Archive for March, 2010

Mar 09 2010

Tips for Decorating Your Home in a Southwestern Theme

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Even if you don’t live in the Southwest, that colorful and stylish décor is a great choice for any home. You can incorporate a Southwestern theme into just about any room in the house, from the family room to the bedroom. Here are some tips and ideas to get your creative juices flowing if you are considering a Southwestern theme for your home.

Colors to Consider
When you choose a color scheme for your Southwestern décor, it’s best to start with the colors of the desert. Start with colors such as tan, brown, red, and orange. Focus the color scheme on those colors and then add some more flavor with other colors like yellow, turquoise, and green. You can really liven up the room with these accent colors, giving it some flair. If you don’t want such dark colors in the room, you can always go with something like cream or tan and then use orange, brown, or red to accent things instead.

Southwestern Furniture Choices
If you’re going for a Southwestern look, you want to choose furniture made of wood, which will give the whole room an organic feel. A great wood selection, for instance, would be knotty pine. Furniture made from wooden poles that have been woven together is very typical in Southwestern furniture. Decorative carvings in the wood are another popular and very attractive feature in Southwestern décor.

Fabrics to Consider
A frequently used fabric in Southwestern décors is leather. Leather is used in artwork and accessories, in addition to couches and chairs. You might also add an attractive visual touch with an Indian print blanket or wall hanging, both which provide appeal and vibrancy. Sling these striped and patterned blankets on the back of couches or chairs, or even place them in wooden baskets. If you like, you can also opt to use a fringed blanket as an art piece, hanging it on a large wall. One thing’s for sure, these masterpieces provide a great way to bring color and interest to your Southwestern-themed room.

Other Accessories to Add
As you begin to fill in the décor with other accessories, look for items commonly found in Native American and Mexican cultures. You might also choose to recall the area’s natural features by mixing in pieces such as wrought-iron cacti and desert flowers. By placing these plants and flowers in terra-cotta pots and reed baskets can add a really authentic touch. Native American figurines and artwork, hand-painted vases, clay pots and plates, and wrought-iron candle holders also make great accessories for this type of décor.

You can have a ton of fun decorating with a Southwestern theme. It allows you to pay homage to some different cultures, plus you are given a lot of leeway in terms of incorporating unique pieces into your design. This theme is both rustic and elegant, so it’s important to take the time to be sure everything comes together smoothly. You will end up with a casual atmosphere that your guests won’t be able to stop talking about.

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Mar 08 2010

5 Simple Tips for Arranging Furniture in Your Family Room

When it comes to decorating the family room, people often have trouble with arranging the furniture to maximize the potential of the room. When the furniture is arranged properly, the room will seem stylish, but also natural and comfortable. Here are 5 suggestions for making the most out of your room’s potential when arranging your furnishings.

1. Consider the Location of the Doorways
There is only one doorway in some family rooms, while others may have two. Keep the locations of these doorways in mind when arranging your furniture, as this will ensure that the room has a good flow. For a family room with two doorways, try to place the furniture so that people don’t cross the “conversational area,” as they walk across the room. A major consideration for those rooms with one doorway is to be sure people can easily access the furniture without have to navigate through the whole room in order to sit down.

2. Take into Consideration the Walls
If you have a long wall in the family room, that is a great area to place your big sofa or other major piece of furniture like a mission tv  stand. That wall can also be made into a focal point for the room by placing something like an entertainment center there. The other furniture in the room can then be arranged around this wall.

3. Leave Plenty of Space between the Furniture Pieces
When arranging the family room furniture, you need to make sure that you leave plenty of walking space in between each piece. You want people to have adequate space in which to walk around the room but still have things close enough so the space is intimate. If you’re able to strike a balance, then people will have a comfortable amount of space to walk, but when seated, they won’t be so far away that the space isn’t intimate anymore. No one wants to be bumping into furniture right and left when walking around. But on the other hand, you also don’t want people to have to shout in order to talk to one another.

