Spring is a time for new beginnings – the earth rejuvenates itself with new growth, the birds and bees are out again in the warm weather, and the animals come out of hibernation and look alive again. It’s also one of the best times for exterior home improvement – the weather is fantastic and facilitates work outdoors, and it’s easier to implement many beautiful accessories around your home. So if you’re looking for tips to improve your home’s exterior and boost its curb appeal this spring, read on:
- Plant a small garden: There’s nothing like a riot of color to add appeal to your home. A garden is attractive both from inside and outside the home. Ensure that you plan the size of your garden after considering the space, time and money you have available. Large gardens are easy to plan but hard to look after in the long run. So start out small and increase the size as you gain in experience and growth. You could also consider a kitchen garden and grow your own vegetables on a small scale – you have your own fresh, organic vegetables, and you invest time in a useful hobby.
- Set up a bird bath: If you have the space, set up a bird bath and a bird feeder – your front lawn becomes a haven for birds of different species. This not only adds to the external beauty of your home but also sets up a new hobby for your children – they can try to identify the different species of birds that comes calling and improve their knowledge.
- Clean the outside of your home: Take up a few spring cleaning chores on the outside of your home too – wash your windows till they sparkle, mow your lawn, remove clutter from your driveway and garage, paint your fences and your window and door frames, and anything else that will spruce up your exterior without having to spend a ton of money.
- Paint your home: There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to give your home an entirely new look – and while you’re at it, go in for organic paints that don’t contain volatile organic compounds that are toxic when inhaled and also pollute the atmosphere.
- Replace or add furnishings and decorative pieces: Put in a new mailbox if your old one is falling to pieces; invest in a door knocker for aesthetic appeal; polish your door knobs and window handles or replace them with new ones if they’re rusted and worn out. Place a couple of flower pots near the entrance to your home, flanking your new doormat. You could also invest in some wind chimes to hang in your porch – they are supposed to add positive energy to your home and they also make the most delightful tinkling sound in the breeze.
So get started at the earliest, before the heat of summer sets in and you find it too hot to work outdoors – there’s no time like springtime for exterior home improvements.
We all know that the best way to raise the value of a home is to maintain it well and to improve on it from time to time. The best improvements are those that add the most value to your home at the least cost, so your home improvement measures must be undertaken with much thought and care instead of serving as ways to go one up on your neighbours. The exterior is especially important when improving your home, especially when:
- You want to sell it: When we talk of a home’s value, curb appeal becomes most important especially when you’re trying to sell your home at the best possible price. The first thing that people notice when they look at a home is its exterior, and no matter how comfortable and convenient the interior is, if they are not impressed with the house in the first look, they’re reluctant to even step inside the home to look over it. You must remember however not to include features that are expensive to maintain and which raise the price of your home making it an expensive and impractical proposition for potential buyers.
- You need to conform to council requirements and building codes: If your exterior does not abide by local building codes and meet the requirements of your council, you could be spending hard-earned money on fines. Besides this, you would have to incur additional costs in renovating your exterior to meet these norms. The best way to avoid these hassles is to adhere to building codes when you build the house or when you buy it. Spending on your exterior becomes a must in such a case.
- You want to maximize the utility value of your home: You can improve your outdoor area with a view to optimizing your living space to take advantage of the changes in weather over the year. A patio allows you to relax during summer, a garden gives you fresh vegetables and your own home-grown flowers besides adding to your curb value, and shade sails over the windows prevent your home from becoming too hot and bright during the peak summer months.
- You want to protect your home from the elements of nature: If you live in places where water is scarce, you would do well to invest in a good roofing system that allows rainwater collection and boosts water efficiency (when a tank is installed on the roof). Also, techniques like cladding and rendering allow you boost the aesthetic look of your home, act as insulation, and also protect it from harsh elements of nature.
In the olden days, sculptures were often limited to statues of political or religious interest. In modern times, it has become a three dimensional expression of art that can include anything from metal and stone to polymer clay or even scraps. If looking to learn more about sculpting or create your own works of art, the internet can be a confusing place.
However, this is no longer so with the following top 40 sculpting blogs. Authored by everyone from professional sculptors to art critics, they are full of tips, reviews, and even a few entries on how to make your own sculptures. There are even sections on random sculpting such as science fiction based or silversmithing.
Top Sculpting Blogs by a Sculptor
These professional and amateur sculptors share loads on their art via blog.
- Adam Matano In addition to featuring his own work on the blog, Adam is often known to give commentary on the world of sculpting. Categories include random items such as nature and sculpting at the zoo. He recently moved to Los Angeles and tells why in his blog.
- Emily’s Sculpture Journal She is a professional sculptor working in Milton, Vermont. With a degree from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Emily works as studio assistant to Canadian sculptor and mentor, Mark Prent. Check out her portfolio or read the blog to get her latest thoughts.
- Manuel Pereira da Silva Visit here for the life and artwork of the sculptor Manuel Pereira da Silva. Labels are on everything from abstract art to woman. A recent entry was on an modern art collection.
- Bonnie Jones She makes sculptures of all kinds including faeries, mermaids, and the holiday related. Her blog also features posts on daily life and musings. You can even check out her recommendations for art supplies.
- Ambitions Design Dani is a contemporary folk artist who sculpts and paints in mixed media. Holiday art, especially Halloween, is the specialty here. Visit to get everything from Voodoo work and even a wedding sculpture for the macabre.
- Eves of Light Kylo Chua is a modern sculptor who creates contemporary beauty through the fluid, smoothed curvatures of the human form. He has a craving for the elusive impact that abstract art can sometimes convey through its enderings of the human conditions. Visit to see his works or get thoughts on other related items.
- Lori Kiplinger Pandy She is an internationally published illustrator with many major clients. She has now focused more on landscape paintings, and of course, sculptures. A recent post was on an oil clay figure sculpture work in progress.
- Sculpture.net Finally, if the above aren’t enough for you, there is the massive blogging community devoted to sculpture. Choose from community announcements, roundtable discussions, and much more. You can also share your own sculpturing through images.
Top Specialty Sculpting Blogs
Learn about an entirely new area of sculpture in the below blogs.
