Category Archives: How-To

Choosing the Best Wax, Polish & Oil for Oak Furniture

We all want to extend the life of our furniture, right?

Fortunately, quality oak furniture is an investment that can easily last a lifetime when you treat it right.

Even better, solid oak is easy to look after…just a little TLC ensures your furniture looks good as new for many years to come.

Oak furniture responds well to wax, polish, and oil. But how exactly do you pick the best waxing, polishing and oiling products for your prized pieces?

Read on to learn the tricks to keeping your oak looking its best.

All About Protecting Your Oak Furniture

Oak is one of the most attractive, durable and elegant woods you can find for furniture. As a hardwood tree, it’s strong, yet easy to work with. This is what makes it a highly popular choice for dining tables, cabinets, beds, wardrobes and more.

Protecting wood furniture typically refers to maintaining its finish. Oak furniture pieces are typically oiled, waxed or lacquered.

It’s important to find out how your furniture has been finished, so you can determine the best way to care for it.

But once you find out the finish, how do you know which product to use and when?

Wax for Solid Oak Furniture

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Waxing wood furniture takes a little elbow grease/ Image via The Family Handyman

Oak furniture that has been finished with oil or wax should be re-waxed every six months to a year, according to how much wear your furniture gets. Waxing oak wood helps to protect the grain and keep the wood from cracking.

But before you get busy with the beeswax…

Better Homes and Gardens cautions that learning how to properly wax a piece of oak furniture helps eliminate any streaks of product build-up that can result in a cloudy appearance.

To keep your oak wood looking shiny and fresh, apply wax in light layers, working with the grain and rubbing into the surface.

It’s not enough to make little movements; you need to put some effort into it, moving firmly with the grain. Leave the wax for five minutes and then wax it off again by buffing, again making firm movements with the grain of the wood.

Interiors site The Kitchn suggests you polish with a hard, carnauba wax to make it shine. Use “two of those soft, lint-free cloths: one to apply the wax and another to polish. It will take some real elbow grease, but thankfully this task only needs to be done about twice a year.”

In addition, you can use a finisher that adds an extra layer of beeswax and covers up any small scratches your furniture may have sustained.

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Buffing with wax for a lustrous finish/ Image via The Briwax Guy

Choosing Your Oak Wood Wax

Choose a hard wax product made with beeswax, carnauba wax, or a combination of the two. For example, Briwax is a multi-purpose furniture wax that is ideal for use on oak wood.

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Briwax, a popular Wood wax/ Image via Amazon

You need an oak wax that produces a lustrous finish, not simply a surface shine that dulls within a few hours, and Briwax fits the bill. You can use this and other good quality oak wax products on new oak furniture, or on old furniture you are reconditioning.

Polishing Your Oak Furniture

When your oak furniture has a glossy finish it is typically sealed with a lacquer that helps to protect the wood and maintain its shiny appeal. It is easy to care for with a little polish.

First, wiping down the surface with a damp cloth removes dirt and surface debris. You could simply stop at this point, as you will have removed the dirt that causes dullness and marks. But to really bring shine and life to your furniture, it helps to use a polish.

Choosing a Wood Polish

When choosing an oak wood polish, look for something without harsh chemicals and solvents that could damage the wood over time and affect people in the room who suffer from breathing difficulties. You should also look for a product that makes the wood smell attractive, and something that is easy to use whether you spray it or buff it on with a soft cloth.

Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner helps to preserve the finish of oak wood and contains natural oils to stop the wood from drying out.

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Polishing with an oil-based wood conditioner/ Image via ebay

Or you could go green, with a product that steers clear of toxins completely. Better Life Oak-y Dokey Wood Cleaner & Polish is naturally scented with cinnamon and lavender essential oils and is ideal for veneers, antique wood and regular oak wood furniture. The formula is hypoallergenic, making it great for allergy-sufferers, and it helps to remove dust, dirt and surface marks.

Oiling Natural Oak Furniture

Oak and wood furniture may be finished with oil, providing a glossy finish and a shiny tone. The finish of oiled oak wood lasts a long time but if the furniture begins to look a little dried-out, you should consider re-oiling it.

Re-oiling a piece of oak furniture involves taking away the existing wax layer, reapplying oil, and re-waxing the surface.

Yes, it’s time-consuming, but it really does prolong the life of the furniture and makes it gleam.

To re-oil furniture, remove the existing wax with turpentine or naphtha. Then use steel wool or sand paper to prepare the surface for the new coating of oil, working with light pressure and with the grain of the wood.

Wood Finishes Direct says that:

“If oak is being oiled it is a good idea to sand it with a sandpaper that is no finer than 150 grit. The reason for this is that the pores of the wood are more open thus allowing the oil to sink into the wood better. Better absorption equals greater protection.”

Next, apply the oil to your wood. Allow it to soak into the oak for around 15 minutes. Using a soft cotton cloth, wipe off any excess. Let the furniture set for around 24 hours and then apply wax to the surface, re-waxing as described above.

Choosing an Oil for Your Oak

The best oil for oak wood is a boiled linseed oil, a Tung oil, or a combination of both.

Boiled Linseed Oil by Furniture Clinic is one high quality product on the market, containing boiled linseed oil to form a tough and hard-wearing finish on the wood. The finish is glossy and durable, and it is safe to use on all types of oak wood apart from exterior items.

The Hope Company 100% Tung Oil is another good option. Tung oil is imported from South America and penetrates deep into the oak wood, curing the wood and providing a durable and slightly glossy finish.

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Oil your wood with a product like Tung Oil/ Image via Wal-Mart

A Word About Dusting

Once you have finished and protected your wood with oil, polish or wax, Better Homes and Gardens reminds you to not forget about dusting – “Frequent dusting removes airborne deposits that build up in a filmy layer and can scratch the surface.” Use clean, dry, soft cloths or a feather duster to remove dust but if you don’t want it to immediately resettle, slightly dampen the surface of the cloth.

Taking care of your oak furniture with a few simple steps like this ensures your beautiful tables, chairs, and cabinets give you joy for years to come.

Key Furniture Arrangement Dimensions [Infographic]

You know the feeling when you step into a room and everything just feels right?

Welcoming, cohesive, functional…

Everyone wants to create the perfect room arrangement. But not everyone wants to hire an interior decorator to do it.

So we’ve created an infographic with the tips and tricks you need to design a great room by yourself.

And if you know someone who could use this info, please share this with them (or if you have a blog of your own, grab the embed code below.)

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Download this infographic.

