Functionality of a Kitchen

I’ve always loved spending time in a kitchen that speaks to me both in design and functionality. As much as I love a small sweet spot in a kitchen for my morning quiet time that is comfortable and beautifully designed with colors and textures that are a treat to the eye; I always pay attention to the functionality of a kitchen as well – which is, unfortunately, generally ignored when a kitchen is being designed in the first place. In fact, that’s the first thing that should be taken care of before going in for the designing and decorating part because on a basic level, its the functionality that serves the purpose of it.

Functionality of a kitchen

Better Homes and Gardens

Every cook in the world would love to have a kitchen that super easy to work in – because that just doubles up the joy of cooking. So, that made me thinking of practical ways of improving a kitchen in terms of functionality that are easy and budget friendly too. And by that I do not mean the old classic tip of having sink, cooking range and refrigerator placed in kind of a triangle for easy reaching. That’s something almost every home owner has been aware of; I intend to gather up a few more ideas for that here which can serve the needs of a cook in a kitchen of almost any size and design.

Functionality of a kitchen

The Inspired Room

Take a moment to think what your requirements are – better if you take a piece of paper to write that down. Think about the general routine that you carry out everyday (its always good to have one). How do you start a day in kitchen? What things are used firstly? Do you get ready everything first before staring off with the recipe or do you go along while cooking? Do you bake regularly or occasionally? Answering these kind of things would help increasing functionality in your own personal way.

Functionality of a kitchen

Better Homes and Gardens

Everything doesn’t need to go in the closet – there are things that are used several times a day like oil, cooking spoons and coffee mugs; they can stay on the countertops for easy reach. The thing to consider is that they should be assigned a specific place and shouldn’t come in the way while cooking.

Functionality of a kitchen

Pinterest

Add removable extra storage space in corners – Adding extra trolley tables and hanging storage solutions to add customization in a kitchen to cater your particular needs is a favorite tip with me. They can be removed or updated anytime without a major fuss.

There could be so much more to make a kitchen more of a functional place, its a matter of personal style and requirement; but there is always a way to make things better, and that’s what matters most.

On a side note – bring in some greens! They wouldn’t serve in functionality but would definitely make you smile while cooking…

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Curtains; Plain or Printed

I was planning on changing my room’s color scheme lately and as I was browsing through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration; it was the curtains that caught me thinking – plain or printed, again? Yes, I’ve always had printed curtains in my room. They’ve done a really good job with the schemes I had so far, but its time to try something new this time.

White curtains in bedroom

Honey We’re Home

Plain curtains in a white shade are what I’ve been looking at these past days. They control the amount of light entering the room really well while keeping the privacy because I can’t stay in a space with low natural light for long, it haunts me…

White curtains in bedroom

Simple Details

They go with the wall color perfectly and the best thing is that they make the room look a little spacious – and this is what I’m looking for right now. I feel so inspired by the calm and sophisticated look they create in a room, and it really doesn’t matter about the height of curtains either – that’s a relief.

White curtains in bedroom

Better Homes and Gardens

White curtains in bedroom

Pinterest

White curtains in bedroom

Centsational Girl

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Decorating with Bird Prints

Weeks ago, a beautiful trend came to my notice and it stayed somewhere in the back of my mind and kept coming back to surface time and again. Still think of it and smile — having pretty bird prints on the walls and around the house!

Bird Prints

Country Living

Nature always inspires me both in new and unique + traditional and old fashioned ways. It could only be a bunch of flowers in a living room! Just the other day, I was reading somewhere that designers’ works are becoming more and more inspired by natural elements – textures, colors, themes; they are working to blend, in the most beautiful ways, the beauty and calmness of the outside with the comfort and arrangement of the inside.

Every other home that we see in the magazines has been decorated with cool colors, floral fabrics, flower arrangements and houseplants. And not to mention, those patios, porches and balconies designed with comfy furniture and pretty floral fabrics – one could sit there all day with a book.

Having beautiful paintings and prints of birds and botanicals can be such a beautiful note to show your love and affection for the nature.

Bird Prints

Jennifer Rizzo

Bird Prints

Dear Lillie Blog

Bird Prints

Design Sponge

Bird Prints

Houzz

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Decorating the Bookcase – Fun with Styling

I have to admit – it always scared me that I might do the styling the wrong way, but as I started to understand the whole story telling fun part about decorating bookcases, it all started becoming more than a mere pleasure.

