Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my birthday and I feel very blessed to see another year! Last year was filled with ups and downs so hopefully, this year will be a smooth-sailing one. Fingers crossed.

This year I do not have any big plans like the previous years. To celebrate, we will check out a new hot pot restaurant in Chicago later. We are planning to go for the all-you-can-eat option so we can try as many things on the menu tonight. The restaurant has a lot of rave reviews so I am pretty excited! 

I also picked out this gorgeous card case as my "birthday gift" while we were at the outlet mall a few months ago. Thanks hubby!

It is not something I would normally picked but I am super obsessed with this beauty. I am drawn to its bold, striking and beautiful design. Although it is a card case, I am planning to use it as a small wallet. I can't wait to use this baby! 

How do you celebrate your birthday, my lovelies? I am dying to know!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Inside a designer's beautifully layered, pattern-filled New York apartment!

This stunning one-bedroom Greenwich Village apartment is the former home of designer Lilse McKenna. The New York rental apartment had high ceilings, new renovations and an original 20th-century, carved mantelpiece. However, it was still a basic white box. To transform the apartment, Lilse injected lots of colors and patterns into the space. The results? An elegant and beautifully layered abode! Let's check it out, shall we?

Photo credit: Victor Harshbarger (photo courtesy of Lilse McKenna Inc.)

With a mix of fabric wall treatment, custom banquet, wallpaper, artwork and antiques, this home feels collected, cozy and lived-in. She definitely has a penchant for colors, textiles and patterns, don't you think? I am a big fan of her layered approach, how about you, my lovelies? Are you drawn to this gorgeous apartment as much as I do? I would love to know your thoughts!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

How To Look After Your Swimming Pool!

This post is provided by Jorge Costilla.

We have always dreamed of having our own personal swimming pool in our very own backyard. Come on, who would really mind having such a luxury? You could host summer pool parties, invite all your friends, swim to relax or to work out or enjoy a good read whilst lounging by the pool. There are endless possibilities when you have a pool! Planning how to perfect that tan?

Well, we hate to bring you back down to earth. But remember – owning a pool comes with great responsibility. First of all, to install a nice pool is going to cost you quite a bit of your precious dollars. So, you will want to make sure that you look after it to the best of your ability!

If you are at a friend’s place and he has a pool, keep an eye out for certain signs whether he looks after his swimming pool or not. For instance, if the water in the pool is of a greenish color, then that means it has poor upkeep. If a comprehensive maintenance plan is not implemented, then your pool can suffer from algae build ups or broken filters. And trust us, nobody you know will want to enter a pool in such a condition! Remember, you want to make sure that your pool remains in the best possible condition. Whether resurfacing is needed, do not worry about it. There are plenty of entities who could do this for you, for example, Willsha Pools offers resurfacing.

To help you out, here are a few tips on how you can look after your swimming pool:

Fall in love with skimming and scrubbing

Removing leaves and other such debris from your pool will be part of your daily life. You will have to do it repeatedly to possess a clean, pristine pool. 

Got a bit of flexibility in your budget? If yes, consider investing in a robot vacuum cleaner that will descend to the pool floor and clean it thoroughly for you. There are plenty of options you can check out and decide based the importance of factors such as price differentials, reviews and performance requirements.

Now, why did we mention scrubbing? You will have to scrub the sides of your pool to evade algae build up. The good thing is that if you do this every other week, you are good to go. Take a scrub brush and scrub with all you have got! If you have trouble with any old spots, take an old sock and fill it up with chlorine. Let it rest on top of the spot for a few hours and then try scrubbing yet again. As the algae will be eaten by the chlorine, you should be able to clean the pool side easily now. 

Check your pool’s chemical levels

If the chemical levels in your pool are unbalanced, it could create murky water, cause irritation to your eyes and become a playground for bacteria growth. Disgusting, isn't it? We know you do not want this! You should check your pool water at least once a week.

Watch out for the water level

As much as the chemical levels are crucial, so is the actual volume of water flowing in your pool. If a bunch of kids spend the afternoon cannon balling or if there is heavy rain, then yes, the pool level may rise naturally. What you want to do is to maintain the pool level that is halfway up to the opening of the skimmer. If the water is too low, fill up a garden hose and add the required amount of water to the pool. On the other hand, if the water quantity is too much – try to get your hands on a submergible pump that will allow you to drain the excess. You can get these babies at any home improvement stores. Once you have managed to get the water levels back to a desirable level, do not forget to recheck the chemical balances. 

