Archive for December, 2011

Dec 28 2011

Exotic Living Room Decor – Perfect For Those Who Love Things a Bit on The Bold or Wild Side

If you like a look that is out of the ordinary, bold and dramatic, exotic living room decor offers the perfect look and atmosphere for your home.  From leopard and zebra prints to tropical plants and bold colors, this is a look for those who aren’t even a bit on the shy side.  Love a dramatic, intriguing look?  Here are some tips for turning your living room in to one suitable for a safari.

Make a bold, exotic statement with large items

In order for your living room furniture to look dramatic yet neat and organized, it’s best to use leopard or zebra patterns in larger pieces such as a sofa.  Avoid placing smaller items that are designed with exotic patterns all over the room, as this will give it a confusing, scattered look.

Moroccan furnishings offer the perfect complement in exotic decorating.  Sofas and tables are often set low to the floor, relying on elaborate wrought iron scroll work.  Lush fabrics with intricate textures are common in exotic decorating; throw pillows and lush cushions abound.

Color the walls bold and beautiful

In exotic decorating, the use of many colors you wouldn’t ordinarily use in your home is perfect.  Colors such as aqua, hunter green, white, ivory and pale blue lend to the look and contrast the gold, silver and black colors often found in exotic decorating.

Paint the walls any of the colors mentioned above; stick to lighter colors if your living room is small.  A beautiful look for a larger living room is to paint a single wall hunter green, then design a silhouette mural that evokes the landscape of any country where you usually find leopards such as Africa or Asia.  The perfect touch to create the mood would be an African mural depicting tall grass stalks waving in the breeze with a single acacia tree silhouetted in the forefront.

Carpets and floors for exotic decorating

Stone or tile floors will work in exotic decorating as long as the colors and patterns add to the look.  Ceramic tile is particularly popular in this decorating theme, as it offers a coolness that is often welcome in hot climates.  Dark hardwood floors take on a new life with Persian rugs and cushions which are stacked to create extra seating.

With carpeting, stick to a subtle leopard print, or consider a solid beige accented with smaller leopard area rugs.  Loud or campy leopard carpet may get old quickly, so consider carefully whether you can handle such a strong look over a long time period.

Accents complete the look

You don’t have to go overboard with accents since exotic decorating is bold to begin with.  A few well-chosen pieces will go far in creating the rich, dramatic look you desire for your living room.

A single large canvas print of leopards or even an antelope is all you need for one wall.  Use two or three larger potted trees and plants to add to the “jungle” appeal.

Instead of a dull end table, consider stacking wooden crates or even vintage suitcases for a unique look.  Large black ceramic vases or those crafted of teakwood hold large grasses; brass or chrome accents on tables and picture frames contribute to completing the look.

Creating an exotic living room is easy, and can be accomplished without spending a substantial amount of money.  If you like things a little on the wild side, consider the rich, bold look offered in exotic decor.

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Dec 26 2011

4 Easy Ways to Freshen Up the Look of Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Today, many people do not have the money to completely redecorate or remodel their homes.  After a while, any decor gets old and you’re ready for a change.  If you cannot afford to purchase new furniture or install new flooring, the tips below will help you give new life to the rooms in your home!

Consider new upholstery or slip covers

If your furniture has seen better days but is still in fairly good shape structurally, consider having it reupholstered.  In doing this, you can choose the fabric you like, which makes it easy to blend with the colors and accents you already use in the room.

Today’s slip covers are an entirely different breed from those that were available decades ago.  The slip covers you find today are fitted, and come in one, two and three piece sets that snugly fit any type of furniture.  The designs and fabrics allow you to create any look you like.

Rearrange the furniture

The easiest way to create a new look in the living room is to rearrange the furniture.  If your furniture is currently against the walls, move it out to create an intimate setting.

Placing your furniture at a diagonal makes for a striking and unique look; place your sofa, coffee table and end tables facing opposing corners of the room.  A large area rug in the center of the room adds color and brings the look together.

Switch out the rugs

Rugs can make a huge difference in the appearance of the room, especially if floors or carpets are worn.

Wood floors warm up with colorful rugs that add texture and depth.  If you don’t have any rugs in the room, consider adding large area rugs or smaller accent rugs.  Have rugs other different rooms?  Switch them out and transform the look of two different rooms!

Color the walls and switch out wall art

Paint is possibly the best tool you have for transforming the look of a room – and the cheapest.

If your walls are currently white or any other bland shade, consider a bright, vibrant color to give life to the walls.  Light shades are perfect for small rooms, while rich, bold colors work well in larger rooms.  Paint the walls using a texturing technique such as rag-rolling or sponging for added drama.  Also consider painting the trim work such as baseboards and door facings a contrasting color for impact.

The art you use on your walls can have a dramatic impact on the look of the room.  If you currently have lots of smaller accents on a wall, consider one large piece that dominates the area, such as a large tapestry or abstract print.

Mirrors can create a beautiful effect on the walls; arrange groups of 3 or 5 mirrors on the wall to add elegance and reflect the light in the room.

There are dozens of easy (and affordable) things you can do to give your home a completely new look.  Put your creativity to use; drag out some of those things you have put away in the attic or storage.  Freshening up the look of your home is easy!

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Dec 22 2011

Decorating a Home Office – Don’t Neglect This Necessary Space in Your Home

A home office is becoming the “norm” in many residences.  Whether you work from home or perform many office tasks from your house, an office is where you are likely to spend time working, balancing your budget and paying the bills.  With the right decor, you will find that you actually enjoy spending time in your home office.

What do you need in your home office?

There are some things that are necessities and others that simply lend to a relaxing atmosphere conducive to work.  The right desk is essential; it is the center of your home office, and you need a place for everything so that you have easy access; as the old saying goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place”.

Organization will ensure that you can easily access anything you need when working in your home office.  Since your desk is where you will spend most of your time it should be the right size.  A small desk won’t provide adequate space for your needs, while one that is too large tends to get cluttered.  Choose one that’s the perfect size for what you intend to accomplish, one that has adequate shelving and storage space along with just the right amount of open area on top.

Shelves handle everything from personal items to files

Shelves are essential in the home office.  You always want to add a personal touch so that your office feels comfortable and relaxing. It’s important that you include photos and even a few of those trophies or awards your children have won.

Shelves can perform a variety of functions, from holding file folders and sticky notes to awards, family photos, plants and other items that give your home office a personal touch.  You can select prebuilt units, place shelves in convenient spots on walls or use a combination of both.

When you’re short on space, a chest or armoire works wonders

According to Martha Stewart, you can keep your office organized and stylish by keeping extra paper, staples, and other office supplies out of sight.  A chest or armoire is perfect for this, as you can store anything inside so that you don’t have a lot of extra “stuff” setting on shelves, wood filing cabinets and your oak desk.  A neat, well-organized office is conducive to work and provides a welcoming atmosphere. 

Plants – a necessity for every home office

Whether it is a bonsai tree or an elephant ear plant, you need natural elements in your home office.  Set a corn plant or fern in a corner near a window, or place smaller plants on shelves.  Greenery adds a natural element that makes any room more inviting.

It’s best to use plants which require a minimum of care in your home office.  Bonsai trees are perfect for this use because they take up very little space and require little maintenance.

A bulleting board is another item you will want to place in your home office, so that you can keep up with meetings, deadlines and other events.

Dress up a cork board with a fabric that coordinates with the overall décor and then frame it any way you like.  This makes for an element that is not only practical, but ornamental as well.

Dress up your home office, and make useful and comfortable, appealing and relaxing!

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