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6 Ways to Make Small Spaces Seem Bigger

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 30, 2011

Space: an endless entity until it is defined.


No, we aren't going to talk about the universe. 


When it comes to interiors, space is defined by ceilings, walls, flooring, doorways, furniture, etc.  It's really kind of fascinating when you sit and think about it for a minute.  As a result, you get small spaces, big spaces, medium spaces, and sometimes really weird spaces.


Today we're going to focus on small spaces.


Believe it or not, there are many benefits to having small spaces.  They tend to feel more intimate, warm and friendly than larger spaces, and they're often very charming and quaint.  However, as many of you know, small spaces have some major drawbacks as well.  They can feel super claustrophobic, restrictive, and cluttered.  Not to mention they make it difficult to entertain large crowds.  I know this from experience.


Luckily, there are things that you can do to fool the human eye into thinking a space is much larger than it actually is!  Here are 6 ways to make your small spaces seem bigger- who knows, you might even be able to trick yourself........



1. Incorporate Small Scale Furnishings

Nothing makes a small room look even smaller than over-sized furniture.  While heavy, solid furniture works great in large spaces, it has a tendency to really overpower a small room.  And not in a good way.   Scale is such an important thing to consider here.  If you've got a small space to fill, you might want to pass on an overstuffed sectional and get a love seat and a couple chairs instead.  Remember, before you get your heart set on a particular furniture piece, ask yourself if it really fits the size of the room.  



rue magazine via decor pad




2. Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirrors are one of your best decorating friends in small spaces.  They are a great, elegant accessory that you can find just about anywhere, at any price!  Not only do they beautify a room, but they also reflect light and have a way of making spaces looking so much bigger!



image via apartment therapy



3. Smooth Textures and Small Patterns

I love big patterns just as much as anyone, but not in small spaces.  Big patterns are, well, big.  And in a small space, they have a shrinking effect.  If you can, pick out smoothly patterned textures and small patterns that will fit the scale of the room.



image via apartment therapy



4. Bring in All the Light you Can

If your small space has big windows, consider yourself lucky!  Remember though, the more light sources the better. Using a variety of different sized lamps around the room will make a big impact! 



image via lonny magazine



5. Light over Dark Colors

 Dark colors are gorgeous and rich and inviting, but they can also drown a small room.  Incorporating a light color scheme into your small space will make the room feel bright, airy, and less confined.



image via lonny magazine



6. Go for Wall to Wall Neutral Floor Coverings

Rugs are a wonderful decorating asset, but in a small space, they draw attention to the floor, or lack thereof.  Using wall to wall neutral floor coverings can help expand the length or a room.  Whether it's carpet, tile, or wood floors, leaving them bare can go a long way.  



image via lonny magazine




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Opinions Wanted: Pick the Best Bedroom Set

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 28, 2011

Just last week, we got these four brand new bedroom sets and started selling them on our showroom floors and website.   Each one of these sets caters to a completely different personal style, so I thought I'd get some feedback from you guys on which set you like the best!


Here's the lineup:


#1. Aspen Bedroom Set

Features include: Warm java finish, soft curves, functional storage, simplistic modern design.





#2. Samuel Lawrence Bedroom Set

Features Include: Pecan finish, late Victorian period piece, intricately carved trim, grandiose design.





#3. Marquis Bedroom Set

Features include: Rich cherry finish, uniquely patterned headboard, elegant curved wood detail





#4. Progressive Bedroom Set

Features include: Aged Chestnut finish, traditional Victorian design, solid pine construction




Which set is your favorite? 

Can't wait to hear what you think!



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One Thing You Should Never Skimp On

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 23, 2011

Sometimes brand name and generic products are so similar in quality, that it's a no-brainer to buy the cheaper stuff.   When it comes to aluminum foil, garbage bags, dish soap, and basic food supplies, I'm always happy to throw the generic version into my cart to save a quick buck!  However, if we're talking about toilet paper, tooth paste (basically all personal hygiene items), plastic wrap, or bread.....well, I'm just not willing to compromise!


Everyone has their own unique preferences, which results in very different shopping habits.  Some of you might have no problem with cheap toilet paper, and if you don't, good for you!  Your grocery bill is probably cheaper than mine.


Here's the thing though.


When it comes to buying a mattress, I don't care who you are or where you came from, NOBODY should settle for a cheap version.  Doing so (and I'm sure plenty of you reading this are currently sleeping on a terrible mattress) is simply unthinkable.  Why, you ask?  Do you realize that approximately 1/3 of your ENTIRE LIFE will be spent sleeping?  How about the fact that your productivity as a human being is about 7.3 million times more effective after a good night's sleep?


The fact is, a wonderful mattress NEEDS to be your top priority.  For the sake of your health, happiness, and prosperity!  And don't even think about convincing yourself that you don't deserve it.





The good news is that RC Willey wants to help a few of you.  We're having a Serta Mattress Makeover Contest!  The grand prize winner will get $5,000, and two first prize winners will get $2,000 to put towards mattresses for their homes!  Enter the contest now, and come start testing out new mattresses!


