Thursday, February 26, 2015

5 Tips For Designing the Perfect Space!

Sometimes, designing a space can be overwhelming especially if you do not know where or how to start. Here are a few tips for achieving the perfect space in your home! 

Mix Different Shapes

Play with the lines and shapes in your space. For example, a round rug in a square room will expand the space and make it feel larger. You can use a round piece of furniture to achieve a similar effect. 

This small play on shapes makes it more difficult for your brain to define a specific boarder on the space, causing you to perceive it to be larger than it actually is. 

Leave Space Above Or Below Key Elements

Floor to ceiling shelves, columns and partitions are certainly functional and can provide a design aesthetic; however, I find it much more interesting to mix the space up by raising a bookcase off the floor, using a different material for the top of a fireplace, or using half-height walls if a partition is necessary. 

A similar idea applies when using wainscoting or paneling. The contrasting texture and color provides more visual interest and makes the space more appealing.

Try Every-Day Items for Decor

Do not feel like you need to spend a lot of money on art, accessories and other decor. Everyday items make great alternatives. Nicely-framed children's art makes a great conversation starter. If you are crafty, try your hand at making wall art out of an old map. Even fabric, stapled to a board with some batting or set in a mat within a frame can give contrast and a pop of color. 

Use Patterns and Palettes to Set the Tone

Want a fun family space? Use strong patters and bright colors. Need a soothing master suite? Use a soft color palette with complementary colors. Remember, contrast and irregular shapes provide stimulation while parallel lines and monotone colors are more soothing. Choose a color palette to match the desired tone of the space.

Do Not Forget Practical Elements

Design is all about creating a space that makes people want to be in it. Our minds often lean towards the look of the space, but it needs to be practical as well. This practicality can be as simple as comfortable furniture. It can also be more abstract such as providing privacy and security when needed. 

If you do not know a contractor in the area, see if there is a national chain has a local dealer. Usually, their website will specify the areas in which they operate. For example, if you have security concerns in your design plan, call a national brand that you trust. Then, localize the provider accordingly, using ADT in Philadelphia or whatever city you happen to be in. You do not need to stress over finding the perfect contractor. ADT is a good company and they have someone local. You can do this with practically any service.

Remember, design is about creating that perfect space for yourself! Do not be afraid to think outside of the box to create a space that you will love.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Guest post- Simple Tips For Creating The Minimalist Look In Your Home!

When it comes to decorating your house, it is sometimes a case of less is more. It is easy to assume that you need to decorate your home extensively in order to make it perfect, but that is not the case at all. At the moment home style trends are leaning towards minimalistic looks. This means simple rooms, basic colors, no clutter, simple shelf and storage designs and plenty of space. The great thing about this trend is that it is easy to create and often affordable to arrange, which is great news for people wanting to decorate their  home on a budget. So, if you want to turn your home into a minimalistic haven, what should you be doing?

One Step At A Time

For starters it is important to not rush things. Not only will you find it easier to manage your budget if you take things slowly, but it gives you more time to think about the type of rooms you would like to create. Taking it a room at a time is a great way of achieving this. You also get the added benefit that your whole home is not  thrown into chaos when it comes to decorating, but the rest of your home is kept decorating chaos free.

Even once you have decided on the room you are going to start with, take it a step at a time. Start by choosing a piece or two of furniture that you would like in the room. You can then start to style and decorate the rest of the room to match this. By choosing your furniture first you get a solid starting point and this can make creating the room of your dreams a much simpler process.

Declutter Rooms First

Before you can style any more in a minimalistic way, you need to create the right foundations. For example, there is little point trying to create a minimal style room if it is full of clutter and items that you do not need. Before you even think about restyling the room you should make sure you have a good clear out. Have a think about items that you do not need anymore and what items you can get rid of. Also look at better storage options so that what items you do have are at least stored safely out of the way.

Getting Ready For Decorating

When you are ready to start creating the minimalist look in a room you need to start getting the room ready. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the room is as empty as possible. This is made much easier by doing one room at a time, because you have the rest of  the house to store items in temporarily.

Style And Designs

You need to give some thought to the style of the room you are decorating and what color schemes you are going to choose. You are going to want to make sure that you have simple colors and decorations to go with this.

