Archive for February, 2010

Feb 26 2010

Transform Your Basement into a Home Theater Room

One great way to utilize that basement space in your home is to transform it into a home theater for you and your family. A drab and boring basement can easily be converted into a stylish family space where everyone can get together to watch movies, play games, and just hang out. Before you start this decorating project, here are some important things you should know.

Be Sure Your Basement Is Waterproofed
Before you do anything else, you first need to be sure your basement is properly waterproofed. It’s fairly common that as homes get older, the walls and foundations weaken and start to crack. Once this happens, all it may take is a small storm for water to start pouring into your basement. You’re not going to want all your valuables in your home theater ruined by water damage. Thus, be sure your basement is waterproofed.

Design Your Home Theater with Both Comfort and Style in Mind
It’s a common misperception that for a room to be stylish it has to be uncomfortable, but that’s not the case at all. There are a variety of ways to have a stylish and cool home theater that’s still a relaxing and comfortable spot in your home. The key is to choose furniture that’s comfortable and that will easily fit into the space you have. Some people may end up using the floor as their sitting area, so be sure to choose a nice carpet for the room.

Measure the Area of the Room Before Buying Anything
If you’re really excited about this project, just be sure you don’t run out and start buying items before you even draw up the design plans. If you start buying larger items, like a wooden tv stand, leather sofas, or a wood coffee table, before you measure the room, this can create some problems. One thing you don’t want to do with a home theater room is cramp it with tons of items. Part of using your space properly involves being sure the seating area is far enough away from the television that a movie can be comfortably viewed. If you make sure there’s plenty of room in the sitting area to walk around in, then you won’t have to go through a maze just to sit down.

Pick Whatever Theme You Want
Just because you are creating a home theater doesn’t mean it needs to be decorated like a movie theater. Whatever style you decide on for the room will work well. Of course, you can always go with an old Hollywood or Broadway theme for the room if you decide you want to stick to an entertainment style. Whatever style you decide on, get creative and keep things comfortable.

Converting your basement into a home theater room should be fun, not stressful. Decorate it with your own sense of style, as you would in any other room in your home. You’ll probably end up spending a lot of time down there, so just be sure to make things as comfortable as possible.

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Feb 25 2010

Tips for Creating a Black & White Retro Themed Kitchen

If you’re searching for a great new theme for your kitchen, what about black-and-white retro? Yes, this is a retro theme from way back when, but this style has become a classic. If you’re considering a retro theme for your kitchen, then here are some tips to get you started.

Use Red as an Accent Color in the Kitchen
Use red as an accent color along with the black and white to make your retro kitchen look more authentic. By adding touches of red, you can bring some interest and color to the room while still maintaining the retro feeling. Have you ever seen a black-and-white diner or kitchen from years ago? They almost always incorporate red into the design. However much red you use in the kitchen is entirely up to you. Either save it for smaller items such as placemats and window treatments, or use it more broadly, such as for a backsplash or the color of a wall.

Flooring Options for a Retro Kitchen
If you’re designing a retro kitchen, one of your best flooring options is a black-and-white tiled floor. You can definitely enhance that retro look by creating an alternating pattern of black and white tiles, which will give the room that old-diner feel. If you’re working with a limited budget, look for laminate flooring with a black-and-white checkered pattern. If you can, try to avoid wood flooring in a black-and-white retro kitchen, but if you really want to go with wood floors, then go with a darker-colored wood. You can always add at least one area rug with black, white, or red in it to complement the retro look.

Cabinets for a Retro Kitchen
As with the flooring, it’s best to stay away from wooden cabinets. A better option is to paint the cabinets white. Or, if you feel daring, paint them black. Just be sure it fits with your wall color. Use silver retro pull handles to add accents to the cabinets. A great way to get really creative is to make your own one-of-a-kind cabinet pulls, hand painting them with a checkered or geometric design.

Choosing Appliances for a Retro Kitchen
White was the standard for refrigerators back in the day, and thus most kitchens, in turn, had white appliances. These days there are so many different options for appliances that you can play around with the different choices. Stainless steel appliances, for instance, would look great with a retro kitchen style. If you haven’t used that much black in the rest of the room, you might also go with black appliances. Don’t strictly limit yourself to retro options, as you can easily add a modern twist to your black-and-white retro kitchen.

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a unique style, a black-and-white retro theme can be a great way to decorate your kitchen. Just be sure to keep the room comfortable and inviting as well as stylish, as your family will be spending a lot of time in there.

