Home Decor That Inspires Amour

Set the scene for quiet moments with furniture, lighting and all the subtle touches that add romance to a room.

Editor’s note:  Love is in the air. Why not part with tradition and observe Valentine’s Day in a way that also involves your home?  After all, home is where the heart is. Sure, you could make reservations. But maybe the ultimate in romance is a candlelit evening at home. And those long-stemmed red roses have their appeal, but what about buying your sweetheart (or yourself!) a rose bush that will provide endless blooms? And if you’re celebrating solo, there’s no better way to treat yourself than splurging on something beautiful for your home – it’s a gift that keeps on giving. To inspire you, we’re delivering a weeklong bouquet of tips for filling your home with romance.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to add a little ooh la la to your home. After all, it’s still cold out and getting dark early, so your rooms should look inviting to you and to any guests you may invite in.

Clearing the clutter and adding a few flowers are a given, but you can take it a step further with romantic touches throughout your home.

Wall treatments

The wall treatment you choose can enhance your design choices in a way that no other single element can. Before you begin, think about the basics of the room — the quality of the light, the room’s proportions, any architectural features you want to emphasize or downplay, and the furniture and fabrics you plan to use.

Photo courtesy of Kendall Wilkinson

Color, texture and trim all play a role in how your wall treatment works. Consider how you can use a range of surfaces, such as wallpaper or fabric panels, and hues via paint or plaster, to create depth, interest and charm in your space.

Finally, before deciding on any wall choice, factor in how it will look and work in conjunction with how the room is used. Soft shades in any hue will create romantic flow throughout your home.

Lighting

How a room is lit affects the overall impression of the space. The ideal lighting scheme is natural light supplemented with ambient, task and accent lighting.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Photo from Zillow listing.

The combination of lighting and sunlight can completely change the feeling of a home. A balanced mix of the two sustains the warmth of a room while allowing you to create different moods. The right lighting can add drama and elegance.

Put every light you can on a dimmer to control the mood of your space. If you’re feeling extra romantic, add a crystal chandelier for a shimmering effect.

Furniture

Take your time when shopping for furniture. It’s usually a large purchase, and one you will probably have for a considerable length of time.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Herzlinger.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Herzlinger.

If you are feeling challenged in your furniture quest, don’t hesitate to contact a design professional to assist your search. Learn what appeals to you personally. And don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles — that is what reflects your personal style and adds some romance, too.

A room with a blend of pieces that appeals to you is inherently more interesting than one that resembles a furniture showroom. But no matter what you choose, it’s important to find pieces that are comfortable, of good quality and will last.

Spa and steam

Since master bathrooms are often the largest bathrooms in the house, lots of options are available. Your master bath might include a walk-in closet or dressing area, a separate shower and a tub, plus a water closet. It might even sport enough space for exercise equipment, a sauna, spa or soaking tub and steam shower.

Photo courtesy of Morgan-Keefe Builders.

Photo courtesy of Morgan-Keefe Builders.

Master baths are places where you can splurge on materials and finishes. Because they don’t get as much wear and tear as family bathrooms, you can opt for features that require a little extra care. No matter which choices you make, the result should be both soothing and functional.

Fireplaces

The key to a successful family room design is keeping comfort in mind — and nothing warms a room physically and mentally more than a fireplace. This is the space where you and your significant other settle in to read, play games, watch movies and unwind at the end of the day.

Photo courtesy of Kerrie Kelly.

Photo courtesy of Kerrie Kelly.

The fireplace — whether indoors or out — is a gathering place that embraces family and friends while exuding a relaxed style. So strike a match or flip the switch to let the ambiance begin.

What romantic additions have you made to your own space?

 

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow

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How to Create a Personality-Packed Wall

Wall decor is one of the easiest ways to turn a ho-hum space into a statement-making room. A personality-packed wall is a fun way to embrace your own style without needing to invest in the latest trendy furniture. While the gallery wall, which features a curated collection of photos and artwork, is a major trend, we’d like to take a look at a few different ideas that are a bit more out of the ordinary. From groovy wallpaper and floating books to tapestries and vintage signs, here are a handful of ways to create a unique wall that screams “you.”

