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How to Pull off Cozy Minimalism: A Perfect Blend of Two Opposing Styles

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Cozy minimalism is everywhere these days. We’ll show you why. Image: Studio Morton

Does “cozy minimalism” sounds like an oxymoron? If you think it does, you’re not alone. However, this intriguing home décor style is a situation in which opposites definitely attract. The look is steadily becoming one of the most popular aesthetics in today’s landscape—and it’s not hard to see why people are falling in love.

If you’re searching for a design style that effortlessly blends comfort with functionality, search no more. We’ve outlined exactly why this look works as well as it does, including a few pointers on how you can pull the look together.

cozy minimalism

Cozy minimalism works because it’s a happy medium. Image: Intro

Why cozy minimalism works

Put simply, cozy minimalism is a reaction to extremes. A few decades ago, interior design followed the motto of “more is more.” We saw rooms crammed to the gills with big, heavy furniture pieces, layers upon layers of fabrics, and more accessories than we could count. Rooms often felt cramped, even if they were sizable—it was just a little too much.

Then, trends headed in the opposite direction, as ultra-minimalism became the style du jour. People began to favor huge, nearly-empty rooms that were based entirely on functionality. Furniture styles became slim and lightweight, and there was hardly an accessory in sight, yielding interiors that often felt stark and overly clinical.

Cozy minimalism works because it’s a happy medium. This look utilizes the best parts of a function-forward design and combines them with just enough aesthetic detail to make your interiors feel comfortable and welcoming.

functional base

Start by building around a functional base. Image: papac media AB

Create a functional base

When building a cozy minimalist look, it’s absolutely key to make functionality the star. Do this by building the room around your furniture. If you’re designing a bedroom, let the bed be the focal point without much else to distract the eye. If it’s a living area, focus your design on one main seating area. The key is to let the rest of your design elements play a supporting role to the furniture, rather than stealing attention away.

In terms of which furniture you should use: borrow from a minimalist aesthetic. Focus on choosing pieces that are sleeker, without too much visual weight to them. Keep it simple—you’ll have plenty of time to focus on aesthetic additions later.


Infuse ‘coziness’ by adding in plenty of texture. Image: Naor Suzumori Architecture D.P.C.

Layer in some texture

Once you have the base of the room in place, shift your focus to the “cozy” part of the equation. For that, you should focus on layering design elements together. In particular, you’ll layer pieces that create a contrast with each other texturally. Doing so helps the room appear much more interesting, and also helps it feel purposefully put together.

The above photo is an excellent example of layering the right way. Remember: texture refers to the way an item looks like it feels. In the photo, a woven rug, a rough wood nightstand, plush bedding, and a soft and furry blanket all intermingle, creating intriguing visual interest.

You don’t have to follow these layers exactly, but the goal is to create a sense of contrast between each one. One word of caution: As you select the items you intend to layer, make sure they have enough in common to somehow tie them together. In this case, the designer stuck to a neutral color palette, but you could also layer by using a recurring color or pattern.


Accessories give cozy minimalism its personality. Image: Issie-Mae Interior Design

Don’t skimp on accessories

Other than texture, accessories are the best way to add interest to a cozy minimalist room. An “accessory” is considered as anything that adds aesthetic value to a room. In some cases, it can also serve some sort of functional purpose, but that’s not always necessary.

If you’re stuck on which kinds of accessories to add to the room, here are a few common examples:

  • Area rugs
  • Throw pillows and blankets
  • Wall art and mirrors
  • Decorative bowls and trays
  • Coffee table books
  • Candles
  • Picture frames
  • Plants, flowers, and vases
  • Décor items

Adding in accessories is all about providing variety while preserving balance. You’ll want to add in enough of these items so that the room feels intentionally designed, rather than hastily put together. However, at the same time, your space shouldn’t feel cluttered. Use your best judgment to find the happy medium between the two, and don’t be afraid to tweak your design as you go along.

Cozy minimalism

Why not give cozy minimalism a try in your interiors. Image: Scandinavian Homes

Cozy minimalism works well because it provides your space with the best of both worlds: practical functionality and minimalism, with none of the starkness. If you’re ready to join the trend, keep this post handy, and create the perfect balance for your home.

