Before You Decorate…

November 24, 2009

Whenever I want to redecorate a room, the first thing I do is empty it. I do not want old pieces of furniture or old color schemes effecting my decisions about the new direction for the room. Most of the time, my decorating projects do not include changes in the flooring because that is quite messy and time consuming. Paint is easy and cheap but ripping up carpet or refinishing wood floors is complicated and expensive. Therefore, if I am leaving the carpet in place, there is one more thing I have to do before proceeding with my décor planning. I need to shampoo the carpets. You want to make sure that you are starting with a truly blank canvas. You want the carpets to show their true color and texture which can only be seen after a good thorough carpet cleaning.

If you do not own a carpet shampooer then you have two choices. First, you could rent a carpet shampoo machine. There are machines available for rent at local hardware superstores like Home Depot or Lowes. My local grocery store even has some carpet cleaner that you can rent by the day . If you rent a machine, you will have to purchase carpet shampoo to use with the machine. If you do not want to take the time, another option is to hire a carpet shampoo service. This would be a group of people who come out to your home and clean your carpets for you. Of course, this option is much more expensive, but it does save your time.

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Keeping Grout Clean

November 1, 2009

When you are decorating a bathroom or kitchen that has a tile floor or tile walls, a very important part of your decorating decision is the grout. Tile grout comes in many colors and textures and the choice for texture and color is made to accentuate the colors or patterns in the tile or other decorating elements in the room. Homeowners may understand the importance of the tile grout when they are picking it out, but they quickly forget as time goes on. As time passes, dirt, grime, mold, and mildew change the color or texture of your grout and completely change the look of the room. People need to remember to keep their grout clean so that they can continue to appreciate the decorating decisions made in the beginning. Therefore, with that in mind, people often wonder about what the best grout cleaners are.

If you have let things get bad, then an oxygen bleach solution would probably be your best choice. Oxygen bleach products like OxiClean, are not as toxic as chlorine bleach products, but they are just as effective. Mix one cup of oxygen bleach powder with two gallons of water and test the solution on a small inconspicuous spot of your tile grout to make sure that it does not adversely affect the grout. Once you are confident there will be no erosion or damage to the grout, pour the solution over an area of tile and grout and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. Then scrub with circular motions.

Most homeowners go to a furniture store and buy sets of furniture for whatever room they happen to be furnishing. If that room is the kitchen, you will probably buy a breakfast nook set complete with table and chairs or benches.

However, a few prefer to decorate their kitchen by simply picking a wide variety of furniture from various sources. If you buy an old wooden table at a garage sale and then put chairs donated by different family members or found on e-Bay around it. The eclectic gathering will be a decorating statement of its own.

Many restaurants take a page out of this playbook. The jumble of different styles and qualities gives the people in the room something to look at as well as discuss.

Art For Your Kitchen

April 10, 2009

Since many families spend the majority of their time together in the kitchen and tend to entertain there as well, it is common to want to display art there. If you want to adorn the walls of your kitchen with art, there are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Since most breakfast nooks or eat-in kitchens are relatively small, you should choose pieces of art that fit the walls appropriately. In addition, if the piece is smaller, often the art is meant to be appreciated at a closer distance. The close quarters of the breakfast nook will allow for that intimacy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the art you choose should match the feel and personality of the kitchen furniture. If you have a country style furniture like a wooden table with benches then it would not be appropriate to hang a Picasso or pop art. Maybe your kid’s early drawings in a frame would be more appropriate.

Finally, make sure you take precautions to protect your art. The kitchen and dining areas tend to present hazards to your wall art like food and grease. Make sure your art is properly framed to protect it.

Sometimes it is difficult for a homeowner to show their sense of style with a kitchen. Other rooms in a house are empty canvases for a new occupant to fill as they wish to reflect their personal style. Kitchens generally come fully equipped with appliances, cabinets, and counter tops already decided for you.

Of course, you can paint the cabinets and change the appliances, but color alone does not make much of a statement. The best opportunity you have to show your style and personality is with the selection of your breakfast nook tables and chairs.

Breakfast nook sets come in all shapes and sizes as well as different materials and styles. You can make the room look traditional with a wood table and benches or very trendy with a high metal table with stools. The possibilities for showing off your individuality are endless.

The kitchen is a very square and angular place. Cabinets and appliances are rectangular. All of these straight lines make it hard to add personality or warmth to the room. One way to improve the ambiance is with colorful or rounded window treatments.

It does not matter if you choose curtains or shades; either choice can be made in various textures and colors. You can bring out the subtle colors in your counter top, the grain of the wood in your kitchen table, or play off the themes present in your china.

To hide the hardware from hanging curtains or shades, it is common to install a valence or cornice. These decorative touches can be rounded at the edges or full and rounded in general to help soften the lines of your kitchen.

There are plenty of ways to decorate your kitchen do not include putting things on the walls. One of those is using the chairs or benches in your breakfast nook area. Many seating arrangements can be made more comfortable by adding cushions.

Cushions also provide an opportunity for you to add a splash of color or design to your space. You can play off the color scheme of your dishes, counter tops, wall color, or window treatments. Cushions can be ordered from catalogs or custom made to fit odd shaped or sized seating arrangements.

If you prefer not to use cushions, having the seats or backs of your chairs in different colors can add personality to the kitchen as well. As with cushions, many manufacturers will make special orders if you desire you chairs or benches to be painted.