Paint and Wallpaper

Make a graphic statement with wallpaper or painted designs. The choices are endless when it comes to wallpaper – pair a neutral pattern with framed pictures, or try a bold design that stands on its own. Walls that have architectural detailing, like an inset or wainscoting, are perfect candidates for a dramatic accent wall. Explore a more cost-effective route with a painted design. Elbow grease, painters tape and a bold paint choice are all you need to create a unique design like metallic stripes, chevrons or a modern marble-dipped look.

Books

As if there wasn’t another reason to love books, they’re also great as decorative accents. Books can easily be mounted in an open position for a unique look—try using vintage finds with a well-loved patina. Invisible wall-mounted bookshelves or floating shelves paired with color-coordinated books can also make a functional and eye-catching feature. Pro tip: try wrapping thrift store books of the same size in pretty wallpaper for a more cohesive design.

Fabric and Tapestries

While every other aspect of design touches on fabric, very rarely does it come up as a go-to for wall decor. However, textiles are unexpected and full of stories, and they have the wonderful ability to combine pattern and color into a complete presentation. The beauty of textiles is that they can be hung in a variety of ways, and they don’t have to come in large scales to be a jaw-dropping piece— a small collection of antique textile fragments is perfect when hung up in delicate flea market frames. Or, stretch fabric over a frame for a handmade canvas. Take a hint from different cultures or showcase your travels: embroidered Suzanis from Central Asia, richly dyed textiles from India, Native American rugs and Turkish kilims can all add depth to a wall that will last for generations. Flat sheets of fabrics aren’t the only option, either. Showcase family heirlooms or beloved uniforms in shadow boxes or frames, and don’t forget the beauty of a sentimental quilt hung in the family or dining room.

Heavy Metal

Give a contemporary room some vintage flair with some metal wall art and signage. Mid-century metal wall sculptures like starbursts and geometric shapes add a retro touch. Vintage wall metal wall signs are frequent flea market finds. A collection of small signs adds eclectic flair, while large metal art can instantly transform the feel of a room and create a new focal point.

Art and Mirrors

Creating an impact in a space doesn’t need to be complicated! Large-scale art provides drama and weight to a simple wall. Pair a sizable print with eye-catching typography over a chic couch for a sleek yet subtle look. An oversized clock can also work wonders for a wall: not only is it a functional piece of art, but there is something about a large, old clock that adds the perfect amount of nostalgia to a room. Looking to add glam to a smaller space? A round, modern mirror or glitzy framed one adds a sense of openness.

Natural Accents

A lack of space for planters is no excuse for not bringing the outdoors in. With the “living wall” craze at its peak, wall planters are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. Showcase delicate moss with a vertical green garden, or plant a few succulents in a wooden corner planter. Play up a cluster of hanging plants with painted pots or delicate ceramic bowls— there are many lovely options available from talented designers and local artisans.

Think Outside the Frame

Keep an open mind, and you can find unique wall hangings just about anywhere! From an antique door or a mounted bike to stunning metal floor grates, the list is endless with possibilities. Who ever knew that a group of assorted woven baskets could be turned into a show stopping piece? Try clustering baskets in varying sizes and colors on the floor and play around with placement before hanging them. Can’t find colorful baskets? A collection of pretty plates or lightweight bowls are great alternatives.

How will you let your space reflect your personality?

Posted by Kerrie Kelly on HomeZada

3 DIY Painting Tips for Tricky Areas

The pros use these clever time-saving tricks (and you can, too!).

Painting is a DIY project that just about anyone can master. Even if you’re a seasoned painter, though, you’re bound to encounter tricky or difficult-to-reach areas occasionally.

Fortunately, there are some easy tricks that anyone can use to paint these areas with excellent results. Here are pro tips for addressing three common problem areas.

Check out this video for a demo of each tip described below. Watch more home entertaining and design videos, and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the next Zillow video. 

Painting window trim

Sometimes it’s a real challenge to paint window muntins (the wood diving panes of glass) and sashes neatly, and it will be time-consuming if you try to mask out the glass with painter’s tape first.

Here’s a timesaving solution: Go ahead and throw out your painter’s tape!

