24 January 2011

Storage Ideas For Kids' Rooms

Are your children's rooms overwhelmed by toys, clothes and other clutter? Check out our gallery of buys and ideas that will have them looking shipshape in no time...

Furnish A Wall
If there's a spare wall in your child's bedroom, it's worth covering it with one single storage unit that can house everything from clothes to toys - that way, you can keep the rest of the room lightly furnished.

Small Scale Idea
These generously-sized storage bags are ideal for storing all sorts of kids’ stuff. Their stiff sides ensure that all their - from dressing up clothes to shoes - are kept safely in one place. Each is lined with plastic for easy cleaning and comes with two sturdy handles.

Find Adaptable Pieces
In a room with sloping ceilings, buy storage units that fit the space perfectly. Ideally, fitted furniture would give you maximum storage, but for a cheaper option, choose free-standing pieces.

Create A Play Space
This is a great solution for bedrooms that don't have space for a playtable. The trundle will live under most beds, ready to be rolled out for play-time, and with two drawers on castors there is also ample storage within it.

Two In One
We love this idea for a kids' room. One minute it's a comfy corner seat with practical drawer storage beneath, the next minute it's a guest bed. Brilliant for kids' rooms when they double up as guests rooms or if they have regular sleepovers.

Keep It Versatile
As they get older, their room will need to be more versatile. We hate to be brutal, but once they're off to university, or renting their first flat, their room will become a guest room, too. So, when redecorating a room belonging to someone in their late teens, bear this in mind. Of course, they'll still need all their creature comforts - somewhere to surf the net or study, a place for their clothes and clutter - but you also need to start seeing the room as one with lots of purposes.

Maximizing Your Studio Apartment

Studio apartments are recent phenomenon and are intended for singles, professionals and students who cannot afford expensive big apartments. Since the room is small, space is the biggest problem. Studio apartments are meant for giving comfort to the inhabitants. Those who want to have some style added to the room can change the layout of the room by arranging the furniture in different ways.

What makes studio apartments differ from other living arrangements? The basic feature is a big room only. It has no separate kitchen, bedroom or a living room. It is hence not possible to set a single room with furniture usually used at a typical home.

The studio apartments hence have special design furniture needs. Some characters are they must be light weight, consume less space, be easily moved and maintained and be multipurpose. Where there are so many specifications, isn't it hard to find a suitable furniture for the studio apartment.

First therefore one has to plan about the non existing walls in the room and act accordingly. Design in your mind how many rooms/sections you want to make in the room or how many rooms can be possibly is made. It is important to handle them the best you can so you make the living area the best you can.

The sections which are kitchen dinning, living and bedrooms when are decided about, means you have done half of your task. Judge the total area of each section in the room and then start looking for suitable furniture.

To design the kitchen, keep in mind that it's better to make the corner a kitchen and use a simple cooking table. You need some space on the top or the table for work. Cabinets are not very appropriate to be used so better buy shelves or cupboards. Keep the crockery and appliances minimum possible.

Since you don't have lots of space, a sofa-cum-bed at the living area will be perfect. A folding table can also be used there. This table can serve many purposes. If there are boxes you have, they can work as tables.

Cover the box with a table cover and it will not even sense if you have used a box instead of a table. The bed room must be separated with the help of separator or curtains. Floating beds save you space and so does ceiling beds. Get one of your choices.

Fun with The Kids Cabin Bed

Cabin bed might sound a bit unfamiliar to you. Well, it comes as no surprise when people define it something as simple as a bed in a cabin. It is a bed used for children but a lot more functional in nature.

The feature that makes cabin bed more than just a normal bed is that there is space under the mattress. A lot many things can be stored in the space. Children use the space for various purposes. Some use it as a toy, books, or cloths storage.

Before buying this bed, ask your children regarding their preferences. May be they will like the conventional varieties in beds more. They are going to be the one sleeping on it. Therefore, the buying decision should be in line with their wishes.

Once you have bought it, you can decorate it in a variety of ways to please your children. Add pictures by painting on the space. Pictures should relate to your children aspiration.

Another way to enhance the outlook of the bed is to erect a small stairway. This will be used by children to climb up to their beds. It will give a nice feel to the room.

Once the deal is made, you need to get down to drawing and painting on it. Your children wishes in this regard should not be ignored. If they are fond of a particular pattern, then include that in the design.

You should turn the painting and drawing into a group activity. This is a great opportunity to bring out the artist in your kids. Allow them to try their hands on various colors and various art combination's. They will also be doing something productive with their spare time.

Cabin beds are better than the conventional beds in many regards. With a little bit of effort, you can make your children like these beds more.

