Amy B.

How To Bring that Art-Deco Feel To Your Home

The term Art-Deco is synonymous with decorative styles that began in France post-WWI. At its essence it is a style that stands for luxury. Art-Deco designs contain bold, geometric patterns, rich finishes and iconic motifs. This modern, elegant style has persisted throughout the years. You can see signs of it in architecture and interior design around the world. In fact, it’s easy to apply Art-Deco styling to any modern interior. Follow these steps to capture the essence of this style in your own home.

Add a Touch of Timber

Deeply-colored wood paneling is an essential element of Art-Deco. You can add timber paneling to your home to provide the perfect contrast for other accents. The wood paneling look is perfect for doors, stairs and floors. Use dark shades of wood with a glossy finish for the best effect.

Ebony and Ivory

A contrasting black and white color scheme is found in almost all Art-Deco designs. This palette provides a complex mix of simplicity and sophistication. These simple colors are very easy to integrate into any room. You can do it through tiling, painting, throw rugs or furniture pieces. Combine the palette with dark-brown wooden accents for the perfect Art-Deco combination.

Long-Lasting Arcs

Long, smooth arcs are another common feature of Art-Deco. Add these to your home in the form of windows or door styling. You can also incorporate them as mirrors or wallpaper designs. Arcs provide the vintage, luxury look that defines Art-Deco.

Buying Furniture: Think Big

When choosing the right furniture pieces, aim for larger pieces. Long tables and couches can provide clean lines to your interior. They can also make smaller areas feel roomier. Try to include just a few pieces of large furniture pieces per room. Too many pieces will make the room feel eclectic and will diminish your Art-Deco styling.

You should also think big when it comes to adding lighting pieces. Choose over-sized chandeliers in geometric shapes. Pair several of the same pieces together to add symmetry to the room. The objective is to make your lighting feel powerful, and appear as the center of energy for the room.

Metal is Key

Art-Deco is known for using modern materials such as metals and glassware. When adding metallic pieces to a room don’t be afraid to mix different types of metals. Pair golds with silvers against a black and white background. Add mirrors and transparent plastics to reflect the shimmers of the metal.

Mood Lighting

Chandeliers don’t have to be your only source of lighting. You can also use torchères and sconces to add a soft glow to a room. Look for fixtures that have a modern or futuristic feel. The fixtures should also be comprised of metals, such as brass or chrome. Also try using lighting that disperses light in a geometric pattern to add a great shadowing effect to walls and floors.

Patterned Motifs

Motifs are another popular aspect of Art-Deco design. Some of the most popular motifs include sunbursts, pyramids, zig-zags and Egyptian symbolism. Display these designs as wallpaper, ceiling trim or door patterns. Try to stick to browns, golds and whites against dark backgrounds for an eye-catching look. It is best to use motifs sparingly to accentuate specific parts of the interior.

Keep an Eye on Symmetry

Remember that symmetry is the backbone of Art-Deco. Be sure to arrange all furniture and wall items with this in mind. When looking at the finished product, imagine cutting the room in half. Does each side feel balanced with the other? If the answer is no, you need to rework the placement of your design features. The good news is that it is easy to fix symmetry problems by adding to the geometry of the space.

Art-Deco Continues to be Modern

Although Art-Deco invokes a Roaring 20’s feel, it is still very much a modern design style. Many of today’s buildings still display a wide array of Art-Deco characteristics. Due to this, it is easy to find inspiration for Art-Deco themes wherever you are. When transforming your home into an Art-Deco paradise, make sure to focus on clean lines and symmetry. If you do this, you’ll be sure to get the look you desire.

Every Luxury Home Needs These Upgrades

Everyone who owns a home understands that there is an endless struggle to make the space a little more luxurious than it was before. That the process of making an improvement here and an upgrade there is the ultimate best way to ensure that the value of the home keeps increasing as it ages. The only challenge that most people have is that they do not understand that not all upgrades are cost effective and with the potential to add actual value to the home. Here are a few upgrades that you should definitely think about investing in if you want to make your luxury home better than it was before.

Spruce up your patio

The patio has become an extension of the living room for many homeowners. If you want to create that continuity which makes the outside and inside look like one huge and comfortable living room, think about making some extra investment to the patio. A few ways in which you can make your patio a little more stylish include:

· Getting an outdoor kitchen: If you have the budget for it, think about getting an all-out outdoor kitchen. There is nothing which feels better than investing in cooking space that will be a definite talking point when you are entertaining guests.

· Get double French doors: If you are not in a position to go for an all-out redesign to your patio, you can do as little as changing your current backdoor and replacing it with double French doors. When these are open, the patio and the living room will look like one huge and continuous living space.

· Add a bathtub: There is nothing that will give character to your backyard more than investing in a bathtub. If you feel that this will cost too much, how about investing in a hammock surrounded by lush landscaping?

Invest in a home automation system

Did you know that you can automate your entire home and synch all the appliances and rooms for as little as $1200? Well, nowadays nothing speaks of luxury and sophistication better than intercom doorbells, biometric alarms, CCTV cameras, automated HVAC, smart and automated entertainment systems and every other smart gadget that can be controlled remotely. If you want your visitor to gasp at the sheer luxury of your home, think about investing in a home automation system which will feature all these benefits. There is also the added benefit that when you invest in an automated security system, you will feel more secure in your own home. Buyers will also be willing to pay more for a home where real investment has been made on security systems.

Adding an in-law Suite

Everyone who owns a home will admit to the fact that they wish there was an extra room for that visiting in-law who stays longer than their stated welcome, or that au pair helping with the kids. Well, the truth is that homes do get a bad deal in the buying market just because they do not have these thoughtful additions. To make your home a little more luxurious, think about adding an extra suite where a guest can live for a few weeks or months. If you do not have the external space needed to make this happen, you can even go for an option as simple as getting your basement remodeled. With as little as $200, you can actually create a few temporary walls that will create some privacy in the home and offer the needed accommodation for the extra guest or two.

Create a wine room

Everyone knows that nothing speaks of luxury and elegance better than having a fully fitted wine room. Most of the modern homeowners understand that a wine room is more than just the place where you keep the wine and allow it to age. They are investing money in making it a masterpiece that people can visit and benefit from financially. Realtors also agree with the fact that investing in luxury wine rooms adds to the value of the home. However, the investment should also be used as a treat for yourself because honestly, it is something that you deserve.

Those are a few of the upgrades that you should think about investing in if you want to see the value of your home grow. Take time and strategize on the improvements which will work best for your home and how much they are likely to cost you. When you have these calculations in mind, you will have an easier time investing and increasing your home appraisal value.

Relive Your Twenties: How To Reinvigorate Your Social Gatherings

As you get older, you may find yourself increasingly reminiscing about the good old days. Fond memories of amazing and even wild nights with friends throughout your twenties may be bittersweet. While you may cherish those memories, you may also be dismayed that your current experiences with friends are rather dull. Even when they are somewhat enjoyable, they lack the raucousness and general thrill that social gatherings in your younger adult years had. The good news is that you likely are not alone. Your friends may also quietly yearn for another unforgettable party. By walking through a few simple steps, you may be able to reinvigorate your social gatherings.

Choose the Right Guests

When older adults plan parties, they often overlook the one important purpose of social gatherings. This purpose is to have fun. The invited guests will play a major role in the overall vibe of the event. For example, inviting many people who are wallflowers and who likely may politely leave after an hour or two can give you a much different experience than inviting boisterous, happy people who are the life of the party. There may be a few people who you must invite for social reasons who may not be the ideal party guests, but try to infuse your guest list with many of the latter type of partygoers.

Pick a Fun Location

Many people will host a house party. This is an affordable venue that may be comfortable for you and your guests. You may even have fun features, such as a pool, a hot tub or a game room, that are ideal for entertaining your friends. Take a closer look at your home to determine if you have ample space for your guests to feel comfortable and if you have enough fun things to do to keep everyone entertained. Otherwise, you may choose another location. If money is an issue, you may ask attendees to chip in and pay for a party boat rental or a room rental at a fun location.

