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How To Arrange the Family Room Without a TV Focal Point April 30, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Area Rugs , comments closed

It seems we’ve become so accustomed to television that it is almost instinctual to arrange a family room based on the location of the TV. There’s nothing wrong with it of course. Who doesn’t love family movie night with pajamas and popcorn? But, have you considered the possibility of a room not focused on an electronic device? With so many of them dominating our lives these days (laptops, tablets, phones,) it might be nice to have a community room in the house that focuses on other things. Like fun and conversation!

So, how does one organize a room with no TV? By shifting focus. When a TV is in a room it is a focal point. It’s easy to discern that all seating should be facing toward the TV, and then situate tables and other items according to that set up. Without a TV we suggest you turn your focus to human connection.

To set the tone, start with a large area rug. Place it at the center of the area you are designing. It will visually anchor the room – especially the conversation space once you place furniture on and around it. Which is what you’re going to do next. Arrange all furniture that is designed for seating in a radial pattern.  In other words, all chairs, sofas, loveseats, etc, should be positioned around an imaginary center point. For this to look good you must be sure to visually distribute the weight of the furniture. For example the largest piece of furniture, likely the couch, should have its own area. It’s too heavy to have anything else right next to it. If you have a couple of chairs these would look good across from the couch because they’ll balance the visual weight of the couch.

There’s no need, however, for things to be symmetrical. In fact, if the layout is perfectly symmetrical it will increase the formality of the room. Family rooms shouldn’t feel formal, so work according to the idea of a casual circle, not necessarily a square or rectangle. It’s also important that the furniture be close enough together that people can walk around the outside. This is because you don’t want people traversing the conversation circle if possible. This will make it feel busy and un-relaxing. It will also be disruptive to interactions. It’s good idea to consider a large coffee table in the center of things as well. It will prevent that pesky traffic and anchor the space even more. It allows for food and beverage, and even board games. Last but not least, be sure to balance the overall weight of the room by mixing furniture that is heavy and solid with furniture that is light and airy. This will make the room feel complete and well thought out.

What are some of the ways you’ve found to arrange your furniture to create the most interaction possible? Leave us a comment and tell us how you beat the battle of the TV!

Complete Guide To Making Your Home Feel Cozy and Homey — Part 4 April 23, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design and Decorating , comments closed

Part Four – Ambience, Textiles, Accessories

You’re nearly done with all of the details you need in order to get the most out of our guide to the ultimate cozy home! Who knew there were so many small but important considerations? If you’ve already started incorporating some of the ideas in Parts 1-3, we’re sure you’re now convinced of how effective these techniques are. Or, if you’ve just completed reading the series and you preparing to get started, you’re in for a treat. Once everything is in place you’ll be pleased as punch!

  1. Add lovely scents and aromas. Nothing says inviting like a room that smells wonderful. To achieve the effect at any time of day, use a multiple source approach – candles when you are home, air sanitizer as needed, plug-ins for consistent aroma, and potpourri/wax burners if you don’t want to babysit a flame.
  2. Incorporate a rug. It can make a room seem larger or smaller depending on the room and what you want to accomplish. A rug works really well to separate spaces that don’t have a clear boundary (such as a living and dining room that are next to each other.) Delineating areas makes a home feel more complex and complete. Rugs also add warmth and texture to the floor, especially if you lay one atop wood or tile. This also protects the wood or tile in heavy traffic areas.
  3. Add things that are soft and worn. Blankets and throws, extra couch cushions or pillows. Faux fur is always soft and pretty. Try weathered leather instead of new and smooth.
  4. Hang drapes or sheers. Conquer the boredom of blinds by framing them with curtains. They add personality, create a sense of protection and privacy, and they add texture and color or pattern.
  5. Incorporate two standard accessories you’ll always find in a home that feels super homey: wreaths and baskets. Wreaths have long been an integral part of a sense of home because they represent a full circle of life. Decorative baskets (and bowls) make areas focused on purpose nicer to look at. Rather than leave sundry items sitting around, use baskets and bowls in each room to collect things such as keys, wallets, wash cloths, etc.

Complete Guide To Making Your Home Feel Cozy and Homey — Part 3 April 17, 2015

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Part 3 – Plant life, Outdoor Spaces, Lighting, Themes

In Part 3 of our four-part series we discuss ways to give a space character by adding features of life, space and theme. It’s important to be sure that you incorporate all of the available areas into your decorating plans. Homes that highlight both indoor and outdoor spaces feel much more welcoming and stable, as if no stone was left unturned. The same goes for plant life. The presence other living organisms increases a sense of energy that almost feels like someone extra lives with you, which is comforting when no one else is home!

  1. Add flowers and plants. Fresh flowers can do wonders for the vibe of a room. If you can afford them put them in several rooms. Live plants also add a sense of comfort and life if you’re not a fan of flowers. Fake flowers and plants can also help achieve the goal, but be really picky when buying them and avoid those that are very obviously not the real deal.
  2. Decorate the outdoor areas. Patios, balconies and porches should feel like home too! This will make your entire house feel homey because no area is left unloved. Add a table and chairs or love seat, even a bench if that works better. If space is covered, create coziness by choosing furniture with cushions. Place a pretty center piece on the table. Hang wind chimes and other decorative items.
  3. Use themes. If you struggle to make rooms look “pulled together” try working with a theme, it will make room feel quaint, well designed and interesting – all of which add to homeyness.
  4. Add ambient light. Try rope, string, or fairy lights. Soft, continuous lines of light add a great deal of warmth and comfort. They also add personality, a touch of whimsy, or visual interest to a room. It’s an easy way to create a warm feeling. Also try using real candles. Place them liberally around your home and enjoy the sense of home and hearth they provide. Fake candles simply don’t achieve the same effect

Next read – Part Four – Ambience, Textiles, Accessories

Complete Guide To Making Your Home Feel Cozy and Homey — Part 2 April 9, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Part 2 – Furniture and Room Arrangement

In Part 1, we covered the bedroom and color. Let’s turn focus to how to outfit the room in terms of layout and furnishings. As strange as it may sound, the organization and materials used in a space have a very strong impact how we experience it emotionally. If you’re uncertain how to balance this type of harmony with your desire for your room to look picture perfect, we recommend favoring harmony. A picture perfect room might be nice to look at, but it is somewhat the enemy if you want a space that feels cozy and inviting!

  1. Add more seating. When you send the message “the more the merrier” a room instantly increases in coziness. Rearrange the room or give up a pretty piece of furniture that’s not really serving any purpose, so you can fit in one more chair. Toss in a few floor pillows if you really want to make the statement ‘welcome’.
  2. Add a large display or book shelf. Large shelving units that contain your favorite things and great books go a long way toward making a house feel like home. If you have a lot of wall space to fill, a large display unit or bookshelf helps fill it. You can demonstrate your personality by including all sorts of items but stick with collectables or photos instead of impersonal décor items from the store.
  3. Mix and match furniture. While coordinated furniture sets look fancy and well matched, they don’t exactly scream “home.” Instead, opt to mix and match furniture and create a unique compilation of stuff.
  4. Add a room divider. Works well in spaces that are too large and need to feel more compartmentalized. This also works well in small spaces that lack privacy or need separation.
  5. Choose natural raw materials rather than plastic or metal. This is fairly self-explanatory. Wood always feels much more inviting and cozy that acrylic or metal.

Next read – Part Three – Plant life, Outdoor Spaces, Lighting, Themes

The Complete Guide To Making Your Home Feel Cozy and Homey April 3, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Part 1 – Bedroom and Color

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and been instantly overcome by a sense of warmth, welcome, and harmony? It’s such a lovely feeling, but it can actually be quite difficult to achieve. That’s because it depends heavily on mastering the smaller details in decoration. To be sure, large scale design schemes have an important role in making a house feel homey. Upon closer inspection, however, you may notice that it’s actually the small things that make a space so cozy.

To get the job done, we give you all the tips you need to transform your home from utilitarian to comfortable sanctuary. Be sure to read all four parts of the series because implementing ALL of the ideas will produce the most spectacular result! Here are the points for bedrooms, and color use.

  1. Don’t skip the headboard. Invest in something more than just the bed frame that holds the mattresses. A bedroom will feel complete and comfortable if you’re getting into an actual bed each night. Buy something with both a headboard and a footboard if you want it to feel like it’s fit for a queen!
  2. Invest in a pillow top mattress. They’re truly dreamy to sleep on and they make going to bed a cozy experience every night
  3. Try linen sheets. They often feel more luxurious than cotton. An especially nice touch in a guest room.
  4. Add a few pops of color. Even if you aren’t a big fan of color, adding a touch of it grounds a room and establishes its personality. Remember, the color doesn’t have to be bold, it just has to stands apart from the rest of the room. Or, if you love color, add several and liven up the room instantly.

Next read Part 2 – Furniture and Room Arrangement

Madness Sale! March 19, 2015

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Check out our Madness Sale!

Color Pallet: True Aux Naturel – Warm Yellow, Butter Yellow, Rust, Taupe, Moss Green March 19, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Have you ever considered decorating a room based on inspiration from something other than a photo of an entire room? It’s a fantastic way to come up with unexpected ideas that will make the rooms in your home unique and innovative. For example, take a look at the photo below. It shows the simple beauty found outdoors. The reason this works is it’s a very understated, unassuming look at nature. More often than not you encounter nature photos that are decadent. They are spectacular, to be sure, but if you’re goal is to create a space that is less ostentatious, then this photo might be just the thing you need for inspiration. 

How does one translate this photo into décor? Here it is made it easy with quick-reference, easy to understand bullet points. Just read each one and use what works best for your personal vision. Or, run with the whole concept and make the job a no-brainer!

The color pallet: Warm Yellow, Butter Yellow, Rust, Taupe, Moss Green

 

What themes within the color scheme set the tone?

  • Yellow – joy, optimism
  • Rust (Red/Orange) –  energy, warmth
  • Brown – earth, stability
  • Green – freshness, healing

What makes the colors work well together?

  • These colors are all warm.
  • Yellow, orange, and green are part of an analogous color scheme. This means they are next to each other on the color wheel. It is typically the best color scheme for achieving a feeling of harmony in a room.
  • Natural settings are often inherently analogous color schemes, making them easy reference material.

What makes it feel sensible and calming?

  • The colors aren’t at full saturation (as would be the case at the height of Autumn).
  • A ‘soft focus’ aura, nothing is overly stark. Don’t choose furniture that is stark in shape or design.
  • The mossy green feels especially earthy because it’s a color associated with the ground, rocks, rivers, etc.
  • A body of still water. Consider a water feature in your room.

How could you make this more exciting if that’s your goal?

  • Add a bit of sky blue, to mimic the pop of color in the lake.

Mixing Finishes March 10, 2015

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When choosing the right wood flooring for your kitchen it can seem like the best way to choose is to match your cabinets so that your kitchen maintains a cohesive style and doesn’t come off looking erratic. The truth is, your kitchen will actually come out much more beautifully if you mix your woods in your kitchen. Whether you change stain, color or even wood types, the best way to create a beautiful kitchen is to mix your woods.

 

A great way to try this out is to use our Virtual Room Designer tool on our website. You can find the cabinets that most closely match yours and then experiment with different looks so see what strikes you. However, there are a few rules of thumb that can help to guide you as you experiment with different looks using the tool.

 

First up—keep in mind that color blocking is a great way to use woods that don’t match without the design looking chaotic. So if you have cabinets that are painted white and a dark wooden island, you could go with a lighter more naturally finished wood. Doing this can help give your space the feel that things have developed more organically. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are doing a full kitchen remodel because with a full remodel everything tends to have a brand new feel to it. 

