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George DeFlora

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One Room At A Time: Kitchen Decorating 101

Since the kitchen is the room in my house people always tend to see when they stop by, I always love to keep the room looking clean, up to date, and refreshed. It’s the place you’ll gather for a cup of coffee after the kids leave for school, where the family will gather to celebrate events, and the room you’ll relax in with friends after a long week of work. That being said, it’s always easier to keep it simple from a decorating perspective.
– Use your everyday items as décor. – For example, the pretty coffee cups you use on a regular basis can be hung above the counter from simple hooks – not only does it take clutter off the counter, but the color in the cups can then accent your décor! Another example is using glass jars to store your fruit. Fruit is also colorful and decorative, and generally, you need somewhere to store it as well – use the decorative containers you were given last Christmas to show them off!
– Add greenery. – Depending on how you much counter space you have, figure out where it makes the most sense to bring in some plants. If you are low on space, don’t waste it – find a corner where you can get some hanging shelves and fill them with plants. Use them as a centerpiece on your kitchen table – it will force you to make sure the table doesn’t fill with clutter too! If you have the space on your counter, use it to your advantage and add a few small plants to brighten it up.
– Use chalkboards. – Depending on the household there are lots of fun uses for chalkboards in the kitchen. You can use to with your partner to remember what meals you shopped for at the beginning of the week if you have kids you can use it to keep track of after-school activities or even chores. If you just love to entertain you can add fun quotes and sayings that are different every time your friends stop by!
– Bring in some color. – Although the kitchen is a room without a lot of fabric treatments, you can always find a way to bring in some color. For starters, throw an area rug down under the kitchen table, or a runner in front of the sink. Rugs are a fun way to bring in a trendy color or pattern without being overly committed to it. You could also add a valance or window treatment with some color for fairly inexpensive.

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Kitchen Real Wood Blinds DIY General Interior Designers Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Kitchen Window Treatments

Windows in the kitchen can be a fairly difficult task to figure out. As in most rooms, you have to keep the basics in mind – why do I need this treatment, and work your way from there. Do you need to cover your windows for basic privacy? Is there any need to darken the room? Is there glare in your eyes while you’re eating dinner? Are you just simply looking to just dress up the window?
The other considerations for a kitchen that differ a little from the other rooms are related to where in the room the windows are located. Is the window directly over the sink? (Will there be splashing that can hit the treatment). Is it over the counter or the stove? (Is there a chance food will get on it while you are cooking or preparing a meal). Is it close to the table? (Is it possible someone could spill something on it while eating or get fingerprints on it).
All of these things considered, there are a couple of options that are usually the go to in the industry for your kitchen. Faux wood, for one, is always a go-to option. They give you multiple functions – privacy, room darkening, glare protection. They are also extremely easy to clean – basically they are just made from PVC, a material that is extremely durable and can hold up to being cleaned on a regular basis. They come in a wide range of colors and different options that can customize a look to work in nearly any kitchen.
Another popular option is sun shades. The consideration with these are they do not provide a high level of privacy because they are more of a screen, but often times you do not need full privacy in your kitchen. The good thing about these shades is that they provide an extremely modern, clean look to a room, and block out the glare in the room. The best part is that they can be cleaned extremely easily with a damp cloth or sponge as they are a solid piece of material that is coated in vinyl. These have become more and more popular as kitchens are decorated with a more modern look, and are available in a wide range of different colors as well as textures.
Of course, any treatment will work in the room, it is just generally wise to stay away from fabrics in most instances. Whether it’s close enough to get hit with food/moisture, just keep in mind that the fabric will retain the smells and scents of your cooking.

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Modern Kitchen Trends DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

One Room at a time: Kitchen Trends

Same as in the previous rooms, there are a lot of new trends appearing throughout 2017. We’ve compiled a list to help make your updating a little easier this year.
– Gray is still the neutral tone to stick too. This is a great color to use because, as a neutral, it is always easy to update. Because it is so popular, you can bring in gray from your walls to flooring, cabinets, countertops, or even simple accessories.
– Black accents are key. Makes sense, what goes better with gray than black? Black pieces are popping up throughout the home décor industry but have become increasingly popular in tiles, appliances, and accessories. Just keep in mind, depending on how big your space is that black can really make a room feel smaller – so don’t overdo a good thing.
– Greenery is still the color of the year. Don’t hesitate to use it in your kitchen as well! The best way to use this in the kitchen is by updating something old and making it new again with a coat of paint. Go bold and paint over your table or chairs, or keep it simple and paint some plant holders, or vases. If you want something that is even less committal – change up a valance or window treatment, that you can get rid of when you get bored of it!
– Copper accessories are becoming more popular. Taking over popularity from the brushed nickel accents of the last few years, copper accessories add a modern flair to a room. It can be something as simple as displaying the new copper cookware you got as a gift or changing out some handles and knobs to copper.
– Clean and clutter free. As a room you spend a lot of time in, it is always nice to have the countertops remain clean and keep clutter to a minimum. In order to help, really utilizing your drawer and cabinet space is key. There are a lot of new organization units that can be installed to make the most out of the space you have – as much or as little as there may be.
Keep in mind, you can’t tackle every project every year. So whether it’s a facelift your kitchen needs, or a functional update – try to pick one project and make the most of it!

