Archive for October, 2010

Oct 29 2010

Choosing Color a Scheme to Decorate Your Home in Style

Color plays a huge role in not only in the beauty of your home, but the atmosphere as well.  Many people don’t realize just how much color affects mood, relaxation and ambience.  In this article, you will find ideas and information that will help you create color schemes that make for an inviting, comfortable home that your family and friends will love.

Basic rules for creating an appealing color scheme

 

Keep in mind when choosing colors for a room to use only 2 or 3 total.  One color should dominate the room, while the other two will complement or contrast with the dominating color.  This makes for rooms that are beautiful, colorful, and anything but bland.

Many people use neutral colors, simply because they are so easy to accessorize.  Also, it’s easy to refresh the look without buying all new furnishings and accents.  If you prefer a bold, elegant look, consider using black and white with a few interesting splashes of red.

Neutral colors are chic and simple

 

When you think neutral, consider shades of black, white, gray and brown.  You can choose any variations of these colors, such as cream, beige and gold.  Incorporating these colors into your decorating is simple, as these shades blend easily with most furnishings, especially those that are made of wood or leather.  Always make sure that darker shades and lighter ones are well balanced, so that the room doesn’t appear too “heavy” or too “light.”

Also, make certain that you vary sleek, smooth textures with nubby or rough textures to add interest and depth to the room.

 

Warm colors invite relaxation and make a room look rich

 

If you love rooms that are rich and relaxing, warm colors are the perfect choice.  Take your cue from the colors seen in the fall, when leaves are golden, orange and russet; forest greens and brown tones add to the comfortable, inviting atmosphere.

Many people who decorate their homes in country or western style décor incorporate these colors into their rooms.  A wall may be painted cream and trimmed in russet, or vice versa depending on the size of the room.  Dark walls are fine for large rooms, but tend to make a small room appear even smaller.

Accents such as throw pillows and area rugs should be rich in color; plaids and stripes of forest green, russet and gold add bold splashes of texture and color.

Color is an integral aspect of interior decorating.  Colors affect mood, and create a certain type of atmosphere.  In a home office, you may want to use colors that make you feel more energetic; in a bedroom, relaxing colors such as soft lavender or pastel blue invite sleep.  Consider the room you are decorating, and the effect you want to create when choosing colors.

To help you choose the perfect colors for your home, pay particular attention to the colors of nature; the skies, forests, mountains and fields offer up plenty of ideas.  Put these tips to use in your home, and you will have rooms that are not only appealing to the eye, but appealing to the senses as well.

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Oct 29 2010

Decorating Tips for a Masculine Den

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

As we all know, men’s ideas of decorating can differ immensely from a woman’s idea of the perfect décor.  If you are a man, or a wife decorating for your significant other, you may be looking for ideas on how to spruce up a den or other special room where men often gather to play cards, watch sports, etc.  This article offers up plenty of tips and ideas for making any area where men gather to enjoy themselves more masculine.

Avoid the obvious

Obviously, you don’t want to decorate a man’s den with florals, lace or other feminine accents.  There are certain colors you will probably want to avoid as well, such as lavender, baby blue and pink.  Woodsy, earth-toned hues are best for decorating a room with manly, masculine appeal.

Furnishings

The ideal furniture for decorating a man’s den can be anything from leather to rough, nubby fabrics in plaids or stripes.  Wood furnishings upholstered in a plaid fabric containing colors like rust, brown and cream add a rich, comfortable appeal.  Leather is always suitable; look for rough, worn textures in dark shades of mahogany or chocolate brown.

Tables and chairs used for playing cards can be anything from the metal, fold-out type to rustic looking wood with a worn look.  Plain, simple lines free from intricate or elaborate details are best for decorating the den.

Hobbies make for interesting accents

Most men have a hobby they enjoy, such as golfing, hunting, fishing or even sailing.  Use these hobbies to inspire a decorating theme.  The den can have a cabin atmosphere if hunting or fishing is a favorite hobby; camouflage, ducks, fishing gear or anything related to the hobby can be displayed on walls, floors or shelves.

