Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Decorating

Fall is here! That means back to school, football games, clambake, hayrides, picking pumpkins, and raking leaves. Who has time to decorate? Well with very little effort we can turn our homes back into cozy nesting retreats! As soon as you have swept out the last of the beach sand and put away all the sea shells it’s now time to unpack the warm toasty throws, lay down a few throw rugs, and light some scented candles .

Here are a few inexpensive ideas to put a little fall into our homes. Take a walk outside and collect a variety of colorful leaves. Branches with red and orange berries make a beautiful arrangement when put into a clear vase. Collect pine cones and stack them in a big bowl for an informal centerpiece. Go to a roadside stand and buy pumpkins and mums and arrange them near your front door. Adding some new throw pillows and a colorful chenille throw to the back of your sofa lends itself to being a cozier space. Don’t forget to warm up your bedrooms. New bed pillows, your down comforter, and some colorful sheets makes your bedroom feel more inviting on those cool frosty nights.

Apple pie, some warm cider, and a fire in the fireplace, and you are ready to invite friends over to enjoy your freshly feathered Fall nest!

For more interesting ideas visit my home ideas

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adding Curb Appeal

It starts at the curb. Here are a few trouble areas your should address when considering curb appeal;

Landscaping. Replace dead plants ans shrubs with new ones. In spring plant some inexpensive flowers to add color and visual interest. Don't forget the lawn. Are their bare spots that can be reseeded, and don't forget to fertilize, what a different a lush greener lawn can make.

Porches. If your home has a porch make it charming and inviting. Have some outdoor seating and treat it as an additional living space. Some potted flowers and a clean outdoor mat can make a big difference.

Fence. if your home has a fence make sure that it is painted or stained so that stands out, looks fresh and adds some interest to the yard.

Lighting. what a difference new lighting makes. For not a lot of money, you can change out those pitted, faded lights and add new ones, updating the look of the front of your home.

Front Door. If you can't afford to change it, how about a new paint color, or add a kick plate to revive the look of the door instantly. Add a seasonal wreath and your home will say welcome!

Painting. Does the house need a coat of paint. How about a good power washing to make it clean and show worthy.

Windows. If any are broken they must be fixed or replaced immediately. If they are in great shape then clean them and make them sparkle and shine.

Driveway and Walkways. Does the driveway need any repairs? If so, fix and patch any cracks or holes. The same thing for the walk way. Make sure it is clear of any hanging branches that might block the pathway to your door.

By following these few guidelines, you are sure to gain the curb appeal that will add additional value to your home for very little cost.

Is your family room tired, dull and predictable?

Does your family room look tired, dull, and predictable? Here are a few ideas that can spruce up your room that won't cost a lot of money or take a lot of time.

Let's start with the floor and add a colorful area rug that will not only add interest to your room but will anchor your furniture arrangement by placing it under the sofa and coffee table. Two things happen; it instantly grounds the space and gives you color choices when adding accessories to the room. Take a color from the rug and add accent pillows, a throw, or even new candles of that same color to punch up interest in the room.

No focal point in your room, create your own. How about a interesting piece of art work. Try a large striking piece to make a dramatic statement. Or group a smaller prints together but use frames of the same size and color so they instantly relate to each other.

No art work, no problem. Just pick one wall and paint it a different contrasting color and create stunning drama!

Use what you have. Are you a collector of objects? Don't scatter them around the room, group them together and they will draw attention to the collection and make them look important. So if you're at the beach and collect some great sea shells, fill an apothecary jar with them and place them on your coffee table to remind you of the beach every day! If you collect clocks, books, colorful vases, or even antique toys group them together and they will create color and presence in the room.

Bring the outdoors in by adding plants and potted trees to the room. If you don't have the real thing go for the silk versions. They add color and drama to any space.

Choose one piece of furniture to spark interest. Do you have a special antique, a desk, hand painted chest, or a family heirloom properly displayed can be the star of the room!

So think outside the box and shake up that boring room. Take it from drab to fab with very little work.

Friday, February 1, 2008

How High Do I Hang Art Work?

A rule of thumb is to hang all pictures at 5'7" on center. This is eye level to the average human and is considered gallery height.

To do this measure 5'7" from the floor up. Mark here.

You want the picture centered on this height, so measure the picture from to to bottom, then devide that number in half.

Then, subject the difference between the hanging wire and the top of the frame and add that number to the mark at 5'7". That's when you put the picture hanging hook or pin.

It may look low because most people hang their pictures too high, so it will seem odd at first. Don't worry, it's correct!

