Mark Galante's Blog
The headboard has become an integral part of bedroom furniture in the contemporary bedroom. Often the centerpiece of a bedroom, there are many design options available to you. Some are simple and understated. Others may feature cushioned back support, storage functions or built-in reading lights.
Wooden headboards are a classic and timeless choice. Traditional wooden styles can take center stage or be beautifully understated, letting your bedding or other design features take the spotlight. You’ll find paneled options, mission, spindle or sleigh styles and even variations that incorporate shelving or drawers for storage. Modern options could use simple shapes that highlight rustic or distressed finishes.
A wooden headboard doesn’t have to be traditional. For a more unusual wooden option, consider repurposing an intricate antique door or a hand-carved medallion.
Upholstered headboards are often finished with fine textiles like velvet and satin but they can also be found in leather or leather-like materials. There are plenty of understated styles that come in standard sizes but many upholstered headboards are quite large and can become a natural focal point for the room. Sophisticated details like brass nailheads or thick piping are often used in these designs.
There are DIY options available that can show you how to add upholstery to an existing headboard. Consider this option if you already have a headboard that is a size that fits your space well.
Paint or Textiles
If your room is on the smaller side and you want to conserve space, incorporate a headboard that is either painted on the wall or created with hanging textiles.
If you opt to paint, carefully measure and draw your design on the wall where the head of your bed will be. Use painters tape to achieve a crisp line. It’s easy to repaint if you change your color scheme or bedroom style so this is a good option if you often like to refresh your space.
If textiles are a better fit for you, consider installing a decorative curtain rod near the ceiling line above your bed. You can use the curtain rod to hang curtains, tapestries or even macrame or woven pieces. If you have a few bedding sets that you cycle through, this gives you the flexibility to easily update the hanging textile to match.
Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.
1. Transform a Closet into Workspace
If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.
- Remove the door and hinges.
- Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
- Disassemble hanging rods.
- Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
- Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.
If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.
2. Mount Your TV
Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.
- Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
- Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
- Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
- Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
- Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
- Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
- Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.
Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.
3. Build Window Seats
Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.
- Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
- Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
- Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
- Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
- Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
- Add cushions and pillows.
Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.
If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.
When we decorate and organize our homes, few of us give more than a passing thought to the way our choices will affect our mood and behavior in our home. Most of us simply organize and decorate based on what we like on a whim.
There are, however, entire fields of study devoted to the way our environment affects us (environmental psychology), and ways we can engineer and design our environments to change our moods and behaviors.
If you’ve ever visited a big city like New York you will likely have noticed an example of this firsthand in city parks.
When you sit down on a park bench, you’ll likely find that it isn’t the most comfortable place to sit. There’s more than just a tight budget at play here. Many engineers who plan parks use the idea of “unpleasant design.” They create benches with the intention of dissuading people from lying down the benches by making them curved or putting arm rests in the middle of them.
In the same way that a city park can be designed to affect your behavior, your home can as well. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can better arrange and decorate your home to have a positive impact on both your mood and behavior.
Organize to your advantage
Many of us think of our homes as the opposite of work--it’s a place we relax after a long day. However, there are a number of chores and tasks you’ll complete at home that can be optimally engineered to save you time.
One simple example is to think about the placement of the items you use in the kitchen. Is your trash can far from the countertop, requiring you to constantly walk away to toss out scraps?
A good way to find out the needless extra work you’re doing around the house is to take note of how you go about your daily routine. This will give you insight into areas where you might better use your time.
Declutter for productivity
Whether you work from home frequently or you just need a quiet place to do taxes or pay bills, a home office can be a good way to avoid distraction. That is, until you fill your home office with distractions.
When organizing your office, think about the content of it. For most people, a decluttered minimalist environment is most conducive to work. Leave out the television, keep your cell phone at bay, and don’t cover your desk in papers that you’ll constantly be rearranging.
Similarly, your computer needs to be tailored to productivity as well. We all know how tempting it is to head over to Facebook or Reddit when we should be focusing on work. A good way to help break this habit is to utilize a time tracking app that lets you know when it’s time for a break. Alternatively, you can use an extension or add-on for your browser that blocks sites like Facebook during the time you specify.
Colors matter more than you think
Each room in your home serves a different purpose. The kitchen is a place of activity and conversation, the bedroom is one of relaxation, and the home office one of focus.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the colors and brightness of the room we are in and our moods.
