No Comments

Home Decorating Trends for 2016

While some things remain classics, it’s sometimes nice to get some fresh takes on them. Here are some projected home decorating trends for 2016.

  • Black stainless steel: Fingerprint-proof and more aesthetic than its silver predecessor, as it remains part of the background more; plays more into the minimalist ideal.
  • Formal Dining Rooms: Great for hosting, and great for spending quality time with your family over a meal.
  • Mismatched Cabinets: We’re not talking about having all different kinds, but rather two that pair well together.
  • Heated Entryway Floors: Okay sure, we know most people aren’t going to fork out the big bucks for these. However, the people who can, and will, are going to be installing more of these this year in their homes.
  • Minimalist-Looking, Sleek Kitchen Appliances: People are finally ready for appliances that don’t just work with them, but with their kitchen too.
  • Uniquely Beautiful Tiles/Backsplash: Tiling and backsplashes have been increasingly used as a channel of self expression in home decor. With more options than ever, creating or changing a backsplash is a cheap yet advantageous home project.
  • Golden accents: Copper, rose gold, & brass are becoming the new “it” metals for home decor, including kitchen ware and appliances.
  • Scandinavian-Inspired Decor: The Scandinavian look is usually minimalist and somewhat “unfinished”, with whites, creams, and pops of neutral colors including black. It has some industrial elements, but also some natural/earthy ones mixed in.
  • Hidden Wires: There are more products that group and mask your wires than ever. There are also many DIYs for this same purpose all over the internet.
  • Shades of Gray: Maybe not as many as 50, but gray has definitely been en vogue lately, and probably will continue to be.
  • Statement Bathroom Mirrors: This gives you the chance to personalize your home even more, and to get rid of that generic mirror that comes with every other house.
  • Statement Light “Pendants”: They can complement a room very well, and take a theme or aesthetic even further.
  • Graphic Throw Pillows: They allow your personality to shine through, and for you to customize your decor even more to your taste.
  • Woven & Unique Textiles
  • Space-Saving: Clever storage, and hacks that let you save space where you never dreamed of before are the new “it” way to go. home decorating home decorating 
No Comments

How to Create a Calm Bedroom

Your bedroom is your retreat at the end of the day; a place of rest that you’ll spend around 8 hours a day in. The sole purpose of the room is for sleeping, so wouldn’t you rather have a soothing atmosphere in yours? Here are some ways to create a calm bedroom.

  • Colors: The colors used to decorate your room (especially paint colors) are perhaps one of the most important parts. Experts are saying pale whites, blues, and grays are the best at putting even the most hectic mind at ease. Stick to neutral and muted colors, and skip the passionate reds.
  • Lighting: What do you think of when you picture a relaxing space? Probably not harsh overhead lighting. Soft lighting is key, and lighting from more than one source, such as a desk lamp and a floor lamp, are great at setting a relaxed vibe.
  • Windows: The level of light you desire to let into your room is your choice; some people might need heavier curtains than others to create their calm bedroom.
  • Nightstand: You’ll most likely be more at ease when you are able to easily reach over and pick up your water, book, or phone.
  • A good mattress: probably the most important part of your relaxation and sleep.
  • Your headboard or bed frame: this comes down to a matter of preference. If you’ll be sitting up in bed, maybe an upholstered or quilted/tufted headboard will better. If you like complete darkness, maybe a four-poster bed with a canopy will be just in your taste.
  • Rugs: Fuzzy, furry, and plush rugs are a dream to walk on, that’s for sure. Wouldn’t it be nice to take your first step out of bed onto something that feels like a cloud?
  • Bedding and pillows: of course this is personal preference as well, but there’s no denying that the color palette of these has a say in your level of relaxation. Soft and breathable sheets and comforters, and plush pillows that support your neck and head well are key to perfect bliss.
  • Seats and Furniture: If you like to lounge around whilst reading a book, you may desire a window seat, couch, or armchair in your calm bedroom.
  • Designated pet area: You may feel a little guilty at first for kicking your furry companion out of bed, but your sleep will probably thank you for it. They’ll probably be just as happy in a cute bed of their own.
  • Any electronics: No TV may be your best way to go, or maybe a white noise machine or speakers for playing Enya. Whatever creates an atmosphere best conducive for sleep is the best thing for you.

 

No Comments

Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating

When you’re decorating a space, you probably know there are certain things that can make a room less appealing than others. Here are some easy do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during the decorating process.

