Category Archives: How-To

How to Hang Your Curtains

Decorating, How-To | | | 3 Replies

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Believe it or not, hanging a curtain is a lot harder than you’d think. Mounting hardware, making sure everything’s even and finding the right curtain length and width takes a lot of measuring, time and focus.

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But don’t worry — we’re here to help! Our handy how-to video will show you just how to hang your curtain and drape hardware correctly the first time. Click on the video below to learn more.

PS: See more of our instructional and inspirational videos, here. 

How to Take Care of Wicker Outdoor Furniture

Decorating, How-To | | | 3 Replies

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Durability is just as important (if not more so) than beauty when it comes to outdoor furniture. Wicker in particular can be tricky to take care of, but luckily our all weather wicker stands the test of time. Woven from a highly resilient synthetic material, our all weather wicker is wrapped around a rust-proof aluminum frame and tested to withstand the elements. However, basic maintenance can help even the most durable materials last even longer. Read on to learn how to take care of your wicker outdoor furniture so that it  lasts for many summers to come.

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Always protect furniture with outdoor covers — you never know when a summer storm can hit! It’s best to make sure the furniture is as dry as possible before putting covers on or storing long term, so residual moisture doesn’t mildew. We suggest putting covers on whenever you go out of town and during the off-season, too.

 Store cushions separately — preferably indoors — where they can stay dry.

 Use a soft bristle brush to keep dust and dirt off your wicker furniture.

 Wipe any spills immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

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 For tougher stains and dried up spills, wash your wicker furniture frame gently with dish soap, water and a sponge. Rinse well with water and dry thoroughly.

 Avoid harsh and abrasive cleaners on wicker — they can rub protective finishes right off. Keep it simple — sometimes, a good rinse with water is all you’ll need.

 Don’t power wash your wicker furniture — like abrasive cleaners, they can wear finishes and coloring down.

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 Test any new cleaning solutions on a hidden area of your furniture to make sure they don’t cause damage.

 Be sure to remove cushions while cleaning your wicker — follow the instructions on the cushions for cleaning, and do so separately.

 When washing, remove any foot caps on your chairs and tables and keep the furniture upright so water drains properly.

 

With the proper care, you and your family will be able to enjoy your wicker furniture summer after summer — rain or shine!

How to Organize Your Pool Toys

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

Summer is just around the corner! For those lucky enough to have a pool, the hot days and heat waves demand long afternoons in the water, floating on rafts, breaking up pool noodle fights and drying off in the sun. But just like indoor play spaces, your pool can become a mess pretty quickly if the correct organizational tools aren’t in place. Avoid the sun and water damaged pool toys of last year with our top organizing tips.

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PS: Don’t forget to check out our new organizing shop online for even more ideas!

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Use small containers to keep like items together. Instead of jumbling everything together in one giant plastic tub, separate things out into smaller containers and organize like by like. It’s the same concept you use indoors — silverware goes together, measuring cups go together, etc. — and will help avoid a scramble when you can’t find the sunscreen.

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Seek out sun protection. At the end of a long day by the pool, it’s easy to just run indoors when the mosquitos come out and leave everything outside until tomorrow. But sun can do some serious damage to pool toys, tools and accessories over the course of the summer. Instead of buying all new pool toys every year, set up an organizing system that will keep everything in the shade and out of the way. This locker system by the back door encourages everyone to drop their toys and towels here before heading in the house.

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Keep things dry. Water can do just as much damage (if not more) as sun to your pool toys, tools and accessories. Take everything out of the pool and puddles on the patio at the end of the day, and put them in a bin or on a rack that allows them to dry thoroughly.

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Clear the decks. Keeping things organized isn’t just about making sure your possessions are safe — it’s about making sure you and your loved ones are safe, too. Slippery pool decks and patios can be dangerous on their own, let alone when littered with noodles and wet towels. The right organizing tools will encourage your family to put things away at the end of the day, and stay safe.

How to Design a Classic Outdoor Living Space

Decorating, How-To | | | 5 Replies

Designing an outdoor living space isn’t that much different from designing one indoors — everyone has their own style and vision. If your home feels more Cape Cod than Morocco, you might want to bring the same classic, traditional style outdoors.

Read on for our top 5 tips to designing a classic, outdoor living space.

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Above: PB Classic Adirondack Painted Chair

Consistent finishes. Pick a timeless, classic material and finish and keep it consistent throughout your space. Classic and traditional style doesn’t necessarily mean everything has to match, but doing so will give your outdoor living space a fresh, pulled together feel.

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Above: Larkspur Teak Sectional

Crisp color palette. Pastels are perfect for spring, but in the summer, you’ll want to look towards bright, deep colors that can stand up to the wear and tear of outdoor activities. Navy blue and firehouse red combined with jute and linen will stay strong all summer and never go out of style.

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Above: Larkspur Teak Steamer Chaise

Comfort is key. Classic and traditional outdoor spaces never skimp on comfort. These spaces are all about entertaining, and you want your guests to feel right at home. Stock up on soft cushions to plop down on, outdoor rugs to keep bare feet cool and plenty of pillows for mid-day naps.

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Above: Larkspur Teak Bar Cart

All the right accessories. Outdoor living accessories should combine style and function seamlessly. Lanterns can add a pop of color when needed, but they also provide a soothing summer glow at night. Galvanized buckets and bins bring rustic flair, but can also hold drinks when filled with ice.

