Creating a Cozy Winter Bedroom

It's winter and your bedroom should be cozy. And whether you need a cozy bedroom for functional purposes (heat doesn't quite work right?) or you just love that comfy winter look, it's the perfect time of the year to transform your bedroom into your snowy oasis. It's also another great way you can embrace the holiday staycation.

Cozy Winter Bedroom Tips

Layer, Layer, Layer

You know what they say -- if you want to be warm in the winter, pile on the layers. And the same rule applies to your bed. Embrace comforters, throw pillows, and blankets in softer and thicker fabrics -- like faux fur or cable-knit. You'll want to look for these in more neutral colors, like beige, gray, white, and brown to bring the outdoors in. If you want to add in some accent colors, look for more subtle hues like forest green, burgundy red, or slate blue. To keep the look consistent throughout the space, add extra pillows and blankets on to chairs or benches. 

Lower the Lights

There's nothing that makes a room more cozy and intimate than lowering the lights. Try turning off your main lighting and go for table lamps or floor lamps. Look for lower wattage bulbs or lights that have dimmers -- these will give the space a nice soothing glow. And for an even more intimate effect, skip out on the lamps and lights all together and light some candles. Add a touch of holiday spirit with a pine or cinnamon-smelling candle.  

Bring in Winter's Light

Bring winter's beauty inside! If your windows have good insulation, then open your curtains or blinds to show off nature's beauty. Fresh snow brings in a stunning white light – which you can in our winter bedroom inspiration photos. To keep your bedroom insulated, look for thickly-lined curtains or drapes in velvet or canvas. 

Stay on Your Toes

It's almost impossible to be cozy if your feet are cold. A great pair of slippers always does the trick, but when it comes to your bedroom, look for soft and furry rugs. Such as faux fur or shag rugs in neutral tones. These rugs will be comfortable under your feet but also keep the space white and light.

And learn how to transform the rest of your home into a winter wonderland with our staycation guide.

Image Sources: PinterestPhoto ProblemElements of Style, and Mother Earth Living.

Have a Holiday Staycation

Staying in town this holiday season? Often times the stress of packing, traveling, and being away from home can take all the relaxation out of vacation. Plan a holiday staycation instead and you won’t be missing out on a getaway. We have some easy ways to transform your home into a winter wonderland so that you can relax and unwind, all from the comfort of your own couch.

Deck the Halls

The best way to embrace the holiday spirit in your home is to transform your place into a winter wonderland. No matter what you celebrate, bring out some seasonal or holiday-themed decorations and accents. Try out natural wreathes and garlands for a fresh, wintry smell. And add on some sweet-smelling candles like gingerbread or cinnamon. Take some tips from boutique hotels and opt for decorations that are elegant but not invasive. Like fresh floral or plant accents.

Holiday Decor

Bring on the Layers

You’ll want your home to look super cozy for the perfect winter wonderland retreat. And the best way to do this is to add in extra throw pillows and throw blankets – even more than you may have now – for that perfect comfy and cozy winter look. Mix and match patterns or even add in a new color to shake things up a bit. Try for different sizes and shapes of pillows too. Mix and match larger pillows (like 20x20) with smaller pillows (like 16x16).

Cozy Holiday Style

Holiday Tunes

It’s the only time of the year you can get away with playing your favorite holiday tunes. We love classics like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Have them play softly in the background so you really feel like you’re living in a holiday movie.

Host a Matinee

Host a holiday movie night at your home – complete with caramel popcorn, spiced apple cider, and roasted nuts. Invite friends and family over and turn up the coziness by using your fireplace or lighting some candles. And add on some fun! Make a game and keep tabs on how many times characters say a word like “holiday” and see who wins at the end.

Light a Fire

Have a working fireplace? Light it up to keep your home toasty and the holiday spirit high. And if you don’t have a working fireplace, try filling your fireplace with birched wood to embrace the winter spirit. For a cottage look, stock 2-3 logs in the fireplace, and for a sophisticated and elegant look, stack the whole space with logs. 

Fireplace with Logs

And check out some more holiday posts to get ready for the season!

Images: Apartment TherapyBosworth Hoedemaker, and Pinterest

Hosting Holiday Get-Togethers with Limited Space

During the holidays, you need a lot more space. Space for guests, gifts, and of course -- food and drinks. Apart from Thanksgiving and holiday eve dinners, most family get-togethers take place in the living room. And you may realize that you're running tight with table space for kettle corn, hors d'oeuvres, board games, and egg nog. Here are some quick tips to get the most out of your limited space.

