6 Easy Ways to Add Feng Shui to Your Home

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese philosophy that helps us achieve a balance of energy in our home. Energy is referred to as Chi in feng shui. According to Chinese philosophy, chi exists is all things. It determines if we have positive of negative feelings or thoughts. Chi flows through and around your room. It is in constant motion.

There is positive chi and negative chi. Therefore, you must balance the chi in order to have a harmonious and happy home and lifestyle. Today we will talk about six ways to add feng shui to your home.

THE FIVE ELEMENTS:

In feng shui, there are five elements that must be used throughout all rooms of the home to balance chi.

Each element has correlating a shape and colors that represent it. Sound complicated?

Take a look at this simple chart.

ELEMENT                                 SHAPE                                   COLORS

Fire Triangle Red, Orange, Purple
Earth Square Brown, Yellow
Metal Circle White, Metallic Colors
Wood Rectangle Green, Teal
Water Curvy Black, blue

A balance of chi is achieved by balancing these elements in each room. That doesn’t mean that you need to have a fountain in every room to incorporate water. For example, you could wallpaper a blue accent wall or add a wavy or curvy print fabric in your sofa. See? Easy!

Now, let’s move on and take a look at those 6 easy ways to feng shui so you can get that positive energy flowing in your home asap!.

FENG SHUI TIP 1: USE MIRRORS

Decorators are in love with mirrors. We use them for refracting light to add brightness, to double the size of a small room, to reflect a pretty view, or to hang in a foyer for those last minute lipstick touchups. Seriously, though, mirrors are essential in balancing the chi in a room.

For example, if you need to add metal, choose a metallic frame or a circular shape to represent metal.

FENG SHUI TIP 2: INSTALL A MURAL

A mural is a fantastic element for feng shui. Take notice the next time you dine at an authentic Chinese restaurant. You will probably notice that their interior designer installed a mural. You frequently find murals that represent the elements of feng shui.

Koi fish swimming in a pond represents water. A delicate grove of cherry trees represents wood.
This doesn’t mean that you must use Asian-themed murals, these are just examples of what you see in the finest Chinese restaurants.

Lucky for you, you don’t need to hire an artist to hand paint your mural like that business owner did! .Wallpaper murals are available in a huge selection of high-quality wallpaper. They’re easy to install and add chi to your space.

FENG SHUI TIP 3: KEEP AN UNCLUTTERED SPACE

Feng shui teaches that if your space is cluttered, then your mind is probably cluttered. That sounds about right to me.

Think about when you let the desk in your home office get messy. You can’t find important papers, maybe you miss paying a bill or two because the were misplaced, or you miss an important appointment because the reminder card was in the mess.

The correlation may be correct. Had that desk been cleared, you could have found your paperwork, not missed that dental appointment, and you wouldn’t be hit with a late fee.

Keep your space tidy and neat. Clutter obstructs the flow of chi and creates negative chi.

FENG SHUI TIP 4: KEEP THE FRONT DOOR OPEN

The front door is where you greet your important visitors. However, positive chi that opens up the opportunity for you also enters the home through the front door. An opened front door welcomes positive chi and allows it to begin its flow in the home. A closed front door blocks chi…and opportunity.

FENG SHUI TIP 5: KEEP THE BACK DOOR CLOSED

Chi enters in through your front door and exits through the back door. While chi is moving through your space, invite it to stay a little longer by closing the back door.

Okay. I get it. You can’t keep your back door closed all the time, right? Allow the chi to journey through your home in a flowing path by slowing it down. Place area rugs and furnishings to slow down the chi as it travels through your space.

Also, you can use mirrors (is there anything they can’t do?) to bounce the energy back into your room.

FENG SHUI TIP 6: GEOMETRIC PRINT WALLPAPER

Let’s not forget the shapes that represent chi. Incorporate square, rectangles, circles, triangles, and curves through geometric print wallpaper.

Wallpaper adds charm and beauty to your space, there’s no doubt about that! But geometric prints are a fun way to add in your shapes to represent the feng shui elements.

In addition to shapes, pay attention to your colors. You can score double points for choosing a square geometric tile print in a silver metallic wallpaper you will represent both the elements Earth (square) and Metal (silver).

On top of that, it would look ever so chic.

In conclusion, feng shui is an ancient science that has helped an ancient culture balance their homes and their lives for centuries. When you look at it though, it makes sense today. With all the negative influences in the world, we must always look for ways to balance it out with positive.

The principles of feng shui can help restore a peaceful and calm feeling in your home. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, perhaps that’s exactly what you need in your home. Give feng shui a try.

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How to Jump on the Colorful Kitchen Trend

The days of bland gray and white kitchens are quickly passing into a dim memory. Replacing the neutrals of the last decade are kitchens bursting with colorful, even quirky, color schemes. In fact, maybe you’ve admired the trend but are unsure of how to achieve the effect. We will show you how to jump on the colorful kitchen trend.

These colorful kitchens aren’t shy! They want to make a statement and show off their style to all who enter the room. The look is casual and effortless. They designers of these kitchens balance out the bright colors with neutrals to keep the look easy and breezy.

Let’s look at how to achieve the look using the most popular colors in kitchens right now.

In most of the photos you see in this post, wallpaper is a key element in the design. Wallpaper is the ideal wall covering for a kitchen. It’s wipeable, even able to be scrubbed clean if needed. And, it can withstand the humidity of this much-used room.

FRESH GREENS:

Greenery is, of course, Pantone’s 2017 color of the year. It was hot at the New Year, and it’s even hotter this summer. It looks like it will remain on trend for the foreseeable future. So why not bring this trend color into your kitchen?

Modern green is lively and fresh. Skip the heavy, deeply pigmented greens. They will outdate your look. Think of a green more pigmented towards the yellow spectrum to get the that vibrancy you admire.

In this first photo, the walls are painted a neutral creamy white but a feature wall is created using cabinets painted a gorgeous green and a striped wallpaper behind the cooktop. You may wonder why they don’t have a backsplash, right? With a durable, washable wallpaper, you can easily wipe up splatters and drips. Wallpaper really can take the heat in the kitchen.

The appliances are bright white and the green just pops against that white like nobody’s business!

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Photo Credit|A Little Piece of Me

Next up, green is paired again with white. It’s a magical combination that just looks clean. Notice they created an accent piece out of the kitchen island but kept the cabinets white. Gives a dramatic effect. The light fixtures are simple and the walls are accented with green plates.

