A Kitchen Backsplash Before and After Reveal

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

Before adding a backsplash

Are you deciding whether or not to add or update a backsplash? Perhaps it’s your kitchen backsplash, but you’re still on the fence about making such a big change.  Take a look at the photos below and see if they give you any inspiration.

This particular kitchen looks great before adding a backsplash.  Most people would love the kitchen just how it is and not think twice that a design element, like a backsplash, is even needed.  This space looks complete.

photo 4However, if you continue to scroll down, you can see just how big of a difference  a backsplash can make in a space.  The glass mosaic tile added to the background of the kitchen really adds depth to the kitchen design.  Before the kitchen looked great, and now the kitchen has a wow factor and really brings the kitchen alive.  This backsplash looks beautiful with the wood cabinets. granite countertop, and stainless steel appliances.

The backsplash’s purpose isn’t only to add color or richness to the kitchen, but it also provides protection.  A backsplash, in general, is placed  behind countertops and the stove to help protect the walls against food that might splash up against it.  Notice, that these homeowners decided to take the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling, behind the stove hood.  This is a great solution for what to with the space behind an exposed hood.

The backsplash also helps create an embellished window frame behind the sink.  As you can see, before the window is just there, but after the backsplash installation, the window trim pops and stands out much more.  If you like the glass tile option, learn more about glass tile and its pattern, color, and sizes options on our website.  Don’t forget, we’re here to help and if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comment space below!

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Pet Friendly Decorating

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hardwood and Laminate, Hints and Advice, Tips, Wool Carpet

15377336_SWe all know how much we love our pets; they’re really members of our families.  The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry dealing in everything from food to clothes to doggy daycare.  Which makes us ask, how are we incorporating our pet’s needs into our decorating to provide them with the healthiest and safest homes.  There are a few tips and ideas to give your pet a healthy and pretty home that is stylish and safe for all members of the family.

The air we breathe is the first place to start.  Paint and other finishes give off gas chemicals that can affect not only human health but our pet’s health too.  Choosing a low or non-VOC paint for walls, baseboards, molding and furniture is a great place to start. Be aware of painted surfaces if your dog or cat scratches or gnaws on furniture.

Flooring is another important consideration for animals.  Some pets are allergic to different flooring options or polyurethanes used in wood floors.  Make sure you get your pet tested for allergies if there are signs of irritation and scratching.  Wood floors are a smart option if your pet sheds. Wall to wall carpet in a natural material like wool can work for pets, too. Just make sure you have a good vacuum with a pet hair option for carpet and upholstery.

Cleaning products can also have chemicals that are not the best for our fur friends.  Make sure you are creating a clean and safe environment for pets in the choices you make.

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

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

13705181_SFresh flowers are a wonderful touch in any room in the home.  They can add a beautiful fragrance to a room as well as color and pattern.  A small bunch of flowers in the powder room or next to the bed in the guest room is a wonderful way to welcome guests.  Little touches like fresh flowers can add a lovely accent for not a lot of money. Here are some of our other favorite little touches:

  • For the bathroom, put lotions, q-tips, cotton balls, and extra bars of soap in glass jars.  Display these on a shelf or on the counter. It will make your bathroom feel less cluttered to have a uniform look to the storage.
  • For the kitchen, organize flours and pastas into glass or ceramic storage containers. You can keep these on the counter or shelf, if you have room, or in the pantry cupboard.  Use fruits and fresh vegetables in a bowl on the counter to add a pop of color to the room.
  • By the front door, or kitchen door, place a tray for boots and wet umbrellas. This will save your floors from moisture and dirt.  This way guests will know to remove their wet shoes and boots rather than track mud and water through the house.
  • If you are having guests over, place a few snacks on the kitchen island or coffee table for them to munch on when they arrive. A pitcher of ice water and glasses on the counter invites them to serve themselves if they are thirsty.

Household Tasks: Ironing

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

5470803_SAmong the common household tasks and chores, ironing is perhaps the most dreaded. With many fabrics today being designed to be anti-wrinkle, there is a lot less ironing to be done. This doesn’t mean we can escape ironing all together, at least not most of us.

For the most part gone are the days where sheets required ironing to lay flat and feel smooth. Linen napkins and sheets are still best if ironed as they wrinkle so much out of the wash. Line drying linen sheets will not only prevent major wrinkles but make them smell fresh as well. A quick tumble in the dryer can help release wrinkles and soften linens so the task of ironing is easier to tackle.

If you do have ironing to be done, where you do it can influence how you feel about it.  Keeping the ironing board in the basement laundry room will make ironing feel like more of a chore. There is no reason that the ironing board needs to be set up at all times. Watching television while ironing is a great way to make this task go by more quickly and be more pleasurable.

Some laundry rooms have built-in ironing boards. If this is where you do your ironing, make the laundry room more enjoyable by decorating it. An area rug will warm up cold tile or wood floors. Colorful walls, appliances and accessories can all work to liven up the laundry room, and might even help make ironing more fun.

Task Lighting in the Living Room

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

2012-09-24 14.08.06Lighting is one of the most important design elements in a room. Like color or flooring, lighting can change the look and feel of a room. In a living room, a variety of lighting should be used to create different lighting zones and layers of lighting for different activities.

Overhead lighting such as a pendant, chandelier or close to ceiling mounted fixture can bathe the room in a wash of light.  This is great for when you need bright light. Activities like family game night or a party might require overhead lighting.  Putting your ceiling light on a dimmer will make it more versatile. Having a soft overhead light combined with floor or table lamps gives the room a beautiful, well rounded light.

Table lamps and floor lamps can be used as task lighting, too.  Next to a chair or sofa, these lights can create a place to read or use the laptop.  When watching a movie, overhead light might be too bright. Using task light can give you enough light to see the popcorn and your drink without disrupting the ambiance.

If you don’t have a lot of floor space, a small task light is a good choice.  A swing arm lamp that can be adjusted makes for versatile light that can be directed over the chair, onto the floor or wall.  A lamp that clamps onto a table or even a swing arm wall sconce like the one pictured above can save even more valuable table space.

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.

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.

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!

Water, Water Everywhere

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

If you’ve ever had to deal with unwanted water in your home, you know it can be stressful and challenging. Whether you have a frozen pipe in the basement, a leaky kitchen pipe under the sink, a malfunctioning dishwasher or washing machine, water can quickly do damage in your home. Beyond these household flood sources there are natural causes like ice dams, heavy rains and flooding.

There are a few steps you can do right away to mitigate the water damage from pipes. The first is identifying the source.  If you have an overflowing washer or a burst pipe, turn off your water. Knowing where your main water shut off valve is located is always good to remember. If you just have a large puddle on the floor, remove the water as quickly as possible.  Use towels if it is a small amount of water or a wet vacuum if there is more water. If you are up to your knees in water, time to call the professionals.

Getting water out of carpets may require the carpet and pad to be removed to be professionally dried. Damp pads and carpet can lead to mildew and mold—two things no one wants in their home.  Even hard surfaces like cement basement floors need to be properly dried with fans and dehumidifiers to prevent mold.

If you have a water problem that is more than a large puddle on the floor and there is property damage, time to call your insurance company.  They will send out an adjuster to advise you on cleanup and filing a claim.