What do you think of cozy minimalism design? Will you be trying out this look in your own home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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The Writing’s on the Wall: 20 Decorating With Chalkboard Paint Ideas

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What if we told you that decorating with chalkboard paint can be totally grown up and chic? We’re not talking about the old-school green chalkboards of the past.

You can buy black chalkboard paint at most home improvement stores for less than $10 and paint a wall all by yourself in just a few hours. And the look is very cool, even if you refrain from scribbling all over the wall.

Why is decorating with chalkboard paint a thing?

  1. The color black is hot in the world of design. Black and white particularly have become the contemporary go-to color combo in the last few years.
  2. The black chalkboard paint you find today is matte in finish. The flat matte finish, paired with the rich black tone, adds a modern contrast to most neutrals and whites.
  3. And after some time, the chalk starts giving the black chalkboard paint a dusty patina and texture you can’t get from ordinary paint. It starts to look more like a limestone or slate wall than an ordinary chalkboard paint finish.

The matte black finish of chalkboard paint adds a rich, stone-like feel to a wall. Image: Form + Field

Check out these chalkboard paint ideas for inspiration. You might find that decorating with chalkboard paint is an easy way to add new life to a spot in your home.

Decorating with chalkboard paint ideas for the kitchen

black chalkboard paint decorating ideas -

Swap out tile for a black chalkboard backsplash where you can add your grocery list or other doodles. Image: Shootin

how to decorate with chalkboard paint -

A black chalkboard wall works very well in a farmhouse-style kitchen. Image: Larson & Paul

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The black chalkboard wall provides contrast in this small white kitchen and ends up becoming the focal point. Image: Domus Nova

A chalkboard wall in the kitchen is perfect for messages from guests and your favorite inspirational quotes. Image: Meucci

Create your own coffee or wine bar using chalkboard paint

Designate a kitchen spot to creating a space any barista would love. Image: Homeclick

A small counter spot, your coffee appliances and a chalkboard paint wall featuring a coffee menu or favorite doodles can add some fun to your morning coffee routine. Image: Olaf Hajek

Paint a wall with chalkboard paint to create a wine wall featuring wine bottles and favorite wine quotes. Image: Our Vintage Home Love

Decorating with chalkboard paint ideas for the living room

A mid-century modern living room features a large, chalkboard focal wall that changes daily. Image: Lubrano Ciavarra

Not all decorating with chalkboard paint ideas involve painting the entire wall. You can also paint a section, like in this contemporary living room. Image: Dupuis Design

The chalkboard paint panel in this living room is indigo blue. If you want a chalkboard in a unique color, pick a rich shade of your choice in a water-based flat finish. Image: Shappacher White

A Nashville home with a personal touch. Image: Paragon Group

Chalkboard paint walls in the bedroom

Personalize wall space in a shared bedroom by painting the bunk bed wall with chalkboard paint. Image: Suzanna Santostefano

The black chalkboard wall adds a warm, intimate feel to this bedroom. Image: Love Coming Home

Chalkboard paint ideas for a functional and fashionable workspace

When desktop space is precious, convert the wall behind the desk into an extension of it. Image:

A craft room gets a large chalkboard for planning out crafts and projects. Image: Studio Morton

A two-tone wall of black chalkboard paint and white paint adds polish to this small desk space. Image: Pretty Nice

The black matte finish of the chalkboard paint corner adds architectural interest to this open loft space. Image: Studio Maya

Chalkboard paint ideas for the artist

A chalkboard paint wall is perfect for the resident artist. It’s like an ever-changing gallery. Image: Bazant

When you’re talented enough to sketch, a chalkboard wall provides you with the space and flexibility to show your work all year. Image: Alt Digital Photography

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Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Your Renovation on Budget

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It is possible to keep a renovation on budget. We’ll tell you how. Image: Darren James Interiors

Keeping a renovation on budget is a top priority for a lot of homeowners, but many find it much easier said than done. Renovations are variable by nature, so if you don’t stay on top of your costs and fees, they can easily add up — and leave you with a final bill you’re unprepared to handle.

