19th Apr2013

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.

11th Apr2013

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.

04th Apr2013

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?

Pedestal-table - furniture-makeover

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…

19th Mar2013

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!

 

26th Feb2013

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.

 

14th Feb2013

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.

11th Feb2013

8 DIY Girls Room Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

My daughter and I were playing in her bedroom the other day.  She wanted me to lie down on the floor and tuck me in, just like Mommy and Daddy does.  She brought me her pillow, her blanket, and two of her dolls.  As I laid there I looked around at her room and realized that I have made a lot of the things in her room so I thought I put together a roundup of 8 DIY Girls Room Ideas and tutorials that I have done.

DIY Girls Room Ideas

  1. Stenciled Butterfly Wall Art – I made this out of an old (ugly) painting, burlap, stencils and craft butterflies.
  2. Plant Hanger Chandelier- Every girl, especially tween girls who walk into Mia’s room LOVE this chandelier and thinks it’s so cool.  To think I made it out of a plant hanger I found in a trash pile on the side of the house when we first moved in!
  3. Butterfly Wall Art-  I made these one day literally out of boredom from left overs in my craft closet.
  4. Lampshade Update – OK, so I didn’t technically make the lamp shade but I did dress it up a bit with ribbon and a butterfly J
  5. Ribbon Organization Board – Another recycled project, I made this out of an old painting and my daughter’s first baby blanket.
  6. Refurbished Play Table – This was an old Disney princess table that was about to be thrown away.  I picked it up and re-painted it and added cushions and fabric to the seats.
  7. Updated Storage Bins- Thought I’d give these otherwise boring bins an inexpensive facelift.
  8. Updated Sconces – Just add the desired paint to some thrift store sconces and voila!

There you have it!  I made most of these from unwanted items and turned trash into treasure…well, at least for my daughter!

 

30th Jan2013

Storage Ideas for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

The older my daughter gets, the more toys and books she has.  I’m always looking for inventive and fun storage ideas for kids.  There are so many inspiring ideas out there that I thought I’d put together a round-up of my favorites.

This clever book sling from Etsy made from a double curtain rob is great.  I would have never thought to do that.  I love the fabric as well.

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I love this!  It looks like stacked tables with drawers for added storage… and it’s purdy too!

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This is one of my favorites!  Being an organization freak, I thought these personalized file crates are a brilliant way to organize art projects, report cards, certificates, and more for each child in the house.

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This is great for older kids.  Using clear glass jars for storage adds color and style while making it easy to see what’s inside.  You can print out these labels here from BHG.

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Another fantastic and ingenious idea from BHG are repurposing plant hangers as wall toy storage.

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A clever way of saving space, this is perfect for nursery with limited space.

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This is from one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy.  This DIY project uses pillow cases and embroidery hoops!  I love this!

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Argh! Why didn’t I think of this!  These are wooden spice racks turned book shelves.  You can find these at IKEA for about $4.00 apiece.

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A brilliant trash to treasure idea, this old dresser turned wardrobe storage or dress up station is adorable!

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This is a great way to reuse baby wipe containers and a great way to stay organized!

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Hope you enjoyed my round-up of Storage Ideas for Kids!

 

24th Jan2013

Retail Shopping DIY Inspiration

by Dinah Wulf

The other day I went shopping for inspiration.  I shop for inspiration because I’m too cheap to buy anything and always think in my head… hey… I can make that myself.  It’s a sickness.  Don’t judge me.  I love to go to mid-ranged and high end stores and boutiques to see what’s new and trending.  Anyway I found some fun pieces at TPT Home so I wanted to share my retail shopping DIY inspiration with you.

I love these glass vessels.  I’ve seen some DIY versions floating around online.  I definitely am going to try this with some thrift store finds.  The cheaper the better… so stay tuned!

Rope covered vase

This dresser was the first thing I saw when I walked into one of the stores.  I LOVE the industrial feel to it…the metal, the appearance of salvaged wood, and the lettering.

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Here is another similar piece that caught my eye.

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I always see vintage ladders at flea markets and they always seem a little too high priced.  But I love this idea of using two of them and add shelving using salvaged wood.  I wouldn’t even mind this piece in my family room.

Repurposed ladders

I saw this repurposed hanging shelf and thought it was so neat.  It seems like you can make it out of any old railings or posts from a porch or crib.

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Here is the other side of it.

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I’ve seen a lot of subway art and I really like the look of it.  This one really stood out to me.

subway art

Last but not least.  I love this idea to hold jewelry.

Repurposed jewelry holder

I hope these pieces inspired you as much as they inspired me!

