Monthly Archives: March 2016

Choose Paint Colors for Living Room

The living room is a place to relax, listen to music, watch television, welcome guests, or have a chit-chat with family members. In short, it is one of the most versatile places in a house, where a number of activities are carried out. The guests usually judge the interior decor of the whole house just by taking a look at the living room decor. Thus, it is necessary that the living room interior puts a good impression on the guests. Living room furniture, windows, curtains, colors, etc., together decide the end result of the living room interior.

Colors play an important role in home decor, both interior and exterior. The home exterior colors aim at giving an appealing look to the house from the outside, while the colors used in the interior mainly function for providing comfortable atmosphere and add style to the interior. There are a number of factors that should be considered before deciding the living room paint colors and a small mistake can make blunders in the living room decor. Here are some suggestions on paint colors for living room.

Choosing Living Room Paint Colors

Before you choose your living room paint colors, it is necessary that you understand the science of colors and color psychology, because colors directly affect our moods and feelings. Colors on living room walls can make a room look large or small. Therefore, the size and shape of the living room should be kept in mind before deciding the paint colors for the living room.

Groups of Colors

There are basically 3 groups of colors that are used for painting walls.

Warm colors
Cool colors
Muted colors

Warm colors include, red, yellow, and orange, while cool colors include, blue, green, and violet. Muted colors are nothing but colors with a tint of gray. Cool colors like blue make the room look larger and wider, and they develop the sense of calmness. Avoid using too bright colors, since they can be irritating to the eyes. Choose the wall colors for living room so as to complement the other colors in the living room, like the color of furniture or the drapery. Usually colors of living room are chosen according to the color of the biggest furniture.

Living Room Color Schemes

The next step is to decide the living room color scheme that you will be implementing. The basic color schemes are:

Monochromatic
Complimentary
Triadic

Monochromatic color scheme uses shades of a single color, while complementary color scheme uses two different colors placed opposite to each other in the color wheel. Triadic color scheme, as the name suggests, uses three different colors (or their shades) that are placed consecutively or at equal distance in the color wheel.

Virtual Interior Painting

You may not be able to decide the paint color for living room just by looking at the color pallet. At such times you can take help of virtual interior painting. Virtual interior painting is nothing but a new method of visualizing how the colors chosen by you will look on the walls. This can surely clear all your doubts and you can make a final decision and choose the best living room paint colors.

Types of Paint Sheens

Simply choosing the paint colors for living room will not give you the required results. You also need to decide the type of paint sheen you will be using. Color paints come with various finishing touches and include satin finish, matte finish, gloss finish, velvet finish, etc. Paints with flat and matte finish do not reflect light and look good on walls with less imperfections. While those with satin and gloss finish reflect a good amount of light. Each of these paint finishes has unique characteristics and you should choose the one that will satisfy your requirements.

So, these were some suggestions on choosing living room paint colors. If you cannot come up with any decision, it is recommended that you should consult an expert.

Decorate a Living Room on a Budget

Living Room on a BudgetDecorating your living room is like giving it an instant face lift or a makeover. You dust out the old and bring in the new, giving the room a fresh, new look. The task is challenging, as the renovations should reflect your personality and your unique sense of style and fashion, and at the same time be able to radiate a cozy and comfort feeling. The task becomes tougher when you need to do all this on a tight budget. Keep these few things in mind to prevent yourself from straying away from your budget or your plans.

Wall Paint: This is the simplest as well as the most inexpensive way to enhance the look of your living room. Select a color which is totally different from the existing color. Another idea is to paint one of the walls with your favorite color and make it the focal point of the room. It can be accentuated further with a nice wall hanging or by placing an elegant piece of furniture near it.

Floor Coverings: You can get rid of the dull look of the floors by replacing it with beautiful carpets and colorful rugs. These will not cost you much and you will have a wide variety of options in terms of colors and designs. You can opt for those that suit the overall ambiance of your living room. Place a number of rugs of various colors all over the room and give it a new lease of life.

