Various tips and best interior design best practices for making your house or apartment look its best.

Fun Room-Painting Themes for Cream & Brown Colors

Are you in search of ideas on using cream and brown colors for your interior design? A Chicago interior designer shares some brilliant suggestions to bring dramatic improvements in your room.

Erica Lugbill, interior designer and owner of Lugbill Designs, an upscale home remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago took note of some fun room painting themes that you can try using the colors brown and cream.

These shades are classic favorites particularly in setting an interior design theme. Brown and cream complement each other and can go well with any accent color, making them versatile choices that can be used with other decors.

Brown and Cream Room Painting Ideas

For Erica, there are ways to use these hues in creating a fun theme for any room. She loves creating stripes with these colors. Here’s what the interior designer recommended:

“Do very large horizontal or vertical lines. Think like 2ft wide, 18inches wide. It’s is a very dramatic fun wall.”

Erica Lugbill cited another fun room painting theme that is especially suited for designing a kid’s room. According to the professional, brown and cream can be used to create a polka dots room design. With this, you can incorporate your kid’s favorite color such as pink, purple, blue or green into the room’s theme.  Furthermore, as their favorite colors change, their walls can still accommodate their preferences by simply adding new color accents.

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6 Rustic Kitchen Design Ideas

The charm of rustic interiors has taken the Internet by storm. It has that familiar and warm aura that evokes a comfortable atmosphere. If you want the same cozy feel for your kitchen, you’d be surprised to know that you don’t really have to bear the high cost of kitchen remodelling to achieve the look of this popular interior design trend.

You can get it done without breaking the bank. Below you will find 6 great kitchen design ideas that will bring the rustic vibe right into your kitchen.

1. Weathered Wooden Cabinets and Clapboard

Weathered Wooden Cabinets and Clapboard

Weathered wood and age-old stoneworks make up a quintessential rustic design. The weathered wood, chipped paints, and warm brick and stone are the basic ingredients to make a perfect homey rustic-themed kitchen.

If you don’t have an age old wood, you can DIY a weathered wood, click here to learn.

2. Tuscan Country Design

Spruce up your kitchen with vintage woodworks, warm color paints and soft floral fabric. This particular kitchen design features soft patterned fabric, heirloom wooden cupboard and white-washed walls.

3. Beautiful Stoneworks

Beautiful Stoneworks

Aside from weathered wooden furniture and cabinets, a touch of beautiful stoneworks can also make a good rustic kitchen. You can add an element of stone in your fireplace hearth or in the kitchen wall. For the countertops, you can choose quartz or granite. Matching stoneworks with wood is basically a handy way to achieve a rustic kitchen design.

4. Industrial Rustic

Industrial Rustic

A rustic kitchen design is not only for age-old homes. You can put a touch of rustic design in your modern home by thinking sleek, clean and minimalist. You can achieve a modern or industrial rustic kitchen design by pairing shiny stainless steel and rustic wood elements. Wood floors can also do great with this design, but you can also opt for polished concrete flooring. Then add a touch of accent color in your rather neutral wood colored kitchen.

5. Barn Rustic Kitchen

Barn Rustic Kitchen

You can never go wrong with dark wooden beams in your all-white kitchen. Dark hardwood beams like that in barns create a perfect contrast with your clean white kitchen design. The combination is perfect to achieve a clean, airy feel in your kitchen. Lastly, jazz up your rustic barn design with a pastel colored rag.

6. Rustic Cabin Kitchen

Rustic Cabin Kitchen

If dark hardwood looks too much for you, try a gentler wood stain like pine or white oak for your kitchen. Woods with lighter tones of brown fare well in creating a gentle warm feel in your space. This is a good choice for your ceiling, walls and floors. You can add contrast by using darker tones for your furniture and cabinetry.

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5 Essential Room Divider for Small Spaces

A good room divider for small spaces is one that does not occupy a lot of space or in case it eats up a portion of the floor area, it should at least serve multiple purposes.

Here are 5 room divider options you can consider to adopt for your home.

