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Your bed is definitely the piece of furniture you use the most, clocking in about eight hours of your time each day. A close second, however, might be your desk chair, especially if you work from home. Subtracting time for meetings, lunch or travel, you probably sit down to work four to seven hours every day. That means finding the right chair is more important than you think.
While you certainly want to choose a chair that enhances your home décor, there are five other things to consider that can help you find the right one:
Lumbar Support. A good desk chair will be ergonomically designed to provide support for your lower back. It should cradle your spine into the natural S-shaped curve, placing the least amount of strain on your back. If you spend a lot of time at your desk, look for a chair with adjustable support for your back.
Adjustability. You want a chair that puts you at the right height for completing your work, and this might vary depending on the kind of work you’re doing. You can avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, by making sure your wrists are at the right level for your keyboard tray. Look for a chair that allows you to adjust its height up and down. Some chairs also provide adjustments for armrests, headrest, tilt and tension control.
Comfort. While the ergonomics of lumbar support and adjustability are important, don’t overlook the importance of finding a chair that’s comfortable. It helps to take them for a test drive, sitting in your options and finding the one that feels good to you. Depending on how many hours you use it, you might want to look for a cushioned seat. Also make sure the frame is accommodating to your shape, and decide if you prefer armrests or not.
Material. If you spend a lot of time in your chair, you will want to choose a fabric that is breathable so your seat doesn’t become hot and uncomfortable after hours of use. If you share your home office with children, you may wish to choose a chair that is upholstered in an easily maintained material such as leather or leather blend that are durable and can be wiped clean.
Budget. Finally, consider how much money you can afford to spend, but remember that purchasing a chair can also be an investment in your health and well being. While you can find a chair to fit any budget, it might be wise to spend less on a less important item such as a filing cabinet or bookshelf than pinch pennies on your chair.
How many hours a day do you spend at your desk? Make sure your chair is doing the best job for you as possible.
If you want to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to be crafty; you just need to think beyond the pink paper hearts and doilies. Here are three creative ideas for decorations you can make at home:
The Dating Diva website posted this fun idea, created from your favorite song. Simply print out lyrics and then cut them into the shape of a tree. (Instructions and templates can be found here.) Cut hearts from red paper and write your names on them. Frame it and you have a unique Valentine’s Day gift or decoration. This might also make a thoughtful, personalized wedding present.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and you can put it on display with this fun Valentine’s Day decoration made out of things you might have inside your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Attach a folding measuring tape, bundt pan, scissors and silverware onto a painted piece of wood to create this striking sign that spells out the word “Love.”
How about creating a “kissing station” in your home by filling a decorative glass jar with red, pink and silver Hershey’s Kisses? Easy and delicious, this edible décor provides a punch of Valentine’s color into your kitchen, foyer or family den.
The popularity of laptop computers over the past decade has meant that work can go with you wherever you are. From the bedroom to the family room sofa, your lap becomes your office, making the desk less and less important.
But that’s changing. With paperwork becoming less burdensome due to online banking and statements, a desk no longer needs to be a huge piece of mahogany that requires deep drawers and a large amount of room. Today you just need a place to dock your laptop, shop online and write thank-you cards. Design options are attractive and eye-catching because desks no longer need to include abundant storage, and today’s pieces can easily serve double duty as a sofa table, console or bedside nightstand.
Here are five desks that will inspire you give your laptop a home. Which is your favorite?
Get the rustic urban look with the Addison Desk. The iron legs and accents provide an industrial element to your room, and it would be the perfect accent in a family room or foyer.
Add glamour to your room with the Collett Vanity Desk. The antique silver and gold finish makes it a statement piece in your living room or master suite, and it can easily serve double duty as a dressing table or nightstand.
The colorful X-Base Desk would be perfect as a combination desk/sofa table in a large family room. Available in blue, red, yellow or white, its sleek design is contemporary and the shiny nickel hardware adds to its eye-catching appeal.
The Warren Laptop Desk looks architectural in design with a warm wood finish and striking angled lines. The flip top opens to hold a book or picture, and a power strip and USB charging station are conveniently included inside.
The Cottonwood Desk has beautiful curves, making it an elegant option for a home workstation. The beautiful white linen finish and oak veneer top would blend well with any décor, looking perfect in a bedroom or living room.
“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” said Alfred Lord Tennyson. While the calendar doesn’t quite say “Spring,” Valentine’s Day is around the corner, giving you a great reason to set the stage for romance. Here are three fun ways to show your home – as well as everyone inside it – some L.O.V.E.
Decorate Your Mantle
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Switch Up Your Pillows
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Decorate Your Table
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White never really goes out of style – the crisp color is a classic – but designing an all-white room is a white-hot trend for 2016. Washing a space in its lightness creates a feeling that is clean and pure; in fact, white kitchens and bathrooms have been on-trend forever (think white subway tile and marble). Having an all-white living space, however, shows that you’re confident and sophisticated. But there are a few tricks you need to employ to make the room look rich, not sterile – complete and not like a blank canvas:
Start with the right shade of white. A trip to the paint store will prove to you that there is more than one shade of white, and you’re going to want to pick the right one. Some have hints of gray, others of pink, and some of yellow, blue, green or purple. Take your cue from your flooring and pick a paint that complements its undertones. Then choose high-gloss white for the trim, so it feels crisp and stands out.
Then go for white upholstery. The thought of a white sofa can be intimidating, especially if you have children, but you don’t need to be afraid. In a more formal space that doesn’t get used daily a white sofa should provide few worries; for spaces that get more traffic, choose white leather or white slipcovers that are easy to maintain. You’ll be surprised at how well it holds up.