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Feb 24 2010

Tips for Adding Style to Your Home Office

It’s not unusual for home offices to be decorated very plainly. But why shouldn’t your home office be just as stylish as your living room or kitchen? When you add style to your home office, you create a space that’s much more enjoyable to work in.

Add Style with Color on the Walls
Try not to paint the walls a neutral color. Thus, you should stay away from colors such as gray, tan, cream, and even white. Pick out colors that are bolder yet still appealing, like blue, green, and even pink. If you’re unsure about using bolder colors, try painting one wall an accent color first and see how you like it, before committing to the entire room. If you find that you’re comfortable with it, then you can go ahead and paint the whole room a more vibrant color.

Add Style with Artwork
It’s easier than you think you change your dull and boring home office into a stylish and trendy one. Just add a special piece of art. You can achieve this with just about any type of art, from a large painting to a sculpture sitting on a bookcase. Be sure you’ll enjoy looking at it for a long time though, as you want to enjoy spending time in your home office.

Add Style with Functional Accessories
By decorating with functional accessories, you can add style to a small home office without taking up space. You can add some color and pattern to the room with a fabric covered bulletin board—which will also give you an area for your work. Adding a unique lamp to your on your mission desk is another great way to add practical style. Try to find one that has an interesting aspect to it, such as a funky lampshade, but will still give you the required amount of light. You might also consider adding other functional accessories such as a pen holder, colorful bins and baskets, and an area rug under your desk chair.

Add Style by Highlighting the Windows
If you have a window in your home office, this is a really important area to highlight. It can get lonely working from home all day, and bright sunlight can help you to stay motivated. By using colorful and playful window treatments, you can really emphasize the window area. It doesn’t matter if you use drapes, a valance, or blinds, as long as you are drawing the eye to the light streaming in through the window. A great way to create noticeable windows is to use contrasting colors for the window trim and window treatments. If you have a blue room, for instance, choose orange or brown window treatments to make them really stand out.

Chances are, you spend a lot of time in your home office. So why live with a drab and boring room? Adding style to your home office can make a world of difference and it doesn’t need to cost a lot to accomplish. And don’t forget, by using some creativity with the décor, you just might be inspired to be more creative in your job as well.

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Feb 23 2010

Decorating Your Bathroom in an Ocean Theme

One popular theme for a bathroom is an ocean theme. With some ocean-themed décor items, you can give your bathroom a unique ocean look so that every time you set foot in the room, you feel like you’re at the beach. If you’re looking to create a wonderful ocean theme for your bathroom, then use your creativity and follow these tips.

Paint the Bathroom with Colors from the Ocean
You can quickly transform your bedroom into an ocean retreat by painting it blue, green, tan, and cream: the colors of the ocean. You can add a unique twist to the theme by painting one wall an accent color like turquoise and the other walls cream. Add more color to the room by adding yellow, which will work to highlight the feeling of warm sunlight over the ocean.

If you tend to be really creative, you might paint a mural of an ocean scene on one of the bathroom walls. In this way, you can fill in a large space and also create a great highlight for the area. If the bathroom is right off your bedroom, then it will seem as if you are right on the ocean.

Use Real Ocean Accessories
Use items you would find down at the beach or ocean, rather than buying all your décor items from the store. It’s amazing how things such as shells and sand make such great additions to the room. To add instant ambiance, place a basket of shells or bottles of sand on the shelf.

Hang an Ocean-Themed Shower Curtain
One of the first things people see when they walk into a bathroom is the shower curtain. Hang an ocean-themed shower curtain for all to see. In this way, you can really play up the shower area. You might choose one with a beautiful ocean or beach scene, or go with a more playful look, perhaps with pictures of fish. Decide whether you’re trying to create an ocean retreat or a fun beach theme, and choose your curtain accordingly.

Look for Themed Accessories to Complete the Look
There should be no problem finding bathroom accessories that fit in with the décor, as ocean themes are popular these days. There should be lots of soap dishes, bath mats, wastebaskets, and even towels that are ocean-themed. Tailor the accessories to fit the theme. For instance, if you’re creating a fun bathroom décor, then choose something like a fish-shaped soap dish. But if you’re going for a serious ocean retreat, then try something like shell-shaped soaps displayed in a blue soap dish.

You can use an ocean theme for a master bathroom, as easily as you can use it for a child’s bathroom. You can follow many different variations on this theme, everything from lighthouses, to sand sculptures, to fish. Have fun with this theme, and be sure to include your own personality when designing the style.

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Feb 15 2010

Tips for Adding Color to Your Kitchen

Most families seem to end up spending a great deal of their time in the kitchen, so you might want to make it more interesting and add some color. Even if you don’t want your kitchen to be drab and dreary, it’s not always easy to know quite how to add the right touch. Here are some easy ways to add color to your kitchen so you can change your décor from boring to fabulous.