Any man who enjoys sailing or sports may want to create a corner of the room specifically meant to display collectibles.  If you love assembling model cars from kits, show them off!

When decorating the floors, use accent or area rugs that complement the other colors of the room.  Stick to solid or striped patterns for masculine appeal.  Wood floors are especially nice in a den that is decorated in a cabin or rugged style.  You may want to include bean bags for extra seating, for when the “boys” get together to enjoy a baseball game.

Walls in the den can be painted a neutral shade of beige or sand, or paneled with wood.  Display awards, metal framed art or any artwork that has meaning or is suitable with the décor theme.  Framed posters of your favorite athletes are a good touch, as are landscape pictures depicting the great outdoors.

Most men love a room they consider their own, for those times when they simply want to relax and read a good book, work on the computer, or socialize with friends.  Use the ideas in this article to create a masculine den that is relaxing, comfortable and perfect for those nights when the “guys” just want to have a little fun.

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Oct 29 2010

Decorating a Patio to Bring the Inside and Outside Elements Together

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

For many, a patio is simply an extension of their home – an outdoor room, if you will.  Besides being used for relaxing and unwinding, a patio is where friends often gather to cook outdoors on the grill, enjoy music and visit with one another.  If your current patio is simply a concrete slab or a wood deck that is bare of all décor, this article will help you create a patio that you will not only love to relax upon, you will also enjoy the inviting appearance.

How to make your patio more private

 

A patio is an area that you may want to feel a bit private and secluded, so that the wandering eyes of neighbors or cars passing by can’t see your every move.  This is easy to accomplish with just a few items.

If you have any old large or tall shutters lying around, you can create a great screen that not only keeps out curious eyes, but the wind as well.  Simply connect several like an accordion, and paint them any color you like!  You may even want to get creative and paint a mural consisting of natural or garden themes.

In the springtime, you may want to consider nailing together some two by fours, then run wire or fishing line vertically so that climbing plants and vines that grow quickly can create a natural and beautiful living cover.

Create extra seating and add charm

 

If your patio or deck is open around the sides, consider building wooden benches to line the perimeter.  These can be used not only for sitting, but for flowers and greenery in order to make them a bit taller.  Make sure the benches are sturdy so there is no chance of them falling off the edge.  You may even consider adding outdoor cushions to the benches to make them more comfortable and attractive.

Warm up in colder months

You can even enjoy your deck in the dead of winter by adding an outdoor fire pot or fireplace.  This not only keeps you warm, it creates ambience and an atmosphere that is cozy and inviting.  Today, you can find these fire pots in various designs that will suit any decorating theme.

If your deck is large and you have a section that is designed for the grill, utensils, a preparation table and other necessities, you may want to make two separate “rooms,” one for cooking and one for relaxation.  This can be accomplished by using the shutter screen mentioned above with wall of plants along a large outdoor accent rug, or even a bamboo screen.  You might also consider partitioning the area off by using an outdoor wicker sofa that is facing toward the relaxation area with the back against the grilling section.

When it comes to decorating your patio or deck, there are dozens of things you can do to make the area beautiful, private and relaxing.  You may consider this your own little tropical paradise!  Any look can usually be achieved simply by using wood, partition screens, outdoor furnishings, area rugs and an abundance of beautiful plants.  Add a few large candles, and the mood is set for enjoyment.

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Oct 22 2010

Common Decorating Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Today, many people ignore all of the rules when it comes to decorating, which is all good and fine. Eclectic mixes of those things you truly love not only display your unique personality, they often result in rooms that are appealing, original and inviting.  That being said, there are a few decorating mistakes you absolutely want to avoid whenever possible.

Don’t create confusion while trying to blend patterns

Today, it is perfectly fine to use plaids, stripes and florals, as long as the colors blend with or enhance the theme of your decor.  However, these patterns and prints should be used in small doses, such as in throw pillows and small accent rugs.  A plaid sofa decorated with loud striped and floral accents not only looks chaotic, it looks – well, like a mess.  Either keep your furnishings a solid color and add accents containing patterns, or vice versa.

