When your home decor needs an upgrade, but expensive, ready-made items aren’t in your budget, DIY projects can be an easy and affordable solution for revitalizing rooms in your home. One simple way to enhance the character of a room is with lighted elements, such as these Glitter and Light Canvas or Frosted Ball Jar with Doily projects.
Add Light with DIY Decor
For a charming, subtle accent, this frosted jar and doily not only adds quaint flair – the jar also provides a soft glow of light. It’s perfect nestled on a shelf or sitting atop a dresser with similarly styled items.
Find more creative ideas to bring a touch of light to your home decor at joann.com.
Glitter and Lights Canvas
Supplies and Tools:
Frosted Ball Jar with Doily
Supplies and Tools:
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
(BPT) - During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeowners around the country opting to downsize to tiny homes, condominiums, apartments or just smaller single-family homes.
Deciding to scale down is driven by many reasons — the quest for less maintenance, parents recently becoming empty nesters, an increase in the cost of living or simply looking to live a greener lifestyle. However, having less square footage doesn’t need to mean skimping on style or function.
If you are planning on downsizing, here are four tips for thoughtful small space home design.
1. Think durable material that can handle double duty.
As people continue to downsize, it is important to maximize space by having rooms work double duty. If your home isn’t large enough to accommodate an eating area and an office, have your kitchen island work as both.
To keep up with daily wear, such as sliding pots and pans, plates, spills and more, look to a high performance countertop such as Neolith. This material is scratch, heat and stain-resistant. It’s also non-porous and hygienic, so there’s no need to worry about cross-contamination on office papers by day and food by night.
2. Less is more.
According to popular belief, it is better to fill a space with several small pieces of furniture. However, design savvy professionals and homeowners are turning this idea on its head by using fewer, yet larger pieces to furnish living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. By doing so, this creates an optical illusion of space and adds a designer’s touch.
3. Make a statement.
When designing a small space like a bathroom, thoughtfully selected wall colors can make a huge difference. To really make a statement, think beyond paint with unexpected textures, designs and materials such as Neolith sintered stone in the La Boheme design. This decor is an accurate interpretation of Lebanese-inspired cedar that adds visual interest and is much easier to maintain than its natural counterpart.
Finish off the look with oversized art, large mirrors to bounce light around the room, a floating sink and toilet, and open shower to pack a punch in a small space.
4. Bring only what you love.
It may seem obvious, but when moving or scaling back on your next home, be sure to take an inventory of everything you own, and only bring items that make you happy. Without the extra storage space larger homes afford, downsizing is a great opportunity to really ask yourself, “Do I love this and do I need it?” When you have only the possessions you love surrounding you in your new space, it will automatically feel bigger.
To start your small space project, experiment with different styles and colors through online design tools, like the visualizer on www.neolith.com. While smaller rooms demand creative thinking and individuality, quality design is well within reach.
Veins of color and unique patterns give marble tile a truly stunning appearance. However, maintaining that elegance may seem anything but effortless. It may seem impractical to care for a marble floor, but once you understand the basics, it’s actually quite simple.
How to Maintain Marble Floors
(Family Features) Veins of color and unique patterns give marble tile a truly stunning appearance. However, maintaining that elegance may seem anything but effortless.
Common advice cautions against using vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners, while taking care to prevent scratches from the wheels of an old vacuum or basic sand and dirt is paramount. With all these rules, it may seem impractical to care for a marble floor, but once you understand the basics, it’s actually quite simple.
Know the difference between etches and stains. “Marble is porous and can stain when it absorbs liquids,” said Jacqueline Tabbah, vice president of the family-owned stone restoration company International Stoneworks in Houston.
Stains can discolor marble and have a dark appearance; they are oftentimes caused by kitchen grease or makeup and lotions.
An etch mark is a chemical corrosion of the surface layer of the stone caused by the acids found in most household cleaners and in substances like tomato sauce, lemon juice and alcohol. Etch marks are often most visible at an angle, when they appear duller and less shiny than the surrounding surface.
If a spot is lighter than the surrounding stone, it’s most likely an etch mark. If a spot is darker than the surrounding stone, it’s probably a stain.
To remove stains, use a poultice, which you can buy at a hardware store. Spread it on the stain then cover the area with plastic wrap, holding it down with painter’s tape. The next day, remove the plastic, allow the poultice to dry completely and gently wipe it up. If the stain is still there but noticeably lighter, repeat the procedure. If it’s just as bad as it was, it will only come out with the help of a professional restorer. Etch marks can usually be prevented by wiping up spills immediately and using the right cleaners.