Shutterstock ID 95773408; PO: Cat Overman

Shutterstock ID 95773408; PO: Cat Overman

This is one time when it simply doesn’t matter if your paint job is a bit messy. It’s ok to get paint on the window glass. Just wait for the paint to dry, and then scrape it off easily with a razor blade, for clean, crisp edges.

Pro tip: For best results, scrape up the dried paint soon after it dries, and don’t let it sit for more than a day or so.

Painting behind the toilet

Bathrooms have more tight areas than most rooms, and perhaps the most challenging of all is the space behind the toilet.

This is where a “hot dog” roller comes in. It works just like a regular paint roller, only it’s smaller, narrower and shorter. This is the best tool for painting behind the toilet, but it’s also the perfect tool for painting behind radiators and other fixtures.

In fact, you may find all kinds of tight spaces that your hot dog roller can reach that might have been a real challenge to paint without it.

Pro tip: If you need a longer handle on the roller to get into a particularly tight or high space, you can screw on an extension pole to provide the right amount of reach to get your hot dog roller into the space.

Painting high ceilings and walls

There may be some high areas in your home where a ladder simply can’t go, such as above a staircase. And when you need to paint a wall right up to the ceiling, it’s going to be a challenge.

Perhaps in the past you’ve tried attaching a paintbrush to a pole to reach these high areas. But that can be very awkward, and you might end up creating a mess.

Enter the paintbrush extension tool. Think of it as an extension of your arm, holding your paintbrush right up to the top of the wall in the area where a roller can’t go. And it’s flexible, so you can position your paintbrush in just the right way.

Pro tip: Load your paintbrush judiciously, using less paint than you would if you were painting the wall in front of you. This is one job where you’ll want to take your time to get neat and drip-free results.

Painting high spaces, window trim, and areas behind fixtures  are just a few of the areas that might present a challenge when you’re giving your room a makeover with anew paint color.

Follow these tips for painting in tricky areas, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get professional-looking results in your own home.

Posted by See Jane Drill on Zillow

10 Affordable Ways To Fill A Large Blank Wall

Overwhelmed at the thought of filling large, empty wall space? Here’s what to do.

It’s big, it’s intimidating, and nearly every apartment for rent in Baltimore, MD, or Houston, TX, has it. No, we’re not talking about that pile of laundry that you swear you’ll get to soon — it’s that glaring, huge white wall. Even if your landlord lets you paint, an unadorned expanse can make your otherwise lovely home feel a bit spare. But just because you happen to have a lease doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a creative solution. Here are 10 renter-friendly, temporary solutions from design experts that will bring some style to a bare wall.

1. DIY a triptych

Large, affordable artwork can be difficult to find. (And when you do discover a piece that doesn’t cost a fortune, it usually has all the character of something you’d find in a hotel room.) For something a little more wallet-friendly, create a custom piece yourself. Not the artsy type? Don’t abandon this do-it-yourself idea so fast. Skip the paint and scout out a few lengths of gorgeous fabric. (You won’t need much, so feel free to splurge on the good stuff.) Simply wrap a piece around an inexpensive, prestretched canvas and staple in place for a superfast work of “art.” Better yet, wrap three rectangular panels or canvases in fabric and then hang them together to create a triptych.

2. Turn to textiles

Tapestries, vintage quilts, or even antique blankets can be too lovely to keep folded and hidden away. Instead, hang the textile from the wall to bring unique character and texture to your space. (The simplest way to do this is to hang a curtain rod from the wall, then use clip-style rings to secure the textile.) To keep the look cohesive with the rest of your decor, focus on hue, recommends Jaclyn Isaac, interior designer and the blogger behind Dog Lady Design Files. “Make sure the colors work well with your existing decor, or consider using (the wall) as a focal piece and pulling your (other) colors from that,” she says. Still not convinced? Consider this bonus of hanging a thin rug or other textile on the wall: It can help mute the sounds coming from your next-door neighbor’s apartment.

3. Curate a gallery wall

You can never have too much of a good thing — especially when it comes to art hung in groups. “Never underestimate the power of a well-designed gallery wall!” says Laurel & Wolf designer Abagail Leepin. “The colors, textures, and patterns eliminate negative space and enhance the finished feeling that you wish to achieve.” One idea that results in a perfectly balanced look is to hang two larger pieces diagonally from each other, then fill the empty space above or below each of those larger pieces with smaller pieces (sticking to similar colors or subjects will look extra pulled-together).

