Do you have trouble sleeping?
 
Maybe you’ve already painted your bedroom in restful colors.
 
You have blackout shades  as part of your window coverings.
 
Electronics are removed from your bedroom while sleeping.
 
You couldn’t have a better mattress, pillows, or bed coverings.
 
You keep the room temperature cooler at night.
 
All of these things help give you a better night’s sleep. 
 
And yet, after all this, you still have trouble sleeping. It could be difficulty falling asleep or waking up during the night tossing and turning, unable to fall back asleep.
 
Either way, lack of sleep affects our quality of life. We have less energy and difficulty thinking clearly which affects productivity.
 
As if that’s not enough, we tend to eat more of the wrong things in an attempt to feel more energetic which can result in weight gain—oh yay!
 
Before reaching for OTC or prescription drugs, why not let nature lend a hand. Here are 5 plants (with science to back up the claims) that can help you sleep better. The info was shared by THEUNBOUNDEDSPIRIT.COM
 

1. Aloe vera plant

1

Another natural healer that is great for soothing inflammation, scars and burned skin, Aloe vera can also detoxify the body. Plus, Aloe can help eradicate polluting chemicals found in cleaning agents, thus purifying your air in the bedroom and the rest of your house.

There is another interesting thing in relation to this plant. Namely, when harmful chemicals are at a high level in your home, the plant will develop brown spots, keeping you well aware of the “situation.”

Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, the fantastic Aloe vera works much like the snake plant – it emits oxygen at night, making for a more restful slumber. It is also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – it tolerates ‘neglect’ well and so doesn’t require frequent watering.

Dubbed the ‘plant of immortality’ by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one you will soon have an Aloe plant for all the rooms in your house. You can even pass on the gift of happy sleep to your family and friends! Keep it on your bedroom windowsill as it does need a lot of direct sunlight.

You can also use the gel from the Aloe vera leaves as a topical treatment for insect bites, dry skin, minor cuts and burns, and a lot more! It is simply a ‘must-have’ plant in every home.

2. Lavender plant

2.

Who doesn’t love the scent of lavender? It is probably the most well-known of all plants when it comes to inducing sleep and reducing anxiety levels.

Research backs up these claims, with lavender scents shown to slow down heart rate, lower blood pressure and levels of stress.

In one study, the smell of lavender reduced crying in babies, sending them into a deeper sleep while simultaneously reducing stress in both mother and child – something all new mothers will be happy to hear!

In females, lavender has been shown to increase light sleep, and decrease rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and the amount of time to wake after the first falling asleep, with opposite effects in men.

While there are a host of lavender-scented products in the market to help you get a full night’s rest (from lavender-scented sleep masks to lavender mattresses) why not go for the most natural and cost effective option – a beautiful lavender plant placed on your nightstand!

The lavender plant is mainly used as a fragrance for soaps, scented clothes and shampoos. It is also a great cleaning agent, but its powers do not stop there as lavender plant can actually help treat insomnia and anxiety. Researchers recognize that inhaling its scent can unleash soothing, sedating effects when we breathe in the fragrance from lavender plants.

3. Jasmine plant

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This exotic plant has a gentle, soothing effect on the body and mind. It has been shown in one study to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.

Not only that, but this research suggests that the positive effects of such a high quality sleep bring about increased alertness and productivity during the day!

The Wheeling Jesuit University conducted a study that has proven the efficacy of jasmine as a natural sleeping aid.

Positive effects include the quality of sleep, decreased anxiety and improved mood upon wakening. Jasmine plant can also bolster the features of your bedroom, with its sweeping vines and collectives of tiny trumpet-shaped flowers. With such beautiful pink or ivory blossoms, there seem to be no downsides to adding a jasmine bloom to your boudoir!

4. English Ivy plant

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A study carried out by NASA included English Ivy as the number one best air-purifying plant. This is due to it being the most efficient plant when absorbing formaldehyde.

English Ivy is easy to grow and it survives in moderate temperatures and medium sun light exposure. English Ivy appears to be the best bedroom plant to help you sleep in terms of efficiency and ease.

Other studies have shown that this leaf can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which all sufferers know can seriously impact both the quantity and quality of sleep. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that, in a 2005 experiment, English Ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours! As mold can affect our breathing, it is definitely a plant to have at hand for a great night’s sleep!

This evergreen vine looks great in an indoor hanging basket, or placed on a ledge where the leaves can trail down. It is toxic to kids and pets though, so make sure to keep it out of their reach!

5. Snake plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)

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It is one of the most recommended plants for improving indoor air quality. The snake plant is a hardy and easy to care-for plant. Snake plant is actually recommended as a great “filter” to improve oxygen purity in your home.

It is perfect for the bedroom with low maintenance and cost. What is great about this plant is that it emits oxygen at night whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing out.

All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night’s sleep. The snake plant also removes some nasty but common household toxins (namely formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene) from the air.

Alternatively, you can also include a gardenia, a spider plant, a valerian plant, a peace lily plant, a bamboo plant, gerbera daisies or a golden pothos plant in your household decorations to finally get that restful and energizing good night’s sleep you’ve been longing for! Trust us on this one because you have nothing to lose but your restless and sleepless nights.

TO RECAP: Apart from being decorative, house plants also prove to be highly beneficial when it comes to your health and sleep patterns. For one thing, they filter the air and oxygenate your home. Thus, choosing the right plants for your bedroom can be a great way to get rid of your sleeping disorder as well.

 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
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How do you define a luxurious home?
 
You likely picture it as large and filled with expensive materials, furniture, art and accessories.
 
In reality, it’s none of these things. A large home can have a cold feel to it and be overwhelming.
 
An ostentatiously-furnished home can feel off-putting and like you can’t touch anything.
 
A truly luxurious home is comprised of elements that anyone can have regardless of size and cost.
 
These elements as described by MOCHACASA.COM are:

Scandinavian design living room

A feeling of spaciousness

This isn’t the same as a having a large house. Rather, it is a home where you feel you have room to breathe and move. An absence of clutter and good storage helps. As does not trying to cram too much furniture into a room. It’s about working with the scale of the room.

white and grey living room

Light

A light filled interior instantly feels good when you walk into it. And this is in part linked to the last point: it gives a room a more spacious appearance. And if you don’t have large windows, substitute with some clever lighting. But balance is the key. It shouldn’t look too bright and stark either.

freestanding bath and stone walls

Contrast

Light and dark. Hard and soft. Rough and smooth. Natural and man-made. Ancient and modern. Contrast adds interest that arouses our senses. Think of the way light plays on a room when it filters in through a window blind. Or rich warm wood set against cool glass and steel. An all white room may feel cold if it is all one shade and similar materials. But add subtle shades, different textured fabrics. And the mood of the room is altogether different.

modern classic white living room

Dining room with colourful rug

Balance

Closely related to contrast is balance. A riot of different colours and patterns in a space can be headache inducing. Over-using metallic home accessories and furnishings can look garish. But place a colourful patterned rug in the centre of a neutral room and it can entirely transform the interior. Introduce some subtle metallic accents, and it adds a touch of luxe.

Dining table with ornate mirror

Dining table with plants and flowers

Nature

Get inspired by nature and bring the outside in. Adding natural elements into your home will bring it to life. Think of how a plant can add vibrancy to an empty corner of a room.

Luxurious bedroom with natural elements

Scent

Our sense of smell has a powerful impact. An aroma can effect or enhance our mood. And evoke memories that take us back to a different time and place. But alternately, they can also be an instant turn-off. Walk into a room with a stale, unpleasant odour and it might cloud your perception of the space. Even if the decor is otherwise lovely.

Enter a luxurious hotel and probably one of the first things you’ll become aware of is a beautiful fragrance in the air. And its easy to replicate the effect in your own home with a scented candle or diffuser. Once again it’s all about balance. You’re aiming for a subtle, rather than overwhelming, fragrance.

And perhaps subtlety is what links all these elements together.  A luxurious home isn’t one that screams “look at me!” – because it doesn’t have to.

You just know.

What do you think makes a home feel luxurious? What would you add to the list?

Mindful Interior Design, Home decor ideas, Luxury
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
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Eclectic Living Room by Amber Interiors

It’s not the fabulous furniture you’ve chosen and no, it’s not the perfect color you’ve painted your walls.

 
While important, the real secret to achieving warmth and coziness in your home is texture.
 
It’s the subtle interplay of tactile surfaces that gives a room vitality.
 
Texture is about balancing fuzzy and sleek, patterned and plain, shiny and matte, dark and light in furnishings, textiles and finishes.
 
I challenge you to sit on a sofa that has a sheepskin or faux fur throw draped over it and not run your hands through it. It begs to be touched and it’s comforting when you do it.
 
Textures are the visual “feel” of a room and without them the comfort a space should give you is missing. It’s one dimensional—even if you’re not consciously aware of it.
 
This week’s article shows 9 ways to successfully use texture in your home.
 