My favorite part? The wallpapered ceiling. If you read our blog often (and I hope you do), you may vaguely recall the post about wallpapered ceilings. Wallpaper is an underutilized ceiling treatment that brings delightful impact. Love the fresh green wallpapers you see here? We recommend this one to achieve this same effect in your own kitchen.

SING THE BLUES::

Singing the blues is fun…when it’s your kitchen color of choice. Blue has been popular for decades.

What’s new in blue? Your shade choice. Gone are the stodgy dusty blues. Think of soft aquas, intense teal, or tiffany-inspired blues that are saturated color and almost fall into the range of green. Dreamy blues as clear as a summer day are right on trend. These colors are all retro-inspired classics with a contemporary feel. They are here to stay and blue doesn’t go out of style.

Below, this first blue kitchen is enveloped in a classic, clean strip in gorgeous shades of blue. Paired with white cabinets that and a white backsplash, the wallpaper makes the perfect backdrop for this kitchen. The wood tones add an organic, earthy feel pulls the whole look together perfectly. Simple accessories like blue the blue plates above the range and the metallic light fixtures look casual with a sophisticated finish.
bluePhoto Credit|Decoist.com

Next up, the decorator used blue to achieve an even more dramatic effect. Cabinets are painted in Tiffany-inspired blue all the way to the ceiling. Walls are covered in wallpaper in a subtle herringbone pattern, and white floors and countertops gleam against the blue.

The light fixture and accessories are woodsy and keep the overall look from looking overly feminine. Although all of us gals do love all things Tiffany…including our blues!

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Photo Credit|Ultimate Home Ideas

Love the look of clear blues? We recommend this wallpaper to get this cool blue look.

SUNNY YELLOWS:

Surprise! Forced into obscurity after the 1970’s goldenrod shades, sunny yellows have made a big time comeback. We have welcomed yellow into the kitchen for it’s cheery, bright appeal.

What’s not a surprise? Yellow is paired with crisp whites that show off the zesty appeal to perfection. When using a color this vibrant, you don’t need to add many accessories to make your point.

Modern yellow is as fresh as a daisy. Literally, look to the delicate daisy for your point of reference when choosing a shade of yellow. If you choose too much gold you will be…well, outdated. But when you choose the right yellow, you’re on trend.

Below, the sunny yellow kitchen is fun, cheerful, and shows yellow done in a contemporary way.
Notice how the cabinets and walls appear almost minimalistic. However, they are saved from being boring by the cute yellow wallpaper that brightens the space.

This is a great look for a small space. It makes this small kitchen look spacious and more open by brightening the room with yellow.

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Photo Credit|Houzz

On the other hand, you may have outdated cabinets in bad need of a makeover. Consider painting your cabinets yellow! Because it adds instant color, your entire kitchen will feel like it had a facelift!

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Photo Credit|bhg.com

Love the yellow look? We recommend this wallpaper to add some sunshine to your kitchen.

After years of gray, taupe, and tan, the thought of a colorful kitchen may sound more than a little bit overwhelming. Opening your mind to the idea can open up a whole new and exciting realm of decorating for you.

These fun, new-again color choices are fun and add a sense of style that you had probably not considered.Pairing blues, greens, and yellows with white, metallics and wood tones will ensure that you keep the look sophisticated and elegant.

Get in touch with your playful side. Open up to new color palettes. Have fun experimenting with color. Shed those neutral color palettes and fall back in love with your kitchen.

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White & Wood Decor: An Emerging Trend

One look at Pinterest and you will see…white and wood decor is an emerging trend. You could even say…if you’ll forgive the pun…that it’s white hot!

White is classic, clean, and fresh. It works with decor both contemporary and modern. There’s a certain bold look to stark white walls. But when you add in the Earthy, neutral, and warm tones of natural woods, it becomes softer and a bit more inviting.

This look looks highly polished and elegant. Yes, it takes a little bit of styling to achieve this outcome. The time you invest? So worth it!

Let’s take a look at some of the most highly “pinned” white and wood decor rooms that are trending right now and look at the details of how they did it!

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First, notice the fireplace bricks are painted white. However, they are a slightly brighter white than the walls making it take center stage. A mantel crafted from a barn beam is rustic and warm.

Hardwood floors ground the brightness of the white. The wood table, box on the mantel, and even the fireplace bellows are all in the same wood tone. Black accessories pop against the white in a look that’s almost graphic. Yet, the natural greenery and flowers add more natural inspiration. This makes the overall look soft and romantic.

JOANNA’S DESIGNER TIP: Keep wood tones in the same color family. They don’t need to “match” but should be similar.

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Note that the walls in this photo are almost white; however, if you look again there’s a soft wash of blue that gives the space a dreamy look. In fact, the sofa and the light, sheer curtains look like a cloud against a blue-white sky.

A white ottoman, modern white shelves, and table accessories on the wood-tone table are clean and simple.

The look is brought back to Earth (in a great way) by the wood tone floors, layered with the natural rug with similar colors.

Speaking of layers, please notice the layers of mixed-pattern accent pillows and the throw draped casually along the back of the sofa.

JOANNA’S DESIGNER TIP: Layering textures and mixing patterns can add a cozy, warm feeling to any space.

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White and wood decor looks stunning in the kitchen. This kitchen has a lot of white in the cabinets, countertops, and even the chairs and accessories. It has a contemporary look.

Of course, the white is the first thing that most people will notice in this photograph.

When you look again, you notice that against all that white, you see a distinctive and very cool focal point–the reclaimed wood table. It is naturally gorgeous, weathered, and draws the eye because of the contrast with all the gleaming white.

Look a third time. You will start to notice that the kitchen island is actually painted taupe and the floors are also a color similar to the table. Also, gleaming chrome light fixtures warm up the space and add a touch of shimmer.

JOANNA’S DESIGNER TIP: When you have a literally one of a kind piece like this custom table, keep other accessories to a minimum. This table is so worthy of stealing the show…let it!

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Up next is a white bedroom that’s simple and modern. The white walls and recessed lighting give it a distinctly contemporary look. The clean, white look is repeated in the bedding. Dark wood floors are perfectly suited for the white walls.

There are a couple of items that make this room very unique.

