The winter months can be a challenge for even experts at decorating. The cold and crisp air marked by lack of growth tends to make us all want to stay indoors. By seeking winter decorating ideas and focusing on a refreshing new style for your front porch during this chilly season, it will help lift your spirits as well as create an inviting entryway to your home.
Use year round furniture on your front porch that can withstand the elements. Seat cushions made of materials such as vinyl or plastic are perfect choices for a cooler climate and they are easier to clean. Colors such as blue, sapphire, silver, gray or red work well for making a winter porch stand out.
Winter berries and branches of evergreen are lovely ways to add natural color to your porch. Empty vases, metal buckets or other durable containers can be filled with evergreen and berries mingled with pine cones. Fill the container with water and your creation will last a good while. Add a burlap bow to your finished piece and you have created a simple yet beautiful scene on your porch.
Rustic birdhouse designs sprinkled with fake snow and window panes that have been salvaged and repainted are easy ways to add some country delight to your front porch style. Simply group them together in an area of your porch that you want to become the focal point. Add a chair with a thick winter style throw to complete the unique look.
Door wreaths go a long way in creating a welcoming scene even during the cold months. The best materials that you can use for your winter door wreath are grapevine, evergreen or winterberry. Pinecone wreaths are great choices too. Artificial wreaths featuring snowmen, birds, vintage style bells or neutral colored deco mesh such as tan or brown make beautiful wreaths.
Another simple way to create a cute focal point on your front porch is by staging a table decoration. Set up a small outdoor table on your porch and adorn it with several baskets filled with silver and blue Christmas balls, sprigs of holly and evergreen, and mix some icicle ornaments into the theme. Add some small grapevine wreaths to give it a little rustic charm.
There are so many creative ways to make your front porch demand attention during the winter months. By using your imagination and researching ideas, you are sure to come up with the right porch idea for you.
Halloween time is just a few short weeks away and it is time to start planning for your fabulous party. Remember, the earlier you plan, the better the chances of saving and being able to stick to your party budget. There are a lot of things involved in planning a party especially for Halloween and it never hurts if you would start early.
The most important things to consider about your party are the food and drinks. Next would be the decorations and the entertainment for the party. Appetizers and desserts can be converted into decorative pieces as well especially during Halloween. Your Halloween party invitation should scream of fun and entertainment as well.
Here are some tips you should consider to have a fun and memorable Halloween party on a budget.
Have a theme and color pattern for your party
The theme is where it all starts. Have a fixed theme for your party where your guests can relate to. From here, you can start planning and creating a list on the things that you will need for the party especially for the props, decorations and entertainment for the party.
Check your home for readily available items
With the aim to save but still have fun for you party, you should start looking for items that are already available inside your home that can be used for your Halloween party. These include décor, tablecloths, dishes and several items that can be repainted and redecorated to be transformed into your Halloween party decorations.
Invite a few friends and relatives
Keeping the number of guests low does not mean that you will make your party less fun. This will just make the party more affordable and more intimate making it more fun and easy to handle compared to having a party with a big crowd.
Match your food servings and accessories with the theme
To make the party really Halloween like, be sure that your food and decorations are in line with your theme. If you have a Zombie theme for your party, include a lot of chocolate and brownies on your menu list. DIY graveyards made from old cartons and Styrofoam would complete the look of your Halloween party as well. You wouldn’t have to worry about dirt coming inside your home for the mean time with all the kids running around your yard and home with a party theme like this as well.
Go with DIY décor ideas
Since you started planning your Halloween party early, you can still have time to do things and decorations by yourself. With a few old items at home, paint and some creativity, you can save a lot of money from décor and accessories when you create them by yourself. You can involve the whole family as well to make an experience out of it.
You can also consider borrowing old decorations and accessories from families and friends to keep your budget in check. Extra chairs and tables can also be asked from your friends too. Do not be shy to ask.
Throwing an amazing Halloween party is easy with a little imagination and the ability to create DIY games, party favors, snacks and decorations. Halloween is a highly anticipated event and there are plenty of things that can be done for the most enjoyable occasion. Here are a few practical Halloween party ideas:
Set the scene – Decorating the home with a haunted house theme is a great way to get ready for the party. Use the decorations to create the right atmosphere for any indoor or outdoor areas that guests are likely to gather. Also, make sure the theme matches the age groups and adjust the scare-factor accordingly. For the child friendly gatherings, try to keep the blood and gore to a minimum, while the theme is easily spooked up for the adult events.
Also, the party games and activities should be planned to match the guests of all ages. This will ensure everyone is kept happy. For events with small kids and babies it is a good idea to avoid the super-scary surprises.
