Thursday, 19 October 2017

Cozy Guest Bedroom Design Ideas

Cozy Guest Bedroom Design Ideas

Having company over can make anyone feel overwhelmed, but with our easy and approachable guest bedroom ideas, we’ll take the hassle and worry out of prepping, planning and preparing for their arrival.

Set up a guest bedroom that is suited for royalty

Give your guests the treatment they would expect from a 5-star hotel. Just don’t blame us if they never want to leave.

Choose the right size bed

Start with the basics, those must-haves in guest bedroom decor. First you’ll need a comfortable bed – and depending on your space and your budget, it’s an easy fix. If space is not an issue, go ahead and use a queen bed with a memory foam topper to create an ultra-plush sleep experience. If you want something more versatile on a smaller scale, then a futon, daybed with trundle or sofa bed might fit the bill. And if size isn’t an issue for you, go all out with our affordable king beds. Try an upholstered version which is right on trend and sure to please any guest. Regardless of the scale of your guest room, it’s all about the experience you create for your guests. Play with dark curtains, throw pillows, bedding and more to make them feel like they are at a top resort.

light gray blue sofa sleeper opened up with plaid comforter on top.

Top it off with stylish bedding & throws

Once the bed’s in place, be sure to dress up your guest bedroom furniture with luxury linens and thick, fluffy throw pillows. This is no place to skimp on quality. When it comes to bedding, whatever you choose, make sure it feels right to you before putting it on your bed. If possible, before you purchase, take it out of the packaging and run your hands over it to ensure you're purchasing bedding that reflects your taste and style. Your guests will appreciate it and you’ll be filled with the satisfaction of having given them the best.

Neutral bedding in a room full of natural light

Provide your guests with proper storage

Next, provide a place for your guests to unpack and settle in. Be it a closet with shelving, a chest of drawers, bedroom bench or even a luggage rack (if space is really an issue), give them somewhere to organize their belongings—no one wants to bend over to dig items out of their suitcase. Be creative, hooks on the wall are a charming and useful addition to the setting, and can be made from almost anything: vintage glass door knobs, cabinet door pulls, even antique faucet handles. Think outside the box and you’ll find inspiration all around you.

Create a cozy seating area

Once the essentials are handled, you’ll want to create that comfortable seating area for your guests to use as a reading nook, a resting pad or just a place to sit and put on their shoes. The addition of a comfy chair with a small table and a floor lamp can make all the difference to your guest room. Getting the seating just right is a matter of determining your available space and choosing accordingly.  If a deeply tufted chaise lounge or settee just isn’t an option, then dress up a small upholstered chair with a fluffy throw pillow and blanket to set the stage. A bedroom bench or small sofa at the foot of the bed can invite a restful moment or an intimate conversation without taking up too much space. Include a wonderful book or magazine and voila, your reading nook is complete!

Complete the room with warm & inviting home decor

The finer details are so important when it comes to guest bedroom decor. Candles and fresh flowers in a vase are small, yet appreciated luxuries everyone will love. The little finishing touches are usually what your guests remember and what will make them feel like you took the time to really make them welcome.

gray jug vases and metal sculptures on brown TV stand

GUEST BEDROOM ESSENTIALS CHECKLIST

Here are a few resort touches that you can incorporate into your guest room to delight even the most finicky lodger:

~Equip the guest bath with a basket of travel sized toiletries

~Leave a small dish of individually wrapped chocolates on the bedside table

~Include a small stash of their favorite snacks and drinks

~Have a spa robe and slippers in the closet (no one ever travels with these)

~Keep extra blankets in the closet

~Bring in a chilled bottled water before they retire

~Put an alarm clock/digital charger next to their bed

~Add an easily accessible power strip or docking station

~Keep a table lamp on the bedside table for reading

~Use dark curtains so your guests can sleep in

GUEST BEDROOM IDEAS & INSPIRATION

We’ve included a few of our guest bedroom decorating ideas below. Remember, it’s all about working with what you have and improving on your space where you can. We’re here with simple tricks and tips to do just that:

Color your world

With bedding from bold and bright, to light and calm.

Play with Patterns

Mix & match your bed with prints

Glow for it

Put a spotlight on your unique style.

Natural rope inspired pendant lights resembling a beachy and bohemian style.

Go wall out

Show off your artsy side.

gold and black finished metal wall sculpture

See and be seen

No room (or outfit) is complete without a great mirror.

Black Finished Metal Framed Accent Mirror with Leather Strap. Metal Post for Hanging.

