With the arrival of each new year, everyone stops to take stock of what is and isn’t working in their lives, and that includes their home. And while major renovations and remodels in every room are always tempting, what matters most is often the place where you spend the most time. Since you spend roughly one third of your life sleeping, by default, which would be your bedroom.
Whether you last made changes to your bedroom six months ago or sixteen years ago, you can probably admit that a change would do it some good. More often than not, people sacrifice redecorating their bedrooms for other more visible ventures—new handmade furniture in the dining room, painting the exterior, new hardwood floors, or even vacation homes or new cabin furniture.
It’s 2017, and we’re officially giving you permission to focus on yourself and the space where you get dressed, relax, and dream. The ultimate master suite makeover is easier than you think. We’ll break it down into small steps you can take, and by the end of the year you’ll feel like you have a whole new bedroom.
First, Find Inspiration
This is the most fun part. Browse blogs, buy design magazines, and look at endless Pinterest pictures. Narrow it down to two or three images you really love and best represent the look and feel you want to create.
Once you have your inspirational images, make a list of the elements you enjoy most about them. Focus on specific furniture styles, colors and accessories you want in your bedroom. This will help you figure out what you want quickly.
Next, Focus on Furniture
If you’re on a budget, you may not be able to afford entirely new furniture—but unless you’ve got a major issue (your bed hurts your back, for example), you won’t need it. Freshen things up by adding new nightstands, an armchair or a bench at the foot of the bed. If your bed doesn’t need replacing but you’re tired of the way it looks, you can always invest in a new headboard (or make a DIY version).
Decide What to Keep, What to Revamp and What to Buy
Take a look at each item in your bedroom with fresh eyes. Decide what will work with your new theme, what definitely won’t, and what will, with a little effort (a coat of paint, reframing a photo, repurposing accent furniture). Once you have your “keepers,” you can plan accordingly.
Decorate Those Walls
Painting your walls will make a huge difference in the way your room looks. If you don’t want to commit to painting all four walls, an accent wall will look beautiful. Then pick out paintings, pictures or other decorative items you want to hang on the walls.
Choose Better Lighting
Lighting has a huge influence on a room, especially your bedroom. Keeping overhead lighting to a minimum or at least using low wattage bulbs will help keep the room feeling relaxing and mellow. Try some bedside lamps or sconces that offer practical reading light and ambient light.
Look at Your Linens
First, although they won’t be seen by the outside eye, you should definitely invest in new sheets. After all, is there anything better than crawling into a newly made bed with fresh, crisp linens? Good quality sheets aren’t cheap, but they also go on sale often. Add a cozy new quilt or duvet and some accent pillows and you’ll be in love with your new bed, even if the mattress and frame are several years old.
Put Up Window Treatments
Adding new window treatments will really allow your bedroom to feel pulled together. Draperies are a classic choice, and many times they’re also the best choice. They add a fullness and softness nothing else can. Roman shades are another beautiful and classic choice.
Finish With Feng Shui
Whether or not you’re a believer, feng shui is an ancient practice that has a huge following. Researching its roots is fascinating. And while it would be impossible to incorporate every concept into your home, there are definitely a few things you can do to make your bedroom more peaceful. Try the following:
- Don’t store anything under your bed. According to feng shui, every item has its own energy. The more things you pile under the bed, the less space there is for your own energy to pass through while you sleep. Of course, if you have no other storage options, you won’t have a choice. Just keep the area under your bed as clear as possible.
- Let go of the past. Keeping treasured items and mementos is one thing, but keeping items out of obligation or reluctance to let go will just weigh you down, emotionally and otherwise.
- Don’t skip out on the headboard. The head of your bed should feel purposeful, so having a headboard is important, even if it’s a DIY one.
- Fix things that are broken. It’s easy to push aside small problems like squeaky doors, but you’ll feel so much better once everything is done.
Happy New Year! As you make your resolutions and set your intentions for 2017, you’re probably looking around your home and planning some improvement projects. After all, home is where the heart is, and you want your rooms to be your best reflection of yourself.
