More stories

  • in

    DIY Home Decor: 43 Stylish Projects For 2023



    Decorating your home is no small feat, especially if you’re doing it on a budget. I know this for a fact, as I have completed all of these DIY home decor projects and ideas to update my home and saved a lot of money along the way.

    Now is the time to get over the idea that dropping big bucks on designer catalog furnishings, decor and accessories is the only way to decorate your home. You have another option – turning to DIY projects that will have you inexpensively sprucing up your home in style this year.

    When you use your own two hands, you can paint, install a floor, or build a coffee table or headboard to fit your needs while saving money at the same time.

    This list of 43 DIY decor ideas can be referred to all through the year when you need easy budget-friendly, DIY home decorating inspiration. Not only are these home decor ideas inexpensive, all of them can be easily customized to coordinate with your home’s style and decor.

    There are a variety of DIY home decor items here from wall decor to furniture painting and more. All the supplies used to make and decorate with can be found at thrift and craft stores, hardware stores and home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes.

    If your ready to start a DIY home decor project to create the surroundings you always wanted, start with one of the DIY home decor ideas listed below. I’d love for you to pick your favorite DIY decorating ideas and let me know what it is.

    42 DIY Home Decor Projects

    .tasty-roundups.tasty-roundup-items-have-numbers{counter-reset:tasty-roundups-counter}.tasty-roundups.tasty-roundup-items-have-numbers .tasty-roundups-item{position:relative}.tasty-roundups.tasty-roundup-items-have-numbers .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-item-number{align-content:space-between;align-items:center;background-color:#606060;border-radius:50%;box-sizing:border-box;color:#fff;display:flex;font-style:normal;height:28px;justify-content:center;position:absolute;width:28px}.tasty-roundups.tasty-roundup-items-have-numbers .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-item-number:before{background-color:transparent;color:inherit;content:counter(tasty-roundups-counter);counter-increment:tasty-roundups-counter;display:flex;font-size:18px;font-variant-numeric:lining-nums;letter-spacing:0;line-height:28px;z-index:10}.ashe-dropcaps .tasty-roundups-item-number:before{margin-top:-2px}body.seasoned-pro .tasty-roundups-item-number:before{margin-top:2px}.tasty-roundups{clear:both}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item{background-color:#f9f9f9;display:grid;margin-bottom:20px}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item[style*=border-width]{border-style:solid}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-has-image[style*=border-radius]{overflow:hidden}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container{padding:20px}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container h2,.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container p.tasty-roundups-description{margin:0 0 15px;position:relative}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container h2{line-height:normal}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container h2 a{border:none;box-shadow:none;text-decoration:none}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-button{align-items:center;background-color:#fff;border:1px solid hsla(0,0%,77%,.4);border-radius:2px;display:inline-flex;justify-content:center;line-height:normal;padding:.5em 1em;text-align:center;text-decoration:none}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-item-number[style*=border-width]{border-style:solid}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-image-container{height:100%;-o-object-fit:cover;object-fit:cover;overflow:hidden}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item .tasty-roundups-image-container img{height:100%;-o-object-fit:cover;object-fit:cover;width:100%}@media only screen and (min-width:768px){.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left.tasty-roundups-item-has-image{grid-template-columns:256px auto}}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-image-container{grid-column:1;grid-row:1;width:256px}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-content-container{grid-column:2;grid-row:1}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-item-number{bottom:0;left:-34px;margin:auto 0;top:0}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-top{grid-template-columns:repeat(1,minmax(0,1fr));row-gap:0}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-top .tasty-roundups-image-container{max-height:600px}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-top .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-item-number{left:0;margin:0;top:-36px}@media only screen and (min-width:768px){.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right.tasty-roundups-item-has-image{grid-template-columns:auto 256px}}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-image-container{grid-column:2;grid-row:1;width:256px}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-content-container{grid-column:1;grid-row:1}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-item-number{bottom:0;margin:auto 0;right:-34px;top:0}.tasty-roundups-affiliate a{align-items:center;display:flex}.tasty-roundups-affiliate svg{color:#667;margin-left:.5em;width:140px}@media only screen and (max-width:768px){.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left,.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right{grid-template-columns:100%}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-image-container,.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-image-container{grid-column:1;grid-row:1;max-height:600px;width:100%}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-content-container,.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-content-container{grid-column:1;grid-row:2}.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-left .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-item-number,.tasty-roundups .tasty-roundups-item.tasty-roundups-item-align-right .tasty-roundups-content-container .tasty-roundups-item-number{left:0;margin:0;top:-36px}}

    Pottery Barn Table Lamp Knock-Off
    If you are looking for DIY table lamp ideas I have shared a few and recently made over another table lamp from the thrift store. I like upcycling them as they are an inexpensive way to update home decor at a fraction of the cost of buying a trendy new table lamp from a decorating

    Designer Inspired Two Tier End Table Makeover
    Refresh a wood end table, a two tier end table or accent table by painting it and then adding a wrapping technique to create a two-tone woven appearance. It will create a high-end Serena & Lily designer look at an affordable price.

    How to Paint a Rusted Faux Finish on a Brass Chandelier
    How to makeover a brass chandelier using craft store acrylic paint and supplies. Of all the projects I have been working on in my dining room, this brass chandelier makeover excites me the most.

    Ottoman Slipcover with Removable Pom Pom Trim
    Step-by-step tutorial showing how to make a pom pom trimmed ottoman slipcover. The fun and flirty pom pom trim is attached with velcro so it can be removed before washing the slipcover.

    Quick and Easy No Sew Box Style Window Valance
    How to make a no sew box style window valance using foam and fabric. No power tools needed. The valance is quick and easy to make.

    One Yard, No Sew Window Treatment –3 Ways
    How to use only one yard of decorator fabric to make a no sew window treatment or shades that can be styled three different ways. 

    Ceiling Fan Painting – Make it Fun!
    This colorful fan is perfect for a nursery or kids room. It looks very cool when the fan whirls around, so do the colors. The stripes can be added easily with acrylic craft paint and painter’s tape.

