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Decorating Small Spaces

Design Solutions for a Small Wall

Do you have one awkward wall in your living room that you do not know what to do with? Maybe it’s not wide enough to place a side table or bench against or perhaps it extends forward so putting a chair there would place it too close to the room’s center. Whatever the case is, just leaving it blank is not helping either. Below are design solutions that will allow you to turn that eyesore into a focal point. 

Gel Wall Fireplaces – Gel wall fireplaces can turn a sad wall into one that is simply fabulous. Silver and copper are very popular finishes right now. Gel fuel does not produce smoke or fill the air with dangerous toxins, so you do not even need a chimney. Plus, gel is surprisingly affordable and completely maintenance free. You add a can of fuel, ignite and enjoy. Simply extinguish the fire when you are done with it, or allow it to burn out naturally. 

Wall Water Features – Some are under the impression that all wall fountains are huge, but this is not true. There are vertical and fairly compact water features available that would mount on a narrow wall beautifully. 

Decals – When all else fails stick a pre-cut decal of something there. There is a large variety available, so finding one to complement your space will not be difficult. Depending on your personal style you could add anything from a tree to a colorful sugar skull to an inspiring quote. 

Shelves – If you have knick knacks, collectibles, or family photos you have run out of room to display, or if you would love to buy a few new things, if you can find a place to put them, then mounting a series of shelves on the wall would be ideal. 

Tall Plant – If you have been meaning to add more living art to your space then maybe this is the perfect wall for a tall plant. Don’t have a green thumb? You could always place a large decorative empty planter on the floor under where your gel fireplace is mounted. A planter does not actually need to be filled to look fabulous. 

Grandfather Clock – As long as your home offers the right environment for a grandfather clock this could be a welcomed element. This would look best in a classic, rustic, or country cottage space. 

5 Tips for Decorating a Room Without a Window

You have searched for your dream home for what seems like forever, and now that you have finally found it, you discover it has no windows in the main room. Now, no window in a bathroom or nursery is probably fine with you. However, if the home does not have a window in the living room or master bedroom this can quickly put a stop to any warm fuzzy feeling over the marble bathroom and chef-inspired kitchen. Can you live without a window in a primary room? Absolutely! It will not be nearly as dark as you might imagine either. These tips will help. 

False Windows – Create the illusion of windows being in the room with false windows. Whether you buy a print or paint your own, you can have the weather and view you dream of to look at daily. There are even large murals that span a nice size wall.  

Slate Wall Fountains – This material is about the closest you are going to get to displaying a real waterfall in your home. Slate wall fountains are available in a variety of sizes and styles. If you give your space a dramatic yet natural focal point, you will forget all about not having a window. Guests might not even notice either. 

Lighting – Since there will be no natural light pouring through the windows, you will have to be happy with artificial lighting. With the right lighting options, you won’t miss natural light. Forget about a boring ceiling light. Recessed lighting is a great idea in a basement with fairly low ceilings. Pendants and chandeliers are very much in style, and lamps are available today in more designs than you can probably imagine. Have a few options in a room, so you can make it brighter, when needed. A dimmer switch is always a nice feature to have. 

Shiny Pieces – Adding reflective elements to a space without windows is definitely a great idea. Brass, stainless steel, and mirror are all ideal. If possible, place pieces across from one another, so light can bounce back-and-forth. This will brighten up the room, so you don’t risk feeling like you are in a dungeon. 

Light Color Scheme – A room without windows needs a lighter color scheme. If you want to incorporate dark colors into the space, you can do so in some of the décor pieces. 

Tips for Decorating an Attic

Whether your family is growing and you need to create a study space for the kids or a reading nook for you, or if you are building an entire apartment up there to rent out, you will likely need a little help, when it comes to decorating. Attics can pose some design challenges, so you definitely want to think your plans through ahead of time. 

Embrace the Structure – If your attic has exposed rafters, vintage details, beams, or anything else, embrace these elements. There is no point trying to camouflage them. Allow them to be a focus in your décor.

Measure Everything – You definitely do not want to start shopping for furniture until you have measured, measured, and measured again. Take into consideration the ceiling height too, especially if it is slanted, which most are. Don’t stop with measuring the attic though. Something may easily fit inside your attic, but getting it up awkward stairs or through a tiny door could have you forced to deal with a return.

Choose Furniture Thoughtfully – The slanted walls commonly found in attics are what cause the most challenges. You may assume a dresser will be fine, but because of its height it has to be quite far from the wall. Lower pieces are always deal. For a bed, opt for a platform variety with storage underneath. Ottomans are ideal, too, no matter what type of space you are creating. They can be used as a foot stool or seat and some can even be used as a side table. Plus, you will have no problem getting ottomans up the stairs and through the door.

Lighting and Air Flow – Ideally, the windows of your attic will be large enough to welcome natural light. Of course, windows can make the attic feel like an oven, if they are in line of the hot afternoon sun. If this is the case, you will need some type of quality shades or curtains to block the light. If the windows open, you will be able to get some airflow in there. Even if they don’t, you can help keep the air circulated by using fans. Small lamps or sconces are probably all you will need for lighting.

Avoid a Dark Color Scheme – In most cases, attics are quite small. So, you want to avoid a color palette that is all dark. A lighter one will help brighten the space up. If you want to decorate with both try to strike a balance between light and dark 

Creative Ways to Reduce Clutter in the Bedroom

Do you ever flip through interior decorating magazines and just laugh when you see bedroom examples? These rooms do not even look lived in. Where is the TV on the dresser or alarm clock on the nightstand? How could anyone have a bedroom that perfect with nothing out of place? Well, below are creative ways to hide everything that is making your room look like a cluttered mess. 

TV Lifts 

According to feng shui, everything creates energy, but electronics create the most! Too many things in a room generate so much energy that the space comes off busy and overwhelming. This is especially true in a small room. So, what is the answer? Are you supposed to live without your television in the bedroom? Absolutely not! TV lifts are your solution. 

These unique pieces of furniture actually hide the flat screen when not in use. Then, when you are ready to get in bed to watch your favorite program, you use a remote control to lift your TV out of the unit. Some are designed as cabinets or dressers, so they provide additional storage space where needed. Others have a ventless fireplace, so you can enjoy a little ambiance in the room while you relax. 

Under-the-bed Storage 

There is a lot of space under the bed to put to good use. You can actually buy plastic containers made specifically for this purpose that you can fill it with just about anything. You could always buy bed lifts for even more space. Your other solution would be to buy a platform bed with built in drawers. 

Decorative Boxes 

You can buy decorative boxes in every size, color, and pattern imaginable. You can also find blank ones at the craft store that can be painted or covered with fabric. These are perfect for remote controls, books, socks, anything else you need a home for. 

Behind the Door 

The back of the door to your room is prime real estate. There are so many things you can buy to hang back there it will make your head spin. This is a perfect place for a shoe rack, or you can get over-the-door hooks and hang cloth bags to hold hair accessories, hats, mittens, belts, etc. 

Baskets 

You can often find decorative boxes at the craft store for well under $1. These can be left as is or spray painted. They are perfect to place on top of your dresser to hold your jewelry, hair brushes, and anything else cluttering up the space. Larger ones can be placed on the floor for dog toys and leashes. 

Design Solutions for a Small Space

Whether you are getting your first one bedroom apartment or buying a house with a fairly small living room, you may find yourself faced with decorating challenges. Trying to cram too many items in your living room will make it appear cluttered. Not to mention, the space will feel smaller than it already is, if you don’t have much floor space to move around. Do not get discouraged through. You can do a lot with that small space with a few basic tips. 

Keep Seating Simple 

The less furniture you have in a room the more floor space you will have to work with. Determine what your needs actually are. If you never have enough people over to put that extra chair to use get rid of it. If you are single and literally never do any entertaining or are always on the go then maybe you do not even need a sofa. Perhaps you only need your favorite bean bag and a few floor cushions, just in case friends stop by. Choose your furniture based on your needs, rather than what the norm is. 

TV and Media Console 

One of the smartest pieces of furniture you can add to a small space is a TV and media console. This one unit will give you a place to house your television and media, but it will also act as a focal point and heat source when the fireplace is on. Most assume they cannot have a fireplace unless they have a ton of extra room. With a TV and media console you get to have the cozy fire you long for without adding any additional elements to your space.

