Tag Archives: home

To-Dos: Your April Home Checklist

April is here and spring is in the air! With the changing weather it is time to think about what you can do around your home in April to keep it in sync with the seasons. We love this list from Houzz which gives you an extensive list of things to work on over this coming month. Enjoy!


After the grueling winter some regions experienced this winter, many folks are itching to get outdoors and feel a little sun this spring. No matter where you live, answer spring’s siren call with these cleaning, freshening and gardening projects to keep your home in top shape.

1. Inspect decks, fences and paths.

The driveway, back deck and fence can take a beating over the winter. Take a walking tour of your property — if you notice any damage, schedule repairs.

2. Clean the siding.

Spring clean your home’s exterior by washing it thoroughly. Using a regular hose with an attachment to dispense soapy water is the gentlest option; depending on the type of siding, you may be able to use a power washer for a deeper clean.

3. Declutter your living space.

The transition from one season to the next is a natural time to sort through and pare back belongings. This April focus on decluttering the communal living areas of your home — the living room, dining room and kitchen — so you can enjoy coming home to a simple, restful space.

4. Make a green commitment for Earth Day.

Living a bit more lightly on our planet doesn’t need to be difficult. For instance, the next time you need to shop for a piece of furniture, seek out a reclaimed piece or shop vintage. For an everyday change, get in the habit of using cloth napkins instead of paper at the dinner table, or keep a basket of rags (cut up old T-shirts, for instance) on hand for wiping up spills.

5. Refresh your entryway, inside and out.

Erase the last traces of winter road salt and slush with a good cleaning. Then refresh the area around your front door with new entry mats and a reorganized storage zone.

6. Enhance a view with flowers.

Speed along spring by strategically planting flowers where you can view them from inside. Consider potted flowers on a patio, window boxes on the porch or a flowering vine planted just outside the bedroom window.

7. Set up outdoor rooms.

Get those outdoor tables and chairs cleaned and set up in the backyard (or on the porch) where you can enjoy them. While you’re at it, consider stocking up on outdoor entertaining essentials, like unbreakable plates and versatile mason jars — having what you need on hand makes it easier to throw impromptu parties.

8. Plant a cut-flower garden for homegrown bouquets.

Consider setting aside a small, sunny area of your backyard or side yard to plant flowers for the express purpose of cutting. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to planning a cutting garden, but do try to plant flowers that will bloom at different points in the year, so you’ll always have something to cut.

9. Make a clean sweep of your cleaning tools.

Broom looking ragged? Ironing board seen better days? You just might feel a bit more inspired to spring clean if your tools are fresh and in good condition.

10. Tidy up outdoor supplies.

Hoses, rakes and spare plant pots tend to sprawl across the yard in spring. Take a morning to straighten things up and take stock of your supplies. If you do a lot of gardening, consider investing in a potting bench or toolshed to house your supplies.

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10 Pretty Ways to Refresh a Gray Palette

Gray can be a great color in a room…but only if it used the right way. Often it can end up looking really drab and need a bit of brightening up to bring it to glory. We love this article which provides some really great ideas to do just that. 


Gray has proved to be one of our collective favorite color picks for the home in recent years. We’ve been strutting our gray stuff for a few seasons now, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But with the spring sunshine, it’s definitely time to uplift our beloved palette of charcoal, pebble and dove with a few dashes of color and print. Be inspired by these 10 gray refreshes, guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

1. Bring in some sunshine.

Gray and yellow have long been a clever color combination for fashion and our homes. Adding this sunshine shade is a really simple way to pep up a palette of gray and white in the spring, reminding us of daffodils, primroses and sunny days to come. Choose any hue from the yellow spectrum — from citrus lemon to earthy mustard — for an instant interiors lift that’s sure to put a smile on your face.

2. Add a bolt of crimson.

It’s fair to say that gray can be a triumph in every single room, and it’s a winner in the kitchen. These Shaker-style rich gray units anchor the bottom half of this cooking space beautifully, letting the white upper level max out on light and airiness. What makes it, though, is the bold blast of crimson in the form of a curvaceous fridge-freezer. If that’s too much of a commitment, try a scarlet backsplash, an artwork or even just a kettle or tea towel.

3. Soften with pastels.

Pale, barely-there gray can be an ideal backdrop for an open-plan living zone where lots of different functions need to blend harmoniously into one space. This room is freshened, though, with a smattering of pretty pinks and lilacs on rugs, cushions and artworks; the pastel palette offers a taste of springtime sweetness.

