Your Lovely Home Part 2

In Part One of our series we talked about how to get started on your organization journey by deciding to accomplish your goals gradually. We also discussed preparing a to-do list ahead of time and incorporating daily walkthroughs to prevent further clutter. Now it’s time to tackle that list, and we’re here to help you get started. 

 

Rework Your Cleaning Routine

 

To make this work, you need to be able to fit your new to-do list in with your current cleaning duties.  An extra 15 minutes of commitment each day will help you reach your goals.  This 15 minute period is also a good time to decide which tasks are daily tasks and which ones can wait a little longer.  Not only are you organizing in a gradual way, but you also have to spread your responsibilities evenly, so you have the best chance of success.  While the kitchen should stay on your day to day list for hygienic reasons, you may find that you can skip a day or two of laundry.  Changing things up will help you find the time to keep your home maintained once the organizational process is complete.

 

Tackle One Area Each Day

 

Once you complete your routine tasks, pull out your list and stick to one location.  You have a short block of time to work with, and you do not want to spend it running around all over the house.  At the same time, decide if any items have outlived their usefulness and can be discarded. Check for expired products in the bathroom, paperwork in the home office that can be shredded or old clothing in your closet that can be donated. Taking the time to remove these items will save you space when you tidy that particular area up. Once 15 minutes has passed, move on with your day.  Keep in mind that each task may take more than 15 minutes to complete but maintaining this limit will conserve your energy in the long run.  Don’t worry, in time you will start to see some significant changes.

 

Consider Purchasing Organizational Supplies

 

While you work each day on organizing a different section of your home, think about its functionality.  Sometimes just purchasing organizational supplies will make it easier for you to keep things clean.  Organization could be as simple as using plastic containers and a label maker so that items have a designated space and can be easily retrieved.  Installing wooden shelves can help display items that may have been taking up space in a box on the floor.  If pictures are lying around, find a frame for them and hang them up.  Give each item purpose and make it work for you.

 

For more tips on how to organize your home, please read on in Part Three of our series!

Your Lovely Home

Have you ever looked around your home and tried to remember the last time it was as clean as you wanted it to be? Life gets busy, and things go to the wayside.  With family obligations, meals to prepare, children to keep track of and animals to care for, keeping your house immaculate can seem impossible. While you can’t always achieve perfection, try adjusting your expectations to being the best you can be to make life easier and more organized.

 

Time & Dedication

 

One thing is sure in this process: it is not a quick fix. The way to get your household operating at your desired standards is to give it time and make a commitment to see it through.  Trying to change everything at once is a simple way to set yourself up for failure.  Make small changes each week that will steadily improve your daily life without overwhelming you every day. 

 

Make a List & Delegate Responsibilities

 

A good way to get started it to make a list of the goals you want to achieve when everything’s said and done. Having a clear picture of your expectations will help prepare you for how long each task will take and what kind of support you will require to complete the job. Make a list for each room and include all the things that are important to you for keeping the area clean.  Once you have completed a thorough list, your next priority is to see what items you can delegate to the other people in your household, be it your spouse, children or other live-in family members.  Everyone contributes to the messes that happen in your home so they can also contribute to cleaning them up as well.

 

Incorporate Daily Walkthroughs

 

Once you have determined each person’s responsibility, you can start taking steps towards making your home beautiful again.  Make an effort each day to do a walkthrough of your home for misplaced items.  Using a spare hamper or box, walk through each room and place the wayward items inside. Make sure they are returned to their rightful place, not just inside the room they are supposed to be in.  The key to starting this whole process is to not add to the current mess you are trying to clean. By doing just one walkthrough a day, you can stay on top of any additional messes that can pile up while you are trying to get your home organized.

 

For more tips on how to organize your home, please read on in Part Two of our series!

Peaceful Remodeling

Are you in the middle of remodeling your home? No doubt, whether your remodeling project is large or small, the process can be overwhelming. Working within a budget while trying to bring your dream to life is challenging. However, a renovation project can go smoothly by following these simple tips.

 

Plan Before the Project Begins

Before you begin any remodeling project, it’s always best to plan. To prevent delays and avoid spending unnecessary money try making product selections early on. By doing so, you’ll be aware of the associated costs and the decision-making process will go much faster.

 

Consider Long Term Costs

Keep in mind long-term maintenance costs such as potential repair expenses and energy costs. Such costs can increase rather quickly. Be sure to include these costs in your calculations and work them into your set budget.

 

A Detailed Contract

Avoid jumping into a remodeling project without a contract. The project should include all the details including the start date, completion date, the correct address and any additional details. Failing to form an airtight contract can lead to a host of trouble.

