Tips for Upgrading Your Outdoor Patio

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor Living

We spend a lot of time and investments in improving our homes. If we expect guests or company, we will straighten up and make our kitchens and living rooms more welcoming and inviting to our guests; however, with warm weather here, you may be spending more time outdoors. It is easy for our patios to become neglected and outdated, yet these are the perfect areas to invite friends and family. Styles are changing, and it is time to upgrade your patio. Currently, many people aspire for their patio to look like a resort. To help you embrace the relaxing resort lifestyle, here are the three key elements to keep in mind for achieving that dream oasis look:

Patio

Before investing in the aesthetics of the patio, make sure your patio is up to par. Repair all crack, chips, and age damage that you may have, and remove all weeds and overgrown shrubs. You will want a clean slate before beginning your patio upgrades. You may even decide to tile your patio or install composite deck tiles–this can really enhance the space and show you care.

Furniture/Lighting

The furniture and lighting you add to your patio can create the overall ambiance. Try to find patio furniture that follows a theme–this can help your patio feel connected and balanced. Your patio can have more than just chairs, so consider adding any of these to really help give your patio a more resort getaway sensation:

  • Umbrellas
  • Barstools
  • Chairs
  • Hanging Lightings
  • Pergola
  • Plants
  • End tables
  • Firepit
  • Gazebo

All these and more can help really influence the space. Look for furniture that complements each other and do not neglect the lighting. Let your party fade away into the night with proper lighting to help set the mood. If you live where bugs may be, remember to invest in tiki lights or other alternatives to monitor pest control.

Entertainment

Finally, consider your patios a source of entertainment–this can be a focal point of the night or just help enhance the atmosphere. You can make this as extravagant or relaxed as you desire. Some activities and entertainment ideas to consider could be as follows:

  • Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Pizza Oven
  • Grill
  • Outdoor Bar
  • Firepit
  • Speaker for music
  • Television

The list can continue forever. If your property has the privilege of a unique landscape, consider using this to your advantage. Lakes are great for boating and fishing or ad open backyard may be a great place to migrate to a firepit.

Consider upgrading your patio because it can transform the level of entertainment you can have when entertaining. Having this option also allows you to host larger gatherings. Investing in your patio can be a fun way to facilitate the outdoors of your home. Have fun this summer and let your patio be your new hangout.

Four Unique Ways to Make Your Staircase Standout

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

Many homeowners are not aware of the design opportunity that a staircase provides, and many times, people tend to overlook this architectural element when decorating their homes. From using your favorite color to playing with LED lights, there are numerous ways you can style and add personality to your staircases. If you are interested in learning more, here four unique ways you can make your staircase standout:

A Beautiful Stair Runner

One easy way you can add style to your staircase is to use a stair runner. Go bold by selecting a runner with a vibrant hue or pattern. From animal prints to more textured runners, there is a wide variety on the market to fit your taste. Prints and designs are timeless because they instantly add a fun vibe while hiding any tracked in dirt or debris.

Use a Creative Handrail

A great way to make a statement with the staircase is to add a creative handrail. You can use a handrail made of a different material than you would think to use such as a rope handrail, or you can even bring in a hint of nature by building a handrail made from a branch. The possibilities are endless! Top off the look by adding a well-placed accessory at the bottom of the stairs such as a small table on the side or a woven basket to accent your look.

Illuminate the Pathway

Adding lighting to the stairway can be beneficial for safety reasons, but you can also use lighting to set a particular mood. This can be done by installing LED lights on the side of the steps. Lining the side of the staircase with LED lights will cast a futuristic glow that can also feel luxurious in dark settings.

Rainbow Staircase

Love color? Well, you can express your love of different hues right on your staircase. You can apply linoleum made up of different colors right on the riser so you can see each color from the bottom of the staircase and you can enjoy the look of each color as you go up or down the stairs.

What do you think your favorite staircase look is? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

The Ultimate Spring Checklist for Homeowners

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Outdoor Living

Chicago winters can be harsh on your home; therefore, it is essential to do an annual spring check-up of your house. Inspecting your home can help prevent any further damage to the structure and save homeowners a lot of money. This weekend, we recommend going outside and examining your house using this checklist to assure your home is in excellent condition.

