Category: Interior Design and Decorating

Springtime Decorating

During the summer months we clean because the kids (young and old alike) are constantly tracking dirt, mud, grass, and goodness knows what else into the house. Cleaning in these days is a chore and yet we still manage to bring out the patriotic colors and celebrate America in style. Goodness knows how with all the extra cleaning that is going on and the nearly double amounts of lemonade and iced tea being consumed daily. Still we manage to decorate and take great joy in doing so as if some right of passage has been achieved by our home decorating efforts.

Spring is the one time of year in which our cleaning efforts are nothing short of inspired. Yet it is also the spring that often eludes us when it comes to inspiration for decoration. Perhaps we are too tired from all our cleaning efforts to seek the inspiration to decorate. If this is the case with you, then my hope is that some of the ideas mentioned below will help bring some serious decoration inspiration your way.

  • Flowers – spring is the time of flowers. They are all around us. Use fresh cut flowers and candles to create beautiful arrangements and centerpieces throughout your home.
  • Candles – while briefly mentioned above they deserve their own spot among the top to say the least. Candles can be soothing, relaxing, invigorating, inspiring, beautiful, elegant, and simply smell good.
  • Towels – Yes, I said towels in your kitchen and your bathroom. You need bright, bold colors that signify spring, birth, and renewal.
  • Fragrance – while most people do not realize that the fragrances we use in our homes is a type of decoration. It makes our noses happy. Put out bowls filled with brightly colored and lightly scented fragrance balls, dried fruit, and other delights.
  • Pillows – they are a very inexpensive way to give new life to your sofa, chair, or room. Don’t shy away from bright and bold colors or patterns.
  • Accessories – take out the old and replace with a few new ones. They have so many out on the market.

Choose a Perfect Dressing Table

Choosing a Perfect Piece

Three things that come first while choosing such a table are: condition of your bedroom, your choice of design, and of course, your budget.

The Space

A dressing table generally finds its place in the bedroom of any general household, but some are installed in a separate dressing room. And the equation changes there; the type of furniture for an exclusive dressing room and a bedroom are somewhat different. Next comes space. Queen Victoria’s dressing table, though very elegant, you can’t place it to fit in a small space such as a modern apartment. Availability of space and the location is very important for choosing a dressing table. You have to look for the ones that are not very large in size or very elaborate, yet have good finish and functions.

The Condition

If you are going for a luxurious (and expensive) one, you should expect durability of the same. So, the choice of material is very important as the heating and moisture of the bedroom affect the durability of any furniture. Room climate does affect the color, finish and strength of the furniture in the long run. In addition to that, the existing decor of the bedroom plays a role in choosing one type of table over the other. The background and color of your bedroom must match with that of the furniture. Because it’s not wise to buy a dressing table first, and then change the home around it. Changing the home is definitely more expensive than changing a piece of furniture.

The Design

By design, here, we’ll consider the style, shape, size, color and finish, though design as such doesn’t fit to any solid definition. It’s as much liquid as the ever-changing trends in fashion. Every design cannot match your requirements. The console, the mirror, the drawers, the lift-up lids, the pedestal and other accessories, all have something special about them – in terms of design. You have to pick one from multitude available types. The material and finish are the final considerations.

Marrying Design Styles

start with the basics.

Before beginning to stress over nothing, begin with the basics. Start by readjusting your outlook. Rather than thinking of the merger as a daunting and painful process, regard it as the exciting, fun experience that it should be.

Have an open and honest discussion about how you want your new shared space to look and feel. Review and assess what you both have in terms of functionality, comfort, need, and scale.

Some pieces may be too large or small for the new space. If it won’t fit through the doors, or would look dwarfed or overpowering in the room, why even consider it? Remove it from the list of pieces to move with you.

It may be that your partner will surprise you and say one or more of her furniture pieces are beyond their useful life and should not be included in the move. Or that he wants to start fresh and eliminate the mismatched hand-me-downs.

Once you have your list of potential items to move, you may both agree that bed #1 will be used in the master bedroom and that sofa #3 is the best choice for the family room. Assess each room in a similar fashion. You may be surprised by how many items stand out as being ideal for one space or another and how quickly you’ll whittle down the list.

Edit and eliminate things you will not use and consider donating castaways in decent shape to The Furniture Bank or some other worthy foundation. Giving back to the community will make you feel good and will start your new home off with some great karma.

learn to compromise.

