Etiquettes of a Good House Guest

Whenever you are invited to stay in someone‘s house, whether friends or family, there is an unspoken code of conduct that has to be followed. No one wants to be remembered as the sloppy guest with no manners. Following are the basic etiquettes that can define a good house guest-

Fix the Date and Time

Specify your date and time of arrival clearly. Maybe your hosts have to rearrange their plans or schedule for you. Also check with them if the date suits them.

Ask Your Hosts before Bringing Someone Along

Check with them before bringing an additional person with you. Don’t assume that they would be okay with the same. They might feel awkward due to a stranger’s company so it’s advised to check with the guests first.

Etiquettes of a Good House Guest
Etiquettes of a Good House Guest

Bring a Gift

Arrive with a gift for them as a thank you gesture for their hospitality. It could be a nice bottle of wine, a bag of cookies or a local delicacy from where you’re coming. It could also be something for their home like a curio or something their home needs.

Adjust to their Rules and Traditions

A grown-up home has certain rules and regulations. Don’t be afraid to clarify traditions that may differ from home to home. Should you take your shoes off when you get inside the house? Should you leave the door locked when you leave? Which dishes can you put in the dishwasher? All these are small details but very important.

Laundry Habits

If your hosts do the laundry themselves, try to avoid piling up the clothes. Also reuse your towel more to avoid any inconvenience.

Help them in Chores

You can offer to set the table, cook, wash the dishes, fix something around the house, take the dog for a walk, fold laundry, buy groceries, or run to the liquor store. Even if your host refuses the gesture to be polite, it’s the thought that counts. Tasks you should do automatically: clearing your dishes after you’ve finished eating or filling up the tank if you borrow the car.

Bring your own Toiletries

Bring soap, shampoo, and toothpaste from home. You’ll ensure that you have your favorite products and you won’t need to mooch off your host.

Clean up after yourself

Be especially careful to clean up after yourself. Put down the toilet seat, and turn the lights off when you leave a room, and close drawers and cabinets after you open them. There’s nothing worse than having to constantly clean up after your guests, so these small acts will show that you’re considerate of your host’s space.

Maintain

Your host puts effort into making a nice living space for you, so it’s best to keep it that way. Make the bed when you get up in the morning, and keep your clothes either in your suitcase or put away in drawers.

Wipe Everything Clean

On your last day, check the bedroom and bathroom for your belongings. Then, after clearing it with the host, strip the bed before you leave. Wipe down the counters of the bathroom, make sure all used towels are in the laundry, and all borrowed items returned.

Inform them of your plans

Always inform your hosts if you have plans that do not include them. For example, if you have made dinner plans with someone else or if you are going out and will be late, informing them in advance is the appropriate thing to do.

Lastly, leave a thank you note or gift behind for them, appreciating them and thanking them for the comfortable stay.

Read More About…The Essentials of a ‘Luxury Home’

9 Home Décor Rules You Should Break Right Now

We always listen to the little voice in our heads telling us right from wrong, what we should do and what we should avoid and we try to be picture perfect—but try and listen to the little devil sitting on your shoulder and break some rules once in a while, life will be more interesting. Similarly, we just follow the design concepts with a blind eye, make your own rules and break the rules in interior designing handed down the line. There are some rules that should be done away with right now. Forget what you have heard about avoiding lots of patterns and not painting the ceiling, following a particular wall accent trend, break the rules and do what you desire, because interiors look great when rules are broken.

9 Home Décor Rules You Should Break Right Now
9 Home Décor Rules You Should Break Right Now

Old Rule- Never Mix and Match

You no longer have to make the difficult decision between stripes or leopard print in your living room- pattern mixing adds visual interest and loads of texture to a space.

Mixing metals can have a beautiful effect on a space. A farm house kitchen can look good with chrome appliances blended with copper and bronze fixtures. This will help in adding an edge over a traditional design. Read More

Bathroom Spa: The Relaxed Corner of Your Luxury Home

A spa bathroom, every individual dreams of having one—a place to soak and relax and let the worries wash away. A place where you can pamper yourself and just relax with calming candlelight, soothing scents, big fluffy towels. Add a few elements of personal touch to create your own retreat in the middle of a bustling household. Bathroom spa is gaining popularity as young millennials’ décor choices. There are ways in which you can just achieve that spa-like look.

