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

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.

 

10 ways to hide the eyesores in your home

No matter how hard we try to make our homes stylish and beautiful, there are many little details, like cords or scratched wood, that diminish its visual appeal. Try hiding those eyesores in the home with these 10 creative strategies and it’ll make your interior design shine.

1. Seek out stylish storage solutions, like a decorative box or vintage suitcases that can also be used as decor. After all, who says you have to use ugly plastic tubs to keep your home organized?

Photo credit: 17 Apart

Photo credit: 17 Apart

 

2. Cover up clutter or lackluster space with a beautiful screen. It will instantly lend your room a more elegant look.

screen

3. Cut holes in a decorative box to hide your cords and outlet strip. Or, place your furniture strategically so that cords fall behind it.

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

 

4. Freshen up your weathered wooden furniture with a fresh coat of paint in a bold color. Paint can also be used to cover up unattractive flooring and walls.

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

 

5. Install a pull-out trash and recycling bin in your kitchen. This will also help to reduce bad odors!

Photo credit: DO or DIY

Photo credit: DO or DIY

 

6. Use a stylish bed skirt to hide your box spring, as well as storage underneath the bed.bed skirt

 

7. Build pull-out drawers for your pet’s food and water dishes. When guests come over, you can simply close the drawer.

Photo credit: The San Francisco Glose

Photo credit: The San Francisco Globe

 

8. Cover up an unattractive view with beautiful curtains. If you still want to let in natural light, opt for a more sheer fabric.

curtains

9. Design an attractive bathroom by filling stylish, reusable bottles with your soaps and lotions.

Soap Dispenser

10. Hide a dirty spot on the carpet by placing a colorful rug on top. Rugs aren’t just for covering hardwood floors, after all!

colorful rug
By Wendy Weinert

4 inspiring female interior designers in the industry today

The interior design industry is full of talented artists, but today I want to highlight the women who are making an impact and raising the bar for other creatives. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I feel these four female interior designers are some of the top in the industry due to the inspiring and beautiful work they create.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss

Photo credit: Charlotte Moss

Moss started her business in 1985 and since then has been designing homes, executive suites and lending her talent to retail stores. She is well known for pushing the limits in design and has created a signature style through her use of American, European and Classical influences. Moss has won several awards, including “The Timeless design Award” by the Royal Oak Foundation.

Kathryn Ireland

Kathryn Ireland

Photo credit: Jon Hugstad

Practical homeowners who prefer a comfortable, stylish interior will love Kathryn Ireland. She is well-known for her bohemian style and continues to be ranked in top designer lists. She was even named one of the 10 designers who would influence the 21st-century style by House & Garden.

Laura Day

Laura Day

Photo credit: Laura Day

Inspired by the natural beauty of her rural, Arkansas home, Laura Day spent her early twenties traveling the world, seeking out more incredible sights and landscapes. Now, Day uses her experiences and memories to create fresh designs you are bound to love. Check out some of her work here and you’ll see what I mean.

Tyler Dawson

Tyler Dawson

Photo credit: Tayler Dawson

Having started Tyler Dawson Design in 2007, Dawson is still an up-and-coming designer. However, her talent is already recognized and her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and more. Her work is often characterized by the warm, comfortable and playful feel, but she always seeks to make each project unique.

Get inspired by the designs and styles these four women have created. You might just learn some new ideas and approaches for decorating your own home!

By Wendy Weinert

5 Design Tips and Tricks to Create an Enterntaining-Ready Home

Creating a guest-friendly home doesn’t need to be a reoccurring mad dash every time you host an event. Cut out the drama and avoid the last minute rush by designing a permanently inviting and well-designed space. With these five easy tips and tricks you’ll be prepared for party-goers year round!

Tip: The easiest and most effective way to keep a home party-ready is by creating an open floor plan. Space your furniture smartly and eliminate unnecessary or bulky items that take up too much space. Designing a home with ample room allows for your guests to move around with comfort and ease.

Trick: Use slender and streamlined barstools at a counter instead of a dining set to optimize your kitchen’s usable space. Slim pieces like these Venti Acrylic Bar Stools achieve a stylish appeal, but don’t monopolize the room.

Realty Restoration, LLC

Realty Restoration, LLC

Tip: Keep your space clean and clutter-free. Mixing too many patterns, colors or sizes can make a home seem untidy and uninviting. Stow away books, magazines, remote controls or any other eyesores out of plain sight.

Trick: Furniture with built in storage makes this tip easy to achieve. This Zenn Tray Table, for instance, provides a modern and clean look but still houses a sunken table-top perfect to keep unsightly items in reach but out of sight.