4. Consider wallpaper

If you think wallpaper is only for homeowners, this DIY proves you wrong. Simply frame remnants for a no-mess, no-messy-installation-needed way to enjoy a gorgeous new motif without a commitment. “Framing strips of wallpaper can make very effective and interesting statements,” says interior designer Heather Higgins of Higgins Design Studio. “They work best when they have a unifying theme like similar content, color, or pattern.” Select a thin white frame in the largest size possible to create the look of panel molding.

5. Shelve your art

If the idea of hanging multiple pieces makes you nervous, floating shelves like the ones above by Laurel & Wolf can be a great shortcut. “Rather than struggling to create the perfect gallery wall, get a long floating shelf and arrange your art in one great gallery line,” says Jaclyn Isaac. “You can switch out the art and objects as you please, change frames out when you’re updating your decor, and you don’t have to worry about spackling 18 holes in the wall.” If you’re also short on art, Isaac recommends repurposing calendars for ready-to-frame pieces. “You can get amazing photos that are guaranteed to look great together and large enough to take up an entire wall for less than $30,” she says.

6. Go bold, go mural

“A dramatic mural adds glamour to an enormous wall, especially when there are ultrahigh ceilings involved,” says Liza Nematnejad, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York, NY. A mural, she says, “can truly showcase an apartment if it’s done right, with an appropriate piece of art that fits the look and feel of the particular apartment.” Although a painted mural is out of the question for renters, there’s a clever way to capture this dramatic look: temporary murals. Much like removable wallpaper, these adhesive-backed murals install easily (just remove the backing and smooth on the wall), then peel off without a trace when it’s time to move. Tempaper’s Chinoiserie design mimics the look of a hand-painted mural, while Wallsome allows you to custom-print your favorite photos or graphics into a mural.

7. Get stuck on washi tape

Washi tape just may be the unofficial favorite craft material on Pinterest. The removable, colorful tape is just so versatile. One of our favorite ideas is using the tape to create a bold graphic statement, like this colorful home office from Domino magazine. A design that spans the entire wall tends to look higher-end than a few random stripes. The same goes for wall decals, like these too-fun mini-elephants from Southern Nest. When applied to the wall in neat rows, they take on the look of wallpaper.

8. Tackle just one (and you’re done!)

The best news? Decorating one large wall can have a huge impact. Says Heather Higgins: “Leave at least one wall in every room art-free, particularly in smaller spaces. Two is even better. This provides a resting place for your eye and prevents the feeling of ‘overwhelm.’” Consider this a designer-approved excuse to be lazy about decorating other walls.

9. Expand shelf options

Look beyond art when looking to fill a blank wall — especially if you also happen to have high ceilings. “Wide, tall bookcases are great for renters, don’t require any kind of wall installation, and can be moved from place to place,” Isaac notes. “If wide enough, they take up a ton of room and are a fun place to go wild with your collected objects.” Just don’t fill up the shelves completely. Instead, display individual pieces in edited groups on each shelf. (If you need the shelf space for storage, opt for attractive bins on the bottom shelves.) On the top shelf, you can lean framed pieces.

10. Hang that mirror, mirror on that wall

Like hanging art together gallery-style, a mass of mirrors offer a lovely way to fill a large wall. “I like to use old mirrors, whether huge ones or an assortment of small ones,” says Kathleen Perkins of Douglas Elliman, who frequently uses this trick when staging homes. “They reflect light and they are really beautiful.” Interesting mirrors can often be found at thrift stores or discount stores for less than the price of art.

Posted by Brie Dyas on Trulia

Wake Up Inspired Every Single Day

Does that sound like a tall order? Maybe not, if you take your cues from HGTV Dream Home 2016, which was designed to keep its occupants in a vacation state of mind.

