Saturday, February 25, 2012

Give Your Bedroom a Facelift

Remodeling Your Bedroom
Whether you're re-financing, looking to sell, or just bored giving your room a makeover can give you a whole new outlook on life, and your home! There are some aspects that should not be ignored as they can make ALL the difference!
Windows are the focus of a room, after square footage and space. Windows not only allow light to enter the room, they also allow you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Window treatments should highlight the window. Popular window treatments are:
- Blinds- Blinds come in a variety of colors, shapes and lengths. They give a bedroom an instant makeover. Blinds are also inexpensive.
- Shutters- Perfect for opening, throwing back and letting the sunshine in, shutters evoke a dramatic flair.

Bedrooms should be restful and peaceful. Keep the lighting soft and romantic. Types of lighting for the bedroom include:
- Recessed Lighting- Recessed lighting is a popular choice. The room can be dimmed or brightened with just a simple turn of a switch.
- Track Lighting- Track lighting is becoming more popular. Less expensive to install than recessed lighting, track lighting can also be brightened or dimmed to fit your mood.
- Wallpaper- Choose an elegant pattern or just use a border to accent your bedroom.
- Paint- There are thousands of colors to choose from. Choose a restful color or go bright and loud. Add some art to showcase your color choice or some sconces and candles.
- Shelving- Create extra space by building elegant shelves to hold your collectibles and books.

Furniture is usually the focal point of a room. A brass bed loaded with fluffy pillows creates a romantic wonderland. Heavy, dark, solid furniture with rich colors, such as maroon or champagne, implies unlimited luxury. Use blonde woods and flower prints to give the impression of a blooming garden.

Remember, the key to a successful remodel is focus. Combine paints, fabric, furniture, lighting, flooring and window treatments in a way that pulls the room together. You may love your remodel so much, you may never want to leave your bedroom.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interior Painting Tips and Tricks

I have never been the best at painting but what I realized through my design studies and obsessions, is that it does make a difference when done nicely!  So here are some tips for painting the interior of your home:

Interior painting is something that can be easily and inexpensively done by any homeowner. Even for the person who has never done any painting, it is a chore that can be accomplished. It just takes the proper procedure and the use of some simple tips. In no time, a room can be transformed just by changing the color.

Color Choices
The first and most important part of the painting process would be to appropriately plan things out. This would include the color choice. When painting a room, one cannot just look at the individual room and the feel or atmosphere that is trying to be created. It is wise to have the entire house or the same floor have rooms that are all painted in a similar palette. This will ensure that there is a flow from room to room and one particular room does not stand out drastically. One way to look at this would be by drawing a floor plan of the house and coloring in each room. All should relatively complement each other.

Depending on the size of the room, it may take some time to totally prepare everything. One should plan on working for at least two days with the project. The first would be spent on the preparation and the second would be for the painting. Drying time and multiple coats will take more time as well. Furniture should be moved out of the room or placed in the center and covered. Light switches, outlet covers and any lighting gets removed. Wall hangings are taken down and nail holes filled with spackle if necessary. The entire floor then gets covered with plastic painter tarps.

For the cautious painter, taping then gets done. Wherever paint meets up with an area that is not being painted, it gets taped. This includes around doorways, windows and where the walls meet the ceiling. Special painter’s tape has a low adhesion, so it is easy to remove when done painting. It is usually best to remove the tape while the paint is still slightly tacky. Otherwise, chunks of paint can be pulled off with the tape.

Depending on the original color of the room and the type of paint that is used, there may be the need to put on a primer coat before doing the painting. Some color changes will not warrant using primer and there are also paints available that include a primer agent in them. These are designed to negate any possibility of color bleed through. 

A variety of brushes and rollers will help to get the job done correctly and efficiently. For covering open sections of the wall, a roller is best. A tray for paint is necessary when using a roller. Paint can quickly be applied with the roller and the use of an extension handle. For work in tighter areas, various sized brushes allow the individual to do more delicate work.
Now stand back and enjoy what you've just created! A lot of work goes into painting a room, but the outcome can change the whole look and feel of your home!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I am taking a break from my usual topics to address the most loved and hated Holiday: Valentine's Day! If you are one of the lucky ones that has a significant other or friend or family member to celebrate with it is assumed you enjoy the Holiday. But that is not always the case, the stress of being creative, buying a perfect gift, and avoiding cheesy cards and candy, is NOT easy. I came up with a few ideas that won't burn through your budget and are bit unique!

