Articles in: Ideas

Places: Decorating Small Balconies

Posted by: on April 11th, 2012 | 2 Comments
Small, but colorful balconies on a condo in Toronto

Photo by Michael Gil


The balconies of many of today’s apartments and condos are often not very big, and they can present somewhat of a design challenge. That’s why The Home Depot has a section on our website dedicated to creating big style in small outdoor spaces, including balconies, terraces or small patios.

Take a look at some of the great shots we found to show you how just a few pieces can make your small balcony the perfect outdoor lounge.

Image of a colorful small balcony

Image via HGTV

Balconies, even the small ones, were made for morning coffee (preferably with a newspaper), evening stargazing or enjoying a breath of fresh air anytime of day or night. And the beauty of a small balcony is you need little more than perhaps a couple of brightly accented chairs, some plants and the company of a good friend to create a colorful, cozy outdoor living space.

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Meet The Material: Wicker Or Rattan?

Posted by: on April 11th, 2012 | One Comment
Phoenix Rattan Roadster Concept Car image

Image: photos courtesy of Kenneth Cobonpue via Gizmag


In 1844, Cyrus Wakefield noticed a pile of discarded rattan on Constitution Warf in Boston. Used as packing material for product shipped from China to the U.S., Wakefield wondered what this flexible cane material might be used to make … furniture, perhaps? Not long after taking a pile of it home, Wakefield quit his job as a grocer, formed the Wakefield Rattan Company, and by the 1860s cornered the market on the wicker furniture business.

Henry Ford is lucky ol’ Cyrus Wakefield didn’t decide to build a rattan roadster like the one above that product designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner dreamed up. The auto industry might be very different today.

What is wicker? Wicker, which is made from a variety of materials including bamboo, rattan, reed, willow, plastic or resin, is not so much a material as it is an ancient weaving technique passed from Egypt to Rome and then throughout Europe.

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Places: Outdoor Fire Pits

Posted by: on March 29th, 2012 | 2 Comments
Image of Chester Lit furniture and fire pit

Image of Chester Lit furniture w/fire pit via Uncrate


Oh how we love the spring: for its warm, temperate days and cool nights, when the air is all abuzz with sound of busy bees and song birds, and the world comes back to life again, bursting with color. Long sunny days slowly fade into late evenings, and we while away the hours chilling on rooftops and balconies, or in the backyards on patios and decks with good friends and family.

Wherever you’re hanging out this spring, a fire pit can provide a spark of warmth and intimacy, inviting guests to linger a bit longer. As you will see after the jump, many choices await you for enchanting spring evenings, perhaps not unlike this movie night by the shore we spotted on Uncrate, warmed by the glow of fire pits in an array of sizes, styles and features … so pull a chair and stay a while.

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Napkin Rings for Your Next Dinner Party

Posted by: on March 27th, 2012 | Make A Comment

We love the idea of taking a very common material and using it in a very uncommon way. Which brings us to today’s installment of Repurposed: copper pipe fittings.

Copper is such a gorgeous metal. Not only does it have a rich, warm color when new, but this metal ages beautifully.

Next time you are in the plumbing aisle browsing for interesting entertaining ideas, how about picking up some simple $3.74 napkin rings?

Repurpose a copper pipe fitting as a napkin ring

Simply roll your napkins up tightly, and slip them through the pipe coupling. Voila! a beautiful metallic napkin ring.

Repurpose a copper pipe fitting as a napkin ring

You can use these napkin rings to add a little shine to your everyday place settings, or to inspire an entire copper color palette at your next dinner party. If you’re interested in giving the copper a nice patina before using them, use a combination of vinegar, ammonia, and salt to give the copper a green powdery finish using this faux aging method.

How do you feel about copper? Do you like it’s shiny, warm finish? Or the green patina it has as it ages? Would you use these copper fittings as a napkin ring?

[Editor's Note: Repurposed is a series dedicated to showcasing clever, new ways to use products we all know and love.] 

Colorful Tea Kettles Add Interest to Your Kitchen

Posted by: on March 24th, 2012 | 2 Comments

Small kitchen appliances and accessories are an easy way to add a punch of color to your kitchen. Like a scarf to your overcoat, colorful tea kettles can make a big, colorful statement in your kitchen without much commitment. Get tired of the color you picked? No big deal, just leave your scarf in the closet for a while — same goes for your colorful tea kettle. For little money and even less effort, you can really give the most useful space in the house a little extra zing!

Colorful tea kettles

Center: BonJour 2 Qt. Polished Stainless Steel Tea Kettle with Copper Bottom; Clockwise: Mustard Yellow Kitchenaid 9-Cup Tea Kettle; Mustard KitchenAid 6-Cup Tea Kettle;  Yellow Rachel Ray 2Qt. Curve Tea Kettle; Old Dutch Tangerine Cast Iron Kyoto Tea Kettle; KitchenAid 1.5 Curling Tea Kettle in Green; Rachel Ray Curve Tea Kettle in Green; KitchenAid 2 Qt. Globe Tea Kettle in Turquoise; Rachel Ray 2 Qt. Curve Tea Kettle in Blue; KitchenAid 9-Cup Tea Kettle in Midnight Blue; KitchenAid 9-Cup Tea Kettle in Red; KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials 8-Cup Tea Kettle in Red;  Rachel Ray Curve Tea Kettle in Orange

Browse more Tea Pots & Kettles here. What color will you pick?