1. Wallpaper or Color Paints

Wallpaper or Color Paints
Left without space even for a divider? A tonal separation can do the trick. You can make an illusion of separating living areas by using different colors or texture on walls. A good contrast without compromising the unity of design is what you want to achieve here. For instance, a distinct wallpaper can signal the end of the vestibule.

2. Curtains


Image Source: Pinterest


Curtains are a handy device to physically separate areas of your home. You can easily extend curtains to separate space and have plenty of privacy, or slide them out to dismantle the division and connect living areas. Its decorative element also allows you to spruce up your space with posh fabric or subtle patterns. Lastly, installation is a breeze. You don’t need to have carpentry skills to have them

3. Pony wall

Pony Wall
One subtle way to create boundary while not compromising the flow and continuity of space is by installing a pony wall. You can make a DIY faux pony wall by using common household items or create a real one using MDF as your basic wall.

4. Open-backed bookcase

Open-backed bookcase

Image Source: Pinterest

An Open backed bookcase is multipurpose that you can use to separate space, add more storage and decorate your space. A good-sized bookcase, when placed perpendicular to the wall, is a solution to layout your space. The best choice is a tall bookcase, however, you can choose whichever you want so long as it serves the purpose you want/hope to achieve.

5. Floor Contrast

Floor Contrast

Image Source: Pinterest

Much like using contrast in wallpapers or paints, floor contrast is also an effective way to differentiate rooms in your home. Again, contrast is key to perfectly signify boundaries or division. This is best if you want to set limits but still want to preserve the continuity of the space, for instance between the kitchen and dining area.

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15 Space Saving Bathroom Design Ideas

Next to the bedroom, the bathroom is the most comfortable part of the home. It is the place to relax and enjoy quiet time while pampering the body. However, this portion of the house is also one of the most expensive to remodel as it involves a lot of plumbing works and fixtures installation.

It may take you by surprise, but designing the bathroom can tax you extra creativity and time–especially when working with limited space.

In this list, you’ll find 15 space-saving bathroom design Ideas to solve your remodelling dilemmas.

  1. Prioritize Function over Form

One of the guiding principles in space-saving design is prioritizing function over form or decoration. “Less is more” in small spaces. Hence a space-saving design is something that maximizes function and weeds out items that don’t serve a purpose. This, however, does not mean you cannot be stylish as you will never run out of useful and sleek items to use.

  1. Use Small Furniture

You have to let go of that bulky vintage wooden boudoir in your vanity and use small useful pieces instead. Placing large pieces of furniture can dwarf small bathroom. The key to picking bathroom pieces is to scale them to the size of the room. Few small useful furniture pieces are way better than elegant but bulky furniture in a small bathroom.

  1. Choose Vertical Storage

To save space in the bathroom, you want as much of floor space as possible to make the room look more spacious. To do this, you have to maximize the vertical space. So instead of large cabinets and racks, use wall mounted open shelving to utilize the unused space on the wall.

  • Wall mount crates for accessible and sturdy storage
  • Hang up mason jars for small items
  • Recessed storage for toiletries in the wet room
  1. Use Horizontal Design to Widen the Space

Another trick to make your bathroom look spacious is to use horizontal design. Decorate the wall with tiles or paint. You can also use half tiled wall with horizontal designs to also create the illusion of high ceiling.

  1. Design Using Tiles

Trick the eye by running the same tiles from the floors and across the walls. This will create continuity of space which is good for small bathrooms, to make them look wider. Also, tiling only half the wall will make the ceiling look higher.  

  1. Add Mirror and Pendant lights

Using mirrors is a good old trick to create an illusion of space in a tiny room. You might’ve tried this in your living room, why not take it to your bathroom. Not only can it trick the eyes, but it is also way useful for every member of the family. You can use wide mirror panel for one side of your wall or use a framed one with pendant lighting for an added mood.

  1. Use Recesses, Alcoves and Under Sink

There are a number of subtle ways to add extra storage that’s seamless without consuming floor space. One way is to use the wall recessed space for in-wall fixtures such as in-wall cabinet to hide your cleaning supplies and materials. Under sink cabinet also works wonders in saving up space.

