Archive for January, 2010

Jan 29 2010

How to Decorate Using Murals

Murals are a fabulous way to add some interest and style to a room’s décor. Murals can be used in many different types of rooms, from the kitchen to the bedroom. This is a very popular way to add some design to a large area. Read on for some basic tips on decorating with murals in your home.

What Is a Mural?
When you paint or draw any type of design or picture directly on the wall, that is called a mural. A mural can be anything at all, from a picture of a beach scene to a pattern of dots or stripes on the wall. In terms of application, murals can be painted on, drawn on, or even stuck on the wall.

Tips for Painting or Drawing a Mural on the Wall
If you are going to attempt to paint or draw your own mural on the wall, then be sure to research your supplies first. Only use paint that is suitable for wall murals. You also need to be sure that it can go over whatever surface you may be painting on. If you’re not confident in your artistic abilities, there are other ways to create your own mural. For instance, many home décor and arts and crafts stores offer stencils and also pictures that you can blow up and trace on the wall. More often than not, a stencil is a wise decision, as not many people can freehand a large mural.

Sticking Your Mural on the Wall
If you are not able to draw or paint very well, you can always use decals or wallpaper murals instead. You pretty much just have to hang these murals on the wall, but they look just like real painted-on murals. For wallpaper murals, all you need is glue and water, as they are hung just like regular wallpaper. Decals are more like stickers and come with an adhesive already on the back of them.

Hire a Professional to Make Your Mural
A professional artist is always an option for creating a mural, especially if you’re not working within a tight budget. If you have a very large mural you want done or if you are not in the least bit artistic, this is a great option. Just be aware that this approach can quickly get expensive, particularly if the mural ends up being large and intricate. Depending on the size of the space and the level of detail, some murals may take a few days. Therefore, you want to be sure that you budget accordingly.

Where to Add Murals in Your Home
Just about any room in your home will benefit from the addition of a mural. You might consider adding a great nursery mural to welcome a new little one. Or you might want to add a mural to that large empty wall in your dining room that fits the style of the room. You might consider adding a mural to the bathroom or kitchen as well. Remember, a mural doesn’t have to be huge and it doesn’t have to be the only thing on the wall. You just want to be sure that it’s somehow highlighted in the room.

With so many options, you don’t necessarily have to be artistic to add a mural to your home. You can always go the wallpaper or decal route or even hire a professional artist instead. Murals will add some design style to your décor and are also a good way to demonstrate your personality in your home.

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Jan 28 2010

Different Color Schemes for Decorating Your Home

Homeowners often become overwhelmed when it comes time to choose a color scheme for a room. The tricky part about choosing a color scheme is that once you choose one color, you then have to decide what other potential colors to put in the room as well. So what’s the best way to choose a color scheme? One of the best tools to have at your fingertips is a color wheel.

What Is the Color Wheel?
Sir Isaac Newton was the first to use the color wheel. He performed an experiment with a prism. What he discovered was that pure white light had a wide spectrum of reflective colors. People have been using this spectrum of colors ever since. Known as the color wheel, it’s helpful for decorating and classifying colors.

The Classification of Colors Using the Color Wheel
The colors on the color while are basically classified into three different categories. 1. The primary colors consist of red, yellow, and blue. 2. Next are the secondary colors, or orange, green, and violet. These colors are created by mixing the primary colors. 3. Then you have the tertiary colors, including red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, and yellow-green. You combine the primary colors with the secondary colors next to them to create these colors.

Monochromatic Color Scheme Explained
A monochromatic color scheme is just like it sounds. This approach to color involves picking one color and then using only that color for the entire room. The key to this color scheme is to use varying shades, from light to dark, of that color. You can also use white in the color scheme, which will help break up the color.

Analogous Color Scheme Explained
A analogous color scheme will include anywhere from two to six different colors in the décor of a room. Here, you use colors that are adjacent to one another on the color wheel. For instance, the color red would use orange or purple as accent colors, since they are the colors next to red on the wheel. Start with your main color first, and then you can choose between you accent colors.