Just like with fashion and beauty, home decor trends come and go. Luckily, classics like Western furniture and handmade furniture are here to stay. But you can also do a lot to modernize your home simply by making a few updates. In the spirit of “out with the old, in with the new,” we’ll list 16 decor trends you should feel free to leave behind in the year we’ve just exited.
But remember, your house in your own, and that means you can keep anything around that you’d like. If you love the way some of these trends look in your home, leave them alone and enjoy them. If not, let them go.
Sometimes too much of a good thing just isn’t a good thing. Chevron is a pattern that works for practically any decorating style, but it’s pretty easy to overdo. Scale back on your chevron this year. If you really love it, keep a couple of patterned pillows.
Brass does look elegant, but there was a bit of an overkill of it in 2016. If you love the look, stick to small brass accents or, better yet, mix your metals.
All White Rooms
Don’t get us wrong, there’s not much more relaxing than walking into a living room with white walls, cream-colored carpets, a white sofa and neutral accents. But 2017 will bring a surge of rooms accented with bold blue or navy hues. Try the trend and see if you like it. You can always go back to “all white everything” if you don’t like the way it looks.
Ready to take the edge off? A boxy piece of furniture or two is fine, but 2017 is going to be the year that rounded edges and circular pieces make a comeback. The idea is to create a softer, more inviting look.
Anyone with a rustic or Western home has probably incorporated some DIY projects into their decor, and that’s great. But it’s time to add a few artisanal pieces that were the work of skilled artists, like porcelain work and glass blowing.
Oversized furniture is taking a backseat to more space-efficient pieces in 2017. More space is never a bad thing. Hello, cabin furniture!
This hue has been everywhere, but it’s time to scale back and give some other variations of blue some attention. This doesn’t mean you must rid your home of all things indigo, just add some other colors to the mix.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a strict color palette for a room, but if you do that, try adding some variation in the shades and choosing mix-and-match furniture over solid sets.
Indoor plants are officially the new flower arrangements. Stock up on some new greenery. Save vases of cut flowers for special occasions.
Words On Pillows
Again, if you love your quote cushions, by all means, keep them. But the trend certainly seems to be fizzling out. Swap them out for some solid pillows or some patterned pieces.
Consider this your permission to redo your kitchen countertops… if you want to, that is. Marble is everywhere, but you just might be seeing less of it in 2017.
Geometric wallpaper was trendy in 2016, but it’s another trend that will be left behind soon. If you tried it, replace it with wallpaper that’s a little more subtle… after all, a little color goes a long way.
Gallery Walls Gone Wild
We will forever love the gallery wall, and it’s not going anywhere, thank goodness. But mismatched frames and quirky textures only work for part of the wall, not all of it.
We love a unique backsplash, but the geometric tiles on kitchen backsplashes and feature walls in bathrooms have been done. Get creative this year.
A couple of well-placed mirrors can add the appearance of space to your rooms, making them appear much bigger. And that’s a trend that will never go out of style. But if you overdo it, you could end up with a Wonderland-like appearance.
The TV Over the Fireplace
We get it, it’s a huge space saver. And it looks great. But think about it: The television is there to entertain you. The fireplace is there to relax you after a long day and bathe you in warmth. Putting them together diminishes the effects of both. Get a beautiful armoire for your TV and leave the fireplace as the stand-alone piece it was meant to be.
Home is where the heart is, and when your home seems cheerful and cozy, that seems especially true. And if you’ve ever walked into a house that just “felt” happy, you know that it really can make all the difference in how you feel when you’re there. Happiness might be a feeling, but you’d be surprised at the impact the colors, Western furniture and decor you use in your rooms can contribute to that feeling.
Could your home stand to improve in the happiness department? You don’t have to spend a fortune on new decor or buy sage in bulk. Just incorporate some of these 10 tips to suit you and watch your family’s smiles increase.
