This week I stumbled upon a blog post talking about smart moves to make before you move into any home. One of those was to install shelves, cubbies and hooks for an organized closet. What a brilliant idea! While your clothes are still in the boxes take the time to remodel or redo one of the "rooms" of the house that is best when effectively straightened out and sound. Listed below are a few tips of how to DIY and/or what to know before you hire a professional closet organizer.
Get Rid Of Your Old Clothes It might not be easy, but tossing out or donating old clothes is key to making room in your closet. The truth is most of us have an ever-changing style or taste in clothing. So go through your closet and ask yourself if you’d buy this item today, or if it has a sentimental factor that warrants storage. Then lay it all out, and organize it by use, type or color. This will help you to get a grasp on what you wear and thus what you will need to find a way to store effectively in your new closet. Ask yourself, what would be ideal? What is the easiest way to access this item when I am getting ready? Next, you'll need to clear everything out of the closet so shelves, rods and more can be installed.
Think Of Storage That You Like Some of us hate digging through boxes (even if they're labeled), others don't like looking at open shelving, so think of what you want your closet to look like. Do you want it to resemble a traditional entertainment center (where most is hidden in cabinets and the show stopping pieces are on display)? Or maybe you want an open feel, all custom shelving, beautiful hardware, and beautiful boxes for a nice sleek look. Try considering: peg boards (for belts, and scarves), custom small square drawers (for ties, nylons and watches), glass dividers (for a more open feel, but still accomplishing the separation you need), a built in ironing board (for quick fixes), and narrow alley rods (for scarves, jeans, and more). Need inspiration check out LA Closet Design, their gallery of different storage systems is wonderful!
Low On Space Or No Closet Don't have a closet or have such a small space for clothes theres no possible way it can support new shelves? Freestanding armoires are perfect for customizable storage space to take the place of a closet. Wire shelving or canvas storage can take the place of a narrow space. A tiered shelf stores shoes, accessories, or your delicate cashmere sweaters!
Lighting In A Closet Whether it's a bright table lamp or a massive chandelier, good and bright lighting makes a difference in a closet (even if it's a tiny closet). You base what you wear some days on color, seeing that color clearly is helpful, and if you have a mirror in your closet seeing how that color or outfit may look together on your skin will never appear more clearly than with bright lights.
Finally design this closet based on how you get ready in the morning, or when you are in a rush. Build it effectively, sketch it out, and don't be afraid to call a professional closet organizer to get an estimate on what your dream closet may cost!
Sofas are one of the biggest furniture investments you'll make — and one of the most permanent. Even if you're just buying one for a temporary fix, it'll eventually get demoted from the living room to the family room to the basement and, finally, the dorm. Before you know it, a decade or more has passed, and that impulse purchase has become part of your life. So give some thought to it before you buy.
Quality furniture should feel solid and heavy. The same goes for a sofa. Flop around on one to test its sturdiness, then lift it up by the corner and shake it a bit. If it feels light or wobbly, take a pass. Look for a frame made from a kiln-dried hardwood such as oak, alder, birch, maple or, alternatively, high-quality hardwood plywood or marine plywood. Eight-way, hand-tied springs are a hallmark of fine furniture, but sinuous S-shaped springs can provide nearly as much comfort. Drop-in coil springs are a less costly alternative.
Most cushions have a core of polyurethane foam; the denser the foam, the heavier it is and the longer it will last. In the cheapest furniture, the cushion is filled with just the polyurethane foam core. In better furniture the core is wrapped with Dacron batting. Higher-quality options include poly-down cushions, which have down mixed with the batting; spring-down cushions, which feature a core of springs surrounded by foam and feathers; and all down, which is all feathers (and all work, so avoid this unless you have servants).
The best sofas have joints that are double doweled and fitted with corner blocks that are both glued and screwed (not stapled) into place. Quality pieces have legs that are part of the frame, not just attached to it (although removable feet do make it easier to get items through doorways). But if you still need more convincing on purchasing a sofa for an extra $2-10k try this NYTimes article on for size.
Think about your style of living:
If your interior is traditional, look for a sofa with rolled arms, a contoured back, skirting, tufted cushions or arms.
