The Key to a Cozy Home: Part Four

For our final installment, we are going to discuss the inner sanctum of your home: the bedrooms. These rooms are important when it comes to creating a cozy environment because their main purpose is to induce relaxation. Make sure that you strike the right balance in each sleeping area to give this exact impression. As well, ensure that this area of your living space flows naturally into the rest of your home’s cozy interior. Here’s how you do so.

 

Texture is going to play a big part here, so play around with items that can add visual weight. You may already have furniture and colors in your home that are not easily changed, so you can use heavier textures and darker colors to help even things out. This can be in the form of throw pillows, room-darkening drapes or an area rug.  If you have the freedom in the room, try to choose the best warm colors you can for the paint on your walls. They can be light and soft or deep and dramatic, but just be sure that they do not keep you wakeful just looking at them.

 

If you are blessed with beautiful hardwood floors, adding a fuzzy rug will definitely add some warmth. Place the rug beneath the bed and have it peek out of the sides so the surrounded walking space is comfortable to navigate. In rooms that are carpeted, adding a rug at the end of the bed can add a little extra visual interest without too much effort.  

 

The linens on the bed should use a high thread count and should be covered with the most appropriately fluffy comforter as the current season allows.  If you currently do not have a headboard, try installing a cushioned one on the wall. Top it off with soft pillows and a throw blanket for the occasional daytime snooze.

 

If there is any extra floor space in the room, a single upholstered chair with small side table and lamp should definitely be considered. This space to catch up on your reading or take a phone call with a long distance friend helps since these activities are much easier when you are not falling asleep in your bed.

 

We hope you enjoyed our series on creating a cozy home! Check back for new topics and home decorating tips! If you want to change the floor covering in your home to one that inspires a cozy feeling in your home, let us help.  We are happy to help you create a perfect space.

The Key to a Cozy Home: Part Three

As you make your way through your home, the lighting, seating, and furniture being made to feel less formal and more charming move on to incorporating different textures that will instantly add warmth to your space with little effort.

 

One quick and easy way to do this include adding a plush throw blanket draped over the side of a leather couch or dramatic ceiling to floor drapery with elegant pullbacks. Woven baskets filled with potpourri in your powder rooms will add an appealing aroma as well as an earthy touch. Fresh flowers in vases scattered around the home can also add some cheer. 

 

Don’t leave out your walls in all this decorating. A soft paint color would do wonders for bringing the room together, as would some amazing art. Leaving large sections of wall space empty can give a home an unfinished look, so be sure to show that area some love. Use a deeper pile for area rugs and throw some pillows down as well.

 

If your ceiling has exposed wooden beams, keep them in their natural state and fight the urge to add a coat of paint. The more natural your inside decor looks, the more relaxed it will make you feel. Enjoy the natural elements of your home, like exposed brick or natural stone tiles. Even decorating around your fireplace will soothe the senses. A natural wood mantle with seasonal decor on top would be perfect.

 

For extra coziness, try to create a nook area where you and your guests can feel free to wander off to for some alone time. This can be a window seat with cushions and pillows or banquet seating in the corner of a room with storage drawers beneath and accompanying table. Fill the cabinets with blankets, books or board games to accommodate anyone who wants to have fun alone or with others.

 

This decor revolves around creating a welcoming experience that has the ability to cater to any of you or your guests’ personalities. Enjoy the work you have put into all the little details because they are sure to make a huge impact overall.

 

Next, join us for our final installment in our Cozy Home series!

The Key to a Cozy Home: Part Two

Now that the entryway has had a cozy makeover, let’s move deeper into the home to keep the theme going. It does not matter if you have a home of distinctly separate common rooms or an open floor concept. You can add small touches to each area to make it warmer.

First, think about your lighting. If your home has a large amount of natural light, take advantage of it. There is nothing better than fresh, beautiful sunshine. For nighttime, however, the use of various levels of lighting cannot be recommended enough! Having the ability to set the mood no matter what hour you are entertaining will definitely influence you and your guests in a positive way. Harsh lighting can make things feel stale and formal. Try softer lightbulbs dimmed slightly and this will give the room a relaxed vibe. Additionally, even if they are not used often, strategically placing candles around your home will also give it some ambiance.

 

Your next priority is seating. It can be dining room chairs or comfy living room seats, just make sure you have more than enough. Guests may not all want to bunch up together in any given space right away, so providing a little extra room will feel more accommodating. Don’t be afraid to mix and match furniture as well. It will help lend a casual air to your space and put guests at ease and keep the festivities less rigid.

