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Holiday Gift Guide for the home

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22 December 2020 Uncategorised,

Thanks to a raging pandemic, most of us have spent more time at home than ever before in our lives. From home improvement projects to new self-care routines, indoor activities have helped us ride out the health crisis. 2020 has been hard on everyone and we can’t wait for the new year. With the holidays just around the corner, what better time to splurge on gifts for friends and family? 

But if you’re stuck on what to get your favorite uncle or friends who just moved into a new home, here are a few ideas:

Kitchen Essentials

With most of the world under strict stay-at-home orders, quite a few people started spending more time in the kitchen. If you have any budding chefs in your gift-giving circle, then here are a few kitchen essentials you might want to consider for gifts. 

 

  • Chef’s knife and cutting board

 

No kitchen is complete without a pair of good quality knives. Yet, it’s amazing how many people still use a poorly made knife from a standard grocery store set. Instead of getting more knives, you should invest in getting just 1 or 2 high-quality ones. So this festive season, why not surprise the chef in your life with a knife and cutting board combo?

 

  • Wine rack and glassware

 

Some people prefer dazzling drinks to exquisite dishes. If you know a wine connoisseur, they could probably use a nice wine rack or some colorful glassware. Make sure to find out what their favorite drink of choice is and select the appropriate type of cocktail glass.

 

  • Serving dishes

 

Depending on your budget, a fancy serving dish might make the best gift. From fondue sets to matching salad bowls, the options are endless. The best part is that you can probably find the dish you want in a color or material that matches their existing design choices.

 

  • Homebrewing kits or starter cultures

 

From making your own sourdough bread to brewing your own beer, there’s no dearth of DIY kitchen kits. If someone you know has been trying their hand at one such pursuit, why not gift a set that will get them started or augment their existing collection?

 

Home Improvement Projects

Are you surprised to find that home improvement projects have taken off in 2020? When you spend so much time at home, you will inevitably notice all the things that need fixing. So if your friend or family member is thinking of renovating their kitchen or bathroom, here are a few gift ideas for them.

Kitchen

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Even if someone isn’t going for a full-scale renovation project, changing small things can have a big impact. For example, maybe it’s time to get rid of a leaky faucet or sink? For an inexpensive but useful gift, select a faucet with a finish that matches the rest of their kitchen. Consider one that includes features like touchless operation, spray settings, etc. If you have a bigger budget or just want to splurge for someone close to you, consider getting them that new sink they have an eye on, like maybe the new RUBI sinks available at Mondial.

 

Bathroom

Kitchen and bathroom upgrades are usually high on most home project lists. Once again, changing the tub or floor tile can be a daunting task. But something simple like replacing the towel bars or upgrading to a water saving showerhead can have a bigger impact without hurting your budget. 

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If you know what type of finish or features your family member wants, then picking up accessories like a toilet roll holder or towel hooks makes quite a nice gift. Or go one step further and pick up the entire set!

Decorative items

If your budget is much smaller or you are looking to gift distant relatives, then consider some decorative items such as scented candles, indoor plants or even coasters. A few scented candles with holiday scents can look and smell good around the house. Add a few bath bombs or aromatic essentials oils for a DIY self-care kit for anyone.

Indoor plants are also a great gift considering most of us are still spending time inside the house. If you know a garden enthusiast, then just the plant in a pot will do. But you can also get a complete kit – that often includes a watering can, instructions, clippers etc. – along with the plant. In fact, there are even indoor plants that do not need much water for those of your friends who do not have a green thumb. Just add an ice cube to the pot once a week and you’re all set.

Coasters might sound like a boring gift idea but we’re not talking about the pens you can pick up from a local grocery store. There are coasters made from glass with custom designs or quotes, or other materials like concrete, stone, marble, and so much more. With a little bit of thought and some online research, coasters can make quite interesting gifts!

Stylish ways to revamp the bathroom

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30 October 2020 Uncategorised,

Does your bathroom feel old, cramped, and outdated? It’s no surprise that bathroom remodels are high on the priority list for everyone. But even if you cannot afford a full-scale renovation project or live in a rented space, you can still revamp the bathroom with a few simple changes. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything on this list. Take a look at what needs updating as well as your budget. Do the walls need a fresh coat of paint or do you just need to update an old faucet? Something as simple as getting new accessories or replacing the mirror and lights can make a huge difference. 

