Author Archives: James

Strategies For Outdoor Patio Maintenance & Safety

Quality outdoor furniture can turn a backyard into a gathering place no matter whether you want to dine, play games, or simply relax. Use the following strategies to make sure your patio stays safe.

Install and Maintain Safety Rails

Safety first. You don’t want a calm evening of family or friends enjoying each other’s company on your outdoor patio sofa or eating on an outdoor patio dining set to be interrupted by accident or injury. Your deck, particularly near the stairs, should be lined with the proper safety rails to prevent perfectly avoidable accidents from occurring.

When installing your deck, check with local building codes to ensure your railing meets the requirements. Requirements may vary between residential and commercial properties as well. Railing will help keep children, pets, and even adults safe while enjoying their time on your patio.

Of course, you can’t simply install adequate railing and ignore it for the rest of your life. Regularly inspect the railing for any signs of deterioration. Once in awhile, push lightly on the railing around the deck to make sure it is still steady.

Use Proper Lighting

Outdoor lighting is an essential part of patio safety. Without proper lighting, it’s too easy for someone to trip, slip, or fall—especially around stairs. It’s also difficult to enjoy a night with friends gathered on outdoor deep seating when it’s too dark to see everyone’s faces.

First, make sure your lighting of choice is approved for outdoor use. Not all lighting fixtures can stand up to the elements of the great outdoors. Rain, wind, snow, and even long-term exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on the bulbs, wiring, and electric system of light fixtures that are not prepared to face the rigors of outdoor use.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the placement of the lighting. Ideally, you should have lights both close to the house and throughout your yard to maximize visibility. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor light fixtures to choose from such as sconces, string lights, lamps, etc. If you choose to include ground lighting, avoid placing lights in grassy areas, as it’s easy to damage both the wiring and the fixtures while mowing. Don’t forget to childproof all wiring and outlets.

Perform Regular Cleaning

If you want to enjoy your quality lounger and table set for years to come, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to regular cleaning and maintenance.

Simple, daily cleaning can include sweeping, wiping up spills, etc. Don’t allow leaves or other organic debris to pile up as that can attract insects and lead to infestations and rot.

As needed, mop the deck as well. However, before you start power cleaning your deck, it’s important to make sure the tools and/or chemicals you use are safe for your patio.

Choose Safe Outdoor Patio Furniture Placement

Believe it or not, the placement of your quality outdoor furniture can have a significant impact on safety, especially if you have a lot of children around.

Outdoor furniture should not be placed near the edges of the patio. It’s too easy to lean back too far or scoot a chair out too quickly. Additionally, small children and pets can climb on the furniture and over the railways if the furniture is placed too close to an edge.

Inspect for Rot, Rust, and Other Issues

Even the best cared for deck can develop rot or rust over time, which is why inspections should be a regular part of your patio maintenance plan.

It’s important to understand what you’re looking for during these inspections. Look for the following signs of potential problems:

    • Sawdust or small holes, as this can be a sign of an insect infestation.
    • Loose, warped, cracked, discolored, or soft wood. This can be a sign of water damage or rot.
    • Discoloration around screws, fasteners, other metal. This can be a sign of rust and/or corrosion.

Outdoor patios can be a great addition to your home and your backyard. It can give people a space to gather around at parties and social events you hold in your home. However, like we discussed above, it’s important you regularly inspect your deck for maintenance and arrange furniture in a way that will help facilitate safety.

5 Ways to Incorporate Spring In Your Patio Decor

Don’t let the long months of winter get you down, Spring is right around the corner. With these five patio decorating ideas, you can spiff up your personal outside space and have it ready and waiting for the first warm day that comes along.

1. Clean or Refinish the Surfaces

No one wants to hang out on a dirty porch or patio. Giving your door, walls, and floor (making sure to get all the corners) a good spray-down with soapy water is usually enough to get your space ready for redecoration.

If you want to add a better backdrop, there are plenty of ways to enliven the area and make it easier on your feet:

    • Paint your door a welcoming color such as poppy or robin’s egg blue
    • Seal or paint your concrete with a high-gloss finish
    • Lay down slate tile
    • Install wood planks
    • Throw down an outdoor rug
    • Use high-grade turf

2. Add Soon-to-Bloom Plants

Nothing says spring more than early blooms. Place some woven planters around your patio, and consider arranging some on top of outdoor accent tables, to add more color and cheer from live plants. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are incredible and will never go out of style. If you want to experiment with some less-expected varieties, why not give winter aconite, double rock rose, or puschkinia a try?

For an easy way to show off your flowers, all you need to do is grab whatever variety that catches your eye (when it looks like the buds are about to burst open). Just slip the plastic container they come in into a colorful pot.

If you want to go the extra mile and have a show-stopping container, remove the flowers from the original plastic pot and plant them into your own larger pot. You can even plant a few varieties together. Then fill up any pockets with container soil, arrange moss on top of the soil, and water thoroughly. Place in a sunny spot on your porch or patio.   

3. Refresh Your Patio Decor

Sometimes all you need are some fresh patio decorating ideas to get the ball rolling. Patio decor styles run the gamut. From tropical to desert and urban to country, there is a look for every personality. Add the following for an almost-instant update:

  • Outdoor pillows to brighten a dull corner
  • A water feature or wind chimes to create a serene scene
  • A hanging clock or thermometer to add visual interest
  • Updated lighting that will complete your look

Remember, it’s the details that truly make an outdoor space feel like an extension of your home.

4. Buy New Porch Furniture

There are times when a completely new set of outdoor porch furniture is exactly what you need. A outdoor dining table set that will seat an intimate gathering of friends or family is a must for those warmer nights that are begging you to dine al fresco. If the weather is still a little too cool for that, an outdoor fire table surrounded by comfy chairs extends the outdoor season by keeping everyone nice and cozy. If lounging in the spring sun is more your style, a couple of outdoor chaise lounges will do quite nicely.

5. Adopt an All-Weather Use Policy

Even if the weather isn’t sunny and warmer yet, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. Crisp, cool weather can actually be good for you. It’ll wake you up and give you a chance to catch some much-needed Vitamin D, even when the sky is overcast.

All you need to do is bundle up a bit, take a blanket and a warm drink with you, and unwind for a few minutes. A comfortable patio hammock is a perfect place for this mini-break. You’ll return back inside happy to have experienced a bit of revitalized relaxation.

Use the tips above to start thinking about ways to decorate your outdoor patio. If you break it down into smaller tasks you will realize you can accomplish it in no time. Here’s to a lovely, warm welcome to Spring on your newly decorated porch or patio.

Home Decoration Tips: Creating a Welcoming Family Room

Decorating family rooms can feel like a delicate balance between maintaining the overall style of the home while creating a space that says “welcome home” to your family and friends. Use these tips to find the right balance for your home.

#1 Start with the Entrance

Creating a welcoming family room starts before anyone ever enters the room. If the hallway or entryway that leads to your family room is dark, bare, or otherwise unwelcoming, that vibe can carry into the room itself. Cheer the area up with adequate lighting and a rug that naturally leads people into the room.

#2 Light Up the Room

Lighting a family room can be tricky. If the lighting is too harsh, you’ll lose the cozy, welcoming atmosphere you’re trying to create, but no one wants to sit in an overly dark room. Create a cozier look with multiple light sources for adjustable lighting. Invest in a few lamps for your family room. You can also help to lighten a room by doing a quick clean of the area. Make sure the blinds, windows, and furniture have been cleaned. All of this can help increase how light your room feels and make it seem more welcoming.

#3 Conceal the Television

Many people make the television the focal point of the family room. While this makes sense for family movie nights, watching the big game, etc., it can also hinder quality family time as it may discourage conversation. You can move the TV to a different room, like the den, or you can conceal the television with an accommodating entertainment center or you can add sliding doors in front of it.

#4 Invest in Several Seating Options

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to seating; some people like sofas, while others prefer their own space in an armchair. Choose family room furniture sets that accommodate individual preferences with multiple types of seating

#5 Make it Personal

You don’t have to choose between having a beautiful family room and having personalized family room decor. There are many elegant ways to add a personal touch to the room. Display treasured family photos or items you’ve collected during your travels on classic, mid-century high quality accent tables.

#6 Arrange Furniture Accordingly

If you want to create a welcoming atmosphere, arrange your furniture in a way that encourages interaction and face-to-face conversation. Avoid placing your furniture all in a line; arrange your living room sofa and other furniture to facilitate interaction. Place seating close to each other when possible to create a sense of intimacy and closeness. However, make sure you don’t take this advice too far by making people feel claustrophobic.

