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Inspiration

Managing to get your own home is always a big step and a great moment in your life. It’s also a given that before you proceed with this significant decision, you have researched the market well and you have taken into consideration the hard work that comes with having your own home.

On top of that, it is no secret that in today’s world people are changing homes at least two to three times in their lives. That being said, you need to try your best in order to ensure that when the time to sell your home comes you have increased its initial value and you have cut a good deal for yourself.

Boosting your home’s value isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Nevertheless, it requires a solid plan, constant investments and a lot of effort.

Here are 10 smart tips that can help you increase the value of your home. From renovating your kitchen to extending your property.

1.  Renovate your kitchen

It goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the most crucial parts of a house. That’s why, maintain it in a good condition should always be a priority. A nice kitchen can truly boost the value of your asset and make a big difference when it comes down to selling your home. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to renovate your kitchen and choose good materials. As a rule, the more money you invest in your kitchen the more you will get back once you decide to sell the house.

2. Bathroom matters also

Once you are done with your kitchen renovation, the next stop is your bathroom. We don’t even have to mention how important a bathroom is for a home. The bigger it is the higher the price of your home. Like in the kitchen case, make sure that you invest in top quality materials and that you protect the bathroom well from humidity, bugs and any other factor which could decrease the value of your home.

stylish bathroom

3. Build an additional room

An easy and straightforward way to increase the value of your home is to add an extra room to it. It doesn’t take much to understand that a 2 room asset will be cheaper than a 3 room asset (as long as they are both in a similar condition) due to the fact that it can provide less functionality to its owners. Furthermore, by increasing the number of rooms in your home you can unlock another part of the market to which you couldn’t appeal to until then.

4. Outdoors also matters

Especially if you live in a city this parameter can truly make a difference. Take good care of the garden and make good use of any outdoor space that comes with your home. This factor could instantly increase the value of your house. By having a garden, it is most likely to attract couples and families which means that you attract a segment of the market with a stronger budget.

patio

5. Painting can make a difference

Most of the people may consider a good painting as the least of their concerns, but it really isn’t. A solid painting job can increase the value of your asset and make your home appealing to more candidates. The reason behind this is simple. You give to the buyer a full illustration of what their house would look like once they decide to proceed with it. In addition, you save them from the trouble of doing the painting themselves. More money for you less work for them. A win-win situation.

6. Decoration is important

As a natural continuation of the previous point, the interior space of the home matters a lot. Try to invest in taking good care of the interior and its decoration. This could be an additional card up your sleeve and increase the price of the home. Especially if you are planning to sell a furnished asset, this parameter is fundamental. But even if you don’t, it’s always a good idea to help the buyers visualize their new home. Thanks to your decoration, they can get some fresh ideas for their home and get excited about the option that you offer to them.

living room decor

7. Adjust to the market

The next tip is mainly for those who want to think in long-term or they have the necessary resources to make big changes in a small period of time. Adjusting to the market can take years but it will eventually help you increase your home’s value. For instance, if there is a strong request for family homes in your area, you might want to readjust your home from a 2 room to a 3 or 4 room asset. Immediately, you open a new market which has the financial capacity to buy your home and increase your earnings.

8. Be careful if you rent it

Ideally, the fewer people that have stayed in your place the higher its value in the market. However, this isn’t always possible. For the one reason or the other, you might want to rent the place. In that case, you need to be extra careful with the people that you choose to live in your home. Make sure that you mention to them the importance of taking good care of the asset from day one. If they don’t, start looking for someone new who can respect your terms. Lastly, make sure to renovate the place once they move out. In that way, you can boost your home’s value instantly.

9. Learn to market it better

Sometimes it’s not about what you have but what you show to the market. The real-estate market is no exception to that. Before you submit your ad online or to the papers, you want to be sure that you have taken good photos of the asset and that you have put together an enticing text which clearly describes the benefits of your home and why its value is as high as it is.

10. Find the right agent for the job

Last but certainly not least, finding the right person to handle your home building project is essential. A good agent can actually boost the value of your home and bring you closer to the big deal that you have dreamt of. That being said, you want to make a good market research before you end up working with one of them. Your network is your biggest ally in such cases. Gather as many information as you can and choose the one that fits better to your needs.

Final thoughts

All in all, increasing your home’s value is a long and challenging process. Nonetheless, as we showed above it can be done under the condition that you have a smart plan in place. Follow the steps above and good luck with home-selling effort!

