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:

Porch_Livingroomset_Club-4

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

 

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

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Is your space starting to look a little blah lately? Do you feel like the room just needs a change? Then you may want to consider painting an accent wall. Accent walls offer an easy and inexpensive way to liven up a dull room and make it pop. All you have to do is choose which wall you want to accent and the right color for your space.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Choosing an accent wall

The wall you decide to accent will largely be determined by the existing features in a room and how you plan to set up your space. Accent walls are meant to be dramatic, so it’s best not to paint a wall that is mostly covered with furniture or décor accessories. Otherwise the color will lose its impact and your room won’t pop as much as it could. That being said, you also don’t want your accent wall to be completely bare, which could cause the wall to overpower the rest of the room! When it comes to accent walls, balance is key, so choose a wall that maybe has a few hanging accessories, but avoid one that is mostly blocked with by a tall dresser or something similar.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Photo credit: Home Stores

Choosing the right color

When you’re painting all four walls in a room, your color choice is generally limited. A bright or dramatic color often overwhelms when it surrounds the entire room. That’s why it can be a lot of fun to do an accent wall in your space. Because you are painting only one wall an accent color and leaving the rest neutral, you can go as bold or bright as you’d like! If you really want to make a statement in your space, consider using wallpaper that features a fun pattern or design instead. Wallpaper is just as effective as paint, and can be easily replaced when you’re ready for a change.

If you’re sick of looking at white walls, then using paint or wallpaper to create an accent wall is a perfect solution. Don’t be afraid to go bold and make a statement with an eye-catching color like red or bright blue!

By Wendy Weinert

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Art deco may have been a popular interior design style during the mid-1920s to 1940s, but the strong style is making a comeback. Just tune into “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and you’ll see just how captivating the art deco style can be. Fallon’s new art deco influenced studio set makes a stunning statement that you simply can’t help admiring – and envying.

While Fallon’s new studio is certainly impressive, there’s no need to be jealous. You may not be from the 1920s or host “The Tonight Show,” but you can still create a striking art deco look just by incorporating these characteristics in your home:

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Man Made Home

Eye-catching colors and contrasts

If you watched the premiere of “The Tonight Show,” you might have been laughing along with Fallon’s goofy jokes during the opening monologue. More than likely, you were also noticing the vibrant blue, floor-length curtain behind him. The Art Deco style is all about making a statement, so decorate your home with deep, bright colors and contrast them with metallic colors like gold, silver, or chrome.

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Bold geometric shapes

Soft floral prints have no place in an art deco space. Remember the city skyline backdrop behind Fallon’s desk? While you don’t have to decorate your home with skyscrapers, you can give your space an art deco feel with accessories that feature geometric designs like a throw pillow or a piece of artwork.

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Photo credit: gettype

Streamlined furniture

When choosing furniture, look for modern pieces that are streamlined and feature a no-nonsense design. Keep in mind that the art deco look is strong, so you want your furniture to be without frills. Furniture that features sleek, strong curved lines is perfect in an art deco setting.

Jimmy Fallon’s new studio is stunning to look at, so why not make a statement in your home as well? By incorporating some of the more common art deco characteristics in your home’s interior design, you can also create a space that is both captivating and elegant

By Wendy Weinert

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

In interior design there are trends and guidelines that homeowners can follow, but trends change and guidelines are only guidelines. There are no hard-fast rules to dictate how people should decorate their home. So then why are there are all of these unwritten rules hindering us from designing the home that we really want? It’s time to debunk some of those common interior design myths and start breaking the so-called “rules.”

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Photo Credit: Parade

1. Everything has to match

While you want your room to look cohesive and put-together, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate different prints, patterns and textures. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Mindy Kaling’s home for proof! If you’re worried about overwhelming the room, just stay within the same color palette to pull the look together.

white kitchen

Photo credit: Imgfave

2. Every room needs color

If you want an all-white room, then go for it! There are other ways, besides decorating with colorful pieces, to add dimension to one’s space. Use texture as a way to liven up the room and decorate with different shades and tones of the same color.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

3. Chandeliers belong in formal spaces

Chandeliers may have belonged in the sophisticated dining room or the grand foyer in the past, but not anymore! With recent design trends and the shift toward trendier, more casual designs, a chandelier can now be used in any room of the home – formal or casual.

4. Area rugs are only for hardwood floors

Area rugs are in fact a great way to cozy up a hardwood floor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a rug in a carpeted room as well. If you have a neutral carpet, a textured rug featuring a bold color or print is a great way to add some visual excitement to your space.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

Photo credit: Cheesy Chic

5. Decorating “rules” must be followed

There’s no harm in following decorating guidelines, but don’t be afraid to break the rules to create a space that is truly you! All-in-all, your home should reflect your personality and style, rather than be a representation of how you think your space should look.

By Wendy Weinert

5 common interior design mistakes to avoid so you can look like a decorating pro

 

Modern dining room

You may not be an interior designer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t style you home like a pro! Even rookie decorators can fool guests into thinking that they’re experts. Whether you’re remodeling an entire room or simply updating its look, avoid these five common interior design mistakes:

Traditional living room

1.  Lack of variety

Catalogs are to be used for inspiration, but some homeowners like to think of them as a step-by-step guide book for decorating. Even if you have a favorite furniture store, don’t be afraid to search elsewhere. Mixing and matching furniture from different places will help give your home personality.