    Painted Glass Vase for Springtime Decorating
    A painted glass vase is nothing new, but when you turn things upside down, you can transform a plain glass vase into something that resembles a kiln-fired ceramic vase. Its artwork for a table top.

    How to Paint Upholstered Furniture
    Writing a blog about affordable home decor has never been more fun for me than writing this post. I learned how to paint upholstery and had to share the chair I painted with you. It was a complete success!

    How To Easily Create a Grid Gallery Wall
    How to easily measure and hang a grid gallery wall of photos or art on a wall. No complicated calculations or laser level needed to create an eye catching display on any blank wall in your home.

    Vertical Plank Wall Paneling
    How to cover brick or a plain wall with vertical shiplap or planking. I thought about just painting the wall, but wanted something that had more of a cottage feel to it. Installing budget-friendly DIY vertical shiplap or vertical plank wall paneling was the answer.

    Large No Sew Accent Pillow To Make
    How to make a removable cover for throw pillows that doesn’t require a zipper. It can be made using fabric yardage, a dishtowel or any type of fabric.

    DIY Map Wallpaper in My Laundry Room
    Affordable and creative options to using wallpaper in a room on a small budget. This tutorial for map wallpaper is a simple project with beautiful effects.

    How to Install Nucore Flooring
    How to install scratch resistant Nucore luxury vinyl plank flooring in any room with tips on how to easily cut vinyl plank flooring to fit perfectly around doorways.

    Painting Kitchen Countertops To Look Like Carrara Marble
    Painting kitchen countertops to look like Carrara marble can be done successfully. The painted results can last for years. This post will give you the knowledge and the confidence on how to paint kitchen countertops step-by-step.

    How to Make a Floor to Ceiling Plate Rack on a Wall
    A floor to ceiling plate rack wall that looks built-in doubles as a place for decorative storage as well as a way to enhance an awkward wall that is hard to decorate. Making a wall plate rack for your home is easy to customize to fit a wall of any size.

    Fitness Room: Before & After
    Want to create a workout space in your house to create a home gym or fitness room?  In this post, I am sharing how I transformed an unused bedroom into a bright and spacious fitness room or home gym.

    DIY: Carpet to Hardwood Staircase Makeover
    How to remove carpet from a staircase and refinish the wood with stain and paint. Re-doing my staircase is something I wanted to do the minute I moved into my house – that was 17 years ago. I have always yearned for hardwood steps and white painted risers. Now I have them and you can too.

    Driftwood Sculpture Table Top Stand DIY
    If you like a modern look for your decor, learn how to make your own version of modern art using a piece of reclaimed wood. Capture the organic beauty of nature and mount it to make a driftwood sculpture table top stand or petrified wood slab or slice.

    How To Paint a Rug on a Hardwood Floor
    How to paint a colorful rug on a floor looks harder then it really is. With a little planning and following these instructions, you can transform a plain floor to one that has plenty of color to make a big impact.

    How to Paint a Concrete Fireplace Hearth to Look Like Stone
    If the fireplace hearth in your home is made of grey concrete that doesn’t coordinate with the mantel or room’s color scheme, did you know you can paint it? You can paint anything when you know the right way to do it.

    DIY Clothespin Picture Frame
    If you like to do DIY crafts for your home, then you will enjoy making this textured photo frame to decorate your home using ordinary wood clothespins.

    DIY Wooden Candle Holders: The Easiest Project Ever
    Turn up the cozy ambiance in your home this season by adding the soft glow of candlelight to your spaces with this easy to make set of DIY wooden candle holders. While you make one or a set for yourself, make a few more as they make a great gift to give family and friends.

    Wood Tabletop Faux Painted to Look Like Zinc
    How to faux paint any surface to look like zinc. Have you ever tried painting a faux finish on a surface like a table top or a piece of furniture? Have you thought of trying, but thought it too hard to accomplish? I want to change that mindset.

    How to Repurpose an Urn into a Side Table
    How to instantly transform a classic garden urn into a side table. This black urn sits in a corner of my living room. I have had it forever. It is one of those classic items that always is in style.

    How To Make A Curtain Rod and Finials with a Tennis Ball
    Here is a budget friendly window treatment that is easy to complete. Learn one way to make a curtain rod using PVC pipe along with two different ways to make decorative finials for the curtain rod.

    How to Paint Furniture With Chalk Paint: The Step By Step Guide
    Looking to find out what the best way to paint furniture is?  It is chalk paint for so many reasons. Did you know that when you learn how to paint with chalk paint, you can create many different painted finishes from sleek, clean and modern to antiqued or a distressed look.

    How to Make Lids For Storage Baskets
    How to make lids for square or rectangular baskets using fabric, decorative paper and cardboard. Once these pretty lids are placed on a basket, you can stack baskets for better storage and organization.

    Simple DIY Headboard for the Guest Room
    DIY custom headboard ideas on a budget – no wood or power tools needed. Learn how to make this DIY headboard for any size bed in your home.

    How to Make a No Sew Chair Cushion Cover
    Update and transform worn out seating or a porch swing by making a colorful no sew cushion for it that can be made in minutes.

    Furniture Makeover: Spray Painting Wood Chairs
    What is the best spray paint to paint wood kitchen chairs and how many cans are needed for complete coverage for one chair?

    How to Repurpose a Sideboard into a Sink Vanity
    How to take sideboard or dresser and repurpose it into a bathroom sink vanity that looks like a vanity out of the Pottery Barn catalog.

    How to Make a Fake Transom Above a Door
    Step-by-step photo tutorial showing how to make a fake transom above a door in your home.

    Dining Room Chair Makeover – Part 2
    Learn how to give new life to stained, dark wood dining room chairs to white or any color. This chair makeover post is the second of two. Recently I showed you how I changed the color of the rush seats on my set of wood ladder back chairs. 

