Archive for April, 2011

Apr 30 2011

Make the Best Use of Your Home Study or Office

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Many people have a study or office in their home, and it often gets neglected.  You may have papers piled everywhere; the room is very unorganized, and could be much more appealing.  In this article you will learn how to decorate your home office or study so that you enjoy your surroundings as you work or study.

What is your study/office used for?

Is your study simply used to pay the monthly bills, or do you and your spouse use it for other work?  Most people have a computer today, and many do some or all of their work from home.  Think about what your office will be used for when decorating.

Office furnishings

Of course you want a desk and chair, but what other furniture might you need?  If the kids often play games on the computer, you may want an extra chair.

If you keep all of your important documents filed away, consider a nice file cabinet to complement the furniture.  That brings up another point – what style of furniture do you prefer?

Many people opt for a metal desk, but this can bring a very utilitarian look to the room.  Consider some type of wood, such as maple or mahogany depending upon whether you prefer light or dark colors.  You might also want to top the desk with a heavy piece of glass so that it doesn’t get scratched.

Think about where you will set your printer if you have one; you may decide that a wider filing cabinet will do the job.

Wall decorations in an office?  Absolutely!

Just because you use your study or office to pay bills and do some computer work doesn’t mean it has to look boring or blasé.  Hang any awards or honors you may have received on a wall; family photos, a large tapestry or a beautiful landscape liven up the remaining walls.

You may even want to consider painting the walls.  White isn’t the only color for an office!  Burgundy, forest green and deep blue shades bring warmth to the room, so that you feel like you are in your home rather than in an office environment.  Paint the walls a rich cream color and contrast with burgundy trim for a dramatic look.

Add a few accessories

You will definitely want a mat to place under your desk chair to protect the flooring.  A nice desk lamp will give you additional lighting; if you are a golfer or love fishing, consider a few whimsical accessories for your desk, such as a pencil holder created around a golf theme.

If you have a large area of floor space near the window, think about a large-leafed plant such as an elephant ear or caladium; this adds a homey, comforting element to the room.

Don’t forget all of those little things you may need, such as a shredder, copy paper, paper clips, scissors, etc.  If you have many supplies, you may want to consider a storage cabinet that complements the rest of the furnishing in your office.

Why leave your office/study looking dull and lifeless?  If you spend time in this room, you deserve an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming and comfortable.  Put these ideas to work in your home, and you will actually enjoy the time you spend in the “office.”

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Apr 29 2011

Pink and Purple – Creating a Bedroom for a Little Girl Who’s All Girl

Do you have a little girl who loves feminine, frilly things?  Pink and purple are the perfect colors for creating a bedroom that is all girl.  By choosing the ideal furniture and accents, you can decorate a bedroom that she is sure to love.

Furnishings make it feminine

When going with a pink and purple theme, furnishings should be white or brass.  White wood is airy and light, and really stands out with the pink/purple theme.  Brass is beautiful as well, as the gleam really sets the room off and makes it glow.

Maple furniture would also work well in this setting, as it is a lighter colored wood.  You want to avoid dark colored furniture, as it doesn’t complement pink and purple shades like lighter colors do.

Accent the bed with frills

Big throw pillows edged in white lace and colored in pink/purple hues add depth to the room and make the bed stand out.  A medium purple bedspread against a brass headboard is beautiful, and the pillows really make things pop!

You might also consider a lacy white bed-skirt to really set things off.

If you choose white wood furniture, continue with the look throughout the room.  A white nightstand, dresser and chest of drawers complete the room, and offer plenty of storage.  You can sand the edges of all of the white furniture if you prefer a vintage, worn look; this is often done in the cottage chic style of decorating.

Add a few more feminine touches

On the nightstand, place a small lamp topped with a frilly shade.  You might consider one that is beaded, or one with fringe around the bottom edges.

The curtains can be delicate white sheers with lace tie-backs, pink and purple lace material, or anything you like that complements the room. If you prefer blinds, top them with a ruffled valance for a splash of color.

