8 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Expensive Than it Really Is

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Having a high-end home can be challenging if your decorating budget is tight. Fortunately, there are ways–even on a budget–that can help you make your home look the part. Here are some simple solutions that can give your home a luxe look without breaking the bank.

1) Simplify the color palette.

Picking paint color is often a nightmare for homeowners. However, it is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home without too much effort. A good rule of thumb to follow: go bold and dramatic OR soft and understated–not both. Remember, you’re aiming for sophistication.

2) Layer in statement lighting.

Even if you feel as though the lighting in your home is adequate, incorporating something that has a bit more visual impact can really make a difference. From table lamps to chandeliers and everything in between, today’s popularity of unique lighting makes it easy to find something that’s elegant in looks yet humble in price. If you are an avid DIYer, seek out interesting fixtures at places like flea markets or secondhand stores, and then give them an update.

3) Hang window treatments.

Window treatments pull a whole design scheme together. Simply put–more often than not–a home without window treatments looks unfinished and well, cheap. Which is the complete opposite of what you’re going for, right? To keep your place looking classy, avoid thin window treatments. You may have to shop around, but there are plenty of options that will provide enough thickness. If you’d like to sink a bit more money into your window treatments, having some made from a fabric you really enjoy is the way to go. If draperies aren’t necessarily your style, opt for something like a fabric Roman shade or a woven shade made of bamboo.

4)  Pull up the carpet.

At one time, carpet in a home was in high demand. Today, however, most homeowners prefer hardwood. Real hardwood is certainly an investment, but a wise one. Laminate is a popular option these days–but only the best laminate on the market will last. If a top-of-the-line laminate isn’t in the budget, it may be better to stick with a plush carpet.  To accent your hardwood floors, be sure to lay down a beautiful area rug.

5) Hang oversized art.

The bigger the canvas or framed art, the more luxe the room in your home will feel. Large pieces of artwork create a gallery look, which comes across as expensive.

6) Use luxurious textiles.

Throws, accent pillows, and upholstery made of luxe textiles are an easy way to elevate the elegance in your home–especially in the living area. Silk, velvet, metallic linen and faux fur are all great options. When it comes to pillows, poly-fill pillows will do, but for a few dollars more, you can opt for a plush down alternative or feather-down insert. Both of which, will enhance comfort.

7) Accessorize.

It won’t take much to glam up your home if you carefully choose the right accessories. Sure, you can add in small accessories made of marble or crystal, but you may be able to do more by looking for accessories finished in glass or metallics–especially gold.

8) Cut the clutter.

A good cleaning and decluttering can easily enhance the look of your home’s interior–and, other than some cleaning products, it doesn’t cost you a thing! Keeping the space tidy, the windows shining, and the furniture and rugs stain-free will allow all the elements within your home really stand out.

7 Hot Decorating Trends of 2017

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With each new year comes new trends for the home. After scouring various design blogs, catalogs, Pinterest boards, and Instagram feeds, these are 5 of the hottest home decorating trends we found for the new year.

Green, In Any Shade

If you haven’t heard, Pantone announced that Greenery is the color of the year for 2017. The color green is lively and organic, often having a dramatic impact on people yearning to reconnect with simpler times. You can expect to see it–and a multitude of other green tones–pop up in rooms everywhere. From emerald to chartreuse, in big ways and small, green is going to be a popular pick this year.

Farmhouse Style

While Farmhouse style isn’t new, it has certainly been revived thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s show Fixer Upper. This country-chic style, with its shiplap, muted tones, and funky textures, is taking the nation by storm and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Texture

Texture plays an essential role in making the interior of a home feel more inviting. With design styles like Farmhouse mentioned above, we are starting to see the importance of textures becoming even more widely recognized.  Textures range from furniture to light fixtures to raw woods and textiles, such as rugs and pillows. This year, the more the better.

Muted Neutrals

Muted neutral colors will be just as popular as shades of green this year. Again, styles like Farmhouse are putting a fresh spin on those colors once considered boring or outdated. Keep your eyes peeled for whites, beiges, soft grays, smoky blues, and even blush pinks. Colors like these will have your interior looking spot on for the months ahead.

Hygge

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Nordic mindset of finding more meaningfulness and beauty in the most ordinary of things and/or moments in life. In English, this could be equated with the term, ‘coziness’. To get that cozy feeling the Danes adore in your own home, light some candles, pull out the throws, pour yourself a hot beverage, and hunker down until spring arrives.

