How to decorate a space with white walls

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: Vosgesparis

When it comes to interior design, white walls are often misunderstood. People tend to think of them as dull, when really they can be used to create an elegant or lively space. The key to designing such a space is knowing how to work with your white walls effectively. Whether you’re stuck with white walls as a renter or you’re simply ready to try something new, these three decorating ideas will help you design a space you’ll love.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: My Scandinavian Home

Contrast white walls with bright colors

White walls don’t have to be boring if you incorporate bright colors throughout the room. Instead of relying on your walls to create a colorful space, decorate using bold colors with high contrast and make the room pop. How you choose to add color is up to you. Furniture, rugs, curtains, light fixtures, wall art and pillows can all make an impact.

Decorate an all-white space

Use white walls to your advantage and take the look even further by creating an all-white room. When done correctly, all-white spaces are elegant and refreshing. To keep your all-white room from looking flat, use various shades of white throughout the room and rely heavily on texture to create depth. After a stressful or hectic day, an all-white room will feel soothing and help you to relax.

How to decorate a space with white walls

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Use white walls as backdrop for artwork

If you love art or often create your own, use a white wall as a backdrop for your favorite pieces and create a gallery in your space. A white gallery wall is perfect because you have more flexibility when choosing artwork to hang. With a white backdrop, you don’t have to worry about colors clashing or overwhelming the room with too many.

White walls should be embraced, not dreaded. Try working with your white walls by using one of these decorating ideas, and you might find you actually prefer them.

By Wendy Weinert

How to clean and care for your chandelier

How to clean and care for your chandelier

Chandeliers can be a stunning addition to your space, but without regular cleaning they can quickly become dull and dirty. When guests come over, you want them to notice the beautiful crystals and elegant design of your chandelier, not that it has collected numerous cobwebs and a lot of dust. Learn how to properly clean your chandelier and allow its beauty to shine.

How to clean and care for your chandelier

There are many chandelier cleaning products that people can buy, but these special formulas are actually harmful to your chandelier’s frame and can cause your crystals to become cloudy. When cleaning your light fixture, all you need are white cotton gloves and possibly some warm water. Using products that contain chemicals, such as glass cleaners or even soap, can tarnish the metallic coatings and defeat the purpose of cleaning your chandelier in the first place.

Before cleaning, make sure to turn the light off. Then you can dust the chandelier and remove any cobwebs that have formed using your cotton glove. A cotton cloth also works, but be sure not to touch the crystals with your hands, as they could leave fingerprints. If the crystals are extremely dirty and dusting with cotton gloves doesn’t do the trick, remove the crystals from the frame and use warm water. After wiping with a damp cloth, be sure to dry the crystals immediately.

How often you need to clean your chandelier will depend on the room and the fixture. Pay attention to the way your chandelier looks right after it has been cleaned so that you’re more likely to notice when it’s dirty. A quick clean now and then will keep your chandelier shining bright and your overall space looking great.

By Wendy Weinert

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

Setting up a living space is no easy feat, so it’s better to create a space that you’ll love for a long time as opposed to redecorating frequently. When decorating your home, keep these four tips in mind to create a space that stands the test of time:

1. Seek out quality furniture

Everyone wants to save money, but buying low-quality, cheap furniture will actually cost you more money in the long run. Higher-quality products last longer, which means you can enjoy their great style and functionality for years.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

2. Don’t overspend on trendy products

The trendy accessories that you love might be in style now, but what about a year from now? It’s okay to keep up with the trends and incorporate what’s “in” at the moment into your home’s design, but be careful of overspending on products that you will only use for a short period of time. Save your money for a beautiful piece of wall art or a stunning light fixture instead.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

3. Tell your story with design

Take a page out of interior designer Diego Rincon’s book and fill your home with meaningful items that share your story and personality. For example, you can display souvenirs or decorative items that you’ve acquired while traveling. Antique items that have been passed down in the family can also make great décor for your home.

4 tips for designing a home that you will continue to love for years

Photo credit: Amanda Nisbet Design

4. Find ways to make easy, temporary changes

No matter how much you love the look of your space, there may come a time when you feel ready for a change. Instead of redecorating an entire room, however, you can make simple changes that will save you time, money and stress. When you’re craving color, hang up bright wallpaper on one or more of your walls. When the seasons change, switch out your smaller accessories like accent pillows and curtains for items that are more suitable. Small changes can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of a room.

People should feel happy in their home environment. Create space that you can love for years with these four tips in mind.

