Category Archives: Home and Garden

Luxury Bedding With Cultiver

No matter how you look at it, the bedroom is one of the most important spaces in any home. From a functional standpoint, they both tend to be (and need to be) the most relaxing spaces that we have. We may have other rooms in our home that are just as good when we’re looking for a place to unwind, but when we’re really looking to switch off and detach from the outside world, there’s just no better place to accomplish that than in the bedroom. At the same time, when we look at the home through a designer’s eye, we find again that the bedroom stands very near the top of our list of designable spaces. In most cases, our bedrooms are second only to our living rooms in terms of the sheer number of possibilities for furnishings, textiles, art and other accessories. But even more than is true for living rooms, a well-designed bedroom can be good for more than just your eye.

For years, scientific studies have shown time and again that sleep and stress relief are both crucial elements in maintaining our health, and a well designed bedroom can provide both. Combine that with a seemingly limitless number of options for headboards, bedding, lighting and everything else that can make a room glow, and you’ve got the sort of space that designers dream of. That’s what makes bedrooms so much fun to decorate, and why a beautifully designed bedroom is always worth the investment of time and creativity (and sometimes even money). But the best part of decorating any bedroom is finding ways to give it that sense of luxury and style that we expect to find only in palatial homes or glamorous hotels. And it doesn’t take millions of dollars or a luxury designer to make your bedroom feel like it’s fit for the stars. In fact, all you really need, is the right bedding.

 

It’s no surprise that the bed is always the center of attention in any bedroom. And the center of attention on the bed is almost always going to be the bedding (though there are a few headboards that can give bedding a run for its money). So whatever the look or feel that you’re trying to create, the bed is always the place to start and the bedding is usually your best bet. That’s great news because it means that you don’t need to tackle the entire room to change the look of your bedroom. Instead, all you need is the right bedding that can take your bedroom from flat to drop dead gorgeous in no time at all. So the only question now is, “How do I find the right bedding?” Well, I’m glad you asked. In fact, I was just wondering the same thing. So to give us all a better perspective on how to bring a bit more glam to our bedsheets, I decided to talk with Nicolle Sullivan, bedding guru and CEO at Cultiver. They gave me the facts on how to spot the five key elements that make for the kind of amazing, top-of-the-line, luxury bedding that will take your decor to new places while being so comfortable that you’ll never have to count another sheep again. The one little hint I can give you right now: thread count has nothing to do with it.

Fill Your Home Without Emptying Your Wallet

Decorating can be expensive, particularly if you have to do a whole room or a whole house all at once. A decorating budget will be your most important tool in making sure you don’t empty your wallet while filling your house.

 

Make a Wishlist

The first thing to do is to let your imagination run wild. Think about all the things you would love to have, whether you think it will fit within your decorating budget or not.

Collect inspiration photos and write down all the things that stick out to you. Are you in love with wallpaper? Do you love the look of wainscotting? Are you attracted to specific statement pieces? Having a list of items you want to include will help you when it comes time to make a decorating plan.

Determine Your Budget

Put your wishlist aside for the moment and create a budget for the room(s) you need to decorate. Be honest about your regular expenses and really figure out how much you have to spend on this project. No decor item is worth having if it’s going to make you feel guilty or compromise the rest of your lifestyle. So figure out what you have to spend – what exactly you spend it on will be decided later.

 

Make a Decorating Plan

A decorating plan includes everything from creating an overall look, determining the floor plan, and adding any extras like wallpaper, light fixtures and artwork.

This is pretty much everything that will go into the room. This is where you want to work from your wishlist. Take all the things you wrote down and figure out what you actually want to put in your room while keeping your budget in the back of your head.

Comparison Shop

Comparison shopping before you buy is very important.

You need to familiarize yourself with what things really cost. Remember to include things like labor costs for custom work, shipping and delivery, and any other extras that may not be on an item’s original price tag. And don’t let yourself get discouraged during this process. While the prices quickly add up there are often ways to get what you want for the price you can afford – you just need to be willing to compromise. It’s not as hard as it seems to decorate a room on a budget.