Sofa in living room

2. No focal point

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt that something was missing? More than likely, the room just needed a focal point. Focal points give your space a sense of purpose and order. Depending on your space, a focal point could be an architectural feature, or it could be a statement piece of furniture you’ve selected.

brown sofas in living room

3. Bad furniture setup

Areas like the living room are meant to encourage conversation and flow. If all of your furniture is pushed up against the wall, your space tends to come off as less inviting. Group furniture like sofas and chairs together in order to create a more intimate setting and make sure to leave room for movement.

4. Poor lighting

No matter how good you are at picking out furniture, it is crucial for a room to have good lighting as well. Don’t just install one overhead light fixture and call it good. Use multiple light sources in every room to create a well-lit space that is never too bright or too jarring.

5. Overcrowded space

It’s hard to let go of a piece of furniture that you love, but sometimes you simply don’t have the room! Trying to squeeze too much furniture in a small space will give your room a cluttered look. Although removing a chair or table might be difficult, you’ll be happy once the room feels less crowded.

By avoiding these five mistakes, you can improve the look and style of your space. Soon enough, friends and family might even start coming to you for decorating advice!

By Wendy Weinert

Six heart-themed decor you can use all year round

Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get inspired by love and fill your home with heart-shaped décor. But you shouldn’t have to put these items away in boxes once the season is over! The perfect heart-themed décor in your home can be displayed all year long! Here are sixideas to get you started.

 

Acorn Manufacturing Smooth Iron Black Hand Forged Split Heart Hook

Bellacor Number: 146641

1. Split heart hook: Sure, a heart-shaped balloon is nice for a couple of days, but then it deflates and is usually just thrown away. This heart-shaped hook is a great way to stay organized, while adding a little love in your home all year round.

Cheung's Metal Heart Shaped Hanging - Welcome

Bellacor Number: 881133

2. Heart-shaped “Welcome” sign: Welcome all to your home who walk through your front door! This heart-shaped sign will help you create a welcoming environment no matter what season it is.

Kalalou Iron Wire Twenty-Four Heart Photo/Card Holder

Bellacor Number: 712550

3. Heart photo/card holder: Forget about the typical picture frames. This photo/card holder provides a more unique way for you to display memorable pictures or cards from loved ones. Just be sure to leave some of the squares open so guests can see the cute heart design!

Yosemite Home Decor The Healing Heart II 24 x 24 Acrylic Painting Reproduction

Bellacor Number: 674460

4. Healing heart painting: While most Valentine’s Day décor is made to be bright red or pink, this gorgeous piece of artwork is painted in metallic tones for a more natural look. Hang it up in the bedroom or even your living room. The neutral colors will fit in well with your existing décor and with any season.

Santangelo Lighting & Design Hand-Painted Bronze Heart Chandelier

Bellacor Number: 469867

5. Heart chandelier: It’s the little details that make one light fixture stand out from another. This bronze chandelier features an elegant heart design that will add a touch of romance to your space. Hang this chandelier up in the dining room for a more intimate atmosphere.

Cheung's Share My Life and Hearts, Wall Decor

Bellacor Number: 881165

6. Share my heart wall décor: Everyone gets chocolate and flowers for Valentine’s Day. Do something different this year and let the beautiful message featured on this hanging wall décor express your feelings instead.

 

Heart designs shouldn’t be limited to just Valentine’s Day. Add a little love in your home with heart-themed décor that looks great all year long.

By Wendy Weinert

5 easy ways to get your living room ready for entertaining

When guests are coming over, it’s essential that your living room is prepared for entertaining. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hosting a large party or just having your closest friends over for drinks. The wrong living room set up can turn a promising evening into a disappointing dud. Here’s how to make sure your living room is ready for company so that the evening runs smoothly and everyone has a good time.

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interior design livingroom real estate home

interior design livingroom real estate home1. Create mood lighting – The right mood lighting should be dark enough so that everyone can feel relaxed and comfortable. It should also, however, be bright enough that your guests can still see! Use multiple light sources throughout the room and dim your overhead light so that it doesn’t feel too harsh.

Mambo

2. Set up furniture to create an intimate setting – While your furniture setup might be ideal for everyday living, it may not be the best arrangement for a party environment. Rearrange your furniture close together so that people can converse without straining themselves.

3. Allow room for movement – You want your guests to circulate! So as you’re rearranging your furniture, keep in mind that while you want to create an intimate setting, the room should also have clear paths so guests can easily move about. If the room isn’t setup for movement, your guests might feel stuck in one place all night.

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Photo credit: Everydayelsie

4. Have a drink station – Even though you’re the host, you shouldn’t have to be in the kitchen all night making drinks. With a drink station set up in your living room, you can either let your guests help themselves, or serve them drinks without having to leave all of the fun.

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5. Make sure your space is clutter-free – You’ve already deep-cleaned the living room, but it’s easy for miscellaneous items to somehow make their way back. The day of the party, be sure to do one final check to make sure everything is neatly organized and put away in the right spot.

Throwing a good party takes some planning and strategic decorating. On the night of the event, however, all your hard work will pay off and your party will be a smashing success.

By Wendy Weinert