New Look

Do you ever look in the mirror and get tired of what you see? While most people change their appearance from time to time, I have been lax in this department. The status quo was good enough for me. The biggest alteration that people notice is hair color—in men and women. A shorter haircut will also do the trick, but right now I like the length I have. I consulted with friends about the right shade and vowed to do the deed over the weekend. I would start out Monday morning with a surprise for coworkers and colleagues. Would anyone notice?

Personal style is as important as home décor, although I often focus most often on the latter as my blog readers know. What you wear and your grooming habits make a huge difference in the overall effect. At the top of the pyramid, however, hair and makeup reign supreme. I felt an innate need to try something new for some unexplained reason. When a brunette goes blonde, the result can be dramatic, but is often inappropriate. When a woman goes from mousy brown to red, it is a sign of a psychological need. I am going to liven up the faded sandy blond and go for a rich sable with great depth of color. I hoped for the best as I opened the package. Clairol, fail me not, I chanted. I crossed my fingers.

You need to know what you are doing in the hair color process or you will make a big mess and stain everything in sight. I opted for the kitchen sink instead of the shower or tub. I could control the run off with my wonderful new Kraus faucet. Little did I know when I bought it that it would convert my kitchen into a beauty salon. The pull-down design is perfect for the dying task. A friend stood by after the color had sufficiently developed to help me do the rinse. The faucet was so convenient that I think I could have done it myself. I could get really close to the scalp, moving the flexible neck from the base of my neck to my bangs. To this time, I had only maneuvered the faucet side to side in the sink to wash dishes or clean the basin. The Kraus faucet went to town helping me get rid of telltale dye that was adhering to my roots.

When you choose a new kitchen faucet, you have so many choices. Modern innovation has given us the touchless model and the flexible neck. A pull-down style is increasingly in demand in addition to which we all want instant hot and filtered cold water. I know of dozens of women who wash and dye their hair at home, most at the kitchen sink. Those in the know already have their pull-down unit. I was late to the party, but am now on the right track.

Get the Right Ceiling Fan For Your Space

Today I want to be Miss helpful and guide you in purchasing a ceiling fan for practicality and décor. This is a super handy item that will enhance most any room of the house while keeping everyone cool as a cucumber. You save energy and those costly utility bills when the air conditioning system is in full use. Why go this route when a simple appliance will take care of lowering the interior temperature. My guide has a few basic points.

  1. Measure your room and determine the size fan that best suits the space. Of course you will survey the ceiling and pick a central spot. There are wall units, but they are not always the most attractive. I suggest them when you already have a fixture you like. You can change it out for the new fan and the bonus is that the wiring is already in place.
  2. Select the style carefully as you will be living with it for a long time. Learn all the options from a retro to an industrial look. You can choose among a myriad of finishes from wood stains to basic metal. Take a gander around your house to determine the overall “look” and buy something within the existing parameters.
  3. Decide on a Ceiling Fan Choice with or without a central lighting fixture. Again, style comes into play as you determine the texture and size of this fixture.
  4. Be sure to buy a unit with a remote control for circulation speed. It must also have a dimmer for the light.
  5. Research prices and look for available discounts. Why pay more than you must? Don’t forget to calculate shipping and any secret handling expenses.
  6. Think about who is going to do the installation to make sure they have experiencing with electrical connections.
  7. Read all the instructions that come with the fan and learn what to do if there is a malfunction. It could be the connection if it happens right away. Otherwise, most new units come with at least a one-year warranty. Keep the instructions as a reference and in case you need to call the company.
  8. Now enjoy the gentle breeze the fan creates to freshen stale air and cool off the room. In the summer, it is a godsend.

These are the basics. I could spend more time on style and décor issues, but then we would need to look at photos on line as reference. The point is that a ceiling fan adds a lot to a room and is not a random item. It might be inexpensive or on sale, but it could clash with your color scheme and furnishings. You don’t need to make this mistake since there are so many possibilities these days. The technology is better than ever and these fans last a long time. Go for it!

Work Style Doesn’t Have to be Boring

I believe it is important to live your life with maximum style. It is easier than you think. Start with your home. Take a look around. Do you like what you see? Is it interesting or the same as everyone else? Does it reflect who you are and the intricacies of your personality? Whether guests come over or not, it is for you first and foremost. You spend the most time in your living space and making it beautiful and attractive will enrich your life. Plus, it is fun to put it all together. Any type of décor will do and there a thousand ways to make it work on a budget. You can buy used, make things yourself, accept hand-me-downs from family or friends, and find bargains online or in stores. When it comes to decorating and styling, the world is your oyster. There is so much out there.

