ALL POSTS IN Floor & Wall

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and for good reason:  you can have completely unmatched pieces of art but make them work together with a common theme. Choosing a color, texture or pattern to be the inspiration for your wall lets you loosen the “rules.” The tough part about those galleries, though, is actually figuring out what works — and what doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top tips for creating a gallery wall. Once you’re ready to test out your ideas, upload your pieces to Shutterfly’s Design-a-Wall virtual tool to see what they look like together before you poke a million holes in your wall.

Tip #1: Choose Any Wall

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be limited to a foyer or living room. Choose walls that are normally bare, such as a staircase wall. HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino hung knicknacks on a bold red wall for an instant upgrade.

Staircase Gallery Wall

Tip #2: Add Personal Touches

Create a custom look by arranging your favorite photographs or souvenirs from your travel experiences in shadow boxes . Bonus: This idea serves double duty as a storage solution.

Vintage Shadow Box Gallery Wall

Tip #3: Pick Unexpected Items

A gallery wall doesn’t just have to be framed pieces of art. This wall of hollowed out, cloth-covered books was hung with upholstery nails in each book’s four corners.

Book Gallery Wall

Tip #4: Placement, Placement, Placement

Once you’ve chosen all your pieces, it’s time to think of placement. This is especially important when you’re creating a gallery wall above furniture. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or high — a good rule of thumb is eight inches between the base of the frame and top of the furniture piece, according to Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200.

Gallery Wall

Tip #5: Be Fearless

A gallery wall is your opportunity to express your passions. So, have fun and don’t worry about going a little crazy. Mixing up your gallery wall with your personal treasures will make your house feel like home.

Electic Gallery Wall

What are some of your tips for creating the perfect gallery wall?

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If there ever was a product that screamed: “Please, just leave me to my function and forget my form. I’ve got a job to do!” it’s the lowly doormat. And who could blame it? Its sole purpose is to be stepped on with dirty shoes. When Briana suggested we look for some mats that were not-too-kitschy yet not too plain I knew I’d have some hunting to do. I think I’ve found some good options in a range of styles that meet the aesthetic requests and don’t shirk their function altogether:

door mats

1. Anchor West Elm; 2. Tvis round mat IKEA; 3. Wink Orange Rug; 4. Oceanstar Bamboo; 5. Branch Door mat; 6. Magical Thinking Southwest Geo Rug; 7. Turkish Doormat

I have to admit, at my own apartment, I go for pure function in my entryway. I’ve got a recycled-tire doormat that you can stand on with dripping, snowy boots and just wipe down later. However, these are all so pretty that I might reconsider my choice of pure utility leaving me, as usual, with a case of the wants.

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If you’ve been following closely, you know that I moved into an old house at the beginning of the year. Since then, I’ve been working to collect pieces to make my cozy cottage feel even homier. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered this super cute wooden state sign on Pinterest.

The Pine Nuts offers all states and has a selection of other fun shapes in 12 vibrant colors. Don’t see anything you like? No worries – The Pine Nuts takes custom orders, so you can be as imaginative as you want!

I’ll take one of each, please.

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San Francisco Bay-area designer Kriste Michelini uses tile to create a divide between the wet and dry areas of the bathroom. She frequently experiments with unique combinations of tile and uses various tile shapes in the same marble material to create a sense of infinite space.

EVEN MORE FANCY BATHROOM TILE DESIGNS >>

Bathroom Tile Designs

This marble bath is pretty exquisite, yes? It’s very Lisa Vanderpump if you ask me.

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Have you ever seen a new product and asked yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” If you haven’t before, well you’re about to.

The Broom Groomer Dustpan sports rubber “teeth” on its back that allows you to quickly and easily comb out dust bunnies from your broom’s bristles (duh – shouldn’t they all have this?). And to make this dustpan even more amazeballs, it also has a foot pedal built into the handle so that your foot can steady it for hands-free sweeping (my mind has been blown).

Broom Groomer Dustpan

For this neat-freak boy — this is revolutionary!

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The pinhook! What is it? It’s a push pin with a hook on it (can’t get simpler than that). Say goodbye to finished nails and double sided tape on the wall when you need a hook. Now, simply push a pinhook into whatever surface you wish, and you’re done. Voila!

Pinhooks
<img class="aligncenter" src="http://blog.sndimg.com/hgtv/design/Grant/pinhook_2.jpg" alt="Pinhooks" /

These would be good for hanging keys and/or Christmas lights — where else can you see them coming in handy?