Also, evaluate other rooms in the house. Quite often you can repurpose decor and furniture items from elsewhere. No matter the design theme you go far, adding a few plants is generally a good idea. Make sure to select plants that like warmth and humidity. Plants add a pop of color, freshen stale air, and will lift your spirits along the way. 

Add some traditional or natural elements

Podium Bathtub with storage

Just like plants, natural elements like wicker and wooden accents work well in bathrooms. Just look at what needs updating in the existing space. If you have an ugly exposed pipe, cover it up with some rope for insulation and good looks. Replace an ordinary towel rod with a wooden ‘ladder’ to display your beautiful towels. 

Alternatively, you can brighten up the room by painting the walls a warm yellow, brown, or other earthy colors. Darker hues can make a small room feel even smaller, so be careful about selecting the right shade. 

Add some pops of color

A lot of bathrooms have the same old white porcelain or stainless steel accessories. Liven up the bathroom by bringing in some bright colors like fire engine red or sunflower yellow. Instead of having to paint the entire room, you just need to paint your accessories! Get a can of paint in your favorite color and update the towel rod, toilet paper hanger, trash can, and anything else you can find!

You can also dress up a plain vanity, medicine cabinet, or bathtub with some paint or quirky decals. You can easily make an old vanity look like a designer piece with some paint or stick-on designs. Try replacing the cabinet knobs or handles with nicer ones for an instant upgrade. Even if the basic palette doesn’t change, adding a few pops of color will update the bathroom.

Go for the industrial look

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If your bathroom has exposed pipes, a radiator, or other industrial elements, try leaning into it instead of covering them up. Go for the industrial feel with matte black or oil rubbed bronze faucets, some grey accents, and a colorful shower curtain. 

Another important part is lighting and mirrors. A small bathroom can benefit from a big mirror that reflects lights and will make it feel larger. You can replace your existing light fixture with something more modern. Opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs on the walls instead of the old fashioned top-down fixture that focuses a harsh glare on your face.

Clean up and organize

The bathroom can still look dated and feel cramped if it’s cluttered with stuff. A quick clean up of your vanity and medicine cabinet can do wonders for this space. Get rid of stuff you don’t use regularly or hide them away in matching containers. Consistency and color is the key here. If your makeup and bath products look nice, then get some clear glass or plastic containers. Otherwise use wicker baskets or cloth boxes to hide stuff away. 

Another thing that can instantly lift up the bathroom is to invest in a nice shower curtain. Find a nice pattern or even a scene that complements the existing color scheme. As a bonus, the shower curtain can hide a particularly bad shower stall or old bathtub as well.

Bring in a couple of purely decorative items

In a small bathroom, counter space is precious. But that doesn’t mean you should only have functional pieces. A few picture frames on the wall or a scented candle will add a touch of flair to the room. You can try hanging some non-traditional items on the walls as well like your collection of seashells or that funny quote your family loves.

Every bathroom needs a mat with an anti-skid grip. But no one said it has to be boring. Opt for a mini-living room rug in bright colors for a stylish update. 

Don’t go overboard though. Scatter a few pieces here and there to update the utilitarian nature of the bathroom. You can also try recreating your favorite spa experience with fluffy towels, flowers, scents, and some music. Remember that you don’t need thousands of dollars to turn your bathroom into an inviting and relaxing place. 

 

Brightening your spaces for the winter months

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Uncategorised,

Dreading a case of the winter blues? Contrary to popular perception, it is a real thing. The correct term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and symptoms include feelings of depression and fatigue. While most people do not have extreme symptoms, we all feel a bit off during the long, cold nights. Short of moving to a warmer location, how can you combat the upcoming winter blues?

Maximize light

The short answer? Maximize light, every way you can. But if you want a bit more guidance on brightening up your home for the winter, read on.

Switch to a lighter color palette

Yes, dark colors are in right now but if your goal is to make the rooms feel brighter is to go with light colors. White is a favorite but it does have to be the right shade. You can also opt for warm colors like browns or cozy greens. An off white floor or ceiling can also reflect more light, making the room feel bright.

