Bring Spring In

bring-spring-inSpring is officially here. The winter is gone, and the snow is finally melted, so it’s time to open those windows and get the spring time flowing through your home. While cracking those windows and airing out the space is a good place to start, there are several unique ways to bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the spring inside.

1. Bring in Plants and Fresh Cut Flowers

Plants and fresh cut flowers can take a room from drab to fab in just a few short seconds. It is, perhaps, one of the easiest ways to bring the outside in and enjoy the vibrant nature of spring while sitting on your couch. Opt for brightly colored flowers in a variety of different vases. This will brighten up your space and make everything feel fresh and exciting.

You can add seedlings to the mix by setting up a seed tray on your windowsill. In the early spring, you can enjoy watching your seedlings sprout before transferring them outside. Herbs can be kept on a windowsill throughout their grow cycle, and they will add a fragrant aroma to your home that makes your mind think of spring.

2. Use fruit as a Decor Item

A pretty bowl of oranges, lemons, and limes can dress up a dreary dining room or kitchen table with ease. The brightly colored fruits are gorgeous to look at, and it makes crafting springtime cuisine super easy and convenient, too. Experts suggest using a natural looking bowl to really make the color of the citrus fruits pop.

3. Swap out Linens and Accent Colors

In your bedroom, get rid of those heavy winter covers in favor of bright, light and airy looking linens. You can also swap out hand towels, bath towels, and kitchen towels with pastel options to bring a hint of the season into every room.

You can change the entire look of your living room by switching out your throw pillows for something with a bit more color. Experts suggest using yellow, light blue and oranges to evoke a feeling of the warm, spring weather.

4.  Bring out the Spring Smells

To get your home smelling like spring, consider using essential oils that evoke a feeling of the warm weather. Blood orange and lemongrass are two diffuser oils that will make your home smell fresh and sweet during the day and night. If essential oils aren’t your thing, opt for lightly scented candles that offer citrus notes, or cleaner scents. Fresh linen, cotton, and lemon all evoke feelings of warm weather and can make your home smell amazing.

5. Pack up your Winter Clothing

No one wants to open their closet and be reminded of the cold winter months. Swap out your winter sweaters, boots, and coats, for your warm weather options, like sundresses, tank tops, and flip-flops. The change in your closet will help set the right mood as you get ready for the day ahead of you.

Bringing the spring indoors is a great way to enjoy the warm weather, and gear up for a summer of fun. The sooner you get started on redecorating for the warm weather, the sooner you can enjoy the festive feel of spring inside your own home.

Using Light To Set The Mood

using-light-to-set-the-moodWhen you are looking to change up your home décor, don’t forget about lighting. It’s an easy and oftentimes inexpensive way to give a room a whole new feel. In fact, you can use lighting to set the mood for everything from a romantic dinner to a family gathering. Here’s how.

Contrast color. This is an old trick, especially when you want to see a romantic mood. Contrast means that you remove any harsh dark to light areas. Keep the lighting on the room’s main focal point: dining rooms, it’s the table; living rooms, it’s the main area where your guests will be seated.

Set the color temperature. Each color can symbolize a different mood. For example, for a calm holiday family dinner, think of warmer colors that give off a red or orange hue. If you are planning a late-night party for adults, however, then think about blues and whites, the cooler colors.

When you want to create an upbeat mood in your home, consider adding additional light, because studies show that the brighter the light, the brighter people’s moods often become, and the more people want to engage in activities. So, if you are having a night of crafting or hosting a children’s party, consider bringing up the lights.

But, be careful not to make your guests sit under direct light, most people don’t enjoy it. So, if you don’t have additional indirect lighting, liven up a space with reflective lighting. You can set up a light to shine on a reflective surface, like a string of crystals or a metal object, and let the reflective shadows dance and add life to any room.

Change intensity, change mood. The softness or hardness of lighting can seriously affect one’s mood. The intensity depends on how far the lighting is away from the area you want lit. This means, for example, that if you want to create a soft or romantic mood in your dining room, task lighting with incandescent lights on dimmers can do the trick, or use candles to keep the lighting low and warm. And, keep the light low on the walls, and where possible, hide the source.

Be careful, though. When you use diffused light in a large room, which is soft lighting, it can make the atmosphere more relaxed but also give your guests a less interesting environment because it can make a room feel boring.

And set a welcoming mood. One of the best ways to welcome people into your home is with your lighting. As they transition from the outdoors into your home, you can set a welcoming mood by setting the lighting so they are comfortable. During the day, make the entryway brighter, and dim the light at night.

