Adding Curb Appeal is Fairly Simple
Adding curb appeal to your home doesn't have to be hard. It can actually be quite fun. Whether you're dressing it up for a showing, just want your home to look the way it makes you feel, or just want to show off to your friends and neighbors, there are many things you can do to add curb appeal to your front steps and landing.
Why Should I Worry About Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is important to a home for a variety of reasons. Your home should feel inviting to you. It should also be something you are proud of and should show your personality. Adding curb appeal could help you feel that before you even step foot in your door.
If you are selling your home, curb appeal can help make sale. If a home is not attractive on the outside, buyers instantly get a bad impression before stepping foot in the door and may expect (and look for) the worst. Another reason for curb appeal is that you don't want your home to stand out as the eyesore of the neighborhood.
Using Potted Trees Appropriately
One simple way to add some curb appeal to your front steps and landing areas is to use potted trees. Potted trees can make attractive scenery and there are many styles to choose from. Try to choose trees that will do well in your climate, as well as accent the area. For instance, you don't want to put a tall palm tree in the middle of a small walkway in the dead of winter.
Walkway Gardens For More Style
Gardens can be created just about anywhere. A walkway garden is another way to create curb appeal. This can be done right into the ground. However, if there is already cement or stone in place that you'd rather not dig up, you may want to take another approach by using potted plants and other scenery along the border of the walkway.
A raised bed garden also works great as a walkway garden. The container for one of these can be created with wood, stone, brick, or other materials. You can purchase these and other necessary materials, as well as the plants at the local home improvement center. Flowers and shrubbery both work well for raised bed gardens that will be along a walkway.
The garden can be centered or created along the sides of the walkway, leading up to the landing. Placement should depend upon your individual taste, as well as your exterior layout and available space.
Accenting Your Landing
Decorative planters are another great way to accent your stairs and landing. They come in many sizes and a variety of plant choices can be used to match your scenery and effectively draw positive attention to your home. Garden centers and home improvement warehouses generally have a big selection of planters, as well as plants and flowers.
Choosing containers with nontraditional shapes and placing them along the stairs is one way to add curb appeal with decorative planters. Another way could be to plant some flowers in a fountain or other non-traditional item that can be used as a planter.
Decorative pedestals can also create curb appeal. Placing them at the landing of the stairs can create an elegant look, depending upon the layout of your home. Try painting the pedestals with textured or marbleized paints. Go for colors that blend in with the look of your home, as well as the outdoor scenery.
Making a Splash With Water Features
Another great way to add curb appeal is by using water features. Above, there was an example of using a fountain as a planter. That's one idea. Another could be to create a tropical or forest scene inside a water feature.
Water is calming and soothing and can make you and your guests feel welcome before even setting foot inside. Set up this water feature on your landing, being sure to still leave room for accessing the stairs and the home. If your landing is small, water features can be created on walls as well.
There are many ways to add curb appeal. It's all about adding accents to your existing features. Everyone has their own individual taste and style. No matter which options you choose, be sure it not only makes your home look attractive, but makes you feel at home as well. At the end of the day, it is still your home and the main curb appeal should be catered to your own preferences.
Decorating a Child's Room to Grow
Creating a room to grow for your child has many benefits. Not only is it generally an economical approach, but it also can be fun, as well as simple. You don't have to be an expert to get the job done, just willing to dedicate a little bit of time and effort to the project.
One scenario is hypothetical child Trina, who is turning 10 in a week, but her room makes her feel like a toddler. That's because that was the last time she had a theme change for her room. There is heavy wallpaper that she no longer likes, babyish furniture, and pink, pink, pink everywhere.
The furniture, the walls, the carpets - everything's pink! She used to like pink, but not so much anymore. Had her mom designed her a room to grow, the task ahead of them would not be so difficult.
Follow the tips below to help prevent something similar from happening with your child.
Choosing Colors and Theme
The first step to designing a child's room to grow is deciding what colors and theme to use. Choosing solid colors that go with the theme you have in mind can make for an easier transition as a child gets older. By choosing neutral solid colors, themes can be switched around more easily.
