Sagging, Scratching and Tearing — Oh My! Don’t Let These Common Problems Ruin Your Furniture

Whether you recently invested in a brand-new sofa or you've had your furniture for years, everyone wants to keep their furniture in top condition. Here are some smart tips that will prevent sags, tears, and other common furniture issues in your home.

  • Flip your cushions frequently. To keep your cushions from getting too flat, make sure that you flip them frequently. You can use this trick on chairs, sofas, and anything else with a removable cushion.
  • Turn your mattress. Prolong the lifespan of your mattress by flipping it every six months or so. This will help to keep the springs in place and avoid placing weight on the same spot every night.
  • Keep wood furniture away from heat and sunlight. Wood is very durable, but when it comes to sunlight, things can start fading fast. Try to arrange your hardwood furniture so that it's not in the path of direct sunlight, and avoid placing wooden pieces near a heater to prevent warping.
  • Take coasters seriously. You may think of coasters as a bit of an annoyance, but when it comes to preserving the life of your wooden tables, they're actually very important. Keep a few coasters on hand so that your cold beverages don't make rings on wood surfaces.
  • Only use oil soap for wooden furniture. Cleaning your wooden tables and chairs with any old cleaner may damage their surfaces. Instead, always clean these pieces with oil soap diluted with equal parts water.
  • Dust frequently. It may look harmless, but dust can damage the inside of your rugs, sofa cushions, and on top of wooden shelves and tables. Make sure to take cushions outside and give them a good beating to shake out the dust, and frequently dust wooden pieces using a gentle feather duster or an old rag.

Caring for Furniture [HGTV]

Everything Green is New Again With These Cool Ways to Display Houseplants

Instead of the usual terra cotta pots and windowsill planters, why not try displaying your houseplants in a new and innovative way? If you're feeling a bit blue about the current state of your in-home greenery, try out one of these fun and stylish ways to show off your plants.

  • A hanging air plant. Air plants are truly unique, as these spider-like greens require absolutely no soil to grow. Because of this, it's easy to display them just about anywhere you like! Search the web for hanging ceramic planters that dangle from the ceiling to display your air plants.
  • A framed wall hanging. Love succulents? Rather than displaying them in the usual pots, line a picture frame with chicken wire and moss and grow a succulent garden right on your wall.
  • A zoo of planters. If you're a fan of all things fun and whimsical, create your very own "zoo" of clay plant pots. Browse stores or websites for planters in the shape of animals (you might be surprised just how many you find!) Fill them with succulents, cacti, or small plants and arrange the whole gang on a tabletop or sunny shelf.

Planters [Etsy]
20 Unforgettable Indoor Plant Displays [Decoist]

5 Ways to Dress Up Your Apartment Using Cool, Colorful Wallpaper Swatches

While you may not be able to wallpaper your entire wall in a rental apartment, there are still a number of ways to use wallpaper to add some color to your space. Check out these creative tips for using wallpaper swatches all over your home at Enclave at Hometown.

  1. Line your bookshelves. Give your bookshelves a colorful makeover by adding colorful, patterned wallpaper to the backs of the shelves.
  2. Create framed art. Fill some small frames with mix-and-match wallpaper scraps to create an eclectic (and budget-friendly) gallery wall.
  3. Line your drawers. Keep drawers clean while also making them more festive by lining them with wallpaper (just make sure that you can remove it once you move out).
  4. Revamp an old lampshade. Cover an old lampshade with a larger piece of decorative wallpaper. Simply cut it to size and attach it using tape or hot glue.
  5. Top a table. If you find a sturdy but scratched table at your local thrift store, give it an easy makeover by placing a piece of wallpaper on its top. Simply cover it with a piece of cut glass to keep the corners from peeling.

Creative Uses of Wallpaper in Any Room [Better Homes and Gardens]
10 Uses for Wallpaper Scraps [This Old House]
Unexpected Uses for Leftover Wallpaper [Real Simple]

Update Basic Magnets and Pushpins WIth These Fun Tutorials

Who says office supplies have to be boring? Here are a few crafty ways to transform your basic pushpins and magnets into something eye-catching, playful, and perhaps a bit chic.

Bottle Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks [marthastewart.com]
Start saving up those used bottle caps, because you’re certainly going to want to try this adorable DIY project from Martha Stewart. Simply glue a small photo inside of each bottlecap, then use contact cement to attach them to the magnets and pushpins and create a tiny photo gallery.

DIY Gold Magnetic Letters [inspiredbycharm.com]
If you loved making silly words and phrases from those colorful magnetic letters as a kid, you’ll enjoy this chic, updated version just as much. Just cover those childish magnets with luxe gold spray paint for a modern, updated look.

Washi Tape Clothespins [designertrapped.com]
By covering affordable wooden clothespins with different types of colorful washi tape, you can create this fun project in less than an hour. Add adhesive magnets to the backs of each clothespin to use them on the refrigerator, or line them up on a wire to hang photos from a wall.

