20 October 2016

Brilliant Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Are you in the dark as to how to properly light your bathroom? Whether you’re looking to improve vanity lighting or want to create a calming, spa-like atmosphere, it’s pretty easy to achieve. We’re sharing four designer tricks that can take your bathroom from bland to brilliant just by updating a few fixtures. These illuminating ideas will certainly help you see the light!

Mimic Natural Light
Daylight is the ultimate lighting for makeup application and general grooming. You obviously want light that’s a true reflection of your appearance before you walk out the door every morning. If you don’t have windows or a skylight in your bathroom, you can reproduce natural light in a number of ways.

Look for bathroom fixtures with white shades – this will create a pure light similar to outdoor light. You can also purchase fixtures and bulbs that claim to mimic natural light. A number of manufacturers offer natural spectrum bulbs that come in incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED varieties.

Add Sparkle 
We’ve all seen and drooled over them on television and in home decor magazines – glamorous chandeliers suspended above the bathtub, adding just that right touch of sparkle and drama. While they look amazing, make sure to check the building codes in your area to find out how and where to hang them.

In some jurisdictions, they are not allowed to be positioned directly over water or must be at least 8 feet above the surface. Double-check before you install it. It’s really a matter of safety for you and your family.

Balance Vanity Lighting

Many bathrooms have a single fixture mounted above the vanity mirror and maybe a flush mounted ceiling fixture. While they provide a decent amount of light, the illumination is off kilter.

Instead of standard bar-style vanity lights, install attractive sconces on either side of your mirror. They will provide evenly distributed light with little or no glare. Or position bar lights vertically on either side of the mirror.

Create a Layered Effect
The big bathroom lighting challenge is to create layers of lighting to handle close tasks as well as mood lighting for total relaxation. Include makeup lighting around the vanity, recessed lighting overhead, decorative fixtures for that touch of glam and soffit strips to impart a soft glow.


13 October 2016

Design Crush | Chic Drink Tables

As if you haven't figured out, we are so crushing on drink tables! These stylishly yummy accent pieces pack a lot of design punch in a small amount of space. And, as the name implies, they're the perfect place to perch your evening cocktail or morning java. They can also double as a spot for a remote, photograph or book. They’re one piece of furniture every room needs. Stick around to check out our favorites!

 Serena & Lily: Bow tie ceramic Sachem Drink Table 

 Charleston Forge: Metal and glass top Cascade Drink Table

West Elm: Metallic aluminum Martini Side Table

 Grandin Road: Antique silver Tree Stump

 All Modern: Iron and marble Cassidy End Table by Safavieh

CB2: Catru Pedestal Table by Kravitz Design

 Cottage & Bungalow: Metal and wood Blair Round Side Table
 IKEA: VEJMON birch veneer side table

 Z Gallerie: Mirrored Perspective Pedestal

 Uttermost: Myles Accent Table in black glass and iron  

 Ambella: Oak and silver French Key Accent Table

Williams Sonoma Home: Accent Table with Handle

Passerini: Wood and marble or bronze Ali Baba Service Table

Bernhardt: Antique mirror glass Coletta Chairside Table

Jonathan Adler: Cone and ball Canaan Accent Table

Anthropologie: Brass Peacock Pavo Side Table

Dwell Studio: Tear drop Grant End Table

Zara Home: Round Nest of Tables

Urban Outfitters: Natural fiber Demba Side Table

Target: Owen Retro Side Table by Altra

  Blu Dot: White and stainless Sprout Side Table


05 October 2016

Bookshelf Styling Secrets From the Experts

Bookshelves not only provide library space and additional storage, they’re also an ideal place to display your favorite decorative treasures and heirlooms. A perfectly styled bookshelf is a thing of beauty. Nothing gives a room more character than a bookcase, wall shelves or a built-in unit artfully accessorized with books and collectibles.

In addition, bookshelves give others a peek into your psyche and are a reflection of your personality and interests, so you don’t want things looking cluttered and chaotic. Here are a few expert tips to create magazine-worthy bookshelf arrangements you’ll be proud to share with the world.

Styling a bookshelf is not unlike putting together a stylish outfit. You want to carefully “dress” the shelf in layers instead of throwing on everything at one time.

Dramatic Background
If you’re so inclined, create a dramatic setting by covering the back wall of your bookshelves with a coat of paint, wallpaper or fabric. If you are a serial decorator who likes to constantly change things up, consider using temporary wallpaper or apply fabric dipped in liquid starch for easy removal. Buy a sample size of your new favorite paint color and coat the surface of a sheet of foam core, cut it to size and install it with double-sided tape.