The same goes for your appearance. I am a strong proponent of jazzing up your work wardrobe to reflect your personal style. The idea, of course, is to find it. You can have fun and be yourself while still looking professional. Why be plain when you can be fancy. Why wear a cookie-cutter outfit when you can be unique? You would be surprised what a little color and pattern can do. A hot pink belt with a white silk shirt and a pair of classic trousers takes you into an entirely different mode.

So, style is a two-pronged concept: home and work, furniture and clothing, décor items and accessories. If they overlap, so much the better. I find, for example, that the ubiquitous backpack can be turned into a business tote like the models at https://www.businessbagreview.com/. Just as you add things around the house to make it yours, you can style your backpack or briefcase with personal details. Whether it is your basic blouse and pants, ladies, or your carry-all, work style doesn’t have to be boring. A pretty print scarf tied around your neck or waist works wonders on the briefcase for color and pizzazz. I also like to paint on my briefcase and put adornments on my backpack. Travel or theme pins will do just fine. Patches are another possibility. Beads flowing from the fabric add a luxury vibe.

It all comes down to caring about your life and the meaning of the word “style” as it applies to you. If you believe what I say, the time is now to get your fashion and home décor in order. Become a new you. It can be a great hobby or pastime to help you escape from the tedium and routine of work (if that is your case). I personally can spend hours on the Internet looking at design photos and what people do that strikes my fancy. Give Instagram a gander. There is a treasure trove of ideas out there. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Sad to Say, I Didn’t Strike Gold, But…

Life can be dull and routine. It is my goal in life and the purpose of this blog to encourage making our surroundings more attractive. There are so many ways to beautify a room on a budget. I have made decorative objects myself with a few odds and ends around the house. Save swatches of fabric, used ribbons, dried flowers, or any gifts such as candles and picture frames. They can all turn into wonderful décor if combined in an interesting way. All you need is some creativity and the desire and a favorite color scheme. I have used paper lanterns for lamps, papier maché boxes for jewelry, collage or watercolors hung over the bed as a headboard. Then there are great stores that sell glass vases, abstract rugs, embroidered pillows and fun artwork at a super price. We all know these chains, but sometimes we forget about them. It is so much easier to go in person to best envision an object in your space. Online, you often are surprised at a difference in color or size from what you expected.

Recently, I found some decorative items while panning for gold with a friend. She wanted to try it as she heard that you can uncover interesting relics or rocks while also looking for the magic metal. I think a big nugget would be extraordinary on an end table next to a crystal vase. It was my first time and I didn’t envision much success at Finding a Fortune. I am happy to reveal that I did find some different things that would work in my home. Before we even started panning, I saw some tall plants that would dry beautifully and fit in one of my best vases. This was a very good start. I also found some pieces of wood here and there in very artistic shapes. Driftwood at the beach is like branches from an old tree. I find that when strategically placed, it can be fabulous.

Thus, I didn’t exactly strike gold in the literal sense of the words, but I did find what I wanted to begin with: some décor items that no one else has. When in place, they added so much personality to the room as I had hoped. Decorating and embellishing is all about avoiding the tried and true. Too many people think that you can only have a sleek contemporary look in our era. I believe in populating a space with something of visual interest no matter what style you prefer. I love an eclectic feel rather than something totally homogenous. Combining styles can result in something far superior.

I leave you with a final thought. Doing it yourself is often better than hiring a designer with one look. If you want your place to reflect your taste and personality, it is best to go hunting on your own. Let my example encourage you to look around and explore possibilities wherever you are.

Incorporating Technology into Your Design

Sometimes you can hide technology, like putting wires inside a TV cabinet. Sometimes you can’t make holes in the walls as it is obvious and unsightly. Having wired speakers is a problem for many. I always try to suggest camouflage. I run wires under a rug or along a baseboard. I also find that changing the wiring from black or brown to white helps integrate them into your home design. I hate wires that scream, “I am here.” It costs a lot to have a pro hide the wires in a wall and it is not something you can do yourself. When you want to move the item, the wires are there to stay. If you have an audio system at home, possibly part of your entertainment center, you have some issues to address. I don’t find that people focus that much on wires as we see them all the time; but homeowners really hate the intrusion. I get it. Wireless speakers may well be the answer if the wiring seems out of control. There are ways to make your system work within any space if you know what kind of system you need.

