Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ten Tips for Decorating Your Kitchen

A significant amount of care and thought should be put into decorating your kitchen. The kitchen is more than a place to make food. It's a space to let out your inner creativity by making deliciously unique meals or whipping up a dessert worthy of a queen. The kitchen is also a place to create lasting memories by making your grandmother's secret recipe or laughing with family and friends over meals.

Here are 10 home decorating tips for your kitchen that you can use to make this space in your home extra special.

1. Rather than replacing old cabinets, replace the handles and put on a fresh coat of paint or stain. This is a budget-friendly way to bring worn out cabinets back to life.

2. Use colorful curtains to hide kitchen tools and utensils that are placed in open cabinets.

3. Find framed art prints or posters that feature food and drink recipes that can serve a dual function. Not only will they fill up empty wall space, but the recipes will motivate any chef to create new culinary masterpieces.

4. If there is extra space on top of your kitchen cabinets, fill them with a varied assortment of plates, jars or vases. To add an additional personal touch, collect unique vases and jars while traveling so each decorative piece reminds you of a happy memory.

5. Fresh herbs always taste better. Plant an herb garden in your windowsill to keep the herbs readily available while showing off your green thumb.

6. Collect menus from your favorite restaurants around town or throughout the world. Frame the menus and hang them throughout your kitchen.

7. Create a warm and hospitable atmosphere by hanging art prints that serve as a reminder of the importance of friends and family. Art prints with sayings such as, "The Kitchen is Where the Heart Is" or "Bless Our Home" will be perfect additions to your kitchen.

8. If you are short on space, use your kitchen tools as decorations too! Stainless steel utensils can be used for wall art. Pots and pans can hang on hooks around your kitchen island or on strategically placed hooks throughout your kitchen.

9. Baskets can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used for fruit, kitchen utensils, nonperishable food or many other functions. If drawer space is limited, fold your kitchen towels and oven mitts neatly and place them in a basket on your counter.

10. Keep it clean. Clean up after every meal to keep the kitchen a place where everyone can enjoy their time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Five Ways To Brighten Up Your Home

Making sure that the house that we live in, deserves to be called a cozy and comfortable home can be quite a challenge. The truth is that, it has become a lot easier to turn our homes into better spaces for relaxation by brightening it. The question, however, is how do we brighten up our homes? Surprisingly, there are many ways to do that.

You can start with the paint. Get a new, fresher color; one that fits your family's lifestyles and personalities. A good color of paint can add a new look to any room. Non-typical color paints can also modernize a room's décor. It is true that a bright paint can make a room look bigger. Off-whites and creams can create a clean and crisp appearance. Using light blues and purples would be a great way to brighten a room too.

Once you are done with the painting job, it would also be good to see some products that you can use for your windows and doors. Steel windows and doors are definitely the in-thing right now. They would add a modern touch to the façade of your house. These would also allow more light to come into the house. Steel windows and doors matched with glass will make the outside of your house look a lot better and more connected to the interior of your house; giving a great view from the inside.

Decluttering would also be very helpful in making sure that your house looks organized and would make it a brighter place to relax in. Overwhelming décor and furniture may make your house too cluttered and less breezy. The purpose of putting furniture in your home is supposedly to make you feel happy and comfortable, not cramped or stressed. It is better to choose furniture that make a statement and stand out. Pick the pieces that has multitask features and can save space as well as organize your stuff.

The next thing to do would be to beautify your backyard by adding flowers and nice landscaping. You can also add a deck or a patio. Remember that the steel doors and windows will definitely allow you to show off a nice yard from your living room.

You can also think about changing fixtures and finishes. Now, that you're at it, you could start updating your kitchen with new appliances and countertops. You can change the faucets and hardware in your bathrooms and update the other rooms in the house with new light fixtures. Include the other piece of furniture by changing them with new drawer handles, possibly.

After doing all of these, your house will definitely qualify to be featured in a magazine. It your home after all. It won't hurt to show love to it as well, like the way you do for the people living in it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unique Antiques And Vintage Rugs

When you think of decorating your home with antique furniture, your mind is more likely to focus on things like beds, tables, and even mirrors and wall hangings. Depending on the room you plan to decorate, the thought of buying a rug to match may not cross your brain. In fact, you may not even consider rugs as possible antiques because of their functionality. A rug is probably the most used item in your room, considering the amount of foot traffic. Can something you walk on daily be considered a valuable antique?

Just because something looks old or appears valuable (or even costs quite a bit of money) doesn't guarantee that the item is antique or worth what you paid. If you have little knowledge of antique rugs, you may risk being tricked into buying something that turns out to be a cheap imitation. You may also inherit a rug from a relative one day and be curious about its worth. Research on reg-centric websites may give you an idea of value, but there are many factors than can determine the true worth of your rug.

Age, size, country of origin, style of manufacture, and even the dyes used to make the rug figure into the overall value. If you don't have an eye for these qualities, you may find that an antique looks no different from an imitation. Calling on a rug expert to properly appraise your property will give you a better idea of what your rug is worth.

