5 traditional decor pieces made unique

You’ve set up a coffee table in front of the sofa, a pendant light is hung up over your kitchen island and a large area rug is covering your hardwood floors. In interior design, there are many patterns that homeowners follow when setting up their space. While these unwritten guidelines can help you design a functional space, they can also make your home appear too predictable if you’re not careful. Spice up your bland interior with these five traditional decor items. Although the products themselves are not unique, the designs are; in fact, they just might give your home the personality it needs to stand out.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique
1. Arteriors Home Vern Rusted Iron and Jute Rope Wrapped Lamp

With jute rope featured on the base, this design puts a nautical twist on the traditional table lamp. Now you can get the task lighting you need in the bedroom or living room and still give your space an interesting look.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

2. Troy Sausalito Five-Light Drum Pendant    

Almost every kitchen that has an island also has a pendant light above it. This light fixture gives the traditional linen-shade pendant a boost by adding an elegant iron cage finished in silver and gold tones.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

3. Modway Furniture Transparent Coffee Table in Clear  

Forget about the traditional wooden coffee table. If you have a modern or contemporary interior, use this glass table to enhance the style and add a unique element to the room.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

4.  2-Day Designs Wine Barrel Side Table  

Furniture with history always makes a great conversation piece. Combining old-world charm and modern lines, this former wine barrel has been re-purposed into a beautiful accent table to give your home personality.

5 traditional decor pieces made unique

5. Surya Rugs Fallon Gray Rectangular  

Large traditional area rugs often feature elaborate details and a variety of rich colors. This elegant rug instead has a simple design and a two-tone color scheme to fit in with contemporary homes.old world charm

Does your interior look the same as every one else’s? A few great unique pieces here and there can be just what your space needs to gain a fresh new look and impress your friends.

 

By Wendy Weinert

 

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

During the spring and summer months, there’s nothing better than relaxing on your patio or porch. Don’t let your outdoor oasis be spoiled, however, when a swarm of mosquitoes crashes the party or your neighbors decide to argue loudly next door. Enjoy the outdoors this season more fully by setting up your space to fix these five common annoyances.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

1. Noise

It’s hard to enjoy socializing with friends when all you hear are cars driving by or the TV playing in a neighboring house. Eliminate some of that noise with noise of your own. A decorative wind chime is relaxing and will provide sounds you actually want to hear.

Tips for improving your outdoor space

2. Bugs

Nothing is worse than having to swat at bugs the entire time you’re outside. Besides spraying yourself with bug repellent, you can keep the bugs away by not wearing perfume, removing any standing water around the area (for example, rainwater left in an empty bucket) and lighting a citronella candle. If you have a porch, consider installing an outdoor fan, which also keeps biting bugs away.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

3. Harsh sunlight 

During the winter all we wish for is the sun. But then the summer comes and the sun shines a little too bright. Prevent sunburn by incorporating shade into your outdoor space. There are lots of ways to add shade. You can use a simple trick like an umbrella or cloth canopy, or you can build your own shade in the form of an outdoor gazebo or arbor.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

4. No light

After the sun goes down, you won’t have to worry about getting sunburned, but you will have to worry about being able to see. Depending on where your outdoor space is located, you can consider wall lights, lamps, landscape lighting or ambient lighting placed underneath furniture.

5. Heat/cold

During the day you might be too hot, but when it starts to get dark you might feel chilly. Combat both problems by installing an outdoor ceiling fan and setting up an outdoor heater in your patio. An extra supply of blankets will also come in handy at night and shade will help you stay cool, especially if you can’t hang up a fan.

You’ve spent a lot of time setting up your outdoor space, so why not enjoy it? Keep the annoyances away with these five solutions, and spend this season soaking up the fresh air!

By Wendy Weinert

4 easy tips for living large in small spaces

4 easy tips for living large in small spaces

Moving to a smaller home or apartment? If you’re starting to panic at the thought of downsizing, you should know that living in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a stylish or organized home. Anyone can design a space to be comfortable and attractive, even those who are working with limited room. Here are just four simple ways to maximize the space you have so you can create a home that is both stylish and functional.

