They say that love is blind, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should decorate the home you love like you’re blind. That being said, experimenting with your style can not only teach you more about what you like, but it can reveal some rather unique but surprisingly perfect pairings. In other words, decorating your home in a little bit like dating when you’re young.
February is the month of love, and some romantic relationships have certainly begun as unlikely pairings. So we’ve decided to list some of the top unlikely home trend pairings that have ended up working beautifully together.
Modern and Western
Close your eyes and imagine your beautiful Western furniture next to modern wall art. That doesn’t always conjure up a pretty picture, does it? Now imagine that modern wall art is a poster-sized portrait of the Grand Tetons or the Colorado Rockies. Doesn’t that seem better? Modern trends and old-school Western decor can work well together. The key is to not overdo it and to pair items that will complement, not complicate, each other.
Blue and Black
They are lovely colors on their own, especially for home decorating. But most people are of the opinion that blue and black don’t pair well together in a home. But they do (especially darker blues), and there really are no “rules” for making it work—you’ll know it when you see it. Just steer clear of using a shade of navy that is so dark it looks black (for obvious reasons).
Green and Pale Peach
If you own a lot of Southwest furniture, you’re probably used to decorating with bold, bright hues. But skipping the turquoise or sunny yellow for something a little more subtle will put you in a more relaxed state of mind, which is probably what you’re going for when you’re at home. If these colors don’t seem like they’d match, imagine a picture of a cactus set against a pink and peach sunset and you’ll see what we mean.
Marble and Brass
Marble and brass became a more commonly used combination a few years ago. Since 2015, the trend had dominated kitchens and bathrooms. There’s just something about something as natural and clean as marble teamed up with something industrial like brass that simply works.
Lavender and Teal
If you have a small, subtle space—like a home office alcove, a bathroom, laundry room or even an entryway—don’t rule out going for lavender with a pop of teal. This could be as dramatic as painting the walls lavender and getting teal accessories, or you could make it more subtle and simply combine the two hues while you decorate.
Two Contrasting Area Rugs
Newsflash: Your decorative rugs don’t have to match. In fact, your entire home might look better if they don’t. Pick rugs that have one or two of the same hues to visually tie them together, then deck your floors and hallways out with rugs in contrasting patterns.
Mismatched Dining Room Chairs
There’s nothing wrong with buying sets of furniture that match, but a home full of nothing but coordinated pieces can seem a bit stuffy. One easy solutions is to swap out your matching dining room chairs for chairs that don’t match each other. It actually looks more put together than you might think. To really draw attention and add comfort, replace two of your dining room chairs with a bench.
Peacock Blue and Leafy Green
No matter how much or where you try this odd color combination, you’ll be surprised by how good the two hues look when they’re together. They make your space seem more contemporary.
A Bright Accent Wall in a Neutral Room
Most people are content to leave the main rooms of their homes filled with neutral hues. But to liven things up, try adding a vibrant color to one wall. If that seems like too much of a commitment, you can always paint on a shape and decorate around it. But typically, a bright wall in a room full of browns and beiges livens it right up.
A Rustic Cabin and a Chandelier
If you’re lucky enough to own a cabin, you’ve probably devoted your time to keeping it cozy and filled with comfortable cabin furniture. For a little (hopefully positive) shock value, install a beautiful chandelier in your living or dining area. It doesn’t have to be anything especially intricate, but seeing the chandelier in your space will make the entire cabin seem a little more sophisticated. The soft lighting you’ll see in your cabin will be just a beautiful bonus.
Remember, your home is unlike anyone else’s. Therefore, you will definitely know which of these tips are realistic for you and which simply aren’t feasible in your space. But never stop experimenting with your decorating, because you never know what just might work.
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.
Another summer has slipped by us, and autumn is officially on the horizon. And even though it really seems like we were just saying goodbye to a summer, another year has passed since we last put away the Labor Day home accessories and got out the decorative gourds. And that means a whole new set of fall trends is upon us, and we don’t just mean what’s going in your closet. Fall decorating trends are here, time to just saying goodbye to a summer trends. We’re talking about your tablescapes, your shelves and your Western furniture.
Decorating your home for all is a personal thing, and you can set up your space for the new season any way you’d like. But there just so happen to be some really fun trends this year. Use this guide as an inspiration when you’re filling your rooms with autumn ambiance, and pick your favorites to try.
The New Neutrals
Gone are the days of color coordinated beiges and browns. This year, it’s all about the use of textures and shapes. Colorless design is really striking a chord as new and fresh right now. Think faux fur accessories, textured wallpaper like grasscloth and big blankets draped over the sofa and bed.