Serve fun foods
Party guests are certain to appreciate fun foods that are cooked at home. This can include creating the creepy, yet tasty snacks. Simply combining mini cheeses with olives and food coloring can create savory treats that are a lot more appealing than standard crackers and cheese. Also, you want to prepare the easy-to-eat small bites for the parties with a lot of small children.
However, it can also benefit to prepare a few healthy snacks. Mountains of candy may look appealing at first, but it is also necessary to prepare something a little more substantial to keep the guests going.
Gather the ghouls for the party by sending out the theme inspired invites. It is best to send invites two or three weeks before the occasion to make sure everyone is aware and you are able to prepare accordingly.
Welcome trick-or-treaters to the event with an outdoor table or station that is filled with a mixture of kids favorite treats. The trick-or-treat station is weather permitting and works best when there are adults about to help with handing out the treats.
Involve your four-legged friends
Pets are part of the family and should be considered in the Halloween plans. For instance, the lively and outgoing dogs can easily be dressed up in a fun costume, while the more timid dogs afraid of loud noises and a lot of strangers can benefit from a quiet, safe place that is away from the activity.
The stores these days have so many ideas for beach house decorating in them that you don’t know where to start. Make your design your own and these guidelines will help you on your journey to a one of a kind perfect style made just for you.
Decorating in modern beach house themes you will need to keep the space free from clutter, comfortable, inviting and a place you and your family feel at home in.
Look around you at all of nature’s beauty and you will find all the inspiration you need for the greatest of decorating themes. From seashells, seahorses and starfish to woven baskets filled with nautical memorabilia, just imagine how beach worthy it will feel.
Paint walls sea colors such as light corals, ocean greens, sky blues and natural colored palettes. In a bathroom you could really go for more of a deeper coral or pink to make it look amazing.
You should shy away from using window treatments if at all possible as it detracts from the light outside coming in. If you must have some coverage, go with sheer fabrics or blinds that have a coastal feel to them.
Inside, casual and easy to clean furniture should be purchased in neutral tones if the paint is heavier or darker ones if it is lighter. Add some nautical or seashell themed throw pillows and sit and enjoy the outcome of your hard work.
When shopping go to specialty stores such as antique or close outs. In these places you can find delightful additions to your design scheme at a fraction of what you would pay at the larger well known stores in your area. No beach theme would be perfect without lots of candles, pillar, votive, floating and even specialty designed or shaped ones to make the whole room glow.
Using some palm fronds or sea glass, pebbles or bamboo baskets to make arrangements out of is a simple way to complete the ensemble. You never know where the right thing for a room will show up, so keep an eye out wherever you go.
Ideas for beach house decorating should not be confined just to the indoor areas, the outside needs to have that beach feel as well. Place nautical or beach inspired wreaths on the doors, have palm trees in planters on the porches and just do what you think says “beach” to you.
Making your own items to decorate with is a cost friendly way of doing things and think of how much pride you will have once they are completed and adding to the ambiance of your home. Get creative with flowers, paintings, even mosaics.
Tuscan metal wall art is an easy and popular way to add a touch
of personality to your home decor. If you are into rustic, country,
French country, Mediterranean, Western, Victorian, Italian or Tuscan; metal wall
art is available to enhance any of these styles of home decor. Read on to discover
how to incorporate metal art accents into your home.
The wrought iron wall crown is in high demand, as it quickly and easily
classes up other wall art. This long, narrow piece of metal wall decor
can accent a framed wall art piece or add a new dimension to a large
wall tapestry. Another application that is very attractive, is to place it above
a wall grouping, to tie it all together.
For example, you may have a
small tapestry with a wall clock and add the Tuscan metal wall decor over the pair. Or a metal
wall art crown can add a upscale flair to a grouping of family pictures.
Consider hanging metal wall art above your television, a large
doorway or above a picture window. The unique shape of the metal wall art crown
lends itself to some unique applications in your home decorating arrangements.
Square, metal wall art pieces can be used in with a wall group or in
accent groups with 2 or more like metal decor pieces. Smaller, square
metal wall art pieces can be used on a small wall area just to add some dimension. Or
you may take 2, 3, or 4 coordinating pieces to create a wall grouping. Some-
thing fun and interesting to consider, is to hang some of the metal wall
art pieces at the corner in a diamond shape. If you have a nice size wall,
use a focus piece, such as a wall tapestry, large wall clock or framed art
and place 2 pieces of metal wall art on one side of the focus piece,
hanging one wrought iron piece square and stagger the 2nd wrought iron piece
and hang from the corner, in a diamond shape style. On the other side of
your focus piece, hang just one piece of wrought iron. This piece may be
of the same size as the 2 on the other side or larger, preferably a
rectangular shape metal wall art design. What a stunning, interesting
wall group. And it was all very easy and creates a homey but designer look.
