5 ways to boost energy in the home

Feeling drained? I bet I’m not the only one who could use a little more energy to get through the day. The good news is that there are many techniques we can use to boost energy, starting with our home’s interior setup. With a few changes in the home, you may not even need that afternoon cup of coffee anymore! Here are a few strategies you can try:

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1. Design your room to encourage sleep

There are people who say they can function just fine on four hours of sleep, but I believe in the power of a good night’s sleep. If you’re tossing and turning at night or having trouble falling into a deep sleep, consider which factors could be keeping you awake. Is it an uncomfortable mattress? Electronics? I know it’s relaxing to watch TV in bed, but in reality it could be diminishing your quality of sleep!

clarendon

2. Add a stimulating color

Some rooms can provide energy just by being painted a certain color. If you have a home gym, consider painting it a shade of red or orange to feel energized. Other rooms may benefit from just a pop of color, such as the living room.

3. Let as much natural light in as possible

I always feel more energized when outside on a nice day. Why? Well, the natural light is one reason. Wherever you can, let the natural light inside your home. In rooms that don’t have large windows, be sure to install an adequate amount of lighting.

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4. Improve your home’s air quality

Don’t you just love breathing in fresh air? When the weather is nice, open your windows to let the fresh air inside. You can also purify the air by changing air filters regularly and by decorating with green houseplants.

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KidKraft Espresso Wall Storage Unit

5. Stay organized

I find it hard to feel energized when my house is a mess. Get rid of the clutter and work to stay organized so you can feel relaxed and full of energy in your home.

We need all the energy we can get. Try some of these ideas in your home and see if they work for you!

By Wendy Weinert

What’s Bright Now: 4 Ways to Add LED to Your Home

We’ve rounded up some great ideas to help you induct LED lighting into your abode—and the best part is that you don’t need to be an expert to tap into lighting industry’s coolest, cutting-edge technology. Here’s a short list of exciting new ways to update your living spaces with LED fixtures, from effortless and affordable to artistic and innovative.

1. Make the switch

Changing an ordinary household light bulb is just about the easiest task imaginable, and the same holds true with replacing common lamping options like incandescent or compact fluorescent with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Once you make the trade, the benefits are endless.

LED Lightbulbs

LED light bulbs

Unlike traditional bulbs, which emit light and heat all directions, LEDs provide bright directional light while remaining cool to the touch. They’re available for all types of fixtures, ranging from ceiling, wall and portable luminaires to outdoor residential and landscape lighting. They use less energy and most last approximately 50 thousand hours before losing intensity. This means you could change a bulb once and—depending on usage—forget about it for the next 20 to 30 years.

2. Mix it up

Want to give a room an instant makeover? Update one or more of your lighting fixtures, and it will change the way you see the entire room.

Access Lighting Tungsten Brushed Steel LED Mini Pendant

Access Lighting Tungsten Brushed Steel LED Mini Pendant with Opal Glass

Access Lighting offers more than 300 pendant lights to choose from, including an abundant selection of energy-efficient LED options. A trio of mini-pendants—like the mini pendants from Access Lighting’s Tungsten series—could transform a kitchen island into an uber-functional modern workspace and spice up your décor. (You can’t go wrong with chic opal glass and a brushed steel finish).

 Justice Design Group LED Porcelina semi-flush ceiling light fixture

Justice Design Group LED Porcelina

With Justice Design Group, you can choose from a range of options—including shade material, shade finish and metal structure—to get a customized luminaire for any décor. To add a warm, gracious note to a cozy nook or dining room, a semi-flush mount from Justice Design Group’s Porcelina™ creates just the right effect. And now that dimmable LED is now an option for thousands of products offered by Justice Design, you can now adjust the light for a bright family brunch or a softly lit romantic dinner for two.

3. Go bold at home

Some fixtures illuminate. Others enlighten. Voilà!

Sonneman 16 Light Lattice Square Pendant

Sonneman 16 Light Lattice Square Pendant

Designers like modern lighting pioneer Robert Sonneman work with future-forward materials like acrylic to create new shapes and unexpected effects. Uniting LED-technology with a sculptural composition, Sonneman’s 16-Light Lattice Square Pendant transcends functionality to create a thoroughly modern artistic statement.

