Whether you’ve just moved or are looking for a quick, little home pick-me-up, or perhaps something more significant, there are some well-known interior design tricks that designers employ that you too can easily do with minimal effort and cost. Sometimes the smallest things make the greatest impact. It could be the addition of a mirror, a painting, a lamp or even a plant. Maybe you want to soften your walls, brighten a room, or add some warmth to your living space. Take a look at these clever design tips and see how they can inspire you!
1. Paint smaller rooms in softer, lighter colors to help make the room feel larger.
The living room above is a great example of how to maximize a small living space. A room of this size has the tendency to seem cramped, but the large windows, light colored walls and ample use of mirrors not only reflect the natural light pouring in from the doors and the windows but the use of mirrors also gives the optical illusion of space, making the room seem larger than it actually is. Conversely, darker colors will make a room feel smaller. Even with the abundance of natural light and the strategic placement of the mirrors, this room in a darker shade would have a more boxed-in feel to it.
2. Use decorative mirrors to add instant light to your living space.
As seen above, mirrors can also be used to make a small space feel larger. For larger rooms, or any room with a more limited amount of natural light, mirrors placed directly across from the windows, will add instant light. Decorative mirrors can also be used in lieu of art to fill empty wall space. Large or small, mirrors add light and dimension to your living space.
3. Mix it up. Mix up patterns and textures. Mix up old and new, expensive and inexpensive.
There’s nothing wrong with placing family heirlooms alongside your modern couch. All good interior decorators will tell you that the most important aspect to decorating your home is that it reflects who you are, your personality and your style. The antique Chippendale desk that was your grandfather’s tells a story. It tells the story of your past. The modern couch you fell in love with and simply had to purchase also tells a story, your present story, and there is no reason why the present and past can’t co-exist beautifully together. The same can be said for art. Now you might not want to place a painting by Salvador Dali on the same wall next to a Monet, but there’s no reason why they can’t be in the same room together. With fabrics whether it be furniture, rugs or pillows, varied colors and patterns can bring warmth and texture into your living space.
4. Slip into something a little more comfortable!
Slip covers often get a bad rap but they are truly wonderful things. They can serve as a means of changing your furniture’s look to reflect the seasons. These easily removed coverings allow you to have a sophisticated look without constantly worrying about people dirtying or spilling on your furniture. Slip covers are ideal for rooms used frequently by children. Above the white slip-covered couches gives the air of a casual, comfortable, easy yet sophisticated elegance.
5. Wicker baskets
Wicker baskets are an economical and elegant way to add storage to any room. Baskets can be used to store and display books, architectural and decor magazines, toys, towels and blankets to name a few. Place a couple of small wicker baskets on the counter-tops in your kitchen to beautifully display and store your fruit and vegetables.
We all have items in our possession, probably packed up in boxes somewhere and haven’t given them a second glance. Your home needs some accessories. Instead of running to the store, take a good look at what you already have. Trays, wooden, acrylic, metal or silver can be placed on top of luggage racks, tea carts, trunks, bedside tables and coffee tables for extra texture and dimension. Arrange candles on them, frames or pile books on top of them. Plates can be hung to create wonderful wall art. Art from children’s books can be framed and hung in nurseries, children’s rooms or their bathrooms. You will be amazed at what you can do with what you already have!
7. Add a hanging pot holder to your kitchen.
Kitchens are meant to be warm and inviting. We spend much of our time in them whether it be for preparing meals, serving meals or entertaining. A hanging pot rack is useful elegance. Kitchens are meant to feel as though they are in constant use and a hanging pot rack certainly makes one feel this way. In addition to looking so wonderful, (there are many sizes and styles available) additional cupboard space below is now freed up to store other items. Seldom has anyone complained of having too much storage.
8. Go green.
Add plants to your living space. Add them to every room, small or large, few or many. Plants are an inexpensive means to accessorizing your space and adding color and texture. Not only are plants beautiful but many can clean household air and balance humidity. They can absorb pollutants and remove harmful gases from the air. No home should be without these wonderful greens!
9. Paint or wallpaper your bookcases.
This instant pop of color will brighten and re-energize any room! It’s amazing how something so simple as a coat of colorful paint can instantly energize and transform your space. This built-in bookcase would be simple and ordinary without the bright blue interior. Perhaps the simplest and most inexpensive way to transform a boring space is to apply a coat of paint somewhere unexpected. Bookcases are an ideal place to start because you don’t need to paint a large area. Other fun places to add a pop of color include painting fireplace mantels, the insides of closets, hallways and ceilings.
