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5 Things You Should Never Do When Decorating A Spare Room

Are you constantly telling yourself that you’re going to do something with your spare room instead of just using it to store all of your junk in? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Spare rooms around the globe end up wasted which is a real shame because you could be doing something so much better with that space. If you take the time to clear out all of the clutter that you’ve got in there and convert the room into something else, you’ll have a lot more space in the rest of the house and you’ll actually be able to enjoy using that room. But you’ve got to be careful when you’re converting a spare room because there are a lot of mistakes that you can make. If you get it wrong, the room will be just as useless as it was before. If you’re thinking about doing something more interesting with the spare room, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.

Using It For The Wrong Thing

Before you start doing any work, you need to decide what the room is going to be used for. So many people get it wrong and choose a function that just doesn’t suit the room. For example, if you have a fairly small box room and you try to turn it into another bedroom, you’ll fill all of the space with the bed and the room will be incredibly cramped. Equally, if you take a large room and make it into an office space, you’re not going to make great use of all of that space. That’s why you’ve got to be careful when you’re working out what to do with that spare room.  Consider the space and think about how you can get the best use out of it. By letting the space in the room guide you, you can be sure that you find the right use for it.

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Not Matching It With The Rest Of The House

Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to do with the room, you can start coming up with a design. You might have an idea in mind but before you get carried away, think about how the room will fit with the rest of the house. You need to match the decor in the spare room to the rest of the house, otherwise, it’ll look out of place. That doesn’t mean you have to use the exact same decor that you’ve got in other rooms, but you need to find a color scheme that accents it well.

Trying To Do Too Much Yourself

When you’re making home renovations, DIY is a great way to save money. But you do have to be careful because there are some things that you should never do yourself. For example, if you’re going to start messing around with the radiators or any other plumbing, you need professionals like ABC Plumbing Services to do the work for you. If you try to do it yourself and you haven’t really got a clue what you’re doing, you’ll end up with a flooded spare room instead of the great new space you were hoping for. The same goes for anything to do with the electrics. You’re going to end up hurting yourself if you start poking around in plug sockets. There are plenty of things that you can do yourself, mainly the cosmetic stuff. Any wallpapering or painting etc. is fine to do on your own as long as you take your time and plan properly. But anything more complex is always a risk so you need to get some professionals to do it for you.

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A Short Lived Design

When you’re trying to pick a color scheme for the new room, consider the longevity of the design. If you’re decorating in the fall, you might decide that you want to use lots of nice oranges and browns. That’ll look great for a while but it might not fit well when the winter comes. When you’re designing the room, it’s important that you don’t let yourself be swayed by seasonal styles that won’t look good all year around. Try to pick something fairly neutral that isn’t going to fall out of style a couple of months down the line. You should also try to avoid using any new design trends. While everybody might think that those styles are here to stay, they usually fall out of fashion pretty quickly. Instead of a stylish spare room, you’ll end up with dated decor that you’ll end up having to change again.

Measuring Badly

When you’ve landed on a final design for the new spare room, you’re ready to start work. But if you rush into things and just start throwing wallpaper onto the walls, you’ll end up with a shoddy job that looks terrible. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they’re starting a new renovation is measuring badly. If you don’t get your measurements right, you’ll cause yourself all sorts of problems down the line. When it comes to buying materials, you can easily end up not ordering enough because your measurements are wrong. Getting halfway through a wall before realizing you’ve run out of paint and having to go out and get more can easily ruin the finish. Equally, you might overestimate your measurements and end up wasting a load of money on materials that you can’t use again in the future.

When you’re measuring things out, always make sure that you’re taking your time and measuring everything twice. You might save yourself 5 minutes now by rushing it, but you’ll waste hours and loads of money further down the line when you make a mistake. Measuring right is particularly important when you’re cutting things. If you get it wrong you’ll have to go out and buy more materials.

Converting a spare room is a great way to get more use out of the space in your home but if you make these mistakes, you’ll end up with a room that’s more useless than it was before.