#7 Choose an Inviting Color Scheme

An important element of family room decor is color selection. Warm colors will make a room feel more cozy and welcoming. Colors like brown, peach-orange, soft yellows, and reds can achieve this atmosphere. This doesn’t mean you are banned from picking white furniture if you enjoy the clean, crisp look. Just soften it with warm-colors like these accent pillows.

#8 Emphasize Physical Comfort

No matter how much you try to create a welcoming atmosphere, if the textures and furniture in a room are not actually comfortable, you’ll struggle to actualize your vision. Choose comfy, plush furniture sets and cozy textures for throw pillows, rugs, etc.

#9 Define Space in Open Floor Plans

It can sometimes be difficult to tell where one space ends and the next begins in open floor plans. This can be especially hard if you live in a home that was designed for a different time. However, there is a way to make mid-century home and furniture design work in your favor.The way you arrange your furniture can be a valuable tool, but that’s not your only option. Look at  ways you can tie your furniture together and help your room and floor plan flow together more smoothly. A high-quality area rug can tie together the family room decor while defining the space.

#10 Plan Around the Ceiling Fan

If your family room features a ceiling fan, try to avoid placing seating directly under it. While it can offer a delightful breeze on warm days, most people will subconsciously feel on edge if they are sitting directly below rotating blades. Just plan for a coffee table or empty space to be right below the fan.

DIY Backyard Design Ideas: Tips For Lighting Your Space

We’ve all seen those outdoor spaces that take our breath away. A truly beautiful backyard with attractive outdoor patio furniture is what takes a nice house to the next level, making it a destination for friends and family to gather and make memories all year long.

However, it can be tricky to know what goes into making the perfect backyard if you’ve never done your own landscaping. If your yard is lacking a homey, inviting feel, we have some tips on how to transform your space with the help of backyard lights.

1. Patio String Lights

Most people would agree that there’s nothing better than dining al fresco on a warm summer night. If you want to bring the high-end restaurant feel to your space, the first thing to do is add patio string lights to your yard. Patio string lights come in a variety of styles and price points. They’re sure to wow your guests, making them the first on our list of backyard design ideas.

2. Outdoor Fireplace

A fireplace is a great way to immediately change the ambiance of your backyard. We love the idea of tabletop fire pits which provide a more modern, sophisticated fire feature.

3. Space Heaters

In most parts of the country, backyard activities are a seasonal affair. But if you’d like to extend the season a bit, space heaters are a great way to do it. Space heaters add a soft light glow and will keep your friends and family warm in the early spring and late fall. With a few strategically-placed space heaters, sitting around your patio on your comfortable, high-quality outdoor furniture can be something you enjoy year-round.

4. Light Pole Stands

If you don’t have an overhang or gazebo to string lights on, light pole stands are a great way to achieve the same effect. These stands can be installed for permanent placement or put up for special occasions, making them a great, versatile option for any home.

5. Illuminate Pathways

One of the most important outdoor design ideas is understanding the powerful effect of illuminating pathways in your yard. Using simple tea lights or other forms of lighting is a great way to draw people into different parts of the yard and highlight the dynamic elements of your landscaping.

6. Tree Spotlights

Trees are a gorgeous way to add dimension and a secluded feel to your backyard, so make sure they don’t disappear when the sun goes down. Tree spotlights can be used in bold or softer styles to draw attention to your greenery.

7. Water Feature Lights

Lighting waterfalls, pools, ponds, and streams is a great way to bring a peaceful, calming vibe to your backyard. Water lights are a chance to get creative with different colors and light patterns as well.

8. Mounting Lights For Plants

Even if you don’t have massive trees in your yard, you can illuminate your smaller shrubs and vines for a similar effect. Mounting lights are a natural choice for drawing the eye toward your landscape.

9. Artisan Hanging Lights

Make a statement to your gazebo or pergola design with some creative ideas. Artisan hanging lights are a great way to make a statement to your outdoor patio and gazebo. You can also string classic Chinese lanterns along your yard to add magic to your outdoor space.

10. Led Lights

LED lights don’t provide a huge amount of illumination, but they’re a popular trend for those wanting a subtle, modern lighting effect in their backyard.

By taking a few of these DIY backyard design ideas into account, you’ll be roasting marshmallows on an outdoor fire table, wining and dining with friends, and thoroughly enjoying yourself in your backyard before you know it.

Spring Living Room Color Ideas To Brighten Your Home

When the leading names in color selection release their seasonal color picks, it can be difficult to decide how to update your home interior design to match current trends. As winter comes to a close, the spring colors have been released along with plenty of living room color ideas.