Add Color by Dressing Up Your Table
Dress up your kitchen table as an easy way to add color to your kitchen. Some colorful dishware can really spruce things up, as well as a colorful tablecloth or placemat set. Another great way to dress up your table is to add a centerpiece such as flowers in a vase or basket, which will instantaneously add some color to the room. Try to find colors that will add some interest but also complement your kitchen’s décor.

Add Color with a Backsplash
You don’t have to have a boring kitchen backsplash. Some people keep it simple, using a neutral-colored tile or laminate, but you can always venture out a bit a choose a colorful look instead. Tiles and laminates come in all different colors. Another unique approach is to arrange broken-up colored glass in a random pattern on the wall. Not only will you create a personalized, one-of-a-kind backsplash, but you’ll be able to get a some different colors worked into the décor.

Paint an Accent Wall a Different Color
You can always add color by creating an accent wall in a kitchen that’s otherwise painted a neutral color. Choose the wall that’s the least covered with cabinets or appliances. Be sure to pick an accent color that will work well with the rest of your kitchen’s décor. For a more subtle look, go with a matching color. But if you want the wall to really stand out, pick a color that’s complementary.

Take the Doors Off the Cabinets
Showcase your colorful dishes and other tableware by taking the doors off your kitchen cabinets. If you have neutral dishes, add some pop by painting the insides of the cabinets a contrasting color. This doesn’t necessarily entail removing every cabinet door, but you can pick a few cabinets to be colorful, preferably those more prominent cabinets above the countertops.

Use Window Treatments to Add Interest
Another great option is to utilize the window area in your kitchen to add color. Whether you go with a valance or drapes, choose a window treatment in a color that will stand out. A black-and-white kitchen, for instance, would benefit greatly from some red or purple window treatments.

Adding color to your kitchen doesn’t mean you have to change the entire décor. Rather, build upon what you already have to add your own colorful touches here and there.

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Feb 12 2010

Different Color Combinations to Use When Decorating Your Home

A common problem faced by homeowners when decorating a room is figuring out what colors to use for the décor. Have you ever visited a paint store? If so, then you have probably seen the hundreds of different colors and shades you have to choose from when designing a color scheme. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many choices. Not everyone has an eye for color, and it can be quite difficult to pick out which colors will look good together in a room. If you’re unsure as to what color combinations to use in the décor of your home, then here are five to consider.

1. Brown, Blue, and Cream
This is a great color scheme for practically any room in your home. When using brown, blue, and cream for your décor, you just need to be sure to keep a balance of colors, particularly when applying the dark brown. For instance, you might want to use cream or light blue pillows to lighten up a dark brown couch. Or if your couch is cream colored, you can add some interest with brown and blue pillows. If you can find patterns that include all three colors, you can add even more visual interest to the décor.

2. Shades of Brown and Cream
Whether you’re looking to create a peaceful retreat in your bedroom or bathroom, try using shades of brown and cream. You can choose from anything from dark chocolate brown to an off white or light cream color, as there are a wide variety of shades across this spectrum. Although this color combination closely resembles a monochromatic theme, you can easily add more interest. Simply pair a lighter shade with a darker shade, and that will make the room appear much more lively.

3. Blue and Orange
Colors like blue and orange that lie across from each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementary. When using this color combination, you don’t want to use bright oranges and blues but rather keep the colors muted. You can easily work these colors into a contemporary-styled room by including white or even brown in the mix.

4. Black and White
You can use this classic color combination for practically any room you like. What’s great about black and white is its versatility, meaning it can be modern as well as traditional depending on the pieces you choose to use. Add an accent color into the scheme, such as green or red, to create even more style in a black and white room. There’s no shortage of black-and-white décor items available these days, making this one of the easiest color schemes to work with.

5. Pink and Green
Another complementary color scheme you might try is pink and green, which tends to go well in bedrooms, living rooms, and sun rooms. You want to be sure to add a neutral color like white or cream into the mix. Otherwise, you might end up with too much color in the room. Also be sure to choose colors that are the same shades. Mint green and neon pink, for instance, aren’t going to work well together.

These five color combinations are a great place to start if you’re having trouble coming up with color ideas for your home. When decorating your home, any of these combinations should give you some inspiration. When you use any of these suggestions as a base and then add your own style to them, you can create a unique look for your home.