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Kitchen Faux Wood Blinds Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Kitchen Overview

Third Step: The Kitchen
Often called the most important room in the house is the kitchen. Some call it the heart of the home – where meals are cooked, and the family meets to enjoy some quality time together. It is also the place all of your guests will spend some time, whether to enjoy a meal, just grab some snacks, or gather for a drink. And the design of your kitchen can really set the tone for the rest of the house.
When it comes time to update the look of the kitchen, like most rooms you can either go small or go big. Unfortunately, in the kitchen, there are not as many small steps you can take as in some other rooms, but there are a couple of things that can make a big impact. For instance, updating old wood in a room will make a fairly big impact fairly easily. Whether it’s refinishing your table and chairs and introducing a color through paint or stain that is trending now or taking a bigger step and refinishing the cabinets, you can make a fairly big statement pretty easily. You can also change the wall color out relatively easy – kitchens are known to have the least amount of wall space due to appliances and cabinets so you won’t have as much space to cover! Smaller changes also include changing out the hardware on the cabinets – it’s amazing how an old handle on a door or drawer can age a whole room.
If you are looking to make changes on a larger scale, you have tons of options – from flooring, to cabinets, to counter tops, to even appliances that will make a big impact – albeit at a fairly decent price point. Generally, most elements in a kitchen remodel come with a hefty price tag, so it’s always best to start planning a decent amount of time in advance, sometimes even two to three years. When you are finally ready to take the room apart and change things around, you don’t want to have to cut corners – make sure to do it the way you like. And keep in mind, just because you make big changes doesn’t necessarily mean everything will need replacing – an update to the cabinets with a new countertop may be enough of an impact – and if your appliances are still working and in good condition, just work them into your new space.
The important thing when redecorating a kitchen is to remember it’s not the easiest room to update or remodel. Make sure to keep your style simple and neutral, so while you may make small updates every few years you are not committing yourself to a trend that might be out of style before you even finish your remodel.

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Bathroom Roman shades Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Bathroom Wrap Up

Being that a bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in the house, any change you make can make a pretty big statement. Most of the time, renovating the entire bathroom is not in the budget, but there are a lot of smaller changes you can make to the room without breaking the budget (and a great thing to keep in mind when you do renovations, the more neutral the palette, the longer you will get away with small updates). We’ve compiled a list of updates you can do – some smaller than others, just be sure to keep your budget in mind.
– Add open shelving. – Tall, skinny cabinets, can add a lot of storage space in the room without taking up too much floor space. You can use the majority of the shelves just for storage, or just keep it simple and fill them with decorative pieces that bring in some color and style to the room.
– Mirrors. – Use mirrors to your advantage when decorating any smaller space. Not only are mirrors convenient in the bathroom for the purposes of getting ready and admiring yourself, but they are great for making a room look more larger, open, and brighter.
– Decorative baskets. – Adding baskets to a bathroom space can allow you more room for storage, either dirty or clean. They can also be a great way to bring in color or texture, like a woven basket, or a patterned design that can add a pop of color to a neutral colored room. And you can easily find them in a variety of different shapes and sizes depending on what size/space you have to work with.
– A fresh coat of paint. – Adding a fresh coat of paint can instantly give your room a makeover. Taking a dull outdated beige or green, to a new updated shade of gray will give you a new look without too much work. Aside from gray, nautical themes are popular right now so adding an accent wall of a bold blue or navy can really make a statement as well.
– Patterns. – The use of pattern has become popular again throughout the home, but especially in the bathroom. Don’t go overboard, but bring in some patterned wallpaper on an accent wall, the wall behind the vanity is always a great idea because your eye is generally drawn to that wall in a bathroom. If you want to make a statement (that is a little easier to change), bring in the pattern with a bold window treatment or shower curtain.

