How to Master a Tuscan Kitchen Design

Tuscany is a region in Central Italy that is known for its breathtaking landscape, delicious food, and cultural legacy. With its mixture of earthy hues, sunny tones, and natural texture, Tuscany-inspired kitchen design has become a popular choice amongst homeowners.

The traditional colors of the Old Country, when reflected in a Tuscan inspired kitchen, make it an ideal place for cooking and creating an inviting environment for conversation. Local Tuscans love to host their guests in this cozy design that capitalizes on style and function. If you are looking to create a Tuscan-themed kitchen in your own home, keep on reading!

Colors and Materials

When working to achieve this look, you can gain inspiration from pictures of Italy. Tuscan kitchens utilize a lot of warm and earthy colors to create a homey mindset. Some colors that you would find in a typical kitchen inspired by the Old Country are Terra Cotta, Sage Green, Burgundy Red, Sea Blue, and Golden tones. The colors are typically applied in a wash effect or sponge-painting design.  In addition, you will want to embrace natural materials as well. Consider incorporating earthy materials like wood, wrought iron, and clay pottery.

Cabinetry

Most Italian style kitchens have open cabinetry. The open cabinetry look will allow you to showcase your beautiful dishware. Traditional Tuscan style kitchens feature floating cabinetry that provides space between each other. If it is in the budget, considering upgrading your cabinetry to this open look. Be sure to choose a wood tone cabinetry such as cherry or oak for an earthy design.

Furnishings

Of course, the type of kitchen table that you select for your kitchen should be dependent on your personal style, but sizeable, wooden farm tables are popular in this design. Whatever type of table you choose, be sure that it features distressed wood to stay in line with the theme.

You can even get creative with the kitchen chairs. Embrace the broad color spectrum that you would find in the Old Country by purchasing chairs that have deep and rich tones such as olive green or dark red.

Flooring

Typically, a Tuscan-inspired kitchen would have marble, stone, terracotta or mosaic tile; however, if you just love the look of your hardwood floors, rest assured that you do not have to switch them. Trust us; hardwood floors can be a beautiful complement to a Tuscan style kitchen.

What feature of a Tuscan Style Kitchen is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

 

Learning from Interior Design Mistakes

We cherish our homes’ design because they represent who we are, our style, and incorporate our valued decor pieces to create a unique place just for us. But quite frankly, interior design is not easy. It takes awareness, exposure, knowing what we like/dislike, and what looks great together. Design is an art, and even experts can get it wrong sometimes. To help you avoid these common mistakes, we wanted to focus on three design errors you can avoid. Let’s take a look!

Paint Selection

Before you pick out your paint samples, make sure you have your fabric selection for window coverings, rugs, pillows, bedding, and even fabricated furniture. Why? Because with the current matching technology, you can quickly match colors without any added hassle. Also, keep in mind that you may want to choose a paint color that is more vibrant, but you must analyze the lighting in the room, the furniture, fabrics, and the depth of the room before you commit. To help you feel comfortable with your decision, we recommend painting samples in different areas of the room. You want to get a real idea of how the paint will look and feel in your space. By using it in different corners, lighting, and times of day, you can get a better idea of its look in your design.

Purchasing in Mass Quantities

We know homeowners get excited and may want to purchase just about everything they see, but this can be a big mistake. Be patient and get out the tape measure, and write down your room’s dimensions. Now when you go shopping, bring along your trusty tape measure and measure all furniture or accessories.  It will save you time, effort, and money in the long-run.

Too Many Focal Points

Featuring too many focal points is a big mistake that you want to make sure you do not make. Be sure to choose only one focal point per room. If you have too many, they will compete with each other, and the overall room becomes too busy, weighed down. Keep things simple, and build off of your main focus. If you accentuate its strengths, you can help create an even more flawless space.

What design mistakes have you learned not to make? We would love to hear your stories below in the comment section.

How to Safely Remove Wallpaper

You have been slowly trying to update your home to become what you have always envisioned. You have just selected your home’s new flooring, and it looks perfect! You definitely think it added value and charm to your space, but there is one thing that is still bothering you: your wallpaper. It is outdated, and you would like to switch over to regular paint without damaging the wall. Wallpaper can be challenging to remove if done improperly, but we are here to teach you how to remove it the correct way. Let’s take a look! 

