Archive for June, 2010

Jun 29 2010

Makeover Your Kitchen without Spending a Fortune

Published by under Kitchens

Updating a kitchen to give it a modern new look can cost a fortune. Counter tops, cabinetry and flooring cost are expensive, yet these updates add the most to the value of your home. You can still give your kitchen a face lift, and completely transform the look, without spending an exorbitant amount of money!

The kitchen and dining areas are where many families spend a majority of their time. You want your kitchen to look as warm and appealing as possible, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend. This article will give you several easy ideas for refreshing your kitchen on a budget.

Refresh Your Cabinets
Buying all new cabinets is out of the question for many people. You can make them look brand new yourself! Consider painting them an entirely different color, or sand them down a bit and stain them a different shade. Top with a protective coat of polyurethane for a sparkling, shiny new look. Add new hardware, and your cabinets look altogether different!

Add an Island
If you have the floor space, adding an island to your kitchen will dramatically change its appearance. An island breaks up the room and adds much needed counter space, and it is the perfect place to hang a wrought iron pot rack overhead!

Freshen Up Your Appliances
Buying all new appliances is a real strain on your bank account. If your stove, refrigerator and dishwasher are a bit outdated, you can paint them as well. Appliance paint is made for this purpose. If rust spots are starting to develop, you can buy a special product that stops the rusting process. It should be applied before you paint your appliances.

Perk Up the Walls
With walls, anything is possible. Paint them, add wallpaper or consider paneling. Bright, energizing colors like orange, peach and green are perfect for the kitchen, and lend a botanical appearance. Hang pictures that include fruits, flowers, herbs and other natural elements on large wall spaces. You will be amazed how transforming your walls brings a dull kitchen to life.

Don’t Forget the Floor
While you may be perfectly happy with the flooring you have, this can be updated as well. Many people don’t realize it, but you can actually paint old linoleum! Lightly sand the surface of your linoleum to help the new paint adhere. After a thorough cleaning, the next step is to apply an oil-based primer. Once dry, you are ready to paint! Create your own design; you can use stencil patterns, or even paint a “rug” on the floor. Use your imagination! Once you have applied about 3 layers of paint, wait for them to dry thoroughly. You can then complete the floor by applying 3 coats of durable polyurethane to protect your new floor and make it shine!

These are just a few easy tips that will help you create a beautiful new kitchen without blowing your budget. Completely remodeling a kitchen can cost tens of thousands of dollars; by doing it yourself, you can give your kitchen a makeover for just hundreds!

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Jun 28 2010

5 Ways to Cozy Up a Large Living Room

Most people love large living or family rooms, but they tend to have a cold or cavernous appearance, especially when the ceilings are vaulted.  While you love the spaciousness, you may wonder how to make the room feel a little more warm and inviting, or cozy.  You want your home to have an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming, an almost intimate appeal that feels alluring.

There are several ways you can break up a large space in order to make it feel a bit more personal.  This article will give you tips on creating a room that offers interest, appeal and, most of all, warmth.

Arrange Several Furniture Groupings

The easiest way to break the room up is to group furnishings in different areas, each for a purpose.  Arrange your sofa, loveseat, recliner and tables in a small grouping around an area rug.  This makes a wonderful conversation area when guests visit.  Furniture should not be placed against the wall; this only makes things look impersonal.  You may want to add another area that is designed for enjoying a good book.  Place a rocking chair or recliner, along with a small table and lamp, in another location in the room – perhaps near a window.

If you have more space, consider placing an additional sofa and television, stereo and game station in an area that will be used solely for entertainment purposes.  Creating areas designed to be used for specific activities is a great way to break the room up into smaller, more intimate spaces.

Use Paint or Wallpaper to Draw the Room In

In smaller spaces, most people avoid using dark colored paint.  When you have high ceilings and a very large room, dark paint is the perfect solution.  Consider painting the ceiling a dark shade as well to bring it down visually.  Boldly patterned wallpaper containing dark shades is an option as well.

Avoid Decorating with Mirrors

Mirrors tend to make rooms look larger, especially when they reflect light from windows or other light sources.  If you feel that you have to use a mirror, hang it where it reflects a favorite piece of décor or accent.