1) Choose colors that flatter. No, we’re not talking about the contents of your closet. But just like you buy clothing that you look best in, it’s important to decorate your rooms with colors that flatter your mood as well. If you enjoy yellow and orange hues and they make you look and feel your best, a sunny room full of Southwest furniture might be your best bet. If lavender makes you relax, deck your master bathroom out in light purple.
2) Choose furniture with curves. Here’s a tip: Round shapes make a space feel inviting. They soften a room and make the space feel more inviting and livable. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy all new furniture, but if you own any round pieces, play them up.
3) Decorate with what you love. It sounds like simple advice, but it really does make a huge difference. Buy only things you love and you know you’ll never tire of. If you truly enjoy something, you will find a place for it in your home.
4) Weed through your books and family heirlooms. We hold on to books that once brought us joy and things that have been handed down to us because of the sentimental value. But that can do more harm than good. Books carry a surprising amount of emotional weight, and so do family heirlooms you’re no longer using. It can be hard to part with these things, but it’s much harder to keep them and allow them to take up precious space. Take a deep breath and try to find them loving homes. If you can’t bear to part with something, at least give it a makeover or a fresh coat of paint. Handmade furniture never goes out of style.
5) Make a colorful statement in your entryway. This is the first area you see when you open your front door, so make your foyer fabulous. Place a colorful bench in eyesight or dare to paint a wall a bold hue. First impressions count!
6) Go bold in your small spaces. The smaller the room, the more drama you’ll need. Try decorating a small home office or spare bedroom in bright colors or patterns and notice how much happier you feel.
7) Get rid of collections that no longer bring you joy. This can be just as difficult as partying with a precious family heirloom, but it’s so necessary. If you walk into the kitchen and see your collection of antique salt and pepper shakers you haven’t cared for in 15 years, you’ll only feel depressed, anxious or mentally cluttered. Plus, if you display your old collections, you’ll never be able to really mix up your decor or add freshness to your rooms. If it’s no longer in your best interest to keep that collection, get rid of it. You’ll make someone else happy, and that alone should bring you some joy. Plus, you might just make enough cash to buy something new and beautiful for your home.
8) Keep your seating as neutral as possible. When your sofa is a white, light or neutral hue, it feels lighter and more conducive to conversations. A bold-patterned sofa can be distracting and overwhelming. If you have a printed couch, cover the back of it with a cozy throw and keep the rest of your furniture light for balance.
9) Rethink your heavy drapes. This is a matter of personal preference, but heavy drapes can shroud your living room in darkness and collect a lot of dust. Generally, the heavier the window treatments are, the heavier the atmosphere feels in a room. So save the blackout drapes for your bedroom and keep light, airy window treatments in your living room. It really will help.
10) Never underestimate the power of white paint. Think about it: White is associated with light, and when we feel “light,” we feel good. White also reflects light, sending off a prism of color that you may not even be consciously aware of. Dark spaces can transform into cheery areas simply by painting the walls white. If you prefer colorful walls in your home, start by trying out an all-white kitchen. Between the white hues and the delicious things you bake in the oven, you should feel happy whenever you’re there.
Some people don’t go overboard with the family photos, but it’s always nice to keep a few framed photos of the people you love in your home’s common areas. Create a small gallery wall of family and friend photos for your entryway, living room or a common hallway. There’s nothing like seeing the smiling faces of those you love to elevate your mood.
Unless you were lucky enough to build your own cabin furniture rooms—and sometimes, even if you were—you understand that homes are not “made to order.” As you grow (or shrink) your family, as people move in and out, as your career or hobbies change, your home will change as well. Sometimes a room that served one purpose ends up serving another purpose down the road.
Change is good, even at home. There are so many ways to be adaptable and make your living space work for you. Sometimes something as simple as owning some versatile Western furniture is all it takes, while other room makeovers require a little more effort and ingenuity. But if you’ve outgrown your living space or your life has changed, perhaps it’s time to convert an area of your home into something different.
These are the most common examples of rooms being used for something other than their original purpose. Work these ideas into your own home or use them as inspiration for your next project.
