Archive for December, 2012

Handcrafted Accents

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Tips

15758412_SCrafting is more than a hobby these days. It is a big trend in interior design. The Do-It-Yourself movement is more popular than ever. Whether crafting is with paper, fabric, yarn, paint or another material, using handcrafted pieces to decorate your home gives your décor a personal touch. If you are not a master crafter or don’t have the time to craft, websites like Etsy give you access to buy beautiful handcrafted objects, accents and furniture for your home.

Including a handcrafted accent, like this pillow, is a lovely way to bring a handmade touch to your decorating. Perhaps you have a quilt your grandmother did or a needlepoint rug from a great aunt stored in your attic. Pull these heirlooms out and enjoy them. If they are in good shape, use them as intended. If they are in a more fragile state, frame them or display them so you can still enjoy them while bringing character to your room. If you don’t have a quilt from grandma, look at flea markets and antique stores for handcrafted vintage and antique pieces.

Other handcrafted accents can be found in import stores. These handcrafted works will give your room a global feeling as well as a handmade touch.  Furniture, accessories and even rugs that are handcrafted can also help support the people who made them. Look for fair trade and information on the cooperative that supports indigenous craftspeople when buying global handcrafts. Not only will you be getting a beautiful object for your home, you can support the livelihood of a traditional craftsperson.

Decorating the Formal Dining Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Christmas

10292857_SFor most of us, the holidays are one of the few times in the year when we use our formal dining rooms for family meals. With the trend to dens, home offices and open floor plans, many newer homes do not have a formal dining room. Decorating a formal dining room or a dining area in a traditional style is a lovely way to create a special feeling for family gatherings and holiday meals.

This dining room has many lovely traditional design features that give it a formal feeling. You can capture the formal feeling even if your dining room opens onto your kitchen or entryway. Painting the walls or a focal wall is one way to give your dining room a formal or traditional feeling. Installing molding is an easy DIY project. Embellishing the area below the chair rail with molding or batten and board can bring traditional style to the wall.  Painting the area below the chair rail a lighter color than the wall above would be another very traditional element.

Traditional style dining chairs and table are a must for a formal dining room.  The style of these chairs is a classic choice. Other formal touches could be added in wall sconces or a chandelier above the table.  Curtains to frame the window give the window a finished look.  Even panels flanking the large window would work, too.  An area rug under the table is also traditional element that would add pattern and color to the room.

Cookie Decorating Party

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Christmas, Family, Holidays

16228315_SCookie decorating is a great holiday activity for the kids, your friends, and pretty much anyone involved.  Make it a cookie decorating party!

Baking Cookies: You could bake the cookies the night before so there’s less hassle the day of the party.  Another option is to have everyone bring his or her own special batch of cookies so you have a variety of holiday cookies.

Decorating Stations: Have everyone pick a few cookies and set up stations so people can get up and move around to mingle with everyone.  Set up an icing station with multiple icing colors in containers, a sprinkles space, and an area for miscellaneous cookie decorations.

Include the Kids: Set a table up just for the kids with all of the essential decorating tools in the middle so everyone can enjoy.  If you keep the cookie decorations in one place it helps with the clean up, too.  Put down a plastic tablecloth or one that you won’t mind getting a little dirty, just in case.

Adults Only:  If you would prefer a more grown up approach to the cookie decorating party, just add a drink station for adults only.

Cookie decorating is fun for everyone!  To make the party a little more interesting, have a prize for the best-decorated cookie at the end of the night.  It’s always nice to see your friends and families’ creative talents on a delicious cookie that can be devoured in a few bites!  We hope you’re enjoying this time of the year!

Find the Right Piece of Old Silver for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Tips

200319621-001Have you ever found yourself charmed with the look of a piece of older silver? Maybe it’s a jelly spoon with a scalloped bowl and a piece of fruit at the top. Perhaps you noticed a charming rounded sugar and cream set with shapes that you never see in today’s stores.

You may think silver is out of your budget with its price increases today. But if you’re willing to settle for plated instead of sterling, and something simple and small, you may be surprised at the possibilities.

Do you have a lot of old family photos? Pick up a couple of old silver frames at a thrift store or antique shop or fair. They were in style years ago, so there are lots to choose from at reasonable prices.

