Using Shutters as Headboards


by Charlene 14 Oct 2014

No matter if you have some old shutters you want to use or you're buying brand new shutters for a project, you can put them to good use. Have you considered, for example, using shutters as your bed's headboard? It can actually give your room a classic, elegant look. Of course they look great on your windows, but they also look amazing behind your bed.

Not convinced? Let these photos do the talking:

Photo Credit: Green Eyed

Photo Credit: Junk Market Style

Photo Credit: Design Dazzle

Photo Credit: Calla Lilly Studio Blog

Photo Credit: Modestly Handmade

Photo Credit: Lil Luna

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Completely Coastal

Now that you've seen the possibility of shutters as headboards, which one was your favorite?

 

Charlene Jimenez

Tiffani Thiessen Bathroom Remodel – Featuring Woven Wood Shades


by Charlene 19 Sep 2014

Think of your dream master bathroom. What comes to mind? A bathroom with a view? How about a deep tub for relaxing?

That's exactly what Kim Lewis designed for Tiffani Thiessen, a famous actress best known for her roles on Saved by the Bell, 90210, and White Collar. Tiffani Thiessen's bathroom makeover features a luxurious tub, a spacious shower, and a clean, crisp color palette, making this space calming, rejuvenating, and serene - everything that makes it worthy of the dream master bathroom title.

But our favorite part? The window shades. The Good Housekeeping Woven Shades in Jute Natural are a perfect addition to this gorgeous, drool-worthy design, adding texture and visual interest.

With the Select Blinds woven wood shades, this is the perfect blend of contemporary and traditional styles, making it a classic look full of functionality and personality.

The one word we'd use to describe this master bathroom design? Timeless.

 

Photography Credits:  Rebecca Sanabria Photography

 

Charlene Jimenez

Grandparents Day - Keeping Your Grandchildren Safe


by Charlene 5 Sep 2014

Sunday is Grandparents Day, but it's not just about honoring grandparents. It's also a day to enjoy, as grandparents, your grandchildren! Prepare to spend some great quality time with them this weekend, no matter their age. But one of the best things you can do to prepare for your grandchildren to visit all year long is by choosing cordless window coverings.

Not only are cordless blinds or shades sleek and modern, but they're easy to use and pose no threat to small children. With cordless window coverings, you'll never have to worry about potential window covering cord danger when your grandchildren visit. Instead, you can spend the time enjoying their company.

But maybe you can't upgrade to cordless just yet. That's OK! There are other things you can do to ensure the safety of your grandchildren. Simply put, order our free cord cleats. Cord cleats are small parts that can be screwed into the wall and the dangling cord be wrapped around, keeping that excess cord out of the hands of your grandchildren.

Did you know that you could also get remote-controlled motorized window coverings? You won't have to worry about cords, and they're even easier to use. Imagine being able to open, close, or tilt your window coverings from up to 65 feet away. They're perfect if you have hard-to-reach windows or even if you have limited mobility.

This Grandparents Day, give yourself peace of mind. Use that time you used to worry to spend even more beautiful time with your precious grandchildren.

 

Charlene Jimenez

How to Layer Window Coverings


by Charlene 15 Aug 2014

Layering your window coverings will bring extra style into your home, but it's also a great way to have more control over privacy, insulation, and natural light. But knowing why you want to layer your window coverings and knowing how to do it right are two different things. But don't worry. It's actually easier than you think.

Start with Blinds or Shades

Photo Credit: Select Blinds

First, cover your windows with your favorite blinds or shades. You can choose anything from wood blinds to bamboo shades to cellular shades. It doesn't matter what you choose. Just make sure you love them.

Add a Cornice

Photo Credit: This Mama Loves

Then, you can add a cornice, depending on how much layering you want, but adding a cornice isn't necessary. Some like the finished look a cornice gives a space, but you may not. Using a cornice is just another way to add depth to your window coverings.

Use Drapes

Photo Credit: Select Blinds

The final step is to use drapes or curtains. This will complete the layered look. And don't be afraid to mix patterns, textures, or colors. Layering is one of the easiest ways to give your home a unique look, a look that perfectly reflects your style and your personality.

And that's it! Just take it one layer at a time and you'll find a combination that you love.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Accentuate the Beauty of Your Bay Windows with the Right Window Coverings


by Charlene 29 Jul 2014

Do you have bay windows in your home? They bring in beautiful natural light, but they can also give you a headache when you're trying to find the right window coverings. But it doesn't have to be that difficult. Just because you have bay windows doesn't mean you have fewer options. You can find a look that matches your style and your needs. Just look at all your options:


Bamboo Shades

These bamboo shades look great covering bay windows because they add instant texture. No matter if you have a modern, traditional, or rustic style, bamboo or woven shades are a perfect fit. You can even choose from a variety of textures and materials, so you can customize your look without compromising on price.


Roller Shades

Look at the beauty and elegance of these fabric roller shades when paired with that paint color and the stark white crown molding. The combination is striking, and it doesn't take away from the beauty of the bay windows at all. With these roller shades, you don't have to compromise style for bay window coverage. You can have both.


Solar Shades

With the right solar shades, you don't have to give up your view to have privacy and UV blockage. Keep your home cool and comfortable with sturdy solar shades. They may be sturdy, but they still look sophisticated and sleek.


Wood Blinds

Want a classic look that still has a modern feel? Then wood blinds might be perfect for your bay windows. They're sharp and crisp, and they'll complement any décor. There's just something elegant about real wood blinds, and that makes them ideal for the natural elegance of bay windows.


Shutters

Shutters are another option if you want a classic, Provençal look. You can choose from a variety of stains and paints, so you can create the look you want. If your bay windows are in the kitchen or in the bathroom, opt for faux wood shutters. They're moisture-resistant and durable, so they'll last much longer in that environment.


Cellular Shades

The photo above is from an actual customer after she installed her shades from Select Blinds. Go here to read more about her experience. Top down/bottom up cell shades are great if you want to keep your privacy and still let in some natural light. And the honeycomb construction helps insulate your windows so you can ultimately save energy and save money.


Whatever your style, the right window blinds or shades for your bay windows will be the ones that accentuate the architectural merits instead of simply covering them up.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Creating a Glamorous Living Room


by Charlene 27 May 2014

Who doesn't love a touch of glamour in their lives? You may not want to live in a glamorous home. After all, there are times for some glamour and there are times for just relaxing and kicking your feet up. So instead of making your whole home glamorous, just focus on your living room. The living room is traditionally the room to receive visitors, so it's a natural choice to live out your dreams of glamour and grandeur.