4. Flip out on florals.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to lift a gray palette for spring is with a pile of floral-inspired cushions or throws to bring a taste of the blooming outside world into your interior. This foolproof design trick — which can be used in the bedroom, living room and dining area — allows you to let loose on wild colors and flamboyant prints, as the gray will temper the overall vibe.

5. Soften with vintage.

Gray might be associated with urban grit, but it can also conjure a certain sense of faded grandeur with very little effort. I love the earthy gray tone of this bathroom, which hits just the right vintage note with the classic pedestal basin, tongue and groove paneling and antique mirror. For spring, lighten up the look even further with some striped cotton hammam towels and a billowing sheer at the window.

6. Pick a patterned floor.

Break up blocks of gray with eye-catching patterns and prints. This leaf design nods to the emerging spring greenery outside and turns the “plain floors, patterned walls” concept on its head with great style and masses of confidence. It also shows how all things gray blend beautifully with a mix of weathered and silvery woods.

7. Be bluer.

If you want to be totally ahead of the game design wise, this is definitely the kitchen for you. Mixing two of the hottest colors on the interiors calendar this season, it teams pale gray cabinets with a rich indigo island. The flash of copper in the pendant lights adds warmth to the scheme, giving it a sunny mood.

8. Mix in metallics.

Using pewter and silver is the perfect way to harness the glamorous side of gray. The glint and gleam of these gray-toned metallics is spot-on for this bathroom, where mirrored mosaics, pearlized furniture and silvery accessories create a magical, Moroccan vibe that’s hard to beat. If you feel like warming the gray further, introduce brass fittings.

9. Brave a pattern clash.

Have fun with gray, as it’s such a flexible neutral color with which to decorate. This pebble- and charcoal-colored leaf wallpaper offers a soothing backdrop, while the geometric-print chair adds energizing color and pattern. The pattern mix is startling but works thanks to the leaf-green color against the leafy motif.

10. Accent with white.

Dark, saturated gray is my current color crush. It looks especially elegant, striking and modern when used from floor to ceiling on baseboards, walls and doors. For spring, highlight the moody tones with a few lighter pieces of furniture, sticking to a monochromatic theme for simplicity at its very best.

Have you glorified your gray palette lately? Please share your ideas and inspiration in the Comments below.

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10 Home Decor Improvements You Can Do in Just One Hour

We love homemade DIY projects that are quick and easy, but make a HUGE difference to your home. When we saw this article we loved their ideas; so simple and yet so inspired!


Changing the clocks has got us thinking about what a difference one hour makes. We all know we would benefit from an extra hour of sleep, maybe another hour to run errands, or an additional hour in our weekends, but how much of a difference can one hour make in your home? Well, you can be the judge of that, with these 1-hour home improvement DIY ideas from productive Hometalk bloggers!

1. Install a new faucet and sink

Upgrade a tired bathroom by switching out the hardware. Before calling in a costly professional, find out just how quick and easy this home improvement is to DIY — here’s how it’s done!


2. Fill those empty walls

Nothing says “design in progress” like stark, empty walls. The right wall decor can make any room look put together and well arranged, and this decorating hack is the shortcut to get it done.


3. Set up a succulent terrarium

Bring your home to life in less than an hour, with these easy DIY terrariums. Don’t worry — even if you’re a certified black thumb, you won’t have any trouble keeping succulents in your home.


4. Hang a rope-wrapped porch swing

Upgrade a hanging porch swing or hammock chair, by wrapping that clunky metal chain in thick rope. This quick update won’t only improve your decor, it will eliminate pinched fingers for good!


5. Earn the best owner award

All it takes is one hour to become your kitty’s favorite person, with a sweet cat window perch. It’s a fun home detail for you and a cozy lounging spot for your fur baby. Instructions here!


6. Add easy porch seating

Whether you’re looking for decor or function, this mini rustic bench can be built in 1 hour, and for just $8! It’s spring — why not add some fun detail to your outdoor spaces? Here’s how to do it.


7. Put up cafe curtains in any room

Finding the right window treatment can be a challenge, and putting it up can be a pain. Instead, try this 1 hour window treatment hack, to add a little character to your home without too much stress.


8. Make some stylish bathroom storage

Attach an old wooden crate to your bathroom wall, and voila! You’ve got the perfect charming perch for extra TP rolls. With all that extra time, add more details if you’ve got ’em, like a vintage license plate to close off your crate.


9. Build a blanket or towel ladder

You’ve been seeing these trendy storage ladders everywhere, but without a ladder of your own, you were out of luck. Here’s the 1 hour ladder DIY to help you get your linens in order!


10. Create a pretty jewelry organizer

Turn thrift store supplies into colorful storage, with this thrifty 1 hour upcycle for a double-duty DIY that holds your jewelry and looks fab doing it!