Bathroom Spa: The Relaxed Corner of Your Luxury Home
Bathroom Spa: The Relaxed Corner of Your Luxury Home

Enclose it

A spa takes you away from the world into a different one where it is only you- take a break and just focus only on yourself. So the best way to do it would be to create a barrier between you, your bathroom and the big bad world. It could be your green friends-plants which can help you hide away and relax or that lovely gorgeous shower curtain. Try to be creative so you can transport yourself to another world.

Work on the Display

A bathroom without bath-salts, fragrant soaps and other body items is incomplete, so instead of just putting up on a shelf learn the art to present them instead of dumping them unceremoniously. Put products in lovely containers that you love handling. If you have a bath tub consider splurging on a lovely-to-you bathtub caddy.

The surprise Touch

Just a piece of art in your shower or can be something else. It could be a giant mirror in an odd spot or just a bouquet of flowers placed at the side of your tub. Just add something that will surprise you and transport you in a world where you are totally relaxed. Bring in something that soothes your nerves.

Sensitize your Sense

Start by neutralizing the things that can make you frown. Create a bathroom that is relaxing and calming your senses so that you feel you are in a different world where there is soothing music to keep the unwanted noise out and instead of harsh lights calming aromatic candles for a romantic feel. When you walk in a fragrance wafts up to you on entering a world which you have created, a retreat away from the daily chores.

Soft Touch

Surround yourself with softness. Ready to leave the warmth of the tub and brace yourself to face the world take the relaxation with you by surrounding yourself with softness. Make sure you step on a plush bathmat or slip your tingling feet into fluffy slippers. Drape in a cozy towel and see that you have real soft, fluffy towels in your bathroom.

The right décor and design can make taking a bath or getting ready for the day in your bathroom can feel like stepping into your own private spa. Your own very oasis where you can get rid of all the stress and just relax in the luxury of your private oasis.

Read More About…Essentials of a Luxury Master Bedroom

French-Inspired Home Décor: Your Key To Luxe Lifestyle

The French maybe the world’s most stylish denizens right from their perfectly tied scarves to their impeccably delicate deserts, it’s as if les francais gave sophistication its name. Naturally, French style extends to the interiors also and their homes are as fashionable as the people. Talk about chic, elegance and style, the French homes have it all.

French-Inspired Home Décor: Your Key To Luxe Lifestyle
French-Inspired Home Décor: Your Key To Luxe Lifestyle

Unlike the interiors of a Beverly Hill home, a French home is never over-styled. You might find a hint of country cottage theme in French interiors. However, there’s always an element of undone-ness, whether that be a slight wrinkled duvet cover or a classic portrait with chipped paint. Everything looks real and not clinical.

In contrast to the undone-ness, some of the chicest French homes also embrace a touch of lavishness, like dramatic silk drapes that puddle onto the floors. If drapes aren’t your style, a gilded mirror so oversize it graces the ceiling, will do.

One thing the French homes have is the ‘Armoire’, a freestanding storage piece that has drawers, shelves, and /or a hanging rod. Add one to your bedroom to hold your clothing or one in your bathroom to hold your linens and towels.

Many French homes, especially in Paris – are graced with stunning architecture, thus the French have learnt to celebrate the intricate bones of their homes rather than fighting them. If you carved-wood detailing, leave the walls white so that the sculpture can be the star of the show. Have herringbone floors? Skip the rug and use a glass table to show them off.

French interiors are rarely flashy, but they have a sparkle in the form of an antique or vintage French chandelier, the older the better. The idea is to make your ceiling fixture look original like it’s been there since Marie Antoinette’s times.

The French take remarkably quick showers, but the concept of soaking and relaxing in a tub is a specialty of theirs. So add a freestanding porcelain tub to your home; even cold water will look inviting.