First, the sliding barn door made from reclaimed wood is a fantastic architectural detail. Second, the floating desk is a perfectly modern amenity…it provides a place to charge a laptop and iPhone.

JOANNA’S DESIGNER TIP: Don’t be afraid to work in functional space. A charging area can be attractive and useful as well as part of the architecture. Make you space work for you!

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Finally, I’m circling back to another living room. This room is more wood and white than white and wood.  This means that, in my opinion, the wood is more predominant.

Dark cherry floors are traditional and elegant. Shiplap wood makes a unique feature wall to house the television. A wood shelf under the television is a great place to display layers of accessories. An oversized coffee table with a cherry wood top takes the center position of the room.

I love the soft white wall with just a drop of gray. I also love the fresh slipcovered furniture that gives a bright, cheerful white. But what I really love the most about this room is that the decorator broke up the white..and the wood…with touches of rich cobalt blue.  From the area rug to the accent pillows, throws, and even accessories on the shelving unit, you see little touches here and there of blue.

JOANNA’S DESIGNER TIP: If you love the white and wood look but are afraid of too much white, feel free to work in your favorite color. Both white and wood tones are neutrals. This means you can add your own favorite color and metallics with abandon!

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SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:

When you’re planning to redecorate with white and wood there are a few special considerations to consider.

  1. Will white and wood work for your family? If you have very young children with sticky red juice boxes, you may want to pin it at try it later.
  2. How much money do you plan to invest? If you love white and wood but can’t afford all new furnishings, steal the slipcover idea from the final photograph above. You can slipcover all your furniture for pennies on the dollar as compared to purchasing new.
  3. Do you have hardwood floors under your carpet? Maybe you love the look of hardwood but don’t know if you have hardwoods under your carpeting. It’s easy to check! Find an inconspicuous corner (maybe inside a closet) and gently pull back the edge of the carpet. You can wiggle the carpet up from the tacks. Peek and see what lies beneath. If you have hardwoods, the cost to refinish them is only a couple hundred dollars. If you need to purchase them, it can run in the thousands.

Look to these photos for inspiration. When you’re ready to leap into the white and wood trend, do it with confidence. You have done your research. You know which rooms you love. And, because both white and wood are neutrals, your space will remain relevant for years to come.

 

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Jazz Up Your Walls with Geometrics

Eclectic-with-vintage-credenza-and-geometric-wallpaperIf you love the idea of a bold wallpaper pattern that adds life to the room, think about how you could jazz up your walls with geometrics.  Geometrics add a distinct vibe to any room. They have a feeling that is best described as timeless with a modern feeling. They never go out of style, yet they have an edge to them that make them fun to use in every room.

Most humans are attracted to geometric prints. There’s something about them that draws us in. We like the simple shapes and patterns. We take delight in the predictable patterns.

While the shapes are fun, look also to colors that you love when you are looking at geometrics. Combining a fun geometric pattern with lively and colorful accessories is a sure way to breathe new life into an old room.  A winning combination of color, pattern, and texture can take your redecorating plan to the next level.

Let’s look room by room at some ideas for mixing and matching geometric patterns that will jazz up your walls.

NURSERY:

I start with a nursery because they are just so darn cute! There’s literally no greater pleasure I’ve ever taken than decorating my daughter’s room when she was little.  Then I found myself redecorating it, just because I wanted to do it all over again. Now that she’s a teenager, I can’t even see the floor, but that’s another story.

Babies and young children are very inquisitive. They lay in their cribs during nap times and when falling asleep and look at the ceilings and walls. Let these spaces feed their curiosity. Babies are stimulated by shapes and color.

Jazz up the nursery walls with a simple geometric dot print with little multi-colored owls. The polka dots ground the pattern and keep it from being confusing to baby. The little owls are darling and will delight the baby.  The multi-color print goes with almost any color scheme, so it doesn’t matter if your baby is a boy or a girl. They will be equally stimulated by this scene.

Continue to play up geometrics with fun crib bedding and blankets. Keep the textile color palette similar to the wallpaper, playing off the color scheme that you have chosen for a fun yet cohesive look.

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MASTER BEDROOM:

Your master bedroom should be a place where you can relax after a long day. Maybe you kick back in the bed and read a book before bed. Or, you spend time cuddling with loved ones. My friends, relaxing does not translate to boring!

Jazz up your walls with geometrics in the bedroom and you can create a feeling that is calm yet bold.

To create a retreat that’s luxurious and posh, create an accent wall with a soft geometric such as a swirl shape in rich beige color. Keep the luxe feeling true by painting the walls a stately, vibrant blue that adds intensity but keeps the feeling serene.

Select a bedding set in a rich cream color. Layer on throw pillows and blankets in fun and colorful geometric prints that will pop against the taupe and cream and keep it stately yet not stuffy.

Repeat the swirl shape in slightly curved wall sconces above the nightstand or in curved curtain tie-backs.

This would be a master bedroom I’d look forward to retiring to!

DINING ROOM:

The dining room should be a special place. It’s where we gather for holidays and special occasions. Also, we entertain and host dinner parties. Make your dining room a show-stopper of a room. You deserve it, and your friends will love it!

The dining room is a place where a big, large-format geometric print will have maximum impact. One of the most classic geometrics is wide stripe, but kick it up with velvet texture. This space will support such a grand wallpaper. Choose your favorite bold color for this room. Let your style and taste shine through when you jazz up your dining room walls with geometrics.

The dining room often presents a unique challenge. It’s a medium to large-sized room. However, the furniture is usually very large. Think about it. You add a large table, a hutch and/or buffet, and 6 or 8 chairs. It fills up quick, and it often looks way too crowded! Picture your own dining room, I’m sure you will agree with me.

To create the largest impact, wallpaper all four walls of your dining room with wide vertical stripes. This will make your dining room feel taller and grander. Even if it’s actually cozy in your dining room, or if it’s stuffed with furniture, this will trick the eye and just make it feel airy.

KITCHEN:

Indeed, the kitchen is the perfect room for wallpaper. It’s a heavily used room. Wallpaper makes sense in this application.

We often enter the home through this room, transferring mud and dirt from our hands and feet to the walls and floors. In food preparation, we splash and spray foods all around us. Steam and cooking oils splatter.

Wallpaper has a washability and durability that make it a go-to application for the kitchen. But utilitarian doesn’t need to mean dull!