  1. Use In-wall Cistern Toilet

Apart from looking sleek and modern, in-wall cistern toilet gives you extra space which you can use for other purposes.

  1. Use the Door Space

The space on and around the door is one thing often overlooked when saving bathroom space. To get the most out of your bathroom, try using the back of the door to hang a towel. You can also put a bookshelf above the the door to store your toiletry supplies, towels or cleaning supplies.

  1. Plan the Door Placement

Planning the placement of your wall is crucial in saving up space because you have to keep enough clearance. Hence it affects the orientation of your wet room & vanity along with the fixtures in the room. To save space, use sliding doors for the shower and doorless or open cabinet for your storage as they require no clearance to open.

  1. Maximize the Corners

If you want to squeeze in the luxuries you want for your bathroom, you might want to consider maximizing the corners which are always left unused. As mentioned, you can consider a corner tub, or a corner shower enclosure. You can also use an empty corner for shelving as storage for toiletries.

  1. Use Glass Instead of Shower Curtain

Instead of opaque shower curtain, use translucent glass to cover the shower. Shower curtain evokes enclosed space while glass makes space seem fluid and extended. Glass also adds a modern touch to your bathroom.

  1. Place the Bathtub Wisely

The bathtub could be the biggest fixture to consume space in your bathroom. That’s why it is important to place the tub wisely. Inset bath is a good choice as you can place it right against a wall. And if you can splurge, you can get a sunken bath that’s installed at the level of the floorboard. Another trick is to place a deep tub at the corner of the bathroom.

  1. Choose a Walk-in Shower Over a Bathtub

Bathtubs are the biggest space consuming fixture you have. If you have a tiny space, you need to consider ditching the comfort and perks of tub for a walk in shower in order to save up space and maximize the usability of your bathroom.

  1. Add Some Sunlight

While it does not add space to a small bathroom, adding natural light makes a small space more comfortable and energizing. It is also conducive for things like applying makeup and cleansing nether areas while having a shower.

Working with limited space when remodelling a bathroom can extract your creativity. However, you should not back away from the challenges of the task especially with the space saving ideas to help you with bathroom design.

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8 Tips for Decorating your Home Office

Working from home comes with a lot of perks. That’s why many people have found this as a better alternative to the usual 9 to 5 job. However, along with the perks is the challenge of setting up your home office.

To help you get started, below are 10 fundamental tips for creating a pleasant and inspiring workspace.

  1. Find the Perfect Location

Are you expecting clients to visit? If yes, you’ll need a private room with ample space and enough seating to accommodate visitors. But if not, a corner nook in your living room will do.

However, it is advisable to separate the family area from your office space. You wouldn’t want your child running around yelling or crying while you work, right? You need to avoid unnecessary distractions to increase your productivity. If you can’t have a separate room for your office, you can settle with dividers.

  1. Create a Space Saving L-Setup

If you have a limited space to set up your home office, try to maximize the corner of the room. An L-shaped setup is a space saver. It maximizes the floor area and the arrangement gives you free access to the things you need at arms reach e.g copier, printer, vertical filer etc.

  1. Seek Natural Light

According to several studies, natural light greatly increases productivity. One of the most common mistakes people make when designing a home office is putting it up against the wall in a dark corner of a room. It’s good to stare at something other than your computer once in awhile. But if natural light from a window isn’t possible, make sure you have enough lighting from lamps to avoid eye strain and headaches.

  1. Add a Touch of Nature

Another way to keep your home office comfortable yet conducive for work is to add some ‘greens’ in it! There’s a wide range of potted plants you can choose to decorate your home office with. It can boosts your mood, make you feel happy, and can certainly reduce your stress levels.

  1. Hide Unsightly Wires and Cords

There are certain tricks to hide the cords and wires in your home office. First is to keep your devices close to the outlet. Second, you can use fabric cord covers to conceal the unsightly cords and wires. In your desk, use a grommet where cables and wires can pass through. You can also use wire organizers, cord winders and plastic wire covers to really keep them away from your sight.