- Lilac Grove This is the spot to learn all about paper sculpting. She is a papier-mâché artist specializing in original, one-of-a-kind fantasy sculpture and wearable art including masks, props, and mythical beasts – especially dragons. See her latest creation with a blog visit.
- Chandra’s Box of Stars She offers a cabinet of curiosities including art dolls and creative writing. She is also a staff writer for “Faerie Magazine” and often dedicates her sculptures to them. You can also check out more on her other sites.
- JM Leotti Similar to the above, he specializes in fairy and fantasy sculptures. His blog offers views of his own work as well as commentary on the art world. A recent entry was on a creation named Frostlyn.
- Nothing Like It Robin is from Florida where she believes “most things are funnier when you flatten them.” With a propensity for toy and doll sculpturing, many of her creations follow in that whimsical way of thinking. She recently did holiday sculptures and shares more.
- Fetish Ghost See how ceramics and silversmithing combine on one blog here. Zygote is a foundry artisan, jeweler, and a ceramicist. Visit the blog to see more of his work and even get recommendations for your own.
- A Study of Nature Paul Shampine shows how sculpture and nature combine on his blog. Pages include his personal statement, cause partner, and even a specialty topic entitled Embryonic Armour. One of the latest posts was on an artist’s vision.
- Polymer Clay Sculpting Tips and Tutorials Stop here for sculpting help from Squidoo. Sheryl is a sculptor and jewelry designer with loads to share. Help getting started, what is polymer clay, and other guides follow.
Top Art Sculpting Blogs
These blogs discuss both art and sculpture in one place.
- Arts Beat This is the official art blog of “The New York Times.” Several bloggers devote their writings to culture news, reviews, and art work in general. Visit to get just the sculpting or all the art news.
- Art Beat Not to be confused with the above, this is the art blog for PBS. Choose from topics such as visual, film, literature, and more. They even have a special section just for teachers..
- Muse Stop here for an arts blog from business leader Bloomberg. They focus on arts, culture, and the business surrounding it. They offer featured columnists and podcasts in addition to the blog.
- Aesthetica Founded in 2002, this is one of Britain’s leading art publications. The blog focuses on contemporary art and contextualizing it within the larger cultural framework. Sculptures are often a topic of posts.
- Agora Art Blog Get contemporary fine arts news and advice from this New York gallery. They include helpful information and advice for artists, discussion about trends in the art world, and a forum for artists to help one another by sharing their experiences and thoughts. One of the most recent posts was on a photo sculpture.
- On the Block Want to know which sculptures are worth the most? Then stop by this blog from “The Wall Street Journal” to see which art is selling and for how much. Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and other major auction houses often make headlines.
- Art Slant Stop here for one of the leading contemporary art networks on the web. Choose the sculpture tag to get the latest happenings in the area. You can also see loads of other art news.
- National Gallery of Art The videos and podcasts from the NGA are definitely worth a look. Impressive sculptures, as well as other works of art, are often featured. Visit the main site with more.
- The Cool Hunter These bloggers roam “the USA and the globe so you’re in the know.” Works of art in all its forms are often blogged on, as long as they’re cool. With everything from LEGO cufflinks to a Puma spinstar available for the viewing, they keep their promise.
Top Sculpting Blogs by a Group
Read and learn more about sculpting in these blogs.
- Boston Sculptors Stop here for a landmark cooperative gallery featuring innovative contemporary sculpture from Northeast artists. They often feature an individual artist along with their works as a blog entry. Guest posts and thoughts on sculpture are also shared.
- Grounds for Sculpture This blog and site stand out for having such intriguing sculptures such as the Rat’s Restaurant. You can also get random items such as ice sculptures. The new season, new pieces, and much more are also discussed.
- Sculpture Space Sculpture Space is unique in North America for its support of sculptors, both those who come to Utica, New York, as residency participants and those who continue after their residencies as working artists. The organization selects 20 artists each year for two-month residencies. Plans for the next Mardi Gras are also in the works.
- Socrates Sculpture Park Click here for the site of another sculpture group in New York. They are specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale work in a unique environment that encourages strong interaction between artists, artworks, and the public. What’s new and old are often featured.
- The Sculpture Center This is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging Ohio sculptors and the preservation of outdoor sculpture. In addition to news, you can also sign up for a newsletter, get their calendar, or join in a forum.
- Royal British Society of Sculptors The RBS aims to inspire, inform, and engage people with sculpture. It offers opportunities to see and experience the extraordinary diversity of contemporary work and to learn from those who make it. Visit to see the newest offering in sculpture.
- Cass Sculpture Established in 1992, they commission outstanding sculptures. Most of them are often outdoors and are a must see. You can choose from latest news, current works, and even photographic prints.
- Sculptor’s Blog Visit here to get the official blog for Madame Tussauds Museum in London. Famous wax sculptors often look like the real thing. Tips for making your own are often discussed.
- International Sculpture Center Click here to get the blog from the same publisher as “Sculpture Magazine.” Topics include news and events, the sculpture community, portfolio, and much more. There are also other resources on the site.
- Novica Get a blog that is part of National Geographic here. More of a photo blog, you can view works in bronze, brass, iron, and many other types of sculpture. Other art from around the world is also featured.
- Modern Sculpture What do the great thinkers of our time have to say about sculpture? Stop here to find out. Quotes, works, and more in the medium are shared, as well as many other forms of art.
Top Sculpting Learning Blogs
Use these blogs to learn or improve your own sculptures.
- Learn Simple Sculpture Do exactly what the title promises in this blog. Lessons are often featured as video, which is even more helpful. Landmark and epoxy sculpture was the topic of the most recent lessons.
- Ice Carving Secrets Why should clay, metal, or stone be solely used in sculpture? In this site, many users visit to show you how to make your very own sculpture using ice. Visit to see the newest, or even add your own tips.
- Metal Sculpture This blog is brought to you by Santa Fe metal artist Destiny Allison. She often gives updates on her own work and thoughts. She even recently blogged about sponsor relations.
- Sculpture Area Get a sculpting blog from an actual class here. It is authored by the USM Sculpture Area and features loads on what the students are learning. The latest semester was recently discussed.
- Contemporary Sculpture Ideas and Tips More of a site than a blog, they actually feature a whole section on learning how to sculpt. Choose from lessons such as history, techniques, and tips for making sculptures. There is even a special section on where to sell your completed works.
