5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

Photo credit: The Design Files

An effective work space is attractive, organized and comfortable. Whether you work from home every day or just occasionally on nights and weekends, your home office should be designed to boost productivity. Avoid these five home office decorating blunders when setting up your space so you can work from home without getting distracted or uncomfortable.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

1. Choosing a stylish, but uncomfortable chair

If you plant to sit in your office chair for hours during the day, it’s necessary to choose a chair that is not only attractive, but also offers comfort. Look for an office chair that is adjustable, supportive, has armrests and, most importantly, comfortable cushions.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

2. Selecting the wrong-size desk

Before you start searching for an office desk, think carefully about how much surface space you’ll need. Are you strictly going to be working on your laptop? Or do you need space to write on papers as well? Knowing what you need from a desk beforehand will help you select the right size.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

3. Using overhead lighting…and nothing else

Your space is small, so installing an overhead light is good enough, right? Not exactly. You’ll also want to choose a lamp to illuminate your desk area, or you could consider track lighting or under-cabinet lighting, too. Without the proper lighting, you could strain your eyes or get headaches.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

4. Forgetting about storage

As time goes on, your home office is going to become more and more cluttered. You can get organized, however, if you choose furniture that has ample storage space. Everyone has different storage needs, but you might want to consider a combination of desk drawers, file cabinets and shelves.

5 home office decorating blunders to avoid

Photo credit: Coco + Kelley

5. Skimping on color and décor

When setting up a home office, many homeowners assume that decorating their office will only invite distraction while working. A desk plant and hanging artwork, however, can actually make an office feel inviting, warm and more comfortable. Just be careful not to overdo it as you don’t want to clutter your office.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a more effective workspace and become more productive at home.

By Wendy Weinert

DIY projects: 3 creative uses for old household items

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Sponge

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

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Bob Vila

1. Turn a light bulb into a candle

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

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Furnish Burnish

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

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

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Revolution

3. Create a medicine cabinet out of old luggage

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

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

By Wendy Weinert

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…how to choose the right mirror for your wall space

Photo Credit: Uttermost

Photo Credit: Uttermost

Decorating your home with mirrors is a great way to liven up a space and add a touch of visual excitement. With so many styles, shapes and colors, however, it can be hard to choose the right mirror. A great way to narrow down your various options is to determine why you are hanging a mirror in the first place. Just ask yourself – do you want your mirror to:

Add more light in a room and make it appear larger?
To open up a space and give it more light, try propping a full-length, frameless mirror up against the wall. If you want to save space and prefer the look of smaller, more decorative mirrors, then hang up a variety of different sized and shaped mirrors next to each other on your wall. A mixture of circular, square and other shaped mirrors will add an intriguing element to your space while making it appear larger at the same time.

Photo Credit: Surya

Photo Credit: Surya

Help you to get ready before leaving the house?

If you’re picking out a mirror to help you get ready in the morning before heading to work, you’ll want to consider lighted mirrors. A lighted mirror above the sink will fit in well with your bathroom décor and will provide enough light to put on make-up, do your hair or just do a quick check before heading out the door. It is also a good idea to put in front of some kind of light. In front of a lamp, a pendant, or even an entry way chandelier will not only add to the light source that you have but will make the space seem larger.

Add pizzazz to a bare wall?

Maybe the only reason why you want to hang up a mirror is to cover up an unadorned wall. If that’s the case, then you have plenty of options to choose from and can try more unique styles. Add a whimsical element to your room and give it a more positive vibe with a sunburst mirror. Any mirror that is designed with a stylish frame or unique shape will work.

Photo Credit: Trend Lighting

Photo Credit: Trend Lighting

Any room in your home can benefit from a beautiful wall mirror. Just choose the mirror that will function best in a particular space and enjoy having wall décor that is both stylish and useful!

By Wendy Weinert

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

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

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

Kitchen

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

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

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Photo Credit: Access Lighting

Living Room

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

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

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Photo Credit: Artcraft Lighting

Dining Room

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

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

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Master Bedroom

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

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

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Photo Credit: Craftmade Lighting

Bathrooms

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

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

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

Photo Credit: Capital Lighting

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

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

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Changes to the lighting industry: How will it affect you?

The final stage of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, which means traditional 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs are no longer being produced. Instead, manufacturing companies must make bulbs that produce the same amount of lumens for less wattage. But what does all of this mean exactly and how does it affect you? How does this effect the fixtures in your home?

Overall, this act means that you will start saving energy and money, which of course is good news for you! The new energy-saving bulbs use up to 80 percent less power than a traditional 60 watt bulb to produce the same amount of light. They also last longer. So even though these new bulbs are more expensive, you end up saving money in the long run because of lower energy bills and fewer replacements.
bulbs

Buying light bulbs is now easier too. In the past, you always had to look at watts to determine which bulb you wanted. Watts, however, only tell you how much energy a bulb uses, not how bright the bulb is. Instead of listing watts, new bulb labels will tell you exactly how bright a bulb is by providing the number of lumens. Just remember, the more lumens a bulb has, the brighter the light.

