Fall DIY projects: Winterizing your home

As they say on the popular TV show Game of Thrones, winter is coming. Before the snow falls and the freezing temperatures begin, tackle these seven DIY projects to winterize your home and prepare for the colder season.

1. Clean the gutters
clean gutter

Photo credit: HGTV

In the fall, leaves and other debris often fill up gutters, causing them to become clogged. Prevent your home from becoming damaged by regularly inspecting and cleaning your gutters this season.

2. Put away your outdoor furniture

You can still enjoy your outdoor patio in the fall, but pay attention to the changes in temperature and the weather forecast. Storing your furniture and outdoor decor before winter will keep them protected from the elements.

3. Replace your linens

Rather than turning up the heat, use thicker blankets to keep you warm. You can also replace thin curtains with insulated options to keep the warm air in and the cold air out of your home.

4. Install storm doors and windows

Storm doors and windows are another way to cut down on utility costs, as they are designed to seal drafts and keep your home warm.

5. Set up a fireplace

If you love the idea of snuggling up next to a fireplace in the winter, create a cozy home now with an electric fireplace in the living room or bedroom.

6. Update insulation

Some insulation projects like weather stripping and covering windows with plastic are very simple. Determine areas in your home where insulation can be improved (such as windows, floors, attics, etc.) and start this project earlier to reduce utility costs in the winter.

7. Run your ceiling fan in reverse Akira_RoomShot

This isn’t exactly a project, but I think it’s a good tip to keep in mind during colder seasons. Running your ceiling fan in reverse helps to create a warm breeze, allowing you to turn down the heat and save money.

Is your home ready for winter? Start preparing your home for the upcoming season now by tackling these DIY projects.

By Wendy Weinert

How to accessorize with metallics

A touch of shimmer and shine can go a long way when decorating a room. For me, the best way to get that right amount of glam without overdoing it is by accessorizing with metallics. When paired with the right furniture and decor, metals like gold, silver and bronze can make a room look dazzling and comfortable at the same time. Here are my three basic rules for accessorizing with metallics.

Rule #1 Don’t be afraid to mix it up!
Gold and Silver Accents

Photo credit: Popsugar

In the past, the rule was to pick one metal for each room. That rule no longer applies, and designers are even starting to create light fixtures and decor pieces that feature more than one metal. Have some fun when decorating with metallics and show some variety in your room.

Rule #2 Simplicity is key Ellis

I love metals, but not enough to decorate the whole room with them. If you want your metallics to shine, the best way to achieve that stand-out look is to choose fewer pieces that pop. Accent the bathroom with a bronze faucet and handles, or try hanging up a gold chandelier in the bedroom.

Rule #3 Create a cohesive design 
Photo credit: Maison Decor

Photo credit: Maison Decor

If your metallics stand out too much, the rest of the room will look dull in comparison. Instead, choose metallics that complement the room’s design. It might help to think of metal accessories as jewelry. How do you decide which necklace or earrings will go best with your outfit? Use a similar strategy when picking out metallic decor.

Your home deserves the chance to shine. All you need is the right metallic touches for that perfect touch of glamour!

By Wendy Weinert

7 considerations when choosing colors for your home

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

1. Light: 

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

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

2. Balance:
Photo credit: How to Decorate

Photo credit: How to Decorate

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

3. Mood:

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

4. Risk factor:
Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

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

5. Cohesiveness:

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

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

Photo Credit: The Wood Grain Cottage

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

7. Personal preference: 

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

By Wendy Weinert

5 easy and budget-friendly halloween DIY craft ideas

Halloween is just around the corner. If you haven’t started decorating, now is the perfect time! These five DIY ideas are budget-friendly, easy to do (even if you’re not very crafty) and a great way to bring the fun spirit of Halloween into your home.

1. Tin can luminaries tin can trick or treat

Put your tin cans to good use by turning them into luminaries! Simply use a hammer and nail to poke holes into the can, paint it and place a candle inside. You can choose to create any Halloween design or phrase you wish. (via jollymom)

2. Web-covered wreath

You don’t have to spend hours crafting to have cool Halloween decor. Give your fall wreath a spookier look by covering it with fake cobwebs and spiders. Then, hang it up on your front door or in your entryway to greet trick-or-treaters on the big night!

