Saturday 23 January 2010

A Touch of Green to Home Decoration

To those of us who live in the city a garden is a luxury. The problem is, in every one of us there seems to be a compulsion to reconnect with nature. And although it is a luxury to have a garden the need to link with nature is not, it is more a necessity. Nature has a way of relaxing us and inspiring harmony in our lives, both these feelings are essential in a home. Our home should be our haven, a retreat from the harsh wheeling and dealing we face daily in our offices. Our home-décor could very well benefit from bringing a bit of nature inside.
Incorporating plants into our home decoration is not difficult; there are just a couple of guides we need to remember before we get started. First take a good look at the space you have, and think about the conditions in which the plants will need to thrive in. Ask yourself if 1. There is a small balcony or ledge where you can bring the plants so they can receive sunlight once every two weeks? Even if the plants are categorized as indoor plants we still need to expose them to the sun every now and then. 2. When inside your home will the plant receive sunlight, if so how much? 3. How much space can you afford to use for the plant or plants? This will tell us the size of the plant or plants we can get and is very important when planning our home decoration in relation to proportion.
When you go to the garden center ask or mention the following to the salesman 1. How big the plant will be once mature. Sometimes we buy a small plant thinking it will stay relatively the same size. Please inform the staff of the space you can afford the plant to occupy. The salesman can then advise you better. 2. Tell the salesman the conditions in which the plant will be living in, where you plan to situate it, the sunlight it gets or the alternative form of light it will be exposed to if no sunlight on a daily basis is available. The salesman may suggest partial-shade plants which are the plants that only need moderate exposure to the sun and will be able to survive when place in the interior of your apartment. Be sure to ask the staff of the garden center if the plant still needs to be acclimatized and how to achieve that for the plant you will be buying. Plants do not like drastic changes so acclimatization might be needed. I may take a bit more effort by doing this but it will be worth it to see nature as part of your home decoration.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Tips for Receiving Guests

Are you ready for a Guest?
Has it ever happened that you are having guests sleep over but you do not really know how to prepare for it or how to design your spare room to accommodate them? As gracious hosts we endeavor to make them feel welcome and comfortable just like they would be in their own home. Most of the time however, since we are running around and seeing to last minute details our guests end up feeling awkward and that they are a burden to us. So how do we make them feel special and appreciated instead of feeling ill at ease? The following are suggestions to make their stay a memorable one:
•    Give them space- If they will be staying for more than a day clear out a drawer or closet space in their assigned room for them to use during their stay. After all who would want to live out of a suitcase even for just a couple of days? This will make them feel more welcome and can take comfort in the fact that we do have room to accommodate them.
•    If possible situate a coffee table and some chairs in the spare room. Why would you do this when you have a perfectly good kitchen they can have coffee in? People need their own space and even as guests and they are having coffee or a snack they might want some privacy.
•    Clear the room they will be staying in of photo frames of your family. Trust me they know that they are in your house and are possibly quite uncomfortable because they feel they may be imposing themselves, being reminded of the fact they are in someone else’s house constantly via pictures will not help them feel more relaxed.
•    If the room your guests are using does not have a bathroom design a toiletry caddy or kit for them. In it could be some soap, shampoo and conditioner just like in hotels. One can also assign a set of towels for them to use during their stay. This will make them feel less like they are intruding in your home and because they have their own things even if it is temporary. If the room has its own bathroom then you can leave the tray and towels there.
•    Have needed telephone numbers handy. Since it would be improbable that you will always be with your guests when they are in your house leave them a list of numbers they might need. Do include not only where they can reach you but also handy numbers like taxi companies and food delivery service.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Sensible Coffee Table Choices

In home-décor every piece in a room has to come together harmoniously otherwise the room will feel jarring making the occupants uncomfortable or feel that there is something wrong. Finding the proper pieces is key to a room’s success and may take some time. Finding a table that best fits and uplifts a room should be given due consideration because there are numerous choices and one might not be equipped to make the proper choice. How are you to decide between a round coffee table, or square, glass or wood? The following suggestions will be able to help guide you so you can purchase the coffee table that will best suite your needs and taste.
You have decided to buy a coffee table so the next step would be to choose the kind of material you prefer.  Please note that one can use different materials in a room. This will not detract from the design but creates visual interest which mirrors your personal style in home-décor. Wood is usually the most common choice because of its hardiness and adaptability. It can with the addition of accessories like table runners and such take on a traditional or contemporary look. Other popular materials are slate, marble, glass, metal, wicker and rattan. After choosing the material, choosing the table style is next. There are the traditional styles that are modeled after historic designs. They are usually ornate and bold. Most have a good deal of detail that can be traced to the influences during the design period. Casual or comfortable styles’ main thrust is comfort and practicality. This manifests in simple lines in its design. Modern designs are all about new concepts of sleek designs that looks like it comes from the future. Popular materials include steel and glass. Country or rustic is another table style, these styles are simple and unpretentious. It is a meeting of the traditional design and simplicity. Materials used are predominantly wood.  The contemporary design is neither fully traditional nor causal. This style usually has straight, clean lines and edges. It has simpler curvature and limited  carvings or decorative additions.
Do not forget to take note of additional functions you may want for your coffee table. Some prefer to have drawers or shelves in order to place magazines in. A function that some find very useful are lift tops, these they reveals additional storage space. Some coffee tables have game tops like chess or checkers. Whichever your decision, just ensure that proper planning was done to maximize its effect in the room.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Interior design goes green