Furniture: You know that for new furniture, you have to shell out a good amount of money. So you can purchase second hand furniture from garage sales. No need to buy bulky sofa sets as they will be more expensive. Rather, opt for small comfortable chairs which are far less costly. Polish them or paint them and they will look like new furniture. You can utilize your old living room furniture as well. Simply rearrange them in a new order and you will find that the room looks so different. Unlike the usual square position, keep them in an angular pattern and notice the difference it makes. Another easy way to make the old furniture look attractive is to change the upholstery. You can buy new slip covers for your couch, new cushion covers, a throw rug for your coffee table, and use them to decorate your furniture. These will just cost you a fraction of the total cost of furniture.

Wall Decorations: A beautiful piece of wall art can make the walls more appealing. Frame up a collage of beautiful pictures in an attractive frame and hang it up. Mirrors with nice frames can also serve as a piece of wall decoration. Another advantage of using mirrors on the wall is that it make the room look more spacious. Window treatments like curtains with attractive designs can add softness to the living room decoration. Wall sconces can also be used for the same purpose.

House Plants: Houseplants can make your living room look classy. It gives a closer-to-nature kind of feeling. Arrange a few potted plants in one or two corners of the room. The greens of the plants add a sense of liveliness to the atmosphere of the room and can also cover up flaws, if any.

Since you are redecorating on a budget, you need to use your own creative and innovative ideas very efficiently. In this article, we have just shared some ideas that you can modify according to your needs. One thing to be kept in mind, is that you should use the available space in such a way that it does not give a cluttered look to the room.

Kitchen Ideas with White Cabinets

Kitchen Ideas with White CabinetsWhite kitchen cabinets being white will make the kitchen look a bright and opened up space. However, too much of white color in your kitchen can make it look sterile and hospital-like.

Though, going with a light monochromatic color scheme is a good idea if you have a small kitchen design. Still, no matter what the size of kitchen is, one needs to add some elements in the kitchen, that give a hint of color.

To balance out or complement the white kitchen cabinets, use these kitchen ideas with white colored cabinets.

Decorating Kitchen with White Cabinets

Wall Colors:
Landscape Window
After you have selected your white kitchen cabinets hardware, the first step is to paint the walls. Considering the white kitchen cabinets, the interior paint colors that will look great are aqua blue, light Persian blue, light shade of lavender, gray and medium bright red, or dark maroon shade. These wall colors will help to balance the white colored cabinets, and complement them nicely. If you want your white cabinets not to look eye-catching, then go with bright or dark shades of wall paint colors. You can also go with soft light shades of colors like blue, yellow or green, if you wish the cabinets to blend but still look attractive.

Wall Art Ideas:
Square Design Wall
You can also consider adding few wall art designs, to create visual accents. You can use stencils or brush to paint some elegant and small patches of design on the walls. For example, on aqua blue walls, white colored floral stencil and on the white cabinets, aqua colored floral stencil art will create a nice contrast kitchen design and color combination. You can also use wallpaper for a single wall if you want to introduce some interest on the kitchen walls. Check out the pictures above to see how they have used wall colors and wallpaper to match the white cabinets to create a bright room.

Flooring:
Wooden Floor and Countertop
This is an important element when using the white kitchen design ideas, whether it comes to remodeling or designing a new kitchen. Go with wooden flooring for your kitchen, but the shade of the wooden flooring should be a medium shade and not very catchy. If you want to go for a dark-colored wooden flooring, then make sure other elements like wall colors are also bright or very dark in shade.

Backsplash Ideas:
Small Dotted Wall Art
Kitchen backsplash provides good visual effects on walls which are of light shade. You can also have a small backsplash behind the kitchen sink. It can be a simple tiled pattern or a little mosaic. Take a look at the four pictures above to get a better idea on how to match the flooring and backsplash with white kitchen cabinets.

Steel/Chrome Metal:
Chrome Metal
This is another element of the kitchen, that should be selected well. If you are designing a kitchen with contemporary kitchen ideas, then go with steel or chrome kitchen sink and other metal fixtures. However, for rustic kitchen with white cabinets decor, go with metal fixtures which are painted with dark light coppery shades. You can also hang brass vessels in a French country kitchen theme.

Countertops:
Countertop and Cabinet
Though the countertops take a little amount of kitchen space, they can be used creatively to create visual accents. You can go with a black colored kitchen countertop, and gray wall colors. Or you can go with beige walls, limestone countertop, a dark yellow wooden flooring and accompany it with small colorful decorative items to add the touch of colors. You can observe in the above four pictures the different types of countertops and the fixtures used in the kitchen.

