Friday, September 29, 2017

A Quick Overview Of Different Home Designs!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

Imagine you could start over when it comes to choosing the interior design style of your home. Perhaps, you have just moved into a new home. Perhaps, you have just come into a handsome sum of money and can get rid of your current, random selection of furniture and décor.

What would you do? Where would you start? Would you favor the classic chairs of a top brand like Thomasville Furniture, a company that started building its reputation as a purveyor of fine, handcrafted furniture since 1904, or would you prefer something ultramodern with glass desks, coffee tables, console tables, and dining tables?

Modern or mid-century modern? Contemporary or minimalist? Scandinavian or Industrial? What will it be? When you think about it, it is a huge list. Some designs you may know already. Others, you may have heard about. And some may take you completely by surprise.

Here is an overview of stylistic trends to give you some idea of how to decide on a beautiful, warm and welcoming home.

1. The Sleek Look Of Modern, Contemporary, And Minimalist Design

There is often considerable confusion between these three. They are often taken to be synonymous. They are similar, but not the same.

The modern design is crisp, clean, and simple. Your color palette consists of a few basic colors. Your materials will be made of metal, mainly steel, and glass. Rather like a cabin room aboard the Starship Enterprise, things are sleek, uncluttered; with a minimal collection of accessories.

While the modern style insists on impeccable order, the contemporary style is more flexible, less strict, more fluid. Things flow in a contemporary style, with curved lines and more color choices.

While the contemporary style loosens up the modern style, the minimalist tightens it up. A minimalist style prefers neutral or faint colors. The furnishings are as streamlined but even simpler. All excess has been expunged. There is nothing flamboyant about it. Ironically, less is more, and the entire effect is calm and reassuring. It is all about functionality, and the aesthetics of ultra-clean lines.

2. The Nostalgic Feel Of Mid-century Modern And Industrial

Mid-Century modern is modern for another era, the 1950s, and the 1960s. Although it is functional and non-fussy from the perspective of earlier times, we would consider it more retro, evoking in us a feeling of nostalgia. Things are pared-down. For instance, we are talking about egg-shaped chairs and simple colors and fabrics.

Industrial evokes yet another type of nostalgia, stirring up feelings for the integrity of honest labor and the inspiration of warehouses and urban lofts. There is a sense that great things are about to begin because they are in an elemental, raw, and unfinished state. This sense is evoked with elements like ductwork, brick, and wood. Art is usually abstract, perhaps black-and-white photography, or a painting that adds a dash of color in an otherwise neutral sea of wood and metal color schemes. Furniture is sparse and functional. Metal light fixtures usually dangle from high ceilings framed by old timber.

3. The Old World Charm Of Scandinavian, French Country And Bohemian

Scandinavian design reflects the simple elegance of Nordic countries, where functional furniture usually consists of understated works of art. Colors pop out from the natural fiber throws, from bright plastic accessories, and from enameled aluminum and pressed-wood furniture. Floors consist of broad plank flooring. Everything is spacious. Lighting is natural. Accessories are kept to a minimum. The style pays homage to the charm of Nordic country life.

French Country design is about warm colors and earthly tones, like red and yellow and gold. Furnishings are worn and elemental, like wood furniture, stone floors, and brick walls. You get the impression of a snug farmhouse out in the French countryside. There is no shyness about excess here: ornate porcelain dishes might line a mantelpiece while heavy linen and bed coverings make bedrooms look particularly cozy.

The Bohemian style focuses less on creating a comfortable and well-settled atmosphere and more on expressing a wild, creative, and carefree streak. It is about spontaneous collections and miscellaneous tastes. You will find an abundance of rugs, plenty of inspired textiles, and a rich display of collectibles. While light fixtures and furniture are vintage, the house gives the gypsy-like impression of an unfettered existence.

In conclusion, before deciding what type of furniture to buy or what type of rooms to work on, you need to decipher the vocabulary of interior design style. You do not want the multicultural theme in the playroom clashing with the French Country design of your living room. Whatever your choice of style, stay consistent with it in every room of the house.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Traditional Rugs- What Is The Difference Between Persian And Oriental Rugs?

