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Posts Tagged ‘home’

[Diva Does Design] How To Upgrade Your Space With A Chic Gallery Wall

March 16th, 2016 by Christen

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely can’t concentrate or get anything done in a cluttered or unorganized space.  Call it OCD or whatever you want, but once I start a project, I can’t get started on anything else until I get the project complete.  This year has been quite the year of transition.  After years (and years) of having roommates – I’ve moved into a new place of my own and have been on a home design kick like no other.  (I mean, I have truly transformed into my mom and have become an HGTV fiend!)  One of my first home projects on top of my list was to create a dynamic point of interest and what better way to do that then with a chic gallery wall!


gallery wall



If there’s one design element that has been having a major moment in style lately, it has to be gallery walls. Whether it’s big, small or somewhere in between, creating a gallery with your favorite prints, art pieces or family photos can instantly elevate the style of any space.  So to help all of you build your very own gallery wall, I put together a quick step-by-step tutorial.


What You’ll Need

As far as tools go, here’s what you’ll need to create the gallery wall of your dreams…

  1. Hammer
  2. Nails
  3. Level
  4. Tape Measurer
  5. Pens
  6. Paper (for writing down measurements)
  7. Blue painter’s tape
  8. Photo Frames


I scored most of my gallery wall frames from IKEA (on Clearance).  Did you know that on the last Wednesday of the month, you can find super IKEA deals up to 75% off clearance?  I’ve scored over 15 frames of all sizes for less than $50 bucks! [If you don’t know, now you know!]


gallery wall supplies


Measure Before Mounting

Measure the amount of wall space you want to fill and then tape off that section on a clean floor. This allows you to space everything out the way you want in advance of securing it on the wall. Once you lock down your favorite arrangement, take a few photos for reference when you’re hanging.  After experimenting with a few variations, shift things around until you find a layout that you love.


gallery wall placement


Get Ready To Hang

Once you’ve paired your frames to create the perfect layout on the floor, then it’s time to move the party to the wall.  Remove the photo inserts from each frame and place them on the wall to further visualize and compose your gallery space.  Start by hanging the largest piece first. If you don’t have one large piece, group two together for the illusion of a larger work. Once you’ve hung the largest piece, build off of that from the center outward with smaller pieces.


nailed it


Nail It!

Once you’ve recreated your gallery composition on the wall with paper inserts, now it’s time to nail it!  Using the paper inserts as a guide, hammer the small nail into the paper and into wall.  (Using the paper as a guide will guarantee you get the exact composition you want.)  Once the frame is secured to the wall, simply tug on the paper guide to remove and voila, your first frame is complete.  Simply repeat, until all your frames are proportionately hung and just like that, your awesome gallery wall is complete!


compete gallery wall



And there you have it! A gorgeous gallery wall, ready to be filled with prints made by my favorite artists, family portraits and more!  Do you have any tips or tricks to add to the list? What do you think of my gallery wall?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

How To Declutter Your Home With Simple Technology

January 15th, 2015 by Christen

As you bid farewell to the holidays and say hello to a prosperous new year, it’s all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don’t overlook how to declutter your home. In fact, sometimes it’s the first place to start – from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.

“As we move in to the New Year, it’s about embracing function but also creating a space that’s a strong reflection of the people who live there,” says Nate Berkus, renowned decorator, designer and artistic advisor to LG Studio. “Forget fleeting trends – 2015 is all about integrating thoughtful elements that have a lasting impact,” adds Berkus, who offers these tips:


How To Declutter Your Home

The first thing, and maybe the most important, is to clean the house. Don’t underestimate how important that is, and what a difference it will make! Next, clean up the clutter. Getting rid of all the clutter, which has probably been piling up all year, will allow a room to really shine again. It’s all about editing – throw out what no longer works to make room for things that are necessary to live well.


Streamline your tech with a 2-in-1 laptop.

Toshiba - Satellite Radius 11.6
Toshiba – Satellite Radius 11.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop ($379)
Easily browse media and Web content with this Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1302 laptop, which features an 11.6″ high-definition 10-point multitouch display with TruBrite technology that simplifies navigation and offers crisp images.


Scan away your clutter.


 Hp – Scanjet Flatbed Scanner ($219)
Scan multiple photos, slides, film and negatives and get superior color accuracy with 6-color, 96-bit scanning – exclusive to HP. Capture every detail with 4800 x 9600-dpi hardware resolution1. Get infrared-based dust and scratch removal too. The HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner is designed for families and photo enthusiasts with large numbers of photos, slides, negatives or medium/large format transparencies which they want to convert into professional-quality, color-accurate digital files.


Store it all in the cloud.

WD My Cloud 3TB


WD – My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage External Hard Drive ($169)
This 3TB WD My Cloud external network-attached storage device’s Gigabit Ethernet interface allows connection to your existing network, so you can easily store and access files with compatible PC, Mac, mobile phones and tablets from anywhere in your home.


Shed those paper files.



Fellowes – Powershred M-7C 7-Sheet Crosscut Shredder ($59)
Protect your information with this Fellowes Powershred M-7C crosscut shredder that accepts credit cards and up to 7 sheets of paper with or without staples to cut your documents into small pieces and help keep your information private.


Simplify your controls with one smart remote.

Logitech home remote

Logitech – Harmony Ultimate Home Remote ($349)
Designed for use with home entertainment and home automation devices, this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home 915-000237 remote integrates a full-color touch screen, motion sensing and vibration feedback for a seamless, intuitive Harmony control experience.


 Now that you have a few options to get you started on streamlining your 2015, in what other ways are you planning to get organized and get ready for a prosperous new year?  Share your organizational tips below. 


