Owner of new home store says choosing items you love the key to decorating

By Corene Brisendine

The secret to home decorating is making your heart sing.

Cindy Taggart, owner of Prim and Proper Place, said most people know how to decorate, but they are afraid to make a mistake.

“If it makes your heart sing,” she said, “then it will be warm and inviting and comfortable to others, because you are comfortable in your space.”

Taggart grew up in Riley and moved to Kansas City with her husband after finishing school — then moved back to Manhattan three years ago.

While she lived in Kansas City, she owned a home decor store where she took old furniture and odds and ends to create warm and inviting looks for any budget.

Since moving back to the area, she decided to open a store in Manhattan. She said they opened in March and have had great success with the men in town.

“The men in Manhattan are in touch with their decorating,” she said.

She said typically she gets women coming into the store, but Manhattan has proved to be quite different than Kansas City. She said she has had several men come into the store looking for something to get their wives or just to decorate their own space.

Aside from creating warm and inviting looks to take home, Taggart offered five tips anyone can use in decorating.

First, she said that mixing and matching old and new is the thing to do.

Second, always group things in odd numbers.

Third, the prep work put into painting is more important than the quality of the paint.

“You can make a room look like a million bucks on Wal Mart paint, if you do your prep work,” Taggart said.

Fourth, she said that if it makes you happy, you will feel good in your space, and others will feel good, too.

Finally, she believes that decorating is more than visual; it uses all four of your senses.

She said a pleasant sound doesn’t have to be music.

It could be a waterfall or ocean waves.

She said a home should not be a show home. People should be able to touch the decor. She said pairing tree bark with silk not only creates a visual contrast, but it brings pleasure to touch the difference between the two materials.

She said how a house smells can also bring about the feelings of comfort and relaxation — so don’t be afraid to use candles to create the perfect home.

“People know this stuff,” she said. “They just haven’t thought it through.”

Taggart said with the passing of each season, she redecorates her store. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, her store has been closed to put away all the Christmas decor — and set out the look and feel of spring.

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