Archive for the 'Decorating' Category

Dec 15 2009

5 Interior Decorating Tips for Feng Shui

Published by under Decorating

Feng Shui BedroomPracticing feng shui in home décor has become a popular way to style a room. When you decorate using the principles of feng shui, you work to utilize the space in your home effectively to maintain good chi, or energy. To achieve the right feng shui in a room, there are certain things that a homeowner must or must not do when it comes to decorating. To maintain good chi in your home, consider the following interior decorating tips.

Include Color in the Room
There are certain colors in feng shui decorating that you should use if you want to promote good energy in the room. All of the colors stand for different things. For instance, the color red stands for good luck, which is why red is such a popular color in feng shui design. For a fresh and peaceful look, decorate with green. Use yellow if you’re looking for another good luck color.

When practicing feng shui, none of the colors used should be unappealing or distracting to the homeowner. Rather, you should go with colors that have a comfortable feel to them.

Keep the Room Simple
Typical feng shui design does not involve overly crowded spaces full of stuff. You want to keep the room very simple, with only basic furniture and a few accessories. In the feng shui practice, a room should never be cramped, as that will only create negative energy in the room.

When implementing a feng shui design, start out with the basics, such as a piece of furniture and maybe another added piece to begin with. Then slowly add a few more items as needed. You want to be sure you don’t go overboard on the accessories or décor items.

Use Natural Materials
It’s important to use natural materials wherever possible when practicing feng shui. Natural materials—such as bamboo, hemp, and organic fabrics—will help keep the negative chi away that can be found with products that are artificial. If you want to practice feng shui in your home, you might want to consider installing a bamboo wood floor or having an organic cotton slipcover over your couch.

Decorate with Plants
If you want create a room with good chi, then add some plants to your décor. Plants are a wonderful addition to any feng shui design, as they are living objects that help the environment.

There are lots of different varieties of plants you can use to fit the décor of each room. A small potted plant might work great in one room and in another you might put a large standing tree in the corner. Both of these plants will make a great addition to any room with a feng shui décor.

Decorate and Design According to the Bagua
An energy map for a room is called a bagua. If you really want to get serious about feng shui decorating, then you’ll need to determine and follow the bagua specifically according to the shape and size of a particular room. For instance, a long dining room isn’t going to have the same energy map as a small kitchen. Once you use the bagua to determine the life areas, you can then start decorating your various rooms using feng shui.

As feng shui design has become more and more popular, it is becoming known more as a decorating style rather than a philosophy. If you’re interested in embracing the feng shui life and bringing some positive chi into your home, then learn more about feng shui practices and how to incorporate them in your home’s décor.

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Nov 10 2009

How to Add Your Own Personality into Decorating a Room

Published by under Decorating

Arts & Crafts Living RoomWhen decorating your home, do you tend to get so wrapped up in the latest styles or trends featured in design magazines that you forget to add some of your own personality to the design? You should be able to step into any room in your home and know that it reflects your unique personality and style. If you’re looking for some ways to add your own personality to the rooms in your home, then consider the following tips.

Focus on a Hobby or Collection of Yours
A focus on a favorite hobby or a special collection can be a great way to add a personal touch to your décor. You can decorate a room with collections of such things as dolls, airplanes, specific figurines, and hats. Consider using one of these collections to create a focal point in the room—placing them on a fireplace mantel or even a large shelf on the wall. If you like to knit or sew, consider displaying some of your finished pieces in a room, such as a quilt thrown on the back of the couch or an embroidered picture hung on the wall.

Use Family Photographs to Decorate
Family photographs are a great way to add that personal touch to any room. If you don’t want to use recent ones, then try displaying old black-and-white photos of some of your ancestors. Or if you want to stay current, choose a few of your favorite photos of your family and friends, and arrange them in frames on the wall. This is a great way to establish a personal touch in a room, plus it also might serve to add some interest to a wall.

Use Your Favorite Colors to Decorate
When decorating a room, you first want to choose what colors you want to use and then go from there. Rather than picking out a fabric or accessory first, look for them in the color you’ve selected.

Do be sure, however, that the color you pick is practical, one you won’t get tired of within a few months. You’ll need to pick colors for the walls, trim, and furniture. You might want to go with different shades of your favorite color or pick out two or three favorites that are complementary.