If you live in a city, chances are you can find a shop that specializes in old silver. Move quickly past the polished things at the front and go to the back where shelves are crowded and everything is tarnished.

These items are generally silver-plated. To check, look for a sterling mark on the back of each piece. The store owner should be able to show you where to look and what to look for easily. You may want to bring a polishing cloth to see how a tarnished piece looks when shined a bit, but don’t use current liquid or paste polishes – you don’t want to lose that old patina.

Whether you live in a modern home with tile or carpeted floors or a more traditional space with wood flooring, a few splashes of silver will add an appealing sparkle to your home and your life.

Living Rooms

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Uncategorized

The Patina of Wood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate

18497512If you love wood, take a look at the variety of wood surfaces in this room. Even though this scene is a restoration of a log cabin, it provides some valuable insight into the variety of types and finishes of wood, plus it’s a fun room to admire.  Yes, you could even partially emulate it in your own home.

To start, check out the walls. As a log cabin, these are actual logs hand-scraped to smooth the inside surfaces with some sort of mortar to fill in the gaps. If you like this look, check out the rich variety of hand-scraped flooring now available. It provides this warm, handcrafted look.

The floor in this room has been scrubbed and scrubbed to the point that there is no longer any gloss left. In spite of this, the flooring still has personality thanks to the rich character of the planks that comprise it. This floor is in good shape, so it could probably be brought back to a rich appearance. However, that would not be characteristic of the era it represents.

The table absolutely glows with a rich patina earned over time. This simple sturdy table probably served as counter space for cooking and the dinner table for meals. It also handled homework and possibly some home schooling and a place to cut out fabric for most or all of the family’s clothes.

This is the original open-concept home, when the total living space consisted of one room with many uses. Wood, as the most common material available, is the primary decorating element. As you admire today’s wood floors and furniture, it’s important to remember where and when the style really started here in the United States.

Your Own Office Supply Store

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

78329045Do you find yourself running out of basic supplies such as staples or pens? Have you had to stop working in the middle of a project because your ink-jet printer ran out of magenta? Well, how about setting up your own personal office supply center at home?

Start with adding shelves to an extra closet or purchase a two-door cabinet like the one in this photo. This will provide plenty of space to hold office supplies for almost any home-based business.

With a cabinet such as this one, it’s best to find a location with smooth hard flooring such as wood, laminate or vinyl. Plan to use a level and shims to make sure it’s set up evenly from every direction, so that the doors stay open and closed as needed and that it will stay stable even when holding heavy supplies.

To determine what you need to store, start with what you use every day such as paper, pens, and an extra set of printer cartridges. Include one or two extra batteries for any regularly used tools such as a calculator or label maker.  You don’t have to break the bank and get all of the supplies right this second.  You can build up your supplies and just purchase extras when it’s most convenient for you or if there’s a great sale going on.

Do you have certain supplies that cost less when bought in bulk? Paper, for example, is less expensive when bought by the case. Also consider those special supplies that take time to receive after you order them such as letterhead or business cards.

With a day or so to set it up, you can save yourself countless trips to the office supply store. Place a notepad on the inside of the door to make a list of items you need to replace, and reduce your shopping trips to once a month or fewer.

Holiday Planning

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hints and Advice, Holidays, Tips, Uncategorized

‘Tis the season to get ahead on your holiday decorating.  It’s officially December and if you haven’t already started the home decorating process, here are just a few quick tips that may help you this year!

Make lists: Figure out what tasks you need to complete.  Ask the kids what they want to do and make a to-do list for them.  This will help you spread the joy and have everyone do a little something for the house.

Set Deadlines: Make each task in your list have a deadline.  It’ll make the holiday decorating process a little less daunting, and it always feels good to complete something!

Plan ahead: Remember when you’re taking out all of the decorations for this holiday season, that you’ll need to put them back.  Make it easy on yourself and make a note of where the decorations all go.  After the season, remember what a pain it was taking everything out of their boxes and take the time to package them up the way you want.

Organize Decorations: Put them into piles according to which room they will go in and get the kids to help put them up! It’s great for you and makes it a family affair, which can eventually become a fun family tradition.

It’s a great time of the year so have fun with your decorating this year!