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Tips & Tricks for Decorating a Small Living Room

You might have a small living room, but there are ways to work with what you’ve got and truly make the best out of the room.

Be a drama queen/king
Sometimes for small rooms that don’t get much light, it actually works to turn the negative situation into a positive one by painting the room a bold, dramatic color. This doesn’t necessarily mean four walls of scarlet red, but possibly a rich chocolate color or something of the like.

Go bold or go home
Statement pieces, such as bold patterns, colors, and flowers, all can make a small living room appear bigger than it actually is. A cheery, playful vibe can work wonders for a small space.

Experiment with scale
Lots of small things in a small space can visually “tighten” the room up. If you have small things instead of big ones, you’ll have room for more.

Hang artwork high
Playing with the height of your framed wall art can make a room seem taller, and therefore bigger

Mesmerize with mirrors
Mirrors can truly give an illusion of a bigger room, especially when they are on the larger side.

Hang high curtains
If you position your curtains almost to the ceiling of your room, it will give the room a vibe of airiness and of height.

Choose the right kind of table
Sometimes a traditional, bulky coffee table isn’t your best option. A circular, drum-shaped table can really present you with more space for traffic-flow than you would have, and will be easier to move when necessary.

Appreciate multi-use furniture
Seating with storage kills two birds with one stone. So does a desk that folds out into a dining room table, or something of the like.

Strategically position furniture
Instead of pushing furniture right up against the walls, “float” it more towards the center of the room instead, adding visual volume to your space.

Pick non-imposing furniture
Instead of bulky, high-sitting furniture, choose lower-sitting furniture that keep the room from feeling crowded.

Display the right light
Choose light fixtures that can be moved aside and don’t take up much room, like swinging-arm lamps. Having floor lamps instead of table lamps also let you kee
p your table room.

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How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Let’s face it- you may have a couple of details in your house that aren’t as “trendy” or “modern” as some in other houses. And that’s okay! It’s nice to have the option of keeping your tried-and-true, well-lived-in home, or deciding to try something new. If you choose to go for the latter, one of the things that can sometimes date a house are those once-commonplace popcorn ceilings. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to remove them.

  1. If the popcorn was added before 1979, be sure to get it tested for asbestos before you proceed with the removal process.
  2. Remove all furniture, rugs, and decorations in the room which could potentially get popcorn dust and debris on them.
  3. If you don’t have a canvas drop cloth, put a plastic covering down on the floor, but be sure to create a few overlapped, taped layers. If you’re all for the extra protection of your room, you could hang plastic sheets from the crown moldings down to the floor to cover your walls. 
  4. Place a fan or two in the room to be sure and ventilate enough; don’t face it to the ceiling. 
  5. Use a gardener’s portable hand-sprayer, a.k.a a Hudson sprayer, to spray and soak into portions of the ceiling. Be sure to stick to portions of about 3-5 feet, as to not damage drywall underneath by spraying it with TOO much water.
  6. Wait about twenty minutes, and then start scraping the popcorn ceilings down with a ceiling texture scraper, or a putty knife. If it doesn’t come off easily, spray it with water some more.
  7. Once all of the popcorn is removed, buff and sand the entire ceiling down with a sanding pole and screen. 
  8. Optional: do a skim coat for best results, which is a topping compound applied to the entire ceiling with a drywall knife. Sand this down before the next step.
  9. Choose the best aesthetic for your ceiling: prime and paint it, add texture to it, put planks over it, tile it…there are so many options!
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How to Make Your Bedroom More Organized

Let’s face it- everyone has that one area they let their things pile up in. For a lot of people, this area is probably in their bedrooms, where they figure people won’t see it. However, just because your guests‘ eyes won’t be on your room doesn’t mean yours won’t. You’ll feel more refreshed and centered with a tidier living space. That starts with making your bedroom more organized.

Cover up with curtains
There are so many options for the things you could divide off or conceal with curtains: bookshelves, closet racks, a bed, a sitting area.. Curtains allow you to sort of mentally organize and divide things that have different purposes. They also can make your bedroom appear bigger or more “fluid” if what you’re concealing is bulky or too intricate compared to what’s around it. 