 Cover a Wall with Shelves 

You need to make the most of that valuable wall space. So, you can either buy bookshelves to stand up against a wall or install shelves yourself. These can be used to display art, collectibles, photos, and knickknacks, and they can hold books, games, etc. You can also use them to hold decorative boxes, cloth bins, and baskets to use for storage.

 Ottomans and Benches 

These items are essential in small spaces. If they open and allow for storage then they can be used for seating while also holding blankets and pillows. A bench could also be used as a side table with your winter coats, sporting gear, or other items you do not need to access in the off-season. 

Tips and Tricks 

Lighter colors will make the space appear larger. However, this does not mean you are restricted to neutrals. If you want a purple room, by all means go for it! Just choose a lighter shade or else only paint one accent wall the dark shade you love. You can also stick with neutrals, but incorporate bright colors as accents. Lastly, make use of mirror. Whether you add a mirror fountain, clock, serving tray, etc., to the space it will make the room appear larger due to its reflective nature. 

Essential Pieces of Furniture for Small Spaces

Whether you live in a small studio apartment or you have built a micro house on a large piece of land to reduce your carbon footprint, furnishing your home may prove to be a challenge. You want seating for guests, but you also want to be able to walk through your home when no one is there.  It would be nice if some floor space is empty! You would like to have side tables, but don’t need them taking up space all the time. If you have a small home, you simply need smart furniture that lets you make the most of the room that you have to work with. 

Ottomans – The great thing about ottomans is they can serve a few purposes. Obviously, they give you a place to put your feet up. They also double as seating when people come over. Ottomans with a firmer surface can be used as end tables, too.

Futon – The classic futon has been loved by small space dwellers for many years. It gives you a sofa and a bed all in one. If you have a bedroom with a real bed, then a futon in the living room can be a guest bed.

Nesting Tables – When folks come over, you want everyone to have a table to place their drink and appetizer plate on, but a bunch of tables will take up unnecessary floor space the rest of the time. Nesting tables are the practical solution.

Benches – Place a bench that opens by the front door and it will hold your hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, etc. In your main living space it can rest against a wall like a table, and store games, movies, and blankets inside. Put plants or art on top, and when you need extra seating, remove whatever is on top.

Floating Desk – You probably only use your desk a minimal amount, but still, you need somewhere to keep your laptop, bills, etc. A floating desk is perfect. It mounts to the wall and has shelves for storage. The table part flips down, so its footprint is very small. It could double as a kitchen table for a single person, as well.

Drop-leaf Kitchen Island – The right kitchen island will put some floor space to really good use. Obviously, you can use it for food preparation. If it has shelves, cupboards, and/or drawers, you will have storage space. Place two barstools against it, and you have a breakfast bar. 

Decorating Kids Rooms

 

Home Décor for Tween Rooms

Tweens can often be harder to satisfy than teenagers. So, if everyone has been warning you about the teenage years, be prepared for the drama to start long before you are ready. Tweens are at an age where they want cool and trendy things, but they still want to be kids and have fun. This is why decorating a bedroom at this age can be a nightmare. Where do you find the balance between juvenile and adult? Quite often, they don’t even know what they want, but they do know they want their friends to think they have a cool room. These tips will help! 

Getting Started 

If you are doing a total makeover it is good to at least get an idea of what they like before you are standing in the middle of the store with a child rolling their eyes at you every time you point out a different comforter. Settle on a color palette or theme to eliminate a lot of options. Going through some design books and sites will help. 

If they pick out a dreadful paint color try not to panic and make a big deal out of it. Remember, paint can always be covered. If you make a fuss, they won’t admit they hate it once it is on the walls, and then you are all stuck staring at it every day until it is time to redecorate again.

 Essentials 

Workstation – Homework is important, but no one wants to sit at an uncomfortable desk that does not provide enough space for books and supplies. This desk should last them through high school, so make sure it has storage and enough space to be comfortable. They will need a comfortable chair and a work lamp, too.

Bean Bag Chairs – You can either go with large children bean bag chairs, or get a small adult one, depending on the style, color, and material they like. Some bean bag chairs for kids are larger than those made for adults, but they have more youthful colors and styles. These are ideal for studying for long hours, or for playing video games, of course.

Posters – The great thing about posters is they are cheap and can be recycled. An actor or band they are into right now may be old news in another six months. You won’t have to cringe when it gets torn off the wall, and they beg for a replacement. 

Dry Erase Board or Chalkboard – Whether you are leaving them a list of things to do or their friends are leaving them notes, a dry erase board or chalkboard will see a lot of action. Chalkboard paint is cheap! 

Wardrobe Storage – Their wardrobe is bound to expand greatly over the next few years, especially when they stop growing because nothing will be getting rotated out. Drawers, shelves, cubbies, hooks, baskets, etc., can all be considered. Cloth bags hung from hooks on the back of the door are perfect for socks, hair accessories, gloves, and tights. 

Fun Décor Tips for Kids Rooms

Your child’s bedroom is more than just a place they go to sleep at night. This is where they start a new exciting day. They daydream of becoming a princess or firefighter in this room, and they learn to read their first words during their bedtime story. This room should be bursting with personality, but that does not mean you have to plaster Elsa, Sponge Bob, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all over. Below are some fun and youthful décor tips that will help make your child’s room worthy of the day and night dreams they will have there. 

Stripes – Think bigger than striped comforters. All you need is a measuring stick and painting tape to create big bold horizontal stripes on the wall. Use two colors or several. Horizontal stripes will also make a small room feel quite large. 

Small Bean Bags – Get your child one of these comfy balls of beans, and they will be hooked for life. Small bean bags are available in a huge variety of colors and styles, and they are perfect to bring out to the living room for watching cartoons or family movie night. When they grow out of them and need larger ones these small ones become ottomans and pet beds.

 Floating Shelves – When you mount floating shelves up high enough, you don’t have to worry about them getting walked into, which can cut down on the number of times their head gets bumped throughout their childhood. Decorative baskets and fabric bins can hold clothes, toys, and other odds-and-ends on these shelves, or you can put their books, stuffed animals, and collections on display.

Custom Headboards – You don’t need to have an actual headboard to look like you do. Use heavy particle board cut in a fun shape and cover it with a patterned fabric. It is light enough to Velcro to the wall. Every once in a while, you can just switch the material for a fun new look.

Homemade Art – Let your child create an art piece for their room. Buy a canvas at the craft store and a couple bottles of acrylic paint, and they can make a masterpiece they will be proud of every time they look at it.

Polka Dots – You may not be crazy about polka dots, but kids tend to love them. They are fun and look like bubbles. Go overboard with them. Polka dots pair perfectly with your striped wall.

Wall Decals – The selection of wall decals available today is mind-blowing. Whether you want to spell their name or put butterflies or birds all over the walls these decals make it easy and affordable.

5 Essentials for Your Child’s Room

Aside from probably struggling to choose a theme, furnishing your nursery was likely relatively easy. You already knew you needed a crib, changing table, dresser, etc., and no one was going to complain over your choices anyway. Furnishing a child’s room is not quite as easy. They often already know what theme or colors they want and some even have their heart set on bunk beds, a canopy bed, or even a bed shaped like a racecar. However, beyond that you might be feeling a little confused. What other pieces of furniture should be added that you won’t have to turn around and replace in another year? 

Kiddie Bean Bag Chairs 

If you buy only one thing on this list, let it be kid bean bag chairs. Kids love these balls of beans because they are comfortable and just the right size. You will love that some have machine-washable covers and they last pretty much forever. When your child finally does grow out of their chair, it can be used as a foot stool or a pet bed, but if you buy a small to medium-sized one, they could ultimately end up taking it with them to their dorm room in college. 

Desk 

Children should have their own workspace where they can do homework, other than the kitchen table, of course. When they are old enough to have a laptop, they will already have a desk for it. Plus, this way they can keep their supplies out, and it can even double as a craft station. 

Picnic Table 

If the room is large enough for a play area, a small plastic picnic table will be perfect for tea parties, playing games with friends, etc. A regular table and chairs is fine but then you have to worry about chairs tipping over. Plus, they can look sloppy when they are all scattered around. A kid-sized picnic table is the solution. 

Chalkboard 

So, this is obviously not furniture, but a definite essential you will be glad you added. You can buy a chalkboard, but it is a whole lot easier just to buy chalkboard paint and paint a section of the wall. Some do the length of an entire wall while others choose a small area in a corner. 