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Bathroom Window Treatments

When it comes to window treatments in your bathroom, there are a few more things to take into consideration than in most rooms. Although it is a completely possible project, there are a few more challenges that you need to take into account. We have tried to help you out by taking a few of these and presenting solutions for each.
– Moisture. – Moisture, moisture, moisture. Definitely, the number one problem to take into consideration is how much moisture is in your bathroom. Do your mirrors fog up when you are taking a shower? Are your windows in close enough proximity to your shower to get splashed – even if only on occasion? Is your window directly located above a tub/jacuzzi where steam will be getting to your window treatments? Is your window located in the shower (if you’re in New England, there’s a pretty good chance of that)? If you answered yes to any of these questions – you will end up having a moisture issue of some sort, eventually. The best option to counteract this situation would be a vinyl option. The most popular solution are faux wood blinds. Not only are they made out of PVC, but they are extremely durable, and can be wiped down easily for cleaning. They allow for privacy, darkening, or a decent amount of light based on how you end up tilting them open/closed. A vinyl roller shade is also an option, although is generally room darkening, and you don’t necessarily want or need your bathroom to be dark.

– Ability to clean. – Aside from the basic moisture, being able to clean the window treatment in the bathroom is generally a plus. From fingerprints, usually dirty from before a shower, to the dust that collects due to moisture in the air, there are a few considerations. A lot of beauty products, for example, hairsprays, spray in conditioners, and body sprays/colognes can leave a sticky feeling on window treatments fairly quickly. This being said, the options listed above still remain as the best solutions, as vinyl is also the easiest material to clean.

– Privacy and Light. – It’s a bathroom, so obviously you are hoping no one can see you! But, considering that the bathroom is generally the smallest room in the house, you don’t want to make the room any more closed in than necessary. In the past (more than likely your grandmother’s house), curtains were a go-to solution – but really who has time anymore to take down curtains, wash them, and iron them. If the previously mentioned issues are not a concern in your room, pleated and cellular shades are great options, because when they are covering the windows they still filter in the natural light. If the above issues are a concern, stick to a blind that you can tilt open and closed.

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Bathroom Decor General Inspiration Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Bathroom Trends

As we discussed in bedroom trends, there are also a variety of new trends for bathrooms in 2017, although a lot of trends from 2016 seem to be repeating again this year. Which is great news if you just remodeled last year! If not, we have gathered a variety of the trends to share with you.
– Bring the feel of nature into your bathroom. You can keep it simple and bring some plants into the room – not only to provide a look but it is good for the air in the room! Also gaining popularity is bringing a wood look into the room, either through a “wood look” tile floor or through a natural wood vanity. One of the more popular trends this year is using a stone tile, most often on the shower floor, or as an accent in any tile throughout the room.
– Add some drama to the room. The most common way is through tiles, which has really expanded recently with bolder patterns and colors. Adding glass accents can also add a dramatic look, whether through shower doors, or even tiles. Metallic accents are also back this year (a change from the more matted styles that had become popular in recent years) and can be added fairly easily through basic bathroom accessories, or even by replacing something as simple as toilet paper/towel holders.
– Stick with neutrals. Gray remains the most popular color to use throughout your decorating, but some pale pastels are joining as new neutrals as well. Don’t mistake pastels for Easter egg colors, rather than whites with a hint of color added to give some warmth to the space.some pale pastels are joining as new neutrals as well. Don’t mistake pastels for Easter egg colors, rather than whites with a hint of color added to give some warmth to the space.
– Making the shower the statement of the room. Showers with glass walls, and large bold tiles. They are often accented with smaller glass tiles, either in a small border or to separate a storage area (soap, shampoo, etc). Adding large metallic fixtures as well give the shower a very high end finish.
Although a lot of the trends for this year are on the more expensive side, if you are looking for a simple update, or a less expensive change, you can always pull some inspiration from these styles. Keep in mind you can only do so many updates a year, and maybe 2017 isn’t the year for your bathroom.

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Bathroom Decor General Inspiration Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Bathroom Overview

Moving on from the bedroom to one of the second most utilized rooms in the house brings us to the bathroom. Although one of the most functional rooms in the house, it is often considered one of the rooms that make a big impact in terms of the décor of a home. Since it is also often one of the smaller rooms in the home, you can keep it simple, or go bold. And hey, most people that visit your home are likely to use the bathroom at least one time while they’re there, so you get to show it off!
There are two ways to look at remodeling the bathroom – it is a small room, so it can be a small project, or it is a small room so why not do a complete renovation (which then equals a huge project). If you are looking to do a total renovation, it is always good to keep in mind how long certain elements will be in the bathroom. A bathtub and toilet will be something you can keep for as long as you own a house, so even if the trend is gray this year, you may want to consider that ten years from now there will be a new trend. On the other hand, the vanity and shower tiles, while things that may last an extremely long time, will be elements you want to change out based on styles and trends that gain and lose popularity. Keep in mind though, if you do go very trendy with them they are not inexpensive items to change out. The easiest elements to change out are the accent pieces and elements in a bathroom. Although it may seem small, the colors of your towels can quickly add a pop of color to your room. The throw rugs you have outside of the shower and in front of the toilet can also have the same effect. You can also update prints on the wall, or even your basic bathroom accessories – toothbrush holders, small handheld mirrors, and soap dishes. These items will make an even bigger impact if most the room is based on basic, neutral colors.
The key thing to keep in mind when designing a bathroom is that you want to keep it functional, and you want to keep it simple. But don’t be afraid to take a risk with a wall color – in the big picture, there is usually very little wall in the room so it won’t overwhelm.

