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What Type of Fireplace is Best for Your Home?

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With winter comes the chilling reality of cold weather. February (also known as the coldest month of the year) is looming upon us. So instead of wallowing in the winter blues, here I’ll show you the different types of fireplaces you can chose and enjoy while you’re making hot cocoa with the kids or having a wine night binge watching Netflix!

Wood Burning Fireplaces

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Photo from Stovax

First you have your traditional wood burning fireplace, this is probably the first image that comes to your head when you think of a fireplace. Although wood burning hearths require some labor, they might be considered the most romantic kind of fire with its snapping and crackling during the freezing winter nights. However, there are different types of wood burning fireplaces as there are with any kind of fireplace. Here, I will tell you about them and help you choose what kind of fireplace is best for your home or how to make the best out of the one you already have!

Traditional Open Hearth

Typically made out of stone or brick, traditional open hearths are the kind of fireplaces that create the most authentic feel. You can physically feel the heat pouring out of it and hear the crackling of a good ole wooden fire. However, they are not the most effective way of heating up your room as more modern techniques. If you do not already have a traditional open hearth in your home it will require quite a bit of construction to put in both the fireplace itself and a chimney for venting.

Enclosed Fireplaces

This is the kind of fireplace that we own in our home. Rather than being open, the fire is covered with a large glass panel that enables the fire to warm up the room more efficiently rather than having all of the heat escape through the chimney. You still get the aesthetic of the fire but with more heat actually being transferred to the room! Also, this a safer option if you have small children or pets.

Gas Burning Fireplaces

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Photo from Houzz

These types of fireplaces burn gas at a cleaner rate and create heat at a lower cost. Also, if you don’t already own one in your home, they typically don’t require much construction to install, which makes them more affordable and an easier alternative to wood burning fireplaces.

Direct-Vented Built-In Fireplaces

A direct-vented fireplace is vented through a chimney, which can be existing or a new one can be installed. However, a pipe can be used so that there are less changes to be made to the house’s structure. The flame to a gas burning fireplace is yellow, so it has a more authentic feel.

Ventless Built-in Fireplaces

Ventless build-in indoor fireplaces are the easiest to install in a home as there is no need for any venting. The flame in these types of fireplaces is typically blue and although these types of fires usually burn clean, there is still a possibility that contaminants will get in your home without the use of vents.

Ethanol Burning Fireplaces

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Fireplaces that burn ethanol have become increasingly popular due to their easy installation and modern design. They are wallet-friendly and are clean and odorless. Although they probably won’t create as much heat as a wood or gas burning fireplace, they are much more environmentally friendly and come in a variety of designs.

Wall Mounted Fireplace

This type provides a fireplace that you can actually hang on any wall of your choosing. Providing heat and a work of art in your home, killing two birds with one stone. These also come in tabletop options, which are easily portable.

Fireplace Conversions

You can put an ethanol burning insert in your existing fireplace if you please, making use of your existing space and its aesthetics. There are many different options available depending on whether you want to stick with a traditional look or upgrade to something more modern.

Electric Fireplaces

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Photo from Overstock

Known as the most cost effective fireplace option on the market, electric fireplaces are easy to install and super easy to use. With the press of a button, you can choose whether you want the fire on or off while maintaining a fireplace-like aesthetic. most electric fireplaces have a remote-controlled heater with different varieties of fire effects.

Mantel Electric Fireplaces

This type of electric fireplace is meant to create the look of a wood burning fireplace. They do not require any venting or chimneys which allows you have the indulge in the elegance of a wood burning fireplace in any room of your house without having to add up the expense.