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Feb 11 2010

Tips for Decorating a Staircase

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Although many homeowners don’t realize this, a staircase is just another area of your home that you can decorate to help create a more stylish look. Staircases are commonly overlooked when it comes to decorating, but if it’s the first thing people see when they walk in, the staircase may be more important than you think. Here are some great tips to help you get started decorating the staircase in your home.

Use Photographs to Decorate the Staircase
An easy décor option is to frame a few of your favorite photographs and hang them up along the staircase wall. These photographs might be ones of your family. Otherwise, choose ones of nature or other decorative objects. Hang the photographs so that they seem to be descending with the staircase. You want the frames you choose to complement to color of the wall. If your stairs are wood, try to match the color of the wood in the frames to the color of the stairs.

Paint a Mural or Design on the Staircase Wall
For a staircase that really stands out, paint a mural or design going up the staircase wall. If you want a simpler look, go with a leaf or flower pattern that follows the stairs. Or you might choose to create a larger and more intricate mural. Another option, if you’re not confident in your drawing and painting skills, is to find stencils that you can use for the design. Or you can always hire a professional painter to create the mural instead.

Add a Decorative Banister to the Staircase
If you have a plain banister, then see if you can find a more decorative one that matches the style of your décor. No matter the type of stairs you have, there should be plenty of banisters to choose from. One of the latest trends for stairs is the mixture of wood with wrought-iron. This look fits right in with a Spanish-style or even a modern-style décor. Look in home décor magazines or on the Internet for all of the different options.

Lay Down a Decorative Runner on the Stairs
Lay down a decorative carpet runner on your wooden stairs to add more style to the area. Choose carpet that is solid colored, or if you’re looking for a real attention grabber, it can be patterned and multi-colored. If your staircase is already carpeted or tiled, a runner will still work. You want your carpet runner to be slightly narrower than the width of the stairs. That way, the edges of the stairs show on the sides. A wide selection of runners is available, so you should have no problem finding one to suit your staircase and fit the style of the rest of the area.

Decorating those stairs become quite important if you have a staircase right in the entryway of your home. This way, you’ll be able to show off the staircase to its best advantage so it doesn’t look like an eyesore. To make things even more appealing, choose more than one of these decorating ideas and implement them together.

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Feb 10 2010

How to Reuse Wedding Memorabilia to Decorate Your Home

You don’t need to get rid of all your wedding memorabilia or store it away where you can’t even see it. You are going to be decorating your new home with your spouse, so why not reuse all your wedding mementos in the process. Here are some unique ways to incorporate your wedding items into your décor.

Decorate with Your Wedding Pictures
Decorate your home with items from your wedding the easy way: by framing your favorite wedding pictures and using them as decorations. You can either hang them up on the walls, or place them on a shelf, a table, or a fireplace mantle. Another option is to blow up your favorite portrait. Then you can hang it above the fireplace or on a wall in your bedroom. You might also create a collage out of a few different wedding shots along with pictures from your honeymoon.

Make a Shadow Box with Your Wedding Memorabilia
Create a unique addition to your décor by gathering your wedding items together and displaying them in a shadow box. Add things such as your invitation and/or program, any leftover favors, a piece of the wedding dress, and dried flowers. Assemble these items together however you like and then place the box on a shelf or hang it on the wall. This makes a great decoration piece for your bedroom and will remind you of your wedding every day.

Decorate with Your Wedding Flowers
You can always make potpourri from dried flower petals if you used real flowers for your wedding. Find a decorative basket or vase to place the dried flowers in and add essential oils, and you will have a sentimental decoration to add to any room in your home.

If your flowers at your wedding were fake, then you have many more decorating options. Leave them the way they are, placing them in a vase or basket, for an instant decoration for the home. Or you might choose instead to alter them a bit. You might combine a number of different bouquets from the wedding into one large flower arrangement or split them up into two slightly smaller ones. You can add instant color and brightness to just about any room of the house when you use these flowers in the décor. Best of all, every time you walk by, you will be reminded of your wonderful wedding day.

Make a Decorating from the Wedding Dress
If you’re not planning to reuse your wedding dress, you always have the option of making it into an easy and attractive home décor item. This works just as well with a bridesmaid’s dress—providing you have someone who’s willing to part with her dress after the wedding. Once you’ve taken a piece of fabric from the dress, wrap it tightly around a canvas or even a picture frame. Then secure the whole thing with a nail gun and, presto, you have a nice fabric décor item to hang on the wall. You can really add some style to a bedroom by hanging one of more of these pieces on the wall.

If you’re trying to decorate your home on a newlywed’s budget, it’s best to work with what you have. By reusing your wedding memorabilia, you can create unique decorations that have a lot of emotional impact.

