Home Decorating Ideas and Tips


When it comes to the lighting in your home, some rooms have advantages that others may not – advantages such as larger or more windows, for example. You might want to make improvements, but maybe you’re not ready to hire an electrician. That’s ok because there are a few tips you can use to help lighten things up without spending the big bucks.

You can get pretty creative with color and your lighting, for one thing. Just painting the ceiling white can make a huge difference in how spacious or well-lit the room seems to be. Of course, it can be better to paint really dark, or cave-like, spaces a bright white including the walls to get a maximum effect, as this reflects light. If you are reluctant to brighten things to this degree, consider a very pale color for the walls like cream, mint, or a really pale yellow, and go for the white ceiling.

While you’re at it, keep the accent colors to a minimum as well – at least when it comes to wall paint. The more deep color you bring to an already dark room, the more you will close in that space. If you really feel the need to color the walls, try stenciled trim along the ceiling, or put it on the baseboards only. The best thing here is to keep the walls and ceiling light. Bring in color for decorations, throws and pillows or area rugs.

Make full use of the natural light you have available. If you use plastic or wooden blinds, you will effectively block large amounts of the natural light you may need. Try cream-colored linen or sheers for window treatments that keep letting the light in. If you prefer blinds, there are many cloth versions that are semi-sheer which can give you privacy without light-blocking.

Sometimes, odd as it may seem, harsh overhead lighting can highlight the fact that a space is dark by nature. Try using perimeter lamps instead of the overhead to diffuse the light and enhance the reflective properties of the brighter ceiling and walls where you’ve gone lighter with the paint. Well-placed floor lamps with light colored, semi-sheer shades also help spread the light and keep things reflective instead of throwing everything into sharp relief like overheads tend to do.

And let’s not forget the most obvious way to brighten your home – use more powerful light bulbs. Don’t just look at wattage; look at the light output for the bulb as that will give you the brightest options.


There is no doubt that you have experienced the ambience of a room that has beautiful wood accents added into the interior design. Rooms that use wood accents generally have a warmer feel that those that don’t and also tend to feel more luxurious. Whether it’s beautiful wooden crown molding, beautiful wooden baseboards or other architectural interest, adding wood to a room really adds character.

If you are looking to add wood accents to an existing room, there are a few places where you can add it that will add visual interest without overwhelming your existing décor. These include:

Crown molding and chair rails: Crown molding and chair rail are both great ways to add wood to a room without having to change the entire look and feel of the room. Both are unobtrusive yet are a welcome addition to any room. In addition, adding wood chair rail will keep your walls from becoming scuffed or damaged, limiting the number of times you’ll need to paint. Depending on your budget and your room, adding chair rail horizontally along the line where the back of a chair would typically come into contact with the wall. Chair rails also provide a natural divide between colors or textures on the walls.

Transition pieces between materials: Wood has traditionally been used as a transition material between different types of material. For instance, on the floor when transitioning between a hard floor surface and carpet, a wooden threshold is often used. On the wall, wood chair rail can provide an easy break between colors on the wall or between wainscoting and drywall. You can also use wooden cornices for your fireplace.

Contrast trim with surroundings: Wooden trim allows you a surface to use for adding a contrasting color to a room. For example, if you want darker colored walls, adding wooden trim at the baseboard, chair rail, at windows and around doors provides you with the perfect opportunity to add a lighter contrasting color to the room in order to add visual interest.

Whether you choose to add natural wood and stain it or use it as a surface in which you can paint it to add visual interest, adding wood accents to your home not only helps you create a beautiful, inviting home décor, it also adds visual appeal when you place your home on the market and can even boost the value of your home.


In the past, turning a basement into a living space consisted of adding a television and a few chairs to an otherwise dark and dreary space. However, today, converting your basement into a truly usable space means creating a space that you will actually enjoy spending time in.

You don’t have to subscribe to the old tried and true basement renovations in order to convert your space. As a matter of fact, many of today’s leading interior designers recommend against them. Here are a few suggestions you can use to turn your basement into a space that you are proud of:

Ceiling: Whatever you do, when converting your basement to a living space, don’t install a drop ceiling in your basement. There is nothing that says “renovated basement” more than a drop ceiling. Use a tray ceiling or alternative ceiling treatment instead.

Stairwell: Converted basements traditionally have steep, narrow stairways that lead down into the space. Open up your stairwell and add a banister in order to give it a more “living space” feel. The idea is that you want the stairwell to your basement to mimic one that you would have on the main floor of your home. If you have an existing stairwell in your home, adding the same banister to the basement stairwell will give the space some continuity and goes a long way to disguising the basement’s humble beginnings.

Doorways: As with the stairwells, opening up the entryway into the basement will help prevent you and your guests from experiencing claustrophobia when you enter your basement space. You can widen the doorway and add visual interest such as an archway or other architectural element. The idea here is to add elements that guests wouldn’t expect to see in a converted basement. In the basement itself, if you need to section off a space for complete privacy, install French doors, which provide privacy yet allow you to keep the feel of an open floor plan as well as adding visual interest in the room.

