Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Express Yourself with Eclectic Style Decorating

Everyone has their own decorating style. Those of us in the interior design industry like to put decorating styles in neat little categories such as contemporary, modern, rustic, southwestern, Victorian, Asian and the list goes on. Perhaps one of the most overlooked and under appreciated styles, eclectic decorating is the style where individuality shines.

The eclectic decorator is the kind of person who likes to think outside the box. This style of decorating makes a bold statement of "I know who I am and I know what I like." Sure, some people might say "Oh my, you can't have that lamp sitting on that table. This room is a hot mess! The throw on that sofa just clashes. Gees, what were you thinking?"

Admittedly, there are those that would say you have to know what you're doing to decorate your home with eclectic style. However, it really all comes down to one thing. Making yourself happy. When it comes to your home, the only opinion that really matters is yours. And maybe your husband's, but it's usually in his best interest to keep you happy as well ;). You might not be asked to feature your eclectically decorated living room in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens but who else in your neighborhood has?

So don't be afraid to throw some animal print pillows on a rustic style sofa. Or put a Victorian style lamp on an Asian style table. It's really ok. Remember that the eclectic decorator loves to be creative. It's all about expressing yourself without boundaries or fear.

Is it even possible to over do an eclectic designed room? Well yes, anything's possible. If you can't even find your cedar hutch anymore because it disappeared under a mob of Kachina dolls, hand blown art glass and Asian tea pots, your eclectic style borders perilously on cluttered. Just try to keep one common design element part of your look; space. Space is easy to incorporate into an eclectic theme. Just allow it to be.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Native American-Southwestern Art

If you love southwestern decor and authentic Native American art, you will love these new Native American paintings and original sketches. My supplier of Native American crafts and decor has been doing business with the local southwestern Pueblo tribes in Arizona and New Mexico for over 30 years. The crafts these tribal people make help support them and their families as well as helping to keep their culture and native traditions alive.

First are these amazing pen and colored pencil sketches by Native American artist Frankie Nez. Frankie is a full blooded Navajo and lives in Arizona. This skilled artist started drawing at the tender age of 7 and has perfected his skills over the years. Nez works with many mediums, including ink, water colors, beads and colored pencils. His work reflects the life he has lived on the reservation and he has mastered the intricate, symmetrical designs found in traditional Navajo artwork. His artwork, including tomahawks and the Kachina dolls he carves, has sold all over the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Original "Navajo Warrior" Navajo Pen & Ink Sketch by Native American artist Frank Nez

Original "Rainbow Dance" Navajo Pen & Colored Pencil Sketch by Native American artist Frankie Nez

Original "Native Woman and Dog" Navajo Pen Ink Sketch by Native American artist Frankie Nez

Original "Dream Catcher and Lance" Navajo Pen & Colored Pencil Sketch by Native American artist Frankie Nez

Next is a painting by Native Crow Indian Kevin Red Star. Kevin is a successful artist who also performs in rodeos, is a musician, teacher and owns his own gallery. He works with charcoal, crayon, ink, pencil, acrylic and oil paint. This print is called a canvas transfer, a process where a thick copy is taken from the original canvas and is transferred to another canvas, resulting in a print that looks exactly like the original.

Open Edition Canvas Transfer "Turn of the Century Dandy" Indian Oil Painting by Kevin Redstar

The adorable smile on this young Native American girl's face was captured by Navajo artist Don Clark. Don's artwork has been featured in magazines and exhibits all over the country. He prefers to work with oil, pastels and charcoal.

Open Edition Canvas Transfer "Happiness of Youth" Indian Oil Painting by Don Clark

Self-taught Navajo artist, JC Black, from Red Valley, AZ, started painting at age 11. His work reflects the Navajo traditions and culture he experienced growing up on the reservation. In this painting, the Yei Bi Chei dancers are performing the Night Way Chant. Black adds incredible detail in the bright, colorful costumes the dancers are wearing.

Yei Bi Chei Dancers The Night Way Chant Navajo Painting Limited Edition Giclée Print by JC Black

To see more authentic Native American and southwestern decor, including Kachina dolls, Navajo rugs and pottery, visit

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Decorating With Wall Art

Decorating the walls of your home is an important part of the overall design scheme. It's a great way to add color, texture and dimension. There are many different ways to go about it, however, it's important to remember not to over do it. Sometimes less is more because if you add to much decor to a room it can appear cluttered. The following list will give you some wall decorating ideas.

Mirrors are a great way to add dimension and extra light to a room. They can also help make a small room appear larger. Putting a mirror in the back of a display case or hutch helps give an all-around view of figurines. You can create a pattern on the wall by using mirrored panels.