What if a paint job is out of the question? You can still use lighter shades elsewhere like the floor or fabrics. Cover your couches with a slipcover in ivory or beige. Replace dark area rugs with light yellows or greens. 

Don’t forget windows and mirrors

Mirrors are often overlooked but they can work wonders, especially if you can put them opposite a large window. Easily double the amount of sunlight in the room with this simple trick. Don’t go overboard though, you don’t want too many mirrors causing glare!

It might be tempting to have thick drapes to keep the cold out but what you need is light-colored drapes. Keep them open during the day to let in the sunlight and close them at night. Another nifty trick to let in more light is to remove the window screens. You’re not opening the windows anyway and you’d be surprised at how much more sunlight gets into the room.

Focus on light materials

By this, we don’t just mean light colors. Wood can be warm and inviting but heavy furniture will also make a room feel gloomy. Swap out heavy wooden end tables with lighter glass or metallic ones. These materials not only appear light but also reflect it much better instead of absorbing light. Don’t use these materials for furniture that you touch regularly though, they will definitely get colder than wooden pieces.

Swap out your lightbulbs

You definitely use your light bulbs more in winter but did you know the color temperature of bulbs can also make a difference? Simply swapping out an existing light fixture for one that uses more bulbs can brighten up any room. You can also switch to energy-efficient LED smart bulbs that can switch from a cool white during the day to a warmer white at night.

Use layered lighting throughout the home. You need to find a good balance between overhead lights, wall and table/floor lamps along with decorative lighting. Get creative – it can be anything from candles to a string of twinkling lights in a glass jar.

Go bold

In winter you want the opposite of dark and heavy. But bold splashes of color also serve to make rooms brighter. Bold artwork with vibrant colors, fresh flowers in deep reds or purples, and accessories like throws and pillows in vivid shades are perfect. For example, bright red pillows on a pale ivory couch will highlight the light shades even more.

Use scents

You may not think it but scents also play a prominent role in how a room feels. Citrusy and similar light scents will instantly lift your spirits when you step into the room. Options for introducing such scents include candles, aroma diffusers, and natural plants. Potted citrus trees in a sunlit window sill can do wonders, as can a candle with light flowery scents. 

Update the backsplash

Another quick and easy way to brighten up a kitchen or bathroom (where the scope fr change is typically much less) is to swap out the backsplash. A clean subway tile effect or even metallic/glass backsplash can easily brighten even the smallest spaces.

Clean and de-clutter

This is not a decor tip but works nonetheless. A deep clean of your windows, carpets, couches, and drapes will work wonders for the entire house. Also, take the time to de-clutter as many rooms as you can. You will be surprised at how many things you have lying around that don’t need to be. Put them away in closets or store them in attractive fabric bins. Clutter and dirt will make a room feel dingy and cold, so a quick clean and de-clutter is a must before winter truly sets in!

Creating the perfect kitchen for your needs

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22 September 2020 Uncategorised,

Creating the perfect kitchen does not have to be a mystifying and expensive process. If you’re gearing up for a kitchen remodel and not sure where to start, here’s our 5 step guide to designing a space that works for your family.

What you want vs what you have

Before you make a list of all the things you want in your new kitchen, take a good look around the existing layout. Take note of what’s working for you and what isn’t. Do you love the large windows but wish you had more space for the kids to play while you cook? Or maybe you really want more counter space for all your small appliances. 

Evaluating the current room allows you to prioritize your needs and re-use/retain elements that you love. When you really think about it, you’ll find that there is a lot to love about your kitchen and you don’t need to rip put everything. You can always re-use individual elements like cabinet fronts, especially if they are of good quality. 

Consider layout

The next thing to consider is the overall layout. Do you want an open space that integrates with the living room or would you prefer a separate space of your own? Some families want a table for the kids to do their homework but others may prefer a kitchen island or even bar seating. You should incorporate design elements that work for your needs. 

The shape of the kitchen is something else you should think about. This will largely be dictated by the room – you may not be able to have a wide U-shaped kitchen in a narrow room. But a galley style kitchen may be perfect for this space. 

Design the workspace

Once you have the general layout, it’s time to design the actual workspace. Now that you know where the counters will go, you can create a detailed plan which includes the location of appliances, number of cabinets and drawers, and other essentials like the sink. 

