Easy Thanksgiving decor ideas for your family get-together

Now that October is over and the spooky Halloween decor has been put away, it’s time to start thinking about the next big holiday: Thanksgiving! Every holiday is enjoyable for different reasons, but I particularly love Thanksgiving because it’s a day dedicated to giving thanks, spending time with family and eating a lot of food.

To get ready for the big day, I’ve compiled some easy Thanksgiving decor ideas that you and your guests will love.

1. Decide on a theme

Are you going to throw a modern Thanksgiving? A rustic one? Deciding on a theme first will help you narrow your options when buying or making decor for your home.

2. Think beyond traditional fall colors 
Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

 

While you certainly can decorate with oranges, reds and browns, you don’t have to. If you want to try something new this year, think outside the box when it comes to colors. Dark purple, metallics, white, light blue and navy could all be used to create a Thanksgiving display.

3. Incorporate faux pumpkins into your decorating scheme
Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

 

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. Rather than carving real pumpkins though, you can use faux ones to create a sophisticated space. Consider using a white faux pumpkin as a flower vase or smaller pumpkin candle holders in your home.

4. Design a fun kid’s table
Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie

Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie

 

Leave the fancy, elegant decor for the big table on Thanksgiving day and try using kid-friendly decor for the children to enjoy. If you have kids of your own, this can be a great opportunity for them to get crafty and create fun table decor.

5. Display your food as decor

Thanksgiving day is all about the delicious food you’ll be serving, so it makes sense to arrange your food in a visually appealing way. Details matter, from the serving platters and bowls you choose to which foods you place next to each other.

6. Save elaborate centerpieces for the buffet table
Photo credit: Centsational Girl

Photo credit: Centsational Girl

 

Decorating the dining table is great, but you don’t want large decor getting in the way of conversation and eating. Instead, move your elaborate centerpieces and table decor to the buffet table, so guests can still admire your style.

 

By Wendy Weinert

Ugly house? Fix it with symmetry

You might not spend much time thinking about symmetry, but it affects you, me and everyone else. For instance, people with symmetrical faces are often seen as more attractive (although we rarely realize symmetry is the reason). In interior design, symmetry can help you feel safe and comfortable. It can also help make a room feel complete.

Try these three ideas for creating symmetrical balance in your home. A little symmetry might be just what your interior needs to turn into a beautiful and welcoming environment.

  • Invest in two nightstands instead of one.

    Photo credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

    Placing a nightstand on both sides of your bed will give your room stability and help you feel more comfortable right before falling asleep.

  • Create symmetry with artwork. 

There are different ways to do this. You could hang up two pieces side by side or group four pictures of the same size and shape together. If you want to hang up three paintings, have the outer pieces match in size and shape.

  • Hang two pendants above the dining table. Pendant2

If you have a larger table, this is a great way to ensure proper lighting.

I’ve only listed a few, but the possibilities for creating symmetry are endless. Besides using the ideas above, you can also create a symmetrical balance by pinpointing the vertical axis in each room and then decorating both sides of that axis so that they mirror each other. For example, in the living room, the coffee table can be considered the axis, in which case seating on both sides should then match.

Without even realizing it, we see symmetrical designs as being more attractive and balanced than those without it. While not everything in your home needs to be perfectly symmetrical (that would get boring fast), mirroring furniture and/or decor can bring order to your space and enhance its beauty. Improve your home’s design with symmetry and enjoy a more comforting, attractive space.

By Wendy Weinert

2014 Fall Fashion Week trends you can bring into the home

The fall season has only just begun, but the world’s top fashion designers have already showcased their collections for spring 2015. New York Fall Fashion Week took place September 4-11, where models showed off the wardrobe trends that will dominate stores next year. And while it’s too early to actually wear these trends, you can still enjoy them by bringing a few into your home. Here are six trends that ruled Fashion Week and ideas for incorporating them into your interior design.

1. Denim jackets
Photo credit: Style Bistro

Photo credit: Style Bistro

jean couch

Denim jackets are making a comeback. If you like the look of denim but jackets aren’t your style, look for denim-colored linens and furniture upholstery that you can use to enhance your interior design instead. Because denim is a neutral color, you won’t have any trouble finding decor and other furniture to match.

2. Fringe
Photo credit: Refinery 29

Photo credit: Refinery 29

Many trends from the 70′s have died and, honestly, I think that’s a good thing. Fringe, however, has become a trend once more. On the runway, it’s showing up on the hems of dresses, shirts and skirts. To recreate the look in your home, try hanging up a fun tapestry that has fringed edges on the wall of your living room or bedroom.

3. Leather
Photo credit: Fashionisers

Photo credit: Fashionisers

In the fashion world, leather goes in and out of style frequently. For spring 2015, it’s in. Fortunately in the interior design world, leather never goes out of style and you can buy a leather sofa without needing to replace it in a few years. Faux leather is also stylish and durable, if you prefer that alternative.

