Showing posts with label Decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decor. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Yankee Candles for Easter

Yankee Candles for Easter 

It is a different world that we live in as I write this post on March 30, 2020. Most of us are living 'physically distant' or practicing 'social distancing' from family and friends as together people throughout the world attempt to slow down the spread of this virus by reducing contact with others. I know that in my home Easter is going to look different than it has in the past. We are not very religious but we celebrate Easter as a way to come together with those who are important to us and, of course, close enough to visit. This will be the first Easter dinner we have eaten with just the two of us present in almost thirty years.

We usually start the day with an Easter egg hunt or, given the fact that we are all adults, a look-under-your-bed chocolate Easter bunny hunt.

The rest of the day is spent with a walk and a few board games. For supper we normally share a feast of scalloped potatoes, baked ham, fresh asparagus and some sort of yummy lemon dessert.

My husband and I spoke briefly recently about what we would do this year given that we are in self isolation and it will be just the two of us. Arbitrarily, I decided we did not need a chocolate Easter bunny, which removes the necessity of my husband going to the grocery store. The deal in our household is that I will be the one person to go to the grocery store once every two weeks. This reduces our contact with other people and lowers our chances of catching the virus.

However, I am hoping to make a smaller version of the Best-Ever Creamy Scalloped Potatoes recipe and some acceptable substitute (though I do not know what it looks like yet) for my Best-Ever Baked  Ham recipe. In substitution for the chocolate bunny, we will make ourselves a special homemade treat, which will fill time as an activity and could well turn out to be better than a chocolate bunny. Yes, chocolate lovers that is possible!

We will pull out a few of our Easter decorations. We do not have many but we do have a few and they will help make the day brighter.

I love the idea of a Yankee Candles in an Easter scent like Sweet Bunny Treats, Bunny Cake, Easter Basket and Jelly Bean.  I wrote on another blog about the very trendy Peeps scent. The candles shown on this page are the large 22 ounce jar candle and they generally retail for less than $30. Depending on the scent and how you use your candle, they will provide 110 to 150 hours of enjoyment. You can check out Amazon's complete collection of Yankee Candles for Easter by clicking right here.

How about you? I assume that you are also facing an unusual situation for Easter this year. Will you prepare a special meal? Have a chocolate bunny rabbit? Put out a few decorations?

However you choose to mark the day remember to stay home, be safe and keep on smiling. We are all in this together and together we will flatten the curve and get through this. As they say in French Canada with the picture of a rainbow and a smile, "Ça va bien aller."

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda


Quick Links:

Check out all of Amazon's Easter scented Yankee Candles.
Find my complete Easter Dinner Menu Plan.
Learn a bit more about Yankee Candles with Easter themes and find the PEEPS candle here.




Yankee Chocolate Eggs Easter Candle

Yankee Easter Basket Candle for Easter

Yankee Jelly Bean Candle for Easter

Yankee Sweet Bunny Treats Candle for Easter


Yankee Sweet Bunny Cake for Easter




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Friday, February 21, 2020

The Perfect Lego Display Shelves Reviewed

You've just finished the next great Lego masterpiece!  Now what?

The Perfect Lego Display Shelves Reviewed
The biggest problem for any avid Lego builder is where to display their finished objet d'art.  After spending hours, often days, building a Lego design, you're pretty excited and wish to set it in a place of distinction.  Any open, flat surface is subject to being seized for Lego display.

Many Lego builders don't plan to play with their creations.  They have the heart of an artist, or an art collector.  For them, the completed project is a valued treasure that should not be tampered with or dismantled.  

I have often felt like the Lego masterpieces that our son has made deserve to be placed behind museum ropes, never to be touched again.  Perhaps an alarm should be set up to alert the household if anything, like a dog's tail, gets too close.  

While ropes and alarms would be extreme, the reality is that we really don't want the finished Legos to be thwacked.  I suspect all Lego builders have had the horrible experience of helplessly watching their masterpiece literally break to pieces.  That experience is neither fun, nor desired.

Therefore, Lego treasures need a safe place for display.  In my most recent search, I found a set of shelves that is perfect for Lego display!



Lego Display Shelves


 Ameriwood Home Hazel Kids'
4 Shelf Bookcase, White
As you know, Lego projects come in all sizes.  Even mini-figures are extremely popular and collectable.  Finding a way to display everything together, in a way that each piece can been seen well, is very challenging.  


With standard shelves, the back of the sets tend to be blocked by the shelve just above them.  An observer must contort their bodies, or hunker down to be able to see the complete finished Lego.  Even then, you're not getting a really good look and are tempted to pick it up so you can really see it.

With the tiered shelves, it is no longer necessary to struggle to see the larger Lego completely without touching it.  Only the bottom shelf sitting on the floor seems to be tucked away & slightly hidden from view.  However, the front wood piece does keep feet from accidentally kicking whatever is displayed on that lowest shelf.

Bookcase Shelves for Lego Display

As you can see in the picture above, the shelves are deep enough for those Star Wars Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer, the Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator and tall enough for even the Imperial TIE Fighter.  My son used the next shelf for a collection of Lego Rebel Starfighters, including Luke Skywalker's X-Wing.  The very top shelf was reserved for the tallest in this group, his combined Jabba Palace & Rancor Pit set beside the Jabba Sail Barge.

