Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Interior Design

Photo via WikiCommons

When you think about interior design, thoughts of beautiful upholstery, decorative wall hangings and more may come to mind. While a thoughtful, effective interior design will improve the look of your space, it also can solve many of the functional challenges that you face in the home. For example, the right design can help you to save energy or can improve storage space. If you are looking for some wonderful design ideas to incorporate into your home, these are some thoughtful options to consider.

Add Etched Glass Doors to Your Study
When study doors are solid, they will block light and can make the space look closed off. However, you may desire privacy in your study and need to keep the doors closed.
Glass doors may allow light to filter in, but they will not give you the privacy you desire. Etched glass is a gorgeous, practical option that resolves this challenge. The etched glass provides privacy in the room when the doors are closed while also allowing light to filter into the space.

Add Upward-Facing Wall Sconces and Lamps
If your ceilings are rather low and you are looking for a way to make your space appear to have more height, installing upward-facing wall sconces is a great idea. An alternative to this is to choose lamps that radiate light upward. When light streams upward, the desired illusion of height is created.

Install Wood Beams in Narrow Rooms
If there are rooms in your home that are long and narrow, you can create the illusion of width by installing wood beams in these rooms. The beams can run lengthwise along the narrowest dimension of the room, and this can play with the eye to create a space that looks wider than it actually is. The wood beams should ideally be a contrasting color from the ceiling for the best results.

Select Window Treatments With Care
Window treatments can be used for everything from promoting privacy to controlling sunlight and improving energy efficiency. Each room may have a different combination of needs that you need to fulfill with your window treatments, and each window treatment type can provide different benefits. While it is critical to select the right type for the space, it is also important to focus on style and how the style impacts the look in the room. Professional design assistance from a window treatment specialist may benefit you.

Place a Focal Point Behind Large Furnishings
Large furnishings can be a focal point in a room, and this can include your bed, a sofa or other large pieces. However, you typically do not want a focal point to be a piece of furniture because this can draw the eye downward. Therefore, placing a focal point on the wall will draw the attention of the eye upward. The wall covering should be large enough so that it balances the weight of the furniture that it is next to.

Use Hanging Shelves and Cabinets When Floor Space is Limited
In many rooms of the home, you may need more storage space than you have available, but it may not be practical to add a shelf or cabinet to the room because of limited floor space. While horizontal space on the floor may be limited, vertical space may not be. Hanging shelves and cabinets can be placed in strategic locations for storage, and if you choose decorative pieces, you can also dress up your room while adding the extra storage you need.

Add Mirrors to Smaller Rooms
In some areas of the home, the rooms may feel closed off and cramped. This may be in a smaller living area that has little windows, a cozy bedroom or even a long, narrow hallway. Many smaller rooms also can feel darker, and a great way to resolve both of these issues is to add mirrors to the walls. An alternative would be to add furnishings that have mirrors on them, such as a mirrored china cabinet in a small dining room.

Install a Decorative Overhead Light in Small Spaces
In many rooms, creating a focal point on the wall is a great idea. However, when a room is small, when a ceiling is low or when you are dealing with a combination of both of these, it may be best to draw attention of the eye upward. A smaller decorative light fixture is a great option because it places a focal point in the upper center of the room.

Interior design is about adding style to the space, and it also can improve many of the functional challenges that you are facing. Take time to pinpoint all of the challenges that you are facing in each room before selecting design ideas to incorporate into your space. This will help you to generate the best results possible.

Mikkie Mills is a Chicago native who loves to save money and help others do the same. When I'm not writing, I'm chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym." 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

4 Tips to Give Furniture a Rustic Look

Vintage furniture are back, so it is time to visit your grand parents' attic to find a few hidden gems. Many of you might have pieces of furniture that need a little touch in order to look perfect. Here are four tips that can help you in the process.

