7 tips for designing an eye-catching fireplace

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you should draw attention to it with great decor! I love fireplaces for the warmth they provide in the winter, but I also love their charming looks and how they can enhance a living room’s interior design all year long.

If your fireplace is looking a little bare, add visual appeal by decorating above the mantel. These seven tips will help get you started.

1. Don’t forget about the wall. 
Photo credit: HGTV

Photo credit: HGTV

The mantel shelf is a great place to add decorative items, but you can also draw attention to your fireplace by hanging a mirror, clock or piece of artwork on the wall directly above the mantel. If you decide to go this route, decorate the shelf with pieces that complement your wall art and complete the look.

2. Illuminate with lighting.
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Mood lighting can give your fireplace an even cozier look. Try decorating the shelf with candles or hanging two sconce lights on the wall above the mantel.

3. Get creative with art.

Photo credit: The Inspired Room

You can hang up your favorite piece of art on the wall, or if it’s small enough, stand it on the shelf at an angle. For an eclectic look, place three or more smaller paintings on the shelf so they overlap.

4. Play with different heights. 
Photo credit: Thimble Blossoms

Photo credit: Thimble Blossoms

Using decorative items of varying heights is a great way to create more visual interest. Play around with different arrangements and objects to get the look just right.

5. Use balance to create a put-together look. 
Photo credit: Tidbits and Twine

Photo credit: Tidbits and Twine

Consider how your fireplace would look if it were split down the center. Would it look balanced? Your fireplace decor doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical, but finding a balance will help your display look good.

6. Create a theme. 
Photo credit: Digs Digs

Photo credit: Digs Digs

If you’re struggling to find the right decor for your fireplace, try coming up with a theme. You could create a vintage theme by decorating only with antique items, or you could do something as simple as using the same color.

7. Keep in mind your room’s style. 
Photo credit: One Kind Design

Photo credit: One Kind Design

There are a lot of ways you can decorate your fireplace, and what works for you might depend on the room’s style. If your living room, for example, follows a minimalist style, then a cluttered mantel shelf might look out of place.

By Wendy Weinert

Perk up your home’s style with these 10 easy pick-me-up ideas

We all need a pick-me-up now and then to feel energized, refreshed or to put us in a better mood. Some people turn to coffee, while others might prefer a sugary treat (I personally love both). You might not know it, but your home could probably use a pick-me-up, too. When your space is lacking in energy or just needs a small change to feel different, consider these 10 simple solutions.

1. Use a rug to add color or warmth. A rug is a simple way to prevent a room from feeling bare.ban3326-roomscene_001

2. If you already have a rug, try layering the look. Layered rugs can give your home a designer look, and it’s a great way to show off your unique style.

3. Hang up a large piece of art. This simple trick can do wonders for a room that could use more color or visual appeal.

4. Install a chandelier or eye-catching pendant. Statement fixtures can’t be ignored and work well in rooms lacking in excitement.

5. Design an accent wall. You can use a bold color paint or a funky wallpaper pattern to create an accent wall, and it’s easy to change up when you’re tired of the look.

Photo credit: Estilo Home

6. Replace a piece of furniture. It could be something as large as a new sofa or something as small as an end table. Either way, a new piece of furniture can freshen up your room’s overall appearance.

7. Cover your sofa with a throw or add some accent pillows. This is a great idea if you’re tired of your sofas or chairs and want to try something new. throw pillows from surya

8. Decorate with a plant. Plants will bring energy into your room and can enhance your interior design.

9. Update your photo frames. You can either add more photo frames or replace old pictures with more recent ones to give your room an instant pick-me-up.

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

10. Rearrange what you already have. If buying something new is out of the picture, work with what you have. Rearranging furniture and decor is a simple way to enjoy a fresh interior!

By Wendy Weinert

7 considerations when choosing colors for your home

If you’re redecorating your home or starting from scratch, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for each room is the color scheme. The colors you choose can have a huge influence on the end result, so it’s good to feel confident with every purchase you decide to make. To choose colors you’ll love (and continue to love), let these seven considerations be your guide throughout the decorating process.

1. Light: 

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

That paint color might look great online, but will it look as good in your home with the lighting you have? Try getting a sample before buying any paint to see if the color will work well in your space.

