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Lighten up your home decor for summer

Once the winter cold has passed and the spring chill has given way to the sweltering summer heat, chances are you're going to be spending a lot more time in the warm sunshine. When you come home you don't want to experience the letdown that comes with entering a home decked out in dreary decor, so before summer arrives and the beach starts calling you, take a weekend to redecorate with some summer accessories and bright colors. Switch Hits has plenty of festive outlet covers to help you pull the look together. Out with the old and in with the new Heavy rugs are a great way to keep the heat in and to keep your bare feet warm in the winter months, but when summer rolls around, they can make a room feel closed in and dark. Toss the rugs in the basement for the season and either let your natural floor breathe and lighten up the room, or throw down some brightly colored light rugs that will brighten up the room. Women's Day recommended adding some color to your dining room or kitchen by outfitting the table with some colorful linens. Have some fun with it and use different colors, or varying hues of the same shade, for a table cloth and placemats, then top the look off with some patterned napkins. The Switch Hits Colors in Motion collection of outlet covers will brighten up any room, and are perfect for anyone seeking vibrant colors that really pop. If you want to add a splash of color but have slightly less loud tastes, try Switch Hits' Bamboo Beauties collection. The colors are bright and subdued at the same time with the real bamboo wood peaking through the paint. Dress it up A fireplace is the perfect place to gather in the dead of winter, but when the warmer months roll around, it ceases to be the center of life at home. Better Homes and Gardens suggested rearranging the furniture in your living room or whichever room your fireplace happens to be in, so that when people sit down they're facing windows rather than the fireplace. This will make the space feel larger and more open.Another must have for summer are house plants. Whether you're going for something simple like a fern or some brightly colored flowers, the plants will add life and energy to any room. Top it off with a decorative cover plate from the handmade ceramic collection for a look that's colorful without verging into tacky territory or go full on floral and accent your design with a Floral and Garden switch plate!  

Designing a colorful and classy living room

No matter what time of year it is, you can make it feel like spring all year long in a cozy and colorful living space designed to fit your personality and needs. You can do a complete revamp of the room with a new paint job, furniture and maybe even knocking a wall down. Whether you go big or go small, you'll need outlet covers to match your fresh design. Of course, not everybody is up for a complete remodeling job, but that doesn't mean you can't change the entire tone of a room with a few simple additions, whether it's adding some colorful throw pillows or throwing down an Oriental rug. Picking a color scheme and making it stick  If your favorite colors are bold and bright, splash them all over the walls and get furniture to match if you'd like. Keep in mind though that too much of a good thing may drive you up the wall eventually. Real Simple magazine suggested using white or another neutral colors to offset the vivacious color scheme you've chosen. The contrast will make both colors pop even more than before and you won't end up with a room that looks too "matchy". Switch Hits has plenty of collections that use bright colors including Colorful Nature Relief.The Wild Grass Red decorative outlet cover is the perfect choice for a room with a red or orange color scheme. If blue is more your hue, the Japanese Maple Leaf blue should be right up your alley. According to HGTV, a consistent color scheme can also give the room the illusion of being more spacious than it actually is. If more subtle tones such as off white or peach are more your style, check out the Shapely Patina collection, where you'll find muted tones such as Autumn Brass. Another option that will make a statement without shouting is the collection of Hardwood switch plates. Whether your style is loud or quiet, choosing different hues of the same color is another way to make your living room look larger and more inviting. Picking lovely patterns and accessories for your pad  ‚ÄčOnce you have your color squared away, feel free to experiment with different patterns. A paisley or floral pattern that's a slightly lighter hue than the main paint job will complement the room perfectly. Use these patterns in the form of curtains, furniture cover or the furniture itself. To add a natural touch to the room add some hanging plants, or a nice flower arrangement on a central piece of furniture.     No matter what your personal style is, there are plenty of ways to make your home a reflection of who you are. 

