Archive for November, 2010

Nov 18 2010

Decorating a Living Room that is Too Big

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Most people would love to have a living room that is large and spacious, but the fact is that you can have too much space.  If your living room looks stark, empty and just plain cavernous, there are many ways you can bring it down to size and transform it to a room that is comfortable, cozy and inviting.  This article offers many tips and ideas for decorating an area that is a bit too spacious.

Choose the right colors

Nearly everyone knows that bright colors like white and yellow make a room look bigger.  In decorating your living room, you want to avoid bright colors and choose tones that are deep and warm.  Colors such as burnt orange, taupe, gold, deep red and brown shades will bring a big room down to size, and create an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming.

Blue and green shades also work as long as you avoid bright tones.  Think forest green and deep blue when decorating a living room that is too large.

Walls don’t have to be white!

For decades, homeowners have had the misconception that walls must be white, off-white or cream.  This is absolutely wrong!  You can add an enormous amount of interest and personality to a room by choosing darker shades like country blue, sea foam green and rusty orange.  Paint baseboards and other trim a complementary or contrasting color for walls that are appealing and beautiful.

Choosing furniture for large rooms

For a living room that has too much empty space, you want to choose furniture that is bulky and over-sized.  Furniture that is too sleek or streamlined and built on a smaller scale will only add to the cavernous look of the room.

Think large leather furniture with plenty of bulk or even fabrics that are deeply textured.  Plaids and stripes in darker shades also help add a rustic look to the room.

How to arrange furniture so that a room looks cozy

Many people make the mistake of placing all of their furnishings against the walls, which is exactly what you want to avoid if the room is too spacious.  Pull sofas, chairs and tables away from the walls, creating intimate spaces that will break up the room.

Area rugs are great for not only creating intimate, cozy spaces but also for breaking up floor space.  Consider a richly textured area rug as the center of a grouping of furnishings for entertaining.  If members of your family enjoy reading, watching movies or playing games, create separate spaces for these activities.  Creating an area on a diagonal that isn’t square with the room also adds an interesting and appealing dimension.

Large accents pull the look together

Small accents will do nothing for a large living room but make it look messy and cluttered.  Choose over-sized prints and art for the walls; consider large ceramic vases for plants.  Find tapestries that are large and packed with texture.  Even a quilted blanket can look gorgeous when hung on a large wall!

The lighting in the room makes a huge difference as well.  Instead of lighting the entire living room with bright lights, consider accent lighting in specific areas.  Place the brightest lighting on one specific area of the room, so that attention is drawn to that area and the rest of the space isn’t as noticeable.

If your living room seems to swallow everything up with its huge expanse, put some of these tips to work for you.  You will see that you can create a living room that is cozy, comfortable and inviting!

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Nov 18 2010

From Chic to Traditional Home Decorating, the Trend this Season is Orange!

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

While it may surprise you, orange is a color that is being used more and more in decorating, no matter what style of decor you prefer.  From bright, vibrant and energetic to warm and relaxing, orange hues can transform your home from dull and lackluster to exciting and beautiful!

Orange is for more than small accents!

Placing even a small bit of orange in a room can brighten it up.  Think of placing a few oranges in a teal green or bright blue bowl in the middle of your dining room table – instant energy!  While this is a good idea, you can use orange in a much broader spectrum about your home, from walls and accent rugs to decorations and furnishings.

Blend colors for a dramatic effect that isn’t overpowering

When you decide that orange shades are what you want to use in your home, you need to break it up a bit with other colors to prevent a look that is over-powering.  Consider neutral tones such as cream or gold hues; for a chic, modern look consider colors such as vibrant blue or even bright yellow.

For a warm, inviting look, pale orange shades such as peach or melon are great on the walls; paint the baseboards and other trim a calm shade of sand or cream, and you create a look that is extremely appealing.  Combine shades of forest green and cream in furnishings, accent pillows, wall art and throw rugs for a look that brings the freshness of nature to mind.

Like a bold, exciting look?