Examine Your Exterior Siding

First, you will want to take a look at your home’s siding or bricks and check from any chipping or crumbling.

Repaint Siding and Trim

If necessary, you may have to repaint your home’s siding or trim. Experts recommend that you do not just “touch up” the area but repaint the entire section. We do this because paint can fade into different colors over time and it will be more noticeable that you just “touched up” the area than it was before you painted it.

Check Your Roof

It is imperative to check your roofing to avoid future leaking. Call an expert or two to come and look at your roof to ensure it is in good condition for the upcoming seasons.

Get a Chimney Inspection

Chimney inspections can help detect cracks or leaks in the structure that may be unseen from the outside. Also, you should have your chimney cleaned annually.

Clear out Your Gutters and Downspouts

A lot of grime and guck can get stuck in your gutters during the winter season. Clean out your gutters annually and make sure they are lined up with your home. There should not be any gaps or dips between them and the roof.

Look at Your Heating and Air Condition Unit

Check and replace your filters and air purifiers.

Inspect Your Attic

Attics should be examined annually to determine if they have proper ventilation. Homeowners should look for any hindrance in the vents and panels. Also, you should take a look at the attic to see if any leaking is coming from your roof.

Inspecting your home annually can be beneficial for you and your family’s health. Also, it can help save you money in the future by being aware of issues ahead of time. If you are concerned about something in your home, call a company to come out and take a look. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Creating the Ultimate Spring Garden

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Curb Appeal, DIY Projects, Outdoor Living

Spring into a new yard design this year by incorporating some of spring’s trendiest flowers and plants. Every spring, homeowners fall into a routine of planting the same things each year. This year, liven up your yard with bright colors and take on planting that garden you have always talked about, and spring into a new routine!

Plan the Layout

Your garden holds extraordinary potential, and maybe you have the perfect layout already in mind. But if you do not, draw up a layout of how you want your plants, herbs, vegetables and/or flowers to sit in your garden.

Pro Tip: You do not need to section off your flowers from vegetables, they can coexist and actually mix well with one another. Vegetables can actually benefit from certain plants and their shade. For example, lettuce loves the shade; place your taller flowers in front to help the growth of this vegetable.

When Less Is Better

Look for plants that are grown in your area at local nurseries or shops, because these plants will flourish in your yard. Homeowners struggle with choosing their plants because a lot of times they are not native to your area and will ultimately take a lot of extra work. So, create less work for yourself by dressing up your yard in native plants.

Add Personality

Marking your garden’s items is a great way to get creative. Plus, making DIY garden labels creates a fun project!

DIY Garden Labels:

  • Purchase chalkboard signs and write each of the herbs/vegetables you have growing in your garden.
  • Use some old bricks and write the plant names with a permanent marker.
  • Paint some rocks with the names of your plants.
  • Hammer down silverware and engrave the plant’s name onto the utensil.

Also, think about the containers you are keeping your potted plants in and try to purchase some stylish pots. You can even get crafty with your current pots and a can of paint.

Make a Calendar

Timing is everything when it comes to gardening. Making a calendar will help assure your garden grows to its highest potential. Section off the things that should be done in the early, middle, and end of spring.

Do you love to garden? Have any tips you can share with our readers? We would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Charming Ways to Spruce up Your Home’s Exterior

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, DIY Projects, Outdoor Living

As spring is in full bloom, it is time to start taking care of our home’s exterior, and small weekend projects can make a big difference. If you have the opportunity to set aside a couple of hours this week, here are our top picks for exterior home modifications that are cost-effective and time-conscious. Let’s take a look!

Paint Your Front Door

This is a great do-it-yourself project that can really change your entire curb appeal. Simply, start by removing your door then remove your handles and locks so only the part that needs painted remains. Take your door outside where you can paint it. You will want to sand the door to remove old paint or until it feels smooth. Make sure all the dust is off the door before adding your primer. You can now paint your door any color you choose. You can give your home a pop of color with a bright red or blue, or you can even provide a modern look with a dark grey or black. Just make sure your door is completely dry before rehanging it.

