3 tips for dealing with small closet space

3 tips for dealing with small closet space

The dreaded small closet – nobody likes having one, but many homeowners unfortunately do. Small closets can make organizing a bedroom more difficult and you may wind up suffering from a cluttered room as a result. If your small closet space is causing you stress, here are three tips for making it work.

3 tips for dealing with small closet space

Photo credit: BHG

1. Maximize your closet space

Your closet might be small, but there are ways you can maximize your storage space and make it appear bigger. If you don’t have enough room to hang up all of your clothes, install a second rod either below or behind the first one depending on the closet setup. Or use hangers with more than one hook so you can hang up more clothes without taking up as much space.

3 tips for dealing with small closet space

2. Find other ways to store your essentials

The bedroom closet isn’t your only storage option available. Look for creative ways to use your bedroom space and organize the room instead. Buy a storage bed that allows you to sleep and keep the room clean. Add a wardrobe to your space or a decorative bench to hold extra clothes. If your wall could use some visual appeal, a jewelry wall mount makes an excellent storage solution and will also add a unique design element to the room.

3. De-clutter

Peter Walsh, an organization expert says, “When you de-clutter, it’s astounding what will flow into that space to enrich you and your family.” Think of your small closet as an opportunity to get rid of some of the clutter overtaking your room. Go through all of your clothes, jewelry, shoes and personal items to decide what should stay and what can go. Anything that you haven’t worn or used in the last year could probably be donated, sold or thrown out.

A small closet won’t hurt your room’s overall appeal and style if you don’t let it. Look for ways to maximize and de-clutter your space so you can enjoy a more organized, stress-free room.

By Wendy Weinert

 

Regret your new furniture purchase? Here’s how to deal with it.

Regret your new furniture purchase? Here’s how to deal

After spending weeks browsing different options, you’ve finally chosen the perfect chair for your living room. Or so you thought. Now that you’ve actually put it in your living room, the chair doesn’t seem so perfect anymore. Regretting a new furniture purchase is a common occurrence and many people immediately want to return the item. The best solution, however, for dealing with regret is a bit surprising: wait for the feeling to pass.

Regret your new furniture purchase? Here’s how to deal

How many times have you gotten a haircut and at first were unsure about the new style, but eventually you grew to love it? The same situation often occurs after buying new furniture. Change is hard to adapt to, so even if your new furniture works – possibly even better than what you had previously – it may take you some time to realize it and adjust.

Regret your new furniture purchase? Here’s how to deal

Photo credit: Maisonboheme

Any new furniture, whether it’s a light fixture or a rug, can cause you to question your purchase decision. There are certain factors, though, that might make the adjustment even more difficult. If you incorporate a bold new color, pattern or print into a room, for example, you’ll need more time to get used to it than if you had just went with something basic and low-key. You’ll also find that size can influence how you feel about your new purchase. If you’re replacing one furniture item with something much larger, you’re likely at first to feel that the new piece looks out of place due to its larger size.

In general, the best way to handle your buyer’s regret is to give yourself enough time to adjust. You can also gather second opinions from friends and family who don’t live in your home and therefore can be more objective. More than likely, you’ll find that the new item not only works, but that you actually love having it in your home.

By Wendy Weinert

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchens are meant to be highly functional spaces, but a bad room design can make it difficult for you to use the space effectively. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, be sure to keep these important tips in mind during every stage of the process.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Savvyhomeblog

Storage: Kitchens are typically used to store food, cookware and tableware, which means you’ll need adequate storage space to prevent the room from becoming cluttered. Consider how you will use each cupboard and drawer before you remodel to ensure that every item will have a home. You might also want to look for dual-purpose furniture, such as an island that provides both storage and counter space. You can use ceiling and wall space to hang items like pots and pans.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Homebunch

Preparation: Cooking a meal without adequate surface space can be frustrating and stressful. If you’re remodeling a fairly large kitchen, counter space is probably not much of an issue. Smaller kitchens, however, can be more difficult to plan as you want to have enough counter space without crowding the room. If you can, plan at least 36 inches of uncluttered countertop space for preparation and another 21 to 36 inches for cooking. If your kitchen space allows, an island is a great option for preparing food.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Lighting: Forming a lighting plan for the kitchen can be tricky. You want to feel comfortable in your kitchen, but you’ll also need direct lighting for performing certain tasks like washing dishes or preparing food. Every kitchen, no matter how small, should have a combination of ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting to achieve the right balance. If you have a kitchen island, pendants are a great option for adding both task and decorative lighting. Undercabinet lighting is often used to illuminate darker counter spaces and make preparing food easier and safer.

