Neat Thing: Ladder Bookcases
By Martin Amado | 09/28/2009 - 12:38

The biggest mistake homeowners make when they decorate a small room is buying large and bulky pieces of furniture.  In most cases, they can overpower the space and make it feel cramped.  The key is to select furniture that has doesn’t take up visual mass in a room, which is the reason I wanted to highlight these ladder bookcases.

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DIY Upholstered Headboard
By Martin Amado | 09/21/2009 - 12:20

I love combining different finishes and textures in any room I decorate, which is the reason I’m not a big fan of buying a complete matching bedroom set at the furniture store. I want the rooms to reflect a more personal style that is unique to the client. No worries, though, if you’ve already bought a set and/or are looking to update your bedroom decor. The easiest way to break up the “matchy-matchy” look is with an upholstered headboard. The best part is you can make it yourself!

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Design Detail: Picture Lights
By Martin Amado | 09/14/2009 - 17:05

Lighting is a key element in any room design, but that doesn’t mean it has to always come from an expected source such as a ceiling fixture or table lamp. If you have artwork or family photographs on the walls that you wish to shine some light on—pun-intended—then a picture light is the way to go!  It’s amazing how something so simple can make a big difference in a room. That’s why it’s this month’s Design Detail, which is where I highlight a quick DIY project on a budget.

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A Splash of Color
By Martin Amado | 09/08/2009 - 14:26

I often come across homeowners that are afraid of committing to a paint color in a room, so they decide to live with white walls instead. Another excuse I hear is they lack painting skills and they don’t want to spend the money to hire a painter either. So what’s the solution?

Well, I’m here to say that unless you have an ultra-modern style, I don’t recommend you leave your walls white … it can reflect a sterile and cold environment. The best thing you can do to overcome this decorating dilemma is to paint only an accent grid in your room.

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Dorm Rooms with Style
By Martin Amado | 08/31/2009 - 17:15

Let’s face it. Unless you live in an off-campus residence or a sorority/fraternity house, college dorm rooms can resemble jail cells or sterile hospital rooms. This is how the student I worked with initially felt about her room before the makeover. But a small, bland room doesn’t mean you can’t infuse your own style and personality into it to create a home away home while in college.

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Perk Up Your Pillows With Monograms
By Martin Amado | 08/24/2009 - 14:18

Monograms can turn an ordinary item into something special, while adding a personalized and stylish touch. They can be used on anything from clothes, picture frames, even door mats, but if you’ve priced them, you know it can sometimes be expensive. So, in this week’s Decorator Detail, which is where I highlight a quick DIY project on a budget, I’m sharing how you can create the monogrammed look on a toss pillow for much less.

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Back to School Room Renovation
By Martin Amado | 08/19/2009 - 09:30

Back-to-school is rapidly approaching, and I fondly remember shopping with my grandmother every year for new clothes, shoes and school supplies. It might be a good idea to come up with some new traditions with your own children. For example, try thinking of ways to decorate or update the look of your child’s bedroom. Look at it as an opportunity to create a fresh environment to kick-off a new year of learning.

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Designing an Outdoor Retreat
By Martin Amado | 08/10/2009 - 15:46

I recently decorated a pool terrace for a client, so I had to share these great tips with you! I find that sometimes homeowners are at a loss on what to do with an outdoor space. The key is to first change your thinking and look at it just as you would any indoor room. My client had a long covered patio, so I decided to begin by dividing the space into two areas for seating.

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Turn Your Breakfast Nook Into a Playroom!
By Martin Amado | 08/03/2009 - 14:00

If you have small children, you know that constant supervision is a must at all times. Even though they might want to play inside their bedroom, sometimes it’s not too practical for the parent because the little ones are not in plain sight.

The solution is to designate a space that’s accessible to children in another area of the home, but that doesn’t become Toyland Central for the adults either. A good place to look is the breakfast nook!

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Spice Up Your Kitchen
By Martin Amado | 07/27/2009 - 16:08

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so if yours is looking a bit tired and dated, there are some inexpensive things you can do to update the look on a budget.

What makes a high-end kitchen stand out from the rest are the details and finishes, and this is something you can incorporate without having to replace all the cabinets. For example, if you have plain, white cabinets consider painting the center and adding trim molding around the edges to create a paneling effect. Instant makeover! Changing out the hardware can also go a long way.

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