And the above top 40 sculpting blogs are just the beginning. The art form is now being practiced more and more across the world. To find works of sculpture in your area, visit a site like Sculptor.org. They list sculptures across the globe and even have features in many different languages.
Buying a home is a dream come true for most people – they scrimp and save all they can until they have enough for a down payment, and then they set aside almost 30 percent of their monthly income to pay the mortgage, tax and insurance on the home they’ve bought. So when it comes to decorating and furnishing, they find that they’re reduced to working on a shoestring budget. But for those who are accompanied by creativity and innovative thinking, money is not a constraint to making their home both look and feel good. If you’re looking for simple and cost-effective ideas to do up your home, read on:
- DIY: It’s easy to say Do it Yourself, but what do you do if you don’t have a creative bone in your body? You could turn to self-help books or look up great ideas on the Internet. You could also ask for help from friends and family members who have great ideas on how to decorate your home. And even if they’re not in a position to help, you can always steal ideas from them by looking around their homes and picking up décor designs that you like
- Mirrors and photographs: They’re not expensive and they make great pieces for interior décor especially when your home is cozy and small. Mirrors give you the illusion that your home is bigger than normal; and according to Eastern philosophy, it radiates good energy throughout your home and also wards off the evil eye. Personal photographs of your family, children or nature are also inexpensive ways to do up your interior as long as you know where to draw the line and how to make them classy and appealing.
- Explore pre-used options: Don’t dismiss thrift stores without taking a tour – you’d be surprised at what you could find. Most people dispose of furniture without knowing that it could be made of good quality wood. So if you do find bargain pieces, you could spend some time sanding and polishing them and getting them upholstered to make them as good as new. Match your choice of color and fabric to your walls, curtains and rugs, and throw in a few comfortable cushions and your furniture needs are taken care of on a budget.
- Natural beauty works: If you have a green thumb, you could grow miniature gardens on your windows. Or if you prefer a regular garden, use your flowers and aesthetic vases to give your home a new décor every few days.
- Use light to your advantage: Well-lit homes look better than those that are dark and gloomy. Even if you don’t have the advantage of natural sunlight, you could use CFL bulbs strategically to light up your home and make it aesthetically appealing.
Some people believe that the worst has passed while others are of the opinion that the recession is still around and that it will take years for the economy to recover and grow. But even with all the shortage of money and the loss of jobs, if you’re looking to renovate your home, now is the best time to do so, simply because:
- Materials are cheaper: Since all businesses are sailing in the same boat we call recession, you can take advantage of closing sales and other discounted offers when shopping around for building materials. Besides, you’re also going to gain the benefit of low prices because businesses get competitive and want to boost their sales and raise their profits in these lean times.
- Labor is more competitive: If you’re going to hire a contractor and other people to work on your home, you can do so at lower rates than normally possible. With jobs becoming a premium commodity, people are happy to work for decent rates and do not expect exorbitant sums like they do when the going is good and the construction industry is booming.
- You gain more bang for your buck: You’re more careful with your money and spend it carefully because you have less to throw about. So you don’t waste it on trivialities and unnecessary additions or improvements. Instead, you concentrate on getting the most bang for your buck through improvements that are essential and necessary.
- You tend to go green: One aspect of renovating during a recession and when you’re on a budget is that you tend to look at the long term benefits. So when you adopt sustainable and green home improvement measures, you gain energy savings and financial benefits as well.
Home improvement during a recession works out to your advantage only if you don’t have to borrow at exorbitant rates to finance your renovation. Using money that you already have is the best option, but if you don’t want to spend your nest egg, take out a loan only if you’re confident of repaying it without struggling to do so. Also, if you’re renovating with an eye to selling your home, remember that the real estate market is struggling and that you may not get your asking price. So go easy on the improvements and undertake only those renovations those that are absolutely essential to make the house more convenient and comfortable to live in.
Boutique Hotels are the latest hot trend in hospitality. Many travelers, both seasoned and first-timers, prefer the unique, homey feel to the large chain hotel feel. From two-star to five star, these boutique hotels have provided their guests with the ultimate experience, and they have the blogs to prove it! Check out these 30 blogs that stood out among the rest of the boutique hotel blogs out there. Broken down into three categories, they are hotel blogs, review blogs, and travel blogs. If you are looking to experience the best hospitality in the virtual world, check out these blogs and book your rooms today!
These Blogs are maintained by the boutique hotel itself. From Italy, to Vegas, this list provides the best!
- Vdara – Overshadowed by all of the institutions along the infamous “strip” in Las Vegas, this boutique hotel has made a name for itself. Brand new with all of the best amenities possible, you will never stay at a Las Vegas chain hotel again! Play on!
- Rumor – Rumor Vegas is a smaller Vegas hotel, for those looking for fun, but not the masses. While this boutique hotel offers all of the top not amenities and services that the rest of the strip hotels do, you can relax and enjoy yourself without the hassle of large groups. Amazing!
- The Ring Hotel – The Ring Hotel is one of Vienna’s most beautiful hotels, and it is very well known around town. A self-proclaimed casual luxury hotel, the services offered at this boutique hotel can’t be beat.
- Halcyon – The Halcyon is a captivating boutique hotel in Bath, Avon. Luxurious and homey, this hotel has restaurant and bar services to suit anyone. A well-manicured blog makes proves that this hotel provides the best!
- The Charming House – The Charming House is a contemporary design hotel in Venice, Italy. While the décor is modern, the feel is sure to be homey. The blog allows guests to leave their comments and compliments.
- Hotel Champs Elysess – This charming boutique hotel in Paris will capture your heart. The hotel blog does a great job of enticing new visitors and keeping the current guest in the loop! A great bonus: Features of all of Paris’ must-see attractions and must-do activities!
- OPUS Hotels – This blog delves into the different types of hotels out there, and the turning trends. These days “luxurious” or “Five star” isn’t necessarily the best. This post discusses the emerging trends of boutique hotels and why they could be the newest thing. Check out this blog, as OPUS Hotels seem to know where it’s at!
- Kursonia - The Kursonia boutique hotel is in Florence and will literally leave you speechless (just after reading this blog!). The goal of this site is to “experience Florence from the inside. and for this they provide many options for your Florence travels.
