Pet-friendly decorating tips for a home you and your furry friend will love

Parents are always aware of their young one’s safety and comfort, and they also consider their kid’s messy habits before picking out new furniture and decor. The same strategy can be applied to pets, too, and I know many of you think of them as family, too. By remembering your furry friend when decorating, you can design a home that is comfortable for both of you and still be able to enjoy a stylish space. These pet-friendly decorating tips will help get you started.

1. Opt for rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpet

Carpet traps bad odors and hair, making it hard to keep it clean. Rugs, on the other hand, are easier to clean and much less expensive to replace. Natural-fiber rugs like sisal are affordable and more durable than synthetic materials.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Photo credit: Bryn Alexandra

2. Set up a space just for them

I know pets aren’t people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy having space to themselves. Everyone in the home has a bedroom, so set up a small area in a room of your choice where a dog or cat can go to eat, sleep and play.

Pet's Area

Photo credit: Room Service – Decorating 101

3. Choose comfortable and stylish bedding

Animals love their naps. Give your pets the comfort they deserve with a plush bed made just for them. With so many options available today, you won’t have any trouble finding a bed that is both comfortable and stylish to match your home’s decor.

Dog bed

Photo credit: Etsy

4. Match upholstery to your pet’s fur color

Your puppy is cute, but he sheds a lot. The next time you’re searching for a new sofa or chair, try matching the upholstery to his fur color. It won’t solve the shedding problem, but it might help hide some of the hair so it isn’t too visible to guests.

5. Choose plants carefully

Certain plants are poisonous to animals, so make sure the plants you bring inside won’t hurt your pet. Learn which plants are toxic to animals here.

Your pet is family — there’s no question about it. Follow these pet-friendly decorating tips to offer your family a comfortable and safe place to live.

By Wendy Weinert

Decorating for an open floor plan

Open Floor Plan

Photo credit: Sublime Decor

Homeowners have made open floor plans a popular layout style, and depending on your space, you may find it a suitable design choice for your home as well. Instead of separating each room with walls, open floor plans combine rooms such as the kitchen, dining room and living room into one large open area. I find open floor plans very appealing in smaller homes, and the layout works well for those with more square footage as well. It’s a refreshing feeling to walk into a home with an open-floor layout. With fewer walls and longer sightlines, the style is soothing and instantly creates a less cluttered appearance.

If you decide on an open layout for your own home, or if you are at least considering the option, strategize how you plan to furnish and decorate before you start tearing down walls. Decorating with an open floor plan isn’t the same process as if you were setting up each room individually. With no dividing walls, you have to find a way to create distinct spaces that still fit under one cohesive style.

Defining distinct spaces

Open floor plan

Photo credit: Freshome

To design an open floor plan that works, use furniture and accessories to create distinct rooms within the large area. Although there are no walls separating each room, there should still be individual focal points for each room, such as a pendant over the dining table or the entertainment center in the living room.

Another trick you can try is to divide the rooms not with walls, but with furniture. A large shelving unit can help you create clearly defined spaces, without losing the benefits of an open floor plan.

Creating a unified look

Unified look in an open floor plan

Photo credit: Pinterest

Creating separate rooms that also look cohesive can be a challenge. Tie the rooms together by decorating each space in the same style and color palette. If you’re decorating the kitchen to be mid-century modern for example, search for furniture and accessories that fit into that style as well. Even though each room will have very different purposes and furniture, they will look unified.

With furniture in the right place and a specific style carrying the overall look, you can create an open floor plan that not only works, but amazes.

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

The art of hanging your artwork at home

Hanging your artwork is, quite frankly, an art in and of itself. If your favorite painting is hung too high or too low, the room’s proportions and balance will be thrown off. Grouping pictures can be a challenge, too, as this strategy usually involves trying to create a put-together look with different-sized frames.

Although hanging artwork isn’t easy, take heart in knowing there are strategies that will make it less of a nightmare. Here are some tips I’ve found most helpful.

1. Hang art at eye level (or 57 inches from the floor)

Guests shouldn’t have to strain their necks to appreciate your art. That’s why it is usually recommended to hang pictures at eye level. Of course, “eye level” isn’t an easy height to guess. A more accurate method for determining eye level is to hang art so that the center is 57 inches from the floor. If you’re hanging art in a room where people spend most of their time sitting, you might consider lowering the art for a better view.

Photo credit: Forever Cottage

Photo credit: Forever Cottage

2. Group pictures about two inches apart

If you’re hanging art salon-style, where you group a collection of pictures close together, just be sure there is an equal amount of space between each frame. Two inches is usually recommended, but if you’re hanging smaller frames you might consider spacing each picture one and a half inches apart.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

3. Be patient and expect some trial and error

If you hang your art but it looks “off” for some reason, some adjustments may be needed to make it feel right. This is especially true when grouping photos together, as you’ll have to rely mostly on your own judgement to mix and match sizes. So you don’t make unnecessary holes, make a paper template to tape on the wall before you use a nail. Have some fun rearranging the templates to get the look you want. It may take time, but I guarantee the effort is worth making. Once you master the art of hanging art, you’ll be able to show off your fabulous collection with pride.