Corbett Illusion LED Sconce

Corbett Illusion Silver Leaf LED Sconce

As a two-time recipient of the coveted ARTS Award for “Lighting Manufacturer of the Year,” Corbett Lighting has achieved international renown for luminaires with elegant lines, stylized materials and jewelry-inspired details. The collection ranges from small yet glamorous LED-stunners like the Tango One-Light Pendant to others driven by opulent excess like this wall sconce from Corbett’s Illusion collection. Covered in Silver Leaf with Polished Stainless Accents, this six-light fixture’s a made-you-look-marvel that dazzles, even before you flip the switch.

4. Take it outside

Troy Bronze Deck Light

Troy Natural Bronze LED Micro Deck-Light

Once you’ve transformed your home’s interior, perhaps you’re ready to take on the biggest challenge—the exterior. A light at the front door is ubiquitous, and by adding additional LED fixtures to accentuate the architecture and landscape, your residence can shine with all the drama of a Rembrandt.

Troy Lighting has been making sophisticated and original hand-forged iron and solid brass fixtures since 1963. The G243 Bronze Deck-Light blends well with numerous design themes, making it a popular outdoor LED Micro-Light.

CSL LED Steplight

CSL LED Steplight

Illuminate your world, one step at a time.  One option is CSL’s LED Steplights Collection, which includes versatile designs and requires zero maintenance. They blend in seamlessly with nearly any environment, completely changing the way you see it.

By Wendy Weinert

 

The tiny house movement: what it is and why it’s so popular

Tiny house

Photo credit: Hooked on Houses

Lately I’ve been hearing or reading a lot about “tiny houses” (also called “small houses”). It has made me curious, so I wanted to take the time to learn more about what these tiny houses are and why so many people are talking about them.

It seems that a tiny house is exactly what its name implies. Several sources define a tiny house as being less than 1,000 square feet, but that’s generous considering many who build or buy one choose to go as small as 400 square feet or less. Although the new trend is in no way taking over, the small house movement is growing in popularity; many Americans are now choosing to downsize or start their life in these tiny homes.

Floor plans of a tiny house

251 sq. ft. of living space
Photo credit: Hooked on Houses

The question is, “Why?” Why are people choosing to live their lives in such small spaces? Well, there are many reasons, but the biggest ones are because of financial concerns, environmental impact and the desire for freedom. Tiny homes are a much more affordable and sustainable living solution, and many people use them to travel. They are, after all, a much more comfortable way of moving from place to place than an RV.

Although I’m not ready to pack up my home and move into a tiny house just yet, I think there is a lot of good in the movement. It’s an adjustment for sure, but many creative architects and designers have managed to make their small houses feel open and even spacious. It’s all about choosing your furniture and accessories carefully. A futon, for example, can be a great substitute for a couch or sofa in one of these tiny houses, as they are typically smaller and serve a dual purpose. When decorating, look for accessories that make an impact so you can still enjoy style with less decor.

Kichler small ceiling fan

Perfect ceiling fan for a small space

 

What are your thoughts on the tiny house movement? Do you think you could live in such a limited space? Write a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

 

The Perfect Gift for Your Next Party

Summer brings lots of pool parties, birthday parties and family events. If you are the one hosting, the right décor and design is often top of mind, leaving the gifts to figure out later. This year, give a gift that is one-of-a-kind. If you are in a rush or can’t find the perfect gift, we have a few suggestions for you!

Consider Wall Decor

Wall décor is not only for adults but is a great gift for kids as well! No matter what your style is, wall decals from RoomMates make decorating easy and fun! Featuring your favorite licensed art like Minnie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Winnie the Pooh and Disney Pixar Cars, kids can bring their walls to life with their favorite characters and designs. (Wall decals by RoomMates also offer a wide selection of wall quotes, trees & branches and floral décor for adults). The best part is these wall decals are peel and stick. No sticky residue gets left on your walls! Plus, temporary decorating is great for kids since their favorite characters change so frequently!

