July Fourth inspires bright decorating ideas

July Fourth inspires bright decorating ideas
By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

It’s time again to celebrate the red, white and blue, and Uncle Sam will be leading the Independence Day parades in cities and towns all over the country. The marching bands will be out, along with the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the American Legion and all those officials and politicians, who will be marching, marching, marching. But Uncle Sam will set the pace, often perched in a white convertible and flanked by baton twirlers.

If you’re planning your own Fourth of July celebration, a red, white and blue decorating theme will never be out of place. Think about strawberry shortcake, a tasty biscuit with whipped cream and, of course, a pile of strawberries, plus a few loose blueberries thrown in for patriotic color.

When shopping the stores for July Fourth decorations, I’m always amazed to see so many red, white and blue home accessories, from doormats to placemats and napkins, from glassware to pitchers, and right on to ribbons, fabrics and tie-on bandanas.

There’s even costume jewelry for the hostess. I noticed that Joan Rivers, on her home-shopping show the other evening, was offering one of her signature ladybug pins with a red, white and blue body. Yes, even the ladybug has become a patriot, thanks to the ever-talking Joan. She’s an American classic in her own right!

I love to decorate in red, white and blue, even though you might not think some of my design schematics are overly patriotic. As I mentioned recently in this space, I have just completed a model apartment at The Ritz-Carlton Towers in Dallas. The background of the apartment is red — namely, all red walls throughout. When apartments have small rooms or rooms of irregular sizes, I believe in using one color to unite every space. Painting all the walls in an apartment one color is a fine strategy to accomplish this goal. Small spaces drenched in deep, rich colors also become wonderfully cozy, so it’s a practice I recommend to clients with small rooms.

In Dallas, we chose red for the entry foyer, entry hallway, living room, dining area, kitchen and bedroom. The red is striking, but if you prefer blue for your own home, I would suggest blue throughout – but never white. Remember, you’re after a cozy feel.

When red, white and blue-ing your rooms, consider this scheme. Paint the walls a rich flag blue, and paint all the trim in a bright-white semi-gloss enamel. Lay a white-and-blue-plaid carpet wall to wall. At the windows, install shutters painted rich flag red.

For your sofa’s upholstery, a bright-red, soft chenille would be my choice. Accent the sofa with blue and white flower-print cushions with rich blue tape borders or welting.

A black-frame rocker would be handsome in the room, with a seat cushion embroidered with an American eagle. Place a butler’s coffee table in front of the sofa, and select brass-and-glass end tables topped with a pair of lamps with American eagle pedestals. To feel really American, hang a Vermont print by Grandma Moses on the wall above the sofa.

Borrow a little decorating inspiration from Sunday’s holiday. And enjoy that strawberry shortcake. Happy Fourth!


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