Supply List:

  • Hot Water
  • Wallpaper Scoring Tool
  • Fabric Softener
  • Spray Bottle
  • Putty Knife
  • Bucket
  • Dye-Free Dish Soap
  • Sponge
  • Drying towel
  • Damp towel 

1. Use your hands.

The first step is to try and remove as much wallpaper as you can by peeling it off yourself. Note, this will not get all the wallpaper off, and there may be large sections of wallpaper left after this.

2.  Get out your wallpaper scoring tool.

You can pick up a wallpaper scorer at any home renovation store. Once you have your wallpaper scorer, you will go over the wallpaper with it. The wallpaper score cuts tiny holes throughout the wallpaper helping to separate your wall from the wallpaper’s base.

3.   Mix your solution.

DIY Wallpaper Solution is made up of hot water and fabric softener. Combine these two ingredients into your spray bottle. You will need to put the same amount of fabric softener with the same amount of hot water. Mix together small batches so that the water stays continually hot.

4.   Begin to spray the wallpaper with your solution.

Spray the DIY Wallpaper Solution over your wallpaper, but keep in mind that the wallpaper will only stay wet for 15 minutes. You will only have those 15 minutes to scrape off the sections that you just sprayed.

5.   Begin scrapping.

Let the solution sit only for a couple of minutes then grab your putty knife. The putty knife will be used to remove your wallpaper. Start from the bottom corner and work your way up the wall.

6.   Remove any leftover adhesive.

In order to remove the adhesive, you will need to mix together 1 TBSP of dish soap with hot water. The water should be extremely hot, but you will be dipping your hand into the bucket so be cautious when doing so. Begin to wipe your walls with your soaked sponge. The sponge will begin to remove any leftover adhesive from the wallpaper.

7.   Go over the wall one last time.

Take your damp towel and go over the wall one last time. After the wall is rinsed off, go over the wall with your drying towel. Make sure to dry off the walls entirely before finishing your project.

After you have successfully removed your wallpaper, you can begin to paint your walls and have the home of your dreams. 

Popular Design Styles for Your Home

Did you know that there are different styles of interior design? Maybe you are familiar with them, or perhaps you are not, but understanding the various interior design styles will help you attain your style goals. To help you get a feel for the different looks, we will address six of the most popular themes. These six classic design styles will help guide you toward achieving a flawless look. Let’s take a look! 

1. Traditional    

Holiday-Inspired Traditional Design

A traditionally styled room reflects 18th and 19th-century European homes.  They are great for people looking to decorate with antiques, and they have a classic, sophisticated comfort to them.  Classic art, antique furniture, and renaissance-inspired bookshelves help bring this timeless style full circle.     

2. Transitional  

Transitional Design

Borrowing from traditional and contemporary designs, a transitional room blends the “now” with antique finishes in a very sophisticated manner.  The room will keep the contemporary open layout with straight lines while balancing the beauty of traditional-styled furniture.  Warm woods and minimal embellishments add to this style, giving it a refreshed and harmonious feel.

3. French Country  

Traditional French Country Design

The French have perfected French Country style in their homes in Provence.  With the architecture using exposed unfinished wooden beams and cabinetry, this classic home style has a vintage countryside appeal.  Earthy tones and finely upholstered leathers can be added to this antique styled theme for the perfect finishing touch. 

4. Bohemian

Neutral Bohemian Design

Boho is an eclectic-inspired style that has a more relaxed, comfortable feel mixed with a very lively, energetic space.  This free-spirited room design will focus on warm colors but do not be afraid of adding cooler colors to give it an extra pop.  Bohemian style rooms will combine free-flowing colors and canopies to make the room more cultured.  Wall tapestries and curtains are also used to amplify the openminded atmosphere.