Matte Appliances

If you haven’t made the switch to stainless steel appliances just yet, you’re in luck! This year, it’s all about matte finishes. Instead of being distracted by sheen, people are able to truly focus on the design of the room as well as the object itself. GE’s Slate collection has a brushed metal finish that’s actually fingerprint-resistant!

Subway Tiles

Subway tiles have made a big comeback. You’ve probably seen this tile style used quite a bit on HGTV’s Fixer Upper–but because of their versatility, they complement a variety of other design styles. While subway tiles are a classic choice, they don’t necessarily have to be used in a classic way. For example, one popular spin is to use darker grout with simple white. Not only does it make a more prominent focal point, dirt is less likely to show. Subway tiles are affordable and come in a variety of colors and finishes, making them a perfect choice for everyone–even those on a budget.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Welcome Spring Into Your Home

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Even if you’ve had a mild winter, there’s something about spring that gets us excited. From extra sunshine to greenery all in bud, spring has some much to offer. Here are some ways you can connect with nature and bring some of the freshness of the season into your home.

Give your living room a color makeover. Replace those winter hues with a lighter, spring-inspired palette. If you have heavy window treatments, take them down and hang up something like curtains in an airy fabric or a lightweight shade instead. Change out accent pillows, repaint the walls (or just a single one), and look for some new accessories in softer colors.

Grow a herb garden. A few potted herbs on a window sill (or counter) not only look great, they give you an opportunity to expand your culinary skills.

Roll up the rugs. If you have a lot of area rugs in your home, consider rolling a few of them up. After a long season of thick wool socks and warm, cushy rugs, a bare floor can be a treat for your feet.

Pretty up your porch or patio. Whether you love to entertain or not, prettying up your porch or patio is a great way to embrace spring. Pot some plants, recover seat cushions with new fabric, hang up a hammock, or simply add a mirror or some string lights–any little touches can make a big improvement.

Fill vases with fresh flowers or greenery. What says spring more than flowers? It doesn’t really matter if you pick up a small bouquet from the grocery store or handpick some from your very own garden–filling vases, decorative bottles, or even mason jars, are a great way to add pops of spring throughout your home. Fresh cut leaves with long stems are another option. Anything green will work, really–just do what makes you happy.

Open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Seriously, simply opening the windows after a long season of cold can do wonders for your mood. Not only will it air out your home, it will allow you to soak in the sounds and smells that this refreshing season brings.

 

How to Decorate with Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year

As a society, we’ve hit a peak (and our stride) in the “going green” movement–and, once again, Pantone has taken notice. For 2017, Pantone’s has picked Greenery as its color of the year–a color truly fitting to fresh starts and our desire to live more sustainably.

Pantone, the color gurus, calls this vibrant yellow-green hue “nature’s neutral”. Not only is it pretty, it’s easy to decorate with. Here are 5 ways how.

1. Front door

Need to kick that curb appeal into high gear? Greenery is the perfect color of it. A vivid pop of green on your front door will certainly give visitors (and those passing by) a jolt of energy. It’s a stunning color that can set the tone and make a statement from the get-go. If a front door makeover is too much, opt for some pretty Greenery-hued planters or seating.

2. Accent wall

It can be hard to change your entire color palette, especially if it involves painting multiple walls. So don’t. Just stick with bringing Greenery into your home one wall at a time. Greenery is vibrant just as much as it is soothing, so the bedroom is a great place to start. Cover a single wall in it for a retreat that’s both cheerful and relaxing.

3. Plants

Since Greenery gives a nod to nature, it should be no surprise that people will want to bring some of the outdoors in. English ivy, aloe, pothos, dieffenbachia, and spider plants are just a handful of the easiest indoor plants that won’t die on you. Indoor vines are also extremely trendy these days. Don’t have a green thumb? Opt for something artificial instead.

4. Fabric

New fabric is a wonderful way to add a splash of color and personality to your home. Simply reupholstering a piece of furniture, or sliding on some new pillow covers, can breathe new life into a space that’s in need of a little update. Feeling brave? Recover your entire sofa in a fresh shade of green. For something a little less permanent, opt for hanging new drapes or incorporating some new accent pillows. When it comes to fabric, it doesn’t really matter if you go big or so small–any new touch of fabric is a win for your home.