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28 Rules for Mixing and Matching Wood Furniture Finishes

Great news! Contrary to what you might think, the wood finishes in your home do not have to match.

Don’t worry if you have an eclectic mix of wood furniture. When done right, you can create a stunning room using a variety of wood tones, colours and styles in a way that would make an interior decorator proud.

Using a variation in patterns, textures and shades is not only an eye-catching way to decorate a living room, dining room or bedroom, it’s also a practical way to decorate.

Most people don’t buy all their furniture from one place or at one time. The unique finish is more interesting than the matchy-matchy look of the past.

Read on to learn how to properly mesh a mish-mash of wood furniture with these 28 design rules.

1. Watch for Warm or Cool

The tone of the wood furniture in your room doesn’t have to match exactly but you should look for complementary undertones.

First check if the woods are overall warm or cool in tone, and then look for a base undertone that carries throughout the different wood finishes in the room.

In this example all the woods are dark and warm in tone. They fit together despite being different. This is a good tactic to take if you are feeling unsure about mixing wood finishes. You can’t go wrong when you pick one wood tone to anchor the space.

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Warm, glowing wood finishes produce a cozy kitchen: Image via Remodelaholic

2. Stick to the Same Wood Family

Some woods are considered more formal than others. Classic oak, mahogany and cherry are formal, while pine, maple and bamboo are less formal. By sticking to the same family of woods you create cohesion – it’s an easy way to match a room.

3. Match the Grain in Rustic Woods

If you are creating a rustic-themed room and your different wood furniture pieces all have a prominent grain, keeping the grain pattern similar creates a cohesive look. An open-grained pattern is, on the whole, more casual than a fine grain.

4. Or Mix it up with Different Grains

Alternatively, you could use grain style and pattern as you would fabric pattern in a room – scatter a mixture of different grain patterns around the room to create an eclectic, eye-catching mix of colours and textures.

Just be sure to commit to one way or the other – don’t use one type of grain on nearly all pieces and have one different piece that sticks out like a sore thumb. Either go with all similar, or really mix it up thoroughly.

5. Pick a Stunning Accent Colour

Two entirely different pieces of wood furniture work effectively together when you use a brilliant shot of pink, purple, green or any other accent colour on both pieces.

This trick really helps to create a cohesive look to a dining room, or brings together two distinctive pieces for a brilliant bedroom to be proud of.

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Bold aquamarine brings together two different wood furniture pieces. Image via Minimalisti

6. Combine Styles with Confidence

When mixing and matching your décor, be aware that you can combine certain styles such as rustic distressed with the smooth, sleek lines of contemporary but that some styles don’t really mix – elaborate Victorian and casual beach house, for example.

To combine styles, check how each makes you feel and you’ll find out if they belong in the same room together.

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7. Use the Rug Well

One of the trickiest aspects of balancing a dining room with a wood floor and different pieces of wood furniture is what to do with the table.

A light wood table on top of a dark wood floor can look a little jarring. Similarly, if the wood floor has a high shine and the table does not, it can also look out of place.

Use a rug under the table as a link between the two wood finishes. The idea is that the rug matches both table and floor, yet the two elements are quite different from each other.

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A well-chosen rug links two dissimilar wood choices. Image via homeskywalker

8. Keep it Simple

If you have just a few different wood finishes in your room it is easier to fashion a balanced look.

You don’t have to go crazy.

If you have many different styles and finishes to your furniture, divide them between rooms so each room has a maximum of two or three finishes each. Your rooms seem less chaotic and more balanced.

9. Create a Focal Point

Choose one standout piece of furniture to be the star in the room. Use contrasting, yet more muted, wood tones and finishes around it. The focal point draws the eye and the rest of the wood pieces complement and back up the star of the show without overpowering the scene.

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A beautiful antique sideboard takes center stage. Image via how to decorate

10. White’s Alright

If your room is full of different wood finishes, white is the calming, magical influence that draws them all together and minimizes the busyness.

What is it?

White paint, white furnishings, or white cabinets to break up the room and create a calming flow, says Apartment Therapy.

11. Balancing Act

Ensure two sides of the room are balanced with wood furniture in similar tones so you create a harmonious scene.
Different wood tones can be placed in the center of the room to provide contrast and interest.

12. Embrace Eclectic Textures

Try out a modern and fresh design for the living room with high-shine floors and rustic, distressed-style furniture.
The contrast between these two distinctive textures adds interest and a touch of style to a room.

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Simple, sleek floors contrast with the rustic details on this distressed-wood living room set. Image via Oak Furniture Company

13. Create Flow Between Rooms

If your living room is decorated in a contemporary style using a smooth, shiny wood finish and your dining room is decked out in mahogany tones, blend the two rooms together by using accessories in one room that feature the wood tone in the other.

14. Repeat a Key Accent Shade

If you have a gorgeous shade of wood that you want to showcase, repeat the accent in at least two places in the room.

Table, chairs and picture frame in a deep, welcoming cherry wood work well with the fresh white painted furniture in this cozy dining room. You can even see it appearing on the ceiling detail. Create just the right balance – don’t overload your room with the same shade or you risk moving away from the mixed-up look into something more matchy.

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Perfectly balanced. Image via Better Homes and Gardens

15. Repeat Your Accent with Accessories

If you are concerned that your room looks a little mismatched, marry the different finishes together with accessories in a key accent shade. For example, throw pillows, lamps, stools in soft pink, or rugs, paintings and vases in shades of apple green.
The accent colour appearing on several different wood finishes automatically matches them together.

16. Balance a Mish-Mash of Woods with Neutral Colour

If your room is full of different wood finishes it is a good idea to stick to a neutral palette for the walls and floors, in a natural wood shade.

For a room with a limited difference in wood finishes you can be more free with the amount of colours and textures you use in your décor, otherwise the room looks overcrowded and too busy.

17. Use Different Finishes to Update Your Look

If you used to love industrial-style contemporary furniture but now you appreciate a more rustic look, you don’t have to throw out key pieces of furniture.

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A modern bedframe is paired with country-cottage bedsides and the look is tied together with rustic bed linen, textured pillows, and a fresh coat of light paint, demonstrates Shoshana Gosselin from Houzz.

18. Create Space and Light

Mixing warm woods and dark tones with light, white wood finishes to the walls and floor makes a room look like a coastal cottage – fresh, light and airy.

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Mixing wood finishes is perfect in a beach house. Image via remodelaholic

19. Use the Floor and Furniture for Contrast

Make a dramatic impact with a dark wooden floor and light wooden furniture, or vice versa.
You don’t have to have matching furniture but follow the same rule as above – pick complementary pieces that use the same shade, tone, or wood grain.

