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

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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Sunday, August 18, 2019

How to Display Artwork Without Hanging it on the Wall

A Review of 5 Ways to Display Artwork Without Hanging it on the Wall


When levels, hooks, hammers, and nails frustrate you, or you're not keen on marking up the walls, below are designer approved alternative methods to feature art:

1. An Art Easel

Art easels provide mobility. Place your favorite piece of art on an easel and move from room to room when you need a change. Easels come in numerous styles. Finding one to match your decor should be a cinch.

2. Frame TV

Frame TV transforms into art. Samsung's Frame TV turns into a beautiful piece of art when you're not watching it. This particular Frame TV should be wall-mounted. However, if you're planning to wall mount your TV anyway, an art tv provides two-for-one use. Display spectacular artwork from a list of established or up-and-coming artists. Oh, and one more thing, put a Frame TV on an easel for a display of rotating or static art.

3. Lean Art Against the Wall

There are two ways to consider doing this:

Leaning a larger piece on the floor

The trick to this is placing the art in a room without it appearing as a shortcut or after-thought. A very large piece of art should be positioned so that it's part of the design of the room. Avoid placing it away from the focus of the space. The decor and furniture in the room should tie into the piece.

Leaning and layering pieces on a cabinet, bench, fireplace or other furniture surfaces

Layering is exactly what it sounds like. You layer a variety of photos so they're slightly touching each other. As an example, on a cabinet,  layer multiple family photos in a collection of matching or non-matching frames against the wall.

4. Place Art in a Decorative or Non-Operational Fireplace

An unused fireplace insert area is ideal to display art. Choose at least one or more pieces to cover the entire back wall, then layer a few smaller pieces in front. The art completes the fireplace by giving it a distinctive purpose.

5. Use a Bookcase or Large Cabinet

If you have a large bookcase or cabinet, lean your art inside one or more of the shelves. It's especially lovely to use larger art pieces on a few shelves. Don't stop at one or two pieces, add several in varying sizes.

If You Decide to Hang Photos on the Wall, what are the Best Hooks?

If ultimately you decide to hang your photos, I HIGHLY recommend these hooks. They're the only ones I use. It's one of those 'As you see on TV' products and they're fantastic. They only leave a pinhole in the wall and you don't need tools (hammers etc) to hang your pictures. I can hang photos on my own now, no need to ask for help.





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Sunday, August 11, 2019

5 Creative Ways to Store or Display Books

Unique Ways to Store or Display Books


We can certainly accumulate a lot of books throughout life. Some end up in a bedroom end table, others buried in closets, and the rest make it to their home-base, a bookcase.

This review lists obscure or odd ways to store or display books in the home. When a bookcase is out of the question, try one of these options.

1. Decorative Storage Trunks

Not all storage trunks are old, dusty and stuffed in an attic or basement. Modern decorative trunks can be featured in main rooms as a functional accessory. This set of 3 accent trunks can be placed in a living room, office or bedroom with your favorite books stored inside. It's a clutter-free way to bring books into a room. They're stored away and the trunks are a piece of furniture that adds to the overall look of the room.

2. Cotton Canvas Storage Bins

This playfully printed cotton canvas bag is normally used in a child's room to store toys. The bag is light and safe, has carrying straps and is easy for kids to lift or move. Instead of using them for toys, put books inside. Complete the look of a room, by designing a reading area that features three or four of these lovely canvas storage bins surrounded by a plush comfy rug. Create an actual reading circle by placing the storage bags in the middle of a large round rug. Gather on the rug for story time.

3. Rolling Storage Cart

There is an endless number of rolling cart designs. However, this cart works for a sunroom or porch. Imagine being cozied up on your porch swing as you reach over to get one of your favorite books. Get a number of carts and position them along on a wall as a long unit filled with books. 

4. Storage Ottoman

Place books inside an ottoman. Ottomans can be positioned anywhere in a room; against a wall, in front of or beside a sofa. You'll find that Ottomans come in multiple sizes, with some being quite large. With an Ottoman, you'll get extra seating or a place to put your feet all while storing books.