However, one important factor to take into account is that simple does not mean boring. You can easily go for simple artwork designs that can decorate the walls. This helps to brighten up a room a little but helps  you to keep up with the minimalistic style of the room. Solid wall colors are recommended, so breaking this up with art work can help to finish a room perfectly.  Also go for items such as glass shelf brackets and interesting furniture pieces, to help the room look and feel unique.

The Finishing Touches

When you are completing a simple room, you need to make sure that the finishing touches complete this in matching with the rest of your room. Many people choose blinds over curtains as they have a much simpler look about them. There are so many different types of blinds out there, so whatever type of window dressing you are looking for there should be something to match.

Pops Of Color

Just because your room is simple that does not mean you can not have a splash of color. The minimalist look definitely allows for some pops of color in the right place. For example, you could have some bright coloured cushions or a patterned rug. These are great ways to add colour without changing the look and feel of the room.

Although what you will end up with is a simple and minimalistic room, it is not always simple to create. You need to forward plan and make sure you have some design ideas in mind. That way when it comes to making your room perfect, you have a plan in place and can easily make it happen. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

My blog turns four!

Today, my blog turns four and I couldn't be more thrilled! To be perfectly honest, I started this blog in 2011 with the intention to use it as a platform to start an interior design business down the road but this blog has given me much more opportunities that I have ever dreamed of and I couldn't be more psyched!

Through this blog, I feel emotionally more fulfilled because I can talk about design endlessly and connect with like-minded people. Along the way, I also made a few good friends through blogging and for that, I feel very grateful. 

I have been design obsessed for many, many years and prior to starting this blog, I felt like I was wasting my life away because I was not doing anything to achieve my dreams of becoming an interior decorator. During those years, I often felt trapped and always had horrible nightmares which included getting stuck in a confined space and couldn't get out of the situation. In those days, I wasn't happy with my life and as a result, I suffered from depression. 

Since starting this blog, my life starts to look brighter again and seems more purposeful. It made me felt like I am heading in the right direction in regards of my career and life goals. I still have a long way to go to achieve my dreams but I feel content at this point in life.

Without you, my wonderful readers, this blog wouldn't be possible so I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you who loyally follow, read my blog and take a moment to leave an encouraging comment from time to time. I cannot promise to deliver the freshest design content in blogland everyday but I will promise you that every blog post you see is the best material that I am able to find at the moment. I hope you will continue to stay with me.

Thank you my fabulous readers, you are simply the best!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Top Tips For Preventing Bathroom Mold!

Unsightly and unhealthy, bathroom mold can cause serious problems for your household. Mold thrives in any place where there is moisture, meaning that the bathroom in particular can be a breeding ground for mildew. The best way to avoid this issue in your bathroom is to follow these simple tips to prevent mold and mildew from growing there.

1. Find the cause

Humidity is often the main trigger for mold growth, which is above all a major concern in the bathroom. Before tackling the problem, it is important to determine which area of the bathroom is most affected. Are your tiles and grout suffering from mold? Or perhaps your shower curtain or bathroom rug attracts mildew? Discovering where the mold is developing or which areas are the most humid is the crucial first step for resolving the problem.

 2. Ensure the bathroom is well ventilated

Ventilation is key for preventing bathroom mold, as this will eliminate moisture from all affected areas of your room. Using an exhaust fan or opening a window during and after taking a shower or a bath is the easiest way of keeping your bathroom mold-free, since these methods will circulate the air and rapidly reduce the level of moisture in the atmosphere. Try to keep windows and doors open whilst cleaning your bathroom to lower the risk of mold and to guarantee freshness.

3. Choose the right cleaning products

When eradicating and preventing bathroom mold, choosing the right cleaning products is essential. Mold-killing products such as bleach, detergent or vinegar are perfect for the task. For a more natural approach, why not try mixing tea tree oil with water? This solution serves as a great all-purpose organic cleaner.

4. Keep the bathroom fresh

Mold can grow in any damp places in the bathroom, so it is crucial to abolish any unnecessary moisture. Clean and replace shower curtains regularly and keep your bathroom products organized, as these can hide and even encourage mold growth. To avoid mold-friendly clutter in the bathroom, unclog your shower drain regularly and ensure that your towels are hung up to dry as quickly as possible. Also, make sure to clean tile grout vigorously or seal the grout to render it waterproof. Do not forget to dry off any excess water and wash any bathroom rugs frequently to discourage mold growth.

