Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Home, My Pride and Joy


2011 is coming. Perhaps it's time to think about having a home makeover? Just like this next maisonette. Check out the before and after pics.

Article taken off www.thehomelook.com

My Home, My Pride and Joy

Interior Design: Nic & Wes


This conserved walk-up apartment in Tanjong Katong has been granted a new modern contemporary lease of life. From the use of geometric patterns and a hushed monochromatic palette with unexpected splashes of colour, the 1,900 sq ft 4-bedroom maisonette is full of surprises at every corner. This is definitely a home that will elicit pride from the owner. Let's show it off!

Photos Credit: Nicole Kow



Living Room

Here, black and white stripes add an interesting texture to the wall and the whole look of the place. A sheer curtain acts as a divider between the living room and the dining area while the hook lamp provides a unique and refreshing touch to the space.



Dining Room

A dash of red injects cosiness into this classy dining area. The panel mirrors reflect the light from the chandelier, adding extra sparkle.



Family Room

An intimate space adorned with a three-panel art piece where the family can hang out and spend quality time together.



Kitchen

A cool, minimalist-looking kitchen area with a breakfast counter that's morning rush-friendly. The sliding glass window and transparent door lets you do the cooking while containing the smell and splashes to the kitchen area without cutting up the space.



Master Bedroom

Royal purple gives life and contrast to the running monochromatic theme.



Study room

The long and narrow study table makes full use of the space available.

Monday, December 27, 2010

10 Flooring Ideas

The floor is a wonderful thing...especially when it comes to home decor. Here are 10 wonderful choices for your flooring.

Article taken off livingetc.com

10 Flooring Ideas



Linoleum is tough, yet tactile and warm. It’s a natural and sustainable product, made of linseed oil, rosin, jute and limestone. It’s the ideal flooring for people with allergies, because it doesn’t harbour dust mites and is bacteria static – germs can’t live or breed on it.



Cool and chic, concrete is hard-wearing and can be poured straight onto an existing floor with no need for levelling. It only needs resealing every seven years or so. Using stone soap will help to maintain it.



Modern, high-quality vinyl can replicate all manner of flooring, from wood and stone to tiles and mosaics, through to contemporary materials such as glass and zinc. And it’s usually cheaper and easier to maintain than the real thing.



Ceramic tiles come in all shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Usually made from clay or other natural materials, they aren’t as pricey as porcelain tiles, but nor are they as hard-wearing, so avoid laying them in heavy-traffic areas, as they may crack. Plus, their edges aren’t always totally straight, resulting in thicker grout lines. They’re ideal for use in bathrooms, but be sure to choose a design with a textured or non-slip surface.



Still high on the most-wanted list, jute, seagrass, coir and sisal are great for heavy-traffic areas. Bear in mind, though, that natural flooring can be slippery, so avoid using it on staircases, and it can be a bit too scratchy for bedrooms.



Cool and chic, concrete is hard-wearing and can be poured straight onto an existing floor with no need for levelling. It only needs resealing every seven years or so. Using stone soap will help to maintain it.



Resilient yet soft and warm underfoot, rubber is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. It’s available in lots of colours and textures, including ribs and studs. Opt for a smooth finish or low-profile studs for easy cleaning.



Beautiful, renewable and recyclable, solid wood is sturdy underfoot, and adds a high-end feel. Solid boards may expand and contract more than other materials, so they’re unsuitable for damp areas. Wood can be finished with polyurethane lacquer or natural linseed oil, and most sealants only need to be reapplied every few years.



There are plenty of reasons to love the modern carpet - it's cosy, soft underfoot and available in myriad colours and patterns. It's also more hygienic than you may think - it traps allergens and dust, which can easily be removed with regular vacuuming. It absorbs sound, so it's ideal if you have neighbours downstairs, and, as it acts as a layer of insulation, it can lower your fuel bills. Carpet doesn't always need a level surface, so it can save you money on any sub-floor work.



Limestone, marble, basalt and granite are ideal for heavy-traffic areas, bathrooms and kitchens. Stone is porous and can stain, but a sealant, such as Lithofin Stain Stop, will protect it without leaving a coating. Any scratches will gradually disappear into the patina, which can make a five-year-old floor more beautiful than a brand-new one. Stone can be laid on any surface as long as it’s strong and rigid. You may need to reinforce the floor, so ask an expert.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Dinner Centrepiece

Try making your own Christmas dinner centrepiece...with baby food jars!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home Decorating With Clocks

The clock's not just to tell time. Incorporate it into your interior design.

Article taken off homedit.com

Clocks – A Modern Way of Home Decorating

Home decorating clocks are very helpful in bringing some style to a room in your house or your office as well. Having a clock on the wall, not only shows the time but also brings a different note to an otherwise blank and flat view of a wall. The home decorating clocks are unique in their design as they can be modern or traditional, but either way they can look great on the room’s wall.

Various styles of home décor clocks are available among which we count mantel clocks, wall clocks, and grandfather clocks that are made of metal and wood. As with any other of piece of accent furniture, home decorating clocks need to take into account some important issues:

1. Decide first what type of home décor clock you wish to acquire. Wall clocks are those that work great on empty walls but you must also decide which the room is to hold it as well as the wall to hang it. Various designs of wall clocks are available to work for the space of the kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and office. The metal or wooden made clocks are great for modern or antique style whichever complements the style of the specific room.

2. The second aspect refers to the size of the clock. For the kitchen walls you could do it with a clock that is medium sized as long as walls are already taken with the artwork and furniture.

When it comes to wall clocks for dining room or living room, this is an important piece of home decorating accessory, therefore one big in size to cover the empty wall is a great option. One choice to find the right one would be to get the wall dimensions and have in this way a pretty good idea on finding the right one.

Using home decorating clocks has become very popular as solutions to decorate the walls of the house without putting yourself through a lot of effort. Searching online you can find various designs, styles and sizes that do not need any maintenance to be done. Apart from this, the home decorating clocks are easy to hang, only in case they are too heavy there should be the need of an anchor to have it fixed in order to save the wall from being damaged.

Home decorating clocks can be found not only for the walls, but also for the floor being renowned mostly as grandfather clocks or mantel clocks. These types come with metal and wooden finishing as well as in very attractive shapes that once you choose the one for your living room it has to match the overall aspect of the room.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How to Take Care of Heirloom Furniture

Want to restore a family heirloom furniture to its former glory? Read on.

Article taken off tlc.howstuffworks.com

How to Take Care of Heirloom Furniture



A beautiful piece of inherited furniture can last a long time if you know how to care for it. If your home is full of all-new furniture that you purchased yourself, you may be in the minority. Most of us own at least one item that used to belong to a family member, a friend or a stranger. But some of these pieces aren't just hand-me-downs -- you consider them heirlooms.

What's the difference? To some extent, it's in the eye of the beholder. Heirloom furniture has been passed down to you from a relative, perhaps through several generations of your family. That chest or sofa or armoire is something valuable, whether it's measured in sentiment or money.

