Freelance Home Decor Consultants
- Freelance home decor consultants can be compared to personal shoppers for home items. Unlike interior designers or decorators who are hired for larger projects, decor consultants help clients source or select individual items such as custom furniture, lighting, or accessories. Carolyn Einstein, a San Francisco-based home decor consultant, guides her clients through the wholesale furniture showrooms in her city. She charges a fee for a two-hour consultation and charges clients an hourly rate after that.
Direct Sales Opportunties
- Many home decor consultants work in the direct sales area with companies such as Southern Living at Home, Ella Style, or At Home America. These consultants sign up with a company and generally generate business through at-home parties. They may also sell merchandise through catalogs. Most home decor direct sales companies specialize in home accessories, linens, pottery, or similar items.
Income for Freelance Consultants
- Freelance home decor consultants may work with furniture showrooms. Carolyn Einstein of San Francisco charges clients between the wholesale and retail cost for items purchased, allowing for commission. She also charges clients a consultation fee and hourly fee for research and other tasks.
Income for Direct Sales Consultants
- Home decor consultants in direct sales pay a setup fee to the company they will represent for an initial inventory and marketing. These consultants are paid either a commission or the difference between cost and retail. Many of these companies pay royalties for additional clients who may sign up to be consultants under the initial consultant’s supervision.
- Both freelance and direct sales home decor consultants depend on customers to generate income. Freelance home decor consultants will want to establish professional relationships with various vendors or showrooms for referrals, as well as network with friends and acquaintances. Referrals from existing clients are also a good source. Direct sales home decor consultants should approach friends, families, and acquaintances to host in-home parties. Hosts usually receive an incentive in product for hosting and additional product depending upon amount of sales. Networking and leads are generated when these guests host additional parties.
- Make a list of home decor needs. Create a list of the desired home décor items to be used in the home or resold. Include all interior design accessories that fit the theme and layout of the home. For example, candles, linens, wall hangings, dishes and furniture can be on the list. Break the list into categories by room and by price to figure an affordable budget.
- Browse the selection of furnishings and accessories on the Koehler Home Decor website. Koehler is one of the largest and most reputable online wholesale home decor dealers. Customers who order at least $750 worth of merchandise will receive a coupon code for 5 percent off their order, while orders of at least $1,350 will receive a coupon code for 10 percent off their total order. Koehler Home Decor also offers a free drop-shipping service for businesses. Many wholesale home decor dealers require business ownership to get wholesale prices, but Koehler does not. Anyone can order from Koehler Home Décor.
- Call wholesale home decor suppliers. Research suppliers and ask if they offer special hours for the public to shop. Wholesale suppliers’ phone numbers can be found on Internet searches and through the yellow pages. These dealers often charge sales tax and mark up the prices slightly for the public, but their prices are generally better than those of retail store. DirectBuy allows consumers to enter a ZIP code to locate nearby wholesale home decor vendors.
- Shop at wholesale home decor clubs. Many businesses buy overstocked or discontinued items and sell them in bulk quantities at wholesale or below-wholesale prices. Sam’s Club, Ollie’s, Costco, Gabriel Brother’s and B.J.s are popular wholesale clubs that offer retail items at a discounted price. Some home decor items at wholesale clubs could have blemishes or deformities, so examine the merchandise carefully before purchasing. Additionally, some wholesale clubs require a membership fee to shop at the store.
- Consider applying for a business license from the state. Many wholesale home decor suppliers offer the best prices to dealers who are licensed. For resale purposes, existing hobbies, interests or skills can be considered as business ventures that will help with business license qualifications. A few home decor sales to friends and family will help legitimize the business license application. Research legal requirements carefully and compare business license costs to expected savings.
- Apply for and obtain a business license. Contact the county clerk’s office of the county where your boutique is located to see what you need to do to obtain a business license. Since it is a retail location, you may need to obtain a retail license on top of a business license. Application and processing fees vary by location.
