Creative and Affordable Ideas to Bring your Living Room to Life

Your living room is the room in your house where most of the living takes place.  It’s where your family gathers to watch television, read, and generally unwind and relax after a busy day.  It’s also the room where company gathers during parties and holidays.  Thus making it look good or at least comfortable for everyone is a necessity. However you’re struggling to come up with decorating ideas and strategies for it, and you worry that your budget isn’t big enough to do the job justice.  But with a little planning, creativity, and ingenuity, your living room can be a relaxing environment where you can unwind or entertain with comfort and ease.

Consider pulling pieces you have in other rooms into your living room to use.  A short, double-sided dresser can easily become a buffet when a table runner and an arrangement of candles or a colorful flower centerpiece is placed on top. Blockout blinds can look as posh as those motorized window treatments you see in big mansions. Adding a few things and mixing it together with other accessories at home can bring a different kind of light to your living room.

Use your furniture arrangement to define functional areas. Strategically placed floor rugs, lamps and furniture can create zones in your home. You can arrange your seating to take advantage of a focal point, such as a television, picture window or a fireplace.  You can also find affordable component pieces that combine functional storage with fashionable decorating lines. Tables with drawers and shelves add valuable, and a simple desk doubles for homework, household management, bill paying and filing. Every area in the living room should play a function whether for work or for pleasure.

When accessorizing your room, remember that less is more. Choose neutral colors and accent with colorful textured throws, rugs, and other decorative and artistic elements.  Keep the balance of your room in perspective.  You don’t want to overwhelm a small room with large, bold pieces, nor do you want to place smaller, neutral pieces in a large room where they’ll get lost. Having enough sitting areas, free space where you can move and proper lighting makes a living room functional and relaxing at the same time.

If you’re working with used furniture, try distracting from worn upholstery or a faded finish by using colorful toss pillows or table runners.  Bright curtains can distract from a faded carpet and breathe new life into an old room.

Consider your personal style and the needs of the household when decorating a living room. It should not be magazine worthy but suitable to what your family needs.

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5 Ways to Survive Building or Remodeling Your Home

Building or remodeling a new home can be stressful. However, you can make the adventure fun and memorable by following these tips.

  1. Think of the project as a new diet.

Who doesn’t want to lose at least five pounds?  This is one way to do it.  Between running to stores all day and evening long, meeting with contractors, inspecting the work, searching the Western world for the perfect light fixture, who has time to eat?  Provided you don’t sabotage this new, unorthodox diet plan, with McDonalds drive through, you’re good for losing five pounds. If you are a masochistic type who does some of the work yourself – whether it be painting, laying tile, landscaping the yard – you can count on another five to ten pounds of weight loss.

  1. Write checks as aerobic exercise.

These workouts are great for toning the wrist and fingers.  Usually done in hectic spurts as you race out the door in the morning while the contractors are breathing down your neck and your kids are beating each other with the lunch boxes you just prepared, the stress and frantic activity are sure to raise your heartbeat for a good hour.  Grumbling under your breath that the plumber, electrician, or you name it, isn’t really worth this much money adds greater intensity and calorie burn to this little publicized exercise regime.

  1. Save money through shopping burnout

Yes, even the most die-hard shopper will come to dread setting foot in any store.  This affliction starts innocently enough as you go to look for light fixtures. How hard can it be?  Hard! Either the light you want is being shipped from Yugoslavia and won’t arrive until your youngest child buys his own home, or you just can’t find the one you want.  You’ll shop every lighting and electrical store you know. You’ll search Home Depot. You’ll haunt hardware stores. And then there’s plumbing fixtures. Sink centers, faucet handles, finishes, special orders. What’s all that about?