If you're a voracious a reader, you could completely fill your shelves with books -- but resist the urge. Choose your favorites, remove the dust jackets and spread them out over several shelves stacking the books both horizontally and vertically to create visual interest. Don’t forget to leave room for other objects.

If you are OCD or just appreciate a sense of order, you can arrange your books by color or make dust jackets of a single color with wrapping paper or even butcher paper. If you are more of a maverick, lump all the colors together and start arranging!

As you move into decorative objects, remember this tip from interior designers. Groups of objects look best when placed in groups of three or odd numbers. It’s a bona fide design principle! Stick with three or five items – any more will make your bookshelves look more like store shelves. If you have a few small cubes, it’s quite fine to display a single object rather than trying to create a grouping in a tight space.

In any arrangement, you need to allow the eye to move smoothly and freely about the shelves by maintaining a sense of space around decorative objects. This will also keep your collections from looking messy.

Mixed Objects
Use a mix of objects to add visual interest, texture and contrast. Mixing colors and textures make your styling appear effortless. Decorative objects like vases, bowls or boxes create flow. Next mix in objects with personal meaning such items from exotic travels or family keepsakes. Plants and natural shapes like seashells, geodes or rattan orbs give your curated collections an organic feel.

Artwork is one thing most people forget when it comes to styling bookshelves. Insert small framed images and photos among the shelves or you can hang large pieces of art from the edges of the shelves giving your room the look of a cozy den. If you have a lot of shelves, art takes up a great deal of space, which makes your job of accessorizing a lot easier.

Homeagination | House Beautiful | Chic + Glamorous |  
The Decor Fix |  Little Green Notebook | Emily A. Clark 

28 September 2016

Decorating With Fall Colors

Typically, the change of seasons spurs within us a need to transform our surroundings. Maybe it’s the crisp, cool weather or the basic instinct to prepare for winter hibernation. Whatever the reason, it’s the perfect time to pull inspiration from nature.

Let rich shades of crimson, gold, pumpkin and umber be your guide to fall decorating. Use a canvas of subdued fabrics and finishes to showcase your seasonal color story. We’ll share with you the secrets of bringing the warmth of fall into your home for a look that is well suited for this time of the year but is also adaptable for year-round use.

Why are fall colors so special?
Fall is a complete departure from the bright, sunny colors associated with warm weather months. It signifies a shift to subtle earth tones and darker colors that bring a cozy, comfortable look and feel to the home. Neutrals such as browns, beiges and grays are good choices for walls rather than the lighter whites, yellows and blues of summer.

Where do fall colors work best?
Basically any public spaces in the house are great for fall color. If you really want to give your guests the sense of the season, start with your entry. It’s the space that creates a first impression and sets the tone for the rest of the house. Choose a strong color like russet or persimmon to create an unexpected entrance. Using such a dominant color allows you continue the color throughout or use progressively lighter shades of the same hue as you move from room to room.

How can I introduce fall color without painting the walls?

Photo by mhinteriordesignonthelakeshoreSearch Mediterranean home office pictures
Add throw pillows, decorative accessories, artwork and secondary upholstered pieces to interject rich fall color into your space. If you do want to use a little paint, try a darker shade on trim, banisters or stair risers to add contrast and warmth. Pick an accent wall to paper in a textural treatment – it will give you the same result as paint and also creates visual interest.

What would be an unconventional fall color choice?
Purple is a color that transcends seasons. Lighter shades of purple are well suited for spring and summer, but a deep jewel tone is a great choice for fall decorating. Team up dramatic eggplant with spicy orange and brown to create an unconventional fall palette that looks absolutely stunning!

Who can help with fall color selections?
If you’re not sure where to start, you may want to get some help. However, if you’re like most of us, you probably don’t have the budget to call in a color consultant to develop a custom fall palette for your home. The next best (totally free) option is to head to the local paint store and sit down with one of their color specialists to help get you pointed in the right direction!

Chris via flickr | Behr | Domino | Houzz | BH&G 

22 September 2016

Fun and Fresh Uses for Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Touches of old, reclaimed wood add personality to any style of home -- whether it is a brand new, cookie-cutter tract home or a 1930s bungalow. It instantly warms up a room, giving the space a homey, historic feel. However, using old wood in your home can do much more beyond simple aesthetics.
Using salvaged wood can also help the planet. It is the perfect sustainable choice for homeowners who are into making the world a greener, healthier place. Think of the trees that will be saved by incorporating old lumber into your home renovation project.

Furniture and Accessories

Finding sources for reclaimed wood products has never been easier. In the furniture and accessories arena, salvage companies across the country offer everything from vintage wood picture frames to headboards made from old barn siding. You can even source salvaged lumber to make a dining table.

