Decorate With Intention: To Buy or Not to Buy

The much-quoted English textile designer William Morris stated,”Have nothing in your homes which you do not understand to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” A worthy goal, to be sure, but a bit tricky to put to training.

Like magpies flocking to shiny bits and bobbles, we’re attracted to the newest gadgets and designer decoration. If you love to shop but don’t love the clutter that comes with too many not-right purchases, it’s time to take a step back and get a fresh view on what you buy and why. Join us as we delve in to 10 important questions which will help ascertain whether that new furniture or decoration item should earn a place in your house.

Lumens

Banana Bowl – $140

1. Might it be useful? While not every thing within our houses have to be strictly pragmatic, it is much easier to justify a buy if the object of your desire also serves a purpose beyond looking cool.

1a. OK, so it’s helpful — but do you need it? This is the part where it could be tempting to tell yourself a little white lie. Sure, those gold bananas are helpful — they could hold fruit! But if you already have a dozen fruit bowls at home, is a gold banana bowl really going to be helpful to you?

Krieger + Associates Architects, Inc..

2. Is it your weakness? We all have our loves and obsessions. For me personally, it is books. I can not walk past a bookstore without going in, and I can not appear to render one without buying something. But simply being mindful of exactly what your weakness is will help fortify your resolve when you need to. By way of instance, over time I’ve come to understand that nonfiction books are the ones I like to stay permanently, so I try to check out current fiction from the library instead.

Etsy

Antique Drawing Drafting Table from Karen C. Kramer – $950

3. Do you love it? We all know the feeling — you have a look at something, whether it is an amazing classic, a painting or a classic trinket, and just gasp. Your heart beats faster. Your senses are thrilled. Your fingers are itching to pull your wallet out and bring it home… but hold on just a second, we are not done yet! Read on to ensure that your find passes the exam.

Huntley & Co.. Interior Design

4. Is it your own style? It’s likely (quite common, really ) to fall head over heels to get something which isn’t your style. Think about an art gallery. You may be entirely in awe of a specific artist’s work but would never need one of their pieces in your house. Well, guess what? The identical thing can occur when you are out shopping. Even if you love something, if you understand deep down it’s just not”you,” it is best to appreciate it from afar and leave it at that. Bringing house something which falls into this class is where many people go awry in decorating.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

5. Does it work with other colors in your property? When you’re in the process of decorating a space, it is a superb idea to take a small envelope or folder with fabric and paint swatches when you go out shopping. Being in a position to hold up a swatch of your wall color or the fabric on your couch is invaluable once you are searching for coordinating pieces.

Do not have swatches? In the minimum, have a few pictures of the space in great lighting and bring those with you on shopping trips. It will avoid many headaches down the road when a color or print clashes and you need to make returns or consume the price tag.

Jute Interior Design

6. Could it be in the budget? This is a slick question, because decorating budgets may often be wiggled a little. Even if the top limit of that which you are able to spend on a space must remain business, falling in love with the perfect bit (that costs more than you were likely to invest ) might mean cutting corners elsewhere.

If you just can not afford it, keep the info in a file for future reference, and let it go for today. It’s not worth going into debt more than decorating a home.

pyd

Mystic Collection Turquoise Rug

7. Would you return it if you change your thoughts? Yield policies are always a good idea to check, but it is especially important to be diligent about this when you will need to try out a bit in your house prior to knowing for sure if it will work.

7a. You know yourself . Can you actually return it if it does not work? For those who, like me, often slack on making returns, don’t make the buy unless you are 150 percent sure you want to keep it.

Old Faithful Shop

Apple Bottle Opener – $26

8. Is it an impulse buy? Some impulse buys are fortuitous finds. If it’s something you love that you have been looking for, or you understand just what you want to do with it, then do it. But be honest with yourself. It’s easy to get trapped in the delight of purchasing, scooping things up simply because they’re there.

Retailers place small items in crucial areas close to the checkout area because they understand shoppers are easily enticed to throw”just one more” thing into their baskets. Resist. If you are still thinking about the thing tomorrow, go right ahead and buy it but the majority of the timeyou will find that the charm fades as soon as you leave the shop.

Greenhouse Design Studio

Classic Icebox – $999

9. Have you any idea where it will go? If it’s a massive piece of furniture, check the dimensions to be sure it will fit in which it needs to go — such as through narrow doorways and stairwells.

