Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Three Awesome Ways to Decorate With Maps

These days, mobile maps can definitely be more useful for traveling than a paper map. However, paper maps are beautiful to look at! So why not use them in your home decor? Here are three creative ways you can decorate with a map.

  • Use a map to revamp your lampshade and give it a warm, vintage feel. All you need to do is find an atlas with pictures of beautiful maps inside, a lamp with a shade, and a few craft items. Make a template for your shade and test it out to make sure it fits perfectly. Then, just lay out your template on top of your map pages and make the pages match the size of the template. Finally, use some rubber cement to glue your map on and you're finished!
  • Cover the drawers of your plain-looking dresser with a map. You're pretty much going to use the same process you did for the lamp. Make sure to measure everything out perfectly and remember to cut out tiny circles for the knobs.
  • Give your living room a unique, vintage feel by covering the top of your glass coffee table with a map. If you have a large enough coffee table, you may even be able to see the whole map.

Vintage Map Lampshade [Pretty Handy Girl]
10 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Maps [Babble]
7 Ways to Decorate with Maps and Globes [Conde Nast]

Design a Gallery Wall These Pro Pointers

A gallery wall can elevate the style of your space and really make a personal statement about your life and style. However, the process takes time, preparation, and patience. Here are some tips to help you build your own gallery wall!

  • Pick out your frames and create diagrams to help play around with some layout ideas.
  • Lay out your frames on your floor before hanging them on your wall to measure everything out.
  • If you find purchasing prints to be too pricey, use your own photography, pictures of family, or restore old photos to place in the frames for a personal touch.
  • You can also hang up empty frames and collect pieces of art over time so you won’t have to splurge on a lot of pieces all at once.
  • Use one large piece to start your collection, then use different sizes and orientation of the pieces to fill space and keep your eyes moving.
  • If you’re going for more of a classic look, use a nine-square grid layout with even space between each frame.
  • Use sturdy frame hangers to protect your walls and your photos against scratches and nicks.

How To Create A Gallery Wall [Pottery Barn]
How To Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget [Apartment Therapy]​
The Guide To A Well Hung Gallery Wall [Emily Henderson]

Blank Wall, Blank Slate: How to Transform a Wall into a Focal Point

Plain, bare walls are blank canvases just waiting to be filled with accessories or décor. Hang almost anything on your wall and your space will instantly feel homey and more personal. Follow these tips to bring some life to your bare walls.

  • Use a variety of different patterns or colors of washi tape to create a custom design on your wall. This is great because you can easily switch it up if you get bored of the same design and want to switch it out for something new.
  • Add an oversized photograph or piece of art that is almost as big as your whole wall.
  • Hang or lean a large mirror with a detailed frame to your wall. They make a really strong statement and can make your room feel larger.
  • Frame a large chalkboard to write messages on, display photos, or to write recipes. You can even use unique frames or frames to match the rest of your framed photos on your wall to bring the whole look together.
  • Give your wall an elegant touch by hanging a large, oversized clock.
  • Add character to your wall by hanging modular shelves. Not only do the shelves look great, they also provide space for more decor. Use them to display your photos, vases, candles, books, or more.

​25 Ways to Dress Up Blank Walls [HGTV]
http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/how-to/g451/blank-wall-solution/?How To Decorate A Large, Blank Wall [Elle Decor]
Wall Decor: How To Fill Your Blank Walls [Style At Home]

How to Shake (or Stir!) the Perfect Cocktail

If you think you need to venture to the bar to find a unique, tasty cocktail, think again. You can easily mix up your own creative cocktails and mocktails in the comfort of your own home. The most important part of a great drink is how long the flavor lingers in your mouth. You want to intrigue your taste buds and mind after the sip goes down. These tips are sure to leave a unique, lasting flavor on your tongue.