 

This idea can also be extended to your plates and silverware. When things are a little too perfect it can set too formal of a tone. Sprinkle different drinking glasses around the table and don’t be afraid to keep the fancy china in your hutch.

 

Use built-in shelving to make a statement in your living room or study but keep it casual by breaking up the way you fill them. Display some books, followed by some artistic pieces, and round it out with family photos and souvenirs from previous vacations. You want to bring across your life story while making your guests feel comfortable enough to walk up to your shelves and check out the highlights.

 

Join us for Part Three of our series to help you create a cozy home!

The Key to a Cozy Home: Part One

Everywhere you go you will encounter a variety of home styles, but there is something to be said for a house that has a special quality that can only be described as “homey”. It is this type of space that immediately makes you feel welcome and at home no matter where you are. You may not be able to put your finger on what makes you feel this way but you simply relax in this place.

There is a reason for this. Creating a homey space requires more than one thing. It is a collection of decoration ideas that work seamlessly together in harmony to build the comfortable environment you see when you enter these types of homes. In this blog series, we will give you some tips on how to create an intimate and cozy home space of your own.

 

Creating a sense of welcome from the moment guests arrive at your home is important and this hospitable look needs to start at your home’s entrance. If you have a front porch, try some outdoor seating like a padded bench or two rocking chairs with cushions accompanied by a small side table that invites passersby to sit and have some refreshment. Adding some hanging or potted plants is also a nice touch. Remember to have sufficient lighting for evening calls as well. A front stoop, while smaller in size, can still be decorated on each side of the entryway with seasonal items as well as a festive door hanging or elegant door knocker.

 

Once your guests step through the front door, have a place ready for them to hang up coats and deposit their shoes. An entryway storage bench with hooks and drawers is perfect.  A sturdy but beautiful rug to greet them at the entrance will feel soft underfoot once they have removed their footwear and will give them a silent signal that it is okay to relax. Again, potted plants at the entrance help bring some of that earthy feeling indoors and soften the area if it seems a little too formal. A small wooden entryway table is also great for depositing keys and other knick-knacks on the way in.

 

Join us for our next installment to continue your home’s cozy theme! 

Creating a Reading Nook in Your Home

No matter what career takes care of the bills, we all have our own hobbies that bring us joy and fulfillment. Some people are adventure seekers; some are collectors and some just like to curl up with a good book at the end of the day. If the last description sounds like you, then you should consider creating a reading nook in your home to make your hobby as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Reading in the living room can be noisy if someone is watching the television and reading in bed can put you to sleep, so it makes perfect sense to try to create a space dedicated to doing what you love without distractions.  Read on for a few tips on how to create the perfect reading nook in your home.

 

Location

Choose the most relaxing area of your home. Loud noises and the comings and goings of your household members will not be conducive to an uninterrupted reading session.  You don’t want to be ripped out of the setting and time of the story you’re enjoying because you are in a high traffic space.  Try a corner of your master bedroom, a window seat or even and enclosed porch.

 

Seating

Think about what position is best for you while reading: sitting up straight, laying on one side, slightly leaning backward. There is no right or wrong here. Once you have pinned down the most comfortable way you want to enjoy your literature, be sure to accommodate the space with what works best for you. This could be a soft leather chair, a chaise lounge or just a simple arrangement of cushions.

 

Lighting

Natural and artificial light play and equal role in your comfort. Daytime reading is always enjoyable with natural sunlight, so staging your nook by a window would be beneficial. As the sun goes down, light placement is essential to prevent from squinting down at your pages or tablet. If you have limited floor space, try an extendable wall-mounted light.  If there is room for a side table, try a floor lamp to go with it to light up your nighttime reading and give you easy access to your material for next time.

 

Storage

If possible, keep your supply of books nearby with a bookcase or built-in shelving that won’t require you to retrieve a new selection at the other side of the house each time you are ready for something new.

 

There are so many options for creating a little getaway for your reading habit. Have fun playing around with different arrangements until you feel as cozy as possible and let your latest book sweep you off your feet!

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. 

Unusual Shelving Ideas – Part 2

We hope you are enjoying these fun shelving ideas so far. Let’s keep going and delve into some more creative ideas…

Drawers – These look so neat on the wall. Just as with the wine crate, attach the drawer by screwing the bottom of it into the wall. You can use shallow or deep drawers depending on what size items you want to display.

Vintage suitcases – If you’re decorating a space with a retro vibe you will love this shelving solution. Bolt the top half to the wall so it stays open, and support the bottom half with floating L brackets. If you want the bottom half to be a flush display surface, simply insert a cardboard structure and cover it with fabric. This way anything you display can be easily seen. Or you can leave it empty and store stackable things like folded towels. Don’t forget, vintage luggage often had pockets on the top half so you can easily use those to create a display of things peeking out.