Here's how to get started:

Pick the Right Color Palette

Photo Credit:Freshome


The easiest way to create a specific mood or feel in a space is by the color palette. To create that glamorous feel, you can choose whites, pale pastels, rich, deep colors, or bright jewel tones. The colors by themselves won't give you pure glamour. It's what you do with the color that makes the real difference.

Add Drama with Furniture

Photo Credit: Distroarchitecture


Adding visual interest and drama with your furniture is the perfect addition to a glamorous living room. Add a tufted accent piece or choose a piece with dramatic, extravagant lines. Remember that including an extravagant piece doesn't mean your living room will look over-the-top. With the right balance, glamorous can also be elegant.

Make a Statement

Photo Credit: Romantic Homes


Whether it's a piece of beautiful artwork or it's your area rug, a glamorous room must make a statement. What that statement is exactly is up to you. Don't be afraid to be bold. One quick way to make a statement is by choosing the right window coverings. Roman shades have a natural elegance and glamour, and they're so versatile, they complement every style.

Mix and Match Styles

Photo Credit: We Heart It

A glamorous living room can be modern, traditional, or even Mediterranean. With that in mind, mix and match styles and even style eras to create a layered, complex, glamorous feel. Like a piece from the 1920s? Perfect! Add it alongside your favorite décor item from today. Mixing and matching styles also gives the feeling that you've worked on that space over a period of time rather than throwing it all together. And that can give it even more glamour.

A glamorous living room is right around the corner. Don't be afraid to make décor mistakes. Making mistakes is how you learn what works for your space and what doesn't. And the great thing about home décor and even wall paint is it's all easily changed, no commitment necessary.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Beyond Shutters: Alternatives to French Door Coverings


by Charlene 25 Apr 2014

French doors can be beautiful statements. They let in natural light, give you a view to the outside, and can give any space an elegant look. Shutters are the traditional window coverings for French doors, and they can be beautiful. But what if you're not a traditional type of person? What if you don't have a traditional style?


You can look beyond shutters. Here are 4 awesome alternatives for your French door window coverings.


Bamboo Shades

Give your French doors instant texture and visual interest with bamboo shades. Paired with grays, whites, and blacks, bamboo shades can give your home a touch of modernity and unique charm.


Curtains

You don't have to simply hang curtains over the entire doors. You can actually get curtains that fit the glass on the French doors. It allows you to let light in and then keep your privacy when you need it. Plus, this is an easy way to add pattern or a pop of color to your room.


Roman Shades

If you want even more elegance, go with roman shades. Choose from a variety of fabrics, textures, colors, and patterns for a one-of-a-kind look. One of the many great things about roman shades is that you get the look of curtains with the functionality of more traditional window shades.


Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are great for French doors because you can allow light to filter in while maintaining your privacy and lowering your utility costs. Plus, they're a great fit for a contemporary or modern style.


Outfit your French doors in style and make them an extension of your personality. If you don't have a traditional style, you shouldn't have a traditional home. For more window covering options for your French doors, read this.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Using Pastels in Your Home Decor


by Charlene 15 Apr 2014

When you think of pastels, you probably think of Easter. And with Easter just around the corner, perhaps it's time to incorporate a few more pastels into your home décor. But pastels aren't just for Easter. They're not even just for spring. You can use pastels all year long. But if you want to start small, here are a few ways to use pastels in your home.

Pastel Planters

Photo Credit: RawRevivals Etsy Shop

Photo Credit: Organized Clutter Queen

One easy way to introduce pastels is to paint your planters. If you feel the colors are too much, you can easily repaint them or move them to a more appropriate location, even if that means outside. Planters can be very affordable, so choosing pastel planters will keep you on budget, all while experimenting with color.

 

Pastel Window Coverings

Did you know that you can find pastel window coverings? And paired with a modern, clean style, they can look fabulous! At first thought, you may consider pastel window blinds and shades a little too much, design-wise, but it can actually work very well. This is one of the best ways to make a statement and create a unique look.


Pastel Furniture

Photo Credit: The Home Style Directory

Photo Credit: Shelterness

This doesn't mean you have to have an entirely pastel blue couch, although that could be fantastic. Paint a wooden chair a pastel cover or create a pastel slipcover for your loveseat. Sometimes just a subtle hint of pastel can make all the difference.


Pastel Walls

Photo Credit: Momtoob

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Whether you decide an accent wall is more your style or you want to immerse yourself in pastel, painting your walls a pastel color can give you the oomph your space needs. Pair it with whites and grays in the rest of the room for balance. Or, if you're feeling extra brave, go for a monochromatic look.


Pastel Bedding

If you're looking to spice up your bedroom a bit, find pastel bedding. The great thing about bedding is that you can switch it out whenever you want a different look. This is a less permanent way to decorate, so it's perfect if you change your mind often or you just want to experiment with pastels a bit before moving forward with pastels in other rooms.


Easter is the perfect time to use pastels. And if you like it, you can find new ways to use it all throughout the year. What are your favorite places in your home to use pastels?

 

Charlene Jimenez

Get the Look - Master Bedroom Edition


by Charlene 2 Apr 2014

Did you tune into episode 2 of “American Dream Builders” on Sunday? Some of the bedroom designs may not have been consistent with the mid-century modern design goal, but they were still beautiful rooms. Take a look at the master bedroom of the winning team.

Want the look? Here's what you need.

Get the Look!

1. Start with this white duvet cover - the same one from the show.

 

2. Add these decorative pillows of the same color palette. Just click on the pictures to go to the product page.

 

 

 

3. Don't forget about the throw blanket!

 

4. Add the right curtains for the finishing touch!

Did you have a favorite look from the show?

 

Charlene Jimenez

 

 

 

Decorating with the Outside View in Mind


by Charlene 14 Mar 2014

If you have an amazing view from your home, would that change how you decorate your home's interior?

 
Well, it should.


Consider your view a part of your décor. In fact, it's not just an accent; it should be the main focus. Not everyone has a beautiful view from their windows. But if you do, it's time to accentuate it and take advantage of the unique sights your home offers.


Decorating Tip: Windows with beautiful views should not be covered up.


Solar Shades


Depending on where you live, you may need sun, light, or heat blockage, especially during the summer. If this is the case, it's not a good idea to leave your windows uncovered. This can raise your electricity costs. However, that doesn't mean you can't accentuate that view. Instead, choose solar shades. People outside can't see in, but you can see out. The right solar shade will not restrict your view at all, but it will still provide you the sun and light blockage you need.


Sheer Shades


Sheer shades are designed for a light, flowy look and feel. With just a soft layer over your windows, you can still enjoy the view, but the sheer shades will diffuse and filter the bright light so you get a soft glow. Sit back and enjoy the view from your window, all while keeping your home looking modern and stylish.