This principle does not merely apply to bulky furniture. If you understand exactly where every item you buy will”reside,” you’ll be keeping clutter at bay. It’s the objects that float around our houses without a permanent location that make a space feel messy.

Kelly Donovan

Karl Malmvall Stepladder – $295

10. Could it be the best example of its type? Just because an object is useful doesn’t mean it can not also be visually pleasing. If you’d like your house to be beautiful inside and outside, consider aesthetics into account even for the more mundane buys like step stools and cleaning brushes.

More:
Clutter-Clearing 101

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Guest Groups: Get Your Game On!

The holidays may be over, but it doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Help beat those winter blues by hosting a Game Night. We’ve put together a fantastic group of entertaining and games essentials to kick off the new season with a little friendly rivalry. — Heather and Vanessa from At the Picket Fence

Restoration Hardware

Town Hall Bingo – $129

Bingo isn’t just for those of us who are a little longer in the tooth. Enjoy the timeless game in style with this portable collection, complete with a metal cage prepared for a quick twist to pop out the winning number. There is nothing quite like the feeling when you shout out that magical word:”Bingo!”

Z Gallerie

Bullseye Party Picks – $9.95

Your taste buds would be the target with those brilliant Bullseye Party Picks. We would utilize them for our drinks, and we find them to be the ideal way to skewer some cheese and deli meat to get an appetizer using a fun twist.

Dart Boards

Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dart Board with Heckler Feature and Cabinet – $469.98

We might just wait to serve our cocktails before after a rousing game of darts. But we are pretty sure that using this electronic dartboard mounted at a stunning cherry cupboard, we will have no trouble hitting our mark.

Barnes & Noble

Gourmet Game Night by Cynthia Nims – $14.98

Everyone’s a winner when you start off your Game Night with great food. We love that this cookbook is full of recipes for delectable finger foods which will keep those hands free for dealing cards or rolling dice.

Crate&Barrel

Cuisinart Electric Fondue Set – $69.95

Do you fondue? We do! We love the idea of inviting your visitors to get to know each other better within this timeless fondue pot. And we are pretty sure just about anything tastes good coated in chocolate.

Pottery Barn

Chancellor Large Condiment Tray – $49

You’ll need a location for those Game Night munchies. Why don’t you serve them in this simple and elegant silver tray? The clean lines and subtle styling will emphasize your snacks without distracting guests from the goal at hand: winning.

Goal

Cosco Folding Table, Mahogany Finish – $74.99

Folding tables don’t need to seem, well, like folding tables. This is a gorgeous way to generate space for more guests without compromising on style.

Z Gallerie

Lexington Mirrored Butler Tray – $259.95

This portable bar with a detachable mirrored tray is the best way to keep your food and drinks near the action. With places for storing your glasses and bottles, we adore knowing our guests will not need to go far to get a little break.

Brookstone

Night Hawk 55″ Round Poker Table – $849.99

For the poker player, this stunning dining table has space for 8 and comes complete with cup holders and a claw-foot base base. We don’t believe our husbands would mind if we occasionally threw a tablecloth on it with some flowers in the middle, do you?

Brookstone

Leather Professional Poker Sets – $105

Proceed over Ocean’s 11. We believe this velvet-lined and leather-bound poker collection would have us feeling like we had been holding our own one of the professionals.

Ballard Designs

Place of 12 Numbered Barware Glasses – $69

We would like our Game Night guests to remain focused, therefore these numbered eyeglasses are the ideal way for them to keep an eye on the drinks and keep their minds in the game.

Ballard Designs

Place of 100 Personalized Shatterproof Cups – $120

But for those who may get a little rowdy through your Game Night, these monogrammed, shatterproof cups are just the thing. In addition to customized napkins and coasters, you won’t need to worry about cleaning up after a sore loser.

Fitz and Floyd

Game Night Coasters And Holder – $28

Protect your surfaces at authentic Game Night type with those high-rollin’ coasters. We believe even Frank, Dean and Sammy Davis Jr. would approve of these.

Cost Plus World Market

Gray/Yellow Herringbone Floor Cushion – $34.99

When you’re prepared for those games which need a bit more elbow space, these floor cushions will provide a cushy spot for your visitors to sit.

Goal

Poker & Blackjack Table Top with Case – $49.99

Everyone will be”all in” with this Poker & Blackjack Table Top. And you’ll be happy to”fold” this up and store it until the following Game Night.

