Decorating With Plants

When you think of home design, your mind probably wanders to paint color palettes, patterned drapes, and accent rugs. Our friends at Clark Team Designs, a group of interior decorators in Carmel, say it’s important to think outside of the box when it comes to accessorizing your home.

Plants and flowers are an amazing way to accessorize throughout your home. Whether you’re looking for a solution to that boring bedside lamp you can’t get rid of or simply want to breathe new life into your kitchen, plants are the answer. In celebration of National Decorating Month, here’s a closer look at the best ways to work plants into your home design:

  • Simple Succulents. These small, low-maintenance plants you can work into any room in your home. If you don’t have a green thumb, start with a few well-placed succulents like Mistletoe Cactus, Jade, or Aloe plants in your kitchen window or in your home office. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some with small, rounded leaves other with lengthy, pointed ones. Choose the succulents that speak to you!
  • Trouble-free Trees. Incorporating a tree into your home decor can help generate oxygen in your home, deter illness, and even help you be more productive. Weeping Figs, Rubber Figs, and Ficus trees are all excellent indoor tree options. Expert tip – keep the potted tree on a small platform with wheels. When it comes time to clean, you’ll be able to move your greenery around furniture and out of the way. If you’re looking for a smaller option, consider a Bonsai tree to store on your desk.
  • Painless Plants. Choose plants that are going to thrive in the home environment you can provide. If you live in Fargo, you’re not going to be able to keep a palm tree alive in your kitchen! Instead, opt for Phalaenopsis plants, like Orchids. They require a lot of humidity, making them excellent additions to any kind of bathroom decor. No matter where you live, your orchid will absorb all of the moisture in the room whenever you shower.
  • Tiny Topiaries. These artfully-shaped plants are the perfect accessory to any home design style. Topiaries offer that classical feel without all the fuss. They don’t require direct sunlight so they can live anywhere in your home. Use them as a living centerpiece in your dining room or as an eye-catching accessory on the end tables in your living room. Shop your local nursery to find the topiaries that work for your home.

If you’re not comfortable with maintaining live plants in your home or you’re housing small children or pets, you can always find faux plants at your local craft or big-box store. Dress up your home with plants this spring!

Household Items You Always Forget to Clean


For most people, regularly scheduled house cleaning varies. Some homeowners choose to tackle everything in one day, while others clean bit by bit throughout the week. No matter what your style of cleaning is, there are definitely items you have never cleaned laying around your home. These items can carry a disturbing amount of germs and dirt, so familiarize yourself with these items and add them to the to-clean list!

  • Remote. These are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Think about how many hands have touched your remote, as well as the cracks and crevices dirt and germs can creep into. Remotes are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, so take a quick second to run a disinfecting wipe across the entire remote.
  • Washing Machine. If you notice that your clothes are no longer getting a fresh clean scent after doing laundry, your machine probably needs to be washed! Many people forget that even these need regular cleaning so that they can continue to clean laundry effectively. You can find disinfectant packets to run through your washer at local big box stores like Target and Walmart. 
  • Coffee Maker. Whether you have a traditional full-pot maker or a single brew machine, it needs to be cleaned regularly. These machines are susceptible to mold growth, particularly in the interior parts that are difficult to see.  Take apart your machine and give it a deep clean. Once this is done, run a few pots/cups of hot water and vinegar to ensure its safe to start brewing again.
  • Throw Pillow. These decorative pillows on either your bed or couch are the main attraction for dust, dirt, food, dead skin etc., especially if you have guests often that come in contact with them.Make sure to give them some attention next time you are cleaning!
  • Dish Rack. Often forgot about, dish racks are prone to mildew growth from all of the excess water and runoff left after cleaning your dishes. If you have a durable dish rack, run it through your dishwasher for a deep clean. If you have a wood or bamboo rack, soak it in a solution of soap and water and allow ample drying time before using it again. 
  • Toothbrush Holder. This is one of the biggest breeding grounds for bacteria that is always overlooked by people. Next time you clean your bathroom, clean inside of your toothbrush holder thoroughly. 
  • Cleaning Supplies. No one ever thinks to clean the things that do the cleaning! There are tons of bacteria built up in your vacuum, mops, sponges and feather dusters. Replace sponges and dust rags regularly. Use throw-away mops, like Swiffer, to prevent the buildup of germs on a traditional mop. As for your vacuum, follow the manufacturer recommendations for cleaning.