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“There’s a reason a good suit (or favorite flannel) never goes out of style. Menswear patterns are classics that are meant to stand the test of time. So, naturally, you should be decorating with them, too.” — Cassandra Lavalle, coco + kelley 

PHOTOS: MENSWEAR-INSPIRED DECOR

Menswear Patterns

I couldn’t have said it any better, Cassandra. And as the resident dude at Design Happens, I appreciate the shout-out for my fashionable gender. And folks, don’t you think this look goes perfect with November’s Color of the Month?

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Every three months, those of us that work at HGTV Headquarters are lucky enough to see the beautiful design vignettes created by the HGTV Home Studio interns as their final project before returning home. Over the summer, Savannah College of Art and Design students Rachel Kelly and Justin DiPiero worked closely with design experts and HGTV professionals, including Vern Yip, to create a unique concept to represent both current and iconic design trends that could ultimately live right here on the second floor of our building. What did they come up with? Find out!

HGTV Home Studio InternsHGTV Home Studio Interns Justin DiPiero and Rachel Kelly

The Eames Chair:

HGTV Home Studio Display - Eames Chair

Kayla Kitts: Why the Eames chair? What was your inspiration for choosing this iconic piece above anything else?

Justin DiPiero: Well, even if you don’t know Eames chairs, you actually do know them on a subconscious level. After working with Vern, he suggested that I expand upon something well-known and shed some light on the piece and the people that designed it: Ray and Charles Eames.

KK: Was there ever a period of time since its production where the Eames has been absent from design?

JD: No, never. It’s been in production since 1948, and you can find it in schools, churches, homes and restaurants. This is what makes it so iconic!

HGTV Home Studio Display - Eames Chair“Their clean, simple forms cradle the body. Today’s chairs are authentic, original design updated with eco-friendly materials and manfacturing and a large selection of base, shell and color combinations.” – from Herman Miller

KK: If you had to pick, what’s your favorite design setting for the Eames chair?

JD: Oh, that’s tough! It’s extremely versatile. It can go anywhere. It can be paired with an ethnic woven rug on wood floors (above). You can use it anywhere you want to — it’s a chameleon! But if I have to choose, I prefer the model with wooden legs. Or the gold-leafed seat with metal legs. (That’s my favorite, too! – KK)

See More Eames Chairs + Modern Wallcoverings

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Fall is the perfect time of the year to embark on easy home decorating projects you may have been putting off for the past few months. Let’s be honest, who wants to paint or remodel the inside of a house during a 100-degree scorching summer? Now that the weather is crisp and cool, open the windows and give your home’s interior the easiest transformation – with paint!

Leading paint company Benjamin Moore provides products to get the job done both inside and out. Their Aura paint with Color Lock technology prevents paint colors from rubbing off or fading over time. Color pigments and waterborne resins are bonded together throughout the paint rather than just on the surface, producing a richer and more striking color. Plus, the Aura paint provides instant durability by resisting surface stains and looking freshly-painted for years. And guess what? You’re not limited to a color selection. The Aura paint is available in the entire Benjamin Moore color collection, consisting of more than 3,400 stunning hues. So, let’s start shopping for paint colors, shall we?

I pulled out some of my favorite seasonal-inspired Benjamin Moore paint palettes to celebrate the beginning of fall. They’re not the traditional pumpkin-orange, chocolate-brown and marigold you’re used to seeing. I’m looking at the trendy hues of fall 2012 — raspberry, charcoal, plum, peacock blue and chartreuse.

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint

Warm, Balanced Kitchen: A rich color like firenze is perfect for rooms with white accents and architectural details, like this traditional kitchen. A palette of orange with lavender accents is naturally evocative of fall and perfect to create a warm and homey feel year-round.

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint

Elegant, Urban Living Room: A deep purple, that almost borders on gray, is one of the hottest hues of the season, especially when paired with soft pastels like cream and blush.

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint

Dramatic Dining Room: Nothing says elegance quite like a mix of rich royal blue and coppery gold. In this dining room the blue anchors the room, while the gold serves as a striking accent.

See More Fall-Inspired Paint Palettes From Benjamin Moore

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Last week I mentioned how my apartment’s blank walls had to go.

Dorm rooms are typically already equipped with a set of furniture, and while it’s nice to not have to furnish an entire room or apartment out of your own pocket, it definitely makes creating your own personal style difficult. Your empty dorm walls become, quite literally, your blank canvas. Some residence halls will even let you paint – with the agreement that you promise to repaint at the end of the year.

