Transitioning from Summer to Fall Décor

Summer is officially coming to a close, and with that comes getting those back-to-school backpacks from out of the attic, pulling out your sweaters from storage and switching your flip flops for a sturdy pair of boots. Just like your wardrobe, accessories and routine changes from summer to fall, so to should your home décor! We’ve asked the experts in the home design industry, and these are their quick tips to transition your home décor to the new season.

Feel the Foliage

While summer décor includes fresh or artificial sprays and bouquets, autumn inspires seasonally themed foliage, such as birch branches, pinecones and fallen leaves. Kendal Perez from CouponSherpa says you can raid your garden to collect wheat-like reeds for your favorite vase, or you can use pinecones, pumpkins and gourds as the perfect accessory for a tabletop display. For those of you who either do not like having plant life in their homes or want to add something to the outside of your home as well, Amy Bell from Red Chair Home Interiors suggests hanging a front door wreath featuring fall colors.

Fall leaves + A complimentary vase set = Effortless fall-inspired accessorizing!  As seen on BHG.

Fall leaves + A complimentary vase set = Effortless fall-inspired accessorizing! As seen on BHG.

Let There Be Light

With the onset of cooler weather, having sufficient light in your home is especially important to keep your home feeling warm and cozy. According to Charlotte Collins from Fabulous Candles London, a strategically placed floor lamp will not only make you feel more awake as it starts getting darker earlier, but also “make the room feel bigger and more alive”.

Many of our experts also emphasized candles as a great way to bring warm light into your home. This is a great way to lighten up your home without spending extra money on electricity (since most of it will go towards heating your home in the coming months), plus there are many fall-inspired scented candles to choose from, such as cinnamon and vanilla. This way, your home can look and smell like the fresh fall season. Just make sure to be careful for fire hazards!

If you're nervous about putting candles all over your home, soft candles paired with acorns is a great fall-themed dining table decoration.  As seen on Pinterest.

If you’re nervous about putting candles all over your home, soft candles paired with acorns is a great fall-themed dining table decoration. As seen on Pinterest.

Change Your Color Scheme

While summer colors are generally brighter and lighter, fall colors are deeper hues with rich tones, such as deep wine, mocha, orange, navy blue and hunter green. Incorporating these colors into your furniture will give your home a seasonal shift, whether through changing your throw pillows or by changing the placemats and cloth napkins in your kitchen. Anna Dougherty of The Patio says you can even incorporate these seasonal colors into your exteriors by changing your outdoor cushion fabric color. This will allow you to use your outdoor furniture for just a little bit longer in the fall, plus these colors also look great and will complement your interiors.

This navy patio conversation set will easily transition your outdoor decor from summer to fall.

This navy patio conversation set will easily transition your outdoor decor from summer to fall.

Layer with Fall-Inspired Textures

While layering and balancing a space with texture is essential during any time of year, there are many simple ways to get creative with texture during the fall. You can throw a fuzzy throw blanket onto your couch for you to curl up in while binge-watching Netflix, or add wooden picture frames to bring new life to your memories and create more of a dream-log-cabin-in-the-woods ambiance. Want to try something new this season? “The sexy seventies velvet is coming back,” says Robin Baron of Robin Baron Design. Adding purple velvet to your living room or bedroom will give you more reason to sit on your couch with hot chocolate during those chilly days, as well as let you rest in your home like royalty.

Does this delicious throw blanket scream "fall" or what?

Does this delicious throw blanket scream “fall” or what?

How to Maintain Your Wooden Dining Room Table

Dining tables come in a wide range of styles and materials, from glass to classic oak or metal. No matter the style, the dining table serves as the focal point of your dining room, and should be cared for properly to last you for the foreseeable future. Lucky for all of you with wooden dining tables, there are easy ways to keep your table in great condition so you and your family can use it for many years and special occasions to come.

Beware of Heat and Sunlight

Wooden furniture does not mix well with heat or sunlight. When overexposed to heat, the wood can warp or splinter, and sunlight can penetrate the wood and change its color. After an extended period of sun exposure, sunlight can even cause the wood to crack and appear scaly. Plus, let’s not forget that placing your wooden dining table too closely to heat sources such as fireplaces can pose a real and dangerous fire hazard.

Regarding heat, it is usually pretty easy to keep a safe distance between your wooden table and the heat sources in your home, such as a radiator or a fireplace. As for preventing overexposure to sunlight, draw the curtains to prevent sunlight from directly coming in contact with the table or cover your table with a tablecloth during the day.

By drawing the curtains on the nearby windows, this dining set will keep its pearly white glow!

By drawing the curtains on the nearby windows, this dining set will keep its pearly white glow!

Dust Frequently

Everyone has dust in their home, but too many dust particles can actually scratch the surface of your wooden table. Make sure to dust your table at least once a week to prevent dust buildup with a lint-free cloth. Using chemical cleaners such as Pledge or other dust polishes will actually cause permanent damage to your wood, so stick to dusting with just the cloth. The cloth can be anything from a washcloth to an old t-shirt, and even a cotton diaper for all of the new parents out there!

