15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas

15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas

15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas Lighting can make a dramatic statement in any room and is a crucial element of good design. A great light fixture not only adds style, but it creates a mood and vastly impacts how you feel. One of the biggest benefits of DIY Lighting is you can choose your own […]

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10 Dining Room Decorating Ideas to Create Your Style

 

Picture this: you’re looking for dining room ideas, so you head to the Internet. Easy, right? Well…maybe not. Searching for dining room decorating ideas can result in information overload. Sometimes having too many options can be a bad thing – especially when it comes to making a cohesive style statement.

10 Ideas to Spice Up Your Dining Room Design

With so many design options out there it can be hard to find your signature style. The solution? Come up with a plan and stick with it. Here are 10 dining room decorating ideas to help you design the room of your dreams.

Mix Light and Dark Design Elements

Add interest and drama to your dining room with contrasting colors. Mixing dark elements with lighter counterparts can be show stopping. A mixture of wood tones in furniture provides a striking contrast. You may also wish to add contrast throughout the room – paint the walls white to offset a dark dining room table and chairs. Or choose dark walls to showcase lighter furniture.

Dining room contemporary table in brown finish in a room with light walls and black accents.

Contrast Colors and Styles

Who says dining room chairs and tables have to match? One of the hottest dining room ideas is all about mixing styles and colors. Look for seating that is similar in height in order to style an eclectic dining room that works.

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Add a Dining Table Bench

And speaking of mix and match seating – feel free to eliminate a chair or two altogether. A dining table bench adds a fun, farmhouse feel. Using a bench in a formal dining room keeps things from being too serious.

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Combine Styles from Different Eras

An eclectic mix of furniture and accessories from different eras can create a style that’s uniquely you. So go ahead, surround that Queen Anne table with shaker chairs. Or fill your wall with graphic 70s prints to complement your art deco dining set. The sky’s the limit. One caveat – find a unifying feature, whether it be color or scale, to ensure a harmonious blend.

Let the Light Shine

Lighting is an essential component of a well-designed room. If your room is in the dark, consider a dining room lighting update. A gorgeous chandelier, hung 30″-36” above the dining table provides ambient lighting for an overall glow. Add a dimmer and the chandelier can also serve as task lighting for homework or crafting. Strategically placed accent lights either mounted on the wall or placed on the buffet highlight special areas of the dining room. To learn more, check out our lighting guide.

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gem-like spheres in open air slots inside a metal chandelier

Wallpaper Adds Pizazz

Wallpaper. It’s one of those “you love it or you hate it” design elements. Sure, it’s more expensive than paint, but wallpaper instantly adds texture, color, and drama to any room. If you’re in the pro-wallpaper camp, consider hanging paper that complements the furniture and overall theme of the room. Choose large patterns for explosive drama or subtle patterns for a softer look.

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Be Creative With Paint

If you just can’t take the wallpaper plunge, you can still make a significant design statement with paint. If creative painting is your thing, consider a mural or color blocking designs to make an unforgettable visual impact. Or go old school and choose a solid color that sets a pleasing backdrop.

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Rugs Tie the Room Together

Area rugs anchor your dining room. Choose the right size to fit the room and your table. Don’t forget to choose a rug that shows off your personality.

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Show Off Your Collection

Show some personality by displaying a collection of your favorite things. Dining rooms are a natural place to showcase favorite dishes, but other collections can work here too. Group together favorite vases, pottery, glassware and the like for a personality-infused style element.

 

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Let Nature In

Put that green thumb to use by including live plants on your list of dining room decorating ideas. Whether you opt for a small dose of nature with tabletop succulents, or an infusion of foliage with tall figs or stalks of bamboo, houseplants add life and warmth to your dining room.

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Share your stunning dining space with us by using the hashtag #MyAshleyHome.

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More Space, Please: 6 Ideas for Storing Large Items in Small Spaces

When you’re renting, square footage is something to be savored, not squandered. It’s hard enough finding a home for your everyday must-haves, let alone bulky, infrequently used, or offseason items like snowshoes,  pool toys, and holiday decorations.

Whatever your hobby or collection, there’s an organizational hack to help you store it. Here are some clever storage tricks for six of the toughest, bulkiest space-takers you may own.

Offseason wardrobe

Tuck those bulky winter sweaters (or shorts and flip-flops) in plastic bins under your bed. If your bed’s too close to the ground, lift it up with sturdy wood blocks. Even a few extra inches create enough space for a sizable storage container.

If elevating the bed isn’t an option, maximize your closet space with a few sets of cascading hangers. Put blouses on one set and T-shirts on another, and you’ll most likely double your closet space.

Extra linens

Extra pillows, comforters, and bedsheets are great for guests, but not so great for your small space. Try vacuum storage bags – stack your items inside, and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air. Your items will shrink significantly so you can store them under your bed or on a shelf.

Shoes

A burgeoning shoe collection can take on a life of its own if not properly corralled. Take it back to dorm-room days with an over-the-door shoe organizer. These college favorites are popular for a reason – they store a dozen pairs of shoes or more, plus scarves, baseball caps, belts, and chunky necklaces.

Bikes

Bikes can be one of the most difficult belongings to stash, especially if you don’t have a deck or basement. Try installing a strong hook in the wall, and hang your bike by the front tire. Pro: It’s a great way to get the bike off the floor. Con: It still protrudes into the room.

For a less invasive option, hang your bike flush against the wall – like you’re hanging a piece of art. The hardware can be as simple as two wooden dowels that support the bike’s horizontal bar. )(Just make sure you anchor the supports in the wall’s studs so they can hold the weight.)

Exercise equipment

An inflatable exercise ball is a great workout aid – and a real space suck. You could always deflate it, but the hassle probably isn’t worth it. So, why not get creative and make it a usable piece of furniture?

Repurpose medium or large exercise balls as dining room chairs, and store them under the dining table when you’re done.

No room for a dining table? The bike trick applies here, too. Install a couple of dowels high up on the wall, and set the ball there until you’re ready for a crunch session.

Decorations and keepsakes

Have a collection of things you just can’t get rid of? Maybe old photo albums, holiday decorations, or crafting supplies? Strategically placed shelves are your storage lifesaver when seeking space for infrequently used items.

There’s often a wealth of unused space above and behind your hung clothing in bedroom and hallway closets. While shelves in these locations may require a footstool or flashlight to access, it won’t matter if you only need the items a few times a year.

Top photo from Zillow listing.

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Drive By: Highland Park in Dallas (and video!)

Come with us on a Highland Park Neighborhood Drive By! Hey friends! You all know how I love driving through neighborhoods and admiring beautiful homes, right? We call them drive bys ’round here. Well, my daughter Courtney was in Dallas, Texas this past weekend with friends and they drove by some jaw-dropping beauties in the […]

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DIY Mobile Mudroom

DIY Mobile Mudroom

DIY Mobile Mudroom Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! I’m Sarah from The Created Home, and I’m thrilled to meet you. I love versatile designs that makes life a little easier. This mobile mudroom is sure to help keep your entryway more organized. It’s a simple storage solution that combines form and function. Best of all […]

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