Friday, 27 September 2013

Top 5 Lighting Tips for Your Living Room

With the winter months fast approaching and the chilly evenings getting longer, the lighting we incorporate into our living room interior becomes all the more important for creating ambiance and warmth.

The lighting you choose for your room can have a massive effect on the feel of the space. And when the rain, wind and snow force you to spend more and more of your nights tucked up in front of the telly with your loved ones, it’s essential that you get the lighting just right.

That’s why we’ve created this all important guide to choosing your living room lighting this winter; helping you make the choice that’s practical, stylish and effective.

Warmth

As the temperature plummets, it comes as no surprise that most of us want to inject warmth and comfort into our room. The easiest way of achieving this is with effective lighting.

It goes without saying that that you should opt for yellow lighting, as opposed to harsher and colder white light. You should also look for lamps which incorporate warm colours in their shades, like this beige faux silk shade. For added warmth, choose a brass or wooden design for the bass.



(Madrid Table Lamp, in Antique Brass, £49.50, available from Mail Order Lighting.)

Luxury

As a rule, I never actually use the room’s ceiling lights, with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms. However, if for whatever reason you need to use the ceiling light in your living room, you can detract from the somewhat harsh effect this has by choosing a design that incorporates jewels or crystals, for a look that’s opulent, charming and welcoming.

Take a look at the range of Dar lighting at Mail Order Lighting, for some great examples which incorporates these design features.

Modernity

A living room’s lighting isn’t restricted to your lamps and ceiling fixtures. Sometimes, when the weather turns particularly nasty, there is nothing better than the warm glow of a gorgeously inviting fire.

These days, you don’t even have to have a fireplace to enjoy the iconic notion of sitting by the fireside. Options like this SmegFlueless Gas Fire, available to buy online from John Lewis, make it possible for anyone to bring the warming glow and subtle lighting of a fire into their home.

Tradition

Nothing says cosy like traditional interior design features. While you may not want to completely transform you room into a testament to classic design, it is possible to enhance a room’s element of tradition with the addition of lighting.

Something like the classic Tiffany lamp adds style and sophistication to a space and incorporates gorgeous warm colours, perfect for battling the winter blues.



                                 (Raindrop Table Lamp, with Tiffany Glass, £63.36, at Mail Order Lighting.)

Function

I’ve never been able to see the beauty in reading or desk lamps. Even iconic designs, such as the traditional brass base with green glass shade, while undoubtedly a classic, should be confined to the study; and modern designs with their hinges and maneuverability… well they’re just plain ugly.

However, if you spend the majority of the winter months lost in a selection of your favourite beach reads, dreaming of white sands and blue skies, then you’ll struggle to read by firelight alone. That’s why I’m a big fan of small reading lights like this one from Water stones, which can be attached to your book as and when you need it. What’s more, you can enjoy reading your favourite book in clear lighting and bask in the subtle and calming lighting of the fire. Sounds like total heaven if you ask me!


Jack Collier is an interior designer and decorator, with a passion for creating unique and beautiful room designs, writing on behalf of Mail Order Lighting

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Luxurious Makeover for Your Bathroom

The bathroom has grown to be one of the best-loved rooms in many households. For many of us our bathroom is a place where we can unwind, allowing ourselves to take some time out from our busy lives, sit back, and relax.




Relaxation can be achieved in a variety of forms and where better to start than in your bathroom. We all need a bit of luxury in our lives so we’ve found some products that could be used as part of your own luxurious bathroom makeover.

Wet rooms


Wet rooms have become an increasing popular feature in many bathrooms. Not only do wet rooms look fantastic, giving a sleek contemporary feel, but also they are also highly practical. Wet rooms are extremely easy to clean and they are accessible for children and those with mobility problems.

A wet room can be installed in almost any home and is an ideal solution for many small or unusually shaped bathrooms. Wet rooms are a desired feature to any bathroom and can even add value to your home.

Hot tubs



Hot tubs used to be a product that you could only dream of having, now they have become readily available, even though they are still a luxury product they are now a lot more affordable to buy and run.