Simplify in Order to Accentuate

Photo Credit: Forbes


If you really want to make your view stand out, simplify your décor. Too many bright colors or too many knick knacks will distract from your view. Choose clean lines and simplify. Simple doesn't mean boring. You can still add flair to your home décor, but choosing to simplify will highlight your windows.


Make the View the Star Attraction

Photo Credit: FreeSharing.org


Place your furniture so the window is the focus of the room. When you have guests, you'll want them to appreciate and enjoy the view. So turn chairs and couches toward the windows. Make it the star attraction, just as it deserves to be.

The view from your windows may be an external benefit, but why not center your entire home's interior on that feature? It's just one more way to add personality, individuality, and uniqueness to your home. You don't want your home to be like every other home. So, find what makes it unique and emphasize it. In this case, it's your stellar view!

 

 Charlene Jimenez

5 Easy, Cheap Ways to Organize Your Laundry Room


by Charlene 7 Mar 2014

The laundry room is an essential space in any house, but it's also the most neglected. Every other room in the house gets the love and attention it needs to be stylish and functional. There's no doubt your laundry room is functional. But is it streamlined and organized? If not, here's what you can do. It won't take much time or effort, so why not get started today?

Shelves, Shelves, and More Shelves

 

Photo Credit: Home Shelving Guide

Instead of stacking everything on top of the washer and dryer, add shelving. Use the vertical space you have so you can stay more organized. Plus, it will get all of that out of your way, and it will give your laundry room a clean, streamlined look. If you don't want people to be able to see all your laundry room stuff, add cabinets instead. They both serve the same purpose.

Conceal with Window Shades

 

Photo Credit: Welcome to Heardmont

Have an ugly space under the counter or the laundry room sink? Or maybe you have great shelving, but it can get a little messy. All you have to do is conceal it with window shades or curtains, and it will give your laundry an instant facelift. But whether you go with a bold pattern or you want something more subtle is up to you. Make this space your own.

Create More Hanging Space

 

Photo Credit: Decoist

Add rods where you can in your laundry room. The more hanging space you have for clothes, whether they're drying or need to be put away, the more organized you'll stay. This will also guard against clothes being heaped in baskets, on top of the washer and dryer, or even thrown on the floor.

Combine Spaces

Photo Credit: Remodelaholic

A laundry room doesn't have to just be the laundry room. Why not combine it with the craft room, mudroom, storage room, or even a large closet? Make use of the valuable space you have, and this will open up main space in your home for other things.

Fresh Flowers

Photo Credit: Laura Casey Interiors

Fresh flowers don't help with organization, but they do improve the ambiance. Every room can be improved with fresh flowers, and your laundry room shouldn't be left out. Flowers will keep your laundry room looking and smelling fresh, and it may even motivate you to get in there and get your laundry done.

With these simple changes, you will have an efficient laundry room space. And all of these options allow you to inject your own style into the room. No two laundry rooms are the same; and they shouldn't be. Make your laundry room a reflection of yourself and your family, and then maybe some of your family members will pitch in and help with the laundry. One can dream, right? 

 

Charlene Jimenez

What's Your Design Style?


by Charlene 28 Feb 2014

Decorating your home is one more way to express yourself and show your personality. But understanding how your personality fits into a design style can be confusing. Sure, there are straightforward styles and definitions, but many people find themselves torn between two or more styles. Don’t feel as though you have to limit yourself to just one style. You’re unique and complex. Your style can be multi-sided, too, no matter if you identify with two or more design styles.

Here’s a basic breakdown of styles. Which one best describes and reflects you?

Contemporary

 

Photo Credit: Hometrendesign.com

The contemporary style includes softened, rounded lines. Even though some of the contemporary lines are rounded, it still gives a clean look and feel. The contemporary color palette is mainly made up on browns, whites, and grays, with pops of colors throughout. There are also metallic elements in many contemporary designs. Contemporary, geometric patterns can also be included, and you’ll commonly find those designs on decorative pillows, wall art, and even on rugs.

Traditional

 

Photo Credit: HGTV

The traditional style is reminiscent of the European countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in France and England. Warm colors are traditionally used, creating a cozy glow throughout the space. Traditional style is all about detail, and a lot of them. The furniture looks plush and it can be difficult to resist sinking right into them.

Eclectic

 

Photo Credit: Homegoods.com

Combining a multitude of different styles and centuries, the eclectic style is about vibrancy and new combinations. Even though it may seem this way to some, it’s not just a haphazard throwing together of ideas and styles. It needs to be done purposefully to hit the right style note. Lots of colors may be used, but there is always a neutral that ties them all together. You may also find a non-traditional combination of patterns and fabrics that give the space life and personality.

Modern

 

Photo Credit: Hotnick.com

The modern style is all about polished sleekness. Much like the contemporary style, this style’s focus is on clean lines. One important aspect of a modern style is asymmetry. Instead of warmer metals, like bronze or gold, modern spaces are generally adorned with chrome and steel. This is one aspect that gives a modern home that sleekness.

Mediterranean

 

Photo Credit: 2014interiordesign.com

The Mediterranean design style is also called Spanish modern. Just as you might expect, this style uses blues, greens, and yellows to represent the ocean and the sky. Don’t forget about mosaics and terracotta. Many homes in the Mediterranean style opt for textured walls to create depth and visual interest.

Romantic

 

Photo Credit: Designershowcaseaustin.com

The romantic design style focuses on softness and whimsicality. Think lace, pastels and muted colors, and dainty floral patterns. It also centers on femininity, with just a few touches of masculinity to create some depth. The romantic style is about grace and refinement through fabrics and colors.

Don’t feel you have to stick solely to one design style. Be yourself and let your personality and style preferences show you the perfect styles for you. Mix and match until you feel you’re properly represented. Your style will change with time. It’s natural. It’s normal. Don’t limit your style. Instead, let it develop and morph naturally.

Should You Decorate in Neutral or Vibrant Colors?


by Charlene 4 Feb 2014

The right color scheme is important in creating a cohesive style throughout your home. But what’s right for one home may not be the right choice for your home. Which colors you choose—wall color, furniture, and accents—will create the overall statement of the room. What do you want your home to say? Before you get to specifics, first figure out the basics.

Decorate in Neutrals or Vibrant Colors?

If you start out answering the most generic question, it will lead you to more specifics. So, will you decorate your home in neutrals or vibrant colors? Here are the pros and cons of each choice.

