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Designing a divine sun porch before summer

Oh, the sun porch. In the summer it can be the best room in the house, combining the natural scenery and breezy cool of the outdoors with the comforts of home furnishing. Bring some spark and personality to your sun porch and make it the perfect place to drink cocktails, spot fireflies or just laze about in the summer months. Design a sun room that reflects your location - or where you wish you were                                                     Just because you live in an area that is far from the salty coast doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of the perks of beachfront living in your home. Switch Hits' collection of Sandy Beach decorative outlet covers are the perfect starting point around which you can install the rest of your decor. Painted with a sandy beach, blue sky and even a little sand castle looking at these will make you and your guests wish you were on a skiff in the Chesapeake Bay. Country Living magazine offers some tips on how to bring the genteel touch of a Martha's Vineyard beach house to your humble abode. Walls slathered in a fresh coat of white paint will further illuminate a room that'll already be bathed in natural light during the day. Depending on just how nautical you want to take this theme, model ships along with the steering wheel of a ship can be found at furniture and antique stores. If the sun porch is at the front of your house, dig a small path and fill it with seashells to give it that "just walking home from the beach" feel. Conch shells and sea glass on the window sills will add the perfect finishing touches to your faux vacation home. Go for something a little different                                                                              If you want the type of space that will have all of your guests asking "where'd you get that?" try Switch Hits' classic pewter outlet covers. The natural light will bounce off of them beautifully during the day and at night the lamp light will dance on them as well, making them pop right off the wall - figuratively speaking. Another collection from Switch Hits that will stand out in any home is the steam punk collection. Steampunk is a style that combines elements of Victorian fashion with images from the Industrial Revolution for a look that is both elegant and edgy. Big How has some tips to get you started decorating your steampunk sun room. 

How to design the perfect patio

For homeowners looking to expand the amount of livable space their homes offer, adding a patio may be the perfect fix, but it can be a looming task for decorators jumping into it without a game plan. Decorating a patio is much different than decorating the interior of your home, and there are a few important things to think about before getting down to business.How does your patio fit into your home? It's important to evaluate how your patio fits into the rest of your home. Figuring that part out starts with location. If your patio begins just outside your doorway, it's a good idea to try blending your interior with the outer space. Try using a similar floor design or a similar pattern or theme of outdoor furniture. Make the indoor space flow into the outdoor space so you're just as comfortable outside as you are inside. On the other hand, if your patio is far away from the house, it'd be a great opportunity to use other elements to mark the difference. Incorporate plants and use the surrounding nature to really set the space apart. It's also a perfect excuse to build a fire pit so you can use the area even on those chilly fall nights.What materials should you use? Whether your patio is under an awning or you're out in the sunshine, you should always buy materials made for the outdoors. Outdoor furniture can be just as neat and cozy as indoor furniture. There are plenty of weatherproof rugs, chairs, tables, couches and pillows to choose from if you look in the right places. Try looking at some designs from Houzz to fuel your imagination. If you're lucky enough to have some outdoor lighting or even an outdoor fireplace that uses electricity, use a durable and decorative switch plate  that suits the space. There's a whole collection of outdoor designs that can match your area perfectly.

Bring the outdoors indoors by giving your home a rustic twist

Appreciate the outdoors from within your own home with a few neat and earthy tricks. You can make your study, kitchen, living room, bedroom or even bathroom into a forest landscape with a few knickknacks, a decorative switch plate or an inexpensive do-it-yourself project.Apartment Therapy noted that the essence of the rustic, outdoorsy theme lies in raw wood, simple rugs with natural materials, heavy leathers and a delicate balance of light and neutral colors. There are dozens of ways to make any room into a work of nature from your outlet covers down to the texture of your throw pillows.Faux bois and regular bois French for "false wood," the strategic use of faux bois can give any room an outdoorsy feel. Martha Stewart Living magazine has a flurry of faux bois decorating tips to use. For example, turn fake tree stumps into footstools and end tables using a light varnish, or make a piece of driftwood into a rack for hanging coats. Using natural and fake wood can bring a whole room to life. Try using fake wood for larger or more delicate projects where real wood may be too heavy or clunky to use functionally. Invest in wood-grain accessories like mouse pads for the study or coasters for the dining room to instill the natural charm of the woodlands.Stones and slates Use all of the elements in your rustic design. Smooth stones can be turned into decorative, functional doorstops with a piece of felt to keep from scratching floors, or fill a glass vase with light pebbles for an eye-pleasing centerpiece. Don't forget that slate and stone complements wood. Use a stone switch plate if your walls already have wood paneling to show your true rustic expertise, or pick a leather plug cover to match surrounding furniture.Lighting Remember that lighting is key in the rustic setting. Florescent lights should be avoided as much as possible. Using darker lampshades to make lighting softer and more comfortable shows a true mastery of the rustic decor. The rustic theme is also perfect for a study with a fireplace. Track lights and lamps are no match for the natural glow of a fire in your earthy environment.

