Making a Loft Work for You

Loft spaces can be awkward to try and make them work as added space within a home. Find out how this loft doubles as two extra spaces, combined into one, while looking great at the same time!

This particular loft is an extra bedroom for guest, as well as a media space. Placing the bed at the end of the room tucks it away and gives a sense of privacy. The flat screen is mounted on the wall at the other end of the room. A husband or a wife can come up here to have some quiet time and watch their favorite shows. There is the added plus of possibly taking a cat nap on the comfortable bed!

Combining a media space and a bedroom is a great way to get lots of use out of the long narrow room. There are stairs, not a ladder, which leads up to the loft space. The key to having a loft that you actually use is having stairs to access it. A ladder makes it not as appealing to just go up and hang out in a loft. Actually ladders deter people from using their loft space. A successful loft will have access by stairs. If you are intending on using a loft space, make sure to give it a chance by having easy access.

Make the loft a comfortable area that family members and guest will actually want to use the space. Comfortable floors and furniture is a must. In this loft the wood beams and the stacked stone on the walls make the space feel warm and inviting. A brightly covered area rug makes the floor feel welcoming.

There is even added storage up against the wall that has a very low ceiling height. Most loft spaces are in the part of the house where the walls meet the pitched roof. Utilize this awkward space by having low furniture or cabinets that can be used for extra storage. Guest can also use this storage space to keep their belongings and clothes in, while staying in the loft!

Back to School Tricks

School is about to start up again! Enjoy this post for easy tips that make back to school easier. There are so many things around the house that can be transformed into something more useful.

Packing school lunches takes time and costs money. Don’t buy ice packs, make your own easily, for a fraction of the price. All you need is a sponge, water and a zip lock bag. Wet the sponge and ring out some of the excess water. Place the sponge inside a zip lock bag and freeze. Make five at a time, one for each day of the school week!

Keep homework supplies organized. Put pens, pencils, colored pencils, scissors, tape and glue sticks in a plastic silverware organizer. This is the perfect item to keep things separated and organized. Next find a decorative box that has a lid and place the organizer inside. This is perfect to keep on the bookshelf or right on the desk top.

Stay organized by staying color coded. Get a simple dish drainer. One that is rectangular. Place color coded folders inside and label each with the appropriate subject. This way you can keep track of tests, quizzes, notes etc. The silverware cups can be used to keep pens and pencils!

Protect school books by creating your own paper bag leaves. Unwrap grocery store paper bags. Use tape to wrap the books in the brown paper. Then let your child add the title and decorate the paper however they want. Make sure they put their name on it so it can be returned if misplaced.

Use a door hanging shoe organizer to keep school and art supplies organized and visible. This is perfect for keeping calculators, glue, pens, pencils, markers, rulers, compass and lots of other art supplies. Place the organizer on the back of the door in your child’s room. They can help themselves to the items they need when completing projects and home work.

Create a Desktop Zen Garden

 

Whether you are going through the upheaval of sending kids back to school or the exciting activity of updating your kitchen, a small, quiet place in your home is quite effective when it comes to maintaining your sense of peace.  Zen gardens are designed to create this sense of peace and give a specific location where you can focus.  A miniature version of this is a Desktop Zen garden. 

Desktop Zen gardens are naturally beautiful, a great mind reliever and gives you a creative outlet. They are easy to make and fun because you can personalize them with things you love.

First choose a vessel. We prefer low, round glass bowls, because you can see more of the sand and that makes us feel closer to nature. The vessel does not have to be glass. When selecting the vessel, choose something you are drawn to and can see beauty in.

Fill the vessel with sand. Either buy the sand from a crafts store or collect it yourself on the beach. Putting items in your Zen garden that you collected while happy with family, will make you happy when you look at the garden and interact with it.

Our favorite thing to place Zen gardens is river rocks that have been found while in the outdoors, sea shells and shark’s teeth that we found on the beach, or even random avocado seeds. Anything that is organic that you are drawn to can go in your garden.

Play with your garden and relieve stress by using a little rake or even a fork to create designs in the sand. Incorporate your treasures in the designs you make. This will help calm you and clear your head. These little gardens are the perfect size to fit on your desktop at work or the counter top in your kitchen.

A fun way to make the garden brightly colored is by adding colored sand. Get creative and have fun while you create your garden. Feel free to change out the treasures or only use a few at a time. The less clutter the better your garden will look. 