Our Wafer fabric is a great choice if you’re looking to add this hue into your home.

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5. Backsplash

Backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom can serve as an eye-catching focal point. Not only is it protective, it’s stylish. Perhaps your backsplash needs an update–or maybe you don’t have have any backsplash at all! Whatever the case, decorative tiles in a green hue is a great way to incorporate Greenery into your home. A little update like this can give the space a fresh new look. Go all in with exclusively green tiles or only add it here and there to create a pattern. However you choose to do it, it’ll look great.

 

Tips for Restoring Worn Out Furniture

Over time, furniture wears out–but that doesn’t always mean that we should get rid of it. Many times, it can be revitalized or even improved! While we don’t necessarily like the thought of having to deal with worn out pieces, it does give us an opportunity to customize those pieces to fit our style.

Even if you don’t have a dated piece in need of some TLC, this post may fuel your inspiration to take on a DIY piece for fun. There are several gems that can be found by scouring local thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales, or antique shops. Let’s talk a bit more about what you can do to restore any worn out furniture you may have.

Paint

A coat of paint can do wonders to worn out furniture. Something like a tired dresser or end table can look new again with a simple touch-up. Neutrals such as cream or white are always a safe bet, but colors such as gray, green, yellow, red, or blue, can make it look a bit more current. Be sure to opt for low- or zero-VOC paint for your project. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s a better option for your personal health.

Hardware

If the furniture itself is dated, but still in good shape, consider changing out the hardware. Vintage styles with a modern twist are in–and it couldn’t be easier to get the look than by replacing the old hardware with something updated. Want vintage and unique all the way around? Check secondhand stores or online Etsy shops for hardware that will make your furniture truly one-of-a-kind.

Fabric

Sometimes all a piece of furniture needs is some fresh fabric. Depending on the piece of furniture, you could actually do the work yourself. Sofas may be a bit more challenging, but stools, dining room chairs, and even some accent chairs are a lot more manageable. The point is to bring the furniture into the present, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your fabric choice.

 

8 Home Features Every Hostess (or Host) with the Mostest Needs

Shopping for a home can be exhausting–especially if you’re someone who loves to entertain. In order to fulfill all your entertaining duties means you have to have a home that can accommodate you. Here are 8 must-have features we think you should look for in a home. Aren’t in the market? No worries, some of these can be added if you’re up for a little remodel.

1. A welcoming entry. It’s easier to greet guests when there’s a spacious entryway to usher them into. Make sure there’s plenty of room to maneuver and a good amount of lighting. If possible, look for an entry area that has a covering over the door to keep visitors dry during inclement weather conditions.

2. A coat closet. While you can certainly take your guest’s coats to another room, a coat closet is much handier. If there’s a spacious entry but has no closet, simply hang some decorative hooks or purchase a coat tree.

3. An island in the kitchen. The kitchen is often called the “heart of the home” because that’s where family and/or guests typically hang out. If you have an island that includes room for some barstool seating, even better. Being able to pull up a chair while is a great way for guests to feel included while you prep.

4. An open floor plan. Open floor plans are extremely popular these days. With room to flow from space to space, guests feel more encouraged to get up and mingle during a party. Be sure not to block high-traffic areas with furniture.

5. A formal dining room. While many homeowners prefer an open floor plan for larger parties, there are others who still enjoy hosting the occasional cozy sit-down dinner. Look for a dining area big enough to fit the table size of your choosing, as well as your hutch or buffet. A fireplace in the dining room can be nice, but if you live in a warmer climate, it may be more work than necessary.

6. A main-level bathroom. Having a powder room (half bath) on the main level can be very convenient, for dinner guests, as well as out-of-town visitors that will be sleeping in your home. If possible, look for a half bath that isn’t directly off the dining room.

7. A finished basement and/or game room. Finished basements are so versatile. Many times, homeowners will turn the basement into the main family room or rec room, which often include large electronics, a pool table, and even a wet bar. If your home doesn’t have a basement, but you have an additional room, consider turning that into a fun entertaining area.

8. An outdoor space. For the last few years, outdoor has been the new indoor. If you’re fortunate enough to have a deck, porch, or patio, make the most of it. Depending on your climate, you could decorate the space the same as you would a room in the house, with comfortable furniture, pillows, and accents like mirrors and rugs. There are some many things you can do, thanks to weather-friendly fabrics and decor. Other things you can add to your outdoor space are landscaping and a fire pit.