Plant Flowers

Some flowers are easier to grow than others. If it is your first garden or flowerbed, you may want to start with easy plants. Consider if you will incorporate a water irrigation system. If you can make a system before planting, you can evade having your life revolve around watering plants during the hot months. Just make sure your plants can be exposed to plenty of sunlight as well. Trees and houses can block some other important sunrays crucial to growing your plants. Flowerbeds can be a fun project to keep up on during the warm months and completely change your home’s curb appeal.

Stain Your Patio Furniture

Pick a day that there will be no rain or intense heat. If you are staining patio furniture on a deck or concrete surface, make sure to tarp the area. Stain can really spruce up your old furniture but be sure to plan ahead because not all woods except stain the same. You will also want to sand with the grain. Apply your first coat and allow it to soak. You can wipe to remove any heavy coating and apply accordingly until you accomplish the level you like.

These simple projects are great for any level of home fixer-uppers. With little tools and a full weekend, you can accomplish wonders in your yard. Which projects are your favorite? We would love to hear from you. Make sure to leave a comment below and subscribe for more content.

Why Do I Need Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Backsplash, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When you think of your dream kitchen, it probably has beautiful cabinetry, a gorgeous sink setup, plenty of counter space, and of course, a backsplash.  Backsplashes are the perfect remedy to take your kitchen’s aesthetics to the next level because tile is a timeless home improvement that can make any room feel more luxurious and personalized. Additionally, tile can help tailor the design to your liking. 

Think of a backsplash as a blank canvas to express your design theme.  From monochromatic tiles to intricate mosaic glass work, your backsplash can be designed in a variety of different ways to make a statement.  That being said, backsplash serves more than just this purpose.  Here is everything you should consider prior to adding your backsplash to your kitchen:

Functionality

Kitchens can get messy, and drywall does not respond well to sticky messes and water.  Backsplashes primarily protect your walls and can make messes easier to clean.  Think of your backsplash as an extension to your countertops that runs up the wall.  They can easily be wiped down and help prevent stains from getting on the walls.  Backsplashes work great for behind the sink, range, or countertop where food prep is done.  You can even include backsplashes in your bathrooms as well to protect your walls.

Aesthetics

Functionality aside, backsplashes are downright beautiful.  Adding a backsplash in your kitchen or bath can help enhance your home’s aesthetics.  There are some many wonderful selections to choose from when picking your tile.  Consider mosaic, painted designs on tiles, ceramic, subway tile, or even creating your own picture frame with pencil tile.  Your walls are blank canvases for you to create your very own masterpiece.  The next step is to find a complementary grout to help enhance the design.  You can go with a close neutral color or even a contrasting color to help make your tiles pop.  A general rule of thumb is to not have your wall tiles be a larger size than tiles on the flooring.

Other Materials

There are more than just ceramic or glass tiles you can use to create your look.  You can invest in granite, stainless steel, laminate, shiplap, or even sheet glass for a flawless look.  Decide what backsplash will enhance your design the most while considering how messy your walls may get and what application works best.  Find the best solution for functionality and then go about the design for your home.

Backsplashes are perfect upgrades to improve your home’s beauty and value.  They say “copying” is the highest form of flattery.  Look online or in person for a style you would like to replicate. If you need help or assistance, one of our knowledgable sales associates would love to assist you in finding the perfect look. 

Interior Design Principles for the Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Are you one of those people who was born with an excellent eye for design? If not, did you know that many designers have learned this valuable skill instead of inheriting it? There are some of us that do not have the first inkling of what to do when it comes to designing our homes. To help, we have listed a few of the basic techniques that will help you design your home. These decorating tips are simple enough that just about anyone can use. We hope you are motivated and comfortable in starting to design an entire house or just one room!

The Room’s Focal Point

The most emphasized feature of a room is the focal point. It is what your eye is drawn to when entering the room. Everything around the focal point will complement it. Finding the focal point is the first place to begin when decorating a room. If you are not sure where to start, look around the room for already built-in focal points. For example, a large window or fireplace can serve as built-in focal points. If the room does not already have a focal point, create one.

Think about what you will be doing inside of the room and build your focal point around it. If it is a reading room, make a bookcase your focal point. You can also use a large piece of artwork or a mirror as a focal point. If you already have a focal point, let’s say the fireplace is painted white; you will place some accent pieces around the room in white. If the focal point is a mirror, you may frame it on either side with complementing pieces of artwork. If your room does not have a focal point, you can create one by:

  • Painting one wall a different color and accessorizing it with artwork or decorative shelves.
  • Decide what you want to use the room for then create a focal point around that. A great example would be a reading room and the bookcase as a focal point.
  • Use a large piece of furniture as a focal point.
  • Use a large piece of artwork/mirror/textile as a focal point.

