11 January 2017

Design Crush | Pegboard

Get ready for it. Pegboard. Is. Hot. No really.

In case you’re not familiar, pegboard is a composite wallboard product available in hardware stores and home improvement centers. It features a series of evenly spaced, pre-drilled holes designed to accept a variety of hooks and holders. Once relegated to tool storage in the garage, pegboard has since taken off and is used in just about every room of the house.

You should really give pegboard a whirl. It’s is fun, inexpensive, versatile and totally on trend. To give you some inspiration, we’ve put together a collection of our favorite uses for this long-overlooked workshop staple. Take a look, grab some pegboard then go forth and organize!

 Here's a great way to organize and beautify your craft room with a framed pegboard storage center. 

Create a pegboard backsplash to organize utensils, cups and host of other kitchen tools.

 Imagine having an organized sewing center where everything's in easy reach!

Untangle those necklaces and earrings and display them so you can grab and go!

 This inspiration/message pegboard is a great idea for busy creative types.

Promote good study habits with this pegboard homework station.

This pegboard idea takes personal organization up a notch by creating a stylish bedroom focal point.

Let's not forget the original intent for pegboards: tool storage.

This pegboard potrack gets pans out of the cabinets to free up valuable kitchen space.

 Use pegboard to make a gallery wall that's super easy to swap out artwork when the mood strikes.

 If you telecommute or just want to organize your home office, a pegboard wall is the perfect solution.

The pegboard system is a nifty way to keep the resident sports enthusiast's gear in check.


03 January 2017

Creating a Cool Bedroom for Your Teenager

You remember your teenage years, don't you? You were coming into your own and searching for your true identity. You were maturing into an independent young adult. You needed a space of your own to think, read, watch TV and gossip with friends. No one over 20 could possibly understand what you were going through—especially your parents! Really nothing much has changed, except YOU are now the parent.

Lucky you. You have taken on the challenge of transitioning a juvenile bedroom to one of a teenager. This is quite an undertaking. What was cool when you were a teen is probably not so cool today. Before you go out to buy paint, bedding and furniture, you should understand one important thing: you are not completely in charge of this project.

While you may not agree with all of the details, try to strike a compromise with your teen as to the bedroom’s general design direction and key elements. Obviously, a spot for a computer is mandatory—whether for homework or social networking. A bed and clothing storage are also points on which both parties will likely agree.

Creating a cool bedroom for your teen doesn’t need to be a test of wills. Try throwing out of a few of these ideas to help bridge the generation gap and hopefully you can find some common ground!

Gobs of Pillows
Mounds of pillows on the bed and larger floor pillows make your teen’s room a place to totally unwind and relax. Pillows can add color and set a mood. Imagine rich textures and paisleys to give the bedroom exotic Boho flair.

Special Lighting
Your teen needs a task light for studying, but once the homework is done, give him or her something special. A string of twinkle lights for the ladies or a funky disco ball for the gents will give their bedroom a lounge vibe for the evening.

Organized Chaos
We all know most teens can have very questionable standards when it comes to tidiness. Get them to cut down on the mess by creating places to keep everything under wraps. Under bed storage containers, baskets and shelving with bins keep strewn clothing and miscellaneous clutter to a minimum. Or, like in this room, take storage to new heights by constructing a raised platform and incorporating drawer storage beneath!

Fashionable Windows
Most teens are fashion-conscious whether they admit it or not. Why not extend their love of fashion to the windows? There are so many fun curtain fabrics today, you can find something to satisfy even the most design-forward teen. For something more tailored, consider woven grass, matchstick shades or wooden blinds.

Wall Art
Wall decals are a great way for your teen to express their individuality and creativity without ruining the walls. They can choose from scrambled message or poetry word decals to wild polka dots. When they tire of one phase, just replace them with another set of peel and stick wall art.

Fresh Duvet Cover
No room is complete without a cool comforter or duvet cover. I personally like the idea of duvet covers because of their versatility. Just purchase an insert (either down or fiberfill) and encase it in a fabulous duvet cover to suit your teen’s favorite colors and patterns. Pick up a few coordinating pillow shams as well. And by all means, do not purchase a matching bed-in-a-bag set. That is so not cool!

