Ready or not ~ here come the holidays! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza… Why decorate? Why bother with all those wonderful, happy, twinkling, fun-filled, memorable decorations?
Sally Augustin, PhD, an applied environmental psychologist who consults with both individuals and multi-national organizations to inform the design of places and objects who knew? has made some interesting points in an article, Can Holiday Decor Affect Us Psychologically?* Her findings are delightfully worth noting, and not just because RSH has some fabulous holiday decorating ideas but yes, that too! and her thoughts allow you the perfect excuse to decorate to your overflowing holiday heart's content.
It seems much of the country is heading into long dark dank days after the summer. Apparently we humans tend towards hibernation ~ a bit like bears ~ until the holidays draw us out and brighten up our lives. It's the way we make it through! Pass the mulberry wine! Whose great idea was this anyway! We'd have guessed about the colors and the lights in general, but more specifically, the reds and greens of Christmas, the blues of Hanukkah ~ are scientifically known to boost energy levels, bringing us out of the cold, dark cave. Party lights are an obvious spirit lift. But would you have guessed that even stars rev us up? Seems sharper angles are energizing, curved shapes relaxing. Even a party crowd gets our hearts beating a bit faster ~ and speaking of hearts ~ the reds of Valentine's and Christmas are the perfect color for romantic attraction. Not to hurt the feelings of Mistletoe ~ you are important too! Lights and smells as well ~ all to warm a heart when baby, it's cold outside!
Take a walk through our current RSH Catalog's Seasonal section, see all the delightful treasures! That warm fuzzy you get is real, it's healthy, and it's every reason to decorate full out! Seasons of cozy golden harvests, wicked which-witch fun at Halloween, thanks-and-turkey filled Thanksgiving, ho-ho-holy Christmas ~ right through to the dazzling, promise-filled New Year! Make each season special in your home ~ any season ~ 'tis the season!
Great news, at last! I think I've finally found a countertop I can love! The floors are in, if you'll recall. The cabinets are refinished/painted a creamy white. New dark pewter leafy pulls are installed. I searched everywhere for a counter I could really love, and live with for a very long time, if that happens. Who knows if I'll stay, sell, or rent out -- all 3 kids packed off to college and then on to their own lives…. one can only hope :)
The winning countertop material is ... soapstone! I'm awaiting my contractor's opinion (he always has an opinion, and I'm glad for that). It is installed grayish, and with necessary oiling, will blacken over time. However, it's a flat black, and not a high gloss black. I am sooo tired of all the black high-gloss granite I seem to see in every kitchen, both residential and commercial. Though it's beautiful, I am just by nature more of an upstream swimmer. I might not want something simply because it seems to be the choice of many. (Mom, I hear you! :) Yes, this will be black eventually, but it is a very gray black, and flat. Why not honed black granite then, you might ask. Why, indeed. It just may be. For the moment, it's soapstone!
Yes! The letters in the title are that way on purpose, to make my point… you see when something is merely repeated, it's a …pAtTeRn, rite! That's all it takes. Imagine adding colors… just like a stripe, it happens over and over… but how to handle pattern?
Indeed, what about patterns? Patterns are part of ordered thinking. One of the first signs of a northerly IQ in a child is how she approaches and organizes patterns. The test is about putting items (colors, shapes) into categories. Our minds naturally tend towards order (I'll spare us all the psychological ramifications there! :) In our surroundings, we are comforted by order, both physical and psychological.
Pattern in your decorating evolves similarly. Something feels right; it works. To create fun and interest, we want to throw just a bit of disorder into the order. (Can there be ordered disorder? If so, let's call that art!) This is done by a contrasting color, a pattern that is different than the general theme, or with bold color and color contrasts ~ in other words, varied patterns in similar colorways, contrasting colorways, or complementary colorways.
Some hints on decorating with patterns:
1. Fit the scale of the patterns to the room. Large patterns will overwhelm a small room and make it feel even smaller. Likewise, small patterns will get lost in a large room, or a room with high ceilings, for instance.
2. Mix things up. Don't use only floral patterns, for instance. Or only stripes and geometrics. Soften the stripes with the florals; add a bit of discipline to florals with geometrics.
3. You can combine varying sizes of patterns, but again, not too busy, please. Think about using the same pattern (same fabric) in 2 or 3 softer colorways.
The most difficult thing in so much of decorating is to be bold. Be sure of yourself. Easier said than done, right? It takes time, practice, and perhaps a glass of wine ;) Don't forget, the fun in decorating ~ you can't make a mistake. Or rather, mistakes are easily remedied. Go forth and create some ordered disorder!