Don’t try to create space by jamming furniture against the walls

This is a decorating mistake that many people innocently make, especially when trying to make a room look more spacious.  To create an enchanting, beautiful room, arrange furnishings away from the walls, in a more intimate pattern.  You might consider placing a love seat, chairs and coffee table around a large area rug to create a cozy, more inviting atmosphere.

A sofa looks beautiful when moved out from the wall just a bit, while a sofa table set behind it displays the soft light of an accent lamp along with beautiful candles attractively.

Avoid displaying all of your collectibles at once

This is especially true if you collect many things.  Some people collect miniature tea pots or porcelain dolls, while other collect salt and pepper shakers, ceramic bells or miniature figurines.  If you have many different collections, display only one or two at a time.  Keep the others stored away, and rotate them occasionally to give the room a fresh look.

Know the rule “hang all wall art at eye level?” – break it

What really is eye level?  After all, people are different heights.  To make your walls look beautiful without making them look too uniform, vary the height at which you hang artwork, mirrors and other accents.  You certainly don’t want to hang a picture up at the ceiling, but varying the heights by about 4 to 6 inches will create an interesting and appealing look.  Also, use various shapes and sizes when accenting your walls, so that everything doesn’t look the same size.

These are some of the most common decorating mistakes people make.  Frequently, when decorating, you may decide to use a picture or accent simply because it matches the decor, not because you like it.  If you really don’t like the accessory or artwork, don’t use it!  The smartest thing you can do is to use those things you really love, those that have true meaning.

Remember these tips when decorating your home, and avoid making those common decorating mistakes that distract from how beautiful your home really is.

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Oct 22 2010

Choosing the Right Wall Decoration Can Transform a Room

Have you ever walked in to a room, be it a friends’ living room or someone’s office, and find yourself greeted by blank walls?  The look can be quite startling.  The right wall decor can add a richness and warmth to any room, making it appear beautiful and welcoming.  In this article, you will find ideas on how to dress up your walls so that your rooms as filled with color and personality.

When it comes to decorating your walls, don’t think that prints or paintings are your only choices.  Today, you can find interesting metal wall sculptures, textiles, mirrors and even wall fountains to add depth and beauty to your rooms.

Set the theme for the entire room with wall decor

A kid’s room is a perfect example of how this can be done.  By starting with the walls, you can set the mood and basic style for the rest of the room.  Choose to paint the walls with bright colors such as red, blue and yellow, adding stenciled pictures to the walls.

For a small girl, consider painting the walls a pastel shade of pink, adding a wide border around the top of the wall with wall paper, and then place a mural on the wall that fits the theme.  A pastel pony or delicate flowers add punch and make the room unique.

Consider your existing decor theme when choosing wall accents

Think about the style of your rooms before deciding what items to use to decorate your walls.  Is your living room decorated in a contemporary or ultra-modern theme, or do you prefer a more traditional look, even leaning toward country?  These things make a difference when choosing the accents or designs you will use to decorate a wall.

With a contemporary or modern space, you want to stick with things that are sleek and free from intricate details.  A single large mirror or abstract pieces that are square, round or triangular in shape work well with this type of decor. For those who love a warm, inviting appeal, artwork can be a bit more detailed.  Tapestries, prints, and framed artwork are more country themed, consisting of rich, warm colors such as rust, cream, blue, pumpkin and gold.  Just be sure to carry through with the overall color of the room, so that your wall decor complements or contrasts with furnishings, floors and other accents.

Consider the size of the room

Are you decorating a small or a spacious room?  Large rooms look much better when you have wall accents that are scaled to the size of the room.  Large mirrors, tapestries and other artwork can make a single wall the focal point of the room.

For a smaller room, it’s best to keep the artwork on your walls smaller so that it appears balanced and doesn’t overwhelm the room.  Think about hanging three related prints above your sofa, arranged in a level line straight across.  Always use odd numbers of items, such as groups of 3 or 5 when decorating a wall.