Go Green With Interior Design
The Future of Interior Design Is Green
Green Interior Design
Eco-friendly Design the Future of Home décor

We read and hear a lot about government, buildings and big companies joining the eco-friendly movement so it should come as no surprise that the realm of interior design has also become more environmentally conscious. As more and more people are becoming aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprints they then look at all the aspects in their lives where they can be more eco-friendly. The home is of course the first place they would concentrate their efforts on. This is one of the reasons why the demand for interior designers who are experienced with green or eco-friendly design is increasing.
This trend is a positive sign for our planet however what does eco-friendly interior design entail? Eco-friendly or what some call eco-conscious design is not only concerned with an excellent output style wise but also has to incorporate ways in which to reduce our home’s carbon footprint. This goal is achieved by incorporating not only building materials, furniture and accessories that are renewable, salvaged or recycled but the design plans also have to be energy-efficient. These eco-friendly initiatives may also include the use of paints that are non-toxic to our environment. Furniture should be responsibly and sustainably designed and made as well as finished with environmentally-friendly paints or stains. Eco-conscious cerifications like the Greenguard and MBDC Cradle 2 Cradle certifications assure that the furniture was created responsibly.  “Green” designers also choose renewable resources when using building materials like bamboo, Kirei board (made from reclaimed sorghum stalk fibers), and reclaimed lumber to name a few. Incorporating items that do not harm the environment or impacts it minimally like using organic and sustainable fabrics in the home like cotton, hemp, wool and jute for  curtains, decorative pillows, bedroom linens and others. The finishes used on walls, furniture and cabinets should not contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These materials are said to cause harmful effects to our environment like damaging the ozone layer and smog creation. Reducing our home’s carbon footprint by using less electricity is a major design concept incorporated in a majority of eco-friendly designs. Maximizing natural light and the utilization of energy efficient appliances are examples of how to achieve this concept. All in all eco-friendly designers are not only making our homes safer by lessening the toxic substances we are exposed to, they also help us become more energy efficient and in the long run save more money.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Home-decor for your First Apartment Bedroom

You have done it! You have moved out of your parent’s house and now have your own place. The problem is you have next to nothing in your bedroom and your budget is not big enough to buy key pieces of furniture like a bed. What you do have is second hand stuff from loving family and friends. Not to despair, let us make a plan that we can build on as our budget increases and yet will not look like we are waiting for your luck to change.

Let us take the minimalist approach. Make the best of what you have and then add small inexpensive items like decorative pillows in neutral shades. This is so that when you add more decorative or throw pillows to your room you will be able to mix and match them better. What basic piece should you have? A mattress is a must, even if you do not have money for a bed frame. Take on a Japanese spin and just place it on the floor. Be sure to invest in good sheets and perhaps a textured coverlet. In this manner it won’t look like you do not have money for a bed frame rather it is the style you wanted. Accessories will make a room look more finished and help you pull that fib off. No money for side tables? Get your hands on big hardcover books from your parent’s or friend’s house, old encyclopedias will work. Stack them up to perhaps 3 to 4 books on top of each other then place a tray to formalize a level area for bedside accessories like an alarm clock or photo frames. No budget for a chair? A bean bag in a neutral shade to match your decorative pillows is inexpensive and would suite your minimalist look.
You have been in your apartment for several months now and although you are not rolling in dough you do have some money to invest in some bedroom pieces. Our strategy now is to invest in some practical pieces. A bed frame should be our number one priority. Try to buy one of sturdy wood, it may cost a bit more but it will ultimately serve you for years longer. For side table get ones with classic clean lines so it won’t look dated after a couple of years and perhaps a couple of low priced lamps and photo frames. Also invest in a reading chair; your bean bag will have to leave the room along with the minimalist look.

After a year or so you can then start to finalize the look of your bedroom. Add color to your room; invest in more accent pieces like deeper toned decorative pillows, comforters or coverlets to make the bed more luxurious. The good investment you made on the bedside tables will now pay off because you can still utilize them but change the table lamps into something more refined and modern. Formalize your reading corner with a chair plus an ottoman to place your feet on as well as a floor lamp for better illumination.



