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Coffee Table Design on a Budget

By Elliot Johnson
shutterstock_343383083The coffee table is an important part of decorating your home. This piece of furniture needs to be fashionable yet functional with a lasting and durable stay in your home. It’s something that becomes a part of your family, so it needs to fit your lifestyle. From getting the first glimpse of your child’s art work to hearing the laughs and giggles of a dinner conversation as your family shares a meal around it, your coffee table plays central station to many of your family’s happenings. Whether it be a game night with your friends or a spot to prop your feet on after a long day at work, you will want your coffee table to be accessible and practical for your every need.

Choosing this perfect piece of furniture takes time and a lot of thought. How do you decide on the coffee table that perks and keeps your interest, fulfills yours family’s needs and matches the characteristics of your home? You may come across many dilemmas while choosing the right coffee table to fit your family and home, but one of the main problems you may come across is finding the perfect piece within your budget.

After figuring out what you will use the coffee table for, the style(s) you would like to look for, and the size that fits your space, decide how much money you want to spend on this piece of furniture. Since it will probably be the most used piece in your living room, you might want to splurge just a little, but that doesn’t mean the perfect coffee table has to break the bank. It just means that you may need to spend a little extra time finding your table, and you may have to use some elbow grease to get it exactly how you want.

shutterstock_289819505Here are a few factors you may want to consider before buying your new coffee table…
  1. Resale shops

Resale shops are a great place to find many unique items. You may have to put forth a little labor with cleaning and possibly painting the coffee table you find, but you won’t be sorry. You might actually feel a sense of pride as you show off your hard work!

  1. Antique Shops

If you are looking for a classic style, try looking in antique shops. You may think an antique piece of furniture will be too much for your budget, but shop smart. Usually, smaller towns and cities will have antique shops that hold so many gems that have been overlooked. The prices are usually more reasonable, and don’t be afraid to bargain! Remember, the worst thing the shop owner can say is, “No.” The exploration may take a little longer, but it is well worth it to have a piece of furniture on display in your home that has a history and story to tell in its past.

  1. DIY

Do it yourself projects can be fun for the whole family. You can even get the kids involved. These kinds of projects leave you with a wide range of styles and sizes to choose from. If you don’t know a lot about DIY projects or maybe you are not the DIY type, no worries! There are several websites you can utilize that will give you step-by-step instructions and a list of items to purchase to get the job done. And, once again, you can proudly show off your create design and DIY talents to all who visit your home.

In the process to finding the right coffee table for your home, don’t forget that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to decorate your living room with a piece of furniture that you can use efficiently and be proud of.

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5 Ways to Brighten a Dim Room

by Talaia Whisenant

Although modern homes and new construction builds have rooms with at least one natural light source (yes, even closets!), some rooms are just dim and difficult to light. The room may be windowless, or in a dark wing of your home, or it may contain characteristics–like wood panel walls and ceilings–that make the room feel unbearably bleak. Luckily, there are techniques that can brighten a dim room and creative ways to bring more light into your space. Say goodbye to cave living!

See the light

shutterstock_283281158If the rooms in your home aren’t flooded in natural light, and if your budget allows, installing new windows will help you “see the light”. Work with a designer who specializes in home remodeling to find the best areas in the room to install new windows. The designer may even suggest installing a skylight–an opening in the roof or ceiling that is fitted with glass to let daylight in. Enhancing your home with new windows and skylights are not only great for the space they will also add to the resale value of your property! If windows already exist in a dim room but not enough light is entering the light blocking source could be outdoors. Trees and bushes often block sunlight so make sure your bushes are trimmed and tree limbs are cut back. You may even decide to remove that big bulky tree blocking out all of the sunlight!

