Home Decor – Using Stripes For Home Decoration

Stripes in home decor are extremely popular with people who have a bold outlook towards life. This does not mean it is only meant for them, though. Whatever be your outlook, a dash of stripes in your living room can add that exotic touch you have been looking for.

When it comes to using stripes, however, there are some ground rules you must understand before you step into this uncharted territory.

Why Stripes, and Where?

Stripes in your home decoration plans are all about making a style statement. And remember, too many stripes are not formal.

Your living room presents plenty of options for adding stripes. You could use stripes on your walls, on your upholstery, on your window drapes, on the floor rugs, and even in the numerous decoration pieces that adorn any normal living room.

What Kind of Stripes For Decor?

Then there are a large variety of stripes you can choose from as well. One way to classify the stripes are the direction. There are the vertical ones, and there are the horizontal ones. You can even use slanting lines in your stripes.

The next option is size – there are thin and thick stripes. In case of smaller rooms thick stripes look better as they add to the volume of the room, and vice versa. Thin vertical stripes tend to make the roof look higher than it actually is.

Then there are the options in colors. You could use bold or light colors. Contrast colors do well in certain places, but for first timers it is best to stick to the same color family as the stripes themselves are less glaring. Thus you can have a combination of dark brown, light brown, orange and shades of yellow, just to quote an example. In case of contrasts, blue and white stripes are amongst the most popular.

Keep it Light

If you are using stripes for the first time, it is best to keep it light, as in going in for only an item or two for the changeover. Do not fill the whole room with stripes at one go.

Change the upholstery, or the window drapes, or the walls into a striped pattern one at a time. If you like what you see and continue to like it after a while as well, you got a winner on your hands. Now you can go for the next step and add other pieces to your overall striped home decoration design.

Vary Your Options

When looking for a pattern, try to mix and match. Too many stripes may actually become overbearing, so go for a combination of plain and striped decoration. For instance you could have plain upholstery against striped walls.

Window drapes are a great way to create stripes without investing an extra penny. You could create stripes with plain window drapes by using a combination of contrasting plain drapes. Thus a beige colored window drape sandwiched between two dark brown drapes would create the impression of stripes. No loss to your pocket, and you continue to hold the cards in your hand as you can change the combination at will as well!

OMG! I started off writing a small piece but there is so much to share it isn't fitting in one article. So see you around next week for some more basics about using stripes in your home decoration plans!

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Home Decor Craft Ideas for Craft Artists and Designers For The New Millennium

The home decor craft market is still a strong segment in consumer markets. However, now more than ever before, consumers need a really great excuse to purchase these kinds of crafts. How to face this challenge?

Given home decoration crafts are not necessarily utility products in the whole sense, consumers need to have an emotional connection with the products in order to engage in the buying process.

What this means for designers, artisans and producers of home decor crafts is they need to go back to the basic ideas and concepts that triggered the creation of these products. The era we're living in, demands for crafters and designers to take on their role more actively than ever.

Competition is strong and if you want to tap into online business opportunities, it's even more important to really design unique products that reflect the collect feelings of society. Today's designers, artisans, crafters and producers need to engage consumers with home decor craft ideas that reflect the deep needs of consumers.

Home decor craft ideas for producers include making objects that capture and reflect consumers' unique sense of style and personalities while at the same time helping show they have a style. Even more importantly, producers need to make a personal and emotional connection by finding a link among needs, desires, and wants.

For instance, consumers today, not only want beautiful home decoration, but also to know: Who made it? What materials were used? Where was it made? Were the producers appropriately compensated? Who designed the product? Are the designs made using traditional motifs?

In addition, it's also important to incorporate trendy ideas and contemporary looks into these products. Trends include mostly color, materials, and textures. Following trends could be very challenging.

The best way to start developing this skill is by observing color, materials, sizes, and choice in textures used in current or seasonal products on the market.

The core of following trends is looking for those aspects that embrace the collective feelings of society, and then try to incorporate those into the design and production process. So, here is a trendy idea for producers. Have you noticed that lately it's all about sustainability and environmental consciousness?

Although, this is not just a trend, it's becoming a new model to follow. As a result, designers and producers need to incorporate this new concept into their creations. Create eco-friendly products. This is one important trend in the home decor segment for the new millennium.

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Impress Your Guests With Your Home Decor

Having guests over to your home can create stress. The cleaning, the preparations, and the angst of worrying what they will think of your home, can all pile up. Thankfully, there are four simple steps to make sure that your guests are impressed with your home decor every time they come for a visit.

Clutter Be Gone
More important than fancy furniture and exotic paintings, the lack of clutter in a home is the most impressive feature of a home's decor. This is especially true for families with pets and small children. Although the number of items in the home may remain the same, figuring out clever ways to hide and control the clutter is paramount. Baskets, lidded boxes and strategic shelving can all help make the home appear neater and the homeowners more in control of their surroundings. For inspiration on how to store items, look to home decor magazines, as well as Internet sites that cater to those people who need storage solution advice.

Calming Color
Color says it all when it comes to a home's decor. Bold, bright colors are much more aggressive than their neutral counterparts. To ensure that guests will be consistently impressed with the home's decor, opt for colors that are more calming and soothing. They will create a feeling of welcoming and comfort, as opposed to, unbridled energy. It is much easier to feel comfortable in a room that has a soothing energy, so strive to capture that ambiance when choosing colors.

Smooth Transitions
What do all well decorated homes have in common? They all have smooth transitions from room to room. They create a feeling flow and subtle movement that draws guests in. These transitions are usually created through the use of paint colors, but they can also be enhanced with strategic accessory placement. For example, if the foyer holds a tall, Chinese urn, placing a similarly styled piece within eyesight in the adjacent living room will draw the eye further into the house. This feeling of continuity will impress your guests without them even realizing why the decor is spectacular.

Common Themes
Choose a common theme for the home and carry it through the rooms where guests visit. The theme can be a color or a style of art or even a specific object or shape. Include it in subtle pieces throughout the home to help create that feeling of continuity. Having a central theme also helps homeowners when they are decorating, because it is then easier to decide which pieces to include in the home's decor.

The key to impressing guests with the home's decor is to be subtle. Brassy and bold will create a feeling of unease and discomfort. Soothing colors, common themes and smooth transitions in an uncluttered home will make guests happy to be there every time. Often, guests will not linger on the specifics of the home's decor when describing it, but will talk about how the home feels comfortable and how everything "fits." Those descriptions are due to the strategic planning of item and color placement in the house. By taking the time to create a home that guests feel comfortable being in, party planning and dinner parties will become a pleasure rather than a cause of stress.

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Shabby Chic Home Decor, Easy Elegance on a Budget

Decorating with shabby chic home decor is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to change the look of your home. Many women in particular love this style because of the romantic and charming look and atmosphere it lends to the home.

Antiqued and worn looking furnishings are excellent for decorating in the shabby chic style. Your furniture doesn’t actually need to be antique, and you can achieve the look yourself fairly easily. Coffee and end tables can be painted with white or pastel colors, then lightly sanded to give a distressed look to the furniture. Sand edges more heavily so that they look worn.

Some of the accessories used in shabby chic home decor are chandeliers, candle holders, magazine racks and mirrors. These also have the distressed finish, whether wood, wrought iron or metal. These pieces are very elegant looking and add warmth to the room. A delicately patterned pastel vase filled with flowers adds a wonderful touch to this feminine style.

Fabrics to use when decorating with shabby chic can be just about anything, as long as it is light and airy. For your sofa, checked patterns, solids and florals work equally as well, just make sure to keep the colors in the range of white to pastel. Nubby cream colored throw pillows are a beautiful addition, and lace fabrics are also nice. Window treatments should be light colored as well – using pastel sheers or delicate florals keep the light and airy feeling intact.

Plant stands are another accessory that will add elegance to your decor. There are many distressed finished metal plant stands available, from small to large. A few well placed pots of overflowing greenery is absolutely gorgeous when used in shabby chic decor.

As you can see, the options are endless when it comes to decorating your home in shabby chic. This style is perfect for budget minded people who also want a beautiful, charming place to call their own. Start digging around in your basement or attic, put your mind to work gathering ideas and you will soon be on your way to a home you’re proud to show off to visitors and guests!

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Remodeling Your Bathroom – What Does a 4 Inch Spread Faucet Say About Your Home?

Before I entered into the Kitchen & Bath industry I never thought about the difference between a 4″ spread faucet and an 8″ spread faucet. I grew up in a small, rural town and honestly can’t remember the type of faucet in any house I had seen, including my own. My parents built a new house in the late 70’s so I’m sure all the faucets were 4″ spread or also known as mini faucets. I really never looked or knew the difference.

