Archive for December, 2009

Dec 30 2009

How to Use Baskets to Decorate and Organize Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

When you incorporate baskets into your home décor in order to accessorize and organize your space, you can keep your rooms looking orderly as well as give them some style. Baskets come in hundreds of different shapes and sizes. Decorative baskets also come in a variety of materials, from wicker to plastic to different types of pliable wood. Here are some great ways to use baskets in order to decorate and organize the rooms of your home.

Decorate with a Flower Arrangement
Find a wicker or wood basket that has a tight weave (so you won’t be able to see the foam through the basket). Then arrange artificial flowers in the basket to make a pretty flower arrangement. You can place this basket just about anywhere in a room. Smaller baskets can be placed in the bathroom, maybe on a shelf or above the cabinet, whereas larger baskets work well on a coffee table or shelf in the living room. A flower arrangement basket also works great as a kitchen or dining room table centerpiece.

Place Baskets under a Coffee or End Table
Place a decorative basket in those empty spaces under your coffee table or end table. The basket ends up doing double duty, as it helps decorate the table and adds additional storage space to the room as well. The basket will be a great place to keep items such as blankets, extra pillows, magazines, and children’s toys readily available yet out of sight.

Hang Baskets on the Walls
You can hang up certain kinds of decorative baskets on the walls that will look very stylish. You can either use one large basket to fill a space or try a collage of smaller baskets. If you’re going to use them in this way, look for decorative baskets that are different colors and are unique shapes so they will draw attention. Be sure to select a shallow basket that doesn’t stick out too far though, as deep baskets don’t work so well for hanging. When hanging the basket, be sure the bottom of the basket fits flat against the wall.

Fill the Basket with Decorative Items
One popular way to use a basket to decorate the room is to fill it with assorted decorative items. Good decorative items to use include decorative balls, rocks, marbles, potpourri, foods such as fruits, and holiday decorations. Then you can place these baskets on tables, shelves, and counters, and even on the floor.

It’s important, however, to use baskets appropriate to the style of your room. In other words, don’t put an old-fashioned wicker basket in a modern-style room. Rather, a country-themed room would be perfect for that style of basket.

There are many other ways you can find to use baskets to decorate your home. Baskets are perhaps the most versatile of décor items. They look great, are great for storage and helping to keep a room organize, and can be used in every room of the home.

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Dec 29 2009

4 Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for a Dining Room

One common misconception is that a homeowner has to spend a lot of money on the dining room in order to make it look good. This is absolutely not true. You’d be surprised how many budget-friendly ways there are to decorate your dining room and have it look very stylish and put together. Here are some inexpensive decorating ideas for your dining room to help get you started.

Decorate with Your China
Rather than keeping your beautiful set of china stored away, put it on display for all to see. This is a great way to use something you already own to decorate your dining room. Your china will look great displayed in an armoire or china cabinet. Or if you like, place it on a shelf on the wall.

You might also hang the plates on the wall in a decorative pattern, if this is an old china set that you don’t use anymore. You might also use your china settings to set your oak dining table in order to give it more of a finished look.

Make the Window Treatments
There are plenty of different ways (that don’t require you to be a seamstress) that you can make your own inexpensive window treatments. You can add a stylish touch to otherwise boring blinds or drapes by simply taking a long silk scarf and draping it over the curtain rod. You might also use placemats and tablecloths for your window treatments. This way, they’ll match the same design that’s on your table.

Use Nature to Decorate the Dining Room
Look to your own backyard in spring, summer, and fall, to find décor items for your dining room straight from nature. Try filling up a large wicker basket with all sorts of natural items such as flowers, stones, leaves, fruits, and twigs. Arrange the items attractively and then place the basket on the dining room table to create a seasonal centerpiece. By creating a seasonal basket, you can change up the look of your dining room with each season and stay well within your budget.

Make Your Own Artwork
If you are creative, you might choose to save money on your dining room décor by creating your own artwork. After all, the most expensive décor items in the house are probably pieces of art. When you create your own art pieces, you can really save a substantial amount of money.