20. Play Up the Contrast

When all the other furniture is the same shade or tone, add one highly contrasting piece to bring dramatic impact to the design of the room.

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A high-shine dining table in white looks dramatic against the dark floor and dark-toned furniture. Image via quickhomeforsale

21. Accept that it’s not the Same

When you buy different pieces of furniture from different sources you are bound to get different finishes. But some people make the mistake of trying to make each piece the same.

That’s a no-no.

It is better to not match at all than to almost-match. You are never going to get different pieces to look like they came from the same manufacturer, unless they actually did.

Embrace the difference and go for pieces that are complementary and look like a deliberate design choice.

22. Less Lacquer, More Mixing

When you avoid using heavily lacquered or shiny woods you can mix and match more comfortably. You can layer wood finishes in a more organic way, without having to worry that one shade or finish exactly matches any of the others.

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Organic is perfect when mixing wood furniture. Image via Country Living

23. Choose a Common Shape

It doesn’t mean that all your wood furniture has to be the exact same shape, but you can unify a room by choosing different finishes with the same shape theme – curvy and intricate, for example, or clean-lined and smooth.

24. Mix Painted and Natural Finishes

Create interest and depth to a room by mixing furniture pieces with a natural and a painted finish – you can even match the same finishes in a single piece of furniture, as these tables with solid oak tops and painted pine bodies show.

Mixing painted pieces and solid wood furniture turns a room into a shabby-chic type of abode, or you can use the effect to create a French farmhouse-style feel. The painted woods do not have to be in the same colour. In fact, a mixture of different shades of paint really makes a room fun, lively and unique.

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Painted wood is ideal for mixing with other wood elements. Image via Oak Furniture Company

25. Use Other Elements

An all-wood room can be a little overwhelming so take a step back and add other hard surfaces to the mix to create contrast and a sense of peace.

Choose metal, glass, acrylic, or lacquered and painted wood, as described above – this doesn’t count as wood for these purposes because you can’t see the grain.

26. A Pale Floor Acts as a Neutral

Wooden floors look natural when they are in a light shade. So long as the tone is not too orange or red, the floor will mix naturally with other wood shades.

27. Pull a Room Together Through Theme

You may have a lot of different styles of furniture and different wood finishes but if your overall look is consistent, you can use them all.

Create a country-casual room by using natural fabrics, lots of plants and natural accessories, and plain coloured upholstery.

Or, let your inner shabby-chic out with a mixture of patterns, textures and colours in your fabrics, and an eclectic mix of original accessories.

You can also go for a more neutral and modern look by using only white as an accent colour or having everything expect the furniture the same shade of coffee or beige.

It doesn’t really matter what your furniture looks like individually; the overall look will tie it all together. Just make sure everything is high quality and well cared for.

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It doesn’t matter if all your furniture is different – take a look at this country-casual living room. Image via The Inspired Room

28. Let Your Personality Shine

When it comes to decorating, there are no hard and fast rules and that goes for mixing woods. Inject your own personality into the room using your own treasured possessions and sense of style and it will work out – if you love the look, don’t analyze it. If it works, it works!

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Image via West Elm

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10 Ways to Create the Most Romantic Bedroom

When you’re looking for a little romance, surely the best place to start is in the bedroom?

Your bedroom should be the most intimate room in the house.

If your bedroom is more messy than sexy, you need to make a few changes. Create a romantic hideaway this Valentine’s Day and for the rest of the year with these dreamy bedroom tips.

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Your bedroom doesn’t have to have this romantic view… but it helps/ Image via  Homemydesign.com

1. Warm Up Your Walls with the Right Color

When choosing a romantic paint color for the bedroom, think about the “temperature” of the shade as the color you choose really makes a difference to your mood.

Warm colors are more active and stimulating, while cool colors are calming and relaxing. It depends what romance means to you – designer Brian Patrick Flynn on MyDomaine says “for a sexy or romantic bedroom, I like to stick with dark colors like olive, deep violet, navy, or charcoal.”

For others, romance means girly pink and soft, inviting pastels. Red is traditionally the color of romance. But a red room can be overpowering. In fact, a study from hotel chain Travelodge in the UK found that couples sleeping in red rooms actually make love less often than those in elegant caramel-colored bedrooms.

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Create your romantic hideaway with caramel walls/ Image via Style Motivation

When decorating your room for romance the main thing to think about is whether you and your partner love the colors. Romantic colors mean different things to different people. Make sure you choose paint colors that make you feel special.

2. Cast a Romantic Glow

According to Oprah, the right lighting in a bedroom depends on creating a soft glow across the whole room rather than “relying on the standard overhead-light-and-bedside-lamps combo.”

Employ recessed lamps in the walls, choose smaller bedside lamps and an overhead with a dimmer switch so you never have to flood the room with too much light.  Painting the inside of lamp shades a soft pink casts a rosy glow over your skin, which is very flattering in the bedroom situation.

3. Choose Candlelight for Romance

While you’re thinking about romantic lighting, candles may seem like a cliché but there is nothing better for setting the mood.

Scented candles give out beautiful, calming light as well as perfuming the room for romance. Choose candles in colors and scents to match your décor and your mood, and light them often (not just on special occasions). Just don’t put them next to those luxurious drapes….

4. Banish Work from the Bedroom

Nothing kills the romantic mood more than a beeping cell phone or an overflowing work desk located in the corner of the bedroom.

If an item of furniture or technology can be found in the office, banish it from the bedroom (or at least hide it away when it comes to relaxing time in the evening.)

5. Clear the Clutter

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A romantic room is a tidy room/ Pacific Ash Bedroom Furniture

While you’re at it, clear away everything else that doesn’t set a romantic, calming mood in the bedroom.

Tidy away the piles of bills you’ve been meaning to file, the old tennis rackets, the kids’ shoes…. Your bedroom should be your space to relax and not many people can relax with a towering pile of laundry to remind them of all the household chores still to be done.

It may not be possible to get rid of everything – if so, choose storage boxes and chests so that clutter is kept out of sight. Update your wardrobe so that clothes are neatly contained and not spilling out over the floor. Give your bedroom the once-over in honor of Valentine’s Day and keep it clean all through the year to boost your feelings of warmth and affection in the bedroom.

6. Draw the Curtains

Curtains are an often overlooked aspect of the perfect romantic bedroom.

Opt for blackout drapes so you can stay in bed all day if you want to. Or choose flowing, floor-to-ceiling curtains that create a lush, luxurious look.

