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Home decor trends winter 2012

This is a guest post provided by Eva Stephen.

Autumn is upon us once again and as the (occasionally sunny) summer gives way to the slumber of winter we prepare to bed down and snuggle up. Our clothes get thicker, we add tights and boots to our wardrobes and the trusty vitamin C sneaks into our medicine cabinet. Shorter days mean longer nights in at home as do chilly weekends, making autumn the perfect time to update our interiors and make our homes somewhere we’re happy to hibernate.

Whether you fancy a full house facelift or just want to add a few affordable updates there are a range of designs, colours and textures to choose from this season. You can join the Industrial revolution, take a trip down memory lane, get creative and crafty or perhaps go on a Fox hunt.

Key Trends 1: Industrial

The key to the Industrial look is strong angular shapes, robust wood and metallic materials and practical usability. Think vintage cinemas and disused factories, metal lockers and steel chairs. You can recreate the look with new or second hand furniture, vintage lighting and metallic accessories such as hanging lamps, book end clamps and metal letters. You can also get creative by using old signage as objects d’art. The grubbier and more beaten up the better with this look but to avoid over styling try mixing some vintage industrial pieces with either contemporary Kingstown furniture from Shop4Furniture or softer decor. Although this look works fantastically well in airy loft style apartments it will sit equally as comfortably in a 1930s semi or Victorian terrace. You can pay homage to your home by finding second hand or reproduction pieces that reflect the period it was built. If you have a new build these old pieces can be a fantastic contrast to those newly plastered walls by adding interest and depth.

  Industrial bedroom design Via Busy Door}

Key Trend 2: Retro

The swinging 60s and sexy 70’s will never be too far away when it comes to design. The space age styling of the 60’s made way for the shag piles of the 70’s and bold and bright colours spanned both decades. Today we can create a retro look by subtly merging the two. It’s not about having film set like period perfection but about capturing the essence of the era. Modern technologies in print and design mean that we can now find beautiful paisley or flock wall papers in luxurious colours and textures.

{1970’ Bedroom décor Via Caroline’s Lost and Found}

{Retro Wallpaper Via Starnet}

You can achieve the retro look by papering at least one wall in a bright and bold design. As far as furniture goes a sideboard is a sure thing and textures such as cork, hessian and of course shag pile are good additions. If you want to be a little less dramatic you can buy some charity shop crockery or modern reproductions. Coloured glass and psychedelic cushion covers can also add to the look. Allow yourself to get nostalgic with this one and choose items that you really love and that bring back great memories if you were there.

 {Nostalgic Bedroom Design Via Pinterest}

Key Trend 3: Crafty

Cost conscious times call for budget friendly design which is why the make do and mend mentality is back in Britain. Along with the post-recession mood the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee have added to the patriotic mood of the country and it is certainly very British to ‘make do’. From the up cycling of old furniture by repainting or reupholstering to the more crafty skills of cushion making, cross stitch and crocheting everyone can do something creative. You can even get the kids involved with some crafty projects. If you really can’t or don’t want to make something yourself you can always cheat and buy items that just looks like you made them. The wonderful thing about this trend is that you can create individual and one off pieces or dig out something old which tells a story and breathe new life into it.

{Crafty Bedroom design Via Pinterest}

  {Crafty Bedroom Décor by My Crafty Home Life}

Key Trend 4: Foxes

Last year was all about the Owl but it’s time for old Owly to fly away because 2012 is the year of the Fox. Foxes have been creeping quietly into our homes for a while and have really made a bold appearance this year. You can go fox crazy by having a fox print on your wallpaper or bedding or you can keep it low key with a little fox ornament or print on a plate. Don’t be surprised to see lamps, cushion covers and statues bearing the furry fox this Autumn/Winter.

