rug-sofa

10 Decorating Mistakes You May Be Making (and How to Fix Them)

10 Decorating Mistakes You May Be Making (and How to Fix Them)

Young woman looking out of the window of her car and enjoys the view at sunset, getting away from the city

How to Keep Your Car Clean During Road Trips

How to Keep Your Car Clean During Road Trips

If a long car trip is in your future this summer, here’s how to keep your ride clean (and your sanity intact).

 

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Tidy Up Frequently

Trash and clutter can easily build up in a small space, so make cleaning your car a habit. “Clear all trash from the car every time you stop for gas, lunch, or at rest stops,” says Gordon. “When you stop for the night, take a moment to tidy up the car: Stow road trip activities, fold up and stack blankets and pillows, put away chargers and headphones. Starting the day’s journey with a tidy car makes each leg of the trip feel like a new voyage.” To keep things streamlined, keep all road trip activities and accessories in a zippered tote bag so it can be passed between the front and back seats without items spilling.

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5 Genius Coconut Oil Hacks

5 Genius Coconut Oil Hacks

This pantry staple has plenty of uses outside the kitchen.

I can’t help it—I’m absolutely obsessed with coconut oil. Of course it’s great for cooking, but there have certainly been times when I’ve emptied my jars without ever sautéing anything. Here, some of my favorite ways to use the multipurpose oil beyond the frying pan:

1

Deep Conditioner.

coconut-oil-bowl

There are plenty of haircare products that boast coconut oil as an ingredient nowadays, but my mom always skipped the fancy bottles and went straight to the source. She would massage warmed liquid coconut oil into my scalp twice a month before bedtime all throughout my childhood. Although I was annoyed to have to sleep with a towel around my head, boy did my hair grow fast. After washing the oil out with shampoo in the morning, I’d walk away with shiny, soft tresses, and no dandruff to be found.

Secret Ingredient in Boxed Cake Mix.

This is an easy way to make a cake that tastes 100 percent homemade—even when you’re using a boxed mix. Real Simple food editor Grace Elkus discovered this by accident, but substituting melted coconut oil in for the vegetable oil that recipes normally call for resulted in a super-fluffy cake that strongly resembled a homemade version.

Eye Makeup Remover.

For anyone who’s walked around sporting the remnants of yesterday’s mascara, you know that some eye makeup can be notoriously difficult to remove. Instead of splurging on an extra product, try lightly dabbing liquid coconut oil onto your lower lid with a clean fingertip, and gently wiping the makeup residue away. It lifts away easily, and any remaining oil can be spread across your skin to act as a moisturizer. Voila—no raccoon eyes for you!

DIY Home Cleaning Products.

Whether you’re giving your countertops a light wipe down or need something more heavy-duty to remove stubborn sticky residue, coconut oil is a staple ingredient in two home cleaning mixes Melissa Maker of Clean My Space shared with Real Simple. When mixed with water, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and the scented essential oil of your choice, it makes for a great solution to clean natural stone, and when paired with equal parts baking soda, it becomes a powerful Goo Gone alternative that’s all-natural.

Sunburn Salve.

Too much fun in the sun? Soothe burns by massaging a light layer of coconut oil to the affected areas. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, coconut oil’s moisturizing and skin-calming properties have been shown to enhance wound healing, making it helpful for taming inflamed skin. As an added bonus, it also has antimicrobial properties, which may help prevent infections.

latticework-daybed

A Trading Spaces Star Created the Cutest Kids’ Decor

Trading Spaces Star Created the Cutest Kids’ Decor

Genevieve Gorder’s new collection is what magical kids’ rooms are made of.

If you spent most of the 2000s watching TLC’s room makeover show Trading Spaces, then you likely already know designer Genevieve Gorder’s classic-yet-modern style and fun-loving personality. For her recent collaboration with Land of Nod, she brought along both. Timeless investment pieces, such as a sturdy seven-drawer dresser, will survive the transition from kid’s room to grown-up bedroom, while whimsical accessories (think, shiny star-shaped pillows) add a pop of playfulness. Once your child’s room is outfitted with these stylish pieces and adorable details, don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to swap spaces.

