Monday, November 30, 2009

Cost Saving Decorating Tips



Painted Wooden Chest Furniture

While there are many places to purchase artwork, not many people think of actually making their own.  If someone isn’t ‘artistically inclined’ they may think that there is no other choice.  There are however options for those who may want to decorate yet may not be as artistically inclined as some that won’t break the bank.

From wall art to those little special touches, there is a way to save money on it all. 

  • Don’t be afraid to reuse and repurpose pieces you may already have.  Something as simple as a quick fresh coat of paint to a piece of furniture can really spruce up a space. 
  • Draping some fabric around your windows is another easy and cheap way to give some freshness to your space.  Aim for a simple pattern or a solid color that matches and /or coordinates something in the room already (think a couch, chair, or something smaller).
  • A simple rearranging of present furniture in combination with some fresh paint, or even a new cover for your couch or chairs can add in some brand new personality to your space.

A can of paint, or a few yards of fabric is both an easy and cheaper way to give to life to an older space. 


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Image by AndyRob via Flickr

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bold and Basic: Design Trends in 2010


Many designers have been moving back to the basics, large pieces and bold colors.  The image above illustrates that trend gorgeously. Another thing that has been appearing a lot more is designers choosing a few colors and using those colors only throughout. 

While in the past they choose rather muted colors, many have been focusing of bold and bright tones.  The look is absolutely stunning.  With even smaller accent pieces picking up on the overall scheme (as illustrated by the image below).

2241915078_cf7cd64409The overall look is easy to create by using paint, fabric and some DIY know how it can really make any room look amazing. 

Aim for basic shapes and cut out pieces and glue them to some canvas, or even painted wood.  The basic colors work the best, and it will look as if you spend a ton of cash to buy it.  Plus, just adding in some color really can take any drab room look much more vibrant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tech and Furniture


While it’s all over some television shows (think CSI and it’s brethren) no one has really managed to mix technology and furniture into something that the masses at large have truly bought into.  The only one around that will even come to mind is the Microsoft Surface, which combines that of a pc and a table.

While it has (even still) a lot of promise, it simply isn’t in the average person’s price range.  No matter that a computer can be found for cheap, most people simply aren’t willing to spend the money on a piece like the Microsoft Surface, at least until the price comes down a bit.

Yet, it’s almost inevitable.  Eventually there will be a booming market for the mixture of tech and furniture.  When it will happen is really anyone’s guess, but the more technology integrates into our everyday lives, it’s seeming that it will be sooner rather than later.

While right now, only the truly geeky may grab things like the Microsoft Surface, eventually it will be everyone.  At least, as soon as a truly average consumer price is available.


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Friday, November 20, 2009

Eccentric Furniture Designs



Artists can be an incredibly eccentric group.  Part of the reason some become popular is their refusal to go by social norms, while many may find that paint on canvas is their style others aim for larger projects. 

Furniture is something we all have and see in our daily lives, and it’s just there and most of us are just used to it.  Some artists out there however aren’t content with seeing a couch as just a couch- they create some amazing art out of them.  In researching this article, there are many artists devoted to such a new take as the ‘same old thing’ and their creations are really something fresh and new.

The Edra collection is unique, and while many may scoff at it the images of the pieces the artist creates are really amazing.  The form and function of the pieces are really nothing like most of what is out there.


The website is definitely worth a look: The Edra Collection


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cool Tools: Change Your Look Without Lifting a Brush



Image via Wikipedia

With all of the modern advancements of computer programs there is now a way to completely revamp a room's look without so much as lifting a brush to your walls. There are many programs out there to help you achieve the look of your dreams virtually before you recreate the same look in your home. Here is a quick Google search that has a ton of programs to choose from.

Many of the programs let you fill out what your room looks like presently (while they do achieve this differently) and then let you change the look and feel by adding in furniture, wall decor, and many other things before you go ahead and recreate this in your home.

These programs can save you a lot of time by moving everything virtually until it’s what you are looking for.  The lack of stress and frustration at moving the pieces virtually will also save you from having to redo everything all over again.

