Power on! Statement lighting

The textured metallic bowl of the Rodan from Crate and Barrel, glows from within its antique gold interior. crateandbarrel.com

It can be tricky business selecting the right light fixture for a room. Thousands of options make the process overwhelming. A plethora of styles and sizes in various metals, fabrics, bulb counts and glass—tinted, etched, frosted or clear—make you second guess yourself, sometimes even after the purchase has been made.

Is the one from the big box store good enough, or should you splurge on the special order creation that caught your eye?

While many of us would lean toward playing it safe, it appears that those who have the courage to power things up and make a statement with lighting are setting the stage for a show-stopping look. Like a great piece of art, a standout fixture can really draw the eye and set off a space.

We’ve collected some striking entries from past issues of Housetrends, as well as some of our favorite manufacturers. We hope they’ll help you narrow down the field when you are selecting your own finishing touch. And if you are hankering for even more choices, go to housetrends.com and search: statement lighting.

The Bubble fixture from PLC Lighting can be customized by adding or removing bubbles to fit the desired length. plclighting.com

This Urchin fixture by Varaluz is inspired by the simple, geometric-shape of sea urchins with their telltale barbs. varaluz.com

A three-light pendant with hand-applied gold and silver layered leaf finish and graceful glass beads surround a classic frame in the Chanelle. progress.lightingnewyork.com

This Larmes pendant features row upon row of clear oversized teardrops, mounted on an extended polished chrome base. et2lightinglights.com

This Laurelhurst light features a streamlined metal cage for a classic yet updated industrial-inspired design. rejuvenation.com

This Big Bang suspension lamp by Foscarini is an explosion of criss-crossing forms which create an architecture of surfaces, lights and shadows. foscarini.com

Vertigo, by Corbett Lighting, is an intertwining collage of circular handcrafted rings fused together to create a contemporary look. corbettlighting.hvlgroup.com

Custom designed chandeliers add a perfectly Tudor touch to this Columbus kitchen. bernard-electric.com

Stacked wood veneer strips form a billowy, cloud-like structure in Link from LZF Lamps. lzf-lamps.com

The Shayla collection by Kichler features cut crystals suspended on a polished chain bringing subtle sparkle to a space. kichler.com

This spectacular Glistening Landscape chandelier, from John-Richard, was inspired by Japanese white Wisteria. johnrichard.com

 

Posted by Karen Bradner on housetrends

How To Refresh Your Home for Free Using Only the Decor You Already Own

Sergey Sidorov/Getty Images

With so many of us abiding by stay-at-home orders, we’re probably not the only ones who have gotten more than a little bored with our home decor. Staring at the same artwork, armchair, or rug day in and day out might have you thinking it’s time to a major change-up.

Bu there’s good news: An interior overhaul doesn’t mean you have to buy brand-new stuff! There’s plenty you can do with the furnishings you already own.

Take an afternoon to assess your space and put some of the following ideas into practice. You can get creative on your own or enlist your family to help you with the brainstorming. Because they’re around, right?

Declutter

That box full of papers you’ve been meaning to go through isn’t doing your decor—or mindset—any favors. Take some time out of your day to get rid of any extraneous clutter that’s lingering in your home.

“The most important and budget-friendly way to revamp your space is to get rid of unused or overused objects,” says Daniele Busca, creative director and brand ambassador of Scavolini USA in New York.

Experiment with a different layout

Put your spacial reasoning skills to the test and rearrange your furniture. If your sofa and love seat combo has been in the same L shape for as long as you can remember, consider having the two pieces face each other. Add an armchair and fun coffee table, and you have a whole new living space.

“I’d recommend buying furniture sliders so you can move things around without too much effort and no damage to your floors” says Joel Moss, broker with Warburg Realty Partnership in New York.

Let natural light in

Photo by McCabe House

Natural lighting can help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive. And who doesn’t need that right now?

Look at the room you spend the most time in. If the drapes are heavy, try swapping them out for ones in your house that are lighter in color and texture.

Busca also suggests removing the window treatment altogether if you have an interesting window frame that can stand on its own.

Moss says having natural light in her house is very important. With her former dining room receiving very little natural light, they rarely used it.

“We moved our dining table to an unused space by our sliding glass door. Now it overlooks our gardens and frog pond, gets great light, and we use it for everything,” says Moss.

Switch up your indoor lighting

While nothing beats natural lighting, having strategically placed lamps in a room can also do wonders for the look of your decor.

