DIY Projects from Your Herb Garden

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If you’re enjoying your herb garden this season, or hope to start one someday, here are a few ideas to make the most of your herbs.

Preservation:

Drying your own herbs is simple and inexpensive. You can find many methods online, but drying simply involves tying small bunches of cut herbs and hanging them upside down in a dim, cool, dry room. Some herbs are best preserved in the freezer; some you can store in containers for a few months. 

Décor Projects:

Make an herb wreath. Trim some long stems of your taller herb varieties and tie them together with floral string or wire. Play around with different sizes and combinations of herbs and enjoy your beautiful handiwork. Even a simple sprig tied into a wreath, as in the image above, makes a lovely statement.

Make a centerpiece display with varying size vases and include dried or freshly cut herbs. Either make mixed bouquets, or let each vase contain a full bunch of a single type herb. Not only will they smell delightful, they’ll provide a vivid display.

Tinctures:

Create a small apothecary in your home! Home remedy recipes are widely available online, so making a few basic herbal tinctures to have on hand is easily doable. We’ve included a couple links to get you started:

Sachets:

Dry a few bunches of lavender and make small sachets. Keep one to place under your pillow at night to promote good sleep, and give the rest as gifts. While you’re at it, make an eye pillow to place over your eyes when you need a moment to breathe deeply and recharge. Let the scent of lavender soothe your nerves during a stressful day.

 

We hope these ideas give you a jump start to using your herbs in creative ways. Learning more about the medicinal properties of herbs can also enrich your life beyond the garden. Hands-on projects with herbs are an engaging way to connect with nature and your own creativity. 

Exciting Book Shelves

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Book shelves do not have to be boring by any means. They are great for decorating and providing storage. Spice them up by hanging decorative book case boxes!

Installing boxes to be used as book shelves is a great way to customize your home. The shelves can be placed where ever you need. They can be arranged to take up an entire wall, or spread sporadically throughout. This is a good idea for large walls or a room with little space for an actual book case.

When using this type of application make sure to keep in mind that the book shelf boxes should contrast with the wall color. This kind of shelving adds a special architectural detail that should be noticed. Do not make the mistake of hanging these boxes that have a finish that blends in with the wall color.

Also remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to placing only books in your shelves. Use the added space to display accessories like photos, small plants and little pops of color. Unexpected item like this add interest to your space, taking the eye by surprise by showing the unconventional. The eye is drawn to this design because of it’s unexpectedness and pleasing look.

This type of design is not just for contemporary spaces. This look can be recreated for any style home. Simply keep in mind what kind of interior style you are working with and select the style of box that complements your interior design. Although these are a relatively new look, more of these hanging boxes are being made to the public.  

Let us know how you have incorporated this design into your home.  Feel free to leave pictures below!

How Should I Arrange Pictures on My Wall?

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Family portraits hung on the wall are a great way to display the best memories to those visiting your home.  Beautiful paintings, dramatic photos, or printed words can pull together the decorations in a room.  But the task of hanging pictures on a wall can be an intimidating process.  Spacing, balancing and aligning these items can seem like impossible hurdles, but here are a few tricks that will make picture hanging and arranging much easier.

Use a large piece of paper.  Butcher paper is ideal for this project, but any large piece of paper (or combination of papers) will do.  Leftover pieces of wrapping paper are easy to use, but make sure to use the undecorated side (patterns may be distracting for this task).

Cut the paper to the size of the wall you will be working on. 

Lay the paper flat on the floor.  Arrange the pictures on the paper and take your time arranging them.  This is an easy way to measure, align and space the pictures evenly, or to rearrange them several times.  Once the pictures are just right, take a quick picture of the arrangement in order to remember the correct order.  This will help later on!

Without moving the frames, outline each picture gently on the paper.  Flip each item over to find the hanging point (the point or points that will be in contact with the nail or hook on the wall).  Measure from the top of the picture to this point and mark this on the paper template. 

Hang the paper on the wall, making sure to place it at the right height for the pictures.  Use the template to align nails – just drive the nail through the paper into the wall.  Once all nails are placed, tear the paper away to reveal perfectly placed hanging hardware!