- Sundial Hotel – The Sundial Hotel in Whistler has a beautiful blog, but an even more beautiful setting. Tucked away in the mountains, this hotel has everything you could ask for, while still remaining a true boutique hotel.
- Laya Hotel – The Laya Hotel, of the Grupo Mariana, is a breathtaking boutique hotel in Nicaragua. A well-kept blog that will keeps you up to date, Laya Hotel should be your next destination!
- La Tortuga – La Tortuga Hotel and Spa is one of Playa del Carmen’s best kept secrets. While many Mexican boutique hotels are overshadowed by giant resorts, this particular hotel has a homey feel and stands out among the rest.
- St. Regis – The St. Regis Vancouver may be part of a chain, but definitely has a boutique feel. From the staff treatment to the unique décor, this hotel stands out as one in a million. Known for having award-winning service, seems like it’s worth staying here if you’re in the market for a boutique stay in Vancouver!
- Chelsea Hotel Blog - The Hotel Chelsea Blog is an institution in New York City, and thrives on being “the last outpost of bohemia.” Chelsea is a hotspot for all NYC tourists, so this boutique hotel’s location and famous reputation always keeps the visitors coming back for more. Bonus, this blog is filled with the latest events and entertainment ideas when visiting the big apple!
- Queenstown Park Hotel – Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is just another on of New Zealand’s many wonders. This eco-friendly hotel is up to date on all posts, and keeps every guest (and future guest) clued in to the hotel’s latest adventures. If you are looking for a beautiful boutique hotel in Queensland, look no further!
- Hotel Pulitzer – The Hotel Pulitzer is located in the center of Paris, in the Opera district. A step up from your average hotel, this boutique has amenities fit for a queen. A bonus: this hotel blog likes to keep guest in the loop of what is going on in Paris!
These Blogs have reviewed one or multiple boutique hotels. Trust these reviews, as they have been written by former guests.
- Paris Hotel Boutique – Paris is a beautiful city with a bountiful amount of tourists, all four seasons of the year. For this, lodging is important to any traveler, and Paris has an incredible amount if lovely boutique hotels. This blog features many of the Parisian boutique hotels, reviewing them with all the important details.
- Small Luxurious Hotels of the World – This beautiful blog is a compilation of all of the best boutique hotels in the world. From outstanding reviews to breathtaking photos, this site does a phenomenal job reporting where to go. Book you reservation now!
- Istanbul Boutique Hotels – This review of the best 4 boutique hotels in Istanbul will have you booking your ticket ASAP! If you are a boutique hotel regular, then feel confident trusting these reviews.
- Derwent House - This site boasts a review of Cape Town’s Derwent House Boutique Hotel. While most sites stop at the photos, “Tips for travelers” goes as far as providing videos of the accommodations around the hotel. Good stuff!
- Ananda - The Hotel Ananda is a wonderful hotel in Cartagena, Columbia. Quoted straight from the source (who knows all things boutiquey), “Besides an obsessive attention to the design details and museum-quality artifacts throughout, Anandá is a better value than many of its competitors in town, with larger rooms and suites that don’t require much of a premium.” Sign us up!
- Romantic Boutique Hotels - Love is in the air! Get away to one of these fabulously reviewed fabulous romantic hotels. The HotelClub travel blog knows hotels, so their reviews are definitely worth something. Lovers enjoy!
- Jumeriah - The Jumeriah Garden Hotel is now ranked as one of Dubai’s best boutique hotels. In a city so hot as Dubai, this is quite an honor. With lush gardens and a beautiful pool and Jacuzzi, you’ll never run out of glamorous things to look at!
- Hotels – Boutique Hotels Paris makes booking the best easy. With a reservation section ready at your fingertips, you’ll be booking Paris’ most unique and captivating hotels in moments. Au revoir!
- San Diego Boutique Hotels – San Diego has quickly become one of America’s favorite cities (and hot spots for tourists). Discover SD has a great review section of which boutique hotels to visit.
These seasoned travelers have done it all and seen it all. They have given great tips and recommendations for boutique hotels while traveling.
- Mr. and Mrs. Smith – Mr. and Mrs. Smith are extremely well-traveled and have been just about everywhere. Instead of just telling their tales, they encourage readers to go out and do the same (travel the world!). If you want a real, insider’s view to the best boutique hotels, follow this blog! Also, pictures are to die for.
- Directory of Hotels - The Directory of Hotels is a great resource for boutique hotel lovers. If you are looking for a certain boutique hotel in particular city, this site has got you covered. Real reviews from the experts, this site is worth trusting.
- Poop - Escapio has a wonderful feature on romantic boutique hotels. This blog is a great hotel site for any hotel and travel inquiries, but this particular post does a sufficient job of honing in on the best boutiques hotels.
- Macquarie - This review of the Macquari boutique hotel from Travelpod, gives an accurate description of why this boutique hotel stands out. If you are headed to Syndey, check out this blog for all the inside scoop on where you’re staying!
- Epoque Hotels - Boutique hotels are the latest trend in hospitality, and the .Epoque Hotels blog has a great section on marketing boutique hotels. With backgrounds in hotels and sales, these two men started this company to make the most of boutique hotels, selling their charm and charisma!
- Ariyasom – AriyasomVilla is a boutique hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. This hotel stands out, as they have boutique villas ,which is a new concept in the boutique hotel world. Breathtaking views and outstanding service, author David Lees does a great job of selling this hotel!
Come spring and summer, our mailbox is inundated with wedding invites. Brides go to a lot of trouble to plan their perfect special day and it all starts with the dress. Finding the dress is a huge part of the wedding and in many cases, sets the vibe or theme for the entire shindig. These blogs will show you how to find the perfect dress for your figure, your budget and your special day. There’s also blogs that will help brides find the perfect bridesmaid gowns and accessories to make their wedding dress the focal point of the event.
Wedding Dress Blogs
If you’re working with limited funds or on the hunt for the wedding dress of your dreams, these blogs will help you find that perfect wedding gown.
- Style Me Pretty Whether you’re a DIY bride or the gal who needs everything brand new, this blog shows you different styles of wedding dresses and how to add those finishing touches.
- Once Wed This fabulous blog is packed with tips on choosing a wedding dress that suits your unique style, allowing you to make a fashion statement on your wedding day.