Wall decor makes a nice gift if attending a child’s birthday party that has theme! The Frozen line is especially popular and is a special gift to give at a Frozen themed birthday party. What little girl wouldn’t want to open up her very own giant Elsa and hang her right up on her bedroom wall?

RoomMates Gift idea- Elsa

And one of our favorite reasons to give wall décor as a gift, it pairs well with bedroom themes. If the child’s bedroom décor is based on Mickey Mouse, giving a giant decal of Mickey or Mickey and his friends, just adds to the collection. Plus, after the décor is hung, it makes a nice bold statement on the wall.

RoomMates Gift idea- Mickey cropped

Personalized Wall Art

A cool spin on wall decals, give a custom wall decal for a gift that is really memorable. RoomMates custom wall decals offer the ability to personalize your own wall sticker. Use one of their premade templates and add your name or phrase. A great gift for any child, there is nothing that brings a room to life than a personalized peel and stick decal that says “Sasha’s Room.”  Like the wall décor line, customizable wall art is also removable and reusable!

RoomMates Gift idea- Personalized

Children receive so many toys. Consider a gift that is out of the box and fun! Remember wall décor is child friendly! We particularly like this kind of gift because of the application process! It is nice for the child to decorate together with an adult and be amazed by the peel and stick of the decal on the wall as they move it from wall to wall.

Consider something out of the box the next time you give a gift!

 

Jessica Toutsis

About Jessica Toutsis

Jessica Toutsis is the Digital Marketing Manager for Roommatesdecor.com is passionate about blogging, all things Web, and of course wall decals! Her expertise lies around content development, as well as SEO and social media and she frequently writes about home decor, re-purposing and home organization. To read more of Jessica’s blog posts, follow the RoomMates blog and add Jessica on Google+

How to create a welcoming porch

I don’t know about you, but I want my home to feel welcoming to guests. A welcoming home means that friends and family will feel more comfortable during a visit and may even mean that they will be anticipating their next stay! While every room in the home can be decorated to feel inviting, the best place to start is actually outside, since the front porch is the first “room” guests will see. Here are some of my favorite ideas for welcoming guests into a home:

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Offer a seat

I like to think of the front porch as being an outdoor living room, where you can socialize with close friends and family while enjoying the nice weather. A porch swing is a popular choice for kids and adults alike, but if your space isn’t big enough you can also seat guests on a smaller patio chair.

 

porch blog- rug

Photo credit: Pinterest

Make it cozy with a rug

A rug instantly makes any room I’m in feel more cozy. You probably use a rug to cozy up the living room, so why not do the same for the front porch? A welcome mat can also look inviting, especially if you’re working with limited space.

 

porch blog- lighting 2

Photo credit: Pinterest

Add light for nighttime

It’s hard to create a welcoming vibe when your front porch is completely dark. Plus, evenings are often the best time to enjoy a front porch – when the weather isn’t so hot. Try using a couple of outdoor wall lights to invite guests outdoors.

 

porch blog- painted door

Photo credit: Pinterest

Paint the door

You don’t have to paint the front door to make it welcoming, but I love the idea of a a bright-colored door! If you have a small front porch, this can be an easy way to add color and style without cluttering the area.

 

porch blog- final touches

Photo credit: Pinterest

Complete the look with a few final touches

A couple of potted plants, a few accent pillows on your swinging chair and a hanging sign on the door – these types of finishing touches are perfect for tying the welcoming look together.

Does your front porch invite people into your home? If not, try out a few of these welcoming ideas!

By Wendy Weinert

Bring personality to your dining room by mixing and matching chairs

 

Mismatched dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Who says your dining chairs have to match? While it’s perfectly okay to purchase a dining table and chairs as a set, you could be missing an opportunity to create a unique look for your space. Mixing and matching chairs allows you to add some fun and personality to your dining room, which is especially useful if you don’t have a lot of space to decorate.

