Turn your cabin into a home away from home

Ah, the cabin life – so peaceful and quiet. As a Minnesotan, I know many people who own and vacation in their cabins throughout the year. It’s as if their cabins are a home away from home. In order to create a homelike environment, of course, certain decorative decisions need to be made. Consider adding these five essentials to your cabin and enjoy that home-sweet-home atmosphere even when you’re on vacation.

Pictures

It’s very rare to walk into a home and not see pictures of family and friends. If there are photographs you love but don’t have room for in the house (due to all of the other photos already being featured), display them in the cabin instead. Surrounding yourself with images of friends and family is an easy way to make any place feel more like home.

A comfy bed

Have you ever noticed that after a long vacation, you’re always happy to go back to your bed at home? Although you won’t be sleeping there every night, a comfortable bed in the cabin is a must. Make sure the mattress, blankets and pillows meet your comfort preferences and allow you to feel at home when you slip under the covers.

Decorative touches

It might seem silly to decorate a place that you only inhabit for a few weeks throughout the year, but it will make each stay much more enjoyable. Accessories like throw pillows, artwork and stylish light fixtures can give your cabin a more welcoming and comfortable appearance.

Personalitytowel rack

A space will never feel like home if it doesn’t reflect your personality in some way. Incorporate little bits of “you” and your family into the cabin’s interior design to create a space that is appealing and makes sense for you.

Warmth

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

No one wants a home that appears cold or uninviting. Cozy up your cabin with a fireplace, large rugs, snuggly throw blankets and warm colors. A little warmth can go a long way toward making a space feel more like home.

There’s no place like home, but that doesn’t mean your cabin can’t be comforting, too. Turn your cabin into a home away from home that you can escape to whenever you need a break.

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate a narrow hallway

Every room in your home has been carefully decorated and furnished to match your exact style. But what about the hallways? In my opinion, hallways are trickier to decorate, especially if they are narrow. Keep these tips in mind before you get started.

Keep it tidy

Cluttered hallways make it difficult to walk from one room to another. Keep everything tidy with a hallway bench or shelves. Since you’re furnishing a narrow hallway, it’s best to look for a design that isn’t too wide.

Decorate the walls

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Narrow hallways already have limited space, so why crowd it even more? While a bookcase or bench can keep your hallway organized, you don’t want to go overboard with the furniture and decor. Instead, try hanging up decorative art, pictures or mirrors to make your hallway pop.

Light it up

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

A long narrow hallway can look intimidating without proper lighting. Add as many light fixtures as you need to ensure that the hallway is evenly lit. This is also a chance to add more visual interest – I love seeing eye-catching pendants or wall sconces used in the hallway.

Paint with light colors

Photo Credit: Young House Love

Photo Credit: Young House Love

The general rule of thumb when decorating a small space is to paint the walls a light color. This is because dark colors can make a room appear smaller, while lighter shades do the opposite. If you like darker colors, use them for accents instead.

Even a narrow hallway can be stylish with the right decor and color scheme. Try incorporating these tips into your hallway’s design and love every inch of your home.

By Wendy Weinert

6 essentials for craft room creativity

Craft room

Having an entire room or area dedicated to crafts might seem unnecessary to some, but those people probably aren’t spending their afternoons or evenings working on Pinterest DIY projects. Crafting can get messy and often requires using many supplies that, when put away, occupy a lot of space. Consider setting up a craft space in your home and keep these essentials in mind when putting it together.

Surface space
Large crafting table

Photo credit: Everything Etsy

Almost every project you take on will require a table for surface space. Make sure the table you choose is large enough to accommodate you and your project – a small side table isn’t going to cut it.

Storage space
Craft room storage

Photo credit: 44th Street Fabric

Like I said before, crafting can get messy. You can make the process a little more organized, however, by keeping the supplies you don’t need for a certain project stored away. Storage space will also ensure that your craft room will be tidy when it’s not in use. Shelves, drawers and boxes can all come in handy.

Inspiration
Wall art as craft room inspiration

Photo credit: Blog de decoração Perfeita Ordem

A creative environment is important. After all, this is a craft room! Hang up artwork that inspires you and will help you get in touch with your inner artist. A little creative touch can be just what you need to produce your best work.

Music

Music can also help boost your creative mood. Create a playlist with music that helps you feel most inspired, whether it’s jazz, pop, rock or classical music. Not only will you feel more creative, but music also makes crafting more fun!

Great lighting

Any work space, whether it’s a craft room or a home office, requires excellent lighting. Along with general overhead lighting, try wall sconces, a pendant or a lamp next to your table for task lighting.

A comfortable chair
Comfortable craft chair

Photo credit: Pinterest

You might not be sitting down for eight hours like you do at work, but it’s still important that your craft chair is comfortable. Look for chairs with padded seats and a supportive frame so you can craft without feeling sore.