4 easy tips for living large in small spaces

Photo credit:
lakbermagazin.hu

1. Look for dual-functional furniture

The fewer furniture pieces you have, the less cluttered a room will appear. Look for furniture that serves more than one purpose, such as a storage ottoman or a bed with built-in storage. Furnishing your home with fewer pieces will open up your space so you can actually move around and not feel so cramped.

4 easy tips for living large in small spaces

2. Find smarter storage solutions

Dual-functional furniture is one way to store smartly, but you can find other ways to store household items effectively as well. Utilize spare wall or door space and look for items that can be used as décor. For example, instead of cluttering a kitchen cupboard with spices, hang up a spice rack. It will save room and add visual appeal to your kitchen.

Capital Lighting

3. Install wall-mounted light fixtures

No matter where you live or how small your space is, you’re going to need light. Instead of taking up space with a floor or table lamp, install wall-mounted light fixtures wherever you need task lighting. So if you like to read in bed before falling asleep, add a decorative, wall-mounted lamp next to your bed for light.

4 easy tips for living large in small spaces

Bellacor Number: 754752

4. Decorate with mirrors

Mirrors are a great way to make a space appear larger, and the best part is you can just hang them up on the wall or the back of your door. To get more out of your mirror, hang it up next to the window so that it reflects more natural light.

While it might be an adjustment, living in a smaller space doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Try out these tactics and enjoy your tiny home!

By Wendy Weinert

DIY projects: 3 creative uses for old household items

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Sponge

When household items get old or are no longer needed, we have the habit of just throwing them out. But what if you could turn that old product into something better? Repurposing household items is a great way to save money and give your home some character. Get inspired with these four creative uses for old household items and let your crafty side take over!

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Bob Vila

1. Turn a light bulb into a candle

Even a burned-out bulb can still be used as a light source. Simply upcycle the old bulb and make it into a unique-looking candle! All you have to do is fill the bulb with lamp oil, use hemp string as the wicker and glue a washer to the bottom to make the light bulb stand up straight.

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Furnish Burnish

2. Hang up a small step ladder as a display shelf

Ladders can be used for more than just reaching that hard-to-reach shelf. If you have an old wooden ladder that you aren’t sure what to do with anymore, hang it on the wall and use the ladder to display decorative items like pictures. Depending on the style of your home, you can choose to paint the ladder or not.

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Revolution

3. Create a medicine cabinet out of old luggage

Feeling really creative? Then make your own medicine cabinet out of old luggage. A vintage luggage medicine cabinet will give your bathroom space a unique look that will intrigue guests. All you have to do is add the mirror of your choice, insert a shelf, if necessary, and hang the suitcase above the sink.

Ready to get crafty? Start putting your old household items to better use with these easy-to-do projects.

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate your Chandelier

When we think about a chandelier, some of us think of an ornate fixture that becomes the focal point of a room all on its own. This may be the case with some chandeliers, but definitely not all. The simplicity behind certain designs allows the consumer to truly customize their piece and make it their own. There are many ways to do so and they can be quite inexpensive. Decorating your chandelier may sound taboo to some, however, if you use the word “decorate” loosely, you won’t go overboard. By no means should whip out the finger paint and go to town on your fixture, unless it is something you acquired very inexpensively and it fits the decor of the room, but merely implying that there are tasteful ways to dress it up. Give this a try and see how it will change your room!

Livex ChandelierChandelier shade

Mini shades can be a great way to accessorize your chandelier. The patterns, textures, colors, etc. are endless and easily available. They are also very inexpensive, and if you’re crafty enough you can make your own.

Crystals allow you to add some “bling” to your chandelier in a tasteful manner. You can simply hang crystal strands from the arms, and body of the fixture to add something special. Crystals come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors and are also reasonably priced. You can also swap out some of the metal parts of the fixture and exchange them for crystal “body” parts. This is a very neat idea because it really can change the entire look and feel of your chandelier.

