Our Floor Before

by Dinah Wulf

Gah! We did it.  We cleared out all the furniture downstairs to finally re-do our floors.  It was quite the task but thanks to some amazing friends we did it!  Now, our upstairs and garage is filled with furniture, mirrors, pictures, knick knacks, and toys.  It’ll be cramped in those spaces for a while, but it will all be worth it.  I just wanted to share our floor before we took the plunge.

My husband and I took FOREVER to decide what we wanted to do. We purchased this home in February of 2011 and the previous owners definitely took pride in ownership.  Everything was in great condition, both inside and out.  We knew we would eventually do some updates, only because we have a more modern style then what the house has now.

Alas! It took some major searching on houzz for some inspiration, however we finally decided to re-do our floors in cement.  Yes, cement.  Some of my friends gave me a strange look when I told them while others were excited and knew exactly what we were envisioning.

We are also re-doing the mantel! Here it is now.

The floors are actually finished now but I wanted to wait to show you the AFTER photos until we complete the trim and the paint… yes we are doing that too! Yikes! Oh! AND of course I need to redecorate! So, needless to say, it may be some time (by next month for sure) that I will post the AFTER photos.

More Updates to Our Home:

Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

This article, Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom is sponsored by hello. All opinions are 100% my own.

Having a clean, organized, and spa-like bathroom is really important to me.  This is because: 1) there is a peace to my morning routine that I love because my husband and I start our day talking while we get ready, and 2) I’m in there a lot because I LOVE to indulge in bubble baths.  Besides craft time in my craft room, a bubble bath in the tub is my ultimate sanctuary.  There are five things that I do to achieve this Zen-like feel.

Lots of Candles

Nothing says “spa” like several candles.  Surround your tub with different sizes and heights.

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Use White Towels

Every spa I’ve been to uses white towels.  They represent cleanliness and purity.

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Oral Care Products I Like and Support

Hello is the first line of seriously friendly oral care. I personally endorse hello because they are Earth-Friendly Products.  All the products are made in the USA using naturally derived ingredients wherever possible, while delivering the experience people want. Their products are never tested on animals.  Also, the toothbrushes are made with 50% recycled materials.

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Decorate with Shells and Other Natural Elements

Shells and other natural elements remind me of being at a tropical getaway.

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Hang Serene Artwork

Speaking of a tropical getaway, hang serene photos or artwork in your bathroom to help you relax.  I bought these in Hawaii from a local Photographer.

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Hello on Facebook

Take $1.00 off any hello toothpaste, mouthwash or breath spray. To access the coupon, “like” hello on Facebook and then click on the “coupons” box under the “like” button. Coupons are limited to one per person.

I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to hello for sponsoring this post!

Redecorating Living And Dining Spaces

by Dinah Wulf

Creating smooth transitions in open floor plans between kitchen, dining room, and living room enhances the appeal of the home when redecorating. Some of these changes are structural, such as making seamless transitions from living room to dining room flooring that incorporates counter space on the open island of the kitchen beside the two. Some of these changes relate to décor.

There are a few steps to creating this pace in the home:

  1. Choose color scheme
  2. Match cabinet with furniture
  3. Select neutrally universal décor

Following these steps will help create a smooth transition from one room to the next, making them all connected in the flow of the room instead of separated from each other by design.

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Choosing Color Scheme

The first step to blending the spaces is to take a look at color scheme. Look at the floors first since they are the most costly and time consuming to replace. Dark woods with light carpet is nice, but it separates the rooms from each other. Consider switching one or the other to match in darkness or light so that they do not contrast with one another. Flooring is the foundation of the color scheme.

Next take a look at the walls. The days of transitioning colors between the two rooms are behind us. In order to make the rooms seem as if they are one choose a color to paint all of the walls. These colors can either contrast with the flooring or compliment it, but you don’t want them to blend together. 

To set off living spaces a little, paint one wall of the living room, opposite the other rooms, a contrasting color. Usually softer hues on all walls but the one is acceptable. The different colored wall should be the main focus of the living room where the fireplace or the TV are mounted and the furniture is facing. If it isn’t don’t paint it a different color.