Swap out the table lamps throughout your home, or move a floor lamp to the other side of the sofa. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you come up with an exciting new layout.

Restyle your bookshelves

Photo by Carol Vaughan-Davis

An organized bookshelf is one of our favorite decor updates. It doesn’t require any heavy lifting, it gives you time to admire and rediscover your collection—and it makes an impact without costing a dime.

Color coordinate your books, and alternate stacks of vertical and horizontal books. If you have some candles, picture frames, or other decorative objects, try interspersing them throughout.

“Placing lamps on shelves between books can give a space a more stylish look,” says Busca.

Create a nook to read or relax in

During uncertain times, getting lost in a book can be a welcome escape, so make that reading space a serene one. Make sure you have good lighting—either next to a window or from a lamp—pillows, a blanket, and a side table to place a hot cup of tea on.

Rearrange artwork

By now you might be rethinking some of your art choices, like that abstract painting you picked up at a flea market. But there’s a fix for that.

Busca suggests switching up your artwork by hanging it on different walls and even in different rooms.

The same sort of swap can be done with wall mirrors, too.

Find new uses for a room

There are no rules that say the family room must serve only as the TV room. Maximize your space to do double or triple duty.

“We start each day with yoga and have the living room furniture arranged so we can easily push it back and have our own little yoga studio in front of the fire,” says Moss.

She says the bonus is being able to do yoga in front of the fireplace during the winter.

“The double bonus is that morning light floods that room,” Moss says. “What could be more perfect for sun salutations?”

 

Posted by Ana Durrani on realtor.com

5 Ways to Create “Cottage-Style” Vibes in Your Home

Cottage 1

Nothing is quite as relaxing as time spent in a cozy summer cottage. Spending a few weeks at such a lovely getaway will always leave you feeling renewed and refreshed.

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy that feeling every day?

You can! Here’s some inspiration to help you get started.

1. Create the perfect entrance

Source: Pinterest

What could be more inviting than a beautiful glass door behind an intricately designed screen door that begs to be opened?

The windows allow sunlight to stream in, lighting up your interior space with a warm glow. If you prefer, privacy curtains can be used, which also helps you regulate your home’s interior temperature.

The warm wood floor, combined with the wooden door, screen door, and detailed molding, each painted a lovely shade of white adds a touch of elegance to this entrance.

2. Don’t forget the porch

If you’re fortunate enough to have a porch, then creating the perfect cottage feel to your space isn’t difficult at all.

Source: Pinterest

Add a variety of plants that can be grown in pots and do well in shade. Put them in pots that are a mix of different sizes and colors to add to the eclectic cottage vibes you’re trying to create.

And of course, don’t forget the seating.

One or more rockers, or if you have space, a swing will turn your porch into the best place in the house (where everyone will want to hang out).

Source: Pinterest

3. Add a stone or gravel path

Add a gravel or stone path leading to your home. Create a storybook feel by adding a mix of different types of flowers and plants, placing them along each side of the pathway.

Source: Chatelaine

Depending on the space available, consider adding a bench, birdbath(s) and lawn ornaments (e.g. a gazing ball) to create a space to relax and enjoy nature.

4. Change up the family space

Source: HGTV

Cottage style will make you smile and feel at home the minute you see it.

To create a cottage feel in your living room add slipcovers to your couch and/or chairs.

Slipcovers do much more than protect your furniture. They are warm and relaxing…just like your favorite big, fuzzy slippers or stretchy sweatpants. Choose durable materials such as burlap, wool, or linen for long-lasting use. Go with neutral colors in natural materials to create a room that just feels “livable”.

Add a few pillows and you’ll create a place that will leave you feeling refreshed.

5. Redo your “me” space

Source: IdealHome

Imagine how relaxing it would feel to wake up in such a bright and cheery bedroom!

The beautiful flower-lined walls, matching comforter, and sweet yellow throw combine to create a casual look that begs to be enjoyed.

Wallpaper – yes, even in floral design – is making a big comeback. But it’s not your grandmother’s wallpaper…new technologies have improved the process, from installation to durability (and yes, even removal).

Finally, one of the best things about the cottage style is that there’s no single way to create the look. The only “standard” – if you could call it that – is to create a home that welcomes all who enter.

Posted on Zen of Zada on Managing the Home

Live Happily Ever After: Creating a Fairy Tale Interior

Once upon a time, there was a home that captured storybook allure with luxe fabrics and delicate details.

