Stage your home to sell with these 3 tricks

Staging a home for selling isn’t as simple as decorating the space to match your preferred style. Think about the qualities you look for when touring potential houses. If you’re like me, you want the home to appear spacious, functional and inviting, as well as versatile so it can easily be changed to match your tastes. There are many tips and strategies you can implement to sell your home successfully, but I found these three tricks to be the most helpful.

Elk Lighting lights up a living room

1. Get rid of the clutter

I’m not talking about the piles of magazines that used to sit on your coffee table – you already knew to get rid of those. I’m talking about furniture. It’s essential that your home looks bigger and more open, and having too much furniture can create exactly the opposite effect. Go from room to room and see if there are pieces that aren’t really necessary or are simply taking up space.

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2. Keep the style neutral

I might love the eclectic style, but I wouldn’t decorate my home to be eclectic if I were trying to sell it. Everyone has different tastes, and even though a home’s style can be changed easily, it’s hard for potential buyers to picture a different look in their minds. Keep the style as neutral as possible to attract the largest number of people.

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3. Improve the lighting

I would much rather purchase a home that appeared welcoming and open rather than dark and cramped. Wouldn’t you? The right amount of lighting can make a huge difference in how inviting a room looks, so consider increasing your bulb wattage and make sure you have a combination of overhead, task and accent lighting.

If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might just need to rethink your decorating strategy. Simple tricks like these can help you sell your home quickly and for the right price.

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.

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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

Get Inspired by The Great Gatsby with Mercury Glass Lamps

The most recent film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel The Great Gatsby was spectacular in visual appeal. The director knew how to capture the glitz and glam of the 1920s and even if you didn’t like the movie, you had to appreciate the sparkling costumes and splendid décor that in today’s world might feel out of place and over-the-top. While trends have evolved and less is generally more, you can still achieve vintage glam without overwhelming; just incorporate mercury glass light fixtures into your home décor. The distinctive pieces are sure to bring excitement to any room.

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Photo by Warner Bros.

Mercury glass does not actually contain mercury and is instead coated with a silvery finish. It was first created and popular in the 1800s and wasArteriorsHomeMercuryGlassLamp commonly used to beautify a room. Although mercury glass had faded in popularity for a while, it is on the rise and enjoying a comeback. Bring this sparkling trend into your own home with the Walter distressed Mercury glass lamp. The combination of modern design and antique silver allows the lamp to blend in well with your contemporary décor and still adds a hint of vintage charm. The shimmer and shine of the mercury glass can be the perfect addition to any room lacking in allure.

Sparkling flapper costumes and lavish home décor aren’t common themes in today’s style trends. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t still house a hint of the grandeur and excitement. Mercury glass is the perfect solution to creating a glamorous look that still fits in well with today’s modern room designs even if you don’t want to go all out with the entire theme and style of that era.

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Check out new exclusive designs from Schonbek at Bellacor

Chandeliers are works of art that can bring a sense of grandeur and beauty to any room. One of the most important factors in choosing a chandelier is quality, which is why we at Bellacor are excited about our new partnership with Schonbek, which will make their collection available to you on the Bellacor website.

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Since its beginning in 1870, Schonbek has specialized in the creation of custom chandeliers and has continued to influence the lighting industry with over 200 patents. Inattentiveness, quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of every chandelier that is designed and created by Schonbek, and Bellacor now makes it easier to access these exceptional fixtures.

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Along with the many brands and styles of light fixtures already featured on the Bellacor website, you can now access the exclusive designs of Schonbek. With the addition of more unique and attractive fixtures, Bellacor has an even stronger lighting section, giving you more to choose from. Although known best for its chandeliers, Schonbek also offers pendant fixtures, wall sconces, lamps and ceiling-mount fixtures. Whatever your taste, you can be sure you’ll find a design that matches your style.Amytis_by_Schonbek_AM5506-22RAY_WBG_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd

Impact lighting in any room

Lighting can play a significant role in home decor. While you may use lighting to highlight other room decorations, you can just as easily use statement light fixtures to add impact to a room. The key to impact lighting isn’t just selecting a large fixture that is sure to get everyone’s attention; it’s how well you can incorporate a piece into a room. Find the right statement light fixture for every room by keeping these considerations in mind:

Size of room
If you’re working with a smaller space such as a bedroom, it’s important not to use a light fixture that feels overwhelming. It wouldn’t make sense to install a huge chandelier in a tiny room. Instead, try using a smaller fixture that stands out with its unique design or shape. Try using one of Fine Art Lamps’ Chandeliers for your dining room.

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Style of room
The light fixture you choose should fit in well with the room’s décor. If you’re going for elegance, you don’t want to install a light fixture that screams quirky and fun. Before deciding on a fixture, make sure you know what style to look for.