Z Gallerie

Round Dice Set of 6 – $23.70

Add some interest to a celebration by rolling these around dice. Worried about the friend who would fudge their numbers? Well don’t be! These come complete with a mini-weight that ensures you’ll know the specific number of dots.

Restoration Hardware

Vintage Edition Monopoly – $149

How about some fun for those of us who can not appear to keep a poker face? This beautiful Monopoly collection has a decidedly vintage sense, and we love being able to escape to a world where real estate continues to be a hot commodity.

Walmart

Circus Vintage Cart Movie Popcorn Maker – $159

Keep the fun and the food going all night with this traditional electrical popcorn cart. It’s ideal for Game Night or Movie Night, and friends and family will always want to come hang out at your house. That is a good thing, we guarantee!

Cost Plus World Market

Popcorn Bowls – $9.99

You have to have someplace for that popcorn to go before it hits your mouth. This fun metal set includes a large serving bowl and 4 smaller dishes ideal for individual parts.

Oriental Trading Co..

Mini Striped Popcorn Boxes, Set of 24 – $4

At the end of the nighttime, send your visitors on their way with some popcorn from those darling red and white striped boxes. Everyone will feel like a winner.

Next: Prepare the House for Snow-Day Activities

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Guest Picks: Great Gifts for Kids Who Cook

Part of the enjoyment of being in the kitchen is getting to play with around with food. My kids have difficulty waiting till they are older to be a part of the fun — they love pretending to cook, as well as actually assisting with food prep. This set of gifts was created with something in your mind for kids of all skill levels in kitchen. I know kids like these toys, but I buy them for myself as I do for them. I enjoy play cooking much more than real cooking because there’ll never be some dishes to wash!

— Mariko from The Tiny Foodie

Little Partners

Little Partners Learning Tower – $199.99

As opposed to dragging your chairs throughout the kitchen so that your kid can stand at the counter with you, try out this learning tower. It’s sturdy and adjustable based on height, and it’s safe rails on either side. I love it.

Melissa & Doug

Sushi Slicing Play Set – $19.99

That is my daughter’s favourite toy food ever. When we play with this, it’s like we are in a real restaurant. You can even slice aside the sushi rolls and practice your chopstick skills.

Play Kitchens

KidKraft Primary Colors Baking Set – $44.99

My cooking tools are really only toys in disguise, and I feel the standing mixer is in the center of each (toy) kitchen.

Etsy

Lil Chef Dress Up Costume by My Heart – $35

This sweet chef ensemble is all about playing with the big kids. I believe that you may have a great sous chef in the making.

Play Kitchens

KidKraft White Vintage Kitchen – $199.99

This play kitchen may be better stocked than my actual kitchen. It has the gas-style stove. Sigh, I wish I had one myself.

BabyAge

Little Tikes Backyard Barbeque™ Get Out ‘N Grill – $40.48

If you do not have room in the home for a play kitchen, why not an outdoor backyard barbecue? Pretty please, Mom? You simply can’t say no to this.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Little Tikes Makin’ Mud Pies Outdoor Kitchen Set – $39.99

Actual water, actual dirt and real mud. What kid could resist this outdoor drama set, which can be practically real-live cooking?
OK, so perhaps you’ll have to scrub a little after this meal.

Pottery Barn Kids

Porcelain Tea Set – $59

Foodies are usually entertainers in your mind. Kids love to have friends over for parties, just like adults.

Pottery Barn Kids

Cupcake Set – $24

This is the cutest felt food ever. I want to be served this at our next tea party.

Sears

Casdon Toy Delonghi Microwave – $27.99

I have done a double take when I saw this microwave, and I’m sure most kids would think that this was the real deal. It comes complete with play food, and the microwave sizzles and beeps too.

Hasbro

Easy-Bake Oven and Snack Center – $29.99

I’m not sure what the allure of the Easy Bake Oven is, but my 8-year-old self couldn’t envision the more perfect toy. It’s redundant for certain, however, it was still special because it was particularly for me.

Amazon

Handstand Kids Eat Your Fruits & Veggies Oven Mitt – $8

Adult-size oven mitts can be cumbersome for smaller hands and actually make spills or burns more risky. Get the right size mitt for those small ones if you are going to let them cook.

Amazon

Sassafras Little Cook Kid’s Kitchen Tool Kit – $20

This cooking collection is serious business. Meaning, small hands really can use these tools in the kitchen. I enjoy using measuring cups and spoons to teach my daughter about numbers.