Photo Credit: Blog - Inmyownstyle

Photo Credit: Blog – Inmyownstyle

Ceiling medallions are probably my favorite way to dress up any chandelier; they take the chandelier to another level. You can get a simple solid medallion or ones with beautiful intricate detailing; it really is all up to you. They are an easy way to pull the room together, without having to do much else to your chandelier. Again, these come in all sizes and choosing the perfect fit depends on variable such as the size of the room along with the size of the fixture.

Ceiling Medallion

Dressing up your chandelier is a gradual process. You don’t have to tear open the box and immediately start thinking about various accessories. Once you get a feel for your design style and have a solid design vision, then these are things you can start thinking about. In the words of Gianni Versace, “Designing came to me. I didn’t have to move.”

By Lindsy Jacob with Livex Lighting on behalf of Bellacor

Lindsy_Livex

About Lindsy Jacob

Lindsy joined the Livex Lighting in January of 2013 as a customer service representative. She quickly climbed the ranks and is now the E-Commerce Manager for Livex Lighting. Her savvy sense of style and attention to detail are a great asset to the company.

5 Pieces of Furniture Essential to a Functional Kids Room

Photo Credit: Sprout

When my little guy was born, my wife and I spent an entire paycheck or two on a stroller, car seat, crib, and a mountain of diapers. And for a while that was the extent of our baby stuff. Over the next 10 months our mountain of diapers dwindled with amazing rapidity and our little bundle grew into a larger one that walked around picking up everything and putting it in his mouth. At the same time the amount of clothes, toys, and other assorted baby gadgetry had accumulated to such a degree that it was encroaching on the rest of the house.

It was time to give our little man his own space!

We pulled all of the junk out of our extra room and started transforming it into a baby haven. This required a great deal more effort and time than I had previously thought but, luckily for my bank account, it required a lot less cash. We slowly started piecing things together from thrift stores and generous family members with older kids.

Finally, today I can say that it’s all complete. The last piece of furniture is in place and the lingering pain from strained back muscles is fading. And so, I present to you, the 5 pieces of furniture essential to a functional kids room.

1. Some Sort of Sleeping Apparatus

You can’t really call it a kids room if there isn’t somewhere for them to sleep.  It doesn’t have to be shaped like a race car or the Millennium Falcon. It just has to be comfy enough to cradle a little body for the night and sturdy enough that it won’t break when that little body is bouncing around on it like a pinball.

Our crib came from my wife’s aunt. Her kids had outgrown it and, although the mattress cover was pretty thrashed, the rest of it was in pretty good condition.

2. A Place for Clothes

If you don’t have kids then you have no idea how quickly they amass large quantities of clothing. I swear every time Grandma comes over she’s got a cute new outfit. As a parent it’s great because you don’t have to buy them stuff, but even though baby clothes are tiny they still have to go somewhere.

A baby dresser is a must have. Drawers that keep clothes nicely folded and can separate the onesies from the footie pajamas will make changing times much easier. Again I think ours came from another relative. It has weird bear stickers all over it but it was free.

Photo Credit: Rob's home

Photo Credit: Rob’s home

3. A Place for Stuff

This is for all the things that kids need but that you don’t necessarily want them to have easy access to. Books, crayons, and boxes of wipes, are all crucial kid items but only if they remain well out of reach to curious toddlers.

One of the dressers we procured from someone has a set of shelves attached to it. It is a great place to keep things away from our little boy. It’s also bright pink with glittery nobs on the drawers but again the price was right.

4. Creative Platform

When your kids are really little they don’t require much to keep them occupied. A squishy ball or a cardboard box can amuse them for hours. But as they get older they learn about crayons and how they can make magic with paper. You will try your hardest to keep them from learning about crayons and walls but you will inevitably fail.

Once our son starting showing interest in drawing I knew we needed to get him a better environment. The kitchen table was way too high and he is a perpetual wiggler so it was unrealistic for us to lift him up and down from a booster seat a hundred times. Luckily, working for a kid’s furniture company gave me access to some really cool stuff and I’d been eyeing the table and chair set for a while. Now my little boy can grab a coloring book, plop down, and color outside the lines to his heart’s content.

