What’s your entry like…

An important part to building an entryway is the creativity and impression you want to bring to the space.  This is the place where the guests come in and create that first impression of your home.  They say the first impression is the last impression, so by knowing that the entry way should be decorated carefully and with thought behind it.  Not only do you have to worry about the decoration of the entry way you also need to look at lighting, lighting plays a key role in the decoration of any space.  This is especially true with entryways and their lighting.

There are specific types of lighting that is great to use in entryways.  The general lighting for the entryway is the ambient light that brings a more comfortable look. Another good idea is to place mirrors in the entryway, which is necessary for providing task lighting. For large entryways it is great to use accent lighting that helps create the focal points of the space.  With these types of lighting, it is very useful to emphasize particular objects like picture frames and flowers in your entryway.

When deciding the best light for your entryway, it all depends on the size.  The size and the space of the entryway gives you the best advice on picking the best light. These recommendations for lighting on entryways will help you enhance your space.  For large entryways the best light fixtures to use are chandeliers, sconces, and pendent lights. These three types of lighting create a soft and charming effect to your entryway. Although in small entryways pendant lighting should be used and a single wall sconce can be used in these particular sized spaces.

When placing your lighting, be sure to put them in the most appropriate place to create a good impact.  To create a good effect with sconces lighting, be sure to place the sconces eye level or higher above the floor and the spacing between the sconces should not be more than arms width apart from each other.  The appropriate placement with all lighting is important because you want the most out of your entryway and be able to enhance the space.

So when choosing your entryway light, be sure that it attracts the right amount of light for your space. Also the placement and focal points you want to emphasize in the entryway will give you the ideal look that you want.

A cramped kitchen to a luxurious kitchen…

In some homes or apartments you don’t have the luxury to have the lavish kitchen appliances or space that you would want. In these situations the kitchen is cramped and small and you can’t figure out the most efficient way to store all your appliances and supplies used for a kitchen.   It is important not to feel frustrated with the lack of space.  It could seem impossible to figure out the right solutions for making a small kitchen into a functional space to prepare food.  But in every situation there is always a solution to the tightest kitchen spaces to make them functional.  There are just a few places that need to have the most attention when trying to make more room in your kitchen.

The first is the amount of counter space and appliances.  This is an important factor in making a small kitchen efficient.  This is significant both to the design standpoint and the function standpoint because large appliances normally take up large amounts of space.  Most manufacturers make two different kinds of appliances.  They make the standard and they have also designed smaller ones for smaller spaces such as these.  If you have the larger version of appliances, this could be the reason why that you have been frustrated with the lack of room.  So the best way to keep these appliances down to a minimum is to focus on less is more concept.  I would recommend keeping a toaster, if it is the smaller version, and a coffee maker; this is if you drink coffee.  Also if there is not a built-in microwave in your small kitchen, this is the last appliance that I would keep on the counters because these are the ones that are used most. The rest of the appliances that you have, store them in a place that is quick and convenient to get to when needed, but keep them off the counters for the reason of having more counter space to prepare food.

The second part of a kitchen that will need to keep close attention to is the cabinetry.  The cabinetry is key to storage space for a kitchen.  The less cabinetry that you have the more difficult the task will be to store all you items such as, cups, plates, bowls, bake goods, and the like.  By placing the glasses, plates, utensils, and bowls closest to the sink will help with emptying and loading of the dishwasher.  The pots and pans should be placed nearest to the stove or range, depending on which one you have, this is also a good place to put the baking pans.  By having these items near the range or stove you will have an efficient and organized kitchen being utilized with the little amount of space that you have.  The other extra items that are cookie jars, vases, and the like can be stored in the upper cabinets that aren’t used on a daily basis.

These are the most important aspects to making a tight and cramped kitchen into your own luxurious space.  It just takes a few organizing solutions and figuring out how to utilize the space you have to your benefit.  It could take time to figure out what is more important to put where, but the end result is what matters most.  A small kitchen that is organized for the efficient use of preparing food and the everyday needs is the goal to making your kitchen luxurious.

