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There are a few bold decorating steps that take an adventurous spirit and a decidedly personal sense of style to execute. One example is moving to a dark palette – layering walls, floors and ceilings in deep, rich hues, and including furnishings that share the same shadowy nature. It’s daring, but it also presents an exciting, theatrical atmosphere. Done right, it’s calm, not boring, expressive, not dismal. I hear from readers who want to take that big step toward a den with black walls or a bedroom drenched in midnight blue.


One of the many perks of writing a column is being given the opportunity to share what’s new and exciting in the home and lifestyle world. The digital age has sped up changes in all facets of our lives. It’s not just computers and phones. How furnishings are designed and built, the wildly imaginative execution of patterns on fabrics and paper, these have all been touched by the techno age. The universal need to conserve natural resources has pushed the limits of what we accept as practical household products that are also beautiful, fresh and affordable.


Dear Debbie;
We are looking for a light fixture for our great room that will hang over the sitting area. We also would like a chandelier over the dining table. Should they match since the living dining area is all one space? Our style is mixed, mostly modern with a bit of country thrown in. What do you suggest?

Dear Maureen;


Dear Debbie;
I am redecorating, and all my lamp shades are boring. Have you got any tips or sources for shades or lamps that have some character? Looking forward to any ideas.

Dear Valerie;


Dear Debbie,

We are planning the lighting for our new living dining area and would like your advice. There are so many options we don’t know where to start.


Dear Benjamin,

Artisan fixtures complete cabin project

Dear Debbie,

We are building a cabin in the woods, a dream we have had forever. As much as possible, we are using reclaimed wood and any other salvaged materials to complete the rooms. Have you any sources or ideas for the kitchen and bathroom?

Dear Hannah and Doug,

Making the switch to LEDs is a bright idea

One of the most important elements when considering interior decor is lighting. A proper lighting plan will insure that your home works safely, economically and looks its best. If you are still using traditional light bulbs throughout your home, it’s time consider today’s alternative.

Dual-purpose furniture can transform a room

Dear Debbie,

We would like to be able to accommodate travelling friends a few times a year. Our second bedroom is my home office. Could it also be a guest room? It’s not large, eight by 10 feet.


Dear Arthur;

When you are planning a space that has a dual purpose, your best option is to find furniture that also can be transformed depending on the requirements of the day. Resource Furniture has a product line that is uniquely suited to your challenge. Their multi-function furniture line is designed to be what you need when you need it, and then tucked away.

Turning down the volume on bad noise in your home

We all live 24/7 surrounded by various levels of sounds. There are good sounds such as friendly voices, music we love, gentle raindrops, the rustle of leaves. And there is bad noise, road and air traffic, loud machinery, and the clatter and din of crowded spaces. I watched a fascinating video by leading sound expert Julian Treasure, The 4 Ways Sound Affects Us, on Ted.com. I think we are all aware of the negative impact that bad noise has on our mood, but it is also a major factor regarding our physical health and concentration.

Plenty of ways to add holiday comfort to your home

The comforts of home are never so meaningful as when daylight is in short supply and the cool weather moves in. Holiday traditions offer occasions to enjoy the company of our friends and loved ones as we take the time to layer our rooms with at least a few extra welcoming items. Whether I am setting up for a party or simply preparing for a quiet night on my own, there are certain rituals that make this time of year special. Lighting the fire tops the list and along with that I enjoy creating candle vignettes which look festive whether they are lit or not.

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