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Learn How Home Elements Can Become “Wow” Elements

“It does not matter what the environment is, but all the elements should enhance one another.”
   Carolyne Roehm, fashion designer and author of “A Passion for Flowers”

“…create an expressive space that reflects your interests, tastes, and personality.”
   P. Allen Smith, garden designer and author of “Bringing the Garden Indoors”

pineapple-arrangementThe inspirational but fundamental words of both of these two designers from different design worlds serve as a reminder that our homes are our space…however decorating tips from professionals can be very helpful!  It’s probably much easier to create a space that reflects our tastes than it is to choose elements that enhance one another.  After all, your favorite piece of furniture or a throw pillow is a reflection of your tastes. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be your favorite!

Feeling confident about your own tastes is the first step to choosing elements that enhance each other.  So build your confidence with small successes. Try changing colors or patterns for throw pillows before repainting walls or having a sofa recovered.

As a florist, I can assure you that the color and character of flowers and the container must enhance each other as well as the setting that they are intended for. As an example, imagine how miniature decorative pineapples arranged in a green-toned container…and chairs with pineapple-themed pillows could enhance each other when used together in an intimate setting.


There are several ways that elements can enhance each other.  Tops on my list are color, character, style, pattern, texture, scale, and repetition.  Sometimes all of these elements may be involved in a decorating decision. However, most of your decisions will not be that complex.

Below, I have added my thoughts about what each element might entail. Please add your thoughts, as you read my thoughts, I feel sure you will remember a decorating challenge or success that you have experienced.

Color: Should the paint be bright, soft, neutral, etc?
Character: Is the chair suitable for a child’s room?
Style: Traditional, modern, country, or something else?
Pattern: Striped wallpaper, paint, or wood paneling?
Texture: Leather sofa, canvas upholstery, velvet pillow?
Scale: Does the sofa fit in the room or overwhelm the space?
Repetition: Repeat color, style, or pattern to unify the space

As we approach special holidays in December, traditions should be on the list.  Even decorating fanatics (like me) are allowed to display meaningful items that speak louder to their traditions than to their décor.  You can even move the furniture, if need be…it could cause a “wow”.

So enjoy family and friends and treasured items from Decembers that are long past!

Posted By: Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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