Article from http://huff.to/1b4PwJA

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10-minute Updates to Give Your Home a Freshen Up

We know what it’s like around the home – you envision a perfect home that is perfectly tidy and in order, but then life gets in the way and it looks much less than perfect! When we read this blog on Houzz about giving your home a freshen up, we had to share it with our readers. Check out their great tips on what you can do to make your place look GREAT! It just shows that even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Styling: 10-minute Updates to Give Your Home a Freshen Up

You spend time poring over the gorgeous interiors on Houzz, but then life gets in the way of you making your own place look perfect. Sound familiar? Lack of money, energy and time can mean you never quite get around to your spruce-up paint job, that new flooring gets put on hold, you’re still lounging on that unloved old sofa… I could go on. However, while you wait, there are small things you can do to cheer up your space, and that don’t require entire weekends spent constructing flat-packs or prowling the DIY store. Whether it’s a messy desk or a grubby hall, take 10 minutes out to subtly improve them and you’ll feel much better.

Reboot your coffee table

Much of the art of creating a stylish home is about stopping to consider what you already have and how best to display it. So don’t leave your most beautiful books tucked away on high shelves. The pile of arty hardbacks on a coffee table might feel something of a homes cliché, but it can actually be a rather effective way of adding personality to a living space.

Here, the owners have created a selection of mini book towers – on the main table, on a side table and, unusually, on the floor. The interesting ceramics, meanwhile, add another point of interest. This trick only takes minutes and can be changed whenever you fancy a new selection of books to peruse.

Try the power of three

Three objects arranged in a small cluster are instantly interpreted by the eye as a carefully edited group display, rather than a random concoction – be they on a mantelpiece or a table. These two ceramic containers teamed with a simple glass bottle vase are a case in point. Try objects of subtly different lengths or widths for maximum effect.

Tip Some blowsy white blooms in a glass vase is another instant update that works pretty much anywhere. Hit your local florist’s or get busy with your secateurs in the garden.


Space out your shelf display

It may be tempting to stuff your shelves full of books so you utilise every storage inch. But by reserving part of a shelf to display interesting objects, you not only create a sense of space in a room, you also turn what could be a workaday piece of furniture into an eclectic style statement.

This brilliant blue unit has been used for books as well as a variety of objects, including a teapot, retro radio and jewel-like wine glasses. Try restyling your shelves for a similar effect: the impact on a room can be astounding. These owners have also loosely colour-coded the spines of the books to further ‘tidy up’ the look.


Frame your kids’ drawings

If you have a wall that’s looking dull or bare and you have young children, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on limited editions. Kids’ drawings are colourful and characterful, and can look lovely displayed en masse, as this gallery wall proves.

Mix tacked-up sketches with a few of your children’s favourite compositions in simple white frames. You’ll cherish them for years to come.


Declutter your study

Is your home office a mess of torn envelopes, half-forgotten bills and old supermarket discount vouchers? Take a few minutes out to tidy, clean and polish your desk. If you don’t have a system, create one, assigning different drawers and in-trays for urgent and non-urgent paperwork. Gather stray pens together: recycle an old tin or use a favourite mug as a holder if nothing else is at hand.

Finally, if you have more time, you could copy the above trick and hang clipboards on a wall for a low-cost, utilitarian display, then use different clips for different to-do lists. The result: clearer desk, clearer mind.


Rearrange your cushions

Few things change the look of a living room so easily as a variety of interesting cushions. A tired sofa can be revived, a neglected armchair brought back into use or a plain bed given the hotel factor.

Take a look at the cushions you already own: could they be combined in a more interesting arrangement, as seen here? Experiment with them on different chairs in different rooms, to see whether they’d work better elsewhere.

If you don’t have cushions you love to hand, treat yourself to some new ones: many high street stores sell great designs for reasonable prices these days.


Display a bright tea towel

Tea towels have become the cushions of the kitchen. Easily changed around, a bright design can instantly lift a plain white room and, left on display, as here, cheer you up on gloomy mornings.

Build up a collection of pretty designs – there are gazillions around – so that when one is in the wash, you have another on standby. Hang one over the back of a cupboard door or oven handle to lift a run of boring units. And if you find one you really love, then why not frame it?


Style your coat peg

If your hallway coat pegs are a monstrous tangle of hats, scarves, coats and tatty cloth bags, take 10 minutes to strip back to basics. Pack away (or give away) anything that’s out of season or out of fashion, leaving just a few lovely things on display. The result will vastly improve the look of your hallway.