A successful remodel starts with a well-thought-out plan. Keep these tips in mind throughout your remodeling process and design a kitchen that you’ll love.

By Wendy Weinert

 

Hosting the Perfect Summer Garden Party

Parties are a great way to make new friends, have some good laughs, and live in the moment. My favorite place to host a party is right in my back yard. Gardens add a special element to an event that you simply can’t get anywhere else. The mixture of being outside, breathing fresh air, and enjoying the scenery has a magical feeling that is indescribable. If you are itching to escape the walls of your home and share the green things you’ve grown, then it’s time to throw your very own garden party. Here are ten ways to host it and make it a success.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Rollinger (Flickr)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Rollinger (Flickr)

1. Get the Garden Ready

Now that things are looking green, you are going to want to show off your mad garden-growing skills. Lay down new bark for a clean look, mow the grass, trim the plants, and get rid of the weeds.

2. Choose a Color Scheme

Don’t worry about spending a fortune on decorations; the main displays are the ones growing all around you. Pick subtle colors that coordinate with your plants. Pastels and natural color palettes are the perfect touch to a garden party.

3. Prepare a Comfortable Space

You want your guests to be as comfortable as possible so they can fully enjoy the party. Provide enough seating for everyone who is coming, and set cushions on the chairs to make them softer.

4. Design a Table Centerpiece

The centerpiece is a great way to pull the entire garden party decor together. A bouquet of flowers in a vase will grab your guests’ attention and create a feeling of relaxation and beauty. Candles placed along tables for the evening will set the mood for a memorable night.

5. Block the Sun

I have been to a few garden parties where the lack of sun was exhausting. The only thing I wanted to do was leave the garden and make my way inside the air conditioned home. Providing shaded areas to escape the hot sun will keep your guests comfortable enough that they can enjoy being outside for the entire party duration.

6. Ward off Bugs

As the sun sets, you will be greeted with the nightly swarm of bugs. Candles and other natural repellents can keep bugs away from your food, out of your garden, and off your guests.

7. Grill up Some Food

A barbeque is a quick way to get tasty meat out to your friends and allow you to stay outside while you cook the food. Whether it is hot dogs, hamburgers, or kabobs, a grill makes it easy to get food out quickly.

8. Pour Drinks

Grab a cooler and fill it with ice. Throw in an assortment of drinks so your guests can all find something to suit their unique tastes.

9. Get out the Finger Foods

I love finger foods, and garden parties are the perfect place to serve them. Guests will love the chance to eat food right out of your garden, so take the opportunity to create a vegetable platter with all your freshly grown carrots, celery, peas, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and even peppers.

10. Have Fun!

Most importantly – have fun! It can be hard to sit back and enjoy the outdoors when you are trying to entertain guests, so let the garden do the entertaining. Follow these steps to prepare properly for your party so you can grab a cold drink, some snacks, and then relax.

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

Photo credit: The Design Files

An effective work space is attractive, organized and comfortable. Whether you work from home every day or just occasionally on nights and weekends, your home office should be designed to boost productivity. Avoid these five home office decorating blunders when setting up your space so you can work from home without getting distracted or uncomfortable.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

1. Choosing a stylish, but uncomfortable chair

If you plant to sit in your office chair for hours during the day, it’s necessary to choose a chair that is not only attractive, but also offers comfort. Look for an office chair that is adjustable, supportive, has armrests and, most importantly, comfortable cushions.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

2. Selecting the wrong-size desk

Before you start searching for an office desk, think carefully about how much surface space you’ll need. Are you strictly going to be working on your laptop? Or do you need space to write on papers as well? Knowing what you need from a desk beforehand will help you select the right size.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

3. Using overhead lighting…and nothing else

Your space is small, so installing an overhead light is good enough, right? Not exactly. You’ll also want to choose a lamp to illuminate your desk area, or you could consider track lighting or under-cabinet lighting, too. Without the proper lighting, you could strain your eyes or get headaches.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

4. Forgetting about storage

As time goes on, your home office is going to become more and more cluttered. You can get organized, however, if you choose furniture that has ample storage space. Everyone has different storage needs, but you might want to consider a combination of desk drawers, file cabinets and shelves.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

Photo credit: Coco + Kelley

5. Skimping on color and décor

When setting up a home office, many homeowners assume that decorating their office will only invite distraction while working. A desk plant and hanging artwork, however, can actually make an office feel inviting, warm and more comfortable. Just be careful not to overdo it as you don’t want to clutter your office.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a more effective workspace and become more productive at home.