Storage Solutions 

A child’s room can look like a tornado stormed through five minutes after you cleaned it. Make sure everything has a home. Benches that double as storage are ideal, but plastic bins are perfect for all those small toys and game pieces that often end up in a pile. Putting labels on everything will help your child know where everything belongs.  

Decorating Dorm Rooms 

6 Tips to Make Your Small Bedroom Feel Larger

You don’t need a huge bedroom to create an environment you love lounging in. If your room feels cramped or you have never bothered to decorate it then it is not likely going to be the place you retreat to after a long day. Maybe you are downsizing and a little stumped on what to do with your smaller space. These tips will help even a tiny room feel a lot more spacious. 

Remove the Clutter – Even having a few things out-of-place in a small room can make the space feel cramped. For example, 10 bottles of lotion, body spray, and perfume adds 10 additional elements to the space. Put all those containers in a decorative box with a lid and suddenly you have only added one element to the space. It is very important that a small room not be permitted to get cluttered.

Scale Furniture – There is absolutely nothing you can do to make a small bedroom feel larger, if you just squeezed a California King bed in it. Don’t buy a bed bigger than you need. This theory applies to dressers, too. Don’t buy a bedroom set because it is on sale, when you may not need the extra dresser that is responsible for making the room feel cramped. Platform beds with drawers in the base are smart and floating nightstands let you maximize floor space beneath them.

Reflective Décor – Mirror is a great material to decorate with in a small space because its reflective nature makes the room appear larger. Indoor waterfalls made of mirrorare ideal. Not only will the mirror brighten up the space; the sound of cascading water made by indoor waterfalls is very soothing, so it will help you fall asleep faster.

Thoughtful Color Palette – As a rule, bright and light colors tend to make a room appear bigger. However, this does not mean that you have to avoid dark colors. You can even get away with a black or deep plum accent wall, if there are also lighter elements in the room to provide balance.

Rethink the TV – If you actually use the TV in the bedroom then by all means keep it there. If not, this should be the first thing to go. Electronics add a ton of energy to a space. If you must have one, opt for a flat screen and store the remote in the nightstand drawer, so it is not adding to clutter.

Create a Focal Point – Even a small room demands a focal point. If the element is special enough, you really will not need other art. For example, if you go with an indoor waterfall, you probably will not need anything else in the room. 

Must Have Dorm Room Essentials

One of the most exciting things about staying on campus is decorating your dorm room. However, many people stress about this process because they just don’t know where to begin. Not only do you not want to forget anything important, you have to make your decisions thoughtfully because space is limited. This list of essentials will get you started. 

Bean Bag Lounger – You may think you don’t need anything to sit on because you have a bed and desk, but you do. Desks can be used for more important purposes, such as storing cosmetics, hair products, snacks, paper plates, etc. If you sit on your bed for long hours to study and do homework your back will ache. A bean bag lounger can be squished in a corner and is comfortable enough to sit in for hours. Plus, you will need seating for friends anyway. 

Lap Desk – Since your actual desk is holding essentials, you will need a lap desk. You can pick these up anywhere for under $10. They have a cushion on one side and a flat desk surface on the other. 

Heating Source – Dorms never seem to be warm enough. However, most don’t allow large space heaters. There are small ceramic heaters that use under 400 watts of energy that will warm you up, especially if you’re sitting right in front of it. A heating blanket is essential to have, too.

Hamper – Fabric hampers or bags are ideal. When one gets full, it is easy to toss over your shoulder like Santa Claus and hit the laundry room. 

Storage boxes – These will become your best friends. Fill them with clothes, school supplies, personal hygiene products, food, jewelry, etc., and stack them as tall as you. It is a good idea to label them, so you know which box to grab when you need something. 

Hand Vac – You don’t need a full-size vacuum. A hand vacuum will be adequate for a small room. If your dorm is close to home, you can skip this item and just borrow one, as needed. 

Command Hooks – Command makes hooks in every size and style imaginable, and they don’t ruin the walls. These can hold jackets, hoodies, keys, and cloth bags filled with plastic ware, hair accessories, scarves, and mittens. 

Bed Risers – You can pick up dorm room bed risers at places like University Housewares and Target. They raise your bed over 5 inches so you can make the most of that storage space underneath. 

Survival Guide for Your Small Bedroom

Not everyone can have a king-sized bedroom, but that does not mean you have to hate your small space. You can do a lot more with a small bedroom than you probably realize. You just need the right furnishings, thoughtful storage, and helpful decorating tips. 

Daybeds – A large percentage of the popularity insists on buying a queen or king-sized bed when they don’t even need one. Think of all that valuable floor space you will free up, if you opt for a daybed against a wall instead. Daybeds are perfect for kids’ rooms and studio apartments, too. 

Light and Bright – Dark color palettes dwarf a space. You may love the look of a dark plum wall and black curtains, but your small space will shrink before your very eyes. You definitely do not want to feel like the walls are closing in every time you are in your room. Stick with light colors and welcome natural light. 

Multipurpose Nightstand – Rather than buy an actual nightstand, use a three-drawer dresser instead. It will be the perfect height to use as a nightstand next to the bed, but the drawers can hold clothes, books, spare sheets, or anything else you don’t have room for. 

Decorating with Mirrors – You really can’t have too many mirrors in a small space. Their reflective nature makes a room feel bigger. You can always buy an old one at a flea market and paint a cute frame around it on the wall. 

Shadow Boxes – You don’t have to avoid art just because you have a small space. Shadow boxes give you places to showcase a few items. Plus, they add a three-dimensional element to the space. 

Floating Bedside Table – If you don’t use a small dresser for your nightstand, consider using a floating table. You can even mount on cube to a wall, so you have a table, plus a space for a fabric bin. However, since the floor is open underneath, you can put your trash can or pile of books down there. 

Creative Storage – Absolutely everything in a small room needs a home. Even a stack of magazines or a few hoodies on the dresser will create clutter. Get creative with your storage and make the most of every inch of space. Fabric bags hung from a towel holder on the back of the door can hold a lot of odds-and-ends. Put all jewelry in a jewelry box, and if you have lotions, body sprays, perfume, cologne, etc., on your dresser then put them all in a decorative box or bin. Now, you have one element on your dresser instead of several. 

Tips for a Safer Property

Easy Ways to Make Your Property Safer

Regardless what neighborhood, city, or state you live in; there are always ways to improve the safety of your property. Many people hear the word “safe” and automatically think of crime, but having a safe home also means taking steps to prevent accidents from occurring, as well. This list will help you create the safest property possible. 

Solar Lights – Solar lights are an absolute must. You should be able to see where you are walking around your property. Not to mention, solar lights make your home less attractive to burglars.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Most people have smoke alarms, but a surprising number of people do not have a carbon monoxide detector. Too many people die annually from carbon monoxide. These are deaths that could have been prevented with a $25 device. Make sure you test your alarms frequently.

Fix Walkways – You may know exactly where the uneven part of the walkway is, even in the dark, but guests don’t. Fix these areas before they become issues.

House Number – Make sure your house number is visible from the street, so emergency responders can see it. This means putting the number on the mailbox or a tree by the end of the driveway, if necessary.

Dog Signs – You don’t need to actually have a dog to post “Beware of Dog” signs. Leave a few heavy duty dog toys outside, too.

Fence – Thieves find a fenced property much less attractive than an unfenced one.

Store Fuel Properly – Whether you have gas cans of fuel, cylinders of propane for a portable heater, or cans of gel fuel for your fireplace, it is important that you adhere to proper storage guidelines.

Stop Using the Fireplace – Chimney fires can happen to anyone. Turn your fireplace into a safe, eco-friendly one with a bio fuel insert.

Window Coverings – Natural light is great, but people don’t need to be able to see everything inside your home when you are sleeping or away at work. Make sure your window coverings actually provide privacy, especially in kids’ rooms.

Don’t Hide Keys – Hiding keys outside is just asking for trouble. Thieves know where to look for them. Plus, it only takes one of your teenager’s mischievous friends to learn of the hiding place, and they will tell several others.

Don’t Be Predictable – Switch up your routine or at least change times in your home to turn certain light and electronics on at different times with timers. A person with a predictable routine is the perfect target for a criminal. 

5 Essentials for a Safer Home

Many people don’t realize just how unsafe their home is until they face an unfortunate event. Some assume if they don’t have infants or toddlers in the home that they don’t really have to put a large focus on safety, and others hear of tragedy and think it will never happen to them. Whatever your case is, if you are ready to finally take steps to create a safer living space, these essentials should be on your shopping list. 