Use some creative thinking

Don’t think you have to stick to framed pictures and mirrors to decorate a wall!  Many people today even decorate a portion of the wall with tile.  When it comes to your walls, think paint, stencils, wall murals, tapestries, tile, mirrors, wall sconces and more!  Unlike decades ago, decorating your walls is now an exciting and challenging task.

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Oct 22 2010

Updating the Look of Your Home May Surprise You

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Want to transform the look of your home but find that a complete remodel, or even a partial one, is not an option?  You would be surprised at just how much can be accomplished with paint!  You can completely change the look and atmosphere in a room without ever buying new furniture, flooring or accessories.

Just a decade or two ago, paint was primarily considered for freshening up the walls.  White, cream and off-white were most commonly used.  Today, the shades you find in paint run the gamut from soft sand and peach to vibrant orange and royal blue – and walls are not the only thing that can be painted!

Re-vamp your accent tables

You may have a sofa table, end tables or other accent tables in your living or family room that you have grown tired of.  Give them chic or vintage appeal with a little paint!  Soft shades of sea foam green, gold or cream are perfect.  Simply apply a coat or two of paint to clean wood, then buff lightly around the edges with sandpaper when done.  You might also want to consider stenciling a charming design on the tables.

Liven up the walls

Nowadays, cream or white are shades that are seldom used for the walls unless you are decorating in a modern or contemporary theme.  Country, French, western and other decorating styles often incorporate rich shades of pumpkin, wine, gold or forest green.  A burgundy colored wall accented with white baseboards is striking.

It is no longer necessary to paint every wall of the room the same shade.  Choose a single wall that will be used as a focal point, and go wild with paint!  You may even use a few of the techniques that add rich texture to the walls such as ragging, rag-rolling or stamping.  Just use your imagination.

Fabrics

While it’s true you cannot use regular latex or wall paint on fabrics, you can certainly use fabric paints!  Pillow covers, table runners and accent rugs made of natural fabrics can be painted with quaint, charming patterns.  Don’t forget the shower curtain and fabric window treatments!

Consider painting a stencil pattern around the perimeter of your bathroom mirror for real charm.  Frost paint can be used on mirrors and other glass surfaces to give them an etched effect.

When painting wood furniture or fabrics, always make sure you are using the correct type of primer and paint. Research the material to be painted, so that the finished product is amazing!  You want the result to be one that is fabulous, durable and long-lasting.

With all of the ideas above, you can see how easy it is to transform the look of your home and give it a fresh new look without spending a bundle of money.  Get your creative juices flowing, and create a look for your home that is totally your own – full of charm, color and personality!  Everyone who enters will be envious of your artistic talent.

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Oct 20 2010

Creating Farmhouse Style Appeal – Even in the City!

Published by under Uncategorized

There is nothing quite as warm and welcoming as an old farmhouse.  This style of decorating practically begs friends and families to come in, put their feet up, and stay a while.  If you are tired of a home that looks too perfect or lacks personality and warmth, the cozy appeal of farmhouse decorating is something you may want to consider, whether you live in the country or the city.

The wonderful thing about farmhouse decorating is that accessories and accents don’t have to cost a fortune, and an eclectic mix of those things you love is perfect.  The older or more worn your furnishings and accents look, the better!  See a new scratch on the sofa table?  No big deal, it just enhances the look.

Lots of wood and natural fabrics set the mood

In decorating for a farmhouse appeal, wood floors covered with accent rugs are the norm.  Don’t worry about nicks or scrapes in the wood – this is all part of what makes the style so charming!  Your home will look lived in, and guests feel completely comfortable because they aren’t afraid to touch anything.

Sofas are often covered in natural woven fabrics such as cotton, in solid patterns, florals and even plaids.

Colors are rich

Gray-blue, wine shades, green and gold are a few of the colors often found in farmhouse decorating.  These colors are rich in pigment, and are anything but boring.  Today, you can paint not only your walls, but furnishings as well!  If the tables you currently have look too new or modern for the style you are trying to achieve, simply paint them, sand lightly in areas where they would naturally show wear and viola.  Scratches and dings are things you normally don’t want in other styles of decor, but are welcome in this decorating theme.