Choose a square tile wallpaper in a soft pastel color. This is especially fun if you have square tile floors. There’s an interesting look to layering these square elements. Soften the edges by hanging some circles on the walls to contrast with the square patterns.

Think of displaying some of your favorite dinner plates in fun colors, round mirrors or artwork framed in circular shaped frames.

These square and circle elements are delightful when paired together.

If you are thinking of new ways to jazz up your walls, think of geometrics. They can add a visual interest that is appealing and fun yet classic. Whatever geometric print appeals to you…go for it! You can play it safe with neutrals or add bold geometric colors to suit your tastes.

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Everything You Wondered About Wallpaper But Were Afraid to Ask

Every week, we receive inquiries from all around the world from homeowners who are redecorating their homes. They ask us all kinds of questions. In fact, many people start their e-mails with an apologetic tone.  “I know this sounds like a silly question…”   My friends, please rest assured that there are no silly questions. That’s why today I’m putting together a list of everything you wondered about wallpaper but were afraid to ask. Consider this your wallpaper FAQ reference.

So, please put your mind at ease. Read on and learn the answers to your wallpaper questions.

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HOW HARD IS IT TO HANG WALLPAPER?

This is the #1 question that we get! I’m going to tell you the truth. It is not at all hard to hang wallpaper once you get the method down pat. Hanging wallpaper is like any other DIY skill. It takes a little while to get the hang of it. It’s a somewhat repetitious task, and the more you install wallpaper, the easier it gets.

If you want to read a little bit more on exactly what’s involved in hanging wallpaper, we’ve got you (and your walls) covered.  Click here for more information.

DOES HANGING WALLPAPER REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL TOOLS?

Hanging wallpaper requires just a few tools. They are nothing special, or particularly expensive. In fact, you probably have most of these items in your toolbag.

The items that you will need include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Chalkline
  • Wallpaper Smoothing Tool (inexpensive and available at any hardware store)
  • Putty Knife
  • Utility Knife
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Paint Roller or Wide Paint Brush
  • Level
  • Ladder
  • Wallpaper Paste

HOW DO I MEASURE MY WALLS FOR WALLPAPER?

Measuring for wallpaper is easy-peasy.  It’s just calculating square footage. You get the total square footage and then factor in the pattern repeat.

  • Take the measurement of the width of each wall on which you intend to hand wallpaper, add that up to get the “Combined Width.”
  • Take the measurement of the wall height
  • Get the Total Square Feet by multiplying the combined width by the wall height. If your wallpaper has no repeat or is indicated as “random match,” use the Total Square Feet to order your paper.
  • If your wallpaper has a pattern repeat, now you factor that into your wallpaper measurement.  If the repeat of the pattern is under 18”, divide the Total Square Feet by 23; if the pattern repeat is 19-25”, divide the Total Square Feet by 20.

Still unsure?  Feel free to contact us for help. We’re here to help!

OK, MEASURING SOUNDS EASY BUT WHAT’S A PATTERN REPEAT?

A pattern repeat is the vertical distance between which the wallpaper pattern repeats itself. For example, Suzie is looking at a wallpaper with a distinct floral print. The floral print repeats itself in 18”.  That means the pattern repeat is 18”.

When you hang wallpaper, you need to match this up so that you don’t wind up with seams that show. The rule of thumb is that the smaller the pattern repeat, the less wallpaper you must trim away.

IS WALLPAPER SAFE IN THE BATHROOM & KITCHEN?

Yes! Indeed, wallpaper is safe in humid areas like a bathroom or a kitchen. We do, however, recommend you stay away from textured wallpapers like damask or flocked velvet as the fabrics may appear droopy over time from the humidity. Stick with a durable vinyl wallpaper for high-humidity environments. It’s completely safe in the bathroom and kitchen!

 IS WALLPAPER ABLE TO BE CLEANED?

Yes! However, we recommend durable vinyl wallpapers in areas that are high traffic or prone to smudges.  Areas like hallways, kitchens, and laundry rooms get smudges, splatters, and scuffs.

While you can spot clean textured wallpapers, save those gems for lower-traffic rooms like the dining room. The flocked textures of today are made of synthetic fibers. Unlike the damask that your grandma may have had in the 1970’s, today’s can withstand some occasional spot treatments.

So, we are pleased to reassure you that today’s wallpaper is very easy to clean.

HOW DO I CHOOSE AN ACCENT WALL?

Easy! Your accent wall (aka feature wall aka focus wall) is whichever wall, in any given room, that you wish to call attention to.

Here are some examples of some rooms that are great for accent walls:

Maybe you have an interesting architectural such as a large picture window with an amazing view.  Perhaps you have a large piece of furniture with a special history, such as your Great-Granny’s china hutch sitting against the wall.  Or maybe you have a huge, long, expansive wall that showcases just how large your master bedroom really is.

All of the above are all great opportunities for creating an accent wall.

HOW DO I REMOVE THE WALLPAPER LATER?

While old-style wallpapers had a reputation as a nightmare to remove, hold off on making quick judgments! Today’s wallpaper glues make the task of removing wallpaper far easier than previous generations of wallpapers.

To remove wallpaper later on, you will use a scoring tool (purchased at any home improvement store – cheap!) to score marks in the wallpaper. Spray the scored areas with wallpaper remover spray, wait 15 minutes or so. The wallpaper should remove fairly easily in long strips. If you find you do need to scrape in a few places, go very gently so you don’t scuff your walls.

Yes, it’s time consuming. It’s tedious and boring.  But in case you’re wondering…No, it’s not difficult to do.

 CAN I WALLPAPER OVER OLD WALLPAPER?

If the old wallpaper is a smooth, vinyl wallpaper you may be able do this. However, if the old wallpaper is textured, definitely not or you will have a big old hot mess on your hands. Your new wallpaper will appear dimpled and lumpy. Not the kind of look you want.

Wallpapering over old smooth wallpaper can be done. We caution you! Down the road this can cause problems. If the old wallpaper is extremely old, the glue may start to dry and crack, causing your new wallpaper to buckle.  Also, when the day comes that you want to remove the wallpaper that you installed, you will need to get through two layers of wallpaper.

Therefore, while hanging wallpaper over old wallpaper may technically be able to be done, it is most definitely NOT recommended.

I hope that answering these questions addresses your overall concerns about wallpaper. Should you have any other questions, please do feel free to contact us. We are always glad to help!

