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Creating a fairytale bedroom for your little princess

A bedroom should be a sanctuary, a place to escape the stresses of the day and to regroup before you have to go out and do it all over again the next day. Kids need their own space just as much as adults, and if you have girl at home who can't get enough of princesses and fairytales, as well as all the mystical creatures that come with them, design a bedroom for her that will make her feel as if she were dropped in the middle of her own tale of adventure and magic. Setting the right tone An amazing paint job can go a long way toward giving the room the look and feel of a magic wonderland, and evoking emotions in the room's occupant that send her imagination running wild. Murals are a perfect way to achieve this effect. How Stuff Works suggests having an enchanted forest painted on the wall of your little lady's room as it's a common theme in fairytales. Castles with tall towers and dungeons, sprawling mountain ranges and fields full of wildflowers will bring the room to life. Throw in some mischievous gnomes and elves peeking out from behind the trees too! Switch Hits' collection of Wooden Animal outlet covers are the perfect addition to any enchanted forest. Let the little one choose from foxes, wolves, frogs, squirrels and much more. She's sure to find  a creature she can happily live with among these choices. Furnishing fits for a queen Once you've figured out the dominating theme for the room, choose furniture that will add to the room's mood. Home Guides points out that canopy beds are a constant presence in movies about princesses and other females of enchanted folklore. The source suggest a tulle canopy to add a whimsical touch to the room. White furniture with gold accents are a nice touch, and wooden chairs or tables in the shape of tree stumps will bring it back around to the enchanted forest theme. Deck the windows out with velvet drapes that your daughter can peer through to keep watch on her kingdom. If velvet is too heavy, try sheer drapes that will allow more light in and give room a more airy ambiance. A mirror is a must-have, and the more elaborate the accents, the better. A gold frame decked out in flowers and garland will add a dramatic touch that will fuel her imagination. Switch Hits' hand crafted pewter decorative outlet covers may seem a bit mature for a young girl, but they'll add an exquisitely regal touch that she's sure to love. 

Tips for making your closet more functional

For many people, it doesn't matter how big their closets are - there's never quite enough space for everything. Knocking out a wall and expanding into the next room probably isn't an option, but there are other ways you can make your closet more functional.Whether you're hoping to add more clothing to your closet or simply want a better organization system, there are creative, affordable and aesthetically pleasing ways to do so. Take spring cleaning to the next level this year and get ready to redesign your closet.Purge your possessions The first and perhaps most difficult step in optimizing your closet is getting rid of clothing, pointed out Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Some items might have sentimental value, but in the end, ask yourself: Would I rather keep this shirt I never wear or replace it with a new item that I would wear all the time? This is also an opportunity to separate your clothing seasonally. Now that warmer weather has arrived, it's high time to stash away the sweaters. If you normally store your off-season outfits in your closet, consider moving them into the attic or basement instead to free up more space.Once you've cut down your closet to items that you'll definitely keep and wear, here are some tips that'll optimize the functionality of the space.Use a shelf system: Expand your vertical storage space by using a shelving unit. There are plenty of models - some stand on the floor while others hang. Regardless of whether a majority of your clothes are hung or folded, a shelving system will give you more room to store small items such as socks and shoes.Divide by activity: If you work an office job but prefer jeans and a T-shirt on the weekends, separate your work clothes from your social ones. This makes for quicker mornings.Change the light switch: Alter the atmosphere of the closet by purchasing a decorative switch plate that speaks to your personality and unique style. There are endless possibilities when it comes to switch plates, from elegant hammered metals to whimsical ones made from street signs. Switch out the bulb: Further streamline your mornings by changing the lighting. Brighter lights will allow you to see better, but if you're worried about your eyes, dimmer switches or energy-efficient bulbs will allow your eyes to adjust slowly.