For instance, if your child wants a dinosaur theme, you can use primary colors. If that same child later wants a sports theme, the primary colors can still be used. Only the decorations, and possibly the bedding, will need to be switched.
If your child wants something wild, like stripes, on the walls, try using fabric or removable wall stickers to create that look rather than painting. This way, if your child changes his or her mind later, it will not be difficult to remove the look and add another.
There are so many different bed options, it's often hard to choose. Did you know that there are even beds that start out as cribs, convert to toddler beds, all the way up to a queen or king size? These convertible crib beds offer plenty of room to grow. Most come with everything you need, except the mattresses.
Some of these transitional beds can hit the wallet hard, but if you add up the costs of purchasing each bed separately, a transitional bed is usually a money saver. There are many options for these types of beds, and they are not all outrageously priced. Be sure to shop around. If you cannot afford the option that gives you every bed size, try opting for a crib that converts at least to a daybed or toddler bed. Some of these options are comparable in price to many cribs.
Convertible Changing Area
Using a traditional student desk as a changing table can save you some money and make for an easy way to ensure this piece of furniture has room to grow. At the diapering stage, purchase a traditional student desk with a drawer.
Also purchase a thick, strap-on changing table pad. Safely secure it to the desk. There are also inexpensive diapering supply racks that can be attached to the sides of a changing table. Many also will attach to a desk. One of those will hold all the items you'll need, and what won't fit there can go into the desk drawer.
When your child gets too big for a changing area, simply detach the diapering rack and changing pad and purchase a chair. Your toddler or preschooler now has a desk area that will last as he or she grows. As your child gets older, you may also wish to add a hutch atop the desk for extra storage or a new look.
Another idea is to purchase a changing table dresser. With these, the changing area comes off later when you no longer need it. You can use this type of dresser from babyhood throughout childhood, as the styles and colors are generally neutral.
A lamp is a useful item for the dresser top that can grow with a child. If the base is a solid color and decorations are added to the lampshade, the lampshade can be traded out as the child grows and changes styles and patterns in the room. Lampshades are fairly inexpensive, as are many things that can be used to decorate them, such as ribbon, plastic cars and sequins.
As for the dresser itself, choosing a roomy and unfinished design can help to ensure that a child will not outgrow it. To add style, instead of painting the dresser, try accenting it with decorative knobs or handles. These are easily replaceable and many are a very reasonable price at home improvement stores.
As with the dresser, keep it simple with other furniture. Try decorating the accents instead of the item and dressing it up with items that can easily be added or taken away as desired. Using decorative fabrics is a great way to dress up bed posts, dresser tops, desktops, the back of a comfy chair, and just about any piece of furniture.
Window Treatments and Bedding
This is an area where many people have trouble deciding what to use. If you go for flashy designs that match your child's theme, it will certainly look good, but it may not allow much room to grow. Instead, go for a more simple approach. Feel free to blend colors, but be sure each piece is one solid color.
For instance, in a dinosaur-themed room with primary colors, one pillowcase could be blue, while another may be red. Another example is having one white drapery panel, one silver panel and one gold panel in a room with an angel theme.
Mixing two or three colors is a great way to accent the theme while still leaving room to grow. Later, the colors can be switched around, taken away, or added to, creating a simple option for creating room to grow.
Pumpkins, scarecrows, black cats, and cornucopias...what do all those symbolize? Fall. But, not early fall. All of those are for later on in the season. Fresh fall flowers are a great item to decorate an early fall party table with, as they're so versatile. Here are several ideas.
Which Fall Flowers Should I Choose?
Some favorite fall flowers include marigolds, chrysanthemums, hydrangeas, and fall roses. Annuals can also make great fall flowers, if they are the right colors. Fall colors are generally shades of red, gold, brown, green, and yellow.
Decorating Containers For Fresh Fall Flowers
One way to decorate with fall flowers is to add a vase of freshly cut fall flowers to the table in a fall-themed container. If you opt for a more plain container, but want to dress it up, try gluing a strip of fall-colored ribbon around the rim and base. To finish it off, place some grapes around the base of the container.
