Crafty Country Decorating Style IdeasWritten by Kathy Burns-Millyard
If you've ever seen Frank's decorations on TLC's Trading Spaces, then you know all about country style of design. From stenciled drawings to wooden cows to ruffled curtains, country design has all frills you might expect from our dear friend, Frank. When I was a little girl, my grandparents sold woodwork at flea markets all over Tennessee and Kentucky. We had wooden calendars with dolls or bears painted on them. We had quilt racks with hearts. We had every crafty country decoration imaginable. Although I thought at one time that you could just toss all these things into a room and have style, I've learned since that there are very definite ways to create crafty country rooms that men are still willing to enter.
Crafty country is great, but if you are not careful, your husband may be ready to kick you out of house. Country design tends to be frilly and a bit girly, and your husband may not approve. One way to create a home that is comfortable for everyone is to use wooden flea market items and ruffled curtains sparingly. Not every room in your home needs to have a cow or duck in it. You can create a beautiful country sitting room with a comfortable plaid couch, slightly ruffled curtains, and a couple of stencils on wall; room is still definitely country, but at same time your wooden coffee tables may have somewhat modern lines so that males in your home enjoy room too.
Another way to bring country design to whole family is to let your husband add his own touches to decoration. I'm not saying you should let him put antlers on every part of walls, but if he hunts, you should allow him to have at least one or two rooms (maybe in back of house) where he can display his animals. If he doesn't hunt, you could simulate more manly country style by integrating rustic decor items such as an antler chandelier or floor lamp. Another option is to bring in old farming tools or hunting traps to display on walls. Old items like these bring a manly air to house, and they are interesting pieces that will give your guests something to talk about. They can also give room a settled, sturdy feeling; something about tools makes a room seem safe and secure. Using a few of these tools or items throughout your home can really make your crafty country them come to life.
Four Decorative Painting TechniquesWritten by Kathy Burns-Millyard
Tired of plain, boring walls? Faux finishes are a great way to jazz up your space with little cost or effort. Here are a few of most popular finishes.
Sponging: Of all faux finish techniques, sponging is easiest, even children can do a somewhat messy reproduction of this technique. In order to sponge, you must first paint entire area one base color. After this coat dries, then you can take a sponge or even a plastic bag, dip it in paint, and apply paint randomly to walls. Although this is a random process, you want to be careful not to get any one area of wall extremely dark or leave it extremely light or your eye will be drawn to that spot immediately. Sponging is very easy, and for all supplies usually costs between $50-$100, which may also include classes if you want to learn from professionals.
Combing: Combing is a little more difficult. When combing, you use a squeegee with teeth to comb through top layer of paint. As with sponging, you want to have a bottom layer so that when you comb there will be a matching layer beneath it. Using a combing technique is also very inexpensive, and you can use squeegee to make wavy, zigzags, and other designs on wall.
Glazing: Glazing is actually product that you put over your first coat of paint. In order to glaze your walls correctly, you should take a class. You may be able to find a home improvement store that offers glazing classes or you may need to talk to a local interior decorator about classes, although these will likely be very expensive. Glazing places a transparent coat over base coat of paint, making wall look a bit shiny and transparent. You can use as many coats of glaze as you want to get desired look.