The spare bedroom as a walk-in closet
It’s the dream of every fashion-forward person or anyone who likes plenty of space while they’re getting dressed: a bedroom that has been converted into a closet and dressing room. And believe it or not, it’s easier than you might think. You don’t even have to use the bedroom right next to yours as your closet—as long as you add enough mirrors and drawers full of necessary items, you can walk down the hall or downstairs to get dressed with minimal inconvenience.
To make the conversion, spend some time looking at photos on Pinterest and other interior design sites to get an idea of what you want and what you can make work with the space you have. Remember, you don’t have to go out and spend a fortune on matching shelves and organizers. Old bookcases and custom handmade furniture work just as well—and if you’re concerned about aesthetics, you can always give them a coat of paint.
Dedicate one wall for hanging your clothes—you can have a custom closet installed, but you can also hang the racks yourself. Dedicate one wall to shoes and accessories, with bookcases, shoe racks and wall hooks for your jewelry. Then fill the remaining spaces with mirrors and a lounge chair for spreading your outfit ideas on, folding laundry or just relaxing in your brand new “style sanctuary.” To tie the room together and give it a luxurious look, you can place at ottoman in the center of the room and hang a chandelier above it.
A spare bedroom as a family room
Have you always wanted a second living room to hold your movies, games and other entertainment so that your home’s main gathering area can be a peaceful sanctuary? If you have a spare bedroom in your home, you can. Even a small room can easily be converted into a family room that feels cozy, not cramped.
The best way to go about this is to make sure you’re properly utilizing your space. Select a big, comfortable sofa that will be your only seating, even if that means it takes up half the room. Believe it or not, big furniture in a small room can actually make the room seem bigger. If that’s not an option or you’d prefer to go another route, use a couple of oversized bean bag chairs with an ottoman in between or use other creative seating.
One way to maximize your space is to use an entire wall as your entertainment center and storage. This could mean professionally installed shelving or getting creative with an entertainment center or bookcase you already own. You can even incorporate the wall with the closet to give the appearance of sunken space (and have doors that close for a more neat appearance)/ With one entire wall dedicated to storing your DVDs, books and gaming systems, you’ll have the rest of the room to use as you please… and the rest of your home will stay uncluttered.
To prevent the feeling of being boxed in, get creative with your doors (try rusting swinging doors) or remove them entirely. The goal is to create a den, not a cave!
A dining room as a home office
Formal dining rooms are not for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. If you prefer to have casual meals with your family at your kitchen table or you never use the space, why not convert it into your home office so you’ll have a dedicated space for bill paying and creative ventures? It’s surprisingly simple.
Paint the walls a peaceful color that simply doesn’t “look” like it belongs in a dining room. Set up a bookcase or armoire to hold your books and office supplies. Place your desk in the very center of the room, free-standing, and get a beautiful area rug (again, non-dining room-like) to use under your desk. Last but not least, pay close attention to the lighting. A chandelier is fine, and in fact, you might already have one in the center of the room that will work. But adding a couple of free-standing lamps will illuminate the room a little better than the dim lighting used for dining purposes could.
As you can see, you can use your home just about any way you choose with the right amount of creativity. You’re never limited by your walls, only by your imagination.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! From the colored beer, decorating the house, to everyone’s clothing of choice, you’re sure to see plenty of green for the holiday. But what about your interiors? Have you thought of adding a little green to your rooms? Believe it or not, this peaceful hue works with just about every color combination. And it doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day for you to enjoy it.
The color green is considered to be tranquil and promote rest and relaxation. All shades of green work well in a mountain or country home. Green can be considered a little bit risky to use because it has a tendency to look retro, but sticking to dark, rich shades will help create a contemporary, calming atmosphere instead.
If you have a rustic home with Western furniture, you probably already know that green pairs perfectly with neutral hues. Here are our best tips for adding this color to different parts of your home:
Check your shades
The great thing about green is that it doesn’t have to match—you can get away with using several different shades. But do make sure your shades complement each other before you start your decorating. Use swatches, paint samples and photos to compare. You don’t need them to be perfect, but you want to add a soothing, not startling, vibe to your home.
