You probably spend time in your kitchen every day, so decorating in there is very important. But in a room that gets messy so easily, it is important that your decorations don’t make the space feel cluttered. Instead of having a nice, clean, relaxing kitchen, you could end up feeling like you are sitting in chaos every time you use your kitchen. Here are some tips for decorating in your kitchen without feeling cluttered.

Keep things hidden away

If you have plenty of space in your cupboards, keep everything in them. For glass cabinets that you can see into, make sure you put your rarely-used China that looks pretty but doesn’t necessarily get used often. It will keep that space neat regardless of how neat everything else is. Don’t keep anything on the counter unless it is something you use every day like a toaster or a small, permanent decoration.

This includes making sure you don’t keep any food on your counter. A bread box or fruit bowl isn’t a big deal, but don’t leave cereal boxes or snacks on the counter where you can see them.

Get rid of things you don’t use

A lot of people don’t have room in their cupboards to hide everything away. This is a sure sign it is time to donate some of the things you don’t use often. If you don’t use it at least once a year, then it is time to get rid of it. If you own a bread maker but never make bread, it isn’t worth storing. This is a good rule of thumb for anything you might be storing around your house.

I always tell people to keep one box with memorabilia per person in your home, and the rest can be thrown away. Chances are, you won’t go through it if it is more than one box, and your kids won’t want to take more than one box of childhood memorabilia when they leave home anyway.

Decorate with your dishes and utensils

Another way to make some extra space while feeling less cluttered is to use your dishes and utensils in your decorating. For example, you could get a board with some hooks on it to hold your coffee mugs on the wall. It is a kitchen-themed decoration and can hold something you use on a regular basis.

Organize your space

Even with the most beautiful paint job, baseboard heater covers, and cabinets, your space will always feel cluttered if it isn’t organized. Do what you can to organize your space, so you don’t have to stress about it. You can get bins to organize different types of food in your fridge or pantry. Some people even organize in their pantry based on days of the week and the meals they have planned for those days. If you know where everything is, it will feel more organized, even if it isn’t.

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After the kids are gone, many people choose to move to smaller spaces. A big home can feel awfully empty when it isn’t filled with family, and it gets harder to take care of your own home as you get older. Decorating for two is a very different experience than decorating for a whole family. Here are some tips for your empty nester home.

Guest room options

One thing you should consider is putting together a guest room. Your kids will probably still want to come visit often, and you’ll want to have a separate space for them. If your kids visit a lot, you may want to have a dedicated guest room. If you only have visitors a couple of times a year, you should consider putting together a dual-purpose room, so you can use it regularly instead of letting it sit empty all the time. If you have downgraded spaces, this is the best way to make the most of your space. You could double it with an office or even as a man cave or library room if you get a pull-out couch for a bed.

Everything within reach

Another trick when you are an empty nester is to keep everything important to you within close reach. A couple in Boston designed their space as empty nesters with a kitchen that had everything within close reach, so they could easily access everything they need. Depending on your age, you may be starting to see declining health. If something were to happen, you want to be able to easily access everything that you need.

Comfortable spaces

When designing a home you plan to stay in the rest of your life, you should try to make it as comfortable as possible. Don’t get furniture that is uncomfortable just because you like the way it looks. Get things that are comfortable and that you could spend hours lounging on with a good book. Your decor needs to make the place feel like somewhere you always want to be. Remember, comfort first and design second.

Can I finally get breakable things again?

Making sure you have a safe space for your kids isn’t as easy as getting baseboard heater covers clicked into place. But it is something you have to do until your children leave the house. Once they are gone, you can get nice things again and not worry about children or teenagers ruining it anymore. And while this is technically true, keep in mind your kids might have their own children soon, and your home may quickly become another playground. If you want to start buying nice things, just keep in mind you may have to be extra careful with kids who do come over or when you have grandkids to watch.

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There are many reasons to remodel your kitchen. Maybe you want to increase your sale value, or maybe you just don’t want to keep looking at the bright pink wall anymore. Whatever the case, remodeling a kitchen is a huge feat, especially if you are currently living in the space. It isn’t as simple as snapping baseboard heater covers into place. It takes a lot of work. Here are some things you need to consider before starting your kitchen remodel.