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All You Need To Know About Window Treatments

  Photo: Elle Decor

If you decide on draperies, remember that their style will be set by the type of heading used which will also affect how both draperies and valances hang. Headings, most of which are now available ready-made (although there is nothing quite like the finish achieved by custom window treatments), include Pencil Pleats, French Pleats also known as Triple or Pinch Pleats, Tab Draperies, Goblet Pleats, Rod Pockets Pleats and Box Pleats all of which look very much like they sound.
Off-the- Ready-Made draperies today are a huge improvement on the old limp things. They are available with nicely casual Cased or Tabbed Headings, Scalloped and Eyelet Headings which can all be slung from a huge choice of wood, painted, iron, steel, gilded or silvered poles or rods of some sort. Other casual headings include leather or canvas loops or plain clips which will also produce a scalloped look. Again, you can’t compare a custom, full, lined with returns drapery with the ready made ones.
Unless you are dressing a large grand room in an old house with high ceilings, I would advise against elaborate swags and tassels, fringes and bows. Suitability is everything in decoration and grand draperies in an un-grand room are apt to look absurd, quite apart from the fact that the mood today is more for simplicity than elaboration. This does not mean that draperies should not make a statement, or be used to add pizzazz to a room, but rather that they should suit the proportions and purpose of the room and its geographical location and meld in well with your furniture and general decoration without costing as much as a small car. Neither, however, should they look skimpy and cheap. If you are going to curtain, curtain well. This is a very important investment to consider.

If you have decided against the use of the more casual rods or poles for your draperies to hang from, you will need some sort of cover-up to disguise unsightly tracks or fittings. If by chance you do have a grand room to curtain, the most formal cover-ups are Swags and tails which, although they look as if they are made from one beautifully draped length of fabric, usually consist of several pieces skillfully joined together. It is essential to get the proportions right: at the deepest part, the swag needs to be between one fifth and one sixth of the overall height of the window whilst the tails should fall at least half way down the window frame. Simple swags can also be used on their own or over blinds. The more elaborate are often trimmed with braid, piping, fringes or cord with contrast or patterned linings. As with draperies themselves, it is crucial not to skimp on fabric but neither should you overdo.

Valances are softer than pelmets and are never stiffened. They can be gathered or pleated by hand or with the help of appropriate commercial heading tapes, and designed with trims or edgings to contrast with, or match, the draperies. They can either be hung from a special valance track aligned to the main drapery track or they can be attached to a board which is either fixed above the drapery track or has the drapery track attached to the underside. These boards should be at least 4” longer either side than the track.
Attached or Integral Valances look much the same as conventional ones when the draperies are drawn, but are actually attached to the top of each drapery so that the two halves separate when the draperies are drawn back, This avoids blocking out daylight but they are best used with a pole rather than a track which would then be exposed in the gap.

Photo: Kasmir

Tips about Draperies

Short draperies are rarely successful except, perhaps, in small cottage windows or small windows in a deep embrasure or tied back at a kitchen window.
If windows have deep recesses, it is better to hang draperies outside the recess because this will let in the maximum amount of light during the day.
If windows have radiators below them and you want the softness of draperies but do not want heat loss, tie or loop them back permanently at either side of the window and use a shade of some sort or shutters at night.
Too short or long draperies are as bad as too short trousers. They should always generously touch the floor or slightly ‘puddle’ onto it. But neither should they be so long that you trip over them.
Always allow the most generous hem you can to withstand shrinkage when cleaned.
All draperies hang better if they are lined and interlined, unless they are meant to seem light and breezy. To make them look really professional and luxurious, pad each leading edge with an extra strip of interlining rolled lengthwise and invisibly hand-stitched inside the curtain lining.
Unless daylight is at a premium, most draperies look better tied or looped back during the day than left hanging straight unless they are of heavy material like velvet.
If you live in a city, or anywhere where there is a lot of pollution in the air, avoid using light colors and elaborate folds, so that the fabric does not need to be cleaned too often.
If windows face East or South in rather dark rooms, ensure that your chosen style will obscure as little of the light you get during the day as possible. These rules out tied-back curtains that meet in the middle, deep pelmets and elaborately draped styles.
If you have a beautiful view or lack of light but still would like to have draperies, stationary ones work best.
If windows face North or West, and you get a good deal of light and sun, avoid using fabrics that will fade or rot easily like silks and very bright colors. Consider filtering the light with translucent blinds or sheer curtains as well.
Now you can start thinking about your beautiful draperies you want to have in your home, to add style, color, and most important to finish your room the way you picture it.

