Two Designer Secrets to Perk Up a Room

By Jeanette Carlson –

Here are two items that professional interior designers and stylists for magazine photography sessions often use to finish off a room. These two no-fail items make a room look fresh, lived-in but sophisticated and polished. And they don’t cost a lot. Usually, you can buy these two magical things in a single trip to a grocery store or specialty market such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market or Trader Joe’s. You want them, yes? What are they? Lemons and a tall white phalenopsis orchid in bloom.


You put the lemons in a bowl (remember to take those pesky stickers off the lemons) set them in a place that you want to eye to travel to. Optically, yellow is the color that attracts the eye first. So, if you want to draw attention to a painting or a piece of furniture or to the chandelier that’s above the dining room table, that’s where you place your stunning bowl of fresh lemons. The color, the shape and the spontaneity of the arrangement creates a small focal point that is worth every cent you spent in the produce section. And a week later, you make lemonade or veal piccata or a lemon meringue pie.

orchidThe living orchid immediately brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to a room and believe me, that orchid plant will work in any room – guest bathroom sitting on the tub surround or on the counter, dining room sideboard, master bedroom on a dresser or night table. Buy your orchid from a trusted local plant nursery florist or a big box store such as Lowe’s and look for a plant that still has some buds that haven’t opened yet. Inside your home with light watering every ten days or so, your orchid will be the perfect design accent for about six to eight weeks. Then hang your plant outside under a tree, water with the hose once in a while and feed every couple weeks with water soluble orchid food. If you live in a cold climate, cultivating your orchid will be more of a challenge. You need filtered light, moving air and humidity. Next spring it will bloom again for you. Phalenopsis orchids always bloom in springtime. Orchids need good drainage (never leave the pot in water), air circulation and filtered light. Even if you don’t save and cultivate your beautiful white decor orchid once it stops blooming you’ll still get your money’s worth from enjoying it as a temporary home accessory. A white orchid makes a splendid hostess gift.  So, if you want to perk up a room of your home this very day, put two things on your shopping list lemons and orchids. You’ll be accessorizing just like the pros.


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