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Well, youve got your dream home finally built and now you need to decorate it. A little intimidated? Thats not an unusual feeling. Theres so much to do and so many decisions to make. Here is a basic decorating theme called the 7 layers of decorating. Start with a decorating theme or style and a color scheme then follow these 7 layers and its hard to go wrong.

1st layer...Paint & architectural embellishments
Of course if you have log or pine siding walls, the painting is done on those walls. If you have dry wall on any of the interior walls, painting is the beginning. Dont be afraid of color! Dont be extreme, but stark white walls belong in a hospital, not your country home. As for architectural embellishment, pine siding up 3 ft. on a wall capped with a nice chair molding, or maybe molding at the ceiling line or doorways really makes a difference.

2nd layer...Floor coverings
If you have installed hardwood flooring throughout, you need some nice big area rugs to break it up and define areas.

3rd layerUpholstered items (couches, chairs)
The key here is to deal with solid and textured fabrics. If you choose a pattern on a couch, it cant be changed (and you know youll want a change somewhere on down the line). If you stay with a solid, you can change the appearance with the seasons and your moods with throw pillows and accent patterns.

4th layerAccent fabrics
These are all those terrific prints and patterns that bring a room to life, express your tastes, and in some cases define your theme or style. These include items such as window coverings, pillows, and rugs. These items can easily be affordably changed to completely change the appearance of a room.

5th layerNon-upholstered items
These are the table, storage units, and functional pieces of the room. Important to stay with your chosen style, so the room blends together and one piece does not stick out like a sore thumb.

6th layerAccessories!
My favorite part! Especially when decorating a log home. Think of the accessories as putting the final jewelry on your room. Its a great way to show off your collectibles, your interests, and your lifestyle. The manner in which you display things is important. Think of it as merchandising your stuff! Try to stay away from the clutter look. Too much is not always best.(especially when it comes to dusting it all!)

7th layerLighting & plants
This is probably the most overlooked area when decorating. The lighting of a room gives it its feel and ambiance. A great way to light is to use up-lights. Coupled with a nice fern or large plant, this gives a very dramatic effect when the light is up under the plant casting unique shadows on the ceiling. Make sure you have lamps for reading areas and dont forget that oil lamps and candles not only fit the theme for most country decorated rooms, but also provide light as well. And plants, well, plants add that feeling of the room being alive, not to mention theyre good for your indoor environment.

Hopefully this will take the fear out of decorating for you. Make it a fun process and dont stress over it (save the stressing for your taxes)! Remember, your home should reflect you, not what you saw in a magazine. Although magazines are great resources, you have to feel comfortable in this home everyday, make it perfect for your family, not the one in the magazine!

Check out Montana Country Pines' "Decorators Den" at www.mtpines.com/decorden.htm Weve got some great decorator items you wont want to miss!!

This article written by Diane Graber owner of Montana Country Pines

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