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

3 ways to love your new studio apartment

Moving into a studio apartment might be a breath of fresh air for those looking to escape the roommate lifestyle. But for many, it’s a shocking change – especially those who like to live large. With the right attitude, some time and a few adjustments, I’ve found that it’s easy to love a small space. Here’s what to do so you can love yours.

Photo credit: homedit

Photo credit: homedit

Simplify

I know it’s hard to part ways with clothes and miscellaneous items that you’ve collected over the years, but getting rid of the things you don’t need is necessary (unless you didn’t have much stuff to begin with). People who don’t like their studio apartments often complain of clutter and little space. Simplifying will prevent you from becoming one of those people.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Hurry Home, Honey

Downsize

Do you really need a king bed and over-sized sofa, or could you do just fine with smaller alternatives? Downsize your furniture to match the size of your apartment. Not only will it provide more room, but the furniture will then be scaled more appropriately to the space.

Room divider

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Define

Much like an open floor plan (only much less spacious), studio apartments generally combine the dining area, entrance, living room and bedroom in one large room. Set up furniture and accessories strategically to create clearly defined areas. If you want some privacy in the bedroom area, I’ve found a decorative screen divider or a large shelving unit will make for a great “wall.”

You’ve always said you wanted to simplify and get organized and here’s your chance! You may need some time to adjust, but I’m sure you’ll soon come to love your new studio apartment.

By Wendy Weinert

4 inspiring female interior designers in the industry today

The interior design industry is full of talented artists, but today I want to highlight the women who are making an impact and raising the bar for other creatives. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I feel these four female interior designers are some of the top in the industry due to the inspiring and beautiful work they create.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss

Photo credit: Charlotte Moss

Moss started her business in 1985 and since then has been designing homes, executive suites and lending her talent to retail stores. She is well known for pushing the limits in design and has created a signature style through her use of American, European and Classical influences. Moss has won several awards, including “The Timeless design Award” by the Royal Oak Foundation.

Kathryn Ireland

Kathryn Ireland

Photo credit: Jon Hugstad

Practical homeowners who prefer a comfortable, stylish interior will love Kathryn Ireland. She is well-known for her bohemian style and continues to be ranked in top designer lists. She was even named one of the 10 designers who would influence the 21st-century style by House & Garden.

Laura Day

Laura Day

Photo credit: Laura Day

Inspired by the natural beauty of her rural, Arkansas home, Laura Day spent her early twenties traveling the world, seeking out more incredible sights and landscapes. Now, Day uses her experiences and memories to create fresh designs you are bound to love. Check out some of her work here and you’ll see what I mean.

Tyler Dawson

Tyler Dawson

Photo credit: Tayler Dawson

Having started Tyler Dawson Design in 2007, Dawson is still an up-and-coming designer. However, her talent is already recognized and her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and more. Her work is often characterized by the warm, comfortable and playful feel, but she always seeks to make each project unique.

Get inspired by the designs and styles these four women have created. You might just learn some new ideas and approaches for decorating your own home!

By Wendy Weinert

The tiny house movement: what it is and why it’s so popular

Tiny house

Photo credit: Hooked on Houses

Lately I’ve been hearing or reading a lot about “tiny houses” (also called “small houses”). It has made me curious, so I wanted to take the time to learn more about what these tiny houses are and why so many people are talking about them.

It seems that a tiny house is exactly what its name implies. Several sources define a tiny house as being less than 1,000 square feet, but that’s generous considering many who build or buy one choose to go as small as 400 square feet or less. Although the new trend is in no way taking over, the small house movement is growing in popularity; many Americans are now choosing to downsize or start their life in these tiny homes.

Floor plans of a tiny house

251 sq. ft. of living space
Photo credit: Hooked on Houses

The question is, “Why?” Why are people choosing to live their lives in such small spaces? Well, there are many reasons, but the biggest ones are because of financial concerns, environmental impact and the desire for freedom. Tiny homes are a much more affordable and sustainable living solution, and many people use them to travel. They are, after all, a much more comfortable way of moving from place to place than an RV.