About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is a Content Marketing Manager at GenieBelt.

The number of decorating shows you can watch on TV or stream online is enormous and all of them focus on different things – some are all about saving money, others about DIY projects, and the third about renovating your home as quickly as possible. However, Nate & Jeremiah by Design is one of the most special decorating shows out there because of one simple thing: its stars, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, are among the most special decorating couples in the world. Their style is simple yet visually attractive, and their approach to interior design combines frugal and effective approach. If you too are a fan of Nate and Jeremiah, here’s what you can learn from them and how to use their ideas when decorating your own home.

 

Make a plan and follow it

source:  https://www.nateberkus.com

Every episode of Nate & Jeremiah consists of three separate segments: first they pick a home they’re going to renovate, then they talk to the homeowners, listening to their wishes and determining the budget, and only then do they start the actual work, planning out the remodeling projects and inviting their demolition crew. This is basically what you too need to do when renovating your home, so be sure not to skip any of these steps.

 

Dining table as a focal point

Every home needs a focal point and if you decide to set up yours in the dining room, Nate and Jeremiah recommend focusing on the dining table. This is where your family gathers and where you welcome your guests, so it has to be inviting, cozy and perfect. You can also display your best piece of décor here and thus add some personality to your home, which is something every homeowner appreciates. Finally, all of your guests will immediately notice your vintage dining table, especially if you pair it with cool and comfortable chairs, so it’s definitely an idea worth exploring.

 

Learn how to compromise

source: https://bellevivir.com

Of course, you need to learn how to compromise the wishes of all your family members and keep in mind that even this amazing decorating couple doesn’t agree on absolutely every step of the way. On the contrary, they too sometimes argue about certain ideas, but this is a part of the process, so learn how to compromise and listen to everyone’s input.

 

Add a rug here and there

While some people don’t like rugs, Nate and Jeremiah are all for them – in the dining room, the living room, the bedroom and everywhere else. Rugs give your space a dose of personality and a ton of depth, particularly if you layer them one on top of another and use rugs that differ in size, color, texture and pattern. This trick is both easy and cheap, so use it when renovating as often as you can.

 

Try to save a dollar or two

source: https://fancydecors.co

This is probably the most important tip Nate and Jeremiah can offer: every dollar can be stretched far beyond your expectations if you plan in advance and know what you want. They can help you realize this in just a couple of episodes, and some of the things they recommend doing include shopping online instead of the expensive stores, focusing on one room at a time, using lots of cheap vintage pieces, as well as reusing, repurposing and recycling everything you can, from furniture and decorations to flooring and building materials. This way, you can use every single cent you have and make the most of your budget.

 

There are lots of other things you can learn from Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent – from incorporating plants into your interior design and using 3-D art on your walls to letting lots of fresh air and natural light into your living space, and keeping things clean, simple and cozy. While you certainly can’t replicate all of their ideas, you can always adapt them to your needs and budget, and you’ll surely come up with an amazing new space you’ll enjoy in the years to come.

 

When we talk about modern art we think about such talents like van Gogh, Matisse and Paul Gauguin, their paintings, color play and stunning visuals have inspired generations of interior designers who have strived to incorporate parts of their artistic vision into their design. If you are a fan of modern art, and are looking for the perfect way to introduce it into your home decor, here are some great ideas you could do just that.

Modern Art Ideas to Express Your Style in Home Decor

Image source: mydesiredhome.com

Starry Night right in your bedroom

Shades of dark blue combined with pops of yellow, those strong brushstrokes, there is no painting quite like Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. Using this masterpiece as your inspiration you can introduce a bit of romance and mystery into your bedroom  design. Opt for darker shades of blue for the walls and as contrast add lighter furniture in yellow and white color palette. You could accentuate the wall with striped curtains resembling van Gogh’s brush strokes. And as the focal point of this design, representing the cypress tree a black armchair. Your composition is now complete.

Modern Art Ideas to Express Your Style in Home Decor

Image source: antiquesl.com

A harmony in red

What better inspiration for the dining room design then Matisse’s Harmony in Red. It provides us with so much inspiration with red, of course being the dominant colour. Of course your living room decor shouldn’t drown in it, it should be carefully placed in form of table cloths, curtains and optionally chair furbishing. To invoke the energy of the wallpaper pattern you could opt for some stencil work that would serve as a focal point of the entire decor. Finally, a stunning vase in the middle of the table is all that is missing for this to be true harmony in red.

