Easy Home Projects - Part Three

Friday, November 21, 2008

Painting your front door makes a big difference in the first impression your home gives. Paint your door a color that you love like orange or red. Replace your house numbers with new modern house numbers. While you’re at it, repaint your mailbox post. You could also repaint your porch railing to make over the entry way to your home.

Even if you don’t have a room in your entry way, you can create an entry way easily. All you need to do is place a bench near the front door with coat hooks above it. Put baskets underneath that pull out for quick storage of shoes and other items such as library books. Having a bench in the entry way is very convenient as well as looking good, most people find them to be quite useful.

If you want to give a room a comfortable country style make over try putting wainscoting around the room topped with chair rail. Paint it a color that is a couple of shades darker or lighter than the wall color or go bold and paint it a contrasting color.

Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood is a breeze to install. You could do a small room in one weekend quite easily. There are also stick down bathroom floor tiles that look like tile floor. If your bathroom floor is linoleum and outdated, this could really help the look.

Check back soon for the next portion of this blog.

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Easy Home Projects - Part Two

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paint or wallpaper one wall in your bedroom a brighter color than the others. This accent wall will make your bedroom look more interesting. Wallpapers are available in practically any texture and color you can imagine, so have fun shopping around.

If you have an old dresser you’re using somewhere in your house that isn’t very attractive consider giving it a makeover. Sand it down and paint it a bright color or stain. Add polyurethane so the color will last. Add new drawer pulls that are up to date. You may even want to makeover other pieces of furniture in the same room to match.

If you dining room chairs have fabric seats you will probably need to reupholster them at some point, because the seat fabric always seems to get dingy far before the table starts to look dingy too. Choose a stylish fabric and cut it an extra two inches wide all the way around the shape of the seat. Wrap the fabric around the seat and staple it in place.

Home offices always seem to be places where clutter loves to live. Take the time to organize all of the clutter. Investing in a few matching boxes and files will help a lot. Label everything and pay attention the layout so it will be easy to put things where they belong before clutter gets the better of the room again.

Check back soon for the next portion of this blog.

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Easy Home Projects - Part One

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Large home projects are daunting tasks, and often they don’t get done. But, there are plenty of small home projects that you can easily get done in a weekend, some even in a couple of hours, that can make your home look cuter. Another good thing about these small projects is that they are mostly fairly inexpensive and can be done on a budget.

Rearrange your living room furniture. Simply rearranging a room is free of course, and it can make the room feel fresh and new. Try planning out how you want to arrange the room on paper to save the time and effort of trial and error when moving things around. Think about getting rid of any extra tables or junk you don’t need, or bring in a table or accent piece from another room if you actually don’t have enough in your living room. Make sure you put the coffee table close enough to the couch to easily set drinks on it.

Adding a small shelf at eye level to a wall that doesn’t have enough pizzazz can really give a room more personality. You can use the shelf to display small framed pictures and art, candles, or some other item. You can layer them a little bit for a more interesting look, or space them a few inches apart for a modern sleek look.

Check back soon for the next portion of this blog.

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Merge Style and Function - Part Two

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If you want to display your kids’ artwork, but you don’t like how it looks cluttered on the refrigerator, try a more stylish alternative. You can hang a linen covered bulletin board covered with a cute pattern or just a solid color that matches the room it is in. Hand the artwork on this with small pins. You can also hang colored string across the ceiling in rows and attach clips to it to display art work all along the ceiling.

Apply the same rules to picking out a kitchen table as discussed above for coffee table selection. Also, kitchen tables that are round can be a big plus if you have a family because it will help encourage conversation. Also, the less corners the better when you have kids in the house.

There are even paint types available today that can help you reach your design goals. Use high quality latex paint and your walls will wipe clean easily. Use magnetic primer under your paint and you can display art directly on the walls. Try a chalkboard paint in a kid’s room or a play room if they like drawing with chalk.

Carpet is probably not the best choice if you have a family. A spill can turn into a stressful cleanup that ends up staining. Hardwood flooring or even a laminate that looks like hardwood, can stand up to messes and look great at the same time.

Get a big cupboard for your living room or playroom and fill it with labeled baskets. These baskets can be used to store toys and can be easily organized. If you get cute wicker baskets you could even store them on shelving and the room would still look nice. Benches are good in playrooms or kids’ rooms too, because you can put baskets underneath for extra storage.

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Merge Style and Function - Part One

Monday, November 17, 2008

There are several things you can do to help your home look stylish when you have kids with products that will stand the test of abuse. Some of these tips can help organize and reduce clutter but they also look good.

