Monthly Archives: February 2010

IT’s on Sale – This Week’s Hot Items!

With the Winter Olympics in Vancouver winding down we’re seeing a whole bunch of bronze, silver, and gold everywhere we look.  This week’s sale items are three of our latest finds in this week’s most timely colors.  And, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, we’ve slashed an EXTRA 10% off our everyday DESIGNER-DISCOUNT prices on each of these metal winners for the next 7 days!  GO DIO!

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GOLD:  Expressions I Wall Panel:  This striking and unique wall panel features a series of abstract gold and rust colored squares in a raised and recessed checkerboard pattern. The metallic gold frame adds a glamorous touch. Regular $523/Now $352!

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SILVER:  Studio Console Table: This glam mirrored console table adds sparkle to any foyer or great room.  Use it to display modern sculpture and objet d’art.  Constructed of chrome-plated steel with mirrored glass shelves. Regular $946/Now $639!

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BRONZE:  Samantha Armchair: This striking transitional dining chair offers impeccable tailoring and gorgeous clean lines.  Plus it features arms for added comfort.  Available in bronze, lavender, or cocoa silk-look upholstery with a matte black solid wood frame. Regular $545/Now $367!

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Check out our STORE for more details!

North America’s UGLIEST Room Contest!

Here’s another entry in our UGLIEST room contest!  This one features lovely green leather sofas from the early 90’s, pastel green paint, and high wattage fluorescent bulbs in the sconces that are bright enough to serve as a beacon to ships at sea!

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Email your ugly room pics to:  askIT@decorateITonline.com.  If we feature your photos on our Blog you’ll receive a $10.00 gift certificate to use in our STORE. And, if our readers and editors choose your room to be the UGLIEST room in North America you’ll receive a FREE StyleIT 3D decorating package, worth $299, and 20% off everything in our Store to complete your new room!  Hurry, the contest closes March 31, 2010.  No purchase necessary!

Spa-like Bathroom Makeover!

Here’s another hot bathroom makeover from the same reader we featured in last week’s BEFORE/AFTER post.  In this larger bathroom the homeowner used our paint and accessory recommendations to transform an overly dramatic black space into a bright, spa-like retreat.

Before: Dark and uninviting

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After: Cool and restive, with a touch of nature

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In the new incarnation, the somber black paint was replaced with a cool, spa grey.  Rather than replacing the floors we suggested a natural patterned sisal runner to add an organic touch.  The colored candles and accessories were replaced with unstained wood pieces.  And, to add an interesting natural focal point at the end of the room we recommended our genuine birch poles to create a 3 dimensional sculpture effect.  The look is calm, cool, and ingorating!

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Birch Poles. $199 (set of 3)

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We’s love to see your BEFORE and AFTER pics too!  Send them to askIT@decorateITonline.com.  If we feature them on our blog you’ll receive a $10.00 gift certificate for our STORE!  And check out our SERVICES page for help with your space!

Ask IT: How can I dress up my stubby basement windows?

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We just finished painting and installing new laminate floors in the family room in our basement, but before we move all the furniture back I need help figuring out what to do with the two small windows in the room.  Friends have suggested that I just buy off-the-rack mini blinds or hang short cafe curtains, but I don’t like either of these ideas.  Is there a way to dress up the windows to make the room seem less like a basement?

Laura

Stockton, CA

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Hi Laura,

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Basement windows can be one of the biggest decorating challenges for both designers and homeowners alike.  The small size, high placement, and deep-set casings make most typical window-covering options look awkward and unflattering.

For your windows I would recommend a double-rod curtain treatment.  Use double-rod brackets and two curtain rods (available at most hardware stores), and hang them so the rods overlap the windows by 12″ on each side and hang the rods at either 84″ or 96″ high (depending on the height of your ceilings).  Then hang floor length sheer drapes on the inside rod (closest to the window), and darker colored panels on the outside rod (cranberry red or purple would be a nice fit with your wall color).  The panels and sheer should both just barely graze the floor.


This type of treatment will add height to the room and add width to the windows, yet still allow privacy when needed and let in maximum light during the day.

Email your questions to: askIT@decorateitonline.com.  If we feature your question on our blog we’ll send you a $10 gift certificate to use in our STORE!

IT’s on Sale – This Week’s Hot Items!

This week we are thrilled to introduce another of our amazing finds from the Las Vegas Market show!  This absolutely stunning lighting collection is not only beautiful to look at, but also environmentally responsible.  Each lampshade is constructed of genuine leaves and fibers from exotic tropical trees like cocoa, alibangbang, banyan, and durian.  They are each then tinted in an array of gorgeous colors using totally organic, non-corrosive dyes.

