Choosing What To Hang On Your Walls

choosing-what-to-hang-on-your-wallsPeople spend majority of their days inside their home. It’s where you go to when you are sick, the weather is less than perfect to be outside, you need to rest and sleep, you eat, and have your most private moments. Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your house, you’ve probably personalized it and added your own specific touches to it with the furniture, rugs and carpets, and even dishes you’ve selected. The last finishing touch you might be grappling with now is what you should put on your walls. There isn’t a magic tool that will assist you, but the guide below should give you ideas on how you can select your wall furnishings.

Wall Size

You should take the size of your wall into consideration while you make your selection for décor. A general rule to guide you is to not let the size of a wall prevent you from adding a certain decoration. Larger walls tend to be the culprit more so than small or medium walls. The key is to understand how to approach it. Believe it or not, there are endless ways to dress up a large wall. Wallpaper is by far the most effective and versatile approach because you can select from a limitless amount of colors and patterns. Plus, if you become less than thrilled with it, it’s easy to change and often cheaper than paint. If you would rather add a piece of art or a painting, remember that a smaller painting will be less noticeable. Always try to get a piece that will be the proper proportion to the wall. Regardless of the size of your wall, never be afraid to hang a piece off-center, especially if it’s large.

Purpose

Ask yourself why you wish to add something to your wall. If it’s just to make it look more appealing, then you might wish to simply paint it or add wallpaper. If you are looking to create a certain ambience, don’t be afraid to add wall sconces that are decorative and/or include light. Light reflecting off the color of a wall can set a profound mood for an entire room. If your goal is to replicate a pattern or style featured throughout the rest of your home, it might be time to get a little more personal and add your own creations. There are tons of inexpensive DIY projects that will help you decorate your wall without creating a mix-matched theme or a wall that clashes.

Your House

Many homeowners ignore the actual style of their house. An older, more historic styled house may want to consider having décor that reflects that. The same is true for houses that are rustic, modern, or contemporary. It’s also important to keep in mind whether your house is a cabin in the mountain, a beach house, or a lake house. This will help determine whether you should include certain textures and materials to decorate your walls.

When you look at your walls, your immediate reaction should be satisfaction with how they look. You don’t necessarily have to hang art or paintings from your walls, but they should not be boring or negatively awkward. You want them to convey the mood and style of the rest of the room and sometimes even the rest of the house. However, you don’t want to add so much that it takes away from what you are trying to accomplish in each particular room. Base your wall decoration choices on what your wall already looks like, its shape, its size, the purpose of adding decorations, and the rest of your house.

Adding Personality To Any Room

adding-personality-to-any-roomWith the cost of purchasing a home still out of the reach of many of us, we us are likely to be renting considerably longer than previous generations.  Even if you have managed to buy, there may not be a great deal in the budget for updating your home from someone else’s taste to yours. Rentals and money pits can stay a little anonymous for longer than you’d like for those reasons alone.

Use your imagination a little, and your home won’t be the anonymous and temporary place you never really settled in. Here are seven quick ideas – some inexpensive, others not to much – to add personality to various rooms in your space, whether you own it or not:

  1. The Modern Kitchen – the heart of the home, if you’re a foodie, and if your rental or home kitchen is a bit cold and clinical, same color kitchen items can pull it together and give it a designer feel. A matching kettle and toaster, or a brightly-toned set of crockery or mugs make the room look like yours. Carry the theme through with matching tea towels, and don’t forget that vibrant fruit and vegetables can also do double duty as decorative accents in wire baskets.
  2. The Quirky Kitchen – if the kitchen is a little shabby and old-fashioned, work with it, even if it might not be your personal first style choice. Look in markets and thrift stores for 1950s kitchenalia. Mismatched can be your friend in a kitchen like this, so go for interesting ceramics and cookware rather than tying the theme together.
  3. The Bathroom – even in a home you own, the bathroom is often last to go under the DIY hammer.  You may even be dealing with that design throwback to the 1970s, the colored bathroom suite. You can’t change that, so again, work with it – towels and bath mats to match, and toning high-end handmade soaps and wicker baskets make it look as though you meant it rather than being embarrassed by it, and a string of LED lights secured around a large mirror will have visitors celebrating your style rather than pitying your outdated bathroom.
  4. The Living Room – nothing will make your main leisure space more yours than a feature wall. If you’re brave, consider textured or even metallic paints for real interest and opulence. If you’re unable to paint or drill holes in the walls, focus the interest and the eye lower with an investment rug, or large artwork resting against the walls.
  5. The Bedroom – unless you’re in a studio and doing all of your living in one room, your bedroom should be a peaceful space for sleep. Depending on your taste, head for block color sheets and pillowcases, or seek our vintage linens to give a unique feel.
  6. The Home Office – never renowned for having a personality in anyone’s home, if you spend a lot of time in your work space, make it a pleasure. Indulge in high-end materials for paperwork, and streamline your electronics as much as you can.
  7. The Hallway – this might not seem like a priority, but think about it; it’s the last thing you see before you leave the house, and it’s the first impression guests get when they visit you. Big mirrors, bright art, and tall plants all add interest, and if there’s space, an interesting piece of furniture.

