One $0 Reason Rooms Look So Amazing in Magazines

We all want our homes to look as fabulous as those we see in design magazines.  Often they have stunning architecture and views that cost a fortune.  However there is one prominent feature many of them have that costs virtually nothing.  Look through the following examples and see if you can figure out what it is.

Did you notice the flora?  They are statements in each of these rooms and if you imagine removing them, most of the spaces don’t look half as good.

Did you also notice that none of them are flowers?  Fresh flowers can cost lots of money.  But these look like tree, hedge or wild grass clippings.  That’s right people, it’s time to get out the gardening shears.  You are just one pruned bush away from transforming your home!

As someone who has done this in my own house, let me share a few things I learned along the way:

  • First, some tree and hedge branches last for weeks, others wilt within a day.  There is definitely some trial and error involved with choosing what to use.
  • Second, really pay attention to the structure and shape of the branches before you cut, and compare that with the space you are decorating.  There were a couple times we were ducking to enter our living room because the beautiful cutting I brought in was too wide and short.  (This may cause your husband to then roll his eyes and have heavy doses of skepticism the next time you have a “decorating breakthrough”.)
  • Third, don’t bring in anything anyone in your family might be allergic too.   And definitely don’t place that allergen 3 feet from where allergic son sleeps.  Big time #momfail on that one!

Happy clipping!

Thinking Outside the Kitchen Reno Box

Here are 5 budget ideas you may not have considered for transforming your kitchen:

Reinstall Cabinets Higher & Add Open Shelving

I love to study Joanna Gaines’ flips, and this is one of her most ingenious ideas.  By re-installing cabinets higher, she maintains closed storage while also making the kitchen feel taller. The open shelf beneath adds character to the kitchen and is a useful spot for that stack of everyday white plates.

images source:  magnolia.com

Warmth + High Contrast

Another Joanna idea here!  Her color recipe for kitchens seems to be a warm element (usually wood), mixed with a high contrast element (something black or dark gray), in a sea of calming neutrals.  It is such a winning combo!

images source:  magnolia.com

The majority of the kitchen being an airy neutral feels soothing and clean.  Touches of a dark color sprinkled about makes your eye bounce around as you take the space in.  But the real key is finishing it with the warmth of wood, which adds richness and depth.

If you are looking to add a warm element to your kitchen, there are many creative ways to do so, including accessories such as cutting boards, wooden bowls, and textural baskets.  For a bit more money, you can add wood trim and shelves or install cork-type wallpaper.  Or go all the way with butcher block countertops and a wood backsplash or ceiling.

images source:  magnolia.com

Furniture Instead of Cabinets

Want to tear out your cabinets but don’t have the money to replace them?  Perhaps some store bought shelves can help.  Architecturally interesting shelves can be secured in place for a fraction of the cost of installing new cabinets.

images source:  styleathome.com

Architectural Pantry Doors

They add lots of character and with inset mirrors will appear to lead to another wing of your home (not a closet for your cereal boxes).

images source:  magnolia.com

Two-Tone Your Cabinets

Though this is not a new idea, it is vastly under-utilized.

image sources: beckiowens.com, thesweetestdigs.com, theeverygirl.com, bhg.com, apartmenttherapy.com

Any of these ideas inspire you?  Know of other ways to elevate the look of your kitchen on a budget?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Adding Character to Your Home

Many real estate agents advise their clients to make safe and neutral finish choices when updating your home.  Though you are less likely to make a mistake this way, you can also end up with a house that looks like everyone else’s.  Not the best decision when it comes to getting buyer’s attention and commanding the most for your home on the open market.

Instead, we advise carefully wading through the more interesting options and choosing those that enhance the character of your home.  This is best done as part of a cohesive vision for your house which brings together your flooring, finishes, and paint colors.  Here are a few things you may consider . . .

Non-Typical Tiles & Patterns

There are so many options beyond the classic square and rectangular tiles we commonly see at home improvements store.  Why not choose something with more character?

Colored Moldings and Cabinets

Think outside the white molding and neutral cabinet box.  Select a few strategic areas to add a splash of carefully-chosen color!

Moldings at Various Heights

Also consider installing moldings at non-traditional heights as well as wrapping the top wall color up and onto the ceiling.

Horizontal Fencing

A simple turning of the boards on a vertical fence can a world of difference and usually cost little more.

All photos thanks to Pinterest.

We can’t emphasize enough how these elements need to be part of a cohesive overall vision.  However, we are confident if you take the time to bring it all together, details such as these can bring tons of character to your home and make sure that future buyers won’t be able to pass it up.

Lastly, here is a video of how we are incorporating these ideas into our own home: