Spice Up Your Home With Stencils

Is your house boring? Too many plain walls and floors? Do you need to make a statement that will wow your family and guests? Maybe stenciling is for you! A cheap, easy alternative to wallpaper and fancy tiles, stencils allow you to change up the feeling of a room without blowing your budget.

Image from Royal Designs Studio Stencils on Amazon

Stenciling is not a new concept. Walls have been decorated with stenciled designs for hundreds of years. But stenciling floors and walls have made a comeback, and it is HOT!

How do you stencil on walls or tile floor?

Step 1: Choose your stencil. If you are stenciling tile flooring, find a stencil that matches the measurement of your tiles.

Step 2: Clean the surface you will be stenciling. Use mineral spirits to make sure the surface is free of dirt, hair, and other foreign objects. Make sure to dry the surface completely.

Step 3: Tape the edges. Make sure all edges have painter’s tape so areas you do not want painted stay clean.

Step 4: Prime the surface. Make the surface paint-ready with some primer!

Step 5: Paint the base color. Use a roller and paintbrush to paint on the base color. If you are planning on stenciling your floor, start at the back wall of the room and work your way towards the door so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. You may need more than one coat, but make sure it has time to dry between coats.

Image from CuttingEdgeStencils on Etsy

Step 6: Stencil time! After you have let the base color dry completely, gently tape the stencil to the first tile in the back corner of the room using painter’s tape. Use a small foam stencil roller, or foam stencil brush to apply the secondary color. Make sure to use thin layers of paint and do multiple coats if needed as to have the least amount of bleed under the stencil. Allow the paint to completely dry.

Step 7: Touch up the stencil work. After the stencil paint has dried, use a small paintbrush with your base color to smooth out the edges of the stencil. With another small paintbrush, cover up any thin patches of the stencil paint.

Step 8: Seal the paint. If you are stenciling tile or any floor surface, make sure to seal the stencil work so that it lasts longer. Pay particular attention to anywhere that water is likely to splash.

Step 9: Enjoy your hard work! Look at this awesome floor or wall that you just created! Great job! Take a minute to look at what you just did. You are awesome!

Image from The Home Depot Blog

To style a room with a stenciled wall or floor, keep the other patterns minimal, and let your new stenciling be the statement piece of the room. You worked hard for it, so let it shine!

Thoughts On Making Your House A Home

The idea of “making your house your home” is nothing new. We hear it all the time. 

When you stop and think about it, though, what does it really mean to actually do it? It’s not something that abruptly happens, or is even done consciously at any point in time. It’s not like one day you decide, “Ok, self, today’s the day I’m going to start turning my house into my home.”

It simply begins with an empty space. A place where so much can (and will) happen. Walking into a new place, where you’re going to live for years to come, is like staring at a blank canvas for your future. Nobody knows what will happen there; nobody knows what it will look like once its lived in, as your family grows and your own style manifests. You just know that it’s the place where things will happen. Stuff will accumulate there. People will gather there. Life will happen there.

Obviously, the furniture and art you choose to fill the rooms and walls are a big part of making a house a home. It’s really just an extension of your personality and your family’s lifestyle.

But what’s behind those choices?

Over all else, what really shapes the evolvement of a house becoming a home is a collection of moments that ultimately dictate what goes where in what spaces.

Watching home renovation shows or scrolling through pages of Pinterest-perfect pins on the latest interior design trends, it’s easy to get caught up in “the look” and forget that your space has to be livable and adaptable to become a comfortable, yet functional home.

Your house truly starts to become your home when you take the style inspiration that you see on the outside and bring it inside—literally and figuratively—adapting tangible things to the situations and needs for everyone in your family.

For instance, when your living room becomes the bedroom, your house is becoming a home. When your dining room becomes a classroom, your house is becoming a home. When your bedroom becomes the play room, your house is becoming a home. When the doghouse is inside the house, your house is becoming a home.

It’s all of these situations, adding up over time, that impact what you choose to bring into your home. The look and feel of where you live is simply a product of how you live. Style and circumstances, together, shape a unique place that fits the life you’re building and the space you’re building, silently bringing everything together—people, pets, furniture, art work, homework, dirty dishes, nap times, play times, game nights… 

All of these little things, and your reactions to them, are what will lead you to naturally turn your house into your home.

There’s more than one room to decorate for the holidays

‘Tis the season for all the red and all the green, trimmed with gold and silver and everything pine.

Lights strewn about inside and out—it’s the happiest time of year for decorating, no doubt. More often than not, though, the living room gets most, if not all, of the redecorating love.

Think outside the living room.

This year, for an extra dose of cheer, remember that there’s more than one room to share all the holiday love that you have for your home. Here are a few different ideas to spread the joy all around the house:

Oh, Christmas trees… everywhere.

There are no rules when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, so why not make it TREES?! Two in the living room, hallway trees, table trees. Spruce it up! A tree can be wherever you want a tree to be during the holidays!

Have a holly, jolly bedroom.