5. Hollywood Glam 

Hollywood Glam Inspired Throw Pillows

Hollywood Glam style incorporates rich elements of golds and bronzes to pop and give the room a catchy “larger than life” atmosphere.  This bold style also uses some rich colors to contrast hard against clean whites and ultimately gives a “poppy” appearance.  Furs, satins, velvets, and suedes are used to amplify this glamorous style.

6. Coastal 

Coastal Baby Room

Coastal borrows elements from beachside environments.  It incorporates a light color palette allowing seafoam blue, mint greens, and serener neutral colors to take center stage.  It may use distressed woods like you would find on a ship or washed woods to add to the seaside feel.  Large windows and blue and white stripes are commonly used to expand this look. 

What design style is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

Smart Space Savers for a Family (Part Two)

As we learned in Smart Space Savers: Part One, Jack and Jill are in quite a predicament.  Their home is not big enough for an additional family member, so it is back to the drawing board before they decide if they must move. To help them make up their minds, we have two more ideas that they could use:

Addition

If space has always been an issue in your home, maybe it is time to consider adding an addition. Jack and Jill realized they did not want to combine their spaces, and it did not make sense to put Jack’s study, a place of relaxation, in the same area where Jill would be playing her music.  Their sons were not fond of the idea to share a room, so they decided to add a home addition; however, instead of making the new addition a child’s room, they choose to repurpose some rooms in the house and make the addition Jill’s music studio.  If you plan on adding an addition to your home, be sure to think outside of the box.  If you need a room for your baby, will the addition be far from your master bedroom?  Decipher what is best for your home’s addition.  Maybe switching some rooms up prior to the addition is something you should consider.

Divide The Space

An addition may not be an option, but have you ever considered division?  Larger rooms can be divided into two or more smaller spaces.  Jack and Jill decided the basement was large enough to split in half. It was a cost-friendly investment that just took some thinking outside the box.  They put up a divider to split the area and painted the new space. It was a cost-friendly solution that helped designate an area for the baby while making room for other activities. 

Not every home can accompany space demands.  Evaluate all options prior to moving.  If you have exhausted all possibilities, maybe it is time to consider the move.  Do you have any space-saving tricks that you have used in your own home? If so, please let us know below in the comment section.  Thanks for reading! 

Smart Space Savers for a Family (Part One)

Let’s be honest; the space in your home is precious, but it always has a limiting factor.  Getting the most out of your space is essential for functionality and design.  To help, we created this Space Saving series to help you with common household space challenges.  The more you learn how to consolidate, minimalize, and multitask items in your home, the more space you can have.  

Perhaps, your small space was working for you, but new challenges came to surface.  For example, you are living in a single-family home, you have every room occupied, and a child is on the way.  Do you move, or do you tailor your space for the expected arrival of the new family member?  To help you make the decision, we have several ideas to consider before packing up and relocating. Let’s take a look! 

Eliminate a “Want” Room

Your first step is to consider all the space used in your home.  For example, Jack and Jill have two children, both occupying bedrooms.  Jack has his own study where he can get away, check his emails, and read.  Jill has renovated the basement into her music studio.  A new child is on the way, and they must eliminate a space.    They have the option of eliminating either one of their “want” rooms to create a space for their new child. Eliminating a “want” room can be the first step of action when expecting a new family member.  

Multipurpose Room

Another idea to contemplate is combining two rooms into one.  Jack and Jill could combine both their children into one room which would free up a new space. They could also turn the study or studio into a combined space as well.  Combining rooms can sometimes create clutter; therefore, Jack and Jill should be careful when connecting their “want” rooms.

In your own life, decide if there are rooms in your home which could be shared.  Maybe your office could be moved into your master bedroom, or your home gym can be moved out of the basement into the garage.  Creating a multipurpose room is a way to prevent eliminating your “want” rooms by just consolidating them.

Not every home can accompany space demands.  We recommend assessing all options before moving. 

Do not forget to check out Part Two to see more options available for Jack and Jill.  Thanks for reading!

How to Eliminate Visual Obstructions in Your Design

Do you lack extra space in your home?  Space can be an essential element to how your home portrays itself, and a lack of space can make your designs feel overwhelming, disheveled, unorganized, and messy, even when everything is clean.  Learning to conquer these challenges can seem like a daunting task at first, but with some simple tricks, you can transform your home into a sleek, visually appealing design. 