Keep in mind as you mix chairs that there still needs to be a unifying element tying them together. Here are four unifying characteristics to consider:

Color

Even if every chair around your table consists of a different design, the overall look will still appear put together and intentional if they all feature the same color. It may be difficult to find chairs that all have the exact same shade, but you can always paint them if the chairs aren’t upholstered.

Mismatched blue dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Material 

Just like with color, you can place different chairs in the dining room that are made up of the same material, such as wood, to create a unique, cohesive look. You don’t even have to use just chairs. Consider placing a bench on one or more sides of the table and let guests be impressed by your creativity.

Mismatched wood dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Patterns

If you prefer upholstered chairs, look for different chairs that feature the same pattern. For example, if you like stripes, you can surround your table with chairs that all have the same striped pattern. Or you can mix striped chairs with chairs that have no pattern at all to keep the look from appearing too busy overall.

Mismatched upholstered chairs featuring the same pattern

Photo credit: Pinterest

Style

Every decorating style consists of unique elements, so use those elements to mix and match your dining chairs. For a traditional dining room, you can use the style’s characteristics – such as detailed carvings and dark wood tones – to find unity among your chairs. If you have a modern dining room, seek out chairs that are simple and sleek.

Modern mismatched chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

If your dining room is lacking the excitement you would like, have some fun mixing and matching dining chairs to create visual interest. With a quirky setup, you’ll never have to worry about your style being bland or predictable!

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 home Feng Shui tips to create positive energy

5 Feng Shui elements

Photo credit: Free People blog

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that has made its way into Western interior design. When using Feng Shui, the goal is to design a home that aligns with who you are as a person. It is also a way to ensure a space allows your energy (or “chi”) to remain positive and constant. And who doesn’t want that?

You don’t have to be a Feng Shui expert to apply some of its principles in the home. I’ve gathered five easy tips that even beginners can use!

1. Get rid of the clutter

We’re all guilty of creating clutter now and then – I know I am. Living in a cluttered home can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. An easy way to keep the junk from piling up is to do a quick de-clutter session once a week.

Decluttered Living room

2. Ensure quality lighting

Dim lighting can drain our energy, so make sure each room has the right amount of light. For me, the best source of light is natural light. Installing various light sources is necessary, of course, so you can have light  during evenings or in rooms without big windows.

Natural light is the best source of light

Photo credit: Home Adore

3. Keep electronics out of the bedroom

This is hard, I know, but quality sleep and relaxation is essential for creating good energy. Not only does a TV or computer in the room tempt you to stay up later than planned, but electronics can also diminish your quality of sleep.

Keep electronics out of the bedroom4. Let nature in

Nature is soothing and the five elements of Feng Shui (wood, earth, fire, water and metal) have a lot to do with the outdoors. Wooden furniture pieces, plants and an indoor water fountain are all great ways to add nature to your home.

Bring nature inside

5. Choose colors carefully

In Feng Shui, colors are important. For example, if I want a room to be relaxing, I could use the color blue to create a sense of calm. Here is a useful guide I found for choosing colors in Feng Shui.

Feng Shui Color

Photo credit: Know Feng Shui

After applying some of these basic Feng Shui techniques, you might start to notice a change in how you feel at home. Feng Shui can help you feel happier, relaxed and more energized.

By Wendy Weinert

 

The trend that’s here to stay: ombre and interior design

The trend that's here to stay: ombre and interior design

Photo credit: Etsy

Ombre became a popular trend on the runway last year and now the look can be seen everywhere, from hair styles to cake designs and even interior design. The word ombre describes when colors gradually fade into each other, usually from light to dark. For example, in fashion you might see an ombre skirt that starts white but gradually shifts shades into bright pink. This popular trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and it’s easy to see why. The look can be casual, sophisticated or simply fun depending on the colors you choose and the shading technique used. Here are some ideas for incorporating ombre into your own home’s interior design.

1. Paint the walls 

If you want to go bold, an ombre wall is the way to go. You may have to hire a professional to get the look just right, or you could also consider hanging up ombre wallpaper. If you like the dip-dye look but would rather make a subtle statement, start with a dark color of your choice on the bottom. Have it gradually change to a lighter shade within that same color family, rather than white.