How to spruce up your entryway in a snap

What kind of space do you enter every time you open the front door to your home? If you haven't thought much about your entryway, it's time to give this bit of your house some attention. After all, it's the first thing that guests see when they step inside your home, and it gives them their first taste of your style. Make a good impression by jazzing up your entryway with some of the following touches.Eye-catching light fixture Whether your style is more about grand chandeliers or interesting architectural lanterns, Houzz recommended using a special light fixture in your entryway. Not only will it look interesting, but it can dictate the lighting in your space, giving it a soft glow or an energizing brightness.Bold runner Real Simple magazine stressed using a bold runner to draw guests into your home. It shouldn't run the entire length of your hallway, though, and make sure that it's not touching the surrounding furniture to give it a more open effect. This will encourage guests to look father into your home and come inside.Smart storage Something like a dresser, cubbies or hanging hooks is essential in an entryway, where people might be shedding their shoes or outerwear. Make your storage solutions stand out by choosing interesting or unique pieces that you wouldn't find in a store.Interesting switch plates Add intrigue by swapping out your old wall switch plates and plug covers for more decorative models. Stone or wood switch plates can make an elegant impact without making your design seem cluttered. You might even want to choose different colors of the same material for your switch plates if you're going for an eclectic vibe.Fun wall display Get creative with the items you put on your walls in the entryway. Give your guests something to look at by taking advantage of several different sized pictures or paintings, or go even bolder with a collection of found items, like signs, mirrors or even ceiling medallions painted the color of your walls for a fun texture.Mirrors A collection of interesting mirrors or just one large piece works to add a sense of space to an entryway - even if it's not that big. It'll also help reflect light around the space, brightening it up. You can even use it to check your appearance before you head out the door each day!

Make your smaller rooms feel larger with these DIY projects

HardwoodHaving a small room can make you feel cramped, but it can be easy to make the space feel open and breathable again. Here are a few tips that you can do right at home to inexpensively and beautifully redefine your small space without breaking the bank.Make your own art Hanging something right in the middle of a small wall space can make the entire room feel bigger, but you don't need to go to an art or decor store to find your perfect piece. Real Simple magazine suggested framing some fabric, or even just securing it directly over a frame. By using a patterned fabric, you can use virtually any color in any style that you want, so you'll be able to find a hardwood switch plate to match without a problem.One way that you can do this project with a simple framed canvas is to just use a staple gun. Lay your fabric with the pattern facing down on your workspace and place the canvas on top. Use the staple gun to secure the top left corner with a staple just inside the frame, then pull the fabric tight and do the same for the top right corner. Keep repeating this process until you've stapled all four corners and, just like that, you've got your own DIY art that will expand the style and scope of your entire room.Hang a long, narrow shelf Hanging a shelf in a smaller room will immediately draw the eye across it, making the space feel much larger. Shelves offer great opportunities to display all sorts of fun things to match your switch plates and other accessories, whether they're decorations or family keepsakes. Either way, a new shelf can bring tons of possibilities into your home, and making one is quite easy.First, simply measure the space across the room from wall to wall. Second, find a style of wood you'd like - for the purpose of making a smaller room feel bigger, you'll want to use a shelf that's thin vertically, but it can be as wide as you want. Once you've measured the distance between the walls, go ahead and cut your wood - remember, measure twice, cut once. While there are many ways to secure a shelf in place, one of the easiest will be to use hangers. Make sure to use a stud finder or tap the wall to make sure you secure your shelf in a sturdy part of the wall, noted the Washington Post.

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