Narrow Things Down

Chances are that you can’t fit everything on your wishlist into your budget. Once you’ve done some comparison shopping you should have a good idea of what things cost. Now is the time to narrow things down. Cut out the things that aren’t practical for your budget, and make adjustments where you can. This may mean opting for pre-fab bookshelves instead of built-in cabinets, or store-bought curtains instead of custom window treatments. In some cases it’s a matter of making minor adjustments to still get the same look.

 For instance, if you fall in love with a $5,000 sofa look around for something in a similar shape but perhaps with a different type of filling. Chances are good that you can find something you like just as much for a smaller price.

Winter Blahs With Scandinavian Decor

It is freezing, cold outside and you are stuck inside for God knows how long. Worse, your home feels like a dank cave instead of a snug haven. No wonder you feel gloomy.

 

It is time to banish your winter woes with a little Scandinavian style.

 

Nordic winters are long, dark and brutal. Do locals dread the frigid weather? Surprisingly not. In fact, Scandinavians celebrate the frostiest season and boosting indoor coziness is a big part of the party.

 

To make life inside comfy-cozy this winter, implement a few of these 13 Scandinavian décor trends.

This hand-knit blanket has dethroned the sheepskin throw as the comforter of choice in many Scandinavian homes.

 

In fact, Nordic décor bloggers have been raving about these outrageously chunky and wonderfully cozy, wool blankets all over the interweb.

 

If you have seen one before, there’s a mighty fine chance it was knit by Anna Marinenko — using her arms as oversized needles.

 

Arm knitting is not a brand-new thing judging by the number of how to videos found online. However, Marinenko, who got her start selling on Etsy, might be the only person on the planet who turned this pastime into a success full-time business. Her company is called Ohhio.

 

Happy customers say her knits are amazingly soft. However, this form of comfort does not come cheap. An extra large blanket, which is considered queen-sized here in the States, retails for around $900 USD.

However, you could knit one yourself for a whole lot less.

Marinenko also sells supplies for creating chunky knits. Spools of bulky Merino yarn start at $59. Do you prefer to knit the traditional way? You can pick up a pair of oversized circular needles for $55.

Wall Panels Will Make You Drool

Simply put, you cannot duplicate the look of these walls on your own; you need help. And help is on the way in the form of textured 3D wall panels, an innovation that most homeowners don’t know about.

 

Formerly found only in fancy cocktail lounges and boutique hotels, textured panels are slowly finding their way into the home as cool, unique, and jaw-droppingly amazing wall coverings for kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms.

 

Pictured: Soelberg Industries’ panel called Stillare, installed in the Pepperwood Residence, Sandy, UT.

This lovely textured panel is from Soelberg and is called Piastra. Piastra comes in planks (Soelberg terms them slats) ranging from 4″ x 12″ all the way up to 6″ x 36″.

 

The pictured panels are created from MDF and they mimic beechwood. But why not just use real wood?

 

Wood is an option.  But it’s not without its faults, either.  Even in interior applications, wood will eventually fade and require re-staining and re-sealing; Soelberg panels’ finishes will last indefinitely.

How can you not exclaim! the wonderfulness! of these panels! at every turn?

 

Shown here is the Caryota style of textured wall panel from WallArt 3D. The caryotais a type of fishtail palm, so named because the leaves resemble the tail of a fish.

 

To me, this pattern looks like the starbursts you see so much of in mid-century modern (i.e., 1960s) style home designs.

 

Panels from WallArt are made of bagasse, a light-weight sugarcane stalk material. So these panels are as green as they get, and leaps and bounds greener than MDF.

 

WallArt panels stick to your existing wall with construction adhesive.

Old Denim Jeans into Home Decor

If it’s time to shed your favorite jeans, don’t kiss them goodbye. While jean styles come and go, the denim they’re made of is a workhorse fabric that’s perfect for repurposing. So why not reimagine your old bottoms?

 

To inspire you to get making, here are 11 stylish ways to repurpose denim jeans into something cute and useful for your home.

Dress up a no-frills bench with a comfy denim box cushion. To DIY, you’ll need a sewing machine equipped with a denim needle.