It’s rare to see bold, bright walls in a French home. These Europeans know their way around a color wheel, and it is usually in the realms of chalky and subdued hue. Think white, pale mint, gray, lavender, you can add pops of color in art or decorative accents, but even then they should be quiet.

Moderation is at the center of French style, whether in the way they decorate their homes or dress. Even in children’s bedrooms, French style keeps things minimal: a simple color palette and a few carefully curated accessories that make for a clean looking space that’s easily changed as the child grows.

To most French people ostentatious finishes are vulgar and tasteless, while elegance and beauty lie in restraint and harmony. Everything must play a role or be gorgeous, and preferably both.

Read More About…7 Decor Styles that Will Rule Luxury Homes in 2017

Country Cottage Theme for Your Luxury Villa

Cheerful, laid-back and welcoming, country cottage style feels like a giant hug. In this décor style there is an everyday ease in the way it celebrates imperfections, ordinary treasures and blended families of furniture. Country cottages tend to be humble, unpretentious and full of heart- traits most of us would be proud to claim. Comfy style, casual and at the same time personal is what makes it a good idea to decorate that luxury villa of yours in this theme.

Country Cottage Theme for Your Luxury Villa
Country Cottage Theme for Your Luxury Villa

This theme also gives a lot of leeway for individual expression that anchors the way we think about decorating these days. No matter what comes first to mind- a cottage tucked away in the meadows or a small cottage by a gurgling brook, we can all agree that a country cottage décor is all about unpretentious simplicity. This is why it is rising as the favorite décor theme among young millennials.

Some basic ideas are given below to get that country cottage look-

Comfort- The Focal Point

A cottage is the epitome of relaxation and rest, an escape from the hassles of day to day problems. So comfort is the key word. Your cottage look should be warm, welcoming and comfortable. In the bedroom add plush pillows and crisp linen, floral prints for duvet covers. Furniture should be supple and inviting for you to plonk down and relax.

Simplicity And Cleanliness

The country cottage theme mimics the home designs of the earlier simpler eras. Instead of ultra-modern designs and gothic interiors, which are in stark dark hues, go for lighter shades. Light and lots of natural light is the highlight of this décor. Go for more light and airy accents; choose simple framed photos and uncomplicated patterns or prints. Invest in deep seated sofas, see that your furniture is inviting and gives an illusion of comfort and luxury along with being functional.

Incorporate ‘ Shabby Chic’

Antique mirrors, old sepia toned family portraits and soft lighting combined with a few modern accents will complete the look.

Signs of Country Life

Accessorize your home with things that would naturally surround a remote country cottage. Salvaged garden or architectural implements, such as weather wanes, old windows have an elegant quality when displayed as a sculptor. Arrange a bunch of wildflowers and a bowl of fruit as a center piece.

Embrace Natural Elements

One of the most charming aspects of cottage living is its natural, simplistic and bare-toned style. Don’t cover the walls of the guest room with art-work; instead go for natural salvaged pine boards to create an earthy look. One of the key elements to cottage style décor is distressed and weathered furnishings. The process of sand-blocking can do wonders to attain that natural look. The space in your home should always feel at ease but maintaining the chic and elegance.

Read More About……7 Decor Styles that Will Rule Luxury Homes in 2017

Essentials of a Luxury Master Bedroom

Your master bedroom is the most private room in your home and creating that intimate retreat requires you to identify the essentials. Since it is your own private domain where you are bound to spend the maximum time, you have to see that you pamper yourself with all the essential luxuries. This is a space dedicated to peace and romance, where you can distress and rejuvenate yourself, a private getaway.

Essentials of a Luxury Master Bedroom
Essentials of a Luxury Master Bedroom

The modern lifestyle makes us bring all our stress into the bedroom with laptops and workload. Just leave all the files and computes outside and create your own utopia of luxury with comfort, style and function.