There are times when you must assess what is most important to you and what you can and cannot live with – or without. Your spouse, hopefully, is included on that list.

Note that compromise is not telling him he can have a corner of the house to do with as he pleases to create a “man cave.” It is about communicating and working as a team to create your ideal home environment. So let go of any ego and stubbornness and be open to discussion and varying points of view.

If your partner will use the office space more than you, is there a need to insist the room be completed your way?

Admit it… you love the idea of having a home theatre system! So that huge flat screen is actually perfect. It just isn’t appropriate in the bedroom at the foot of your bed. Perhaps a section of the basement could be transformed into a fabulous media room / home theatre? That would leave the main floor available for a living room that encourages conversation, entertaining, and visiting with guests.

And those chairs might not be the nicest thing to look at, but they are comfortable and possess a certain charm and style about them that is irreplaceable. They would make a statement in that little reading nook…

Consider accent walls or accessories in bolder tones or patterns if one of you favours neutral and/or non-patterned schemes. Play with layering and adding in textures to create more depth.

The bottom line? Be realistic. Set your respective priorities in terms of functional spaces, must haves, and nice to haves, and work together to plan and put it all together.

to use an old cliché, do not judge a book by its cover.

Embrace the unique pieces that come with your partner and that carry importance to him or her, especially if it is a family heirloom. Be open to exploring how pieces might fit and to recreating or repurposing furnishings so that they become something you both love and cherish.

Wood can be re-finished or painted to completely change the look of a piece. Swap the hardware for something new that melds with the rest of your home or your combined style. Remove cabinet doors or turn bookcases on their sides. Consider reupholstering seating to bring it back to life and make it “ours” instead of “yours.”

A huge trend right now is taking more traditionally-styled chairs, painting the frame in an unexpected colour or finish, and covering the seat with a modern day fabric. The look is stunning! And it easily bridges time periods and helps marry convergent styles.

Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Look at things with fresh eyes and don’t feel you need to place an item in the bedroom just because it is part of your bedroom suite. That dresser might be the perfect statement piece for the front hallway! Let it double as valuable storage for hats, gloves, keys, and other miscellaneous items that will help keep things neatly in place at all times.

there is no rule that says you must stick to one design style.

In fact, mixing and matching styles tends to add more character and personality to spaces – your home will be uniquely yours and your partner’s rather than looking like a replica of a retail showroom floor.

If you look at many rooms designed by decorators or designers, you’ll notice that most are veering away from “matched sets.” The nightstands need not match the bed frame. Nightstands might not even be practical pieces for you based on your needs and the size of the space. Who says you can’t combine your leather headboard with mirrored storage cabinets for a look that reflects you both?

Remember: functionality is critical if your space is to function well! Pieces that function in harmony will naturally fit together.

A stately grandfather clock in the same room as modern seating? Why not? Create unity and visual flow through the use of colour, texture, or even repetitive accessories. Take a chance and see how things look when paired together. And remember – if you don’t like it, move it to another space!

Kitchen Storage

The ceilings are tall and the verandas are generous, allowing the doors and windows to be open to the trade winds while the interiors are cool and dry, protected from the frequent rains that keep the island so lush and green.

Many of the necessities of farm life in the mid-1860’s were incorporated into the home, and are still in use today. The kitchen, while modest by today’s standards, is efficient and serviceable. They still use the old wood burning stove, which keeps the kitchen quite warm, even in the summers! The kitchen has a composting bin, which is air-cooled to the outside, which keeps unpleasant odors from accumulating. It is handy to remove the waste to the outside compost pile. While composting is making a comeback today, having outside access might be a good thing, but probably less practical in today’s kitchen.

Dishtowels air dry under the sink while hanging on dowels that slide out for easy access. This is a convenience that continues today in many forms, proving that some old ideas are well worth preserving.

I have always loved the pots and pan storage ideas employed at Grove Farm, not that they are unique to this home, as many homes of the era made good use of the space. The practical storage of platters and cutting boards, separated by thin vertical panels makes perfect sense no matter what century you are living.

Several years ago, when we replaced our builder wall oven, for an under-the-counter oven, wide enough for just about anything, we had to deal with the old oven cavity. It was no problem for me with handy hubby willing to take on the task. I had been wanting to get cookie sheets, platters and other awkward sized cooking pieces out of dark, hidden cabinets and up where I could reach them easily. The solution was to add the vertical dividers to separate cutting boards, platters and cookie sheets.