Hat boxes – Yes, they’re beautiful stacked in a corner, but they also take up a lot of space. If you indeed store hats in them then leave them to their work. However, if you want adt’l storage options out of them, hang them on the wall. Screw the bottom of the box or the lid, or both, into the wall. Then fill with lightweight item that don’t require a flat, flush surface.

Ladder – We love the look of a vintage wood ladder when it’s attached to a wall. How, you ask? Simply find an old ladder that doesn’t require folding. (In other words, not the modern ones that open to stand.) Paint or stain it to match the room and hang it sideways. You now have lots of space to curate a quirky collection of shelf décor. 

Brackets without shelves – Give the appearance of floating stacks of books by using standard L-shaped wall brackets. Make sure the first book you plan to set atop them is large enough to completely hide the bracket. Then just keep stacking until you reach the weight load of the brackets.

Crown molding – This one is pretty simple. Rather than attaching it at the top of the wall, hang it at eye level and use it as a shelf display for shallow depth items. 

Unusual Shelving Ideas – Part 1

Have you ever noticed how shelving options are kind of boring? It’s true that what is displayed on a shelf is considered more important than the shelf itself, but we believe a design looks best when both the items and the shelf are interesting. Certainly you can find some well designed and beautiful shelving options in the retail world, but if character is what you’re going for it might be best to take matters into your own hands. The most impressive shelving ideas we’ve seen to date are those that rely on something other than a shelf to act as a shelf.

For example, think about spice racks. You know, the old school wooden ones that were typically attached to a cabinet in the kitchen. Create something different by painting them to match a piece of furniture such as a dresser. Then, attach them to either side of the dresser and you now have adt’l shelf space. (This one works especially well in children’s rooms.)

Now that you have the idea, enjoy our list of suggestions for all sorts of items that can be transformed into very creative shelving. If you live in a small home with storage issues, you may want to try several of these!

Benches – Find backless benches intended for sitting. Use 2-3 and stack them on top of each other. They are now shelves! If you want the design to be especially imaginative looking, use benches of different lengths.

Magazine Holders – We’re referring to the ones that usually sit upright on your desk. They are a very cool option for shelving in small corners. Simply turn one sideways and attach it to the wall. Don’t use fewer than three of them, though, because they’re too small for just one to look right.

Wine Crates – Hang on the wall by screwing the bottom of the crate to the wall. The effect will be a 3D shelf that offers a lot of depth. 

6 of the Best Home & Garden Shows in the Country

If your passions in life include a wander lust that is matched by a love for home improvement it may time to consider an H & G travel vacation. If you’ve lived in the same place for awhile, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to the local shows at least a dozen times. There’s only so much information you can glean from a single resource and traveling is fun. Why not hit the road and see what the rest of the country has to offer?

 Try attending one of the spectacular shows:

  1. SAHBA Fall Home and Garden Show October 23, 24, & 25, 2015. Held at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ. Admission $8. Includes emphasis on topics such as home improvement trends, remodeling ideas, and outdoor living. Hosted by the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association.   
  2. Cincinnati Home and Garden Show February 27 – March 6, 2016. Cincinnati, OH.  Includes landscape companies, interior designers, specialty companies, remodeling specialists, manufacturers, retail stores, and contractors.
  3. The Great Big Home and Garden Show February 5-14, 2016 at the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH. Admission $15. Unique for its impressive list of guest celebrities and experts such as Matt Muenster of the TV show Bath Crashers and BATHtastic on the DIY Network.
  4. MinneapolisHome and Garden Show February 26 – March 6, 2016 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Admission $14. Highlights include: Idea Home, Glorious Feature Gardens, Spring Boutique, Upcycle Designer Rooms, Innovation Avenue, Garden Theater, The Warners’ Stellian Kitchen Stage, and The Floral Display and Market.
  5. WBAY-TV Home and Garden Show March 10-13, 2016 at Shopko Hall, Veterans Memorial Arena in Green Bay, WI. Admission $9. A wide range of exhibitors include expertise in remodeling, home building, landscaping, interior design, pools/spas, bedding, and bath. The area’s top professionals converge in an 80,000 square foot facility for four full days of fun and education.
  6. Pueblo Home and Garden Show March 6-8, 2016 in Pueblo, CO at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, CO. Presented by the Pueblo Association of Home Builders. Running for 27 consecutive years.  A well rounded event that includes a Friday night VIP experience and numerous free seminars throughout the weekend.  The theme for 2016 is “Go Green, Save Green.”