Think about creating a cozy nook where you escape from the outside world (plus, you don’t want anyone looking in).

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Image via homedit

If you want a traditionally opulent, romantic bedroom you can always opt for the full canopy bed. It’s not for everyone, but there’s no denying it makes a statement.

7. And Get the Pillows Right

You can go overboard with the throw pillows and create what looks like a home store rather than a relaxing space. Rebecca Cole at Elle Décor says that “For a two-person bed, you need at most two Euro-sham-size pillows (placed against the headboard), and four sleeping pillows.”

And while you’re at it, pay attention to the bedding – a luxurious, romantic bedroom is crying out for soft, sensuous bedding. Make an effort with the covers and pillowcases to transform a so-so space into something truly special.

8. Switch on the Music

Romantic music is highly personal. Create your own soundtrack for relaxing and unwinding, and play it softly so you get in the mood for love. If you don’t like the traditional love songs, don’t play them – your bedroom is your space, and if that means heavy metal for romance, so be it!

9. Add Personal Keepsakes

You don’t invite just anyone into your bedroom so here you can display personal, romantic things that remind you of your partner – items you may not want on full view for the entire world to see.

Photos of your wedding day or your first date, framed copies of your wedding vows, special keepsakes from your vacations or honeymoon…. Make the space your own with some carefully chosen accessories.

10. And Don’t Forget to Make Your Bed

One simple thing you can do to make your bedroom more romantic is to make your bed. Every day without fail. An unmade bed implies you don’t care about the space and is decidedly unromantic. It only takes a couple of minutes and it changes your mood just looking at it.

How to Make a Room Feel Cozy: Quick, Simple, Comfy Tips

The nights are drawing in and now is the perfect time to snuggle up at home with a cup of cocoa and a great book or movie. A cozy, comfortable home is perfect at any time of the year but in the winter it’s wonderful. Cottage or townhouse, mansion or apartment – every home can benefit from a few cozy touches. Add soft layers and warm colors, comfy furniture and snuggly soft furnishings. We’ve got the secrets you need to create a warm, welcoming room in no time at all.

Wrap Up Snug

When you want to create a comforting space to snuggle up, blankets, throws and quilts must be easy to access. Piles of blankets in the bedroom and the living room help you warm up in a matter of seconds. Display colorful blankets and throws in different textures to create visual variety. Blankets and throws are ideal when you want to add a splash of color or fashionable pattern but you don’t want to commit to wallpaper or a reupholstered sofa. You could even store your blankets on an antique ladder propped against the wall for an intriguing focal point.

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Image via Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Don’t Aim for Pristine

Would you ever describe a sleek, minimalist living room as cozy? Didn’t think so. The good news about cozy homes is you don’t have to go for the show home look. Cozy homes are full of eclectic detail and personal touches that make the space look inviting and lived in. Add reclaimed, junk shop items on the walls. Hang antique lamps with dulled shades, and mix in your treasured finds from around the world. Expose rustic beams for a traditional country cottage look to the kitchen or dining room.

Pile Up the Pillows

Any chair, sofa or even bench is instantly warmed by the addition of a layer of soft, squidgy cushions. Vary the colors and the size of cushions and pillows and don’t be afraid to pile them up to create an inviting lounging space. Cushions work well on leather sofas and chairs that would otherwise seem a little cold. Velveteen, cable knits and fake fur create warm and cozy texture in the bedroom, living room or family den.

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Image via Home Zada

Layer Your Rugs

Think you can only use one rug at a time? Think again. In the ultimate cozy room, rugs are layered on top of one another for luxury and the best feeling beneath your feet. Choose rugs with contrasting textures and colors so they don’t look like they’re in a carpet salesroom.

Fill With Good Reads

Invite guests to curl up with a good book by filling bookshelves with your favorites. Books in a room immediately warm the space, make it look more interesting and inviting, and give people the opportunity to relax and unwind. Add stunning phtoography tomes to the coffee table in the living room, put your favorite short stories or poems on the bedside table in the guest room, and add much-loved cookbooks to a shelf in the kitchen.

Fire it Up

What says “cozy” more than a roaring fire on a cold winter’s day? If you’re lucky enough to have an open fire, get it cleaned and working properly and light it up for the real-flame coziness factor of 10. If you don’t have a real fire there are a variety of fake flames and ways to get the open fire look without burning anything. And according to Sarah Yang at House Beautiful, a fire in the bedroom is the ultimate cozy indulgence.

Paint Bold Walls

There must be a reason why dark-colored walls make a room seem instantly warmer and cozier. Perhaps it’s a throwback to being in the womb? Whatever the reason, painting walls a deep, bold shade ups the coziness factor in any room; kitchen to dining room, bedroom to study. Choose any shade you like from chocolate brown to sage green. Add some light-colored furniture pieces and accessories to brighten the space and prevent it from appearing overbearing.

Or Go For Intricate Wallpaper

Another wall choice is to pair highly-patterned wallpaper (or paint a pattern on the wall) with plain, cool accessories in a neutral color. The juxtaposition of patterns and pure color creates a homely feel that still looks stylish.

Highlight Your Family Photos

While modern art is cool, nothing makes a room look more welcoming than a wall full of family portraits and pictures taken on your travels. To tie different images together with a cohesive look, reprint images in black and white or sepia. Or go for an eclectic display using portraits from all points in time, mounted in a mix of antique frames.

Hang Shimmery Lights

Fairy lights and string lights aren’t just for Christmas. Turn off the main light and create a magical cozy space by draping shimmery string lights over curtains or enmeshed in lace. Use additional lamps with soft shades and bulbs with warm tones for when you want to read or see what you’re eating.

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Image via Pinterest

Winterfy Your Bed

Maxwell Ryan at Apartment Therapy says the key to creating a cozy bedroom is to switch out your bedding in the cold season to create a luxurious look and a bed that begs to be snuggled up to. Swap crisp white sheets and covers for bedding in velveteen or linen, on old-fashioned and warm flannel sheets.

Add a Splash of Warm Color

When decorating everything from walls to bookshelves, choose warm colors in the range from red through russet, brown, tangerine and soft yellow. Red is a classic cozy shade – use bold cranberry tones on the walls and in soft furnishings, or a warming orangey-red on kitchen walls.

Mix Florals

Piling up cushions and coverlets in different floral patterns creates a chintzy, cozy, country-cottage look that is feminine and welcoming. You can get a great romantic feel from a room that uses bold and intricate florals in a mish-mash of objects and soft furnishings.

