Archive for August, 2011

Aug 07 2011

Primitive Home Decorating Ideas Give Your Abode New Life

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Primitive home decorating is one of the most personal you will find.  The nice thing about primitive decor is that it can be as cluttered or sparse as you like.  With primitive decorating, warmth and old-time character prevail; the spaces in your home are relaxing, inviting, and reminiscent of times from a century ago.

Color your world relaxing and inviting

The colors found in primitive home decorating are warm and rich.  Soft, muted tones of cranberry reds and rich colonial blues blend in accents, while creamy white and soft tan shades create the foundation for the look.

Mustard yellow shades are also often common in primitive home decor, as well as country green.  The great thing about primitive decorating is that you can use those furnishings and accessories which you already have.  For example, your cranberry and blue plaid couch will look great with soft whites and tans as a backdrop.  If you prefer a room with sparse accents, bold wall colors make the furnishings and other accessories pop.

Everything old is new again

With primitive decorating, all of those things you have stored away in the attic make for a beautiful room filled with character and nostalgia.  Tables, book shelves and furnishings that have history are the most desirable; the more chipped paint and other signs of aging, the better.  This showcases the character of the pieces, which is what you want in primitive decor.

Decorating in a primitive theme is also great for the budget-conscious; you can find great buys at flea markets and yard sales that fit right in with your decor.

If you have pieces that are newer, you can easily create the look by giving them a worn look yourself.  Sand edges where they wound normally “wear”, or paint a bookcase dark brown, then layer on a creamy white coat and sand in random spots so that the creamy white shows through just a bit.  Finish off with a layer of crackle.

Showcase your favorite items for a personal touch

Have some old dolls from a few decades ago?  Showcase them in your home in an old curio cabinet.  Old implements, cast iron pans, antique kitchen tools, old wagon wheels – everything old has a place in the primitive home.

Always keep in mind that primitive decorating reflects a period in time when life was simpler.  Farm antiques, gourds, handmade quilts and blankets and old toys set a scene that is appealing yet comfortable and inviting.

Fall is a great time for decorating a primitive home; Candles, pumpkins, cinnamon sticks and a glass jar filled with old-fashioned candies add to the atmosphere.

In the kitchen, think tin signs, wood rolling pins and flour sacks.  Burlap bags can be crafted into curtains, the dining room table can be topped with a centerpiece made of pine cones, wicker, dried flowers and other natural elements.

With primitive decorating you can create the look that makes your family most comfortable.  Unlike contemporary and modern decorating, primitive decor is filled with memories from the past, and a character and warmth you just don’t find in other styles of decorating.

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Aug 05 2011

Decorating Your Home in Shades of Orange – Warm, Inviting and Energetic

Orange is a color that few people consider when decorating their homes, and it’s really a shame.  This is a color that can be warm, rich, bright or energetic.  The many shades of orange are perfect for every room of your home; pastel shades provide a soft look in bathrooms and rich shades warm up the kitchen.  If you have never considered decorating your home with orange, the ideas below will give you a whole new perspective.

Add a pop of color with bright orange

In a living room or kitchen, bright orange is the perfect color to liven things up a bit.  You probably won’t want to paint the walls bright orange, but when sprinkled throughout the room in accessories, bright orange offers a bold, sunny flavor to the room.

Lamps, throw pillows, picture frames and vases can add interest and color to a living room.  In the kitchen, inject a bit of energy with mugs, dish towels, mixing bowls and other smaller items which are on display.

A smaller piece of furniture such as a single accent chair colored in bright orange can serve as the focal point of the room, especially if done in a bold pattern such as striped or geometric prints.

Create warm, dramatic spaces with dark orange

A dark orange or pumpkin shade is perfect for the dining room, living room or home office.  Those who enjoy a warm atmosphere will find that dark orange is not at all energetic like bright orange is.  The look is dramatic and at the same time cozy.

In the dining room, dark orange paired with dark wood furnishings creates a warm atmosphere.  Add splashes of dark orange through the centerpiece, wall art and even a table runner.

A living room decorated in cream shades, dark orange and other earth tones makes for a relaxing, inviting atmosphere.  It is well known that color affects mood and spirits; if you live in a colder climate, dark orange hues can make a room feel cozy and warm.

Soft orange for soft, feminine spaces

Soft orange hues range from pale melon to light peach, and look beautiful when paired with sage green, white or soft, pale shades of blue.

These colors can create a dreamy atmosphere in the bathroom; since the colors are light, they also work well to make a small bath look larger.

While it’s best to stay away from dominant orange shades in the bedroom because of the energy orange projects, pale, soft shades of orange when used sparingly, can create a warm, ambient atmosphere that is conducive to restful sleep.

Years ago, people would never have dreamed of using orange in their decorating schemes.  Today, you can use any color you like.  Why own a home that is boring and dull, when your home can be filled with personality and color?  Give orange a try – you just may be surprised at how beautiful your home can be when using the various shades available to you today.