Pretty accessories, elegant touches, and finishes fit for a king all combine to create a fairy tale interior. From delicate pastel palettes to chic chandeliers, this sweet and sophisticated style is dreamy, decadent and perfect for any home.

Twinkle twinkle

Pretty statement pendant lights and elegant tableside fixtures create the perfect amount of illumination for a fairy tale interior. Create this look with layered lighting: choose a sophisticated statement pendant and complement it with dimmed floor lamps or bedside lighting.

Glass, nickel, and high-gloss finishes are all princely illumination options, and work perfectly in the master bedroom, dining and living areas.

design1

Photo from Zillow listing.

Powdery pastels

Create a space straight out of a storybook with soft and lustrous pastel colors throughout the room. Choose a satin-finish paint for the walls in a soft white or powdery gray, and add plush upholstered pieces in muted neutrals for additional elegance.

Top off the look with airy drapery and linens, and soft, tufted textures throughout.

design2

Courtesy of AdamHunterInc.

Enchanted embellishment

One of the most beloved characteristics of fairy tale interiors is their decadence and grandeur. From crown molding to ornate coving and ceiling medallions, fairy tale style is nothing short of sophisticated.

For your own enchanted space, consider adding molding. Moldings add shape and dimension to a room, lending an opulent feel to the design.

Accessorize the room with ultra-feminine furniture and velvety fabrics topped with masculine elements like fur and metal fixtures.

design3

Photo from Zillow listing.

Plenty of sophisticated touches can be added for your own personal pampering. Ornate fireplaces, cozy curtains, textured tapestries and delicate details all add their own fairy tale flair. Four-poster beds covered in sensual fabrics, vintage throws, and tufted pillows create decadence, while calming colors create a restful haven.

Combine your favorite fairy tale elements to create an ambiance perfect for a beloved storybook character. Bring the look into modern-day design with transitional elements, or keep it classic by playing up its old-fashioned appeal.

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow

Your Super Simple 3-Step Program for Houseplant Maintenance

You’ve kept a collection of houseplants alive. Congratulations! Now this is how you can make them thrive.

Shutterstock ID 349499291; PO: Cat Overman;

Shutterstock ID 349499291; PO: Cat Overman;

There are no one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to houseplants, and a plant tag can only tell you so much. Each species is unique, hailing from climates ranging from dry deserts to Mediterranean landscapes to tropical rainforests, and even two plants of the same species can have totally different needs depending on a number of factors. Fertilizing depends on the type of plant and the label instructions, while pruning times and methods rely on a plant’s blooming time and growth pattern.

Grow a lush and flourishing indoor garden filled with a variety of plants by following this three-step program. Start with a good reference, and inspect for problems every time you water. Finally, fill out a maintenance checklist for each plant in your collection to provide the most personalized and accurate care possible.

Find a reference

Since each plant has entirely different needs, it’s essential to find trustworthy references that will tell you everything you need to know about each specific plant.

While you can find info on any plant with a quick Internet search, you’ll find that some sites have more information on certain plants than others. If you own a collection of houseplants, I highly recommend picking up a book such as “The House Plant Expert” by D. G. Hessayon.

Inspect while you water

Even with all the knowledge in the world at your fingertips, your senses are the best tools in your arsenal. Every time you water, inspect each plant for problems such as pests, yellowed leaves or slow, lanky growth.

Shutterstock ID 224849716; PO: Cat Overman;

Shutterstock ID 224849716; PO: Cat Overman;

Refer to the list below to help you narrow down problems, or check out this info on troubleshooting houseplant problems.

A plant needs to be watered more if:

  • The top inch of potting mix is dry
  • Leaves are wilting (unless soil is moist)
  • Water runs over the soil and drains along the sides
  • The plant feels lighter than usual

A plant needs to be watered less if:

  • The soil feels more soggy than moist
  • The roots are beginning to rot
  • You see fungus gnats every time you water

A plant needs fertilizer if:

  • It has been over a few months since purchasing the plant
  • The time-release fertilizer pellets or fertilizer spikes are spent
  • The palm fronds are yellowed
  • The plant is growing at a glacial pace
  • It’s been over a year since you fertilized
  • You can’t remember the last time you fertilized

A plant needs to be repotted if:

  • The existing potting mix drains too quickly or slowly
  • The plant’s roots coil tightly together in the pot, forming a solid mass
  • The potting mix is practically older than dirt

A plant is getting too much sun if:

  • The exposed leaves are getting scorched and bronzy
  • It’s a shade-loving plant but is receiving direct rays of sunlight

A plant isn’t getting enough sun if:

  • Its new growth is spindly and stretched out
  • The plant actually appears to reach for more light
  • The leaves are very dark green
  • It’s in a room without a window, such as a bathroom

Create a care sheet for each plant

You can solve a lot of problems with a good reference and eye for detail, but it can be difficult to keep track of an entire collection of plants around the house. For example, two rubber trees (Ficus elastica) in the same house require different care depending on a number of factors: the brightness of the room, your home’s heating system, the type of potting soil, the overall health of the plants and even the type of fertilizer being used.