When you have no way to hide the wires, wireless speakers work best. What a brilliant invention! But there are pros and cons for both types. Experts say the wired kind works best for absolute sound control and high fidelity. It is not about looks as they are both compatible inside the home. Oddly enough, I read that wired speakers dominate the market despite the intrusion of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I wonder why given the chaos of wires that results and the hassle of ceiling speakers. Try to integrate that into your décor! Not easy. It looks like a giant smoke alarm.

As for Bluetooth wireless speakers, the quality gap is narrowing fast, making them a great option for even the most discriminating audiophiles. When deciding which to buy, you need to weigh up the pros and cons – luckily, this has been done for you here: https://www.outdoorlightandsound.com/bluetooth-vs-wired-speakers-pros-cons/. This is more important than whether wires work with your décor or not. No one wants ugly, snaking cables. Yes, it also matters which type are easiest to use, but it is first and foremost about the sound. Both wired and wireless fall into the easy category with little difference in setup time. If you expect to swap out components of a large system in the future, it is said that go with the wired option. This doesn’t mean that a wireless set isn’t versatile. You can still have multiple speakers all over the house, if it doesn’t clash with the décor. This is always an issue with me. With innovative software, these speakers can connect easily with others, but there are limitations in terms of syncing up with external systems (like amplifiers). Not so much with wired systems. Apps are changing the industry so wait and see what is to come.

Hacks to Keep Your Space Clean

I let my place go and it needed a thorough cleaning, the kind you only want to do a couple times a year. Get out the furniture polish, dusting rags, your Bissell or Hoover, and you are ready to go. We go through our various rituals to make our surroundings fresh and attractive. You can do it yourself (no one will do it better) or get help. I do that only for the windows as I don’t have all the gear. In that I am in the midst of a major undertaking, it is relevant to share with you a few of my best hacks to keep your space tidy. Here goes:

  • Start to repeat the word “organization”: if you do, may be you will internalize the need to keep things in some kind of logical order so you can find them and they look nice. Sort things in your kitchen and keep everyday appliances and utensils within easy reach. Clean under the sink (it is inevitably nasty) before you place your cleaning solutions and soaps.
  • Read product labels. When I don’t, I make more than a few mistakes. Some solutions will eat at stained wood surfaces or destroy the sheen of marble.
  • Learn how to use all the accessories that come with your vacuum. This can save a lot of time. They are shortcuts that shouldn’t be missed. The crevasse tool is great for upholstered furniture and the brush for dusty shelves. Switch the major attachment when going from carpet to wood floors unless it does so with a quick flip of a lever. I hope you have one like I do after reading The Vacuum Challenge. It’s much easier!
  • Use soft scrub on delicate porcelain surfaces—tubs, sinks, shower tiles, etc. It is as good as the rough cleanser and won’t create peeling spots.
  • Don’t forget the microwave just because you haven’t used it in a while. I also find food residue. Use the same products as you do inside the refrigerator.
  • Clean the ice tray in your freezer from time to time unless you want one large block. Then it is almost impossible to pry it apart.
  • Discover the value of a Swiffer floor “mop” for wood. It saves wear and tear on the floor from a heavy vacuum cleaner. Keep scratches to a minimum.
  • There are great products out there to restore wood surfaces, whether furniture or the floor. If you have had water spills, you know about fading and stains.
  • Some things people often forget: carpeted stairs, the dirty area of indoor floors adjacent to doors, cupboards that are high up in the kitchen, and behind the toilet. Learn your own house inside and out to keep it squeaky clean.

These are just a few of my favorite cleaning tricks that will get you in the mood to tackle the big job with vim and vigor. You might be like me: once you get started, you are on a roll and don’t stop until every nook and cranny has been addressed. Go for it!

Dorm Style Essentials

I love how practical many blogs are today giving you tips and tricks on how to do this or that. It is all about improving your life on a budget. Plus, it is fun to do it yourself no matter if it is making soap or bath oil or learning how to cook for pennies a day. I have seen sewing instructions, how to convert an old tee into a million gifts, the essence of motor cycle maintenance and lawn mower repair. Do you want to learn to weld, bake bread, clean an oily garage floor, or install an above-ground pool? Just go on line and in seconds you have all you need to know.

My blog is about decorating your environment or your clothing to spiff up your life and image. It is another DIY but with a twist. I want to focus my attention today on college students and the frugal life they live. Rather than reside in a bland dorm room with nothing to look at, I will help you decorate it in style on the cheap. Everyone will want to come over. Then I will end with suggestions to make your backpack look as cool as possible with easy tricks of the sewing trade. Stay with me.

