Home Decorating For Dummies
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As a home decorator, you never know when you'll need to create some magic. Take a tip from professional home decorators: Pack a portable carry-all filled with all the must-haves of the trade — suggestions are in the following list — and you'll have decorating magic to go!
Glue gun: Use this for a variety of decorating and crafts projects. Pins: Keep straight pins and safety pins for draping and shaping.
Hammer: Choose one that lets you hammer in nails and pry them up, too. Pick a size that fits comfortably in your hand. Plate hangers: Look for these in different sizes for both small and large plates.
Magic Hem: Iron-on Magic Hem creates seams without sewing. It's available at grocery stores and craft or sewing shops. Screwdriver set: Pick a pack that includes several sizes of both standard and Phillips head (cross-shaped head) screwdrivers. Don't use the wrong size or style driver — you'll destroy the screw.
Measuring tape: A 25-foot retractable steel tape works best. Screws: Choose a variety pack of styles and sizes.
Nail kit: Look for a set that includes a variety of sizes for various jobs. Or assemble your own, including fine nails, long nails, short nails, and finishing nails. Tool kit, tackle box, bucket, or basket: Use this for storing your gear. Keep it handy for quick fix-its and instant decorating.
Notebook: Pick one that has unlined sheets (for sketching and note-taking) and is small enough to fit inside your tool kit. Velcro: This comes in handy for making items such as easy-to-remove slipcovers.
Picture hangers: Use these to make hanging art easier. Wire: Use wire for hanging, fixing, and holding things.

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Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

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