Monthly Archives: April 2017

Asian Inspired Home Decorating

There are very few themes for decorating a home that capture the imagination quite like an Asian inspired theme. There are many reasons for this one of which is the rich colors, fabrics, and textures that are the hallmark of these themes. There is a simplistic elegance about Asian décor that is almost impossible to imitate in other methods. It is simply put, stunning to walk into a room or a home that has been decorated in an Asian inspired motif.

This is not one of the lesser styles of décor when it comes to price. This elegance comes at a rather high price for the average consumer. However, the sparseness of this home decorating style make it possible when other styles with this sort of price tag would not be possible. One of the most important things to remember when attempting to bring an Asian style of décor into your home is the heavy reliance upon color and texture.

Dining rooms are particularly stunning when decorated in an Asian style. In this situation not only can the implements added to the room serve to improve and enhance the décor but also the placemats on the table can serve as an important tool in establishing the theme of this supremely elegant room. Chopsticks and dishes, particularly tea servings are other great enhancements to an Asian dining room. This is a room that many families will enjoy dining in.

It is recommended that because of the expense involved in many Asian themed home decorating styles that only one or two rooms in the home should be created based upon an Asian theme. This will keep the costs down as well as making those rooms focal points within the home rather than having the splendor lost among the excess.

If you are having a rough time narrowing down the two rooms, the bathroom also makes an excellent room in which to incorporate an Asian inspired theme. This is a room in which people go to relax and wash away the worries and stress of their days. For this reason, it makes perfect sense that some of the more tranquil and relaxing design accents of an Asian décor would be appropriate. Candles, figurines, calligraphy (waterproof of course), and Asian artwork make excellent touches for a bathroom, as do the more tranquil colors of some Asian inspired rooms. Fountains can be added to the room for an added taste of relaxation. Be sure that there is plenty of storage space as clean lines and an uncluttered surface are also important for the overall peaceful affect you should be hoping to achieve.

If either the dining room or bath or unappealing to your home decorating desires for an Asian theme you may want to take the theme into your bedroom. There are very few more romantic themes to incorporate into a bedroom than an Asian theme. You can use fabrics to create a very romantic atmosphere, rice paper window coverings to protect those inside from prying eyes, and candles throughout the room to finish off the creation. Furnishings in this room should be sparse and uncluttered. And Asian screens can be used in order to ‘section off’ the room or hide the piles of laundry or cluttered areas that you wish not to be detract from the overall romance of the room. Fans make a lovely decoration for the walls in a bedroom as does Oriental art or framed calligraphy in the words of love. Use wall sconces and indirect lighting rather than harsh, glaring overhead lights.

An Asian theme can be one of the most beautiful in the realm of home decorating if you are truly willing to invest the time and money it takes to do this theme properly. It can also be one of the most gaudy if you choose cheap and tacky decorations rather than quality accessories. If you choose to incorporate this theme into your home I hope you will keep that in mind while you are shopping.

Bringing the Old West to Modern Home Decorating

What could be more fun when you think about it than incorporating the age-old story of cowboys and Indians into your home décor? For those who love a great story and have a wild sense of adventure this could be an incredibly fabulous design theme for your next home decorating project. This is a great way to bring the rustic charm of the old west into the modern world of today’s busy lifestyles.

Immediately visions of the hacienda with knotty pine and leather upholstered furniture comes to mind. Massive fireplaces and antlers everywhere are also first and foremost in my mind when this design idea pops into my head. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and only limited by your budget in all honesty. This is a look that could be pulled off however on almost any budget for those that are willing to make a few thrift store purchases along the way while investing a fair amount of elbow grease.

One thing you want to be careful of with this particular theme is not taking it too far. This could be so easy to do and it will only subtract from the charm and appeal if you do so. Choose the accessories carefully but implement them minimally. This should also help with potential budget restrictions as well as keep you on track for finding the perfect accessories rather than picking up everything you see only to find later that many simply will not work with the style and design you are hoping to achieve in the long run.

Wood floors and wood paneled walls are a great statement for this sort of décor as well as stone for a fireplace (if there is a fireplace of courses). You want solid furniture rather than something that appear fragile or dainty and you definitely want to keep the room masculine in appearance if at all possible. Home decorating in the style of the old west isn’t for bachelors alone but too much of a feminine touch will simply kill the appeal all together. In fact, the less feminine touches the better save these touches for a romantic bedroom or bathroom rather than the primary areas that friends and family will visit.