Baskets, cubes, containers, etc.
For those things you’ll need on a nearly day-to-day basis such as extra blankets, pillows, books, and magazines, you make them more organized by placing them in their own designated container. These containers can fit into so many different nooks and crannies in your room, like under the bed or a table, at the foot of the bed, and more. There are also an incredible amount of options for these in stores, that will fit with any room aesthetic you could imagine.

Add some bookshelves
If you don’t have enough space anywhere else in your room, add some bookshelves. You can put different things in them other than books such as trinkets, art, and store extra blankets and pillows as well. 

Seating
Seating that can be used for things other than sitting in is a plus. Whether it’s at the foot of your bed, by the window, or wherever else, it allows you to enjoy your room more, and also lets you have a designated spot to temporarily place those “in transit” things you’ll put away. Bonus points for seating that has built-in storage, like a trunk or ottoman.

Think around your bed
Don’t forget to take advantage of those places around your bed, such as under or behind it, that can maximize your storage and organization space. Behind your bed you could add wardrobes, etc., which could also give you a headboard if you don’t have one. Next, if you don’t have built-in drawers under your bed, you could put boxes or storage bags there to be better organized. 

 

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How To Make Your Home Warmer and Cozier

As temperatures drop, you may look forward to spending more time all bundled up inside your home becoming warmer and cozier. Be sure and get the most out of your pseudo-hibernation mode by using these things to improve your immunity, energy usage, and interior aesthetics.

  1. Change your HVAC filter every couple of months, and more frequently if you have pets, to prevent dander, dust, allergens, and bacteria from coursing through your home.
  2. Vacuum with your thermostat set to “fan on” so you can get rid of what’s kicked up into the air. Leave that setting on until about 15 minutes after you’re done vacuuming for maximum affect.
  3. Place some plants around your home for better air quality; some indoor plants are adept at decreasing dangerous vapors and dust.
  4. Change your traditional wood or gas fireplace to a gel fireplace insert. These are smoke-free, eco-friendly, and give off less allergens. These are generally priced pretty cheaply.
  5. Seal up air leaks, since these are one of the biggest usual household energy-wasters. Don’t forget the cracks and crevices that aren’t windows and doorways.
  6. Dust off light bulbs and fixtures to make your home appear brighter-allowing you to leave extra lights off.
  7. If you were thinking of re-painting a room/s, go for warmer colors to create a more cozy and warm vibe.
  8. Add an interior window to a room next to a sunny place.
  9. Clean your windows, letting more light into your house.
  10. Remove your window screens through winter time, since these let less light in by trapping dirt.

Be warmer and cozier than ever this winter!

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Biggest Interior Design Mistakes

Sometimes there are things in your house that seem insignificant and unnoticeable enough to change. However, as unimportant as these things may seem, they are each an element of design, each factoring into the equation of aesthetics. Here are some design mistakes that are easy to make in your home’s interior.

  1. Devoid of personality: It may feel good to have a very neat, tidy, organized house, but if it’s TOO spic and span, it could feel like a hotel. You want to make it seem lived-in and let your personality shine through. People want to feel welcome in your home, not extremely cordial.
  2. Too much clutter: As mentioned in #1, there’s a necessary balance to find between tidy and cluttered. Just as too devoid of personality is a no-go, so is having too much chaos and clutter. A few intentionally placed medium-to-large sized pieces will look best in each room. Unless you’re going for the flea market vibe, try and stay away from jumbles of small knick-knacks. Less is more.
  3. Too matchy-matchy: When it feels like you’re actually living in an Ikea, it may be time to rethink your design choices. Sure, it’s nice to have coordinated decor like furniture sets, but there’s a difference between cutting and pasting your room from a catalogue, and making it your own.
  4. Wrong-sized rugs: Try and find a rug that extends to at least the parameter of your furniture set. Many people accidentally get rugs that are too small, making them appear as if they’re floating.
  5. Curtain blunders: Having no curtains can make windows look too bald and under-dressed. Even a different type of curtain than the generic kind can make a good impact on the entire appearance of your room. That being said, curtains that are too short for the window can look bad. Try and find curtains that graze the floor or a tiny bit longer, and position the rods below the crown molding.
  6. Badly-placed art: Art should not be hung too high on your walls. Be sure and position it around eye-level, which is generally about 57 inches from the floor.
  7. Excessive open-faced shelves: If you have the option to go for shelves with doors, then do it. However, if you’re stuck with open shelves, then try and only display strategically placed, decorative things. Let your true clutter be rounded up into something that is contained and closed.
  8. Over-reliance on stainless steel: Feel out the mood and aesthetic your kitchen has without the appliances. The more rustic and cozy the vibe, the less likely it is stainless steel will make your kitchen appear better or more fitting. Especially when the cabinetry and elements surrounding the appliances are not as modern or flashy, the better it is to keep the natural flow going with something similar to what’s already there. For instance, a stainless steel fridge might feel a little out of place in a country farmhouse-esque kitchen.
  9. Generic switch-plate covers: If you’re styling a room to look a certain way, then don’t forget to change your basic switch-plate cover. It might seem like a minor detail, but it will go towards tying the whole room together. Design mistakes are sometimes easy to make, but keep in mind that they’re just as easy not to! design mistakes 
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Realistic, Useful Ways to Decorate With Antiques