Modern Art Ideas to Express Your Style in Home Decor

Image source: irastar.com

A bit of Gauguin in your living room

The series of paintings by Paul Gauguin that were inspired by the Polynesian culture and beliefs present an amazing source for inspiration for living room decor. The deep blues and emerald greens contrasted with soft yellows and the ever present red can help create a stunning design basis. A painting like the La Orana Maria present the perfect inspiration. Start with the dark tones for the larger pieces of furniture, then soften it all up with light pillows and carpets. Make sure you have some stunning framed prints depicting palm trees to make the whole composition complete. Your guests will be transported to a beautiful Polynesian island as soon as they step into your living room, and Gauguin’s presence is bound to be recognized.

Modern Art Ideas to Express Your Style in Home Decor

Image source: home-designing.com

A cubism inspired kitchen

Why not, after all cubism is all about deconstructed, fractured forms. Bringing a bit of Picasso inspired decor into your kitchen decor is bound to elevate it to a whole new level. You can start by adding sculpture like knobs on your cabinets and drawers. The island could take unusual; flowy form, reminiscent of Picasso’s Glass of Absinthe sculpture. When it comes to choosing the color scheme you might want to choose light, gentler colours with dominating blue and orange tones. One of the key elements of a Cubism inspired kitchen can be the tiles, deconstructed, unusually combined even fractured, they can be your empty canvas that will transform your kitchen into a home decor masterpiece.

Modern Art Ideas to Express Your Style in Home Decor

Image source: onekingslane.com 

The overwhelming blues

Yves Klein’s painting are the perfect source of inspiration for hallway decor. The never ending sea of blue tones that can easily be brightened by well placed LED lights. You can just imagine the Anthropometrie Le Buffle inspired walls greeting your guests as they step into your home. The whites and the blues just dancing on you wall in perfect harmony.

So there you have it amazing modern art idea you can easily use to express your style in home decor. Using works by some of the world’s most renowned artists as your inspiration you can create home decor reminiscent of true artistic masterpiece that will at the same time present your own personal expression. Don’t be afraid to experiment, that is what modern art is all about, pushing boundaries and exploring new directions.

Creating music is a truly enriching experience that can enhance your creativity, improve your state of mind and provide you with other numerous benefits. And the recording process is the final stage that enables you to share your hard work with the world. However, this final step can be extremely challenging if you don’t have an appropriate environment to work in or can’t find a like-minded individual who can record your music. Thus, it’s no wonder that a personal recording studio is a dream of musicians all over the world. And if you have an empty garage, you can make yours come true.

Consider your budget

Transforming your garage into a recording studio can be quite an investment, especially if you’re planning to become a professional music producer and record other people’s music, as well. Therefore, it’s always advisable to start with your needs, plans and, of course, your budget. You should consider everything from remodelling costs and building materials to music equipment and instruments. Nonetheless, the bigger the studio, the higher the price, so make sure that you create a budget and undertake a remodel that you can afford.

recording studio equipment

Make some room

Your garage will be your recording studio and not a storage room, so make sure to remove everything you don’t need. A lot of work is ahead of you, and you’ll need space for both the remodelling part and the equipment and the finishing touches. You can organise a yard sale for the garage items that you don’t need or donate your tools and other belongings.

Create a floor plan

Having cleared out your garage from everything, you can start planning your recording studio and its layout. Creating a functional floor plan is the first step that will enable you to assess your space and consider different aspects such as ventilation, the size and shape of the room, etc. You can draw a floor plan on a piece of paper along with all the necessary measurements. The shape of the room is actually quite important for a recording studio because it can affect the sound. Typically, a large garage that isn’t a perfect rectangle or square, and without a lot of design curves, will provide you with the best acoustics.