Zenn End Table
Tip: Unify your space with a theme. A similar color palette, pattern or inspiration will keep your home looking clean and organized. When it becomes time to entertain, any other elements or decorations you add to the space will pop against your well-coordinated background!

Trick: Utilizing color as a theme is quick and simple. These white Cascade Bar Stools, for example, tie in the white kitchen appliances and woodwork, creating a unified space.

LumiSource Cascade Bar Stools

Tip: Provide a clear focal point. Anchoring your space with a statement piece will avoid competition between multiple pieces for your guests’ attention. Decorating around the feature will give it a place of honor and create a fun point of discussion for guests.

Trick: Try using something that also promotes socialization, like these Viva Bar Stools. It’s a beautiful attention-grabbing piece that will encourage your guests to gather around for wonderful conversation and a fun time.

justBASEMENTS

justBASEMENTS

Tip: Make the space your own. Creating a home that reflects you will add visual interest and make guests feel more at ease. Add personality to a room with fun pops of color, interesting art or unique elements.

Trick: Fun pieces can still be stylish and coordinate with your furnishings. These red Ale Bar Stools are the perfect example of something artful but still functional. The bright color and interesting shape adds an element of interest and personal flare.

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

Patrick Brickman, Charleston Home + Design Magazine

 

By Wendy Weinert

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

The soothing gentle breeze, the sound of waves crashing softly and the feeling of the sand between your toes. Is there anything better than being at the beach for a day? Even if you live nowhere near the water, you can still enjoy that serene feeling the beach provides by designing a coastal bedroom. Here’s what to do.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Photo credit: Cook Strait House by Tennent + Brown Architects

Let the light in

A beach setting is light and breezy, so your room should be too. Let as much natural light into your room as possible by using thin curtains that allow the sun to shine through. If your bedroom does not allow for much natural light, use a variety of light sources including lamps, wall fixtures and ceiling lights to illuminate your space instead.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Decorate with white

The color white is refreshing, just like a day at the beach. Use white as the focus color in your bedroom and add touches of color using accessories such as flowers, wall art or pillows. Every time you walk into your beautiful white room, a calm will wash over you and you’ll be able to relax.

Use natural materials

Bring elements of the outdoors into your home by furnishing the bedroom with natural materials. A wicker chair or a jute rug covering your floor is a great way to add a coastal feeling to your room. If you don’t have room for larger furniture or accessories, use smaller items like a wicker basket to create that same feeling.

Beachhead Driftwood Mirror #505264

Beachhead Driftwood Mirror #505264

Keep things simple 

Overall, the coastal design style is all about keeping your room simple and casual. This is not a design style that encourages shimmer and shine. It’s meant to evoke peacefulness and serenity. Limit the amount of accessories you use in the bedroom and look for furniture and decor items with simple designs. With a coastal design, you can turn to your bedroom when you need to a few moments to relax and rejuvenate.

Find Serenity in Your Bedroom With a Coastal Design

Photo credit: Homedit

By Wendy Weinert

 

Decorating your space from start to finish

Decorating a room mostly from scratch grants you the opportunity to create a space that will meet all of your style preferences. It also provides a good reason to feel a little overwhelmed and start looking for help. When a space is yours to put together, knowing where to start and which elements you should decide on first will smooth out the process and ensure you don’t regret the finished result.

Decorating your space from start to finish

So where should you begin the decorating process? The best place to start is with the expensive elements that are rarely replaced, if ever, such as the flooring or countertops. Choose materials and colors that will fit in with a variety of design schemes so you can create a timeless structure for your home. It’s easy to replace a lamp, but installing new flooring is a whole different story.

Decorating your space from start to finish

After the basic structure of the room has been decided, move on to big pieces of furniture such as the bed or sofa. Being larger furniture, they have a lot of impact on the overall look of your room and will help provide guidance as you move along to the accessories and smaller furniture pieces.

Decorating your space from start to finish

With the main elements of your room’s setup established, you can start filling the room with smaller furnishings and decorative accessories. While you can choose to decorate your space in a timeless style, you can also decide to have a little fun in this part of the process by incorporating trendy or bold items. They’re more affordable and less difficult to replace.

Decorating your space from start to finish

You may have noticed that paint and wallpaper were not mentioned. That’s because you can decide on them whenever you want during the decorating process. You can either choose a color of paint or wallpaper print when setting up the structure of the room, and then choose furnishings to match. Or you can let the room come together and then find the appropriate wall decor to complement the room’s design.