4. Make Sure the Furniture Balances Properly
One common mistake is to put all the large pieces of furniture on the same side of the room, leaving the space looking completely off balance. For instance, don’t place a large sofa next to a large recliner, and then put a small chair and oak end table across the room. Try your best to achieve both horizontal and vertical balance in the room by mixing up your larger and smaller pieces.

5. The Furniture Arrangement Should Be Functional
When arranging the furniture in the family room, you need to be sure to keep it functional. You want to make sure the family room serves its purpose as a more casual, sort of hangout room. Thus, if you’ve designated this space as a place for your family to watch movies together, then you need to be sure that enough of the seating faces the television screen so that everyone is comfortable. It doesn’t matter how stylish the family room is. If it’s not functional, the space will be completely wasted.

Arranging the family room furnishing should go much more smoothly when you follow these simple tips. What will result is a family room that’s stylish, yet also comfortable and functional.

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Mar 05 2010

Change the Look of Your Living Room

The living room is one of the most used spaces in most homes. This tends to be a favorite room for relaxing, entertaining, and spending time with the family. The more time you spend in that room, the more you may feel you need to change the look. Fortunately, if you want to change the look of your living room, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune. If you’re looking to renovate your room and make it exciting again, here are a few suggestions.

Rearrange the Furniture
You can get a whole new look without spending any money by rearranging the furniture. The best place to start is to find a different focal point for the room and then rearrange things to focus on that new area. Not only is this simple to do, but you can give the room a completely new look and flow. Rearranging doesn’t require any new furniture, but if you’re really looking to mix things up, try adding an inexpensive piece like an end table.

Change the Paint Color on the Walls
Paint is great, as it is fairly inexpensive but can change the look of a room dramatically. Your best bet is to choose a color that’s already in the room’s color scheme. You can develop a whole new feel for the room by choosing a matching or complementary color. If you don’t have the time or money to paint the entire room, you can simply choose one wall and make it an accent wall. By painting it an accent color, you can give the room some more interest.

Add Inexpensive Accessories to the Furniture
It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on furniture accessories to change the style of a living room. If you have any inexpensive decorative pillows, throws, flower arrangements, vases, baskets, candles, or lamps in other areas of your home, perhaps you can bring them into the living room to add to the décor. The simple placement of new decorative pillows on a couch can create a totally different style. With different pillows you can easily transform a neutral couch from a country to a contemporary style. If you have wood end tables and oak bookshelves in the room, you can add candles and baskets to mix up the décor.

Change the Window Treatments
You can completely change the look with different window treatments, which may allow different amounts of light to enter the room. The great things about window treatments is you can change the colors, patterns, and type of material fairly easily. Another option is to add other window treatments to the existing ones. For instance, you could add a fabric valance to a window that already has blinds.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend but you want to change the look of your living room, with a little resourcefulness and creativity you can come up with a new style. By simply following one or more of these tips, you can create a living room your friends and family may not even recognize.

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Mar 04 2010

Decorating a Baby Nursery on a Budget

It’s amazing how much money people end up spending decorating a nursery. Fortunately, you can have a stylish baby nursery without spending a fortune. You can create the baby room of your dreams within a limited budget with just a little creativity. Here are some suggestions regarding how to create a great nursery while saving some money in the process.

Decorate in a Style That Will Grow with Your Child
It’s amazing how fast babies grow, and you need to remember that soon the infantile décor of the room will no longer fit. So when decorating a nursery, it’s important to plan in advance. Keep the color scheme neutral to start with so that your child can grow with it. Unless you know that you’re going to be moving within the next year or two, you want to come up with a style that will last until your child is at least 7–10 years old. In the end, this will save you plenty of money, as you won’t have to redecorate every few years as your child grows.

Get Creative and Do It Yourself
A great way to save money on a nursery is to do things yourself. This probably means you’ll need to know how to paint, sew, or build things from wood. If you have a fabric store nearby, it will be much cheaper to make the drapes than to buy them from a store. In addition, this gives you much more creative freedom, as you’ll have a broader choice as to what patterns and colors you use in the room. You can create a fabulous nursery within the budget you have set by getting creative and learning some new skills.