Contemporary and modern sofas tend to have cleaner lines, fewer flourishes and understated upholstery. Keep in mind with fewer tucks and bedazzles quality stuffing, stitching and even accent pillow choices is what will make this type of sofa shine.
Eclectic sofas tend to come in patterns or bright colors, this is where fabric choice is very important. Be sure to find the material tag and check: 1) Double Rub Count: The durability of a fabric is best defined by this count, which is tested by a machine that runs back and forth until the fabric is worn down. 30,000 double rubs is a great place to start for residential upholstery, while commercial projects generally require fabrics to be over 100,000 double rubs. 2) Repeat: If you are looking at anything other than a plain fabric you will want to pay attention here. The repeat is the distance that the entire pattern will run in the fabric before it repeats again. 3) Fade Resistance: This is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 equaling a high level of fading and 5 with no fading.
When it comes to fabric here is some advice: As a rule, synthetic fabrics are more durable, colorfast and cleanable. Tightly woven fabrics and fabrics that are heavy (such as true leather) will wear and tear better. Avoid satins, brocades and damasks unless the sofa won't get much use.
Whatever fabric you choose, ask the store for a sample or cutting that you can take home on approval before you buy. (If no sample is available, ask for a cushion) That way you can see the material under the light in your room and with other pieces of furniture. When you are spending a large amount of money the last thing you want is a surprise.
No matter the season, many of us would love to have a larger bedroom. One that is filled with wonderful things, that is always clean and beautiful. Well, you can have that! The solution is remodeling your bedroom. Now wait! Don't be turned off to the idea of a remodel just yet. There are options! Essentially, a small bedroom remodel can be done in two ways, adding extra space (either by knocking out walls or playing on color and light) or changing completely the way the existing room is being used (space planning). Listed are a few helpful tips on achieving your stunning bedroom.
Small Space Doesn't Mean Small Stuff Just because you have to choose small-scale furniture doesn't mean you're limited to pieces that are basic — or worse, safe. Instead, make a splash with a dramatic hue, a really luxe fabric, or both. A colorful and solid loveseat (see photo to the left) has minimalist lines and a scaled-down size that will work beautifully in a studio, but it's also a statement piece you'll want to keep when you upgrade to a bigger pad.
Hidden Storage And Flexible Furniture Never underestimate the power of convertible furniture or hidden storage — both can work wonders in a small space. In this case (seen left), a closet door doubles as an entryway to clothing and a secrete storage tool with towel rods and hooks, made stylish by painted in a bright and friendly color. Try creating more secrete storage by purchasing an ottoman, that is hollow with a removable lid, or stylish drawers/baskets for under the bed to be used for blankets, seasonal clothing, shoes, etc.
Manage Your Studio There are some benefits to living in a studio: You learn to buy less, manage clutter better, and revisit high-school geometry whenever you want to rearrange. The downside? You're living in one. Single. Room. Before you go stir crazy, let smart storage solutions divide the room for you. In this case, a DIY platform with pull out drawers creates plenty of bedroom storage you would normally need a linen closet for, with drapes separating the bedroom space your bedroom can become cozy or apart of your guests seating options, and finally a rug separates the space from sleep area to living area.
Let There Be Light If you want your space to seem larger, but you don't necessarily want to expand your room. You can replace your small window with a larger one, if you have the budget. Find a builder (not a carpenter) by asking around from other people, especially those who have had new homes built. Get estimates from at least three builders with specifics on materials to be used and probable time frame. Provided you know exactly what you would like, and you can afford it, your job should be relatively easy and quick because everything is at ground level.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall If you don't have the budget, don't stress! A large mirror positioned across from even the tiniest of windows can add dramatic space to a room. for a dramatic effect angle the mirror slightly rather than hang the massive piece.This will create light on your ceiling adding height and natural light in your small space. Or hang multiple small mirrors on a brightly colored wall for a wow effect. A tip is using light colored walls with a darker mirror frame and vise versa. Use darker objects at ground level with small bright objects displayed around the space. The picture displayed (to the left) allows your eye to rest in the white spaces, though your eye notices the dark shadows (space) and mirror reflection (unreal space) though this room is average size you feel as if you are in a mansion due to play on light, shadows and color.