  1. Throw out (finally) your significant other’s treasured [fill in the blank] from his bachelor days.

You know what I mean. It could be the semi-nude poster he won’t get rid of. Or his collection of exotic beer cans. Or all of his Sports Illustrated magazines since the Chicago Bears last won the Superbowl.  Now is the perfect time to get rid of it.  If you need to move out of your house while the remodeling is done, or you are moving to a new home, such an opportune time may never occur again. Say it won’t fit in the rental house. It’s either this or his golf clubs. Gently remind him that the sentimental item really serves as a reminder of his advancing years.  Anything. Get rid of it.  It will be one positive you can remind yourself of when the stress of remodeling makes you feel that this project was the biggest mistake of your life.

  1. Grow closer to your family through forced bathroom sharing.

The saying goes that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps that wise pundit had to share a closet sized bathroom with three kids and a spouse.  In reality, there’s no greater way to create intimacy in a family than by all trying to get ready for the morning in the same 7’x 5’ space.  You’ll learn new exciting things about your children – like toilet paper is purely optional for little boys.  You’ll discover that there is no bond quite like the one created when the entire family brushes their teeth together over the same sink.  You’ll realize why the older generation of your relatives only washed their hair once a week instead of facing communal bathroom time.  But most importantly, you’ll no longer need to yell at your kids to hurry up for school – they’re standing right next to you.

Home Landscaping Made Easy

Home landscaping does not just involve sticking plants into your vacant front or backyard and making it look “green”. When designing and landscaping your own home, you need to invest some time and put in a lot of creativity to beautify your front lawn or backyard. Unless you have the budget to hire a professional landscape artist to transform your lawn into a dream sanctuary, doing things your way, with the help of the rest of the household is a less expensive idea. Take note of working one area or one improvement at a time to keep the pressure low and your budget afloat.

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Photo Credit: Love of Homes via Pinterest

Here are some do-it-yourself tips to landscape your lawn: First, clear the general area that you will be designing and start from scratch. This will give you a better ‘canvass’ to work with just like the 3 day blinds at home. Then, sketch the general look that you would like to have for your garden. Make a list of the plants, trees and shrubs that you can plant. When deciding on the type of plants, make sure that there will be a plant which will flower or bloom for each season of the year – winter, spring, summer and fall. For example, perennial flowers will bloom in May, but after that it will just look like an ordinary plant. Having a plant which blooms in a different time of the year would make your garden have a focal point even when other plant variants are not in season.

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Photo Credit: Dan Asbach via Pinterest

As much as possible, make a layered planting bed. At the back row which is the farthest from your house, plant the variants which grow the tallest. This will serve as the base of your landscaping. In the middle and front rows, put the shorter plants. Make sure that you apply this rule in every area of the garden where you plant to put in plants for a more ‘trimmed’ look.

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Photo Credit: Worthminer via Pinterest

You can also vary the design of your walls and fences.  When choosing ‘furniture’ for your garden, like a table and chair garden set, place them in an area where they can best be viewed and enjoyed. Installing a water fall is a great idea to add to the main attractions of your landscaped garden. With some hard work and a lot of creativity, you will feel great once you look out your window and you see the landscaped lawn which you designed and built yourself.

 

Cleaning your Indoor Air Naturally

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you can still get sick even though you are only staying inside your house? Here is a trivia for you to think about: did you know that indoor air can be five times more toxic and unclean compared to outdoor air? All of the things inside your house like beds, cooking pans, kids’ clothes and so forth can have hazardous chemicals that make your house’s indoor air more toxic. We usually think that indoor air is fresher and cleaner than the outside’s. Remember that sometimes disregarding the condition of the air you are inhaling can lead you to some illnesses such as asthma, skin allergies, recurrent headaches, and problems with your digestive system. But don’t worry, you can now clean your indoor air without having to spend too much money on it.