LAYERS
Transitional Bedroom by Lisa Burdus Interior Design

Pillows, throws, a coverlet all in different textures makes this bed oh so inviting.

 
EXPOSED WALLS
Beach Style Bathroom by Westcott Construction Ltd

A brick wall in an unexpected place like this bathroom gives depth and interest to the space.

Farmhouse Family Room by SALA Architects

In this living room, reclaimed wood boards turn a blank wall into a textured statement.

 
ADD AN EXTRA RUG
Transitional Living Room by Thomas Towne Reavey, Inc.

In this photo, a second rug has been added on top of a neutral-colored one for more color and texture.

 
Note: If there are small children or elderly in your home, consider carefully as layered rugs pose a tripping hazard. Instead, use it as a wall hanging.
 
USE TEXTURAL OBJECTS AS ART
Midcentury Living Room by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Portuguese eel traps have been hung on this fireplace wall. The dark color of the traps contrasts beautifully against the white brick.

 
Rustic Dining Room by Jute Interior Design

For smaller items like these baskets, hang them as a wall collection. They’re complemented by the hanging, textural light pendant.

 
TEXTURED WALLPAPER
Transitional Bedroom by Alexander Pollock Interiors

Always luxurious whether matte or shiny, wallpaper is an elegant way to bring texture into a room.

 
GO PLUSH WITH VELVET
Transitional Living Room by Nanette Wong

This sofa begs you to curl up on it. The dense softness will have you petting it for sure. With a large piece like this, go more hard-edged with other pieces of furniture in the room for contrast.

 
Note: Velvet might not be the best fabric choice if you have a cat. It can become irresistible for its little claws. Life style is always something to be mindful of as it determines your design choices.
 
TEXTURE FROM NATURE
Contemporary Living Room by Steele Street Studios

In this photo, fireplace logs are displayed as sculpture. You get texture plus something practical.

 
Speaking of nature, plants and indoor trees add texture, color, and are health-giving as well.
 
ADD SHEEPSKIN OR FAUX FUR
Scandinavian Dining Room by Callwey

Looking at this dining room, imagine the plain wood chairs without the sheepskin. The room would have a hard look without their comfort and pillow-soft texture inviting you to take a seat and stay awhile.

 
ADD TEXTURE IN YOUR BACKSPLASH
Midcentury Kitchen by Studio Schicketanz
In a kitchen with its many smooth surfaces, the backsplash can be the perfect way to add a three-dimensional and textured surface. Also think of a basket filled with fruit and plants as additional ways to add texture in a kitchen space.
 
There you have it. Just a few ways to add comfort, warmth and richness to all of your rooms. You’ll love your home even more.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
 
Photos via HOUZZ
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This week’s article was written by Graeme Wilson, UK contributor. He talks about a surface not usually seen in the kitchen—mirror.
 
Though unusual, mirror has many benefits such as bouncing light around the room which visually enlarges the space and adds a sense of depth. It certainly gives a touch of glamour. It can also hide features such as structural pillars which you may not want to see.
 
Depending on the type of glass used, it works beautifully in both traditional and contemporary designed kitchens.
 
And in spite of what you may fear, mirror is not difficult to keep clean—even behind the cook stove.
 
Take a look at the photos and descriptions. They show imaginative ways that you could add mirror to your own kitchen.
 
Incorporating a carefully chosen mirror into your kitchen injects a touch of glamour and brings other benefits. The reflective surface bounces light back across a room, boosting brightness and adding a sense of depth. It’s also a simple but highly effective way to make your space look bigger. Depending on what type of mirror you go for, it can be a relatively inexpensive way to improve your cooking space. Browse these imaginative ways to add mirrored glass to your kitchen.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
 
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We’ve all done it…
 
Look at a large blank wall and wonder how we want to fill that space.
 
We know artwork always works, but just maybe you’d like to do something different this time—decorate that wall in a more unusual way.
 
Here are 11 examples of adding design zest to a large wall in your home.
 
wall art
SCATTERED SCULPTURES
 
Add a 3-dimensional effect with sculptural pieces. No obvious pattern; the sculptures seem to be placed as if by magic.
 
Note: Use an odd number of sculptures and lay your pattern out first on the floor until you find a design that’s pleasing to your eye.
 

CHOOSE A COLORFUL WALL HANGING

It could be a wall hanging that you found in your travels that you tucked into a drawer and forgot about. Bring it out, hang it and be reminded of a wonderful memory everyday.
 

BOOKS AND COLLECTIBLES

A blank wall is the perfect place for books and collected treasures. More than just a book case, the combination makes a pleasing display.
 
