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Posts Tagged ‘Home and Garden’

  1. Unclutter the Kitchen

    September 27, 2013 by admin

    Need a bit of reorganization? Try giving one of the most popular rooms in the house a fresh new feel. Blair Stover offers tips to help you unclutter your kitchen and give you a new start to the upcoming holiday season.

    A contemporary kitchen pantry.

    A contemporary kitchen pantry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    For starters, try stashing stuff in plain sight. It sounds silly, but open shelves keep everyday pans, pots and serving dishes within easy reach. Additionally, built-in knife slots in a kitchen’s butcher block will keep your culinary tools handy.

    Next, keep the kids in mind. Include hide-away kitchen storage filled with art supplies to keep the little ones busy while you finish up your dinner prep. Find the most storage space with roll-out shelves at the end of an island. This leaves kids with easy access to paper, crayons, etc. and an easy way to clean it all up.

    Create a place for everything by customizing your pantry. Utilize shallow drawers, pullout baskets and shelves to make a place for everything.  The size of your pantry is not as important as how you make use of the space you have. While planning out your pantry, think vertically. Storage can be created using the height of your kitchen. Attach shelves to tall pantry doors for additional storage.

    Curved cradles offer safe storage for glass bottles of any type. These shelves can transform your pantry into a beverage storage center. You can store wine, soda, or water, as bottles lie on their sides. You will no longer fear the bottles crashing off of the shelves.

    Keep spices east to grab. Spices do not have to go on a wall-mounted rack. They can store very nicely within a drawer, keeping them handy. This also helps in preserving their flavors by protecting them from moisture, heat and sunlight.

    For more Blair Stover Post, you can visit Blair Stover Interior Design Blog

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  2. Cover Up That Blank Wall

    July 26, 2013 by admin

    Staring at a blank wall is almost as bad as staring outside a window that faces a brick wall. It is time that you take back your creative spirit and spruce up your walls using a little bit of decorative pizzazz and ingenuity. Here are some ways fun ways we’ve found to brighten the view, here at Blair Stover:

    1. Stylish Silhouettes. Get creative with shapes. For example, try using appliance and cooking utensil cutouts as the subject matter. Back them up with photocopied pages from old cookbooks.
    2. Attention Grabbers. Oversize pieces of artwork are perfect and can bring  boldness to a more neutral styled room.
    3. Tiled Artwork. Do something that catches the eye. If you want to bring a farm look, a barn would be optimal.
    4. DIY Botanical Prints. Plastic or silk greenery laid on a white canvas will give you a beautiful silhouette.
    5. Artsy Calendars. A calendar can function as a piece of art just like anything else can.
    6. Sun Photo Prints. Photo sensitive paper can work wonders for a bland wall.
    7. A Bit of Nature. Make sure you take nature and bring it inside. A magnificent view can brighten any wall.
    8. Laying the Plans. Take a trip to flea markets and antique shops. Finding vintage blueprints or maps could actually double as perfect wall art and add a fun theme to a room.
    9. Natural Beauty. Vintage botanical prints can cost next to nothing these days. Or even try a vase of live flowers.
    10. Small Space Décor. Floating shelves can do a lot for a bare wall. Decorate them with small pictures or knick-knacks.
    11. Upper Gallery. That space near the top of your wall (near the ceiling) that seem to never get used are perfect for wall art or even trinkets.

    You can check more about this at Blair Stover Blog

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  3. Interior Design Ideas On a Budget

    December 26, 2012 by BlairStover

    Interior decorating is not straightforward, as there are numerous individual tastes to discover and understand. It all starts with your own style. When decorating your home, it takes time to find the style you would like to incorporate in the design, starting with colors, accessories, furniture, lighting, etc.

    You must know your taste, style and preferences before you start. You can enjoy various styles, but you must set a direction and a unique style so your project goes smoothly. Setting a budget that fits your style and stipulates a time limit to avoid financial problems is also important. Check out prices for things like paint, furniture, wallpaper, chandeliers and based on this knowledge, start assembling your budget. Always consider the space you are working with. When decorating a room, always consider the size of the room. You do not want to face problems of limiting space after you have already purchased something.

    Here are some interior design tips on a budget, provided by Blair Stover:

    •  Reorganizing furniture: You wouldn’t believe how different a house looks when you just move some furniture around.
    • Paint your walls: This can do a lot for the appearance of a home. Just ensure that the walls match or furniture or vice versa.
    • Add wall paintings: Throwing a huge wall painting can take your guests mind off everything else.
    • Décor candles: These are for special occasions like holidays.
    • Adding simple carpets: Just a simple carpet will go a long way in adding a spruced up look to your house.
    • Plants: Adding plants to an area will make any room come alive.
    • Replace simple things: You never have to buy a new door or new cabinets and such. Just buy the doorknobs and pulls – it makes a huge difference.

