Outdoor showers – are they right for you?

Outdoor showers are becoming more and more popular these days, and when the temperature is nice it’s not uncommon for people to bathe in their backyard rather than their bathroom. Outdoor showers are a great way to take your daily routine to the next level and turn it into an exciting and pleasant experience. Even with a busy schedule, an outdoor shower allows you a little time each day to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful blue sky.

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Photo Credit: Home Bunch

If you give the idea a chance, you might just realize that an outdoor shower is right for you.

Outdoor showers aren’t just a luxurious addition to one’s home. They are practical too! If you have a pool, live by a beach or spend a lot of time gardening, an outdoor shower allows you to clean up before entering your home. Just do a quick rinse to get the sand, dirt or chlorine off and you’ll prevent tracking in dirt or carrying unpleasant smells with you indoors.

Living room by the beach

Photo Credit: http://thitomaz.tumblr.com/

Once you’ve made the decision to install an outdoor shower, carefully consider its location for an optimal experience. Even if you’re the perfect candidate for an outdoor shower, the wrong location can quickly make you regret the decision. Keep the shower away from shaded areas and make sure it gets direct sunlight. Not only will the sun enhance your shower experience but it will also help prevent scum from forming by keeping the walls and floor drier.

Enclosed outdoor shower

Photo Credit: Remodelista

Privacy is obviously another factor you will want to consider. Depending on your setup and how you plan to use the shower, you might add an enclosure. If there are windows that allow people to look straight down onto the shower, a louvered roof will keep people from being able to see into the shower, without blocking out the sunlight.

Ready to change up your daily routine? Consider moving your shower outside and enjoy an exciting new experience!

By Wendy Weinert

Small space? Make sure your furniture is the right scale.

Living in a small space can feel frustrating at times, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy great furniture. Any home, whether it is a tiny apartment or a large mansion can be furnished for style, convenience and organization without becoming overcrowded. You just have to select the right size furniture for each room.

living room with sofas, coffee table, and television

When it comes to selecting furniture for small spaces, scale is everything. Rather than decorating your tiny living room with a large, overstuffed sofa, choose from furniture that is smaller in scale to match your room’s size. When your furniture is the right size, everything else in your interior design will fall into place more easily.

white living room

Photo credit: Coastal Home

Not only should furniture match the size of your room, but every piece of furniture you have should also be in proportion to the others. If your bedroom has a gigantic, king-sized bed paired with a really small desk, the overall design will not look very put-together.

New rustics furniture company end table

Determining whether a table or cabinet will be the right size for your space can sometimes be tricky. Sure you can just start buying and hope for the best. You might, however, regret this decision once you realize the furniture isn’t the right size and the room just doesn’t feel right. Everything that is too big will have to be returned and you will be back to square one.

 dark colored rug with two chairs

A great way to prevent buying the wrong size furniture is to measure your space first. Using a tape measure, determine how much square footage you have to work with and keep in mind general “rule of thumbs” for setting up furniture. For example, if you plan to get a dining room rug, it should extend 24″ beyond the table. If you want a rug underneath your bed, make sure you have enough space to purchase a rug that is 18-24″ wider and longer on all sides. So even if you have enough space to purchase a bigger bed, you might need to opt for a smaller design if you also want to include a rug.

Take the time to measure your space and furniture before you make any big purchases. With the right size furniture, you can turn your small living space into a stylish sanctuary.

By Wendy Weinert

5 easy ways to get your living room ready for entertaining

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

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interior design livingroom real estate home

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

Mambo

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

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

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Photo credit: Everydayelsie

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

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

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

By Wendy Weinert

Party-ready your Home with these 3 Lighting Tips

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You’ve rearranged your furniture, cleaned every inch of your home, created a playlist, and picked out your party outfit. All you need to do now is set the mood with a great lighting strategy. Lighting can have a huge impact on a room’s ambience, which means it can also have a pretty big effect on your party. Set just the right mood and make your party a night to remember by following these three lighting tips.

Elegant dining

1. Keep lighting low: While you might appreciate having your overhead light turned on during the day, the bright light can feel a little harsh during a party. Consider switching out your light bulbs for ones with lower watts. Or, install dimmer switches so you can create a darker setting at a moment’s notice. You also have the option to just leave your overhead lighting off, and use indirect lighting instead.

