Written on March 8, 2013 at 9:30 am , by Karman Hotchkiss
Do you remember the story of about the cobbler’s children? They had the worst shoes in town because their father the shoemaker was too busy to make anything for his own family. A couple of months ago, I realized that my family is like that—except with our house instead of our shoes.
My husband and I both work in the home improvement industry. (He’s an architect specializing in residential remodels, and I edit shelter magazines.) Yet, our house had become a poster child for “10 Signs You’re Ready for a Home Makeover.”
Here’s a list that may help you spot those places in your house that you’ve become immune to, but that are crying for a refresh!
- You haven’t painted since you moved in. If you signed the paperwork on this place more than 5 years ago, your walls are due for a refresh.
Solution: Give neutral gray a try—or one of the new fresh minty hues.
- You are using a Sharpie marker to color in the bare spots on your dining room rug.
Solution: Try a rug with a contemporary twist, even if the rest of your house is a tad traditional. I dig this brown geometric rug from Hayneedle.
- Your bathroom mirror covers most of the wall above your sink.
Solution: Swap it out for a more contemporary version in a frame, like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond. Or, add a frame from Mirror Mate around your existing mirror.
- Your shower curtain has been deemed a science experiment for mold growth patterns.
Solution: Just buy a new one—finally. Fun to try: Ringo from Target or the Birdcage from Urban Outfitters.
- Shiny brass accessories. Gold finishes are coming back, but your hardware from the ’80s will still look dated.
Solution: Replace your cabinet handles and doorknobs; it only takes a screwdriver. These examples are from Amerock.
- Your toilet is a water hog. If it has been ten years or more since you’ve replaced yours, it’s probably using too much water.
Solution: New models use way less water.
- You’ve had the same living room lamp since before “American Idol” debuted.
Solution: Shop for something colorful and shapely, like this beauty from Kichler.
- There’s a wallpaper border featuring apples or sailboats anywhere in your house.
Solution: Ditch it, then consider a geometric print (like these from Target) on an accent wall or inside a bookcase.
- Your furniture has been in the same place for so long it may have grown roots.
Solution: Try swapping pieces from room to room. Could that living room chair work in your office? What if the bedroom rug moved to the family room?
- In your bedroom, the only thing more tired than you is your comforter.
Solution: Hit the clearance shelf and find something that will put a smile on your face as you fall asleep, like this fresh set from Horchow.
What spaces in your home are in need of a makeover? I hope these tips have inspired you to mix things up this weekend.
-Karman Hotchkiss, Deputy Content Core Director
Written on January 25, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi everyone, Karman Hotchkiss, here! About a month ago, I was replacing a lightbulb in myback hallway at home. For the first time in about a decade, I really looked at the sconce I was putting the bulb into. And I thought, ‘”That’s the ugliest light fixture I’ve ever seen!” I instantly realized it was (past) time for a little lighting update.
The good news: There are more cool, trendy, interesting light fixtures than ever before. And replacing one requires only minimal DIY skills. In my research for that replacement sconce, I looked at tons of new fixtures and compiled this list of 5 hot trends in lighting.
If you’re ready to shed a little new light (har-har) on your fixtures, here are 5 trends to think about:
1. Colorful. Lights shouldn’t have to blend into the background. Use one to add a punch of color, with the shade or with the fixture itself.
2. Overscale. Pick a light that’s big. Really big.
3. Industrial/scientific. Exposed bulbs, “cage” designs, raw materials … They all evoke the sense that you just snagged your light from a warehouse or laboratory.
4. Organic. Shapes and materials inspired by nature are sure to add a layer of texture to your decor.
5. Beads and baubles. Crystals are nothing new to light fixtures. But the latest incarnation uses strings of beads or individual bubble-like balls.
Which of these ideas would work best in your home? Find a trend (or two!) you like and update a fixture today.
Written on January 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
You’ve seen them. Etageres, those amazingly organized and decorated shelving units, are showing up everywhere. Whether it’s in the pages of your favorite magazine, on a DIY/decor blog, or even on Pinterest, the etagere is quickly becoming a must-have piece of furniture.