When you think of antiques as a part of your home’s interior space, what comes to mind? Is it a stodgy, stale, and dated look that your great-great-grandmother’s house would have had? Using antiques in your home does not have to equate to antiquity.

Location, location, location
Where you place your antiques can be important in the overall look and feel of each of your rooms. If you distribute them too frequently and too evenly around the room, the space can end up looking like a museum or flea market. However, if they’re grouped together in one or a few areas, they can create a nice focal point for the room.

Beauty as far as the eye can see
Speaking of focal points, your antiques will look great as the room’s main one; especially for any area you can sit in, such as a living room or dining room. When they have a chance to shine, guests will love to use them as conversation starters. If they’re in plain sight, you will also get to look at them more frequently.

Intermingle the past and present
Location also includes the components that are interspersed amongst your antiques. It makes a room more interesting to have different elements and time periods incorporated than just one. Mixing different types of design aesthetics, themes, styles, etc. is a modern and updated style in itself.

A colorful past
A big trend in interior design right now is color grouping. You can experiment with arranging your antiques according to their colors, for a possibly playful and more modern aesthetic. Also, you can spray-paint them a different color than they are.

To each their own purpose
Turning old things into fresh ones is a fun, creative way to modernize and actually use your antiques. You can turn casserole dishes into flower pots or magazine holders, upholster old patio furniture, and infinitely more things.

 

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Easy Bathroom and Kitchen Updates

The holidays are quickly approaching, which might mean you’re going to have some guests coming over. And let’s face it- the two rooms they’ll see the most are probably your kitchen and bathroom. Even if you won’t have any guests over, you still might need some refreshing updates for the coming new year, or a cheap investment for when you sell your house.

Fixtures
If you swap out your sink fixtures and light fixtures, these seemingly minor things can truly make a difference in changing the room’s ambiance. Each detail of a room goes into determining the room’s “message” and mood. Not to mention, every time you turn on your light or faucet, you’ll be able to enjoy this new change in your home.

Decorations
Details, details, details. Hardware (like drawer handles), rugs, towel racks, soap dispensers, art pieces…They all make up the room’s “message” and theme as well.

Cabinet Color
The colors surrounding you can really change your mood and outlook. They also can really update a room; they’re what can make the difference between a “60’s puke-y avocado-green living room” and a more current neutral gray. An effective yet easy DIY is simply to paint your cabinets.

These updates can really bring a breath of fresh air to your home for a small price, and for a small amount of time put into them as well.

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How to Remain Calm While Renovating Your Home

Renovating your house can be a tedious, drawn-out, and messy process. However, there are certain “mind over matter” techniques that come in handy while you dodge the chaos.

Improve Your Entryway
Upon entering your home, you will probably feel more welcomed if you have an attractive front porch/door/yard. A few seasonal decorations, a new door, or new light sconces can do your home’s “face” wonders. A spruced up version of your home entryway can help change your frazzled mindset.

Implement Smart Storage
If things are accounted for and physically grouped and organized in your home, it will probably put your mind more at ease amidst the chaos and general disarray that renovating brings. Shelving, with storage bins, will help keep all of your things in tip-top order. You can also use closets and extra nooks and crannies under window seats, stairs, attics, and basements. Read this for more storage tips.