Soundproof it

Soundproofing your garage is one of the essential aspects of designing a recording studio. You need to block off the outside noise while keeping your music inside. You also need to make sure that your recording studio doesn’t reflect the sound or make it murky, dull or too sharp. Firstly, you should assess your garage acoustics and implement effective environmental noise control solutions that will help you eliminate any noise problems you may encounter. Furthermore, you should seal unnecessary doors, or soundproof them using sheet block, a special vinyl material that will work as a sound barrier. You can also introduce different design elements to prevent sound from bouncing around the studio. For instance, furnishing your studio with drapery, bookshelves, plush rugs, couches and wall decorations will create great sound absorption.

kid in the recording studio

Light it appropriately

Lighting, both natural and artificial, is another important aspect to consider when transforming your garage into a recording studio. Not only will proper lighting create a specific ambience, but it may also affect your creativity. Thus, it’s important that you maximise natural lighting in your recording studio by installing skylights or solar tubes. Of course, if you install skylights or windows, make sure to soundproof them. A double-pane window offers better sound insulation, so it’s a better option for a recording studio. As for artificial lighting, you should install a flexible solution, such as dimmers, that will enable you to adjust the lights depending on your needs.

Install proper ventilation

Since you need to seal all the doors and windows to ensure the best acoustics in your recording studio, you may find it to be a bit stuffy. In addition, without proper ventilation, high moisture levels may damage your equipment. Therefore, a high-quality ventilation system is of the utmost importance for your studio. However, you need to insulate your vents, as well, so you should install an “S” acoustic box insulated with acoustic foam.

Don’t forget the equipment

Once you’ve converted your garage into a recording studio, you need to consider the equipment you need. Since music equipment can be on the expensive side, you should consider your needs, the type of music you’ll record, whether you’ll work with other people, etc. Nonetheless, some of the essential equipment units include a computer, microphones, a digital audio workstation (DAW), studio monitors, a drum machine as a replacement for drums, instruments, etc.

Designing a recording studio in your garage can be challenging and pricey, but it will provide you with your own space where you can create the music you love.

If you are taking care of your backyard, front yard, walls and balcony, you shouldn’t forget to show your entrance some love as well. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, the front entrance can do wonders in terms of your home’s overall appearance. In other words, a stylish entrance can make the entire building look a hundred times better.

With all that being said, here is how to help your entrance complement your home’s curb appeal the best way possible.

Door

The first and probably easiest part of the entrance to is the door itself. Your options are pretty much limitless and entirely depend on factors such as your personal preferences, the overall style of your home, the façade, etc.

Before getting into the decoration part, make sure you are satisfied with both the condition and the color of your door, and that the color goes well with the rest of your home’s exterior. Neutral-colored doors look great on boldly colored walls and vice versa, while light colors look amazing with dark backsplashes and, again, vice versa.

Since spring is approaching, there is one great seasonal idea for you. We all love flowers, especially during spring. Go through your attic and find some old items you will use as flower pots for faux or real flowers. For example, you can hang an old umbrella with an antique watering can on your door with a wreath hanger and fill them with faux flowers. It will look so Pinterest-y. Alternatively, you can make a door flower basket and fill it with real fresh flowers. Basically, anything you can find can serve you as a door flower pot – even things that may seem ridiculous, such as your toddler’s old rain boots.

Or, you can take an old, empty picture frame, embellish it using your favorite craft supplies and, again, hang it on your front door.

On the other hand, maybe antiques and flowers just aren’t your thing, maybe you are more into minimalistic decorations such as monograms. They are easy to create, simple, but still make quite an impact. You can make a monogram yourself out of foam board and decorate it with anything you like – as long as it matches the rest of your home’s exterior: sea glass, shells, paint, twine etc. On the other hand, you can opt for a simpler version of it by painting an old tray with chalkboard paint and hanging it on your door. This way, you’ll be able to change your home’s ‘headline’ once you get bored of it.

Finally, dress down your now wildly decorated front door with a stylish minimalistic doormat to balance the whole look out.

Front porch

Whether your porch is tiny or large, there are many tips that work for both cases equally.

The first and probably the most important tip is to make sure your porch is as bright as it can be. Don’t hesitate to play with lighting fixtures or even add a pop of bright color. Also, make the most of daylight by replacing one wall with a glass wall and/or installing a mirror or two that will reflect the sunlight even more.

Besides lighting it up, you can repurpose your porch into a cool lounge area, for example. Just by placing a simple piece of furniture such as a sofa or an armchair on your front porch, you will boost the inviting feel of it and make it look so much cooler. And not to mention that your home is going to get a whole new laid-back vibe that is always attractive. After all, one simply cannot go wrong with using furniture as decoration.

Stairs

If you are blessed with minimalistic stairs that lead to your front door, consider giving them some depth and texture by installing those beautiful downward facing yellow or white lights. This solution is both practical – since it illuminates the stairs, which makes them easier to use during the night, and aesthetic – since lighting fixtures can make anything look way better and more luxurious than it already does.

