Let There Be Light: Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

You know how professional decorators say that focal points are the most significant things in the room? Well, if you apply that to the bigger picture, you’ll understand that living rooms represent the focal point of your whole house. That being said, the place that’s in the center of attention, where you spend most of your time and the place you use to spend quality time with your friends and family, deserves special attention. And what’s a better way to give a room that special something than to shower it with some light? Lighting plays a major role in interior design and these few tips will give you a proper insight on how to light up your living room accordingly.

Create the Perfect Ambiance

A living room should always radiate with a certain kind of emotion; it needs to exude warmth, hospitality and an overall inviting atmosphere. This is where ambient lighting comes in. The sole goal of this lighting system is to create a suitable environment to dwell in and it accomplishes this through the use of stylish chandeliers, valance lighting, ceiling lights as well as recessed lights. There’s a wide array of ambient lights available and all you have to do is choose the style according to the style of your living room.

Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

Accentuate Certain Features

After you set the right mood, the next step is giving your living room a bit of structure. The best way to achieve this is by using accent lighting in order to put the focus on specific elements in the room. In most cases, accent lighting is used to illuminate certain architectural features, artistic elements, as well as specific areas and places in the room. In order for this type of lighting to be effective, it needs to be much brighter than surrounding lights, which is why adjustable lights and dimmers always go hand in hand.

Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

Give It a Dose of Charm

Lighting features aren’t used solely for providing sufficient amounts of light, but also to give your room a specific dose of charm. Lamps are often used as decorative objects, which is why a stylish floor or table lamp always finds a way into a living space, while an extravagant chandelier usually makes a nice addition. Pendant lights are also quite a favorable choice when thinking about embellishing the room and you can always decide to add a bit of color by choosing bulbs in different hues.

Don’t Ignore Your Tasks

Every living room needs to have a designated reading nook. Sometimes, these spaces that are reserved solely for reading, painting or any similar activity, require brighter lighting. This is why proper lighting is a very important part of these small areas in the living room and it’s also the reason why task lighting exists. These are mostly adjustable lamps with LED bulbs which give you a direct light source and help you get a clear visual of the task in front of you.

Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

Helpful Details

There are other significant aspects of lighting up a room that need to be considered. First of all, it’s important to know a good emergency electrician who’s competent enough to handle the entire electrical system in the house. Second, the type of bulb is an important aspect of proper lighting and in recent years, LED bulbs have become much more favorable than traditional, incandescent bulbs. The last thing to keep in mind is the importance of natural lighting and possible solutions on how to introduce more sunshine in your home.

Light Up Your Living Room with These 5 Hacks

With so many different lighting systems and options, sometimes it can be difficult to achieve a desired atmosphere in the living room. The goal is to learn how to consolidate all these different lighting options into one entirety and create a soothing and balanced setting.

 

 

 

5 Tips to pick the right blinds / curtains

blinds

In modern times we have so many choices available to us, that they can often paralyze us to the point where we can’t ever seem to make a choice at all. This is true for so many aspects of our lives. I have found that it often becomes easier to make a decision when we get advice from someone who knows a bit more about the topic than we do.

As someone who has worked in the blinds industry for many years, I wanted to write this article to share my knowledge, and hopefully help others when it comes to making the decision on purchasing blinds. In this article, I will share 5 of the best tips I have when it comes to choosing the best blinds for you.

1.  Consider lighting and privacy

What are you looking to achieve with the decision you are making? If you are purchasing blinds for a bedroom, you are likely looking to block out the sun. There is nothing worse when you are trying to sleep late than the sun shining in on you. Make sure to consider this upfront as it’s too late once they are already installed!

2.  Colours and Hues that suit the room

This is not an easy decision as it depends entirely on the colour scheme of the room. I find that many people often go for more of a subtle colour when decorating a room. Neutral colours are proving extremely popular in 2016 and seem to blend effortlessly with many different room styles. However if you are looking for a more fun or dramatic feel to your room, you may be interested in some of the bolder colours.