- Rent a retail space. Choose a location where there are related businesses such as a furniture store, grocery store or home improvement store. This ensures that your boutique is in an area that attracts the types of clients who are interested in your home décor products.
- Order inventory. Purchase the various products that fall in line with the type of home décor products you want to sell. You can buy home decor items from wholesale suppliers such as gifts, home furnishing and home decor.
- Develop a relationship with referral sources. Get in touch with local interior designers and decorators, real estate agents, professional home stagers, contractors and other types of business involved in home construction and renovations. You can give these referral sources coupons to hand out to their clients or establish a relationship where they buy their supplies from you to decorate their clients’ homes at a discounted rate.
- Advertise. You can also promote your store and products directly to consumers in your area. Build a website to showcase the variety of home décor products you offer. Attend home shows at the local convention center, where you can display your store products and speak with consumers who are looking for various products and decorations for their homes. You can also place an ad in local home and real estate magazines your potential clients are reading.
- Take a broad overview of the family room. Determine where people may be reading, playing games or watching TV. Sconces should not go near the TV because they can take away from the brightness of the set and be distracting. Consider where you need brighter light. Also, take note of major architectural pieces in the family room, like a fireplace or nook.
- Consider how much light each sconce will emit. The wattage of the light bulb will play a part in this but so will the shape and opacity of the sconces’ shades. The brighter each sconce is, the farther apart you can space them.
- Decide if you would like to hang the sconces level or if you’d rather offset them a bit if you will hang them side by side. This is a design element you can choose, but note how your choice may impact the lighting. Try different configurations out by holding the sconces up to the wall and having a friend step back and tell you what looks best. When hanging sconces, consider the overall size of the wall. Larger and longer spaces can accommodate wider spacing between wall sconces.
- Hang low-light sconces on either side of architectural pieces you want to highlight. Light that is too bright will take away from these pieces. Again, spacing will depend upon the size of the wall and the size of the piece you are highlighting. You can hang wall sconces a little further out from the sides of a fireplace with a large mantle; in contrast, a smaller fireplace should have smaller sconces hung a little closer.
- Add wall sconces directly next to a table or reading chair. These parts of the family room benefit from bright, direct light, so hanging a pair of level wall sconces next to or above these areas will provide the necessary brightness. Take spacing cues from the size of the table or chair as well as the size of the sconces themselves. You can hang smaller sconces closer together.
- Select from several types of carpets suitable for family rooms. Low pile and less plush surfaces function better than shag, although you can use smaller shag rugs to provide decorative accents in a family room. Stain- or moisture-resistant carpets work well in family rooms where people entertain and eat, or in homes with children. Patterned carpets can add texture and dimension to a family room while also hiding stains.
- Berber-style carpet with its loop construction and flecked finish, has an old-fashioned look. Many modern and contemporary decorators opt instead for cut-pile textures. In these fashion-forward carpets, the dyed yarn has a smoother look. This style of pile means patterns look crisper. Some carpets feature swirls and modulated tones that resemble hard surfaces like marble or granite. These new weaves may contain yarns of different lengths, widths or materials, resulting in a more textured look.
- The eco-design movement has reinterpreted the classic family room carpet. People concerned about toxic carpet materials or their carbon footprint can opt for floor coverings with the Green Label Plus Certification. Certification means that the carpet and its traditionally hazardous backing passed independent tests for emissions from 13 chemicals. Carpets made of wool and hemp provide more natural alternatives. Sisal rugs and bamboo mats resemble flooring more than plush rugs, but add rich, earth tones to a family room.
- Family room carpeting can look dirty quickly, but trendy shades run the risk of looking dated. Earth tones are a popular option, disguising dirt and stains and providing a neutral foreground for decor styles such as Asian fusion, mid-century modern, green design and rustic. Dark stone gray adds depth to a room and can impart a natural feeling or a classic elegance.