  1. Keep Everything Ergonomic

You are most probably going to spend your whole day sitting in your office chair, so might as well invest in an ergonomic seat. A small reward for your hardworking self. When sitting, remember that your feet must rest firmly on the floor or on a footrest. Your computer screen should be at eye level or a little below to reduce eye fatigue.

  1. Add Patterns

To jazz up your space, try to use patterned fabrics for your draperies, rags, and pillows. Colors and patterns can create a lively feel inside your home office–a good choice especially for sleepy heads who want to stay active during work hours.

  1. Invest in an Efficient Storage

You’d want to maximize your space with cool storage pieces. A key to save floor space is to use vertical file folders and cabinets. Also, when choosing a storage piece, you’d want to make it accessible to you for convenience. Locked and secured storage, on the other hand, will keep your important things safe even when you’re away.

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How to Keep Paint Off of Glass When Painting Windows

In this video by Erica Lugbill, interior designer, and owner of Lugbill Designs, a highend home remodeling, and interior design firm in Chicago, you will learn how to keep paint off of glass when painting windows.

The truth is, there is no simple solution for this. But there are a couple of things that can make this project a little easier.

First off, you need painter’s tape–an old tried and true solution to protect surfaces from unwanted paints. Just tape it along the edge of the window. This process can be time-consuming.

A second option is to paint casually the trim of the window and use a razor blade to scrape off the paint on the glass. Scraping off dried paint with razor may need a little bit of elbow grease, in which case try to use Vaseline. Simply rub vaseline along the edges of the glass before painting. Then you’d be able to remove the paints with a razor blade or putty knife.

Keeping paint of glass is not as easy as you thought. But there are techniques that can help keep it mess-free and avoid unnecessary waste of effort and time.

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Trim Color for Vintage Gray Walls

In this video, Erica Lugbill interior designer and owner of Lugbill Designs, a  Chicago-based home remodeling firm, covers tips that will help you choose the right trim color that goes perfectly well with vintage gray walls.

When choosing a trim color, avoid matching wood stain trim with gray walls. Erica said that the combination of gray and wood looks outdated and dingy. On the contrary, a great option is to paint your trim a fresh, bright, crisp white. This is a classic combination you can’t go wrong with. The contrast it creates perfectly pops the gray tones on the wall.

Another great trim color is a deep charcoal paint. Paired with gray walls, it creates a rich monochromatic look that’s elegant overall. The combination warms up the space and effectively creates drama. To finish up, you can also consider painting your doors deep charcoal.

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How to Remove a Wall Baseboard Without Damage

In this video, Erica Lugbill the owner of  Lugbill Designs, a high-end interior design firm, discusses how to remove a wall baseboard without damage.

“It might seem tricky and complicated. But with the right tools it is very easy,” she said.

First, use a utility knife to slice right on the top of the baseboard and in between the wall. This ensures that you remove any paint or caulking present so that when you break away the baseboard it won’t pull off the wallpaper.

Then using a putty knife, loosen the grip by placing it between the baseboard and the wall. Tap it down with a hammer.

Finally, pull off the baseboard with scrap wood and pry bar. Use a scrap wood at least 6″ to protect your wall when you use the pry bar in pulling off the baseboard. Put the wood against the wall then use the pry bar to pull the baseboard.

Removing a wall baseboard is tricky and can leave damages. However, with the help of an interior design professional, the right techniques will work for the most efficient removal.

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How to Decorate a Kitchen Using Earth Tones

Here’s a how-to video by Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, that discusses ways to decorate a kitchen using earth tones.

Nothing beats the combination of rich warm woods with earth tone colors. You can’t go wrong with this combination because it is warm and inviting.

When decorating your kitchen, the key is to aim for a perfect contrast. Start with your cabinetry samples and match them with the earth tone paint color that you like.

Another way to decorate your kitchen with earth tone is with the backsplash tile and earth stone counter top. If you have a window in your kitchen, you can also match the earth tone theme with the wooden shade.

