How To: A Guide To Decorating Your Fireplace Mantel For Fall

fall-weather-septWith Fall right around the corner, it may be time to start thinking about decorating your fireplace mantel to match the change in season. With brisk temperatures in the evening during this time of the year, you’ll likely spend many hours by your fireplace to relax and unwind. Why not create a stunning Autumn design which your family and guests will enjoy? So, to help give you decoration ideas which are unique and stylish, let’s cover a few excellent options in more detail below.

Fall Foliage

As this season is famous for the changing leaf colors, a Fall mantelpiece isn’t complete without the appropriate foliage added to the mix. However, a word of warning is appropriate here – it is best to use the silk replicas which are available at any local décor or craft retailer. They won’t create a mess like real leaves will, and you can also reuse them year after year.

Using these imitation leaves gives you many options, the simplest being to scatter a handful of them across your mantelpiece. This will simulate the natural look of the leaves falling outside, and give the illusion that a large tree has been dropping its foliage inside your home. This is a clever way to draw the outside indoors, and connect your décor with the seasons in a whimsical way.leaves

Another option is to anchor each leaf carefully, using items on your mantelpiece as makeshift paperweights. How does this work? Simply place silk leaves under candlesticks, picture frames, clocks or the other accessories which you currently have displayed over your fireplace. Just be sure to keep the leaves an appropriate distance from your fireplace, as they can melt or even combust if too close to a flame.

Fall Produce

Four season porch addition in residential home.When thinking of Autumn one plant probably comes to mind more than any other – the humble pumpkin. This unassuming gourd is synonymous with Fall, and your mantelpiece decorations won’t be complete without it. No matter what your home’s interior style, pumpkins will easily blend into your particular décor.

It is best to choose pumpkins which are the right size for your space, and when in doubt err on the small side. Otherwise, you could end up overwhelming your mantel’s new theme, and leave it looking overblown and tacky. Yet, when you add appropriately sized pumpkins as finishing touches, it will elevate the entire look of your fireplace’s lintel.

fake pumpknsSkip over real pumpkins and opt for simulated versions instead, as again these are reusable and easier to care for as well. This isn’t a burden, as pumpkins now come in all shapes and sizes, and you can pick from a variety of different materials to suite your taste. An especially elegant touch is to use glass pumpkins, which convey the feel of Fall with a touch of sophistication.

pumpinThere are many ways to use pumpkins in your decorations, using all different sizes and colors to create the right effect. One idea is to set up a row of small uniform pumpkins down the front of your mantelpiece, or you can place a single pumpkin next to each candle instead. You can even get the children involved, by giving them a chance to paint their own pumpkins. Whether they want to paint fun faces or just use solid colors, you can then display their results for everyone to see. Finally, if you prefer a modern or nautical theme to match your home’s overall style, you can paint your pumpkins white so that they fit in seamlessly.

Add Light With Candles

While candles can be placed on your mantelpiece year round, they can truly make your Fall theme come alive. The best way to do this is by selecting the right color and scent to complement your overall vision. Terrific choices include gold, orange, tan and brown as these will work well with the color palette of your silk leaves.

In terms of fragrances, you want to evoke a feeling of Fall as soon as people walk through your door. That means aromas like apple cider, cedar and of course pumpkin will add to your mantelpiece’s impact. As to their size, if you want to use tall candles rather than tea lights, the candeholder’s design and finish is critical.index

For example, if you are going for a harvest motif, then rustic metal holders are the obvious choice. Tall candles work better in larger rooms, and you can give your centerpiece a more modern feel using candles with a wider diameter. Finally, don’t ignore the possibilities of small candles too, as tea lights can be placed inside ceramic pumpkins to create a beautiful indoor jack-o-lantern.candles

As you can see from the Fall mantelpiece ideas covered above, the sky is truly the limit. Simply pick out a few concepts that will work well in your home, and add them to your fireplace mantel for maximum effect. Your home will feel that much warmer and more inviting, as you pay homage to Autumn by matching your interior decoration to the outside elements of nature.

Living Room Flooring Ideas For Every Style

flooringIt’s easy to realize that after the kitchen, the living room is easily the most used room in your house. Not only is this is a private and amazing place where you spend most of your time, but the style in this room directly influences the style and tone for the rest of your house.Flooring-Ideas-For-Living-Room-

When it comes to your floors, it’s easy to see that they are a great part of your home and that is why choosing the right type of flooring, including the right color and material, can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your house. You can therefore choose flooring that makes your home look intimate, but also flooring that demands attention and makes your house come alive in the eyes of everyone who comes to visit.images

What’s special about the living room is that unlike the bathroom or the kitchen, where you are limited in terms of design by cooking mishaps or moisture damage, you can easily style it with any type of flooring material you want in order to make it stand out and fill you with energy.

