Monday, December 05, 2005

DeCoUpAgE! & my project!

Have some spare time?? My past summer was spent living and working in Delaware with very few UDel students around.. sooo here's what I did to keep busy...

I found an old dresser and some magazines, bought some paint, picked up tons of ModPodge and got creative! I used decoupage to make a new piece of accent furniture in my apartment! (pictured)

Mod Podge is the original all-in-one sealer, glue and finish. It's perfect for wood, paper, fabric, and other porous surfaces.


I did this using a very unique technique! Here you can find some fun projects to DECOUPAGE! This technique dates back to the 12th century and is no more than decorating surfaces by adhering paper cutouts and then sealing with a varnish!

defn. of decoupage: the art of applying paper onto any decorative surface (even furniture!)

Depending on what you make, the finished decoupage product can be so stunning that it appears to be professionally painted! Some think that decoupage is complicated, but it's not at all. If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved...you can even use supplies that you probably have laying around the house!

The DoItYourself Network is a great resource for project inspiration and arts and crafts.
This page
is dedicated to decoupage!

Step-by-Step directions:

  1. Prepare the surface of the item you plan to decoupage on. Make sure it is clean and begin to paint or seal it.
  2. Cut out your pictures.
  3. Arrange the pictures before you add the glue so you know where you want everything. The pictures can be in any design and can also overlap.
  4. Completely coat the back of the picture with your glue or decoupage medium. You should also put a thin layer of glue in the area where you are sticking the picture.
  5. Stick the picture on the glue. Use your finger to gently push down the picture (for a large picture, start from the center and work your way out) and push out any wrinkles and excess glue. You can also use a popsicle stick or brayer.
  6. Continue with the last 2 steps until all your pictures are glued on. Let the glue dry.
  7. Coat your item completely with diluted white glue (approximately 3 parts glue to 1 part water) or decoupage medium. Let this dry completely.
  8. Now, you can continue to add coats of the glue or decoupage medium or use another sealer (polyurethane, acrylic spray, etc.) until you get the desired results. You will, however, want to keep adding coats until the edges of the pictures are smooth.

    HGTV offers some decoupage basics to help you get started!
    and here's some history and instruction!

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    What's your decorating secret!?

    Do you want to know some secrets from the experts? Here you go...

    >> answers to some FAQ from decoratorsecrets.com

    here's a great site: Decorating Secrets >> it encourages you to express yourself, find your style, learn tricks, and get tips on decorating every room in your home!

    some additional helpful links:

    Pick the right floor covering
    Choose fabrics
    Arrange pictures
    Help with lighting
    See a room like a decorator would

    In order for any room to be comfortable, it has to reflect the personal
    tastes of you and your family...before starting any project, assess what your wants and needs are...Here are a few quick tips to help you get started with any general decorating project:


    1. Start a scrapbook with pictures and ideas that you like
    2. Evaluate which of your rooms take priority >> where is your favorite place to relax?
    3. Consider balance in the room: find a focal poing
    4. Decide on colors
    5. Consider the desired lighting
    6. Make a floor plan

    10 Quick Decorating Tips: bring a fresh, new look to your home with no worry, no fuss!


    **SeCrEtS** >> the best kept secrets for saving money and creating home decor!

    also available at amazon.com, Neil Hill's Decorating secrets: Easy and Inspiring Ways to Bring Style into Your Home!

    **are you interested in the magic of google? so are we! our infotech marketing class is excited to learn about the effect of keywords on internet marketing. As an experiment, we are adding the word "nworbxela" to our blogs in order to see the true power of a "google keyword!" **

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Boring bathrooms?

    What's your favorite room in your house? Is it your cozy bedroom or your welcoming living room or your BaThRoOm??!

    decorate your bathroom!

    Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom?
    Try considering adding elements of comfort and elegance to transform your dreary bathroom a personal sanctuary.