- Wedding Bells Blog This blog has wedding dress eye candy galore and will give you fresh ideas for trends going on in the world of wedding gowns.
- The Dressmarket At this site you can peruse and buy gently-used wedding gowns, which is the ideal route for the bride on a budget.
- Love My Dress This British wedding blog shows off the dresses of real brides and features new designer dresses each wedding season.
- Wedding Gown Town Gowns are no longer strapless and A-line. There are endless options and this wedding gown blog has images of every style you can think of.
- New Wedding Dress This site features mostly designer wedding gowns, which can give even a budget conscious bride an idea of the style of dress she’s after.
- Say Yes to the Dress Blog This television show is all about finding the perfect dress for your special day and the blog is just as helpful.
- Pre-owned Wedding Dresses This interesting wedding dress blog talks about not getting attached to your own and buying one pre-owned or selling yours after your big day.
- Belle Wedding Blog This blog talks about the various styles of wedding gowns and which will be best for your event, depending on your personal style and the season you’re getting married.
- Bride Power This site has plenty of wedding chatter, but is especially useful for information on selecting a dress and choosing the right undergarments.
- Wedding Bee – Wedding Dress This wedding blog is packed with wedding dress help for the bride who isn’t sure what style works for best.
- Short Wedding Dress This fabulous blog is all about short wedding dresses! There’s no rules on what you should wear on your wedding day, so explore tea length and mini options at this blog.
- Perfect Wedding Dress Finder This blog serves as a sort of feed for wedding dress news from around the web. It’s the one-stop shop for new brides who are taking their time when selecting a wedding gown.
- Bride Chic This site is all about the different styles of gowns and weddings that take place. There’s no need to go traditional when there are so many fantastic stylish options available.
Wedding Dress Blogs to Help You Find the Perfect Gown
Finding any dress is all about the fit, but when it comes to wedding gowns, it’s arguably the most important component. These blogs will show you how to feel out a gown so it’s a stellar look on your special night.
- The Knot – Find the Right Fit for You It’s all about how the gown fits that makes it a yay or nay in our book and this article shows you how to find the right silhouette.
- It’s a Bride’s Life This blog talks about the perfect shape for your body type and what to wear underneath the gown.
- Destination Weddings If you’re wondering how to choose a gown for your destination wedding, this blog walks you through what you need to keep in mind when selecting your dress.
- Do Dress Me This site has reviews of wedding dresses from real women. Whether it’s a designer gown or one bought off the rack, this site has it all.
- Bubbly Bride – Wearing Your Mother’s Wedding Dress If you’re considering wearing your mother’s wedding gown, you should think about a few things before taking the plunge. This blog article shows you how to make the decision.
- The American Wedding At this wedding blog it’s all about taking the right measures before buying your wedding gown. It’s a big task, but you still want to take your time when choosing a dress.
- One Wed – The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Gently Used Wedding Dress If you want a pricey designer gown, but want to go the pre-worn route, this guide shows you how to make a wise purchase without breaking the bank.
- Recycled Bride This site is for the eco-friendly bride who is interested in finding an organic or pre-worn dress to lessen the carbon footprint of her big day.
- Celebrity Evening Dresses – Selecting a Fitting Wedding Dress This site focuses on celebrity gowns, but has an extensive section on finding a wedding dress with a flawless fit.
- Get Married At this wedding blog you’ll find unusual and less conventional wedding dress options to give you a unique look for your special event.
- Bridezilla This wedding blog shows you plenty of wedding style inspiration with design boards over various characters.
- Bridal Wedding Dress This wedding blog has tips on finding the right gown for your body shape and where trends are headed for weddings in 2011.
- Wedding by Color This fantastic wedding site has color inspiration for your event and your wedding gown. Colored wedding dresses are a big trend at the moment.
- Top Wedding Sites Get ideas for the type of wedding gown you’re after and check out the details of the dresses that will make you feel like a princess.
Wedding Accessory Blogs
Now it’s time to make that perfect wedding dress pop. These blogs show you the accessories that will take your dress for great to amazing.
- The Demoiselle This blog is all about those fabulous finishing touches that will coordinate with your wedding dress.
- Adorn Brides This site has plenty of wedding accessory ideas to elevate your wedding style to the next level.
- Intimate Weddings It’s all about the shoes, handbag and jewelry at this wedding blog that has an extensive section on wedding accessories.
- Green Wedding Blog This wedding blog is all about the eco-conscious extras that will finish off your wedding dress in style.
- Fashion Bride This blog posts all of the look book pages of designer wedding gowns, so you can gather ideas on how you want to style your wedding dress.
- Bridal Reflections This site is all about your personal style for the big day and has sections over shoes and bags, plus trunk show listings throughout the U.S.
- Junebug Weddings This blog has tips for choosing your wedding accessories, no matter what your style is – quirky or elegant.
- Weddingism This wedding blog has a seemingly endless supply of posts over how to choose shoes, jewelry and more for your special day.
- MiFashion – Winter Wedding Fashion Tips Brides with a winter wedding on their calendar will appreciate the climate-friendly tips suggested in this blog article.
- Perfect Wedding Guide This site has fun and quirky fashion ideas for putting a unique spin on your wedding gown.
Bridesmaid Dress Blogs
Don’t forget about your bridesmaids! You want them to look fabulous too and these blogs show you how to choose bridesmaid gowns that fit and flatter your wedding party.
- Bridesmaid Tailor Bridesmaids will love how this blog explains how to re-work your bridesmaid dress into something you’ll use again and again.
- Bridesmaid Blog It’s all bridesmaid talk, all of the time at this blog that shows you how to find bridesmaid gowns that will flatter every body shape in your party.
- Wedding Bridesmaid Blog This site has tips on choosing dresses for your bridesmaids and flowergirl, giving you options you may not have thought of on your own.
- Blue Orchid Blog This wedding blog is all about the fun touches on your wedding day, including the bridesmaid and wedding gowns.
- Always a Blogsmaid This site talks about the different options you have in terms of gowns. These days you don’t have to go with a classic shape for the bride or the bridesmaids, which makes the wedding a heck of a lot more fun to plan.
- Wedding Bridesmaids Dresses This blog shows you how to choose colors and silhouettes for you bridesmaids.
- Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses This blog has ideas for choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses for your party, even if they aren’t matching dresses.
- Bridesmaiding This wedding blog is aimed at the indie bridesmaid who want a chic spin on her bridesmaid dress.
- The Pretty Blog – Bridesmaid Basics This article has some serious tips for bridesmaids such as preparing for a wardrobe malfunction and choosing a distinct gown if you’re serving as the maid of honor.
- Project Wedding Sweet touches and bold color are things to look for when choosing a fabulous selection of bridesmaid dresses for your bridal party.
- The Chief Bridesmaid This site has updates on budget wedding events worldwide and shows you how to take your bridal party’s bank accounts into consideration when choosing gowns for your girls.
Tracking down the ideal wedding gown is a huge task, but brides and those helping her can benefit from wedding dress blogs and websites that will narrow down options. They also offer plenty of ideas in case you’re overwhelmed with the process and are having trouble getting started planning your big day.
When you buy or rent a home, it’s expected that you’re going to furnish it if you’re going to live in it for a considerable period of time. And for some people, the process of buying furniture is as difficult as the process of buying a home. Others are not too bothered with the finer aspects of the task and are willing to buy whatever takes their fancy when they do find the time to shop. But no matter which category you fall into, there are certain things you must know about furniture before spending your hard-earned money on it:
- If you’re moving to a new location and looking for a home, you may have to put aside some money to buy new furniture even if you already own a set. Your old furniture may not suit your new home’s décor or environment. Most people prefer to sell their old furniture along with their home if this is a probability or if moving their old furniture is too high an expense. There’s no use keeping your old furniture in storage for an indefinite period of time if you’re never going to use it.
- If you’ve already spent a large sum of money on your home and have to borrow an additional sum to finance your furniture, it’s best to use your old furniture even though it may not match your new home’s décor. You save yourself the hassle of debt and the worry of having to pay it back. Besides, once you’ve made a few mortgage payments, you can save some money for new furniture a few months down the line.
- When choosing new furniture, take into account the size and layout of your home. If you change homes often, don’t bother to buy expensive and heavy stuff unless you don’t mind lugging your furniture from home to home. Also, you need to choose appropriate material when it’s outdoor furniture (wood is ruined by moisture when it’s exposed to the elements of nature). If you have young children, you may need to consider furniture that’s indestructible and which is conducive to the removal of stains. So before you buy, consider all the benefits and drawbacks so that you don’t regret your choice at a later date.
- Some kinds of wood are better than others – they are more durable, more fashionable, and hence more expensive. Before you buy furniture made of hardwood because it looks better and is more appealing, check if the entire piece is made of hardwood or if the insides are of a more inferior quality. In general, check if you’re getting your money’s worth before investing in furniture.
- And finally, buy furniture for comfort and not for the way it looks. If your sofa or chair is not easy on your body, you’re never going to spend time sitting or reclining on them. Furniture is meant to be used, not kept around as decorative pieces.
Shopping for antiques became a trend about 20 years ago and has shown no signs of slowing down. In cities large and small, there’s always a thrift store or antique shop to be scoured for new treasures. The Internet has made antiques and learning about the trade more accessible, so even if you aren’t in the market for anything in particular, you can devour the knowledge, giving an edge when you decide to make a purchase.
Blogs for Learning About Antiques
Before you hit the ground running for a new antique, it’s best to do your homework. Check out these blogs and websites for information you need before you head out shopping.
- Newel’s Antique Blog : Besides learning the basic of antique shopping at this blog, you’ll also learn what trend are coming and going and how to spot a deal when you aren’t even looking for it.
- Antique Furniture Blog : This is the best site for beginners as it covers all large furniture pieces and what markings to look for when in an antique shop or estate sale.
- Euroantique Market : Operating from an antique store in Louisville, Kentucky, this site is ripe with antique pieces and the history behind them. It focuses on Country French-style pieces and will be a hit for those who love stone and sculptures.
- Good Time Stove Company : Old stoves a hot commodity among serious antique lovers. Learn about the invention and evolution of old stoves and what to you look for if you’re the in market to buy. This blog also delves into the history of heating and cooling systems.
- 31 Corp : This is a great blog for those who know antiques as a hobby or a profession. Learn what to look for when shopping for antiques, for everything from books and coins to furniture.
- Asian Antique Market : Asian antiques are a hopping trend that major antique dealers are offering. Learn first-hand knowledge of the genre’s best pieces such as Japanese swords and jade.
- Antique Trader Blog : This site is aimed at the pros, so it gives you a wealth of knowledge in addition to the latest antique trends. This site also tracks antique events throughout the U.S. and gives great historical facts behind several of the featured items.
- Auction Wally : Auction Wally is the place to go to get a ballpark of price points for certain items. If you have your eye on a piece, but aren’t sure if the price is fair, check out Auction Wally and see how and why dealers arrive a price point for a piece. This is a great resource for the avid antique shopper.
- Antique Trader : It’s all antiques all of the time at the online home of this magazine. Learn about different styles, trends and check out the free classifieds section for your next potential find.
- Cul-de-sac Shack : For those who love mid-century modern furniture, this blog’s for you. You’ll covet the pieces this blogger comes across in their antique escapades, including several gorgeous Danish pieces worthy of a ’60s film set.
- Country Joe’s Collectibles Blog : For kitch and objects of beauty, check out this site for coverage of antique items ranging from vintage barber’s accessories to pieces of silver.
- Antiques Avenue : For the antique lover that’s also a fan of jewelry, Antiques Avenue will be a dream come true. The site takes a look at various vintage jewelry styles, and talks materials, make and history, so you can swing into your local antique jewelry store and sound like a pro.
- Collector’s Corner TV : Here, host Tammy Kahn Fennell, takes us through the wild world of antiques with web episodes you can watch at your leisure. It’s aimed at “savvy collectors,”but if you’re just beginning your journey into antiques, you can count this as a useful site for learning the trade.
- The Museum of Online Collectibles : With appearances on NPR and a shoutout in Wired magazine, you can bet that the writer of this site know their antique collectibles. No matter what your antique forte is, you can find out more about it at this blog.
- Prices 4 Antiques : Subscribe to this site’s database for $12 and access to price guides for many items. This is a smart option for those who want sell or shop on their own without the help of a consigner or dealer who knows what to look for. Be sure to read the blog, which offers fun stories on items that pass through.