Thanksgiving

Squeeze in a Sofa Table

The sofa table is the perfect piece for small spaces -- especially around the holidays. It's narrow but has enough surface space for a variety of dishes and drinks. Try sliding it behind a sofa or against a wall. Usually sofa tables are 12-20 inches -- like the Shannon sofa table. Add on some holiday decor touches, like a tall vase of flowers or a wreath hanging above. It will help tie your look together. 

Double-Up with a Side Table

Take advantage of your end tables for extra food and storage space. Move off any current items -- like lamps to make more space. And it's always good to look for side tables with two shelves so you can store extra board games or drinks. The best part? The second shelf will help minimize any additional clutter. We love the new Charo bar side table -- it's a must for holiday entertaining. 

Try a Tray

Have an ottoman? Use it to your advantage! Ottomans are great for extra seating -- but it's also good for food and drinks. Just simply add a chic serving tray to avoid spills and you've got an extra spot for apple cider and gingerbread cookies. Or double-up with trays to get even more space for food. 

Fitting in Decor

If you're crammed for space, you may be worried that you won't have room for holiday decor. But you will! Opt for tall and narrow decorations that will bring extra drama to your room but won't take up too much width or depth. Like winter branches or a tall vase with ornaments stacked. Or look to the walls! Wreathes or hanging ornaments are a great way to add on decor without taking away from extra space. 

Image Sources: Martha Stewart, Aspen Home, and Martha Stewart

5 Tips for the Guest Bedroom Makeover

It’s that time of the year again. Friends and family are popping by for surprise visits and overnights. Most of the year, your guest room is forgotten. It’s probably used to store that treadmill or extra school projects. But during November and December, your guest room should be ready to become the perfect oasis. After all, you don’t want your mother-in-law complaining of a bad mattress every morning!

Guest Beroom

Clean Up

You probably haven’t used your guest bedroom in almost a year. Since then, you most likely have used the space for storage and miscellaneous items. The guest room usually becomes a catch-all and that’s okay. But now it’s time to clean it up and de-clutter.  Try and find another location for any miscellaneous items or if it has to stay in the room, invest in chic storage bins that will help clutter look clean.

Make Your Bed

The first step is to choose a bed that is hypoallergenic, comfortable, and relaxing so that your guests feel right at home. Start with the mattress: everyone has different mattress preferences so find one that’s in the middle of being too hard or too soft. That way it’s likely to suit any guest’s preferences.

And make sure you have a plethora of pillows – both soft and hard. This will help the room look homey but also help if your guests have a pillow preference. And with a combination of heavy comforters and lighter blankets, your visitors will sleep well whether they have a tendency to get too hot or too cold. And here’s the true test: spend a night or two in the guest bed to see how you feel the next morning.

Give Them Space

You’ll want to make sure your guests have storage space and table space for any unpacking or work that they need to do. You’ll want at least one nightstand, a dresser for clothes and accessories, and if room allows – a desk where they can use the internet or catch up on work. Adding in these pieces will help them feel more at home.

In The Details

It’s the smaller details that will really make your guest feel at home. From extra hangers in the closet, to fresh towels, to a bathroom stocked with fresh toiletries. Most likely your guest will have forgotten something. As the host, you should act as a hotel and make sure they have what they need.  

Extra Space?

If there’s extra space in the room, create a small reading nook or sitting area. This can take the form of a bench or wing chair. Either are great – but choose one that will work best in the space. This will allow your guests some “getaway” time from all the holiday craziness. 

How to Maximize Seating During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving, football season, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and other gatherings, you’ll be entertaining a lot more in the coming months. And most likely you’ll have guests gather in the living room to be near the fireplace, the tree, or a holiday movie. And with more entertaining, comes more guests – and a need to maximize seating. Your sectional for six or sofa and loveseat may be more than enough during the year, but now you’re scrambling to find seating for friends and family. We’ve got some tips to make sure everyone has a seat while your living room stays clutter-free.

Cocktail Ottoman

During the holidays, a larger ottoman becomes your best friend. The cocktail ottoman is usually square or rectangular and takes the place of the coffee table. When you need two to three extra seats, you’ll be able to use your ottoman. And, with the addition of a serving tray, you can still use your ottoman for food and drinks. Having an upholstered ottoman in the center of your room also adds coziness and luxury to any room. Like the Diamondback cocktail ottoman shown below. 

Cocktail Ottoman

Accent Chair

If you’ve got the space for it, invest in one or two accent chairs. For a larger space, invest in two wing chairs to add a statement of  elegance. For a smaller space, look for one or two slipper chairs in a fun color or fabric to add some pop. We love the sophisticated style of the Diamondback accent chair for some extra seating. 

