Archive for October, 2011

Your Garage can be Cool

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice

Do you need a garage band to make your garage feel cool? Maybe the instruments and performers will distract people from the mess behind them.

There’s an easier and quieter way to create a cool garage. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to turn this space into something to be proud of.

If you do nothing else, patrol your garage for any hazardous waste. Old paint, solvents, oil and gas, whether contained or soaked into old rags, represent an accident waiting to happen. You risk inhaling the fumes and possibly even a fire if any corner of yourgarage looks like this. Contact your local waste disposal organization to find out where to bring hazardous waste and get these things out of your home.

Next, clear through any clutter and give away or toss anything you will not use again. To make this process easier, work on one wall at a time.

Once you’re finished, work to figure out what you can hang on the wall or organize to keep the garage under control. For example, this photo shows how tools can be managed with a small investment in pegboard and hooks.

If you have a new garage, or once you empty your old one, do something to your bare concrete floor before refilling it. Concrete paint is the least expensive option, but there are a number of companies that can provide an attractive resin floor for your garage. Taking on either of these options will reduce the dust on your home’s floors and make your garage easier to clean in the future.

Choosing the Right Flooring for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Carpet, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Vinyl

There’s no hiding how this store perceives itself. Check your wallet before you walk in – if it’s too thin, walk on by.

Most of us would not be drawn to a store that promotes itself as expensive. High prices are not the same as high quality, and the focus should be on quality and value, not just the “bottom line.”

When it comes to flooring, often people perceive many choices as expensive. In reality, there is almost as wide a variety in flooring materials, construction and workmanship as there is in clothing. When you’re making purchasing decisions, it’s important to look beyond price to find the quality and style you want and determine the true value of your choice.

Sometimes a silk shirt is the right choice, and for other purposes, cotton may be better. Silk is more expensive than cotton in general but it might be just right with the outfit you’re planning so you’re willing to pay more. In the same way, one flooring material may be more expensive but worth the price for your purposes.

When you’re debating about the right flooring for you, how about taking the cost difference between the two options and dividing it by the number of years you plan to live in your home. Are you willing to pay that much more a year for the more expensive flooring? If you plan to move in a few years, take a look at resale issues. For example, homes with wood floors sell faster than homes with any other type of flooring.

When you’re choosing flooring, don’t discard price issues, but be sure to look beyond cost when you make your final choice.

Time for a Closet Makeover

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice

Are your closets as cluttered and discouraging as this one? You can change this with a few afternoons of time and a minimal investment.

The first part is the scariest. Take everything out of your closet and sort it into categories. Some things may need mending or ironing. You may find that others belong in the give-away pile or even in the trash bin. Be brutal.

Once that job is done, take a look at your closet space. Are you using all of the room as effectively as possible? Many people ignore the potential of vertical space. Take a look at this woman’s closet. At least three feet of space has been wasted under the lowest line of her clothes. Replace that dead space with shelves for shoes, a laundry bin or a low chest of drawers. Suddenly that room has value and your closet has additional storage.

Once you’ve re-organized your closet’s storage capability, take the time to decide what categories will work best for you when it comes to your wardrobe. This can vary with your lifestyle. For example, if you wear suits to work, you may want to have a section focused on professional suits, skirts, jackets and blouses. This will make it easier to select your outfits for work every morning. Sorting by color or type of clothing can also work.

Once you’re finished, step back and admire your work. This may have required an investment of time and possibly money, but your return in increased serenity and ease every time you select what clothes to wear is well worth it. And for additional inspiration, take a look at how happy this man is with his well-organized closet.

Use Painting to Inspire Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice

Do you wish your bedroom, or your daughter’s bedroom, could be as delightfully feminine and old-fashioned as this one? Well, with just a little effort you can borrow ideas from this painting to create a room of your own.

The colors here are peach, lavender and a soft green. The cohesiveness of this painting is partially due to these colors appearing throughout. You can do the same in your own room. Peach walls can have touches of purple and cream with a glaze over the top. Or wallpaper can pull all three colors together.

You may not have a window seat, but a low bench or small loveseat can create a similar mood. Use cushions and pillows that echo those same colors in stripes and florals.

If you have the space, the wing chair and ottoman are a nice addition. The two don’t have to come together. They will look coordinated if you use a wide stripe to recover them both. The dresser is a warm honey pine. Look for a new or used one with simple lines. If you want the drawers in green like the painting, a light glaze will take care of that

There is no visible flooring in this painting, so you can pick something that works for you. Wood flooring fits the classic look of this room. Add a few rugs in floral patterns for warmth. Cream, light green or even lavender carpeting would also suit this room. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a cozy and inviting space.

Make a Grand Entrance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor, Tips and Advice

Would you like the front entry of your home to look this dramatic? Well, this entrance has some significant structural advantages, but you can borrow some of these ideas for your own home. Let’s take a look at what you can do.

First, use contrast to add drama. The cream walls and the dark door make the entrance stand out. Whatever colors your home shows, choose a contrasting tone for the door. The two doors in the photo below show two choices for adding drama to a white background.

Red has become a popular color in recent years and it still has an impact. However, if you want to be dramatic and different, how about a dark plum or a glossy black? The green shown below has its own charm.

