Catherine Albiani's Blog
Your air conditioner isn't the only way to dampen the heat during the warmer parts of the year or country. With the right materials and decorating choices you can make your home feel even more comfortable in hot climates. Here are some tips and tricks for interior decorating that will help you beat the heat:
Using the right window treatments can make an enormous difference in the indoor temperature of your home. Create some shade by covering any windows during the hottest parts of the day. The best type of window dressings for keeping out the heat are fabric curtains and drapes. Choose curtains if you don’t want the fabric to extend to the floor, but make sure they are the right size for your window. Curtains and drapes are most effective when hanging close to the window and touch a surface at the bottom, whether it be a windowsill or floor.
Covering your windows doesn’t mean the room has to feel dark, either. The best way to keep the room cool is to use thick, opaque fabrics in medium-range colors. Patterns and colors are your choice as long as the fabric itself has a tight weave. You can also find special insulating drapes with white outer layers to reflect heat even more effectively. Either way, you have plenty of options for factoring these cooling window treatments into your interior design.
Using materials that are cool to the touch is a simple way to keep the entire space feeling comfortable in hot weather. This is especially important for flooring. Tile or stone flooring will not absorb heat like hardwood or carpet, and will feel comfortably cool throughout the day. Other cooling floor options include marble and cement. However, avoid faux stone made of vinyl or fiberglass as those materials tend to trap heat.
This same concept applies to other surfaces like counters. If you’re building or renovating in a hot-weather home, consider using granite or marble rather than artificial alternatives. They may have a higher price tag, but they will last a long time and add a cooling feel to your kitchens and bathrooms.
While the idea of a dark room might seem cool, lighter colors will actually keep the temperature down. It all comes down to the science of light: black will attract and absorb heat, while white will reflect it. The lighter the color you choose, the lighter the room will feel. Also, because light colors create the illusion of more space in a room, this can make you feel more calm and comfortable on hot days compared to stuffy and cramped rooms full of dark decor.
That said, you don’t have to make everything plain white to feel cooler. Try colors like cream, beige, or pale blue for wall colors and large furniture pieces. Even these changes alone can make a noticeable impact on the overall feel of a room. Patterns, prints and color are all up to you, but sticking with a lighter palette will prevent absorption of excess heat.
These are only a few ways you can keep your home interiors cool in a hot climate. While structural factors like windows and ventilation will make the biggest difference, every bit can help. You’ll find it’s easy to explore your own style while getting the added benefit of keeping the temperature down and the comfort level up.
Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.
Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.
Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.
In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.
Grab an app or two
Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.
Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.
On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.
For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.
Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:
Take an online course
There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.
While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.
Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.
Take a trip to the library
When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.
If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.
Your living room is one of the most used rooms of the house. It’s where the family gathers and company comes to chat. If the furniture in your living room is not arranged comfortably, then you may not enjoy the space as much as you should. Heed the tips below in order to get the furniture in the living room is arranged for comfort and practicality.
See How Conversations Will Play Out
You want your living room to be a place where face-to-face conversation actually thrives. Even in the age of the smartphone, people still like a certain kind of connection with one another. Make sure that food and drinks will be in easy reach and that the seating is arranged in a way that allows everyone to be involved with a conversation.
Use Dividing Factors
If you have a large living room, you’ll need to divide the space with either a room separation apparatus or a piece of furniture. Using furniture actually keeps the room cozy and free from feeling stuffy. If the living room bleeds into another room with an open floor plan, this becomes especially important. Use a sofa, and allow it to face away from the dining area in order to divide the conversation spaces and keep your home’s interior design flowing.
Use A Focal Point
Most living rooms have a TV or a fireplace, or both. You can keep both on the same wall, or create separate spaces for both activities in order to have some division in the room. There are many different strategies that can be used in order to keep both the fireplace and the television in the same space without making a dizzying focal point.
Think Outside The Box
By arranging your furniture at a diagonal, or different angle than simple straight lines, you’ll be able to give your living room some flavor. First, set the sofa and the coffee table, then create the rest of the space around these establishing angles. This will make the room feel bigger and give it a sense of symmetry with flavor.
Matching Furniture Gives Flow
By getting matching sofas, chairs, and side tables, you’ll be able to create a sense of symmetry in the room. The way you arrange the furniture ultimately depends on your needs and tastes, but you’ll have a few anchoring pieces to work with that will allow you to make the living room your canvas and your furniture your subjects. Have fun playing with the layout and design of the room. There’s really no right or wrong answers, just simply what will make you happy and what looks good in the space.
Want to get the sleek and stylish Scandinavian look in your new home? It’s much easier than you might think. And it doesn’t require buying all your furniture from Ikea. I’ve got a few tips for you to create a warm, welcoming home that could grace the pages of any home design magazine.
When attempting to recreate this look most go wrong by painting everything black and white. The real secret to this look, however, is in the details. Less is always more so a serious decluttering project will start you off on the right foot. And don’t think that the only way to recreate this look is to replace all your furniture. In fact, working with existing pieces will make the look feel more natural and unassuming.
You probably already know to reach for shades of grays, whites, and creams when choosing your color palette. But having some color is crucial. Blue is the perfect addition of color for this look especially for a sofa, some throw pillows or your kitchen table chairs. When adding other colors do so sparingly to really make a statement. For example, a yellow lamp in the kitchen, green chairs in the dining room or pink throw pillows on the couch.
To avoid a cold, sterile environment natural elements like wood, stone, and glass add warmth back into the room. Copper and gold accents also warm up a room while keeping a modern touch. Think a natural wood table top where the grain takes center stage or copper hardware that pops when placed against blacks and whites.
Give your space a welcoming homey feel by reaching for texture to create visual interest. Think furry pillows, woven textiles, and chunky knits. Monochrome artwork breaks up blank walls without looking out of place and furniture pieces are the main attraction. There’s no need for knick-knacks here, in fact, they’re best donated or stored away. To stay true to this look each piece you add to the room should have a function.
Another key to this look is lighting. During the day you want to let in as much of it as you can. While curtains and blinds are often skipped altogether pleated and roman blinds maintain privacy and a clean look. When choosing curtains stick to your neutral palette and avoid prints or dramatic drapery. For the night you can create perfect ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. As a bonus, a paper lantern floor lamp pulls double duty by adding natural texture to the room.
The sleek clean lines of Scandinavian design, especially those you see in catalogs, can seem impossible to replicate. At least not without replacing everything you own. But the truth is it is easily achievable to recreate with your existing furniture. With a little creativity, a few cans of paint and a lot of decluttering you’ll have a cozy, modern home before you know it.