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Matching Cabinets with Furniture

After the floors and walls are taken care of look at the living room and dining room furniture. Do they match with each other or the colors of the kitchen counter and cabinets? If all three rooms are combined it may be necessary to reupholster or purchase new furniture for one room or another. 

Choose your personal style and decorate both rooms as if they are one. That means if you love your dining room table and the leather seated and backed chairs that go with it, consider getting leather sofas to match. The days of expensive leather furniture are behind us and they are now in the same range as fabric upholstered furniture. If there are bar stools for the kitchen space get matching leather and upholster them yourself.

Don’t forget the kitchen space. If you just spent money on a more modern kitchen make sure that the cabinets and countertops match the color of the tables in the living room and dining room, and that the upholstery smoothly transitions with the countertops.

Selecting Neutrally Universal Décor

The finishing touches are just as important as the foundation. Select visually appealing décor that can be used in all the rooms smoothly. That means if you have metal hangings on the wall in the dining room they should be used in the living room as well; if you have paintings in the living room add a couple to match in the dining room. A floor vase in the dining room should match the end table vase in the living room.

Creating transitions between the rooms should be done from the ground up. Using these three simple steps will enhance the comfort and unity of the home. 

Eight Popular Round-Ups You Don’t Want to Miss

by Dinah Wulf

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I was browsing through all the posts on my site, and man have I published a lot. This post is actually my 588th one!  As I was perusing all the different things I’ve done, I noticed that my round-up posts get a lot of love. Soooo, I thought, why not do a round-up of round-ups? I’m hoping you didn’t miss and so I put together eight popular round-ups you don’t want to miss. Here is over 150 ideas and tutorials… Here we go!

Five Dollar Thrift Store Transformations

One of my more recent posts, this one shares five different projects that I have done using some amazing five dollar (or less) thrift store finds.  Mostly from the Salvation Army or Goodwill, I have been really lucky lately!

$5 Thrift Store Transformations

12 DIY Theme Party Ideas

This one is one of my faves, because I LOVE theme parties! I’m a sucker for them.  I tend to plan my parties so far in advance because I get obsessed with themes.

12 DIY Theme Party Ideas

8 DIY Girls Room Ideas

This round-up is close to my heart because these are some of the projects I’ve done for my daughter, Mia’s bedroom.

DIY Girls Room Ideas

Six Fun Painted Furniture Ideas

So this year for Christmas I think I’m going to ask for a spray paint gun from Santa.  That would make these projects, SO much easier and quicker to complete!

Six Fun Painted Furniture Ideas

10 Easy Mason Jar Craft Ideas

Oh how I love Mason Jars!  Here’s proof! :)

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100 Creative Ways to Recycle

Most of these are ideas that have inspired me and the projects on this blog.

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Eight Tasty Cocktail Recipes for Summer Entertaining

This round-up is a list of original recipes concocted by David Edessa, especially for DIY Inspired!  It’s a fantastic refreshing cocktail drink list perfect for summertime.

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Top 15 Recycled Crafts and Projects of 2012

And finally, in commemoration of last year’s projects, this one is also close to my heart.

Top 15 Recycled Craft and Projects of 2012

How to Paint Stripes on a Wall

by Dinah Wulf

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I’ve wanted to paint stripes on, my daughter, Mia’s wall for the longest time. Thanks to 3MDIY.com, who sponsored this post, I was able to do so! 

Initially, I was worried about bleeding, because I have painted many walls in the past and have had issues.  Believe it or not, I managed to paint PERFECT stripes with ZERO bleeding! Woo hoo! With that said, here is my tutorial on how to paint stripes on a wall.

Before we start, here is a 90 second video I did for 3 awesome tips for painting perfect wall stripes.

Materials:

For Holes:

  • 3M Sandblaster
  • 3M Patch Plus Primer
  • Putty knife

To Paint:

  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Step Stool
  • ScotchBlue heavy duty non-slip drop

For Stripes:

  • ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tape
  • Pencil
  • Yardstick
  • Level
  • Credit Card

Protective Gear:

  • Safety glasses
  • 3M face mask

Here is Mia’s wall BEFORE.

