Archive for November, 2009

Nov 30 2009

5 Tips for Decorating a Baby Nursery for New Parents

Baby NurseryMany new parents quickly start thinking about how they are going to decorate the baby’s nursery. Decorating a baby nursery is certainly a lot of fun, but there are some essential things that new parents need to keep in mind concerning the decorating process.

1. Keep Safety in Mind at All Times
When decorating your baby’s nursery, it’s important that you keep the baby’s safety in mind at all times. What this means is that you may have to sacrifice any design elements that could potentially be unsafe for your baby. Important factors to consider include: no small pieces that could create choking hazards, no strangling hazards, no items containing toxic chemicals, and no uncovered electrical outlets.

2. Set a Budget and Stick to It
Your baby’s nursery is a decorating project where it is not at all difficult to go way over your budget. These days, there are plenty of cute baby items that are available and you can get lured in rather easily. Therefore, be sure that you create a reasonable budget for the room beforehand and then stick to it. If your budget is limited, you want to spend the bulk of the money you have on a quality crib and furniture rather than other décor items.

3. You Don’t Have to Choose a Theme
Many new parents insist on choosing a theme for their baby’s nursery. A nursery’s décor can look just as nice without a theme as it does with one. By keeping the room simple with some great furniture and nice paint colors, you can create a wonderful nursery for your child. Then later, as your baby gets older, it will be easier to change the room according to what he or she wants. Don’t let other’s convince you that a theme is necessary, as in truth it is only one of your decorating options.

4. Use Your Creativity and Talents
Some of the best baby nurseries have been create by parents who have channeled their creativity and talents into a completely unique nursery design. If you can draw or paint, for instance, you can design your own mural for the nursery wall. Sewers and knitters can also create items to complement the nursery’s décor. Many new parents find that they like the nursery so much better when they have contributed their own talents and designs to the décor of the room.

5. Make Sure the Nursery Is Functional and Practical
In terms of the functionality of a baby nursery, some new parents have to learn the hard way. Although you might want an aesthetically pleasing nursery, it needs to be practical above all else. The key to a functional and practical room is to find furniture and baby items that you will actually use. So if that rocking chair is not comfortable, even though it might look really cute in the corner, chances are that you’re probably not going to use it and you will have wasted your money.

One thing that most new parents look forward to is decorating the nursery. With a little help from these suggestions, you’ll be able to create the best possible baby nursery for your little one.

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Nov 25 2009

4 Tips for Buying Bedding Sets for Your Bedroom

BeddingBelieve it or not, when it comes to choosing bedding, there are literally hundreds of different options available. It’s important to put some time and effort into buying the best bedding set you can, as it will play a significant role in your décor. There are certain things you need to remember before you buy your next bedding set.

Determine the Color and Style
Unless you’ve already found a random bedding set that just jumped out at you and you are decorating your bedroom around that, then you’ll need to determine what color and style of bedding sets you are looking for. This usually depends on what colors and style you’ve chosen to decorate your bedroom with. For instance, if you have settled on a beach-themed bedroom, a zebra-print bedding set will not go with décor, no matter how much you love it.

Some people do the opposite and shop for the bedding set first. Then they base their style and colors for the bedroom off that. Even then, you still want to have some sort of an idea what you want to do in the bedroom. This way you are not aimlessly shopping.

Set a Budget
Having a wide variety of bedding sets to choose from means that you’ll be faced with a wide variety of price points as well. While you might be able to purchase a very inexpensive bedding set for $50, a luxury bedding set may cost up to $2,000. Thus, you might want to decide early on how much of your budget you’re going to want to put forth for the bedding set.

If your project includes decorating the whole bedroom, you need to be sure to set money aside for other items you might need. Also keep in mind that not all bedding sets contain the same pieces for the bed. So you might also end up having to buy extra sheets and pillows for the set as well.

Know the Size of the Bed
You should know what size bed you have and even take the measurements of the mattress before you even start looking at bedding. You want to know the correct size the first time around, so you don’t end up going back to the store and returning items. When you go to measure the mattress, just be sure to measure its length, depth, and width, especially if your mattress is a pillow top.

Research Bedding Materials
Different bedding sets are made of one of several different materials. The price is usually determined by the type of material that’s used, so you’ll need to choose something that’s in your budget. For sheets, you also need to consider the thread count. When the thread count is higher, the sheets will be more luxurious and also more expensive.