Even if you’re not very creative of can’t draw or paint, you can still create some sort of art piece to hang on your wall. One option is to purchase some fabric that matches the style of your dining room and a few inexpensive plain photo frames or blank canvases. All you have to do is pull the fabric tightly over the frame or canvas and staple it in place on the back. Then, voila! You now have a decorative fabric piece to hang on the wall. For a great backdrop for the dining room, hang a couple of these in different sizes and fabric patterns to create a collage.

You don’t need to establish a large budget in order to decorate your dining room. Simply take the time to look around your home and find items that you can recycle in the room’s décor. You can really get creative and use your sense of style to come up with unique ways to decorate. Then your dining room will reflect your personality and look like you spent a lot of money on it, even when you didn’t spend a dime.

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Dec 23 2009

3 Tips for Choosing Slipcovers for a Family Room

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Do you want to change up the theme or style of your living room? You don’t necessarily have to buy all new couches and chairs to match the new look of the décor. You can easily change the style and colors of your furnishings by adding slipcovers to the décor. Here are some helpful hints to help you get started in looking for new slipcovers for your family room furnishings.

Choose Cotton or Polyester-Blend Slipcovers for High-Traffic Areas
For high-traffic family rooms, your best bet will always be a slipcover that’s a cotton or polyester blend. This type of material will hold up the best when it comes to wear and tear. It does tend to wrinkle, but you can run an iron over the slipcovers and the wrinkles come right out. You should be able to find cotton and polyester slipcovers that are relatively inexpensive, although there are higher-end cotton slipcovers available as well.

Buy the Appropriate Size Slipcover
If you find the perfect slipcover for your couch but it’s not quite big enough, do not try to use it. A too-small slipcover on a couch or chair will end up looking too tight and you will probably be able to see parts of the couch peeking out from under it. It’s not any better to use a slipcover that’s too large for a furniture piece. This will only end up making the furniture look very sloppy and unpolished. Be sure to measure your furniture before you go out to look for a slipcover. This will ensure the proper fit.

Decide What Type of Slipcover You Prefer
Some people look for slipcovers that form fit against the couch, so that every line in the couch is visible. The other option is a looser-fitting slipcover, one that simply drapes and hangs loosely off the couch and other furniture. Keep in mind that tight-fitting slipcovers need to be constantly rearranged due to people sitting and moving about on it. This type of slipcover also may rip more easily from being pulled too tight or in a wrong direction. Decide what type of slipcover you want based on your preferences and the style of the room before you go out and buy one.

People choose to use slipcovers for a variety of different reasons. For one thing, they can be used to hide stains or rips on cushions that are otherwise in great condition. They can also be used to change the look of a room when redecorating. Some people even use them to give their room a different look with the changing of the seasons. Whatever your reason, take care to choose your slipcovers carefully. After all, once you slip them over the furniture, they will become one of the main focuses of the room.

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Dec 22 2009

How to Decorate Your Home with Old China Plates

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Rather than simply throwing your old china plates away, why not use them to decorate different rooms in your house? By reusing items you already have, you can really save money on decorating your home. When you use them creatively, old china plates can really add to the décor of your home.

Make a Mosaic Table from Old China Plates
Don’t toss those old chipped or broken plates in the garbage. Rather, break them up further so you can use them to make a mosaic table from all the broken pieces.

  • Simply break the pieces of the china into smaller pieces.
  • Next, arrange the piece on a flat-surfaced table, such as a coffee table or side table.
  • Then glue those pieces to the table, creating a mosaic pattern.
  • Use grout to seal the pieces in place and give the table a finished appearance.
  • Arrange the pieces in whatever pattern you like. You might even choose to use colored grout, which will give the table some more character.

Display Old China Plates on a Shelf
Do your old china plates have some character to them? They why not display them on a shelf in your home? You don’t have to limit your use of china plates as décor items to the dining room. Depending on how they fit the style of the room, these plates can be displayed in the living room, the kitchen, and even the bedroom.

