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Top Point in a Room

images-31A room will feel much more inviting and offer a more comfortable place to rest if you arrange the furniture or accessories around a focal point. Sometimes a focal point is an architectural feature. At other times, a focal point can be a special picture, mirror, or dramatic piece of furniture. Learn how to find a focal point in your room and how to make the most of it.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Varies

Here’s How:

  1. Look around your room to determine the ‘biggest’ feature. It may be a fireplace, a picture window, or a built-in bookcase. This will generally be your focal point.
  2. If your room has no distinguishing architectural features, identify the largest furniture pieces. These could become your focal point.
  3. A focal point should be something interesting to look at, something colorful or texturally and visually appealing.
  4. You can create a focal point for the room, by focusing on artwork, floral arrangements, paint color, or shelving.

 

    1. an outdoor view is the focal point, orient the furniture inside and outside to take advantage of window areas.
    2. You can create a focal point wall by painting one wall a different color from the rest and accessorizing with a wall arrangement, artwork, or display shelves.
    3. Use lighting to enhance your focal point. For example, use a picture light, track light, or wall washer fixture on a painting or wall display.
    4. If you’ve identified a mantle or shelf as the focal point, use plants and accessories to decorate them.
    5. Use contrasting color to make the focal point stand out. For example, use a light wall color behind a dark wood armoire.The focal point should be the ‘first thing’ you see when entering a room. If possible, build your furniture arrangement around the focal point.

 

Tips:

    1. Focus on your room’s best qualities by choosing a focal point you enjoy.
    2. Decorate and ‘frame’ a focal point with plants, curtains, and art.
    3. Remember to try choosing the ‘first thing’ you see, or the biggest item for a focal point.

Favorite Decorating Style

images-30Do you have any idea about what decorating style you like? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer isn’t always so easy to come up with. Of all the things that we learn while going through so many years of school, what decorating style we’d like to see in our living room or what era of furniture would best complement the layout of our bedrooms usually isn’t one of them. Go figure.

Whether you’ve been to school for design or not, decorating is always a very personal process. That doesn’t change whether you’re doing it for yourself, working with a designer, or designing for someone else. When it’s your home, everything hinges on what you like and in the end only you can say whether the result is something that you’ll be happy living with. It’s always easy to tell whether or not you like something but sometimes it can be very difficult to say for sure what you like or why. That’s one of the reasons why designers emphasize an understanding of different styles when approaching a project.

It’s not that these are hard and fast categories that you have to fit into, but if you can identify the one or two that most strike your fancy, you’ll have a great starting point for filling in the rest of your look. Here’s a short guide from About.com that will steer you to some of the best quizzes and resources to help you determine your favorite decorating style.

Connect to the links here and answer some simple questions. Before you know it, you’ll get information on your decorating style, based on your answers. What could be easier? Use these sources as a guide to creating the interior that reflects your personality.

Then you can really call your house or apartment a home!

  • Better Homes and Gardens has a simple color quiz using attitudes about color to help zero in on your decorating style. You won’t have to wait for results, and you’ll get information about what the answers say about you.
  • Take a Home Decorating Quiz from Houzz to get style hints as you decide on the style that you like best.
  • Check out more Decorating, Design, and Style Quizzes. They are a great way to help you define home furnishings you love so you can create your perfect home.
  • And if you’d like to go a little deeper with a bit more research, check out this list of the Best Design Books of 2016

Take the quizzes and print out any quiz results that best fit your style, and keep them in your decorating file for future reference!

Perfectly Placed Art

images-31If you’re not sure how high to hang art on your walls, these tips offer helpful ideas and designer secrets for getting the best look when hanging artwork.

You may have heard that you should hang artwork so the center of the picture is at eye level.

Right away you may be confused, especially if you’re 5 feet tall and others in the house are over 6 feet tall. Also, does this eye level rule apply to all sizes of art or just large sizes?

What about a grouping of several pieces of framed art? What if you are hanging a painting over a sofa – should it be hung at the same level as when the picture is used in a hallway?

Ok, so here’s the deal. Approximately 60 to 65 inches from the floor to the center of the art is a place to start. It may be the perfect place to hang your particular piece of artwork, or it could look terrible.

How do you know?

Begin to think of the artwork you are hanging as it relates to everything around it. Whether you hang a framed picture over a sofa, on a stairway wall, or in the hall, each of these spaces will have elements to consider.