Roll out the red carpet

Provide your guests a soft place to land their feet.

striped gray and white shag rug

Theme the room

From the farm to the beach, the guest room is where you can really have fun.

Shop by style

Glam, modern, rustic… the options are endless.

Small space? No problem

Mini rooms can still have some major personality.

Sleep a crowd

Who says bunk beds are just for kids?

Twin and full contemporary bunk beds for boys bedroom

There you have it, our very best ideas to create the perfect getaway retreat for your out-of-town guests. And where it all came from will be our little secret – shhhh…

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Canal Loft House

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How to Throw a Fall Garden Party

Take advantage of cool fall weather by bringing the party outdoors. Even though this season isn’t known for blooming blossoms or lush fields, you can still gather your friends and family outdoors for a charming garden tea party. With just a few preparations, you’ll throw a party that your friends will be talking about for weeks. Here’s how:

Arrange a seasonal floral centerpiece

When it comes to arranging a centerpiece, think warm colors. Yellows, reds and oranges simply scream “autumn.”

a tea pot and ashley vase with fall flowers inside them.

Placing flowers in a kettle pot is a shabby-chic spin. We chose a copper kettle, but a distressed container that’s more “shabby” than “chic” would look just as fabulous.

Try taking some inspiration from your surroundings.  Leaves, twigs and pine cones can make a stunning floral arrangement.

Bake yummy pastries

Fall calls for something spicy and not overly sweet. If you dread the idea of “slaving over an oven”, you’ll be happy to discover our 3 favorite quick bread recipes. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to make impressive goodies.

A loaf of banana bread sliced on a plate with decorative pumpkins along side the loaf.

This one-pan pumpkin bread is simply scrumptious and takes just under an hour to make, with only 10 minutes of prep time.

This decadent Orange-Zesty Cranberry Bread only takes 20 minutes of prep time. How can you say no to orange glaze?

Cranberry bread sliced with decorative cranberries next to it.

Make whimsical tea cup place cards

Why settle for ordinary? By making these simple tea cup planters, you’ve completed table place cards and party favors all at once.

All you need are:

  • Cups and saucers
  • Succulent plants
  • Fresh moss
  • Soil
  • Name tags

Simply fill any cup of your choice halfway with soil, place the succulent in the cup and put moss around the edges of the plant. Placing them on top of a saucer with a name tag is an extra special touch that’s sure to be loved by all your guests.

Set a comfy, cozy scene

Laying out picnic blankets is charming, but not everyone is comfortable sitting on the ground. Go ahead and lay out the blankets, but add some outdoor furniture into the mix for guests who prefer a solid seat.

If you prefer casual gatherings with large groups, you might enjoy sectional seating. Adding an outdoor rug livens up concrete flooring. The only disappointing news about this sectional is that it doesn’t come with the labradoodle.

If you prefer personal seating, cozy patio chairs with outdoor accent pillows may be a better option. Adding potted or hanging plants can create the allure of a secret, enchanted garden. Given the season, a pumpkin or two would be a perfect choice to set the mood.

Light it up in style

Cast a delicate, sophisticated glow outdoors with scattered candles. The Kamari candle holder set has a unique twig-style base. It’s the perfect representation on how beautiful bare fall landscapes can look. And the Christelle candle holder set radiates the coziest of glows with its rustic, distressed finish.

3 bamboo inspired candle holders with candles on top.

Two earthy candle holders with mesh brown and yellows with candles lit inside them.

If the weather is fast becoming chilly, then it’s all the more reason to get an outdoor fire pit. It will definitely add an inviting layer to all of your outdoor parties and celebrations. The Hatchlands fire pit table pulls double-duty with a cover that provides surface space when flames aren’t ablaze.

an outdoor sectional with a fire pit in the center.

We know what’s next on our to-do list now. Is it on yours? We’d love to hear!

 

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Friday, 13 October 2017

The Best Ways to Light Your Living Room

It’s amazing what lighting can do. It can transform a space. Bring good cheer. Create high drama. Even put you in the mood for romance. Of course, there are different types of lighting and they all have their place. When “layered” properly, lighting can elevate the look and feel of a living room from livable to luxurious.

Here are some living room lighting ideas to help you layer lighting like an interior design pro.

Types of Lighting

Interior design takes into account three types of lighting:

1) ambient lighting
2) accent lighting
3) task lighting

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is your "general” lighting or your main source of light. During the day, natural lighting provides the ambience. When it’s dark outside, light fixtures take over as your ambient lighting source.