If you can, find a shelf that matches the style of the plates. A distressed wood shelf is a great option for plates that are old and look antique. You can really give the area a unique style by using all different sizes of the plates.

Hang Old China Plates on the Wall
Plate hangers are available at craft and home stores and will allow you to easily hang any plate securely on the wall. This is perhaps the most popular way to decorate with china plates, although you can hang all different types and sizes of plates in a single area to create a more unique look. To create a trendy décor space, you might want to look in consignment shops and flea markets for other plates to mix in with your old china.

Paint the Old China Plates
If your old plates are white or even a solid color, you can paint them to match the décor of your room. Be sure to use acrylic paint. You can either paint them all one color, or if you are creative, you can paint pictures or patterns on them. Paint the plates to fit the décor of your dining room or kitchen, and then hang them on the wall or put them on a shelf. By using old china plates this way, you can give your room a new look. If you like, give your kids a couple of plates to paint and then hang up this cute art project in their bedroom.

So when you decide that it’s time to buy new china plates, don’t just throw your old ones away. Instead, you can save yourself some money by using them to decorate your home.

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Dec 16 2009

5 Decorating Tips for Making Your Bedroom a Peaceful Environment

Relaxing BedroomMost people want their bedroom to be a relaxing retreat from the craziness of the world, but many time it doesn’t end up that way. Sometimes trouble relaxing and sleeping at night can be traced to the way the bedroom is decorated and organized. If you want to create a peaceful and relaxing environment in your bedroom, here are some things to keep in mind.

Get Rid of the Television
The number-one distraction in the bedroom that keeps people from relaxing and even falling asleep at night is the television. One room in the home that a television definitely doesn’t belong in is the bedroom. Although some people swear by falling asleep to the television at night, many experts believe that having a television on before you go to sleep does more harm than good. So when planning out your bedroom, skip the television, because you absolutely don’t need it.

Choose Relaxing Colors for the Walls
If the colors in your bedroom are either too bold or too dark, that can also be a distraction. Be sure the colors on the walls are relaxing and peaceful, which will result in a more serene environment. Stick with neutral or pastel colors in your décor. Colors such as tan, cream, light pink, and light yellow work great in a bedroom. Harsh colors such as red, black, and dark green can actually affect your mood in a negative way and thus you want to avoid them in the bedroom.

Get a Comfortable Bed and Mattress
While it’s nice to have a wood bed that matches your bedroom’s décor, it’s much more important to be sure that it’s comfortable. It’s not easy to fall asleep at night if your bed and mattress are uncomfortable. If you absolutely must have a certain type of design for your bed, than be sure to buy a really comfortable mattress in order to compensate for any awkwardness.

Include a Water Feature in the Bedroom
When creating a relaxing bedroom atmosphere, consider adding a water feature such as a small fountain. Many people really enjoy falling asleep at night to the soft trickle of water. For many, the sound helps clear and calm the mind, allowing them to fall asleep much faster. If you’re considering putting a water feature in your bedroom, just be sure that the sound is soothing to you, and not annoying.

Buy the Proper Window Treatments to Block Out the Light
In the bedroom, window treatments have double duty. They need to be functional, as well as adding some character and style to the décor of the room. Your bedroom’s window treatments should be able to block out the light. That way, you’re not having to wake up at 5:00 a.m. with the sun. A great option is to choose a great curtain or valance with which to dress the window and then add a pair of functional blinds as well.

Before you start to decorate your bedroom, consider what items most help you to relax. These are the things you’re going to want to incorporate into the room’s design. No matter how perfectly a décor item fits with the theme of the bedroom, that doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs there.