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Feb 09 2010

Unique Ideas for Decorating the Inside of a Fireplace

For a multitude of reasons, fireplaces are not always used for their intended function: as a place to build a fire, usually for warmth. If you aren’t using your fireplace to radiate heat into your home, it can still be used to add some style to the room. Fortunately, there plenty of ways to add some interest to a room by decorating the inside of a fireplace.

Fill the Fireplace with Candles
Imagine placing several different pillar candles in many different sizes in the fireplace and lighting them. Now you can still get some warmth and light from the fireplace without having to build a fire in it. Just be sure that you use fireproof plates or containers to hold the candles. Add even more interest to the inside of the fireplace by using decorative plates and holders. Whether you light them or not, candles make a great décor piece. Stick with all plain or off-white candles, or if you’re feeling a little adventurous mix up different colors and styles.

Add a Flower Arrangement inside the Fireplace
If you’re looking for a way to add some great color to the fireplace, try placing a large flower arrangement inside or even right outside the opening. A decorative basket or vase for the flowers gives the look an added touch. Measure the opening before you go and buy or create an arrangement. It should not be touching the inside walls but should rather be several inches away. This way it won’t be too overpowering. For the best fit, try to find a T-shaped arrangement.

Use a Decorative Fireplace Screen for the Area
A nice decorative fireplace screen will look great over the opening of your fireplace, particularly if you’d rather not see the inside. There are some very nice screens available in a variety of different styles. You are bound to find one that goes well with the style of the fireplace, as well as blending in beautifully with the décor of the room. This works really well for those who haven’t gotten around to refinishing their really old fireplace yet.

Make It Look Like a Real Fireplace with Wood Logs
Even if you don’t build fires in your fireplace, you can still enjoy its features. Simple add some nice wood logs, either real or fake. Then you can arrange them in a pleasing pattern. Guests in your home won’t even be able to tell if the fireplace doesn’t work or if you simply don’t use it. Now you can enjoy the scene without the hassle of a real fire. Just be sure to clean the fireplace before placing the logs in there.

No matter the reason why you don’t use your fireplace, you don’t want to let that instant attention grabber go to waste. Try one of these ideas to decorate the inside of the fireplace. In doing so, you’ll be able to add more style and originality to your décor.

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Feb 08 2010

Staying on Budget When Decorating Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

When decorating your home, working with a budget can sometimes present trouble, especially if it’s a small one. However, budgets are necessary, no matter how hard they are to stick to. When decorating a home, no homeowner should have to go into debt. If you take the time to set a budget and follow these simple tips, then you will end up with a wonderfully decorated home that was still affordable.

Make the Decorating Budget Firm
You don’t want to set a decorating budget and then forget about it when you actually start shopping. Keep in mind that you are setting a budget for a reason. It’s not necessary to do all your decorating at once. It might be better to do some of the decorating now, and then once you save some more money, revisit the room to add more items later. It’s best to stick to your budget firmly, no matter what comes up.

You Will Have to Give a Little to Get a Little
Sticking to a firm budget requires you to be flexible and willing to compromise in some areas. You’ll have to go the cheaper route for certain less crucial items, if you want any more expensive pieces that you just have to have. For instance, you might have to spend less on the window treatments or picture frames if you’ve fallen in love with a coffee table or lamp that takes up a third or so of your budget.

Don’t Worry What Other People May Think
It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people will think and say. However, if you spot the perfect figurine for your décor, who cares if it’s at the local discount store? Unless you say something, no one’s going to know what you paid for items in your home. You need to keep in mind that not everything in your room needs to be of the highest quality. So don’t worry about what others may or may not say. If you like something and it’s inexpensive and it fits in your budget, then go ahead and buy it. Many people find that their least expensive item will garner the most positive attention in a room.

Invest in Quality for the Big Items in the Room
When creating your budget, you need to be sure that you’re allocating the majority of the money toward the larger items like a wood bed in a master bedroom or a dining room table. This way, you’ll be able to afford quality that will last. Window treatments or other décor just don’t need as much money put into them as items such as wood furniture, flooring, and artwork. You will ensure that those larger items will last longer and look better when you invest in quality products. In the end, you might have a high end sofa with inexpensive decorative pillows on it, but as long as you have kept to your final budget, then that will be just fine.

It’s usually very tempting to want to go over your decorating budget, completely forgetting about what you can afford. Unfortunately, when you do that, then every time you walk into your redecorated home or room, you are going to have negative thoughts about that debt. In the end, negative thought might lead to you not being able to enjoy being in the space. If that becomes the case, then what was the point of spending all that money? By sticking to your budget, not only will you save money, but you will retain your peace of mind.

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