Saturday, May 28, 2011

Log Cabin Chic

When most people think of a log cabin, they imagine a dark and musty space.

Well, get ready for a surprise!


This cabin had so much character, including the adorable doorbell. Take a close look in the picture below. To the left of the door, you will notice a string, attached to a bell. Yup, that's the doorbell! No button for this doorbell!


Many of the windows are stained glass and most of the windowsills have mounds of beautiful, green moss.


How great is this chair? Made from a log, this chair is functional and fits in perfectly with the decor of the space.


Take a look at this staircase.


Yup, those are branches!


 The bathroom manages to be modern and rustic at the same time.


The stone detailing in the bathroom makes this tub feel more like a spa than a log cabin.


The loft space is light and airy, while still feeling very "cabin like".


The stained glass throughout the house has a double function. It's beautiful and charming, while allowing light to flow throughout the space.


This cute side table is clearly made from a tree stump and an old tree branch. It manages to make the space look rustic, while staying light and airy.


Even with the amazingly high ceilings, the great room manages to feel cozy.


This place makes you think of log cabins in a whole new way, doesn't it?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Black & White Decor

We recently had the pleasure of taking a peak into a home that was decorated exclusively in black and white. And to our surprise, it wasn't dull or boring at all. I'm a fan of black and white decor, but sometimes it seems so plain and lifeless. If it's not done right, the house ends up feeling sterile. Well, not this house!


With tons of texture, this living room is cozy, not sterile. Don't you love the mirror on the ottoman that is being used as a tray?


The dining area is inviting and serene. All of the plants in the space make the house feel full of life. Check out that mirror behind the table. Gorgeous, right?


The accessories aren't too stuffy. In fact, they all seemed to be things that could be found at a garage sale or thrift store. Note to self: Go to more garage sales.


Even the bedroom felt inviting. The paneling on the wall added more texture to the room. And the beautiful bench at the end of the bed is on my list of DIY projects.


What do you think about black and white decor? Boring or beautiful?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saving Money on Your Vacation

Looking to save money on your vacation this year? You are not alone. Today, more than ever before, people are vacation bargain hunting. Having a vacation on a scaled back budget is very doable and with the help of these tips, you will be on the road to savings in no time!

 
Be on the lookout

Sign-up for alerts through websites including TravelZoo.com and AirfareWatchdog.com to receive weekly e-mails about airfare specials. If you can be flexible on your travel dates you may be able to score last minute bargains which will help you save money too.

Enjoy a “staycation”


Save money on your vacation by staying at home. In Northern California, we are blessed to have access to countless amenities including amusement parks, hiking trails, state parks, museums and zoos alike which offer an array of wonderful possibilities. Not only will you save money on airfare, lodging and food, but you will get to explore your very own backyard.

Shop around for bargains


The old concept of supply and demand is likely going to work in your favor this summer. People are saving their money and not spending as much, and hotels and resorts are feeling it. Shop around for deals on the Internet and take advantage of deals that involve free meals for kids, which can easily save you $100 or more over the course of a week.


Bring along refillable water bottles


Pack water bottles in your suitcase and then use them once you arrive at your destination. A family of four can easily spend $20 or more a day buying water.

Take advantage of coupons


Whether it is for lodging, food or attractions, coupons save money. You can find them online, in your local newspaper, at grocery stores, etc. Be sure to read the fine print carefully for terms of the coupon.

Eat more meals in your room




If you are staying at a hotel, go to the nearest grocery store and pick up some food items for snacks, breakfast and lunch. This will save you a lot of money and give you a break from restaurant dining.

Consider getting a credit card that gives you travel points or miles


United Airlines and Southwest both offer credit cards that reward you with miles based on your spending. Be sure to read the fine print and ask about associated fees. If you travel a lot, however, having such a credit card may pay off for you.

 
Pack lightly and carefully



The airlines have new lower baggage limits and some carriers are charging fees if you check more than one suitcase per person. To avoid unnecessary fees, check the weather conditions at your destination ahead of time at WeatherChannel.com and pack according to the forecast.


What are your money-saving vacation tips?