New Paint Scheme
You and your teen can tackle this as a first or final step in the room design process. If she absolutely adores “Tiffany blue”, then by all means, start by painting the walls that color. If you’re both stuck for inspiration, choose a few key fabrics, a rug, bedding and upholstered pieces to give you wall color ideas. Not up for painting the entire room? Get a quart of paint and tackle an accent wall—preferably the headboard wall.

Kelly Sue DeConnick via flickr | Corey Taratuta via flickr | DIY Ready | Freshome 

29 December 2016

5 Most Popular Trends in Home Design

Residential architects have some really exciting innovations up their sleeves. Trends that will not only enhance the appearance of our homes, they’ll also change the way we live for years to come. We’re not talking about obvious trends like the vaulted ceilings or skylights of the past; these architectural trends are designed to improve the quality and efficiency of our daily lives

Inside Out Spaces
Today’s homeowner values outdoor living as much as traditional indoor spaces. Patios, loggias, courtyards, decks and porches have become an integral part of the residential floorplan, creating fully functioning extensions of kitchen, living and dining spaces.

Architects are taking advantage of our connection with nature by designing homes featuring walls of windows and massive sliding glass doors that stack back or completely vanish from sight into a side pocket. See-through fireplaces are another popular architectural element that seamlessly blurs the line between inside and out.

Clean Home Environments
Families with children as well as aging baby boomers are increasingly concerned about environmental health issues, particularly those found within the home. More and more consumers are becoming educated on the harmful effects of chemicals used in the manufacture of insulation, construction materials, carpeting, paint and cabinetry. Residential architects and independent homebuilders are moving away from harmful conventional products toward more sustainable and environmentally clean alternatives.

New Technologies
Advances in technology are a significant part of home design and construction. New materials and innovations create increasingly energy efficient homes in addition to making the occupants more efficient within the space. LED technology is light years ahead of incandescent and even fluorescent in respect to energy savings and quality of illumination. Smart house automation, which includes features like security, media devices, lighting and HVAC allows the homeowner to easily control these items through a mobile device from anywhere in the country or the world.

Adaptable Designs
Referred to as “starter homes”, they are the first home for singles and newlyweds – a place to get established and start a career, family or both. Now, first-time home buyers are looking for “forever homes”. Architects are fulfilling that need by designing homes that adapt to the changing requirements of individuals and families through all life stages without the need for costly demolition or renovations. An adaptable home can mean anything from spaces that transition depending on need to dividing a single-family home into two separate units to accommodate aging parents.

Modular Construction Techniques
Modular homes still have somewhat of a negative connotation when associated with mobile or manufactured homes. Well, toss that image aside. Today’s modular, prefabricated or manufactured homes are stylish and most importantly, cheaper than typical stick frame construction. Think sleek, steel and glass architecture or farmhouse chic with a wraparound porch and weathervane. There’s a design to suit everyone.

One example of modular housing can be found in the growing tiny house movement. These diminutive residences consist of a simple structure often made from prefabricated components. They’re either assembled on site or in a factory then transported to the property –just like regular-scale modular homes.


14 December 2016

Quick Clicks | 12 Days of Cute and Quirky Holiday Tree Ideas

Are you completely over that prickly fake tree that takes forever to put together every Christmas? How would you like to help the planet and save a real tree? Do you have limited space for a tree and decorations? Are you one of those "color outside the lines" types? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, maybe it's time to take things in a different direction this year.

Face it. A festive tree is the focal point of the home during the holidays and things just don't feel right without one. But a traditional tree can easily overpower a space and might look a little old fashioned in a contemporary room. Don't fret, my dears. We've got some super quirky trees that won't monopolize the room but still exude the beauty and hipness you're after.

Get ready to be inspired by this countdown of our favorite unconventional Christmas trees. They take up so little room and are so budget friendly, you can have a tree in the home office, bedroom, kitchen or any place you feel the need for some funky Christmas cheer!

12. For the DIYer

11. For the wine lover

10. For the IKEA fan

9. For the Martha wannabe
 Martha Stewart

8. For the crafty crafter 
  The Creativity Exchange

7. For the eclectic one

6. For the minimalist 

5. For the artist

4. For the bookworm

3. For the collector 

2. For the gardener

1. For the photographer

Image Sources

02 December 2016

THE ULTIMATE Holiday Napkin Folding Guide

Hey there! We're back again with something you need in your life right now!

