12 Easy Decorating Tips to Transform Any Room

Get a great result even without an experienced touch by following these basic design guidelines


I hate to break it to you, but designers don’t follow a secret rule book. There are no hard and fast laws governing what we do. We are creative types by nature and love to imagine, dream and explore, following our intuition. That said, there are some rough principles that guide us to ensure a great result every time. They are just tried and true things that work. And these aren’t tricks or skills that take years to master. Anyone can do them from day one. Consider this a foundation for developing your own quirky, creative, rule-breaking intuition.

The Easiest (and Cheapest) Way to Update Your Kitchen, According to Joanna Gaines

The Easiest (and Cheapest) Way to Update Your Kitchen, According to Joanna Gaines

Use these fast ideas to transform the room in a weekend.


1This Aboriginal carving-covered home.


Even though small homes are all the rage, they’re not for everyone. After all, it takes some serious creativity and design skills to make a couple of hundred square feet feel like the Taj Mahal. But these top 10 mini abodes piqued your interest this year and we’ll go so bold as to say we bet they even made you consider going tiny.

1This Aboriginal carving-covered home.

tiny house

The Esk’et Tiny House is located in Canada and, even though it’s only 280 square feet, it includes a luxe fireplace to help keep the homeowners warm during harsh winters.

2 This festive green cottage.

tiny house

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is this whimsical cottage (courtesy of Sit With Me In My Garden!) which transforms into Santa’s workshop during winter, thanks to peppermint balls and candy canes galore.

3 This Hampton’s artist retreat.

tiny house

Nestled in Sag Harbor is this small, 600-square-foot cottage, which is the ultimate artist escape for writing, painting and anything else your creative mind might enjoy.

4This tiny home with a giant kitchen.

If you need proof that you can live big in a small space, here it is: The blogger behind My Empty Nest hosted Thanksgiving dinner in her Sherwood, Oregon, house last year.

5 This cheery little cottage.

It’s amazing how much happiness this 260-square-foot home fits into its mini frame — from the wraparound porch to the yellow and red palette to the Northern California coastline location.

6 This real-life snow globe.

If you want to witness winter’s wonders, but stay cozy and warm, look no further than this 160-square-foot home known as the

7 This home that boasts a front porch.

Dough Schroeder of Timbercraft Tiny Homes in Guntersville, Alabama, built this 150-square-foot house in a way that totally maximizes what little space it offers, including space for you and a guest at night.

8 This high-end designer’s abode.

This sleek home designed by New Frontier Tiny Homes features all of the latest design trends, including a farmhouse sink, shiplap and subway tile in just about 200-square-feet.

9 This emerald beauty.

Tiny Heirloom makes mini homes that are all about the details, starting with this Granny Smith apple-colored door and ending with an interior that can be custom-made depending on your lifestyle.


10This guest-friendly abode.

Update From:http://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/house-tours/news/g4073/most-popular-tiny-houses-2016/

How to Grow Succulents Indoors and Outside


The best way to think of succulents is as “fat plants.” Parts of them, usually their leaves, swell up with water, and this stops them from drying out in arid conditions.

Cacti are the most obvious examples of the plant, but sedums and sempervivums are also common varieties. They all share that fleshy, tender look and often have gray-green leaves, though there are plenty of others with leaves in colors that range from black and red to yellow. Because they come from hot, dry places, they tend to not be too hardy. If they’re left outdoors during the winter, they’ll likely be killed off by frost.

Growing Succulents Indoors

Succulents make fantastic houseplants. They like dry air — so they’re perfect for our centrally heated homes — and don’t need to be watered very often. They require lots of light, however, so you’ll want to place them near or on a windowsill and make sure their roots are very well drained.

To create a lovely display, try gathering different-colored but similar-sized sempervivums together in a shallow white bowl. A good place to start is with echeverias, maybe mixing the red-pink Echeveria agavoides “Lipstick” with the gray and purple Echeveria agavoides “Vachon.”

If you have a little bit more space, you might want to try rubber plants. They also need light, so make sure they’re somewhere near a window and, if you can, have more than one in a room. Two would look nice on either side of a window, or a line of three or more could make architectural shapes along a wall.

You can move these houseplants outside in warmer weather so they can get some fresh air. In winter, the biggest danger to succulents is too much water, so make sure the containers are really well drained to avoid leaving the roots sitting in water.