We’re here to help prevent that. With just a little planning and diligence on your end, it’s completely possible to keep your renovation budget under control. Don’t believe us? Keep reading. Below are some of our best tips for staying on top of your remodeling costs. Whether you are renovating now or in the future, it never hurts to be prepared.

stay realistic

Start your project by making a realistic budget. Image: Arbib Hughey Design

Be realistic from the start

Too often, when people try to save money during a renovation, they make the mistake of setting their budget too low. They try to cut corners by saying they’ll do work themselves or shop around until they find wholesale materials and create their budget using these anticipated figures. And if they’re unable to stick to these promises, they’ve already set themselves up for sizable overages.

The better thing to do is be honest about how far you’re willing to go to save money, even if it ends up inflating your initial budget more than you’d hoped. If you know you’re not one for DIY, be realistic about how much it will cost to hire a pro in your area. Work your budget off of a middle-of-the-road estimate rather than the most affordable.

Remember, the whole point of having a budget is to feel prepared. If you work out realistic figures and decide those numbers are too expensive, you can always hold off on the renovation while you save up enough money.

specific details

Give contractors specific details about your vision for the project. Image: Highgate House

Get specific about what you want

Have you ever gotten quotes from contractors only to have them come back with wildly different estimates? If this has happened to you, it’s likely you weren’t able to offer many specifics when talking about your vision for the project. This led the contractors to fill in the gaps with their best guesses, which may or may not be in line with what you’re hoping for.

When you have to stick to a budget, specificity is one of the best tools at your disposal. The more you can tell your contractors about what you want the end product to look like, the closer they’ll get to a realistic estimate of your final bill. Ideally, your goal should be to get so specific that the only variances between each company’s estimate are labor costs and fees.

To pull this off, you need to do your research. Before you hire a contractor, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want the end product to look like. Think about the materials you want to use and what changes you want to make to your current layout. Use sites like Freshome as a starting point for design inspiration.

stick to the plan

Don’t let changed plans blow your budget out of the water. Image: The House Designers

Stick to the plan

Once a remodel is underway, it can be tempting to add on to it. All of a sudden you may find yourself standing in your kitchen remodel, looking at the dated flooring in your living area and thinking that could use a makeover as well. While it may be easier to take care of that project while your house is already torn apart, if sticking to your budget is your first priority, we’d advise against following this urge.

If you keep adding to your project’s to-do list — or changing your mind about what you want midway through — it’s going to come at an added cost. Plus, you likely won’t have as much control over what those costs will be. At that point, you’re at the mercy of your contractor’s judgment and you likely won’t even know the full extent of the charges until you have the final bill in hand.

Instead, it’s best to stick to the plan you have in place. File away that other project on your mental to-do list of home maintenance tasks and treat it as it’s own entity. Take the time to plan and budget it the same way you did your current remodel. That way, even if it happens shortly after this project, you’ll feel in control of your spending.


Leave room in your budget for unexpected incidentals. Image: CMM Custom Homes

Plan for the unexpected

That said, even the tightest remodeling budgets need to have wiggle room to cover unforeseen expenses. Sometimes remodeling uncovers a maintenance issue that needs to be taken care of and sometimes it really is worth the cost of changing your vision along the way. Plan for these costs ahead of time, so you’re not surprised as they crop up.

Conventional wisdom says to add 15-20% on top of your winning contractor’s estimate to safely account for these contingencies. That may seem like a lot, but this is one occasion where it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t have enough room in your budget to cover that amount, you may want to take more time to save or scale back the project.

<img src="" alt="renovation on budget" width="550" srcset=" 1019w,×187.jpg 300w,×479.jpg 768w,×374.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1019px) …read more      

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Here Are Joanna Gaines’ 6 Favorite Pieces From Her Easter Hearth & Hand With Magnolia Collection at Target

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Joanna Gaines just released her Easter collection for her Hearth & Hand With Magnolia collection at Target — and it’s perfect. The pieces have the modern farmhouse vibe with a little bit of Easter fun. And they’re affordable — what more can anyone ask for?

