Small Space, Big Style: Five Ways to Make Your Living Room Look Larger

Not all living spaces feature sprawling common areas. This may be unfortunate if your small space happens to be your living room, which often becomes the heart of the home, not to mention your family’s favorite hang-out spot. The good news is that there are several space-saving solutions and tricks to make your tiny den seem as large as possible. Below are five ways to do it.

Storage, Storage, Storage
From throw blankets, to extraneous remotes, to kids’ toys, your living room ends up being a catch-all for random, everyday clutter. For this reason, it’s important to have a living room outfitted with storage space, especially if your living room doesn’t have much square footage. An easy place to add storage is your coffee table. While some homeowners opt for lift-top coffee tables that hide the items they don’t want on display, others opt to invest in ottomans or chests that double as seating or tables that, when opened, provide ample storage. This way, your small space looks clutter-free and, therefore, more spacious.

Neutralize Your Color Scheme
A neutral color palette allows the eye to wander more freely. Your guests aren’t likely to give all of their attention to a khaki-colored sofa or gray walls. This isn’t to say you can’t have fun with your room, though. Designers often suggest mixing fun patterns from the same neutral palette in order to avoid drabness. The key is to strike the right balance between patterns and colors so that your space feels open and interesting, not busy.

Create a Clear View
What a difference an armrest makes. Furniture with no or skinnier armrests gives you more seating space, and allows you and your family to move around the room without bumping into bulky furniture. It also, of course, makes your room look more open to the eye. Another way to make your space seem more open is to choose furniture that has legs or open space beneath it. This also allows the eye to travel across the room more easily, which in turn, makes the room seem larger.

Opt for Up-and-Down, Not Side-to-Side
small roomFlaunt your assets. Your room most likely doesn’t have much to boast about horizontally, so accentuate vertical stretches to make everything seem larger. For example, hanging ceiling-to-floor curtains around a window
can invite the eye to see more than what’s at eye level. You can also add higher-than-average wainscoting or crown molding to draw the eye up and add character to your space.

Scale Your Selections
When picking out furniture for your small space, make sure that what you select matches the scale of your space. For example, rather than stuffing a sectional into your small living room, choose a furniture set with detachable pieces that you can shift and potentially store until you have a bigger space to fill. You should also take into consideration your furniture’s height so that it doesn’t hinder eye-lines that stretch across your room and make it seem larger.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways to make your space feel sprawling. Share some of your own ideas and photos in the comments section below!

The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For: Our Top 5 Pet Care Blogs Of The Year!

When we glance back at the previous 12 months, we are awestruck by the long list of triumphs and accomplishments. Of course, there are always a few setbacks, but even they have the power to make us feel grateful. To be sure, if we learned anything from 2016, it is to approach the new year with a strong optimism. We will continue to deliver the best veterinary care in the San Antonio area, and meet the needs of our growing community. This can be partly done via our pet care blogs. We take the time every month to thoughtfully conceive a timely, relevant topic, and you do the rest. Through your scrolls, clicks, and shares we are able to compare what hit home versus what missed the mark. And for that, we thank you!

Whether this is your first view of these pet care blogs, or your are a seasoned reader, we invite you to enjoy the top 5 of 2016:

ARE WE THERE YET? UNDERSTANDING PETS WITH CAR ANXIETY – Even with our knowledge of auto mechanics, barreling down the road in a metal box is disconcerting when you stop to think about it. Sure, we have road rules and driver’s tests (not to mention airbags), but try telling a pet with an intense fear of car travel that it will all be “OK.”

PET POISONING PREVENTION: COMMON TOXIC PLANTS IN THE YARD AND GARDEN – Springtime is the season for mulching, mowing, and prepping the garden beds, and of course, planting all of those beautiful blooms, shrubs, and edibles. And, because of this, it is also a good time to discuss pet poisoning prevention.

BOO! PET SAFETY TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN THAT PREVENT REAL SCARES – Whether or not you’re mentally prepared for the changing seasons, Halloween is upon us – and it’s likely that this fact has probably not missed by your intuitive, observant pet. There’s a great deal to get excited about, but the best results can only be achieved with a diligent approach to Halloween pet safety. Prevent a full-fledged pet emergency this fall with Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital’s special guide.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER? – Understanding personal responsibility is one of life’s greatest lessons – and it’s also one of life’s greatest gifts. To be a reliable, dedicated, and trustworthy person means earning the respect and admiration of others, leading to new opportunities and success.

WARM WEATHER SAFETY FOR FLAT-FACED PETS – The long summer months seem to take a toll on everyone – pets included. However, for some animals, hot, humid weather is particularly perilous.

As always, our doctors and staff invite you to contact us with any questions, concerns, or feedback. We are honored by your trust in us to take care of your beloved pet, in 2016 and the years beyond.

From all of us, we wish you and your pet a very happy, healthy, and safe new year!

5 Ways To Recycle Old Crayons

If you live in a home with creative children or, better still, have your own craft corner at home, you’re bound to have a few bits and pieces of crayons that have seen their best days go by already. Instead of simply throwing these into the bin, why not try and recycle them into items that are as useful as they are creative?

Here are a few things, of many, that you could make out of your used and old crayons.

Chunky Crayons
This is the easiest thing you could do to breathe new life into your old Camlin wax crayons. Simply chop the leftover crayons into tiny bits and place them in a silicon or metal mould. We recommend using a silicon mould as these are easier to remove the final product.

Pop the filled mould in the microwave and heat until the crayons are melted. Once done, place the mould overnight in the freezer. The following morning, turn the moulded crayons out. These chunky crayons make a fantastic gift item for children.

Colour Block Candles
You’ll need wax chips or a block of old uncoloured wax crayons, a glass tumbler and candle wicks. Divide the wax according to the number of colours you want in your candles. Melt one portion over a low heat and add a few bits of the same colour crayons to the melted wax. Once melted, let it cool for a bit.

While it’s cooling, stick the candle wick to the bottom of the glass. Pour a little of the coloured wax into the glass while keeping the wick supported. Set this in the freezer before repeating the same process with the other colours till you reach the top of the glass. You can let this stand as a candle within the glass or separate it from its mould to have a standalone candle.

Crayon Play Dough
This fantastic play dough is great for kids to test out their modelling techniques and skills. Simply take 1 spoon of oil and melt about 2-3 crayons of the same colour over heat. Once melted, add a ¾ cup of water and continue stirring. Once blended add 1 cup of flour, ½ cup salt and 1 spoon of baking powder.

The salt helps preserve the dough and reduces the stickiness, while the baking powder makes it smoother. Cook over low heat till it pulls away from the sides of the vessel. Let it cool and then knead it to a smooth consistency. Repeat this with the other colours you have.

And there you have it! These are just three unique ideas to put your old crayons to good use. If you have some other ideas, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below.