By Wendy Weinert

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

If you’ve been vigorously cleaning your home this past week, you’re not alone. Many homeowners do an annual spring cleaning to refresh their space and get ready for the new season. While spring cleaning usually involves dusting off all those hard to reach surfaces that one tends to skip over, it’s also about getting organized. Over the years, we tend to collect more and more stuff, but rarely do we throw anything out. Well, now is the perfect time to declutter your space and get rid of the junk that’s been causing you stress. Here’s what to do.

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Photo credit: Hi Sugarplum!

1. Identify common clutter zones

Where do you keep your clutter? Common places include closets, drawers and cupboards, but you might identify other areas specific to your home. Go room to room and determine which areas that can be sorted and organized. For example, if you haven’t gotten rid of any clothes in years, you should sort through all of the closets and drawers that hold your wardrobe. In the kitchen, it’s a good idea to organize the refrigerator and kitchen pantry.

Spring cleaning challenge: 3 steps for decluttering your space

Photo credit: BHG

2. Sort out what should be kept, thrown out, donated or sold

Sometimes it’s obvious what you should throw out – like that expired ketchup bottle in the fridge. Other times you’ll have to spend time considering what the best option is. If you’re struggling to part with an item, such as a board game or a blender, ask yourself, “When is the last time I actually used this?” Can’t remember? Then it might be time to get rid of it. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your things, then donating is always a good option. Unless of course you’re dealing with broken items – then just throw them out.

3. Just get rid of it!

Don’t let piles of bags accumulate in your home. That defeats the purpose of decluttering! Take action right away, because the sooner you get all of your stuff donated, sold or thrown out, the sooner you can finally live and relax in an organized and clutter-free zone.

By Wendy Weinert

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Is your space starting to look a little blah lately? Do you feel like the room just needs a change? Then you may want to consider painting an accent wall. Accent walls offer an easy and inexpensive way to liven up a dull room and make it pop. All you have to do is choose which wall you want to accent and the right color for your space.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Choosing an accent wall

The wall you decide to accent will largely be determined by the existing features in a room and how you plan to set up your space. Accent walls are meant to be dramatic, so it’s best not to paint a wall that is mostly covered with furniture or décor accessories. Otherwise the color will lose its impact and your room won’t pop as much as it could. That being said, you also don’t want your accent wall to be completely bare, which could cause the wall to overpower the rest of the room! When it comes to accent walls, balance is key, so choose a wall that maybe has a few hanging accessories, but avoid one that is mostly blocked with by a tall dresser or something similar.

Give a room new life with an accent wall

Photo credit: Home Stores

Choosing the right color

When you’re painting all four walls in a room, your color choice is generally limited. A bright or dramatic color often overwhelms when it surrounds the entire room. That’s why it can be a lot of fun to do an accent wall in your space. Because you are painting only one wall an accent color and leaving the rest neutral, you can go as bold or bright as you’d like! If you really want to make a statement in your space, consider using wallpaper that features a fun pattern or design instead. Wallpaper is just as effective as paint, and can be easily replaced when you’re ready for a change.

If you’re sick of looking at white walls, then using paint or wallpaper to create an accent wall is a perfect solution. Don’t be afraid to go bold and make a statement with an eye-catching color like red or bright blue!

By Wendy Weinert

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

Creating a lighting plan for a room is a lot different than simply replacing a light fixture or adding a new light source. When making a lighting plan, you are starting from scratch, which makes it that much more important to carefully consider the best way to get good lighting for your space. Make sure each room is properly lit by following these three steps.

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

1. Draw out a plan of your room

The setup of a room will largely influence where you will need the most light. Even if you don’t have the room furnished, map out where you intend to place furniture and accent décor. Then, pinpoint the areas where specific tasks will take place and pieces or architectural elements that you want to feature. This will not only give you an idea of where to place light fixtures, but also what type of light source is best suited for your needs. Be sure to take note of existing sockets in the room, which may influence where you can place lamps.

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

2. Consider connecting rooms/spaces

Even though every room requires a unique lighting plan, it’s important to factor the transition from room to room. You want to ease people into a space. A softly-lit room that connects to a bright hallway creates a harsh transition that neither you nor guests will appreciate.

 

Light your home like a pro with these 3 easy steps

3. Determine the style you hope to achieve

The light fixtures you choose should be functional, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be stylish. A pendant light or sconce can have a huge impact on a room’s overall look, so consider what you want a fixture to do for your space and the style you hope to achieve. This will narrow down your list of options and make the shopping process easier.