Add Lots of Accessories!

Adding lots of accessories such as baskets, pottery, plants and bookshelves can really scale a room down.  Using small to medium size accents helps reduce the appearance of a large room and balances bigger items like furniture.  Consider placing a potted tree in one corner of the room to match the scale of a high ceiling.

Bulk is Great

For spacious rooms, bulky large furniture is perfect.  Consider using “heavy” looking fabrics such as tapestries, and keep the colors dark.  Dark colored wood is ideal as well; light colors tend to make spaces look larger.  Avoid glass topped tables completely.

There you have it!  Five great ways that you can visually reduce the size of spaces which look cold and uninviting.  No matter how big the living or family room are, you can give them a cozy, warm appearance that everyone will appreciate.

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Jun 23 2010

Turn Your Bedroom Into an Exotic Island Get Away!

Many people think of their bedroom as simply the place where they sleep at night.  While you may not spend a lot of your waking time in this room, you want to create an atmosphere that is relaxing and comfortable – this helps you sleep better at night!  Besides, you do want every room of your home to be as attractive and appealing to the eye as possible.  This article will provide a few exotic decorating ideas for your bedroom.

Create the Atmosphere in Your Mind
What do you think of when you imagine an exotic island get away?  Most likely, lush tropical foliage, fresh island breezes and a totally relaxing atmosphere play a big role in your mental picture.  The word ‘exotic’ often brings to mind wild animals; zebra and leopard prints are common in this type of décor.  Interestingly enough, this look usually combines a fresh, light and calming aura with the bold excitement of the exotic.  Asian inspirations add to the relaxed, easy charm.

Exterior Surroundings
The exterior of your bedroom, areas such as the walls, floors, ceilings, should be kept light and airy.  To create this stunning look, start with cream or lightly colored walls and flooring.  Wood floors that are of a light shade or cream colored carpeting are the perfect foundation for the exotic island look.  Integrate colors from the beach – pure white sands and caramel browns create the perfect foundation for the rest of the look.  Any shade from the lightest beige to rust, caramel and coffee incorporated with bold black and white accents work amazingly well in this style of décor.

Make the Bed the Focal Point
Boldly carved Colonial style furniture is the perfect choice for this décor.  Decorate with an abundance of plush coverings, toss on several thick throw pillows in dramatically bold designs, and your bed will become the center attraction of the room.  Now, it’s time to add the finishing touches!

Furniture, Plants and Other Accessories
To complete the exotic island look, add a few silk tropical plants, a touch of rattan and a simple yet elegant chandelier.  A simple rattan chair makes the perfect addition to the room and a few Asian inspired woven baskets add interest without detracting from the focal point.  Windows should be adorned with light, airy curtains.  The romantic chandelier should be simple; nothing overly dramatic or too detailed.  Throw a zebra skin rug into the mix, and the look is just original enough ensuring that the bedroom is your favorite room of all.

Incorporating décor from different countries is a growing trend.  In this example, you can easily see how Asian accents blend with the exotic patterns of Africa, while the overall theme of the room is totally relaxed, light and seems to float on a breeze.  You can almost visualize basking at the edge of the ocean, while warm breezes gently float across your body.  Make your style your own!  With a little creativity, your bedroom can be transformed from the everyday ordinary to a world all its own.

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Jun 22 2010

Transforms an Ordinary Bathroom into a Sleek, Chic Space

Published by under Bathrooms

To be honest, the bathroom is one room that many home owners pay very little attention to with regards to design and décor.  This room is used for very limited reasons; however it could be used for so much more!  Relaxing and unwinding after a hard day’s work is something that many people fail to do, and the tub is the perfect place to do it.

If the décor were a bit more dramatic, maybe people would use this room as more of a sanctuary when they want to get away from it all.  This article explains how to transform the look of your bathroom, and make it an area of the house you will actually enjoy utilizing!