1

Latticework Grey Daybed

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This piece may feel like a splurge for a kid’s room, but the ageless design and the versatility of a daybed made it a worthwhile investment. Little ones will love using it as their personal sleeping nook, while teens will use it as a hangout spot, and it can even follow them to their first apartments, where it will become a TV-watching lounge.

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Star Throw Pillow

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A shiny metallic throw pillow adds serious star power to a child’s room. Pop this celestial accessory on the bed or a side chair, or buy a few to create a room full of stars. This pillow also makes a sweet gift for a little one who always picks out the shiniest thing at the store.

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Grey and Gold Nightstand

grey-gold-nightstand

Gold details add a bit of glitz to this streamlined nightstand. Another piece that will work for years to come, this nightstand has a sleek silhouette that will never go out of style. The top drawer offers some bedside storage, while the open area below is the perfect spot to tuck a basket or small garbage pail.

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Lion Furniture Knob

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If you aren’t in the market to buy a brand-new dresser for your child’s bedroom, update the current one with a set of lion drawer pulls. From afar, this hardware will add a touch of metallic to the room, while up close, it infuses an older piece with personality. Equal parts regal and whimsical, these pulls will make you smile every time you open a drawer.

Small Bin

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Coiled rope baskets are showing up everywhere right now—and for good reason. The durable design is ideal for stuffing with toys, blankets, or shoes. This one is adorned with sections of colorful fringe that turn this serious organizer into a not-so-serious accent fit for a kid’s bedroom or play space.

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Floral Sham

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You can’t go wrong with a pillow sham that combines two favorite things: flowers and stars. Adorned with illustrated blooms and constellations, this bedding will give your child the impression they’re sleeping under the stars, in a field of flowers. Order the complete set, or purchase just the pillow to perk up the current bedding.

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6 Steps to an Organized Junk Drawer

6 Steps to an Organized Junk Drawer

Your junk drawer doesn’t have to look, well, junky. Pro organizer Beth Penn shares the keys to a smarter setup.

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1. Modular Mix

Acrylic bins let you Tetris a drawer to max out the space. Add some fun with a few creative “containers,” like a doughnut eraser to hold pushpins.

To buy: Linus organizers, from $3 each; containerstore.com. Desk doughnut eraser, $10; papersource.com.

2. Receipt Wrangler

Use a small pouch to keep all those little papers (plus coupons) from taking over. It holds about a week’s worth; when it’s full, it’s time to toss the ones you no longer need.

To buy: Snap pouch, $1; containerstore.com.

3. Birthday Kit

Corral candles, matches, and spare balloons in one spot and—voilà—you’re that pulled-together person who’s always party-ready.

4. Pop of Pattern

A decorative background (like adhesive wallpaper) makes this spot instantly look better. The pretty print is your keep-it-neat prompt every time you open the drawer.

To buy: Misty Marble removable wallpaper, $40 per panel; chasingpaper.com.

5. Grab-and-Go Row

The front section is prime real estate, so save it for the items you reach for most often: hand lotion, bandages, paper clips, lip balm. If you designate that part of the drawer as your essentials area, you’ll be less likely to jam it up with random stuff.

6. Drop Zone

Leave a little open space for storing odd-shaped items (scissors, rubber-band ball) and miscellaneous ones (twine for newspaper bundling, ribbon for rushed wrapping jobs).

reversible-rug

7 Ways to Spruce Up Your Backyard in 2 Days

7 Ways to Spruce Up Your Backyard in 2 Days

Your dream patio is just 48 hours away.

Now that the warm weather has (finally) arrived, the rush to get the backyard ready for Father’s Day cookouts and Fourth of July parties is in full swing. If your next summer bash is just days away and your outdoor space still needs some serious sprucing, don’t fret. These finds that can be delivered to your door in two days or less (thanks, Amazon Prime) will help save the party. Whether you choose a rug to cozy up the space, or a fire pit to light up nighttime get-togethers, these picks will transform your backyard into the ultimate summer hangout spot.