The most popular bedding material is cotton, but there are several different types of cotton you can choose from. At the more expensive end is Egyptian cotton, which is also very luxurious. The most common and least expensive material that is sold for bedding is standard cotton. Other available materials include silk, flannel, and chenille.

The bedding set you choose can easily add to or take away from the décor of your bedroom. Be sure to plan accordingly when purchasing a bedding set for your bedroom so you don’t end up with bedding that’s a mistake.

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Nov 24 2009

3 Tips for Arranging Furniture When Decorating Your Home

Mission Slat SofaWhen decorating a room in your home, you want it to be stylish with lots of character, but you also want it to be functional. The furniture takes up the bulk of the space in most rooms, whether it’s in your bedroom or the living room. This is why when you go to decorate your home, it’s important to properly plan where you want to place the furnishings.

Typically, the way you arrange your furniture depends on several different factors. Of course, the type of room you are decorating will be a factor, but so will what furniture you are working with and what style you are going for in your décor. Each room is going to be different when it comes to arranging furniture. However, here are some basic tips to follow when decorating your home.

Choose the Focal Point of the Room
You’re not going to be able to arrange your furniture until you’ve decided where the focal point is going to be in your room. The room might have a natural focal point, such as a bay window or fireplace, or you might choose one of the furnishings you have and build the room around that.

To choose your focal point, pay attention to where your eyes are drawn when you first walk into the room. Wherever that is, you want to focus on that part of the room. Once you’ve determined the focal point, you can now rearrange the furniture in order to emphasize that place in the room.

Plan Your Design
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to play around with a room’s design before they get it the way they like. It’s best to start by arranging the largest pieces of furniture first.

If you’ve already chosen one of your larger pieces of furniture to be the focal point, then that will be easy to place. The largest pieces need to be arranged first since they are going to take up the most space and be more dominant than the smaller pieces in the room. In a bedroom, this might mean figuring out where your bed goes first. In a family room, it may mean planning where the sofa will go.

Your furniture should be placed in relation to the focal point you’ve chosen. Not everything needs to be facing the focal point, but the furnishings should be arranged so that they show off the importance of the focal point. You need to also be sure that you are not putting all the larger pieces together, as it will throw off the balance of the room. After you’ve place the larger pieces, then move on to the smaller ones, such as side tables and chairs.

Consider the Purpose of the Room
You need to consider the purpose of the room when arranging the furniture. In your dining room, for example, you need to pay attention as to whether there’s enough space for people to comfortably pass bytable when others are seated there. In your living room, on the other hand, you want to be sure the seating is close enough together so that people aren’t shouting in order to hear one another. Functionality and purpose are key things to keep in mind when arranging the furniture in any room.

The great thing about arranging furniture in your home is that it’s not set in stone. Once you get the furniture in place, you can always leave it there for a couple of weeks to see how it works out. If in the end you don’t like it or it’s not working, you can always start over again and come up with a different arrangement for the room.

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Nov 23 2009

Quick Decorating Tips to Sell Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Sold SignIf you’re trying to sell your home these days, you’ve probably realized that it’s no easy task. Currently there are many more homes for sale than there are buyers, which makes it a buyer’s market. When faced with a buyer’s market, it’s important that you make sure that your house is dressed to impress.

In this type of market, you might have to do some quick and simple decorating in order to get your house to sell a little faster. Consider using some of these decorating tips when you are trying to sell your home.

Paint the Walls
If your walls are painted in loud or vibrant colors, you might want to think about painting them a more neutral or softer color. Although the new homeowners could come in and do this for themselves, sometimes the color of the walls can be distracting and you run the risk that this might take away from the appeal of the home for certain potential buyers. Painting the walls also helps you clean the home up, giving it a fresh new look.

Keep the Décor Simple
When potential homebuyers go to look at a home that’s for sale, they don’t want to see what it looks like with 20 pictures of your family on the walls. Rather, they want to envision what it would look like if it was their home. Thus, when it’s time to list your home for sale, you might want to consider going around from room to room and removing some of your décor items.

Especially when it comes to your family pictures and other personal items of that nature, you want to keep things simple and neutral. If you’ve got five pictures up on a wall, cut it down to one or even something like a mirror or a clock instead. By keeping the décor simple, you give potential homeowners the freedom to better imagine what the house will look like with their possessions in it.