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12 January 2011

Adding Board And Batten Shutters To Your Home

Board and batten shutters can be a great, simple addition to almost any home, instantly improving the look of its outside while protecting your windows from the elements and adding a nice rustic touch to your property. They are simple to fit, and are often available at a low cost. If you think that they might be something to add to your home, here are some things to consider:

Firstly, make sure that it is a style of shutter that will suit your home. With so many different options available these days, you don't have to settle for the one size fits all approach. This form of shutter can look pleasantly old fashioned, and that is great if that is the look you are going for. If you live in an ultra modern home, though, you might be better off looking at other options, so be sure to consider potential shutters in the context of your whole property.

Also consider the specific design of shutter that you want. Although this kind of design is deliberately very simple, there are still many variations on it, ranging from differences in the fittings to variations in the number of planks or crosspieces. For the best effects, your choices should echo other design features of your home. Remember that if you are simply looking to replace a single shutter, then you should choose an option that is consistent with those already in place.

You need to think about materials, too. Yes, the word board implies the use of some sort of wood, but what sort? For a batten, mahogany could be used as easily as oak, or even some variety of faux wood. Different types will wear in different ways, will resist the weather to different degrees, and will have an effect on the overall price. In general, real wood options will be more expensive than fake ones, but will only make a noticeable difference if you are going for a very stripped back look to your shutters.

Having made those decisions, it is important to consider whether you want to do the work of installing the finished product yourself, or whether you would prefer it professionally done. In theory, this is one of the simplest options for installation when it comes to shutters, but you might still want a professional to do the job to ensure that yours fit well, and are likely to last longer. A well installed piece of woodwork also looks considerably better on your home than one that isn't quite straight, or that doesn't fit properly.

Board and batten shutters can make great additions to your home. They can improve the way it looks and help to keep out the worst of the weather. They can add a great rustic element to a cottage, or make a town house stand out from the crowd. The key is to take the time to make the right choices with them before you buy. Do that, and you should find that yours are something to be proud of for years to come.

Accenting The Special Pieces In Your Home

While your home may be filled with a variety of items that are useful or meaningful, there may be a few things that you really treasure and want to highlight. This may be a memento from the past, something you inherited from a family member or a piece of art that you invested in and plan to pass along to your relatives. If you have something you want to stand out and be treasured in your home, there are decorating tips you can use to accent the piece and enable it to really get noticed. Not only will visitors in your home notice it, you will be able to focus on it and really enjoy your investment. Lighting is a great way to accent a piece and using a grand piano lamp or piano light is a great way to bring attention to something. The lighting is often subtle, but is just enough to draw the eye in and help you focus on something that is special.

Using color to accent a piece is a great way to draw attention to something. Different colors give off different feelings, so if you want to highlight something and create a sense of calm or serenity, choose colors that are cool and relaxing. If you want to bring a feeling of excitement to a piece, choose warm, bright colors like red or purple. Remember colors reflect lighting in different ways and the accent colors you choose should contrast with the item to really make it stand out. Choose an accent color that is directly across from the color of your special piece on the color wheel to really make the piece stand out.

Another way to accent furniture is to remove color from the space surrounding it. Instead of choosing a color that will make your item stand out, accent it with a complete lack of color. A plain space will allow the attention in the room to focus on the special item you want to highlight. The eye is drawn to the item in the room that has color and pattern when the surrounding area is white and void of color and pattern.

If your special item is of value, consider roping it off. This may seem extreme for a private residence, but if your item is worth money and it draws the attention of family members and visitors, you need to create a safe way to keep people from damaging the special piece. Tastefully roping off the area in which the item is kept allows you to admire it from a distance, protecting the item and allowing it to retain its value.

Finally, if your item will not lose value if it is used, be sure to enjoy it as much as possible! One of the biggest mistakes people make is ignoring items that are special. Make owning nice pieces worth your while by putting them to use and incorporating them into your everyday life. Making memories with your special items add meaning and help you feel better about heirloom items.

Effective Ways To Use Home Lighting In

Home lighting is arguably the most important element in home interior decorating. It is instrumental in setting the mood of any room.

It can convey warmth and intimacy or create the right atmosphere for entertaining.

To ensure that you will achieve the desired effect for your rooms, it is important that you first understand the four basic types of home lighting.

1.Ambient or general lighting - illuminates the whole room. You probably notice it from recessed and track lighting. Certain wall sconces are yet another example. I recommend that you install a dimmer with your track and recessed lights so that you have the added flexibility in adjusting the brightness.

2.Task lighting - provides sufficient light to help you perform the task at hand, e.g., reading, cooking, shaving, etc. Task lighting should be glare free. And it should make things easy to see without tiring or straining your eyes.

