The Beautiful Exchange

Decorating 101- Overcoming the Hurdles

January 24, 2017

We've all looked through magazines and gushed over the impeccable homes and thought to ourselves "I wish my home looked like that." For some reason the reality of us having a beautifully designed home is a dream waiting to be crushed or something reserved only for the rich and famous. Well, I have some exciting news for you- you too can have a magazine-worthy home!

Before I give you some tips on how to make your home spectacular, I want to first encourage you to get rid of any and all mental hinderances. Here is a short list of common reasons why you may be apprehensive to take the decorating plunge followed by my reasons of why your reasons aren't valid :) Hahahahaha

1. It's just so much that needs to be done, I don't know where to start- Rome wasn't built in a day so neither will your home. Focus on one room at a time.  Ask yourself, what room can I not stand looking at in its current condition any longer- then start there.

2. I don't know what I'm doing- Sure you do! You just have to let your creativity shine through. Start by asking yourself what your room  needs. Paint? Furniture? Window treatments? Once you figure that out, start shopping (and who doesn't like shopping?)

3. I don't have any money- If by "any"  you mean absolutely no money, then ok. Wait a few weeks and save up a little. But if you're like most people and you actually mean I don't have a lot of money, then there's hope. Making your space look beautiful doesn't have to cost a lot. For example, when I redecorated my living room before we had our first child, we couldn't afford new couches. So I went to our local fabric store, got 16 yards of fabric, and reupholstered the ugly couches we already had. At $1 per yard, it looked like we got a new couch and love seat set- except it was under $20!!

4. My rooms/home isn't big- Ok, you may not have a mansion or even a big house. But don't let that stop you. Sometimes great things come in small packages. AAAAAAND there are things you can do to make your spaces appear bigger (I'll do a post on that later). For now, let's look on the bright side.  A small room means the less you'll have to spend on furnishings and accents. Then you can use that extra cash to buy some new shoes (or be responsible and put it towards your next room project). So even if your space is like a litte hole in the wall, you can make that hole look fabulous.

So there you have it- no more excuses. Ready to get started?  You got this!

Decorating 101- The Basics

February 1, 2017

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going good so far. I have some exciting tips to get you through the midweek hump that I really hope helps you. Last week we chatted about some of the hurdles that may prevent or discourage you from starting on your home decor projects. BUUUUT, as you recall, I totally crushed your excuses. :) So, today we're going to jump right in to some of the ways you can make your space beautiful. Keep in mind, this is a broad (surfacy if you will) list. I plan to focus in on specific rooms and scenarios in the coming months. So stay tuned for that... Ok, let's get started

Walls- If we compare decorating a room to making a cake, deciding what you want to do with the walls is like deciding what kind of cake you will have- chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake, red velvet (I looooove red velvet), etc. The walls are like the base of the project. And like cake flavors, there are so many choices. Paint, wall paper, textured, fabric (yes FABRIC!). Then there's the decision of colors! There are literally thousands of colors to choose from. Don't stress, though. This process should be fun. Paint is probably the least expensive. So if you're tight on money, this is a good choice. But, don't think you only have to do solid colors. You can get a cheap stencil and make a pattern! If you have a little more dough (no pun intended), you can get fabric or wallpaper. And don't get it twisted. We're not talking about old lady looking wallpaper. Wallpaper now-a-days is actually really nice. My advice is to go to a store that specializes in wallpaper for all the latest styles.

Furniture- Ok. So, to continue with our little analogy, I'd say the furniture is like the sugar- you MUST have sugar in a cake! Even if it's just a little. In the same way, a room HAS to have furniture or else it'll just seem empty, like something is missing. Now of course depending on the room, the furniture choices will vary. Focus on what's NEEDED first. So, for example a bedroom needs a bed. A dining room needs a dining set. So what do you need for your room? After you get the needs out of the way, then get the wants. A dining room doesn't need a China cabinet but it's nice to have! Just a word of advice, when choosing your furniture, scale it accordingly. Bulky furniture in a small room is a visual disaster- I'm just saying.

Window treatments- Hmmm, what can I compare them to?....ICING! Yes! You don't neeeeed curtains but then again you do. Just like a cake with icing. You feel me? Curtains just add a extra something special to the room. You can do something simple like a white sheer or go with something more dramatic like a luxurious red upholstery fabric window treatment. Then, there are so many types of blinds and shades. Seriously, do yourself a favor and don't skip this part. The windows can make a huge statement in your project. So do some research and get shopping! Oh, and if the prices scare you, there are many diy treatments you can do for a fraction of the cost of what a pro would charge.

