Tag Archive 'interior decorating'

Feb 10 2012

Stylish Storage Solutions for Your Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Storage space presents a problem for many home owners.  You may not have much closet storage space, and have many things for which there is simply not enough space.  How can you store those things away that you don’t use frequently, and remove the clutter from your home?  The ideas below will help make your home more beautiful while stowing away the things you may not need until next season.

Double duty furnishings

Today, many manufacturers are building furniture that serves two functions.  For example, some wood beds are now constructed with storage built in to the base of the bed, which allows you to take advantage of space that would have otherwise gone unused.  This storage often contains both shelves and drawers, perfect for shoes, sweaters, etc.

Now you can even find dining room tables with hidden storage!  Some of these tables open up in a way that is similar to a piano, while others have drawers that are perfect for storing flatware, linens and other items you have no room for.

Some night stands even offer built-in chargers so that you can charge your iPad or phone!  Manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the storage problems that many people face, and are implementing clever storage ideas in to their products.

Getting organized in your home

Think outside the box when it comes to storage.  If you are considering a bench for the living room or a bedroom, there are many available that have a slatted shelf below for shoes.  The cushions offer cover for a lift-up seat where you can store even more!

Have books, magazines, towels and other smaller items, but nowhere to put them?  Storage baskets are not only perfect for storing away some of those smaller items which can make a bathroom or living room look cluttered, they lend texture and style to the room.

Crafted of woven grass in reinterpreted Indonesian ikat patterns are baskets which come in various sizes for your needs.  Now you can add a stylish touch to a room while “hiding” the clutter!

Boxes and baskets dress up a room while hiding the mess

Many people are still drawn toward boxes and baskets for storage, but this doesn’t mean you have to stick to the old-time wicker basket or cardboard box.

Today’s boxes and baskets are stylish and meant to be admired.  Some are upholstered; you can expect to find wool flannel, perky cotton prints, skin cladding, canvas and even leather so that you can have attractive storage for any decorating style.

Baskets can be natural or stained, or brightly colored in stripes and other patterns.  There are a wide range of weaves you can choose from to add a punch of texture and color to your home.

As you can see, there is no longer an excuse for a messy, cluttered home!  Even if you have little to no storage space, there are hundreds of solutions available.  Happy de-cluttering!

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Feb 08 2012

5 Easy Steps to Transform Small Spaces In to Spaces That Live Large

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Small rooms can seem cramped, dark and quite honestly, uncomfortable.  If you live in a small apartment or house with rooms that tend to be on the small side, all hope is not lost.  There are a few tricks you can use that will visually open up the space, making it look twice as large as it actually is.  The tips you find below will help you create spaces that, while minimal in square footage, allow you to live large!

When it comes to walls, lighten up

It is a proven fact that dark colors diminish, lighter colors reflect.  Think of those who diet; they often wear black because it makes them look smaller.  The same thing is true of any room – dark colors make the room appear even smaller than it actually is.

Choose light colors to decorate your small spaces.  You don’t have to stick to white, which can be boring and bland.  Light neutral shades such as soft taupe, light gray or light apricot look bright and fresh, especially when trimmed out with white around baseboards, windows and door facings.

Keep the colors in every room of your home similar; having drastically different colors from room to room chops up the area and contributes further to the small feel.

Select furnishings on a smaller scale

It is important that you choose the right type of furniture when you have smaller rooms.  You can just imagine the look of a large corner sectional sofa if you have a living room that is only 12 x 14 in floor space!

Avoid bulky or over-sized furnishings and stick to pieces that are designed on a smaller scale.  In a petite living room, a regular sized sofa that is sleek in design, paired with a chair, ottoman and coffee table are all that you need.

Storage is often at a premium in small homes, so choose your pieces wisely

Smaller homes and apartments often lack storage space.  If you find that you have more “stuff” than your closets can accommodate, think about creative ways to store items you don’t use often such as clothes and other things.  For example, there are plastic or wood storage bins with “drawers” that can be placed underneath a bed for extra storage.  Have an antique or cedar trunk?  It can sit at the foot of the bed; store winter clothes and other items inside.

Make the best possible use of shelves in any room, including the living room.  If chosen wisely, a shelf can hold books, the television, magazines and other items.  Some units even have drawers built in.

Cut the clutter, and cut the confusion

Clutter only serves to make any room look messy and even smaller than it really is.  For an open look, get rid of the clutter and use only a few well-chosen accents.