Start Out Slow
Until you decide if you want to incorporate black and white into your bathroom, start out with something simple to give you a taste of the look.  A stark white wall adorned with a simple black and white print framed in solid black will give you an idea of what to expect.  This décor is not for everyone, but if you love bold and dramatic it should suit you perfectly.

How Color Affects Your Mood
Different colors are proven to affect mood.  With black and white, black radiates excitement and sophistication, while white represents tranquility.  In this way, you can see that the two colors are a sort of blend of opposites, which makes for some very exciting decorating!

 

The Floor is Essential to the Overall Look
Many people ignore floors when it comes to decorating their home.  In any room, the flooring and rugs can completely transform the look of the room!  When considering the black and white bathroom, think about bold designs.  Tile or marble flooring is great in the bathroom to begin with, and a mixture of black and white tiles makes a dramatic impact on the look of the room.  The look is bold and exciting, yet refined and tranquil at the same time.  If you currently have a snow-white floor in your bathroom, jazz it up with a jet black rug!

Include Great Accessories
The ‘accessories’ are the jewelry of any room.  In the bath, the window and shower curtains can help pull the look together and make it complete.  Choose a bold geometric or abstract pattern that incorporates black, white and gray if you like.  Add a dramatic mirror over the vanity edged in black or silver.  Decorate a large wall with an intricately patterned mural or tapestry.

To update the look of your cabinets, give them a coat of paint in either black or white.  Finish off with a high gloss coat of polyurethane, and add knobs in the contrasting color.  Can you picture in your mind how fantastic this bathroom is going to look?  One thing is for certain – it will never be called plain or dull again.

Make your bathroom a sanctuary where you can relax and unwind after a long, stressful day.  Fill the tub with scented bath oil, bubbles or whatever you like.  Light a few candles, enjoy a glass of wine, and totally love your surroundings.

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Jun 21 2010

Create a Warm Country Style Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to decorating their home, but you would be hard pressed to find many that do not like the cozy, welcoming atmosphere of a country style kitchen.  The kitchen area is often the “heart” of the home.  This is where family congregates to enjoy good food and good conversation!  This article offers tips and ideas on how to incorporate an old time country look and charm in your kitchen.

A country style kitchen often displays a good deal of early American character.  A farmhouse comes to mind in this style of décor; rooster, cows, hens, pigs and other farm animals are often on display.  It is typical for the theme to focus on a particular animal.  It is perfectly fight, though to use a combination of animals and display them in various locations around the room.

The Kitchen Table is Central to the Theme
Many country themed kitchens are one big room.  In other words, the table may actually be in the kitchen itself, as there is often no separate dining room.  In this case, it is essential that your table and chairs are designed in the country style.  High backed wooden chairs may have cushioned or decorated seats.  To add even more to the old time charm, try to find a solid wood table that displays visible knots from the tree that the table was made from.  A hutch or buffet will complete the furnishings for the room.

Antique Touches Add Charm
Another great thing about a country style kitchen is that you can find many of the accessories you need at flea markets and garage sales.  Old butter churns and iron skillets create a look that reminds everyone who enters of years gone by at grandma’s house.  Hang old cast iron skillets in varying sizes on one wall; display an old butter mold on the counter top.  Any accents or trivets that look as though they were a long time ago are perfect for this type of décor.

Carry Through With a Theme
If you do decide to choose one central theme for the room, carry it throughout.  For example, if roosters are what you decide upon, use them everywhere.  You can find cookie jars, canisters, hot pads, dish towels, clocks and more that are designed in a rooster pattern.

For the windows, you may want to consider using curtains that coordinate with the colors in the room.  The colors often used in the country decorating theme include rustic hues like dark red or rust, golden yellow, blue, dark green and brown.  Use a solid colored curtain or a pattern that complements the rest of the décor.  You may also decide you would rather use wood shutters, which are perfect with this type of decorating.

As for lighting, nothing adds more charm than a wrought iron chandelier.  This look is not too elegant or dressy, as some styles of chandeliers would be for country decorating.  Hung over the table, this will add to the cozy and comfortable atmosphere.  Place a basket filled with fresh fruit or pine cones and other natural foliage in the center of the table, and your charming country kitchen is complete!  Nothing beats country for charm, beauty and the warmth of family gatherings.