RUGS AND TAPESTRIES
 
There are so many treasures from around the world that make fabulous wall hangings. It could be a beautiful rug, any number of tapestries, or something like a ceremonial robe. They come with a story that’s fun to share and add beauty and interest.
 
PANELING
 
In this photo, plaster paneling was custom designed to create a 3-dimensional effect. Nothing else is needed to make this an architectural feature wall. 
 

A SIMPLE LADDER

 
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a simple ladder placed next to a painting completes this wall decor.
 

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

A wall of mirror can be dramatic when it reflects other things of beauty in a room. Also note the artwork that’s placed directly onto the mirror. Hanging it from fishing line, the painting appears to float.
 
A COLLECTION WALL
 
Gather your collection of like items and place them all together so they show as one. It’s so much more effective that scattered about and makes a statement for sure.
 
ADD STATEMENT LIGHT FIXTURES
 
What makes this example different is the addition of unusual light fixtures that flank each side of the artwork; filling the space in a simple, yet dramatic way.
 

ONE OVERSIZED PHOTO

Needless to say, one large photo is all you need to make a very dramatic impression on a blank wall.
 

ICONIC WALLPAPER

This iconic wallpaper pattern originally from the Beverly Hills Hotel is enough of a statement all by itself.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping YOU live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Images via Elle Decor
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You may have beautiful leftover remnants of fabrics neatly folded in a closet or drawer that you rediscover while doing some early spring cleaning.
 
Or, you may have found a high-end piece of fabric that caught your eye and decided it was so gorgeous you knew somehow, someday, you’d find use for it. That, too, was carefully folded with tissue and stored away.
 
And then there are fabrics you discovered while traveling that represent a culture, an heirloom, or historical artifact and held special meaning for you.
 
Consider using these pieces to create art that can give you pleasure everyday. And all you need to add is the frame.
 
Take a look at these examples:
Contemporary Bedroom by Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

In this photo, leftover fabric from the bed pillows have been placed in the center of 6 Indian-inspired woodcuts. A very clever way of tying the bed pillows to the over-the-bed art and using the extra material.

 

Here, leftover drapery fabric was framed and placed over the bed. The pillows and throw fabric are different and they complement each other beautifully.

 
Eclectic Bedroom by Geoff Chick & Associates
This exquisite piece of fabric has been used as the headboard. The material has been layered over batting and stapled tightly into place. The colors are echoed in the bed pillows for a unified look.
 

In this photo, the fabric is used as wall panels and mounted within picture molding.

 
Traditional Home Office by Pine Street Carpenters & The Kitchen Studio
This museum piece of special fabric has been artfully framed in a room that seems designed especially to complement it. The fabric has become a focal point.
 
Contemporary Living Room by Studio Marcelo Brito

The framed fabrics in this photo, along with the tribal art placed below, tell a collective, cultural story of gathered objects from far away travels.

 
What about you?
 
Do you have any tucked away fabrics that you could use as framed art?
 
Far better to see and enjoy them everyday, rather than hidden and forgotten.
 
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
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As a lover of beauty in all of its many forms, I don’t find myself delving into the political world often.
In fact, I stay out of it as much as possible.
However, this year it’s impossible to ignore.
The rancor and divisive political rhetoric has made it so—more than any other presidential campaign in my lifetime and maybe ever.
It has created a malaise and underlying, ongoing anxiety that is shared by millions of Americans.
At the same time, I’m reminded even more of how the warmth and comfort of our home can sustain us in troubled times.
Our safe place where we surround ourselves with friends, family, and all of what makes a house into a home.
This week, I’ve decided to add a little levity to my article and invite you to take a quiz from Houzz.
It’s quick and FUN.
And you may discover another aspect of your design style that you weren’t aware of and might want to add into your home!
P.S. As I write this, there are 26 days until election night. Praise the Lord!!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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Area rugs offer a functional and a visual layer of design.
They anchor the seating group they’re under and add to a room’s design appeal.
In a neutral space, this decor element can even be a focal point. Or just add to the overall warmth of a space.
The trick is determining the scale of area rugs. You don’t want it to be too small or too large. Usually I find clients choosing a rug that is smaller than it should be for the area it’s anchoring.
MODERN-RUGS.CO.UK (an online rug company) has a wonderful infographic that takes all the guesswork out of this design dilemma. It will make all the difference in the overall look and feel of your rooms.
http://nancymeadowsdesigns.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/rugdont.jpg
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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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
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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
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