DIY or Contractor?

The first thing you want to decide is if you are going to do the work or if you want to hire a contractor. Though it can be work managing a contractor for the job, having one does make it a lot easier on you. For simple jobs, such as painting or adding a backsplash, you may be able to do the work yourself and save some money. For large remodels where you are completely tearing it out and replacing everything, you may want to consider getting a contractor to help. If you choose to do it yourself, it is important to have professionals come in and check the plumbing and electrical, especially if you are moving them.

How much should you do?

It all depends on your purpose for the remodel. If you are doing it to increase your home value, you should do the least amount of work possible that will increase your home value as much as possible. Simply upgrading your appliances or painting the cabinets can have a huge affect on the value without you having to put a lot of work or money into it. If it is for your own pleasure, however, it makes more sense to just do it all and do it right. This is something you definitely need to decide in preparation for the remodel.

Where are you going to eat?

A simple paint job might keep you out of your kitchen for a couple of days while a big one could keep you out for months. If you are going to remodel your kitchen, you have to decide where you are going to eat during the process. You won’t have a workable kitchen, so it will be difficult making meals, and you may need to eat out more often. It is already a huge toll on your family to have construction in a house you are living in, but it is even worse if you aren’t prepared to spend a lot of extra money on fast food or lose that time you normally spent every day in your kitchen.

Do you want high-end finishes?

Finishes are a huge part of a kitchen remodel, and picking the wrong ones could hurt the overall look of the room drastically. They can also be the biggest spending point if you get really high end ones. This is an important thing you’ll need to decide. If you do need to save money on the remodel, this is a great place to look because there are a lot of lower cost alternatives out there to use that still look great.

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Guest rooms are a really great thing to have in your home if you have room. They allow your guests to have a nice, comfortable place to themselves when they visit, and it keeps them out of your normal living space, so you can get on with your normal daily activities. There’s nothing worse than your child not being able to go into their room and get their stuff because you have guests sleeping in there.

You may be wondering how exactly you should decorate your guest room. How are you supposed to pick the right decorations? You’ll have to pick paint, baseboard heater covers, furniture, and even art for the walls. Here are some ideas you can use when decorating.

Hotel like guest room

One idea for decorating your guest room is to make it feel like they are in a hotel. Use all neutral colors in the room including neutral color bedding and art. And give them all the perks of staying at a hotel. A mint on the pillow, a pad of paper for writing down anything they need, fresh towels, or even bathrobes. Make sure your guest room is fully stocked with anything they might need during the visit including small sizes of soaps for showering. This will give a hotel feel to the room.

WiFi password sign

More than likely, your guests will start asking for your WiFi password within a couple of hours of getting to your house. Instead of having to constantly share the password with them, put a WiFi password sign in your guestroom with the credentials. Not only is it convenient for them to be able to easily add it to all of their devices, it is nice for you because you don’t have to constantly answer their questions.

Get cozy

A couch in the guest room may seem a little overboard, but your guests appreciate being able to cozy up and do whatever they need to in order to unwind from a long day. Everyone has their bedtime routines, and maybe just being able to snuggle on the couch for a movie or being able to read a book is all they need to really get ready for bed.

Guests far away from you

If possible, choose your guest room to be the one that is as far away from your room as possible. You will be comfortable with your normal routine, but your guests might feel uncomfortable if they have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night knowing they might wake you or your children up. Putting your guests in a room far away helps ease their concerns.

Play with colors and patterns

One way to really liven up the feel of your guest room is to go bold with your colors and patterns. Hotels use neutral colors so as to avoid any problems with guests that might be unhappy with the decor. Your guests probably don’t have an opinion when staying in your home for free, so go ahead and do what you love. Layer on the textures and patterns for a really bold look. Use a bright quilt and art with a lot of colors in it. Patterned couches and draperies add definition to the room.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that you need to be just as comfortable with the space as your guests, so pick a design that works best for you.

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Painting your walls adds a new fresh feel to the room. It helps you cover up old colors you no longer identify with and it can give the room a whole new feel, even if you don’t change anything else. Here are five tips you need to know before you get started on painting.

