Creative Ways to Upgrade Your Interior Design

Apartment with shag carpet

Living in the same space for a long time can get dull after a while. It’s, therefore, no wonder that we often feel like redecorating and upgrading our homes. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and are looking for some inspiration, read on to see some creative ways how your interior design can be revamped.

Bring in new colors

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to change up your interior is introducing some new colors into the space. Luckily, there are so many ways how that can be done. First, you can choose a bold shade and create a statement wall in one of the rooms or you can decide for understated hues which will bring other elements into focus. If you’re going for a dramatic look, you can go for a vivid or dark color but if your goal is to exude elegance, you might want to look for something softer. However, painting the walls is not the only way to add color. You can also choose to get some centerpieces that will instantly draw attention to themselves. For example, you can have a bright blue fridge in the kitchen or some pastel pink chairs in the dining room. On a smaller scale, you can always get some bright-colored pillows, bedding or décor.

Change up the furniture

In some cases, we get tired of the furniture that is either worn-out or simply old. No one is saying that you need to refurbish your whole house but you could get a couple of new items that will breathe some life into your space. What is more, they don’t even have to be brand new – there are so many places where you can find second-hand pieces in excellent shape that would look amazing in your home. When it comes to incorporating the new furniture, it all depends on the space you have at your disposal. For example, if you’re decorating a small room, make sure to keep the colors light and avoid sharp edges. On the other hand, if you’re working with a lot of space, you can get some huge pieces, preferably modular that can be used in a multitude of ways. You can also try to incorporate some vintage pieces, like desks, wardrobes and credenzas.

Get some interesting carpets

If you are not looking for huge new pieces for your home, you can also look into various decorative touches that actually play a big role in the ambiance of a certain space. For instance, getting the right rug can really help tie the room together. Luckily, companies like Click Rugs offer a wide variety of colors, styles and materials that you will have no problem finding something you like. When choosing a rug, though, you should consider the space at your disposal as you do not want a piece that is too big for the room.

Don’t forget about the curtains

In addition to a nice rug, you should also think about your curtains. Sometimes just switching up your window treatments is enough to change a room completely. You can try and experiment with different lengths and materials to see if any of them make your room seem brighter or larger. What is more, you don’t even have to use linen and cotton curtains and drapes, you can opt for woven bamboo shades or even wood blinds that are sure to give the space a unique feel.

Update your hardware

Another upgrade that often seems small but can have a big impact is replacing the hardware around the house. For example, you can start by replacing your kitchen cupboard and drawer pulls and knobs. To find some expensive-looking pieces at an affordable price, you should visit flea markets, antique shops and smaller hardware stores. Then, you can also replace the lighting fixtures and either try to make them match or go for an eclectic mix of pieces. You can get everything from a few sconces to a big chandelier. Finally, getting new faucets can also change things up. Both the kitchen and the bathroom could probably use a little sprucing up so don’t neglect this easy way to do just that. Other than these five, there are so many other small and big ways how you can upgrade your interior design. From adding crown molding to installing more windows, your budget will dictate what you will be able to do. However, even the tiniest of changes can sometimes be just what we need. Enjoy your revitalized space.

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About the author:

Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner.

The Essential Feng Shui Guide to Furniture Arrangement

Room, Interior, Showpiece, Design, Chair, Peace, Wooden

If you’ve heard of Feng Shui before, you’ll know that it dictates rules on how you should organize your home and the furniture located within. However, there’s a lot more to it than just placing chairs in the right location. Feng Shui aims to create the most comfortable living space that allows for happiness and prosperity, and it does this by regulating the flow and feel of your home. This is something that can greatly contribute to the positive energy in your home, which is why you should consider introducing some Feng Shui elements.

1.      Business in the front

According to Feng Shui, the living room needs to be located close to the front of your home. There are a number of reasons why this makes for optimal space arrangement. For one, it helps promote a healthy flow of qi, which starts at the entrance of your home. As long as the living room isn’t too deep inside your home, you can bet that there will be an optimal flow of energy throughout it.