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Jun 18 2010

The Minimal Feel of Modern Decor

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Do you love clean, open spaces? If so, the modern style of décor is the perfect choice. This sleek style offers minimal fuss. While the design felt cold and stark in the past, it is now comfortable and welcoming. The tips in this article will help you design your home with a look that is up to date, sleek and efficient.

Decorating your home in the contemporary style means that you will have to keep some basic rules in mind. Bear in mind that you will have to follow some fundamental rules when decorating your home in this style. You don’t need to show good taste through individual accents with modern décor. Instead you can show it through the simplicity and subtleness of this contemporary design. Here are a few tips to help you create appealing and cutting edge contemporary spaces.

Keeping Things Sleek and Fresh
You should concentrate on color, shape and space when working with modern décor. Black, white and neutral colors are the base of everything in modern décor. The tone of the room is set by walls painted with neutral colors and black furniture . You can then add bold, brightly colored accents to punch up the drama. You can also have pastel colored walls, keeping the furniture neutral with tones of cream and sand. Conversely, pastel colored walls, with neutral tones of cream and sand for the furnishings can be used. Essentially, the rest of your room should be kept neural if you are going to use colored walls. When using white or cream walls the furnishings in the room should be black and neutral, with minimum use of brightly colored accents to add interest to the room.

Simple Lines and Distinct Shapes
The most important part of modern design is architectural detail. The interest in this is added from high ceilings, geometric shapes and bold blocks of color; and less is definitely more. Windows are to remain uncovered, and walls are to be kept bare without accents that will clutter the clean, sharp lines. Everything used in the contemporary style stands out on its own. Your objective is keeping floors, walls and ceilings as uncluttered as possible. If for some reason you need to cover your windows, it is best to do so with basic blinds or curtains that are sleek and have no frills.

Choose the right Furnishings
Being able to choose the right furniture is key to modern décor. The style of the furniture should be clean, with no decorations or added curves. Large pieces, like sofas, beds and chairs should have their legs left exposed. Upholstered furnishings made of natural fabrics that provide texture should be in black, white and other neutral tones. A bold splash of color can easily be added through throw pillows with bright, abstract or geometric patterns.

Minimal use of accents is important. A single over-sized geometric print in cold color is a perfect example an accent for an entire wall. Color can also be added through a single potted plant or a candle held in a modern shaped container. Cute accents, floral prints, ruffles or fringes should not be used. Modern décor aims to create bold, basic and roomy spaces. Use these tips in your home and you will create rooms that are visually appealing, comfortable and roomy.

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Jun 17 2010

Making a Small Bedroom Appear Spacious

This is it, you have finally found your dream home; it seems perfect, everything is in place, at least until you get to the master bedroom. This is something that occurs all too often. The rest of the home is exactly what you have been searching for, even though the master bedroom is a bit small. The living room and kitchen are perfect. What can you do to make the master bedroom look and feel larger? This article offers many tips and ideas that will assist in visually opening space in your room. Most of these tips may be used in any small room.

The appearance of space can be a simply accomplished feat. You don’t need to sacrifice personality and style when making your room look open, all that is necessary are a few small changes. These ideas will help you create a larger looking master bedroom. However, they aren’t exclusive to that area of the house, they can be used anywhere!

Use Mirrors!
You have probably heard of this trick millions of times before, but it works. A mirror should be hung on your bedroom wall, opposite a window. A perfect place to hang a mirror is on your bedroom wall, just opposite a of a window. The window’s reflection, especially with light colored curtains, makes the room appear spacious and sun filled. You can use this trick in a bathroom or living room as well.

Paint – The Solution for Many Problems
You can do many things in your home with the help of paint. The walls of a small room should be painted with light colors. Cream, off-white and soft pastel shades of peach and yellow are great colors to use in a small room. White paint for the ceiling will add a lighter look to the room. Light shades make an area feel more open, darker shades will diminish it.