1. Pick your colors

The first thing you should do is pick what colors you want for the room. The big thing right now is to go neutral and have an accent wall. An all white room with one pink wall or an all grey room with some kind of pattern on the wall will work very well. Patterned walls are a big hit right now, so you use all kinds of colors and patterns for your accent wall. You may want to get samples of your paint colors and actually put them on the wall, so you can see what the color will look like with the room and lighting.

2. Prep the room

Next, you want to get the room ready for painting. Remove everything from the walls including nails, and pull off all outlet covers from the walls. Clean the walls, and make sure they are dry before you actually paint. All furniture remaining in the room should be pulled away from the walls and covered to prevent drips from damaging it. Part of the prepping process includes putting up all the holes in the wall, so you have a clean slate. The exception would be if you want to reuse the same holes for pictures you are going to put back up. Remove your baseboard heater covers to prevent paint from dripping on them. Then, use tape to block off anything you don’t want to paint such as baseboards, ceiling, etc.

3. Prime the wall

Whether or not you think you need it, primer makes a huge difference in the overall look of your paint job. It is good for helping cover up an old, bold color. Plus, it helps the new paint to stick well, so you don’t have any problems with it flaking off.

4. Use a brush to get the edges

Anywhere you won’t be able to use a roller (such as on the trim), you will need to use a paintbrush. You will want to keep your paintbrush around for possibly fixing anything you missed when the paint job is complete.

5. Get out the roller

Using a roller is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and it is the fastest and easiest way to get a room painted. Dip the paintbrush and draw a W on the wall. Then, fill in the remaining areas with your roller. The reason you want to do this is because you get a lot of paint on the brush at first, and by painting a W and filling in from there, you are able to spread out the paint more evenly.

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Having a home that is beautifully decorated doesn’t always mean it makes you happy. But it is the place where you spend the majority of your time. Decorating to bring yourself joy is a new trend we are seeing this year, and it ends up making for much brighter, happier spaces. One of which is the home of Heather and Mike Riordan.

Making a cheerful home

The Riordans wanted to have a home that felt like bright and cheery, so they bought a house that had a bright and open floor plan with large windows that filled the home with light and a safe street for raising children. Then, they started making changes. They made sure all materials were bright and child proof. They made sure it was all easy to care for. The home’s rooms were repurposed into spaces that made more sense to them as opposed to traditional uses. They changed the sitting room into an office and the dining room into a playroom. Brightly colored rugs brighten up the rooms, and glass panels separate the dining and sitting rooms allowing light and privacy.

Your joyful home

If you are looking to brighten up your home and make it work well for your family, there are some things you can do to follow the Riodoran’s lead. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Repurpose unused rooms: If you have rooms you aren’t using for the intended purpose, why not repurpose it into a space that makes more sense for you? Turn it into a homework room, a library, a playroom, an extra guest room, etc.
  • Add more light: Adding more natural light to your home definitely makes it feel more cheerful. Put in larger windows, or find ways to get that light to naturally reflect in the space. Light tones and materials will allow it to reflect, and glass doors let it echo throughout the home. Light colored baseboard heater covers help go with this look and make it look more modern.
  • Bright accents: Pick accents to go throughout the home that are bright and cheerful. When picking your room colors, always start with the rug. You can easily match colors to a rug, but you can’t always find a rug that matches your current colors. Once you have the rug, you can branch out from there to pick paint colors and accent pieces throughout the room.
  • Choose stain-resistant furniture: When picking your furniture pieces, remember that children will spill where they aren’t supposed to. Pick pieces that can be easily cleaned and won’t stain.
  • Retreats for everyone: Everyone needs their own space where they can be entertained and enjoy themselves. Add a playroom for the children, a man cave for the man, a special retreat for the mom, or a game room for the teenagers. Let everyone have one space they can decorate on their own and put together for their own needs to give themselves a beautiful retreat.
  • Guest spaces: If you have a lot of guests or just want to make a space for guests when they do come, make sure you have a space decorated comfortable for them.