    "Elegance, softness, and sophistication are the keywords for bathroom decor"


    more from creativehomemaking.com:

    DO IT:
    • In bathrooms with windows, fabric can make a big impact. Use it on the windows, and also for the shower curtain.
    • Cover your trash cans, Kleenex boxes and as many other items that you can.
    • If you've used fabric, take one of the more subtle colors out of it and paint your walls.
    • You can bring a lot of character into the room by swapping out the light fixture with something interesting. In such a small room, an interesting light fixture will make a big statement.
    • The mirror is another item you want to emphasize in the room. If you have a small plain mirror, consider replacing it with something more interesting.
    • Wallpaper in a bathroom is beautiful.
    • You can make a huge impact in the room by getting rid of dark wood and old hardware on cupboards. Use paint and replace the knobs.
    • Live plants thrive in a bathroom that has light.
    • Use scented candles and potpourri to make your bathroom pleasant.
    • Use practical items as accessories to save both space and money. (Towels, baskets, and colorful bottles grouped together.

    DON'T DO IT:

    • Avoid bath mats that looks like mini-shag rugs from the 60's.
    • Do not put on a colored seat to call attention to the toilet.
    • Do not use colors or fabrics you don't like just because they match the color of the fixtures.
    • Don't neglect painting the inside of a dark cupboard because you think no one will see it.
    • Don't get too "cutesy" with themes.

    check out this great gallery of bathrooms for some ideas for your own home! (brought to you by 'Better Homes and Gardens' online!

    thinking of completely remodeling the bathroom? read this article!

    Don't just think your bathroom is another boring space in your beautiful house... get thinking and get creative! Be adventuresome >> this smallest room in your home can reflect the design of your wildest imagination. Bathroom decor allows you to use colors or patterns you’d be afraid to use elsewhere, not to mention- at a cheaper cost because of the size of the area!

    bathandkitchenstudio.com offers excellent ideas here for not only decorating a bathroom, but organizing one!

    Lately, new homes are being built while paying special attention to luxurious and large bathrooms. Some are adding multiple sinks, a toilet and bidet, a separate tub and shower stall, customized tile work, and fantastic closets! Even in a small space, there is lots of room left for imagination!

    here are some cost-effective tips for bathroom decoration!

    "The necessities of a bathroom include sink, toilet, tub and shower. Everything else is frosting on the cake. But sometimes the frosting is the best part!"

    You deserve a 'truly luxurious' bathroom now!

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Stencils and Textures and Patterns...oh my!

    Some advice on Textures and Patterns:
    by Rental Decorating Digest

    Use these to add character and intensity to a plain room or color scheme.

    *Different textures and patterns can even create optical illusions and dramatic arrangements.
    They can also affect proportions of a room!*


    Examples:

    • Complex Patterns that use many colors and diagonal or criss-crossing lines are busy for your eye. (These are better for large areas, but may overwhelm a small room.
    • Vertical Lines add height to a short room or can add more height to a high ceiling.
    • Horizontal Lines add space, width to an area.
    • REMEMBER: The larger the space, the larger the print, and the smaller the space the smaller the print.
    • The same grouping or pattern used throughout an area can draw together a wide area and make it flow.
    • Colors affect how we see patterns. (High contrast patterns create an energetic feeling and similar colors have an opposite, calming effect)
    • Texture affects color. Rough textures will absorb light & smooth textures will reflect light.

    Decorative Stencils:
    Make your walls beautiful using decorative stencils! There are thousands of options!Royal Design Studio is reinventing the art of stenciling! find other wall stencil links here!

    you will need:

    • stencil of your choice
    • stencil adhesive/painters tape
    • acrylic paints
    • stencil brushes/sponges
    • paper plate/palette
    • papertowels
    • a wall anywhere in your home

    basic stenciling steps:

    • Wash the walls for any dust, grime, or dirt/fill in any holes or cracks/dry the wall
    • Hold your stencil in place with your adhesive or tape
    • Squeeze a small amount of paint onto the palette
    • Dip the brush into paint and tap onto the paper towel until dry
    • Tap or swirl the paint in the stencil design until the desired depth of color is reached.
    • Use a top coat of acrylic varnish or polyurethane if necessary (if stencil is going to be touched)
    • Apply 2-3 coats to the wall & let each coat dry in between
    • Finally stand back and admire your walls!!