Windows: Adding natural light to a basement goes a long way to giving it a more mainstream feel. If your basement isn’t completely underground, adding large windows will help brighten up the space.

Walls: Skip the traditional paneling and opt for drywall instead. This keeps the space from looking dated and helps add a brighter feel to the space. Plus, drywall is more versatile in that it can be painted.

Furnishings: The same idea applies here. Use furniture that you would use in rooms on the main floor in order to keep it from feeling separate from the rest of the house.


Window treatments are one of the many things that help people make their houses more like homes. Whether you want to control light, privacy, or just add to the decor of a room, there are several options in the types of window treatments available. The key is to know the difference and purpose, because they are different and do have different intended purposes.


Often confused or used interchangeably with curtains, drapes are not the same as curtains. Draperies are window treatments that are very similar to curtains, but they are often made from thicker of multiple layers of fabrics. They are typically floor length and provide extra insulation, holding in heat during cold months and preventing cold air escape during hot months. Their thickness also provides you with the ability to control the amount of light that enters the home. Many types of draperies require a drapery rod and hooks to hang them.


In contrast to drapes, curtains are much thinner and often less expensive. Most curtain designs have some amount of sheer qualities, meaning they allow light to enter the room and can be seen through, even when they are closed. Curtains are typically designed to be used only for decorating purposes, or paired with drapes, blinds, and shades. Generally, curtains are hung directly from a rod without the use of hooks. They have a special section at the top that is made for the rod to slide through. Some curtains may have tabs or large grommets for this purpose as well.


If you are considering blinds, there are a lot of choices. Blinds have slats or vanes of various widths. Vanes are found on vertical blinds that open and close from the side, while slats are found on horizontal blinds that open or close by raising and lowering them. Generally, blinds can be made from wood, a vinyl blend or aluminum. They are often called hard window treatments because of the materials used. Blinds provide a lot more control over privacy, light, and even air circulation through open windows because of their wide adjustment range.


There are a few different types of shades to choose from. Unlike their counterparts, shades do not have vanes or slats. They are typically made from fabric, a wood blend, or a soft vinyl. Shades only raise or lower, either by a drawstring or a spring roller mechanism. Although there is not as much control, shades have a few advantages over blinds. In particular, shades have more insulation than blinds and they are better at darkening rooms where less light is necessary.

Ultimately, the types of window treatments you choose will depend largely on your personal preference and the type of look you desire. Any of these window treatments can be mixed, with the exception of shades and blinds. For example, draperies can be used with curtains behind them, or you could hang blinds or shades with drapes or curtains.


Swimming pools should be inviting – an oasis that welcomes you and invites you to stop, admire its beauty and be tempted to jump right on in. Sometimes, though, they can become outdated or have such wear and tear on them that they actually do the opposite. Take heart…it’s not impossible to bring your pool back to life if it’s looking like it’s on its last leg…you just need a few ideas and/or tips to help your pool make a comeback.

There are many paths that can lead you to an amazing pool transformation. For example, it could be as simple as introducing some bold colors to the surrounding elements like foliage plantings or a lounge area and suddenly you’ve increased the appeal for your pool space that makes it more modern and inviting. Add in an outdoor kitchen and dining/seating area with a focal feature such as a unique or striking back wall for more interest and functionality.

Another idea for updating your pool can come from adding multiple levels to the pool surround. Elevating your seating area, lounge area, or eating space is very modern and appealing. Using smooth-finish concrete in varying hues (with a score pattern to prevent slipping) can also help with updating the look – and feel – of the space.

A larger project might involve changing the shape of the pool itself. Most pools that have been around for a while can be identified by the fact that they are rectangular and straight-sided. Modern pools and surrounds have more of a tendency to be curved and amorphous in shape – sort of like an island lagoon might be. This can sometimes be accomplished by pouring a new shell inside the existing shell – which helps keep the cost down.

When you combine that sinuous shape with interesting materials in your decking surround like multi-sized stone or travertine pavers with slight variations in color, you get a totally new look and feel. You can then take this improvement over the top by adding a waterfall and attached spa. Waterfalls that have more than one level are an excellent way to add pool appeal – the cascading water creates a background sound that is pleasant and relaxing. Add in backlighting, and you have a feature that can seamlessly make the transition between day and nighttime entertaining.

Having a pool is a wonderful thing in the summer months – giving it a facelift can infinitely increase your enjoyment, and the curb appeal of your home.


When it comes to decorating children’s’ rooms, a lot of emphasis is placed on wall color, functional furniture, and even linens and storage solutions. However, one of the most commonly overlooked and yet vital aspects of decorating a child’s room, no matter what the age, is lighting. Lighting solutions are necessary in every child’s room and yet most parents simply leave the lighting to existing fixtures rather than providing their children with a fun or elegant way to light their rooms.