Hot tubs are a perfect way to de-stress and relax after a long day at work. There is no better way to spend your evening than in the tub with a box of chocolates or even a glass of wine. Let your troubles melt away as you sit back and revive your body and mind. You can read more about the benefits of Hot Tubs on iconic hot tubs blog.

Heated towel rails


As the winter months are drawing nearer we are all thinking about ways that we plan to keep warm. A heated towel rail can be an asset to any bathroom and with a large array of designs and shapes to choose from it could be just what you need over these cold winter months.

You may think that heated towel is a bit extravagant for the everyday bathroom but you would be surprised at its benefits. Heated towel rails can keep your bathroom at a reasonable temperature, helping you to save money on increasing energy bills.

Waterproof Televisions


Many people have dreamed about relaxing in the tub whilst watching their favourite TV shows and now it’s possible. There are now an exclusive range of waterproof televisions that come in a wide variety of colours and styles to suit you.

These amazing digital LCD televisions were created and tested specifically for use in wet areas, so there is no need to worry about losing picture or sound quality. The glass screens are heated to prevent condensation from forming in high humidity and they even come with a waterproof remote.

Under floor heating


Underfloor heating is a modern and high- spec feature allowing you to enjoy the luxury of warm floors when showering in the mornings and even providing a good selling point when selling your property.

You may not need this in the summer months but during our long cold winters, under floor heating can be a blessing in disguise. Underfloor heating is thought to be a more efficient way of heating a room. The room's walls, doors and windows are well insulated - because of the way the heat is distributed; it also means that you can get rid of your bulky radiators giving your bathroom a nice clean finish.

Author: Izzy Evans from Iconic Hot Tubs, interior design enthusiast and blogger.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Five Tips for Your Outdoor Home Improvements




Maintaining your home and making improvements are crucial ways to maintain your investment and the enjoyment you get out of your home. Certain improvements can increase the value of your home, save you money on your homeowner's insurance, or qualify you for tax breaks.

Keep Up On Repairs

No one likes major projects, like residing or roofing your home, but it is important to stay on top of these repairs. Keep track of your warranties, and the expected life of important home features such as your roof, as keeping these items in good repair, can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

Look For Tax Rebates

Some outdoor home improvements, such as solar panels, have government incentive programs. Before you start a major project, especially if it is a project that will conserve or produce energy in your home, look for these incentive programs to see if you qualify for any tax rebates.

Consider Cost Versus Added Value

Many outdoor home improvements will add resale value to your home, such as landscaping, or installing a tile roof rather than a shingle roof. Do your research to compare how much the improvement will cost, against how much value it will add to your home. For example, installing a swimming pool will add value to your home, but you will most likely pay more to install it, than you will gain in resale value. The personal enjoyment of owning your own pool may be well worth the money lost, but it is important to understand all the factors before you start construction.

Improve Your Home Security

Getting a home security system does more than just improve your peace of mind. It can also significantly lower your homeowners insurance. Home automation systems can help you control lights, door locks, and alarms automatically through your computer or smart phone to make it look like someone is home at any time. Some services also offer alarms, cameras, glass break sensors, smart thermostats, and motion detectors. These features protect your home when you're away, and convince your insurance company that you are less of a financial risk to them.

Consider How Long You Intend To Stay

Some improvements, such as adding solar panels, can save you money in the long run, but only if you intend to stay in your home for a long period. Many solar panels will pay for themselves in electric bill savings within ten years, but if you plan to move in two, it may not be worth the investment. If you'll be looking for a new home soon, you may want to hold off on installing that deck in the backyard, so you will have the funds to install one in your new home.

Outdoor improvements are a great way to maintain your investment in your home, and get some new enjoyment out of an old space. Just be sure to do your research to get the best value for your time and money.


“Brooke Chaplan is a writer and freelancer living New Mexico. She enjoys blogging about home, family, and fitness articles. Learn more about improving a home through automation at Kansas City home automation. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Banish the Blues: Bring Warmth to Your Bedroom this Winter

It’s difficult to admit, especially after what turned out to be something of a glorious summer, but the winter is fast approaching. Dark mornings and chillier evenings are signalling the arrival of the colder weather and with it, the temptation to withdraw indoors and while away the winter months sipping tea and piling on the pounds to stave off the icy chills!