5. A Black Hole

This is where all the things that don’t go in any other piece of furniture belong. Most people call it a toy box. It is where every little plastic doo-dad and wooden thing-a-ma-jig end up, woefully separated from whatever set of toys they belong to by great distances of space and time. It’s also the first thing that your kid likes to overturn once he wakes up in the morning.

Every kid’s room needs one of these for one simple reason. It makes cleaning up so much easier. Just grab everything on the floor and throw it in. In 2 minutes you’ve cleared the floor and you won’t have to worry about stepping on noisy or painfully sharp (I’m looking at you LEGO) objects when you go in to check on your child in the middle of the night. Our toy box is just a canvas bin. I have no idea where it came from but it’s wonderful.

There you have it, 5 essential pieces of furniture for a functional kid’s room. I’ve learned that children can make your life wonderfully crazy. But getting them into a room that meets all of your needs and theirs can make it more of the former and less of the latter.

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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.

POR-8801_8802_INSTAL

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.

Mambo

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.

Elements_1

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

Ready to change your dining room style? Start with a new dining table.

Dining rooms can be designed in a variety of different styles and sizes, but most have at least one important thing in common: they are all defined by a dining table.

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

If you’re ready to change up your dining room style and give it a new look, you’ll want to start with buying the right table. The choices you make regarding a table’s shape, design and color can have a huge impact on the room’s overall style and can help set the tone you were hoping to achieve.

Consider these four dining room styles:

Traditional – If you prefer a more traditional dining room look, find a table with styling characteristics to match. Traditional dining tables do not have to be a particular shape, but rectangular and round tables are common. You will also want to look for tables with rich wood finishes and ornate detailing like carved legs.

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Contemporary – If you want a no-fuss living room, then a modern style table is for you. Minimalist lines without any ornate detailing are features you will want to look for in a modern table. Contemporary tables are often made from metals and feature a glass tabletop. If you have kids and the thought of glass tables scares you, then sleek wooden tables also work just fine.

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Rustic/country – A nice country style dining room is easy to achieve with tables that have distressed or weathered wood. So instead of looking for that perfectly crafted table, you’ll want a table with some imperfections. Chipped finishes or a chunky appearance give the table character, which is perfect for a country style dining room.

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Transitional – If you can’t choose between a contemporary or traditional style dining room, go transitional. A transitional style combines traditional and contemporary characteristics to create a more casual look. For example, if a table has a rich Cherry finish mixed with sleek lines, it is considered to be transitional. This style is perfect if you prefer a more laid-back environment.

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

What dining room style do you want to create? Once you’ve determined the style, simply find a dining table to match!

By Wendy Weinert

 

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

PaintColor samplesIf you’ve ever spent any time at your local paint store or even in a hardware store that offers paint to customers you know how many different options and shades of each color are available. Considering that, it’s no surprise that many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to choosing the right paint color.

While there’s no definitive answer for every person and every home, there are some basic guidelines that can help you make appropriate choices. Typically, these guidelines can be applied to your home room by room, making sure your whole home ties together and maintains the right atmosphere throughout. Don’t forget about the lighting in the room as this will change how your color appears. Natural vs. electric light sources and the type they are – task, general, or ambient lighting will effect the color outcome.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is a room you likely spend a lot of time in, and it’s one where you probably spend time relaxing and feeling the pressure to get things done when entertaining or cooking for family. That’s why light and color is so important in this space.

You can’t go wrong with brighter colors in most kitchens, including colors like yellow, crisp white and even certain more saturated shades of colors like orange and cream, like the one below from Access Lighting. After all, the most important part of choosing a color for your kitchen is making sure it helps open up the space and give it energy, not enclose it.

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Living Room

How you pick a color for your living room really depends on the type of living room you’re working with. A formal space need something different than a casual area where you spend time with family.

For a formal living room, choosing neutral colors that are soothing and refined like chocolate, cream, navy and beige are often ideal. For a room where you spend time with family those same colors can work, but you might want to soften the palate a bit and go for something a bit more playful – a royal blue instead of navy, perhaps.