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2. Use multiple light sources: Creating the right amount of lighting can be tricky. While you want to keep the lighting low, it’s important that you also prevent certain areas of the room from becoming too dark.

Using multiple light sources throughout the room will allow you to keep all areas of your space lit just right. Lighting options you might consider include hanging up a string of lights, turning on lamps, lighting candles, installing a dimmed chandelier and displaying wall sconces.

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3. Accentuate interesting elements: Mood lighting tends to hide the imperfections in your home such as a stain on your carpet or a scratched cabinet. You can also, however, use accent lighting to highlight décor or architectural elements you want to show off. Place lights strategically behind plants and furniture for a dramatic look. A well-placed wall sconce can be used to enhance a piece of artwork you want your guests to notice.

Every party needs a little mood lighting to make the evening feel more special. Try using these lighting tips in your own home and your home will be party-ready in no time!

By Wendy Weinert

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

PaintColor samplesIf you’ve ever spent any time at your local paint store or even in a hardware store that offers paint to customers you know how many different options and shades of each color are available. Considering that, it’s no surprise that many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to choosing the right paint color.

While there’s no definitive answer for every person and every home, there are some basic guidelines that can help you make appropriate choices. Typically, these guidelines can be applied to your home room by room, making sure your whole home ties together and maintains the right atmosphere throughout. Don’t forget about the lighting in the room as this will change how your color appears. Natural vs. electric light sources and the type they are – task, general, or ambient lighting will effect the color outcome.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is a room you likely spend a lot of time in, and it’s one where you probably spend time relaxing and feeling the pressure to get things done when entertaining or cooking for family. That’s why light and color is so important in this space.

You can’t go wrong with brighter colors in most kitchens, including colors like yellow, crisp white and even certain more saturated shades of colors like orange and cream, like the one below from Access Lighting. After all, the most important part of choosing a color for your kitchen is making sure it helps open up the space and give it energy, not enclose it.

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Living Room

How you pick a color for your living room really depends on the type of living room you’re working with. A formal space need something different than a casual area where you spend time with family.

For a formal living room, choosing neutral colors that are soothing and refined like chocolate, cream, navy and beige are often ideal. For a room where you spend time with family those same colors can work, but you might want to soften the palate a bit and go for something a bit more playful – a royal blue instead of navy, perhaps.

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Dining Room

Your dining room is a space that you want to feel elegant yet comfortable, so paint color plays an important role in pulling off that effect. In most cases you’ll want to work with more neutral colors in the dining room, and colors like crème, beige and even shades of green or navy can work well.

However, for a more playful space, choosing lighter, less saturated colors like pastels can also work, especially if you live in a coastal region or nature is close at hand.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is a space where you should be spending time relaxing and unwinding from stressful days. While many people use their bed as a second office, that isn’t the atmosphere you want to cultivate.

When picking out colors for your master bedroom, relaxation should be what you have in mind. Deep, saturated colors that are dark can help provide that – colors like deep greens or a plum/eggplant color. However, you can also choose softer colors like buttercream and even eggshell whites if you prefer a lighter space and still get the relaxing feeling you’re looking for.

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are all about getting ready for your day, but more and more, people are using them as a space to relax. If that’s you, choose natural earth tones for your bathroom and really focus on finding a color that feels natural and actually appears in nature.

If you spend most of the time in your bathroom rushing and getting ready, choose bright white, yellow or even a fun shade of green. What’s important for you is good lighting and not making the space feel claustrophobic.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Choosing the right paint color for your space can feel ridiculously complicated, but the good news is that there really isn’t a right answer. While these suggestions can be helpful, anything that feels good to you is likely a wonderful decision for your home.

When picking paint, you’ll also want to consider the style of your home. A dining room in a home with Caribbean accents usually won’t want the same paint color as a home with Spanish revival details, so make sure you take that into consideration as well.

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Doing Interior Designs the Right Way

Photo By: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Photo By: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Interior design is a complicated thing. There are many colors, patterns, architectural elements, and fabrics that go with all the many different styles. While I find myself drooling over countless pictures of farmhouse kitchens or contemporary bedrooms, when it comes to decorating my own house, I want it to reflect my personality. Choosing your style is the first and most important step in decorating. Once you have selected what fits you best, the rest will fall into place. No matter what your style is, there are the same interior design elements found among them.