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Steampunk: A Modern Way to Fall Back in Love with Traditional Wallpapers

Steampunk decor style offers you a modern way to decorate with wallpapers. In fact, you will see a fresh new way to fall back in love with traditional wallpapers. This hot style trend is over-the-top, showy and even edgy. It’s the perfect way to display traditional and antique-inspired decor pieces. Simply put, Steampunk presents old things in a way that makes the stylish all over again.

Steampunk is a style of home decorating that’s inspired by the historic period of the late 19th century. During this period of time, steam engines made it possible to travel quickly and transport goods across continents. The era was the dawn of many technological advances in agriculture, medicine, manufacturing, and telecommunications.  This style pays homage to  the innovative minds who pioneered these advances.

The Steampunk style combines highly stylized design choices that feature steam pipes, valves, clocks, and vintage metallic accessories. Think Victorian London parlor meets 1890s manufacturing plant. It’s a look that is equal parts of dark, dramatic, and elegant.

Beyond that, the style nods back to other period-inspired trappings. Steampunk decorators used large, oversized wood-frame, velvety sofas and chairs. Obviously, lighting is actually electric, but it’s inspired by the gas lights that lit drawing rooms in the late 1800’s. This decor meshes well with exposed beams and steampipes.

The colors that dominate this look are dark and rich. Think of shades like deep burgundy, dark red, black, charcoal gray, and intensely rich purple.

In addition, the Steampunk decorator relies heavily on traditional wallpapers to set the mood in this decor. Wallpaper is important because it was the most important wall treatment of the late 1800s.

During that time period, homes were built by hand, not machine. Walls were plastered by hand, often leaving small imperfections or wavy patterns in the walls. In addition, homes didn’t have central heating or cooling. This meant that the interior walls inside the homes, especially in extreme climates, were prone to cracking.

Those cracks combined with the imperfections in the plaster to create walls that were not very pretty.  Naturally, the people of the era wanted to make their homes cozy and cover these eyesores. Their go-to method was to hang wallpaper to cover them up.  Obviously, the wallpaper beautified the wall. However, it had two secondary purposes. First, it helped to insulate the crack from the heat and cold. Second, it helped to add strength back to the cracked section of the wall.

Therefore, Steampunk decorations most definitely embrace these wallpapers as they capture the essence of the era. Indeed, they are the period-correct choice for the rooms which they style.

If you’re inspired by Steampunk style, the easiest starting point is wallpaper. But, my friends, you can’t just throw any wallpaper on the wall.  It must be perfectly punked to work.  Here are some hints on how to make traditional wallpapers work into a Steampunk-inspired room:

INTENSELY DARK WALLPAPER COLORS:

Choose wallpapers in deeply and richly saturated colors. I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. The colors of Steampunk are dark, bold, rich, and dramatic shades of red, purple, deep gray, and black.

While this may make you feel a little bit outside your comfort zone, that’s okay! Steampunk is an alternative style. Feel free explore this style with the bold expressions of color.

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FLOCKED  WALLPAPER:

Flocked wallpapers were an extremely popular option in the late 1800’s. They adorned the finest homes as an expression of wealth and prosperity. They were designed to add a texture that made a grand statement to all who entered the home.

Flocked wallpapers became accessible to the middle-class through mass production in the early part of the 20th century. At that time, most homes were still plaster walls. The texture of the flocking made it an ideal medium for hiding those pesky cracks in the walls.  Turn of the century housewives loved to use this style of wallpaper in their parlors, where they entertained their friends and neighbors because it lent a cozy and warm welcome to the room.

By the 1960’s flocked wallpaper was replaced by geometric prints and flatter finishes. Sadly, by the 1970’s flocked wallpaper was almost a forgotten item.

Fast forward to the mid 1990’s.  Punk rock music inspired Steampunk, a new and edgy style that embraced the steam culture of a century earlier. An appreciation for the styles, clothing, and technologies of the Victorian era re-emerged.  Thankfully, that appreciation extended to the high-style look of flocked wallpaper.

Flocked wallpapers have a velvety texture that is elegant and grand. Today’s flocked wallpapers are usually made of nylon or rayon. Those fibers are glued by machine in dense groupings to create the velvet finish pattern. Unlike earlier generations of flocking, they can be gently spot cleaned due to the family-friendly fibers.

DAMASK WALLPAPER:

Damask wallpaper is also popular in Steampunk style. It’s especially popular in a black on black color combination in this application.

Like flocked wallpaper, damask is textured. However, it’s texture comes from the fibers being woven into the wallpaper in elegant, floral-inspired designs.

Damask actually dates back to the middle-centuries. The robes of royalty, popes, and dignitaries were woven using this same time-honored technique. Damask was truly for the extremely rich at its outset. It’s history, from there, is much like the history of flocked wallpaper.  It was mass produced and remained extremely stylish for over 80 years until the 1960’s.

The Steampunk movement resurrected this elegant style in the mid 1990’s and it’s now very popular.

If you want a style that’s both modern and edgy yet romantic and soft, damask is the option for your Steampunk decor. It truly gives a luxurious feeling to any room and is a choice especially popular for a Steampunk master bedroom.

If you are leaning towards a Steampunk style, then you have great taste! For all these style elements are timeless treasures. Indeed, they are older items that are used in an edgy and modern, stylized manner that respects the roots of modern society. What a tribute to pay to the inventors who were able to think outside the box and give us the comforts of today.

Discover an array of dramatic damask, flocked and richly-hued wallpaper on WallpaperWorldwide.com

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Decorate with Landscape Murals

City dwellers have found a great way to reconnect with Mother Nature through a hot new trend–decorating with landscape murals. These murals let you bring a touch of nature to even the tiniest apartment. Introducing nature into your decor by using a mural is nothing less than a stroke of genius!

Humans have an intrinsic need to connect with Mother Nature. We turn to nature for a feeling of solitude when we need a break from the city life. In addition, we look to the colors of nature for creative inspiration.  Think of vivid greens the color or crisp, fresh apples; aquas the color of the Mediterranean Sea; reds and purples that mimic lush, juicy berries–these are the colors that inspired the greatest painters in history.

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Perhaps there’s even a more important reason to connect back to nature. Nature helps us to slow down, take a step back, and unwind for just a few precious minutes. Taking a few minutes of “me time” is something we lack in our daily lives.  We tend to take more time recharging the batteries on our iPhones than we do charging our internal batteries.

