With a dash of creativity, you can enliven, brighten and breathe new life into every room of your home. But with so many options, how does one get started?
We sought the expert advice of retailers at Deer Park Town Center in Deer Park, asking them for ways to add pop and pizzazz to spaces spanning the living room to the kitchen and beyond.
Entryway: Come on in
The entryway is often an overlooked high-traffic thoroughfare in most homes. It's the go-through room that people hardly notice. Yet, that doesn't have to be the case.
Even in this open space, experts say focus on a few key pieces, with one being the main anchor.
"Depending on the space available, this can be a floor-length mirror or a unique entry table," says Aimee Beatty, Pier 1 Imports' in-house stylist. "Start by using this piece to build around, using accessories such as picture frames, accent bowls and vases. You will be surprised how quickly you can transform an empty entryway into the most inviting space in the house."
Looking for a wow factor for the entryway? Beatty says create a wall gallery that might include select wall art, personal photos or other framed pieces.
"This trend never goes out of style and is a great way to enjoy your own authentic collection of accessories," Beatty suggests. Pier 1 Imports specializes in imported home furnishings, goods and décor.
Retreat to the family room
The family room is a central gathering spot for family and friends. That's one reason it should be filled with pieces that add personal charm, says Silk 'N Things boutique owner Rose Pickett, who has sold home décor accessories and silk floral arrangements for more than 20 years.
"I love the family room. I feel that that is where families and friends spend a lot of time, so it's a pretty important room to make welcoming and comfortable," says Pickett, who emphasizes the need to personalize the space.
"Do it with a unique flair so it doesn't look like your next door neighbor's."
If your family room includes a fireplace, Pickett says make it the focal point by adding a well-proportioned mirror, family photos or framed artwork centered above it. Usually the biggest mistake in this area is using "undersized" items that do not properly fill the area, she says. Instead of filling the mantel with "little stuff" and trinkets that clutter, Pickett advises you select a few stately figurines, florals or decorative candleholders to set it aglow.
Dressing up the coffee table can help to transform your space from a place of utility to a showcase of personal style, also.
"Embellish it if you can by layering things on it in a tray or low, open bowl," Pickett says.
Soft florals and even personal photos, for instance, can lessen the sterile hardness of a table, and adding a plush throw can warm the space as well.
Let's get cooking
Most items in a kitchen are static; what you see is mostly all that you get visually.
Besides the built-in appliances and cabinets, there may be little room for expressing personal style. Yet it's easy to overlook obvious small changes that can be made with the serving dishes, utensils, flatware and cookware. Changing out chipped plates, tarnished flatware and well-worn bakeware can help to re-energize this gathering spot and renew interest in the sport of cooking.
Emile Henry bakeware, with some styles exclusive to Williams-Sonoma, includes Artisan Ruffled Pie Dishes that are beautifully crafted from deeply hued Burgundy clay. Such cookware can help the home cook to create perfect, evenly baked pies (with ruffled edges) each time. Williams-Sonoma is a high-end specialty home retail chain with a store at Deer Park Town Center.
Rest and relax
Families can often get into a rut when it comes to their bedrooms. Once drapes, a bed ruffle and pillows have been put in place, they often forget that they can make updates and quick changes to enhance this private retreat.
Make yours one by changing out the bedding. This season, upscale housewares, furnishings and accessory chain Crate and Barrel offers quite an array of floral and geometric designs on duvets, quilts and coverlets, not to mention fancifully decorative pillows. Some patterns are in muted tones, while others boldly bodacious.
Memories are made in childhood bedrooms, too, where special toys and books share shelves amid painted blue skies, cotton candy curtains and cutesy decals. Yet, at times, the look of such rooms can become predictable.
Kim Terry, spokesperson for Pottery Barn Kids, advises parents to add differing forms and shapes to walls to bring new interest in their child's room. Oversized Harper Wall Letters can serve as a giant monogram or part of a word or phrase to catch the eyes and imaginations of little ones.
Wall decals, plaques and mirrors, like the Circle Blossom Mirror, even reflect personal style and offer rooms an update with a custom feel.
"We definitely see walls as an open canvas," Terry says. "We have a number of pieces from wall art to mirrors to create something visually impactful on the walls."
Printed rugs, especially popular chevron, floral and medallion designs, represent another way to bring comfort and fashion together in a child's room.
"We do a lot of them in wools," Terry says of PBK's area rugs. "They are well made, quality rugs with beautiful patterns."
Pottery Barn Kids is a children's textile, toys, furnishings and accessories company.
It's necessary to use all of your senses when looking for ways to spruce up your home.
Recently Yankee Candle launched its newest collection, Relaxing Rituals line of candles and home fragrancing products.
"We believe fragrance underscores everyday life. It brings you to a special time or reminds you of a special person in many ways that other senses don't do," says Carolyn McDaniel, director of retail store operations administration.
What fragrances you select are up to you. Your favorite might be triggered by a childhood memory, a favorite dessert or even special time of year. "It's very personal," says McDaniel.
Want to create a calming retreat in your bedroom or bath? Tranquil scents like lavender and sandalwood might do the trick. Want more of a pick-me-up in your kitchen or home gym? McDaniel says something with sage or mandarin would be a great choice.
"People are drawn to particular families of fragrance, be it fresh, floral or food, and then you must decide what kind of mood you want to enhance."
Scented candles add a beautiful accent to practically every room in a home. The fact that they are available in sumptuous hues is an added, decorative bonus.
Yankee Candle has been in business since 1969. The company sells everything from candles and fragrance oils to reed diffusers and scented outlet elements.
Deer Park Town Center
Need more inspiration? You'll find other unique ways to add bold statements to your home when you visit the many home retailers at Deer Park Town Center, including Francesca's, the Paper Source and Bath & Body Works.
Deer Park Town Center, owned and managed by the DDR Corp., opened in 2000. It has more than 70 stores and restaurants in its 400,000-square-foot space.
"Deer Park Town Center is your one-stop shopping destination for all your home furnishing needs," says Regina Verdico, the center's marketing director. "With convenient parking, lower Lake County sales tax and a retailer mix of over 70 stores, including 13 stores geared toward your home decor, you are sure to find everything you need from furnishings, unique custom made floral arrangements, and a great assortment of finishing touches."
For more information about stores, upcoming events and and special promotions, visit www.shopdeerparktowncenter.com.