The Curated Look
The biggest design trend this fall is definitely the “curated look.” Are you wondering what that means? You’re not alone… and good news, it’s fairly simple. The curated look simply means that you only collect and display what you love. The cost and everything else is irrelevant. Quirkiness and a little whimsy are an added bonus. From unique cabin furniture to the eclectic souvenirs you picked up on your last vacation, your home is your place to display it like a museum collection. The idea is that your authentic personality will come through and make your home shine. Sounds nice, doesn’t it??
Mix and Match Styles
This is another fun fall decor trend for anyone who enjoys thrifting or has a mismatched set of furniture. Instead of sticking to the idea that all interior spaces have to match, take a creative approach and mix your styles. Why not mix old and new or modern with antiques? Most people have been doing this for years, and it seems like the trend has finally caught on.
Go with White on White
In recent years, the fashion world has come to embrace the black on black trend as a classic look. The same is happening with white on white in the interior design world. You can layer several shades of cream or beige together, especially using different textures, and come up with an exciting look. Whoever thought that being could be considered exciting?
Mix Bright Colors
Of course, some of us simply prefer to decorate with bold hues. That’s perfectly fine, and in fact, mixing bright colors is always a great way to accentuate your home without committing to one or two hues. The key is to use colors that connect to each other, even if they don’t match.
Add a Few Flea Market Finds
Will the rustic / upcycled look ever go out of style? We hope not! Add a few flea market finds to your rooms full of contemporary furniture. If you really love a piece of furniture or an accessory, you’ll find a place for it.
Keep Playing WIth Color: Try Bright on Black
Not into neutrals but don’t want to overdo the brights? Bright on black is your solution. It’s easy to add contrast to your home by adding basic elements in black and the colors of your choice. For example, display some bright home accessories on a set of black bookshelves and watch them pop… or paint a wall black or dark gray and watch your wall art come to life.
Find Artisan Accessories
From your unique handmade furniture to those one-of-a-kind accessories you find when you’re out shopping, it’s those original details that will add character to your home.
Enjoy the Return of Americana Design
Remember the days of neutral rooms with handmade, traditional or vintage pieces? Those days are back, and they’re better than ever. This season (and always), it’s all about celebrating handcraftsmanship.
Try Bold Graphic Patterns
Obviously this is a trend to try in one room at a time, but graphic patterns have become the rule rather than the exception. Even traditionalists are learning to embrace the bold prints, even if it just means adding a patterned set of pillows to the sofa or wallpapering a single wall.
That’s right, the quintessential fall fashion trend has transferred to the world of home decor. Tweeds and knits were all over the fall runways and slowly transitioned into other trends. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for upholstery and your soft accessories. Believe it or not, runway trends often make this kind of transition.
Play With Plaid
Speaking of runway trends that have made the transition, plaid has certainly managed to come a long way. If you live in a farmhouse or a country home, try starting small with a plaid comforter in your guest room or some plaid pillows… that is, if you haven’t already done so.
Decorate With Warm Hues
This one is a classic… but just like fall is all about comfort and warmth, it’s also about making your home appear inviting. Whatever colors you use, make sure they cater to a cozy atmosphere.
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.
Unless you’re a minimalist who lives alone (and sometimes even then), there just never seems to be enough space in your home. Closets get crowded, tabletops get cluttered and open space fills quickly. Families grow, tastes change, more Western furniture and decorative items are accumulated.
Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself wishing for more space. And since it’s not always possible for an instant house upgrade (wouldn’t that be nice!), your best bet is to learn to make do with what you have. In other words, you’ll have to fake more space. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help with that.
Here are 15 ways to fake extra space in your home you may not have considered:
1) Buy as much handmade furniture with legs as you can. If you can see the bare floor underneath the furniture, your rooms will look larger.
2) Line the walls with furniture, but leave the middle of the room open. This will give you more space. If you don’t want to forego a coffee table, use something you can also use for storage, like an ottoman. Floor space is your best asset when you don’t have much of it.
3) Use white—lots and lots of white. Wall to wall white makes a space look larger, reflecting light and making objects look bigger. Plus, it’s bright and cheery.
4) Expand to the outdoors. Even if you have a small yard or patio area, adding an outdoor dining table will give you more space. When the weather is nice, you can host friends and gather at your outdoor table and still have all your indoor rooms for cooking, drink mixing and post-dinner conversations. Your outdoor space is an extension of your indoor space, so decorate with string lights and flowers.
5) Get creative—very creative—with your drawers. Tuck your dog bowls into a bottom drawer into your kitchen to add space and minimize spills. Hide your hampers in drawers in your laundry room. Add a narrow pull-out drawer next to your stove and keep your herbs and spices in it. You get the idea.