You will also want to take great pains to imitate the rustic nature of the old west within the kitchen. No delicate china patterns or tables with legs that look like that might fall off with a hard wind. This is a ‘mans’ style of decorating and it needs to look as though it will withstand any punishment a man can dish out in order to maintain the fun and light appeal of the remainder of the home. You can find modern sinks, fixtures, and hardware that are designed to resemble those of the old west and beyond if you look in the right places.

For those who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary this is one style of decorating that definitely fits the bill. See what wonderful schemes and dreams you can come up with and what sort of tall tale will go along with your old west design story then create the story within the walls of your home. There is no better way to go about home decorating than this.

Decorating Bathroom on a Budget

When it comes to home decorating there are few rooms that have quite the impact of a bathroom or kitchen when being decorated. There is something wonderful about taking a tired old bathroom and making it seem bright and shiny once again. Most people, however, cringe at the thought of a bathroom remodel fearing the absolute worst when it comes to their financial situation once all is said and done. The good news is that small steps can lead to big changes in rooms as small as bathrooms. These small steps do not have to have large prices in order to be highly effective.

My suggestion with a bathroom is to assess where the worst blemishes and eyesores may be. Painting the walls can be a good place to start but you should first decide whether you are planning to remove any cabinetry. This is one room where it is best to save the painting for later in the project rather than the beginning. The vanity in many bathrooms takes up a good deal of real estate. Gone are the days when chunky cabinets were the popular choice for bathrooms. Now people want the bathrooms to have the appearance of a wide-open space. This means that cabinets and vanities are becoming smaller rather than larger.

Most homeowners find that the removal of bulky cabinetry in the bathroom often leads to some degree of patching required for the drywall and noticeable gaps in flooring. These will need to be addressed fairly quickly, which means that now is a good time to select color options for the walls and flooring. Smaller bathrooms do well with lighter colors on the walls in order to give them a larger appearance. Use towels and decorations to bring in darker accents but keep the walls light and bright. Also choose paint that can withstand the high humidity of bathrooms.

Flooring in a bathroom also needs to be able to withstand high heat and humidity as this room is rather abusive to floors and walls. For this reason, hardwood is not the floor of choice for most bathrooms. Ceramic tile is an excellent choice and not terribly expensive. There are also some laminates that are designed to respond well to a high humidity environment such as will be found in a bathroom. Choose flooring that will accent the walls and the overall sense of décor you are hoping to achieve when decorating your home and bathroom, as this is not something you are going to want to change often.

The toilet in a bathroom is fairly simple to purchase but I recommend leaving it be unless it absolutely needs to be changed. This is not a simple procedure for the novice and experts are expensive. In this case “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is an excellent motto to live by. The same holds true with the shower. If, however, you simply cannot live with your shower (or bathtub) as is, you may want to try hiring professionals to come in and resurface your tub. This is much less expensive than purchasing a brand-new tub and will have yours looking bright, shiny, and as good as new. Again you can avoid the high cost of a plumber despite the fact that you are paying for professionals to resurface.

To top things off, you will be amazed at the difference that new knobs, fixtures, and hardware can make in a bathroom. Add a couple of lamps for subtle lighting and some decorative touches of your own and you have a brand new bathroom without spending a king’s ransom in order to do so. The shower curtain and ‘guest’ towels should be your largest splurges in your bathroom, as they will tie the room all together. You shower curtains and towels will blend the colors and designs in order to create the overall atmosphere you should be hoping to achieve in your bathroom. And all of this can be accomplished one step at a time no matter how sparse your budget may be.

Decorating for Halloween

If there is ever a time of year when the ghosts and goblins roam the streets of the modern world, that time would be Halloween. Today’s ghost and goblins are probably a little more frightening than at any other time in history but they are often tempered by a princess seeking frogs and a few witches and wizards along the way. Halloween is a great day to be a kid but can also be a great day for grown ups as well. Decorating for Halloween can be almost as fun as going out and begging for candy any day of the week.

Besides, having a well decorated home for this holiday gives you the perfect excuse to scare the evil out of some young ghoul or vampire that thinks he or she has the market cornered on frightening. The really cool thing about decorating for Halloween is that it is not one size fits all. You are perfectly free to find some very scary home decorations for this delightful holiday or take on a kinder, gentler, more kid friendly style of decorating. Either decision is yours and yours alone and should carefully monitor the scare-ability of your own children when deciding. You certainly don’t want them afraid to come home.

For a more frightening Halloween scene you will probably want to use some strobe lights, frightening music and sound effects, dry ice in order to incorporate spooky fog, and plenty of spider web type netting in order to give those who dare approach your door bells a complete and thorough case of the willies. Doesn’t this sound like so much fun? Coffins with headless straw men are also a great addition as well as skittering spiders and the occasional chainsaw or two. A glow in the dark hockey mask may also be a good choice. Bodiless heads suspended by fishing wire are also quite the highlight for a true and robust fright.