1

Green Decore Outdoor Reversible Plastic Rug

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Photo by amazon.com

If you’d like to make your outdoor space feel like an extension of your home, cozy it up with a weather-resistant rug. This plastic option can be left out in the rain and easily wipes clean with a damp cloth. Seven different color options let you choose the one that matches your style, and each one is UV-protected and fade-resistant, so you can’t go wrong.


Pillow Perfect Full Bloom Throw Pillows

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Any backyard could use a few extra flowers, and this pair of blooming pillows is a low-maintenance alternative to buying another potted plant. UV-resistant and washable, these pillows are suited for both indoor and outdoor use so you can display them on your patio set in the summer and on your living room sofa in the winter.

Landmann 28345 Fire Pit

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A fire pit is more than just a pretty accessory for your patio—it will also light up the yard during outdoor gatherings and warm up guests on chilly summer nights. For less than $100, this small investment will transform your outdoor space for many seasons to come, but will arrive in just two days.

Brightown Outdoor Patio String Lights

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One of the easiest ways to boost the ambience of your patio is to rethink the lighting. Take a tip from outdoor bistros and hang gently glowing string lights overhead. This 10-foot strand will light up a small seating area, or multiple strands can be connected to cover a larger space.

Vivere Double Hammock

 

A comfortable cotton hammock that comes with its own metal stand will lend your backyard laid-back vibes. This hammock’s 2,444 five-star reviews prove it’s as relaxing as it looks. One reviewer even claimed she slept on this hammock for several months, preferring it to her real mattress. Get ready for the ultimate outdoor catnap.

Yescom Outdoor Patio Umbrella

yescom-outdoor-patio-umbrella

By day, this umbrella will shield you and your guests from the sun, and by night, its 40 solar-powered lights will illuminate the backyard. One button lets you tilt the umbrella to the right or left to follow the sun’s path, while another lets you control the lights at night.

Best Choice Products Outdoor Wicker Sofa

outdoor-wicker-sofa

If your goal is to make your patio feel more like an outdoor living room, then this luxurious three-seater with removable, fade-resistant cushions deserves a spot on your wish list. Order it today, and your family will be able to lounge on it during the annual Father’s Day backyard barbecue.

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Pro Organizers’ Best Decluttering Tips

Pro Organizers’ Best Decluttering Tips

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7 Sleek and Sophisticated Bathroom Accessories

7 Sleek and Sophisticated Bathroom Accessories

Mix marble pieces and metallic accents and even a basic bathroom will shine. Look for essentials with luxe details, like a brassy brush stand, a hand-carved storage box, or a gold-lacquer hamper.

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Fault Hamper

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At nearly two feet tall, this lidded laundry hamper would add just the right amount of metallic shimmer to a bathroom or bedroom.

Photo by cb2.com

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Geo Marble Box

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Stash jewelry or cotton swabs within this solid marble box. The addition of a brass handle makes it extra glam for your bathroom’s countertop.

Photo by westelm.com

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Brass Toilet Paper Storage Tower

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Functional and fashionable, this sleek brass tower will keep backup rolls of toilet paper at the ready.

Photo by cb2.co



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Classic Bath Towels

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Super soft and absorbent, these Turkish cotton bath towels will become the ones you reach for after every shower. Choose from four neutral shades.

Photo by parachutehome.com

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Quip Electric Toothbrush

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Yep, even a toothbrush can add to your décor. Sign up to receive replacement heads for this electric option every three months for ultimate freshness.

Photo by getquip.com

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Aila Earring Organizer

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Corral up to 43 pairs of studs and chandelier earrings on this hinged organizer. Choose from a gold or copper finish.

Art dealer examining painting in art gallery

A Guide to Collecting Art in the Digital Age

A Guide to Collecting Art in the Digital Age

You don’t need to spend your life savings on a curated art collection.

