Home and Social - Home Design ideas and photos. The best collection of interior design and decorating ideas including kitchens and bathrooms at your home.

Functional and Beautiful Walls for a Busy Home

Functional and Beautiful Walls for a Busy Home

The only interior residential design worth having is firmly grounded in the needs of the home and those who live there. It’s an oft-repeated principle because it is so essential. A designer who envisions a mono-chrome, minimalist interior with no spaces that aren’t formal for a home with four children just doesn’t have the right vision in mind. That’s as fraught with trouble as planning a home heavy in floral and lace for a single man who would prefer Swedish furnishings.

A home with working parents and their young children is a busy home. People are always coming and going, trying to stay in good communication with each other even when their paths don’t cross for a while, and trying to spend good time together even when there’s work to be done at home. A few tricks of the trade can create visually striking and gloriously useful wall space for such a home.

When one parent is in the kitchen cooking with a child underfoot and then the phone rings, it’s a struggle to make all the pieces fit together. He’s trying to keep forward momentum on dinner preparations, involving the child as possible, and all of a sudden he needs to write down a message for his older child, who’s at an after-school event. An attractive answer to his woes, and one that would best fit the design needs of his family, is chalkboard paint.

Now imagine that in redesigning the kitchen, he and his family painted a good size portion of the kitchen wall with chalkboard paint. Around it, they painted a sprightly green border that sets it off beautifully and makes it part of the kitchen design, not just a functional item. Suddenly, he’s writing down the phone message and jotting down a few notes about the recipe that he wants to add his online version later. The chalkboard area extends down nearly to the ground and there’s a container of chalk mounted fairly low on the wall, so the child is busy now, too, decorating the board with drawings or practicing her letters.

In the family room, they’ve just finished a redesign that involved a gorgeous paint job and some very comfortable furniture that everyone loves. The eye is immediately drawn to the gorgeous wall clock and two prints made from photographs of family travels abroad. But while they were at it, they mounted on one section of wall that is otherwise covered by a bookcase, large cork panels that have quickly become a children’s art gallery and a bit of a collage wall. There are more cork panels in each of the children’s rooms.

In another house, this would be a ridiculous design. The lines of the family room would be cleaner and the flow would be better without the cork board, perhaps. It certainly wouldn’t appeal to everyone’s taste. But it’s perfect in this house and for this family. It’s such an easy way to celebrate the self-expression of each member of the family – and to change the decoration with ease so that it’s always fresh.

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Theme and Variations: Designing Your Walls In Paper

Theme and Variations: Designing Your Walls In Paper

In a room that has a fairly spare amount of furniture with simple lines, the best way to spruce it up may involve wallpaper. There are many lovely wallpapers to be had, ranging from simple natural or floral papers to bold geometric patterns. And for as many possibilities as there are, there are probably as many ways to use wallpaper to good effect when designing a room.

In a fairly small and simple room, you can probably paper the whole room with a pattern that is not too busy. To lighten its effect, you can try, on one or more walls, a color wash over the paper. A 50/50 solution of a complementary light or neutral color with water can give the wallpaper the effect of softness and distance. Then, for the ceiling, don’t use plain white. Wash in some of that same color to warm up the room and lend unity to its design.

If your room is large or has quite a bit of furniture to compete for the viewer’s attention, or if you have some art that you’d like to hang but fear might not look quite right against the wallpaper, you might try a different wallpapering technique. Use wallpaper on only one wall of the room, painting the other walls in a color that brings out your favorite hues in the wallpaper. You will find that the wallpaper creates an accent wall instantly, and can make the whole room sizzle in a way that complete uniformity might not.

Having done that, if you find that another wall in the room looks a little blank, or if you want to draw your artwork into a closer relationship to the wallpaper without overlapping them, use some more of your wallpaper to make that happen. Cut and frame a section of your wallpaper and center it on one of the painted walls. Hang your coordinating artwork around it, creating a sense of symmetry and a heightened sense of unity and flow in the room.