3.Accent lighting - is focused lighting that is used to illuminate a sculpture, piece of art, or architectural element in a room. Accent lighting is about three times as bright as ambient lighting.

4.Natural lighting - comes through windows, doors, and skylights. Depending on the time of day, season, or weather, it can vary in brightness and intensity.
As with all of your decorating efforts, do a little planning before you rush out and purchase your home lighting fixtures. Think carefully about the activities that will occur in each area of the room.

Don't be afraid to use multiple types of interior lighting in a room. In fact this is highly desirable and will create very dramatic effects.

Lighting can also be helpful in making a room look larger or smaller. For example, if a room seems too narrow, then wash one wall with light to visually expand it.

If a ceiling is high, but you want the room to have a more intimate and cozy feel, don't allow much light to escape beyond the height of the light/lamp shade.

And if you want to make a small room look larger, try up-lighting the ceiling.

If you're searching for home lighting ideas and fixtures, I recommend that you check out Bellacor. Their selection of home lighting fixtures is quite impressive. There are many items to satisfy all decorating tastes.

Living Rooms

•Place a lamp behind every reader's shoulder…about 42 inches above the floor. Click on this link for ideas on re-energizing outdated Table Lamps.
•Highlight a framed piece of art with halogen track lighting or by attaching a picture light
•Use accent lights to illuminate book or display shelves.
•Install recessed lighting as your general lighting or to bring out beautiful wall textures (use a dimmer)
•Slim strip lights come in just about any length and can stick to the edge of shelves or ledges to highlight displays or provide a soft wash to a wall
•A grid of recessed ceiling cans will provide great general lighting
•Install individual recessed down-lights as task lighting for the sink and range
•Place halogen pendant lights over bars and counters
•Under-cabinet lights make excellent task lighting
Dining Rooms
•A chandelier over the dining room table creates a beautiful setting (use a dimmer)
•Highlight a framed piece of art with halogen track lighting or by attaching a picture light
•Install halogen strip lighting your china cabinet to highlight china or collectibles
•If a chandelier is not your taste and you have a long table, try a trio of pendant lights
•Place table lamps on your bedside tables. (For children's rooms, avoid halogen lamps which can get very hot.)
•Wall sconces can provide good general lighting without being too bright
•If there is not much space, consider recessed lights or pendant lights
•Don't forget candlelight if a romantic setting is what you have in mind
•Use shadow-free fluorescent or incandescent lights around mirrors for grooming
•To avoid heavy shadows, place mirror lights on the side rather than directly overhead
•Don't forget to install a nightlight

07 November 2010

Modern merriment: Holiday decor that blends trend and tradition

The holidays are full of traditions, from big family gatherings down to the simple pleasures like hot cocoa. When it seems like the whole world is in a festive mood, it's easy to get excited about checking off items on your traditional holiday to-do list, especially when it comes to decorating your home.

First, consider the overall decor you want to display. By combining modern design and classic traditions of holiday decorating, your home can become memorable - inside and out.

An important, but perhaps underestimated, element of holiday decorating is lights. Everyone knows they're necessary, but not many people think outside of the box when it comes to creating a unique display. More options exist today than ever before, from brilliant white or single colors to an array of jewel tones and all shapes and sizes that can customize your decor.

In these energy-conscious times, LED lights should contend for your attention. If their reputation for casting a cold glow has kept you at bay, it's time to think again. Now, LED lights have the warmer tone that so many people seek while still offering longer life and lower energy expenditures than traditional bulbs. Since you can find them in almost all variations offered by traditional bulbs, your decorating options are wide open.

In addition, consider these new spins on holiday decorating:

* Pop art: If you're feeling bold, make your holiday decorations all about of-the-moment color and modern details. Start with an artificial white tree, which you can find at home improvement retailers like Lowe's, complete with integrated lights that you don't need to re-string every year. The snowy white branches are the perfect backdrop to make brightly colored glass bulbs and baubles really stand out. Go for colors like fuchsia, apple green, lemon yellow and turquoise. For an extra "wow" factor, add even more lights - use multicolored strands that will play on the hues of your ornaments. Make your own tree skirt from brightly colored felt, and glue on small mirrors or silver-tone charms for extra sparkle.

* Rustic: Think rich woods, earth tones and, of course, splashes of brick red for this upscale-yet-casual look. Stringing your tree with white and gold lights will give it a warm glow; play on that ambience with raffia garland and ornaments made of natural materials. Hang cable-knit socks on the mantle for another touch of cozy luxury. The key to this look is that it is glowing, rather than shiny. Try wrapping gifts in brown kraft paper and adding pops of color with ribbon in colors that match your decor.