Build a Reading Nook

If you’ve got a large living room, turn one corner into a snug nook with an oversized, highly-cushioned armchair, a mini table and a pile of books. Or you could add a vintage lounge chair in the bedroom to provide space to relax during the day.

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Image via homedit

Create a Curtain Wall

To instantly bring warmth and charm to a room, hang curtains all the way along one wall. You can find cheap, beautiful fabrics at places like Ikea and hook them up on a rail at the base of the ceiling. The look is cozy and entrancing. You could also break up a large bedroom by hanging a curtain divide down the center of the room to make the sleeping space intimate and inviting.

When you’re creating a cozy room, go with your heart to guide you – simple, homely touches, tactile fabrics and warm colors make all the difference to a welcoming space this winter.

Is Your Mess Causing You Stress? 10 Reasons to Get Relief (Plus Solutions!)

Chaos, confusion, disorder: Does the very thought of clutter cause that awful anxious, overwhelmed feeling? You’re not alone.

Did you know clutter is a big cause of stress? Physical clutter is mentally draining and makes it difficult to live a fun, full life. Experts say if you want to create a welcoming, relaxing home, you first need to declutter and then organize your remaining things. Here’s why a good decluttering session will help improve your health, wealth, well-being, and happiness.

1) More time: The average person can spend hours a day looking for things they can’t find at home or in the office. Think about how many minutes a day you lose when you can’t find a pen that works to write your shopping list, or the bill you need under a huge pile of paper. All those minutes add up. Plus, decluttering means cutting down the amount of stuff you have to clean, organize and look after. Imagine what you could  do with those precious extra minutes!

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Declutter your desk to always find what you are looking for: Image via i heart organizing.

2) More money: Your clutter is someone else’s treasure. Items you don’t use that sit gathering dust in the home could be sold on eBay or a garage or car boot sale for cash. Someone else enjoys them, and you can spend the money on a night out, a weekend trip, or even some new furniture for your new minimalist home.

3) Better view: Who can honestly say they prefer looking at a pile of old magazines and a drawer overflowing with mismatched socks more than a streamlined, cosy room with a few cherished items on display? A decluttered home doesn’t mean a home devoid of objects or without  the personal touch. There are many ways to display cool books, treasured objects and essentials without creating clutter, like in the below image. Less clutter equals more open space to create a focal point with your treasured possessions.

4) Less stress: Clearing away unused and unwanted objects opens up your living space and allows you room to breathe, to relax, and to unwind without the visual distraction all around you. And, again, less stuff equals less cleaning. So unless you find cleaning therapeutic, that has to be a good thing.

5) More focus and energy: Decluttering is a first step towards living in the home that inspires you and creates energy rather than depresses you and holds you back. A streamlined, simplified home helps open your mind to possibility and new experiences. Excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. It is also easier to get things done when you know where everything is, and can focus on work and family rather than things.

6) More appreciation: When you can actually see your best possessions you value them more. Hiding your favourite vase behind a stack of newspapers means the vase is forgotten. Opening up the room without clutter gives pride of place to those treasured objects.

More space to let your possessions shine:Image via Unstuff: Declutter Your Life

7) Fresh start: There’s nothing like a neat, clean space with all your books and knick-knacks sorted in their bookcases, your clothes tidied away in their closets or wardrobes and plenty of space to move around, to inspire you to start a new creative project, read the book you’ve always wanted to read, or even start a new business venture. Clutter has a way of distracting you from ideas and goals.  Without clutter you have more mental space as well as physical space.

8) Better social life: Who wants to invite people back to a house that is decorated with dusty broken plates, old clothes, and unused toys? When you declutter you reveal that gorgeous living room furniture suite, that stunning painting, and that cosy rug. You have a space you are proud of so you invite people round instead of feeling guilty or embarrassed, and that leads to a more active and enjoyable social experience.

Contemporary Oak Living Room Furniture

See the beauty of your contemporary living room more clearly

9) Better physical health: Reducing the amount of objects in a room leaves fewer places for dust to settle and the space is easier to clean and to rid of potentially harmful dust and airborne bacteria.

10) Better organization: Isn’t it easier to organize 10 pairs of shoes than 100? The best organizing system in the world will struggle to hold piles of possessions. Buy some new shelves, some new oak storage boxes or blanket boxes, and clear out your cabinets so you can organize the fewer possessions you now have.

How to Declutter Your Home

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Make your own box system for decluttering: Image via Life-Pod

Decluttering is not the same as organizing. You need to be willing to let things go in order to create space in your home and your life. There are many methods for decluttering but the simplest involves four or five boxes. The essential boxes are labelled “Keep”, “Recycle or throw away”, “Donate” and “Sell”. You may want to have a fifth box labelled “Decide later” but you really need to be disciplined in keeping this box clear or you end up with boxes of stuff you can’t quite decide about.

Move through each room and declutter shelf by shelf, cupboard by cupboard. Put items in the boxes, leaving only the things you love and need in their proper places in your home. Go through everything – the dining room, the basement, the car, the desk drawers, the wardrobes. If this seems like an impossible task, try these tips to start small and keep going; decluttering gets easier the more you do.

  • Start at floor level: If the room looks impossible to tackle, first start at floor level. Move everything off the floor into their allotted places or in the boxes.
  • Do a declutter burst: The declutter task seems like a huge one when you think about it all at once. But everyone can spend 15 minutes a day tackling one drawer, or one rack of shoes. Make a check-off chart of your progress, set a timer each day and try to do it as fast as you can. Look at what you have accomplished after 30 days and you will be amazed.
  • One year; disappear: Not used it in a year? Sell it or recycle it. Don’t think too hard about whether you will use it in the future. If you haven’t used it in a year the chances are you will not use it in the next 12 months.
  • Donate, donate, donate: If you are feeling bad when you see your stuff leaving your home, give yourself a warm glow by donating it to people who will really appreciate it and use it well.

Jump on the Clutter-Free Bandwagon

Decluttering is not about learning to live in a sparse, joyless home but the opposite – you give yourself space to enjoy the things you love and the people you love spending time with while also creating a contemporary style. You lower the burden of tidying, cleaning and organizing and you have more time to have fun, work, or be creative. It’s a liberating feeling – why not try some decluttering today?

Share your own tips below!

featured image credit

11 Secrets to Mixing & Matching Your Decor

Gone are the days when all your furniture had to match. Today, anything goes – a mix of antique and new furniture styles, much-loved favourites alongside brand new purchases, classic wood with quirky patterned leather. Mixing and matching furniture styles is fashionable, and it’s also often essential. Newly cohabiting couples combining two sets of favourite possessions, families inheriting objects, and newlyweds figuring out where to place well-intentioned gifts all create a design challenge.  The pick-and-mix look should be bohemian and stylish, not jumble sale or flea market. How do you get the eclectic furniture mix right? Here are 11 handy hints to help you combine with flair and style.

