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Creating Wall Decor Opportunities

Think back to when you were very young and spending summer days playing outside. Picture running inside to get a glass of lemonade and how you immediately felt the abrupt darkness of the interior space relative to the outdoors. Does this drastic contrast exist in your house today? Chances are you have become so accustomed to living in the dark that you hardly notice. How can you design your walls so they become more expansive, more useful, and less of an emotional barrier? How can you extend your space, making the "bone structure" less constricting?

Study the walls of your rooms, including any openings. Become familiar with each of the four walls and than join them into wholeness. How can you put this wall space to best use to satisfy your essential needs? What is the most comfortable way for this space to function practically as well as be aesthetically pleasing to your senses? Are there generous wall spaces for bookcases? Do you have sufficient wall space for art? Where will you want to sit and read? Where do you envision placing the bed and other furniture? What will be the focal point of the room? Where will it be located? What does the door, or doors, echo on the opposite wall? Are the openings where they make sense? Do they line up opposite a window so they bring in light and view?

Before discussing floor plans examine your walls, room by room. Turning clockwise, north, east, south, west, look at each wall. Take notice of all the unavoidable elements taking up wall space. There could be a radiator in an awkward place, or an air conditioner stuck in a window prohibiting you from seeing outside when seated and from washing the window. You could have a pipe in the corner, or worse, projecting into the room, preventing you from hiding it by boxing it in. There may be forced-air ducts crawling down your walls. You may have grillwork for a vent, wall sconces, or a jumble of wires stuck around door trim.

None of us inherits perfectly graceful wall decor. You can't cure the problems until you face this reality. If there is an ugly protruding surface-mounted duplex outlet on a wall, once you plug in table lamps the wires will protrude into the space. If you intend to place an armoire in front of it, there will be a gap between the back of the high piece and the wall. The best solution to this problem is to replace surface-mounted duplex outlets with recessed outlets.

Now is the time to be critical, clinically examining everything you see, think, and feel. You should not build a room around flaws or eyesores, covering up and hiding things on the wall that make you shudder. While few people meet their goals of ideal wall decor entirely, at least you can be on the path of having each wall in every room make sense so they create a cohesive background.

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