4. White and black
Photo credit: Style Bistro

Photo credit: Style Bistro

Utopia_2415_Uber_Black-RS

Surprisingly, two of the biggest colors for spring are white and black. Whether you use them separately or pair the two colors together, these classic shades will bring sophistication to your space.

5. Stylish workout apparel
Photo credit: E! online

Photo credit: E! online

Horizontal_Kitchen_62279-CH-CRY

Who says you can’t look good working out? Models sporting stylish athletic wear this season have proven that you can. Get inspired by the bright, neon colors that many of these designers used to create their line of active wear and use them to update your home. You could apply it to an entire room such as your kitchen. The sky’s the limit! It just all depends on how adventurous you are.

6. Chunky Knits
Photo credit: E! online

Photo credit: E! online

Fall means it’s time to stock up on chunky knit sweaters.  Many designers showed several cozy styles in a range of flattering colors. Incorporate this into your home with a chunky knit throw. Leave it on the couch so it’s ready to go when you need a little extra warmth or keep it in a decorative basket.

What are some of your favorite trends shown on the runway this fall? Send us a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

Create a stylish coffee table display with these 5 tips

Coffee tables aren’t just good for setting down your cup of Joe in the morning. With the right decor and household items, coffee tables can be used to enhance the overall appearance of your living room, too. Think carefully before setting items on your table, and keep these five tips in mind to create a look you’ll love.

1. Select books and magazines worth showing off
Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

If you have a large stack of magazines or books, sort through your collection and choose the titles you wish to feature. It may be a book with an attractive cover or a story you think guests would like to read during their stay.

2. Cover it with a throw to add warmthcoffee table throw

A wooden or glass coffee table doesn’t necessarily need a cloth covering, but it can be a fun way to update your living room and try something new. During the fall and winter months, cover your table with a throw to create a cozier room.

3. Keep it simple

A cluttered coffee table can lend your living room a cluttered look as well. Try keeping the surface of your table simple, with only a few decorative items to add style. Some people like keeping decor very minimal, placing only flowers on top of the table.

4. Consider numbers

When grouping decorative pieces together, keep in mind that odd numbers tend to look more visually appealing. Depending on size, you could decorate your table with one, three or five items.

5. Try a theme
Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

A theme can give your coffee table display a cohesive look. Maybe you collect antiques or you are enthusiastic about a particular color. Use these to create a coffee table theme that you and others will enjoy. A “natural” theme with decor items like driftwood, seashells or candles can help create a calming environment.

They say coffee tables are the finishing touch to any living room setup. With this in mind, decorate your coffee table to create a complete look for your living room and take its style to the next level.

By Wendy Weinert

How to fill an open shelving unit with purpose

Open shelving, to me, is a great concept. It gives people the chance to store household items and add visual appeal to their space as well. Of course, open shelving units don’t automatically bring style to a room. It all depends on what items you choose to store and where you place them. Here are some tips that I’ve found useful when filling an open shelf.

The best items to store can be considered decorative, too. open shelves with blue

Behind closed doors, it doesn’t matter what I choose to store because those objects will only be seen when the doors are open. With an open shelf, however, I’m putting items on display for all to see – which means I want to choose appealing objects. Books in the living room, dishes in the kitchen or towels in the bathroom could all be featured on open shelving units. Remember, some things should be left hidden in a cabinet!

Decorations can be used to fill empty spaces and to enhance the overall look.
Photo credit: Millas Hem

Photo credit: Millas Hem

 

There’s nothing wrong with filling an open shelf with only decorative items, but using shelves to display household objects can help you save space and keep your room organized. I think that a mix of functional and decorative items is best. Picture frames and other decor items can be used to complete the shelf display, fill an empty space and ultimately improve the look. If you want to add both visual and practical appeal, decorative storage boxes can be a great solution. They allow you to store unappealing household items and add style to your shelf.

You can show off the most appealing pieces by displaying them at eye level. open shelves silver

If your open shelving unit is positioned close to the ceiling, you can get away with storing less-appealing items. If I have a shelf at eye level, however, it matters what I choose to feature. Save your best objects, those that fit in best with your room’s design and help enhance the look, for the eye-level shelves.

Open shelving units can be a two-in-one solution for your space because they can help with both your room’s organization and its style. With these tips in mind, play around with your open shelves to determine which household items are best to feature.

By Wendy Weinert

Should sofas be placed against the wall?

When arranging a living room, it’s often best to place the sofa first. Where will you put it? For years homeowners and renters have been setting up their sofas against the wall. It seems like such a natural spot! But there are designers who say that sofas should “float” and that placing one against the wall is a rookie mistake. So what’s the best arrangement? Well, that might depend on your preference and space.

Keep these considerations in mind when choosing the perfect spot for your sofa.

The room’s size

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

If you have a large, spacious living room, placing your sofa in the middle can keep the room from looking bare. A small living room, on the other hand, might appear larger with the sofa placed against the wall.