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Instructions:

First, patch any holes using 3M Patch Plus Primerand a putty knife.  Sand the hole smooth with sand paper.  Next, using a yardstick and pencil measure the distance between stripe width across the wall.  My stripes were 13” apart on an 8’ wall.

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Use a level and a straight edge to ensure straight lines.

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Apply the ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tapeand create your lines, using your pencil marks as a guide.

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Use a credit card or a clean putty knife and apply pressure to the painter’s tape to ensure the tape is flush to the wall to prevent bleeding.

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Tip: When painting stripes, I marked arrows with a pencil to ensure there were no mistakes on which stripe to paint.  This helps especially if other people are helping you.

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Use a paint brush to paint the exterior of the stripes. Use a paint roller to fill in the middle of thick or wide strips.

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Peel off your painter’s tape and see perfect stripes!

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Here are a couple AFTER photos.

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This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com.  Connect with 3MDIY on 3M DIY Facebook Page and 3M DIY Twitter Page!

The Windows Are the Eyes to the Room

by Dinah Wulf

The Windows Are the Eyes to the Room

The windows are the eyes of a room is a cliché but, like all clichés, it is based in truth. The windows are the portals that let the people inside the house see out and, when the blinds are open, let the people outside the house see in. It’s natural to want to do something special with them. I am a landlord and have been for several years now.  My husband and I just had a conversation with one of our renters about their blinds and it inspired this post.

What you do with your windows and their treatments is completely up to you. You can be as creative with your windows as you want. If you are renting, though, it gets a little bit trickier. Your landlord probably has blinds already installed. There are probably strict rules that you have to follow if you want to change the blinds or put up curtains. Still, there are creative ways to dress up your windows without breaking your lease.

Switch Out Your Blinds

Even if you have to follow a set color scheme, choosing your own blinds can be really fun. For instance, you can choose wood instead of plastic; you can switch horizontal blinds for vertical blinds; you can go for fatter or skinnier slats. There are ways to be creative, even if you’ve got boundaries that must be respected.

Consider a Window Film

Window films are a great way to dress up a window without having to make any permanent changes. The film in thin enough to let light through, but solid enough that people probably won’t be able to see through it. It’s a great way to give yourself some privacy in areas where your windows look directly into someone else’s windows (urban apartments are famous for this uncomfortable reality). The films come in lots of different colors and patterns and, best of all, are easy to remove when you are ready to move out.

Should You Have Curtains?

Your landlord probably provided blinds and might even require you to have blinds in your windows. If you aren’t careful, adding curtains over the top of that can look cluttered and messy. The trick is to add sheer curtains that complement your apartment’s color scheme as well as the color and texture of your blinds. This way you don’t have to worry about installing what will undoubtedly look like a giant patch over your windows while still adding some personality to your space. Plus, you can always simply keep the blinds pulled all the way up and use the curtains instead.

There are lots of different ways to personalize and dress up your windows—even when you are a renter who has to adhere to strict rules (or risk losing a security deposit). These are just a few of the options that are available to you. With some creativity and designer zeal, you can undoubtedly come up with plenty of others.

Your Serene Space: 6 Master Bedroom Redecorating Tips

by Dinah Wulf

After a long, stressful day you need somewhere to go that allows you to forget all of your worries and reset your brain. Naturally, your master bedroom is your own private space away from the kids, but does this space really help you relax? Unfortunately, when you have a decorating budget, the master bedroom is usually the last room to get attention because it’s only seen by your eyes. But now is the time to put yourself first! Here are six simple and affordable ways to turn your master bedroom into the oasis that you deserve.

Master bedroom image by …love Maegan via Flickr.

Rearrange the Furniture

You would be surprised just how big of a difference the arrangement of your furniture can make on the overall feeling of your bedroom. Houzz.com suggests putting the head of your bed against the wall directly across from the door. If possible, the head of your bed should be the only part butted up against the wall. That way, you will have room to move around your bed freely. You also want to make sure you don’t have too much furniture in your room because the visual impact of open space is relaxing on its own.