2. Balance:
Photo credit: How to Decorate

Photo credit: How to Decorate

You can design a colorful room without it overwhelming you and your guests. The trick is to keep the colors balanced. Choose two or three primary colors, then add additional colors as accents.

3. Mood:

Do you want to decorate a room that helps you feel relaxed? Happy? Energized? Colors can impact your mood, which is why certain colors work better in the bedroom, kitchen or living room than in others. (Here’s a helpful guide for choosing colors based on mood.)

4. Risk factor:
Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

If you often play it safe, maybe it’s time to shake things up. Get that bright red loveseat you’ve been eyeing or design an accent wall with colorful wallpaper. On the other hand, if every color decision you make is bold, it might be time to go for a more neutral shade.

5. Cohesiveness:

Do you want each room to have a similar color scheme, or would you prefer to include different colors in each room? Either way can work – you just have to decide which style you like better.

6. Room size:
Photo Credit: The Wood Grain Cottage

Photo Credit: The Wood Grain Cottage

Dark colors work well in larger spaces because they tend to make a room look smaller. When working with a small room, on the other hand, choose lighter shades as your primary colors and then decorate with dark accents.

7. Personal preference: 

What colors do you like best? In the end, what’s most important is that you feel at home in your space; decorating with your favorite colors is one way to do that.

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

6 essentials for craft room creativity

Craft room

Having an entire room or area dedicated to crafts might seem unnecessary to some, but those people probably aren’t spending their afternoons or evenings working on Pinterest DIY projects. Crafting can get messy and often requires using many supplies that, when put away, occupy a lot of space. Consider setting up a craft space in your home and keep these essentials in mind when putting it together.

Surface space
Large crafting table

Photo credit: Everything Etsy

Almost every project you take on will require a table for surface space. Make sure the table you choose is large enough to accommodate you and your project – a small side table isn’t going to cut it.

Storage space
Craft room storage

Photo credit: 44th Street Fabric

Like I said before, crafting can get messy. You can make the process a little more organized, however, by keeping the supplies you don’t need for a certain project stored away. Storage space will also ensure that your craft room will be tidy when it’s not in use. Shelves, drawers and boxes can all come in handy.

Inspiration
Wall art as craft room inspiration

Photo credit: Blog de decoração Perfeita Ordem

A creative environment is important. After all, this is a craft room! Hang up artwork that inspires you and will help you get in touch with your inner artist. A little creative touch can be just what you need to produce your best work.

Music

Music can also help boost your creative mood. Create a playlist with music that helps you feel most inspired, whether it’s jazz, pop, rock or classical music. Not only will you feel more creative, but music also makes crafting more fun!

Great lighting

Any work space, whether it’s a craft room or a home office, requires excellent lighting. Along with general overhead lighting, try wall sconces, a pendant or a lamp next to your table for task lighting.

A comfortable chair
Comfortable craft chair

Photo credit: Pinterest

You might not be sitting down for eight hours like you do at work, but it’s still important that your craft chair is comfortable. Look for chairs with padded seats and a supportive frame so you can craft without feeling sore.

There are many ways to create a craft room. As long as you have a table surface, storage space, a comfy seat and some inspiration, you can easily get in touch with your creative side and get to work!

By Wendy Weinert

 

Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

7 Design Hacks for Any Space

Creating a space of your own is a lot of work. If you’re dreading a big move, or a little redecorating, because of all the arranging and rearranging that goes with it, take a look at these design hacks that make big projects simple.

1. Determine your focal point.
Fireplace - living room focal point

Photo credit: Casa Vogue Brasil

Whether it’s the TV, fireplace, window, or your favorite couch, decide where you want your attention focused. Once you know what to highlight, your arrangement will fall into place.

2. Use bed sheets to visualize how much space your furniture will need.

Fold bed sheets to the size of your furniture and place them around your space. You will discover which arrangement works best without having to move heavy pieces all over your room.

3. Lay your rug down first. Seriously.

If you’re using an area rug, put that in your space before you arrange your furniture. You’d be surprised how many people forget this.

4. Paper templates make hanging wall décor a breeze.
Paper templates for gallery wall

Photo credit: Rue Magazine

Cut out paper replicas of your wall décor and tape them where you want to hang your pieces. This saves your wall from unnecessary holes and helps you make sure your pieces are level.