If you want to go further, treat yourself to a stylish coat hook, such as this design classic Eames Hang-it-all rack, or one of the many other quirky, cool designs around nowadays.


Mix up your ceramics

Lovely things are meant to be enjoyed – and can distract the eye from an otherwise unspectacular space. If you have a collection of colourful ceramics, don’t hide them away. Instead, create an eclectic display on an open shelf in a kitchen or on a sideboard. Here jars, cups and coffee sets have been lined up in groups. The colourful, interesting result successfully lifts the eye from the plain white units and tiles.


Lay your table

Nothing says ‘home’ like a dining table laid out for a meal. So clear away the toast crumbs and the pile of junk mail and use what you have to hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a plain white tablecloth, that rustic breadboard you use every day, your much-loved battered Italian coffee pot. Finish off with some flowers in a vase. Doesn’t that look better?


Clean your hall

Is your hallway a riot of muddy skirting boards and grubby fingermarks on walls and banisters? Hallways get more of a battering than nearly anywhere in the house, especially if you have bikes, buggies or children, and can often be neglected. However, a few minutes with some all-purpose cleaner, a duster and some serious elbow grease can make a difference.

Scrub grimy woodwork, mop every corner of the floor and take time to tackle oft-neglected areas, such as in-between balusters on the staircase. If you have spare paint, get a small brush and touch up chipped boards and dirty marks, too.

Blog via http://bit.ly/1E5ngNS
Images via Houzz
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Apartment Decor You Can Make During a Snowstorm

There are a lot of ways to keep cabin fever at bay during a snowstorm, and crafting up apartment decor is definitely one of them.


America (especially the East Coast), we hear you: It’s really cold out there. The snow continues to fall, the temperatures are plummeting and you’re longing for patios, warm weather and not having to bundle up so much. However, coming up with great ideas to keep your apartment looking nice and cozy will make getting snowed in not so bad after all!


Not only will these projects help pass the time on those dreary winter evenings, but you can stay productive and increase the value of your apartment, which is sure to make your landlord happy.


Here are some great apartment decor ideas for renters who love the do-it-yourself aesthetic:


Add Some Flair to Your Bookcases

Bookcases have a practical purpose, but there’s no reason why they don’t deserve a little extra attention along with your other furniture. For instance, you can add patterned paper along the shelf backings for some extra pizzazz or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try your hand at painting your bookcases! A little splash of color can go a long way in an otherwise “blah” room.


In fact, painting your furniture in general is an easy way to sprinkle some of your colorful personality into the apartment, especially if your landlord is particularly stringent about what you can and can’t paint.

Make your Own Knobs and Pulls

Not a huge fan of those kitchen cabinets? All it takes is a quick trip to the home goods store and a few crafting supplies, and you can make your very own cabinet knobs and pulls.

You can make these as flashy or muted as you like, but custom​-made knobs add a lot of character into a kitchen, which is a room that tends to get ignored when it comes to apartment decor.

Use Vintage Necklaces to Tie Back Your Curtains

Your landlord might not let you change out the curtains, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce them up a bit. Take a cue from Buzzfeed and find some inexpensive vintage rhinestone necklaces while you are out shopping. Then, use them to tie back your curtains. This adds a lot of sparkle to your living room or bedroom without going overboard.

Frame Pieces of Fabric

If you can’t shell out the big bucks for purchased art or aren’t much of a painter, head to your local fabric store and pick up a pattern that you like for a fraction of the price. Simply tie the fabric around a frame and hang it like you would a poster or painting. Your guests will never know you spent less than $20 for such beautiful wall decor.

Hang Clipboards Instead of Picture Frames

Mashable shared the brilliant idea of hanging clipboards instead of picture frames. These can serve a practical purpose, such as posting a grocery list or a list of to-dos in the kitchen. However, we love the thought of clipping some of your favorite photos to the clipboards in areas like your bedroom or living room. Not only do these add a wonderful personal touch to your apartment decor, but they are also quite easy on your wallet.

Ribbon Your Lampshades

Better Homes and Gardens came up with this quick and easy craft that adds a beautiful splash of color to those boring white and beige lampshades. Simply pick up ribbon(s) in whichever hue(s) you prefer at your local craft store.

Next, tie the ribbon around the top or bottom of the lampshade and secure the ends in a knot. You can add some hot glue if you really want to make sure the ribbon is secure.

Use Wine Corks to Create Wall Art

A lot of wine aficionados like to collect the corks for the bottles they’ve enjoyed. Why not use these corks to create one-of-a-kind wall art to showcase all of the varietals you’ve sipped on this winter?