Easy tips to touch up old walls

Do you use wallpaper or do you paint? Should you try painting something freehanded and artsy or rely on a stencil? Changing the paint on your walls can be a daunting task, but it's easy to turn a monotonous project into something you can be proud of with a few simple tips. Painting over vivid colors Repainting a room can be tough when the old color is a heavy blue or red and you're trying to change it to something lighter. Don't cover the room with multiple layers to hide that old color. Use a latex primer - two coats can be applied to hide richer shades - and finish with two coats of your new color. It will save you a lot of time and trouble compared to waiting for numerous layers of the new paint to dry just to redo the process because the old color seeps through. Using a paint that is already combined with a primer may be a good option for homeowners covering those bright colors as well.Use painter's tape Never leave the hardware store with a bucket of paint but no painter's tape. It's an absolutely necessary item when you're changing the color of a room. Nothing looks sloppier than paint splotches on all of your decorative plug outlet covers or smears on your windowsills or switch plates. Painter's tape is cheap and it takes a lot of the unnecessary detail work out of painting a room, which can save a lot of time. Additionally, that painter's tape comes in handy if you ever want to do some neat stenciling. Use stencils  One of the craftiest and most creative ways to change a bland wall is to do some cheap stencil work. You can make a stencil and paint an exciting pattern on your walls in no time using a easy step-by-step guide from HGTV. Remember not to go overboard on the stenciling. It can look elegant and make a space stand out, but stenciling every wall of a room will just make it into an eyesore. For decorating experts, try matching the design to a classic patterned switch plate for the perfect complement. Making the elements on your wall match is a sure way to show off your attention to detail.Avoid Conflicting colors If you're painting over several rooms at a time, it can be hard to pick colors that work well together. Picking contrasting colors for the kitchen, living room and foyer can be unsightly. At the same time, painting the house in one shade can be boring and drab. Bring paint swatches home and test what works well together or use a premade palette designed by an interior designer. Don't be afraid to look for color combination advice online, too.

Turn your bathroom into a tropical getaway

Whether you have a tub or a stand-in shower, the bathroom is the perfect place to let your stress melt away. The serenity that can be found in this area can be further heightened through decor.After all, it's one of the most frequented rooms in the home, so why overlook the opportunity to use your interior design skills? There are many ways to express your creativity, from the switch plate to the shower curtain. Start with the switch plate There's no setting that's more relaxing than a tropical island. Regardless of where you live, there's no reason why you can't bring some island fun to your bathroom with a beach-themes switch plate. Start with this simple feature that'll catch any visitor's attention and the rest will fall into place. Turning the light or ventilation on or off will never be mundane when you have a one-of-a-kind cover. You can go straight for the obvious and feature plates with turtles or fish. Alternatively, you can take a subtler route by installing one that's made by artists who live in tropical regions. These come in unusual shapes and unique color palettes. In fact, you'll find yourself inspired by these combinations. Don't hesitate to explore these hues on your walls or bathroom tiles. Doing so will make your bathroom's design look more cohesive.Repaint the walls Once you figure out which switch plate best suits your style, it's time to draw inspiration from it. If there are interesting shapes that you want to mimic on the wall, do so! Just because they're bathroom walls doesn't mean that they can't feature a mural or a sweeping design that'll make it stand out from other rooms in the home.If you're not ready to make such a big commitment, simply changing up the color of the walls will create a different atmosphere. Stick to aquatic pastels such as sea foam green or light coral. Change up the decor There are small and easy ways to carry the new theme into the rest of the bathroom. Decor such as the soap dispenser, wall art and towels can be replaced with tropical themed ones. Don't forget to replace the curtain, as well.You can also go the extra mile and make the change more permanent by having new tiles installed on the floor and in the shower. 

How to create a fabulous foyer

The foyer is the first thing people see when they enter your home, so of course you want it to be a reflection of your personality and offer guests a welcoming entrance into the home. Whether your style is classic or contemporary, there are plenty of ways to design a foyer that matches you and your home.Make it yours You want the entryway to feel like an all-encompassing welcome mat for visitors and residents, with delectable designs over their heads and beneath their feet. One thing you'll definitely want to focus on is the floor, and you'll need to decide whether you'd prefer wood, tile or something else entirely. While carpet has its benefits, it's not the best choice for the room people enter with their dirty shoes on. A well-thought-out tile design can really define a space and make a great first impression. If you decide that hardwood is more up your alley, there are solid plank pine floors for people who prefer a lighter touch. Brazilian cherry wood is an excellent choice if you'd prefer something richer.Lighting is important in this room as well - what's a great design worth if nobody can see it? Hanging lights are the preferred option, as they cast light over the entire setup, or you can go with an elegant chandelier. The "Shabby Chic" collection of decorative outlet covers has plenty of gorgeous selections to choose from if you're going for an understated look. The "Corian" collection also has a plethora of unobtrusive but colorful options. Do something a little different Better Homes and Gardens magazine recommended that no matter how you decide to tweak your entryway, it's important to "honor the architecture." The magazine pointed out that certain things are common for all entryways. For example, they all include a door and many have stairs nearby. One suggestion is to add a splash of color to your foyer by painting each step of the stairs a different color. Another great way to let people know they're welcome is to paint your front door a bright color such as sky blue or tangerine. The molding around the doorway and going up the stairs shouldn't be neglected - slap on a couple of coats of paint that match the new color scheme, or highlight the wood's color with a coat of oil. For colorful plug covers that match your adventurous new foyer, check out the "Colorful Nature Relief" collection. These switch plates sport vibrant colors with the silhouettes of leaves delicately draped over them. 

