Category Archives: Home and Garden

Easy Tips to Make Cool And Contemporary Home

It’s amazing how an interior can be transformed. How with the right design team, a space can go from tired and dated to absolutely breathtaking. That’s the result of the work done by Pulp Design Studios to update an old Spanish-style interior into a modern family home fit for five. Walls were moved, the main staircase relocated, and features were added to take this home firmly into the 21st century. All was done with a steadfast attention to detail that allows this contemporary space to feel warm, cozy and inviting. 

 

Just beyond the entry, you’re inside the home’s living room. Modern furnishings sporting sleek metallic finishes catch the eye when walking into this spacious living area. But it’s the mix of woods that create warmth in this room. From the reclaimed flooring, to the paneling around the fireplace, and accessories, like the stacked wood side table, the addition of natural elements make this living room feel grounded.

Details matter, and Pulp Design Studios has not overlooked one in this contemporary home. In the entryway, a classic console table is the ultimate statement piece. The bentwood design features brass feet for an unexpected touch of bling. The mix of wood and metallics is a centerpiece of this home’s design.

Dinner for six? This dining table has all the room you need. A raw woodgrain table is the centerpiece of this dining room. For a modern mix, sleek white chairs have been brought in for contrast. Above, woven lighting completes the design. And, as big fans of color, we can’t forget about the art in this dining area. The large-scale painting is the perfect finishing touch.

Kitchens are the heart of the home and this dreamy kitchen is no exception. Taking the house down to the studs, Pulp Design Studios balanced the need for a clean and modern aesthetic with the need for soul and warmth in this family home. In this kitchen they achieved that balance, making the choice to add wood paneling. Going beyond the stark white kitchens that many modern homes offer, the honey wood tone makes this kitchen feel as cozy as this home’s living areas.

Black and white is always a classic. In the family room, the color palette has been used to great affect. The mantel surrounded in black is a unique touch for any home. Touches of the dark hue continue with the media unit and flatscreen above.

Run a Successful Furniture Retail Store

If you think about it, a furniture retail store should be among the most successful businesses out there. Everyone needs furniture. But only a few furniture stores succeed, while most flounder, so what makes a furniture store successful?

 

While there is no single formula that applies to all furniture businesses equally, some rules do apply, such as offering value and outstanding customer service.

 

To offer value, you have to know and understand the community in which you set up your store. You have to understand their needs, desires and aspirations. That understanding should guide and inform your merchandising, advertising and pricing.

 

To offer value, you also need to understand the product you are selling. Value never goes out of style whether times are tough or whether there is a boom.

Outstanding customer service is also part of offering value. What customers experience in your store counts for as much as what they buy. Hire people who reflect your values, and treat them with the same respect you want them to extend to the customer.

You have to get the word out. All advertising is not expensive, as there are many different ways of getting the word out. Pick one that suits your budget and market.

 

  • Know your market. Target your advertising to your customer’s needs.
  • Emphasize your strengths and never misrepresent.
  • Mention if you are offering a free service or item. More than discounts offering something free can bring customers in. You can offer free sales tax or free delivery. Think about ways of making this possible and the trade-offs.
  • Make your advertising more concentrated. Instead of advertising within a 25-mile radius, bring it down to 15 miles and advertise more intensively.

While advertising will bring people to your furniture store, you need to have quality furniture to back it up. If not, you’re throwing money down the drain and actually doing yourself a disservice.

 

  • Offering quality furniture and other home furnishings will earn you respect and a reputation for reliability.
  • Compare what you carry with what the customer wants. Always monitor customer complaints about the furniture you carry, as returns and complaints will give you a good idea of what the customer does not want.
  • Continuously adding new collections to your merchandise offerings will keep it exciting.
  • Offer choices.
  • Offer unique accessories that complement your furniture mainstays.
  • Create an exciting floor display by arranging vignettes.

Home Decorate with Color Ideas

Color has the power to envelop a room and the people in it (in a good way!). Take this bold blue paint color for example. It doesn’t just fill the wall with color, it engulfs the entire space and gives it an electric jolt. Different shades of blue have different meanings, but this particular shade is often associated with wisdom intelligence, success, and confidence, and there’s no doubt that confidence plays a part in choosing a shade this powerful. This kind of dramatic treatment is not for the faint of heart, but for those who crave intense color the effect is irresistible.