1) Colour Creates Cohesion

An inspired colour scheme can tie together furniture and objects with distinct styles and personalities. Stick to the same broad palette of colours to give your room a smart, bohemian look and you can use all your favourite furniture pieces without fear.

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A palette of soft and stylish blues, greens and creams creates harmony in this living room/ Image via The Inspired Room

2) All White is Alright

04 Bedroom and Garden

White looks stunning against dark wood floors/ Image via Hotel Chic

Alternatively, if dreaming up a colour scheme is too much like hard work, stick to one neutral and you can combine away for a look that is perfectly matched, whatever furniture you use. White is the natural choice, or you could go with painted furniture in a soft grey/cream shade using pieces from the Cadiz Oak and Painted Pine range, for example.

 

3) Follow the 80/20 Rule

This rule goes: if 80 percent of your furniture fits into one period or style, you have free reign with the other 20 percent. So if you have mainly new oak furniture then one or two antique-style pieces in metal or a sofa in a French-country will look great. A standout antique dresser, for example, will work in an ultra-modern city apartment.

4) Mix Your Woods Well

When you are mixing wood furniture consider how “formal” each wood is when combining to best advantage. For example, cherry, classic oak and mahogany are all formal and elegant woods so they combine well together. Pine, bamboo and maple are less formal so they equally work well together. It doesn’t mean you can’t have pine with mahogany, just that it’s simpler to stick to woods in the same “family”.

Or match furniture based on the general wood colour. Most woods are classified in broad terms as brown, yellow, grey, or red. If you have a set of brown wooden tables, combine then with a sofa in the same shade of brown, and a bookcase in a different wood but the same brown shade.

loire-bedroom

Classic Loire Oak bedroom furniture mixes well with dark, elegant woods like mahogany

5) Beware! Some Styles Don’t Mix

When it comes to mixing and matching furniture, some styles need to be kept apart. For example, elaborate Victorian design and fresh, casual beach house style are the warring relations that shouldn’t be in the same room at parties. A good way of understanding this concept is to think about how each style makes you feel, and combine styles that have a similar outlook. Casual pine bedroom furniture with simplistic, minimalist wardrobe, or elaborate, intriguing Asian-style décor with a stately Victorian armoire, for example.

6) Dining Room Chairs Don’t Need to Match

One unique way to mix and match furniture styles is around the dining room table. Fit your collection of mismatched chairs around the table for a cool, bohemian look like this:

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For a truly eclectic look in the dining room, play fast and loose with your chairs/ Image via Decoholic

But if this is a little too messy for your liking, why not mix your dining room furniture in a more subtle way, using a solid oak table from one range, and chairs from another range that go together but don’t quite match.

7) Don’t Show Too Much Leg

accommodations11When collecting different furniture pieces from different eras and styles, too many different table legs or chair legs can create a cluttered look. Try to have some furniture pieces that do not have visible legs, for example a blanket box that rests on the floor or use skirting on a sofa, so that the legs you do see create cohesion.

8) Make all the Right Shapes

Combine pieces with similar shapes so that the room looks broadly uniform but is still interesting.

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For example, keep everything that has a soft curve, from the armchairs to the lampshades to the design on the wallpaper. Or have all the seating on a low level, add a low level coffee table, and coordinate with height rather than shape.

Image via Best Home Info

9) Know When Enough is Enough

When mixing together inherited furniture collections it is tempting to keep everything for its sentimental value but you’re going to run into problems with three sofas in the living room, or four coffee tables. You may have to make tough decisions when you find out how much space you have available for furniture and work out where it will fit. Choose the pieces that matter most to your family, and think about donating other pieces or giving them to other family members.

10) Give a Good Mix of Standout and Unassuming Pieces

In order to help a room look stylish and put-together, don’t overpower it with too many standout or unique pieces. You need a mix of more basic furniture shapes and styles along with a few eye-catching items – your room will look classy and not cluttered.

11) But Don’t Be Afraid of Bold Contrasts

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Be bold and individual/ Image via Houzz

Want to combine a bold aquamarine wall with your collection of white-framed art? Go for it. Set a geometric print rug on a dark wood floor? Go ahead. Don’t be afraid of the big, brash contrasts and the quirky pieces of furniture that draw the eye and combine perfectly with more neutral pieces.

Mixing and matching your furniture types gives you the freedom to create a look that is uniquely yours. And the best thing is you can easily grow and evolve the look as you acquire new pieces or re-purpose old ones into different rooms.

Have any more secrets to add? Be sure to leave a comment!

Create the Ultimate Relaxed Coastal Living Look

With the gentle splash of waves on the shore, the soft breeze in the sea grass, and bright sunshine on sand, the ocean is calling. But you don’t need a beach house to get the coastal look. If you love light and breezy décor, relaxed outdoor style and a palette of soft blues and greens, you’ll adore the coastal style. Learn how to bring a relaxed, beachy-feel to your home wherever you live with these ocean-inspired decorating ideas.

Think Light, Bright, and Breezy

When you think of a coastal home you don’t think of dark, cramped rooms. Instead, you picture spacious, fresh and open interiors with plenty of natural light flooding the rooms. The coastal style is welcoming and vibrant. Whether or not you actually have an ocean view, letting the light into your home is the most important thing to consider when designing your own “beach house”. White is the hallmark colour of the coastal palette because it amplifies the light rather than eats it up.

Large, unobstructed windows (skip the heavy curtains), skylights and glass doors all draw the fresh light into your rooms. If you are lucky enough to have a standout view or a gorgeous terrace, maximize the impact by blurring the boundaries between inside and out. Use a similar colour scheme for the patio and the living room to allow the spaces to flow seamlessly, and choose doors that won’t interfere with the view and which can be tucked out of sight when open.

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When it comes to a sea view, the bigger the windows the better: Image via Ontrus

Beach-Ready Blues

Remember we said white was the key to creating a coastal living space? Well, you don’t have to stick with white, although it can look stunning when layered with creams and soft beiges. One key way to bring a splash of ocean spray into your home is the creative use of coastal style colour. Your first choice will probably be shades of blue over that white backdrop. Choose accent fabrics and paints in aqua, sea glass, navy, and deep blue for the beach feel.

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Blue can be subtle, like this room…. Image via Cute and Company

….Or bold with a range of blue tones in the Aspen White Painted range

White painted furniture

If blue isn’t your thing, add a subtle taste of the sea with a palette of khaki, grass green, and chalky pink.