1. Distressing
You would initially have to start with distressing your furniture. This means you would have to scrape off any old paint that is currently on the piece. You can either use an electric sander or sandpaper to wipe off the paint. You might be required to use a chemical cleaner if the paint is applied quite thickly. Once you are done with the cleaning part, dry the furniture using a rag to remove any dirt that is left.

The next step is to paint the furniture in a manner such that an anti dilutive look is achieved. Do remember that rustic furniture does not have heavy coats of paint and therefore you must dilute the paint. You can choose any kind of paint such as oil based paints or water based paints. Apply the paint by using a rag or brush although a rag results in better effects. Once the first layer is applied allow it to dry off and then apply the second layer. You can add more layers if you want to but do remember that rustic furniture is all about less paint and have a more worn out look. In case you have applied more paint than you want, you can use a sandpaper to wipe off the excess paint.

You can also apply opaque color paint directly and then wipe it off the cloth immediately after applying. This way any excess paint would be removed immediately and you would need to spend less effort and time.

Although this might seem quite obvious, this is nevertheless an important step. If you do not allow the paint to dry off and move to the next step, all your effort would not be realized as the furniture would fail to achieve the desired look. You need to make sure that the furniture item is allowed to dry off in a ventilated area, away from people or pets who might ruin the paint job.

Once the paint has dried off, you would now need to seal it with satin polyurethane that would act as a sealant and protect the furniture. However, do not apply the sealer with a rag but rather with a brush to ensure smooth application.

The simple process of whitewashing can allow you to bring a rustic charm to the interior of your room. The process is quite simple and does not require a person to master any specific technique and therefore is a must do it yourself project.

Chris is an experienced interior designer and craftman. Chris regularly writes for Christophe Living. Over the last 4 years, Chris has written numerous articles and is an active forum contributor.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

5 Things to Be Careful About When Buying Antique Furniture

Antique furniture makes a wonderful addition to your home. The look and ambiance created by it are splendid but you need to be careful when buying it. Antique furniture costs more than new pieces and you have to make sure that you are spending your money carefully. Here are 5 things you have to be careful about when buying antique furniture.  

Is It Antique?
A piece of antique furniture will not have the answer written on it. You have to make sure that the furniture you are looking at is really antique. There are fraudulent sellers who pass off new furniture as antique and sell it for more than its value. A careful examination of the furniture shows if it has been around for a century or just a few years. If possible, have an expert determine the exact date of production. Ask the seller himself to tell you about the furniture. If you are doubtful about the authenticity, it is better to keep your wallet in pocket.

Additions or Removal
The furniture should be intact with no additions or removals made later on. Antique furniture has full value if it has been intact throughout its life. Any alterations made to it will reduce the authenticity and design. Everything attached to the furniture including handles, buttons and stands should be original. Otherwise, the furniture won’t be worthy to purchase.

Working Condition
The furniture you’ll buy should be in perfect working condition. Age causes deterioration and wear and tear and you should ensure that there are no such issues with the furniture you’re eyeing to buy. After all, antique furniture is old and it is prone to some wear and tear.

If it’s in good working condition, this means that it has stood the test of time and will last for a while. Scrutinize the antique piece you are yearning to buy.  Find someone who has an eye and knowledge on antique to boost your confidence when buying.

Licensed Dealer
The furniture dealer you are transacting with should be licensed and reliable. There are many fake suppliers who sell bogus antique furniture. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned money to cons. Check the reliability of the dealer before you make the final purchase. Moreover, trusted furniture dealers have the best antique furniture to offer. If you want to buy the best antique furniture, you need to find the best dealer.

Time Period and Style
Find out all you can about the time period and style to which the piece of antique furniture belongs. That way, you can decorate a whole room in the same style and theme. If you already have a themed room in your home, you can find the right antique furniture to go with it. You can adopt a new theme for your sitting room or lounge.

These are 5 things you have to be careful about when buying antique furniture. Make sure you follow these tips so that you can buy the best antique furniture for your home.

Chris has a passion for antique furniture and he writes about his expertise in Christophe Living. When he is not working, Chris enjoys blogging.