As an interior designer and lover of all things beautiful, I love re-purposing furniture. It’s not only good for the environment, but it can also be cost-effective, charming, and out-of-the-ordinary.
Here are 13 examples of unconventional bathroom vanities that have stepped out-of-the-box to find  new life in a different way than originally thought of. Take a look.
TIPS:
  • You will likely need a carpenter to re-configure drawers in order to accommodate the sink and plumbing. You also want to maintain as much storage area as possible.
  • If there is not a material like quartz, granite, etc., on the top of the furniture, apply a wood sealer such as used on boats to prevent water damage.
There you have it. Different ideas and different design styles for re-purposing a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. You may have an old piece in storage that you could use in this way. If not, and you like the idea, check out Craigslist, antique malls, or yard sales. You may be surprised at what treasures you find.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
There are any number of reasons why you may choose to rent rather than purchase a home.
You may be downsizing and simply don’t wish to have the burdens that come with home ownership. When the sink leaks, for instance, you’d rather call the manager or owner and the problem is fixed—no muss, no fuss.
Or, you may be building a home and need a place to live in the meantime.
Or maybe you or your parents are moving into an assisted living complex.
Again, there are many valid reasons why renting an apartment or home is the best option. However, there can be challenges. One of them are restrictions as to what you can do with wall decor.
Your apartment is your home and however long you reside there, you want it to reflect your taste and who you are in the world. You don’t want it to look and feel temporary.
So how do you satisfy your design dreams and also the rental owner’s rules?
Freshome offers 13 ideas that can help you with this design dilemma so everyone wins. Take a look.

Removable wallpaper

When most people think of wallpaper, the first word that may come to mind is “permanence”. Not a great move if you’re renting. Removable wallpaper, however, swoops in to save the day for renters, and maybe homeowners with commitment issues. Gone is the terror of peeling off tiny bits of thin, dried paper. This modern decor tool goes easy-on, easy-off in countless modern prints and patterns. Your landlord will be none the wiser.

tapestry modern wall decorating ideas

Image: Nanette Wong

Hang a tapestry

Tapestries aren’t just for bohemian interiors anymore. While there are plenty to be found with intricate medallion designs, there are also countless choices to fit any decor style. Geometric patterns or abstract prints compliment contemporary style, while printed outdoor images, quotes, and minimalist designs bode well with more modern settings.

wall curtain wall decorating ideas

Image: hooray blog

String a curtain

If a tapestry just doesn’t fit your style, a curtain might do the trick. A simple, solid drapery softens the room without adding too much fuss. The mounts won’t do much damage and, in a pinch, tensions rods would do the trick. We personally love this look behind a bed.

gallery wall decorating ideas

Create a (shelved) gallery wall

Want the trendy gallery wall look, without the mess of drilling a dozen holes in the wall? Consider using floating shelves instead. Sure, you’re still putting a few holes in the wall to install the shelves, but you’re also able to change up your selection at any time without new holes. Look for floating shelves with a small outer lip to stop slippage. Otherwise, use some wall putty to hold the frames in place.

Frame a statement piece

A large piece of art doesn’t have to weigh you, or your walls, down. Hanging a poster or large photo has to do entirely with what it’s framed in. Find a lightweight poster frame, or alternative method — like these wooden bars, which leave the poster intact and give any artwork a clean, crisp look.

big mirror wall decorating ideas

Image: bloglovin’

Add a mirror

You’ll need a mirror anyway, right? Go big with a framed floor mirror, which can be found relatively inexpensively. Not only will it take up a considerable amount of your wall space with zero holes, but it will also help reflect and create light throughout your apartment. Again, wall putty is your friend here.

DIY copper shelves wall decorating ideas

Image: homeedit

Go green

A little green can go a long way. Dress up your walls with some of your favorite houseplants, whether by hanging a pot from a ceiling hook or placing a plant stand in front of your bare walls. The open shelving from your gallery wall also gets a lively upgrade with a plant, as shown above.