How to Create an Eye-Catching Vignette

While design magazines and blogs make it seem effortless to throw a few things together on a shelf and make it look stylish, in real life, it’s not quite as easy. If you want to learn how to create a magazine-worthy vignette, these simple tips will show you the way.

  1. Start with a blank slate. No matter what type of finished product you have in mind, it’s always best to start with a blank surface so that you can really visualize where things will go.
  2. Gather complementary colors. Before placing the items in your vignette, make sure that they all look good together. They don’t have to match exactly, but they should look purposeful together.
  3. Start with the largest item. Place your largest item first, whether it’s a lamp or a vase of flowers.
  4. Think of layers. Place items at varying heights and depths, such as a couple of large frames against the wall and smaller candles at the front. You can also stack books horizontally to offset the vertical items.
  5. Play with spacing. Move objects a few times, then step back and admire your work to find the right spacing.
  6. Consider texture. Finally, create texture in your vignette. Incorporate lush plants, flowers, feathers or even a woven basket as a finishing touch.

Creating a Well-Styled Vignette Table [Jenna Burger]
8 Tips for Making Beautiful Vignettes [HGTV]
Rule of Three and Odd Numbers [Cecilia Walker Design]

Keep or Toss? Decluttering Rules to Live By

You’re not exactly a pack rat, but you definitely have more than a few items in the back of your closet that you haven’t looked at in a few years. Most people would say that their homes could benefit from a bit of de-cluttering, and these helpful tips will show you just how to do it.

  • Keep papers within reach. By keeping papers within eyesight, you’ll be more likely to deal with your paper mess before it accumulates into something much more difficult to manage.
  • Ask a few questions. When you’re going through the items in your home, ask yourself questions like: Have I used this in the past year? Does this benefit my life? Is it broken? If, so can I fix it? If you say no to most of these questions, put it in the donation pile.
  • Create a donation pile. Speaking of that donation pile, start one! You’ll feel a lot less guilty about getting rid of your unused items if you know they’re going to someone who will really appreciate them.
  • Clear off surfaces. After you clean out hidden spaces like closets and under the bed, make a rule that you’ll always keep surfaces like counters and desks free of clutter. Not only will your home feel more organized, this will ensure that it looks more organized, as well.

18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess [Zen Habits]
25 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter [Good Housekeeping]
Keep or Toss: Questions & Tips to Help You Declutter [Apartment Therapy]

How to Decorate With Serving Trays Around the Home

You likely make use of serving trays when you entertain, but have you ever considered a tray's use outside the kitchen? There are a number of creative, modern ways to use serving trays around the home, and these simple tutorials will show you how.

  1. In the bathroom. Corral your everyday beauty essentials instead of letting them take over the bathroom sink by using an attractive tray. Choose one with taller edges so that small bottles don’t slide off of the sides, and be sure to display your prettiest products inside.
  2. In the office. Add a serving tray to your desk to keep office supplies, pen holders, paperwork, and business cards from cluttering up your desk.
  3. On the coffee table. Make your coffee table vignette look even more catalog-worthy by adding a large, attractive serving tray to your design scheme. Fill it with coasters, candles, and a large flower vase.
  4. Make your own. If you can’t find a serving tray that you like (or that fits your budget), make your own using a plain white tray and scrapbook-style paper. Cut the paper to fit the inside of the tray and secure it using double-sided tape.

Styling Trays for Every Room In Your Home [The Art of Living Well]
Paper-Lined Desk Tray [Lulu The Baker]
De-Cluttering The Dresser With a Cake Stand! [Ruffles & Truffles]

Interior Design 101: Decorating Tips for Beginners

So you didn’t go to school for interior design? No big deal; you can still transform your home into a designer-worthy space using just a few simple tips. These handy tricks will show you how to inject a stylish, inspiring look into any room in your home.

  1. Use symmetry. If you’re unsure of how to arrange the furniture in a room or hang frames on a wall, simply keep the idea of symmetry in mind. Symmetrical rooms are more pleasing to the eye, so try adding two sofas facing one another to help balance your living room.
  2. Consider the scale. Be sure to choose furniture in a size that fits your specific room. Choose large, overstuffed items for more open rooms and compact, apartment-sized furniture in smaller spaces.
  3. Choose a focal point. If the majority of your furniture is fairly plain, invest in one statement piece as an accent. Try a colorful chair, a large, framed painting, or an ornate rug.
  4. Use color to your advantage. Choose the color scheme of a room based on what type of emotion you want the room to convey. For example, use soft, soothing tones to encourage relaxation in a bedroom.
  5. Mix new and vintage pieces. While a room full of thrift store furnishings may look mismatched, using all brand new furniture looks impersonal. Combine the two styles for a designer look.

Top Interior Design Tips for Beginners [Bliss at Home]
Interior Design 101 [Visual.ly]
What are Some Interior Design Tips for Beginners? [Wise Geek]

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