If you have a distinct look, or find a particular period appealing, the right home accessories will have a tendency to find you rather than the other way around. Keep your eyes peeled, and treat your home like a work of art.

Applying Color Theory To Your DIY Design Projects

applying-color-theory-to-your-diy-design-projectsA lot of us have heard about the color theory at some point in elementary school and then, like Algebra and the periodic table, sorted it into the back of our minds ever since. Things like primary colors (i.e., red, yellow and blue) and concepts like lightness, saturation and hue sound familiar even if we can’t place them.

Color theory, though, is all around us and can actually breathe a lot of new life into your home, apartment or workplace. That’s because color theory and the color wheel that we’ve all seen dictate what colors work together to create a certain mood and which colors clash to put a damper on the festivities.

Color Theory Fundamentals for Your Next Project 

Today there are even apps out there to help you find the palette and best color combinations – whether you’re looking to combine pieces of furniture, spruce up a room with some colorful pillows and blinds, or repaint your entire apartment to give off a certain vibe.

The cool thing about these rules is that they’re applicable across a wide range of projects since the same colors that work for appliances, tables, and couches also work for painting. In fact, you should be keeping the rules we’re going to go over – color theme guidelines, if you will – in mind with everything that you do. Let’s get started:

Complementary Color Schemes

What’s really popular and edgy right now are complementary color schemes because you can use one background color as the dominant shade in your overall design and another (preferably more attention-grabbing) color as your accent in a room or office.

So, how does this all work in practice? You basically select two colors that sit diametrically opposed to one another on the color wheel and run with it. A great example that you see at least once a year are red and green going together around Christmas time. Just realize that a complementary color scheme can definitely make a statement since you’re heightening the contrast.

Birds of a Feather: Analogous Color Scheme

If you’re not looking to make that much of a splash with the colors you use, or you’re going for more of an understated look in a second bedroom or home office, then you might want to look into using an analogous color scheme for your walls, accessories, art frames or main furniture pieces.

In contrast to the complementary color scheme, an analogous color scheme has more of a calming effect since none of the colors should be conflicting with one another – as long as you choose three colors sitting right next door to one another on the color wheel.

As an example, lime, sage (darker green) and light blue or azure can usually be paired together in one room in a way that’s fun and modern yet calm and relaxing. You’ll definitely still want a dominant color for the space, though, and then a pair of support colors to lend a little more flavor.

Split-Complementary Color Schemes

Here are some split-complementary color schemes: the idea here is using the two colors adjacent to the opposite of the complementing color.

So, for instance, you might pair an orange and a light purple with a green or two tranquil blue shades with a more vibrant orange (all going by the color wheel). You typically want your base shade to be the dominant flavor in the room and, from there, use more sedate color variants of your accent colors.

The split-complementary color scheme is considered less risky than using complimentary colors, although each can work depending on your project.

Creating A Fabulously Pet-Friendly Home

creating-a-fabulously-pet-friendly-homeGetting a new pet can be an exciting experience, but you should realize that taking care of them calls for a lot of effort from your part. Pets are playful and inquisitive, and your support and attention are essential to them. Making your house pet-friendly will make your furry friend feel welcome. Here are some tips to help you transform your home into a spectacularly pet-friendly environment:

1. Keep Houseplants On High Shelves

Pets, especially the young ones, tend to nibble and chew on anything that comes their way. Since houseplants like tulips, orange day lilies, and caladium are toxic for pets, it’s imperative that you keep no houseplants on the ground surface level. By placing your houseplants on a raised shelf, you’ll not only ensure your pet’s safety, but you’ll safeguard the plant from destruction as well.

2. Vacuum On A Regular Basis

Besides having a characteristic odor, pet hair also contains oil that attracts dirt to the fabric on which the pet sits. Therefore, you’re advised to vacuum your pet’s hair off the furniture and other surfaces at least twice a week. Consider vacuuming daily when the pet is shedding.

3. Install Child Locks

A pet is like a 2-3 old child who always needs your guidance and protection. In fact, an impulsive and active new pet needs the same safety measures that you would offer your new-born baby. With child locks on drawers, and cabinets in the kitchen, as well as other important places, all your possessions will be safe and your pets will remain happy.