Pros of Neutrals:

  • Can give a rustic, warm feeling to any room.
  • Neutrals make a great canvas to bring more attention to your unique décor pieces.
  • They're versatile and allow you to change your color scheme and style of furniture easily. And without having to buy all new things and paint the entire interior of your home.
  • Neutral colors can provide balance for eccentric and eclectic pieces or architectural features.
  • Can be calming and peaceful.
  • If paired correctly, it can be dramatic and sophisticated. Think of a black and white room.

Cons of Neutrals:

  • Can easily become boring and bland.
  • Can make your home feel washed out.
  • If too neutral, your home will feel like it’s devoid of personality or even lacking unique style.

Pros of Vibrant Colors:

  • Vibrant colors can add instant energy.
  • They easily become the focal point in the room, drawing the eye toward it immediately.
  • If kept on-trend, it can bring a modern vibe to the space.
  • It’s easy to add personality when integrating vibrant colors into your décor.
  • A little goes a long way in creating flair.

Cons of Vibrant Colors:

  • It can easily get out of hand and overwhelming. Too many vibrant colors close to each other can make your home look like a circus.
  • Trendy colors are replaced quickly, so you might be left updating your color scheme more often than you would prefer.
  • The wrong color can create imbalance in a room.

What Did I Choose?

I’ve always preferred bright, retina-burning color. It just makes me happy. So, when I bought my condo four years ago, I knew adding color was at the top of my to-do list. As much as I would’ve loved to have vibrant colors surrounding me, I knew I needed to mix in some neutrals to achieve the right balance.

I decided to go for it with the bathroom and completely douse it in obnoxious color. And that was the first room our realtor made us paint before listing our condo, of course. Not saying the color choices were the best options in general, but it's what I felt reflected who I was at the time.

Now that we’re selling our condo, it’s time to redefine my color preferences and style all over again. The house we’re hoping to buy is newly painted and completely neutral, including tans and browns in the floor tiles, kitchen, bathrooms, wall paint, and light fixtures. I understand that a neutral home is more appealing to homebuyers. However, because the home we want to buy is newly remodeled and painted, my husband wants to keep it neutral for at least a few years, taking advantage of the work already put into the house. Unfortunately, it’s not even the neutral colors that I prefer, like gray and black.

But I’ve decided to make the best of it and find ways to add color to create the perfect neutral-color combination. Until I can add some vibrant accent walls, I will add pops of color in new ways. New for me, at least. I've been eyeing these for my windows, maybe in the "striped wine" color option.

Now it's your turn. Which do you prefer, neutrals or vibrant colors?

 

Charlene Jimenez

Creating a Beach-Inspired Bedroom


by Charlene 24 Jan 2014

You don’t have to own a beach house to have a beach-inspired bedroom. You don’t even have to live near a body of water. It simply takes a few unique elements to create a clean, airy, and calm vibe. With beach-inspired décor, keep it subtle. Too many beach-themed items can easily become too much for a room. Instead of a literal beach theme, opt for a figurative theme, giving the vibe but without having to cover the walls with seashells. Simplicity will keep the feel of the room fresh and modern while giving you a relaxing space.

The Right Colors

Image Credit: CoastalLiving.com

Use white, blues, light greens, and browns. You can incorporate darker versions of these colors, but make the majority of them light. This is what will give your bedroom an airy feel.

Woven Accents

Image Credit: HouseBeautiful.com

Woven accents are a great way to incorporate theme-worthy color and interesting texture. Use a few well-placed woven baskets, a woven chair or headboard, or even woven window shades. These accents will bring an earthy feel and help balance out the blues and greens used throughout the bedroom.

Relaxed Bedding

Image Credit: Vissbiz.com

You can control the feel of your bedroom with how you present your bedding. You don’t have to dress a bed to perfected extravagance. Keep it casual. Keep it comfortable. A good rule of thumb for bedding is to make it look effortless. That’s where the relaxed vibe comes from, but make sure it’s done with purpose to avoid simply looking disheveled. Linen bedding just might do the trick.

Wood Furniture

 

Image Credit: MyHomeIdeas.com

Every piece of furniture in your bedroom doesn’t have to be wood. But just a few prominent wood or driftwood-like pieces can solidify the beach feel without being too overwhelming. Consider incorporating driftwood into a table or even a piece of wall art.

You can find beach inspiration all around you. Don’t be afraid to mix in brighter colors for extra interest or experiment with unique accents and accessories. When you hit the perfect beach-inspired pitch, you’ll know. Then all you have left to do is relax and enjoy your new space.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Simplicity is Sophistication When Choosing Window Coverings


by Charlene 14 Jan 2014

Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He may not have been talking about home décor, but it certainly applies. Decorating your home, no matter the room, can be a hit-and-miss game. You try mixing patterns to create a more dynamic space, but perhaps it turned out too complex or eclectic for your taste. Trends come and go. What is trendy today may look outdated an odd a few years down the road. But while these trends are temporary, you can reach true sophistication and style when you focus on simplicity.

Home décor simplicity can stand the test of time. It can create a space that is the Audrey Hepburn of rooms: stylishly simple and classic. It comes down to that well-known saying, “Less is more.” Perhaps there is more wisdom in those words than we generally give it credit for. Home décor style is closely linked to fashion. You’ll see similar trends and interests circulate through someone’s wardrobe and then their home. So it only makes sense to look at the most famous fashion icons for inspiration, the fashion icons who left a legacy of style and simplicity.

The Fashion Greats

Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror, and take one thing off.”  The same goes for your home. Instead of cluttering your home with trends and accessories, take a step back and remove an item. Then reevaluate the room and the style you’re conveying. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple.

When Audrey Hepburn was asked how other women could achieve her idolized look, she simply said, “My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses.” With just a few adjustments, any woman could have an Audrey-inspired look. If Audrey were still with us, perhaps she would have offered the same type of advice for your home décor: a few minor changes and simplicity. Simplicity brought an understated elegance and sophistication to Audrey, and it can do the same for your home.

A Starting Point

So how do you now take these long-lasting ideas of simplicity and incorporate them into your home vision? To follow Audrey’s line of thought, start with just a few simple changes:

Window Coverings – Choosing the right blinds or shades for your windows may not seem like a noticeable change. It may be subtle, but it can pull an entire look together. The window blinds you choose should have the right feel. So, if you want a clean rustic feel, consider faux wood shutters to add lightness to a room. For a deeper elegance, try a real wood blind with a dark stain, which would be a great contrast with light-colored décor.

Color Palette – Attaining simplicity doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate color into your décor. It does mean, however, that you should be aware of how that color affects the feel of the room. Color is great, but a little black dress never goes out of style, and both Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn embodied that idea. The trick is finding a color palette that is your home’s little black dress.