Removing Candy Stains from Carpet

Children will be to heading back to school before too long and the summer full of activities is coming to an end.  Time to look around and survey the house, perhaps cleaning up some unwanted items left by the kids.  One item you may find is stuck-on candy. Many times when children (or their friends who are visiting) have candy, it can find its way to the carpet. Find out how to remove candy stains from carpet below!

Gently remove any chunks or excess of candy by hand. Gently work one (only one!) of the cleaning solutions from below into the stain. Be very careful not to rub stain into the carpet, but instead blot the stain, starting at the outside edges and working your way inside. This keeps the stain from spreading further. For best results, add solution to a spray bottle and spray on your carpet stains.

A detergent solution is the safest way to remove candy from carpet. Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon of clear liquid hand dishwashing detergent. Avoid laundry detergent because the dyes in the detergent will stain the carpet. Also do not use dishwashing detergent (the kind that is used in the dishwasher) because they contain bleaching agents and dye. When using a detergent solution, it is important to rinse the carpet well afterwards. Any leftover residue will attract and show dirt.

Ammonia cleaner is somewhat stronger than a vinegar solution. Ammonia solution should be tested before used on any stains. Mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of ammonia per one cup of water (do not use a stronger solution as it could discolor the carpet).  Test a small, hidden area and watch for any color change. If a color change does occur, do not use the ammonia solution. Make sure to rinse the carpet area and blot up the excess ammonia solution with a dry clean towel.

Hopefully this advice will help with your stain removal!  If you find you cannot remove the stain to your satisfaction, please let us know.  We are happy to answer questions and help in any way!

How to Choose the Right Paint Finish

Knowing the right finish for paint can be tricky. Find out how and where to use the different paint finishes available.

Egg shell should be used in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. They create a soft finish. This finish is also good for not highlighting imperfections in the wall. This finish will help create a soft look that is easier to relax in.

Flat or matte finishes should be used on ceiling. This finish hides imperfections even better than egg shell. These two finishes are truer to the color and add more depth than the other paint finishes.

Satin finishes have a bit more of gloss to them. This makes it easier to wipe the walls down and remove stains. This finish is great in kitchens, hallways and bathrooms. Use this finish in any space where there is higher foot traffic and more activity taking place.

Semi-gloss is even better for wiping clean than satin finishes. It should be used on trim work and doors, making them easier to wipe clean. This should not be used on walls because it draws attention to any imperfection in the wall. Even if you did not notice any imperfections, paint a wall semi-gloss and a one is sure to show up.

Glossy finishes should only be used on furniture and never on walls. It is easy to wipe clean but will show even more flaws than semi-gloss.

Now that you know what finishes to use and where you can be more confident selecting and purchasing paint for your home!

If you have any questions on your home, feel free to ask!  We are always happy to help.

Room by Room Color Guide for Paint

It can be tricky determining what color to paint a specific room. Find out what colors create a positive reaction from the mind in specific rooms!

Yellow is an excellent color to paint a kitchen. It actually heightens your metabolism and gives you a burst of energy. Not to mention it is a cheerful color that promotes activity. Avoid using this color for bedrooms, as it does not promote rest or relaxation. Definitely do not paint a baby’s nursery this color. It is thought that babies cry more in nurseries painted yellow.

Red is a good color to use in the dining room. It stimulates the appetite and creates a warm, intimate environment. This color also evokes the feeling of love, which is the desired emotion every cook wants their guest to feel while eating their meals!

Paint a home office blue or grey. It is the most productive color choice. These colors  give you a sense of calm and serenity, but also of strength. This allows one to think clearly and get more accomplished.

Green is a perfect color for a bedroom. This color promotes a balanced, calm environment. It promotes good health and makes you feel closer with nature. Just be sure not to paint the bedroom a bright bold green, which can be a bit much! Look for lighter or muted tones of green. Green is an excellent color to paint a boy’s room. It is also a good color to paint a master bedroom that is shared by both sexes. Light purple is a pretty color choice for a girl’s bedrooms. It gives you a sense of calm and promotes relaxation.

Grayish purple paint colors are a great choice for a living room. Lavender has been proven to promote relaxation. Grays with a purple undertone make for a nice base color that can be combined with many different color palettes. 

How to Live Well in a Small Space

It can be difficult to know exactly what the best way is to organize your space when you don’t have much of it! Fear not, for there are several tricks that expand your small space into a manageable size. Utilizing just a couple of these is sure to help make your space feel like a castle.