By Wendy Weinert

Layer your rugs for an interesting look

Photo credit: The Glitter Guide

Photo credit: The Glitter Guide

I don’t know if you all have heard, but layering rugs is in style – and I love that it is. I think there are many benefits to laying one rug on top of another. For example, if you have a beautiful rug that you want to display in the living room, but it is too small, layering a larger rug underneath is often the perfect solution. Layering rugs can also lend a designer look to your home, as it is bold and sometimes tricky to pull off.

If you like the layering rug trend as much as I do, here are some ideas for making it work.

Photo credit: Carla Aston

Photo credit: Carla Aston

1. Combine bright colors and interesting patterns with a neutral rug

One of the easiest ways to pull off the layered look is to pair a natural fiber rug in a neutral color with a very detailed and colorful one. When placing the colorful rug on top, make sure there is an equal amount of exposed rug around all sides underneath. Bonus point: this could also help you save some money, as large Oriental rugs can get expensive!

 

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. Use two or more rugs to create one larger rug

Instead of placing one rug directly on top of another, try setting them up side by side, with the edges slightly overlapping. This style is popular when using cowhide or sheepskin rugs, but you can try the look with other shapes, fabrics and styles as well. Just be sure the two rugs complement each other in some way.

Photo credit: SF Girl by Bay

Photo credit: SF Girl by Bay

3. Create an eclectic style by layering two different patterns

Layering a neutral rug with one that features intricate patterns and a variety of colors is easy. Pairing two or more rugs together that all show different patterns is much harder! To create a cohesive look, try finding different rugs that all feature a similar style. Two tribal-print rugs make sense together, but a tribal print mixed with a floral pattern might not.

These ideas will help get you started, but there are other ways to layer rugs as well. Play around with what you have and see what works!

By Wendy Weinert

Women who have made an impact on interior design

As a woman within the interior design industry, I love being able to look up to strong and leading female designers. Last week I compiled a list of inspiring female interior designers who are currently influencing and making changes to the industry. Now I want to share with you all women who are no longer living. The work done by these women has made a substantial impact on the interior design industry. Without these women, the industry wouldn’t be what it is today.

1. Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper

Photograph from the archives of Dorothy Draper & Co.

Those who like a bold style should look to Dorothy Draper’s past work for inspiration. Dorothy never shied away from bright colors and large patterns, as she thought the vivid decorating style helped increase happiness and energy. Draper started her first business in 1925 and much of her work can still be seen today, in hotels and apartment lobbies.

2. Elsie de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolfe

Photograph from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Often considered to have invented interior decorating as an occupation, Elsie de Wolfe is certainly a woman who has made a large impact on the industry. Her feminine designs were softer and brighter than the style many were used to at the time, and she was also well-known for making practicality a priority when decorating. De Wolfe first got into design in the early 1900s.

3. Frances Adler Elkins

Frances Adler Elkins

Photo credit: The New York Times

If you favor the eclectic style, you’ll love Frances Adler Elkins. An interior designer who’s popularity grew in the 1930s, Elkins was known for combining various styles and time periods in the same room, often mixing modern with vintage pieces.

4. Nancy Lancaster

Nancy Lancaster

Photo credit: The New York Times

Nancy Lancaster was a designer who first got her start in the 1920s. Through her work with the design company Colefax & Fowler, Lancaster is often credited for creating the “English country-house look,” which featured an elegant and comfortable style that people still love today.

5. Sister Parish

Sister Parish

Sister Parish co-founded Parish-Hadley in 1962 and the company lasted until 1999. Influenced by Nancy Lancaster, Parish expanded on the “English country house” look to create her own, named the American country style. Although Parish-Hadley is no longer in existence, Sister Parish Design, started by Parish’s family, aims to bring back her influential style.

Who are some of your favorite female interior designers? Send a comment and let us know!

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

Create a cozy reading nook in your home

Curling up with a good book in a cozy spot is a great way to spend a rainy day…or any type of day for that matter. While I can always get comfortable in bed or on the sofa, there’s something about a reading nook that I find luxurious and pleasant. It makes for a great reading experience, whether you prefer Jane Austin classics or are rushing to finish the Game of Thrones series. Try creating a reading nook in your own home with these five essentials. Trust me, you’ll never want to go back to reading in bed again.

1. A comfortable seat for lounging

Comfortable chair in reading nook

Photo credit: Lisa McDennon Design

The size and shape of your chair or bench will depend on your own reading preferences, but comfort is key. Without a comfortable seat, you’ll be forced to move right as you’re getting to the good part in the story!

2. Seclusion

Secluded Reading Nook with curtains

Photo credit: Pinterest

Reading in a secluded spot will help prevent distractions and make it easier for you to get lost in the book. Consider hanging up a stylish curtain to create an environment better suited for reading.