If your table tops are piled with books, magazines, candles, knick-knacks and other items, get rid of them!  A small accent lamp and one decorative item is all you need to add color to a table.

Clear out the floor space as well.  If there are magazine racks, several rugs, wicker baskets and other things that really just “take up space”, take them out.  A single area rug adds color and warmth to the floor and gives the room a neat, organized look.

These are some of the best ideas you will find for making small rooms look much larger than their actual size.  Put these tips to use in your small home, and let your home live large!

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Feb 02 2012

Living Room Design Tips

Today, living room themes vary as much, and are as individual as, the people who live in their homes.  It’s even common for a living room to be fairly ignored, as more and more people tend to congregate in the kitchen/dining room area of the home to eat, visit with neighbors, play games and just enjoy each other’s company.  If you have been thinking about updating your living room but don’t know what to do with it, the information in this article will help you with the task.

Give it plenty of thought

Think about the other members in your family, and what they enjoy doing.

If you have teenagers, do they usually retreat to their bedrooms to watch television or listen to music?  Get them involved in designing the living room area.  You may find that if you set up areas in the living room that are meant for listening to music, playing games or watching television, your teens spend more time with the family.

Would you rather your living room be more of a family room where everyone relaxes, reads and unwinds at the end of the day, or do you prefer a more formal area that is quiet and peaceful, no television or music allowed?

Keep these things in mind so that your living room will be used exactly as you intend.  Your desire may be a mixture of the things mentioned above, but whatever it is, decide before you begin to plan out the design.

Visualize your ideas

Next, put your thoughts on paper.  Write down those ideas you like best, and even draw a rough outline of different designs for the living room.  This could be living room furniture lay outs, color schemes, textiles, etc.

By writing down your ideas and sketching out your thoughts, those ideas that are your favorites will clearly be defined, making it easier for you when it comes time to begin the project.

Look through magazines or online and keep a folder of those design ideas that you love most.  Tear the pages out of magazines, print out the pictures you find online.

Deciding on furniture needs

How much seating you have available in your living room depends largely on the size of the room, but you do want to take account of how many people would usually be in the room if it were to be used.  Consider how many are in your family and whether you have company (relatives, friends) on a regular basis.

This will help you determine whether you need a sofa and recliner.  Perhaps additional furnishings such as a love seat or additional chair are appropriate.

Walls set the mood of the room

Your walls will be the most prominent aspect of the living room, so it’s important that you decide whether you want them to be bold and modern, warm and soft, elegant, casual, dramatic, etc.

The colors you choose for the walls will dictate the rest of the decor.  If your living room is large, consider rich shades of pumpkin, caramel, burgundy or grey-blue.  For a smaller living room, it’s usually best to stick to light shades of cream, butter yellow, apricot or pastel blue and green shades.

When it comes to accessories for the walls, the sky is the limit!  What you choose will depend largely on the theme you have chosen for the room.  Large tapestries, mirrors, bold prints, wall sconces – choose those things you really love instead of putting something on the wall just because “it fits”.

Put these tips to use when designing your living room and you just may see that your family actually starts migrating out of the kitchen and in to the room that was meant for gathering.

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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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Jul 21 2011

Decorating Style – How to Know When The Style of Your Home Suits You

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Think you don’t know what your decorating style should be?  While many of us try hard to conform to what’s “in” or trendy, we all have a decorator within us.  There are many ways you can discover the decorating style inside you, if you pay attention to your surroundings.  Here are a few tips to help you find the right style for your home, and it’s waiting right inside yourself.

Pay attention to your “vibes” everywhere you go

It’s really easy to identify your own personal style preferences.  When you visit a friend’s house or a restaurant, pay attention to how you feel.  Are you relaxed and comfortable?  Do you feel a bit on edge?  Does the environment make you want to stay a while?  Look around you and see if you can identify why you feel the way you do, whether it is the style of the furnishings, the colors used in the decor, or the way the area is arranged.

Realize that you are born with certain tastes

You already have an innate sense of style whether you are aware of it or not.  Think about it; you know what you like in terms of clothes and accessories.  The way you dress demonstrates your distinct taste and style.

When shopping at an antique store or art fair, you respond to certain things.  Pay attention to what those things are.  You are naturally attracted to certain styles and colors, to certain pieces, whether in clothing or art work.  You know what you like, and no one has to tell you.  You also know what you don’t like!

