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Get Creative With Your Collector Plates

Well, maybe these aren't necessarily collector plates. So what? You don't need special types of plates to use them creatively and decoratively in your decor. This grouping of plates was arranged on an outside wall, compliments of the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. It makes for a dramatic display that is stunning and very beautiful. You can do similar treatments on your back wall to enhance your patio, or make an arrangement inside, say in your dining room or kitchen.

Decorative plates often come with ribbons for hanging. But you might not want to trust a ribbon for your rare or very good plates. So I suggest you pick up some hangers designed specifically for a project like this. There are many kinds available over the internet as well as at your local hardware store. They come in various sizes, designs and finishes and you should find one perfect for your needs. Once you hang the plates up, the only part of the hanger that shows is the bottom decorative "feet". You'll find this method of hanging collector plates or decorative plates to be an easy, safe solution.

As for arrangement ideas: Group odd numbers together. Nine plates could be hung in two rows (4 on top and 5 on the bottom). Or they would be arranged in 3 rows of 3 each for a more traditional design. The key is to make sure the arrangement is balanced and that the plates are hung close enough to visually form a united grouping that is balanced, and proportional to the wall and in good scale to any furniture below it. Notice that the grouping shown forms a geometric shape overall. While I might argue that the scale is too large for the furniture, one can break the rules in a commercial installation and get away with it.

Decorating With Flat Screen TVs

Many people go to sleep after unwinding with great literature. I'm usually too mind weary to read and I generally hate most of today's TV programs. But still I like having a TV in my bedroom, and most certainly have one in my family room. But it's always been a dilemma as to how to hide the TV, especially now that they are so huge. In past years they looked like they had a huge growth on the back of them. Thankfully with the invention of flat screen TVs, that chore of hiding them is so much easier to achieve and only let them come out with in use. So here are a few easy tips to make decorating with flat screen TVs a cinch:

  • Treat them like art by hanging in a prominent place.
  • Hang over mantel or on wall mounted shelf.
  • Decorate around the screen just as you would a piece of art.
  • Attach decorative molding to the outer edges of the TV.
  • Don't use the traditional TV stand.
  • Place TV on a serving trolley and hang other pieces on the wall around where it sits so the TV blends into the decor.
  • Or cover it up completely inside a beautiful armoire or cabinet.
  • Select a style with doors.
  • Mount your TV on a wall and cover with a decorative cabinet mounted to the wall or artwork that is removable.
  • Set your TV on a bookshelf. They are so skinny now, most bookshelves will suffice.
  • Revisit the subject of TV stands and look for less obtrusive, more decorative styles that blend with your room's decor.
  • Have a specialist install a two-way framed mirror over your wall-mounted TV.
  • When the TV is on, the picture shows through, otherwise it looks like just a mirror on the wall.
  • Get a TV cover that looks like framed artwork. A push of the button will roll up the canvas and display the TV behind.
  • Or get a faux cabinet that hides the TV screen below when not in use. A remote brings up the TV when you want to see a program.
Black and White in the Mix Adds Drama

I love black and white. It is so crisp and sophisticated. And you can get a lot of dramatic effect out of this color combination, believe it or not. Here are some basic tips for working with black and white motifs:

  • For highest degree of contrast, place black against light background
  • Start with white tile on the floor in the entry with black diamonds connecting the corners and take it into the dining room
  • Add a large dining table with black wrought iron base and glass top
  • Add chairs around the table covered with black and white stripe pattern on back and seat, with black legs
  • Cover one whole wall with mirrors
  • Add a buffet table with black legs and white or glass top
  • Choose a strong accent color for the table arrangement
  • Add a sculpture on the buffet table
  • Hang a smashing chandelier
  • Put a tree in the corner
  • Cover the living room in white luxurious carpeting
  • Choose white upholstery for this "show room"
  • Pillows on upholstered goods should be black and white
  • Art should depict black and white themes
  • Repeat a bit of the accent color from dining room
  • Tables should be glass or glass on wrought iron
  • Add trees and other plants
  • Kitchen cabinets are white (or black if a big kitchen)
  • Bar stools are a must in black
  • Breakfast table is white
  • Black and white plus accent color on chairs
  • Use Burbur in family room cause its durable
  • A black leather sectional would be fabulous if room has tall ceilings
  • If not, use white leather instead
  • Add more of the accent color
  • Use white wood or stone accent tables
  • Add black and white area rugs in strong geometric patterns
  • White shutters on windows
  • Black and white bedding against a white wall for bedroom
  • Vary large bold patterns with smaller patterns on pillows
  • Mix things up with white on black or black on white

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About the Author

Barbara Jennings is author of 14 decorating books/ebooks: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Getting Paid: Financial Strategies for Home Stagers, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!, and Wall Groupings!