Luxury Housing Trends

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Chime Your Way into Her Heart

Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is Sunday, February 14, and the holiday is fast approaching. So how are you planning to woo your special someone?

Spending a quiet Valentine’s Day at home can be a romantic and memorable experience. Instead of going to a fancy restaurant and waiting for a table, you can treat your sweetie to homemade meal. If the weather is nice in your area, decorate your patio or backyard so you have an intimate setting to enjoy.

This Red Heart Chime is $21.95, and it has suspended red hearts that cascade downward. The faux crystals will sparkle in the day and night. The chime measures 6” x 6” x 36”. If you’re planning on serving wine or dessert in the garden, create a magical atmosphere with comfortable seating and hang the chime nearby.

Lend Guests a Hand with This Sculpture

Sculptures can add elegance to your home, and they can also be a moving piece of art that ties your home together. If you’re looking for a more modern sculpture for your house, consider one that is creates a presence in a simple way.

This Hand Sculpture from Inside Avenue is a fresh decoration to add to your entryway, because it’s both classic and contemporary. The sculpture measures 20.5” L x 18” W x 10” H, and if you live in the 48 U.S. states, you can get free shipping.

These peaceful hands can welcome your guests when they come through your doorway, and you can rest some fresh flowers in them on special occasions. They can also provide you with a place to set your keys, purse, paperwork or other small items when you’re coming and going.

Provide a Soft Landing in Your Kid’s Room

Kids are always playing on the floor with their building blocks or small dolls, but if you have wood or stone floors, this might not be an ideal place for them to play. An easy way to fix this is to incorporate a stylish yet comfortable rug in your child’s bedroom.

This Football Sheepskin Rug is perfect for a boy or girl who loves football. Since the rug is soft and luxurious, your children will enjoy playing on it, and they might even want to take a nap on it. The rug is approximately 2’5” in diameter.

If you child spills something on the rug, you can machine or hand wash it with the Eucalan wool wash, which is included in the purchase. Or you can always use a mild liquid detergent and warm water, so the upkeep is not that bad.

A big sheepskin rug like this will quickly warm up your child’s room and make the floor perfect for hours of play.

Dine in Wonderland

Is Alice in Wonderland one of your favorite books? Well, now you can bring that Mad Hatter tea party scene to life at your own dinner table.

The “Satumetsa” Dinnerware has powder blue deer like figures standing in the midst of unusual trees. The vibrant colors and interesting scene makes these dishes come to life, and they will give your table a whimsical feel.

The set is dishwasher, microwave, oven and freezer safe. If you decide to purchase this dinnerware set, consider getting the “Ago” Drinkware and “Napoleon” 20-piece flatware service set to complete the wonderland like tablescape. Although the flatware is not as matching as most sets, the variety adds appeal and a sense of style to your table. The drinkware is interesting too, because it’s not only frosted but it has a vertical groove etching, which makes it suitable for formal and casual dining experiences.

Floating Desk Display

Working at your home office desk all day can make you antsy at times, so when you need to rest your eyes from the computer, it’s nice to have something interesting to re-focus your attention on.

These Floating Set feature a globe and picture frame, which float wirelessly from your office desk. The picture frame can hold two different pictures, one on each side, and it rotates with the touch of a button. The only requirement is that the base must be plugged into an electrical outlet.

The base weighs 10.5” H x 7” W x 3.5” D, and the picture frame measures 6.25” H x 4.25” W x 3.5” D. These floating sets can make an interesting addition to your home office desk, and if you see clients on a regular basis, they will definitely be a conversation piece.

Easter Egg Tips, Part 2

Keeping the decorated eggs in the refrigerator enables you to eat them or transform them into egg salad or deviled eggs. By using natural dyes, you don’t have to worry about the colors contaminating the inside of the egg.

If you have a traditional Easter egg hunt for your children as well as the neighborhood, skip the plastic egg containers or make sure you reuse the ones from last year. An alternative to the plastic is cutting out the individual egg holders from egg cartons. These can be filled with candy, and you can use leftover holiday ribbon and wrapping paper to jazz it up. Instead of candy, fill a selected number of eggs with money or personalized coupons (“Redeemable for a movie night,” “Redeemable for a trip to the zoo”).

By thinking more creatively and using common household items, you can turn your Easter eggs and egg hunt into a unique experience that you friends, neighbors and children won’t forget.

Easter Egg Tips, Part 1

Decorating Easter eggs is a hands-on activity that children can’t resist, and there is an endless number of ways to color them. Some kids enjoy the tie-dyed ones while others turn the eggs into their favorite characters like Spongebob Squarepants. However, after the eggs have been transformed into works of art, where do they sit? Most likely at the kitchen table for a few days until they need thrown away. If you color eggs or have an egg hunt, there are some ways to make these activities less wasteful.

When dying your eggs, choose natural dyes as opposed to the ones that come in the egg coloring kits. For example, use items you already have in your house to create the colors. This includes purple grape juice/blueberries (lavender), spinach/grass clippings (green), pomegranate juice/cranberries (pink), paprika/chili powder (orange), red cabbage/blackberries (blue), lemon peels/ground cumin (yellow). All you need to do is boil your eggs in water and vinegar with one of your natural dyes for 15 minutes. Then your kids can use nontoxic crayons, markers or pens to add personalized details—when using crayons, it’s best to have them draw on the egg before boiling them.

Six Classic Couch Styles

Need to update your couch? In addition to comfort, you also need to find a couch that fits your style and space. Below are the six classic couch styles that you should consider before making your purchase.

The Cambelback or Chippendale has a gently curved back and bench cushion, so it looks more formal. The Chesterfield is also formal and has a high back and arms.

More casual styles include the Bridgewater, Lawson, Tuxedo and Sectional. The Bridgewater has a slightly angled back with loose seat cushions and low profile arms. The Lawson has T-cushions and a high back with lower arms. If you desire a more streamlined look, the Tuxedo or sectional might be best for your space. These have more square designs, but the best seating design for a couch potato would be the sectional.

So which couch exudes the look you want to express?

How to Make a Wood Plaque Picture

Does your house decor include natural elements and pictures of animals and nature? Keep your natural style flowing by adding some wood plaques to your wall. Below are easy instructions on how to make them.

All you will need is scissors, a pencil, wallpaper, glue and a slice of wood.

Start with a slice of wood and also purchase a wallpaper design that you like. Put the wood on top of the wallpaper and trace out the oval. Then cut out the wallpaper. Mist the back of the wallpaper with 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive and lay it on top of the wood. After it dries, you can apply shellac if you want.

Maybe choose a few wallpaper designs that have some deer or a forest scene, because then you can mix up the designs and add variety to the wall.

Take Your Pictures to the Next Level

It’s one thing to buy paintings and pictures for your walls, but when you’re able to hang something that you took a picture of, it’s a whole other feeling. Even if you have a keepsake letter or cards from your lucky poker deck, you can keep your walls more personable and sentimental. Or you can feature your pet. So how do you blow up a photo?

First, choose an image that you like or spend a day with your digital camera and take some pictures of a nearby park or your pets. Then take your photograph to a printing shop. If you have a Mac computer, you can order prints right from the iPhoto program. Keep in mind that a 4 x 6 picture can probably only be enlarged to a 16 x 20 or a 20 x 24 without affecting the image’s clarity.

Once you get your picture enlarged, choose a simple frame. To make the picture look less boxed in, choose a frame that is the same color as the background.