Photo: Pinterest

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5 Simple Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas

Thursday morning comes quickly out of the dark, and with it the promise of the Thanksgiving feast. Have you set the table yet? You should get that table done early so you’re not in a rush right before the guests arrive. Here are some ideas that will help have the most amazing table setting.

1.- Use Colorful Tablecloth, Using colorful linen can give your table personality.

Photo Courtesy Pinterest

2.- Layer your textiles buy using placemats and charges.

Photo Courtesy Pinterest

Photo Courtesy Proflowers

3.- Use Pumpkins or any season harvest for a one of a kind centerpiece.

Photo Courtesy Pinterest

4.- Candles, candles, candles. I don’t know about you but we believe candles makes any table setting cozier and warmer. Stay with the odorless kind, you don’t want to take away the amazing aroma of your Thanksgiving feast.

Photo Courtesy Pinterest


5.- Hand write place cards, is always more personal and your guests will feel very special.

Photo Courtesy chicaandjo

Now that your table looks beautiful and the aromas of your dinner are filling the house with the warmth of Thanksgiving, is time to relax and be thankful for all the people in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!




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Decorating Your Walls

No matter if you own or rent your home, we all seem to have a huge dilemma when is time to decorate the walls. Renting your place it doesn’t mean you can get away with empty walls, before you move out you can always patch the holes and cover them with a little paint, no excuses here!!

Here are a few quick and easy ways to dress up your walls, on a budget!

The most common mistake people make when decorating their walls is to place things around just to fill empty space. -To avoid that mistake, draw an imaginary rectangle on the main focal wall in the room you wish to dress up. Fill that rectangle with a grouping of art, portraits, plates, or clocks. This will make a stronger impact for the room.

-Hang larger scale items to make your rooms seem bigger; like a rug, a pretty tapestry with decorative rod or your favorite quilt.

-Create a dramatic wall hanging with a large piece of plywood, some paint, and one inspirational word in large letters. “Love”, “Laugh” “Believe” or any word that puts a smile on your face. Paint the plywood with the color of your choice, then sketch on your word with pencil, and paint the letters with black, brown or metallic paint.  Paint a background frame for your favorite art or group of paintings. Make the frame at least 4-6 inches larger than the art, tape off with painters tape, and fill in with a darker version of your wall color. Paint a simple border and background in neutral colors.

 -Consider using stencils to add detail and design to your walls. Pick up a simple design to wrap around windows and doors, or to add detail to your painted “frames” around your wall art groupings.

Decorating with Artwork

Wall accessories can have a dramatic impact on room balance. Furniture in a room without accessories looks unfinished. A balance of art, accessories and furniture gives a finished look to the room, even when all of the decorating has not been completed.

– Start with the largest wall. Draw the eye to the wall with art to emphasize the wall space and distribute color at eye level.

– Hang artwork with the center of the picture at eye level. (This may vary according to your client’s height.) For a grouping, be sure that you establish a dominant focal point (usually the largest piece), which should be placed at eye level.

– It is best not to cover every wall with a grouping; likewise, avoid spotting the walls with one picture on each wall. A balance between groupings and single pictures is preferable. Companion pieces hung together can play the role of a grouping or take on the look of a single picture. Odd number groupings are usually the most effective.

– A variety of sizes and shapes add interest. You can mix ovals, horizontals and verticals in various sizes. A sense of unity can be achieved in such a mix by repeating at least one element. Color is usually the easiest.

– Pairs can be hung either vertically or horizontally, creating a sense of line. Do not hang diagonally except on a stairway.

– Balance the light and dark pictures in a grouping so that they are not all in one area. Visual weight should be at the bottom of the group.

