Archive for the 'Home Decorating' Category

Aug 22 2012

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5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 025H-0124You don’t have to own a money tree or take a month off work to spruce up your home and add some curb appeal. With a little imagination and creativity and a willingness to have fun, these DIY projects will give your home an inviting look and maybe even boost your property value.

 

  1. Give the front door a fresh look. With a fresh coat of paint, your home will make a statement to the passers-by on the street. Bright red or a bold hue of blue will give classic Colonial and Cape Cod homes, as well as other styles, a striking look. Likewise, a good cleaning and a fresh coat of varnish will give natural wooden doors an elegant look.
  2. Remodel your porch. Adding a new porch or remodeling the one you have is like giving your home a facelift. A small porch will accentuate the entry while a full-length porch or wrap-around porch will transform the look of your home and add outdoor living space.
  3. Enhance your walkways. Be adventurous and try something other than traditional gray concrete walkways. There are all kinds of interesting pavers and stepping stones available at home improvement stores and landscaping centers. Build a walkway with bricks or paving stones and add a touch of enchantment and charm to your home.
  4. Add a little life. Dress up your walkways, porch and entry with flowers and plants. Simple touches such as hanging flower baskets or ferns on the front porch, window boxes, potted plants on the steps, or a Japanese maple along the sidewalk can make the most ordinary home stand out in any neighborhood.
  5. Add accent lighting. There are a variety of lighting fixtures that will dramatize your home from dusk to dawn, including solar power lighting. Add carriage lamps by the garage, decorative lighting on the covered front porch or landscape lighting along the driveway and walkways. You’ll give your home curb appeal from the dark street and increase safety.

 

By tackling just one or all of these curb appeal enhances, you’ll make your home stand out in the neighborhood and deliver a welcoming look to all who enter.

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Mar 04 2012

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Home Decorating Tips: Decorating with Color – The House Plan Shop

Filed under Home Decorating

Throw PillowsDo you want to decorate your new home and give it a little pizzazz? One of the easiest ways to bring a room to life is with color. Decorating with color adds a personal touch while making the rooms in your home attractive and inviting. Before you begin take note: There is no such thing as an ugly color, but there are ugly color combinations. Now review the list of tips below to help you get some ideas for adding color and flair to your new home.

 

  • Don’t mix two pure (undiluted) colors in the same room whether it is paint, fabric, flooring, etc. When used together or in close proximity, the primary colors (yellow, red and blue) can make a room seem over-stimulating and visually noisy. Undiluted colors work better with neutral colors. Trying pairing red with brown or gray, blue with beige and yellow with white or cream.
  • Consider using color in unusual places. Paint the inside of a bookcase a unique color. Paint a wooden coffee table, end table or picture frame in an accent color that complements the room. Add throw pillows to the couch or a stylish vase on the mantle in a color that adds a little “pop” to the room.
  • Use white wisely. In the absence of other colors, white loses its stunning power quickly and becomes an overwhelming backdrop or a quality of light. In a white room, anything that is not white will steal the show visually no matter how diluted the color. This also includes artwork, the area rug, tile floor and plants. So, if you are planning to paint a room white, be sure you love all the colored accessories in the room.
  • Complementary colors (those that site opposite each other on the color wheel) can make a room look visually stimulating because they bring out the best in each other when used together correctly. For the best results, use one color in pure form and the other in a diluted, pastel or softened tone. Bright blue pairs nicely with a creamy peach color and bright yellow teams up well with a pastel lilac color.
  • If you decide to combine a few pure colors, be sure to vary the texture and/or sheen to generate visual interest. Some examples of various textures include wood, stone, ceramic, metals, metallic paints, silk and other various fabrics. A varied array of textures will keep the room interesting even when just a few colors are used.

 

These are just a few tips for using color in your new home. The House Plan Shop recommends checking with your interior decorator for more advice about decorating with color.

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Mar 16 2011

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Mediterranean House Plan Tips: Complimenting the Exterior

Mediterranean House Plan 043H-0160Mediterranean homes are considered beautiful and elegant by many. To achieve an exquisite exterior look that is sure to catch the eye of passersby, it is important to understand what makes these homes POP with curb appeal. If you are building with Mediterranean house plans consider these tips to achieve a stunning exterior look.

 

Exterior Finish and Trim

  • Mediterranean homes found throughout Spain, Italy and Greece feature a stucco façade painted in a light color, such as beige or a pastel hue, due to warm temperatures and sun exposure.
  • Brightly colored, red clay tile roofs accent the light color façade with eye-catching magnitude.
  • Wrought iron gates and railings are characteristic of Mediterranean homes.
  • Incorporate brightly colored, hand-painted patterned tiles or mosaics in a square or round shape above the entry door, on the side of the home or on stepping stones in the garden or courtyard.

 

 

Landscaping

  • Seek professional help to come up with a good layout for your garden and the landscaping surrounding your home.
  • Include lush green plants that are suited for your geographic region such as palm trees, jasmine bushes and other rich foliage creating a striking contrast between the light colored walls and the healthy green plants.
  • Incorporate an herb garden into your landscaping with herbs and spices you will use in your favorite Spanish and Italian dishes.
  • Create a path through your garden and to your front door with stepping stones such as limestone.

 

When it comes to building a home with Mediterranean house plans it is important to know how to compliment the exterior and achieve stunning street appeal. These tips for exterior finish and landscaping are sure to make your home stand out among all others. You can find other ideas for decorating and landscaping a Mediterranean home by paging though magazines and looking at various online websites.

