Perk up your home’s style with these 10 easy pick-me-up ideas

We all need a pick-me-up now and then to feel energized, refreshed or to put us in a better mood. Some people turn to coffee, while others might prefer a sugary treat (I personally love both). You might not know it, but your home could probably use a pick-me-up, too. When your space is lacking in energy or just needs a small change to feel different, consider these 10 simple solutions.

1. Use a rug to add color or warmth. A rug is a simple way to prevent a room from feeling bare.ban3326-roomscene_001

2. If you already have a rug, try layering the look. Layered rugs can give your home a designer look, and it’s a great way to show off your unique style.

3. Hang up a large piece of art. This simple trick can do wonders for a room that could use more color or visual appeal.

4. Install a chandelier or eye-catching pendant. Statement fixtures can’t be ignored and work well in rooms lacking in excitement.

5. Design an accent wall. You can use a bold color paint or a funky wallpaper pattern to create an accent wall, and it’s easy to change up when you’re tired of the look.

Photo credit: Estilo Home

6. Replace a piece of furniture. It could be something as large as a new sofa or something as small as an end table. Either way, a new piece of furniture can freshen up your room’s overall appearance.

7. Cover your sofa with a throw or add some accent pillows. This is a great idea if you’re tired of your sofas or chairs and want to try something new. throw pillows from surya

8. Decorate with a plant. Plants will bring energy into your room and can enhance your interior design.

9. Update your photo frames. You can either add more photo frames or replace old pictures with more recent ones to give your room an instant pick-me-up.

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

10. Rearrange what you already have. If buying something new is out of the picture, work with what you have. Rearranging furniture and decor is a simple way to enjoy a fresh interior!

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

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

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

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

First impressions count: How to improve your home’s curb appeal

I’m sure you already know the importance of a good first impression – after all, there’s a reason why we show up to job interviews in suits instead of sweat pants. It’s the same reason why we clean the house before guests come to stay. The interior of your home, however, is not what people will notice first. Curb appeal describes the visual attractiveness of your house when it is seen from the street. Before guests get a peak at the entryway, the living room or the guest room of your home, they will notice your home’s front yard and exterior. Boost your home’s curb appeal and make a great first impression with some of the ideas listed below.

1. Give your home a facelift with a fresh coat of paint.
Photo credit: Piece of Cake/ Piece of Mind

Photo credit: Piece of Cake/ Piece of Mind

If you’re not in love with your home’s current exterior color, choose a new one to dramatically change the appearance of your home. A new coat of paint of the same color can improve the look of your exterior and also helps protect your home from the elements.

2. Consider adding shutters.

Photo credit: PinterestI think shutters are charming and add character to one’s home. If you love shutters as much as I do, consider adding them to enhance your windows and exterior.

3. Light up your home for evening curb appeal.

landscape lightingAt night, it’s hard to make your home look inviting. Adding landscape lighting can give your home a welcoming appearance in the dark, and it also increases safety for you, your family and guests who are moving about the exterior of your home.

4. Dress up your mailbox.

mailboxI rarely see stylish mailboxes, and I think it’s a missed opportunity for homeowners to have some fun with their outdoor decor. You can either buy a new decorative mailbox or keep the one you have and give it some color. Small details like this can have a huge impact on curb appeal.

5. Add decorative touches where you can.

planterUse things such as planters next to the door or a welcome mat on your front porch. Just like the inside of your home, decorative pieces can add style and visual interest to your home’s outward appearance.

Does your home have curb appeal? If not, it may be time to dress up your home’s exterior and make a better impression to those walking by.

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate a narrow hallway

Every room in your home has been carefully decorated and furnished to match your exact style. But what about the hallways? In my opinion, hallways are trickier to decorate, especially if they are narrow. Keep these tips in mind before you get started.

Keep it tidy

Cluttered hallways make it difficult to walk from one room to another. Keep everything tidy with a hallway bench or shelves. Since you’re furnishing a narrow hallway, it’s best to look for a design that isn’t too wide.