Above the newly acquired storage, I had more space, and handy hubby added a horizontal shelf, high enough to allow for storage underneath for more frequently used items. On the added shelf, I store all the long boxes for parchment paper, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. These are easy enough for the vertically challenged to reach, as long as you don’t push them too far back when returning them to the shelf; however I do keep a collapsable step stool between the cabinet and refrigerator just for retrieval purposes. On the uppermost shelf, which not not many can reach, I keep the lesser used kitchen items.

Unique Cubes Solve Clutter

Tackle Clutter with Cubes

One of the trendiest methods of getting organized is through stacking wire storage cubes. Available in several colors, wire cubes are perfect for both residential and commercial needs. Wooden cubes are also popular, but the high visibility that wire cubes offer can make them more desirable. Being able to see the objects stored enables you to quickly find what you are looking for.

Versatile and Convenient Organization

A wire cube storage system is the perfect solution to all of your storage needs. These cubes can literally be used in any setting, from the office to the home, few other products can compare to the versatility and simplicity that these stacking and expandable wire cubes offer. Even retailers find these metal cubes perfect for their needs. Wire cubes are easy to put together, they are lightweight, stackable, and can be used to create a storage system of any size.

Cube Storage Options

Though the wire cubes are very popular, some people prefer wooden cubes to accentuate their home décor. IKEA storage cubes are one of the most common brands on the market. IKEA has several styles of storage cubes that can literally be used for anything. No matter what IKEA cubes are used to organize, they make cluttered nightmares turn into blissful dreams.

Adding Personality to Cube Storage Systems

Regardless of whether using wire or wooden cubes, you can spice them up with colorful fabric storage cubes. Sized to slide perfectly into cubes, fabric cubes can be found in any color, size, and design you can possibly imagine. A fabric cube has handles for easy access and keeps things organized in privacy.

Organization Made Easy and Affordable

It can easily be said that a home that is organized with cubes is a less stressful home. Storage cubes can hold any and everything under the sun, the fact that they are affordable and good looking make them even more ideal. Many people fall in love with the first set of cubes that they end up using them in several other rooms.

Dollhouse Decorating

Keep this in mind if you want your room box to feel airy and spacious, or as I like to put it, “think about the invisible.” Create as much unused space as possible in your miniature. This doesn’t necessarily mean less furniture, but being more selective in choices available, in whatever time period you are working.

For example instead of having a sofa that has a skirt all the way to the floor, have one that has the legs visible, so that you can see underneath. That’s the “invisible” part. You don’t see the bottom of the sofa. You only see the seat and back, but your mind knows there is probably empty space under there. Sure enough. Hold the box at eye level and you can see all the way to the wall. This gives the illusion of a small block of a space being used rather than a large block.

The same is true of tables, which should have relatively thin tops and legs, They take up less visual space. Add a mirrored top, if authentic, to reflect more space.

Sheer curtains allow the viewer to see beyond, which adds up to more space. A single large piece of art appears to take up less wall space than a grouping of pictures of the same overall dimensions.

Keep books and knick-knacks on flat surfaces to a minimum. Book cases with open backs appear less bulky than enclosed ones. Instead of a solid mass of books, use a clear vase, a stack of two or three books or a picture frame on one of the shelves. It looks as though you can see right through to the wall

Another way you can give a miniature room a more spacious feeling is furniture placement. These suggestions are relevant only If your project emulates reality, not If you are recreating a memory, which requires the use of as many meaningful objects as possible.

Make sure you don’t interfere with traffic flow. Don’t block doorways, so that a person would have to go around a chair or table. Traffic should “flow” like a stream, unblocked by obstacles.

If your room box can be viewed from the top through glass or a vinyl sheet, be careful about putting a coffee table so close to the sofa that in real life, a person would have to squeeze by to sit down. If your miniature can only be viewed from the front, it’s okay to cheat a bit if you have to balance perspective.

Don’t block windows with furniture. And try to keep from having furniture lined up against the walls. Rather, have a grouping of furniture for people to sit close and have a conversation. And be surrounded by negative space.

Rugs should anchor furniture. Put the front legs of a sofa on the rug; back legs on the flooring underneath. If angling furniture across a corner, do it with more than one piece. Or angle the rug, too. The idea is to arrange right angles for each object. One lonely piece just looks like you’ve cut off the corner.