Do:

  • Have a trunk or ottoman that doubles as a nightstand or end-table
  • Use the space on or in your coffee/end table to your advantage by placing baskets or organizers there
  • Use trays to better group and organize your items
  • Add in baskets and shelves that look good and are functional
  • Have some sort of texture, including pillows, rugs, throws, etc.
  • Include neutral or muted colors alongside pattern/s
  • Include different types and sources of lighting

Don’t:

  • Have TOO many throw pillows
  • Have too many objects and decorations that take up all the space
  • Too many things filling up your bookshelves
  • Too many prints and patterns in one area
  • Too many seats or sofas that aren’t even comfortable
  • Paint rooms in loud colors
  • Have white walls or floors if you have kids and/or pets
  • Make every single thing in the room symmetrical in shape or in arrangement
  • Ignore the scale size of the furniture vs. the room
  • Scatter knick-knacks all around the room
No Comments

Easy-to-Miss Design Elements

There are so many details that go into making up the “perfect home” that it is sometimes easy to miss certain do’s and don’ts of design elements. 

  • Wrong Paint Color: Paint that is too dark or too dark can really change the look and feel of a room. This is why you should test the paint out on a swatch of your wall, and let it dry completely before you fully decide to go with that color; the hue can change. If you messed up and painted a room too dark, you can paint a sheer glaze over it to lighten it up a bit, or create stripes or designs. Don’t forget to prime your walls with latex paint, especially if the previous color was more saturated.  Also be sure to check for paint blobs, drips, and runs while the paint is still wet.  Next, rooms that are each a different color might be too much. If you want different colors at all, it’s better to smoothly transition from room to room by having only a slight variation in hues.
  • Messed-Up Wallpaper: Wallpaper that is hung crooked, or is peeling, stained, etc. needs to be fixed when you can.
  • Messed-Up Grouting: Clean it if it’s dirty, but if there are chunks missing, then you need to re-grout. 
  • Unnecessary Holes in Walls: Spackle them up!
  • Leaky Toilets, Faucets, or Shower-heads: Replace; But if you already have, the leaking may be due to the existence of old sealing materials.
  • Wobbly Ceiling or Light Fixtures: Your appliance might be too heavy; build in extra support for it if that’s the case.
  • Flimsy Hardware and Doors: Heavy solid-core doors and door handles hold up better than hollow-core doors
  • Too Tall or Short Counters: They should be at a height that is optimal for their use.
  • No Built-In Storage: If you’re in the process of finding a house, then be sure and mentally accommodate for all of the things you need stored. If you’re already settled in a home, then consider adding open (or closed) shelves. 
  • Wrong lighting: Layer lighting: have more than one light source in every room; Try and put them at varying heights and levels of brightness to get the best array of lighting. 
  • Crammed-In Furniture: Give your furniture some room to breath. Don’t over-clutter your furniture.
  • No Focal Point: Make a focal point in each room. It doesn’t have to be overtly obvious, but something that the eye will naturally be drawn to is the best.
  • Too Much Clutter: Try and keep as many clean lines as you can. Also, narrow down the number of decorations and collectibles you have all over your house. Chances are, if you feel like there are too many, there probably are. Experiment with scale size of decorations and objects to make clutter even less monotonous.
  • Too Theme-y: Don’t make it seem like a theme just threw up onto your living room. It’s better to be able get the jist of the room without it being shoved in your face.
  • Too Bland: Give the room some life and personality, (especially if the room is mostly decorated with neutral or muted colors) whether it be in the form of an antique, a quirky piece of art, a colorful pillow, or a plant.  design elements design elements  design elements 
No Comments

Ways You Can Use Leftover Tile

Have some leftover tile from a previous project? Don’t waste it, because after all, you liked it for a reason. Here are some appealing ways to use it.

  • Make coasters: you can glue all the tiles to each other, and/or you can use Modge Podge to put pictures or designs onto the tiles.
  • Make magnets: glue tiles on top of small magnets
  • Framing: there are so many things you can frame with tiles: mirrors, art, tables, your fireplace
  • Back-splash: consider re-designing your back-splash for an easy and fresh change
  • Cover a planter
  • Cover a small end-table
  • Cover a tray
  • Cover a vase
  • Make a cheese board
  • Make art using the tiles, and frame it
  • Make an outdoor walkway, a stepping-stone, or artful design in the ground
  • Cover side paneling: like on a kitchen island
  • Make jewelry
  • Napkin-holders (if the tiles are big enough)
  • Cover a lamp
  • Cover the side of your bathtub/shower
No Comments

Easy Ways to “Make Over” a Room

Feeling tired of the same old, same old in your house? Even just a subtle difference in one room, or a few, can make all the difference. Don’t worry about making drastic changes if you want to “make over” a room; instead, save time, money, and energy, and go for changing some seemingly more subtle things. 

