5 Designers on How They’d Inexpensively Upgrade a Living Room

5 Designers on How They’d Inexpensively Upgrade a Living Room

They share their favorite finds to pull off a high-design look at a wallet-friendly price.

1 The Designer: Donna Mondi, Chicago, Illinois

rectangular-basket-zigzag-design

Mondi’s style is a mixture of classic and modern, greatly influenced by mid-century modern and European architecture. Donna Mondi Interior Design surprises clients by fusing unlikely styles together to create something that’s never been seen before.

Basket

Whenever you can bring order to chaos, it’s a win. A basket like this makes organizing easy and so stylish.

Coffee Table Book

A great coffee table book is not only pretty to look at, but it can also spark interesting conversation, keep you company on a rainy day, and inspire readers with its eye candy-filled pages.

Whimsical Pillow

Your guests won’t be able to take their eyes off of this edgy embroidered pillow. Toss it on the sofa alongside more solid throw pillow or on a side chair as an eye-catching accent.

Parisian-Inspired Art

Incorporate a little piece of (affordable) Paris-inspired art onto your walls. Mondi calls that “trés chic”!

2 The Designer: Lucie Ayres, Los Angeles, California

cactus-landscape-tapestry

As the founder of 22 Interiors, Ayres’ goal is to create happy spaces with colorful, California-cool designs.

A Tapestry

A large blanket or tapestry will do wonders: Hang it on a wall as art (Ayres prefers to hang it taut, attaching all four corners to a the wall), drape it over a sofa or chair to soften the space, or even use it as a tablecloth.

Temporary Wallpaper

Stripes are a classic, and this removable wall strip is no exception. Bonus: it’s so easy to install and the design options are endless. Consider orienting the stripes diagonally or creating a pattern on the ceiling.

Candles

The flicker of a candle really helps to set the mood in a space. Arrange a few of these flameless versions around a room to create instant ambiance.

3 The Designer: Christine Markatos Lowe, Santa Monica, California

faux-fiddle-leaf-fig-tree

From Northern California to the East Coast, Lowe’s designs have no boundaries when it comes to location. She uses her art background to curate fresh and elegant interiors.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Houseplants instantly add color and life to a room and an organic shape within the room. A large tree, like a fiddle leaf fig, helps to fill up space in a large living area because of the plant’s wide-stretched leaves. If you’re not such a green thumb, consider a faux version for the same effect.

Modern Weave Storage Bins

One of the quickest ways to make a room look great? Clear up the clutter. These structured, woven storage bins are the perfect organizational tool, and they add a touch of texture to a simple bookcase.

Fragrance Reed Diffuser

The sense of smell is one of our strongest senses (and one of the first things we notice), so filling your room with a beautiful aroma is a great way to make a lasting impression.

acrylic-bookstand

As President & CEO of Interior Marketing Group, Eisen’s goal is to make the VIP treatment more attainable—minus the ego.

Bookstand

A simple bookstand with a beautiful tome opened up on top is an easy way to bring style into any room. A clear, acrylic bookstand offers dimension without too much visual distraction.

Fur ThrowFaux fur throws can take a room from dull to luxe in a snap. Not only are they amazingly soft, but mixing texture and fabric in a living space also creates depth and decadence.

Candles

Scented candles offer a quick way to create sultry, ambient light. They play to the olfactory senses and make a living space feel like a personal oasis.

5 The Designer: James Tabb, Los Angeles, California

arctic-shadows-paint

The Laurel & Wolf designer’s philosophy? Create a well-lived and well-loved space by incorporating quality furniture and historically relevant pieces.

Paint

Tabb opts for Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows as a deep neutral backdrop. “It’s inviting and unstuffy, and it’s great for a family room or informal dining space.”

Lighting

Layered lighting is key to creating a finished look and inviting space. Opt for a visually interesting reading lamp in place of a standard table lamp for a more dramatic effect. The brass finish helps warm the space.  A floor lamp is also a great way to add height and interest to a lonely credenza or an otherwise boring corner. Pick diffused shades for softer and more ambient lighting.

Source: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-living-room/affordable-living-room-design-picks

The Designer: Lucie Ayres, Los Angeles, California

cactus-tapestry

As the founder of 22 Interiors, Ayres’ goal is to create happy spaces with colorful, California-cool designs.

A Tapestry
A large blanket or tapestry will do wonders: Hang it on a wall as art (Ayres prefers to hang it taut, attaching all four corners to a the wall), drape it over a sofa or chair to soften the space, or even use it as a tablecloth.

Temporary Wallpaper
Stripes are a classic, and this removable wall strip is no exception. Bonus: it’s so easy to install and the design options are endless. Consider orienting the stripes diagonally or creating a pattern on the ceiling.

Candles
The flicker of a candle really helps to set the mood in a space. Arrange a few of these flameless versions around a room to create instant ambiance.

Source: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-living-room/affordable-living-room-design-picks

 

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

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

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).

 

4

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.

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.

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

latticework-grey-daybed

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.

2

Star Throw Pillow

star-throw-pillow

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.

3

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.

4

Lion Furniture Knob

lion-furniture-knob

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

genevieve-gorder-small-bin

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.

6

Floral Sham

floral-sham

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.

Inside a Dreamy Bedroom Makeover for a Deserving Mom

Inside a Dreamy Bedroom Makeover for a Deserving Mom

How to Clean Pillows in a Few Simple Steps

How to Clean Pillows in a Few Simple Steps

When you’re washing your pillowcases and sheets, don’t forget to clean your pillows. The experts give us their best tips for different types, from the ones on your bed to decorative accents.

They cushion your head when you sleep, and they’re a major player in a polished-looking bed—but compared to bigger bedroom pieces, pillows can sometimes seem a little insignificant. So even if you’re the type who regularly deep cleans the house, it’s easy to overlook cleaning your pillows. You’re probably washing your sheets and the pillowcases on a regular basis—that is important, of course—but, let’s face it: Those fluffy, feather-filled sacks (which absorb oils from your hair) also need some extra TLC. Keep in mind that not all pillows can be cleaned the same—down and feather-filled ones require a different method than decorative accent pillows you have on your sofa or chair. It’s not hard or time-consuming; just follow our expert tips and tricks for foolproof pillow cleaning that will leave them looking like new. Plus, we’ll also give you tips for cleaning your mattress and pillowcases while you’re at it, too.

4

Wash Pillowcases Weekly

When it comes to washing pillowcases, the pros suggest a weekly (and twice-weekly during the hot summer months) machine wash. If the cases are made of cotton, flannel, synthetic, bamboo, or modal, wash them in hot water. If your pillowcases are linen, silk, or sateen-weave cotton, opt for the gentle cycle and a cold water wash. Dry both on the low setting.

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.

1

Fault Hamper

fault-hamper

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

2

Geo Marble Box

geo-marble-box

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

3

Brass Toilet Paper Storage Tower

brass-toilet-paper-storage-tower

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

Photo by cb2.co



4

Classic Bath Towels

classic-bath-towels

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

5

Quip Electric Toothbrush

quip-electric-toothbrush

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

6

Aila Earring Organizer

aila-earring-organizer

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