You just discovered one way to use a rectangular shaped metal wall art piece.
Obviously, this wall art shape can vary in size greatly. An average size Tuscan metal art piece
can hang alone on a wall. You may also make a metal grouping, using rectangular and square
shapes. Rectangular metal wall art is also attractive with floral arrangements,
as the floral wreath or swag will add some color and softness to the metal.
The popular wall pockets would be a great addition to accent a nice rectangular wall art piece.
Again, the wall pockets may be filled with floral for a splash of color and additional texture.
Another trendy look with the wrought iron would be wall sconces. A candle
sconce will add color and new shapes to the wall. One very interesting
idea with the rectangular metal wall art piece you might want to consider is
to hang at an angle. Hang at a pleasing angle over your tv console and
then place a vase on the tabletop. This adds a lot of interest and creativity.
Add one more splash, by scrunching up a table runner under the vase and
let the ends of the runner fall over the edges of the tv cabinet top. I like the idea of using
an interesting vase–maybe with nothing in it,–but also fun would
be a unique canister and tray set, an artsy bowl or a chunky candlestick or
2 or 3–in various heights. Let your imagination go. Just watch your proportions, so one accessory does
not overshadow the other pieces and all items should be of a size to compliment
the tv console.
Large Tuscan metal wall decor has found some great places in today’s homes. Whether,
square, round or rectangular, oversized metal wall art pieces, are
great when used as the headboard for your bed, in a room with cathedral
ceilings and on the large wall along your open stairway. The large metal
wall art piece can easily be used alone. But you may want to add a little
something more for added texture, dimension and color. Plus, if your wall is
huge, you can expand the look with a few choice accessory pieces. The 3
accessories that could compliment your large metal art would be candle
wall sconces, wall mirrors or wall pockets. Just remember, that your large
metal wall art will require large accessories. Large, unique wall sconces or
plushly filled wall pockets would be fabulous to add additional texture, color and
dimension. Another thought, if you employ either of these enhancements,
keep the designer look going, by hanging at staggered levels on either side
of your metal wall art. Or you may hang a long, slender mirror and a sconce or
wall pocket along just one side of your metal wall art. One of the keys here,
is that odd number of items are much easier and more pleasing to the eye
in an arrangement.
The style of metal wall art will determine what style of decor it will work best with.
Tuscan, Italian and French style home decor are really enhanced with an aged patina, with
a chunkier, rough look. Some of the most popular, trendy metal wall art is accented with leaf motifs,
and twiggy branch looks–these pieces are great with the Italian, and Country looks.
Some of the Country French decor may demand a lighter color metal
with more intricate design. Country or Nautical decor begs for a simple, antiqued look.
You may want to find some design details that emphasis these looks, such as a rope look,
nautical shapes, seashell motifs or a rivet bolt accent on the metal wall art. The right
metal wall decor piece may be a great accent in a softer, Victorian style room if you
look for more detail, such as curls, scrolls and a lighter weight feel. Keep the piece from
being too chunky.
Apartment Decorating Ideas
Whether you are in a temporary rental space or in your apartment home, just because you have a landlord doesn’t mean you can’t make it look like your own. Obviously you won’t be knocking down walls and remodeling but you can get creative with your furniture and home decor.
Create a theme or focal point
Often an apartment comes with very little charm and quite often not much of a view. White or beige walls can seem a bit boring but with some imagination you can fix that right up. I find that Photography is very effective in apartment living. Because we need a focal point and we don’t have a great view, I like to use a piece of Landscape Photography to set the mood.
You can mount a large photograph of a nature scene, beach scene or cityscape in the middle of your living room and turn your apartment into a destination. An amazing photo of a luscious landscape full of color will make any apartment come alive. Like the city? Display a picture of the New York City Skyline at night.
The possibilities are endless.
You usually can’t paint the walls when you are renting an apartment, so you have to get your color somewhere else. Window treatments such as curtains can be a great source of color for any room. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg either. If you are using hand me down furniture or don’t have the budget for new, you can always color your couch with a cover or use colored fabrics on an end table to match and compliment the colors between curtain, couch and table.
Another reason Photographs are so great is that you can easily match a landscape scene or cityscape to any of the colors and accessories you already have. It’s not like finding a painting that doesn’t go with anything you own and have to build the room around it from scratch to make it work. You can find a photo on any topic in a range of colors.
