Mediterranean Kitchen by M. Elle Design
Helping a client decide on the right kitchen countertop is right up there there in importance when designing or remodeling a kitchen.
 
There are so many choices and factors that decide what will be best.
 
Things like budget, personal preference, cooking and cleaning style are all questions that need to be answered before making the final decision.
 
JENNIFER OTT, San Francisco interior designer, designed a quiz for Houzz that can help you answer these questions for yourself.
 
Its fun and quick so take a coffee or tea break and see what you discover.
 
I have to say when I took it, the answer was spot-on—quartz!
 
 
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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This week’s article is a guest post from Amy Spagnola for Luxe Decor.
It’s all about the entryway. Enjoy!

Nothing sets the tone of the home more than the front entryway. A first greeting to guests, the foyer is an important part of a home’s vitality. A cluttered and confusing entryway represents some type of energetic dysfunction.

If you’re seeking to recharge your home’s vestibule, there are plenty of ideas for increasing peaceful and serene vibes. Here are a few design ideas to give your home’s entryway a touch of tranquility:

entryway-image-1Image Credit: Image Via Popsugar

A symmetrical minded entryway is full of character. Matching lamps, picture frames and tables creates a sense of harmony. Neutral colors and simple gold frames add even more delicate and down-to-earth energy to the front of the home.

entryway-image-2Image Credit: Country Living

A farmhouse-focused entryway is filled with trinkets and treasures. Not distracting or disorganized, this layered entry space is country chic. A little bit of plant life, a few baskets and a bit of artwork signals a home with cozy comforts and traditional style.

entryway-image-3Image Credit: Image Via Paul Davis New York

Light, bright and modern, this sleek entryway is inviting and appealing. A central table with a few books and flowers offers a spot for guests to set valuables or homeowners to place keys and handbags. A large orange corner chair indicates the start of a restful and colorful space.

entryway-image-4Image Credit: Image Via Love Home Design

The mood of this home entryway is relaxed and carefree. Filled with calming neturals, multiple seating stations and a bit of friendly décor, this space is easy and effortless. A vintage bench, high-back chair and a couple candleholders, make this space feel charming without being overpowering.

Guest Post by Amy Spagnola for LuxeDecor

 

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy Meadows,
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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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
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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
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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
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When you think of flooring, what first comes to mind?
Usually, carpets, hardwood, or tile.
But there are so many other choices you may not have thought of. Different flooring selections that are interesting, very appealing, and functional as well.
Take a look at these examples and see if it doesn’t give you some new ideas to give your home a fresh sense of personality.
They’re presented by YANIC SIMARD, Houzz contributor and Toronto interior designer.
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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How often have you looked around your home and thought “If I only had just a little more space.”
Most of us have experienced this at one time or another. While we can’t expand the footprint of a room without re-modeling, there are design tricks that can, at the very least, give the feeling of more room.
Take a look at this infographic from WIMDU, a Berlin-based rental service. They offer 7 decorating mistakes made with small spaces and how to correct them.
Sometimes, it only requires small changes to make a big difference in how a room can be designed to feel larger than it is. The result? A happier home.

7 Decorating Mistakes That Will Make Your Home Seem Smaller [Infographic] by the team at Wimdu

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

 

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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Do you remember wall-papered kitchens of old?
You may recall the  cute collection of teapots scattered everywhere you looked. Or, it could have been a ceiling border of grape vines . And who could forget the trailing ivy which was a favorite choice back in the day.
The wallpapers of today are contemporary and elegant.
They can be found in almost any design you can think of. Whether you favor subtle or bold, there is sure to be one that catches your fancy. Check out casartcoverings.com for fabulous examples.
Wallpapers can be an excellent design choice in a kitchen, especially where we are so used to seeing paint, tiles, and stone applications.
They can also be used in expected places. Take a look at these photos for ideas you may not have thought of.
TIP: When papering behind the sink or stove, use a professionally coated wallpaper or wall coverings made of vinyl for obvious reasons
1)  Paper applied to an accent wall only.
2)  Add eye-catching interest to the front underside of an island.
3)  Give the range hood its own attention.
4)  Look upward for ceiling appeal.
Traditional Kitchen by Adams + Beasley Associates
5)  Cover the blank area behind open shelves.
6)  Instead of just paint, paper above wainscoting.
7)  Surround your stove.
8)  Use a wall covering instead of tile or stone.
9)  Separate an eat-in area from the rest of the kitchen.
10)  Give your pantry its own personality.
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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What do you do if you’re combining households?
This is a common situation that can bring up a lot of emotional stuff that can create tension in a relationship.
What goes? What stays? How do you decide?
As a designer, I’ve often felt I was playing the role of therapist while trying to reach design decisions with a couple where each felt listened to and happy with the results.
One thing I know for sure is each partner needs to decide what is non-negotiable with each person respecting the other’s choices.
By this I mean a few things, not a laundry list!
Beyond that, Freshome.com did an article that gives some essential tips that can really help
couples solve this situation and make moving in together a joyful experience it should be.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE ” I DO”: ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR COMBINING HOUSEHOLDS

So you and your significant other are moving in together … congratulations! Although combining households can seem like a daunting task, especially when both of you have a lifetime of possessions to account for, the process doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal — all it takes is a little planning and forethought.

Here are a few tips for combining households (and furniture, and decorating styles) to ensure that the move into your home together is a positive experience for both of you from start to finish.

Assess Belongings Before the Move

One of the biggest hurdles in merging two households is dealing with the sheer volume of stuff that you both have accumulated over the years — far too much to deal with while the moving van is parked outside. Take stock of your belongings well in advance of the big day so that there are no surprises.

Each of you should go through your things individually. Get rid of anything that won’t be needed in your new home, and make a short list of sentimental, must-have items that you’d like to be given a place of importance. Once that’s done, discuss your inventories and, above all, be respectful of your partner’s wishes.

combining households - Freshome

Image: Rikki Snyder

Let Space Dictate Compromise

There are bound to be more than a few duplicate items on both of your lists, especially if you’ve been living on your own for a while. Rather than arguing over whose couch is the comfiest, it’s best to let your new space decide which piece will stay.

Think realistically about your new home’s size, shape and aesthetic. Just as a giant, L-shaped couch may not be the best choice for a tiny apartment, modern furniture will probably seem out of place in a historic building that’s full of quaint charm. When in doubt, remember that selling everything and starting fresh is always an option.

combining households - Freshome

Image: Adrian Wilson

Find a Style You Both Like

It goes without saying that your new home should be a reflection of both your styles. For some, that means embracing an eclectic look that allows each person’s personality to shine through. For others, it means deciding on something new that pleases each of your aesthetics.

Take some time to browse through home design sites (such as Freshome) together and see if you can find an aesthetic that you both agree upon. In the rare event that there isn’t much common ground, make sure that each person has a designated space where they’re in charge of choosing the decor.

Combining households with a significant other can feel like a big ordeal, but all it takes is a little preparation. By tackling these tasks with the right attitude and following these tips, you can help ensure that your move will be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

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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