The Bed

If space allows, buy a high quality king-size bed. It provides the space for intimacy and comfort, with the assurance of a goodnights sleep. Create a focal point with a custom upholstered or wooden headboard to incorporate chic and elegance. Invest in some luxurious soft linen, like Egyptian cotton or soft silk and a comfy duvet and plump soft pillows where you can sink your head and leave the worries outside. Nothing works magic like a good night sleep.

The Seating

A comfortable sitting room area could include an area designated or just some sofas, chairs, a fireplace, or just a window seat or a love seat with a few chairs or an alcove window seat with an antique chair and an ottoman along with a small side table can create a picture of comfort and style. Delineate a space for watching TV or reading a book. The master bedroom doubling as a hotel suite is becoming very popular these days.

Storage- An Important Feature

A calm and serene bedroom without the clutter is the epitome of luxury. If possible, conceal your plasma TV behind a remote controlled motorized piece of art. Nightstands should provide you with ample area for fresh flowers and magazines. Use side tables with drawers to keep away papers etc. to avoid clutter. If access to your closet is from the bedroom hire a professional closet company to organize and maximize the closet space.

Color Play

Set the tones of your bedroom space. To achieve that calm and serene atmosphere, avoid using highly stimulating or overpowering colors. If you still want something vibrant go for an accent wall decor. Colors like lavender and violets bring in a sense of calm to a space. Seek such hues that will blend with your furniture.

Lighting- The Master Stroke

Create a warm and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom by overlapping several sources of light. For overall ambient lighting include some halogen lights, and for reading overhead lights or wall scones and side lamps are a must. Install individual light switches on each person’s side. Ensure all lighting sources are on dimmers, providing the right atmosphere and flexibility. Don’t forget candlelight.

For the final touches don’t clutter, hang a piece of authentic art, even if it is by an unknown painter rather than use reprints. You can put up some family photographs mounted in exquisite frames, silver frames look great. Fresh flowers and a beautiful rug will complete the picture.

Read More About…Tips to Keep Your Home Fashionable through the Years

Design Trends: What Young Millennials Want in Their Homes

The millennial generation is putting its fingerprints on every facet of society. As such this group is driving the housing market too. Young adults bring two interesting dynamics to the table: First they have appreciation for culture and history; and second many millennials also prioritize efficiency and comfort. These expectations are pushing demand for specific homes and apartment styles across the board. Some of the most pertinent and universal trends are given below.

Design Trends: What Young Millennials Want in Their Homes
Design Trends: What Young Millennials Want in Their Homes

A mix of old and new- Millennials have increasingly been drawn to designs that both include contemporary lines of modern, sleek appliances and the warmth of more rustic elements. For example you may see modern kitchen appliances alongside a farmhouse sink and a wall of artisan baked tiles.

Natural Materials- Speaking of rustic elements one trend is on the rise is of reclaimed wood throughout a space. This corresponds with larger trends towards other natural materials like stone.

Artistic Aspects- Bringing in something artistic and unique offers a degree of customization, and customization is important to the GEN Y.
Clean Lines- Although rustic and artistic elements are definitely on the rise among the millennials, the overall design scheme popular with this group is still essentially modern. They are choosing simpler designs like simplified crown molding or cabinets without ornate detailing.

Sustainability- Materials which are environmentally friendly and appliances that are of high-efficiency are both rising trends among this group.
Functionality- However along with sustainability they are also focused on items that will be durable and serve clear function in home organization.

Technology- The demand for technology in home designs is a must for this generation. For them, technology is the new luxury. There is an over-arching trend towards integrated technology: Right from apps that control your LED lights, to thermostats that track your room temperatures, automated shelving, doors locks that can be operated from your cell phone or tablet.

These and many more trends are what the younger generation is looking for, and builders realize that the new buyer is young and has different ideas so they have started catering to this new young buyer.

Millennials want homes that offer value, openness, flexibility and are techno-centric. They want a smart home which can be used for more than one purpose. They like things to look ‘’techy’’ and are also practical. Millennials also want affordable values and are realistic about what they can afford. They want rooms in their homes to be flexible as their family grows and changes. Open spaces, lots of natural light, large windows, good ventilation, an open floor plan and much more. However the most important part of interior design for millennials is to be creative and have their own look.

