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.
Halloween is one festival where the fun in executing the themes is as much as enjoying the actual festival itself. You can use your imagination to come up with innumerable and innovative Halloween decoration ideas that end up shocking and pleasing your guests at the same time.
You should first measure your home and your yard so as to calculate the number of Halloween props and other accessories that can be fitted within them. Next, you can set up a budget so that you can implement all your decoration ideas without straining your finances.
You need not buy all your decorations since you can easily make quite a few all by yourself or with the help of your family and your children too. The key is to go in for a complete Halloween theme that includes costumes, props, foods, drinks, and sweets so as to create an unforgettable Halloween experience.
As per tradition, you should start out your decorations by making or purchasing several Jack O’Lanterns that can be kept in your yard or even in your home. You can easily make fake pumpkins right at home even by using discarded one gallon milk containers or simply buying hollow plastic pumpkins from stores.
Instead of using candles in these lanterns and risking a fire or serious burns, you can opt for flickering bulbs or LEDs that work on small batteries that can be placed inside the pumpkin itself.
Once you have tackled tradition, you can now let your mind go wild as you create various other items of gory decoration including tombstones, skeletons, and graveyards. You can again opt for plastic ones available in the market or use foam, glue, and paint to create your own horrific creations.
You can also cover your skeletons in tissue paper and paint them red, black, or dark green to put forth an image of a rotting corpse. Skulls, hands, and feet can also be placed in partly open coffins or graves to shock your guests.
Your Halloween decoration ideas should also include huge fake spiders and spider-webs made out of cloth and rubber. You can also buy rubber bats to hang them from ceilings or lower them suddenly on unsuspecting visitors.
If you have decent sewing skills then you can easily make fake spiders, face masks, various costumes, and ghost cloaks out of cloth, and save a little money in the process. You can also involve your children while making these creations although sharp tools should be kept away from them even as you supervise them at all times.
You can also create authentic-looking gloomy passageways by lining a portion of your room with dark wallpaper or black plastic sheets. You can also use black bulbs to complete the theme. A fog machine can be used along with popping skeletons to literally scare your guests out of their skin.
You can either visit stores or even hop over to the internet to browse through a wide range of Halloween decoration ideas that can by bought or made right at home. You should remember to be innovative as well as follow all safety standards so that all your decorations are created without any accident or injury.
Halloween calls for gruesome decorations that can frighten as well as impress any guest at the same time. There are several traditional as well as innovative Halloween decoration ideas that can be pursued to end up with truly grisly decorations that will surely be remembered by all your guests until next Halloween.
Talking about string lights make you think, right away, about lights that go around your Christmas tree. I am sure that everyone knows about these lights. However, here, we will talk about outdoor string lights and the truth is that most of you have experience with those, too. If you live in the house, possibility is that you have decorated your house from the outside, for the Christmas holidays. Even people, who don’t live in the house but apartments, decorate their balconies in the spirit of the Christmas. It is tradition and most people enjoy in what those lights represent.
That is just one purpose that outdoor string lights have. Christmas holidays are just one short period in the year but let us think about whole summer. Can we find the use for these lights during this period? Of course, we can. Partying and entertaining is something that people enjoy doing. If you are doing it right, you will definitely decorate your backyard. Decoration with these lights makes it even more fun than just food, drink and music. Not that food, drink and music sounds bad. It doesn’t actually.
That doesn’t have to be all. Use your imagination and put these special lights on wherever you think will look beautiful. Whatever their purpose is, you should know what are your options and what can you choose from.
Outdoor string lights can come in many forms, shapes and sizes depending on their purpose and on the fact how they are powered. Traditional form of these lights are powered by electricity. The process of installing them is not that difficult meaning you can do it by yourself but once that they are installed it is not that simple to move them. They are depending on electricity source so places for placing them are limited.
Another type of outdoor string lights are battery operated type. Their advantage is more easily replacing them but battery changing will cost you. Solar string lights are maybe the best choice you can make. The sun powers them so they will cost you nothing except buying them. They are easily moved from one place to another because they are free of wires. Solar string lights came with panel that needs to be placed on the day light to collect the sunlight while strings can be left in the shadow of some tree.
For more fun and more special occasions like decorating for birthday parties, you can look for novelty string lights that came in unusual shapes like chili peppers and I have spotted even some dinosaurs. Just be sure that they are for outside use, don’t be carried away.
Outdoor string lights are something that encases every celebration no matter what is the occasion. They are inexpensive, easy to install and make everyone feel happy. That is their main purpose. If you have not tried it yet do it soon.