The holiday entertaining season is officially in full swing. This time of year is all about gathering at the table with your closest family and friends. You might have the centerpiece ready, the table runner in place, and place settings in order, but what about the napkins? Uniquely folded napkins are the perfect finishing touch to complete your holiday tablescape.

Our talented friends at FTD (purveyors of gorgeous fresh flowers and gifts) have created a guide that’s the perfect companion to our popular napkin folding post from last year. In fact, we think theirs is THE ULTIMATE TUTORIAL and a must-have for every holiday party host. In no time at all, you’ll be impressing everyone with your newly acquired mad napkin folding skills!

To get you inspired, they've created helpful step-by-step visuals featuring six creative napkin folding ideas. From the classic fleur de lis to the elaborate lotus, you’ll be sure to find a napkin fold to coordinate with your personal holiday style. Try inserting additional decorative elements like fresh flowers, tiny pine cones or evergreen sprigs into these artistic napkin folds for extra pizzazz!

We're thrilled to share this creative how-to just in time for the holidays. Click on the link above to see the full post with all of the fabulous tutorials on FTDfresh!

Have a blast perfecting these festive napkin folding techniques!


29 November 2016

Decorating Dilemmas | Gigantic Bedroom

Dear Homeagination:
Our master bedroom is one many people would probably love. However, we’re not feeling the love for it at the moment. It is a massive 20 x 20 with an en suite bath and huge walk-in closet. Sounds great, right? Well, if the overall square footage isn’t enough of an issue, the darned thing has soaring vaulted ceilings, making it seem even larger. We gravitate toward transitional furnishings with a casual feel. So, what can we do to warm up this huge, cavernous bedroom?
— Too Much Space in Seattle

Dear Lost in Space:
Luckily, you have solved the biggest piece of the puzzle and are much closer to conquering your master bedroom design plan than you might think. You’ve already determined your personal design style, which will help you on the road to decorating. Transitional style pulls from traditional and contemporary, making it the perfect blend for creating a casual master bedroom.

Don’t fall into the trap of using dark colors to try to cozy up the large space. You’ll only end up weighing it down and giving it a somber feel. The best course of action is to bring in neutrals for a warm and inviting vibe. Select warm colors in a range of medium to light tones. Paint your vaulted ceiling the same color as your walls and add beams to visually bring the ceiling height down a notch.

Be generous with texture. Mix woods, metals and organic textures. A variety of fabrics for bedding, curtains and rugs will enhance the effect. The result will be a warm bedroom with much needed visual interest. Add subdued lighting to create an intimate mood with a combination of chandeliers, pendants, sconces, table and floor lamps.

Break up the space based on separate functions: one for sleep, one for reading, one for watching TV, etc. That way you’ll fool the eye into thinking you have several rooms within one space. There’s no need for physical barriers to divide the zones, use area rugs to delineate the different areas.


15 November 2016

Tips for Creating an Unforgettable Gallery Wall

Before you determine the layout of a gallery wall or even hammer the first nail, check out these super tips to make your museum quality display unforgettable!

Choose the perfect wall color. How do you think museums and galleries create a sense of drama? Wall. Color. Believe it or not, wall color is an essential element of a successful gallery wall. Pick a color that enhances your photographs and artwork. One way to do that is to isolate a single color is runs through your collection and use it as the backdrop. Or paint the wall a color that complements each piece of art. Just make sure it doesn’t upstage your gallery!

Create a focal point. Galleries are rarely random arrangements. It takes a little planning to get just the right configuration. Plot out the layout on the floor before hanging the first picture. Select a photograph for the center of the display. Position it at eye level. Place the other images around and out from the center point.

Compile a vintage family album. Current family photos are fine, but a gallery wall will be much more interesting if you include photos of relatives from times gone by. Ask family members to contribute older photographs to your collection. If the images have tears or creases and need to be enlarged, take them to a photo or office center to digitally remove the imperfections and have them resized. If you have a scanner and photo editing software, you can tackle the job yourself.

Crop your photos artfully. Careful cropping brings the important subject matter to the forefront and eliminates superfluous content. Before you make a commitment, experiment by using four pieces of black construction paper to create the exact image you want to highlight.

