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Posts Tagged ‘home decor’

Using a Mirror to Decorate

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Mirrors can do a lot more than serve as a beauty aid. Placed in the right corner or area of your house, they can become a cheap and original way to change the look and feel of a room. Here are some good ideas on how to use mirrors:

  • Place a mirror on top of a side table or coffee table and place a series of candles on top. The mirror will double the light and reflect it in unusual and fun ways, depending on what other lights you have on in the room.
  • Hang a large mirror on the wall of a small room to make it appear larger.
  • Hang a mirror next to window so the light from outside bounces on it and multiplies, making the room appear lighter and brighter. This is an ideal solution for rooms that are naturally dark or cave-like.
  • Make a collective display using small mirrors as both decoration and as a trick to increase room size. Choose several mirrors of the same format but different sizes or mix and vice versa. Making sure all mirrors have something in common (size, form, frame or frameless, etc.) will create a more uniform display. This works well on bathroom or dining room wall or on the wall next to a staircase.
  • Cover a plain wood tray with a mirror. You can use super glue or craft glue to secure it in place. You can then place the table on a dresser or a window ledge and use it to store perfumes, small knick knacks or jewelry.
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How to Inexpensively Increase the Value of Your Home

Monday, December 7th, 2009

While building a home addition or completely remodeling your home may be your ultimate dream, that may not be a practical option if you are on a tight budget or planning on selling and moving soon. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to increase the value of your home without putting too much time or money into the project. Some of the these changes will significantly increase the value of your home as well, so you’ll get more for your property once you’re ready to sell.

  • Make the most of your yard. No matter how small it is, there’s always space for a great lawn and at least a single lawn chair. If you can afford the space for flower beds, go ahead and build them around the edges. Otherwise, get a few large potted plants and group them in a couple of areas around the yard.
  • Repaint the rooms. Get rid of white and beige walls, which are often the staple of a rental house. Instead, choose pastel colors such as yellows, blues and pinks that give the rooms personality and warm. Avoid crazy colors and patterns, as this can play against you when trying to sell a home. Before painting, patch any holes and sandpaper the walls if necessary.
  • Declutter the house. It makes rooms appear larger and cleaner and gives potential buyers the feeling that the house is big enough to fit anything.
  • Clean the carpets and rugs and wash the curtains. If you can afford it, replace them. This is especially important if colors are faded or material is stained.
  • Refinish kitchen cabinets if you can’t do anything else. Paint the doors a light color or replace them to change the look of the whole room without any major changes.
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Add charm Without Spending a Fortune

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Some small changes or additions can turn a plain house into the stuff of dreams. Whether you’re going for romantic cottage or charming country styles, sometimes it’s the little touches that can make all the difference.

Picket fences scream cottage, even if you live in the middle of the city. Stick to white if you want something obvious or mix pastels and bold colors for a major impact.

Turn your porch into an outdoor room. Use vintage furniture (from benches and chairs to a hatch) as much as possible to add character. Choose weather-resistant materials and don’t be afraid to buy things at garage sales or discount centers –After all, these items will stay outside and probably end up damaged after a while. Add touches of color and charm by using pillows, eye-catching accessories and lots of potted plants.

Hang stuff from the walls. Old pots and pans, dried flowers and vintage collectibles (such as mirrors, watering cans or other small items) all scream cottage charm.

Take the doors off the shelves. This works particularly well in the kitchen. Get rid of a few cabinet doors and use the open space to display cookbooks, vintage cooking utensils or well stacked china.

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5 Steps to an Organized Home Office

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Buy a few good pieces of furniture. If you have lots of paperwork, countless books and piles of files, you need adequate storing space. A plain glass desk may sound appealing, but it will do you no good when it comes to organizing your office. Instead, buy a good desk with lots of drawers, shelving units with deep-set divisions and a filing cabinet that will accept thick files of all sizes.

Establish work zones. Make your desk a work center and store supplies and books in a different corner. If there are items, such as files and books, that need to be moved from place to place every day, get a few “transition” baskets and make sure things eventually return to their rightful place.

Keep frequently-used items handy. If you only use your scanner once a month, there’s no much sense in having take space on the desk. Instead, store it away on a drawer or cabinet. Printers, fax or other items that are used everyday should be near the computer and easily accessible.