Add Color To Space

There are many ways to combine colors to create a balanced and pleasing design. In general, it is best not to use more than three colors in a space. Plan to use one color primarily in the space, one color for more than half the remaining balance, and use the third just as an accent.

Wall color is an easy and inexpensive way to redecorate a room. Just changing the wall shade can dramatically alter the look of the space. Your choice of hue can make the room appear larger or smaller. For example, a small room can look larger if you use a white on the walls. Likewise, using a dark color such as chocolate brown on your walls can make a room seem smaller and cozier.

Before you jump in with a bold shade on your walls, try it out in smaller doses, such as with pillows or accent pieces, to make sure you like it, before you commit to it on the wall. Are you looking to try a deep color in a space, but are afraid it might be too strong? Try using it on the ceiling instead and keep the walls white. The hue will pop against the white of the walls giving a cozy feeling to the space.

Color has a role in how a room feels. When choosing a shade for a room consider what type of feel you are looking for in the space. Are you looking to have a soothing space, or a playful one? Sleek and modern or old world and rustic? Neutral tones convey a more soothing feel while pops of color are more energetic and playful. Stark white can be very modern while warm reds, yellow and brown will feel more Tuscan and rustic. Light green is a color that brings about a feeling of calm. This tranquil shade can also encourage silence and concentration. That is why you will often see light green used in classrooms and libraries.

The simplest way to go about choosing colors for your space is to look at a color wheel. The wheel will help you mix hues to get palettes with varying degrees of contrast. Common types of color schemes are monochromatic, complementary, analogous, neutral, single color and black and white.

The most basic color scheme is to use one single shade with white. It is relatively easy to accomplish as this combination is straight forward. A one color design shows off the hue and provides a crisp clean look.

Colors that are monochromatic, which means they have the same tone, are perfect to use to accent each other. An example of this is to use different shades of blue in a room. Monochromatic color schemes create a soothing effect in a space.

Choosing colors that are complementary, or opposite each other on the wheel, create a dynamic color scheme. These colors appear brighter when they are used together. Examples of this are purple and yellow, or red and green. Be careful when using complementary colors in decorating. They are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.

A neutral color theme uses shades of brown, black or white. This type of design creates a calm, and subtle environment.

Analogous color schemes use hues that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors usually match well and are pleasing to the eye. Examples of this are yellow, orange and green. They have a colorful but relaxing look together. Choose one shade to dominate, and a second to support it. The third color is used as an accent.

A final color scheme is the classic combination of black and white. The two shades go together perfectly and are always in style. Decorating with white walls and black trim is an easy way to provide a crisp neutral backdrop in a space. This neutral base goes well with many decorating styles and also makes it easy to add fun pops of color or patterns to the room.

Using color is a wonderful way to enhance or change a space. Overall, understanding how to best use colors will give anyone the tools they need to decorate like a designer.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights

LED Lights – Pros

  1. LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and as such are the most efficient. As a result LEDs can sometimes pay for themselves relatively quickly through energy savings.
  2. They last a long long time. Depending on which ones you buy and how frequently you use them, they can even last 25-30 years.
  3. They brighten almost immediately when you flick the light switch.
  4. They are less of a fire hazard because they have lower radiated heat.
  5. The light bulb is durable and more resistant to shock and vibration.
  6. New technologies are giving users an element of creativity – they can be easily programmed to do fun stuff.
  7. No UV rays

LED Lights – Cons

  1. This market is currently self-regulated and as such their quality can be inconsistent.
  2. Brighter LEDs are becoming increasingly available, however it can still be difficult to find those with higher wattages.
  3. They can produce a cooler bluish light which isn’t very attractive. The best LEDs, however, should be indistinguishable from your old bulbs and will produce a nice warm light.
  4. It is often more complicated to add a dimmer switch to LED lights than regular bulbs.

LED lights are increasingly becoming the norm. Important recent developments have reduced their cost and made it a lot easier to operate and install. Lighting is a very important consideration in any interior design as it has been shown to affect the way people live, work, and feel. Also as environmental concerns come to the forefront of societal thinking, reducing the burden on our planet’s resources through LED lights may not only become commonplace but also be enforced with legislation.

Make New Home More Modern

Once that has, you will begin to feel more at home and settled. The aim of this article is to show you how to make your new home more modern without breaking the bank.