“I love everything about this collection and truly believe it embodies the spirit of Magnolia,” says Gaines. It wasn’t easy for her to narrow it down to just six favorites, but here they are:

1. , $17

“The design gives this bakeware extra character,” she says. “I love that it’s beautiful enough to go straight from the oven to your tabletop.”

6. Serving Platter, $30

The beaded detail and stoneware finish are quintessentially Joanna. “It’s all in the details,” she says. “Beaded edges are just the thing to take these serving pieces up a notch.”

Check out more of her Easter collection here or her Hearth & Hand with Magnolia line here.

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Nervous About Buying Furniture Online? Follow These 4 Tips to Make a Better Purchase

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Thinking about buying furniture online? Read our tips first to get the best results. Image: Blue Ocean Design

Online shopping is a great tool for furnishing a home. But a lot of us write off the idea of buying furniture online because it seems too risky. How can you tell if what you see is actually what you get? How do you know the piece will work in your home if you haven’t had a chance to see it first?

If you’ve ever asked yourself similar questions, this post is for you. In an effort to guide you through this process, we’ve taken the liberty of pulling together our four top tips for purchasing furniture online. Read them over carefully for the next time you’re ready to change up your interiors. With our help, we bet you’ll feel confident enough to add online stores to your repertoire.


Measure once, then do it again. Image: Estes/Twombly Architects Inc.

Measure everything more than once

Measuring is the most important component of buying furniture, period. It’s even more crucial when buying online. Since you won’t be able to walk into a brick-and-mortar store and see with your own eyes how that piece will fit in your space, you’ll have to make sure your measuring skills are solid.

When you have an item you want to buy, read over the product listing to find the dimensions. (If you can’t find the dimensions, don’t buy that one.) Then, use measured-out painter’s tape or string to build a layout of how it will look in your home. If your furniture expands somehow — like a recliner or extendable dining table — make sure you account for the largest version. Then, double check your work.

Keep in mind this isn’t the only measurement you have to account for. If your furniture is coming to you already assembled, you need to measure any relevant doorways and stairways to make sure you can actually get it to where it’s supposed to go.


Read reviews to get a sense of customer satisfaction. Image: Gradient Architecture PLLC

Read reviews from other buyers

Product listings are supposed to sound complimentary. That’s why it’s not uncommon for a piece of furniture to sound exactly like what you’ve been hoping for at first glance. Often, though, reviews tell a slightly different story. That’s where other customers often get real about their experience with the product.

When buying online, these reviews are key to your success. Focus your shopping on items that have lots of available reviews and read over them carefully. You’ll usually start to detect a theme about certain details mentioned by multiple customers. Weigh these comments in your decision, as they’re likely to be reflective of your experience.

Keep in mind that every product is bound to have a few bad reviews, especially if it has a high number of comments. A bad review doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the product, but it should factor into your decision. Pay close attention to the percentage of bad reviews overall and how the complainants say the seller handled their issue. That said, if a review doesn’t sit right with you, it’s probably best to explore other products.


Try to find a customer photo of the item to see what it looks like in a natural setting. Image: Cottage Home Company

Try to view the real thing

Online product photos are hard to judge. Yes, that may technically be what the piece of furniture looks like, but it’s also being shown in the very best light and with the very best placement to encourage you to make a purchase. Often, once you get it home, certain details — especially color and texture — can be wildly different than in the photo.

That’s why we recommend viewing the real thing before buying, if at all possible. If taking a trip to a store to see it in person is doable, that’s your best bet. If not, try requesting a fabric swatch. Many companies will send one to you to ensure you’re happy with the way the fabric looks.

Lastly, if a swatch is not an option, you can always do an image search for consumer photos of the product. While some details will still be slightly altered by your computer screen, those will show you a different version of how the piece will look once you’ve furnished your home with it.

return policy

A workable return policy is key. Image: Cherith Craft Interiors

Check the return policy

No one wants to go into a purchase thinking they may end up sending it back. However, it’s often unavoidable with online purchases. Sometimes, even your best judgment is not enough and the furniture just won’t work in your home the way you thought it would. Checking the return policy ahead of time gives you the reassurance that you have a backup plan if things don’t go your way.