When inviting guests to your home, you want them to stay close to the entrance. This helps them feel welcome in your home without feeling like they’re intruding on your personal space. If they had to walk through several of your private rooms to get to the living room, it would disrupt the energy of the home and make everyone feel uncomfortable.

2.      Let there be light

When you’re arranging your furniture, you need to consider the lighting of the room and how it will affect the arrangement. Natural light is one of the key elements you need to introduce to all of your rooms. Artificial lighting can only do so much, and it doesn’t exactly feel natural or pleasant.

This is why Feng Shui always stresses the importance of proper window placement. With ideal window positioning, you can illuminate a room throughout the day without turning on a single lightbulb.

3.      Keep the peace

Woman, Sculpture, Figure, Statue, Beautiful Woman

Feng Shui doesn’t just deal with the visual elements in your home, it takes into account every one of your senses. The way your rooms feel and sound is just as important as how they look. When there’s a lot of noise coming in from external sources, it can drastically disrupt the energy flow in your home.

Consider the weak points in your home that might be letting in noise and disturbing the peace. Windows and doors are the most common culprits. By utilizing well-insulated windows and quality noise reduction doors, you can keep the peace in your home and prevent any external noise from getting in. At the same time, you should aim to install sound-absorbing materials that will minimize internal noise as well.

4.      Let it breathe

Stone Tower, Zen, Balance, Stones, Relaxation

If you’ve ever walked through a properly arranged Feng Shui home, you will probably have noted how easy it is to make your way through any room or corridor. It’s designed to be free of clutter and unnecessary elements. There’s enough breathing room to make you feel comfortable and relaxed as you walk through it.

At the same time, the rooms are often well-ventilated. You need to make sure that there’s no stuffy air in your rooms, even during colder months. This is achieved with the help of window placement and good ventilation. Such a small change such as introducing fresh air can have an enormous impact on how your room feels.

Conclusion

Balancing your home according to Feng Shui isn’t all that difficult. You will find that it’s all about introducing intuitive designs and comfort into your home. As long as you follow the principles of Feng Shui and properly organize your home, you’ll find that your living space will become even more comfortable and pleasant.

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About the author

Sarah Jessica Smith

Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.

5 Beginner-Friendly Interior Design Essentials

living room

The fact of the matter is that anyone who enjoys playing around with colors, textures and materials can become an interior decorator, anyone looking to become an interior designer will need to get proper education first. Aside from that, an interior decorator will most commonly be hired to make an already existing space look more put-together, while an interior designer will be hired to design the entire space from scratch. That being said, here are 5 beginner-friendly essentials any interior designer should pay attention to when designing a space.

Choosing to become an interior designer is definitely a fun way to tie together a lucrative career with something fun that brings you joy. However, many people tend to mistake an interior designer’s job with that of an interior decorator. While certainly both of them are focusing on making the interior of a certain property look more aesthetically-appealing, the main difference between the two lies in education.

living room with red furniture

The space itself

The space is one of the most important elements of interior design, as if there were no space to design, there really is not much you’d be able to do. The space presents the base the rest of the design elements will be built upon which is why you need to pay special attention to it first. To start, make sure you closely inspect the space you’re working with and note down all the measurements you will later need. Make sure you measure properly the height as well as the width of the area and account for any negative space you might be dealing with.

The lines

The lines are what gives the space its personality. The lines you choose to implement in a space will create forms that give the space a sense of harmony and flow. Clean and straight lines are usually the preferred choice as they allow you to create almost any vibe in a particular interior. However, for some additional style and pizzazz, you may want to consider going for a more curvy and flowy aesthetic. The lines can also be divided into three categories: horizontal – tables, chairs, beds, etc.; vertical – windows and doorways; and dynamic – they add more structure and personality to the space – usually found in stairs and similar structures.

empty room

The materials used

The materials you choose to play with in the interior also play a huge role. While this will partly depend on your client’s wishes, you need to be able to offer some valuable advice as well. For instance, if your clients are looking to create a stylish low-maintenance space, you need to be able to offer them a couple of alternatives that will bring the desired result. In case your clients are looking for a polished and stylish flooring solution that’s also easy to clean and maintain, suggest them concrete flooring. This material is becoming more and more popular in construction and design in general, as it is easy to maintain, very versatile and quite durable. Aside from concrete, some other popular low-maintenance options include natural brick and stone, stainless steel and quartz. Natural wood also looks stunning, especially when combined with other natural materials.