3. Proper lighting

Add light to your reading nook

Photo credit: Pinterest

Inadequate lighting can cause eye strain and headaches. If your nook is located directly by a window, you may not need much task lighting. Otherwise, consider installing a lamp, wall sconce or pendant light fixture.

4. Blankets

Reading nook with blankets

Photo credit: Pinterest

It doesn’t feel right to curl up without a blanket. In the summer, opt for a light blanket that you can use to feel cozy without becoming hot. Replace the blanket with a thicker alternative as the weather becomes chilly.

5. Shelving

Reading nook with shelving

Photo credit: Pinterest

A book shelf in your reading nook is convenient. It allows you to choose a book or switch authors without actually leaving the area.

There are a lot of different ways to design a reading nook, but these five essentials will ensure your space is comfortable and functional.

By Wendy Weinert

Stage your home to sell with these 3 tricks

Staging a home for selling isn’t as simple as decorating the space to match your preferred style. Think about the qualities you look for when touring potential houses. If you’re like me, you want the home to appear spacious, functional and inviting, as well as versatile so it can easily be changed to match your tastes. There are many tips and strategies you can implement to sell your home successfully, but I found these three tricks to be the most helpful.

Elk Lighting lights up a living room

1. Get rid of the clutter

I’m not talking about the piles of magazines that used to sit on your coffee table – you already knew to get rid of those. I’m talking about furniture. It’s essential that your home looks bigger and more open, and having too much furniture can create exactly the opposite effect. Go from room to room and see if there are pieces that aren’t really necessary or are simply taking up space.

Baxter - Elk Lighting

2. Keep the style neutral

I might love the eclectic style, but I wouldn’t decorate my home to be eclectic if I were trying to sell it. Everyone has different tastes, and even though a home’s style can be changed easily, it’s hard for potential buyers to picture a different look in their minds. Keep the style as neutral as possible to attract the largest number of people.

Elk Lighting - Galaxy

3. Improve the lighting

I would much rather purchase a home that appeared welcoming and open rather than dark and cramped. Wouldn’t you? The right amount of lighting can make a huge difference in how inviting a room looks, so consider increasing your bulb wattage and make sure you have a combination of overhead, task and accent lighting.

If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might just need to rethink your decorating strategy. Simple tricks like these can help you sell your home quickly and for the right price.

By Wendy Weinert

The Perfect Gift for Your Next Party

Summer brings lots of pool parties, birthday parties and family events. If you are the one hosting, the right décor and design is often top of mind, leaving the gifts to figure out later. This year, give a gift that is one-of-a-kind. If you are in a rush or can’t find the perfect gift, we have a few suggestions for you!

Consider Wall Decor

Wall décor is not only for adults but is a great gift for kids as well! No matter what your style is, wall decals from RoomMates make decorating easy and fun! Featuring your favorite licensed art like Minnie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Winnie the Pooh and Disney Pixar Cars, kids can bring their walls to life with their favorite characters and designs. (Wall decals by RoomMates also offer a wide selection of wall quotes, trees & branches and floral décor for adults). The best part is these wall decals are peel and stick. No sticky residue gets left on your walls! Plus, temporary decorating is great for kids since their favorite characters change so frequently!

Wall decor makes a nice gift if attending a child’s birthday party that has theme! The Frozen line is especially popular and is a special gift to give at a Frozen themed birthday party. What little girl wouldn’t want to open up her very own giant Elsa and hang her right up on her bedroom wall?

RoomMates Gift idea- Elsa

And one of our favorite reasons to give wall décor as a gift, it pairs well with bedroom themes. If the child’s bedroom décor is based on Mickey Mouse, giving a giant decal of Mickey or Mickey and his friends, just adds to the collection. Plus, after the décor is hung, it makes a nice bold statement on the wall.

RoomMates Gift idea- Mickey cropped

Personalized Wall Art

A cool spin on wall decals, give a custom wall decal for a gift that is really memorable. RoomMates custom wall decals offer the ability to personalize your own wall sticker. Use one of their premade templates and add your name or phrase. A great gift for any child, there is nothing that brings a room to life than a personalized peel and stick decal that says “Sasha’s Room.”  Like the wall décor line, customizable wall art is also removable and reusable!

RoomMates Gift idea- Personalized

Children receive so many toys. Consider a gift that is out of the box and fun! Remember wall décor is child friendly! We particularly like this kind of gift because of the application process! It is nice for the child to decorate together with an adult and be amazed by the peel and stick of the decal on the wall as they move it from wall to wall.

Consider something out of the box the next time you give a gift!

 

Jessica Toutsis

About Jessica Toutsis

Jessica Toutsis is the Digital Marketing Manager for Roommatesdecor.com is passionate about blogging, all things Web, and of course wall decals! Her expertise lies around content development, as well as SEO and social media and she frequently writes about home decor, re-purposing and home organization. To read more of Jessica’s blog posts, follow the RoomMates blog and add Jessica on Google+