How To Decorate With Color

Have you ever seen a room that is filled with colors you never would have chosen to decorate your own home, yet you loved the way the room looked and felt? Did you find yourself asking,  “How were they able to pull it off using those colors?” Well believe it or not, the decorator of that room didn't randomly pick a few colors, try them out, and wind up pleasantly surprised. Chances are, the decorator was able to effectively decorate the room with colors she loved because she understands and follows the basic principles of color.

It’s helpful to understand 3 basic elements of color when decorating a room.

1) The Psychology of Color - Did you know that colors can work as visual stimulants that affect our mood in ways we may not realize? Aggressive colors such as red, yellow, and orange can stimulate, energize, and help to liven our moods. Passive colors, on the other hand, such as blue, purple, and green can help to calm and relax us.

2) The Color Wheel - The most fundamental tool for understanding how colors can be used in coordination with one another is the color wheel. The primary colors of red, blue, and yellow are the basics of the color wheel, and all other colors are derived from these. Secondary colors of orange, green, and violet are formed when two of the three primary colors are mixed together. Tertiary colors are derived by mixing a primary color with a secondary color, blending them into less vivid colors.

3) Using Color to Create Atmosphere - Understanding the psychology of color and the color wheel can help you to create a unique atmosphere in any room of your home. For example, when decorating a kitchen or family room that is often used for entertaining and socializing with guests, you might consider using the warm or active colors. When decorating a den used for reading or a cozy bedroom, you might chose calm and soothing colors that help you to create an atmosphere conducive to relaxing.

When you understand the basics of colors and how they can be used to influence the atmosphere of your home, you’ll be able to create the exact look and feel you hope to achieve. To learn more about how to use color in decorating your room or home, visit our free lessons at

How To Get Started In Decorating Your Home

The way you choose to decorate your home is an extension of yourself - an outward expression of your personality. For some people, the ability to translate their personality through modifying their surroundings seems almost second nature. They instinctively know how to combine colors and styles in a way that reflects their individual tastes and preferences. For most people, however, it can be difficult to know where to start. While many may know what colors they find aesthetically pleasing or that they like the look of a particular sofa or armchair, knowing how to combine all of the elements of room design into a cohesive whole can seem overwhelming. If you seem to struggle knowing how to get going, here are a few simple starting points that may help you in your attempt to design a home in a way that is uniquely you.

Set A Deadline  - With so many options available to you in how you decide to decorate your room or home, projects can be endless in their nature and quantity. Whether for a single room or your entire home, pick a date by which you hope to have your project completed. Failing to do so can culminate in an unending series of run-on projects.

Set A Budget - Just as projects can go on and on if you don’t set a limit, the amount of money you spend decorating your home can be infinite. Set a budget early in the decorating process to give yourself reasonable parameters in your home decorating initiative.

Prioritize Your Projects - Whether you are working on a single room or your entire home, pick your priorities. It can be so easy to get lost in a myriad of rooms and aspects of home design, often leading to an overwhelming sense of “too much to do”. Focus on the rooms that you are most important to you (often the rooms that are most commonly used, especially when entertaining guests), and work your way through each part of your project systematically.  

Learn The Basics - Understanding a few key elements of room design can go a long way in effectively decorating your home. Knowing how to apply the basics of color schemes, design styles, and simple concepts such as focal points and spacing can give you a great place to start in planning any room. For a great resource on the basics of home decorating, color, and style try our free online lessons at

Coordinate - If you live by yourself, then designing and decorating a room or home primarily affects one person: you. However, most people live with others - roommates, a significant other, or family members. Make sure that your plans to design and decorate your home are also in sync with what others who share your residence want as well.

While there are endless tips and suggestions when it comes to home decorating, these simple steps are a great place to start. To learn additional hints, tips, and principles, visit our free online courses on home decorating at

You Can Buy the Iron Man Mansion

I know I'm a little slow on this blog, but lately I've been thinking about the Iron Man 3 movie. I suppose that by now everyone’s already seen it. My wife’s got a strange crush on that Robert Downey Jr. guy so I secretly got tickets so we could see it on opening night.

For some reason I am always sleepy. I can fall asleep anytime and anywhere. I’ve always joked that when I take a job as a movie critic I’ll stop the practice of using stars to rate the movies. Instead, I’m going to use eyes. A movie can either have two open eyes, two closed eyes, or one eye open and one eye closed. Iron Man 3 receives two open eyes. because I stayed awake through the entire movie. (The Coke Zero and popcorn helped a bit, I’m sure).

Motovo, (a real estate site) posted a listing for the mansion. Obviously,it’s just a joke, but the ad they’ve written seems pretty real and is fun to read:

This luxurious, modern-designed estate offers a breathtaking view of Dume Cove. The previous home of billionaire Tony Stark, and his not-so-secret identity, Iron Man, this expansive home includes 25,000 square feet of living space that is perfect for hosting lavish gatherings. As one would expect from a technology magnate, the Iron Man House is wired with state-of-the-art gadgets to make modern living as painless as possible. For the gearhead in the family, there is an expansive garage and workshop. Also included are marking from Iron Man’s tumultuous career.

You can see the entire ad at

If you really want to become a home decorator who knows her/his stuff, you should consider visiting our free website, At no charge you can use lessons that teach principles of art, color, accessorizing and more. Come check it out and then tell your friends. They’ll be glad you did.