- One of the easiest low-impact ways to carpet a family room is with carpet tiles. These tiles work well on most hard surfaces, but not on top of a rug or a distressed-finish floor. They adhere to one another rather than the floor, making them easily removable and replaceable. Carpet tiles come in scores of patterns, colors and coordinated designs which allow decorators to mix and match.
Place Sofa on the Longest Wall
- Usually the sofa should go on the longest wall of a room away from the door. This placement allows the most room for the conversation area.
Add a coffee table in front of the sofa and set two easy chairs facing each other across the coffee table. Set up the TV across the room from the sofa. This U-shaped seating arrangement makes it comfortable for several people to talk to each other, eat or drink using the coffee table, and watch TV.
Any type of sofa could work in this arrangement, since you don’t have to worry about saving space. Rolled arms are comfortable for resting your head on for naps.
Place Sofa Across the Short End of the Room
- To counteract the length of a narrow room, you can place a sofa across the short end.
With this arrangement, you may have to worry about space. Choose a modern style sofa with straight, upright arms, an armless style or a love seat to save inches. You may not, however, be able to stretch out completely on a love seat for a nap. But by counteracting the bowling-alley feel of a long room, these handsome styles may help the room look more balanced.
On the Diagonal
- You can also place a sofa in the corner and set up the TV across from it towards the middle of the opposite wall. This arrangement has the advantage of making the narrow room seem wider.
For this arrangement, use an L-shaped sectional. Remember that L-shapes are not conducive for easy conversation, since only the two people near the corner can talk to each other easily; the others have to shout. Remember to add an easy chair on the other side of the L for better conversation.
Using the Corner
- If a sectional is too big for your space, you can put a regular sofa on the diagonal in the corner. A curved-back sofa would fit best here. Again, place a coffee table in front of the sofa, put two chairs to the side of it so they face each other across the coffee table, and put the TV across from the sofa on the diagonal in the room.
Keeping the family room neat and clean can be a real challenge when you have pets. However, there are hard-surface, non-porous flooring options that can make flooring maintenance easier.
For those who yearn for something soft underfoot, top off these flooring choices with an inexpensive area rug. If your pet has an accident, you can easily roll it up, cart it out and find a replacement.
- Versatile and available for just about any budget, tile is a terrific option for a pet-friendly family room floor.
Style, color, texture and size options are abundant when shopping for a tile floor. However, if the tile is being used in the pet-friendly environment, the best advice is to pick a tile that has variation in color and texture.
Smooth and single-color tile will tend to show dirt and animal prints easily. Variable color and textured tile will be much easier to maintain on a day-to-day basis.
- Concrete isn’t just for construction anymore. Polished concrete flooring can be an exquisite choice for a family room where pets are welcome. However, don’t let the materials fool you, polished concrete can be expensive.
Concrete can be mixed with variations in color for depth and beauty. In addition, many concrete flooring artists embed flecks of metal, crystal or other objects to create visual interest.
The final step of applying a strong polishing compound creates a unique and pet-friendly room for your family.
- You may be pleasantly surprised if you’ve never shopped for commercial vinyl and think it only comes in sterile colors or boring, uninspiring patterns.
Not only is commercial vinyl durable and pet-friendly, but it also comes in styles that mimic wood planks, tile and slate. Although the surface is not as impervious to liquid as tile or concrete, commercial vinyl is a good choice over carpet or soft linoleum flooring.
- The natural beauty of slate can bring the color of the outdoors into your family room and give you a place you can share with the family pet in comfort and confidence.
Slate comes in many different color hues and sizes, and can be sealed and polished to keep constant animal traffic and mishaps from ruining your floors. Periodic re-sealing will keep the flooring pet-safe.
- The bar area in your basement can be designed a number of ways depending on the style you are trying to achieve and how much space you have. If you have a lot of space, you can install a full bar with an L-shaped counter for serving. The cabinetry that you choose must match the rest of the basement whether it is light and breezy or dark and elegant. If you do not have much space to work with, you can install a bar that has a sink on one side and a small 3- or 4-foot serving area as the bar. If you do not want to install an actual bar, you can purchase a bar that can be moved in the event that space is needed.