Blog Accent Chiar

Small Ottoman

If you plan on keeping your main coffee table, then look for extra seating in smaller ottomans. These smaller ottomans are great because they tuck under furniture (for example a sofa table or coffee table). And they’ll add a bit more visual detail and color to your living room. Like the Ritz ottoman, which is perfect for someone in a much smaller space.

Small Ottoman

Bench

If you’ve got a long or narrow space, a bench is a great way to add a lot of extra seating (usually about three to four per bench!). Like the Avenue bench. And when the holidays are over, you can store your bench somewhere else – like the foot of your bed. It’s a great multi-purpose piece that you can use in any room of the house. And if your bench is high enough, you can use it in the dining room for extra seating. 

Bench

Sources: Domicile Interior Design, Toby Fairly Interior DesignLDA Architecture and Interiors, and CWB Architects.

Planning for the Right Dining Room Table Size

Whether you’ve just moved into a new space or are looking to update your dining room before the holidays, choosing a new dining table can be tricky. Especially when dining tables come in so many sizes and shapes, it’s important to make sure you find a dining table that is both right for your room, your family, and for existing or new chairs. This way everyone can gather around the table this holiday season. We love how the Ashton dining room collection fits so well in this room.

Dining Room Table Size

Shape

First, think about the shape of your dining room. If your dining room is rectangular – then a rectangle or oval table makes the most sense. If your dining room is square – try for a square or round table. Once you’ve figured out what shape will work best for the space, you can plan out size and seating.

Size

Table size is very important to scale just right in the dining room. Try cutting out butcher paper or folding a bed sheet into the size of the table you plan to buy. This way you can see the size and shape come to life in the room. And, if the table has leaves, try and “create” this size too. You’ll want to know how the room will look once family is in town!

When measuring, there are some standard rules that will help you find the perfect table. First, take a look at the width. For round or square/rectangular tables, make sure your table is at least 36” wide so you have room for place settings and food. Usually as the table length increases, so does the width.

You’ll also want to make sure that your guests can get up and move around the room easily. Try to allow for 42” to 48” inches between the edge of your table and the walls (or the closest piece of furniture, such as a sideboard).

Seating

Speaking of entertaining for guests, this is where seating comes in. It’s very important to think about seating and eating space, especially for the upcoming holidays! Once you’ve decided on a table size, it’s good to know what the table can fit. This can vary on shape and leg/base placement. For a quick and easy answer, the table manufacturer or retailer should be able to recommend your table’s seating amount – even for when the leaves are extended. A great rule is to make sure that each person has about 2 feet of table space. Here are some standard seating recommendations for different table sizes:

When you’re planning for a rectangular table, think about how many feet long the table is:

  • 4' long seats 4 people
  • 5 to 6' long seats 6 people
  • 7' long seats 8 people
  • 8 to 9' long seats 10 people
  • 10 to 11' long seats 12 people

And when you’re planning for a round table, think about the pedestal bases:

  • 3' wide with a pedestal base seats 4 people
  • 4' wide with legs seats 4 people
  • 5' wide with a pedestal base seats 6 people
  • 5' wide with legs seats 4 people
  • 6' wide with pedestal base or legs seats 8 people
  • 7' wide with pedestal base or legs seats 9 people

If you want extra seating for when the table is extended, invest in two extra chairs. When they’re not in use, you can place these on either side of an entry way for a polished look.

Chairs

Make sure when you’re investing in new tables or chairs that you measure the chair seat height and the table height. You wouldn't want to get a new dining room table where the chairs are too high – or even too low – for eating. Most dining room chair seats are between 16” and 17” high for a table that is 26.5” tall, and 18” high for a table that is 28” to 30” tall.

Style Quiz

What's your dining room style?

 

Ever wonder what your dining room look is? Are you traditional, eclectic, or modern? Discover your dining room style and get your home ready for the holidays! Answer these 5 simple questions to gather everyone around the table this holiday season.

Our Favorite Fall Crafts Round-Up

Now that Fall is here, it’s time to get your home holiday-ready. From fall leaves to pumpkins, we love these craft projects to get you in the holiday spirit. Try these DIY projects this coming weekend and share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter!

  • White Pumpkin
    Try out chic white pumpkins for your Hallow’s
    Eve dinner. Learn how > 
  • Acorn Mirror
    Transform a mirror with acorns for the
    season. Learn how >
  • Bat Mobile
    Add a touch of whimsy to your window with a
    bat-mobile. Learn how >
  • Halloween Decor
    Update your fireplace molding with some fun
    clip-art. Learn how >
  • Glitter Pumpkins
    Re-invent the pumpkin with some
    glitter. Learn how >
  • Painted Pumpkin Faces
    Turn pumpkins into fun candle
    holders. Learn how >

Talking Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture – it’s a classic furniture style that has never quite gone away. Tufting happens during the upholstery process when layers of fabric are pulled inward (often with a button) to create the tuft, giving off a “buttoned-up” look. Tufted furniture originated in historic France and England (around the 1300s-1400s) and was one of the ways upper classmen would show off their money as tufting requires more fabric than other upholstery methods. Back then, these fabrics were usually rich velvets or silks but today tufted furniture comes in a variety of different fabrics with bright colors and fun patterns to combine old and new styles. You’ll often find the tufted look on the Chesterfield sofa, Barcelona chair, and classic chaise lounges and ottomans.

Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture has the ability to upgrade any room with a more upscale look, for both traditional and contemporary rooms alike. The Brittney ottoman is a more traditional approach to tufting, with a neutral velvet and classic wooden legs. Whereas the Casino IV chair shows how even modern mid-century can be glammed up with bonded leather and metal legs. Almost every design style has its own version of tufted furniture – whether you love shabby chic, modern, and glam.

One of the key benefits to tufted furniture is its longevity. Since this furniture type is tightly upholstered with reinforcement every couple of inches (the tufts), it has less fabric sagging over time. So you can have an elegant look that lasts. We love these tufted rooms!  

Products and images (from left to right): Kim Scodro Interiors with the Montage Ottoman,  Martha O’Hara Interiors with the Classic Accent Chair, J. Scott Interiors with the Marilyn BedNiki Papadopoulos with Casino III Chair, and Distinctive Mantel Designs with the Brittney Ottoman.

Looks We Love: Industrial Chic

We’re loving one of the latest trends to hit the home design world – the industrial chic look. Inspiration for this look comes in many ways – from old factories and warehouses to farmhouses to old New York lofts. The industrial chic look uses reclaimed or recycled wood, exposed brick, pipework or unique and aging metals, and clean lines. And this style goes great with all different colors, patterns, and textures. Don’t be afraid to mix softer pinks and greens with these harsh metals – it will create a stunning, yet contrasting design. Some great examples include coffee tables with old metal pipes for legs or dining room tables made with old barn doors. It’s the perfect blend of old and new.

Industrial Kitchen

You can also bring the industrial chic look to light! Cool and brightly-colored pendants are refreshing and whimsical over a kitchen island, while Edison bulbs make an edgy statement. Mix and match metal lights with recessed lighting so you’ll still get the brightness you need and an edgy look. We love some of these inspiration designs from Andre Rothblatt Architecture, Emily Winters, and Holly Marder.

Industrial Kitchen

Industrial Hallway

Get the industrial look for your home! Here are some ideas to get you started. We love the style of the retro Avenue Sofa with a more neutral color paired with the edgy exposed Edison bulb light.

Industrial Chic

Products (from left to right): Edison Bulb Light, Zig Zag Pillow, Avenue SofaIndustrial Soap Set, Pacifica Cocktail Table, and Cole Mirror.

Mix and Matching Living Room Colors

Your living room may feel a bit drab right now -- and you might be missing color or mixing the wrong colors. In a multi-function space like the living room, it's a great place to test out different colors and patterns. While neutral tones like grays and beige will always be classic, adding in punches of color will help give the room a bold and elegant statement. 

There are two ways you can explore color in your living room. Try bringing color in with accent pieces (think pillows, a side chair, or curtains) or start with a dramatic focal point (such as a bright blue wall or red sofa). A bold color in an otherwise neutral room will give your home a clean and contemporary feel. Think about your favorite color -- or what you want your main color to be. For example, if you love grassy green, start with that as your main color and think about where you'd like the green to be. Once you've figured out what your color focus is, explore some accent colors. For example, grassy green goes great with burnt orange, pale pink, or teal. Mix these colors together using paint chips, fabric swatches, or print outs. This way you'll be able to see how the colors react to one another. 

You may notice that the burnt orange is beautiful next to the green, but is also very saturated. In this case, you might opt for a smaller orange accent like a vase or tray. There are a lot of different types of pieces that can add color to your living room. Have fun with colors and patterns. Try out different throw pillows (like a mix of 4-5 different patterns that work together), vases, trays, accent walls, rugs, or curtains. Whether you're transforming your living room with a mix of colors, or opting for one statement color, your space will feel much more alive. Below are some great ways to mix color palettes for your living room. 

Chevron Ottoman

Try an orange/gold and tie in a contrasting purple and blue, with softer tones like gold and beige. These colors will create both a fresh and regal look.

Blue Sofa

For a calmer space, try out a robin's egg blue with a sunny yellow, tangerine orange, and a bright green. These colors are calming but also add a bit of life to an otherwise neutral space.