Here a few things to look out for:

  • Do they accept returns at all?
  • Is there a time limit to their return policy?
  • Do return items need to be in their original packaging?
  • Are there any fees for returning an item?
  • What’s the return process like? What will you need to do to return the item?
  • What is their turn-around time for a refund? When can you expect to get your money back?

Ultimately, whether or not a return policy is satisfactory to you is a personal decision. Only you can tell whether or not you’re willing to take the risk. However, since furniture tends to be a costly item, we recommend sticking to stores that allow returns so you can protect …read more      

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14 Design Lessons from These Beautiful, Creative Workstations

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Use these creative workstation ideas to inspire your own space. Image: Planwirkstatt

Most of us would probably jump at the chance to decorate a home office of our very own. Limited square footage in most homes means dedicating an entire room to work isn’t always possible, but it doesn’t mean we should give up on the dream of creating an area where we can be productive. Sometimes a workstation, or a work area within another room, is all it takes to get the job done.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to get your workstation started, this post is for you. We’ve compiled design inspiration for the task, as well as some practical advice on how to set up your space. Read them over to get a sense for which type of area will work for you. Trust us when we say there’s an option to fit every aesthetic.

1. Get creative with unused space in your home


A workstation can go just about anywhere, even at the top of the stairs. Image: Bryant Hill Media

2. Pay close attention to corners and angles


Use corners or odd room angles to your advantage. Image: Luci.D Interiors

3. Consider investing in alternative furniture


Most bookshelves can double as a ready-to-go workstation that fits just about anywhere. Image: Bespoke Kitchen

4. Create something that packs away easily

folding workstation

When in doubt, invest in a workstation that can be there when you need it and fold away when you don’t. Image: The Tiny Project

5. Go all-out with a custom option


If needed, don’t hesitate to create a truly custom workstation that meets your needs. Image: Schmitt + Company

6. Modify an existing piece


Make a style statement by building a workstation into another piece of furniture. Image: Dyer Grimes Architecture

7. Feel free to keep it super simple


In your workspace, make sure function comes first. Image: Cummings Architects

8. Give the space color

bold color

Don’t be afraid to give your whole workstation a pop of bold color. Image: Danielle Colding Design, Inc.

9. Separate the space visually


Consider using wallpaper or another colorful pattern to separate your workspace from the rest of the room. Image: Camille Hermand Architectures

10. Tie it in with the rest of the room


Be sure to include a few common threads like color and texture to tie your workstation into the rest of the room. Image: McDonald Jones Homes

11. Make sure you have organization in place


Don’t forget that your space needs to include some sort of organizational element to keep it functional. Image: Holly Marder

12. Add in some statement décor elements

décor elements

Remember to add a few décor elements like art or knickknacks into your design, too. Image: Charles Vincent George Architects, Inc.

13. Give each person their own area


If two of you are using the same space, be sure to leave room for each of your personalities to shine. Image: DIY Decorator

14. Consider workstations for the kids, too

kids workstatiob

A kid-friendly version of a workstation is the perfect spot for them to do homework or crafts. Image: 22 INTERIORS

How do you feel about these creative workstation ideas? Will you be trying any of these out in your own home? Do you have any ideas of your own to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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Here Are 12 of the Coolest Pieces From Stockholm Design Week 2018

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Stockholm was packed with the world’s biggest retailers and designers looking for the latest in Scandinavian design at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, the world’s leading event for Scandinavian design. The city also hosted Stockholm Design Week 2018 for the public so everyone could get their Scandi-fix. Here are our favorite 12 pieces from the show:

1. KLASSIK daybed

Poul Volther’s 1959 daybed has been put into production by KLASSIK Denmark in collaboration with Volther’s family.

2. Apollo 79 pendant

stockholm design week 2018 highlights

Pholc presented the new Apollo 79 pendant lamp by Broberg & Ridderstråle. Cone-like shapes in brass or aluminum are accented in seven muted tones and several sizes.