Have a bench in your entryway. This will be where all shoes get removed. You can place a couple of baskets underneath the bench in which shoes can be stored. You can get a cute rug to go under the bench that will gather the dirt and help contain it.

Keep a basket at the landing of your stairs. Use it to hold things that you know you’ll need to take upstairs or downstairs. This way you can keep surfaces in your home clutter free without having to run up and down the stairs to put away each item individually.

Take care when you pick out your coffee table. Coffee tables tend to get dinged up quickly, so you should make sure you choose a table that is durable. If you are going to go with wood, choose a hard wood like oak and choose a table that has been polyurethaned. Steer clear of glass coffee tables, not only could they be broken during roughhousing, but they show finger prints much more easily than wood does.

Leather is a good choice for upholstery because you can wipe it clean. Leather tends to look better as it gets older too, which you can’t say about other upholstery materials. Leather is quite durable and should be able to hold up well if you have kids and pets.

Check back soon for the next portion of this blog.

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Decorate with Ornaments

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas tree ornaments can be used creatively in a variety of ways for decorating, and the best part is the low cost.

Buy two medium or large clear ornaments and remove the metal part on top that attaches to a hook. Fill the ornaments at least half way with spices to use in hot chocolate or egg nog. One could be filled with ground nutmeg, and the other could be filled with ground cinnamon for example. Other options would be vanilla or chocolate powder, whatever you’d like really. Now, cover the openings with squares of cheesecloth. Secure the cheesecloth around the opening with silver or gold string.

Large clear ornaments can also be used to fill with bright candy, peppercorns, popcorn kernels or any other bright colored small food item. Tie bits of ribbon to the loops meant to use hooks in for hanging.

Use small sized festively colored ornaments for decorating the fridge. Tie two together using red ribbon, and hang them over a metal fridge clip that is clipped to a holiday photo or card.

Small ornaments also look cute used as decorations on cupcakes, one small ornament per cupcake.

You can make a cute centerpiece for a table using ornaments stuck on wooden skewers displayed in a vase. Use pieces of your Christmas tree in between ornaments.

Small ornaments can be tied in pairs around napkins with cute ribbon to create unique place settings for parties. Write the guests name who is to sit in each place on small pieces of paper and slip the pieces into clear ornaments, one for each pair in a setting.

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Inexpensive Do It Yourself Decorating Idea

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Since most of us are trying to save money right now, I thought I would post a few do it yourself home decorating projects. These are all inexpensive projects that you can save money doing yourself. Do it yourself projects can end up being a lot of fun too, and the results will be creations you made, so you’ll feel more sentimental about them than if you had simply purchased the work from a store.

Artwork to adorn your walls with can be quite expensive. Not only are even prints expensive to buy, but they’re even more expensive to frame. Fortunately, there are some creative do it yourself alternatives.

Framing a piece of fabric can look nice. Just use a matting board for a border in a contrasting color. You can make this into a series if you prefer, framing matching fabrics or maybe fabrics that match in texture but differ in color.

Framing dried plants and flowers can look very pretty. Use a colorful mat board to hot glue them to. Another option is to make a colored photocopy of an arrangement of leaves and flowers and frame that.

Take a trip to the thrift store or to a used book store. Find books with pictures you like inside and use them to frame. You can get more creative and make a collage of several if you like. Try adding some text too and spraying over it in a clear coat before framing.

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All About Candles – Part Five

Monday, November 10, 2008

Certain candle scents are often used in particular rooms. For example for kitchen use people favor vanilla based smells which would include plain vanilla, but also scents such as cookie dough or birthday cake, two of my personal favorites. Other baking scented scents are popular in the kitchen too, such as cinnamon, mocha, gingerbread, hazelnut, brown sugar, apple pie, pumpkin, and coffee. People tend to use floral or fruity scented candles in bathrooms such as lilac, lavender, rose, jasmine, gardenia, or citrus and apple cents.

Smells are thought to have a powerful influence over our moods. Aromatherapy is the use of scent for psychological and physical health. You may want to try to burn candles that will have a certain affect on you. The smell of clove is said to make people feel courageous. Orange is a smell that encourages optimism. Eucalyptus is said to encourage mental focus. Happiness and harmony are supposed to be encouraged by lemon, orange, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang, honeysuckle, coconut, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli, and lavender. If you’re often tired try burning jasmine, lemon, patchouli, peppermint, sandalwood, pine, or clove candles.