Next, surround your door with elements of interest. Both of these photos show examples of this. In the top shot, the door has leaded glass surrounding it. This adds sparkle and charm. The other two doors have very dramatic surrounds of both wood and glass. Figure out what you can do with your door.

If options are limited, consider adding personality to the door itself. Notice how each door shows some brass – a large handle on the top photo and mail slots and door knockers on the bottom photo. A wreath or other door decoration also makes your door more unique.

Finally, look at the surface of your entryway or stairs. If they’re bare concrete, think about adding tile or stone to make them special and interesting. Then with a nice doormat, you’re ready to welcome guests with a front entry that catches attention.

Cohesive Design Connects Vaulted Ceilings to Rooms

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Vaulted ceilings add drama and a sense of space to any home. It’s hard to resist having vaulted rooms when you have the option. But it can be confusing to decorate one without understanding how the higher perspective affects your design decisions.

This vaulted hotel lobby has successfully integrated the high ceiling with the rest of the space without losing the drama and interest. Three design choices helped this happen: color cohesion, architectural details, and accessory proportions.

This room uses ivory, white, and browns to provide a cohesive color palette. The mid-tone brown used in the small diagonal squares on the floor also appears on the wall that reaches the ceiling. The browns that are part of the stairway also make the connection between the floor and the higher elements in the room.

Choosing two tall narrow windows also supports the sense that the ceiling and floor are all part of the same room. The other architectural touch that brings the ceiling into focus comes from the crown molding. By choosing a large format molding, it looks appropriately proportioned from a standing position despite the distance.

Finally, every accessory supports the goal of an integrated space. The artwork is divided into three tall narrow elements that echo the windows and help connect all levels of the room. The tall lean plant brings the brown focal wall down to the floor with its long single stem. The round table brings the curved stairway into focus and adds a corner of welcome at people-level.

When addressing your vaulted room or rooms. Think about what you can do to create a sense of cohesion in the space.

Make your Hallway Special

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice

When you’re decorating your house, it’s easy to ignore the hallways. Most people see them as simply a way to get from one decorated room to another. But take the time to make them special and they can add unexpected charm and interest to your home.

This hallway takes advantage of almost every option to charm you as you walk through it. Let’s see if you can borrow any of these ideas for your own home.

The nine-foot ceilings help to make this hall feel more spacious, but even with eight-foot ceilings you can help increase the feeling of more height. This homeowner chose to paint the ceiling several shades lighter than the walls to emphasize the height.

Flooring that matches the rooms surrounding it can help a hall connect the rooms together. The warm pine flooring helps to add charm to this passageway. The light buttermilk walls carry that warmth and help the hallway feel cozy rather than cramped.

There is quite a bit going on in this hallway. The bench by the door invites people to sit and remove their shoes. Further on, a chair and narrow table with its accessories make it feel more like a room than a passageway.

The real secret to this space requires you to look up. Track lighting places a spotlight on every piece of art hung along this hall. The lights and art invite you to take your time as you travel from room to room, lingering to appreciate the special features this hall has to offer.

Is your hallway no more than a path from room to room? Well, how about borrowing some of these ideas to make the space as inviting as any other room in your house?

Create a Home Office in your Dining Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

It can be difficult to find just the right space for a home office. Many people simply don’t have a spare room for one.

If you’re in this position, think outside the box for a minute. Do you have a formal dining room that you only use a few times a year? Well, why couldn’t you use it as a home office the rest of the time?

You can go with the basics. A laptop set up on your dining table gives you plenty of work space. If you want to take the next step, add a rolling filing cart to hold your papers. Both laptop and cart can be wheeled out of your dining room easily when it’s time to entertain.

If you need more to your office than that, see if you can spare some cabinet or buffet space for office supplies. You may also want to see if you could find a wooden file cabinet in a style and size that would work in your dining space.

Adding a floor lamp could be helpful if your dining room lighting is not designed for your work needs. Finally, if you find yourself spending more and more time in your dining room home office, you may want to get a real office chair on wheels. Just be sure to protect your flooring from scratches and other damage.

You can give yourself many of the benefits of a real home office while still keeping the option of going back to dining room mode when you want to entertain.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

This living room has some very appealing features, but a few bad decisions damage its overall design potential.

The sofa, pillows and art work extremely well together. Color, proportion and layout create an inviting look. The simple plant on the left also adds just the right touch.

The rug and coffee table almost seem to be part of another room. By having the rug and coffee table perpendicular to the sofa, the room feels awkward. The relatively simple appearance of the sofa and art are overpowered by the strong design on the rug and over-accessorized coffee table.

From a functional aspect, the coffee table would be uncomfortable to use for drinks because it is too far from the sofa and has a long slot facing in that direction.

Just a few changes would help this room look and work better. Against the concrete floor, a warm rug with more color would add personality. There are elements of blue and yellow in the artwork, and either or both of those colors would work well. The coffee table would be fine if it was turned so the long side paralleled the sofa and the pile of kaleidoscopes were contained or organized.

The lamp pulls the room together and its silver finish keeps it from being intrusive. It adds an element of retro style to the room, an always interesting touch. This room feels adventurous and interesting, so by making these simple adjustments, it would also feel well-designed.