Don’t neglect these items when it comes to cleaning your home! 

This post brought to you by Mooney’s Moving, expert Bucks County movers.

Furnishing Your Home on a Budget

Are you a first-time homeowner or someone looking to redecorate the place you’ve lived for years? Do you want to do this without breaking the bank? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Buying a house is expensive, but the upkeep is even more expensive. When it comes to turning that house into a home, putting a budget into place is vital. Achieving the cozy, beautiful home of your dreams is attainable – and on a budget, no less. Here’s how:

  • Know what pieces you want to invest in and what pieces you don’t. Typically, sofas, mattresses, and dining room tables are the items you shouldn’t skimp out on. These items will be used frequently, so they need to be able to withstand wear and tear. Accessories, like lighting and picture frames, are items do not need to take up a large chunk of your budget. These are items you can hunt for on a bargain. Check local thrift shops, craft stores, and yard sales for unique deals!
  • Ask around for hand-me-downs. Is anyone in your family getting rid of a gently used couch, chair or end table? Most of the time, you can acquire furniture from your friends and family for a really low price, or even better – free! If you don’t have the money to invest in the larger items, it’s definitely a good idea to see what the people you know have laying around. This frees you up to save more for something new.
  • Hunt for antiques. You probably won’t find a sofa you adore at a garage sale or flea market, but you can definitely find unique items to spruce up your place. From old trunks and chests, to books, trinkets, and artwork, you can find unique items in the most unexpected places. As an added bonus, these items won’t put a major dent in your budget.
  • Shop Craig’s List. It’s a great marketplace for people looking for affordable furniture, but it’s important to proceed with caution. Most of the time people listing their items on there are moving or looking for a quick way to get rid of something they no longer need. This leaves you open to potentially negotiating with the seller.
  • Take on a DIY project. As of early 2017, there were about 150 million active users on Pinterest. This platform is the home for all things DIY. If you are looking for new ways to decorate your home on a budget, this is the place to find all of the best ideas. Search through the billions of pins to find projects that meet your budget requirements and design aesthetic. The only thing you have to lose is the time you spend once your sucked into your favorite boards!

Furnishing your home on a budget can be simple! For more tips on how to decorate your home on a budget, reach out to Sherry Compton, a Sumter interior decorator.

Did you know that 90% of the dust in our homes comes from people and fabric? It makes sense, then, that our homes accumulate a lot of dust during the winter months when we’re couped up inside trying to stay warm. Discover the best ways to keep dust from piling up in your home this winter:

  • Dust, dust, dust! Dust allergens can cause nasal flare ups and general discomfort. To avoid this headache, make a habit of dusting at least once a week during the winter. When you dust, start from the top of the room (high shelving or ceiling fans) and work your way down (table tops and flooring) to ensure you clear away a majority of dust particles. Once you’ve wiped surfaces down, vacuum to remove any dust that may have fallen and settled on the floor.
  • Have a professional handle it. Having your carpeted flooring steam cleaned is a safe and effective way to remove excess dirt that has built up over the winter months. After your cleaning, make sure you vacuum often to keep floors clean, especially in high traffic areas.
  • Keep your home organized. Jennifer Jones, an interior designer in Conroe, TX, says that the best way to combat dust buildup is to maintain a neat and tidy home. Keep spaces in your home dust free by removing clutter from shelving and countertops. Dust is attracted to clutter, so stow things in cabinets, closets, or drawers when you’re not using them. Keep items that are used daily out and easily accessible, and wipe them down as needed to remove dust buildup.
  • Change your bedding at least once a week. Your bed might feel cozy and warm, but dust bunnies can quickly multiply if you don’t keep your bedding clean. Sheets and blankets collect skin flakes and pajama fibers, all major contributors to dust buildup. Wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly to prevent dust accumulation.
  • Swap out your air filter regularly. Bust dust by changing your home’s heating system air filter out once a month. You can find reusable options that require a quick rinse or purchase disposable ones reasonably cheap at your local hardware store. These filters control the levels of dust by filtering the air that is pumped through your heating system. A clean filter means cleaner air!