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Master Bedroom Roman shades Inspiration Interior Designers

One Room At A Time: Bedroom Wrap Up

No matter how many episodes of home makeover shows you watch on television it is hard to replicate those styles with the same flair as they seem to do.  Of course, your bedroom is also unlikely to be featured on TV, so the best thing to keep in mind is to make it perfect both aesthetically and functionally, for you! To make that task a little easier, here are a few tips to keep in mind when decorating your bedroom.

  • Add some plants to your room.  Not only does adding some greenery make for a great decoration in your room, studies show that it’s great for the air quality in your room.
  • Make use of any space you have.  Keep in mind that the inside of any closet or wardrobe doors is space just waiting to be used – most stores sell hanging organizers in many shapes and sizes, so either pick up one of them or borrow an idea and do it yourself!
  • During the day, open all curtains and blinds to let the light in.  Not only is the sunlight healthy for us, it makes the room appear larger and brighter.
  • Add mirrors to your space. Don’t just settle for your one full-length mirror – which is often more for function than décor, add mirrors to different walls, not only do they reflect light, but they also give the illusion of your room being more open.
  • Use area rugs to your advantage, rugs add a decorative element to your room as well as warmth.  While being reasonably inexpensive, you can change them out frequently to update your décor.
  • Keep simple Feng Shui in mind.  Make sure the door does not line up directly with your bed.  Have symmetrical bedside tables on each side of the bed.  Make your bed accessible from both sides.  (I’m not an expert, but any tip that could help to calm my life is one I’m willing to try!)
  • Out of all colors to paint your walls, green is the most calming.  Followed closely by blue.  Red and yellow tones tend to have the opposite effect.
  • Make your bed each morning. Along with picking up the laundry, and putting away any clothes that make it to the floor.  The less clutter = the more relaxing.
  • Keep the furniture simple.  Spend more time utilizing the space inside your closets to get the most out of that space.  If your furniture takes up a majority of the space in the room, it is going to look cluttered.

Again, keep in mind your room may not be TV ready.  But if you can’t wait to relax in it at the end of the day, it means it is just perfect for you!

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Bedroom Window Treatments General Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Bedroom Window Treatments

While window treatments are critical in every room in the house, the bedroom might be the most important. Depending on your personal preferences, there are a variety of different options that might work best for you.

Blackout Options:
If you are a just a night owl, that loves to sleep in, or work overnights, blackouts might be for you. The best blackout option is blackout cellular shades. These polyester shades are constructed of multiple layers of fabric lined with aluminum that is assembled to create a honeycomb shape. They fit snugly inside your window and do not allow any light to pass through the material. A blackout roller shade is the second best option – and available in a lot more styles and patterns, but will allow some light in around the edges, just by the nature of how they are hung. But, add a simple curtain and you will quickly block out the light coming in around the edges.

Privacy Options:
A lot of us can not drag ourselves out of bed if we can’t see the sun in the morning, but are looking for an option that will block out the neighbors. Luckily, the majority of shades do allow you to get some privacy while allowing some natural light to filter through. You can again go with the simplicity of a light filtering cellular shade (without the aluminum lining), or a roller shade. If you are looking for more of a statement piece, a roman shade is also a great option, with an overall finished look, you can quickly add pattern, style, and statement to your bedroom.

A little of both:
If you love the light during the week, but long to sleep in on a Saturday morning, a blind might be the best option for you. It will give you complete privacy while it is closed, and can be tilted to adjust how much or how little light you want to let in (keep in mind it is not completely blackout but it is in fact room darkening). Blinds are available in a variety of different materials, ranging from the less expensive 1” aluminum slats, to a 2” faux wood (vinyl imitating real wood), to 2” real wood slats (that may pair well with wood furniture or floors).
When purchasing window treatments, especially any that are specially made for your windows it is always important to keep in mind that they are an investment. The best rule of thumb is to go neutral with the hard treatment, and if you want to dress up the window a little more add a soft treatment. You can change a curtain out fairly easily and inexpensively, whether it’s a mood change or simply a season change.

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