The Odd Numbers Rule

By designing a room with odd numbers, you will be able to create harmony with visual interest. Designing with odd numbers is a foundation that carries more appealing and memorable areas than even numbered items. You need to have items that vary in height, textures, and shapes. Also, do not forget to keep in mind that something similar should be happening with each item. There should be something similar that groups these items.

Designing a space takes time. You will learn what works for your house through trial and error. Remember to take it slow and that you know more than you may think.

How to Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile

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

When deciding to begin a bathroom remodel, we get excited to explore all the different ideas that can be incorporated. We look at countertops, sinks, cabinets, bathtubs, but most importantly, we look for the perfect tile. Tile is a timeless bathroom remedy that can functionally enhance the aesthetics of the atmosphere. We generate a theme from what we have seen before and have liked. Maybe you saw a rustic design at a restaurant, or perhaps your friends’ house has a simply beautiful, all-white design. While we search through a plethora of Pinterest pins and available options in a store, you begin to form an idea of the direction you want your bathroom design to go. To help you guide you during your decision process, here are our top three rules to follow in choosing the perfect bathroom tile.

Design

The first step is that you will need to select a design style that is meaningful to you. Decide if you want dark or light tiles, ceramic or glass, a lot of character or plain, texturized or smooth. Try not to select more than three tile types in your bathroom. Too many styles can feel busy and chaotic. To make your design feel more uniform, you will want to pick a primary tile and secondary tile. Your other tile choices can be used for trim, accent, and added character throughout the room.

Scale

If you are stuck on the size tile, consider the relative scale. If you select a 12×24, you can use it to accentuate the length of a room. You can use a smaller, more symmetrical option like 12×12 tiles too if your bathroom demands more cuts. A smaller tile will mean fewer cuts around plumbing and furniture. If you go with a larger tile, it can make a small room feel larger. Be careful not to go to big in very small spaces, or it can look strange. A general rule of thumb is to never put larger tiles on the walls than the tiles on the floor.

Maintenance

If you are okay with a little more maintenance, natural stone tiles are great for adding character to a room. However, if you do not want to be spending a ton of time cleaning, ceramic and porcelain are your safest options. Glass can make great for accents or walls but is not a good choice for the ground. Look into some mosaic glass designs to add even more character in your showers or bath.

Picking the perfect tile is fun. It is safest to go with your first instinct. All tiles have character, decide how much you are willing to put in a space. Too many high-designed tiles can clash and make the space look busy. Also, do not forget to consider the maintenance and size you want in your home. With these simple guidelines in mind, you are ready to create your dream oasis bathroom.

How to Create a Modern and Sleek Bathroom Design

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Who does not love the look of a modern and sleek room? Experts say it is time to apply this design concept to the bathroom. The bathroom is a space in the home that is often neglected when it comes to design. The key to creating a sleek look in the bathroom is simplicity. You will want to embrace minimalism with super clean, chic furnishings. Whether your home’s overall style is more rustic or traditional and you want to dabble with a modern style for the bathroom or your whole style is a modernist fantasy, here are some tips for creating the perfect modern bathroom:

Crisp Neutral Colors

The palette of a modern and sleek powder room is very simple. You will need to embrace a lot of crisp neutrals like shades of white, black, charcoal gray and taupe. You will find that most modern bathrooms use less sophisticated materials like wood varieties, nickel, veined stone or porcelain. These materials can be used to accent elements to make a subtle statement rather than overwhelming the space.

If you do not want the space to feel too cold, you can bring in natural touches through warm woods. Be sure to stick to subtle grains in order to preserve the tranquil and clean-lined atmosphere.

Implement Modern Lighting

In order to really make your bathroom look, feel both fresh and clean, bright and modern lighting choices is essential. Use LED or fluorescent bulbs which provide bright, white lighting without creating yellowish undertones. Often, modern light cast a cool glow. Use lighting above the medicine cabinet to keep the walls super bright, which ultimately makes the bathroom look bigger. Modern light fixtures include styles like a pendant or fixtures that are flush with the walls, which create beautifully illuminated spaces.