Some reasons you should consider an appraisal include:

1) Insurance. If the rug is valuable (and some antiques have been assessed as high as a million dollar), you definitely want to include it in your homeowner's policy should something happen to it.

2) Inheritance. As you make out your will, you will need to dictate who receives the rug and make sure the beneficiary is aware of the value.

3) Security. It's good to have an expert appraise your antique rug so you'll no exactly what it's worth. You may be inclined to place it in a particular room so it's not subject to heavy foot traffic.

4) Income. If you discover the value of your rug, you may feel inclined to put out feelers and see if it will sell.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Some Tips for Choosing a Floor for Your French Style Room


When it comes to decorating your home or rooms in the French style, one of the things to keep in mind is that natural materials are the best choice.

Wood 
If you opt for a wood floor, choose a warm, soft colour that will go well with both the rustic elements that may be present in your room and with any of the bolder colours that you may choose.

Stone 
Stone is a fabulous choice for a room decorated in the French style. Stone, which comes in a variety of colours, is both natural and rustic looking, making a perfect fit.

Rugs 
If you do choose to add rugs to your room, consider area rugs rather than a complete room of carpeting. Choose rugs made from wool or cotton to maintain the use of natural materials in the room.

Neutral 
As mentioned above, flooring is one of the most important design elements in a room. It should not be, however, the dominant element. The floor needs to do its job quietly, providing a foundation upon which the rest of the room is built. For that reason, it is usually better to choose neutral flooring options rather than something that will grab attention right away.

Have a Plan 
Novice designers often make the mistake of seeing a single element that they love, such as flooring, and buying it before they have really considered the rest of the room. As mentioned above, the floor is not a separate entity, but it needs to be considered as part of the overall design plan of the room. If you see flooring that you like, get a sample or add a photo to your design file, but don't make any final decisions until you have an idea about what else is going into the room.

You can buy French accessories or furniture without the expense of travelling to France and importing them. There are plenty of dedicated online French boutiques which have all kinds of accessories which are made using natural materials. You may find they are a little expensive as these online stores have to import the goods themselves which means they need to make the money up with their prices. But you will still find that items will be cheaper than actually visiting France and having them shipped to your home. Plus you also have the added bonus of comparing items with different online shops without leaving your home. The internet has changed the way we shop for the better. So if you want to create that homely french feel, there really is nothing stopping you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to Create a Home Lighting Design Plan?

Beautiful rooms include beautiful lighting designs, an important element in interior design. There are three things to consider when creating a good lighting design plan for your room: function, mood and harmony.

Illumination

Light is a natural resource we get from the sun. We need good illumination in our homes to assist us in our daily living activities. Lighting can be natural, which occurs in the daytime or artificial, which is created through lighting design plans.

Natural Light

Direct light comes from the sun, while indirect comes from the whole umbrella of the sky. Light can be bright or filtered depending on the orientation of the sun and time of day. It is important to analyze the natural sunlight of each room when creating your interior lighting design plan as well as how many windows and how large. For example, north facing rooms bring in cool, bluish sunlight which will be cooler and darker so you may need additional illumination. Southern and western exposures will have a yellow, warmer cast and will be brighter. The goal is to have as much natural sunlight as possible coming into your home.

Artificial Light

When natural light is not possible such as on a cloudy day, evening or night, due to a lack of windows or orientation of windows causing low illumination, we want to compensate for that through the use of various artificial light sources throughout the house.

Benefits of Good Lighting

Good lighting not only allows us to see but it expands our visibility. Proper illumination helps us complete our tasks efficiently. As we age, we need more light. Humans need to be exposed to a specific amount of light each day for better performance physiologically, neurobehavioral and sleep according to http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/lightHealth/index.asp

Lighting Plan

A good lighting plan includes creating function, mood and harmony. You begin by carefully analyzing your room. What is the room's function? Where are the work areas? What style and mood do you want to create? The work areas would need task lighting, which is more direct, whiter and brighter. Accent (mood) lighting is next. It highlights special areas of your room you may want to show off like: the silhouette of a plant, a beautiful painting or objet d'art.

Accent lighting also can add a bit of drama to a room. Accent lighting is a softer type of lighting. It is always good to check your plan at night. Once you have task and accent lighting, if your room still has dark areas and needs additional illumination, add ambient (general) lighting to the specific areas. Choose a light fixture as a piece of art. For example, a torchiere lamp is an uplight. It adds soft lighting, a great way to bring drama into a room and brighten up a dark corner.

Harmony

Light fixtures come in many styles. To create harmony, select fixtures that support your room design style. In other words, if you have a modern room, choose a modern fixture. If traditional, choose traditional. You also want different types of light fixtures, such as ceiling mounted, wall mounted, table mounted, uplights and downlights. Choose different directions of illumination and different heights for placement of light fixtures as well as different intensities.