Replace Anything That’s Broken
Whether it’s a door that’s broken or a burnt-out light bulb, take the time to fix items around your house before you have people come look at it. You might want to take a thorough look around your house and check out the small things, such as light fixtures, doors, trim, cabinets, and appliances. Chances are, the repairs will be simple and inexpensive. It might just take a bottle of caulk to fix up the bathroom sink. Or perhaps you kitchen cabinet might need a new pull handle. These small fixes will help make your home seem well-maintained, which will make it more appealing for potential homebuyers.

Keep It Clean and Organized
You need to make sure that your home is always ready to be shown once you put it up for sale. The first thing to do when you list your home for sale is to give it a good cleaning from top to bottom. Then you’ll need to maintain that cleanliness on a daily basis. On any given day, when someone comes to look at the house, there shouldn’t be any dishes in the sink, dirty towels on the floor, or toys all over.

While you’re trying to sell, organize your home so that everything has a place where it can be put away. Put things you’re not using at the moment (such as seasonal items) in a separate storage facility. This way, the storage areas in the home will be more open, giving you plenty of space in which to store the things you still have. This is important, as some potential buyers will walk away from a messy, crowded home without even looking at it.

If you want to sell your home fast, you’ll want to consider making some of these simple and quick decorating changes in order to make you home more appealing to potential buyers.

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Nov 20 2009

How to Create Your Own Spa Bathroom on a Budget

Spa BathroomMost people would love to have a spa bathroom right in their home. A spa bathroom makes a great addition to any home; it can also be quite expensive to install. Completely renovating your bathroom to resemble the local spa is going to cost you. Fortunately, there are some affordable tricks you can do to create a spa-like bathroom on a budget.

Install the Right Lighting
When it comes to the bathroom, lighting plays a major role. After all, adequate lighting is necessary for such things as putting on makeup or brushing and flossing your teeth. At the same time, for a spa atmosphere, you don’t want light that is too bright disturbing you. To create a lighting compromise, install a dimmer switch for your bathroom lighting. This way, you can have full light for everyday tasks but also dimmed lighting to set the mood when you are relaxing in the tub.

Keep Things Clean and Organized
If your spa bathroom is a mess and nothing is organized, you are not going to be able to relax. First, be sure that you have a spot for everything in the bathroom. You might add baskets and bins to the shelves and cabinets, which will help keep things organized. If you like, make your organization stylish by adding wicker baskets and painted shelves to the room.

Add the Right Accessories
Accessories don’t have to cost a lot, and they can make all the difference in a décor.

  • An easy way to create a spa ambiance is by adding candles around the bathtub and the rest of the bathroom.
  • Other things such as flower arrangements and air fresheners are also great additions.
  • Install a radio or CD/MP3 player in the bathtub or place one on a shelf nearby for some soothing and relaxing music.
  • A luxurious bath mat near the tub will keep your feet from hitting the cold tile after a bath.
  • A water feature, such as a small fountain, can also set a relaxing mood for a spa bathroom.
  • Surround that small fountain with a few small plants to create your very own oasis in your bathroom.

Choose Peaceful Colors for the Room
Neutrals and pastels are the best color options for a spa bathroom, especially for the main wall colors. Don’t pick anything too loud or vibrant, such as red or bright yellow, for the walls and décor. Remember, you’re trying to create a peaceful feeling that will best come from lighter colors and neutrals.

Peaceful doesn’t necessarily mean boring, however. You can add splashes of color with towels, candles, flowers, and other décor items. Paint is very inexpensive. By simply painting over a dark or vibrant color with a neutral or pastel, you can easily change the entire look and feel of the room.

When creating a spa bathroom in your home, you don’t have to spend as much money as you think. When you apply a little creativity and work with what you already have in the room, you’ll find that there are plenty of ways that you can create a spa feeling in your bathroom without breaking your budget.

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Nov 19 2009

How to Create a Focal Point in a Room

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

FireplaceSome rooms naturally have a focal point, whereas other rooms might require you to add something to create that focal point.  But before you add anything to the room, be sure to take the time to look closely at that room to see what it already has to offer. If you already have something like a fireplace in the room, this is a natural focal point that can easily be played up when decorating.

A large piece you already have in the room might make a great focal point, such as a bookcase, a dresser, an entertainment center,  or even a couch. You may only have to rearrange some furniture to create a focal point if you already have something in the room you can use. Or you might have to start from scratch in choosing the proper focal point for a room.

The Fireplace as a Focal Point
A fireplace provides a great natural focal point for any room. If you have a fireplace in the room, then there are plenty of ways you can draw attention to it.