It took us approximately one hour to assemble the shelves. The bookcase was very heavy broken down and in the box. Once they were assembled, the shelves were easy to slide across the carpet and into place.


Additional Ideas for These Bookcase Shelves


These shelves would be awesome for displaying anything.  As a matter of fact, I am considering replacing the shelves in my craft room with several sets of these bookcase shelves.  I love the tiered design that allows you to easily see the back of each shelf.  They would definitely allow for better organization.

They would also be awesome for actual books!  Like Legos, books come in many sizes.  It would be so nice to have my bookshelves organized with the smaller books on the top shelf of the tiers and the largest on the bottom.  Sure would make scanning the titles easier!

Last, but not least, the bookcase shelves would be great in a kids room for their toys.  I haven't actually tried to climb on the shelves myself, but the tiered design would certainly make these shelves less likely to turn over.

 


Check Out More Home Decor Reviews at
ReviewThisDecor.com
Or
Reviews on Lego Sets
Right Here On Review This Reviews!

House of Sylvestermouse




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Monday, February 3, 2020

Reviewing the Honbay Convertible Sectional Sofa

When furnishing a living space your first thought might not be to shop Amazon. It sure wasn't my first thought. That is the last place I would have considered shopping for a sofa before now. But I ended up purchasing the Honbay Convertible Sectional Sofa through Amazon Prime and it turned out to be a great decision in several ways.


Reviewing this sectional sofa from Amazon.

My son recently moved to the area and was in the process of setting up short-term living arrangements in a small apartment. My youngest son and I wanted to give him a sofa. Small living space translates to small furniture. We searched nearly every furniture store in the Baltimore metro area to find a compact, inexpensive sofa that would fit the space and be easy to handle during his next move.

Every local small sofa on sale was nearly $400 and included approximately a $100 delivery fee. And some deliveries were scheduled for weeks out.

My son suggested Amazon and I was not initially agreeable. We chose the Honbay Convertible Sectional Sofa and I skeptically waited for delivery (expecting to feel regret at the purchase).

He is very pleased with the sofa! I was thrilled that it arrived quickly and with Amazon Prime's free shipping. I know that he really likes the sofa but when asking for the purpose of this review what he likes, he immediately listed:

  • easy to assemble
  • sturdy and well-built for the price
  • tear-resistant linen cloth
  • excellent size for a small space
  • seating for 3 adults comfortably

It is currently priced at $319 with no delivery costs - saving us nearly $200! It was delivered as easily as any other Amazon package.

This sofa has been great with the dogs. The cloth is durable - no punctures or rips from those sharp dog toenails. Because of the low price tag, I expected the covering to feel scratchy or cheap. It does not.

The chaise portion can easily be changed to either the right or left side by changing the placement of the ottomon and long cushion.


HONBAY Convertible Sectional Sofa 

I highly recommend this sofa for:

  • small spaces 
  • living spaces that are up or down stairs
  • temporary living situations 
  • folks who relocate frequently and want easy-to-move furniture
  • people with a tight budget
  • college students
  • young families just getting started
  • older folks who are down-sizing
  • furnishing that guest suite
  • seating for a large bedroom
  • seating for entertaining and conversation areas




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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Happy Birthday Capricorn! Let's Review How Wonderful You Are

Happy Birthday, Capricorn - Dec 22 to January 20
The Goat

For the proud Capricorn, the Goat is not an acronym lol (greatest of all time - sorry!). If your birthday falls between December 22nd and January 20th, you were born under the sign of Capricorn. 

Since I'm a fan of astrology and often on the hunt for funky home decorating ideas, I've added a section on Funkthishouse called 'Astrology Home Decor.' Each astrology sign is featured with suggested home decor items for creating a zodiac-themed bedroom. 

When decorating a bedroom to reflect your astrology sign, don't restrict yourself to just the sign name and symbol. Each sign has several other aspects; lucky numbers, birthstone, your sign's lucky days, your ruling planet, your sign's element, and more. Here are some suggestions for Capricorn's room.

Capricorn: Practical, Realistic, Persistent, Disciplined, Intelligent, Caring, Analytical, and Organized.

Traits: Capricorns tend to be rule-followers and prefer systems and boundaries that are clearly defined. If you're looking for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, it's likely you won't find that trait in a Capricorn. 

Work: Preferring structure makes them ideal candidates to climb the corporate ladder. Whether they climb that ladder or not, they approach their profession seriously and with dedication.

Home: Capricorns are a bit fussy about their home and how it's presented. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that is there? 

Responsibilty: If your significant other is a Capricorn, they might be the banker of the family. Since they can be counted on to abide by structure and are detailed, the family finances are probably in good hands with a Capricorn. 

Love: In relationships, they're committed and will focus on doing what it takes with a partner they can count on. Since they prefer structure, a stable relationship that offers that has value to them.

Capricorn 2020

As one year ends and another begins, I visit my favorite Astrologer on YouTube, Kelly Rosano. She offers up fun and interesting videos for each sign. Her presentations are broken down in an easy to follow format. 

