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    February 23rd, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – Spring isn’t just the season to clean out old junk from your home, it’s also the perfect time to tackle some DIY craft projects that repurpose household items and give them new life. Repurposing, or “upcycling,” is one of the hottest trends in home decor and design for 2017, according to online DIY community Before you throw away an old book case, battered picture frame or wooden industrial spool, why not think of ways to upcycle those items instead?

    Here are five projects the DIY experts at Arrow Fastener Company recommend to help you add a fresh look to your home while giving new life to old items:

    Book page wreath – True book-lovers find it painful to ever throw away a book, but what can you do with a tome that’s become too worn to read anymore? Turn it into a decorative wreath that proclaims your love of the written word. You’ll need wood for a base, an old book and a craft glue gun.

    Industrial wooden spool seat and bookshelf – You may have no idea where it came from or why it’s in your garage, but that industrial spool can become the perfect place to put up your feet and read a book. A blog post on Pandora’s Craft Box shows you how to turn a wooden spool into a beautiful bookshelf/footstool combo. You’ll need wood stain, pieces of wood to create internal shelving, upholstery materials like batting, foam and fabric, and an Arrow T50 Heavy Duty staple gun to affix the padding to the top of the spool.

    Wine bottle rustic vase – Every now and then you have a bottle of wine that’s just so good – or the bottle itself is so pretty – you just don’t want to give it up. Turning it into a rustic vase is a great way to preserve the memories associated with the bottle and create a beautiful decorative piece for your home. You’ll need a glass wine bottle, 20-50 feet of sisal rope, scissors, a mini glue gun, glue sticks and optional decorative embellishments.

    Feline playland – If you have a bored cat and an old book case, you have the makings of magic! The blog My Very Educated Mother offers directions on how to repurpose an old book case by using a staple gun to affix rugged carpet remnants to the interior, shelves and exterior of the case. The shelves are a fun place for kitty to sit, and the carpet gives her somewhere appropriate to sharpen her claws. You can also store toys, treats and even a bed on the shelves.

    Woodland picture frame – Do you have an old picture frame or a mirror that the glass has broken out of? You can transform the most basic or worn frame into a piece of natural art by using a glue gun to attach sticks in varying shapes and sizes to the frame. Use sticks from a craft store or from your own backyard to decorate the frame, giving it a rustic look that brings a bit of nature into your home.

    For more DIY projects to help you repurpose old items into new home decor this spring, visit or Arrow’s Pinterest page.

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    February 22nd, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeowners around the country opting to downsize to tiny homes, condominiums, apartments or just smaller single-family homes.

    Deciding to scale down is driven by many reasons — the quest for less maintenance, parents recently becoming empty nesters, an increase in the cost of living or simply looking to live a greener lifestyle. However, having less square footage doesn’t need to mean skimping on style or function.

    If you are planning on downsizing, here are four tips for thoughtful small space home design.

    1. Think durable material that can handle double duty.

    As people continue to downsize, it is important to maximize space by having rooms work double duty. If your home isn’t large enough to accommodate an eating area and an office, have your kitchen island work as both.

    To keep up with daily wear, such as sliding pots and pans, plates, spills and more, look to a high performance countertop such as Neolith. This material is scratch, heat and stain-resistant. It’s also non-porous and hygienic, so there’s no need to worry about cross-contamination on office papers by day and food by night.

    2. Less is more.

    According to popular belief, it is better to fill a space with several small pieces of furniture. However, design savvy professionals and homeowners are turning this idea on its head by using fewer, yet larger pieces to furnish living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. By doing so, this creates an optical illusion of space and adds a designer’s touch.

    3. Make a statement.

    When designing a small space like a bathroom, thoughtfully selected wall colors can make a huge difference. To really make a statement, think beyond paint with unexpected textures, designs and materials such as Neolith sintered stone in the La Boheme design. This decor is an accurate interpretation of Lebanese-inspired cedar that adds visual interest and is much easier to maintain than its natural counterpart.

    Finish off the look with oversized art, large mirrors to bounce light around the room, a floating sink and toilet, and open shower to pack a punch in a small space.

    4. Bring only what you love.

    It may seem obvious, but when moving or scaling back on your next home, be sure to take an inventory of everything you own, and only bring items that make you happy. Without the extra storage space larger homes afford, downsizing is a great opportunity to really ask yourself, “Do I love this and do I need it?” When you have only the possessions you love surrounding you in your new space, it will automatically feel bigger.

    To start your small space project, experiment with different styles and colors through online design tools, like the visualizer on While smaller rooms demand creative thinking and individuality, quality design is well within reach.

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    February 21st, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – You see it every year – a “hot” new color begins appearing on phone cases, walls, ceilings, furnishings and accessories. Soon, virtually everyone who’s doing any kind of renovation or design work is incorporating that color into their project. Have you ever wondered how home color trends happen?

    “Our team of global color experts assess societal and cultural influences from around the world to forecast what colors will be popular in home decor, consumer goods, automotive and even on airplanes for the upcoming year,” says Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager for PPG in North America. “We also look at what major retailers are doing in home décor, and what’s happening in society, and people’s state of emotion because of these events. All this information helps us predict what colors will resonate with people in the coming year.”

    For example, immediately following 9/11, pinks and browns were popular because people craved comfort and security. For 2017, a blending of various cultural norms influenced the choice of purples as color of the year, Schlotter says.

    “Culturally, we’re seeing a shift toward blending of gender, relationships, careers, workplaces and living spaces,” she says. “For example, male makeup models are now blending traditional views of masculine and feminine. Hotels, restaurants and homes are blending indoor and outdoor spaces, and modern offices are finding middle ground between work and play. Purple is such a blended color that it really speaks to what’s going on in the world, especially for our choices of 2017 color of the year, which combines gray, blue and purple all in one tone.”

    Shades of purple are the colors of the year for multiple paint brands including PPG Paints, Glidden and Olympic paints. Glidden’s Byzantine Blue and PPG’s Violet Verbena blend blue and gray to create a hue that appears more gray when paired with dark neutrals and bluish-purple when paired with whites, similar to that of a chameleon. Cloudberry from Olympic is a calm, soft violet that also straddles the blurred line between purple and gray.

    “Blended purples evoke a lush, pampering yet calm effect that’s a comforting foil to the harshness of the world right now,” Schlotter says. “These trending colors are sweet without being feminine, and gray without being somber.”

    The colors also mesh with the more bohemian lifestyles people seem to be pursuing, she notes. A trend toward spiritual exploration is driving interest in meditation and yoga, which blend elements of mental and physical exercise. “This fits perfectly with the purple trend because this hue is thought to represent the subconscious, and can be a meditative color in the right tone,” she says.

    While Schlotter says homeowners have historically been shy about using purple, this year’s hues will work well in a variety of settings. The muted nature of the colors makes them gender-neutral yet impactful, so they’re great statement colors when used in a dining room, on the front door or even as an accent wall in a child’s room.

    What’s more, the color pairs well with trending home materials, such as gray flooring, black tiles and gold décor accents. The unique blended qualities of the colors mean these purples can adapt to the surrounding environments and blend effortlessly.

    “The great thing about Violet Verbena, Cloudberry and Byzantine Blue is that they all have hints of other colors and neutrals in them,” Schlotter says. “Gray is popular now more than ever, but many consumers don’t want a monochromatic look. These beautiful purple hues pull in hints of blue and gray to form chameleon-like hues that adjust based on their surroundings. They’re not your typical purple, but rather can be looked at – and used – like a new neutral.”

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