– Spacing between pictures in a grouping should be similar and kept to a minimum.

– Pictures should be placed 4 to 12 inches above a piece of furniture to keep the art as part of the whole scheme.

– Mirrors can also be used to add visual weight and brightness. A mirror may also reflect artwork that is in a less visible area. Use mirrors to expand space in foyers, hallways or any small space.

– Texture can be added by incorporating shelves, plants, trees, clocks, shadow boxes, etc., any and all of which help add greater interest to the room design.

Hanging Artwork

The following are general rules that should be considered when hanging art. As always, there may be exceptions to these rules.

  1. Hang artwork with the center of the picture near eye level.
  2. When hanging artwork above furniture, it should be a hand span (8”-12”) from the furniture.
  3. Avoid hanging artwork in direct sunlight. The print and mats will fade if exposed to sunlight over a period of time.
  4. Consider the size of the framed piece to the size of the space/wall on which it will hang. It should proportionately match the space.
  5. Stair-step arrangements are not recommended unless they are used to accent architectural features such as a staircase.
  6. Horizontal arrangements are more soothing while vertical arrangements are more engaging.
  7. Groupings should occupy two-thirds of the length of the furniture over which they hang.
  8. When doing a large gallery wall, the pieces should first be laid out on the floor, or on graph paper. Spacing of 2”-3” are normally recommended.
  9. Begin with a large piece at low-center and build up and out from that point for a large grouping.

Now is time to hang your favorite art and pictures.

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9 Ways to Easy Decorate with Dark Colors

People often shy away from dark colors because they think it’s going to make a room look gloomy or too dingy.

Today at Lux Design Associates, however, we are going to debunk the myth. In fact we are going to show you just how you can completely enhance your home with dark colors, creating a space rich in decor and design.

I love all the colors like black mixed together. This is because black (and other dark shades and tones) are timeless, elegant and sophisticated.

Let’s see how we can translate this into our home decor with these 9 ways to decorate with dark colors!



Dark colors work especially well in the bathroom, Do you see how dark wallpaper in a bathroom can create a very elegant and very sophisticated space, enhanced by the silver and white bathroom features and finishes?

You can also go for white walls and then add dark flooring or a white and black checkered tiled space. It all depends on your style

2. Raw Materials


You can introduce darker colors into a space in the form of raw materials, such as a dark grey or brown stone. In this design, we can see how the stone wall adds texture and tone to the space, creating a very homely, warm and earthy look and feel. We feel like this living room could be in a cottage in the middle of the mountains!

The stone wall is also offset by the gorgeous fireplace—a great addition to any living room, especially one that features dark colors.

Have a look at how you can make your home roar with raw materials.

3. Add a Dark Furniture Piece

Lux Design Associates

Another way to create a bit of diversity and break up neutral tones and colors in a space is to add a dark piece of furniture to a room.

In this design, we can see how the black sofas works beautifully with a predominantly neutral living room, creating a very classic look and feel. Yet the designers have also added a light ottoman and an electric pattern for the chairs, which converts this classic space into an eclectic palace!

4. Black in The Kitchen


What better what to introduce a darker color into the kitchen, than by painting a wall completely black so that the residents can use it as a chalk board? This way the family members can write down grocery lists or recipes, add their favorite inspirational quotes to the wall or even draw some pictures.

This kind of design adds a very personal and homely touch to the kitchen space.

Tip: Go for this option if you have a lot of natural light in your kitchen. You don’t want to end up with a very dark and gloomy looking cooking area.

5. Other Dark Colors


Other dark colors can be introduced into the kitchen space to add personality and charm, especially if they come in the form of patterns!

This kitchen features a gorgeous array of brightly colored tiles, which add so much life to this space. It also works beautifully with the bright red cabinets.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit bold and daring when it comes to darker colors in the kitchen. This is truly the heart of the home, so what could be more fitting than a dark red color for this space?