 

23rd Jan2013

Recycled Map Drawer Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

Recycled Map Drawer Makeover (8)

I just recently redid my craft room.  It wasn’t complete when I recently published the craft room makeover reveal.  I think it definitely needs a chandelier of some sort… I’m on the hunt!  Anyway, I bought these maps at a local gift shop.  It is actually gift wrap, however old maps work well too.  I decided to cover my craft drawers with these maps to go with the lovely calming blue hues I have going in the room.  Here is my Recycled Map Drawer Makeover.

You will need:

  • Piece of furniture you are covering
  • Maps, gift wrap, or decorative paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Knobs (optional)
  • Cutting mat

Here is the BEFORE.

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First, I removed the drawers from the shelving unit and took off the knobs.

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Using a ruler and a craft, measure your area and cut out the desired size on a cutting mat.

Recycled Map Drawer Makeover Tutorial (1)

Lay the cut map and align it on top of the drawer.  Using your craft knife, mark the area where your knob will be inserted.

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Remove the map and apply Mod Podge to the drawer using a paint brush.  After doing four drawers I found that the easiest way is to apply the Mod Podge to the entire area at once and then place the map on top smoothing it out from left to right.  If you do this application enough, you may find your fingers or wrists hurting.  Quick tangent alert!  As I am writing this post, I’m thinking about how much we do with our hands nowadays.  Especially if you’re a DIY girl.  I am now looking at the endless amount of hand and wrist conditions .  You may not want to look if you get easily squeamish.  Anyway, after securing the map, use the screw from the knob to poke out the hole for the knob.

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Apply a layer of Mod Podge on top of the map.  I applied three coats, allowing it to dry in between coats (approximately 15 minutes).

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Once the drawers are dry, insert the knobs.

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Here are some AFTER photos.

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For more repurposing ideas and trash to treasure ideas, check out this fun round-up of garage sale and thrift store transformations! There are over two dozen original projects I have done including housewares and furniture transformations.

 

11th Jan2013

Decorating After the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

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I don’t know about you but I love decorating for Christmas.  I even had two Christmas trees this year (side note: this year my daughter is two and she asked me if Santa was going to put presents under both trees…doh!).  Anyway, after the New Year and I take down my decorations, I always feel like the house looks so bare. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d write a post about some ideas for decorating after the holidays.

Inexpensive Glass Fillers

As you can see by the photos in this post, I have apothecary jars all over the house.  They are so convenient, and I have to say a great investment for your home décor.  By simply changing the contents, you add instant style to your surroundings.  Here is a photo of these jars during Christmas at my house.

Decorating for Christmas

Winter Floral Arrangements

To be honest with you, I NEVER bought flowers until I moved into my house last February.  Now, thank you to the past residents I have beautiful flowers to pick and prune to display in my home.  Consider colorful winter flowers such as pansies or snap dragons.  Put them in Recycled Mason Jars or tin cans for an inexpensive display.

Vintage and Flea Market Finds

I heart vintage flea markets! I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty great ones.  Look for items such as old ice skates, wooden sleds, or galvanized tubs to add to your décor.

Incorporate Winter Colors

My favorite winter color (or lack of color!) schemes are an all neutral and white pallet, gray and white, or silver and white.  There is a certain sophistication in those combinations that I love.  Are those too stark for you?  Think cozy, warm, deep colors like deep purple or red.

Decorating after Christmas

Use Natural Elements

Did you know that pinecones, branches, and acorns are free??? I steel them from my neighbors all the time!  Display them in pretty bowls or glass vases and jars… easy and did I mention free???

 

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01st Jan2013

5 Tips to Help Your Floral Bouquets Last Longer

by Dinah Wulf

Flowers have the unique ability to brighten a room and your mood, and the fragrances they exude can infuse your home with a freshness that no air freshener or scented candle can duplicate. But all good things come to an end, and flowers, once cut at the stem and placed in water, face a shortened lifespan no matter how well you take care of them.

But how long a bouquet can survive and thrive in a vase is greatly affected by the care it receives. While some flowers may start to wilt after only a couple days, others can last well over a week. There’s no secret involved — it’s all a matter of choosing the right flowers and taking a few simple steps to care for them.

Coordinate by season

Knowing which flowers to put out for the wedding can be dependent on a number of factors, including the season. You wouldn’t want to put sunflowers out in winter wedding or holly in a spring ceremony. As much as the colors need to coordinate, so do the flowers. Everyone considers roses at some point or another, but think about choosing amaryllis, a winter wedding flower that is also available in red and white colors. With a beautiful scent, this flower is sure to spread some cheer during your holiday wedding.