Here are more tips on hanging art in your home:

  1. Will you mainly be standing in the room (as in an entryway or hallway)? If so, it may make sense to hang artwork a bit higher than the 60-65 inch center starting point –especially if the ceiling is tall.
  2. In a room where you generally sit down (a dining room, family room, or office), hang pictures a bit lower, so they can be enjoyed at a lower viewing angle. Sit in a chair and have someone hold the picture against the wall, moving it up and down so you can evaluate the look.
  1. Do you need to relate artwork to the furniture below it? Absolutely! A large framed piece over a sofa or sideboard relates more easily when hung so the bottom of the frame is positioned 6 to 12 inches above the top of the sofa back or tabletop. This won’t work, however, if your artwork is very small. In that case, consider hanging the piece in a group of other objects such as plates, mirrors, or decorative items.

 

Great Color to a Living Room

When it comes to home decorating, not everyone has either the time or the money to do a whole makeover in their living room. But don’t fret! You don’t have to spend a lot of either to get a nice change and pick-up to the look of your room. Read here for our 10 favorite ways to add color to your living room and liven up the décor of your home.

1.  Paint One Wall

You will find that you can add a real punch of color by painting just one wall of your living room. This will really change the focal point of the living room without getting into a major decorating project. If your room has a niche, that’s the perfect choice for extra color. You can choose a bold, contrasting color picked from a floral fabric, or a subtle tone darker than the tone of the other walls. Any change in color will add interest and splash!

2.  Throw a Few Pillows Around

Nothing adds color like pillows strategically placed on furniture. Whether you choose solids for a floral sofa or chair, or colorful, patterned pillows for a solid color chair or sofa, these simple additions will add comfort and just the right splash of color.
3.  Add a Bit of Mother Nature (even if it means trying to fool her!)
Green plants or flowering ones add color, fragrance, personality, and just good feelings to the living room. If you really don’t have a green thumb, ask your nursery or home center to recommend ones that require little or no care. If you’re gone from home a lot, settle for some of the wonderful artificial ones on the market now. You can find great looking plants, foliage, and flowers that only need to be dusted.
4.  Add a Whimsical Lamp
Even if you have a traditional classic living room, you can add a point of interest by selecting a lamp or shade that is colorful or whimsical. How about using an interesting pot or sculpture? You can have the electrical components installed for a reasonable price at a lamp shop. Then select a shade that’s an interesting shape, and glue trim of fringe, beads, or ribbon around the top and bottom to add color.
5.  Put Some Color on the Floor
A colorful throw rug, strategically placed in front of a chair or under a coffee table can add color and texture to a living room. It can be put on top of hardwood flooring, painted floors, or carpet. You can choose a contrast color, chosen from fabric you’re using in the room, or look for one with an interesting pattern that ties into the theme of your room.

Kitchen Upgrades Tips

My guess is you spend a considerable amount of time in or around your kitchen on a daily basis. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning or rearranging, it’s a room that requires your attention. Your kitchen is so powerful it can even change your mood. For example, if it’s too dark, messy or loud for your taste, it may upset you.

It’s also a space that gets boring to look at if you’re in or around your kitchen often. If you’ve had the urge to upgrade, personalize or modernize it, you’re not alone. See 11 creative kitchen upgrades that’ll have you falling back in love with the most essential room in your home.

1. Bring On The Charm

You may be more inclined to pay attention to the details and personal touches in your bedroom or living room, but they matter in your kitchen too. There are so many great décor pieces out there and DIY projects for you to get lost in. Large display letters, hanging plants, fresh flowers, homemade storage and chalkboards are a few ideas that’ll add instant charm and style to your kitchen. A perfect example of a charming kitchen is represented in the breakfast nook image above, which mixes stripes, plants, red accents and an antique chandelier.

2. Create A Colorful Cookbook Display

It’s easy to get caught up collecting cookbooks filled with unique and tasty recipes. The more you have, the harder it is to find space to store them. Install vertical open shelving cabinets and paint the shelves a fun color, then strategically place and display your favorite cookbooks for all to see. Doing this will upgrade your cookbooks from dusty cabinet fillers to trendy décor in no time. Another option is to sneak in cookbook shelf space on the exposed end of a cabinet or island.