Complementary Color Scheme Explained
The complementary color scheme is one of the more popular approaches to color design. Essentially, you begin with a main color (such as yellow or red) and then go directly across to color wheel to find its complementary color. For yellow, for instance, the complementary color would be in the purple family. For the color green, you would look in the pinks. This can always be played with a little bit. Try mixing the family of colors: it could be green and pink, or it could be green and red.

Triad Color Scheme Explained
Another very popular design for homeowners is the triad color scheme. Here you use three colors that on the color wheel form a triangle together. One triad combination would be orange, green, and purple. Make one of these colors your main color and use the others for accent colors, or choose two colors and then accent with the third.

Remember also that both black and white are neutrals. So you can add them to any color scheme without changing that scheme too much. By playing around with the color wheel and some of these color scheme suggestions, you will be able to come up with some great options for the rooms in your home.

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Jan 27 2010

Great Tips for Decorating a Kid’s Bathroom

When decorating a kid’s bathroom, it’s easy to get carried away. But you do need to be sure that the room is functional as well as fun. You don’t need to undertake a big remodeling project to create a perfect bathroom for a kid. Often, all that’s needed in a great decorating plan that makes sense. When it’s time to decorate a kid’s bathroom, keep in mind the following tips.

Get Your Kid Involved in the Decorating
By giving your child a say in decorating a room, you make it much more likely that he or she will use that room and keep it clean and organized. When it comes to choosing colors and a scheme for the bathroom, consider your child’s opinion (if he or she is old enough). See if your child would be interested in helping you paint or making art projects to hang on the walls. They will be much more enthusiastic about the bathroom if they are involved in any aspect of the decorating.

Always Remember Safety First When Decorating
When designing your child’s bathroom, it’s important to keep issues of safety in mind at all times. It’s so easy to get caught up in planning and implementing the design, and then realize belatedly that you’ve created a safety hazard. This is particularly important for younger kids and toddlers. If there are younger children in the home, remember to add things like a non-slip tub mat and safety latch for the toilet. It’s also a good idea to add safety locks to the cabinets to keep medications out of the reach of little hands.

Be Sure to Add Plenty of Storage and Organization Space
If you want your kid’s bathroom to stay clean, then you need to provide a designated space for everything in the room. By providing your kids with plenty of storage and organization space, you will make it more likely that they’ll clean up than if they don’t have a place to put their stuff. Place smaller bins and baskets in the cabinets and drawers to help organize them. Also keep in mind that your storage and organizational spaces can be decorative ones as well.

Add Style or a Theme with Small Touches
Kids grow up so fast. It’s therefore often smarter to decorate the room in a neutral manner, keeping the walls and flooring plain. You can then add stylish flair to the room with smaller décor items. After all, wallpaper borders and shower curtains can easily be changed later on. Other smaller décor items that will add instant style are towels, baskets, and artwork.

Get Creative with the Decorating
Remember that this is a kid’s bathroom—not your dining room or living room. Therefore, you can get creative—even go a little crazy—with the décor. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when decorating this room. It doesn’t need to match the style of the rest of your décor, particularly since the only people who will probably see it are you and your kids.

Both parents and kids can have a lot of fun decorating a kid’s bathroom. By keeping these tips in mind, you can be well on your way to creating a great kid’s bathroom.

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Jan 26 2010

Design Styles for Living Rooms

There are dozens of different design styles that you can choose from when you decorate your living room. It’s important to remember when decorating your living room that you want to like the style and be comfortable in the room, since you’ll most likely be spending a lot of time there. Here are some different living room design styles for you to consider.

Mission Design Style
Built using the traditional materials like oak and cherry wood this style adds a bold and and elegant look to any living room. Started at the turn of the last century, the Mission or Arts & Crafts style has endured for decades due to its simple designs that were a direct response to opulent Victorian area furniture that was popular at the time. Inspired by minimalistic designs of the Japanese, the British and American influences made this style unique blend of East and West. Whether you’re decorating an entire living room or simple a getting a view accent pieces like a Morris chair or an oak coffee table this style is perfect for every home.