The first interior design element you will need to choose is color. Colors should bring warmth into the room and make it a place you want to be in. If a room is lacking in natural lighting from windows, opt for a lighter shade of your favorite paint color. Neutral grays and tans give a room a comfortable and classy look. While whites are bright and add light to a room, they can also feel cold. Add bright pillows, frames, rugs, or lamps to a white room to bring a touch of warmth. A dark accent wall can add depth and a natural focal point.

After choosing your colors, it is time to create a mood. This might sound strange, but interior design is all about making a house a home. There is nothing like walking into a living room to find poor lighting and every piece of furniture centered around the television. While every room should have a focal point, it doesn’t have to be the TV. Set up the couches and chairs for conversation. Arranging couches this way can make a huge impact on a room.

Make the room inviting with the best use of lighting fixtures and lamps. While natural lighting is a big plus for rooms, when it is dark outside, it doesn’t matter how big your windows are. Hang or set up lights in a triangle pattern to evenly space them throughout the room. Add extra lighting around the focal point of the room, such as can lights above the fireplace or kitchen stove. For a romantic mood, add lights that can easily dim and brighten.

Here are additional sources to help you on your path to successful interior design.

Top Interior Design Tips for Beginners – Not everyone can throw a room together and have it look magazine-worthy. These tips are great to help anyone learn a few things about decorating.

Fool Proof Paint Colors – Choosing paint colors can be stressful, but these paint colors will impress anyone.

Interior Design Tips Album – Some of the best ways to learn about interior design is through photos and this inspirational album does just that.

Interior Design Tips for Living Rooms – Follow these simple steps and you can have your living room be looking like a professional did it.

Add Value to Your Home with Interior Design – While remodeling a room can add value to your home, paint and a little decorating can make your home stand-put amongst the rest.

Five Ways to Enhance a Small Space – If your space is feeling a little cramped, try these five tips to enhance a small room and get the most out of it.

Tips for Family Room Seating – Instead of buying the biggest sectional you can find, it might be a better idea to purchase two small couches. Read this article for great advice for family room seating.

Combine Colors Like a Design Expert – If you want to add color to a wall but lack the confidence, read this article to know which colors to combine for the desired mood.

Living Room Decorating Ideas – Adding a few touches of décor here or there can make a room feel complete and homier. Read these forty ideas to decorate your living room.

Entry Wall Colors that are Easy on Your Eyes – Check out these stunning entries.

by Wendy Weinert

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“Couture & Décor”: How Fashion & Interior Design Will Change Lifestyles In 2014

In your mind’s eye, imagine a highway winding through the natural countryside. On this highway are two automobiles—both made in Detroit of course—driving in two separate lanes, but in the same direction. Occasionally, one car speeds ahead of the other, but eventually the other vehicle always catches up. And while neither car merges into the others lane completely, sometimes their tires casually cross the dotted line. In the end, however, both cars arrive at the same destination, together and on time.

Similarly, Fashion and Interior Design are much like those two cars on the same highway. They transport how people style themselves from point A to point B in the future. And although they are in the aforementioned  “separate lanes”, there is a very thin line between them since both find creative strength from similar inspirations. Why? Because they share the same goal: helping consumers arrive at a gorgeous destination.fashion-sketches

For example, the same couture fabrics and color themes that are seen on models on the runway during Fashion Week in Paris are also being used by high end interior designers across the world to outfit furniture, window treatments and even wall colors. From texture to fit to color, the parallels of fashion and interiors are simply amazing.

For the next few moments we will explore three different ways that Interior Décor will be influenced by couture fashion in 2014. The three trends we’re going to examine are as follows: 1.) Color Fusion 2.) Patterns & Wall Décor and 3.) Mixing Metals

Color Fusion: What will be the color trends for 2014 in interior design?

Tangerine: We saw tangerine trending in fashion in 2011, but it didn’t quite catch on as strongly with interior design as forecasters anticipated. Since it has been incubating in the public’s consciousness for some time now, expect it to return with a vengeance next year. Tangerine is a very versatile color. While it’s not a neutral, it does “play well” with others. Pair it with citrus, black, crème, chocolate or gray to give your living space the feel of a jet-setting experience.