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Dec 15 2009

5 Interior Decorating Tips for Feng Shui

Published by under Decorating

Feng Shui BedroomPracticing feng shui in home décor has become a popular way to style a room. When you decorate using the principles of feng shui, you work to utilize the space in your home effectively to maintain good chi, or energy. To achieve the right feng shui in a room, there are certain things that a homeowner must or must not do when it comes to decorating. To maintain good chi in your home, consider the following interior decorating tips.

Include Color in the Room
There are certain colors in feng shui decorating that you should use if you want to promote good energy in the room. All of the colors stand for different things. For instance, the color red stands for good luck, which is why red is such a popular color in feng shui design. For a fresh and peaceful look, decorate with green. Use yellow if you’re looking for another good luck color.

When practicing feng shui, none of the colors used should be unappealing or distracting to the homeowner. Rather, you should go with colors that have a comfortable feel to them.

Keep the Room Simple
Typical feng shui design does not involve overly crowded spaces full of stuff. You want to keep the room very simple, with only basic furniture and a few accessories. In the feng shui practice, a room should never be cramped, as that will only create negative energy in the room.

When implementing a feng shui design, start out with the basics, such as a piece of furniture and maybe another added piece to begin with. Then slowly add a few more items as needed. You want to be sure you don’t go overboard on the accessories or décor items.

Use Natural Materials
It’s important to use natural materials wherever possible when practicing feng shui. Natural materials—such as bamboo, hemp, and organic fabrics—will help keep the negative chi away that can be found with products that are artificial. If you want to practice feng shui in your home, you might want to consider installing a bamboo wood floor or having an organic cotton slipcover over your couch.

Decorate with Plants
If you want create a room with good chi, then add some plants to your décor. Plants are a wonderful addition to any feng shui design, as they are living objects that help the environment.

There are lots of different varieties of plants you can use to fit the décor of each room. A small potted plant might work great in one room and in another you might put a large standing tree in the corner. Both of these plants will make a great addition to any room with a feng shui décor.

Decorate and Design According to the Bagua
An energy map for a room is called a bagua. If you really want to get serious about feng shui decorating, then you’ll need to determine and follow the bagua specifically according to the shape and size of a particular room. For instance, a long dining room isn’t going to have the same energy map as a small kitchen. Once you use the bagua to determine the life areas, you can then start decorating your various rooms using feng shui.

As feng shui design has become more and more popular, it is becoming known more as a decorating style rather than a philosophy. If you’re interested in embracing the feng shui life and bringing some positive chi into your home, then learn more about feng shui practices and how to incorporate them in your home’s décor.

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Dec 14 2009

4 Creative Ways to Display Art in Your Home

ArtworkIf you have a favorite piece of art but are unsure as to how to display it, there are a couple of different options to choose from. You can easily go beyond simply hanging the piece of artwork on the wall. Choose from one of these creative ways to display your art instead.

Use Ribbon to Hang Art on the Wall
Rather than simply putting a nail in the wall, use ribbon to hang the art from the wall instead. Carefully choose your ribbon so that it adds to the art and complements it well. Hang ribbon either from a hook or screw in the middle of the back of the art piece or from both sides. Then place a hook on the wall or use a small nail to hang the ribbon from. Look to make sure that the artwork is hanging evenly, especially if you are using more than one ribbon to hang it by.

Place Artwork on a Decorative Shelf
A great place to display art is on a decorative shelf. You should be able to find all different types of decorative shelves and ledges that will add to the beauty of the piece of art you want to display.

You want to be sure that the shelf you choose is the appropriate size for the piece you are going to display. Instead of displaying only one piece, you might also choose to display a collection of art on the shelf. Before placing any artwork on your shelf or ledge, it’s important to be sure that it’s properly installed on the wall.

Use a Fireplace Mantel to Display Art
Do you have a nice fireplace mantel in your home? Why not draw even more attention to your mantel by placing a piece of artwork on it? Try placing the piece on the mantel, up against the wall, instead of hanging it above.

You want the art piece to be smaller than the mantel, but you don’t want it so small that you can’t really see it. If the artwork is small, try placing two or three smaller pieces on the mantel for a unique look, rather than just the one. Do be sure to secure the piece of art so it won’t fall down off the mantel.