When you hear the phrase “art collecting” a couple things might come to mind: it’s expensive, it’s complicated, and it’s totally unattainable until you retire (or win the lottery). But these days, thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to start your own collection—without breaking the bank.

Online retailers like Twyla and Saatchi Art have transformed the art-buying process by making it quicker, less expensive, and intimidation-free. To eliminate any first-time jitters, we’ve asked art experts to share their insider secrets and tips so that you can master the art of art collecting.

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Listen to Your Gut

woman-buying-art

Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

You’ll know when it’s love at first sight, says Ariel Saldivar, VP of Artist Relations at Twyla. “When I was 22 living in Dallas, I visited an artist community called The Continental Gin Studios. There, I met Douglas Cartmel, an artist, whom I befriended and bought my first piece of art from—a seascape on titanium for $400. I had such a strong connection to it that I had to have it despite the price (Which led me to eating cereal and ramen for every meal for a long while!).”

While a $400 price tag may be hard to swallow, Saldivar suggests mixing in less expensive pieces so you won’t go completely broke (and live off boxed food forever). And if you’d prefer to test the waters before you commit, Twyla offers a 30-day trial for $30. So if your heart doesn’t skip a beat every time you walk by the picture, painting, or poster, you can return it up to 30 days after receiving it—no questions asked.

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Do Your Research

Rebecca Wilson, the chief curator of Saatchi Art, advises shoppers to get a head start on art collecting. “Buy works from emerging artists before they get snapped up by galleries and their prices start to go up.” If you’re unsure where to start, Saatchi Art hosts an “Invest in Art” series twice a year, which showcases the most exciting emerging artists to keep an eye out for. Wilson also suggests experiencing art before investing in a piece of your own—whether by going to shows, reading art-focused magazines, or simply browsing museums or online. “This will help you to get a clearer sense of what you like and the art market in general,” she says. Luckily, the Internet has made the art world more transparent and available to the masses.

3

Be Bold

Art is meant to strike up a conversation. There is no wrong way to collect art as long as you’re happy with the pieces you’re choosing and aren’t afraid to experiment. At Twyla, for example, the art is exclusive to the website, so it’s a sure way to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind piece. The bottom line? Your motive should be discovering a style that you love—not prestige or a high price tag. “If the work goes up in value in the future, that’s an added bonus, but shouldn’t be what drives your purchase,” Wilson says.


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Mix It Up

Saldivar suggests collecting pieces from all over: a vacation spot, a local boutique, or even your daily commute. Instead of buying the same old keychain or mug when you travel, take home a piece of art that you’ll never tire looking at.

Overall, art collecting is about finding pieces that speak to you. So go with your gut, do your research, take risks, and incorporate fun finds from your life. That way, the experts say, you can’t lose.

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6 Eco-Friendly Home Décor Finds

6 Eco-Friendly Home Décor Finds

Going green can also be glamorous with the help of these environmentally-friendly accents.

1

Recycled Glass Jug

recycled-glass-jug

The touch of twine on the neck gives this recycled glass jug a pretty, earthy flair. Use it as a doorstop in an entryway or as décor on a screened-in porch.

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Woven Chindi Metal Bench

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Made in India with repurposed fabric scraps, this one-of-a-kind bench offers a great way to add some eclectic flair into your space.

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Recycled Rope Doormat

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Leave dirt and debris at the door with this durable mat at the ready. The recycled polyester is resistant to mildew, so it can withstand the springtime mudroom mess.



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Common Good Dish Soap

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A concentrated, plant-based formula enhanced with natural extracts is stored within a sleek glass bottle to tackle a multitude of kitchen messes.

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Reclaimed Teak Garden Stool

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Whether adorning your indoor workspace or your exterior potting shed, this reclaimed teak stool will be a—ahem—natural fit wherever it’s placed.

Farmstead Stoneware Striped Serving Bowl

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Crafted in Portugal with lead-free glazes and scrap materials, this handmade bowl may have had minor environmental impact, but its bright colors are sure to offer major wow-factor.