Stick on a decal

Wall decal stickers are widely available online and offer something for everyone. Whether it’s adding a shape like stripes, stars or polka dots, channeling nature with trees and leaves, or writing out your favorite quote, there are an endless number of styles and designs. Think about size and placement. Decals come in sticker or wall-cling materials, both which are a breeze to remove when the time comes.

neon sign wall decorating ideas

Image: Z GALLERIE

Flash some Neon

An eye-catching statement piece doesn’t have to be enormous — it just has to be eye-catching. Neon signs are just that. Grab a vintage one of your favorite brand, or find a new one with a fun saying or image that will have everyone talking.

Be crafty with washi

Heard of washi tape yet? It’s the Japanese version of masking tape. Made from rice paper, it doesn’t leave the residue of the stuff we have stateside. Even more appealing, it comes in a massive variety of colors and patterns. Hanging your pictures, prints and other paper goods with a piece of washi tape for an easy gallery wall, or create your own geometric mural with it.

Get organized

Use your spare wall space to get organized. From cork boards to calendars, get your style on while staying on schedule.

 

large wall map wall decorating ideas

Image: Lake Jane

Map it out

Maps aren’t going out of style anytime soon, and we say the bigger the better. A vintage style adds class to your space, while more classic styles can accommodate any decor style. Hang it like you would large art, and you’ll be seeing the world from the comfort of your couch. Bonus points if you flag the places you’ve traveled.

Hang it up

Calling all trendsetters. Displaying your favorite clothing and accessories with this trending wall decor. Hats are big this year (in fashion as well as wall decorating ideas), but sweaters, scarves, even jeans could hand decoratively on small nails for a look that’s ultra-chic.