Even with a darker wood, keep your dining room table dust-free will save it from a lot of future damage.

Even with a darker wood, keep your dining room table dust-free will save it from a lot of future damage.

Mayonnaise is Your New Best Friend

Yes, you read correctly: mayonnaise! Turns out, mayonnaise is the perfect substance to get water marks out of your wooden tables when guests forget to put their cold drinks on coasters. Just wipe a small amount of it onto the mark with a paper towel, and then remove with a damp cloth or towel. Now when you stock your refrigerator with mayonnaise, you will have a delicious condiment as well as a handy cleaning tool. Go figure.

Keep it Shiny

Polishing your table with a hard, carnauba wax twice a year will make a huge difference in maintaining its quality and shine. While this is less of a simple tip (applying the wax and then polishing can take some effort), it is a worthwhile maintenance tip that you do not need to do so often. Again, make sure to not use corrosive or harsh chemicals when cleaning or polishing your table, as this will cause long-term damage.

With the shine on this drop-leaf dining set, you can almost see your reflection when you sit down to eat!

With the shine on this drop-leaf dining set, you can almost see your reflection when you sit down to eat!

Stain or Paint a Table That Seems beyond Repair

If you have already owned your wooden dining table for many years, there are things you can do in order to make it look as good as new. Staining the table will show off the wooden grain that may have faded over the years, or you can even use a new coat of paint to give that table a fresh face. Revamping your dining room table can be a fun weekend DIY project, and everyone in your family will enjoy the new upgrade to their favorite room in the house!

Playroom Décor That the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Thinking back to the many playrooms I have seen over the years, there are a few common features that come to mind: a hodgepodge of toys everywhere, drawers filled with playing cards and coloring books and usually a ping pong or foosball table. While many of these features bring back very fond memories from my childhood, as an adult I understand the desire to design a playroom that the whole family can use together. Here are some décor ideas for a playroom that is kid-friendly, but also caters to the entire family and complements the rest of the home’s interior design.

1. Keep Things Organized

Any parent’s nightmare would be to come home after a long day of work to find toys strewn all over the floor that you are expected to clean up later that night. Make sure you have room in your playroom for the kids to put their things away so that the room doesn’t turn into the aftermath of a tornado. You can incorporate bright colors into your playroom with a fun storage unit with multi-colored drawers, or optimize space with a strategically placed bookcase to store fun books as well as games. If your playroom is part of the living room, a smart idea to organize the space would be to put the kids’ things in lower drawers while keeping more fragile or grown-up related things higher up and out of harm’s way.

This playroom has ample storage space for all of your organization needs.  As seen on Brit+Co.

This playroom has ample storage space for all of your organization needs. As seen on Brit+Co.

2. Give Space for Creativity

Kids need space to express themselves, and the playroom or play area is a good place for them to do just that. Paint a wall with chalkboard paint for your kids to decorate the wall anytime they like, or turn it into a gallery wall for them to display the art projects they make at school or at home. To make these additions fun for the whole family, you can use stylish frames on your gallery wall to display your kids projects or make decorating the chalkboard a fun family night activity. Also, make sure to keep a kid-friendly table and chair set at the ready for your kids to embark on their next artistic adventure. The best part is this table and chair can double as a kid’s dining room table when you have a lot of guests!

Not only is this table and chair set great for art projects, but it works for tea parties and other kid-friendly games too!

Not only is this table and chair set great for art projects, but it works for tea parties and other kid-friendly games too!

3. Add Unique Design Touches

While you may want to keep the rest of your home more traditionally decorated, the playroom is the one room in the house where you can be more stylistically adventurous. Want somewhere for the kids to lounge that isn’t their beds? You can hang a hammock in the corner of the playroom as a unique reading and napping nook, or line the floor with comfy bean bag chairs and plush throw blankets for optimal comfort. Pitch a tent for your kids to have the ultimate hideaway at any time of day, or add that fun accent chair that you have seen on Pinterest but can’t figure out how to incorporate it in the more central rooms in your home. There are so many opportunities for you to let your creativity run wild, and your kids will appreciate just how special and decorated you made their favorite room in the house.

All the creative design touches in this playroom will make you want to be a kid again for the day. As seen on Architectural Digest.

All the creative design touches in this playroom will make you want to be a kid again for the day. As seen on Architectural Digest.

3 Reasons to Add Texture to a Room

For most of us, decorating the home entails thinking about colors that match, pieces that complement each other, and patterns that don’t clash. Yet many of us do not stop to think about the effect of texture on our living spaces. Texture offers the interior designers in each of us endless possibilities in making our homes more interesting, and is even referred to as the “secret ingredient” that every room needs to give it different layers of variation. Why is texture a great decorating secret, you may ask? Here are some answers that we hope will inspire you and help you look at textures differently during your next home decorating spree.