    You can check more about this at Blair Stover Crunchbase Blog

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  4. Decorating Your Bedroom with Purple

    December 22, 2012 by BlairStover

    Purple is known as the color of royalty as well as a color that is liked by people all over the world. It is because of these facts that people are using the color to decorate their homes. Blair Stover shows us some tips on how we can decorate a room using the color purple.

    Remember that you do not need to break the bank when you are decorating, no matter what color you use. All you need is some imagination and a little motivation and you can accomplish anything. Also keep in mind that combining colors shouldn’t be a nightmare. Patience is the key with this sort of task.

    Wall decoration: You must always start with seeing what options you have when decorating with purple. It can range from wallpapering, to using vinyl stickers or changing color contrast. Make sure you choose whatever option will suit you best.

    Trimmings: The two biggest trimmings that you could accentuate your room with when using the color purple is curtains and cushions. You can use two different shades if you like or you can use a lighter shade for one and a darker shade for another. You can mix things up so they will suit the other items that are purple in the room. You can even go with a purple carpet!

    Furniture: Your furniture may convey the colors in your room. In fact, if you have any older plastic or wooden furniture that needs a touch up, paint it purple. Changing bed sheets or even painting your bed posts could be a thought as well.

    You can check more about this at Blair Stover Interior Design

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  5. Finding Furniture That Fits Your Small Home

    December 10, 2012 by BlairStover

    When you have a small living area to work with, you may ask yourself, “What kind of furniture or décor can I use to suit my taste and keep my room from being overcrowded?” This is when your creativity and imagination comes into play.

    Blair Stover has plenty of tips below to help you decorate the perfect room, no matter the size.

    1.     Multi-functional furniture. Do things not fit? Do they match? When buying furniture, make sure you choose multi-use furniture and fixtures. For example, the radiator for the bathroom is also a towel rail. The bedroom dresser can be used as a make-up and dressing table and bedside table can serve as a medicine cabinet.

    2.     Extracting cabinets installed. The nice thing about this is that this is not directly on the wall. Tailored kitchens are usually done by a kitchen designer and the installation is performed by a specialist.

    3.     Waste sorting. Built-in waste bins will allow a space-saving separation for waste. Integrate the waste bins under the sink. The pull system consists of three removable containers and ensures room for environmentally conscious waste separation.

    4.     Large tiles, bright colors. Do you have small bathroom and small tiles? That isn’t a good idea because it makes the room look like a tiny washroom. Combine large tiles and choose bright, cool colors. Another tip: you can lay the tiles down diagonally and this will allow you cheat visually.

    How do you make a small space look bigger? Share your tips below!

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  6. House Cleaning Tips

    November 10, 2012 by BlairStover

    Cleaning the house is a big problem for most people. Indeed, there are often places where you can run into some stubborn stains that just won’t come off. Moreover, we use far too aggressive chemicals the wrong way. Know that with only a few products, you can clean everything in the home. Here are some hints and tips to help you provided by Blair Stover:

    1.     Windows without a trace. Use a sheet of newspaper, crumple it and soak it in alcohol. Rub the windows in a circular motion.

    2.     A refrigerator that smells good. On the middle shelf, have a cup with a 1/2 lemon or a piece of charcoal in it. This will help reduce odors.

    3.     Rust stains on the floor? Cover the stain with salt and lemon juice. Leave it on for an hour, rub the stain and rinse.

    4.     Cleaning burnt pans. Boil some water in your pan, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. If stain persists, add a few leaves of sorrel in a little water and soak fifteen minutes then rinse.

    5.     De-scaling appliances. Pour white vinegar into your appliance (iron, kettle, coffee maker) and turn it on. Pour clean water in it to rinse.

    6.     Microwave that smells. Place a bowl of water in the center of your microwave and add some lemon juice or 1/2 fresh lemon to it and heat for a few minutes.

    More advice

    • Always use three sponges when cleaning:

    -One for the kitchen.

    -One for the bathroom.

    -One reserved for a toilet.

    • Remember that performance equipment always gives a better result.
    • Ventilate your home when cleaning.

  7. How to Care for Wooden Floors

    November 2, 2012 by BlairStover

     A beautiful wood can be compared to a fine wine: it gains character and charm with age. But it still must be taken care of! Trampled, stained, scratched- it doesn’t matter. To maintain and make them last, you need to be sure they are regularly kept up but nothing really extravagant. Just take into account a simple criterion: the finish must be applied (varnish, oil or wax) and regular maintenance must be completed. Blair Stover has more tips below.

    Cleaning the floor – nothing could be easier! To do this, just dust on average once a week using a vacuum cleaner with a brush or a slightly damp mop. Never wash your wood floor with water.

    Clean is one thing, maintaining it is another. Again, no need to be a homemaker to fulfill this mission, but you must adopt the right thing and get the right products.