These include:

  • track lighting
  • recessed lighting
  • pendant lighting
  • chandelier lighting
  • flush/semi-flush mount ceiling lights
  • ceiling fans with lights

One common mistake people make when it comes to lighting is thinking “one and done.” For example, you might have found the perfect chandelier, but that type of lighting is only one part of the three-part harmony.

A well-lit room layers ambient lighting with accent lighting and task lighting. This layered lighting approach not only makes life more comfortable, but it also helps you avoid dark corners and that “shadow effect” you get when light is not uniformly distributed throughout a room.

You can too can layer lighting like a pro.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting—also known as directional lighting—is designed to illuminate objects and architectural elements worthy of special attention, including artwork, woodwork, pottery, sculptures, souvenirs and so on.

Picture lights, commonly used in museums and art galleries, are a great example of accent lights. What are some other types of accent lighting?

Under-cabinet lights show off countertops and backsplashes.

LED tape lights are on a roll these days as a cost-effective and flexible form of lighting that can be used in so many creative ways—everywhere from cubbies, shelves and cabinets to under kitchen islands to add a dazzling element.

Wall scones that bring a soft touch of light to overlooked covers and naturally “frame” certain elements of a room are another type of accent lighting.

Task Lighting

Yet another essential element for properly layered lighting, task lighting illuminates areas to help you get the job done, so to speak. Whether you’re reading, crafting, or working on your laptop, lighting should meet your specific lifestyle needs. Examples of task lighting include pendant lighting, floor lamps, and table lamps.

NOTE: Integrating candlelight infuses a fourth layer of lighting to the scene. Try staggered candle holders for that much more interest. And if candles make you nervous, flameless candles are a wonderful alternative.

Gold candle holders with candles inside lit to create ambiance.

Living Room Lighting Inspiration & Ideas

Looking for some bright lighting ideas? Here are the top suggestions from our interior design team when it comes to achieving the best lighting for your living room space.

Add a Modern Touch

Even if you don’t have ultra-contemporary taste, modern lights for your living room can still look right at home. They can bring a light and fresh sensibility that’s always welcome. What’s more, modern lighting commingled with more traditional furnishings can be so interesting and eclectic—really adding personality to a space.

For a modern look, you might opt for:

Square shades and bases. Whether on floor lamps, table lamps or pendant lighting, it’s very hip to be square. The linear look is crisp, clean, sculptural—and simply striking.

Modern table lamp with chevron pattern on the blocky wood base of this brown lamp

Modern BROWN WOOD AND SILVER FINISH POLY TABLE LAMP in front of a white wall with a canvas frame.

Clear glass. Be it in your ambient lighting, accent lighting or task lighting, transparent glass is proving that less can be so much more.

exposed copper fittings and clear glass pendants have an industrial touch

Shiny metal surfaces. Whether you love high-sheen chrome-tone metal or that “tarnished” look that’s so in vogue, the glam factor of metal can really help your style shine.

zimbroni brown three drawer night stand with aniela table lamp

Drum roll. Cylindrical drum shades on table lamps and floor lamps have always conveyed a clean, modern look. Pair with a round base…now you’re talking.

contemporary brass table lamp on a end table with a plant and books next to it.

Additional living room lighting ideas:

Ample ambient. If you can, it’s always best to have two types of ambient lighting. For example, pendant lighting or chandelier lighting—in combination with recessed lighting—can ensure ample/well-distributed ambient lighting throughout your living room.

Off center. If you plan to install pendant lighting or chandelier lighting in your living room, don’t feel the need to center the light fixture in the middle of the room. To achieve the best lighting for your living room, pendants and chandeliers should actually be centered over your seating area. The result is a much more cozy and intimate mood.

Urban styled room with high ceilings and a pendant light hanging down over the living room.

High/low. If you have a high/vaulted ceiling, you can create an intimate atmosphere by ensuring your pendant or chandelier lighting is low enough to feel “part” of the room. With that said, an extension rod might be in order, as would an adapter if you have a sloped ceiling.

Mix it up. Mixing different shapes and heights of task lighting (e.g., floor lamps and table lamps) can really enhance the layered lighting experience.

Dramatic Elegant Pillow Back Lemoore Couches with Pewter Tone Nailhead Trim

Arc de triumph. Be it your budget or the fact that you’re renting a space, you might not be able to install ambient lighting. The next best thing, arc floor lamps that spread light beyond traditional floor lamps.