Use the photo you took earlier in the project to remind you of the placement of your pictures.  Step back and admire the amazing arrangement on your wall without the stress of a single misplaced nail!

Curating Your Space

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As the curator of your own living space, you are constantly selecting and evaluating what you want surrounding you in your home. Even if unconsciously, you choose items, colors and patterns that have value to you, all related to how they make you feel. Ideally, your home can be a sanctuary and place of retreat away from all the demands of our busy lives. This is why it’s important to take the time to consider what we include in our living spaces.

If you think of your home as a carefully curated space, not solely for the purpose of being appealing to other people, but for the purpose of offering you rest and peace, this will help guide you as you decorate. Whether decorating is a one-time project for you, or an ongoing hobby, carefully choose the furniture, finishes, art, and items that fill your rooms, based on what is meaningful to you.

As you make selections for your home think about not only the initial appeal to your senses, but also what speaks to you about your passions, desires and unique personality. You’ll find when you think deeply about what goes into your home, your personality will be reflected in your design and you’ll find more rest in your space.

It also helps to know a little bit about art theory and design principles as you’re creating a space. If you educate yourself about how colors interact with each other, the elements involved in creating balance and harmony, and how to use texture and shape to create a unified space, you’ll have a better grasp on achieving looks you like. You’ll be the curator and artist of your own home.

“Allow yourself the patience to know it will all come together in time and enjoy the process! For me home décor is not a goal, but a continually evolving and kinetic art project.” –Amy Butler

As you look at your home as a series of blank canvas, a gallery of who you are, be thoughtful, educated and brave as you make your home into a place of rest and enjoyment for you and your loved ones. Embrace your inner artistry, have fun and take charge as you curate your space.

Decorating a Dining Room

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Dining rooms should be an intimate space you share with your family and friends. Find out how to decorate the space to spark a loving dining environment!

Mix wood tones. Wood evokes a feeling of warmth and comfort. In dining rooms feel free to use a wooden table, paired with a different wood species for the chairs. If you prefer your table to match the chairs, select a different wood species for the china cabinet. Lighter to medium wood tones are easier to mix than dark woods.

Chair selections should be comfortable and easy to clean. Leather is a great option for this particular space. Be warned that flaws in the leather or scuffs can be seen more easily in white or cream leather.  Opting for colorful or dark leather will help to hide inconsistencies.  If you would rather choose a different material, select a stain resistant fabric. Fabric with tight patterns do a better job at concealing stains. Make sure above all that the chairs are comfortable!

Choose intimate lighting. If possible, install a chandelier that can be dimmed by a dimmer switch or have one installed. Being able to dim the lights allows various levels of light and promotes an intimate setting. To enhance the mood, add a pair of white candles to the table. This helps the room to sparkle in the low lighting.

Select a darker paint color for the walls. The dining room should have a warm feeling. This can be achieved by using a darker tones of the same color from the neighboring rooms. Stay away from bright colors and look for colors that have warm undertones.

Make sure there is a rug under the table. A plush rug adds a comfort level that is necessary in a dining room. This is especially pleasant if the flooring is a hardwood or tile. Rugs highlight the seating area and help to keep the space pulled together.

Do you have a favorite trick when it comes to decorating a dining room?  Let us know in the comments!  

Pantone’s Colors of the Year: Using Rose Quartz and Serenity in your Zen Décor

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If you love following the trends and incorporating them into your home décor, then you already know we’re excited to have been endowed with not one, but two colors of the year from the powers at Pantone. The lovely Serenity and Rose Quartz interplay with each other allows for a variety of interpretations in styling your home.

We will be offering a series of posts offering ways to add touches of these colors to your décor, specific to your personal style. Since these colors make us feel so peaceful, we chose to start with the Zen style.

This is your style if you love surrounding yourself with natural elements of the earth. You enjoy situating rooms in a way that provide a sense of harmony, balance and flow. You likely already have hardwood floors, cotton and linen fabrics, natural wood furnishings, and accessories from the outdoors. As a lover of all things Zen, you likely prefer a neutral color pallet. Serenity and Rose Quartz play well with the blonde woods and even dark woods you may already have in your home.