Purchase flowers straight from the farm

By the time you purchase already-cut flowers at a grocery store, they’ve already been bundled and packaged for at least a couple of days. That greatly cuts down the life expectancy — particularly when the attentive care the flowers receive in the meantime is often minimal. By purchasing flowers at a farm or farmer’s market, you often get your choice of flowers that were hand-cut that morning, which means you get to enjoy your arrangement for longer.  And surprisingly, the flowers at a farmers market are less expensive than in a grocery or floral store.

Cut stems at an angle

Straight-cut stems limit the amount of water flowers can absorb, ultimately cutting down their lifespan. Cutting the stems at an angle increases the surface area of the exposed stem, making it easier for more water to be consumed. For best results, cut stems at a 45-degree angle before placing them in water.

Set flowers in a clean vase

When you’re reusing a vase, rinsing it out may not be enough. As flowers get older, certain bacteria can develop in the water and cut down on the life expectancy of the plants. If a vase is reused without cleaning it properly, the bacteria have a head start on your new bouquet and can cause them to deteriorate even faster. To eliminate all bacteria from a vase, create a mixture of 10 parts water and one part bleach, then scrub the interior of the vase with the mixture. Rinse it thoroughly to get rid of the bleach, then fill it with water and place your flowers inside.

Remove excess foliage

Pluck or trim off all leaves and other foliage that fall below the waterline in a vase. This extra foliage is the perfect place for bacteria to develop, and it can shorten the lifespan of your flowers.

Feed and water the bouquet

A little maintenance work after the flowers are set in water can go a long way. Every few days, you should swap out the old water for new. While doing that, go ahead and cut a little bit off the end of each stem to give the flowers a fresh surface for absorbing water. For best results, add a little but of flower food into the water to give the flowers some much-needed nutrients that will extend their lifespan.

The exact lifespan of your floral bouquets will depend on a combination of these and other factors. But it’s not unreasonable to think that just these simple steps alone can add several days of extra vibrancy and life to your flowers. That means more impressive displays and less money wasted on short-lived arrangements.

 

Authored By: Hortensia Martinez

Hortensia loves to decorate for the holidays and will make changes to her home to celebrate any holiday, even Labor Day. She loves sharing tips and hints on how people can spice up their holidays.

 

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11th Dec2012

Brighten Your Décor with Lamps

by Dinah Wulf

Lighting is so important in room design.  Lamps can set the mood, draw attention to the furnishings you worked so hard to put together, and can even add drama to an otherwise mediocre room.  Oh! And lighting should definitely be both beautiful and functional at the same time as well.   I thought I’d put together three tips to brighten your room décor with lamps.  Here we go!

Upcycle, upcycle, upcycle!

First, you should know be by now, upcycle your existing lamps or a fun thrift store or flea market find to show your personal style.  You can do this by painting it, adding embellishments, or by simply changing out the lamp shade.  I had this black and gray patterned lamp and I added hot pink ribbon and a butterfly to make it more whimsical for my daughter’s bedroom.

Choose a vibrant color.

Holy moly!  Have you seen the Color + Plus hand-crafted glass lamps from Lamps Plus? I’m in LOVE!  There are so many (over 60) fabulous colors in every hue you can imagine.  If you’re afraid of color, a lamp is the PERFECT way to add a little spunk to an otherwise so-so room.  I think my favorite color they have available is the olive green… I mean river blue…No wait… nugget!  I can’t decide! Table lamps like these are perfect for anchoring a bed or an entryway table.

Pantone matched lamps and shades
 

Think outside the boring box.

We recently purchased our home this year and although I LOVE my kitchen, it needed a little oomph.  I bought this pendant light to modernize my kitchen area.  I love it because when the light is off, it looks like a plain white pendant light, but when the light is on, it displays a pretty design that is printed on the inside of the shade.

 

 I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective; the opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

29th Nov2012

Hanging Pine Cone Decoration

by Dinah Wulf

 

My husband, daughter, and I went on a walk around the neighborhood the other day and I found the biggest pine cones I have ever seen in my entire life!  HUGE!  Naturally, I stole several from the neighbors and we quickly walked away (I mean, come on, they had a jillion of them lying under their ginormous pine tree).  I decided to make a hanging pine cone decoration for the upcoming holidays.  Here is a photo of one of the pine cones and a regular sized pine cone just so you can see what I mean!

See?  I told you!  Anyway, here is what you’ll need to do this:

  • 5-6 of the biggest pine cones you can find
  • A picture frame eye hook for each pine cone
  • Ribbon
  • Beads (optional)
  • Scissors

Tip: Avoid the sappy pine cones… way too sticky and annoying to work with.