Keep the Nursery Décor Simple and Functional
Another sure way to save money when decorating is to keep things simple. It’s important to keep in mind that your baby’s not going to care what the room looks like for several years. Just because you’ve been thumbing through all those gorgeous nurseries in the magazines and on the web doesn’t necessarily mean that this is what your nursery has to look like. You need to be worried more about the functionality of the room. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you have the same crib set as your favorite celebrity.

Just because you’re keeping the room simple doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be dull. It’s possible to create an interesting look by choosing smaller and cheaper décor items. One inexpensive addition is wooden letters, which you can easily hand paint for very little. You can create an instant attention-getter that’s inexpensive as well by hanging them on the wall with decorative ribbon. You should also be able to find other nursery items that you can use to add a special touch to your baby’s nursery at garage sales, in flea markets, and on the clearance racks.

You shouldn’t worry about spending a fortune decorating the baby nursery, as having a new baby is expensive enough. Rather, by following these steps, you can create an awesome nursery that won’t break the bank. Then you can save the money for your little one’s college fund instead.

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Mar 03 2010

Tips for Decorating With a Floral Pattern

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

You might be intimidated trying to use a floral pattern in your home, but it’s not hard and can end up looking fabulous. If you’re not sure, you can always start with a subtle floral pattern. But if you really want to attract some attention, go with a bolder one. Read on for some tips to get you started decorating with a floral pattern in your home, so you can get the most style out of your décor.

Use the Floral Pattern to Construct the Color Scheme for the Room
Decorating with a floral pattern gives you an instant color scheme for the room. One option is to take the background color of the pattern and use that on your walls. However, if your floral print is bold, then you might go a different route and choose one of the accent colors in the print for the wall. When you use a floral pattern to decorate a room, you end up with a variety of color schemes right in front of you that you can choose from. All you have to do is play around the colors a bit and see what you come up with.

Balance the Floral Pattern with Plain-Colored Items
Be sure you balance out things in the room if you’re decorating with a floral pattern. For instance, if your sofa is a floral print, than find plain-colored pillows to balance that print out. The goal is to achieve a balance that will work both for your taste and for the décor. Some people may find that they like more of the print in the décor. On the other hand, others may choose just to have small touches of the print in the room. If you are working with a bold floral pattern, you need to be especially sure you keep in mind that less is more.

Mix the Floral Print with Other Patterns
Most people don’t realize that floral prints can be mixed with other patterns in a room. You just want to be sure that the colors are in the same shades and they accent each other. In a country-style room, a floral print, for instance, would go great with a plaid or gingham print. Floral can even be paired with stripes. So when it comes to prints in your home, don’t feel that you have to be limited to flowers. But do be sure that the prints work well together and contribute to the style of the décor.

Artwork Is an Easy Way to Add a Floral Pattern to a Room
You can easily add a floral pattern to any room by simply hanging artwork up on the walls. You might hang a collection of flower portraits or pictures on a large empty wall. Or choose just one large floral piece to create a focal point for the wall. When choosing frames and matting for the artwork, try to match the style you are striving to achieve for the rest of the room.

Decorating your home with floral patterns doesn’t have to be as difficult or complicated as you might think. With a little creativity and by using these tips, you can have a wonderful, bright room that’s in full bloom.

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Mar 02 2010

Simple Lighting Options for Your Kitchen

If you’re looking for lighting for your kitchen, you may have more options than you think, depending, of course, on your kitchen’s style and layout. When it comes to kitchen lighting, you have plenty of options. However, not every selection will fit every type of kitchen. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when you choose the lighting for your kitchen.

Under-the-Cabinet Lighting Can Enhance the Look
Under-the-cabinet lighting in a kitchen can definitely enhance the look of the décor. You just need to figure out which type of light will best fit your layout, especially that of your cabinets. There are certain things you’ll need to consider before diving into the project, such as which areas of the kitchen you’re going to want lit. You have three different under-cabinet lighting options that you can choose from, including incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, and LED lights. Be sure to do your research on each type of lamp so you can determine which will work best in your kitchen.