A bookcase is the perfect place for dolls, flowers, photo’s and other whatnots.  If your little girl is really feminine, she probably loves jewelry and perfume.  Display some of her “little girl” lotions, perfumes and jewelry.  She may also want to place some princess figurines or even a carousel on the shelves.

Many little girls love to “primp.”  If this sounds like your little darling, consider placing a vanity table with stool in her bedroom if space allows.  The mirror can be oval or heart-shaped; keep the color of the frame and top in line with the rest of the furnishings in the room.

Place a brush, comb, a hand mirror, a few barrettes and other hair accessories on a silver tray to make your little girl feel like a real princess!

Use these ideas or let them help you come up with a few creative ideas of your own.  With a little imagination, you can create a frilly room any little girl will love!  Nothing beats delicate pink and soft purple shades for decorating a room with feminine appeal.

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Apr 28 2011

Tips for Decorating a Bedroom Your Boys Will Appreciate

If you have young boys, decorating their room can be a challenge.  In this article you will find tips for creating a bedroom that your boys will love and appreciate.

What to do with the walls?

Do you prefer sheet rock or paneling?  Oak paneling is attractive and well-suited to a boys room.  It isn’t too dark, and offers a rich, rugged look.  If you do decide to paint sheet rock walls, stick to a shade such as beige or any color that will complement the decor you plan to use in the rest of the room.  Neutral colors are always a good choice, as you can easily change up the decor as the boys grow older.

Bunk beds add to the atmosphere – and they’re fun!

Little boys love bunk beds.  Of course twin beds are fine as well, but oak bunk beds offer a rustic appeal that make your kids feel as though they are camping out or on a special adventure.  Either one will work fine; simply choose what would be best for the size of the room or the preference of your boys.

Choose a theme for the room

Little boys love a variety of things – animals, sports, cartoon characters, fishing, etc.  What do your kids love more than anything?  If they are huge soccer fans, consider using a soccer theme to decorate the room.

If your boys are partial to fishing or hunting, decorate the room in a real rustic look.  Camouflage, fishing gear on shelves, and a cedar chest to hold toys and other items create a look that is downright cozy and comfortable.

If the boys prefer an animal or cartoon character theme, you can find a wide assortment of bedding, curtains and other accents at most retail stores.

Consider putting a desk and spare chairs in the room if floor space allows; this will give your boys room to do their homework or play games, and more sitting room for when they have company.  If possible, have the desk and chairs made of wood that matches the rest of the decor.

A toy hammock or netting placed diagonally across one corner of the ceiling is the perfect place for stuffed animals, balls and other toys you want off of the floor – and it looks amazing!

Depending on the theme your boys choose for their bedroom, hang posters and prints on the walls containing their favorite sports players, a mascot, or their chosen cartoon characters.  If they chose an animal theme, you can mount pages from a magazine such as National Geographic or frame your own animal photos for a personal touch.

Of course you want plenty of storage space for clothes, games and other things.  You may consider plastic stackable shelving placed in the closet to hold games and other toys so they can be neatly hidden away.  Add a chest of drawers, a nightstand with lamp, and the room is one your boys are sure to be proud of.  They’ll be so happy with the look of their bedroom they will be begging you to have company!

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Apr 27 2011

Ideas for Creating a Master Bedroom That Soothes Both Mind and Body

The master bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your home; after all, it is where you sleep, relax and rejuvenate from the stresses of daily life.  How do you decorate a master bedroom so that it looks soothing to the eye?  This article offers some helpful tips to get you started.

Choosing relaxing colors

If you choose a light blue sculptured carpet it will be easy to decorate the rest of the room.  Light blue goes well with other shades of blue, as well as cream or lavender which are all colors that enhance relaxation.  Avoid bold shades of red, purple, yellow and orange, as these colors can actually make you feel energetic, which is something you do not want when trying to sleep.

Choose furniture according to your preferences

With furniture, it’s really your choice as dark and light woods all work well in creating a soothing atmosphere.  Maple has a lighter finish, while oak offers a medium-dark shade.  Cherry has a red tint, and mahogany is very dark, almost black in color.