Dedicate some time once a week to eliminating dust in your home. For more dust-eliminating tips, reach out to the interior protection pros at TuffWrap.

Holiday Home Furnishings


The holiday season gives us a reason to celebrate with loved ones, get stuffed on food, and for some of us, refurbish our home! While the Christmas season does demand festive decorations, we may also want to consider purchasing new furniture to accommodate our guests. Before you start spending, consider these options to make sure you’re catering to your specific gathering needs:

Dining Room

The dining room table is considered the centerpiece of every home during the holiday gatherings. Factor in these elements to make sure your dining room is both stylish and comfortable for your guests to feast:

  • Shape. The key to deciding on the appropriate shape for your table is to know the number of guests you’re expecting. Rounded tables provide a more intimate setting for small gatherings. However, it can have an opposite effect with larger groups – a round table that’s too big may leave your guests struggling to hold a conversation across the table. For a seating of 12, a rectangular table would be most practical. Oval tables fare well with medium-sized groups, while square or rounded tables work best with small groups. If you can, find an expandable table that allows you to remove its leaves to best serve gatherings of various sizes.
  • Style. The style of your table should match the overall style of your dining room. According to the experts of Cape Coral, FL painters, pairing the right furniture with the right wall color is the key. Antique-style furniture creates a more historical setting for your dining room while showcasing beautiful craftsmanship and pairs well with richly toned colors, like burgundy or navy. If your room is more contemporary, we suggest opting for a glass or marble tabletop in a room painted in lighter hues. When choosing materials, mahogany and walnut provide a formal appearance while oak, while cherry and pine give a casual and relaxed feel.

Living Room Furniture

Does your living room look uninspiring and in need of a makeover? Before you head over to the furniture store, make sure you get these things in check:

  • Measure your room. Take note of the length and width of the room.
  • Devise a floor plan. Sketch a few different plans to determine how much space you’ll need for holiday furniture.
  • Check the size of doorways. The last thing you want is to find out your newly bought furniture can’t fit through the doors. Make sure you measure your doorways accurately.
  • Consider how the room is used. If you plan to have your guests gather in this room during a party instead of staying in the dining room, consider increasing the number of furnishings you buy.
  • Determine the space for your Christmas tree. What is Christmas without a classic old Christmas tree? Make sure you set a space for your tree while leaving additional space on the ground for presents.

Once you’ve gone to the store and bought your furniture, it’s time to arrange it!

  • Sense of entry. Make your rooms open and welcoming to your guests by setting an easy path for them to walk through it. There should be a clear path that separates the seating areas and dining areas. This way, separate conversations can take place on each side.
  • Intimacy. If you have a large living room, consider arranging your furniture into small groups. Your guests can sit down in clusters to engage in conversation instead of having to lean over the coffee table to talk.
  • Forget about television. Television can be a means to relax at times, but for holiday parties, it actually serves as a diversion from good conversations. Rearrange your furniture so it faces the opposite direction and fosters conversation between guests.
  • Allow foot traffic. Don’t forget to leave some space between furniture to allow for pathways. By allowing enough space for foot traffic, our guests will be able to circulate your rooms with ease.

This time of year can be stressful if you’re not well-prepared for the heavy traffic of family and friends in your house. However, don’t let that ruin your holiday mood. With the right setting, you and your guests can focus comfortably on what really counts  – each other!