Melt your stress away in a redesigned bathroom

It happens to everyone - a particularly bad day that requires some form of relaxation therapy. Chances are, you do this by going home and taking a bath surrounded by scented candles. If you often find yourself using the bathroom as an oasis, it may be time to optimize the space as a serene sanctuary. Now's the perfect time to take advantage of the warm weather and start an exciting new project that'll keep your home looking fresh for spring.Know what colors are relaxing Start with the biggest design element that'll directly affect the room's atmosphere - the paint. House Beautiful magazine suggested several ones that'll help your stress melt away in no time. Good choices include pastel shades such as light yellows, soft pinks and grayish purples. However, two that stand out include a yellowish green with a touch of blue and a deep brownish red. The type of paint you choose will depend on the atmosphere that you're looking to establish.Lighter shades that are found in nature can help soothe you after a long day at work. It can lead you to focus on all the wonderful activities that you plan to do during the weekend, or reflect on a particularly great one that you recently experienced. Getting your mind off of the things that stress you out will allow you to return to a much better state of mind, even if the issues that are bugging you aren't yet fully resolved. Being more relaxed after a long soak in the tub will ensure that you return to the situation with a clear mind.According to Freshome, the effect can be enhanced by deepening the shade of paint. Additionally, featuring a color that you look great in can help improve your mood, especially in the morning when you're looking at yourself in the mirror. In contrast, avoid colors that you know aren't flattering for you. Find a small focal point You don't want your bathroom to be too distracting, so a decorative switch plate is the perfect focal point. Don't overlook this everyday functional item as an opportunity to design. Intricate switch plates such as handcrafted pewter or shabby chic can help you forget about your worries, while whimsical designs and images can make you smile at the end of a particularly trying day. 

How to transform your dining room this spring

The arrival of spring and summer means that it's time to stash away the dark-colored decor of fall and winter and bring out pieces that feature bright hues. But why stop there? Welcome the warm weather and long days by taking on a large interior design project, such as revamping the dining room. Though you'll spend plenty of time hosting outdoor parties, the dining room is where your family is most likely to sit down and enjoy a nightly meal together. Take this opportunity to brighten up the space and create an exciting new atmosphere that friends and family members will love.Assess your lighting Dim lighting setups may work well in romantic restaurants, but it's likely not ideal for your personal purposes. Leave the semi-gloominess to retail food venues and opt for a brighter atmosphere. You can do this by purchasing new light bulbs for your existing fixtures. Or, if you're looking for a more serious change, you can invest in new fixtures altogether. If you've ever wanted to add some elegance to your dining room, this is the perfect opportunity to purchase a small chandelier, which comes in traditional and modern designs.Want to further boost the wow factor in the dining room? Have an electrician install dimmers on your lights. This way, you can enjoy an intimate meal with your partner but also be able to host brightly lit dinner parties. Don't let this great feature go unnoticed - find a decorative switch plate that's as unique as your redesigned room. Enhance a traditional look by selecting a metal switch plate. There's plenty of texture to be found in these models, such as hammered, stamped, tarnished and others. Featuring a modern vibe? Worry not, there are covers that'll add to your design, including ones made of street signs, tree bark and more.Repaint your walls Complete the project by selecting new paint for your dining room. Don't just cover everything in a single shade. Exercise your creativity and explore different patterns - look to your decorative switch plate for inspiration!Alternatively, you can offset the primary color by adding a wide stripe of a secondary hue throughout the room, suggested HGTV. This will allow the light to create interesting shadows, which will serve as the perfect backdrop for any gatherings that the dining room may host.

Embrace your kids' independence by letting them design their rooms

It was bound to happen at some point - your kids are growing up and all that hard work you put into designing their nursery seems like it was all for nothing now that they're asking to redecorate the space. Rather than take it personally, view it as an opportunity to embrace your kids' increasing sense of independence. Personalizing their rooms is one of the biggest steps in growing up, so allow them to exercise their creativity. Lend a helping hand Show your support by offering to help out. Though your kids may be hesitant at first, tell them to consider the fact that you designed all the other rooms in the home. Let them know that you're not looking to take over the project, but simply want to provide some advice for starters and the different directions that their ideas can go in. You're giving them more options, not limiting them.After all, your kids are most likely going to need your assistance in getting to the local hardware store to look for paint. Walk them through the process of selecting a color for the walls, from selecting swatches to bringing them home and seeing how they look in the daylight and at night. Some retailers may even allow you to take some samples to try out at home. Consider new hardware What better way to let your kids exhibit their creativity than by letting them decide on the details of the room, such as the hardware? See if they want to change the doorknobs or switch plates and outlet covers. These small details can really make the room unique, and you can rest assured knowing that they'll love showing them off to their friends. These are often overlooked in other homes, so your kids will be more than happy to customize the ones in their rooms.Regardless of what their interests are, there are decorative switch plates that'll fit the bill. From steam punk designs to glow-in-the-dark switch plates, the problem won't be finding the right models, it'll be deciding on a single one!Luckily, they can explore other designs on the outlet covers. These small items may not seem like much, but they're frequently used and therefore shouldn't be overlooked. Your kids will smile every time they turn the lights on or off or charge a device.

