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Bookshelves are staples in most homes, but few realize the design potential they have. Even if your bookshelf is stuffed full, there are many ways to make it the focal point of the room.
Beef up the bookcase
The first thing that needs some TLC is the bookshelf itself! A coat of paint will add a burst of color and hide most age marks. Real Simple magazine suggests using a color a few shades darker than your wall. Other bold colors or brightly patterned wallpaper would have similar eye-catching effects.
Add some decor
Often, the only thing standing between you and a chic bookcase is the perfect decor piece. Unusual pieces such as antiques, sculptures, and other trinkets are fantastic ways to draw the eye. HGTV takes it a step further by explaining that placing relevant books on display with collections is a great way to bring everything together.
If you don't have the extra space for all those decorations, get creative. You could try dangling small ornaments over books or placing picture frames on shelves in front of the books. If you already have a couple of frames, consider this Style Me Pretty recommendation and try switching up the contents with quotes, cards, or other printouts.
Placement is everything
As you’re adding in elements, you want to make sure your books and decorations are balanced in color, texture and scale. Then just make small adjustments so a few pieces really stand out.
You also want to make sure the arrangement is visually appealing. Stacking the books horizontally instead of vertically is a trendy way to attract attention. Put small decor pieces on top of, and around, smaller stacks. For an extra pop, HGTV suggests taking mismatched items from your shelves and painting them in the same color. Or, if you want to highlight a certain book, stand it up in between stacks like bookstores or libraries might do. This is especially useful if you have a book that has a particularly lovely cover or a book that supplements your design theme.
Make colors stand out
Color is crucial in decorating, and a bookshelf is no different. If you really want to amaze your guests, sorting your books by hue is instantly noticeable. You can also stack them in horizontal piles of a single color to emphasize nearby decorations.
Keep in mind that the colors and objects don't need to match perfectly. Just like when you're designing a room, you should create a color scheme with a few main colors you'll use a lot of. Play around with colors, patterns and textures to create the best effect. With a little time, and a lot of your own personality, you can design a bookshelf that truly reflects your style.
The colors and accessories you use to spruce up your sofa have a major impact on the rest of the room. Whether you use bright colors or bold patterns, the way you choose to dress your couch should contribute to the rest of the area's color palette and style. The greatest advantage of decorating your sofa is that there are several approaches you can take. Here are three decor ideas for sofas depending on their hues.
To add flair to your white couch, go for a bold appearance with bright fuchsias and oranges. These establish a chic, vibrant atmosphere to your room design. Experimenting with these hues makes it easy to test how your space looks when you introduce daring shades.
You can include a mixture of orange and fuchsia throw pillows, blankets, or even a comfortable ottoman. For more texture, choose accessories that have patterns or designs, especially if your room has a theme that goes with specific patterns, such as a vintage style room, which pairs perfectly with floral patterns.
Light blue sofas help create a relaxing, beachy space. Complement this coastal style with a few vibrant throw pillows. Make sure that the shades you use aren't soft like the color of your couch - decorating with all light shades will make your furniture and accessories blend together and could even make the space appear bland.
HGTV suggests bright, energetic green accessories. Bright pink tones will work nicely with your light blue couch as well, but leave any softer pinks for another room. These vibrant shades also pair perfectly with dark hardwood flooring, which, in turn, complements the nature-inspired theme your blue sofa and green pillows have established.
A lot of homeowners like to spruce up their homes with pink sofas that contribute feminine flair to the area. If that color scheme will suit your space, try adding citrus shades, such as bright oranges and yellows, to make your space pop. Mix up your textures as well by decorating with velvet, silk, and cotton throw pillows. The contrast of textures and lively shades will create a stimulating room that's sure to turn heads.
You’ve always been told that bigger is better, right? Well that’s not necessarily the case if you're following the current housing trend. All across the country, people are downsizing in a big way. Families are moving out of their five-bedroom houses and into 500-square-foot homes. These compact dwellings are known as "tiny houses," but their popularity is no small thing.
The Tiny House Revival
During the counterculture movement of the 1960s, young people shunned the ways of their consumption-driven predecessors and chose to live sparsely. This recent tiny house resurgence, however, is not politically driven. It is a result of the financial and housing crisis that struck the country several years ago. Tiny houses give people the chance to get rid of unnecessary possessions and still live both independently and comfortably.
This home minimization movement, although originally financially motivated, has now evolved. Some people have embraced the tiny house trend as a means to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle. According to Country Living magazine, tiny houses use 26,000 fewer pounds of CO2 per year than a normal house of around 2,500 square feet. The article also estimates that while it takes an average of seven full logging trucks to build a regular house, you can build two tiny houses from the contents of a single logging truck.