1.Gun Safes – Whether you have one handgun or a large collection of shotguns, gun safes are necessities. Obviously, if you have children in the home it is imperative that you have one. However, it only takes a split second for it to fall into the hands of a niece, nephew, a friend’s child, or an intoxicated guest who suddenly thinks a loaded gun is a toy. Not to mention, a large percentage of guns used in violent crime are stolen property. Your gun could be missing for a week before you realize it’s not in your hiding place. Gun safes save lives; plain and simple.

2.Fire Extinguisher – You can pick up a fire extinguisher fairly cheap at Home Depot, Staples, or a number of other places. Even an aerosol can fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a small grease fire ruining dinner or burning your home down. Some even boast a biodegradable formula. Put at least one on every floor of your home.

    3.Carbon Monoxide Detector – The vast majority of homes have smoke alarms so it is hard to understand why so few homes have carbon monoxide detectors. After all, if there is a fire there is a good chance you will see or smell the smoke and flames. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that gives no warning signs.

    4.Carbon Monoxide Detector – The vast majority of homes have smoke alarms so it is hard to understand why so few homes have carbon monoxide detectors. After all, if there is a fire there is a good chance you will see or smell the smoke and flames. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that gives no warning signs.

    5.Emergency Kit – Having an emergency kit is vital, no matter where you live. As Mother Nature has proved time and time again, she is completely unpredictable and can unleash her fury anywhere. You probably know you need water, nonperishables, waterproof matches, candles, and other basics, but there are a ton of things you can include in your kit. Commit to buying one thing every other week, or so. A few ideas include manual can opener, pet supplies, bleach, whistle, hand-crank radio, emergency blanket, and personal hygiene and sanitation items. 

    Functional Ways to Warm your Space

    Home Designs: Electric Fireplaces

    With an increasing awareness and sense of environmental responsibility, more people are opting to use an Electric Fireplaceto warm their homes. If you love the visual appeal of the traditional fireplace but can’t stand the smell of burning wood, you have the option of choosing an electric fireplace that has the traditional style. Electric fireplaces also come in another styles; such as corner or wall fireplaces. If you’re looking to create focal points in your space or to bring the ambiance to a whole new level, or simply to add warmth to your home on cold seasons, there is an electric fireplace to meet your needs. Plus, they are very easy to use. 

    Real Flame Brighton Electric Wall Fireplace complements virtually any decor, while its realistic flame technology enhances the ambiance. It warms your room with 4,700 BTUs per hour and features a programmable thermostat as well as adjustable flame settings. And its handy remote control means you’ll never have to get up from your long winter’s nap. 

    The Mini Portable Comfort Furnace in Oak is great for any room. The high-velocity fan draws cool air through the washable air filter. Cool are is passed through the resistance type preheater then warmed air is forced around quartz heating elements. Hot air passes over the copper deflector and into the room. This heater will add warmth to any space it is used in. 

    The Chateau Corner Electric Fireplace features the clean lines and classic styling familiar to stone mantels, realized in wood. In three great finishes, this design is sure to compliment a variety of décor, from classic to contemporary. The Vivid Flame Electric Firebox plugs into any standard outlet for convenient set up. The features include remote control, programmable thermostat, timer function, brightness settings and ultra bright Vivid Flame LED technology. Available in White, Dark Walnut, or Espresso finishes. 

    This fireplace will never fail to combine the timeless pleasure of a warm hearth with a high tech home theater. The Langley is an impressive cabinet for entertainment use, featuring a transitional design with simple scrolls and fluted pilasters. Clean lines and an espresso finish create a seamless blend between home electronics and home décor. The Langley Electric Fireplace Media Console supports flat screen TV’s up to 55″ in width, and provides sturdy shelving for your media components. The 26″ firebox may be operated with or without heat, allowing you to enjoy the flame effects all year long. 

    This Electric Fireplace Insert will look great in any fireplace. It creates the warmth you need without the mess of a real fire. This electric insert gives off heat that will fill the room instantly. Add this great electric heater to your home today! 

    This electric stove creates a perfect warmth and glow for any room. It emits no smoke, and is very environmentally friendly. The Keystone Electric Stove creates enjoyment for every season as it can be operated with or without heat, so summer nights can be enjoyed with a warm glow from the fire without the extra heat. Enjoy this great electric stove in your home today! 

    Curl up by the comforting glow and warmth of a fire anywhere in your home. Ideal for living rooms, dens, or bedrooms, the Real Flame Silverton Electric Fireplace is crafted with a solid wood mantel making it a hassle-free way to add instant ambiance to your living space. 

    Make Your Business More Comfortable with Ventless Fireplaces

    Thanks to ventless fireplaces, every type of environment can enjoy a dancing flame. If you own or manage a small business you may have never considered adding a fireplace to the space, but you really should. They don’t create smoke or diminish oxygen levels so they are safe to use anywhere, even if you have a small tax office in a high rise building. 

    Benefits 

    Ventless fireplaces offer the same great benefits to a business as they do to your home, but on an escalated level. It doesn’t matter if you have customers, clients, patients, investors or any other type of visitor entering your business on a daily basis, they will appreciate the fireplace in more ways than you can imagine. 

    Warmth – Obviously, one of the most important reasons to add them to your business if for the warmth they offer. This is especially true if you are in a building with controlled heat. People entering or waiting in your lounge area will certainly appreciate that chair next to the fireplace on a cold winter day. 

    Welcoming – A fireplace is a familiar element that everyone recognizes. It is a comforting element. Most people simply need to glance at one to immediately feel at ease. This is how you want people to feel, especially if they are getting ready to spend money. 

    Relaxing – It is hard to feel anxious, stressed or on the edge when you are in the presence of a dancing flame. So, whether someone stops in your café to grab a coffee after a terrible business meeting, or if they are in your lounge waiting to get their taxes done that they are dreading, they will be able to relax a bit and not focus on any concerns they have. 

    Conversation Piece – If you have a martini lounge, wine bar or even a hair or nail salon, patrons will appreciate having a nice piece of art as a conversation starter. Talking about art is a nice way to break the ice and strike up a conversation. 

    Give Them a Reason to Return 

    Every professional market today is saturated with competition, especially in larger cities. Give people a reason to remember you, so they want to return. Someone may not remember where they were when they had that fantastic dessert, but if they have a visual element like the Pure Flame Vesta Bio Fuel Fireplace to associate your restaurant with, then they might have an easier time remembering, so they come back and refer others to you as well. Word of mouth is a strong marketing tool. 

    Ways to Keep Your Cabin Warm

    If you have a secluded cabin, there is a good chance you don’t have electricity. Either that or you might be without power for long periods of time after a storm. Maybe you are considering buying a small primitive cabin, but you are not sure if you can deal with having no power, especially when it is cold. Well, plenty of people live off the grid in Alaska. It is not convenient to not have the option of turning up the furnace, but there are ways to keep the cabin cozy and comfy, even when there is a blizzard outside. 

    Fireplaces that Use Bio Ethanol 

    Fireplaces that use bio ethanol have become a preferred heat source because the fuel is so clean. The bio ethanol is made from sustainable crops, and it doesn’t emit smoke, toxins, or odor. Fireplaces that use bio ethanol are an easy and safe heat source for a cabin of any size. Just make sure you are always stocked up on fuel. Plus, these fires provide a nice cozy ambiance.

    Kerosene Heater 

    Also referred to as a paraffin heater, these heaters operate similar to a kerosene lamp. They have a fiberglass wick that uses a capillary action to draw kerosene from the tank. Once lit, flames are emitted by the wick into the heater’s burner unit. A convection process is used to heat the air. It is important to fill and light these heaters outdoors and then relocate them inside. 

    Generator 

    If you don’t mind stocking up on gasoline, running a generator is an option. However, this can get expensive. If you use the cabin a lot and have a higher budget a solar generator may be an option for you. Keep in mind that gas generators need to be operated outside. Running one right outside an open window is dangerous, and puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

    Power Inverter 

    When used for emergency power, inverters are generally hooked to a car battery. They convert DC current into AC power, so you can plug in a space heater. You don’t have to use a car battery though. You can simply use an extra fully charged battery. Buy a few batteries and a solar panel, so you can use one while charging the others. These are ideal for electric blankets, too. 