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Above: Larkspur Teak Dining Table and Chair Set

Simple materials. Above all else, summer outdoor living is about simplicity — just enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family. Your furniture materials should reflect that. Choose sturdy but simple materials, like teak and wicker, which will stay in style for many summers to come.

You might also like: Bring the Indoors Out! 5 Tips to Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

How to Choose a Kitchen Table: Interview with Susan Serra

Decorating, How-To | | | 1 Reply

Today, the kitchen isn’t just about cooking — it’s where we spend the majority of our time at home. We work, eat, play games and even watch TV in our kitchens. And today’s kitchen designs reflect this lifestyle — particularly when it comes to the kitchen table. “There’s been a strong trend toward open plan living, which means that ‘real’ living room furniture, accessories, lighting and artwork are moving into the kitchen,” says Susan Serra, CKD, President of Susan Serra Associates, Inc. Bringing furniture into your kitchen allows the space to flow seamlessly with the rest of your house.

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But how do you choose the right kitchen table? Do you need one if you already have an island? Read on for Serra’s professional tips to help you find the kitchen table that’s just right for your home.

Table or Island?

Even if you have a small kitchen, you can often put both an island and a table in the room if your layout allows. “Consider putting a table up against the back of an island, whether it’s a small table for two or a large table for eight,” says Serra. “It’s a custom look that saves space, looks great and functions well.”

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Impossible to fit both in your space? Think about which option will be more flexible in the long run. “Which one will allow you to do more with the space, other than dining? I.e., projects, prep, etc.,” says Serra.

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Size

What will your table or island’s purpose be?  Will you be entertaining? Working? Prepping for dinner? Also, consider how many people you want to sit comfortably at the table. If you have a dining room, you can probably afford a smaller table, but if you plan on serving most dinners in the kitchen you’ll need some extra seating.

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Space

During the kitchen design process, it’s easy to overlook the amount of space needed for a proper kitchen table. “The focus is usually placed on the kitchen work area and the dining area is often an afterthought,” says Serra. “In existing kitchens, when replacing a table, it’s a great time to reassess lifestyle issues as well as how much space you want surrounding the tables and chairs.” 

Are you on the hunt for a new kitchen table?  We may have just what you need.

Inspired by Color: 5 Easy Ways to Update Your Home with Color

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

It’s easy to fall in love with all whites or neutrals, but when the weather turns warm, it’s worth taking a risk with bold and bright colors that reflect the season. Don’t worry — it’s easier than it looks! Read on to learn our top five tips to bringing color into your home.

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Bedding: Since bedrooms are more private rooms than living rooms or dining rooms, it’s a little easier to take design risks without messing up the color scheme of an open floor plan. Try changing your bedding with the changing of the seasons! Fresh patterns, light fabrics and bright colors will give your bedroom a summery feel.

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Pillows: Throw pillows are an easy, affordable way to instantly update your decor. Change things up for summer and choose a single accent color (Or more, if you’re feeling daring!) in different patterns to spice up your living room, bedroom, outdoor living space and more.

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Art: Choosing art is harder than it looks. We know! Wall space is critical real estate in any home, and you want to make the right decision. But that doesn’t mean you have to play it safe — colorful, geometric patterns in classic frames can add an unexpected element to traditional and modern interiors.

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Dishes and glassware: Give your entertaining a seasonal boost and switch out your white dishes for something a little more festive. Turquoise, bright yellow and bold coral are surprisingly flexible colors that work well at any summer dinner party.

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Rugs: Don’t be afraid of using color on the floor! Brightly hued rugs help more neutral furniture stand out. Coordinate with the other textiles in the room, or mix and match patterns and colors for extra visual interest.

Tell us: How do you like to use color in your home?

 

 

Calculated Space: How to Set Up Your Home Office

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

Shane Inman is an Interior Designer in New York City. Today, he’s sharing 5 simple tips to help you set up the perfect office work space.

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From dormitory to home office to corporate office, learn how to set up your work space for optimum success. Whether you work in a Fortune 500 headquarters or are spending your work hours in a college dorm room, the space where you choose to secure your future may be helping you or hindering you. Follow these five steps to transform any inefficient work space into a your own powerhouse of creativity and motivation.

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Location, location, location. The real estate that you choose to do all of your work is of the utmost importance. From a corner office to a spare closet, it needs to be all yours and off limits to the rest of the world. The most successful work environments are those where you can shut the door to avoid life’s interruptions. Place your desk in front of a window, if you are lucky enough to have one – the vitamin D will enhance your concentration and mood.

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Work on it. No matter if you have a traditional desk or stacked milk crates with a plywood top, you need to have an uncluttered work surface large enough to spread out easily, in order to enable you to work on a multitude of projects simultaneously.

Light it up. Task lighting and general lighting are both important when utilizing your work space. A freestanding lamp placed on your desk will assist you with reading, while overhead lighting will illuminate the entire space.

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Organization on every level. Everything needs to be impeccably organized, from the top of your desk to your filing cabinet. Any time you have to spend time searching for something is time away from what you really need to be doing.

Superior surroundings. Your office should be all your own. Decorate and design your environment with items that inspire and motivate you personally. Live plants release oxygen that is good for the body, and pictures of loved ones will remind you of why you are doing all of this in the first place.

Don’t underestimate your home office needs! Whether we are an ambitious college student or a chief executive officer, we all require our own calculated work space to thrive in our tasks.

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