In addition to smaller lumber and energy requirements helping to save the environment, tiny houses also help save your wallet! AARP reports that tiny houses are 11 times less expensive than the average home, and 68 percent of tiny homeowners have no mortgage. Because they are spending less on HVAC and electricity, tiny house owners are able to use their savings to do more of the things they love.
Who is buying these tiny houses?
AARP goes on to say that 40 percent of tiny homeowners are 50 years of age or older. These miniature residences provide the perfect amount of space for older retired couples who don't require much room, or who spend most of their time traveling. The other 60 percent of owners is made up of older millennials.
An affordable house with low-demand maintenance is a practical purchase for any busy, unmarried individuals in their late 20s and early 30s. This group appreciates that the smaller spaces have great potential for creative decorating. Adding unique lofted bedding or custom hardwood floors make every inch of the tiny home a product of their own creation.
So, if you're looking for a comfortable way to downsize, explore tiny house options in your area. Not only will your friends think you're trendy, but you'll be saving money and the environment in the process.
The kitchen is the anchor of the home. It’s where you, your family, and your friends gather to socialize and enjoy delicious meals. So it's no wonder that homeowners often remodel their kitchens.
With any home improvement endeavor, homeowners must look at many factors before beginning. Concerning kitchen design, there are two main aspects to consider: aesthetic appeal and function. You want to make sure the room you create is one you enjoy seeing every day and are proud to show guests. The layout should be a good use of space and provide utmost practicality. Everything should make sense for your lifestyle.
Modern kitchen design trends
Whether it's a makeover or you're starting from scratch in a newly built home, the vast range of choices can be overwhelming. Here are some of the latest kitchen design trends to spark some ideas and help guide your decision-making:
Incorporating high-tech appliances
Technology has made its way into every area of our lives, including our homes. Smart devices and appliances are becoming more popular to use in the kitchen, offering the same advanced capabilities we used to see only in smartphones, computers, and other personal gadgets. Many of these pieces of equipment, such as refrigerators and dishwashers, commonly come in stainless steel finishes. Giving a modern appeal, the sleek, silvery surfaces offer a polished and refined appearance and are a wonderful complement to many types of decor.
If the high-tech look isn't your thing, you can still reap the benefits of upgrading appliances without sacrificing the more traditional aesthetic. How? By disguising them behind doors that match your cabinets. A great way to hide necessary elements of the kitchen while creating a clean, more classic look.
Style integration throughout the home
Forbes recently named integrated spaces as a top kitchen design trend. The basic idea is that the kitchen should connect the home, not divide it. So how can you go about executing this design trend? One way, already discussed, is to hide appliances using the same color and materials of surfaces used in other areas. The same concept applies to other elements of the kitchen. For example, why not use the same type of hardwood flooring in the kitchen as you do in the hallways and adjacent rooms? The consistency of design makes it easy for the eye to flow from one area to the next, ultimately making the home seem bigger and more spacious.
Soft, neutral color palettes
White will always be a primary color both in and outside the kitchen. But there’s room for other neutral tones that offer just as much flexibility. According to Interior Designer Jane Lockhart, gray is starting to gain popularity as the go-to choice for kitchens.
"Charcoal, grays, and even neutral pastels like pale blue, pale green-gray, and tinted whites are the new alternative to the standard white," said Lockhart.
Lockhart added that homeowners are starting to prefer lighter tones of wood, including whitewashed surfaces. Using lighter hues on cabinets, floors, and walls can make the room feel bigger than it actually is. Keep in mind that using softer color palettes doesn't mean the kitchen design has to be bland. The key is using these muted tones as a canvas for the larger areas of the kitchen, then being strategic with bold statement pieces and pops of color.
To create an impressive juxtaposition in your kitchen design, mix materials and colors. For example, you could use white lacquer cabinets and black countertops to create a sharp contrast that has timeless appeal. Then you might offset it with a different color and material, such as a rustic hardwood floor, to set up a striking balance between contemporary and traditional.
Newest look in kitchen floors
Whereas tile floors have always been a popular choice for kitchens, more homeowners are realizing that high-quality hardwood is one of the most versatile and sophisticated flooring options. Hardwood floors are a great counterpoint to sleek, shiny surfaces, and they can be carried throughout the home for that continuity and flow discussed earlier. Plus, nothing beats hardwood for the warmth and welcome you want in the room everybody is drawn to … your beautiful, stylish kitchen.