Using Fall Flower Heads For Decor
Another way to use fall flowers as early fall party decorations is to use just the heads of the flowers. One way to do this is to place a container of water on the table and allow the fall flower heads to float atop the water. For more accent, add floating candles and maybe some pine-cones or acorns as well. Fall flower heads can also be sprinkled around the table.
Creating Fall Flower Wreaths
Fall flowers, pine-cones, and acorns can be used together to create fresh fall table wreaths. Simply intertwine the flower stems with one another to create the rings. Then, add the pine cones and acorns using ribbon. The ribbon will also be a part of the wreath table decorations. To use these wreaths, place decorative containers or candles in the center of them. Small table wreaths can also be made to encircle the glasses of the guests.
Fall Flower Garlands For The Table
Another fall table decoration could be a garland. The goal is to create a long string of flowers, pine-cones, and acorns. The strand should be long enough that when made into a circle (or applicable table shape), it fits exactly around your table. This is done in the same manner as the wreaths above.
Creating fall party table decorations from fresh flowers can be a fun activity and as you can see from above, it is fairly simple, with easy to obtain supplies.
When you want to relax, retreat, or rest, where's the first place you go? Most likely your answer will be the bedroom. Shouldn't your spot to relax make you feel comfortable? Shouldn't it feel like a calm, soothing, and cozy place? Turning your bedroom into a sanctuary is simple and fun.
Choosing the Theme for Your Sanctuary
Your bedroom's sanctuary theme should be something that makes you want to relax. For me, it's a warm and soothing beach. A quiet walk in the park, a serene forest, or midnight breeze are all examples of calming themes.
If you're not the outdoorsy type, maybe your relaxing theme is a cozy fireplace. Maybe you imagine yourself as a princess in a royal castle. Wherever you feel most relaxed should be your theme, even if it's exotic to others. Your bedroom should make you relax, not please others.
Choosing Your Colors
Your colors should mesh with your theme, as well as soothe you when you see them. For my beach scene, I use light blues, foamy greens, and dark greens. All of these colors soothe me. Some colors associated with relaxation are blue, green, and pink. Pink has been shown to immediately calm an angry person.
Blue has shown to cause tranquility and lower blood pressure. Green appears to have the same effect as blue. However, not all people would enjoy having a room in these colors. Your colors should be something you feel comfortable with and that make you feel happy and relaxed.
Choosing Your Furniture
Here again, you want to mesh with the theme, if at all possible. If you already have furniture you adore, try dressing it up with scarves, lace, or other fun accessories that will match your theme and colors. For a beach scene, you might have sand-colored scarves on an end table with a bowl of decorative blue rocks or glass atop the scarves.
You could also purchase a couple small blue or tan wicker chairs to go with the theme. The main idea is to make everything blend together to create a scene that makes you feel like you are in your calming place, your theme, wherever that might be.
Sometimes if you hunt around your house you can find all you need without having to shop for accessories. If you do have the freedom to go with all new furniture, don't be afraid to let the sales associates know your theme and what you're trying to accomplish.
Some furniture stores will even come to your house, scan "your room" into their computers, and plan a layout with you using their products. It sounds a bit spoiled, but it can actually help you visualize how it will turn out, so you don't end up with a look you weren't trying to achieve.
Arranging Furniture for Your Bedroom Sanctuary
The furniture should be arranged in a way that will make you feel like just plopping down on it because that's what you do in your bedroom. It should be easy to access and should make your theme pop out. When you walk into your room, you want to immediately feel like you are walking into your fantasy place.
When I walk into my bedroom, I feel like I am on the beach. I can actually hear the ocean in my head, feel the warm sand on my feet, and smell the fresh ocean water. Sometimes I can feel the warm breeze and see the palm trees swaying in the wind. This is my ideal relaxation zone.
Your furniture should make you feel like you are actually in your ideal sanctuary scene. It should take your breath away and make all your troubles slip away, even if just for a moment.
If your room is large enough, the ideal bedroom furniture would be to have at least a bed (of course), a lounger or chaise, a couple chairs, and of course an armoire or dresser and nightstands. The pieces should be chosen to your taste and arranged so that they are not all cluttered together.