From there, you can find new ways to add simplicity and sophistication into your home, whether that’s by making a few small adjustments, like Audrey Hepburn, or taking one thing away, like Coco Chanel.

 

Charlene Jimenez

How to Open Up a Small Bedroom


by Chris S 27 Jun 2013

Your bedroom is supposed to be the place where you can shut the door and escape to your own private refuge, but if you’re dealing with a small space, it can be difficult to fully relax and breathe deep. Not all houses come equipped with grand master bedrooms, but don’t lose hope just yet; there are many tricks and resources you can utilize that will help open up your bedroom and allow it to transform into the safe haven it’s meant to be.

Bring in the Light

A small room with poor lighting is bound to feel like a closed-in cave, so be generous with the light you’re utilizing. If you have a window, avoid covering it with dark curtains or shades, but instead, consider investing in a decorative set of blinds. Wooden blinds add a sophisticated touch, but unlike curtains, they allow you to have complete control over the amount of light you’re bringing in. Natural light creates a fresh and open feeling in any room, so try and maximize any sunlight that’s available.

For evening hours and cloudy days, you can still have access to natural looking lighting by replacing a few of your incandescent bulbs with halogen bulbs (they produce the most sun-like glow). The right set-up of lamps, sconces, or chandeliers can make a room appear much larger than it really is. The trick is to make sure the room is evenly lit to avoid dark shadows from occupying certain corners of the room.

Stick to Light Colors

If your room is already small, a dark color scheme will add to the claustrophobic experience, so stick to light, airy colors. Pastels work great in helping a room feel more expansive, so find a combination of lighter shades of greens, creams, blues, or purples that you like and keep those in mind when you pick out paints, linens, furniture, and décor.

Organize and Decorate Vertically

Decorating vertically allows a room to appear to have more depth, so always try and decorate from top to bottom instead of side to side. A tall, vertical mirror is a great choice to place in a small room because it will help reflect any light which creates an illusion of a bigger space.

Vertical tapestries, paintings, and family portraits are other options that that will help add a comfortable touch to your personal space, but it’s imperative to avoid adding too many ornaments to your room as this will create a congested feel that will defeat the purpose of your original intention.

Minimize to Open

A small room packed full of furniture, decorations, and clutter is going to appear even tinier than it already is, so take a minimalist’s approach to your bedroom. As mentioned before, decorate sparingly, but also reduce the amount of furniture you’re bringing it; try only allow room for your bed, a vertical bookshelf, a nightstand, a dresser(if that can’t fit in your closet), and if it’s absolutely needed, a chair for reading or lounging. If you have a TV, consider trying to hang it up on your wall so that you can avoid a TV stand in the middle of the room. Lastly, never let your room get too cluttered with dirty laundry, dishes, or any other odds and ends that easily find their way onto the floor. A clean and tidy space always appears larger than one that’s unorganized and messy.

Just because you happen to have a small bedroom to work with doesn’t mean it can’t be a space for you to feel free, open, and more importantly, relaxed. By using some lighting and color tricks, as well as keeping up with a minimalistic and vertical approach to decorating, you’ll have no problem turning your bedroom into a larger and more comfortable paradise where you can unwind and de-stress.

Ross Donald is a freelance writer and home design enthusiast. When he’s not looking for new ways to rearrange his home, he writes about lighting fixtures and design theories.

Brand Name Window Blinds for your Home


by AL__-S 28 May 2013

Window coverings are purchased less often than a new car. When buying a new car you normally start with the brand. If you want a new Cadillac, you don’t go to a Chevrolet dealer. We all have some perception of what each car brand stands for. Window coverings have brands as well. But really, who knows what each brand stands for. I’m a 34-year-old man and I shopped for window coverings for the first time in my life just last week. What an eye-opening experience.

Brand Name Window Coverings

I’m not as savvy as a teenager when it comes to computers, but I know how to shop online. So to the home office went I, in search of the right window coverings for my new house. I found certain brands that I was familiar with like Levolor, but discovered that just like cars, these window blinds brands do not address all types of window coverings.

I cruised through several sites that sold national brands as well as their own brand. In most cases, their own brand was just a generic version with less features than the national brands that they also carried. All in all, those sites confused me more than anything.

I did visit one site, SelectBlinds.com, that carried only their own brand. At first I hesitated to dig deeply into their offerings because I never heard of SelectBlinds. There were a couple things about their website that brought me back a second time and then a third. First of all, they claim to be the most reviewed, highest rated brand on the Internet. Do a Google search for window blinds or window shades and you’ll see that the claim is true. They have more reviews than all of their competitors combined. So just for kicks I started putting together an order. Much to my surprise, they fulfilled every window covering need that I had.

 

Real Basswood wood blinds went into my home office. A faux wood blind covered a window in my garage. Honeycomb shades in a blackout fabric went into my bedroom. I’m a single guy now, but I was married, and have a little girl. So obviously I have a bedroom for her, and I found a Disney window shade for her room. Every single window covering that I ordered was comparable or better than any national brand, including Hunter Douglas, that I could find on any other site.

I was still not sure that I was going to buy from SelectBlinds, and had a couple questions regarding inside mount versus outside mount. So I called their customer care department. They answered the phone, they were courteous, they knew their stuff, and helped with the last couple of issues I was unclear on.

Buying blinds is not a fast endeavor. I had spent approximately 2 hours measuring, ordering, on the phone with customer service, and creating an account. So I figured what the heck, put in my Amex number, and placed my order.

All of the blinds showed up within two or three days of each other, and I hung them myself. All in all it was a really satisfying experience. In my opinion SelectBlinds.com is the number one brand of window coverings on the Internet. Come to my house and you’ll see why.

Create a Statement with Your Blinds this Spring


by Chris S 2 May 2013

 

Spring has well and truly sprung, inspiring homeowners everywhere to get the home improvement projects they’ve been putting off all winter underway. It’s not just the major DIY projects that get your attention though; refining the finishing touches in your home with the biggest interior design trends of the season is the key to creating rooms that are truly show-stopping. Upgrading your blinds should be a part of everyone’s home improvement program, transforming your home with the best dressed windows in town.

Take advantage of some the hottest looks in blind design by following these essential trend tips and create a look that is as fresh as spring itself...

A Splash of Color

Any neutral room can be enhanced with bright blinds and spring really gives homeowners the opportunity to experiment with colors. Embrace citrus colors this season with modern block color and print blinds in yellow and orange. These citrus colored blinds complete a truly modern look in kitchens that are painted white with dark wood fixtures and fittings.

Bright red and fuchsia pinks are also a great look to channel during the warmer seasons and again brighten neutrally decorated rooms.