It’s important to remember that not every color is going to be a fit for your house interior. Keeping up with trends is all about incorporating the interior home decoration ideas that fit your personal sense of style. We’ve outlined a few ideas that work with different decor preferences. No matter whether you like loud color combos, a softer approach, or sticking to neutrals, you can keep up with the current trends.

Bold and Striking

If you like to make a strong statement with color, you’ll love the popular living room colors for Spring 2018. Gone are the days where the only spring house decoration options came in various pastel palettes.

Bright, bold colors like Lime Punch, Cherry Tomato, and UltraViolet are taking center stage both on the catwalk and in the home. That being said, you probably shouldn’t rush to paint your walls lime green while simultaneously picking out bright purple carpeting. When using strong shades like this, it’s important to balance the room with neutral colors, like high quality cream furniture especially in spaces like living rooms.

Pick the specific elements of the room you want to make a statement. If you choose to paint the walls a vibrant color, choose neutral colors for your flooring and larger pieces of living room furniture. If you’d like to pull in multiple strong colors, then use accents like throw pillows and other smaller pieces of furniture.

For those who prefer deeper shades, you may find a new favorite home decor color in Chili Oil, a deep crimson shade that can look good in any room in the house. When using such a dark color in spring, make sure to pair it with softer hues in a room with a lot of lighting. Otherwise, the room can start to feel heavy, dark, and small. Try a crimson rug, couch, or wall paired with a herringbone gray high-quality armchair.

Soft and Subtle

Those who enjoy incorporating color in their home but aren’t a fan of loud, vibrant hues will find comfort in the traditional, soft spring color selections. Make no mistake, when we use the word traditional, we’re not referring to old, overdone looks. With the Spring 2018 colors, you’ll be able to keep your home fresh while incorporating the soft and subtle color palettes you love.

Both Blooming Dahlia, a peachy pink, and the soft Little Boy Blue are very popular colors right now. You can choose to bring in subtle influences of these colors through rugs, tables, and lighting fixtures, or you can use furniture, walls, and cabinets.

Though it is not a pastel or subtle color, we recommend adding in splashes of a bright color, such as yellow furniture, if you want to add a brighter feeling to a room.

One of the dangers of using soft, pastel-ish colors is creating an almost childlike atmosphere. These colors are often associated with nurseries. To combat this problem, unless you are decorating a nursery, it’s important to pick furniture and decorations that are of high quality and look more refined.

Staying Neutral

Many are saying that all-white interiors are on their way out, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your love of neutral tones. Break up the white with other neutral hues such as cream, grey, sand, and blues. Don’t be afraid to bring in a few pops of Sailor Blue, a navy-like shade that pairs well with neutral color palettes.

When choosing living room decor sets, consider sand-colored living room coffee tables with natural wood legs paired with a white sofa and blue throw pillows.  These simple looks will continue the clean look you enjoy while staying on trend.

The Spring 2018 colors accommodate amateur and professional home decorators of all preferences and abilities. With the wide variety of colors, decorating your house interior while staying on trend has never been more customizable or more accessible.

Garden Landscaping & Yard Care [Spring Edition]

Spring is almost here! That means it’s time to start working on your garden landscaping so when warmer weather hits, your yard will be ready. Here’s what you can do (all in one weekend) to finish your spring clean up and get a lovely space you can enjoy during this beautiful season.

Do a Good Yard Clean Up

As any good gardener will tell you, yard maintenance is the most important thing to do each year. Without a good clean up, nothing else in your yard will look good. Start by raking up all the dead foliage and trash that has settled underneath your trees and bushes, under your deck, and down in your window wells. This will prevent rot from taking hold and insects and pests from nesting.

Hose down the side of your house, your fence, and all the hardscaped surfaces. You’ll be surprised how much dirt has accumulated. If needed, touch up or repaint your door and railings so they look new again. Clean your windows, repair your screens as well as stabilize any loose paving stones around your home.

Prune, Fertilize, Prevent Weeds, and Mulch

When it comes to taking care of the living parts of your garden, a little spring prep work will go a long way in giving you beautiful rewards throughout the rest of the year.

