Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for January 2011

The laundry room is not a place we spend a lot of time but it can still be comfortable, efficient and welcoming. The size and location of your laundry room will determine how much you can do with it. With a little planning, organizing and some of your own personal touches, the laundry room can be an attractive space in your home.

Concrete Walls

If your laundry room is in an unfinished basement area, you may be faced with concrete walls. Painting them can help. Or try adding some tile-like wallboard to add texture to the space. Wire racks or shelving can be added by using a masonry drill bit and concrete screws. This will add organization and accessibility to your supplies.

Storage Ideas

In a small space, stackable, front-loading machines can be a lifesaver. You could install a workspace countertop over a pair of side-by-side, front-loading machines to have a place to fold, sort or iron clothes. Cabinets or shelving above the appliances can organize supplies. A closet rod, suspended from the cabinet can give you a place to hang clothes to dry or to hang them as you remove them from the dryer before putting t hem away.

Functionality

If the room allows, set up separate hampers for colors, whites and delicates and maybe a separate one for really grimy work clothes. Have family members sort their own laundry into the hampers on wash day. Carts on wheels with divided bags are useful for this purpose. Wall-mounted ironing boards that fold down when needed are another option for the laundry room.

Fun Stuff

Decorating a laundry room can bring out your personality. Go for an early American look by displaying old washboards and amusing wall plaques depicting scenes of hand-washing clothes or clothes hanging on lines. If your laundry room is situated near or in an entryway, use a bench seat and coat rack so shoes and coats can be stored neatly. Small spaces will need just one box of peel-and-stick floor tiles to spruce up the floor. Don’t forget some workspace lighting.

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The Victorian period, defined by the years of life of Queen Victoria (1819 to 1901) appeals to those with a sense of elegance and formality. It was a time of increasing affluence and homeowners wanted to indulge in their need to display their wealth, however moderate it might have been.

Creating this style in your home means understanding some of the basic principles of Victorian decorating. Bold fabrics, floral or ornate patterns in wallpaper and lots of bric-a-brac gave the Victorian home an opulent feel. To them, more was better. Focus on the living room, kitchen and bedroom to achieve this look.

Bedrooms

If you prefer the look of wall paper, stick to small floral patterns. For painted rooms, add a floral painted border around windows and doorways. Window coverings should also be floral print fabrics with lace under panels. To carry the theme to an extreme, follow the Victorian practice of matching linens, drapes and wallpaper in the same pattern. Hard wood floors were prevalent in Victorian times, adorned with ornate area rugs. Four-poster beds with canopies and dark, heavy wood furniture figured prominently. Washstands, armoires and dressing tables rounded out the furnishings.

Kitchens

Creating a Victorian look in a kitchen can be costly but definitely worth it. Floors were brick, marble or hardwood. You can use tile to simulate the look. Open walls benefit from the addition of wainscoting and simple trim along the top. Wainscot colors were often antique green or a dark brown. Add a plate rail for displaying platters, plates and china. A large work table in the center of the room and open shelving on the walls to display antique utensils and dishware lend an authentic feel. Muslin curtains and stenciled doorways and windows finish the room.

Living Rooms

The parlor was very formal as that is where guests were greeted. Almost always wallpapered with intricate patterns of birds, flowers or scrollwork, the walls were finished with ornate crown moldings. Ceiling medallions, painted or plain, add interest. Heavy draperies in velvet or brocade were tied back and attached to scrollwork on the wall. Topped off with valances, the draperies had a many-layered appearance. Button-tufted sofas, chairs and footstools complete the Victorian look.

Open any home decorating magazine and you’re bound to see glossy photos of a country kitchen decorated in a blue color scheme. There are some simple and cost-effective ways to achieve this look in your home. With a little elbow grease, a creative mind and some frugal shopping, you can create your very own blue country kitchen.

Wall Treatments

The obvious option is paint the walls a cornflower blue but there are other possibilities. Gingham-like wallpaper could add just the right touch just a French provincial pattern blue on white paper could. Eggshell or pale yellow walls could give needed contrast if you choose to use blue in other ways.

Cabinets

If you prefer an older look, try crackle paint to give cabinets an aged look. For a fresher look, paint the cabinets white or blue, whichever is in contrast to the color used on the walls. Perhaps a combination of white frames with blue doors, accented by appliqués or china teapots or some other pattern suits your tastes. Another choice might be white or pale yellow cabinets accented with pull handles and drawer pulls.

Accents

Plate racks, a plate rail or a series of white ribbons can all display blue and white china plates and cups found in second-hand stores to add a country touch. Café-style curtains in gingham or white eyelet materials can ad country interest to windows. Canisters and country crocks stored on top of counters can hold essentials and utensils while adding to the country charm of your kitchen.

Tablecloths, napkins, potholders and dish towels can be another way to add the color blue to your kitchen. Blue stoneware or dishes displayed in open cabinets or arranged in place settings on the table put a finished look to the room.

A unique and well-accepted Valentine’s Day gift that anyone would enjoy receiving is a plant. It’s a gift that you can give to anyone regardless of age or gender and it’ll be appropriate. Most plants are very affordable and there are many different types available that would make the perfect gift for someone on your list. They look great sitting around the home and you can choose from ones that flourish inside the home or outside, whichever is the most appropriate.

