Tag Archives: bathroom

How to Decorate Around Windows

big-window-sills-kitchen

Windows let in light and can open up any room. They come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no one-size-fits-all hack for decorating around windows. The right decor and treatments for your windows depends on their size, shape, and location, as well as your own personal style preferences, of course!

Let’s take a look at a few of the most difficult types of windows to decorate around and my favorite solutions for each.

mid-century-kitchen

Full Wall Windows: Focus on the Outside

A full wall of windows lends itself very well to a minimalist aesthetic. I recommend letting the beauty outside be your decoration. If the window wall overlooks your front or back yard, invest some time into landscaping.

The possibilities are endless. You might use potted plants, hanging lights, gravel, or a bird bath. You might even go all out and create your own Japanese rock garden to gaze at through the window when you need some zen.

If the inside just feels too bare without a little decoration, try setting a tall vase or two on the floor or placing a few potted plants indoors.

mediterranean living room

Tall Windows: Choose Tall Curtains

Tall windows that go to the floor (or almost) are often accompanied high ceilings — a beautiful feature that can present some interior design challenges.

In most spaces, tall windows are best showcased with long to-the-floor curtains. They create a sense of balance and elegance. With this window type, it’s OK if the curtains extend below the base of the window. If your windows are rounded on top (like these) you might consider hanging your curtains a little bit below the top of the window.

And, of course, curtains aren’t your only option. You might opt for tall shutters like these, or no window treatment at all if privacy isn’t a concern.

high-up-windows-home-office

High up Windows: Fill the Space with What you Love

What are you supposed to do with all that space under small windows that are high up off the floor?

I like the idea of filling the space with:

  • One piece of furniture (often a table or desk)
  • One art display

Here’s where you can really get creative! Showcase your favorite painting or hang some family photos — whatever you like! You could even create your own travel-themed gallery wall to showcase your family’s adventures.

If you need some advice for beautifully incorporating art into your home or places to find great local art for less, check out my guide to making art part of your home.

big-window-sills-kitchen

Big Window Sills: Nix the Curtains

Big window sills can feel like a hassle, and can make hanging curtains extremely challenging! Here’s my advice:

If it fits with the style of your room, forget curtains and choose a nice window shade instead. Window shades can fit comfortably within the window frame without disrupting anything you place on the sill. Plus, that makes it easier to see and admire all the lovely plants, photos, or other knick knacks you display there.

front door window

Door Windows: Privacy Meets Beauty

Front doors with windows can be great, but not everyone wants porch visitors to be able to see inside the house before you’ve even opened the door.

The most permanent option is to replace the plain glass with a good quality privacy glass that still lets some light through but also protects your privacy.

An easier option is to install curtains, blinds, or a shade that’s held at both the top and bottom (so that it holds still when the door opens and closes).

The budget option is window film. It’s generally not as durable as the alternatives, but it’s quick, easy, and provides plenty of privacy. You can even find fun patterns, like this etched lace design from Target.

small bathroom window

Weird Bathroom Windows: Maximize Cleanliness and Airflow

It’s not uncommon for bathrooms in Portland to have small or weirdly shaped windows that can be tricky to decorate around.

In bathrooms, privacy is often a concern, so shutters can be a great choice. They’re easy to open and close, and they provide air flow (if the window can be opened).

When dealing with a small bathroom, I often like to keep decorations minimal with the goal of creating a serene, clean-looking environment. However, if you have a window ledge, it can be a nice place to display small potted plants, which are great for purifying the air.

My Biggest Window Tip

Just have fun! Don’t worry too much about the rules. Choose window treatments and decorations you love, and your windows will look great.

If you’re looking for that extra polished, professional touch, our interior design team would love to help!

Contact us online or give us a call at (503) 406-6179 to learn more about how we can help you beautify your space.

Thanks to The Snug

creative ways to hang bathroom towels

creative ways to hang bathroom towels

Do you love DIY home decor projects as much as I do? The Snug is a great resource for DIY projects from all over the Internet, from creating a bedroom mural to DIY coffee-making contraptions.