  • Choose a good quality base liquor or flavor of your cocktail.
  • Use a generous amount of the base spirit.
  • Mix in a tart or sweet ingredient such as lime juice, simple syrup, or liqueur. Remember to keep it simple and balanced, as this will make the flavors last in your mouth.
  • Add a few drops of bitters or a hydrosol, such as rosewater, to add aromatics to your drink.
  • A cocktail that contains delicate flavors or ingredients should be stirred. Be sure to shake any cocktail containing juice or egg whites.
  • To avoid diluting your drink, use larger ice cubes that will melt at a slower pace. In your glass, the ice should be visible about the alcohol line.
  • Take some time to make your cocktail look presentable. A simple lemon twist can add a touch of elegance to your drink.

From A Genius Mixologist: The Only Ratio You Need For Perfect Cocktails [Fast Company]
How to make cocktails: follow these 10 golden rules [The Guardian]
How to Make Perfect Cocktails [Williams-Sonoma Taste]

Go For the Old! Here’s What to Look For at The Local Thrift Store

Whether you're looking to add a touch of character to your home or simply trying to save some money on must-have furniture items, shopping at thrift and antique stores is a great choice. Before you set out on your thrifting journey, learn about the best items to look for on your hunt.

  • Solid wood pieces. Anything built of solid wood likely means it's built to last. Inspect tables, desks and bed frames to see if they're made of real wood instead of particle board or laminate materials.
  • Mid-century modern items. The mid-century modern movement is having a big comeback, so you can feel confident that these items will stay in style for years to come. Seek out chairs and sofas with tapered wooden legs, sleek desks and tables with metal hairpin legs, and items made of sturdy teak wood, which was popular during this era.
  • Woven or imported rugs. While purchasing a new rug can cost you a pretty penny, you'll often find trendy vintage styles for much less at the thrift store. Search for woven styles, Southwestern patterns or imported designs, like Persian or Moroccan rugs.
  • Vintage picture frames. Picture frames are also pricey when purchased new, so you should always take a look around for metal or wooden frames at the thrift store. Even if it already has a photo inside, you can take it out and start fresh with your own print.
  • Kitschy electronics. While purchasing an old TV can be a bit dangerous (many thrift chains don't even sell them anymore), you should keep your eyes peeled for antique radios, clocks, and other analog items that are now collectibles.

Style a Catalog-Worthy Bed With These Pro Pointers

Styling your bed can be a little difficult. There are so many different color and pattern options for bedding, not to mention the wealth of options available for pillows and decorative accents! Follow the tips below to create a unique bed that fits your style.

  • Follow guidelines on how to layer your pillows depending on the size of your bed. For example, a king bed should have three Euro pillows, then two king pillows, then two standard pillows, and a few accent pillows on top of that.
  • Use a simple, neutral color for your comforter or duvet cover and add a splash of color with your pillowcases or accent pillows.
  • Place a throw or blanket at the bottom of your bed. Make sure the texture or color matches the same as your pillows at the head of your bed.
  • For a sophisticated look, be sure to make your bed tight with little to no wrinkles.
  • Style up your bed with a traditional wooden, upholstered, metal, or neutral headboard.
  • If headboards aren’t your style, hang a piece of art or a large mirror on the wall above your bed to create the illusion of a headboard.

How To Make a Bed [Pottery Barn]
How to Style a Bed [The Everygirl]
Dressed to Snooze: 20 Ideas for Styling a Bed [Apartment Therapy]

Easy and Effective Ways to Combat Stress

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, but if it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, you could be dealing with something a bit more serious. The next time you start to feel those overwhelming feelings creeping on you, try these simple tips for combating stress naturally.

  • Don’t let it go too far. It’s much easier to manage stress when it first begins than when it starts to spiral out of control, so watch out for the warning signs early. If you can tell that it’s going to be a stressful week, prepare in advance so that you can manage your tasks without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Address the physical side effects. While stress itself is mental, its side effects are often physical. When you start to get jittery or your feel your heart racing, do some relaxing stretches, practice breathing exercises, or simply close your eyes and count to 10 to counteract those feelings.
  • Watch your diet. Before you start stress eating or grabbing unhealthy fast food while rushing to work, stop and plan your meals. What you eat can have a big impact on your mental state, so be sure to try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to stay energized. Try to steer clear of caffeine!
  • Do something silly. Take a break from life (even if it’s just for five minutes) to laugh at a silly video or dance it out. Sometimes that’s all you need!