And, for the next week, we are proud to feature all the lamps from this exciting new collection at 20% our everyday low price, and, as always, the shipping is FREE!

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Fortune Table Lamp: Clean lines and an artisanal beauty highlight this charming contemporary table lamp.  Regular $165/Now $132!

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Drum Pendant Lamp: Organic and modern, this pendant lamp adds a stunning focal point in a dining room or bedroom.  Regular $335/Now $268!

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Banyan Floor Lamp: Genuine banyan leaves on this large floor lamp make each shade unique.  Regular $295/Now $236!

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Check out the rest of the line and all our other Eco-Friendly products in our STORE!

Do IT Yourself: Picture Rails

Looking for an inexpensive artwork solution for bare walls?  Picture rails let you create a myriad of looks from ultra-casual, to stunningly chic, and you can change the look as often as you like without damaging your walls.   Here are a few options for using picture rails to create a unique custom look on your walls:

This IKEA picture rail features vintage 1930's New York architectural postcards in dollar store frames and cost less than $20!

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These pictures are suspended on wires from an elevated picture rail and create a casual, elegant look.

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These picture rails were made from $2 metal corner brackets and plain dollar store frames stained espresso. The pictures consist of travel photos and images cut from a Picasso coffee table book.

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This rustic picture rail was made from a long tree branch with pictures suspended from wires at different heights.

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If you have a tip or idea you’d like to share with our readers email it to: askIT@decorateitonline.com.  If we feature it on our blog we’ll send you a $10.00 gift certificate to use in our STORE.

Cool Powder Room Makeover!

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Wow!  This dramatic powder room re-do goes to show how a bit of paint and a few accessories can transform a space dramatically on a tight budget!  The entire project (including PaintIT color consultation) cost less than $300!

Before: Dark and Traditional

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The old black and gold look was all about glitz and glam (and you know how we love glitz and glam!), but felt too stuffy and over-the-top for the space.  The new softer, spa-inspired paint palette incorporates an ultra-pale shade of this year’s hottest color, TURQUOISE, on the feature wall, and crisp gallery-white on the adjacent walls.  The gold frames were swapped for two sleek picture rails to display an eclectic mix of the owner’s artwork and photos, and the neo-classical bust on the banjo adds a bit of whimsy and visual interest to the space. Adorable!

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After: Light, Airy, and Modern!

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We’d love to see your BEFORE and AFTER pics too!  Send them to askIT@decorateITonline.com.  If we feature them on our blog you’ll receive a $10.00 gift certificate to spend in our STORE (on any purchase of $50.00 or more). And for help making a dramatic change in your space check out our SERVICES page!

IT’s On Sale – This Week’s Hot Items!

It’s Valentine’s Week and LOVE is in the air here at decorateITonline!  This week’s hot items inspire that loving feeling in us, and at 20% off our everyday low prices, you’re gonna love them too!  Drop by our STORE and let us show you the LOVE!

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Resonance in Red Framed Print: A vibrant and dramatic red, black, and white contemporary abstract.  Regular $75/Now $60!


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Virginia Occasional Chair: A simple open-back leather slipper chair with a matte black frame.  Regular $730/Now $584!

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Mori Red Area Rug: The rich red and gold pattern gives this area rug a distinctly Oriental exoticism. Regular $245/Now $196!

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Bring on the Bling: Today’s hottest kitchens add a touch of glamor on any budget! – Part 2

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Give it Some Gas: As most chefs will tell you, cooking with gas will give you much more cooking versatility than electric.  Instant heat, consistent low-level simmering, and quick cooldown make gas ranges and cooktops the ideal choice for both the professional chef and the ambitious novice.  Check with your contractor and local building codes to ensure adequate ventilation and clearances.  And for maximum practicality, consider going with a built-in cooktop and separate wall oven.  Not only does this raise your oven to a more functional height, but also gives you a more elegant custom look than a freestanding range would.

Go back to the Stone Age: Use natural stone to add classic luxury to your kitchen.   Hard-wearing, elegant granite or slate countertops are both beautiful and functional. Marble can be a bit more high-maintenance but is great as an accent, or on top of an island.   There are also several new quartz composite countertops in a myriad of colours to compliment any colour scheme.   If granite or quartz countertops aren’t in the budget, textured black slate-effect laminate can give you a glamourous look for a fraction of the price.   Another way to dress up a simple countertop is to add a Carrara marble pastry board (available at most kitchen stores, or can be custom sized at a stone supplier).