She's completed an annual 2020 summary for all twelve signs and also features a monthly summary for each. I'm a Leo, and I found her projections for 2020 to match almost everything I had been planning and thinking. Interesting!

Capricorn, if you're wondering how 2020 may look for you, check out Kelly Rosano's video below:







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Sunday, December 15, 2019

7 Ways to Maximize Space and Get Your Home Organized

7 Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Home or Apartment

With the New Year approaching, you'll soon be into cleaning and organizing again.

If you're like me, you may already be thinking ahead to a few changes you want to make to maximize the square footage in your home.

Let's review some creative ideas:

1. Chairs that Convert to a Bed

That's right; there are chairs that fold open and turn into a bed. These are ideal for small apartments or small rooms where you need a place for company to crash. Here are some examples of various styles; some unfold, some fold down, and others sit and fold directly onto the floor.

2. End Tables That Double as a Pet Crate

These are especially handy for smaller homes. They're an excellent solution for apartment dwellers with pets. They range in style, design, and color. Put one or two on either side of the couch, and you now have a place for the fur babies and coffee tables all in one piece.

3. Plano Storage Unit for Crafts and Supplies

Wednesday Elf from ReviewThisReviews discusses how she uses the Plano Storage Unit to organize her crafting supplies. If you're not interested in spending too much money but need an efficient organizational unit, this one works. We use these as well. Ours is in the basement, holding our Christmas decorations. They're also handy in garages.

4. Elaborate Ways to Use Space Under a Staircase

If renovations and a good-sized budget are in your organizational future, check out these design ideas for using space under the stairs; a reading nook, a washroom, extra sleeping space, a playroom, a dog house, and the list goes on.

5. Space Saving Table and Chairs

These aren't your grandmother's table and chairs, although some of those were pretty nice. Today's space-saving tables come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and designs: There are the standard folding leaf tables, chairs the tuck directly under each part of the table, bench type seats, and more. These are the perfect solution for a tiny kitchen or enclosed porch and balcony.

6. Creating Additional Storage in a Bedroom

Here you'll find five suggestions on how you can add more storage space to the bedroom. My personal favorite is the bed skirt organizer. It's an actual bed skirt with plastic storage inserts for both sides. If you don't want to see the clutter in the bed skirt, add a bedspread that covers it, or put a cloth bed skirt over it. Other suggestions include a bedside cubby that stores items and fits under the mattress, ottoman storage, over-the-door storage units, and under-the-bed storage.

7. Loft Beds for Adults

Check out these funky designs. Living in an apartment in a city usually means that the square footage is minimal. If that's the case, you'll want to consider one of these lofts. Designs vary with some featuring desks, a table and seating area, and daybeds. Going vertical solves the small space problem, and these designs do precisely that.


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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Six Easy Christmas Tree Alternatives

Alternatives to Standard Christmas Trees


There are alternatives to putting up a fully decorated Christmas Tree. When time, health or motivation gets in the way of decorating the way you used to, check out these options:

1. Christmas Tree Art Drapes

You have to check these out; they're gorgeous. These drapes are full floor to ceiling curtains featuring 3D holiday scenes. The entire drapes are an art canvas, except instead of being on canvas, the art is on cloth. If you have a large window or sliding patio door, remove your existing drapes and put these up for the holidays. 

2. A Tabletop Christmas Tree

A tabletop tree is the easiest way to bring a little cheer into your home during the holidays. One of ReviewThisReviews writers, Dawn Rae, provides several creative suggestions here. Of course, tabletop trees can also be used to accessorize a fully decorated home. They also make an excellent hostess gift.

3. Freestanding Cardboard Christmas Trees
When you need a simpler
decorating plan

Of course, this particular choice is better utilized as party decor. However, there are several ways to incorporate cardboard trees into the home. For those who like to feature multiple trees but don't have the energy to go all out, these fun designs are an alternative. Also, you can use them as a way to add a safe festive feel to a child's room or playroom. 

4.  Christmas Tree Wall Decals

If you have a little more energy and enjoy decorating the walls, then you'll love this idea. Wall decal Christmas Trees are a fun way to add festive art to a room. When the holidays are over, simply remove them. Since they have more of an artsy animated look to them, they're ideal in a room where the kids tend to gather, even their bedroom. How nice would it be to read holiday bedtime stories with a fun Christmas Tree decal front and center in the little one's bedroom?

5. Pull Up Christmas Trees

These are an absolute must for people who don't have time for anything elaborate during the holidays! They fold completely flat into a storage bag. You may have to buy the storage bag separately. When the holiday season rolls around, unzip the bag and pull up the pre-lit, even pre-decorated Christmas Tree. That's right, most of them come fully decorated. A couple of these trees will eliminate a ton of work yet still give your home or office that lovely holiday feel.

6. Christmas Trees or Decor Featured on a Rug

If the wall, a tabletop, or draperies are out of the question, how about a bit of the holiday spirit on the floor? These holiday-themed area rugs feature various scenes that you can easily incorporate into your home. The nice thing about a carpet is the ease of taking it out and putting it away. Feature a festive rug in your foyer, one in the kitchen or living area, and add a small table-top tree or Christmas tree ornament, and your decorating is finished. You've decorated without a lot of effort. With a rug, there are no boxes to unpack or carry; store it in a closet or under a bed until the season is upon us.