Contemporary Design Style
Typically, a contemporary living room will have very neutral colors and elements with just a few pops of color and design here and there. For instance, you might have a dark gray sleek couch in the room with two purple throw pillows added to it. The lines of the room should be kept soft and rounded. You want the room to look very minimalistic. Another approach to a contemporary living room is to keep the colors monochromatic and then add a splash of white here and there to break up the color.

Cottage Design Style
When you use a cottage design style, you want to aim for plenty of color with graceful patterns and lines. Cottage style usually brings floral patterns and pastel plaids to mind. A living room decorated in cottage style should look both comfortable and inviting. Comfortable and plush furniture with puffy pillows work great with this decorating style. Great colors for this design style include: cream, pink, light green, and light blue.

Romantic Design Style
A romantic design style is a great way to create a formal look for your living room. A living room decorated in a romantic design style will use light and airy fabrics. Expect to see a lot a white, cream, silver, and other pastel colors in this décor. You can add a twist to things with some touches of floral. You can also add some interest with a lightly colored area rug or a few decorative pillows. You want the furniture to be delicate and light, and not overbearing in any way.

Eclectic Design Style
If you are having a difficult time settling on just one design style for your living room, consider choosing a few different ones that are your favorites. With an eclectic style, you can incorporate several different design styles into one room. For instance, your walls can appear modern, while your furniture might look like it can from a cottage style room. However, there are certain ways that you should pull the look together. Make the room appear more cohesive by using common colors, textures, or patterns in the décor.

Once you figure out what you want from your living room, you will be able to figure out what design style might be appropriate. For instance, if you want a more formal room, then you might go with something like a romantic design style. On the other hand, if you want a more casual space, then a cottage-styled room might be a better fit. Just remember to find a style you can live with and won’t want to change in just a couple of months.

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Jan 25 2010

5 Handy Tips for Working with an Interior Decorator

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

If you’ve never worked with an interior decorator before, you may find that it’s a real eye-opening experience. While it’s true that not all decorators and the projects are the same, here are a few key tips to consider when working with a design professional.

1. Express Any Ideas, Wants, or Styles You Want for the Project
You need to be sure you clearly communicate to your interior designer your desires for the project—unless, of course, you are giving them free reign to do whatever they want to your home. For instance, if you have a certain style in mind for the décor, then you need to be sure you tell the decorator. Before the project starts, be sure you are both on the same page when it comes to styles, ideas, and what you want. In the end, this will save you both time and money.

2. Set a Firm Budget with the Interior Decorator
You need to set an enforce a firm budget with your decorator or else you may find yourself spending more than you wanted on your décor project. Be sure to stress to the decorator that this certain dollar amount is what you can afford and you don’t want to go over it. Be sure to get this budget amount in writing. Then the decorator can’t come back and say you never told them a specific limit for expenses.

3. Be Honest with the Interior Decorator
Honesty is really important in this situation. If the designer comes up with a plan for the project that you aren’t crazy about, be sure to let them know right away. You don’t want to go along with a plan you’re not happy with just because you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings. Keep in mind that this is your home and you are going to have to live in it. Not being honest with the decorator about your true feelings for any plans or ideas that come up may be something you end up regretting.

4. Gather Visual Aids for the Decorator If Possible
Try to gather visual aids of what design elements you’re looking for, such as photographs and diagrams of what you want. This is often the easiest way to express to your designer what you’re looking for in terms of design. Handing someone a picture and telling them this is the style you want is always easier than trying to sit and explain it to them verbally.

5. Stay Involved with the Decorating Project
You can’t expect everything to turn out just as you’ve envisioned if all you do is hand the interior decorator a few pictures and leave them alone for a week. This doesn’t mean you have to constantly supervise the work being done, but you need to make sure that you monitor the progress daily to be sure your directives are being followed. When you just let the interior decorator work without regularly checking out the progress, you may find that the result is not what you had pictured.