Layer tone-on-tone whites. Add depth to your room by layering tones and textures. White toss pillows in faux fur will add interest. Furnishings in a different shade of white, such as gray-white or green-white, will add just enough contrast. And different textures, such as the combination of a white leather sofa and a white shag rug, create richness in the room.
Use metal as your accent color. White pairs well with any metallic, and the combination is quite glamorous. White and gold ooze richness, while white and nickel feels cool and sophisticated. Or combine white and copper for warmth.
Or choose wood accents. All white furnishings paired with a rich wood table give your room an urban vibe. Choose wooden pieces that have a natural feel, such as a table with an organic edge. Stark white makes the grain of the wood feel alive and exciting.
Then let your artwork take center stage. When you go all in with white, you can add some drama by choosing a single piece of art in a bold color. This could be a painting, sculpture or even a dramatic centerpiece. The attention will go directly to the artwork, creating an instant focal point.
Are you brave enough to go all white? Tell us what you think of this white-hot trend!
Updating your home with a few of the latest trends is a fun way to keep your home interesting and fresh. House Beautiful has identified some of the hottest items for your home this year. Which one is your favorite?
- Statement pendant lighting. Like jewelry, pendants drop light in just the right spot. Add one or two above a kitchen island, dining room table, vanity or end table.
- Linens with pizzazz. Put the spotlight on your bed with a comforter, duvet or coverlet that has a bold pattern or color.
- Pedestals. Use a pedestal to highlight a favorite sculpture, plant, or photo.
Minimalism is more than a design style; it’s a way of life that focuses on the mantra “less is more.” When done well, the minimalist design aesthetic is sleek and sophisticated, with just enough items that bring a calming sense of Zen.
To create this look in your home, here are five characteristics to consider:
1. Balance and proportion
A minimalist room will have minimal furnishings, which means that balance is vital. Each piece of furniture should be in proportion with the room and with each other. Nothing should seem too big or too small. The overall feeling should be of harmony among your furnishings. In addition, arrange pillows, artwork and lamps in pairs or asymmetrically to one side.
2. Quality over quantity
Because you have minimal items, focus on selecting the best quality you can afford. In a living room, for example, the sofa will be the main focal point and it should be the center of the room. Choose one that is well-made pieces and unique.
3. Pay attention to the details
Because there are few furnishings, design details become more important. An embroidered pillow, nail-head trim on a chair, or sleek hardware will add unexpected texture and richness without adding clutter. And accessories, kept to a minimum, should be thoughtfully chosen for impact.
4. Neutral tones
While a bold splash of color can be introduced in artwork or a single accent, furnishings in a minimalist style room should be in neutral tones, such as black, white, gray or taupe. When you have too many colors, the room will look too busy; instead, stick to a more monochromatic tone that feels calming and sophisticated.
5. Lots of light
Let in as much natural light as you can by forgoing window treatments whenever possible. Also choose fixtures, such as statement pendants or dramatic floor lamps that serve double duty as a light source and art.
Updating your décor is a great way to keep your home interesting and fresh. Why not try out one of 2016’s best design trends? Houzz has made some predictions on the hottest ideas for your home. Which will you try?
- Two-tone kitchen cabinets. Upper cabinets are kept white or neutral, while lower cabinets get deep colors or wood tones for a big statement in your kitchen.
- The return of the formal dining room. Casual gatherings had a lot of us eating in the kitchen and turning formal dining rooms into home offices, but this special dining spot is back in vogue.
- Oversized kitchen islands. Kitchen islands not only provide workspace; they include storage and seating and become the centerpiece of the room.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Could you be the most beautiful accessory of all? Absolutely! Mirrors are not only a tried and true addition to any room, they add an unparalleled amount of style. Light, depth and a bounce of color can be added to a room simply by adding a mirror.
Take a look at these five mirrors that will not only reflect your great taste; they’ll make a statement all by themselves:
The Starburst Mirror has been a classic design for decades. Popular with Mid-Century Modern style, the shape is organic and dazzling. Imagine this mirror in a living room above a contemporary sofa. Its gold spiky shape will add drama and pizzazz.
The frame of the Daisy Mirror features beautiful hand-painted flowers for a look that is fresh and unexpected. Its silver finish adds to its reflective quality. And at 48” tall, it will command attention. Put one in a powder room and instantly update the look of your vanity.
The shape of the Aurora Mirror will add traditional elegance to your room. With the look of aged patina, it has the feel of a treasured family heirloom that has been handed down for generations. Use one in a dining room for an accessory that will enhance the intimate ambiance.
The Morning Bloom Mirror is part mirror and part sculpture. Metal morning glory flowers adorn the edge of the round mirror for a dimensional work of art that will attract attention and compliments. Place it in a bedroom for a special, feminine accent piece.
Mirrors can add more than light and reflection; the deep blue stained wooden frame of this gorgeous Wall Mirror adds a striking pop of color. At 55” tall and 45” wide, its dramatic size makes a statement. Imagine the depth and drama it will add above a fireplace.
You already know exercise is good for you – that’s no big surprise – but did you know it affects more than just your fitness level? A lot more! The Mayo Clinic offers three reasons you should put on your gym shoes and work up a sweat:
It improves your mood. Physical activity stimulates endorphins, the brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. If you’ve got an important or difficult conversation, exercise first; it will boost your confidence and help you calm down.
It improves your sex life. Regular physical activity not only makes you look better; you feel energized, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. Exercise also enhances arousal for women and men.
It can be fun. Physical activity doesn’t have to be tied to a treadmill. There are plenty of ways to be active and have fun. Take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join an adult sports team. You’ll be having such a good time, you’ll hardly realize it’s good for you, too!