3 Ways to Involve Your Children in the Home Decorating Process

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If given full creative freedom, there’s a good chance your children would decorate your family’s home differently than you would. This is why parents often take the lead in decorating. Sometimes, however, the children get left out altogether–keeping what they want, solely contained to their bedroom or playroom. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but when it comes to a family home, it’s much more enjoyable when everyone is involved in the decorating plans.

Working with your children can be such a rewarding experience–for you and for them. Not only does it provide an opportunity to teach, bond, and have fun, it makes them feel as though it’s their home, too.

You might think finding a balance that makes everyone happy will be too challenging–but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, I’ll talk about 3 ways you can get your children involved and I’ll also provide some tips on how to make the process a smooth one.

Ask for Their Input

Everyone has their own sense of style–even children! Simply asking them to convey their likes and dislikes is often a pretty big deal to them, so don’t hesitate to get their input. Getting their insight or ideas from the start can really stir up an excitement that will get them really engaged in the decorating project.

Tip: Have everyone in the family make a list of favorite things such as colors, patterns, textures, fabrics, floor coverings, and furniture styles. Cross-reference each list to find the commonalities (if there are any).

Take them Shopping for Supplies

Kids tend to enjoy visuals, so taking them shopping for decorating supplies can be extremely beneficial. Let them see wall colors, floor coverings, and furniture you’re considering. Seeing these items in person can be both fun and educational for them.

Tip: Smaller children can get bored or overwhelmed with an excess of choices to sort through. If you’re focusing on something like paint, go to the store without them, narrow down the selections, and then bring those paint samples home. The same process could be applied to fabric swatches or floor samples.

Let them Add Personal Touches

This is their home, too, so allowing your children to add personal touches throughout the home can really make them feel important. If your child loves to draw or paint, ask them to create something that can be framed and hung somewhere in the house. Not only will this give you free art, it will be a fun project for your children. If your child isn’t artsy, let them pick one item for each room you’re decorating.

Tip: Once you know what your color scheme will be, provide your kids with paints, markers, etc, in colors that will compliment the space.

These are just some of the ways you can get your children involved in the decorating process. With a little planning, your decorating process can be something enjoyable for everyone in the family.

5 Things I’ve Learned from Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines has quite a bit going for her these days–an attentive and loving husband, beautiful children, a gorgeous home, a multifaceted business;  a hit TV show–but it certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took faith and grit and patience to obtain the success that she has today–and that’s what makes me admire her even more. Here are 5 important lessons I’ve gleaned from her life story.

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1. Developing skills takes time.

I was kind of surprised to find out that Joanna had no design background to speak of (she actually has a Communications degree from Baylor University). Pursuing interior design didn’t even enter her mind until she was interning in New York. Chip was already flipping houses but Joanna just fell into the design side of it. After lots of experimenting, she was able to hone in on her design style and develop her technique.

2. Pursuing something new takes faith.

Responsibilities are certainly important–but sometimes, they keep us from pursuing a new interest, whether it be a hobby or a career. Of course, you shouldn’t shirk the priorities in your life, but don’t let them hold you back, either. If you have a passion and a talent for something like interior design, go for it! Even Joanna struggled with this. Did you know Magnolia Market got [temporarily] pushed aside until she could find the balance between family and career? Once she did, she never looked back.

3. If you look hard enough, you’ll see the potential.

Fixer Upper has made me realize that even the most dilapidated houses can be turned into dream homes. I don’t know how she and Chip look past those horrible first impressions, but they do. You need vision and imagination, for sure. If you have those two things, you’ll be able to find the diamond in the rough.

4. There can be a balance between work and family life.

Joanna is a woman of many talents and she is constantly busy with projects–yet she doesn’t seem to neglect her family. Not only does she get to work with her husband, she sometimes gets the kids involved on the show. You don’t always have to choose between the things you love. If you work hard enough, you can bridge those things together.

5. Working with your spouse can be fun!

I don’t work outside the home with my spouse, but we do enjoy collaborating with one another on projects for our home. If you’ve watched Fixer Upper, it’s easy to see that Chip and Joanna have a knack for feeding off each other’s strengths. They’re always having fun and their team effort produces amazing results.

