Archive for the 'Furniture' Category

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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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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Oct 07 2010

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Furniture for Your Family or Living Room

The furnishings you choose to decorate your family or living room provide the basis for the rest of the décor.  When shopping for furniture, there are several things you should take into consideration.  Is the room small or spacious?  Will you actually be using the room, or is it more for show?  There are many questions to ask yourself, from what style of décor you prefer to how the furnishings will be used.

In this article, you will find tips and ideas to help you choose furniture you will still love years from now.

 

Is your family or living room tiny or spacious?

 

This is a huge factor for determining the type of furnishings you will choose.  Small rooms need a sofa, love seat or recliner that is built on a smaller scale, as large, bulky furnishings will overwhelm the room and make it appear smaller.  For a large living or family room, choose heavier, bulkier pieces so that the room appears well-balanced.

How will the room be used?

 

If you are decorating a family room that is used on a daily basis as the place where the family will relax, enjoy television and participate in other activities, make certain the furniture you choose is durable and well-built.  Check seams, look closely at the construction, and by all means sit on it!  Also, choose a style that you are certain you will still love 5 or 10 years in the future.

Furniture for a living room that will seldom be used, such as a formal living room, can be of a somewhat lesser quality, as long as you love the look and style.  Of course you don’t want to go purchase too cheaply, however a moderately priced arrangement will allow you to furnish your living room in a beautiful style that will give it that show place look for the rare occasions that you do use the room.

Modern, country, western or contemporary?

 

It is essential that you know what style of decorating you desire before you purchase new or used furniture.  Those who love a western theme often go for leather or natural wood finishes.  A bulky floral pattern is perfect for country decorating.  For those who choose a more modern or contemporary design, furnishings should be sleek and stream-lined.  A sofa with metal accents and clean lines suits contemporary décor well.

You also want to consider the colors you will use in decorating your family or living room.  Country and western themes include rustic colors like those found in nature.  Rust, pumpkin, gold, navy blue and dark green are often found in these styles, so consider the fabric of the furniture you are considering.  Contemporary and modern decorating leans toward black, white, sand or beige, and perhaps a splash of red to add interest.

Before you go shopping for furniture, do some research online about your preferred style of decorating.  There are plenty of examples for every type of décor to give you ideas, so that you can create beautiful rooms which exude your own personal style.

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Sep 27 2010

Designing a Living Room Around a Focal Point

Every room of your home should have a focal point, which is simply a place where the eyes naturally go when entering the room.  You may not even realize if your living room has a focal point.  How can you find out?  Consciously walk in to the room, and notice what jumps out at you first.  If nothing really attracts your eye, you may be missing a focal point, which is essential to proper decorating.  This article explains more about focal points, and how to design your living room around it for the most appeal.

The main feature of your living room

Nearly everyone has an area of the room that makes a great focal point.  For you, it may be a beautiful fireplace, an exquisite area rug or an antique armoire or other piece of furniture.  In creating a focal point, you may be able to use a feature that already exists, or it may be necessary to add a distinguishing touch.

A fireplace makes a great focal point

If you do have a great fireplace in your living room, use it to your best advantage!  Hang a spectacular mirror or painting above it that attracts the eye.  You can also add dramatic sculptures to the mantel, or even paint a faux border around the entire fireplace.

What if there is no focal point?

Create your own!  If there is no large, distinguishing feature in your living room that really draws the eye, create one.  Think outside the box on this one – a great area rug, a glass display case filled with collectibles, or even a great wall display or tapestry can be the focal point of the room.

Once you decide what the focal point is or create your own, it’s time to decorate around it so that it can be fully appreciated.  Large furnishings should be placed in the room before any accessories, because these items lend “shape” to the room.  Furnishings should be arranged so that from any position, the focal point is within view.

Ideally, your living room should be designed to seat six to eight people comfortably.  This may include a sofa, love seat and chair with ottoman, along with a rocker if you like.  Once you have placed your furniture where it attracts the most attention to your focal point, you are ready to bring in the accessories and accents.

Plants, artwork, accent tables and other decor should be placed so that they enhance your furnishings, while at the same time keeping attention on the focal point.  Accents should blend with the decor, not take away the impact of your focal point.

Once you have completed the room, you won’t believe how beautifully it transformation the space!  A focal point is essential for your living room; otherwise, when you walk in to the room there is nothing special to grab the eye, and the room simply goes unnoticed. Why have rooms without personality, when you can have one that exudes great interest and appeal?