Be careful what you use to clean. Acids are the main enemy of calcitic marbles. Avoid cleaners containing vinegar or citrus, as well as abrasive powders and creams, which can scratch softer stones. Strong household cleaners like toilet bowl cleaner, metal cleaner or oven cleaners can cause irreparable etching or permanent color changes in stone.
Tabbah recommends a cleaner with a pH level of at least 7 or 8, or buying one that specifically mentions marble.
Mop carefully. “A microfiber mop is the main line of defense for your marble floor,” said Tom Workman, owner of Floor Cleaning Experts, a Florida company that cleans and restores commercial and residential floors.
A dry microfiber mop draws in dry hair and dirt. For deeper cleaning, saturate the mop with water. The thin microfibers have tiny triangular wedges that lift grease and oil as the mop glides across the floor. The small amount of water won’t stain your marble.
Soften water in showers. “If you have hard water, a water softener is a must,” Workman said.
Mineral deposits build up slowly but surely, requiring professional honing and polishing to remove. If you don’t use a water softener, leave the vent fan on after showering and squeegee the walls after use.
Use a doormat. Place a mat outside your front door and another mat or rug inside. They’ll absorb dirt and sand before it gets to your marble floors.
Don’t shy away from marble. Caring for it is easy if you follow these simple rules. For more information for caring for marble floors and other stone surfaces, visit naturalstoneinstitute.org/consumers/care.
Shower image courtesy of MS International
Building Stone Institute
If you’re one of the 57 percent of women who believes having an organized closet would make finding what you want easier and faster, there’s no time like the present to stop dreaming about having a beautiful and organized closet with these tips.
Save Time with a Dream Closet
Having a disorganized closet is a problem for at least one in four women, according a recent ClosetMaid survey. Some women (1 in 10) are even depressed when they open their closet doors. What’s more, some research suggests the average American wastes as much as 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) searching for things they can’t find.
Introducing some organization is a simple way to alleviate these worries. Whether you reside in an apartment in the city or a home in the suburbs, your best starting point is to create a plan of attack. Professional organizer Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants offers these tips for getting started:
Assess your needs. Ask questions like: Do you have a walk-in closet or a reach-in? Need to create one within a room? Do you prefer more shelves over hanging space? Is shoe storage important? Do you prefer a flexible system, like wire, that can adapt to your changing needs or do you prefer something with a designer look? Are you a DIYer or do you require professional assistance?
Define your taste and style. Do you prefer modern or traditional? Or are you more eclectic?
Identify the product that works best for your needs and your budget. One option to consider is ClosetMaid SpaceCreations, a designer-inspired, DIY-acquired option that provides customizable storage inside and outside of closets. Available in Classic White or Premier Dark Java, it’s easy to install and is extremely versatile with different accessories and options like shoe shelves, drawers and acrylic dividers to provide a completely personalized look. As an added bonus, this storage option can be adapted for a nursery, mudroom or pantry. A handy online design tool or a complimentary professional designer can assist you with the layout and design.
Let the organizing fun begin. Before you restock your new closet, scrutinize your wardrobe and accessories, and get rid of items you won’t ever wear or use again.
Once you’ve got everything neatly in place, enjoy your newfound organization, but be vigilant about keeping your closet in order. Dedicate 15 minutes each week to keep it looking as good as new.
7 Ways to Add Functional Style to Your Closet
Shine the light. A trendy light fixture can add fun and bling while providing adequate lighting to illuminate all the treasures your closet has to offer. Diffused lighting is a good way to chase away shadows and ensure none of your favorite garments and accessories get left in the dark.
Organize by color. When you’re ready to hang clothes in your newly designed space, sort garments by style; group dressy tops, casual pants and so on. Then take your organization another step further by hanging like colors together. The streamlined color palette is pleasing to the eye, but it also makes it easier to select the right combinations and avoid overlooking any options.
Hang clothes with care. Give your clothes some TLC and make the switch to high-quality hangers. Not only do uniform hangers make your closet appear more organized, they help keep your wardrobe in tip-top shape by preventing stretching. Slim velvet hangers are optimal for saving space, but if you have the room, a heavier wooden version is even better.
Add some special flair. It’s not just the structure that affects the overall mood of your closet. One easy way to add some personal charm is with colorful and patterned fabric drawers. They provide a home to hide and consolidate more personal belongings and add pops of color and style to your shelves.
Make creative use of wall space. If you have some unused wall space, this is the perfect place for a dream board. A simple cork surface is all you need. Add pictures of your favorite outfits so you can remember pairings that made you feel great. You can also use the space for inspiration and add wish list items from magazines or photos of looks you’d like to try.
