Archive for May, 2012

May 30 2012

The Top 3 Secrets You Should Know When Decorating a Room

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

You know how it feels when you walk into a well-decorated room? Everything flows well; the colors evoke a mood, and you leave feeling inspired to do the same thing in your home. However, when you get home you have no idea where to begin and can become frustrated trying to create the dream room of your own.

The truth is that well designed rooms don’t happen by accident- they are always well thought out. We asked a top designer what her 3 favorite tricks are when creating a room that others will envy.

1. Pick an Inspiration Piece

This can be something as large as your favorite piece of furniture or a fireplace or even something as small as your favorite book on your mantle. Choose something that you love and use that piece to inspire you for paint colors, accent pieces and overall design aesthetics. Without a direction or a focal point, your vision can easily get muddled. Remember, just because you love the color blue doesn’t mean that you would love an entire room decorated in blue.

You need subtleties to create a feeling of “blue”, which usually involves some bold blue accents but softer paint colors, flooring and lighting. Don’t be afraid of to make use of the power of subtlety when designing a room- if you want “pop” all you need is a piece of art or a throw pillow to accomplish that.

Know your space

Far too often, people fall in love with a piece of furniture that can make a bold statement, but if don’t understand the dimensions of their room, easily making a misstep and purchasing something that won’t fit in the space well.  Instead of providing inspiration they overwhelm the room. Take measurements of your room and bring a rough sketch with you to the furniture store on the day of purchase.

Allow a professional to tell you which pieces will fit well, and which ones will overwhelm. This can keep you from buying furniture that you don’t need and that won’t go with your overall vision for the space.

Personalize it 

Any designer knows that the number one urge any homeowner has when decorating their space, is that they want to feel like it is theirs. Creating a unique atmosphere which reflects your style and personality can be accomplished through decorating alone, but it never hurts to add a personalized stamp to the room. This may mean creating a wall of personal photos- a gallery can make any room seem tailored to you.

If you have an artistic streak, why not try your hand at creating an art piece in the color and style of the room. This can be a wonderful conversation piece as well as a way to take a well-decorated room from just chic to distinctly you. Also, don’t be afraid to re-claim pieces from second hand shops or consignment stores. Buying a lamp which you then stencil with your favorite pattern in the right shade or discovering an old chair that you can recover, are all inexpensive ways to put that personal touch on the space.

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May 29 2012

How to Organize Your Nursery on a Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating


When a new baby enters your life, you are filled with wonder, amazement and joy; however one thing is bound to go out of your life, organization. From the constant need to change diapers and outfits to the short attention span your little one has with his or her toys, there will always be a trail of evidence that you have a baby in your home.

It’s good to know that without much investment and with a few simple tricks you can make clean up quick and easy, by incorporating some inexpensive ways to store and organize your nursery.

Re-use old furniture 

Most of us have left over furniture items in our garage or storage. Usually, we associate those items with rooms they never looked good in, or file them under “ugly things that Aunt Eunice gave”, but the truth is that with a can of paint and a little love, you can turn those furniture pieces into wonderful storage units. If you have an old bookcase, paint it with colors that match your nursery, invest in some cheap baskets from a second hand store and presto- you have a chic storage unit.

Buy under crib shelving 

Finding places that would otherwise go un-used is another way to de-clutter your nursery on a dime. You can get a custom shelving system on wheels if you have an unusual-sized crib, but for standard crib sizes you can easily order some sliding drawers that fit under the crib. Some cribs come with these for just a few dollars more if you add them to your order. They roll out easily and hide toys and clothes from sight. If an entire drawer isn’t in your budget, baskets or even oversized plastic salad bowls that fit your décor are inexpensive ways to hide away common nursery spillover.

Baby Hangers go a Long Way 

Something as simple as investing in a bunch of plastic child hangers which range from $1-$5 a bundle can help provide some much needed organization to your closet. Also, if you’re an organized person in general save all of those hangers that you get from your baby shower. They usually have the age of the clothing on the hanger. These can come in handy when you want to organize by age, or to clean out the closet freeing up room for a new set of sizes instead. 

Clean and organize clothes for storage 

Your child will have loads and loads of cute clothes- so much so, that the chances are he may not get to wear all of them before he outgrows them. Since every child grows according to his own time line, save your grocery bags. The next time you begin noticing that your child’s onesies are a little tight, it’s time for a closet clean out. Take out clothes according to size and put them in a bag marked with the same number. That way if you have another child you can easily pull out a bag marked 3-6 months or newborn for use and everything will already be organized. If you don’t plan on having any more children, you will be doing the successor of your clothes a huge favor!