With that in mind, it’s important that our little caves are up to the job of harbouring us for a long winter of hibernation. When it’s cold, we all love to hideout in our bedrooms, where we can truly relax in our most comfortable (and often most unattractive) clothing. That’s why I've created these top tips for bringing some much needed warmth to your bedroom this winter.


Accessories


No one is saying that you have to completely redecorate your bedroom in time for winter. On the contrary, you can enhance the warmth and the inviting feel of your room with a few simple additions.

Naturally, the focal point of any bedroom is the bed - so when you’re looking to alter the design or feel of a room, this is the place to start. Adding cushions and a throw is a simple and relatively inexpensive measure that will increase the sense of opulence and comfort in your bedroom, which is just what you’re looking for on those chilly December nights! When I want to add warmth and decadence, nothing serves me better than gold. That’s why I love this range of gold cushions and throws from very.co.uk.


Function


I’m of the firm opinion that televisions should be banished from bedrooms. Your boudoir should be a sanctuary free from harsh noise and mental stimulation, which is why I despair at people who insist on having a flat screen at the bottom of the bed!

That said, I also believe that your bedroom should offer more than a place to rest your head. Armchairs are a great addition to any bedroom, and provide the perfect spot for curling up with a good book and a warm blanket, when the wind and rain are lashing the windows.

This classic leather chair from the range of designer chairs at Cult Furniture, in the iconic Mies van de Rohe style, is perfect for adding style and sophistication to your room, while providing a wonderfully warm place to snuggle up in when you’re in need of some alone time.



(Miesvaan de Rohe Style Vintage Chair, in Brown Leather, £349.00, available at Cult Furniture.)


Lighting


It’s dark for the majority of theharsh British winter, so we’re left with little alternative but to create our own lighting. It goes without saying that when you’re trying to create a warm atmosphere, lighting is a crucial tool. Opt for yellow, as oppose to harsher white light and use table lamps for a warm and cosy atmosphere.


Jack Collier is an interior design enthusiast, with a passion for creating unique and distinctive room designs, writing on behalf of CultFurniture

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Matching Your Garden Design to Your House Architecture

Gardens are natural embellishments that can make a home so much more charming, relaxing, and homey. There’s no hard and fast rule about the kind of garden that you should maintain to enhance your house. But if you want not just another residence, but a lovely, welcoming home, take time to know which garden style you should have to matching the features of your house.

Is your house design inspired by the Victorian era?


Victorian_house
Image Source: flickr.com


There are several types of 19th century Victorian architecture, but the most popular is the Queen Anne with its “painted lady” look. It’s also made distinctive by its tall and narrow windows, pitched gable roof, and patterned shingles. Columns, turrets, porches, ornate wooden brackets, and decorative woodwork add more character to buildings of this style.

If your home is inspired by this ornate design, your garden has to have a complementary look.

·         The grass must be immaculately trimmed, the hedges well-groomed, and the flower beds neat and free of dried leaves and petals – almost like a painting.

·         Remember that Victorian homes are meant to grab attention and admired. So make your flower beds bold with an assortment of vividly colored flowers.

Or do you have a prairie-style home?


Prairie_house
Image Source: flickr.com


Prairie-style houses are generally identified with their low horizontal silhouettes, having broad, low-pitched roofs and one to two-story structures. Everything about these homes is huge – the overhanging eaves and square porch supports. This design also has an inclination to use natural materials like wood and stones. Windows typically provide the accents with geometric or floral designs.

If your home fits this description, follow the features of the prairie gardens popularized by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, and your own greenery and outdoor area will be perfect.

·     This style makes use of melodramatic swathes of ornamental grasses together with perennials. Prairie gardens are best for large gardens, but with control and creativity, you can use the same concept in your small space.

