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Popular Bathroom Colors December 13, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Bathroom , comments closed

Bathrooms are one of the most frequently renovated rooms in the house. This is because people spend so much personal time in the space, so it’s natural to want it to be a place that you feel you can relax and unwind in. And while there are many different considerations that go into a bathroom from the vanity to the tile, one of the things that hangs people up the most is the color of the space. Bathrooms can really be any color from white to bold red, but there is a set group of colors that people tend to gravitate toward in bathrooms that help give the space universal appeal.

Grays

Grays are currently the most popular colors in bathrooms for decorative tiles, shower curtains, towels, and bath mats. Gray has a soothing, calming quality.  Since it is technically in the neutral family you can still introduce other colors as accents later on without committing or competing.

Blues

Starting in the grays and shifting all the way to bright turquoise, nearly every color in the blue family is popular in bathrooms. Blue is also a soothing color, and is associated with water, so it’s a natural choice for this area. Blue also pairs very well with other colors, so you can build a full palette in the room such as:

  • Blue and white
  • Blue and gray
  • Blue and green
  • Blue and yellow
  • Blue and tan
  • Blue and gold

Like gray, blue tends to work best on the walls and as accents, but it’s also not unusual to see bold shades like cobalt used on floors or on light fixtures to deepen the color of the room.

Cream and Tan

Not everyone likes to go full on white in the bathroom, so cream and tan are often the colors of choice instead. These neutrals are able to make a calm, formal, and traditional statement in your bathroom, without introducing any other color. If a little color is desired, these neutrals pair well with several other shades you can use as accents.

Decorating the Tops of Kitchen Cabinets December 6, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Kitchen , comments closed

Unless your cabinets reach right to the ceiling, or you have a soffit installed above them, you probably have a large expanse of unused space in your kitchen. The tops of your kitchen cabinets are a great place to add some extra storage, decoration, and interest to the rest of your kitchen design – even if you’ve paid them no attention in the past.

Extended Backsplash

Do you have a very decorative backsplash in your kitchen? If so, consider extending it up above your cabinets. This can produce a very dramatic and striking look, particularly if you are using glass, mosaics or stone for your backsplash. Just extend the tile slightly to the sides of the upper cabinets and run them up and across the top. If you have empty walls between different sets of cabinets, you can also fill this space in entirely with the tile to connect the areas and further emphasize the design.

Cabinet Storage

If you have enough height above your cabinets, you can use this area for storing things that you might not have a place for elsewhere in the kitchen. These items can be decorative, such as china or plants, or they can be utilitarian such as baskets that you keep filled with onions and potatoes. To keep the area from looking haphazard, just be sure to store whatever you keep up there in a decorative way, and to continue this look across the entirety of the cabinets with the same design, so it becomes part of the kitchen.

Moldings and Railings

If you only have a few inches between your cabinets and the ceiling, consider connecting the two areas using either railings or a cabinet crown molding. Many cabinets are either plain on top or have a molding that is too small, tacked on by the manufacturer. Replacing this with a more substantial molding can give the cabinets a custom and built in appearance that can update the entire room, making it seem as though the whole kitchen has gotten a face lift all at once. Just go back to your original cabinet manufacturer to get a matching wood species and stain for your cabinets to get the best look.

Happy Thanksgiving! November 26, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Holidays , comments closed

We hope that your Thanksgiving finds you surrounded by your friends and family!

Tips for Decorating with Wall Shelves November 19, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Using wall shelves in any room of your home can help you decorate while storing and displaying a variety of different items. Wall shelves come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can add them to any home, regardless of what your overarching interior design scheme is. Use some of these tips to help you make the most out of every wall in your home.

Create Groupings

While a single wall shelf can be a nice accent on a small wall, multiple shelves used together can really make a statement on any sized wall. Group together several shelves that are the same style and color, but vary in size. Try placing them in asymmetrical groupings, rather than stacking them or running them in a row across the wall. This lets you vary the heights and sizes of the items on them, because the shelves aren’t creating a unified pattern that the objects on top need to mimic. You can spread your shelves out or place them close together depending on the size of the wall, just be sure to vary the heights of them as you move across the area.