Accessories- My absolute favorite part of a room! This comparison is easy. The accessories are like the decor of a cake- sprinkles, fondant flowers, glitter, ribbon,... you get the idea. This is where your creativity and personality really gets to shine through. How can you add that extra "umph"? Wall art, accent chairs, fresh (or artificial) flowers, mirrors, fancy clocks, area rugs, shelves.... You could really get carried away on this part but the key is making sure everything is cohesive. You don't just want to throw accessories together and hope that it all gels. No, take your time with this. Think about where the room could use some "sprinkles", and place carefully and thoughtfully.

I really hope this has encouraged you to take on your decorating projects. Please feel free to inbox me with any questions. And if decorating is not your thing but you desperately need it, I am always available for hire. Contact me anytime on the contact page or at [email protected] Have a fabulous week!

16 Decor Elements under $30

February 9, 2017

Have you ever walked through your home and thought "this room needs something."? Maybe not an entire renovation but just a little something. Well today, I'm going to give you a short list of things you can do to spruce up your room and all are just $30 or less!

Flowers- There is nothing like a beautiful, colorful, vibrant bouquet of flowers. Not only do they smell yummy, they bring LIFE into your home. I love going to the local Produce Junction and getting a dozen roses or flower mixture for $6. If you want to splurge a little, visit your local Whole Foods or florist. These are great in any room.

Wall Mirror- You can go big or get a wall full of small ones. Either way, wall mirrors are a great enhancement to any room. They aso make your room look bigger! We have 3 small square white mirrors to coordinate with our daughters crib and dresser that we got from target for $6 each. Family Dollar has big wall mirrors in black , bronze, and brown for $25. You can always paint the frame to coordinate with your decor.

Plants- Like flowers, plants bring LIFE into your home. One of my new favorite places for plants- bathrooms. The greenery brings such a sense of serenity to the place where you get refreshed.

Wall art- buy it or diy it. This is a great option to be creative. You can buy cheap canvas from Michaels or AC Moore and create an abstract piece with acrylic paint. If you want to buy it, one of my favorite places for wall art is Burlington Coat Factory. They have so many styles and great prices. You can even find a big piece for $20-$30 or less!

Accent Chair- Ok. So this option takes a little work. You can go to almost any thrift store, get a chair for $10-15, get a half yard of your favorite fabric for $5 and paint the wood part of the chair with acrylic paint for $3. This was is a great option for almost any room. And if you find a cheap chair set, you can furnish your dining room with new chairs!

Bookcase- This option can make a huge impact in a room. You can pick up a very inexpensive bookcase from Wal-Mart for just under $30 and add some books or accessories that you already have laying around! Of course, you can also paint it if you have some extra paint on hand.

Shelf- If you want something smaller than a bookcase, you can opt for a bookshelf. Accessorize with books, family pictures and other decor accessories.

Lamp- Lighting can change the atmosphere of a room. It can add warmth to an otherwise cold environment. Chose a stylish table or floor lamp to enhance your space.

Throw pillows- This is one of my FAVORITE accessories ever! There are so many different colors and patterns that can make a room pop! You can make these (I'll do a post on that) or buy for about $10-15 per set of two.

Area rugs- I'm just getting into these because I'm realizing how they give rooms an extra dimension. Bare floors and rugs get an extra layer of character with area rugs. They can also draw your eye into whatever they are near (i.e. a bed or dresser).

Comforter- If a rug draws your eye to a bed, we should make sure the bed is beautiful. We all know that if s bed looks beautiful, a bedroom looks beautiful. How about sprucing your room up with a new comforter? You may not be able to get a whole comforter set for $30, but you can definitely find a nice comforter or duvet cover. Try Amazon! They have a great selection.

Curtains- I love me some vibrant curtains. But sometimes a sheer white or neutral can make just as much a statement. Or you can do a mixture of the two! Either way you go, it is sure to make a great impact in you room. Curtains can also make your room look bigger if you place them right!

Table centerpiece- Of course, I'm thinking of a kitchen or dining room when I list this one. And for good reason. Centerpieces can be the star of the room. And I just have one word- HOMEGOODS. The have gor-ge-ous decorative bowls, and vases and candle sets and pretty much anything and everything to make a great centerpiece. And their prices are amazing!

Paint- There is almost nothing as cost efficient and yet so effective as paint. For about $25-30 you can paint a room up to 400 square feet. So grab a friend or two and get busy!

Accent wall- With paint, decals, fabric, or any number of things, you can create  an eye catching wall that is purposely different from the others in the room. Most times, people will make an accent wall a darker color than the others but feel free to be different. You can do a lighter accent wall or a wall with a pattern.

Candles- Ahh. Who doesn't like candles? Not only do they smell great but with the designs on the market today, they are functional AND visually attractive. They can go in absolutely every room and for just a few bucks, your budget will thank you.

So there you have it. Feel free to experiment with these items. AND if you're really feeling frugal you can move things around. For example, you can buy a rug for one room, have it there for 6 months then move it to another room! If you have any great ideas that I may have missed, let me know...