- Antiques.com : Sit and stay awhile at this antique blog that has more content than you can imagine on any style of antiques. Peruse their classifieds section and also check out their directory of antique malls and dealers throughout the United States.
- Crocker Farm : The antique set is one that is full of niches, so you shouldn’t be surprised there’s a blog dedicated to antique stoneware and redware. What does this mean? Amazing jars that have even more amazing stories. Learn all about this at this site.
- Vintage Meld : This site is great for those starting to learn the ropes of antique shopping. An offshoot of Things-and-Other-Stuff, this site deals with random vintage items, how some gain momentum and how others lose it. An interesting read for those who love to learn about niche items.
- Rare Victorian Furniture : If your main antique love is Victorian furniture and decor, be sure to bookmark this blog for updates on listings and significant pieces that have sold at major auction houses worldwide.
- Maine Antique Digest : From the look of this blog, the antique scene in Maine is something to treasure much like the amazing finds posted on this site. This blog gives thorough lessons on various antique pieces and also discusses marketing for antique sellers.
- Emphera : If you’re the antique lover that is into anything old, be sure to stop by this blog for a close look at vintage papers. From posters to war journals, this site will have you learning more than you bargained for and coming back for more.
- Paris Hotel Boutique : Those with an affinity for beautiful things will love reading this blog that’s full of Parisian-style eye candy. The blogger discusses various styles of vintage furniture and has an overall knack for making a space look modern with antiques.
- Fine Estate Liquidation : Check out this site for serious history lessons on antique pieces. This site examines pieces from various online auction and antique sites and gives you a brief tutorial on the history and significance of the items.
- C Dianne Zweig : If you love kitchy items, this blog’s for you! The blogger knows a thin (or 10) about kitchy collectibles, so whether you love looking at quirky knick-knacks or have uncovered a piece you think might be worth something, this is a fun blog to check out.
- Antique Prints Blog : Antique shopping isn’t just about furniture. This blog covers all things antique prints, which is a fascinating subject that will have you glued to the computer screen.
Tips for Shopping Antiques
Even if you’re a well-seasoned at shopping thrift stores, auctions and estate sales, you know there’s always more to learn when it comes to the wide world of antiques.
- My Granny’s Attic Antiques : The writers of this blog own an antique store, so they’ve got all of the tips you need to know before going in to make a purchase or haggling with a legit antique dealer.
- Antique Therapy : We’re obsessed with this blog because it gives you endless tips for making a thrift store or flea market trip worth the digging for items you can re-finish or paint to turn them into something eye-catching.
- Eclectic Collectibles : This online forum is the place to be when you are shopping for antiques. The members range from hardcore collectors to antique dealers, so there’s almost always someone mulling around who can help with specific antique questions.
- The Elegant Thrifter : When you’re out and about and nothing catches your eye, this blog re-trains your vision of what’s beautiful by teaching you tricks of the trade that can turn one man’s trash into another’s treasure.
- Antiques Diva : This snazzy blog focuses on antique shopping to the point that the blogger hosts outings in various stylish cities around the globe. If you’re traveling, you must check out this site for the skinny on stellar antique shops in cities like Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam from the Antique Diva herself.
- WorthPoint : This site is primarily for serious collectors or dealers. It has an affordable price point of $7/month and for that, you’re able to list your item, research the piece and learn from the WorthPoint community at the online forum.
- Young Antiques Collector : This is a fantastic blog for the antique shopper who is more lax about their purchases and buys because of the beauty, not because of the future high price tag the antique may bring. The blogger also visits various antique events in the U.S. and chats about what’s going on in the industry.
- Victorian Cobweb : We love this blog because it’s written by an antique lover who clearly has a passion for the subject and isn’t afraid to share her knowledge with readers. At the end of the day, she loves learning about this stuff as much as we do and it’s apparent in personable blog posts.
- Urban Art and Antiques : You’ll want to check out this site regularly since it posts tons of shopping tips for antique lovers and pays special attention to mid-century modern furniture sources.
- 1st Dibs : The hot spot of serious antique and vintage collectors, this site dubs itself as the place for “the most beautiful things on Earth.”One glance at the amazing (and pricey) items up for sale and you’ll agree.
- Ask the Decorator – Shopping the Antiques Store : Once you have a clue about what you’re looking for, read this post to prep yourself for your foray into antique shopping.
- Escape Artist – Antique Shopping in Europe : In conjunction with the Antique Diva, this blogger came up with this invaluable post about antique shopping abroad. Remember the power of shipping when you’re in a Parisian flea market staring a chandelier that boggles the mind.
- Design*Sponge – Flea Market Tips from the Pros : Interior design heavy hitters tell this popular design blog how readers should approach a garage sale, the Mecca of many antique shoppers in their starter stage.
- Weekend Treasure : Before you start hitting estate sales and dropping serious cash, hone your craft at garage sales. Antiques can pop up everywhere and this site tracks garage sales in the U.S. every weekend, so you always have a place to be at 7am on a Saturday.
- Vintage Goodness : If it’s cutesy and vintage, it’s here. This blog covers funky, kitchy collectibles and gives you the scoop on the site’s eBay and Etsy stores.
Whether you dabble in antique shopping for fun or are looking to become a collector, there are many online resources for learning about eras and the design style that dominated the market at the time. As with any shopping, be a smart shopper, do your research and buy because you love it, not because it’s trendy or will turn profit in a few decades.
Getting your home ready for the holidays can be fun or it can be incredibly stressful. Everyone has fond memories of fighting with Christmas lights and attempting to get the tree up in its stand. It always comes with as much grief when the job is getting done, as it does with joy once it’s over. This holiday season, go stress-free by implementing our list of tips and checking out these articles and blogs that will give you a gloriously decorated home for the holiday season.
Tips to Make Holiday Decorating Easier
Sometimes spending a little extra dough can make things loads easier. Here’s where to save and where to skimp when taking the easy route to holiday decorating.
- Buy a tree on a stand. Even if you get a kick out of making your way out to a tree farm and cutting down your own with the kids, most farms will mount the tree on a stand for you. In large cities, there’s almost always a number of vendors with Christmas trees of every variety (and price point) that have trees on stands. This usually tacks 10-20 dollars onto the cost of the tree, but it’s well worth it since all you have to do is walk the tree into the house and choose a spot.
