Decorating the Dining Room

Since the dining room is where you share intimate meals with your family during the week and where you host your dinner party is essential for this area to be inviting and full of warmth. Is it time to breathe a new life into your dining room? Then you’ll likely have to consider several factors such as color, style, and function.

 

Below are some tips that can give you inspiration.

 

Lighting Scheme

Modernize the dining area by updating the lighting scheme. If you’re interested in trying something edgy try installing industrial style lighting. You can then balance the look by using furnishing that embraces natural materials such as a distressed wooden dining table combined with wicker chairs.

 

On the other hand, if you’re set on embracing a more classical look then it’s time to go chandelier shopping. Yes, chandeliers are a great way to create an area of interest. The width of the chandelier should be approximately ½ to ⅔  the width of the table and at least 30 -34 inches above the table.

 

Chairs

If you already have a set of chairs then you can simply freshen them up by applying slipcovers to them. Chair slipcovers allow you to easily change the look of a chair. If you want to get fancy you can custom slipcovers made with monograms on them. You can purchase standard slipcovers in all kinds of styles from popular furniture shops such as Wayfair and Ikea.

 

Add Just A Pop of Pattern

A touch of a pattern is great for brightening up dull spaces. You can add a bit of pattern to the windows with some modern Roman shades that feature a modest pattern. You can also opt to add pattern to the walls with a striped paint treatment. Consider installing a wallpaper. Today’s wallpaper is a far cry from your grandmother’s dull wallpaper. These days they are manufactured in fun graphics and geometric patterns.

 

Colors

Don’t be afraid to use bold colors. In fact, by doing so you can make a big statement. You can use complementary colors such as lime green or pink with your chairs and drapes. Stick with a neutral color table. 

Designing a Mediterranean Style Kitchen

A kitchen is a place in your home where warm conversations take place, and people gather to prepare food and share life. Choosing the right style is an important part of creating that sacred space where memories are made.  The Mediterranean style comes from Italy, Spain, Greece, and France, and it’s full of warmth, natural hues, and natural materials. It is a wonderful style to give your kitchen that classic feel. Choosing a Mediterranean style kitchen also gives you a vast array of options to choose from in color and style because there are several different countries under the Mediterranean umbrella. There are some key features of a Mediterranean kitchen though that give it that authentic feel.

To begin, lighting is a key feature in a Mediterranean kitchen. There are multiple options to choose from such as wrought iron chandeliers, and suspension lighting with frosted glass and tea stained. Another option is lighting with rusted gold or burnt metals with carved details with a botanic theme. Finally, stone or amber glass shades and wrought iron fixtures are also very standard features of Mediterranean lighting.

Wrought iron is another staple in a Mediterranean kitchen. There are multiple ways to integrate wrought iron into the kitchen such as wrought iron wall art, a wrought iron chandelier or light fixtures, or nick knacks spread throughout the kitchen.

Stucco walls are a great way to add texture to your Mediterranean kitchen. Texture is also a key feature for a Mediterranean style kitchen.

Tiles are an integral feature of a Mediterranean kitchen. There are many ways to incorporate tile into your kitchen. You could choose tile flooring, tile walls or tile backsplash. Warm earthy tones are popular in Mediterranean décor, and hand painted mosaic on the tiles.

Incorporate arches wherever possible. Arches are very popular in Mediterranean décor. Consider an arched doorway or artwork for the wall that has arches.

Mediterranean colors vary from red, orange, and yellow to more earthy hues. There are many ways to incorporate these colors in a kitchen from choosing cookware and dishes with these colors to wall art, floor tiles, wall tiles, tile backsplash, and tablecloths.

Mediterranean style cookware is another thing you can add to your kitchen. Not only will it add to the authentic look and feel of your kitchen, but it will also enhance the taste of your Mediterranean dishes. Some popular Mediterranean cookware options are cast iron fry pans for versatile dishes, or for earthy flavors have clay pots and pans. Include mortar and pestle for that authentic experience of freshly crushed herbs and spices. Quality baking dishes are always a must have for that perfect pan of lasagna!

Finally, dark wood is not only beautiful but also a popular feature for Mediterranean kitchens. There are many ways to integrate wood into a kitchen and some ideas are a wooden island, exposed wooden beams in the ceiling, wood floors, a wooden kitchen table, or cabinets.

These are a few key features to include when decorating a Mediterranean style kitchen. 

Inexpensive Porch Makeover

Porches are a long-time American favorite for homeowners who just love being outdoors. From reading a good book to conversations with friends, porches have a special place in all of our hearts. If you want to spruce up your porch for summer, we have five budget-friendly suggestions that will not break your bank. 