Here are four simple, cheap, and natural ways of cleaning and purifying your indoor air:

Set a natural air conditioning

To set a natural air conditioning system does not automatically mean having to open all your windows at home. Instead of doing this, try to naturally cool your home and properly ventilate your house with these steps:

First, you may use ceiling fans in order to ventilate the house and lessen the air pollutants coming from the outside. Then, you may try to set heat-blocking window treatments for you to avoid air dusts, heat, and other chemicals from the outdoors. And finally, try to reduce the usage of heat-producing appliances.

Use Bamboo Charcoal

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Charcoals. Photo credit: Timothy Takemoto

Charcoals are famously known and used to purify water. They are also one of the ingredients in some beauty products nowadays. Charcoal has the same toxin-removing effects on the air. You may try to use Moso air purifying bags that are made of linen and loaded with high-density bamboo charcoal. The absorbent form of the charcoal can help remove bacteria, hazardous pollutants, and allergens. It can also suck up moisture and stop the molds and mildews from building up by catching the toxins and impurities inside each pore. 

Try Beeswax Candles

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Beeswax candle. Photo credit: Till Westermayer

The regular paraffin candles that we usually use came from petroleum and can emancipate chemicals like toluene, soot, benzene, and other chemicals in the air. These paraffin candles should be avoided because they provide harm rather than advantages in the quality of your indoor air.

On the other hand, the pure beeswax candles are very helpful especially for those who have asthma or allergies. They are also useful in removing common allergens like dust and dander from the air you breathe. Compared to the paraffin candles, beeswax candles burn slower so they last longer.

Grow Houseplants

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Golden pothos. Photo credit: Julie Jordan Scott

We all know that plants help people by absorbing the carbon dioxide we produce and converting it to clean oxygen that we are breathing in. There are certain plants that are best in reducing and removing the amount of chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene in the air. Some of the best air purification plants are the Golden Pothos, Boston Fern, Bamboo Palm, Lady Palm, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Dragon Tree, Spider Plant, and Dracaena. It is recommended to put at least one plant per 100 square feet of your house in order to achieve the efficient air cleaning.

Now, you have the ideas to clean your indoor air. Time to start trying these simple and natural ways to effectively clean your indoor air and make it safe for the whole family.

Home Design Ideas: Light And Natural Hues For Your Living Room

Your living room is the first area of your home that will be introduced to your guests. More often than not, it is one of the most important parts of home that suggests a working theme and define your personality.

Living rooms respond to light and natural hues to be set that can set your abode to top of the class.

Pastel Colors

Pastel colors can serve best your living room giving it a cozy and glowing feel. Choose colors between yellow green, green, to powder blue and blue. It creates variety and relaxing tone to any member of the family or guest. White may seem to be the basic color that will make your abode look bigger but there can be other hues that falls into the pastel color group that can suit the trick. Pastel also happens to be this year’s color when it comes to home design.

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 Photo Credit: Style By Emily Henderson via Pinterest

Open the windows and make it glass

Light can be best when comes naturally. Manage to have your windows on glass and decorate it with pastel color linens as well to curate a refreshing home solution. It can soothe the mood and set it to a more tone down one. Roller blinds from Blinds Online Australia’s online shop can also be a good way to allow light to enter your glass windows. Some on the other hand would prefer sheer curtains which is also a good choice.

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 Photo Credit: One Kindesign via Pinterest

Halogen lights

At night, use halogen lights to manage an effect of a natural light. This light tends to be not too loud and not to dim for your living room. Experiment with light colors, shapes and intensities to bring something different inside your homes.

Dare to be bold

Try to have bold colors of paint on your wall that can curate a certain character for your living room area. It will defy the usual aura of the receiving area and will create a working theme not just in the living room but to your whole home as well. Red, green and blue are striking colors that can be used as focal points in your living areas.

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Photo Credit: Lushome via Pinterest

When choosing lights and colors for the living room, it only takes certain creativity and experiment to fully mesmerize your family and even yourself with the changes. It will explore more your side that further from the usual norms of your current home setups. The 2016 look will definitely look good more on your home and that it create a post-modern aura set.