There are many ways to create a craft room. As long as you have a table surface, storage space, a comfy seat and some inspiration, you can easily get in touch with your creative side and get to work!

By Wendy Weinert

 

Prepare your home for back to school with these 5 ideas

School’s almost in session! Now’s the time to start preparing your home for another busy year. Here are five ways you can organize and set up your home for back-to-school success.

1. Create a homework nook

Click on the picture to see how this desk flips open.

A dedicated study area can help your student stay focused at home, but you don’t have to turn an entire room into a homework station. I’ve found that an unused hallway space or room corner can be the perfect spot. Be sure to provide essentials like task lighting, counter space and a comfortable chair.

2. Seek out smarter storage solutionsdoor organizer

Trying to streamline your morning routine? Start with organization. A hanging shoe organizer in the closet, a storage bench in the mudroom and additional shelves in the bathroom can improve efficiency and help you and your kids easily find personal items in the morning.

3. Rethink bedroom designsblue bedroom

Quality sleep is essential for studying and feeling energized. Consider whether your kids’ bedrooms are designed to promote healthy sleep. An uncomfortable mattress, electronics in the bedroom and even the wrong color palette can reduce sleep quality. According to a study published in the Daily Mail, blue and yellow are the best colors for sleep, while purple is the worst.

4. Have a designated spot for your keys

I can’t count the number of times I have been late because of a lost set of keys. To prevent this from happening to you, pick a designated spot for your keys, such as a hook on the wall.

5. Create a centralized calendarcalendar dry erase

With so many activities, events, doctor appointments and social engagements going on during the school year, you’re going to need a system to keep all of the schedules straight. Hang a centralized calendar in the kitchen, one that has big enough squares so you can write down several reminders for the same day.

School will be here before you know it. Start off the year right with a few organizational and design changes in your home.

By Wendy Weinert

Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

How to pick the perfect headboard for your bedroom

I’m sure many of you would agree with me when I say that a bed simply doesn’t look complete without a headboard. To me, headboards are the finishing touch. They easily enhance a room’s style.

While headboards are essential to your bedroom’s overall design, not just any headboard will do. Keep these factors in mind to find a headboard that complements your room.

Ceiling height
Photo Credit: Design 59

Photo Credit: Design 59

When buying any piece of furniture, you’ll have to consider the room’s size and make sure that the sofa, dresser or table is scaled accordingly. When buying a headboard, the room’s ceiling height also needs to be taken into consideration. If you have a low ceiling, a tall headboard would look out of place and overwhelming in the room. With a high ceiling, you can choose either a low or tall headboard, depending on your preference.

Materials

If you like to sit up in your bed to watch TV or read a book, you might want to consider an upholstered headboard. Upholstered headboards offer plenty of variety, allowing you to choose from different colors and patterns to suit your room and personality. That being said, not every room would benefit from fabric upholstery. Depending on your room’s style or personal preference, you might be better off with a wooden or metal headboard. If that’s the case, you can still sit up in bed; just use pillows for additional comfort.

Your room’s style

As I said earlier, your room’s style can help you determine the appropriate headboard for the space. If your room has a romantic style, choose a headboard with soft curves. A rustic or country-style bedroom would look best with a weathered wooden headboard. If you prefer a modern style, consider a black metal frame.

Does your bedroom appear incomplete? A headboard might be the missing piece to create a finished look and tie the room together!

By Wendy Weinert

Mixing patterns 101: How to effectively mix and match patterns in your home

Mixing patterns in the same room can lend a designer look to your space, but doing so can also create a chaotic appearance depending on the patterns you choose. Read on to learn how you can pull off the look and add a designer touch to your home.

Photo Credit: Centsational Style

Photo Credit: Centsational Style

The number of patterns you choose for your room can influence whether they work together or not. Odd numbers tend to look more appealing, so incorporate a minimum of three patterns in each space. While it’s not a hard and fast rule, the 60-30-10 strategy can make decorating easier. With the 60-30-10 approach, 60 percent of the patterns will be your favorite one out of the three, 30 percent your second favorite and use the third pattern (10 percent) as an accent.

Photo Credit: The Southern Thing

Photo Credit: The Southern Thing

Color is also important when mixing and matching patterns. An easy way to ensure that various patterns will create a cohesive look is to find patterns that feature the same colors. Polka dots and stripes can go together well when matching colors are involved.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want to mix colors as well as patterns, make sure the colors are at least the same intensity. Vibrant hues might not work well with soft pastels.

My last piece of advice? Use your instincts. You might have to play around with different patterns to create a look you feel good about, but your gut will tell you whether the mixed designs are stylish or just a mess.