Dedicate a container for capturing rejects. Avoid hanging on to unwanted items by designating a container to capture clothing destined for donation. When the bin is full, transfer to a cardboard box and drop off at a local charitable organization. A similar approach can be used for items that need repair; when a few items have accumulated, either haul out the sewing machine or head to the nearest seamstress for professional assistance.
Don’t forget the floor. While much is made about the wall space, the floor is an important element of your closet, too. For carpeted rooms a rug may be more ornamental, but if you have hardwood floors, an area rug can be a safety feature that keeps you from slipping in your hurry to get dressed and out the door.
Showcase your wardrobe in style with ClosetMaid SpaceCreations.
Find more creative closet solutions at ClosetMaid.com.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Spring is the perfect time to shake things up with your home decor. As Mother Nature transforms her landscape with fresh buds and blooms, you're probably longing to refresh your home, too. These five easy craft projects are perfect family activities and the results will add touches of springtime throughout the house.
Rain boot wreath
Do you have a pair of rain boots your kids have grown out of? Use these as an adorable way to display silk flowers in the entryway. Simply select your favorite long-stem flowers from your local craft store (hint: tulips are perfect for spring). Have kids help arrange flowers inside boots and then hang with a large decorative ribbon on your door.
Thumbprint flower pots
Jazz up boring terracotta pots with acrylic paint and the tiny fingerprints from your mini helpers. Have kids wear a smock (acrylic paint can stain), then carefully dip fingertips into paint and press onto the pot. For example, red fingerprints can be turned into cute ladybugs with a few black details when dry. You can also use fingerprints to create flowers, butterflies and more.
Flip-flop welcome sign
Favorite warm-weather foot gear can be used to create a cute sign welcoming guests to your home. Buy four pairs of colorful flip flops from any dollar store. Line up and then adhere each side together with hot glue (eight flip-flops total glued together). On the heel of each sandal paint a letter from "Welcome!" When done, let kids adorn with colorful gems, stickers, and other fun spring details.
PEEPS spring centerpiece
PEEPS is the quintessential springtime candy, but is also great when used in crafts like this colorful centerpiece. Just follow these easy DIY directions and you'll create a centerpiece that will be a real conversation starter for kids and adults alike. For more project ideas, visit www.marshmallowpeeps.com.
4-inch cube vase
6-inch cube vase
30 Gerbera Daisies or silk flowers of choice
20 PEEPS Bunnies
1. Center one vase inside the other and insert jelly beans (in any colors you like) between the walls of the two cubes.
2. Place PEEPS on top of jelly beans, making sure to save a few for the corners of the vase. Don't be afraid to squeeze them into the space. You should have enough to fill in any gaps.
3. Gerberas are usually sold with plastic tubes on the stems for support. Keeping the plastic in place, cut the flowers to desired length and arrange them in the smaller vase.
4. Cutting shorter stems for the outside flowers and longer stems for the inner ones will give you a nice rounded top. And don't skimp on flowers: If you don't want to use that many gerberas, find a pair of smaller vases.
Pastel painted pine cones
Take kids on a nature walk and collect pine cones. Brush off dirt and allow to dry if moist. Then, lay out paper and have kids paint pine cones in festive pastel colors. Mint green, soft pink and sky blue are classic spring hues. Once dry, display in a decorative bowl and hang from strings in front of a window.
Once the structural elements and hardscape features of your outdoor living space are in place, it’s time to turn attention to the details that really bring the area to life.
Add Life to Outdoor Spaces
(Family Features) Once the structural elements and hardscape features of your outdoor living space are in place, it’s time to turn attention to the details that really bring the area to life.
Vibrant textiles like cushions, pillows and rugs can all soften the look of a space while adding colorful charm, but another effective place where you can introduce plenty of character is the landscaping.
Often, homeowners treat the landscape and the architectural components of an outdoor living space as distinct design elements. Making the landscape seamlessly integrate into the area not only transforms the way the space looks, it enhances the outdoor ambiance.
Create Climate Control
Keep Prying Eyes Out
Go Low Maintenance
Consult with experts at your local nursery or garden center for advice on the trees and plants that work best in your climate zone, and find more tips for creating your ideal outdoor living space at eLivingToday.com.
Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space
Regardless of the size of your deck – or budget – these simple tips from the experts at Trex can add interior function to your outdoor oasis:
Absolute Al Fresco
For more information and outdoor living inspiration, visit trex.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (patio with orange cushion chairs)SOURCE:
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