Making your own Christmas decorations can be a time-honored tradition, and it can save you money, too. Once you get your creative juices flowing, you’ll be personalizing all of your decor and having a blast doing it. Here are a few simple DIY project ideas to get you started:
Pine Cone Wreath – This classic decoration never goes out of style. This is one of those projects that looks more complicated than it actually is. Once you get the basic system done, the construction will be quite easy.
You’ll need craft pinecones and a pre-made grapevine wreath. You can buy both at a craft store, or if you live in an area with a lot of pine trees, you can find your own in nature. You’ll need about 35 to 50 pinecones, depending on their size.
After you’ve gathered your supplies, simply begin hot-gluing the ends of the pinecone to the wreath. Start out on one side and work your way around to the other. For best results, try to be as symmetrical as possible with your placement of the different sizes of pinecones.
Christmas Throw Pillows
Even if you don’t know how to sew, making slipcovers for your throw pillows is easy. Throw pillows can give your living room or sitting room a whole new look with just a simple change. Select your fabric based on the colors you are using for decorations in the room. Red, green, gold and silver are all traditional Christmas colors that can be used on Christmas throw pillows.
A visit to the fabric store will open your eyes to how many different options you have for this project. You can make suede pillows, satin pillows or cotton pillows. The fabric in the store will give you tons of ideas for how to want to go about finishing this project.
You can do this project in several ways: You can measure your existing throw pillows and just make slipcovers for the pillows. You can make your own pillows using pillow forms to use year after year. Or you can use a no-sew technique to simply wrap the pillows or pillow forms in new fabric.
Bring the Outdoors In
Go on a nature hike with your family and gather supplies from the natural world, including pinecones and tree cuttings. Place them in a bowl. Leave them looking plain and rustic or spray paint a few in festive and glittery holiday colors. Tie a ribbon around the bowl and you have a low cost piece of holiday decor that reflects the are in which you live.
Make a simple yet elegant Christmas centerpiece by using a dish and a few floating candles. You’ll need a shallow bowl, some floating candles and a Christmas placemat. Lay the placemat in the center of the table and then place the bowl on top. Fill the bowl with clean water and then add your candles. If you don’t have a Christmas placemat, you can use a charger or decorative plate to place the bowl. Once the bowl is in place, surround it with greenery and some Christmas ornaments.
Let the Kids Help
While you are getting creative with your holiday decorations, there are lots of things the kids can do to help, depending on their ages and skills. Kids can make snowflakes with a pair of scissors and some white or silver papers (or turn them loose with last year’s holiday cards). Younger kids always have fun with glitter. And older kids love to string popcorn with a needle and thread as well as to find creative ways to display the year’s holiday cards as they arrive. Ask your children to help you come up with more creative ideas for homemade Christmas decorations. They might have some wonderful ideas of their own.
Once you start making your own holiday decorations, don’t be surprised if every piece of wrapping paper and holiday rick-rack becomes fodder for your new creative inclinations.
One of my favorite summer activities involves sitting around our fireplace made from soapstone on cool those cool summer nights with a refreshing drink in hand. Now that the temperatures are warming up, it’s time to get your backyard ready for the summer and this means getting everything cleaned and ready to go. One of the first things we do during our backyard cleaning days is to clean up the outdoor fireplace. Depending on the type and style of outdoor fireplace you may have, maintenance can be simple or complicated.
Did you know no matter what your fireplace is made of they are still mostly all built the same and then spring cleaning of them are all similar. You’ll need an ash can, a good broom, and some sturdy work gloves. You’ll find it can be a pretty dirty job from all the remaining ash and wood in it. Use your brush or broom to sweep the ash into the can for proper disposal.
Fireplaces made from iron are probably the most popular models because of how sturdy they are. You’ll find different styles implementing steel or aluminum chimneys to go along with an iron base. Make sure you can purchase any replacement parts before you purchase a certain type of iron fireplace since the other parts don’t last as long as the iron base will. Why replace the entire thing if you don’t have to? Apply high-temperature paint to the iron portions of the fireplace to protect it from rust.
Copper Outdoor Fireplaces
Another common type of outdoor fireplace is the ones made from copper. While a little more expensive, these particular models are sought after for its unique and brilliant copper shade which is much different than the plain black iron types. Storing the fireplace in a dry place away from the harsh weather helps to keep it at its original color. You can use covers for copper fire pits as a way of protecting them from the rain and such without having to move them when not in use.