As we get older, decorating the way we used to can become challenging. Our hearts may want to go all out, but our bodies won't let us. So don't hesitate to seek out something easier that works for you and your life. These days, there's something beautiful about going 'small.' It's like getting back to the basics and focusing on what Christmas is really about; love.



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Sunday, November 10, 2019

10 Reasons to Consider a Combination TV Stand and Fireplace

Electric Fireplace TV Stands

Even though we have a gas fireplace in our family room, we've had a combination electric fireplace tv cabinet for several decades. The photo on this page is the actual unit we purchased. 

Ten Reasons to Consider a TV Electric Fireplace Cabinet:

1. A Secondary Heat Source

Currently, this unit is in my office. The room gets chilly in the winter, so this solves that problem. Of course, it houses a TV as well, which is ideal on those days I prefer to work while watching the tube. 

2. To Save Space

If you'd like both a fireplace and a TV in the room but don't have space for it, you'll want to consider a unit like this. They come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, so you're sure to find one that ties into your existing decor.

3. To Add a Fireplace Where None Exists

If your home or apartment doesn't have a fireplace, it's the ideal solution; you add to
Electric Fireplace TV Stand
in my office
the ambiance, decor, and practicality with one piece of furniture.

4. To Warm Up a Finished Basement/Recreation Room Area

Often times finished basements don't have or can't have a gas fireplace. An electric fireplace solves the problem. It brings additional heat in the room, provides extra storage and of course, is a place for the TV.

5. When You Move, Take it With You

Renters, in particular, benefit from moveable TV Fireplace Stands. Now you don't have to eliminate apartments without fireplaces; just add one of these units, and you'll achieve that cozy feel you're seeking.

6. It's Easily Relocatable

We've had our fireplace tv stand in multiple places in our home over the years. In fact, it was in our master bedroom for over five years before we moved it to my office. Previous to that, it was in the living room. 

7. Add a Gaming System to the Stand

Some tv fireplace stands come with enough room to hook-up a gaming station. In our particular unit, there's a Play Station attached to the TV for kids and grown-ups alike. On the side of the unit are glass doors where we place the controllers and games.

8. Extra Compact Storage Space

Some units come with cupboards and others with convenient storage areas. At the bottom of this article you'll see a link to a page that features various designs and styles; take a look at all the choices.

9. A Fireplace Remote

Ok, pretty much all electric fireplaces come with a remote control. However, it's especially convenient when you're in bed, on the couch or at your desk, and need the heat on! Reach for the remote and start-up your fireplace.

10. It's A Lot More Affordable than Installing a Fixed Fireplace

Although the prices of fireplace tv stands vary from lower to higher ranges, they're less expensive than hiring a contractor to install a gas or electric unit.

Various Designs and Styles

Unfortunately, I can't give you a link to the fireplace unit in our home as it's been there for decades. We've never had a problem with it either. It certainly was worth the money. It cost us approximately $1200.

However, I did put together a collection of various designs and styles from multiple stores. You'll notice there's a broad range in prices, colors, and styles to fit just about any decor theme.


Just a reminder, if you have little kids or pets, don't let them touch the fireplace! Like any fireplace unit, gas, or electric, it gets hot!

Stay Warm



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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hurricane Style Lamps - An Outstanding Vintage Heirloom Look

Hurricane Style Lamps - Vintage Heirloom Look
I've stayed a fan of unique lamp designs my entire life. Standard lamps, those we see just about everywhere, are lovely as well. However, there's something incredibly gorgeous about adding a lamp that's not like anything you typically see.

Unique lamps, especially those with a vintage feel, can fit with any decor, even contemporary. If your decor style is to bring amazing pieces into a room, vintage lamps, especially Hurricane Style Lamps, meet that criteria.

Back in the 1980s, when we purchased our second home, lamp selection was a meticulous process for us. I'll never forget the moment I noticed the outstanding, custom hand-blown glass Hurricane Lamp featured on this page. We purchased two, and they're still front and center in our home. No matter how often styles have changed, this design has stood the test of time.

What Are Hurricane Lamps
Hurricane Style Lamp
Custom Hand-Blown Glass

The oil lamp eventually became the Hurricane Oil Lamp invented by Francois-Pierre Aime Argand in 1780. The invention of the glass insert protected the flame from the wind and elements. Over the centuries, Hurricane Lamps progressed in design from oil to electric. 

However, a Hurricane Lamp describes the style of a lamp, and styles can vary. Glass designs and shapes can differ quite a bit. You'll notice when online shopping just how vast the choices are.

The lamps we purchased are similar to Quoizel Lamps. Their style, of course, is vintage Hurricane. They've worked in the main rooms of the home as well as the bedrooms. 

Over the decades they've traveled with us from home to home, and we plan to keep them in the family. They're quite substantial in size, approximately two and a half feet in height.

Where Can You Find Similar Hurricane Lamps

I haven't seen any that match ours. However, I have come across a Quoizel Lamp that is close in design. It's slightly smaller in size, but still lovely. You can view it here on Amazon.