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate a space with white walls

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: Vosgesparis

When it comes to interior design, white walls are often misunderstood. People tend to think of them as dull, when really they can be used to create an elegant or lively space. The key to designing such a space is knowing how to work with your white walls effectively. Whether you’re stuck with white walls as a renter or you’re simply ready to try something new, these three decorating ideas will help you design a space you’ll love.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: My Scandinavian Home

Contrast white walls with bright colors

White walls don’t have to be boring if you incorporate bright colors throughout the room. Instead of relying on your walls to create a colorful space, decorate using bold colors with high contrast and make the room pop. How you choose to add color is up to you. Furniture, rugs, curtains, light fixtures, wall art and pillows can all make an impact.

Decorate an all-white space

Use white walls to your advantage and take the look even further by creating an all-white room. When done correctly, all-white spaces are elegant and refreshing. To keep your all-white room from looking flat, use various shades of white throughout the room and rely heavily on texture to create depth. After a stressful or hectic day, an all-white room will feel soothing and help you to relax.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Bellacor Number: 545681

Use white walls as backdrop for artwork

If you love art or often create your own, use a white wall as a backdrop for your favorite pieces and create a gallery in your space. A white gallery wall is perfect because you have more flexibility when choosing artwork to hang. With a white backdrop, you don’t have to worry about colors clashing or overwhelming the room with too many.

White walls should be embraced, not dreaded. Try working with your white walls by using one of these decorating ideas, and you might find you actually prefer them.

By Wendy Weinert

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

With so many styles, designs and types of light fixtures to choose from, picking out the right one for your space is not always an obvious or easy choice. You can, however, improve your chances of finding lighting success by avoiding these three common mistakes:

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #1: Choosing a light fixture based on style over functionality

There are many beautiful and stylish light fixtures available that will improve your space’s appearance and enhance the overall look. Choosing a light fixture solely on its appearance, however, could leave you with less than optimal light output. The right fixture should be both stylish and functional, so consider your desired light output and keep it in mind when searching for a new light fixture.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #2: Selecting a light fixture without considering ceiling height

It’s important that your family and guests can walk around your home comfortably without needing to duck to avoid hitting their head. Keep these rules of thumb in mind when choosing a ceiling light (these rules only apply when hanging light fixtures over walking spaces):

  • Ceilings below eight feet: If you have a low ceiling and are not planning to install the light over a table or counter, it’s best to choose a flush-mount light fixture so taller people can walk around safely.
  • Ceilings between eight and ten feet: If your ceiling is slightly higher, choose either a flush-mount light or a semi-flush lights, which typically hang just a foot away from the ceiling.
  • Ceilings over ten feet: For high ceilings, it is often best to install a pendant or chandelier to light up your space more effectively.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #3: Relying too much on overhead lighting

Every room is different, but generally you’ll want to have a combination of task, accent and general ambient lighting to create a well-lit space. While you can install ceiling lights to provide the general overall lighting, be sure to also incorporate other types of light fixtures such as lamps or wall sconces.

Choosing a light fixture isn’t always easy, but avoiding these three mistakes will help you choose better lighting solutions so you can enjoy a home that is both stylish and functional.

By Wendy Weinert

Biggest Interior Designers of 2014

Like many people interested in interior design, I often browse the Internet for inspiration. One of my favorite things to do is view the portfolios of designers across the globe. It’s fun to look at the contrast of styles and the unique looks of mixing colors, patterns, and elements. As I look through photos, one thing is always obvious: Interior designers are not created equal. There are many that I dream will come into my home and add their spark of ingenuity to my walls — but others, well, I don’t think I would let them in the home of my worst enemy. They are that bad. Interior design is complex and is much more than just a bucket of paint, two lamps, and a couch. It is everything from the rug on the floor to the lights on the ceiling, and some designers have turned interior design into an art. While there are thousands of great designers across the country, there are a handful who are in a category of their own. Here are the five biggest interior designers of 2014.

Photo by Phil Manker (Flickr)

Photo by Phil Manker (Flickr)

Victoria Hagan

Victoria Hagan is a modern designer who adds a touch of cerebral atmosphere with classy furniture. While most modern rooms often feel cold and clinical, she uses colors and furniture to create warmth. She is described by The New York Times as “the most cerebral, the one bound to be influential” — it is obvious that her work is inspiring. I dream of sitting in one of her rooms and relaxing as I breathe in the freshness her style brings.