Top 10 Instant Stress Busters [Lifehacker]
7 Best Ways to Bust Stress [SheKnows]
15 Easy Ways to Bust Work Stress [Men’s Health]

Refinish a Well-Loved Wooden Cutting Board With These 4 Tips

Is your wooden cutting board looking a bit worse for the wear? With all of the slicing and dicing that goes on on your cutting boards, it’s no surprise that they need a bit of refurbishment every now and then. Use these simple tips for breathing new life into an old cutting board.

  1. First, disinfect your cutting board (especially ones that you use to cut meat) by diluting one teaspoon of bleach in two quarts of water. Dip a scrub brush in the solution and scrub the cutting board in small circles, and then wipe the surface with a damp paper towel and buff dry with a cotton cloth.
  2. Next, buff out any deep cuts using a very fine grade sandpaper. You may even want to choose two types of sandpaper so that you can buff out the cuts with one, and then smooth the surface with the other. Don’t leave behind any scratches, as these can collect bacteria.
  3. Condition your cutting board with mineral oil on a soft cloth. Don’t use vegetable or olive oils, as these can turn rancid with exposure. Buff the oil into the board using a thin rag, and make a note to retreat the board at least 3 or 4 times a year as needed.
  4. Once your cutting board is clean, keep it fresh after each use by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing it all over.

How to Clean a Cutting Board: 7 Effective Treatments [Reader’s Digest]
How to Restore and Maintain a Wood Cutting Board or Butcher Block [HGTV]
How To Clean, Deodorize and Condition Wood Cutting Boards Naturally [Apartment Therapy]

Update Your Wardrobe by Hosting a Clothing Swap at Christiana Reserve! Here’s How!

Wondering what to do with all of those clothes that you just don’t wear anymore? Many thrifty fashion lovers nowadays are starting to host clothing swaps, during which groups of friends get together to trade their gently worn clothes, shoes, and even accessories. Do something good for your budget and even for the environment by using these tips to host your own clothing swap at Christiana Reserve!

  1. Decide on the perfect group. Choose a manageable group that you can fit comfortably inside of your home. While you don’t want to go overboard with people, you’ll likely want to invite at least three or four friends to ensure ample swapping opportunities.
  2. Send out detailed invites. Be sure to describe how the swap will work and exactly how many items to bring in your invitation, email, or text message.
  3. Create a comfortable swapping area. Set up an area in your living room or other common space where you can set up chairs, snacks, and other essentials. Designate a spare room as a "changing room."
  4. Take the reins. Since many of your guests have likely never done a swap before, get things started by demonstrating how to browse the clothes and swap for items. You may even want to give people a limit on how many items they can take home.
  5. Bring refreshments. Once the swap is done, keep the mood light by socializing over snacks and drinks.

How to Hold a Fashion Swap Party [WikiHow]
10 Tips for Hosting a Successful Clothing Swap [Woman’s Day]
13 Rules for a Successful Clothing Swap [Oprah]

How to Style an Organize a Bookcase

Sure, bookcases are meant to hold your book collection, but that doesn’t mean that yours should look like a jumbled mess. Turn your overstuffed bookcase into a focal point in your home with these simple, designer-worthy decorating tips.

  1. Organize all of your books in an attractive way. Whether you organize them by color to create a rainbow effect or by height for a unique pattern, you should consider book placement before anything else—it is a bookshelf, after all!
  2. Add knickknacks. While knickknacks may make you think of a cluttered grandmother’s house, modern versions will add an artistic flair to your shelves. Hunt for vintage brass or ceramic objects at local thrift stores, pick up small sculptures on your travels, or simply place green plants throughout.
  3. Fill it with frames. For a personal touch, frame photos of your friends or family and place them upright on the shelves. Or, if you want to create a more unique effect, attach the frame with a small nail to the front of the bookshelf where a corner meets.
  4. Step back and admire your work. To ensure that your bookshelf looks as good from afar as it does up close, frequently back up and reconsider the placement of each item.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]
How-to Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]

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