Focus on the Music

Regardless of where you have your event, music matters. Music sets the tone of the event and dramatically impacts mood. Consider preparing a party mix that includes many hours of music as a prep step. Think about tunes that your specific guests may love, such as hits from a specific genre. For inspiration, consider looking for a list of top hits of all-time from a genre or top hits from a specific year. If you want your guests to get into the mindset of their younger adult years when they were partying with friends, be sure to throw in some top party hits from those years.

Consider a Theme

You do not need to have a special occasion or a theme to host a party. For example, you can host a backyard barbecue simply because it is summertime. Many parties do bring people together for a special purpose, such as to watch a football game or to celebrate a holiday or birthday. Themes can help people to get into the mood. They require your guests to take some prep steps of their own before they arrive, such as by finding a costume or a fun t-shirt, preparing a specific dish or getting ready in various other ways. In addition, they add a festive atmosphere to your even that you may be hard-pressed to generate in any other way.

Plan Exciting Activities

When you attended a party in your younger adult years, the host likely did not need to go out of his or her way to plan fun activities. The partygoers simply found fun things to do, such as playing drinking games. Your older guests may be less inclined to dig deep and find their inner youth without inspiration or encouragement. You can encourage them to let loose by providing fun activities that they can participate in. For example, set up a ping pong table in the garage for your friends to play beer pong. Place a fun party game or a deck of cards on the kitchen table. Think about darts, horseshoes, cornhole and other activities. While having these various activities available throughout the interior and exterior of your home is important, your guests may also be more inclined to have a great time when you provide alcohol or encourage them to bring their own beverages.

Social gatherings tend to get stuffier and even become a type of social chore in some cases as you get older. If you are ready to breathe new life into your get-togethers, put these tips to use when planning your next event.

Planning Your Honeymoon? Consider a Luxurious Villa in Costa Rica

When you and your media naranja (the other half of your orange) get married, it’s tradition to go on an epic honeymoon. It’s a chance for you and your new spouse to enjoy time together and celebrate getting married. There’s no better place for a honeymoon than Costa Rica!

Why Costa Rica?

Latin countries are countries filled with love and sunshine. Costa Rica has both of those things in abundance! There are plenty of romantic activities for you and your partner to enjoy. You can scuba dive in the crystal blue waters, enjoy the music and nightlife, zipline, hike to stunning waterfalls, and swim with dolphins. When you want to relax, you can soak in a gorgeous sunset with dinner and cocktails. Of course, you need to have an amazing villa to enjoy for when the two of you are in bed.

Tips for your Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Your honeymoon should be exclusively about you and your spouse. You don’t want to run into a problem that can take away from your vacation. For that reason, follow these tips to help make Costa Rica a great honeymoon.

1. Don’t go inclusive

When you go all inclusive, you are forced to stay on your resort to enjoy the food and drinks you paid for. This only works if you plan to stay on the resort a majority of the time you are in Costa Rica. For couples who like to explore, this might not be ideal. Furthermore, you will want to try the different restaurants available. Don’t limit yourself to your resort if you can help it. You might miss a once in a lifetime restaurant or force yourself to eat until you get back to the resort.

2. Try something new

There is so much to do in Costa Rica it’s almost hard to believe. You can visit the rainforest, ride horses on the beach, hike volcanoes, and enjoy the animals/ scenery. While here, don’t waste the opportunity. Go out and explore this tropical paradise that you might not get to enjoy ever again.

3. Rent a car

Renting a car gives you the opportunity to travel the island without having to rely on public transportation or cabs. While it’s rather easy to get most places, you can’t walk everywhere. A car will be your cheapest option, and you will be able to see more of the beautiful country.

A honeymoon should be one of the most amazing times of your life. When you go to Costa Rica, you are going to a place that will help make your dream honeymoon come true. Explore the beauty around you and then take time to enjoy Costa Rica as well.