Create a mail-processing area. A basket for incoming mail and a different one for mail that needs to be sent out is the bare minimum you’ll need. Keep envelopes, stamps and labels in a box or drawer nearby.

Do not allow non-office stuff to make its way into the room. It’s easy to let toys, magazines and empty coffee cups to linger around. You probably can’t expect to keep junk out of the room all the time, but make it a goal to get things out by the end of the day so they don’t accumulate.

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Upstaging Your Home For Sale

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Getting your Home ready for Sale

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Upstaging refers to the idea of making your home look as “presentable” as possible so it will impress potential buyers and make the most of each room, downplaying its faults and exalting its positive aspects.

The first step in staging a home is to make sure everything is absolutely clean. This may mean hiring somebody to help you go through the rooms, shining metal pieces, picking up dust bunnies from the corners and making sure there are no weeds growing in the garden. While you may think these are small details that buyers can take care of by themselves eventually, they can actually have a negative impact on how the house is viewed and how much they are willing to offer for it.

The next step is to get rid of anything too personal. Visitors don’t need to see your laundry, family photos or dog toys laying around. The less of your personal possessions in a room, the more they can imagine themselves actually living there.

Once the basics are taken care of, it’s time to replace whatever is obviously broken or dirty. Old shower curtains and dead plants are the most obvious items, and, surprisingly, the ones that home owners often miss. Tighten up cabinet doors, replacing broken handles and making sure the bathroom mat looks new can also help. If something looks too old or in obvious bad condition, either replace it or take it out of the room and hide it out of sight.

Finally, put out some fresh flowers or light a vanilla candle (according to experts, the favorite scent but also one that is not intrusive) to get rid of any lingering pet smells. Don’t forget to open the windows to air out the place.

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Single Color Decorating

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Simple Decorating Solutions

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Done well, decorating with a single color can help put together a room that would otherwise not match. Monochromatic decorating can work anywhere, for anybody, but it would be especially useful for those with mismatched furniture or knick-knacks. For example, imagine you picked up your table and chairs at different times at the local second-hand store. While some would consider this “kirsch” others would prefer a more even look. Now imagine sewing small pillows to cover the back or the seat of each chair? The chairs now have something to tie them together into a more “united” group. Take this one step further and create a larger pillow for the sofa or kitchen curtains to match, and you have the beginnings of a put-together room.

When it comes to decorating with a single color, you don’t to actually paint everything on the same exact hue. If you pick blue, for example, you can use different variations, from light blue to turquoise to royal blue. The slight variations will help improve the personality of the room and will make it look more like a personalized space, rather than a theme room. So, for example, you can make the duvet of the bed dark blue and the top light blue with small dark flowers. Then match the curtains to the smallest section of the bedding, so the room doesn’t feel overwhelmed.

Another great way to use a single color when decorating is to use complementary colors for small details. For example, let’s say you made yellow the base color for your kitchen. Adding some touches of orange or red can help punch up the energy of the room. If you want to pinpoint all the attention to a specific item or corner of the kitchen, use blue or black –They provide the best contrast against yellow.

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Decorating with what you Have

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Bedroom Decor

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Who said you need to spend thousands of dollars to give a room a facelift? While some expenses are mandatory, you still can change the whole look of a room just by rearranging what you already have. Here are a few tips on doing that successfully:

1. Go “shopping” in another room. A small side table, a quirky chair or a mismatched rug can all help change the look of a room.
2.Rearrange the furniture. Don’t just move it around but instead find ways to change the focal point of the room by facing the couch or the dining table a different way.
3. Use things in an unexpected way. A bookcase can easily turn into a room divider and a screen can be used to create a separate office in what would normally be just a living room.
4. Can’t afford to replace the couch? Use a throw or a nice afghan to cover it up, either completely or just across the back. Use a contrasting color as well, so the impact is greater.
5. Get one or two large potted plants. Resist the temptation of turning the room into a jungle. 6. 6. Instead, get a large palm or fern for a stronger impact without overwhelming the furniture.
7. Hang a picture on the wall. This is a lot cheaper than you may think. If you have an old calendar you love, just frame your favorite pages and hang them on the wall in groups. Otherwise, places like IKEA sell cheap prints that are large enough to draw attention by themselves.

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