The first step to creating a sleek design is to focus on your view. If your room feels clutter or chaotic, it may be due to your space and the way your furniture pieces are designed. To help you create a less visually obstructive view, we have created four tips. Let’s take a look!

Low Profile Furniture

Your furniture and decor should make a statement but not feel overly prominent in the space.  Bulky dresser and large couches can be beautiful in the right environment; however, if you feel like you are tight on space, consider eliminating your large, encumbering furniture and replace it with more sleek, low profile designs.  Low profile couches can give the illusion that your ceiling is higher than it actually is.  More compacted entertainment centers can allow for more space in your den.  Even downsizing from a king size to a queen size be may be a smart move for your space.  But remember, not all rooms are created the same.  A king sized mattress may look great in a large room, but it can be overwhelming in a smaller sized bedroom. 

Minimalist Approach

Less is more.  Free up your countertop space and eliminate excess decor for a minimalistic look.  This approach is ideal for smaller space living.  Consider everything that you bring into your home.  Everything needs to serve a purpose.  Multiple-functional furniture is perfect for saving extra space. For example, you could look for furniture that can serve as a storage solution as well as seating. This dual-purpose seating option will give you a place to store your blankets while eliminating the visual obstruction an extra basket may cause. 

Extra Lighting

Nothing opens a room better than great lighting.  Focus on how much light your room has in it and do not be afraid to add more.  Natural lighting is ideal but if it is not an option, invest in brighter light bulbs.  It can make a significant difference by switching all your light bulbs to higher-quality, brighter bulbs.  Brighter bulbs can help illuminate the room better and aid in the atmosphere feeling more open and more welcoming.

Mirrors

Adding mirrors to your space can also enhance the room’s light flow.  Mirrors are great for eliminating boundaries in rooms and making walls look like they go on past the surface. Rooms with no windows can use mirrors to help open up the space. They have so many different benefits that they bring to any room.  Consider adding mirrors to your small room to help open up the space.

Making your space feel less obtrusive is an art and a science.  Consider everything you bring into your home and its purpose.  It can be challenging but rewarding when you change your room to create a more open layout. 

Planning a Kitchen Remodel for Resale

The kitchen can be one of the most significant selling points of a home to prospective buyers. Your home’s resale value can be determined by several factors of your home, one of them including the kitchen. The kitchen’s functionality, aesthetic appeal, and appliances can all contribute to the value. It is essential to properly invest in your kitchen if you are planning on reselling your home. Certain buyers will want particular features in their future kitchen, but there are general guidelines that will help make your kitchen appealing to all prospective buyers. Let’s take a look! 

1. Appliances. Keep in mind that homeowners typically prefer stainless steel appliances for their home. If you are looking to potentially sell your home, you should consider buying stainless steel appliances to keep buyers happy. Also, you will need to take in consideration the age of each appliance that may need to be replaced. Some appliances will last longer than others. Make sure to only replace items if they need to be replaced then you can use the leftover money on other kitchen features.

2. Counter Space & Countertops. Food gurus love a lot of kitchen counter space. Plus, it will not devalue your house if you have a lot of counter space available. The type of countertop your home has can really hold together your whole kitchen’s design. Granite countertops tend to be homeowners’ favorite because of their beauty and durability. Granite allows you to place hot pans on top of it without having to worry about potentially burning it. If you are worried about the cost, consider getting grade 2 granite. Buyers are not necessarily looking for the most expensive countertops, but a nice-looking countertop can complete the overall look.

3. Storage. The kitchen could be absolutely gorgeous, but if there is nowhere to put anything, it is almost useless to buyers. The number of cabinets and drawers available for storage purposes can be a major selling feature. Homeowners do not want to worry about where they will put all of their kitchen supplies. If your home does not have enough storage currently, try adding in some more cabinets.

4. Flooring. There are some significant factors to keep in mind when you are choosing your kitchen flooring. If your kitchen is opened to other rooms in your house, consider the style and if it flows with the rest of your home. Keep in mind that your flooring can determine the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. Flooring can either be a real eye-sore or a statement piece. Lastly, you should consider how easy it is to clean your flooring. Maintenance can definitely be a priority for some homeowners.

