For Your Home

Raise a flag to make July 4 memorable

July 1, 2014 

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Fly a flag proudly on the Fourth of July.

ASHLEY BLUE — ablue@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

As a designer I am always looking for ways to make our homes more appealing and a true representative of our own personal style. On this holiday week, I could be sharing five ways to make your patio sparkle or offering tips on how to add a touch of the red, white and blue to your outdoor table setting. I don't think that would be the best use of my skills.

I've always been thrilled by the sight of the American flag flying from flag poles, draping porches and being waved by small children as they watch a parade. It's such a grand icon. Then it hit me like a flash from a holiday sparkler: I need to help decorate America. Sounds ambitious, I know, but it is doable.

Here are my professional decorating tips for making your home sparkle this Independence Day.

Decorators help create environments that inspire and convey a message. No better way to proudly incorporate and display the American flag and the symbolic red, white and blue colors than to paint your neighborhood patriotic.

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. If you don't already own an American flag, I recommend that you get one. Surely we all can manage this simple decorating duty. You can find them for $1.69 at any Staples store or at most hardware locations.

It doesn't have to be a big flag mounted on a post. It can be small and stapled on a stick. I recommend spacing them 12 inches apart. The most impressive display I've ever seen was at Wilmington National Cemetery in Wilmington. Every roadway was lined with 12-inch-tall American flags flying from sticks.

For those who don't have yards, perhaps a balcony can be the perfect place to create a wave of small American flags. Use white plastic zip ties to attach them to your railing. If space allows, consider draping a larger American flag over your railing. Wouldn't it be spectacular if every tenant followed suit?

With over 250 million registered cars in America, many of which will be on the road this three-day weekend, perhaps this is our best decorating opportunity. Imagine if every car proudly flew a flag from its antenna. It could make that long backup of traffic heading to the beach a little more tolerable. A well decorated highway - now that's what we need.

So what do you say? Is it time for a little redecorating at your house?

Vicki Payne is host of "For Your Home," available on PBS, Create TV, and in syndication. Reach her at foryourhome.com.

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