Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rugs Aren't the Only Answer for Floors

While I've never done it in my own home, painted floors are beginning to appeal to me. It started with a great article in House Beautiful.......and went from there. There are so many creative ideas out there!

Courtesy HGTV
If  your wood floor just isn't in good shape, a paint job may be just the uplift you need. And if you keep it simple not only will it be a fraction of the cost of refinishing, but you can also keep your area rug.

Courtesy House Beautiful
Want a little more interest? Think colors! A pretty color will add more pizazz and make a rug unnecessary. If you're afraid of going to bright in the house, what about a porch or patio? Nothing brings to mind summer skies better than a sky blue floor.

If you really want to get creative, consider a pattern. While this may be a little tricky for the amateur (but certainly not impossible), even the cost of hiring a professional is worth the unique patterns you can have. Your floor becomes truly one of a kind.

If your entire floor doesn't need painting (or even if it does), consider a painted rug. And just like a "real" rug, the wear and tear on a painted rug just adds a lovely patina.

If you decide to paint your floor, there are a few things to keep in mind. The floor needs to be completely free of dirt and dust before you begin. Otherwise, you'll have a bit more texture than you may have bargained for. If you're getting a bit creative, it's probably a good idea to paint a sample board. That way you can make sure you are getting the colors, patterns and textures you really want. If the floor is already varnished, that will need to be removed before painting. And a coat of polyurethane is probably a very good idea, particularly in high traffic areas.

Like these ideas but want to see more? Check out my Painted Floors board on Pinterest!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We Need Lights at This Time of Year!

Lighting is critical in a good design plan. But even more so during the dark days of winter. While you may not have the budget to redo your home's entire lighting scheme, there are some easy changes you can make to make your home lighter and brighter at this time of year.

Begin with the entry. Even if you have a chandelier, a lamp on the entry table or a floor lamp beside a chair invite your visitors inside and set the tone for the rest of the home.

Check out the living and family rooms. Would changing lamp shades to a lighter color help? What about adding ambient lighting, such as a pretty accent lamp on a bookshelf or one or two on the mantel? Not only does this provide additional soft lighting to the room, they also help to draw your eye to a focal point of the room.

Dining rooms usually have a chandelier of some sort. (Design tip: your chandelier should be at least 12 inches narrower than the table and hung between 27" and 36" above it.) But what about buffet lamps? Would that bring a nice glow to the room?

Under-cabinet lighting is nice in the kitchen, but if you don't have it what about adding an accent lamp on the countertop? Ditto bathrooms, where having a lit lamp feels much warmer than walking into a dark space.

There are so many options available for lighting today. It's nice to know you don't have to spend a fortune if you don't want to! Want a few more ideas? Then check out my newest board on Pinterest Inexpensive Lighting Options