Orange is the perfect color for those who aren’t afraid to go bold and dramatic.  Layered tones of yellow-orange, red and even pink create a look that is daring yet totally modern.  An apricot color for the sofa when combined with burnt orange walls and pink chairs is energetic and completely unique!

For those who prefer a coastal chic look, be sure to include lots of texture and colors such as turquoise.  Citrus orange furniture blended with pale blue walls and turquoise accents creates a look that is relaxing yet oh-so appealing.  Lots of ceramic, glass and patterned throw pillows add texture and interest that complete the look.  Think of natural elements such as stone as well.

Perfect for entertaining areas

Orange evokes energy, so it is the perfect color for decorating the areas of your home where you entertain, such as a covered deck or patio.  Combine lots of greenery with outdoor furnishings in shades of cantaloupe and rust and you have an area that invites your guests to feel right at home.  Finally, if you add splashes of white to liven up the area further you will inject a “light” airy atmosphere.

Years ago, no homeowner would have dreamed of decorating their home with orange; now, various shades of orange are effective for adding bright, energetic undertones or creating an atmosphere that is totally warm and relaxing.  Need a beautiful change of pace for your decor?  Think orange!

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Nov 18 2010

Tips for Giving Your Home Ultra Modern Appeal

Are you tired of the way your house looks and feel ready for a noticeable change?  Maybe you aren’t sure how to change it up, or perhaps you have your heart set on giving it an ultra modern look.  Either way, it is not hard at all to change the look of your home.  If you want an ultra modern look, there are many ways to achieve this.  Below are some guidelines that will help in creating the look you want, ensuring a great outcome.

A little paint and high-drama color

High gloss paint and bright or bold colors make a room come to life!  Modern walls pop with vibrant colors, but ultra modern color schemes are often focused on black, white or gray shades.  If you are very adventurous, go for a black wall or consider painting geometric patterns on the walls using stencils – or freehand if you’re good at it.  For kitchens and bathrooms, bright whites and glass tiles offer a clean, modern look that brightens the room and makes it appear larger.

Choose great furnishings

The next best thing to do in your house for an ultra modern look is to make sure you have the best furnishings available.  Couches and beds take over their respective rooms; they are elegant and oversized, and come in a wide variety of geometric shapes and designs that are perfect for the ultra modern appeal.  When you think accent tables, think texture.  Make sure that they are clean looking whether you decide upon chrome, glass, or wood.  An angular bar stool or chrome chair adds an unexpected twist to the room, and provides further interest.

Glossy walls and shiny furnishings are perfect for living rooms and bedrooms; the reflective qualities capture the attention of the eye when anyone enters the room.  Brushed metal on hardware such as drawer pulls and cabinet doors are the perfect touch in a kitchen or bath, and they add an elegant quality to the room.  In all rooms, keep clutter to a minimum so that lines flow smoothly without interruption.

The perfect finishing touch

In the ultra-modern decorating theme, try to minimize the use of rugs; consider ceramic tile or linoleum for entry ways.  Light fixtures should be simple in design, and made of stainless steel, chrome or wood.  For the windows, consider white shades that are simple yet elegant in place of draperies, which can give your home a dark, heavy look.

Depending upon whether you choose basic colors such as black, gray and white or bolder colors such as red or yellow, accents should be simple and sparse.  A single abstract or geometric print on a wall adds a bold splash of color.  Consider a large vase in a bold color filled with eucalyptus or another basic plant, along with a few large pillar candles to add atmosphere and ambience.

When you want a look that is clean and ultra modern, remember to keep things simple and avoid clutter.  Put the tips in this article to work for you, and you will see that creating a clean, bright, modern look for your home is easy.

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Nov 17 2010

One Simple Renovation Can Transform Your Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

Are you growing tired of the appearance of your kitchen and just want a little change without spending a lot of money?  Have you ever considered simply redoing the cabinets in your kitchen to help spice things up a bit?  It may sound expensive, but depending on which method you choose it can be quick and extremely affordable.  This is a great project for those husbands who want to show their wife how special she is.

There are several different ways to give your kitchen cabinets a makeover.  If you don’t have any problems with the layout or design of your kitchen cabinets, you can make them a bit more modern by changing their surface appearance.  Simply replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts and cover the frames with a matching veneer.