This month, The Snug is featuring my article about creative ways to hang bathroom towels!

In my article, I show you my favorite unique towel-hanging methods and I even give some advice for dealing with small or weirdly shaped small bathrooms.

Head over to The Snug and read the whole article! And let me know what you think!

Portland Remodel Ideas to Pay Tribute to the Rose City

indoor bike rack home

reflect portland culture in your home

Photo: Stuart Seeger

Roses that grow like weeds, fiercely loyal sports fans, microbreweries around every corner. Not to mention the gorgeous evergreens and the ever-present Mt. Hood marking our skyline on clear days. There’s no doubt about it, we Portlanders have it pretty good.

If you love the Rose City as much as I do, there’s no reason your home design can’t reflect it. This post will give you some tips for showing your Portlandia pride in your interior design and decor.

But first, let’s see why matching your home’s style to your location is such a good idea in the first place.

Homes Reflect Culture

There’s a reason people don’t usually build cozy log cabins in the middle of downtown Los Angeles or airy beach houses in Fairbanks, Alaska. The best homes embrace their location. Why?

Your location is part of your culture. If you’re like most people, your culture helps define who you are and what you care about. When you showcase the things you love in your home, you’re surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. It’s not just that, though. You’re also telling friends and other guests an important story about who you are and what you stand for.

There are many ways to pay homage to Portland culture in your home. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Sports

trail blazers cup bobbleheadPortland sure loves its sports. TV rooms, rec rooms, and remodeled basements are all ideal places for your Trail Blazers shrine.

If you’re a Rip City fan, the possibilities are endless. Get the team’s logo painted on your TV room or rec room wall. Or take this opportunity to remodel the basement and make it into a sports room. Frame your old jerseys from seasons past.

Do you have some of those bobbleheads or official Trail Blazer water glasses they sell at games? Put them to good use by showcasing them near the TV or as decorations on bookcase shelves. Want a little inspiration? Take a look at how incorporated a local family’s love of the Trail Blazers into their basement remodel. 

Prefer soccer to basketball? Tack your Timbers scarves up on the wall or drape them over the sofa in your TV room. Frame that autograph you got from your favorite player. Or make a table out of a log slice, like the ones they give to players who score goals or get clean sheets at the end of the game.

Rain Patterns

Don’t walk around downtown with an umbrella unless you want people to think you’re from out of town. Portlanders aren’t afraid of a little rain. In fact, we welcome it after long, hot summers like this one.

Why not incorporate rain into your home next time you do a kitchen or bathroom remodel?

Small mosaic tile patterns — sometimes called “rain patterns” — are popular in backsplash and shower designs. They look great, and they’re a subtle way to show your fondness for Portland’s weather.

rain patterned tile bathroom shower

Photo: Brandon Barré Architectural Interior Photographer

Another option is rain-themed wallpaper — great for kids’ rooms and reading nooks. It’ll make you want to grab some slippers and hot chocolate before you curl up with your favorite book and cup of tea.

rain patterned wallpaper

Photo: Abigail Edwards

Roses

Portland is the Rose City after all. Celebrate our most famous flower with a bouquet of roses on the dinner table whenever they’re in season.

Different roses bloom at different times throughout mid spring to fall. Many roses bloom only once in the spring, while others bloom twice a year: once in the spring, and then again in the fall.

roses living room

Photo: Tres McKinney Design

Sadly, roses only last so long once they’ve been cut. You can make long-stem roses last longer by hanging them upside down to dry them as soon as they start to whither. Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial.

Rose-patterned throw pillows are another alternative to fresh bouquets. They’re guaranteed to stay in bloom all year round.

Recycled Elements

Recycling is a big deal in Portland because so many of the city’s residents care about the environment. If eco-friendliness is important to you, you can do your part by using recycled or reclaimed materials. Reclaimed wood offers a rustic look that’s perfect for the Pacific Northwest. It’s great for flooring, kitchen cabinets, and furniture.

