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Create a more relaxing, stylish outdoor living space

Nature is a popular interior decorating theme, and the term “bringing the outside in” is often used to describe using natural features like plants and rocks inside—but what about “bringing the inside out”?

As you explore deck and patio design ideas, keep in mind that creating a relaxing, stylish outdoor living space or outdoor room can greatly increase the appeal and value of your home and provide an oasis for friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors in supreme comfort.

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Turn your small living room into a magnetic social space

Just like the diner booth that everyone piles into, small living rooms can be magnetic social spaces. Here’s how to squeeze in more entertaining comfort and decorating panache. 

Expand on the Architecture

Small living rooms offer clues about ways to expand their function and style. For example, if you have a nook or cranny that is underutilized, tuck in a bench or desk. If you have an interesting feature, such as a coffered ceiling or a fireplace, make the most of it with decorative treatments. Hang a chandelier to draw the eye to the ceiling. Place eye-catching artwork above the mantel to make the fireplace stand out. Or, play up the windows with elegant curtains that highlight their shape and size.

Work Your Way Up 

When you emphasize its height, a small room feels bigger. Don’t overlook the wall space just below the ceiling as potential for decorative attention. Mount the window treatments at that height to make the window appear grand. Create a grouping of art or photographs that reaches up to the ceiling. Or attach picture-rail molding around the room about 18 inches down from the ceiling and paint the wall space above it a coordinating color.

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Steps to decorating the back of bookcase with fabric

Bookshelves don’t need to be solely utilitarian, and you can decorate a bookshelf in more ways than just putting things on it. Paint and wallpaper offer ways to add some style to your plain bookshelf, but a fun way to add color, design and texture is to cover your bookshelf’s backing with some interesting fabric. A bold design will create visual interest, and shiny fabrics can add a sense of depth to the shelf and brighten up the items on it.

*Pull out the nails holding on the back panel of your bookcase with the claw of a hammer or needle-nose pliers. Remove the back panel of your bookcase and lay it flat with the side that faces the shelves up.

*Measure your panel, then cut your fabric so that it measures about 1 inch longer and wider than the panel.

*Lay out your fabric over the panel face up. Turn the panel and fabric over, stretch the edge of the fabric over the top of the panel, and staple it in place 1/4 inch from the edge, spacing the staples approximately 3 inches apart.

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Make your small kitchen look bigger

A small kitchen can soon look crowded and difficult to use. However, you can take steps to remodel your kitchen to maximize use of available space and also make it look larger. Increasing storage space by looking for it vertically and visually expanding the kitchen by changing the color schemes used will make your kitchen appear larger and more inviting. There are many ways in which you can enlarge the appearance of your kitchen. Pick those that suit you the best to ensure that you enjoy cooking up great feasts in your kitchen.

 .Let There Be Light

The best way to make a kitchen appear larger is to allow in more light. Consult a construction contractor to see if the kitchen window can be enlarged either widthwise or height wise. If the kitchen window is brought down to the level of the sink, it will provide a sense of spaciousness to the kitchen. However, care has to be taken that load bearing walls are not damaged when trying to enlarge the window. Additionally, you can add artificial light to make your kitchen look larger. Under the shelves lighting will make it easier for you to work on the countertops and add to the ambience of the kitchen as well.

.Figure Out the Floors

When remodeling your kitchen pay attention to the floors. You can enhance the space by using wide horizontal stripes, large diagonal stripes, or a neutral colored floor to open it up. The horizontal stripes have the same visual effect that such clothes have on a person. They will make your kitchen appear larger. Light colored floors can also help make the kitchen appear more spacious especially when the floor is only a shade lighter or darker than the walls and cabinets.

Importance of the Color Palette

The importance of the color palette in making a kitchen look larger cannot be stressed enough. You can make your kitchen look larger by ensuring that the floor, walls, window shade, and cabinets are all the same pastel color. This will ensure that your kitchen looks more open and less crowded.

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Do’s and don’ts for decorating the top of cabinets

Before you decide to display something up high, stop and take a moment to evaluate why, exactly, you want to do so. Too many people think that anytime a shelf is in sight there needs to be something resting on top of it.That’s just not true.

As a general rule, if you have under 2’ of space above kitchen cabinetry, very tall armoires or built-ins, don’t decorate the space. All too often, doing so dates you to the 1990’s and the area does nothing but catch dust. 

Here’s an example using of what it looks like when you don’t decorate above kitchen cabinets.

Had we placed objects up there, do you see how they would have distracted the eye from the island and those gutsy light fixtures? In the field of creamy white, the accessories would have stood out and called attention to themselves. That’s why I purposely blended the color of the cabinets, walls and ceilings on this job so that you wouldn’t notice the shorter cabinetry. I wouldn’t want to call attention to it by putting things up there, now would I?

Items that are simple in style and shape are best up high.

Kitchen cabinets to the ceiling and overscaled, tall cabinets that fit the height of these new homes with higher ceilings are such a delight.

It’s as if the builders didn’t get the memo that if you’re going to raise the ceiling, the cabinets and other elements need to go too!

Seriously though . . . While I’m not in love with the stuff that people arrange way up high just to fill a small void, and I do think people overload those areas where it’s not necessary, there are certain situations and certain times when some decorating actually does need to be done above a cabinet.  

For example: If your cabinet is fairly short -- let’s say about 5’-6” high and it looks way shorter than the ceiling, and sort of cries out for something to be put above it -- that’s okay, you can decorate it ;-)

Read more: Do’s and don’ts for decorating the top of cabinets