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.

 

A quick guide to sofa styles

I recently discovered that the terms “sofa” and “couch,” according to their original definitions, actually described two different pieces of furniture. Although very interesting, knowing the difference between a sofa and couch might not help you when buying furniture, as most people now use the two words interchangeably. What’s important to know instead are sofa styles. Here’s a quick guide that will help you when shopping online.

Camel back: These sofas have a “humped” back, which makes them easy to recognize. Camel-back sofas are usually found in traditional or contemporary homes due to their curved lines.

Inverted camel back

Lawson-style: If your top priority is comfort, a Lawson-style sofa might be your best choice. These sofas are unique because the back cushions are not attached to the frame.

Lawson Style Sofa

Chesterfield: Chesterfield sofas have a sophisticated style due to their tufted design and rolled arms. You’ll find them better suited for more formal environments, such as traditional homes.

Chesterfield Sofa

English: Also known as the “club sofa,” the English sofa has low, rolled arms that are hardly noticeable, which makes it great for casual homes.

English

Mid-century modern: If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you’ve seen a Mid-century modern sofa. These sofas feature clean lines and simple forms.

Mid-century modern sofa

Settee: A settee looks more like a wide chair than it does a sofa. Although not the most comfortable choice, settees are beautifully elegant and fit in great with antique-style rooms.Settee

 

Chaise lounge: Go glam with a chaise lounge. These sofas either have one arm or none at all, and they are designed to allow people to relax and recline in style.

Chaise Lounge

Loveseat: Built just for two, a loveseat is a great choice for those who have small spaces or just need additional seating. Loveseats can come in various sofa styles, but are made smaller.

Loveseat

Sleeper sofa: If you don’t have a guest room but have company over often, a sleeper sofa might be worth considering. These sofas can be pulled out into a bed whenever you have overnight guests.

Sleeper

Sectional: Sectionals come in either L-shaped or U-shaped forms, and they are designed to provide you with more seating. They come in separate pieces, allowing you to rearrange based on your living room’s layout.

Sectional

By Wendy Weinert

Sofas, couches, davenports – What’s the difference?

I’m sure many of you grew up like I did thinking that sofas, couches and davenports were all the same thing. I’ve always thought they were synonyms you could use interchangeably and that certain regions in the U.S. preferred one word over the other, much like soda vs. pop. You can imagine my surprise, though, when I discovered that the words sofa, couch and davenport in fact have three separate meanings.

Couches

Fainting couch

Photo credit: South Shore Decorating Blog

Although invented prior to this time, couches became very popular in the Victorian era when they were referred to as a “fainting couch.” Couches during the Victorian period were usually armless and most often used by women wearing corsets who needed a resting place to catch their breath.

Sofas

Emerald Home Furnishings Grey Carleton Nail Head Sofa Sofa is said to have come from the Arabic term “suffah.” Originally, the word was used to describe a bench with arms and cushions. It was designed just for sitting, while the couch was created for both sitting and lying.

Davenports

Davenport

Photo credit: Spanish Hills

The word davenport actually describes a specific type of sofa, made by the manufacturing company A. H. Davenport and Company. Davenports were similar to futons, as they could be converted into a bed. Today it’s hard to tell the difference between a couch, sofa and davenport. While doing research, I came across numerous definitions and opinions that often contradicted each other. For example, some agree that sofas are more formal than couches and are mostly used for special occasions. Others say size matters and that sofas are typically larger than couches. The word davenport is often used to describe any sleeper-sofa, regardless of the manufacturing company. Additionally, many have decided that their former definitions no longer hold true and the three terms can be used interchangeably. What about you? Do you use the words couch, sofa and davenport to describe different pieces of furniture, or do you use one word over the others due to your upbringing? Tell us your story! 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

 

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

Smart Furnishing Tips for Small Spaces

Getting the most use out of your small living space can be a daunting task. Smart styling requires finding versatile pieces and using them cleverly. Below are a few furnishing tips that will take your space from cramped to comfortable!

Tip 1: Buy transformational pieces. Maximizing your furniture’s functionality is key when working with limited space. Purchase pieces that can be used every day and adjusted appropriately for entertaining or events. For example, an adjustable bar table is the perfect size and height for everyday use as a kitchen or dining table. When entertaining, hydraulically lift the table to a perfect standing or barstool height.

