It’s the dead of Winter here in Washington, DC, and recent bone-chilling temperatures have keep many of us bundled up in our own homes. If you want to bring some warmth into your nest, choose a few of these tips for warming up your rooms:
- Put velvet accent pillows on your chairs and sofas
- Drop in a fluffy bath mat.
- Light scented candles in your entry hall.
- Burn real logs in your fireplace.
- Spray your dressing room with a spicy scent.
- Throw a rich camel blanket over your sofa.
- Lower your dining room chandelier a few inches.
- Pull a reading light up to a chair.
- Reupholster a piece of furniture in a leopard or zebra print.
- Install a few wall sconces in the hallways.
- Banish any fluorescents from your kitchen.
- Repaint your front door a chinese red.
- Cover up a carpet with a few colorful flat pile area rugs.
- Cover your walls with textured wallpaper.
- Install dimmers everywhere.
- Place a huge bowl with pinecones on your coffee table.
- Serve red wine.
Woohoo! Megan Blake Design was featured in the daily article on Houzz.com titled “How to Choose the Right Dining Table“. We are excited to be able to share our interior ideas and designs with readers and our website visitors! When clients need to seek out inspiration for new projects with our firm, we sometimes send them to Houzz.com (and other inspiration websites and webzines). This is a great starting point for pulling together a style file of favorite rooms and ideas. Thank you Houzz for using one of dining rooms for today’s post!
It’s frigid here in Washington DC today. The sun is ablaze but the wind calls for the warmest of mittens. With these Fall season temps, those lower level rooms in row homes and condo buildings are definitely feeling the chill. I have my eye on the prize – that is the new Dyson oscillating heater. I saw it at Best Buy a few weeks ago but short sleeve weather made we walk right on by. Noted. Now, I’m ready for the splurge. Equipped with long-range heat projection and a fan function, it allows you to fine-tune the temperature to your own comfort level. Plus, it’s less than two feet in height. As a designer, the looks suits any room beautifully. If you need the extra heat, put this one on your holiday wish list. The sweet look comes in a white-silver or iron- blue. The cost? A well worth it $400 bucks.
Base-coat your rug material if desired. After the base coat dries, use a straightedge to guide your stencil placement. Apply your design in a contrasting color with a stencil brush and stencil, cleaning the stencil before moving it to a new section. When the paint is dry, seal and protect the design with clear polyurethane.
Before painting walls, wash them with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and repair any cracks or holes. If your house was just built and your walls have not been painted before, it’s a good idea to apply a wallboard sealer before painting. For old drywall and plaster, a stain-blocking primer can help hide water stains or other marks.
To paint a wood floor, clean and sand the surface (filling any cracks with wood filler), then apply an oil-base sealer. You can use either oil-base or latex paint. Alkyd or modified epoxy latex porch and floor paint is a good choice for high-traffic areas. A polyurethane coating (a type of varnish) will help protect painted floors. You might want to use a water-base varnish because oil-base varnishes yellow over time.
Use a roller with a long handle to cover large floor areas, although a brush is fine for small areas. Remember to plan your escape route: Start in a corner and work toward your exit to avoid stepping on wet paint.
We all know that a red front door adds instant curb appeal, but what does a red front door symbolize?
A lot, actually. It’s hard to pin down a specific origin of the red front door, but after a little research,ShelterPop.com traced the tradition back to Biblical times. As history goes, Hebrew slaves were instructed to paint their doors red to protect their first-born from the angel of death. Many churches also painted their doors red, with the belief that once you passed through it you were protected from evil. And in early American times, if a family had a red front door, travelers passing through by horse and buggy would know that a home was a safe place to stop and stay. According to the principles of Feng Shui, a red door symbolizes “welcome.” Perhaps more importantly than its historical meaning, though, is the fact that, according to the principles of Feng Shui, a red door is supposed to create a welcoming energy in your home. And the most exciting meaning: In Scotland, a red door means “mortgage-free,” since homeowners used to paint their front doors to announce to the world that they’d paid off their home.