Then, use lighting to draw in your guests. You can set up focal points by using light to draw the eye to pieces of art, or special displays in your home. Or, when having a party, use lighting to guide your guests from the front door to the greeting area in your living or dining room.

Creating A Quiet Space

creating-a-quiet-spaceEveryone needs a break now and then. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to set a time each day for a relaxing break in which you read, meditate, or do something else that’s calming. However, you need a comfortable, quiet space for this, one that makes you feel sheltered without feeling like you’re hiding.

Leaving Things Open

However you arrange the quiet space, give it an open feeling. If you have a corner of a room, don’t shove a chair in front of a shelf unit so that you can’t reach anything on the shelves. Give yourself leg room when you sit in the chair, rather than placing a side table as close as possible in front of the chair. If you’re working with a small, crowded room, to begin with, it may seem tough to get that open feeling. But just remember the basics — don’t block anything, and don’t restrict your movements.

Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable

Any furniture you put in the space should be comfortable, the kind that makes you sigh with relief when you sit down. But beware making it too comfortable because then you’d just fall asleep, which can lead to disorientation and feeling kind of icky when you wake up, far from your bed and outside your normal awake time. A nice padded, upright (not reclining) armchair, a padded footstool, and a blanket are perfect.

Natural And Full-Spectrum Light

Try your best to place the space by a window. Natural light can make you feel more relaxed, though you have to be careful about temperatures. If you live in an area with hot summers, try to sit by an east-facing window so that you get cooler direct light in the morning and indirect light in the afternoon.

If natural light isn’t possible — maybe the corner you have isn’t near a window — get lamps with full-spectrum bulbs. These mimic natural light, providing a clear but cozy glow.

Soft Materials, Softer Sounds

Your relaxing nook should be quiet, too. If you have a lot of hard surfaces, sound waves will bounce around and bug you. Softer items muffle those waves. Go for soft furnishings, blankets, pillows, and plants. If the floor is not carpeted, add a rug.

Sometimes placing a tapestry over a section of the wall can help as well. If you’re near a window, place blackout curtains on the window. These not only block out unwanted light, but they also add a measure of sound insulation. Even if the curtains are open, the material is still there along the sides of the window, helping to muffle more sounds in the room.

Just You And Only You

Give yourself some privacy in the space. If you’re near a window that faces the front yard, or one that faces a window on a neighboring house, place opaque window film on the windows so no one can look in. Alternately, add a sheer layer of curtains to the window (so you’d have your regular curtains, and then between those and the glass, a layer of gauzy or lacy curtains). Those inner curtains will let in light and block views in when you close them, letting you customize when people can see in.

Also, try adding a room divider screen to shield your corner from the rest of the room.

Having a retreat-like space in your home makes it a lot easier to relax. Take your time and create a space that you’ll look forward to being in.

Choosing The Perfect Wallpaper

choosing-the-perfect-wallpaperProper interior design can be quite inclusive of different kinds of hardware and decorative elements. In fact, entire industries have sprung up to accommodate people with an eye for décor. From wallpapers to faux wood beams and more. In the following, you’ll get an idea of how to choose the perfect wallpaper to complement the skeleton of your preexisting design structure.

A Wide Range of Available Materials

Unless you’re well-versed in the many elements of home design, then you may not be aware of the sheer plenitude of materials that are on the market for your perfect wallpaper. Ignore the ‘paper’ part of the name for a second; there’s wood grain, birch tree bark, cork, an impressive assortment of botanicals and even woven grass from which to choose.

And, best of all, nearly any design you want can be transferred to the chosen medium. Wood grain wallpaper might go well with your wooden-inspired cottage, for example. If you want a certain shimmering effect in a room, then metallic wallpaper is the option of choice. It really bathes a room with sheen when the lights come on. If weight isn’t a concern, then you can opt for hand-painted variations; otherwise, go with the lighter stamped metallic wallpaper.

Texture Concerns? Choose Vinyl or Grass

The above merely hints at the wide range of textured wallpapers that you can use to cover up flaws on your walls and ceilings. Really beautiful creations have been made using wood grain to restore the visual impression of unblemished walls. The metallic wallpaper option even lends light to a darkened hallway that has a single window – or none at all. These days, you can simulate the appearance of more expensive textures – such as marble – which may not be practical to use to construct a wall.

