Ask a Decorator: The Greatest Show On Earth

Reader Gaye asked Decorating Den:

I have a lamp in my living room that can be filled with marbles, stones, etc. My accent colors are gold, “eggplant” purple, and pale blue. What substance could I use that is somewhat unusual? The walls are pale yellow and the rest of the room is a neutral beige. I am trying to bring in as much color as I can without having a circus theme.  What do you recommend?

Jane Sam of Decorating Den of Oakton, VA lends some advice to Gaye:

Your color selection sounds wonderful and complementary.  The circus theme dilemma is definitely something to look out for. When you enter your space, the eye has to travel around the room and take in the whole picture. If you have too many bold, contrasting colors that are yelling out “hey look at me!” the eye will fixate on only them. But there also must be some cohesiveness so make sure you select items to bring the whole look together. You can have some creative fun with your lamp project by going to an arts and crafts store and brainstorming. Take a trip to a Michaels, Jo Ann Fabric, or any large craft store and divide your cart into 3 piles: Gold-Purple-Pale Blue. Then go up and down the aisles, gathering samples.  I bet you will have an Ah-Ha moment when you find the perfect thing. It could be anything from some artificial plastic fruit or flowers, to pirate gold coins, to Robin’s egg pale blue fake eggs.  Think about your favorite places, trinkets, and styles that inspire you. With the holidays coming you can utilize the great golden hues of Thanksgiving or come December stores like Target will have tons of decorations to accentuate your color scheme. One classic idea is to try filling your lamp with different sized shiny, glass balls.  If you go to Jewelry section of some stores, you might be able to find large sized, unique beads to intersperse in your design.  If you find a fabric that has the colors that you like, try cutting it into coaster sized squares. A great idea is to stick a small pebble in the middle, cover it up and tie it with a piece of raffia.  If you like the finished product make several and put them inside the lamp. Voila! You’ve a custom made look! Just think outside the box and have fun.

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