3. Air sideboard

design week stockholm 2018

Design House Stockholm’s Air sideboard uses rattan in a modern way. Place a lamp inside the sideboard to really make it pop!

4. Pax chair

Fredrik Mattson designed the versatile Pax chair for Materia. It’s designed to be small in scale with a curved shell.

5. Mame chair

Luca Nichetto was the star of Scandinavian Design Week 2018 with several stunning designs. The Mame chair, produced by Fogia Sweden, is the perfect fusion of Scandinavian design and sleek, Italian styling.

6. Levier shelf system

Voice’s Levier bookshelf, designed by Cate Högdahl and Nelson Ruiz-Acal of Cate & Nelson, is perfect for small spaces.

7. Mimic mirror

The Danish brand Muuto presented Norma Studio’s Mimic mirror, which is functional on one side and decorative on the other.

8. Nestor modular sofa

Skandiform’s Nestor Collection was designed by Lars Hofsjö to be mixed and matched in configurations and colors.

9. Alphabeta floor lamps

The spun-steel shades of Luca Nichetto’s Alphabeta lamp are grouped in pairs to direct light down and up. Customers can mix and match the shades to create a custom lamp of their choice.

10. Rose chair

Massproductions developed the Rose chair using 3D printing technology.

11. Barn & Fences cubicles

Swedish designer Johan Kauppi created this office system for Glimakra of Sweden. Inspired by the small farmhouses of the Swedish Lapland, the houses and dividers are semi-transparent and sound absorbent.

12. Palais Royale table

Anya Sebton and Eva Lilja Löwenhielm designed the Palais Royale table for Asplund, made of lacquered oak panels and an oak veneered top.

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How to Fix the Biggest Design Mistake People With Small Apartments Make

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Are you making this common design mistake in your interiors? Image: Lisa Petrole Photography

There’s no denying that designing small apartments can be tricky. When you’re dealing with limited square footage, you do have to scale back your design elements to ensure they work with the available space. But many people take this concept too far — and that’s a huge design mistake.

If you’re guilty of making this mistake, don’t worry. It’s much more common than you think, and we’re going to help you fix it once and for all. Learn more about how to pick perfectly sized furniture and accessories for your home every single time.

scale and proportion

Always pay attention to scale and proportion. Image: Brad Ramsey Interiors

The design mistake: Buying furniture too small

Whenever you’re dealing with a small apartment, it makes sense to buy furniture that’s equally small, right? Actually, not quite. While this idea does make sense to a point, many homeowners make the mistake of taking it too far and buying pieces that are too small.

When you buy items that are too small for the room, rather than making the space look bigger, it can make it look even smaller than it already is. Combining these two things only succeeds in giving the apartment a “dollhouse effect,” where tiny furniture ends up swimming in the room without ever really feeling appropriately grounded.

In these situations, it’s important to take a middle ground. For that, scale and proportion are your best tools. When utilized correctly, they help you fill your apartment with furniture that is just the right size.

2/3 rule

When in doubt, remember the 2/3 rule. Image: m.arkitektur

Fix #1: Follow the 2/3 rule

Like it or not, buying properly sized furniture is all about getting correct measurements. Even those of us with design experience can’t get away with simply eyeballing a piece before purchasing it. That rings doubly true for situations where space is limited.

When thinking about your ideal measurements for furniture, it’s important to keep a 2/3 proportion in mind. Start by measuring the room as a whole and work backward from there. For example, ideally, the length of your sofa should take up approximately 2/3 of the closest wall. Then, your coffee table should be around 2/3 as long as the sofa.

This proportion works regardless of which room you’re working on at the moment. You should aim to have your bedframe cover around 2/3 of the room, as well as your dining table or any other anchoring piece.

vary sizing

Don’t forget to switch up the sizing of the design elements. Image: The New Design Project

Fix #2: Vary visual weight

Once you’ve used the 2/3 proportion rule to choose the main furniture for the room, it’s time to fill out the space with secondary pieces. Secondary pieces are items like end tables or buffets, anything that coordinates with the main furniture but isn’t necessary to make the function of the space perfectly clear.

