Decorating tips for apartments

A good friend of mine recently bought an apartment. It’s located in a really funky part of town and I know she’ll be very happy there. A house is a dream of everyone and when they get one, they want to decorate it in the best possible way. Hers is only a one bedroom place and so she doesn’t have much space. She came to me recently for advice about how to decorate it. We spent some time exploring her different options. I was so inspired by the process I thought I’d blog about what I discovered. 

small apartment

Amazing decorative tips for small apartments

It’s not an easy task to decorate small apartments or small spaces but by following these tips, you can get some great results:

  • You can give more space to your small apartment by choosing a ‘French villa’ colour scheme. White colour on the walls gives it a more open and spacious feelings along with a  calming effect. You can also place a lamp on the kitchen counter table to add some warmth.
  • Buy a four or six seated dinning table for multi use such as a breakfast table, serving table or a centre table. Also try to use small side tables for coffee instead of a large coffee table so that less space is taken up.
  • Use different innovative storage solutions such as small baskets to slide under your bed or seating areas. There is so much unused space in these places and with a small apartment it makes sense to take advantage of these.

creating decorating for small spaces

Use your creativity!

  • Your creativity will be reflected by your ability to use every square inch of space. For example, you can transform the staircase landing into a bar or into an amazing bookshelf.
  • The reflection technique can also be used to lighten up a small area. A mirrored wall gives you an illusion of more space as does a glass table! Use these to really open up a room.
  • Use a floor lamp with a skinny stand to create the ideal lighting solution without taking up much space. Light is the key to creating a perception of space.
  • Mounted floating shelves can also be used to store items. They look perfect for small settings as they give a sleek and modern look and take up no valuable real estate on the floor.
  • Clear and shiny surfaces such as glass, acrylic and lucite makes the task of creating space much easier. Try to stick to these rather than surfaces with matte finishes.

Well there you have it.  Some of the key lessons I learnt whilst helping my friend with her small apartment. I loved the challenge of decorating a small space and I hope these tips will help you.

Redesigning the living room-choosing the best lighting

One day out of the blue, I decided to redecorate my living room. It’s been a few years since I last did it and that is way too long for someone like me. For this particular project, I needed to really consider my lighting options as the room itself is quite dark and void of good natural light. This had me thinking about the importance of lighting when decorating a room and I thought I’d share my ideas with you here.

Lighting is vital when considering how to makeover a room. It helps to highlight essential components of your room and can create an instant stylish look. Whether its reading or relaxing, appropriate lighting improves your living experience.  I’ve spent hours researching the different options for lighting when decorating. Here are some ideas for you to try in your home:

Basic lighting ideas 

pendant lightsLighting, no doubt,  is an essential component for every setting. It helps to provide a particular atmosphere and can emphasis certain pieces of art.

Recessed lighting cis often used as the main light source in living rooms these days. It is usually installed in a ceiling to create an ambient environment. Many systems come with a dimming function which can help to create beautiful shadow effects within a room. Adding some pendant lights to a living room can be an excellent way to add style and flare to a boring room. I recently bought some wonderful pendant lights form this store:

Floor Lamps
Floor lamps are a fabulous source of lighting for almost any room. Whether you want to enjoy your favourite movie in darkness or want to read underneath the light, they’re definitely one of the best choices for their sheer practicality. Floor lamps can also work as task lighting and can easily light up a dark corner or a desk. I recently visited this store and found a huge range of options that I loved!

floor lamps in living room

Lighting ideas for your living room:

  • Firelight provides a romantic and comfortable feeling. If you have a fireplace this can be an ideal source of warm light for a room. You can also create a more intimate and glowing environment by using a candle tray hanging from the ceiling.
  • Small scale spotlights can be used as lighting sources for your bookshelves, entry ways or other areas requiring focussed light. Just b aware that these areas will be brightly lit so don’t store anything messy here.
  • Don’t ignore the importance of windows for natural light.  Their shape and position of mountings are important and can bring amazing natural tones into a room.
  • Globe shape paper lanterns can give a pleasing and soft touch to your living room. They are usually inexpensive and can be illuminated with both standard or fluorescent bulbs. The mobile effect created by these lanterns is really attractive even when the bulbs are off.

My living room is still under construction at the moment but I’ve definitely considered its lighting needs closely. Lighting is a core element of a room’s  decoration and with your unique taste and style you can create a wonderful atmosphere. Dull or bright, lighting can absolutely be a reflection of your taste and desires.

Re-designing the living room: selecting the furniture

The living room is an important space in my house; it’s a place I spend time with my family and entertain my friends. This is what makes selecting furniture for my living room an important and exciting undertaking.