3. Fasten Tailored Slipcovers

Before you head out and purchase brand new kitchen chairs or stools, ask yourself if a simple slipcover could solve your problem. Interior decorators advise to save your money and skip the fancy upholstery and instead, choose fitted slipcovers for your kitchen chairs. They’re easy to wash, practical and an inexpensive solution in a potentially messy, high-traffic area. Slipcovered kitchen or bar stools will add class and character to a dull space. They come in all sorts of patterns and colors too!

Great Accessories For Your Home

Once you have the shell of your room just the way you want it, it’s time to think about what finishing touches you’ll add. You have painted the walls, put up the window treatments, moved the furniture around, and cleaned up the mess. But why doesn’t the room look finished even though you think that the job of redecorating your room is done.

It just doesn’t look finished! What to do? Read on.

Once you have the shell of your room just the way you want it, you’re not done with the job.

There are lots of finishing touches that you can add to make the room look finished and welcoming. Some decorators feel that decorating a room or home should always be a work in progress.

Whether it takes a week, a month, or a whole lifetime, finding just the right finishing touches for a room is really the fun part of decorating.

You’ll be adding the jewelry to the room, the personality that makes the room reflect who you are, what your interests are, and where you’ve been.

Get some ideas from our list of finishing touches for decorating a room. Remember, you may never be finished, but you’ll have fun along the way.

  • Plants and Flowers
    It’s amazing what a quick transformation can be made with fresh plants and flowers. You don’t need to find something dramatic and expensive. A simple plant potted in a decorative pot set on a coffee table, bookshelf, on top of a cabinet, almost anywhere, adds life and color instantly. Be sure to keep fresh plants shiny and dusted. You might even want to have two plants for each location, one for display, one “on the mend.” If a plant gets scraggly or droopy, get rid of it! You might nurse it back to health, but not in your living space! If you just don’t have time to tend plants or if your room is dark, find some new artificial plants. These work great for out-of-reach spaces. But be sure to keep them dusted and perky, too. 
  • Expand on a Theme
    Everyone has a special interest. Traveling, sports, pets, flowers, children, and even a favorite book or movie can all provide focus for a room and offer ideas for adding finishing touches. By choosing a theme for your room, you’ll know what to zero in on and be able to select accessories, art, and colors to expand and enrich the theme. 

Small Room Look Bigger

Lots of people live in a small home, a small room, or just a small space. Some people live in a small apartment because that’s all they can afford, and they’re grateful for it.

Some people live in a small apartment or home because they’re tired of taking care of a larger place and want to “downsize.”

Others just don’t want a large home. Small is beautiful! And easy, and practical, too!

But no matter what your reason for living in a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get really organized, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.

If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate space, you’re in luck. By using soft, snuggly upholstered pieces, dark, warm tones, and dramatic lighting, your tiny corner can become a wonderful private space.

But if you really feel the need to stretch out in your small space, you can make some decorating changes to make the area look and feel larger without moving any walls!

  • Clear Out the ClutterThere’s nothing that makes a small space feel cramped more than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get collections out of view, organized behind doors, table skirts, or on shelves. With things neatly arranged and out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open.

     

  • Open the WayWith furniture and accessories blocking the view into a room and out to open spaces, a room will look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you’ll open up the space and make it feel larger. You can also choose short pieces of furniture like an ottoman, an armless, open chair, or a low table, and place large, tall pieces along a wall rather than out in the open space. If you can see the floor, the room will look larger.

     

  • Chooser Soft, Light HuesWhereas dark, warm colors make a space feel cozy and intimate, light, cool colors make a space feel open and airy. For optimum effect, select soft tones of blues and greens.

     

  • Use a Monochromatic Color Scheme

    Choose colors that are in the same color family and use tone-on-tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes, delicate tonal drapery fabrics. Cool colors and delicate warm colors on most surfaces give the room a more open look

Home Decorating Project Tips

The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time.

If you’ve never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don’t know how or where to start. If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started.

There’s very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first.

Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because paint is available in an almost infinite varity of colors, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified.

But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love?

Have you chosen an elegant wallpaper or luxurious fabric that you want to use?

You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you start with a plan, an inspiration piece, and a color sheme.

Find your sources of inspiration and work your way through your decorating project. You’ll be happy you spent the time to plan.