5. Book Slings

Book slings are a popular choice for a child's room or reading area. However, this particular one can work in a den, office or family room. Unlike several of the above options, the books in a sling are on open display. You'll often see Slings in professional waiting rooms as a way to hold magazines or books for waiting clients.

To see elaborate ways to display books, you can check out how the other side lives here.





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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home - 7 Simple and Necessary Improvements that Don't Require Renovations

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home Without Renovating

If you're getting ready to sell your home but can't afford any major renovations, lets review a list of updates you can do that won't cost a fortune.

1. Declutter

When getting ready to sell, the first step is to declutter your entire home. Include the basement, sheds, and garage as well. Go through all cupboards and closets and get rid of or store items you don't/won't need during the selling process. Remove unnecessary knick-knacks. Keep coffee and end tables sparingly decorated with lamps, candles and plants.

About the garage: Empty out the clutter so prospective buyers can easily determine whether their car(s) will fit inside. 

2. Paint Rooms

Painting can be time consuming, but it's an affordable first step to give your home a face lift before selling. Keeping the color scheme neutral will attract a broader range of potential buyers. Think in terms of grey, tan, beige, or white. Keep the baseboards and doors a nice crisp white. Avoid multi-colored baseboards! White baseboards provide a lovely border against the wall, rug/floor. Add pops of color with accessories only. Colorful pillows and throw blankets can bring interest to a space.

3. Create a Feature Wall(s)

A feature wall is an affordable and faster way to give your home something extra.  As an example, in the master bedroom, consider a focal wall behind the bed. Ideas for feature walls include faux brick, real brick, vinyl designs, wainscoting, and murals. Anything 'peel and stick' is the easiest.

4. Remove Personal Photos

Some sellers resist doing this. The general thought by those who aren't keen on removing their personal photos is that they feel displaying photos promote the family aspect of their home. However, that's not the way to think about this. 

When potential buyers walk into a home, they're not thinking about your family, they're thinking about how their own family will fit with the property. 

From the moment a buyer steps onto a prospective property they're analyzing the 'feel' for their own family. Emotion guides that process and a multiple combination of the smallest things move buyers closer to a decision. Looking at photos of your family is a distraction to the natural flow of this thought process. Why add a distraction? Let the buyers achieve an emotional connection to your home without disruption.

Your photos represents 'your' house, no photos allow the buyer to imagine their family in this new home. 

5. Clean, Clean and Clean

Let's go through a quick cleaning list:
  •  Declutter kitchen counters, shine kitchen sinks, wipe the cupboards and clean appliances
  •  Clean the grout on all tiles (floors, backsplash, bathtubs)
  •  Scrub bathrooms spotless!
  •  Steam clean all carpets and wash floors
  •  Vacuum your entire home
  •  Wash all the bedding, fluff pillows, and make a pretty bed (it's the focal point!)
  •  Steam clean couches and chairs
  •  Touch up any wall scuff marks with paint where applicable
  •  Ensure all light bulbs work
  •  Wash all the windows and screens
  •  Double check that all closets and cupboards are organized. Buyers will open them!
  •  Rid your house of unsavory pet and cooking odors - Try essential oils
  •  Give your pet area and/or litterbox a thorough disinfecting - Think good smells
  •  Trim overgrown trees, weed the garden and present a lovely entry way by ensuring there's a clear path to the front door.
6. Do You Have Pets?

If you have pets, and are able to, have your fur babies stay with friends or family during the selling process. If you can't arrange that, ensure your pets are secured or removed from the house before a buyer views your home. 

7.  Staging Your Home

Not everyone can afford a professional stager. However, you may reconsider staging when you read about the return on that investment! On average having your home professionally staged costs between .5 to 1 percent of a homes value. But get this: According to the National Association of Realtors for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400! 

If you can't afford a professional stager, complete these fundamentals:
  •  Minimize furniture in smaller rooms
  •  Position furniture so that people can walk through a room naturally without having to walk around pieces to get to doorways
  •  Use simple window coverings, leave them open for viewings
  •  Bring energy to a room by adding plants where applicable
  •  Display baskets of fresh fruit and/or herbs in the kitchen
  •  Turn on lamps and lights before viewings
  •  Ensure the laundry is completed and your mudroom or front closet is organized
  •  Clear the entry way of coats, shoes and boots
  •  Put a lovely seasonal wreath on the front door






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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Simple DIY Hack to Help Organize Your Kitchen Drawers

DIY Hack for Organizing Kitchen Drawers
Yesterday was the day I tackled the massive kitchen drawer disaster.