3. Glow-in-the-dark eyes glow eyes

Don’t throw away your paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Use them to create Halloween decor! Cut out different creepy eyes into your rolls, put glow sticks inside and then cover the ends with duct tape or something similar. These spooky glow-in-the-dark eyes go great in outdoor bushes, where the cardboard roll will stay hidden. (via rustandsunshine)

4. Halloween lamp shade bat lamp

Transform your everyday decor for Halloween. Using black paper, cut out shapes of bats, spiders, black cats or other Halloween images. Then place them inside your lamp shades for a cool effect. Just be careful not to place any paper too close to your bulbs for safety purposes.

5. Pumpkin flower vase pumpkin flower vase

If scary Halloween decor isn’t your style, decorate for the holiday and for fall by turning a pumpkin into a flower vase. All you have to do is cut a hole in the pumpkin (as big or small as you would like) and use it as a vase for your faux flowers. If you want, you can paint the pumpkin white first so that colors don’t clash.

With these simple DIY decorating ideas, you can celebrate Halloween in style. Let the crafting begin!

(Not a crafter? Make it easy on yourself and check out our favorite Halloween trinkets: Happy Halloween wall decals, Spider Web Carpet Runner, Spooky Welcome Mat, Witch Hat, and the too-cute-to-resist Pumpkin Salt and Pepper Shakers.)

By Wendy Weinert

Give your home an autumn update with these fresh color combination ideas

Last Tuesday marked the first day of fall, and along with carving pumpkins and going to the apple orchard, I’m really excited to watch the leaves change colors. I live in the Midwest and am used to experiencing all four seasons. I will never, however, get used to the breathtaking colors that show up in the fall. And I’m not just talking about fall foliage. The colors shown in fall wardrobes, weddings and home decor are all incredible, too. These color combinations, for example, are eye-catching and perfect for the home this time of year.

Red, yellow and orangeRed Orange Yellow

Photo credit: Good House Keeping

Photo credit: Good House Keeping

If you like the classic colors of autumn and wish you could enjoy the fall foliage longer, this color scheme is for you. Together, these colors will give your home a warm, welcoming look.

Burgundy, navy and gray 

Photo credit: Denoxa

Photo credit: Denoxa

If reds and oranges are too loud and vibrant for you, consider a less intense color scheme. Burgundy, navy and gray shades are a more subtle way to decorate for fall. You could also swap out gray for cream to create a warmer look.

Purple, orange and brown

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Add a pop of color by combining dark purple and brown with orange. The splash of orange will be enough to give your interior design a vibrant appearance.

Green and brown

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Dark green with brown is simple and sophisticated. This combination works well for those who want to update their home for the new season, but don’t want to make too big of a change.

Turquoise, red and brown

Photo credit: DIY Show Off

Photo credit: DIY Show Off

The most unique color scheme – and my personal favorite – includes turquoise, deep red and brown. Together, they are surprisingly perfect for fall. To really get the full effect, keep your turquoise and red decor close together. For example, you could place a red plant in a turquoise vase for a striking look.

Those are my favorite fall color combinations. What are yours? Send a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

Ugly house? Fix it with symmetry

You might not spend much time thinking about symmetry, but it affects you, me and everyone else. For instance, people with symmetrical faces are often seen as more attractive (although we rarely realize symmetry is the reason). In interior design, symmetry can help you feel safe and comfortable. It can also help make a room feel complete.

Try these three ideas for creating symmetrical balance in your home. A little symmetry might be just what your interior needs to turn into a beautiful and welcoming environment.

  • Invest in two nightstands instead of one.

    Photo credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

    Placing a nightstand on both sides of your bed will give your room stability and help you feel more comfortable right before falling asleep.

  • Create symmetry with artwork. 

There are different ways to do this. You could hang up two pieces side by side or group four pictures of the same size and shape together. If you want to hang up three paintings, have the outer pieces match in size and shape.