But heirloom furniture requires some extra care to preserve it, like any antique. A few dings or some water damage on the dresser that you bought at a discount store likely wouldn't upset you nearly as much as if the same thing happened to the table that belonged to your great-grandmother. Heirloom furniture basically has two main types of enemies: people and the environment. Even with the best of intentions, people clean, use and handle furniture incorrectly. Caring for it the wrong way can both decrease the value of the piece and shorten its lifespan. Temperature, humidity, sunlight and pests also do their best to ruin your furniture.

So does this mean that you should shut your heirloom furniture away somewhere? Not at all -- there's a happy medium between treating your furniture like a museum piece and treating it like something you picked up off the curb. All you need is a little knowledge to combat those foes, and your heirloom furniture will stay in great condition for future generations to enjoy.

Refinishing and Cleaning Heirloom Furniture

You may be tempted to "fix" faded or flaking finishes, but it's not always a good idea. Your heirloom furniture may not have been in pristine condition when you inherited it, and fixing any problems might seem like the right thing to do. But before you decide to undertake a home restoration project, do some research and consider calling in an expert and getting his or her recommendations. You could do more harm than good if you decide to refinish a piece of antique furniture just because the finish is flaking off in one spot. In some cases, it's better to leave some of these "imperfections" as is because they're part of the furniture's history.

For example, some furniture has copper, bronze or brass hardware, such as drawer pulls. Over time, exposure to chemical compounds in the air can cause these metals to acquire a patina, which is a greenish color and filmy texture that forms on the surface. Some people love how it looks, but others clean it off to restore the original surface and color. Removing patina can often lower the value of antique furniture, however, because it's a sign of the piece's age. Patinas and other signs of aging give the furniture character.

How you clean your furniture has a lot to do with its longevity. Although there are lots of furniture oils, polishes and dusting sprays on the market, most restorers recommend avoiding them. They do remove dust and leave a lovely sheen on your furniture, but they can also cause buildup on the surface and degrade the finish. Some products may contain solvents that damage the finish. And, contrary to popular belief, oils don't prevent the wood from drying out. They can soak into the wood, oxidize and cause it to darken.

If there's buildup already, clean it off using a very mild detergent or mineral spirits. Be cautious and test it out in a small area first. Ask an expert if you're concerned about damaging the finish. If you get the OK and your spot test gives you good results, dust the surface with a dampened lint-free or magnetic cloth. If your furniture has ornate carving, buy a soft-bristled brush to dust it, as dry cloths and feather dusters can damage delicate surfaces. Use a paste furniture wax once a year. Upholstered furniture should be vacuumed using a brush attachment with screening over it (such as old pantyhose) to avoid damaging the fabric.

Next, we'll look at other ways you can care for your heirloom furniture with tips for using and moving it.

Preventing Damage to Heirloom Furniture from Everyday Use and Moving

There's a right way and a wrong way to use furniture. Since you want to preserve your heirloom piece, you'll have to make sure that both you and others use it correctly. One simple tip is to use furniture as it's meant to be used. We often casually lean against the arm of a sofa or use the coffee table as a place to sit if nowhere else is available. But since neither of these places is really designed to support your body weight, you could cause structural damage to your furniture over time.

It's also important to protect surfaces. Use throws or slipcovers on upholstered furniture if you're concerned about the kind of damage that pets or children (or sloppy adults) can cause. Invest in some coasters for cold glasses and hot coffee mugs -- cold, wet items can leave cloudy spots on the finish, and hot items can actually melt it. If you can avoid this kind of misuse, you can definitely prolong the life of your heirloom furniture.

If you're moving furniture from room to room, or moving house, there are some basic steps you can take to avoid damaging your furniture:

Measure ahead of time and make sure that it will fit through the doorway of its designated room.
Check for obstructions like existing furniture and low-hanging light fixtures.
Never drag a piece of furniture across the floor; you'll potentially damage both the furniture's legs and your floor.

Pick it up its strongest element. For example, a table should be picked up by its legs, not its top.

If you have to put furniture in a moving van, make sure it's well padded.
Remove any drawers or other loose elements.

If there is removable glass or marble, take it out and wrap it separately.
Lay big pieces such as dressers flat on their backs.

When you are walking the piece to its new home, go slowly and cautiously. Taking a little extra time can make all the difference.

We'll look at the environmental enemies of heirloom furniture and how to deal with them, next.

Enemies of Heirloom Furniture: Temperature, Humidity and Sunlight

Now that you know how to properly clean, use and move your heirloom furniture, you might think that's all you need to worry about. However, there are enemies lurking about, just waiting to cause damage to your wonderful piece. You can't always see them, but you can see the evidence that they leave behind. Warped, cracked wood. Faded upholstery. Mold. Holes. You can stop all of these things from happening if you're vigilant.

When there are fluctuations in temperature and humidity, you're not the only one feeling it. And while we can thrive in a lot of different types of environments, heirloom furniture isn't so lucky. Most of us like our homes to stay at a steady, comfortable temperature and humidity level. For wooden furniture, about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) and 50 percent relative humidity is optimal, but small variations higher or lower won't make a big difference. Extreme fluctuations, however, can cause serious damage. They can cause the wood to expand and then contract, resulting in warping, breakage and problems such as stuck drawers. Very high humidity can lead to rotting wood, while very low humidity will dry it out and cause cracking. To dodge these problems, don't store heirloom furniture in basements or attics, and keep it away from stoves, radiators, fireplaces and HVAC vents.

Sunlight isn't something that we necessarily think of as being damaging to furniture, but prolonged, direct exposure to ultraviolet light (including strong artificial light) can lead to permanent problems. Light can fade a piece of furniture's finish and upholstery, forever damaging its beauty. To protect it, keep it out of strong direct light if possible -- drawing shades and curtains will help, too. And although you may not like the look of it, use coverings on furniture when it's not in use.

The last type of enemy that we'll discuss can also be also one of the grossest. Read on to find out why.

Biopredation: Creepy Crawlies and Your Heirloom Furniture

Tears or holes in upholstered furniture could be home to rodents.
It's called biopredation in the furniture restoration business -- attacks on your furniture by animals and micro-organisms. Termites, ants and some types of beetles can bore holes in wood and cause serious damage. Mice like to make their nests in old upholstery or may turn up in other furniture depending on what's stored there (avoid storing food in heirloom furniture, or at least make sure it's tightly sealed). Tell-tale signs of these kinds of infestations include holes, wood dust and droppings. You can try various products to get rid of the creepy-crawlies, but be careful -- sprays might damage the finish on your furniture. Depending on the extent of the damage and the infestation, you might need to get professional help.

Micro-organisms that attack furniture include mold and mildew. These usually result from keeping the furniture in damp, dark and warm environments. If the problem isn't too severe, you can probably get rid of mold or mildew spots on wooden furniture. Work outside when it's sunny, warm and dry, and use gloves and a mask. Start by cleaning it with a mild detergent solution and allowing the furniture to dry. Then follow up with a bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water). Note that the bleach solution may change the finish slightly, so test it out in a small area first if you're worried. After the furniture dries again, clean it a third time using a detergent containing borax, which will help keep growth from happening again.