- The family room can be a place where you have a movie theater for movie night and can also be a place where you spend time with your family and play games. Purchase theater seats and a projection television if you would like to have this space as the place to go for movie night or to just watch television. If you want this space to provide a place to play games, purchase a regular couch and sitting furniture, but position all of the furniture so that you have enough room to play games. If you have the space, you can have both a movie theater and a game area in your basement as the family room portion. You can also have a hockey, ping pong or pool table down in this area for family tournaments.
- When selecting color schemes to go in your basement bar and family room, choose colors that will brighten up the space. Since the basement is already known as a dark and gloomy part of your home and is now the family room and bar area, ensure that the color scheme makes the space inviting. You can either keep it simple with four colors in your color scheme, or you can go with a more complex and colorful option with five or six different colors. If you have black appliances and furniture, incorporate black as one of your colors and use other colors to brighten it up, which can include pink, white and a light tan color. If you want something that is bright and colorful with more colors incorporated, purchase white appliances and furniture and incorporate accessories with colors that include yellow, orange, red, burgundy and bright blue.
- Sketch a room design layout. Use graph paper and a pencil. Draw a rough layout of how you want the addition to look, using shapes like squares and rectangles (you can use more detail if you are used to drawing layouts). Start with the door to the room. Include windows, other doors, closets, and room features you want to include, like a fireplace or a wood stove.
- Choose the size and placement of the room addition. Check with the local zoning laws in your area to see how much you can build off of your home. According to Bank Rate’s Home Improvement guide, when adding a master bedroom to a home, you can add 500 to 600 square feet to the home’s foundation.
- Pick a style. If you are designing a bedroom, look at bedroom styles, such as a loft, cottage or cozy-nook motif. Write a list of features you would like to add to the room, such as interior brick or large skylights.
- Design the room around the amount of sunlight you want in the addition. If you are planning to add a sunroom, or sunporch, orient the room addition toward “true south,” typically a few degrees different than “magnetic” south. This allows the sun to fill the room even in winter, when the sun is at its lowest angle.
- Plan on windows and ventillation. Choose how many windows you want in the room and the type of ventillation. In a bedroom, living room or kitchen, for example, add a solar window, which cuts down heating, cooling, and lighting needs in a house. Situate a solar window 20 degrees off true south, which reduces solar gain (the increase in temperature caused by sunlight filtering into a space) by 4 to 5 percent.
- Develop a color scheme. Choose colors that accentuate the furnishings in the room and promote a sophisticated tone. Taupe, beige, off-whites and cream and light grays are sophisticated colors. Use accent colors in bright greens, blues, red, pinks or orange to enhance the more subdued base colors. An accent wall in a brighter shade heightens the contrast and sets a clean, smart tone
- Decide on a uniform flooring option. Select one type of flooring–such as bamboo hardwood flooring or linoleum–to unify the room. For kitchen enclaves or other smaller spaces, consider using alternative flooring materials for that separate space, such as tiles.
- Create a design with blanace in mind. Make a list of features you want to include in the room. Note that the room should bring comfort, style and indulgence. Most guests want to stay in a room that is, more than anything else, a comfortable place to sleep with enough light and style that makes them feel welcomed and taken care of in this space.
- Plan for furniture. Choose furniture pieces that borrow colors that already exist in the floor or carpeting. Add interesting focal points–like a fireplace or antique armoir–that welcome a person into the room.
- Hang fly paper in an inconspicuous area of the family room, if possible. While the fly paper is often unattractive, it is effective in catching and getting rid of your fly problem.
- Place a few bowls around the family room. Put a few crushed mint leaves in each bowl, or pour about 20 drops of eucalyptus oil into each bowl. All these products work as natural deterrents that keep the flies away from your family room.
- Place basil leaves on plates of food or around plates of food. Basil is another natural deterrent.