    HGTV offers some advice on stamping and stenciling for floors, walls, furniture, glass and wood!
    some more
    tips for projects like these!
    can't find a stencil you like? you can browse and buy from one of these liks!

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    What about color?

    What can color do for a room in your home?

    Decorate rooms with paint, color, fabric, and flooring: color a room!
    >> try designer decorating! (a very cool resource)

    With just a touch of color, you can perform 'visual miracles!'
    *the magic of color*

    • Small spaces can be expanded!
    • Large spaces can be made more intimate!
    • Ceilings can be made to look higher or lower!
    • Imperfections can be hidden in plain sight!

    All you need is to pick up a paintbrush & follow these simple guidelines...
    behr.com- color experts offer some
    color inspiration!

    From a decorating standpoint color can change the entire look of a room. New and exciting color combos are being used! check out doityourself.com's decorating with color section!

    Choosing color combo can be very intimidating for beginning decorators... you can rely on the interior designer's most important color tool: the color wheel!

    warm or cool (every color has a temperature.. how do you want your room to feel?)

    warm>> from the red/yellow side of the spectrum

    cool>> from the blue/violet side
    ...be creative!

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Decorate for Fall!

    Because its really starting to feel like Fall...
    and everyone is getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving...
    why not decorate to reflect the beautiful new season?

    Even if you're not having guests, changing the atmosphere inside with the changing colors of the season outside can put you in a better mood when it starts to get chilly!

    Here are some helpful links I found... if you need some ideas!

    Quick & Cheap ways to Decorate for Fall!
    1. use what you already have
    2. find some acorns, pinecones, bark, stones and leaves to display in bowls around your home
    3. bring out the candles (for that homey, warm feeling)
    4. add scents to a room: simmer apple peels and cinnamon sticks on the stove
    5. use fall flavors: keep apples, pomegranates, squashes and pumpkins in decorative bowls

    Warm up your Thanksgiving Decor!

    Fall Decorating: Chic and Cheap from The Budget Decorator

    Setting a Thanksgiving Table (very helpful!)

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Feng Shui


    Are you surrounded by negative energy?
    Doyou try to organize yourself but find it difficult?
    There may be a practical solution using Feng Shui!
    Here's what wikipedia says about it!

    Q: What is Feng Shui?
    A: An
    ancient metaphysical art that can bring aesthetically pleasing and beneficial changes to your home and your life.
    *It can help in getting a good night's sleep to being more productive at work!*

    Feng Shui is mostly about strategically positioning objects in your environment, and is related to decorating.
    It's about achieving a personal balance with your surroundings rather than just experimenting with color schemes or accessories.


    Feng Shui --> learn more!

    Bachelor Pad!

    Thanks for the comments!... here's just what you asked for: decorating tips for his bachelor pad!
    Ever find it his apartment
    dull and lacking
    creativity?
    have him check out this site: bachelor furniture
    Also Help
    him out with these tips
    from askmen.com

    Its 9 MuSt HaVe items for his bachelor pad:
    1. Coffee Table

    2. Daybed
    3. Minibar

    4. Espresso Machine
    5. Wine rack

    6. Anything retro
    7. Chair

    8. Floor/table lamp
    9. Art










    You can also:

    • Brush up on the painting: *remember: a lighter color makes a place look bigger while a darker color has the opposite effect!
    • Change the lighting: this will add new dimension to the room!
    • Add furniture
    • Upgrade tiles, hardware, doorhandles, etc.

    HGTV offers info on "the new bachelor pad"

    **What do today's single men really want?... in a home that is!**

    • Style that reflects who they are
    • A design that reflects who they want to be
    • A sophisticated contemporary look
    • A refuge
    • Comfort