Be sure to browse Joanna’s pillows and rugs as you begin your modern farmhouse transformation.

10 Ways to Master Hygge in Your Home

The Danish practice of hygge is quickly gaining popularity–and rightfully so. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gah) is the Danish concept of taking pleasure in the little things in life. Roughly translated as ‘coziness’ in English, hygge is a mindset of making the ordinary things and moments more meaningful, beautiful and special. Hygge isn’t something you can buy, but rather a way of life you have to embrace. Here are ways you can master hygge in your home.

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1. Turn up the heat. Nothing says cozy like the flicker a crackling fire. If you don’t have a fireplace in your home, don’t fret–you can easily create that warm and cozy vibe by lighting a variety of candles. If you’re eco-conscious, skip the paraffin based candles and opt for ones made from beeswax or organic soy instead.

2. Dim the lights. Overhead lights are often too bright and harsh. To create a homey feeling, dim the lights or turn them off altogether, relying only on lamps and candles.

3. Cut the clutter. Cozy does not necessarily equate clutter. In true hygge fashion, if it doesn’t bring you joy, clear it out.

4. Layer on the fuzzy. A big part of hygge is texture. Incorporating layers of soft items, such as fleece throws, fluffy pillows, shag rugs, and plush furniture will bring your hygge to a heightened level.

5. Fill your mugs regularly. What better way to embrace hygge than with a mug of piping hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate? Don’t bother putting the tea kettle away. Keep it handy so you can refill your mug easily.

6. Soak in the tub. During your home’s hygge transition, don’t forget about the bathroom. You can easily create a space to decompress by incorporating some candles, essential oils, bath products, and fluffy towels.

7. Get tech savvy. Did you know that technology can actually contribute to your home’s coziness? Being able to set up a playlist and wireless speakers for music, or navigating an app that can control lighting and temperature, can really make your time at home all the more relaxing.

8.  Be selective in your furnishings. Hygge is all about quality and meaningfulness, so be selective when you go out shopping. Instead of purchasing a lot of mass-produced items, decorate your home with furniture and accents that are meaningful to you. These can include items that were gifted, passed down, purchased on your travels or even an antique with a rich history.

9. Bring the outdoors in. If you don’t live in a rural area or have property, that’s okay. Even if you live in the city, you can bring a bit of nature inside. If greenery isn’t your thing, you can bring in natural materials, such as stone, leather, and wood.

10. Gather together. The best moments in life generally include family and friends. Filling your home regularly with those you love is just about as hygge as it can get.

Achieving Farmhouse Style: What Would Joanna Gaines Do?

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If you’re a fan of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, then it’s likely you have high hopes of achieving farmhouse style in your own home. And as incredible as it would be to have Chip and Joanna knock on the front door, the chances are slim. For now, just ask yourself: what would Joanna do?

She’d knock down some walls

When it comes to Joanna’s vision, knocking out a couple of walls is right up there with the shiplap. Big open spaces are an essential part of farmhouse design–and opening up a closed-in space is one of the first steps to getting the look.

She’d soften the color palette

It’s not really a farmhouse interior without a muted and neutral color palette. With the use of fresh and airy colors, Joanna is able to create a modern, elegant, and comfortable farmhouse feel.  White, cream, grey, taupe and soft blues are some basic colors that separate farmhouse design style from all the rest.

She’d brighten it up

Lighting, especially natural lighting, are an important part of farmhouse design. Large, unadorned windows and rustic light fixtures make the space appear bigger and welcoming. If you would like window treatments, Joanna would opt for Roman shades or flowing ceiling-to-floor drapes made of linen, burlap or cotton.

She’d blend the old with the new

Joanna has a knack for repurposing items that most of us would pitch to the curb. Blending the old with the new or the natural with the modern is just one of the many traits that make farmhouse design so unique. In many episodes, you’ll see Joanna breathe new life into some old antique finds, turning them into a special piece of decor. When it comes to decorating your home, think rustic, modern and reclaimed.

She’d make it personal

Personal touches are essential no matter what the design style may be. It’s what makes a house into a home. Joanna would add something like a personal quote to the wall, or even a large steel initial. When it comes to accessories, she’d bring in books or jars full of flowers. Whatever makes the space feel special to you is what you need to incorporate into it.

Be sure to browse Joanna’s gorgeous collection of rugs and pillows as you work to transform your home into farmhouse style.

 


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