While there are many home design online tips and tricks, in the end it’s all about you and your personal taste.  After all, you are the one who will be living in your home.  These programs will let you explore your own personal creativity and sense of what you like.  Not to mention the huge amount of time and money you can potentially save by doing it yourself!



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Monday, November 16, 2009

Hack Your Ikea Wares Into Something Stunning

Ikea International Group

Image via Wikipedia

Swedish furniture retailing giant Ikea has a lot of rather affordable pieces that you put together yourself.  While this does make them the punch lines for a few jokes, their items are nice- if a bit boring.  Now, there is a blog dedicated to showing you how to take your Ikea item and transform it into something completely yours, and rather cool if I may add.

The website runs the gambit from complete transformations, to simple repurposing of items from the retailer.  A personal favorite is the make-up organizer below.


It’s just gorgeous. 

While this blogger can confess to loving the Ikea store, for those that don’t look at them much this may change your mind.


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rock Chairs


Now, when most of us think of chairs we think of the standard.  One designer however has imagined the standard into something that’s both creative and truly unique.  The rock chair is almost like a bean bag, and they really do look like boulders. 


You may need a bit of space, but as this image shows redoing a room using these does look incredibly cool.  Check out the artists’ website here:  LivingStones

These are really funky and original.  The concept really is brilliant, even if the average person can’t really swing a whole ‘rock’ room, adding in a couple could really make a room look pretty funky. 


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Live Long And Comfortable: The Coolest Geeky Home Goods

If you are looking for a gift for yourself or a special geek in your life, look no further. 

The Ultimate Personalize Gift: DNA Art 


Sure, you could just put a name or a photo on something and call it personalized but with this actual one-of-a-kind gift you can make sure that no one else has the same artwork.  While this may not be the best gift for someone new in your life, as you need a cheek swap (although, that would be a pretty big ice breaker).

Sushi Pillows


This is a great gift for someone with a sense of humor (and aesthetics).  This funky pillows look a lot like that raw fish treat some people love. While those who may not like the food all that much, many can appreciate just how awesome these pillows look.

Laser Guided Scissors


While sure, you may not need laser precision but what if one day you do?  Better yet- what if you just want an incredibly awesome set of geeked out scissors?  Hmm? What then?!

DaysAgo Fridge Timer


If you have a friend anything like me, they tend to have a lot of questionably aged things in their fridge.  This gift would be perfect for them, plus handy to avoid a lot of wasted food.



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Monday, November 09, 2009

Using Era-Specific Themes to Update Your Space





I love the colors at play in the photo above.  In addition to the furniture being light wood, and all in the white and pine color scheme it’s really and light and fresh design.  

What’s old tend to come back around as the latest styles.  It seems that it’s a natural ebb and flow- even with home design and furnishings.  While most probably shouldn’t try and create a 1920’s speak easy style, or even a 1950’s era diner- you can still have some fun with retro and vintage style.

To make the style work, try to incorporate designs from specific eras, and avoid mixing them too much.  You don’t have to redo your entire room (as mentioned above) you can easily incorporate a few select pieces to tie it all together.

While those select pieces can be anything from wall art to furniture, it depends on the look and room you are looking to improve.

The trick is to search out key pieces that will tie your room together, and think in relation to space and overall desired look.  If space is limited opt for smaller pieces that offer the look you are going for. 

Wall art can quickly update your space to make it all pop more.  It’s also a fabulous option for those who don’t want to spend too much money.  You can search online for prints and posters of era specific advertisements and paintings and frame them up on your wall.  A very fun look is finding a few that use the same general main colors and mix them with some complimentary colors.


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Get Drastic: Help for the Color Phobic



As an artist I dread and loathe white walls.  It’s boring, and everywhere. 

So many people will spend so long on proper furnishing and making everything fit just so in a room but they are afraid of color.

The image above is a color wheel.  It’s a fabulous tool usually used by artists, but it can also be a great tool for home decor.  

The Color Wheel Breakdown:

The primary colors are Red, Blue, Yellow.  Think of the primary colors are the very basic options, they are called primary colors due to them being the only colors you cannot get by a mixture of others.