Green with Envy

Green blinds also create a style statement this spring/summer and you’ll see many shades in store from emerald to muted jade greens. Whether a Venetian, roller or roman shades, green blinds just scream spring as well as creating a fresh look that will look great all year round.

Pastel Makes Perfect

Pastel colored blinds are also a favorite on the interior design scene and this spring is no different. Pastel colors like fondant pink, baby blue and lemon yellow all add a touch of retro to interiors. If you already have pastel accents decorating your rooms, why not work on the texture of your blinds instead to create an interesting feature that won’t appear ‘over the top’. As well as looking great, casual linen blinds provide welcome shade during the summer month whilst allowing some light though to create an airy room that makes the most of all the natural light the season has to offer.

Flower Power

Nothing says spring like a touch of flower power! Floral patterned roller blinds add a colorful and vibrant touch to any room and installing flower print blinds can be the perfect way of bringing the outdoors in during this beautiful season. Allow your home interior to blossom with floral blinds in any color. Leaf prints will also be popular this season and is a discreet way of adding a touch of spring to your home, providing a lasting look that won’t appear out of place come winter. Why not combine a leaf print with the hottest color for spring 2013? Luscious leaf prints in green allow you to channel two trends to create the ultimate seasonal style statement.

Author: Brittany Moodie writing on behalf of home and garden improvement specialists, LocalTraders. As well as providing essential advice to help with your property upgrades, LocalTraders provides a directory where homeowners can connect with reliable, qualified tradespeople that are local to them.

Decor Advice To Create A Fresh New Look


by Chris S 15 Apr 2013

If you are planning to overhaul your home decor, update or entirely change the look and feel of your home there are many ways to approach a redesign. The good news is that with some creativity and resourcefulness you can redecorate your own space at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. If you are ready to tackle updating your home, we've got a few tips to help get you started.

Two Tone Your Look

For a professional look, design your room or space around two focal colors and not one. What you want to do is start with a color you simply love as the main or anchor hue of the room. The dominant color should be your favorite as it is the one you will use repeatedly in theme and for most people, it will be the color you choose the paint the walls as well.

The second color you choose should be complimentary but does not necessarily have to be within the same spectrum as your base color. For example, choose a chocolate brown and accentuate with a lively teal color. If you are looking to create a more neutral look, choose complimenting beige or butter color.

Whether aiming for high contrast or a soothing neutral effect, choose two quality colors that incorporate the accent shade with your accessories. Toss pillows and blankets, artwork, rugs and decorative elements can share one or both colors for a cohesive professional effect.

Reuse and Repurpose

Do you know that the three R's of decor are reuse, re-purpose and redecorate? It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg to create a new look in your home. This is where your imagination and some creative license comes in. While it's fun to shop for new accessories (and you'll always find new things to add to your space as you go) a lot can be done by simply using what you have in a new way to accentuate your design scheme.

Start by looking at pieces currently in your home. Can something be repainted or recovered with a fresh new fabric? Old tables can be quickly re purposed with a coat of paint and some new accessories. Occasional chairs can be repainted and easily recovered to create new seating areas. Get rid of that tired coffee table and replace it with an ottoman and tray instead. Create a little vignette in a corner with a deco lamp and a great table.

No room for a new sofa in your budget? Explore a new slip cover. It's an affordable way to update your sofa and choose a fabric that perfectly matches your new design scheme. Another benefit of using the slip cover is that it can be easily removed for cleaning and most slip covers are stain resistant, machine washable making them a family friendly choice for homes with children and pets.

Interior Doors

Did you know that the door or entrance way is the most overlooked part of the home when it comes to redesign? How many times have you seen a great room with amazing style that falls short at the door? There is a misconception that replacing wood interior doors is expensive, but there are so many manufacturers creating affordable options for any price point that you are sure to find something you love within your decorating budget.

One of the newest design trends leans toward contemporary or deco doors in a variety of fashionable finishes and wood grains. A designer door at an everyday price not only fits with your budget but can completely transform a space. Contemporary door styles are anything but boring, and manufacturers are putting a lot of work into making the wood interior door a more important design element and key architectural feature.

Rearrange Everything

Without adding anything at all or spending a dime, you can update your decor and make your space more interesting simply by moving furniture around. Break your traditional design conventions and create unique seating opportunities and rearrange elements inside your room to create a new look. Not sure about a layout or where to begin? Start by surfing interior design websites. They are a great resource for ideas that you may not have thought of and innovative ways of arranging both furniture and accessories.

Design Swap

Yard sales are a great way to get rid of things that you no longer want. If you have a number of accessories or furnishings that you are simply tired of looking at, why not host a design swap at your house? Have a party and invite friends to bring over 1-5 items that they want to trade. Since everyone's taste is different, you'll be able to trade off your good condition accessories for interesting things that you would have probably never chosen. Another great way to update and get a fresh new look.

For more information on decorating your decor on a dime, check out this article from Apartment Therapy for great ideas and inspiration.

Author Bio
Paul Nach works at 27estore.com, a company focused on offering quality home remodeling products like wood interior doors. In his free time and whenever snow is on the slopes, Paul likes to snowboard - going to the beach is also an alternative :)

5 Ways to put Some Spring in Your Home!


by Chris S 22 Mar 2013

Step outside and smell the orange blossoms in the air, or see a butterfly landing on a budding flower and feel the warmth of the sun shining in that bright blue sky. Spring is here and now is the time to bring that happy feeling indoors! Here are 5 simple ways to welcome spring, without breaking the bank:

1. Add some color to your walls.

(photo credit)

It doesn't have to be to bold or crazy. It could be a honey yellow or a sky blue. If you're renting you can buy or reuse some material leftover from your favorite skirt and frame it. Or use scrapbook paper. If you're anything like me there is plenty of scrapbook paper to go around!:) Here's an example

2. Floral flair.

Change up your throw pillows. Use a zippered throw pillow cover then you can always switch it up and change with the season and your style. I love a good floral print pillow! It will brighten up your sofa and be an inviting place for company to sit and visit or to just rest your head on!

3. Window treatments.

 

This one is huge for me. Window treatments change the whole atmosphere of a room! I love white window treatments next to a beautiful accent wall. It's nice to be able to have natural light during the day but also nice to be able to have some privacy at night. Shutters are perfect for this, they look custom and have a timeless style!

4. Natural accessories.

(photo credit)

Literally bring the outdoors in! Pull that dusty glass vase out and go pick some fresh flowers or fruit. Lemons and limes look beautiful as well! Bring the spring fragrant of flowers and orange blossoms indoors. Flowers will make the room smell so good and bring a smile to your face.:)

5. First thing you see . . . the front door.

Brighten up your front door with a colorful wreath. It's one of the first things people see, so make a good first impression!:) A wreath out of fresh spring flowers is a beautiful way to celebrate and welcome spring!