 

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

While exciting, you will experience both highs and lows during the remodeling process. Expect to experience delays, unforeseen snags and the inconvenience of living in a home that’s under renovation. When your expectations are realistic, you’ll be better able to handle drawbacks.

 

Find A Healthy Outlet

It’s easy for your life to become consumed with renovations during the remodeling. It’s important to take a step back and spend some time on other tasks. Find a healthy outlet, whether it’s the gym or the movies to go when you began to get overly stressed about the renovation process.

Interior Design

A beautifully decorated home can showcase your family’s personality and style. Additionally, you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment from knowing that you did an excellent job at creating a great space for your family. However, creating a design scheme can be difficult and require much effort. If you’re inexperienced in interior decorating, you’ll need some guidance with tackling the development and decor of your home. Here are some tips you may find useful.

 

Scope out each room of the house

The intended use largely determines the design of a room. For instance, when picking out pieces for the family room, you’ll likely seek out items that are kid friendly, easy to clean and that will create a peaceful ambiance since this is the place where your family will use for relaxation and entertainment.  To avoid creating a space that’s chaotic limit the designated uses per room.

 

Pay attention to furniture layout

There’s nothing worse than being unable to seamlessly navigate in a room because the furniture placement is off. Therefore, when decorating, you should avoid implementing floor plans that require you to walk through a gathering of furniture. Instead, evenly disperse pieces throughout the room based on its size and symmetry.

 

Utilize A Focal Point

Every room should have a focal point. In design, focal points are areas of dominance that often will grasp the viewer’s attention. Having a focal point element in a room will pull the overall design together and create a cohesive look. Create such areas of interest by using contrasting elements. Favorite focal points are pieces of dramatic artwork and unique furnishing. 

Is It Time to Ditch Your Upper Cabinets?

One room in the house where you need as much storage as you can get is the kitchen.  So when you hear about modern kitchens using minimal or even no upper cabinets, you might be left asking yourself how it would be possible to remove the ones in your home and still have room for all the things you need.  Sleek, clean lines are all good and well, but they need to be functional too.  If this kitchen arrangement appeals to you, but you’re not sure how it would work in your home, read on for more details. 

 

This look is all about decluttering the walls to give the kitchen a lighter, more open appearance.   Decide whether you are ready to commit to removing all cabinets.  If not, you can still make this trend work for you by using one wall for a few upper cabinets and shelves and leaving the rest of the walls bare.  Just removing some of these cabinets will still give your kitchen an airy feeling and with the free space left over you can put the focus on a backsplash that enhances the space.

 

Once you have decided between keeping one or two cabinets or none, turn your attention to making your lower storage work for you.  The room may not currently be equipped with enough lower cabinets to take on all the items that were in the upper cabinets, so investing in a new set can help with that.  Take stock of all your items and how often you need access them.  You may find that some of your larger appliances are not being often used and can be stored elsewhere in your home.

 

Favorite upper cabinet items such as glasses, bowls, and plates can be stored using deep, heavy-duty drawers that can support their weight.  Pots and pans can be stored using sliding pull-out shelves for easy access while cooking.  Spatulas, whisks, and other popular countertop utensils can be stored using a narrow lower cabinet installed with multiple recessed canisters.  Hanging racks can be utilized for wine glasses and coffee mugs. 

 

It may take some time to adjust to the room’s new configuration, but the resulting look will be a showstopper.  Get ahead of this trend today and be the envy of all your guests.  

Repurpose Your Kitchen Items into DIY Decor

Over time you can expect to replace certain kitchen items and have the existing ones fall into disuse.  Before you relegate those things to the trash bin, consider repurposing them into kitchen decor. Incorporating these kitchen-themed items will make a bolder and more unique statement than if you went out and purchased a mass-market item at the home goods store. By doing it yourself, you will guarantee that no one will have a decor item the same as your own.  Here are some great DIY ideas for repurposing your old kitchen items.

 

Kitchen Wall Art

The following project is an excellent way to spruce up your kitchen using custom decor.  Simply find an inexpensive frame you are okay with altering and remove the glass insert.  Paint the frame using a color that coordinates nicely with your kitchen.  Remember to lay down a protective cloth on whatever surface you are using to do your project.  Take a damp rag, wipe the frame clean and wait until it is dry.  Paint the frame and allow to dry according to the paint can directions.  Cut a piece of patterned fabric from a craft store and stretch it across the current cardboard backing included with the frame.  Secure the taut edges with duct tape. Hot glue your old utensils to the new fabric backing and wait for them to dry.  Then hang them up in your kitchen and enjoy!