This post is provided by Megan Reece.

For many years rugs have been seen simply as an interior accessory, however things are changing and rugs are more frequently becoming the focal point of a room. A rug can add many attributes to your room, transform even the dullest of spaces with exciting and warm patterns. Of course choosing the right rug for your room is not the simplest task, but this post should shed some light on the more traditional rugs and how they can be used in your room.

When it comes to traditional rugs there are two main styles; Persian and Oriental. So what are the differences between the two and which is best for your room?

Persian Rugs

Probably one of the most well-known styles in the world of rugs, as well as one of the oldest too. It is thought that they date back at least 3500 years, although they could be even older than this- it is really difficult to determine!

An impressive amount of labor goes into creating a Persian rug which definitely shows in the level of artistic quality that shines through the finished product. For a truly authentic Persian rug you should always check if it has been hand woven, this will add to the overall effect that the rug has on your room.

So what floors do Persian rugs look best on? The obvious answer is any floor, but they particularly stand out on hardwood floors and give off that real vintage feel. Picture the scene: a gorgeous rustic wooden floor topped with not just a rug, but a piece of art in the form of a Persian rug to create a real classic and warm feel. In regards to your decor these rugs are best paired with neutral colors to really allow the rug to ‘pop’ out.

Oriental Rugs

These rugs are often confused with their Persian counterparts, however Persian rugs stemmed from countries that belonged to the ancient Persian empire while Oriental rugs stem from countries such as Azerbaijan, China, Tibet and Ottoman regions.

To the untrained eye, Persian and Oriental rugs may appear the same but there are some differences, such as the way the fabric is used, the motifs used and other minor details. For example, Oriental rugs of Azerbaijani regions often have frills at the shorter ends. Oriental rugs work really well as a room divider, for example if you need to break a larger room up then placing an Oriental rug in the middle of the room will inadvertently allow you to create two separate spaces. Irrespective of where and how you plan on displaying your rug, an Oriental design will definitely prove a sense of style as well of an air of coziness too.

Whilst choosing between a Persian or Oriental rug may seem intimidating the choice need not be too hard, there are no set rules on any specific kind of rug and it all boils down to the rug that appeals to you and fits the decor of the room that you wish to place it in, as well as the budget you have to work with! For more information why not head over to Rug Mountain and check out their range of Persian and Oriental rugs.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Four Challenges Of Moving To A New Place!

This post is provided by Katherine Smith.

Moving can be an exciting time, although that does not necessarily mean you will look forward to the process. Having to relocate to a new place can present a lot of challenges. It is common that a life change of this magnitude can create a lot of stress because of the things you need to do. You will want to be as prepared as possible beforehand to help alleviate your anxiety. Here are some of the issues that may accompany your move.

Challenge #1: Finding the right professionals

The key to making any move less stressful may rest in hiring professionals, like North American moving company, to assist you. Being able to rely on a team of professionals that can help you pack, move and unpack your boxes at your new location is important.

One thing you will need to do is shop around and look for the lowest price. Keep in mind, the amount of stuff you have to move will typically determine what you will have to pay to do so.

Challenge #2: Decluttering

It is important to take a long look at the number of things you have in your home. Do you need to pack and move all of these, or can you work to declutter your space as much as you can?

It is highly likely that you can have a garage sale or donate a lot of things you are not using any longer. Doing this will enable you to pack less and save you money on your next move by simply downsizing your home.

When it comes to your clothing, you may want to consider getting rid of anything you have not worn in the last year. This is proof that it is likely you may not wear it at all in the future either.

Challenge #3: Renting storage space

You may need to consider renting a self-storage unit until you get settled into a new home. This can allow you to keep a lot of your belongings in a safe and dry place as long as necessary.