Hanging some furniture, like hammocks or swing chairs can help with comfort, as well as removing clutter. If they are cluttered together, this will be stressful, rather than relaxing.
Try having the bed and dressing furniture on one side of the room and the chaise (or couch or lounger) and chairs on another. The television (if you have one in your room) should be placed in a manner that will be easy to view it from any of the furniture, but it should not be the center of attention.
Try to make it blend in with the theme as much as possible so it doesn't stick out. If at all possible, omit a television altogether. Televisions can throw off a design, but you can sometimes find a way to implement it, such as placing a picture frame around a flat screen television that's attached to the wall.
Decorating With Your Style
Your room should have plenty of accessories that go with your style or theme. Some examples of items you might use could include throw pillows, scarves, vases, marbles, chandeliers, beads, lamps, books, plants, dishes, paintings, mirrors, shapes, and more. Whatever you use should pull it all together.
Once the furniture is arranged just so and the walls are painted, your accessories should fill in any missing gaps that will complete the final design. Accessories can be placed on shelves, on stands, on dressers, on drawer pulls, on the end-posts of your bed, and on chairs. The possibilities are endless.
When you have an idea, run with it and see where it takes you. If it doesn't work the way you'd planned, don't give up. Try another idea. Soon your room will be looking relaxing in no time and you'll be ready to fall into a soothing slumber.
Your home is likely where you'll spend a great deal of your time, so you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Former customers at both the large craft store and the home improvement retailer I once worked for would ask me advice on their homes all the time. Comfort was a popular topic. These five ways will help make your home more comfortable.
Soothing and Warm Colors Help Create Comfort at Home
Colors can really enhance a person's mood if done correctly. Choosing soothing and warm colors for the walls and furniture can make a home feel more comfortable. Light and soft hues of blue and green can often be comforting. Some yellows can also have this effect. Avoid extra bright yellows when going for relaxation. Lean more toward goldenrod to give off a happy, yet comforting feel. Mixing the yellows and blues - and even adding some soft green - adds to the effect.
Use Feng Shui Techniques to Help Make Your Home More Comfortable
Many swear by Feng Shui techniques to enhance comfort and mood in a home. Check out a few books at the library to read up on Feng Shui techniques. A great number of my friends and family members say they've benefited from using these in their home's interior design. I've used this method as well with great results. Try applying some Feng Shui techniques to enhance comfort in your home.
A Variety of Seating Options Adds Comfort to the Home
One day you might feel like sitting in a chair. Another, you may feel like lounging in a recliner or on the couch with your feet propped up. Choosing a variety of seating options is a great way to make your home more comfortable. If you have a large family like I do, this is an excellent way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.
Choose Furniture Anyone Can Use for Added Comfort
If you have kids or you entertain guests often, choose furniture that everyone can use. Pick darker colors or materials that can be cleaned easily. You don't want to have seating furniture in your home that no one is even going to sit on. Couches with a wider seating area tend to accommodate everyone better and can be more comfortable.
Also, be sure to have some throw pillows handy. Throw pillows are a good idea if you're pregnant or have back problems and can help make furniture more comfortable. If you have pets, be sure to choose furniture that's comfortable for you, but that you won’t mind them messing up - or that is easy to clean.
Use Soft Lighting to Add a Comforting Feel to Your Home
Soft lighting can be very soothing and relaxing to many. Choose light bulbs with a low wattage or use dimmers to create a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Soft lighting should be used throughout the house. Try to avoid bright lights, such as fluorescent lighting fixtures. Whenever customers would ask me about comfort lighting, I would always recommend bulbs with the lowest wattage. Brighter lights can create the opposite effect.
Decorating the home can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. There are many ways to enhance the inside of the home without draining the wallet. I've always been quite cheap...frugal, I mean. Plus, I've worked at a large craft supply store (one that included home decor), as well as a home improvement retailer. Based on my experience, here are five cheap decorating ideas for your home.
Portrait Walls Are Great For Decorating a Home
This may sound costly, but it doesn't have to be. Low cost frames from discount and dollar stores work just fine for this. Cheap decorating doesn’t always equate ugly. In fact, those cheap frames are often better because they are usually easier to paint and glue things onto for customization purposes.