Working with an interior decorator can be such a great experience, particularly if you yourself have difficulty coming up with great ideas and plans for your home. Just follow these tips, and you’ll be able to make certain that you get the best possible experience with the decorator you have chosen.

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Jan 22 2010

Where to Find an Interior Decorator

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Homeowners hire interior decorators to decorate and style their home for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t feel creative enough, or maybe they just don’t have the time to put forth the proper effort. Whatever your reason for hiring an interior decorator, you need to be sure you find someone who best fits your style and vision for your home. Here are some tips to help you find the right interior decorator for your home.

Ask Friends and Family for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a qualified interior decorator is to ask people you know and trust if they have someone they can recommend. Since the person has already worked with someone you know and trust, when you hire them you’ll know what type of work to expect. When asking your friends and family for a referral, just make sure you ask the right questions to help you determine if the person is right for you. You might want to ask how long the project took, how many problems there were, and if the overall end result was a success.

Look at Online Review Websites
Even though you don’t necessarily know the people who are posting the reviews, online review websites provide an excellent starting point to finding a qualified decorator for your home. These online reviews can help you put together a preliminary list of interior decorators. You can then narrow this list down by making phone calls to the businesses. You do need to remember that you can’t always trust what you read on these review websites. This is why it’s important to narrow down your list of possibilities by doing phone interviews with each decorator.

Utilize Referral Sevices
There are several referral services available online that will include categories for interior decorators. Typically, these services will offer some sort of version of matching you up with a compatible interior decorator. Along with the review websites, these referral websites provide a great starting point for your list of potential decorators.

You also want to go to the American Society of Interior Decorators to find members who live in your area whom you can also add to your list.

Seek Out Interior Decorators’ Work
You might be able to find an interior decorator whose style you like by viewing their work at model homes and decorating shows. For instance, most building contractors will hire an interior designer to help stage a model home. By seeking things like this out, you can not only find decorators in your area but view their work at the same time. All you have to do is ask the contractor or sales agent who created the décor plan and then seek that person out. You might also find out if there are any home expos coming up at any of the expo centers in and around your city. At this type of venue, you’ll be able to see the decorator’s work as well as talk to them about specific projects.

It’s not as difficult as you might think to hire an interior decorator. When you get good referrals from people you know, it makes the whole process of finding a qualified interior decorator much easier.

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Jan 21 2010

Tips for Decorating a Kid’s Room

Decorating your child’s room is not always the easiest job. It may be that your child is really too young to let you know what they want. Or perhaps they don’t really have an interest in what their room looks like. Or you may have the opposite problem and your child has so many ideas for the décor that you don’t even know where to start. Read on for some important tips to help get you started decorating your child’s room.

Instead of a Theme, Decorate Around a Child’s Interests
When deciding on a décor for your child’s bedroom, you don’t want to just randomly pick a theme. If your child is old enough to have some specific interests or collections of items, then decorate around those instead. This ensures that the room will mean more to the child, and this way, they may not grow tired of it so quickly. For instance, if your son loves the beach, then create a beach theme by incorporating some stripes and checks into the décor and then decorating around his seashell collection or pictures of the beach. On the other hand, if your daughter can’t get enough of her dolls, then you might pick out some fabrics that coordinate with those dolls and base the room off that.

Keep It Simple and Allow Your Child to Change the Room Often
Kids will often change their minds from one minute to the next. For instance, your daughter may love Hannah Montana one day and the next day she won’t be able to stand her and will move on to something else. It makes more sense to keep the basics of the room really simple and allow your child to decorate as they wish, thus avoiding having to completely redecorate the room every year. To start, paint the walls a neutral color or a favorite color that you know they won’t want to change for a while. Then simply let them hang up whatever pictures and posters they want and accessorize accordingly. One week they may have Jonas Brothers pictures up, and the next it may be Hannah Montana or Selena Gomez.