Candles can be a great way to accessorize, but they aren’t for everyone. People with small kids or pets might consider whether the candles will get knocked over and become a fire risk. Candles shouldn’t ever be left burning when you aren’t at home, and candles also shouldn’t be burned near anything that could catch fire.

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All About Candles – Part Four

Friday, November 07, 2008

Tea light candles are quite small. These are cylinder shaped and are only about one inch tall and one and a half inches in diameter. These candles usually come already poured into a metal holder. There are many ornamental type lamps that use this type of candle.
This type of candle is also used in candle diffusers, which are used to infuse oil scents into the air. They have a space for a tealight above which is a small bowl that scented oil is poured into.

The types of candles you choose and the way you display them will affect the style that they give your home. If you group candles together you’ll create a more dramatic feeling. Two taper candles in candlesticks on the dinner table will provide a classic romantic style. Colored votive candles in glass containers lined up on your mantle will offer a cozy feeling. You can achieve an Asian style by grouping a few pillar candles of varying heights and neutral colors together on a pillar plate and filling the plate around the candles with black or neutral colored stones.

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your candles last as long as possible. You should store candles in a cool, dark and dry place. Candles stored in bright light will fade over time. Thin candles should be stored laying flat, otherwise they may warp. Running hot water over a candle is an easy way to remove candle drippings from their sides.

This blog is to be continued. Check back soon for the next section!

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All About Candles – Part Three

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pillar candles are usually about three inches in diameter and are often perfect cylinders, but they can also be square, hexagonal or another odd shape as well and still be called pillar candles. These candles stand on their own just fine, but you wouldn’t want to burn them without a candle holder because was will drip down the sides of these candles as they burn and onto whatever they are sitting on. It is popular to put three pillar candles of different sizes together on a decorative holder shaped like a plate or shallow bowl. Then you can fill the bowl with rocks or other decorative materials. This can make a nice centerpiece for a kitchen table or a coffee table if you have extra space on your coffee table.

There are a lot of candles that come in a jar or other type of container, often glass but sometimes ceramic, metal, or some other type of material. These candles usually come with lids, which can be nice if you store your candles so they don’t get covered in dust. These are my favorite types of candles for actually burning, this is because the container keeps the wax contained so it eliminates mess. These types of candles are probably the most popular type of candle and they come in pretty much every color, shape and size that you can think of.
This blog is to be continued. Check back soon for the next section!

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All About Candles – Part Two

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Taper candles are tall thin candles, usually six to eighteen inches tall. These candles are meant to be held in a candle holder. Taper candle holders can be found in a great variety of colors and styles. You can get double or triple candle holders that fasten to the wall, or you can get stands to hold these candles. You can also get simple single candle holders for them that are very elegant.

Taper candles can be a great way to decorate, because you can choose some really cool candle holders for them. However, actually burning them may prove to be messy depending on the type of candle holder you select. If you have a holder that hangs on the wall over carpet and the candle wax drips it could ruin your carpet. Also if the candle holder does not hold the candle completely securely a small bump could cause the candle to fall and cause a fire hazard. I find that these candles are great for decorating, but not the best type for actually burning.

Votive candles are small cylinder shaped candles, typically about and a half inches in diameter and two or two and a half inches tall. These are made to be burned in a cup. These are the size candles that are often used in religious ceremonies. These are nice because they are quite cheap and the cups to burn them in can be reused.

This blog is to be continued. Check back soon for the next section!

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All About Candles – Part One

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Now that Halloween is over you may be thinking about how you’re going to decorate your home where your Halloween decorations were. Candles are an easy and inexpensive way to decorate. Candles are great for the colder season because they lend a nice glow and warmth to a room, as well as an appealing scent. Candles also add style and charm to a home. Candles are also extremely easy to get in a large variety of colors and shapes to match any décor. There are many types of candles available, and I thought I’d go over the types and what to look for and avoid in candles.

Gel candles can be very unique and pretty. They are made out of a soft gelled mineral oil substance. Decorative wax items can be put into these candles before they harden, which leaves a lot of room for creative design. For example, wax strawberries might fill the glass container before the clear candle substance is poured in, resulting in a candle that looks like strawberry preserves. I think these candles can look really cool, and they are especially nice if you really want to be obvious about seasonal decorating, since they come in many seasonal designs, for example, hearts for valentines day.

Specialty candles are those that are actually sculpted to look like a three dimensional object. These are normally not burned, but used purely for decoration.

This blog is to be continued. Check back soon for the next section!

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