Space Planning Whether you want to go bold and build out a nook for specific tasks (such as reading, a spare bed..etc) or if you want to just rearrange your space, ensure you know how you can maneuver around the room after changes have been made. Is there a clear path, or are you running into objects as soon as you walk in? Is there enough room to clean the space? Can I add to this space after I change it (such as placing nightstand, desks or lamps)? What has helped me when space planning a small room is removing all small furniture and easy to handle furniture OUT of the room, then drafting the space. How big does your space look empty? How can you maintain that look with furniture? Try two to three different layouts. Focus on your hobbies and how you use the space on a daily basis.
However you decide to update your small bedroom, know what you want, know what you need, and always think of multiple options on how to obtain your stellar DIY remodeled bedroom.
When Winter hits the first thing I think of doing is heating up some tea or creating a nice creamy batch of hot chocolate, but since work at an Architecture and Design firm doesn't stop, the next best thing is creating a warm, comfortable and cozy room to return to. Besides, most of us want our homes to always feel inviting to spend time in. So what makes a space cozy? Is it the size of your space, the furniture arrangement, the fabrics, lighting or accessories? Listed below are a few helpful tips on creating your perfect cozy room, along with some stellar rooms to see how they were done:
Cast A Warm Glow Decorating with string lights or lanterns is a great way to add soft light to the room and give a magically cozy feeling to your room year-round. Try hanging string lights on a mirror, or place lanterns on a hard tile or wood floor, or on your mantel (away from a child's' reach) to cast reflection off of your hard surfaces. For additional help check out modernize for ideas on getting the most style with light.
Add A Good Read Surrounding yourself with literature is simplest way to warm a home. Fill the shelves, coffee table or mantel with stunning travel and photography tomes, or your latest favorite. Try adding volumes of poetry on the nightstand in the guest bedroom, or turn that tiny study into a wall full of sturdy shelves supporting your book collection. Books create intimate, quite retreats, places to relax and they rejuvenate the home.
Keep It Low. Keep It Simple. Don't always take decorating so seriously. The most comfortable homes feel inviting throughout because they feel like you and your family. A great design is brought forth from many different tricks, but the best one to follow is keep what you love and what has meaning, then find a room to store it in. A great way to make that room feel cozy is keeping it low - wether it's your couch or a mattress, sometimes loosing the frame of a traditional furniture piece invites child like playfulness and thus comfort. To keep that room forever trendy, choose a simple palette with pops of color with either a blanket, pillows or a beautiful piece of art.
Window Coverings When it comes to color and sun the two are dependent on the other. Consider the position of theroom’s windows and the amount of light coming through. East, South and West-facing windows receive an intense amount of light at different times of day, while North-facing windows maintain a constant stream of milder light all day. Warm hues often help a room feel heavier and thus easier to relax in (think of a nice thick blanket); if you've chosen a wallpaper, draperies in a mattering pattern or hue close in the space to make it feel more cozy.
Mixing Old With New Maybe it's the fact that when loved ones pass away we are accustom to acquiring their used stuff. But having furniture that comes with memories and history is often beautifully paired with modern or contemporary pieces. So beautifully that any space that can use old and new effectively the space is instantaneously made comfortable and warm.One of the fastest routes to a boring room is sticking to a single style or period. The most livable and inspiring rooms combine old and new pieces in a variety of styles to give them an effortless sense of having been assembled over time.
An easy way to mix old and new is to consider a room’s architecture. If you live in a 1930s house, you can incorporate some period pieces, and then add contemporary lighting, rugs, or accessories to bring the rooms into the 21st century. If you live in a brand new high-rise apartment, choose a Persian rug, an antique mirror, or a vintage chandelier to create a sense of history and warmth. But if, like many people, you live in a cookie-cutter space, mixing vintage and contemporary pieces will give your home personality and dimension. Stick to a neutral color scheme and your flea market finds will blend right in with your IKEA staples, creating texture and subtle contrasts.
Finally the key to any cozy space is making your space feel welcome and keeping your space legitimately warm with a fire or freshly baked cookies for your guests is a sure way to please anyone that stays at your residence.