Create Your Own Art for the Room
No matter how creative you are, you can create a piece of art to include in your décor. This could any of a variety of artistic outlets, such as a painting, collection of items, or photograph you take. Adding your own artwork to a room creates your own sense of style and personality. It’s best if you create using a medium you like and are interested in, rather than just trying to create something to match the existing décor.

When you add your own personality into your décor, what will result is a home that feels entirely your own.

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Oct 12 2009

Home Office Ideas on a Shoestring Budget

Published by under Decorating,Home Office

Mission Style Office FurnitureThese days, more and more professionals are opting to work from home. Whether you work from home or just end up taking a lot of your work home with you, you probably need some sort of home office. Setting up an office in your home doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Whether you work from home or just want a home office for the family, there are plenty of ways to build a budget-friendly office space that will fit your needs.

Sectioning a Portion of a Room for Office Space
Setting up a home office doesn’t necessarily mean you need to designate a completely separate room. Certainly having your office in its own room is nice, but it isn’t at all necessary. Unless your business needs a lot of storage space, a home office can be set up in a closet or in a corner of another room, such as the dining room or kitchen. For work-at-home parents, having your office in a corner of a room or a closet can often work better, especially for those who need to keep an eye on young children or monitor their teenagers’ computer time.

Converting a Closet into a Home Office

Turning a closet into a home office is simple. Just take the doors off the hinges and remove the closet bar. Next you need to find a simple wood desk and comfortable chair that will fit in the space you have. The back walls of the closet can provide a place for shelving or any other organizational or storage options you might need. If you don’t always want your office to be in view, simply hang a long curtain over the front of the closet. If you’re looking for an inexpensive office solution that requires very little space, then this is definitely the way to go.

Adding Shelving and a Desk to Any Room
A home office can be as simple as a built-in oak bookcase or storage area, or perhaps a computer armoire. Whether it’s the dining room, the kitchen, or the bedroom, this type of inexpensive home office can be added to just about any room.

Even if you do have a separate room for your home office, your space can still be budget-friendly. Simply painting the room can make a big difference, whether you choose your favorite color or a mellow color like light green or blue.

This space can be easily decorated by simply adding photographs in frames to the wall. The photos might be of your family, or you could display some nature scenes that you took. Shelves or shadow boxes added to the walls for storage can double as decorative items as well.

Those books that you use for your business might also serve as decorative items, particularly if they are nice-looking. Try filling decorative boxes and trinkets with office supplies; this way they can be functional as well as stylish.

The great thing about a home office is, if you are just starting up your business and you don’t have many resources, you can easily build it up slowly. You can simply start out with a desk and a chair in the room. You can wait till you find deals or sales on decorative and storage items to use for the room. It’s not necessary to go into debt trying to create the “perfect” home office before you business is even making money.

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Oct 02 2009

Decorating in a Contemporary Style

Published by under Decorating

ContemporaryFor those who like to keep current with the styles and designs of today, a contemporary style might be the perfect décor choice for your home. Nowadays, contemporary styles have shifted and are no longer as cold and unwelcoming as they once were. Contemporary styles nowadays tend to be comfortable, lighter, and very welcoming.

So what exactly is needed to create that contemporary look? The basic components of this design style are simplicity, clean lines, and sophistication. Focusing on shape, size, and color is the key to any contemporary style. What will result is a fresh, sleek look that will fit just about any room in the home. If a contemporary style seems like the décor choice for you, here are some other important features to consider.

Contemporary Color Choices for Your Room
Contemporary styles tend to incorporate mostly neutral colors, although modern variants are adding more colors such as blues and greens into the mix. Traditionally, black is often the color used to ground the décor, creating a base for the look. Choose neutral tones such as light gray, white, or light tan for your walls.

One new trend in contemporary styles revolves around monochromatic themes. This means you choose one or two complementary colors, such as green and blue, and then you work only with those colors, adding a neutral color such as black or white here and there. Thus, for instance, you may coordinate white pillows with a modern light-blue chair.

Accentuate the Lines and Geometry of the Room
Essential to contemporary style is distinct lines in the design. To create definite lines in your décor, you might look to including some geometric shapes or keeping the windows bare in the room. Don’t overcrowd the space. You need each and every piece to stand on its own and not get shuffled in with everything else.

