Bring A Room To Life With Texture

The elegance and sophistication of the past was achieved by blending textures and fabrics. The home decorating industry strayed away from this as homeowners demanded furniture and decorating ideas that would last for years.

Today’s home decorators are not limited by stereotypes. They do not limit their creativity and design ideas by trends or styles. Instead, they incorporate a little of everything into a room that evolves into an expression of their lifestyle and personality.

This has pushed decorators and furniture companies to stretch the boundaries and bring in innovative combinations, color hues, and creative ideas to bring a modern feel combined with a homey atmosphere to the average home.

Current trends have seen furniture that combines leather and fabrics to create a completely new feel. The furniture grew in size, and was over stuffed, and then returned to a more manageable size. Today’s furniture is taking on a more natural look. The modern designs in plastics and glass have given way to leather, natural fabrics like silks and cottons, and hand painted designs on wallpaper.

This trend toward natural is reflected in wall treatments. Grasscloth is a beautiful, natural fabric that lends itself perfectly to Feng Shui or natural fabrics. The wall murals and repeated patterns are giving way to natural fabrics, grass, silk, embroidery, and wood. Other new innovations are panels.

The most popular for this year is a plum red, stark, bare apple tree, with rich red blossoms, on a pumpkin background. This beautiful hand-painted silk panel wallpaper is meant to replace both wall treatments and artwork.

However, homeowners do not need to invest thousands of dollars on a wall. The mass market manufacturers are bringing out paper versions of these wall treatments. They are also bringing out silk surfaced wallpapers.

DIY, Do It Yourself, has been growing for years. This lends itself perfectly to recent home decorating designs. A few hours research on the web and through high-end home decorating magazines, will eventually reveal the mural of your dreams. Once that is found, it can be drawn onto large sheets of paper and traced onto the wall, then hand painted.

Oriental painting is very simple. It only requires a few complimentary colors, and incorporates large brush, smooth even strokes with minimal shading. A few hours practicing on newspaper will give any DYI enough skill to paint a mural.

A Demask stencil, stucco, and a stiff sponge brush is all that is needed to add texture to walls. This is technique has been around for a few years. A new twist involves buying sand from a pet shop, the kind used for fish. Buy natural, sterile sand. This will reduce the risk of bringing mold spoors into the home.

Once a thin layer of stucco is applied to the wall, then use a stiff brush to apply sand into the stucco. The stucco should be colored. In 2005 the stucco would have been a burnished gold color. In 2007, the colors would be red/browns, plumb reds, gold tone neutral hues, and greens, depending on the room.

Contrast is added with polished metals. This rests the eye, and draws it through the room. Home decorating with textures is about minimal and simplicity. Just add a little in out of the way places. Place textures behind large furniture. Add texture to lamps, in carpets, and lighting.

This will let home owners decorate their homes, keeping them up to date year after year, without needing a full-home renovation to add life to their home.

Home Office Setup Basics

When designing a home office there is much to think about if you want to design the perfect space. If you are considering setting up a home office you might be at a loss for everything you need to consider. Read this short article and learn the basics to setting up a home office.

The first thing you want to do is pick a location. This will influence everything else in the design process. Hopefully you have a whole room to work with but if you are using a part of a room you will just have to scale things down and use space more efficiently. After you have found a suitable location you will have to pick out the furniture for you. You will need a good desk, a comfortable chair, storage for files and possible some bookcases. Take your time and shop around until you find the furniture set that works best for you and your space. Next you will need to look at lighting. To avoid fatigue and to be able to work more efficiently you will want proper lighting. If the room lacks it you will need to add fixtures or floor lights. Finally you can personalize the space with accessories. You might want a clock, some artwork or even some of your collectibles. Use accessories to make it a room that you actually want to be in.

Hopefully you have found some useful information in this article. Setting up a home office is a great project to take on but you need to think about everything to end up with a perfect space. Good luck and think of all of the details before you begin.

8 Important Tips Buying Furniture Online

The World Wide Web has changed the way people shop for furniture. Today furniture can be bought for the home or office from online stores, auction sites, as well as websites selling antiques and second hand furniture.

Furniture shopping online changes shopping and gives a wide range of choices as well as the best deals. Among the most popular online shops for furniture are: the Conran Store, Crate and Barrel, Design Within Reach, Highbrow Furniture, and Horchow. There are online websites that deal with antiques as well as designer furniture. Many retail furniture stores also have online sales channels.