Be Sure to Add as Much Storage Space as Possible
Over the years, kids tend to collect an awful lot of stuff. Inevitably, this stuff will all have to be stored in their rooms. But if you provide them with lots of storage space, you won’t have to look at all that stuff since it will be stored away and out of sight. When adding storage areas, you can really get creative, such as placing bins under the bed. Pick wood dressers with plenty of drawers to organize items in. Unless you want to live with your child’s room overflowing with things, you need to provide them with as much storage and organizational space as possible.

Think About the Future When Decorating
Do you plan on being in your home for several years? Then you need to take this into consideration when decorating your kid’s bedroom. Unless you want to change the room every few years, you need to think about the future when planning out the room’s décor. You need to remember that your child is not always going to be 5 and someday may not want the Superman wallpaper anymore. So when picking your decorating theme, consider how many years you want the décor to last before you have to change it.

Decorating a kid’s room can be quite fun. Not only that, but also provides a great opportunity to spend time with your child and learn more about them. But do keep these tips in mind. That way, you will get the best you can out of your kid’s bedroom décor.

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Jan 20 2010

Winter Decorating Ideas for the Home

There are many homeowners who like to change the décor and decorate their home according to the different seasons. When it comes to winter decorating, there are many creative ideas you can try. Although many people use the wintertime to decorate for the holidays, there are plenty of other ways you can simply decorate for the winter season. Following are some great tips for winter decorating in your home.
Decorate Your Home in Winter White
As wintertime approaches, you can turn your home into a white winter wonderland by bringing out your white décor items. Since winter days and nights tend to be dark and dreary, white décor items can also work to add some much needed light to your home. Especially in winter, white also reminds of beautiful snowfalls. Some easy ways to add more white to your winter décor include white tablecloths, white candles, and white throws slung over chairs and couches.

Hang a Winter Wreath in Your Home
Wreaths are not just for Christmas and actually make a great winter decoration that you can display from December to March. Consider making your own greenery wreath. Another option is to buy a pre-made one that matches the style of your home. Find items associated with winter to decorate the wreath with, such as pinecones, white or flannel ribbon, and silver charms. The wreath can then be hung on the wall. Do be sure that the wreath and the wall are comparable in size. You don’t want a tiny wreath hung on a huge wall that has a great deal of blank space, nor do you want a huge wreath on a tiny wall.

Change Your Furniture for Winter
Changing your furniture for a winter décor doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go out and buy a new set of furniture for every season. You just might have to add or take away some items. One great way to change your furniture for winter is to add some slipcovers. Heavier-material slipcovers in a wintery color will look great on your couches and chairs. You might also decorate the furniture using winter-themed pillows. These pillows can be solid-colored or plaid. Or you might find some with snowflake or snowman pictures on them. Another simple way to add some winter style to a room is by adding a heavy throw to the back of a couch or chair.

Change Your Artwork in Your Home for Winter
If you are trying to create a winter décor, you may not want pictures of bright flowers hanging on your walls. Consider storing these pictures away for the spring and summer, and hanging different pieces of art that give your home more of a wintertime feel. Any black and white photographs of nature, such as snow, trees, rivers, and mountains, are a perfect addition to a winter décor. You might also replace those bright and cheery flowers with hand-painted pictures of country snowfalls. You can also find paintings that use rich colors that fit better with winter.

These are just a few ideas of how to create a winter décor in your home. It’s fun to change the look of your home to celebrate the different seasons of the year.

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Jan 15 2010

Interior Decorating with a Monochromatic Color Scheme

When it comes to figuring out the color scheme of a room, a monochromatic color scheme is one option. A monochromatic color scheme involves using one color in the room for almost all the surfaces. Contrast is added to the room by using different shades of the color, from light to dark. If you decide to go with a monochromatic look in your home, follow these tips to create the best look possible.

Add White or a Neutral Color to the Room
When you pair the color with white or another neutral, you will avoid ending up with a room that looks like it’s too matched or boring. Rather than having the neutral color be the main focus in the room, you want to use it as an accent. If you have a blue monochromatic scheme, you might include a blue and white rug where the rest of the items (the walls and furniture) are all blue. Another way to add a neutral is to paint the trim in the room white.