6) Then get creative with your home office space. Even if you don’t think you need one, you’ll be better off having a designated area to pay your bills, manage your accounts, send emails or write letters. But you don’t need an entire room to do it. A quiet unused alcove, a corner of your kitchen, or even a large closet will suffice. That way you’ll save space in the main rooms of your home for other things.
7) Think differently about your doors. Do you have a swinging door where a sliding door might be better? To keep your rustic look, you could get some old farmhouse doors and put them on sliders. This will give the illusion of more space.
8) Try flexible storage in your bedroom and your children’s rooms. For example, instead of a separate bookcase and toy box in your child’s room, you can stack modular cubes (or build them out of plywood) that will easily serve as both. As your child gets older, they can be used for other things and you won’t have to buy new furniture (or a bigger house).
9) Do you have an open layout? This means that the kitchen, dining room and living room can all borrow off each other’s floor space. The trick is to treat the whole area as a single entity. The materials used in the kitchen should coordinate with the living room colors… you get the idea.
10) When choosing your next sofa, pay close attention to the width and height of the arms. A low arm height and narrow arms work best for most small spaces.
11) Your window treatments can make a big difference in the way your rooms look. To make the room appear larger, you’ll want to find curtains that are the same color as your wall. Roller blinds are also a great option. Just make sure you don’t clutter the window with too many treatments, like using curtains and timber venetian blinds together. Simple is best.
12) Don’t have an entryway? Fake one. If you have a closet near the front door, take the door off of it and convert it into a storage alcove. Hang shelves inside and place baskets on them, hang hooks on the wall for your coats and set a small stool or bench beneath for people to rest when they’re taking off their shoes. This is a great way to create more space.
13) If there is no closet by your front door, do the next best thing and create a visual entryway. As long as you have a place to tie your shoes and hang your coat, that’s all that matters. Set a small bench by the door, hang a few hooks and hang a mirror above them to break up the visual space.
14) Don’t have a view? Fake one! Mount a huge mirror on the wall to create the illusion of a loft and a virtual window, or hang a beautiful piece of art work on the wall.
15) To make your master bathroom or dining room look bigger, paint stripes on the wall. Stripes in any direction create visual movement with the suggestion of more space around the corner or ceiling to floor.
Use as many of these tips as possible and you’ll soon be feeling like you’ve upgraded your space.
Not everyone decides to downgrade their space when they sell their home. Perhaps you’ve sold your starter home and you’re upgrading to make room for your (future or present) children, or maybe you’ve finally purchased the large house you’ve always wanted after years of hard work in your field. Some people also upgrade, rather than downgrade, their space after their children move out of the house. Whatever your reasons may be, when you are buying a bigger home, you’ll want to make sure you take the proper steps to decorate it well.
When it comes to design and decor, you should be cautious about buying new Western furniture and household items. Of course you don’t want your space to look empty, but sometimes people get so excited about all their new space that they go on a buying spree and it ends up looking cluttered. Once you have the keys to your new home, check out these 10 steps for making it your own.
- Sketch out a floor plan. Consider it your “outline.” Study it and play around with furniture arrangement ideas in your mind before you sketch them out. There are plenty of free floor programs online, so you really don’t have to “sketch” at all.
- Go through your rooms and take measurements. You don’t have to get too technical about it, but you will definitely want to have an idea of what will comfortably fit and what won’t.
- Clean house at your old place. Just because you’re upgrading in space doesn’t mean you should pack and move a bunch of pieces that are no longer working for you. Think quality over quantity and part with anything that is no longer part of your bigger vision. Not only will this make the packing process easier, but you’ll get to find new things once you’ve moved that better fit your new space.
- Pick a color palette. Some designers suggest pulling your color ideas from the flooring in your home, while others recommend using your favorite pieces of art. However you choose your colors, make sure they complement your style and your possessions. If you have a lot of Southwest furniture and decor, use a Southwest-style color palette (the colors of the sunset are a great place to start).
- Paint your rooms. If you do this before you move in, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy you’d normally spend moving things around. Of course, this won’t always be possible—if you end up moving quickly or you’re not quite sure of the colors you’ll want, feel free to wait. But we recommend starting early.
- For decorating, start with the bedroom. Most people begin by setting up the living room and dining room. But since you’ll be spending one third of your time at home in your bedroom, it deserves your attention. Besides, when unpacking gets crazy and you’re tripping over boxes, you’ll be so glad to have a place to go to escape the chaos and rest. Know when to save and when to splurge—for example, splurge on new bedding with high thread count sheets, and save on the decorative pillows until you’re all moved in and comfortable paying attention to the minor details.