Pathway

When entering a home, the pathway is the first thing you see, and if you really want to increase the beauty of your entrance, you have to make sure it is aesthetically pleasing. Lately, designers have been going crazy about Japanese aesthetics, since they are simple, easy to achieve, but still make a huge impact. Take a couple of dark geometric slate slabs and surround them with a bunch of those big white decorative stones. Finally, soften the look with a couple of tropical plants and voila – you have an awesome Japanese-styled aesthetic pathway.

And that’s it. What do you think about these ideas? Let us know in the comment section below.

Luxury homes are often not very eco-friendly. They take over a large amount of land, produce a lot of CO2 and require huge amounts of energy to stay warm, cool and functioning. However, there are home features that can make any luxury home more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Opt for locally sourced materials

Before huge cargo ships took over our seas, sourcing local materials was the norm. Even though shipping makes other materials much more available, it came with a big environmental cost. So, if you want your luxurious home to help keep pollution at bay, you can opt for architectural solutions that involve the use of locally-harvested wood from wood farms, as well local stone and clay that can be transported to your building site quickly and easily.

Good insulation and air-tightness

Large luxury homes tend to waste a lot of energy through air leaks, drafts and uncontrolled airflow (sometimes even up to 30% of home’s heat). However, new air-tightness solutions and better insulation can keep your energy loss at a minimum while keeping the optimal indoor temperature.

Energy-efficient windows

Utilizing double- or triple-glazed windows is another great way to further reduce heat loss and eliminate cold spots at home. These windows make every home energy-efficient while providing the interior with plenty of natural light.

Green roofs and walls

Green roofs are nothing new in architecture, but today, there are new technologies and trends that are making them appropriate not only for rural, but urban environments too. They are very practical, efficient and aesthetically pleasing roofing options that can help reduce energy consumption and prevent the “heat island” effect in cities. Additionally, living walls, both in the interior and exterior, can help regulate air quality and serve as an interesting design feature.

Solar power

Opting for renewable energy sources is becoming more and more popular and many companies try to perfect their designs and technologies to make the best use of the natural resources. Aside from the “passive” design, installing solar panels can also help homeowners harness the energy of the sun and use it throughout their homes. When combined with batteries, solar panels can make homes almost completely energy independent. Additionally, they can be an elegant and modern exterior decor element, especially in contemporary-designed homes.

Natural heating and cooling

Just like solar, geothermal energy can also be used in luxury homes. It can be utilized for heating and cooling while keeping the home’s environmental footprint relatively small. This allows the building and designing extremely luxurious and aesthetically pleasing homes without any feeling of guilt.

Eco-friendly swimming pools

Swimming pools were never synonymous with eco-friendliness and sustainability. They are perceived to be very wasteful, especially in areas prone to frequent droughts, and they require many chemicals to stay clean and energy to stay warm. However, today there is a way to keep your swimming pool without creating a huge water and energy waste. There are pools that use solar panels for heating, have amazing heat retention properties and even natural plants to keep them clean. Plants not only keep natural pools clean and free of chemicals, but they also attract local wildlife!

LEDs instead of traditional bulbs

In the last twenty years, lighting experienced many radical changes, mostly due to advancements in LED technology. LED light bulbs are much more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan, which reduces waste and energy spent on constant bulb demand.

Tech integration

The integration of smart tech is another practical and effective way to make your home more luxurious and sustainable. Gadgets that help manage lighting, heating, cooling and irrigation can all reduce total energy consumption and remote-control options allow owners to have control over their home even when they are away.

Smart gardens

Gardens have always been a great way to improve the look of the property and provide the owner with a private place for some outdoor relaxation. However, some gardens require a lot of irrigation, fertilizing and tending to in order to look good. But, if you opt for local plants and greenery resistant to droughts, you can greatly reduce water demands. Additionally, planting vegetables and fruit can be as good for the Earth as it is good for you and your family.

Eco-friendliness doesn’t have to involve living a life devoid of luxury. By utilizing these green features into your home, you can enjoy all the luxury and help keep the environment healthy and free of pollution.

