decor

decor

DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Angled Ceiling Spaces

We have all seen those impossible to design spaces; the awkward corners, the weird lighting or the dreaded angled ceilings. Well it’s time to stop fearing those spaces and embrace them for the “funky” places they are! Today we are going to focus on great ways to decorate and design those angled ceiling rooms and area in your home.

The first point we will focus on is COLOR. Do you paint the whole room? Do you leave the angles the same color as the ceiling or wrap the color around the wall? There are so many options and in truth, the answer is not clear but more dependent on what you want the space to do for you. If you want to create bold contract, leave the angled ceiling white (or whatever color the ceiling is painted). This will keep the room brighter and a bit more open feeling too. If you paint the angled part the same color as the rest of the room, it will be more of a stark and closed feeling. Using accent walls is also a great idea for angled ceilings since the irregular angles are typically more accentuated and can be visually distracting.

Using these angles to your advantage is always a plus. There are many ways to work a bed into an angled space as well or creating a DIY project out of it and making a storage unit too. Many light fixtures now come with vaulted ceiling fixtures as well, or they can be purchased separately, so  adequate lighting will never be hard to come by. I would recommend using Pinterest to get ideas for DIY closets or bookshelves and other storage units – there are some really clever ideas out there!

Using these angles to create a space you love is tough work but in the end, can be your favorite room in the house. It’s always great to remember that angled or vaulted ceilings are an architectural feature too, so it is something that is not common in every home; making it even more special that it is in yours.

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General Tips and Advice

Open Concept

Open floor plans or open concept living spaces have been very trendy in recent years. These spaces involve removed walls to allow you to have a view and continuous  flow from different areas of your home such as kitchen to dining room to living room. Successfully decorating these types of spaces can be done many different ways you can allow each section to have its own unique look or you can have each section feel like one large great room; or even a little of both.

You may also want to think of the function of each space. For example let’s say we are doing a Kitchen Dining and Living room area. In this situation weather you want to have a structured pallet of colors or each room to have its own feel or maybe decorate the kitchen and dining room similarly, you want to structure each section to bring our what it is. In the kitchen you may want to use a large island and make that the focal point while in the living room area have a big sectional or maybe an accent chair to highlight the main purpose of the room, in the dining area the table should be a dead giveaway.

You can also use sections of the rooms as multipurpose if the layout is thought of beforehand. For instance if you can align your island with seating on the back with the area you will be placing your couch or sitting area, this would extend the seating area when you have company over.

If your room becomes HUGE and you were only planning the 3 basic rooms you may want to think about breaking it down further. I know you wanted open but not every part needs to be utilized always you could make a cute little sitting area with just two chairs and a coffee table or if you like music a piano section or an area for kids to play. When you have room to make more areas it’s really the best kind of problem.

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Flooring Options

Flooring Options

When tackling a flooring project, there are a ton of factors to keep in mind. We’ve tried to put together some information to make the options seem a little less overwhelming. Some of the important questions that need to be asked are – what room is it/how it is the room used;

what is the budget you are looking to stay within, who is going to install the flooring, and ultimately, what is the look you are going for. Most of the time people start with the look, and work backwards, which generally leads to a more complicated decision (especially if one of the first questions eliminates some of your options).

  • Carpet generally falls under the “lower cost” category. It is generally a quick and easy solution, and depending on how much space you are covering, a lot of places throw in a free installation. Of course, there are some downsides to consider. In terms of durability, you would not want to use carpet in an extremely high traffic area – think foyer or front door, an area with high levels of moisture, or an area where food is often consumed.
  • Tile ranges significantly in cost depending on style, thickness, and material. One big consideration is it tends to be a bigger installation – which will come with a slightly larger price tag. Great for areas where carpet is usually not good – messy, moist, high traffic areas. One concern is it can get very cold depending on the climate and depending on where it is you may end up using a lot of area rugs.
  • Hard wood. Usually chosen based on décor style, hard wood comes in a variety of different tones and stains. It is good in most areas of the home with the exception of the bathroom (due to moisture) but has become increasingly popular in kitchens as well. They can be refinished over time if they lose their shine or become worn looking. Will also require more of an expert installation.
  • Engineered wood/composite. Has the look of hard wood floor, and generally comes at a lower price point. Holds up better than hard wood in high moisture areas – especially recommended for basements. Downsides are that it cannot be refinished, and generally varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer – focus on thickness when shopping.