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Sep 20 2010

Leather Furniture Lends Itself to Any Style of Décor

Leather furniture has always been hugely popular, and remains so today.  Not only does it have a rich look and texture, it can easily adapt to any décorating style.  Whether your living room is western, country, contemporary or elegant, a leather sofa and love seat fit right in.  This article offers information on how to give your living room a style uniquely your own through color and accessories.

If you have shopped around lately, you probably know that leather furniture comes in many styles and colors.  From creamy butter to dark mahogany and even black, you can find the color that suits your style preferences best.  From bulky and plush to streamlined and slim, leather furnishings always fit the bill.

Color Adds Personality

 

Let’s face it:  If you don’t add a splash of color here and there, this type of furniture can make a room look bland.  If you have blah walls with no color, a wood floor, a brown shade of carpet, and leather furniture that is also brown, it all runs together!  There is little personality and nothing vibrant to add life to the room.  Color makes a huge impact, and brings the look together.

Depending on your style preferences, add color with over-size throw pillows, accent rugs, and wall hangings.  If western styled décor is your thing, a 6 x 8 western rug, vibrantly colored in rich hues of rust, ocher and blue will add color and break up the room.  Add throw pillows, a western throw for the sofa, and a rich tapestry decorated in a western theme.

Paint is always a Plus

 

While nearly everyone in the world hates to do it, painting is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to liven up a room.  Why keep all of your walls one color?  Be bold!  Paint a single wall a bold color that blends with your décor and accessories.  Then add a contrasting baseboard.  This is a simple task that will take you an hour or two to complete, but makes an amazing transformation in the look of the room.

If you really want to go all out, paint all of the walls in the room, two should be one color with the other two a complimentary or contrasting color.  If the room is smaller, make sure to use colors that aren’t too dark, otherwise you will diminish the size of the room’s appearance even more.

Walls, Accessories, etc.

 

Other than the color of your walls, you want accents that create a focal point for the room.  Depending on your style preferences, choose paintings and prints that are colorful and add to the atmosphere you have chosen.  A single, large print on one wall makes a much bigger impact than two or three small prints.

Add colorful vases filled with greenery and other accessories that compliment the style you have selected.  In most cases, a smattering of accessories is much more attractive than a room filled with knick-knacks and other dust catchers.  Too many accessories, and your room looks cluttered and messy instead of pulled together.  With leather furniture, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating!  Choose your style and then work around your furnishings to achieve the desired effect.

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Jul 14 2010

Create a Focal Point in Your Living Area with Furniture

Every living or family room should have a focal point.  What that focal point will be will differ depending on how you use your living room.  For most families, the television is the focal point, because it is viewed so much.  For others, the family room may be used for relaxing by the fireplace and reading a good book.

No matter for what purpose you use your living room, the furniture should be arranged in a way that best suits the use of the room.  This article offers tips on creating a room that not only looks attractive and appealing, but is convenient for the way in which it will be used most.

 

Is Your Family Into Television and Electronics?
If you have small children or teenagers, the answer to this question is probably yes!  The television or entertainment center will be the focal point of the room.  Arrange your sofa, chairs, and ottoman in a way that allows everyone to comfortably view the television while they relax.  If you or your kids play electronic games frequently or listen to music, create a special corner, perhaps by a window, with chairs and a couple of over-sized pillows that can be used for seating.

Entertaining Guests
Are you the type who has close friends over often?  If you do, you may use your living room more for socializing and visiting than for watching television with the family.  If entertaining is your thing, arrange your furniture in an intimate setting so that it is easier to visit.  Pull furniture away from the walls and arrange it around an area rug, with a low table between the sofa and other chairs.  Add a few beautiful plants and light candles to set a relaxing, welcoming mood.

You may be the type of family who spends a good deal of time reading, studying or just relaxing by the fireplace.  For this type of living room, arrange furnishings where everyone has a good view of the beautiful fire crackling in the fireplace.  Place a lamp on a small table next to the recliners or any furnishings that are used for reading.  Arranging a chair near a window is always a good idea for those who are voracious readers!

No matter how you use your living room, make sure your furniture is made of a suitable material.  If you have small children, you may not want extravagant fabrics that could be easily stained or torn.  Leather or vinyl is good if you frequently have spills that need to be wiped up!

You might also consider furniture that is light weight, especially if you plan to rearrange often to freshen up the look of the room.  No matter what type of furnishings you decide upon, the most important factor is comfort.  No one wants to sit on furniture that is too hard, too soft, or just plain uncomfortable!  Your family spends a good deal of time in the family or living room, so you want to make it as inviting and relaxing as possible.

Decide how your living room is used the most, and use your furnishings in a way that is convenient for the way you live.