Using earth tones for a kitchen’s interior design can bring impressive results, especially with the help of a professional. Check out this video for further instructions in decorating a kitchen using earth tones:

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11 Tips to Find the Right Remodeling Contractor

One of the most important things to a successful home renovation is the remodeling contractors you select. The important question that you must answer is, how to make the right choice?

Hiring a remodeling contractor is nearly always a better option that going it alone.  Inconveniences, low quality of work, and legal problems are just some of the factors that make this a bad solution.

If you are planning an expansion or renovation, this article presents some useful tips that will guide you in hiring the right remodeling contractor for your project.

How to Find the Best Remodeling Contractor

#1. Set your goals

First things first. In remodeling projects, you have to know what you want to achieve. Have a clear vision of the look that you’re aiming for, the amenities you want added, and other important modifications that you want done. This makes it easier for you to communicate your plans that the contractor will execute.

#2. Ask for referrals

A friend or relative who has successfully completed a remodelling project can provide good referrals. Ask for tips on how they found their contractor, or better yet ask them to refer you to a reliable professional who can complete your remodelling task according to your preferred budget and time.

#3. Do background checks

In hiring a remodeling contractor, establish the credentials of the person that you are eyeing to hire. Check for licenses and insurance coverage. Secure their license and policy numbers and see to it that they are current. Be sure to check reviews on sites like Houzz and Yelp as well.

#4. Choose a specialist

Always go for an experienced specialist to handle your project.  You don’t want your project to be where they learn the tricks of the trade.  Even if it costs a bit more, it is worth it.  Trust us.

#5. Look for a licensed local contractor

One of the easiest ways to get the right contractor is to find remodelling or interior design professionals in your area who are reputable and have been in business for a long time.  One of the biggest values adds in hiring a designer, is that you can utilize their network of trusted contractors.

#6. Set an interview

Set a time to interview a remodeling contractor. The initial interaction between you can give tell-tale signs based on how they communicate throughout the project. Some of the signs to watch out for include impatience, rushing, and rude remarks. These are characteristics of people who are difficult to work with and once they surface, it’s time to move on to the next candidate.

#7. Set a meeting

Before getting any work started, definitely meet your contractors in person. This will allow you to evaluate the candidate and personally judge if someone looks personable and reliable enough to give you the peace of mind you need while the project is in progress. These meetups are crucial in establishing a good working relationship.

#8. Look at their previous work

One of the best ways to see the quality of someone’s work is to ask for before and after pictures of their previous projects. Take it a step further and call their past customers to see what they have to say.   Some of the points that you need to establish include:

  • Quality of work
  • Efficiency / Adherence to Deadlines
  • Personal Demeanor  
  • Integrity
  • Quality of Crew

#9. Keep track of bids and other details

Keeping a spreadsheet that has all of the pertinent information is a definite must.  Remodeling projects are very tricky, and there are a lot of moving parts.  Keep a multi-tabbed spreadsheet that outlines the various aspects of each contractors’ bids, along with the other components of the remodel

#10. Get everything in writing

To make sure that your expectations are met, make it a habit to put all of the project details in writing.  Even if you feel good about the contractor up front, knowing that everything is written down and agreed upon will give you peace of mind.

Some of the things that you’ll want to get in writing include:

  • Project start date
  • Date of project completion
  • Information about building permits and fees
  • Description of products and services that will be provided
  • Terms of payment
  • Subcontractor details
  • Consequences of default for both parties

#11. Set your expectations

There are important guidelines that a remodeling contractor must know, especially when it comes to matters that involve working in your home, and the building that you live in.  One thing is for sure – effective communication is key.  Make sure rules and expectations are clearly identified before the first task is checked off.  Examples of the points that must be discussed are areas of restrictions, time when work is most appropriate to start and end, or days when work may not be permitted.

Home remodelling is not an easy task and certainly, the smartest way to handle it is by choosing the right contractors to do the job. With the above mentioned tips, you can be assured of having a good working relationship with a remodeling contractor who can execute your plans.

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