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

The Design Files

Knowing the basics about styling and having a few pro tips at hand is always the best thing to do but nevertheless, doing entirely your own thing is even better. Its like giving yourself some space and a little freedom to your mind to think and imagine the way you want to do it. Just go ahead – create your own story; and then tell it!

However, I thought it would be good enough to list out a few old-school tips of styling. Though they have been tried and tested like a zillion times but then again, going back to the basics still helps if you want to go your own way, be creative and think out of the box. Because this whole decorating and styling a bookcase is more like a chess game – its totally different every time you play it because everyone has a different selection of books, different kind of taste in accessories, different style of putting things together and – an entirely different story to share!

Arrange the books – in a evenly scattered manner, placed both vertically and horizontally across the bookcase. Mix them up using a few horizontal ones as bookends for vertical ones.

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

Chic and Glamorous

Select the best pieces in accessories – that are closer to your heart. That have inspired you in any way or have a sweet memory attached to them. Arrange them individually or in small groups across the whole shelf. Take some time to arrange them in a way that looks the best and means the most to you.

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

Inspired by Charm

Create small groups – of books or accessories or artwork at different visual angles across the whole bookcase. For instance, a few books with pretty spines to the left on the top shelve can interest your eye to move to the right in the middle shelve to some artwork of the same color maybe.

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

SF Girl by Bay

Mix up the elements – adding things from different beautiful elements of nature that we have around us; a little wooden box, a glass vase, a handmade ceramic piece with great visual texture. Create interest in the whole look by adding things of different color, texture, size and make and mix them up till they look fine from a distance.

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

Better Homes and Gardens

Pop up some colors – if you may; for they will work as that unexpected fun character that shows up out of nowhere and gives a new interesting turn to the story!

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

Chic and Glamorous

Keep a balance – in what you put in there. A lot of books (though they meant to be there) or a lot of accessories of the same kind will lose the charm of a complete balanced arrangement. Don’t over stuff every thing with a lot of things; instead leave some vacant spaces visual breathing.

Put a new life in it – by adding a couple of great photographs that make you smile every time you look at them and not to mention a cute little houseplant or a vase of flowers can make every thing look happier and prettier. Even a quote; I dare say, can be as alive as anything if it brings a smile on your face or gives your thoughts some food for a while…

Bookcase styling tips and ideas

Domaine Home

Be happy – with what you’ve done! There is nothing like being happy with what you’ve learnt along the way and what great ideas and imaginations are coming to you. There is no limit to how beautifully and artistically you can arrange your bookshelves again and again. They are a perfect reflection of your taste and life, and can be designed with love as many times as you want.

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Decorating the Bookcase – Arranging the Books

What else would it be – its a bookcase after all. There ought to be a lot of books in there, right? The ones that are most loved, read again and again and most referred to. And how lovely they look being arranged in a pretty shelf and styled with the most amazing things collected over the years; and the details!

I once read somewhere that a home without books is like a body without soul. How true, indeed. They are surely a person’s best friend. Telling stories, creating images and developing an understanding of day to day things that go about in our surroundings. It is always so wonderful to listen to someone else’s words, their thoughts, their views, their perceptions and interpretations, and above all, seeing the world from their eyes and reading through their minds – making similarities and comparisons in theirs and our own…

How to arrange books in a bookcase

 Better Homes and Gardens

The ones who love books usually do have a lot of them in their home, hidden away somewhere safely. So, there could be a fair chance of making a selection of which books to be displayed and which ones should wait for their turn. It could be a fun practice to change your selection from time to time for it will be an equal enjoyment for your friends in admiring your taste.

How to arrange books in a bookcase

Centsational Girl

It’s important to “leave room for other characters to come into play” — most obviously, when you’re arranging your books. So, they should be arranged in a way so as to leave room for accessories and styling, of course because these accessories and artwork actually work as the main + supporting characters of the whole story who drop in to fill in the details!

I always find it wonderful and easy to group the favorite ones on basis of genre. It makes each book so very accessible. My favorite bookstores that I visit often have organized their books that way. So, I instantly single out the spot that I want to go to find a book. And I love to organize a bookcase same way as well.