Artificial Light

Often times, the intensity of the light bulbs in a room may not be strong enough, so simply changing them out can do wonders. Swap out low wattage bulbs for high wattage light bulbs. Try using LED bulbs, which will drastically improve the light in your space. Lighting accessories like table and floor lamps with light colored shades also help and add a bit of style to the decor of a dark room. Another option is to install light fixtures like sconces and recessed lighting for a soft and polished look in the room.

shutterstock_110409251Glass Doors

Who doesn’t love glass doors in a home? They not only brighten dim rooms, but are also classic and make your home stand. Glass doors are great both internally and externally, and are a way for rooms to share light. Change out light blocking solid doors for glass and French doors in dark bedrooms rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and let the light pour in!


Opt for neutral paint colors in dim rooms by sticking with whites, beiges, tans, and light grays. These colors will brighten the room and make the space appear larger than it is. Paint your ceiling white which will reflect any natural and artificial light; you can also lighten dark floors with paint or refinish dark wood for lighter hues. If you’re not ready for drastic changes to your wood floors, covering them with light colored rugs will brighten a dim room.

Furniture and Accessories

Avoid dark, bulky furniture in dark rooms. Instead, opt for modern chairs and couches as well as metallic and glass table tops. Furniture and accessories with neutral tones or those with bright bold colors are perfect for dark spaces. Large mirrors are essential for reflecting and bouncing light in a room, especially when placed across from windows and glass doors. The reflected light catches and preserves most of the detailed characteristics of the original light. You can also brighten dim rooms with large paintings that are light in color, or use airy window treatments and textures.

Now let there be light!

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Natural Cleaning Solutions For A Spotless Living Space

shutterstock_171457133By Danielle Harling

While many people are quick to make a fuss over which accent piece will make their living room pop or which paint color might brighten their kitchen, it’s easy to overlook something as simple as our cleaning products. The fact of the matter is, a number of go-to cleaning products can be doing more bad than good. If you think your only option is to purchase overpriced, natural cleaning products, think again. Some of the most effective cleaning products can be made at home using only a handful of ingredients.


Tile Cleaner:

The quickest way to sabotage a great-looking bathroom is to let mold run rampant. Its pesky presence can take a space from fab to drab in record time. Never underestimate the power of common, household goods when it comes to defeating mold. Baking soda and warm water alone can take care of your bathroom tile. If you need a little extra cleaning power, mix hydrogen peroxide with water to blast away mold. Just wait 45 minutes or so after spraying before you begin wiping down the mixture from your tiles.

Wooden Furniture Polish:

Dull, wooden furniture can be a major downer, and store-bought polishes don’t always cut it. To bring life back to your wooden furniture, try whipping up a simple solution of lemon juice, flaxseed oil, and distilled white vinegar.

All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner:

Given that our kitchen countertops are one of the most used spaces in our homes, an all-natural cleaner is a wise choice for keeping your countertops spick and span. Vinegar is again the star of the show with this natural cleaning solution. This all-natural kitchen cleaner is made using a combination of distilled white vinegar, water, tea tree oil, and grapefruit essential oil. Thanks to the combination of tea tree and grapefruit essential oil, this cleaner is as pleasantly aromatic as it is effective.

Antiseptic Aromatherapy Room Spray:

A great smelling home is the ultimate pick-me-up. Not only does this room spray give your room a heavenly smell thanks to the addition of the natural oil(s) of your choosing, it also pulls double-duty by helping to fight icky germs. To create this room spray, simply combine distilled water with vodka and germ-fighting oil(s) of your choice (think cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary).

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

Given that the toilet is easily the ickiest place in your home to clean, one would think they’d need a barrage of chemical-heavy, cleaning supplies to tackle this chore. Not at all. In fact, a number of ingredients in toilet cleaners, like hydrochloric acid, can be quite toxic. Thankfully, this all-natural solution ditches the toxicity and calls for natural ingredients in its place. To create your own toilet bowl cleaner, combine white vinegar, lemon juice, and tea tree oil.

Sources: Wellness Mama, The Kitchn, Healthy Blender Recipes, Well Gal, DIY Natural


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