For a fun and easy DIY project, grab some reclaimed wood boards of varying lengths and put together a unique headboard for your bed.

rustic reclaimed wood headboard

Photo: Buckets of Burlap

Creative Bike Racks

If you’re one of more than 17,000 people who bike to and from work every day, you need a place to keep your bike. Don’t feel like you have to stow it in the garage or shed where it’s hard to get to.

Your bike is an important part of your daily routine. You may have spent quite a bit of money on it. Maybe you even love you bike the way some people love their cars. Why not let it be part of your home’s decor? Try a creative and functional bike rack like this one:

indoor bike rack home

Photo: Matthew Williams

Homebrew in the Basement

This one is a bit of a larger project, but it’s more than worth it for true craft beer lovers. Wouldn’t it be great to take your guests down to your newly remodeled basement and serve them your own homebrewed beer?

If you have enough space, you could even include a bar, like this basement:

basement brewery bar

Photo: Kal Wallner

Live With What You Love

If you’re a true Portlander at heart, chances are there are other things you love about Stumptown too. Are you a coffee expert? Invest in a fancy coffee machine for your kitchen. Are you an expert on Bridge City? Get some Portland bridge art from Etsy to hang on the wall.

The goal is to bring more of what you love into your home and, of course, show off your Portland pride.

Did I miss anything? What other famous Portland things would you love to have in your house?

 

Other photo sources: William Beutler, eric molina

How to Organize Your Home Room by Room

Bath towels of different colors in wicker basket on light background

Ugh, stuff. No matter how much you clean, tidy, and declutter, it seems to creep back in. Clutter messes with your peace of mind and overall aesthetic. According to the age old design philosophy Feng Shui, our home and therefore clutter is an extension of ourselves. By taking control of the clutter and releasing it we are then able to move ahead more freely in our lives. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to organize your home room by room so you’ll have a place for everything and a way to keep things organized.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to organize your entire home in one day. Try tackling one room at a time. If you take on too much, you’ll just get exhausted and frustrated. Let’s break this down into small tasks so it’s not overwhelming. Ready?

How to Organize Your Kitchen

What to get rid of: expired food, never-used appliances, extra water bottles, chipped mugs or bowls, anything badly stained.

how-to-organize-kitchen-spices

Photo: Ramsey Beyer

Home organization starts with decluttering. Take out everything inside your cabinets, put it in the middle of your kitchen, and only put back what you love or use. What can you give away? What can go in storage? Throw away anything you can’t donate.

When you’re ready to start putting things back, think about what you use most often. Things you use a lot should be in arm’s reach; everything else can go up higher or farther back. A good suggestion from Better Homes & Gardens is to group things by activity — so put all of your baking things together (mixer, bowls, baking sheets), and so forth.

how-to-organize-kitchen-pb

Photo: Pottery Barn

To organize the rest of your kitchen, make things as easy to reach as possible. Put a lazy susan inside cabinets. Use your vertical space: Hang pots, pans, lids, and potholders. Add storage inside your fridge — you can also put a lazy susan in there to make condiments easier to grab, or try little bins or racks to organize food.

how-to-organize-fridge

Photo: Crate & Barrel

I’ve seen several clever ways to organize spices, from magnetic spice containers on the fridge to racks inside cabinets. Dividers can help separate utensils in drawers and baking sheets in cabinets. A magnetic knife strip will free up counter space. And try putting your trash and recycling bins on slide-out tracks for easy access.