  • Put a Plan on Paper
    As with any business plan, you should draw up a written statement for your project. Identify your style and then select a color scheme around your theme. Will you choose a garden style or a sleek contemporary decorating scheme? Put it in writing and stick to it.
  • What’s Your Style?
    Do you like formal or casual? Do you love French Country style or do you long to live in a cottage style home? Spend some time to identify the style elements you love, and make plans to bring them into your space.
  • Start With What You Have
    Not everyone (in fact, very few people) can start with a fresh, empty room and begin decorating. Most of us already have some pieces of furniture or the home has carpeting, tile floors or countertops, or architectural features that you’re not ready to discard. If there are things you like, focus on them and make them important. If there are things you don’t like but cannot change, find ways to camouflage or downplay them in your newly decorated space.

How to Avoid Decorating Mistakes

By combining personal taste, unlimited resources, and individual style, you can achieve an interesting decorating look for almost any room. But there are some things you should just never do.

We’ve put together a list of the top things you should never do when decorating a room, whether it’s in a casual decor, a traditional setting, or in a child’s room. Are you guilty?

  • Choose Furniture That Doesn’t Fit
    You wouldn’t wear clothes in a size that’s baggy or skin tight, so why would you choose furniture that doesn’t fit in your room? Before you shop for furniture, whether you’re buying new or at a garage sale, measure your space, think about where you’re going to put the piece, and write down notes. Resist the temptation to buy a too-big sofa, thinking you can put it on an angle if it doesn’t fit. Write down the measurements an stick to it.It’s just as bad to buy pieces that are too small, thinking you can add more pieces to fill the space. Plan out your arrangement, think it over, and then find the pieces that are just right.
  • Use Too Many Patterns and Prints
    Don’t pick up just any fabric or piece of furniture you like, thinking you can work around it. Plan your color scheme, select a main pattern, then find coordinating stripes, small prints, and plaids that enhance your choice.

    Follow the Rule of 3: Select one main pattern, usually a large print. Then find one small, coordinating print and one stripe or plaid. Then call it quits. If you need another fabric, think about using a solid-colored texture or interesting weave instead of another pattern or print.

    • Float a Rug in the Middle of the Room
      The elements in a room should be connected, both visibly and physically. A rug on the floor adds color and a connecton between pieces of furniture. The rug should be tucked under the front legs of chairs, sofas, and tables.A rug placed in the middle of a room, unanchored, poses a safety hazard. It would be easy to trip on an edge or corner of the rug or slip and slide if the rug moves.
    • Push All the Furniture Up Against the Wall
      You may think that a room will look larger if the middle of the floor is open, without furniture. But the opposite is true. Unless you’re going to have a dancing party in the middle of your room, move the furniture into groupings in the center.Arrange a sofa with a table behind it, away from the wall with a walking space behind. Show off the back of the sofa and arrange decorative items and a lamp for reading behind it. Move chairs out of corners and you’ll have a more open, airy look in your room.
    • Put Out All Your Collectibles
      Whether you collect knick knacks from travels like ash trays or salt and pepper shakers or fine pieces of sculpture or one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass, you shouldn’t put everything out at one time.Do your best to select only the most important pieces, either in monetary or sentimental value, and get rid of the rest. If you can’t bear to throw the pieces away, put them away and rotate the items on display.

Bathroom Ideas

Small bathroom design has to be smart bathroom design, because there is possibly no other room that needs to function as well as a bathroom. After all, one isn’t required to cook or entertain, but one certainly needs to bathe!

There are certain rules to decorating a small bath, but in the right space, rules can be broken. May these inspirational small bathroom photos, along with decorating ideas and tips for small baths, help you create a bathroom that functions and looks as grand as a large one.

When I tour a home, I often hear, “Oh, we wanted a bathroom [over there, on this floor, off this bedroom, etc] but the area was just too small.” Never underestimate the power of a good floor plan. It may be to your advantage to hire a designer who knows how much space a person needs for legroom, door swing, etc, and can coordinate a fully functional bath to fit your space. Oftentimes, if you can get plumbing and wiring to it, you can fit a bath.

If you need further convincing, check out this beautiful but tiny under-the-stair bathroom featured on Home-Designing.

I know the rule – one should always stick with light colors in small spaces – but dark colors are where the drama is. The great thing about dark colors in bathrooms is that whitefixtures and/or light colored tile can provide a nice balance for darker walls, so oftentimes one can get away with a bolder color scheme.

This bathroom featured on Lowe’s came in on budget at less than $3000. That’s much lower than most bathroom remodels.

The contemporary pebble tile flooring and sophisticated color scheme is nicely balanced by a more traditional-style pedestal sink and lighting fixture.