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Give Your Home A Personal Touch

Today, the biggest trend in interior design is to create open, neutral spaces that make your home seem spacious and easy to move around. Neutral colors predominate, creating a sophisticated, relaxed atmosphere that is in keeping with modern living. However, one of the drawbacks of this is that homes often do not have the personality that they once did. Homeowners struggle to put their own particular mark on where they live, and feel that they are a guest in their own home as a result. However, there are many things that can be done to create a much more individual and familiar atmosphere in your home – while still maintaining a contemporary feel. One of the good things about neutral decor is that it is a blank canvas on which you can overlay your own individual style. For example, while your sofa and chairs may be white or beige, you can create a splash of your favorite color by adding accents. Putting brightly colored cushions on your furniture is one way of doing this – either take a bold approach and use solid colors, or go for stripes if you are looking to create a more muted effect. Alternatively, put a blanket with an interesting pattern over the back of your furniture to create a less formal result. Image source     Accents don’t need to stop at cushions and blankets. Lamps and vases can also give your home that personal touch – particularly if you select designs that draw the eye. For instance, if you put a single perfect blue vase with flowers on your coffee table, this will become the center point of your room, creating a welcoming atmosphere where people feel comfortable to sit around and talk. Alternatively, putting warm-colored red or orange vases on your mantelpiece in winter can create a cozy appearance, giving a subconscious impression that there is a welcoming fire.   If you travel and like to pick up memorabilia, then think about displaying this prominently around your room. Not only will this create points of interest for visitors, it will also evoke memories of your trips. Alternatively, offset the modern appearance of your room with one or two antiques – these will blend in to create an eclectic appearance while adding character to your room. Just make sure that you do not add too many of these pieces – otherwise, this can make your room look cluttered and defeat the purpose of having an open design.   Another wonderful way to add a touch of personality is to use custom printed...

Imaginative Ways To Decorate A Girl’s Room

Decorating a child’s room should be given to flights of fancy, creativity, and imaginative sparkle. While boys deserve every bit as much of your energy and imagination, girls tend to offer a wider palette when it comes to your choices. Filling your daughter’s room with army men and footballs may come across as too “masculine”, but you have much more leeway when you start putting your brush to the canvas. If your little girl is old enough to impart a sense of personality, use that as a starting point for your inspiration. If not, here are some ideas that can get you going. The Night Sky By incorporating the moon and stars into your decorating theme, you can teach your daughter from an early stage that she should never accept ceilings as she moves through life. Beyond the symbolism, starlight naturally lends itself to a magical wonderland. Best of all, you can easily find bedspreads, wall hangings, and paints that can help you realize your vision. Consider topping off the theme with some glow in the dark stickers for the ceiling. Extreme Color If you walked into an adult’s bedroom and everything was exactly the same color, you might wonder what was wrong with them. These rules don’t apply to a child, however, so don’t hesitate to take your daughter’s favorite color and go wild! Matching sheets, bookcases, carpeting, and paint may be the visual equivalent of a bag full of candy, but hey, what kid doesn’t like candy? Fortunately, a bright room will give your family dentist no reason to complain. Storybook World Reading should be an integral part of any child’s upbringing. With a little imagination, you can bring the worlds of your daughter’s favorite books out of the pages and into her room. If you choose popular characters, you’ll have no trouble finding accessories that incorporate them into a theme. You can go with a single book or create a tapestry of your child’s favorite literary characters. A lovely wooden dollhouse can add to the charm and give your daughter a chance to do her own decorating on a smaller scale. Butterflies Is there something inherent in the butterfly that makes it a young girl’s favorite insect? Maybe every child finds a certain amount of inspiration in knowing that one day they might undergo their own transformations. Or maybe they just find them pretty. Whatever the case, you’ll hardly go wrong with a room theme dedicated to the butterfly. Not only can you use them as the dominant center of your theme, they also work as...

Polish Furniture With Salad Dressing

If you are looking for environmentally safe alternatives in cleaning products for the home, you can easily mix up your own cleaning products with all natural, safe, and even edible ingredients. We all know vinegar and water makes a great homemade glass cleaner, but have you ever thought to polish your furniture with salad dressing? Yes, Polish Your Furniture With Salad Dressing! Yes, you heard it right. The same vinegar and olive oil concoction that you put on your tasty salads also makes a great, all natural, environmentally friendly furniture polish you can mix up at home. Obviously, the amounts of each ingredient will vary from what you would use in a salad dressing. For this polish, you will need one cup of olive oil mixed with one quarter cup of vinegar. Simply place ingredients in a handy spray bottle and use a microfiber or soft cloth to polish furniture to a glossy shine. Vinegar has so many helpful household uses. In this case, the vinegar acts to get rid of residues left by old furniture polish applications and removes dirt and grime from surfaces. The olive oil adds shine and provides moisture for the wood and acts as a conditioner. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries, but if you prefer a lemony smell similar to those in commercial furniture polishes, consider substituting lemon juice for the vinegar in this mixture. Both the vinegar and lemon will work in the same manner. A Little Mayonnaise On The Side Mayonnaise works in much the same as the olive oil and vinegar combination to clean and shine furniture. Simply apply a small glob to a soft cloth and polish by rubbing wood in the direction of the grain. Buff well to bring wood to a shine, and as you do so, the smell of the mayonnaise will disappear. Mayonnaise contains oil, eggs, and vinegar, with the vinegar serving the same purpose as in the oil/vinegar method, while the oil and eggs act as the shine factor. Conclusion As time goes by, we are discovering more and more about how the chemicals, toxins, and residues we are exposed to in our daily lives can adversely effect our healthy on so many levels. We are also beginning to realize how much damage these products can do to our environment. More and more people are making a conscious effort to reduce exposure to chemicals in the foods they eat and in the products they use, not only to protect their families and home environment, but to help protect planet Earth. Vinegar, olive...