The thing to keep in mind when choosing the floor options is that it is a decision that will be relatively permanent. You want to pick the option that you see yourself being happy with for years to come – don’t settle for an option now based on price that you anticipate wanting to change in the next five years – better to wait it out until its in the budget and chose the best option!

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DIY General Tips and Advice

Instant Room Changers

At this point, we have been stuck inside for months now!! I can’t be the only one getting a bit sick of these walls and am aching to get back out side, but for now still too cold and the sun just isn’t out as late as it needs to be. So what can we do? Well, if you are getting sick of your current rooms (as I am) here are a few ways to really make a difference and help you out:

  1. Accent wall: if you want to make a bold change to a room adding a new color or texture is a great way to really get a new feel on your living space. Be careful when choosing colors though; going to dark (especially in a low light room) will make the space feel even smaller and eat the light that comes into it. Textures or wall papers have really come back in style and some of the new patterns are a lot of fun and sure to make a statement in any space.
  2. Window treatments: We know window treatments and we know that they can affect the whole style of the room, you could instantly change any room with a new window treatment. You can add some roman shades, cellular, wood blinds, drapes, or curtains. Each of these will change the feel of the room and a lot of them come in modern colors and patterns.
  3. Furniture: a bit of flare you could choose a bold accent chair that really makes you feel better – something bright and airy; or you could just want to change up your sofa and go with a new color for the room all together.
  4. Re-arrange: one of the biggest changes that you can make (and it won’t cost you anything!) is to re-arrange and flip around your furniture. The room will feel new and different and you really just need to invest in a few man hours and time to rethink the layout.
  5. Throws and pillows: simple but effective; just changing the throw blankets and pillows you have on your chairs and sofa or cushions on your kitchen chairs can make a huge difference and be the thing that ties a whole room together.
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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Effectively Decorating Your Studio Apartment

You just got that new place; a place to call your own. A nice, little studio apartment with a quaint view of the park across the street; then you walk in and realize you have no idea how to create an effective space which include both a kitchen and a bedroom. Well, that’s why we’re here to help!

Studio apartments are infamous for being “impossible” to make feel like a home. I strongly disagree. There are hundreds of ways to make a small space feel like a few different spaces while still maintaining an open living concept. The first of these being dividers. One of the most effective ways to divide or separate a space now-a-days is the cubed-shelving. These shelves literally just look like hollow squares stacked on top of one another and/or next to each other. This allows for space to be separated (say from a kitchen to where the bed will be) yet still have the voided space which is great for maintaining that open feeling and also great for storage and decor! Another great way to both decorate and “section-off” your studio apartment, is to use area rugs. Something we have found works really well is solid colored area rugs what blend well together but are a different color for different space. It ends up creating a very elegant and modern look in the space.

Greenery and plant life are also a great thing to add to any studio apartment. This creates an organic and calming sensation in a space and almost guarantees a sense of comfort in any space, large or small. There is something about plants that just make people happy. And the best part is, you don’t have to have a real plant! It can be a fake one too, so no excuses with the “i don’t have a green thumb” thing. You can find great fake trees or ferns that look 100% real for a relatively low cost as well.

The last part of decorating a studio apartment that we would like to talk about are the window treatments. In most studio apartments, you typically have 1 or maybe 2 windows TOTAL since it is such a small space. In this case you don’t have a lot of natural light so you need to make sure you have a blinds or shade that will let in natural light even if closed. There are a lot of options now for shades that act as blinds too so they will give you privacy when needed but also allow for the natural like to come in as well.