 

Another way to mix up your woods in the kitchen is to make sure that you aren’t matching all of your woods. You do want to keep in mind whether you are working with cool or warm tones. Be sure that they compliment one another. However, when all of the wood in your kitchen matches it can make a room feel one dimensional and what you want to do is create visual interest and complexity to your design. Don’t be afraid to mix up your woods. Keeping this complexity and depth in mind can keep your kitchen from falling flat. 

 

These are two pieces of advice to get you started on your search for the right wood floor in your kitchen. Now you can go to our Virtual Room Designer and get started. Play around with different looks and find a couple you like and then come in to visit us Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet where we can help you find the hardwood that’s right for you.

Leftovers! March 6, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Hints and Tips , comments closed

Leftovers can seem repetitive and when you are cooking with dishes you use often it can sometimes feel like there is no way to spice those leftovers up when the last thing you want to do is eat them again. But there are great ways to make these dishes different and new with just a few additions!

 

Perhaps you made salad the night before and you don’t know quite what to do with what you have left the next morning when you are packing a work lunch. You can take that salad and create a wrap with your favorite tortilla. Or you can add a little flavor with a swipe of hummus in a pita sandwich and stuff it with your leftover salad. Wrap this in tinfoil and voila—a quick and easy work lunch without wasting any of your salad from the night before.

 

Maybe your dinner from last night was something like a quinoa salad. A salad like this is great just reheated but you can take this quinoa salad, a tortilla and add some cheese to it. Throw it in your frying pan and transform it into a quesadilla by frying it on each side until browned and now you have yourself a fresh take on your leftovers.

 

Another great way to spice up your yesterday meal is to add eggs to the mix. If you had a stir fry for dinner, full of vegetables and some meat, a great way to reuse this meal is to create your own omelets for your family. You can use the meal from the night before as a filling and add cheese if desired. It’s a great way to recycle those leftovers in a fresh way.

 

But sometimes the best way to enjoy your leftovers are the simplest. Cold pizza on a Saturday morning is a classic. And nothing beats Chinese leftovers midweek when you get home from a long day at work and don’t want to even think about cooking a meal.

 

There are lots of ways to reinvigorate your leftover meals, it’s all about creativity and little culinary finesse! It’s a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste and could even spark recipe ideas that you can use going forward. Sound off below—what are your favorite ways to recycle your leftovers in creative ways?

Your Kitchen Backsplash February 26, 2015

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Tile , comments closed

Sometimes a little change can go a long way when it comes to designing your dream kitchen. Updating your kitchen’s backsplash is one of those little changes that can really make your kitchen come alive before your eyes, and there are trends that work for every homeowner’s style.

 

For those with a more traditional palette there are classic options such as white tile with white grout. Or perhaps you prefer something a little more Italian in style such as a mosaic of tiles that create an image. What if you prefer something with a more modern touch and were to use glass tiles that vary between glossy and etched. There is a backsplash for everyone out there, and it is a great way to infuse life into your kitchen’s design.

 

The first step in creating your perfect kitchen backsplash is to take inventory of your kitchen’s current style. Once you know where your starting point is, its time to brainstorm. What you decide on will depend on whether or not you are going for a huge change or a subtler update to your kitchen.

 

If you are looking for a subtler update then you are going to want to look for a backsplash that would blend in with how your kitchen is already styled. This might mean that if your kitchen has a French country feel to it that you might stick with more traditional tile and grout. Whatever the backsplash you choose, a subtle backsplash change will still fit in with your kitchen’s current theme, adding an updated look without changing the overall feel to your space.

 

However, if you are looking for something more dramatic and bold there are many of options that can turn up your kitchen’s wow factor. You can add metal accents into your tile design or you could use patterns that create an image or shape. Other ways to add a wow factor are to do something different like adding shine with glass tiles in alternating shades and textures or even a pop of color.

 

Whatever the change you are looking to make there are many different ways to redesign your backsplash in a way that will meet your expectations. It is a great way to update your kitchen in a way that can be as subtle or as attention grabbing as you desire. My Big Bob’s is always available to answer your questions about your kitchen design!