  • Create collections: They don’t have to be matching things, but they should go together well. You can group porcelain objects, small figurines, etc., and put them in places such as your dining room table, mantel, and more. Another way to utilize this is by covering a wall with plates; its has the same feel as one big piece of art.
  • Put rugs in your hallways: This might be better with hardwood floors, but either way, it’s a sure way to dress up and make over your halls.
  • Add pops of color or pattern: You can do this with pillows, figurines, tablecloths, etc. to draw attention to certain areas of your house. You can also use color in open, neutral-colored shelving for a fresh look; either use a bold-colored object, or paint/wall-paper the wall behind the shelf. You can add a patch of wallpaper to smaller areas like bathrooms.
  • Mix elements together: If you have one steady theme in a room, such as traditional or modern, then add in an element of another theme for a fresh vibe.
  • Play with paint: You can liven up your walls by painting only halfway up the wall, or by painting a pattern such as wide stripes. There are many ways you can implement paint patterns. You can also paint the floor of a small room.
  • An extra interior curtain: This can separate a room into two sections to conceal, or simply divide. A great use for this is in a smaller kitchen, separating the prep area from the breakfast area.
  • Change up furniture: Use old curtains to reupholster chairs. Mix and match furniture pieces. Paint a piece of furniture white- chairs, tables, you name it. White furniture looks very airy and elegant, and “fits” in almost any room.
  • Rearrange your furniture: Move furniture away from walls, and be sure to account for the natural flow of traffic in the room. Also, arrange the furniture to allow conversation between people.
No Comments

How to Increase Home Curb Appeal During the Holidays

Curb appeal is an important part of real estate any time of the year. However, knowing how to strategically decorate your home for maximum curb appeal during the holidays can be hard. You may be under the impression that having any decorations at all is a no-no, but there are ways to go about decorating your home that give the cozy holiday feel without being too much. 

  • Don’t be overly kitschy: Try and steer away from the giant inflatable penguins and crazy-colored lights. The home‘s best attributes will be amplified more when they have a chance to shine through.
  • Add some light: White lights are best if you decide to decorate using string lights. These have an elegant, classic feel. A well-lit entryway is also key, both outside and right inside your home. If you have a wreath on your door, you could even place a spotlight shining on it.
  • Welcome: Speaking of wreaths, they’re a great welcoming touch. There are a variety of ways you can make it your own, and something that portrays your home’s personality. You could also put some live miniature Christmas trees at either side of your porch stairs for a more minimalist yet refined touch. Also, have a fragrant seasonal candle or room spray to maximize the cozy factor when people come inside your home. 
  • Less is more: During the holidays and throughout the year, less is always more. Try and limit the amount of knick-knacks you have on display for the holidays. 
No Comments

Tips for Saving Space and Organizing Your Kitchen

I probably don’t have to tell you twice that there are so many intricate, small things that can clutter up your kitchen. All these details can get in the way of having some semblance of order and organization to the madness. However, it’s not as hard as it sometimes seems to keep it all together. Here are some tips for saving space and organizing your kitchen.

  Containers

  • Place canisters on your counters: you can fill them with anything; baking ingredients, coffee, and even spoons and ladles. 
  • Have trays on counters: to round up clutter and give a sense of organization.
  • Label baskets and storage boxes: to always know where everything is placed.

  Cabinets

  • Swing-out cabinets: sometimes these let you fit and access more than you would have been able to otherwise.
  • Sliding cabinets: this kind is good for putting containers with dry goods in, or to have for your trash and recycling bins.
  • Mirrors: if you’re dealing with a small and/or dark/closed-in kitchen space, mirrors give the illusion of a bigger room with more light.
  • High cabinets: if you’re stretched for space, building upwards can really help you.
  • Plate racks: put these babies in your cabinets or built in an island to make your plates easier to access, and more organized.
  • Built in an island: for more storage space

  Drawers

  • Dividers: let you organize better
  • Diagonal dividers: also allows you to further organize your utensils, especially the large ones
  • In-drawer spice racks
  • In-drawer knife blocks

  Shelves

  • Built-in cookbook shelves: you can have these built in an island, your cabinets, etc.
  • Built in an island: for more storage space
  • Open shelving: if you’d like to replace some of your cabinets with this.