If you are crazy for these colors and want to do a total makeover, your Zen style will offer you the perfect backdrop, and you might not even need to replace big items like furniture and larger art. Start by removing all of your accessories, blankets and pillows, anything easily replaceable. Assemble them neatly in one location of your home, away from where you are redecorating. Survey the whole lot and pick a few items you need to keep to be anchors of vignettes you’ll be recreating on tables and bookcases. These should be items that you feel the closest connection to, and cannot think of ever parting with.

Place these back in the room. The rest, you can either store for future use, sell, or give away.

Now, it’s time to shop! Scour flea markets and vintage shops and antique markets, looking for items that make you feel that connection to nature you value in your home. Of course, internet shopping is great, but shopping in places where you can pick up and feel items will help you make better, enduring choices.

 

Some things to look for with this year’s colors:

Stone and ceramic vases of different sizes

Throw blankets & pillows

Original art works

Area rugs

Accent lamps

As you gather your new collection, play around with different placements until you find the right balance and the colors are interspersed peacefully throughout your home.

 

Happy, harmonious decorating to you! Do these colors inspire you to redecorate? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

8 Outfits to Wear With Your Blazer

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Blazers aren’t just for work! It’s easy to view them as all business and no fun when you’re skimming through the closet, but they are by far one of the most versatile items you can have in a wardrobe. In fact, you can throw a blazer over pretty much anything if you’re careful about coordinating it well.  Take a look at our list of suggested outfits, and then go visit your closet to review your blazers. We bet you’ll be able to wear them at least five new ways after reading our tips. Enjoy!

  1. Unbuttoned black blazer with white cuffs folded back, wrist full of bangles, basic black v-neck t-shirt, distressed denim ankle length jeans, black leather bag, white sneakers.
  2. Hip length fuchsia blazer unbuttoned, black high-waisted pencil skirt with white polka dots, black bustier, large gold bangle bracelet and gold hoop earrings, basic black pumps.
  3. Black blazer unbuttoned, over top of un-tucked, long, wispy white t-shirt, narrow black denim jeans, floppy black hat, brown leather bag, a couple of tiered, dainty necklaces, a watch, and brown suede ankle boots.
  4. Thigh length dark navy blue blazer unbuttoned, cream lace tank top, tucked into burgundy maxi skirt, skinny brown belt, dainty gold necklace, chunky gold bangle, simple nude sandals.
  5. Hip length black blazer with cuff flipped back, taupe shell, black dressy shorts, black tights, large silk fringed statement scarf, solid color bag that matches most prevalent color on the scarf, black ankle boots.
  6. Thigh length charcoal grey blazer with sleeves rolled up to elbows, burnt orange high waisted skater skirt, ivory lace and silk blouse tucked in, skinny black belt, charcoal tights, black velvet pumps.
  7. Red hip length boxy blazer, off-white button up rayon blouse with pockets, tucked into black and white herringbone short flared skirt, cinch skirt paper bag style with embellished skinny red belt, opaque black tights, black suede round toe pumps.
  8. White blazer with black polka dots, black and white mini houndstooth button up shirt, distressed boyfriend jeans rolled to show the ankles, brown leather belt, black kitten heels.

The Top 16 Best Home Decorating Items That You Can Always Find In a Thrift Store

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Thrift stores are famous for the variety and scope of their offerings. They are overflowing with randomness and bizarre little items that are sometimes hard to pass up. While this is certainly fun, it can prove a bit challenging when you’re hoping to truly rely on the thrift store in order to complete a home decorating project.

To keep your sanity during the process, we suggest only planning for items that have been proven over time to always be present in thrift stores. Purchase and make the best use of these, and then rely on standard retail for other items that are necessities.

If there’s anything time sensitive you need to buy, such as a matching set of dishes, you’ll find a standard store is the place with the least headache. If you simply need dishes for utilitarian purposes then you can rely on the thrift store. Make sense? Here’s our list of items that we’ve found to be present in thrift stores nearly all of the time.