Try remodeling your kitchen with classic trends rather than making it super trendy. Focus on designing with trends that tend to stay in style for a long time. We hope you found these four tips helpful. Thanks for reading! 

No Fire? No Problem! Brilliant Fireplace Solutions

Fireplaces can be an incredible focal point to any room! If you have a fireplace in your home, get the most out of it by making it a multiple-functional piece in your home.  You may not always be in demand of needing a warm fire in your home, but that does not mean your fireplace needs to be out of commission.  On the contrary, your fireplace can make a powerful statement in your home without ever being lit.  Here are a couple of our team’s favorite decorative uses for a fireplace: 

Garden

A mini garden is a creative way to repurpose your fireplace.  You can put a decorative flower basket in there to create your own personal touch.  Another functional way to use a garden is putting herbs and spices you would like to use in the kitchen. This will give you a place to store your spices while adding to the fireplace’s aesthetic. Additionally, you can create a grand display piece by allowing your garden to be on the mantel, neatly on the outskirts of the fireplace, and inside of it as well.  Just remember to keep the space clean.  You want this to look purposeful, never forced.

Candle Lit

If you are not trying to warm your home, but you still want to use the ambiance of a fire in your home, try adding a candle display.  You can create different tiers, use different types of candles, or even incorporate a fun candle holder.  Candles can create a powerful look to the room as well as help create a fragrance if you desire.  This is an excellent trick for the spring and summer months.

Fitted Entertainment Stand

Feeling crafty? A custom-entertainment stand is perfect for storing electronics, shelving books, and displaying decor pieces.  Tailor the shelving to the demands of your home by making an astonishing entertainment piece in your room. You can keep it there seasonally or all year around! Have fun with it! 

Your fireplace can be the strength and focal point of your room even without a fire. Be creative; have fun with it! The design possibilities are truly endless. 

Have you tried any of these tricks or use your own? We would love to hear your feedback in the comment section. 

Tips for Increasing The Lifespan of Your Hardwood Floors

Understanding how to properly care for and maintain hardwood floors is essential in order to lengthen their lifespan. Just like your much-loved automobile, you may look at your hardwood floors in a different light because they are a home investment. To help readers secure their investment, we encourage proper maintenance and care. By caring for your floors as you would a car, you will find that they will be cherished for their beauty as well as their longevity. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can maintain your floors.

Clean Flooring – This is the most basic task for maintaining and extending the life of your floors. Simply sweep and dust mop the floors daily to prevent dust and dirt from spreading. This will also eliminate allergens from your home and prevent the floors from becoming scratched. For additional maintenance, only clean floors with products recommended by the manufacturer.

Sunlight Exposure – Do not forget that sunlight can fade the color of your hardwood floors. During the peak hours of the day, use window coverings to eliminate the sun directly hitting your hardwood floors.

Floor Coverings – Area rugs are another great way to prolong the life of your floors while adding comfort, texture, and even a pop of color.

Rearrangement – Another helpful tip is periodically rearranging the furniture to allow the flooring to age naturally. By doing so, you will not have one area of your hardwood floors more aged than another area. It will help keep consistency in your floors.

Avoid Dulling Objects – High heeled shoes can scratch and potentially damage hardwood floors. We recommend encouraging shoe removal when guests enter your home. You can do so by placing in a designated storage area of the foyer. Also, if you are a pet owner, keep your dog’s nails trimmed for their health as well as your floor’s.

Floor Protectors – Invest in inexpensive floor protectors to place under furniture to prevent scuffs and scratches. These protectors are also excellent for moving around large pieces of furniture. They not only prevent scratches but make it so easy for one person to move furniture, especially for cleaning.

Accidents and Spills – Clean spills immediately with a dry, white cloth or paper towel to prevent staining and discoloration of the natural color. Again, only use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer to guarantee effectiveness and safety.

By properly caring for your hardwood floors, you are securing your investment. It is essential to take all of these steps into consideration for long-lasting floors. For more expert tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up.