    Gallery Glass Front Door Sidelights DIY
    How to create the look of beveled glass on any window in your home for around $20. It is an easy, inexpensive and a fun project that adds a decorative element that can last a very long time.

    How to Make a Fake Topiary
    How to make a faux topiary that looks like a real one that will last for many years, even if you don’t have a green thumb.

    High Gloss Rolling Doors for My Studioffice
    How to transform thrift store bi-fold doors into rolling doors that will visually separate a room where a swing out door won’t work.

    Making a Fixer Upper Oversized Farmhouse Wall Clock
    Are a fan of the oversized wall clock that is actually a clock face in the Fixer Upper home of Chip and Joanna Gaines? I am. I love it and came up with a way to make my own large farmhouse wall clock to resemble it.

    Create Faux Wallpaper Using Paint and a Stencil
    How to use an all-over wall stencil to create the look of wallpaper.  I call it faux wallpaper. Wallpaper can be pretty pricey even for a relatively small space, an all-over stencil costs a lot less.

    How to Install Armstrong WoodHaven Planks to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling
    Learn how to cover a popcorn ceiling using classic Armstrong® WoodHaven Ceiling Planks with Easy Up® tracks and clips. No need to scrape the ceiling first! The pre-finished planks can be installed right over popcorn ceilings.

    Faux Woodgrain Finish on My Front Doors
    A front door makeover showing how to paint a faux woodgrain finish or faux bois effect on entry doors using paint and liquid glazing medium.

    Outdoor Tuna Can Lantern DIY
    How to make outdoor lanterns to attractively light up your outdoor patio or living space using a tuna can and a few basic items.

    Wood Slat Wall DIY for a Home’s Exterior
    If you’re looking to spruce up the exterior of your home or even the interior, have you considered making a wood slat wall to create a point of interest where there is none.

    More DIY Decorating Ideas

    If you would like to see more decorating project ideas, don’t miss browsing through my DIY Decorating category where you will find dozens of more doable and stylish ideas.



    Post navigation More

  • in

    Why Did My New Lamp Need a Small Riser?



    I bought a new lamp for my bedroom. I have been looking to find just the right one for quite a while.

    The lamp in the above photo is the one I have been using for the last few years. It is OK, but a teeny bit too large for the small chest of drawers I use as my night stand.

    I am pretty picky about the lamps I use in my home and usually make over thrift store found table lamps like the white plaster lamp in my living room, the Serena & Lily lamp knockoff I made for the blue guest room and my favorite Pottery Barn lamp knock-off in my foyer to get the look I want for less.

    When I started to refresh the pretty guest room recently, I decided the lamp on my night stand would be much better suited for the night table in this guest room, so I moved it there.

    Doing this made my search for a new smaller lamp for my night table intensify. Most of the lamps I find at HomeGoods, Walmart, Target and online are too large, small, more rustic or modern than I want.

    In my head I knew what I wanted, but wasn’t finding affordable options. Sure if I wanted to spend $300, I would have many options.

    I opted to just embrace the SLOW method of decorating. When you learn to trust and embrace the process of the hunt, rather than pick up the first thing that catches your eye.

    There is another lamp in the room, so not having a lamp the past two months hasn’t been a problem.

    Last week during a stroll through HomeGoods I found the cutest lamp with shades of blue abalone fragments in the shape of fish. Living on a lake with a full view of it from my bed, the lamp was just too cute not to at least bring it home to see how it looked.

    I really liked it except for one thing. I wanted it to have more height so that the base would be taller than the clock and plant. I like to see varied heights on a table display.

    So what did I do? I went to my scrap wood stash to find a piece to use to make a riser.

    I didn’t have any round pieces that would work as a riser, so I went online to see if I could find a round decorative riser to buy that was the same diameter as the base of my lamp.

    What is a Lamp Riser?

    A lamp riser can be made of wood, metal, ceramic, or glass. Using one adds a little height to a table lamp, making them look in better proportion to the decorative items around it while also giving the lamp more presence in a room.

    You can also use risers in the same way for home decor accents such as flower vases, plants, candles and more.

    I found these footed wooden risers for decor on Amazon. The 5-inch diameter size (largest in photo) was just what I was looking for, so no need to have to DIY one myself, although that is not too hard to do and I will share more ideas further down in this post.

    3-Piece Wooden Risers for Decor

    These footed risers come in two different diameter 3-piece sets: 3″, 4″, and 5″ is the set I bought. There is also a set with larger sizes: 8″, 6″, and 4″. All the sizes come in 4 different colors.

    The white painted round wood riser adds 1.7″ to the height of the lamp, just enough to vary the lamp base height with the other 2 items on the night table to make me happy.

    I also like the distressed white finish on the riser. It is going to go very nicely with something else I am working on for the room that I will share with you as soon as I complete it.

    This is the view of my night stand I see when I am in bed. I like that when viewing the lamp from different parts of the room, the items look in proportion with each other.

    Using decorative risers in decorating is one of the easiest ways to give an accent piece more prominence in minutes.

    On a side note, I paid $29.99 for the lamp at HomeGoods. I looked at HomeGoods online to see if I could link to it, but it is not on their site. I did however find it on Houzz for $300 for a pair of the lamps. One more reason to love and shop HomeGoods.

    Natural Wood Round Riser

    On my kitchen counter I use a tree trunk slice to lift the lamp and a few small items off the counter. Using a larger riser in this way acts like a tray keeping the items grouped together.

    Decorative Risers Using Books

    When decorating your home and in need of a riser to make a display look better or a lamp higher, books come in very handy as the instant way to add height to an accent on a table or a vignette.

    DIY – Tin Can Vase

    Use cookbooks on your kitchen counter to raise a vase of flowers.

    If you don’t have any books, head to the thrift store for a stack in colors that will coordinate with your room.

    This gooseneck lamp got the height it needed by placing 3 books under it.

    If you can’t find books in colors you like, use craft or spray paint to change the colors.

