Gathering as much visual material as possible is a great way to begin. Nothing arms us for making responsible decisions better than information. The more you know about yourself, what kinds of environments make you feel the most comfortable, and the rooms you’re most attracted to, the more successful you’ll be at decorating your first home.
For anyone who surfs the net, there are a number of Web sites. They all cover decorating or home-furnishings information. Some include or have links to remodeling subjects.
In order to get the most out of online time, look beyond the home page and check out all the links that might be of interest to you. You may find some surprises. The Web site listed in the sidebar (www.homearts.com) belongs to the Hearst Corporation. It features material from Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Popular Mechanics magazines. For decorating ideas, you’ll find something in each area that may be of interest to you.
Click on Country Living and, among many other choices, there is the link to “Collecting, What’s Hot and What’s Not.”
Good Housekeeping is a good source for instant consumer ratings via their GH Institute, offering extensive descriptions, testing results, and recommendations on a variety of home related products
Popular Mechanics has a link that answers all your questions about appliance care, from how to maintain a dehumidifier to replacing a refrigerator door gasket.
Redbook has “Heloise’s Helpline” for all those household tips, as well as the antique and collectible experts Ralph and Terry Kovel, who tell you all about collectibles.
There are links to High Point, the furniture center in North Carolina, where magazine editors give their rundowns on the new furniture trends.
“Ask Peggy” is an interactive site where you can ask questions. House Beautiful editor Margaret Kennedy answers them in her column.
There is an endless variety of full color, lavish picture books on different decorating styles that are excellent for reference, such as English Style, French Country Style, Caribbean Style, Italian Style, Japanese Style and Scandinavian Style. There are books devoted to styles such as Shaker, American country, Southwestern and Victorian. They offer tremendous inspiration for furnishing your own home. I often photocopy pages with details I want to remember, and I keep them in my folder.
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