Designing a Farmhouse Style Kitchen

Farmhouse style is a natural for the kitchen. The casual feel is inviting, and the materials offer lots of visual interest as well as durability—perfect for a busy family lifestyle. In one of her blog posts, Joanna Gaines—the queen of farmhouse style—offered thoughts on designing a kitchen. Here are three tips you can incorporate in your Farmhouse style kitchen:

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Create Architectural Details

“Houses don’t always come with original charm, like arched doorways and original tile patterns, so sometimes you have to get creative when trying to make a remodel look unique and timeless,” writes Joanna. She uses antique partitions that create a dramatic entrance into the kitchen. You could also use a kitchen island that looks like an antique or choose furniture that was inspired by architectural details.

The Essex Dining Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Mix Finishes

The farmhouse style kitchen has taught us that things don’t have to match. Joanna often uses one style for upper cabinets and another for lower, allowing architectural elements to stand out. We love this tip because it encourages us to think outside of styles and colors when designing your kitchen. You could use two different finishes or add furnishings in a different style for a unique or eclectic feel.

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Put Essentials On Display

Joanna can make the most basic household item look loved simply by showing it off. She often utilizes a pot rack to display and organize everyday pots and pans in a farmhouse style kitchen. “This saves the homeowner from having to look through a cramped cabinet or drawer, while also bringing the character and patina of their collection to this wall,” Joanna writes. When choosing accent pieces for your kitchen, survey what you have in your cabinets. Or select new pieces that not only serve a function but are beautiful as well.

How To Create an Urban Style Dining Room

With the holidays on the horizon, all eyes are about to be on your dining room. Is yours ready for its starring role? If not, it’s possible to get a new look without replacing all of your furnishings. Here are four easy things you can do that will give your urban style dining room a makeover.

Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Nelson Dining Chairs are available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Swap out the chairs

You dining room will look completely different when you change out the seating, especially if your current set matches the table. The hottest trend in an urban style dining room is to mix up the chairs. Try an assortment that work well together, from upholstered to metal to wood. Choose all one color, a combination of two, or a mix of solids and patterns. Be creative! Or keep you matching dining chairs, and swap out the two end chairs with upholstered wingbacks.

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Try a bench

Using a bench in place of seats will bring a casual, rustic feel to your dining room. It has the added benefit of letting you to seat more people. Use one or two benches at the long sides of a rectangular table. The great thing about a bench is that it’s versatile; you can always return the chairs after your evening of entertaining, and place the bench in a foyer, mudroom or rec room.

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Use an interesting sideboard

Add appeal to your dining room with a new sideboard. It will stand out if it doesn’t match your dining room table. Choose a different wood finish for a nice contrast, go with something glamorous like mirror, or pick a style that has an unusual design. If you already have a sideboard, repurpose it in another room, such as a family room or oversized foyer.

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Update your chandelier

If your chandelier came from another decade, it’s time for an update. Check out the gorgeous styles that add architectural shapes and drama to an urban style dining room. Today’s chandeliers are not only functional, but they enhance or even take the place of a centerpiece.

How To Design a Casual Family Room

The family room is where the best conversations happen. Where movie night and popcorn go together. And where relaxing and rejuvenating are on the daily to-do list. Since it’s a casual space, however, it’s easy for the family room to become a hodge-podge of leftover furniture and decorating ideas. Make time to design the right atmosphere, and you’ll be rewarded with a place that sets the stage for memories. Take a second look at your family room. Here’s how you can design a casual family room.

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1. An inviting seating area

This isn’t the place for antique wooden chairs that make you sit up straight. Enjoy your downtime by choosing cushioned sofas and overstuffed armchairs. You can combine a sofa with two armchairs or a loveseat or bring in an oversized sectional, but be sure to include a cocktail table or ottoman that will encourage snacking, games and putting up your feet. Create a sense of intimacy by placing furnishings relatively close together, but be sure to provide a nice flow for traffic. If you have a focal point in your room – such as a fireplace or media center – group your seating area around it.

2. A media center

Casual family rooms are for watching movies, televisions or the video you shot on vacation. Be sure you have a place for viewing them all. A media center will let you set up a television and any other components you need. Measure your space, your television and your electronics before you pick the perfect console. Many media centers also provide storage for DVDs, CDs, and video game equipment. In a variety of styles, it’s easy to find a unit that fits your décor.

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3. Light

Every room deserves good lighting, and that should include a mix of task, ambient and overhead lights. Start with overhead fixtures, which are often already built in, then add more lights like you would add layers. Consider a floor lamp near your reading chair or sofa. And incorporate ambient, or mood, lighting in corners to create an inviting space at night.

4. A rug

A casual family room should be comfortable and that means choosing furnishings and accents that provide soft finishes. By using a rug, you’ll add warmth and you can define certain areas. Rugs also inject color and pattern to a space. Finally, rugs – especially those with patterns – can hide the stains and spills that often happen when the family gathers.

