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As with any profession, industry or trade decorating has its own terms. To help you here is a short selection.

accent colors - contrast colors used to spice up room color schemes.

Adhesion:The ability of dry paint to remain on the surface without blistering, flaking or cracking. Adhesion is probably the single most important property of paint. Wet adhesion, the ability of dry paint to adhere to the surface in spite of wet conditions, is particularly important for exterior house paints.

antique finish - a paint of stain finish applied to an object and the wiped away to give an aged appearance.

Antiquating.Artificially ageing a painted surface.

Architrave. Door frame surround, normally ornamental.  Also known as trim.

Arris. The external edge of two surfaces,especially  wood and panel-doors.

Art Deco.A design movement in the nineteen twenties and thirties characterised by rectilinear lines, geometrics, the stepped profile, lots of black gloss and mirrors, and stylised images of cars, skyscrapers and aeroplanes. It was chiefly influenced by the glamour of early Hollywood, Modernism, and Cubism.

Art Nouveau.A European design movement that started in the late 1800s. It is characterised by the whiplash line, with designs featuring sinuous curves of flowers and other images drawn from nature.

chair rail - a piece of molding placed about thirty inches above the floor to protect the wall from being marred by chair backs

color scheme - a combination of colors designated for use through out a room or house

Color Scheme Guide - an essential tool used in the design/decor process which defines the style and color flow of your home - a collage of real samples assembled for clients viewing

colorwashing - very thin, almost transparent layers of emulsion glaze giving an effect of translucent color

colorway - a term used by professional interior decorators to describe a color combination

cornice - a shallow, box-like structure, usually made of wood, fastened across the top of a window to conceal the drapery hardware

distressing - deliberate aging and weathering techniques to give character to woodwork, paintwork and metal

dragging - a paint effect producing fine stripes in the surface, created by dragging a dry brush or stiff comb through the glaze

eclectic - to choose from various sources; not following any one system, but selecting from and using the best components of several styles

eggshell - oil-based paint with a low-sheen satin finish

faux - French word for fake

finial - the decorative ornament at the top of an object or on ends of curtain rods

Georgian - the period in eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century England related to the reigns of the first four Georges; popular styles include Adam, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton

glaze - thin coats of transparent or semi-transparent paint which can be layered or used to provide a top surface for a paint effect

hue - a color, such as red, yellow, blue, or green

lambrequin - a cornice that completely frames the window; sometimes used interchangeably with valance or cantonniere

lining paper - a special wallpaper that is used as a base for the decorative paper; the lining paper is often used to cover cracks and other irregularities in the wall

marbleizing - decorating painting of a surface to resemble marble

molding - decorative strips of wood used to conceal joints and give a more decorative finished look

monochrome - a color scheme composed of tints and shades in a single hue

mullion - the vertical wood or masonry sections between a series of window frames

Neoclassicism - an eighteenth-century stylistic movement based on Greek and Roman art and architecture; the English Adam style and French Louis XVI are examples of the neoclassic style

neutral - a color, such as white, black, gray, or tan, that blends well with other colors

niche - a recess in a wall often used to display sculpture

pastel - a light, pale tint of color

patina - the mellow, timeworn look of a surface

pattern repeat - the "repeat" of a pattern is the distance between any given point in a design to where that exact point is repeated again

pickling - a furniture finish created by painting a piece, then wiping away most of the paint before it has dried, leaving some paint in the cracks and corners

primary colors - three colors - red, yellow, and blue - from which all the others colors originate

Queen Anne - English decorative style during the reign of Queen Anne (early seventeen hundreds) typified by furniture with curved backs and legs, and Chinese-inspired claw-and ball feet and lacquer work

ragging off / ragging on - paint effects using a scrunched-up cotton or leather rag to create a textural pattern on a paint surface

receding colors - colors that make a wall or surface appear to be further away than it actually is - usually pale colors, especially from the "cooler" end of the spectrum, such as blues, greys, and blue-greens

scale - the relationship of an object to another object; the relationship of the size of a drawing to the size of the actual object

sconce - a wall-mounted light fixture

secondary color - color produced by mixing two of the primary colors; orange, green, and violent are the secondary colors

spattering - spraying droplets of diluted emulsion on to a painted surface by flicking the bristles of the brush, which creates a speckled granite-style finish, more modern-looking that most paint effects

stenciling - patterns created by masking area of a surface and applying color to the exposed parts

style - the decorative design of an object or room

symmetrical - formal, mirror-image balance

tertiary color - color made by the mixing of two secondary colors

trompe l’oeil - painting done on a flat surface to resemble a realistic, three-dimensional scene

value - the lightness or darkness of a color

verdigris - a greenish blue patina that forms on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces

Victorian - the English decorative style during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) characterized by luxurious velvets and brocades, both on upholstered pieces and on walls

wainscot - paneling; often used to refer to the lower part of an interior wall when finished differently from the remainder of the wall.

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Stephen Ben Cox Garden