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Dream Home News, Issue #001 -- The Luxury Issue
January 01, 2008

Happy New Year to you, and welcome to the first ever issue of Dream Home Decorating News - THE LUXURY ISSUE (January 1, 2008).

  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Tip of the Month: Forget Your New Year’s Resolutions!
  3. Featured Article: Home Decorating Trends, Part I: Luxury
  4. Legal Stuff

Publisher's Note

Thank you to all who have e-mailed me their preferences for this newsletter. You've provided great feedback and are helping to make the ezine useful for future readers as well!

I’m really excited to present you with this first issue, and look forward to your comments and suggestions as the ezine develops.

This year, Dream Home Decorating News will appear every 2 months, always on the first day of the month. It will contain articles about home decorating trends (including tips on how to ‘get the look’), and most importantly, creative ideas to turn your home into a place that’s truly, stylishly, beautifully yours.

So let’s use the invigorating energy of a Brand New Year ahead to realize as many of your home dreams as possible! Here’s the first Tip of the Month:

Forget Your New Year’s Resolutions ...

... or use a few handy tricks to turn them into reality!

I must admit I’ve probably written more New Year’s resolutions (and then forgotten about them almost instantly) than I want to remember. You know how they say that the way to hell is paved with good intentions! But even though hell is not on most people’s wish list of exotic travel destinations …

… most of us keep making New Year’s resolutions.


Because there are things we want to change about the way we live. We really, seriously want to change them. And then ...

... nothing happens.


I think it's because we haven't turned our intentions into something so inspiring, so convincing, so compelling, that we just have to do it. And most people don’t make a concrete plan, either.

But rather than looking back in embarrassment at all the ideas that came to nothing, I suggest trying a little three-step program. So in case you’ve just written a list of good ideas for the New Year - here’s how you could turn them into solid, tangible reality.

Step 1: Vividly imagine the finished result.
Imagine what your home (or your life) will be like once you’ve made the change. Imagine it in full technicolor, with sound effects (the ooohs and aaaahs of your family and friends, for example), and how you will feel (happy, proud, relieved, super pleased with yourself). Also, imagine that the change was really easy to make.

Do this often. Several times a day. This is very, very important. By imagining the result with all your senses, you create an internal experience of success before you’ve even started, and that increases your chances of real success at least tenfold.

Step 2: Stick it in your diary.
Decide how long it is going to take you to actually accomplish your goal. If it’s a big project, break it into small chunks. For example, if you’re going to paint a room, choose different slots in your diary for
  • doing the color research
  • getting tester pots
  • painting sample sheets of A1 paper
  • checking the effects of the colors in different lighting conditions
  • shifting furniture
  • painting the walls
  • cleaning up.

Step 3: Acknowledge yourself for everything you accomplish.
Allow time for celebration after every milestone, even a small one. Pat yourself on the back. You’ve completed this step, and even bigger success is on the way. And once the project is finished – really celebrate! Invite your friends! Hooray, you’ve done it!

Home Decorating Trends, Part 1:

If you’ve had a look at interior design magazine covers in the recent months, you will have noticed that luxurious living is entering the mainstream. Indulgent elegance and opulent interiors are one of the latest home decorating trends in the Western part of the world.

Obviously, luxurious living isn’t a new concept. Incredibly elegant homes have been built for hundreds of years. These homes usually serve a dual purpose: to afford their owners a lifestyle that only a lot of money can buy – and to demonstrate to everyone else that in this case, money was actually never an issue.

But now, luxury interior decorating is competing with other home decorating trends for everyone’s attention. People on average incomes, with average-size living spaces, find themselves considering rich, glossy glamour for their homes. Here are a few style characteristics of the ‘luxury’ home decorating trend.

1. Typical colors:
  • black/charcoal (a must!)
  • shades of chocolate and mocha
  • aubergine, burgundy and plum hues
  • deep, inky indigo
  • white
  • gold and/or silver.

2. Typical materials for luxurious interiors:
  • sensuous, seductive textiles like silk, cashmere, velvet
  • furs (on beds/sofas)
  • nubuck or suede
  • rare dark (hard)woods (on floors and/or walls)
  • precious metals
  • exquisitely cut glass (crystal chandeliers, venetian mirrors etc.)