Connecting with nature is very important to mankind. We once, as a species, depended on the Earth to nourish us, shelter us, and warm us. We not go to the grocery store for frozen dinners, unlock the door to our apartments, and turn on a heat switch.  As we have shifted from agricultural societies to urban-based societies, we have lost some of that connection to the Earth. Some argue that this causes discontent which is the root of our constant dissatisfaction with our jobs, relationships and finances.

Bringing nature back into your home transports you back to a simpler time and place. This provides a much-needed rest. It provides an Earthy, calming effect that we lack.  Also, it adds grace, elegance, and warmth to your home.

If you live in the city, you probably rent your home. With landscape murals, there’s no permanent commitment to the decor. High-quality landscape murals are made from the highest quality wallpaper. This means they can be removed easily when you move to a new home. Therefore, there’s no worry about damage to the walls of your apartment.  Rest assured, a landscape mural is worry-free!

To get started installing a landscape mural, choose mural that you love! Choices are plentiful! Think about your favorite vacation escape, the place that you retreat to that makes you the happiest. Use that space for your inspiration.

Here are some examples:

  • If you love escaping to a hunting lodge, choose a mural which features regal deer in a stand of woods. This look will give you that lodge look every day of the year.
  • Or, perhaps you find joy in heading to the beach every chance you can…you should consider a seaside mural with waves gently lapping against the beach and boats dotting the water.
  • On the other hand, you may retreat to the mountains where you can breathe in the cool, fresh air. You may prefer a view of picturesque rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
  • Maybe you love walking through lush gardens and delight in the fragrant scents of the flowers. A garden scene with bright bursts of colorful flowers may inspire you.
  • If you love the quaint look of farmland dotted with rolling plains, lush fields, and big, blue skies, this is also a look you can achieve with a landscape mural. This is a slice of country life in a unique landscape mural.

Whichever of these are your preference, a landscape mural awaits you!  You can peruse choices with us here.

Next, decide on where you’d like to place your landscape mural. Do you want it to be installed on one accent wall? This is an extremely popular option. If so, decide which wall has the most visual impact in your space. This may be the longest wall in the room, a wall with a unique architectural detail (like a fireplace), or a wall with a spectacular piece of furniture that you want to highlight. That will be the accent wall.

Conversely, some people opt to make a huge visual impact with the installation of their landscape mural on all walls. This works best with floral murals with bright colors that keep the look vibrant and fresh. This look is not for someone who is shy about color. However, if you have a space with minimal furniture, this can be stunning.

When you are installing your mural, take the time to refresh your entire space. Your landscape mural will have great visual impact and you have the opportunity to give your space an entirely new look!  After all, you are investing in your landscape mural to introduce nature into your space, so make your room as gorgeous as it can be!

If you have chosen the wildly popular accent wall installation, paint the other three walls with a fresh coat of paint in a color that complements your landscape mural. This freshens up the look and makes the colors of the mural become even more of a focus because dull paint makes any room look drab.

Look at your ceiling. Did it used to be white but now it looks yellow?  If the answer is yes, then it’s time to give it a fresh coat of paint. White is the classic ceiling color for a reason…it goes with everything and makes your room look taller and larger. However, if you are trying for a cozy “cabin feel,” you can paint it another color to add cozy comfort.

These beautiful wallpaper murals are great in any room. You can turn your bedroom into your personal nature retreat. Or, you can add a conversation starter mural to your dining room to entertain your guests.  You can unwind in your living room by looking at natural beauty and dreaming of (or planning)  your next vacation.  Or, you can greet guests to a showy display of Mother Nature’s glory when they enter your foyer.

However you do ultimately decide to use your landscape mural is, of course, entirely up to you. But there’s one thing for certain…you will experience a restored sense of creativity, rest, and peace that only comes from reconnecting with Mother Nature.

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Is New Traditionalist Style For You?

Decorators are welcoming the look of New Traditionalism with open arms. After years of the decor preference being best described as “modern” or “minimal,” we are glad to see the return of plush rugs under our feet, cozy textiles that envelop us when we relax, and charming accessories that we have taken back out of storage!

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The look of New Traditionalism is like the return of your high school best friend whom you haven’t seen in many years. You embrace her, welcome her back to your home. You take a step back and look in her eyes. She sure is a site for sore eyes and seeing her again takes you back to another time and place. She looks great! You realize that she looks basically the same but a little bit different… Then you place it. The last time you saw your old friend, her hair was in a big old perm. Naturally, she has updated her hairstyle to a softer, contemporary version. It’s the same person, with the same hair color, and she is, indeed, the same person. But now, she has a chic, updated style that is certainly the envy of all the other women.

I use this illustration as a metaphor for New Traditionalism style. Indeed, it is a classic look. But please don’t mistake classic for old, staid, or outdated. Classic means investing in pieces that are time-tested staples that go with everything and never go out of style. Pieces that you can re-purpose and add punches of color and accessorize to give instant updates over and over again.

Here are hints for achieving New Traditionalism style in your home:

1-USE THE NEW NEUTRALS

Opt for colors in the new neutral palettes. While there are traditional neutrals, the new neutrals are more contemporary while keeping a neutral feel.  For example, choose taupe not tan; khaki not brown; dove gray not charcoal.  These “new neutral” colors remain neutral but are softer and add a touch of warmth back into any space.

If you take the time to wallpaper or paint your room in one of these new neutrals, you can pair anything with it for years to come.  Wallpaper in a traditional pattern in a muted neutral tone still serves as a neutral but adds subtle pattern and interest. Shop traditional wallpapers here.

Here’s how it works. Color stories change every year. Where deep violets were the rage two years ago, greenery is 2017’s color. If you have walls which are painted taupe, you can add the trend color through accessories like glass accessories, vases, colored mason jars, lamps, and accent pillows. The need isn’t to spend the time and money painting your walls every year. The need is to have fun shopping for new accessories every year or two to keep current with the trend color.

In this illustration, new traditionalism in color allows your to keep the room fresh and cutting edge while keeping a warm, cozy feeling. The ability to update over and over again is a cornerstone in this style of decorating.