Brick and Stone Fireplaces
Soapstone fireplaces, brick fireplaces and soapstone masonry heaters must properly be cleaned as often as you do with your indoor fireplace. Remove the ash and debris from the fire box after use with soapstone fireplaces. A good investment is installing a chimney cap to keep leaves out of the chimney which can sometimes spark fires. Although soapstone fireplaces don’t have to be covered during the rain or in winter, you’ll still want to clean the exteriors in order to keep its attractive appearance.
It is important to the necessary time to care for your outdoor fireplace properly. With the right amount of maintenance, you’re fireplace can last you many years of summer enjoyment.
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.
Not all people can afford huge, luxurious baths that resemble spas with jacuzzi and saunas, bathtubs and fancy showers, separate his and her vanities and lots of space with beautiful views. Most ordinary folks have to confine their dream bathrooms to much smaller size. This is especially true for big cities where space is a premium and the space allocated for the bathrooms is minimal almost as an afterthought. Small bathroom design ideas come to the rescue of harried homeowners trying to fit in the demands of family members into small space available.
One family member wants a bathtub, the other wants a fancy shower head the third member wants a beautiful vanity set. Some would like a jacuzzi, others the sauna. How does the head of the family resolve these competing demands of different members of the family into the tiny space called bathroom. If your home has a bath attached to every bedroom you can accommodate the demands of each member of the family separately by putting in only what they want in their bathroom. Don’t try to fit in every single thing that you think a bathroom should have. For small bathroom design ideas you really need to be creative and innovative. Fortunately, there are more option than ever before for small bathrooms today.
For the really tiny bathrooms there are bathroom fixtures and fittings that are really small and compact. You are able to choose smaller taps, sinks, bathtubs, showers and closets. These are great for the tiny guest bathrooms. If your guests are going to be with you only for a very short time, they won’t mind the smaller sized fittings. It’s functional and also does not overwhelm the small space as the regular sized fittings would. As our brains and eyes process things in relative terms, having small-sized fittings will actually make the bathroom appear normal sized.
There are tons and tons of small bathroom design ideas to choose from. Designers and ordinary folk when faced space-crunch have come up with some truly spectacular ideas to make small bathrooms as functional and comfortable as possible and still feel like it is spacious and just the right sized. A bathroom with spaces allotted for every item makes the room will big and clean. Small wall cabinets for keeping brushes and shaving items, for cosmetics and soaps, face and wash towels, bathroom cleaning products will keep your bathroom organized and clutter-free.
Few details can enhance a foyer, dining room or office more than adding wainscoting, but you don’t know where to start. While there are more complicated ways to build wainscoting panels, we will discuss the simple way to get professional results without the need of an elaborate workshop. Let’s discuss the types of panels you could build. Starting with the most difficult to the simplest, you could build raised panels, flat panels, beadboard panels, or picture frame panels.
Though the raised panels could be cut with a table saw, it is not the preferred piece of equipment and requires gluing and clamping several boards together, which always has the concern for warping using large panels. Picture framing is simply the assembly of 4 pieces of molding of equal lengths and heights across a given wall or set of walls. This method is applied between the chair rail and base board with equal spacing on all sides of each frame. The methods we will be discussing in detail are the flat panels and beadboard styles.
- As with any home improvement project, we should discuss the tools needed to complete the project. You will need a table saw, miter saw, finish nail gun, belt sander, orbital sander, and safety glasses.
- Take off any outlet covers, quarter round, and existing baseboards. Be careful to save the existing baseboards and quarter round.
- The layout plan is crucial to a smooth job. First, you need to determine if any electrical outlets could possibly interfere with the layout. A little pre-planning will help you avoid an outlet falling half-way in or out of a panel.
- The anatomy of a wainscoting panel consist of; a backband, top and bottom rail, vertical styles, style and rail molding, panels, baseboards, and cap. (before installing each piece, add glue to each joint and the back each piece)
- The backband should be the first element installed and it is used to provide a thicker edge around the doors and windows for the wainscoting panels to join into. This can be purchased at place which specializes in millwork or moldings. It is a piece of trim approximately 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ with one edge shaped. It installs on the edge against the wall, around the perimeter of any door or window casings.
- The overall height of wainscoting is generally around 36″ from the floor, depending on your preference, this could differ 6″ either way. A “mission” style wainscoting is around 54″. Either way, establish your height and level a line across the wall/s you intend to apply wainscoting.