Visit local architectural salvage dealers and antique stores for reclaimed wood treasures. You can use them as they were intended, such as an old wine rack or wooden chair, or repurpose them to suit your decorating needs. Take that antique wood picture frame and give it a new lease on life. Transform it into a stylish mirror frame for your family room.

As a sustainable alternative to reclaimed wood, you can visit furniture stores and find manufacturers that use sustainable wood. Look for furniture that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The FSC label lets you know that the wood meets environmentally responsible practices -- from harvesting to manufacture to market.

Recycled Wood Doors
Tired of the cheap, flimsy, hollow core doors in your house? Add character and weight by replacing them with solid wood doors milled decades ago by skilled craftsmen. You can choose from intricate or simple designs. Think outside the box and consider using large-scale wood doors from sheds and barns as sliding doors to close off your office space or master bedroom suite.

The good news is salvage yards and architectural deconstruction businesses will have doors in every shape, size, color and finish. Using these eco-friendly vintage doors will give your plain-Jane home a sense of history and prominence. Be aware that installation of a vintage wood door in an existing opening may require abilities beyond the scope of many do-it-yourselfers.

Proper door sizing and hanging means taking exacting measurements and making the necessary cuts and adjustments. You will also need a door frame that closely matches the wood of your reused door. The choice of hardware is up to you. You can either add period hardware or find a contemporary style to create an eclectic look.

Floor to Ceiling Uses

Another way to add architectural significance to a boring white room is to bring in reclaimed lumber as flooring, wall and ceiling elements.

Find companies that specialize in reclaimed wood planks and siding from old homes, barns and industrial buildings. These businesses, in turn, transform this cast-off wood into usable lumber for your floor, walls or ceiling.

Lumber reclamation has become big business. There is a huge demand for old wood in new construction. Lumber salvage companies carefully remove old wood floors and siding for use in new projects. This painstaking removal process takes time, and the associated labor costs are passed on to you.

Using reclaimed lumber will be more expensive than purchasing new wood flooring. Do your homework and compare costs before beginning a major project. A nice compromise might be using old lumber for ceiling beams and using FSC wood flooring with a similar texture and color. Just remember: with of the look of vintage lumber comes inherent flaws. Decide if imperfection is a good fit with your design sensibility.

Outside Your Home
Let’s step outside for a moment and look at some of the uses for old wood that will beautify your exterior spaces.

Salvaged lumber is a great choice for decking and porches. Reclaimed wood timber can also dress up your garden beds when used as border.

When using old wood that will be exposed to the elements, make sure it is a weather hardy species like cedar or cypress. Choose wood that was previously used in an exterior application and thoroughly inspect it for deterioration of any kind and insect infestation.

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14 September 2016

Tricks to Make Any Room in Your Home Look Great

Are you busy this weekend? How about putting aside a couple of hours to transform a room or two in your home. We have a few tricks up our sleeve that will make your digs look great in no time at all. And the really good news is you may not have to spend a dime to do it. You’re welcome.

Ditch the Clutter

This one is so easy and just makes darn good sense. Clear of countertops and floor space of non-essential items. Clear out a few drawers, cabinets or a closet to store stuff away when not in use. This goes for the kitchen too. If you keep small appliances out but rarely use them, store them in a lower cabinet or pantry. And we all know toiletry items can overtake the bathroom. Throw away old makeup and empty containers. You’ll be amazed at how much neater your rooms look.

Add One Unexpected Color

We’ve all heard how beneficial a pop of color can be to a room. Well, it’s true and you should give it a try. It doesn’t have to be epic – just a little unexpected color will do. For example, if you have a room with a neutral palette, add a bright pink vase. Or a citrusy orange pillow on a navy blue sofa. It’s like adding a vivid scarf or tie to a dark business suit. It makes a huge impact.

Create Balance and Space
Rearranging furniture is fun and is one of the best ways to completely change the look of a room for no dinero. When planning your new furniture layout, think about balance and space. Take visually heavy pieces and distribute the weight throughout the room to create balance. At the same time, consider your ability to move easily and safely around the room. Relegate a couple of items to other rooms to create a sense of space.

Layer Your Lighting
A variety of lighting layers will give your rooms depth and warmth. Just think about it. A room with a single source of light like a flush-mounted ceiling fixture looks dull and one-dimensional. Try adding a table lamp, floor lamp, uplights, pendants or a chandelier to create a sense of drama and enhance the colors in your room.