{Fox Clock Via Babble}

 {Fox Cushins Via Kidsomania}

With all of these trends you can go full on with curtains, furniture and flooring or pair it down with accessories and ornaments.  Whichever trend takes your fancy and whatever your budget, just remember that you have to live in your home and your interpretation of a trend is what’s important. You don’t have to be Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen to create a beautiful interior. You can take inspiration from magazines and blogs and by pinching a few ideas here and there you’ll be able to create something special for your own home which is bang on trend.

Thanks to Melissa & Virginia for allowing me to guest post. I look forward to hopefully sharing more of my ideas with you all!

Best Wishes,

Eva Stephen

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TV Solutions & Decorating Ideas

TVs are probably the hardest design challenge when it comes to living room spaces. It’s like do you mount it over the fireplace? Hide it behind an armoire cabinet? Stuff it in the corner?! I too have had the hardest time with this. Our living room is pretty small and we have a massive TV! (I blame this on my Husband) I have gotten a couple of emails from readers asking for my ideas on how to make their TV NOT be the focal point of their entire room. So here ya go!

 Idea #1 – Frame art around your TV

{Via Lonny Mag}

AMAZING right?? I love this idea. Embrace your TV by framing art or photos around it! So simple & fun. Personalize it by choosing frame colors that go with your decor!

{Via AB Chao}

It can even be off centered & still look amazing. I love how this blends perfectly with the gallery wall.

{Via Laura Winslow Photography}

Makes such a difference don’t you think?

{Via Pinterest}

Idea #2 – Frame your TV!

{Via Apartment Therapy}

{Source unknown}

{Via FrameMyTV}

Check out Frame My TV for custom TV framing!

You could also go to the antique fair & look on Ebay or Craigslist to find frames to fit your TV

Do you like these ideas? Have you done something similar? I’m always looking for more ideas, so please share!

Xo, Melissa

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Going “green” in the kitchen {by Erik Braunitzer & Elliman Real Estate of NYC}

This is Erik Braunitzer, from Elliman Real Estate in New York City. I am very excited for the opportunity to guest post for Melissa & Virginia here at House To Home Blog.

Tips for a greener kitchen

By Erik Braunitzer, and compliments of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Company, agents for NYC Rentals.

There’s a lot of emphasis these days on going green, but one of the places it’s heard most is in the housing industry. The way we use resources in our homes as we go about our daily lives has a tremendous impact on our carbon footprint, and this is especially true in one of the most energy-heavy rooms of the house: the kitchen.

Appliances: A home’s kitchen is its heart. All too often, it’s the heart of our electrical bill, too. Kitchens are full of large, energy-sucking appliances. One of the most direct ways to reduce home energy use is by ensuring that all major appliances such as stove, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher are energy-star compliant at the very least. Exceeding those standards would be even better. For dishwashers and faucets, purchasing models that use less water or utilize low-flow technology is another key element. Look for appliances with the energy star sticker. Not only is this better for the environment, but you will save loads of money on your bill.

{via Comparance}

Lighting: A combination of natural lighting during the day and efficient lighting in the evenings add up to green savings. Compact fluorescent bulbs can be used in existing standard-sized sockets, and last up to ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Alternatively, LEDs are even more efficient, lasting up to ten times longer than CFLs. During the day, try to not flip a switch on at all, and instead use the light from windows. If existing windows are old or drafty, consider replacing them with an energy-efficient alternative. Most of a home’s heat loss occurs through its windows, so it’s important to find a balance that allows plenty of natural light without sacrificing excess energy loss.

Counters: Counter tops are the real workhorse of a kitchen, but green can still be tough. Kitchen counters can be made of recycled glass, sustainable hardwoods, renewable bamboo, or natural stone. Any of these options provides a beautiful, chemical-free alternative to the typical plastics-based counter top that may be off-gassing toxins into your home for years to come.

Reclaimed wood counter tops – beautiful & recycled{Photo via Fresh Interiors}

{via CoolCounters}

Flooring: Replacing worn vinyl with new vinyl doesn’t solve any environmental problems. Vinyl is a petroleum-based product that cannot be recycled, does not degrade, and has a limited lifespan. The production process required to create vinyl includes toxic waste as one of its main byproducts. Natural linoleum or cork flooring is comparable in price to high-end vinyl, have natural antimicrobial properties, and are both very durable. Both are renewable, and biodegradable, making them ideal for the homeowner who wants to go green. Natural tile and bamboo are other good alternatives.