Happy vintage ambient lighting!







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Friday, October 11, 2019

Anti Fatigue Comfort Floor Mat By Sky Mats Reviewed

Anti Fatigue Comfort Floor Mat by Sky Mats Reviewed
I would be the first to say, I am extremely surprised that these anti-fatigue mats actually work! 

When we visited our daughter a few weeks ago, she had several anti-fatigue floor mats in her kitchen.  One in front of her sink and one in front of the counter they use when preparing food. Honestly, I thought they were the latest gimmick to separate us from our money.  I stood on one of her mats and thought, "wow, this really is comfortable".

Back home, I promptly ordered two anti-fatigue mats for my own kitchen.  As soon as they arrived, they were immediately placed on the hardwood floor.  Since then, I have prepared two recipes that require a lot of standing time.  Shockingly, I did not hurt after standing for over an hour either time.


Anti-Fatigue Floor Mats By Sky Mats 


Make sure you buy the right brand!  I tried several in the local store and most of them slid to easily.  The Sky mats have a backing that holds them in place.  Plus, they have sloped edges.  Therefore, I won't slip and fall.  That non-slip backing is a huge difference when comparing anti-fatigue floor mats.

The Sky Mats are not available in a lot of different colors or patterns.  Getting hung up on "looks" is what caused me to consider a different brand.  I am so glad I tried them in the store first!  I knew I would prefer comfort over appearance. After all, the reason I need the mats is because of the extreme back pain I experience after standing on my hardwood floors for long periods of time.


Anti Fatigue Comfort Floor Mats by Sky Mats Reviewed

I purchased two different Sky Mats.  They are the same matching color, but they are different lengths.  As you can see in the photos, I have the standard size (20x32x3/4-inch) in front of my kitchen sink.  However, I opted for a longer (24x70x3/4-inch) that covers the area in front of my counter and stove top.  This is totally awesome!  I never have to leave my "cloud of comfort" when preparing, cooking, or cleaning.  Plus, the smaller mat is easy to lift and move if needed.

I enjoy cooking and always hated the subsequent aches and pains.  I no longer have to worry about hurting simply because I need to stand at the counter or stove-top for several hours. That makes the meal so much more enjoyable for me! 










Read More Product Reviews On
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Sunday, September 29, 2019

5 Positive Energy Home Decor Ideas - Keep Your Home Calm to Carry On



There are multiple ways to encourage positive energy in your home. The most common technique is to implement Feng Shui principles. 

However, today we'll focus on simple positive energy decorating symbols to incorporate into everyday pieces.

1. Butterflies

Butterflies symbolize renewal, hope, transformation, spirituality, and growth. 

If you or other friends and family members survived challenging times, then to symbolize transformation, feature butterfly decor pieces. If larger items aren't your thing, add small decorative pieces such as butterfly mugs or candles.

For larger impact butterfly decor ideas, you could include a unique butterfly area rug or check out these incredible butterfly sheer drapes. They're gorgeous!

2. The Dragonfly

Like the butterfly, the dragonfly also symbolizes transformation. However, this symbolic transformation is usually in the area of spiritual and mental growth. 

When you want pieces that encourage the advancement of the soul, add dragonfly decor. Here are a few ideas; dragonfly throw blankets, pillows, wall art, and bedding. 

For an especially unique dragonfly piece, check out this colorful and gorgeous Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp!. 

3. The Lotus Flower

The Lotus flower represents sacred creation, divine birth and advancing spiritually. If you're trying to conceive, you may want to consider a gorgeous Lotus Bedding set. In fact, add Lotus items sporadically throughout the home. 

4. The Bluebird of Happiness

Yes, it really is an ancient symbol of cheerfulness, good health, and prosperity. When you'd like to enhance the mood in a room, include the bluebird of happiness in decor pieces. Since people gather in the kitchen and family rooms, that's an excellent place to feature the birdie. Display the bluebird in dishware, mugs, a wall clock, or this magnificent piece of wall art.

5. The Peony Flower

Peonies are the symbol of romance, a happy marriage, compassion, and wealth. To take advantage of these traits, feature Peony home decor items in the bedroom.

You've probably noticed that most of the symbols are intertwined in their meaning. However, there are differences. Use those subtle differences to determine which room each one belongs in.













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Sunday, September 22, 2019

How to Make Smaller Rooms Look Bigger


Whether you're selling your home or not, these essential design tips will help you make a smaller room seem bigger.

1. Put a Large Vertical Framed Mirror on the Wall

If you have the wall space, consider featuring an oversized mirror. With 8-foot ceilings, a mirror that's about 5 feet in height by 4 feet wide will make a powerful impact. Of course, the size will have to vary according to the space you have on the wall. The main point is that the mirror impacts the space by reflecting light, furnishings, and colors in the room. Wall mounting a heavy mirror may not be an option, especially for tenants; if that's the case, you can lean it up against a wall. Keep the area around it clear for maximum effect. Here's a free-standing mirror to give you an idea of the look.

2. Don't Block Windows and Doorways with Furniture

This can be a tricky task in a small room. However, put that thinking cap on and consider how to layout the furniture so that windows are left unobstructed. This is especially true for rooms with floor to ceiling windows, patio doors, and longer lower windows, as shown in the photo below.


