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Decorate to stimulate all five senses

Captions: Hunter Douglas Design Studio Roman Shades pull together the various colours used in this bedroom for a harmonious look. Fabric: Seaside, colour: Waterfall (bottom right). Alustra Vignette Modern Roman Shades from Hunter Douglas add light control and privacy with softness to this living room (top right).

(NC)—Good decorating takes all of our senses into account – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Are all these in play at chez vous?

To get started, designer Sally Morse, the director of creative services for leading manufacturer, Hunter Douglas, gives us her top tips on how to create a home that's both stimulating to the senses and stylish as well.

First, Morse suggests scoping out every room to see if a little tweaking might be in order. Here, it's important to keep a critical eye and take into account the details you may have previously overlooked.

See

Walk into a room and ask yourself if your eyes are happy with what they see? Are they bored with the room's blandness or agitated because there are so many colours and patterns mixed together? Incorporate neutrals or add a pop of colour as needed.

One way to enhance any visuals in your room is with complementing shades and the perfect lighting. Morse points out that light control has never looked so chic. In the Hunter Douglas line, for example, the Design Studio Roman Shades are available in hundreds of fabrics in a gamut of solids, textures, stripes, paisleys, damasks, florals, geometric and leaf patterns to suit any style.

Hear

If there's a babbling brook outside, is the furniture positioned so guests can enjoy it? If your home is surrounded by tooting horns and loud passersby, can you sit far from the windows so the noise is muted? Another nice touch is subtle, soothing instrumental music in the background.

Taste

Taste is a funny one. What it means in home design is that your décor should reflect the people who live there, says Morse. The important thing is that the look is 'you' and reflects your 'taste'. When someone walks in, there should be no question in their mind who lives there.

Placing out tasty treats is one of the most welcoming gestures; opt for individually wrapped hard candies with pretty foils for an added touch. Or, try colourfully coated chocolates.

Smell

Smell is easy, but it must be refined. From flowers and plants to sea grass rugs and aromatic candles, there are many ways to give a room just the right amount of fragrance. If you have a garden outside your window, leave it open a crack to let the aroma waft in.

Touch

Touch is last, and includes everything from the texture of a velvet-upholstered hassock to the smooth lines of a modern sculpture to a window shade, like Vignette Modern Roman Shades with wave-like folds that beg to be stroked.

More information is available online at www.hunterdouglas.ca.

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