 

To find a Mediterranean home plan that is sure to accommodate your needs and deliver an elegant feel and life style, take some time to visit The House Plan Shop.

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Nov 18 2010

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The House Plan Shop: Christmas Crafts – Make your own Christmas Ornaments

It is that time of year when we create gift lists and shop for the perfect gift for a special loved one or friend. Sometimes, the best gifts can’t be bought online or at the store. Sometimes the best gifts are homemade – created with our own hands, talents and ambition. Homemade Christmas ornaments are the perfect way to remember someone special this holiday season whether it is a co-worker, an old classmate, grandchild, cousin or friend. Kay’s Country Cottage recently posted a blog on how to make homemade holiday ornaments including salt dough ornaments and glass ball ornaments. Simple and fun, these easy crafts create memorable holiday gifts and add a little personal charm to your loved one’s holiday decor.

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Oct 27 2010

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The House Plan Shop – Quality Lighting & Fixtures for your New Home

Pendant LightsIf you are building a new house, there is no doubt you’ll spend some time making decisions about the type of light and fixtures you’ll want both inside and outside your home. If you are buying pre-drawn house plans like those found at The House Plan Shop, be aware that MOST, but not ALL of these construction drawings will come with a basic electrical plan reflecting the locations of fixtures, outlets and switches. It will be up to the electrician to run the wiring and install the fixtures, outlets and switches according to local electrical codes. However, you are not limited to what the floor plan suggests or recommends. As the home owner, you will work out all lighting selections with your builder and electrician. Take some time to review the different types of lighting fixtures you may need to include in your new home.

 

Outdoor Lighting Fixtures: Proper outdoor lighting achieves two goals, safety and aesthetic beauty. Your choices and placement of outdoor lighting fixtures is the most important aspect in creating an outdoor lighting plan. They enhance safety and security, as well as, the outdoor appearance/nighttime curb appeal of your home. For safety and security, use lighting at all doorways including the garage doors, front and rear porches, sliding doors for the deck or walkout basement and any other service doors. Be sure to light pathways such as sidewalks, porches and patios. Some good choices include motion lights and dusk-to-dawn fixtures so you don’t have to remember to turn them on or off. They simply light the way when necessary. For aesthetic appeal, choose lighting fixtures that blend with the architectural style of your home. Strategically place the fixtures to illuminate special exterior features of your home such as the decorative detailing of the façade or a dramatic roofline.

 

Landscape Lighting Fixtures: Just like outdoor lighting, landscape lighting enhances the aesthetic beauty of the home and increases security, but it also highlights the surrounding plantings and shrubbery that dress up the home’s exterior and yard. It will have a major effect on the overall appearance of your home when used to highlight architectural features and scenery. Furthermore, with the growing trend of families entertaining outdoors, it sets the mood and adds to the atmosphere of your outdoor entertainment space from the deck or screened porch to the patio or lanai.

 

Interior Lighting Fixtures: Your interior lighting plan will cover a broad range of fixtures, styles and purposes. Certain rooms in your new house may require very specific types of lighting. For instance, in many homes the kitchen is a hub of activity handling everything from preparing meals and informal dining to serving as workspace, homework and computer center, and a place for casual conversation. Your kitchen lighting must reflect your lifestyle and the activities that take place in this multi-functional space. Consider task lighting positioned above major work areas such as the meal-prep island, sink and built-in computer desk. Use under-cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops. No matter how many different types of lighting fixtures you need, it is necessary to choose functional and safe lighting in the kitchen. The gathering places are another space that you’ll want to consider multiple types of lighting fixtures. Perhaps a fixture with a ceiling fan centered above the great room will illuminate the space and offer circulation. Consider lamps on end tables near the sofas or the recliner for reading. Choose a decorative fixture for illuminating artwork to highlight your favorite painting or the family portrait above the fireplace. There are a multitude of fixtures for illuminating an entire room such as the dining room while providing an elegant look. Consider a decorative chandelier large enough to light the entire room. Add a  dimmer switch here to set the mood for different occasions with various levels of light. Recessed lighting also works well for an entire room, plus it is usually easy to install. It can also be controlled with a dimmer switch depending on the occasion or need for lighting. Bathroom lighting requires a combination of fixtures used in the right places. It is necessary to achieve bright light for styling hair, applying make-up in shaving while not overdoing the brightness as to create a relaxing atmosphere for a soothing soak in the spa tub.  Be sure that pathways, entries and hallways have proper lighting, making it easy for the entire family to move about the home day or night with a sure step. Consider an overhead fixture centrally located in the bedrooms with a bedside lamp on the nightstand and maybe a desk lamp if the children do homework in their bedrooms. The garage, craft room, laundry room and workspaces such as a workshop require bright task lighting. Fluorescent lighting such as shop light fixtures are practical in these spaces. Recessed lighting can be used throughout the home. It creates a dramatic effect in many rooms while being versatile enough to satisfy a variety of needs. Finally, don’t forget mini nightlights in the kids’ rooms, the bathroom, staircases and hallways lighting dark rooms and spaces through the night and offering safety for everyone.

 

Before you begin buying light fixtures, take some time to talk with your builder and electrician. Come up with a comprehensive lighting plan that will accommodate your needs, provide safety and work well with your architectural style and decorating themes.

 

For more information, please review “Light It Up” in The House Plan Shop’s resource section.

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