3. Typical elements of this home decorating trend:
  • glossy or velvety wallpaper (often dark, sometimes flocked / embossed / with a shiny or matte pattern / with sparklers)
  • dark (black or brown) highly polished/varnished wood furniture
  • antiques
  • art and ‘designer’ items
  • things rare, hard to get and out-of-the-ordinary.

Well, if you looked at the above lists and thought “Hmmm, expensive” ...

... you’re right.

But at the same time, if you find yourself attracted to the idea of luxurious, indulgent living, then there are two alternative approaches you could take:
  • Define what luxury is to you, and create a home that’s in tune with your personal definition, or
  • Get the look of this home decorating trend - on the cheap.

Defining Your Own Idea of Luxury

Many of us grew up with the sense that a luxury is something we don’t really need, or something we don’t think we can afford. Nevertheless, we have a hunch that luxurious items might add something to our lives – pleasure, enjoyment, a sense of happiness, maybe gratitude.

So why not take a pad, pen, and a half-hour slot in your busy schedule, to consider what would be a really wonderful luxury in your life - something that makes you feel special, pampered, makes you smile, gives you goose bumps, or a sense of ease and well being!

Write a list of ‘candidates’ for your most-wanted luxury. It could be a thing, like a state-of-the-art espresso maker or a beautiful quilt, or something non-material, like a certain amount of free time to yourself, or a new sense of space in your home. Just write them all down and don’t edit anything. Allow yourself to be surprised by your ideas!

You may find that the luxury you want most has nothing to do with your home’s interiors. Or that it doesn’t actually cost any money. Whatever it is – this is much more important than all the home decorating trends in the world, and it deserves your full attention!

Turning your idea of luxury into reality may lead to new discoveries. For example, if you start clearing a space in your home you might find that you want to keep it empty, rather than filling it with new things. Or you may discover that what you thought would make you happy isn’t delivering the good feelings you were after.

Maybe you actually want something beyond material stuff. So pondering the ‘luxury’ home decorating trend could start an interesting journey to a very personal, truly luxurious way of life!

Getting the Look

If you’re clear that you want to create that rich, indulgent, glossy, slinky, super luxurious look for your home – and keep your bank account in the black - here are a few ideas for you:

Buy black glossy spray paint.
Use it on flea market finds and items with great shapes that you want to present to best effect, for example
  • Chairs, cupboards or small tables with ‘good bones’
  • Decorative items (like candlesticks or ornate picture frames).
It’s important that some of these are visibly old – the last thing you want is to create an off-the-shelf look.

If you like the effect of shiny black in your home, you could take the luxury home decorating trend a little further:

Buy black (or charcoal gray, or mocha/chocolate) wall paint.
Remember that the impact of a black wall is immense. Black is as dark as it gets! For a softer look, try ‘suede effect’ paints in shades of warm gray or dark brown – these might work better in your home. Also, use the darkest colors on just one or two walls, otherwise they will overpower the room.

Sparkle up a wall.
Buy small glitter stones or sequins in a neutral color and glue them onto your black (gray) wall, either in simple patterns (rows, circles, lattice etc.) or in irregular ‘starbursts’.

If you don’t want to splash out on genuine silks and velvets, get crafty with inexpensive textiles - try a mix of glossy, satin and velvety surfaces. Cover existing cushions or make slipcovers for chairs, sofas or blankets. There are many fabrics out there that look like real silk, velvet or suede (obviously, beware of anything that looks flat or ‘cheap’ in any way!). Test the fabric under daylight and different sources of artificial lighting to make sure it works within the interior of your home. Add sparkly bits to a few cushions, like Swarovski crystals or pearl beads along an edge. Throw in one or two really ornate, embroidered pieces to add glamour.

Use a well-edited color scheme.
Stick to one or two harmonious color families, and play them off against the charcoal/dark background. They will glow like jewels.

And take it slowly! A room that ‘grows’ into a new style has much more depth and personality than a room that is subjected to a sudden, complete makeover. So take your time and test your ideas before using them on a large scale. Test your response to new colors, new materials, shapes and looks.

Home decorating trends show what a majority of people finds attractive. But you are special. Do it your way!

Legal Stuff

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I wish you the Best New Year Ever!

Renate Hering-Shepherd
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