3 Budget-Friendly Ways To Get Your Home Holiday Ready At The Last Minute

December 8th, 2014 by Christen

holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is in full throttle! Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate … the list goes on!  With entertaining season approaching at warp speed, it’s time to get your home spruced up and looking like new. Your time is precious around the holiday season, so to help make the most of your days – and budget – try these easy solutions to make your home holiday ready while keeping your sanity below.

* A simple way to decorate for the holidays year after year is with an artificial tree. Lowe’s offers four trees pre-lit with color-changing LED lights, meaning you can change the look – and color – of the tree with just a push of the pedal making your decorating process much easier. For a formal dinner event, glowing white light sets a perfect ambiance. Switch to the multi-color option to delight the kids.


* Use holiday decorations in unexpected ways to add festive cheer in every room of your home with minimal effort. Try hanging ornaments to decorate live plants, light fixtures, doorway overhangs, stairwells, mirrors and even the mantel. For this project, don’t use expensive or family heirloom ornaments – just purchase coordinating ones that work with the color pattern you already have in the room.

* Potted evergreen plants decorated with lights bring plenty of festive feelings into a room. The best news is that when spring arrives, you can plant them outside in your backyard, or donate them to a community project that needs evergreen trees. Using live plants infuses the room with light and good, clean oxygen, and it’s the subtle touches your guests will appreciate and remember.

(BONUS:  One of my favorite learned tips this season is discovering the power of a table charger!  Adding a charger plate to your holiday table adds sophistication and glam without additional decorating required!)

With these timely tips, you – and your home – will be last-minute ready for a holiday season of celebrations.  How do you get your home holiday ready for the season?  Share your last minute tips (and tricks) below!

Create Your Own Perfect Place of Serenity

December 31st, 2012 by Lifestyle Staff

After the chaos of the holidays are over you may be in search for places of peace where you can envision yourself sitting quietly, enjoying the view and/or great company, or getting your mind together for the new year and those new resolutions. Here are three spaces in your own home that could serve as a mental vacation for you and your friends and family!



Below is a space we like to call “Happy Hour for Two”. A long hallway with two seats, no TV, nor any other distractions as well as soft lighting and a few wall accents is all you need. Great debates, planning, and/or brainstorming could take place here and with any kind of functional relationship, communication is key. If you have a long hallway with a little extra space you can put it to use!



This is totally a “Summertime Sanctuary”, with your glass (or pitcher) of White Sangria placed on the table for you and your friends, you could have an iPod docked somewhere close by and enjoy your music of choice while solving all of the world’s problems. Any outdoor area can be transformed with the right furniture whether a patio, backyard or poolside, and now is the perfect time to get a great deal on outdoor furniture since it’s out of season. You can have it ready before Spring arrives. After all, sunshine and fresh air are the perfect combination to unwinding at the end of a long day or week and refueling for the next.




This is a MUST HAVE to complete the aura of relaxation in your home.  Steal away, if only for a moment, and relax in your own luxurious bath while watching golf, or turning to one of the all-music channels and reflecting if you are able to add a TV or radio. You can create the perfect bath-time environment by adding candles, floral accents, and soft lighting. Perfect private getaway right on the other side of your bedroom!




 Take advantage of these spaces in your home and you’ll be amazed how often you can escape the hustle and bustle of the world. Turn your home into the vacation spot you’ve always dreamed of having and feel more refreshed than ever before.

How will you change your home and relax better in the new year? Tell us below…


Holiday How To: Last Minute Holiday Home Decor for Less

November 21st, 2012 by Lifestyle Staff

As the popular Christmas carol goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays”. But with your shopping list filled with people who you have to find gifts for, you may be wondering how to cut back on your decorating expenses this holiday season. Once the turkey settles this weekend, most us will move on to decking the halls and trimming the tree in our homes. We’ve found simple, yet savvy ways for you to decrease spending for your holiday décor.


Give Your Home a Little R&R

While rest and relaxation may be two “R” words you’re thinking of at this time of the year, when it comes to holiday décor for your home, recycling and reusing decorations from Christmases past is never a bad idea.

Interior designer and former guest designer for The Nate Berkus Show, Rashon Carraway, says “Ornaments are one of the most versatile elements in the Christmas arsenal.” Last season Carraway, also known as Mr. Goodwill Hunting, showcased his custom holiday chandeliers made from ornaments and ribbon. “You can also personalize each one with a monogram,” he says. “The possibilities are endless!”



Do-It-Yourself Projects

One of the easiest ways to save money is to do something yourself. Carraway says one of this year’s popular do-it-yourself décor elements is chalkboard art. You’ve seen them in coffee shops and cafés each time you’ve visited the mall for shopping. Carraway suggests bringing out your inner artist or letting the children have fun with Christmas inspired doodles for your guests to admire. We’ve found The Writing Wall, like below, at Target for just $9.99 .





Your Home Makes Scents

Even though candles can be inexpensive, they can also play a major role in sprucing up your home during the holidays. Not only does their illumination add to the overall ambiance of your space, certain scents can instantly put you and your guests in the holiday spirit. Retailers like Bath and Body Works now offer three-wick candles in holiday fragrances such as Vanilla-Bean Noel, Twisted Peppermint, Frosted Cranberry, and even ‘Tis the Season. Any of these selections would be a great and festive choice for your home. Carraway suggests using popular spruce, pine, or balsam scents for an outdoor/wintry aroma. Bath and Body Works candles can be purchased in-store or online for only $20.


So get to preparing that Thanksgiving dinner and now that you have a few ambient tips for your holiday festivities, get to work!



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