- Decide on which variety of cabbage to grow. The variety Orient express is heat tolerant. King Slaw can get up to 20 pounds but Samantha is a small, pretty Savoy (crinkle leafed) variety with a pointed shape. Early Jersey Wakefield is a good all around variety. The average cabbage weighs 3-6 pounds so keep this in mind.
- Consider where to plant the cabbages. These leafy vegetables can do well in both full sun and part shade. They need fertile, slightly alkaline soil. It is also important that they have firm soil that will support the plants as they grow because cabbages can get heavy. The soil shouldn’t be too light or sandy so add compost to strengthen it.
- It is best to sow cabbage seeds indoors in trays first. Sow them thinly to a depth of about ¾”. Plant cabbage seeds in early spring for summer cabbages and in late spring and summer for fall harvest. Seedlings can also be purchased at garden centers.
- Transplant the seedlings when they have at least 4 true leaves (not the 2 that emerge first, which are seed leaves). Water the plants and then gently lift them by their leaves as you dig them up. In their permanent bed, make 6″ deep holes about 12-24 inches apart. Carefully place the seedling roots in the hole and then gently pat the soil around them.
- Water the cabbage regularly. Remove the dead outer leaves and if the stems get too long draw the earth up around them so they will be supported.
- Cabbage leaves can be harvested for greens as soon as the plant begins to grow large, but if heads are wanted leave them until they are solid. They will feel firm when pressed on. Then, cut the whole head off at the base. Fall and winter varieties are frost tolerant and can be stored in a cool dry place.
- Remove the root remains from the soil after the harvest so that disease is not encouraged.
Home and Garden Show Anaheim Convention Center
- Held in Anaheim’s convention center, this three-day event is the largest home and garden show on the West Coast. Taking place in late August the show features over 650 vendors, demonstrations, seminars and workshops. Promoted as the “one-stop shopping event” for home and garden improvements, attendees can purchase products to fit out their new homes and gardens. Keen decorators can view and find out about cutting-edge furnishings and appliances, designers’ ideas, money-saving devices, and the latest fashions. Visitors can pick up gardening tips and be inspired by a showcase of gardens landscaped by experts. For the environmentally conscious, a section is devoted to sustainable and energy efficient products. The convention has ample parking and about 450,000 square feet of space.
The Home Show
- Run by the NEC Group, the Home Show in California is part of a chain of shows that run in several locations. In Southern California, the show is staged at the Pasadena Convention Center, located in the heart of Pasadena, a city nine miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Kicking off in April, the show runs for two days and promises cooking demos from leading local restaurants, do-it-yourself workshops, home and garden exhibitions and more. Billed as Southern Carlifornia’s longest-running home and garden show–over 34 years–it also claims to be the only home show exclusively validated by the league of California homeowners. Special features include an area of designer kitchens for visiters to browse. Visitors can make savings of up to 40 to 50 percent when purchasing windows, furnishings and appliances, take home samples and enter competitions. Two stages have continuous presentations and workshops by home and garden celebrities.
Long Beach Home Show
- The Southern California Home Improvement Show is held at the Long Beach Arena in November and typically attracts about 30 to 40,000 visitors over three days. Admission is free and attendees can enter competitions to win free home improvement items. There are over 250 booths and trade stands that include kitchens, lighting, saunas, roofing, fencing, landscaping and more. Visitors can meet experts, discuss their renovation ideas and view garden exhibits.
- Create an inexpensive book shelf for any room of your home with a few boards and concrete blocks. Get creative when building your bookshelf, painting the wood and blocks and building it to fit. Try leaving the holes facing out for convenient cubbies or candle holders. A concrete block shelf is also a great way to organize the garage.
- Use a concrete block as a non-slip children’s stool. While kids may need a boost to reach a bathroom sink, they are also very curious and like to use their stool for reaching places you may not want them exploring. Apart from aiding them in getting into trouble, small light-weight stools can easily slip under little legs, especially on a wet bathroom floor. Decorate a concrete block with paint or cover it with waterproof fabric for a difficult to move and non-slip children’s stool.