All you need is an adhesive to fasten the corks to one another and some wall hooks. If you like, you can even use polyurethane for an extra glossy feel.

Make a Paintbrush Vase

Country Living blogger Camilla Fabbri came up with an adorable idea of using your old paintbrushes to create a stunning vase. All you need to do is grab a vase, wrap two rows of plain rubber bands around the vase.

Then, one by one, slide the paintbrushes inside of the bands until the paintbrushes completely surround the vase. This is going to look quite gorgeous on your kitchen table once spring rolls around and your vase is full of seasonal blooms!

Hide Your Wireless Router in an Old Hollowed-Out Book

Do you have an old hardback book that’s completely falling apart? Kill two birds with one stone by hollowing out the book so just the frame is left. Then, simply slide your router inside and rest other knick-knacks on top.

Let’s face it: Routers aren’t the prettiest of electronics, and this is a very clever idea to hide away this common eyesore.

There you have it! With a little creativity, a few hours and maybe a little elbow grease, you can create your very own handmade apartment decor with ease.


Blog from: http://huff.to/1BfLHLE


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Decorating: How to Refresh and Revive Your Home for the New Year

With Christmas done and dusted for another year, January is the perfect month to cast a fresh eye over every room in your home. Maybe parts of your abode are looking a little jaded, or perhaps some features would simply welcome an injection of bold color or pattern? Follow these easy updates and I guarantee your home will be filled with a renewed sense of verve and vigor you never knew it had!

Reboot your bedroom

Why not give your bedroom a very simple refresh with a brand new set of bed linen? After all, there’s nothing nicer than climbing into a bed made up with freshly laundered sheets. Stick to crisp whites and soft neutrals – and treat yourself to flowers by the bed for an uplifting hint of spring.



Revamp your cushions

If your sofa is a tiny bit tired, pep it up with new cushions – they’re such a simple way to lift a room without much outlay. Or consider tracking down fabric offcuts and simply re-cover your existing cushions for a cost-effective update. If you can stretch to it, a new rug will add fresh energy to your living room, especially one with a bright design like this.



Hang up your art

I’m guilty of this one. Whether it’s old photos that need framing or beautiful ceramic plaques that would look far better on the wall than shoved in a cupboard, many of us have images, prints and artwork that desperately need hanging up.

If you’re struggling to find the right place for each piece, you can’t go wrong if you simply group them en masse to create an ever-evolving art gallery that will freshen a space and draw the eye.

Read tips on how to choose and display art



Do a paint job

It’s such an easy fix, but so very effective. Channel your inner colour guru and paint one wall in that dramatic shade you’ve been hankering after. This deep grey-blue adds a new dimension to this room, or try a panel of a zingy bright or fresh pastel.

As you’re only covering one area, you can get away with a very small pot of paint, so it’s not only a quick and simple fix, it’s cost-effective, too.



Display your treasures

It’s one of my big interiors bugbears, and, hands up, I’m guilty of this one, too. If you have a stash of pretty china, vintage paperweights, old ornaments – or any collection of treasures you adore – hidden away behind cupboard doors, then dust them off and put them on display. They will add interest to the room and give you a lift every time you walk in.

These glass bell jars are a stylish way to show off your most prized possessions and the arrangement can be swapped and changed as you please.



Make a good first impression

The hall is the first and last room you see, so make sure yours is fresh, functional and free from clutter. Be inspired by this pared-back entrance and make sure you have plenty of hooks so everything can be lifted off the floor. This bench is attractive, but if you have a busy household, consider a design that includes storage. Finally, hang a big mirror – it will visually widen a narrow space and boost light levels in one.



Beautify your bathroom

If you’ve gradually let the shampoo bottles and tubs of body cream take over your bathroom surfaces, stashing away all of your lotions and potions will instantly freshen up the space.

For a quick fix, track down a vintage-style cupboard like this one and use it to stack towels and keep products organised but on display. Try second-hand shops to find a piece that can be painted and repurposed to add a splash of character to your daily ablutions.



Stretch to a new splashback

OK, it’s a slightly bigger project than adding a few cushions, but fitting a new splashback will pep up your kitchen no end. A strip of bold colour will lift a neutral scheme, or try a slab of a luxurious material, such as marble, for a kitchen that will feel like new.

See more splashbacks that will transform your kitchen



Clean up your act

Finally, once all the Christmas gifts have found a new home and the last decoration has been stashed away for another year, why not give the house a deep clean? It’s a sure-fire way to add fresh sparkle to your home. After all the festive cooking and entertaining that’s gone on, it’s a great idea to get scrubbing so you can start 2015 with a fresh slate.