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To buy a home with character or at a good price, you have to buy an older home. But sometimes those home have things in them you need to find a way to decorate around or cover up to make it look more appealing. For example, you can use baseboard heater covers to make those heaters appear as though they blend in with the wall, and you can remodel your fireplace to make it look more modern. Here are some tips for upgrading your old fireplace.

Start with the bricks

Old fireplaces often have ugly bricks or bricks that are falling apart. One thing you can do here is either remove the old bricks and put new ones in or paint over them to give it a modern fireplace look. It is a lot more work to replace all the bricks and may even require extensive remodeling capabilities to get all the old stuff off the fireplace. But it can give your home a very traditional feel and will look very nice when all is said and done. Paint is a much easier way to do it, but it does give a more modern feel to the room. An alternative to brick and paint is to go with a nice stone finish.

How to pick the right stone

If you would like to use stone on your fireplace, make sure you look at samples in a showroom before you buy it. Stone can be very messy and may not work out as nicely as you have pictured in your head, so it is important that you see an example before diving in. You can actually do the stone right over the brick if you don’t want to tear it out, according to the Washington Post, though you’d definitely want to use a metal stick to fasten the stone to the fireplace rather than just mortar. The other thing to remember is that stone is much heavier than brick. You will need to install a steel angle iron under the stone to hold up all the weight and protect your floor from damage.

Is it safe?

Some people choose to turn their real fireplaces into gas ones to keep it safe and prevent themselves from ever having to light a fire in their home. This can be very expensive and difficult. If you choose to use the fireplace as-is, make sure you have it inspected to ensure it is safe to use, and keep a gate in front of it to keep little children from climbing into the fire.

Picking a mantle

One of the best ways to decorate your fireplace and give your whole room a new look is to pick the right mantle to go over your fireplace. With a mantle, you are able to change out the decorations for every holiday or event. If you have the space in your room or if the fireplace comes out a bit from the wall, you’ll want a shelf that is deeper in order to be able to put more stuff on it. But a fireplace that is flesh with the wall will want a very small shelf to keep it from sticking into the room and giving the appearance of a smaller space.

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A kitchen remodel is extremely difficult and can make you crazy in the process. It is especially hard on people who are living in their home while they remodel their kitchen. You won’t be able to use anything in your kitchen while in the process, and it could take months depending on how extensive of a remodel you are doing. Why, then, would people go through the effort of completely remodeling a kitchen instead of just putting on baseboard heaters covers to modernize? Well, here are five reasons you may consider remodeling your kitchen.

1. Increase sale value

Selling a house is a lot of work, but you can make it go a lot of faster by remodeling your kitchen ahead of time. Even if you aren’t planning to sell for a couple of years, you might want to get your kitchen remodel in now. According to The Tennessean, home buyers value a new kitchen a lot. In fact, seven out of every ten home buyers that bought a home that did not have a remodeled kitchen said they would be willing to have paid more for the home if things had been remodeled. They would have been willing to pay $1,840 more on average for their home. On top of that, 57 percent of realtors said they have asked clients to do a kitchen remodel before selling because it does add so much value and appeal. Most people don’t want to get into a home where they feel there is a big project ahead of them. They’d rather get into something that is already finished or doesn’t have too much work left to do, especially on the kitchen.

2. New home

Do you have a new home you just bought? Over half of all home buyers remodel something in the home as soon as they move in, and kitchen remodels are one of the most common projects. One of the reasons people will remodel as soon as they buy a home is because they can usually remain in temporary housing during the housing project, so they don’t have to stress as much about having a place to cook while the project is happening.

3. Replacing worn-out surfaces and hardware

Eventually, older laminate surfaces start to fade or sometimes stone surfaces can even crack. You may even have hardware falling off your cabinets. Whatever the case, sometimes you start a kitchen remodeling project simply because you need to replace some stuff that is wearing out.

4. Modernization

One of the top reasons homeowners get around to working on their kitchens is that they want to modernize. If you are living with an older kitchen, you may just be sick of looking at the old-school cabinets or want a better countertop. Doing this will make you feel happier in your home and more likely to invite people over for house parties.