Decorate a room you’ll love for years with this start-to-finish guide. Even if you choose to redecorate later on, you’ll still have a neutral structure to work with and fewer design decisions to make.

By Wendy Weinert

You Don’t have to be a Professional Interior Designer..

Have you ever gotten into the mind of a designer and learned about their creative process? Although I am not a formally educated interior designer, I believe we are all designers in our own right. To quote myself, “Style is about reflecting your personality in a way in which your home – your environment rises up to greet you.” Recently, I was invited to provide my opinion as a guest for Terry’s blinds.  What a privilege to be offered to share my perspective with!

As I was preparing the content for the post, I reviewed some of the other guests posts that were listed on the site. It was fabulous to read others processes and ideas for what makes them the creatives, the designers they are today. One of my favorite questions to read, was “What inspires you”. With their individual responses, one can determine if the designer is very tactical, visual, or a combination of both. It got me to thinking. If you were to hire one of these designer, what type would work the best with you? Who  would you more closely relate? These questions would actually provide a great foundation for selecting a potential designer. As a comparison, it is like the Myer’s Brigg test for designers!

With that said, here are the questions that you could offer up a potential designer for hire to answer:

  1. In your own words, describe your unique style and creative aesthetic.
  2. When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
  3. Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
  4. When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
  5. What has brought you to this point in your career?

Click on the link above to get my response. I hope you enjoy reading my viewpoint! Make sure to check out my top choices for this spring!

terry's blind

By Wendy Weinert

5 unique ways to use wallpaper

5 unique ways to use wallpaper

Photo credit: Infra Milk

Wallpaper isn’t just for the walls anymore. Check out these unique ways for using wallpaper and see which ideas work in your own home!

Ceilings

Who says your ceiling has to be painted white? Go for an unconventional look by sticking a bold sheet of wallpaper on the ceiling instead. To keep the look from overwhelming your space, use solid colors for the walls.

5 unique ways to use wallpaper

Photo credit: Etsy

Furniture

Use wallpaper to dress up your furniture! You can cover a bedside table or bookshelf with your favorite design or use wallpaper to create an interesting tabletop. If you have a plain-looking wooden chair or bar stool, add a little flair with vinyl-coated paper.

5 unique ways to use wallpaper

Photo credit: Design Indulgences

Artwork

Instead of covering the entire wall with wallpaper, cut up your paper, frame the pieces and use them as hanging artwork. You can hang up an assortment of different patterns together or display a larger, rectangular piece of wallpaper to bring eye-catching style to your space.

Cabinetry

Line your kitchen cupboards or dining room buffet with a stylish print to create a backdrop for dishware. If your cupboard doors feature glass windows, a wallpaper backdrop will look especially nice and will positively impact on the overall look of your space.

5 unique ways to use wallpaper

Storage boxes

It’s great that you reuse boxes to store household items, but your home shouldn’t have to suffer from the look of drab cardboard. Store your stuff in style by covering boxes and plastic containers with your favorite wallpaper designs. No longer will you have to go to great lengths to hide storage boxes when guests stop by for a visit!

Wallpaper is the perfect solution for adding that touch of style to your space. Look for areas in your home that could benefit from a little wallpaper and don’t
be afraid to get creative!

By Wendy Weinert

 

How to pull off an eclectic look in your space

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

Going eclectic is a great idea if you’ve collected an assortment of stylish furniture and decorative accessories over the years. While mixing styles is encouraged in the eclectic style though, it’s not a look where you can simply throw pieces together without some consideration. Here are three tips to keep in mind when designing an eclectic space:

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

1. Achieve the right mix of styles

To keep the room from appearing too chaotic, narrow your focus down to just three or four styles and avoid letting one style dominate the space. If you’re trying to create an eclectic room but are using mostly modern furniture, the remaining styles will look as though they don’t belong. Make sure there is a balance among the different styles so guests aren’t confused upon entering the room.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

2. Don’t fear accessories

In some styles, the overuse of accessories is considered a big no-no. This is not the case for eclectic homes, where filling your space with decorative accessories is actually encouraged. So rather than feature just one work of art you admire, hang up a group of four or five pieces of artwork together.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

3. Find ways to tie the look together

Unity is the key to designing an eclectic space. Without unity, your room will come off as being random and not put-together. To make sense of the mixture of styles, it’s important to tie the look together through colors and shapes. So if you have a red table in the room, look for ways to add that same color red throughout the room, even if it’s something small like a flower vase.

Eclectic style homes might be hard to pull off, but when done correctly, the look is often cozy and intriguing. Try putting together an eclectic room in your home and let guests be impressed by your skillful interior design skills!

By Wendy Weinert