decor tips

How to Define your Design Style

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You just moved in or are looking for a new home, you started shopping around online, you made Pinterest & Houzz inspiration boards, you bookmarked all your favorite items, you watched reruns of HGTV shows, you took notes from a YouTube video on how to DIY everything, and you have been stock piling coupons for Bed Bath and Beyond like nobody's business. You did the research and you gathered inspiration but where do you start? I’m here to tell you how in this blog post!

How to Shop for Furniture

Are you ready to redecorate your space but not sure where to start? Well - I am glad your here! In today's Tip Tuesday post you will learn how to shop for furniture, how to assess your needs, what to look out for when shopping for new furniture, and how to avoid mistakes.

How to Shop for Furniture: Where to Begin

Assess Belongings - Before you go shopping, create a note of what existing items are staying, going, and what new items are needed/desired. Assess what is worth keeping and what items you are ready to let go. Also keep in mind the furniture that is in good condition but may need to be freshened up by reupholstering or refinishing with a new coat of paint.

Create a Cheat Sheet - Goto the store prepared by bring clippings of paint colors, fabrics samples, and pictures of items you are working with. Bring inspiration photos to glance at while shopping to remind you of how you want the end result to look and feel. Shopping can be overwhelming and it's easy to get distracted. Bringing a cheat sheet while shopping keeps you on target.

Plan Ahead - Measure your existing space and items that you will be keeping. Draw the general shape of your room and see if you could reconfigure the layout in a way that works best for you. Now is the time to nail down the details of what size furniture works best.

* Side Note: Measure all important doorways/entrys and hallways to confirm furniture can fit into the space. Nothing worse than buying furniture that can't fit through the door.

Scale - This ties in with measuring... A piece of furniture may look great in a showroom with high ceilings but when you bring it back home, it may overwhelm your space. Measure the space and tape out and block the furniture on the floor to make sure it fits in the room before you buy it.

Budget - Create a spending plan of how much you want to spend in total. Do not forget to factor in additional fees such as warranties, protection plans, installation/assembly, and inside deliveries.

Additional Tips:

- When purchasing upholstery, upgrade seat cushions to foam wrapped with down. Invest in pieces that are most important (i.e. the sofa) instead of rarely used items. The heavier the cushion, the longer it will last.

- Furniture is a large investment. Select furniture that is timeless and transitional.

- For case goods, look for dovetail joints in the corners of drawers for long-lasting quality.

- For upholstery, lift up a corner and shake it, if it feels light or wobbly; skip it.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist when you join.

Receive a free Designer's checklist to help you prepare for your first shopping trip. Get your free checklist, here.

DIY Thumb Print Vase

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I have posted a DIY. I have been busy creating drawings and paintings, but I haven't actually made a "craft" in a while that I could share with you.

I wanted to create a bottle that had an all-year round design, texture, and that was sculptural. So I have created a vase that  I have wrapped in Air-Dry Clay that I purchased from Michaels with a coupon. Woot woot!

Wine Bottle DIY

For this Tutorial you will Need:

- A Wine Bottle or Canister of your Choice

- Air Dry Clay (I used White so I could spray paint it if I wanted to)

- A rolling Pin

- Exact-o Knife

- Thumbs ;)

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Select bottle

Step 2: Clean Bottles and take off labels with Hot soapy water

Step 3: Roll out Air-dry clay into a big rectangle (easier to work with). Roll out thin

Step 4: Wrap clay covering as much of the bottle as possible

Step 5: Cut off Excess clay with Exact-o Knife

Step 6: Use Excess clay to cover top of bottle

Step 7: Blend in creases with your fingers the best you can by using a rubbing or patting motion. I also rolled it on the table to even out the clay.

Step 8: Take your thumb and apply pressure to the clay to make rows of thumb prints starting at the bottom until you reach the top.

Step 9: Let clay air-dry for 24-48 hours (varies upon thickness)

Step 10: Spray paint bottle in the color of your choice and/or add branches/flowers for decoration

Here is the finished result!

 

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Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

 

Watercolor Inspired Home Decor

I have started a new hobby of water color painting. You might have noticed a few of my first paintings ever shared on Instagram, I was super proud to show it off. I love when the colors bleed into each other, even the imperfections look beautiful Have you ever heard of that saying, "what you think about, becomes about?"... I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or that I am subconsciously searching for watercolor ideas since it's my new hobby but I have been noticing watercolor everywhere!

Water color murals are being used in the home in unexpected ways. Instead of using water color murals in a traditional display of art; watercolor is being added on walls, fabrics, pillows, bedding, and accessories. Today I am sharing my passion for my new hobby of watercolor and my inspiration for the home.

How stunning is this watercolor drapery fabric? I even love the pattern for a playful pop of color on the throw pillow as well.

watercolor fabric

(Image via Bluebellegray.com)

 

If you are looking for a statement wall, Color Puddle has wallpaper murals available. It is applied like traditional wallpaper with wallpaper glue (more permanent option). Here is one of my favorite examples installed.

watercolor mural

(Image via Color Puddle)

A temporary alternative to traditional wallpaper is a self-adhesive wallpaper. Think of self-adhesive wallpaper as a giant sticker for your wall. It's temporary and damage free.

