From Builder White to Alive

If you're short on home décor ideas, start with a little color. It's the fastest way to bring your wall décor to life.

Such was the case for one family in Ames, Iowa. "Our house was so boring!" says Peggy Lewis of the suburban two-story she recently moved into with her husband, John, and their two teenage sons. "All white, the place just felt lifeless and uninvigorating."

Then Peggy happened to meet decorative painter Patricia Mohr Kramer and mentioned her situation. The two immediately hit it off and started making plans to paint personality into the Lewises house. Their efforts prove that a freshly built house can develop spirit and charm. All it takes is paint, a few techniques, and a lets-get-started attitude.

Ironically, it's those boring white walls that respond quickest to the first touch of paint and glaze. Many new-home wall surfaces have a slightly dimpled orangepeel texture that begs for attention. These surfaces make the most of the color undulations and imperfections that are part of many paint techniques, Kramer explains. Sponging, washes, glazes, and freehand paintingthey all look terrific.

A Living Family Tree

Decorative painting adds a historic touch to a family living room where realistic almond trees recall family history and accent furniture.

Dining On The Blues

See how a dining room can achieve brilliant style and remain comfortable with bold color and stripes.

Cozy Cucina

Use color tips from Patty Kramer to decide how to paint your own kitchen, whether you want an old-world look like this cozy cucina or a more modern style.

Sun-Drenched Den

Faux painting adds character to a family den. The leather-look finish is comfortable and stylish, perfect for the high-traffic area.

Grand Entrance

See how a sunny yellow entryway balances and connects two boldly painted rooms on either side of it.

More On Topic

Eliminate the guess work and see what your house will look like before you redecorate.
• Bedroom Decorating
• Decorating Exteriors
• Decorating Ideas
• Bathroom Decorating Styles
• Holiday Decorating Planner
• Weekend Decorating
• Decorating

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Framed Art

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