Find Unique Hangers for the Art
There are many different things you can use to hang artwork that you probably haven’t even thought of. Your favorite stocking holder makes a great hanger. Simply nail it to the wall and use it to hold your favorite piece of art.

You might also use a rope or chain that hangs from the ceiling or the top of the wall. One piece can be hung from it or several pieces. Hang the artwork either vertically or horizontally, depending on the length of the wall. By hanging your pieces of art across a blank wall, you are essentially creating something like a clothesline.

You don’t have to keep displaying pieces of art in your home in the same old boring ways. Whatever the style or theme of your décor is, there are plenty of creative and crafty ways to display art in your home. So get creative and use one of these ideas to display art in your home.

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Dec 11 2009

4 Tips for Decorating a Galley Kitchen

Galley KitchenGalley kitchens tend to be smaller and thus need to be decorated, not only in terms of style, but so that you’re utilizing all the available space in the area. There are many decorating techniques you can use to make your galley kitchen, not only appear larger, but also be more functional for you. Read on to discover some great tips for decorating your galley kitchen to make it work best for you.

Maximize Your Vertical Space
When creating a galley kitchen that’s both stylish and functional, you need to be sure that you’re utilizing all the available space—and this includes any vertical space you might have. A major waste of space in a galley kitchen is cabinets that don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.

If you have cabinets that don’t extend all the way up, then reclaim that space by using those cabinets as a shelf and placing items on top of them. Baskets and bins added to the top of your cabinets make a great place to store those kitchen items you may not use very often. If you don’t need all that storage space, then add a plant or display some beautiful dishes there to add some style to the room.

Add Plenty of Light
The majority of galley kitchens dead-end into a wall and therefore tend to be dark. Thus, it’s really important to make sure that you have plenty of light in the kitchen. If you do have a window, choose treatments that will allow the maximum amount of light to filter into the room. A great idea for a galley kitchen is overhead lighting. Track lighting is even better, as it will allow you to aim the light wherever you want it in the kitchen.

Make Kitchen Supplies Work Double Duty
Use your kitchen supplies rather than bringing in décor items to hang on the walls of your galley kitchen. This is a great way to save space, as you already need the kitchen supplies anyway, so why not put them on display?

You might choose to display your nice dishes on a shelf in the kitchen. You can hang decorative or monogrammed kitchen towels on the stove or from a peg on the wall—acting as both a towel and a décor item. By getting creative in how you display your kitchen supplies, you’ll be able to save both space and money.

Choose Lighter Colors for the Kitchen’s Décor
You want to stay away from dark colors when painting the walls of your kitchen and choosing the main color scheme, as most galley kitchens tend to be on the small side. An important rule of thumb to remember is that dark colors painted on the walls make a room look much smaller, whereas lighter colors can make the room look bigger.

When you go to paint the walls of your kitchen, choose a neutral color such as cream or white. It’s also advisable to stay away from dark cabinets and countertops. A black granite countertop, for instance, is not going to be the best choice for a galley kitchen. You might also want to stay away from any black or darker appliances and instead go with lighter colors such as white or even stainless steel.

Small galley kitchens can present a challenge when you go to decorate them. However, if you keep these tips in mind and also incorporate your own personal style, you’ll end up with an attractive kitchen that will be much more functional as well.

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Dec 08 2009

How to Use Whiteboard Paint in Different Rooms of Your Home

Whiteboard WallYou can use whiteboard paint in many different rooms in your home, whether it’s to accessorize or add some personality to the décor. Although people typically think of whiteboard paint for a child’s room, it actually can be utilized in other rooms of your home as well. Here are just some of the many unique ways you can use whiteboard paint in different rooms in your home.

Whiteboard Paint in a Child’s Bedroom
The most popular place to use whiteboard paint is in a child’s bedroom. By painting one area of the wall, you can create for your children their very own whiteboard to draw on and play with.