Embrace your kids' independence by letting them design their rooms

It was bound to happen at some point - your kids are growing up and all that hard work you put into designing their nursery seems like it was all for nothing now that they're asking to redecorate the space. Rather than take it personally, view it as an opportunity to embrace your kids' increasing sense of independence. Personalizing their rooms is one of the biggest steps in growing up, so allow them to exercise their creativity. Lend a helping hand Show your support by offering to help out. Though your kids may be hesitant at first, tell them to consider the fact that you designed all the other rooms in the home. Let them know that you're not looking to take over the project, but simply want to provide some advice for starters and the different directions that their ideas can go in. You're giving them more options, not limiting them.After all, your kids are most likely going to need your assistance in getting to the local hardware store to look for paint. Walk them through the process of selecting a color for the walls, from selecting swatches to bringing them home and seeing how they look in the daylight and at night. Some retailers may even allow you to take some samples to try out at home. Consider new hardware What better way to let your kids exhibit their creativity than by letting them decide on the details of the room, such as the hardware? See if they want to change the doorknobs or switch plates and outlet covers. These small details can really make the room unique, and you can rest assured knowing that they'll love showing them off to their friends. These are often overlooked in other homes, so your kids will be more than happy to customize the ones in their rooms.Regardless of what their interests are, there are decorative switch plates that'll fit the bill. From steam punk designs to glow-in-the-dark switch plates, the problem won't be finding the right models, it'll be deciding on a single one!Luckily, they can explore other designs on the outlet covers. These small items may not seem like much, but they're frequently used and therefore shouldn't be overlooked. Your kids will smile every time they turn the lights on or off or charge a device.

Make your kitchen a family gathering place for summer fun

The kitchen is an essential part of the home. Regardless of whether you prefer to cook alone or with friends and family, this space should be optimized for safety and convenience.Needless to say, the kitchen can be a hazardous place. Between the stove, sharp knives and hot foods, there are many dangers that can be difficult to avoid. The best defense against these is good design. Proper lighting and setup can cut down on potential accidents. Now that the days are longer and you're getting ready to host all sorts of parties, it's time to redesign the kitchen.Start with everyday items Products that you frequently use around the kitchen should be within easy reach at all times. This includes knives, paper towels, pots and pans and more. Additionally, they should be put in the right places. For example, oven mitts should be stored close to the oven. Cutting boards shouldn't be more than a few steps away from the knife block. This will cut down on the distance that you need to cover in order to cook a meal, which can also heighten safety by allowing you to keep an eye on the food.This same mentality should also be applied to food items with the additional concern of freshness. Perishable products that don't go in the fridge, such as bread, should be kept on the counter within view. This ensures that everyone in the household will see it and know to consume it as soon as possible.Consider the young and old Depending on the residents, you may need to consider the accessibility of other kitchen items. While certain items need to be kept out of reach of children, they should also be easy to grab for older adults in the family. Therefore, setting items further back on a counter rather than higher up on shelves can provide protection for the young and the old.Look into the details Ease of use is also important in the kitchen. Chances are, the cook's hands will be full most of the time, so everyday kitchen fixtures such as cabinets and sinks should be convenient. This is especially true for light switches, which make a huge difference. If you don't already have Decora switches in the kitchen, consider having them installed. Then, heighten their visibility by selecting a decorative switch plate that draws everyone's attention to the new fixtures.