Instead, create care sheets for each plant. (We have one you can download and use.) Print one sheet for every houseplant in your collection, or keep notes on your computer, tablet or phone if that’s more convenient for you.

Fill in the basic needs and take notes whenever you feed, repot, move and prune plants, so that it will be easier to diagnose problems that arise. Place the worksheets in a folder and use them to pencil in dates on the calendar to remind you when it’s time to fertilize or prune.

Posted by Steve Asbell on Zillow

How to Pet-Proof Your Home So It Doesn’t Look Like It’s Gone to the Dogs

Wavebreakmedia/iStock

A pet makes a wonderful addition to any household. Cats and dogs mean furry snuggles and tons of comic relief; they can also teach us all a few things about unconditional love. Unfortunately, they also bring with them some less desirable traits: sloppy table manners, a propensity to break things, and truckloads of animal hair.

It’s true, pets can be messy. In fact, your beloved animals can actually ding the value of your property if you’re trying to sell by adding scratches to your doors and floors, funky, semipermanent smells, and other flaws that prospective buyers might just catch. However, there are precautions you can take to pet-proof your home so that their negative impact is greatly reduced.

Follow these tips to do dog-and-cat damage control.

Create a separate eating area for them

When Judy Morgan, a veterinarian in Woolwich, NJ, remodeled her kitchen, she took the opportunity to turn a room in her basement into a kitchen that caters specifically to her nine dogs and four cats. The vet took her old cabinets, a small refrigerator, a microwave, and even a Keurig machine downstairs to create an eating space just for the animals.

“They eat down there so they won’t scratch the new kitchen cabinets when they are excited and jumping up to see their food being prepared,” says Morgan. “We keep their food in the downstairs refrigerator and warm it in their own microwave. The Keurig is for making hot water to rehydrate or warm meals.”

“It was the cat, honest.” Chalabala/iStock

Get smart about flooring

Not everyone has room to create a second kitchen for their cats and dogs, so Morgan also recommends bamboo flooring in common areas.

“Bamboo is much harder than most woods so it doesn’t scratch easily,” she says. “It also has no grooves between boards like other hardwood floors. Grooves are a real pain when there is a urine or poo accident.”

Tile is another good option, says Morgan, who used that material in her sunroom because it’s easy to clean. She also recommends recycled tire rubber flooring as a great basement floor covering for people with kids and pets.

“Phenomenal product, comes in large rolls, used in a lot of gyms,” Morgan says of rubber flooring. “Comes in an amazing array of colors and thicknesses.”

As you might have guessed, carpet is not a terrific choice. “We have no carpet, other than on the stairs,” notes Morgan. “Carpet holds hair and odors and is an allergy disaster for people with allergies.”

Decorate your windows wisely

Pet owners should also pay special attention to windows in their home.

“Curtains, for their own sake, should not drag the ground”, says Michelle Newfield, a veterinarian in Slidell, LA. “Exploring kittens love to climb them.”

Newfield suggests thick blinds for window coverings (think wood or even faux wood, material meant to stand the test of claws). “And be sure to secure the cords out of reach,” Newfield says.

Wooden blinds: Pet claw–tested and approved. studiocasper/iStock

Wooden blinds: Pet claw–tested and approved.
studiocasper/iStock

Set up some barriers

If you have a beloved vase or rug that you fear could be ruined by your pet, the answer may be as simple as setting up a barrier to keep curious creatures out.

“Most animals explore their environment with their noses and mouths,” explains Patrick Mahaney, a vet based out of Los Angeles. “It’s common for indoor and outdoor items to be sniffed, licked, or chewed upon, so it’s crucial to use physical barriers. Baby gates, doors, screens, and other barriers can do the trick.”

Or, if it’s all but impossible to keep your pets off your gorgeous new couch, try a different type of barrier by covering it in a large throw blanket. That way, they can lounge and shed with abandon; then, when company comes, you can lift it off and see a clean couch!