It was Instagram's fault. An amazing organized drawer systems stole my attention and that was all it took. However, the Instagram post featured a stunning brand new kitchen with professional pre-installed drawer sorters.

So that got me thinking …. How can I DIY this with things I already own?

DIY organizational hacks are one of my fave things to do. For me, sorting and organizing is relaxing. Yah, I know, to some of you, that's crazy talk. It's the end result that drives me. I'll work my tail off to get to that finished look!

A Flower Vase to Hold the Important Cooking Utensils

First I had to lessen the amount of utensils in the drawers. So I put all the most useful cooking items in a vase, and placed it beside the stove. Very handy indeed. If you hate counter clutter, put it inside a cupboard or pantry.

Use a Flower Vase to Hold Cooking Utensils

Line the Drawers with a Piece of Carpet

No, not shag or thick carpeting. We used a piece of industrial hard twist with shallow grooves. They're actually extra rugs we have on hand. The most important part of this DIY hack is to ensure the carpet has a rubber non-slip backing.

Just measure the drawer and cut the carpet to fit. With a non-slip backing, even if it's not a tight fit, it won't slide around.

Carpet with Rubber Backing Keeps Utensils in Place

We open and close the above drawer multiple times a day and not one utensil slips or slides. Each item has a spot and stays put. When we need an item, it's clearly visible. No more digging!

The Carpet Prevents Slipping and Sliding

We already had an inexpensive silverware divider in the top drawer, however it kept sliding around. The constant opening and closing of the drawer would cause the items placed in front to get caught or slide completely under the sorter.

Take a look at the silverware drawer now. With the rug as a base, the plastic sorter doesn't slide and the few items we keep in the front no longer move.

With the Carpet as the Base
the Sorter and Loose Items Stay in Place

The same thing applies for the third drawer. The plastic sorter no longer slides and the items along the side and edges stay in place.

The nice thing about using a piece of carpet (with rubber backing), is that even if your plastic sorters don't exactly fit, they won't move around on the carpet. So you can put utensils in front, behind or on the sides, and they too will stay in place.

Line the Kitchen Drawer with Carpet

Since renovating our kitchen is on the agenda, I've been avoiding tackling any projects, because, well, I want the reno more! But this DIY hack was fun. Glad we did it. 

If you're planning a kitchen reno, check out these professionally design pantries! There's nothing DIY here, they're all 10s!






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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Three Over the Top Home Decor Additions that Few People Can or Will Do

Will Over the Top Additions Add Value to Your Home?

Let's review how the other side lives. Or rather how those who aren't afraid to take their home above and beyond what's considered standard decorating protocol.

I have to admire people with a free decorating spirit. It takes a lot of faith, trust, pixie dust, and yep, cold hard cash to add the extreme décor ideas featured below.

1. How about A Slide Inside the Home? Huh?

Yes, that's right, it's an actual professionally designed slide. They tend to be added beside staircases. Certainly a practical solution when your knees hurt, or for the kids. Those ankle biters will leap out of bed in the morning just to slide down for breakfast. If you're curious what these look like, check out several spectacular designs here.

2.  You Have the Slide, Now Add the Swings? What?

The choices for adding a swing range from actual swings to swing benches. Swing benches can be open on both sides, or completely closed. And yep, they're not just for porches and patios. The uniqueness comes from adding them to the kitchen, bedroom or living room. They're quite spectacular and you can bet, popular with guests. Curl up with a book and swing inside your home. If you'd like to check out how professional designers tied swings into a décor theme, you can find more information here.

3. Homes with a Secret Passageway, Really?

Really. When the budget isn't an issue, you're only limited by your imagination or better yet, your decorator's imagination. Secret passageways can be staircases that lift and open to a secret room, crawl space cubbies that connect rooms together, or rooms hidden behind walls and bookcases. If you'd like more information on this over-the-top home décor idea, you can read more here.