 

Here’s the supply list:

 

  • Multipurpose foam for filling the bench cushion.
  • Several pairs of clean old jeans.
  • Sharp fabric scissors for easy cutting.

 

The first order of business is to transform your old jeans into a flat material you can work with. This DIY shares what you need to know.

 

Next, sew your box cushion. This tutorial breaks down the process into seven easy steps.

Turn your old jeans into a shaggy treat for your feet.

 

Rag rugs like this one made by Lana Von Haught, are simple to DIY using a utility fabric rug liner.

 

So that you know, super soft denim works best. After cutting the fabric into two to four-inch strips, you’ll loop each piece through a different hole in the rug liner and then knot. Here’s Lana’s tutorial.

Modern Home Failures

The current popularity of the mid-century modern style is usually attributed to the TV series Mad Men. But the show is just a mouthpiece–a messaging system–for the zeitgeist that’s already there.

 

The source of heat lies deep in the cerebral cortex of a generation of 40-plus year-olds. These are the environs where we, as kids, accompanied our parents to the super-sleek savings and loan and marveled at concrete beams impossibly arching over vast floor spaces. Or where we visited Mom’s rich sister who had a low, flat home designed by an actual architect–not a tract home stamped from a cookie presser–dominated by a massive fireplace. Or where countless TV sitcom families lived among acres of glass and indoor rockery.

 

So it comes as no surprise that this generation, now adults, now parents, and now monied, would want to buy or remodel their homes to mid-century modern perfection.

Mid-century modern represented freedom–freedom from the bonds of gravity (cantilevers), from the restrictions of energy-saving (those acres of glass), from skimping on land (spread out the house on one level; no two stories allowed here).

And who doesn’t love freedom?

But if you’re considering renovating sections of your home, or your entire home, into the mid-century style, at least be aware of several beliefs of that age that later came to naught.

How to Find a Perfect Home In San Mateo

Architect and interior designer, Lauren Goldman of l’oro designs designed a beautiful home in Atherton, California. A small town within San Mateo County, the project was a new build, constructed from the ground up. The idyllic residence was designed with family life in mind, offering a variety of public spaces for entertaining and intimate rooms designed as personal retreats. From the exterior, the home is immediately inviting, with a wrap-around porch, large paned windows and beautifully curated landscaping. 

Inside, the home’s open plan layout is perfect for hosting large family gatherings, entertaining for holiday dinners, or finding space for a quiet respite. The kitchen is the ultimate space for gathering together as a family. Wall-to-wall white cabinets keep everything streamlined, even hiding away eyesores like the refrigerator. A backsplash in white and gray marble adds a dose of luxury to the space. The contrasting gray shade continues with the oversized kitchen island. For even more contrast, a modern black chandelier floats above the kitchen table. 

While the kitchen and most of the home sports a neutral color palette, Goldman’s way of incorporating unique finishes and marrying different design eras keeps things feeling interesting and fresh. Glass pendant lights above the kitchen island continue the modern lighting theme in the space. Within the island, a farmhouse sink points to the home’s small town roots, located in a community with just a little over 7,000 residents.

On the other side of the kitchen wall, a wine cellar has been incorporated into the space. Perfect for California living, the wine fridge can house white wines and bubbly, while above, space has been made for those robust reds that are made north, in California’s lush Napa Valley.

Home Decoration That Look So Great

There’s no doubt about it: metallics have the power to elevate almost anything to glamorous new heights. Specific metallic finishes–just like colors and patterns–come in and out of style when it comes to home decor. Brass was the big thing in the 1980s, followed by cool metals such as silver in the late ’90s. Now, almost anything goes when it comes to metals; mixing metals and finishes is even encouraged.

 

That being said, however, copper is definitely having its moment to shine. Copper’s rosy glow complements lots of color palettes. It contrasts beautifully with jewel-toned blues and greens, and warms up lighter hues like Rose Quartz and Serenity. When copper couples with black and white, it has a modern appeal.