Get a New Mattress and Bedding

When it comes to relaxation, the most important thing is having somewhere comfortable to rest. If you don’t look forward to sinking onto your mattress, that’s a good sign that you need a new one. Take your time to go shopping and find a high-quality mattress that will envelop you when you rest your head on your pillow. Most stores offer free mattress delivery, so the process will be very easy. To complete your new bed, look for bedding that complements the serene environment you are trying to create. Colors such as sage green and pale blue are the perfect choices for a muted, yet colorful oasis.

Change the Paint

Speaking of colors… Even though repainting your room is very easy and inexpensive, it can still make a huge impact in your bedroom. Buy test-size samples of paint colors you’re interested in before purchasing an entire gallon. Paint swatches of each color — large enough to really get a feel for it — next to one another on the wall. Colors are sneaky and can look very different depending on the room and time of day.

Don’t Worry About Trends

It’s true that there are always certain trends in interior design. However, in your bedroom these trends simply don’t matter. All that matters is that you get peace and tranquility in the surroundings you have created. Choose accessories and colors that make you happy and don’t worry about the rest.

Add an Area Rug

Besides comfort, the most important factor when creating a serene environment is visual appeal. Area rugs are the perfect way to ground your space and make it more inviting. Who wants to place their feet on cold tile or hardwood every morning? Look for an area rug with simple patterns that take a cue from nature for the perfect finishing touch.

Choose Inspirational Artwork

The artwork in your bedroom should take your breath away. If it doesn’t, it needs to go. Even if you are on a budget, there are still plenty of places to find inspirational artwork. Look at local flea or farmer’s markets, or if you’re really feeling crafty, make your own with an idea from Pinterest.

Your master bedroom is for you, the master of the home. It should be a priority to create an oasis for yourself that you can use to relax and unwind at the end of the day.

Choosing the Right Paint Color

by Dinah Wulf

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Having the right furniture in a room is a big step in the overall feel of a room.  Is the furniture warm, comfortable and inviting or is it contemporary and rigid and sterile?  Either way, what you put in the room makes up part of the way that you connect emotionally to a room and whether you like spending time in that space or not.  But the furniture and pieces that you fill a room with is only part of the overall experience.  What you put on the walls and ceiling is just as important.  Here are some tips of choosing the right paint color.

Why go with a boring off white or eggshell when you can put some real color on those walls, and what about the ceiling?  The ceiling doesn’t have to be plain white; plain white is well… just plain boring.  So when you decide to use some color, how can you decide which color or colors to use?  Of course it is all up to personal taste and just how adventurous you are, but there are some ways you can narrow down the search.  To pick out the right color, you just have to get into the right state of mind.

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  1.  Pick out a color from a piece in the room.  This can be a pillow or a piece of living room furniture or even a piece of art that will become the focal point of the room.  Once you narrow the color down, find the appropriate pallet to work with for accent and complimentary colors.  Nobody ever said all four walls had to be the same color.  A quick trip to the paint store or the home improvement store will help you with that part.
  1. What is the room going to be used for?  Is it a bedroom or a game room?  Knowing how the space will be used is a great way to narrow down your search.  For a bedroom you are going to want relaxing, muted colors that bring about a sense of calm and relaxation.  Of course calm and relaxing isn’t how everybody wants their bedroom to feel and it is always up to individual tastes as to what they want the room to feel like. 
  1. Ask for some ideas.  I know, doing any project can be stressful and sometimes bringing in the opinions of the significant other is a dangerous game, but they may have some real insight and opinions that should be discussed ahead of time. Ask like I did last week when I needed help deciding what to do with my thrift store finds!
  1. Try it out.  Get a sample can and put it up on the wall.  Live with it for a few days and see how it feels. 

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Picking out the right color is one of the aspects of finishing a room that many people struggle with, but there is one thing to keep in mind…you can always change it.  That’s what is so great about painting a room.  But, most of us want to find that perfect color, that perfect design that can be enjoyed for years to come.  Yes, painting a room is one of the simpler ways to change its look, but it still involves a fair amount of work. 

Updated Lighting Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I’m writing this post mostly because I’m excited!  We have lived in our home now for over two years.  From the very beginning we knew we wanted to update all the lighting fixtures in the house. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful; they just don’t suit our style.  It was so hard to come up with updated lighting ideas to fit both our (my husband’s and my) taste.