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Apr 20 2010

Rustic Decorating Warms Up Your Home

Rustic décor is one of the most popular styles for decorating a home.  Whether you live in a densely populated neighborhood of a big city or in a wooded rural area, this style of décor is warm and inviting.  Nothing feels more comfortable or welcoming than a home decorated in rich, warm shades – and those who love natural wood are sure to find this style of decorating a favorite!

Shades of forest green, cream, brown tones and any other rich colors found in nature are used in rustic décor.  Walls, floors, ceiling fans and furniture are often made of wood.  Hardwood floors are beautiful in any home, but exquisite in this style.  Braided accent rugs, when thrown at the foot of the bed or in front of a sofa add to the homey, comfortable look and atmosphere.

For the Walls
Some types of paneling are outdated, but you can find wood panels that are applied horizontally which creates an amazing look.  If you would rather paint the walls, be sure to stick to rustic colors.  Add even more interest by painting only a couple of walls.  You may want to paint one forest green and another in a rich tan color to contrast.  Wall tapestries are perfect when used in the rustic décor style.  Scenes of nature, mountainous terrain and forest landscapes all make exquisite tapestries that make a room look rich.

Furnishings for the Rustic Home
Leather and solid wooden furniture complement the look perfectly.  Coffee and end tables should match any exposed wood on the sofa, love seat or recliner.  If you choose to use a fabric for your furniture, dark green, rust and creams are beautiful in a plaid or striped pattern.  As with the rest of this type of décor, stick to colors and textures that mimic nature.

In the kitchen, a long wooden pine or maple table is perfect.  Add a bowl filled with fruit and your table is complete!  When it comes to seating, use mismatched wooden chairs or even benches!  The older and more worn the pieces look, the better.  Accessories in a rustic styled kitchen often include prancing roosters, stone and ceramic pots filled with sunflowers or herbs, and a homey rug placed in front of the sink area.

Accessorize!
When it comes to accessories, look for items that have an antique or worn look.  Again, leather and wood make perfect accents, and keep the natural theme flowing throughout your home.  A distressed wooden trunk is a perfect addition to a living room or bedroom, and antique style mirrors create beautiful walls.  Flea markets are a good place to find mirrors, and it really doesn’t matter if they contain a few dings – it just adds to the rustic appeal.

Nothing speaks warmth, security and family like rustic décor.  No matter where you live, you can create comfortable, inviting spaces that all who enter your home will love.  The purpose of a home is to give you comfort, security and warm feelings at the end of the day.  No home is quite as welcoming and beautiful as the rustic style home!  Country or city, this is one style you will truly fall in love with.

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Mar 08 2010

5 Simple Tips for Arranging Furniture in Your Family Room

When it comes to decorating the family room, people often have trouble with arranging the furniture to maximize the potential of the room. When the furniture is arranged properly, the room will seem stylish, but also natural and comfortable. Here are 5 suggestions for making the most out of your room’s potential when arranging your furnishings.

1. Consider the Location of the Doorways
There is only one doorway in some family rooms, while others may have two. Keep the locations of these doorways in mind when arranging your furniture, as this will ensure that the room has a good flow. For a family room with two doorways, try to place the furniture so that people don’t cross the “conversational area,” as they walk across the room. A major consideration for those rooms with one doorway is to be sure people can easily access the furniture without have to navigate through the whole room in order to sit down.

2. Take into Consideration the Walls
If you have a long wall in the family room, that is a great area to place your big sofa or other major piece of furniture like a mission tv  stand. That wall can also be made into a focal point for the room by placing something like an entertainment center there. The other furniture in the room can then be arranged around this wall.

3. Leave Plenty of Space between the Furniture Pieces
When arranging the family room furniture, you need to make sure that you leave plenty of walking space in between each piece. You want people to have adequate space in which to walk around the room but still have things close enough so the space is intimate. If you’re able to strike a balance, then people will have a comfortable amount of space to walk, but when seated, they won’t be so far away that the space isn’t intimate anymore. No one wants to be bumping into furniture right and left when walking around. But on the other hand, you also don’t want people to have to shout in order to talk to one another.

4. Make Sure the Furniture Balances Properly
One common mistake is to put all the large pieces of furniture on the same side of the room, leaving the space looking completely off balance. For instance, don’t place a large sofa next to a large recliner, and then put a small chair and oak end table across the room. Try your best to achieve both horizontal and vertical balance in the room by mixing up your larger and smaller pieces.

5. The Furniture Arrangement Should Be Functional
When arranging the furniture in the family room, you need to be sure to keep it functional. You want to make sure the family room serves its purpose as a more casual, sort of hangout room. Thus, if you’ve designated this space as a place for your family to watch movies together, then you need to be sure that enough of the seating faces the television screen so that everyone is comfortable. It doesn’t matter how stylish the family room is. If it’s not functional, the space will be completely wasted.