If upholstered furniture gets moldy or mildewed, you can dry it out and attempt to clean it using a mild

detergent and the borax solution (bleach will ruin your upholstery). It's much more difficult to keep mold and mildew from returning in upholstery, however. You'll need to be on watch for signs of regrowth and may have to throw the furniture away. In the case of both wooden and upholstered furniture, consult with an expert if the damage is severe.

Heirloom furniture needs a little extra TLC so it will be in good condition for you to pass down, but caring for it is easy when you know what to do.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Inside Barbra Streisand's Dream Home

Get a private tour of Funny Girl Barbra Streisand's dream home.

Article taken off oprah.com

Inside Barbra Streisand's Dream Home



It took Hollywood legend Barbra Streisand years to design and build the dream home she and husband James Brolin share with their dog, Samantha. From the moment she first saw the main house, Barbra knew she wanted it and had to wait 11 years to buy it. Barbra says her home, which is located on California's breathtaking coast, is an homage to craftsmanship (think: woodwork and old beams), great architects and furniture designers like Greene and Greene, Stickley and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. She chronicles this labor of love in her first book, My Passion for Design.

For Barbra, designing a dream home is as fulfilling as working on a movie. "You have something to really to show for it afterward," she says.



Barbra's dream home is actually made up of four buildings—the mill house, the barn, Grandma's house and the main house—on 3 acres of property.

Besides the main house, which Barbra moved into within three days, she needed to start her dream home from stratch. "There was nothing here when we started," she says. "We built the streams because I think water is a very soothing element. Now I'm surrounded by it on three sides."



For as long as she can remember, Barbra says she's always loved barns. "They feel so American to me," she says. And, Barbra believes if you have a barn, you have to have chickens. Her hens lay green eggs.

Outside the barn, there's a small fish pond. Even the colors of the fish were chosen with purpose. "Since the houses are barn red, trimmed with black-and-white, the fish, of course, have to be black-and-white, right?" she says with a smile.



The rose garden isn't just beautiful—it's a spiritual place for Barbra. When she needs time to herself, she goes into her garden. "I literally smell the roses," Barbra says. "I am so entranced by nature. I live on the ocean. That's an ever-changing painting."



In the Cape Cod cottage-style guest house, visitors can stay in the Lavender Bedroom. The bedroom, which Barbra calls "informal," is where she sets up a microphone and a music stand and records songs. She says she's recorded music with legendary singers Tony Bennett and Barry Gibb in this very room. "I like looking at the ocean when I sing," she says.

Barbra says she considered building a professional recording studio in the barn, but she didn't think she'd use it. "[I] record in Grandma's house—we call it—which has nothing professional about it," she says. "It doesn't even have double-glazed windows on the ocean, and yet it works."



In the basement of the barn Barbra put in a village of shops, which were inspired by Hector Guimard and the Art Nouveau era. This is where Barbra keeps many of her antiques. "I have a lot of stuff, and instead of storing it just in a basement, why not make a street of shops that would house these things?" she says.

Among the shops is a Louis XV–esque antique clothing store. The shop showcases some of Barbra's most opulent and ornate garments, like a black lace cape and an Irene Sharaff gown constructed with green chiffon over pink silk. Barbra wore this gown when she sang the song "People" in Funny Girl.



In the main house's family room, it's easy to see that Barbra loves monochromatic color schemes. "I like textures, different textures of the same color," she says. "I find it calming."

When designing a living space, Barbra tends to stick to one or two colors per room, which she feels is less distracting. "I don't respond to too many colors, too many prints," she says. "Then, I don't hear the conversation as easily."

A portion of the proceeds from Barbra's book, My Passion for Design, benefits women's cardiovascular research. Barbra will match the contributions of others, dollar for dollar up to $5 million. Find out more about the Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Home Office Feng Shui Tips : Feng Shui Desk Arrangement Tips

Increase the Feng Shui energy flow in any room including a home office by arranging your desk.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Luxury Home Décor Tips

How about injecting some luxury into your home this coming 2011?

Article taken off mademan.com

10 Luxury Home Decor Tips

Which of our 10 luxury home decor tips are for you? With todays focus on green, natural materials are being used in luxury living. Geographical location also dictates a huge portion of what makes oversized homes considered luxury living. Floral and wood are big in the south while the north uses wood, glass and lots of brick.

Sliding doors on kitchen cabinets. Wall units and/or kitchen cabinets with sliding doors are being used for a modern appearance in the kitchen area. This luxury home decor tip allows for easy access to plates, cook ware, etc.

Install wallpaper. Wallpaper with large patterns or bold coloring are back in style for modern luxury home decor. Matching draperies are available for many wallpaper patterns. Luxury home decorating tip: Single colored or matching draperies with wallpaper will give a luxurious effect.

Walls of window or brick. Window walls are being used to replace an entire or near entire outside wall, while brick walls are being used to divide a room or rooms. Use of these materials on one or more walls gives a luxury home feeling.

Use wood on ceilings, walls and beams. For a Mediterranean look, ceiling beams are being used painted or unpainted both with dry wall and wood. Entire walls and/or ceilings of wood are modern features being used in luxury homes.

Raised and lowered portions of flooring. Platforms under beds, sliding doors and sunken or raised room(s) are luxury decor tips used in modern homes today. Choose an area or a room to feature varied flooring levels that can be installed by a professional or a talented do it your-selfer.

Install tile or wood flooring. Large tiles as well as wood flooring are used in many luxury homes. Both are designed for long wear with regular maintenance.

Display huge live floral arrangements. Create huge arrangements of flowers to display on the main floor. For added luxury living, have an arrangement in each room of the main floor.

Pools or spas. Install one of both of these either indoor or outdoor. Space and usage will dictate which feature is best for luxury home decor tips.

Use marble for an expensive, luxurious effect. Floors, fireplaces, bathrooms, counter tops and furniture made using marble give a luxury home look. Choose a smaller piece of furniture if your budget is limited.

Install oversized shower areas. Huge shower areas are a must have in luxury home decor tips. Hand held shower heads and clips are attached to room sized shower area's.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big Decorating Ideas For Small Spaces

Start embracing your small house with these tips!

Article taken off The Home Look



Big Decorating Ideas For Small Spaces

Tired of well-meaning guests who give you tips on how to maximise the space in your small house? This is not yet another article on how to make small spaces look big. No, here we are embracing everything small. Revel in the bijou, celebrate the lack of vastness! Less can definitely be more.

Often, the issue with making the most of your living space isn't really how much space you have. What tends to be more important is what you do with your square footage. Rather than fighting the lack of space, focus on the benefits of your smaller space. Small spaces are great for interior design concepts such as cosiness, security, intimacy, charm and functionality.

You may find that decorating a small room is probably more challenging than decorating a large one. It will be useful to draw up a plan previewing the potential uses of the room, the furniture requirements, storage needed and personal lifestyle interests before going on a buying trip for your place. That doesn't mean you have to set rigid rules, but having guidelines will go a long way in helping you create the ideal cosy interior design for your home.