3.  Style

As with the colour, this depends a lot on the style and design of the room. Are you looking for a formal look, or something more casual? When it comes to style, the possibilities are endless. I would recommend learning more about the different kinds of blinds, perhaps even visit some local business to see the different types in person. Vertical blinds seem to be the most popular option for many, as they offer the benefit of being affordable as well as practical and attractive. Some others to consider are roller blinds, roman blinds, venetian blinds, bamboo blinds, and the list goes on!

4.  Price and Budgeting

The price can vary tremendously based on the materials. Another factor effecting the price is how many windows you are planning to outfit. I would definitely recommend measuring exactly how big the window is (you can easily do this yourself with a tape measure). Once you know this, you will be able to obtain a realistic quote. This will help you avoid surprises down the line. Always make sure you are aware of the full costs before entering into any contracts.

5.  Cleaning – Simple and easy

Like everything else in your house, blinds do collect dust. The positive side is that they only need the occasional clean, and even better, they are easy to clean. Obviously it depends on the type of material and design you have chosen, but don’t worry about having to hire a professional to clean them. You can easily do this yourself. Usually all you need is a good duster and you are ready to go. This is not something many people think about upfront, but as an added tip, I suggest asking the seller before making any purchase on how they recommend cleaning the materials.

Ensuring that you have the perfect blinds for your room is essential. We spend so much time in our homes that it is important to make them a place that we feel proud of. A small change like replacing old blinds can really give a room the pick-me-up it needs. Choosing the perfect blinds may take some time, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Author Bio:

Elaine Guinsberg is an entrepreneur and small business owner working in Cape Town, South Africa. Elaine owns her own blinds business ‘Elaine’s Blinds’ and had been working in blinds industry for past two decades.  Through her work she has gained priceless knowledge and expertise about the blinds industry.
Business site: http://www.elainesblinds.co.za

How To Give Your Bedroom a Modern Look?

How To Give Your Bedroom a Modern Look

If you find all things modern quite attractive and appealing, it’s high time you surrounded yourself with that same modern vibe. Redecorating your home with a specific style in mind is not a really difficult process but it does take time, so let’s start with one room at the time. Have you ever thought about how your modern bedroom should look? If you’re unsure where to start and what to pay attention to, keep on reading and allow yourself to get inspired.

It’s the colors baby

Most modern bedrooms have clean colors and sharp, geometrical patterns on the walls. In that respect, neutrals and pastel hues are your best option. Of course, there are many approaches to color design and pops of color are also highly popular nowadays. One of the easiest ways to add an immediate touch of modern décor is using colorblocking on your walls. What’s more, some people like to use wallpaper, but not all over the room – you can use wallpaper in certain places to spice things up a little bit and add that grungy feel to the whole look.

choose-your-colors-carefully

Use what you have

Redecorating your bedroom so it looks more modern doesn’t mean that you need to buy completely new furniture. Work with what you already have. Basically, your bed, night stands, wardrobe and other cabinets can all be transformed into modern style essentials with the help of some paint and self-adhesive wallpaper. Of course, distressing the furniture is usually characteristic of vintage and rustic styles, but it can also look great in urban style bedrooms. Still, if you’re set on finding some smaller pieces of furniture, you can always look for nightstands made of metal and/or glass to add that modern vibe without spending too much money.

Spacious layout

Modern bedrooms always appear to be minimalistic in their design. While there are certainly not too many details going on, this impression is also created by careful furniture layout. Basically, try to organize your furniture so that your bedroom won’t feel and look messy or cluttered. Keep your wardrobe and cabinets next to the walls. Cabinets can also be installed to hang on the walls and save space. Bed is a centerpiece of your bedroom and only night stand should be right next to it. Apart from mirror and perhaps floor lamps, you don’t really need anything else to crowd the bedroom.

Greens and lights

When it comes to lighting, both natural and artificial lights go great in modern bedrooms. Natural lighting makes the space appear visually bigger while you can play with latest technology and install mood lights as well. Still, whatever your lighting preferences are, you can never go wrong with a few cute details. Having fluffy and artistic kids cushions in your bedroom is one of the décor essentials of every modern home – and your children will just love them!