Utilize tennis balls to absorb oils

Apart for recreational usage, a tennis ball can be quite useful in the pool context. When a swimmer leaves the pool, specific oils are left behind in the water. It could be residue from your suntan lotion, your hair products or the natural oil that is produced by our skin. Just throw a tennis ball into your swimming pool and let its natural fibers absorb such oils.

Schedule a yearly appointment for pool servicing

Whether you think you need it or not, get a scheduled yearly appointment for your pool to be serviced professionally. Its mechanical equipment such as its heating systems, filters or pumps may require checks from experts in the field. This is knowledge you may not have. Do an appraisal of your pool before your pool service man comes in. Check for leaks, holes in the linear, or any loud sounds coming from the mechanism. Anything is possible, right? Guide the pool service individual towards these issues so he knows where to get started. 

Clean your pool’s filter

As the name denotes, your swimming pool’s filter plays a crucial role in its upkeep by removing any impurities. This includes but is not limited to leaves, dirt, and small toys even. Usually, you can clean your pool’s filter by turning it off, removing the filter cap, taking out the filter basket and throwing away any debris that have accumulated with the passage of time. How many times should you clean it? We recommend doing this at least once a week! What you can do once a month is to wash out the pipes used by your filter by backwashing. Just set your filter to backwash, remove the leaf basket and clean it out. After that, just switch your pump on and let it work till the waste pip releases clear and clean water. 

This may sound like extra work to you – especially on top of other normal chores that one has to do. If you have a family, take turns engaging in these pool maintenance activities.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Inside a fresh and fabulous waterfront home in the Bay Area!

This beautiful waterfront home in Bay Area is designed by Jennifer Wundrow for a young family relocating to the West Coast from New York. Her client loves that beachy, natural Nantucket feel. With that in mind, the designer transforms it into a bright and airy abode with a fresh and sophisticated flair. Let's check it out, shall we?

Photo credit: Kuoh Photography

How fabulous is this home? To ensure the focus is on the home's bay views, a muted palette is employed. In addition, no window treatments are used to obscure the views. A mixture of textures, styles and natural elements is incorporated to create warmth and visual interest. Fresh, chic and thoughtfully designed, what's not to love about this gorgeous  abode? Your thoughts?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Create A Stunning Antique Look For Any Room!

This post is provided by Lora Young.

When it comes to décor and room styles, we all have different tastes. Some people want every room in their home to be completely modern and contemporary. Others are looking for a more traditional look such as 1950s or 1960s style of décor. There are also those that want to create a stunning vintage or antique look in their home.
If you want to create an antique look and feel in any room in your home, there are various ways in which you can do this. Everything from the flooring to the furniture and lighting can make a difference to the appearance of the room. Fortunately, you do not have to spend a fortune on real antiques, as there are plenty of hacks that can help you to create the perfect vintage finish.

Some Of The Ways To Add An Antique Touch
There are various ways in which you can create an antique look in any room in your home. First, you can use products such as milk paint, which is ideal when used on wood to create a beautiful antique finish. If you have some old furniture that is looking worn and old, you can coat it with this paint to create something that looks vintage and antique-and it certainly costs a lot less than investing in real antique furniture.
Another thing to look at is the lighting in the room. The last thing you want is something ultra-modern such as spotlights. Instead, look at things such as candelabra-style wall lights and faux crystal chandeliers for your room. These will enable you to enjoy affordability while also re-creating a stunning antique finish that is elegant, stylish, and grand.
The flooring in the room will also contribute to the overall finish, so make sure you look at the various options. Some people like to have solid wood to help create a more antique appearance for the room. However, you can also look at rich, bold carpeting if you prefer a warmer finish for the room.
The artwork you use in the room can also have an impact on the overall appearance. If you want to make your room look antique, you can get stylish artwork in vintage-style gold frames to put up around the room. In addition, you can hang an antique-style mirror in the room, which is another great way to add the ideal finishing touch and feel as though you have stepped back in time.
When it comes to drapes and upholstery, rich reds and golds are a great choice for an antique finish. They also help to add warmth to the room, particularly when you opt for fabrics such as velvet.

Relax In Your Antique Surroundings

By following these tips, you can look forward to relaxing in antique surroundings but without spending the fortune you would have to if you were buying real antiques. With your imagination, the right products, and the help of the internet, you can create a wonderful vintage finish even if you are on a tight budget.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Inside a designer's relaxed modern vintage California home!