 

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5. Something fun

The family room isn’t the place to be formal; it should include a sense of fun. Add a casual element by including candid family photos. Choose bright or bold patterns for your rug, throw pillows or wall paint. Or set up a chess set or Scrabble board and encourage impromptu games. This is the room for your family’s personality to shine. Go for it!

Create An Inviting Guest Bedroom With Tips From Fine Hotels

Opening your home to friends and family is part of the holiday season, and you want your guests to feel welcome. If you will be hosting anyone overnight in the upcoming weeks, take some time now to plan ahead and create a wonderful retreat for your guest bedroom. Here are 10 things fine hotels do to make their guests feel special so they look forward to coming back:

Guest bedroom
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Use soft linens

Launder linens the day before your guests arrive, so they smell fresh and feel crisp. Invest in a high-thread count set of sheets, which will be soft and comfortable. If your guests are visiting during winter, make sure to provide extra blankets, and consider flannel or microfiber sheets, which will be warmer.

Provide a clock radio

If your guests want to wake up early, make it easy by providing a clock radio with an alarm. This will also allow your guests to listen to music while they fall asleep.

Prepare the bathroom

Make sure your guests have extra towels in the bathroom, so they can easily freshen up during they stay. Put out a basket of toiletries, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and consider offering a robe they can use if the bathroom is down the hall or shared with others.

Pay attention to the details

Fresh flowers on the nightstand of a guest bedroom are a nice touch, as is including candies, bottled water and a book or magazine for reading. Be sure the room has adequate light for reading.

Ask about food preferences

Before your guests arrive, find out if they have any food allergies or diet restrictions. You’ll want them to feel at home; set up a coffee and tea station in the kitchen so they can help themselves if they wake before you in the morning.

guest bedroom
The Arlington Queen Bed is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
Provide easy access to electronics

Help your guests connect online by writing your WiFi password on a notecard on the nightstand in your guest bedroom. You can also give a quick tutorial on cable remotes, and provide a cable guide so your friends can find their favorite channels.

Plan activities

If sightseeing is on the agenda, provide information on all your area has to offer. You can plan this ahead of time, and pre-purchase tickets to ensure you get your first choice.

Provide a place luggage

Think about where guests can set their luggage in your guest bedroom, such as a luggage rack, bench or chair. Suitcases can be dirty, and your guests will be glad they don’t have to place them on the bed.

Clear room in the closet

Make space in the closet for guests to hang clothes. Be sure you provide enough hangers, as well as floor space for shoes.

Think about the kids

If there will be children, consider their special needs. Look into renting a crib if you don’t have one. Place socket protectors on outlets, and gather age-appropriate games and activities.

Final tip: Before guests arrive, consider spending the night in your own guest bedroom. You’ll experience firsthand your own hospitality, and will welcome them with confidence later.

How to Buy a Bedroom Set

Your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your house. It’s where you spend about a third of your time, and it’s where you begin and end each day. Creating a relaxing setting is important, and that means choosing the right furniture is key. Here are five things you need to know about how to buy a bedroom set.

How to buy a bedroom set
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1. The size of your room

To create a calming setting, don’t overwhelm your room with furniture. Choose the right size and style of pieces by considering your square footage and layout. Measure the wall space, including door and window frames. This will help you determine how many pieces will comfortably fit.

2. The size of your bed

From twin to king, beds come in a variety of sizes and it’s one of the most important considerations for how to buy a bedroom set. Before you go out and buy the biggest bed you can find, determine how it will fit in your room. Select the wall where you’ll place the bed, and measure how much room you have. Here are the mattress measurements:

  • Twin: 39” x 75”
  • Twin XL: 39” x 80”
  • Full: 54” x 75”
  • Full XL: 54” x 80”
  • Queen: 60” x 80”
  • King: 76” x 80
  • California King: 72” x 84”
3. The amount of storage you need

How much clothing you have and how you prefer to store it will help you determine how many storage pieces will fit in your bedroom. Do you need a dresser and a chest of drawers? Would two chests of drawers be better? Can you combine a nightstand with a small chest to maximize space and storage? The options are limitless, so make sure you maximize your room.

4. Your décor

Consider the atmosphere you want like to create in your bedroom and choose a style to match. You’ll find everything from traditional to contemporary, modern, rustic, urban, casual and mission. You may also decide to pair an upholstered headboard with wood furniture. Or create an eclectic grouping by mixing styles and finishes. It’s your room – let your personality shine!

5. Your palette

The color or finish of your bedroom furniture can have a big impact on the overall design of the room. Dark-toned woods work well with traditional décor. Black, white and espresso are great for contemporary rooms. If you love cottage style, choose furniture with a distressed or painted finish. Mission style bedrooms look great in oak and cherry finishes.

How would you describe the style of your bedroom décor? Let us know in the comments below.