Wallpapers to Convey Intimacy or Expansiveness

Once you decide which of the two you want your room to inspire, it’s time to choose. Wallpapers that have small-scale repeating designs tend to extravert a feeling of intimacy so it could be quite suitable for a bedroom or quaint living room.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the expansiveness reminiscent of a museum or open space, go with large, reaching patterns. The sizable patterns also make a sparse room look more filled. Just make sure that there aren’t too many patterns so as not to tire yourself or your guests out just by being inside the room! In the other direction, too few patterns and designs can come across as lazy and boring.

Color Sets the Tone

Before the design and wallpaper types, the color of the room sets the tone. To convey a sense of size and space, you would do well to choose blue or green wallpaper themes. Alternative to these cool colors are the softer, warmer yellows and oranges. Experiment with these to see the level of arousal they inspire before settling on what kind of feeling you want your rooms to convey.

Unique Styles

There are also the sharp, geometric wallpapers for the more modern and contemporary abodes. If you like being stuck in the 1970s, for example – nothing wrong with that at all! – then reds, yellows, and blues tagged with geometric shapes can give you an unmistakable retro look and feel. There are wallpapers that come ready-made with this style, which tells you about the popularity of this look.1970s, for example – nothing wrong with that at all! – then reds, yellows, and blues tagged with geometric shapes can give you an unmistakable retro look and feel. There are wallpapers that come ready-made with this style, which tells you about the popularity of this look.

The perfect wallpaper is a complement to your sense of interior décor, and the possibilities are virtually limitless. There’s no need to be restricted; it’s your room – go with how you feel.

12 Tips For Holiday Decorating

12-tips-for-holiday-decorating

Looking to bring holiday cheer to your home? These twelve tips will help keep it fashionable!

Don’t write off your favorites. Your favorite year-round decorations can do plenty of work when the holidays roll around—you don’t have to toss out everything in the name of the season. Think about what works with your theme, what doesn’t, and what could be tweaked or retooled.

A light touch can do a lot. As with any form of decorating, a less-is-more approach works quite well when dealing with holiday decorations. This becomes, even more, the case with bolder design choices; if it stands out, one or two is plenty. If you fill your house to the brim with pieces that could stand alone, it’s going to create a garish result.

Stay safe. If you’re going to do a big lighting project on the outside of your home, or anything similar, be as careful as possible. Falling off your roof will take all the cheer out of the holidays, no matter how impressive the result may have been. Work safe and slow, work with a partner, and plan carefully before you start.

Ornaments aren’t just for trees. Whether it’s a jar of glass balls, little pieces of ornamentation on your tablecloth, or anything in between, remember that holiday ornaments can be applied in dozens of ways beyond the obvious.

Pine sprigs and cones. One of the more versatile holiday decorating tools, leverage pine and other evergreen decorations liberally. Whether it’s a sprig, a cone, or something more, it’s all going to work the same.

Remember the mailbox. Not just the mailbox, but anything else outside that might serve to catch the eye; birdhouses and birdbaths, gates and fences, benches and walkways, all of these can add a quick splash of the holidays to your outdoor decoration with minimal effort.

Lighting isn’t just about lights. When people mention holiday decorating and lighting together, most people go straight to Christmas lights—but that’s not the whole story. You can use silver and mirrors to impact the lighting of the room for a more subdued, refined holiday appearance.

Garlands work everywhere. It’s very difficult to overdo it with a nice subdued evergreen garland. If you want something you can use to apply instant holiday impact without worrying about overdoing it, the garland is a far better choice than any alternative.

Tasty AND decorative. Nothing says holidays like a plate of thematically appropriate cookies—that they’re a tasty treat for family and guests is just an added bonus.

Build to a theme. As with any decorative endeavor, you want to build to a theme. Whether that theme is wintry and evergreen, silver and shine, or something a bit more esoteric or intriguing, the result will be the same: a lovely unified decorative vision.

Don’t forget to get personal. The holidays are about people, so don’t forget to bring out personal favorites and items with sentimental value when the season rolls around. An ugly, out-of-theme old decoration can be the perfect thing if it’s meaningful.

Decorations are meant to be seen. Think about where people will be sitting and hanging out during the holidays as you work on your home. Consider the view from the street, the view walking in the door, and the view from the living room sofa or the dining room table.

