KOKOLOGY 101: Time for a change

Sometimes the smallest changes to a room’s decor can have a surprisingly large impact. There’s no need to replace or rearrange furniture; merely applying a different color of cushions on the sofa, adding a new floor plant or a print on the wall, or even switching from bright white to soft yellow lightbulbs can utterly transform the way a familiar room feels. Sometimes all it really takes is a good session with the vacuum and a feather duster. Whatever the changes, big or small, they’re sure to make you see your room in a new light.

You have decided to buy a new tablecloth for your dining room table. What kind of tablecloth do you want?

1. A simple white tablecloth
2. A tablecloth in a ‘warm’ color like fuchsia, mustard or apricot
3. A tablecloth in a ‘cool’ color like periwinkle, teal or moss
4. A tablecloth with a bright multicolored pattern

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Answer key:

We’re all decorators within, letting our hearts decide the way we want our surroundings to look. The dining room is a center of home life, and the table represents the stage across which family dramas play out. Perhaps without realizing it, you chose the tablecloth you did for more than just the way it fit the color scheme. Your choice reveals the atmosphere you want to create, or the thing you place most importance on, in your family life.

1. A simple white tablecloth

Whether it’s a father who’s always shouting to keep the volume down, an ongoing marital dispute over bathroom rights, or just the feeling of being hemmed in by the endless responsibilities of raising a family in a busy world, the things you sense your home lacks most are personal space and freedom. That white tablecloth might help a little, but for real elbow room there’s nothing quite like a move to a bigger house.

2. A tablecloth in a ‘warm’ color like fuchsia, mustard or apricot

Your home suffers most from a lack of open lines of communication. You may have noticed that family meals are declining in frequency, and even when you do manage to get everyone together, it can be hard to get a discussion going. The condition is serious, but not irreversible. As you intuitively sense, if you make home a warm and comfortable place to be together, those family conversations will start to flow naturally again.

3. A tablecloth in a ‘cool’ color like periwinkle, teal or moss

You have a close family, sometimes a little too close for comfort. People can’t seem to get out of each other’s way in your home, and it always seems as if somebody’s toes are getting stepped on. It’s admirable that your family is so tightly knit; now, if you could only find a way to turn down the tension level a notch…If that tablecloth doesn’t work, a little soft music in the background during dinner might do the trick.

4. A tablecloth with a bright multicolored pattern

The environment in your home is sedate. ‘Comatose’ may be a better description. It feels as if your home has become no more than a place to collapse after another long day, and perhaps a little colorful enhancement would provide a much needed shot of vitality. It takes only one person to strike the match that gets the home fire burning again. Maybe that someone could be you.

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