Steven Gambrel

Since I’m someone who loves bright colors in my home, Steven Gambrel is my personal favorite, and I am not the only one who thinks that. People adore his brave looks of adding emerald greens, deep blues, and even bright pinks into a room. He mixes colors, patterns, and fabrics in ways that only he can make look good. While his style focus is on high-gloss urbane and soigné country, he has the skills to attack any project.

Waldo Fernandez

As a favorite to Hollywood stars, Fernandez is a Danish Modern designer who takes the modern look to another level. His own style is recognized by his touch of natural woods combined with calming, neutral colors. His rooms are very laid-back with a hint of luxury laced throughout. I would love to curl up in a chair, read a book, and bask in the warmth of one of his rooms.

Robert Couturier

This designer has a style of his own and creates rooms that are unique to each of his clients. His work is so interesting to me, as he combines many styles for an eccentric and eclectic look. Every room is filled with patterns, unique lights, custom furniture, elegant curtains, and mind-blowing artwork. The time and energy he puts into every room is obvious in the details found on the walls, floors, ceiling, windows, and furniture.

Jeffrey Bilhuber

While he doesn’t focus on one particular style, his rooms all have a definite “Bilhuber” look. He takes a realistic approach and ensures that comfort and tailored class roll into the room together. People adore his style, which is filled with organization, warm colors, and unique furniture. A brief look through his photos makes it obvious why so many people are lining up for the opportunity to work with him. Interior designing is a skill that many seek but few achieve, and Bihuber is one of those designers who breathe success.

By Wendy Weinert

How to pull off an eclectic look in your space

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

Going eclectic is a great idea if you’ve collected an assortment of stylish furniture and decorative accessories over the years. While mixing styles is encouraged in the eclectic style though, it’s not a look where you can simply throw pieces together without some consideration. Here are three tips to keep in mind when designing an eclectic space:

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

1. Achieve the right mix of styles

To keep the room from appearing too chaotic, narrow your focus down to just three or four styles and avoid letting one style dominate the space. If you’re trying to create an eclectic room but are using mostly modern furniture, the remaining styles will look as though they don’t belong. Make sure there is a balance among the different styles so guests aren’t confused upon entering the room.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

2. Don’t fear accessories

In some styles, the overuse of accessories is considered a big no-no. This is not the case for eclectic homes, where filling your space with decorative accessories is actually encouraged. So rather than feature just one work of art you admire, hang up a group of four or five pieces of artwork together.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

3. Find ways to tie the look together

Unity is the key to designing an eclectic space. Without unity, your room will come off as being random and not put-together. To make sense of the mixture of styles, it’s important to tie the look together through colors and shapes. So if you have a red table in the room, look for ways to add that same color red throughout the room, even if it’s something small like a flower vase.

Eclectic style homes might be hard to pull off, but when done correctly, the look is often cozy and intriguing. Try putting together an eclectic room in your home and let guests be impressed by your skillful interior design skills!

By Wendy Weinert

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

You may not run a hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a comfortable space for visitors to enjoy. These five guest-bedroom essentials will ensure that your space is ready for company at any time of the year.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

1. A lamp

You’ve mastered the art of finding your bed in the dark, but your visitors are stumbling in an unfamiliar space. Help them out by placing a lamp next to the bed. A lamp is also nice for guests who like to read before falling asleep.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

Bellacor Number: 743169

2. Blackout curtains

If you want to give your guests the opportunity to sleep in, you’ll need blackout curtains to keep the room dark in the morning. When visitors are spending time in the room during the day, they can simply open the curtains and enjoy the sunshine.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

3. A bedside table

Bedside tables are convenient to have in any bedroom, but are especially nice for guests. With a bedside table, visitors can keep a glass of water, their glasses, a book or any other item they want within reach. You can even use the bedside table to offer magazines or popular books that you think the visitors might enjoy.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

Bellacor Number: 698763

4. A rug

If you have squeaky floors, guests might feel uncomfortable walking around in the morning. Cover your hardwood floor with a stylish rug to soften the noise and add visual appeal to your space. A rug is also a great way to cozy up your space, making it more comforting to guests.

5 guest-bedroom essentials to create a comfortable space for company

5. Extra bedding and pillows

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to sleeping. Some people like to sleep with five pillows, while others are content with just one. Some might get hot during the night whereas others are always cold. Provide extra bedding and pillows for your guests so they can sleep in whatever style they find most comfortable. It might be useful to have a storage chest nearby where guests can place any unwanted bedding.

Does your guest bedroom have these five essential items? Before new guests arrive, update your guestroom to create a comfortable and welcoming space.

By Wendy Weinert