Where these items are concerned, it’s important to make visual weight — or how heavy the item looks like it feels — a priority. Here, variety is key because including too many weighty items makes the room feel top-heavy while using too many airy items leaves it feeling ungrounded.

Take the photo above as an example. It features a good mix of visual weights. Some pieces appear dense and heavy while others don’t seem like they would be a struggle to pick up at all. Your end goal should be the same.


Trust your perception as you pull the room together. Image: Finch London

Fix #3: Trust your instincts

After you’ve purchased all of the design elements you plan to use in the room, your next step is figuring out how to arrange them appropriately. While we’re always happy to provide some layout tips, at the end of the day, your own perception is one of the best tools you have at your disposal.

In interior design, perception is your sixth sense. If you’ve ever rearranged furniture only to take a step back and realize that something feels “off,” you know how powerful perception can be. As you’re arranging your small apartment, pay close attention to how the arrangements make you feel. If you sense something is amiss, don’t be afraid to tweak your design until it feels right to you.

design mistake

Use our tips to fix this common design mistake once and for all. Image: PLUS ULTRA studio

All of us can agree that designing a small apartment comes with its unique set of challenges. On the one hand, the furniture and accessories you choose will probably need to be smaller than average. But, on the other hand, going too small can actually be a design mistake. Keep the tips in the post above close at hand, so you can always be sure to find a happy medium.

Have you ever made this design mistake? Are you ready to fix it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Why Concrete Is 2018’s Next Big Thing in Interior Design (and How to Try the Trend)

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Concrete is shaping up to be 2018’s next big design trend. Image: Walter Barda Design

So far 2018 has brought us quite a few polarizing design trends. We’ve already talked about how to harness the power of bold colors, but now, it’s time to talk about a trend on the other end of the aesthetic spectrum. The concrete look is here and it’s ready to bring a subtle yet sophisticated edge to your interiors.

If you need some convincing, this post is for you. We’ve broken down why concrete works so well and why it’s set to become a fixture in the design landscape. Read on and, before you know it, you’ll be ready to give concrete a shot.

industrial aesthetic

Concrete is the perfect fit for those who want an industrial aesthetic. Image: SHED Architecture & Design

Concrete creates an industrial edge

It almost goes without saying that concrete and industrial design go hand in hand. You don’t have to work hard to conjure images of former industrial warehouses turned sun-drenched lofts or reclaimed bits of machinery that have been transformed into chic accent pieces.

If you’re going to go this route, we suggest going big to really drive home your design inspiration. Concrete floors are a natural choice. They work particularly well in open concept applications and, when compared to many of the rustic-finished woods that also fit this aesthetic, they’re an affordable alternative.

If concrete floors aren’t your thing, concrete walls are also a great way to make a style statement. However, you’ll probably want to stick to a singular accent wall. In this case, while one wall will probably add a bold punch of texture and visual interest, multiple walls run the risk of feeling too stark and overwhelming.


Once properly installed, concrete easy to maintain. Image: Audrey Matlock Architects

It’s easy to maintain

More and more people are choosing to incorporate concrete in their interiors because it’s a particularly easy material to maintain. In fact, the bulk of your work takes place when you first purchase the item. Whatever application you choose for your concrete — whether it’s a fireplace, countertop, or coffee table — it should be properly stained, sealed and polished.

Be sure to ask the manufacturer how to maintain your specific items. As a general rule, simply sweeping away general debris and washing it with a non-abrasive cleaner is the way to go.


Concrete gives the room instant texture. Image: Wood Melbourne

It adds texture

We’ve talked before about how texture can help bring untold amounts of visual interest to your space. Remember, in an interior design context, texture refers to the way an element looks like it feels. Everyone knows the feeling of running their hands over concrete, so including one of these items in your design fosters an instant connection with the viewer.

