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The Perfect Guest Room – How to Create a Space Visitors Will Love

saddle-river-showhouse-bedroom-interior-design-5-1024x768Maybe you just moved to a new place and have a spare room. Perhaps your kids recently moved out and you’d like to convert their old bedrooms. Maybe you finally cleaned out your craft room and you’re ready for something new. Maybe you just want more house guests. No matter what your motivation might be for creating a guest room, it’s important to create a place your visitors will feel comfortable with. Whether you’re working with a large or small space it’s possible to create a guest bedroom your visitors will want to stay in again and again.

Color | The first thing you should choose is your color scheme. Most guest rooms feature neutral tones for a reason: they’re calming. When your guests visit, they’ll retreat to their room for relaxation and rest. Some people find it difficult to unwind in a room that has bright, bold colors. While bright red or lime green might be fine for your teen’s bedroom, consider choosing something more neutral for your guest room. For example, you could paint the walls a cream color or even opt for light blue.

It’s important to choose your guest room bedroom paint colors before you choose anything else in the room. This is because the walls will essentially be the base of the room. This means that you’ll choose your paint color, then make other decisions for decor based on that color. For example, if you choose to have light green walls, you can incorporate a springtime theme in the room. You can place a colorful quilt on the bed, choose paintings that feature nature and even have green throw rugs on the floor.

Clutter | No matter what room you choose to use for guests, it’s important that you declutter the space before you let your guests stay in the room. While you might not mind clutter yourself, it can be stressful for guests to be around. Many guests are quite sensitive when it comes to having too much “stuff” in their space and may feel uncomfortable with large amounts of clutter. Clearing the junk and unecessary items from your guest room will also give you a larger space to work with.

Consider moving any boxes or excess furniture to your garage. You may also want to minimize the amount of souvenirs and trinkets you have in the room. Remember that while teacups, teddy bears and glass figurines might hold special memories, they also take up a lot of space. Aim to keep these items in your own bedroom instead of your guest room.

Furniture | Consider using furniture you already have to furnish the guest room. Many items you already own can easily be modified or spruced up for your guest room space. Something as simple as painting an old dresser or adding a new coat of varnish can give a tired piece of furniture a whole new look.

If you need a few new pieces for your guest room, check local estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores. Many people will try to get rid of old furniture at low prices, which means you can furnish your guest room inexpensively quite easily. While used furniture might need a bit of work to be guest-room ready, a bit of creativity can go a long way. Something as simple as replacing the knobs on an old dresser can give the piece a brand new look.

No matter how big or small your guest room might be, remember that the goal is to make your guests happy. Even if there are a few elements of the room you don’t completely love, it’s fine as long as your visitors enjoy the room. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family members or neighbors their opinions on your guest room. They may be able to offer some valuable ideas you might not have otherwise thought of.


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Essential Tips for Measuring and Hanging Curtains

curtainTo get the right window treatments and design in place, you need to know how to correctly measure and hang curtains. Thankfully, it isn’t as hard as it might seem at first. Continue reading for a few essential tips for measuring and hanging curtains so you can get it right every time.

Measure the Length | To determine the length of your curtains and drapes, you will have to choose where you prefer the curtains to end. You can have them land onto the floor, or you have them be level with your flooring. Other options include having them hang underneath your windowsill or at the height of the windowsill. Once you know where you want the curtains to land, measure the length and then add 1-2 inches of clearance for flooring or carpets.

Measure the Width | When it comes to figuring out how wide your curtains need to be, you should not be measuring the window itself. Instead, you should be measuring the pole or the track. If you have a track, measure the entire width of it. If you have poles, you should measure them up to the decorative end. And if you are dealing with a single track that has an overlapping track or bracket, you should measure both widths and simply add them together.