Make your bedroom an inspiring space

You spend many hours in your bedroom, but if they're mainly spent sleeping, it's time for a redesign. This cozy sanctuary should be a place to retreat to and relax in, not one that puts you to sleep because there's nothing to look at.What better way to make the space more interesting than by enhancing the elegance factor? The bedroom is one of the most personal areas of a home, and you may have been shy to open its door to visitors in the past. However, after this redesign, you'll be more than happy to show it to everyone.Find the right color scheme One of the biggest and perhaps hardest decisions that you'll have to make early on is the color scheme. This will establish the overall atmosphere, which can be a lot of pressure. Rather than approach the situation as one with endless possibilities (though it is), think of it as a choice between warm and cool colors. A good way to choose between the two is to consider the climate in the region and pick the opposite color scheme. For example, the dry heat of the desert can be offset by a bedroom that features lots of blues and purples. On the other hand, frequent cold weather can be balanced out by a space that has many reds and oranges. Alternatively, if there are cultural designs that you're particularly drawn to, there are opportunities to use tried-and-true color palettes. Don't forget the details Once you've established the color palette, it's time to move on to the finer details. Look to your light switch plates and outlet covers as starting points and as sources of inspiration for the other parts of your room. You're doing an entire remodeling of the space, so don't overlook any areas that you can personalize. Elegance can be found in many materials, including pewter, ceramic, brass and many more. These should also be featured in the hardware around the room - the doorknobs, lamps and bed frame, for starters. This will allow you to create a cohesive design that'll have everyone in admiration of your decor skills.Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you can't feature murals. Highly decorative switch plates and outlet covers that have sweeping designs can be mirrored on the walls. These broad strokes won't be overly distracting and won't take away from the elegance of the room.

Make your basement the ultimate party space

If you love hosting parties but find that you don't have enough space or are constantly having to move your furniture around to accommodate a large number of partygoers, it may be time to move the festivities downstairs. Many basements are used for storage or as an additional family room. However, if the space isn't getting much use, changing it into a space for social gatherings will allow you to make the most out of this great room. Any extra pieces of furniture that are being stored there can stay. In fact, chances are that you'll be adding more fixtures rather than having to remove any.Figure out what you need Knowing exactly what types of furniture your new party room needs depends on the usual type of get-together you host at your house. Does everybody gather to watch a sporting event on television? Is it a wine and cheese dinner party? Are they weekly movie nights featuring the latest blockbusters? All of these require their own sort of decor, so plan carefully before purchasing additional fixtures.A relatively small piece that goes a long way in establishing your room's atmosphere is the switch plate. Consider this: Many homeowners simply keep whatever covers came with the home when they bought it. Why overlook this opportunity to customize your basement? You and your house can stand out by simply personalizing this everyday item. Establish a theme Regardless of what sporting events you and your friends may watch, there's a collection of switch plates that'll fit your needs. From football to golf, everyone will know what sort of gatherings take place in the basement. Looking for covers that tie back to wine and cheese parties? Purchase a switch plate with organic designs that look vine-like in nature. There are many of these in varying materials, including tarnished copper, ceramic, brass and more. Need one that's eye-catching but not too distracting for movie nights? Look for switch plates that have a matte finish. This way, you can still boast personalization of the space without having any reflective surfaces become distractions during the movie viewing.Use the switch plate as a source of inspiration for the other design elements in the room. Keep the setting cohesive by exploring different shades of the same color or echo the shapes in the switch plate. 

Encourage imagination in the playroom

You may have dominance over most of the house, but the playroom is a space that's primarily for the kids. It's where they go to exercise their imagination and have fun, so every design element should reflect that.If the space is largely undecorated, now's the time to get started. It may be tempting to do this on your own, but if your kids are old enough to participate, include them in the project. It'll be a great way to bond and learn more about their interests and insight. Chances are, they have a different perception of design than you, and their thoughts can be refreshing.Brighten it up Needless to say, kids love bright colors. These don't only attract their attention, but they can be sources of inspiration for their imaginative play. Though their toys may bring these hues into the room, you shouldn't overlook the opportunity to feature them on the walls or floors . This can truly establish the area as one that belongs to the kids.No part of the room should be mundane, so start with a fixture that may often be overlooked - the switch plate. There are handmade ones with whimsical figures that kids will love. Alternatively, give the chosen color palette a boost with colored 3-D metal covers that they'll love looking at and showing off to friends. Draw from these fun and original designs and use them in other pieces of decor.Keep the walls interesting It's no secret that your kids' playroom is full of toys and various storage containers. Why keep everything on the floor if there's wall space that you can take advantage of? Pottery Barn Kids suggested using these surfaces to further encourage imagination with shapes and colors and give the little ones a place where they can proudly display their arts and crafts. You can repaint the walls a more exciting color, especially if it's a flat white. Alternatively, speak to your kids about incorporating a pattern. If you're feeling really ambitious, consider a mural. Either way, you can bet that your beautiful switch plate will be one of the focal decor pieces of the overall room design. Work with your kids to figure out the ideal cover that'll drive their imaginative play and keep all the rooms in your house looking perfect.

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