So far we replaced the ceiling fan in my daughter’s room and the light in the kitchen.  We changed the ceiling fan into this hanging pendant light. We also changed all the light bulbs into energy saving light bulbs to help save money.

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We have also replaced the outdoor lights, since we remodeled the back patio.  Here are a couple photos of some of the other lights we’d like to replace.  This is the type of ceiling fan that was in six of the rooms. We still need to pick new ones (it’s SO hard).

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This is the dining room chandelier.  Not my style at all, but we just sold our dining table and need to get a new one, so we have to wait to update this one until we choose our new dining room table (the updates never end)!

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And finally…what I’m SUPER excited about… these are the old chandeliers that are in the entryway and going up the stairs (both are the same).

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We just got the new ones delivered the other day!  We need to hire an electrician for these.  There are some projects you just choose not to DIY.  Here is what we ordered (we got two)…eeeeek!!!

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Ta-dah! Do you like them? I can’t wait to hang them up!

Master Bedroom Redesign

by Dinah Wulf

Can we please open this master bedroom redesign conversation back up? I wrote a post recently and I have no idea why it’s so hard for me to figure out how to decorate the master bedroom.  So, I decided that I need to share more photos.

Going to ZGallerie helped because there were so many different colors and textures to choose from.  But then I started looking online.  Should I go for a more classic style like the oak beds from Time4Sleep… the sleigh bed in particular? Or should I go more glamorous like this one? And that’s just the bed! But I feel like once I pick the bed, I’m good to go.  Our current frame has some nicks and scratches; it’s time for a new one or perhaps time to refurbish it.  

Here is what I like about our room.

I’d like to keep these curtains.  The blue calms me.

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I also love the high ceilings…

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And the double closet…

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This wall is completely empty!  We could probably fit a seating area here.

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Our TV is large, archaic, and ugly, so we probably need to rework this area too.

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On a side note, here’s one of my pups Pablo, who also shares this space with our other dog Harley the pug. Don’t ask me why his tongue always hangs out like that… :)

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So I’d love any comments or suggestions!  I’m open to different styles (perhaps too many).  I think that’s where my problem starts!  It’s such a large space as well so I have to consider a seating or reading area. Help!

 

Creating a Family Backyard Retreat

by Dinah Wulf

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TIKI Brand®. All opinions are 100% mine.

My family and I spend a lot of time in our backyard.  We didn’t used to because when we first moved into our house a little over a year ago, the patio was the first thing that needed to be worked on.  It was leaning to one side and had been damaged over the years.  Because having a big back yard was new to us, we knew wanted to do our best to create a family backyard retreat.

Here is how it looked before.

In a few weeks we were able to enjoy our ideal outdoor space with a seating and dining area.  We tore down and built a new patio with lighting and a built in ceiling fan.  We added a few small extra decorative touches as well that made a big difference including decorative outdoor pillows that I made.

Since sitting outside during the cool evenings here in warm Southern California is one of our favorite things to do, our TIKI Brand Glowing Torch and Table Torch helped create a beautiful ambiance.  They are a MUST HAVE!

TheTIKI Brand Glowing Table TorchTIKI Brand Glowing TorchTIKI Brand Flame & Solar TorchTIKI Brand on Facebook is stunning both day and night and has the options of using a traditional flame or multicolor LED lights.  The LED lights are a great option when my daughter Mia and our dogs Pablo and Harley join us.  It is safer than having an open flame and as Mia calls it is, “A mini light show, Mommy!”

The TIKI Brand Flame & Solar Torch is a 2-in-1 torch that also has the options of a traditional flame plus a solar LED.  It automatically turns on at night and a full charge lasts up to 8 hours!  The LED flickers like a natural flame and produces 2X larger flame than a standard torch.

Another great option is that you can fill your torches with OFF!®/BiteFighter® Torch Fuel for proven mosquito repellency.  All these items are available at Wal-Mart and Target or log on to tikibrand.com.  Don’t forget to follow TIKI Brand on Facebook!

Here is a short video I made sharing five great tips for creating a family backyard retreat. Enjoy!