Finishes

There are three types of finishes to pick from; plastic laminate, wood veneer and RTF.  This will save you money because you can resurface kitchen cabinets for a third of what it costs to replace them.  To make the room look better, replace a few of your cabinet doors with stained, etched or leaded glass.  This will give your kitchen a fresh, modern look and take away the outdated appearance you may feel your kitchen has.

Paint and save a ton of money

If you don’t have the money to buy new kitchen cabinet doors, or you like the design but just want a small change, think paint.  A little paint can dramatically change the look, not only of your cabinets, but your entire kitchen!  Make sure you choose paint that can withstand the temperature fluctuations in the kitchen.  Oil based paints are the best; they grip better, and they offer a longer lasting, more durable finish than acrylic paints.

Consider removing the cabinet doors completely

The most cost-effective way to renovate the look of your cabinets is to remove the doors altogether.  If you are someone who loves order and has no clutter inside your cabinets, this is a perfect solution.  Open-faced cabinets offer a country appeal as long as you keep your items well organized.  Should you choose to go this route, just clean up the outside framework and add a fresh coat of paint to the framework as well as inside the cabinets.  You may want to use a shade of paint that complements the rest of the decor in your kitchen.

Making the room look brand new is easily accomplished by simply changing the knobs, pulls and hinges on the cabinets.  Pick from several different finishes, like wrought iron, nickel, brass, or even stainless steel.  Whatever you choose for your cabinets, this is a very affordable way to renovate your kitchen without spending more than your budget allows.

Whichever ideas you try, little changes can make a huge difference.  If you’re a little bored with the way your kitchen looks, give it a little “face-lift” using some of the tips above!  Your kitchen will take on an entirely different feel, and you won’t spend more than you can afford in the process.

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Nov 17 2010

Making Your Home Cozier with a Country Style Bathroom

Published by under Bathrooms

Are you thinking about decorating your new bathroom in a country style theme, but have no idea where to begin?  Maybe you are just tired of the way your bathroom looks now.  Either way, everyone just needs to change an area in their home sometimes, perhaps to make it feel cozier and more welcoming.  Converting your modern bathroom to country style may be just what the doctor ordered.  Remodeling can get expensive, but this style of decorating is easily accomplished using things you may already have and a little paint.

Cozy country colors

Brown is a color that many people associate with country decor, but it can be a bit dull if overdone.  Vibrant yellows, burnt orange and rusty reds bring a bath to life, while making it feel cozy.  If you would like to create a calming atmosphere, then choose cool colors such as pastel blues, greens, pinks and even purples.  Around the top of the walls, try putting up a floral wallpaper border; you might even consider an oak or pine chair rail around the room to add that country flair that only wood can offer.

Fixtures

When it comes to fixtures in a bathroom, most people don’t think about changing the faucets and bathtubs in their home.  A country themed bath with modern fixtures looks somehow incomplete; the two styles just don’t work well together.  A claw foot tub is a stunning and charming touch to a country bath, and a great place to unwind at the end of the day.

Brass faucets and wrought iron accents add further to the romantic, warm appeal.  A pull-chain toilet will bring back memories of years ago, when life was lived at a much more relaxed, carefree pace. Many people cannot afford all of these changes, but incorporating just one will transform the mood of the room.

Storage ideas

To pull together a country themed bath, clutter should be removed from vanity tops.  Hairbrushes, hair products, toothpaste, deodorant and other grooming items can be stored away in the cabinet under the sink, or you can convert an old table into a vanity that has an authentic antique appearance.  Wicker baskets add to the charm, and are great for storing towels, toilet paper, and magazines.  Set your wicker baskets on shelves or wherever you have floor space.

A lace shower curtain and braided rug made in warm colors add the finishing touches.  Add a few dried floral arrangements in a vase for the vanity or hang them from the walls for additional interest.  Lace and flowers soften the room, while wrought and cast iron provides the feeling of the old west; the combination of the two creates comfortable, cozy surroundings.