  Hang Pots & Pans

  • Towel bar: you can use this to hang pots and pans, using S-hooks.

  Etc.

  • Hidden outlets: these are sometimes on the bottom sides of cabinets, or inside them. 
  • Cake stand by the sink: so that the soaps, etc. have a cute little area of their own.
  • Built-in paper towel holder: saves space, looks better, and is most likely physically closer to you than it would be otherwise.
  • Chalk board: instead of having scraps of paper laying around with hurriedly-written notes, opt for this instead.
  • Multi-functional backsplash: You can install magnetic strips for knives and utensils, rods to hang mugs and things, and more.
  • Tucked-away seating: This alone can save a lot of space. 
  • Group similar items together organizing organizing   organizing 
No Comments

How to Polish Up Your House for Parties and Gatherings

The time of year is upon us in which you might have family and friends visit your home. Parties and gatherings are the song of the season, and you might be wanting to know the best way to provide a warm and memorable time spent with your loved ones.

  1. Dress Up the Door: The vibe given off to guests arriving at the front door will set the mood for what they’re about to step into. Even one small detail can make a difference, like a bow. Wreaths, a set of topiaries or potted plants, lanterns, figurines…There are a multitude of decorative ways to dress up your front door.
  2. Put a Finish on the Foyer: Just as your front door sets the tone of the gathering, so does the next place your guests will walk through, the foyer. Some welcoming touches can make all the difference, such as seasonal-smelling candles, a decorative bowl with small favors or candy,  flowers or plants, a small table or cart with drinks, a unique coat-rack, and many more options.
  3. Fancy Up Your Table: There are a multitude of ways you can get creative and decorative with your table settings. Having the places set ahead of time is not only easier, but also allows the table top to be a decoration. You can cover the table with a tablecloth, create a centerpiece, and set the places with unique and beautiful dishware, place cards, and trinkets.
  4. Make a Merry Mantle: Decorating the mantle makes a sort of center-piece for your living room, and can also act as a conversation start. Candles, mirrors, plaques, pictures, bookends, wreaths, ornaments, and general decorations can all factor into your festivity equation.
  5. Adorn the Coffee Table: Another good conversation starter is a unique trinket or antique that could play into the theme of your gathering. Also, flowers, books, trays, pictures, coasters, and more are good coffee table decorations.
  6. Prettify the Bathroom: You could utilize those fancy guest towels that you never get to. A nice soap and lotion set to put out is also a plus. Flowers, rolled towels, and candles are nice touches as well. gatherings
No Comments

Ideas for That Leftover Space Under Your Stairs

What an odd-shaped space the area under your stairs is. You may have hit a mental wall trying to figure out your options for it. There are actually many possibilities that aren’t always obvious.

  • Shelves: You could definitely add storage and organized space by adding in shelves. Bookshelves, rolling, sliding, or pull-out shelves…They’re all great options, especially for those who have run out of other storage space, or for those who have run out of places to display shelved items.
  • Cubby Holes or Closet: Do you have more clothes and items than you have space for? A closet under your stairs would be perfect for you (and your excess coats, towels, and shoes).
  • Reading Nook: For those who love to curl up in a cozy little space with a good book, the area under the stairs bodes well for them. If you’re putting in a bench seat, could also add some storage in it by having drawers and/or shelves at the bottom. A window would be nice too, if your home’s architecture allows for it.
  • Half-Bath: If you have the funds and the space, adding in a half bath under your stairs can add both value and aesthetics to your home.
  • Office: What better way to make use of that extra space than to use it to be productive in? Especially if you aren’t already able to have a whole room in your house designated for using as an office, this option is useful.
  • Kids’ Play Area: Many kids love having a little space of their own to play in. You could either enclose the area and add a little door, or keep it open as a nook. Add some fun plush pillows for their comfort.
  • Pet Area: Keep it open as a nook to put a bed, bowls, etc. in, or enclose it with a gate window for a doghouse. You could even get really creative and make the space a cat playhouse.
  • Wine Storage Rack/Cellar: Having a wine cooler or cellar would add value to your home financially, and also in the aspect of enjoyment for wine enthusiasts. You could also install a bar or liquor cabinet if you don’t want to feel pressured to stick with wine.