A warm and cosy home provides a place for conversation and features overstuffed furniture that begs to be lounged in. Create an intimate living space layout by keeping larger pieces of furniture closer together, centered around a nice, compact coffee table. Using a good-sized area rug will help bring all the pieces together. If there are any vacant or dull areas, fill up the space with a nice-sized container plant to define and complete the look.

In terms of furniture and furnishings, choose those that will enhance the cosy factor. Place soft and fluffy pillows, cushions and throw blankets on your couches, chairs and beds for you to snuggle up with. Sleek furniture, even though they occupy less space, tend to make the room look quite formal. Try textured furniture but be wary of traditional wooden furniture as they can look too heavy for the room.

There is no need to stick to white because you think colour will make a small place appear darker and smaller. Consider using warm shades of brown, like mocha, taupe and khaki, as versatile neutrals, shades of orange and pale yellows as accent colours or even warmer sage colours.

Used cleverly and sparingly, texture and pattern will give your home an instant dose of cosiness. Go for plush fabrics and knits like cashmere, velvet, and chenille. Incorporate some patterned window treatments, upholstery and knick-knacks.

The key to cosy lighting is layering. Use a mixture of lighting types to create a captivating ambience. Try halogen lights - they can be dimmed and give off a softer, more flattering glow. Natural sunlight is also ideal for cosy homes that can accommodate a window seat or a skylight.

Last but not least, create a feeling of cosiness via nature and scent. Flowers and plants can add colour, brightness and a bit of the outdoors to your home. Rather than relying on chemical air freshener products, use potpourris and simmering spiced cider to give your homes a welcoming and lingering homey scent.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Creating Christmas Tablescape

Do you smell Christmas in the air? So do we! How are you decorating your table this Christmas?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tropical Chic

Do you conjure images of Jane and Tarzan when you think of the word "tropical"? You don't have to replicate the jungle or it will look too kiddy. Here's a more subtle look.

Article taken off interiordec.about.com

Decorating In The Tropical Chic Style



Tropical chic is one of the most popular looks today. It includes comfort, warmth, and a touch of the exotic, using jungle themes, restful colors, and natural textural elements.

It's a style that has fresh appeal with touches of traditional. This is not the multi-colored jungle look you might choose for a child's room. Instead, it might be defined as "lush minimalism" since it mixes lots of texture and intricate pattern with simple details and a few large accessories.

Common motifs include stylized palm trees, large leafed banana plants, monkeys, animal prints, rattan, leather, and grasscloth.

This look is most often used in living rooms and family rooms, but can be adapted for master suites and bathrooms as well. Here are some of the underlying elements and themes of a tropical look room.... For best viewing, open browser window to maximum size

Comfortable upholstered furniture is a must in a tropical room.
Long horizontal lines underscore a casual look and add to a restful mood, while taller elements such as plants, screens, or artwork add a grand scale.
Neutral tones including ivory, beige, camel, tan, deep brown, soft gold, and pale yellows are the foundation of a tropical themed room. Greens are also a major element in shades that range from light sage to avocado and from yellow-greens to a green that is nearly black. Accents might be in dark brown, black, or even muted reds.
Furniture in a tropical room is often large in scale and selected for comfort and utility. Accent pieces in wicker, bamboo, iron, and rattan will also fit well with the look.

Fabrics should be soft and lush. Neutral solid chenilles are perfect for the major upholstered pieces. Pillows, ottomans, and chairs might be done in jungle prints and leaf designs.

Wood furniture pieces and wood flooring fit well into this look. Light woods can be used but add more weight to the room by mixing in some dark tables, lamps, or furniture feet.

The main motifs used would be the tropical jungle look and animal designs (monkeys, elephants, etc.) used in fabrics, accent items, and accessories.

Animal designs figure prominently in a tropical room. Consider using both animal hide designs such as leopard spots and zebra stripes as well as animal images such as monkeys, lions, and elephants.

Large plants, especially palm trees, are a perfect addition to a tropical themed room. Add them in corners and uplight from underneath using inexpensive can lights.
Because island prints, leaves, and animal prints are a feast for the eye, avoid overdoing the room's accessories. A few large plants, lamps, books, and some carefully selected large-scale accessories will usually be enough. Avoid lots of tiny little things and keep it simple and spare.

Windowcoverings should exhibit a natural quality. Bamboo or matchstick blinds, breezy linen panels, or plantation shutters are all choices that will fit into this look.
Grasscloth, baskets, rattan, and wicker in natural tones add another layer of texture to the room. Consider these materials for wallcoverings, cornice boards, folding screens, ottomans, and more.

Flooring might be hardwood, though tile or stone is another possibility. Accent the hard floor with area rugs of natural sisal.

Artwork will look best if it sticks to the color palette of the room -- pale golds, ivory, browns, and greens. Hang prints with stylized leaf designs, exotic looking palm trees, and jungle animals.

Light fixtures can add some whimsey with decorations in monkey, leaf, or jungle accents. Dark lamp shades will add more weight to the room.

Tableware looks might include natural colored stoneware, textured placemats, loosely woven fabric napkins, and sturdy glassware. Accessorize with wooden bowls, baskets, and bamboo.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Colour Schemes from Colour Wheel

Lost in trying to decide which colour goes with what? Learn about the colour wheel.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Home Decorating Tips

Tis the season! Have you seen the Christmas lights and decor in town? It's time to put them up at home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Fresh Ways to Bring Green into your Décor

Nothing says fresh like a splash of green. Add some to your home decor today.

Article taken off http://freshome.com

10 Fresh Ways to Bring Green into your Décor



1.) Green in the bathroom is refreshing: Nature inspired colors in the bathroom connect your body and spirit to get revitalized and refreshed. Try adding green in soothing hues of sage and moss in wall paint, bath linen and area rugs.

2.) Sleep well: Similarly to the bathroom, your bedroom is about tranquility and rejuvenation. Create a Zen-like oasis with bed linen, window treatments in varying shades of greens and browns. Espresso brown and spring green emulate a forest and being amongst nature.

3.) Green in the kitchen is nourishing: from painted kitchen cabinetry to soothing greens in a kitchen backsplash, nourishing green is a favorite in the kitchen. Just as animals and humans derive their food from greenery, kitchen appliances and cookware are all becoming popular in green hues.



4.) Calm your senses: If you’re looking for décor that is subdued and relaxing, pair pale greens and buttery yellows for a relaxing meditation room. The human body enjoys colors that relax and soothe. Add matching décor to the walls in collections to visually add interest and to carry through the color scheme.



5.) Rejuvenate and energize: If you want to be energized in your space, add bright green with bright yellow undertones. Used in fabric throw pillows and wall art, green can inspire and help you be creative. Use it in playrooms, art studios and work out rooms of your home.

6.) Kids rooms love green: Apple, lime, and chartreuse greens are all bright and happy versions to bring a cheery disposition to play areas and children’s rooms. Used alone or paired with blues, browns, yellows, or purples – green is playful and fun.

7.) Masculine greens are popular in décor: Green is very versatile and isn’t gender specific. Although hunters green, kelly green and army green tend to be used in home libraries, dens and billiards rooms to evoke masculine appeal.