Although the room featured in the photo below has high ceilings, it's still a small space. The design layout is ideal for the area as the couch, or other furniture doesn't block the window, helping to create an open feel.


3. Hang Your Drapes Floor to Ceiling

This technique is especially useful if your ceilings are standard height or a bit low. By bringing the drapes up to the ceiling, you help eyes to be drawn upwards, which in turn creates a feeling that the room is larger. Take another look at the above photo to see how the homeowners successfully accomplished this with their drapery position.

4. Don't Be Afraid to Add Larger Furniture Pieces

With a smaller room, the natural instinct is to shy away from larger furniture pieces. However, the opposite approach actually works better. Choose one, or maybe two at the most, large items rather than multiple smaller ones. Too many smaller pieces can make a room feel cluttered and disorganized.

5. Go Easy on Accessories

We all love pillows, throw blankets, decorated coffee tables and dresser tops, however, that's a recipe for creating a crowded feeling in a small room. Choose the items you prefer sparingly. Don't be afraid of putting one larger decorative piece on top of a cabinet or dresser. By limiting your decorative accessory choice to one impressive impact-piece, you keep the smaller items in that smaller room to a minimum.

So there you have five easy ways to help make your small room seem bigger. Let's review: 
  • Keep the windows open and clear
  • Use a large impressive vertical mirror
  • Install floor to ceiling drapes
  • Add one or two larger furniture pieces
  • Limit accessories
How to Make a Smaller Room Look Larger




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Sunday, September 15, 2019

4 Unconventional Ways to Create a Cozy Room for the Winter

Four Unconventional Ways to Make a Room Cozy

During the colder months, we begin to hibernate. With hibernation comes cozy blankets, hot cups of tea, movie nights and fireplaces.

If your home still has that open airy spring and summer feel but you'd like to create a cozy home environment for the winter, here are some easy ways to achieve that goal.

1. Add Drapes in Unexpected Places

Most of the time we think of windows when we think of drapes. However, drapes add depth, texture, and warmth to a room and do not have to be restricted to window dressing.

Do you have french doors or pocket doors that lead to another room? If so consider placing drapes over the doorway entrance. The draperies add another level of depth and coziness to both rooms or areas they cover. Instead of closing the doors, close the drapes, or leave them swagged open for a warming effect. Use a decorative curtain rod and install it close to the ceiling to keep the rooms feeling open and higher in height. Take a look at an elaborate example of this concept here.

Do you have a wall-to-wall bookcase or cabinet? If so, warm up the room by adding draperies in front of it. Swag them, pull them open, or close them. Either way, the effect will be lovely and warm and different. Again, keep the curtain rod at the ceiling level if possible.

One final tip, for the best effect, select heavier drapes with form and structure. Consider your decor. If your room needs more art and pattern, choose art drapes or patterned drapes. If your space is already filled with enough pattern, go with a contrasting or matching solid color.

2.  Layer the Lighting in a Room

Ambient lighting from multiple sources creates a relaxing, inviting, and warm feeling. If you have an overhead fixture or pot lights, put them on a dimmer switch so you can dim down the brightness. Also, don't forget that you can create mood lighting with your lamps by adding three-way bulbs.

Another lovely way to warm up a room is by using an essential oil diffuser that lights up. You'll not only get the benefit of aromatherapy you'll also get a lovely multi-colored low-level ambient light.

A Light-Box is another way to add ambient lighting warmth. This particular Light-Box is lovely and it's the kind of thing that keeps on giving. It features interchangeable quotes, sayings and celebration cards. It's not only soft lighting, but it also displays positive or festive messages.

3.  Add Faux Fur to a Room

There are a number of ways to add faux fur to a room:
  • The first is to strategically position a small faux fur rug on the floor or use a larger faux rug for spacious rooms. Here's a lovely bedroom featuring a sizeable faux fur white area rug.
  • Add one or two faux fur Ottomans. They come in several smaller stand-alone sizes and make a lovely soft warm accent to a room. Check out this contemporary room featuring two upholstered steel Ottomans. 
  • Place a small faux fur rug over the back of a chair, over an ottoman or on the back of a couch. It can also double as an item to use as an extra place to sit on the floor when needed. Check out what one looks like over the back of a chair
4. Create a Cozy Area for Family Game Night

Granted, most of us play board games at either the kitchen table, a coffee table or on the floor. If you're one of the lucky ones who can create a warm and cozy gaming area like this one, then you won't need to implement any of these suggestions:
  • Place multiple thick and lush floor cushions in a decorative spot so you can pull them up to the coffee table for family game night
  • For larger family rooms, add table and chairs to the room. Use chair cushions to soften the look then place your favorite family games in a basket under or near the table
  • If games will be played at the kitchen or dining room table, make it a warm and inviting experience by adding a standing popcorn machine, a basket with blankets in the corner to warm up with while playing, and a scoreboard to track the winners




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Sunday, September 8, 2019

7 Ways You Can Make the Ceiling Look Higher in a Room

7 Ways to Make the Ceilings Look Higher


1. Use Draperies to Create the Illusion of a Higher Ceiling

If you've longed for high ceilings but know the likelihood of that happening is slim to nil, use a visual trick with floor-to-ceiling draperies. Instead of putting the curtain rod directly above the window frame, place the curtain rod at ceiling height level. Install the rod on the wall or the ceiling, however, it's more common to see the rod on the wall. By having the drapes start at the ceiling, your eyes are drawn upwards giving the room the illusion of height.