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Master Bedroom Design Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

OK, this is more of a “thinking out loud” post. My master bedroom needs help!  Our bedroom is probably the most neglected room in the house because, frankly, no one sees it but my husband and me.  I have focused all my attention to the rest of the house and yet it seems your bedroom should be your sanctuary.  So, I decided I needed to do some research and come up with some master bedroom design ideas.

OK, here is a photo of our bedroom now.  I like the blue hues… they are calming.

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My husband and I have two different styles as well, which has also been a problem.  He has more of a modern type of style like the designs of wren bedrooms, while I’m more of a glamorous ZGallerie type of gal. So, I decided to ignore my husband’s style (hee hee) and go out and get some inspiration at ZGallerie.

Not a huge fan of the fur, but I do like the pattern on the bed, and the natural colors.  The nail heads on the headboard are a nice touch as well.  I think there’s a bit of masculinity in it that my husband would like as well.

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I like the colors of this one and I love the tufted headboard; again, the same pattern on the three pillows in the back shows up here which I like even better in blue.

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I love the headboard in this one.  Its height is nice and makes a statement.  With both the tufted and nail heads combined, I think it’s a great balance of masculinity and femininity that we are both looking for.

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Now… I just need to convince my husband to buy it!! OR I need to come up with a plan to make it!

4 Tips to Redo a Small Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

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The bathroom obviously needs to be an efficient, comfortable and functioning unit of your home. And it should be treated that way. By focusing on the right things and by using effective decorating techniques/storage ideas, you can get the most out of your bathroom regardless of how small it is. You can actually have everything you need in there to create a soothing/relaxing spa-like atmosphere by fully effectively utilizing the available space.

#1: Go for the Right Colors

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One of the things that you can work on is the current colors of your bathroom. It’s a fact that light colors help in creating the illusion of more space in a small bathroom. By using soft pastels such as blue, green and pink you’ll not only make the bathroom look/appear larger than it is, but you’ll also be able to create more soothing atmosphere since such colors are relaxing.

In case you want to go for the contemporary look,  go for neutral colors for your bathroom walls. Besides that, you can also add some color with “decorative touches” such as counter accessories and towels.

#2: Focus on De-cluttering

Most of us try to de-clutter our homes during the spring break. But what when you want to do it specifically for your small bathroom? The purpose of de-cluttering is to make the most out of the space by taking the regular approach and by using innovative, creative ways to get results.  For example, by removing some of that clutter from the bathroom counters it can help you get rid of the “cramped feeling” from the room.

You can also consider eliminating shelves from your bathroom walls and storing any of your extra towels in your hall linen closet in order to make more space in the small bathroom. Although the pedestal vanity for your bathroom sink could be taking lesser space, it still fails to offer you the storage needed to keep the bathroom free from clutter. So go for one of those bathroom vanities that have an under-sink storage area where cleaning supplies and extra toilet tissue rolls can be stored.

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#3: Work on the Shower Stalls

An easy and effective method for producing the “illusion of space” in your small, compact bathroom is to get rid of the bathtub and instead create a nice stand up shower stall. By removing the bathtub, you get more space for standing when showering.

Try and use glass doors that are clear enough to allow the eye to look in the direction of the shower stall so that it gives out an illusion of a larger bathroom. Avoid using solid type shower stall doors as they tend to break up the space, invariably making the bathroom feel smaller. Another good way to create this same illusion is to use one of those clear shower doors/curtains if your bathroom has a bathtub.

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#4: Use Large Mirrors

In order to enhance the appearance of size of your bathroom, have a large mirror over the sink. Also, the reflection in this large mirror can and will capture some of the bathroom’s decorative elements, enhancing the illusion of space. In case your bathroom has a low ceiling, it would make sense to use vertical mirrors in order to create an effective illusion of height. The more smartly you make use of mirrors in a bathroom, the better it is.

Go Green with an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

Eco-Friendly Bathroom

As larger percentages of Americans are placing stress on the importance of eco-friendly fixtures in their homes, and more and more initiatives are aimed at encouraging homes to switch to eco-friendly bathroom products, it’s no wonder eco-friendly bathroom fixtures are growing in popularity. Some very simple adjustments to a bathroom can reduce its impact on the environment and, in some cases, even save homeowners money.