While the word, etagere may sound fancy, it’s basically a series of open shelves to store and hold your beautiful belongings and treasures. Maybe you need a place to store your beloved books in your office or your special serveware in your dining room, an etagere can be perfect for any space. Not only does an etagere offer additional storage, when decorated, it can make a lovely, unique, and interesting statement in your home.
Wanting to add an etagere to my nest, I searched Shop BHG and found some that I thought you’d also want to see. Whether you like traditional or modern, one of these pieces will certainly work to create a delightful display in one of your spaces.
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm
Written on January 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm , by Joni Lay
I’m so excited the Downton Abbey season has restarted, and it makes Sunday nights extra delicious. I love soaking in all the details, from the decor to the fashion to the dialogue. I’m particularly fond of Cora Grantham’s bedroom, with that calming shade of blue, and the moody paintings hung in gilded frames. Here is a photo of the room from Highclere Castle, although the room really appears to have more depth and character on the show (source):If you are loving the look, here is some inspiration for a Downton nursery, if there were to be a baby Grantham (or maybe a baby Crawley?):Sources, from left to right: (1) Petite Chandelier; (2) Gilt Wall Crown; (3) Beagles; (4) Brass Buffet Lamp; (5) Thomas on Saucebox; (6) Brass Candle Sconces; (7) Little Girl Silhouette; (8) Arundel Castle; (9) Grace Crib in Walnut; (10) Boats Racing; (11) Monogrammed Pillows; (12) Wardrobe; (13) Aynhoe Park; (14) Louis XVI Chair; (15) Fox Race; (16) Velvet Storage Ottoman; (17) Turquoise Overdyed Rug; (18) Tess Crib Bedding; (19) French Tassel Curtain Panels
Hope you enjoy! ~Joni, Lay Baby Lay
Written on January 10, 2013 at 3:30 am , by Chelsey Andrews
Hello and a Happy New Year to all of you. I’m in full clean up and organize mode over here. Finishing up projects I have put off and making my home more comfy. First project of the year: the Hidden Alarm Panel. Yeah, that ugly thing I see each and EVERY time I walk into my home. While my husband really doesn’t ever notice it (as he told me), I always do. A few months ago I found a great idea to cover up this eyesore. I found it on the blog, The Third Boob. I’ve done things a bit differently than they did. My canvas print backing was made of cardboard, and their backing was made of wood. I used Command Strips to attach the hinges to mine, since the screws probably would hold too well (so if your canvas has a wood backing, use the screws instead of the strips).
- Two small flat hinges
- A canvas print
- Optional: Velcro to hold the open side down.
- Using the command strips, attach the hinges to the canvas (following the Command Strip instructions).
- Place another Command Strip on the wall side of each hinge.
- Adhere the hinges to the wall. This can be a bit tricky getting things level, maybe a second set of hands would help?
- Optional: Since our canvas is right at the entrance, it kept swinging open when we opened our door. To fix this issue I added another set of Command strips to the backing of some light velcro. I placed it on the back of the canvas and on the wall. Problem solved!
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
A little side note: even though I’d love to cover my ugly thermostat, this would not be a good thing to do. The thermostat needs to read the temperature in the room, and can’t do that if covered.
Written on November 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm , by Joni Lay
Recently, I received a request from a mom who wants her toddler daughter to share a room with her baby brother on the way. She wanted to use her daughter’s red Pottery Barn play kitchen as a starting point, so here is a palette suitable for both. It’s lovely on the light blue, but would also work well on a white or neutral shade of wall. This pretty red also has me thinking about the holidays . . . Sources, from top left: (1) Pink & red Print; (2) Flow Print; (3) White Pendant Light; (4) Say the Word; (5) Matchbox Collection; (6) Red Print; (7) Monarch Bed; (8) White Table Lamp; (9) Wonder, Explore, Play; (10) Radio Flyer; (11) Pedestal Table; (12) Ebony Jenny Lind Crib; (13) Red Triangle Pillows; (14) Red Ombre Dresser; (15) Retro Rocker; (16) Gray Dot Rug; (17) Flags Pillow; (18) A Little Peacock; (19) Red Retro Play Kitchen
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! ~Joni, Lay Baby Lay