Purple Chair

Pair a rich purple with a sage green, coral red, or teal for a fun and festive living room space.

Fall into this Season's Chairs

The season's changing and so are the colors -- outside and inside. Warmer and darker colors are replacing summer's light and bright pastels. Fall's darker and richer colors -- and fabrics -- make a bold and elegant statement and will get your home ready for the coming months. With sage green, dark red, cheery orange, and muted yellow, we think these accent chairs are the perfect fall companion to some hot apple cider and a good book.

A fresh, vibrant orange will add warmth to any room -- and a burst of color during the colder months. Look for tangerine or burnt orange and pair it with a darker teal for a more dramatic effect, or a lighter blue for a fresher style. The darker tangerine orange in the Splendor accent chair is great way to add that color burst. Mix and match your fall colors with bouquets of dried leaves, sunflowers, or aubergine dahlias. 

Chair

Color isn't the only way you can embrace fall in your home. Some chair lines are a bit more classic with a heavier look which is perfect for fall and winter. Like the Chadwick accent chair. This French chair's dark wood finish and subtle fabric embraces the colder season. To amp up the look of fall, add on a velvet or wool throw. And during the summer months, pair it with brightly-colored throw pillows. 

fall_furniture_2_w640

A dark, rich red will add a dramatic fall statement to any room. Whether you're adding this red with a chair or an accent wall, it will amp up all of the other colors in your room. So your room will be a bit brighter and bolder. And it adds the perfect touch of coziness and warmth, like the Nouveau accent chair

Chair

Or try a mix of fall colors -- like a burnt orange, sage green, and muted blue. Mixing and matching is the perfect way to bring in the fall changing colors while also adding a new pattern or color scheme to the rest of your space. Opt for a fun and classic pattern, like that of the Avenue accent chair

fall_furniture_1_w640

Image Credit: Mandarina Studio Interior DesignB Fein Interior Design, Robeson Design, and Crisp Architects.

How to Create Your Dream Home Office

If you have the extra space, creating a home office is a great addition to a home. Whether you work from home full time, or just like to catch up on things over the weekend, designing the perfect workspace will help you be more productive and make you excited to get things done.

What kind of work environment do you want?

What kind of work environment reflects your personality? Do you like bright and white? Colorful and fun? Or serious with black leathers and dark woods? Think about the kind of environment you want and what will set the tone for the type of work you’ll be doing. Look to sites such as Houzz, Pinterest, or Google Images for inspiration and take a look at what you like and don’t like.  

Home Office   Home Office

Where will you be working?

You may be fortunate enough to have an empty room to transform into your dream office. Or you may be trying to create a workspace in a guest room or open living area. If you’re combining two spaces into one room, look for a desk or console table that works with the current décor of the room. This way it won’t stand out as an office space when you have company over. Your desk could double as a vanity in a guest room or as a sofa table in a living room. And add a comfortable chair that adds a bit of flair to the space.

What kind of work will you be doing?

Think about the kind of work you’ll be doing and what you’ll need storage and space for. Will you mostly be working on the computer? Will you need a larger surface for spreading work out? Make sure that your furniture (and space) will support the type of work you’ll be doing so you can be as productive as possible.

You’ll also want to think about the types of storage you’ll need, from bookshelves, to filing cabinets, to baskets and binders. Think about the best way to store everything that you’ll be using in the most aesthetic way – and look for inspiration images in your field too. You’ll find best practices in storing whatever it is you’ll be working with.

Home Office   Home Office  

What helps you be productive?

Explore what helps you get the most work done. If brighter light helps, move away from window treatments and look for stronger lighting options with a higher bulb wattage. Or if you want less light, look for black-out curtain panels. You can also think about sound and insulation (things like rugs and upholstered items help absorb more sound).

Play around with the layout too. If you work best with a view, face the desk towards the window. Or if you want to avoid any distractions, try having the desk face a wall.

Helpful Tips

  • Look for inspiration images in your field to find out what works best.
  • Think about the layout and color palette to make sure you can get the most work done.
  • Invest in a desk that makes the most sense for you. If you want something much larger than a standard desk – like a small-sized dining table, then go for it!

Image Credit: Stephanie Wiley PhotographyNancy Sanford, Inc., Rossington Architecture, and Maria Killam.

- See more at: http://www.furniture.com/blog/how-to-create-your-dream-home-office#sthash.1eCAJzk8.dpuf

How to Choose the Right Area Rug

You may be struggling to figure out what your room is missing – and the answer may be just under your feet. A rug is the perfect finishing touch for any room. It ties elements of the room together, adds warmth, and also contributes a new color, texture, or pattern. As you’re beginning the hunt for a new rug, there are some things to consider to make sure you make the right purchase.