Among the many ways you can redo your room, here are my favorites:

  • Paint works wonders as long as you chose a fun color: not beige, tan, white, or ecru. Forget what mom thinks.
  • Window treatment packs a big punch as a visual focal point. You can make your own drapes and avoid the cost of custom pre-fab curtains. A few simple seams made with a borrowed sewing machine will do the job. Pick a fabric that is not too transparent so the sun doesn’t wake you up. If the walls are neon bright, use a heavy cotton/linen blend. Make a casing at the top or loops depending upon your skills. Slip the drape through a wooden rod that lays neatly on decorative fixtures installed at each side of the window. The only real money you will spend is if you like fancy hooks.
  • Making a duvet or quilt might be too much for you so get all your girlfriends to go in on it. It will be done in no time. You can add homemade pillows of fun fabrics that contain the wall color.
  • Frequent thrift stores to find interesting area rugs that aren’t too beaten up. No matter if they are worn as long as they are clean. By the way, it is easy to wash cotton carpets and some even go in the washing machine.
  • Knickknacks will fill a boring space if strategically placed on desks, night stands and dressers. Remember that thrift store. Go back again. Make your own candles or macramé plant holders. Ask mom to donate some items she no longer looks at. Too many small items are dust catchers so go with bigger things.

Now that your room could be in Home and Gardens magazine, let’s tackle the Backpack Style. My suggestions for quick adornment to set your bag apart from a sea of boring totes:

  • Add new straps in a contrasting color. A good place to go is a shoe or handbag repair shop.
  • Add jewels, ribbons, patches, or pre-made embroidery designs over the surface.
  • Paint (with fabric paint) your favorite idols or images, even the logo of a top sports team.
  • Make strings of beads and hang them from hooks on the backpack.

Have fun and stand out in the crowd!

Color Choices

When you’re thinking about clothing, you can wear just about any color that you love and that looks good on you. All you have to worry about is whether or not it matches with everything else you’re wearing. So, if your favorite color is tangerine, then you can wear a tangerine dress to a dinner party and a pair of tangerine shoes when you’re out running. The colors you choose for your living spaces, on the other hand, are a little different.

Certain colors can have significant affects on our moods and feelings, so we have to be conscious of these things when we’re designing spaces in our home. It doesn’t matter what your favorite color is, it is all about functionality in each room. And while you absolutely can add colors in as accents, keep a few of these ideas in mind if you’re buying paint colors for your walls or furniture – it will help you achieve the things you truly want out of your space.

In somewhere like the bedroom, you want to go with soothing colors. You want your bedroom to feel like a haven, and a bright or flashy color will be too stimulating here. Go for cool colors like greens or blues. Even pastels like lavender would look beautiful. You want to avoid colors like red or orange on your walls – they make you more alert (think about a traffic light). If you are partial to warm colors, work them in as textiles.

For the dining room, go the opposite way. Did you know that the color red can be an appetite stimulant, making it the perfect color for a dining room. If you’ve got heavy and dark wood furniture, your best bet is going to be to balance it out with a lighter color on the walls. For rooms that don’t get a lot of help from the sun, a mirror on the wall across from a window will work wonders. It will reflect the light and make the room even brighter if you need it. If that’s not possible, try to put it in a position where it will reflect the artificial light in the room – it’s the same principal, after all.

When in the kitchen, go for cheerful colors. Yellows go great with many different wood colors, easy to do with cabinets. If you have white cabinets, on the other hand, and lots of lighting, a deep color like navy blue can look amazing. You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so make it a room that is bright enough to see what you’re doing and happy so that meal prep day in and day out doesn’t feel like a chore.

Bathrooms are one place where I like to have fun with color. Sticking with white porcelain is always a solid choice, and then you can paint the walls or have any color tiles you choose. I like my bathroom to look like a spa retreat, so I have lots of sage greens and tranquil blues. But I’ve also had deep purples and burgundy, too. It just depends on the size of the room and the lighting available.

Lastly, let’s talk about living rooms, studies, family rooms, and dens. No matter what you call them, these tend to be rooms we spend a lot of time in. They also tend to have the most furniture in them: sofas, love seats, entertainment centers, bookshelves, and storage containers. In cases like this, I really like having neutral tones on the walls. Tans, greys, and cream colors can provide a blank canvas feel to the room so that you can have great things like patterned sofas and vibrant area rugs take center stage.