It’s of course such a wonderful feeling to dream big when thinking of selecting furniture for your living room. I’ve these grand ideas of what I want my living room to be. But again I’ve got to be realistic. I’ve got to make several big decisions and stay within budget.

Picking the Furniture

There are several options when it comes to picking furniture and usually you even feel you know what you want. But sometimes when you walk into a furniture shop or log into an online store, you get overwhelmed by the variety of furniture which is available. For me I’d already started the process of identifying what I wanted.

I’ve had a coffee table picked out since day one; one that not only fits my living room but also perfectly fits the style and quality that I have always wanted. I bought it from a specialty store that only sells coffee tables . What attracted me was that it fitted the design and colour of my living room; size and design.

I was also on the lookout for a sideboard to fit in a small space in between my couch  and the wall. I looked everywhere but just could not find what I wanted In the end I actually bought a bedside table from Bliss, but in this context you definitely can’t tell. It really does look like a sideboard (can see yourself in the picture below) and no one will know when it’s in the living room. It looks fabulous!

Next I’d to decide on the sofa I needed.In choosing my sofa I’d to decide exactly how much of space I have in my living room so that the size and design of my sofa would not clash with the space I have. I needed to decide on the exact amount of space that my sofa would fill. I also had to consider, given the size of the living room, whether it would be necessary to add other couches or other pieces of furniture. Besides, I needed a sofa that would be the focal point of my living room. Finally I settled for the rounder couch. Other choices such as the L-shaped ones are also available and it’s up to you to decide which one fits the architectural setting of your living room. Of course, if you’ve a small room then the odds are that you’ll need a smaller couch.

my living room

Things to Consider when deciding on Furniture

Although selecting your living room’s furniture is such an exciting exercise you’ll also need to be practical and stick to the budget. To help you do this there are several things that you’ll need to do. These include:

  • Taking time to analyze your living room. What would be the regular activities in your living room; will it be entertaining friends or being with family? What are the colours and other features that may be needed to blend with the furniture you’re to buy?
  • Coordinating the architectural features in your living room to help you decide on the style and size of furniture you need for it.
  • Having comfort in your mind when selecting furniture for your living room. A living room, as I said in the beginning, is an important space in your house, this space must therefore be a place where you experience comfort.
  • Create a coordinated arrangement by buying pieces that easily blend together. For instance buy tables that blend with the seats, the carpet and sideboard you have in your living room.
  • Don’t forget accent pieces and simple decoration techniques. You can read more about that here.

It may be quite difficult to nail down the type of furniture that fits your living room. If you seek that furniture that perfectly fits your personal style then your search could be long. Go with what your instincts tell you and you’ll be able to pick the furniture that naturally fits into your living room.

Redesigning the living room-could there be space for a home bar?

My husband saw me having such a great time with the plans for redecorating the living room that he wanted to get involved. He sat down with me to look at the plans and a few glasses of wine later he’d convinced me to add a home bar. I agreed with him that it was such a nice addition to our house. A home bar can become a focal point for home parties with family and friends all decked around it enjoying a martini sat on stylish bar stools. It’s a picture that could stay a long time in the family and possibly inspire designs of future houses of our kids. I was sure, after my husband’s explanations that this was a great idea.

our home bar

Setting the Home Bar

Once you have conceived and agreed on the idea that you need a bar, like me and my husband did, you’ve a number of things to consider. For instance:

  • Will your home bar be permanent or moveable?
  • What kind of theme would you want your bar to be? There are several themes to consider such as the Irish/English pub, a sports bar, etc.
  • Even just knowing who you’re going to engage to build your home bar is an important consideration to make.
  • You’ll also need to think a lot through issues such as the amount of money you expect to spend and deciding on the space the bar will be in.
  • The kind of options you settle for are also important to think over such as whether your  bar is going to be a full one or just a shelve for drinks, or whether you need it to have a sink or not, do you want a beer tap and what kind of machines (ice machine, refrigeration, etc) would you want installed. What is the kind of storage you need for your bar? There are several options that you’ll have to go through in this planning stage.

When you have all those issues figured out it time to roll up your sleeves and get to the real work of getting your home bar off the ground. For us we agreed that we draw up  shopping list and at the top of this list were:

  • Bar Stools: A bar stool is the furniture that defines the identity of a home bar. We really wanted to get the right set of stools; some that would work for us. We agreed that our home bar would become one place we would possibly be spending a lot of time more so comfort would be important, so we settled for the bar stools with a back. It was also important that stools we got the size and height right. After going through some speciality stores such as this one we settled that our bar would be a typical 42” high bar and therefore we had to settle for the 30” bar stools.
  • Music: A bar without music is one boring place that you would not want to be in. We decided that vinyl record player would be an ideal music system to use. Vinyl players are increasingly popular and the quality of the music is wonderful! We had an old stack of vinyl that hadn’t been played in years so we did some browsing and bought a wonderful vintage record player from here and I just can’t wait for it to arrive!