 

Five Suggestions for an Inexpensive Porch Makeover:

  1. A reason to keep your head up: Porches are perfect for enjoying the warm summer months without having to be exposed to harsh sun rays. We are able to enjoy the beautiful weather because of the porch’s roof. You can paint the ceiling of the roof with a fun color to add uniqueness to the outdoor space. Guests’ eyes will be drawn to colorful statement piece and it can add brightness on gloomy days.
  2. Let’s hang around: Hanging plants are gorgeous and can bring serenity into the outdoor space. Try incorporating some hanging plants in a cluster, all with different lengths and styles. The hanging plants can add greenery and beauty quickly to your space without costing a lot of money. 
  3. Mood swings: We mean the good kind of mood swing, of course. Adding a swing can easily turn a bad day into a great day. Swings are proven to help create relaxation just with a few simple pushes. If you are looking to save money, look for older, used swings from thrift stores and just apply a few coats of new paint. 
  4. Favorable finishes: If you have porch furniture, add some pillows and throw blankets on top of the couches and chairs. They will help give the outdoor space a more cozy and lived-in look. Add some outdoor candles to bring warmth to your outdoor escape.
  5. Timeless touch-ups: House numbers, the front door, and the porch’s exterior paint can be touched up to improve the appearance and quality of your porch. A new front door may be the most expensive suggestion, but take the time to save money for this investment. Buy some new house numbers that tie in well with your outdoor space and apply paint touch-ups wherever needed on the porch’s exterior. 

 

We hope you take advantage of these simple suggestions and enjoy a relaxing, peaceful summer on your porch. 


Afforadable Dream Dining Room

Dining rooms are where families meet for dinner, talk about their days, share in laughter, and enjoy one another’s company. When decorating, dining rooms can be put on the back burner to rooms like the kitchen and living room. But why not spend time making your dining room spectacular? We want to help you turn your boring dining room into an elegant escape without breaking the bank.

 

Tips for an Affordable “Dream” Dining Room: 

  • Been there, painted that

Wallpaper can be a great solution for homeowners looking for textured walls. If you are not ready to dive back into this retro wall styling again, try using stencils and paint to create a patterned look.

  • It will be lit

The main focal point of dining rooms is typically the chandelier. Homeowners want to captivate guest’s attention to their exquisite light fixture. If you are looking for inexpensive version, check your local antique shops for rustic chandeliers. You can even spray paint the antique fixture a solid color to make it look brand new. 

  • Mix & match

Seating does not need to be all the same style anymore. Mixing and matching seating is trendy and affordable. Go to your local thrift shop and search for a bench to put under your dining room table. This look gives the room a modern twist. 

  • Make a statement.

Statement walls are a necessity in dining rooms. From a bold color wall to a gallery wall, you can easily transform the space with a simple statement. The best part is that statement walls can be really affordable. You can incorporate some of your favorite pictures and decor to make an affordable gallery wall. 

  • Bring in the outdoors

Add flowers and plants into your dining room to bring life into the room. Nature can give subtle pops of color throughout the room without being obvious. 

  • Don’t forget the floor.

Often, the floor is the last thing on your mind when decorating.  But your entire space can be transformed just by changing the flooring type.  Replace carpet with wood or tile for a more formal dining room.  Add an area rug or simply change it for a rug with a more daring design.  You will be amazed at how quickly your room can take on a new tone!

 


The Ultimate Guest Room Getaway

From parents to friends, hosting guests is a big deal. You want to make sure that they are comfortable and happy during their stay at your house. They chose to stay at your house over staying at a hotel that means a lot. To help make sure your guest room is top notch, we have a list of five tips for the ultimate guest room getaway.

 

The Ultimate Guest Room Getaway

Tip No. One: Cozy on up.

The comfort of your guests is important to you; therefore, when you are shopping for the room you want to buy the best you can. Purchase high-thread-count sheets, a thick blanket, and a beautiful comforter/duvet. Finish the bed off with some plush pillows. 

Tip No. Two: They do not need to ask. 

Meet your guest’s needs before they arrive. Stock the room with towels and extra blankets. Place some good books for them to read on the nightstand. The books can also serve as a stylish decor piece. Inside the nightstand, store travel-sized toiletries for the guests to use like shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. If you have extra room, consider putting a coffee station in the room for them to make coffee, tea, and other drinks. 

Tip No. Three: Stylish staple pieces. 

Think about the items you use every day in your bedroom and make sure to include those pieces in your guest bedroom. Big mirrors and beautiful clocks are essentials for your spare room. 

Tip No. Four: Light up the night.

Be sure to place a bedside lamp next to the bed for your guests to read or do work at night. This way they will not disturb the rest of the house by turning on the main lights at night. 

Tip No. Five: Finish off with flowers. 