The first thing you want to do—if you can swing it—is wake up to a view like this one:

Okay, so everyone can’t have a spectacular waterfront vista outside the master bedroom window, but you can take a page from interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn’s playbook if you want to create the idea of a sweeping view in a room where there is none. In the living room, Brian had a historic photo of the home’s Merritt Island location blown up and printed on vinyl bus wrap—voila, instant wallpaper. You can do the same thing yourself at home using a custom mural or wall decal company—a soothing nature scene would be ideal for the bedroom.

Speaking of bedroom décor, a little glamor makes it easier to peel those sleepy eyes open in the morning. You’ll wake up feeling like the queen (or king) of England if you invest in some sumptuous pillows and replace your boring bedroom light fixture with a striking art-piece chandelier:

And don’t forget to usher in your day softly with a Spotify® playlist of gentle tunes or lively jams if you can handle that sort of thing before coffee. HGTV Dream Home 2016 was outfitted in every room with sleek wireless Bose® speakers that are as much about form as function:

The speakers can communicate over Wi-Fi® or with any Bluetooth®-enabled device in the house to play music from the Internet or your own music library instantly and fill each room with crystal-clear sound.

Add a vase of fresh-cut flowers and the day is worth waking up to:

A note of caution: starting your day this way may cause you to stop leaving your house.

This post is brought to you by Bose, a proud sponsor of the HGTV Dream Home 2016. You’ll find innovative Bose products featured throughout this year’s HGTV Dream Home, bringing each room to life with quality sound. Dreaming about better sound for your home? Visit Bose.com.

Posted by Karin Beuerlein in HGTV Dream Home

Five Things to Consider When Decorating A Room

When it comes to decorating a room, there are many factors that must first be considered before hanging up art pieces or adding decor on the mantle. To enhance the space and allow it to shine, there are several steps to take to ensure that everything flows and works together. For those who are beginning a new decorating project, it’s important to follow a few rules to enhance the style of the room.

The Size of the Space

It’s important to evaluate the size of the room that you’re planning on decorating to determine what pieces will fit in well and won’t appear too small or large. Look at the number of walls that are in the room and where there may be bare or empty spaces. Consider the types of items that can be used in certain
spaces that may be awkward instead of trying to just use what you already have.

Living rooms that are connected to kitchens can often feel empty with open floor plans, making it important to create different stations of the space that each serve a purpose. Consider adding a desk and chair in one corner while incorporating a bar cart that is in close proximity to the kitchen. Filling in the empty space will allow it to feel cozy and more at home for both the residents and guests.

The Color of the Walls

The color of the walls in the room will ultimately determine the tone of the environment and how large or small it feels. Lighter shades tend to make a room feel more spacious while darker hues can close a room in. If you can’t work with the paint that is already used on the walls, consider other shades that you like. The color of the walls should determine the color palette that you decide on using when decorating the room to ensure that everything flows well and is tied together. Some spaces can also have an accent wall, which will create a focal point in the area that draws the eyes to a specific part of the room.

The Furniture

For rooms that have furniture that is already in place, it’s important to take the style of the pieces into consideration before adding any new decor. It’s important to determine the room’s theme around the furniture pieces to ensure that nothing clashes. If the furniture is old or worn, it can easily be updated by retaining or painting the wood surface. For chairs or benches, the items can be reupholstered with modern or contemporary fabric that adds a refreshing touch to the room.

Special Features or Accents

From reading nooks to built-in bookshelves, there are often custom features that are installed in a room to enhance the design or functionality of the space. It’s important to highlight these special features and allow them to be some of the focal points of the room. Consider filling an empty fireplace with different sizes of candles. Add a decorative cushion to the reading nook by the window. You can even rest framed photos on a mantle for a modern and laid-back look. By working around the features of the room, it will allow the area to look complete and functional.

The Lighting

The lighting plays a large part in the decoration of the space. Consider relying on scented candles and using a floor lamp in a dim corner of a room. The lighting will spruce up the decor and allow certain areas of the room to be accentuated.

Posted by Jessica Kane on HomeZada

Learn to Prime Like a Pro

Follow these tips from Sherwin-Williams to prep for a perfect paint job.

Paint can make more of a difference in changing a home’s aesthetic than new accessories and furniture. Why? Color makes an immediate impact because it’s on one of the largest surface areas in your home.