* Winter garden: We all love to see plants growing in the middle of winter, and this theme is all about the beauty of living flora. It's a simple palette, but one that will impart an elegant look: creamy white, red, touches of brown and green, green, green. While your tree is a traditional spruce or fir, look for opportunities to incorporate other plant textures, like spongy moss or magnolia leaves that are shiny dark green on the top and velvety brown on the bottom. Poinsettias are a perfect complement to this look, but this year, they're going high-tech. At Lowe's, poinsettias will feature a Microsoft Tag on the label; smart phone users can scan it and instantly learn more about the plant they're buying and how to care for it, the same tag will also be on the live, freshly cut Christmas trees.

Getting started with your holiday decorating projects is as simple as going to your local home improvement store to stock up on what you need. To plan ahead, go to www.lowes.com to browse their holiday decor items before you shop. Then it's time to get the whole family involved with making your home look holiday-perfect - just another tradition that makes this such a fun time of year.

27 May 2010

Putting An End To The Confusion

With so many different kinds of window treatments available today, it's no wonder that selecting the right solution for your home can be a difficult decision. But if you follow the basic ideas presented below, you should have no problem finding window treatments that will satisfy your home interior decorating needs.

Unless you have lots of land to roam, you probably have windows that need to be covered for privacy reasons. If your living room has a view of the street, you'll want to shield it from passersby. If your neighbor can peer into your bedroom from their backyard, you'll want to eliminate their temptation to pry.
Light Control
When you think of using window treatments for light control, sleeping is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, controlling the amount of light or glare in a room can also be important for other activities such as watching television, reading, or working at your desk.

Before you select window treatment fabrics and patterns, you'll want to first decide on the mood you want for the room. Do you want it to be casual? romantic? formal?

The reason for this is because the mood you choose will influence the type of fabric and style for your window treatments, which is a matter of personal taste…

Lots of fabric flowing from floor-to-ceiling conveys a formal look. Swags of sheer fabric draped across a wide window rings of contemporary elegance. A simple cornice covered in a colorful cotton fabric might be the spark that brings life to a casual room.

Another window treatment example is shown to the right.
I wanted something simple to cover a narrow bathroom window, so I had this decorative ascot valance made.
The bronze fabric provides a subtle touch. Similar to my living room, metal blinds are tucked out of sight until needed.

I hope this information of window treatments has been helpful.

24 February 2010

A Touch of Pink

Some colors relax, others excite; pink does both. It provokes romance and glamour, and it is the color of love's first blush. Pink delivers feel-good emotion in the same way that a ranunculus blooms, one layer at a time. Give in to pink's pretty power.

White and pastel pink set a girlie tone in Caia’s bedroom. A wrought-iron four-poster, twinkling chandelier and faux fur throw make the room fit for a little princess.The space doesn’t feel small at all because of the layout, high ceilings and lots of light.

Small children are a unique consideration when designing compact spaces. Streamlined living zones with lots of open space between furniture keep chaos under control as little ones race around. Creating a superplush and nifty nest means kids have a special spot to play and rest.

22 February 2010

How to Arrange Living Room Furniture

The living room will be a place for family or friends to sit and visit, so a special effort should be made to create a comfortable harmonious environment. How you arrange your sofa, chairs, tables and lighting means everything to the dream you're trying to turn into reality.Arranging living room furniture in a right way decides whether your living room looks cluttered and overstuffed or an organized comfortable room where you like to spend most of your time.
Furniture arrangements should have a purpose. Activity areas should be reflected and distinguishable in each area of your room. A small room should have at least one conversational area, while larger rooms may incorporate additional furniture groupings. A good rule of thumb is to seat at least six people comfortably.

Choose a focal point of the living room and arrange your furniture and lighting around it. Some of the popular focal point ideas in a living room are a fireplace, a view from the window, window opening out in a garden, a large bookcase, sofa with a special painting hung above it, a home theater system or big size plasma television.

Don't feel it is necessary to go out and buy all new pieces of furniture when you decorate. If you have a sofa in good functional condition, you can use one of the many styles of slipcovers available, pre-made for standardized sofas, chairs and loveseats. Throw pillows are also another decorating option.

You may also turn one of the corners of the living room in a focal point using an interesting lamp, tabletop waterfall or other unique decorative pieces on it along with the lighting to highlight it. Set up conversation areas for your guests.

Use area rugs to define seating areas. If you are dealing with a large room that has multiple seating areas, this will help characterize each area while tying together the scheme. Rugs are also useful for covering up unattractive carpeting or floors!

The lighter, neutral shades of walls generally found in rental buildings are actually a benefit. This color scheme leaves room for selecting furniture in basically any color, scheme or style.