Whether your bathroom is old or new, modern or basic, make it a room that offers serenity and relaxation along with a soothing beauty that brings to mind days long gone by.  Country decor is perfect for the bath!

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Nov 17 2010

Bedroom Decorating Ideas for Kids of All Ages

Whether you are a mother of four or have just one bundle of joy, sometimes you need help with original ideas with which to decorate a child’s bedroom.  From babies to teens, decorating any bedroom can present a challenge.  For those who don’t have that much of an imagination or simply need a little motivation, this article offers some great ideas that will help them create bedrooms every member of their family will love.

For baby’s room

Decorating an infant’s room can be very time consuming and costly; everyone wants their baby’s room to be perfect.  If you are decorating for a baby boy, then of course the first thing that comes to mind is blue, but you don’t always have to stick to that color.  There are several different colors that are appropriate for a boy as well; colors such as green, brown, and yellow.  Using these colors will allow you to expand your options, so that you don’t have to stick to blue themes.

Try decorating your baby’s room with a theme such as a football, soccer or even a Toy Story.  It’s extremely easy to find accents, wall paper and other accessories for these styles.  Pink, lavender, baby blue and other pastels are perfect for a baby girl’s room.  Consider a ballerina or cowgirl theme, or incorporate some well known characters such as Hello Kitty or Dora the Explorer.

As they grow

As children get older, decorating becomes more difficult and your kids may not want to cooperate with your ideas.  Completely redecorating the room can be very stressful, not to mention expensive.  One way to save money is simply to move the furniture around, which will give a completely different look to the room.

Consider changing the bedding as well for a fresh new look.  To give a room a whole new feel without spending a great deal of money, consider painting the walls or adding stenciled patterns.  Add a new lamp, and the room takes on an entirely different appearance.  Compromise with your children; let them have a say in decorating the room, as long as they stay within limits.

Go with what you already have

Completely redecorating a room can cost a small fortune, especially if it includes all new bedroom furniture, bedding, accents and window treatments.  Make changes that allow you to incorporate some of the existing decor in the room.  For example, if your daughter wants a princess themed bedroom and there is already a great deal of pink in the room, you can accomplish the look without spending as much money.  Make small changes here and there.  For example you may want to include a princess-theme mural painted on a single wall.

Children can be stubborn when it comes to decorating their bedroom.  Making a few simple changes can create an entirely new “vibe” in the room without breaking your budget!  Explain that you cannot afford to spend a great deal of money, and that there must be a compromise.  In the end, your child will have a bedroom they like, and you will save a bundle by making simple changes, and doing what you can by yourself.

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Nov 15 2010

Interior Brick Walls Provide a Beautiful and Unique Look for Your Home

Published by under Uncategorized

Why would anyone want a brick wall inside their home?  There are many things you can do to create a look that is warm and appealing, and brick walls are one of them.  Consider that brick walls won’t tear or get holes in them as sheet rock can.  Imagine how durable they are.  Decorating is easy, and your home will have a unique, beautiful look that all of your friends will envy.

Create any look from modern to rustic

Not only is brick sturdy and durable, it’s also fire proof, which is why many people like to use it on the interior of their homes.  Left their natural colors, bricks in brown and red shades add a rustic touch to the decor.  For those who like a more modern, contemporary appeal, bricks can be painted any color you like – and you can even create patterns to add further interest.

Painting interior brick surfaces

If you want to paint old brick that has been in your home for years, you can get an entirely new and different look.  Simply brush off the bricks with a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt and dust and then apply a primer.  The best paints to use on bricks are latex and cement-based paints.  Avoid using epoxy, rubber and oil-based paints which can give off vapors for some time.

For a truly original look, create designs as you paint.  For example, you may want to paint rectangles, squares or pyramid shapes as you go, simply by using a different color paint that blends with the rest of your decor.

Tile a portion of your brick wall for an original look

You can actually use stone or mosaic tiles to spruce up plain brick walls!  Apply them around the ceiling as you would a wallpaper border for a distinctive look or tile the brick wall beginning halfway up and continue to the ceiling.  This helps break up the solid appearance of the wall and add further interest.  If you have a fireplace that is surrounded by brick, consider adding a wood mantle above the fireplace as a focal point.  The mantle is a great place for displaying family photos, greenery and scrumptiously scented candles!