Carpet

The carpet is a classic and if your ideal living room needs to be stylish and comfortable, then nothing can beat this choice. On top of that, there are many amazing qualities you’ll love about carpet, including:

  • carpetA wide range of designs and colors.
  • Amazing affordability.
  • Safe and nonslip surface.
  • Great insulator, protecting you from the heat and cold.
  • Very comfortable for your feet.

On the other hand, there are also a few downsides about carpet, including:

  • Holds onto many types of allergens, such as dander, mites, pollen and dust.
  • Cleaning can be tiresome and also expensive.
  • Easily stained.

While you can easily use carpet with any kind of decorating theme you want, it most of the times perfectly complements chic, shabby, retro, contemporary and also traditional decors.

Hardwood

Living-Room-Ceramic-Tile-FlooringHardwood is yet another classic choice and what makes it special is the fact that it provides a warm, but also natural beauty that makes your home that much cozier. You can select from a wide range of patterns, including parquet designs, thicker planks and thin strips. As for the tones, they range from the darkest mahogany to the lightest maple and any shade you can picture in-between.

For the living room, there’s no better choice than hardwood which holds many advantages, such as:

  • Very durable.
  • You can easily sand the scratches.
  • indexExcellent choice for people with allergies.
  • Cleaning is a breeze.
  • Adds value to your house.

Hardwood does have a few cons as well, including:

  • Slippery and hard surface.
  • Walking on it can get noisy.
  • Requires occasional refinishing.
  • Can easily get damaged by water and scratch.
  • Costly to install.

living-room-flooring-picturesOverall, if you are someone who believes in the classic decor powers of hardwood and would like to ensure your living room makes you feel really comfortable every time you set foot in it, then hardwood is the way to go. This type of flooring complements every style of decorating, especially Asian, Victorian, traditional, but also Cape Cod, and country themed decors.Mannington-Hardwood-HatterasOakStrip

Go DIY on Rug Pads and Save Tons of Money

As a self-proclaimed Crazy Cat Lady, I find it kind of annoying that my budget for cat things and other cat-related frivolities can be easily spent on small household “emergencies.”

For example, we recently bought an Indoor/Outdoor rug from Marshall’s that somehow ended up in our bathroom (it was intended for another place in our house, but that’s another story). Well, thankfully this rug seemed to be a perfect fit for the job- it is mold and mildew-resistant, and can be easily cleaned with plain old soapy water. It seemed logical to buy it, given that it’s also cheaper than the other “real” bath maths that were available in the shop. We bought it, and happily went back home thinking that we got a steal.

buy rug paddingBut alas, after setting the prized rug on our bathroom floor, my cats immediately dived on top of it and started romping around like rowdy kids high on sugar. And the problem became apparent: the rug was slipping and sliding like there’s no tomorrow! There’s a reason why this thing is not marketed as a bathroom rug- it was just not made with traction in mind.

So, what we needed was a rug pad. Rug pads are fabric that you attach to the bottom of rugs to keep them from slipping and bunching. The problem is, rug pads are expensive and can even cost as much as a new rug! Remember, I wanted new cute cat-themed T-shirts plus some stuff for my kitties so I wasn’t actually too excited about spending more money just to purchase a rug pad.

After much searching, I found the solution to our pressing rug problem at Joann Fabrics: wholesale rug padding. Yes, you heard that right. By buying more, you are actually spending less. At Joann’s, rug padding that measures 54 inches wide costs $7.99 per three feet. This is already pretty cheap, but since my friend Joann (who is a self-confessed couponer) had some coupons for me, I was able to knock the price down to only $4. Compare this to the prices at large stores such as Walmart, Overstock, Target, and West Elm that start from $12 and up (at the same length), then this is literally a steal. If you have a 3×5 rug, then padding will just cost you about $4 since you will only use just a part of it.

The rug that we bought at Marshall’s was quite small. It only measures 2×4, so we only used about two-thirds of the rug padding that we bought. We trimmed off the excess- and believe me, there was a lot. we still had plenty of padding left over to use for the other rugs and mats inside the house.

Now, the cats can go play on top of the rug all they want and we won’t have to worry about it skidding,scrunching, and sliding all over the place. And for only $4 with lots more to spare! I still have a lot of money left to buy myself a new cat T-shirt.

DIY Painted Door

How a simple paint job transformed the entire appearance of my sister’s home

Do you remember when I painted my front door a while back? I chose a color that was bright and bold, and one that gave passers-by an insight into what the decor inside my home was all about. And do you know what? Bold, bright, and beautifully colors are making a comeback – well, at least in my family!

doorMy older sister (the one who got married recently) moved into her property a couple of years back. Her doors were a hunter green, which I thought looked really good and complemented the rest of the home well. But the door had seen better days. The paint was chipping and it took away from the overall look. You could definitely say it was time for some action!

So, as keen as I am to share my opinions (you know me!), I gave my sister some tips on how to transform the door. I suggested a gallon of Valspar Reserve and a little love, care, and attention. And do you know what? Her door is now bright and beautiful, in a new color that gets my stamp of approval – RED!