8.) Liven up your urban home: For those of you that are seconds away from walking outside onto a green lawn, consider yourself fortunate. For those that live in urban homes, bring nature into your home with live greenery, water features, and natural fibers and décor. When you bring green into your furniture, and surroundings, the noise and hustle and bustle of urban life will melt away inside your nature inspired home.

9.) Eco-friendly décor goes ‘green’: From the color green to earth friendly ‘green’ – your home can benefit from quickly renewable resources in your décor. Choose from cork flooring, seagrass furniture, and jute area rugs. Your home and family benefit from green décor and so does Mother Nature!



10.) Green means balance in feng shui: The color green is a balancing color which means harmony. Consider using green as an exterior home color along with fresh green plants in your front entry and back porch. Your entire home can feel centered and harmonious with the use of green.

If you could pick one color to represent calm, relaxation, energy and balance it’s the color green. Colors that are found naturally in nature will make your home feel welcoming every time you come home. Use these 10 tips for adding green to your décor and see how nature and your home are truly harmonious. Freshome reader’s share with us how you use green in your décor. Other than reading our fabulous online magazine everyday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Signs You Should Remodel Your Bathroom

Is it about time you give your bathroom a new dose of life?

Article taken off alborronchos.com

Signs You Should Remodel Your Bathroom

As a homeowner, you may want something a bit different, more exciting, or more attractive for your home. There are many homeownwers who are satisfied with their home, but there are also many who are not, and want more. If you are one of the latter, then it may be time for you to change things up a bit. The changes don’t have be expensive, you don’t have to buy a new home. Often, all that it takes is a simple remodeling project, such as renovating your bathroom.

When looking at a bathroom remodeling project, many homeowners will wonder if it is a good idea or not. To ensure that a bathroom remodeling project is indeed a good idea for your home, you should look at some of the signs that your bathroom needs to be remodeled. If any of these signs sound familiar to you, then renovating your bathroom could be a good idea to revitalize the bathroom, and your home.

The most important sign that you should remodel your bathroom is whether or not you are unhappy with it, and want a change. If you are unhappy with just the bathroom, or the appearance of the entire house, then a good bathroom renovation may be just the ticket. If you do decide to remodel or redecorate your bathroom, you have many options available to you. You can just repaint the walls, or maybe replace that old sink. Since the bathroom is typically the smallest room in the house, even a small change will have a big impact. Or you could go all out, and replace everything in the bathroom, and do a complete bathroom makeover.

Another factor to consider when you decide whether or not to remodel the bathroom, is the condition of the room, and safety. If you’ve noticed a problem in the bathroom with mold and mildew, or if the room is falling apart, you may not only want to remodel, you may need to remodel your bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home. You, and everyone in your home probably uses it several times a day. Loose floor tiles and mold are unattractive, but can also be a hazard. If your bathroom is in poor condition, then you should definitely look into remodeling.


If you are looking to sell your home, you may want to consider remodeling your bathroom. A new bathroom can help to increase the value of your home, especially if the bathroom is in bad shape, poorly lit, or out of date. You are certainly not required to remodel the bathroom before you sell your house, but it is a good idea. Speak to your real estate agent about it. They can give you information on whether or not the bathroom remodeling project will increase the value of the home enough to make the project worth it. In some cases, remodeling the bathroom before selling your house is worth the time, expense, and effort. Other times it isn’t.

When it really comes down to it, the biggest sign that the bathroom needs to be remodeled, is simply that you want to remodel it. There are many benefits to remodeling the bathroom, and you can approach it from many different angles. Whether it is simply replacing a faucet or repainting, or completely remaking the entire bathroom, the changes will have a big impact, and make a huge improvement in your bathroom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How To Makeover Your Home On A Budget

Make your home magazine-ready on a limited budget. It's possible!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Minimalist Kitchen

Not many people are very adept in the kitchen these days and as a result, we tend to spend less and less time in it preparing home-cooked goodness. If you are in the midst of furnishing your first very own kitchen, these pointers will come in handy.

Article taken off thesimpledollar.com

The Minimalist Kitchen: What You Need (and Don’t Need) to Set Up Your First Workable Home Kitchen

Cooking at home is the most effective way to minimize your food budget. Almost every meal you cook at home will be less expensive (and often quicker) than a similar meal out on the town. Doing it consistently will not only save you money consistently, but it’ll build up your skills in the kitchen.

The only problem? The setup cost is usually quite stiff. You do need quite a number of items. Fortunately, you don’t need quite as much as you think, and most of the stuff you do need is cheap. Here’s the equipment I’d get for a basic kitchen.
An oven and stove top and a refrigerator These are the basic appliances you’ll need to even attempt cooking at home. Without them, this article is moot. If your apartment/home comes with them, just use the ones already there until they wear out. If you must buy new, buy durable. Do the research, check out Consumer Reports, and follow their recommendations. Energy efficiency is also vital – use the Energy Guide stickers and look for the EnergyStar logo when comparing models. I also strongly encourage you to avoid getting a flat-surface stove top if you’re unfamiliar with cooking, as you will have many boil-overs as you learn and the top can be nearly impossible to clean.
NO microwave “Blasphemy!” many will shout. I argue that a microwave stunts your ability to learn to cook at home by making it very easy to pop convenience foods in the microwave instead of actually preparing something. It’s a crutch at first, though it can definitely become a tool later on. Challenge yourself to no microwave for a year and see how much you learn. Even better – do it right off the bat and you don’t have the initial cost of buying a microwave.

Tip #1: If you can see only a few situations for using it, don’t buy it
So many kitchen items have one use. Take, for example, the cheese slicer. It slices cheese. Period. Use a knife, or if you grate or slice a lot of things, get a four-in-one box grater. Don’t waste your money on a cheese slicer unless you slice five pounds of cheese a week. Any item that does not have uses with a wide variety of foods should be looked at with a very discerning eye.
Basic flatware and eating dishes Don’t sweat this a bit. Go to your local department store and go for the low-end stuff for now. Later on, if you want to “upgrade” to something “classy” (meaning spending far more for essentially the same functionality of an item), go for it. Just don’t waste your money right out of the chute on hundreds of dollars of flatware.

A cutting board Get the cheapest one possible – probably a rectangular chunk of plastic for a buck or two. The entire purpose is to keep your knife from damaging your countertop.

A vegetable peeler This is one of the very few kitchen “gadgets” that’s worth its salt. Although you can peel potatoes, zucchini, squash, and so forth with a knife, a vegetable peeler is incredibly efficient at its task. You can use a knife and/or a box grater in place of this item, but it’s very inexpensive (any old one will do) and the efficiency it adds to many food preparations (especially in a vegetable-heavy diet) is immense.