Hanging wall decorations on brick walls

Many people do not have brick walls in their homes simply because they assumed they would not be able to hang pictures and other wall art.  With brick, you simply use concrete screws and lead anchors to hold shelves or other wall decor that may be heavy, such as large paintings.  You can also find picture hangers that are designed for use in concrete and brick.

Brick walls can add a cozy, old-world charm to the room or a colorful abstract look for those who prefer a more modern appeal.  Considering they last forever and don’t have to be painted every few years like sheet rock walls, brick walls offer many beautiful benefits to the inside of your home, as well as the outside!  For a uniquely different approach to interior décor, give brick walls a chance – you’ll be surprised at just how exquisite it looks.

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Nov 15 2010

Ceramic Tile – It’s Not Just for the Bath or Kitchen!

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

When you think of ceramic tile, what most likely comes to mind is a bathroom or kitchen floor.  Today, ceramic tiles have endless uses in the home, many of them very creative and artistic.  If you want to give your home a charming, unique look that will have guests asking how you came up with such a brilliant idea, keep reading!  You will be amazed at the many uses of ceramic tile.

In the kitchen

Ceramic mosaic stone tiles are excellent for creating a beautiful kitchen with a rustic look.  Apply them to your counter tops, to the sides of an island, and as a back splash behind your kitchen sink.  Whether you pick glass, stone or ceramic mosaic tiles, you can use broken tiles in your counter tops to create an abstract design.  Consider choosing various colors that blend with the rest of your decor instead of one solid color.  A counter top covered with various shapes, textures and colors of ceramic tile creates a unique look that is exquisite – and durable.

Make your fireplace the focal point of the room

Ceramic mosaic tiles are perfect for dressing up your fireplace.  Choose tiles that are heat resistant and create an entire border around the mantle and sides of the fireplace.  Stone tiles work especially well for this application as they add a rugged, natural look.  Consider creating monograms, family crests and other symbols for a truly unique and appealing look.

Tired of cleaning entrance rugs?

Ceramic, stone and mosaic tiles make great permanent entrance mats, and can be easily cleaned with a mop.  This means that instead of washing mats or having carpets cleaned, you can simply wipe up the mess where it is!

Place tiles in a rectangular fashion just inside of your exterior doors, using any texture or colors you like.  Purchase ceramic mosaic tiles today that are designed with pictures and letters and consider laying your tiles out in a welcome message.  No more worries about muddy, wet entrance rugs when the weather outside is frightful!

Create your own designs

Today, people are getting more creative than ever.  You can make your own ceramic tile hot pads and coasters, choosing the design that best matches your decor!

Decorated paper napkins are either used as they are or the designs cut out and glued to clean ceramic tile.  This requires only some Elmer’s glue and felt backing or wood discs to keep the back of the tile from scratching surfaces once you have your project completed.  To handle the heat if you use the completed ceramic tile as a hot pad, simply spray the finished product with a lacquer spray.

Who would have imagined that there are so many uses for ceramic tile?  Use your own imagination and a bit of creativity and you’re sure to come up with some great ideas of your own to spruce up your home.  Not only will your home be warm and welcoming, you can be sure that your home is not a “cookie cutter” copy of the others in your neighborhood!

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Nov 15 2010

Decorating Your Kitchen in a Unique Fruit Theme

Published by under Kitchens

Love the idea of decorating your kitchen with a fruit based theme, but don’t want it to look like every other kitchen?  You can incorporate fruit in to your kitchen decor in a way that is completely unique and stunningly beautiful.  Below, you will learn a few tricks that will help you in creating a kitchen that is fresh, colorful and inspiring.

Build your decor around one specific fruit

Most people who decorate their kitchens with a fruit theme use the entire basket – in other words, apples, bananas and grapes are all included in accents and accessories.  To give your kitchen a look that is unique and appealing, stick with a single fruit such as apples or grapes.