Area Rug

Size

It’s very important that you choose the right size rug for your room. A rug that’s too big will look awkward whereas a rug that’s too small will make the furniture seem like it’s floating. Make sure you measure the space first. Once you do that, here’s a good rule of thumb: a rug should be about 18 inches from the wall on every side (give or take a few inches). So for example, for a 10 feet wide room, make sure your rug is no bigger than 8 feet. This will give it that perfect visual balance.

Color

If your space is lacking color, use a rug to add it back in. Or, if you have different colored pieces in your room, a rug will tie all of those colors together. For example, let’s say you went with a pastel-theme and have a light blue chair, and pink and green pillows. You can look for a rug that has all of these colors in it. If your space is already really colorful, a neutral rug can be a great way to tone it down.

Pattern

Rugs come in a variety of different and fun patterns. So if your room has a lot of solid color pieces in it, then a fun, patterned rug is a great way to change things up. Or, if you already have a lot of patterns on accent chairs and pillows, for example, look for a rug with less pattern.

Construction

There are a lot of different types of rugs – and it’s important to understand the different constructions especially if you’re purchasing online. There are usually five types: hand-knotted, tufted, hooked, flat-woven, and braided.

 

Handknotted RugHand-Knotted: Hand-knotted rugs are made from a labor-intensive technique where individual knots are tied to make up the length of the rug. And the more knots, the more durable and valuable the rug is. When shopping, keep in mind that no two hand-knotted rugs are exactly the same.

 

Tufted RugTufted: Tufted rugs are created with loops of yarn pulled through the rug backing. These loops are then cut to create a smooth, cut-pile rug. These rugs tend to shed more but they also are less expensive and made faster due to the process.

 

Hooked RugHooked: Hooked rugs go through the same process as tufted rugs but the only difference is that the loops are kept in-tact as opposed to being cut.

 

 

Flat-Weave RugFlat-Woven: A flat-woven rug doesn’t have a pile or height to them and tend to be a bit more durable and less soft – for example, a dhurrie.

 

 

BraidedBraided: Braided rugs are similar to flat-woven rugs. They don’t have a pile but are also reversible and extremely durable due to the braiding process. Yarn is braided into one continuous rope that is sewn together in a spiral.  are reversible due to their process and don’t have a pile, similar to flat-woven.

 

Materials

Not only should you research the type of rug construction, but also what the rug is made from. Depending on what space the rug is for, or if you have pets/kids, you’ll want to keep in mind the pros and cons of different material types.

  • Wool: Wool rugs tend to be stronger, more durable, but still soft to the touch. But keep in mind they’re prone to early shedding and color fading.
  • Silk: Silk helps add sheen and softness to other rug materials. This is great for a more elegant room, such as a dining room. But beware of stains and footprints – silk rugs can be harder to clean.  
  • Cotton: Cotton rugs are great for patterned or colorful rooms since they easily absorb dyes. However, these rugs can attract dust easily and wear quickly as they’re not always as durable.
  • Jute/Sisal: Natural grass rugs such as jute and sisal are extremely durable, flat-woven rugs. Since they’re flat-woven, they have a coarser feel and are also more prone to stains.
  • Synthetic: Synthetic rugs include those made with nylon, polypropylene, acrylic, and viscose. They are very strong, stain resistant, and great for high-traffic areas, but can be impressioned easily under heavier furniture.

Maintenance Tips

  • Spot clean stains as soon as they happen.
  • Use a rug pad to keep the rug in place.
  • Shake and vacuum your rug regularly.
  • Rotate your rug every couple of months so it’s evenly worn with foot traffic/furniture weight. 

Image Credit: Macy's.

Creating a Welcoming and Functional Entryway

Your entryway/foyer is the first space guests see when they enter your home, but it’s often overlooked. An entryway welcomes you after a long day of work and also invites guests into your home. It also functions as a space where you can prepare to leave the house – from keys to umbrellas to winter boots. And your entryway sets the tone for the rest of the journey through your home.  The smaller space of the foyer is always a challenge – what do you put there? How do you arrange items? Luckily it’s one of the easiest spaces in a home to decorate and fill – you just have to make sure you have the right items.

Think About the Function of the Space

In almost every entryway, you’ll need a console table or a chest. This is your starting point. If you’re looking for extra storage, go for a console chest with drawers like the Cottage console. This will keep the space clean, but you’ll also get to keep extra items out of sight. If you’re just looking for a place to throw your keys and house décor items, go for a traditional console table like the Halo sofa table. These often come with two drawers or without drawers altogether. The console table or chest is the perfect place to store those leaving-the-house items like keys, garage door openers, umbrellas, or coupons.