Make your kitchen fun and livable with light and color

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. It's where food is prepared and sometimes enjoyed, and with mealtimes often being  some of the few times during the week when busy families sit down, it should be a place that the chef of the house enjoys spending time in. Add more than a splash of color  Color is essential to any room in the house. Whether it's bright or subdued, it sets the mood and can make a powerful statement if executed with flair. Houzz suggested mixing it up by having bright colors that are offset by white. Paint the sides of the island in your kitchen something adventurous like turquoise or pink - whatever your favorite is! This will create a look that boasts a beautiful color scheme that immediately grabs the eye of guests without overwhelming their senses. Another fun way to add color to your cooking space is to install a backsplash behind the sink, or, as Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggested, behind a shelving unit. A unit that has the back cut out is ideal for this because the colors of the backsplash will shine through. By aligning the shelf with a window, you can ensure even brighter tones. To accent your brightened and improved kitchen, accent the look with something from Switch Hits' collection of Funky Ceramic decorative switch plates. This series has vibrant colors that can not only complement the room's colors, but be one of the standout pieces in the kitchen.Find simple solutions that pop Put your windows to work by hanging curtains that will shed whatever kind of light you want into the kitchen. This can be a fun do-it-yourself project. Simply go to your local sewing or craft store and pick a bolt of cloth that stands out to you and fits into the color scheme in your kitchen. Measure the window before purchasing the cloth so you know exactly how much you need. The material should be light enough to let the sunlight filter through and turn the room the shade of the curtain hanging in the window.Orange is perfect for this project as it makes the light softer without taking away from the lovely color. Another great option is blue if you'd prefer something subtler, or keep it completely natural with white lace curtains that will let pure sunlight in. Try the Colors in Motion outlet covers collection to make a bold statement. 

Make your home sunny for summer

Old man winter has skulked away for a long nap, and spring and summer are upon us. As the seasons change it can be fun to change the inside of your home to match the climate outside. Let some light in What's the point in having more hours of daylight if it's not shining into your home? Sheer curtains let the bright sunlight in, and an indoor garden can bring a breath of fresh air into the home. No matter how far from the beach you are, a nautical theme can help scare away the winter blues. Lightly colored or pastel furniture can brighten up any room, but add some sheer curtains to the windows and see it really shine. Choose classic white, or if you're going for something more colorful, lightly colored orange, pink or yellow can make it seem like the sun is shining even brighter. Tight budget? Even a simple floor-length bolt of fabric will do the trick. When night falls, you can use translucent-colored lampshades to keep the house colorful, and accessorize with spring and summer decorative wall plates. Go green inside If you're not the outdoorsy type but you love fresh herbs when you cook, an indoor herb garden is the perfect way to keep your tomato sauce flavorful. Some may relegate their gardening to the colder months, but with an indoor garden you can liven up your home and save on sun block.Organic Gardening suggests placing the plants on the windowsill for sunlight - perhaps in the kitchen for easy access. Switch on the colorful lights at night with a garden-themed decorative plug cover accenting your indoor oasis. Party on the porch Tone down the color and light scheme a little on your sun porch with white wicker furniture and a sea shell path leading up to the stairs. Better Homes and Gardens illustrates, how with a little hard work, you can create a shady outdoor spot out of the sun. 