Although I’m not ready to pack up my home and move into a tiny house just yet, I think there is a lot of good in the movement. It’s an adjustment for sure, but many creative architects and designers have managed to make their small houses feel open and even spacious. It’s all about choosing your furniture and accessories carefully. A futon, for example, can be a great substitute for a couch or sofa in one of these tiny houses, as they are typically smaller and serve a dual purpose. When decorating, look for accessories that make an impact so you can still enjoy style with less decor.

Kichler small ceiling fan

Perfect ceiling fan for a small space

 

What are your thoughts on the tiny house movement? Do you think you could live in such a limited space? Write a comment and let us know!

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 Design Tips and Tricks to Create an Enterntaining-Ready Home

Creating a guest-friendly home doesn’t need to be a reoccurring mad dash every time you host an event. Cut out the drama and avoid the last minute rush by designing a permanently inviting and well-designed space. With these five easy tips and tricks you’ll be prepared for party-goers year round!

Tip: The easiest and most effective way to keep a home party-ready is by creating an open floor plan. Space your furniture smartly and eliminate unnecessary or bulky items that take up too much space. Designing a home with ample room allows for your guests to move around with comfort and ease.

Trick: Use slender and streamlined barstools at a counter instead of a dining set to optimize your kitchen’s usable space. Slim pieces like these Venti Acrylic Bar Stools achieve a stylish appeal, but don’t monopolize the room.

Realty Restoration, LLC

Realty Restoration, LLC

Tip: Keep your space clean and clutter-free. Mixing too many patterns, colors or sizes can make a home seem untidy and uninviting. Stow away books, magazines, remote controls or any other eyesores out of plain sight.

Trick: Furniture with built in storage makes this tip easy to achieve. This Zenn Tray Table, for instance, provides a modern and clean look but still houses a sunken table-top perfect to keep unsightly items in reach but out of sight.

Zenn End Table
Tip: Unify your space with a theme. A similar color palette, pattern or inspiration will keep your home looking clean and organized. When it becomes time to entertain, any other elements or decorations you add to the space will pop against your well-coordinated background!

Trick: Utilizing color as a theme is quick and simple. These white Cascade Bar Stools, for example, tie in the white kitchen appliances and woodwork, creating a unified space.

LumiSource Cascade Bar Stools

Tip: Provide a clear focal point. Anchoring your space with a statement piece will avoid competition between multiple pieces for your guests’ attention. Decorating around the feature will give it a place of honor and create a fun point of discussion for guests.

Trick: Try using something that also promotes socialization, like these Viva Bar Stools. It’s a beautiful attention-grabbing piece that will encourage your guests to gather around for wonderful conversation and a fun time.

justBASEMENTS

justBASEMENTS

Tip: Make the space your own. Creating a home that reflects you will add visual interest and make guests feel more at ease. Add personality to a room with fun pops of color, interesting art or unique elements.

Trick: Fun pieces can still be stylish and coordinate with your furnishings. These red Ale Bar Stools are the perfect example of something artful but still functional. The bright color and interesting shape adds an element of interest and personal flare.

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

 

By Wendy Weinert

Interior Design Trend: Winter Whites

It is always fun to look back over the years and think about the drastic changes in style. I remember years ago, when plain white walls were in. My dad was an artist, so not only were our walls always painted several different shades, but colorful murals filled with intricate details were displayed within our home. My friend’s family kept up with the white trend, and I secretly wished our walls and ceilings were a crisp white, too. Soon, the style changed, and the whites were painted over with rich, dark colors. Bright, bold colors were painted in stripes and fun designs in rooms, and I eagerly bought my own gallons of paint to create a fun style in my own home. But while browsing the Internet and some of my favorite magazines more recently, I quickly noticed the wall colors changing again. Softer colors emerged, and soon, walls, ceilings, cabinets, moldings, and décor were beginning to return to a crisp white. I am happy to say that the same color I craved so many years ago is back! Here is where you can find the winter white design trend within your home.

Photo by Solveig Osk (Flickr)

Photo by Solveig Osk (Flickr)

White Cabinets

The look of wood holds something of value to a kitchen, but wood stains are consistently going out of style at a fast pace. Cabinets aren’t cheap, and painting over your wood can save you thousands of dollars in remodelling costs. With the popularity of DIY projects, people are tackling the kitchen on their own, making white cabinetry more popular than ever.

Continue reading