1.Look through home shopping and design books and get a clear idea of the kind of furniture you want. Consider size, durability, design, as well as your personal choice and the interiors.

2.In case you are the hands on kind go to local malls and stores and view the models you are considering.

3.Visit more than three online stores that stock your models of furniture and check out the deals. Be sure to ask about return policy, shipping, transit damage insurance, and warranties.

4.Use online CAD tools to arrange the furniture you wish to purchase in the rooms and view the effect and color balance virtually. This will help you make a decision.

5.Look for online discount sales, discount coupons, special offers, and free shipping offers and so on before buying online. Very often you could get high end furniture at an affordable price.

6.Make sure the online furniture dealer is trustworthy and has been in business for considerable time. Avoid buying things like furniture from small fly by night operators.

7. When buying furniture online you need to ask whether what you see in the picture is what you are paying for. Many stores window dress the furniture and only ship the basics.

8.Be sure of what you are investing in and try and buy only reputed brands.

Buying furniture online is a convenience but only useful if you know how to protect your interests and not get fooled by advertisements and what seem like great offers. The World Wide Web is a great information highway with articles and tips written by architects, furniture designers, and interior decorators. There are websites that give tips on how to choose furniture and have a home that is stylish.

Getting The Most From Your Home Remodeling Dollar

Before you pound the first nail, your home remodeling and improvement jobs will face urgent decision points along the way. The decisions you make at these milestones can be important to the success of the project. To get the most of your remodeling dollar, don’t forget to follow the steps below to keep your home remodeling projects on track and within budget.

Hire a pro – Reliable architects, decorators and contractors will add to the initial cost of the project, but can lower fees you money and frustration in the long run. Their experience will help you find design troubles early that can cause cost and timeline problems later. So how do you find a reliable architect, interior designer, remodeler or contractor? The best way is through word of mouth and recommendations. Talk to your neighbors and friends to see if the agent is recently completed a remodeling project. They may be able to recommend a reliable architect, interior designer, remodeler or contractor. Also determine if they would use the individual or organization for future projects. Another great source can be your local parade of homes or home builders association.

Design Fees and Contractor Costs – Most significant remodeling activities will require the services of a qualified interior designer, architect or contractor. Insist that each provides a bid that includes a detailed proposal covering the scope of the work, any subcontractors they intend to hire and the timeframe for completion of the effort. Do some analysis to determine if the fees are comparative when you shop for rates. The bargain rate firm may leave you with more steam clean-up and finishing project. The highest priced bid may include oversight charges or project management fees that you can do yourself.

Be prepared- Like any major project, proper planning is the important to success. Take the time early in the project to spend the quality time needed to make informed decisions ahead of time. Be sure to adequately review bids from contractors and don’t select a contractor just because they are the minimum budget provider or are available immediately. Have your interior designer, architect and contractor draw up detailed plans for your review. Choose the design materials dining room to avoid working with costly changes later.

Breaking things down- Develop budget and timeline goals and stick to them as much as possible. Breaking the home improvement project down into smaller activities makes it easier to estimate the charges and control the timeline later.

Stay involved- Stay involved and help where you can. By removing old fixtures, cabinets or doing other clean-up work you can lower fees on the overall home improvement project. If capable, do some of the final finishing project yourself to also drive down the costs. Painting, touch up or installing faucets or other fixtures yourself can keep you within cost and give you the satisfaction of knowing you did some of the work yourself.

Design Decisions and Customizations- Using custom cabinetry, windows, doors or other products can swiftly drive the charges up for any home remodeling project. This is one of the area where you can exercise a great deal of control over the costs. A standard window at your local home improvement retail store will cost around $250, but a custom-sized window will budget over five hundred dollars easily. Some activities of the project will need to be site specific and possibly customized. But some product categories – such as windows, doors and cabinetry – offer a wide variety of customary or semi-custom choices. Adding your own trim or embellishments later may make these typical decisions look customized.

Avoid distractions- Don’t let yourself get off track. For example, if you are painting your family room and you discover that the adjacent living room paint now looks dingy, don’t get side tracked. Schedule the other room for another project. The desire to add or change along the way will be tempting and may prove irresistible. If your remodeling plans stick to the original plan, most will finish on time and within budget.

The key to avoiding cost overruns and other pitfalls during your home improvement activities, don’t forget to properly control the variables along the way. Estimating costs for home improvement plans is both an art and a science. The better you plan, control those variables and stick to the original plan the more likely you are to be happy with the project and complete it within your cost and timeline budgets.