Chevron reclaimed wood floors {Via Pinterest}

{Via Pinterest}

Cabinets: Remember, being green isn’t just about using non-toxic, renewable, or energy-efficient products. It’s also about keeping waste out of landfills and making the most out of your existing resources. If current kitchen cabinetry is dated but still functional and sound, a quick coat of glossy zero-VOC paint can bring them up to date. If the alternative is to rip out the kitchen and dump the cabinets in a landfill while replacing them will all-new cabinets made from recycled or sustainable materials, which option is really better for the environment? High-quality non-toxic paint is a whole lot easier on the budget, too.

Reclaimed wood cabinetry goes with any style. Whether you like rustic, modern, contemporary or a mix of a few.. you can achieve that look with reclaimed wood

{Images via Pinterest}

Remember, going green isn’t just about physical surroundings. It’s about the decisions we make every day. This includes making smart choices about water usage by taking short showers and only running full wash loads, recycling, composting, and carpooling. A few small changes tossed in with all that remodeling will make it easy to be green.

Erik is a member of the creative writing & web strategy department at PDE. Along with an experienced team of writers, he blogs mostly about interior design and issues of sustainability. For more information, feel free to contact Erik directly.

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Now is the perfect time to sell {Easy tips to get your house ready for the market}

Spring is here and with it brings lots of home buyers looking to purchase! If you have been considering selling your home, Spring time is by far the best time to do so.

{We have compiled a list of tips for preparing your home to be sold}

Your goal with this first and foremost is to make sure your home is clean, bright and comfortable.
Keyword clean. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your
home. You don’t need to go crazy fixing up your house, but in order to get top dollar,  make sure these key things are complete:

  • Clean carpets & remove stains and/or replace flooring if necessary.
  • Clean windows, doors (finger prints), keep kitchen clean; remove all food products, cookware, etc from counter tops.
  • De-clutter the home. Get rid of the knick-knacks.

  • Pretend you are a potential buyer. Clean up and repair everything that would turn you off.
  • If your home will be vacant consider having it staged. This helps the buyer see what the house looks like with furniture.Also; depending on the home’s condition can help the house look more appealing! When a house is completely bare, it tends to show every little flaw.
  •  Clean bathrooms; get rid of mildew and mold, toilet bowl rings and remove personal hygiene products. Bathrooms and kitchens are top sellers, so get them in the best condition possible. Nobody wants to see your tooth brush and toothbrush sitting on the vanity! Also, consider buying white hand towels, new bathmats & shower curtain – white suggests clean.
  •  A small vase with pretty flowers wouldn’t hurt either. Just sayin!

  • If necessary, remove pieces of furniture to make a room feel bigger.

If you have dark or bright colored paint on your walls, we suggest you paint
them a neutral light color.Wild colors don’t really appeal to buyers. Neutral sells.

  • Handle all minor repairs around the house. Examples: fix faulty electrical wires, replace lose tiles in the bathroom, replace cracked electric plates,replace light switch plates, fix leaky faucet, repair sprinklers, re-calk shower.

Click here to view our Handpicked Home Vendors list for reputable tradesman – plumbers,house cleaner, electricians, painters & more

  • Install Carbon Monoxide detector – mandatory & the law as of July 2011
  • Install fire alarms in the home or make sure current ones are in working order.
  • Mow the lawn, paint front door, straighten up front porch & plant some pretty flowers (flowers optional). It’s always helps the home sell when it has curb appeal, so do what you can.

We hope this helps! Contact us today for a free, no obligation market analysis of your home.

Any other questions, feel free to email, call or text us anytime.
Direct – 408.921.3601
RemaxAdler@gmail.com

Happy Friday & enjoy your weekend!

Xo, Virginia & Melissa

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