Earth-Friendly Polishes

Most homeowners enjoy the convenience of using commercially available furniture polishing products that are readily available at the local grocery store and other popular retailers. Though these products spray on easily, do a good job, and also smell nice, they have one huge drawback. These products contain toxic VOC’s associated with the use of aerosol sprays, and these toxins are released into the air, and your home, with every spray. If you are concerned about the effect these products may have on your family and on the environment, there are some simple alternatives you can use to make your furniture polish eco-friendly. Make Your Own Earth-Friendly Furniture Polish You can actually make your own version of the lovely lemon scented furniture polish sprays right at home. For this, you will need one lemon, some olive oil, and water. Juice one entire lemon and combine with one teaspoon each of olive oil and water. Mix your ingredients in a spray bottle and you are ready to use. The lemon will smell just like the aerosol lemon scented cleaners, and lemon is a natural grease cutter which makes it good for cleaning. The olive oil works much like the polish to help condition and shine wooden surfaces. The best part about using these products is not only that they work great, but are also affordable, and completely safe to use in the home, and around children and pets. Because the ingredients in the homemade version of furniture polish are perishable, you should only mix up enough for one round of dusting and polishing. Each time you dust and polish furniture will require you to mix up a new batch. This is a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll derive from knowing you are using an Earth-friendly, people-friendly product. Use Prepared Earth-Friendly Polishes With the increasing awareness about the importance of being environmentally responsible, there are now product lines of cleaning products available that are Earth- friendly alternatives to their aerosol and chemical counterparts. One such non-toxic furniture polish to try is from the brand called Earth Friendly. The Earth Friendly furniture polish is made with olive oil and orange oil and will protect as well as clean wood surfaces. This product can be used on such other surfaces as paneling and vinyl. This polish works well for removing dirt, smudges, and fingerprints while bringing out the natural beauty of your furniture’s wood. Conclusion Whether you decide to make a homemade version or choose to purchase one of these ready made Earth-Friendly polishes, you can do so with...

Budget-Wise Baby Rooms

When planning a new baby’s room, with all of the cute furniture and decorations available today, it’s easy to go overboard on spending. Keep in mind, raising a baby can be expensive regarding all areas of care, so it is a wise decision to try to come up with a budget for how much to spend on decorating a baby’s room and stick with it. Keep these ideas in mind for furnishing and decorating budget-wise baby rooms. Furnishings When selecting furnishing for budget-wise baby rooms, think practical. Try to select items that will grow with your child and outlast the very young baby stage. Think along the line of toddler and pre-schooler, and try to choose those options that will last for at least a few years. When choosing a crib, pick one that has the versatility to be converted into a toddler bed, and later, that can be used as a headboard. By doing so, as your child grows, you can keep the same crib mattress and bed frame for the toddler bed, later using just the headboard as your child grows into a twin bed. This is a great way to get more bang for your buck and keep the same furniture around for years to come. Your baby will only need a diaper changing station/dressing table for about the first year or year and a half of life. After that, these pieces of furniture generally just take up space and don’t serve a useful purpose. However, if you choose a style that lends itself to a desk or dresser after use as a changing table you will find that it grows with your child and remains an essential piece of bedroom furniture for many years. These can be used as a study desk, or for extra storage in the child’s room. Decorating a Baby’s Room On A Budget When choosing the decor for a baby’s room, again, think ahead to a few years. You may wish to choose a more neutral paint color, or avoid baby themed murals on the walls. These are great for a tiny baby, but when your child becomes a toddler, or pre-school age, they may have their own ideas about how they would like their room decorated. Paint is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things, and if you stick with basic colors while they are young, it may save you the hassle and expense of having to re-paint too often. Using removable wall clings is a great way to decorate your child’s room for the time being, as they...

Do-It-Yourself Decorating

Dress Up Your Home With Do-it-Yourself Decorating Do-it-yourself decorating is one of the best ways to change the look of your home and add a personal touch to your living space. The best part is you can use many of the following decorating tips and strategies no matter whether you live in a house or apartment and no matter whether you rent or own your home. Let us look at some do-it-yourself decorating tips and strategies Paint, Wallpaper, and Borders Painting is one of the fastest, easiest, and least expensive methods of changing the look of anything in your home. Mostly, when people think about painting, they think of painting walls, but you can paint furniture, ceilings, trim, and many other things around your home. The great thing about paint is there are thousands of different colors to choose from, or you can have custom colors created. Along with all of the different colors, there are many different methods of painting. There are many faux painting methods available for walls, you can use crackle methods on furnishings and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to painting. Wallpaper is another easy and inexpensive method of changing the entire look and feel of the walls in your home. In the past putting up wallpaper was a difficult and messy job, but modern wallpaper is very simple to apply. If painting or wallpapering your walls does not appeal to you then you can add decorative borders around the top of your walls. There are hundreds of different borders to choose from; they come in several different sizes, and many different patterns. Again, borders are easy to install and will make a big change to the look of your home. Decorating Furniture If you are tired of looking at the same old furniture in your home, but you do not have the money to purchase all new furniture, you can change the look of your furniture on your own. There is any number of do-it-yourself decorating tips for the furniture in your home. You can cover your old furniture with slipcovers. You can either make your own slipcovers or purchase ones that are already made. Whichever path you choose slipcovers will make tired old furniture look new and beautiful again. One of the most popular methods of changing the look of furniture is called distressing. People are taking old pieces of furniture and painting them different colors, black is very popular. Once they have painted the furniture they will then “distress” the furniture by lightly sanding the paint...