2. Do You Have a Popcorn Ceiling with a Ridge?

When popcorn ceilings were popular, some were designed with a three or four-inch ridge of smooth drywall. If your home has this, paint that small ridge around the room the same color as the walls. Having this ridge painted draws the eye upward and gives the room the illusion of having a higher ceiling.
Simple Trick to Create the Feeling of a Higher Ceiling

3. Use Striped Wallpaper or Striped Painted Walls

Just like we wear stripes to create height, stripes on the wall do the same thing. If you're a fan of stripes there are several ways to introduce them into a room; on one wall, on all walls (whoa), or above matching or contrasting colored wainscotting.


4.  Furniture Should Be Low Profile and Add a Cabinet or Bookcase to Ceiling Height

Avoid using bulky furniture in a room where your goal is to create a feeling of height. Lower profile furnishings are smaller and provide more space between the ceiling and furniture thus giving the room an added sense of height.

Budget permitting, add an open bookcase or cabinet (not too bulky) that goes from floor to ceiling. Again, the bookcase draws the eye upwards and the low profile furniture provides the illusion of contrasting height.


5. Use High Gloss Paint on the Ceiling

Really? Yep. This one takes guts. First of all, you'll need a clean, smooth, flawless ceiling to work with. High gloss paint will create a beautiful reflection of the room below, which will, in turn, make the ceiling seem higher. However, if your ceiling isn't prepared properly, beware, because high gloss paint will show every flaw!

Do a bit of research before tackling this. The brave decorator will be happy to know, if done right this technique is outstanding and can make a room feel double in height.


6. Use Pot Lights or Flush Mounted Ceiling Lights

Flush mounted lights or pot lights help a room's ceiling feel higher. Lower hanging lights consume part of the space and thus feed the eye information that the room is standard or low height.


7. Yes, We're Finally at the Obvious One, Mirrors

First, let's talk about mirrors on the wall. If you can mirror an entire wall, bonus. In the first home we owned (decades ago), we used floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall mirrors around the entry of our front door. We wanted the foyer to feel roomier.

During that time, smoked mirrored glass was popular, as was beveled glass. We used the beveled glass mirrors on one wall in the dining room, and smoked mirrors on the entire wall surrounding the front door. It worked beautifully. Although decorating trends have changed, you can still use this mirroring technique. Choose one wall in the room, and mirror the entire wall.

If using floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall mirrors isn't an option, try clumping together three or more framed mirrors and placing them higher up on the wall. In other words, bring the eye upwards to those mirrors and position them so they'll reflect light and other parts of the room. They don't have to go to the top of the ceiling. Simply start higher up and work your way downwards.

Finally, yes, you can mirror the ceiling. If there's money in the budget, the designs and styles to choose from are practically endless. You may need a professional to tackle this project!







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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Understanding the Yin Yang Theory Relating to Home Decor

A Basic Understanding of the Yin Yang Theory

Opposing forces exist in all things. In ancient Chinese, this is known as the Yin Yang Theory. The whole cannot exist without both sides pushing and pulling towards or against each other. Nothing exists without its opposite. Easy life examples are light and dark, up and down, and hot and cold.

A Review of The Yin Yang Theory in Home Decor

Home decorating choices, like all things in life, will impact the energy flow in a space. The approach to a positive home environment is known as Feng Shui. Learning a few basics about Yin and Yang can help pre-plan a room.


What is Yin?

Yin is feminine energy, sometimes referred to as passive energy. Think of Yin as the calming and relaxing aspects of a room's design. Here are some typical examples of Yin energy as it relates to home decor:
  •  Calming music
  •  Soft color tones
  •  Simple water features
  •  Cozy blankets
  •  Ambient lighting
  •  Flowers
  •  Candles
  •  Eliminate clutter
  •  Peaceful wall art

What is Yang?

Yang is masculine energy, sometimes referred to as active energy. Think of the sleek, fun, movement side of life. Here's a shortlist of suggested items to consider in a room that needs the balance of Yang:
  •  Energetic music
  •  Windchimes
  •  Tall house plants
  •  Industrial decor items
  •  Rod iron pieces
  •  Metal wall art
  •  Angular architecture
  •  Concrete floors
  •  Large windows
  •  Natural light
  •  Bright lighting
  •  Large family table in the kitchen
  •  Cheerful colors
  •  Bold wall art
  •  People gathering in a space
  •  The laughter and fun of kids playing

Yin Yang Doesn't Need to Be 50/50

In other words, some rooms will lean toward Yin energy, like a bedroom, and others toward Yang energy, such as a kitchen or place where the family gathers.  

Even though a room doesn't need a 50/50 balance, in order for it to feel right, it still requires both Yin and Yang energy. 