Expecting a baby is one of the most joyous moments in anyone’s life, and decorating the nursery is equally exciting. However, all modern nurseries seem to resemble each other and they all include the same items – from a princess-themed wallpaper for girls to a Cars-inspired crib for boys. So, why don’t you start thinking outside the box for a moment and do something unusual for your newborn to make them feel really special and appreciated? If you’re willing to do something like that, but are unsure what, here are a couple of ideas that might help you achieve your goal and make your nursery seem like it was designed by a professional interior decorator.

 

Seating arrangement

This is something most parents forget because their main focus is on the baby, not themselves, but the seating arrangement is crucial for everyone involved. Feeding your baby, holding it in your hands and cradling it to sleep is definitely exhausting, which is why the nursery has to include a spot where the parents can relax and take a break. Mothers love a comfortable rocking chair where they can feed the baby, while fathers usually prefer a comfy sofa or an armchair, so don’t forget to find room for these things as well.

 

The right color

Back in the day, painting a nursery was easy – get a bucket of pink color for the girls and blue for the boys, and you’re good to go! Today, things aren’t that simple, not because pink and blue have gone out of style, but because parents don’t mind including other color choices as well. Anything from beige, gray, lime green, yellow and even white will do, as long as the walls are painted with care and precision. Keep in mind that personalizing the space in accordance with your own taste makes much more sense than blindly following the trends – after all, that’s going to give your nursery the personal touch it needs.

 

Toys, toys, toys!

No nursery is complete without the baby’s personal belongings, including the toys that should surround it from early on. A room with no baby’s favorite toys looks rather sad, grim and dull, so remember to add a few – nevertheless, try not to go overboard and cover the crib with dozens of stuffed animals. As soon as your baby starts walking and being active, you should adapt to this transition and start introducing more advanced and complex toys that will make them more active and independent. This is an important step in your child’s development, and something you definitely shouldn’t skip, so inspire your loved ones and encourage them to think for themselves more than before.

 

Storage space

Although they’re quite small and seem more than easy to handle, babies require a ton of products and equipment on a daily basis – not to mention a pile of diapers and clean clothes. All of these items need to be by your side at all times, so keeping them close-by is a must. A practical vanity is the best way to keep all of your baby’s possessions at one spot, but it’s also perfect for organizing storage space. These vanities can be quite spacious, yet don’t take too much room in a nursery that’s probably not that big anyway, so they’re perfect.

 

Art pieces and photos

Just because you’re decorating a nursery doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add some class to it. Being surrounded by lots of different colors can be a positive influence on your toddler’s mental and physical development, so explore classic and contemporary art pieces which you can incorporate into their nursery and hang a few on the walls. Also, since you’ve probably started taking photos of your baby the second it arrived from the delivery room, feel free to develop some of them as well. Pick colorful and playful frames and scatter them all around the room, following the development of your children from the earliest days of their lives.

 

Designing and decorating a nursery is the best way to prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy. Once you complete the process, sit back, relax and celebrate this new beginning in your life.

Modern rustic home design has been on fire lately and everyone seems to have fallen in love with it! Homeowners are embracing the combination of rustic charm and benefits of modern amenities. The attraction lies in the successful marriage of natural, rugged beauty that offers an abundance of textures, earthy colours and organic warmth, and the elegance and sleek lines of modern furniture and appliances.

The result is a contemporary rustic style that feels very open, fresh, grounded and real, and here are several suggestions on how to incorporate it into your home.

Raw natural materials

Perhaps the most important element of a modern rustic home is the use of natural, raw materials in its architecture and décor. The main idea is to bring nature inside and the more natural these materials look, the easier it becomes to tie the whole design into a cohesive rustic whole. It aims to expose all the nature’s imperfections, such as knottiness of wood and cracks in stone, in all their beauty and glory.

In an old home, these materials preserve its character and uniqueness, and in new, modern homes, they add a ton of charm and rustic appeal. The modern rustic design intentionally puts focus on exposed brick and wooden ceiling beams, uses reclaimed wood, as they are all reminiscent of nature at its finest.

Simple fabrics

The presence of nature indoors is carried further through the use of rugs, linens, covers and upholstery. The trend moves away from busy, floral patterns towards more calm fabrics with simple prints. The materials in use are jute, faux leather, animal prints, sisal, woven baskets and braided rugs. The best effect is achieved with neutral, sand-coloured furniture combined with butcher block or concrete countertops, driftwood light fixtures and faux cow or zebra hides, or sheepskin throws. These are very durable and stain-resistant materials and they make a perfect choice for chairs and rugs.