Whiteboard paint can also be use on things in the room like tables and closet doors. In fact, with a little Whiteboard paint you can create personalized closet doors for your children, where they can design and draw any type of scene they wish. This can then be changed as often as they like, perhaps even with the seasons or holidays throughout the year.

Whiteboard Paint in the Kitchen
Section off a wall in the kitchen to be painted with whiteboard paint. Then you’ll have a place to write down menus, grocery lists, or whatever you prefer. If you don’t want to use the wall, you might take a piece of wood and paint it with Whiteboard paint. Then you can hang it up and write your weekly menus on the board for all to see.

You might also use the paint on the refrigerator, if you don’t mind your kids drawing there. What will result is your very own personalized fridge, freshened each day with new drawings from your kids. Another great place for whiteboard paint is your backsplash. This gives you a great place where you can write down messages and recipes, or just doodle while you’re cooking dinner.

Whiteboard Paint in the Home Office
In a home office setting, whiteboard paint can be used in several different ways. Paint a section of the wall, creating your very own message board or monthly/weekly calendar. You could also paint a small piece of wood with Whiteboard paint and frame it. Hang it outside your office door and write messages on it when you don’t want to be bothered. You can also have your family members write messages back to you, keeping them from bothering you when you are working.

Whiteboard Paint in a Game Room
If you have a game room, perhaps with a pool table, then Whiteboard paint makes the perfect place to create your own scoreboard. You can also use this area for other games, such as darts and even some card games. This is a neat permanent feature to add to your game room that can be played up with a nice wooden frame. When not in use, you can put a quote or an inspirational message on it as well.

What better way to add a touch of personality to your walls in your home than with some whiteboard paint? There are so many different creative ways to use whiteboard paint, beyond what you might think of.

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Dec 07 2009

4 Tips for Decorating a Large Living Room

Large Living RoomIf you have a large living room in your house, sometimes it can be challenging to properly decorate that massive space. Large spaces present their own decorating troubles, just as small spaces do. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re having trouble decorating your large living room.

Use Dark Colors to Decorate
Typically, using dark colors when decorating makes a space appear smaller. You can get the room to appear smaller by simply painting the walls a few shades darker than you normally would.

If you’re not looking for the entire room to appear smaller, you can give it less of a large feeling by using darker colors to accessorize. By using dark-colored furniture or even carpet in your large living room, you’ll make the room feel slightly smaller and not so big and open.

Use the Space in the Living Room Accordingly
Depending on how large your living room is, you’re going to want to plan out the space accordingly. Among other things, this means that all the seating shouldn’t be right on top of each other.

The furniture should be spaced out so that it looks evenly distributed across the room. There should also be an adequate amount of space left between the couch and the coffee table so that people are able to walk in between the two. With the proper utilization of space, you can prevent a large room from looking too cold and open, instead making it feel more comfortable and quaint.

Use Large Pieces of Art to Decorate the Walls
Before you choose a piece of art for your wall, you need to consider the area of blank space you are working with. For instance, you don’t want to hang a 5×7 picture on a very large blank wall. Rather, hang a portrait or some other piece that will take up most of the upper half of the wall. If a larger piece of art is out of your price range, you might try making a pattern or collage on the wall with several pieces of smaller artwork. Remember, though, that the artwork needs to be spaced out so that it covers the majority of the wall.

Buy a Large Piece of Furniture
If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider purchasing a large piece of furniture for your living room. You might look for an entertainment center a bookcase, a large couch, or even something like a piano or pool table.

By placing a large furnishing in the room, the large room will appear smaller and everything will seem more in proportion. You can also use this oversized furnishing as a focal point and decorate the rest of the room around it.

When it comes to decorating a large living room, you need to focus on properly utilizing the space in the room. By only using a small area of the room, the room will then look massive and not very appealing. Instead, if you use the space, including the walls, as much as possible, your large living room will be very appealing, with perhaps even a quaint and comfortable feel to it.

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