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 admin 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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