Choose Sleek and Modern Furniture
For contemporary furnishings, look for sleek and modern pieces that have geometric patterns. Rather than a big plush, comfy sofa, you might go with a sleek wrap-around sofa with exposed peg legs for that contemporary look. Choose furniture that’s upholstered in neutral tones such as white, black, tan, and gray. You can also consider purchasing contemporary wood furniture. Avoid furniture with frilly accents or pillows, or pieces with skirts or trim on the bottom.

Contemporary Décor That’s Basic, Bold, and Functional
Remember, with contemporary style, less is more. In other words, you need to eliminate the small, cute, little things and focus on larger objects. Avoid any floral or paisley prints, as well as fringes and ruffles.

When it comes to contemporary décor, go basic, bold, and functional. For instance, a simple large candle on a dish may be all that’s needed on a shelf or table. Another contemporary accent might be a glass vase with colored balls or marbles. However, limit those accents to one per surface area. Some surfaces, such as side tables, don’t need anything on them.

Contemporary style can create a great look for practically any room in your home and can be achieved with something as simple as new  living room or bedroom furniture accents. However, do be sure this is the style you want, as it is hard to incorporate contemporary pieces into other decorating themes.

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Oct 01 2009

5 Easy Ways to Redecorate Your Kithchen

Published by under Decorating,Kitchens

KitchenDo you feel your kitchen is lacking something or is just totally out-of-date? There are several inexpensive ways to update the look of your kitchen while still being able to afford groceries for the month. You might be stuck with your floor plan, unless you have thousands of dollars to completely redo the entire kitchen. But there are ways to accentuate the positive and spruce up the kitchen you have.

Add New Cabinet Hardware
Adding new hardware might sound really simple, but it can really affect the scheme of your kitchen. By taking off old hardware (if you even have any) and adding new handles and pulls, you can turn an ordinary cabinet into something decidedly more stylish. For a more contemporary look, go with silver or brushed nickel handles. Cabinet pulls and handles vary in price, anywhere from $0.50 a pull to upward of $20. So be sure to set a budget ahead of time and account for all the hardware you’ll need.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Paint is inexpensive but can instantly change the look of a room. The low cost will be especially true if you have a small kitchen or not much exposed wall area. For those who have wallpaper, painting can give a kitchen an instant facelift. Be aware, however, that the project will be more time consuming than if you didn’t have the wallpaper to tear down. Choose a color that’s updated and fresh, but be sure it will still go well with the look and color of your cabinets. If you’re not happy with your cabinets, this may be a good time to stain or repaint them as well. If your ceiling is sporting those ugly yellow grease marks, consider repainting it as well.

Freshen Up Your Kitchen by Adding Some Green
The simple addition of a plant or flower arrangement to your kitchen can bring an element of freshness to the space. Be sure not to clutter the plants or flowers. One on top of a cabinet or one in the corner of the room will be enough to change the look of your space. If you go with a real plant or flowers, be sure to take care of them or you’ll be wasting your money.

Add a New Light Fixture
You can really spruce up your kitchen with a new light. Light fixtures vary in price, but you should be able to find a great light for your kitchen for under $100. If your kitchen currently contains recessed fluorescent lighting, that is definitely something to update. Consider something totally different such as a chandelier in the middle of the kitchen. Track lighting is another great option, as it gives you light in the areas of the kitchen, such as the stove, where you need it the most. A new light fixture is not only functional, in that it adds new light to the space, but it also can bring a sense of style to the room.

Put Your China on Display
Do you have beautiful china that’s hidden away in your cabinets or hutch? Why not put it to good use and display it? An easy option is to take one of your cabinet doors off the hinge and replace it with a glass cabinet door. Then you can arrange the china in the cabinet to show it off, and voilà, you have an instant attention-getter. Another great display idea is to put up a shelf on one of the walls and display your china there. Just be sure to fasten the china to the wall so it doesn’t fall.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to update your kitchen. By using your creativity and the resources you have, you can add instant style to any kitchen. Now that you’ve tackled the kitchen you should consider working on your dining room. In a a future post we’ll be be talking about getting beautiful dining sets and oak dining room tables to help enhance the look of your home and compliment your kitchen makeover.

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Sep 30 2009

Decorating Ideas & Inspiration

Published by under Decorating

Living RoomFinding the exact style you want can be difficult, whether you are moving into a new home or have decided to redecorate. The choices seem vast. Do you go with paint or wallpaper? Carpet or hardwood floor? Dark colors or light? There are literally hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to decorating your home.

