Home Decorating Ideas to Soften a Black and White Scheme

A black and white interior decor scheme can appear severe and sterile or warm and inviting – it truly depends on how you use your own fresh home decorating ideas to soften a harsh monochromatic palette. Neutral design needs not be boring, it can be just as exciting as any other color scheme and twice as sophisticated!

Plenty of Prints

Standard black and white rooms without any patterns or decorations often end up looking like a showroom floor. Unless you want to feel like you’re living in an IKEA advertisement, consider getting a little funky with bold prints. Many designers choose to go with striking patterned wallpaper to tie every element together, but sometimes that’s just not achievable. Instead, try throwing down a large area rug that features organic shapes, like zebra stripes or floral prints.

Apply these home decorating ideas for patterns judiciously, though. Too much chaos can make the room look even more uninviting than an empty one. Instead of choosing bold upholstery for all pieces of furniture, try to limit your use of patterns to one chair or table – or use throw pillows or blankets with fun prints on simple furnishings. A large wall print can serve the same purpose while reducing the shock of a pure white or black wall.

Tone it Down or Pump it Up

A dash of colorful home decorating ideas can make all of the difference in a room filled with stark white and rich black. Neutrals beige and tan can work wonders when softening a monochromatic scheme. Grey is a popular and versatile choice – dark shades increase visual stability, while light grey seems to be open and carefree.

Limit yourself to just one or two accent colors. Too many hues cause the eyes to jump around the room leaving an impression of disorganization. Stick with the same tones – if you choose pastel, stick with pastel; if you decide on bright and vivid, make sure that you do not introduce a tone that is dull or faded!

Textures and Shapes

You can easily soften your black and white room by adding, you guessed it, soft textures. Light, billowy window curtains can make a world of difference – but not as much as a huge fluffy area rug. Get playful when you layer textures, there are no wrong answers! Introduce organic shapes wherever possible – sculptures, pieces of driftwood, a chandelier. If you have a garden or access to a nearby park, make sure to always have a vase of fresh flowers on hand for an instant room makeover. Wild flowers are the cheapest home decorating ideas to work with.

Your black and white room does not have to look like a laboratory! Monochromatic schemes can be just as interesting and playful as any other design – it just takes a little experimentation. One thing is for certain: your boring room will not brighten itself up! Use these home decorating ideas and make up some of your own to turn your black and white room into an oasis of personal expression.

Home Design Ideas to Create a Home of Energy Saving “Green” Beauty

We live in a new world. The time for paying attention to our natural resources is now. We have woken to the realization that our world is not the inexhaustible support system we believed it to be.

Thankfully “going green” does not require extreme and costly changes. Making a significant difference in the worlds natural resources, only takes small decisions made one step at a time. We can decide to:

Recycle Reuse Restore Reduce

With these 4 words in mind we have a few of the most wonderful ideas, tips and secrets to present. Simple and affordable going green ideas. And, if you choose to implement any or all of these suggestions you can be assured you are contributing to the over all health of the earth now and toward a more sustainable living environment for our future generations.

1. Going Green by Changing Your Lights. If every household in the U.S. replaced just one light bulb from the standard incandescent to the highly energy efficient luminescent bulbs being promoted today we would

Save A national average of $600,000,000. a year in energy costs.

Save Enough energy to light more than 3,000,000 homes for one year.

Save Green house gases equivalent to the emissions given off from over 800,000 cars.

Save Significant amounts on your energy bill. My husband spent one day replacing all the bulbs in our home. Not totally convinced it would make that much of a difference on our bill I supported his efforts more for the conservation aspects (and because he had turned off the TV) rather than the money saving pitch.

Boy was I surprised when the next electric bill came,

it dropped approximately 20%! or about 10 cents per

hour!

This change in bulb has one characteristic that may take some time getting used to. When you first turn on the lights – they appear dingy due to the fact they need to warm up a bit before they are at peak – light up the room – performance. They also initially cost a bit more but the standard life span far outlasts the basic bulb – from months to years.

Another energy saving tip is to install dimmer switches. Years ago these dimmers did not provide any benefit other than creating ambient light in a room. Today they are designed to minimize your electric consumption as well.

2. Going Green by Choosing an Eco Friendly Floor. If you are planning to replace your floor with hard wood there are two options that are delightfully green, look beautiful, perform well, and cost less than most hard woods. Cork – Cork has come a long way from its original purpose of wine stopping.

