Each and every day you wake up, what do you do to contribute to the world that day? I'm not talking about your career necessarily, but how do you make a difference in the world? We all have hero's who inspire and drive us to be better individuals; whether it be a soldier fighting for his country, a beloved actor, or even our Heavenly Father. Inside each of us is a need to be better; to make a difference. How do we ensure that we are consistently reminded of our divine potential? A great way is to find a spot in your home to honor your hero. Listed below are a few ways to do this with style in mind.
Black & White Music. Have you ever stopped to smell the roses? Or listen to beautiful music? Music is something that our spirits love. For whatever reason, good music changes our moods, our personalities and the overall atmosphere in a room. In a room that may contain your childhood piano, violin or maybe just your stereo set this is a room that is perfect to display your hero in. But, wait, not just any photo. Make it black and white. A photograph taken in black and white instantly turns into a classic photo. Even the silliest of photography can be made timeless when made black & white. Matt the photo or poster, and choose a honorable frame. This room now means more to whoever chooses to play music within its walls.
Statue. There was a time when honorable men, no matter of what class or how expensive it may have been, were made into statues when they past away. Still a great way to honor men or your hero is through a reasonably sized statue, safely placed in your home. In our home we have a Christus sitting in our living room, reminding us that as we leave to house to live a Christ-like example. Another great place to put a statue is in the center of a garden, where it can shine in the bright daylight and put a different texture in your luxurious greenery.
Flags. Put them everywhere. If you have a soldier away from home, or one that has past away, my heart goes out to you. A great way to remember the dedication and courage it took to be on the battlefield is by placing flags around your home, inside or out. Many gardeners will place them in a pattern in their back yard, or in their front patio. A consistent reminder of who you love, that is truly a remarkable choice for your hero.
Remember whatever you choose, keep it clean, make sure to share the reason why you chose that picture, statue or other object in your home. Share your favorite memories, and be joyous in all that you do to remember your hero.
You hear the term often enough, and you may even think you understand it: Dream Home. It's something highly sought out, and not just for the extremely wealthy. Every class seeks to have a piece of paradise, a home to be proud of, and a refuge. What is a dream home for you truly? What do you need in a home? What makes a home easier for your lifestyle? Does it reflect you and your family? Just take a deeper look at your current living preferences, and you'll be able to answer all of these questions!
YOUR Dream Home: Whether you're building a home, remodeling, seeking out the perfect humble abode, or redecorating there is a way to understand what you need in every room. Ask yourself simple questions. Start with your Entry, you walk into your home and what's the first thing you want to see? A table where you can put the car keys? The laundry room, where you can kick off your dirty shoes or shrug off that stained jacket? Write down your traffic pattern. Next, the Mudroom. The Mudroom/ Laundry Room is an important part of any home. Laundry is a must in homes, and in order to obtain a healthy and happy family, make sure you have the space needed to do everyones dirty clothes. The Kitchen, and heart of the home, is it enough to have all of your regular cookware out? Is it enough to prep for those big Thanksgiving dinners? Is the sink deep enough? How old are the appliances? The Living Room and Family Rooms are also a big part of a regular family lifestyle. How many people can you fit in this room? Will the flooring ware well? How much natural lighting does the room have? Is it easy to access? The Bedrooms and the Master: in a room where you will be spending a lot of time, make sure it can reflect you easily. Is the room layout pleasant to look at? Is there a nice view? Can your bed fit in here comfortably? Is the bathroom easy to access from here? Now, blindfold yourself or close your eyes. Can you still easily access the bathroom? Next step, the Office! This room is very important, whether you're a child or adult. Doing homework or bringing home work is usually no fun. So, you'll want a room with plenty of natural lighting, a nice space. And when it comes down to finishes, you'll want your office to feel light and clean. So that your thoughts may roam freely. Finally, the Bathroom a regularly looked over piece of the home until you've actually moved in. But, wait! Take a seat, literally! Is the toilet comfortable? Could you reach everything you would need while sitting on the throne? Is there enough storage (for towels, shampoo's, lotions, makeup..etc)? Remind yourself, "Yes, I am being picky. Yes, it is worth it!" Your home is just that, a home! It should be a place where you can relax and not have to add chores to your list every day because the layout is terrible. Learn to seek for what you know and love.
YOUR Family and YOUR Style: This is quite simple. Take into consideration the things you own now, and the things you know you will soon own. Write them down as you either rearrange, home seek or remodel. Ask yourself, "Where can I put this object that I love?" "Why do I love it?" If you can answer those two questions you will be able to understand why that piece works in your home. Remember to pick things that your family loves also! Only choose things you can use. Decoration will get old.
See the photos below for help on building or choosing your dream home!
A stylish or cute centerpiece is not just used for weddings. It can be used for even the simplest of occasions. Having a family friend come over? Welcome them with your new dish set and flowers from the garden. Your spouse is coming home early? Whip up some table art by using your finest linens and china, light those candles and express your appreciation for your better half! There is no need to hide away your grandmother's linens or your newest purchase at a design fair, just like a kitchen being known for the center of a home, a nicely set table warms the heart of any space! Listed below are a few photos and tips on creating a stunning atmosphere at your table.