·      Alongside the Indian grass, grow wildflowers like false blue indigo, meadow blazing star, butterfly weed, and black-eyed Susan, for instance.


What if you've got a very chic contemporary structure?


Contemporary_home
Image Source: flickr.com


Contemporary house architecture is largely inspired by the temple construction scheme called “zenshuyo,” which is actually characterized by orderliness, simplicity, and lightness, except for its decorative curved roof. This is why a modern home usually takes the minimalist approach of having clean, simple lines and open spaces. It’s stripped of all things unnecessary and focuses on the essentials.

Your challenge in creating a garden for your contemporary living style is making everything appear relaxing and effortless.

·         Remember that everything in your garden must be made to calm the mind and relax the body, creating a spiritual ambiance. You can think about your own outdoor area as your homage to nature.

·         Make sure you have the basic elements found in a Zen garden – rocks, water, sand, and bamboo. Limit your plants to evergreen trees or shrubs. This landscape type often doesn’t require a lot of flowering plants, but if you wish to have them, choose from azaleas, hydrangeas, wisterias, and water-lovers like lotuses and water lilies.


Gardens turn a residential structure into a welcoming home. If you’re planning to create or refurbish yours, look at the architectural features of your house, and take your cue from there. Let the style flow from your front lawn to the backyard.

About the Author - Raquel Merc has mainly contributed about travel and lifestyle. But she’s also started writing a variety of articles on home management and parenting since becoming a mother in 2010. Among her recent works, feature ideas and insights on food and home, including articles for Simply Sheds.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Happy Halloween to You All! Halloween Decor Ideas



Halloween is a fun holiday for adults and children. Home décor suited for occasions is a beautiful idea, there are various themes that one can do for Halloween festival! To get in the mood of the holiday!

I will show you some brilliant ideas that will make your holiday remember able!

·         The Spooky corner:
This is necessary have for a home with children and trick or treat time. Creating a perfect corner for taking good pictures and memories will go a long way.All you need is a bit of time, glue and colored paper!



·         Pumpkin surprise:
 Last year I was lucky to find a lantern (a thrift shop find I will cherish for each holiday to come!), so I will be creating a small corner in the porch for trick or treat! This looks easy to do; will be needing ribbons and of course pumpkins!




Black and orange is a lovely theme, complementing each color tone. In addition, the warmth and festiveness of Halloween is portrayed through such décor. Candles are available in many designs and themes. I love using theme shapes and fragrances, they really add a lot to the overall ambience.


Image Source                       

·         Count Dracula’s feast:
Dinner table, as no holiday is complete without a grand feast, so is the case with Halloween. Theme inspired menus and table décor create an aura of Count Dracula’s dinner table in every house. I like using colored napkins, table runners, matching cutlery and coasters. Accessorizing is necessary to make any theme complete and final. Flowers are weakness, so orange roses it is!



Using a rustic traditional dining table set and adding spider webs, rusty leaves and details will only add more flavors to the table décor. Last fall I got my dining room set from Shop4Furniture and grabbed a few black candles and net and Voila! A haunted themed dinner table, everyone especially loved my lamp lights covered in black net and I used dried flowers, spray painted black to complete the theme.


·         Easy to do décor for Halloween:
Many of the things used can be done within a budget at home, not requiring you to spend an outrageous amount of money for the holiday! My nephew makes amazing ghosts and spider webs using old white flat sheets and twine and yarn. Similar to the images below:






·         Halloween center pieces:
I like doing centerpieces within the Halloween theme so everyone really gets into the festive mood. This year I am thinking of using candles lying around home and pair them twigs and burlap for a haunted theme; it really is a great fabric to work with and has many creative uses!



Hope you guys enjoyed these great easy to do Halloween ideas for décor! I sure enjoyed sharing them. Thanks for having me Chelsea! Wish you guys have a great spooky holiday season!
xo

Eva
Hello dear readers. I am Eva Stephen from Home Décor and am pleased to be here. Chelsea has been kind enough to welcome me to do a special guest post for Halloween, so today I make sure*both*Home Décor readers (interestingly we have the same blog) enjoy decorating for Halloween!