Williams-Sonoma

Star Wars™ Heroes & Villains Cookie Cutters – $19.95

I’ve been ogling them for a while now, just waiting for an opportunity to introduce my kids to the magical universe of Star Wars. Additionally, sugar cookies are necessary around Christmas, right?

Kuhn Rikon

Decorating Bottles – $5

My daughter always wants to help decorate cupcakes, however, the pastry bag and tip are tough to control for small hands. Kuhn Rikon’s decorating bottles make that a non-issue, and also you are able to alter the tips as possible please.

Williams-Sonoma

OXO Vegetable Chopper – $20

This may not be intended for kids, but I think that it’s ideal for assisting. Kids can do the chopping without you worrying about palms. This is very good for onions, garlic, nuts and herbs. The best part is that you put your kids to operate, and they think that it’s all part of the fun!

Barnes & Noble

DK Children’s Cookbook by Katharine Ibbs – $17.99

As a general rule, I prefer cookbooks with pictures — lots of images. This cookbook has step-by-step images of basic recipes for kids, and it’s truly easy enough to follow for almost any kid (or kid at heart).

The Spoon Sisters

Nylon Cooking Knife Place for Kids – $9.95

Whenever you decide to let your child begin cutting some cucumber for your dinner salad, I feel these knives are ideal. Enormous, easy-to-grip handles and curved tips make this very affordable knife collection very appealing. I will probably wait a few years for my own daughter, but I’m storing it to a future want list.

For Smaller Hands

Private Pizza Pan Set – $16.95

Personal pizzas are most likely one of the greatest things about being a kid. Kids are experts at assembling their own, even at an early age.

For Smaller Hands

Mini-Spatula – $3.75

This mini-spatula is great for Saturday morning pancakes, which is probably your kid’s very favorite meal in which to participate. The silicone base implies you won’t have to worry about melting.

Amazon

Presto 11-Inch Electric Skillet – $22.22

This may not be made for kids, but if my kid does begin doing some actual sauteing (with supervision, of course), it’s going to be in an electric fry pan. It’s not a cooking vessel of choice for me personally, but it’s sturdy legs, therefore is less likely to tilt or scoot around off a stove top when she is stirring.

Next: A Kid-Friendly Christmas

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How to Replace a Broken Window Pane

If your house is a bit old, then it probably has windows that feature a double-hung sash. Sooner or later, window cleaning glasses will get broken and may require replacement. You don’t really need to call a professional immediately when it comes to this. Instead, you should assess the damage first and see if you can do it yourself.

What Tools Do You Need

Before you begin, make sure you have all the tools needed with you. The things that you will need when replacing the broken glass are:

-Heat gun
-Tape measure
-Putty knife
-Linseed oil
-Glaziers push points

Remove the Broken Glass

Wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves before you start removing the broken glasses away. This is to protect your hands from the sharp edges.

Remove the glass carefully. Some of the glasses can be pulled out easily. However, there are a few other types that will require some persuading. You may need to use a heat gun to soft up the glazing compound. The last pieces of glass should come out without any trouble once the glazing compound is removed.

Clean the Window Frame

After you have removed all the broken glass, it’s time to clean the window frame. You can use a wire brush to remove all the dust, dirt, debris, and residue from the frame. If window installation is already very old, apply linseed oil on the frame with the use of a brush. The oil can help to condition the wood, and will easily bond with the glazing compound.

You may need to warm the glazing compound up by kneading it until you can produce a thin bead out of it. This will require a bit of practice before you can get the consistency right, so there’s no need to worry if you will not get it right on your first try.

Measure and Order the Glass

Next, measure the area where the glazing compound will be applied. Take note of the measurements and bring them to the hardware store to order the glass material. Ensure that you get the measurements right when you order the glass replacement.

Purchase a pack of push points from the hardware stores as well. These are tiny triangles that will hold the window pane at the frame. Just push those points at the sides of the muntin bars. For a small pane of glass, apply two points on both sides of the glass at the four edges of the window pane.

Apply the Putty

Gently hold the putty knife at an angle and then apply a bead of the putty in one motion. Try to achieve an even line while doing so. As soon as the putty gets dry, start painting it.

In order to keep the glass window repair crystal clear, avoid cleaning the window once the sun is shining through it. This is because the sun will dry up the cleaner very quickly and will leave streaks on the window glass.