10. Use area rugs to soften hardwood floors.
Throw rugs give warmth and can add great texture, color and personality to your living space. Hardwood floors are beautiful and easy to maintain but they lack the comfort that carpeted floors offer, especially in the cooler months. Area rugs can add fun and functionality to your living space. Use several of varying patterns and fabrics together to showcase your character. Or add several rugs of the same pattern and fabric, or different textures but the same color. The possibilities are endless. You can change your area rugs to reflect the seasons using warmer tones and fabrics for cooler months and lighter ones for the warmer days of the year. There are many lovely cotton, washable area rugs which are ideal for those homes with children. There really is no reason why a home with young children cannot also be a stylish one.
What inspired you? Personally, I’m just mad about these animal hide rugs that seem to be all the rage lately. The question is, do I go for the cow or the zebra? Or both, and just say that I live in a barn!
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Olga Oreshyna is one of the few people that managed to transform her passion into a way of life. Our hero of the day defines herself as a Canadian emerging Artist who is deeply passionate about woodworking. Her works consist of giving a second life to abandoned pieces of wood. The result? Original decorative panels, perfectly fit for modern interiors with a personality. Enjoy Olga’s success story and tell us if you love her environmental-friendly work as much as we do:
Tell us about how you became interested in woodworking.
- It happened when we were choosing a design for our living room wall. Stone seem to be too heavy and cold, plastic seem to be too soulless and wood seem to be cozy and warm! It took us about two months to make the mosaic on the entire wall, after which I realize I could not stop! The wood magic took over me!
What is your main line of work and how much time do you dedicate to your woodworking passion?
- At the moment my art is my main line of work, I spend the entire working day making my panels including some weekends as well. Preparation of wood (sorting, drying, cleaning, and cutting) takes up most of the time. Moreover, because my panels participate in a lot of galleries, the installation and opening nights take up a lot of my evenings as well.
Where do you get your materials?
- Many granite & marble companies use rare kinds of hardwood to transport their expensive products in. After they dispose of hardwood that served its purpose, I pick it up for my use! My trips to industrial sites around Greater Toronto Area are quite often because I need a lot of different hardwood pieces for my mosaics.
What do you feel when you are working with wood?
- I feel the energy that was accumulated in trees throughout hundreds of years, by the sun, water and soil.
What other passions did you have along the way, and how is this one different?
- At some point in my life I was very passionate about painting and landscaping, but nothing gave me the same satisfaction as from my panels right now. I found myself in what I do, and I enjoy creating each and every day.
Not many people manage to transform their passions into money-making activities. How did you start selling your work?
- My starting point was to go to all my favorite interior decor stores in Toronto and introduce my work to the owners. I met a lot of great people and got a really good feedback, which boosted my ambition to continue my work.
How do you promote yourself?
- I am very active in applying for exhibits at private galleries, art shows, juried competitions, grants, festivals, fundraisers, you name it! You can find the detailed list on my website, under the Exhibitions & Awards for more information.
What is your target audience?
- My target audience is: 1) environmentally aware and try to make sustainable choices & 2) people who appreciate unique art
How do your customers react to your art works?
- One of my favorite things about this industry is to observe people’s reactions to my work! The facial expressions, the comments are way more important to me than monetary compensation. Being appreciated is one of the greatest feelings in the world!
What do you think is the general secret of converting a good idea into reality? What was yours?
- Believe in yourself always gets the job done! And that’s exactly what I did.
Do you have any advice for all the Freshome readers out there reading this interview?
- Be passionate about what you love and treat nature with respect!
You’re reading How to Transform Your Strongest Passion Into a Way of Living with Olga Oreshyna originally posted on Freshome. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Freshome on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
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These iPhone application magnets are a crazy and highly original way to keep your fridge in touch with technology. They were created by a firm called Jailbreak Toys who is selling them online for $12,99. Now the pack comes with 18 Apple applications, but it is up to the user to choose the ones he or she likes the most and unconventionally remodel the fridge. We can’t help but notice just how popular the iPod, iPad and iPhone are and how many unusual designs they have inspired since their launch. Some of these unusual creations we already presented on Freshome (iCushion, the iPod Touch Themed Bedding and the Handmade Wooden iPhone Docks) and they had a large impact on our readers. What do you think of these application magnets?
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With Epic 4G styling, a front-facing camera and a $150 post-rebate price, it’s easy to mistake the Samsung Transform for a high-end phone. Don’t. The reality is that it’s a evolution of Samsung’s mid-range Moment and Intercept more than anything else — you’re paying an additional $50 here to get a front-facing camera, an LED flash and a few welcome tweaks, but the same ho-hum performance plus a few new annoyances to boot. Where does it improve and where does it fail? Find out in our full review.
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