Before your guests arrive, run to your local florists or grocery store to pick up some fresh, beautiful flowers. The flowers will add a special touch to the well-planned room. 

 

Nothing says “ultimate getaway” like brand new flooring from (add store’s name). Call us at (phone #) or visit us at (address) for more information and pricing. We look forward to helping you with your next project. 


Go “Green” in the Bathroom

Like many of us today, we are concerned with toxic chemicals and their impact on our health. Often a surprise, our bathrooms can be full of toxins and not one of the cleanest rooms in the home. For starters, we have listed a few tips for going green and where better to start than our bathrooms!

  • Fresh Air – If you are lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, open it and let the fresh air flood the room. Add one or two houseplants to help filter the air. A few plants that do well in bathrooms are snake plants, ferns, ivy, and orchids. Not only do plants filter the air, they are aesthetically beautiful while adding positive energy to the room.
  • Tubs & Showers – Avoid purchasing shower curtains and tub mats made from plastic that contain PVC, which can release carcinogenic phthalates. Choose items that are organic and natural such as cotton, linen, and bamboo. Tub mats and shower stools made from reclaimed teak wood are a perfect fit for going green. Teak wood is also known for resisting mold and mildew.
  • Towels – When purchasing towels, look for sustainable materials and organic cotton. Also, people that work in the industry of conventionally grown cotton are exposed to pesticides that can lead to health risks.
  • Bath Tissues – Pay special attention to the contents of products you purchase. Regarding tissues and toilet paper, purchase products that are 100 percent recycled and are bleached without chlorine compounds. Many toilet paper cores are now made from 100 percent recycled materials.
  • Toiletries – Stay away from products that contain petroleum-based scents and parabens that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Look for products made from plant-based ingredients. Also, many organic toiletries are packaged in dark colored glass containers (not plastic). Dark glass containers prevent the ingredients from being compromised by exposure to UV sunlight. Recycling glass is less expensive and easier than recycling plastic.

We would love to hear from you about “greening” your home’s bathroom. This project is a wonderful way to include children while educating them about sustaining a green environment!

Outdoor Entertaining

It is officially the season for barbecues, pool parties, and outdoor entertainment. With the weather warming up, homeowners can look forward to having the chance to entertain outdoors. It is no secret that with hosting guests comes a lot of time and planning. Put your mind at ease this summer by following our easy guide to having an outdoor party. 

 

Guide to Entertaining Outdoors:

  1. Invites. With every great party comes a guest list. First, you will need to decide on the size of your party. Who are you inviting to the party: is it family only? After you decide on how many people you are inviting, you can set a theme. Are you planning on having a barbecue, pool party, dinner party, etc.? Are children invited?
  2. Seating. Unless you are planning on having everyone stand the entire time, it is important to make sure you have enough seating options for guests. Things to consider are: if people will outdoors the entire time or if you are having the party be inside and outside. If you are having the party inside and outside, you can get away with providing less seating outdoors. If you are having the party only outdoors, consider a number of people coming and where you want them all to sit. 
  3. Tables. You can set the table similar to how you set your table inside. But instead of using cloth napkins, use paper napkins to make it more casual. If you have enough placemats, incorporate them into the table’s design. Try adding a fun centerpiece from your house to draw guest’s eyes towards the tables. 
  4. The Meal. If you are serving food outdoors, make sure to place it in a shady area. Avoid direct sunlight because it can cause your vegetables to wilt. Your best bet is to serve food that is good at room temperature (grilled kebabs, noodles, beans, etc). 
  5. Lighting. Light up the night with some stringed lighting and candles. You can string the lighting throughout your trees, bushes, and fence. Your candles can serve as a centerpiece during the day and light up your space at night. Try incorporating some insect repelling candles to avoid having your guests get bitten. 
  6. Decor. You can decorate the party with your indoor decorations to save time and money. Take some of your favorite decor pieces from inside and incorporate them into the outdoor’s design.

 

You can have an outdoor party for basically any reason nowadays. From graduations to get-togethers, our outdoor entertainment guide can help you create the ultimate party. 


Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part Two

Let’s continue to look at great flooring alternatives for your home…

 

Laminate 

This flooring choice is a cost-effective way to achieve a variety of looks without purchasing multiple materials.  Constructed of four layers for durability, laminate can mimic the look of hardwood, stone and ceramic tile.  No matter which style you choose, this flooring will hold up well in high traffic areas.  Be sure to install an underlayment before putting down this product in order to create a moisture barrier to protect from any possible leaking through the seams.  As an extra benefit, the underlayment also provides noise reduction.  This material is also resistant to staining and fading. 

