Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly

When it’s cold outside, most everyone looks forward to staying warm and cozy inside their homes. Cuddling up in front of a warm fireplace is an excellent way to create a warm, cozy feeling but not everyone has that luxury. Nevertheless, you can still create the atmosphere you’re looking for by making a few minor changes throughout your home.

Here are 5 cozy decorating ideas for winter that can give your home a nice warm feeling:

1.       Use candles to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere throughout your home. Fragrant candles that give off the aroma of vanilla and cinnamon are excellent choices that create a warm feeling inside.

2.       This is the time of year when you want to pull out that warm cozy throw blanket that’s sitting in the top of the closet. They look great tossed over the back of the sofa and they give you something warm and comfortable to snuggle up to when you’re relaxed watching your favorite TV show.

3.       Use warm colors to decorate your home such as red, yellow and orange. A few browns, gold and beige can also add a touch of warmth to your home.

4.       Add some flowers and plants throughout your home to create a spring time atmosphere that looks vibrant and alive.

5.       Adjust the lighting in your home to help you create that warm, cozy feeling.

The tips above are inexpensive and easy to do so, anyone can take advantage of them and they will make a significant difference in your home. It’s a great feeling to snuggle up to something warm and cozy when it’s snow and ice covering the ground outside or when the temperature drops to uncomfortable levels.

The best thing is that you don’t have to make major changes to create warmth. Just adding a splash of color here and there can make a huge difference. Simply hanging new curtains, changing table cloths or adding a new bedspread all can help create a warm, cozy atmosphere that you and your family can enjoy all winter long.

Decorating the home is fun and exciting. It gives home owners a chance to create any type of atmosphere they want while adding their own unique style to their home. There are many decorating styles to choose from so there should be something to suit anyone’s taste.

The 6 most common decorating styles are listed below along with a brief description of each:

  1. Traditional– This style of decorating creates a calm orderly atmosphere that is always predictable. Nothing chaotic or wild will be found in this décor. The furnishings will all match and will have a classic feel to it.
  2. Contemporary– When decorating with the contemporary style you’ll use modern décor with clean rounded lines and create a casual atmosphere. This décor uses neutral elements, bold colors and open spaces. Contemporary décor is welcoming and comfortable.
  3. Country– Country style décor creates a warm, cozy atmosphere. It’s a way to bring a bit of the past to the present. There are no specific rules that apply to color when decorating country style but you can normally find lots of red, blue and white colors. Earth tones go well with this style and many homes use quilting racks, butter churns, wood stoves and spinning wheels as furnishings.
  4. Cottage– This style creates a homey feeling that is cozy and comfortable. It gives the decorator a chance to show off their personal taste and be creative. There’s nothing formal about this style.
  5. Country French– This is a style that is romantic and dramatic. Every color from the spectrum wheel can be used from bright yellow to burnt rust. The more color the better. It’s important to use natural materials for this decorating style. Stone floors, wool and cotton rugs and a stone fireplace will complete the look.
  6. Feng Shui– This style of decorating creates balance in the home and uses placement, color and shapes to promote wealth, love, happiness, success and peace. Feng Shui creates positive energy and harmony within the home.

Before you begin decorating your home take some time to go over the different decorating styles until you find the one that suits you the best. You can even use a combination of styles to create a different atmosphere in each room of your home.

Go Green with Your Holiday Shopping This Year – The holiday season is a time of a lot of shopping for many people. Did you know that there are steps you can take to help you become more eco-friendly while you do this holiday shopping? Many people think going green is too complicated to be put to practical use. Others want to do it but they’re not sure how to implement these changes to their daily lives.

The best part of eco friendly living is that it is a process. The smallest and simplest changes that you make along the way can still have a big impact. This means making smarter choices when you go shopping can help, even if it’s only your holiday shopping each year. Since this can be the biggest shopping season of the year, making the choice to make positive changes now is a good thing.