- Paint the outside of a concrete brick and place it in your garden, along walkways or on your patio for a decorative addition to your home and garden. Plant flowers or other decorative plants inside the holes. Not only is this a quick and easy flower pot, it will also drain well, helping to aerate the roots of your plants.
- Build a garden bench with concrete blocks and a board. Paint the concrete blocks any color you like and build two squares using four concrete blocks each for your bench support. Be sure the top two blocks face the opposite direction than the bottom two blocks for added stability. Place a wood board over the concrete block ends to finish the garden bench.
- Liven up your patio or garden with a concrete block flower display. You can use concretes bricks and boards to create a decorative flower display made to fit in any location. Build your display along a fence in your garden, on a terrace or patio or near your front door. Paint your concrete blocks any way you like and place potted plants on the boards or inside of cubbies.
- Choose dark wall colors, such as garnet, sapphire, dark brown and gray. Opt for a ceiling paint in light gray or beige; white paint will draw attention to low ceilings. Paint the ceiling before you paint the walls. Use a brush to paint around the edges of the ceiling and walls and roll out the expanse of the walls with a paint roller.
- Spray chandeliers and wall sconces with two coats of black spray paint. Install the light fixtures, taking care not to damage the paint job.
- Make window treatments by draping long lengths of velvet fabric over curtain rods. Tack lace fabric to the upper inside corners of the window frame for panels. Soak new lace in tea to give it an aged appearance.
- Look for dark furniture with carved details and gothic arches. Cover existing furniture that does not fit the goth style with dark fabric and lace textiles.
- Select accessories that have a hint of the macabre. Look for medical specimens, animal bones, candelabras and tarnished urns in second-hand stores and flea markets. Paint accessories with black spray paint, if desired. Arrange a bouquet of dried roses as a reminder of the transience of life.
- Dining rooms are usually located next to the kitchen. Ensure that the surfaces that you choose for the new family room will be able to withstand any food that you bring out of the kitchen. If your dining room is open to the kitchen, separate the area with ceiling beams, different flooring or built in bookshelves that can act as a half wall.
Give the new family room a distinct theme to separate it from a visible living room. A family room can include a study area or craft space. If the dining room has a built in buffet, put a flat screen TV over it to turn the area into a family room. The former buffet can serve as a new entertainment center to house DVDs and electronics.
- Dining rooms have distinctive light fixtures. Your space may have a low chandelier that hung over the table. In a family room this can interrupt the flow of foot traffic or your guests may inadvertently bang heads against the light fixture. Replace the lighting for a smaller fixture that is closer to the ceiling and matches the fixtures in the other living areas of your home.
- Your dining room may have durable flooring in it to easily mop up spills. Family rooms usually have more cozy carpet. Lay down removable floor tiles to add color, patterns and more comfort to the new family room. Large area rugs will help dampen noise.
- Reuse your dining room furniture in the living room to save money. If you have a drop leaf table, fold it to its smallest size and use it as a desk to do homework on. Dining room chairs can serve as accent chairs or use a spare chair at the desk. Place a buffet under a flat screen TV for a makeshift entertainment center. Buy small scale couches or sectionals if the family room is short on space.
- Your dining room can be a family room and still work for formal functions. Look for a dining table that can also be a game table. Some tables can convert into pool or poker table to quickly change your dining room into a family room and back again.
Divide the Space
- Removing the wall that separates the family room and kitchen creates one large and open space. The problem is that it doesn’t show you a clear definition between where each room ends and the next room starts. To create two distinct rooms without affecting the open floor plan, you need to find a way to divide the space. Installing a small piece of furniture, such as a kitchen island or bar, in between the two rooms creates a division that leaves the space open. You also have the added advantage of gaining more entertaining and dining space. Add a few bar stools or chairs around the island for dining purposes or to provide additional seating during a party
Use Storage Furniture
- When you open the space between the two rooms, you lose valuable storage space. The wall previously there probably contained space for cabinets in the kitchen and bookshelves or other storage in the family room. Using furniture that doubles as storage allows you to organize things in the great room, as well as provides seating. Look for ottomans and benches that have lift-off tops and can hold miscellaneous items. Likewise, install a kitchen island that has cabinets underneath that are large enough to store pots, pans, dishes, cleaning supplies and other necessary kitchen tools.