When you’re looking to highlight texture, the key is to create contrast. In particular, concrete does best when it’s juxtaposed against something natural, such as wood. You should also pay attention to the colors in your concrete and be sure to choose contrasting shades for the rest of the room.

focal point

Looking for a focal point. Problem solved? Image: Glancey Rockwell & Associates

It’s an instant focal point

Every room in your home needs a focal point. Since concrete is such a heavy material to work with, when it’s used in design, it lends a ton of visual weight to the room. This means it will instantly draw the eye and ground the space. All told, these factors make concrete an excellent choice to become a focal point in your home.

Take the picture above as an example. The fireplace has such a commanding presence that your eye is pulled to it. If you’re willing to go this bold, an architectural element definitely fits the bill. It’s also possible to go more subtle. A concrete island instantly becomes a conversation piece in your kitchen and a coffee table easily grounds a seating area.


Consider making concrete a trendy fixture in your interiors. Image: Sea Island Builders LLC

Concrete is a bit different than some of this year’s other design trends. While others are focused on bold patterns and bright, in-your-face colors, concrete is subtler. That said, we understand some people may need convincing. To that end, this post is dedicated to how concrete can ultimately benefit a room. Read it over and we’re sure you’ll be ready to give this once-commercial material a place of honor in your home.

What do you think of the concrete interior design trend? Will you be trying it out in your own home anytime soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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You’ll Flip For These 14 Easy, Inspiring Ways to Include Storage in Your Décor

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Looking for more ways to incorporate storage into your décor? Keep scrolling for some inspiration. Image: PLATEMARK DESIGN

Storage doesn’t have to be synonymous with shoving your belongings in a closet, pulling the doors closed, and hoping no one ever looks inside. In reality, it can serve a dual purpose. In addition to keeping your belongings safe and organized, it can actually become an important — and even essential — component of your aesthetic.

If you’re ready to have your storage solutions pull double duty, this post is for you. We’ve compiled a list of ideas on how to effortlessly include storage in your décor. Look them over and use the ones you love as design inspiration for your next home improvement project. By incorporating a few of these suggestions into your own interiors, you can create a design that is equally functional and beautiful.

1. Have your backsplash pull double duty


Incorporate kitchen gear into your décor by making it part of your backsplash. Image: Maurizio Giovannoni Architetto

2. Take your built-ins to the next level


Give built-ins extra flair by following the architectural lines of the room. Image: MMM Architects Ltd.

3. Incorporate a clothes rack

clothes rack

Forgo a traditional closet in favor of adding a clothes rack, which provides trendy storage for a fraction of the space. Image: Hibou Design & Co.

4. Get creative in your corners

reading nook

Be open to giving unused corners new purpose, such as creating a reading nook. Image: Handwerk Interiors

5. Add a few cubby holes


Creating a mudroom where each family member has their own designated area will help keep busy days running smoothly. Image: Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes

6. Reconsider open shelving

open shelving

Swap out upper cabinets for some chic and modern open shelving. Image: Mike Schaap Builders Inc.

7. Create hidden storage in an ottoman


Storage ottomans bring a comforting feel to the room, as well as the added benefit of hidden storage. Image: House of Jade Interiors

8. Shape your space with a room divider

room divider

Kill two birds with one stone by adding a room divider that enhances storage while also splitting up your space. Image: Lauren Edith Andersen, Photographer

9. Go big with a storage cabinet


If a regular room divider is just not big enough, make a statement with a stylish built-in cabinet. Image: Banda Property

10. Don’t forget about storage trunks


A trunk provides extra storage while also giving the room a decorative vintage touch. Image: Tracie Butler Interior Design

11. Consider under-bed storage options

under bed storage

Invest in a bed frame that allows you to store off-season clothing underneath. Image: Cassie Daughtrey Realogics Sotheby’s Realty

12. Use space under your stairs

Under stair storage

Take advantage of unused space under the stairs by adding a few creative cubby holes. Image: Structures Building Inc.

13. Add height with vertical storage

vertical storage

Go vertical to create storage without using valuable square footage and give the room more visual height. Image: Arlington Home Interiors

14. Think about a wall rack

wall rack

If you have the skills, design a wall rack to hold exactly what you need. Image: Olivia van Dijk Architecture

What do you think of these storage solutions? Will you be trying any of them in your own home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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