What are you favorite no-fuss wall decorating ideas? Reach out to us in the comments or on social media — we’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Having recently completed one master bathroom remodel and about to start another, I definitely have bathrooms on the brain.
One of the biggest challenges is having ample storage space that is functional and esthetically beautiful and visually calming.
Here are 10 examples for creating extra space no matter how big or small your bathroom is. Take a look.
If someone asks what your decorating style is, are you able to define it?
Just for fun, take this short quiz and see if your responses match with the answer you receive.
FYI, when I did the quiz, the style that appeared was Transitional which is pretty accurate.
This is certainly not scientific; just a fun exercise. In the end, if you’re happy at home, if your spaces allow you to live your best life—you’ve already found your true and best “style.”
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
A coffee table is a piece of furniture that most everyone has in their home. Why? It’s functional.
Because it’s so handy, it often becomes the repository of “stuff”; the place where everything can land like used coffee cups, papers, remotes, etc.
However, a coffee table is also a beautiful piece of furniture. The trick is how to decorate its surface so it complements the shape of the table and is pleasing to the eye. In a way, it’s an art form and you’re creating a 3-D composition.
As a designer, I favor a simple arrangement that’s beautiful, yet there’s room to set down a beverage and space to support tired tootsies at the end of a long day.
Take a look at these photos and the descriptions from Houzz contributor, Yanic Simard.
He gives great suggestions and easy how-to’s in arrangements for coffee tables that you will love and that will work in your home.
.Transitional Living Room by Meridith Baer Home
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Who among us hasn’t had occasion to feel less than neighborly with our neighbors?
It could be the dog next door that barks incessantly. Or the teenagers down the street who love to have “enthusiastic” parties and high decibel music. As if that weren’t enough, their guests think your driveway is the perfect place to park their car.
Whether living in a condo, apartment. or house, these and many more irritants can and do happen.
Human beings are never going to be in agreement all of the time. However, we do desire to live in harmony; life is just plain easier that way.
This week’s article focuses on this very subject. Houzz contributor, Lizzie Post, http://www.infiniteguest.org/awesome-etiquette/ shares some great tips in dealing with noisy neighbors. They’ll help you determine if it’s a situation you can just let go, or if you do need to voice a complaint and still feel good about doing so.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
You’ve just received a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
You admire the beautiful colors and you take a big inhaled breath to enjoy the wonderful scents.
You wish they could last forever.
But, of course, they don’t.
If you’re like me, you remove flowers in order of their demise and soon the bouquet no longer exists.
No, they don’t last forever, but there are ways for them to last longer.
Take a look at this short video from HUFFPOST.COM. You’ll recognize some of the tips, but there’s one in particular that will come as a surprise.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to. I bet you will, too.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
I’ll never forget a particular weekend the summer of my 21st birthday.
It was a hot one, at least for the Pacific Northwest. Consequently, a friend and co-worker suggested a weekend hike and camping trip up into the Cascade mountains to a high country lake.
I wasn’t a hiker or camper but that sounded like fun and promised relief from the high temperatures in the city.
My friend assured me she would bring everything needed so I didn’t have to worry about a thing (famous last words)!
We met at the trail head early on a Saturday morning. As I looked around, I asked where the trail was. She replied, “It’s right over there” and pointed a finger.
I looked again and saw nothing except a forest of trees, large rocks, and dense brush.
I repeated my question and she said the trail began where a small red ribbon was attached to a bush.
That should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a pleasant walk through a cool, shaded forest ending at a picture-perfect pristine mountain lake.
I was then given a 40 lb. pack to carry and the climb began.
Did it get easier? No it did not. It was only the beginning.
My friend had brought along her boyfriend and I discovered they were very experienced hikers and campers. This was an easy jaunt for them. She hadn’t shared that info with me and I, stupidly had asked no questions before hand.
About half-way into this six mile, straight up climb into hell, the boyfriend had to add my pack to his. I simply didn’t have the conditioning to physically carry it. I was terribly embarrassed that I couldn’t carry my share.
As it was, darkness had fallen and that last mile was literally hand over fist until we reached the lake.
The night was spent trying to sleep on a piece of plastic. Dawn finally arrived and with it, a mass of mosquitoes and horse flies.
Going down the mountain wasn’t a cake walk either. I tripped and fell twice, badly skinning my knees and we ran into a bad thunderstorm.
By the time we reached our cars, I was soaking wet with bleeding knees and blistered feet. Furthermore, I could barely walk for the next several days.
I made a vow then that I would never do an overnight camping trip again and I haven’t.
However, and this brings me to this week’s article—there’s camping and then there’s ” glamping” which means “glamorous camping.” I think I could enjoy this. It would be a very different experience than what I experienced that long ago summer.
If you also don’t enjoy the typical rigors of hiking and camping, this may appeal to you as well. Take a look at these photos from FRESHOME and see what you think.
“HERE ARE SIX REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO GLAMPING FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION”

It’s comfortable

When you glamp, you’re “roughing it” without the “rough” part.

Forget the tent which you have to contort your body to crawl into, and instead, step into a tall canvas tent with room to spread out. Camping itself is wonderful, but sleeping on the ground, zipping in and out of tents, and less-than-ideal bathrooms can be a bit draining on most people after a while, and a complete no-go for some. Glamping means real beds that you can get some of your best sleep in — especially in the fresh air of the outdoors. They’re vastly more spacious than tents, giving you and your travel companions room to spread out both horizontally and vertically. You’ll be treated with hotel-like hospitality and the creature comforts that help you to relax and feel at home on vacation.

And there are electrical outlets, which is a big plus, right?

The locations

Glamping brings you to places that hotels and resorts can’t. You could be waking up just steps from a beach on a private island, or deep in a mountain range overlooking a serene alpine lake. As soon as you walk out of your “room”, you’re immersed in nature. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

The cost

Living luxuriously in a tent, yurt, teepee, or cabin doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, most glamping is considerably less expensive than staying in a hotel. Look around at glamping near you or where you’d like to travel, and you might be surprised by what you find.

And you can rest easy knowing that your money is well spent. Much like AirBnB or VRBO, supporting glamping means supporting individuals and their small businesses. You eliminate the overhead of a large resort property and directly support the local community and economy.

You don’t have to be an expert

Camping isn’t as straightforward as going out into the woods with a tent and sleeping bag — which is assuming you even have those two essentials. So while camping itself is low cost, the gear needed to rough it for a few days can add up quickly.