The rest of the colors are just various mixtures of those three.  You will notice that there is no black or white areas, black and white aren’t normally considered colors (they are shades).

The opposite colors on the wheel are complimentary colors, and the ones in the same grouping are the ‘temperatures’ of the color warm and cool).

While there is more, that is really the basics.  The example color wheel above is a bit more in depth that usual, and you can go to any art supply store and get one for next to nothing.  The ones you can buy usually turn and give more information on complimentary colors and a bit more.

When looking for a color scheme, first think of a nice color.  For the sake of an example let’s say sage green.

Sage Green:


Now, look at the color wheel, opposite green is purple.  While a full toned purple may be too much, a lighter color like lavender may be nice.



To be basic, in looking at the color wheel above consider the separate rings and choose based upon the complimentary color within the same ring.  While my example of sage and lavender may not be for you, there is a whole slew of options depending on your personal choice.



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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Small Things That Add Elegance


Image by markomni via Flickr









There are some rooms in places that simply can take your breath away.  Between some overall design aspect, to those special touches that can make almost any room announce it’s presence. 

If you are looking for some simple design projects that can make a huge difference in the atmosphere of your home, this post is directed at you!

  • Don’t be afraid to go dark, even if it’s just small touches like curtains or similar.  Adding deep and rich reds and browns to a room can increase the elegant atmosphere.
  • Adding a few select pieces to a room using a dark wood can also help.  You can either stain it yourself, or look for a piece in a second hand store or a even an antique store.
  • Opt for an airy feel by selecting pieces that have smaller legs or more delicate overall looks to them if you are worried about closing in a room.
  • Splurge on a few feet of velvet (or similar heavy material) and drape it around windows.  In combination with a darker cream colored underneath is a stunning look!

You don’t have to redecorate everything, just by using a few select pieces you can create a entirely different atmosphere. 

This overall look can be combined with a darker red wall for that amazing touch in a bedroom or even a dining room. 

Above all, don’t be afraid to experiment with color!

When you consider how little paint can cost, if it really doesn’t look right, you can always just redo it.


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Monday, November 02, 2009

Creating Atmosphere: Setting the Scene For Selling Your Home


A table set for two people.

Image via Wikipedia

Selling your home can be a hard thing, with today’s uncertain  market this process can be quite a bit more difficult.  While the comparison may seem a bit odd, think of setting your home to sell to setting up a movie set.  Proper props will make the movie better while props that aren’t as fitting will make it all seem off.

The real goal of staging your home is to fully highlight the home’s strength’s and downplay any weakness.  While the potential set up may not be the best for living day-to-day, a good piece of advice during this time is to think of it like camping out while waiting for it to sell. 

Staging Your Home For Sale:

While it may seem almost as if it’s defeating the purpose, proper staging of your home can make for an important selling point.  When someone is looking for a new home, they are actively trying to imagine their family living there.  Furnishings, while the goal is to be a minimal as possible, can make a large difference.


  • Keeping the very basics in the home, can make a large impression on potential buyers. 
  • Get rid of clutter.  If you must keep some things, store them away in a temporary storage place (rent one, or have a friend of family member hold on to them).
  • It’s okay to leave some furnishings in the home.  In fact it can add to the overall ‘lived in’ feel to it, and help potential buyers immerse themselves with the thought of living there, and increasing the chance for them to buy the home.  Try and keep things spaced out and clutter free.

While some things may not be possible for everyone, some other things you can do are:

  • When setting the home, try are maximize space.  Remove larger pieces of furniture, but leave things like beds, couches, and the normal ‘everyday’ items.  Things like toothbrushes, shampoo, and the like are okay as long as all the personal items are very minimal.
  • Create a fantasy environment, potential buyers are looking at your home and imagining the possibilities.  You want your home to highlight these fantasies, so keep lighting and furnishing minimal and complimentary.

If you are in need of ideas, search around online for design tips.  Image websites like Photobucket are a fantastic source of inspiration for setting  a staged home.  Search for images room by room and get a feel for the elements that tie things in together.



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