Theme: What is the occasion? Is it a family dinner, a holiday, or lunch with friends? Select a theme that its the occasion. Possibilities include using the months freshest flowers or arranging the table in a way that flatters your guests. Is their favorite color purple? Serve grape juice and bring out the closest linen color you have. As a general rule of thumb, as a family you should own one tablecloth or napkin set in every color of the rainbow. Now, don't fret if you only own white linens. A white tablecloth, will forever remain the classic table setting. A great way to dress up that classic look is with colored dishes, glassware, silverware, or floral arrangements.
Table Coverage: Your table cover is the background for the food and table appointments (dish ware) you place onto it. It protects the table and makes for less noise. Placemats and/or tablecloths may also be used. Sometimes a table is left bare, but whatever your occasion choose a cover that is appropriate for that time. Matching and blending colors is a great way to spruce up your meal, also don't be afraid to mess with textures in the dishes, centerpiece and more. Finally, don't forget to use something quite different for contrast.
Place Setting: You will need at least 20 inches for each person's dishes. Place the plate or china in the center, about an inch from the edge of the table. Place the knives and spoons on the right, and forks on the left. Turn the edge of the knife towards the plate. Napkins folded into oblongs are placed next to forks, but placement of a napkin will always vary. The first beverage glass is placed about an inch from the knife, additional glasses to the right of the first glass. If coffee is served, the cup is placed on the saucer and set to the right of the spoon.
Fresh: Inspired by the colors and aromas of nature, cut fruit makes a very appealing centerpiece when it's done right. Make sure to use a variety of fruits that will stay firm for the duration - melon, pineapple, apricots, grapes and lemons would all be good choices. You'll also need wood skewers of varying lengths and a stable base. Cut fruits are a natural for a summer celebration. They smell wonderful, look great, and you can eat them if things are running late in the kitchen.
Let It Resemble You: Your home should be a reflection of yourself, your hobbies, family, loves, style and personality. When you prepare dinner it's a reflection of your heritage, your appreciation for food and your patience in learning the right ingredients. Your table setting should flatter not only your meal but who you are, what you like and accent your homes atmosphere!
Growing up with dogs, cats, many fish and a lizard I understand the frustration my parents had when it came to where those pets slept and where they ate. The common questions would arise, such as, "How do I hide the cage?" "Will I ever stop sweeping up this hair?" "I wonder if there's a better place for the pet to live?" Now, as an adult who has a husband who frequently travels, my little family is debating on purchasing and caring for a small animal for our small space. As a designer one of the thoughts I had was how to keep my home clean and where to keep the pets' living quarters. If any of you have stumbled across this dilemma, on creating a stylish and sensible place for your pets, below are a few helpful tips and example photos!
Reuse. Don't get rid of that old coffee table or nightstand you've had hiding in the basement. With your new or old pet, now is the perfect opportunity to use the spare space underneath the tabletop and store your pets bedding. Want your pet to be even more hidden? Consider boxing in the sides, or creating a simple, yet stylish den for your four-legged friend by scratch. This also works with nightstands (if your pet is extra small), use the bottom half and create a hidden home.
DIY. Have you always wanted to give your pet a chic or eclectic styled home? Here is a great opportunity! Whether you have a small dog, cat or rodent this hut (pictured below) is created with four sticks, some string and fabric. All you need is patience and a good eye for what fabric to use! Keep in mind that if your animal is on the wild side a sturdier fabric will be best.
Another way to create a stylish home for your pet is using an old armoire, chest, portable linen closet or storage unit for the family pet. In the example below a portable linen closet, once used in the bathroom for spare towels, is used for a small rodent. This creates easy access for the owner and an eclectic addition to any room. Also pictured below is a dollhouse converted into a chinchilla’s home. Add in a sturdier back, a few toys and thick chicken wire and you're all set to play!
Purchase and Adapt. There are always going to be modern options for reptiles, fish tanks and birdcages, and a great way to incorporate that into your home is buying a set up that can be used for multiple things. In the picture below you will see a dresser and bookshelf unit that has a cage on the top. When your pet dies, you can either reuse the cage/tank for another animal or take out the wire/glass and use the space for toys, books or spare clothes.
Think outside the box. Consider: "Where can I give this animal what it needs and still optimize my home space?" "What are my limitations?" "Is this room too small for them?" "Can I easily feed them near their space?" And so on. Your pet is apart of your family. Treat them with respect and be sure, no matter what stylish home you give them, that they have enough space and everything they need to be a healthy, happy member of your home.
Space Planning sounds rather simple at first, throw a sofa there, put the chairs on the side, and coffee table in the middle, right? Of course that's not always quite how it works. Successful planning requires considering a variety of tangibles: physical limitations, size,furniture, flow, and more. Before you start remodel or redesign your space consider the following.