The good news is the monthly cost for doing this is typically very affordable, and you can sign a contract that may only last a certain amount of time. You will want to thoroughly read any agreement before signing it because breaking it could mean you may have to pay penalties or late fees.

Challenge #4: Transporting pets

One of the greatest pleasures in life is having a furry friend that you love to spend time with each day. Regardless what type of pet you have, you will need to move it to your new location.

It can be a real challenge to transport your beloved pet, and you will want to be prepared as possible for this transition. One thing you may want to consider doing is getting some of your pet’s favorite toys together. This can be a great way to alleviate the anxiety of any animal you may have and is sure to help make a move easier for both of you.

Making a move may not be the easiest thing to do in life but could be something you may need to do at some point. The key to stressing less and getting through this task is to be as prepared as you possibly can. Being aware of some of the largest challenges beforehand could be the most efficient way for you to move with ease when necessary!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How To Repair A Broken Stair Tread!

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

Stairway repairs are not a common household chore, but occasionally, a broken tread needs to be dealt with. You can not leave tripping hazards on the stairs and risk someone getting hurt. A tread can be replaced by the average homeowner so this is something you can work on yourself without having to call in a contractor.

Now these instructions are based on the usual wooden steps. If you a more modern staircase, with glass or stainless steel balustrades and treads you will need to take a different approach. 

You should allow for an hour or two for this simple construction job, and it would not take any specialized equipment. 

Secure the area

Make sure that everyone in the house knows that you are working on the stairs, and that they need to stay out of the area. Set a chair or other light obstacle at the top and bottom, so that nobody accidentally forgets and comes running into you as you work. Double-check that you are not stranding someone on the upper floor either. 

Remove the tread

Once you are ready to get started, the first step is to pry off the damaged tread. Be careful not to actually break it apart if you can, because you will be using the tread as a template to measure the new piece of wood. 

Create a new tread

Use the old tread as a guide to make a new one, trying to get the same thickness and type of wood if possible. Whether you use actual stair tread stock or just a plain wooden piece is up to you. Most stairs have a rounded, or "bull-nose" edge to them, which would be easier to replicate if you are working with actual tread board. 

Measure the dimensions, and cut a new tread piece. Sand down so there are no rough edges and you are ready to install it. 

Attach the new piece

Use the old tread as a guide to see where the holes need to go, where the tread was nailed to the stringers (the foundation pieces that are on either side of the stair way). Drill small guide holes in the new piece to match. This will keep the new wood from splitting as you drive in the nails. 

Now you just need to slide the step into place, and nail it in securely. Your step is now repaired and should be fully functional. Depending on the look of your steps, you may need to do some cosmetic touching up as well. Filling and sanding nail holes, staining the wood and possibly adding any trim elements to match the rest of the staircase.

Because an uneven step can be a hazard on the stairs, this is not a repair project you should rush. Allow yourself plenty of time to make accurate measurements and keep a level handy as you attach the new step. 

So next time you step on that cracked or broken stair, do not just overlook it. Get it fixed and keep your stairway safe. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

5 Gorgeous Outdoor Living Spaces to Create!

This post is provided by Ryan Tyson.

Create a gorgeous outdoor space to add to your home's appeal and comfort. Outdoor spaces are convenient ways to extend your floor space for entertaining and relaxing without the cost of adding rooms to your home. Although every home is different, almost every home can have at least one type of outdoor space, be that a patio, a sunroom, or a veranda. Find out how to use what you already have, such as a shed or a porch, to create the outdoor space of your dreams.

A Spacious Patio

Patios are easier to install and maintain than decks, making them popular backyard outdoor spaces. A patio offers a paved surface where you can place your grill and your outdoor furniture. Add a pergola for shade and protection that does not take away from the outdoor air. Adorn your patio space with potted plants, a table and chairs for eating, and tiki torches. Try putting up white string lights to create a fairy-tale glow when the sun goes down.