 

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House Fenway’s Favorite Canisters

I adore kitchen canister sets. There is something so nostalgic about displaying a set of canisters on your kitchen countertop. Canisters are not only functional by keeping food fresh, they can add visual interest to an otherwise boring space. The variety of styles, colors and shapes seem to be endless making it easy to find a set that reflects your kitchen style.

I recently went on the hunt for my perfect canister set (it was tough) and compiled a list of my favorites. I had a couple attributes on my wish list when narrowing down my top favorites. The canisters needed to: have clean design lines, a classic style and be affordably priced. I think I found a group that met all of the requirements and will make a great investment to stand the test of time. If not, they will still look adorable on my counter. Enjoy!

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  1. Aqua Dip Canisters – Crate and Barrel
  2. Ivory Farmhouse Canisters – Pier 1
  3. Utility Kitchen Canisters – White – West Elm
  4. Weston 3 Piece Kitchen Canister Set – Birch Lane
  5. White Distressed Label Canisters, Set of 3 – Kirkland’s
  6. White Ceramic Canisters – World Market
  7. Copper-Plated Canister Set – Anthropologie
  8. Cambria Canisters – Pottery Barn
Tips for keeping stored dry food
  • Make sure you rotate your dry goods. Date all foods and food containers. Stored foods cannot get any better than what originally went in, but they can certainly get worse. If you don’t know how old it is — when in doubt, throw it out!
  • Keep stored foods cool, dry and well ventilated. The temperature should be between 50°F and 70°F. Also, make sure it’s out of direct sunlight. Sunlight promotes oxidation and the subsequent loss of the food’s nutritional value and quality
  • Make sure your goods are stored in a low humidity area. Most canisters have a rubber or plastic seal to keep humidity out to help food stay fresher, longer.

Looking for more favorites to shop?
Check out House Fenway’s Favorite Fall Throw Pillows

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House Fenway’s Favorite Autumn Pillows

One of my favorite décor addictions? Throw pillows. And why wouldn’t they be? Throw pillows are the easiest and most affordable way of changing the look of a room. Pillows can add a pop of needed color, combine interesting textures, develop layering, interest and even tie a complete room together. This fall, I’ve picked some of my favorite trending pillows. These aren’t pillows you’d generally expect for fall, but with this year’s autumnal color palate swaying toward cool blues and neutral grays, there are some surprising favorites. These picks will add a nice twist to your normal fall décor and help carry you right into Winter.

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  1. Cinderella Pumpkin Pillow
  2. Gray Cable Sweater Knit Pillow
  3. “The Snuggle is Real” Pillow
  4. Gray Floral Pillow
  5. White Goat Fur Pillow
  6. Light Gray Burlap Textured Pillow

How do you style throw pillows?

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Here are a couple tips for styling a sofa:

  1. Always start from the outside of the sofa and work your way inward.
  2. Stack smaller pillows in front of larger ones to add layering
  3. Limit the amount of patterns to prevent your arrangement from looking too busy
  4. Mix and match textures, colors and patterns staying within a color palette to create a cohesive and pleasant grouping
  5. An odd number of pillows is usually more visual appealing.
  6. To add even more interest add an odd shaped pillow (i.e. a round or bolster pillow) in the center of the grouping.

 

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Home Décor Hacks for $1

You’d be surprised at what one buck can buy you at the local dollar store. With a keen eye and a couple dollars in hand, you can pick up treasures that can fool most people into thinking that you spent much more. I’m a bargain hunter. I love to get a good deal, but what I love even more – surprising someone with the statement, “I got it at the dollar store!” *gasp* “Yes, the DOLLAR STORE.”

When I say dollar store items, I’m not talking about decorating with seasonal party supplies or a grouping of ceramic geese. I found items that with a little styling and imagination can easily be mistake for something from a higher-end retail store.

Here are some examples of some of my favorite finds and what I use them for around my house:

Hobnail Glassware

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What a perfect juice glass! These hobnail glasses add the perfect vintage touch and would look great on kitchen table for Sunday brunch. They are the perfect size for a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed OJ.