1. Graph it. A great way to carefully plan out your space is measuring your space and using each graph paper square as a foot. Cut out your furniture using the same tools. and place them in your floor plan. Consider the following questions. Can you walk through the space? Can your guests have a conversation without cranking their necks? Is it a comfortable layout? Can multiple people pass through the space at a time? Can you reach the tables from sitting down? And more. When you are done creating your optimal space: make the move, take a seat, and have your family sit down, then ask yourself, "Does this work?"
2. Determining Function. Think carefully about what you want your new room to do and who will be using it. What will be required of this space. Will you be having family movie nights? Hosting parties? Also, consider the ages of those in your household, and if they need space for disabilities. How durable and accessible does everything need to be? Be flexible if you need to, so that your room can grow with your family.
3. Make Your Home Flow. Your new room needs a space that not only flows within itself, but flows with the other rooms in your house. A great way to accomplish this is by using materials and colors similar from room to room. Consider the furniture, millwork, baseboards and interior doors this will allow your home to visually flow.
You can accomplish even the biggest room successfully by combining colors, graphing the plan and then laying it out, finally ensuring that the rooms' design is functional. Take a look below at plans and examples on how to design your space.
A few days ago I found myself thinking, “Placement is everything!” Why? As a temporary Barista, I had accidentally burnt my hand with 250-degree water. I will admit that I am a clumsy individual, but never have I caused a serious injury to myself. I had traded shifts with another employee who decided to move the banana basket under the water, and there appeared to be enough room for my cup. However, upon taking my full cup of water out for my customer the banana stem had caught the bottom of the cup, causing the hot water to spill over a good chunk of my hand.
Now I don’t blame my co-worker. In fact, I blame the previous Architect or Interior Designer, who had built that “Coffee Shop” as a gift shop, and that’s it. The space was not designed to hold multiple machines, water lines and excessive amounts of coffee. If they had previously thought about making the space a coffee shop, then this individual simply had not thought things through. So today, we will talk about the importance of placement, for all objects. Everything in your home should have a designated place. Your “junk drawer” that we all have lingering near our office or kitchen; should only be ONE drawer. Even then, you should have a pretty confident idea on what lives in that disorganized drawer.
Need help understanding how things work in your home? Take one day, just one to carry with you a small note pad. Every time you leave one room- write down what you used. In a separate column make notes on how easy it was to access. By doing this, you will not only recognize all of the unnecessary “needs” you have lingering in your cupboards, but you will find a better way to organize your rooms. Here are a few examples:
KIDS. If you have children, you might be on the verge of finding it to be impossible on getting them to clean up. Now in order to get them to clean up, you too must show them that cleaning can be easy…because it can! Use colorful baskets for toys, clothes, shoes, and more. If they are old enough, take them shopping with you. A child will always respect an object more if they felt like they purchased it. Finally, when you have set aside areas for these lovely bins or baskets, create times of the day to clean their spaces. Whether you teach them that after each time they go play in a room, or after every meal. Make a game out of cleaning it up (maybe the ground is lava, and you don’t want the toys to melt!). Finally, Understand that your kids listen and watch you, all the time. If they hear you complaining about cleaning, they will complain; likewise, if they see that you leave rooms messy, so will they.
FOOD. The refrigerator can be your friend and your worst enemy. However, a way to minimize looking into a fridge for more substance is to clean your shelves, use Ziploc baggies with labels, and designate spaces for: Dairy, Veggies, Fruits, Snacks, Sauces, and Meats/ Cheeses. Find a day once a month to clean your shelves. By cleaning simply and yet everyday objects you will find your mind becoming uncluttered itself.
BOWLS & TRAYS. Make sure they can stand on uneven surfaces, and make sure they can hold with added weight. A simple way to make sure you don’t purchase an unstable object is by placing the bowl or tray on the store floor and then making sure it can hold the weight of your purse or wallet, without rocking or falling over. After you purchase your beautiful organization helper, place it in a spot where it is either so obvious or so hidden that no one can hit it on accident.
SHOES. If you are like my husband, you have an extreme tendency to take off your shoes as you close the front door, and if you’re like me you get a little ticked that seven pairs of shoes are piled up next to the first place every stranger and friend walks in. You want to make a good impression, but you also want those shoes hidden! To solve this simple dilemma acquire a bench or tiered rack, place large baskets, tubs, or matts in the necessary slots where shoes can remain hidden and yet ready to access as you prepare your daily adventure.
MAKEUP. I personally don’t like to publically display how vain I can be, so my makeup is in a drawer. If yours is too, and you have trouble separating your hair from your foundation listen up! Next time you order something online-keep that cardboard box! Or parts of it. Use the flaps to cut out dividers for the necessary sections of makeup world: your go-to brush in the bottom, foundation and powder in the top left…etc. etc.
OFFICE SPACE. At work or at home, you can be certain that one day the papers will suddenly form their own skyscraper. A great way to minimize this is with simple Walmart filing bins or any wire paper tray. They don’t have to be by category or even make sense, but the simple fact that you have something in a compact and organized-like stack will make you look like a pro.
Now that you have a few tips, go out and explore your home. What do you truly need? What could someone else use more than you do? How do you operate on good days and on terrible days? How do we make your life simpler? You have all these keys, all you need to do is a little soul searching.
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