Excerpt borrowed from ShelterPop.com
Although common practice is to remove a door before painting, you might as well paint it in place — that way, you can paint all sides at once and won’t have to rehang it. First, remove the knobs and hardware, and mask hinges. Use an oil-base sealer and primer to lock in the original finish, then use at least two coats of semigloss or gloss paint.
Brick Fireplace Surround
First, you’ll need to clean the brick thoroughly. Use a wire brush and nonsudsy trisodium phosphate (TSP) to loosen grime. After the brick is clean, apply a primer. Use a stain-blocking primer to hide any soot stains. When choosing paint, consider that the higher the gloss, the more it will resist soot. High-temperature paints can be used on metal that’s part of the surround, but don’t paint the inside of a fireplace.
Before painting trimwork, patch holes with surfacing compound and apply caulk to fill any gaps between the wall and the molding. Paint the trim before you paint the wall, or use painter’s tape to mask off the wall. Use a primer-sealer combinationto lock in the original finish and prevent bleed-through.Use a 4-inch foam roller to apply paint to trim, then go over it with a brush to cover the edges and grooves. Paint horizontal sections of trim with horizontal strokes and vertical sections with vertical strokes. Work on each piece of molding from the bottom up.
It’s best to paint a room’s ceilings before you paint its walls. Use a roller with a telescoping handle and paint two coats: the first coat in the same direction as the major light source (such as a window) and a second coat perpendicular to the light. To make painting a white ceiling easier, several manufacturers offer paints that are pink or blue when applied but dry to a white finish. If you have a textured ceiling, expect to use 10-15 percent more paint.
Compliments of BHG.com
How do I know how wide of a chandelier I should use?
A general guideline is to choose a chandelier that has a diameter equal to one-half the width of the table. The general appearance of the chandelier must be taken into account, too; that is, if it is a light airy piece it may be slightly larger than the standard.
How low should a chandelier be hung over a dining table?
Generally there should be 30″ between the bottom of the chandelier and the top of the table in a room with an 8′ ceiling. If the ceiling is higher, the distance between the bottom of the fixture and the table should increase slightly. Remember that the chandelier should provide light for the table, but not be so low as to block anyone’s line of vision when they are sitting at the table.
What guidelines should I follow in choosing a chandelier for a foyer or other room?
Add the room dimensions together. If the room is 14′ by 16′, add 14 + 16. The answer is 30, which means that your chandelier should be approximately 30″ in diameter. Again, remember that other factors such as the height of the ceiling may influence the proper size.
How high should I hang a wall sconce?
Generally, sconces should be placed on a wall 60″ from the floor.
We all want our homes to reflect who we are. It’s our own expression, our comfort zone, our own personal brand. At the center of it all, color plays a huge role in giving us that feeling we deserve. Be it wall paint, wall paper, fabrics or accessories, some of us can’t find a way to get there or what colors to choose.
The easiest way is to look in your closet. Most of us gravitate to certain colors that we feel comfortable with and happy surrounded by. Your closet probably reflects the colors that you feel good about and say the most about you. Take the main colors you find and incorporate shades of them as background colors or accents around your home (outside of your closet).
Color is the easiest way to change a home to make it personal and a real reflection of who you are. So, who are you?
If you’re stuck on your own interior palette and need advice, we at Megan Blake Design would love to help you navigate the sea of colors available to all areas of your home from paint, area rugs, linens, and art.
As pet parents honor this week by assessing animal toxins in their homes, the ASPCA wants to remind us to take care when planning (or planting) their springtime gardens, too. Our furry friends can come in to alot of danger when accidentally ingesting or coming into contact with garden-related products, insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants.So, let’s save our furry family members with some helpful and healthy tips from the ASPCA:
- When designing and planting your green space, keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs, and may cause liver failure or heart problems. These are blooming now so keep puppies and elderly pups at bay.
- When walking your dog, take care to keep Fido off the grass and away from toxic lawn and garden products. Cocoa mulch—a byproduct of chocolate—is especially problematic because it attracts dogs with its sweet smell and can cause them gastrointestinal distress or more serious neurological problems if consumed in large quantities.