The trend that's here to stay: ombre and interior design

2. Incorporate ombre with bedding or curtains

You might like ombre now, but if you think you’d only enjoy it for a year or two, try to incorporate the look into accessories that can be switched out easily, such as your curtains or bedspread. Decorating with trendy accessories allows you to keep your home up to date on all of the latest styles.

The trend that's here to stay: ombre and interior design

3. Update your furniture

Even furniture can feature the ombre style. Add a new chair in the living room that features the dip-dye style or give an old dresser new life by following this fun DIY ombre project.

Ombre may be the latest craze, but it doesn’t look like it’s going out of style anytime soon. Use any of these ideas to freshen up your home with ombre and give your space a new look!

By Wendy Weinert

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

During the summer season, people often head to their cottage or cabin to take a break from the ordinary and enjoy a relaxing weekend. With the right interior design, you can enjoy that cottage-like coziness in your home every day. Consider these five decorating tips to get started.

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

1. Bring the outdoors in 

Cottages are typically set up in a quiet, scenic area. Even if you live in a large city, you can use natural elements and decor to enjoy the soothing qualities of the outdoors. Find furniture made from materials such as wicker and decorate your home with fresh flowers to design a space that allows you to feel relaxed.

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

2. Find a few antiques 

The wicker chairs you use in the living room will lend a casual, cozy feel to your interior. You can take the look further with antique furniture or accessories that you’ve received as a family heirloom or found at a local antique store. A few antiques here and there will also add an elegant touch to the cottage look.

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

3. Layer with blankets, rugs and pillows

In order for your home to feel like a cottage, it needs to be cozy. Use a combinations of throw blankets, rugs and accent pillows wherever you can to add warmth in the rooms and to create a comfortable space.

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

4. Throw in a splash of color

The cottage style typically consists of neutral, light colors. You can, of course, add a pop of color to liven up a room or make it appear more cheerful. Incorporate a color that makes you happy, such as yellow or blue, into accessories like your pillows or a lamp.

Cozy up your space with a cottage-style interior

5. Add a fireplace

Nothing adds coziness to a home better than a fireplace, and it doesn’t have to be the middle of winter to enjoy one. Install a fireplace in the living room for the whole family to enjoy on a chilly night.

Wish you could get away for a weekend? What if you could rejuvenate right at home? With a cottage-style interior, you can feel cozy and relaxed any day of the wee

By Wendy Weinert

 

What your home says about you

What your home says about you

You may not realize it, but your home says a lot about who you are as a person. So, does your home reflect the true you? When family, friends or neighbors stop by for a visit, here are just a few of the things they might learn about you simply by walking through your home:

What your home says about you

Interests

Do you love to travel? Is music your biggest passion? Share your interests through your home’s decorations and accessories. Display as decor the souvenirs you’ve acquired on your different trips. If your large music collection is stuffed in storage boxes, set up a shelves where you can feature it instead. Meaningful decor will not only display your passions with others, but it will also help you design a home that allows you to feel happy in your surroundings.

What your home says about you

Values

Take some time to think about your personal values and the things in life most important to you. If you value your relationships with family and friends, consider displaying pictures or handmade gifts to highlight those relationships. Values like leading a simple lifestyle can also be shown by designing an open, uncluttered space.

What your home says about you

Organization

Some people can’t stand clutter while others feel a little clutter here and there is actually more comfortable. Guests will typically pick up on the level of organization you prefer based on your home’s decorating style. For example, the eclectic style would come off as much more laidback than an ultra-sleek modern environment.

What your home says about you

Personality

The colors, patterns, textures and styles you choose can say a lot about your personality. If you consider yourself a bold, adventurous person, you might share that with others by choosing brighter colors and louder designs. If you are someone who likes to be practical, you might prefer to design a space that has a more timeless look.

Consider what others might learn about you by touring your home and determine whether it paints an accurate picture. A home that reflects who you are as a person is a space where you will feel more comfortable living.

By Wendy Weinert