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Cozy, Not Cramped: How To Make Small Space Feel Bigger

 

 

No matter how big our homes may be, they never quite seem big enough. Unfortunately, if you have a particularly small house, then this probably means that you wish it were a lot larger. Unless you plan to build extra rooms or extensions onto your property, there is no way to add any additional physical space, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to settle for a cramped and uncomfortable home. In fact, there are lots of ways you can make the most of your space and make it seem much bigger than it is. With that in mind, here are four clever tips for you to try.

Clear Away The Clutter

Cluttered spaces always look small and cramped, so your first step should be clearing out any unnecessary junk and moving it elsewhere. This might mean throwing it away, putting it into storage, or selling it on to someone else. You should also consider switching out some of your furniture for multipurpose alternatives, like an ottoman that can be used as a seat, table, and storage. This will instantly make the space feel roomier and means that you’ll have less to clean.

Design The Lighting Carefully

Lighting can truly make or break a room, so it’s vital that you get your design right. Instead of relying on a single overhead light, you should add multiple light sources throughout each of your rooms, including table lamps, floor lamps, wall lights, fairy lights, and candles. This allows you to light up the entire room, which will naturally make it appear larger. It also means that you can change your lighting depending on the time of day or situation.

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Switch Up The Windows

Natural light is and will always be the most important light source, so you need to make sure that you boost the natural light in your home as much as you can. You can do this by switching to light and airy fabrics for your window treatments. You might even consider replacement windows if your current ones fail to bring in enough sunlight. Dirt and grime on your windows can distract the eye and keep light from coming in, so you should clean the glass inside and out regularly.

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Opt For Cool Colors

White reflects light back into a space, making it appear much brighter and larger than darker colors do. For this reason, you should incorporate as much white into your home as you can. Of course, an entirely white property might look a little odd, so you can mix things up a little by adding cool tones like light greens and blues. Try to keep your window treatments the same color as your walls, as this gives the illusion that your rooms go even further.

Your home may be small, but that doesn’t mean that it should be cramped too. Instead of settling for an uncomfortable and unwelcoming space, you need to make a change. With the tips above, you should have no trouble turning your tiny home into a cozy paradise.

 

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Redecorating On A Budget

Every home needs a bit of revitalisation now and again. You see the same surroundings day after day, and so no matter how much you loved those floral curtains or that round dark wood coffee table when you first bought them, after time it is only natural that you grow tired of what you see. However, there is only one problem… we don’t all have endless pits of money. Most people don’t have the cash spare to turn their house upside down and completely change its image. But the good news is; you don’t have to. With the following tips, you can redecorate your home without breaking the bank…

Cushion crazy

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Replacing your sofa represents a large investment. However, by simply changing your cushions you can give your sofa an entirely new appearance. There are so many designs available nowadays. You can play around with different patterns, various textures and an array of colors. Don’t go for anything too matchy-matchy. Instead, buy a mixed selection to create your own unique style. A great place to start is Linens Direct. They have a wealth of diverse cushions for you to choose from.

Grab a paintbrush

You wouldn’t believe how much difference a lick of paint can make! It alters the entire mood and feel of a room. Swap your pastel shade for a bold and bright colour – it will give you an instant pick me up. Or, trade in that dark tone for a lighter shade – your space will feel refreshed and relaxed. Why not go for an accent wall? You will save even more money if you only have ¼ of the room to paint! Yet, the effect is still as big because you are creating a focal point which is really going to pop out and bring the room to life.

Recover and renew your current furniture

If you can’t afford new furniture, why not recover what you already had? Are you sick of that dull and boring brown armchair in the corner of the room? If so, why not buy a fun and funky fabric and recover it yourself? Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will end up with a unique piece which nobody else has. This is ideal for someone who likes to embark on a bit of DIY and let their creative side shine. Don’t only think about what you can see, but all of the senses, from how you feel in the room to your sense of smell. If you have been meaning to call for an AC repair for months now, do this before spending money on your sofas. You will never be comfortable in the room if the temperature is not right. Deal with all the small fixes first!

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Buy some new wall art

Last but not least, wall art can completely transform a space, but you need to think big if you want it to have a large impact on the overall vibe of the room. Thus, you can either purchase a large picture or you can opt to have loads of little ones together. The choice is of course yours. In fact, you don’t even have to go for a picture or a photograph. Wall letters i.e. the use of typography and wall stencils are really fashionable at the moment as well. All you need to do is search around on the internet and you will see that there are some really fantastic pieces available at unbelievable prices.