Large windows are a must as they are the best way to bring the outdoors in. It’s a design component that easily satisfies the rustic interior and modern quality demands. Traditional rustic designs were quite dark and gloomy, but a modern rustic home boasts with openness, airiness and lots of light.

Modern furniture and amenities

As we have mentioned before, this particular design style wants to get the best of both worlds: a rustic design with all the conveniences of modern living. To achieve this, incorporate all the rustic elements but keep your furniture modern, such as pieces in mid-century style. You can also browse through the internet and magazines for more inspiration, but if you are looking for some French country inspired furniture, make sure to give Rococo Decor a try.

Neutral color palette

In rustic modern homes, there are no strong and vibrant colors. Dominant tones are subdued and the color palette is neutral, so the walls are mostly white or sand-colored with the addition of natural materials like wood or stone. Such walls make a great blank canvas for you to express your creativity and add pieces that represent your personal taste.

The fireplace

Finally, don’t forget the fireplace. How can a rustic styled home be complete without the coziness of a warm and inviting fireplace? Whether you choose a style in stone with a chunky, wooden mantel or a modern wood stove, a fireplace is always an ideal addition to a rustic home and a great focal point of a family room.

By combining the natural, earthy elements of rustic style with contemporary, clean design is getting the best of both worlds. With an open floor plan, exposed natural architecture such as brick, stone and wood, and modern, mid-century furniture, you’ll have an eclectic décor that offers a warm, charming and inviting setting for your everyday life.

A long time ago I decided that I only wanted to sleep on the best. Bed sheets, pillow, mattresses – I finally bought into the idea that you spend a third of your life sleeping so you might as well do it in the best conditions possible. And then I found out there was a lot more to it than just making the decision. Just a quick read of a bed sheet guide will show you things are a bit more complicated than I assumed. But I got across it and managed to put together the best bedroom set up for me (and I started sleeping like and angel). But then I had a different problem. A first-world problem to be sure but a problem nonetheless. After shelling out so much for quality bed sheets, I didn’t really feel comfortable just getting rid of them when they started to wear through. So I got creative! Below are my tip 10 ways to re-use bed sheet when they’re no longer good for sleeping.

Picnic blankets

Why spend money on fancy picnic blankets when you basically have some already? Most bed sheets are perfect for the purpose, and all the better if they’re colourful or patterned. If the ground is a bit damp, all you need to do is fold the sheet over once or twice. Your family outing or romantic lunch is sorted without any extra hassle.

Pets

dog, pillows
Speaking of dogs, old bed sheets make excellent pet blankets. Put an old sheet in your cat or dog’s basket or favourite place to lie in the house for extra comfort. Alternatively, you can fashion a super simple dog toy by cutting a sheet into strips and then braiding these. If you don’t have pets, consider donating your old bed sheets to your local animal shelter, as they tend to need all the supplies they can get.

Cleaning

Old sheets can easily be a greener, cheaper alternative to disposable cleaning products. Use them in the garage or garden for your messy hands and shoes, turn them into rags for cleaning the floor or other surfaces, or use them to pat down your dog after an especially muddy or wet walk.

Plant protection

If you’re worried that your plants won’t withstand the chill, help them out by covering them with an old bed sheet. It will trap some of the warmth from the ground and keep out a light frost. This works especially well if you place a fitted sheet over a raised flower bed.

Kids’ forts

kid fort
Image source
Who doesn’t like building a fort? You can use old bed sheets to build a fort for an excellent time even in bad weather. Or, if you’re feeling extra creative, have a look at this bed for guide on how to make a simple, no-sew teepee for the kids. Old bed sheets… or a grand fortress?

Movie screen

What’s a better way to watch a film than on a big screen? If you want to create your own cinema-sized screen, all you need to do is hang up a sheet. This way you don’t need to worry about not having any white walls, and you can even fashion an outdoor cinema. Don’t have a projector? You can find fairly cheap second-hand ones online, or rent or borrow one from places in your area.

Shopping bag

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to refashion pillowcases into tote bags. You’ll be helping the environment, and you’ll avoid accumulating drawers full of plastic bags in your home. You’ll also save the money you would spend to buy one. And as an added bonus, you might just have the most stylish shopping bag in the store.