Accessories can be had for a song

Finding accessories for you farmhouse style home is easy – and affordable.  Shop thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets to find that old “junk” that someone else no longer wants.  Wooden signs, mismatched wooden chairs for the kitchen table, tin buckets and other country-style textiles can often be found for nearly nothing.

Country window coverings, quilts, handcrafted antiques and primitive decor add charm and a certain, cozy warmth to the atmosphere, making your home the one everyone loves to visit.  Scent the room with hand-made candles in delicious scents such as baked apple pie, cinnamon and pumpkin.

With many decorating styles, you want to avoid too many accessories; quite the opposite is true when it comes to the farmhouse theme!  Use all of those knick knacks you love so much – it only adds to the appeal.

The farmhouse style of decorating often brings back memories of those times a century ago, when life moved at a somewhat slower pace and was meant to be enjoyed; when family mattered, and all gathered around the dinner table to re-hash the day.  Your home can be cozy, warm and oh-so charming when you incorporate a farmhouse theme!

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Oct 20 2010

Decorating a Kitchen in Charming Country French Style

Published by under Uncategorized

Whether you prefer a rugged or natural look, country French style is the perfect décor if your desire is a charming kitchen that welcomes all who enter.  The kitchen is typically the most used room in your home, where family enjoys home-cooked meals and discusses the events of the day.  Guests often congregate in the kitchen as well, gathering around the table to enjoy coffee, tea and desserts while visiting.  Below, you will find some great tips and ideas for creating a charming kitchen that is beautiful and welcoming.

Country French decorating is often a blend of country elements and those taken from nature.  Imagine a French manor offering grace and quaint details, tucked away in the rolling hills of the country where wildflowers dominate the landscape.  Sounds charming, doesn’t it?

A distressed or antique look suits this style perfectly

 

With country French décor, a worn look adds further to the charm and appeal.  Consider distressed cabinets adorned with knobs and intricate carvings.  The dining room table may be made of rough-hewn or distressed wood, and flanked by mismatched chairs.  Upholstered seat cushions for the chairs and bar stools add further to the appeal.

Bare, wide-planked wood floors that are buffed to a natural finish and not overly-polished are the perfect touch.  If you prefer ceramic tiles, consider shades of cream, mauve and brown shades to carry through the natural color theme.

Accessories don’t have to be costly

 

In decorating with a country French flair, you will find that accessories are easy to find.  Use those items that are hand-crafted, or a few of those rustic finds that are often located at a flea market.  Distressed and worn looking accents are the perfect touch, and add even further to the country style charm.  Antiques that are well worn and depict animal or natural scenes are a nice touch as well.  Today, many people who prefer this style of decorating include country or French design roosters and chickens in their décor.

Paintings and decorative plates that carry through with the natural or animal-themes are great in this style of decorating as well.  Curtains can be anything from lace to drapes that have a distressed look, depending on whether you prefer a rustic appeal or a fancier design.  The perfect accent for this type of kitchen is a large antique vase filled with wildflowers straight from nature.

The key to creating a fabulous country French style kitchen is using those items you truly love.  While you may be tempted to purchase accents or accessories that match perfectly, this is not the best direction to take.  By including those items that truly reflect your own personal style and taste; you will create a kitchen atmosphere that is warm and welcoming, while being a bit elegant and rustic at the same time.

Look through magazines and search online to get many fabulous ideas for creating a kitchen that is as beautiful as it is charming!  Reflect your own personality and this will be a room you truly enjoy.

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Oct 20 2010

Adding Interest and Appeal to Small Bathrooms

Published by under Bathrooms

Small bathrooms often present problems for home owners.  While you may think of this room as the least in importance when it comes to decorating, it is the one room in your home that your family, as well as guests, visits consistently.  Is there any way to transform those small, often odd-shaped spaces so that they look as beautiful as the rest of your home?  This article offers tips and ideas for making those tiny bathrooms look more spacious and appealing.