Glass Apothecary Jars

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I always need a little extra organization in my life. (who doesn’t?? lol) These petite glass apothecary jars are ideal for wrangling small items. I popped a couple of these on my bathroom counter to hold my cotton rounds, q tips and hair ties. What a great way to keep the bathroom tidy, store commonly used items at hand and add vintage style to your bathroom.

Ceramic Dinner Plates

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The dollar store is always a good spot to pick up some inexpensive dinnerware. (You won’t have to cry over a chipped plate…it was only a $1!) These neutral plates can be easily mixed and matched with dishes you already have.

P.S. The flowers and napkin where a dollar too! 🙂

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It is always a fun challenge to elevate dollar store items. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had luck finding treasures from the dollar store. Message me, I’d love to share!

<3 Melissa @ House Fenway

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Holiday Box: Decorating Made Easy

Life is busy and during the holidays, it’s even busier! Dinner parties, school holiday concerts, shopping – the list goes on forever. As a full time working mother, it’s hard to juggle it all. During the holidays one of my favorite things to do is decorate the house and trim the tree. This process usually involves making multiple trips to the store and by the end, I’m exhausted. For me, this year was a little different. I found a company to help with my holiday dilemma, Holiday Box.

Holiday Box makes it easy and stress-free to decorate for the holidays.
Here is how it works:

Order your box

Choose the holiday you would like to decorate for, select which box and place your order. Your box will arrive at your door one month before the holiday (If you order late, your box will arrive in about a week).

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Holiday Box is partners with Partnerships with Industry employing adults with special needs. Each item is carefully wrapped and the holiday box packed with pride!
Decorate & enjoy

Everything in your Holiday Box is yours for that holiday season. Decorate your home and enjoy the holiday.

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My Holiday Box: A Holiday at Home
Keep what you like, donate the rest

After the holiday is over, keep as many or as few of the items as you’d like. The cost of your order is a credit toward any items you choose to keep. Return shipping is easy and free. Holiday Box donates as many returned items as possible.

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Holiday Box works with a handful of San Diego based non-profit organizations. Returned items are donated to these non-profits and are distributed throughout the community to spread holiday joy.

 

My Holiday Box Experience

When my Holiday Box arrived on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to get start decorating for the holiday season. I didn’t have to run to the store; I didn’t have to dig through boxes in my basement storage. Everything was packaged neatly and ready to unwrap and decorate. This year I selected the “The Holiday at Home” box which included 9 items:

  • A Winter holiday wreath
  • A handmade rustic pinecone and candle centerpiece
  • Set of 2 handmade fairy ornaments
  • A handmade wooden snowman figure
  • A wooden wall hanging featuring a truck carrying Christmas trees
  • A Merry Christmas serving dish
  • Set of 2 sitting gnomes

The box had a great mixture of items, a handful of them handmade. It felt great decorating knowing that I didn’t stress over it. I could keep what I wanted from the box, return the rest and the items I gave back would help spread joy to a family in need the following year.  What a great feeling that is! I get to do something I love (which is decorate), continue it year after year with the credit I receive and help someone in return. What a fantastic way to celebrate the true meaning of the holidays!

Holiday Box is offering up an exclusive promotion for House Fenway readers. 20% off your order from now until Friday, December 9, 2016!! Shop HolidayBoxShop.com and enter promo code HOUSEFENWAY at checkout to redeem. I’m so excited to partner with them this holiday. They are an incredible company that goes above and beyond to help the community. They are definitely a company that I’m happy to say is my Friday Favorite! 🙂

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This handmade pinecone centerpiece was the perfect addition to my holiday décor.
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This trendy vintage red truck worked perfect in my front hall!
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The evergreen wreath is so versatile. Hang it on a wall or use it as a centerpiece!
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This cute little handmade snowman is ready to welcome our guests.
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The Christmas Gnomes hangout by the fireplace waiting for Santa’s arrival.
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Hot cocoa and cookies are that much sweeter with this adorable plate that came in my Holiday Box!
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These two handmade cuties will stay up well past the Christmas season.