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Make your own masterpieces – freshly painted focal points for any room

(BPT) – Still love the overall design scheme of a space, but feeling a little bored? The best way to breathe new life into it – without revamping the entire area – is by creating a new focal wall. Instead of a decal, stencil or pricey artwork, make a statement that’s one-of-a-kind with a little creativity and painter’s tape.

Heavy patterns on every wall can be overwhelming; adding zest to just one is your best bet to make a positive impact. Before you begin, scan the room to determine the best wall to update. When you enter the space, where do your eyes naturally gravitate? If it’s an area that you love, amp up the style to make it really stand out. But if it’s something that catches your eye for all the wrong reasons, pick a different side of the room. Repositioning the focal point will draw attention away from the elements you don’t like or can’t easily change, like architectural features, window placement or heating and cooling returns.

Once you’ve determined where you’re going to paint, it’s time to think about what. Here are a few easy ideas to get the creativity flowing.

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Purchasing oversized artwork can be pricey – ranging anywhere from hundreds to even thousands of dollars. Don’t shell out a ton of cash to add personality to an empty wall when it’s easy to make your own art. Bring your design ideas to life with new FrogTape Shape Tape – a painter’s tape cut into unique patterns that allows you to quickly and effortlessly create works of art on walls, accessories, furniture and more. The three Shape Tape patterns – Wave, Scallop and Chevron – can be positioned on surfaces in various ways to achieve different results; by staggering the tape or varying the placement widths, you can make your own impressive designs. Best of all, patented PaintBlock Technology on the edges of FrogTape Shape Tape helps prevent paint bleed and leaves precise lines, keeping your artwork looking sharp. For more information visit

You can create one oversized piece of art directly on the wall, or paint a number of smaller canvases that can be arranged as a DIY gallery. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a new focal point that will surely serve as a conversation starter at your next get-together.

Natural touch

Creating a mural on one wall is extremely popular, especially one that helps bring the feel of the outdoors inside. Trees are an easy element to paint on any wall. For a sophisticated look, keep it simple with silhouettes. Use painter’s tape to create the outline of birch trees from the floor to the ceiling, leaving six to 12 inches between each trunk. Paint all the trees using the same color. Be sure to use a shade that coordinates with the rest of the room, or a neutral like white, gray or beige delivers a crisp look.

Fabulous faux framing

If your house is lacking interesting architectural features like decorative molding, you can mimic the look with paint and painter’s tape. Measuring and installing the real deal can be time-intensive and tedious, but using paint is an easy way to dress up a space without the cost and labor of installing numerous pieces of trim. From crown molding to wainscoting, using paint to imitate intricate trim work will add high style to your home.

For a stunning makeover, apply FrogTape brand painter’s tape three feet up from the floor along the entire wall to emulate a chair rail. Then, add additional squares and rectangles in a repeating pattern below. Apply a fresh coat of paint in a color that coordinates with the original wall color; and once you remove the tape, you’ll have crisp lines that look like molding… without all the work.

Next time you’re looking to spruce up a space, think beyond painting your walls a solid color. With a little imagination and painter’s tape, you can design eye-catching rooms throughout the entire house.

Bright and nonconventional colors bring adventure to home decor

(BPT) –
When it comes to trends in interior design, the forecast through 2014 is looking bolder, brighter and more adventurously colorful than has been seen in a while. Up-and-coming palettes are earning descriptions including “youthful,” “vibrant” and “positive,” heralding the rebounding market’s ready return to color.

Color expert and interior designer Barbara Schirmeister equates new, energized color palettes to growing economic confidence, as well as the influence of the youth market.

“As the economy ticks upward, designers and consumers are expressing hopefulness by incorporating statement colors, mixed palettes and vibrant patterns … inspired by dominant trends aimed at the youth market,” says Schirmeister, who has spent decades as a color consultant for companies such as Crossville Tile, Hunter Douglas, American Standard and Motorola.

Crossville’s new Argent porcelain tile collection offers 20 saturated colors on trend with the market’s return to adventurous hues.

She explains that today’s trends are in contrast to those of the recent past that were more cautious, offered less variety

and had longer “shelf lives” – staying popular over time as homeowners were hesitant to change.

“It’s as if the market is molting, shedding its cautious colors to display new palettes that are all about getting noticed,” she says.

Saturated, bright and nonconventional, colors of the now are more assured with wider options. The hues reflect influences from both nature and technology, mirroring the quest for balance a busy society strives to achieve. Schirmeister cites Argent, a new porcelain tile line by Crossville for which she developed the colors, as an example.
“This product offers 20 colors that engage the entire color wheel. Even the neutral tones incorporate more colorful influence,” she describes.

Schirmeister showcases the trends by color collections to describe what consumers can expect to see – and enjoy incorporating – in interior design, in the days ahead.
Warm colors – red extensions

The warm side of the color wheel features red, yellow and orange – colors often associated with excitement, confidence and emotion. The red family is extending in all venues: yellowed, blued, pale and saturated, peach, peony, azalea, and crimson, even into bordeauxs, red violets and oranges. For the coming year, yellows will be uplifting – buttercup, citrus, butterscotch and gold.

Cool hues – clean and clear

On the cool side of the color wheel, which includes green, blue and purple, clean and clear will be the dominant trend. Expect to see jade

With a rainbow of 20 color options, Argent by Crossville invites the creation of custom patterns that interplay contrasting hues.
With a rainbow of 20 color options, Argent by Crossville invites the creation of custom patterns that interplay contrasting hues.

greens paired with turquoise blues. The greens will be expanding, a trend that hasn’t been seen for quite some time. Military, emerald, parrot and even a green almond are glimpses of the trend. In addition, blues are gaining importance. Navy is often taking the place of black, and indigo will continue to be a fashionable, foundational color. Shades of nature-inspired purple are appearing as accessible, support tones.

Neutrals – whites, browns and shades of gray

Neutral colors remain versatile and simple, yet also nod toward color confidence. The gray family, very popular in recent years, continues to have influence, while white neutrals are escalating. Also coming back are the-browns. From camel and bisque to burnt sienna and taupe, these base colors will add complement and contrast to bold color schemes, while nodding to natural influences.

Want to see these color collections in action? Schirmeister suggests looking to online communities like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz for inspiration and ideas.

“Social media is driving today’s trends. Color lovers constantly post about their passions,” she says. “And those exciting, youthful colors we can’t resist sharing in our news feeds are already showing up in interior decor.”