I would also recommend the 3 panel triptych photo format because it tends to blend better with the room. The three equal sized frameless panels display more like a collection of pictures and have a softer effect in the room than a large framed piece of art which can be over powering.
A big problem with apartment living is space or more accurately the lack of space. I think that there is a tendency to use more decorative items in a small space to make it seem warmer when less really is the answer. Well placed furniture, wall art and decor items with complimentary colors will make a room feel much larger and more elegant than a bunch of clutter any day.
There was a day when burning wood in the wood burning fireplace was the only option. That’s before the furnace, baseline heaters and central air. So, having a fireplace was a necessity.
But, there were so many things different back then. They weren’t burning treated wood. There weren’t a billion houses in the world at that time. Everything was cleaner because we hadn’t had time to destroy it all yet.
But, the wood burning fireplace is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Of course, it’s still great for wide open places like in the country in your farmhouse or in your own ranch. But, in urban and suburban areas where living is tight is not conducive to the wood burning fireplace.
But, we don’t have to completely trash the entire idea of having a fireplace in the home. There are alternatives. Some of these alternatives throw every bit as much heat and look every bit as good as a wood burning fireplace.
These are ventless fireplaces that are made in all types of shapes and sizes. You can have contemporary looking fireplaces with brass or silver linings. Some are made of glass or stainless steel. They are portable to any room and they shut off instantly.
You can also have traditional looking fireplaces that are made of wood like mahogany or dark walnut. You can have a marble or stone finish that looks great with just about any decor. So, the electric fireplace has quite a few advantages over the traditional wood burning fireplace.
You don’t have to wait for the fire to go out or try to douse it with water. You can simply shut off the fireplace when you leave the house or go to bed. But, you can leave them on all night too as an extra heating source. You won’t have to worry about any jumping embers setting your house on fire while you are asleep.
These are actually commonly referred to as ventless fireplaces. But, I wanted to make the distinction because electric fireplaces are also ventless. The reason these are more commonly referred to as ventless is because there is a real flame in the fireplace. But, you don’t need a chimney or any other type of outside vent.
The flame that is burning in the fireplace is a gel fuel that burns into water vapor. It doesn’t cause damage to the house or the environment. It burns very hot even though the FTC won’t allow the companies to actually call it a heating source. These also come in the same designs as electric fireplaces.
Build Your Own
Another great thing about the ventless fireplace is that you don’t have to settle with a design that a designer designed. You can build your own with fireplace inserts and gel fuel. Build a hearth with 2x4s. Build a surround and then put your fireplace insert inside. Take the chimney to the ceiling if you want and finish with a faux stone or brick look. You can have a fireplace in any room and it won’t come anywhere near the cost of an actual wood burning fireplace.
With the environment the way it is and the more restrictions being placed on home building and home remodeling permits, you might see it one day when building a traditional wood burning fireplace might take a special permit or won’t be allowed at all. But, you don’t have to miss out on the fireplace experience. There are alternatives and you should start looking into them.
When I was a kid, my mom saved all kinds of things that she could use for small storage containers.
At that time, these were usually small glass jars from store-bought jelly or minced garlic, small Ziploc bags, small plastic containers that cold cream came in, or some other small cup or jar that had a lid.
This was because she bought spices in bulk and needed something to store them in, as well as snacks that she sent to school with us for lunch.
Looking back, I’m afraid this small storage containers “passion” was a throw-back to the Depression era, when you didn’t throw away even a piece of string in case you might need it sometime.
Thank goodness that small storage containers are now available in a variety of materials, shapes, sizes and styles. You don’t need to keep a motley crew of pickle and jam jars hidden behind a cupboard door!
Small Storage Containers Come in Many Sizes and Different Materials
Today, the storage industry has stepped up to help us with our storage needs!
There are now a wide variety of small storage containers made from glass, plastic, tin, stainless steel, ceramic and more, all to help us with our storage requirements.
Many of us these days buy in bulk in order to take advantage of additional savings. For example, do you buy the largest cereal boxes? Do you buy pasta in bulk? Spices? Spaghetti Sauce? Do you buy the family packs of meat at the supermarket and split up the chops or ground beef, so that you can freeze smaller packages for individual meals later?
With prices what they are in this economy, our dollars don’t buy as much as they used to. Many savvy shoppers are learning to buy in larger quantities so that they can save money long term.
Small storage containers allow us to store extra food, spices, or whatever in order to preserve it until we can use it.
These containers can be as small as a quarter, and come complete with self-sealing lid. Containers are also available in progressively larger sizes. For instance, if you buy your dog’s food in bulk, there are sealable plastic bins that can store as much as a 50 pound bag.