Floors Should Be Light as Well
Small rooms should have lightly colored floors to visually add space to the room. If you are more inclined towards using carpet, using carpet with light hues such as sand and cream also works. In the case you use wood flooring good choices are light colors and natural woods. If you do not have the means for replacing a dark colored carpet, light colored rugs can always be added to each side, and the foot, of the bed.

Headboards usually look bulky. Solving this problem is as easy as taking the headboard out and replacing it with a tapestry or rug hung on the wall behind the bed. This can really open up the area, adding a more spacious feel to the room. To open up space on your night table hang swing arm lamps on the walls instead of using lamps.

Here is a cool tip: Use light colored curtains that are higher and wider than your windows in order to visually open up space in the room! This will make it appear as if you have larger windows, adding to the openness and airiness of the room. If you have the room, opening up the floor area can be as easy are moving a chest or drawer into a closet.

Keeping comforters, curtains and throw pillows light colored is always a good idea. Always keep in mind that darker colors tend to absorb light causing the area to recede and diminish; this is not something you want. Things should be kept as light and as open as possible in your master bedroom; this will keep things looking large and spacious.

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Jun 16 2010

Bring that Wild Wild West Feel into Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

There is a rich and relaxed appeal to Western themed décor. Whether you live in the middle of a big city or a rural area, you can easily alter the feel of your living room. Simple use of accessories can liven up your home if it is currently decorated in neutral tones. This article offers tips and ideas that will prove useful in giving your home a western flair that will challenge that of the old west.

Desert tones joined with plenty of leather and wood lend authenticity to this style of furnishing.  Warming up a neutral room with rich, rustic colors and will help you to find that your room has more depth and intensity.

Add Southwestern Color
There are particular tones used in this style of décor which include cactus green, rust orange, adobe red and shades of yellow inspired by the sun. A walls painted with a muted orange or deep yellow shade can add depth and warmth to a room with furniture that is colored in natural hues. Accent rugs, ceramic pottery, throw pillows and other accessories liven up the room.  Tapestries that are lavishly textured can be used in throw pillows and wall hangings as well.

Terra Cotta and Ceramics Add a Western Influence
In order to enrich the look of the area, ample terra cotta and ceramics should be used. Placing terra cotta tiles on the walls, floors or counter tops of your home should be taken into consideration. An ideal fit for this type of décor is boldly colored ceramic pots filled with cactus and other greenery. Containers adorned in a southwestern pattern are a wonderful addition just as well.

Fabrics Add an Artistic Flair
Some of the appeal of western décor stems from the richly textured patterns included in this style of decorating. Use hand-woven fabrics with fringed edges for an extra touch. Create a focal point for the room by hanging a large tapestry decorated with desert scenes on a wall. Handsomely textured and vibrant throw adds a burst of color when casually thrown over a neutral sofa.

Using natural elements is perfect for the western themed home. Stone, wood, leather and metal all coalesce to create a mood that is comfortable, warm and eye-catching. If a brown leather sofa or love seat is within your budget buying one would be a great idea. Tables made of rough woods will lend further to the western tone. Furniture with a distressed look is just right; wrought iron adds style to the room as well.

If you should decide to lean towards a more southwestern style, turquoise accents will lend a Native American appeal to the room. Southwestern inspired throw rugs and throw pillows should be considered for sofas containing shades of turquoise.

Remember that the look of the Wild West draws from ceramics, natural textures and materials and colors inspired by the desert. Consider neutral toned slip covers if your furniture is the opposite of the style you need and cannot afford to refurnish the place. Most slipcovers that are sold these days are fitted to offer a neat, clean appearance. Embellish your home in the spirit of the west!

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Jun 15 2010

Making Your Small Bathroom Look and Feel Spacious

Published by under Bathrooms

Do you have one of those bathrooms that feel so small you can barely turn around?There are several things you can do to make the room look more spacious, and actually make it feel less cramped at the same time.This article will give you some tips and ideas to help you turn your tiny bathroom into a room that you will actually enjoy!

Color, lighting and a few other tricks can actually transform your bathroom without adding to the square footage.Whether you want a bath that looks cozy and inviting or elegant, it can be accomplished with a few little changes.