- Buy your tree closer to Christmas Eve, but not on that day. If you roll up to a tree vendor on Christmas Eve, he or she knows you’re in need of a Christmas tree and are probably willing to pay a pretty penny for it. If you hit a tree vendor a few days before Christmas Eve, they’re looking to clear out inventory and are usually willing to bargain. If you’re looking to haggle, it’s best to come armed with cash.
- Use the decorations you have…first. Websites and magazines may inspire you, but they may also cause you to go out and spend a bundle. Instead of running out to find every interesting centerpiece you see online, utilize items you have. This means hauling it all out, putting up what you want and then making your way to the store for any extras.
- Keep holiday decorating simple and chic. There’s no reason to have 50 Santa Claus figurines covering your coffee table. Even with the holidays, less can be more. Look for organic touches like pine cones and make use of simple items that create major ambiance like candles and twinkling lights.
- Put your kids to work. If you’re swamped with work, arranging visits from relatives and holiday shopping, put your kids to work. Putting up Christmas decorations isn’t rocket science and it will give them a chance to bond, while creating a fun environment for the holidays. If you do this, remember not to be too picky about where decorations go, since you and your 14 year old probably have different ideas of what looks good where.
- Remember it isn’t all about red and green. While these are the traditional colors for the holidays, colors like silver, gold, bronze, pewter and shades of blue are also becoming mainstream. Focus on 2-4 colors and that should include any metallic hues you incorporate.
- Go for the classics. Classic holiday decorating items like wreaths and garland are staples that will give your home that instant dose of Christmas. Wreaths can go any door, not just the front door and also work well over fireplaces, mantles or low bookcases. You don’t have to have a staircase railing to work with garland. Drape it down the center of a table or in doorways for holiday cheer.
- Remember the power of bowls. Bowls filled with shiny ball ornaments or candy make a cute addition to a side table or mantle for the holiday season. Use bowls you already have, even if they aren’t holiday-themed, and fill with ornaments purchased at the dollar store.
- Make use of ribbon. Ribbon in a holiday plaid or metallic threading can add a clever spin to decor. If you have vases, tie a ribbon around it to give a taste of Christmas. Do the same with doorknobs, large decorative candles (that you won’t be lighting) and select Christmas gifts (for your significant other or parents). When using ribbon on Christmas gifts, you can go super simple with the wrapping, even using basic brown paper found at craft stores for a rustic look.
- Go red and green with throw pillows and blankets. Get an instant holiday vibe in your living room or den with festive throw pillows and blankets. While they are an investment, every year you’ll have an easy way to decorate these spaces without much effort. Shop online or post-holiday sales for the best deals and remember, the pillows and blankets don’t have to have Christmas trees or elves on them. A dark red throw blanket looks chic draped over the couch and small forest green pillows will dress up your favorite arm chair.
Blogs for Holiday Decorating
The web brings us serious eye candy when it comes to nifty holiday decorating that will make you re-evaluate the years of cheesy ornaments and multi-colored lights. Check out these blogs for holiday decorating ideas that will make your house the place to be come December.
- Designing Online – 10 Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Tips If you want to spice up the house for the holidays without breaking the bank, this blog entry brings you clever tips that will bring out the spirit of the season.
- Christmas Place It’s all Christmas, all of the time at this blog. It’s packed with decorating ideas and also gives baking recipes to make your home smell like the holiday season, which is arguably the ultimate Christmas decoration.
- Pick Up My Tree This blog will provide you with an endless supply of ideas to get your home prepped for the holidays. There’s nothing this blog doesn’t cover and you’ll feel like Christmas has arrived after cruising around for just a few minutes.
- eHow – Decorating Tips for Christmas 2010 These decorating ideas may be new to you and will spruce up your home for the holidays.
- Ruby Glenn – 10 Great Holiday Decorating Ideas on a Budget This blog has some amazing tips for Christmas decorations that cost next to nothing. Many can be done with items you already have in your home, as long as you’re willing to get creative.
- Christmas Lights Fun This blog gives you the dish on the various pre-lit and artificial Christmas trees on the market. Artificial Christmas trees are ideal for those who have the room to store them, as well as empty nesters or those who are out of town for the holidays.
- HGTV – Christmas The decorating channel brings you plenty of slideshows to get you inspired for putting up garland and Christmas lights.
- House and Home – Photo Gallery for Christmas Decorating If the typical Christmas decor isn’t for you, check out House and Home’s ideas for elegant centerpieces and holiday touches that will add a cheery, not cheesy, touch.
- InMyOwnStyle – How to Make Friends and Family Christmas Tree Garland This unique garland idea will be a whimsical add to doorways and hallways. It’s easy and will just take an hour, depending on how crafty you are.
- Christmas Decorating Ideas Today This site is serious about Christmas decorations and even reveals feng shui tips for placing your decor in the right places.
Articles for Holiday Decorating
Check out these articles for tips on giving your space an elegant air that will make everyone feel as though they’ve stepped into a magazine for holiday festivities.
- All Things Christmas – Decoration Ideas 101 holiday decorating ideas can be found at this site. We love the tips on dressing up the house with teddy bears and cutout snowflakes.
- Quick and Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas If you’re strapped for time and need simple ideas that will get the house looking the part, check out this article. Who knew fruit could serve as holiday decor?
- Martha Stewart – Christmas At Martha’s site you’ll find countless articles to help you decorate for the holidays. We love the ideas because many are unconventional, but still plenty gorgeous and are a refreshing take on typical Christmas decorations.
- Celebrating Christmas – Decorating This Christmas site gives tips on decorating based on a theme and even how to decorate the kitchen and bathrooms, giving your home a serious dose of holiday cheer.
- Dream Home Decorating – Christmas Decorations This blog goes back to the classics when it comes to holiday decorating. It proves that sometimes simple is better and there’s no reason for fussy, over-the-top decorations to make your home have that seasonal feel.
The holidays are a time to be with family and friends, so be realistic about your decorating expectations. Your home doesn’t have to look perfect, just festive, with a strong warmth that mimics the holiday season. Keep things simple for a chic finish that will be easy to pull off and still wow your guests.