Use Raw Materials
Paint your reclaimed wood furniture and salvaged pieces green for a touch of industrial appeal.
Paint the bathroom walls
Depending on the shade, green paint can work in just about every room. But if you’re a little paint shy, try painting your bathroom walls green. A soft, minty shade works for a spa-like bathroom or a country theme, while a slightly brighter shade will give off more of a camp lodge vibe.
Go for a green entryway
Your foyer is the first thing your guests see when they visit your home. It’s also the first thing that greets you when you arrive after a long day of work or errands. Decorating the entryway with green hues will give a warm, peaceful welcome to anyone who comes in. Start small by painting a single wall, or go all out with paint and decor.
Have you considered green furniture? Some pieces, especially cabin furniture or some handmade furniture, offer some pretty impressive green options. An armchair, an ottoman or a small piece of accent furniture is a great place to start. You can also go for a soft green leather sectional sofa—just make sure the shade is either a dark green or muted so your living room doesn’t look straight out of the 1970s.
Add some houseplants
If you don’t have any plants in your home, you’re truly missing out. They improve the oxygen quality, they fill empty space perfectly, and above all else, they just look nice. If you have pets or young children, do your research and choose non-toxic plants. Also, look for varieties that naturally grow and thrive in your specific environment. It’s incredibly difficult to keep a tropical plant alive in a colder environment. Try to keep a plant or two in every main room of your home.
Paint your door
Imagine your home with a green front door. Will it work? It just might! Painting your door is one of the easiest ways to give a house a “facelift,” and green is a great color choice.
Go green in the guest bedroom
Green promotes tranquility. It’s a beautiful choice for a bedroom. If you have a guest room, buy some green bedding or paint the wall a soft sage hue. You want your guests to feel relaxed and comfortable when they’re in your home, so surround them with green hues to give them a sense of peace and add coziness to the space.
The green kitchen
Imagine sage and cream-colored cabinetry against a marble backsplash and a butcher block kitchen island. Doesn’t that sound amazing? We thought so. If you’re not up for a renovation, try adding small green items to the room first.
Accent each room with green
Green sofa pillows. Green curtains. Green area rugs. Green art work. Get creative, but add small touches of green to each room in your home. All it takes is finding a few shades that will work and pieces that will complement your current decor.
Whether you live on a rustic ranch or an urban dwelling, you can always incorporate some aspects of country decor into your home. The classic country look never goes out of style, and it’s also calming, peaceful, fun and affordable. But achieving the classic country look goes beyond Western furniture and antiques. Read on for our best tips.
Handmade furniture is timeless, elegant, and rustic in its own way. It’s often made from reclaimed wood, which lends itself to a classic country look. If you don’t own any handmade pieces, start with some accent tables or upgrade your dining room set. You’ll love the way it looks in your home.
Hang Your Lights Low
Your dining room table and chandelier should be close together. Hang the fixture about 36 inches from the top of the table. And make sure that table is well-lit… you want to be able to see your guests and the food you serve! If your light source takes us less than ¼ the width of the table, go for two identical light fixtures hung above the center of the table.
Forget About Matching Furniture
There’s nothing wrong with matching furniture sets, but to achieve a classic country look, remember that variety is the spice of life. Mismatched furniture evokes the kind of cozy, come-as-you-are feel that you want in a country home. If your rooms are full of nothing but sets, start small. Keep your classic sectional sofa, but replace your coordinated end tables with a mismatched set you find thrifting. Choose pieces with different colors or types of wood. Add a mismatched set of chairs to your dining room table. Eventually you’ll start to have a home that looks more warm and inviting and less like a furniture showroom.
Create the Perfect Gallery Wall
Designing a gallery wall is easier said than done, but if you can master the art, you’ll love the way it looks. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide if you’d like to stick to photos or if you’d like to mix it up with some other decorative items as well. Browse sites like Pinterest and decor blogs to get inspiration. And remember, the key to a perfect gallery wall is actually imperfection. Forego the perfectly gridded layout and stick to a loose arrangement that will change over time. Just keep one element consistent, such as how far apart you hang the frames.