When decorating small spaces, always remember that less is more. Organization is key as well. Happy decorating!!

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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Two-Toned Cabinets

If you’re looking to spice up or add flare to your kitchen, a popular trend emerged towards the end of 2017; Two-Toned Cabinets. This trend is sure to carry on into 2018 (and already has!) giving your kitchen a whole new look. This process allows you to incorporate a new color, not only into your kitchen, but to the surrounding rooms as well. It allows you to highlight different aspects or  decor pieces in your kitchen as well.

One of the best ways to use two-toned cabinets is to draw the eye and attention to them. For instance, a large island is a great example of where you would want to make it stand out; or to change your upper and lower cabinets into different colors. This is a great way to add warmth by using a darker shade on the bottom, and a warmer tone on top. You can also choose to go the high-contrast route where maybe you do something like go with a navy or red to really make a point and a bold statement. You don’t always need to use paint to accomplish this either, you can also use stains to add a difference in your cabinets and still make for a very modern touch in your kitchen.

Ultimately, it is important to remember your surrounding walls and rooms so this technique can be a finishing touch and really pull the whole house together.

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Inspiration Tips and Advice Window Basics

Picture-Window Treatments

When first moving into a home, there is always an appeal to a picture window because it lets a ton of light stream in, gives you a great view of whatever is outside, and gives you a chance to let air flow into the space easily. The dilemma arises when you realize at night time, all of your neighbors can see right back into your house! Luckily, there are a few simple ways to cover the window, depending on exactly what you need the treatment to do.

If after moving in, like I mentioned, nighttime privacy is an issue, you probably want to invest in either a drapery or a shade. A drapery can be pulled across the window in the evenings, and pulled open during the day when you want the openness. The advantage to a drapery is that it does not obstruct any of the window if mounted above, and to the sides of the frame, and also that you have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from – at a range of prices and prints. The disadvantage in this case is that the drapery tends to cover up a portion of your wall, and can appear a little messy (especially if you have kids or pets that can get into it). A shade is great because it is generally compact – think pleated, cellular, or roller – and are mounted cleanly to the inside of the window. Again, they can be closed compactly during the day and lowered at night. The advantages to shades are that they can be mounted as one large one across, or three individuals (if you plan on opening and closing the side windows often), the variety of patterns and colors, and leaving the frame of your window exposed. The disadvantage is when purchasing what generally ends up as a custom treatment, you tend to want to choose a color/pattern that you will love for longer (because you will end up at a slightly higher price point).

If after moving in, the issue ends up being related to the amount of sunlight coming in during the day – tv screen, fading of furniture/flooring – you will want to look for an option that is more light filtering. Again, you can go with a drapery, generally for this purpose you would look for a slightly lighter weight material that more sunshine will filter through. You could also go with a blind in this instance. Blinds give you the advantage of being able to tilt open or closed depending on how much light you want to allow in.

Regardless of what path you chose, there is an option out there for you! Keep in mind that a picture window is generally a statement in the room. While color and pattern is okay, you want to make sure you don’t over do it, and overwhelm the space.

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Accent Walls

Accent walls are typically defined as a wall whose design differs from the design of other walls in the room. These types of walls can work in many types of spaces; whether small or large! Accent walls can be done in many different ways and can be used to add a little color or even some bold textures. Right now, some of the most popular ways to add texture to a space is by adding it to your walls.

Shiplap is a very trendy and easy to install texture to a wall. Shiplap is reclaimed wood and you can easily mount it to a wall via liquid nail or traditional nails. One of the coolest parts of this unique process is the different lengths of wood you can use. This brings a whole different dimension to the wall and breaks off the uniformity that you normally see in flooring. Tile is another way that you can incorporate texture to a wall. Many people are going back to patterned mosaics or even just decorative tiles to give a space a more organic feel.