300D_chair_Omega_BK_Lifestyle_7X10_COPYRIGHT

Photo credit: Lumisource

Bonus Tip: If you chose to pair your adjustable table with multiple sets of seating, opt for options that easily stow away. The Fuji Stacker series, for instance, is available in multiple heights and stacks for easy and compact storage.

300D_chair_Fuji Super Single_Lifestyle_6.5x10_COPYRIGHT

Photo Credit: Lumisource

Tip 2: Employ double duty furniture. Chances are that a living space with limited room is also short on storage. Purchase pieces of furniture with built-in storage solutions. Try something like this Linx Coffee Table, which houses a lower shelf perfect for storing knick-knacks below a fully functional tabletop.

300D_table_Linx 2

Photo Source: Lumisource

Tip 3: Use mirrors and reflective surfaces. Create an optical illusion of depth by hanging a mirror in a cramped space. Reflective surfaces open up spaces, expanding a sense of size with extended views and light. Try an artful approach, like the Helio Mirror, to eliminate the need for additional artwork.

300D_mirror_Helio_BK_lifestyle_COPYRIGHT

Photo Credit: Lumisource

by Wendy Weinert

Six heart-themed decor you can use all year round

Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get inspired by love and fill your home with heart-shaped décor. But you shouldn’t have to put these items away in boxes once the season is over! The perfect heart-themed décor in your home can be displayed all year long! Here are sixideas to get you started.

 

Acorn Manufacturing Smooth Iron Black Hand Forged Split Heart Hook

Bellacor Number: 146641

1. Split heart hook: Sure, a heart-shaped balloon is nice for a couple of days, but then it deflates and is usually just thrown away. This heart-shaped hook is a great way to stay organized, while adding a little love in your home all year round.

Cheung's Metal Heart Shaped Hanging - Welcome

Bellacor Number: 881133

2. Heart-shaped “Welcome” sign: Welcome all to your home who walk through your front door! This heart-shaped sign will help you create a welcoming environment no matter what season it is.

Kalalou Iron Wire Twenty-Four Heart Photo/Card Holder

Bellacor Number: 712550

3. Heart photo/card holder: Forget about the typical picture frames. This photo/card holder provides a more unique way for you to display memorable pictures or cards from loved ones. Just be sure to leave some of the squares open so guests can see the cute heart design!

Yosemite Home Decor The Healing Heart II 24 x 24 Acrylic Painting Reproduction

Bellacor Number: 674460

4. Healing heart painting: While most Valentine’s Day décor is made to be bright red or pink, this gorgeous piece of artwork is painted in metallic tones for a more natural look. Hang it up in the bedroom or even your living room. The neutral colors will fit in well with your existing décor and with any season.

Santangelo Lighting & Design Hand-Painted Bronze Heart Chandelier

Bellacor Number: 469867

5. Heart chandelier: It’s the little details that make one light fixture stand out from another. This bronze chandelier features an elegant heart design that will add a touch of romance to your space. Hang this chandelier up in the dining room for a more intimate atmosphere.

Cheung's Share My Life and Hearts, Wall Decor

Bellacor Number: 881165

6. Share my heart wall décor: Everyone gets chocolate and flowers for Valentine’s Day. Do something different this year and let the beautiful message featured on this hanging wall décor express your feelings instead.

 

Heart designs shouldn’t be limited to just Valentine’s Day. Add a little love in your home with heart-themed décor that looks great all year long.

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

How to buy the right entertainment center for your space

Pretty soon it will be your turn to host movie night. Do you have everything you need to make the night perfect?

Movie-Night

You’ve picked out promising movies, purchased your favorite brand of popcorn and prepared your spare blankets and pillows. But what about that dinky TV stand you’ve been meaning to replace?

Picking out the right entertainment center can feel like a daunting task, but you can make it less of a challenge if you narrow down your choices. Follow these three steps when picking out an entertainment center and find the perfect match for your space:

1. Measure your space and TV: Never just guesstimate how much room you have. You always want to be sure that the entertainment center will fit, otherwise you might just have to take it right back to the store. Normally, the more space you have, the bigger the TV stand you can buy. You’ll also want to consider how large your TV is though. A really tiny TV might look even smaller if you have a big entertainment center. If you have a lot of room and a decent-sized TV, you’ll have more options, such as three-piece centers.