Remember to focus on the working triangle – the hob, the sink, and the refrigerator. You want them to be close enough to make cooking easy but also have enough space around each station to set down pots or keep spices ready to go.

 

Envision the look 

With the basics done, you can now think about the aesthetics of the room. Do you want a traditional kitchen to match the rest of your house? Or maybe you love the look of a minimalistic white space. Now’s the time to pick colors, finishes, and textures to complement the cabinets and counters. 

The color of your cabinets plays an important role in the overall look. After all, most of the kitchen walls will be covered with them. You can opt for white or pale-colored cabinets and use bold splashes of color elsewhere (floor tiles, backsplash, even colorful appliances!) Another great idea is to go with dark cabinets and white countertops for a more striking look.

Consider the lighting ahead of time as well. You need task lighting above workspaces and more stylish fixtures. Most kitchens have ambient lighting over the eating or seating space. 

 

Focus on details 

Many of us spend hours in the kitchen each week. So the details matter just as much as the overall design. 

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Consider the sink for example. Do you want an undermount model that allows you to sweep things off the counters directly? Some people like double bowl sinks for multi-tasking (wash and drain dishes at once or for 2 people to work in the kitchen). Others prefer large single bowl sinks for pasta pots and big pans. 

Even the faucet requires some thought. Do you want a high faucet with a pull-down hose or a touchless model? Do you want multiple spray options in a finish that matches your kitchen? Some faucets swivel while others are fixed. A tall faucet makes it easy to fill big pots with water but can get in the way when washing dishes. 

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Think about what will work for your most common tasks in the kitchen. You can even get some really useful accessories for your kitchen faucet. A hot water dispenser can be useful during winter. Some people like the convenience of a separate pot filler while others appreciate a filter system to drink water straight from the tap. Don’t forget about the garbage disposal either, kitchen cleanup is a lot easier with one in the sink!

Designing your dream kitchen will take some time but in the end, you should have a space that’s relaxing and comfortable for your entire family.

Elements of a farmhouse design in your home

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Uncategorised,

What comes to mind when you think of farmhouse design? Images of white walls, wallpaper with fruit on them, and pale green cabinets often come up. But the modern farmhouse trend is quite a bit different from the classic decorating style. There are many reasons to use this trend in your home, specifically if you are aiming for a relaxed design that veers more towards practicality than decorative. It’s a good mix of simple and straight lines but without the somewhat stark look of a minimalist home.

But if you’re unsure of how to decorate your home with modern farmhouse elements, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

What is the modern farmhouse design?

As you might guess, farmhouse design is inspired by traditional rural farmhouses from a bygone era. Quite unsurprisingly, this trend was not invented by a team of architects and it is not marked by sweeping changes or milestone events. Rather this style has evolved over time to incorporate key elements that have remained constant over the decades. 

The key to creating a modern farmhouse-inspired home is to take your time. This is not a style you can design in a few minutes and buy everything you need from a single store. Instead, take your time to browse flea markets, antique stores, and even yard sales to pick up unique items. You will most likely add various pieces over time, so don’t be in a hurry to mark your home as done. Modern farmhouse is all about function, comfort, and relaxed spaces.

Overall features of modern farmhouse design

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  • Neutral palette

With the farmhouse style, you need to get the basics right. Can you imagine a farmhouse painted bright red or navy blue? The hallmark of any farmhouse styled home is a neutral palette, preferably white. Pale yellows or beiges and creams are also a good option. Pick one or two accent colors in warm and earthy shades like chocolate browns or natural wood tones. For a modern farmhouse, some greys and pastel colors as accents will also work well.

 

  • Black accents

What do we mean by black accents in farmhouse design? We’re not talking about a black accent wall or tiles here. Look for light fixtures and other elements in black metalwork or furniture that uses black metallic accents. A pendant lamp in black metal or an antique coffee table with metal legs fits the bill quite nicely.

 

  • Lots of wood – reclaimed or otherwise

Farmhouse style does not mean you have to only use reclaimed wood or cover the walls with shiplap. Just highlight one accent wall with shiplap or create a custom decor item with reclaimed wood. But natural textures like wood and metal are a standard fixture in any modern farmhouse-inspired home. From wooden countertops in the kitchen to exposed beams on the ceilings or even hardwood floors, it’s hard to miss one of the defining features of the farmhouse style. 