- You need to determine the rough width you would like each panel to be either for a given wall or room. Either, you can make all the panels the same width for a given wall or you can make all panels the same width for a given room. If you choose the latter, you will usually end up one panel next to a corner or doorway smaller than the others. I suggest you treat each wall separately and make the panels the same size for a given wall, but within a few inches of the panels on the adjacent walls. While it is nice to have all panels in a given room the same size, the most crucial element to a professional job is the same margin between all sides of each panel, corner, moldings or doorway.
- Your margins are determined by the widths of the vertical styles and the top and bottom rails. For the top rail and vertical styles, I recommend using 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ lumber. The width of the bottom rail depends on the width of the base board trim. If using a 3 1/4″ baseboard, I will use a 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ bottom rail, so it will give me a 3 1/2″ margin after the baseboard is installed.
- Cut and install the top and bottom rails an equal distance apart. Install the top rail 3/4″ below the horizontal level line you established as top of the wainscoting. When installing the bottom rail, make sure it is installed at equal distances apart from the top rail. Any gaps between the bottom rail and the floor will be covered by the baseboard and quarter round.
- Next take an overall measurement of each wall to a corner or doorway. Subtract the number of vertical styles between each panel, as well as the styles used at each corner or doorway, from the overall measurement. I have found a 36″ panel width is a good place to start, so take the overall width and divide by 36″. If you end up with 3.68″, for example, which means you can either use 3 or 4 panels. Then divide the overall measurement by 3 or 4. This calculation will give the width of each panel.
- Install the vertical styles in each corner and next to each doorway. Then lay out the panels, remembering to allow for the width of the vertical styles used between each panel. I suggest you layout the entire room before installing the first individual panel or style used between each panel, in order to see if you have any interference or spacing issues. If all is well, install the remaining vertical styles. Now you have the frame for the wainscoting, the rest is easy.
- Measure, cut and install the plywood or beadboard for each opening. (Glue the back of each panel or vertical style which does not have a stud to nail to.)
- Then use a molding, like a “base cap”, to install around the inside perimeter of each opening, while mitering the corners.
- Cut and install the baseboard and wainscoting cap. The cap is similar in size and shape to the backbanding and is nailed to the top of the wainscoting as a ledge. You can also install some cove molding under the cap to give some stability.
- Sand the surface areas, where the rail and styles join, flush and smooth. Fill and caulk, as needed, and then paint.
Some would argue that lighting is the most important player in a room. Not only does it serve a much needed purpose, but it’s the very thing that sets the mood. When it comes to more permanent ceiling and wall mounted fixtures, changing them out year after year isn’t simple, so you’d better be happy with your selection. With so many lighting options out there, finding the one that best suits the space you’re working with can be daunting. With this guide, after laying out a few basics and throwing in a some tips, you’re sure to be up for the challenge.
Ceiling-mounted fixtures such as chandeliers, recessed, track lighting and pendant lights offer the most amount of artificial light in a given space. Chandeliers range from grand and traditional to modern and minimal. They draw the eye up and make a big statement. Traditionally just for elaborate settings or large rooms, they are now available on smaller scales and can be placed anywhere from small bathrooms to nurseries.
Recessed and track lighting are a great solution for almost every room. Recessed lights are clean and low profile, as they are integrated into the ceiling. Track lighting, featuring multiple lamps on a sleek track, enables you to direct them for accent, task or all-over use. Both options offer the flexibility of dimmer switches, perfect for entertaining. While recessed lighting is extremely functional, it doesn’t offer much in the way of warm and comforting style. The option to dim allows for more attractive wall and portable light fixtures to shine.
The appeal of portable lights like table lamps, desk lamps, and floor lamps is generally more about style than function. While they serve an important accent lighting purpose, they’re easy to replace, so they can offer a quick update to any space. With table lamps, there is plenty of room for whimsy and fun, as they usually rest on decorative tables. They’re carefully selected based on specific style that can range from small and sleek to heavy and intricate.
Less paper, fewer gadgets and shrinking computers and laptops call for more compact work spaces. This is ideal for desk lamps that are small in stature regardless of their style. From banker’s lamps of days gone by to sleek gooseneck fixtures, desk lamps serve a wide range of purposes depending on the task at hand. Floor lamps shed light on an otherwise neglected corner. Perfect for reading areas, or sitting on either side of a pair of chairs, they command attention no matter where they’re placed.
Sconces and other wall-mounted fixtures, whether ambient or task, always pack a lot of panache into a small package. Styles range from antique, elegant, to whimsical and modern to name a few. Ideal for small spaces, wall-mounted lighting is a great solution by the bed, in the bathroom, in the living room, or in the hall. They’re also a smart way to spruce up a room’s look without investing too much money or time.