Hanging the Curtains | Choose your decorative rod before you hang your curtains, and figure out where it will need to be installed so that you can accurately determine the length of your curtains. Keep in mind that a decorative rod, as well as ties, holdbacks, and finials, will finalize the look of your curtains and add an extra element of detail and texture that otherwise would not be there. There are a wide range of options to choose from, so you can match it to the rest of your design and the curtains themselves. Once you choose the rod that you want, install it according to the directions on the product label. Then either pull the curtains through the rod or use rings to hang the curtains from the rods and more easily open and close the curtains each day.

A Few Mistakes to Avoid | When it comes to measuring and hanging curtains, there are a few mistakes that you should avoid, in addition to ensuring that you do not get an incorrect measurement. For example, you should hang the curtains close to the ceiling to make the room appear larger. Avoid purchasing curtains that are too short, iron the curtains before hanging them, and remember to think about the fullness of the curtains too. So if you have a window that is 4 feet wide, for example, you should have panels that are 8-10 feet wide because you want to get curtains that are at least double the width of your window to create fullness once they are up.

Remember that, when it comes to window treatments, it’s about more than just looks. With the tips above, you can rest assured that you will be measuring and hanging your curtains with ease and accuracy.

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Ideas for Including a Fireplace in a Room with a High Ceiling

Image Credit | Europecinefestival

Image Credit | Europecinefestival

Often designed as the focal point of a room, the fireplace has been a popular structural feature chosen by homeowners and interior designers alike. The modern fireplace offers a dual purpose as both a design element and as a heating component for the home. The opportunity to infuse a higher level of decorative impact for the fireplace develops when the room in which it is to be placed features a high ceiling. Here are a few ideas to optimize the visual affect presented by a fireplace built in a room offering a high ceiling.

Murals & Mosaics | Since the room features tall ceilings, a lot of open wall will exist above the fireplace mantel, giving you ample space to include a large mural or mosaic display that can perform as the focal point of the room. With the mural positioned at eye level, it delivers the perfect opportunity to infuse a sense of your own style and personality into the room’s décor.

Faux Chimney | Rather than hiding the flue pipes in the wall of the room, you can build a faux chimney from the top of the fireplace to the ceiling. This strategy creates an excellent opportunity to take advantage of decorative choices in natural stone to enhance the overall appearance of this living space. You might also want to consider faux stone since the weight of natural stone could limit how far up the wall you can reasonably go without risking problems in which the heaviness of the stone weakens the overall structure.

Traditional Mantel | For homeowners who prefer the traditional appearance of a fireplace that features a mantel, the tall ceiling doesn’t need to be a hindrance. You can still design a mantel that is set at shoulder height and styled to hold decorative accents. A large painting can be placed in the center of the open space above the mantel to fill in the open area that remains.

Summing Up | The placement of a fireplace within a tall-ceilinged room should blend both functionality and design in order to achieve a pleasant result. Murals, mosaics, faux chimneys, mantels, and oversized paintings can all be used to enhance the overall effect.




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Tips on Choosing Your Kitchen Countertop

beach-house-kitche-design-1024x768The selection of kitchen countertops is important for two reasons. First, your choice influences the overall appearance of the room. Secondly, it determines how quickly your countertops will need replacement. Some countertop materials are easier to clean, more resistant to damage, and easier to blend with surroundings than other types. Your selection of a countertop should be based upon what you intend to use it for and not just for its appearance. Here is a look at some of the most popular choices in kitchen countertops along with some of the benefits attached to choosing them.

Polished Granite | Perhaps the most popular choice in kitchen countertops, polished granite have the following qualities:
.   Durable
.   Attractive
.   Natural
.   High-end appearance

Honed Granite | Although not as popular as engineered granite, honed granite has these qualities:
.   Matte finish
.   Heat resistant
.   Scratch resistant
.   Chip and crack resistant

Engineered Quartz | Offering a non-porous surface, engineered quartz countertops are:
.   Heat resistant
.   Stain resistant
.   Impact resistant
.   Acid resistant
.   Scratch resistant
.   Easily maintained

Marble | Offering enduring popularity, marble countertops have lots of merit, including the fact that they are:
.   Capable of hiding minor damage and stains
.   Aesthetically pleasing
.   Smooth