  • Prune plants in late winter or early spring while they are still dormant. This allows cuts to heal with less stress and gives a boost of growth.
  • Fertilize your grass and trees lightly at first (to prevent chemical overuse and runoff). If you don’t like the results, you can apply more.
  • Prevent weeds that have been waiting all winter long from getting out of hand. If you’re planting a flower or vegetable bed, don’t plant right after working the soil because weed seeds will just have been turned up. Instead, let the weeds germinate and grow a bit before killing them with an herbicide.
  • Mulch that is old should be stripped away and discarded. Add a new one-inch thick layer of quality mulch for a fresh look that won’t prevent roots from getting the water they need.

Plant or Pot Fresh Flowers

Perhaps the most rewarding part of having a spring garden is the look and smell of flowering blossoms that come in every shape and size and in all the colors of the rainbow. If you didn’t get a chance to plant spring-blooming bulbs in the fall, that’s okay! Picking up some potted plants at the nursery or grocery store is just as good.

A convenient way to have some visible foliage is to place outdoor planters around your patio and yard, but here are some other creative placement ideas to consider as well:

  • Create a living wall
  • Hang baskets from your porch ceiling and the rails
  • Use window boxes
  • Plant in a unique container such as a bird bath metal bucket

Replace Old and Worn Patio Furniture

Now that you’ve made your yard beautiful, it’s time to enjoy it by relaxing on some comfortable patio furniture. However, old, worn out, or uncomfortable just won’t cut it. If that’s what you’re dealing with, do yourself a favor and buy a matching set of high-quality pieces.

An ottoman set is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy your garden view. Outdoor dining sets are a great spot for gathering friends and family together for a delicious outdoor lunch. Come evening, chat beside a fire table to keep the good company around a little longer.   

With longer, warmer days coming, take advantage of your space. Make your garden landscaping a priority, and you’ll enjoy the peace and joy it brings throughout every season.

DIY Backyard Patio Ideas for a Romantic Evening

While a blanket on the grass can be a charming date idea, it’s nowhere near as romantic as your patio space could be. Take full advantage of the warm summer nights to come with our design tips on how to create a romantic patio space.

1. Outdoor Furniture

The first and most important step to creating a romantic patio space is selecting the best outdoor furniture for a relaxing and lavish evening. Keep the lounge chairs poolside and opt for something that sets the mood to be a bit more formal.

When it comes to selecting outdoor patio furniture for a romantic evening, choose furniture that is big, soft, and sprinkled with decorative pillows. Incorporate an outdoor sectional or padded ottomans to enhance your outdoor patio space.

2. Romantic Lighting

When it comes to having a nice evening, the lighting can really make it or break it. There are many patio decorating ideas out there, and it’s important to remember to take your lighting into consideration as well. You want to have the correct amount of lighting to set the perfect mood for the evening.

We love the idea of creating a starry canopy of string lights over the patio and it’s a great solution for the ultimate romantic who lives beneath hazy city skies. However, if that’s more work than you care to take on, there are endless options for you to gently light your outdoor paradise.

3. Insect Repellant

As you and your sweetheart settle in for a romantic night, the last thing you want to be concerned with is the obnoxious disturbance of date-ruining insects. Use one or more of the following tips to rid your backyard patio of unwanted guests:

  • Plant bug-repelling flowers and herbs around your patio, such as Marigolds, Calendula, Mint, and more.
  • Light citrus candles or add citronella Tiki-Torches
  • Spray the area with alcohol-based mouthwash or an even mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.

4. Light & Easy Food

Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner or a delectable dessert, don’t forget to take into account how your food of choice will affect your evening. We suggest you keep it small, light, easy, and clean. A dipping tray of bite-sized fruits and melted chocolate is a terrific way to add a touch of playful romance to your date without leaving you feeling overly full. There are many ways you can easily create your own menu, just take into consideration what you both like to eat and do some research for fun ideas.

5. A Fire Feature

You can add the perfect ambiance to your backyard paradise with a permanent fire fixture. It can’t be denied that the glow and warmth of a fire brings to the evening a whole new level of romance that nothing else can, but what about all the other benefits? A stunning fire table is the perfect addition to any backyard; it serves as a lovely focal point, keeps the bugs away, is a natural light source, and can be used to prepare food and desserts.

Now that we’ve discussed DIY small patio ideas and creating a romantic outdoor patio space, you can add your own special touch to the evening with some DIY backyard patio ideas. Sprinkle your cushioned furniture with rose petals, string paper hearts from your canopy of twinkling lights, and make some heart-shaped treats. Whatever the occasion may be, the right furniture, lighting, and fire options are great additions to help you create the perfect outdoor patio space.