Tip #2: Be creative in finding workable substitutes
There are countless clever little items for the kitchen that seem like a good idea, but can usually be substituted for easily if you think outside the kitchen a bit. A meat tenderizing hammer? If you prepare meat every day of the week, sure – otherwise, just use the rubber mallet out in the garage with your meat under paper or plastic.
A large pot, a small pot, and a skillet You need three pots, that’s all. The large pot’s for cooking stews, boiling beans and pasta, and so forth. The smaller pot’s perfect for making sauces, boiling small amounts of vegetables, and so on. A single large skillet will be your primary stove top cooking tool. Don’t skimp and get teflon-coated pans or else you’ll just be tossing them in a couple of years when the teflon begins to chip off. Instead, invest now and get some hard-anodized aluminum ones, especially the small pot and the skillet. You’ll still be using good ones when you retire.

Two very simple baking pans Get a 9″ by 13″ cake-style pan and then a French oven or casserole-style pan. 90% of the time, you can get by with just one of these (I’d get the latter one), but that other 10% will leave you aching, when you need to have two items in the oven at once.

A box grater You can get a metal box grater for a buck, and there are all sorts of little uses for it – slicing and grating cheese or vegetables, making breadcrumbs out of an old loaf of bread, and so on. Amazing little utility item for just a few pennies.

Tip #3: Just starting out? This stuff makes perfect gift requests
Almost everything on this list makes for a perfect bridal shower, wedding, or graduation gift. If you have a registry for any such purpose, put these items on it and get gifts that are actually useful instead of just tossing stuff on there without thought or pattern.

Two knives and a honing steel A paring knife and a chef’s knife will handle almost every cutting need you’ll have in your kitchen. Go to your friendly local department store and grip each one. Find the one that fits best in your hand, regardless of price, and buy it. Different hands grip a bit differently, so it may be that the most expensive knife is the best fit for you or the cheapest knife is the best fit. Just get the chef’s knife that fits your grip the best and the paring knife that fits your grip the best.
You should also snag a honing steel. It’s easy to use and makes a world of difference in keeping your knives usable. It does not sharpen your knife, but it does keep the edge on your knife from warping over time. Just use the honing steel twice on each side before you use the knife.
A magnetic knife rack This is basically just a long magnetic strip you can hang somewhere high. Since it’s a big magnet, it’ll attract the blades of your knives and allow them to hang there, without the edge touching anything at all. This reduces the slow wear on the blade of your knife. It’s cheap and definitely the right way to go if you’re childless – if you have children, though, this may be an unsafe temptation for the little ones.

A baking sheet Something to toss things on when you bake them in the oven, from pizza and vegetables to cookies and bread. Again, just get the cheap one – an air bake one is a nice $4 extravagance, but not vital.
A loaf pan If you’re going to bake bread consistently or like to make meatloafs or other small casseroles, a loaf pan is perfect and costs only a buck or two.

Tip #4: Keep the food basics on hand, always

What about the food? I recommend keeping plenty of olive oil and a well-stocked spice rack on hand, no matter what. Both are very cheap and both are used in almost anything you make.

A food processor This is the least essential item on this list, but it’s incredibly useful, particularly as you move more towards cooking consistently complex meals at home. A good one can retexturize almost anything, from chopping and grinding to juicing and pureeing. I favor the KitchenAid KPF 750, as does Consumer Reports. This is a great housewarming gift for someone genuinely interested in cooking.
Plastic reusable leftover containers – and masking tape For food storage in the fridge (leftovers, stuff prepared in advance, etc.), just get a bunch of low-end reusable storage containers and a roll of masking tape. You can use the tape to identify the contents and the date of preparation on the lid so you don’t have to wonder what forgotten mystery item X is in the fridge. We still use the ones we got for a wedding gift more than five years ago.
Tip #5: When in doubt, always go cheap
If you’re standing there trying to choose between two similar items, always go for the cheap one. For starters, you don’t know for certain how much you’ll use the item, so an expensive one may be a complete waste of money. For second, unless you know the item cold, the quality difference is likely pretty unclear to you. Third, if you do decide that you use the item a lot and can actually see a compelling reason for the higher quality version, you can always upgrade later. So save your money now and go for the cheap one.

These items are all you’ll need to prepare, eat, and store almost anything that’s realistic in a home kitchen. If you do come up with additional needs, don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little bit before you turn to the store – you’ll be surprised at how many nifty solutions you have around the house.
The real key is getting started – don’t just buy this stuff to have it on hand. Use it. Try starting with very simple things, like scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches, then progress on to things like rosemary chicken. To keep it cheap, start with inexpensive basic foods and master their variations. You’ll find that before long both your wallet and your palate are happy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sexy Bathroom

Inspirations for wet and sexy bathrooms.

Photos taken off thesexybathroom.com








Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turn Down The Heat

With the temperature and PSI levels rising, it's no wonder I'm sweating buckets just standing at the bus stop. Respite from the heat is definitely needed.

Article taken off ehow.com

How to Make Your Home Cooler During the Summer

Keeping your home cool during the summer can be quite difficult. Follow the steps below to help cool your home.

1. If the weather is not too warm, open the windows to let cool air inside. Make sure to open several windows to allow the air to blow in one window and out the other, creating a breeze.

2. Fans make a room feel cooler. You can use a ceiling fan, a portable fan, or any other fan.

3. Add an air conditioner. You can add a central air conditioning system or a window unit. If you already have a central air conditioner that is not working well, have it serviced to check the coolant levels and whether there are any leaks.

4. Create shade on your home, especially your windows. You can plant a tree to create shade, add an awning or pergola, add solar screens, or add window film. Consider replacing old windows with more energy efficient ones.

5. Make sure your home is well insulated and air tight so the hot air does not get in. Use spray insulation to fill any air gaps. Consider getting your attic roof sprayed with insulating paint. Make sure there are adequate air vents in your attic to let the hot air out.

How To Get Rid of Moss In Your Backyard

Unless you're going for a rustic backyard look, you'll probably not welcome any moss around. It's easy to control moss if you know how.

Article taken off ehow.com

How To Get Rid of Moss

Despite the soft green visual appeal of moss, it is technically a weed. Moss is not aggressive enough to kill your turf, but it will claim unused space and spread if allowed. Yards that have drainage problems or poor soil are prime targets for moss. Like algae, moss is controllable with special soaps and treatments. After you eradicate the moss, take measures to prevent the return of the uninvited guest by making changes to soil and its ability to receive sunlight.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Instructions

Things You'll Need:
Hedge clippers
Branch pruners
Moss control product
Pump and hose
Garden rake
Spade
Lime
Grass seed
Water

1.Trim back overhead branches that may be blocking sunlight from making it to the ground. Trim back hedges, trees and bushes to allow sunlight to filter through.

2. Spray the moss with a moss control product. This product should contain some type of fungicide. Buy a premixed container that has a hose attachment. Alternatively, for large moss problems you should buy granules and mix them with water in a large pump with a hose for dispensing. Spray the moss during late winter or early in the spring. Allow the product to sit overnight before continuing.

3. Rake the dead moss up. Use a sturdy garden rake to scrap up the clumps of dead moss.

4. Break up the soil with a spade. Make soil corrections now. Moss thrives in soil with low pH. Raise the pH of your soil by sowing in lime. Use 40 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet of soil.