By Wendy Weinert

Decorate the natural way: A guide to natural-fiber rugs

Photo credit: Iridescence

Photo credit: Iridescence

I’ve noticed more and more people choosing natural-fiber rugs lately. If you’ve read some of my earlier entries, you already know that I am a fan of natural rugs (although synthetic rugs have their place, too). Natural-fiber rugs are durable, stylish and depending on which fiber you choose, they can also be very affordable. If you’re considering a natural-fiber rug for your home, use this guide to narrow down your options and choose the best material for your space.

Wool: If you’re searching for a soft, high-quality rug, wool is a great option. Wool rugs are soft, durable and stain-resistant, which makes them well-suited for high-traffic areas.wool rug

Jute: Jute is the softest fiber you can choose and also often the least expensive. It is also much less durable than other natural fibers, though. Choose a jute rug for low- or medium-traffic areas.

Bamboo: They might not be as soft as other rugs, but bamboo rugs are long-lasting and great for areas like the entryway. Bamboo rugs also feature a unique, earthy style that many homeowners love.

Hemp: Hemp, also known as mountaingrass, is a renewable and pesticide-free fiber. If you prefer colorful rugs with patterns, consider using a hemp rug as a layering piece.Cotton: If you like the look and feel of wool but don’t want to pay a higher price, cotton rugs can be a great alternative. Keep in mind, however, that cotton rugs aren’t as durable and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Seagrass: Most natural-fiber rugs are absorbant, making them bad for high-moisture areas. Seagrass, however, grows in marshes and can repel water. These seagrass rugs are also very durable and can handle years of wear.

Silk: Silk is very soft and gives rugs a shiny appearance. If you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your space, a silk rug is a great choice.

Leather: Leather rugs bring texture and a unique style to any room. Use a leather rug to give your space a rustic appearance.leather rug

Depending on which one you choose, natural-fiber rugs can add style, warmth, color and function to your home. Before you buy one, consider where you will be placing the rug so you can choose the fiber that is best suited for the space.

By Wendy Weinert

7 Design Hacks for Any Space

Creating a space of your own is a lot of work. If you’re dreading a big move, or a little redecorating, because of all the arranging and rearranging that goes with it, take a look at these design hacks that make big projects simple.

1. Determine your focal point.
Fireplace - living room focal point

Photo credit: Casa Vogue Brasil

Whether it’s the TV, fireplace, window, or your favorite couch, decide where you want your attention focused. Once you know what to highlight, your arrangement will fall into place.

2. Use bed sheets to visualize how much space your furniture will need.

Fold bed sheets to the size of your furniture and place them around your space. You will discover which arrangement works best without having to move heavy pieces all over your room.

3. Lay your rug down first. Seriously.

If you’re using an area rug, put that in your space before you arrange your furniture. You’d be surprised how many people forget this.

4. Paper templates make hanging wall décor a breeze.
Paper templates for gallery wall

Photo credit: Rue Magazine

Cut out paper replicas of your wall décor and tape them where you want to hang your pieces. This saves your wall from unnecessary holes and helps you make sure your pieces are level.

5. Place your largest piece of furniture first.

This piece typically faces the focal point, and is the most difficult to move. Once your biggest item is in your space it will be easy to fill in the space around it.

6. Utilize dead spaces.
Console table behind sofa

Photo credit: Pinterest

Place a console table behind a sofa or stack a few decorative storage boxes in an odd corner. Your function should extend to every corner of your space, and accent furniture is a great way to add some unique character to your room.

7. Make sure there is a table near every seat.

Place an accent table by every seat

No one likes struggling to find a place to put their beverages. Consider arranging your living room so tables are easy to reach from all seats. Your future self will thank you. !

Keep these tricks in mind for an easy transition from a space to your space.

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

 

Helpful home tips for when you’re away on vacation

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Summer isn’t over yet, and I’m sure many of you are still preparing for your family vacation. Before you take off and enjoy a week of relaxation and sightseeing, follow these tips to keep your home safe and ready for your return.

1. Suspend your mail and newspaper

Photo credit: Pinterest

Unless you’ve made a habit of not bringing in the mail everyday, a stuffed mailbox will tell others that you’re out of town and might not be back for a while. Put your mail and newspaper services on hold until you get back.

2. Invest in timers

Once again, you don’t want to make it obvious that you’re on vacation, and people might notice if your lights are off all week. Consider investing in a timer that you can program to turn the lights on and off during your absence.

3. Keep your plants watered

You’ve worked hard to keep your plants alive and thriving. Don’t let them start wilting now! Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by your house and water your plants throughout the week.

4. Unplug appliances

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

You’re not going to be home all week, so you might as well save some energy. Unplug all of your appliances before you take off. This will also ensure that you don’t leave anything on while you’re away.

5. Clean the house before you go

Vacations are relaxing, but they can also be exhausting. When you get back, you’re not going to want to come home to a messy house. Take some time to ensure everything is in order and cleaned before you go. There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house after a fun-filled, but tiring week!

By Wendy Weinert