Inexpensive Valentine's Dates

Valentine's Day is a chance to express your love to that special someone in your life, but celebrating doesn't have to drain your bank account. Here are a few suggestions for creating romantic Valentine dates that are light on the wallet.
-Pack a picnic. Fill a basket with an inexpensive bottle of wine or favorite beverage, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit and chocolates. Toss in an old quilt or blanket and find a cozy corner in the park or secluded spot on the beach. If the weather is too cold, make it a carpet picnic indoors or start a fire in the backyard and cuddle together. Bring along some sticks and marshmallows for an old fashioned roast. Pack some chocolate bars and graham crackers for homemade smores.
-Serve a romantic dinner at home. Cooking for someone you love is one of the best ways to show you care. Treat your honey to a nice meal served with linen napkins and your best dishes. The fact that you prepared the food yourself will make it even more impressive than the finest restaurant in town. If you aren't a great chef, head to the nearest deli and put together a spread for a few bucks. Remember, presentation is everything. Even if you don't do the cooking, take the time to remove the food from containers and place in serving bowls. Add candles to the table to create ambience.
-Bake and make. Prepare some homemade cookies and candies, then place in a gift bag, along with a handmade card. Again, the fact that you took the time to make something often means more than laying out $50 for a fine box of chocolates.
-Make it a movie night. Rather than pay high ticket prices at the theatre, rent some romantic movies to watch together at home. Light some candles, pile the sofa with pillows and blankets and make some popcorn. Dim the lights and just enjoy a night of cuddling on the couch to your favorite flicks.

Romantic dates for Valentine's Day don't have to cost a fortune. With a little thought and effort, you can let your special someone know just how much they mean to you.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's all About Being Cozy

Cozy is a feeling you get when comfortable items and situations surround you.  Comfortable is what soothes, consoles or relaxes you.  A cozy environment is organized and free of clutter and stress. I am all about the cozy, try these tips to make your house a bit more "home-y"

Alleviate stress

Frustration occurs when you can’t find something you need because it is buried beneath clutter or it is not in its designated place.  Removing clutter can reduce this stress. Each room in your home should contain only what is either useful or meaningful; anything else tends to get in the way.  Being organized is another key to alleviating stress.  Whatever isn’t being used should be in its designated location.
Make the family room a haven

Most likely, the family room or great room is the center of your living space, where everyone gathers for relaxation or entertainment.  Fill it with whatever interests your family, but don't go overboard. Bookshelves are more attractive when trophies or collectibles are interspersed among interesting books.  Display photos and items you cherish where you can enjoy them.  Place lamps where they give readers ample lighting.  Play music that suits your moods.  Arrange comfortable seating with handy snack tables for good viewing of the television.  The game table and chairs should be at an appropriate height for all players.
Dedicate the home office for business or study
If possible, use the home office only for business or study.  Organize all supplies and files so they are within easy reach, but keep the desktop free of clutter.  Baskets and bins look nice and work well.  Hide computer wiring with plastic tubing.  Set up an orderly filing system with labeled folders and purge it regularly. 

Make the kitchen appealing and efficient
Bright, cheerful colors make the kitchen a happy place where the family can gather to share their meals.  Using shatterproof dinnerware can reduce the fear of breakage and injury, especially for families with small children.  Fabrics and dinnerware with coordinated patterns are more appealing than mismatched ones.  Above all, the kitchen must be clean and organized.  Create an appetizing aroma by using air fresheners and sanitizers.  Choose a pleasant scent to cover any objectionable odors.  
Pick d├ęcor that suits your personality and style
Room furnishings and fabrics should wear well and feel good.  Paint the walls with soothing colors that appeal to you.  Earth tones provide a feeling of warmth.  Lean toward cooler shades for summer and warmer ones when it’s cold outside.  Look through current magazines to find what is in fashion, and then pick the styles and themes that you like.  Select furnishings and accessories accordingly.  Surround yourself with whatever appeals to your senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.  When you are happy in your surroundings, you've made your come cozy.