It’s also essential that you make decisions such as whether you want a firm or soft mattress; in order to get the best quality of rest, you must be comfortable!

Accessories make the room

A dresser with a large mirror, a chest of drawer and a cedar chest placed at the foot of the bed gives the room a cozy, complete look as well as storage space.  A dresser topped with a couple of small lamps, a jewelry box, a decorative scarf and a sumptuously scented candle is a beautiful addition to the room.

Dress up the windows

Many people forget the windows when decorating their master bedroom; they simply cover them with mini-blinds and think they are done.  The right window treatments can add a ton of warmth to the room, and block out any outside light that may disturb your sleep.

A white lace tie back over a shade or venetian blinds is a nice touch, as is a pretty blue sheer mixed with white and matching valance.  If you want more privacy, a mingled blue pattern drape would complement the decor of the room.

If your bedroom is on the large size, consider placing a couple of chairs, either reclining or with ottomans in one corner of the room, complete with an accent table and floor lamps.  This is an area where you and your husband can read, watch television, or discuss matters you would rather not talk about in front of your children before retiring for the night.

Place some of your favorite pictures on the walls add a few what-nots to shelves and the look is complete.  When it comes to accents, it will always make the room more personal if you use only those accents that are truly your favorites.

Use these ideas in your master bedroom, and you will enjoy the beauty of the room as well as the relaxation it offers.  You will sleep like a baby!

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Apr 26 2011

No Matter What Your Style Preferences, Make Your House a Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Whether you call it a living room, family room, or den, this is a room where you want your family to be comfortable.  You can choose subdued, warm colors that bring a cozy relaxed atmosphere to the room, or upbeat colors that lift the mood.  No matter which you prefer, there are a few more factors you need to consider to bring your living room together.

Make a fireplace the focal point of the room

Does your living room have a fireplace?  If so choose a pretty mantle that will blend with your furniture and accents.  A nice mantle clock or large portrait placed above the fireplace really draws the eye.  Consider setting your favorite figurines or family portraits on the mantle.

If you have lots of knick-knacks and accents, think about building bookshelves beside the fireplace to hold books, candles, photos and other accessories.  You may even want to build the shelves in a fashion that offers a place for the television or stereo.

The fun part – furniture

Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to furniture.  You may love large, overstuffed pieces or something along the Mediterranean style.  If you have a large room, consider a sofa, loveseat, recliner, accent tables and even a rocking chair.

If dark colored furniture isn’t really your style, you may want to consider maple furnishings.  Maple accent tables topped with glass are beautiful; the glass reflects the warmth of the room, while the maple color of the wood glows with richness.

No matter what your furniture preferences, always consider the size of your living room or den before buying.  A small room needs only a few well-chosen pieces, while a larger room needs more to make it feel welcoming.

Fabrics and designs add depth and interest

You’ve decided on the type of furniture you prefer, now what fabrics or patterns will suit your decor?  Leather is easy to keep clean; printed fabrics add color and pattern.  Maple tables blend perfectly with deep burgundy, blue and beige symmetrical designs.  Add light or medium beige carpet, and the room comes together beautifully.

The floor covering you choose can add to the style of the room.  Wood floors look rich, and are perfect for primitive, western or country style decor.  If you choose carpeting, decide whether sculptured, Berber or short shag works better with your decorating theme.  You might also want to consider a tile floor, especially if your home tends to be on the modern or contemporary side.

Throw in a few hand-selected accents

You want your home to reflect your own personal style.  When it comes to accents, choose only those that hold meaning for you.  Portraits, hand-crafted items made by your children, a few floral arrangements and sumptuously scented candles are all you need to make your house a home.  If you sew, place a sewing basket filled with your tools beside your chair for a personal touch.

The point is, you don’t have to follow any design rules when it comes to decorating your home.  This is “personal space” for you and your family; choose the furniture, colors and accents that are your favorites, and use your own creative ideas to make your house a home that your entire family enjoys immensely.

