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Painting Furniture: From Blah to Bold

Friday, 04 May 2012 11:22
Your new best friend: 100-150 grit sandpaper. Your old best friend: Your manicure (seriously, wear gloves). I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Before embarking on this project, I looked a bit online and found Diane’s tips on “in my own style” valuable. I’m using the tools and techniques she suggested. About the table:$72 pine console table purchased fourteen years ago. Pine furniture is loved for the characteristic knots by some and for the inexpensive price tags by others, like me. Pine, like most wood, changes color over time. We planned this table for our new kitchen project… Read more...

Finding the Perfect (Garden) Mix

Friday, 27 April 2012 16:36
Some purchase and cultivate compost bins in their gardens, others designate a space for an open pile of vegetable ends and grass clippings. Whatever the method, the process can be rewarding for plants and the general environment surrounding the house. Kathie Kalinowski and her husband have been composting for years. They have an area surrounded by chicken wire in their yard where they discard unneeded leaves, grass clippings and kitchen scraps–uneeded until it's time to enrich their expansive garden (pictured left). Using the nutrient rich soil created in the compost pile gives their flowers the materials they need to bloom… Read more...

Embrace Your Home's Scars

Friday, 20 April 2012 12:01
I have been doing some spring cleaning around my house.  With the windows open and the sunlight streaming in, I am motivated to dump the drudgery of winter that had accumulated in closets, drawers, and cabinets.  The brilliance of sunlight does a marvelous job of highlighting the dust-bunnies and fingerprints that are dulled by the short cloudy days of winter. While scrubbing the art board from the kids’ playroom, I found a little gem. I think my daughter was probably about 6 when she did this.  I had just gone back to work full time, and we were all having… Read more...

An Introvert’s Guide to Quiet Spaces

Friday, 13 April 2012 08:49
Women who lean toward a more introverted outlook are not necessarily shy, and needing a little calm in each day does not make them less likely to go out and meet new people. Stephanie Wagner considers herself introverted meaning she values her quiet time and prefers to work alone. Even in college when her friends were out, she preferred a movie night in. Now Stephanie is a design consultant, decorator, and business owner, and she is finding ways to incorporate her preferred climate of calm into the spaces of her home. "In my own home, you can imagine that finding… Read more...

Is Your Water Heater Running?

Friday, 06 April 2012 11:25
Water heaters are second only to household heating when it comes to biggest energy drain on your home, and if your water heater is old, it's probably sucking up more energy than necessary. Educate yourself on the statics and logistics of purchasing a new, energy efficient water heater. Determine how much energy your water heater is using each month. When you're looking into purchasing a new unit, consider Energy Star-qualified water heaters that save in money and energy use each month. Some energy efficient utilities also qualify homeowners for a tax deduction or in-store rebates. Read more...
When we moved into our house seven years ago, I fell in love with the front bedroom. We sit up on a country hill, and the room is filled with morning sunlight and a generous view of rolling hills, evergreen trees, and running horses. My son was gifted this room at first because he was too little to be far away from the Master Suite. We have since finished the lower level and added two more bedrooms. Last year, he decided that it was time for him to move downstairs. I wanted to immediately claim the room for my own,… Read more...

Make Your Space Green

Friday, 23 March 2012 10:12
Making your home green does not mean painting the walls–it means making sure various aspects of your home are environmentally friendly. Try these simple steps to reduce your home's carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment around you. Read more...

Don't Cry Over Spilled Red Wine

Friday, 16 March 2012 14:16
You and some friends are sitting in your living room–your pristine, remodeled, perfectly furnished and accessorized living room–enjoying red wine after a hard week. And then, suddenly you see it, wine where it should not be–spilled on your carpet. Before you throw up your hands in defeat, try these tips to prevent a lasting stain: 1. Blot: Using a clean, white cloth, soak up as much of the liquid as possible by dabbing the spot. Use different parts of the cloth to blot up the liquid, and avoid rubbing the spill with the cloth as the motion will ground the… Read more...

Instant Mood Lifters for the Home

Friday, 09 March 2012 09:45
February may be the shortest month of the year, but for those of us in the Northern regions, it often feels like the longest. And now that it is March, the joy of the holiday season has worn off, as has the novelty of bright, white snow. What invited rest and reflection just one month ago now feels like a suffocating blanket of bleakness. There are some easy lifts we can add to our interior environment that will bridge the gray until the spring weather shoots life back into us. Start Spring Cleaning. I love to do my spring cleaning… Read more...

Do the Tangerine Tango

Friday, 02 March 2012 09:44
Ever wonder how designers know what is next? Luckily with all the technology tools available today, it is just as easy for West Michigan designers to stay on trend like big city designers. There is no longer any reason for the Midwest to be behind New York and California. One source we use at Allard Design to predict color trends is Pantone. Each year Pantone makes color forecasts for what the BIG color of the year will be. Pantone LLC is known globally for their expertise on color. “For more than 45 years, Pantone has been inspiring design professionals with… Read more...