- Will you have a larger living room that you’re used to? Divide it up. Think about how you want the room to function for your family and divide it into “zones.” Create a focal point, usually a television or a fireplace, and create a conversation area (like a sofa and a coffee table) around it. A pair of comfortable chair or a loveseat in another area can create another more intimate seating space. A sectional sofa works wonders for dividing up a large living room. Another option is to set up a pub table and chairs in the room where you and your family can enjoy informal meals that don’t feel right in your formal dining room. Area rugs will visually separate the space.
- Remember, your furniture does not have to match. While there’s nothing wrong with a matching bedroom set or a pair of end tables for your living room, try to mix and match where you can. You can keep everything from the same time period or similar colors to have some consistency, but don’t fall into the trap of buying the exact same furniture from only one line. Allow your own personal style to shine through, which is most likely not bland and boring.
- Mix in the old and the new. Buying a new home doesn’t have to mean buying all new things—in fact, it definitely shouldn’t. Your taste may be different now than it was when you had your last home and your previous furniture, but you’d be surprised by what will work in your new space.
- On that note, don’t buy everything at once. Even if you can afford to refurnish and redecorate your new space at the same time, it’s best to wait until you really know your new house before you spend too much time and money on it. For example, if you’d planned to spend money renovating your master bathroom, one month later you might determine that your bathroom is fine for now and that cash would be better spend on kitchen cupboards or your garden. The general rule of thumb is to wait two months before making any significant purchases or changes.
Congratulations, and enjoy your new home!
St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, a time when we celebrate the luck of the Irish. But good luck or trying to add luck to your home is something all of us could use year round, and just like with most things, it starts at home. Could your home use a little rearranging to give your family a lucky boost? The answer is probably “Yes.”
Feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of creating harmonious surroundings through furniture arrangement, is still a popular practice. And between finding the proper arrangements for your Western furniture and calling on the help of a few lucky charms, you can channel some seriously good fortune (or at least have a well-styled home).
Here are 10 ways to bring good luck into your home on St. Patrick’s Day and beyond:
- Work on your furniture arrangement. Some believe that arranging your living room furniture in a circular formation will help the flow of energy. If you’re not up for trying it in your main residence yet, test it out with your cabin furniture. If nothing else, furniture arranged in a circle will encourage conversation, which is always nice. True believers should also place their beds diagonally from the bedroom door to allow good energy to come in.
- Gather some horseshoes for decorating. This will be easy to do if you have a Western home or Southwest furniture—they’ll fit right in. Many cultures subscribe to the belief that a horseshoe above the door will bring good luck into the home. But there’s a difference of opinion on which way it should point—some think facing it downward will make fortune fall on whoever passes through the door, while others believe that pointing it upward will ensure that the luck doesn’t run out. Perhaps you’d be wise to invest in more than one horseshoe….
- Paint your front door. The color of your door is thought to determine your luck. North-facing doors should be painted blue or black, south-facing doors should be red or orange, east-facing doors are best painted green or brown, and west-facing doors are their luckiest when painted white or gray.
- Keep a bowl of oranges in your kitchen. Oranges, like the sun, symbolize positive and life-giving energy. And if there’s anywhere in your home where you should have life-giving energy, it’s the kitchen.
- Keep fresh flowers in your rooms. It is believed in feng shui that good fortune will come if you display fresh flowers in your home. This might be the easiest tip of all as well as the most fun. If you want to adhere strictly to feng shui policy, steer clear of thorny stems since they’re thought to block the flow of chi.
- Clean your home. It sounds simple, but a home full of dust and clutter is certainly not a lucky one. Declutter your closets and countertops to get a head start on spring cleaning. Organize your drawers and clean your floors, windows and furniture. Wash any dirty clothes that have piled up on your floors or in your hampers. You’ll notice an instant elevation in your mood, and you just might start feeling luckier right away.
- Whether or not you believe in the theories of feng shui, natural elements are grounding. Make sure you have something representing wood, earth, metal, fire and water in every room. The goal is to create an environment that is grounded, centered and balanced. For example, you can place a wooden bowl filled with small pebbles alongside a candle and a vase of flowers.
- The color red is thought to attract luck and abundance. Try accenting with some red pillows in a room or paint an accent wall a muted red hue.
- When spring and summer arrive, flood your home with natural light. Open doors to let fresh air inside. Keep windows open whenever you can. Nature brings us joy, so put up paintings or photographs of nature and its beautiful scenery.
- Decorate your home with items that make you feel lucky. Creating a gallery wall of your family photos will reminds you of how lucky you are to have each other. Display your diplomas, travel photos and other items that make you feel fortunate. This will help keep you in a lucky and happy mindset, which is exactly what your home should do.
Have a lucky year!
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.