The lighting

Lighting plays a huge role in any interior space. It is easily one of the elements that can either make or break the space entirely. When done properly, not only will it provide the area with opulent light but it can also make the space appear bigger and roomier. Aside from that, keep in mind that proper lighting can make other décor elements pop, such as texture and finish, which is also something you need to pay attention to. That’s why you should always layer lighting solutions according to the room’s intended purpose and make sure every single nook and cranny can be illuminated if necessary.

living room with green wall

The colors

Colors are the final essential of any interior design. Their purpose is to marry together the objects with the mood. They are the final element that will give the space some personality and turn it from just an empty room into a space that breathes personality and style. Here, just as important it is to follow your client’s wishes, it’s also important to try and offer valuable input. What this means is that certain colors work better in certain areas, so make sure you keep color psychology in mind when designing a space. However, if you’re hired to design a space that is yet to be sold, it would be best to stick to a neutral color palette future owners can build upon. These, of course, are just the essentials of good interior design. All of the other elements – while certainly important – serve more of a decorative purpose. That’s not to say that an interior designer can’t decorate the space as well. Au contraire! It just means that becoming a designer, rather than just a decorator, requires a bit more finesse and proper education.

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How to Protect Your Furniture When Moving

Whether you hire professionals or you perform the move yourself, the furniture will be at risk of damage. Its edges can get chipped away and glass might break due to improper handling. Furthermore, if the furniture isn’t secured and protected in the right way, the extent of the damage could be even greater. That’s why protecting furniture before moving house is essential unless you want to own damaged goods in your new home.

Choosing the right packaging

Don’t even consider moving your furniture anywhere unless it is properly packaged. Just like you place an item in a box before sending it through the mail so does furniture need an outer casing. Cardboard boxes coupled with packing tape have become the standard a long time ago but you should add extra protection. You should make a trip down to the local hardware store and buy the most used packaging materials, as well as those that are up-to-date.

For instance, bubble wrap is ideal for smaller pieces of furniture and for covering any ornaments that might be protruding. Sofa and mattress covers are large enough to go over the entire couch, yet sturdy enough to protect its fabric. Any small items, like keys, locks, hinges, etc. should be placed in sealable plastic bags where they’ll be safe from water damage.

Dismantling all the extras

Before you actually pack the furniture, it should be prepared for packaging. This step implies dismantling everything that is surplus and that might hinder the move. If possible, remove all the knobs, hinges or pulls from the furniture. These usually protrude from the main body of a particular piece of furniture and could get caught in a door frame or you can scratch them.

Additionally, you have the option to take out all the drawers from dressers and desks and move them separately. Not only will they not fall out or make a lot of noise but you will get extra metal and wooden boxes for packing other stuff.

Finally, if a piece of furniture is too large to be moved in one piece, like a tall shelf, then they should be dismantled. This way, even the largest of cupboards will fit a simple box that will be easy to manipulate. Depending on the complexity of the furniture, you can either hire someone to dismantle the furniture or pick up a power tool and perform the dismantling yourself.

The importance of cleaning the furniture

Before the furniture is ready to be dismantled, there is one last step you need to do. Most homeowners skip cleaning the furniture because they deem it a surplus but they are wrong. The last thing you need is inhaling the dust that had been suiting on the furniture for years. Since cleaning the desk and the countertop involves more than a simple dusting, hire professional cleaning services that will get the whole job done quickly. They will save you precious time that you can make better use of, like hiring the right moving crew.

Packaging tips and tricks

Once it has been cleaned, the furniture is ready to be wrapped for the move but this is not such an easy task. You need to learn proper packaging techniques in order for the metal, cardboard, and plastic to perform their function to the best. In this sense, bubble wrap is the easiest packaging material to manipulate.

Just get large enough bubble wrap and place them over individual pieces of furniture. Minuscule air cushions it is made from are ideal for protecting glass, such as the one found on tabletops and mirrors. When wrapping a mirror, be sure to add extra cushioning to the corners, as these are the spots that the glass is most likely to shatter.

Marking the boxes

Finally, after the furniture is safely wrapped or/and inside the designated box, be sure to mark the packaging. This will help movers place it in the correct room in the new house. Furthermore, you can use stickers or a marker to point out if a particular box is fragile so they handle it with extra care. These will usually be pieces of furniture with glass sections inside it.

If not handled right, moving your furniture could turn into a real household disaster. Choosing the right packaging, cleaning the furniture, and marking the boxes are just several steps in the moving process that you need to follow through in order to minimize the risk of damage.

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Bio: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR FURNITURE SPICK AND SPAN: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FURNITURE CLEANING

furniture cleaning

Buying your furniture is the fun part – cleaning it, not so much. While it may seem like a chore, your furniture needs just as much love and care as you do. After all, if you’ve spent a fortune on your favourite leather couch, you want it to last as long as possible.

But where do you even begin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our furniture cleaning guide includes our best tips for keeping your furniture looking as good as new. So go on, get your cleaning supplies ready and brush up on these handy furniture cleaning tips!

Tips for General Care

Keep your furniture away from direct sunlight. UV rays tend to damage leather, wood, and fabric and can make them appear faded. If you do intend to keep your furniture outdoors, use a protective cover to keep it safe from the elements.

Be cautious with chemicals. While household chemicals and cleaners may work great on other items, they may react badly with the natural fabric of your furniture. So, it’s best to avoid them if possible.

Flip and Reverse. For furniture with removable cushions, turn them over regularly so that the wear and tear is evenly distributed. This will make your furniture last longer.

Tips for Cleaning Leather

Handsome leather furniture makes a room look classy and elegant. Since leather furniture doesn’t come cheap, it’s important to look after it so that it lasts.

While wear and tear is inevitable, with proper care, you can make sure your favourite sofa is Netflix-ready for years to come.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Saddle soap
  • Water
  • Leather cream
  • A soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A cotton swab

How to Clean Leather:

Remember to regularly dust off your sofa and apply leather cream to keep it soft. This will also prevent any dirt and stains from sticking.

For mild stains, clean the area with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water. For stubborn stains, wipe the area down with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol.

Soak up any excess moisture with a dry cloth and leave the spot to air dry overnight. Apply leather cream to moisturize it once its dry. 

To avoid cracks and spots, buying the right leather is key. For example, aniline dyed leather furniture is designed to look worn so it will last longer.

The position also plays a role in the longevity of your furniture. Sunlight, air conditioning and radiators will dry out the leather so keep your furniture in a place that avoids direct contact with any of these elements.

Tips for Cleaning Wood

There’s a reason why wood is the most popular choice for furniture. Its durable and versatile. Be it light or dark finished, mid-century, modern or traditional, wood adds a timeless look to any room. 

What’s more, wood is also fairly easy to clean. Follow these steps to get started:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Clear dish soap
  • Mineral spirits (optional)
  • Semi-solid furniture polish (optional)  
  • A cheesecloth (optional)

How to Clean Wood:

With a damp microfiber cloth, wipe down your furniture to remove any dust and grime. Follow with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any excess damp. You may also use the microfiber cloth for regular dusting.

In the case of sticky residue, fill a cup with water and a few drops of dish soap and clean the spot well before drying it off with a microfiber cloth. Test out a small area first to check if the finish gets removed in the process. Again, avoid soaking the wood in too much water. 

If this method doesn’t work, try rubbing it with a cloth soaked in mineral spirits. Do a spot test first to check that it doesn’t remove the finish. Out of luck? You may need to refinish the spot.

To keep up the shine, your wooden furniture may need to be polished regularly. Apply some silicone-free wax using a cheesecloth and then wait a few minutes before buffing it with a microfiber cloth. Avoid sprays which may leave residue behind.

Tips for Cleaning Glass

Glass-topped tables are a great addition to dining rooms and living areas. However, the transparency makes every speck of dirt stand out. Keep it looking clean with these simple steps.