Lumens
When shopping for new energy-saving bulbs, use this conversion chart as a guide:

  • 150 w = 2600 lm
  • 100 w = 1600 lm
  • 75 w = 1100 lm
  • 60 w = 800 lm
  • 40 w = 450 lm

The new label on bulb packages follows the same format as the ones you see all of the time on food products. To make shopping online easier for you, Bellacor will start uploading the Lighting Facts Label as an alternate image on all Bulbrite bulbs. Besides lumens, this label will tell you an estimate of energy cost, an estimate of how long the bulb will last, the shade of light and whether the bulb contains mercury.

Lighting facts Label
Change can make people feel uncomfortable at times, but in this case change is a good thing. There’s a lot to love about these new energy-saving bulbs and you don’t have to buy special fixtures to enjoy them! Even dimmers are compatible with many of these energy-saving bulbs. Finally, you can enjoy having a well-lit home while still being efficient and cost-effective.

Learn more about these light facts at Energy.gov5 Myths about the Light Bulb Ban

By Wendy Weinert

Creating a Clean and Contemporary Office Work Space

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

office cube

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

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

Photo provided by Kenroy Home

Photo provided by Kenroy Home

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

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

Empty Office Chair and Desk

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

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Adding Elegance and Charm with a Chandelier

Overall, there is one dominating, ongoing lifestyle motto: “Better and best, not more or most.” This continues to impact lighting design and trends in crystal lighting. Crystal chandeliers are growing in popularity due to the variety of designs available, ability to blend into both traditional and contemporary environments, and their meaningful and emotional value.

SCH_Calima_BT1247N-40A_Roomset

Schonbek Chandelier

Traditionally, homeowners add grandeur to their home by placing chandeliers in common areas. Homeowners enjoy the ambiance of a chandelier among their guests in entertaining areas such as, living rooms, foyers, and dining rooms. However, with the introduction of new chandelier styles and colors, homeowners feel inspired to place chandeliers in more personal spaces such as bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, or kitchens.

Swarovski_LC_Crystalon_interior

Chandeliers add a sense of elegance and mood to any space. Although you still see a majority of crystal chandeliers in foyers and dining rooms, the use of crystal chandeliers has expanded.  We have seen crystal chandeliers migrate into the bedroom, kitchens, even walk-in closets and bathrooms. With new styles, the possibilities are endless!

Bathroom_Chandelier_Trilliane

Schonbek Chandelier

Due to technological advancements, there is diversification in lighting manufacturing capabilities. The inclusion of crystal in these designs coupled with the most surprising materials and lighting technology is a trend that will continue well into the future. Crystal remains a key ingredient in cutting-edge lighting design; new and unexpected crystal applications are being designed and used. The illuminated candles and brilliant sparkle of crystal chandeliers provides multiple light points and creates a vivid, less static environment. From this, beautiful functionality warms the atmosphere of the room.

Swarovski_LC_Candella_interior_white

A home is a place for rejuvenation and comfort. Each room in your home is touched by personal items that evoke emotion and reflect your individual style. When decorating your interior, meaningfully objects that shape the space around you are essential. As well, there is a growing sense of timeless value expressed through carefully considered investments that correspond to a more sober and austere lifestyle.

K0113_SLC_ReveaLED_interior

A Schonbek chandelier, proudly made in the U.S., promises an expression of calm elegance, with its delicately handcrafted metalwork and precious crystals. With various application potential, a Schonbek chandelier can beautifully contrast a modern interior or perfectly complement a traditional room. No matter the application, each authentic Schonbek masterpiece shines with its own special character and will illuminate generations to come.

Bedroom_Chandelier_Milano_5683

Schonbek Chandelier

A Swarovski chandelier is an object of atmospheric beauty achieved through the very best of today’s design innovation. As if by magic, a Swarovski chandelier creates awe and is certain to surprise as it takes crystal and light to dazzling new heights. It captures and communicates a broad spectrum of styles and desires ideal for residential and hospitality environs alike, fulfilling the highest technical standards of modern illumination.

Swarovski_LC_Crystal_Empire_black_detail1

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Choosing Wisely: How to Select the Right Chandelier for Your Home

A chandelier, suspended over the dining table, not only serves as an ornate decorative element that creates an elegant atmosphere, it can also be the focal point of the room.  A dimmable chandelier can create different moods, from a soft glowing atmosphere to one that is bright and conducive to a variety of tasks.  Choosing the right chandelier for a room can be tricky, as a variety of considerations come into play.  Aside from choosing the most visually appealing chandelier design for the space, the size of the room, the size of the table, the mounting height, and the wattage are all important to consider.

  • Size of the Room: Fitting the chandelier to the proportions of the room will help significantly in enhancing the visual appeal of the space.  Simply add the length and width of the room in feet to get the diameter of the chandelier in inches.  For example, a 12-by-20 foot room would ideally need an approximately 32-inch chandelier like the Aberdeen by Hudson Valley Lighting, which features lofty stems and rich, pleated fabric shades for a contemporary appeal.

