Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for August 2009

1199619_green_plantBring a little of the outdoors inside by using indoor house plants to liven things up a bit. There are many choices available, some of which will do better than others depending on what kind of environment they’re placed in. For example, will your plants be in an area with lots of windows where they can get plenty of bright sunshine or in a darker area of the home. This will determine which plants would suit your home the best.

When you begin your search for indoor house plants, you’ll discover a wide variety of options ranging from the hanging plants to small trees. A few of your options are listed below to help you get an idea of which plants tend to flourish the best inside the home.

Types of indoor house plants:

  • Herbs
  • Angel Ivy
  • Ficus Tree
  • Palm Tree
  • Bonsai Tree
  • Bamboo Tree
  • Poinsettias
  • Ferns
  • Rubber plant

These are just a few of your options. You’ll find many more indoor plants to choose from once you start researching the different types of plants.

Before deciding on which plants to buy, it would be best to do a little research on the different types available to find the ones that will suit your home the best. You’ll need to have an idea of where they’ll be located in your home before you know what to look for so, take a few minutes to determine where you would like to have them placed.

Adding greenery to your home is a great way to enhance your décor and turn a lifeless room into a lively exciting atmosphere. It creates an inviting environment that seems to say welcome. They make great conversational pieces and they even help to improve the air quality in your home. Many plants are easy to care for so you don’t need to worry about having the time to take care of them properly. As you can see, there are many reasons to decorate with indoor plants and a wide selection of them to choose from.

Are you ready to refinish those kitchen cabinets but not sure how to get started? Your cabinets are a major part of your kitchen. It’s where all of your dishes, pots and pans and food supplies are stored. They need to be functional but that doesn’t mean they can’t be decorative as well. However, you don’t need to spend lots of money on new cabinets, you can always refinish the ones you have and give your kitchen a whole new look. Here, you’ll find a few tips to make this task a little easier.

Tips for refinishing your kitchen cabinets:

  • Use a screwdriver and take off all the hardware and remove the doors.
  • Sand down all exterior parts of the cabinets and doors until everywhere is smooth to the touch. For the best results, do the inside as well.
  • Wipe down all areas to remove the dust and double check to make sure everything is smooth. Allow to dry.
  • Choose the type of stain you want to use and apply it with a clear dry cloth.
  • Allow all surfaces to dry thoroughly then check for missed spots. If you see any, go back over these areas until everything is completely covered. Give the touch ups time to dry before proceeding to the next step.
  • Use a clear coat over the stain to give the cabinets that extra shine and to help protect them.
  • Once the clear coat is completely dry, it’s time to replace the hardware.
  • You can use the same hardware that came off the cabinets or you can purchase new decorative designs that will give your cabinets that extra touch which completes the overall décor.

When sanding, staining or putting on the clear coat, always go with the grain of the wood for the best results. These kitchen cabinets refinishing tips will help you change the appearance of your kitchen without spending a small fortune. You’re sure to be pleased with the results and you have the pleasure of admiring your own handy work.

With college students recently headed back to school, this is the time of year for decorating dorm rooms. It can be very exciting having your own place to decorate anyway you desire but it can be a little confusing and even overwhelming too.

The main problem with decorating dorm rooms is the fact that they’re so small but don’t let that stop you from being creative. Another problem that you may run into is the fact that most places won’t let you paint the walls or make any other major changes. Below, however, are some great ideas that you can use to turn that dull boring dorm room into the exciting home you’ll be comfortable in.

Dorm room decorating ideas:

  • Your bed will be the biggest piece of furniture in your room and the main focal point so, choose a comforter set that you truly like. It should be something that makes you smile or feel happy every time you look at it.
  • If you have the room, set up a small table and chair that will be used as a desk. Choose a comfortable chair with padding because you’ll be spending a lot of time in it doing school work.
  • Put up a few posters or art pieces that go with the theme you selected for your comforter set. These help to brighter up the walls and give your dorm room a warm comfortable feeling.
  • Use throw pillows on the bed and in the chairs to add that special touch that brightens up the whole environment.
  • Use stand up lamps to provide you with the necessary lighting you need without taking up valuable table space. Many of these are decorative and they can reflect your own personal style.

The more comfortable you make your dorm room, the more at home you’ll feel. This will help you to be more relaxed, which in turn, helps you concentrate and stay more focused on your work. Being in college is difficult and challenging enough without having to deal with a dull, boring uncomfortable dorm room. Use these simply but excellent dorm room decorating ideas to create the environment you’ll be happy with all year long.

It is always a convenient pleasure to open up your linen closet and see neat, orderly, and well-organized stacks of towel, bed linens, and tablecloths.  Organizing your linen closet is really simple, if you don’t have too many sets of everything, and you keep items that are used at the same time together.

If you have more than three sets of bed linens for each bedroom in the house, you have too many.  Technically, you really need only two; one for the bed and one in the dirty clothes waiting to be washed. But you never know when the kids are going to upchuck, or your hubby is going to decide to eat a messy snack in bed…and misses his mouth, so three sets are fine.