Sometimes color can create a bridge between styles. In this case of this living room from HGTV’s Income Property, a colorful Persian-style rug adds a little traditional flair to an otherwise modern (or transitional) room. The warm shade of rusty red plays against the deep brown of the sofa and helps to make the room more inviting. The red and orange pillows enhance the overall effect. Had the rug been neutral it would not have had the same impact and would not have provided the traditional hit this room needed to feel complete.

Decorating with unexpected colors can update a traditional room, making it fun and playful. Take this example from Ethan Allen. The style of the furniture is most definitely traditional, but the combination of kelly green and lime brings it into the present day in a fun and fresh way. Using color in such a way reminds us that there is no reason to get stuck in old definitions of decorating styles. Use color to turn those old styles on their heads!

When pulled into patterns, different shades of the same color can be part of a fun and eclectic mix. In 99% of living rooms you’ll find a sofa, coffee table, side tables, and a couple of chairs, but a coloful collection like this takes that predictable formula and turns into into something totally unique. Anytime you’re using a lot of patterns full of similar colors remember to contrast it with a different, but complimentary, color. In this case the coffee table base adds just enough contrast to ground all the activity and give it a sense of order.

Easy DIY Bathroom Ideas

Add a spa-like feeling to your bathroom by building a beautiful cedar bath mat to place outside of your shower or tub for a luxurious bathroom update.

After a long day at work, soaking in the tub is an easy way to relax your tired muscles, but an easy way to make your time in the bath more relaxing is to have a tray to place lit candles and a good book to read while you soak.

Replace your old standard toilet paper holder using a small length of pipe, a door pull and a short piece of rope or leather cord to craft your own chic toilet paper holder.

 

Learn how to make this DIY toilet paper holder, or see how to take the same design to make a Palm Springs, Scandinavian and natural themed toilet paper holder at Design Love Fest.

Painting your bathroom cabinet doors and drawers is simply a matter of a bit of prep work and some paint and you can easily make a big impact in your bathroom with just one can of paint.

 

Find out how to affordably refinish your bathroom cabinets to update them with a fresh new look with the tutorial at Stephanie White.

Hide those ugly cardboard tissue boxes by making a tissue box cover for $3 using Birch plywood. Once completed the tissue box can be left natural, stained or even painted to match your bathroom decor.

 

Learn how to make your own DIY tissue box cover at The Merry Thought.

Never run out of toilet paper in the bathroom again by creating a stylish way to store extra rolls of toilet paper in your bathroom by decorating a glass vase with copper tape.

 

Find out how to make your own DIY toilet paper holder at Design Improvised.

 

Furniture Makeovers You Need To Pin

This formerly blue and white bamboo dresser was refinished to be more vintage glam with white oil paint and by stripping the paint off the existing hardware to return them to their metallic finish.

 

It is hard to recognize after the beautiful transformation, but originally this blue burlap panelled dresser was just the regular 6 drawer Tarva chest from Ikea. With the addition of some decorative burlap, moulding, paint and some extra wood to thicken the legs the end result is absolutely stunning.

Add a glam finish with this easy Ikea Hack for the Vittsjo Nesting Tables by using gold spray paint on the frame and white spray paint on the bottom shelf to give the tables a new chic look.

Often it can be hard to find the space in a bedroom for a vanity to get ready in the morning in front of, but using Ikea’s Alex Shelf as a base, you can add wood legs and additional wall brackets for extra support to create your own narrow vanity that can fit even in small bedrooms.

A long black second-hand tv unit was beautifully updated with white paint and gold paint on the legs to give it a stylish new finish without spending much money.

Every creative needs a moodboard, and Thompson showcases a colorful one in her home office. It’s a true reflection of the color and pattern that she brings to her online boutique. With pieces from artists like Andrea Pippins and framed prints like the popular, “Keep Calm and Carry On” adage, the moodboard is true expression of the Interwoven aesthetic.

Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring is the season of renewal, manifestation, and celebration. Now is the time to take those bold steps and manifest your dreams. A good spring cleaning of your home can do wonders for your personal energy; it will nourish and strengthen you. Feng shui, as always, can help with a variety of easy, powerful tips for spring cleaning your home.

If you still feel sluggish and low-energy after a long and maybe challenging winter, here are some proven-and-true feng shui steps to lift your energy up.

Spring cleaning will help you make space for new, fresh feng shui energy to come into your life.

  1. Declutter your kitchen: If you are looking to improve your health, get rid of all the items that are cluttering and blocking the energy flow in your kitchen (especially your cupboards and the freezer.) The state of your kitchen is the state of your health, so do yourself a favor and thoroughly clean that kitchen!