5. Add the finishing touches to prevent bathroom mold

Once cleaning and airing the bathroom are complete, it is time to add some final touches to ensure that bathroom mold is banished for good. Why not add a bathroom-friendly plant to enhance the fresh air, such as aloe vera, bamboo or snake plants? Ensure also that your bathroom receives plenty of light by keeping the windows clear and open as much as possible. 

Claire Ruth from Hudson Reed was our guest author today for this article.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Product review- The Rug Retailer sheepskin rug!

Recently, I was offered a rug from The Rug Retailer, a UK premier retailer offering a wide range of rugs from modern to traditional styles, subtle to funky designs, designer to customizable hides and leather rugs.

Some of the beautiful rugs I found at their wonderful website!

Aren't they fabulous? Which one is your favorite? For today's review, I decided to pick the Cream Sheepskin Rug for it versatility and good looks!

The double 70x180cm sheepskin rug I selected.


See how plush my rug is!

I am absolutely in love with my new gorgeous cream sheepskin rug! Made from the finest long wool skins from Australia, the quality is top notch. I have many similar rugs ( a few sheepskin rugs, alpaca rug, etc) but this rug feels the softest and fluffiest! The best thing about this sheepskin rug is it is fully machine washable on a low heat setting! I have owned this beautiful rug for almost three weeks and didn't see any shedding so far. Super plush and soft, I can't stop running my feet on this beautiful rug. Highly recommended!

Disclosure: I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Don't forget to visit The Rug Retailer to check out more fabulous rugs!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to double the value of your home for very little money!

If you have had a disappointing valuation of your home the surveyor will no doubt have pointed out a few ways of boosting the price. And although some might cost a few thousand pounds such as acquiring more land to create a bigger garden or fitting an extension, there are other simple changes which might not cost the earth but can ramp up the value of a home very swiftly.

Some are obvious. Think about it from a buyer’s point of view – would you want to buy a house where wallpaper is peeling and mould is clinging to the ceilings? You may need to completely redecorate some older-style rooms, and cover older, grubbier, pieces of furniture. It is about giving the correct impression, even in items that you are taking with you should you move.

Firstly, all mini DIY projects need to be tackled. That means squeaking doors, poorly tiled and plumbed bathrooms, mould, cracked windows and other issues that you keep putting off need to be tackled now. You will need to invest manpower and time, but not too many pennies to deal with cosmetic issues. For example, researchers at LSE found that doubling a house’s broadband speed could instantly add 3% to its value, as reported by USwitch.

Then the structural problems need to be dealt with, and swiftly. A sagging roof, dry rot, a collapsed floor and other issues might not be cheap, but you simply would not sell the house if these defects are present. Even creeping cracks in the wall which do not look like much need to be investigated.

If your windows are not retaining heat, or the frames are plagued with revolting peeling paint, then installing double glazing might add more than double their cost to the house value; in other words, a £15,000 set of windows might add £40-50,000 to the home. Make sure they are sympathetic to the style of the home.

Replacing an old kitchen can also work wonders for boosting the image of the home. Potential buyers will notice damaged drawers, scratched surfaces, missing lights and other neglect. Perhaps even worse is if the kitchen does not suit the décor of the rest of the house, in age, colour or style. Totally replacing the kitchen for a couple of thousand pounds might add £5-10,000 to the overall value. Make sure everything is clean and smells good.

Here is another way of potentially boosting the value of the house in a buyer’s eyes; removing junk. Cluttered rooms full of ugly ornaments and old, unwanted items should be taken to the tip immediately – that also includes the shed and garage as well. Can you rearrange the sitting room, kitchen or garden to boost space allowance? Is there any way of securing off-road parking at the front of the property?

Finally, a few additions that one could make that will pay for themselves and more: a conservatory (check regulations), central heating, a shower, underfloor heating from a company such as the Underfloor Heating Store, and an outside storage unit.

If you have to pay £10,000 to put £50,000-£100,000 on the value of the home, then it is surely an outlay worth pursuing. And of course if money is of little concern then these measures described in the Telegraph such as loft conversions and adding a garden room will immediately transform the asking price. If not, these tips, added together, will cost little but promise much when it comes to selling.