In some rooms, if you are working on the wall directly opposite the papered wall, you could create an interestingly similar effect by hanging a sizable mirror. The mirror would reflect the wallpaper, depending on the angle of the viewer. In fact, the wallpaper could appear and disappear and reappear from the viewer’s perspective while crossing the room – a bit of a visual trick!

There are designers who have papered the ceiling instead of the walls; depending on the pattern, this could achieve an effect not unlike a coffered ceiling. The prospect of applying glue and wallpaper overhead seems daunting, however, and most of us would prefer to keep it on the walls. You could use both paint and wallpaper, though, with another unusual technique.

If you find a paint and paper that you absolutely love together and if the paper has enough regularity in its pattern to be reasonably cut into 8-12” wide sections, try alternating them on one or more walls. Apply the paint in a base color everywhere, and then equally space the paper sections on top of the paint, essentially creating stripes. If you find that you need to draw the two closer together, try the color wash technique described above, lightening the paint color with a bit of white if needed. Use your designer’s eye and make a bold experiment with wallpaper – it’s almost certain that you’ll be glad you did.

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Living room door design

Living room door design

First impressions are the most important. Your living room door is the premier thing that catches any visitor’s eye and whereas it may seem insignificant to give much thought into the design of one, it is crucial to have it align consummately with your house’s elements and aesthetic.  The living room door is the gateway to your house and whereas it’s primary purpose is to be robust enough to protect from intruders, it should also be appealing enough to make a good will statement about the occupant. There are a huge variety of doors out there to choose from to suit one’s fancy, here are some tips to help you pick one to suit your fancy.

Making sure it acts as a functional shield

Before getting into the details about how to design your door it is important to make sure that it first serves a purpose as a buffer. As noted before your door however this does not imply having visible, bolts, chains and padlocks that are susceptible to rust and break-ins. With today’s rapidly advancing technology it is possible to have discrete gadgets installed to give security to your house. Installing smart locks that require passwords and owner verification will not only give your house a huge sense of elegance and futurism but also boost provide immunity from common break-in maneuvers. It is important to pick out a smart lock that is made by a reputable company as well as have an alarm system that will detect unwanted presence at your door. To further increase safety in your home choose a fire-resistant door

Matching the scene

One important factor to consider when figuring out which door best suits your needs is your environment. This means having to determine ideal materials to use deter noise and allow light.  For instance, if you live in a low-traffic area, consider hollow core doors that will work well in helping filter noise. For a nice robust noise deterrent, a door with a thick core is more than sufficient. Wooden doors should not limit your options, therefore, if you would like to broaden your preferences, consider using flush doors made with sturdy materials such as hardboard and Masonite.

 Personalizing the appearance

It becomes easier decorate your door by using color schemes that have a theme, for example you can decorate it using seasonal colors as a template, bright orange for fall weather, snow white for winter and so on and so forth. This does not necessitate having to repaint your door every few months.  Origami and paper mache inspired décor are more than capable of achieving a pleasing effect.

During festive seasons, a flower wreath hanging on the outside helps create a welcoming vibe. This helps create a perception of warmth and gratification for any potential visitors. A welcome mat embossed with puns or cute animals further accentuates this feeling. To help conceal the show of dust it is advisable to pick out a mat with dark colors. All in all keep in mind to have a door that will be durable enough to withstand the test of time.

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Redesign your walls with textures and special effects

Redesign your walls with textures and special effects

The first thing that strikes a person walking into a room is of course, the feel and energy that emanates from the room. The first impression we get is determined by the amount of light that permeates a room. An important factor that affects the lighting of a place is the color you choose to paint the walls. Other factors include the arrangement of the furniture adorning the room and appropriate use of space, depending on whether you want to give the impression of a spacious or cozy room.