    De-clutter the refrigerator; clean the stove and all the pots and pans. Let go of all harsh chemical kitchen cleaners and go for natural ones. Clean out all the drawers, surfaces, light fixtures, etc – create a fresh pathway for strong vibrant Chi to flow and nourish your energy.

  2. Decorate with plants: Bring three new pots with vibrant feng shui green plantsto refresh the energy of your space and symbolize, as well as ground, the energy of new beginnings. If you plan to place them in the kitchen, go for lush and aromatic herbs, such as basil, rosemary or mint. Focus on your front entrance, as well as your kitchen, as both are strongly connected to your health.
  1. Clean your bedroom and bathroom: Thoroughly clean your bedroom and your bathroom, get rid of anything that you haven’t used in the past 6 months. Clear the space under the bed, clear the windows, refresh and redecorate for spring both your bedroom and your bathroom.
  2. Make space in your closets: If you would like to welcome a new love relationship into your life, make space, and I mean actual, physical space, for this new person to be in your home. Clear out your closets for a better flow and more space. You literally have to create an open flow of energy in your home to be able to attract and manifest more of what you are looking for. Spring cleaning time gives you great opportunity to do just that!
  1. Clear your space: Last but not least, be sure you understand the importance of space clearing and are comfortable with at least a simple feng shui space clearing session for your home. Better yet, find the time to do a major space clearing session; as spring is the best time for clearing stagnant energy in your home.

Clarify, purify and let go this spring season. Renew your home and renew your body. Step into a new way of being, and fill it with a happy and healthy energy of excitement.

Furniture Solutions For Small Space Living

For the past several years, living in small spaces has been the growing trend in American housing markets. From micro-loft apartments to entire houses that consist of no more than a few hundred square feet, small spaces offer a streamlined, minimalist approach to life and possession along with the added benefit of a much smaller carbon footprint. And while the micro-lifestyle might seem at odds with the American tradition of big homes and wide open spaces, the fact is, we kind of love these tiny spaces. We’re fascinated by them and the thought that it might be possible to fit our entire lives into such small spaces. The challenges that such a life offers haven’t only sparked the imagination of the design-loving public, they’ve captivated the minds of furniture designers as well. The key, it seems they’ve found, is to find ways to create things that are also something else. And as expected, what they’ve come up with is pretty incredible. So if you’ve ever thought about making your own foray into the world of micro-sized living, or if you’ve got a small space at home that could use some customization, here’s a look at 8 transformable pieces that will make it possible for you to live big while living small.

Any of us who have ever lived in a studio apartment are likely familiar with the constant struggle of deciding whether we want to allocate what little space we have to either the living room or the bedroom. To say nothing of the time it takes to get used to the fact that visitors are constantly trying not to sit on our beds. Enter Resource Furniture, which is pretty much the go-to for anything you might need when it comes to transforming furniture pieces for every room in the home. To help clear up this age old conundrum, Resource offers the Nuovoliola 10 Murphy Bed. Hidden away in a cute little 3-seat sofa, this queen-sized bed not only disappears seamlessly into the decor, it also transforms with a minimum of hassle. The shelf that sits above the sofa even transitions smoothly into becoming the foot of the bed, offering additional nighttime storage without any extra attachments or transformations. Now the space where the bed used to go is the perfect place for some additional seating, and you can have a complete living room as well as a full bedroom without an inch of extra space. 

If you’ve got more wall space than floor space, yet you still find yourself in need of extra seating whenever company comes, Studio Dror has just the thing for you. Just one of a number of transforming miracle works by the ingenious designer, Dror Benshetrit, the Pick Chair takes just a second – and only one hand – to morph from captivating wall art to comfortable seating and back. And if you feel like you need just as many transformable pieces for when you’re leaving your apartment as you do when you’re in it – don’t worry, Dror’s got you covered. The rolling Tumi suitcase expands by stages, ending up twice as large as its original size. And in just a few snaps, you’re back where you started – with a modestly-sized carry-on that’s easy to store without taking up too much extra space in your micro-loft or tiny home.