1. Texture is the New Accent Color

This goes out to all of you who do not like focusing on a lot of colors in your home or who really enjoy a more neutral look, texture is a great way to keep your room from falling flat. If you are using a monochromatic color scheme, you can layer the room with a crisp throw rug, a wooden coffee table paired with a leather couch, or even a dining room set with textured seats. Glass accents, such as display dishes and vases, as well as mirrors are great ways to add texture that mix with almost any color scheme.

The fabric seating on this dining room set can add texture to a room with white walls and other white furniture.

The fabric seating on this dining room set can add texture to a room with white walls and other white furniture.

2. You Can Draw Inspiration from Nature

Green thumb? You’re in luck! Using items from nature such as stones, plants and birch branches are an easy, foolproof way to incorporate texture into your home. You can use painted shells as a form of wall art or birch branches for a unique table setting. For those who like plants but don’t want the maintenance, faux plants are another great décor option. If you like hardwood floors, opt for a wood grain such as oak or maple that will offer immediate texture.

Plants are a great way to give any room both color and texture. As seen on Decoist.

Plants are a great way to give any room both color and texture. As seen on Decoist.

3. Texture Isn’t Just Limited to Furniture

While furniture is certainly a way to bring texture into your home, there are many other factors that can help play up this aspect of home décor as well. Walls are a great surface for texture; instead of opting for a typical colored paint, you can choose high-gloss paints, leather wall tiles or even faux suede wallpaper. The right lighting can also make a major difference in a room’s texture, whether by reflecting light on certain objects and materials or creating an illusion of texture through interesting shadows. Window treatments are another great way to give the room added texture and dimension, whether with soft sheer curtains or heavy patterned drapes.

This quaint window panel makes me want to go to the beach!

This quaint window panel makes me want to go to the beach!

As with any type of home décor, it is always important to incorporate a new styling method into your home in moderation. While texture is a great way to add variation to an otherwise bland room, too much texture will make your room look cluttered and disarrayed. We hope these reasons got your creative juices flowing, and happy decorating!

How to Make Your House Guests Happy in Your Home

If you’re having guests in your home, you may feel the urge to go on a major cleaning and decorating spree, from adorning every table with flowers to making sure every single thing in your house is perfectly organized. While there is no need to go that far when preparing for guests, there are some very simple things you can do to make sure that your guests feel at-home and comfortable. Follow these quick and easy tips and get ready to become the host of the year!

1. Have Basic Amenities at the Ready

If your guests are traveling a long way to you, you can bet that the first room they will become acquainted with in your home is your bathroom. An easy way to start your welcome wagon on the right track is by having toilet paper in the bathroom and towels for them to dry their hands, whether on a bath tower or inside a drawer in your vanity. If your guests are staying overnight, having an extra stock of basic toiletries such as shampoo, toothbrushes and soap will keep your guests feeling fresh and contented. If you leave these in your guest room or on the bathroom counter, your guests will feel welcome to help themselves without being embarrassed, giving you extra hospitality points.

A bath tower like this one is a great way to store all of your bathroom accessories in one place!

A bath tower like this one is a great way to store all of your bathroom accessories in one place!

2. Keep Your Lighting Inviting

Bad lighting isn’t just an interior design mistake; it can negatively impact your guests as well. It’s not the worst thing that can happen, but it can make things a little less comfortable if there’s no bedside lamp for your guests to read in bed or if the floor lamp in your living room is glaringly bright. Having ample light in your room will not only give your home a warmer feel, but also make it easier for your guests to find what they need (should that happen) while they are in your home.

A bedside lamp not only lets your guest read comfortably before going to sleep, but it can also be a gorgeous accessory.  As seen on The Everygirl.

A bedside lamp not only lets your guest read comfortably before going to sleep, but it can also be a gorgeous accessory. As seen on The Everygirl.

3. Privacy is the Best Policy

No matter how close you may be with your guests, there should always be room for personal space. If your friends are coming for dinner, make sure your bathroom door locks so that no one opens the door on them by accident (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience!). For visitors that are staying overnight, make sure to give them space while they are changing or sleeping. Leaving your guests to themselves will let them have the space they need to truly feel comfortable, plus it’s less work for you as a host when you say goodnight!

A charming guest bedroom is a great way to make your house guests comfortable with all the privacy they need. As seen on Country Living.

A charming guest bedroom is a great way to make your house guests comfortable with all the privacy they need. As seen on Country Living.

4. Put Your Guests’ Comfort First

Any guest who sees this set of teapots in the morning will start the day with a smile.

Any guest who sees this set of teapots in the morning will start the day with a smile.

Martha Beck makes this point aptly when she says, “focus on giving attention, not getting attention.” When most of us prepare for guests, we concentrate our energy mostly on making our home presentable so that our guests will approve. While of course you should prepare before having guests, they will pay much more attention to a fresh pot of coffee in the morning than cleaning the dust bunnies from under your children’s beds. Aside from keeping coffee and tea on hand, other nice things you can do is leaving some light reading in the guest room on a small magazine rack or putting a water bottle on the nightstand. These small touches will go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable without a lot of effort on your part.