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Apr 25 2011

Your Home is Your Castle – Design Your Kitchen With the Needs of Your Family in Mind

Published by under Kitchens

Your home is your castle, therefore it should be comfortable to you and your family.  The kitchen should be designed so you get the best use of all the space.

Deciding on colors, flooring and other factors

The first thing you need to do is decide on the colors you want.  What about the flooring; do you want tile, linoleum or something else?  You need to consider what type of floor will best suit you and how easy it is to clean.

You may decide you want an island in your kitchen; before installing, decide if you prefer it be stationary or portable.  How about the placement of your windows, do you want one over your sink looking out toward the street or to the rear of your home?

Placement of appliances

Where would the dishwasher work best for you? Place it near the sink if it is to be stationary or consider a portable if you would like the convenience of rolling it to the table so that you can load the dishes without carrying them in to the kitchen.

Now it’s time to consider the range; do you want a built in range or just a range top and a separate oven built in?  You may want white because it looks clean, but you may prefer a colored range because stains and splatter won’t be as noticeable.  Be sure it doesn’t clash with your wall colors.

Your kitchen sink will be used often, so decide whether you prefer white or colored porcelain or stainless steel.  While choosing your sink, it is a good idea to go ahead and pick faucets that will match the design.

The biggest decision you may make is what refrigerator will be best for your family  A side-by-side gives you more freezer space; if you choose a refrigerator with the freezer on top or bottom, consider how many frozen goods you usually keep, as you may need to buy a separate freezer to store those items.  Again, keep your color scheme in mind when selecting your icebox.

Other decisions to ponder

Would a pantry be of use to you?  If you store a lot of canned goods, boxed items and vegetables, a pantry comes in handy.  You can build one in the kitchen if space allows, or build it in another area of the house where it may even hold a chest freezer.

Cabinet placement requires a bit of thought, especially if you want certain items to be conveniently located.  For example, you may want your drinking glasses located in a cabinet near the refrigerator, so that you don’t have to walk across the room to get ice.  Cookware stored near the stove is a good idea as well if you cook on a regular basis.

Can a section of your counters be used as a bar?  If you plan on using it for meals or as a place for the kids to have a snack, think about how high it should be.  A counter that is normal height will require bar stools; if you prefer to use chairs, the counter area will need to be a bit lower than normal.

These are all details you need to think about carefully when designing your kitchen.  Since this is the room that your family is likely to be in most often, you want it to be relaxing, comfortable and convenient.  Use the tips above to design a kitchen that is not only beautiful, but created with great use of available space as well.

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Apr 24 2011

Brighten Up – Let Your Home Shine with Happiness

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

A dark, dreary home can put a damper on your mood and make a room seem smaller and less inviting.  Whether you already have lots of windows but live in an area where the trees block the sun, or simply do not have enough windows to make the room bright and cheery, you can lighten up the room in other ways.  This article offers ideas for making any room a bright and inviting area that you – and others – will love.

Artificial light

You can brighten up any room by simply adding more lights!  Table and accent lamps, floor lamps and even high-wattage bulbs in your ceiling fan lights can make a drastic difference, especially at night.  Consider recessed lights in the ceiling as well, as they can light up a fairly large area.  Use white or light colored lamp shades so that you get the full effect.

Change up your window treatments for more natural light

If you now have dark or heavy drapes or curtains on your windows, changing them will make a world of difference!  Consider sheers or light colored curtains – or no curtains at all!  Light colored blinds can be pulled up or opened during the day and let in a huge amount of light.  Close them at night and you have complete privacy.

To make your windows look even larger than they actually are, consider hanging your curtain rods and curtains up at ceiling level; you will need long curtains for this.  This way they are long enough to come to the bottom of the windows.  Place mirrors on the walls strategically so that they reflect the natural sunlight which comes through the windows.

Paint the walls

Paint is a kind of fix-it-all solution.  When you have a dark room, you can lighten it up considerably with paint!  If white walls are too dull for your tastes, consider painting a single wall with a shade of cheery yellow.  A great look is to paint two walls white, then paint the other two a bright, bold shade.

