Monthly Archives: July 2016

All About Living Room

The living room is arguably the most important room in the house when it comes to decorating. It’s the room where you entertain guests and loved ones, and it’s where families tend to spend the bulk of their at-home time together (after the kitchen). In order to make sure it looks its best be sure to follow these living room do’s and don’ts.

DON’T choose the paint color first. Paint is available in thousands of colors and can easily be changed. In most cases it should be one of the last things you do.

DO choose your most expensive or favorite item and decorate around it.

DON’T use an area rug that is too small. This is the number one mistake people make when decorating living rooms.

DO make sure that all the pieces of furniture fit on the rug. Ideally all four legs of major pieces should be on it, but if this simply isn’t possible make sure to fit at least the front legs on the rug (the back legs can be off). But all the legs of smaller pieces should be on the rug whenever possible.

DON’T push all the furniture against the walls.

DO pull the furniture away from the walls when possible in order to create intimate conversation areas.

DON’T hang artwork too high. People have a tendency to hang art closer to the ceiling than it should be. This goes for every room in the house.

DO hang artwork at eye-level. Obviously this varies from person to person, so use your judgment. But it’s better to err on the side of lower rather than higher.

DON’T ignore the importance of dimmer switches. Each and every light in a living room should have a dimmer switch on it.

DO have a mix of overhead, ambient and task lighting. Use table lamps, floor lamps, sconces – whatever you like. Just be sure to use a mix. It will provide more light as well as make the room and everyone in it look better.

DON’T use too many throw pillows. Throw pillows are great decorative accents but don’t use so many that you have to move them all off the couch before you sit down.

DO use pillows thoughtfully. Choose a few that enhance the piece of furniture and overall look of the room. And don’t be afraid to invest in some high-quality pillows. They’re small but they have a big impact.

DON’T be afraid to mix high items with low. There are a lot of great ways to save, and there are some times when you should splurge.

DO buy the best quality sofa you can afford. A sofa is a big investment and you want it to last. Remember, a sofa of average quality should last at least 10 years while a high-end sofa should last up to 25.

DON’T be afraid to decorate with patterns. They add life and character to a space.

DO follow the basic rules of decorating with patterns. The ideal number to use in a single room is three. Mix the scale using one large, one medium, and one small (or some other combination of the three).

DON’T let anyone else tell you how you should or shouldn’t decorate. It’s your home and it needs to be right for you.

DO follow the basic rules and mathematics of decorating. They exist not to control how your home looks, but to guide you into creating a space that’s pleasing to the eye.

Avoid for Decorating Mistakes

One of the things that makes decorating so much fun is the huge amount of resources that we can go to to learn more about how to make a beautiful room. We can read books and magazines, watch TV shows, read online articles, and visit decorating showhouses to find all sorts of wonderful advice on things to do to get a beautifully decorated room.

But even with so much advice and inspiration on what to do, it can still be hard to learn what not to do or what mistakes you can avoid even before you even start a decorating project.

So to help fill in a few of those gaps, here is our list of the 20 easiest decorating mistakes to make and the best things not to do in order to get around them.

1. Don’t Let Someone Make Choices for You
Your home is your personal space. Don’t let someone else tell you what you should do. If you need help, ask for suggestions.

But when the time comes to make decisions, they should be yours. It’s your home and you should feel comfortable with the choices.

2. Don’t Paint First
You can buy paint in every color under the sun. In fact, you can have paint mixed in any imaginable color you might want. Choose fabric, carpet, and upholstery first.

3. Don’t Choose Paint From a Paint Chip
A small chip of a paint sample might look great in the fluorescent light in the paint store. But a whole wall of it might be overpowering. When you’ve decided on a color, purchase a quart of the color and paint a small section to see how the color looks in the room with natural light. If you don’t want to mess up the walls, paint a piece of cardboard and tape it on the walls in the room where you plan to use the color.

4. Don’t Decide on Colors in a Store
Never buy fabric, flooring, or paint on your first visit. Ask for samples of paint and carpet and swatches of fabric so you can see what they look like in your home. Check them out in natural light and in the evening with lamps.

5. Don’t Settle for Blah If You Love Bold
A gallon of red paint doesn’t cost any more than a gallon of white.

Home Office Set Up

With so many people working from home these days, a home office has become an essential space in many homes. The guest room may be replaced by a work-at-home spot, and it’s important that all the elements contribute to a productive time.

Not everyone has a big budget for outfitting a home office and few people can pay to have a professional space planner come into their home to design an efficient home office space.

There are lots of ways to create a good space for working at home without spending a fortune. We’ll give you some ideas, and you can go from there. You may end up feeling a great sense of accomplishment after turning some wasted space into an efficient stay-at-home office.

  • Define Your SpaceIf you’re lucky enough to have a separate room for your home office, the task won’t be so hard. The key to a good home office is to make use of whatever space you have, whether it’s a stair landing, a small closet, a spare room, or an unused corner of the living room. For greatest efficiency, find a space that can be dedicated to a home office area. You’ll be able to work more professionally if you don’t have to move papers off your desk to change diapers!
    • Create a PlanIt might be tempting to just move the pieces around until the space works. But if you spend some time actually measuring your space, creating a floor plan (small as it might be), measuring your furniture, and thinking it through, the final result will be much more satisfactory.

       

    • What Can You Do Yourself?Whatever work you can do yourself will save you money! Your home office space is probably not going to be too big, so consider painting the walls yourself. Adding a fresh, lively color or a sedate, calming color will set the tone for your work space. And if you’re not a pro at painting, never fear. Most of the space will be covered up with furniture anyway. If you’re feeling really creative, stencil a border around the desk. Or wallpaper one wall to define the space.

       

    • What Do You Already Have?Can you move furniture or accessories from one part of the house to your new home office? If you don’t have to buy some pieces, you’ll save a lot! Is there a comfortable chair in the guest room? Do you have some pictures tucked away in a closet that would be inspiring and decorative on the walls of your work space? Look around to see what you can use in your new home office.

       

    • Build a DeskDid I lose you here? My office is on a large landing between my first and second floors. I placed filing cabinets on each side of the space and put a board across them. Voilà! Instant desk. Of course, I spent some time staining the board, put molding on the edge, and painted the file cabinets a color close to the stained board. But the space if filled and holds everything I need it to.

       

    • What Else Can You Make?Think of other ways you can use inexpensive materials to create shelves, filing systems, in-and-out boxes. Use a decorative flower pot to hold pencils and scissors. Buy several multi-level shoe shelves to put on top of the desk to hold a printer, some paper, or books.

    As you plan you home office space, think of all the ways you can save money. There will be plenty of ways to spend it!

    • Shop Around for BargainsYou’d be amazed what you can find at garage sales, flea markets, consignment shops, and thrift stores. It seems that people are always getting rid of book shelves and desks, and you might find just what you need. Clean off the pieces, sand them down, and paint all the items the same color. It will look as though you bought them to match. If you don’t want any hand-me-downs, keep your eye open for furniture sales or check web sources.

       

    • Be Willing to Take Used FurnitureVisit professional offices to see if they are renovating. Quality hotels redecorate guest rooms every 4 or 5 years. Maybe you could buy a used desk or chair there. Does your own company have any extra furniture that’s not being used, since people are working at home? Ask neighbors to let you know if they’re getting rid of things.

      Look for a used furniture store or a furniture rental store. They often have pieces they’re willing to sell. Be ready to do some fixing when you take the pieces home. Check to see if your community has a store that sells used office furniture exclusively. When you go shopping for furniture, be sure to take your measurements with you. It would be a shame to get a great price on a great desk, only to find that it doesn’t fit in your space.