved getting their faces painted.
If you’d like to give face painting a try, you will need a small kit of face paints and brushes to suit the designs you will be painting. You can have as many or as few designs for the children to choose from as you wish, depending on your skill level and how much practice you have had. A range of designs to suit both boys and girls is best, although you may be surprised at what the children ask for! If the party has a particular theme (such as a princess party for example), you may wish to include several variations of the themed designs such as princess crowns.
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Not all home decorating ideas require a heavy investment of time and money. If you’re looking for a few affordable home interior decorating ideas to freshen up a room over a weekend, try these ten:
1. Rearrange The Furniture- Pull your furniture away from the walls. Try positioning it at intriguing angles. For example, a sofa arranged diagonally across a narrow living room will make the room look wider.
2. Paint A Wall- Paint one wall your favorite color and make it the focal point. Hang interesting art on that
3. Bring In Plants- Greenery always adds a breath of fresh air to a room. If you don’t have a green thumb, try silk plants and trees. The quality has gotten so good that its hard to distinguish them from the real thing.
4. Lay An Area Rug- An area rug is a wonderful way of defining a conversation area. Try one that complements the room. Lay it at an angle beneath your coffee table.
5. Hang Pictures or Mirror- Hang pictures that reflect your personality. Try frames that are more ornate. When hanging a mirror, try and position it so that it reflects and nice view or an interesting architectural element.
6. Group Figurines- Pull out your favorite collectibles. Show off your personality. Find a display area and group related objects together, in sets of three or five. Try and vary the shapes.
7. Add Decorative Pillows- The good news about decorative pillows is that they are an easy way to add textures and patterns to a room. Still better, they can be changed to jazz up a sofa or chair before your room is ready for a major makeover.
8. Replace Lamps- Lamps are probably the one thing in your home that will give others a clue that your room is outdated. Seek out new and fresh lamps that make a statement.
9. Add A Throw Or Afghan- Similar to decorative pillows, throws and afghans add texture to your furniture. They come in all kinds of natural and man made fabrics. Find a pattern and style that you like.
10. Eliminate Clutter- Clutter has a way of eliminating the desired mood and effect of any room. Find storage spaces for papers, toys, and other items that take from the personality of a room.