Rustic Modern Dining Table Project


by Lisa Hs 18 Mar 2013

By day, internet marketing nerd, by night, furniture designer and re-finisher. Like most moms, I am a woman that wears many hats and it can be hard to fit in hobbies that I like between shopping trips, school track meets, gymnastics, and a full time marketing job. But, on my last visit to the boonies, (aka, my in-laws neck of the woods - Northern Arizona), I was finally able to realize a furniture design idea I had been thinking about for years. I have wanted a new dining room table for a long time. The one we have was old, and my design aesthetic has moved towards the modern side since then. I wanted to create my own modern/rustic dining room table using Juniper wood. With the help of my Father in law, we were able to chop down an old Juniper tree, and create my table masterpiece. It all began with an old tree.

My Father in law happens to own his own lumber mill, so I wouldn't exactly call this a do it yourself job, but a cool project anyway. With his help we were able to transport the tree to his mill, where we milled it into several 6 inch thick slabs.

We cut the rough edges off all slabs except the ones facing the outside, then with the help of some serious wood glue and heavy duty clamps we were able to seamlessly glue 3 slabs together. The joints had to be reinforced underneath the table top with screws and metal slats. Then we had to move the 300+lbs table top into a truck and back to our home, 3 hours away.

When I got it home.. the fun part began! I pulled out my belt sander and started sanding away. I learned a cool trick for covering the cracks between the slabs and making it look like one solid chunk of wood. You take some Elmer's wood glue, and mix it with some sawdust from the sanding process. Then fill in the cracks with the mixture. Sand it down, and it is a perfect color match for your table - SEAMLESS!

We went online and found some cool stainless steel legs from a restaurant supply company. Here is a picture of the finished project:

I am so happy with the way it turned out. What do you think?

Why Updating Mom's Decor is Like Going to the Dentist


by Lisa Hs 12 Mar 2013

Ever had to do something painful, that you did not want to do? In fact, something that you did not want to do so much, that it seemed easier or more appealing to bear excruciating pain rather than suffer through dealing with it? You know.. kind of like going to the dentist when you were a kid... or an adult. My husband had to go to the dentist 5 years ago because he had a painful cavity. He was so scared of the dentist, he spent months doing research on the internet looking for a dentist that would completely knock him out so he did not have to be awake at all during the visit. Well, I had a similar scary experience last month, when I had to tell my mother that it was time to update her home decor.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get through the experience unconscious, like my husband's dentist visit. So, what does my mom's decor have to do with going to the dentist? Stay with me here people. 

Reason #1:  Both are scary. When I was a kid, I thought the dentist was a scary stranger that wanted to hurt me, and I was not far from the truth. But, last month I had to bite the bullet and tell my mother that her decor choices were hideous, and needed to be updated if she ever wanted to sell her home. Talk about scary! I knew she was proud of her stylish home, and anticipated some issues. And, needless to say, my little talk did not go well. My gentle nudging towards a decor re-design was taken like I shot her in the face. I am pretty sure I saw steam coming out of her ears.

Reason #2:  Dental work makes me want to gag, and so does my mom's decor.  There is nothing that my mother would rather do than brag about the retro Kermit-green lava lamp she purchased when I was little, or the luxuriousness of her wall to wall, rust-red, shag carpet.

 CHRISTMAS 1976: A SUNNY DAY AROUND THE TREE...

(Photo credit: roberthuffstutter)

But, she needs to sell her house and downsize.  I am certain that potential buyers walking through her home as it is now would have to fight back their gag reflex and focus on the potential of the home with better decor.

Reason #3:  Going to the dentist office and pushing my mom to update her decor are uncomfortable and painful experiences, but have to be done.  As painful as it was, I told mom it was time for a decor update. I swallowed the painful jabs at my taste level and the rising volume of her defensive replies, and simply told her that her current decor needed to be toned down to allow buyers to imagine themselves and their stuff in her home. I held her hand as she picked out and ordered neutral toned carpet, picked out modern area rugs, and packed up all her "stylish" decor accessories.  With some additional paint, cleaning, and organization, her house was ready to sell 3 weeks later.

Reason #4:  Both involve a lot of smiling. Taking pain with a smile on your face can be hard, but I love my mom, and I really was just trying to help her. So, I put up with her angry reactions and passive aggressive comments with a forced smile on my face, until we had gotten the job done.  This is my mom, and I decided to put away my pride a bit in order to make sure that I could still count on her friendship and Sunday dinners at home.

Having said all of that, after my experience last month, I think that if I had the choice again, I would choose going to the dentist instead, if it would get me out of mom's home decor update. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the way things turned out in the end. Mom is happy now, we are still friends and she has just accepted an offer on her house.  But, if I ever find myself in that situation again, Dad will be the one stepping up to the plate.

The Interior Design Alphabet - 26 Project Ideas


by Chris S 8 Mar 2013

Interior design is a little like marmite; you either love it or hate it! If you are a lover then this post is most definitely for you as it runs through 26 different projects or interior design features that could be introduced in your home, following the lovely letters of the alphabet of course! So, prepare yourself for a few great ideas and the odd questionable use of a letter to make it fit with the theme; it’s not that easy you know!

A is for Accessories

Accessories are often the finishing touches to a room, but have to be the first on this particular list! Consider accessories that will compliment your overall design choice, and be sure to read on as there will be a few that pop up further down this list!

B is for Bathrooms

As one of the most used rooms, your bathroom needs to work for you and your family. For those with busy lifestyles, consider removing the bath and replacing with a stylish shower unit to make washing as time efficient as possible.

C is for Chairs

If your dining room chairs are looking a little worse for wear, try replacing the fabric on the seat and painting them in a new color to give them a fresh, improved look.

D is for Dreaming

Your bedroom should be a space that encourages relaxation and good dreams, so incorporate soft lighting to relax you as soon as you walk into the room after a busy and stressful day at work.

E is for Extravagant

There is nothing wrong with going for something a little out of the ordinary, so for an extravagant interior design, consider the use of bright, bold colors and unexpected design features such as fish tanks in walls and large chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.

F is for Fancy

On the flip side to extravagant is fancy, so for a high end finish, prepare yourself to pay a little more initially. A great way to achieve a really fancy finish is to invest in some designer wallpaper that can create a stunning focal point when introduced onto just one wall in your lounge.

G is for Green

Being environmentally friendly is very important in today’s society, so go for energy saving light bulbs, energy efficient window coverings or double glazing to achieve this and save money in the long run.