Make It Bigger

An entryway is small. But you can open and expand the space with a large wall mirror that goes right above the console. This will help make the space seem larger, and catch a quick glimpse of yourself before you leave the house. You’ll want to make sure that the wall mirror is no wider than your console table. The Turnberry mirror and Maison Sand mirror are great sizes for this. 

Creating the Welcoming and Functional Entryway

An entryway can be done in any style - from rustic industrial to glam contemporary like shown above.

Throw Down a Rug

A smaller rug (like a 3x5, 2x3, or door mat – depending on the size of the room) will help tie the room together, add some warmth, and also double as a door mat. Look for more durable rug types such as a jute, sisal, or woven.

Add Some Character – and Function

Add some character with a functional touch. If you live somewhere rainy, look for a vintage or unique umbrella holder to store umbrellas while also adding a touch of color to your space. If you live in colder areas, look into a coat or hat rack for your entryway. These will add some visual interest while also keeping things organized.

Light Up a Lamp

Add in a table lamp onto your console table. The lower lighting will help create a more relaxing, sophisticated space while the lamp itself will add some décor.

Finally, Add Some Decor

Add smaller décor items and fill the console table with things you love. Whether it’s candles, your grandmother’s antique dish, fresh flowers, or artwork against the mirror, these items will help make this space more inviting – and more you. And make sure there’s  a spot for your keys!

Products (from left to right): Greenwich Sofa Table, Driftwood Key Hook, Horse Sculpture Bookends, Terra Cotta Desk Lamp, Maison Sand MirrorCottage Console, Green Barrel Umbrella HolderTurnberry Mirror, Orange Chevron Wall HookHalo Sofa Table, Gold Umbrella Stand, Zebra Printed Rug, and Danielle Console.

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Transform Your Home for the Perfect Retreat

It’s not too late to go on vacation, minus the hotel room and plane flights. You spend every day in your home – it should be an oasis and a safe haven where you can relax and unwind. Whether you’re looking to create a resort atmosphere in the next couple of days or transform your home into a year-long spa retreat, there are some quick updates you can make to your space. 

Clean It Up

Think of it as spring cleaning, but the summer version. File any excess papers, get rid of anything you don’t need, and clean it all out. Here’s a three-step program to help you: line up three baskets or bins. The first is a throw-away pile, the second is a donation pile, and the third is a “put things back where they belong” pile. And try and donate within the next couple of days so you free up some more space. You’ll feel better and happier in your home if it’s less cluttered and more organized. Once you've removed all excess clutter, thoroughly clean everything. Everything from bathtubs to toilets, and laundry to dusting. Make sure your home looks and breathes clean. And this will also make cleaning in the future easier and quicker.

Rearrange and Refresh

Take a look at the layout from a “guest’s” perspective. Can you move things around? Are things placed where they should be? You may not realize that you’ve been living with the same layout for quite some time and things are in need of a serious update! It's always good to update your home's layout once a year (if not professionally designed). This will help you refresh the space. 

Resort Design

Go Neutral

If you really want to go for the spa/resort look, opt for neutrals and calm colors. It’s always best to have larger items in neutral colors, and bring in patterns and colors with décor items. For example, pairing the Celeste chair with a tropical palm or coral pillow. That way they can be updated and rotated more easily for a fresh new look every couple of months. And make an update to artwork with colorful photography or paintings that will make a statement and calm you at the same time.

Liven Up with Luxury

If you’re due for a furniture upgrade, try out a luxury-look with a chaise lounge or upholstered bed, like the Maison Sand bed. Use softer lighting like table lamps and wall sconces. Not only will these touches give some added luxury, they’ll also offer relaxation and comfort for a complete resort look.

And last of all, remember to relax and enjoy yourself in your home!

Products (from left to right): Celeste Chair, Embroidered Coral Pillow, Tropical Palm Pillow, Air Plant Sea Urchin Trio, Oliver Accent ChestMaison Sand Bed, and Nautical Crab Print

The Fall 2013 Pantone Color Trends in Furniture

As we pass through August, the fall 2013 Pantone colors are beginning to trend in home decor and furniture. With colors such as Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Acai, Samba, Koi, Deep Lichen Green, Vivacious, Carafe, and Beaujolais, they're offering up bold statements in modern, traditional, and contemporary rooms alike. Whether you're planning on trying these colors on your walls, or you're opting for a subtle accent piece, these colors are sure to transform your space for the coming months. 

