Tips for buying the best blinds for your wallet and style

When you hear the words “window blinds,” you probably picture the cheap, unattractive window treatments that every apartment or home you’ve rented in the past has had. Window blinds, however, don’t have to be dull or cheap-looking. Here are some tips for decorating with window blinds that are good for both your wallet and your interior design.

Save the more expensive and stylish blinds for rooms lacking in visual appeal.

Photo credit: Dwellings by DeVore

 

There’s no need to have elaborate designs covering each one of your windows. In rooms that already have statement decor, use neutral or solid-colored window blinds to improve the overall look. This also allows your more decorative blinds (the ones that feature patterns or designs) to have more of an impact.

Consider materials other than plastic. 
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Plastic blinds might be cheap, but they also often look cheap and tend to get damaged more easily. Try other materials for blinds instead, such as bamboo or faux wood. There are more durable and can lend a sophisticated appearance to your space.
Match blinds to your decorating style. 

Photo credit: City Farmhouse

Is your space casual and comfortable? Formal and elegant? Modern and chic? The blinds you choose can help you create the look you’re trying to achieve. If your space is fun and eclectic, try a bold color. A modern space would look great with an eye-catching design.
Try layering the look with a curtain. 
Photo credit: Involving Color

Photo credit: Involving Color

Instead of replacing your current window blinds, you could also try layering a curtain on top. In the winter months, this is a great way to prevent cold air from getting into your home. It also solves your dull window-treatment problems if you live in a rented space and can’t remove your blinds.Besides style and budget, other factors that you will want to consider when choosing blinds are sunlight and privacy. For example, if you want to let only partial sunlight into your home, choose blinds in a light color and fabric. Roll-up blinds allow you to achieve complete privacy when you need it.

By Wendy Weinert

Great decor gift ideas this holiday season

Every year I think I have plenty of time to buy Christmas gifts, and every year the holidays creep up on me. This leaves me frantically searching for the perfect present at the last minute. If you find yourself in a similar situation year after year, stop the cycle now and take advantage of these holiday gift ideas to get you inspired.

Gifts for him

Sail Model Defender, 1895: With this classic decor piece set up in his office or room, he can sail away to a more relaxed state any time of the day.

Home Stag Bookends: For the rustic man in your life, these stag bookends make the perfect present.

Black Skull and Crossbones Decanter: Help complete his home bar setup with this edgy decanter. The 12-inch bottle can hold 54 ounces of his favorite poison. Skull vase

Golf Club One-Light Table Lamp: Finally, a lamp he will actually get excited about. This lamp features three golf clubs and a ball for the base and a shade depicting a golf course. golf lamp

Gifts for her

Multi-Colored Swirl Perfume Bottle: Getting ready in the morning will feel more luxurious with these beautiful perfume bottles. They are stylish and functional to be the perfect gift. bottles

Desk Clock: Practical doesn’t mean boring. This sophisticated clock will add style to any desk it sits on.

Over-the-Door Jewelry Armoire with Mirror: She will love this stylish and useful gift. The mirrored armoire has three trays, 24 hooks, slots for up to 50 earrings and compression folds for up to 84 rings. mirror storage

Wire Jewelry Display: This unique, antique-inspired piece allows her to show off her jewelry in style. wire jewelry stand

Clear Tall Vase with Stem Holes: With stem holes to hold flowers, this vase is unlike any other. Anyone who owns this fun piece is sure to enjoy its one-of-a-kind design. vase with holes

By Wendy Weinert

7 tips for designing an eye-catching fireplace

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you should draw attention to it with great decor! I love fireplaces for the warmth they provide in the winter, but I also love their charming looks and how they can enhance a living room’s interior design all year long.

If your fireplace is looking a little bare, add visual appeal by decorating above the mantel. These seven tips will help get you started.

1. Don’t forget about the wall. 
Photo credit: HGTV

Photo credit: HGTV

The mantel shelf is a great place to add decorative items, but you can also draw attention to your fireplace by hanging a mirror, clock or piece of artwork on the wall directly above the mantel. If you decide to go this route, decorate the shelf with pieces that complement your wall art and complete the look.

