Thursday, February 27, 2014

Guest post- Creating A Dorm Room Fit For A Queen!

This post is authored by Kelly Kassen.

When you first step foot into your new college dorm room, you are given somewhat of a clean slate. After all, now is the time in which you can meet new friends, try new hobbies, distinguish your personality and shape the future you want for yourself; the world is your blank canvas to make your mark upon, not much unlike the plain, off-white walls of your dorm room. Making your dorm room go from drag to fab is not always easy, so here are some tips that will have you feeling organized and relaxed in your castle away from home.

Most dorms have what I prefer to call “the essentials” provided for you: a bed, desk, dresser, and chair. Now, if you are one of the lucky few that does not have to share space with another, you have the freedom to let your creativity loose to express yourself from floor to ceiling.However, if you are sharing this space with a roommate, the two of you might want to come up with a theme that includes both of your styles so it does not look like one side of the area is battling the other.

This space is going to have to be multi-functional. You will have to sleep, study, have fun, get ready, and sometimes eat in this area. Keeping clean and tidy is going to be your first order of business. Get organized, period! Making sure that you are not wasting space is always vital when it comes to smaller areas. One way to do this is to incorporate your study environment into a place that you can easily turn into a place to just hang out and relax. Your desk is obviously there to study, however, setting out family photos and a stylish lamp will quickly glam up the area. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to expand vertically rather than horizontally by purchasing two small sets of shelves that either sit above or below the table; hide unattractive things like your calculator in a drawer, but have aesthetically enhancing items like plants sit in plain sight.

Since colleges are often picky about what can and cannot be on the walls, hanging a geometric tapestry will add some much needed color to the room. A tack board can be helpful when it comes to keeping track of important items, but why not also cover it in fun fabrics and customize your push pins to make it even more unique?

One of the most important areas of the room will be your bed. Since the mattresses and frames have probably have been used in the past, they most likely would not be the most comfortable in the world. Make sure you get a comforter and egg crate bed pad. Sites like OCM specialize in dorm bedding and have plenty of great colors and patterns. Once you have your bed all comfy, how about really making it look fit for a queen? With 3M sticky hooks on your ceiling, string, and light curtains, you can create a luxurious looking canopy around your bed (instructions here).

Tired of putting your warm feet on that cold tile floor when you wake up every morning? Purchase an area rug that harmonizes with the preferences of both you and your roommate. Not only does this get rid of the “dorm room feel” but it also gives you some color in the room. We know everyone is sick of staring at the white walls by now! One of my favorite spots for these is Linens N Things, but thrift shops and garage sales are always good if you do not mind hitting the dust out.

Closet space is nothing to joke around about in a dorm. They are small and sometimes there is only one that two people are asked to share. To make the most of this small space, only bring what you are going to need for the current semester and, when you drive to your parents’ during the holidays, switch out your wardrobe. There are all sorts of products that enable you to make sure every inch of the closet is utilized, including shoe racks, vertically stacked hangers and holders for dangling storage cubbies.

Drawer space is going to be the same as closest, LIMITED! Use this space to store anything you do not want just sitting out for anyone who is walking by to see. For those articles of clothing you do not need to access on a daily basis, use stackable wicker baskets.

Laundry can pile up quickly when you are busy running to and from class, the gym, and school events. Make sure to bring a cute laundry bag with you; the benefit of this instead of a basket is when your laundry is clean and put away the bag can easily hang in the closet or on a bed post or even be folded up, where the basket takes up valuable floor space.

Another way to make your room feel more like home is to hang some curtains that reflect you and your roommate’s taste. (This also helps if you are not an early bird). Looks can often be changed quickly and easily to help give you more light or less light, or even change the theme of the room.

All of these suggestions are easy and simple fixes to make you feel like you are at home while not hitting the pocket book too hard. College should be fun and colorful, so should your dorm room! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seven simple suggestions to achieve a spa-like bathroom!

If you have ever treated yourself to a session at the spa you will know that, as much as the treatments and the chance to relax, the environment plays a key part in your enjoyment of your time there.

While you can not install a full-scale spa in the corner of your home, you can give one room a revamp to give it the character of a mini-spa; the bathroom. Think about it; this is the one room in the house where you can have utter privacy and indulge yourself.

The following tips will help you create a bathroom with a spa-like feel.

1. Earth bound

When you think of the colour scheme in a spa, what comes to mind? Light, natural colours are favoured in the spa environment as they create a sense of calm and tranquility. Earthy tones like beiges and greens complement a spectrum of blues which work together for a holistic effect. Decorate your bathroom in light, earthy colors to recreate the feel of a spa.

2. The little things

If the taps in your bathroom are mismatched then remedy the situation! One characteristic of a spa is deign consistency. Stunning Mira Showers mixer taps come in a range of styles to suit your taste and are not only elegant, but durable and practical as well. Nothing less could be expected of Mira Showers which has been in the bathroom business for nearly 100 years.

3. Sign of life

The presence of a plant in your bathroom will work wonders for creating a spa-like feel. Orchids are ideal as they are elegant and graceful. They also look fabulous on the counter and last for months.

4. Making scents

Soothing scents are indispensable to the spa experience, so make sure you emulate this in your bathroom.

Choose an essential oil which you like and dab it around the room. Lavender and eucalyptus are the perfect scents for a spa-like bathroom.

5. Elegant storage

Do away with the packages of health and beauty products that litter up any bathroom and place them in glass containers instead. What looks more spa-like; cotton balls in their box or in a pretty glass container?

6. The extras

Your shower curtain may be fun but if that means it is bright, jazzy and jarring it is probably not right for a spa environment. Replace it with a more subdued curtain in light hues or semi-transparent so that light can get through.