Read More About…The Essentials of a ‘Luxury Home’

Beautiful Accent Wall Ideas for Your Master Bedroom

An accent wall- a well painted different color than the other walls of the room- is an easy and effective way not only to liven up the space but also to fool the eye into seeing the room as a different size than it actually is. Your bedroom is the right place to start and experiment, as it is your private domain and you can play with colors and try with unabashed colors, patterns and styles that you may otherwise shy away from.

Beautiful Accent Wall Ideas for Your Master Bedroom
Beautiful Accent Wall Ideas for Your Master Bedroom

One of the easiest and simplest ways to give your bedroom a big wallop of design is with an accent wall. It adds some maturity to the décor and makes it look like a grown up home. You could make the case that the best place to do this is behind the headboard because the rest of the bedroom should bow down to the place where we lay our heads rather than compete with it. The process can be as simple as painting it a different color, but with options available today you can opt for moldings, 3D tiles, mica wallpaper etc.

Color Theory- When it comes to choosing the right wall to highlight as an accent wall and the best color to paint it with, then it helps to consider the room’s exposure along with basic color theory. Warm colors tend to pull the wall towards the eye which makes the place appear smaller. If you decide to use a warm color like orange, yellow and red to accent a wall then choose a wall that can handle being foreshortened. Cool colors tend to pull the wall away from the eye, which makes a small bedroom appear bigger.

Find A Wall That Stands Out- The best accent wall is the wall that stands out in your bedroom. It’s the wall you are drawn to when you enter the bedroom.

Use a Wall That Will Not Be Obscured or Bare- To create a well-balanced design, it is important to plan your furniture placement around your accent wall. Most of the time your headboard will be against your accent wall but if not, be careful to avoid obscuring your wall with a large object, floor to ceiling drapes, windows, or an enormous wardrobe.

Now that you have determined which wall is your accent wall and the color scheme, it’s time to decide on other furnishings or decorating items.

Grass cloth- You can use grass cloth on your accent wall, this natural fiber adds wonderful texture, depth and interest to the wall. You can use a darker shade to designate the sleeping area while a lighter hue next can be an ideal solution for your art work and displays.

Reclaimed Wood- Many homeowners use reclaimed wood nowadays and this is a fast setting trend of 2017. It balances rustic and contemporary, roughhewn and clean-lined in the bedroom.

Photography- You can have a photograph blown up and then stretch it across two to three canvas frames, creating an oversized triptych.

Defining separation of spaces can also be a tricky thing to do especially in a bedroom. But with accent wall you can forget about cluttering up your space with different stools or random chairs as dividers. An accent wall can create an illusion that the space is divided into different regions. Beides dividing the space accent, walls can simply be an interesting thing to look at. In interior designing the element that catches your eye, and keeps you interested is extremely important.

Read More About…Décor Updates That Won’t Break the Bank

10 Décor Items That Are No Longer In Trend

Design trends come and go but some have been sticking around for a while. Say the magic words; some home design trends need to disappear. Here are some of the most overdone home design trends that have us rolling our eyes. Avoid these and follow your own ideas or check out what is IN and what is OUT.

All White- Sure it would feel good living on a fluffy cloud. But here in the real world white sofas are so blinding, the matching furniture so boring and the neat pristine floors don’t stand a chance against the grim and dirt of daily life. Set your feet firmly on the ground and add pops of colors and let your space become colorful and vibrant.

10 Décor Items That Are No Longer In Trend
10 Décor Items That Are No Longer In Trend

Don’t Match Everything In The Room- If you are someone trying to match everything in the room try thinking out of the box. Don’t feel pressurized to pick up every matching piece of furniture in the shop. Stay away from heavy frilly fabrics. Remember when choosing a paint palette, the walls and furniture should blend perfectly in order to give your home a fashionable look.

Don’t Allow Collections To Clutter- Collections are often meaningful, but that does not mean you collect all bric-bracs and other memorabilia and display it. It is very outdated, so plain simple but elegant look is trendier than a cluttered look.