Decorative Lighting Can Add Style
If first and foremost you want your new lighting to fit the style of the room, then you should look at decorative lighting. You might choose a light that hangs from the ceiling or one that lies flush with it. Examples of decorative lighting include products such as chandeliers and pendant lights. Not only do these types of lighting fixtures look attractive, but they also provide plenty of light for the room. If you want to make the light look even more appealing, choose a fixture that will match your kitchen’s theme or style.

Track Lighting Is Great in the Kitchen
If you have seen any pictures of or toured any new homes lately, you’ve probably seen track lighting in the kitchen. More and more people are going with track lighting in the kitchen these days. Track lighting allows you to direct the light wherever in the kitchen you need it most—for instance, by the stove or near the countertops. Nowadays, track lighting comes in many different styles and designs and thus is way more attractive than it used to be. If you’re looking for a more creative or different look, then consider a track that’s curved or even in an “S” shape rather than going for the more traditional straight line.

Recessed Lighting Is Common in Kitchens
Recessed lighting is another popular kitchen light option. This type of lighting involves the lights being installed right in the ceiling. You can point most recessed lights to whichever spot you want in the kitchen, which makes them similar to track lighting. The clean and streamlined look offered by recessed lighting makes it a great choice for contemporary and modern kitchens. Since recessed lights need to be installed in the ceiling, it’s best to hire a professional to do so to be sure it’s done properly and safely.

These days, you have so many different lighting options for your kitchen. If you do your research, you should be able to find a light that not only matches your kitchen’s décor but also highlights your beautiful space.

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Mar 01 2010

Simple Tips to Spruce up a Dull Bedroom

When it comes to decorating, it’s not uncommon for people to leave the bedroom for last since no one else really sees it. It’s hard to know what to do with that dull and boring bedroom when you don’t have a lot of time or money left for decorating. Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up that dull bedroom.

Paint the Walls
The easiest way by far to spruce up a boring bedroom is to paint the walls. Nothing adds style and color to a room more quickly than adding a coat of paint or two to the walls. Although it’s important to choose a color you like, it’s also important that it adds some interest to the room. Be sure the paint color accents or matches the accessories you have in the room, as that will make the décor look more cohesive.

Add an Interesting or Colorful Bed Set
Since the bed tends to be the largest item in the bedroom, it usually serves as a focal point for the space. Therefore, by adding color to the mission bed, you can instantly add interest to the room. You want a bed set that’s interestingly patterned or colorful but also coordinates with the other items in the room. Add a few decorative pillows to the new comforter or bedspread. If you’d prefer to stay away from a patterned bed set, then get a set that’s a single color and add accent pillows in a contrasting color to add interest to the area.

Hang Photographs on the Walls
If part of what is keeping your bedroom dull is empty walls, then you need to hang up some items to add some style and pizzazz to the décor. An easy way to cover your walls is to hang up framed photographs of you and your family. You might also consider hanging photographs of nature scenes such as ocean shots or pictures of flowers. Or if you like, go with some old black-and-white photographs.

Perhaps photographs just aren’t your thing or you’re looking for something a little different. Then consider hanging a large piece of artwork that’s caught your eye. You might even make the artwork yourself, if you’re feeling creative. If you like, you can base your entire bedroom scheme off that one piece of art. This approach to decorating can be very inspiring when it comes to design.

Add a New Piece of Furniture
If you have the space, consider adding a new piece of furniture to your bedroom to make things more interesting. Replace your old or out-of-style furniture with new pieces, as this will lend more style to the room as well. You might get a new oak dresser, a chest or bench for the end of the bed, or a new bed if you can afford it.

You want your bedroom to be a place where you can relax and enjoy hanging out. If your bedroom is dull and boring, that can certainly be a drag. So follow these simple ideas to create a stylish and interesting retreat in no time at all.

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