Keep things light

 

In a small home or apartment bathroom, you want to avoid dark colors and lots of clutter – this only makes the room appear tinier.  Opt for light colored walls, such as shades of pale peach, sky blue or cream.  You can paint the walls yourself at very little expense, and the difference is amazing.  Use techniques such as sponging or rag rolling for a texture that mimics that of wallpaper.

Keep floors light as well.  Large sized tiles or light colored linoleum helps in making the room look more open and airy.  To help make the bathroom look much more spacious, hang a large wall mirror, opposite a window if possible.  This reflects not only the window, but the sunlight as well which brightens the bathroom considerably.

Accessories

 

In a small bathroom, using the right accessories can make a dramatic difference.  Shower curtains, bath rugs and towels should be light colored.  Consider a beach or seascape theme made up of colors such as sand, ocean blue, peach and the palest green or aqua.  These colors not only lighten the mood of the bath, they are relaxing as well.

A single silk or live plant placed in a corner or other area that is out of the way adds a personal touch.

 

Clear the clutter

 

Is your vanity covered with personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, lotions, etc?  Clutter makes any room look smaller – and messy.  You want the vanity to have a smooth, sleek appeal.  Place those items underneath the vanity in cabinets, or if you have a pedestal vanity enclose the bottom area with fabric that blends with the rest of your décor so that you can store these items out of sight.

Bright lighting also helps make a small bath appear larger.  Install additional lighting around the vanity mirror, or consider recessed lighting in the ceiling to light up the entire room.  Avoid plastic shelves that many people place over the toilet for storage, as this further diminishes the size of the room.  You might also consider keeping the laundry hamper in the washing  room or in a closet so that it doesn’t take up precious floor space.

Put these tips and ideas to work in your bathroom, and you will see that this much-used room can be both beautiful and functional!  One great thing about re-decorating a bath is that it can be accomplished without spending a great deal of money, which is important in times of a weak economy.

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Oct 13 2010

Who Says You Must Follow the Rules When Decorating?

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Yes, you can create beautiful spaces by following all of the rules and guidelines that are available for decorating your home – but who says you have to?  Creative people have a knack for making spaces look appealing and original; for filling them with personality.  If you are ready to decorate your home with a look that is all your own, this article offers a few tips and ideas to help make the process easier.

Without sticking to any particular decorating theme, you can make the rooms in your home your own.  We’ve all been inside a home that was so unique and extraordinary that it made our own look dull in comparison.  Here are a few ideas to get your thought process cranking.

Consider color before you do anything else!

 

It is a known fact that color affects mood.  When decorating your rooms, consider what they will be used for.  For example, you wouldn’t want bright red or royal purple in a bedroom, as these colors are stimulating.  You want relaxing shades such as lavender, soft peach or cream.

Red, yellow and orange are energy colors, so these may be perfect for your home office.  If you want a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere for your living room, consider warm colors such as rust, pumpkin, deep yellow or gold, navy blue and dark green.  The colors of nature are inviting and soothing.  If you lean toward cool colors, consider combining light to medium shades of blue and green.

Do things your own way

 

Some people love the sleek, simple look of modern décor, while others prefer the relaxing family atmosphere that often comes with country or western style.  If you are someone who likes both, mix things up!  An eclectic look is original, and exudes personality.  If you collect things such as antique dolls, nautical-themed items or porcelain bells, put them on display!  It’s your home, so include those items you truly love.  If you currently have accents or knick-knacks that you don’t really like, take them out.

Shake things up with paint

 

Today, it’s absolutely amazing what a little paint can do to transform a room.  Why stick to white or cream colored walls?  Lighter shades are great for small rooms, but if your living room is spacious, consider bold, vibrant colors.  Paint one or two walls a pumpkin color or any other color that blends with your décor, and trim the baseboards and door facings in a gold or cream hue.  This adds interest and depth to the room.

Wood furniture can be painted as well, and you can even make modern coffee and end tables take on an antique look.  Simply paint the wood whatever color you like, and then lightly sand the edges for a worn look.

Go through your attic or storage room and look through things you packed away years ago.  You may be surprised at what you can do with some of the items you thought were long past their prime!  Get your creative juices flowing, and transform the rooms of your home into spaces that you truly love.

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