Here are some tips on how to go green with your holiday shopping:

  • Get as much done in one trip as you can
  • Save gas and time and shop online when you can
  • Walk between stores when possible instead of driving
  • Skip the plastic shopping bags and bring reusable bags instead

Now that you have these tips for how to go green with your holiday shopping, you can keep them in mind when the shopping season comes around each year. These are just a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and improve the environment during the holiday season. You should also know that going green can help you save money over time.

Recycling, restoring, replenishing…that’s about all people are talking about today.  But there is a reason for it…no…there are several reasons for it.  Number one is that we need to slow down the wasting of natural resources.  Number two is that it saves us money to find new uses for old things.  And number three s that it is sometimes difficult to part with items that have sentimental value to us.

Here is a perfect example. Remember that tall barstool your son made in woodshop that was never level enough to sit on?  Well you can even out the legs to end table height, spray paint it with a bright white gloss, and use it for a lamp table in your daughter’s room.  Oh yes, that darling pink tutu that she wore in her first ballet recital?  You know…the one she will never wear again.  Take some two sided tape, and run it around the edge of the seat on the stool.  Then wrap the tutu around it.  It will stick easily, and with a pink ginger jar lamp, she will have an adorable nightstand!

How about old costume jewelry?  Take those broken clip on earrings and brooches, cut off the pins with your wire cutter, and let the kids glue magnets onto the backs of them.  They can be used on the refrigerator, or you can get the children magnetic boards, hang them in their rooms, and they can use them to hang up anything they want!

If you look around you will find dozens of things that can be used for other purposes.  Even an old bucket can be spray painted, turned upside down on the patio next to a chair, and have a small tray placed on top for a new snack table!

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.

1211781_web_buttonsThroughout time, the basic neutrals have changed every five years or so.  Black and white seems to endure the longest, with browns and beiges next. When the grays came up as the new white, it was a bit of a surprise, but fun to work with.  It hasn’t lasted quite as long as the others.

Well, white, grays, beiges that lean both toward yellow and toward gray are all in right now.  But black is out.  Brown is not just for accessorizing anymore.  It is the new black.  Surprisingly, it does go well with almost all colors…if you choose the correct hue and depth.
By using s rich, soft tone, you can blend it well with nature’s greens, reds and golds.  By using a dark, pure brown and pairing it with pink or mint green or daffodil yellow, you will get a modern, contemporary feel. A tawny brown along with pale yellows and light blues will set an outdoor, beach and seashore mood.

At last, color is going back on the walls.  Light greens, yellows and blues are perfect for the faint of heart, and for you bolder folk, rich, deep reds, browns and golds are called for.

Metal chairs, tables, cabinets, and picture frames are in, using pewter, silver, steel, nickel, aluminum, platinum, and charcoal.  If you prefer woods, use these metals in candle holders, fireplace accessories, lamps, etc.  Once you have the basics in, don’t be afraid to add a bit of more lively color, such as salmons or corals, lavenders, or bright greens to your pillows, throws, wall hangings and area rugs.

So often I have found that people have seen a design in a magazine, or in a model home, thought it was beautiful, and then either tried to duplicate it or hired an interior decorator to give them that look.  More often than not, they are dissatisfied with the final outcome, either because they are uncomfortable in their new surroundings, or they have lost functionality, or they have overspent and are now house poor.

Just because a house is beautiful, and decorated in the newest color trends, it is not necessarily the perfect design for you and your family.  The two most important factors that must be considered are function and budget, and they are of equal importance.

A large, rambunctious family, with energetic boys and a big dog cannot be happy in a French Provincial formal setting.  They need well constructed, tough fabric covered furniture, easily maintained floors and indestructable tables in the family room and the kids’ bedrooms.  In this situation, most of the budget should be spent on the family room furniture…not in the living room that is used only once in a while for formal entertaining!

If Mom loves to cook and entertain, she needs a large, thoughtfully designed kitchen with lots of work space and storage.  Fancy media rooms are superfluous if there are two working adults, and children who are heavily into sports, occupying the family away from home most evenings and weekends.

Colors that are beautiful to look at once in a while are not necessarily ones that will give you the comforting feeling you want in a home when you have to live with them daily.  Most people will find that they are happier when they change accent colors rather than the main color schemes they have always had.

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