 

While spray paint is one of the quickest ways to give objects a metallic glow, copper materials–unlike gold–have the added advantage of being relatively inexpensive and easy to find. A trip to your local hardware store, in fact, will yield copper wire, coil, tape, pipe fittings, and even contact paper that will help you transform humble items into chic home decor. Here are thirteen project ideas to inspire you.

Copper Coil Vase

Copper coil pipe from the plumbing section of the hardware store can inspire loads of project possibilities, and a five-foot length costs less than ten dollars. Here, it’s simply wound around a simple glass cylinder vase (you can pick these up at the dollar store) to give it style that only looks expensive. One single green leaf makes a contemporary, organic statement.

Use Neutrals for a Flexible Background

Are you getting ready to redesign a bedroom, or throw some new paint up on your living room walls? You may be wondering what neutral colors are in interior design.

 

Neutral Colors

In the context of interior design, neutral means without color. Neutrals such as beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and shades of white appear to be without color, but in many applications these hues often have undertones. Be aware of these underlying tones as you match colors or choose paint.

For example, beige might have an undertone of pink, tan or gold. White might be slightly ivory, yellow, bluish or peachy. Neutrals can be used in decor in two basic ways — either as a soft, neutral only, quiet look or as background colors for dramatic accents.

The All-Neutral Room

If you are going for an all-neutral look, layer different hues of the same color for a classy and sophisticated look. Follow the suggestions of paint chip families to choose colors that are harmonious. Choose a lighter shade for the walls, with darker upholstery. Choose an area rug in a color that complements the wood flooring but also is just a shade darker than the walls so the furniture stands out; choose the same color if you prefer carpeting. Tie the room together with accessories that include some or all of the shades you have used. This color scheme lets hardwood flooring; beams; fireplace surrounds of wood, brick or stone; and window frames make a warm statement within this understated room.

Neutrals as Background

In this scheme, as with the all-neutral room, start with neutral walls. Choose the neutral based on what other colors you wish to use, how much natural light the room receives and your personal preference for lighter or darker walls. Be mindful that darker walls seem to close the room up and make it feel smaller, as well as darker, especially if there is little natural light.

So if your room is large and light, you can consider all options. If it is small and on the dark side, a lighter neutral would likely be a better choice.

If you like gray, also decide whether you prefer a warm or cool shade; the same goes for shades of white. Say you choose a rich taupe for the wall color. Turn up the volume with a navy blue sofa and chairs covered in a stripe of ivory, taupe and navy. Add an area rug or carpeting in the same shade of taupe as the walls or a bit lighter. Pair throw pillows in taupe and the same pattern as the chairs with a taupe throw for a cohesive look. Place books and art objects with dashes of brick red on a brass and glass coffee table to add interest and color. In this color scheme, you have taupe walls and floor accent or carpeting for a neutral canvas, with drama added via the upholstery in navy and small bits of red in decorative pieces for further interest.

Interior Decorating Guides

When you’re searching for inspiration, not just on what to put in your place, but on how to actually decorate with it, the possibilities are nearly endless. There’s tips and guides and suggestions, all talking about totally different approaches to totally different topics. Trying to sort your way through it all can turn into a full-time job all by itself. Well, we’d like to do something to rectify that situation and help you get right to the business (and fun) of actually designing your home. So here’s our Ultimate Expert Guide – sort of a guide to all of our guides, covering just about every area of home decorating, from sofas and rugs to dining tables and art. Best of all, we’ve broken everything down to it’s simplest units – things to do and things not to do. So jump right in, and get to the good part that much faster.

Walk into just about any house that hasn’t been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you’re bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It’s no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these rules on how NOT to decorate. Just because most people make these mistakes, there’s no reason why you should have to.

One of the biggest furniture investments you’ll make is a sofa. Sofas cost a lot of money, they take up a lot of space, and they’re where you and your family will likely spend a lot of time. So make sure you know what you’re doing before you go out and buy one. Check out these sofa do’s and don’ts to make sure you get the best sofa for your investment.

Framing windows with long curtains and drapes is a great way to add glamor and personality to a room, but before you head out to the store to buy some check out these curtain do’s and don’ts.