If you do run into a sad succulent situation and the plant starts to look as though it’s dead, don’t write it off straightaway. Succulents have the capacity to rise again, so give the plant some tender, loving care and wait at least four weeks to see if it revives.


Growing Succulents Outdoors

Hardy sempervivums and sedums, many of which can survive unprotected in frosts, are the most common succulents for planting outdoors — but before you move them outside, be sure check their labels.

Similar to indoor succulents, the best sempervivums are made up of interesting tight rosettes. Sempervivum calcareum has gray-green rosettes with contrasting red tips, and Sempervivum “Moerkerk’s Merit” is a silvery green color with a soft velvet sheen.

Sedums are small- to medium-sized evergreen perennials, which look amazing when planted en masse across a whole bed. Look out for the pretty gray-purple combinations you get with Sedum “Ruby Glow” or the tiny ground-cover stonecrop Sedum cauticola.

The best part is these outdoor plants really look after themselves. In the spring, simply cut any dead or damaged stems or leaves right down to the base. Otherwise, they’re very low-maintenance.


The Tender Types

If you don’t mind spending some time looking after them, tender succulents can also look amazing outdoors.

Look out for the plant that every garden designer loves: Aeonium “Zwartkop,” which grows black rosettes of leaves on the ends of strong stalks. This purple-black mixes beautifully with so many other colors, too, including the lime green leaves and flowers of euphorbia or grasses or the pink flowers of Lychnis coronaria, to create a dramatic, exciting look.

Another amazing succulent is the agave. Exotic and impressive, they grow spears of fleshy leaves from a central point. Gardeners often opt for the smaller gray-leaved varieties, such as the Agave parrasana or Agave parryi, which look great individually planted in terra cotta pots or displayed in a regimented line. Alternatively, if you have space, try the Agave americana, which has huge gray-green spears that form the perfect centerpiece in a jungle-style garden.


Caring for Tender Succulents Outdoors

The main thing about tender plants is that they need protection during winter. If they’re kept in pots they should be brought inside into a greenhouse or a sunny place in the house. If the pots can’t be moved or the plants are in the ground, it’s best to wrap their tops with bubblewrap to keep the frost off and to create an umbrella that shields the base of the plants and the roots from the worst of the rain.


Tour a Sleek Black Kitchen Where Old and New Meet in the Middle


Royal Caribbean Is Building the Largest Cruise Ship in the World

Royal Caribbean Is Building the Largest Cruise Ship in the World


cruise ship

If there ever was a cruise ship announcement that deserved a “mic drop,” we’d turn up the volume on this one: Royal Caribbean just announced that it’s building a ship that’s going to be even bigger and grander than its current record holder, Harmony of the Seas. Clearly, the company prides itself on holding this title and isn’t about to let anyone come in and take it.

During a phone call with journalists, Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley told Skift that the company’s new ship, Symphony of the Seas, will be the “latest, greatest, newest, most beautiful baby that’s coming soon.” It’ll debut in April 2018 and will be able to hold 5,494 people . That’s the population of a small town (no big deal).

Bayley also revealed it’ll be “slightly longer,” “a tad wider,” and have a slew of new luxury features.The few we know about include a multi-deck water slide for the kids and a Bionic Bar, where cocktails are made by robots (how very Passengers of them).

bionic bar

The ship is currently being built in a shipyard in France and will sail to the Caribbean and Europe once it’s finished. If you’ve already been to these destinations, don’t worry: These other impressive cruise ships will take you to places all over the world in style.


See This Living Room Go From Dark and Dated to a Country Cottage Dream

OK, this one deserves a slow clap. How do you take a dark, drab ’60s living room and turn it into an airy living and dining room dream? Ask Jenna Diermann of Jenna Sue Design Co. She’s in the middle of revealing her fabulous flip of a cottage house in Mi Wuk Village, California, room by room (check out the exterior and the kitchen!), and this one started as a doozy.

It was dark and outdated, and the layout just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to Diermann.

So while using it as a workspace for renovating the rest of the house, Diermann got to work. The plan was to utilize the room as an open living room and dining room. All it took was painting the paneling white and adding recessed lighting to brighten up the space.

Of course, she kept the pretty brick fireplace, but she addd a reclaimed wood mantel and gave it a coat of paint, too.

Then she installed cabinets to match the ones in the kitchen.

And wide plank Pergo flooring.


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