The great thing about an industrial loft space, even a small one, is, well, the space. The floor plan is completely open, you can arrange your rooms however you’d like, and with their nice high ceilings, you’re sure to have an amazing amount of space overhead. The issue with that last part, of course, is that you can’t really use any of it. But that’s about to change. The Vancouver, Canada-based brand, Expand Furniture, specializes in transformable small space solutions of every sort. But perhaps their most intriguing offering is the do-it-yourself loft space that not only promises open plan denizens everywhere more space in which to live, it offers them more floors on which to enjoy it. Now it may not turn your loft into a duplex, but one or two of these in a loft could add a home office, a bedroom, or even just extra storage space, all while helping to give definition and separation to the rooms beneath. Pair one of these with the right size of murphy bed on the ground floor and you could have a multi-bedroom home in no time – and with room to spare. 

How to Make Calm And Cozy In The Family Room

There’s something truly beautiful about textiles. They are the pieces of fabric that work to give our home an identity. The perfect pillow, a beautiful throw, a handmade blanket. Each of these pieces has a story behind it. Each textile has a history to it, a level of artisanship and thought-provoking design. And each can be used to tell our own individual story at home, highlighting a color, pattern or place that we love. Many times it’s the textiles that truly make a house feel like a home.

 

Kera Thompson, the founder of Interwoven, has a focus on bringing handmade textiles from around the globe to all of our homes. This textile maven’s Salt Lake City home is a nod to her well-traveled life. From room to room you can spot an array of pieces she’s discovered during her travels. Vintage kilims, colorful kantha quilts, and Hmong pillows, are woven seamlessly into the interior. With a focus on highlighting our world’s global connection, through textiles, Thompson hopes to highlight just how interconnected we all truly are. 

 

“From my travels and experiences as a designer, mother, and model, I have realized how interwoven we are as a world community, and cherish the beauty that comes as we become aware and embrace the good around us,” remarks Thompson. “Each piece in my collection is just a small reflection of that beauty.”

Thompson’s home is Interwoven’s ultimate showroom. Each room highlights how global textiles can effortlessly fit into the most modern of spaces. In the master bedroom, a neutral bed and bedding are layered with colorful blankets and cushions. A vintage sari kantha quilt brings home Pantone’s marsala shade, while a kilim pillow adds a riot of hues to the bed.

Textiles can be expressive pieces. Many times they help us show off our individuality at home. They can be used to add color, pattern and can even be the foundation of a certain feel you want in a space. In her daughter’s bedroom, the home’s global lifestyle continues to be on display. A colorful kantha quilt from India becomes the perfect way to express a childhood exuberance.

Beyond textiles, Thompson has a way of integrating global pieces in some of the most unexpected ways. A handcrafted mobile above her daughter’s bed adds to the room’s color story of yellow, blue and bright pink.

Thompson’s home studio marries modern furnishings with the global elements that make up her shop. Among her bright blue shelving, you can find handwoven African baskets, a collection of gorgeous quilts, and piles of pillows all ready to ship out at a moment’s notice.

The Most Money When You Sell Used Furniture

The need to sell used furniture results from several situations. They include simply wanting to replace old furniture, moving, or needing to get rid of furniture that sits in storage. Get the most out of selling used furniture by following these tips.

 

Determine Value

Buried treasure status or trash? If you are selling furniture that is in good condition or you think is valuable, get an idea of how much it is worth.

Do you own antiques that belong to a period valued by collectors? Do you know if your furniture was made by a famous manufacturer?

In the case of antiques or valuable collections, consult pricing guides at the library or online or ask an expert. Visiting local consignment stores and looking at newspaper and internet ads for similar objects can also give you an idea of how much your furniture is worth.

Even if your furniture is not old enough to be classified as antique or have value as a collector’s item, it is still worth something. Consider how much you paid for it, who manufactured it, how long you have used it and its present condition.

Another fact worth remembering is that upholstered furniture is the hardest to sell, and you will have more takers for case goods.

 

Price Appropriately

This can turn out to be tough. You don’t want to undersell, but you don’t want to price it so high that no one wants to buy it.

Be realistic when pricing your old furniture. The memories you might have attached to a piece are yours alone and provide no added value to the buyer. Similarly, a customized couch might not have any special value for a buyer either, and customers are usually savvy enough to recognize if you have inflated prices or overstated the value.

When pricing, also take into account any stains, scratches, tears or dents, just as you should make a note of a well-maintained or mint-condition item.

Your prices should not be any higher than the asking rate for similar products that you see advertised or displayed in used furniture stores. Decide ahead of time how firm you are going to be on your price and whether you are open to bargaining.

For ideas on how to price your used furniture, read these tips for pricing used furniture.

 

Decide How to Sell

Garage sales, yard sales, or moving sales might work for you, depending on how much time and inventory you have.