Now, while you may think that wallpaper is only a decorating tool you would see in your grandmother’s house, it has actually come a long way and made a huge resurgence.  We aren’t talking about the traditional flora patterns; although manufacturers do make updated patterns of those if that is your thing as well! New wallpaper has bold patterns and colors to really bring notice to a room or wall. These particular bright and bold wallpapers have been showing up in more powder rooms and bedrooms as of late.

Lastly, we’d like to touch on painting a wall. This can be used to tie undertones in the rest of your room together. For instance, say you are using shades of navy in your throw pillows, rug and window treatments; paint a wall that color as well and it will really solidify the theme of the room and make those items pop! Our guess is this year you will walk into at least one room or see it in a magazine with a large Ultra Violet wall that anchors the rest of the décor together!

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Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

Basement Window Treatments

When you decide to finish your basement, there are a lot of things you take into consideration. For starters, we have wall colors, flooring, lighting, and not to forget the overall décor. Generally, window treatments may be the last thing on your mind, until you stop and realize you have these tiny windows you need to somehow cover up.

The typical basement window is the same width as your regular window, but significantly shorter. This not only results in a minimal amount of light being let in, but generally the issue that anyone outside can peek “down” into your space quite easily. Therefore, you are left looking for a covering that will provide some privacy, but not block out a lot of light.

The “go to” treatment in basements is most typically a cellular or pleated shade when looking from a functional perspective. The main reason being that they have a small mounting headrail. The head rail for these shades can be mounted on pretty much any window, and close tight and compact with minimal stacking if you want to have the shade open. The other benefit to cellular or pleated shades is that they are available in light filtering materials and fabrics – which will give you privacy, but still let the light stream through. They come in a wide variety of colors and textures which will allow you to add a pop of color or design to the décor in the room. If anyone may be sleeping in the room, they are also available in a black out option as well.

From a decorative perspective, you can add drapes or curtains to make the windows appear a little larger than they are. Adding a curtain panel to each side of the window that falls below the sill, or even to the floor will give the window an illusion of being more open. It will give an impression that both the window and the wall are larger than they are, while giving you the chance to dress the room up a little more.

They key to basement decorating is always to remember that less is more. The space is generally small, the ceilings low, and the windows short. The simpler you decorate, the bigger the statement the room can make. And being that it is usually a more casual space, that works out perfectly!

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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Winter Decor

The Christmas tree is down, and the stockings are put away, but winter is here to stay for a few months. Figuring out how to decorate your house (which is suddenly looking bare) tends to be a challenge. We’ve put together a few ideas to keep your house looking warm and cozy for the next few months.

  • Keep around the greens. Use any evergreens you have around the house for decorations. Adding them to the mantle or using them as a centerpiece creates a feeling of warmth. Even better is – you get to use something you already had bought for Christmas!
  • Sort through your holiday decorations. Keep out any pieces that feature just snow, snowmen, or white and red designs. Although they make look festive with the rest of the Christmas decorations around, you’ll be surprised that they just make the statement of “winter” by themselves.
  • Use a lot of white. Throw pillows, blankets, even candles. Even though it may seem silly – because you are looking outside at a lot of white snow – bringing white in the house during these months brightens up your décor and gives a feeling of warmth to a room.
  • If you had a real tree, cut some pieces from the bottom of the stump. Use these pieces around the house for decoration. Create centerpieces or just decorate coffee tables. If you are feeling inspired, look up ideas for creating decorations out of the wood from your tree! (they require some work and creativity, but it allows you to cherish memories you made during the holidays).
  • Get the kids involved. The excitement of new toys is probably wearing out, so get them involved in helping you decorate. Help them to cut out and decorate snowflakes, and then let them choose where you want them to hang them around the house.

Even though it seems simple at first, you’ll quickly realize that cleaning and organizing is definitely a bit easier without all the clutter around. And hey, that’s the look of nature out our winter right now, so let’s take advice from Mother Nature!

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