Which comes first: the chicken or the egg? – A redecorating plan

It’s inevitable. You find a stunning new couch or lamp online, but when it arrives at your door you realize it doesn’t go with your current room! So you start redecorating, picking out paint colors and rearranging furniture. Now hold up! Before you get too carried away, be sure to follow our redecorating plan so you aren’t stuck in the same situation and forced to redecorate once more.

1. Decide on a style 

In order for a room to come together, it’s essential that you redecorate it with a specific style in mind. Choose a style that complements your favorite new piece of furniture. Or go another route completely and pick a theme you’ve always wanted to try. Once the style is chosen, every decision you make in regard to redecorating should then help you create that theme for your room.

2. Write down everything you want to keep

Redecorating doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything currently in the room. More than likely, your room already has plenty to work with and you just need to make some adjustments. When writing down which items you want to keep, make sure they all go together and match the style you’re trying to create.

3. Make lighting a priority Sitting_Chairs.Lamp.wallart

No matter what style you’re trying to create, lighting is always one of the most important elements of a room. Even if you love all your new paint colors and accessories, a poorly lit room will make the room look more drab than fab. Create a lighting plan before you start rearranging furniture and then work around that plan.

4. Create a room plan
Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

 

You don’t need to be an artist to draw up a room plan. A simple sketch that indicates where everything will go in the room is just fine. Sketching a room plan will help you get a sense of whether your setup will actually work before you start redecorating.

It doesn’t matter if you redecorate because of a new sofa or because you simply want a fresh space. Just be sure to start with a style in mind, so you can create a cohesive room in the end.

By Wendy Weinert

Perk up your home’s style with these 10 easy pick-me-up ideas

We all need a pick-me-up now and then to feel energized, refreshed or to put us in a better mood. Some people turn to coffee, while others might prefer a sugary treat (I personally love both). You might not know it, but your home could probably use a pick-me-up, too. When your space is lacking in energy or just needs a small change to feel different, consider these 10 simple solutions.

1. Use a rug to add color or warmth. A rug is a simple way to prevent a room from feeling bare.ban3326-roomscene_001

2. If you already have a rug, try layering the look. Layered rugs can give your home a designer look, and it’s a great way to show off your unique style.

3. Hang up a large piece of art. This simple trick can do wonders for a room that could use more color or visual appeal.

4. Install a chandelier or eye-catching pendant. Statement fixtures can’t be ignored and work well in rooms lacking in excitement.

5. Design an accent wall. You can use a bold color paint or a funky wallpaper pattern to create an accent wall, and it’s easy to change up when you’re tired of the look.

Photo credit: Estilo Home

6. Replace a piece of furniture. It could be something as large as a new sofa or something as small as an end table. Either way, a new piece of furniture can freshen up your room’s overall appearance.

7. Cover your sofa with a throw or add some accent pillows. This is a great idea if you’re tired of your sofas or chairs and want to try something new. throw pillows from surya

8. Decorate with a plant. Plants will bring energy into your room and can enhance your interior design.

9. Update your photo frames. You can either add more photo frames or replace old pictures with more recent ones to give your room an instant pick-me-up.

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

10. Rearrange what you already have. If buying something new is out of the picture, work with what you have. Rearranging furniture and decor is a simple way to enjoy a fresh interior!

By Wendy Weinert

7 considerations when choosing colors for your home

If you’re redecorating your home or starting from scratch, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for each room is the color scheme. The colors you choose can have a huge influence on the end result, so it’s good to feel confident with every purchase you decide to make. To choose colors you’ll love (and continue to love), let these seven considerations be your guide throughout the decorating process.

1. Light: 

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

That paint color might look great online, but will it look as good in your home with the lighting you have? Try getting a sample before buying any paint to see if the color will work well in your space.

2. Balance:
Photo credit: How to Decorate

Photo credit: How to Decorate

You can design a colorful room without it overwhelming you and your guests. The trick is to keep the colors balanced. Choose two or three primary colors, then add additional colors as accents.

3. Mood:

Do you want to decorate a room that helps you feel relaxed? Happy? Energized? Colors can impact your mood, which is why certain colors work better in the bedroom, kitchen or living room than in others. (Here’s a helpful guide for choosing colors based on mood.)

4. Risk factor:
Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

If you often play it safe, maybe it’s time to shake things up. Get that bright red loveseat you’ve been eyeing or design an accent wall with colorful wallpaper. On the other hand, if every color decision you make is bold, it might be time to go for a more neutral shade.