Let me know if you agree with these tips or if you’ve gone a different way. I’d love to hear what colors are on your walls!

There’s no Excuse for Boring Walls

I like to make my own art for my walls. When it is done right, you have a fun and personal piece that really is unique. When it’s done wrong, however, it looks a little too kiddie or arts-and-crafty, two things I try to avoid. Here are some tips on how to create your own one-of-a-kind pieces, whether you’re making a gallery of your own photographs or a meaningful collage.

First, decide on a frame. If you’re doing something on a canvas, you can choose to forgo one, but remember to be careful with the edges – at least the ones on the sides and the bottom will be visible (the top, too, depending on how you hang it or if you are super tall). Find one that is proportionate to the size of the room. While I sometimes buy a frame to go with something specific, so it is a matching thing, I often use the size of a frame that I find somewhere to help me decide what to put in it.

If you are going for a gallery style look, you do not have to have the same frames or even the same sized frames throughout. You just have to make sure that there is something to tie all the items together: maybe it is all pictures that are black and white, or maybe they are all objects out of the same theme. If you really want it to look upscale, using a matte in each frame will make them look professionally done. I highly recommend laying out everything on a large sheet of butcher paper or cardboard before you start making holes in your walls. It will really help you see what the end result will look like before you use a single nail. Trace the frames where you want them on your template, mark where the nails should go, and then tape the template in place on the wall.Put the nails in your designated spots and viola!Only the necessary amount of marks on the wall!

On the other hand, if you’re creating something like a collage, really think about what you want to use. Magazine or newspaper pages tend to look very amateurish, but if you know where you are going with that, great! I’ve used pages from books before and it really depends on the quality of the paper it is printed on. Pay a lot of attention to the space you’re using and the space you’re not. You don’t want it to look too cluttered or too empty. Finding a balance is much easier before you start gluing anything down – something I learned by trial and error, trust me! Play around with the layout until you have something that you like. If you have too many things, don’t crowd it. Make another instead. Go over everything with a clear glue or similar when you are finished to keep everything looking good for a long time.

For those of you who are just blessed with artistic talent and can paint, you are lucky! Even if you do one of those paint nights, hang your work with pride! It doesn’t matter if it is perfect, only that you like it. Make your space your own and it will never feel out of place!

Need a Change?

I start to get a little antsy when I feel like I’ve been looking at the same four walls too long. As much as I would like to have the money to reupholster furniture, buy new curtains, and get all new accessories, my life isn’t really like that at the moment. I’m assuming, if you’re reading my blog, yours isn’t, either.

But I’ve found some tips and tricks along the way to make things look different enough to quell that feeling. Take a look at my ideas below, and use what works for you.

The first one is obvious—rearrange furniture. Even if all I’m doing is angling a bookcase, it can change the focal point of the room. Plus it is free! I’ve got a square rug with asymmetrical patterns on it – every time I rotate it, it looks completely different. I love it.

Another thing I like to change is the art on the walls. While I don’t necessarily have the money to buy new art, I can make my own. I can print a new photograph to hang on the wall, or even make a collage. One time, I bought a children’s book that was an old favorite of mine and very carefully removed a few of the pages to hang up. I’ve got a few all-purpose frames on the wall and I can switch out what’s inside whenever.

If you don’t have the money for new window treatments, you can try changing out your hardware – replace the finials, paint the rod, use different hooks. Anything will have an impact. Another idea is to put up a valance or swag; it will change the look of your window without changing the curtains. Adding or removing sheers can also help. I also don’t judge if you have shower curtains hanging on the walls. If they’re the rights size for the room and you like them, so what!

If you are OK with a sewing machine, buy fabrics and make some of your own items. A simple pair of curtains actually aren’t all that hard to make, and neither are throw pillows. The price of material can be much more budget-friendly. In your bedroom, you can also change out bedskirts, the coverlet, or even just the pillowcases to make the room look different.

Reupholstering can be challenging and is probably best left to professionals, but slipcovers can work magic on old furniture! The internet is great for finding the perfect slipcover to hide the faded pattern on your hand-me-down sofa. If your piece is oddly shaped, a pretty throw blanket can do wonders.

If none of these ideas appeal to you, then I suggest changing the lighting. Go for a softer watt bulb or a different color. Change out the shade, or add a trim. You’d be surprised at how different things can look just by switching out a little lightbulb.