Your home’s layout

Photo Credit: Hemingway and Hepburn

Photo Credit: Hemingway and Hepburn

With open-floor layouts, it’s important that each room is clearly defined with furniture. If you don’t have walls separating rooms, float your sofa to create one. You can also use your sofa to create a clear walking path and direct traffic.

Living room activities

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Sofas can also be used to define areas within the living room. If you want to use one half of your room for movie watching and the other half as a game room for the kids, use your sofa to divide the two areas.

Wall decor

Photo credit: Home-Dzine

Photo credit: Home-Dzine

A long unadorned wall can cause a room to look incomplete. If your wall needs that something extra to keep it from looking bare, push your sofa against it. You can also float the sofa just a little bit off the wall for a similar effect.

Other living room furniture

Photo Credit: Cote de Texas

Photo Credit: Cote de Texas

Sometimes a sofa can look great both off and against the wall; if this is the case in your space, then its placement is a matter of personal preference. What is important, however, is that you don’t push all of your furniture against the wall. People often do this, not realizing that it looks uninviting to guests and makes conversing rather difficult.

What about you? Do you think sofas should be placed against the wall? Write a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

Enjoy a more peaceful home with these 7 tips

I recently shared an article on farmhouse style and how its simple characteristics can make a home feel very peaceful. The farmhouse style isn’t for everyone, though, and you don’t have to enjoy country living to create a relaxing and quiet home. No matter what your preferred decorating style is, you can design a more peaceful environment with these quick tips.

1. If bright colors are energizing and oftentimes too stimulating, try decorating with muted colors instead. A softer shade of your favorite color can help you to feel more relaxed. (If you’re trying to decide on a color, blue is well-known for its calming effects!)

Blue walls are calming

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. To keep your overhead lighting from feeling too bright, install a dimmer switch that will soften the lighting. At night, you can add even more ambience by lighting a few candles.

3. I know cleaning doesn’t exactly sound relaxing, but keeping your floors and surfaces clear will help to reduce stress. At the end of the day or right away in the morning, set aside 10 minutes or so to tidy up each room so you can enjoy a clean home for the rest of the day.

4. If your home is lacking in decor, try bringing in some fresh flowers and plants. The natural scents will help you feel calm and some plants can even purify your home’s air.

Fresh Flowers

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

5. I think most people would agree with me when I say that nature is very peaceful. Along with decorating with plants, you can bring the outdoors inside with natural materials like jute or wicker.

Natural fiber rug

Photo credit: House of Turquoise

6. A simple decorating scheme is refreshing. Be careful not to add too many complicated patterns in one room or overcrowd your space with decorative accessories.

7. Are the loud neighbors or annoying traffic patterns causing you to feel stressed? Tune them out with soft music or consider buying a decorative water fountain.

Indoor Fountain

Whether your home is modern or traditional, you can enjoy a more peaceful environment. Try incorporating a few of these tips in your house and see how they work for you!

By Wendy Weinert

Decorating for an open floor plan

Open Floor Plan

Photo credit: Sublime Decor

Homeowners have made open floor plans a popular layout style, and depending on your space, you may find it a suitable design choice for your home as well. Instead of separating each room with walls, open floor plans combine rooms such as the kitchen, dining room and living room into one large open area. I find open floor plans very appealing in smaller homes, and the layout works well for those with more square footage as well. It’s a refreshing feeling to walk into a home with an open-floor layout. With fewer walls and longer sightlines, the style is soothing and instantly creates a less cluttered appearance.

If you decide on an open layout for your own home, or if you are at least considering the option, strategize how you plan to furnish and decorate before you start tearing down walls. Decorating with an open floor plan isn’t the same process as if you were setting up each room individually. With no dividing walls, you have to find a way to create distinct spaces that still fit under one cohesive style.

Defining distinct spaces

Open floor plan

Photo credit: Freshome

To design an open floor plan that works, use furniture and accessories to create distinct rooms within the large area. Although there are no walls separating each room, there should still be individual focal points for each room, such as a pendant over the dining table or the entertainment center in the living room.

Another trick you can try is to divide the rooms not with walls, but with furniture. A large shelving unit can help you create clearly defined spaces, without losing the benefits of an open floor plan.

Creating a unified look

Unified look in an open floor plan

Photo credit: Pinterest

Creating separate rooms that also look cohesive can be a challenge. Tie the rooms together by decorating each space in the same style and color palette. If you’re decorating the kitchen to be mid-century modern for example, search for furniture and accessories that fit into that style as well. Even though each room will have very different purposes and furniture, they will look unified.

With furniture in the right place and a specific style carrying the overall look, you can create an open floor plan that not only works, but amazes.

By Wendy Weinert

 

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:

Offer a seatPorch_Livingroomset_Club-4

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.

Make it cozy with a rug
porch blog- rug

Photo credit: Pinterest

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.

 Add light for nighttime
porch blog- lighting 2

Photo credit: Pinterest

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.

 Paint the door
porch blog- painted door

Photo credit: Pinterest

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.

 Complete the look with a few final touches
porch blog- final touches

Photo credit: Pinterest

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