    For larger items – use two stacks of books to raise the object.

    As you can see I use books quite a lot when decorating to give my decorative accents more interest and prominence.

    Look around your home to see if adding a little height to a decorative item will make it look better. If you don’t have a ready-made riser or books, a pedestal cake plate works nicely as do boxes wrapped in wallpaper or gift wrap. I am sure you can think of a few more items to use, even a stack of plates will work and looks nice.

    If you do a search online for “wood risers”, “decorative risers” or “risers for decor” you will find many in various heights, styles, colors and shapes to fit any size item from a votive candle to a large vase or sculpture.

    Decorative Risers

    More Easy Decorating Project Ideas



    Post navigation More

  • in

    12 Decorative Ways to Brighten a Dark Room




    Easy and foolproof designer tricks that will add light to dark rooms in a house through decorative details. From adding the right type of lighting to layering in accents and accessories that will reflect light. Here are 12 room brightening tips to help you maximize the light in every room in your home.
    I receive a lot of emails and comments asking me all sorts of decorating and DIY questions. One that has popped up more than a few times in the past few weeks is this question… How can I brighten a dark room?

    I think the reason the question has been coming up more recently is because we are entering the time of year when it’s dark when we wake up and dark before dinner. It can feel depressing. When my husband worked in an office building, he called this time of year… like living in a tunnel with no light at either end of his work day.

    Designer Tips on How to Brighten a Dark Room
    I am a lover of light, airy and bright rooms so I feel I can answer the question with my tried and true, easy and affordable room brightening tips and tricks.
    If a room in your home is feeling gloomy, these changes will immediately brighten it.

    A few of my room brightening methods may require a bit of DIY effort. This was the case with my living room shown above that had a dark brick wall that made the room look dark and drab. Most however, can be done in an afternoon with no remodeling or contractor needed.

    1. Using the Right Shade of White Paint
    First and foremost, do you have features in your home that you cannot change? Perhaps a room with north facing exposure or a room where the windows or doors are obstructed by a covered porch that blocks natural light from entering the room? In rooms like these you need to experiment with different shades of paint to lighten dark rooms in a home.

    True white paint may not be the answer, but a warm white like Sherwin Williams-Creamy will work as it will warm up the cool grey that northern light casts onto a room’s walls.  If you add white with a blue tone, you are only going to add to the grey-ness of the light.
    You may be thinking you just want brighter light in a room. Just remember that light, especially artificial light, or the direction a room faces can add either warm (more yellow) or bright (more blue) light to the room.
    Finding the right balance in-between these two is what I strive for – a true white light throughout my house. In my house the color of the white walls that works is Sherwin Williams – Pure White.
    Both warm and cool light can brighten up any room; picking the right one is more about what makes you feel good in the room. I prefer pure white, but I have a friend who has a bright, open home, but she uses more warm whites in paint and the light bulbs she uses in her home.
    With lamp shades, she uses ecru-colored shades, where I prefer a pure white lamp shade. Her rooms never look dark, but they are not white white. So making a room appear brighter is not just about using pure white for everything.

    2. Add More Lights – Literally
    This is the easiest way to brighten up a dark room. Add more lamps. When I worked in interior design doing decor consults, I often found that homeowners didn’t really understand the power of lighting, the amount of lamps needed and the cast of color a lightbulb emits. They are almost an afterthought in their decorating scheme.
    Instead, make room light a decorating priority and give it as much thought as you give when choosing a new piece of furniture and how it will fit into the room as a whole.

    To easily brighten up a room, have at least 3 sources of light. This can be a mix of floor lamps, table lamps, overhead lighting fixtures, pendants, accent lights, or a wall sconce in every room. They should be placed around the room in a triangular pattern You can read more about how to do this in Decorative Lighting Tips. 
    This approach will spread the light around the room in a pleasing way. You can have more than 3 if you have a large room, or if there is a dark corner, an extra small lamp will help.

    If you like warm light, use incandescent soft white 100 watt light bulbs, if you can find them.  If you prefer the look of a cooler brighter room, use white LED’s. 
    Do some lightbulb testing trial and error. Lightbulbs have become overly expensive in the past few years, so save the receipts while you do some experimenting.
    Buy a few different types of bulbs and wattages and try them out in your lamps and fixtures to see how the light affects the room and how you feel in it. Some bulbs will make the room appear too yellow or blue. Experiment and edit.
    Trust me, it is worth the time and effort to find what lightbulbs and wattage works for your room. Return the the lightbulbs that you didn’t like and then buy a few more that you do like so you always have the type you like on hand.

    3. Use White Lamp Shades
    When adding more lamps to the room, make sure that the shades are not totally opaque and that when turned on, the color of light that shines through the shades is the same. You don’t want one to have a yellow cast and another to be bright white.

    I have a lamp in my living room with a shade that looks awful at night. It looks white during the day, but when turned on at night it looks orange. It is because the inside is more ecru and over the years it has aged and yellowed more.

    4. Don’t Block the Windows
    If you have window treatments that block a part of a window, remove them or hang them higher on the wall so natural sunlight can enter the room.

    If the window draperies block the sides of the window when open, remove or learn tricks on how to hang drapes and curtains on the rods so that the stack-back of the drape on each side is not covering the window at all. Doing this will not only add more light into the room, but will make the room appear larger.
    Another way to brighten dark rooms is to use light-colored curtains or blinds. If you have blinds on your windows, pull them all the way up during the day.

    If you have any landscaping outside your home that blocks a portion or all of a window, trim it back so that the full amount of light can enter.

    5. Paint the Ceiling White
    Regardless of whether you like warm or cool light, paint your ceilings white.  I use Sherwin Williams Pure White in a flat finish. I once made the mistake of painting a ceiling using high gloss thinking it would brighten the room more, which it did, but it looked horrible since it showed every imperfection in the ceiling.

    If your ceiling is very high and perfect then paint it high gloss, but a flat white finish on a ceiling will provide light reflecting qualities to a room, too.