Keep pet paraphernalia out of sight

There’s nothing like a gnawed-on ham bone in the center of your living room floor to ruin the ambiance. So get a cute basket in which you can stash pet toys and set it off to the side and out of sight. You can also give pets a place to call their own that doesn’t detract from your design. Place a cozy crate or dog bed in a kitchen nook, under a table, or in a corner. We’re not saying pets should neither be seen nor heard, but, well, sometimes that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Posted by Brittney Gilbert on realtor.com

The Fine Art of Setting Up a Christmas Tree Without Destroying Your Home

Frank Rothe/Getty Images

OK, it’s officially time to set up the picture-perfect Christmas tree! But if the thought of wrestling a 7-foot-tall Norway spruce through the door, into a tree stand, and then decorating it to the nines sounds dicey, that’s because it is. One wrong move could wreak havoc on your home—and do serious damage to those warm and fuzzy holiday feels. So follow these Christmas tree setup tips so you can keep your home safe and yourself sane through this critical early stage of the holiday season.

Prepare the way

Before you set out to find this year’s tree, do yourself and your home a favor and take care of some small chores that will save you time and trouble later.

“Prep the house first,” says Debi Staron, co-founder of Dr. Christmas, the company that has trimmed the trees of A-list celebs such as Heidi Klum and Kate Hudson. “Move furniture out of the way; protect the floors. Fresh-cut trees can have sap dripping from various areas that can damage your hardwood floors, carpeting, or linoleum, especially if you have to lay the tree down. So it’s best to put out a sheet or cardboard to protect your flooring.”

If you’ve ever found yourself in an open field surrounded by fabulous Fraser firs and become so enamored with one that you neglected to realize it will take up 80% of your living room, you’ll appreciate Staron’s next tip: Take some measurements.

“Christmas Vacation”: Apparently Clark Griswold didn’t measure height and width before bringing this behemoth home. giphy.com

“The average person doesn’t know the height of their ceiling,” she says. “Don’t fall in love with a tree that won’t fit in your home. After you’ve measured for height, measure for width.”

Make sure the tree is all you’re bringing home

Sometimes Christmas trees can come with, um, a few unwelcome guests.

“Christmas Vacation”: Leave unwanted visitors at the tree lot. giphy.com

“While at the lot, ask them to give it a good shake,” says Staron. “Not just to shed those loose needles, but to get rid of bugs and spiders and other creatures who love to live in there.” Gross.

Anchor it correctly

“Elf”: You never know who might try to climb your tree, so anchor it. giphy.com

 

If you have curious kids and/or cats, you may be afraid to leave the room for fear that they’ll attempt to shimmy their way up to the star and topple your tannenbaum. That’s why it’s a good idea to anchor your tree, Staron suggests. Stand it in the corner, and wrap fishing line around the trunk and then secure each end with hooks placed on the wall or windowsill.

“They only leave pin pricks, and you can putty it later. But, really, no one will even notice,” she says.

If children and pets aren’t an issue, securing your tree is still a great way to protect your furnishings. Staron recalled a client who hired Dr. Christmas after another company neglected to anchor the tree and it, along with a bevy of glass ornaments, came crashing down on a baby grand piano.

Fireproof your tree

Nothing can ruin the festive mood faster than having to make a 911 call. Fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires caused by Christmas trees each year from 2009 to 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association, resulting in an annual average of seven deaths, 19 injuries, and $17.5 million in property damage.

Check your tree’s water level daily. giphy.com

To prevent your tree from becoming a fire hazard, first start by selecting one with fresh green needles that don’t fall off when you touch them. If your tree is already cut, ask for it to be cut again so it’s ready to start drinking once it arrives in its new home.

“If it’s not freshly cut it won’t draw up water,” Staron says. So just how much needs to go? According to Purdue University’s Forestry and Natural Resources, a tree that has been cut for more than six to eight hours needs to have a half-inch or more cut off the butt end before it’s placed in a tree stand and watered.

Decorate with care

The holidays can be stressful enough without having to spend hours untangling and stringing lights, only to find out they don’t work. Staron says do yourself a favor and store lights by wrapping them around a cardboard tube with the plug easily accessible.

Wrap light strands around cardboard to prevent tangling. youtube.com

And, oh yeah—if you’ve got cats, keep glass or breakables closer to the top where they’re less likely to get knocked off and broken.

Don’t place breakable ornaments on low-hanging branches. giphy.com

 

Posted by Liz Alterman on realtor.com