Eclectic Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Niki Papadopoulos

Purpose of lighting
Light fixtures need to be both decorative and functional. Depending on the room, you need them for task lighting or to create a specific atmosphere. In bathrooms, you need lighting to help you get ready in the morning, so bathroom lighting needs to be functional. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t also use lighting to create impact. Try using some beautiflly inspired bath fixtures from George Kovaks to add some flair in your bathroom.GeorgeKovakBathroom

Foremost Crystal chandelier brands – Schonbek, a subdivision of Swarovski Group

With the addition of Schonbek, a brand known for its heritage of premium quality and hand craftsmanship, Bellacor will strengthen its lighting selection, service, and value to support its overall vision of being the leading, trusted, expert online retailer of lighting & home furnishings. Like Bellacor, Schonbek is committed to helping customers beautify their environment by providing incredible product selection, service, expertise.
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Since 1870, Schonbek has been synonymous with authentic crystal chandeliers of the highest heirloom quality. Each creation is a radiant masterpiece of elegance and opulence, designed to illuminate generation to come.

For more than 140 years, the Schonbek name has carried with it a reputation as a change maker in lighting, revolutionizing the industry. To date, Schonbek is responsible for more than 200 patents.

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True to the Schonbek’s heritage of handcraftsmanship, each premium chandelier is delicately hand worked in the service of Schonbek_Handcrafted_Smallbeauty. The result is pieces of exceptional grandeur that are appreciated by traditionalists and modernists alike.  A made-to-order brand, each authentic masterpiece shines with its own special character in more than 50,000 combinations of finishes, crystal types and styles.

Schonbek is manufactured exclusively at its global headquarters in Plattsburgh, NY, U.S.A., drawing inspiration from its rich European heritage and longstanding tradition of chandelier making. Schonbek is a member of the Swarovski Group.

Meet Humphrey: Fresh design in a classic shape

JulyAugust Elle Decor

Recently featured in the July/August issue of Elle Décor magazine, Hudson Valley Lighting’s Humphrey collection brings an air of warmth and distinction to any interior. For nearly 30 years, under the vision and guidance of its founder, David Littman, Hudson Valley Lighting has been using high-grade materials and superior manufacturing techniques like heavy casting and hand-rubbed finishes to produce exquisitely crafted, heirloom-quality pieces. As their name implies, the design studio is headquartered in New York’s beautiful Hudson River Valley, where they find endless sources of creative inspiration – from the glamour of nearby Manhattan to the architectural legacy of Colonial settlers, from the industrial grit of the 1800s riverside factories to the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness at their doorstep. With Hudson Valley, David Littman is continuing a family tradition started in the 1940s by his grandfather’s forays into commercial fluorescent lighting.

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With pieces like their Humphrey lighting fixtures, Hudson Valley falls squarely in the residential realm. Landing stylistically somewhere between traditional and modern design, Humphrey is a transitional piece that works exceeding well with a wide variety of interior design styles in the dining room, bedroom, front hall or even a game room. Available in a choice of metal finishes, including aged brass, old bronze and polished nickel, Humphrey is distinguished by its unique and distinctively shaped shade. Made from a soft off-white fabric that provides warm, diffused light, the shade has an intricate, yet fresh, shape that is decorative with being too fussy or complicated. Combining the warmth of traditional decorative lighting fixtures with the clean feel of a modern and minimal silhouette, Humphrey is also available in a number of other shapes and sizes to suit your needs, including a double-shade version and a ceiling hugging style. Humphrey – and many other remarkable Hudson Valley Lighting fixtures – are available to order at bellacor.com.

“Industrial Chic” Design Trend

By Brian Lintner for Bellacor.com

One of the latest trends in interior design is the shift towards a transitional “Industrial Chic” look. With the “Industrial Chic” trend, iconic modern silhouettes are juxtaposed with the dry, scraped and weathered finishes popularized by the “La Maison” traditional trend, producing what could be called “Shabby Modern”.  Finding its roots in the “La Maison” trend, which uses traditional elements in weathered finishes and incorporates pieces of exaggerated scale, “Industrial Chic” incorporates many of the same finishes as those seen in the French inspired design, which is a long-standing trend in Europe and now made popular in the United States by retailers such as Restoration Hardware.

 “La Maison” Traditional Trend Inspired “Industrial Chic” Design and Finishesbedroom pendant

Although “Industrial Chic” design uses many of the same key finishes and materials as the “La Maison” trend, “Industrial Chic” design incorporates Industrial “Found Objects” and institution-scaled accessories are a big part of the look. With “Industrial Chic” design, you can use industrial shapes and finishes to create the on-trend look in almost any transitional space. Great examples of chic fixtures include light fixtures that feature clean drum shades as well as over-sized pendant lights. The drum shape in itself is an industrial shape. You can soften the look by using linen and burlap fabrics which are common to the trend. In 2013, Sea Gull Lighting introduced several drum shaped, fabric semi-flush and pendant fixtures, including pieces from the Stirling collection shown below.  Stirling, with its chic style and eclectic twist brings clean, modern lines to a traditional soul. White linen drum shades in combination with brushed nickel finish is eye-catching and inviting.Pendant