4. Bathe and Groom Your Pet Often

By keeping your pet clean, you’ll ensure that your house stays cleaner, longer. Trimmed cat or dog nails won’t scratch upholstery or floors. Likewise, regular bathing and brushing eliminate loose hair before it lands on your floor, bed curtains, throw pillow pillows, and other surfaces frequented by the animal. Given the fact that rugs and furniture last longer if they are not washed as often, it is more prudent to clean your pet than your upholstery, and it is normally more fun.

5. Initiate Safe Electric Wiring

When you have a pet at home, open electric cables are an extremely hazardous thing to have around. Considering the fact that the pet will not realize that the wire is unsafe, it might try to touch it. As such, it is your duty to ensure that there are no open wires lying carelessly around the house. Also, be sure that electrical wiring within the general area is not only secure, but also out of sight.

6. Put Washable Fabrics On Your Bed

There are bound to be accidents if your pet sleeps with you. For instance, cats cough up hairballs. As such, consider covering your mattress with a thick pad to protect it from the inevitable. Likewise, use cotton bed-sheets, preferably in a pattern or medium color that conceals the animal hair and stains between washing. Use duvet covers for your bedspreads, since you can take them off and wash them on a regular basis. Delicate-looking matelassé coverlets are remarkably durable. Their tight quilting can resist pet toenail snags and frequent washing.

Making sure that your home is pet-friendly is among the most significant things you can do to guarantee you pet a safe and comfortable environment. The above tips will come in handy when you’re looking to transform your home into a fabulously pet-friendly environment that will ensure the comfort and happiness of your furry friend.

How Many Colors Can One Room Handle?

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How many colors are too many for a room? This is a common question in the world of interior design and decoration. However, the basic truth is that when it comes to decorating a room, there are no hard-and-fast rules on room colors, but more than five colors in one space can make your interior look somewhat busy and not attractive to the eye. Today, the purpose is to try to respond to this frequently asked question, how many colors can one-room handle?

What’s In A Room Color?

To begin with, you should know that neutrals, including their variations, don’t count as color. They include:

  • Black
  • White
  • Grey

Besides being a reflection of our personality, the choice of room color can also influence our moods and thoughts. This is because color affects people in various ways, depending on gender, age, ethnic background, and even climate. As such, it’s imperative that you choose your colors wisely, when it comes to decorating a room.

What Should You Consider When Picking Room Colors?

When choosing room colors the last thing you should worry about are color trends, as they normally come and go. Instead, you should focus on choosing colors that reflect the preferences and personalities of the people living in your home. The catch here is to blend the most preferred colors into an attractive combination.

It is also advisable to equip yourself with some basic knowledge about color and its effects. This way you’ll be able to pick the color combination that best fits your particular space. In fact, color not only has the power to transform the size and shape of furnishings, but also the size of the room itself.

Given that each color has a psychological value, you also need to consider how certain colors make you feel. Colors can influence any emotion, ranging from tranquility to fury. Furthermore, allow your textiles to guide you. Carpeting, tile, furniture, and fabric exist in a more limited range of colors compared to paint, and hence, it is important to choose them first before deciding on your paint color.

Once you have found something you like, it is advisable to limit the number of colors in a room to utmost three or four. Using too many colors will make your room look busy or cluttered. Given that paint is fairly cheap and can transform a space than anything else, you can afford to experiment with several options, after which you can settle for the best.

When it comes to interior design and decoration, there is no official limit of how many colors can be used in one room. However, if you commit the mistake of mixing too much color in one room, you will end up with an opposite effect – instead of tranquillity the room will seem like it is closing in. In such situations, consider eliminating colors until you achieve the desired balance.

Alternatively, you can pay keen attention to the amount of color you use, as well as the location of the colors. Consider using one primary color and a couple of secondary accent colors, spread around uniformly to carry your eye across a room. All in all, picking the right color scheme can be quite overwhelming, and that is why it is advisable to consult a qualified interior designer before you decide to do anything drastic to your room as far as color is concerned.

8 Bathroom Organization Tips

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The bathroom is a room you use every day, and it is a room you should keep neat and organized. The idea is to find your bathroom essentials with plenty of time to get ready for the day.

