Friday, November 30, 2012

A comfortable attic space

Do you like this arrangement? You can do this in your own attic space with a few pieces from our inventory!

First, fold down a couple futon frames with these mattresses for a flat surface.

Futon Sofa Bed (#2172A)

6" Foam Twin Futon Mattress (6FMFTN33)

Second, cover those with sheets and throw pillows. You could also toss on a couple of our throw blankets and finish off the arrangement with a matching rug!
Verdi Berber 2x4 Rug

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Alternative Autumn Table Designs

Thanksgiving is over this year, but there are still plenty of opportunities to host a fall-themed dinner party. Here are a few gorgeous set-ups to get you in party mode! Don’t have enough table space to make them work? Stop by your local Home Decor to check out our collection of dining tables and dinette sets!

947 5-piece Dinette
1 - Choose simple and minimal over typical abundance. Absurdly abundant fall cornucopias tend to be the norm this time of year, but colorful fall leaves are so much prettier on their own, when their dazzling variety of shapes and colors can really stand out. This display of leaves in basic glass hurricanes from Martha Stewart would be exceedingly easy to create, and it looks both chic and inviting.

Marble 5-piece Dinette (70130)

2 - Go for colors outside the autumnal palette. Nobody doesn't love a nice pumpkin, but by the time November rolls around, I get pretty sick of looking at them, which is why these "pop" painted pumpkins from Happy Mundane are so appealing. By using clean lines and non-autumnal colors, Jonathan Lo makes a centerpiece that evokes the fall spirit with a witty modern edge.

Matrix Gold 5-piece Dinette
3 - Rethink your bunch of branches. Autumn branches can be pretty just bunched on their own in a vase. But for an updated look, why not consider displaying a single special branch on its own, with a base of birch bark or mounded moss? This branch centerpiece from EcoLectic Events is decorated with handmade rice paper flowers, but you could use anything that strikes your fancy: seed pods, mosses, what have you.

4 - Think outside the squash. Vegetables used in fall centerpieces are most often squash and root vegetables, but there are so many other gorgeous edibles available this time of year. Figs, for example, are lovely on their own in a simple white bowl or arranged with other flowers and plants. I adore this cake stand of figs and flowering vines (also from Martha Stewart). Just use a little piece of wet floral foam in the middle of the stand to keep the vines hydrated. Wind the vines around the foam to disguise it, and add the figs around the edge.

Metro 5-piece Dinette (36 x 60)
5 - Try a woodland theme. Mosses, ferns, and bark have a rustic, cozy energy that seems perfect to me at this time of year. Try terrariums for your table (like this one from Once Wed), using mushrooms in warm fall colors for an added autumnal vibe.

6 - Feathers and flowers. Adding subtle feathers to florals can give your centerpieces that little bit of autumnal spirit without going completely over-the-top. I love the way the feathers in this bouquet from Once Wed almost feel like a breezy afterthought, and yet they add so much in the way of texture and mood. Pheasant feathers in particular, with their rusty hues, provide a nice fall-flavored look.

7 - Try an herbal bouquet. Certain herbs in flower arrangements feel more like spring or summer, but earthy, fragrant herbs like rosemary, thyme, and nasturtium can be reminiscent of brisk autumn days, especially when mixed with seasonal flowers. And the use of edible materials always conveys that feeling of abundance without the cloying cornucopia motif. (Bouquet is yet another one from Martha Stewart">Martha.)

Counter Height 5-piece Dinette (D215)
8 - Break out the funky old vessels. Tarnished vintage vessels, containers, and props convey a cozy warmth that's perfect for brisk evening dinner parties in the fall. I love the old scale used in this photo by Tanja Lippert, and all it needs is a few shiny apples and some moss; the vessel itself is the key element here.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Sleeping with the stars

Colder evenings make it harder to stay out late and gaze at the stars. With this nifty trick, you can sleep with the stars, or fireflies if you get the twinkling lights. Try this with our full and queen-sized canopy beds!