First, you will want to measure the TV. Typically, the TV stand will say what size TV they will hold but if you have the exact measurements, you will be 100% sure it will work for you. When you measure the TV, make sure you take the height, width, and depth of your TV. Do remember that the number on your TV box only measures the screen size diagonally and doesn’t include the frame.

TV measurement

After you have completed accurately measuring your TV, you will then want to measure your space. This room measurement is essential to which TV stand will ultimately work. You do this by measuring the floor space you have available for a TV stand. If your TV is too large for a TV stand that will fit your space, you may want to consider mounting on a wall rather for a space savings. Make sure you sit on the couch/sofa/chair to determine the line of sight (the middle of the TV should meet the line of sight of a person when seated).

Line of sight

2. Determine your storage needs: Do you need an entertainment center to store your many DVDs and Blu-rays? Then you’ll need plenty of shelf space and possibly spare room so you can add to your collection. Other items you might want to store include video game consoles, DVD players, stereo equipment, books and décor items. Knowing exactly what you’ll want to display or store will also help you decide if you want hidden shelves or not.

tvstand3. Consider style, color and material: Once you know how big you want the entertainment center to be and how much storage space you need, you can then take some time to think about the style. The TV area often becomes the focal point of a room, so you want to make sure the entertainment center stands out and impresses. Match the style of the center to the room’s, whether it is modern, eclectic, contemporary or rustic.

TVstand2

Bellacor Number: 632753

Follow these three steps and you’ll be able to pick out the perfect entertainment center for your space.

By Wendy Weinert

A year in review: looking back on 2013

2013 year in review 2

Are you ready for the new year? This one sure seems to have flown by! Now that January is only days away, let’s take a moment to look back on this past year before we start looking ahead. 2013 was full of a lot activity! Some of the top stories include were Oamacare, the tragedy of the Boston marathon bombing, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian expecting a baby, and the royal birth of Kate and Prince William, to the newest addition to the iPhone family, and the viral videos of Grumpy cat.

The year 2013 featured many new interior design trends – some that are here to stay and others that will probably be outdated in just a couple of years. Bellacor would like to share with you some of our customer’s top picks. Who knows? Looking back may just inspire you to spruce up your interior design moving forward into the new year!

Top interior design trends overall

golden branch mirror.bellacor

golden branch mirror.bellacor (Photo credit: coco+kelley)

Remember our article on Cameron Diaz’s New York apartment? Well, the use of brass was a dominant theme in Cameron’s interior

design as well as being pretty big trend in nation wide. Other trends that were big in 2013, and look like are here to stay next year as well, include the use of bright paint colors, artwork for your whole home, adding texture and decorating with stripes. Is it time to give your home a fresh look? Consider incorporating one or more of these fun design fads into your interior design.

Top products at Bellacor
If you want to change up your interior design for the New Year, get inspired by Bellacor’s customers and their favorite products from 2013! Many of Bellacor’s top products on Bellacor.com or that were pinned by customers this year were light fixtures. Follow the trend and switch out a dull light fixture for a new chandelier or hanging pendants. If you’re looking to change up the look in your bathroom, customers were particularly impressed with our selection of three-light bath fixtures.

Light fixtures are definitely are a customers top pick! Check these out (click on the images and it will take you to the product page to learn more):

bath fixtureMurray Feiss BathroomTroy Pendant

 

 

Other Popular Items for 2013
Other popular items for the year 2013 included comforter sets and duvet cover sets. If you’re comforter is a little worse for wear, transform the look of your bedroom and start the New Year with a stylish new bedspread! A simple change like a new comforter or a duvet cover can work wonders to change the look of a room.

duvet coverDon’t forget about your accent furniture that can be used in multiple rooms throughout your house – as well a great cake plate! You, our customers have voted!

Coat rack

PulaskiSwivelGliderReclinerMosserGlassFishTable

What were your favorite design trends or Bellacor products of 2013? Leave a comment and let us know!

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