6. Go Industrial Chic


Use dark colors for the finishes in your home to create a very industrial chic look, especially if you can get away with retaining some of the original materials in the home like the ceiling beams, the raw bricks of the walls and the steel wall.

The industrial look not only looks really trendy, but it’s not too expensive to put together because you are working with the original materials.

Tip: Add a stylish lamp made from copper or brass to an industrial looking home as the final touch! Interior lighting is key to a home that features dark colors.

7. Cozy Bedroom


Especially if your bedroom features a lot of natural light, dark colors, shades and tones can create a cozy and warm space that allows the bedroom to feel like a cocoon where you can escape from the rest of the world.

Dark colors can evoke a sense of peacefulness and serenity, soothing you into happy dreams and peaceful sleep.

Tip: Go for dark colors when it comes to your linen and bed, keeping other parts of your room a bit more neutral so that you don’t overwhelm the space. You don’t want to feel like you sleep in a cave.

8. The Cave


Some people really like to feel like they sleep in a cave however! This allows them to relax and enjoy their sleep, no matter what time of the day it is.

If this is the case for you, then by all means combine dark wooden floors and furniture with dark grey walls and linen.

Just ensure that you add a few softer and lighter elements to break the dark colors up like the designers have done here with the white rug and the silver artwork.

Also invest in some good bedroom lamps and lights, which will create ambiance and a warm, soft glow in this space.

9. The Black Wall


If you have neutral tones in areas in your house, like your family room/kitchen area, then you can always add a dark wall to the space to add a bit of contrast.
In this design, we can see how the white cabinets and light wooden floors offsets the charcoal black wall in the background. The black wall also matches a few pieces of decor items that enhance this space.

Tip: opt for a bold design by painting one of four walls a dark color such as black or burgundy and the rest a more neutral color or a plain white. The result will be striking!

Have you decorated your home with dark colors? Do you have any tips for our readers? Let us know!

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Do You Have the Right Lighting?

It All Begins With Light

Light is one of the four key elements of design. It’s also one of the trickiest to get right, thanks to the all the different options in lighting available. To assess the lighting in a room, begin by considering these questions:

  • Is the lighting inviting? Or is it too bright, or too dim?
  • Does it work for various the tasks and activities that take place in that room? A kitchen needs brighter light than a bedroom, for instance.
  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Can I vary it according to mood or time of day?


You can make big changes in how your room is lit without necessarily getting rid of your current fixtures. Dimmers on light switches or lamps give you the flexibility to change up the mood of a room easily. And switching to a different type or size of bulb changes the kind and color of light they produce. If you’re confused about what kind of light a particular bulb will create, check the label on the package, where you’ll find the facts on its brightness, estimated yearly cost, life expectancy, light appearance, energy used and mercury information. Light color is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. Lower Kelvin numbers mean more yellow light; the higher the Kelvin number, the whiter or bluer the light. Warm white – 2500K-3000K (the standard color of incandescent bulbs) is ideal for bedrooms, living rooms or dens. Bright white or cool white – 3500K-4100K is good task lighting, and works for kitchens, bathrooms, and workspaces. Daylight – 5000K-6500K – is the best reading light.


The most efficient bulbs on the market now are LEDs, which save up to 80% in energy costs over the older incandescent bulbs now being phased out, and last up to 20 years. Unlike the CFLs, which they’re quickly replacing, these bulbs contain no mercury and thus are much easier to dispose of. A 12-watt LED bulb puts out the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent.

New options in light bulbs and ways in which to control them are nothing short of amazing. Your smart phone can now be paired with your home lighting system, allowing you to switch lights off and on remotely. There are LED bulbs on the market that respond to voice commands – and there’s even an LED bulb that includes a Bluetooth speaker, so you can pipe music wirelessly into every room from a central source.

Remember, lighting sets the stage for an entire room, and affects how everything in it is viewed. Your best decorating efforts can be undermined by poor lighting choices – so don’t neglect to include your lighting when you’re creating your personal decorating style.