Sun, 19 Jan 2003

Interior Design: Know your style before you start decoration works

Helga Daberkow, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Born

You have a new apartment and want to improve the interior or have a home and want to redecorate. What do you do?

First of all, think about what you really want to do with your apartment and then seek help from decorating and architectural magazines and books. However, it will be much easier if you go to your computer and browse the Internet for ideas and inspiration. outlines the process before you begin redecorating. You, for example, should first look at your existing furniture and accessories. You might want to incorporate some into your new decoration plans. Look at their style, color and function. When it comes down to it, you are going to be choosing new items, and colors that will complement and work with them. Ask yourself why you like the pieces you do. Are they comfortable? Do you like the colors or patterns? Do you like the lines? Knowing why you have chosen to keep these pieces will help you keep in mind what you are looking for in your overall design schemes.

Before you start, know what your decorating style is. Before that it might be a good idea to understand what all these new words mean. has a great decorating glossary that explains decorating terms in plain and simple English.

In their article "Style to Call Your Own," recommends such things as looking through magazines, exploring the colors in your closet, and more to determine what your style is. Taking a simple 10-question quiz from Dr. Decor will help you uncover your overall decorating personality; while more extensive questionnaire from Better Homes and Gardens will help you determine your style: Casual, slick or formal.

If you are not really familiar with color and the color schemes,Sico,com also offers some important tips about choosing the right color for your walls. Below is some important advice before you change the color.

Small details make a big difference - Lighting effects a room's colors. To avoid unpleasant surprises, choose your colors under lighting conditions similar to those in the room you are redecorating. - You can camouflage an uninteresting architectural element by painting it the same color as the wall. To hide flaws such as bumpy surfaces, choose a flat or velvet finish. - Choose blues and greens to offset your furniture or natural wood finishes and bring out their beauty and richness. Moldings, doors and trim look best alongside Natural White or Opal White.

Choose colors for effect - Warm colors are welcoming and stimulating. They work best in a dining room or rooms where your family and friends spend a lot of time. Yellows, reds, oranges and browns add warmth to a room that faces north. - Neutral colors create an elegant decor and give an impression or relaxed comfort. They work well with darker shades such as bordeaux, dark gray, hunter green and navy. - Cool colors help promote relaxation and meditation. They are ideal for bathrooms. - Dark colors help crate an enveloping environment. - To create an impression of space in smaller rooms, choose pale colors to increase the reflection of available light, or use a cool color such as blue, green, violet or gray to accentuate the effect.

Think harmony - If your house is open-concept, let one color dominate the scheme throughout, then add interest and pull things together using a different accent color for each room. - Photographs, fabrics, paintings or favorite objects can inspire you to create a harmonious color scheme. Work your chosen element into the dominant color scheme to create a personalized look. - A monochromatic background will highlight a variety of paintings or decorative elements. Try using two of three shades from the same family.

If you prefer to install new wallpaper rather than changing the color, make sure that you first read the instructions before starting the installation. provides some important tips and hints to guide you.

- Preparing the surface

Most surfaces require some preparation before wall coverings will adhere to them properly. The surface should be clean and smooth, therefore, wash down the walls and sand out any rough spots.

Newly plastered walls should be thoroughly dry before hanging wall coverings, If plaster is caustic, it must be neutralized by coating the walls with two pounds of zinc-sulfide dissolved in a gallon of water. Plaster walls that have not been aged or treated can cause the wall covering applied over it to appear discolored or splotchy.

Latex painted, drywall or wood should be sealed with an oil- based paint or enamel undercoat. Some latex paints will fake off and cause the wall covering applied over it to pull loose. If wall covering is hung over untreated drywall, it will be almost impossible to remove at a later date.

It is always best to remove old wall coverings before hanging new ones. No matter how tight they look, the moisture from the adhesive for the second layer may loosen the first. If the older paper has any metallic inks on it, these will possibly bleed through the new wallcovering.

Mildew should be removed before hanging wall coverings by washing the wall surface with a mixture of 3/4 gallon warm water, 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate, 1/2 cup detergent and 1/2 gallon of bleach. Be sure to add a tablespoon of Lysol or Borax to the new adhesive.

Gloss enamel surfaces should be sanded with coarse sandpaper or washed with an extra strong solution of tri-sodium phosphate soap then thoroughly rinsed.

Be sure to wash off paste from woodwork before it dries and leave a residue. -- The Jakarta Post.