  • Hang two pendants above the dining table. Pendant2

If you have a larger table, this is a great way to ensure proper lighting.

I’ve only listed a few, but the possibilities for creating symmetry are endless. Besides using the ideas above, you can also create a symmetrical balance by pinpointing the vertical axis in each room and then decorating both sides of that axis so that they mirror each other. For example, in the living room, the coffee table can be considered the axis, in which case seating on both sides should then match.

Without even realizing it, we see symmetrical designs as being more attractive and balanced than those without it. While not everything in your home needs to be perfectly symmetrical (that would get boring fast), mirroring furniture and/or decor can bring order to your space and enhance its beauty. Improve your home’s design with symmetry and enjoy a more comforting, attractive space.

By Wendy Weinert

Turn your kitchen into a cafe with these 5 ideas

What makes your favorite coffee spot the best? Is it the delicious cappuccino? The friendly staff? Maybe. But I bet it also has a lot to do with the atmosphere. The “vibe” we feel when stepping into a buzzing cafe is often the reason why we go out to get our coffee, rather than just brewing our own less-expensive cup at home. So why not try creating a similar atmosphere in your kitchen? Here are some fun ways you can bring the cafe experience to your own home.

1. Decorate for warmth
Photo credit: The Vintage Wren

Photo credit: The Vintage Wren

Coffee shops tend to have a warm, cozy atmosphere. Bring some of that coziness to your kitchen by carefully choosing colors. Warm shades of red, orange and brown are great colors for a cafe-inspired kitchen.

2. Make it trendycafe pendants

Coffee shop interiors rarely follow a simple, “timeless” design. They are all about keeping up with the latest trends. Vintage artwork, a hung-up chalkboard, quirky pendants – these are all ideas you can use to give your kitchen a trendy vibe.

3. Try out new furniturebar stools

Install a wooden shelf and add stools for bar seating, or give your kitchen cafe some sophistication with a small dinette set. With the right seating, you can have friends over for coffee dates or simply enjoy your morning cup in true cafe style.

4. Consider flooring 
Photo credit: House and Home

Photo credit: House and Home

Picture the floor of your favorite cafe. More than likely, it isn’t your typical kitchen linoleum flooring. Try wooden floors or help create that trendy vibe by installing an edgier design. Checkerboard flooring is a great idea if you’re going vintage.

5. Invest in a new coffee maker

When going to coffee shops, we often like to treat ourselves to a more complicated and expensive drink than just regular old coffee. Consider getting a cappuccino maker or something similar that will allow you to brew up a tasty treat when you’re in the mood for something different.

There’s no reason to stop visiting your favorite cafe, but with these ideas, you can enjoy a similar coffee shop experience more frequently – and for less money.

By Wendy Weinert

2014 Fall Fashion Week trends you can bring into the home

The fall season has only just begun, but the world’s top fashion designers have already showcased their collections for spring 2015. New York Fall Fashion Week took place September 4-11, where models showed off the wardrobe trends that will dominate stores next year. And while it’s too early to actually wear these trends, you can still enjoy them by bringing a few into your home. Here are six trends that ruled Fashion Week and ideas for incorporating them into your interior design.

1. Denim jackets
Photo credit: Style Bistro

Photo credit: Style Bistro

jean couch

Denim jackets are making a comeback. If you like the look of denim but jackets aren’t your style, look for denim-colored linens and furniture upholstery that you can use to enhance your interior design instead. Because denim is a neutral color, you won’t have any trouble finding decor and other furniture to match.

2. Fringe
Photo credit: Refinery 29

Photo credit: Refinery 29

Many trends from the 70′s have died and, honestly, I think that’s a good thing. Fringe, however, has become a trend once more. On the runway, it’s showing up on the hems of dresses, shirts and skirts. To recreate the look in your home, try hanging up a fun tapestry that has fringed edges on the wall of your living room or bedroom.

3. Leather
Photo credit: Fashionisers

Photo credit: Fashionisers

In the fashion world, leather goes in and out of style frequently. For spring 2015, it’s in. Fortunately in the interior design world, leather never goes out of style and you can buy a leather sofa without needing to replace it in a few years. Faux leather is also stylish and durable, if you prefer that alternative.