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Aug 04 2011

Incorporating Bright, Cheerful and Open Spaces in Your Home

While some people enjoy a dark home, most homeowners prefer a bright, sunny interior that offers cheer and a look that is wide open and spacious.  No matter how large or small your home, you can really open it up through the use of window treatments, color and even visual effects that “trick” the eye.  If you’re ready to give your home a spacious, airy new look, the ideas below will help you achieve it easily.

Colors that offer a sunny appeal

You don’t have to stick to boring white in order for your home to look open and bright.  Today, color is the name of the game.  Bright, sunny yellow shades, soft bisque, pale orange and lime green are cheery and vibrant.  Of course you don’t want to overdo it with these colors, but adding a “pop” here and there brightens the entire room.

For the walls, you may want to use stark white and then add vibrant color throughout the room with accents that are full of energy.  Alternatively, paint the walls a sunny yellow, and then incorporate soft blue and white as part of the room design.

De-clutter and be amazed

Nothing makes a room look smaller and messier more than too much stuff.  Many people love their “knick-knacks” and other dust collectors, but the truth is if you want an open, airy look stick to a minimum of accents.

Choose bolder, larger accents that really make a statement.  By staying away from lots of small items placed on coffee tables and bookshelves, the look will be spacious and appealing.

Use visual effects to trick the eye

There are many things you can do to make a wall look longer or a ceiling higher. Paint a bold stripe of color horizontally across a wall to expand its length.  If you want the walls to look taller, paint a stripe or two vertically to make the ceiling appear to be higher.

Crown molding can also make a ceiling look higher, if you paint it the same shade as the wall.

Rearrange your furnishings on a diagonal line.  Sometimes getting away from a square or rectangle look can give a room fresh new appeal.

Window treatments

If you have heavy or dark colored drapes in your home, remove them and try lighter fabrics or even a shade or blind.  Opening up the windows dramatically brightens a room, as natural light can flood the area.  Sheers and light cotton fabrics give a room a light, airy feel.  Consider a valance for the top of the window only, or blinds that open up fully so that you can let natural light in.

Mirrors are another great way to expand the size of a room, as they reflect the portion of the room they are facing, and even reflect light that comes in through the windows.

There are dozens of little tricks you can use to open up your home and make it a happier place.  Light, cheery surroundings brighten the mood and give you energy.  Lighten up your home with these easy tricks!

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Aug 03 2011

Home Decorating – Beige Without Boring

Beige has been a staple in home decorating for decades; while you may think this color is too plain for homes today, it’s anything but boring!  Beige is a color that is neutral, relaxing, warm and easily transformed for any look or home decor theme you prefer.  If you cannot picture a beige room being appealing and filled with character, the ideas below will help change your mind.

Shades of beige from pale to rich

There are many different shades of beige you can incorporate in your home.  From a rich caramel beige to light shades of sand and bisque, beige shades can be the basis for all of the other excitement you throw in a the room.

Beige is a perfect backdrop for everything else, because you can easily switch out accents and other elements of the room when you are ready for a change, without redesigning the entire room.

Metallic’s and texture bring beige to life

Think of all of the metallic elements that lend personality to a beige room.  Copper, bronze and gold in wall art, statues and other whatnots bring a vibrant contrast that makes the room pop.

Texture is another essential element in any room, whether it is beige or some other color.  It’s important to incorporate nubby textures with smooth surfaces; doing so adds depth to the room and gives it a rich look.  Think shiny glass table tops, richly textured throw pillows and nubby carpets or accent rugs.

Pattern makes it all pop!

Patterns are an essential element in a beige decorating scheme.  Pattern not only provides a splash of color, but an undercurrent of energy.  Throw pillows incorporating colorful geometric, floral, striped or checked patterns placed against a beige sofa make it come to life.

Vibrant patterns on the wall make a beige background almost seem as if it were the “mat” for pictures and prints.  Use pictures and artwork that offer movement, such as boldly painted prints with flowing patterns.  The floor can also be important when adding pattern through throw rugs or even intricate tile designs.

Incorporating color

As interesting as it sounds, a beige room will make the other colors you use even more important or pronounced.  Depending on the look you want, anything from soft peach and sage green to shades of blue and black and red can be used – everything goes with beige!

A soothing look can be achieved by using soft pastel colors.  If you want an exciting, dramatic look, consider red and black.  Those who enjoy a country or western theme can easily incorporate those colors found in nature, for example burnt orange, rich rusty reds, butter yellow and blue or green shades.

As you can see, beige is not dead!  In fact, this basic color is one of the best for decorating in any type of decor.  Use your imagination, and remember that adding rich patterns, texture and bold splashes of color make a beige room come to life with personality and character.

