Give your interior a Scandinavian update

If you prefer subtle elegance to dramatic glamour, neutral tones to colorful displays and natural materials to synthetic alternatives, then you, my friend, would love Scandinavian interiors. Simple, functional, stylish and welcoming, Scandinavian design is perfect for those who like modern minimalism, but still want their home to feel cozy and comfortable. Here are some easy ways to give your home a Scandinavian update.

Choose neutral tones for your home’s walls and larger furniture.
Photo credit: Katri Kapanen

Photo credit: Katri Kapanen

Then add brighter hues with a few accent accessories such as lamps, throw blankets or wall art.

Invest in high-quality furniture that features amazing craftsmanship.
Photo credit: Bo Bedre

Photo credit: Bo Bedre

 

The better the quality, the longer your furniture will last and stay looking great.

Bring in nature by selecting furniture made from materials like wood and bamboo.
Photo credit: Klikk Bolig

Photo credit: Klikk Bolig

For decor, consider materials such as burlap and natural fibers like sisal and jute. Plants, stone water fountains and artwork that features a natural landscape are also a good way to incorporate nature into your interior design.

Be environmentally conscious when buying new furniture and decor.

The Scandinavians not only have a love for nature, but they also respect it and do their best to protect outdoor elements. Search for renewable resources, such as mango wood, over other options to design a stylish place while reducing your environmental impact.

Put functionality first.
Photo credit: Domaine

Photo credit: Domaine

 

Scandinavian homes are never cluttered with too many decorative items because they follow more practical decorating schemes. That’s not to say you can’t add stylish touches, but keep the decorative items to a minimum, using mostly wall and ceiling space to add accessories.

You might not live in Norway or Sweden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their style. Use these tips to update your home with elements of Scandinavian design, no matter where you live.

By Wendy Weinert

Interior design: How to live luxuriously without going broke

The look of luxury – you might love it and, of course, your guests would be impressed. The question, however, is whether you can afford to satisfy your expensive taste. If you know the right interior design tricks, then yes! Here are five ways to design a space that only seems expensive (but is really quite affordable).

Simplify
Photo credit: Home Bunch

Photo credit: Home Bunch

 

You would think that to create an expensive-looking home, one would have to buy a lot of decor and furniture. This, however, is far from the truth. Luxurious spaces are often simple and chic, and the pieces that are chosen for each room are considered carefully. In the end it’s all about the pieces you choose and where you place them, not how much stuff you buy.

Decorate with fresh flowers

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Fresh flowers are an easy way to design an elegant space. Not only will they add color and a sophisticated charm to your home, but they also provide a pleasing smell and can help invigorate a room.

Mix it up
Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

To create an expensive-looking home, you have to think like a designer. Instead of buying a set of furniture, mix and match pieces to create a cohesive, interesting room. When it comes to textures, use a variety instead of just one or two. Mixing things up is a great way to add visual appeal and show off your design skills.

Become an art collector

Artwork can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. And let’s face it – not many people can tell the difference between art that is going to break the bank or a piece that you bought on sale at a local shop. Try hanging up a large piece of art above the sofa, or use a blank wall to create a collage of smaller pieces.

Think white

Photo credit: Centsational girl

 

There are many misconceptions about the color white. Some people think the color is boring or intimidating, but it actually can be used to create a chic style. White tables, linens and walls can all be used to give your home an expensive look.

You don’t have to be considered rich to design a rich-looking home. Try out these easy tricks to give your home a luxurious update.

By Wendy Weinert

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