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Does Your Home Say About You?

Your home is an extension of who you are. The way you decorate, not only sends out a vibe about you, but it can also make (or break) a welcoming. Nothing says “hello” like an inviting gallery, natural light peeking through a twelve-panel glass and wood door, and elegant lighting fixtures.






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Color, composition (the way your accessories are placed) and style, all play key roles in how a room makes you and others feel. Decor, the accessories and items you choose for your space, tells a unique story - Who you are, where you’ve been and why your guests should kick back and stay for a while.





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For instance, would you feel comfortable eating in this room dressed in a swimsuit and multi-colored flip-flops?



The crystal chandelier reflects elegance, and it would probably make you stand up straight and tall when you entered this room. The light floors adds warmth and beauty to the room, as does the placement of the flowers, the black painted walls, and the white framed mirror over the fireplace.





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But how do you feel about those flip-flops now?



This multi-layered light fixture adds a bit of glamour to this eclectic guest room, without feeling over-done for a more personal space. This space works well as a guest hide away because the soothing wall color is calming while the punches of color and pattern create a sense of wonder and fun.





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Were you suddenly overcome with Scandinavian serenity? You might have the urge to sit back and sip your latte from a white stone mug in this room. And, that would be ok. The pure and clean white, grounded by the graphic area rug, create an atmosphere for relaxation; a much different feeling than the patterns, textures, and the bright accent color of this great room:





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Even if you didn’t use the bright green, and simply modified the style of your furniture and accessories, you’d end up with a different mood for this room than the previous room.





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In this sitting room, the wood floors, the lack of window coverings and the Louis XVI upholstered settee create a natural French-inspired space. The white plastered walls and the lack of floor coverings contribute to an atmosphere filled with elegant earthiness – an atmosphere that would surely welcome guests to an afternoon conversation.



Your home is more than four walls and a roof. It holds the treasures you’ve collected along your life’s journey and the memories of many years that have passed. Share the laughter and stay young forever with campy colors and unique décor that fits your whimsical style. Or, choose to enlighten others with more traditional colors, elegance and flair for sophisticated warmth.



Whatever your style, use your décor to invite and share. After all, a house is not a home until you add style.



Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality light fixtures at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pinterested in Pinterest?


Is everyone else OBSESSESED with Pinterest? I resisted for quite sometime, but I just couldn't take it anymore. If you haven't checked it out, and you need a new way to waste time, I definitely recommend it. You can check out our boards here.  Beeeeeee careful, you may find yourself stuck in Pinterestland for days!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to $ave Energy and Money!



With the weather heating up, are you doing everything you can to cut down on your energy usage and save money? Through a little effort and handiwork around your home, you can see your energy savings climb. Here are tips to help you put a little savings in your wallet this Spring and Summer:

In the Kitchen
• Cook with your microwave when you can. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.
• Rather than using your stove or oven, consider lighting up your grill and barbequing your food and vegetables.
• Only run your dishwasher when it is fully loaded and turn off the dry cycle so dishes can air dry instead.

Laundry
• Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold
water to rinse clothes.
• Run full loads when using the washing machine or dryer.
• Line dry clothes whenever you can.

Around the House
• Turn up your thermostat. Set the furnace at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78
degrees or higher, health permitting. Three-to-five percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is
set above 68 degrees and for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78 degrees.
• Use ceiling or room fans; the air movement will help cool the room.
• Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
• Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use, even when switched “off.”
• Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don’t really need it. This will save you up to
$150 per year!
• Clean or replace air conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer’s instructions. Dirty filters restrict
airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use.
• Plug your home’s leaks by sealing, caulking or weather-stripping doors and windows.
• Replace your incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent bulbs.
• When replacing major household appliances or windows, choose ENERGY STAR® models.
• Fix dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month. This
increases water bills as well as the gas or electric bill for heating the water.
• Install energy-saver showerheads.

Outside the House
• Install patio covers, awnings and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun.
• Strategically plant trees, shrubs and vines to shade your home.
• Place solar control window films on your glass windows and doors to help conserve energy when it gets warm.

Any tips that you can share?