Keeping It Cozy This Winter

You can't change the weather, but you can change any room in your house into a warm and cozy space without spending a lot of money. Take advantage of the in-store Home Sales that are happening now! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Turn that dull bedroom into a deluxe retreat by adding a few special touches. New bedding, sheets, blankets, and new fluffy pillows not only add comfort but adds new interest to the biggest focal point of the room, your bed!

Don't forget the bathroom. New towels, a plush new bath mat and a clean new shower curtain can turn an ordinary bathroom into your own private spa. Windex the mirror and light some new sented candles and take a warm relaxing soak.

Is a new sofa not in the budget? Don't worry. You can add new interest to that old sofa by using a new slip cover. There are so many new designs and colors to choose from that your options are limitless. Find new pillows and a matching throw on sales and that sofa will go from looking old and used to new and refreshed in no time.

Aroma therapy is so wonderful and now is a great time to try some new candle sents while they are on sale. Have you tried the reed diffusers? They're glass bottles that are filled with different sented oils, that you put a handful of reed sticks into. They are great for adding a subtle fresh sent to any room.

Can't afford new counter tops for your kitchen this winter? How about adding new color interest with fresh new place mats and napkins. It really can enhance the look of your every day dishes for not a lot of money. Place a beautiful bowl with fresh winter fruit, like tangerines, apples, pears or oranges, then dim the lights and light some new votives and your kitchen becomes just as cozy as the rest of your house.

So check out the sales, freshen up your nest and stay cozy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ten Home Staging Tips

Here are a few more home staging tips:

1. Start at the curb. Eliminate all unnecessary items from the front porch, lawn and driveway. Toys, ladders, coolers, tools, or junks should be out of sight. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, trim overgrown trees, shovel the snow from the walkway and you'll add to the curb appeal. If possible, plant a few flowers or hang a beautiful flower basket. Power wash the porch and front entrance. Paint the front door, if necessary. Make the entry look welcoming and inviting.

2. Simply Declutter. Take one room at a time and edit the space. Coffee tables, bookshelves, and fireplaces all need SIMPLE accents. Empty closets. Donate all usable items and throw away all the junk! Closets need to be clean, well organized and roomy.

3. Turn your unused treasures into money. That's right, have a garage sale. This is a great opportunity to eliminate housewares, clothing, toys, tools, that someone else could use and love.

4. Become the "room detective". Many rooms have little things that need attention. Is there a leak, or painting mistakes or sloppiness? By just changing a kitchen faucet you can bring new life to that old sink. Be critical, or better yet, have a friend or a professional tell you what oddities catch her eye.

5. Fix what's broken. If you can't fix it, hire a pro to do the work. A good repair, done right, will reap big rewards.

6. Clean till it sparkles. Start with windows, scrub rugs, if needed. Paint or wash walls, especially entry ways. Kitchens and bathrooms have to be clean and shiny. Mirrors and hardware must sparkle. Make the beds, vacuum and dust. Open window treatments to let some light into the room.

7. Let your home breathe. Let in some fresh air, get rid of pet and cooling odors.

8. Don't be in the dark. Open the curtains, turn on lights, (3 per room) and let the room sparkle. A dark room isn't welcoming and appears small and dingy.

9. Keep it fresh. Light a few candles, turn on the fireplace, and add fresh some fresh flowers, if possible. You'll make the room more inviting.

10. Remember the Noise Factor. Your barking dog needs to get a sitter. Play some great background music, and keep the television off.

How To make A Small Room Bigger

1. Declutter the room. Get rid of magazines, newspapers, stacks of mail, and other things that tend to accumulate. Remove the nick-nacks and accessive clutter on tables, Too many candles and collections make the room look unkept..

2. Mirrors work wonders on small rooms. Rooms that are too small can look bigger by hanging a few mirrors and light colored art work. Mirrors can open up a room, increase the light in the room and make the space more inviting.

3. Don't crowd a room with oversized furniture. Try an oversized love seat instead of a full sofa which could crowd you out. Downsize your furniture if you can and it will create more walking space in the room. Choose pieces of furniture that do double duty. Try using an ottoman for a coffee table. It instantly adds another seat in the room when needed. An even better idea is to have an ottoman that opens up for storage, keeping pillows and throws hidden. They can also hold magazines and even a few of the kids toys.

4. Accessorize your room. Keep it simple and don't over decorate. Try having one special WOW! piece in the room instead of many little collections spread over the room. One beautiful flower arrangement on a coffee table makes a much better statement than having too many sea shells or candlesticks spread all over the table.

5. The room doesn't have to be white? To make a small room look bigger you're not stuck with using only light colors. A dark paint can create depth and space if you paint the ceiling a lighter version of the wall paint. It will make the ceiling in the room appear higher.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Adding Visual Interest

Is your living room Blah? Just no visual interest at all. Sometimes all it takes is to add some interest to a room.