It’s advisable to start by doing some research. It’s never a good idea to rush into the first idea you have for a room. After all, it may not work out or you might end up finding something you like a lot better. You need to figure out exactly what you’re looking for, and that means finding inspiration. Not sure where to look for your inspiration? Here are several ideas to get you started.

Decorating Books and Magazines
Thinking about wood office furniture for your home office but don’t know where to start? Visit your local library to look through its collection of decorating books and magazines. Plan to spend some time really looking over these books. Once you’ve narrowed down what you want, you can then take some of them home to really pick out your favorites. These books can be very inspirational and will also help you expand your knowledge about interior decorating. Keep in mind, however, that just because a picture or design is featured in a book does not mean its functional for every family. Simply take these ideas and images, and use them as inspiration in creating your own functional designs and style.

Design Shows on Television
If you get cable, you might want to consider watching channels such as HGTV every once in a while to get some new ideas or inspiration for your home like a wall of wood bookcases or a cherry dining set . There are plenty of shows broadcast at various times of the day that can at least give you some decorating ideas. Another benefit to watching design shows is that most of them will actually demonstrate how to do the things they’re suggesting, making it easy to replicate what you see at home.

Model Homes and Rooms
Explore your city and see if there are any home tours available or model-home showcases you can take a look at. If you’re really lucky, your city will have a model-home showcase in which top interior decorators get together to redecorate rooms and home. These homes are then opened to the public for a small fee, which is usually donated to charity. This poses an extraordinary opportunity to see some great work by interior decorators without having to pay for your own consultation.

Interior Decorator
If you can afford it, you can get great ideas by hiring an interior decorator to come to your home. You can get a lot of good advice during a simple consultation visit, and this doesn’t mean you have to hire the decorator to do the work. Interior decorators generally charge either an hourly price or a flat fee per visit. When you set up the appointment, be sure to ask how they charge and what the estimated total price might be.

You can find inspiration for decorating your home in so many different places. You might simply walk into a store and find a great piece of décor that sparks your imagination. Just remember to take your time and enjoy discovering your own personal style.

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Sep 29 2009

Decorating Any Room on a Budget

Published by under Decorating

Greene & Greene BedroomBelieve it or not, however small your budget, it is possible to bring new style to any room in your home. There are so many inexpensive ways to add style to your home, giving it a whole new look. Following are some great tips on decorating your home while sticking to your budget.

  1. Paint is the best way to spruce up a room on a tight budget. A couple of gallons of paint will run you less than $50 and can entirely change the look of your room. Bright or bold colors will add drama to the room, whereas more neutral colors will give it a more natural appearance. There are so many ways to use paint creatively. You might choose to paint only one wall an accent color, which will make that wall the focal point of the room. Try painting stripes or use a textured painting technique to add some real interest to the walls.
  2. . Another place you can make a big impact for little money is your windows. You can choose from a variety of different window coverings for any type of room. Even if you already have simple vertical blinds you don’t want to get rid of, a valance placed at the top of the window will add more drama to the area.There are so many creative ways to dress a window. Try taking sheer material and draping over a decorative curtain rod as a simple and inexpensive decorating idea. Another easy idea is long curtain panels tied back with thick ribbon or velvet.
  3. You can largely impact the look of a room by simply adding some accessories that will tie the room together. So often it’s the little things that count when it comes to décor. When used the correct way, accessories such as candles, photos, flowers, and baskets can add a lot to a room. For instance, adding a row of candles to an oak coffee table will give a room a more intimate feeling. Your kitchen might look more inviting with the simple addition of a vase of flowers. Even the simplest things, such as new towels in a bathroom, can make a huge difference.For those on a tight budget, shop flea markets and consignment stores for these types of items. You may spend a little more time shopping, but this can save you a ton of money, especially if you have your whole house to decorate.
  4. A simple strategy for a new look is to rearrange the furniture or pull items from one room and use them in another. If your budget is really tight, it makes sense to work with what you have. Always be on the lookout for pieces you can refurbish and add your own style to. Perhaps that old vase that used to hold flowers in the family room might be spray painted with a metallic finish and used as a centerpiece for the dining room table. Look carefully at the items you have and envision how you might change them to fit the style you’re looking for.

Just because you’re decorating doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars. You’ll be surprised at how far $100 or $200 will get you in bringing style to your home on a tight budget.