Small Decorative Accents:
Contemporary Kitchen
Adding small decorative items can greatly help to bring visual attention to a kitchen, that has a light monochromatic scheme. These items can also be added to match the kitchen decor and used to enhance the kitchen decoration. You can add items like houseplants, vases, light fixtures, a bowl of fruits, paintings, etc. in your kitchen. As you can see in the above four pictures various accessories like plants, bowls, vase, etc. have been used to add more beauty to the kitchen.

The key to decorating a kitchen with white cabinets is to just use 2-3 colors and balance out the white shade of the cabinets. So, use some of the above mentioned ideas and create a great looking kitchen space, that complements your cabinets nicely.

How to Design a Room Layout

There is an interior designer in all of us. We all have a dream room that we would like to unwind in, one that speaks for itself, and one that speaks for us too. However, to design a room layout may seem like a daunting task to some. The idea is just to unleash your creativity and allow all the mental blocks to melt away, in order to come up with a plan that you are most comfortable with. Whether you are looking for plain old comfort, or out to make a style statement, allow your room to bring out your personality.

Measurements
Measure your room, and chalk out the basic plan on a graph paper, assuming every square on the paper is equal to one foot. Account for all the openings, i.e, doors and windows in the room, and write down the measurements beside each wall and opening on the diagram. Ensure that the diagram you have made is neat. Make several copies. You may also try to do this online with the different websites available for this purpose.

Planning
While deciding the layout, first account for all the furniture you want to place in it. Beds and nightstands are basic to a master bedroom. You may want to place a television with a cabinet at a viewing distance from the bed. Perhaps a love seat could be accommodated. It all depends on your personal requirements. If it is a teenager’s room, perhaps a single bed with one nightstand would be basic. Then a desk for the computer may be required. If the teenager plays a musical instrument such as the keyboard, space may be required to place it. If the teenager is an avid reader, a unit to store all his/her books will be needed. The bottom line is that you have to first make space for the basics. Enlist these requirements before you start placing the furniture.

Start Placing the Furniture
Measure all the furniture items, and then in the blank layout, start placing the furniture in different positions, as per the 1 square = 1 foot ratio. This is why you require several copies of the blank layout, so you can make different placement options that will help you decide on one that is most suitable for you. However, always keep these basics in mind:

Leave a minimum of 30 inches around any furniture item for clear passage.
Do not place any furniture item too close to any door opening, as this will hinder the passage and opening of the door.
Ensure there is adequate lighting in every part of the room. There shouldn’t be any dim and dark corners anywhere.
Avoid cluttering up spaces. You may want to have everything in your room, but clutter contributes to severe confusion, even of the mind, so keep it minimal.

You can get as creative as you like, and try out new and unique positions for different furniture requirements, keeping the above mentioned rules in mind.

Add in the Accessories
Once you have decided on the final plan, and placed in all the basic necessities, start decorating by adding in all the accessories to enhance the appearance of the room. While there is always place on cabinets and on walls for picture frames and the likes, perhaps you’d like to place a bean bag in an empty corner, or liven up a corner by placing in it, a beautiful lamp or a tall, floor-mounted candle stand. Some of you may want to place a water feature, such as a fountain in an empty space that will not hinder passage. The kind of accessories you place are the ultimate reflection of your personality.

As a rule of good interior design, room layouts should be kept uncluttered yet include as many of your personal requirements as possible. You don’t have to hire a professional interior designer. Bring out the designer in you. It is a space that is personal, and one that only you are going to live in. Don’t give designing trends preference over personal comfort, and create your own slice of paradise.

Flower Garden Layout: Design and Ideas

Flower Garden LayouFlowers are essential components of a garden. They are considered as the centerpiece of any garden. In fact, a yard with a lawn, trees, and fountain, looks incomplete until one incorporates flowering plants to its borders and beds. While flowers look great in any kind of landscape design, proper planning enhances the aesthetic value of the yard. So, instead of growing them randomly like flowers in the wild, why not plan the garden layout first and design it neatly?