 

Utensil Hooks

Take your old metal spoons and forks and turn them into hooks for hanging keys, coffee cups, and even coats.  First, find a piece of wood to mount the silverware on.  You can keep the wood in its original condition or paint it a color of your preference.  Use a pencil to mark each spot where you want the pieces to be mounted.  Gather your spoons or forks and bend them near the center of the handle.  If they are on the thicker side, boiling them will make them more pliable.  Use tongs and protective gloves to do so.  If you are hanging lightweight objects, use waterproof adhesive to secure the silverware to the wood.  For heavier objects, secure with screws.

 

Cocktail Shaker Utensil Holder

Here’s a quick repurpose for that old cocktail shaker you’re not using.  Purchase contact paper with a design that would look great in your kitchen and adhere to the outside of the container all over or in a striped pattern. That’s it!  Put your whisk, wooden spoons and ladles inside and place on your counter!

New Orleans: Bringing out the Big Easy in Your Home

With its rich history and distinct style, New Orleans is one of the best inspirations to use for your home decor.  With French, Spanish and African cultural influences all melded together, there is no place quite like The Big Easy.  Antique-style accessories can blend in with your current contemporary design to create a truly unique look.  Bright, bold colors will draw the eye wherever you choose to incorporate it and there’s no better way to get that across than through New Orleans signature colors of purple, green and gold representing Justice, Faith & Power. 

 

To assist you with your design, we have a few helpful lists below that include some of the more recognizable features associated with New Orleans.  This city inspires more eclectic and bold choices in decor, so don’t be afraid to play with bright colors and unique antique pieces.  Choose the appropriate ideas that will work the best with the rest of your home’s theme.  You do not want to ruin the flow of the house by choosing too many items that will distract from its overall look. 

 

Remember to have fun with the design.  Mix the old with the new, know that imperfections are okay and keep it light-hearted.  New Orleans is a city meant to be celebrated and showcased, so get started today with merging its daring style into your home!

 

Colors:

  • Brick Red
  • Sunshine & Butter Yellow
  • Dove & Charcoal Gray
  • Khaki
  • Soft & Bright Pink
  • Gold
  • Various Shades of Green
  • Various Shades of Blue
  • Bold Purple

 

Lighting:

  • Crystal Chandeliers
  • Gas Lamp Style Light Fixtures
  • Pendant Lights
  • Vintage & Eclectic Style Table and Floor Lamps

  

Furniture: 

  • Traditional Pieces like tufted couches and armchairs (with unexpected color to bring character to the room)
  • Wrought Iron Railings, headboard, side tables
  • Bistro Table with wrought iron chairs
  • Brightly painted cabinetry

 

Walls:

  • Iron Wall Plaques
  • Bright, Colorful Paintings
  • Floor-length Wall Drapery
  • Religious Symbols
  • Crown Molding
  • Detailed Plasterwork

 

Flooring:

  • Hardwood
  • Natural Stone
  • Brick and brick-look flooring materials
  • Patterned Tile
  • Statement Area Rugs

 

Natural Elements:

  • Ferns in Garden Statuaries
  • Topiaries
  • Hanging plants

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part Three: Furniture and Accessories

Our final installment discusses how your furniture and accessories can drive up the drama in your home.  Finding the correct balance of textures to make a room inviting and warm is key to achieving the look you desire.  Each room is going to require different accessories, so take the following ideas and apply them where it is appropriate.

 

In the bedroom add a large tufted leather headboard in a rich plum color to create a focal point in the room.  Add velvet accent pillows and use a contrasting color bedspread to bring the look together.  If there is available floor space, try adding antique settee with small complementary pillows.  A gorgeous dark-stained armoire adds some glamor to any space and brocade curtains for the windows will complete the room’s new decadent style.

 

If your decoration area is in the living room, try bringing attention to the fireplace with dark tones and a magnificent piece of art above it.  If it is flattering to the piece, add an ornate frame around it.  For lighting, try more unusual looking wall sconces that will be a talking piece for guests.  If your light source is from the ceiling only, install a beautiful chandelier.  Large furniture also makes for a dramatic look, but be sure to mix it up with smaller pieces so the room doesn’t look overcrowded.  Consider the fabrics you can use for these pieces: dark stained wood side tables, velvet-upholstered chairs, premium leather couches and ottoman.  Add a thick, luxurious throw blanket over the side of your love seat for added comfort.  A tall, beautiful bookcase can also add sophistication to your space.  Ornate mirrors and wooden, glass or mirror coffee tables topped with casually spread books are all great ideas for this space.