 

  • Vintage, antique, and traditional pieces

Another key element is the use of vintage and nostalgia-inspired pieces throughout your home. A reupholstered couch with slipcovers will fit right in with mismatched vintage chairs and family heirlooms. Using antique pieces throughout all your rooms will tie the various design elements together. 

Don’t worry too much about coordinating everything, farmhouse design does not rely on matching pieces. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy a couch from a big box store, just make sure not to get the entire set!

 

Individual elements of modern farmhouse

There are also several key elements that you can add to your home for the overall farmhouse look:

  • Natural light

Ever seen a dark and gloomy farmhouse? This style is all about letting in lots of natural light, so highlight your windows. Splurge on some window treatments and bring your home to life.

 

  • Open kitchen

The kitchen is where your family spends most of their evenings, so show it off. An open kitchen that flows into a dining and living room is key to recreate that farmhouse feel.

 

  • Freestanding kitchen furniture

Opt for freestanding kitchen appliances like a vintage hob in bright turquoise or a huge oven. No built-in appliances here! A baking rack with wooden countertops can double as storage space along an empty wall.

 

  • Built-in cupboards

No built-in appliances does not mean you can’t have any built-ins at all. In fact, built-in china cabinets for your cutlery or books are perfect farmhouse elements to use.

 

  • Open shelving

Open shelving and shaker-style cabinets are great options for modern farmhouse kitchens. You can match the color to the cabinets or paint it to match the walls instead.

 

  • Clawfoot tub

Clawfoot tubs and apron sinks showcase the farmhouse design in any home. What’s better than a long soak in a white clawfoot tub at the end of a hard day?

 

  • Butcher block counters/island

Butcher block counters are an excellent choice for farmhouse-style kitchens. But if it’s not practical in your home use it for just the island instead.

 

Tips for Building a Convenient Kitchen

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17 August 2020 Uncategorised,

The kitchen is the heart of the home and where most families spend a lot of time. So it’s important to make it practical and functional. While how the kitchen looks is important, it’s one of those spaces where form naturally follows function. In other words, a convenient and practical kitchen will always look and feel better than a poorly planned one. 

But where do you start? There are usually 3 things to consider:

  1. What you do in the kitchen – do you cook simple meals for you and your kids? Do you like to entertain a lot? Does your kitchen have an open layout or is it a closed room?
  2. The available space – do you have space for an island? Do you need an eating area for informal meals? How many appliances need counter space?
  3. Your budget – this determines the finishes, the quality and type of materials you can use, and what appliances you should prioritize.

Layout

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Once you’ve nailed these basics down, it’s time to start planning. The first thing you should consider is how to layout the basic workhorses of any kitchen – the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator. The working triangle as it’s called determines how quickly and efficiently you can cook. The total distance between all 3 work areas should not be less than 10 feet and not more than 25 feet. 

Also, consider how wide your pathways need to be. Do you have one or two cooks in the house? Design cabinets and drawers appropriately to ensure everyone has room to move between the counters. You should also ensure that there is enough space for all appliance doors to be open at once (dishwasher, fridge, oven, microwave, etc)

Consider how and where you place the sink and refrigerator as well. These are often used by children and guests, so you don’t want them tucked away in a corner. Keep them accessible to both the cook and other family members. 

Counters

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In any kitchen counter space is valuable. You need it for prepping your meals, cooking, for appliances, and occasionally even to eat. So don’t waste it on appliances that can be stored elsewhere like a coffeemaker or instant pot. Stash smaller, infrequently used appliances in the pantry. 

Similarly, plan where you need the counters to be. Allow at least 15 inches of space on either side of your stove and sink to offload hot dishes or to organize meal prep. Decide if you want one large, unbroken countertop or several smaller ones on all sides. Do you like the idea of a galley style kitchen or an L-shape or even a U-shaped working area? 

Kitchen island

Everyone wants a kitchen island but do you have space or need for it? An L-shaped kitchen might benefit from an island but a large U-shaped kitchen may not need one at all.in the same vein, consider how you will be using the island. Is it for additional prep space or to use as informal seating for friends? 