    6. Add Glossy Wainscoting to Walls
    If you have read my blog for a while, then you know about the space in my home I dubbed “the hallway of darkness”.  This hallway was a dark space all day long.
    I tried a few room lightening methods like painting the walls white and the trim a glossy white. I even painted the door a bright fun color, but the hallway still looked drab.

    It wasn’t until I decided that what the space needed was more glossy or shiny surfaces.  When I added bead board to the walls and painted them in semi-gloss Sherwin Williams – Pure White and went with a deep dark Navy with no yellow undertones for the top portion of the walls, the hallway came to life.
    I even added a fake transom made with mirror tiles above the door to reflect the light from the single ceiling light.
    So the moral of this room brightening tip is that you can still use dark colors, you just need to pair them with crisp pure white glossy paint and a white ceiling,

    7. Place Mirrors Near Light Sources

    Placing mirrors and shiny items near light sources allow you to reflect light into a room. Shiny items could be a shiny floor finish or decorative objects.
    When I made over this thrift store table, I had mirrored glass cut at my local glass store to fit into the top.  When placed by a window or door, the natural light coming in bounces off the mirror reflection and into the room.

    Where should you place a mirror on a wall when you want to brighten a dark room?
    To maximize reflected light to brighten up a room, hang large a wall mirror on a wall in a room on the opposite wall from a window or door. This doubles the reflection of light coming from the door or window.
    Even if that is not possible, hang a mirror on an adjacent wall so that it can still catch a reflection and will double the amount of light entering the room.

    It is truly an amazing light trick. I have a mirror hanging in every room, except my kitchen and studioffice to help double the light in each.

    I have sliding glass doors in every room on the lake side of my house. I place large mirrors on the walls opposite these doors.  When out on the lake, you can see the mirrors through the sliding glass doors, but the mirrors look like windows that appear to be on the street side of the house.
    This makes it feel as though you can see through the rooms to the front of the house, making my house feel more open and expansive.

    8. Paint Doors and Trim in Glossy White
    Shiny white doors and trim always make a room look brighter. In my previous house, I used either Sherwin Williams – Alabaster or Valspar – Bistro White on all the trim in my house. It looked like pure white in the natural light that came into that house.

    When I used the colors on the trim in the lake house, the colors took on a warmer cast that I didn’t like. I had to try out a few paint colors until I found that Sherwin Williams-Pure White looked like the truest white in the natural light.
    It is for this reason that I hesitate to give out advice on using certain colors of paint. Every home has different light.
    No two are the same so the only way to find the right color is to do some experimenting and paint sampling of paint shades until you find one that rings true white for the trim in a room.
    Have your chosen color made up in gloss or semi-gloss and paint all your trim and doors with it.

    9. Paint Dark Furniture in a Fun Color
    If your room is still feeling dark because of a large piece of dark furniture after making a few room brightening suggestions, consider painting the piece in a light or fun color. Large pieces of furniture that have a dark finish can make a room appear darker.
    In the case of the dining room in my previous house, there was a dark corner with a dark stained corner cabinet in the room.

    Placing a lamp in the corner would have looked odd, so instead I painted the piece a bright fun color making it pop out of the darkness.

    Chandeliers with glass globes and crystals brighten a room.
    If you have never painted furniture before, it is not hard. You just have to schedule time to get it done. If you need some guidance, I have many how to paint furniture tutorials that will help you to achieve painting success on a piece of furniture.

    10. Wash the Windows
    No one wants the chore of having to clean, but it is amazing what squeaky clean windows can do for a room. Grab a bottle of window cleaner and lint free paper towels and get to work. You will be rewarded with a much lighter feeling room.
    To wash unreachable outdoor windows with ease, learn how to tackle the chore in this post, Inside & Out Window Cleaning Tips

    11. Aim Light at Walls and Ceilings
    If you have ceiling lights where the bulbs can be directed, then take advantage of this. Instead of having the light shining down into the room, change the direction of a few of the fixtures to light the walls. Try to keep a balance of light throughout the room, though.
    When choosing lamp shades, don’t use shades with top covers that don’t allow the light to hit the ceiling.

    12. Remove Clutter
    Lastly is a trick that will not only brighten a room but make it look larger at the same time. Remove clutter.  Clutter makes a room feel visually heavy and can lessen all your room brightening efforts. Tidy up and reap the room brightening rewards of having less stuff in the room.

    I hope this answers the question, how to brighten a dark room. As you just read, learning how to brighten a dark room is not limited to just adding mirrors and white paint to the walls.
    More Home Decorating Tips & Tricks




    Post navigation More

  • in

    How To Create a Layered Mirror Gallery Wall




    If you enjoy decorating your home, I am sure you have seen gallery walls in interior decorating magazines, on Instagram and Pinterest. Where a collection of framed art, photos or mirrors in varying sizes are grouped on a wall in a variety of ways to create decorative interest to a room or space.
    In this DIY home decor post, I have created a twist on a classic gallery wall by layering framed mirrors, each in a different frame style. It creates even more of a dramatic effect on a wall.
    Creating a layered gallery wall in your home is inexpensive and easy – a wall decor project that you can get done with a little planning and a free afternoon.
    It is created using wood blocks that you can easily make with scrap wood. When these blocks are attached to a wall it makes the framed mirrors or framed art or photos come out from the wall.
    Table of Contents
    DIY Layered Mirror Gallery Wall

    Layered mirror gallery wall done with a thrifted mirror collection
    I didn’t use specially made gallery wall mirrors, instead I used inexpensive framed mirrors on the wall space above the dresser in my guest room that sits across from a large window.
    The mirror reflections bring in bright and natural light into the room as well as let my guests see themselves when needed.
    A gallery wall using unique mirrors can be created on a full wall or even at eye level above a sofa or console table. Creating one in a hallway, along a staircase or in an entryway will add a touch of visual interest on a blank wall.