How to arrange books in a bookcase

Centsational Girl

That being said, when it comes to arrangement; I believe the books should be placed in an evenly scattered manner along the whole bookcase. Like a few books in every shelf placed both vertically and horizontally to give more visual interest. And that could be as interesting as arranging artwork, one can go on and on until it looks fine to the eye.

How to arrange books in a bookcase

Amber Interior Design

Color also plays its part and it even becomes more alive when accessories join in too. So, it could also be taken into account when deciding on which books are displayed. Though, it is only the words that matter the most, book covers could also do their job in making a bookcase look more graceful and happier.

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5 Essential Things for an Entryway

I am fully aware of the importance that an entryway beholds – so much so that it sets the ground for what comes up ahead. It opens the doors to inner beauty and taste of the owner. Its the first thing that gives you the familiarity with the air; you can even smell the happenings around the house from that far! It tells the one who enters how much the whole home is being loved and how loving are the people living there. So; it shouldn’t be surprise that a lot of care is needed to decorate it. But nevertheless, there still is a recipe to decorate it in a more functional manner because even when it doesn’t do any practical job for the owners; because they just pass through it while going in and out – it still could be made to do some job.

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

 Stone Gable

I really meant when I said entryways set the ground. Its the first place that make you feel home when you’re home. Even when your friends come over, they instantly see you even before they see you in person; a well decorated entryway could do that.

Every room and nook in a home is decorated with a practical approach in mind – making the best use of the space. Any designer or home maker can tell you that. Because the space is meant to live with; day in day out. It doesn’t need to be “magazine worthy” because its not meant for styling and flashy photo shoots anyway.

When I dived into my imagination to find out what I would like to have in an entryway, I found lots of ideas but, having a practical approach, I listed out these 5 things that would set the ground and do the welcoming job;

1. Mirror: Now that is indeed an “old-fashioned” idea! But only think – what lady won’t love to have a final look before stepping out in the world. At least to make sure the coat and scarf are in right place.

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

Shelter Interior Design

2. Storage: Its the heart of every well managed and well organized home. And entryway cannot be an exception. Having a storage space in entry can always help; even if you can’t think of anything particular to keep there in the beginning. You’ll see the space filled in no time organically with things that you need to keep handy while going out – the ones that are not that cute to be displayed on the entry table maybe…

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

Pinterest

3. Lighting: I am a huge fan of a well lit home. Its the first thing that I notice; always. I firmly believe that if a room is not blessed with good lighting then there is no point in decorating it with all-things-pretty! And if that room is not that well decorated, even then good lighting is never to be compromised.

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

Home Bunch

4. Seating: It could be an option but then again, having a small seating arrangement in entry could be useful, its one of those things that you can’t guess when it could save you, you know.

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

6th Street Design School

5. A personal touch: That’s one thing which would make that small passage yours – truly yours. Remember when I said your friends would know its you when they enter your home? This is what I was talking about; because that’s where the magic happens. If you ask me I would (and I imagine) having a small gallery of family photos in black and white in the entry. How many? That absolutely an individual choice. It could be just one in a beautiful frame with a vase of flowers and a few accessories and a piece of organic element beautifully arranged on a console (speaking of which, maybe a drawer chest would do well since it will offer lots of storage as well). But as for pictures, I would go for lovely smiling faces in black and white. They somehow have a fascination that can’t be explained; or I’m lacking words as I write this… But the point is; there should be a personal touch – something that is known for being you, something that is a reflection of your life and taste, and closer to your heart.

5 Essential Things for Entryway Decor

Rug Knots

These five elements I find quite essential are just a beginning – the world is open to the best possibilities of all for decorating this small space that normally is just to pass by but if given some love, can love you back; every single day when you come back home.

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Cottage Style: How to Make it Yours

Happy weekend! Hope you have a wonderful one. Its another Friday and there are two sweet days before Monday. Weekends are such great times to wind down – they are meant to be so, right? But while you unwind, did you enjoy reading about cottage style this week (?) – I enjoyed a lot writing about it, and learning too because there was so much researching, brainstorming and light-bulb-thinking involved and it was fun. It sparked so much inspiration in me and gave me confidence to learn more about design and try sharing ideas that are inspire me at the moment. Anyway, in case you haven’t, do go back to find out a little more about what I shared about designing like a cottage this week; how it inspired, what elements make it come to life, the pretty colors involved and then why in the first place it works. There are so many variations and inspiring ideas that could be used in decorating a country home to make it your personal style – but have you ever thought, it could be the other way around as well. Yes, like any other style, it too can be mixed up with your personal style and give a new unique look to your home; a home that reflects you.