Wood | Offering a natural look, wood countertops provide:
.   Hard surfaces
.   Heat resistance
.   Earth tones

Laminate | An affordable option, laminate is experiencing fresh popularity because it offers:
.   Patterned designs
.   Bright colors
. Trendy Styling

Stainless Steel | Featured in industrial kitchens, stainless steel countertops have a lot to offer, including:
.   Easy maintenance
.   Durability
.   Hygienic surface
.   Coordinates well with other materials

Glass | A pricier, out-of-the-box option, glass countertops offer:
.   Modern styling
.   Streamlined appearance
.   Stain resistance
.   Easy maintenance
.   Durability

The above options are just some of the most commonly chosen materials for kitchen countertops, and you might also want to look at recycled, concrete, travertine, or soapstone materials. If you intend to use your countertops for food preparation and entertaining, you might want to select a style that delivers durability and resistance to damage. If you don’t intend to spend much time cooking in your kitchen, then your options are more varied. Talk to your interior designer for suggestions to help you make the best choice.

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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Chandelier

Mantoloking-18lowres1A chandelier often becomes the focal point of a room, entryway, or hallway, particularly when it is fully illuminated. The eyes are immediately drawn to its presence, making everything else in the room take second stage. Since your choice determines just how pleasing the chandelier’s appearance is, you’ll want to study your options carefully or speak with your interior designer about blending your selection in with the area’s existing style and ambiance.

Style Selection | To create the most successful presentation, your chandelier should match the existing style of décor and interior design. For example, if your home is currently featuring a traditional look, you’ll want to choose a lighting fixture with the same style features.

Functionality & Mood | Lighting is intended to provide one of three purposes – task, general, or mood illumination. Task lighting provides sufficient illumination to accomplish specific types of tasks. For example, hanging the fixture directly over the dining table is intended to enhance the ability to see what it is that you are eating, while a lighting fixture in a hallway is meant to provide general illumination that allows you to see sufficiently enough to travel safely through the area. Mood lighting, on the other hand, requires low illumination such as that which a dimmer control can provide.

Sizing Concerns | An oversized chandelier can look out of place, particularly in cramped quarters, such as small rooms or areas filled with an abundance of furnishings. On the other hand, large-sized chandeliers are suitable for open rooms with spacious width and length dimensions, particularly if the furniture in the room is also on the larger side.

Budgetary Concerns | Depending on the materials and design features utilized in their construction, chandeliers can be expensive. If you have any budgetary concerns, discuss them with your interior designer or take additional time to find a fixture that meets your needs.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Chandelier for Your Home | When you purchase a chandelier, you should attempt to match its style and size so that it blends well with the existing décor in the space. You select the fixture so that it provides the type of lighting needed for the area, while also sticking to your financial budget.


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Ways to Make Your Bedroom Feel Cooler This Summer

The hottest part of the year is upon us, and while the weather has still been a little bit unpredictable (causing mud baths at Glastonbury), hot, dry days are sure to be something we can look forward to in the coming weeks. Of course, one of the downsides of the beautiful sunny weather is that at night, it can be difficult to sleep. Since most UK homes don’t even entertain the idea of having air conditioning installed because the costs outweigh how many overly hot days we tend to get in a year, we don’t usually have this as an option to get our bedrooms down to a comfortable temperature for sleep. Also, if your bedroom has the type of windows that will open only a small amount using window actuators or by sliding, then you can’t simply throw the windows open wide to let in more fresh air. If you do throw open your windows because you have the right type of windows to do this, you then, of course, have to worry about bugs.

So, if you are not looking forward to trying to sleep on the hot, sweaty nights to come this summer, what can you do to make your bedroom more comfortable?