    Polished floors are increasingly rare because they are complicated to maintain and particularly fragile. They certainly provide an attractive surface, but they are slippery and have a nasty habit of staining when they come in contact with water.

    To ensure your polished floor stays clean and attractive, be sure to follow these tips:

    –   To extend the life of your floors and limit the damage, do not hesitate to store carpets everywhere and place pads under your furniture, particularly in those areas that you use to move tables, chairs.

    –       Always have the reflex to use only cleaning products adapted to your flooring. Detergent is too aggressive and will weaken your wood floors rather than give it a facelift.

    –       Never clean your floors with a lot of water! Although your floors are glazed or oiled strong enough, they cannot tolerate high humidity.

    –       To clean a stain on your recent further polished floor, it is recommended using a damp sponge.


  8. Organizing Tips for Small Spaces

    October 30, 2012 by BlairStover

    We all need space in and outside the home: discover all the places you never have considered before. There is a right place for each of them- it is just a matter of finding it. Blair Stover explains it all below.

    The space under the stairs to the alcove in the bedroom, from the covered porch to the small laundry room on the ground floor, the stairs to the small corridor: intelligent, practical and functional spaces that can be used with containers, cabinets and shelves. Organizing is an excellent solution when you want to stow things without necessarily having to hide them. If you look carefully, you will notice that your home or office actually has room for everything: so enjoy being organized!

    Do you have a lot more clothes than space available? Then it’s time to begin organizing your wardrobe with bins and drawers to set up to exploit the depth and width of your cabinets perfectly. Containers in different sizes, small enough for your accessories (belts, necklaces, socks…) and those great enough for all bedding and bath textiles (bed linen, towels, blankets) are available: an extensive range of modular and complementary colored and transparent products, with or without wheels will barely make a dent in your pocket.

    From coats, sweaters and scarves, you will have everything cleared away in a few minutes. You only need a few containers; something good will come of all this and it starts with a sense of organization: a free path for T-shirts, sleeveless shirts and thong sandals.

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  9. Interior Design Ideas for the Bathroom

    October 26, 2012 by BlairStover

    Redoing the bathroom? It’s hard to find original ideas out there to be inspired by. There are a few things that stay the same, however, when planning a bathroom make over.

    ·      Bathrooms need good light and air circulation. This isn’t just for safety, but also for hygiene’s sake.

    ·      Speaking of hygiene, decoration takes a back seat to cleanliness. If the tile can’t be cleaned or is not water proof, then it can’t be considered hygienic enough to be in the bathroom.

    ·      Minimalism is best when it comes to appliances and colors as they create sleek lines and don’t detract from other features you may decide to put up (such as accents or stone countertops).

    ·      Glass is used often in bathrooms because it is classy yet doesn’t detract from other things. Adding glamour and elegance, note that glass can also be a hazard as it breaks easily.

    ·      Neutral colors, for the same reason as minimalism and glass, are often used in bathrooms. They add a soft, muted feel that is easy to relax in and that can be paired with anything. Try brown, white, or grey for maximum benefits.

    ·    Décor should be easy to clean, solely because if it isn’t easy to wipe down or clean off there is a high chance it can harbor bacteria or germs. Be wise in your décor choices.

    While Blair Stover Interior Design always encourages do-it-yourself projects, sometimes handling a redesign with a contractor is better. Especially if major appliances are involved. Know your limits and decide not only how you’re going to redecorate but how comfortable you are doing so yourself.

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  10. Choosing the Perfect Design for Your Bathroom

    October 17, 2012 by BlairStover

    Bathroom refurbishments can be a big project to take on. When you redesign, you will want to be sure you get it right the first time around. Getting the perfect redesign for your bathroom can be done if you ask yourself these questions before starting, as laid out by Blair Stover Interior Designs.

     What is your budget?

    This is probably the most important question you can ask. Have a set budget before you start the remodel. If you don’t lay out a guideline for how much you can and cannot spend, you are likely to spend way more than you intended to.

     What look do you want?

    Realize that bathroom refurbishments don’t happen often. Most people replace their bathroom once every seven to ten years. Others wait and remodel once every fifteen years. You’re going to want to make sure that what you plan is what you want for the next several years at least.

     Do you plan to move soon?

    Remodeling bathrooms can add value to a home you’re trying to sell. If you’re looking to sell, see what you can do to add value for as little as possible.  You’ll want to stick with neutrals and inoffensive pieces, ones that are easy for everyone to like. Avoid bright colors, as these typically don’t go over well with buyers.

    Are your measurements right?

    Before starting, double check your measurements. One mismeasurement can undo a lot of work, and it happens all the time.

     What kind of tile?

    Tile can be a deal breaker in the bathroom for buyers, as well as a health point for owners. Some tiles are hygienic, others are not, and waterproof is a must. Tiling also makes a bathroom, adding character and design. Be sure you purchase 10% more tile than you need, that way you have spares.

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