    Heat Packets 

    Hand and body warmers can be purchased for under $1 each, and last up to 10 hours. Put one on your back, in your socks, and in a pair of mittens when you sleep, and they will help keep you toasty. 

    Propane Heater 

    These heaters use canisters of propane. This is a low-cost and efficient heating option, but they do product carbon monoxide, and therefore require good ventilation. You should have a carbon monoxide detector in the cabin for sure, if you use one. 

    Affordable Ways to Keep Toasty When it’s Cold

    If you are like most, you hate turning up the furnace. Paying an energy provider even more money than you already do is not something anyone looks forward to. Well, there are other options that will keep you toasty, and will cost a lot less than adjusting the thermostat to the furnace. These ideas are great for winter, but they are also ideal spring and fall when the temperatures are just a little too low to be comfortable, but not cold enough to think about running the heat. 

    Electric Fireplaces 

    An electric fireplace should be a staple in every home. Some assume they are costly to operate for some reason but this is certainly not the case. In fact, most are so energy efficient that they do not cost any more than that coffeemaker you keep on all day. Electric fireplaces provide an impressive amount of heat, so even in the winter you will be able to turn the heat down and keep your space warm. Plus, it is a lot nicer to look at a dancing flame than listen to a furnace run. Some even let you turn the heat off completely, so you can enjoy the display in the warm months, as well.

     Electric Blankets 

    Do not turn up the heat! You can get cozy and warm under a nice soft electric blanket instead. These are available in a variety of sizes, fabrics, colors, and patterns, and they are machine-washable. Be sure to follow the instructions though! 

    Kerosene Heater 

    Kerosene heaters can be a little costly, but they can produce a tremendous amount of heat. Plus, they can be used in places where there is no electricity, which makes them handy to keep around for power outages. You really only get that undesirable burning smell when you first light or extinguish it, so take it outdoors to do this, if you can. You might also want to consider using KleanHeat. It is an expensive but odor-free alternative to kerosene and works in all kerosene heaters. 

    Hand and Body Warmers 

    You can buy hand and body warmers for under $1 each. They are even more affordable if you buy in bulk, and they provide heat for up to 10 hours. Stick one on the inside of your t-shirt, and it will keep your body temperature warm. You can also stuff a few hand ones in a tied sock, and put it under the covers by your feet to keep them warm. 

     Hot Water Bottle 

    One of the classic ways to warm a bed is by putting a hot water bottle under the blankets. Of course, you do not have to be in bed to use one. These are for sore backs and aching muscles, as well. 

    Wall Fireplaces: Perfect for Small Homes

    Bellezza Bio Ethanol Recessed Fireplace

    Dimensions: 47.25″ x 23.75″ x 7.62″

    Just because you live in a small starter home or a studio apartment does not mean that you shouldn’t have the opportunity to enjoy a dancing flame whenever you want to. Sure, space is tight and maybe you already kick yourself every day for buying that oversized sofa, but the beauty of a wall fireplace is that it is not going to make your floor feel crowded. 

    Pick a Wall 

    Since these modern fireplaces are mounted up on the wall, you do not have to spend half a day trying to rearrange furniture to create available floor space that simply is not there. Plus, you will not have to worry about someone tripping over it. 

    All you need to do is pick a wall and determine how large of a fireplace you want. Since it will create such a dynamic focal point it will be best on a wall by itself. Small spaces can look cluttered with too many objects. So, if you try to place one of these pieces on a wall next to a canvas, sculpture, or something similar it will look too busy. 

    Choose a Fuel Source 

    You may be interested to learn that wall fireplaces are available in a few fuel sources, and they are all safe to use in a small home. 

    Electric – As the name implies this variety will simply get plugged into a standard outlet. Make sure one is available on the wall you are shopping for, it this is the type you want.

    Gel – What could possibly be easier than placing a can of gel fuel in the appropriate spot on the fireplace and igniting? One can burns for a few hours and offers warmth and ambiance.

    Biofuel – Created from fermented sugars of sustainable crops, biofuel is about the most environmentally-friendly fire you enjoy. These fireplaces are generally very modern, and the flame is brilliant.

    Choosing the Right One 

    With the huge selection we have available here at Soothing Company, finding one to complement your small space will not be a problem. Although a larger one could look fantastic, you have to keep in mind that these pieces are not just for show. Adding our Maximum Bio Ethanol Recessed Fireplace may seem like a good idea, but it will generate some serious heat, so a small room may feel a bit too toasty. Keep this in mind when deciding on one. 

    Advantages Of Adding A Corner Fireplace To Your Business

    If you have recently made the decision to add a ventless fireplace to your business then you might be a little overwhelmed with trying to decide which one to buy. It does not matter if you have a cozy café, tranquil spa, or a medical practice, any environment will benefit from a dancing flame. However, it is also important to choose one that best accommodates the space. Corner fireplaces have exploded in popularity in both residential and commercial use for a long list of reasons.

    What Are Corner Fireplaces? 

    If you are like many others you may not have been introduced to corner fireplaces until now. Alternately, maybe you found the styles here at the Soothing Company quite intriguing, but you are wondering if they are suitable for business use. Well, they are more than suitable; they are actually quite perfect. As the name implies this type of fireplace is crafted in a way that allows it to nicely nestle into an empty corner in the room. They are available in electric or gel options and a variety of finishes. 

    Out of the Way 

    One of the greatest advantages to decorating a business with a corner fireplace is that it will be out-of-the-way. If you look around your business, you likely have a corner just sitting there empty like wasted space. Nothing else fits there, so you might as well put it to use. This way, you get a fireplace, without taking up valuable wall space that you may need to place tables, chairs, or other pieces of furniture against. Plus, it will be out-of-the-way, so no one accidently trips over it. 

    Inviting 

    Although you may be shopping for a fireplace simply for display or to provide warmth on cold days, they actually provide the business with a few fantastic benefits. The most noteworthy one is that they are inviting. You want your clients, customers, patients, etc., to feel welcomed and comfortable upon entering your business. This is exactly what a corner fireplace will do. For example, if you look at our Holly and Martin Cypress Electric Fireplace-Espresso, it instantly makes you feel like “home.” Its rustic finish complements the warmth and ambiance to instantly comfort those in its presence. Suddenly folks may stop checking their watch every 30 seconds, and they may not even realize how long they have been waiting. 

    No Mess

    Some of the corner fireplaces we have here at the Soothing Company may look real, but you certainly will not be dealing with a mess. First, they do not need venting, so you will not need to make costly renovations to accommodate one.

    The flame creates no smoke, so it is safe to enjoy pretty much anywhere. With an electric variety you will simply use a remote control to turn it off and on. If you opt for gel because it has a more realistic flame, you will appreciate that you can snuff the fire out whenever you want. 

    Alternative Heat Sources for Your Home

    Other than the fact that a furnace provides heat there is absolutely nothing exciting about running one. Some older models are incredibly loud and distracting, forcing you to increase the volume on the TV every time it kicks on, and all will increase your utility bill. Unfortunately, going without heat is not something you can do unless you live somewhere really hot, like the southernmost tip of Texas. There are other heat sources though that you can use, and some will cost less than your furnace to run. You may not be able to turn your furnace off completely, but you can certainly turn it down while using alternative options. 

     Electric Wall Fireplaces 

    Many people assume electric wall fireplaces increase a utility bill a substantial amount. This is actually not true. Quality electric fireplaces use about as much electricity as your coffeemaker, and that is it. They literally cost pennies per hour to operate. Plus, they create ambiance, which is something your furnace certainly is not capable of doing. There are even some that let you turn the heat off completely, if you want to continue to enjoy the ambiance through the warm summer months. 

    Gel Fireplace 

    Gel for gel fireplaces is made of gelled isopropyl alcohol. The flame is toasty warm yet it creates no smoke, so you can use it indoors without a chimney. You simply peel the label off a can, add it to your gel fireplace, and ignite. It provides a realistic flame. Some people even keep a stock of these cans of gel to use without a fireplace in case the power goes out. 

    Bio Ethanol Fireplaces 

    Like gel varieties, bio ethanol fireplaces are also environmentally-friendly. Bio ethanol is a liquid fuel that you add to a bio fuel fireplace. It is made from fermented sugars of sustainable crops, such as beets and potatoes. It does not create smoke either. Unlike electric fireplaces though, there is no way to enjoy the ambiance of a flame without the heat. 

    Portable Heaters 

    You have to be really careful with portable heaters because some will draw a lot of energy. The idea is to buy one that provides a nice amount of heat without hogging a lot of electricity. This is also a nice heat source if the power goes out, if you have an inverter or generator. Some people even choose to use kerosene heaters as a supplemental heat source, as well. 

    Healthy Workplace (Home + Office)

    Creative Ideas for a Healthy Workplace

    Office life: it’s often mundane and repetitive, causing debilitating repetitive muscle strain and mental sluggishness. Here are three novel pieces of equipment that you might not think of adding to an office. They will add some fun to your daily grind, promoting better mental health and overall productivity. Change up your 9-5 routine and see what happens to your overall health and well-being, even after you’ve gone home for the day. 

    Massage Chairs 

    Those of us who sit at a desk for long hours know all too well the toll it can eventually take on our body and mental health. Choosing a desk chair that is comfortable and ergonomically designed is a great start, but adding a massage chair to your company break room has huge health benefits for active pain relief. You can rest assured that you are being proactive about your employees’ health, and giving them a much-needed mental break which allows for more productivity later in the day. Massage has been shown to increase endorphin levels, providing a natural feel-good boost which will encourage positive work habits and creativity. The Omega Skyline Zero Gravity Massage Chair massages your back at three speeds to ease the painful lower-back strain that comes with sitting at a computer. It also includes an MP3 player and headphones to help create a soundtrack that will help you drift away in your mind as your muscles receive a relaxing massage. 

    Bean Bag Chairs 

    The Big Joe Roma Chair, which comes in six fun colors, would make a great addition to any creative office space in which brainstorms are encouraged. When your employees are comfortable and relaxed, they’re more likely to produce original ideas, and have fun doing it. A grouping of comfortable, casual seats in an office setting can bring employees together and create a healthy team bond, as they truly enjoy sitting and relaxing together. Add some bean bag chairs to your conference room and watch the creative collaborations and new ideas blossom in your co-workers, not to mention the child-like smiles and laughter. 

    Standing Desks 

    Have you seen this trend in your office yet? Recent studies have shown the negative impact that sitting for prolonged periods can have on our health. Sitting for too long can lower your metabolism, increasing your risk of developing diabetes or obesity later in life. Sitting for too long can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and overall mortality rate. But don’t be too frightened or tempted to go to extremes; good office health is all about finding a healthy balance in your physical activity level at work. Adding more movement to your daily life, including walking and exercising, is healthy for anyone, and helps stimulate brain activity. 

    To reduce the strain on your body caused by too much standing, try using a gel mat with your standing desk. If you’re considering switching from a regular office chair to a standing desk, try a combination of both to begin with, alternating between the two so that your legs can get used to the additional strain. 

    6 Essentials for Working at Home

    Years ago, you rarely heard about people working from home. Today, folks from all walks of life are saying goodbye to punching a time clock to work from home instead. There are a lot of obvious benefits; however, you have to treat it like an actual job to be successful. This starts with the working environment and having the right supplies. Whether you are struggling to be productive or just starting with your work at home adventure, this list of essentials will help you reach your full potential. 

    Desk – It is really important to have a desk. A lot of freelancers think they don’t need one because they can just work at the kitchen table or living room coffee table. This is fine, but you will still need a place to keep supplies and important documents. Even a basic desk is better than nothing.

    Office Chair – If you do plan on sitting at a desk to work, you will need a quality, comfortable office chair. Quite honestly, a lot more thought needs to go into selecting a chair because your productivity will be dictated by your comfort. Choose an office chair that won’t leave you achy within an hour, and you will be more productive with your valuable work time.

    Filing System – If your desk has large drawers, you can use one for folders. Otherwise you can buy a filing cabinet or simply create a system in Rubbermaid bins. If you are on a tight budget, pick up empty boxes from your closest office supply store and create a filing system in them. You can always paint the boxes or cover them in wall paper or fabric for a personal touch.

    Multi-function Printer – Rather than buy a separate printer, copier, and scanner, purchase a multifunction printer that will handle the workload of three electronics and computer. This is probably stating the obvious, buy you are going to need a computer and up to date software and antivirus.

    Surge Protector – You might think it needs to be storming out to have a need for a surge protector, but it doesn’t. With time, an unprotected system sustains countless small surges that reduce its lifespan.

    Lamp – A simple desk light is important to have. Overhead lighting is okay, but if you are looking at small print, you will want a lamp a little closer to what you’re reading. Natural light is great, too, but there may be times it is too bright. Plus, it can make the room hot. So, you will want to draw the shades and rely on your lamp. You could consider an eco-friendly solar lantern, as well. 

    Living Room Ideas

    Break Away From Your Traditional Living Room Layout With These Tips

    If you go into most homes you will find a sofa against one wall, and a loveseat and/or a chair on another. Then, there are tables and a lot of empty floor space. Who decided that walls were made for larger furniture pieces? There are so many exciting things you can do with your living space that do not revolve around the traditional layout. 

    Create a Sitting Area 

    If you have a large living room then you can create a separate sitting area. If you have ever seen the HGTV dream homes, the designers do this, but call this sitting area the “great room.” Obviously, you can still have your sofa facing your television in the main area, but off to the side you will place a table with furniture in a square or circle. Table aquariumsare perfect to use for this sitting area because they attract attention to ensure folks will want to gather there. You may find this becomes your go-to place to sit and read, so you can keep one eye on your aquatic friends and the other in your book. Table aquariums can create the ultimate “wow” factor. 

    Move the Furniture Away From the Wall 

    If you don’t have floor space to create a separate sitting area just move your furniture around. Break away from that cookie-cutter mold by pulling your sofa to the middle of the room. Add an accent rug, and then put that wall to good use. You could put bookshelves there or add several planters. This would be a good wall to paint an accent color or put a large decal on. 

    Change Your Furniture 

    Maybe your furniture is making you feel stuck in a rut. Folks are so used to buying a living room set or a sectional that they don’t realize how many exciting options are out there. 

    For a super modern look replace your seating with bean bag chairs. Some are as large as 7 feet, and can easily replace your sofa. Besides, these are pretty much the most comfortable chairs you will ever sit in. 

    If you do not want all bean bags, you could do a bean bag sofa, and then add a hammock swing to replace your chair. Guests will not be able to decide what piece of furniture they want to sit on first. One thing is for certain; folks will be talking about how stylish your home is for a long time!

    Final Details Your Living Room Cannot Be Without

    Have you ever been somewhere and noticed one small decorating detail that changed the entire room? At that very moment your thoughts about the person or business may have actually changed for the better, too. These small details usually go unnoticed by some, but they are truly appreciated by those who notice them. Do you have any of these details in your living room? If you are not quite sure where to begin, below are a few ideas. 

    Crown Molding – You cannot really appreciate the impact crown molding can have on a room until you actually have it. It is the finishing touch that the top half of a room needs. Most furniture and décor falls below eye level. It is important to not neglect the rest of the room. 

    Fireplace Accessories – If you are like many others you have already converted that wood-burning fireplace into an environmentally-friendly one with a bio fuel insert or grate. Do not forget to add the final details that will give your room’s focal point a realistic or polished look. An insert is nice, but an insert complemented by fireplace accessories is even better. A few examples include ceramic logs, fire glass, fire stones, lava rock, ceramic pebbles, and even a fireplace screen.

    Lighting – Some are content with a simple ceiling light or a couple of lamps. However, lighting really plays a huge role in a room. Recessed lighting or an unusual pendant can change the look of a room. Do not underestimate the power of strategically placing sconces near art pieces to highlight them, too.

    Symmetry – This does not actually require you to add anything to a room; just evaluate the placement of everything. How well-balanced is the space? If you have tall shelving and large furniture on one side and only a few things on the other side then the room will be off-balance.

    Cord Storage – You probably overlook the cord monster behind your entertainment system or the one hanging down the wall from your fountain, but these are unsightly elements first noticed by guests. You can buy creative cord covers, baskets, and containers that hide them in a thoughtful way.

    Coasters – One thing that most of your guests will use at some point is a coaster. Skip the generic ones and opt for those that will invoke a smile and truly make a statement. 

    5 Things You Need to Know Before You Decorate Your Living Room

    Whether you are moving into your very first place or you simply feel like your living room needs a fresh look these tips will help you create a space so spectacular, guests will assume you paid a designer to handle the project for you. 

    Have a Plan – If you head to the mall and start shopping without a plan, you will end up buying random things for your living room that create a disconnected look. This will likely leave you feeling full of regret. Have an idea of what look you are trying to achieve. This does not have to be carved in stone, but it will at least help get you started. Looking through magazines will give you a little inspiration or at least spark an idea, too.

    Lighting is Important – One of the most overlooked elements in the room is also one of the most important. At least half the time you are home, you likely have a light on. If you do any entertaining in the evening, the light illuminates your space, so naturally it gets noticed. Therefore, your lighting should make an impact. Lamps are always a great option in the living room.

    Don’t Get Stuck in a Furniture Rut – First things first; your seating options do not need to be against a wall. Floating furniture adds a stylish vibe, as long as you have the floor space to pull it off. Also, your furniture does not have to match. In fact, it shouldn’t! Your room will have a lot more depth and personality, if you mix-and-match styles, materials, etc.

    Clear Walking Path – It is important that there be a walking path in your living room that is free of obstruction. You do not want to stub your toe on the coffee table every night in the dark or have guests tripping over cords.

    Add a Focal Point – If you have ever been in a beautifully decorated room that felt perfectly pulled together there is a good chance you can remember the main element in the space that captured your attention. Your living room needs a strong focal point. A fireplace on the wall is a great option. You can mount a fireplace on the wall that burns bio ethanol or gel for a realistic fire, or you can opt for an electric variety providing you have an electrical outlet on that wall. 

    Give Your Living Room an Instant Facelift on a Budget

    If you are like many you would love to give your living room a complete makeover. That room you once loved many years ago now looks stale. The old carpet desperately needs to be replaced and there are stains on the furniture. Plus, you are no longer crazy about that safari or nautical theme you once had to have. Unfortunately, most people cannot just splurge on a whole new makeover just because they feel like it. Well, you may be surprised that you can fall in love with your space once again for $500; maybe even a little less if you are thrifty. 

    Paint – Painting is a must. Paint is relatively cheap and can have a huge impact on a room. Use that bold color you have never been brave enough to paint with. You can always cover it later if you decide you don’t love it.

    Rug – Buy a large area rug. This will put the focus on the rug and away from the rest of the carpet that may be looking a little sad. You can always go to a carpet place and buy a remnant carpet.

    Furniture Covers – You can actually buy new furniture covers pretty cheap. You can even find decorative blankets or nice printed sheets on sale to use. In most cases, furniture is replaced based on how it looks, but it is still comfortable to sit on. Do not retire it before it’s time!

    Textiles – Finding cheap curtains and pillow covers is not hard if you know where to look. If you are handy with a sewing machine you can always buy fabric and make them yourself at a fraction of the price.

    Decals and Stencils – A simple wall decal can completely change the look of a room. You can also do a lot with those cheap stencils you get from the craft store. Stencil a design on the wall or add an unexpected detail on the coffee table.

    Add a Focal Point – To pull the room together and create the perfect finishing touch then you should add a fireplace. Gel tabletop fireplaces are a lot more affordable than you might think. Even when there is not a flame they are pieces of art that naturally become the focal point of the room. The gel is clean-burning and smoke and odor-free, and they can be enjoyed virtually anywhere. 

    Ultimate “Wow” Factors for Your Living Room

    The nicer your home is the more people expect from your decorating. If you have gorgeous furniture and décor you probably rarely receive any compliments because people expect nothing less than perfect from you. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a surprised or impressed look on the face of your guests just once? If you want to take your décor to the next level, these elements should help. 

    Table Aquariums – If you just picture a small aquarium sitting on a table when you read that title, you are not alone. This is what commonly comes to mind, but table aquariums are actually aquariums in table form. Few people know they exist and even fewer have seen one firsthand. So, when guests enter your living room and see one of these statement pieces they may think they are seeing things at first. Expect them to immediately get right up close to see if they are really witnessing live fish swimming around in a beautiful table. Table aquariums come in a variety of styles, and truly offer a magical display. 

    Water Walls – There is something about walking into a room with a 10-foot tall wall of water that has the ability to take your breath away. Whether you choose slate, glass, or mirror, these magnificent pieces have a fabulous impact on a room, in more ways than you can imagine. Not only are water walls beautiful to look at; they create a calming environment. 

    Mural – If you have the time to welcome an artist into your home for however many hours, days, or weeks it takes to paint a full wall mural in your living room, it will definitely be the topic of conversation with guests. 

    Metal Art – Metal is really popular right now in interior decorating. However, if you are going to use metal as art it needs to be a real in-your-face kind of piece to create the focal point you are after. A wall clock that literally takes up an entire wall or a collection of medieval swords and weapons will certainly grab the attention of all your guests. 

    Ventless Fireplaces – Again, if people expect your décor to be magnificent then a fireplace that would make a bold statement in a different home may not get a second glance in your home. You are going to need an extra-large wall one or a shockingly large freestanding one to get the reaction you are after. 

    Healthy Living

    6 Tips for Dealing with a Sore Back

    There are few things worse than dealing with a sore back. Whether you pulled your back shoveling after the last snow storm or if your back is always sore because you do a lot of heavy lifting at work, these tips will help ease the pain, so you can be more productive during the day and sleep better at night. 

    Foam Bed Wedges – If you are like many others, the real discomfort comes when you lie down to go to sleep. It is nearly impossible to get comfortable, so you barely get any rest.  Foam bed wedges make a huge difference. They feature an inclined design, which promotes proper alignment and better circulation. Since foam bed wedges are portable, you can take them to the couch to use while you are watching TV, and even pack them to take on vacation.

    Electrotherapy Pain Relief Device – These products use Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation to relieve pain. You simply apply the reusable pads to the sore area, and turn the device on for about 15 minutes.

    Lumbar Back Brace – If you are susceptible to back pain, you should definitely wear some type of lumbar back brace while lifting, shoveling, mowing the lawn, or doing any other activity that can cause you discomfort.

    Acupressure Mat – An average mat has about 6,210 acupressure points. You are supposed to lie on it for 20 minutes a day. You can’t wait until you are pain to use one of these mats though. This is more of a preventative option. It promotes the release of endorphins in your body and it improves circulation. It can even be used for headaches.

    Body Back Buddy – This unusual looking contraption can be used all over the body to relieve aches and pains. It works by applying pressure to specific trigger points. It is great for getting knots out. If you use this during the day and sleep with a foam wedge pillow at night, you might feel like a new person.

    Back Bubble – If money is no concern, you may be interested in a Back Bubble Spinal Decompression Pain Relief Device. These expensive but effective tools inflate and are usually suspended in a doorway or overhead beam. Your body gets encircled by the Back Bubble, and it uses gravity to put you in a semi-suspended position, thereby providing a feeling of weightlessness. 

    Tips for Improving Sleep Quality

    If you struggle to fall asleep at night or if you wake up several times you have probably tried just about everything you can think to improve the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Maybe you have changed your diet and even avoid eating before bed. You may have even eliminated caffeine and try reading a book for a while, but nothing seems to work. Well, perhaps it is your bedroom that needs some changes. 

    Eliminate Clutter 

    It does not matter how tired you are, if the last thing you look at before you go to bed is clutter it is really hard for the mind to relax. It is already racing from the events of the day and thinking about your morning meeting, but now it also has to be reminded that you need to wash that pile of laundry on the floor and go through the mountain of mail on the dresser. Tidy up your space. If you don’t have room to put odds and ends, buy or make decorative boxes, baskets, and bags to hide these things. 

    Memory Foam

    You often do not realize how uncomfortable your old bed has gotten until you sleep on a new one. Maybe you know you need a new mattress, but cannot fit such a large expense into the budget right now. Perhaps you moved recently and could only afford a cheap mattress, so now you are really regretting your purchase. Memory foam is the answer. Buy a 2, 3, or 4-inch memory foam mattress topper, and see if you don’t sleep like a baby. You will be amazed at how it is both comfortable and supportive.  

    Water Fountain 

    Sometimes, all you need is a soothing sound to help you drift away to dreamland. Water fountains are beautiful to look at, but the sound they create is also extremely relaxing. Plus, it masks outside noises, so if it is traffic or loud neighbors keeping you up, a fountain will help. Plus, you may not know it but a water feature will make the air in your room cleaner and more comfortable. Pair this with memory foam and you will never want to get out of bed. 