Use light colored artwork or abstract paintings with lots of color to further brighten up the room.  If you have dark colored furniture, consider bright colored slip-covers, or invest in wicker or natural wood furnishings if you have the money.  A bundle of fresh wildflowers placed in a clear vase adds a splash of fresh color.  Add a few brightly colored throw pillows and an accent rug decorated in light shades and you’re done.

One thing you want to avoid when trying to lighten up a room is too much clutter.  When you have clutter everywhere, it diminishes the size of the room and makes it appear messy.  Light, open spaces with just a few special accents will make your room look spacious and airy.

Put these tips to work in your home, and you will find that you CAN make even the darkest room take on a fresh, bright appeal that you and everyone else will love.

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Apr 23 2011

Bring a Child’s Room to Life With Disney

Published by under Bedroom,Kid's Room

Do you have a playroom for your kids, and you are thinking about re-doing everything in the room?  Perhaps you have an empty room and you’re thinking about transforming it into a playroom.  Picking a theme for a playroom can be very hard, especially since there are so many great choices. You can never go wrong with a Disney theme!  Today there are several different categories within the Disney theme alone such as classic Disney and Princess Disney.

You can’t go wrong with Mickey Mouse

When decorating a playroom with a Disney theme, determine which character you would like to go with; allow your children to put some of their own thoughts into it as well.  For the classic theme, focus on the ultimate Disney icon.  Of course, every child loves Mickey Mouse!  A great way to incorporate this into the room is to use black carpet and white walls.  We all know Mickey is black, white, and red, so for the red accent paint the trim around the wall a true red.

A unique way to add even more of Mickey to the room is to have a big red table and black chairs with rounded backs to resemble Mickey’s head.  This will be the perfect area in which the kids can color, put puzzles together and work on crafts.  A large red wall shelf with Mickey painted on both sides adds further appeal to the room!

If the red, black and white tones seem to be a bit overwhelming on their own, think about adding a splash of yellow here and there to break up the monotony and add a touch of sunshine.

Have a “princess” daughter?

The royal Disney theme is perfect for those little girls who love castles, princess fairy tales and dragons.  For this idea, incorporate many of the items that would be found in a princess fantasy movie – consider painting the walls or ceiling in a sky or cloud motif and add a carpet the color of green grass.  To further enhance the room, add a wooden table for arts and crafts; place a glittery “crown” in the center to hold crayons.

For the table and chairs, paint or stencil princess pictures on the backs to add color.  Add bedding, a comforter and throw pillows that incorporate a princess theme, and consider hanging sheer material embellished with sequins or glitter at the four corners of the bed for a canopy effect.

You can look through decorating magazines and online to get additional ideas for decorating with a Disney theme, but be sure to use a few original ideas of your own for a personal touch.

Whichever theme you choose a wooden toy chest decorated with painted characters helps keep the room tidy while adding additional color.  If your child has a television in their room, consider painting the stand a coordinating color.  Bright, playful colors are what you are looking for in a room that the children will love – and be sure to include them in the fun!  It’s a great opportunity for you to bond, and to create a room that is bright, cheery and playful.

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Apr 22 2011

A Country Cottage Themed Home is Inviting, Comfortable and Charming

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Are you building a new home, or just want to change the look of your current home?  If you want a change that is cozy and welcomes all who enter your home, consider the country cottage theme.  This is one decorating style that is perfect for those who prefer a home that is relaxed; a place you can really call “home”.

Consider the interior and exterior of your home

When creating the country cottage theme, don’t neglect the outside of your home!  Rose bushes are perfect for this style of decorating; consider a couple of trellises for climbing roses and vines to add to the charm.

Lace or lace-trimmed curtains are perfect for the windows, and they add to the exterior appeal as well.  From the inside of your home, lace curtains will provide a certain measure of privacy while allowing natural light to flow through your home, highlighting wood furnishings and other pieces of art.