When you glamp, there’s no additional equipment required. You won’t have to worry about bringing a cookstove or remembering the rain fly. Scout skills are not necessary here.

Sure, there are some camping purists out there who want to trek for miles and go completely off the grid for a few days. But if that’s not for you, glamping is your best bet for a memorable camping experience. Simply show up, sit back, and enjoy the simplicity of being outdoors.

It’s eco-friendly

Not only does glamping immerse you in nature, it also helps you protect it. Once you go glamping, you’ll have a heightened appreciation for nature and protecting it — while doing so. Glamping itself is a low impact green activity.

Most vacationing includes brand new, large resort complexes that are expensive to build and operate. Glamping can happen anywhere from tents to retro airstreams, but nearly all of the options are examples of low construction, upcycled or reused living arrangements.

What’s more, they don’t require the heating and electricity costs of modern construction. And for the resources glamping does require, many setups run on solar or wind power.

As ecotourism rises in demand, glamping stands a great chance to skyrocket in popularity.

It’s cultural

There’s no better way to experience a culture than to immerse yourself in it. Whether you’re learning to surf with the locals on the Baja coast or practicing your lassoing skills on a ranch in Big Sky, there’s so much to do, see, and learn while glamping.

And glamping doesn’t just mean in tents! From yurts to wagons, teepees, airstreams and treehouses, the variety of ways to glamp allow for different cultural experiences that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Are you thinking about going glamping? Have you already gone? I’d love to hear about your experiences and see your pictures! Send me a few words in the comments, or on social media.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
One definition of bench is that it’s a long seat for several people.
But that’s only the beginning of the bench story, because few pieces of furniture can be used in so many different ways.
Benches are beautiful, versatile, and functional. They can definitely add zip to your interior and even exterior decorating.
Take a look at these photos and see how the lowly, simple bench can solve many of your decor issues and add something of beauty at the same time.
AT THE FOOT OF THE BED
Should be a few inches below the bedding. A great place to put on your shoes, add a few accessories, or simply nothing at all.
THE BENCH AS COFFEE TABLE
It becomes extra seating if needed and with a tray as an anchor, it can hold beverages and/or food. Or maybe, just a comfortable place to rest your weary feet after a long day.
DINING TABLE SEATING
A bench can sometimes seat more people and take up less space than chairs allowing you to expand your seating capacity.Just make sure the bench is chair height.
AS A ROOM DIVIDER
A bench can serve as a space separator in an open floor plan without taking up visual room. It can allow conversation from either side, important if you have more than one seating area.
AS A SOFA TABLE
Again, can be used as extra seating, but also serves as a visual anchor in an open floor plan. It’s also a place to add a few beautiful accessories.
IN THE FOYER
A perfect place for a narrow bench to change your shoes. By adding hooks above, it gives you a place to hang coats and jackets. Perfect in a small entry.
OUTDOORS
Whether it’s on a porch or patio, a bench always has a place.
IN THE BATHROOM
A place to sit in the shower or besides the tub. Just make sure it’s made of a water-resistant material like teak.
SMALL SEATING
With pillows and padded seat you have an instant small sofa. Perfect as a window seat or dining banquette. Don’t be surprised if your cat decides it’s the best place for afternoon naps.
There you have it. You may have to “bench” yourself on a  seat and think for a moment where you can use benches in your home!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms, not the other way around
photos via HOUZZ

It’s often thought that the higher the thread count, the better a bed sheet is—better feeling and more elegant.

Actually, that high thread count doesn’t mean you’ve bought a better quality sheet.

In fact, as a designer, I’d rather my clients save the money and apply it elsewhere in their design budget.

In truth, a 350 thread count is perfectly O.K. vs. a 1,000 count one. Both in how well they hold up to many washes, their comfortable feel, and certainly the difference in cost.

Take a look at this short HUFF POST HOME video that designer ERIC COHLER did. He explains why a medium thread count is an excellent choice and gives you other info when buying your sheets.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

This video was produced by Alex Kushneir and Stephanie Petchers on Huffington Post

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