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2-WELCOME BACK AREA RUGS

For several years, we opted for gleaming, glorious hardwood floors.  Yes, they are stunning!  Yes, hardwood floors are a staple in New Traditionalism. But here’s the twist. We are welcoming back area rugs to soften the harsh look of a solid expanse of wood flooring. They add warmth underfoot, texture for your toes, and an opportunity to add in color. Traditional “floriental” style rugs are regaining popularity.

Even better than adding one area rug…add three or five!

In the living room, add three of them, layered from largest to smallest, in the conversation zone.  Add one or two more in front of your fireplace or under an end table.

If you have installed hardwood floors in the bedroom, add at least one area rug under your bed. It’s warmer on your feet when you wake up and hop out of bed in the morning.

Finally, in the dining room, layer three area rugs under your dining table. It makes your dining room table the centerpiece of the room, as it should be, and invites guests to stay and enjoy their time with you.

3-CLASSIC METALLICS REVIVED

Remember a couple years ago when the only lamps you could find were either satin nickel or black? Take a walk up the lighting aisle in your local home improvement store.

While you still can purchase nickel or black, all metallic finishes have made a comeback. Tones of antique brass, shiny brass, bronze, and coppery tones are back. They’re hot right now! You have more choices in metallic accessories than for years past.

Bronze, brass, and copper are all very traditional finishes. They are a great way to add shine to your room.

New Traditionalism breaks an old rule regarding metallics. While your grandma or mom used to match all of the same metals, that look can be stuffy. In fact, it’s now encouraged to mix and match your metal finishes. This adds layers of shine and tone throughout the room and keeps it eclectic and soft looking.

Remember, all metals are neutrals! They all go with everything. They’re perfect for mix and matching in New Traditionalism.

4-UPDATED FURNITURE

New Traditionalism furniture is relevant forever. Instead of the sleek, minimal couches with no arms, the focus is on clean lines, comfort, and good structure. This means more comfortable and inviting furnishings.

Like the neutral walls, you want to spend the money on furnishings in neutrals like cream, taupe, soft black, or a medium shade of gray. Add the color and pattern through layering throws and accent pillows. Your investment in quality furniture will suit you for many years.

5-UPCYCLED ANTIQUE PIECES

Do you love looking at pinterest projects and wish you could use an antique piece? New Traditionalism offers that opportunity.

I recently found an antique tongue and groove children’s desk that was salvaged from an old one-room school house. I stripped down 100 years of old stain, painted it a cheerful red but left some of the old wood grain peek through, added layers of furniture wax, and placed it in my living room as an end table.  This antique piece is now relevant again and a focal piece in my living room.

It adds a bright, cheery bit of red (my favorite color) that looks outstanding with my khaki walls. It is an interesting piece that visitors now always ask about…and say they wish they had one too!

Mixing in fun, unique pieces is the very spirit of New Traditionalism.

In conclusion, don’t think New Traditionalism is old and outdated. Remember the analogy I gave at the beginning of this article? It’s lika an old friend, coming back to visit you, and adding comfort to your life.

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10 Ways to Jazz Up a Blank Wall

Do you have a blank wall that’s starting at you every day? An empty wall can make a room feel empty, unloved, or even sterile.

For some, it can feel daunting to stare at that blank wall and try to think of what will look best.  For others, myself included, we like to take every last accessory off the wall and redecorate frequently. Either way, you don’t want to just fill the wall with something you don’t love. That’s a sure way to have a wall that doesn’t look cohesive or you just doesn’t fit quite right with your decor.

When you are filling a blank wall, you want to create a look that suits your own personal taste and reflects your style. Whether you prefer polished and elegant or casual chic, you can create a wall that enhances your space.

Follow these tips to help you fill a blank wall, and you’ll be on your way to a complete looking space.

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1-WALL TREATMENTS

The very first thing you will need to do to dress up your blank wall is to decide on a wall treatment. You have a lot of options. Unless you’re redecorating the entire room, you’ll need to keep your existing room in mind. You want something that works with your furnishings, windows, and flooring.

Paint, wallpaper, and shiplap are all popular options.  Consider whether you want a neutral that will go with everything or a pop of vibrant color on the wall. You also want to think about the room itself–is it a humid bathroom or kitchen or a formal dining room?  Paint formulas and wallpaper types are affected by these factors.

With paint, you can purchase a small sample size and paint a small section of the wall before you commit to purchasing a large can. This is especially helpful if you are choosing a bold color or if you are timid about trying new colors.

Wallpaper is fantastic for adding color, pattern, and can even add texture to your wall. This makes it a perfect way to start to really dress up a blank space. The wide range of colors and styles make wallpaper a super method of expressing your personality. For example, if you love nature, you can choose a bright fern leaf pattern or a nature-inspired wallpaper mural.

Shiplap adds an organic, warm wood tone to your wall. It’s a neutral that goes with everything. If you like instant gratification, however, you may want to go for the easy installation of paint or wallpaper.

2-PAINT YOUR TRIM

Ok. So technically, painting your trim encompasses more than one wall. You obviously need to paint all the trim in any given room at one time. This bears discussion because freshly painted trim will make every wall in the room look put together and gives it a professional finish.

If you have original hardwood trims or an historic home, a fresh coat of stain is appropriate here as well!

Old, faded trim makes a room look tired. It’s a particular pet peeve for me to see a fresh, bright room with scuffed up trim. Just trust me on this one!

3-WINDOW TREATMENTS

Your window may have a wall. Use this as another opportunity to add visual interest to the space.  Add layers and more texture to the wall. Again, you have many options!

Add wood blinds, roman blinds, sheers, or vertical blinds to control the amount of light you get into the window. This helps keep your space warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Also, they give you privacy which is especially important if you live in an urban area. You can close off the world by closing your blinds to create your own escape from the world.

Top them off with a valance or tiers that add even more color. This is very important if you chose neutral walls. This is your chance to amp up the look with a pop of cheerful color.

4-POSITION FURNITURE

Position furniture on your wall.  Furnishings can really fill in any remaining space. A sofa will invite your guests to stay and relax a while. An accent table gives you a space to add some appealing accessories to add more of a personal touch or a reading lamp to create a practical reading space.

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5-HANG ARTWORK

“Hang artwork” may sound obvious. This gives you room for a lot of creativity. This is where you can really start to put your own personal stamp on the now not-as-blank wall.

Options can include photographs, commercially produced artwork, flea market finds, or artwork from local artists. You can mix and match these pieces easily.  That’s all part of the fun and what makes it personal to your own space.