 

Vinyl

Vinyl is another great economical choice for achieving the look of hardwood, stone and ceramic tile.  Available in sheets, planks or tiles depending on your desired look, this material also comes in a variety of glosses so you can choose your level of shine.  Vinyl is moisture-resistant and comfortable underfoot so it’s perfect for places like the kitchen, where you may be standing for longer periods of time.  Ideal for high traffic areas and durable enough to withstand your pet’s nails, this flooring is a great choice for the busiest rooms in your home.  It’s easy to install and is usually made with an antimicrobial layer, making it a healthy choice for your home.  

 

Engineered Wood

This man-made alternative to hardwood flooring has improved a lot since it became available in the 1960s.  It’s easy to install and more cost-effective than the original while maintaining the same timeless look.  This flooring can be installed anywhere you would want hardwood to go as well as a few additional areas that you wouldn’t think possible.  As this type of wood does not expand and contract as much as hardwood when placed in humid areas, it can be installed in basements as well as near heating elements.  While it may perform well in these areas this material is still not a good choice for bathrooms as standing water would be too much for it to withstand on a regular basis. 

Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part One

Considering what flooring to put in your new home or existing renovation can feel a bit overwhelming.  There are multiple options that would most likely work well in your living space, but what’s the best one for you?  You may be familiar with hardwood, ceramic tile and carpet, but let’s take a moment to check out some alternative choices available in flooring.

 

Concrete

While concrete has a good reputation for outdoor use, it is also a great choice for indoors as well.  Whether you use the existing concrete slab in your home or have it freshly poured, this is an environmentally friendly option as materials are locally sourced.  Floors can be customized using different stains and dyes and can easily be given a textured surface or a sleek and shiny appearance.  It can also be stamped to look like tile or a uniquely shaped design with contrasting but complementary colors.  Once sealed it resists mildew, mold and other stains, making it a safe choice for moist areas. 

 

Cork

Another eco-friendly choice is cork flooring as its manufacturing process is easier on the environment than other flooring materials.  It is also recyclable and biodegradable.  Using stain and paint, you can achieve any look you desire from this material. Cork naturally helps retain heat, making it warm to walk on and reduces indoor noise.  The thicker the cork, the better the insulation.  This flooring requires sealing and is resistant to fire, mildew, and mold, however, it is not best to install it in a moist environment as it is not water-resistant. 

 

Bamboo

Bamboo is an easily sustainable and durable choice for flooring.  If you like the look of hardwood but want something a little more unique, this is the flooring for you.  It is technically a grass but is a very hard surface.  Natural bamboo is light in color, but there are also multiple stain options to suit your needs.  Keep in mind that the darker the bamboo, the softer it becomes because the material has been processed to alter its appearance.  Bamboo can be constructed in multiple ways depending on the look you are going for. Pieces can be layered together horizontally and vertically as well as shredded and woven together.  While this is a great material for most rooms in your home, keep in mind that extreme humidity can cause this flooring to expand or shrink. 

 

For more home flooring options, please see Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part Two

Maintenance Around Your Home

With owning a home, there comes a lot of responsibility. Keeping up with your home’s maintenance should eventually become a routine. But first, you must know what things need maintaining. 

 

Checklist: 

  1. Siding. Your home’s siding should be inspected annually. It is important to look for any deterioration or separation in your home’s siding. The benefit of checking your siding will help prevent the growth of mildew/rotting. 
  2. Floors. Keeping your floors clean is extremely important to its overall lifespan. You should be regularly vacuuming your carpet, but you will need to get your carpet professional cleaned at least once a year. 
  3. Gutters & Drainage. Especially during the spring and fall, you will need to clean out your gutters and outdoor drain system. There will be leftover leaves and dirt from the previous seasons that you will want to remove. 
  4. Air Conditioning Filters. Inspect your air conditioning filters and look for dirt. Your filters should be checked monthly and should be replaced at the minimum every three months. 
  5. Smoke/Carbon Dioxide Detectors. It is important to check that your detectors are fully functioning. You will be able to check your detectors by pressing “test” and the alarm will sound. 
  6. Clean your kitchen disposal & dishwasher. Both your disposal and dishwasher can contain leftover food and residue. To clean your dishwasher, you will need to clean out its drain, do a vinegar rinse and a baking soda rinse. In order to clean your sink’s disposal, pour your vinegar in ice cube tray then place it in the freezer overnight. In the morning, put the vinegar ice cubes down your disposal while the disposal is running. 
  7. Inspect your roof. This can be done annually, but it is important to check for any leaks. If you do find something wrong, contact a repairman immediately to attend to the problem. 

 

The maintenance of your house will help in the lifespan of your home. Make a checklist and consistently stick to it so that your home is always in great shape. Things will break and need to be fixed, but it is better to know as soon as possible and attend to it.