How to Plan a Flower Garden

Laying a flower garden requires some forethought, your creativity, and basic gardening skills. But, you don’t need a degree in landscape designing to proceed with the same. While planning a flower garden layout, certain criteria should be considered like location, yard space, adding flower beds, finalizing flowering plants, and design tips. Consider these aspects and you will be glad with the after results. And to make your project simpler, make a rough sketch of the layout including the plant placement and color pattern.

Decide on the Location
The actual garden layout and the flower varieties to be planted depend on where the area is located. A sunny yard with fertile and well-drained soil is excellent for maintaining a garden. While any piece of land can be made into a beautiful flower garden with some effort, it is better to grow flowers in a suitable area. If possible, try to avoid a shady and damp location. For a shaded garden, the flower options are limited. In fact, colorful blooms look more vibrant in a sunlit garden.

Garden layout plan

It’s All about Space
Layout of a flower garden largely depends on how big is the area. So, yard space and total area of the flower beds should be considered first. Later, you can decide the plant types and their position in the garden, based on their height, flowering time, and color. Also, you can think of adding trellis, stone paths, and alike garden components. What about including a garden pond with colorful fish and water lilies? Depending upon your personal preferences, finalize the color scheme and flower cultivars.

Designs for Flower Beds
The flower beds should be wide enough (about 5-7 feet) so that you can have better planting options. Each bed can be demarcated from the other by straight or curved lines (as per your choice). A formal garden looks elegant with straight lines. But, if you want something out of the box, select five types of varied colored flowers that bloom at the same time. Plant them in a five-petalled flower shape, with each flower variety representing a petal. Believe me, this pattern looks awesome in a home garden.

Choose Flowering Plants
Once you complete preparing the layout of the garden, you can proceed to the next step of selecting flowering plants. You can consider growing all types, including annuals, biennials, perennials, and climbing vines. While selecting native flower species, make sure you consider the amount of care for each plant type along with the desired traits of the blooms. Like for instance, exotic plants surely add a unique touch to the yard. But, most of the species call for special care and are not suited for novice gardeners.

Why Choose Annual Flowers?
Annuals complete their life cycle in one season, i.e., they grow, flower, bear seeds, and die in the same season. They are most preferred for planting in bedding schemes, rather than growing at the borders. You can create a different flower bed in each season by planting annuals. Another advantage of selecting annual flowers is that they are available in a wide range of colors. Some of the best choices are geraniums, spider flowers, Brazilian verbena, and daisies. You can design a color scheme by planting different annual flowers in the same bed. While doing so, make sure that the plants in one flower bed bloom at the same time. Annual flowers also serve as great space fillers before the perennials start blooming.

Biennial and Perennial Plants
Biennials develop their leaves in the first season and bloom in the next season. Then they shed their seeds and die. They are best planted at the borders and the hedges along with perennials. The most preferred biennials for flower gardens are foxgloves and hollyhocks. Perennial flowers are long-living plants, which bloom for a short duration (about 3-4 weeks) in each season. You can select perennials that flower at different times, so as to make the flower garden look lively. This way, there will be blooms in the garden throughout the year, irrespective of the season.

Bulbous Plants and Vines
Other flowering plants include bulbs and climbing vines. Bulbs are very easy to grow and maintain in the garden. They flower in one season, remain dormant for a while, and again flower in the next season. Some of the stunning bulbous plants are tulips, daffodils, amaryllis, and snowdrops. If there are trellises, you can give a different look to your garden by growing climbing vines. Flowering vines like morning glory and hyacinth bean can be planted based on the color scheme of the surrounding area.

Garden with a Lawn
This idea is for a large sized garden, where you have sufficient room to incorporate a green patch. For lawns, ornamental grasses are maintained for enjoying greenery in all seasons. Once planted, they continue to grow for many years, provided that proper care tips are adopted. In short, a lawn requires less maintenance than a flower bed. For people who have limited time for garden care, a lawn garden adorned with ground cover and flower beds is a perfect option. You can also include evergreen shrubs on the lawn boundary.

In addition to these factors, you may consider using containers and/or raised beds in the center of the lawn or in the borders. Fill the empty space with potted plants and your garden will definitely look complete. If interested, try experimenting theme-based flower garden design ideas. You can focus on a particular theme, like a butterfly garden, rose garden, summer garden, and proceed accordingly.