Choose the Color of the Room Wisely
When you decorate a room with a monochromatic color scheme, it’s important that you really put some thought into the color choice. After all, if you go with a color you’re not crazy about, you will most likely not end up very happy with the finished look of the room. Thus, it’s important to pick out a color that you really like to look at. If you are new to the monochromatic look, you may also want to avoid bold colors, such as red and orange. You need to remember that once you choose a monochromatic look, it’s going to be much harder to change the décor of the room, since everything in the room is going to be in some shade of that same color. Therefore, it’s really important that you think carefully about your color choice. Don’t just go rushing into a hasty decision that you may end up regretting.

Mix Up the Shades of the Color
The best way to determine different shades of the color you’ve chosen is to visit a paint store and collect some color swatches. With these swatches, you can see the different shades of the color that you should work with. You want to be sure that the walls are not painted the exact same shade as the furniture or that your floor isn’t the same exact shade as the walls. Mixing up the shades of color always adds character and interest to a room, giving it a better overall look. You can also use accessories like pillows, curtains, baskets, and candles that are completely different shades from the rest of the room.

It isn’t always easy to pull off a monochromatic color scheme in a room. You definitely need to spend some time planning out the décor so that everything flows well and you end up with the perfect balance of color.

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Jan 12 2010

5 Great DIY Decorating Projects for the Home

Many homeowners like to do their own decorating projects themselves. By doing your own decorating projects, you can ensure that your own style and personality come through your decorating. Here are 5 great DIY decorating projects that you can do for your home.

1. Paint the Walls
The easiest yet most effective way to give room a whole new look is by painting. Remember, the color of the walls is going to influence the entire room’s décor. If you begin a painting project, you want to be sure you do it properly and prepare the walls as needed. You may need to fill in any cracks and then sand them down, as you want the wall to be crack-free and smooth. You will need to first put on a coat of primer, and depending on the color and the saturation of the wall, you may have to put on a few coats of paint.

2. Install Molding on the Walls
With molding, you can instantly add a new touch to the walls. Molding will lend some interest and appeal to an otherwise boring wall. You have many choices of what type of molding you want. You might go with crown molding, which is installed at the top of the wall, or go a different route with a chair rail, which is installed in the middle. Before nailing it to the wall, paint or stain the molding first. The nail holes can then be touched up with paint afterward.

3. Personalize the Lampshades
If you can’t find the exact lampshade you’ve envisioned or just want to create something that shows your style, then consider designing your own lampshade. This is easier than it sounds. Simply take a white or cream-colored lampshade and cut figures or designs out of a dark paper such as black or red. Then tape the paper to the inside of the lampshade and you will have created a designer lampshade that reflects your own personal style. Add items to your lampshade such as embellishments and ribbon to personalize it as well.

4. Make Your Own Artwork for the Walls
Even if you can’t paint or draw very well, that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with your very own artwork to hang on the walls or to place on a shelf in one of your bookcases. You just need to get creative. You can look around and use items you already have. Look around for photographs, postcards, and book images that you can hang on the wall. Another easy idea is to put together a collage of items found in nature. Another simple project is to take a frame or blank canvas and wrap it in a patterned fabric that fits in with the room’s décor. If you choose two or three different patterns and different sized frames, you can hang them together in a cluster on the wall.

5. Make Your Own Window Treatments
If you aren’t handy with a sewing machine or a needle and thread, there are many different non-sewing techniques you can use to make your own curtains. To create instant interest around a window, simply take a long silk scarf and drape it over a window curtain. You might also consider using such things as placemats and tablecloths to create instant window treatments. If you do sew, then find a pattern you like, pick out the fabric, and create the window treatments you’ve always envisioned for your home.

A DIY decorating project doesn’t have to necessarily be difficult. If you’re looking to decorate your house in your own personal style, these are just 5 of the many different projects you can do for your home.

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