Saturday 23 January 2010

how to choose the Curtain rods

It’s true that the curtains are the most noticeable factor in a window treatment, but if the decorator has not been consistent in picking suitable elements, something in the overall image will jar. The unwise will dismiss curtain rods as negligible but they’re actually very essential to the entire picture. They are not only functional; they are also there to be decorative or to complete the desired look. There are all sorts of curtain rods. You have spring rods, magnetic rods, sash rods, etc. They can be made of brass, steel, chrome, and wood. They also come in varying diameters and lengths. With all these choices, you are sure to find the rod that will best compliment your curtains and window. Nowadays, curtain rods are not just used for windows anymore. If you want a canopy over your bed, you’ll need a curtain rod for that too. Another clever use for a curtain rod would be a make-shift head board or backrest for a bed or bed. You can hang pillows using straps or fixes from a curtain rod placed on the wall a foot or two above the bench. You can certainly come up with many more ingenious ideas to make use of curtain rods. Indeed they may not get starring roles, but curtain rods definitely play very important supporting roles.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Tassels and Trimmings

A true aficionado of aesthetics knows the importance of the little details. That person will take in the focal points and dissect the elements that make them up. You may get props for gorgeous drapery and attractive furniture pieces, but you should know that the little extras are not mere afterthoughts. They also count. Your curtains may comprise of an elegant fabric partnered with a sheer material for added charm and they may hang from an elaborately ornate curtain rod, but if you’re using some found string or ribbon as a tieback, the entire effect will be ruined. You have to remain smart and tasteful when it comes to trimmings. Tassels, for instance, are a favorite tieback ornament. They look whimsical and are obviously a deliberate accent to your drapery or furniture. When it comes to curtains, those lovely tiebacks can be used to shape your drapery as well. You may think that any tassel will do for your tiebacks, but you have to know that tassels come in all forms, materials, sizes, and styles. You can even find magnetic tassels which you can place on any metal surface for added drama. As for style or theme, you should be able to determine what kind of feel you want your room to have.  If you want a Florentine appeal to your room, you can use Medici-inspired tassels for plain curtains and watch the look of your drapery be completely transformed by mere trimming.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Use the adjusted Decor accessories

Do you sometimes despair over the furniture you have in your home? Perhaps you were forced to prioritize practicality over beauty when choosing your chairs? Many of us have pieces of furniture that do not coordinate with the style of the room. Examples are those molded plastic chairs or those utilitarian metal folding chairs. Admittedly, they are quite handy and very inexpensive. Will you then just give up and reluctantly live with durable and cheap-looking pieces? When faced with this kind of dilemma, it’s time to get creative with décor accessories. How can you hide the fact that you have gaudy chairs in your room? Using slipcovers is the solution. With slipcovers, you can transform a chair from tacky to elegant. Slipcovers also work well to protect chairs. Even if your chair isn’t unsuitable, you can still cover it to spare it from dust, scratches, etc. To improve those metal folding chairs and make them coordinate with the style of the room, you can dress them with cushions. You can get matching backrest and seat cushions that are sure to harmonize with the style or theme of your room. Besides these ideas, you should also consider footstools when you find your room needing extra seating. Footstools are multifunctional. You can use them as a footrest, a bench, and even as an impromptu low table. You don’t even have to get a strictly matching footstool as you can also easily slip a cover on it.



Saturday 23 January 2010

Lighting and light games

Ask any decorator and he or she will tell you that lighting is very important. Come to think of it, ask anybody with common sense and he or she will tell you that lighting is a necessity. In the context of home décor, of course, the mind naturally veers towards the decorative effect a lighting fixture has. Before anything else though, it is essential to keep in mind what lighting’s primary function is, and that is to illuminate. Once you have identified the areas that need lighting, you can then determine the spots from which light can strategically emanate. Task lighting is called for if you have a reading chair. You can place an adjustable table and floor lamp next to it, making a note of its height, whether on the floor or on a table, to make the shade level with one’s ears while one’s seated. The great thing about adjustable table and floor lamps is that their dual function caters well to those who love to redecorate. For ambient lighting, you can subtly scatter charming sconces around the room. It would be even better if they work with a dimmer so you can better control the mood in the room. You also want to make sure that there’s lighting that will accent your focal points in the room. Of course, for a well put together room, all the exposed lighting should be aesthetic pieces themselves, so



Saturday 23 January 2010

Pillows as Decorative Pillows

Nothing beats the comfort that a soft pillow offers a tired and weary head. Without a doubt, pillows are extremely functional. However, whether inside or outside the bedroom, pillows can also be decorative. Throw pillows make great accessories for your couches, arm chairs, beds, divans, etc. Throw pillows are usually slipped inside cases, so it’s easy for them to compliment the style and colors of the rest of the room. In this manner, you can also easily switch around the covers depending on your whim. It is also important to note that if you cannot afford to go with anything but safe and neutral when it comes to your actual furniture, you can make up for that restraint with décor accessories such as your throw pillows. You can easily risk bold colors and print. You can also make them go with other accessories like throws or sofa panels and your drapery. Naturally, it is better for throw pillows to come in soft materials like linen, wool, chenille, or taffeta. They might be pleasing to the eyes, but you would still want them to be satisfactory pillows that can comfortably support your back, neck or head. Most throw pillows come in squares of various sizes, but they may also be available in other shapes. Have several throw pillows in your home and have fun arranging them.