    After creating the layered mirror gallery wall, I gave the brown dresser under it a new look.  You can find out how I did this in How to Update a Hand-Me-Down Dresser.
    How to Choose Mirrors for a Gallery Wall
    I had a few mirror frames sitting down in my basement and I got the smaller ones at the thrift store.  I even found a few at the dollar stores that added to my group of decorative mirrors.
    Mix a thick golden frame with smaller modern black and white frames or consider using vintage mirrors to create an unexpected statement. Or use all antique mirrors or similar mirrors in one color to fit the color scheme or interior design of the room to create your mirror wall.
    How To Make A Layered Framed Mirror Gallery Wall
    Time needed: 4 hours. This gallery wall of mirrors is not hard to create. Follow these steps to create your own mirror gallery wall in your needed: Gather a Collection of Mirrors Figure out how much space on the wall you want to cover.When creating layered mirror gallery walls, gather a curated collection of enough mirrors to cover this space. Lay them on a floor or work surface to figure out the placement for the grouping. You may need to add or remove one or two frames to get the best fit.  How to Arrange a Mirror Gallery Wall Trace each mirror on newspaper or brown kraft paper to make a template for each frame. Number each tracing and frame so you know what frame goes with each tracing,. Cut each tracing out.Use painter’s tape to attach the tracings to the wall in a layout you like where some of the smaller frames will be layered on top of the larger frames. How to Hang The Frames in Layers To create the layered effect for the framed mirrors, you need to create two layers.  The first layer of frames are mounted the usual way right on the wall. The next layer of frames will be mounted on wood blocks.  To make these blocks, I used some scrap wood and cut it into blocks, each about 2″ x 2″.NOTE: The blocks need to be as thick as your frames so when you place a frame on a block it lays above or level with the wall mounted frames. Paint the Sides of Blocks To keep the mirror galley wall looking nice and neat, paint the sides of each block the same color as the wall.  Since the wall I created my gallery on is next to the entrance door to the room, I wanted the blocks to blend in as you might see them from a side view. Attach Blocks to Wall Drill a hole in the center of each block so you can screw the blocks onto the wall.The block becomes the wall for the frames that are going to be raised away from the wall to create the layered effect.  I added a nail and hung a framed mirror on it. Place the Largest Mirrors First Start by hanging the largest mirrors on the wall first and then work to each side. Next place the second layer of mirrors on the blocks. Tips for Hanging the Mirrors on the Blocks When it comes to hanging overlapping frames to create the gallery wall, the trick lies with the placing of the blocks:  The frames on blocks have to be centered on a block as this is where the hangers are on the back of each frame.Line the top of the block up with the top center of the frame where the hanger is.Note that some hangers on the back of frames are right on top, others are lower. Keep this in mind when placing the blocks on the wall. You should not see the block when the frame is hanging. Create Two Layers or More I only created two layers for my mirror gallery wall, but you could add a 3rd level by using thicker blocks that will hold frames on top of ones already on thinner blocks.

    Closer view of the layer effect of the mirrors.
    More Mirror Hanging Tips:
    In case you need some help hanging heavy mirrors or frames on your walls, here are the easiest ways I have found to hang them.

    Variation for a Layered Gallery Wall

    If you don’t have mirrors, you can also create a layered gallery wall of empty frames for an eclectic look. Learn how to do this:





    Post navigation More

  • in

    Why You Should Rearrange Your Living Room Furniture




    Do you remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned in one of my Style Scouting posts that I felt a decorating marathon coming on?
    Many years ago, I gave the all consuming need to make a lot of decor changes in a short amount of time the title of a “decorating marathon“.

    This latest decorating marathon began when I started decorating my living room for spring, even with the fireplace wall taken apart and looking pretty bad, I still wanted to freshen and lighten up the room.
    I was eager to bring a new energy into the room after 2 years of keeping the comfy cozy factor of the room optimal while we were staying at home more.

    Moving into the warmer months of the year, I still want to keep the room comfy, in my “white & woodsy” style, but in a more open and airy way.
    So I removed all the accessories and then wanted to rearrange the furniture. My living room is small, so there are not many furniture arranging options, but I figured I had nothing to lose, so I asked Ed if he could help me move the larger pieces. He told me he had to take a business call first.
    But… when in decorating marathon mode, I was too excited to see if what I was envisioning would work and was able to move the furniture on my own.
    When Ed came back into the living room after finishing his call and ready to help me, he was surprised by the changes in the room simply made by rearranging the furniture.
    He said “Wow – I like it.” He never gives opinions on what I do, so I know when he says something about the projects I do, he really likes what I have done.

    Now that the room has a new furniture arrangement, I am starting the room’s makeover with the deconstructed fireplace. I have my paint clothes on and am ready to start working on getting it back into style.
    Over the next few weeks, I will share each project in the room as I complete them. So if you enjoy seeing “use what you have decorating” and the changes that can be made using them – stay tuned.
    But beware – after rearranging furniture in a room, know that it can lead to new project overload. Lots of time and effort needed, but exciting and worth it to live in a home you love.
    You May Also Like:




    Post navigation More

  • in

    How to Paint Metal Furniture & Fixtures




    Learn the techniques for preparing, priming, and painting metal to get a smooth lasting finish. I am showing how I painted my wrought iron kitchen table base to a glossy white, along with how to paint other metal items you have in your home. Knowing the right paint to use and the metal painting process, you can paint any type of metal to change the color or to simply freshen the look.
    Wrought Iron Metal Table Base Before Painting

    The number one question I receive about painting metal is – How do you get paint to stick to metal? The answer – sanding and a good bonding primer – once these are done on the metal surface, then applying the paint in a few light coats will ensure a permanent finish.
    Is it Better to Spray or Brush Paint Metal?
    Spray painting is the fastest way to paint metal and will provide a smooth lasting finish if you follow the manufacturer’s directions on the can’s label. It is my preferred way, but it is not the only way to successfully paint metal.
    I normally would have used spray paint to paint this metal table base, but the weather was damp and humid and I needed a work area with a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight to do that. Instead I decided to paint the table base inside with a brush so the AC would help the paint dry properly.
    Spray Painting Metal Furniture

    If you decide to use spray paint, use a metal primer on the metal first or a “primer & paint in one formula” of spray paint.
    For spray painted inspiration for metal items, check out these posts to learn how to paint metal using spray paint:

    How to Paint Metal With Brush-On Paint
    The key to getting a very smooth brush-on paint finish on metal surfaces that are rod like or rounded like the base of my table is to use a high quality small, flat paint brush.
    After Painting: Black Metal Table Base Painted White
    Using a small brush will better able you to apply the paint in thin coats and avoid paint drips from happening.
    If your metal surface area is flat and larger, you can use a foam paint roller to apply the primer and paint instead of a brush.