The same goes for your bath mat. A wooden panel mat always looks better and is easier to take care of.

7. Plan to relax

If you are going to the trouble of transforming your bathroom, make sure you have the bits and pieces for relaxing. Do you need a little table next to your bath for a glass of juice or wine? What about a rubber pillow to fix at the head of the tub? Oh – and don’t forget the candles!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy blog anniversary?

Today marked another milestone for my blog. Mix And Chic turns three today!

Instead of feeling happy, I feel mentally exhausted. Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything but a lot of unhappy things happened to me recently and it made me wants to quit blogging altogether. If you are a regular reader, you will noticed that I don't post like I used to (at a specific time). To be honest, blogging seems like a chore to me now.

Perhaps a long blogging break is all I needed? Or having less posts in a week might help? I don't know. If you are a blogger and have been in a similar situation, what did you do to pick yourself up? Suggestions?

To all fans and supporters of Mix And Chic, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, I wouldn't have come this far.

Guest post- How can bedroom furniture help you achieve New Years resolutions?

This article is provided by Joseph Halsall. 

Most people’s New Year’s resolutions include the ambition to include more order in their lives. Other people might want to de-stress by ensuring that they use their leisure time more effectively.

A good night’s sleep is always important and a good bed, with storage options could make your resolutions come true.

The benefits of contemporary bedroom furniture

If you are determined to carry out these particular New Year’s resolutions, then a good place to start will be examining the options for the very latest bedroom furniture.

Modern bedroom furniture often doubles up as a vehicle for storage. This applies to furniture for both adults and children.

Lumpy mattresses are a thing of the past and whether you choose a Tempur memory mattress or a sturdy divan you will be guaranteed a good night’s sleep. No one can function with the pressures of the 21st century without suitable rest and relaxation.

A new bedroom design for a New Year

In order to carry out your resolutions, take a good look at the bedrooms you wish to modify and then draw up a realistic budget. If the kids’ room is always sprawling with toys, discarded trainers and other delights then try and see how tidying up might become a reality instead of a dream.

One way in which to tackle the nightmare of clutter is to invest in units that look fun and are easy to use. If you decided to buy a cabin bed for your child, then the range of drawers and shelving that comes with this particular bed will please you.

You will also have a good chance of fulfilling your decluttering ambition.

Bedroom furniture for adults

If you have decided that you need to de clutter in order to run your life more efficiently then you could always take a look at adult beds that incorporate storage within their design. This is an easy way to store bulky objects of clothing or surplus bedding.

Clutter is synonymous with disorganisation and it is difficult to relax if you are surrounded by items of clothing or bedding. Blanket boxes at the foot of the bed are also a good idea, especially when covered by cushions dressed with fabric that complements your colour scheme.

Your bedroom should be relaxing

Increasingly, bedrooms are used as a place of general relaxation rather than just for sleep so make sure that you include a comfortable chair in the room. If you place it by the window, you will create a perfect spot for reading.

This occupation should recharge your batteries and renew your energy so that you can cope with any family upsets or alarms. If you have complemented your bedding with stunning curtain fabrics and other accessories you will soon find that you have created a relaxing haven.

Have a look at new light because that can make your bedroom look very chic and influence the mood too.

Order and relaxation would not necessarily solve all of life’s problems in the New Year, but at least you will be secure in the knowledge that you have a tidy house and a relaxed mind.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Guest post- 5 Must Have Backyard Swimming Pool Supplies!

This article is provided by Carol Atkins.

Homeowners who are getting ready to open their swimming pool for the summer need to make sure they have a few necessary items on hand. Pool safety and energy efficiency are extremely important and should be thought of often when maintaining any type of swimming pool. Both inground and above ground pools require specific types of maintenance supplies and equipment to ensure they are safe and ready for the fun times of summer.

Assorted Sizes and Types of Floatation Devices - A wide assortment of floatation devices is essential, especially if you have small children or inexperienced swimmers who will be in the pool frequently. Long foam tubes, conventional life jackets, inflatable rings and water wings/floaties are inexpensive and can be used for both fun and safety.

Gates and Fencing - Installing gates with latches that are high enough to prevent small children and toddlers from gaining entrance to the pool are important additions. Gates should be sturdy and must be able to latch securely. They should also be tall enough to prevent animals or children from climbing over the top. Fencing should be added that surrounds the pool on all sides to prevent unwanted visitors from wandering to close and falling.

Drain Covers - Drain covers are used to prevent large objects from entering the drain and filter systems. When debris is allowed to collect near drains and filters, they can hinder water flow making filtration systems work harder than necessary. When in operation, systems may cause strong currents to form, pulling large items towards the drain. A small child's arm or a loose fitting bathing suit can be drawn up into the drain and become stuck. Adding a drain cover will prevent accidental injuries from occurring as well as keeping larger items from clogging the entrance.

Chemical Test Kits - Chemical test kits are essential to the proper upkeep of any pool. The balance of chemicals in the pool must be kept constant to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria. Making sure a test kits is fully stocked at the beginning of the pool season makes it easy to test chemical levels each day to ensure proper balance. Checking the kit each month and restocking it when needed will guarantee there is always enough on hand to keep the water chemicals balanced and the pool crystal clear.

Pool Covers - Pool and solar covers offer several benefits. They keep debris, such as leaves and small twigs on the surface of the water so they can be easily removed and discarded. Without a cover, much of the debris would settle to the bottom making it necessary to vacuum the pool every day. Another benefit of pool and solar covers involves preventing the loss of heat and water from evaporation. Solar covers use allow sunlight to warm the water without the need for the pool's heating system.