2. Illuminate with lighting.
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Mood lighting can give your fireplace an even cozier look. Try decorating the shelf with candles or hanging two sconce lights on the wall above the mantel.

3. Get creative with art.

Photo credit: The Inspired Room

You can hang up your favorite piece of art on the wall, or if it’s small enough, stand it on the shelf at an angle. For an eclectic look, place three or more smaller paintings on the shelf so they overlap.

4. Play with different heights. 
Photo credit: Thimble Blossoms

Photo credit: Thimble Blossoms

Using decorative items of varying heights is a great way to create more visual interest. Play around with different arrangements and objects to get the look just right.

5. Use balance to create a put-together look. 
Photo credit: Tidbits and Twine

Photo credit: Tidbits and Twine

Consider how your fireplace would look if it were split down the center. Would it look balanced? Your fireplace decor doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical, but finding a balance will help your display look good.

6. Create a theme. 
Photo credit: Digs Digs

Photo credit: Digs Digs

If you’re struggling to find the right decor for your fireplace, try coming up with a theme. You could create a vintage theme by decorating only with antique items, or you could do something as simple as using the same color.

7. Keep in mind your room’s style. 
Photo credit: One Kind Design

Photo credit: One Kind Design

There are a lot of ways you can decorate your fireplace, and what works for you might depend on the room’s style. If your living room, for example, follows a minimalist style, then a cluttered mantel shelf might look out of place.

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

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

Tricky trend: Translucents – when to use and how to use them

A clear decorative figurine displayed in the living room is one thing, but a clear coffee table or chair? That’s something different entirely. Furnishing your home with translucent furniture can be tricky – which is why I’ve compiled some tips to help make it easier. First, before you go out and buy a new clear piece of furniture, determine whether the trend can work in your home and how to best incorporate it into your interior design.

Styles that work best with translucent furnitureclear chairs

Minimalism is a defining characteristic of modern homes, and sometimes contemporary homes, too. Choosing clear furniture is one way to create the minimalist look. Furniture pieces that are entirely translucent often feature simple forms and very few details, and they also appear to take up less space than pieces made of other materials (a benefit if you have a small space). If you have a modern interior, clear furniture would enhance the style and complement your room’s setup nicely.

Interior design styles that are neither modern or contemporary typically aren’t well-suited for entirely clear furniture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have translucent elements in your home. A wooden coffee table that features a clear surface, for example, can be used in traditional homes without compromising your room’s style.

How to incorporate the trend into your home
Photo credit: Frankly Esoteric

Photo credit: Frankly Esoteric

Clear furniture is eye catching and interesting in my opinion, but too many translucent pieces in a room – even in a modern home – can appear intimidating. Balance translucent furniture with other materials, such as wood, to create warmth in your room. Placing clear chairs around a wooden dining table is one way to do this. You can also try adding clear decorative pieces to continue the translucent theme without overdoing the look.

Translucents might be a tricky trend, but it’s a trend that can give your home a bolder and more interesting appearance. Try adding clear furniture to your home’s interior design and see the difference one material can make.

By Wendy Weinert

How to fill an open shelving unit with purpose

Open shelving, to me, is a great concept. It gives people the chance to store household items and add visual appeal to their space as well. Of course, open shelving units don’t automatically bring style to a room. It all depends on what items you choose to store and where you place them. Here are some tips that I’ve found useful when filling an open shelf.

The best items to store can be considered decorative, too. open shelves with blue

Behind closed doors, it doesn’t matter what I choose to store because those objects will only be seen when the doors are open. With an open shelf, however, I’m putting items on display for all to see – which means I want to choose appealing objects. Books in the living room, dishes in the kitchen or towels in the bathroom could all be featured on open shelving units. Remember, some things should be left hidden in a cabinet!

Decorations can be used to fill empty spaces and to enhance the overall look.
Photo credit: Millas Hem

Photo credit: Millas Hem

 

There’s nothing wrong with filling an open shelf with only decorative items, but using shelves to display household objects can help you save space and keep your room organized. I think that a mix of functional and decorative items is best. Picture frames and other decor items can be used to complete the shelf display, fill an empty space and ultimately improve the look. If you want to add both visual and practical appeal, decorative storage boxes can be a great solution. They allow you to store unappealing household items and add style to your shelf.

