Truffles Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘Decorating’

Room Functions

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home on November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.

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A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)

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Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.

Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.

Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.


How to Make A New Home Yours

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on September 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

Since many families move over the summer and right before school goes back I figured now was the time to share this posting. If you recently moved into a new home (or plan to in the future) here’s some advice on how to make it less new and more family feeling.

First off  congratulations on your new home many people are so excited and busy with all the packing/unpacking that they tend to ignore the little details.

  1. Go ahead and plant some flowers in the front of your house – this is a great way to add curb appeal and distinguish your house from the neighbors in large housing developments/MPCs
  2. If you have a front porch consider painting the interior ceiling a calm, blue (like the sky) it has helped many homeowners prevent bugs
  3. Why not head over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy some solar powered lights for your driveway – they won’t cost you anything to run since their solar so its a one time expense (and luckily won’t show up on your electric bill)
  4. If the outdoors are your thing – then try planting a veggie/fruit garden in your backyard (doesn’t have to be large just enough for your family to enjoy it) – also consider planting items like Basil, Thyme, Parsley or Oregano because they add great flavors to the dish and are so much cheaper to grow than buy (also if you end up growing a lot of herbs  consider clipping them, putting them in a ziploc bag with a paper towel and freezing them for when there not in season).
  5. Also consider hanging a clothes line this may seem dated to some of you but to me there’s no better smell than laundry from the line (sorry all the fabric fresherner just never smells that fresh)
  6. Roll out the welcome mat or my personal favorite have an area in the front hallway/foyer to remove shoes and keep your floors clean (and your new house looking new)
  7. If you have a dog and trees in your back yard connect a dog line between the two trees so they too can enjoy the outdoors
  8. Absolutely make sure to paint the interior of your home (I say this incase white or builder beige isn’t your thing) painting walls helps to define areas, personalizes it, and makes for a lived in feel
  9. I know sometime technology can be great but what about all those photos on your digital camera/memory card have you thought about going through them and picking a few to print and frame for your new space
  10. Have a moving in party with family and friends is great – why not if you plan to live in your new home for a long time have a party where you invite over the neighbors just print off a flyer (address, date, time) and have some easy food (cookies, brownies, coleslaw, hamburgers) the food doesn’t have to be expensive if your anticipating lots of people keep it simple and cheap but make it welcoming (if someone invited offers to bring something graciously accept but don’t tell them what to bring unless they ask)
  11. Enjoy your new house and make new memories in it and it will become a family home

Sand Keeper

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Travel, Urban Dweller on August 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

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So maybe you love the beach (okay I know I LOVE the beach to me there is something so amazing about being there) and yet your trying to recapture every vacation you go on. Well I came across this sand keep and I think this is one simple, cheap DIY anyone could do. All you need is a water bottle, vase and sand of course. Read more here

Taking on your Cabinets – New Finish

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on August 16, 2012 at 7:00 am

One of the MOST expensive renovations can include kitchens and baths in a home, but most people overlook why. Did you know the majority of most kitchen reno budgets goes to the cabinets and installing them. Yes, most people spend the bulk of the money on buying these new cabinets and then paying a lot to have them installed only to find out most cabinets today are not solid wood – hell neither are most door. So instead of using up the bulk of your reno budget why not try re-doing your cabinets. If you cabinets are in fine working shape and aren’t chipped, cracked, or split and its more a cosmetic issue (I like espresso or cherry finish not oak) then here is a simple remedy. In case you have never tackled a project like this before I thought this was a great article and DIY instruction.) 

Reviewing Rugs

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on August 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

Some people have gone more and more towards having hardwood, tile or linoleum throughout their house. Obviously some people do this because of asthma, allergies, quicker cleanup whatever the reason it can leave you with little to no carpeting in your house and sometimes an area rug may just be the perfect solution (under your bed, dining room table or in the living room.) If you’ve been considering getting an area rug make note of 4 things: your budget, the size of the room, the size of the furniture and its placement and finally what material preference you have (I prefer a natural material such as wool.)

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The above Adum Rug, hile pile comes in 4 colors and is available at Ikea $199.00

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The above rug is from Natural Custom Rugs (they sell natural rugs already made and custom made) the photo shown above details the one I created which was a St. Tropez weave and Black Border. Make sure to browse their rugs selection its quite extensive.