For an instant focal point, arrange the furniture around the fireplace. But there are also other things you can do. You might draw attention to that area by painting the wall the fireplace is on a different color than the rest of the room. You could also change the style of the fireplace or add a new mantle to it in order to draw more attention there. Then top the mantle with eye-catching décor items, or hang a large piece of art over it.

The Couch as a Focal Point
If you have a favorite couch that you just love, with a little rearranging you can make it the focal point of the room. Just be sure the couch is in great condition. If it’s necessary, you might want to add a slipcover to it.

You can add colorful or patterned pillows or throws to the couch to draw attention there. Then arrange the rest of the furniture so it is facing the couch. A large couch can be placed in the middle of the longest wall in the room. Side tables can be added to the couch as well.

The Armoire or Entertainment Center as a Focal Point
If you have a media room or family room and want an armoire or entertainment center to be its focus, be sure to concentrate on that piece’s quality. After all, you don’t want an entertainment center that’s cheap-looking to be the main focus of the room. Thus, be sure to invest in an attractive piece of furniture that’s also of decent quality.

It’s not a bad idea to also look for a furnishing with doors that will hide any electronics. You can add additional style to the furnishing with flower arrangements, candles, and frames.

You can come up with many other ways to create a focal point in a room. After all, you will probably want to show off different pieces in different room. In a bedroom, a popular focal point is the bed, for instance. Remember to use your creativity in showing off and highlighting your focal point as best you can.

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Nov 16 2009

How to Decorate a Room with a Black-and-White Theme

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Black & White DecorIf you’re having trouble finding the right colors for a room or you’ve just always loved the contrast of a black-and-white style, then consider a black-and-white color scheme. A black-and-white style will fit a number of décors, including contemporary and French country. The colors black and white are considered limiting by many when it comes to décor, but there are actually a variety of ideas you can implement with a black-and-white-themed room.

Keep the Walls Light
With a black-and-white scheme, the last thing you want is black walls. The walls need to be kept light with a white or soft ivory color. Light walls will provide the perfect backdrop for hanging pieces of art and black shelves on the walls. For a greater contrast on the walls, use black paint on the crown molding and trim instead.

Add Patterns to the Black-and-White Room
You can keep a black-and-white room from seeming boring by adding patterns to the décor. Any type of pattern will work. You might choose stripes, checks, paisleys or toiles. If you are really daring, you might want to consider including animal prints, such as a zebra, into the décor.

  • A couch or chair with a b lack-and-white pattern goes great in a living room or family room.
  • In the bedroom, a comforter with a black-and-white pattern will add some interest to the room.
  • In a kitchen or dining room with a black-and-white theme, consider patterned window treatments or fabric on the chairs.
  • Other accessories such as black-and-white-patterned blankets, towels, pillows, and wallpaper borders will also make an interesting addition to the room.
  • You can also add interest to a room with black-and-white-patterned towels, pillows, blankets, and wallpaper borders.

Change It Up with the Seasons

For those who love to decorate their home according to the different seasons, a black-and-white theme can provide the perfect backdrop. Seasonal accessories can be added: either small pieces like knickknacks, candles, and vases, or larger items such as artwork, an area rug, or a blanket thrown over the back of a couch.

  • At Christmastime, red decorations always go great with a black-and-white scheme.
  • In the fall, you can add orange elements to the room to give things an autumnal feel.
  • For spring and summer, consider lightening the room up a bit more with brighter accents such as turquoise or yellow.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to decorate a room in a black-and-white style. Simply shop around for pieces that will both fit your black-and-white color scheme and the specific style of your décor. Also, don’t feel like you need to stick only to the black-and-white theme. With a hint of color strategically placed here and there, you can quickly add some personality to the room. By adding your own style and flair to your black-and-white décor, you can create a room that feels like your own.

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Nov 13 2009

4 Tips for Creating a Child’s Bathroom

Kid's BathroomMost bathrooms are designed for adults. But if you have a kids’ bathroom in your home, you might have to adjust your focus when it comes to decorating. It’s not that difficult to create a bathroom perfect for a child, particularly if you remember who you are decorating for and address any problems your children may have with your ideas.

Accessibility Is Key
If you are creating a bathroom for your child, it’s important to make sure that your child will actually be able to use the bathroom by himself. There are many different ways by which you can make the room more accessible, especially for those younger children. Simple things like a kid-friendly faucet or cabinet pulls can instantly create a more accessible bathroom for your child. Place a stepstool in the bathroom if your child can’t reach the sink by himself, or consider lowering the height of the counter and sink.