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  • Size of the Table: Of key importance when it comes to choosing a chandelier is the size of your dining table.  A good rule of thumb to follow is to measure the table’s smallest width and then choose a chandelier that is 12-inches less in diameter than that width.  Access Lighting offers plenty of versatility when matching to different table designs and features laser cut metal and frosted glass for a contemporary/modern look.

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  • Mounting Height: When it comes to the mounting height, the key thing to remember is that the bottom of the chandelier should not interfere with the movement or sight line of the people sitting at the table.  In most cases, the measurement should be 36-inches from the top of the table.  It’s simple to adjust the mounting height with a fixture like the Inertia by Corbett Lighting, which impresses with crystal and polished stainless prisms, and a silver leaf finish.

Inertia

  •  Wattage:  When it comes to wattage, the total wattage of all the chandelier bulbs should be 200-400 watts to provide sufficient light.  However, keep in mind that shading affects the maximum wattage of a chandelier.  Ideally, a dimmer switch should be used to control the wattage and create the desired mood and atmosphere.

Follow the simple guidelines above to achieve exceptional results when choosing a chandelier for your home.

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The benefits of hanging a chandelier

Many homeowners, maybe including you, tend to think of chandeliers as being “too fancy” or over-the-top; light fixtures that wouldn’t fit in with their home’s style or design. Because of this notion, you probably have never even considered hanging up a chandelier in your home. If that’s the case, then it’s time to learn a little bit more about the benefits of hanging a chandelier and why you should consider one for your home. A chandelier:

SoHo_4336RT

Saves space

Decorating a room to look more appealing can be tricky if you’re working with limited space. If you hang up a chandelier, however, you can add style and visual appeal without making a room more cramped! Even really tiny spaces like walk-in closets can use a chandelier and you’ll still have all of the space you need for clothes and shoes.

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Adds more impact

Whether the chandelier is modern, formal or casual, it is able to capture attention in a way that many other light fixtures can’t. Being the center of attention is no small feat, but chandeliers easily create a focal point in any room. Whether it is their unique design or soft, elegant glow, chandeliers bring a room to life and illuminate the rest of the room to look more appealing.

Spellbound

Can fit in with different styles and designs

Chandeliers have come a long way in design and function. While chandeliers in the past were just for formal areas like the dining room or grand foyer, they have now expanded into new territory. With so many different styles of chandeliers, you can hang one in any room of your home! All you have to do is match the style of chandelier with the style of your room.

Whether a room requires the traditional formal chandelier, a unique modern style or a casual fixture design, you can be sure to find the perfect chandelier to enhance and transform your space. If you’re stuck with the notion that chandeliers can only be fancy, it’s time to form a new opinion. Take advantage of the benefits newer chandeliers have to offer and install one – or more – in your home!

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Make your home look alive this winter season

Winter at Walnuts Farm

The winter season has a way of making everything look bare and a little lifeless. Even your home’s exterior can lose its usual appeal when there are no leaves, grass or flowers in sight. If you feel your house is looking dull, it’s time to bring your exterior design back to life with these simple tricks!

Maxim Lighting International South Park Black Three-Light Outdoor Wall Mount

 Add outdoor lighting

Capital Lighting

Capital Lighting

A little light can go a long way in making one’s home appear more inviting. Install lights to illuminate your driveway at night. Not only will

your home stand out, but the lights will welcome you home when it’s dark out. Depending on how long your driveway is, you might just put a light above the garage, or you can install light posts along the actual driveway.

If you have a front porch, light it up with a wall-mount lantern. Wall-mount lanterns often have an antique, unique look and will warmly invite guests into your home with style.

If you’re a fan of holiday lights, keep some of your white lights hung up even after the holidays! White lights are a little less seasonal than colored bulbs and can perk up the look of your home long after the holidays are over.

 

Decorate your mailbox

No one thinks to decorate their mailbox, but a few minor changes can make a big difference – and will catch the attention of those walking by. Add some pizazz to your mailbox by painting it one or more bright colors. If you’re tired of your mailbox’s style, but don’t want to mess with the paint, consider getting a new one that has a unique design.  See how we decorated our mailboxes for the holidays.

Architectural Mailboxes Coronado Black Mailbox with Antique Nickel AccentsPaint your door or window trims

 When all else fails, add bright colors. Bright colors add instant impact and bring life to any dull area! Try painting your front door or outdoor trims a dazzling red. The rich red color against the contrasting white snow will make a statement and add warmth to your home.

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Add potted greenery

Just because you can’t enjoy grass or summer plants, doesn’t mean you can’t still incorporate a little green outside of your home. Put some fir or pine plants into a stylish planter and place them on your front steps or right next to your front door. The green shrubs will serve as a nice replacement for your usual plants until summer comes.

Don’t let your home’s appeal suffer because of winter. Try utilizing these décor tricks to make your house come alive in the cold winter months.

Frog Urn Plant Holder

Frog Urn Plant Holder

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