In the bathroom, water conservation is the most important factor in making eco-friendly changes. New low-flow toilets are improved and better than ever: in the past, some low-flow toilets had to be flushed twice. Now, one flush will suffice and you might even notice a slight drop on your water bill over time.

Your water conservation efforts don’t have to end with installing a low-flow toilet. By installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, you can take your water conservation efforts one step further. For maximum water efficiency, select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5gpm.

There are two types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow. Aerating showerheads mix air with water, and laminar-flow showerheads form individual streams of water. Using aerating faucets in both the kitchen and bathroom is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve household water conservation; a new eco-friendly showerhead can be as affordable as $20.

If you’re interested in a complete makeover, a beautiful eco-friendly vanity may be the way to go. Not only are they chic, attractive, and practical, but they will conserve water and may even save you money.

Bathroom fixtures aren’t the only thing homeowners can focus on in their eco-friendly endeavors. Displaying potted plants and flowers in a bathroom is a beautiful way to decorate and cut back on the use of aerosol products. Ceramic tile and natural stone are ideal alternatives to wallpaper, won’t need to be replaced as often, and can give a bathroom a more modern look and feel. Paints with a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) label should be sought out, since they’re less toxic and better for the environment, and fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer than their incandescent alternative.

Refurbishing Furniture: A Thrift Store Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

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I really enjoy going thrift store shopping and finding great trash to treasure projects.  There’s something thrilling to me about finding an old unwanted piece of furniture, seeing the beauty in it that someone else may have missed, and transforming it to something more beautiful.  So today, I wanted to share a thrift store makeover I did in a beautiful spring color. 

I have done my share in refurbishing.  I turned a freebie kid’s play activity table into a fun Hollywood Regency style play table that my daughter uses every single day.  I’ve purchased an old ugly bench from a garage sale for five dollars and turned it into a cushioned bench for the foot of a bed.  I saw the beauty in some garage sale night stands and updated with a more modern and updated look with new paint and hardware.

This time, I found a pedestal table at the Salvation Army for sixty five dollars.  This was a little pricey for me considering the most I have spent for a piece of furniture to makeover was five dollars so I left.  That night I kept thinking about it and finally convinced myself that if it was still there the following day we were destined to be together.  It happened to be a weekend so I was worried but when I got there it was still there waiting for me!  I swept it up and got in line immediately to pay for it. Here is a photo of it… pretty, right?

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I decided on painting it in a fun trendy color for spring after consulting my Facebook friends.  I chose high gloss enamel paint in coral so that it would be extra shiny.  I left the feet of the table in its original color to give it some interest. I’m extremely happy with it I must say!  

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It has much more personality now.  Now I need a coffee table…

Eco-friendly Stonecrest Polywood Furniture

by Dinah Wulf

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Ever since I turned my office into my craft room (well, my craft sanctuary), I use the balcony in that room so much more.  My daughter will play on it while she takes a break from crafting with me, and I spend time sitting out there while browsing books and magazines and I have my morning/afternoon/evening coffee (Yes, I will drink an entire pot of coffee by myself throughout the day). I wanted to make it as nice as my craft room, so when I came across the Polywood south beach side table.  Polywood Furniture is made out of over 90% recycled material and available in a variety of colors. It is perfect for any climate and is 100 percent recyclable… right up my alley!

I browsed the Stonecrest Furniture website for the table that I wanted to fit on my balcony and found the Polywood South Beach 15″ Side Table.  This table was the perfect size, made to withstand any climate, and came in so many colors!   I couldn’t decide between the fade resistant Aruba, Lime or the Lemon.  After teetering back and forth, I went with the Aruba blue.  Better yet, this table is eco-friendly because it is made from recycled plastic and 100% Recyclable!

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It came rather quickly in the mail and I was so excited.  It took me about 6 minutes to open the box, look at the instructions, and put it together!  SO easy and yes, I timed it!  It looks fantastic on my balcony and I couldn’t be happier with the Aruba color that I chose.

A big THANK YOU to Stonecrest Furniture for sponsoring this post!