Mix Things Up
- Turn the family room and kitchen space into a room that combines the two rooms into one mixed-up space. Instead of separating the rooms, mix and match the components for each one. Add cabinets along one wall to hold kitchen supplies as well as your television and other electronics. Place the dining room table in the center of the room. Use one color scheme that flows through both spaces to tie everything together. Display accessories in a similar color palette, including artwork on the walls and ceramics arranged in small groups. Turn the space into one large room that mixes elements from both spaces.
- Paint the walls, particularly the taller walls, in a warm color to accentuate the space while making it feel more welcome. Tan or brown shades are warm and neutral, so they work with almost any decor. Keep the trim and doors white to add contrast.
- Place your furniture in a way that works for the room. For example, create a conversation area by placing two sofas opposite from each other or in an “L” shape so both can see the TV, if there is one in this room.
- Hang curtains or drapes that cover expansive windows, which will help minimize the echoes and add warmth to the room. Most two story family rooms include a wall of windows or high windows and low windows. Use drapes that match the color, formality and style of the room’s decor. For example, brown, red and gold floral patterns could accent a more formal family room with the same tones and patterns found on the furniture. Simple hardware won’t detract from the curtains.
- Include an area rug that shares colors or designs with the drapes and pulls the whole room together. Adding a rug isn’t necessary if the room has wall-to-wall carpeting, although you can include a decorative rug if you desire. The rug will also help absorb sounds to minimize acoustic problems.
- Decorate the walls with mirrors, sconces and artwork. Most two story family rooms have a lot of empty wall space that can be utilized to show off some of your favorite things, or simply display items that make your family room feel more welcoming. If there is empty space above windows, hang a large decorative mirror. Large blank walls can hold a collection or arrangement of pictures or art, or one large piece of artwork.
- Accessorize the room with lamps, candles, family photos, plants, floral arrangements or other items that complement the room’s decor.
Stink Bug Repellents
Install insect-repelling plants around and inside the garden to keep stink bugs away. Those plants include marigold (Tagetes patula), which is an annual, chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflorum), which is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9,. and mint (Mentha spp.), which is perennial USDA zones 3 through 8, depending on the species. Plant mint in containers instead of in the ground to prevent it from becoming invasive.
Stink Bug Eradicant
Bifenthrin products are an effective chemical control against stink bugs. Those products, however, are not approved for organic use and require a waiting period between applying them and harvesting vegetable crops. Apply 1/10th pound, or 2 ounces, of a granular bifenthrin-based product per 100 square feet of soil surface in the vegetable garden, sprinkling it uniformly on the soil, and then water the soil thoroughly. Apply the product once in spring or summer, or when stink bug damage is visible. Do not apply this product before rain is expected.
Bifenthrin is harmful to humans and animals. When handling and applying the product, wear clothing that covers all of your skin, and wear eye protection. After handling and applying the product, wash your skin and clothing well with soap and water. Avoid skin and eye contact with the product. Keep animals away from the treated area and the product container. Do not let water runoff containing the product go into ponds, ditches, gutters, streams or other waterways because it kills aquatic wildlife.
Integrated Pest Management
Plant a trap crop of mustard (Brassica juncea) away from the rest of the garden to lure stink bugs. Once the stink bugs have converged on the mustard crop, apply 1/10th pound, or 2 ounces, of a granular, bifenthrin-based product per 100 square feet of the mustard’s soil surface, placing it uniformly on the soil and then watering the soil well. Follow the same precautions that you would when handling and applying a bifenthrin product to a vegetable garden.