Now that you know the style and type of light fixtures you need, you can finally start shopping! Give yourself plenty of time to browse different options so you can find the perfect light fixtures to match your room’s style and functional needs.

By Wendy Weinert

Why pineapples are popular in interior design

Have you ever asked yourself why pineapples are so popular in interior design? Sure it’s a delightful and fun design trend, but what makes this fruit so special?

Pineapple Medley, Set of Three #612962

Pineapple Medley, Set of Three #612962

Pineapples have been showing up in American interior design for years now and it’s not just because they add a cute design element to one’s home. The reason for this fruit being a popular decorating choice has a lot to do with history and goes way back to the time of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus
Pineapples originated in South America, but once they were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the fruit made its way to Europe and became an instant hit. By the 17th century, this sweet fruit made its way to America – and design enthusiasts are grateful that it did! What started out as a delicious piece of fruit eventually became a stylish symbol for hospitality in people’s homes.
In early America, colonists had to import pineapples from the Caribbean and this made the fruit a rare commodity. Those who were lucky – or wealthy enough – to get a pineapple would show it off and use it to adorn their dining table. Since this fruit was so hard to come by, people who were visiting saw a pineapple centerpiece as a compliment and a welcoming gesture. The popular fruit then became symbolic and was more than just a tasty treat. It became a sign of neighborliness and was used to show friendliness toward guests.

It didn’t take long before pineapples moved from the dining table and started showing up in one’s interior design. People would welcome guests into their home with pineapples featured in light fixtures, doors, shutters, bedposts and even wallpaper!

Ellington by Craftmade Pineapple Matte White 52 Inch Blade Span Outdoor Ceiling Fan And Blades #827446

Ellington by Craftmade Pineapple Matte White 52 Inch Blade Span Outdoor Ceiling Fan And Blades #827446

Antique Gold Pineapple Table Lamp #444211

Antique Gold Pineapple Table Lamp #444211

Castilian Trading Acanthus Leaves and Pineapple Six-Light Chandelier #475198

Castilian Trading Acanthus Leaves and Pineapple Six-Light Chandelier #475198

Whitehall Products Pewter Silver Pineapple Aluminum Welcome Mat #132922

Whitehall Products Pewter Silver Pineapple Aluminum Welcome Mat #132922

If you love the look of pineapple designs and want to incorporate some historic symbolism into your home’s interior design, show off your hospitality with a stylish pineapple lamp or throw pillow in the living room. Guests will be intrigued by your new décor and be impressed with your welcoming taste.

By Wendy Weinert

Activities to Make Your Dinner Party a Blast

Have you struggled to host dinner parties in the past? If you’re tired of throwing parties that don’t quite live up to your expectations, simply reconsider your party strategy. A dinner party often requires three things in order to be successful: delicious food and drinks; great atmosphere; and last, but certainly not least, entertaining activities!

You might not have considered party activities in the past, but without them, your event might end up being a dud. So don’t let all the work you put into the menu and décor go to waste. At your next dinner party, try incorporating these three activities and make your dinner party a smashing success!

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Play games
Playing games is one of the easiest ways to loosen your guests up and liven up the mood. It’s also an activity that can be done before, during or after the meal depending on the game. Be sure to consider your guests beforehand to decide which games would be most appropriate. If many of your guests are meeting for the first time, play an icebreaker game so everyone can get to know each other. If you have a more outgoing group, play a fun game of charades in the living room!

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Set up a “photo booth” area
Taking pictures is not only a great way to capture a fun evening, but it can also be a fun activity! All you need for your home photo booth is a digital camera, a tripod and a backdrop. If you have a large piece of artwork hung up you can simply use that as the background. Otherwise, any type of printed fabric such as a blanket could also be used. Set some goofy props nearby such as wigs or large glasses and your friends will have a blast taking silly pictures all night.

photo-booths-party-fun-activities
End the night with dancing
After everyone’s done eating your incredible food, keep them from feeling sleepy by having a dance party. Simply clear out your coffee table and rugs, turn on an upbeat playlist and show off your sweet moves!

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Hosting a dinner party is more than providing a delicious meal. Be sure to also include some fun activities and keep your guests entertained throughout the evening!