    Color and Lighting 

    Some people find that they are able to fall asleep faster when the last color they look at is muted, neutral, or pastel. So, if you have a vibrant color on your walls, maybe it is time for a change. Also, your bedroom should be dark. If you absolutely need a nightlight, plug it in an outlet in the hallway, so it is not so bright in your room. You may also want to buy curtains that will block the sunlight and the streetlight outside your bedroom window. 

    Master Bedroom Decor

    7 Ideas for a Soothing Master Suite

    Your master suite should feel as amazing to be in as a room at a vacation resort. In all fairness, it is your safe place to escape the chaos of the world. When you create a soothing environment, your mind relaxes, so the cares of the day don’t weight so heavily on your shoulders. You can fall asleep faster, and wake up feeling more rested. This affects your physical health and emotional well-being. If your bedroom does not have the calming environment you desire, these tips will help you create it. 

    Velvet Headboard – Velvet has a calming effect, just by looking at it. You already know how soft it will feel against your skin, before you even touch it. If you don’t have a headboard, you can easily make one with a piece of foam and a few yards of material. If you have a headboard, consider covering it in velvet material. Alternately, you could add a velvet blanket to your bed, if you prefer.

    TV Lift Fireplaces– Once you have a warm, glowing flame in the bedroom, you will never want to be without one again. What’s great about TV lift fireplaces is that you get a fireplace and entertainment center in one, so they are perfect, if you don’t have a lot of floor space. Plus, these have a lift mechanism that hides your TV, when it is not being used. Electronics produce a lot of negative, busy energy. Hiding your TV when you are ready to go to sleep just makes sense.

    Living Art – Fresh flowers or plants are essential for your bedroom. Be sure to choose plants that don’t require a lot of sunlight, if a sunny window is not available. If you go with flowers, choose soft colors, and move them out of your room when they start wilting.

    Quilted Closet Doors – Quilted fabric tacked to your closet doors creates the look of a luxurious dressing room. Plus, it complements the velvet headboard, and helps create more depth in the space.

    Metal Chandelier – Brass is a popular metal that is pleasing to the eye. Copper and brushed nickel are two additional materials to look for when shopping for a chandelier. Don’t be afraid to get something a little quirky. You want to have one fun element in the room.

    Sconces – Wall sconces create bit of a romantic vibe. One mounted on either side of the bed can replace the need for a lamp on the nightstand. Alternately, you can add candle scones to the room. Even if you never light them, they are awfully nice to look at.

    Water Element – If you want a calming atmosphere, you absolutely need the sound of cascading water. Fire and water balance one another, so a fountain would be the perfect complement to your TV lift fireplace.

    7 Steps to a Dramatic Gender-Neutral Master Suite

    Creating a dramatic master suite is easy, if you are catering specifically to a male or female. However, when you are trying to design a gender-neutral look the drama tends to fizzle. These looks generally play it safe. The word “neutral” is taken literally with a neutral color palette, or they stick with simple décor. It does not have to be like this. You can have a room that is both masculine and feminine, and also incredibly dramatic. 

     Don’t Rule Out Neutrals – If you are comfortable with neutral colors, don’t feel as though you have to rule them out completely. Neutral can still be exciting with the right accent color and décor.

     Consider Black Paint – You may shutter at the thought of black paint on your walls, but it is not as gothic or dark as you are imagining. Black paint can set the perfect backdrop to a sophisticated space.

     Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace – You need a focal point anyway, so it might as well be one that will naturally attract a lot of attention. A wall-mounted electric fireplace will be perfect. It will provide heat and create ambiance, too. Plus, there are some that offer the option to turn the heat off. This allows you to create ambiance year-round, even when summer temperatures soar.

     Bedding Basics – You want to stay away from florals. Wide stripes feel too masculine while polka dots can come across as too girly. You don’t have to avoid patterns completely though. Vines, scrolls, and animal prints can be neutral.  

     Hide the Clutter – If a dresser is covered in hairspray, perfume bottles, hair accessories, and jewelry the room will naturally look feminine. If there are ties, cufflinks, bottles of cologne out, etc. it will look manly. Decorative boxes with lids can be very helpful in hiding elements that don’t need to be out.

     Make Lighting a Priority – The right chandelier will glam up the space without choosing a gender side. If you have a super modern space don’t be afraid to ground it a little with a vintage chandelier. 

     Reclaimed Wood – From reclaimed wood floors to refinished nightstands, you can’t go wrong with this ecofriendly material. It will complement any theme or color palette, and it won’t come across as feminine or masculine. Don’t be afraid to grab that old nightstand or dresser from a yard sale to bring home to refinish yourself. 

    Ways to Romanticize the Bedroom

    Whether you are starting a new relationship, moving in with your significant other, or just looking for ways to rekindle a spark with your spouse, the right bedroom environment is essential. You do not have to go out and buy new furniture or spend a fortune either. These tips will help you romanticize the bedroom without breaking the bank. 

    Red – It may seem cliché to just add red elements to the room, but red is associated with love because it is an emotionally intense color. Add a red decorative pillow or candles to the room. Toss a red throw at the end of the bed, or if you really want to go wild, paint a red accent wall. 

    Personal Fireplace – A personal fireplace is even better than candles. Nothing creates a romantic ambiance quite like a dancing flame. Of course, a personal fireplace can also be a nice complement to your collection of sweet smelling candles, too. 

    Sweet Scents – Speaking of scents, there are certain fragrances often associated with romance. There are also some less popular ones that may become your favorites once you try them. A few recommendations include vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, black licorice, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, patchouli, neroli, ylang ylang, and clary sage. 

    Love Decals – Wall decals have become quite popular in recent years. Once you start shopping for them, you will find a tremendous amount of love-related quotes. Of course,  you could just go with a decal of bright red lips, too. 

    Soft Textiles – There is nothing romantic about scratchy sheets or a rough comforter. Splurge on your textiles. Lavish fabrics will instantly create a sensuous feel. 

    Chandelier – Do you really need that boring ceiling fan above the bed? Lighting plays a huge role in the tone of a room. Nothing can compare to a romantic vintage chandelier. 

    Sheer Curtains – These curtains are not for your windows. These are to hang above the bed. You can create a canopy or four posts, or use a circular fame to hang them from the center point above the bed, so they fall around the sides. 

    Homemade Headboard – Making a headboard can be done using a variety of materials. There is no right or wrong way. Cover it in red velvet or a heart-patterned material. You can get creative and thread crystal or glue rhinestones to it, as well. 

    Decorate Like Royalty with These Design Tips

    You do not need an official royal title in front of your name to create a living space that is fit for a king or queen. You don’t need to be worth millions either. These tips will help you create a rich-looking space that will have friends and family wondering if you got a raise, won the lottery, or robbed a bank. 

     Faux Fur Throws – Real fur throws are expensive, cruel, and so last decade. Even celebrities who can afford the real thing are opting for faux ones. Toss one at the foot of your bed and another over the back of the sofa.

    Slate Wall Fountains – All you really need is one strong focal point to totally change the look and feel of a room. Slate wall fountains do this effortlessly. The unique patterns in slate create layers of texture in a room and the soothing sound turns the space into a spa-like oasis. Every person who enters the space will immediately be drawn to the water element. They’ll feel invited and relaxed while their mind is quieted and soothed.

    Stylish Rug – An authentic Persian rug can easily cost over $50K, which is more than what some pay for their home. One large quality rug will make a world of difference. Avoid the one on sale you see at the home improvement store. Everyone you know has seen that sale, so you won’t be fooling anyone with your high-end makeover. Spending a little more on that rug you are really drawn to will prove to be a good investment.

    Bio Ethanol Fireplace – With how popular (and affordable) bio ethanol fireplaces have become in recent years it is really quite surprising that they are still associated with the wealthier population. They are available today in a variety of styles and price ranges, so nearly anyone can afford one, and they are a must-have for a royalty-inspired room.

    Smart Patterns – You are probably wondering which patterns are most associated with royalty, right? Herringbone and hounds tooth, of course! A muted herringbone pattern on your curtains may be the small detail that pulls the look of the entire room together.

    Stylish Pet Bed – You can’t have an elegantly decorated space with a $20 pet bed tossed in the corner. It will ruin the entire look of the room. Fido needs a bed that is fit for Lupo, Will and Kate’s spoiled Cocker Spaniel.