Places: Closets With Chandeliers

Posted by: on March 22nd, 2012 | 4 Comments
Chandelier closeup shot image

Image via Citified


Chandeliers aren’t just for grand dining rooms or lofty foyers anymore. Today, these beautiful, often extravagant hanging works of glass and light come in a huge array of sizes, styles, colors and designs. Chandeliers of all sorts are being used to create a statement in almost every room in the home, from kitchens and bathrooms, to bedrooms and … closets?

The idea of hanging a chandelier in the closet sounds a bit over the top. But think about it: for the one-act play of life, the closet is kind of like the wardrobe department; it’s where we hang our costumes. Why not dress it up with some dramatic lighting?

And as you will see in the examples we found, you don’t need a palatial walk-in the size of condo to add a touch of glamor to the lighting in your closet.

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Designer Diaries: Patio Inspiration

Posted by: on March 20th, 2012 | 3 Comments

Recently, we brought you our first installment of Designer Diaries, where we spoke with Home Depot Director of Trends & Design Sarah Fishburne about her design process. Today, Sarah tells us where she found inspiration for Patio 2012:

Above all, our design team is inspired by color, but you would be surprised where some of that patio inspiration comes from!

Every fall, our team heads to Paris for the Maison&Objet trade show. We gather ideas, follow trends, and make note of new and interesting color combinations.

Arden Nazir Larkspur fabric samples

These fabric samples were used to create the Arden Nazir Larkspur throw pillows, fabric by the yard, and the Arden Nazir Larkspur bench cushion.

Fabrics are also an essential inspiration to our design team – some of our patio collections’ fabrics were inspired by rugs. Or perhaps a fabric inspires a glass mosaic pattern. Our design team is constantly reinterpreting inspiration for new and exciting projects.

Poolside Casablanca Knot Malibu Blue Geometric Pillow

These two fabric samples became the Poolside Casablanca Malibu Blue Geometric Pillow and the Poolside Dawson Stripe Blue Stripe Pillow.

Casablanca Knot & Poolside Dawson Stripe Pillows


The Maison&Objet trade show in Paris is always a huge source of inspiration, as is Paris in general. I find inspiration just walking along the Seine, maybe the color and patina of a copper pipe fitting on a beautiful old building, the color of the Seine River, or the fashion in a window display. All sorts of things will catch my eye, and I’ll use it in some way in our next collection. That’s the funny thing about inspiration, you really never know where it will come from next.


Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection


In the case of the Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection which was available from 2008 to 2010, our design team used a metallic pewter faucet finish as their inspiration – giving vendors the faucet and asking them to match it exactly.


Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection Inspiration


Like I said, you really never know where inspiration will come from — in this case, a simple bath faucet inspired the finish of an entire patio collection!

Thank you, Sarah, for giving us a glimpse into your creative process. 


Get the Faux Bois Trend

Posted by: on March 7th, 2012 | Make A Comment

Wood grain tiles

Contemporary interiors are associated with a sleek, muted aesthetic – think crisp whites, sleek fixtures and appliances, and a much more minimalistic approach to accessories. It’s because of this clean look that the faux bois trend has become so popular. Among the melamine and the stainless steel and the glass and the edited furniture, you need some natural elements like wood. Faux bois does you one better though by giving a space a hint of quirk – is it real or isn’t it? The cheeky pattern feels fresh and fun, but it still evokes the natural feel of real wood.

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Places: Natural Bathroom Decor

Posted by: on February 22nd, 2012 | 2 Comments

A teak bath tub illustrating Natural Bathroom Decor


Planning a quick update or a complete remodel of your existing bathroom involves a lot of practical considerations.  There’s the budgeting, project planning and the decision of whether to do-it-yourself or seek the help of a pro.

While all these steps are absolutely essential to successfully completing the project, the truth is that for many, the most enjoyable part of a bathroom makeover is gathering ideas and inspiration, browsing current styles and trends, and deciding which features and options to incorporate in the redesign.

Natural Baths, perhaps to no one’s surprise, are again a popular trend in modern bathroom design.  With the increased stress and pressures of everyday life, it seems quite natural to seek a peaceful, rejuvenating atmosphere at home.

Soft, soothing hues like pale greens, ivories and warm neutrals, the look of wood-grain tiles or plank flooring, and rich antique or oil-rubbed bronze finished faucets, fixtures and bath accessories are just a few of the elements you can use to create the comforts and pleasures of a stylish natural bath in your home.

There’s more naturally inspiring bathroom decor ideas after the jump.

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Places: Farm To Table Dining Areas

Posted by: on February 16th, 2012 | One Comment
Eclectic farm-to-table dining room image

Image via houzz

The farm-to-table movement has grown from a small, cult-like foodie following in the 1970s spearhead by “slow food” guru Alice Waters and her legendary restaurant Chez Panisse, to a full-fledged cottage industry, with its own distinct look and feel (Travel + Leisure). Now, restaurants committed to serving the freshest, locally sourced food can be found in nearly any city you visit. These restaurants have re-imagined the dining scene, by creating simple, elegant, informal, communal and sometimes slightly upscale dining spaces that encourage you to linger at the table a while after your meal.

Feast on some of the farm-to-fork inspiration that diners have taken home (along with their to-go boxes) after the jump.

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