For a bright look, try gluing the buds of silk sunflowers around the edge of the photo frames. These can be found at dollar and discount stores as well. To bring a room together, try painting the frames to match the furniture or using glued-on silk flowers and other items to match the mood and colors. Digital photo copies and prints can be done at home or sent to a printer for a nominal fee.
Throws and Decorative Scarves
Throws and decorative scarves are a great way to add some color to a room without spending much money. Check thrift stores and bargain bins for these cheap decorating accents. They can be draped over a couch or chair. They also can be placed on coffee tables and stands. If you have a piece of furniture you're getting tired of or one that's worn out, cover it with a throw or scarf and beautify it once again. It's almost like having a new piece of furniture.
Decorating Ideas Using Fresh Flowers
Many people have gotten so used to silk flowers that they've forgotten about the fresh ones. Fresh flowers can be found right in your own backyard or a nearby field. Be careful not to pick flowers where you're not allowed.
Stick to wild flowers (not purposefully planted ones) on public property or those you’ve planted yourself. Flowers are often free and placing them in a vase on a coffee table, stand, kitchen table, or counter top can really brighten a room.
Stenciling Ideas for Decorating the Home Cheap
No, I'm not talking about hiring some specialist to come stencil an elaborate design. Head to your local craft store, pick out a simple design that fits the style of your chosen room, and grab the appropriate paints. You can stencil things like wooden chests, dressers, stands, and more.
You may even want to try stenciling a border on your walls. Stenciling is relatively low in cost if you do it yourself and it can really enhance the look of a room or piece of furniture. The paints can be found on discount at craft supply and home improvement stores.
Homemade Masks as Wall Decor
Wall masks can add an interesting new look to a room. Choose from Native American, African, theater, clown, and many more. You can make the masks yourself out of papier mache or plaster of Paris. It's easy to find instructions for many different types by doing a simple web search.
I've also found cheap, but still great looking masks at dollar stores, thrift stores, and craft stores.Remember that you can always glue on items or paint over any designs you don’t like if you find plain or decorated masks for cheap.
by Lyn Lomasi; Owner of Intent-sive Nature & the Brand Shamans network
The season has quickly changed from summer to fall and it's time to start decorating accordingly. Flowers are easy to incorporate into any theme and can be used in a variety of interesting ways. There is no limit to the decorating possibilities with seasonal fall flowers. Here are five fun ways to decorate with seasonal fall flowers.
Decorate Door Frames With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers can be used to create strands that can be hung around door frames. This can be done with both silk and fresh flowers. When using fresh flowers, be sure to dry them first and spray them with a floral acrylic coating to protect them. Sunflowers are great for decorating door frames, as they accommodate the large space. Because of the yellow color, they also can brighten a room.
Make Your Table Fun With Seasonal Fall Flowers
These, of course can be used to make great table arrangements, but there are more ways to use them on the table as well. Flower garlands can be wrapped around the table legs. Also try sprinkling flower buds and stems around the tabletop. Marigolds and daisies in varied colors are great for this. Fresh or silk can be used.
Fun Ways to Decorate Countertops With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers can be put in a simple vase on the countertop. Also try laying out a flower garland and winding it around existing countertop decor. Just as on the table, another fun way to decorate with seasonal fall flowers is by sprinkling them around the countertop. Be sure you do this in a designated are, of course. You still need some counter space for other things.
Accent Furniture With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers are fun to use in various places around the house. Try wrapping seasonal fall flower garlands around assorted pieces of furniture. Lamp posts and chair legs are great spots for this. Also experiment with wrapping them around the edges of tables and stands. Yellow fall flowers are great for rooms that need brightening. Orange fall flowers can balance an extra bright room. Choose red for a more romantic feel.
Use Seasonal Fall Flowers to Make Your Walls More Fun
Seasonal fall flowers can be used on the wall in all sorts of fun ways. Create swags and hang them in various places. It can also be fun to wind flower garlands around wall sconces, picture frames, and other wall decor. Try letting seasonal fall garland strands cascade over other decor for a natural look. This can be especially fun to do in between picture frames and other grouped wall decor. Don't be afraid to experiment.
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Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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