Doing Interior Designs the Right Way

Photo By: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Photo By: Wicker Paradise (Flickr)

Interior design is a complicated thing. There are many colors, patterns, architectural elements, and fabrics that go with all the many different styles. While I find myself drooling over countless pictures of farmhouse kitchens or contemporary bedrooms, when it comes to decorating my own house, I want it to reflect my personality. Choosing your style is the first and most important step in decorating. Once you have selected what fits you best, the rest will fall into place. No matter what your style is, there are the same interior design elements found among them.

The first interior design element you will need to choose is color. Colors should bring warmth into the room and make it a place you want to be in. If a room is lacking in natural lighting from windows, opt for a lighter shade of your favorite paint color. Neutral grays and tans give a room a comfortable and classy look. While whites are bright and add light to a room, they can also feel cold. Add bright pillows, frames, rugs, or lamps to a white room to bring a touch of warmth. A dark accent wall can add depth and a natural focal point.

After choosing your colors, it is time to create a mood. This might sound strange, but interior design is all about making a house a home. There is nothing like walking into a living room to find poor lighting and every piece of furniture centered around the television. While every room should have a focal point, it doesn’t have to be the TV. Set up the couches and chairs for conversation. Arranging couches this way can make a huge impact on a room.

Make the room inviting with the best use of lighting fixtures and lamps. While natural lighting is a big plus for rooms, when it is dark outside, it doesn’t matter how big your windows are. Hang or set up lights in a triangle pattern to evenly space them throughout the room. Add extra lighting around the focal point of the room, such as can lights above the fireplace or kitchen stove. For a romantic mood, add lights that can easily dim and brighten.

Here are additional sources to help you on your path to successful interior design.

Top Interior Design Tips for Beginners – Not everyone can throw a room together and have it look magazine-worthy. These tips are great to help anyone learn a few things about decorating.

Fool Proof Paint Colors – Choosing paint colors can be stressful, but these paint colors will impress anyone.

Interior Design Tips Album – Some of the best ways to learn about interior design is through photos and this inspirational album does just that.

Interior Design Tips for Living Rooms – Follow these simple steps and you can have your living room be looking like a professional did it.

Add Value to Your Home with Interior Design – While remodeling a room can add value to your home, paint and a little decorating can make your home stand-put amongst the rest.

Five Ways to Enhance a Small Space – If your space is feeling a little cramped, try these five tips to enhance a small room and get the most out of it.

Tips for Family Room Seating – Instead of buying the biggest sectional you can find, it might be a better idea to purchase two small couches. Read this article for great advice for family room seating.

Combine Colors Like a Design Expert – If you want to add color to a wall but lack the confidence, read this article to know which colors to combine for the desired mood.

Living Room Decorating Ideas – Adding a few touches of décor here or there can make a room feel complete and homier. Read these forty ideas to decorate your living room.

Entry Wall Colors that are Easy on Your Eyes – Check out these stunning entries.

by Wendy Weinert

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5 easy entertaining tips for dinner parties

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Dinner parties are an excellent way to enjoy an intimate evening with friends. Hosting these fabulous dinner parties, however, is more than just hiring a good caterer or cooking up a delicious meal. To make your party special, you need the right amount of atmosphere. Here are five easy entertaining tips that will help create a memorable night:

1. Start off the night with appetizers

Before the actual meal is served, give your guests the chance to mingle by passing hors d’oeuvres and drinks around the living room. Starting with appetizers gives guest something to do before dinner is served and will force them to circulate.

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2. Create a playlist

No matter what kind of party you’re throwing, music is a must-have. Make a playlist based on the theme of the night (serve French food while listening to French music), or select songs that have meaning to you and your friends. Just be sure that the music isn’t so loud that people can’t hear each other talk!

3. Dim the lights

If you haven’t already, consider installing dimmers in your home. Dimmers allow you to set the exact mood you want without any hassle. To add even more atmosphere, dim the lights and decorate the room with a lot of candles. The soft glow will instantly transform your space and create a more intimate setting.

4. Use a throw blanket as your tablecloth

Add warmth to your room by covering your dining table with a blanket. Using a throw blanket or a quilt rather than a tablecloth will make your dining room feel cozier. To enhance this cozy look, use a blanket with warm hues like oranges or reds.

5. Set the table with a reusable dinnerware setdinnerwear

Sure it’s easier to just buy a bunch of paper plates and napkins, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Paper products are less of a hassle, but they aren’t exactly economical or as stylish. Throw a more sophisticated party instead with reusable dinnerware and cloth napkins.

If you’re hosting a dinner party, why not make it as successful as possible? You can easily make your dinner party a more memorable night by following these five entertaining tips.