How to Organize Your Living Room

What to get rid of: old magazines (unless you regularly use them for arts and crafts projects), as well as board games, DVDs, books, and video games you don’t use anymore.

how-to-organize-living-room

Photo: Land of Nod

What clutter does your living room attract? See if you can sort it into categories like mail, knitting stuff, kids’ toys, remotes, cat toys, and so forth. Just like with the kitchen, get rid of things in poor condition or that you haven’t used recently. Organize what’s left based on where you need it — dog leashes by the front door, remotes near the couch.

organize-wicker-basket

Photo: Wicker Paradise

If you ever read the blog The Inspired Room, you know the author (Melissa) loves baskets. Whether you prefer wicker or wire, baskets are an easy way to transform a mess into something classy. A small wicker basket by your couch can hold those remotes and knitting supplies. A big wire basket by the front door can hold umbrellas and slip-on shoes for walking the dog. If you have shelving by your front door, a labeled basket above eye level can house hats, scarves, and gloves.

Make use of the space under your coffee table — you can slip boxes or baskets of DVDs under there, too. Or as lifestyle blogger JaMonkey suggests, hide your DVDs in this binder that looks like an old book.

organize-living-room-storage

Photo: World Market

And I can’t discuss how to organize your living room without mentioning the ever-popular launch pad concept. Even if all you have room for is a tiny console table, having a flat surface and some wall-mounted storage by the front door will give you a place for your keys, mail, and purse. It makes grabbing everything as you breeze out the door so much easier.

organizing-your-living-room

Photo: Pottery Barn

How to Organize Your Bedroom

What to get rid of: Clothes and shoes you never wear, anything that doesn’t fit, sheets you don’t like, books you have read or will never read.

Organizing the bedroom is fairly straightforward. Store sheets under the bed in slim bins, pick a nightstand with some storage (like a tiny dresser), and keep clutter off of surfaces by using cute bowls.

how-to-organize-bedroom-jewelry

Photo: Pottery Barn

How to organize the closet is the tricky part. Start by getting slim no-slip hangers to free up room. Consider adding a closet organizer and/or shelf dividers to maximize your space. Just like in the kitchen, think up, and use the vertical space (especially above eye level). Since it’s hard to reach, keep out-of-season clothes in clear containers up high, and swap them out when the seasons change.

 

Organize your shoes with a simple, attractive shoe rack or even small bookshelf to display your heels and handbags. If they’re pretty, why hide them in the closet?

 

 

How to Organize Your Bathroom

What to get rid of: old makeup and nail polish, expired medicine, stained towels, tiny bath and body samples you’ve never used or dislike the scent of.

Organizing the bathroom is important, as it’s usually one of the smaller rooms. I love this tip from Better Homes & Gardens: Add an outlet inside your cabinets. That way you don’t have to drag out your hairdryer, flatiron or electric razor every time you use it; you can leave it where it is. Another bathroom hack is to use a magnetic strip — the kind you’d use for kitchen knives — to hold your tweezers, nail file, and bobby pins.

organizing-your-bathroom

Photo: Houzz

A few more tips on how to organize your bathroom: Keep your everyday makeup or toiletries in one place, and tuck special occasion supplies out of sight in a separate bag. Roll up towels so they’re easier to grab and prettier to look at. Things like cotton swabs and Q-tips are more attractive and handy in small containers, like a mercury glass candle holder:

organize-bathroom-mercury-glass

Photo: World Market

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but use your vertical space! Add a shelf above the bathroom door or several above the toilet. Add pull-out racks under your sink, or try a lazy susan there, like we did in the kitchen.

how-to-organize-bathroom-storage

Photo: Houzz

There’s your basic primer on how to organize your home room by room. If you’re the checklist type, House Mix Blog has a great room-by-room guide you can print or download here. Maybe in the future I’ll do a follow-up post with tips on how to organize your laundry room, garage, and office — what do you think?

For more home design tips, check out my posts on what’s in for 2015, how to make your kitchen feel bigger, how to clean fast, and how to pick interior paint colors.

 

Company’s Coming! How to Clean House Fast

how to clean house fast woman messy room

Did your in-laws text and say they’re only 15 minutes away? Are your relatives paying you a surprise visit? Breathe. You can do this.