I use duvet covers on all my comforters, because I hate to wash bulky things.  It is easy to take off the covers and wash them!  When I fold my linens, I lay out my top sheet, prefolded until it is long but only 18” wide, then place the folded pillow cases, fitted sheet, and duvet cover on top.  Then I fold the top sheet over the whole thing, keeping it as a single unit, which stays neat and is easy to grab when it is bed-changing time.

Next to that pile goes a full set of towels for the bathroom used by that bedroom.  No wild searching for the right linens is necessary when you do it this way.  Tablecloths can be store the same way you do the bed linens, with the napkins folded right into the tablecloth.

When you or the people you are living with suffer from allergies, it is nice to know that you can ease their discomfort a little with a few tips on what to avoid when you are cleaning or decorating. So here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep animals out of the house.  If it is too late, and you already have a beloved pet, have an air purifier going all the time.  It will help with the dust, lint, pet dander,  and other particles flying around, including eliminating some of those nasty molds.
  • Vacuum frequently and thoroughly, including furniture and draperies.  It is helpful if you have bought furniture that is leather upholstered, and easy to wipe down.  But any easily vacuumed fabric in natural fabrics (with the exception of wool), will make it easier for you.
  • Shutters, metal and vinyl blinds, and shades, are easier to dust and maintain than heavy curtains and drapes. But if you already have invested in those heavy window treatments, have them dry cleaned every two or three months.
  • Use comforters and duvets with duvet covers, instead of heavy bedspreads in your bedrooms.  The comforters should be washable, and if they aren’t, use duvet covers on them as well.  You can change them weekly with you other bed linens, to eliminate dust mites and animal dander, and have the added benefit of being able to vary your bedroom theme.
  • Have your air ducts cleaned a couple times each year.
  • Forget carpeting.  Wood, ceramic tile, and vinyl flooring are not going to collect dust the way fabrics do.  Bamboo area rugs, or those made of jute, are durable, attractive, and easy to maintain.  Any fabric rugs should be of a small enough size to wash easily and frequently.

597934_dining_table_1Choosing a dining table for your home may seem like an easy task but it can be a little more complicated than it looks. Have you ever purchased a dining table only to get it home and discover that it was very uncomfortable, unpractical or that it simply didn’t suit your taste at all?

When you first look at the dining table it may be elegant and look great in the store. The problem is, once you get it home, it may not have the same appeal. So, how can you avoid making this mistake and choose a dinning table that is perfect for your home.

The following tips will help you choose the right dining table for your kitchen:

  • Take a look at your budget and only shop for a dining table that falls into your price range.
  • Determine how much room you have in your kitchen for the dining table. This will determine the size you need to buy. You should have enough room for your chairs to pull out far enough for you to get in and out of them comfortably.
  • Take into consideration how many people there are in your family. Do you need enough seats for four, six or more? This will determine the size of the table you need as well.
  • Choose the shape of the dining table. Look at the layout of your kitchen and determine if a square, round or rectangular shape would fit the best.
  • Choose the type of material that would be best suited for your family such as wood, glass or marble. For instance, if you have small children, a glass table would not be appropriate.

These tips will help you choose a dining table that you’ll still be happy with several years from now. The biggest mistakes people make is buying a table that is too big or one that is not practical for their lifestyle.

When you’re cramped and can’t move around good, this gets annoying after awhile. When you’ve spent a lot of money on a table that you love and your five year old accidentally scratches it up, this can be very upsetting as well. Before you buy your next dining table, take all of these things into consideration and you’re sure to be happy with your choice.

Many people think that duvets are the blanket bags that are used to cover and protect your comforter or blanket instead of using a top sheet.  Actually, a duvet is a comforter that is either stuffed with down, polyester, wool, feather mixtures, or synthetics.  The duvet cover protects it from dirt, dust, etc., enabling you to wash the cover or change the appearance of your room by simply using a different cover.

Originally, of course, this was used simply to protect the comforter, but it is now a delicious way to give yourself a seasonal, romantic, or even a child’s theme room.  Duvet covers come in all kinds of materials and patterns.  Chenille, jersey-knits, linen, cotton, wool, velvet, satin, French toile, and polyester blends are all available. Stripes, tiny floral prints, large theme scenes, plaids; all are available in a myriad of colors.

When you purchase a duvet, make sure you know what materials were used , since only the synthetic filled ones can be washed at home.  The others require dry cleaning.  The same is true for your duvet covers.  If anyone in your family has allergies, this, too, must be considered. Price ranges vary from very reasonable to pricey, so keep looking until you find exactly what you want.  It is out there.

You will find that the pricier duvet covers tend to be a bit larger than the inexpensive ones. Measure your blankets or comfortable for a good fit when you purchase your duvet cover. One end (much like a pillow case) is open for sliding your duvet into the cover.  There will be a zipper, buttons, or Velcro for easy closing of the bag.

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