Perfect the Art of Coffee Table Styling
What kind of coffee table do you have? Does it look like it belongs in a country home? The style matters less than the way it looks in your room. Try to get one that’s about ⅔ the length of your sofa and about as high as the middle of the sofa seat cushion for optimal balance. Then style it like a pro. Every coffee table should have books to play with scale, a basket or small box to hold items, and a few personal decorative touches. You can restyle your coffee table frequently to give your living room a new look.
Become a Florist
Nothing says “country home” like bouquets of fresh flowers. Make a habit of going to the Farmer’s Market, florist shop or grocery store once a week and buying a couple of mixed bouquets. Keep some on the dining room table, in your foyer and wherever else you think needs a little beauty. Imagine waking up to fresh flowers on your nightstand every morning!
Countrify Your Bedding
For a bed that’s both easy to make and aesthetically pleasing, try using three covers: get a neutral coverlet, a patterned duvet and a colorful quilt. Layer one on top of the other. Add a few decorative pillows, but don’t go overboard—four or five pillows is perfect. They look nice and all, but considering you have to make your bed every day, you don’t want it to get too complicated.
Hang Your Bedroom Wall Art Low
Most people tend to hang their wall art too high, especially above the bed. This draws your eyes upward in an awkward way and makes the room look “off.” Mount your wall art about three inches lower than you think you should and you’ll probably be right on target.
The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016 have been announced. That’s right, there are two this year, and they’re both amazing for decorating. Pantone chose rose quartz and serenity as this year’s hottest hues, and by incorporating them into your rooms, you can make your home a more tranquil place. It’s been a long time since Pantone picked colors so easy to use for decorating.
Traditionally a rustic home with Western furniture is filled with neutral hues. Luckily, rose quartz and serenity both fit right in. They both pop when put alongside neutrals, especially white and gray. But they’re also both light enough that they won’t try to take over your entire room (unless that’s your goal).
At first glance, these colors might remind you of a country cottage or your grandmother’s bedroom. But when they’re utilized properly, they’re surprisingly modern. Here are some creative ways you can decorate with serenity and rose quartz:
- Add some rose quartz accent furniture. Pantone chose this color because, they said, it’s a “persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.” Plus, even though it’s light, it’s just unique enough to be the focal point of any space while adding a softness to the room. Start with an armchair, a side table or a small piece of handmade furniture. Make sure the majority of your space focuses on neutral shades like whites and grays.
If you’re feeling bold, you can get a serenity or rose quartz colored sofa. Both shades are light enough to look more neutral, and a stylish sofa would give your entire living room a makeover. Beware that these color trends tend to come and go fairly quickly, however, and it’s probably better to invest in a sofa that will last for many years.
- Pile a surface with pillows. A couple of serenity pillows on your sofa or a combination of serenity and rose quartz colored pillows on your bed topped off with a white comforter might be the perfect way to subtly add these hues to your home.
- If you’re expecting or preparing a place for a tiny little guest, both rose quartz and serenity can be used in the nursery. You can also use them in an older child’s room. The colors are soft, peaceful and can be considered gender neutral.
- Paint the walls of a room serenity. This color promotes peace and relaxation—in fact, in a press release, Pantone said it picked serenity because it’s “weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us.” It doesn’t get more peaceful than that! The calming effects of blue work best when they surround us, so don’t just paint an accent wall if you go this route. Use this hue in your home office, master bathroom or even your bedroom if some of your bedroom furniture is white.
- Add some textiles in the colors. Whether it’s decorative pillows, curtains, a duvet cover or an area rug, textiles add layers to a room that are beneficial in function and visual appeal. They’ll help keep your room cozy and warm all winter, too.
- Keep it super subtle by adding small details in these colors like candles and vases.
- Buy some dishes in one, or both, of the colors so they’ll always be on your table.