The tastes you have in home decorating have a great deal to do with those things you were exposed to as you were growing up, and to your life experiences. We are all naturally attracted to places that make us feel comfortable and relaxed.

Start consciously noticing your surroundings, and go with your “gut” instinct

In order to really bring out your true decorating style, start paying attention actively everywhere you go.  Whether you are at the office, the grocery store, a restaurant, art gallery, someone else’s home, anywhere, notice everything around you.  Either you like it somewhat, really like it, or not care for it at all.  Never second guess and tell yourself “maybe” you like it.  Go with your first instinct; if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.

Colors, shapes, textures and patterns all play a part in decorating your home.  By paying attention to your surroundings, you will notice those shapes and colors that are truly striking to you, and which you don’t care for.  You can also take a clue from the clothes you wear.  Are they classic, subdued or a bit on the wild side?

Start being more conscious of your surroundings and you will find that it’s easy to discover a decorating style for your home which is comfortable, relaxing and makes you feel most at home, and, of course, it will be a beautiful reflection of your personal taste.

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Feb 25 2011

Decorating Your Home in Neutral Tones

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Many people decide that decorating in neutral tones is a good idea; the concept is that since you can add different colors any time you like, you don’t have to spend a ton of money when you want to update the look.  Are neutral tones boring?  Far from it!  While they can look lackluster and dull, your rooms can be more beautiful than ever if done right.

Here are a few tips to help you create rooms that are comfortable and appealing.

Start with larges areas

The walls and floor should be the foundation of the room.  Neutral colors include taupe, sand, soft tones of blue, gray and any color that doesn’t have a warm or cool overtone.  For the walls, you might want to consider a taupe shade finished out with white baseboards and trim.  The white gives a crisp, clean look to the room and brightens things up a bit.

Floors, whether tile, carpet or wood, can be anything from cream or gray to brown tones, such as you often find in pine or oak flooring.  For the ceiling, consider bright white if you want the room to appear taller and more open; a dark sand or taupe makes height diminish, and is perfect for those rooms with tall ceilings.


When updating the look of a living room, it’s best to keep furnishings in neutral tones as well.  Soft blue, sand and rich brown are stunning when combined in patterns such as plaids or stripes; add a punch of color with burnt orange throw pillows!  Your sofa, recliner or love seat can also be in a solid color; you will then want to use throw pillows that have striped, checked or abstract patterns to contrast.

Natural wicker also works well when decorating with a neutral color scheme.  Use cushions and throws for additional color and texture.

For the most appeal, use three colors

In any decorating scheme, whether neutral, cool or warm colors are used, it’s best to stick with three predominant colors.  One color should dominate the other two, and additional tones can be added sparingly to give the room an added punch of color.  You may want to use a color such as sand as the dominant hue, then mix in country blue and rich chocolate brown.

To add a bit of excitement to this trio, add a splash of color here and there through vases, wall hangings and an area rug.  A vibrant peach tone would work well with these colors as well, and adds a bright, cheery appeal to the room.  Large plants add further appeal and an element of nature to the surroundings.

Neutral colors don’t have to be boring!  Through the use of various patterns and textures, you can create rooms with depth, beauty and comfort.  Everyone loves a room that looks inviting and relaxing; this is exactly what you will get when you use neutral shades over all, and add brighter color sparingly through the use of small accents.

You can get many exciting ideas on using neutral tones by searching online and looking through magazines – mix in a little of your own personality and creative ideas, and your home will have a unique look that all your neighbors will envy.


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Sep 20 2010

Creating Spaces That Make Your Home as Individual as You Are

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Everyone loves those beautiful homes they see in magazines, but who really has the money to spend tens of thousands of dollars to duplicate the look?  You can make your home look appealing and inviting by making it uniquely yours.  Wouldn’t you love to have a home that makes those who enter think “Wow, I have never seen anything like this?”  Ditch the themes and trends everyone else uses, and do your own thing!  Not only will your home be beautiful, you will love living in it because it feels like home.

The key to achieving a look that is original and beautiful is incorporating accents and design that suit your particular personality.  A little color and a few well-placed accents can make a dramatic change in your home!

Choose Colors First


The first step in creating spaces that are comfortable and inviting is to decide on color.  This will be the basis for everything else you do, so choose carefully.  What are your favorite colors?  Do you love rich hues such as burgundy and forest green, or do you prefer soft neutrals like sand, soft browns or cream?