If coziness matters anywhere beyond the living room, it’s in your bedroom. What better time to amp up the cozy factor than during the holidays? Swap your comforter for a trendy, red buffalo check pattern. Put up a tree in the corner, while adding sprigs of tree branches or garland all around the room. You’ll never be sad to wake up to holiday cheer all through the end of the year!

Switch your “other sofa” style.

Many homes have multiple sofas or loveseats—in a back room, a den, the basement, or elsewhere. Bring the merry there, too! Make your extra room look like The 12 Days of Christmas by changing up your accessories as much as you want—plaid pillows, red, green, gold blankets, and more. Swap your regular wall art with something seasonal, or even some fresh pine wreaths. You can’t go wrong with all the little details during the holidays. If you’re feeling really fun, add a second tree to match!

Before the winter blues even have a chance to set in, try a few of these tricks for the merriest cold weather months ever! Check out even more holiday design in person at your local Ashley HomeStore.

Introducing Mane + Mason

There are a lot of fine lines when it comes to home design.

A big one is between farmhouse and modern style. Both are popular. Both are stylish. There are even some areas where the styles can intersect—but that doesn’t mean it’s a one size fits all, or that it’s easy to combine them and pull off a seamless look in your home.

Mane + Mason, the newest collection at Ashley HomeStore, is filled with options that embrace the good in both farmhouse and modern style, effortlessly celebrating the line between two very different approaches to design.

The collection represents a lifestyle that is approachable, yet refined. Its pieces are versatile, family-friendly, yet bring a level of modern sophistication into any home. Everyday life is celebrated, while keeping the emphasis on style and beauty.

Going too far with either style can happen. If you don’t live in an modern industrial-inspired loft, for instance, going for that popular metallic, urban chic, cool-colored look may not look right as the dominant style in your home. Trying to look like you live somewhere you don’t can come across as inauthentic, and kill the coziness that your home may already have. Likewise, if you live in an urban or suburban area, an overdone country/farmhouse theme may come across as phony, too. I mean, everyone knows you’re not churning your own butter in a metropolitan area… so the jig is quickly up when you try to look like you are with the art on your walls.

Mane + Mason beautifully bridges the gap between styles, making an alternative to both. The best part about it is that it’s super easy to find pieces that are you, that blend elements of design that you love, without having to go too heavy one way or the other.

Once you start browsing, you’ll see how great mixing and matching modern and farmhouse furniture can be! Check out more Mane + Mason style here.

What do the designers see?

An interior designer’s eye is different. Instant reactions to what’s happening in a room are second nature to those who design for a living. After some informal chats with the interior designers in our HomeStores, we decided to poll our creative audience in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—asking some of our designers to talk about what things they notice when they enter a home for the first time. From entryways to hallways, here’s what our designers had to say!


“I think I always look at the floors first, then work my way up. I look at placement of furniture and then how the walls are decorated. Eventually, I look at the ceiling to see light fixtures or any fun details. While I am scanning the space, I am always thinking what could make the space better. Overall, I pay the most attention to furniture and the space planning.” – Vera


“As a designer, when I enter a new space or new home, I’m usually on sensory overload. I take in the whole space. What I probably notice first is the amount of lighting, as well as any fragrances. After that, I start to pick up on the whole vibe or emotion of the space and how that is directly correlated to the colors within the room. My eyes are then searching for focal points—and hoping that it isn’t a multitude of clutter. Once I can digest all of that, I’m usually trying to remember that there is probably a person in front of me that requires the attention of my wandering eyes. Then I start sneaking peaks of all of the other things… flooring, finishes, furniture, artwork, textiles, textures, etc. Oh, and I always tend to notice awesome doors! I love arched tops, little window cut outs, and when a door is painted in a darker color. I like how anchoring a dark door helps bounce my eyes back around to the artwork and accessories in the rest of the room.” – Matthew


“When I first enter a home, I take it all in as a whole. I love a lived in, loved home. Especially if I know the person who lives there. I can see their personality in what they’ve chosen to surround themselves with. I sneak peaks at everything I can, and then usually, at the same time, I’m looking for any signs they have animals to pet!” – Sarah


“When I first enter a home I can’t help to just see where my eye goes. I love to find the focal point of the space. I love to dissect what was the inspiration for the whole look? I go from there and look around. I look at the furniture placement… if it makes sense or if there is a better way to make it look more inviting. I also look to see what the theme or color story is. I feel color tells a lot about the person and their interests. I always look at all the small details—pictures, small knick knacks… this is where the person’s personal touch shines.” – Michaela


“When entering someone’s home, I first take in the basics like if the room is full or not. I look at color and wall art. I love when homes have interesting wall art. I also notice if there are prints, whether it’s on the couch, curtains, or in art. Print designs are personal; I can get a sense of the person’s style by what they chose.” – Anna


“The first thing I see when entering a home is either the pets or the kids. If there is a dog, I will notice nothing else. If there are kids, then I usually notice the mess (but that’s parent life, I guess!) Next, I notice the color, and if there is a non-neutral color scheme. I think I see the biggest, heaviest pieces first, like the sofa or TV and entertainment pieces. then I start seeing the decorations. My house is always under some kind of renovation, so messy houses don’t bother me, but it also makes me always see what needs straightening. When I walk into a beautiful, neat, organized house, I am a child of color and see whatever is bright and beautiful in front and center. – Alicia


And there you have it… a glimpse into what designers might see in your home. We hope you have a blast making your home you, using the inspiration from our team!