- Mix and match the shades and the colors you use to accent them. Since both colors are light, you can add more bold hues to the rest of your room. Mix and match Pantone’s shades with some similar, brighter colors.
- Paint your kitchen cabinets a soft blue serenity hue, especially if you have white walls or white marble countertops. The two colors will complement each other perfectly
- Need more ideas? Look to the ceiling. Painting your ceiling can do wonders for your entire room. To start, try painting your bathroom ceiling rose quartz and your bedroom ceiling serenity.
Whether you would prefer serenity’s relaxing tone or the eye-catching shade of rose quartz, using one or both of these hues in your home is a way to add instant elegance to your space. The key is to figure out what will work for your rooms and to start small.
It’s a three-day weekend for some, meaning many people will enjoy a romantic getaway to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. But not everyone can pack up and leave for a few days—between work commitments, social obligations and the financial impact, a weekend away just isn’t possible for some. The good news is, you don’t have to leave town to enjoy the nice, relaxing vibe of a romantic spot in paradise. With a few simple touches, you can bring the bed and breakfast to you!
If you create a bed and breakfast atmosphere at home, you won’t have to “escape” anything because you’ll be able to bliss out in your own bedroom. Here’s how to make that happen:
- Keep your home clean. This goes without saying, but clutter and chaos in your home is the last thing you need to relax. Give your home a nice, deep cleaning and clear out the clutter once and for all. Parting with old items can be hard, but dealing with piles, packed closets and littered tabletops is even harder.
- Fill your home with quality items. Invest in good, durable Western furniture that is comfortable and attractive. Put quality linens on your bed. Splurge on the luxurious, super-soft bath towels. This will take time, but if you adapt a “quality over quantity” mantra for your home, you’ll truly love being there. You’ve worked hard for the home you have, and you deserve to enjoy luxury in some form every day.
- Create a peaceful, quiet atmosphere with layering. A B&B ambiance requires peace and quiet. Layers help cushion sound and add comfort to your rooms. Lay some rugs down on your hardwood floors, add curtains to the windows and layer in fabric and textures wherever you can. Keep the TV out of your bedroom if you can—you want it to be a sanctuary for sleep.
- Add decorative details. Part of the charm of a bed and breakfast is the small touches that makes it seem more special than your home. Think lace curtains for your bedroom windows, pillows on the sofa and the bed, and lamps that cast a soft glow.
- Create ambiance with candles. There’s something so soothing about candles, so keep them in every major room of your home. Set a large candle on the coffee table, decorate your dining room table with a candle collection, keep tealights and votives in the bathroom and bedroom, and keep an unscented candle in your kitchen so it doesn’t interfere with the delicious scents of the food you’re making. If you have a fireplace, don’t just let it sit unused….light a fire whenever you get the chance, especially during the winter. If you do decide not to light fires in it, fill it with candles to create the same ambiance.
- Stick to a country theme. The idea of a weekend escape is just that…an escape from the daily grind. That usually means driving to the country, so keep that in mind when you decorate. A few pieces of cabin furniture and some rustic decor should do the trick.
- Create a coffee station in your kitchen. Many times a B&B will have a coffee station downstairs for guests to help themselves to coffee, tea or snacks. You can decorate a small table in your kitchen the same way, with a coffee pot, cups, a condiment tray and small bowls of snacks for your family to enjoy.
- Have breakfast in bed as often as you can. This is the fun part! Take turns with your other half cooking a delicious breakfast to enjoy in bed. For an authentic touch, decorate your trays with flowers in vases and French press coffee. Obviously this won’t happen every day, but breakfast in bed makes a great start to a weekend.
- Don’t forget the flowers. It’s such a small detail, but it’s so important. Have you ever stayed at a B&B that didn’t have fresh flowers somewhere? The dining room table, the foyer and the living room are obvious spots. But to wake up with a smile on your face, keep a bouquet in your bedroom. By taking one weekly trip to the Farmer’s market, grocery store or even your garden, you can fill your home with flowers.