Basically, you want to choose three colors to use in decorating a room.  One color will be dominant over the others, and the other two blend softly to add depth and substance to the room.  You may want to use burgundy as a dominant color, with subtle accents of cream and burnished copper.  Make this decision before you go any further.




There are a wide variety of furniture styles available today.  Many times, our first instincts are truly what we like.  When you think of furniture, what strikes your mind first as far as attractiveness?  You may like bulky, large furniture, the sleek look of modern design, or furniture accented with lots of wood for a country or western flair.  Think solid, floral, striped, abstract, then decide what your favorite designs and patterns are.  Solid upholstery or leather furnishings are often the easiest to decorate with, and make it simple should you decide to change your decorating theme later.

Choose Your Favorite Accessories


When it comes to decorating your walls, the tops of your tables and adding further interest, use what you like.  A mistake many people make when decorating their homes is choosing things that may be beautiful, but aren’t really in tune with the person’s passions and interests.

If you love nature, decorate your walls with nature prints.  You may be someone who loves bold geometric or abstract patterns.  If this is the case, go wild!  Use the colors and abstract shapes in wall art, throw pillows, accent rugs and throws, even something as seemingly small as a vase can have an impact on the look of a room.  If you like a simple look, use a clear crystal vase filled with flowers.  If dramatic is more your flavor, go all out with an extra large vase that is brightly colored and filled with exotic greenery.

You get the idea – go with what your instincts tell you.  Combine the colors, patterns, furniture and accents that you truly love, and you cannot go wrong!

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Sep 15 2010

Modern Design Ideas Jazz Up Your Living Room

Is your living room a little on the dull side?  If you feel that your living room lacks personality and color, it’s time for a change.  Neutral colors are great, but when the entire living room looks as though it is nearly all one shade it can appear extremely boring.  This article offers a few ideas to help you create a room that will come to life with bold accents, color and texture.  In a couple of days you can totally transform the look and feel of the room!

Start With the Basics


With modern design, you want to cover the basics first and then add color and pattern.  Cream colored walls or any neutral shade such as sand is a perfect start.  Not only is the look clean, it also adds to the spacious feel.  You also want to consider a light colored carpet that complements the color of the walls, or even a natural wood floor.  Ceramic tile is a great addition to modern décor as well.  Make sure the squares are large, and that the pattern is kept simple.



Furnishing in modern décor should include simple lines with no fancy details.  You can choose lightweight furniture that is sleek and simple or bulky furniture according to the size of the room.  Micro-suede, leather or a striped pattern are perfect for this style of décor.  Just remember, if you choose a solid color, thrown pillows and other accents will need to be patterned, and vice versa if you choose furniture with a stripe or other design.

Accessories Turn Up the Heat!


Here is where the fun begins – accessories!  In modern style decorating, you want vases, throw pillows, accent rugs and prints for the walls that are bold and vibrant.  These accents are going to add life and personality to the room, so make sure they will be noticed.  If you choose solid neutrals for furniture, consider over-sized throw pillows that are boldly colored in stripes, plaids, florals or all three – as long as the colors complement one another.

A wall tapestry designed with intense color makes a perfect focal point for one wall and really jazzes things up.  Vases for greenery should all be one solid color, and unusually shaped.  Large vases make a bold statement and add further punch to the room.  Large, vibrant prints are great for the walls as well.  Remember, in modern décor you never want to be shy with the colors you use for accents.  These colors make the neutral foundation come to life!

For the windows, you can use your own judgment.  If you love lots of natural light flowing through the room, consider fabric shades that are easily rolled up so that you can have the entire window open.  If curtains are more your style, consider a swag that drapes gracefully to the floor on each side of the window.  You can make the drapes yourself out of silk or satin sheets – and they look very expensive.  There are dozens of window treatments available today, so go with what you think looks best.

Recessed ceiling lights and modern floor lamps are perfect to complete the room.  Additional lighting may be placed anywhere you need it, or you may want special lighting to accent a favorite wall hanging or even an area above a fireplace.  In modern decorating, remember:  lots of bold color against a neutral background creates sparks that will be noticed by all who enter.