Beautiful rooms begin with a good furniture layout. Beautiful lighting designs are well planned and thought out. I hope I have given you a good start to create your own lighting design plan. Thank you for reading my article.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tips to Warming Up Your Bathroom Accessories


Tired of staring at the same old bleak looking bathroom every day? There are simple, inexpensive easy ways to add color and warmth to any bathroom. Besides warming up the temperature and the color-scheme, and changing the flooring, there are other small and inexpensive improvements which can be made to the average bathroom.

You can add visual warmth with the use of warm colors, such as brown, red and orange. If you have high ceilings they can look particularly attractive when painted orange or scarlet, and this also helps to reduce the apparent height. Modern vinyl paints stand up well to steamy bathroom conditions. Vinyl wall coverings are also suitable for bath rooms; many of them have nicely textured surfaces which also make them warm to the touch.

Wood can be a pleasant decorative finish; well sealed tongued-and-grooved paneling, for example, provides a wall covering which both looks and feels warm and which can often be used to conceal defects in the walls. One of the most pleasant ways of adding color is to use brightly colored towels. Online you can easily find towels both pale and deeply colored; if you are worried about the cost, just wait for the semi-annual sales.

Plenty of large dry colorful towels make a great deal of difference to bathroom comfort. If you cannot afford a European-style heated towel rail, which are great by the way, then make sure that you have adequate towel bars on which your towels can dry. It is often possible to fit extra towel rings in odd spaces too small for full-length bars. Just make sure rails are firmly fixed, as they tend to be used as hand grips especially by children, maybe even swung on... lol.

The floor, of course, is mostly used by bare and often wet feet. It is essential that it feels warm. Altering floor covering from, say, chilly tiles to bathroom carpeting is one easy fix. Make sure that any carpeting you choose is suitable for bathrooms: rubber-backed carpets with synthetic piles stand up best, and it is possible to buy washable bathroom carpeting which you can cut to shape yourself with a sharp pair of scissors. Today there are a variety of other options available for bathroom rugs from bamboo to jute that absorb water very well, dry quickly, and are antimicrobial.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Some The Home Interior Styles of France


Louis XIV

In the middle of the 17th century, the king of France, Louis XIV, favoured a very grand style of interior. Furniture was heavy and finishings were fussy. Gilding was everywhere - on doors, furniture, mouldings - and yet more decoration was added with boule marquetry on furniture, (using tortoiseshell and brass) and detailed paintings on ceilings.

Panels were carved and painted, plaster covings imitated fabric swags, huge Aubusson tapestries hung from the walls, tiles were made from rich marble and geometric parquet was to be found on the floors. This very elaborate style clearly reflected the kind of king Louis XIV was - an absolute monarch who reigned for over 72 years, through many major wars. France was the leading power in Europe and the king's palaces and their interiors showed this.

Louis XV

During the early 18th century Louis XV or more likely, his talented and cultured mistress, Madame de Pompadour, sculpted this heavier style into something considerably more delicate and feminine, introducing the most French of attributes - the curve. From 1723 - 1760 these curves took on a rather frivolous manner of their own resulting in the style called Rococo, where symmetry was lost and nature took over as branches, leaves, icicles and waterfalls were the favoured decorative motifs.

This period saw the introduction of many pieces of furniture that exist in modern homes today - the console table, fauteuils (open armed chairs) and the chaise longue. Today's love of exuberant wallpapers of Indian and Chinese design were just as up-to-the-minute back then -though commodes were also the height of fashion.

Louis XVI

By the time the new king Louis came along, direction changed again and the wild, silly curves of the Rococo were replaced with the elegant and formal lines of neo-Classicism. Pompeii and Hurculaneum had been excavated earlier in the century and the appreciation for classic Roman and Greek artefacts was reflected in the interior and exterior styles.

The classical arch became popular again, panel mouldings were simplified and walls were plain plaster or simply painted in neutral colours, such as grey. Symmetry found its place again and decorative devices came from classical figures, swags, garlands, laurel wreaths and urns.

Flamboyance could still be seen in the beds where ostrich feathers adorned many a corona and the fabric of choice was the eye-boggling Toile de Jouy. (Take care when examining these fabrics as they often showed the events of the day in all their gory glory including the guillotining of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.)

Directoire

The end of the aristocratic regime brought about a departure from any sumptuousness that remained and the period known as the Directoire, when a board of directors ruled France, saw a much simpler and more delicate sense of style. Curvy cabriole legs were replaced by straight, and furniture became angular and severe in shape. Elaborate marquetry was replaced by plain waxed or painted woods and fabrics had simple stripes and delicate florals as decoration, all of which anticipated the Empire style.

Napoleon

In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France and his military and political leadership could be seen in everything French for the next 10 years - including France's architecture and interior styling.

The classical Roman and Greek designs remained the core of this era's style but were advanced, so to speak, with military devices. Obelisks, sphinxes, chimera, swans, laurels, wreaths adorned every piece of furniture, from dishes to clocks to insignia styled handles and locks on cabinetry. Rooms became simpler and more masculine, chairs acquired a military style of low back, turned front legs and the sword shaped sabre legs at the rear. The influence of military tents prompted rooms covered wall and ceiling, in striped fabrics and even the trimmings in heavy fringes had a very militaristic feel.