How to Make Mid-Century Design & Decor Work in Your Home [Expert Tips]

The long-staying popularity of mid-century modern design is a testament to one simple fact: mid-century style is more than a trend—it’s simply timeless. That’s because the design principles of mid-century modern are versatile with nearly limitless applications. And, it just looks fabulous!

Browse a specific category by clicking on any of the quick links below:


 

What is Mid-Century Modern Design?

Mid-century modern design was a hallmark of interior design from the 1930s through the late 1960s, but its impact has lasted much longer. While style allows for a high level of personalization, modern design principles typically include:

  • A focus on functionality
  • Clean lines
  • Mixed textures and materials
  • Organic and geometric shapes
  • Sleek lines
  • Lack of clutter
  • White walls

When decorating in the mid-century modern interior design style, the goal should not be to mimic exact designs from this period. “There are specific design elements that make a piece mid-century. Splayed wood legs is the most prevalent and easiest to incorporate into a timeless design,” says Kelli Ellis, Celebrity Designer & RST Brands Ambassador. “Also look for contrasting piping in cushions and pillows.”

Expert Tip by Kelli Ellis

Choose one or two pieces from this era with the focus being on creating a functional space that complements your personality and lifestyle.

Mid-Century Modern Design Elements to Use in Your Home

Furniture

There are two approaches you can take when it comes to mid-century modern furniture:

  1. Choose neutral pieces that blend well with surrounding elements. Kelli Ellis adds,BUT YOU MUST ADD classic mid-century eye-catching accessories.”
  2. Use pieces that will pop and serve as a focal point for the entire room.

Regardless of the direction you choose, it’s important to avoid clashing patterns or colors that can lead to a high level of visual clutter.

Older furniture or new pieces with that classic vintage feel will look right at home in a modern house. Wood furniture is a great choice, as it will give your room an organic and natural vibe. Remember, you’re looking for timeless, high-quality, and comfortable pieces.

Lighting

When it comes to lighting, bold is better. The mid-century modern style favors lighting that makes a statement. Don’t shy away from unique, dangling light fixtures or lamps that serve as conversation starters. The pieces you pick don’t have to match perfectly; just make sure they don’t clash, and avoid adding too many colors into the room.

Accessories

Regardless of your color scheme, theme, or other accessories, don’t underestimate the power of a well-placed mirror. Sunburst mirrors are an iconic design element in the modern style.

Pick accessories that show off organic shapes, like vases with smooth curves. If you chose colorful furniture and artwork, bring in some neutral tones with neutral throw pillows. Just make sure to stick to your color palette.

 

How to Incorporate Mid-Century Design Elements in Each Room

 

Mid-century modern living room set

 

Family Room

Your family room should be a gathering place, which makes picking your furniture from comfortable, beautiful living room sectionals a necessity. While it’s generally wise to stick with white walls to allow your furnishings and decor to shine, don’t be afraid to add in pops of color that make your family feel right at home.

Living Room

 

As with all rooms, pick a complementary color palette and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to let a single piece of bright furniture steal the show, or keep to neutral furniture to allow other elements of the room to take center stage.

No mid-century modern living room is complete without proper seating. Provide plenty of space for your guests with a beautiful living room furniture collection.

Don’t forget to include a mid-century modern coffee table. These tables can feature a mix of different materials such as wood, metal, and glass.

Expert Tip by Kelli Ellis

“Midcentury pieces play with shape and layers, don’t be afraid to add several pieces together to create a coffee table or side table collection.”

Kitchen

The kitchen is a perfect room to explore bold colors or patterns in a controlled way. You don’t want to create a cacophony of clashing colors, but feel free to make a statement with a limited color palette.

Always commit to smooth, clean lines in the kitchen. Swap out ornate, curved cabinets for flat, wood options. Invest in stainless steel appliances and marble countertops. When it comes to flooring, the flatter and smoother the better.

Office

The office is a perfect example of how neutral colors and clean lines can create a perfect atmosphere. Generally speaking, stick with white walls, quality furnishings, and minimal decor.

Every office needs a good thinking chair or two.The Eames lounge chair captivated the attention of designers during this period, but it would be a mistake to limit yourself to looking at one style of mid-century chair. Stick to chairs with either distinct lines or smooth, natural-looking curves. Mixed materials are perfectly acceptable.

Master Bedroom

Your bedroom should be an oasis from the stresses and turmoils of day-to-day living, and your color scheme should reflect that. You can stick with clean neutrals for furnishings, bedding, and decor like grey, white, black, and browns, or you can add soothing colors like blues and gentle greens into the mix.