Minimalist Accessories

Since a modern bathroom embraces a minimalist style, you want to use simple accessories. A frameless mirror will look elegant in such a space especially if it is extended from wall to wall. Use streamlined hardware that originates from one manufacturer that features one solid finish that you can use for the faucet, shower knobs, and towel bar.

What are your thoughts on modern design? We would love to hear your feedback below in the comment section.

How to Showcase Your Travels in Your Design

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

If you love to travel and have been around the world, you recognize how life-changing it can be. When you return home, you just keep dreaming of the places you have traveled until you slowly come back to reality and once again begin your normal life routines. Just because you are home does not mean you cannot contribute to these oases into your living space. Buying memorabilia specific to place you travel and putting it in your home design can express your love for travel. Here are six spots on earth and souvenirs you should try to keep an eye out for when you travel:

Africa

Taking large continents and making a small list of souvenirs will not encapsulate everything these areas have to offer. Keep your eyes open for similar memorabilia and artifacts to bring home with you. Africa is rich in culture and has so much to offer from Egypt down to South Africa. With such a varying landscape, there are so many treasures to find in these lands. Keep an eye out for African-culture wood carvings. These make beautiful, cultured pieces of artwork for your home. You can also find Tanzanite at a favorable exchange rate in South Africa, so keep a lookout for this alluring blue jewelry. Africa is recognized for some incredible wire art pieces as well. Look in rural areas to try to find wire art ranging from small animals to intricate designs.

Australia

Australia is another large area with so much to offer. It is known for their exchange rate on opal and can be purchased at a fair price. For home décor, you can look into buying an authentic boomerang which was an iconic hunting tool to the aboriginal Australians. Australia also has many fine wines to keep on the lookout. These are great to take back home and keep in your winery. If you can find areas that sell Indigenous art, these make excellent display pieces for your home as well.

North America

Each state in the United States has a unique piece of history or characteristic about them. Without deep diving into every state, you can start something as simple as a coin collection or a mug with each state’s name on it that you traveled. This is a fun, creative way to make your own personal travel checklist and express it in your home. Canada has a lot to offer as well. Keep an eye out for Canadian Maple syrup or even dream catchers. These are a fun thing you can put in your home to show your travels. Canada is also the headquarter to TY Stuffed Animals so make sure to check out some while you are up there.

South America

Textiles are highly exported from South America. Keep an eye out for quality, wool tapestry to hang in your home or handmade musical instruments. Every country has a unique design style in their art and should be explored while visiting. Chullo hats are brightly colored hats made from llama, alpaca, or sheep’s wool and are beautiful to wear or put on display when you return home. With textiles being so affordable in South America, you can purchase woven friendship bracelets and colorful backpacks as gifts. South America will tend to have beautiful, bright colored painting you should look for as well. Also, you should look for their dolls and finger puppets which can be displayed on a bookshelf or mantel when you get home.

South East Asia

Asia is also a historically rich culture. Sticking to the country’s roots is a great way to showcase elements in your home. Silk is highly prominent textile in Asia and is considered extremely luxurious. The pottery and jewelry in Asia are also unique and tailored to their beautiful culture. Explore options to add to your kitchen like ceramic teapots or chopsticks as well while you are there. South East Asia has many countries with very elaborate gowns and dresses which can be purchased as well.

Europe

Europe has many countries with exceptional heritage. Italy is celebrated for its leather goods and is a great place to find high-quality wallets and purses. Romania is known for its exceptional wooden spoon craftmanship and would be a great addition to add to your home. Turkey has highly-renowned coffee whereas Norway is known for its knitted wools. The Netherlands has become known for its Delftware which would look great in any China cabinet. Every country has its own claim to fame and should be researched before going. Try to decide what countries you will be visiting and what items to keep an eye out for when you are there.

There are so many wonderful spots in the world; each country and continent has a unique, rich heritage of beautiful artifacts and modern treasures that we can admire. We cannot encapsulate all these treasures in one post but can give you ideas of what to keep on the lookout while you are there. Happy travels, and be sure to revisit this page after your trip to let us know what you bought.