The kitchen table may be covered in wrapping paper, and cat fur might blanket the stairs, but all is not lost. These people won’t be doing a white-glove inspection. You just need a few pointers on how to clean house fast. These 8 tips will help you get the house into shape in record time.

 

1. Determine Your Priorities

Close the doors to bedrooms, closets, laundry room, and anywhere else you can (that’s where you’ll stash stuff until everyone has left). What’s left is probably the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and maybe guest rooms. Maybe a hallway or entryway too. What do visitors see first? Start there.

When focusing on how to clean house fast, remember to only clean what people will see and use. This means floors and tables in the living room, and the sink and toilet in the bathroom. Skip the shower unless people will be staying overnight.

 

2. Make It Smell Fresh

I know it’s freezing out, but crack open a few windows to get rid of any musty smells, and turn on the bathroom fan. Light candles in various rooms to make the place start smelling nice while you clean. To banish kitchen odors, run warm water and half a cup of baking soda down the disposal. If you have time, throw a pot of water on the stove with a few drops of an essential oil, like lemon or lavender. If you don’t have essential oils, throw a sliced-up lemon and some cloves and cinnamon sticks in the water. The fresh aroma will fool guests into thinking it’s always clean at your house.

candles living room cleaning

Source: Adrienne DeRosa

 

3. Hunt and Gather

Armed with a trash bag or empty laundry basket, speed through the high-priority areas and collect clutter. Tidy books and magazines into stacks, or better yet, toss remote controls and similar items into a classy wicker basket. Things like shoes, kids’ toys, and other clutter goes into the basket to be tucked out of sight. And obviously part of how to clean house fast is throwing trash away as you go.

cleaning house fast baskets

Source: Enviable Designs

 

4. Clean Top to Bottom

Professional maids clean top to bottom, left to right. So before you vacuum, give the coffee table and couches a quick sweep to get all the crumbs onto the floor. And if you have time to dust, sweep any cobwebs in the corners first. Going top to bottom will prevent you from getting mad at yourself when dirty toilet water splashes onto the clean bathroom floor.

 

5. Speed-Clean the Bathroom

Squirt some toilet cleaner in the bowl and let it sit while you give the sink a quick scrub. (How to clean house fast: multitask.) Good Housekeeping advises quickly running a paper towel with rubbing alcohol on it over your mirror, sink, and faucets. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, a half-water, half-vinegar solution works well too. (Glass cleaner will also make your faucets gleam.) Grab a different paper towel with rubbing alcohol and swab down the toilet seat and rim. Swap in a clean hand towel, and voila!

clean bathroom zen bathtub

Source: Laidlaw Schultz Architects

 

6. Tackle the Kitchen

Give the kitchen counters a quick swipe with a sponge and some baking soda. Hide counter clutter in the cabinets or drawers. (This is how to clean house fast, not do a deep clean.) If you have a bunch of dirty dishes, stack them in the sink, or put them all in the dishwasher if possible. Toss out anything spoiled or smelly in the fridge, and finish with a quick sweep of the kitchen floor. You probably don’t have time to mop, but use a wet paper towel to clean up any spills. If you have big oven spills that will create smoke while you cook, use this guide to quickly clean your oven without doing the multi-hour self-clean cycle.

clean white kitchen mod design

Source: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

 

7. Tidy the Guest Room

Clean sheets and a made bed go a long way. After that, make sure side tables are clean. Open the blinds to let light in and make it look inviting. Put out a clean set of towels. Finish with the vacuum. Flowers, a fun magazine, or a nice candle make a sweet accent on the bedside table if you have them on hand. Take heart: You’re almost done!

 

 

8. Collect Yourself

Your guests are coming to see you, after all, not inspect the tops of your picture frames. Give yourself a quick spritz of your favorite perfume, apply some fresh deodorant, or dust on some loose powder to freshen up after your cleaning frenzy. Pat yourself on the back for figuring out how to clean house fast. Now take a deep breath and smile. Is that the doorbell?

What are your secrets for tidying up in a hurry?