There are several ways to do this by adding some spice to shake up the look. And it can be done with a few simple additions like:
  • Soften a hardwood floor by adding a pattern area rug.
  • Replace an overhead light fixture with a decorative chandelier.
  • Add a lightweight wicker or rattan chair to your living room, ready to be pulled up to any conversation grouping.
  • Add chenille or velvet pillows to a leather sofa for a softer affect.
  • Trim a table skirt with a braid or some silk fringe.
  • Add decorative tassels to curtain tiebacks.
  • Drape a soft fleecy throw over any chair or sofa in the room.

Enjoy decorating your home. make it your personal oasis!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ten Decorating Tips For The New Year

Here are ten decorating tips that will help you plan your 2008 decorating:

1. Set a budget and stick to it.... no matter how much you like that armoire!

2. Set aside a block of time to dedicate to the project each week.

3. Get friends and family to help...that's what they're for!

4. Before you begin have everything purchased.

5. Do your the manuals and instructions.

6. Get ideas from books and magazines on designs that call you in.

7. Extreme decorating can be scary... get opinions from friends and family before you paint that wall fuchsia!

8. If the job is too big.....hire a professional. A professional decorator isn't expensive if you only need an opinion.

9. Think safety...hire a pro for electrical and plumbing work.

10. Have fun.....your labor of love shouldn't turn into a chore. Love your home!

Here's to happy decorating in 2008 and falling in love with your home again!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Winter Home Staging

With the tough housing market, selling your home isn't easy, especially if you have to show it during the winter months. With so many homes on the market in your price range, you have to make your house stand out. Truly, it's got to be the best. Winter listings present some additional problems. Here are a few ideas to help you stage your home during the cold, snowy months:

1. Pay special attention to Winter curb appeal.
  • Make sure your driveway is plowed and your walkways shovelled. You want it to be safe to enter your house. Use de-icers if you have ice. Pay special attention to any icicles that might be hanging from you home especially over walkways and doors.
  • Hang a wreath on the front door. A winter wreath says "welcome".

2. Once they're in your home.

  • Have a large rug or mat at the front door. This will not only protect your floors, but allow potential buyers an opportunity to wipe their feet before entering your home.
  • Try baking a batch of cookies or simmering potpourri to give your home a fresh welcoming sent.
  • If you have a fireplace, light it. Or if you don't, light a few scented candles around the room.
  • Make sure the house is well lit. Open drapes and light every lamp. People want a home that's bright and cheery. Winter presents lighting problems, so add as much light as possible.
  • Make bedrooms look cozy and inviting by adding quilts, comforters, and additional pillows to fluff up the bedding and make it warm and inviting.
  • With the holidays over, pack aways the Christmas decorations, but it's ok to leave a few items out. A bit of greenery on the mantel and some mini lights will add to the cheery decor.

Making you home cozy and inviting is an appealing way to make potential buyers comfortable. If you can make them visualize just how great it would be to call your house their home, then the chances of selling your home during the cold winter months will be greatly improved.

Winter Decorating Tips

Happy new year!

Christmas is over, holiday decorations are packed away for another year, and your home looks blah and bland! Now what?

Winter is a great time, especially since you're indside, to get the decorating juices flowing. Here are a few suggestions for getting started:

1. Pick a room. Decorating can be overwhelming if you look at your entire house at one time. You really need to break the house down into smaller projects. So, pick one room or area and it's a good idea to start with the room that's bugging you most.

2. De-clutter the space. Things like, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, kids toys, or any unnecessary items that need to be put in their own places. Don't be afraid to throw away or donate to charity items that are no longer needed. And clean as you go to make the work area as fresh as possible.

3. Determine what the space needs. Do you need paint, new carpeting, draperies, furniture, wall hangings, or accessories? It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can accomplish.

3. Start with Color. Is it just a fresh coat of paint that will make a great change, or maybe it needs new carpeting. If so, find the color pallet that makes sense.

4. How is the furniture? Does it need to be replaced, or is it working for you. Sometimes rearranging the room can make a huge impact.

5. Pulling it all together. That's where new pillows, area rugs, drapery, and accessories make a difference. Accessories are the jewelry or the finishing touches in the room that give a room personality.

6, Don't be afraid to ask for help? People think that professional help is expensive. Often you only need some advise or to have a professional verify that you're on the right track. An hour consultation is an inexpensive way to get a number of great ideas to compliment your design and pallet. Maybe the project isn't as big as you thought. By seeking the help of a professional you might be able to save money by not purchasing unnecessary items and using things that you already have.

Here's to a new year and falling in love with your home again.