Sconce Shelves

Shelves don’t have to be large, or even a permanent fixture in your rooms. Consider investing in a few sconce shelves to display things like seasonal items, candles, and other small items that can add a little color or ambiance to a room. These small shelves are meant to hold a candle or sconce on the wall, but they can be stained or painted any color and used to display anything from a few sprigs of holly in the winter to a grouping of seashells in the summer.

Make them Functional

Not every wall shelf has to be purely decorative. If you lack space in a room, consider using a shelf to give you a functional storage space, and a decorative element at the same time. For example, install some rustic shelves in a Country kitchen to store your plates when not in use, or put up two-tiered shelves in the living room to hold DVDs and video games. Shelves can make nearly any element become part of your interior design, so try incorporating a few of them into any room to give yourself some decorative storage.

How Can I Get My Kids to Help Clean? November 12, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Reader Questions , comments closed

It’s one of the greatest problems that most parents face on a daily basis – the fact that kids make the biggest messes in the house, but are the least likely to clean them up again. If you’re struggling with getting your kids to help tidy up at the end of the day, try using these tips to help motivate them to pitch in.

Make Clean Up Simple

Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to kids picking up after themselves is simply the amount of time it takes. After all, they have other things that they want to get onto, and cleaning isn’t fast or fun.

Try purchasing several plastic bins with lids and go through their toys, organizing them by type. Put one type in each bin. Now clean up can be fast and fun as kids try to pitch things into the bins, rather than trying to tidy up onto shelves or moving things from one room to the next.

Make Cleaning a Game

Another way to get kids to help is to make some of the chores you give them a little more novel. Try to find chores that can be done in unorthodox ways so they’re fun, rather than boring. A few suggestions include:

  • Giving them a dust buster having them go after the dust bunnies and clumps of pet hair in the corners – tell them it’s a seek and destroy mission
  • Pull out a pair of old socks.  Let the kids find dusty corners with their toes!
  • Mix up a bucket of extra sudsy water and let them get into bathing suits to scrub down the tub and shower with the suds; just turn on the showerhead to rinse when they’re all done

Make Them Responsible for One Area

If your kids are older, give them one area of the house that is their responsibility to keep clean at all times. Tell them that how and when they clean it is up to them, but that it must be kept clean. Kids usually find that having ownership in an area, also means taking pride in keeping it nice, which motivates them to help keep it clean.

Sealing Natural Stone November 7, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Stone , comments closed

Even though natural stone is very hard and strong, it can also be very porous. Because of this feature, you want to protect your natural stone investment by using a quality sealer.

If left unsealed, stains can penetrate deep into the stone. Using a sealer allows the sealer to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone, filling them so that stains cannot penetrate those pores.

There are different types and qualities of sealers on the market.Keep in mind that not all sealers are the same. There are topical sealers and penetrating sealers. To get the best job, you want to use a penetrating sealer. A penetrating sealer fills the pores of the stone so that when a stain tries to fill those pores it can’t because the sealer is already there blocking the pores.

How can you tell if you need to reseal your natural stone? Simply pour some water on your stone. If after half an hour your stone does not turn dark, then your sealer is still working.

Protecting your investment is easy. Call today to discuss your project so we can help you determine what product is right for you.

How To Brine a Turkey November 1, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Kitchen , comments closed

There’s cooking a turkey, and then there’s serving a turkey. Anyone can read the instructions on the back of a frozen turkey and toss it in the oven. For a spectacular meal, though, that simply won’t do. To leave a lasting impression on your guests take the extra time to brine the turkey. This requires you to build extra time into your food preparation timeline because it must be done two days prior to the day of the dinner. You can save some time, though, by opting to purchase a brining solution instead of preparing it yourself. Many specialty food retailers offer top-notch solutions by the jar. Here are instructions for brining an 18-20 pound turkey that is either fresh or already thawed. 

  1. Two days prior to your dinner, bring one jar of brine and one gallon of water to a boil. Stir frequently to help evenly dissolve the brine.
  2. Remove the solution from the stove and allow it to cool to room temperature for 1-2 hours.
  3. Then refrigerate for approximately three hours, until it’s well chilled.
  4. Test the fit of your turkey in a five gallon pot.  
  5. Combine the brining solution with 6 cups of apple cider and 1.2 gallons of ice water in the five gallon pot. 
  6. Submerge the turkey slowly and ensure that all the cavities fill with liquid.
  7. To keep the turkey fully immersed, place a weight on top of it. The glass lid from a pot or crock pot is usually heavy enough to get the job done.
  8. Leave the pot with the turkey in the brining solution in the refrigerator for two days. (The turkey should be in the brine solution no less than 24 hours, and ideally for 36.)
  9. Take the turkey out of the pot prior to cooking.  Thoroughly rinse it under cold water and use paper towels to pat it dry.

You can now proceed with cooking the turkey, and then serve a masterpiece!

How to Repurpose a Bunk Bed Into An Awesome Play Place For Your Child October 23, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Kids , comments closed

Bunk beds are one of the simple joys of childhood. They provide endless hours of climbing, jumping and fort building. At some point in time, though, they seem less exciting. Perhaps one child has outgrown sharing a room, or if the bed belongs to a single child, he or she may have run out of ideas to make it fun. Before you decide to get rid of it, though, consider this awesome project. It actually adds play space, and it allows you to get additional value from a piece of furniture that was likely expensive. 

  1. Remove the bottom mattress. Leave support slats in place.
  2. Measure the rectangular dimension of the space where the mattress used to be.
  3. Visit your local materials supplier and find MDF or Fiberboard that most closely resembles the bed. You can also opt for thick grade plywood. Both of these materials are very affordable. Or, you can purchase wood that is the same species as the bed.   Just ensure that the material you select is thick enough to support the weight of a child. Ask a clerk to cut the board to size.
  4. Also purchase a strip of molding that fits the style of the bed. It should be the same length as the longest side of the board.
  5. If necessary, paint or stain both pieces to match the existing frame of the bunk bed.
  6. Place the large board in the place where the mattress used to be. Attach the strip of molding along the front edge of the board to cover the raw edge and make the adaptation look seamless.
  7. Purchase and install a simple curtain rod above the front edge of the new play space.
  8. Purchase fabric that coordinates with your child’s room. Double the measurement of the curtain rod and use that number to determine the minimum length of fabric you’ll need along one side. Then be sure that it is also wide enough to cover the entire open space between the top and bottom bunk.
  9. Cut the fabric to size, and use curtain rings to clamp the fabric, and then slide them onto the curtain rod.

Voila – a brand new place to play! Kids can sit on it and do projects, or sit outside of it and use it as a platform to set up dolls, race tracks and other toys that inspire their imagination. 

Smashed Pumpkin Clean-Up October 14, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Holidays , comments closed

There’s nothing sadder than a smashed pumpkin, unless of course that pumpkin happens to have smashed in your home. If you have smashed pumpkin on your floors, don’t panic; here is the best way to start cleaning its orange stains from your home.

Getting Pumpkin Out of Fabric

Getting pumpkin out of your rugs and upholstery may seem challenging.  Acting quickly is the best way to begin. 

Start by scraping up as much of the pumpkin as you can. Use a spoon to scrape the fabric or rug to get the solids up and to expose as much of the fabric surface as you can.

Mix up a little bit of PH neutral dishwashing detergent with water. Be sure to avoid anything with acids or alkalines, which could stain your fabrics. Add one-quarter teaspoon of dish detergent to one cup of warm water.  If you’re unsure, test it on an area that is hidden from view for color-fastness first.

If this doesn’t work, use a mixture of one cup of white vinegar to two cups of warm water.  Make sure the vinegar is of a 5% acetic acid solution.

Blot the pumpkin stain with either mixture until you are able to get it up. Go back over the area with a cloth rinsed in clean water to get any remaining soap out and let it dry. Make sure to use clear water to remove residue of any cleaner used so it will not attract future dirt.

Here’s even more information about pumpkin stain removal!

Removing Pumpkin from Stone

If you have smashed pumpkin on your stone floor or front walkway, you can still get the orange out if you act quickly enough.

First clean up as much of the pumpkin solids as you can. Use a soft bristled brush and some clean water to help remove the bulk of the squash. Now apply a stone cleaner or a PH neutral cleanser to the stain and agitate gently with the soft bristled brush to get up the surface stains.

Check out our page for more information about maintaining your natural stone.

Remember that if any stain is too stubborn for your own efforts, call a professional cleaner.  These experts have tools and cleaning methods that are more aggressive and the experience to know what your floor needs.  

Your Choice! October 8, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Would you choose an ottoman or a coffee table?  Why?