Does Any of this Add Value to Your Home?

Of course, yes, adding anyone of the above outstanding unique items to your home will add value. But let's examine the word "value".

Value can meaning selling for more, selling quickly or just plain selling. The market dictates which category your sale will fall into.

The value of a home ranges from area to area. A house in the country is generally less expensive on a per square foot basis than a home in the city. City to city prices range substantially as well.

To determine whether it's worth adding an expensive perk to your home (slides, swings, secret rooms), you have to first know the upper limit price range for your area.

If your home is already close to or at that upper price range, making expensive additions may not generate a return. However, if you're making this addition and plan on staying in your home for many years (5, 10 or more), you have a good chance at recouping that investment.

On the bright side, if your home isn't at the higher price range for your neighborhood, making additions like this can help you reach that plateau and/or help you sell your home faster.

Always bear in mind that recessions come in cycles, and selling your home during a recession isn't easy. With anyone of these perks, you'll have an edge, but that doesn't mean during a downturn you'll recoup your decorating investment.

Not to worry if you're selling in an up-market; if your home is staged and filled with perks, you could do well on that selling price! If your home is situated among large estates where each home is unique, making any of the above outlined additions will generally add value.

If you're a real estate stats junkie (like I am), have a ton of fun reading value assessments and projections for the USA here and Canada here at GlobalPropertyGuide.

Although you're reading general stats, you should never apply these generalizations to your area. Even in a declining economy some areas can continue to do well. General stats merely help you secure a global picture. Combine that global information with your local area to help you assess saleability, timing and price.

Here's something I like to do to help assess the long term hold of a piece of property: Look up the population projections for your city or area. What is the ten/twenty year growth analysis by your local state/provincial municipal governments? You can find this information online. If the numbers are through the roof, then there's a high probability your property will increase substantially over time.

So, if your wallet permits any of these wild and funky additions and your home's price is destined to go onwards and upwards for years to come, go for it!

Other unique perks for your home here









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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Quick Review of Unique Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Unique Ways to Add Value to Your Home

If you're a fan of extreme home décor, you'll want to take a look at the professional designs featured below. There's a link to each in points 1, 2 and 3.

You can hire a decorator or use these designs to inspire your DIY side. Visit each of the three featured professional designs to view the architecture, color combinations and accessories.

1. Professionally Designed Baby Rooms with a Nautical Theme

If you love the crisp, fresh and airy feel of nautical décor, you'll appreciate these four creative designs. One features a boat shaped crib, while the others utilize the walls and floors for the greatest impact. The fourth baby room has a partial seafoam colored wall and soft rustic wood floors. It's my favorite. The space is open, airy and cheerful. The few pops of color use carefully positioned accessories. Check out the baby room designs here.

2. Design an Indoor Playhouse Using the Area Under a Staircase

Whether the staircase is on the main or lower level, that unused area can serve a purpose. Some of the playhouse designs featured at the link below are over-the-top, but they make an excellent addition to the higher use and value of the home itself. If you're lucky enough to know a handy person, use these ideas to inspire your own unique under-the-stairs design. If a playroom isn't practical, design the area for storage, a closet, or a pet house.  Check out the staircase playhouse designs here.

3. Add a Dog Washing/Cleaning Station to Your Home

This particular design will require a renovation. If you're planning to make structural changes to your home consider a dog washing or cleaning station. Some of the designs are extremely elaborate while others are as easy as removing the laundry sink and replacing it with a walk-in or walk-up mini shower. A dog washing station, which also serves other purposes, will add value to your home and best of all is a perk most houses don't have. You'll separate yourself from the crowd with this particular addition. Take a look at several pet washing stations here.

Features in a Home that Buyers Prefer

Home Buyer Must Haves
The above suggestions qualify as perks. Adding any one of them can help to generate a quicker and/or higher price.

Most sellers understand a home must be prepped for sale with neutral color tones. However, neutral doesn't mean lacking in texture and distinctive elements. To secure the undivided attention of a potential buyer, don't hesitate to add textured walls, wainscoting, unique storage ideas, feature walls, or, money permitting, some of the above perks.