The fact that the color of paint you choose for a room is very important has always been emphasized, keeping in mind the functionality of the area. However, keeping in trend with modern living, you can make use of the latest technologies in paint manufacture in order to spruce up the look of your interiors. Nowadays, lots of companies boast of the miracle of special effects paint to transform a room completely by giving a definite coup d’oeil and transporting you to another world entirely. You can choose from a plethora of textures and effects including a myriad of finishes from mineral effects to metallic, to suit your mood and the particular feel you want to give to your interiors. Different application methods will give a wide variety of other finishes, limited only by your imagination.


Among the various types of textures available, a few are mentioned below:

Worn stone, Sand blasted, Desert sand and Fine corral textures bring extra depth and dimensions to your room. They give a rustic and outdoors sense, the rough finish enhancing the aspect you want to project, keeping in mind to choose a suitable color for the overall theme of the place.

Fine, glossy beaded texture gives your room a modern edge, reflecting the light and creating the appearance of brushed, precious metals.  This texture flawlessly suits the living room and any other room in your house requiring a touch of sophistication.

Marble as well as pearlescent finish have a beautiful satin gleam and give a very attractive and elegant finish to your room, highlighting the freshness and cool sense of your place.

Colored Chalkboard paint is a flat acrylic that turns walls into instant colored chalkboard, which is perfect for children’s rooms and kitchens.


Furthermore, you can achieve special effects on walls by the use of specific design tools to create patterns on the topmost layer of paint. A few examples are illustrated below:

A denim brush tool is used to give appearance of denim or seashells by means of different application methods. Other design tools include yarn and comb tools.

A spatula and other household items can be used to make repeated patterns on the wall, producing a unique and refreshing touch to your interiors.

Butter paper and crinkle paper bring to life a unique designer wall. They virtually transform the wall into a striking textured pattern, giving the aspect of an old world rough plastered wall with its rustic feel.


You can completely revamp the look of your interiors by exploiting the different textures and effects available in paint technology to transform your place into a whole new world.

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Basic Home Interior Design Tips

Basic Home Interior Design Tips

There comes a point in your life when you may want to change the way your home looks. Where do you begin? You have to figure out what to do with your furniture, walls, flooring and home furnishings to make your home look more inviting and comfortable. You might not even have to do anything drastic to give your home a whole new, updated look. Here are some great tips to determine how you want to revamp your old rooms into new, more creative looks.


1) Break the rules

            As the old saying goes, “rules are meant to be broken”. That is true with interior design, as well. As you are looking for what is in style and the latest interior design techniques, don't forget to stay true to yourself. Keep your own true identity in your design. You don't have to create a room that you don't find appealing. If you just do what the internet says, then you will probably not fully appreciate the results and be able to be completely comfortable in your own home.


2) Let furniture breathe

            Don’t jam pack everything you own all next to each other and touching. Spread things out. Let the air flow. Pull furniture away from the walls, just a little bit. This creates a pleasant, warming atmosphere. When you let the room breathe, you, your family and your guests can breathe better, too.


3) Don't forget the ceiling

            Nearly everyone forgets to think about the ceiling when they redecorate a room in their home. It's not as immediate in your line of sight like everything else in the room. Depending on what color you choose to paint your ceiling it can have wonderful effects. Some colors can cast the natural light entering through the windows and add warmth to your room.


4) Color, color, color

            Don't be afraid to use bright, loud colors in your room. Whether it be the color of the walls, the main furniture in your room or even accents, like lamps, picture frames, and pillows, you can add a splash of color to make any room feel more alive.


5) Lighting

            An important item to remember when redesigning your room is the lighting. Take note of what the room looks like in its current state, prior to your redesign. If you need more light in one area, create that. If you need less light, make sure to incorporate that in your design. Use natural light as much as possible. It will not only look better, but it will feel better too.


6) Adornments

            Like you would do with an outfit, do to your room. Accessorize. Find some colorful throw pillows for your couch. Add some correlating curtains to spice things up. Make use of different types of patterns. Mix them together in one room and see what you can come up. Don't be afraid to go bold.

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