Toss the clutter

No matter what style you use to decorate your home, too much clutter makes the room look messy and unkempt.  In the country cottage style of decorating, you will use more accessories than you might in other decor themes, but you still want to avoid overkill.  A few carefully chosen accents which you cherish are all it takes to bring the look together.

Furnishings = comfort

The country cottage theme is all about relaxation and comfort.  Upholstered sofas, chairs and love seats with thick padding are not only comfortable, they are beautiful and colorful.  Choose multi-colored patterns in shades of emerald, garnet, gold, olive and sky blue for furniture that doesn’t show soil or wear and tear, particularly if you have pets or children.

For the bedroom, think canopy or sleigh beds topped with handmade quilts.  An antique or distressed nightstand is the perfect touch; for the bathroom, consider a marble-top washstand.

The perfect accents finish things off

The accessories and accents you use when decorating your home with a country cottage theme completes the look.  Baskets, pottery items and decorative bottles all work great with this style of decor.  A large vintage vase is perfect for holding the toilet brush in the bath; decorative bottles filled with wildflowers look charming on the windowsill or a wall shelf.  A large country bouquet placed in the center of the kitchen table adds a splash of color while adding heavenly scent to the room.

For the walls, use things which are your personal favorites.  Nature-themed artwork is great for the living room walls; birds and landscapes depicting an English cottage set among rolling hills and wildflowers is beautiful and adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

Many of the accents you use for the country cottage theme can be found at flea markets, estate sales and antique shops.  Keep your eye open for those things that really jump out at you and you can create the most beautiful home ever.

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Apr 21 2011

Bored With Your Bathroom? Add a Little Chocolate!

Published by under Bathrooms

Are you tired of the plain old bathroom in your house?  Perhaps the colors are a bit bland, or you’re simply ready for a new look.  While the idea of chocolate brown in a bathroom may leave you a little puzzled, it’s actually a warm color that adds a hint of comfort and relaxation – perfect for those nights when you want to indulge your senses with a long, hot bubble bath!

Consider colors – and your spouse

Often couples will disagree on colors for any room.  By using chocolate brown, you can incorporate other colors to add a vibrant bold touch.  Chocolate is a great color for the walls, but doesn’t work as well on smaller bathrooms.

If your bathroom is small, consider a sand or cream shade for the walls.  Both light and dark shades of chocolate can be used to give your bathroom interest and appeal, and prevent it from looking “flat.”  For darker chocolates, use color with sheen to liven things up a bit.

Walls look beautiful when painted a soft cream color surrounded by chocolate trim; think about painting your vanity in two tones, a light and dark chocolate.  You can paint the cabinet underneath a lighter or darker shade, and then use the contrasting color on the top of the vanity.

Beautify the walls

Nothing lights up a room quite like the right wall decor.  Accents for the bath could include mirrors framed in bronze or gold, which blend perfectly with shades of chocolate brown.

Animal prints containing leopards are a good choice if you prefer things more on the exotic side.  When painting the walls, consider adding more texture through sponging or stenciling techniques.

Update the accessories

When it comes to the small things, bold color makes a huge impact!  For toothbrush or tissue holders, drinking cups and waste containers, think rusty orange or teal; both of these colors are exquisite when combined with shades of brown, and keep the look fresh.  You will also want to find a bath rug and shower curtain that blend well with the decor.

Select hand and bath towels in solids or stripes consist of chocolate shades, cream, gold and rusty orange or teal.  It is important that you use only one color in addition to your chocolate, gold and cream tones; this keeps the look uniform and prevents the bathroom from looking overwhelming.

If you do choose a leopard theme, be sure to carry this through with shower curtain, towels and bath rugs.  You don’t want a leopard print shower curtain and a bath rug striped in rusty orange and gold!

Can you picture in your mind how relaxing and warm this room looks?  Soft creams and chocolate browns injected with bronze or gold; sparks of rusty orange or teal capture the attention of the eye – it’s heavenly!  Use your own imagination, and you will find that decorating your bath in chocolate brown is anything but boring.

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