Laundry with Sarah Palin

My wife hates doing the laundry, so we have a little arrangement thats worked very well for us. She washes the clothes, I fold them, and the kids collect their own clean clothes and put them away. (It’s amazing how many shirts an 11 year old boy can go through in a week.)

I don’t mind folding. I stand at the side of our bed so I have a large area to work on. I make piles of shirts and pants and everything else. I try to sort them by person, but quite frankly there are lots of clothes that I can’t place with anyone in particular. Fortunately, my wife and kids know what belongs to them.

The best thing about folding though is that I get to watch something on Netflix. I usually try to make the time more productive by watching a documentary. Well, this morning I watched Sarah Palin. The Undefeated.

Have you seen pictures of the inside of her home? I liked seeing that her home looks a little like our home. It looks like a home that a family can actually live in. Too many of the homes I see in decorating books and on decorating programs don’t seem family friendly. They are certainly beautiful, but they don’t seem very functional.

If you really want to become a home decorator who knows her/his stuff, you should consider visiting our free website, At no charge you can use lessons that teach principles of art, color, accessorizing and more. Come check it out and then tell your friends. They’ll be glad you did.

My Mother's Home

One of the special things I remember about my mother is that she had a wonderful ability to make our home look great. When I was younger I thought every mom knew how to decorate and make a house become a home. I didn’t know that my mom was special. Sure, everyone who came into our home expressed compliments, but I always thought they said nice things about every home they visited. It wasn’t until I started venturing out with friends that I discovered that our home was different.

At some point I came to recognize that mom knew how to decorate because she read and learned to decorate. Maybe you know Miranda Lambert’s song, The House that Built Me. Well, the song could surely have been written about my mom and dad, and our home.

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years
From Better Homes and Garden magazine
Plans were drawn and concrete poured and
Nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama’s dream

The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert on Grooveshark

If you really want to become a decorator who knows her/his stuff, you should consider visiting our free website, At no charge you can use lessons that teach principles of art, color, accessorizing and more. Come check it out and then tell your friends. They’ll be glad you did.

We're Hooked on Downton Abbey

So I’m hooked on Downton Abbey. My wife and I love to sneak away from the kids every week to watch each and every episode on the big screen. We didn’t catch the wave until the end of the second season so we had to watch those on Netflix. We were in a panic when we discovered that Netflix only had the first season. We wondered how we would get our fix. Thank goodness for Hulu Plus. We saw season two and were able to catch up with the rest of the world.

Well, we’ve talked many times about the reasons we’re so addicted. Is it the awesome English accents and wonderful United Kingdom location? Maybe it’s all the beautiful people and their perfect clothing. There is certainly something to be said about the post-Edwardian era stories. One of the most intriguing elements of the show has to be the Yorkshire country estate which is Downton Abbey. (Its real name is Highclere Castle).

Downton Abbey appears to be perfect, inside and out. Each floor is covered with a beautiful rug. I don’t know the origin of each Downton Abbey rug, but I can only imagine that they include Turkish rugs, Kilim rugs, Persian rugs and so on. The walls are covered in wonderful paper. Everything looks to be in the right place. English houses don’t necessarily have an absolute style, but this house is so well put together that it has it’s own style.

You can learn the principles of home design and interior decorating with our free lessons at

The Power of Color

A couple of months ago we decided it was time to replace the two sofas in our family room. Our kids and their friends had pretty well worn them right out.

We browsed through a few furniture stores, found what we liked, and ordered our two new sofas. Wouldn't you know... they were too large and wouldn't fit through the doors - dang! We had to go back out and find another set of sofas.

A couple of weeks later the new sofas were delivered and they actually fit - yeehaw! I shouldn’t have been surprised when my wife announced that she needed to find a bunch of new pillows for each of the sofas. She said we needed the “fun colored” pillows to help the sofas feel more inviting. The colors would tie the sofas to the paint, the carpeting, and the rest of the room’s furnishings.

Bingo. The reaction from friends and family confirms that she was exactly right. We’ve even had a few people ask if they could copy us and buy the same sofas and pillows for their home. It’s pretty clear... the “fun colored” pillows made the sofas, and the room come alive.

You can learn the principles of home design and interior decorating with our free lessons at


After years of teaching furniture sales, the art of home decorating, and room design, we've developed a free course for the consumer market. It recently occurred to us that everyone should have access to the same principles of design that work so well for interior designers and furniture salespeople. You can now use the lessons free of charge anytime you want, as often as you want by visiting

Whether you're  planning to remodel a single room, or your entire house, the task can feel overwhelming. The lessons in How to Decorate My Home will teach you all the skills you need to feel good about your project.​

There are three topics with 11 free, fun, easy, and interesting lessons:

Design Basics
  • The Purpose of Home Decorating
  • The Basic Elements of Room Decorating
  • How to Apply the Elements of Room Decorating
  • How to Select the Right Furnishings and Furniture

Color Lessons
  • The Psychology of Color
  • How to Use the Color Wheel
  • How to Use Color in Your Home

Design Style
  • What's Your Style
  • Accessorizing Your Room
  • Arrange Your Room
  • Draw Your Room Plan
You can learn the principles of home design and interior decorating with our free lessons at