Use the following tips to make the most of your space and organize your bathroom essentials:

  • Take Control of The Clutter: The first step to organizing your bathroom is to take control of the clutter in your medicine cabinet, the space under the sink and drawers. You are going to pull out your inventory and get rid of anything that is expired or broken. Now, place the items you do not need to use right now in a bin, and keep the bin inside a closet until you need to pull them out.
  • Invest in Drawer Dividers: Drawer dividers are great for organizing your small toiletries, cosmetics, hair accessories and grooming tools. The dividers feature several compartments for organizing your essentials by size or group. You can find drawer dividers in most container, home and superstores.
  • Organize Your Makeup: If you have more than one drawer in your bathroom, designate a drawer to your cosmetics. You can use a drawer divider to organize the cosmetics, brushes and makeup remover. Another idea is to hang a metal strip on the wall for any cosmetics that come in metal containers.
  • Use Apothecary Jars: There is nothing wrong with wanting to add style to your bathroom, and glass apothecary jars can help you achieve that look. Use the jars to organize cotton swabs, cotton balls, soap and bath salts. You can line them up on your shelf, windowsill or vanity.
  • Invest in a Shower Caddy: You have already gone through your belongings and removed anything you are not using right now. You still need to organize the toiletries you are keeping in the bathroom. A shower caddy is great for organizing your shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and other essentials. The styles range from a corner caddy to a caddy that hangs from the shower head.
  • Use The Door: Have you ever thought of using the door as a storage solution? You need a place to hang your towels, robes and the sweater you are going to grab on your way out. You can use self-adhesive hooks or an over the door hanger with hooks to create a spot for these items.
  • Repurposed Towel Rack: Do you have an old wooden wine rack sitting around the house collecting dust? Dust it off and place it in the bathroom as a spot for your rolled up towels. You can use it for the family towels or place it in the guest bathroom.
  • Figure Out What To Hide and Leave Out: Items such as personal care products, skin-care products and medication can be hidden inside a closed cabinet or solid container with a lid. You may be tempted to hide the toilet paper, but this is actually an item you should leave out in plain sight. It allows you to keep track of your inventory, and it is convenient to the guests who may not want to bother you for another roll of toilet paper. One idea is to store the rolls inside a woven or wicker basket, and keep the basket where anyone can find it.

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find your eye shadow or hair brush, and then not having enough time to get ready when you do find it. This is why it is important to clear out the clutter, find the right storage solutions and organize your bathroom.

A Brief History Of Interior Decorating

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Historically, the first interior decorators were probably the people who did cave painting. As civilization developed, people wanted their shelters to look nice. Tribal groups throughout the world created their own interior designs for their dwellings.

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans decorated their homes with murals, vases and other artwork. They set the foundation for architecture and interior decorating in the western world. The Middle East and Asian countries developed their artistic styles that extended into their homes.

The industrial revolution in America resulted in the development of a middle class that aspired to homes with nice furniture and some art objects. Furniture was mass-produced and more accessible. But interior decorating was not an established profession in the United States until the last century.

The term “interior decorating” or decoration was used professionally for the first time in 1904 at the New York School of Applied and Fine Arts. This was the first program for people who wanted to be professional interior designers.

Most of the interior work was commercial for hotels and resorts although wealthy homeowners did employ professional designers for their homes. Much of the interior decorating was done by architects and builders working for rich clients.

Designing women

Elise de Wolfe is considered to be the first interior decorator to actually get a commissioned job in 1905. She moved on to publish “The House in Good Taste” in 1913. This set a standard for the well-furnished and finished home. She was the Martha Stewart of her day.

Dorothy Draper became the first woman known to work on commercial interiors in 1925. She started the Architectural Clearing House. She was best known for the use of bright colors and the expression “if it looks right, it is right.” The Arrowhead Springs Hotel in California was one of her famous projects.

Francis Elkins designed the Yerba Buena Club at the Golden Gate International Exposition and  the Cypress Point Clubhouse in 1930, among other projects. She was known for her use of bold patterns.

Elsie Cobb Wilson, Ruby Ross Wood, Rose Cumming, Britishers Syrie Maughn and Sybil Colefax were contemporaries. They created individual interior design styles popular in the 1920’s and 30’s.

There have been many women in the field of interior design over the last century who have created outstanding residential and commercial projects. There are over 87,000 licensed interior designers in the U.S. and approximately 69% are women, according to 2013 study by Interior Design.

Organizations

The American Institute of Interior Decorators (AIID) was established in 1931. The name was changed to the American Institute of Decorators in 1936. The National Society of Interior Designers was formed in New York in 1957. It merged with the American Society of Interior Designers and the AIID in 1975.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification was formed in 1974 to give a qualifying exam to designers. The purpose was to separate the professionals from the amateurs. The eligibility requirements for taking the exam are very exact. Interior decorating institutes teach classes based on NCID recommendations. This includes sketching, rendering and architectural drafting, understanding fabrics and furnishings along with the best use of space. The history of design is also covered in detail.

Work experience is also important for qualifying for the exam. A designer with a NCIDQ certification is consider to be a professional.

Interior designers with the credentials necessary for custom commercial and residential buildings should be the first people you consult for any project. Qualified designers will show you their credentials and professional memberships along with portfolios of their work.