5. Cohesiveness:

Do you want each room to have a similar color scheme, or would you prefer to include different colors in each room? Either way can work – you just have to decide which style you like better.

6. Room size:
Photo Credit: The Wood Grain Cottage

Photo Credit: The Wood Grain Cottage

Dark colors work well in larger spaces because they tend to make a room look smaller. When working with a small room, on the other hand, choose lighter shades as your primary colors and then decorate with dark accents.

7. Personal preference: 

What colors do you like best? In the end, what’s most important is that you feel at home in your space; decorating with your favorite colors is one way to do that.

By Wendy Weinert

5 easy and budget-friendly halloween DIY craft ideas

Halloween is just around the corner. If you haven’t started decorating, now is the perfect time! These five DIY ideas are budget-friendly, easy to do (even if you’re not very crafty) and a great way to bring the fun spirit of Halloween into your home.

1. Tin can luminaries tin can trick or treat

Put your tin cans to good use by turning them into luminaries! Simply use a hammer and nail to poke holes into the can, paint it and place a candle inside. You can choose to create any Halloween design or phrase you wish. (via jollymom)

2. Web-covered wreath

You don’t have to spend hours crafting to have cool Halloween decor. Give your fall wreath a spookier look by covering it with fake cobwebs and spiders. Then, hang it up on your front door or in your entryway to greet trick-or-treaters on the big night!

3. Glow-in-the-dark eyes glow eyes

Don’t throw away your paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Use them to create Halloween decor! Cut out different creepy eyes into your rolls, put glow sticks inside and then cover the ends with duct tape or something similar. These spooky glow-in-the-dark eyes go great in outdoor bushes, where the cardboard roll will stay hidden. (via rustandsunshine)

4. Halloween lamp shade bat lamp

Transform your everyday decor for Halloween. Using black paper, cut out shapes of bats, spiders, black cats or other Halloween images. Then place them inside your lamp shades for a cool effect. Just be careful not to place any paper too close to your bulbs for safety purposes.

5. Pumpkin flower vase pumpkin flower vase

If scary Halloween decor isn’t your style, decorate for the holiday and for fall by turning a pumpkin into a flower vase. All you have to do is cut a hole in the pumpkin (as big or small as you would like) and use it as a vase for your faux flowers. If you want, you can paint the pumpkin white first so that colors don’t clash.

With these simple DIY decorating ideas, you can celebrate Halloween in style. Let the crafting begin!

(Not a crafter? Make it easy on yourself and check out our favorite Halloween trinkets: Happy Halloween wall decals, Spider Web Carpet Runner, Spooky Welcome Mat, Witch Hat, and the too-cute-to-resist Pumpkin Salt and Pepper Shakers.)

By Wendy Weinert

Give your home an autumn update with these fresh color combination ideas

Last Tuesday marked the first day of fall, and along with carving pumpkins and going to the apple orchard, I’m really excited to watch the leaves change colors. I live in the Midwest and am used to experiencing all four seasons. I will never, however, get used to the breathtaking colors that show up in the fall. And I’m not just talking about fall foliage. The colors shown in fall wardrobes, weddings and home decor are all incredible, too. These color combinations, for example, are eye-catching and perfect for the home this time of year.

Red, yellow and orangeRed Orange Yellow

Photo credit: Good House Keeping

Photo credit: Good House Keeping

If you like the classic colors of autumn and wish you could enjoy the fall foliage longer, this color scheme is for you. Together, these colors will give your home a warm, welcoming look.

Burgundy, navy and gray 

Photo credit: Denoxa

Photo credit: Denoxa

If reds and oranges are too loud and vibrant for you, consider a less intense color scheme. Burgundy, navy and gray shades are a more subtle way to decorate for fall. You could also swap out gray for cream to create a warmer look.

Purple, orange and brown

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Add a pop of color by combining dark purple and brown with orange. The splash of orange will be enough to give your interior design a vibrant appearance.

Green and brown

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Dark green with brown is simple and sophisticated. This combination works well for those who want to update their home for the new season, but don’t want to make too big of a change.

Turquoise, red and brown

Photo credit: DIY Show Off

Photo credit: DIY Show Off

The most unique color scheme – and my personal favorite – includes turquoise, deep red and brown. Together, they are surprisingly perfect for fall. To really get the full effect, keep your turquoise and red decor close together. For example, you could place a red plant in a turquoise vase for a striking look.