5. Sow grass seed into the area. Rye grass will grow quickly and thickly in this soil. Add a thin layer of potting soil over the top of the seeds, about ½ to 1 inch thick.

6. Mist the area daily, watering the seeds until they grow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Twice Upon A Time...Recycling Ideas

With a little imagination and creativity, you can turn ordinary furnishings and accessories into unique and stunning budget home decor.

Article taken off suite101.com

Recycling Junk and Architectural Salvage for Chic Home Decor

Recycling junk into chic things for the home is fun and it adds great style to the decor. It also keeps those items out of the landfill sites.

Creative designers and homeowners are finding all sorts of ideas for chic home decor items, using ordinary junk that many people would simply send to to the landfill sites. In fact, those landfill sites are good places to forage for things that could be turned into something entirely different. Most human-made objects can have a second or even third life for other uses. Here are some tips and ideas for re-creating those things most often discarded.

Creating With Old Doors
Old doors have numerous uses. The simple hollow doors can be turned into sewing and craft tabletops. Glass doors can become cabinet doors, or can be hinged onto a cold-frame in the garden. Vintage multi-paneled doors can make great coffee table tops, and several could be turned into a wardrobe or cupboard with good carpentry skills. When old pine is stripped of layers of paint, the wood is beautiful and warm – well worth saving from the landfill sites.

New Life for Old Dining Room Chairs
Old dining room chairs can be given a second life with a few fix-ups. For most rickety chairs that get tossed in the garbage, the problem is loose chair legs, missing spindles or worn and torn seat covers. Loose chair legs may simply need glue and clamps as they dry. Missing spindles can be replaced.

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The chairs can be given a chic and shabby look with coat of white or creamy white paint and the seat coverings can easily be replaced. Thrift shops often have inexpensive upholstery weight fabric for those homeowners who are on a budget.

Vintage Lighting Fixtures
Vintage lighting fixtures can be re-invented, using components from several fixtures. For the most part, the nuts and bolts are standard or the same sizes and all can be re-used in the new creation. The components include all the different decorative pieces that slip onto a hollow brass or steel bar hidden within the fixture. This hollow bar is the piece where the wire is pulled through.

Creating a funky new light fixture, whether for the ceiling, or table lamp, does require some creative thinking and a lot of trial and error before actually wiring it up. Lighting is easy to re-wire, but it's advisable to get a professional if in doubt.

Read on
How to Hold an Annual Vintage Cottage Chic Sale
Junk Style Decorating
Decorating with Junk
Architectural Salvage
Architectural salvage of all kinds can be used in home decor. Newel posts make great giant candle holders. Add a 12" square of a wood board to the top, as well as wider base for sturdiness and the homeowner could have a plant stand. There are numerous types of architectural salvage including anything from used bricks to Gothic windows.

Old salmon-colored bricks make wonderful garden paths and are useful for edging the garden beds. Gothic windows are art pieces on their own and could simply be hung on a wall or placed in front of a large picture window.

Junk can Have a Longer Life
The key to recycling junk for home decor is to look at a piece and think of how it can be re-used. Ask yourself how it could still have function with a little work, if it could be re-created into a beautiful art piece or re-used in a manner other than its original intention. Most junk can do at least one of the things above. The owner will be creating something unique for the home as well as giving that "junk" a longer life, saving them from the landfill site.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interior Design...Japanese Style!

Thinking of adopting a Japanese style interior design? As these photos show, simplicity and neutral colours are big for Japanese home decor. The emphasis is on maintaining adequate flow of positive energy in the house. As for flooring other than bamboo, consider laying tatami or silk floor mats if large-scale refurbishing isn't possible nor feasible.

Pictures taken off homebasedesign.com

Japanese Home Decor Design Style Tips









Monday, October 11, 2010

Retro Living

Create magic at home with a blast from the past.

Article taken off http://dec0rs.com

Retro living room interior design ideas

The hostess always dreams of transforming the house into a home, a loving home full of love and care, a home that resonates warmth. A home to talk about art and culture. Retro style for the interior decoration resurface many of the lost treasures of the past and the golden years always appreciated. This is your chance to play with colors and home furnishings to reinvent the era of rock and roll, vintage, memories and moments of delirium. The retro decor is not given for any period of time. It is your interpretation of retro. In this article we will present one of the options you can use as a guide to create your own retro style.



The retro brings to mind the Beatles, Bee Gees. The rock ‘n’ roll is a thought inevitable, when it comes to retro. Create a retro scene in his living room. Remove posters and frame coils. Let your wall adorned with a gray background. To one side of the table, get a gramophone and listen to old records that you have saved for so long. Keep furniture as simple and minimalist as possible. Preferably, choose simple wooden furniture to retro fit with the decor of your room. The retro decor lighting should be yellow and smooth as possible.



Dining A La Retro

In retrospect, the restaurants at the time were retro cozy dens. Convert the dining area in one of these restaurants, which have many wooden furniture. To begin the retro decor in your dining room, place the table right in the middle of the room with light fixtures hanging from the ceiling directly approaching the table. Obviously you need wood chairs for your table. Let your kitchen cabinets have a rustic, classic wood work well with retro decor of the room.



Retro Nights

This part of the article focuses on the decor of your room. Padded furry and a single bed is all you need to make your room has a retro style. The teal color is best for your room with upholstery and white linens. Have a lamp on the bedside table, the old-fashioned classic with the right tone of steel. If you have no desire to paint the inside, then use wallpaper is a good idea.



Retro Items

To keep the retro element to decorate your home cough, you can do with large blocks, posters, items for furniture, linen, wallpaper, antiques and other items as they were fashionable ’60s and ’70s. Once again, the retro decor can have several connotations as vintage, a blend of contemporary and other flavors.



Decorate your home will add interest to life and gives your home a personal touch. Your home, after all, is the extension of his personality. Before decorating, decoration display you want and then act upon it. Break the monotony and experiment with ideas that has ever done.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Make One Corner Beautiful at a Time

If you ever feel overwhelmed trying to do-over the whole house, just think, "Make one corner beautiful at a time."


Article taken off rentaldecorating.com

Make One Corner Beautiful at a Time

If you have the discipline to stick to it, this simple adage -- make one corner beautiful at a time -- can transform your decorating dreams from overwhelming to manageable and rewarding.

The idea is by no means new. As the story is told, a young New England bride in the late 1800s was faced with the seemingly overwhelming task of hand sewing the obligatory curtains for nine large windows gracing the front of her impressive Federal-style home on the town’s main street. “Make one corner beautiful at a time,” counseled a wise village elder. Convention not withstanding, the greatly relieved bride turned her efforts toward creating a livable sitting room for herself and her groom, the unused upstairs bedrooms getting attention in due time.

Whatever the scope of your decorating goals, this simple mantra may be the inspiration you need to begin.

Narrow your focus.

If you think of your home or room as a series of projects to complete one by one, you’ll see noticeable results and feel a quicker sense of accomplishment. Consider this: place a new table, chair, and vase of flowers in three different corners and you’ll feel less than rewarded for your efforts. Arrange the items together and, presto, you’ve created an inviting focal point.