Create a Focal Point

What is the focal point in your room? It could be the fireplace, the television, the view or the artwork. It’s best to pick one and make the focus of your room.  If your fireplace is the focal point, arrange the seating to take advantage of a roaring fire. Same for the television or the view. Avoid featuring multiple focal points. It will make your room seem overwhelming and disjointed.

Be Pillow Wise

You really need to be pillow conscious to create a great looking room. Pillows instantly add visual interest, color and texture to any space. But they can be total buzz kills if you use them incorrectly. Too few, and your sofa or bed can look downright forlorn. Too many, and there’s no spot to sit on the sofa. Not to mention the hour it takes to style your bed in the morning. Here’s a great rule of thumb for decorative pillows: Use three – one large square, one slightly smaller square and a medium size lumbar. There's no wrong way to arrange them!

Emily May via flickr

07 September 2016

Decorating Dilemmas | Super Tall Window

Dear Homeagination: 
We have a gorgeous two-story window in our main living area. It lets in lots of fabulous natural light but broils us in the afternoon as it faces directly west. We’d love to give it a decorative window treatment since it is a focal point in the space, but we also need to block the afternoon sun and heat. What can we do?
Hot Under the Collar

Dear Toasty One:
Believe it or not, there’s a relatively easy solution to your super tall window dilemma. Instead of trying to use a single window covering to take care of both issues, we suggest using two separate treatments to solve your problem.

For decorative purposes, consider a stationary window treatment like two floor-to-ceiling curtain panels to frame the opening. If your window is narrow, add the illusion of width by extending the curtain panels out at least 4 to 5 inches beyond the window frame. You can let the curtains fall naturally or pull them to the side with a decorative tieback.

To cut the heat and glare, you have several options. To preserve the view, you can install window tint designed to reduce the heat infiltration and block damaging UV rays. This is really not a DIY project—it’s best to hire a company that specializes in residential applications. The tints come in varying degrees of opaqueness and UV blockage, depending on your needs.

Another way to preserve your view and create a level of privacy is to install a solar or cellular shade. A tall window opening will most likely require a special size, which means you’ll have to hire the job out. Someone will take measurements and create a custom shade that fits perfectly inside the window opening. This type of shade can remain fixed in place or raise and lower via a corded system or motorized control. You can select the color, fabric and light control that goes with your decor and curtain panels.


31 August 2016

The 411 on Silk Curtain Fabrics

Believe it or not, silk is the ideal fabric for curtains.

Although silk has a delicate appearance, it is a surprisingly long lasting and durable fabric for window treatments if cared for properly. It is a natural textile that comes in a variety of weights and textures making it a versatile choice for any application. Heavier weights are great for privacy and lightweight silks are perfect as wispy sheers. Depending on the type of silk you choose, these classic curtains look right at home in both casual and elegant spaces. 

Once reserved for ball gowns and wedding dresses, taffeta is becoming a popular fabric option for high-end curtains. While this type of silk can either be yarn dyed or piece dyed, most curtain panels are yarn dyed resulting in a full, smooth yet rigid texture. Sumptuous taffeta curtains have a distinctive sheen and hand that can’t be duplicated with a synthetic fabric. Dramatic taffeta curtains often include fancy pleats and decorative headings to turn up the drama

Most of us are more familiar with silk dupion. Unlike fancy taffeta, it has a subtle sheen and a rougher texture. It is woven of double-thread silk produced when two silkworms spin their cocoons together. This makes for a coarser yarn and creates slubs and dark specs giving the finished fabric a more natural appearance. These irregularities inherent in silk dupion and are considered part of the fabric’s intrinsic beauty.


Luxurious silk organza is typically manufactured with pure silk fibers creating a lightweight sheer that’s substantial enough to block light and add a sense of privacy to your rooms. Woven from twisted silk filament, organza has a firm, not stiff hand and an even, smooth texture. Organza curtain panels can be used on their own adding a translucent layer of color or hung in conjunction with heavier panels for a layered look.

Raw Silk

Raw silk is woven from short fibers giving it its trademark nubby, rough texture. Raw silk is an off-white color and is similar in appearance to organic cotton. Curtains made from raw silk hang and drape better than cotton panels and even resist wrinkles. When compared to other silk fabrics, raw silk’s irregular color and texture has a more organic look and lacks the sheen of fancier silks.


Billowy silk chiffon is the perfect choice for window scarves and swag toppers. This plain weave silk contains highly twisted yarns resulting in a soft, gauzy fabric. Its diaphonous nature allows sunlight to pass through but still provide a little privacy during the day. Twist and drape chiffon scarves over and around curtain rods, corbels or medallions for a window treatment full of movement.

Neiman Marcus | Silks Unlimited | Sew 4 Home | Homeagination | Homagination | Homeagination