Turn your kitchen into a cafe with these 5 ideas

What makes your favorite coffee spot the best? Is it the delicious cappuccino? The friendly staff? Maybe. But I bet it also has a lot to do with the atmosphere. The “vibe” we feel when stepping into a buzzing cafe is often the reason why we go out to get our coffee, rather than just brewing our own less-expensive cup at home. So why not try creating a similar atmosphere in your kitchen? Here are some fun ways you can bring the cafe experience to your own home.

1. Decorate for warmth

Coffee shops tend to have a warm, cozy atmosphere. Bring some of that coziness to your kitchen by carefully choosing colors. Warm shades of red, orange and brown are great colors for a cafe-inspired kitchen.

2. Make it trendycafe pendants

Coffee shop interiors rarely follow a simple, “timeless” design. They are all about keeping up with the latest trends. Vintage artwork, a hung-up chalkboard, quirky pendants – these are all ideas you can use to give your kitchen a trendy vibe.

3. Try out new furniturebar stools

Install a wooden shelf and add stools for bar seating, or give your kitchen cafe some sophistication with a small dinette set. With the right seating, you can have friends over for coffee dates or simply enjoy your morning cup in true cafe style.

4. Consider flooring 

Picture the floor of your favorite cafe. More than likely, it isn’t your typical kitchen linoleum flooring. Try wooden floors or help create that trendy vibe by installing an edgier design. Checkerboard flooring is a great idea if you’re going vintage.

5. Invest in a new coffee maker

When going to coffee shops, we often like to treat ourselves to a more complicated and expensive drink than just regular old coffee. Consider getting a cappuccino maker or something similar that will allow you to brew up a tasty treat when you’re in the mood for something different.

There’s no reason to stop visiting your favorite cafe, but with these ideas, you can enjoy a similar coffee shop experience more frequently – and for less money.

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


Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

The phrase “shabby elegance” might sound like an oxymoron, but the term actually describes the interior design style it represents pretty accurately. Shabby elegance is a style characterized by distressed, antique-looking furniture, soft colors and romantic touches. Here’s how to get the look in your home.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Refurbished ideas

Tip #1: Find ways to recycle and repurpose old furniture

Shabby elegance is all about giving new life to old furniture pieces. Use reclaimed wood to create a fashionably worn dining table or use vintage suitcases as décor. Repurposing will give your home the character and personality that’s been missing.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #2: Add elegance with a chandelier

Repurposing furniture will help create a shabby appearance, but the room needs a touch of elegance, too. Create a nice balance of the two elements by hanging up a beautiful crystal chandelier. Crystal chandeliers will complement your antique-style furniture nicely and give the room a more sophisticated appearance overall.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Savor Home

Tip #3: Use white as a background

White is the perfect starting color for shabby elegant spaces and will give your home a refreshed look. Start by mixing bright whites with antique whites for variety and depth, and then mix in light colors such as rose or sage green.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #4: Avoid being too matchy-matchy

Shabby elegance is not about looking perfect. It’s about character and comfort! Instead of buying furniture in a set, bring in different pieces that complement each other for a more visually interesting room.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #5: Accessorize to complete the look

Add a touch of romance here and there with accessories that complete the style you’re trying to achieve. Accessories like antique picture frames, flower vases, artwork and rugs can all be used to create a shabby elegant space. They will also make your room feel cozier.

Shabby elegance is the perfect combination of cozy and sophisticated. Use these tips to create this look in your home and enjoy the warmth and beauty it provides.

By Wendy Weinert

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

The ability to determine the age of antique furniture is a great skill. When attempting to determine the age of an antique there is no one definitive factor, but rather a combination of elements at work. Here is closer look at some of them.

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

1. Perform a close inspection

Upon inspection, antique furniture has some irregularities in its surface. These irregularities indicate that an antique piece is made by hand and not by machine. Look at the bottom, side, or back of a piece. Behind doors and inside its crevices are good places to look for these characteristic irregularities.

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

It is also common for the materials of an antique piece not to match completely. If a piece of furniture was hand crafted, you will notice that carvings or details such as knobs and spindles may not be exactly identical.

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

2. Determine the style period

When it comes to antique furniture, style is a good indication of the era the piece is from. English furniture in the 15th century highlighted floral and animal-based patterns, while furniture in the 17th century featured elaborate gildings and extravagant engravings. Antiques on Old Plank Road have numerous antique pieces from different eras and expressed in different styles.

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

3. Keep an eye out for the materials

To determine the age of your antique furniture, note the materials that were used in its manufacturing. Expert antique collectors generally check the type of wood and metal that was applied to a piece in determining the era where it came from.

Furniture that is made from oak was usually manufactured before the 1700s. Most of the pieces made of mahogany and walnut that we have today is made after the 1700s because they were the popular materials then. A collector familiar with the different grains and types of wood has the perfect advantage when it comes to telling the age of antique pieces.

How Old is Your Antique Furniture? 4 Ways to Tell its Age

4. Observe its craftsmanship

The processes involved in manufacturing furniture then and now have many differences. For one, antique furniture is largely hand crafted. Many claim that antique furniture is more durable than modern furniture but craftsmanship extends beyond durability. It is common to see cuts and nicks with furniture where hand tools such as chisel were used.

About the author: Angie Cole is a fan of everything vintage and admires true old-world craftsmanship. She is a fan of Antiques on Old Plank Road, a furniture shop that imports and restores European quality antique and vintage pieces.