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:

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