Crisp, Light Linens | Some people prefer to throw off the covers altogether when it is really hot, but others feel like they can’t sleep without some form of cover over them. Whichever camp you fall into, you want linens on your bed that are not made of synthetic materials that are going to stop your skin breathing and make you sweat more. Even without a cover the sheet you sleep on top of should be made of a breathable cotton. Choose high thread count cottons if you prefer a smooth, satin-like feel and sheen, rather than synthetic satin style sheets. Also, use pillows filled with natural fibres like feathers rather than synthetic, non breathable foams. You’ll probably want to change your sheets more regularly at this time of year because you sweat at night, so buy a few sets you can switch between while one set is drying.

Fans | A ceiling fan is the best for circulating air in your bedroom, but if you don’t want to install one of these, standing fans placed around the room or desk style fans on surfaces can make a big difference. Try and position them so that they are moving around the fresh air from the window.

Remove Clutter | The more free space there is in your room, the airier it will feel, and fresh air from outside and air circulated by fans can move more easily. Push furniture close to your bed against the wall and consider moving things that create obstacles in your bedroom like laundry hampers, foot stools, lamps and floor cushions into other rooms for the hottest part of the year. The barer the room is, the cooler it will feel.

These are just a few ways to try and make your bedroom more comfortable through the hottest time of the year in the UK.


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Transforming an Open Living Room into One with a Traditional Feeling

Transforming an Open Living Room into One with a Traditional FeelingMany of today’s homes feature an open floor plan designed to enhance the spaciousness of the living area. While many homeowners appreciate the charm of an open-concept plan, the ability to enclose a living room to promote a formal atmosphere is one that provides distinct possibilities. Here is a look at a few strategies that interior designers might suggest for this purpose.

Furniture Selection | Custom-made bookcases and decorative wardrobes featuring double-sided functionality can be used to create man-made partitioning that is attractive on both sides of the living space. Alternatively, you can simply align two identical pieces of furniture back to back in order to create your own double-sided version of a bookcase or wardrobe.

Partitioning through Furniture Placement | In order to devise a sense of separation for a formal living room, you can place larger pieces of furniture strategically in the most open borders of the space. For example, if the entryway into the living room from another room is the widest area of openness, you might want to line several pieces of furniture on either side of the space, creating an open entranceway that is distinctively delineated.

Creating Delineation through Architectural Elements | For homeowners who prefer not to rely on furniture to devise a distinctive demarcation between a formal living room and the other areas of the space, architectural features provide a good useful option. Instead of creating a border with furniture, you might want to raise the floor of the living room and incorporate one or two steps at its entryway. Another option involves adding a couple of aesthetically pleasing pillars at the entranceway. Both strategies portray the living room as a separate space without blocking it from view.

Summing Up | If your home is based on an open-floor plan, the desire to alter its design presents unique challenges, particularly if you want to avoid structural modifications that create permanent changes. Simpler options do exist. For example, you can incorporate double-sided furniture to create an attractive border, align large pieces of furniture at the entryway, or build the floor taller to deliver a clear separation of the living room from other areas of the open floor plan.

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Enhancing a Room with Recessed Lighting

Enhancing a Room with Recessed Lighting

Wall washing at British Museum, London

In order to infuse a sense of spaciousness to a small-sized room, interior designers often take advantage of a technique referred to as wall washing. This particular strategy directs the illumination provided by lighting fixtures along the walls in order to create the illusion of added space. Here are a few tips to follow in order to enhance the results that you get.

Choose the Proper Housing Trim | In order to direct the illumination of recessed lighting onto the walls, you should choose trim that features a directional reflector and light scoop. The trim is designed to direct the illumination toward the walls in order to make the room appear larger in size than it actually is. If the room has a sloped ceiling, you also have the option to use recessed lighting that uses eyeball trim in the mounting process.

Choose the Correct Mounting Design | The placement of your lighting fixture determines how well it will achieve the desired effect of creating the illusion of spaciousness to a room. Follow this guideline:
.    Ceilings of 9 feet: mount the lights 3 to 4 feet in distance from the walls and allow for 2 to 3 foot of space in between each fixture
.    Ceilings less than 9 feet in height: mount the lights 2 to 3 feet away from the walls and allow for 3 to 4 foot of space from one fixture to the next

Choose an Optimal Bulb Type | If you have chosen a wall washed trim, one that includes a directional reflector and light scoop, the most common choice for a bulb is to use a CFL bulb, LED, or an incandescent A lamp. Defer to your interior designer on the selection of the bulbs for your recessed lighting, particularly if you are attempting to wash your walls in illumination. The packaging instructions should identify the preferred type of bulb as well as the maximum wattage that you should choose.