Create a Cozy Habitat
Since you’ll generally be spending the majority of your time in those rooms which aren’t being renovated, those are the rooms you’ll want to make as livable as you can, at least temporarily.  You can make some fast, easy upgrades that will have a sizable impact on your Cozy Factor. Paint, detailing, linens, cabinets, hardware, backsplash, and other decorative touches can make all the difference in how willing you are to spend a portion of your time in a certain room.

When the Going Gets Rough, Head Outdoors
When it’s warm enough to do so, look no further than the exterior of your home when deciding where to hang out. Have a patio, deck, porch, hammock, or general patch of grass to park yourself and soak up some Vitamin D? Perfect.

And remember: don’t have your mind fixed on fretting over the process. Instead, be sure to keep in mind what the end result will be! Your house will be more beautiful than ever, and it will be worth everything you put into it.

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Simple, Cheap Upgrades to Give your Home a Facelift

Sometimes the littlest of things can go the longest way. If you’re not looking to throw down the big bucks, here are some seemingly minor upgrades to save your wallet-and your home’s appearance.

New Mulch & Plants
A fresh layer of mulch can make all the difference, especially when you’ve had to look at that old dirt for a while. It can really polish up a yard. Planting a small row of flowers, succulents, or another kind of plant can also spruce up the appearance of your yard in a minor yet important way.

Key-less Entry Pad
Especially if you’re one of those people who can never find your keys, a keypad on your door/s can make a big difference. It also allows for you to let your friends and family in, or anyone who is supposed to get inside when you’re gone. You won’t have to risk hiding a key for them in a stereotypical spot that burglars have definitely predicted. You can buy a key-less entry pad for around $100.

Motion-Sensor Lights
Not only are motion-sensor lights an investment for safety reasons (home intruders don’t like them), but they are simply convenient for you as well; you won’t have to worry about fumbling around in the dark for your things. They will cut some of your energy bill too, if you are prone to leaving your outdoor lights on frequently. Sensor lights sound expensive, but you can actually find them for very cheap prices.

Minor Paint Work
The smallest of scuffs and scratches on walls can make the nicest rooms seem a little more dingy. If your home has some of those suckers, it really is an easy thing to fix. There are tools available to help, like a small brush you fill with your paint that pushes it out onto a small surface area. You could even paint your cabinets, hardware, lamps, doors, trim, or individual walls for an easy, cheap, and fast update.

Change your Hardware
“The devil is in the details.” Not in this case. To change hardware on your drawers, cabinets, etc., all it takes is a screwdriver, and possibly screws. You can usually find them for low prices, and antique stores even have unique old, decorative knobs and hardware.

upgrades

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Sneaky Storage Tips & Tricks

Regardless of the size of your house, at some point or other, you’ve probably wished for more storage space. This rings true especially for those with smaller rooms, cabinets, and closets. Sometimes having a more minimalist approach can be beneficial to help with this problem: thinking about only what you need and actually use, rather than piling all that random junk together that you haven’t even thought about using in years.

KISS
No, not the band. The tried and true acronym “Keep It Simple, Silly” applies in the most fitting way in the process of organizing and cleansing your home of clutter. Ask yourself what you truly will use in the future. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t needed to use something in over a couple years, the odds are that you won’t need it again. Decide what your priorities and needs are in your life, and keep what is most important and necessary to you.

Build Up
The same thing that is necessary when city space becomes used up applies here. You maybe have taken up your spare floor space, but you most likely can still fit things in a more vertical fashion. You can even put shelves up that storage bins and containers could fit into, so that every inch of available space is completely maximized. This also applies to hanging closet organizers on the backs of doors, hanging garment bags to store things in, hanging fabric shelves, and hooks. There is a world of vertical storage options.

Pop a Wheelie
Sometimes there are nooks and crannies that aren’t ideal for showing off or sprucing up, but would be a prime place to put rolling shelves, bins, or caddies in. Wheels make storage come to you. Instead of crouching down and climbing under that set of stairs or your bed, place a container there that will do all the work for you.

Stressful storage doesn’t have to be a reality. Put these ideas into motion so that your house (and your life) can be more organized.