The rich Emerald green continues to update any look with increased elegance and luxury while Linden Green lightens and brightens darker fall shades -- we love how it does just this in the Concord accent chair. And the contrasting Samba red provides an expressive and dramatic look -- perfect for a smaller accent piece such as the Celebration ottoman. We find that Turbulence and Carafe offer an alternative to the cold blacks and grays of fall, adding a bit of warmth to a more sophisticated room, like the clean lines of the Solace gray sofa. And of course we can't forget the bright and dazzling Koi, which is perfect for adding in a color pop to a lighter and more neutral room, for example, with the Drake bar stool. Will you be bringing any of these colors into your home? 

Linden Green PantoneTurbulence PantoneAcai PantoneDeep Lichen GreenEmerald PantoneVivacious PantoneCarafe PantoneKoi Pantone

Products (left to right): Madison Accent Chair, Jordan Full Corner BedCelebration Ottoman, Oasis Accent ChairSolace Gray SofaDrake Bar Stool, Alcove Sage Chair, Radiance II Sofa, Palmer III 92" Sofa, and Radiance Cube Ottoman.

Get the Home Ready for Back-to-School

You’re getting your kids ready for back-to-school, but is your house ready? There may be a new list of school supplies and last-minute summer reading but there’s also a need to organize and prepare for the homework, playdates, and after-school clubs before the craziness begins.

Out with the Old, In with the New

There’s a lot of new art projects, book reports, and dioramas coming your way. Before it all begins, take a look at all of last year’s school work and get organized. Display some pieces, and store others, but most of all make sure there are no piles! We love this arts and crafts project from Simple as that Blog and this filing/organization tip from 4 Men 1 Lady

Kids Organization

Create a Home Hub

Find a spot in your home where you can house all activities, field trips, calendars – everything in one place. Invest in a cork board, magnet board, chalkboard, or all three. These boards will help eliminate paper piles over time by helping  you use more wall space.

Invest in Shelving

Get the kids stocked up with shelving like the Black bookcase. They’ll need it for when even more projects come through and make it easy to store loose papers and scattered toys. Look for neat storage bins or paper holders that can hide the clutter and keep their rooms looking neat.

Kids Organization

Reassess their Rooms

Have they outgrown their twin-size bed? Is their desk practical for the homework they’ll be doing this year? Take a look at their furniture and see if now is the time to make an update for the next stage in their life. It might be time for an upgrade to a larger bed, like the Seaside full bed

Create a Cubby System

Are your kids trying out new activities this year? Create a cubby system for weekly activities near your entryway or doorway to make sure that no one forgets that baseball glove on their way to school. We love this idea from Pinterest

Kids Organization

Whatever updates your home needs to get back-to-school ready, make sure you do it sooner than later so you have time to relax before the summer ends!

How Do I Figure Out My Design Style?

Figuring out your design style is a tricky thing. Are you contemporary? Eclectic? Retro? A mix? And what do those terms mean when talking about a room? For example, many of us say our style is "contemporary" but the definition varies so much for each individual. If you're in the process of refurnishing your home or buying furniture for a new home, it's very important to understand your style and how everything will work together to create the look you're going for. 

Get Googling, Pinning, our Houzzing

Before tackling the shopping process, start searching for rooms instead of terms. Look on Google Images, Pinterest, or Houzz and get lost in the different spaces. When you see something you like, save them all in a board, folder, or ideabook. If you're unsure what to search for, try searching for catch-all keywords that will show a variety of different styles such as "bedroom" or "fireplace design". By searching in this way, you'll find a variety of different design solutions and styles to help you visually identify your look. 

Make a List

A week later, take a look at what images you've saved with a fresh eye. Write down trends you notice from picture to picture. For example, have you noticed that seven of the rooms have starburst mirrors? Or, that all the rooms have fabric sofas instead of leather? You'll notice themes throughout your these images that will help you understand what you like. You'll notice that your "themes" list is morphing into a shopping list such as: circular mirrors, microfiber sofa, moroccan tile rug, and slipper chairs.

Find Your Interior Design Style

Here are some things to look for throughout photos: 

     
  • What types of wall art and decor are in the rooms? Are there kinds that I like or don't like?
  • Are there mostly fabric sofas? Or leather sectionals?
  • What kinds of coffee tables do the rooms feature? Do they have clean lines or have room for storage?
  • Are there colors I'm gravitating towards? Or do the colors vary?
  • Are there consistent materials throughout the photos? 

Start Shopping

Start the shopping process with the list you just made. As you do this, pin or save what products you like. That way, you can look at everything holistically and make sure everything ties into the style you want. Shopping online is a great way to make sure your keeping to your style and plan. Check out the example Pinterest board we created to get the look from one of the rooms above!

Image Sources: Paul Moon DesignHouzz Traditional RoomsErika Bonnell, Inc.Paul Moon DesignMichael Abrams LimitedJane Lockhart Interior Design