If your kitchen is too small for an island (experts recommend at least 8 feet by 12 feet), consider using a cart instead. Try one that has a built-in work surface that you can wheel away when not in use. 

The sink & faucet

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Whether you cook or not, you’ll spend a lot of time here. A large single bowl may serve you better than the typical smaller two bowl sink. Measure your biggest pots and pan to make sure they fit. Your faucet choice will also impact how quickly you can wash up. A pull-out faucet with magnetic docking can make it easier to fill large pots or clean stubborn stains in corners. 

Cabinets vs drawers

This can be a tough one. How many cabinets and drawers do you need? The best option is to inventory all your kitchen items. Flatware, plates, ladles, and small tools are perfect for drawers. Cabinets are best used for larger pots and pan along with baking items like cookie sheets. You can also install pullout hardware to provide easy access to items at the back of the cabinets.

Ventilation and lighting

Ventilation is often overlooked but plays a huge role in the kitchen. Plan around existing windows and also install a good range hood to get rid of smells, moisture, and grease. Without ventilation, all that grease is going to end up on your brand new cabinet doors!

The same goes for lighting. Lights fall under 3 categories:

  1. General

These ceiling lights are the most used ones, so make sure they are bright and sufficient to light up the entire room. 

  1. Task

Task lighting is needed for specific areas such as over the stove and under cabinets. 

  1. Accent

Accent lights provide the ambiance you need when entertaining or simply sitting down to a meal with family. These lights can be purely decorative as well.

Best Ways to Stage a Standalone Tub

zitta_issa
20 July 2020 Uncategorised,

Standalone bathtubs are all the rage these days and for good reason. If you have your heart set on one, great choice! But striking as they are, freestanding tubs can also pose a challenge when it comes to decorating the rest of your bathroom.

A freestanding tub serves as a great statement piece, you really don’t need other pieces to crowd the room. These tubs add character and a touch of luxury. Not to mention giving you an amazing spa-like space to relax in at the end of the day. 

The best part of a freestanding tub? It can match any design trend or decorating style. Whether you opt for classic, contemporary, or modern design, you can style the freestanding tub accordingly.

 

  • Consider the tub shape 

 

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Move beyond the same old rectangular tub. With a freestanding tub, you’re not limited to regular shapes or sharp corners. You can opt for an oval, round, or irregular shaped tub as well. Consider the total area and the position of doors, windows, etc. in your bathroom when selecting the tub shape. 

A large square bathroom with many windows can benefit from an oval or oblong tub. An oddly-shaped room could use a round tub to great effect. Take some time and think about what works well for your family and home. Many tubs even come with an elevated backrest for added comfort, especially useful if you like a hot soak after a hard day’s work!

 

  • Faucets 

 

A freestanding tub is remarkable in itself and draws the eye of any viewer. But it doesn’t mean you should forget about the faucet. The best bet for a freestanding tub is to opt for a beautiful and understated faucet that will complement it. You don’t want to pull attention away from the tub.

If your tub is too far away from the wall, you may want to get a floor-standing tub filler. These faucets often look stunning and nicely complement any tub. But if your tub is close enough to a wall, then a wall-mounted or even deck mounted faucet may work better. 

 

  • Use the space behind the tub

 

A freestanding tub is a delight to behold but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the space around it. The first thing to consider is the backdrop of your new tub. You want something that will accentuate the new fixture, not hide it. 

A statement wall in a contrasting color to the rest of the walls is one option. Another is to hang a beautiful art piece or sculpture on the wall behind the tub. You can set the tub against a window for a striking view and plenty of natural light. You can also enclose your tub with glass walls to set it apart from other areas in the room.

 

  • What you need on and around the tub

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One of the minor disadvantages of a freestanding tub is that you lose access to a shelf or cabinet to hold your bath items. So think of adding a few pieces that provide storage and decor options. An ottoman or side table for your candles and books usually works well. A lush rug in a bright shade can offer a warm place for your feet when you get out of the tub. If you have some more space around the tub, a potted plant or two will add some visual interest as well.