 

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Maker’s Monday: Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

It’s Maker’s Monday time, my favorite day of the week! Monday’s on House Fenway I get the oppurtunity to share another maker’s wonderful shop, amazing talent and product. As the weeks go on I have come to the realization of how important it is to shop small, support local and help empower others to do the same. Buying from a small business helps support someone else’s dream. The product you receive is unique. Your purchase has been created with such incredible thought and passion —something you rarely if ever receive from a “Big Box” store purchase. So with that thought (as I jump down from my soap box), I want to introduce to you this week’s amazing maker, Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

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Meet Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

When Fall arrives it’s candle burning season in our house! Who doesn’t like the smell of fresh baked Coffee Crumb Cake or Hot Apple Cider in the house? (even better, without having to turn on the oven, dirty the kitchen or wash a dish!) Candles for Dandelion Wishes do just that — make your house smell amazing. Their small batch candles and wax melts are 100% soy-based, which means they burn clean and contain no toxins or  pollutants. These hand-poured candles and melts are offered in a wide range scents, here are some of the my seasonal favorites…

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Coffee Crumb Cake: Rich coffee and sweet strudel make us reminisce about easy Sunday morning breakfast cake. So yummy!
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Lemon Sugar Cookie: Zesty lemon with a hint of sweet vanilla. Smells like Grandma’s making a fresh batch of lemon sugar cookies!
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Sweater Weather: A strong warm scent that fills your space with notes of cinnamon, buttercream. vanilla, and a tiny hint of brown sugar. A perfect cold weather scent to make your space feel warm and cozy!
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Woodwork & Plaid: A masculine scent with fresh notes of Frasier Fir and lemon. Delish!

Special Offer from Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

Want to try a candle (or 10) from Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.? Tonight only (10/15/18) from 6-9 pm PDT they are having a flash sale. 15% off your order…NO CODE NEEDED!

 

IMG_1855Check out some of the other House Fenway Maker’s Monday Shops:

Curious Timbers

Gam Gam Handcrafted

The Vintage Nest

 

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3 Simple Alternatives To A Minimalist Interior

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For the past decade, magazines and TV shows have been telling us about the joys of a minimalist interior. White walls, high gloss kitchen units, minimal clutter, and simple furniture have been the trends of choice. Only with the emergence of a more creative set of designers and a frustration with the lack of artistic license in a minimalist environment, have people become more enamored with more colorful, exciting and unique designs. Magazines are now showing off more vibrant ideas on their covers and showcasing younger interior designers with their more forward thinking creations. If you fancy stepping away from the sleek and monotone to a more cheerful and homely atmosphere, take a look at these three simple alternatives to a minimalist interior.

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Walls

Forget white walls or even a touch of magnolia. It’s time to be bolder with your palette. If you fancy introducing more color in a subtle way, play around with duck egg blues, pastel hued greens or even a teal wall or two. If you’re more willing to experiment with a broader range of colors, consider mixing palettes and hues. A dark damson feature wall with lighter surrounding walls can create a focal point and break up the sea of white.

Artwork can also add touches of flair within a space and allows you to express your personality. If you love graffiti art, pick up a couple of Banksy prints. For traditional art lovers, why not head to your local gallery, purchase an original watercolor and support the local artisan trade. For a more realist approach to your artwork, you might wish to think about the photography prints for sale online. A spectacular landscape, some wildlife shots or street photography could be perfect for your interior.

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Furniture

While minimalist furniture has been the order of the day, people are now looking to source vintage furniture to create a mix of modern and old for their interior design. G-Plan, Ercol, and Meredew made stunning and affordable mid-century teak tables, chairs and sideboards. With people looking back fondly on the swinging sixties, people are keen to bring a touch of retro to their designs.

Coupled with drapery and fabrics, the wooden or teak inspired furniture can come alive with more texture, colors and a tactile nature. Hygge has been a Danish concept that has suddenly gained traction within the design world as families are more interested in function over form. Interior design lovers want comfort, cosiness, and a homely feel more than something that simply looks stunning but is virtually unusable. Banish the chaise lounge that never gets used and swap it for a fashionable leather recliner that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Playing around with your interior design can be a daunting prospect, but it should also be enjoyable. With our busy lifestyles, we want a humble abode that is welcoming and comfortable; minimalism doesn’t always deliver this. Banish the white walls and clinical look to welcome a more vibrant and exciting interior design.

 

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Chocolate Stuffed Chip Bars

Confession: I have an extremely large sweet tooth. So when I was tasked with making a dessert for an upcoming housewarming party, you better believe I jumped at the chance. I wanted a dessert that would be loved by the masses, relatively simple to make and easy to transport. Well, you can never go wrong with anything chocolate and bar cookies seem to be a no-brainer.  The answer; Chocolate Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. And yes, chocolate is in the name twice! This cookie bar recipe is as if a chocolate chip cookie hugged a Hershey’s chocolate bar. How sweet is that?

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted Challenge Butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
7 full-sized Hershey bars

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DIRECTIONS

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Make sure when it starts to brown to keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool.

 

  • Pour the butter mixture into a mixing bowl, while still hot. Add both sugars and mix with an electric beater on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.
  • While butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to incorporate and set aside.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter/sugar on a low setting until it’s completely incorporated.  Add in vanilla extract. Incorporate the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
  • Line a 9×13” baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  • Press half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the bottom layer (be careful to leave about 1/4” edge around the pan so the milk doesn’t touch the foil), Lay the full Hershey chocolate bars over the top, lining them up across the pan. Spread the remaining cookie dough and place on top of milk. Press with your hands to flatten. It will mostly cover but not completely cover the bottom layer.
  • Refrigerate pan for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the tops of the bars start to get golden brown. Cool completely before slicing into bars.

 

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More Dessert Recipes

Need more recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out these sweet treats:

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Double Fudge Brownies >

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Banana Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting >