Interior designers Reveal Secrets To Show Home Styling Like A Pro

Viewing a show home not only gives potential homebuyers plenty of interior design inspiration, but for those considering buying an off-plan property, it enables them to visualise what their future home could look like.

Show homes are often well coordinated and kitted out with luxe furnishings and high-end appliances. There’s always a strong theme and design direction which runs throughout. There could be light neutrals on the main walls and a stronger colour on one feature wall in a room or hallway, which is then echoed as an accent colour throughout the home in artwork, cushions or bedlinen. In a typical open plan living space, you may find floor lamps in corners and lots of luscious houseplants to soften corners and introduce greenery.

UK homebuilder, CALA Homes, works with an expert team of interior designers across the UK to create aspirational show homes with added wow factor. Here, a panel of interior design experts share some of their show home secrets to help create that professional look in our own homes.

What’s the secret to show home styling like a pro?

‘Focus on colour coordination, balance and a smooth harmonious flow from room to room. Although each space should always have its own “wow” such as an amazing light or a favourite print, try to keep a “thread” of connection between all the spaces,’ explains Eileen Kesson at Envision Showhomes. ‘Personally, I am a huge wallpaper fan – a fabulous on-trend wallpaper can add instant pizazz and lift a room in an afternoon!’

natural luxe home decoration ideas

Mark Scott

Pat Nightgale at Blocc Ltd, adds: Create a focal point in each room. Something that draws the eye. It could be a piece of artwork, a mirror, cushions or a light fitting. Something unexpected, and sensational! A brightly coloured rug in a neutral room, or wallpaper the ceiling! Something that introduces character and real style.’

Jon Piling at Abode says curtains can make the biggest impact. ‘For us, the big trick that everyone misses are curtains, they can make or break an interior scheme,’ he reveals. ‘Typically we would always try and go for wall to wall, floor to ceiling wave headed curtains to make the room look wider and taller – after all, who wouldn’t want that in their home?!’

But Felicity Stevens at Haus Interiors reminds us that not every design decision has to be so noticeable. ‘Creating a memorable experience is imperative, and impact does not always have to be obvious,’ she says. ‘We always consider the basic senses of sight, scent and touch. Sight – a well-balanced interior that is pleasing on the eye; scent – selecting a scent that creates a memorable experience; touch – using layers of texture so that the interior is interesting to touch.’

show home aspen park larfield kitchen dining room by blocc interiors
The Larfield, Aspen Park, Blocc Interiors

Blocc Interiors

Working with a blank canvas? Design advice for your new home

Be methodical about how you are going to live in your new home and plan your space, room by room, says Felicity. Pat

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Best Places to Shop for Affordable Home Decor Online, According to Pro Designers

When the dream home on our Pinterest boards meets the reality of our bank accounts, we have to get a little creative with our design plans. Even professional interior designers have to work within the constraints of a client’s budget. So to find the best sources for million-dollar decor at a price we can actually afford, we asked those who would know best: the design pros. Here, the interior designers behind the 2020 Real Simple Home (take the video tour here!) reveal their go-to sources for inexpensive (yet stylish) home decor. Let the online shopping commence.

Urban Outfitters

“Urban Outfitters has really developed an amazing home decor collection over the last few years,” says designer Joy Cho. “While they are meant for college students and young adults, the styles are on trend and chic and offer very affordable options when you’re not quite ready to invest in forever pieces just yet.”

What to look for: “They have beautiful and affordable dinnerware sets, modern rugs that are super affordable, and home decor accessories that mix in nicely with what you already have.” 

Shop Urban Outfitters


a bedroom with a wooden table: modern wood dresser


© Provided by Real Simple
modern wood dresser

Etsy

“My go-to is Etsy since I’m big on vintage shopping and you can find a huge range of stuff—from vintage grain sacks to be made into pillows to mid-century furniture,” says designer Max Humphrey. “I like that you’re supporting individual sellers and that vintage shopping is a form of sustainable shopping since it’s all about reuse.” 

 

Brooklyn-based interior designer Kate Hamilton Gray also listed Etsy among her favorites. “You can find really fun custom lighting designs, some are made to order internationally and take a little time to get, but it’s reliable,” she explains. 

Shop Etsy


2020 Real Simple Home Office: Custom Handmade Floating Geometric Shelf


© Provided by Real Simple
2020 Real Simple Home Office: Custom Handmade Floating Geometric Shelf

Minted

Minted is a go-to source for well-priced art, and even pro designers swear by it. “They make beautiful keepsakes like this beautiful custom art that would make a memorable housewarming or homecoming gift,” says Roxy Te of Society Social. 

Shop Minted


Custom house drawing artwork


© Provided by Real Simple
Custom house drawing artwork

Zara Home

“They have a well curated selection of home accessories that are a great quality for the price,” says Hamilton Gray. “I buy solid linen throw pillows, and smaller decorative items from them a lot.” 

Shop Zara Home


a bedroom with a bed in a hotel room: Zara Home bedroom with velvet ochre pillows on bed


© Provided by Real Simple
Zara Home bedroom with velvet ochre pillows on bed

eBay

From pre-used furniture to vintage rugs, eBay is an online treasure trove for home decor. “I think you can find some very affordable items for great quality,” says designer and artist Rebecca Atwood. “For example, vintage linen pillowcases, cool enamel bowls, brass candlesticks, and more.” 

Shop eBay: ebay.com. 

Chairish

Atwood also recommends this online marketplace of vintage and contemporary home decor. Everything on the site is carefully curated (sorry, no pre-owned IKEA furniture here) so you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind conversation pieces. While prices can get steep, you have the option

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This Is the Best Wood for Cutting Boards, According to a Test Kitchen Pro

When it comes to kitchen tools, a durable wood cutting board is one of our essentials. The only question is, what type of wood is best? There is no shortage of materials: acacia, teak, maple, bamboo, walnut—even Japanese cypress!



a close up of a person with a knife on a cutting board


© Image Source/Getty Images


Use the guide below to decide what type of wood is right for your kitchen. Then, follow our tips for expert cutting board care.

What Is the Best Wood for Cutting Boards?

The Taste of Home Test Kitchen has use every type of wood cutting board on the market. And the winner is clear: maple. Sarah Farmer, who leads the Taste of Home culinary team, says, “We like our cutting boards like we like our syrup—of the maple variety.” In other words, her go-to material for a cutting board is maple.

“It’s durable, prevents the growth of bacteria, is easy on the knives and looks nice,” Sarah adds.

Maple cutting boards are also great because they’re easy to clean and sanitize. But keep in mind, no matter which wood cutting board you use, all types of wood are fairly porous and are likely to absorb juices from raw meat. Instead, use your wood cutting board for table-ready foods like herbs, vegetables, fruit, bread and cheese.

End Grain vs. Edge Grain Cutting Boards

This is another thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a cutting board. The terms “end grain” and “edge grain” refer to which part of the wood is used to construct the board. End grain is the end of the wood (where you can see the rings) and edge grain is the side of the wood (where you see a familiar wood grain pattern).

The two types of cutting boards are easy to tell apart because end grain cutting boards have a distinct checkerboard pattern made from several wood “ends” being fused together. Boards made from edge grain have the more traditional cutting board look. So which one is better? It all depends on your personal preference. End grain boards are a bit more expensive, but easier on your knives. Edge grain boards are more durable, easier to maintain and more affordable, but will cause your knives to dull faster.

Top-Rated Maple Cutting Boards

Now that we’ve revealed that maple is the best wood for cutting boards, it’s time to get your hands on one! For a classic board that will last a lifetime, we love this John Boos edge grain cutting board. It has a timeless reversible design, and it’s the perfect size with plenty of chopping space. We also love this Boos end grain board which has great reviews and comes in 10 different sizes. For a smaller board with a personal touch, check out this cute handled maple cutting board.

The post The Best Wood for Cutting Boards, According to Our Test Kitchen appeared first on Taste of Home.

Gallery: 20 Clever Uses for Plastic Bags You Have Lying Around the House (Taste of Home)

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The Easiest Way To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Like A Pro

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets – Easy Guide For Weekend Warriors And DIYers

We always suggest that you hire a professional to do the job for you for multiple reasons which include experience and insurance of a quality job! But for those who want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets without a professional sprayer, this is how you can get professional looking results for under $ 200.

How To Achieve Professional Results When Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

I have been getting a ton of questions via lately about one of our Facebook postings in which I painted our kitchen walls and cabinets. Most people are curious and want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets, and how much it cost to get our cabinets looking like new.

Our house is very old and so are our cabinets. It did not bother us at first but eventually, we got sick of looking at that ugly veneer look so we decided it was time for a makeover.

It's not very difficult to paint over veneer it just needs the right prep work. If you hire a professional I would suggest trying to do as much as you can yourself such as taking off the doors and hardware and maybe sanding them lightly with a 220 grit sanding block. Just a light scuff will do (imagine you are cleaning a window). That will save you a few dollars. But if you decide to do it on your own here are some tips on how to paint kitchen cabinets and get amazing and long lasting results.

Preparation When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

After you remove your doors (or just masking your hinges) lightly sand / scuff the surfaces that are being painted with a 220 grit sanding block. Use a type of degreasers such as Windex or Zep Citrus Degreaser.

Next, you have 2 options.You can use a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly scuff your surfaces or use Krud Kutter-Gloss Off which you can wipe on using a rag and let it sit for 10 minutes. Your surfaces will be deglossed without having to sand them.

Your next step is to prime the surfaces with the right primer. I used one coat of "INSL-X Stix" which is a urethane acrylic You can find it online or at your local Benjamin Moore Supplier. Check your local Hardware store.

Using a good quality paint will help you get the best finish possible. I suggest using Benjamin Moore Advance Alkyd. It is very easy to work with and dries to a hard and durable finish.

Using a 2-inch Nylon paintbrush start cutting in around the hardware (if you did not remove the doors) and any places your Whizz ™ roller will not reach. Next, use your Whizz ™ roller to apply your ALKYD enamel. Try to paint in the same direction as your grain (if your cabinet has a fake wood pattern). Let it dry overnight and repeat. You can hang your doors now but keep in …

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