Tag Archives: ideas

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.

Post Tagged with , , , , ,

15 Fun Features for Family Rooms

We love spending time with our families, so this article from Houzz about fun features for family rooms really caught our eye! We love their original ideas and hope you will too. 


The family room is where you go to relax, watch movies, play games and hang out with friends — which makes it a great place in which to loosen up, decorating-wise. Create a fun, welcoming atmosphere in your family room by incorporating one or more of these 15 playful features, from photo murals to game tables.

1. Custom photo mural.

These creative homeowners had The Wall Sticker Company turn a photograph of their children into removable fabric wallpaper with an adhesive backing. Create a feature wall in your own family room using your favorite photo to personalize the space — and start conversations!

2. Projection paint.

If your family loves movie night, why not go with a projector instead of a giant TV? A blank wall here is coated with flat white projection paint, and a projector is built into the wall opposite to create a mini screening area. If you don’t want a built-in projector, you can buy a small projector that works with your smartphone or another device.

3. Family travel map mural.

A world map painted on the wall becomes an interactive feature when you use it to mark the places you have been. Use a coat of magnetic paint under the mural to create a magnetic surface, or have a large corkboard painted so you can pin flags directly on the map.

4. Fun accent furniture.

Since the family room is often tucked away from the other, more formal spaces, it is a good place for getting a little more playful with furniture and decor. Try your hand at making DIY dice tables like the ones shown here (just paint dots on a plain cube), or scoop up a funky vintage piece at the flea market.

5. Games table.

If your crew loves to play cards and board games, consider adding a game table to your family room. A slender table with stools can be pushed against the wall when not in use, with the stools tucked underneath.

6. Bright rug.

Bring neutral furniture and paint colors to life with a cheerful rug in bright, bold hues. Bonus: Bold patterns tend to hide spills and stains better than most solid-hued rugs. And if you don’t want to worry about spills at all, choose an indoor-outdoor rug that can be wiped clean with ease.

7. Chalkboard wall.

Kids love chalkboard walls, it’s true … but they are not the only ones! Use yours to record inspiring quotes, snippets of poems and song lyrics, or draw doodles and write lists. If you’re concerned about dust, use chalk pens; if you’re concerned about the room’s looking too dark, use one of the new chalk paints that can be tinted in any hue.

8. Family photo wall.

Create a contemporary family photo wall by lining up all of your frames within the boundaries of an imaginary rectangle drawn on the wall. Position simple, matching white frames close together, for a fresh look that seems hard but is surprisingly easy to achieve. For a gallery wall like this, it can be easier to choose the frames first (lay them on the floor of the store to be sure you’re picking the right sizes and number) and the photos later.

9. Window seat with storage.

If your family room is small, don’t let the space beneath a window go to waste — turn it into comfy seating and storage in one with a window seat. A thick cushion and throw pillows make it comfortable, and basket storage below is great for holding books and board games.

10. Revamped heirlooms.

Update a family-favorite piece that has seen better days by having it reupholstered in a fresh, colorful fabric you love, and top it with coordinating pillows. The pairing of contemporary fabric with a traditional frame sets a playful mood that’s perfect for a heavily trafficked family room.

11. Slide-out puzzle desk.

You could use a slide-out desk like this to hold a laptop, but where’s the fun in that? If you have puzzle fans in your house, they will appreciate this feature — work on a puzzle when you want, and slide it away for later without wrecking it.

12. Barn-door TV cover.

Wish you could take the emphasis away from the big black box when you’re not using it? Hop on a new iteration of the barn-door bandwagon and rig up a set to slide over your flat-screen. The doors will look great open or closed.

13. House-rules wall decal.

A fun wall decal or print with a message can be a heartfelt reminder of the things your family values most. Search for “house rules” online — the Houzz Shop is a good place to start your search — and lots of options should pop up, both ready made and custom.

14. Kids’ play area.

If you have young children in the house, a train or Lego table and a few low pouf seats can provide wee ones with screen-free entertainment. Keep a set of storage bins on shelves nearby stocked with toys kids can help themselves to.

15. Lively artwork.

Adding a single piece of original artwork is always a great way to start (or complete) a room design, and can take a family room from basic to stunning in the time it takes you to hang a picture. To highlight a painting, keep other wall art to a minimum, and paint the walls white or another neutral hue to provide a backdrop for the art.

Post Tagged with , , ,

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


Post Tagged with , , , ,

Kitchen Ideas: 10 Easy Ways to Keep a Small Kitchen Looking Stylish

When blessed with a small kitchen, we tend to spend so much time, energy and money trying to create more space and investing in storage solutions that we sometimes forget to add our own personality to it. Follow any of the 10 tips listed here and make your kitchen sing with style!