But the best part of this transformation was that the makeover didn’t stop at the front door. Oh no, we managed to spruce up her other doors, and even painted her fence. The finished result? A new shiny white fence and a bright red front door – it certainly creates an impression! I love the red that we used – it’s bold, bright, and instantly catches the eye. The color is Radiant Red (1009-3) from Valspar Reserve and it’s pretty much a primer and paint in one product. And you know what that means? No more wasting time shopping around for different products and faffing around. It was a real time saver!

Valspar Reserve offers much better protection for doors and fences that could otherwise become affected by adverse weather, sunlight or other extremes. This means less maintenance over time, so essentially you are saving yourself a lot of time, hassle, and money. Sounds pretty good, right?

If red’s not your thing, don’t despair. The Valspar Reserve website is jam-packed with resources that can help you choose the perfect color for YOU. There’s so much to choose from, and you’ll probably find yourself wanting to paint the doors of your friends and family too! Luscious greens, yummy yellows, bright blues… whatever your color of choice, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Have a browse through their online store and see what takes your fancy – you can even contact a customer rep if you need some further guidance.

I’m glad my sister agreed that this radiant red was the best choice for her, because it definitely complemented the rest of the home. In fact, she has used hints of red throughout the property, so this color really worked. In fact, it was an effortless match. It’s amazing what a little bit of paint can do!

door2So, overall, I’m ranking this door makeover a 10 out of 10. It was a instant success. And yes, it’s quite sad that I’m getting this excited about doors in this blog post (just imagine what I’ll be like when my sister gives birth?!!).

Top Living Room Decorating Secrets

While furniture is a starting point when it comes to setting the tone and style of your living room, the accessories are what truly ties your concept together. Without the right appointments to highlight your furniture choices, the end result will be lifeless and empty. Fortunately, there are many terrific accessory ideas for you to take advantage of, and you aren’t just limited to traditional ones like throw pillows and centerpieces. So, to help you discover new and innovative accessory choices, let’s look at a few favorites in greater depth below.

LIGHTING TIPS:

Use Lamps To Highlight

Lamps are a tremendous way to add depth and texture to your design scheme, as light naturally draws the eye. By skillfully adding bright spots in any room, you will effectively highlight focal points and create an inviting atmosphere. Having different areas or zones in your room makes it more comfortable too, as it breaks down a single large space into smaller sections for a more intimate feel.

Add Romance With Candles

If you are going for a romantic ambiance in your living room, then candlelight is a good alternative. With their soft flickering glow, they easily cast an enchanting mood wherever they shine their warm rays. With the popularity of candles today, you can easily find them in all colors, shapes and sizes – to perfectly fit in with your current decorating theme. You can either use bold hues as accents to your color scheme, or you can choose more neutral tones that will add richness to your room’s palette instead.

ADVICE ON PLANTS:

Enjoy Natural Beauty

If you’ve ever gone out into your garden to relax, you know that the beauty of nature can have a tremendous calming and revitalizing effect. Why not bring this benefit into your home as well, by adding a careful selection of plants to your living room? Good options are fresh cut flowers to adorn your mantelpiece or coffee table, or indoor trees like a ficus. Even if you struggle to keep plants alive, there are several options that are low-maintenance and durable. Pothos and spider plants are easy to care for, and cactus need very little attention to survive.

Flowers Without the Fuss

Another option is to use silk replicas instead, which don’t require any tending and will last for years. In addition, this allows you to add color to your living room, even when living plants are not available due to cold weather.

FOCUS ON THE FLOOR:

Pull Everything Together

While you may not naturally think of your flooring when decorating your living room, appropriately furnishing this surface is vital. Why? Doing so can add more dimension and interest for your eye to take in, which all adds up to a more harmonious interior décor.

Accent With Tables

Not only will adding accent tables fill the space, but it will give you more surfaces to place accessories upon as well. Also, they can make guests feel more at home when you’re entertaining, as they provide places to set down food and drink. Just be sure to pick accent tables that are in keeping with your other furniture’s style, whether it be rustic, contemporary, modern and so on.

Add Color With Rugs

Area rugs are one item that amateur decorators often forget, and they wonder why their design concept lacks a cohesive feel. These floor coverings can add color and texture to your living room, and you can choose hues that make your furniture stand out in an impressive way.

Fashionable Storage

Finally, you can add storage items that will serve a dual purpose, as they look good while keeping your living space organized. What are good choices? Coat racks or hall trees are especially attractive, and you can find these in beautiful wood finishes that make them an elegant, yet functional touch.

So, when looking for great decorating ideas for your living room, the above items are a tremendous resource. While you may not want to incorporate every concept into your plan, pick out a few that will work best for you and implement them. Perhaps you’d like to focus on having plants in your living room, or prefer to have a minimum of furniture instead. Whatever your particular style, you now have a wide range of accessorizing tips to utilize, allowing you to create the living room décor that you’ve always dreamed of having.