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If a modern rug is more your fancy and yet you hate bright bold colors or obnoxious patters this one might do the trick. On this hardwood floor it looks like concrete stones but yet its really an area rug and the neutral colors will work great with many furniture pieces.  Its available from eSaleRugs for $271

Finally remember small area rugs can help older dogs from sliding or sitting on a hard surface and they make a great spot for baby to sit softly on and play. If you are looking to browse (in person or the web) consider these  places below:

Crate and Barrel

Pottery Barn

Looking for cheaper solutions try your home improvement store (Lowe’s and Home Depot) normally have lots of colors, typical sizes and lower prices.

DIY Dresser

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on July 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

So today I am bringing you this pretty simple DIY dresser I absolutely love DIY projects because they can save you plenty of money and also let you customize the look to your exact taste.

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Want to learn more on about this project? Go Here

Rustic + Modern Living

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on July 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

Are you trying to marry two different styles into a room? Maybe you and your other half have completely different ideas on decorating and while most men don’t love decorating they don’t love pink rooms (any more than most women want a full sports living room.) So here’s some ideas try this rustic + modern design. Some people think you can only have 1 style or that your decorating style inside your home must match the architectural style of your home and this is just not true. Blend this style by adding some traditional pieces with more neutral tones, use more modern paint color combinations (grey + yellow or a beige + teal could be really nice) and shop for modern fabric for pillows at the fabric store then just make them into a simple envelope slip pillow costing much less than fancy modern pillows at home furnishing stores. I hope this will inspire you to create a lovely a space for your family.

West Elm’s  Essex Upholstered Ottoman $299.00 – this comes in so many color/fabric options  I like ottomans because they double as a coffee table or sitting space.

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West Elm’s Tree Stump Side Table – $199.00 – its eco-friendly and add a rustic natural charm

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Have Children? Well then you know sometimes a sofa could get really dirty so go ahead and try this slip covered more traditional style from Ikea its the Ektorp Corner Sofa in Vellinge Beige for $999.00

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When you place a tray on an ottoman it can be used for so many things: holding magazines, books, the remote. It also is a great opportunity to add color to your room. This lacquered tray is from West Elm and retails for $22.00

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West Elm’s Lourdes Sanchez 8×10 rug $599.00

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Total cost $2,122 – so next time your at one of those furniture stores that tries to sell you a whole room package that is identical to thousands of other people’s living rooms consider how easy it is to put together your own unique room.

Cheap Wall Art Solution

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

Sometimes your walls look a little…empty…bare…no maybe there just missing some framed artwork. Artwork though can be expensive in some stores and for paintings or photos that are virtually worthless (I’m talking resale here- unless there Van Gogh or Monet well its not like resale really is gonna matter.) So think of something you really like and would fit your decorating style and decor of your home. Awhile back my bathroom had a ocean motif the colors chosen were to make me feel as if I was always at the ocean (don’t I wish!) now type that word into your search engine then hit image search. Example: type “ocean” image search it then find one you like, print it (on photo paper is ideal) and then frame it. Simple cheap framed art!

Another cheap solution if you have a nice camera go outside take some beautiful photos of that thing you would love to have as an art piece in your home: flowers, building, ocean, trees, etc. then take it to a Kinko’s or Printing shop and ask them to blow up the image to your desired size (depending obviously on the wall your placing.) I have seen this method done before and it works great so my suggestion is let your imagination run wild take some photos and you never know which one might work for your home.

Decorative Tray

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 17, 2012 at 7:00 am

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Let’s face it eventually the cookie / baking  sheet is no longer useable and your not sure how to reuse it or recycle it, well relax I have the perfect way. I came across this article in Martha Stewart and had to share it. If you like the idea above (the decorative tray) then read the article on how to reuse your baking sheet and turn it into this awesome decorative tray in any color, style, or pattern.

DIY Mousepad Makeover

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

Looking for a simple DIY Project? Looking to set up a home office or maybe add some decoration to your present one? Why not try this simple little project that takes very little time or money. This little project will allow you to actually create a custom looking mouse pad for very little time or money.