H is for Hearts

Hearts are very popular interior design accessories at present and can effectively express the love that you have for your newly designed home.

I is for Intrigue

Everyone needs a little intrigue in their life, and while you might not initially think it, this can be achieved through your interior design. Going for something a little different in terms of color and/or features will soon have visitors intrigued and asking questions about your thought processes!

J is for Jacks

Since the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics, Brits have been proud to be British, which has been reflected in the rise in popularity of Union Jack accessories. From cushions to quilt covers, the Union Jack theme can be introduced in many areas of the home.

K is for Kitchens

A kitchen can be improved through small projects such as replacing door handles and painting units or through more elaborate projects such as the introduction of a center island or the purchase of brand new equipment.

L is for Love

In order to get the home you want and can be proud of, you will need to show it a lot of love and commitment during the improvement process.

M is for Mirrors

Mirrors are always a popular design choice and are a great way of making a small room look considerably larger than it actually is.

N is for Nautical

The nautical theme can work particularly well in bathrooms, and can be reflected through the simple introduction of shells and related imagery around the room.

O is for Outdoors

The outdoors can be brought in through the use of pot plants and flowers around the home, in addition to introducing large windows or patio doors that open straight out onto your garden to create a smooth flow between your outside space and your home.

P is for Paint

Quite an obvious choice for this letter of the alphabet, however a fresh lick of paint can do wonders for a room and is a project that the whole family can get involved in!

Q is for Quilt Covers

For a quick, easy and cheap way of changing the look of your bedroom, head out and buy a new quilt cover. There are hundreds of different designs available, so consider what you want to achieve in terms of appearance and buy a new quilt cover accordingly.

R is for Relaxation

We should all be able to relax in our own homes, so consider introducing features that encourage this such as large bean bags or go one step further and create a room designed specifically for relaxation with mood lighting and comfy seating.

S is for Sofa

A new sofa can instantly improve a lounge and also provide you with a comfy space to relax in front of the TV of an evening.

T is for Tiling

If the tiles in your bathroom and kitchen are stained and the grout discoloured, re-tiling is one short yet highly effective improvement project you can complete over the course of a weekend.

U is for Unity

Try to create good unity between the rooms of your home, making sure the interior design flows well from one room into another. This can be achieved by incorporating aspects of the design in one room into small parts of another.

V is for Versatility

This really refers to furniture as there are many items of furniture that can serve dual purposes, making for a great addition should space be limited. One example of this could be a bed with storage units underneath that avoid the need for a chest of drawers in a small bedroom.

W is for Windows

Your windows can be seen from both the inside and out, so consider decorative patterns in the glass and of course go for double glazing to save money on those ever rising energy bills. 

X is for X-tra seats

A questionable use of the letter X however extra seating in a room can always be advantageous, particularly if you entertain guests on a regular basis.

Y is for Yellow

If you want to create a bright, airy, feel good home, the use of yellow can be very effective. While in the depths of winter, yellow can have you looking forward to the brighter spring and summer months to come.

Z is for Zesty

A very tenuous link to your sense of smell, however there are many air fresheners and candles that can lead to beautiful aromas, including those that are zesty, resonating around your home. There you go, 26 different interior design projects and ideas, both large and small, that you can work your way through and are sure to have a positive impact on your home once completed. Enjoy!

This post was written by Oliver Kyle for Timber Flooring Wharehouse; retailers of all the products you are likely to need to make a positive interior design difference to your bathroom.

Making A Small Room Bigger


by Chris S 22 Feb 2013

Declutter your living room

Successful interior design can stem from a few different actions; you can focus on light, upgrade your furniture or re-paint the walls. But whatever your course, the aim is the same; to make your living spaces feel more comfortable.

By using clever décor, functional furniture and sensible design, you can make any room feel more spacious. So even if you live in a tiny apartment, don’t despair, just follow these tips!

Step 1 – Lose The Clutter

The more stuff there is in your house, the less room you have, simple really. But that’s not the biggest problem; clutter takes up visual space and makes you feel like you have less space (even when the cluttered area is one you never use).

You can start by having a really good clear out. Anything you find cluttering-up the house, consider whether you really need to keep it. Have a good sort through all of your junk draws and throw away anything that doesn’t get used.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • How many hand-towels & table cloths do you really need?
  • Are there any clothes you haven’t worn for months?
  • Which kitchen items do you have more than one of?

You can also help to reduce clutter by sabotaging yourself. Look out for any items of furniture that are used as dumping grounds for clutter – and if possible, move them so that you can’t dump your clutter on them!

Step 2: Rearrange The Furniture

Having too much furniture takes up floor space and blocks lines of sight. Again, even taking-up otherwise unused space will make a room feel much smaller, so reducing the amount of furniture you own is a good idea.

Hopefully, a good de-clutter will empty a few items of furniture. Try to consolidate your stuff into your favorite items of furniture and get rid of any items that you are able to empty completely.

Switching items of furniture for more functional equivalents is also a good idea:

  • Get a sofa or couch with storage under it
  • Swap your spare bed for a fold-away sofa bed
  • Get a wall-mounted TV stand and ditch the TV cabinet
  • Get a kindle and lose the bookshelf

You can go as far as you like really. It may seem hard at the time, but the space you free up will make you feel less stressed.

Step 3: Lighting Tips

Once you have freed up more space in your living room, you will find that the room feels lighter. But you can go a step further and get even more light into the room.

One way to make a room feel lighter is to replace heavy curtains with lighter ones. Make-sure that your curtain rails are long-enough that your curtains don’t cover the windows when fully drawn. Blinds are also a good way to let in more light, since they take-up less room than curtains.

Next, consider investing in a large mirror to hang on the wall. Figure out where the sun is during the day and which direction it comes through the window. Try to hang the mirror so that it catches that sunlight and reflects it into the room.

(If possible, use a mirror to reflect ambient light toward the sofa or seating areas)

 

Step 4: Redecorating Tips

Finally, if you want to really open up your living room, consider re-painting it! This takes a lot more effort, but you can completely re-invigorate a room with a fresh lick of paint.

Evolutionary thinking suggests that a room should mimic nature. The easiest way to achieve this is by increasing the brightness of a room from floor to ceiling.

  • Dark carpets or hardwood flooring will make the room feel warm
  • Lighter, pastel-colored walls will make a room feel safe & inviting
  • Bright white/sky-blue ceilings will give a feeling of increased head-room

This post was written by Rick, a minimalist who likes makes the most of the space he has. Rick writes for sofasofa.co.uk; learn all about their range of sofas here.

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