    A paint brush with long flexible bristles like this one work well on wrought iron items. I bought this paintbrush in the fine art section at the craft store.
    supplies needed:
    Bonding primer – KILZ AdhesionLatex paint in semi-gloss – Sherwin Williams ProClassic in Pure White100 and 220 fine-grit sandpaper or self-etching primersPaintbrushDetergent, bucket and hot waterSafety googles and glovesOptional: Wire brush or rust remover will be need if metal is rusted or shows signs of corrosion. If the piece has been previously painted – use the wire brush to remove any loose or peeling paint.
    Time needed: 23 hours. How to Paint Metal Furniture or Fixtures Prepare the Surface Sand the metal surface with 60 –100 grit sandpaper. A quick, but thorough going over to rough up the surface is all that is needed. I prefer using sandpaper, but you can also use a self etching primer following the manufacturers directions. Clean Surface Clean the surface well with a rag dipped in hot sudsy water. Make sure to remove sanding dust, dirt, grease and any old paint with a wire brush or paint remover and let dry.Rinse off soap residue with a damp cloth. Let clean surface dry.If the Surface is Rusty – you will need to use steel wool or a rust remover. I find that Brillo or SOS pads work very well to remove rust from metal without having to use caustic chemical products. Prime Surface Brush on one light coat of bonding primer. Let dry. Lightly Sand When the bonding primer coat is fully dry, go over the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth any ridges that may have occurred in the primer as it dried. Add Another Coat of Bonding Primer Brush on one more light coat of primer; let dry. Brush On Paint For full coverage, you will need at least 2 light coats of paint. Brush on 1 coat of paint. Let the first coat dry, before applying a second light coat of paint. Let dry. Optional: Seal Paint If you used a semi-gloss or gloss paint you don’t really need a sealant. If you used a flatter sheen of paint, use 1-2 light coats of non-yellowing water-based polyurethane over the painted surface to add protection. Let Paint and Sealer Cure It may take a few weeks for the paint to cure, so be gentle with your painted metal item for the first weeks of use.

    I painted the metal table base over 7 years ago and it still looks good, even after a move to a new home. Right before I painted the metal table base, I stripped the wood top to lighten it. Then recently, I made an entire new top for the metal base to give the table top a new look.
    More How to Paint Metal Instruction Posts
    If you are thinking about painting a metal object in your home – you may find more metal painting tips, technique and effects that I have used successfully in these posts:





    Post navigation More

  • in

    Creative Shelf Styling Ideas Worth Trying




    When it comes to styling shelves for our home decor, many assume that the only decorative objects to use on shelves are books, vases, plants, family photos, artwork and small decorative accessories. These are standard shelf styling items, but I know of a few more that you may not have thought of.
    To help you make the most of your shelves and bookcases, I gathered some creative shelf inspiration or shelfie ideas that are not only easy to do, but will add color and personality to your decor.
    Table of Contents

    Decorative Edge Trim For Shelves
    Adding shelf trim falls into the decorating category I call the “little details“. These details when decorating a home can make a big difference. They are not really needed, but can make something look so much better.
    This shelf styling tip is my favorite easy trick.

    Adding a decorative element on the outer edges of shelves can make a boring bookcase or shelving unit come to life.

    Using ribbon to do this is the easiest way, but consider how wood trim molding bought at the home improvement store would look across each shelf.
    Adding trim of any kind will take a plain bookcase up a few notches on the style scale.

    Narrow craft store ribbon attached to the shelves in a pantry closet using decorative nail head tacks.

    The shelf edges in this linen closet were gouged and rough. Something the builder of the house just painted over.
    To hide it without having to sand and repaint. I added white grosgrain ribbon the same width as the shelf edge and attached it with tacks.
    Doing this was not necessary, but every time I opened the closet, I smiled to see something pretty instead of ugly.

    For open storage shelf styling on a budget, use dollar store baskets or cover shoeboxes with decorative paper in the way of maps or leftover wallpaper from another project.
    I used purple ribbon and white thumbtacks to add a pop of fun color to the open shelves.

    If you are crafty you can make DIY trim from paper to decorate the front edge of open shelves in holiday or any style you want.

    If you like to be organized, you can add clear plastic label clips to the front edge of shelves.
    This can done on any shelf. They will help you easily find everything at a glance and will keep the shelves organized since you will know exactly where to place them.

    Decorate Open Shelving Using Backdrops
    Open shelves, cabinets and bookcases in a living room, bedroom or home office can become one of the most decorative elements in a room.

    Instead of focusing on what to place in open shelves or bookcases, think about how adding a colorful or patterned backdrop to the back of the shelves can make the items in front of it look even better.

    I make my shelf backdrops using corrugated cardboard or dollar store foam boards and choose what I wrap them with depending on the color scheme of the room.

    There is another nice aspect of adding a shelf backdrop when using the same wallpaper or wall paint color that a bookcase is on. It can make a closed back bookcase or shelf look like it has an open back.
    This can create a focal point and make the bookshelf or shelves look really nice when viewing the wall with the bookcase as a whole.