Remember, these are just a few tips to get you thinking. What really matters for holiday decorating is how you feel about the end result. If it keeps you, your friends, and your family members in the holiday spirit, it’s a success no matter what.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Centerpiece

the-perfect-thanksgiving-centerpieceIt is always fun to decorate your table for Thanksgiving dinner. Why spend the money on a centerpiece when you can create your own using different items? This is your chance to show off your creativity instead of spending an arm and a leg on decorations. Use the following ideas to create the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

  • Fall Floral Arrangements: It is very easy to turn a floral arrangement into a beautiful centerpiece. Start by placing yellow, orange and red flowers inside a brown planter or basket. You can limit this centerpiece to flowers only, or you can add berries and twigs to the mix.
  • Create a Unique Theme: Create a centerpiece that stands out from the crowd by pairing metallics and whites. You can start by placing metallic candle holders down the center of the table. Place a small white pumpkin between each candle holder. Finish it off by placing a bundle of wheat or twigs inside a metallic vase in the center of the table.
  • Stick With Nature: Are you looking for a centerpiece that is perfect for Thanksgiving and the fall season in general? You can achieve this look by sticking with natural elements for your centerpiece. Start by arranging pumpkins, gourds, pears and pine cones in the center of the table. Place them on a tray or inside a basket, or simply arrange them on the table itself. You can also create a topper by placing a single pear or small pumpkin on each plate.
  • Repurpose Other Decor: You do not need to buy a ton of supplies to create your Thanksgiving centerpiece. All you have to do is find a creative way to repurpose other decor around your home. One idea is to use your candle holders as pedestals for small pumpkins or gourds. You can also fill a transparent vase with small pumpkins or pinecones. Repurposing your decor allows you to create a simple but beautiful centerpiece without breaking the bank.
  • Mix and Match: Mix different patterns and textures to find the perfect look for your Thanksgiving centerpiece. One idea is to place a piece of burlap over a metallic or glossy gold tray to create an elegant but rustic look. If you want to add another item to this centerpiece, consider topping the burlap with a few small pumpkins. You can also experiment with different colors to create a fall look, such as placing white pumpkins on a chocolate brown runner.
  • Splash of Color: You are going to need a white or neutral colored table runner for this centerpiece. Place small pumpkins and fall colored flowers down the center of the table. It creates a simple design and adds a splash of color to your decor. Are you having trouble finding a table runner for your centerpiece? The pumpkins and flowers will look great over your white or neutral tablecloth.
  • Go Big or Go Home: Use a long wooden box to create a centerpiece your guests will never forget. You can start by placing floral foam at the bottom of the box. Arrange items such as berries, pine cones and pumpkins inside the wooden box. You can even add in several long candles to create a warm glow. Finish the centerpiece by placing cedar on top of the arrangement. The best part is the box will keep your decor in one spot.

You can make your guests feel welcome by taking the time to create the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. The sky is the limit when you are coming up with your own ideas for your Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator

interior-designer-vs-interior-decoratorPeople often use the terms interior design and interior decoration interchangeably but this is not correct. The two are different, although can be related. An interior designer may do some decorating but an interior decorator does not do designing. Let’s explore how these two fields differ and how they relate.

Interior Design

Interior design is considered a science. Design takes knowledge of how people interact with a particular environment and design spaces that make things easier and more productive. This may include the layout of a home or office or get into minute details of where outlets are most efficient within a room. Interior design takes into account things like lifestyle and culture to create an environment that makes daily tasks more efficient. In order to be considered an interior designer, you need to take courses and a licensing test. Interior design is based on research and analysis of how people interact with each other and their environment.

Interior Decoration

Interior decoration is the art of choosing colors, patterns, and furnishings that reflect the kind of mood a person wants to convey in an environment. The main role of a decorator is to make the area beautiful and reflect the personality of the occupants, or at least the personality they wish to present. There are no requirements for an interior decorator to set up business. Interior decoration is based on having a sense of what elements work well together to create a pleasing environment. A knowledge of mood creation with color and an understanding of feeling psychology come in handy.

Joining Forces

Interior designers work with the architect on a project. They are concerned with such things as how the lighting provides safety throughout an area, how practical it is to have a bathroom located in a certain area and how the set up of appliances works in a kitchen. For example, does having the outlets for a stove near a sink make things easier or more difficult for the user and how practical is it to set up a breakfast nook here instead of there. The designer considers things like how one area easily flows into the other, making the course of the day easier to navigate through.

Once a building is designed, the interior decorator comes in. The designer consults with occupants to find out what their likes and dislikes are, what kind of feeling they want to convey, such as coziness, professionalism, or excitement. Choosing colors for floors and walls, furnishings for each room, and accessories to bring the look together, the decorator creates a feeling within the living or working space. While the designer determined that lighting needed to be in a certain hallway, the decorator determines what kind of covering looks best on the lighting.

Together, the interior designer and the interior decorator can create an environment that is not only practical but also beautiful. One is concerned with the physical and the other with the emotional, but it all comes together to create a whole environment that is productive, comfortable, and pleasing for the occupants.