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Sep 28 2009

6 Tips for Choosing Area Rugs for the Home

Published by under Decorating

Area RugThere are several different types of area rugs that are available, so how can you determine which one will work best in your home? Here are some helpful tips to remember when choosing area rugs for the home.

    1. The first thing that you need to do before you even try to choose the best possible area rug for a certain location in your home is determine how much traffic the location will get.High-traffic areas are going to get worn down much quicker and you may want to invest in a rug of higher quality that is more durable for this location. If it is a low-traffic area of the home, then you can depend more on your style taste and not so much about the quality and make of the area rug.
    2. Decide if the area rug is going to be the room’s focal point. If you want to use the rug as the focal point, then opt for one that has a design or pattern on it, to draw the eye to the rug. If you simply want an area rug to be in the background of the room, then choose a plain color rug or one with a very simple design.
    3. Other things that you may want to take into consideration are if you have pets or children. Pets can do really damage to area rugs, especially if they decide to make the rug their home. Think about buying area rugs that are stain resistant if you have children or pets.
    4. Always determine your budget before you even start shopping for the area rug. These types of décor items come in a wide variety of prices and you don’t want to overspend on a simple area rug. You can find some rugs for under $50 while high quality area rugs will set you back at least a few thousand dollars.
    5. If you are on a limited budget, then you may want to look for synthetic area rugs. You can tell if an area rug is synthetic if you look at the back of the rug and the fibers are not hand-knotted but instead are simply punched through just like carpets.

Although synthetic rugs won’t last as long as true wool rugs, they are much less expensive. If you have to replace them every other year, you can have a new style rug for that location and not have to spend that much money.

  1. When determining how large the area rug has to be, make sure that you are leaving space between the rug and the walls. You don’t want to have an area rug that juts right up against the walls in the room. Instead, there should be an even border on all sides between the rug and the wall.For example, if you want a rug for under your dining room table, measure an additional 4-5 inches out from the table on each side. This will ensure that there is enough room for the chairs to fit on the rug, but will also ensure that you have an even border around the walls of the room.

Area rugs can make a great addition to many different rooms in the home as long as you know what to look for and how to pick out the perfect rug for your home.

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Sep 24 2009

Decorating Ideas for the Master Bedroom

Published by under Bedroom,Decorating

Bedroom FurnitureWhen it comes to decorating, the master bedroom is often the most neglected room in the house. Sometimes homeowners simply run out of money or ideas after finishing the rest of the house, or perhaps they just never got around to bringing their own style to the room. Rather than waiting until you have the time or funds, consider the following quick-and-easy decorating ideas that will instantly add style to the master bedroom.

Decorating Your Walls
A simple change of paint color can take your bedroom in a whole new direction. Painting is not only easy and inexpensive, but it doesn’t take that much time. There are many different options to choose from when it comes to painting the master bedroom.

If you’re happy with your bedding, find a shade that complements existing colors. Or if you’re considering new bedding, you can go with the color scheme of your choice. You might also opt for an easier route and paint an accent wall;  a good choice might be the one your bed is against.

Another quick decorating tip is to hang a painting on one wall. Choose whatever type of painting best fits the décor of the room. You might even try hanging a couple of different smaller paintings on the same wall in a random pattern. Paintings and photographs can be found at your local department store or even at discount stores.

Choosing Your Bedding
The focal point of any bedroom is the bed. If you’re not set on a particular décor, start with the bedding first. You can see what’s available at your local stores, or even browse online for different bedding ideas.

Don’t spend a lot of money on your bedding set; you can always find something simple to add to it. A great way to add some color or texture to your bed is with pillows. For instance, inexpensive throw pillows will add design and interest to a plain bedding set. For a romantic look, you can even create a canopy around your bed by hanging tulle or silk from the ceiling.

Adding Accessories
Begin by removing any clutter that may be on top of any furniture in the room such as dressers or nightstands. Remember, it’s a lot easier to decorate a room when you’re not looking at a mess. Put away any items you want to keep in drawers and then get rid of whatever else you don’t need.

Once you can see your furniture, you’ll be able to determine the best places to add accessories to your room. For instance, a unique lamp might make a great addition to a nightstand, whereas candles or a vase of flowers might be the perfect touch for the dresser.

Decorating a master bedroom can be a surprisingly simple process. By adding simple design touches here and there, you can create a space that is entirely your own.

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