vintage record players

But a home bar is not just about bar stools and music. There are several items that you’ll need to put into place before you can really begin to enjoy the services of a home bar. Some of these include:

  • Ice machine: Ice is very important to any bar because without ice it’s almost impossible to enjoy your drink at the bar.
  • Storage is also an important consideration. How do you intend to store your drinks? If you’ve kids you may need a lockable storage.
  • Refrigeration is also very important. You of course would need to consider an efficient fridge with good consumption of energy that doesn’t take up much space.
  • Lighting for your home bar is also important. You need to create a cozy atmosphere because your home bar will be a place you go to relax.

Once you’ve everything set out and the design of your home bar is set, it’s time to get going. All you need to keep in mind is that your home bar should be a place you’re attracted to go to relax after a hard day’s work or a place you’ll be keen on hosting your friends and family.


Simple ideas to decorate your living room on a budget

The living room is a gateway into any home; it’s the first place where your guests will encounter your house. A living room is therefore the center of any home. It’s important that your living room isn’t just welcoming; it must offer a relaxed and comforting environment. When people visit your home they will only feel at home if the atmosphere they encounter in your living room is cozy and comforting.

Budget Decorating Ideas
large wall clockThere are many ideas that require little imagination and little money but can be useful in adding instant style to any décor in your house.

For instance if you have an empty wall in your living room decorate it with a large wall clock. This is a simple and much cheaper way of decorating your wall without incurring the expense of painting. If you need some inspiration, recently stumbled across some wonderful large wall clocks at Purely Wall Clocks.

Pillows are a decorator’s best friend. If you want to brighten your room pillows are the best bet. Pillows have a certain power to transform a dull room into one full of brightness.

There are several things that you should consider to enable pillows bring a touch of colour, brightness and life to your room. Some of these include:

  • Pillow number and placement. It’s advisable to opt for odd numbers like five or seven. Odd is hot. When picking out pillows best to settle for bigger pillows. Few big pillows appear cleaner than an overdone number which would deplete the effect.
  • The shape and size is another important consideration.
  • Considering the kind of fabric is a must. Fabrics like cotton and linen are the best to go for.

I’ve spent hours trawling the internet for the perfect collection of cushions that are a reasonable. My favourite store so far for quality well-priced scatter cushions is Simply Cushions.

cushions on a couch

There are several other ideas out there that you can use to decorate your house on a budget. Consider, for instance, hanging plates. Plates of different colours can make such a magnificent wall arrangement. You can set them in different colours, sizes and textures to give your arrangement a dramatic touch.

Furniture arrangement has also a touch that can make a difference in your living room. For instance, if there is too much space in your living room, bring in a side table with an area for display and lighting. Add some books and magazines to give it a touch. You can also set in some miniature still lives to add a wonderful mysterious look to it.

Re-arranging your furniture too can have a sudden effect in your living room. Experiment layouts with themes in your mind. For instance you can create a theme of intimacy, setting up a seating area where you can hold an intimate conversation with someone.

A rug too has the power to transform the look of your living room. You can make a statement with the way you set your rug. A graphic rug would be the best for this.

Meanwhile lighting is the magic that can make or break any room. Because the living room is the place where you host your guests and be together with your family, lighting can help create a grand mood. Use table or floor lamps to capture the magic of light.

lighting in living room
Art doesn’t need to be expensive to add a wonderful décor to your living room. You can use simple art from eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, recycled stuff and reed.

Drapery too plays an important role in giving life to your living room. Make sure you get drapery that enhances the brightness of your living room. Likewise, simple additions such as flowers and other plants help raise the mood of your living room.

But bear in mind that whatever additions you make into your living room, they should not create clatter. When your room isn’t clattered you get enough space to display your favorite items. To avoid this create a focal point, say around the fire place, where you can place some of your treasured items.

At the end of it all giving colour, brightness and life to your living room doesn’t cost a lot of money. What’s important is to understand the best setting for your living room.



I can’t wait to get started with my blog!

Hello!  My name is Karen Dayle and this is the start of my amazing blog.  Well, it’s not amazing yet but I’m sure it will be in years to come and I will look back upon this post with a  big smile!

Here I will be exploring my greatest passion. That is beautiful homes and stylish design. I love interior design and am really interested in making over homes so that they reflect the style of their owners.

I have had a strong interest in design, fashion and style ever since I was very young. I became addicted to making over my room as  child and now I have great ambitions for my future home. I’m here to meet like-minded people and to share my ideas.

I can’t wait to get started… but in the meantime I’d like to begin with this amazing video.  Hope to see you again soon!