If you want to use the internet, include pictures and details in your ad to encourage serious buyers to contact you. Be prepared to meet with potential buyers, depending on how the site you choose works. If possible, move the furniture to an area where you don’t have to let strangers inside your home.

Contact a consignment store or a used furniture dealer. They will come to your house, make you an offer and pick up the items if they think they can sell them at a profit.

Although this is very convenient, you might not get the best price for your furniture because they will only buy it if they think they can make a profit and will not give you top dollar. If you are short on time, don’t want to bother with trying to organize a garage sale or need to get the stuff out quickly, this might be a good way to go.

Contact a professional liquidator if you have a lot of furniture to sell, and they will suggest the best method for disposing of your furniture. They might suggest an on-site auction, moving everything to an auction house or having a tag sale. They will set the prices for all items, and you can expect them to charge 20 to 30 percent of the sale proceeds. Go through all costs and commissions before you sign any agreements. To find liquidators look online under “estate sales.”

In the end, if you are left with items you were unable to sell, consider donating to charities or furniture banks. You get the satisfaction of helping someone and a receiving a tax break.

 

Create an Attractive Ad

If you are selling the furniture yourself, you need to create an attractive ad that describes your furniture and creates a little excitement around it.

You could also mention a need that your furniture might fill to nudge potential buyers into action. A word of caution, though: Refrain from false advertising. Be honest about the condition of the furniture. Don’t call a sagging couch “practically new.” If you are advertising online, include a photograph. Most users click on listings that have images attached to them.

If you are holding a garage sale, in addition to advertising in the newspaper and online, create signs announcing the date and venue of your garage sale. List a few items to give an idea of what you are selling.

Check out regulations concerning signs in your area. You don’t want to put a dent in your profits by having to pay fines.

 

Learn How to Negotiate

You might find that you have to negotiate with the buyer for the price on your piece of furniture.

You want to get the best price for your furniture, while the buyer is looking for the best deal. It might seem that both of you are looking for completely different things, but there is a meeting point: the place where both of you find value in the transaction.

You can make a counteroffer if the buyer’s offer seems too low. Haggling is part of this process. But in the end, it depends on your level of comfort with it. Haggling might get you the price you want, or you might simply find greater value in finally being rid of the item and sell it for less than what you wanted.

Leather and Microfiber Options

As a loving owner of a cat or a dog, you know that selecting the best upholstery for your couch can be a little complicated. If you are a realist, you must have realized that not just your prized sofa, but most of your home is at the mercy of your beloved pet. Even when not trying to destroy your upholstery willfully, simply by climbing, sitting or walking on it, your pet can exact a heavy toll.

Here are some problems you might have had to contend with:

  • Claw marks and scratches
  • Pet hair clinging to the upholstery
  • Dirt marks
  • Stains from accidents or throwing up.
  • Best Couch Fabric for Dogs

While you should definitely consider training your pet to behave, why not also make it easier on yourself by choosing upholstery that is more pet-friendly? Select a fabric that has a tight weave that does not have much texture since that can easily get caught in claws. Stay away from light colors unless you have a well-behaved and well-trained pet. Select a fabric that you would buy for a heavy usage area. And consider that leather and microfiber are best-suited to life with pets.

 

Leather

Leather is one of the best coverings you can choose, period. It is long lasting and actually improves with age and use. It is easy to maintain, comes in many colors, and is available at different price points.

When it comes to pets, it can stand up to most. When pets climb on it, it is easily cleaned; pet hair is easily removed because it doesn’t cling to the leather.

It is possible for your cat to leave holes in it if it uses your sofa as a scratching post, but that behavior should be discouraged no matter which upholstery material you choose. You can clean leather yourself, but if it’s seriously soiled, you can have it professionally cleaned.

Microfiber

A close second to leather is microfiber, a synthetic fabric.

  It is also a good choice, simply because it is easy to clean and maintain and wears well. Microfiber is also more affordable than leather and can be found in many colors.

Your pet’s claws won’t get caught in it because there are no loops in the fabric. It is not a hair magnet, which is great if your pet is a long-haired breed.

Stains are easy to clean off microfiber, should accidents happen. Just make sure to blot most of the mess with a clean towel and then clean with a little soap and water. But make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

 

Other Considerations

You may find that a patterned fabric works better than a solid, but it is best to avoid any fabric that is nubby or heavily textured because your pet’s claws can easily get caught in it. Besides, it might be too much fun to scratch. It goes without saying that fragile fabrics, such as silk, wool or linen should be avoided or used only where your pet is not allowed.