But if you find you can’t paint and your walls are so fragile that a nail might send pieces of drywall crashing to the ground, don’t go running for the Scarface poster just yet. There are plenty of simple but creative ways to decorate, even on a college student’s budget.

3 Tricks to Try

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As I’ve mentioned before: I love antiques but, in particular, my heart skips a beat when I see European antiques — French finds in particular. Years ago, I discovered a gilt Rococo-inspired wall clock at a flea market.  The clock face looked to be from the ’60s but the surrounding frame was hand-carved wood with applied gold leaf and appeared to be much older. At the time, I lived in Los Angeles and really had no use for it so it languished, forgotten, in my parents’ North Carolina basement for a decade until I rediscovered it. And, let me tell you, it was a very happy reunion indeed. I had recently purchased a round needlepoint of violets at an estate sale without a frame. Once I popped out the ’60s clock, I thought the Rococo frame and sweet, little needlepoint would make a happy pair.

And so they did: needlework in an old clock frame

READ MORE

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With Tropical Storm Isaac set to hit the Gulf Coast this week, a lot of rain is on its way to the surrounding states. For me, the storm is reminiscent of two years ago, when my father called and said there was a “river” rushing through our backyard caused by 13 inches of rainfall over just two days, resulting in the most serious flooding Nashville had seen in 75 years.

Luckily, my family was safe and our home was spared – save for some flooding in our basement. Our house was built fairly recently, so unlike older homes that may not have proper or clogged drainage systems, our basement held up pretty well to all that water.

basement flooding diy controls

You can take action now to prevent basement flooding by clearing out gutters and drains and clearing snow and ice away from the house during winter months.

Waterproofing your basement is vital, especially right before winter months to prevent snow and sleet from building up and causing damage; waterproofing will also ward away growth of mold and mildew.

But when the storm has already passed and water has already taken over your basement, it’s best to take action as soon as possible. Follow these simple steps to drying out and sanitizing your basement or crawlspace:

-Start by opening vents and windows to let fresh air flow through. You’ll want to wear a face mask to protect yourself against mold, mildew and allergens.

-If you have carpets in your basement, you and your family will avoid health risks if you remove the carpet entirely. It’s highly unlikely you will ever be able to completely dry it out once it’s been saturated with water. Tile and concrete floors, on the other hand, are much easier to deal with. Use a mop to soak up as much of the water as possible, then use old towels or cloths to dry up smaller pools of water.

-Next you’ll need to sanitize the floor – water and bleach will work just fine, but use whatever cleaning solution you prefer. Set up fans to help continue to circulate air; investing in a dehumidifier will also ensure the space gets dry completely.

Once your basement is clean and dry, you will want to consider going back and looking at waterproofing solutions to prevent future flooding.

Our thoughts go out to all our friends, family, and readers affected by the storm. Everyone be careful and stay safe, sound and dry!   

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Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.”  I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.

My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.

My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.

Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:

kitchen backsplash before

See The After Shots

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Sometimes accidents happen. Some, bigger than others:

Drywall Repair

Your first instinct will most likely be to panic, but don’t. Your walls are bound to get damaged eventually, so it’s crucial to know how to fix them when a problem arises. Even the gigantic hole pictured above is fixable with a trip to the hardware store and some patience.

There are a couple of methods for fixing drywall, and it all depends on the size of the hole. For smaller ones, a simple patch job will usually suffice. You can buy kits at your local hardware store, which include most of the items you’ll need to get the job done.

Larger holes or cracks will require some more materials and a little more care, but can still be repaired without having to call in a professional — freeing you from having to sit and stare at the hole for days until the pro comes to your rescue!

For how-to’s and more information on fixing common drywall problems, see:

Repair a Large Hole in Drywall

Video: How to Patch Drywall

Repair Cracked Plaster with Drywall or Washers

How to Repair a Drywall Ceiling

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If there is one thing I took away from living in dorms for the last four years it’s this: I hope you like tile, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of it.

Dorm Tile

Your typical dorm with typical dorm tile, courtesy of the Lovely Undergrad.

I groan now, but I’m actually kind of relieved I’ve never had to deal with dorm carpet that’s seen student after student over the course of several years. Yuck. I’ve always had carpets at home and unless I somehow manage to sneak them into the car, my mother usually makes me toss them at the end of the school year (Dorm hack: at the end of the school year the dorms become a burial ground for abandoned items; I once watched someone walk off with a 50-inch television), so collecting rugs turned into an accidental hobby of mine. You can put a rug anywhere — you can put a rug on a rug, if you want.
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