Cool Crochet? Yes, It's Possible

I will be the first to admit that if I consider crocheted accents, “chic” is not the first term that springs to mind. My train of thought runs to tissue box covers and fluffy afghans. But using a savvy eye for design, crocheted accents can be a very stylish way to add color, pattern and texture to a space. Want evidence? Have a look at the illustrations below.

Ida Lifestyle

Concentric squares give this throw pillow a mod mien that operates perfectly with all the midcentury expression of the furniture.

Holly Marder

Crocheted squares onto the wall, strung like a garland, texture cheerful and joyous.

H is for House

Juxtaposed with retro-cool accents along with an eclectic mix of furnishings, this crocheted bedcover takes on a bohemian flair.

Ida Lifestyle

Bright colours and bold patterns lend punch to a heap of cushions. In the exact same way that like objects grouped together create a greater impact, the similar palettes and motifs of these pillows fortify their effect.

Groovy Elisa

Cheeky and fun, this pair of bright chair covers would seem right at home in a young girl’s or a teenager’s room.

Ninainvorm

A rug with all the appearance of crocheted squares stitched together ties into the colours of this living area and sets a casual basis for the space.

The Virginia House

Sweet, simple crocheted baskets add a minimalist chic to this hutch.

Agnes Blum

Simultaneously conservative and young, this coverlet brightens a child’s bedroom.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

A pair of cushions injects a hint of updated crochet-style patchwork into this space. Their pattern provides only enough of a jolt without destroying the calm atmosphere.

Jennifer – Rambling Renovators

Crocheted doilies become instant graphic artwork when mounted and framed onto the wall.

Browse crocheted items from the Products section

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Moroccan Style Stirs Up Exotic Flair

I recently pulled a cookbook searching for a favorite family recipe, Moroccan cumin-flavored meatballs. The ingredients are a fragrant medley of garlic, cumin, beef and coriander. Yum!

Fragrance can stimulate memory, and I know it will for me. Many years ago I visited with the World Expo in Canada, where I had my first encounter with Moroccan design. The Moroccan section of the expo was full of colour, exotic aromas and music that will always stick in my mind. Today, I am fond of this style. Inspired by the odor of my meatballs, I thought I would have a look at just how designers are including Moroccan details inside their spaces.

Filmore Clark

Morocco is known for its stunning handmade zellige tile. Here’s a contemporary translation that is just magnificent. The teal and orange tile attribute geometrics and the Moorish star.

Lucy Interior Design

I love the use of Moroccan-inspired arches within this vanity design. The sharp white vanity feels contemporary and refreshing against the dark tiles. Notice how cryptic the lamps texture with a touch of light beaming through the lacy design.

Tommy Chambers Interiors, Inc..

An elegant master bath is enhanced using a Moroccan-inspired pattern in the customized window. Notice the arch in the custom made vanity — I think this also feels just like Moroccan architecture.

Elad Gonen

I love the dreamy outdoor bed set under legendary Moroccan arches. Notice the tone-on-tone pattern in the tasteful floor tiles.

So sculptural and simple in form, this stairwell proves the power of a good-looking rug. Moroccan-style rugs are so versatile; they are contemporary, rustic or traditional. The patterns are perfect in crimson tones placed against the geometry of these floor tiles.

Filmore Clark

A classsic illustration of zellige-inspired tile. Authentic zellige tile is terra-cotta covered with tooth in the form of chips set in plaster. The designs are traditionally geometrical mosaics, and the tiles are utilized mainly on ceilings, walls, fountains, floors and pools.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

This gem of a powder room is graced with a classic vanity and a pair of petite Moroccan-style pendants. This is a very subtle detail that effectively evokes Morocco.

Filmore Clark

I adore the idea of using decorative patterns on the ground. Here a beautiful encaustic tile (a ceramic tile in which the pattern isn’t a product of the glaze but of different colors of clay) can be used with neutral furniture for a global-modern vibe.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

This classic Moroccan display was sprayed black and white forced into a custom four-poster bed. Notice the fantastic color combination of green and black for this whimsical guest bedroom.

Denilson Machado – MCA Estudio

At first glance this minimalist space doesn’t feel Moroccan at all. But the Moroccan-feel patterned fabric on the ottoman creates an interesting contrast against the sparseness of the room.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This fantastic space is graced by conventional Moroccan lanterns, a frequent symbol of Moroccan style. These types of lanterns are often stamped tin or metal with colorful glass.

More:
Moroccan Style

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