Be a Show-Off: Add glass doors to some (or all) of your upper cabinets. Don’t wait for a special occasion to show off your cut crystal stemware and fine china; create glamourous focal points in your cabinets by grouping all your crystal together in one area, all your fine china together in another, and all your plain whiteware together.  Use built-in halogen or LED cabinet lighting and glass shelves to accent your “bling” pieces.   Built-in wine racks are also a great way to show off that vintage collection, or, if the budget allows, a built-in glass front wine chiller is the ultimate in kitchen luxe.

Lighten Things Up: Proper lighting can make or break the look of your kitchen.  Single-pendant fixtures in the middle of the room and those eerie blue-white “Sunshine ceiling” fluorescent fixtures of yore just don’t cut it in today’s glamourous kitchens.  As in any room, the best lighting is that which you don’t notice; lighting fixtures should draw attention to the room, not the fixture. The best kitchens incorporate a variety of light sources to accommodate the various functions they are used for: pendant or recessed pot lighting (all on dimmer switches) for ambient lighting throughout the room, LED under-cabinet task lighting around the perimeter of the kitchen, and halogen spotlights to highlight display areas.

Don’t Forget the Floor: Perhaps more than any other area, the myriad of different flooring options that have emerged in recent years provide both durability and elegance at any price point.  Standard vinyl flooring is now available in a wide array of colours and textures that simulate tile, stone, cork and wood.  Laminate flooring is a less expensive and lower maintenance way to achieve the look of wood and is an easy DIY project.  Many of the new ceramic tiles on the market give you the look of slate, granite, or marble at a fraction of the cost.  And, if the budget allows, real hardwood and natural stone floors can give you timeless elegance and are a fantastic upgrade when it comes time for resale.

Above all, your kitchen should be a reflection of your own personal style.  As the heart of the home, it should be warm, welcoming, and inviting to your family and your guests.

So go on, make your living room jealous!

By Jeff James, as printed in Renovations Magazine

For personalized advice for your kitchen check out our Services page!

Bring on the Bling: Today’s hottest kitchens add a touch of glamor on any budget! Part 1

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As anyone from the East Coast knows, any good party starts (and ends) in the kitchen.  Whether it’s a casual family potluck, or formal dinner for twelve, guests invariably tend to gravitate toward (and linger in) the kitchen.  No longer the hidden-away workhorse of the home, today’s hottest kitchens are less “Wallflower” and more “Belle of the Ball”.  Gone are the days of boring, utilitarian kitchens: “Builder-white” cabinets, “Sunshine ceilings”, and beige linoleum floors are being upstaged by dark cabinets, halogen accent lighting, and natural stone tile underfoot.  And the best part is: you don’t have to break the bank to achieve a glamorous new look!

Here’s a few tips to help maximize the glam factor in your kitchen:

Highlight your Hardware: Cabinet pulls and hinges are no longer limited to standard brass or chrome.  From polished nickel to oil-rubbed bronze to platinum there is a wide array of choices to add a touch of “bling” to your cabinet doors.  And when it comes to size: think BIG.  “Large scale handles are becoming increasingly popular, especially with simple slab or Mission style doors” according to Rema Dixon, kitchen designer.

Think Dark: “There is a huge trend toward dark cabinets” says Dixon, “but without the red undertones we’ve seen in the past”.  Espresso, Chocolate Brown, and even Jet Black cabinets can look fantastic in both traditional and more modern kitchens.  Try pairing dark cabinets with a light coloured countertop and a tile or stainless steel backsplash.  This contrast will make your cabinet detail really pop out visually.

Lower the Bar: Split-level islands and raised eating bars often look good on paper, but they can reduce your useable counter space and create a visual barrier between your kitchen and adjacent rooms.  Consider keeping your eating bar at the same height (36”) as your countertops, or add a 12” overhang on the end of your island to accommodate counter height stools.

Reach for the Ceiling: One of the primary concerns in most kitchen renovations is maximizing storage potential.  One simple way to achieve this is to extend your upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  This not only eliminates the dust-collecting gap above your cabinets (the space that often becomes a magnet for decorative plate collections, artificial ferns, or ceramic roosters), but can also add more than 10% extra storage to your kitchen.  Use the top shelves to store seasonal items (Christmas platters, canning jars, etc.) that you may only need a few times a year. This will free up more space at the functional level for items you use more frequently.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow and check out our Services page for help making your kitchen the center of attention!