Watch your spacing…

When decorating a room the hardest part is normally where to put everything.  This is especially in the case of a living room or entertaining spot.  In each instance we want to maximize the amount of space in the room while also maintain the flow and comfort. It is normally like a puzzle figuring out where which piece fits the best where.  Here are some tricks of the trade to make this process easier in every situation.

To start you need to ask yourself how you want the room to be used.  This could be for entertaining? Watching television? Or it could be a place to just come home to and relax.  No matter what the room is for, becoming familiar with how your space will be used will make it much easier for you to arrange your furniture accordingly.  Another way to help is brainstorming this way because it will make it easier for you to figure out which furniture pieces will work the best in this room and even to eliminate the ones that are just too much.

Next you need to consider whether your room will be used as a pathway or a walk through room. By figuring this out it will be easier for you to position the sofas and chairs close together so it doesn’t intervene with whatever is going on in the room at the time.  You and you visitors will appreciate having a space that is allowed for comfort and not as a disruption spot when others are walking through.

One tool that has helped me in the past, and is also a design tool is space planning. Space planning is a technique that is used when trying to figure out the best place for your furniture.  The easiest way to utilize this tool is to draw out your room in a piece of paper. Once the room is drawn out, cut out your furniture pieces on different sheets and arrange and rearrange until you are fully satisfied with the position of your pieces.  This is beneficial because it takes away from the heavy lifting you would do if you moved the furniture pieces multiple times. So use space planning to help with this.

Also you need to think U shaped when laying out a design for your room.  By selecting a U shaped layout, it creates a more inviting space while making it easy for everyone to communicate with each other. So avoid the dreadful L shape format as much as possible.  This layout normally tends to be uncomfortable in social settings and usually leaves someone out of the conversation.

Other thing to consider is pairing, which helps with the balance of your room.  This includes finding similar size end tables, lamps, and matching chairs that will bring consistency to your space while inviting everyone to stop and enjoy the room.  The biggest thing to remember is to make sure you balance your space.  Do not overcrowd the room with large objects that do not belong.  Be sure to visualize your room as it is being decorated.

The last thing to consider when placing your items in your room is what is your focal point.  Every room has one; it could be a flat screen TV that is going in the room, a fireplace, or even a window that has a spectacular view.  No matter what is consider the room to be decorated around that point.  By doing this you will find that your room is a great place that is inviting and comfortable.

The Bedroom on a Budget…

When having a bedroom that is decorated and has been that way for a long period of time, it is hard to figure out what to do to change it.  This is also difficult if you don’t want to spend a fortune in the process of redecorating the entire room.  But there are solutions for this problem and easy ones at that.  The options are not to get rid of your furniture or items that you love just spice them up.

To get started you want to figure out the items you love and don’t want to mess with.  When you have separated those from the rest you can then get your hands dirty, and this is literally.  In most cases the items that you don’t like are either just old and need a new paint job or are items that just don’t match with the rest of the room.  If this is true, paint them.  The best way to change something without having to go around looking for something new is to paint it.  It also is an easy way to match how you want your room decorated.  The best part is, it is a cheaper way of decorating. 

Once the furniture, walls, or even shelves are painted to the way you like, think of the bed.  The best option to change a bed and not spend a fortune on a brand new bed set is to just fix the comforter, most importantly a duvet.  Duvets can last for decades and can be updated again and again with only the spending your money on the new cover. By just splurging on a new cover for your room, it gives the right amount of change that you want and that can last for months or even years.

The last change that can be done is to develop a dramatic headboard that can be the bedroom focal point.  The best thing is you can make a headboard out of almost anything with some creativity. Some ideas to consider are a vintage door, wood shutters, folding screens or an antique fireplace mantel. Whatever you chose to do above your bed is your choice and using the creativity you have will make it yours and unique to you.

Also don’t forget the personality by bringing in the unique accents that represent you.  Little things such as a lamp that changes the mood of the room or a piece of artwork you want to add on the wall. No matter what you chose to put on the walls, side tables, or other furniture it is your room and the creativity that you have will shine.  And it will be all done on a budget that is affordable to you. So if you need to spice up your room, change it, but think of the low cost ways that it can be done so you don’t have to spend a fortune.