5. Place your largest piece of furniture first.

This piece typically faces the focal point, and is the most difficult to move. Once your biggest item is in your space it will be easy to fill in the space around it.

6. Utilize dead spaces.
Console table behind sofa

Photo credit: Pinterest

Place a console table behind a sofa or stack a few decorative storage boxes in an odd corner. Your function should extend to every corner of your space, and accent furniture is a great way to add some unique character to your room.

7. Make sure there is a table near every seat.

Place an accent table by every seat

No one likes struggling to find a place to put their beverages. Consider arranging your living room so tables are easy to reach from all seats. Your future self will thank you. !

Keep these tricks in mind for an easy transition from a space to your space.

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

 

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

10 ways to hide the eyesores in your home

No matter how hard we try to make our homes stylish and beautiful, there are many little details, like cords or scratched wood, that diminish its visual appeal. Try hiding those eyesores in the home with these 10 creative strategies and it’ll make your interior design shine.

1. Seek out stylish storage solutions, like a decorative box or vintage suitcases that can also be used as decor. After all, who says you have to use ugly plastic tubs to keep your home organized?

Photo credit: 17 Apart

Photo credit: 17 Apart

 

2. Cover up clutter or lackluster space with a beautiful screen. It will instantly lend your room a more elegant look.

screen

3. Cut holes in a decorative box to hide your cords and outlet strip. Or, place your furniture strategically so that cords fall behind it.

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

 

4. Freshen up your weathered wooden furniture with a fresh coat of paint in a bold color. Paint can also be used to cover up unattractive flooring and walls.

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

 

5. Install a pull-out trash and recycling bin in your kitchen. This will also help to reduce bad odors!

Photo credit: DO or DIY

Photo credit: DO or DIY

 

6. Use a stylish bed skirt to hide your box spring, as well as storage underneath the bed.bed skirt

 

7. Build pull-out drawers for your pet’s food and water dishes. When guests come over, you can simply close the drawer.

Photo credit: The San Francisco Glose

Photo credit: The San Francisco Globe

 

8. Cover up an unattractive view with beautiful curtains. If you still want to let in natural light, opt for a more sheer fabric.

curtains

9. Design an attractive bathroom by filling stylish, reusable bottles with your soaps and lotions.

Soap Dispenser

10. Hide a dirty spot on the carpet by placing a colorful rug on top. Rugs aren’t just for covering hardwood floors, after all!

colorful rug
By Wendy Weinert

Pet-friendly decorating tips for a home you and your furry friend will love

Parents are always aware of their young one’s safety and comfort, and they also consider their kid’s messy habits before picking out new furniture and decor. The same strategy can be applied to pets, too, and I know many of you think of them as family, too. By remembering your furry friend when decorating, you can design a home that is comfortable for both of you and still be able to enjoy a stylish space. These pet-friendly decorating tips will help get you started.

1. Opt for rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpet

Carpet traps bad odors and hair, making it hard to keep it clean. Rugs, on the other hand, are easier to clean and much less expensive to replace. Natural-fiber rugs like sisal are affordable and more durable than synthetic materials.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Photo credit: Bryn Alexandra

2. Set up a space just for them

I know pets aren’t people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy having space to themselves. Everyone in the home has a bedroom, so set up a small area in a room of your choice where a dog or cat can go to eat, sleep and play.

Pet's Area

Photo credit: Room Service – Decorating 101

3. Choose comfortable and stylish bedding

Animals love their naps. Give your pets the comfort they deserve with a plush bed made just for them. With so many options available today, you won’t have any trouble finding a bed that is both comfortable and stylish to match your home’s decor.

Dog bed

Photo credit: Etsy

4. Match upholstery to your pet’s fur color

Your puppy is cute, but he sheds a lot. The next time you’re searching for a new sofa or chair, try matching the upholstery to his fur color. It won’t solve the shedding problem, but it might help hide some of the hair so it isn’t too visible to guests.

5. Choose plants carefully

Certain plants are poisonous to animals, so make sure the plants you bring inside won’t hurt your pet. Learn which plants are toxic to animals here.

Your pet is family — there’s no question about it. Follow these pet-friendly decorating tips to offer your family a comfortable and safe place to live.

By Wendy Weinert