 

For a formal dining room, take care to select a table that will not only serve your needs but be the star of the room.  Choose a table made from quality materials with unique characteristics such as its shape or ornate base design.  To further upgrade its look, make sure the chairs are upholstered with beautiful patterned fabric. Add a long tablecloth topped with large glass candleholders and beautiful flowers in a vase at its center.  A chandelier is also a fabulous idea for this space.  Consider a bar buffet unit topped with mirrored tray and glasses for serving an after-dinner drink to guests or a large hutch with your fine china displayed through the glass cabinets.  Use heavy drapery as well to dim the lights and set the mood for a comfortable and luxurious evening.

 

We hope you enjoyed our three-part series on Dramatic Decor Ideas.  Come visit us today to get started on your design!

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part Two: Ceilings and Floors

In our previous post, we discussed ways to add drama to your interior design through the use of rich, dark colors on your walls. Next, we will be talking about what you can do to add excitement to your ceilings and floors.  While you may have been thinking about your flooring material options already, we bet you may have left out the ceiling.  Don’t underestimate the power of having every surface area touched with color to bring out the drama in your space.

 

Using a dark color on your ceiling is a powerful way to draw the eye.  Find a color that complements the wall shades you are using without bringing all of the attention away from them.  Consider a metallic paint color or one that has a touch of glitter in it to reflect light off of its surface.  Using the same color as the one on the walls is also acceptable as you can use different accessories to spruce it up with.  Try installing an opulent glass chandelier with an embellished medallion around the base to add texture.  If you’ve chosen to keep your walls a solid color you can take this opportunity to paint a mural, faux finish or bold pattern on the ceiling instead.  Wallpaper with a stunning pattern would also make a great contrast to solid colored walls as well.  If you have a vaulted ceiling and want to try a unique decorating idea, try hanging fabric from it’s highest point right to the top of your walls. 

 

We turn next to the flooring.  Make sure that your floors, walls, and ceiling are all working together to bring out the right look.  Everything item you incorporate does not have to be dark to create drama.  It is the dark contrasting with the light that draws the viewer’s attention when you enter a room.  With that said, there are multiple flooring materials that will make deeper colors looks attractive.  Natural stone and concrete give the space a bold look and can easily be warmed up with lighter accessories.  Hardwood can be jazzed up by stenciling a geometric pattern on it or giving it a darker stain.  Linoleum has come a long way and has some truly impressive patterns to offer as well.  If you want to use carpet in the room, Installing a two tone design can add dimension and flair.

 

Check back in with us for Part Three of our Dramatic Decor Ideas series!

 

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part One: Wall Color

Having a home interior that easily blends into the neighborhood and conforms to the ideal beauty standards of the area you reside in can feel a bit too “cookie cutter” sometimes.  For those who want to step outside the box, there are fun ways to add drama to your living space that will bring you more enjoyment than the ordinary styles you may be used to seeing. 

 

The most effective way to bring drama to a room is with rich color choices.  An easy way to do that is with a darker paint color for the walls.  Soft, light colors are usually used to keep a home’s interior looking like a clean canvas, so when you walk into a room with a darker color on the walls it immediately draws the eye simply be being unpredictable.  Don’t be shy when it comes to how dark you can go.  Colors like royal blue, evergreen, charcoal gray, crimson red and chocolate brown can all work to your advantage.  Black is also not off limits. Choosing a matte finish will better complement your home’s interior.  Paint the whole room or even just one accent wall depending on how much natural light is available. Play around with making a stripe pattern on the walls with the same shade in a different sheen or maybe a black and white contrast.

 

Another way to add drama is through wallpaper.  Look for intricate designs in bold, dark colors.  Textured wallpaper is a great way to make a dramatic pattern come alive.  Metallic accents give the walls an edgy look, while designs in different shades of the same color add a playful touch.  Again, you can choose to apply it to every wall in the room or use this material for a single accent wall with dark paint covering the remaining surface area. 

 

Finally, the wall decorations you choose for the room will drive up the drama as well.  Richly-colored art pieces, floor-length drapery and intricately framed mirrors all have their part to play.  Creative metal wall sculptures, unique wall-mount plaques, and dark wood shelving to showcase any unusual and interesting figurines all add to the mood of the room. Tapestries, a skeleton clock or a wall mural are great ideas as well.  The most important thing is to make it your own.  Play around with the ideas that appeal most to you and see what works with your home’s layout. And remember to enjoy the process!

 

Be sure to check out Part Two of our Dramatic Decor Ideas series to learn more about bringing some drama to your home!