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May 24 2012

A Coastal or Beach Style Home Offers Airy, Light Appeal

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

A beach or coastal themed home is one that is predominantly white and brings to mind the fresh warm breezes at the beach.  This is one of the most affordable decorating themes you can choose for your home, and the look can lean toward a cottage chic style as well.  It’s all up to you!  If you’re ready to create a breezy, fresh look for your home, these tips and ideas will help.

White dominates, other colors soften the look

In a coastal or beach themed home, white is typically the dominant color.  It looks light, fresh and clean.  However, all white looks stark and a bit anesthetic which could bring a hospital or doctor’s office to mind.  What colors should you use to offer a sense of relaxation?

Pale blue shades, watery sea-foam greens, sand and pink tones found in seashells are the perfect colors to use when creating your sea-side retreat.  These shades easily mix with white and light cream colors; the look brings to mind a soft watercolor painting on canvas.

Throw in tan to further the beach appeal

A sandy tan shade works to add a reminder of the sand found on the beach.  Along with the pastel shades mentioned above, throw in subdued yellow shades, soft beige or tan.

Add soft shades of sand through carpeting or accent rugs.  One unique idea is to hang a sand colored rug on the wall, especially one that contains other soft water colors in a gently flowing pattern.

In the beach themed home, light colored wooden furnishings should be selected, or consider furniture that is painted white or white washed.

Accessories capture the coastal look

Those things often found on the beach make the perfect accents for your coastal home.  Sea shells are the perfect accent when placed along with sand in clear glass jars and vases.  You might also consider white wooden oars for the wall, or even a lighthouse theme.

Add a few plants potted in whitewashed wicker baskets for a touch of tropical appeal.  Wicker is a light, natural material that works well in the beach/coastal themed décor scheme.

You don’t have to buy new furniture to capture the relaxed and inviting beach look.  Slipcovers can transform even the most worn furniture into objects of beauty.

Look for fabric that can be casually draped over a sofa and tied at the corners.  Osnaburg and muslin are good choices, and far less costly than canvas or linen. You can also sew a slip cover yourself with just a little effort to give your sofa that custom beach look.  Fabrics designed using soft colors and breezy patterns work to bring the look together.

A coat of paint, a few free accents found on the beach and casual, soft furnishings are all that you need to create a beach style atmosphere.  Hang light colored gauze or cotton sheers on the windows to let the natural light shine through, then relax and enjoy your surroundings.

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May 23 2012

Top Color Palettes for Home Decorating

Every year, trends in home decorating change a bit with regards to popular colors.  Last year, turquoise was all the rage, perhaps due to a declining economy.  Turquoise is a color that stands for compassion and healing, and is inspired by the sky and water.  This year, things are changing in a big way as colors are shifting to those which contrast with the slow economy; people want colors that uplift and stimulate their spirits.

Honeysuckle – filled with courage and confidence

Honeysuckle is the big color this year, not only in home decorating but clothing as well.  This color is appealing to the eye, and perfect for adding a lively flair to your home.  This is a color that falls somewhere between an intense shade of pink and red, so it’s perfect for perking up your home.

Use this shade in bedspreads, throw pillows, accent rugs, even on the walls if you dare.  In the kitchen, add small splashes of honeysuckle through linens, candles, glassware, placemats and wall art.

Vintage is coming back in a big way

Vintage themed decor is making a huge comeback this year as well, perhaps due to the economy.  It’s natural that people want to feel lifted and upbeat in their homes, so a vintage decor theme makes sense.  It takes the mind back to a more peaceful and relaxed time.

Colors typically used in a vintage theme include berry shades, deep burgundy and browns, bronze, and smoky violet hues.  Paired with leather furnishings and dark wood, these colors will exude class and sophistication.

Those who prefer feeling that they are “getting back to the old days” will enjoy the farm house look.  Earthy tones offer a back-to-nature feel; rich browns, leafy greens, bold blues and butter yellow shades play a big part in setting the mood.

Tribal colors will also rule this year.  When people think of tribes, they often think of communities of people and the importance of those people in one another’s lives.  Tribal colors are earthen and rich; indigo blue shades, rusty orange hues, browns and curries add a bold and exciting splash of color to any space of your home.

If you’re still stuck on turquoise, give things a lighter twist.  Consider pearly or satin finishes, using colors that are relaxing and soft.  Soft gray tones, creamy whites and neutral versions of sage add a bit of a retro feeling and make your home feel like a much-welcomed escape from today’s stressful world.

There are plenty of decorating themes and color options to help update your home this year.  Decide whether you want a vintage, tribal, farm house or retro look and go for it!  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, simply add some paint here and there to walls and cabinets; include subtle splashes of color through furnishings, wall art and other accessories.