Black Finished Metal and Black Marble Arc Lamp

Matte Black Finished Metal Arc Lamp

Create Visual Symmetry


The best lighting for your living room is a merger of form and function. And by form we mean the art of symmetry.

Symmetry can be as simple as flanking both sides of a sofa or loveseat with table lamps or a table lamp and floor lamp of like styles—or mounting a pair of wall sconces by a fireplace mantel. It’s a look that helps balance the room visually and evenly distribute light so that everyone in the room can enjoy just the right amount of light.

When it comes to bright lighting ideas, sometimes two is better than one.

Ultra Soft Textured Cream Sisal Sofa and Loveseat Set

The simple styling and plush comfort of the Bremond set make it perfect for a contemporary look and cozy feel

Take Advantage of Natural Light
Some of us are lucky enough to have homes with great natural light. For those who have to work harder to achieve the best lighting for the living room, here are a few suggestions:

Sheer simplicity. If you must have window treatments, make them as sheer as possible, and opt for curtain rods that allow you to push the curtains to the side of windows to allow as much light in as possible.

Mirror, mirror. Incorporate lots of mirrors, including mirrors across from windows to grab and reflect as much natural light as possible. A full-length mirror between two windows is another great trick, since it “fools” the eye into thinking there’s another window there.

shapely teardrop glass pendant

Full transparency. Opting for transparent types of lighting—whether ambient lighting, accent lighting or task lighting—helps lighten up a room in more ways than one, while letting a room’s natural light be the focus.

The post The Best Ways to Light Your Living Room appeared first on Ashley Furniture HomeStore Blog.

How to Plan a Kids’ Movie Night

Surprise the kids with a memorable movie night. Special planning is on tap, but it’ll be rewarding when you see them having fun with their friends.

The key to a successful movie night is great planning and good weather. Here’s helpful tips on how to get started with your outdoor movie night plans.

Weeks in advance…

Start your preparations and give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

Invite all their friends over.

Create and send out Evite invitations three weeks in advance. This gives guests plenty of time to reserve the evening.

Decide how and where you will set up the projector.

Whether it be setting up a big screen TV or using a projector and screen set up, it’s best to know how and where you will be showing the movie in case you need equipment. Consider renting an inflatable screen or projector screen to project the movie. Other options include projecting it on a white wall or white drop cloth.

Outdoor sectional set up for a kids movie night with pillows, drinks, blankets and popcorn.

Plan your outdoor theater.

Figure out how you will convert your patio or deck into a theater setting incorporating your patio furniture and additional seats.

Select a movie.

It can be tricky. Your best bet is to pick a classic movie, something not so violent. Be sure to take the kids’ ages into consideration and make it a fun one!

Kids’ Favorite Movies:

Graphic showing a variety of kids movies.

Decide if you will have an Intermission.

Encourage the kids to create a skit of their own or have some funny jokes ready for them to share. Give the kids a chance to get up and stretch. Play a song and let them dance to it.

Make decorations.

A Movie Night poster that can be hung prominently could be a creative project for you and the kids.

Shop for snacks, dining essentials and party favors.

Stick to the basics. Popcorn, trail mix and a big bowl of candy are kids’ favorites. Remember to take food allergies into consideration. Avoid peanuts.

Get paper plates, napkins and cups for an easy cleanup.

Some glow sticks and necklaces would be a nice touch.

The day before:

Check the weather.

You may need to change the venue indoors. If it’s a go for outside, spray the area for bugs, checking for ants or any other critters that may steal the show. Plug in a bug zapper.

The day of…

Set the Scene.

Start with plenty of seating. Position outdoor furniture, like chaises, sofas, sectionals and coffee tables. Cozy them up with pillows and blankets. Keep bug repellant on hand.

Outdoor sectional being prepared for a kids movie night with pillows and blankets.

Projector Test Run

Do a test run to make sure the projector is set up correctly and operating smooth.

Prepare snacks.

Pop fresh popcorn. Fill bowls with snacks. Ice down drinks in a cooler. Order pizzas. You can make a pitcher of lemonade too. Set up a spot to keep the snacks and make it easy for food to be passed around during the movie.

Outdoor sectional with a tray of popcorn and drinks on an ottoman.

Start the party 30 minutes before it gets dark.

Once guests arrive, have the kids show them to their seats and let them get comfy. When it gets dark, let the show begin. Relax and enjoy the movie!

Young boy relaxing on an outdoor sectional before the outdoor movie night begins.

We’d love to hear how you’ve prepared for movie nights. Share your experience below.

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