Materials You’ll Need: 

  • Soft lint-free cloths
  • Hot water
  • A bowl
  • Dish soap
  • A spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Newspaper

How to Clean Glass:

Remove all objects on the surface of the table and then wipe off any dust with a lint-free cloth. Then, clean the glass with a mixture of dish soap and water or spray a vinegar and water solution on the table. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and finish with a dry lint-free cloth or a wadded-up piece of newspaper.

While you don’t have to clean the underside of the table as often, you should dust it off fairly regularly to keep it looking clean.

Tips for Cleaning Velvet

Velvet furniture looks lovely in a living space but it be quite tricky to clean. In addition to cleaning the fabric, you have to be nimble enough to avoid damaging the nap of the delicate fibres.

Before cleaning, you should find out what type of fabric your velvet is. Polyester and cotton velvet can be DIY-ed but leave rayon, acetate and silk velvet to the professionals.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • A soft cloth
  • An upholstery cleaner
  • Dry detergent
  • Dish soap

How to Clean Velvet:  

Firstly, test out an area on the back or underside of the sofa to prevent any discolouration. Then, apply the cleaner on the velvet with a soft sponge or cloth in the direction of the velvet pile. Vacuum and brush the velvet several times after cleaning it so that it looks neat.

For liquid spills, first soak up the moisture with a paper towel or cloth and remove any debris. Then, blot the stain until it disappears with a cloth soaked in dish soap and water. Dry the fabric quickly with a hair dryer or fan.

For dry cleaning, first soak up the moisture with a paper towel or cloth and then use a dry-cleaning detergent to sponge and blot the stain. Let it dry as quickly as possible using a hair dryer or fan. Then, use a soft brush to unmat the fabric if necessary.

Tips for Cleaning Wicker

Wicker furniture is an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture. These methods can be used for cleaning most types of wicker, however  special care may be required for certain wicker.

Materials You’ll Meed:

  • A microfiber/feather duster/soft cloth
  • Dish soap
  • A soft bristled paintbrush

How to Clean Wicker:

For general cleaning, remove and clean any cushions separately according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you regularly dust your furniture, you won’t have to do as many deep cleans.

For indoor wicker, remove heavy layers of dust using a soft bristled paintbrush and a toothbrush for the small gaps between the wicker and furniture frame. The best thing to clean with in these hard-to-reach spots is the brush attachment of your vacuum using the lowest suction option.

For thorough cleaning, wipe the wicker down with a slightly damp cloth soaked in soapy water and then again with a wet cloth. Mix a 25 percent white vinegar and 75 percent water solution to clear up mould and mildew.  

Outdoor wicker furniture can be cleaned using a solution of a quarter cup of dish soap to two cups of warm water. Clean the nooks and crannies with a brush then hose it down with a garden hose. Alternatively, you can use handheld steam cleaners.  Make sure to clean your wicker on a sunny or windy day to speed up the drying process.

Tips for Cleaning Sheepskin

Sheepskin is popular because of its coziness and comfort. It also has a modern and contemporary look. With a few basic instructions, you can clean your sheepskin in no time.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Detangling shampoo/soap
  • A bristle brush

How to Clean Sheepskin

Lightly vacuum your sheepskin rug or seat cover and then wipe it down with a cloth soaked in warm water. Apply shampoo or soap to the wash cloth and wipe it thoroughly from top to bottom, paying special attention to soiled areas. Reapply as required and then rinse it off with damp sponge or washcloth.

Finally, gently brush your sheepskin with a bristle brush. Use one that’s designed for dogs to remove tangles.

Conclusion

Keeping your favourite furniture clean will not only increase the longevity but also enhance the beauty of your home.

Involve the whole family to speed up the cleaning process. It’s not hard – just allocate an afternoon and turn up the music to make the task of cleaning more enjoyable. While you can do most of the cleaning yourself, there are occasions where you should leave it to the professionals. If your furniture is delicate or the stain is too stubborn, don’t shy away from asking for help. Happy cleaning!

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