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

 

9 things you don’t want for a “Home Sweet Home”

9 things you don't want for a "Home Sweet Home"

Turning a house into a home takes time, but the end result is worth the effort. When you feel at home in your space, it becomes a place of refuge. A place where you can go to feel relaxed, happy and refreshed. Allow yourself to enjoy a “Home Sweet Home” by focusing on your interior’s setup and avoiding these nine design problems.

1. Bad lighting: Lighting should always be one of the first elements of the room’s design that you consider. Use multiple light sources in each room to create a space that is well lit without being too harsh.

2. Uncomfortable furniture: With so many designs available today, you should never have to sacrifice comfort for style.

3. Tacky wall art: The wall art you bought in college may have been fine for dorm life, but it just looks cheap and tacky hanging in your nice home. Replace it with a more sophisticated alternative, or use wallpaper to add visual interest.

4. A cluttered interior: A cluttered home will make you feel stressed. Make sure every personal belonging has its place and get rid of unnecessary junk.

5. Cheap furnishings: You might save some money on the initial purchase, but cheap furniture will wear down more quickly, forcing you to replace it more often. Instead, invest in quality pieces you can enjoy for a long time.

9 things you don't want for a "Home Sweet Home"

6. An undecided style: Your home looks traditional, but there are some contemporary elements that stick out. Choose a particular style that you want your home to represent and stick to it when purchasing new furniture or decor.

7. A cramped space: Clutter isn’t the only culprit of feeling cramped in your space. Paint small rooms light colors and use mirrors to make them appear larger.

9 things you don't want for a "Home Sweet Home"

8. An unwelcoming entryway: You want to feel happy every time you walk through your front door. Make sure it is well lit, and add a few decorative pieces to create a cheerful appearance.

9. A catalog design: Instead of setting up your room to match the store’s catalog, use your unique style to guide your purchase decisions. Setting up a home to reflect your personality is the easiest way to turn your house into home sweet home.

By Wendy Weinert

The modern floral: why it’s not just your grandmother’s print anymore

The modern floral: why it's not just your grandmother's print anymore

Photo credit: BHG

You bring fresh flowers into your home all of the time to add color, beauty and energy to your space. As soon as someone suggests decorating with a floral print, though, you cringe a little and remember the wallpaper in your grandmother’s old home. Like many trends from your grandmother’s time, floral prints went out of style and the look became dated. However, just like many fads from the past, floral prints are making a comeback. This time around, you can choose from modern and elegant designs to complement your contemporary interior.

The modern floral: why it's not just your grandmother's print anymore

The big and bold floral

To put a modern twist on the traditional floral print, many designers are giving it a bolder look by featuring just one large flower in an eye-catching color. Decorating with a bold flower graphic will take out any of the “granny” vibes outdated floral prints tend to give off, so you don’t have to worry about living in a tacky home.

The modern floral: why it's not just your grandmother's print anymore

Photo credit: Etsy

The black and white floral

People have this idea of floral prints as being too girly, but that’s not always the case with today’s designs. If you’re decorating a room that you want to keep looking fairly neutral, pick out a simple color scheme like white and black. The contrasting colors will look great in your modern home and won’t make your interior design appear overwhelmingly feminine.

The modern floral: why it's not just your grandmother's print anymore

The understated floral

If you’re still a little hesitant to rock a floral print in your home, start small with an understated design such as the one shown in this floral etched glass urn table lamp. The elegant details give the lamp character, and you won’t have to worry about the floral design overtaking your space.

Keep your home energized all year long with a modern floral print. If you select the right design, a floral upholstered chair or rug can be the perfect addition to your space.

floral

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

You’ve set up a coffee table in front of the sofa, a pendant light is hung up over your kitchen island and a large area rug is covering your hardwood floors. In interior design, there are many patterns that homeowners follow when setting up their space. While these unwritten guidelines can help you design a functional space, they can also make your home appear too predictable if you’re not careful. Spice up your bland interior with these five traditional decor items. Although the products themselves are not unique, the designs are; in fact, they just might give your home the personality it needs to stand out.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique
1. Arteriors Home Vern Rusted Iron and Jute Rope Wrapped Lamp

With jute rope featured on the base, this design puts a nautical twist on the traditional table lamp. Now you can get the task lighting you need in the bedroom or living room and still give your space an interesting look.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

2. Troy Sausalito Five-Light Drum Pendant    

Almost every kitchen that has an island also has a pendant light above it. This light fixture gives the traditional linen-shade pendant a boost by adding an elegant iron cage finished in silver and gold tones.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

3. Modway Furniture Transparent Coffee Table in Clear  

Forget about the traditional wooden coffee table. If you have a modern or contemporary interior, use this glass table to enhance the style and add a unique element to the room.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

4.  2-Day Designs Wine Barrel Side Table  

Furniture with history always makes a great conversation piece. Combining old-world charm and modern lines, this former wine barrel has been re-purposed into a beautiful accent table to give your home personality.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

5. Surya Rugs Fallon Gray Rectangular  

Large traditional area rugs often feature elaborate details and a variety of rich colors. This elegant rug instead has a simple design and a two-tone color scheme to fit in with contemporary homes.old world charm

Does your interior look the same as every one else’s? A few great unique pieces here and there can be just what your space needs to gain a fresh new look and impress your friends.