Protect your walls and frames. If you’re a renter, consider using removable picture hangers to avoid having to fill dozens of wall holes before you move. If you’re still not crazy about a bunch of nail holes in your pristine dry wall, use a straight pin or specially designed curved hangers that insert into the dry wall and leave a small hooked end for picture hanging. Avoid damage to your frames and scuffs on the wall by applying felt disks on the backside of your frames.

01 November 2016

Adding Pizzazz to Your Room with Stripes

Stripes are everywhere! From home interiors to fashion, they have always been a staple in the world of design. They are fun and vibrant. And face it, stripes are so easy. They can be paired with florals, animal prints, paisleys, checks, jacquards and exotic ikats. How versatile is that?

It’s natural to tire of plain, unadorned walls. Incorporating stripes onto wall surfaces will energize everything in a room. Stripes can inject color, texture and drama. You can surround a space with stripes or stripe a single wall to create a focal point. Striped walls can also visually change the shape of your room. Horizontal stripes will make a room wider or longer. Vertical stripes give the illusion of a height in rooms with low ceilings.

Stripes give you the latitude to inject some of your personality into your home’s design. Here are four techniques to create picture perfect stripes in any room of your home. Hopefully one or more will inspire you!

Painting is the tried and true method of creating a striped wall. We like wider stripes, so as a guide, make your horizontal stripes at least 12 inches wide and vertical stripes no less than 6 inches wide.

To save money on paint and cut down on labor, use your current wall paint color as one of the stripe colors. If your wall paint is scuffed and otherwise unacceptable, purchase a can of inexpensive interior latex and lay down a base coat. Choose a coordinating or contrasting color for the alternating stripe.

Let your base coat dry thoroughly and measure off your stripes with a level and marking pencil. Place small pieces of blue painter’s tape within the stripes that are not to be painted – just as a reminder. To ensure the painted stripes are full width, place the tape along the outside of those lines. I know this sounds obvious, but believe me, things can get a little confusing after all the measuring and taping.

Don’t forget to press firmly along the entire length of the painter’s tape to prevent paint seepage under the tape. Also, remove the tape before the paint dries completely. This will prevent paint from peeling off along the tape’s edge, leaving you with a jagged border.

Tips From The Home Depot For Painting Vertical Stripes 

Decals are one of the easiest ways to create stripes on your wall. Creating stripes with removable decals makes them extremely attractive to renters. Several companies offer stripe decals from lengths of 4 to 12 feet and in widths of 1 to 7 inches. You can mix and match different colors and sizes to customize the stripes. You can also choose patterned stripes to give your room an ultra chic designer look!

Or, you can let your inner artist run wild and create custom stripes based on your decor. In the image above, the free form stripe was created with a variety of individual decal shapes positioned on the wall to resemble falling leaves and flowers.

Sure, you'll have to do some precise measuring to get your stripes straight, but you won't have to deal with paint and clean up. When you are ready to redecorate or have to move, simply peel the stripes off without damaging the wall surface.Wall decals offer a creative, and less messy, way to create wall stripes.

If you are skilled at wallpapering, there are thousands of stripe designs from which to choose. Quality wallpaper can be expensive, so you might want to consider papering a single wall to add that pizzazz without breaking the bank. You could also apply striped wallpaper to the upper half of your walls, add a chair rail and paint the lower portion to create the look of wainscoting.

Purchase wallpaper from specialty shops, discount stores, home centers, paint stores and e-retailers. Browse through catalogs, sample books and online images to find the perfect stripes for your walls!

Like wallpaper, the availability of striped fabrics is virtually limitless. You can add stripes to a room by using striped curtains or Roman shades. That would probably be enough stripes for most of us.

However, if you really want to take it over the top, you can use the same fabric to cover your walls, completely enveloping your room in stripes! Our advice is to use a subtle stripe in subdued colors if you are adventurous enough to try that look.

One of the easiest ways to apply fabric to walls involves using liquid starch much as you would wallpaper paste. This is another brilliant option for apartment dwellers. Remove the fabric by pulling up a corner of the fabric and lifting it off the wall. It won’t harm the wall and believe it or not, you can wash the fabric and reuse it again.

Have a great time shaking up those boring walls with stripes!

IMAGE SOURCES (all via flickr)