Arranging the family room furnishing should go much more smoothly when you follow these simple tips. What will result is a family room that’s stylish, yet also comfortable and functional.

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Feb 26 2010

Transform Your Basement into a Home Theater Room

One great way to utilize that basement space in your home is to transform it into a home theater for you and your family. A drab and boring basement can easily be converted into a stylish family space where everyone can get together to watch movies, play games, and just hang out. Before you start this decorating project, here are some important things you should know.

Be Sure Your Basement Is Waterproofed
Before you do anything else, you first need to be sure your basement is properly waterproofed. It’s fairly common that as homes get older, the walls and foundations weaken and start to crack. Once this happens, all it may take is a small storm for water to start pouring into your basement. You’re not going to want all your valuables in your home theater ruined by water damage. Thus, be sure your basement is waterproofed.

Design Your Home Theater with Both Comfort and Style in Mind
It’s a common misperception that for a room to be stylish it has to be uncomfortable, but that’s not the case at all. There are a variety of ways to have a stylish and cool home theater that’s still a relaxing and comfortable spot in your home. The key is to choose furniture that’s comfortable and that will easily fit into the space you have. Some people may end up using the floor as their sitting area, so be sure to choose a nice carpet for the room.

Measure the Area of the Room Before Buying Anything
If you’re really excited about this project, just be sure you don’t run out and start buying items before you even draw up the design plans. If you start buying larger items, like a wooden tv stand, leather sofas, or a wood coffee table, before you measure the room, this can create some problems. One thing you don’t want to do with a home theater room is cramp it with tons of items. Part of using your space properly involves being sure the seating area is far enough away from the television that a movie can be comfortably viewed. If you make sure there’s plenty of room in the sitting area to walk around in, then you won’t have to go through a maze just to sit down.

Pick Whatever Theme You Want
Just because you are creating a home theater doesn’t mean it needs to be decorated like a movie theater. Whatever style you decide on for the room will work well. Of course, you can always go with an old Hollywood or Broadway theme for the room if you decide you want to stick to an entertainment style. Whatever style you decide on, get creative and keep things comfortable.

Converting your basement into a home theater room should be fun, not stressful. Decorate it with your own sense of style, as you would in any other room in your home. You’ll probably end up spending a lot of time down there, so just be sure to make things as comfortable as possible.

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Feb 04 2010

Instant Makeovers for Any Room in the Home

Oftentimes people believe that in order to change the look of a room, they have to do a drastic redecorating project. However, this is not true at all. Here are some simple and easy steps you can take to create an instant makeover in just about any room in your home.

Paint the Walls of the Room
One of the most popular way to give a room an instant facelift is to paint the walls a completely different color. The color that’s on the walls of a room basically styles the whole room. If you paint a blue room tan, for instance, that color change will alter the light in the room. This, in turn, affects the way all the other objects in the room appear. The great thing about painting is that it’s not hard to do. That fact that it’s a do-it-yourself project makes it quite inexpensive. Make this a weekend project. By Monday morning, you will have a whole new look in that room.

Use Slipcovers on the Furniture
If you love your furniture but are tired of the fabric, slipcover may be just the solution for an instant makeover. When you add a slipcover to a piece of furniture, you can dramatically change the décor. Some of the most dominant objects in any room tends to be the furnishing, and thus when you change the pieces, it will be very noticeable. Even better, it only takes about ten minutes to install slipcovers. Slipcovers come in a range of prices, but for the nicer ones, you may have to spend a little bit more money.

Hang a Piece of Art on the Wall
If you have a large bare wall in the room or one you don’t like very much, you can change the look by hanging a large piece of art there. By adding a large piece of artwork, you can really change the entire focus and style of the room. The piece of art can actually become your new focal point. The art will also cover much of the color on that wall, which can also work to change the look of the room. Just be sure you don’t waste your money on any old piece. Be sure you invest in something you really like and want to have around for a while.

Rearrange the Furniture
When you simply rearrange the furniture in a room, changing the layout, you can give that room an instant makeover. Begin by looking for a new focal point in the room and working from there. You can completely change the dynamic of the room by changing the focal point from the entertainment center to the window or fireplace. You’ll be much happier with the results if you take the time to sketch out on paper what you want before you go moving furniture and heavy objects around.

All of these are simple and easy ways to give any room in your home an instant makeover. If you’re looking for a totally different look, you might even try putting two or three of these suggestions together.

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