Choosing a color scheme made easy
Is the thought of choosing among the thousands of new colors available for the home giving you cold feet? It is possible to warm up to the array of hues s-l-o-w-l-y.
Better Homes and Gardens suggests you find your personal palette by using available resources. Try collecting colors and swatches from paint and fabric stores. Study photos and artwork that suit you.
The cool mauves of the '80s are being replaced in the '90s by bright primaries and earth tones. So why not try colors found on your spice rack, such as paprika, nutmeg and curry? Or step outside to examine colors from the sky, trees and flowers.
Experiment by painting a patch of wood before you paint the entire room. Or buy a piece of fabric and live with it a while before you make an expensive mistake.
Start a family tradition in craft making this summer. Simplicity has introduced a booklet collection designed to teach craft skills.
"Herb and Spice Decorations," "Victorian Potpourri Projects," "Decorative Band Boxes," "Sign Making" and "Flower Arranging" are a few of the titles available for family members to enjoy.
Techniques such as color washing, sponging, fabric application, speckling, decoupage and faux marbleizing are also covered.
Twelve booklets will be added this fall. The booklets include full-size pull-out patterns and illustrations with instructions and cost $4.95 each. They can be found at local sewing and craft stores.
Jill L. Kubatko If you take your housework seriously or are a serious collector of kitchen gadgets and housekeeping collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin has written two books for you.
"300 Years of Housekeeping Collectibles" (Books Americana Inc., $22.95) and the expanded third edition of "300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles" (Books Americana Inc., 1991, $22.95) both include identifications and value guides.
A handy guide for antique shops or flea market finds, the books offer detailed descriptions and illustrations of thousands of items. "Housekeeping" is divided into housecleaning items such as sweepers and vacuums; laundry items such as washers, dryers and irons; mending and clothing collectibles; bathroom fixtures, and more. "Kitchen" includes everything from apple parers to coffeepots to canning supplies. There is also a section on cookbooks, menus, trade catalogs and resources.
Both books are available at B. Dalton bookstores and Walden Books.
J.L.K. There's a new trend afoot in the home furnishings world that will affect the way you fix up your house. It's not a style but a new kind of marketing. More big companies will sell you everything you need for the house -- not just a chair, say, but designer fabrics, special lamps, little accessories.
Soon all you'll need is money to get a designer-perfect room. Problems with taste or time won't matter; the companies will already have put the look together.
Pennsylvania House is one large company that recently added hundreds of coordinated accessories in a wide range of different styles, including the lodge look, whimsical country style, and the flower and garden style. Other companies doing the same thing are Drexel Heritage and the huge Lexington company with all its branches -- Lineage, Bob Timberlake and more. Still other companies, including Garden Source, GuildMaster, Palacek and Sarreid, specialize in high-style accents.
Here are the trends in accessories:
Fish: Carved fish decoys, fanciful painted tin fish, fish on a stick, everything but bouquets of fish, and don't count that out yet. Also, wicker fishing creels on the wall and fly-fishing reels used as a lamp bases.
Antique toys: Sure, we're too old to play horsy now, but setting that primitive-looking stick horse in the corner implies we're still fun-loving, in a simple kind of way. You'll also see pull toys, checkerboards, rocking animals -- all looking worn and distressed.
Arts and crafts: Handsome pieces are coming back in a revival of early 20th century arts and crafts style, a soul brother to mission style.
Twigs: Twig furniture, twig picture frames, twig-wrapped vases.
Antlers: Antlers on the wall, antlers as table legs, antlers holding vases. Note: Antlers are shed naturally each year; the animal doesn't have to die.
Garden pieces: Outdoor benches, birdhouses, baskets, tools in beat-up carriers.
And more: An antiqued shoeshine kit, plaid croquet balls, flower prints framed in corrugated metal, sunflower-style baskets, berry-picking boxes with dried herb arrangements, metal egg baskets, sun symbols, moon symbols, American Indian-style designs used on rugs, picture frames, desk blotters and more.