If you're renovating before selling, Extraspace.com lists 15 features buyers prefer.

You're more than likely familiar with most of their suggestions; hardwood floors, open concepts, modern kitchens and finished basements.

However, they mention a few less standard ideas such as a full bathroom on the main level and flexible rooms (rooms left to the discretion of the buyer). A full bathroom on the main level is a tremendous idea especially in combination with a main floor guest room. With an aging population and multi-family living, a home with this feature can appeal to several demographics.

Your home is your sanctuary until you decide to sell. You can always change the colors, but it's difficult to change the layout. When renovating, think ahead and renovate wisely.








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Sunday, April 28, 2019

How a Room's Color Can Affect Your Mood

Funk by Color
Did you know the colors you choose to decorate a space with will dictate the room's overall mood?

In a recent article we talked about the basic rules for choosing color when you decorate a space. That article also discusses 'Mood' as one of the pertinent considerations.

So let's review the Mood that each of the main colors evoke:

Red - Excitement

Red carries several meanings and all of them fall under the umbrella of excitement. Red represents rage just as much as it screams 'I love you'. In other words, if you need a room filled with emotion, red should be your go-to color. Splashes of red can make a room calming. However, if you plan to feature a whole wall of red and other red accessories, ensure the room is meant for social gatherings. You might even encourage intense discussions and debate in a red powered room.

Blue - Tranquility

Blue is the color of calmness and tranquility. However, if the room is entirely two colors such as blue and white, the space will feel cold more than calm. Three to four colors in a space along with your main choice color will achieve the intended affect of that main color (especially with blue). When you're seeking a peaceful, relaxing mood, combine light and dark blues together and soften the space with at least two other accessory colors.

Yellow - Uplifting

When you want a space to reflect a cheerful, happy, hopeful energy, choose yellow as the main color. We associate yellow with spring and summer so it's not a stretch to connect those seasons with an uplifting mood. Get ready for a little shock … did you know that yellow is also the color of intelligence? Yep, apparently intelligence has a color. Yellow is the color of the mind and it represents acquired knowledge. When you want to encourage learning, believe it or not, decorate with yellow.

Green - Renewal

The color of green represents two polar opposites. We typically think of nature, renewal, freshness and the environment when we decorate with green. However, green is also the color of money and can represent greed, jealousy and ambition. In home décor it's safe to say that a green themed room is normally chosen to create a fresh and harmonious environment. I mean, who decorates for greed, lol.

Orange - Enthusiasm

Orange is the color of creativity, social activity, determination and believe it or not, healthy eating. It's also an action color. Think of orange as the verb of colors. Most of us know the most popular 'buy button' online is orange. Makes sense right? After-all, orange is the verb of color. Orange is also ideal for a space where fun, interest, adventure and excitement are the primary mood goals. Go ahead, paint a wall in your kitchen orange! Orange is the social color that promotes healthy eating and conversation, making it ideal for the kitchen. Use various shades, or a softer shade if bright orange is too much. On a personal note, orange and yellow are my favorite colors :)

Purple - Wisdom

Purple is the color of royalty, luxury, power and spirituality. That's a fairly broad range, however indirectly each of these traits are connected to one another. If you're looking for a room that evokes grandeur with a bit of mystery, a purple themed room is the way to go. On a personal note, my young girl bedroom décor was purple, white, and pink. Without knowing, I must of been a mysteriously royal person who craved wisdom. :)

Did you read last weeks article on the color choices for spring and summer? You'll also get a quick tutorial on how to combine colors.

Have fun with color!


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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Decorating Color Schemes for Spring and Summer 2019

Funk by Color
If you haven't had a chance to read about Pantone's color of the year for 2019, you can learn a little about it here.

Pantone not only designates a color choice for the year, it also establishes color groupings for the seasons during that year.

For 2019, Pantone has created suggested palettes that reflect uplifting energy:

1. Embracing Nature - Freshness with Blues, Greens and Zesty Limes
2. Joyful - Radiant with Pink, Purple, Blueberry and White
3. Color Play - Fruity and Bright Mango, Mystical Violet and Watery Pastels
4. Innocence - Light, Life and Hopefulness with Soft Pink, Blueberry and Soft Blues

You can take a peek at Pantone's color schemes for each of the above four moods here.