But a painting project that seems simple can easily go awry if the proper prep work hasn’t been done. (No one loves streaky paint.)

Avoid mishaps and get a room that’s painted to perfection with these tips from Sherwin-Williams.

Gather materials

It’s best to have all of the proper tools on hand before the first dip of the paintbrush. Sherwin-Williams suggests having the following tools at the ready to ensure a seamless painting experience:

  • Wash bucket
  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Cellulose sponge
  • 1-inch painter’s tape
  • Flexible putty knife
  • Dropcloths
  • Primer
  • Plastic paint container
  • Roller pan/tray
  • Paint stir sticks
  • 2-inch to 3-inch angled sash paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller covers:
    • ¼-inch to ⅜-inch nap thickness for smooth surfaces
    • ½-inch to 1-inch nap thickness for rough or stippled surfaces
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Paint rags
  • Ladder
  • Acrylic caulk
  • Caulk gun

Step 1: Wash the walls

To get a perfect paint job, it’s all about the proper prep for your walls. That starts with removing all of the loose paint and patching any holes or cracks.

Next, wash your walls. A simple dusting of the walls and trim where dirt tends to gather can prevent painting problems such as paint that doesn’t properly adhere to the wall. Experts from Sherwin-Williams recommend using a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap and gently rubbing with a rag or cotton cloth in a circular motion. Rinse your walls using a slightly damp cellulose sponge.

Step 2: Tape it up

It may seem an unnecessary step, but taping the walls is of the utmost importance if you want to keep paint from dripping onto trim or, worse, the floor. To start, check that your walls and trim are thoroughly dry before applying painter’s tape.

Use longer pieces of tape rather than several shorter pieces. This critical step helps minimize the possibility of gaps in your tape and helps ensure paint won’t sneak through. Start in a corner, pressing to the trim in small sections as you go. To make it even more secure, use a clean putty knife to press the tape’s edges to the trim so your tape sticks firmly. This will help ensure you get a nice, even paint line.

Step 3: Grab the dropcloths

Paint on the carpet or in the cracks of your hardwood floors? No, thanks.

To avoid this, use one or more dropcloths to protect your flooring and furniture from paint drips. Canvas dropcloths are the most durable, and the fabric works to absorb paint drips and spills — and they’re reusable.

Plastic and paper dropcloths cost less but tend to slide when you walk on them, so use painter’s tape to secure the edges to the floor.

Step 4: Time to prime

Priming may not be necessary if you’re working with an all-white wall or a paint and primer in one. However, in the case where you’re painting over an existing color, it’s typically best to prime the wall first.

Starting off with a primer base helps you get a truer color and sheen from your paint. Plus, it provides a layer specially formulated to protect your topcoat.

To get started, use a 2-inch or 3-inch angled bristle brush and paint a narrow strip of primer all along your trim and the inside corners of your room. Prime the remainder of your wall with a roller.

Use a ¼-inch to ⅜-inch nap thickness for smooth surfaces. Use a ½-inch to 1-inch nap thickness for rough or stippled surfaces. If you’re painting a room in a darker color, consider using tinted primer rather than white to ensure a true hue throughout the room.

Step 5: Mind the gap

Gaps often form between walls and trim work. The solution: caulking. Fill them with an acrylic caulk after priming the wall and trim surfaces.

Not all caulks are paintable, so make sure you read the label to see if yours is. Use the little hole in your caulk gun handle to cut off the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle. Carefully pierce the inner seal inside the tip using the seal-puncture tool found on most caulk guns. Load the tube into your caulk gun and squeeze out a small amount to start the flow.

Have a damp cotton rag handy to clean up excess. Start in one corner of your room, point the caulk tube tip into the crack, and gently squeeze an even flow of caulk along the crack. Wet your finger and use it to smooth out and remove excess amounts of caulk. Have a damp cloth handy to wipe your finger clean. Make sure you read the label to find out the dry time for your caulk too. Some take 24 hours, so make sure to account for this!

The finishing touch

You’re ready to paint! Have more questions? Ask the experts at your neighborhood Sherwin-Williams paint store and be fully prepared to achieve beautiful painting results.

This post was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams.

Posted by Blake Miller on Trulia