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This project is quite simple and fun to do with kids (especially the finding the pine cone part).  When we got home, I rinsed the pine cones with water to clean them a little and get rid of any bugs because you never know!  Simply screw in your eye hook to the center of the bottom of each dry pine cone and thread the ribbon through.  I tied a pine cone to each end of the ribbon, hung them on a hook, and adjusted each length as I went along.  I also added some plastic gems for some bling!

Tip: When you are trying to thread ribbon into a small hole, cut the ribbon in an angle to make it easier.

Here are a couple more pictures.

 

15th Nov2012

Tips on Preparing for House Guests

by Dinah Wulf

As the seasons change and preparations are made for the holidays, it may be time to reevaluate your guest bedroom. Using cozy colors and comfortable amenities will welcome out-of-town guests, adding to the holiday cheer. If it is your turn to host family and friends, consider these seven tips.

Quality Bedding

Give your guests somewhere soft to land with a comfy bed dressed in quality bedding. We chose a seven-piece comforter from Macy’s that can really dress up the room, giving it that hotel feel. Or opt for a mix-and-match duvet cover with throw pillows in seasonal shades that will remind guests of the holidays. Include four pillows — two firm and two soft — to accommodate guests’ preferences.

Closet Space

Arrange the closet and dresser drawers so guests can hang or store their clothing while staying at your home. Stock the closet with a variety of sturdy hangers that are capable of holding the heaviest of winter coats and the flimsiest of dresses. Make room for big luggage, either by clearing space on the closet floor, under the bed or including a luggage rack. Mounting a full-length mirror on the inside of the closet door is a nice touch.

Desk Supplies

Provide a small desk or cleared tabletop stocked with office supplies. Your guests will appreciate having paper, pens, scissors and tape accessible in case they need to jot down a note or cut a tag from a new shirt. Include a waste bin somewhere in the room, either near the desk or by the door. Compile a list of useful information, like bus or ferry times, local restaurants or museums and a weekend itinerary, so guests can schedule things to do on their downtime.

Fresh Flowers

A bouquet of fresh flowers brightens up the room and gives life to a small space. Tulips are an easy choice as they are available year round and have an easy-to-work-with droopy shape. Depending on your preference, a single flower bloom or a collection of three or four roses cut from your garden will do.

Midnight Snack

A dish of brightly colored apples brightens the room and gives guests something to munch on before dinner. Clearly label a midnight snack box for guests who might crave something after everyone has gone to bed. Fill it with crackers, chocolate and dried fruit. Place a few water bottles nearby.

Appliance Manual

A stereo, personal climate control, an alarm system and TV are all great features for overnight visitors to appreciate. But if the guest room is equipped with confusing technology, include an easy to read, homemade appliance manual. Mark each section with color-coded tabs for easy equipment access. Guests will appreciate a step-by-step guide they can flip through instead of having to ask you to help them turn on the DVD player.

On the Clock

Keep an easy-to-read alarm clock near the bed for guests who need to catch an early flight or don’t want to sleep through any morning festivities. Opt for one that is equipped with a radio or CD player for guests who want to listen to the morning news or wake up to peaceful music. If it has a CD player, include a small selection of music for guests to choose from.

 

12th Nov2012

Easy Fall Centerpiece

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t usually have a ton of Fall decorations at my house.  I always jump from Halloween to Christmas.  I have no idea what happens in between!  I have seen so many inspiring ideas out there too.  I thought I’d better get a move on it.  So, this year I decided to take on some simple decorations.  I’m hoping to have people over for Thanksgiving this year, AKA good excuse to make the house look pretty.  I like this centerpiece idea is because it’s inexpensive, easy, and requires no storage because it’s made from real pumpkins and greenery from my back yard. I already have too many boxes of Halloween and Christmas in my garage…hmmm…maybe that’s why I don’t decorate for Fall!  Here is how I made my Easy Fall Centerpiece.

For this project you will need:

  • small pumpkins
  • spray paint
  • newspaper
  • greenery
  • recycled jars
  • vintage tool box or other container
  • tea lights

I bought a bag of small pumpkins at the grocery store.  These are typically about $5.00 or less (at least around here).

I spray painted them with metallic silver spray paint in a well-ventilated area.

Next I cut some greenery from my back yard.

I used a vintage toolbox I bought from one of my flea market trips months ago.  I filled it with the greenery and recycled mason jars.

Finally, I added the spray painted pumpkins and tea lights.

That’s it!  Easy peasey!! Here are some after pictures.

 

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