Decorating Ideas Using Stencils

With all of the conventional designs from painting and wall papering, the concept of using stencilling has become more popular over the years. More and more interior designers are using stencilling into their plans to create that great look that they require. It is always good to add a bit of creativity and flair to really bring out the personality of the room in the family home. With stencil designs, it allows a person to use their creative side and also it can be a fun way to decorate too.

Using Stencils to Brighten up the Home

The great thing about stencil designs is that a person can use them for many different purposes. You may think that they can only be used to stencil patterns onto the walls but this is simply not the case. If you want to add some flair to furniture or even glass, stencil designs can help you to achieve that. It could be that you want to add your own designs to brighten up a window. So whatever you want to do, it is all down to you and your own creativity. Stencils can also be used for craft hobbies and people can make absolutely anything they want to from designing t-shirts to even making greeting cards too.

Decorating can be a boring experience but it also can be extremely stressful when it comes to choosing what to use to decorate the home. You may be after something different to help make the walls look better. Some decorators choose stencils to make a wall border and others choose to bring the whole wall alive with great patterns and shapes. You can even make your own stencil patterns to get the look that you desire so it can be a fun experience. If you want to do something different in the house, you could use stencil designs to bring curtains and cushion covers to life.

Getting hold of a stencil pattern is an easy task with access to the internet or going into your nearest craft shop being the best ways. As mentioned, before you can even make your own if you are after a specific look. However, just using the stencil onto a wall or for any reason might not be the best idea. It might be worth planning exactly what you what to achieve beforehand so that you can get exactly what you are after.

Stencils can be considered to be easy and fun to use but it is worth noting that you will need to do some research. You will need to know what brushes to use for different designs and what type of paint to use too. So, enjoy using the stencils and let your creative side come out in order to make your house a home.

Affordable Window Decorations

Windows play an important place in a family’s health and well-being. They are the eyes to the world. Windows let the sun’s light in, warm and light the home, and expand the living space.

Window treatments are part of a room’s decorating scheme, protect furniture and carpets from fading, trap heat in the winter, let the breeze enter the room in the summer, and frame the window.

However, most window treatments are expensive. A drab, basic window treatment for a small window can start at $200.00. It can easily cost $10 000 to buy suitable window coverings to fit into today’s suburban home. An upscale home with arched and two-story windows can easily cost the homeowner in excess of $25 000.00.

This does not mean that the average homeowner needs to settle for second rate window treatments.

The first thing the home decorator needs to ask is what they need. Sales people can easily convince home decorators that they need lined and weighted curtains with Scotchguard and UV protectors on them. This is not true.

Not all windows need lined curtains. Rooms that face the sun in the winter, and are not used often, can get away with a temporary lining under the curtains. However, this lining doesn’t need to have a UV screen. In fact, it can be a simple sheet of flannel that is clipped to the curtain rod and removed when people use the room.

People never think of using many inexpensive decorative things for window coverings such as louvered doors, screens, and even certain papers. These items can easily be used as window coverings.

In fact, using reclaimed kitchen cabinet doors to cover basement windows in the winter will not only keep the cold out, they can be painted to add an artistic flair to the room. When done right, visitors may not even realize that the framed pictures are covering windows.

One often overlooked window treatment is to just leave it alone. A beautiful trim, framing a window that overlooks a garden, can be far more beautiful than a $2 000 professionally made curtain.

Another decoration is stained glass. There are several artisan shops where you can purchase custom-made stained glass covers for windows. This may be the perfect choice for a bathroom or master bedroom where you want to let in maximum light, but have 100% privacy.

While a stained glass window from a professional is not ‘inexpensive’ there are many reclaimed stores with old church windows that an artisan can easily cut down to fit your windows.

Another twist is the glass blocks that have been used to divide rooms and separate living areas. Stacking these glass blocks in the window will still allow light to enter while keeping the heat in, and maintaining privacy.

Construction reclaimed stores, and shopping online, are the places to find the best deals. One often overlooked deal is the bedding sets sold online. For the price of a comforter bedding set in a local department store, you can buy a complete 11 piece bedroom set, including curtains, if you shop online.

A little ingenuity and care and you can save thousands of dollars dressing your home’s windows, and even outdo the homes where more than $25 000 was spent on the window treatments.