Decorative lighting for children’s’ rooms can come in several different forms. One of the easiest options is to add a table lamp or floor lamp to the child’s room. Lamps provide softer lighting than overhead lights and can provide children who are afraid of the dark the opportunity to use a nightlight that also adds interest and fun into the room. Of course, adding a lamp to any interior design means that there will need to be adequate room to place the lamp without the worry of it falling over on the child. This is more problematic in rooms for smaller children than it is for older children.

For small children, creating a fun and whimsical lighting solution may lie in decorating the overhead light. This approach not only allows you to save space and create a safer environment for the child, it can actually set the tone of the entire interior design and overall look and feel of the room. Adding such elements as a large, feathery light fixture can create a lighter, more whimsical look while using a fixture that is themed with a specific cartoon character or sports element will create a stronger, more rough and tumble feel.

When choosing decorative lighting and lamps for your child’s room, it’s important to incorporate their personalities into your choice as well as the overall theme of the room. Light fixtures make a bold statement in any room and can easily overwhelm smaller rooms if not properly placed and scaled. If you are interested in learning more about all of the available options for Decorative Lighting and Lamps for Kids, take a look at the options offered in your local home improvement outlet as well as boutique lighting stores. These outlets will offer you many different options to help you make your child’s room more uniquely his or hers. Boutique stores may be a bit more expensive, but can offer you solutions you can’t find anywhere else.


There are many types of floor coverings that you can choose to include in your house. Some people prefer to install different types of floor coverings throughout their homes. It is important for such homeowners to understand a little about each of the main types of floor coverings to help them make informed decisions. Generally, the most important factors to consider when choosing flooring for a room are the intended function of the room and your personal style and taste. Here is a guide for choosing home flooring.

Research flooring options you are considering for your home. The more informed you are about flooring options, the better. Contact professionals in home improvement stores and floor dealers to discuss flooring options.

Each type of flooring has its pros and cons. For example, hardwood flooring is beautiful and adds an element of class in a room, but is difficult to maintain and requires sealing if it is not prefinished. On the other hand engineered wood and plastic laminates are wood alternatives that are easier to maintain, but not as elegant.

Vinyl and linoleum flooring are affordable options and come in different colors. Ceramic tiles are probably the most expensive flooring option, but are the most resilient. No matter the type of flooring you want for your home, learn about each option’s advantages and disadvantages.

Get samples of all the flooring options you are considering. Each sample may cost a few dollars, but will be worth the expense. Carry the samples home and place each sample in the room where you intend to have them. Take note of the changes in pattern and color of the flooring material with light variations in the room.

Research the price of the flooring options you are considering. Compare the prices of the flooring options as well as the price of each option among different manufacturers. For example, the price of vinyl flooring can vary by manufacturer, retail store, or dealer.

Shop around to ensure you get the best price for the flooring option you want. In addition, purchase about 10 percent more of the flooring material to account for the amount that might be wasted during the installation process. Consider this factor when comparing prices.

Find out the installation procedure of the flooring you want to install. Some flooring options are easier to install than others are. Laminate and vinyl are examples of easy to install flooring, and can be installed by homeowners themselves. Wood and ceramic are not easy to install, and mistakes can be costly. In case you want to install wood or ceramic flooring, consider hiring a professional for the installation, which will raise the price of the home improvement.


Home remodeling is a smart way to update the appearance and functionality of a home. It is smart because it serves the purpose of aesthetic change while boosting the probability of increased market value. Altering the exterior of a home is a good place to invest hard-earned dollars for receiving the best curb appeal return.

Why Make Changes?

Consider the reasons to change a home’s exterior. Will changes increase curb appeal? How will changes comply with any deed restrictions or HOA terms? Will I get a good return when selling? These are all good questions to ask when deciding whether or not exterior remodeling is a good idea. The good news is almost any exterior remodeling can potentially add to market value while adding a pleasurable visual for neighbors and passers-by. Both are valuable aspects worth pursuing.

Exterior Remodeling Low-Cost, High-Impact Ideas

Remodeling doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul. Low-cost, high-impact exterior remodeling can make a big statement. Often, low-impact remodeling is a great way to create a facelift domino effect for neighborhoods looking to improve security, home value and integrity levels of their streets.

Fiber cement siding is a handsomely low-cost and high-impact remodeling tool made of cellulose fibers, cement and sand. This versatile product can be shaped into siding of various textures and colors mimicking more costly stone or wood mediums. This product can also be formed into shingles and boards when keeping a consistent appearance for roofing, trims and other structured additions is important. All of this can be done less expensively, with or without a contractor, than using higher-priced products or textiles. Create front porches, backyard pergolas, characteristic window trims and details.

Spruce Up Exterior Trims

Exterior trim work is often an overlooked home exterior detail. Making a home’s exterior pop with appeal can be as easy as sprucing up trim work. This effort offers more outline and character around windows, door frames, porch railings and roofing eaves. Creating either a different style or adding extra detail to trim work can drastically change the appearance of a home without breaking the bank.

Improving trim work detail is, by design, a clever way to assist weather-related concerns by protecting exterior openings from drafts, rain and other weather elements from creeping inside the interior of a home.

Exterior remodeling can make a home look and feel new again. Start small and work your way up!