I let the kids (well, teenagers, to be fair) put up the Christmas decorations this year. Scary? Yes. But they loved it and it turned out they did a really nice job. It’s turned into a welcomed update for our home. Not only that, it’s left empty the top of my sideboard in the dining room.
That can only mean one thing—it’s time to go shopping!
Browsing around got me thinking about exactly what I might want for that space, the vibe I wanted to create, the colors I wanted to use. Want I really wanted was to create a little vignette—a coordinated scene with pieces that fit together just right to tell a little story.
My dining room is lovely, but’s not the least bit formal. Despite that, I wanted something a little more upscale for this space. The kids are getting older, I’m worried much less about the breaking things, and my tastes have changed since we acquired the bulk of our holiday decor.
The opportunity to work from home seems like a dream come true. After all, who wouldn’t want to trade time clocks and micromanagement for more time with loved ones, a flexible schedule, and all the comforts of home at your fingertips at all times?
But if you’ve been lucky enough to achieve that dream, you know all too well that it comes with its own set of challenges. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable and uninspired when you settle into your home office, it can be all too easy to succumb to distractions and actually get things done.
Setting aside a dedicated work space that’s comfy, creative, and ergonomic - a place you’re excited to go to work in each day - can do wonders for your productivity. Whether you’re just getting started or have been at it for a while, these home office upgrades can amplify creativity, eliminate distractions, and create a healthy environment you’ll be proud to work in.
Winding Down at Bath Time Takes More Than Just Bubbles
Doesn’t it seem like there was way more to do in the bath as a kid?
If you’re anything like me, sitting at a desk all day hurts my neck and back. I spend entire days dreaming of stepping into the bathtub and slipping away into calm, fragrant bliss but when I finally pour in epsom salts, I’m bored. Immediately. My record shortest bath? Three minutes. Which, apparently, is only 4 seconds longer than the record for world’s shortest bath. Anyway, I’m just glad that my current apartment doesn’t charge me for water.
I still want to like baths, though. I’ve tried to battle this bathtub ennui by watching movies on my tablet (from the top of the closed toilet seat), using bath bombs, reading a book -- but the pages always get all wet and I can never drink water without dripping condensation all over the floor. The guiltiness of not working on anything always creeps up on me, as well -- my partner calls it a symptom of being a workaholic. But I’m determined to make baths work for me.
My jaw dropped the first time I saw the Me Time Bamboo Bath Tray Caddy at Urban Outfitters. Its sustainable bamboo construction fits in with the motif of my minimalist-inspired, plant heavy apartment and remains modern with metal arms. The bamboo also resists mildew, so that’s perfect -- especially since my apartment doesn’t have the best built-in ventilation (do they ever?). The metal arms are especially helpful, since they adjust to fit across any size bathtub, so I can take it with me when I move or go on longer trips.
3 Reasons to Update a Kitchen with an Island Solution
Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen is where family gathers and memories are made. Holiday baking and Sunday dinners are nostalgic recollections that many people recall fondly. Many a memory begins with laughter at the thought of the crowded kitchen, overflowing with people and love.
Sometimes… too crowded and too overflowing.
There are usually two choices when that happens: renovate or update. In a 2017 Home Renovation Survey, EmpireToday found that the most renovated room at 54% was the kitchen.
More and more, people are choosing to start with an update. It’s less expensive. It’s also a great way to solve an immediate need while setting the stage for a bigger project.
There are several big reasons for wanting a change. A little paint to freshen up a tired kitchen and an island or cart can be the answers that meets those needs.
The three top reasons for updating a kitchen with a cart or island are:
A-Glamping We Will Go.
Ahhh, summer in the rugged outdoors. Communing with nature in all its primitive glory. Drifting off in an inch-thick sleeping bag over the sensual feel of rocks and crevices. Awakening to a sociable, affectionate mosquito poised to engage in a blood-swapping ritual. It’s such a glorious human experience.
For other people.
Me? I have a hard time leaving the 1200 TC sheets behind, and slumbering less than 24 inches off the floor. Give me my electric lamp, hairdryer, and a piece of wall art here and there, and I’ll go camping.
Sometimes I think the concept of “glamping” was invented for me, or at very least for people like me. It’s an ingenious way to get your fill of pristine Mother Earth while not wandering too far from the comforts of home. And increasingly, merchandisers have discovered this captive market. A thirst for not-really-camping-but-camping has led to some cool inventions, and this glamping tent is one I’ve spotted.