Create a wow factor

One of the advantages of having a small kitchen is that you can probably splurge a little more on some materials, as you will need less of them. To create a wow factor, it’s best focusing on the largest surfaces of your kitchen, such as the splashback or worktops. Whether you opt for gold-looking tiles or super veiny calacatta marble, dare to be bold and make a statement you will love.


If you are renting or your resources are limited, you can also consider creating a striking splashback with tile decals. These removable stickers come in a variety of patterns and colours and can make a powerful, temporary statement in your small kitchen.


Bring in flowers and plants

This has to be the quickest improvement you can make to any room. Whether they are beautifully scented flowers, striking foliage or fresh herbs that can move from the windowsill to your cooking pot, greenery immediately adds personality, interest and colour, and makes the space feel loved and lived-in.



If you don’t have any places for plants on your worktop, look upwards. You can use an open shelf or the top of a cabinet to house a plant with cascading branches, such as a Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum) or strings of bananas (Senecio radicans).


Use large chopping boards

A large chopping board can extend your preparation zone, as it can be used over the sink or on the hob (when it’s not in use, of course) to free up some worktop space. It can also hide a significant portion of your worktop, which can be very handy if the latter is not exactly good looking. Don’t limit yourself to wooden chopping boards – offcuts of engineered stone or granite can also do wonders without breaking the bank.

Display your funky appliances

With limited storage, you might not be able to store all of your appliances out of sight. Even if you limit your number of appliances and keep the bare minimum, it is likely you will still end up with a kettle and toaster. If you have colourful, fun or simply beautiful appliances, leaving them on your worktop will solve the storage issue, and will double up as a decorative statement.


Obviously, appliances shouldn’t be chosen for their looks alone – efficiency, durability, and other more technical aspects must be taken into consideration. However, many good-looking and well-performing options are available today, and cater for a variety of budgets, so it pays to investigate and shop around.


Add a rug

This idea is always a little bit controversial. ‘A rug in the kitchen? It will get filthy,’ you might think… ‘What if we trip on it? It could be a hazard,’ you might add… While this tip certainly doesn’t work for everyone, it can create a wonderful and practical space for others.


When selecting your rug, choose an outdoor rug made of recycled plastic that can be wiped clean (even hosed down!). Alternatively, go for a flatweave that can easily be chucked in the washing machine. In both cases, use anti-slip pads under your rug to minimise the risk of any unwanted underfoot action.


Hang art

When your flat surfaces are all occupied, go vertical! Use the walls to personalise your small kitchen by hanging art. Vintage posters or maps, funky prints, photos of people or places you love… it doesn’t even have to be kitchen-related. Choose your artworks for what they mean to you. You might want to steer clear of canvas, though, as it will quickly deteriorate from the likes of kitchen grease, smoke and steam.

Replace knobs and handles

So your kitchen is the size of a dollhouse and your budget is tight? Replacing hardware is still an option for you! It is not limited to the above profile, though – any kitchen, big or small, could benefit from such a change. For a large choice of affordable models, check websites such as Etsy and eBay. DIY blogs are also great resources for making trendy knobs and handles out of ceramic or leather, giving you the opportunity to practise your creative talents.

Show off your tea towels

Another super-cheap idea that works well in tiny spaces is to display your tea towels. They come in so many patterns, colours and styles, it’s literally impossible not to find one that would work for your kitchen. Once you’ve found a few designs you are happy with, look for napkins and oven gloves that are in line with your tea towels. It may sound a little bit funny, but it’s important to stay consistent with your kitchen linen choice, especially because tea towels, oven gloves and napkins are likely to share the same space at the same time.

Open up your storage

While a clutter-free, well-balanced, perfectly styled open-shelving arrangement can be very difficult to create (and sustain), such storage is a wonderful option for small kitchens. First of all, it opens up the space, making it larger and airier at the same time. It also allows you to take the microwave or other appliances off the worktop, so you have a spot to store and display your cookbooks, favourite china or other kitchenalia that are too pretty to be hidden behind closed doors.

Consider lighting

Last but not least, an essential element of a successful kitchen – big or small – is lighting. Under cabinets, above the hob, over the island or the sink, there are so many areas that require good lighting in a kitchen. Use a combination that works for you.

When in doubt, or on a limited budget, replace the overhead ceiling lighting with a couple of well-placed dimmable downlights. In a small kitchen, these should give you enough light to perform all your preparation and cooking without risking your fingers, while having the option to be dimmed to a much softer light, which is ideal for open-plan areas.

Blog originally from Houzz.com at http://bit.ly/1yfRLUv 

Post Tagged with , , , ,