A caddy for your bath items can also work nicely, especially if you can snag one that uses similar materials as the tub. Most caddies are movable but some are beautiful enough to display. It reduces clutter and helps you keep all your necessities within reach. An alternative to a caddy is to balance a tray across the tub rim. Many manufacturers offer these trays as stylish accessories to their tub lineup. Snag one for your space when buying the tub itself so you can see how they work together. 

 

  • Look up! 

 

The bathroom ceiling is one place no one notices at first glance. But if your freestanding tub is in the middle of the room, it offers a fantastic opportunity to use the empty ceiling space above. There are a couple of options you can consider to upgrade your bathroom ceiling.

One is to set up a dramatic light fixture directly above the tub to focus attention. A chandelier or modern pendant light can do the job nicely. It also helps you quite a bit if you like to read in the tub but don’t have many windows for natural lighting.

The second option is to highlight the ceiling with glass tiles or patterns. Plain walls with a patterned or tiled ceiling can create a unique design. If you plan to use a curtain, you can mount the curtain tracks to the ceiling for a more cohesive look.

Perfecting the beach house style

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15 June 2020 Uncategorised,

Summer is the perfect time for a beach vacation and that’s what a lot of people do each year. But what if you can’t make it to the beach whenever you like? Bring the beach house style into your home for a change. Some people like the beach house aesthetic so much that they incorporate it into their everyday living areas. 

So what can you do to celebrate the beach all year round? All it needs is a bit of inspiration and decor ideas.

Select the right colors

What colors spring to mind when you think of the beach? Most people would say blues and greens. But you don’t have to stop there. Think of all the different shades of blues, greens, and teals you could use in your beach-inspired space. You can also use soft whites, creams, yellows as well as neutrals like beige and pale grey. 

The key here is to think of soft and airy shades. You don’t really want intense colors on your walls or floor. You can certainly use them in spots around the house but for the really large areas like the walls, keep it light.

Focus on the floor

The walls and ceiling are not the only areas you can paint. Depending on your flooring materials, you can also paint a seaside mural or beach colors underneath your feet. You can try out various shades of the same color such as tan throughout the home. Or even paint in some stripes on wood to mimic planks. 

A mural with sand, shells, coral, and rocks can help you recreate the beach inside. Painted floors work especially well in the kitchen and the back or front porch.

Add texture with natural fabrics

One of the key elements of the beach house style is to bring the outdoors in. So think of using natural fabrics and materials wherever you can. Furniture made of sisal or bamboo is a great option. You don’t have to replace your existing furniture but adding one or two accent pieces can really help. 

Another idea is to use area rugs made from natural fibers like linen or jute. These rugs are durable and will instantly remind you of a beach cottage. You can also get window shades made of bamboo or linen to complete the look.

Transform furniture

What if you have perfectly good furniture that’s not ready to replace but is also not very summery? Consider painting them where appropriate. If you have salvage pieces like a chair from a garage sale, paint them in a beach-inspired color. Think of the bright orange of a beach umbrella or the jewel tones of a swimsuit. These furniture pieces will make a nice contrast to pale or pastel colors on the walls. 

If painting furniture is not an option – for a couch or other pieces – you can also slipcovers. Slipcovers are ideal as you can wash them and change them out with the season. Rotate between 1 or 2 beach colors for the summer and switch back to other shades for fall and winter. 

Get inspired by nature

There’s no better source of inspiration for home decor than the sun, sand, and sea. Think of items you might have lying around the house from your last beach vacation. Seashells, sea stars, sand dollars, coral, etc all make wonderful accessories. After they’re cleaned and bleached, you can even paint them to match the colors of your home. 

You can arrange a bunch of similar items in a group such as a bowl or on the wall. You can also spotlight a unique piece such as a seashell in an unusual shape or a brightly colored piece of coral. There are plenty of opportunities to accessorize when it comes to beach style homes so don’t limit yourself. From curtains, sheets, and furniture to coffee table books, the options are endless. 

You can even make your own scrapbook or photobook of your beach vacations to display. Arrange a few photos on the walls, especially in the kitchen or living room. It might seem like a small thing but they quickly add up to give a summer vibe.