Use certain plants to attract beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps because they prey on stink bugs. For example, plant small-flowered plants such as yarrow (Achillea spp.), which is perennial in USDA zones 3 through 9. Beneficial insects are attracted to the nectar in yarrow’s blooms and stay to feast on pests such as stink bugs.
Texas Home & Garden Market
- Each year, the Texas Home & Garden Market hits the Houston Reliant Center. The trade show features a variety of exhibits, seminars and products for purchase during its two-day run. Topics of interest include gardening, home decorating, storm preparation, kitchens and bathrooms, outdoor living, remodeling, pools and eco-friendly living. Attendees also can talk to experts and other consumers and learn valuable information about home and garden topics at seminars.
Texas Home & Garden Market
1 Reliant Park
Houston, TX 77054
Fall Home and Garden Show
- Each year, the Fall Home and Garden Show attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas–a short drive north of Houston. The trade show serves as a resource for new products and home and garden projects. The show includes guest speakers on all things related to home and garden projects.
Fall Home and Garden Show
1601 Lake Robbins Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Cy-Fair Home and Garden Show
- Cypress, Texas, a Houston suburb, plays host to an annual home and garden show in February at The Berry Center. The show features remodeling tips and home products from more than 200 exhibitors. The trade show also includes interactive presentations and seminars from industry experts, shopping, giveaways and live broadcasts.
Cy-Fair Home and Garden Show
8877 Barker Cypress
Cypress, TX 77433
Go With What You’ve Got
- Paint color is easy to adjust. Replacing the sectional or the rug may not be that simple. Check the furniture and accessories slated for the family room and pull a color from a pattern or find a complement to keep things harmonious. The red-and-navy plaid sofa and navy upholstered ottoman will be fine in a pale blue room — a relaxing color that coordinates with the dominant sofa. The floor is the single biggest swatch of color besides the walls. If your floor is terra-cotta tile, pick a wall color to deepen the rich clay shade or inject an extra note of tropical sunshine. Lilac, light turquoise, mint or yellow straw paint will show off the floor tile and set the tone for the room.
Find the Flow
- Your family room isn’t an island; it’s connected to the rest of the house by hallways, arches between rooms or an open-plan layout. So you have to envision the journey from space to space, blending the family room wall color with adjacent shades. The apricot entry that opens to the cream living room with one russet accent wall, separated by a wide arch from the family room, might inspire you to stick to a warm palette. The family room walls could be butterscotch or pumpkin, a lighter color than the living room’s accent wall. Or you could choose the color complement of orange, blue. A rich steel blue or a paler cornflower blue will shift the mood from formal living room to informal family room without jarring. Use orange accents against the blue to link the spaces.
Accentuate the Positive
- Think of adjectives to describe your ideal family gathering spot: cozy, cheerful, relaxed, fun, peaceful, comfortable. Now imagine colors to go with your descriptions. Does your hard-charging family need a place to chill? A soft green on the walls is refreshing and takes the high voltage down a peg. Muted rose paint isn’t at all girly when accent pieces and upholstery contain grays, navy or medium-range cocoas. One barn-red accent wall picks up the pace in a sand, fawn or buff-colored room — and works with your country antiques and comfy old chintz couch. Soothing gull gray walls tone down the splashy black-and-white checkerboard tile floor and open the door to a surprising yellow sofa or a couple of colorful molded fiberglass rocking chairs.
Ceiling and Trim
- Eliminate the testing and tweaking and just paint the ceiling and trim white. That decor default works for most spaces and with most wall colors — just be sure the trim is wipe-down eggshell or glossy finish. But a compact cave of a family room will seem larger if the ceiling and trim are the same color as the walls. That saves you the trouble of taping and taking extra care where the walls meet a different color. Mono-color is also a way to go modern; this de-emphasizes dated architectural detail such as baseboards, crown molding and window frames. Once the whole room is chamois, vanilla or citrine, set your modern sectional and chrome and leather chairs on carpet squares or a bare plank floor and settle down in front of the flat screen.