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Sep 15 2010

Apartment Decorating: Set Yours Apart from the Rest With These Easy Ideas

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

If you live in an apartment, you know that decorating can be a challenge.  Since you don’t own the property, there are only so many things you can do.  Do you feel that your apartment looks just like every other apartment in the building?  If you want to decorate your spaces in a way that showcases your interests and personality, this article offers plenty of ideas for doing just that.  Whether your living quarters are small or spacious, there are many things you can do to make your space your own.

Paint a Wall


You may be thinking, “But I can’t paint, since I don’t own the apartment.”  The fact is, most apartment managers will give you permission to paint if you just ask – and as long as you aren’t using an off-the-wall color like fuchsia or lime green.

Paint one wall of your living room a shade that complements or contrasts with colors in your upholstery and accents.  It may be a soft blue, light teal or muted peach.  Painting a single wall breaks up the monotony, and adds depth to the room.  The walls aren’t the only thing you can paint!  Most tables can be painted as well, as can a lamp’s shade and even its base.

Avoid Chunky Furniture


Unless your apartment is large, avoid using bulky or heavy furniture.  Chunky furnishings often take up more floor space than necessary, and give the room a smaller feeling.  Stick with furniture that is sleek and simple, and not over-stuffed or bulky looking.  A sofa, recliner, coffee table and matching end tables are often the only furniture you really need in your living room.  Have some over-sized throw pillows available for seating on the floor should you have several guests over.



Most apartments have the generic venetian blinds or mini-blinds, quite boring to say the least.  An easy way to jazz up your apartment and add color is to use curtains with lots of color, or even a roll-up shade that contains hues that match your décor.  Be creative; you can even make your own swags with a set of satin sheets!

Add Texture


The secret to pulling it all together is fabrics that use different textures.  Consider nubby textures that are vibrantly colored for throw pillows, especially if your sofa is made of a sleek material; a tapestry for one wall adds more texture, and is a great focal point for the room.  Accent rugs, silky table runners and beaded lamp shades all add various textures to the room.

Be sure to use some of your favorite prints and accessories when you decorate your apartment.  It will make you feel at home, and create a unique look that is yours alone!  You don’t have to live with an apartment that is dull and simply a reflection of every other apartment in the building.  By using paint, colors, texture and the right furnishings, you can create rooms you will love coming home to at the end of the day.

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Sep 14 2010

Decorating a Den or Family Room with YOU in Mind

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

A den or family room is usually less formal than a living room, and designed for the family to use in order to enjoy reading, watching television or other activities.  A den, instead of being decorated to impress others, should be decorated the way you want it – in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable and relaxed.  This article offers tips and ideas for making your den a special room that is meant specifically for the family.

Many people opt to make their den or family room small and cozy, while others like a large, spacious den with plenty of room.  Either way, you will get some great ideas here.



Every den should have a sofa, bookshelves and a couple of chairs with ottomans.  If you or someone in your family is a voracious reader, consider floor to ceiling bookshelves flanking both sides of a fireplace.  Your television may be kept in an armoire, so that when you are not watching it can be hidden from view.  You may want to consider an entertainment center or office set-up in one corner if your family often plays games, listens to music or uses the computer.

Accents and Accessories


Plants make any room more attractive, and the den is no exception.  Use greenery to decorate the room, and consider several light sources for the ones who love to read.  A floor lamp placed beside a chair makes the perfect place to cozy up and read a book.  Table lamps on each end of the sofa further enhance the cozy, relaxed atmosphere.  Overhead light should be avoided as it can be harsh and glaring.  For the walls, decorate with pictures and prints that reflect your own tastes and personality.

Color Choices and Window Treatments


Since this room is to be used mostly by family, the colors you choose should be those you love.  If you like light, neutral colors, by all means go for it!  You may prefer darker hues, such as rich burgundies or deep blues.  These are fine too – just remember, darker colors will make the room appear smaller.

As far as windows go, you can use any type of blinds, shades, drapes or curtains you like.  If you want the room to appear light and airy, go for mini-blinds or shades in light, neutral colors that can be drawn up when you like.  If you prefer a more private room, heavier drapes or boldly patterned curtains are good choices.  You may even want to consider wood shutters that can be pushed back when you like.

Light walls look great with darker upholstery and leather.  Any tones that complement or contrast each other will further add depth and interest to the room.  Just remember, this room is specially made for you and your family to enjoy, so make it your own!  Use all of the colors, fabrics, and accessories that are your favorites to make it a room in which you will truly enjoy relaxing after a hard day’s work.

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