Stick with classic wood bookshelves, nightstands, and dressers. You can even add in a tufted armchair for a pop of color or a neutral addition.

Remodeled Basement

The rules for furnishing and decorating your basement are similar to rooms throughout the upstairs, but you’ll often have to pull it off with one major disadvantage—less natural lighting. Basements are a perfect opportunity to showcase unique lamps and other light fixtures to spruce up a room while adding more lighting.

Basements often feature lower ceilings; you don’t want to overcrowd the visual space in a room. Lower seating–like modern sectional sofas, paired with taller lamps–can be a great choice.

If you have a well-kept concrete floor, instead of covering it up with other flooring, consider treating it and showing off the natural, smooth beauty of the material. Just don’t forget to throw in a few rugs to keep the basement from getting too cold.

Bathroom

Your bathroom is a great place to pair strong, clean lines with smooth, gentle curves. For example, pick cabinets with strong angles and flat lines and pair it with a curved bathtub. Stick with flat tile flooring and matte countertops.

Glass shower enclosures are also a popular way to make a small bathroom feel much larger.

Expert Tip by Kelli Ellis:

Tile is a great way to add color – mid century favored the aqua and greens in the bathroom.

Guest Room

The guest room should follow many of the same rules as the master bedroom—clean lines, simple color palette, functional furniture.

However, it’s a good idea to keep the guest room a bit more simple and to shy away from choices that are too bold. While you might be able to get away with an orange accent in your own room, the bright color might be over the top in a guest room. Remember, you want to create a comfortable environment for your guests, and their tastes might not be the same as yours.

It’s always a good gesture to include a quality, comfortable, classic corner chair if the floor plan allows.  

 

2018 Trends to Watch & Incorporate

 

Terrazzo Surfaces

Mid-century modern homes celebrate the beauty found in natural stone floors, including terrazzo. This year, the rest of the interior design fashion world has decided to join in the fun. Of course, terrazzo can be used in more than flooring. You can also expect to see it showcased in countertops, showers, etc.

Bold Hues

Each of the major players in the color world releases a color of the year. While the 2018 colors range from blue to red to black, they all have one thing in common: bold hues.

The trick to using bold colors in the mid-century modern design is using them as accents rather than backgrounds. For instance, a bold red door or piece of furniture can serve as an excellent focal point for a dining or living room.

An accent wall featuring patterned onyx wallpaper can add a bit of glamour to an otherwise neutral room. If you’re going to go with a heavy color like onyx, make sure the room has plenty of natural lighting to balance out the color choice.

Wood

Wood is back and better than ever. Mid-century modern decor has always capitalized on the use of contrasting materials in the home, and woods like oak and walnut are popular staples. While wooden wall panels might not make a comeback, the use of natural wood in design is returning to favor in the design world.

A chair, table, modern bookshelf, or headboard are all excellent options for incorporating wood into various rooms in your home.

The true fun of using mid-century modern decor is the freedom it gives you to truly make your home a reflection of your unique personality. Above we’ve discussed various ways to incorporate mid-century modern design elements to various rooms in your home. With a few guiding principles and your individual creativity, you’ll be well on your way to creating this timeless look for your home.

Brighten Your Home with These Furniture Cleaning Tips

There’s nothing like a deep cleaning to give you a mood boost and make your home sparkle. But different types of furniture require different types of care. And even those who are most loyal to their Saturday chores may find their space looking a little dull after a while.

Here are some tips for getting any type of furniture back to peak condition.

Cleaning Upholstery

Cleaning upholstery by hiring a professional can be an expensive undertaking, but luckily any layman can do the job by learning a bit about different fabrics. Upholstery tags can be an excellent indicator of how to care for your sofa or chair, so start by looking for a tag to advise on how to clean your piece.

Make your own water-based upholstery cleaner by mixing one cup of water with ¼ cup of dish soap. Beat the liquid with a mixer until it turns into a thick foam. Soon you’ll use this mixture to clean the cushions, but first make sure to vacuum all sides of cushions and detach anything that can be taken off the furniture.