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Aug 02 2011

Create Your Dream Kitchen on a Shoestring Budget

Published by under Kitchens

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most expensive projects you can take on in your home.  In fact, having a professional complete the renovations can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on what you have done.

You can do much of the renovation yourself and save a bundle of money.  For about 1/2 or less of what you would pay a professional, there are some things you can do that will give your kitchen a whole new look, and greatly add to the value of your home.

In the sink area

A tile backsplash adds color and pizzazz to your kitchen, and pullout faucets offer a modern look while making your sink more functional.

For about $4 per square foot, tile can brighten the room and add interest.  Consider a checkerboard pattern or alternating colors that lend to the decor of the room.  Also keep in mind that tiles do not have to match counter tops; a contrasting look is interesting and adds depth.  You can find floral and abstract patterned tiles, even tiles with fruit motifs.

A pullout faucet can be purchased for around $250, and offers a variety of looks, from traditional to sleek and contemporary.  Not only can you find chrome finishes, today’s pullout faucets are available in brushed stainless steel and copper as well.

The look of new cabinets

Having cabinets built is one of the most expensive aspects of remodeling your kitchen, but you can reface or refinish them yourself if the structure is still good for about 1/2 the price of new cabinetry.

If you decide to refinish your cabinets, this will require stripping the finish and then staining or painting the surface.  For re-facing, you will need to remove cabinet and door fronts and replace them with matching veneers.  Changing the hardware on your drawers and cabinets will also give them an updated new look.

Jazz up the walls

Bland colored walls are becoming a thing of the past.  One of the quickest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a new look is to paint, stencil or wallpaper the walls using vibrant colors and appealing designs.

Instead of a white or off-white wall, consider bold colors such as green, blue and rustic red.  Soft yellow is nice if you have a small kitchen that needs a bright color; trim out the walls in contrasting or complementary colors to really set off the walls.  Stenciling and sponging techniques allow you to give the walls texture and added design.

Update appliances

Sure, a new refrigerator or stove is expensive – but you don’t have to buy a new one if the one you have now still works well.

If your appliances look a bit outdated or don’t really blend well with your new decor, consider painting them with appliance paint.  You can also buy new panels to put on your appliances so that they blend with your cabinets and lend to the new look of your kitchen.

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create your dream kitchen!  Update the windows with new window treatments; consider a porcelain or stainless steel sink.  There are dozens of budget-friendly ways you can transform the look of your kitchen.

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Aug 01 2011

Slipcovers – The Perfect Solution When You Cannot Afford New Furniture

If you were around a couple of decades ago, you know that slipcovers were, well, ugly is a good way to put it; most looked like a bed sheet that had been thrown over a recliner, sofa or love seat.  Today, all of that has changed.  In fact, some of the slipcovers you will can now find look as though they are the actual upholstery!

Why use slipcovers?

Some people use slipcovers even on brand new furniture to keep the furniture looking new.  If you have children or pets, or burn wood, slipcovers will help to keep your furniture from becoming stained or worn.

Fireplaces and wood stoves can cause upholstery to become stained with smoke, turning it yellow and imbuing a smoky odor over time.  Dogs and children can be rough.  Even if your furniture isn’t worn, slipcovers are a good idea.

Types of slipcovers available

From one piece to three, you can find slipcovers for every need.  One piece covers usually work if you want a single covering for two to three cushions on a love seat or couch; however, three piece slipcover sets allow you to cover each cushion individually.  They are a bit more costly.

Two piece sets are designed so that you can place a cover over the main part of the sofa or chair (such as the back and arms), while the remaining cover can be used on cushions.  Three piece slipcovers work well if you have detached cushions that form the back of the couch.

Styles and designs suit every decorating need

In the old days, most of the loose slipcovers were designed in what would now be considered a gaudy floral design.  Today, you can find slipcovers that are custom made, so that you can have some designed using nearly any fabric or style necessary to match your decor.

From fresh stripes to elegant damask, today’s slipcovers offer versatility and appeal.  Even if you are only trying to protect your new furniture, your living room can be just as beautiful with the coverings as without.  From pale sage green and ocean blue to jazzy red shades and everything in between slip covers are available in every color.  Not only can you find solutions for your sofa and chair needs, slipcovers are available for ottomans, over-stuffed chairs and even wooden dining room seats.

There are also a variety of fabrics today to meet your decorating needs.  Cotton and polyester, twill, denim and even velvet allow you to create any look you like.  Fabrics such as velvet are more for decorative purposes, and not recommended if the furniture gets a great deal of use.

If you love a shabby chic look, you can often find slipcovers in floral patterns that are ruffled around the edges.  There are even leather varieties available for those who like a western or contemporary theme.

As you can see, the slipcovers you find now aren’t like those in your grandmother’s day!  Whether you are looking to protect your new furniture or give the old furniture a fresh new look, today’s options allow you to create any look you like.

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