  1. Book shelves
  2. Dressers
  3. Chairs
  4. Vases
  5. Picture/art frames
  6. Bed frames
  7. Mirrors
  8. Figurines
  9. Candle holders
  10. Miscellaneous accessories
  11. Tables
  12. Entertainment centers/Armoires
  13. Lamps
  14. Mismatched dishes
  15. Kitchenware
  16. Holiday décor

The key to making these easy-to-find items work well for you is to do one of two things. If you’re not a fixer-upper, crafty type, only buy items that look exactly as you’d like them to in your home. If you know you’ll never get around to a project, don’t buy something that needs your attention.

However, if you are a DIY type, you’ll want to make purchases based on how well an item can be transformed into the vision you have for it. Even if you’re a master of disguise when it comes to repurposing things, you’ll soon tire of thrift store finds if they become exceptionally difficult to manage. Stick with things that you can control easily and still enjoy when the project is done. Happy thrifting!

Creating an Eclectic Interior

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An eclectic style interior looks so easy, yet intriguing. It keeps the mind guessing while making the body feel comfortable within the environment. Many people desire to create an eclectic look, but fail because the look turns out messy and cluttered. This look can be easy to pull off by keeping a few ideas and concepts in mind.

Mesh proportions together using different styles of furnishings. Furniture and accessories carry a certain weight within a room. Meshing proportions means to group like sized items. Size is the common interest both pieces have in common, therefore allowing them go together.

Coordinate art and textiles within the space. By doing so the items become the color palette of the home. This style allows you freedom to display your collections. Anything vintage will fit in to this category: books, records, jars, boxes, plants – the list goes on and on. For example if you collect crystal perfume bottles, display them. If you only display the best, the clutter cannot take over and destroy the look you are working towards.

Textures play a major role when creating an eclectic decorating style. Textiles provide the softness that make guest feel at home while Items of various textures add interest to a space. Add texture by finding unique textures in different flooring, furniture and fabrics.

Most importantly remember to group furnishings together by combining likeness in weight. Don’t pair an oversize chair with a small, dainty accent table. The two items would look off balance sitting next to one another. If you have a chunky item, pair it with another chunky piece.

When designing eclectically, remember less is more. When in doubt take it out! If you have any questions about the best flooring to use for your space, please feel free to contact Dolphin Carpet or visit one of our showrooms.

6 Genius Ways To Create Drama With Your Décor — Part 3

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Part 3 – Textiles and Technology

Think rich

By rich we mean textures. When it comes to textiles in a dramatic room, luxurious fabrics are a must. They should also be used amply because they add warmth and depth to a space. Good choices are brocade curtains, antique quilts, chenille chairs, velvet settees, leather sofas, and so forth.

Look for ways to incorporate as many textiles as possible. The room will look far more elaborate if there numerous textures and designs. Try including pillows, tapestries, blankets, and ottomans. Another nifty way to accomplish this is with a thick luxurious carpet. High pile, real wool carpeting in a color such as plum would do wonders! Carpets are also available in patterns so you could take it up another notch with a dramatically patterned carpet.

Future-drama

The modern world revolves around technology and entertainment so including this consideration is way to make your dramatic space state of the art. When selecting electronics to include buy the best that you can afford. For example, mount an oversized television on the wall and cleverly disguise the cords so that is aesthetically pleasing. Increase the enjoyment factor of the television by installing a top-notch surround system.

If your dramatic space happens to be an office, purchase a high tech monitor that makes the space feel like an awesome “headquarters.” Again, big sound is dramatic so use excellent speakers with your computer. If you are adding drama to a kitchen, try including a futuristic home monitoring system. You can now buy systems that do everything from control exterior surveillance cameras to tell you the status of your preheating oven. There are even “smart refrigerators” that feature USB ports, built-in wi-fi connectivity, and an iOS app. Seriously? You bet! They really exist.

Don’t forget to go back and read Parts 1 and 2!