 

Making a Great Home Theater Room

by Dinah Wulf

Home Theater, Almost Complete

Making a Great Home Theater Room

Home theater or movie rooms are fun spots that give the traditional theater experience. Besides enjoying one of the popular direct TV packages on your television, this room is where you can gather with your family and friends and spend time together, watching and enjoying movies without leaving the comfort of your home.

Creating a great home theater room is something that many homeowners look forward to. If done right, it can give rise to a nice and functional room where different movies/TV shows can be enjoyed. In the following article we’ll look into the steps that you need to take to make a great home theater room…

Step #1: Choose the Location

Creating a good home theater room starts with choosing the area for it, keeping in mind things like number of people to seat, size of the TV set, and of course, the natural lighting variables. Always remember that the space you choose should be big enough to accommodate your family and friends. Also, the fewer windows this room has, the better it is.

Step #2: Select Wall Colors

When choosing the colors for the walls, go for dark colors. Why? Because light wall colors happen to reflect light. The ideal colors for a home theater room are colors like burgundy, gray or even brown. Dark colored walls around the television not only give the picture more depth, but also add great color contrast.

Step #3: Set up Your Television

In order to have the best viewing experience, make sure your large television is hung at eye level on the front wall. This helps a great deal because you won’t have to twist your neck again and again during viewing. Also, when setting up the speakers, hang them on the walls or set them on stands to achieve best sound quality.

Step #4: Work on the Lighting

Making the most out of your home theater experience has a lot to do with the lighting. You can use “wall sconces” on dimmers to have the best lighting in your home theater room. When the light is dimmer, your eyes slowly but surely get adjusted to the TV screen.

Step #5: Carpet the Floor

While a lot of people ignore adding carpet to the home theater room, you shouldn’t. Carpeting the space helps greatly in containing the sound and brings the best out of  the speakers. When choosing the color for the carpet, try and match with the dark walls so that the colors on the screen look vibrant.

Step #6: Use Heavy Curtains

Most of the times home theater spaces happen to be located in rooms without much natural lighting. However, if your room has a good number of windows then see to it that you use heavy, dark curtains that can easily block any incoming natural light. This helps you experience the best visual quality on the screen.

Creating a great home theater room is not rocket science. As long as you’ve got the above steps right along with some comfortable home theater chairs, you can easily make a room where you enjoy movies of your choice with your friends and family.

 

Tips for Making your Bedroom your Sanctuary

by Dinah Wulf

Did you know that the average sleep time for men and women ages 25-44 is about 8.5 hours a night? That’s close to 60 hours a week or 10 out of the 30 days in a month.  That’s one-third of your life!  With so much time spent in the bedroom, why is it the most neglected room in the house when it comes to decorating?  We are so worried about what the house looks like for other people, we neglect the most important space for ourselves.  With that said, I wanted to share some tips for making your bedroom your sanctuary.

Splurge on linens.

Choose quality cotton sheets for luxury and optimum comfort. I had a discussion with one of my friends recently, and she mentioned that the one item she will splurge on is sheets and bedding, like Frette linens.  She says that it’s vital for her to get a great night of sleep in order to have a productive work day.

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Light colors and neutrals aren’t boring.

Subtle neutrals in white, sand, soft sea greens, and light blues create a spa-like atmosphere.  White is the color of purity, while green represents balance and blue represents peace.  Create your own island getaway by bringing the outdoors in with decorative accessories like, shells, coral, or drift wood.

Leave electronics out.

I know it may sound crazy these days, but if at all possible leave the television, computers, laptops, iPads, and any other electronic devices out.  Removing unnecessary electronics will not only eliminate clutter, but it will create more intimacy, allow for more conversation, and will allow you to sleep better.

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Design is in the details.

Don’t forget about accent pillows, throws, artwork, books and accessories.  For me, books are a must in every room.  It’s an inexpensive way to decorate.  Not only for shelves, books can be stacked on tables or can add height under small accessories.

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Choose a style that is YOU.

No matter what your style, shabby chic, country cottage, vintage modern, eclectic, or Hollywood Regency, pick a style that makes you happy.  Don’t be afraid to play with different textures, patterns, and color.  The more you feel your bedroom reflects who you are, the better.  Don’t know your style?  Start with your favorite colors, or if you have a favorite piece of artwork or pattern on a blanket use the colors to help guide you.

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