Innocence by Pantone

Here's a simple example of how to incorporate the colors of 'Innocence' into a decorating theme. You can feature any of the colors in pieces you find yourself drawn to. If a blueberry couch isn't your thing, then choose a soft pale blue or blush pink sofa then introduce blueberry via the rugs, drapes or accessories.


Embracing Nature by Pantone

Below are pieces you can include into a decor theme that focus on the freshness of nature. The color scheme outlined for this theme focuses on blues, greens and limes. Of course you don't have to stop there. Pops of wheat and soft ice can be used to further lighten the overall look.


Color Reflects You

Most of us tend toward neutral décor. More often we choose neutral because we're unsure how to mix and match colors. It takes a little extra knowledge to learn about color and how to mix them together. Below is a brief explanation of the color wheel to help you with your next decorating project.

Understanding the Basics of the Color Wheel



  1.  Complementary Colors: Two colors opposite each other on the wheel
  2.  Split Complementary Colors: Uses three colors. One color matched to two colors adjacent to it's complementary color (example, blue with yellow-orange and red-orange)
  3.  Analogous Colors: Three colors next to each other on the wheel
  4.  Triadic Colors: Three colors equally apart on the wheel
  5.  Tetradic Colors: Four colors in two sets of complementary colors (pink, green & blue, yellow)
Have fun with color this spring, even if you only add it with flowers!



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Thursday, March 21, 2019

DIY Pallet Book Nook - Part One

Pallet Wood Feature Wall and Window Seat
When I purchased my current country home, many of the features that most appealed to me were the quirky, whimsical touches that made it so unlike all of the other cookie-cutter properties.  After moving in, though, I discovered a few things that were just a little too different for my taste.  Still, in renovating those oddities, I wanted to remain true to what had drawn me to this house in the first place: the use of character wood (weathered wood that captures your imagination).

In today's post, I am sharing part one of a two-part series focused on creating a DIY pallet book nook from a previously unused space in my upstairs bedroom.  We will start with the woodworking elements of the project and then finish with handcrafted decorating touches (a homemade cushion, pillows, rug, and other decor to cozy up the space).

Because I have poured so much of myself into my master bedroom renovations, it has become my favorite room in the entire house.  One last improvement remained to make this space visually and functionally cohesive.  There was a funky "hallway" in the room that housed my exercise bike (because it didn't lend itself to much else).  The thing that really bugged me about that long, narrow space was a weird, uneven application of drywall.  I couldn't knock that wall down because it housed my closet and was most likely structural (helping support the roof).  And, hanging, mudding, texturizing, and painting new sheetrock just wasn't on my bucket list.  Been there, done that.  Not my idea of a good time.  So, what to do?

Funky Drywall Before Renovation
Recycled pallets are the answer to most of the truly pressing needs in my world.  Seriously.  Pallet wood can right most wrongs.  It just requires a little—well, okay, a lot—of elbow grease.  I'm good with that.  The finished product has always proven worth it.  We'll just skip over the less than scintillating details of finding, hauling, deconstructing (pulling a massive number of ornery nails), and refinishing (cutting, sizing, planing, and sanding) a tall pile of pallets.  On to step eight.

Tape Marks Studs Where Planks Will Be Nailed
With the feature wall pallet planks ready for installation, I prepped the wall by finding and marking the studs.

Leveling Wall Sections With Lath
Next, I applied thin strips of wood lath to level the two sections of drywall, which will provide a more solid backing when nailing in the pallet planks.  The wainscoting pictured above consists of three framed pieces of corrugated metal topped by a chair rail.  It provides a nice contrasting texture, as well as adding a reflective surface to lighten up the space.

Oh the Tales This Wall Could Tell
When I nailed in the rows of pallet wood, I decided to alternate different widths and colors.  I left all of the wood in its natural state, as the original saw blade marks, nail holes, knots, and checking is what adds personality.  As I started working on this step, I got the inspiration to separate rows of planks with horizontally placed strips of recycled lath removed from inside the plaster walls of an old ranch house.  The definition of the chiseled edges of lath created an effect similar to the chinking seen between bricks.  Really, though, it is the history of that lath, and the story it tells, that adds so much value and interest to the feature wall.