Those are my favorite fall color combinations. What are yours? Send a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

Ugly house? Fix it with symmetry

You might not spend much time thinking about symmetry, but it affects you, me and everyone else. For instance, people with symmetrical faces are often seen as more attractive (although we rarely realize symmetry is the reason). In interior design, symmetry can help you feel safe and comfortable. It can also help make a room feel complete.

Try these three ideas for creating symmetrical balance in your home. A little symmetry might be just what your interior needs to turn into a beautiful and welcoming environment.

  • Invest in two nightstands instead of one.

    Photo credit: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

    Placing a nightstand on both sides of your bed will give your room stability and help you feel more comfortable right before falling asleep.

  • Create symmetry with artwork. 

There are different ways to do this. You could hang up two pieces side by side or group four pictures of the same size and shape together. If you want to hang up three paintings, have the outer pieces match in size and shape.

  • Hang two pendants above the dining table. Pendant2

If you have a larger table, this is a great way to ensure proper lighting.

I’ve only listed a few, but the possibilities for creating symmetry are endless. Besides using the ideas above, you can also create a symmetrical balance by pinpointing the vertical axis in each room and then decorating both sides of that axis so that they mirror each other. For example, in the living room, the coffee table can be considered the axis, in which case seating on both sides should then match.

Without even realizing it, we see symmetrical designs as being more attractive and balanced than those without it. While not everything in your home needs to be perfectly symmetrical (that would get boring fast), mirroring furniture and/or decor can bring order to your space and enhance its beauty. Improve your home’s design with symmetry and enjoy a more comforting, attractive space.

By Wendy Weinert

Create a stylish coffee table display with these 5 tips

Coffee tables aren’t just good for setting down your cup of Joe in the morning. With the right decor and household items, coffee tables can be used to enhance the overall appearance of your living room, too. Think carefully before setting items on your table, and keep these five tips in mind to create a look you’ll love.

1. Select books and magazines worth showing off
Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

Photo credit: Tiffany Eastman Interiors

If you have a large stack of magazines or books, sort through your collection and choose the titles you wish to feature. It may be a book with an attractive cover or a story you think guests would like to read during their stay.

2. Cover it with a throw to add warmthcoffee table throw

A wooden or glass coffee table doesn’t necessarily need a cloth covering, but it can be a fun way to update your living room and try something new. During the fall and winter months, cover your table with a throw to create a cozier room.

3. Keep it simple

A cluttered coffee table can lend your living room a cluttered look as well. Try keeping the surface of your table simple, with only a few decorative items to add style. Some people like keeping decor very minimal, placing only flowers on top of the table.

4. Consider numbers

When grouping decorative pieces together, keep in mind that odd numbers tend to look more visually appealing. Depending on size, you could decorate your table with one, three or five items.

5. Try a theme
Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

Photo credit: Starfish Cottage

A theme can give your coffee table display a cohesive look. Maybe you collect antiques or you are enthusiastic about a particular color. Use these to create a coffee table theme that you and others will enjoy. A “natural” theme with decor items like driftwood, seashells or candles can help create a calming environment.

They say coffee tables are the finishing touch to any living room setup. With this in mind, decorate your coffee table to create a complete look for your living room and take its style to the next level.

By Wendy Weinert

How to fill an open shelving unit with purpose

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Millas Hem

 

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

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

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

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

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate a narrow hallway

Every room in your home has been carefully decorated and furnished to match your exact style. But what about the hallways? In my opinion, hallways are trickier to decorate, especially if they are narrow. Keep these tips in mind before you get started.

Keep it tidy

Cluttered hallways make it difficult to walk from one room to another. Keep everything tidy with a hallway bench or shelves. Since you’re furnishing a narrow hallway, it’s best to look for a design that isn’t too wide.

Decorate the walls

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Narrow hallways already have limited space, so why crowd it even more? While a bookcase or bench can keep your hallway organized, you don’t want to go overboard with the furniture and decor. Instead, try hanging up decorative art, pictures or mirrors to make your hallway pop.

Light it up

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

A long narrow hallway can look intimidating without proper lighting. Add as many light fixtures as you need to ensure that the hallway is evenly lit. This is also a chance to add more visual interest – I love seeing eye-catching pendants or wall sconces used in the hallway.

Paint with light colors

Photo Credit: Young House Love

Photo Credit: Young House Love

The general rule of thumb when decorating a small space is to paint the walls a light color. This is because dark colors can make a room appear smaller, while lighter shades do the opposite. If you like darker colors, use them for accents instead.

Even a narrow hallway can be stylish with the right decor and color scheme. Try incorporating these tips into your hallway’s design and love every inch of your home.

By Wendy Weinert

Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

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.