You can show off the most appealing pieces by displaying them at eye level. open shelves silver

If your open shelving unit is positioned close to the ceiling, you can get away with storing less-appealing items. If I have a shelf at eye level, however, it matters what I choose to feature. Save your best objects, those that fit in best with your room’s design and help enhance the look, for the eye-level shelves.

Open shelving units can be a two-in-one solution for your space because they can help with both your room’s organization and its style. With these tips in mind, play around with your open shelves to determine which household items are best to feature.

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

Turn your bedroom into a luxurious hotel room

I love staying in hotel rooms. After a busy afternoon of sightseeing or trip activities, a classy hotel room is the perfect way to end the day. It’s simple, yet sophisticated decorating scheme creates a luxurious feeling that helps me to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.

If relaxing in the hotel room is your favorite way to vacation, too, you might be happy to know that a bedroom can offer the same luxurious feel. Simply incorporate some of these tips into your room’s design.

Photo credit: Chic Coastal Living

Photo credit: Chic Coastal Living

1. Decorate in all white to create that elegant and clean look. If all white isn’t your style, complement the color with dark gray or metallic accents.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. Treat your feet each morning by placing a plush, good-feeling rug next to your bed. You’ll be sure to wake up on the right side of the bed this way!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

3. Hang up a crystal chandelier to enhance your bedroom’s luxurious style. Consider installing a dimmer switch for mood lighting!

Photo credit: Welke

Photo credit: Welke

4. Get rid of the clutter, and don’t let the clutter return. A stress-free environment is one of the main reasons why I love staying at hotels. Messiness and disorganization create just the opposite.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

5. Hang a soft robe on the door and let yourself enjoy some nice slippers, too. It may seem like a small touch, but details matter.

Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

6. Decorate with sophisticated artwork and flowers. Be careful not to overdecorate, though, as the hotel style features a simple elegance. A small vase on the nightstand with a couple of your favorite paintings on the wall will do.

chaise

7. Set up a place to lounge. With the hotel vibe you’ve created, your room will certainly be the most relaxing spot at home. An elegant chaise lounge chair will complement your luxurious bedroom nicely and will provide a place to sit when you need a break.

The bedroom should be your sanctuary, so design it like the hotel rooms you love so much! When you need to relax, you can head to your room, turn on some soothing music and experience true bliss.

By Wendy Weinert

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchens are meant to be highly functional spaces, but a bad room design can make it difficult for you to use the space effectively. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, be sure to keep these important tips in mind during every stage of the process.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Savvyhomeblog

Storage: Kitchens are typically used to store food, cookware and tableware, which means you’ll need adequate storage space to prevent the room from becoming cluttered. Consider how you will use each cupboard and drawer before you remodel to ensure that every item will have a home. You might also want to look for dual-purpose furniture, such as an island that provides both storage and counter space. You can use ceiling and wall space to hang items like pots and pans.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Homebunch

Preparation: Cooking a meal without adequate surface space can be frustrating and stressful. If you’re remodeling a fairly large kitchen, counter space is probably not much of an issue. Smaller kitchens, however, can be more difficult to plan as you want to have enough counter space without crowding the room. If you can, plan at least 36 inches of uncluttered countertop space for preparation and another 21 to 36 inches for cooking. If your kitchen space allows, an island is a great option for preparing food.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Lighting: Forming a lighting plan for the kitchen can be tricky. You want to feel comfortable in your kitchen, but you’ll also need direct lighting for performing certain tasks like washing dishes or preparing food. Every kitchen, no matter how small, should have a combination of ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting to achieve the right balance. If you have a kitchen island, pendants are a great option for adding both task and decorative lighting. Undercabinet lighting is often used to illuminate darker counter spaces and make preparing food easier and safer.

A successful remodel starts with a well-thought-out plan. Keep these tips in mind throughout your remodeling process and design a kitchen that you’ll love.

By Wendy Weinert