 

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

Kara Paslay Designs

It’s your turn to host movie night this month. Are you ready to put a new spin on your monthly tradition? Taking your movie night outdoors is an easy way to change things up and offer a new experience to guests. To make the evening enjoyable for everyone, keep these helpful tips in mind while planning the event.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

1. Let guests help pick the movie

You might like horror films or romantic comedies, but that doesn’t mean your guests like the same ones. Let your friends have some input regarding what movie you watch by compiling a list of suggestions and asking them to pick their top three. Then you can pick the movie (or movies) with the most votes.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

2. Prepare snacks and refreshments

Go with the classic movie-theater snack by making popcorn, but flavor it with fun toppings like paprika or chili powder for a unique twist. When handing out refreshments, offer them in closed bottles to prevent spills and to keep bugs from contaminating the water or soda.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

3. Provide comfortable seating

It’s hard to enjoy a movie when you’re constantly shifting to get comfortable. If you have outdoor chairs, add a cushion or pillow to make the seat comfier for guests. If your seating area is in the grass, you can use plush blankets instead.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

4. Keep everyone warm

As the sun drops, so will the temperature. Help your friends stay warm by sitting around a fire pit and providing spare blankets for everyone. You can then use the fire pit to make s’mores for dessert!

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

5. Add light

A fire pit may be all the light you need, but if the fire dies out you’ll need to rely on a different light source. Your outdoor lighting should be soft so everyone can still see the movie. Consider an outdoor lamp or use landscape lighting to illuminate your outdoor space.

Hosting a movie night outdoors isn’t hard, but it can be an uncomfortable experience without the right setup. Use these ideas to start a new tradition and host an unforgettable movie night outdoors.

By Wendy Weinert

Throw the Perfect BBQ With These 5 Tips

Everyone loves a good barbecue, and this summer you can be the one who brings family and friends together to enjoy delicious food, good company and sunshine. Just follow these five tips and throw a BBQ guests will remember fondly for years.

Throw the Perfect BBQ With These 5 Tips

1. Create a theme

BBQs are common in the summer, but you can make yours stand out by creating a theme. Turn your barbecue into a luau or set up a Wild Wild West theme. You can even have guests dress up for the event!

Throw the Perfect BBQ With These 5 Tips

2. Decorate your space to match the occasion

When you decide on a theme, decorate your patio or outdoor space with accessories to match. For example, if you’re hosting a luau, add bright colors with tablecloths, outdoor lights and furniture cushions. To create a western theme, use red or blue plaid napkins, hang up a “Wanted” poster on the tree and stick with wooden furniture for a rustic feel.

3. Set the mood with music

Every party needs a little music! Try this summer playlist from Spotify while the party is going on. Just be sure to keep the volume low so that guests can converse without trouble.

4. Prepare a first-aid kit

Kids love BBQs because they get to run around and be active. This, however, can sometimes lead to cuts and bruises. Be prepared for an accidental fall or a burn from the grill by keeping a first-aid kit handy. It should be filled with essentials like triple antibiotic ointment and band-aids.

Throw the Perfect BBQ With These 5 Tips

5. End with the perfect party gift

As guests leave your party, send them off the right way by handing out thoughtful gifts. A great party favor to consider would be a stylish recipe box filled with the recipes you used for the barbecue!

Are you ready to host the best barbecue to date? Incorporate some of these useful tips at your next event and guests are sure to have a great time!

By Wendy Weinert

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

Every year you add another home improvement project to your list. Pretty soon the list will feel almost impossible to complete! Start tackling some of those projects this summer with these five home improvement ideas. With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the perfect season for making your home a more enjoyable place to live.

1. Replace light bulbs and fixtures

Are you still using old-style incandescent light bulbs? Replace them with newer versions that are more energy-efficient.You’ll save money on bills and won’t have to replace them as often in the future. While replacing your bulbs, see if you have any outdated fixtures that don’t really fit in with your home’s style anymore. Now is the time to update those, too.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

2. Repair or replace window screens

In the summer, you’re going to want to enjoy fresh air by opening your windows. But, if you’re missing a screen or it is torn, bugs could get into your home. You certainly don’t want to spend your time swatting at flies, so replace or repair your window screens right away and start enjoying the outdoor breeze inside your house.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

Photo credit: Designsponge

3. Remove old wallpaper

Does your home still have that old 70s wallpaper in the living room? Open the windows, turn on some tunes and update that ugly print with contemporary wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint. This simple change will refresh your room and bring it to the present.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

4. Set up your patio with outdoor furniture

Outdoor entertaining is the perfect way to enjoy summer, but you can’t host guests without furniture. Determine how you want to use your patio – whether for dinner or drinks and conversation – and choose furniture to match.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

5. Add a raised garden bed

Start growing all those plants and herbs you’ve been meaning to plant by installing a raised garden bed in your yard. The sooner you tackle this project, the sooner you can start enjoying fresh produce!