Don’t Hang Unoriginal Art- It’s easy to shop online and get posters and framed replicas of famous artists, but before you spend your money on these look around and see if you can find art that are one-of-a- kind and which pleases you.

Brass, Brass And More Brass- Surely this metal can bring in a lot of shiny appeal to your home, but resist the overkill that was witnessed in 2016. If you are in love with this metal try and mix it with another metal or use it sparingly.

Don’t Decorate With Bad Retro Trends- Many popular trends should remain in the history books only. Hanging bulbs are outdated, instead use a branded chandelier to create a stylish environ. No more naked bulbs hanging giving a look of a sleazy joint.

Indigo, It’s Time To Go- This hue is everywhere for the past few years, but now it is time to stop overworking the color. If you want to play with blue try using a variation of colors.

Sharp Edges Are No Longer Sharp- A boxy item here and there is fine but 2017 will be a year of rounded edges and circular furniture. Home will be more of comfort and not of edginess.

DIY Everything- A good DIY is a great way to spend a rainy day but when everything from your lighting to your toothbrush stand is DIY then it is high time to cleanse your home.

Brushed Metal- Burnished metals are on their way out so say sayonara, bronze and gold will take their place.

Smooth And Sleek Rooms- In 2017 home designs will be about texture, that may mean updating the meaning of ’modern’. Modern means in 2017 the year for chunky stiches, folds, pleats and other textural designs, warm items that will help you connect to the room. Whatever the trend don’t go for it blindly see what makes you feel good and comfortable should be your trend.

Read More About…Budget Decor Ideas to Give Your Home A Luxurious Look & Feel

Décor Updates That Won’t Break the Bank

There isn’t a single person who would not like to live in a beautiful home and keep changing and updating his/her surrounding according to comfort and latest trends. While some people do occasionally go in for a paint job, changing the décor and look of one’s home is a task that is considered expensive and very tiresome. That need not be the case. There are some easy and quick budget décor tips that can change the look of your place completely.

Décor Updates That Won’t Break the Bank
Décor Updates That Won’t Break the Bank

Accent Walls

An accent wall (a.k.a. “feature wall”) is a wall whose design differs from the design of the other walls in the room. The accent wall’s color can simply be a different shade of the color of the other walls, or have a completely different design in terms of the color and material. The surface of the accent wall can be paint, wallpaper, brick, marble etc. By using this concept not only can you change the entire look of the room, you also save money as the area changed is very small.

Art work

Art work can really change the look of a room too. If you have a dull and drab looking room or one that is painted in neutral colors, adding a vibrant and colorful piece of art will enhance it and give it character. One doesn’t have to buy an expensive piece. There are many affordable but beautiful pieces available online that suit your budget and sensibilities. Why just art or paintings, you can also pin up a photograph or a collage or even a beautiful cloth piece on the wall.

Floor Rugs and Throw Pillows

Changing the flooring of your home will not only raise dust but also your expenses. A more cost effective way is using rugs or carpets. They not only hide stains or old flooring, but also add warmth and coziness to a room. They are also very effective in winter to keep your feet warm. Similarly you can also throw in oversized cushions/bean bags on the floor. They are also a good alternative to expensive chairs and sofas.

Lighting

Stand outside an apartment block one evening and look up at the lit windows of homes. Some will seem more inviting and welcoming than others. This is because of lighting. You may have the best furniture and upholstery that money can buy but still not get the look you want. Change the lighting of the room and voila it’s a brand new place. Changing light bulbs and adding dimmer is not expensive at all and there are a lot of cost effective and environment friendly options available in the market these days.

Floral arrangement

A trick that is used by interior designers over and over again to make a decor statement at very little additional cost is to use a bigger vase and create an oversize floral arrangement. There are many authentic looking artificial options available in the market these days.

You can also use mirrors, decorative headboards, bookshelves etc. to change the look of your home with very little additional cost.

Read More About…Tips to Keep Your Home Fashionable through the Years