Rustic Pallet Window Seat 
No book nook would be complete without a window seat.  Again, I used rustic pallet parts, purposely choosing planks with nail streaks, and then trimming the bench with pallet skids.  Where there was fresh wood from making the cuts, I applied chalkboard spray paint, and then sanded off most of it to blend the color with that of the naturally weathered surfaces.

Books Feed and Seed the Mind
Above the window, I created a decorative king post truss trim that matches the actual support truss on the front of my house.  I like the way it ties everything together.  While working on this truss, I happened to find the metal  Feed & Seed sign at Tractor Supply Co.  It seemed like the perfect message for my new space, as books certainly do feed and seed our minds.  When I got home with the sign, I was amazed that it fit exactly in place between the truss and the window.  That never happens.  I knew then that it was meant to be.

My Nook is Ready for Accessorizing
With the construction work done, I am now in the process of accessorizing my new nook.  I have selected fabrics and will soon start sewing the window seat cushion and pillows.  Stay tuned for part two of this DIY series when I post the final reveal.  So, what do you think?  Could you see yourself curled up with a book in this sunny space?













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Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype - Don't Hesitate to Get One

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to all the Hype
I've been waiting to review this Christmas gift. It's March now and since the holidays I've used it daily.

I'm ready to blurt out an all caps YES to this product.

Here on ReviewThis the essential oil queen is Lou16, so today's review of the HoMedics Diffuser is strictly from the non-expert, user only, perspective.

AND I LOVE IT.

Lou16 has written quite a bit about essential oils and I've paid attention.

Thanks to my kind Step Daughter's Christmas gift, I've not only tried it, but feel the need to use it every day! The operative words here are 'feel the need', because it's the first thing I do when I enter the family room now.

What I Love About It

The general consensus of essential oils is that they help with stress. In fact, you can read further detail about the benefits in Lou16's article, 'How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life'.

I'm sure I'm using too much oil. I believe the box says to put 5 or 10 drops into the water. Honestly, I forget what it says. The aromas are so relaxing that I put as many drops as needed to fill the room with the gorgeous relaxing chosen scent.

Essential Oils DO NOT Smell Like Chemicals or Sprays

This was the main reason I avoided buying a diffuser - thinking the scent would be similar to an air freshener.

Was I wrong.

The essential oil drops go in a water compartment inside the diffuser. There's absolutely nothing chemical smelling about it. The aroma is magnificent.

My Favorite Essential Oils
My HoMedics Diffuser Beside the TV


Peppermint, Lemon, Orange and Eucalyptus. More than likely I won't try anything with a flowery aroma .. that's not up my alley.

AND yikes, I've used five bottles since Christmas. Yah I'm over doing it. Whatever, can't help it, love it.

The Most Aromatic Essential Oil Winner

Is …. drumroll ...Peppermint.

I use quite a few drops, maybe 15 or more. When people come into our house I usually hear "wow, what smells so amazing". Yep, it's the peppermint oil in the diffuser.

Get this, I hate peppermint, to eat it that is.

Apparently I was a colicky baby and mom used to put peppermint on my soother to calm me. Well thanks to that little solution, I grew up hating the taste of peppermint. Spearmint and wintergreen are fine, love to eat those, but still can't stand peppermint.

The subconscious mind is truly powerful, because strangely enough, the one thing peppermint I now love is it's aroma from essential oil. I don't even like peppermint tea (although I drink it from time to time), or to smell peppermint candies. However, in essential oil, I find it soothing, calming and I swear it makes my head feel clearer.

Guess what, I'm out of peppermint essential oil and am currently using 'orange'. It's really nice too, but for me, peppermint is king. I love lemon everything, and had anticipated loving lemon the best, but nope, it's my second fave.

What Kind of Diffuser Do I Have

The brand given to me was HoMedics. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. The picture above shows it positioned next to our TV. That way, I not only smell it, I see the lovely lights when watching the tube.

Featured below are a few HoMedics Diffusers & Essential Oils

Scroll to see them all. The first diffuser featured is closest to the one I own.




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