A Sparkling Sunroom

An enclosed sunroom attached to your home's HVAC system is a house blessing. With it, you choose how much of the outdoors you want to experience. Open the windows and let the breezes in during the spring and fall. Shut the windows for a temperature-controlled environment during the summer and winter. Try decorating your sunroom with an ocean theme, using light colors such as blue, tan, and turquoise.

A Three-Season Room

Three-season rooms are sunrooms or enclosed porches that do not connect to your home's HVAC system and do not have insulation. These rooms allow you to feel the seasons as they pass; the only season this room can not be used is during the winter. A great three-season room often has roll shades, indoor and outdoor furniture, and a table for entertaining. Decorate the room with potted plants and artwork that can handle being outdoors, such as glass vases or sculptures.

An Enviable 'She-Shed'

If your husband gets a man cave, then show him up with an ultra-comfortable "she-shed." This outdoor space celebrates everything feminine inside an unattached shed. Adorn your she-shed with curtains, comfortable outdoor furniture complete with pillows, and plenty of battery-operated candles. If you have an electrical connection, consider a mini-fridge and a coffee maker for times when you invite your girlfriends over for an evening.

A Lengthy Veranda

Verandas are types of porches level with the ground and attached to the side of the house. Part of the roof extends over the veranda as shade. Open up your veranda space by using columns to hold up the roof instead of railings between the flooring and the grass. A few rocking chairs, some end tables, and a porch swing will make your veranda into a calm space for your family to gather during the evening.

Outdoor spaces are perfect for entertaining guests, celebrating holidays, and relaxing alone with a good book. Decor can be minimal, as long as the decorations follow a theme and make you happy. Enjoy the open air, nature's sounds, and the foliage of each season from your outdoor space.

How To Work Your Smart Technology Into Your Home's Decor!

This post is provided by Ryan Tyson.

Technology makes our lives easier every day, and by following a few design rules, they can even help liven up our homes! When you think of gadgets like smart thermostats, elegant and trendy (décor-wise) may not be the first qualities that come to mind. Thankfully, installing a new device on your wall or incorporating other technology into your home does not have to come at the expense of exquisite style. Follow these tips to incorporate smart technology into your home’s design.

Reorganize To Highlight Your New Technology

Some technology requires that you make space or reorganize a room. For example, if you get a device that projects information onto a wall, you will need to rearrange things so that the projection will work. You could settle for a blank wall, but there is another option: create a frame around the projection space using simple decorations such as frames and shelves. Arranging the room in this way will give it a unique, practical feeling and create the space needed for the new gadget.

Another option is to feature the technology as an art piece. Many items come in minimal colors and simple, fluid shapes. If you have a modern kitchen or living room, these devices can stand on their own as tasteful and interesting centerpieces.

Go Minimal With Hands-Free Technology

In some cases, the technology informs what design changes are needed to capitalize on your home’s current style. For example, with some hands-free technology (such as wireless sound systems), you can forgo ugly bundles of cables and wall mounts. If a desk or side table is in place to hide all those wires, you can upgrade some appliances to wireless and freely reorganize with no strings attached.

Look For Pieces That Complement Your Existing Space

Thankfully, many engineers know that form is as important as function when it comes to interior design. Self-watering flower pots, smart lights, and even smart shower heads come in an array of looks, meaning you can find one that goes with your existing style. Many smart baby monitors, for instance, are round and have fun, playful designs to fit in with other infant décor. When shopping for smart appliances, consider items that will go with what you already have in place.

Get Creative With Your Wall Space

Many smart technologies, like a security system or smart thermostat installation, will need to find a place on your walls. You can work with these items by incorporating them into a gallery of wall art, or you can add a shelf to house other pieces around the wall-hanging gadgets. A wall shelf can even be used to highlight the new technology while featuring other items, such as family photos, statues, book ends, and plants.

Add Some Design Pop With New Gadgets

Thanks to the modern era of technology, you do not have to comprise on the style you love for the sake of convenience. Follow these guidelines to work smart technology seamlessly into your home décor. Whether you’re installing a smart thermostat or redoing the bathroom fixtures, these tips will help you stay connected and chic.