5. House flipping

If you are trying to make money off your home purchase, one of the best ways to do that is to buy an older home that needs updating and do minimal updates to make the home more appealing to future buyers. Since most people consider bathrooms and the kitchen the most important part of the home, updating the kitchen will be the best thing you can do increase your payout at the end of the day. In fact, you could leave the rest of the house needing to get fixed up, and you’ll still get a much higher price for the home by simply updating the kitchen. It is very important to buyers.

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Every home needs a gallery wall: a place where you can put all those crazy family photos you love while still looking nice and neat. But we’ve all seen good and bad ones that either make the room feel cluttered or make the room feel warm and inviting. So, what should you do to get the warm inviting feeling? Here are some easy steps.

Pick the right place, get it prepped

The first thing you should do is figure out where you want your pictures to go. There is probably a large, blank wall somewhere in your house that needs filling. Often, these spaces are above stairs because there isn’t any furniture or electronics in those areas. Many times, gallery walls are also hung above couches. You need to decide if you want an entire wall, floor to ceiling filled with pictures, or do you just want a limited space above a couch?

After you pick the place you want to hang all these pictures, get it ready to go. Are you planning to paint that wall? Get that done first. Are there any holes that need to get puddied? This is a good time to start. Are there heaters that need to get covered with baseboard heater covers? Get that done. Remember that the success of the gallery is going to be about the whole picture of the space, not just the pictures themselves.

Make your arrangement on the floor

Planning is they key to success with gallery walls because when you see it all, you often want to change things. So getting all your frames together and putting them on the ground to get the perfect arrangement is the easiest way to figure out what you really want to put on your wall. Plus, it makes prepping the wall for the pictures easier. According to the Boston Globe, you want to try and put in some form of consistency in your gallery to help it all tie together.

For example, having all the same color of frame will make it all come together, even if the frames are different and the images don’t match. In a grid type gallery wall, you would want matching frames, but in other instances, having a color or two that go together is much better. In fact, matching too much might end up looking awful unless the photos are being hung in a grid pattern.

Paper pattern on the wall

Another thing you can do is take a paper pattern on the wall for each of the frames (paper in the size of each frame with a mark for where the nail would go on the frame) and then put them up on the wall with painter’s tape. By doing this, you can see the total picture on the wall before you actually start putting in nails. And it makes getting the nails in the right spot a lot easier. Just hammer away, pull off the paper, and hang the pictures on the nails. You will end up with the perfect gallery wall.

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Decorating for Christmas can be tough when money is tight and space is limited. Whether you have a small apartment in the city or just a smaller home, limited space doesn’t mean you can’t decorate for the holidays. Here are some tips for decorating in a way that won’t take up a lot of space or cost you a lot of money.

Christmas tree alternatives

The Christmas tree tends to be the biggest culprit when it comes to taking up space since they’re usually a few feet tall at least and several feet around at their base. Even worse, if your Christmas tree is a fake one, it is stored away in a large box that might take up a lot of your valuable closet space the rest of the year. One option, of course is to just get a very small tree, a real one if you don’t want to store it year round. But if a small tree looks too pathetic to you, you can decorate a large house plant or cactus that you already have in the home so you’re not taking up any additional space. The best space-saving option is to purchase strips of fake or real pine and attach them to a wall in your home in gradually increasing lengths as you work your way down the wall. All of these options are cheaper and won’t rob you of a lot of square footage.

Off tree-ornaments

If you’re going without a traditional Christmas tree but still want to hang some Christmas ornaments, you can get creative with off-tree ornament ideas. For instance, you can hang glass-ball ornaments from a chandelier or fill a large glass bowl with ornaments.

Think beyond the holidays

As mentioned above with the Christmas tree, decorations not only take up space while they’re on display, they take up space year round when they’re in storage. When purchasing Christmas decorations, try to choose items that are big on charm but not actually big. Ideally, you’ll be able to fit everything into one plastic storage bin that you can easily pull out when needed and store away when you’re done with it.

All white

Darker reds and greens make a space look smaller than it is so go with a white, wintry look to make your space feel larger. You can purchase white baseboard radiator covers to make your baseboard heating system match your theme.

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