Green sea style: Image via houzz

Love colour but don’t want to overpower the room? Create an accent wall in midnight blue or bold sapphire. Or why not paint the floors? Painted floorboards look stunning and the paint also hides any imperfections in older wood. Try a shade of baby blue in a high gloss finish.

Furniture with a Casual Vibe

You wouldn’t put your sandy feet up on a mahogany stool or sink your sea-soaked hair into a velvet armchair – on the contrary, coastal style furniture is sturdy, casual and cool.

Bring eclectic chairs and sofas together by upholstering them with light slip covers. White is the obvious choice (make them washable) but blue also works well. Don’t be afraid to mix up styles in your living room or bedroom. Pairing a modern oak coffee table with a cottage-style sofa works to create that casual look.

Furniture in light coloured, solid oak or ash sets the tone. It’s casual without being flimsy, and you can find a range of natural tones to suit the outdoorsy vibe. Or pick a painted set of furniture in white or cream, such as the New England Painted Oak range, to maximize the light and channel country-style as well as coastal.

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The yellow tones bring the warmth of a beach day indoors

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Light furniture in the Cadiz Oak and Painted Pine range

Bringing the Beach Indoors

For fresh and casual coastal interiors, think natural. Choose simple fabrics for furnishings like linen and cotton, and floaty curtains. Organic materials like straw, jute, sea grass and even rope bring the nautical touch you need to a family home. Try jute flooring, or even simply rope pulls on your cabinet drawers.

When it comes to decorating your home with your beach finds, less is more. Placing a few starfish on the shelf, some glass bottles on the windowsill, or a basket of coloured rocks on the coffee table is better than overloading the place with stuff. Shells look great in a sleek glass vase or the base of a lamp. Nautical patterns work best when used sparingly. You want the rooms to look chic and airy – too much beachy clutter weighs them down.

Design Tip: Natural Elements

coastal3Play up the natural architectural elements in your room like beams, trim or moulding by leaving them in natural wood or painting them in a bright shade. Exposed-board walls shout “beach!” and a wooden ceiling provides a charming nautical vibe. Design your living space so that the ocean comes to you. Frame a mirror with a weathered sea glass mosaic, or put ocean-themed art in chunky wooden frames on the walls.

Beach-style family room with exposed wood walls: Image via Coastal Living

Fresh Kitchens and Dining Rooms

In the kitchen, you can take inspiration from the shore by installing counter tops in earthy tones, with exposed and raised textures. The kitchen is also a good place for some seaside detail in the form of shell borders, or nautical-style lampshades. The coastal-style dining room is the place for a casual centrepiece of sea grasses and shells. Lay placemats in natural jute and woven, pastel fabrics. You could also fit some wicker chairs alongside the more formal dining chairs for family breakfasts and chilled-out lunches.

The trick is to let in as much natural light as possible, and open the space up with comfortable, individual furniture, natural fabrics, and light blue, green and cream tones. Creating a beach style home or a coastal living room is simple – follow your heart and listen to the sound of the sea. You’ll be inspired in no time.

25 Tips to Create Your Dream Bedroom with Oak Bedroom Furniture

A calm, uncluttered bedroom with the furniture placed just right helps you sleep deeply, relax fully, and really enjoy spending time in the most intimate room of the house.

The proper arrangement of furniture in the bedroom is essential. You need the space to move freely around the room as you get ready for work, and the space to stretch out and relax. Furniture placement also helps to create a peaceful and inspiring environment.

Create your dream bedroom layout with these 25 tips. We’ve got ideas for kids’ bedrooms and guest bedrooms, too.

Proper Planning Leads to Perfect Sleep

  1. Before you start moving furniture around, take stock of what you’ve got and what you want to buy. Take measurements of your room, your existing furniture, and the measurements of any new oak bedroom furniture you are going to add to your collection.
  2. living-room-floor-planMake a sketch of your room and cut out pieces of paper that correspond to the sizes of the furniture pieces. Move them around to form a rough plan of what looks good, where.
  3. Consider the placement of sockets so you position furniture in a way that means no trailing cables – a particular danger in small bedrooms.

Make Sure You Measure Up

  1. Create walking pathways around the bedroom so that you can easily reach the bed, drawers, wardrobe, and door without bumping into anything (particularly useful on those nights when you need to get up in the dark to use the bathroom.)
  2. Allow at least 60cm space on either side of the bed so you can change the duvet and make the bed easily.
  3. Leave at least 1m between the bed and the door so you don’t block the path out of the room.
  4. Around 50-60cm of space between bed and wall, or bed and furniture, is enough for a walkway around the room so you can get to the window, the wardrobe, and the chest of drawers.
  5. Check that drawers open fully without bumping into other pieces of furniture, and that doors have full opening to avoid clashes.
  6. Using a rug? In a small bedroom, place the rug beneath your bed to keep your feet warm when you get up on a winter morning. Have the rug extend at least 60cm on either side and at the foot of the bed to provide balance and make sure the rug doesn’t disrupt easy walking around the room.

Your Bed is the Star

White painted furniture

  1. The bed is the largest item of furniture in the room so it makes sense to position this first. The most obvious place for the bed is on the wall opposite the main door to the room. It becomes a focal point. However, move the bed slightly so your feet are not directly pointing at the door if you want to design according to feng shui principles.
  2. Be careful about placing a bed under a window as draughts cause discomfort while you sleep and it is not easy to open the window without clambering on the bed.
  3. Try not to block natural light from the window with a bulky headboard. If you need to have the bed beneath the window, use a bed without a headboard or one with open slats.
  4. If there is only one person using the bed you can push it against the wall, into a corner, to save space.
  5. You need a nightstand or bedside on either side of the bed if there are two of you. Have the bedside come up to the height of the mattress or just above.

Scale Down: Small Bedroom Furniture Tips

  1. tallboyIf your bedroom is on the small side, use fewer furniture pieces and make them taller so you maximise the storage space in a small footprint – use an oak tallboy, for instance, or a tall Wellington chest.
  2. If you need your bedroom to multitask, think about placing a desk or a chest of drawers next to your bed to double as a bedside or have a blanket box double as seating.
  3. Use a headboard but skip the footboard on the bed as this can take up too much visual space in the room, making a small bedroom look even tinier.