Wall Sconces
A wall sconce is a great way to add accent lighting, whether you're decorating with a candle wall sconce or adding some light wall sconces. Sconces are great for dark hallways, staircases, entryways, bedrooms or anywhere that could use extra light.

Metal Wall
Metal wall art is a great way to add texture and dimension. You can find metal wall art that has a 3-D effect. Copper tiles and panels are popular types of metal wall art. Chemical treatments are added to the copper creating colorful patinas and designs.


There are so many different styles of clocks and they often look like works of art themselves. Novelty neon clocks are fun for game rooms, kids bedrooms and dorm rooms.

Framed Artwork

The possibilities are endless when it comes to framed artwork. Asian artwork can give your home an exotic look. Or perhaps you prefer rustic artwork or southwestern artwork. You can make a grouping on the wall with several pieces of framed artwork or hang a large one as a centerpiece behind the sofa. The trick with hanging any type of artwork is to get groupings spaced evenly and to not hang decor too high or too low.

Other Wall Decor
Some other ideas for things that would make interesting wall decor include large oriental fans, wall tapestries, wood or metal shelves, wall plaques, masks and artifacts.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CSN Product Review & Green Bathroom Contest

A few weeks ago, I posted about an upcoming CSN store product review. Originally, I was going to review an unusual table lamp called the LumiSource Sculptured Electra Lamp. I was intrigued by this hand blown glass lamp filled with electric charges and phosphorous gas. However, my toaster oven desperately needed replacing. So my practical side won the debate over what I should order.

With a spending limit of $40.00, I chose the Black & Decker Classic Toast-R-Oven in Silver. It seemed like a good size because the spot where my old toaster oven sat (an over the counter alcove designed for either a toaster oven or microwave) has limited space. It fits nicely in this small area but is still roomy enough on the inside to accommodate the kind of food we typically use a toaster oven for.

This toaster oven has three dials on the side that make it easy to set the function you need such as toast, bake, broil and reheat. It has a maximum temperature of 450 degrees and up to 30 minute timer. It also has a handy crumb tray that you can take out to clean. The only disadvantage I've found with this style toaster oven is that the door opens by pulling it down in front, instead of opening from the side like my previous one. This makes it a little trickier to get the food out.

So far, everything we have cooked with this new toaster oven has cooked consistently and evenly. Over all, I would say this is a good toaster oven to buy if you have limited space and want to spend under $40.00.

Now, on to more exciting news from CSN Stores. They are having a huge contest called The Green and Clean Bathroom Bailout. You have from now until July 30 to enter this contest.
The winner will receive a brand new bathroom from CSN Stores' Room Rescue Crew and Do Your Part that includes $10,000 worth of green products - including a new toilet, tub, faucet, fixtures, flooring, lighting, a vanity, and more! Make sure you click on the link I've provided in the title so you can enter.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Decorate Using Night Lights

Even if you’re not afraid of the dark, these night lights make a nice decorative accent in any room. With many different styles to choose from, they will work in a variety of different decorating styles.

For the Victorian style home, these fabric and fringe night lights add a classy, feminine touch. Ivory floral patterned fabric is surrounded by delicate glass beaded fringe. These night lights plug directly into a wall outlet.

Another simple but elegant single light lamp, also from Meyda Tiffany, the 8" Pond Lily Accent Lamp makes a beautiful night light. Styled after Louis Comfort Tiffany’s famous Favrile
design, they feature a delicate shade of mouth blown art glass and are available in several different colors.

One more classic night light from Meyda Tiffany is the Coca-Cola Nightlight. This one is custom made in Yorkville, New York by the talented craftsman who make beautiful reproduction Tiffany lamps for Meyda Tiffany.

If you’re looking for something more affordable that you can personalize yourself, these photo light frames make a fun and attractive nightlight. You insert your own photos and you can change them as often as you like.

If Asian decor is more your style, these Teacup/Teapot Night Lights will delight you. They come in four different styles and have two light switch settings. Choose from the butterfly teapot, roses teapot, peony teapot or the roses teacup.

For those who love Western decor, these night lights come in a set of two. Choose from the Old West Barnwood Night Lights or the Covered Wagon Night lights. The covers on the cover wagon lights are real cloth and they look great when lit up.

Perfect for kids and adults, the next two nightlights look good as decorative accents as well as being accent lighting. First is the Magical Clam Shell Night, with its dolphins swimming through coral and magical black pearl. Or maybe you prefer the mystical Moonlight Fairy Light featuring a bright yellow crescent moon holding a beautiful fairy.

An animal lover would like this Wolf Spirit Nightlight with its realistic wolves howling at the moon. Finally, sleep peacefully with the Beautiful Angel Nightlight Lamp as this divine guardian angle watches over you.