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Dining Room

Your dining room is a space that you want to feel elegant yet comfortable, so paint color plays an important role in pulling off that effect. In most cases you’ll want to work with more neutral colors in the dining room, and colors like crème, beige and even shades of green or navy can work well.

However, for a more playful space, choosing lighter, less saturated colors like pastels can also work, especially if you live in a coastal region or nature is close at hand.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is a space where you should be spending time relaxing and unwinding from stressful days. While many people use their bed as a second office, that isn’t the atmosphere you want to cultivate.

When picking out colors for your master bedroom, relaxation should be what you have in mind. Deep, saturated colors that are dark can help provide that – colors like deep greens or a plum/eggplant color. However, you can also choose softer colors like buttercream and even eggshell whites if you prefer a lighter space and still get the relaxing feeling you’re looking for.

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are all about getting ready for your day, but more and more, people are using them as a space to relax. If that’s you, choose natural earth tones for your bathroom and really focus on finding a color that feels natural and actually appears in nature.

If you spend most of the time in your bathroom rushing and getting ready, choose bright white, yellow or even a fun shade of green. What’s important for you is good lighting and not making the space feel claustrophobic.

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Choosing the right paint color for your space can feel ridiculously complicated, but the good news is that there really isn’t a right answer. While these suggestions can be helpful, anything that feels good to you is likely a wonderful decision for your home.

When picking paint, you’ll also want to consider the style of your home. A dining room in a home with Caribbean accents usually won’t want the same paint color as a home with Spanish revival details, so make sure you take that into consideration as well.

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Creating a Clean and Contemporary Office Work Space

Most employers allow a certain amount of workstation “flair” that employees can decorate their offices with. While some may choose to adorn every square inch of their walls with pictures of friends, family, and pets – this constant reminder what you’re missing can become rather distracting. Creating an optimal, yet inspiring workplace requires the right balance of visual pop with as little clutter as possible.

office cube

With slight exception to tech companies and ad agencies you can fully expect the average workstation to be gray, beige, or the international color of boring…taupe. There is no better way to counter the void than with a brightly colored accent piece. The contrast between the clinically inspired desk and wall colors adds a much needed burst of visual stimulation. Be sure not to overextend the accent color – a greater impact will be achieved if this is a pop of color rather than a workplace theme.

Lamps are a great addition to any work space and can be used as your primary accent piece. Even in well-lit offices the addition of a desk lamp can provide a serene area perfect for reading lengthy documents. Combined with a daylight bulb, the glow of lamp can provide a warm and inviting atmosphere in your workplace. The clean and pop-art inspired lines of the “Profile” Table Lamp by Kenroy Home present a whimsical pop of color and visual stimulation consistent with a contemporary workspace layout. Additionally, a large complaint about workplace lighting comes from the use of overhead fluorescent tube lighting. Convincing your employer to remove or dim bulbs over your workstation in favor of a smaller desk lamp can literally save you from a lot of headaches.

Photo provided by Kenroy Home

Photo provided by Kenroy Home

In most cases all of your “go-to” items can be confined to a decorative tray – this keeps important papers and supplies in a well organized manner. While all these items can be neatly stacked on your desk, the decorative tray provides an added level of comfort and style to your work space. Smaller inset trays and jars can be applied as well to keep items such as paper clips, push-pins, and writing instruments nicely arranged.

Flowers and other plants can provide a soothing atmosphere to counterbalance an influx of calls or demanding emails. In celebration of the 2014 Pantone color of the year – a well placed orchid can provide an elegant touch to your now streamlined desk. Just like the other accents in this modern design theme – smaller is better.

Empty Office Chair and Desk

Instead of a wall of photos, use your computer’s desktop background to prominently display pictures of loved ones. Most operating systems come pre-stocked with a photo-slide screensaver – this gives you a visual reminder friends and family while you’re at work, without the desk clutter. Remember to keep it simple when creating a modernly inspired workstation you should strive for the perfect balance of form and function, with a minimalist design philosophy.

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