Corey Damen Jenkins1-Tangerine

Jewel Tones: Inspired by fashion, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green will also continue their dominance in interior design and decoration next year. These cooler colors are stunning as velvets on large furnishings like sofas and chairs or as silks and linens for window treatments.

Patterns & Wall Décor: How will Fashion influence Interior Design regarding patterns and wall décor next year?

Plaid will continue to be a popular go-to pattern in homes. Whether it’s featured on fabrics by Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, or other masters, rich color combinations in plaids of varying scales will dominate in many interiors in 2014. Because plaids can be both masculine and feminine in their execution expect many different interpretations of their usage.

Another big trend next year will be using wallpaper in versatile ways. For some time, wallpaper wasn’t in vogue, but that attitude has changed drastically with the arrival of amazing selections inspired by couture fashion. Look for ground-breaking choices that feature textures like bling, wood veneers and unusual artwork as found in stunning new collections from Fornasetti for Cole & Son. And don’t forget to consider your ceiling as option for coverage!

wallpaper by fornasetti

Mixing Metals: A third area Fashion will influence Interior Design in 2014 involves mixing metals.

For many years it was considered a faux pas to mix silver and gold accessories in interior decorating. But that is no longer the case. Just as fashion has broken the rules in terms of jewelry and fabric combinations, so too as Interior Design made it acceptable to mix and match different finishes.

So don’t be afraid to place a gold chandelier over a sofa with silver nail-heads. Or to hang artwork with varying frames in silver, bronze, gold, crystal and black together on one wall salon-style. Remember, that variety is the spice of life—and it’s also the mark of strong interior decorating.

Corey Damen Jenkins2-Mixing Metals

In conclusion, remember that fashion and interior design have been and forever will be in a symbiotic relationship. When you watch models strutting their stuff down the catwalk, imagine those same fashions, those patterns, those colors as inspiration for how you decorate your home. May we all watch 2014 with keen anticipation as interior design and fashion continue to take us down the high road of style!

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5 Places you can now Install a Chandelier

If you love chandeliers, but feel you don’t have the “proper” place to install one, then we have good news for you. Thanks to recent design trends and the fact that many of today’s homes are less formal than before, chandeliers can be used in any room of the house. That’s right – no longer are chandeliers reserved just for the dining room or the foyer. Now there are casual, elegant, and modern designs to fit in with any style of room. Here are just 5 unique places you can now install a chandelier:

Elk Lighting chandelier

1. Over the bed: Want to give your master bedroom a more romantic and elegant feel? Well, one of the simplest ways to transform the look of the bedroom is to install a chandelier right above the bed. Depending on your bedroom’s design, there are many styles of chandeliers that could work including crystal chandeliers or fixtures with soft-glow bulbs.

Trans Globe Lighting

2. Outdoors: Out of all the places you might have considered installing a chandelier, you probably never thought of outside! With a chandelier hung up on your patio, you can enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine with family or friends. If you have a front porch with a couch or chairs, create a relaxing atmosphere by installing a casual chandelier. If you have to use a chandelier that operates on candles, use flameless candles for better safety.

Classic Lighting Via Firenze Silver Plate Four-Light Mini-Chandelier with Sapphire Crystal Accents

3. Walk-in closet: A walk-in closet has a way of making a room feel luxurious and now you can make it appear even more lavish by hanging up an elegant chandelier. While you might choose to install an elegant and classy chandelier, make sure it isn’t too big so that it gets in the way. A walk-in closet may be bigger than your average sized closet, but it still isn’t as large as most rooms.

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4. In the bathroom: Create a relaxed atmosphere in the bathroom by installing a chandelier above the bathtub. The soft glow of the chandelier will make long, hot baths even more enjoyable and you’ll come out feeling refreshed.

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

5. Over the kitchen island: Just because the kitchen is a highly functional room, doesn’t mean you can’t make it stylish! Try installing several mini chandeliers over the kitchen island or just one large chandelier to give the kitchen a more unique look. Friends and family will be more drawn to the island countertop and it will become the heart of the kitchen.

Where in your home can you install a chandelier? Try out one or more of these ideas and add some style to your home!

