20 Fantasyland Dining Room Designs That Delight

A wonder to behold, these incredible professionally designed rooms take everyday dining over the top.

Staff Writer,

Although many of us don't use our dining rooms regularly (I'm more of a couch and coffee table gal myself), the space still begs to be bold and exciting. For October's Serving Up Style 2012 fundraising event in Portland, Oregon, 20 designers created spaces that practically kick you off the couch. From a hot air balloon to a Lego sculpture to a reinvented retro design, over-the-top elements figured in each of these inspiring dining rooms. 

How to Redecorate on a Small Budget

Expert Author Suzy Rubenstein

It is not necessary to have a huge budget to redecorate. What is important is to be creative and smart about it. By carefully assessing what you have and prioritizing what you will spend money on, you can achieve a great new look on a budget.

The first thing you need to do is to take a good look at the room you want to redo. What is working in the space? Items that are in disrepair should be removed. You should also remove the items that aren't working in the space.

Next, you should look to your other rooms for items to repurpose. There might be a chair that isn't working in your living room that would be perfect for the study you are trying to redo. This is a great way to redecorate without spending a dime!

Reorganizing the way furniture is placed in the space is another way to change the look of a room without spending any money. Examine the way you are using the space. Try the furniture in a different arrangement. Just rearranging the furniture can dramatically change the perception of the room. How you place furniture can make the space seem larger or smaller, depending on the arrangement. In addition, furniture placement can affect traffic flow in your space. Take all of this into consideration when planning how to arrange your furniture.

Carefully consider what items need to be replaced in your space. Decide what the most important thing to be replaced is. By choosing wisely what you will purchase, you can cut down on cost. For example, replacing the worn sofa, but keeping your side tables that are in good shape, is one way to save.

Slipcovers are a great idea to refresh a worn sofa. Not only can they make your couch look new again, you can also change the color scheme in your space with a slipcover. This is an inexpensive way to make a big impact on the look of your room.

Changing the accent pillows in your room is another inexpensive way to alter the look of a space. Just that small change will make the room look different. Accent pillows can bring a new color into a space or highlight an existing one. Slipcovers are also available for throw pillows. This makes it easy to change a color scheme permanently, or just seasonally.

Replacing just the wall art is another way to refresh a room without breaking the bank. A new mirror or piece of artwork can make a big impact on a space. The new piece will draw your eye to it, changing the look of the space.

Another idea is to replace the existing accessories with new ones that are coordinated with each other. For example, items to decorate shelving and tabletops. These include as candle holders, vases, bowls, etc.
Comparison-shopping before making a big purchase is another way to save money when redecorating. Discount retailers often copy designer styles, making it easy to find the look you want for less money. Shopping on line is another way to save. Online stores often have a lower overhead than brick and mortar stores resulting in lower prices for you! In addition, internet shopping makes it easy to compare prices in multiple stores for the same item.

Overall, there are many things you can do to redecorate on a budget. Careful choices and comparison-shopping are important to remember to keep costs down. In short, it is not hard to change the look of your space without spending a lot of money!

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What Do Window Blinds Offer Over Curtains?

Humans, as a race, tend to be an impatient and easily bored bunch; we always want the latest gadgets, the newest cars and the newest clothes, despite having perfectly functional versions of each at home already. 'New', it seems, has become synonymous with 'good'.

It's no different when it comes to interior design. It's rare that any homeowner will keep the same decor for over five years, as design trends move quickly and, well... it gets boring looking at the same thing everyday!
Of course, redesigning your home usually means tearing up everything and starting from scratch. This offers the perfect chance to reinvent your home, and one area ripe for a bit of reinvention is your window covering.
For decades, curtains were the go-to choice for homeowners; they're typically associated with a 'homely' feel and can offer a sense of grandiosity to a room. However, the past twenty years or so have seen the glorious emergence of blinds as a popular window covering choice.

Formerly confined to home offices and the odd bedroom, blinds have become a popular choice for just about any room in the house. But why is this?

One of the biggest advantages of opting for blinds instead of curtains is the diverse range of styles available. Sure, curtains come in a vast array of materials, but every curtain is essentially the same; two hanging drapes of material connected by a rail.

Blinds, on the other hand, come in many shapes and forms. Probably the most popular style is venetian, which consists of horizontal slats held together by vertical cords. Not far behind, however, are roller blinds; a solid piece of material that rolls up and down. Vertical blinds are another option and are basically a reversal of the venetian style, with vertical slats binded together with horizontal cords.

In addition to this, blinds come in a wide range of different materials. Fabric, aluminium and wood are just three of the most popular styles, but you should blinds in most materials if you're willing to shop around. For those with a penchant for the darker side of life, you can even get blinds that blackout the sun entirely!

The aesthetic benefits of blinds don't stop there either. Like curtains, you can get blinds that are adorned with an extensive spectrum of patterns and images, not to mention in just about any colour you could care to imagine.

You can even customise blinds with your own images; you could be waking up to an image of your gorgeous beach holiday rather than opening the curtains and having the face the dreary, rain-sodden world outside.
There are, of course, practical benefits to opting for blinds too. A common problem of the digital ages is screen glare - sunlight that reflects in a screen and makes it difficult to view whatever is showing on that screen. With curtains, you're only choice is to shut out the sun completely, which eliminates glare but also looks extremely antisocial.

This isn't an issue with blinds. With venetian and vertical blinds, you can control precisely the amount of sunlight that gets into your room. This means you can eliminate glare while also keeping the room light and breezy rather than dark and dingy.

Blinds also allow you to control the level of ventilation in a room. Keep the blinds slightly open on a warm, but not too hot, day and you've essentially got your own air conditioning system - without the costs associated with running such a system. Like curtains, closed blinds can also keep heat in a room, saving you money on your energy bills.

Christopher Joseph Smith is writing on behalf of Better Blinds, retailers specialising in blinds
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Blinds 4 Less
Quality Blinds, Shutters, & Shades
Proudly Serving Southern California since 1994
Free In-Home Shopping
(951) 924-9435