First things first.

What do you see when you first enter a room? By drawing the eye to a visually inviting tableau, you set the tone for the whole space.

Add eye appeal to your living space.

Does your living space lack a sense of personality, beg for a dash of drama? Freshen your look for holiday guests or to please yourself year 'round by building a focal point around one beautiful piece. (Here’s another adage: invest in a single piece of furniture each year and you’ll build a handsomely furnished home in a surprisingly short time.)

Anchor your living room with a curvaceous, sophisticated sofa in an eye-catching color; complete the look (remember, one corner at a time) with complementary pillows and a throw.

Add character (and storage) to a long wall or brighten a forgotten corner with a hand painted chest or an armoire and a selection of your favorite china, glass, or pottery. Bonus: drawers provide convenient storage for bulky items like linens or photo albums.

Simplify tabletop clutter yet express your personality by gathering disparate accessories into an eye-catching display on an étagère. Anchor the display with several large items, repeat shapes for cohesion, and carefully combine sizes and textures for greater interest. Create a pleasing flow and balance, drawing the eye in and moving it around.

“Women today are often balancing career, family, and children,” acknowledges Virginia Bremer, licensing director for Liz Claiborne Home. “Choosing furnishings and creating a welcoming home should be an enjoyable part of this multi-faceted life.”

Keep it simple in the dining room.

An inviting space to dine honors the physical and psychological roles that nourishment plays in our lives, whether you’re a busy single turning takeout into a few minutes of repose, gathering family for a weekday supper, or entertaining friends.

Dining room furnishings are significant pieces you are likely to live with for a long time. Invest in a versatile style with simplified lines that you can dress to suit the occasion, your changing tastes, and the furniture’s current role in your home.

Darker-hued furnishings with clean lines are surprisingly flexible: they can look equally striking with simple ironstone accessories, a spare modern centerpiece, or glistening under a silver candelabra. Complement light-finished wood with greenery or simple white ceramics and glass.

Pamper yourself in the master suite.

What better corner to focus on than your own bedroom. Choose a bed with real “star” power, such as the graceful sleigh bed created by Liz Claiborne Home for its Homecoming Sundays collection. Position the bed so its impact is felt upon entering the room. To let your “star” take center stage, keep the room’s supporting features understated -- some wonderful linens and a few stylish yet functional accessories will complete the picture.

If time or funds are limited, cozy up a chair, ottoman, stylish lamp, and small table into an appealing reading nook.

Before you know it -- like our 1800s bride -- you’ll have created an interesting, personality-filled home -- one corner at a time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 10 Bedroom Decorating Dos and Don'ts

Make yourself comfortable in the most important room in the house with these dos and don'ts.

Article taken off decoratorsecrets.com


Do's and Don't's of Bedroom Decorating

Do
Consider function when decorating any room of your home, particularly the bedroom. The function is, of course, to provide a relaxing, comfortable environment for sleep.

Don’t
Turn your bedroom into a multi-functional room. Sleep and comfort reign supreme in the bedroom, keep desks and work areas out of the room.

Do
Paint your bedroom in a relaxing, serene color that makes you happy. Choose greens, blues and yellows - or the hot new color for the year, lavender.

Don’t
Use faux painting techniques in the bedroom, when you can’t sleep, you’ll analyze every stroke of the finish.

Do
Use paint samples on the bedroom wall to choose a color.

Don’t
Choose color from a paint chip in the store.

Do
Allow yourself to watch television in the bedroom, although sleep experts say you should not have a television set in the bedroom, reality says otherwise.

Don’t
Allow your television to become the focal point of your bedroom. Make it as unobtrusive as possible or have an armoire or cabinet to hide it away.

Do
Invest in a quality, comfortable bed. You’re spending at least ¼ of your day there, it’s worth it.

Don’t
Keep your mattress and bedsprings for longer than 15 years – they wear out. If you notice your back is sore in the mornings and you’re more tired than usual, consider your bed comfort before scheduling the MRI.

Do
Do decorate your bedroom as you would any other room in the house.

Don’t
Skimp on furniture and accessories because no one else will see it.

Do
Have all types of lighting in the bedroom – ambient, task, accent and decorative.

Don’t
Rely on one overhead light for all your lighting needs.

Do
Arrange furniture for you to easily enter and exit the bedroom without twists and turns – it’s bad Feng Shui decorating and it means furniture is not properly arranged.

Don’t
Put the side of your bed against the wall or on a diagonal in the corner.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Decorating Centrepieces With Flea Market Finds

Learn how to find and use centerpieces from flea markets to decorate your home!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Warm, Fuzzy and Cozy Guest Room

Having some long-distance guests over this weekend? Make them feel at home with these tips.

Article taken off http://shine.yahoo.com

10 Tips for Creating a Cozy Guest Room in Your Home

Making your guests feel at home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’re already decorating an extra bedroom, there are ways to save money along the way. After all, it’s the attention to small details that contributes to an overall homey look. Here are some ways you can make your extra bedroom a relaxing retreat for guests:

1. If you were thinking about repainting anyway, consider choosing a light neutral color for the guest room. Generally, pale yellows and soft grays do the job well for providing a relaxing atmosphere. Dark and bright colors like red, orange, green or pink often create a more chaotic or loud feel, so avoid those colors if you prefer a serene scene.

2. As with all decorating, pick a color theme and stick with it. Bringing too many different colors into one room can make it look cluttered and stressful. Instead, pick two to three colors, and try to keep most decorative items in that same color scheme.

3. Make a welcoming tray of mints and small candies. Food always looks welcoming, and small candies or mints won’t go stale quickly, making it the perfect guest room amenity.

4. Put together a basket of toiletries in the bathroom. Small, travel-sized shampoos and conditioners are great for guests. If you’re worried about the cost of constantly restocking toiletries, you can buy small containers and just refill them yourself with the larger bottles you already have.

5. Stock up on pillows. This is great for making the bed look cozy, as well as giving your guests options depending on their sleep preferences.

6. Hang a mirror in your guest room. This could be either in the bathroom or bedroom, but it’s important they're able to get ready in the morning without having to run through the house to see how they look.

7. Layer the sheets and blankets. Since a comfortable bed is the big focus for your guest to have a great night’s sleep, multiple layers not only make the bed more cozy, but also gives your guest the option to choose their temperature.

8. Lay out towels. A neat stack of clean towels provides good decor (if the colors are consistent) and also saves your guest the trouble of rifling through linen closets.

9. Furnish the room with adequate lighting. Make sure there are nightlights plugged in so that your guest won’t be stumbling around in the dark in an unfamiliar room. This is especially handy in the bathroom if it’s connected to the bedroom.

10. Add some plants. While providing fresh flowers for guests may be costly, you can add a bit of nature into the room by placing a small potted plant on the windowsill or dresser.

Don’t have a guest room in your house? Or maybe you’ve been looking to upgrade into a new home. Now is a great time to buy a home with low mortgage rates, the home buyer tax credit and low home prices, so take advantage of this buyer’s market before it’s over.