Archive for the ‘decor’ Category





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Are you looking for a new application for your walls?  Try some paintable wallpaper to liven things up!  Most people cringe at the idea of wallpaper but it has actually come a long way since the gold and green stripes in your grandma’s house.  Don’t be afraid of it!  Take a look at these modern applications that can be applied in a powder room, children’s room or as an accent wall.

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The $15,000 question…how can you get good quality furniture for less?  It can be done, but you might have to sacrifice instant gratification as well as convenience.  The first thing that you should know about the markup of furniture is that if it’s made locally the markup will be less.  So find out where the furniture is made and go to the source.  The furniture capital of the U.S. is High Point, North Carolina.  Not all furniture is made there, of course, but most brands will most likely be manufactured in NC somewhere.  If you live on the west coast there will be a charge for the furniture as well as a big shipping and handling fee that will be passed onto the retailer, marked up and then passed onto you, PLUS sales tax on top of that.  If you do your homework you can eliminate some of the markup.  Once you have found a piece of furniture you like at a retailer in your area, get as much information about the piece as you can from the sales person.  Ask for a cut sheet or a specification sheet which will have all the information you need.  Look for the name of the manufacturer, the name of the furniture collection, if there is a number that is associated with the piece, dimensions and fabric names and numbers that you like.  After you have gathered all of this information, lookup the furniture manufacturer and find out where the furniture is manufactured.  If it’s in NC, go to http://www.highpointfurniture.com/ and you can browse the various furniture stores’ websites for brands that they carry.  Either call or email a sales associate from their site with specific information regarding the furniture that you are interested in and they can give you a quote including shipping based on where you live.  I have personally used Furniture Land South and they were great!  A few things to keep in mind, however, is that you might be waiting four months or more to receive your furniture.  It usually has to be constructed and then put on a full truck when they have a delivery to your area.  So you will need to be patient!  Secondly, ask who is responsible should your furniture arrive damaged off the truck.  Thoroughly, inspect the furniture once it’s delivered to your home for damage.  If it does arrive damaged, do not accept it!  If you do accept a damage piece you might be held responsible for it. 

So, if you are willing to do a little homework and don’t mind the waiting game, you can save hundreds of dollars on good quality furniture.  Even though you might be paying quite a bit for delivery, you will be saving a lot on retailer markup as well as sales tax and the overall cost will be less.  I have saved a couple hundred dollars on one sofa alone!

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The 4th of July is right around the corner and this is our inspiration to decorate with a red, white and blue color palette!  Although it is a patriotic color palette, the primary colors of red and blue work well together and are pleasing to the eye.  The warm red with the cool blue are complimentary colors and the white seems to break things up a little.  There are many ways to make this patriotic color palette work without having to place stars and stripes everywhere.  However, if stars and stripes is your thing, then let’s not make it tacky, shall we?  Here are some rooms that are tastefully decorated in red, white and blue both traditional and contemporary.


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The guest bedroom is the perfect place to implement a design that would be a little out of the ordinary.  While the master bedroom is your sanctuary, the guest bedroom is a place where guests will stay for short visits.  Since you will not be in the room constantly you don’t have to worry too much about the choices that you make.  Don’t be afraid to make bold decisions that are a little out of your comfort zone.  Make the room fun, yet inviting and most importantly comfortable (but not too comfortable or your guests might not want to leave!).  Make your guest room special for your visitors and don’t hesitate to add the element of surprise!

Add a little something extra to your guest room to make your visitors feel welcome.  Here are some ideas to accessorize your guest room that will make it more than just another room in the house and will show a little extra hospitality.

Add some fresh flowers to your bedside table.

Carafe of water and glass

Alarm Clock

Add a throw blanket to your bed.

Basket filled with goodies

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Lighting is a crucial design element when it comes to accessorizing and decorating your home.  “Lighting is not simply to eliminate darkness; it is a creative ingredient in successful design,” said Deborah Kreye, ASID, interior designer with Vogue Interiors.  Part of a design plan needs to include how to illuminate a space effectively and not to simply focus on the fixture itself.  Make sure that your rooms are correctly illuminated with just the right amount of light.  Over-lit or under-lit rooms can become uncomfortable rooms to be in.  To know if a room is illuminated correctly take the total number of watts in the room (generally a 4″ can will have a 65 watt lamp) and divide by the square footage of the room.  You want to be as close to .8 as possible.  Here are some examples of different lighting applications. 

Creating A “Path” Of Light 

Use wall sconces to create a subtle “path” of light through the home.  This can create a directional visual element to lead people in a logical progression. 


Lighting Artwork 

Highlight artwork in your home with spot lighting or track lighting.  Spot lighting can be focused directly on one piece whereas track lighting can illuminate an entire gallery. 

Track Lighting

Spot Lighting

Lighting For Architectural Details 

Architectual details of a home can be accentuated with lighting.  Highlight a recessed cove with concealed cove lighting. 



Ambient Lighting  

Ambient lighting can be either direct of indirect.  Ambient lighting can be a hidden light sources that washes a room with a glow.  Temporary ambient effects can be achieved with a dimmer. 



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Gray is the ultimate neutral.  It looks good with just about any color and ranges from cool to warm.  Gray can provide the perfect anchor color and can also be used to offset moldings, flooring and ceiling in a room.  Because gray looks good with just about any accent color you can’t really go wrong!  Check out gray with these hot new color trends for 2010!

Gray and Yellow

Add a little cheerfulness to your gray with a beautiful yellow!  If you have gray floors, gray walls or gray bathroom tiles work with what you’ve got to incoorporate color.

Gray and Turquoise

Turquoise is a hot color this season and will surely make any room pop with color!  Blue evokes a calming emotion and between that and gray this color combo will keep you at ease.

Gray and Orange

Orange is becoming more and more popular these days despite how much your mom may hate it!  If you use it sparingly you might not hate it 20 years later as much as your mom does.

Gray and Pink

So, pink might be a little touchy especially for the guys or if you live with a guy!  Chances are, that you might not get your husband to agree with pink in a common area, but you might be able to swing it in a children’s room or guest bedroom.  However, if you live alone this could be the perfect color palette just for you!

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