Pale Colors Open Up a Room

This isn’t to say that you have to paint your bathroom white, but light, pastel colors visually open up the spaces. You might consider a lighter colored floor if yours is dark.Paint the walls soft shades of peach, cream or any other light color.Save the bold colors for smaller accents such as towel holders or in artwork for the walls.The top of your vanity, as well as the doors underneath, should be light colored.For wooden cabinet doors, this can be easily achieved with a little paint.If you use towels as décor, choose light shades that complement the rest of the room.

Bring More Light In

Adding light to the area visually brightens and opens up any room.In a bath, you can consider wall sconces for additional lighting, as well as recessed lighting in the ceiling or a small lamp for the vanity.If your budget allows, consider a skylight to allow natural light to brighten up the room.

If It Takes Up Space, Take It Out!

Many people have extra shelving in their bathrooms to hold towels, cotton balls and other vanity items.Anything that protrudes into the room is detracting from a spacious, open look.Take shelving and other storage units out of the room; you can store these items under your vanity, or in a linen closet elsewhere.You will be amazed how airy the room looks when you remove the clutter.

Expand With Mirrors

It has long been known that mirrors reflect light, and make any room look much larger.In the bath, you might want to consider replacing the mirror over your vanity with a larger one that will reflect the color and design of the bathroom.One over-sized mirror will work great, or if you prefer you may use several arranged artistically to add interest and reflect light.If space allows, you may want to use another mirror on a separate wall to further expand the boundaries.

In any room, clutter looks messy and visually diminishes the size.The same holds true in the bathroom!The less clutter, the cleaner and more streamlined the room will look.Toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, lotions and other small items should be stored away and not left to take up space on the vanity.Put these tips to work for you, and your bath will look and feel as though it has doubled in size!

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Jun 14 2010

Tips For Decorating Your Home In The Bold Asian Style

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Asian décor is bold, elegant and beautiful. There is no better way of achieving a look in your home that demands attention and displays style. This is a style that is not for those seeking a relaxed atmosphere, but for those that want to delve into the bold and dramatic! With the tips in this article, your home will be transformed into the envy of all that enter.

Though it may sound surprising, Asian décor actually offers simplicity. Eliminating clutter is no problem since furniture and accessories are kept to a minimum. Bold and dramatic colors are found in the pieces in order to provide greater visual impact.

Use of Bold, Dramatic Color
The use of the colors red, black, gold and shades of tan, brown and grey is prevalent in Asian décor; this is especially true in Japanese style decorating. A black lacquer that shines like glass is often used on furniture. Walls and trim may be in gold.

Incorporating Texture
Natural textures are a staple of Asian décor. Bamboo is of common use in furnishings, window coverings and plant containers. The use of paper surfaces may be included in wall prints, and natural rock adds to the drama. You will usually find that bamboo plants are in containers adorned with red and gold hues.

Oriental Rugs are a Must
You cannot hope to complete the look and style of Asian decor without the addition of oriental rugs! Not many styles of decorating hold the floor to such high importance however, in this style of décor the floor holds great significance and is the basis for it. In this style of décor furnishings are chosen to complement or draw out the colors on the floor.

This style of décor also relies on screens and window accents. Shoji screens can be used as décor that serves to divide the room or as cover for unattractive spaces. The screen can also be used as a covering which can block the views for a window. These simple, yet ornately decorated, screens are a vital characteristic of the oriental theme.

Simple and basic, this is the usual way to decorate windows as it will create balance along with the dramatic floors and furniture. Windows are often simply accented or covered with bamboo or wooden blinds. Consider gold window accents if your furnishings and flooring are in neutral tones; as for Asian window accents, the Chinese often use accents with tassels.

The drama of Asian décor can also provide serenity and peacefulness. Always keep clutter to a minimum, and use bold accents along with the natural elements. Your tones will not only be dramatic and bold, but they will also offer simplicity and serenity.

Take note of the décor the next time you find yourself in an oriental style restaurant. Examples of this beautiful style of décor can help you figure out how to better use this look in your own home, and finding these examples is as easy as going online. If you are aiming for elegance, there is no better style of décor than the beautiful and bold Asian style.

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