Concepts for creating and decorating a small home office

It can be a space next to a fireplace or between two windows: Creating a small home office is all about where you find the space and what you put into it.Dismiss the notion that a small but organized home office demands a room - or even a wide open space - of its own. HGTV itemized a number of workplace-suitable areas, including the "dead" space under the stairs. The space may be tiny, but by adding a corkboard backdrop and floating shelf for your laptop, you can use every inch of it. Apartment-dwellers frequently have dead space next to the entry. Instead of filling it with an umbrella stand, HGTV proposed using it for a tiny, minimalist private office.Room with a view Nowhere is it written that the home worker can't have the finest view. If your bedroom is the only place to put your office, try a vintage desk under a large window. Not only does the view refresh your mind, it also refreshes your eyes: Many ophthalmologists suggest alternating close work on your computer with a few minutes of staring into the distance every hour.Real Simple magazine found a unique way to create an office that can appear and disappear at will. Use a white plastic drop-down desk, and get wonderful cubbies and storage compartments when it's open and a nonintrusive piece of furniture when it's closed.Shelve it all Another of Real Simple's suggestions was to build an office entirely of sturdy shelves that can handle everything you send their way, from files and laptops to a vase of fresh flowers. By eliminating the need for a desk, you free up space and let the area blend into any room from which you've carved it.Better Homes and Gardens magazine gave the shelving plan another look and recommended that you add shelves above the desk and file cabinets below for all-in-one functionality.Integrating two areas When your office is part of another room, which is often the case, the best approach is to look at the small, inexpensive additions that will make the unified area cozy and livable.First, consider the paint. Just as a folding screen separates areas in a multi-use space, a consistent color of paint unifies the areas. Use similar lighting, whether track lighting or wall lighting, and try out some unique switch plates and decorative plug outlet covers in a theme that works well in both functional areas.

How to decorate with 2014's color of the year

If you're thinking of updating your interior design for the new year but are stumped as to where to start, Pantone Inc.'s Color of the Year for 2014 might help. If you recall, the hottest color of 2013 was Emerald, but things are going in a different direction now that Radiant Orchid is the new choice."While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination," Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained in a press release. "An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today's society."With this shade of purple and perhaps a few others, you can embrace that creative spirit and make your home a more interesting space. Consider these design ideas for using purple.Start small If you're wary about using purple in something like your living room or bedroom, start small in a space like your bathroom or laundry room. You may want to begin by choosing purple switch plates and outlet covers, which will add a fun whimsical element to your design. If you're a little bolder, try painting an accent wall purple or using purple wallpaper. Serious enthusiasts can go with all four walls.Choose dark or light The shades of purple you choose will dictate the feel of the room. Something lighter and pinker like Radiant Orchid is more playful, while deeper purples evoke sophisticated taste. Go with a lighter purple in your daughter's room or in a guest bathroom, and choose darker purple for something like your living room or dining room. If you can't decide which shades you want to go with, mixing them won't be a problem - it'll make the space feel more dynamic.Add accents to a neutral space You don't have to make a huge commitment if you want to liven up your rooms with purple. As long as you have a neutral backdrop, purple accent pieces will do just fine. Choose plug covers, throw pillows, vases, flowers and curtains to add touches of purple anywhere. When they're mixed with neutrals like white, beige, cream and brown, they'll stand out without seeming like too much. Then, if you ever feel like a change, it'll be simple to choose a different accent color - like maybe next year.

Secrets for using splashes of color and light to brighten any space

Changing lighting changes color: Here are some ways to use paint and lighting to make breath-taking changes in any room of your home. Have you ever chosen a paint color in the store, only to bring it home and find that it looked totally different? It's sometimes called the "chameleon effect," but you can think of it as a decorating tool for brightening and transforming your home.Changing the color of paint has always been one of the simplest and least expensive ways to make a major change in the look of a space - that's true leverage. When you add the component of light, whether it's natural light or light from wall or overhead fixtures, lamps or even candles, the difference can be spectacular. Paint is an essential decorating tool, and re-doing a space refers not only to walls but also to tables, benches and everything else that can be improved with a fresh coat of paint.Begin with a vision Start by visualizing what you want to create - How will it look and feel? What is the space used for, and who will be using it?Eve Ashcraft, color consultant and founder of Eve Ashcraft Studio told Elle Decor that the first step is to ask yourself what the room is for. She added:"I had a client who only used one of his rooms at night so he wanted it to look best then. This made all the difference in picking out the right color."The color choice: Warm chocolate brown."It looked great with lamplight," said Ashcraft.Her general principle is that if the space is cool and dark, add warmth, and if it's bright, use cool colors.Light it right Once you've chosen the color of paint, you're ready to add the internal lighting components. Select chandeliers, track lighting and table lamps that not only reflect your taste but also add the level of additional light you want to achieve. There's a wealth of ideas for decorating with light, from using suspended lighting or lamps to accentuate sculptures, paintings or even fireplaces, and then you can add accessories that fit the mood and the purpose. For example, you can add decorative switch plates in a huge choice of styles and colors, some in reflective metals like antique brass and copper that will contribute to your pairing of color and light or unusual outlet covers that turn ordinary items into decorating tools.Whatever your choices, you can use the chameleon effect with ease and with astonishing results.

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