4. White and black
Photo credit: Style Bistro

Photo credit: Style Bistro

Utopia_2415_Uber_Black-RS

Surprisingly, two of the biggest colors for spring are white and black. Whether you use them separately or pair the two colors together, these classic shades will bring sophistication to your space.

5. Stylish workout apparel
Photo credit: E! online

Photo credit: E! online

Horizontal_Kitchen_62279-CH-CRY

Who says you can’t look good working out? Models sporting stylish athletic wear this season have proven that you can. Get inspired by the bright, neon colors that many of these designers used to create their line of active wear and use them to update your home. You could apply it to an entire room such as your kitchen. The sky’s the limit! It just all depends on how adventurous you are.

6. Chunky Knits
Photo credit: E! online

Photo credit: E! online

Fall means it’s time to stock up on chunky knit sweaters.  Many designers showed several cozy styles in a range of flattering colors. Incorporate this into your home with a chunky knit throw. Leave it on the couch so it’s ready to go when you need a little extra warmth or keep it in a decorative basket.

What are some of your favorite trends shown on the runway this fall? Send us a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

Create a stylish coffee table display with these 5 tips

Coffee tables aren’t just good for setting down your cup of Joe in the morning. With the right decor and household items, coffee tables can be used to enhance the overall appearance of your living room, too. Think carefully before setting items on your table, and keep these five tips in mind to create a look you’ll love.

1. Select books and magazines worth showing off
Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

If you have a large stack of magazines or books, sort through your collection and choose the titles you wish to feature. It may be a book with an attractive cover or a story you think guests would like to read during their stay.

2. Cover it with a throw to add warmthcoffee table throw

A wooden or glass coffee table doesn’t necessarily need a cloth covering, but it can be a fun way to update your living room and try something new. During the fall and winter months, cover your table with a throw to create a cozier room.

3. Keep it simple

A cluttered coffee table can lend your living room a cluttered look as well. Try keeping the surface of your table simple, with only a few decorative items to add style. Some people like keeping decor very minimal, placing only flowers on top of the table.

4. Consider numbers

When grouping decorative pieces together, keep in mind that odd numbers tend to look more visually appealing. Depending on size, you could decorate your table with one, three or five items.

5. Try a theme
Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

A theme can give your coffee table display a cohesive look. Maybe you collect antiques or you are enthusiastic about a particular color. Use these to create a coffee table theme that you and others will enjoy. A “natural” theme with decor items like driftwood, seashells or candles can help create a calming environment.

They say coffee tables are the finishing touch to any living room setup. With this in mind, decorate your coffee table to create a complete look for your living room and take its style to the next level.

By Wendy Weinert

4 things you should be buying this fall

The first day of fall is almost upon us and more than likely, you already went on a back-to-school shopping trip. As the season changes and new inventory makes its way into the stores, it’s a good time to consider shopping for your home as well. Here are some items worth watching for.

End-of-the-summer sale itemsend of summer sale

Whether it’s clothes, plants or outdoor patio furniture, you can start buying this summer’s products now for less. Make a list of items you need or want for next year, and take advantage of the lower prices this fall.

Fall decorfall wreath

If you’re like me and you enjoy seasonal decor, start decorating for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving now. Before you know it, winter will be here and your fall decor will have to be put away until next year.

Winter linens winter bedding

Here in Minnesota, winters can be brutal. But even if you live in an area where winters are mild, you’ll still want to prepare your home for chillier weather. Search for new curtains, blankets and sheets that are thicker and warmer than what you are using now. Curtains should be thermal insulated or made from a heavier material like velvet to keep warm air inside your home. Bedding that is down filled always proves to be a good barrier against winter chill. You can also keep warm by filling your wardrobe with sweaters, coats and other winter wear.

Appliances

Appliances can get expensive, but because new models usually come out in the winter, you can start buying this year’s models for lower prices. Need a new oven or microwave? Start shopping this fall to get the best deals.

By Wendy Weinert