My last idea is a pretty simple one: if you have a collection in the room – whether its knickknacks, collectibles, books, or something else – a simple rearrangement can sometimes change the look and feel of your display.

Doing even one or two of these things can really change up a room and make it look totally different. Enjoy your new/old place!

Refinish that Thrift Store Find!

When I am looking for a new piece of furniture, I usually try thrift stores and consignment shops first. I would rather have something that shows a little love than something made of particleboard that I have to assemble with a hex key.

Plastic pieces can be repurposed fairly easily, depending on the condition. Often all it will need is a good washing and you’re done. However, if the plastic is really shiny and you want to repaint it, use a fine grit sandpaper to take the gloss off. That will help the paint stick better. Give it a really good wash and dry, then use a spraypaint designed for plastics. Follow the instructions on the can, work in a well-ventilated area, and you should be good to go!

Metal is a little more challenging, especially if it has been outdoors. However, as long as it hasn’t been eaten completely through, a little work is all you need. A wire brush will help you remove any loose bits of rust. If it’s super rusty, sand it down. You can use a palm sander if you are cool with tools.Depending on the design of your find, you might have to get in there by hand for the hard to reach spots. Once that’s done, you need to clean it with a solvent designed for metal (acetone should do the trick). Next, give it a good going over with a rust-preventing primer. Finally, do a few light coats of paint that’s designed for metal. Then enjoy your new-to-you item!

A lot of the pieces you’ll find will be wood. With a little work, you can really make a quality piece look new again. The first thing you’ll need to do is apply paint stripper and use a scraper tool to remove the old finish. Once you have the old finish off, wipe the whole thing down with mineral spirits to get rid of any remaining stripper. Next it’s time to sand it down—start with something at a medium coarseness to help you get down to the bare wood. Then use a lighttexture sandpaper to even out the surface and smooth down those nicks and dings. Wipe it all down again to get any dust off. Now you can apply something like a paint or a stain. I recommend also applying a clear coat on top of that to help protect the wood and give it a little shine. Let it dry for about a day and then you’re done.

I hope this gives you the confidence to go out there and find yourself a really interesting piece that you can add your own flair to. You’ll likely save yourself some money and have a one-of-a-kind item to show for it.

Layer Your Style

Sometimes decorating a living space is very similar to good fashion sense: there’s a point where things are too matchy-matchy, and there’s definitely a limit on how much you can pull off all at once. I like to think of interior design as a matter of layering in your style as you go along.

Start with a neutral piece. I don’t care if it is a beige wall, a solid blue couch, or a black rug. Some stuff just HAS to be a blank canvas of sorts. This is going to be your money piece: get something good quality that will last you for a while. Don’t be disappointed, we’re going to work with this piece in a few minutes. OK – so that neutral piece is going to anchor the room and everything else is going to build on it. The accent pieces, the things that represent you and your style can be anything from priceless antiques to homemade to thrift-store finds to the latest must have. That part’s up to you. The best part is that because you’ve got a neutral anchor, if you feel like changing the room around, you just swap out some of your accent pieces and it will look like a whole new room!

For example, say you have the solid blue couch. Now you can add some patterned throw pillows. If zebra prints are your favorite, go for it. Got that so far? You balance out the neutral with something that says something about you and your style. Here’s a handy tip: be careful with proportions. Don’t have oversized pillows on a delicately carved sofa. Likewise, if you have a huge fluffy couch, don’t use teeny bolsters. It’s fine to use a few different sizes, but make sure they all work in relation to one another.

OK, so say you’re working with that black rug. Maybe it’s in the middle of your bedroom, and your furniture is black, too. So go crazy with your bedspread and curtains! Find a scheme and stick to it – in other words, you can have a gorgeous quilt on your bed filled with purples and reds, and then have purple striped curtains. Have fun with it. You can mix textures and patterns, but be sure that there is something unifying within the elements: a common fabric, perhaps, or a certain color. It will make everything look much more deliberate.

Just like when you are picking out clothes, find things that work together and that you really love. You want to walk into the space and feel calm, peaceful, and happy. Remember that negative space is just as important as the stuff you fill the room with. Your eye needs places to rest, or the area will look too chaotic and jumbled. You can maximize negative space in even small rooms by adding reflective surfaces like a mirror. If you have objects on display, make sure they have breathing room in between them. Showcase pieces that all relate to each other in some way – the same subject, the same color family, the same size. And if you have a lot of stuff, storage bins are a blessing. It will help you keep your space organized and only the things you WANT people to see out in full view.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.