Select different sizes and shapes of pictures and group them together. However, to keep the look polished, keep the frames the same color.  If you love a pre-framed photo that’s not the color you want, pop the photo out of the frame and work some spray paint magic!

The key is to finding artwork that you absolutely love! Put your personal stamp on your space with artwork.

6-ADD SOME SHINE!

Accessories can look flat if you don’t add some shine into the mix.

No, I’m not suggesting that you drop a glitter bomb in your home. I’m not referring to shimmer or glitter…although it’s perfectly okay if you like it. I’m talking about light-reflecting pieces like glass, mirrors, or metal accessories.

Hang a framed mirror on the wall. Add a glass vase to an accent table. Mix an interesting metallic candle holder in with the accessories.

Glass pieces are particularly charming. They brighten the space by reflecting the light which creates a dimensional feel to the space. Clear glass is more reflective than colored glass. But colored glass is trendy. Therefore, a mix of both is fantastic.

Once you have decorated your blank wall, sit back and enjoy! It’s a lot of work but you will enjoy your new space and feel pride that you were able to tackle this job!

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Kid-Friendly Decor Ideas

It may seem to you like all the kid-friendly decorating ideas are lackluster and don’t let you express your design style. It may seem overwhelming to even imagine an idea that’s both stylish yet kid-proof. Having kiddos doesn’t automatically relegate you to cheap-looking plastic for all your decorating.

Admittedly, my own child has been known to unleash mass destruction on almost every room in the house at one time or another. Her name is Jessica. We often tease her that she should have been named Mess-ica.  She used to be amused by that statement, and we got a little giggle. Now that she’s sixteen, we get an eyeroll if we’re lucky and the stink-eye if she’s in “a mood.”

Anyhoo, I’ve been there. I love decorating and DIY projects. I paint and wallpaper more often than most. I upcycle flea market finds. I, too, have been very frustrated by the ongoing destruction of my decorating visions.

You see, we’ve had little girls get bubblegum in accent pillows. We’ve had a “Dance, Dance Revolution” vs. the coffee table disaster.  R.I.P. coffee table. Juice box spills, buttery popcorn marks, and melted chocolate have all graced our sofa. And walls. And curtains, I’m not really sure how this happened, but it did.

But I learned fairly quickly how to kid-proof our home. It’s a challenge, and it requires some thinking outside of the box. However, once you see how to make your decor kid-friendly it will change your outlook on decorating for the young children who live in…or visit…your home.

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1-WALLPAPER

Wallpaper is a life saver. It is durable and wipeable. Rather than trying to scrub sticky candy-coated stains off your walls, wallpaper your high-traffic areas and you will find that it’s much easier to maintain.

Choosing wallpaper over paint allows you to add highly stylized look in an easy to clean up medium. It’s especially helpful in hallways, the bathroom, and the kitchen.These are all areas where kids make huge messes every day.  There is a huge variety of styles and colors.  Literally, you can choose from hundreds of styles that are available to today’s decorator.

Also, consider wallpaper for the room that’s perhaps the most critical to kid-proof…the child’s bedroom. You can choose kid-friendly prints. Better yet, opt for a wallpaper mural that will encourage the imagination.  Murals feature things that kids love…sports, butterflies, animals, or even a magical land of fairies.

Such a mural will become a memorable room that your child will remember forever. Explore children’s wallpaper on WallpaperWorldwide.com

2-LAMINATE FLOORING

One day, while Jessica was finger painting at the kitchen table, I got an emergency telephone call. In the three minutes that it took me to find a pencil and paper to take down some important information, artistic genius struck her.  She removed her shoes and socks, finger painted the bottoms of her feet in bright blue, and walked all over the kitchen and then into the living room.  She left little tiny blue footprints everywhere. When the hubs came home, we had some ‘splainin’ to do!

While the tiles in the kitchen cleaned up with no problem, we never could get the blue tinge out of the carpet.

Shortly thereafter, we tore up the carpet and replaced it with laminate flooring. We chose laminate flooring over wood for a couple reasons. To be honest, the cost of laminate was very budget-friendly.  Also, laminate flooring cleans up easily with a mop if needed. We were afraid that the wood floors would not hold up to the moisture from the frequent mopping that was necessary with this very messy child.

3-MACHINE WASHABLE TEXTILES

When you are selecting textiles look at the care label. With children in the home, you want something that is machine washable. With frequent spills comes frequent washings. Opt for cotton duck, canvas, or other interesting yet washable textures.

In fact, if your child suffers from allergies or asthma, this can also improve his symptoms. A good washing once a month or so is recommended by pediatricians for most children.

Steer clear of anything that’s labelled “dry clean only” or “spot clean.” They will only lead to heartbreak!

4-STURDY LEATHER FURNITURE

We have not only our daughter, but a very bouncy little dog who thinks he owns the couch. Think about leather furniture. To be exact, think about sturdy, comfy leather furniture. We decided to go with a buttery black leather with clean lines and a sturdy wooden frame.

Leather adds a sleek texture that you can warm up with accent pillows and cozy throws. It’s a perfect base for layering.

Leather furniture, like a leather coat, can be treated with a spray that makes it stain and water-resistant. With leather you can easily wipe up spills and all that pet hair with a rag and some leather cleaner.  In fact, some manufacturers offer a warranty against stains.

Yes, it’s more money. But it will hold up and serve you well for years. It will add style and value by the years you can keep it looking great!

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5-ACCESSORY PIECES

Having kid-friendly decor doesn’t mean that you need to put away all your accessories. It does, however, mean you need to re-think what and how you use accessories.

Choose accessories that add style but are also durable. As with all decor, look to wood for adding warm tones and natural texture. Mix the wood with metallic choices that add style and shine. These accessories are not breakable. Usually.  Hmmm.

Layer the accessories in places that are deliberate. You should still use the glass vases that you love so well, but perhaps you can move these to the dining room or your master suite.  Places that are less high-traffic.

A great accessory for a child’s room is a chalkboard wall. Paint a small area of a wall with black chalkboard paint, miter some simple and affordable wood pieces to frame it, and give them a place where it’s actually acceptable to draw on the wall.

Bear one last thing in mind.  When all else fails…well, they will move out eventually! Enjoy decorating your kid-friendly home!

 

Kid-Friendly Decor Ideas Apr16

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