How To Give Your Bedroom a Modern Look

Attention to detail

It was already mentioned that modern bedrooms don’t need a lot of details, but this is primarily related to knick-knacks and accessories that can clutter the space. You can definitely make things more interesting and personal by getting yourself a nice bed cover, lamp, works of art to hang on the wall, etc. Mirrors can also be designed and framed the way that speaks to you and your modern style the most. Moreover, there are many DIY tutorials that can help you add that unique and creative feel to your bedroom.

It seems that modern style décor is the hardest one to define because different people view modern style in different manner. It’s important to do your research and look for inspiration, but make sure to use your own ideas the most in order to create a perfect place to relax, sleep and rest.

Guest post by:

Emma JoyceEmma B. Joyce is blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She got hooked on home accessories and decorations during her traveling and now cannot stop searching for new inspiration.

 

How to Use Mirrors for More Light and Style

How to Use Mirrors for More Light and Style

Mirrors are a standard decorative and functional element in bathrooms and changing rooms, but they rarely find their place in the remaining rooms of a house. And that is a shame, since mirrors have a lot to offer to each space, especially to confined and dark spaces. When placed strategically and chosen well, mirrors can truly make the room look more refined, fresh, brighter and bigger. There is no reason to discriminate against them as bathroom-only items. Here are some great ideas on how to use mirrors as decorative features.

Place It across the Lighting Source

how to use mirrors as decorative features.

If your room lacks light, you can compensate by placing a mirror across the lighting source and create a reflection that will spread the light throughout the space. You can even play with it and place one smaller mirror across each lamp or bulb. If you put one across the window, you will simultaneously make the room appear bigger and brighter.

Mirrors on Adjacent Walls

Mirrors on Adjacent Walls

What is better than one mirror? Well, two mirrors, of course. If you line adjacent walls with mirrors, they will make the light bounce around the room. It can be a great décor statement, if used in the right places. This project would work best in the dining room where it will create the illusion of a bigger crowd around the table. Keep in mind though, that dining room lighting should be a bit more subtle, so don’t use a too bright bulb.

Make It Double Duty

mirrors home decor

If you are stuck in a room where all the walls are already decorated with something or there are some walls where it wouldn’t make sense to put a mirror (by the bed), there is a way (or shall we say a door) out, and that is installing sliding mirror wardrobe doors. It will not take an inch of space, and it will look fabulous. Another plus is that the mirror will be big enough for a head-to-toe glance when trying out clothes.

Mirror in the Kitchen? It’s Possible.

It’s no joke; a mirror in the kitchen can look truly amazing if you choose the right style. A vintage looking kitchen with wooden cabinets and countertop would look more appealing with a wood-framed mirror to complement the look and give a homier vibe. Sure, this type of mirror wouldn’t belong in all-steel modernist kitchen, where a minimalistic metal-framed mirror would work much better.

Expanding the Hallway

Entryway mirror

Entryways always look a bit claustrophobic and narrow. You could easily open up that space by placing a full-size mirror at the end of the entryway, thus making it look more expansive. If you want to make it even more chic, you can put a large floor mirror that will at the same time be a great decorative element, especially if you go with some more extravagant or retro look.

An Accent Wall

Who need framed photos when you can just use a bunch of small mirrors to create an accent wall in your living room? All you need to do is to find mirrors with different shapes, frames and borders, to create an appealing visual texture. Just keep in mind not to go overboard and create a chaotic, cluttered appearance, you want it to look stylish, like a gallery wall and not like a funhouse exhibition. You can also mix in a couple of mirrors into your artwork or photo wall.

Above the Headboard

Another great way to use a mirror as a decorative element is to place it over the bed. There is actually nothing better to put on that big blank space above the headboard. Since most headboards are rectangle-shaped, go with a round mirror (sunburst perhaps) to create a striking contrast.

These were just a few ideas on how you can use mirrors to glam-up and light-up your space. We hope you’ll come up with some of your own.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.

How to Transition a Bench from Summer to Fall

how-to-transition-a-bench-from-summer-to-fall

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Alright, so maybe it isn’t quite Fall. After all, Starbucks hasn’t even released their pumpkin spice latte! As shameful as it may be to admit, we all know the release date of that blessed drink is our gauge for pulling out plaid and scarves. But just because our cup isn’t flowing with pumpkin lattes, it doesn’t mean that we can’t start the transition into a happy and beautiful fall season.