P.S. Here are 9 Ways to help you get a better night's sleep!


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Salsa Recipe

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 21, 2011

I've always loved this time of year.  As a kid, in addition to going back to school and enjoying cooler temperatures, I got to reap the benefits of my mother canning like a mad woman.  Boy, was she good at it!  Everything she canned was absolutely delicious, but her home-made salsa was my personal favorite.  Coming home from school every September to find dozens of jars of her salsa in neat little rows on the kitchen table was absolutely thrilling.


To this day, I firmly believe that my mother's salsa recipe is the most glorious salsa known to man.  Seriously, no other salsa compares, especially the store-bought kind.


This year my little sister and I decided that we wanted to learn the ropes of canning salsa from our mother.  So last Saturday afternoon, we gathered at my parent's house, rolled our sleeves up, and got to work:



First, we started out with 3 huge boxes full of fresh picked tomatoes



Next we washed them, and started steaming them in batches



Once the tomatoes were steamed, we peeled off all of the skins, chopped up all the other vegetables, and threw everything in a big pot. (This process takes a while.)



We let it simmer for a couple hours, and used an immersion blender to break up the big tomato chunks and cut down on the cooking time.



After it was done cooking, we poured the salsa into pint jars, and started processing.







After 6 hours, we had ourselves a little army of salsa jars,

68 jars to be exact.


Can't wait for next year.


I should mention, this salsa is so good that even my husband, who loathes tomatoes, loves it!  We've already gone through a bottle in less than 24 hours.  I'm going to have to start rationing this stuff!  Here is the recipe..... go start canning!  



Alison's Salsa

1/2 bushel tomatoes (8 quarts)

3 green peppers

3 large onions

3 small cans diced green chiles 

1-1.5 small cans jalapenos, drained (depending on how hot you like your salsa)

4-5 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt


Wash, steam, peel, and quarter tomatoes.  Finely chop vegetables and mix all ingredients in large stock pot.  Cook until desired consistency.  (About 2 hours- we used an immersion blender to speed up the process.)  Pour into pint bottles and cold pack for 15-20 minutes.  * Makes about 24 jars.  ENJOY!




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RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 16, 2011

I've said it before.  I have always loved furniture and interior design.  In fact, even as a kid I was scouring through Home Furnishings magazines determining if my style was modern or country, and if I'd paint my living room lavender, peach, or put up cream floral wallpaper.  These were important things to think about at the age of nine. 


Despite my interest in design, I've never received any formal training.  I took art history classes in college, but ultimately earned a degree in Advertising/Marketing.  As fate would have it, walking the RC Willey showroom floor, writing this blog, and reading other design blogs made me realize that I wanted to learn so much more!  And so, I thought, what the heck?  Why not now?


I'm happy to report that this week I officially started an Interior Design Program!  So far I love it, and I can't wait to share some of the things I'm learning with you guys!


Today though, I want to show off some of my favorite RC Willey product at the moment.  In no particular order.......



Paula Deen Universal 5 Piece Dining Set.

Isn't this gorgeous?  I want to sit and eat eggs benedict here every morning.



Liberty Furniture Entertainment Unit

I really like the clean, simple lines and open shelving.  The orange & turquoise accessories really pop!




 iPad 2

YES, we are selling this now!





Thomas Paul Collection "Morning Glory" 5x7 rug

Isn't this perfect for fall?





Home Styles Corner Lap Top Desk

Cute little desk, and awesome green walls!




80" Cream Upholstered Sofa 

Wouldn't this be cute with colorful pillows?





Pulaski 6 Piece Queen Bedroom Set

I could definitely sleep here.


What do you think?   Hits?  Or misses?  

Share your thoughts!





Also, Congratulations to Trevor, our Star Wars Saga Winner!!  Here's what he had to say:


I grew up watching the saga with my dad... building upon those memories I now watch them with my son. These aren't just your regular movies... These are generation defining, epic making and evolution creating entertainment. These are the movies that started it all. You do not know what you are missing!!!

Trevor, email me at and I'll get you that Star Wars blu-ray boxed set right away!



p.s. Wish me luck- I'm watching Star Wars this weekend!





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Star Wars Party PLUS The Complete Saga Giveaway!

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 14, 2011

Confession: I have never watched the entire Star Wars Series.


To you Star Wars groupies who already think less of me, I promise it's nothing personal.  I haven't avoided them on purpose!  I've heard they are fantastic, timeless and wonderful, and I agree that I should probably see them someday.   


I've been informed that this Friday, September 16th is an epic day for Star Wars fans around the world!  Why?  Because the Complete Star Wars Saga blu-ray 9 disc boxed set is going to be available for sale!  Folks, this is a


Since RC Willey loves Star Wars, we're going to throw Star Wars Blu-ray Release parties at all of our regular store locations Thursday, September 15th from 6pm until midnight!    We'll have prizes, food, photo ops, and Star Wars movies playing all night long! 