So, today, as the last post of this series, I would gather up a few simple things that can be done to make cottage-like feel at home.

Decorating with cottage style

Start with what you have. Don’t let that old dresser of your mom’s go if you don’t want to because it could still be of some use and make a statement in your home to make you proud in front of your guests. A weathered piece (and it could be anything that you love, if at all you love it) can create a lot of character and still serve in the best way it can.

Decorating with cottage style

Make seating more comfortable. A cottage usually has furniture that looks bulky and large but it’s more comfortable than anything. And that really needs to be comfortable anyway because you’re going to spend hours sitting there watching TV, reading books, chatting with friends or just be busy doing nothing. Even the look of a comfortable couch when you enter can relax half of your nerves. Try it!

Decorating with cottage style

Embrace botanicals. Bring spring in. Flowers and botanicals play such an important role in making your home feel like a home. Have you ever wondered that? A room that has live plants or flowers or even art-prints of them can make everything in the room smile and say hello. I believe that a room that has a pretty vase of flowers or plants is never empty even if there is nobody in there.

Decorating with cottage style

Make friends with warm woods. White looks great too, and wicker is a winner in cottage style, but the warmth and elegant feel that warm woods can create has its own charm. If you’re not a fan of warm wood furniture, then try using it in small doses. It adds character and texture to a room and looks good in small spaces.

Decorating with cottage style

Let florals make home. Cottage style is known for pretty feminine floral fabrics, and I just love them. Use fabrics in small scale or stripes in soft colors to create a feel of a cottage in your home. The best thing about fabrics is you don’t have to stick to them for long. Slip-covers, cushions, kitchen curtains; they can be changed according to your taste and style.

Decorating with cottage style

Texture up with natural elements. A few wicker baskets for magazines in the living, a rustic piece of art or an unpainted kitchen island can do the job. Anything that is closer to nature can warm up the home at once and look perfect. Just blend it in with other elements and let it become a part of whole look.

Decorating with cottage style

Decorating with cottage style

Display your best pieces. This is my favorite part – open shelves and built-in book cases! They are so much fun if you use them your way. Display things that you have a connection with – they are meant to house things that resonate with you; books, art, pictures and nevertheless, how convenient open shelves are. That’s why they are becoming more and more popular in other design styles as well. Putting up things that you use daily and need them to be at an arm’s length, it makes life easier (just in case you’re lazy).

Decorating with cottage style

Go casual. Country homes are usually decorated with a casual look. While being clean and well organized; they are just not filled up with expensive crystals and accessories. They have simple things that are mainly inspired by nature; yet it shows that these homes are loved.

Decorating with cottage style

Do what you love. At the end of the day, its your home, your life, your style. It should reflect you and not what others think. Everyone is unique and so should be their home. Do in whatever way you love to decorate your home; make it happy, pretty and comfortable. Mix in styles in what way you like; just go slow. Follow your instinct and listen to your heart; and your home will love you back.

Decorating with cottage style

Images: Better Homes and Gardens

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall

They have been around for a very long time – mirrors on the wall as a decorative item. They could be the best thing to do with a room if you can’t think of anything unique and spectacular; or maybe short on a budget. How convenient!

One thing I can’t live without in a home is good natural light and ventilation, and a mirror, that too a larger one, work wonders to enhance former in a room. It would especially do great in a small space with less light to make it look larger, brighter and illuminated. This makes mirrors a favorite with many designers and home owners, despite of its being an old school trick.

But even then, there is always something new and different that could be done with something that is so old-school-ish; like adding some kind of art or architectural detail to a mirror. All my admirations are with this gorgeous large window mirror below! Its unique, its spectacular and its convenient in its own way.

Decorating with large mirrors

HGTV

The best thing to do with a mirror is to hang or lean with a larger wall. It would not only fill the space but would also create a visual balance in a room.

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