    I have even made shelf backdrops for a medicine cabinet in my previous home to add a pop of color and pattern.
    To find out how I make the backdrops, head over to this blog post:

    Consider Neutral Shelf Decor to Add Impact

    Create instant impact on open shelves by displaying a collection of similar objects or using items all in the same color.
    Having many items on your shelves that are all the same color makes the overall impression look less cluttered and more styled.

    Office Shelf Styling Ideas

    When it comes to office bookshelf decor, sometimes you may need the shelves to be purely functional to hold printer paper, files, etc without using any decorative accessories.
    If this is the case for you, then add color to the organizers you have. Plain cardboard file holders can be covered with gift wrap to add style. Shoeboxes can become decorative boxes in which to hold smaller items.
    Store printer papers in low sided rectangular baskets. Make the most of everything with square shapes by stacking them.
    Use the top shelf for the non-functional items where they will add to the overall look of the open shelves or bookcase, but not be in the way.

    As you can see, shelf styling doesn’t always have to be about adding decorative items to the shelves.
    Take a look around your home to see if any of the shelves or bookcases could use a little detail or infusion of color.

    Shelf Filler Ideas

    Decorative Objects for Shelves
    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    You May Also Like:




    Post navigation More

  • in

    Valspar Bistro White Paint: View Real Room Photos




    Bistro White by Valspar (7006-4) is one of the best white paint colors to consider when decorating a home.
    It is one of my favorite white paint colors for interior walls and trim in almost every room of my house.

    Valspar Bistro White: RGB, LRV and Undertone
    The reasons I like Bistro White over other popular decorator shades of white paint is the paint color, Bistro White has a warm quality to it, but has no yellow undertone.
    It is truly white and has a nice light reflectance value. It lacks blue undertones which can make a room feel cooler.
    Many warm whites – can look too beige. Ultra whites can look grey, especially in a north facing room. Bistro white falls right in between.

    Finding The Right Shade of White Paint
    I like white walls in my home and have used many shades of it – even white paint right off a store shelf labeled “White”. I don’t recommend using this though.
    At first glance – white paint can look all the same, but when you hold up what you may think is a white paint chip against a white piece of paper you can see a strong undertone that makes the paint look more beige or blue.
    For most paint brands ready-made off the shelf white paint that is simply labeled – white – almost always has a blue tinge to it.
    For a true white paint, it is best to get it mixed at the paint counter using a color from all the white paint chips on display in the store. Look for paint colors with names like Pure White and True White.

    Valspar Bistro White in Entry
    Valspar Bistro White is one of these true whites. It looks good in natural light during the day.

    And just as nice in the evening. The shade will change a bit depending on the warm/cool factor of the lightbulbs used in the room. The far wall and trim are Bistro White.

    Examples of Valspar Bistro White Paint in Real Rooms
    In the following photos you can see how I used this perfect white color in many rooms in both my previous and current home.

    Bathroom Board and Batten & Trim

    I first used Bistro White in the hall bath in my previous home. It is on the board and batten, doors and trim in the perfect sheen – semi-gloss.

    Fitness Room

    When I was turning a bedroom that was no longer being used in my previous home into a fitness room. The previous color was lime green so a primer was needed for coverage so no green undertone would show through.
    I rolled on the walls in an eggshell finish and brushed it in semi-gloss on the doors and trim for durability.
    The color gave the room cheery energy – just what was needed for workout motivation.

    Dining Room Walls

    After trying many moody dark colors in my dining room, it was not until I painted the walls in Bistro White that the room finally came together in a way I loved.
    The color transformed a dark dining room into a bright and pretty one where I used pops of fresh and vibrant color accents.

    Living Room and Kitchen Walls

    When we moved to live on Lake Murray in SC, I made the mistake of having the paint color mixed at a local paint dealership that did not sell Valspar.
    Valspar is a Lowe’s Home Improvement specific paint brand and is available at all their stores nationwide, but I didn’t live close to the store anymore.
    I was told at the local paint store, that their computer could match any formula of Valspar paint colors, so they could make the color for me.
    I was happy with this until I got home and started rolling the paint on the walls and realized it was not Bistro White – it had too much beige in it.
    Lesson learned. I wasted money not buying the Valspar brand with their exact tint formula.
    The next day, I set out for a 45 minute trip to Lowes to get true Bistro White made up in Valspar’s Signature line of paint. It is an acrylic latex, interior paint designed for “ultimate hiding.”

    I also used Bistro White on the vertical planking surrounding my living room fireplace.

    Craft Room Walls

    Bistro White in eggshell on walls. Sherwin Williams Pure White in semi-gloss on Trim.

    Entry Walls

    Freshly painted Bistro White in a satin finish on the walls in a foyer. Semi-gloss on trim.

    GATHER PAINT CHIPS – Every computer monitor will read white paint colors viewed online in images differently. It is always best to bring a variety of white paint chips home that vary in hue from warm to cool. TAPE TO WALL – Tape the paint chips to all four walls in the room, not just on one, as each wall gets different light. Group the warm white colors together and the cooler ones separate. Make sure you like how the white looks on all the walls during all times of the day – morning, noon, and night.PURCHASE – When you have edited the colors and decided on the right white color, buy a sample jar or a few paint samples of the paint in the sheen you want so you can paint it on the wall or a poster board to make sure it will look good in the room.  Once you see the actual paint on the wall and like it – then that is when you should buy it and start to create decorating magic with a roller or brush.

    My Other Go-To White Paint Color
    When I can’t get to Lowes to buy Valspar paint, my other go-to white paint is Pure White by Sherwin Williams.

    You can see it here on my kitchen cabinets: Pure White (7005) Sherwin Williams. It is a pristine white.

    I also used SW Pure White on my staircase makeover and hallway.
    Another reason why I like Valspar is as a manufacturer of paint – their paints are more affordable.

    Both of these white paints are not too yellow and not too blue and go with any color which makes them the perfect white paint to use when decorating your home.
    What are your go-to white paint colors for your home?

    You May Also Like:





    Post navigation More