For example, your bedroom should be a calm relaxing retreat and feature items that enhance those feelings. This means the bedroom will be designed with mostly Yin energy in mind. However, in order for the room to have a sense of balance, you'll still need some Yang energy. You could add a rug with brighter complementary colors, or bold furnishings with a masculine edge. If that's not your thing, try a few pieces of strategically positioned bold wall art.

Kitchens tend to work best with more Yang than Yin. A kitchen is usually the 'active' gathering place. Large windows, natural light, and cheery colors all help to bring a kitchen to life. Again, you'll still want some yin energy items featured. Soften the room with a lovely soft floral centerpiece. Since the scent of coffee or even the thought of it can be calming, create a coffee station in the kitchen, with cakes and cookies nearby. 


The Quick and Easy Way to Create Balance

A simple way to tell if a room isn't balanced is to ask yourself, "does the room's overall decor feel too warm or too cold?" If you sense it leans too much one way, then add some of the opposite to create balance.








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Sunday, August 25, 2019

7 Ways to Keep the Energy in Your Home Positive

7 Ways to Keep the Energy Level Positive in Your Home


We're all familiar with the power of negative and positive energy. They're both something we can sense and feel.

Living in the (dis)information world, it's becoming harder and harder to back away from that which doesn't productively serve us. In fact, it's safe to say there are forces working to draw us into the ugly side of life simply for profit.

Below are seven suggestions you can easily implement or work towards to keep the energy in your home positive. We've personally implemented all of them in our home.

1. Guard the Energy in Your Home - Keep Negative TV to a Minimum

Most TV packages come with a Zen or Scenery Channel. They feature glorious scenes from all over the world as well as soft background music. Although TV can be a vehicle for learning, it's also equally capable of sucking the good energy out of our home.

Of course, we all have our favorite shows, but if most of them consist of violence, crime, and hate, that constant connection to negativity isn't wise. In our home, we try to mix up the entertainment choices so it's not all about the dark side of the world.

As far as News channels go, they're rarely on in our home. We watch, catch-up then turn it off. I'm of the opinion that there are forces out there with one objective - to rent space in our head. Sorry, not going to happen.

In our home, during the day, our TV is mostly on the Zen Channel. It's peaceful. There's such a nice vibe in the house when that channel is on.

2. Keep Music Playing in the Background 

We keep the radio on in the kitchen pretty much all the time. It's tuned to a pleasant station and no matter who is preparing a meal, they cook by music.

There's an added bonus to music constantly playing: you'll find yourself unexpectedly breaking into song and dance. How nice for the kids to hear their parents singing. They may make sarcastic comments, but deep inside you know it makes a child happy to see their parents happy. If you live alone, there's nothing wrong with having your own private singing cooking prep-party. Be silly.

3. Avoid Social Media Battles

Yep, we've all read comments or posts that make us want to pound the keyboard like a maniac. If you feel a discussion of opposing views can be managed in a calm way, then perhaps enter into those sparingly. However, it's highly unlikely minds will be changed in cyberspace. This famous quote says it best:

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
By Buckminster Fuller - Author/Inventor (1895-1983)

Change the settings on your social media sites so that only certain things are visible. I've done this in spades. On Facebook, go into Settings and list various websites you never want to see posts from. If someone shares an article from one of those websites, it never gets to your timeline.


4. Dive Into a Project or Other Activity You Enjoy

Whether it's writing, cooking, gardening, biking, crafts, decorating or music (pretty much all the topics on ReviewThisReviews), it's worth doing to keep your mind in a productive place.

Nothing can compete with having a passion for an activity or task. It's never too late to learn something new.

For me, biking around the park near our home multiple times a day is absolutely one of my physical forms of meditation. That ten-speed and I are one. On sunny days, with a blue sky, a light breeze and the sounds of summer all around, I see beauty everywhere. So find your thing, and jump into it. Start today.

5. Realize that the Only Thing You Have Absolute Control Over is Yourself

As a mother, that's been hard for me. But at this stage in life, I get it. I'm there for all who need me, but I cannot walk anyone's walk. That's freeing and terrifying when it comes to mothering. Every pain they feel, I feel. It's a connection that never leaves, but at the same time, I remind myself that the kids too will realize that the only thing they truly have power over are themselves.

So when someone says to you, 'you need to let go' (used to annoy me), it's merely a reminder that you can only control yourself, and all the rest is out of your control.

6. Be Diligent About Blocking Negative Energy from Others

Do what you have to do to protect yourself from energy vampires. You don't have to be mean. I simply have a mental exercise where I put an imaginary white light around me with mirrors pointing outwards as a way to block their field from entering mine. I still help and advise, but my shields are up lol. Choose your own visual aid to create that field of protection. You'll find the conscious effort itself is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

7. Feng Shui Your Home

If you're looking for something a bit more tangible to invite good energy into your home, Feng Shui is worth looking at. Unsure what it's all about or where to start? I've put together this one-page summary covering the basics. Essentially Feng Shui teaches you how to tap into your homes good energy using your home's decor and property as the template to work with. Feng Shui can be quite extensive, simply start with something you can handle. Take a look at various ideas, and go with the ones you feel fits with your life.






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