One of the best ways to do this is with your home décor. Light up the pumpkin candles, break out the zucchini bread, and get started on some DIY projects that will give your home the ultimate feeling of comfy and cozy fall.

Look no further than your living room or entry way for a DIY project that will prep you for cooler weather. See that bench in the corner? When’s the last time you really took a good look at it? Well, a piece as functional and versatile as a bench is deserving of a little more life, don’t you think?

Benches are like the little black dress of furniture; you can dress them up or dress them down based on how you make them over and they pretty much fit every occasion. And with an upholstered bench – well – fasten your seatbelts, because this ride may get a little crazy in the cool department. But don’t sweat it if you don’t have a bench covered in fabric. You can use throw pillows to get a little cushion for those tushes – and what’s more versatile than a throw pillow?

A bench is the perfect setting for putting on shoes on your way out the door or adding additional seating when you need room for more. If you have a bench that gets overlooked, it’s time to take notice and get it ready to turn some heads.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Bench
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Small brushes
  • Clean cheesecloth
  • Paint brush
  • Chalk paint
  • Wax sealer or polyurethane
  • Staple gun (if reupholstering)
  • Scissors (if reupholstering)
  • Trendy new fabric and/or throw pillows

Step One: Sanding

sanding

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Before you can do much in the way of making over or painting your bench, there is some prep work to be done. That beautiful piece of furniture is going to need a thorough sanding to get rid of any rough edges. Using either a sanding block or a sheet of sandpaper held just in your hands, gently rub your way through every crevice of the bench. Smooth the surface until you can rub your hand over it without anything catching (gloves may be helpful to prevent blisters).

Step Two: Wipe Down, Dust Off

dusting

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Using clean cheesecloth, start to wipe down the bench to remove any dust particles left behind from sanding. For hard to reach crevices and decorative detailing, small brushes may be helpful. If you don’t have either, cut up an old tee shirt and use a toothbrush for the odd angles.

Step Three: Paint

paint

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Now comes the fun part. Hopefully, you didn’t rush through the other two steps. It can be incredibly tempting to skip the prep work, but if you want a piece to last, the prep work has to be done and done well. Once that’s all over, though, it’s time to break out the paint. The type of paint you use is totally up to you, but chalk paint is making its sweep in the world and for good reason.

Chalk paint is easy to use and can even be made at home with a few simple ingredients. For Fall, stick to warm hues or those with a golden tone. Apply a thin, even coat as a base. Wait for the first coat to dry and repeat until you’ve reached the desired finish.

Step Four: Apply Wax

That beautiful bench is now glistening with a fresh coat of paint. To keep it looking brand new for years to come, put a finishing coat of wax or polyurethane over the dried paint. If you think you’ll be painting your bench again soon (maybe Spring?), this step may be unnecessary. It’s most useful to apply the wax with a brush and wipe off the excess with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Allow the wax to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step Five: Reupholster the Cushion

If your bench has a cushion on it, you can easily swap out the fabric for something a little more reminiscent of the fall months. Golden hues go well with pumpkins, right? Take off the cushion and remove any layers of fabric from previous recovering’s. Leave the original. Use any layer scrap as a template for your new cushion.

Once the fabric has been cut, center the cushion over the new fabric rectangle. Cover the edges of the cushion by pulling the fabric tight on the underside of the cushion and stapling. Repeat until the fabric is no longer puckering and loose and is tightly adhered to the cushion. Turn upright and assemble your bench!

Step Six: Add Throw Pillows

The final touch is upon us: add throw pillows. Throw pillows are not only great for cushioning bums, but, by golly, they’re cute! Be inspired with seasonal throws to finish the look.

The great part about furniture is how versatile it is. Seasons change, trends change, and alongside it, furniture does, as well. Give your bench a new look for fall with a few, small modifications. A new coat of paint and a few new throw pillows can give your furniture that cozy feeling everyone loves in the fall months.

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.”  Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.  Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.

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