Sunday, March 18, 2012

Out with then old--in with the new!

I purchased a new rug for my living room two weeks ago.  I had a sisal rug in my living room when I purchased new furniture back in 2006.  I was going through my tone-on-tone look:  the walls were taupe, furniture was taupe, and the rug was taupe.  I liked it at first, but somewhere along the way I decided that I needed more color in the room.  So, I decided to paint the room last summer, which made a tremendous change.  I also played around with my accessory pillows.  The one thing that I had not considered was changing the rug. My living room is decorated transitional style--a cross between traditional and contemporary.  When I started looking for a new rug, I initially wanted to find a transitional style rug and stay away from the traditional look.  I fell in love with a rug at my new favorite rug place (Aladdin Rugs), but the rug was too small.  I needed an 8 x 10 ft rug and this rug came in 5 x 8 ft.  I was told that I may have to wait 6 months before the rug that I fell in love with to come in the 8 x 10 ft size.  Those who know me know that I am not a patient woman.

Two weeks ago, I drove to the Home Goods Store in Hot Springs, AR.  I wasn't sure if I would find a rug to take home, but amazingly I did.  And, the price was fantastic.  I purchased an 8 x 10 ft, 100% hand-tied wool rug for $299!!!  This price is ridiculous.  Rugs this size typically retail between $799 and $2,000.  I did good--LOL!!!  I did, however, compromise on the style.  My new rug is traditional, but I'm not disappointed.  The rug has all of the colors that are in my room:  tan, green, brown, red.  Decor style is not any different than clothing style:  trends come and go but traditional is always in style.  

Here is what my living room looked like with the sisal rug:

Now this is what the space looks like with the new rug:

I wanted a rug with color and I didn't want the rug to scream at you when you walked into the living room.  I think I achieved my goal.

Rugs ground a room and keep the furniture from having the appearance of floating in the room.  A rug completes the look of your space.  It's like finding the right pair of shoes to complete your outfit.  If you have been thinking about a rug for your space, be sure to check out Home Goods.  If you live in the Little Rock, AR area, there is a Home Goods Store in Conway (inside of TJ Maxx) and the store in Hot Springs, AR.  Home Goods doesn't have a lot of rugs, but you may get lucky and find the rug you want.  Also, another good place to purchase rugs in the Little Rock area is Aladdin Rugs on JFK in North Little Rock.  This store has a lot of rugs, and 8 x 10 ft 100% wool rugs are priced between $499 and $599.

Be sure to select the right size rug for your space.  I've seen way too many spaces where the rug is only big enough to fit under the coffee table.  The rug should fit underneath your furniture, but it doesn't need to go entirely under your furniture.  A good rule of thumb is to have approximately 2 ft of floor showing around the edges of the rug.  But, this may vary depending on the room size.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Your Bedroom a Sanctuary

For me, one of the prettiest rooms in a home is the master bedroom.  There is nothing more beautiful than a bed with nice linens and pillows (but not too many pillows!).  Back in my teen years and early 20s, I would love to go to the bedding department at Dillard's just to see how the beds would be displayed.  I know this is weird.  Most women go straight to the shoe department, but not me.  Even now, I will go to the home or household accessory department before I go to the clothing and shoes.  I've always wanted my bed to look like the beds displayed in Dillard's.

I travel a lot with job so when I come home at the end of the week, I don't like to come home to a space that is cluttered or in disarray.  I don't spend a lot of time in my bedroom--I sleep there and occasionally watch TV.  I never eat in my bedroom (wasn't allowed as a child and I still hold on to that).  I don't work in my bedroom.  Some people have a home office or have carved out a space to put a desk so they can work in their bedroom.  Desks are fine for kids who often do their homework in their bedrooms, but not so much for adults.  Sometimes this is unavoidable if you live in a small space, but try to avoid working in your bedroom if possible.  It can create stress and you don't need that if you're trying to sleep.  I only lay in my bed when I go to sleep.  I make my bed up every morning because I love the look of a made-up bed.  When people see my bedroom, the first comment out of their mouth is, "it's obvious that you don't sleep in this room."  I think I get this comment because my bedroom is clutter-free.  My dresser top only has decorative items on it.  My nightstands have a lamp, alarm clock, 1 or 2 books, and decorative accessories.  

I have friends whose bedrooms are so cluttered I don't know how they sleep there.  I see treadmills, exercise bikes, clutter on the dresser and nightstands, baskets of clothes, shoes in the floor, clothes hanging on door knobs and from the top of the doors, on the bed, etc....  Get the picture?  Bedrooms like this are clearly not a sanctuary.

So, what does it take to make your bedroom a sanctuary?  Here are my recommendations/suggestions for improving your space:
  • Your bed should have at least a headboard--and a footboard is even nicer.  I know a lot of people who only have a mattress and boxspring.  That's just sad.  Headboards can be purchased for under $300 or you can be creative and make your own.
  • Nice bed linens and comforter or bedspread.  This is a must-have.  Comforter sets can be purchased fairly cheap from Target if you don't want to plunk down $200-$300 or more.
  • Remove items from your room that traditionally don't belong in a bedroom, i.e., treadmills, exercise bikes, and other clutter.  You'll be surprised at how much larger your bedroom will look with all of the extra stuff removed.
  • Remove clutter from the dresser and nightstands.  Find decorative accessories at local discount stores to decorate these spaces.  I was at a Home Goods Store recently and this store has a lot of nice glassware that would look great as a decorative accessory.
  • Make sure your window treatments are nice--either wood blinds, shutters, or drapery (if you like drapery).  Some comforter sets have matching drapery.  If not, you can purchase panels in a color that is in the comforter set.  I had custom draperies made a few years ago for my bedroom.  I picked a fabric color that I could live with for a few years and would go with many different colors when I change out my comforter.
  • A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.  You may want to consider a change in color.  It can change the mood of the room.
  • This will be hard for many, but make your bed up everyday!  My mother trained all of her children to do this when we were younger.  I think me and my oldest brother still make our beds everyday and he only does it because he's married and his wife makes him.
I am posting a video of my bedroom.  I want you to see what my bedroom looks like all the time.

So if your bedroom is not a sanctuary, a few easy steps can turn it into one!