Optimizing the Effect | Ideally, you should combine additional types of lighting with your recessed fixtures in order to enhance the appearance of the room. For example, wall sconces and cove lighting can be illuminate dark corners.

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Ideas for Decorating an Elongated Corner Fireplace

Ideas for Decorating an Elongated Corner FireplaceWhat options do you have if you’d like to include a fireplace in your remodeling efforts for the living and dining areas, but the available space involves an L-shaped corner? Even if one wall is longer than the other, several decorating schemes can assist you in designing an attractive fireplace alcove with confidence.

Wall Mirrors | Enhancing the visual effect of an L-shaped fireplace is easily accomplished by mounting floor-to-ceiling mirrors across from the fireplace, adding depth and beauty to its appearance. Alternatively, you can arrange a grouping of mirrors, choosing different sizes, shapes, and heights for each of the walls of the fireplace.

Accent Pieces | Accent pieces are favorite choices for interior designer and with good reason. An accent piece can be used to draw attention to a focal point or to enhance the existing appearance of any design element. Place large floor vases, narrow chairs, or statues to place at either end of the fireplace for an added touch of drama and color.

Faux Mantels | If your fireplace design doesn’t include a mantel, you can use decorative shelves over each side of it. Choose materials that blend well with other design elements of the room. This option provides an excellent opportunity to choose decorative accents to place along your faux mantels.

Custom-Made Fireplace Doors | Offering necessary functionality and attractive styling, custom-made doors for the fireplace allow you to infuse a sense of your personality into the room. Speak with your interior designer about the options that you have when dealing with an L-shaped setting. Together, the two of you can come up with something clever that does exactly what you need it to do.
Creating Contrast | Since the fireplace already has its own sense of drama, you might just want to add a touch more. Consider contrasting color schemes for the walls above the fireplace or perhaps a textured treatment that makes use of bright colors in varying patterns of dark and light. Alternatively, if the room has limited access to natural light consider adding a glazed wall treatment to catch rays of light for a reflective sensation.

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How to Make the Most of Your Home Remodeling Efforts

How to Make the Most of Your Home Remodeling EffortsWhether it has been a few years since your last remodeling project or you need to make a few changes to accommodate a growing family or the need to care for aging parents, it’s important to follow a few strategies before and during your renovation efforts. Some of these tips require legwork while others involve being honest with your interior designer regarding your expectations.

Do Your Research | In order to get the most out of any remodeling that you plan to do, it is important for you to conduct some research on your own before contacting your interior designer. Doing so makes it easier for you to identify the design changes that you are interested in making within your home. Take a stroll through homes listed for sale, search floor plans on the Internet, or browse through interior design books for ideas.

Explain the Reasons behind Your Design Choices | Transparency with your interior designer is critical to achieving your goals regarding the transformation of your living space. Not only should you provide a list of the renovations that you want, but you should also indicate why you are making these changes. It is more than possible that your interior designer will have valuable suggestions to make regarding some of the modifications that you want to include. Use home design applications on your smart phone to help you with design decisions.

Specify Your Financial Commitment | Whether or not money is an issue, it is always a sound idea to describe your financial expectations with your designer. Doing so can help to identify potential materials for at least some of the renovations that you are considering. Ideally, you should place a certain amount of money aside just in case you go over budget. Renovating a home is often a project that experiences some fluidity in completion. It is more than possible that you will come up with additional changes that you wish to make.

Ask Questions | If your designer presents you with suggestions on changing some of your ideas, be sure to ask the reason behind them. Knowledgeable interior designers have vast experience to draw upon, and they might have valuable insights that can help to create a successful project and optimal functionality of the results.

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