Extra Comfort and Charm in a Bigger Room

  1. Place a blanket box, bench, or low seat at the end of the bed. Push it right up to the bed so that you don’t lose things between the bed and the bench, and so it doesn’t become a trip hazard.
  2. If you have space, place a dressing table, desk, or wide, low chest of drawers directly across from the bed to balance out the room. You can use this as the place to put a TV if you regularly watch movies or shows in bed.
  3. For larger bedrooms a comfortable chair is good for reading, relaxing, and chatting. Place the chair next to a desk or dressing table to provide comfort while putting on makeup or fixing your hair.

Arranging Furniture in a Children’s Bedroom

  1. When you organise furniture in a baby’s nursery, plan with the day in mind when they can get up, walk around, and climb on furniture pieces. Keep the cot away from windows, and away from shelves.
  2. Place rugs under the cot or under large pieces of furniture to minimise slippage.
  3. Position the changing table close to shelves so you have somewhere to store wipes, nappies etc. without having to move to get them.

Get Your Guest Bedroom in Order

  1. The same principles of furniture positioning that apply to master bedrooms also apply to guest bedrooms, but because the room is likely to be smaller you could position the bed in a corner so that there is space for at least one wardrobe or a chest of drawers.
  2. If space is a serious issue in the house, put a sofa bed in the room or a futon – make sure that you leave 50cm space around the bed when it is fully pulled out.

When you are planning the layout of your bedroom keep these tips in mind. Arranging your bedroom furniture for comfort, style and deep sleep creates a bedroom you can’t wait to retreat to at the end of the day.

Do you have any other tips? Be sure to leave a comment below!

make a small room feel larger

Top 12 Tips from Design Experts to Make a Small Room Feel Larger

Space always feels like it’s at a premium. Whether you’re in a single-family home, a cottage retreat, or a downtown condominium, making smart design choices help make the most of your interior square footage while ensuring you, your family and your guests are also comfortable. So we’ve interviewed some top interior design experts from across the globe to get their tricks and secrets on how to make your room feel larger than it might actually be.

1. Mark Cutler – Chief Designer, NousDECOR (Top rated design firm & frequent TV guest expert)

Play around with perspective and view…put a singular point of interest, like a painting on the wall furthest from the door, which will give you a perspective view that will make the room seem longer, especially if you under scale it a little.

 Provence Oak 4ft 6in Bed Frame2. Cat Hoad – Absolute Project Management

We maximise the feeling of space by flooding small areas with light – we use pale colours on walls and especially ceilings, and will fit mirrors opposite the window/ other source of light to throw light around and provide the sensation of greater depth. We’d use ceiling downlighters and go for a ‘less is more’ policy with furniture – getting rid of bulky or unnecessary pieces and having one main piece of furniture as a focus. We’d look for a piece (sofa/ bed, etc. ) that had slim legs so you can see the floor underneath which adds to the sensation of space in a room. For soft furnishings, again we’d keep things simple with plain colours but a mixture of textures and one or two areas of vibrant colour – a throw/ bedspread.

Bordeaux Oak Nest of Tables3. David Goodman – Founder, Oak Furniture Company

While one might assume that a small room requires petite furnishings, lots of small furniture can actually make a space feel cluttered. Choose a couple of larger pieces instead. For example one large sofa instead of a multi-sectional piece. For extra table space, try a nest of tables that you can expand and use only as-needed.

4. Kristen Hagopian – Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Brilliant Frugal Living

Keep the walls light – but not necessarily white. Antique white, pale yellow & light celadon green colors also visually expand the space.

Modern Oak Large Mirror5. Mitch Darby – Lead Architect, Obsidian Architecture

One or more mirrors can go a long way towards expanding your visual perception of a room. Obviously this works great in bathrooms, but can be applied to just about any room with success. This is one of the simplest and most affordable “tricks” I know of as mirrors come in all shapes, sizes, and styles and can be used in many creative ways.

6. Lindsay Louise McPhail – Owner, The Art Cellar

Use paintings with vertical lines and designs to make a small room feel larger. The vertical hanging of a painting carries your eyes upward which will naturally make the room feel larger. If you’re not in the budget to purchase a new piece, you can flip a rectangular abstract you already have straight up to add a new look for your room and make the space bigger! Most people naturally see compositions horizontally and hang them over the fire place in this standard fashion, but turning them upright will give a fresh new elongated look to your room!

7. Christina Karras – Designer

An easy trick to make a room feel larger is by matching the color of the large pieces of furniture to the color of the wall, it creates an illusion of a more space as the colors blend into one another. Also, I use double pocket doors to not only create a heightened effect, but also to construct an open floor plan without obstructions for more usable space

8.Yann Bensoussan – Designer & Founder, Boxmat

Make sure the space stays open to the outside. Keep views through windows unobstructed and remove doors wherever possible.

Elodie Grey Oak and Pine Console Table9. Shannon Wollack – Founder Life.Style

Opt for furniture with exposed legs and thin bases that aren’t too boxy or bulky. Your furniture should be revealing so you aren’t blocking off the rest of the room.

10. Michael Davis – Principal, Michael Davis Architects

Rooms, like the people who occupy them, express nature vs. nurture. Small rooms needn’t masquerade as large; rather, their smallness should be celebrated, even exaggerated. I like to play with scale – the smaller the room, the larger the furniture, the light fixtures, the art. The interplay of proportions, like strong, if mismatched features, can create a handsome effect unlike any other. So, ask a small space to work a little harder and it just might reward you with effortless grace.

11. Pamela O’Brien – Pamela Hope Designs

When trying to make a small space appear larger, big and tall does it all. A few large items can make a room feel more open than a lot of small pieces. Add a rug that fits. Most people buy rugs that are too small rather than too large. In a small room, a rug that can accommodate the furniture – with the front feet of sofas, chairs and loveseats anchored on the rug – expands the space and creates a destination.  Tall rooms live large so if your ceiling does not tower above you, add details to raise the eye. Paint the ceiling a lighter tint of the wall color or a complementary, lighter hue. Crown molding attracts attention. Don’t clutter the ceiling – select smaller scaled fixtures and hang them a little higher than usual. Art and mirrors follow the same rule. Hanging them a little higher will create the illusion of height.

 12. Tenecia Harris – Sweet T Design & Host of TV Show on Small Space Living

In a bedroom, either mount floating shelves as side tables (extra tip: drill a grommet hole in it for lamp and alarm clock cords) or use side tables that have open space beneath. It clears up floor space to make the room seem more expansive.


Have any more tips to add? Add them in the comments below! We look forward to bringing you more great articles featuring various design experts in addition to our own Oak Furniture Company style and design experts who write our regular posts and are available to assist you in selecting the ideal pieces of oak furniture for your space.