Do it yourself, quick and easy…

In many homes there are little areas that are left undone because you don’t know what to do with it. This could be a wall that has nothing decorated on it or a couch that you want to update because it looks outdated. With these areas there is always a quick and easy low cost idea that can change your room dramatically.  Some ideas that I am going to describe are simple but creative at the same time.

To start simple, the best thing to do is find something decorative to update your couch.  In most instances there are wonderful slip covers that can change the whole look of the couch in a few minutes and you don’t have to buy something expensive to do it. It only takes a large sheet found at a local store and the creativity of putting it on correctly.  The easiest way to use a sheet as a slip cover is to lay it evenly out on the couch. Then tuck in the sheet to the cushions first and then staple gun the rest of the sheet to the underside of the couch.  Once you have done that you have succeeded in dramatically changing a dull, outdated couch into something brand new. Not only can you makeover the couch but by throwing in some decorative pillows, can also spice up your couch in just seconds by adding items like these.

Another idea for the walls is shadow boxes to decorate and fill your space.  By filling up shadow boxes with your treasured keepsakes make a great decorative piece for your room.  There are many items you can capture in a shadow box such as, highlights from family members lives, luggage labels, maps, report cards, badges, and awards that hold special meaning to you.  Whatever you decide to put in the shadow boxes, they are keepsakes and a great tool for decorating. 

The other idea that could be simple and creative is creating bookshelves with old books that are lying around.  All you need is hardware that can be connected to the wall and the books that you decide to use. By using books to make a bookshelf rather than a piece of wood, gives the decorative piece more character and the ability to be creative at the same time. 

These are just a few low cost and simple ideas to update your space.  It doesn’t matter where you decorate and use these tips because it can be incorporated in any room you choose.  It just adds creativity.

Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers & Kyle Lacy Book Review

Through one of my classes at school, I was introduced to a book about branding oneself using social media to invent or reinvent yourself.  I have just recently finished this book a few weeks ago and it was enjoyable and informative.  It gave you everything one should know about the right way to make yourself known to others in our day and age through technology.  This is a book that gives wonderful advice but also tells you what are the best online sources to make yourself stand out the most and get more feedback.

 In this day and age where there is so much competition to get your name out there, this book gives the correct steps to bypass all the others and get to your goals.  This book gives great examples on how other people have worked on to get the best results out of their social media sites through marketing themselves.  By reading these examples it gave great insight on how branding yourself through social media really does give you beneficial results.

The most beneficial part to this book that I thought will help me the most is the do’s and don’ts section of each chapter. It gave great tips on what to do, to succeed when making yourself known to others in our society today.  The book gives you everything from top to bottom in what you need to do to succeed.   

This book is very beneficial to anyone that wants to make themselves grow in the career path they want.  The authors did an amazing job in giving you the path to succeed in inventing or reinventing yourself.  So if you have not picked up this book yourself, I would recommend everyone to read it and use the tools and tips to guide yourself to the goals and success you want in your life.

The “junk drawer”…

In most homes or spaces there is that one place you call the “junk drawer.”  This is the drawer or place you store everything you don’t know what to do with.  This type of drawer or space can be in multiple areas of the home depending on the amount of stuff you have.  There are many tips to organizing a space like this, it just takes a few organizing tools and a good afternoon to do it.

Recommendations in starting this process is to sit down and take each item out one at a time and decide whether it is an item to keep or toss.  If the item is a keep, put the item in separate pile, such as an electronics, school, or even office space.  Once you have finished the task of sorting the items in the junk drawer, you have finished the hardest part. The next task in organizing the junk drawer is to figure out what needs to stay in the drawer or space. Once you have decided what stays you need to find the perfect place for the other items.   It is a good idea to be sure that you are sticking items in places that belong together.  The key is to have all electronics in one area, books in another, office supplies in another and so on.  By doing this you will have an easier time figuring out where you put your things.

Some other organizing helpers, such as paper filers for the important documents, electronics bins, smartly arranged food storage containers are just some examples that will be great to use in small spaces as the junk drawer or cabinets that has everything.  By creating smart mini groupings of items to separate them is the key to organizing the items of the home.

So it doesn’t take much to clean out the “junk drawer” of the house.  Just a few organizing techniques and tools do the trick in organizing your small spaces.