Think of the colors you normally see in an apple; golden yellow, deep red and green.  When decorating your kitchen with apples, incorporate those colors in your walls as well.  A mellow yellow wall trimmed out in deep red is stunning; paint your bakers rack, dining room table and chairs as well as other accents with the green, red and yellow tones found in the apples.  You might also want to consider stenciling an apple pattern around the top edge of the ceiling to take your motif even further.  When choosing the colors for your kitchen, also consider the various shades a piece of fruit goes through during the ripening process.

Artwork makes the decor “pop”

When selecting artwork for the walls of your kitchen, you may be able to find framed paintings or prints that contain the colors you are using for the room.  Even if you cannot find something that suits your needs, you can create your own whether you have an artistic flair or not!  Take a good, clear photo of the fruit you have displayed in a bowl or basket on your kitchen table and then have it blown up so that you can hang the “art” on a wall near the table.  The exact image of your table centerpiece hanging on a wall will definitely spark conversation.

Another idea you can use is to search for photos in magazines that are suitable for your decor and use them as artwork.  Frame a single page or create a collage using various photos of your chosen fruit.

Accents

To complete the look, add accents that further incorporate your fruit theme.  Canisters, tea pots and cookie jars that are decorated with various fruit designs can be purchased.  Additionally, you can find dish towels, place mats and napkins to match the style you have chosen.  Consider painting your paper towel and napkin holders a bold red or green to take things even further.

Put these ideas to work in your kitchen, and you will have a room that is packed with cheer and color!  As you can see, you don’t have to go the traditional route when it comes to decorating your kitchen in a fruit theme; a little imagination goes a long way.

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Nov 12 2010

Tapestries Lend Beauty and Texture to Any Style of Decor

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

In recent years, tapestries have made a huge come-back in home decorating.  For centuries, people have thought of tapestries as works of art depicting historical time periods intended to block drafts, but today they can be found in hundreds of designs that are suitable for any type of decor.  Whether your home is country-themed, elegant, Asian, contemporary or eclectic, there are tapestries that will add texture and appeal to any area of your home.  Below, you will find some great tips and ideas for decorating with tapestries.

Tapestry dimensions

Whether you need wall decor to suit a small or vast space, tapestries fit the bill.  Tapestries come in sizes that are as small as 13 by 18 inches, so that you can use a combination of several to decorate a long wall such as you find in a hallway.  Some are extremely large, and perfect as a single accent on a large wall.  Whether you need something the size of a long, narrow banner or want to fill an expansive wall, tapestries are the perfect addition to your home.

All art forms can be found in tapestries

Tapestries can give your home a modern edge or make it take on an antique, almost historical appeal.  Traditional tapestries usually depict timeless, universal themes centered on death, human nature, tragedy and love, and provide a connection to past eras.  For those who desire a modern, contemporary appeal, tapestries can be found designed with patterns from abstract scenery to still-life art that showcases fruit, wine, floral patterns and more.

Other elements you will find in tapestries include nautical themes, animals and wildlife, or even “stories” embedded in fabrics depicting maritime and naval sea history.

Add texture and depth to your home

Tapestries are becoming increasingly popular because of the rich texture and expensive look they offer.  There is no other form of wall art quite as stunning as tapestry, and the character and warmth one provides a home cannot be matched.  Because tapestries often tell stories, they speak to your emotions and incorporate a bit of your own personality into the decor of your home.

Today, you can find tapestries in many price ranges.  Some cost thousands of dollars, while others can be found for a much more affordable price.  While the less expensive versions may not offer quite the same level of quality that more costly versions do, the look is still rich and warm.  Unless you tell someone, the only person who will ever know that the tapestry you bought cost far less than most, is you.  You can make your home look as though you spent a fortune decorating, even though you know differently.

When you decide that tapestries are the perfect way to decorate your walls, take into consideration the other elements of your homes appearance.  Your decorating theme, colors, furniture and other accents should all work well together in creating a look that is appealing and comfortable.  For making walls come to life, there is no other accessory that accomplishes the job quite like a rich tapestry.

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