Wednesday, August 30, 2017

6 Things You Can Do with Your "Empty Nest" Room

Maybe you hesitated when your kids were in college because they would come home from time to time and needed a place to stay. We know it’s a tender time when your children are ready to leave the nest, but now that they are grown and flown, it’s time to reclaim some square footage for yourself. Whether you choose indulgent, useful, or practical, here’re a few ideas on how to transform those empty bedrooms your children have left behind.

empty nest guest room makeover

1. Guest Room

The first, and most obvious, choice for an empty bedroom is making it into a guest room. This serves several purposes. It gives your kids a place to stay, if they come to visit, where they’ll always feel welcome. However, you can transform it from your child’s personal space into a calming, welcoming room where your guests will feel at home. Remove old posters, photos, trophies, and other awards, and put them in storage. Give the room a fresh coat of paint, upgrade the bed to at least a double if it is smaller, with plenty of pillows, and a bedside table. If you have the space, a chair or end-of-the-bed bench is a nice touch.

2. Home Office

A home office is no longer a luxury, as more people telecommute or work as independent contractors, it has become a necessity. It’s easier to be motivated and productive when you have a space where you can shut the door and focus. You’ll need a desk and a comfortable chair, of course, and a place to store supplies and papers.

3. Walk-In Closet/Dressing Room

Why not create the closet of your dreams? If you’ve put up with a tiny closet for far too long, a spare bedroom makes a perfect walk-in closet. The luxury of spreading out as you get dressed and having a small sanctuary you can retreat to is a great way to use an empty room in your home. Add shelves, plenty of good lighting, a full-length mirror, and a dressing table with a chair.

4. Library

If you are a book lover, a home library will give you all the space you need to collect, display, and read. If you don’t want to dedicate a whole room to your reading habit, you can commandeer a corner in your new guest room. Adding shelves to a wall or two and stocking them with books is a good way to store your favorites and give your guests plenty of reading material. You can add some personal items such as vacation mementos, family photos, and other keepsakes to create a warm, welcoming vibe for your guests.

5. Man Cave

A man cave doesn’t have to be in the garage, it can just as easily be in a spare bedroom. Whether listening to loud music or watching sporting events, having a place to call his own is a good thing for him – and his significant other. When the nest is empty, there are plenty of opportunities to spend time together, so space for a little time apart can’t be bad. A man cave can also double as a dressing room for him, with closets, shelves, and storage.

6. Lady Lair

Create a meditation, exercise, or craft room where you can indulge in what you love best. If you have a bathroom adjacent to your extra room, you can turn it into the ultimate spa experience, complete with a steam shower, Jacuzzi bathtub, vanity, a TV, and whatever else you need for complete relaxation. Add a treadmill or stationary bike in one corner, along with an exercise ball and a yoga mat for stretching. Paint the walls a soothing neutral, add a plush area rug, and a comfy chair for meditating, reading, or napping. Or, if you prefer, choose a daybed or some big, comfy pillows for the floor. Put the lights on a dimmer so you can control the amount of ambient light in the room.

Whatever you decide, whether it be guest quarters, a yoga studio, or a personal retreat, an empty nest gives you the opportunity to create the home of your dreams, one empty room at a time.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Best Throw Pillows for a Leather Couch

When choosing pillows for a leather couch, color, size, shape, and patterns are all a part of the equation. You should also take into consideration the style of your couch and your overall design before you go on the hunt.

Tips for Shopping for Pillows

Take a picture of your room so you have a reference for the colors in your room and what will go with your current décor. This is also helpful if you shop at a store that provides a complimentary design service to assist customers.

bears furniture lexington leather couch

What Size Throw Pillows Do You Need?

The size of your throw pillows is determined mainly by the size of your couch. The average throw pillow is 16-18”x16-18” and this generally works well for larger leather couches. Small pillows will be overwhelmed and seem out of place on a large couch. Bigger pillows, about 24”, create a comfortable, lounge-like feel, but should be used only on oversized furniture. If your leather sofa is a minimalist, modern style, choose smaller pillows so that the clean lines of your sofa shine through.

How To Make Your Throw Pillows Stay Put

Since leather is smooth, throw pillows tend to slide right off. They look messy and it is difficult to use your throw pillows to bring color and texture into the space. Try down/feather pillows that tend to be heavier and conform to the shape of the couch so that they stay put. In addition, stay away from slick fabrics, because they are more likely to end up on the floor. Another option is adding a complementing throw folded across the seat and back that can help anchor the pillows.


Shapes, Patterns, and Colors

Throw pillows come in four basic shapes: bolsters, rectangles, squares, and rounds. Squares are the most versatile and provide full-back comfort. Rectangles support the neck or lower back, so consider how you will use the pillows on your couch. Bolsters are especially nice for back support on a leather couch, since they slip less. You can also mix your shapes and sizes to add texture.

If your leather sofa is dark, consider light neutral colors as a contrast to the dark leather. Another option is bright, bold color to highlight the leather. A black leather sofa with red and gray pillows makes a stunning statement. A white couch is a perfect backdrop for bright colors such as orange, teal, or green.

Use pillows with interesting, textured fabric. You can mix and match textures, colors, and patterns to create visual interest. At this point you may be worried about how to choose which patterns and colors go together. Choose prints that include neutral colors, which will make it easier to mix prints and solids.

Don’t be afraid to mix patterns. Just make sure that most of the pillows in the mix have at least one color in common.

Pay attention to the scale of the patterns, so that each can stand on its own. If one pillow has a large pattern, make sure the other has a smaller print. If you place two pillows next to each other, make them different, one a pattern and one a solid.

Once you get going, it’ll probably be hard to stop, but you don’t really have to. Changing out your pillows is a fast and easy way to freshen up your room’s décor.

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