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May 18 2012

From Sophisticated to Dramatic, Black & White Work to Create a Unique Look in the Living Room

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

You may imagine that a black and white living room would be bland and boring, but it’s actually quite the opposite.  When done right, the black and white living room can express sophisticate urban to country classic.  Depending on the furniture and other elements used in creating the look, the room can look dramatic, relaxed, modern or ultra chic.

Furniture should be consistent
You wouldn’t want to place a white wicker chair next to a sofa that is made of black leather; the look would be strange, to say the least.  What does work is a black leather couch paired with a white bean bag.  When choosing furnishings for your black and white living room, you want to be sure that the styles complement each other.  For example, you don’t want a modern or contemporary chair paired with a country style sofa embellished with wood trim.

Keep in mind that solid colored furnishings work best for a modern or contemporary style theme, while black and white prints such as floral or plaid work well for a vintage or country theme.

When it comes to floors, there are many options
The floors are one of the most important elements in your design theme; after all, they are the foundation or base of the look.

You might choose a black and white checkerboard floor if you are going for a contemporary look or even solid white tiles topped with a solid black rug.

In a country or vintage style living room, wood floors take on a whole new look when painted white.  Top with a black and white oriental rug, or a braided rug that incorporates shades of black, white and gray.  If you cannot afford wood or tile floors, opt for a white carpet – but think twice about this if you have small children!

A white wood floor gives you many decorating options.  White wicker paired with black throw pillows, black furnishings topped with black and white throws, or a mixture of furnishings that are both black and white.  The trick to achieve the perfect look is to have a good balance of both colors.

Accents complete the look
It’s the little things that give a room depth and personality.  In the black and white living room, it is especially important that you add interest to walls, mantles and table tops.

Consider black and white family photos framed in black wood frames.  The black frame contrasts well on a white wall, and the look is dramatic.  If you’re going for a vintage or country look, charcoal prints of country landscapes or floral arrangements framed out in black work well.

Think about the color where you will be placing your accents.  For example, if your end tables and coffee table are black, a white glass or ceramic vase filled with red and white flowers would really make the area pop.  Stone sculptures, candles, and other accessories should be the opposite color of the area behind or underneath them so that they really stand out.

Black and white doesn’t have to be boring!  Use rugs, throws, pillows and other art work to create a room with depth, beauty and extraordinary app

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May 17 2012

Using Rugs to Bring a Unique Touch to Your Decor

A decade ago, rugs were only found on the floors of most homes.  Today, various styles of rugs add dimension and beauty through luxurious texture, dramatic designs and color.  While they are perfect for the floor, there are other ways to incorporate beautifully designed rugs in to your decor!  The ideas below will help you create rooms that are unique and make an impact on all who enter your home.

Rugs come in every shape and size

There are so many different types of rugs available that it’s often hard to decide what you want.

Oriental and Persian rugs offer an elegant, rich appearance for your home.  Often hand-knotted, such rugs are made by skilled artisans that love their work.  It can take these craftspeople up to 2 years to create a single rug.  The older these rugs are, the more worth they have.

Braided rugs are another type of rug that has remained popular over the years.  Some contain up to 10 colors, and are perfect for the country-themed, traditional or rustic home.

Round, rectangular, square or oval, you can find rugs in every shape and color to meet your decor needs.

Unique ideas for decorating with rugs

Sure, an area-size braided or Persian rug is perfect for warming up wood or tile floors, but how can you use them in other ways?

A large rug makes a perfect addition to a wall.  When placed above the couch or fireplace mantle, a rug can become the focal point of the room.  Oriental rugs are especially fitting for this purpose.

How can you add a bit of texture and drama to the mantle?  Drape a runner that is typically used for a hallway or staircase across the mantle; it is a beautiful backdrop to those pictures, statues, candles and other accents you may use to decorate the mantle.

If you have sofa or accent tables in the living room that are a bit worn, a small Persian rug is the perfect solution.  When placed on top of the table, the intricate designs add color and pattern.  Nothing warms up a living room and adds depth quite like rugs!

Of course, you still want to use them on the floor, but you can create drama here as well.  Take a large round Persian rug and then place a smaller one on top of it for a unique look.  If the patterns contrast it’s even better, as long as the color theme blends.

Brightly colored whimsical rugs work great in the kitchen

If you’ve ever seen those smaller rugs embellished with brightly colored flowers and fruits, you may have thought them to be a bit garish.

While they aren’t perfect for every room, these types of rugs are perfect when used to brighten up a kitchen.  Place one in the floor in front of the sink, or hang two or three together on a dining room wall to add cheer.  A brightly colored floral arrangement or fruit basket used as a centerpiece for the table brings the look together.

From elegant Persian rugs to bold animal and exotic designs, there are many uses for rugs, from the most traditional to the wacky and whimsical.  Rugs are a beautiful way to add color and dimension to your home without spending too much money.  Use your imagination – you can create looks that will capture everyone’s attention.

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