It comes from the bark of a tree that can be harvested once every 10 years and does no damage to the tree at all. Like sheering a sheep! It’s typically sold in tile or sheet form and is easy to install. Because cork contains millions of air bubbles – it is comfortable to walk on and easier on the feet when standing for long periods of time in the kitchen. It is also hypoallergenic, absorbs sounds, and acts as a thermal insulator which means warmth on the feet.

There are fabulous color and grain options available today so be sure to shop around!

There are a few drawbacks to consider. Cork does need to be sealed to moisture protect and is not very resistant to fading or punctures however, it does bounce back well when a heavy blunt object is dropped on it.

The other floor covering option is Bamboo – bamboo is definitely more competitive if you need a harder wood floor. Harder than oak yet it is made from a fast growing Asian grass that matures in about 6 years. It can be refinished numerous times with dye-based stains. Very eco-friendly.

Bamboo also offers a wonderful variety of color, grain and style. Have fun looking for the color and grain of this beautiful hard wood option. Did I mention it’s priced lower than most oak options?

3. Going Green by Recycling or Restoring Your Furniture. Must you buy new furniture or can you refinish, restore, repaint or recycle?

Wonderful design projects can result from painting, restaining or reupholstering that piece that is dated or worn. The most exciting aspect of recycling furniture is the money saved.

Sandpaper, paint and associated supplies are relatively inexpensive. Door knobs, drawer pulls can really change up the look of that tired piece of furniture also with minimum expense. A picture says a thousand words especially in this case. Visit the web site listed below to see some fantastic examples of these furniture restoring options.

Design applications usually last about 10 years. The neutral – earthy colors we have been seeing so often has been around since the late 90’s so it’s on its way out. This year you will start seeing bold, bright colors being applied to accent walls, furniture and textures. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with color, fabric textures and brush techniques. This is the year for bold, bright and beautiful! Go for it.

Another idea you may want to entertain is a fantastic option to buy “slightly used” from your local Good Will or Salvation Army. With a bit of frugal redesign “know how” you can create remarkable results.

4. Going Green by Buying Energy Star Appliances. Energy Star is the U.S. Governments Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy Seal of approval system to confirm a products ability to avoid/limit greenhouse gases without sacrificing quality.

When you purchase an Energy Star item you can be assured you have a product that will reduce energy consumption and save you money when used in your home, guaranteed through the entire life span of the appliance.

2007 stats from energystar.gov reports that consumers “saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars – all while saving $16,000,000,000. (16 Billion) on their utility bills.

Wow – Good Job! Let’s keep up the good work!

Home Decorating Idea – Tips on Decorating a Small Home

Decorating a small home or apartment can be a challenge but the outcome can be a great look combined with style and comfort. The key to a home decorating idea for small spaces is to plan carefully to make the most of the existing space without overwhelming the area.

Here are tips to consider before you get started with your home decorating ideas:

*Don’t make a small room seem smaller by filling it full of “stuff.” This means you might have to put away some of your knick-knacks and restrain yourself from buying additional decorative items. You will find an uncluttered home will provide more comfort and pleasure and make your home decorating idea a reality.

*Make your rooms multi-purpose. A child’s room can be a study or play room which will keep toys and activities in a confined space.

*Consider the creative use of room divider screens. They can be easily moved if you feel the need to open up the place once in a while. Another home decorating tip is to turn bookcases so they are at a right angle to the wall which will provide a private area for a computer desk. Placing a side table with a plant on top against the open back of the bookcase will make it look like a piece of furniture. Choosing a bookcase with a finished back will enhance the look.

*A fundamental home decorating idea for small homes is to choose furniture with space considerations at the forefront; such as, folding, rolling, nesting or anything else that easily condenses in size when not in use. Dining room tables with leaves are a “must” in a small home or apartment. Stacking end tables work well in the living room and a chest or trunk makes a great living room coffee table.

*Mirrors and light that create the illusion of space are basic components in a small area. Keeping your window coverings open during the day will help to eliminate dark corners which can make your home seem smaller. Adding a mirror to each room is a basic home decorating idea which adds openness as well as functionality and style to a room.

*Check out hotels and mobile homes to see how to maximize space but still be attractive. Mobile homes are especially well-designed and make the most of limited space. Consider the use of practical “built-ins” in your own small home or apartment.

With imagination and creativity you can make your home decorating ideas a reality even in a small home or apartment.