Watercolor Washes

(Image via Anewall.com)

If you want to join in on the trend but aren't looking to touch your walls, add a pop of water color with bedding. Anthropology had some great water color bedding options. Here are few from their website:

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Feeling crafty?

Learn How to Make your Own DIY Pillow via Tidbits.com

watercolor pillow

Let's Chat! I would love you hear from you:

Are you inspired by water color patterns like I am?

Have you started a new artistic hobby?

Are you tempted to add watercolor in your home in unexpected ways or with traditional art?

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

AMA SIGNATURE

Design Trend: Blue Hues in Home Decor

Boy oh boy, do I have the case of the blues (not the boo-hoo blues)!! Shades of blue were introduced at High Point Market this Spring. In the fashion industry, Pantone may have announced "Marsala" to be the fashion color of the year but blue is the color of the year in furniture, accessories, and home decor as well. Today I will be sharing my inspiration and home decor in bright blues that you can add to your home and reinvent your space.

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If you follow me on Instagram, I shared my inspiration of a vignette with vibrant blue plantation shutters and moroccan tile around it. Pigmented blue hues ranging from royal to indigo to watery azure are trending for this season on the runway and in home decor.

Introduce shades of blue to any decorating palette in doses or as the main focus. Blue plays well off of primary colors such as yellow or red for a bold impact. Pair blue with orange for a energetic color combo. On the contrary, couple blue hues with purple or green for soothing and cool palette. Blue could also serve as an accent color when paired with neutrals like the room featured below.

c70e1abd50d8a6669f68dfe9b77f4cff (Photo via 6th Street Design School)

Whether you choose to add vibrant blue tones in big way or subtle way, I have found a few options that will suit your decor needs. Here are some blue decor ideas that you can incorporate into your home.

FAB FRIDAY

1. Silk Pillow // 2. Cobalt Table Lamp // 3. Porcelain Chinoiserie Vase // 4. Indigo Scarf // 5. Tufted Sofa // 6. Botanical Watercolor Art // 7. Hall Chest // 8. Ikat Rug

Did you find something you liked? Pin this image to your Pinterest board so you can shop later. Are you following me on Pinterest? Let's be friends :)

http://pinterest.com/byamadesigns/

For current photos of my work and progress photos, follow AMA Designs on Facebook or Instagram.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

Dollar Store DIY: Gold Dipped Glass Holders

Hello beautiful friends! I am a little delayed on the my usual blog schedule because my first attempt failed.  I sprayed my glass holders and then added a clear acrylic coating to protect the paint from chipping. I guess my paint wasn't completely dry and the clear coat actually removed all of the metallic paint. So I had to recreate my project and fell short from my posting deadline. Sorry, folks!

If you haven't noticed, I love to DIY and I love gold. I actually love metallic paint so much that I purchased all the metallic paint from the hardware store. They know me by name. They also love all my crazy ideas - like my spray painted heels but that's another DIY project ;)

Ok, so on to my dollar store find! I purchased these babies at my local dollar store. You can apply this technique to wine glasses, candle holders, even tin cans. Let's get crafting!

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MATERIALS:

Metallic Gold Spray Paint

Glass Holders (in whatever shape or size you wish)

Blue Painter's tape

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Clean the glass containors and remove any price tags from the bottom. To get the tags off, soak in very hot soapy water. It usually comes off easily but for those stickers that won't budge, use Gooby-Gone to take off the excess.

Step 2 - Tape the top half of your glass holder and fold over the top edges. Make sure tape is sealed tight so the paint does not seap underneath.

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Step 3 - Spray paint ! Don't forget to spread out newspaper.

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Step 4 - Let your holders dry

Step 5 - Remove the tape

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Ta- daaaaaa!!! You are finished. Great job! ;) Be sure to tag @byamadesigns on twitter or instagram so I could see your recreations. I would love to see your work. All my favorites will be reposted! :)

Yours truly,

Amanda M. Amato

AMA DESIGNS

Lots of Living for a Small Space

  Living in a tiny space poses an issue. How can you store all of your stuff, make it functional, comfortable, and stylish all at the same time?  Keep in mind these 5 tips when decorating your space.

1. DON'T OVERFILL YOUR SPACE

Just like the saying, "less is more" the same concept can be applied to your home. Leaving more open space makes the room feel larger. Try not to fill up your space and leave a little wiggle room.

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2. BIG PIECES THAT MAKE A BIG IMPACT

It may seem counterintuitive, but surprising larger items can help a space feel bigger. For example, hanging an oversized painting above a sofa can visually enlarge a space.

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3. EMBRACE TRANSPARENCY

Lucite or glass furniture gives the illusion of more space. Try using a lucite desk for a barely-there look that is both functional and stylish.

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4. HIDE WORK PROJECTS

Carve out a place to work and a special place to tuck away reminders of projects so the rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy living. Instead of creating piles around the house (I'm guilty of this), leave a storage box handy to safely store your work items.

file box

5. VERSATILE FURNITURE

What is better than a piece of furniture that has more than one purpose? Multi-functional pieces work in your favorite when it comes to small interiors. Storage ottomans, nesting tables that can be separated and used around the room, and even a coffee table that can be converted into a dining table.

cocktail table