Happy New Year! With a fresh year and clean slate on the calendar, our thoughts naturally turn toward our goals. As you think of your upcoming resolutions, don’t forget to include some home improvement projects on your list. After all, what could be better than coming home after a long day of striving to achieve your ambitions and enjoying a relaxing evening in your dream home?
Here are 10 home design and decor resolutions to make for 2016:
1. Resolve to declutter, once and for all. Let’s be honest: most of us could use a clutter intervention. Have you ever noticed how good the homes in magazines and on design blogs look? It’s because those rooms are free of unnecessary clutter. Make 2016 the year you tackle yours.
Go over every surface in every area. Fill three large boxes (or makes piles): donate, discard or decorate. Decide quickly where each item should go, and don’t overanalyze it. What good is all of your beautiful handmade furniture if you can’t see the surface? If the process seems too daunting, enlist in the help of a good friend or hire a professional home organizer. The sense of peace you feel when all is said and done will be well worth the cost.
2. Resolve to start making more “grown up” home decor decisions. Whether you’re near retirement age and a homeowner of 30 years or you’re enjoying your first home, you owe it to yourself to make some sophisticated choices. This doesn’t mean you only have to buy high end items or start decorating your rooms like they’re in a museum, but do decide to put more time and effort into making your home look nice. Invest in quality Western furniture, keep kitschy collections stored away and splurge on some quality art work.
3. Resolve to tackle unfinished projects. Is your home starting to look like a showroom for half-finished projects? Wrap them up already! If time is an issue, try to take a few days off work or hire some help. If you ran out of funds to finish, start saving until you can get it handled. Your home will feel so much more peaceful once the projects are completed.
4. Resolve to spend more time on the small details. Make your bed every morning. Bring home fresh flowers every week. Light the candles you bought but haven’t used yet. Clean your counters and other surfaces regularly. You owe it to yourself to enjoy your home fully.
5. Resolve to bring more freshness into your home. Research common houseplants in your area. Open the windows more often. Allow natural light to flow in.
6. Resolve to swap your dated, dingy appliances for classic and clean appliances. You’ll have more fun cooking in a sparkling kitchen.
7. Resolve to experiment with a bold color in at least one room. Even if you’re a fan of neutral hues, there’s something to be said for brightening your space. If you’d like to start small, experiment with a bold color in the bathroom. The dining room is also a great choice. If you’re nervous, paint an accent wall…you can always paint over it later.
8. Resolve to make your home a safer place to be. Install carbon monoxide detectors, change the batteries in your smoke alarms and have your home tested for radon. Clean out your dryer lint regularly to avoid a potential fire danger. Consider installing a home alarm system if you haven’t already.
9. Resolve to get your home ready for entertaining. Update your dining room set if need be. Buy a bar cart, stock it and style it. Invest in a set of matching dishes if you don’t have any. You don’t have to host lavish dinner parties, but if your home is always ready to entertain a few friends, you’ll probably be more inclined to invite them over.
10. Resolve to part with anything you don’t truly love. This is the most challenging home resolution of all. You may have sentimental ties to some of your decor or have furniture that you want to make work in your home, but might not be able to. Give yourself permission to part with those items—it will be hard at first, but you’ll love filling your rooms with only things you sincerely enjoy.
There’s never a bad time to live in the mountains or the country, but we find fall to be especially endearing. The colors of the leaves complement rustic decor perfectly, and the cooler weather gives us an excuse to curl up on our cozy Western furniture or cabin furniture. Then there are the smells…cinnamon, apples and pumpkin spice. There’s nothing like the scents of fall.
You don’t have to bake an apple pie to fill your home with autumn’s best smells, though you’re certainly welcome to. Here are a couple of tips to fill your home with delicious scents:
- Boil a pot. Add water to a pot until it’s half full and bring the water to boil. Add apple slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves and boil them until your rooms smell like fresh pie and cider.
- Place store bought pumpkin scented votives in small glass jars filled with coffee beans to make your living room smell like a coffeehouse.
- Hang a garland with dried orange slices balanced by cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.