Self-Sealing Storage Containers
Small storage containers can come as simply as a bottom and a lid, or they can be as sophisticated as a self-sealing vessel that will prevent air from entering.
Self-sealing receptacles are particularly good to store spices, cheese, cocoa, flour, sugar, rice and more, because they not only prevent air from entering, but they can also prevent insects from invading your precious staples.
Have you ever opened a bag of flour only to find little worms in it? Ughhhhh.
In this case, a self-sealing container is definitely worth the investment!
Glass Storage Containers Gaining In Popularity
Interestingly, small storage containers made of plastic are beginning to see some controversy.
There are chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic containers that can mimic hormones in the body. These chemicals can include BPA (bisphenol-A) and PVC (poly-vinyl chloride). These chemicals are thought to leach into foods that contain a lot of liquid or when heated (say in a microwave), thus becoming part of the food when ingested by you.
The FDA has researched this extensively and finds that some small storage containers are designed to be heated in the microwave, while some are not.
Those vessels that are okay to heat in the microwave will say so on the container itself. This means that any chemicals released in the heating process are not considered dangerous to humans.
A symbol indicating a plastic vessel is recyclable does not mean that the plastic can be microwaved safely. Only a microwave-safe symbol does, so you’ll want to check for this symbol on your plastic container before heating any leftovers in the microwave.
If, instead, you’d like to avoid any possibility of leaching chemicals, you might consider glass storage containers.
This is because glass is inert, meaning that the composition of glass does not change when heated, even at high temperatures. “Inert” means that you don’t have to worry about anything leaching into your food if you heat glass containers in the microwave or in the oven.
Other inert materials include porcelain, stainless steel and ceramic, so small storage containers made of these substances do not experience the same leaching concerns.
Today’s innovations in the storage industry mean that we have a large variety of receptacles to choose from, and you’re sure to find the perfect small storage containers for your needs.
Designing a small closet organization system does not have to a terrible chore. Admittedly, with a small closet, space is dear and the closet must be organized carefully. However, once you have sorted out what you absolutely need to store and specifically what you intend to store where, the actual process of creating an organization system is pretty easy.
Most advice that I give for small closet organization can be applied to any type of closet organization. Their general principals are identical. Number one: the best thing you can do for your closet is to reduce your belongs by half. Most people cannot really accept that they only use 50% of their total belongings and will be very resistant to getting rid of half. I tell people to get rid of a minimum of 20% of their belongings but to try to purge a full 30% of the items.
Those figures amount to throwing away or donating 2-3 out of every 10 items. It is a lot easier then you might think but admittedly it is not a quick process. The first 10% is actually the hardest amount to get rid of. Once people start to realize how much better they feel and how much better their house looks with less clutter, it becomes easier and easier to purge.
Once you are pared down on the number of items you need to store, you need to start organizing your belongings in like groups. Designate your closets by the items you intend to store in each. Keep your linen closet restricted to sheets and towels. Keep your hall closet restricted to such things as cleaning supplies and mops and brooms. Although, said tongue in check, I often say do not cross contaminate your closets. Once closets start to hold assorted items they have a tendency to get disorganized.
Small closet organization is a fairly easy process once you know the fundamentals. The first step is to reduce your belongings as much as possible. The second step is to keep all closets limited to a strict number of like grouped items. Small closets are really just normal closets with the ability to hold fewer things. If you own fewer things, then storage can be as effective as if you had larger closets. If you apply the same organizing principles to small closets as you do to larger closets you will be well on your way to success.
Have you ever felt that every year it seems you are living in a smaller and smaller place, even if it is always the same? Space is at a premium and most people do not pay much attention on interior design, planning and decoration.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to roll in the dough; therefore most people end up in small or smaller spaces and apartments since they cannot afford something bigger. What is needed in this case are big ideas for small spaces, ideas that can transform a small place and make the most out of it.
A great idea, to start with, is use of mirrors. Well appointed and well placed mirrors can make a huge difference in the space, giving the impression that space is bigger. Mirrors reflect more light as well, thus, they can be a money saving option, allowing you to use less lights.
Organizing small spaces is an art form; you need to get rid of all big and disproportional pieces of furniture, creating some new space. Invest on things that offer you additional storage space without being bulky or heavy and without looking inappropriate in a limited space: coffee tables with enclosed or hidden storage places, while a sofa – sleeper or a futon can be an excellent idea for your living room, if you want to have an addition bed at any moment.
When living in a small space, you need to make your space reflect your taste while meeting your needs. You need to aim for every single inch in the house that can be a useful and useable space. Even if not living alone, you need to have a meeting, set up priorities and decide on how you can organize and sort through your space, so that it open, warm and livable.