Before you choose a plant for someone on your Valentine’s Day gift list, take a few minutes to think about which type of plant would suit them the most. Some people have allergies to certain types of plants and flowers so this is something that’ll you need to find out before you choose one. You don’t want to give someone something that could make them sick.

You also want to give a plant they will surely enjoy. To do this you need to find out what type of plants they like and would prefer. Size is a big factor because you don’t want to buy a plant that grows large for someone who doesn’t have the room to accommodate for this growth. The type of person you buy for will also determine how durable the plant needs to be. For example, don’t give a high maintenance plant to someone who has little time to care of it.

To make sure your unique Valentine’s Day gift plant makes the best impression on the receiver, choose a vase that is attractive and something they’ll want to show off. You can always buy a new vase and transplant it if you happen to find the perfect plant but don’t like the pot it’s in. Make this Valentine’s Day special and give a gift that’s practical and something they won’t expect. Give a Valentine’s Day plant for someone on your gift list.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to begin thinking about decorations. One way to decorate for this holiday is with centerpieces. They help to brighten up your table and add interest to your décor. You can go out and purchase a number of beautiful centerpieces for this holiday or you could make your own. If you choose to do the latter, it’s a great opportunity to put your creativity to the test.

Here are 3 ideas for making your own Valentine’s Day centerpieces to help you get started:

1.       Take an ordinary wine bucket and decorate it using colors that are appropriate for valentines. For example, you can use red construction paper to cover the outside of the bucket. Next, draw pictures on the construction paper before taping or gluing it around the bucket. You could also place flowers around the outside of the bucket for decorations or come up with your own design. Fill with ice, place your favorite bottle of wine inside and you’re ready for a romantic dinner with the one you love.

2.       Pick up a heart shaped basket from your local craft store along with some of your favorite plastic flowers. The plastic flowers are realistic and practical for this type of centerpiece. Place the stem of the flowers through the weaves of the basket to decorate. Fill the basket with candy, fruit or whatever snacks you enjoy.

3.       Begin with a heart shaped container. If you have a Valentine’s Day box from last year you can use it or pick one up at most any craft store. Decorate the box anyway you see fit. You can cover it with construction paper or paint designs on it. Once the box is decorated, fill it with small decorative candles or flowers and place in the center of your table.

All 3 of these ideas for making your own Valentine’s Day centerpieces are easy and they’ll look beautiful once finished. The best part is that you made them yourself. You can show off your creativity in a unique and fun way while dressing up the dinner table.

Kids develop their own unique personalities and have certain likes and dislikes just like adults. Therefore, kids deserve to express their creativity too and this is why you can find a large number of themed décor items designed just for kids. Your child will enjoy having the freedom to decorate his room with unique decor that suits his personality the best. Your child does not have to live in a dull, boring bedroom when it’s so easy to make it more interesting and suited to his or her taste.

You can find all types of cartoon characters, movie themes and a variety of sport themes designed specifically for kids. The main pieces are usually bedding and curtains because these make a huge difference in the overall look of the room but don’t stop there. You can find many other pieces that can pull the look together as well.

For example, there are a variety of clocks found in all kinds of fun designs such as, animals, teddy bears, sports, children’s stories and nursery rhymes to name a few. Mirrors are another option that can be found in a variety of styles just like the clocks. If you have the room, you can even set one corner up with a table and chairs set where your kid can do homework, crafts or sit and read a book.

You may even be able to find an area rug that matches the theme you choose to help accessorize and add to the beauty of the room. Using these unique décor ideas for kids can help to turn his or her bedroom into the personal space needed to feel comfortable. When kids are relaxed, they tend to sleep better, do better in school and have a more pleasant attitude in every area.

When snow is on the ground or when the temperature drops too low to get outside, families need fun and entertaining ways to spend their time. It can get very boring sitting in the house with nothing interesting to do. On top of that, this is an excellent time to spend quality time with your kids so, take advantage of it by doing winter craft projects together.

5 winter craft ideas for the family:

1.       Take pictures of the winter scenery and cut them out to make a collage. Pictures of snow, icicles and snowbirds are a great place to start.

2.       Buy some construction paper, stencils, markers and crayons and make your own pictures. This is fun, creative and a great way to spend time together.

3.       Gather together all of the pictures taken of the family throughout the holidays and winter season to make a scrapbook of all the happy memories. This is something that you can continue adding to until spring.

4.       Use kits from your local hobby shop to make winter scenery such as snowmen, Santa clause, gingerbread houses and more.

5.       Build birdhouses together. Not only are these beautiful and fun to make, but they serve a real purpose and provide birds with a nice warm home in the winter.

There are many things that you and your family can do together in the winter to turn the boring days into fun-filled memories. Don’t waste time watching bad re-runs on TV or sitting around depressed wishing spring would hurry up and arrive. Take advantage of every moment and enjoy this wonderful time of year while you and your loved ones have the time to get to know each other better. When spring rolls around everyone will be too busy enjoying the warm weather to sit still and do craft projects.


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