Clothes

pyjama bed
If you like sewing or want to learn, making old bed sheets into new clothes is a great project for you. It’s especially wonderful for beginners because you won’t be wasting any expensive material. Consider starting with something simple, like a loose summer dress or some pyjama pants, depending on what kind of bedsheets you have.

Packing material

Whether you’re moving, travelling, or storing your belongings, bubble wrap and butcher’s paper are useful, but they’re very wasteful and can be expensive. Instead, ensure the safety of your fragile objects by wrapping them up in old bed sheets. Not only are they reusable and very versatile, but they’re completely free! You can fold or crumple them to prevent things from rattling around, use them to wrap scratch-prone objects, and so much more.

Decoration

There are many cool things you can fashion out of old sheets, including crib mobiles, curtains, fabric-covered clothes hangers, embroidered wall decorations, quilts, and anything else you can think of. Stay busy, get crafty, and add some colour to your home. If this sounds like a good idea but you’re not sure you could do it, consider going to sewing or quilting classes, or just delve into the unlimited resource that is the internet.

Article by Jade Emily

Lighting is often overlooked when it comes to essential interior design elements, but it is vital to the overall ambiance of a space. In fact, lighting is just as important as furniture, wallpaper and paint. Besides helping you see and perform tasks in your home better, the type and position of the light fixture affect the colors in the room, and the fixture itself can serve as a decorative piece. While natural light still is the best choice (windows, doors, and skylights), it is still limited to one part of the day, and it is impossible for it to access every space. Fortunately, these days, it is possible to find light fixtures to fit any room, regardless of its décor and style.

Know the three types of lighting

Bedroom with different types of lighting

The trick for creating the perfect atmosphere in any room is layered lighting. Here are the three layers you need to know about:

  • General or ambient lighting is the ceiling fixture which makes up to 75% of the light in the room. In larger rooms, there is a need for several ceiling lights.
  • Task lighting helps accomplish specific tasks (e.g., reading a book or preparing food).
  • Accent lighting serves as a decorative element by enhancing certain features of the room (e.g. artwork, bookshelves, decorative trim).

Your guide to lighting: Room by room

Every room has a different ambiance and function. Therefore, every room requires different lighting solutions. The foyer is the perfect room to go grand with the lighting fixture. Install an oversized, single-light fixture or a large statement chandelier. For a small, dark space, use a full-length mirror to double the amount of light. General lighting in the living room is usually provided by a modern or a traditionally ornate chandelier, but you can also use several big pendants. Wall sconces will help you create a theatre-style atmosphere, and you can use accent lights to draw attention to artwork or bookshelves. As for task lights, you can spotlight the entertainment area with LED tape lights and place a floor/table lamp near the reading chair.

Living room lighting

Functional lighting is the key in the kitchen. A striking ceiling fixture will provide ambient light, but you will also need task lighting for specific areas (e.g. mini lights for the kitchen cabinets) and accent lights in the form of pendants above the kitchen island. The dining room lighting depends on the shape of the table. For long, rectangular tables choose multiple pendants or linear chandeliers. For round tables, go with mini chandeliers or staggered pendants. Task lights are the most important in the bathroom, and the lighting around the mirror is the most essential here – bathroom sconces and vanity lights are the best choices. Depending on the size of your bathroom, you might need more than one ambient fixture (e.g. one in the center of the room and the other above the bathtub). Bedroom lighting needs to create a relaxing atmosphere. Don’t place the general fixture above the bed to avoid glare. It would be useful to have dimmers to be able to control the light intensity. If you have a reading nook, use a table/floor lamp or a pendant to provide adequate light for reading.

Lighting fixtures as style statements

Two lights over the table

Finally, lighting fixtures need to fit into the overall style of the room. It is not the same if your home is decorated in Mid-century modern or vintage fashion. So here are the most frequent interior design approaches and fixtures that fit them best:

Arts and crafts: Fixtures made of thick and solid materials, usually of rectangular shape.
Contemporary: Clean, uncluttered lines, complete absence of ornamentation.
Country: Rough-hewn woods, heavily textured surfaces and natural forged metals.
Traditional: Elegant, gentle curves and restrained ornamentation.
Transitional: Earth-tone finishes, traditional lines, light ornaments.
Scandinavian: Simplistic, often bell-shaped pendants in neutral or metallic hues.

Oscar de la Renta said that the most important thing is “perfect lighting at all times”, and he couldn’t be more right. Take these tips and use them to create the home you deserve.