Style that’s all about you!

createAshley HomeStore makes it easier than ever to create your style, your way! Design your own perfect living room in 3 easy steps—for a price you’ll love. Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose from one of four seating options in a variety of colorful fabrics.

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2. Choose your color. All of the above sofa choices are available in 4 stylish colors: Mocha, Pacific, Slate, or Pebble.

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3. Choose your pillows. Easily change up the look to suit your home and style with a simple swap of your pillows! Here’s a look at a few… and there are way more options to see in our HomeStores!

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Find amazing deals and make your own style selections in person at your local Ashley HomeStore!

DIY Dining: Furnishing Farmhouse Chic

farmhouse2There’s something undeniably charming about the rustic dining spaces that come standard in old farmhouses. There’s no doubt that an older home has built-in character that creates an authentically comfortable backdrop for living and entertaining, right from the start.

Focusing on rustic, farm-inspired interior design choices can emulate that feeling anywhere.

Although living in an urban or suburban setting may not be exactly farmhouse-friendly when it comes to real estate, creating that same charming, comfortable environment is possible—no matter where you live—if you just find the right furniture and accessories. Not to mention, it’s much easier (and certainly more affordable) than buying an old country home.

Taking shabby chic interior inspiration from old homes and mixing it with contemporary colors and accessories brings a unique, modern appeal to classic style. From mixed natural woods to textured, layered spaces and rustic accessories, creating the look and feel of an older home is possible to pull off in any style home—and you can do it yourself.

Here are our 7 Ashley picks, with some simple DIY design tips, that can make it fun and easy to furnish farmhouse chic dining spaces in your home:

ranimar1

Mix up wood and metal textures throughout the room and pair them with eclectic acoutrements, like old windows and mirrors layered in pairs. Balance the look by placing accents, like tall candlesticks, on top of storage pieces and fill them with light-toned dish ware that stays on display.

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Distressed wood brings shabby chic to life in any dining space. Blend different wood tones and offset them with light upholstery to create sophisticated contrast. A unique light fixture can serve as the focal point that brings it all together.

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Mixing and matching chairs with different colors, fabrics, and wood is a great way to add some style to traditional dining pieces for an irresistible rustic-chic vibe.

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A variety of textures in a room creates a naturally relaxing atmosphere. Leather, metal accents, woven accessories, and soft patterned area rugs are great options, but don’t stop there! Let your imagination run wild and use nature to inspire accessorizing. Colorful fruit or fresh-picked flowers can bring an unexpected spark of style to your dining table or storage pieces.

Country classics with subtle modern twists can really make a bold statement in your dining room. Off white trim with dark wood is a great way to create elegance without being over the top. Basic glassware and streamlined, clear lighting options add delicacy, while staggered statement pieces on the wall make the space exciting and inviting.

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Simplicity can rule when it comes to modern-meets-farmhouse style. Substantial pieces, like large family-style tables and a wall-sized storage pieces, work wonderfully with a basic beiges and soft white tones as the backdrop. Elegantly simple accessories, like matted picture frames and rustic pottery, bring simple sophistication to turn basic into bold!

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A classic pub table and industrial-chic stools are a match made in modern farmhouse heaven. A minimalist-inspired table is beautifully anchored by the boldness of tall bar stools in a contrasting material and color that will make anyone want to have a seat and stay awhile.

Get the look for a great price!

 1. Ranimar 5-piece dining set | $1699
2. Strumfeld 5-piece dining set | $1199.95
3. Mestler 5-piece dining set | $997.99
4. Zenfiled 5-piece dining set | $979.95
5. Marsilona 5-piece dining set | $1099.95
6. Tanshire 6-piece dining | $1599.65
7. Pinnadel 5-piece dining set | $899.52

All prices are subject to change. 5-piece dining sets include table + 4 side chairs. Tanshire 6-piece dining set includes pedistal base and table top + 4 side chairs.

FIND A HOMESTORE!

GOING FOR GOLD: DECORATING WITH METALLIC GOLD ACCESSORIES

goldMuch to our delight, metallics are having a moment! Glistening gold—and even brassy bronze—are back in a very big way. Yet, despite the glam factor you get from going gold, many homeowners shy away from the trend for fear that their homes will look like Liberace’s. So how can you get the look without going overboard?

KEEP READING for ‘golden’ home design trends from Ashley HomeStore.

HOST AN AUTHENTIC OKTOBERFEST IN STYLE

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Fall is finally here and you know what that means—time to bust out the lederhosen, pour yourself some brew and prepare to be wowed by delicious German delicacies! Instead of celebrating at a local bar (where the menu might be less than authentic), why not host your very own Oktoberfest this year?

KEEP READING for Ashley HomeStore’s ideas for hosting an authentic Oktoberfest… with stylish furniture and more!