So, when you’re decorating a room in your home, think about the type of colors that fit how you would like to feel in that room.
The benefits of buying a luxury home that's under new construction include customizing it to fit your life and your family, and choosing your own finishes is a perfect way to achieve this goal. But which finishes will still maintain their beauty under the stress of busy families on the go? Which ones require the least maintenance and will wear well under heavy traffic? Our experts have put together the perfect primer for homebuyers who want to customize their new construction from the ground up, so that the surfaces look great, last long and require minimal upkeep. Here's what we recommend:
Cast Concrete Countertops
Concrete tops the list for designing versatile-yet-gorgeous countertops. Completely customizable right down to the color, concrete is an upscale, elegant material for countertops in both kitchen and bath, and it has benefits that make it worth the effort, including:
When you choose cast concrete as your choice of countertop, you can customize it to fit any shape and any space. You can even choose to have materials such as decorative river rock embedded. You can have your concrete countertops dyed, stamped or polished to ensure that they're custom to your luxury home and your home only.
Even if you're drawn to exotic hardwoods such as jatoba (Brazilian cherry), resist the urge to install them in your new luxury home because they contribute to harmful deforestation of the world's rainforests. Opt for eco-friendly, sustainable woods instead. There are plenty from which to choose, including:
Reclaimed wood is a viable alternative to non-sustainable wood, as well. Old barn timbers and salvaged pine logs make beautiful, luxurious flooring options that add history and architectural appeal to every home without harming the planet.
Wood is, far and away, the most popular choice for luxury kitchen cabinetry. And it's not just the type of wood used, but the style and design of the cabinets, as well. For upscale, luxurious wooden cabinets in your kitchen, pantry or bath, consider American hardwoods such as cherry, maple, alder or ash. The growth and harvesting of these trees are monitored by the American Hardwood Export Council and strict best management practices ensure that no species is stressed or over-harvested. Additionally, they're exceptionally hard to withstand all the dings and scratches that come with family use. Lastly, they look exquisite when installed in your kitchen as paneled ends on upper cabinetry, decorative legs on islands, and as the frames for elegant, glass-paned doors.
Your new luxury home is only made better by customization. Talk with your builder today about which finishes you'd like to see incorporated, and you'll love the end result even more.
With so many pictures stored away on digital devices, we forget how enjoyable images of children, friends and memorable experiences in our living space can be.
Selecting several of your more meaningful photos for a photo showcase adds character to your home and demonstrates that you value family, connection and staying active.
On top of that, those photos will get a lot more views than they would on Instagram. And they'll inspire you to create new memories. Check out these useful ways to create beautiful wall art with photos.
Build Your Own Frames
Yes, you can create your own frames. And it's easier than you might think. Doing it yourself opens up a world of possibilities. Choose any colors, mediums, shapes or designs.
- Select your materials. We could create a typical wooden frame here. But why not think outside the box? Use driftwood, pine cones, bark or re-purposed materials from old furniture or industrial machinery. Scavenge for ideas to settle on a theme that works well with your decor.
- Measure dimensions for the frame. Don't forget to leave some room for a mat.
- Cut your frame to size with wood saw, hacksaw or scissors, depending on the material. Don't forget to put on your eye protection.
- Paint before assembling. If you plan to paint the materials, do so before putting things together. It will be easier to get into all the crevices and off areas that you want a different color.
- Assemble your frame. Place the glass over the photo to protect it or leave it open. For safety, you'll probably want to head down to a crafts store to find the right size versus trying to make it yourself.
Utilize Canvas Like the Pros
A canvas gives any photo display a fun and unforgettable backdrop. The art becomes your free-form frame on which you can pin pictures, trinkets and other items.
You don't have to be Monet to decorate a canvas. Instead, try these fun techniques. But before you start, lay out some plastic. This can get messy.
Stencils & Painter's Tape
Use painters tape to create straight lines across your canvas. Or consider creating other shapes by taping construction paper cut-outs, stencils, leaves or other items to board. Then paint over them and remove the items.
Sponges & Color
Get a bunch of sponges and bowls of paint. Soak up the paints with the sponges. Then express yourself. Depending on the look you're going for, you can use neutral tones that go with your decor. Or create your canvas with pops of color that people notice from across the room.
After your canvas dries, add photos at various angles for a playful look. Or measure and evenly space the images, creating a more traditional appearance.
For more fun ways to love the home you live in, follow our blog.