The Brayden Collection, by Sea Gull Lighting, is another drum shape option available in a darker finish. The Brayden’s elegantly simple fabric drum shade is highlighted by a fun design element with an industrial flair. At the crown of the fixture, three thick, metal rods hook to the center structure, adding an unexpected twist to this classic silhouette. An acrylic diffuser, held in place with a metal finial, finishes off the look.Dining Room Pendant

In an industrial setting, lights are typically meant for a specific task. For example, pendant lights are used as task lighting when working on a manufactured product.  Although the concept of pendant lighting in a kitchen setting is not new, the Kitchen1over-sized pendants using industrial materials over an island are an easy way to create an “Industrial Chic” feel in the kitchen.  Inspired by industrial lighting, the hard-working, large-scale pendants in Sea Gull Lighting’s Pratt Street Collection put light where you need it, while making a significant design statement. Pratt Street is offered in a choice of Prismatic Glass or Machine-Shaped Metal styles. Fully enclosed, a prismatic diffuser spreads light output evenly and alleviates glare.

As we look forward to the new product introductions slated for 2014, many lighting manufacturers will continue to add industrial style light fixtures to their collections that include bare-bulb light fixtures, fixtures with wire cage and other innovative designs that will include the key elements of the “Industrial Chic” trend. Stay tuned to get a first glimpse into Sea Gull Lighting’s new industrial style chandeliers and pendants set for release in late fall 2013.

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Kids rooms: Décor that transitions as they grow

When it comes to decorating children’s spaces, it’s easy to go all out with vibrant hues and fun themes. The problem is, kids don’t stay kids forever, and if you commit to something that doesn’t transition as they mature, a lot of redecorating (and the associated cost) is in your future.

Here are a few top tips to keep in mind to create a beautiful children’s space that also transitions with time:

1. Select a classic color palette

Classic colors aren’t necessarily bland colors. Some of the top color pairings for kids include gray and yellow, pink and green, pink and black, sage and beige, and purple and green. Furthermore, these color combos have lasting power – perfect for a nursery or a teen’s abode.CrystoramaKids1

2. Think concept, not characters

Your child may beg you to go all out with décor featuring her favorite TV character, but try to resist. In a year she’ll be on to something new and you’ll be stuck with a dated theme. Look at the big picture and use accents to bring life to the space. Colorful pillows, throws and rugs add zest, and keep character overload at bay.

3. Love the light

Lighting is the perfect way to add an interesting focal point to a child’s space. Keep scale in mind as you select your options, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. A mini crystal chandelier or sleek chrome ceiling fan from Crystorama works for little or big kids, and may become the trademark feature of the space.

4. Choose fun, but functional furniture

There are some pieces of furniture you’ll need to replace as a child grows, particularly the bed. But other pieces should be selected with longevity in mind. Chairs, dressers and desks need to have lasting power so they work today and tomorrow. Keep in mind durability – kids are tough on their stuff, so durable materials that can easily be cleaned are ideal.

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5. Remember organization

Children’s rooms are typically smaller spaces within a home, yet kids tend to accumulate so much stuff! Cut the clutter by kidsStoragedesigning their room with organization in mind. Baskets, built-ins and creative shelving should all be incorporated into a child’s space. When clutter overflows, it’s time for a sort-and-donate session.

Beyond the basic bulb: One of the quickest ways to reinvent your lighting

When it comes to changing your look, little things mean a lot, and one of the quickest fixes you can make is to change the bulbs in your lighting fixtures. Think a bulb is too basic an element to make a real stylistic difference? Think again. Bulbs can change brightness and the tone of your room’s light, but they can also be a focal point in their own right. Consider these changes you can make by simply switching your bulbs:

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Photo Credit: Bulbrite

Add warmth or cool things off: When it comes to the kind of light they emit, bulbs can vary widely. To add a warming feeling to your room, switch to a soft white bulb, or even an amber bulb. To give a room an airier, more invigorating look, select bright white. You’ll find variations in tone in incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs.

Modernize a chandelier: Update the look of any chandelier by plucking off its shades. While shades themselves can do a lot to alter the look of the fixture, putting the bulbs on display is a bold approach that’s well suited to urban chic interior styles. As designer Philip Gorrivan said, “Experiment with different light bulbs in your sconces and chandeliers. Instead of the traditional flame tip, try using clear Edison bulbs. Ditch the shades for a more modern look.”

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Shift your shape: Bulbs go way beyond the classic rounded top versions. Flames (either embossed or with a candle-like wispy end) and faceted bulbs make a more pronounced statement. Edison bulbs, which themselves come in a range of shapes – from long and slender to short and round – are currently on the interior design hot list.

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