This 1930s Spanish house in View Park, California belongs to entertainment-exec-turned-designer Colette Shelton. After buying the house, Colette (a design blogger for more than 10 years) decided to pursue her passion full-time. To transform her home, a neutral palette is incorporated. Meanwhile, patterns and high contrasts are used to create visual interest. The results? A relaxed and beautifully layered home! Let's check it out, shall we?

Photo credit: Reid Rolls

Photo credit: Melissa Gayle

I really love the designer's modern vintage aesthetic! Using a strict color palette of natural hues, the designer masterfully inject warmth, style and visual impact through various patterns, textures and materials. Effortlessly layered, chic and eclectic, what's not to love about this beautiful home? Your thoughts? 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Inside a bright, breezy and beautiful Alys Beach oasis!

This Alys Beach oasis is designed by Melanie Turner for a longtime client. Having complete confidence in the designer, her client took a hands-off approach in the design project. The homeowner's only direction was to make it "light, bright and comfortable" where she could escape the hustle of everyday life. With that in mind, the designer transformed her home into a calming and relaxing refuge. Let's check it out, shall we?

Photo credit: Mali Azima

Thanks to the simplicity of an all-white color scheme, it creates an immediate and dramatic impact in this breathtaking home! Using mostly white on a space conveys a sense of cleanliness, airiness, spaciousness, brightness, clarity and calmness. However, sometimes a white on white decor can feel too stark or too cold. By adding a variety of wood elements and warm textures, it adds depth, a sense of coziness and visual interest. The gorgeous courtyard pool and master bedroom are especially my favorites! Such a dreamy, breezy and inspirational abode, what's not to love? Your thoughts?  

Thursday, March 28, 2019

How To Rejuvenate Your Living Room!

This article is provided by Lora Young.

Nothing impresses a visitor more quite like the living room. After all, it is that special place in the house where you entertain your guests and make them comfortable. After all, that is just as important as other areas like the dining room and bedroom. The living room is also where you unwind to watch your favorite TV moments or simply doze off on the couch.

With all this in mind, it is only best that we focus more on keeping our living rooms as comfortable as possible. Investing in a home improvement project makes all the more sense if you focus more on making a truly great living room experience. Plus, the fact is that you are also improving your home’s value considerably.

Let us take a look at a few things you need to do to rejuvenate your living room.

1. Change the wall paint

What paint will you be giving your living room? For sure, the choice of color is crucial since it allows you to achieve a certain mood in your living room. For instance, if you want it to feel like you are on vacation, you can try lighter shades of blue to really capture that tropical vibe. You can also try bolder colors if you want your room to feel energizing.

2. Go minimalistic

Marie Kondo has a point: A clutter-free life is a life that is anchored on joy. That alone should convince you to adopt a more minimalistic mindset when it comes to making your living room an important part in de-stressing. For this, you just have to start by throwing out the things you need and determine if you want more of the same item. Sure enough, this mindset keeps you from achieving a less cluttered lifestyle, so be sure to use all that energy toward making your home more spacious.

3. Hang wall decor

If blank walls are not your style, you can always create decorations you can hang. One good example is to grow some hanging plants and put them in places where you can easily see them. Aside from plants, you might also hang a few artworks here and there to really maximize the available space on the walls of your living room.

4. Change your flooring

It is an expensive project, but considering the long-term benefits, upgrading your flooring is a great way to increase the value of your home. You just have to determine the right material to use on your floor. You can always opt for carpeting and vinyl, but if you want an easy-to-clean option, then hardwood floors are a good choice. You just need to find a capable contractor offering wood floor services. Installing the material is hard, but with a little patience, you can achieve a more rustic vibe for your living room.

5. Change your lighting

To impress your guest even though nighttime has already arrived, make sure to install a few accent lights in areas where they illuminate pieces of art and such. You can also install dim lights for when you need to enjoy a bit of intimacy with your better half.

Monday, March 25, 2019

An interior designer's effortlessly elegant Nashville home!

This beautiful Nashville home belongs to interior designer Minnette Jackson that she shares with her husband. When they bought the house 7 years ago, it felt heavy, drab and dated, thanks to a sea of beige and brown. To begin transforming her abode, she began neutralizing and brightening everything, with the home's design reflecting its surroundings such as Nashville's classic architecture and beautiful green hills. The results? A stunning abode brimming with color and charm! Let's check it out!

Photo credit: Leslee Mitchell

Don't you love this gorgeous residence? I really like her fresh, modern take on traditional style. By masterfully pairing classic silhouettes and timeless pieces with brass elements, modern artwork and striking patterns, her home radiates style, sophistication and casual elegance. Are you drawn to her classic chic approach in decorating as well? What are your thoughts?