Come in costume THURSDAY EVENING and you'll be able to buy the set for $79 (no purchase necessary).  Spend $799-$999 and you can get it for $39, and spend over $999 and it's yours for just $19!  Box sets will be released at 12:01 am Friday morning!  If you don't want to stay until midnight though, you can purchase the box set and receive a certificate to redeem it sometime the next day or week.  





Just to get you all excited, I'm going to give away a Star Wars Complete Saga box set to one of you readers!  Leave a comment telling me what I'm missing (why I need to watch the whole Star Wars Saga), and I'll pick a random winner on Friday morning!


Good luck, and we'll see you Thursday night!



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Your New Favorite Recipe Website

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 9, 2011

I crave organization.  


Like, the kind of craving you get for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at 1:00 a.m. your freshman year of college. (If you never found yourself at Wal-mart in the middle of the night ravenously attempting to curb your sweet tooth, just count yourself lucky you didn't gain the freshman 15.)  


Those lbs were a killer to lose!




While I love and yearn for organization, there are certain aspects of my life that are unfortunately anything but organized!   Take for instance, my recipes.  They live on post-its, note cards, scratch paper and old receipts, and they like to hide in cookbooks, folders, boxes, cupboards, my email inbox, purses, and the junk drawer.  


I'm here to tell you that thousands of amazing recipes do you absolutely NO good if you can't ever locate them.


Such was my frustrating recipe state, until my friend recently told me about One tsp.  Have you heard of it?  It's basically an online recipe box, where you can collect, manage and organize all of your recipes!  The formatting is great, and it even lets you upload pictures.  


Here's a screen shot of one of my recipes:



recipe via a bountiful kitchen blog



You can access your recipes from anywhere (home, school, the grocery store, a car), and there's a tool that helps you create quick shopping lists.  The best part is that finding a recipe is as simple as turning on your phone, laptop, or iPad!  It's free to store your first 150 recipes, and then it's just $5 a year.  Totally worth it.


I love everything about it.  Check out and start plugging in your recipes!



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Please Allow Me to Continue...

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 7, 2011

While we're on the subject of the color white....

Let's talk for a minute more.


White is one of the most perfect colors in existence to splash around your home.

It's Classy. Fresh. Minimal. Elegant. Light. Pure. Lovely.  

And it can make even the tiniest spaces look ginormous!




If you want to really go full throttle with white decor, there are a couple different methods you can try....


1. First we have The All White Method.  It's very basic.  White must be the ONLY color in the room. (I just looked it up for sure, and yes, scientists do classify white as an actual color.  Just had to be sure I wasn't spreading falsities!)  I don't know that I would be brave enough to do this, but I dare you to try!  Isn't it pretty in a subdued way?



image via apartment therapy



2. Next, we have The Mostly White with a Pop of Color Method.  At least 85-90% of the room should be white (and shades of white), with the remaining 10-15% reserved for accents of color.  This forces you to be super selective/thoughtful about the little bits of color you do use.  Aren't these examples gorgeous? 



image via elle decor




image via apartment therapy




image via lonny magazine




image via rue magazine




image via lonny magazine




image via rue magazine




image via rue magazine



So which method do you prefer?

All White? Or Mostly White with a Pop of Color?




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Wearing White after Labor Day PLUS Winners Announced!

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on September 2, 2011

As a kid I remember learning the "don't wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day" rule, and out of fear I observed it sacredly from year to year.  Hello! I didn't want to be a walking fashion faux pas at school!  Over time though, I realized how ridiculous and absurd this social custom was/is. 


So who made this strange rule up anyway?  


After doing a bit of research, it's clear that no one really knows exactly how this hard-lined etiquette rule came about.  However, there are several theories out there.  Some believe it was out of practicality and that wearing white was simply a way to stay cool in the hot summer months.  Others argue that elitists at the top of the social chain established the post- Labor Day moratorium on white clothing (along with countless other rules) in the early-mid 1900's as a means of preventing middle class folk from entering high society.  Interesting, don't you think?


Even though I think it's pretty bogus, I still find myself subconsciously avoiding certain whites in my closet after summer. (Why is this?) I think if you can get away with breaking the so-called rules, you should!  After all, those people who are daring enough to disregard the rules are usually the ones whose style we celebrate.  Coco Chanel made white a staple part of her year-round wardrobe, so you should too! 



Coco Chanel in one of her signature white suits, 1969

via Time magazine


Where do you stand on the white rule?

 Follow it strictly?  Ignore it completely?  Ever heard of it? 


P.S. No matter your post- Labor Day white wearing philosophy, the good news is that decorating with white in your home is ALWAYS in!





Congratulations to our Labor Day Camcorder Giveaway Winners, Clare Roberts (who will be chopping wood this weekend) and Lana (who is going to a baby Christening this weekend)!  Ladies, contact me at and give me your information and I'll get these camcorders in the mail right away!


Have a great Labor Day Weekend everyone!





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