Even in my 20’s, I owned my home and did a low budget renovation. I had to aleve myself of the 50’s blue from Kohler. Oddly, I don’t really know the official name of the color. I went to Home Depot and bought a new pedestal sink. It had a 4″ spread faucet hole drilling. I thought I was really ‘upgrading’. It definitely was an upgrade but if I had known in advance with a little extra money it would have made a bigger difference.

What is the big deal whether you have a 4″ and 8″ spread faucet? And for many of us… what does that mean anyway! A sink or countertop will determine the faucet spread you need. Holes are drilled to accommodate the faucet. Look at the hole drillings. If you put a measuring tape up to the holes there will be either a 4″ or 8″ spread between them. Please note that in all plumbing situations, you measure from the center of the hole and not the right or left of the hole. All plumbing measures are made from the center of the hole.

The upside with purchasing an 8 inch spread or also know as a widespread faucet is that it tends to be known as ‘higher end’. It means you took your renovation seriously. Perhaps these issues are not important to you and that’s fine. So let’s look at the more practical reasons to choose between the two faucet types.

1. It’s usually harder to clean an 8″ spread faucet because there are three separate flanges to clean. With a 4″ spread faucet there is normally a single bottom plate to clean around.

2. The quality of an 8″ spread faucet is usually better than a 4″ faucet. I should state is more than usually better. Between the function and finish the 8″ spread should usually win in the long run. Also, 4″ spread faucets are normally available in chrome only.

3. Because of the first two points, a desire to achieve better things is the reason to get an 8″ faucet. Everyone wants to improve there lives and purchase nicer things when they are affordable.

Now it is time for reality. Buy the faucet that you can afford. Have a budget. It doesn’t matter if you have 4″ or 8″ faucet. You don’t have to impress your friend, family and enemies with having the best things. If you can afford it then go for it. If not, enjoy the water that runs out of it. It’s about water. There is no need to impress anybody; just enjoy. Family and friends are far more important than the faucet you choose.

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Traditional to Trendy – Indian Home Decor

In recent years, ethnic home decor has become increasingly popular when deciding on a theme for decorating. Among the first of the choices in cultural decor, is Indian home decor.

Indian home decor has become one of the most highly sought after themes, due to the versatility of design, rich color schemes, and the broad spectrum of elements in decor. There are different styles of Indian decor branching from the different regions of India, such as, Western Indian, Eastern Indian and even British Indian decor. British Indian decor usually consists of finely carved ivory, hand-crafted wood furniture, and fine art, balanced tastefully with heavy Victorian style drapery, and Victorian furniture, for a classical, yet ethnic appearance.

Many exporters of ethnic home decor can be located online, and there are many dealers from India. They can provide custom-design wooden furniture from an exotic variety of woods, such as, Shisham, Teak, Mango, and Acacia. Choosing the wood, and design will allow you to personalize your home, as well as give that “special touch” to your Indian home decor. Some accent pieces to consider adding are hand-carved chests, nesting-tables, and folding screens. Certain regions of India carve detailed floral designs into their pieces, and other regions carve elaborate pictures of people, and landscapes, as if to tell a story. These accents will give a wonderful depth to your cultural decor.

Fabrics are a creative option to add color, and texture to your Indian home decor, to really bring your space to life. India has an endless wealth of lush materials to decide from, such as satin, cashmere, and silk. India’s silk is very unique, being of a slightly rougher texture than silks in Asia, which adds a beautiful contrast when next to a sleek satin. Many colorful wall tapestries, pillows, and table-runners can be found with this elegant combination. Sari style window-drapes, bedding, and floor-pillows are also a sheik way to add colorful accents. Due to the materials available in a multitude of hues, such as, burnt sienna, fuchsia, apricot, turquoise, and autumn reds, achieving the color schemes desired in your cultural decor is possible.

Adding subtle additions, such as small bronze sculptures, vases, and wood-carved mirror frames will generate a warm, contemporary environment. Paintings can be imported from India, from locations like Patachitra, and Warli. The high quality silk paintings from these regions of India, are unique masterpieces, which would be a wonderful conversation piece.

Once you have seen many of the beautiful pieces to decorate your space with, you will realize how diverse your options are in obtaining Indian home decor.

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Accent Your Living Quarters With Wrought Iron Home and Garden Decor

Wrought iron home and garden décor makes a great accent to any living space. You can find a large selection of items for the kitchen, bath, bedroom, dining, family room, and garden in a wide variety of designs. Wall art is a favorite that brings style to any room.

Dating back to ancient Roman Times, wrought iron started as a functional metal from water pipes to nails and various other mechanical and building needs. Through time, wrought iron has developed into a fine artisanship in ornamental yet highly functioning gates, as seen at Westminster Abbey in London dating back to the 13th-century, and other decorative home and garden décor.

The artisanship that has been around since the European Middle ages has brought decorative wrought iron home and garden décor the rich touches to railings, doors, and furniture, to subtle finishing touches such as cabinet handles, light switch plates, candle holders, wall scones and décor. This metal has many places in history and was once an essential material in numerous products.

Wrought iron in the 20th century is used for primarily for decorative purposes and can definitely add charm, style, and beauty to any home or garden. In the garden or on the patio, wrought iron not only offers great decorative value it also offers the durability needed to withstand Mother Nature's elements. In the home, it adds a rich touch to your home décor from the subtle touches to a café dinning set or a wrought iron baker's rack. Even a simple candleholder can add a touch of class to a dinning room table or as mantle centerpiece.

In the garden or on the patio outside, wrought iron décor can create spaces to a garden such as a quaint and quiet reading spot by simply adding a wrought iron bench. Trellises can section off the area and with some deep gorgeous green ivy growing up the trellis, you will have a little slice of heaven to enjoy a good novel. The patio is a terrific location for a wrought iron garden table with some matching decorative garden patio chairs. Accent your garden chairs with just the perfect hued cushions to bring your patio new life and elegance. This creates yet another completely new new quarter to a home and makes a great place to entertain guest in style while enjoying the fresh air.

A garden path is nicely accented by wrought iron garden rails or fencing accented along the path with a decorative flower pot or two to add the finishing touches. No classy home would be complete without a wrought iron lamppost placed prominently in the front of the home. There are many ways this special metal can add classy charm to any home interior as well.

You cannot go wrong by adding wrought iron home and garden décor to the interior, patio, or garden of your living spaces.

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The Benefits Bathroom Remodeling Will Give You and Your Home

If you are thinking about a bathroom remodel, you may be wondering just how it will be of benefit to you and to your home. Bathroom remodeling is one of the more costly home improvement projects and you want to think it through carefully and get the most you can from it.

Remodeling your bathroom can greatly increase the value of your home, especially if it has been a number of years since anything substantial was done to your bathroom. While you may have no immediate plans to sell your home, in this day and time, few homeowners stay in any one home for long. It is wise, therefore, to be thinking ahead when you are planning a remodel. If you should want to sell in the future, a bathroom remodel will not only increase the value of your home, but it will help it to sell faster.

Often, as the size of a family increases, the need for more space and a larger home will create a need to sell and move. Employment changes, or the desire to move closer to other family members is another reason that many people move.

Many of us remember the avocado or gold tone bathtubs of the seventies. Today there are bathtubs in gray, black and other colors. While these colors may appeal to you, they may not hold great universal appeal if you should later wish to sell your home. Aside from that, I can think of two reasons not to choose black. The price would be the first factor, but I can also visualize how prominently dust or lint would show up on black fixtures. White and bisque will not soon go out of favor.

A bathroom remodel that is done well and finished is one home improvement project for which you can usually recover most or all of the expense put into it. Bathrooms and kitchen are the two rooms that carry the most weight in selling a home, and are the two rooms that will be evaluated the most critically by home buyers.

Right now you may not care about all of this, but want to know how a bathroom remodel will benefit you today, and in the future as long as you live in your current home.

What can you and the members of your household get out of remodeling your bathroom? If you are beginning to have thoughts of a remodel, then obviously your bathroom is not meeting your current needs. What do you want to change, and what do you want to add?

You can do a complete bathroom remodel, or just a partial depending on what you have to work with. Consider if you have fixtures that are in good condition that you could keep and incorporate into your new bathroom. Bathroom fixtures can be very durable and last many years. If you can salvage some fixtures, this will lessen the cost of remodeling.

One thing to think about is your water tank. This is a good time to evaluate how effective your current hot water tank is, and evaluate whether it will stand up for many more years. If you are adding some of the new shower heads you may need to think both about the size of your current pipes, and whether your current hot water supply will be adequate.

Think also about your wiring. If you have an inadequate number of outlets, this is the time to address the problem. And consider lighting along with wiring. Ceiling lights that are recessed are good for overall lighting, but for grooming and applying cosmetics, there should also be lighting on both sides above the vanity.

If your existing bathroom is a number of years old, there are many additions that will make your bathroom much more useable, and allow you some everyday luxuries to enjoy.

Do some shopping to see what is currently available. There are showers with music devices built in, massage jets, and steam.

You will find shower heads in a wide variety. Heated units to put under flooring are wonderful if you live in a primarily cool area. And there are also towel warmers.

Take the time to be aware of what is currently available, plan your bathroom remodeling well, and you will have a room to give you daily small pleasures. And if you should sell anytime soon, you should see a reasonable return on your investment in a quick sale and a larger price tag for your home.

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Water Fountains – Defining Your Home Decor

Water fountains make for a beautiful view wherever you have kept them. They can be used in outdoor gardens of your home or in your drawing rooms to add to the beauty of your indoor décor. However, it is to be noted that both the indoor and outdoor fountains differ in various aspects such as style, size, management etc. Having an outdoor fountain is a common practice, but there has been an increase in trend of getting indoor fountains. Let's have a look at how the water fountains can add to the value of your home and why have they become a popular commodity to own.

Visually Appealing
If you are looking for ways to change the look of your home or going for a renovation, there can be no better option than getting a water fountain. It not only adds value to your home but also enhance the overall look. It gives your home the required change and exudes the feel of a luxurious lifestyle.

Fit for Every Home
You can get fountains in a variety of styles and sizes. Whether you have a huge house or a relatively smaller one, you can get a water fountain that can fit as per the requirement of your home. Whether you want a fountain for your room or for your garden,

Relaxing Feel
Indoor fountain helps in giving your home a relaxing feel and environment. After a tiring or stressful day at work, you can feel relaxed and stress-free in your home with the soothing sound of water and the visually appealing look of the indoor water fountain.

A Cure for Humidity
Indoor fountains can act as a humidifier in your home. They make for an effective cure for humidity and dryness in your homes. It provides the moistures to the air, which keeps the humidity level low. It is not only beneficial for the inmates of a home but also make for a healthy environment for plants.

Enhances Air Quality
Air quality has been a major concern for everyone owing to the increase in air pollution. Many people have air purifiers in their homes or offices to enhance the air quality. The air purifiers work by producing negative ions that attract the dust particles and remove them from the air. However, the air purifiers can cause disturbance to the inmates with the not-so-pleasant sound they make. Water fountain does exactly the same in an even more effective manner. It gives out a pleasant sound rather than the irritating sound produced by the air purifiers and also gives your house a much better look and feel.

Decor fountains whether indoor or outdoor exude classiness and can be a great source of reducing stress and tensions. It is a one time investment that you need to make in order to give your home or office the much-needed change.

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Go Green With Bamboo Home Decor

Bamboo is a fast growing and durable alternative to wood. Because it is a rapidly renewable resource, bamboo has become wildly popular for use in eco friendly products. While a harvested tree can take decades to regrow, bamboo can grow back in a fraction of the time. Bamboo’s strength and natural beauty make it the ideal resource for manufacturing products ranging from flooring to furniture and even textiles. Here are just a few ways you can spruce up your home decor and go green at the same time using bamboo products:

Flooring: Bamboo flooring has become a popular alternative to wood flooring in recent years. Although bamboo is lightweight, it is actually stronger than many types of hardwood used for flooring. Even better, bamboo flooring is generally more affordable than hardwood floors.

Bamboo rugs: If you are not looking to go all out by replacing your flooring with bamboo, using bamboo rugs is another great way to bring the natural bamboo look to your home. Bamboo rugs can be used indoors or outdoors to bring a warm, rustic ambience to any space. They are durable and stand up to high traffic areas.

Furniture: Just about any type of furniture you can fathom can be (and probably is) made from bamboo. Consider bamboo patio furniture for functional, weather resistant outdoor dining option. Or go green on the interior of your home with bamboo dining sets, entertainment stands and even beds.

Hangers: Any closet instantly becomes sleeker and more elegant when it is adorned with matching bamboo hangers throughout. Bamboo hangers are a simple and inexpensive way to incorporate bamboo into your home decor.

Window Shades: Bamboo window blinds or shades transform the look of your home inside and out. Window coverings are a huge factor in the look and ambience of a room, and using bamboo instead of plastic will give any room an instant facelift.

Textiles: Bamboo is such a versatile resource, that its fibers can even be spun into yarn and transformed into a variety of fabrics. These fabrics are used to create bedsheets, curtains, clothing, towels and much more.

Bamboo products are durable and eco friendly, and can be incorporated into any room in your home. You can find everything from photo frames and cutting boards to beauty products made from this versatile renewable plant. Bamboo is an excellent and often affordable way to make your home greener while sprucing up its decor!

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