If you have moved into an old home, you will probably see old patterned wallpaper on the walls. This will mean that the rooms will look smaller and a bit drab. Therefore, the first thing you should do is strip the walls of the old-fashioned wallpaper, and start again.

At the moment, the most prevalent trend is to have a feature wall. Feature walls make rooms look bigger and it will cost a lot less money to wallpaper one wall and not every wall. Once you have chosen the wallpaper, you should pick a colour from the wallpaper and use that colour on the other walls.

If you can’t find a colour that you like, you can never go wrong with white paint, and this will make your room look even bigger.

Again, if you have bought an older house, the lighting features inside the house will probably be old-fashioned. You might see some old-fashioned chandeliers that will overwhelm the room and make it look even smaller. There might even be some sidelights with lampshades on as well. Therefore, you should switch the lighting features to something more modern.

If you want to keep a long feature light in the middle of the room, you should make sure that you switch the chandelier to a more modern fixture. This may just be a smaller chandelier, but it is more likely that you might opt for the stainless steel look to your fixture.

If you also want to keep the sidelights, you can just switch the shades. However, if you have a larger budget, you should swap the sidelights for ceiling spotlights. This gives you more wall space for family pictures of pieces of art and ceiling spotlights are a lot more environmentally friendly because of the style of bulb that they use.

A lot of the old homes only had light switches with two features, on and off. However, modern homes now have dimmer switches. These are better for homes because again, they are more environmentally friendly, they will save you money on your electric bill and they will help you set the mood in your home.

Modern lighting can make your home seem a lot bigger than it really is and they can make your home look contemporary. Modern lighting has changed in design, having shades in different shapes and colours and more choice in light fixtures.

Effectively, you could change the lighting in every room of the house. Kitchens usually have spotlights or pendant lighting, living rooms can have chandeliers as a focal point, or they can have table lamps. The choices are endless.

In your bedroom, you might want less light, so you can just have one light hanging from the ceiling, with a darker shade. You could also have small lamps on your bedside tables, if you want to relax with a good book.

Shabby Chic Kitchen Decorators

If you live in a classical and conservatory city like those still found in England and especially in cities like Chelmsford located in the East, as a part of the Essex shire county, then you must know for sure how beautifully kept and gorgeously decorated the houses there are. Whether you want to consider the most lavishing living rooms or bathrooms in Chelmsford, there is only one thing that unites them all, and that is the attention to details and time spent on making the home look its best. However, there is one style in particular which has been attracting the attention of an increasing number of persons lately. As a matter of fact, kitchen decorators in Chelmsford have stated that they never saw so many people going after the same look. The star of the day in the beautiful Chelmsford is none other than the shabby chic interiors, whether they are introduced in delicate and luminous kitchens or vintage, retro bathrooms.

If you take a look at the residences in the entire Essex country and at those in the perimeter of Chelmsford, you will notice the way in which all of the exteriors are almost all made by the same architect! Similar measures have been taken by all of the persons living in this area in order to accommodate themselves with the foggy and damp British weather. From the outside, Chelmsford homes look massive, imposing and rigid. They can almost be compared to the geometric beauty of the Victorian Railway viaduct which lies as an imposing sight for the residents in the area. The classic Chelmsford style is similar to that and can easily be seen in all the landmarks of the city and the impressive Chelmsford Cathedral or Hylands House are just some of the examples which you can consider. However, on the inside, more and Chelmsford residents are apparently opting for warmer colors and more lively furniture items. This can be particularly seen in the style of the shabby chic kitchens and the way that their decorators have made them so welcoming and appealing to any visitor or guest of the house, not to mention the family that lives there. With white wood and vintage looking cupboards, plenty of drawers and buttons all over the place, the shabby chic style is an amalgam of delicate and detailed, natural and overdone, with a touch of retro given to all of the pieces.

It is not uncommon for kitchens decorated in this way to have apparently worn out furniture and chairs or tables with the superior layer of paint intentionally removed and left that way to signify the passing of the years and the wear due to time. In Chelmsford, unlike in other UK cities, the temperatures can rise to as much as 30 degrees Celsius in the summertime, making this area especially prone to having a different type of style and a more practical layout of the kitchen, where the temperature can also grow due to extensive cooking. Keeping the worn look of antique pieces and using new and modern appliances and furniture items which have been made to look vintage, is the best solutions for the 110,000 residents of this wonderful British city.