Decorate the walls

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Narrow hallways already have limited space, so why crowd it even more? While a bookcase or bench can keep your hallway organized, you don’t want to go overboard with the furniture and decor. Instead, try hanging up decorative art, pictures or mirrors to make your hallway pop.

Light it up

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

A long narrow hallway can look intimidating without proper lighting. Add as many light fixtures as you need to ensure that the hallway is evenly lit. This is also a chance to add more visual interest – I love seeing eye-catching pendants or wall sconces used in the hallway.

Paint with light colors

Photo Credit: Young House Love

Photo Credit: Young House Love

The general rule of thumb when decorating a small space is to paint the walls a light color. This is because dark colors can make a room appear smaller, while lighter shades do the opposite. If you like darker colors, use them for accents instead.

Even a narrow hallway can be stylish with the right decor and color scheme. Try incorporating these tips into your hallway’s design and love every inch of your home.

By Wendy Weinert

Prepare your home for back to school with these 5 ideas

School’s almost in session! Now’s the time to start preparing your home for another busy year. Here are five ways you can organize and set up your home for back-to-school success.

1. Create a homework nook

Click on the picture to see how this desk flips open.

A dedicated study area can help your student stay focused at home, but you don’t have to turn an entire room into a homework station. I’ve found that an unused hallway space or room corner can be the perfect spot. Be sure to provide essentials like task lighting, counter space and a comfortable chair.

2. Seek out smarter storage solutionsdoor organizer

Trying to streamline your morning routine? Start with organization. A hanging shoe organizer in the closet, a storage bench in the mudroom and additional shelves in the bathroom can improve efficiency and help you and your kids easily find personal items in the morning.

3. Rethink bedroom designsblue bedroom

Quality sleep is essential for studying and feeling energized. Consider whether your kids’ bedrooms are designed to promote healthy sleep. An uncomfortable mattress, electronics in the bedroom and even the wrong color palette can reduce sleep quality. According to a study published in the Daily Mail, blue and yellow are the best colors for sleep, while purple is the worst.

4. Have a designated spot for your keys

I can’t count the number of times I have been late because of a lost set of keys. To prevent this from happening to you, pick a designated spot for your keys, such as a hook on the wall.

5. Create a centralized calendarcalendar dry erase

With so many activities, events, doctor appointments and social engagements going on during the school year, you’re going to need a system to keep all of the schedules straight. Hang a centralized calendar in the kitchen, one that has big enough squares so you can write down several reminders for the same day.

School will be here before you know it. Start off the year right with a few organizational and design changes in your home.

By Wendy Weinert

Mixing patterns 101: How to effectively mix and match patterns in your home

Mixing patterns in the same room can lend a designer look to your space, but doing so can also create a chaotic appearance depending on the patterns you choose. Read on to learn how you can pull off the look and add a designer touch to your home.

Photo Credit: Centsational Style

Photo Credit: Centsational Style

The number of patterns you choose for your room can influence whether they work together or not. Odd numbers tend to look more appealing, so incorporate a minimum of three patterns in each space. While it’s not a hard and fast rule, the 60-30-10 strategy can make decorating easier. With the 60-30-10 approach, 60 percent of the patterns will be your favorite one out of the three, 30 percent your second favorite and use the third pattern (10 percent) as an accent.

Photo Credit: The Southern Thing

Photo Credit: The Southern Thing

Color is also important when mixing and matching patterns. An easy way to ensure that various patterns will create a cohesive look is to find patterns that feature the same colors. Polka dots and stripes can go together well when matching colors are involved.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want to mix colors as well as patterns, make sure the colors are at least the same intensity. Vibrant hues might not work well with soft pastels.

My last piece of advice? Use your instincts. You might have to play around with different patterns to create a look you feel good about, but your gut will tell you whether the mixed designs are stylish or just a mess.

By Wendy Weinert