First, use the cleaner in a discreet place to make sure your fabric does not water stain or have any other unpleasant changes. Use a soft-bristled brush to rub the foam around on the cushions in a circular motion, especially focusing on any furniture stain areas. Then remove all the foam and wipe away with a washcloth. Keep liquid and foam away from wooden parts of the furniture. Allow the cushions to dry before replacing.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Years of polish buildup will leave your furniture looking dull, so the first step is to remove old polish by soaking a washcloth in tea and wiping it aggressively on the furniture. You can even remove water stains with the help of non-gel toothpaste wiped around the spot with a washcloth. Ink marks and other stains can be removed with one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with one teaspoon of water.

Once your furniture is free of stains, watermarks, and built-up polish, it’s time to add a new layer of polish. Use lemon oil or one cup of olive oil mixed with ¼ cup white vinegar to buff until shiny.

Cleaning Metal Furniture

Cleaning metal coffee tables, dining tables, or other furniture is a relatively easy task since it can be done with materials you most likely already have at home. For steel, galvanized metal, or tin, you can simply dust the surface, run a wet cloth over the top, and finally use a general household cleaner to pick up spots or spills. Toothpaste or stainless steel cleaner can be used for added shine.

If you have a copper table top, cleaning will be a slightly different process. In this case, you will need to use cleaner specifically made for copper furniture. Another option is to cut a lemon in half and dip it in salt to scrub the surface clean.

With these tips, we’ve covered how to clean living room furniture of all types. It may be overwhelming to think about cleaning your furniture, but with additional information and tips it’s something that can easily be done. Hopefully cleaning your furniture will be a less overwhelming task from here on out.

4 Tips For a Clean & Pet Friendly Home

Pets are wonderful companions to have around—they’re part of the family, after all. Pet ownership can help prevent loneliness & help you stay fit. Pets are increasingly used for purposes like physical therapy, music therapy, and help with autistic and elderly populations.

Despite all their positive qualities, pets can take some adjusting to. Though they’ve been domesticated for quite some time, animals like dogs and cats can sometimes do a number on any pet owner’s living space.

By taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be able to minimize pet hair and fur, prevent furniture damage, and maintain a level of cleanliness that will leave your guests wondering if you hired a full-time cleaning service.

  1. Learn about the reason for your pet’s behavior

There are many things our pets do that humans misunderstand and deal with incorrectly. By learning the motives and natural tendencies behind your pet’s habits, you’ll be able to find healthy compromises to make you both happier. Case in point: pets love chewing. Puppies and kittens especially love to chew because they are teething, just as human babies do. Dog toys or catnip are good distractions to keep dogs and cats from chewing other things. Give your pet a healthy outlet for their natural tendency to chew, and they’ll stay away from your cords and furniture. That being said, when purchasing furniture consider if your home has a pet or if it will in the future. Consider getting durable pet friendly furniture that won’t stain easily. Replace your wooden coffee table with a durable coffee table that has a metal frame instead.

  1. Minimize shedding

Shedding is one of the biggest giveaways of a pet house versus a non-pet house. Hair can collect on furniture, transfer to clothes, and make its way to the car and all over your belongings. The best way to keep shedding down is to regularly brush your pet. But you can also try these tips:

    1. Sprinkle baking soda on carpet before vacuuming to loosen pet hair and more effectively act as a pet hair remover.
    2. Use a microfiber dust mop on hardwood and tile surfaces at least once a week.
    3. Use natural pet shampoos that help rid your pet of their undercoat.
    4. Try using “self-grooming” brushes, so pets can rub up against them as they walk by.
  1. Use stain-resistant fabrics

The quandary of how to protect pet furniture from pets is a decision all pet owners have to face. No matter how much time you spend potty-training your pet, there may still be circumstances where they pee or make a mess of your furniture. You can protect furniture from pets by using stain-repellant sprays and couch covers, but a big part of a pet-friendly home is buying chairs and sofas that have stain-resistant fabrics. Crypton fabrics, leather, and ultrasuede are great for pet-friendly furniture that can stand up to handwashing and spot-cleaning.

  1. Keep things smelling fresh

Smells are another dead giveaway that your pet rules the roost. But there are measures you can take to keep smells to a minimum. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is in an area that allows for ventilation. Frequently sprinkle the box with baking soda and scoop it daily. For other pets, air purifiers and humidifiers will greatly improve smell and overall air quality. Bacteria-killing sprays and plug-in scents can go a long way to keep your house smelling fresh as well.

Having a pet can be a very rewarding experience, but it comes with hard work as well. However, it’s easily manageable if you have some tips and tricks under your belt. With these four tips, you can keep your stylish, pet friendly furniture in excellent shape—and enjoy your furry friends, too.