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Make your home look alive this winter season

Winter at Walnuts Farm

The winter season has a way of making everything look bare and a little lifeless. Even your home’s exterior can lose its usual appeal when there are no leaves, grass or flowers in sight. If you feel your house is looking dull, it’s time to bring your exterior design back to life with these simple tricks!

Maxim Lighting International South Park Black Three-Light Outdoor Wall Mount

 Add outdoor lighting

Capital Lighting

Capital Lighting

A little light can go a long way in making one’s home appear more inviting. Install lights to illuminate your driveway at night. Not only will

your home stand out, but the lights will welcome you home when it’s dark out. Depending on how long your driveway is, you might just put a light above the garage, or you can install light posts along the actual driveway.

If you have a front porch, light it up with a wall-mount lantern. Wall-mount lanterns often have an antique, unique look and will warmly invite guests into your home with style.

If you’re a fan of holiday lights, keep some of your white lights hung up even after the holidays! White lights are a little less seasonal than colored bulbs and can perk up the look of your home long after the holidays are over.

 

Decorate your mailbox

No one thinks to decorate their mailbox, but a few minor changes can make a big difference – and will catch the attention of those walking by. Add some pizazz to your mailbox by painting it one or more bright colors. If you’re tired of your mailbox’s style, but don’t want to mess with the paint, consider getting a new one that has a unique design.  See how we decorated our mailboxes for the holidays.

Architectural Mailboxes Coronado Black Mailbox with Antique Nickel AccentsPaint your door or window trims

 When all else fails, add bright colors. Bright colors add instant impact and bring life to any dull area! Try painting your front door or outdoor trims a dazzling red. The rich red color against the contrasting white snow will make a statement and add warmth to your home.

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Add potted greenery

Just because you can’t enjoy grass or summer plants, doesn’t mean you can’t still incorporate a little green outside of your home. Put some fir or pine plants into a stylish planter and place them on your front steps or right next to your front door. The green shrubs will serve as a nice replacement for your usual plants until summer comes.

Don’t let your home’s appeal suffer because of winter. Try utilizing these décor tricks to make your house come alive in the cold winter months.

Frog Urn Plant Holder

Frog Urn Plant Holder

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Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan Apartment: how to get the look

Photo Credit: Elle Decor

Photo Credit: Elle Decor

Cameron Diaz is a unique phenomenon. Who else can manage to always look effortlessly glamorous, never over the top and fun – all at the same time! While you might not have figured out how to pull off her look fashion-wise, you can now bring these stylish characteristics to your home, thanks to Elle Décor!

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Photo Credit: Elle Decor

The online magazine showcased Diaz’s apartment, designed by Diaz and Kelly Wearstler, along with a brief interview with the actress herself. Based on the article, here are some simple ways you can add a little bit of that “Cameron appeal” to your home:

Currey Company Helio Table Lamp

Currey Company Helio Table Lamp

Incorporate brass

Diaz told Elle Décor, “I blame my love of sparkly, shiny things on my Cuban roots. But I also wanted a place that felt very homey, very tactile.” Her designer, Wearstler, was able to help her achieve this mix by incorporating brass furniture and fixtures in rooms like the kitchen, bedroom, dining room and living room.

Brass stands out, but does so without being too flashy and over the top. When adding brass to your home, think beyond the box. While most cabinets nowadays are made out of wood or glass, Cameron’s designer made a brass cabinet … and it looks awesome!

Bliss

Don’t be afraid of unique colors

CurreyTurquoise

Currey & Company  Chandelier

Sometimes taking a risk is necessary to achieve the look you really want. Cameron’s apartment features several striking colors, like the emerald green cabinets in the kitchen or the pop of yellow in the living room. Adding a pop of color even in something like a chandelier or a unique color palette on your walls is a great way to give your home a more eclectic feel.

Make every piece count

From the artwork to the faucet fixtures, everything in Diaz’s home has been carefully thought out to enhance the overall look of the room. Nothing seems arbitrary or looks out of place. And while none of the rooms are overcrowded, each room has defining pieces that stand out and grab your attention. Look for unique light fixtures or interesting pieces of furniture for your own home!

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Designing your home to be effortlessly stylish doesn’t have to be impossible. Just try some of these ideas from Cameron Diaz’s home and you’ll transform your home in no time.

 

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