Canopy Bed Queen

You can do the same thing with bunk beds and lofts. This could provide better nightlights for your little ones, as well as decent reading lights before bed and a general fairy tale feeling for all our princesses out there.

Our rainbow bunk beds add a splash of color to a room, while our oak and dark wood versions can give a forest feel for those nature-bound sprites.

Rainbow Bunkbed

Natural Wood Bunkbed

Espresso Bunkbed

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Contrast colors with classic black furniture

We’ve passed Halloween, but black is still a classic color that goes with everything, even furniture. You can use your black furniture to offset other colors of the seasons. The orange, red, yellow and brown for Thanksgiving contrasts nicely. You can pile gourds and squash on tables as centerpieces that will catch the eye of anyone who passes them. And just think of what you could do with the reds, greens and blues of Christmas!

For this idea, try some of our furniture suggestions below.

Ashley Platform Queen Bed

Black Wood TV Console

Matrix Black 3-piece Set

Dempsey 3-pack Occasional Set

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Organizing the office

When it comes to home office organization, many of us probably rely on memory to sift through piles of documents and supplies. Some of us have designated areas for paper, small appliances, office equipment, etc., but could use a bit more organization to make things easier. For each of the ideas below, try using one of our desks to establish a specific, organized working spot that won’t cause headaches.

Cherry Computer Desk

1. Invest in adequate furniture.

Home offices need a clear work area, and that means providing adequate space for computer hardware and peripheral equipment, a spot for reference materials, file space and a location for frequently referenced supplies and paper. Make sure your office furniture provides ample space for work and storage.

2. Establish activity centers.

The efficient office should be zoned into activity areas:
  • The Work Center, which includes a clear workspace, the computer and frequently-used office products.
  • The Reference Center, which includes binders, manuals, dictionary and professional books and materials.
  • The Supply Center, which contains office and paper supplies.

3. Properly place the hardware and peripherals.
  • Position your equipment by frequency of use. If the printer is used daily, it should be within easy reach. If the CPU is only accessed for troubleshooting, it can be placed under or next to the desk. If a scanner is rarely used, it can be placed outside the work area.
  • When setting up hardware, be conscious of access to drives, trays and cords. Don't block access to drawers or take up leg room with tangled cords.

4. Conceal Cables and Wires

Here are seven tips for containing unruly wires and caring for media and computer equipment.

  • Fold mailing labels back on themselves around each cord and label the wire. Don't forget to label the cords that connect different components to each other, as well as the cord to the electric supply.
  • Bundle like wires together to cut down on cord clutter. For example, keep computer speaker wires with stereo speaker wires.
  • Use a surge protector for all delicate electronic equipment. Check the back to make sure it's UL listed and is a transient voltage surge protector. High-end protectors are built with replaceable fuses and will last longer than less-expensive models that might not work after a large surge.
  • Used fabric softener sheets are the perfect lint and static-free rags for cleaning CDs and DVDs. Handle CDs by the rim to cut down on fingerprints. The backside of the CD carries the information and is the side that needs cleaning. Use the dryer sheet and stroke out to the edge from the center of the CD, instead of a circular motion.
  • Stacking equipment makes the most efficient use of space in a media center or office space. Be careful not to stack any equipment with venting on the top (such as amps or satellite receivers) because they might get too warm. Use chair-leg protectors (small plastic cups) as spacers between these pieces of equipment when stacking.
  • To clean a TV screen, use a lint-free cloth such as an old T-shirt. Spray the cloth with water (instead of spritzing the set itself) and wipe clean. Never use an abrasive substance on the screen. Never use window cleaner to clean a computer screen; stick to a lint-free cloth and consult with your monitor's manual for the proper way to clean it.

5. Establish a paper processing area.

  • Create an area within your Work Center for papers that need immediate action.
  • Store paper associated with clients or ongoing projects in an area that is easily accessible and within your view.
  • Establish a permanent filing system for papers you will reference, but not on a regular basis.

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