 

First take a look at the space.  Are the walls or the floor dark?  Dark colors will close off the space, while pastel or white will open the space and encourage a feeling of airiness.  Examine the floor.  Has it become stained, worn or outdated?  A small change in this department will make a world of difference in a small space.

 

When it comes to furniture, make sure that your furniture matches the scale of your space. If you purchase items that feel too big they will make your room feel stuffy. Go for smaller and lighter items. Furniture with legs that are showing will give the illusion of lightness as well. Try looking for furniture pieces that could serve two different purposes in your space. Tables on wheels can double as your night stand and your living room table. 

 

Be sure that anywhere you can you utilize your space. That means whenever you can, have pieces of your apartment serve dual purposes. If you have an ottoman, try purchasing one with storage. If you are looking at your couch next to your mattress, it may be time to switch to a futon. Storage becomes a snap when you use different types of modular systems. These can be used to display your clothes and shoes and any other items you might want to store. Added value? It can add a deconstructed modern feel to your space. Voila, instant art!

 

This leads to another tip for organizing a small space. Make sure that you don’t bring clutter in. You don’t have the space for it. And keep organized—if everything has a place then it will keep your space feeling much larger so be sure to put things away after you use them. You’ll also want to be conscious of the fact that if you don’t keep it clean it will end up looking cluttered as well. So be sure to keep your space as clean as possible!

 

The most important thing to remember is that when you have a small space you are going to have to get creative. Find what works for the space you have and always be sure to keep your space clutter free!

Decorating with Color

Does your life need an infusion of color? If you’re in a decorating slump and searching for a new look –consider adding more color. Follow these tips to get started on a new color adventure:

 

Choose a Color Scheme:

Start by searching design blogs for styles that jump out at you. When you’re feeling pretty settled on a look you want, get more specific by looking at products available in the colors you’re drawn to. It’s important to know what’s actually available to buy before committing to a color scheme. If you’re having trouble finding products you like in your chosen colors, then start thinking about furniture you can paint, and other DIY projects you can do to incorporate your favorite colors into your home.


Know a Bit About Color Theory:

Educating yourself on color theory can be a great help when adding a lot of new color to your spaces. Some key things to know are colors opposite each other on the color wheel (complimentary colors) work well together. Also, colors next to each other on the color wheel generally coordinate nicely. Play around with including different intensities of the colors you like (lighter and darker). If you’re working with a three-color scheme and you need it to have a little more excitement, add touches of a complimentary color to your dominant color and the effect will be stunning!


Think about Focal Points:

You might find one item, like a big painting, piece of furniture, or textiles that will inspire your color scheme. Consider using this piece as a focal point in a room and then build around that with complimenting colors.


Pattern Play:

Have fun with pattern in your rugs and textiles. Think about including pattern in different ways through art work, dishes, towels—really anything! Wall paper is another great way to add color and pattern together and so many stylish options are available today.

We hope these points to consider will give you a jumpstart to adding more color into your home! When you decorate your home with color in a thoughtful, planned out way, you’ll find your space will give you energy, comfort and inspiration each day.

Hotel Room – Yea or Nay?

This is a unique hotel room that is attractive yet could be more welcoming.

We love the natural wood and other textural elements, such as the painted brick wall. We also love the shag green area rug, which adds an eye-catching focus point (it also reminds us a bit of grass!). However, this contemporary-styled room is lacking in several ways.  The first addition we would make is to add a few accessories. Not many accessories are needed for the space, but a large piece of artwork hanging over the sofa would dramatically enhance the look here.

A piece of dimensional art would be perfect on top of the kitchen cabinets. As it stands now, the barren space sticks out like a sore thumb. The room completely lacks greenery as well. Draping plants or flowering pots of greenery (even silk would do here) would aid greatly in breaking up the large empty space.  Greenery adds life.

Everything within this room is a solid color. The tasteful addition of patterned accessories here would add dimension to the space. Changing out the light green accent pillows on the sofa to a patterned print would instantly add interest. Even though we love the shag rug, replacing it with a patterned rug could add life to this room. Life which it so desperately needed in the room.

This room feels stark because there is no art, greenery or accessories in sight. Adding these items helps individuals to feel comfortable relaxed. As with any space, the room has to feel complete as well as functional. Since there is a lack of art, accessories and pattern, the room feels cold. All this room needs is a couple finishing touches and any guests will be able to relax and enjoy themselves!