If the idea of tackling projects this summer sounds far from appealing, make each task more fun by enlisting help and working to your favorite songs. All of your hard work will pay off in the end!

By Wendy Weinert

5 Design Tips and Tricks to Create an Enterntaining-Ready Home

Creating a guest-friendly home doesn’t need to be a reoccurring mad dash every time you host an event. Cut out the drama and avoid the last minute rush by designing a permanently inviting and well-designed space. With these five easy tips and tricks you’ll be prepared for party-goers year round!

Tip: The easiest and most effective way to keep a home party-ready is by creating an open floor plan. Space your furniture smartly and eliminate unnecessary or bulky items that take up too much space. Designing a home with ample room allows for your guests to move around with comfort and ease.

Trick: Use slender and streamlined barstools at a counter instead of a dining set to optimize your kitchen’s usable space. Slim pieces like these Venti Acrylic Bar Stools achieve a stylish appeal, but don’t monopolize the room.

Realty Restoration, LLC

Realty Restoration, LLC

Tip: Keep your space clean and clutter-free. Mixing too many patterns, colors or sizes can make a home seem untidy and uninviting. Stow away books, magazines, remote controls or any other eyesores out of plain sight.

Trick: Furniture with built in storage makes this tip easy to achieve. This Zenn Tray Table, for instance, provides a modern and clean look but still houses a sunken table-top perfect to keep unsightly items in reach but out of sight.

Zenn End Table
Tip: Unify your space with a theme. A similar color palette, pattern or inspiration will keep your home looking clean and organized. When it becomes time to entertain, any other elements or decorations you add to the space will pop against your well-coordinated background!

Trick: Utilizing color as a theme is quick and simple. These white Cascade Bar Stools, for example, tie in the white kitchen appliances and woodwork, creating a unified space.

LumiSource Cascade Bar Stools

Tip: Provide a clear focal point. Anchoring your space with a statement piece will avoid competition between multiple pieces for your guests’ attention. Decorating around the feature will give it a place of honor and create a fun point of discussion for guests.

Trick: Try using something that also promotes socialization, like these Viva Bar Stools. It’s a beautiful attention-grabbing piece that will encourage your guests to gather around for wonderful conversation and a fun time.

justBASEMENTS

justBASEMENTS

Tip: Make the space your own. Creating a home that reflects you will add visual interest and make guests feel more at ease. Add personality to a room with fun pops of color, interesting art or unique elements.

Trick: Fun pieces can still be stylish and coordinate with your furnishings. These red Ale Bar Stools are the perfect example of something artful but still functional. The bright color and interesting shape adds an element of interest and personal flare.

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

 

By Wendy Weinert

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

The soothing gentle breeze, the sound of waves crashing softly and the feeling of the sand between your toes. Is there anything better than being at the beach for a day? Even if you live nowhere near the water, you can still enjoy that serene feeling the beach provides by designing a coastal bedroom. Here’s what to do.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Photo credit: Cook Strait House by Tennent + Brown Architects

Let the light in

A beach setting is light and breezy, so your room should be too. Let as much natural light into your room as possible by using thin curtains that allow the sun to shine through. If your bedroom does not allow for much natural light, use a variety of light sources including lamps, wall fixtures and ceiling lights to illuminate your space instead.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Decorate with white

The color white is refreshing, just like a day at the beach. Use white as the focus color in your bedroom and add touches of color using accessories such as flowers, wall art or pillows. Every time you walk into your beautiful white room, a calm will wash over you and you’ll be able to relax.

Use natural materials

Bring elements of the outdoors into your home by furnishing the bedroom with natural materials. A wicker chair or a jute rug covering your floor is a great way to add a coastal feeling to your room. If you don’t have room for larger furniture or accessories, use smaller items like a wicker basket to create that same feeling.

Beachhead Driftwood Mirror #505264

Beachhead Driftwood Mirror #505264

Keep things simple 

Overall, the coastal design style is all about keeping your room simple and casual. This is not a design style that encourages shimmer and shine. It’s meant to evoke peacefulness and serenity. Limit the amount of accessories you use in the bedroom and look for furniture and decor items with simple designs. With a coastal design, you can turn to your bedroom when you need to a few moments to relax and rejuvenate.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Photo credit: Homedit

By Wendy Weinert