Make the Bathroom Safe
A bathroom can actually be a pretty dangerous place for a child. If you want peace of mind when your child goes to do things by herself in her own bathroom, it’s a good idea to make the room as safe as possible.

  • If there’s a shower, be sure to install non-slip adhesive decals or a mat for your child.
  • Place a cover over the faucet and bathtub spout that will control the temperature of the water and prevent scalding.
  • Don’t place items up high that your child will have to climb to reach.
  • Don’t place toothbrushes and other items above the toilet or sink; put them down lower in a cabinet.

Add Plenty of Storage
A child can accumulate a lot of items in one bathroom. The key to getting your child to keep the bathroom neat is to have plenty of organized storage in the room. As with anywhere, if children have a specific place to put something away, then they will be more likely to do so. Use plastic baskets and bins for larger items and then drawer organizers and bins for smaller ones. A separate bucket for tub toys is also a great idea, so they’re not all over the bathtub.

Sharing Is Possible in a Child’s Bathroom
Don’t worry if more than one child will need to share the bathroom. You can avoid a lot of problems by keeping things organized and labeled. For instance, give each child his or her own basket or bin on its own shelf, which will prevent confusion over whose item is whose. If you have a larger bathroom, you might want to even consider installing a double sink in the room, which will prevent fights when everybody is getting ready. Ask each child for design ideas. This way everyone will feel like they’ve had a say in the bathroom’s décor.

You’ll be surprised how fun it is to design a child’s bathroom, particularly when you get your child involved in the process. This is a great project that you and your child can plan and create together, resulting in a special bathroom specifically designed for your child.

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Nov 12 2009

4 Simple Ways to Decorate Your Dining Room Table on a Budget

Dining Table DecorationsDecorating your dining table is much simpler than it might seem. Some people spend thousands of dollars just on decorating their dining furniture. But it may not even take a hundred dollars to get that beautifully decorated dining room table you’ve always dreamed of. You can look around and see what you already have.  Then with a little creativity, you can come up with a great-looking dining room table on a budget.

Keep Placemats or a Tablecloth on the Table
You can instantly bring style to your dining sets by adding placemats or a tablecloth. Tablecloths and placemats can be quite expensive, but fortunately, there are plenty of less-expensive options available at department or discount stores. If you have a sewing machine, you can really save some money by making your own out of inexpensive fabric.

Remember, the fabric you choose is going to set the style for the table. For a clean and simple look, choose a plan-colored fabric. But if you plan on only having placemats or the tablecloth on the table, then you might want to go with something with patterns or designs.

Utilize the China You Already Have
If you have a good set of china, consider displaying it on your dining room table, rather than simply storing it away in a kitchen cabinet or hutch. This is a great way to add some interest to the table. It doesn’t matter whether you plan on using the china any time soon or not, as you are only displaying it for décor reasons. For those of you who already have a good set of china, you don’t have to pay any money for a new setting to put on display.

Look to Nature for Décor Pieces
What’s great about nature is that it provides us with so many different decorating options that are free. When you’re outdoors, it’s easy to come up with some really beautiful and unique dining room table centerpiece ideas.

  • Creating a pretty centerpiece can be as simple as a vase of freshly picked flowers—and they smell nice too.
  • A bowl filled with pinecones and dried flowers can really get your dining table ready for the fall season.
  • If you have an apple tree or know someone who does, you can place some apples in a bowl for a centerpiece.
  • Lemons and limes in a bowl also make a great centerpiece.
  • Try placing a simple potted plant on the table for a clean, fresh look.

Use Candles to Decorate Your Dining Room Table
With candles on your dining room table, you can not only add a romantic ambiance to the room, but you will give your table greater interest and style. There are plenty of inexpensive candles available that can be placed in a row or a circle in the center of the table. You might also consider a candelabra for the centerpiece. For another centerpiece idea, add a glass bowl filled with water to the table and fill it with floating candles. These days, there are so many different candles available that you will easily be able to find something that not only looks great but fits your unique decorating style.

There’s no need to spend a lot of time or expense decorating your dining room table. With any of these great dining room table decorating ideas, you can stick to your budget while creating a stylish and unique table for your home.

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Nov 11 2009

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: November 11 , 2009

Published by under History,Photo of the Week,Store

Leon Tuberman - Circa 1953

There’s Leon, president of Barn Furniture Mart, on one of his first deliveries (circa 1953). Can’t start ’em too early, I guess. Wondering what Leon looks like today? Check out Leon’s Facebook profile and find out!

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