Look, I can’t afford this. And I don’t even know how much it costs. Let’s file it under “pipe dream” for now. But plenty of outfits produce less glamorous versions that are within reach, and they include noteworthy features such as plush floors, shelving, mobile electrical outlets, and other signs of civilization.
You don’t need to strut your Jeremiah Johnson creds to participate in an outdoor adventure. Fishing is the same fishing, whether you sleep in a worn-out bag or a swanky glamping tent. These are just a more contemporary way to mobilize the finer points of home living.
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, you know it’s the best place to spend your free time in the summer. My backyard has become a great place to make the most of some of my hobbies, and I’m really looking forward to entertaining my friends outside of the house this year.
Cooking has become one of my favorite things to do recently. I love cooking inside the house, but I’ve been looking to expand my hobby so that I can enjoy it in my backyard. Recently, I put together a small herb garden, which has completely changed the way I use my space. Each herb has its own label, which looks great, and makes life easier when I want to garnish a dish.
It’s a fun thing to put together by yourself, or with a group, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and how much character it brings your space. I know all my friends are going to be impressed by my humble garden. There are tons of directions you can go with your herb garden, but if style is important to you, I love the look of a tiered vertical planter.
Now that I have an impressive selection of herbs in my backyard, my latest focus has been embracing cooking in the outdoors. While it isn’t necessary, having a reliable source for cooking in the backyard can be a tremendous upgrade. A barbecue of any size is an incredible addition to a backyard, and is great way to make the most of an apartment balcony, if your building allows it. It’s great for searing a couple of steaks for an intimate dinner, or for grilling burgers and hot dogs for a big family cookout.
Recently, I’ve had my eye on The Big Green Egg, which if you’ve never seen before, really lives up to its name. Available in 7 different sizes, it’s incredibly versatile, and sure to fit your precise needs. Not only will it help you achieve great results, its distinct look will become a focal point in your backyard.
When I finally got my own bedroom at the tender age of 8, I had an immediate décor request: All Paisley, All the Time. Okay, it was a different era, and paisley was trendy. My wish was granted in the form of a paisley print daybed cover in deep purple, a sheer delight for this grade-schooler.
But rather than cowering into obsolescence, paisley resurfaces every decade or so as a hot property in home design. And, it’s back.
Today’s versions are all over the map, ranging from splashy bold palettes to demure and subtle duo-tones. What they have in common is a timeless way to capture a nostalgic ambiance, and a delightfully artistic aesthetic.
You’ll find paisley prints in linens, rugs, and wall art with relative ease. But here’s an idea that’s catching on, and making a (back)splash: How about paisley ceramic tiles?
Let’s face it, this last part of winter, when it seems like it’s been months since we felt the warmth of the sun, it’s not fun. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. We’re going to talk about warming up your decor for winter, getting through whatever the winter equivalent of the dog days of summer are.
Can we start with the obvious? It warms up your decor and you. Add a gorgeous, plush throw blanket to the back of a sofa or armchair. We’re partial to this one from Pottery Barn, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to curl up in all that softness. A soft gray shade adds a contemporary touch to an already-appealing design.
We like this one from Ethan Allan, too. An oversized cable knit reminds us of snowed in days spent at grandma’s house, while maintaining a modern, updated look for the living room. Not only does this throw add warmth, it delivers a substantial dose of texture, creating dimensionality in any space.
Last throw we’re coveting this winter is from Wayfair, a cozy fleece Sherpa blanket that begs for an afternoon binging Netflix. It’s a classic for a reason, and softness and warmth simply radiate from this enticing throw. Great for the end of the bed and curling up in the afternoon, it’s stylish enough for the living room, too.
What’s popular right now? What are customers looking to add to their home, and what are the trends likely to drive sales?
Cashing in on the latest trends is a huge part of a successful ecommerce platform, but it must be balanced against the risk of being overly focused only on what’s trendy in the moment.
We’ve curated a list of a few current design trends that offer stylish place right in the sweet spot—trendy enough to inspire sales, not so trendy as to be out of date in less than ninety days.
Fall has arrived. Figuratively, if not literally.
How do we know? There are a few ways, not the least of which is the rapid onslaught of all things pumpkin spice. Another, a flood of emails encouraging me to buy sweaters and all manner of fall decor. On top of that, Labor Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial end of summer. And now it’s open season on all things Autumn.