Consider scents

When recreating the beach house style in your home, don’t overlook your sense of smell. Nothing says beach like the scents of fresh air, sunshine, and the salty smell of the ocean. Find a scent that invokes the beach and mist it in around the house. You can also spritz linens with it or use beach-scented detergent in the laundry. Other alternatives include setting out a bowl of potpourri in key areas or lighting an aromatic candle. Select an option that works for you and your family but definitely don’t use all of them at once.

Remember that the beach house style is inspired by nature so embrace imperfection. Think outside the box and don’t worry about making it look perfect!

Incorporating Color Into Your Space

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The current decor trends in houses tend toward neutral palettes. You might have seen that most houses end up with grey or white walls. It’s easy, quick, and doesn’t require homeowners to make even more decisions. 

Unfortunately, people seem to think in extremes when it comes to home decor. It’s not unusual to find homes with entire rooms done in a single color, specifically white. Many think that the only two options are all white spaces or bright and colorful rooms that look chaotic. 

But you don’t have to stick to beige, white, and grey for your home. You can always add subtle and classy accents of color to any white or neutral-colored room. Here are a few ways to liven up a room without going overboard with color:

Accent walls

The easiest way to add a pop of color is to paint one wall in the room. Accent walls in bright shades are quick and easy to DIY. You don’t even need a lot of paint if the wall isn’t very big. Deep purples, navy blue, and forest green are popular colors for accent walls.  

Another option to highlight one wall is to use brightly colored Moroccan tiles. Depending on the color and size of the tiles, you can create geometric patterns or cover the entire wall. 

Appliances

A growing trend in home design is using colorful appliances. After years of stainless steel or even white appliances, it’s the perfect way to add color to your kitchen. If your oven or microwave is due for a replacement anyway, try checking out fun colors like candy red, soft aqua, or bright yellow. Many companies now offer color-coordinated appliances for modern kitchens. 

Accessories

If painting sounds difficult and replacing an appliance isn’t on the cards, try using colorful accessories. This is a nifty trick for bathrooms where your options for decorating may be limited. Pick out towel bars, faucets, and even showerheads in matching colors for a subtle addition. 

Colorful fabric

A quick and inexpensive way to bring color is by using the textiles within a room. From area rugs to upholstery, there are many opportunities to use colorful fabric. The best part is that you can switch out the curtains or throws with the season or according to your mood. Using natural textiles like linen or cotton can also make a room feel lived-in.

Use flowers and plants

Is there a room that wouldn’t benefit from a bit of greenery? Add one pot or a group to freshen up any space. Your options aren’t limited to just potted plants. You can also hang a few plants from the ceiling, add flowers in a vase or two, or even use artificial flowers in creative ways. Break up a bouquet of artificial flowers and arrange them on a white wall in patterns or shapes. It’s a quick way to add some color without damaging the walls or furniture.

Statement pieces

Another alternative way to bring in color is to focus on a statement piece. Whether it’s a famous work of art or simply a colorful photograph form your vacation, shine a spotlight on 1 piece. A bright blue chair in an all-white bedroom or living room can be quite eye-catching. 

One or two accent colors

Unsure about how much color is enough? Keep in mind the simple decor rule of 60-30-10. The dominant color of a room should be 60%. The 30% accent color adds visual interest and the final 10% adds some sparkle. 

Consider your living room for instance. If the walls are a neutral white or grey, add color with upholstery for the 30% visual interest. Finally, a statement piece in a bright color can be the remaining 10%.

For a subtle look, limit your accent colors to one or two at the most. Even pastel shades can be overwhelming if you add too many to the room.

Statement lighting

Instead of a statement piece of art try using a statement light instead. Oversized pendant lights, chandeliers, and colorful lamps in the accent color of the room often work wonders. As a bonus, statement lights in the dining or living room can also spark interesting conversations with guests especially if yours has a story around it.

Mirrors with bright frames

Sometimes you are left with a blank piece of the wall after decorating a room. It may the wrong spot for artwork or there may not be enough light to hang anything. So how do you fill it up? It may just be the ideal spot for a large mirror. 

Go for mirrors with bright and colorful frames as a way to add color. This idea works well for corridors, foyers, and other narrow spaces which usually have very little light. A mirror will also reflect the existing shades in the room, so you have a way of adding color without doing anything. 

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