If your goal is to create a kid friendly Halloween atmosphere there are cheerful pumpkin decorations that can be found in many shapes and sizes as well as Casper the friendly ghost, Frankenstein piñatas, and countless other fun party favors that are designed to bring entertainment and delight rather than terror and far. String pumpkin lights around the porch for added lighting and another friendly face in addition to keeping plenty of candles and lanterns lit nearby. Not all trick or treaters are older kids who appreciate a good scare so keep this in mind as the little ghosts, goblins, princesses, and super heroes arrive.

For adult gatherings all bets are off when it comes to home decorating for Halloween. There are all kinds of themes that can be followed from the incredibly zany and outrageous to the frightening or flamboyant. The biggest suggestion in these matters is to have fun at all times and bring the be the life of the party rather than having the decorations upstage your efforts. Far too many people spend more time concerned with how they will decorate their homes rather than wondering how they will decorate themselves for the festivities. If you find the perfect costumes all eyes will be on you and not your decorations.

Favorite suggestions for adult parties would include strobe lights, much like the frightening scene described above, low additional lights, perhaps black lights near the food and drink area of the party. More dry ice (if tolerable some people have difficulties with the smell particularly those with allergies or asthma so you may want to avoid this inside your home and leave it for the exterior). Bales of hay in the corner make excellent additional seating and can contribute to the harvest/autumn/Halloween atmosphere you are attempting to create. Just remember that the underlying goal is for you and your guests to have a great time. Have good food, good music, and good friends, and the decorations really and truly should be a secondary concern.

Home Decorating: Kitchen on a Budget

Decorating a home can be a trying thing to do with the best of budgets. The fact that you do not happen to have large lots of money lying around however should not prevent you from having a lovely kitchen to call your own. The kitchen is after all, the heart of any home and you want this room to be one that invites everyone to come, congregate, and pitch in (one can always dream right?). This is the reason that you want your kitchen to shine above all other rooms in your home though. The kitchen should radiate warmth and home to all who enter.

Truthfully speaking there are many things you can do in your kitchen that will greatly impact the overall look of your kitchen without changing anything structurally within your kitchen. If you have wallpaper, remove it and try paint. There are all kinds of great things you can do in the kitchen from plaster, which goes amazingly well in a kitchen, to faux finishes and textures, and glazes for added impact. The walls in the kitchen are your canvas and the world is at your disposal. Just remember to try to tie the walls into the floors and cabinets or at the very least to the floors and cabinets you hope to have in your kitchen someday.

In addition to painting the walls in your kitchen you may also want to consider painting, staining, or antiquing your cabinets. I know that some jaws just dropped to the keyboard. How dare I suggest such a thing as painting wooden cabinets? The answer is simple really. It is much cheaper than replacing them and much simpler than staining them. Really it boils down to a matter of choice. My first choice wouldn’t be painting but then again, there are times when painting is a viable option. It will greatly change the overall appearance of the kitchen if nothing else.

Moving right along. Another great change that isn’t terribly expensive to make in the kitchen is hardware. The simple act of changing the door handles and drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinet can result in an almost instant facelift. When these changes are combined with painted or stained cabinetry the effects are nothing short of stunning in many cases. It’s the little things that often have the greatest impact so keep this in mind when planning your changes.

The floors of your kitchen are another rather inexpensive change that can be made despite preconceptions. Keep in mind that you do not have to go top of the line in order to enjoy huge changes in the appearance of your floors. There are laminate floors that are rather inexpensive to install as well as many forms of peel and stick tile that can bring about impressive results for very little effort and without professional skills. Any floors that you are capable of installing yourself will save a lot of money and can make a huge difference in the appearance and your enjoyment of your kitchen.

Perhaps the biggest coup of all when it comes to changing the appearance of your kitchen is the ability to apply stainless steel PVC contact paper to your kitchen appliances in order to give them the instant appearance of stainless steel. This is a very inexpensive method for updating the overall appearance of your kitchen in a matter of minutes and at a cost less than that of replacing one appliance. For your countertops an inexpensive and terribly disruptive alternative to replacing them all together is to apply peel and stick tile over your existing countertops.

As you can see there are many ways in which you can improve and enhance the warmth and coziness that you want your kitchen to convey without shattering the piggy bank in the process. More importantly, you should keep in mind that taking on one project at a time allows you to make the adjustments in your own time and as finances allow.