Tips for Squeezing in Extra Seating

Extra Seating 1

Believe it or not, the holidays are coming right around the corner — and if you’re planning to entertain, you’ll probably need all of the extra seats you can muster! From spare seats in the living room for mixing and mingling at cocktail parties and the holiday open house, to extra chairs around the dining table for big feasts, here are 5 ways to sneak in the seating you need.

1. Tuck in a spare chair (or two). A side chair with a lovely shape can easily be tucked against the wall in the living room or dining room, just waiting to be called into duty. If you can’t resist scooping up chairs at the flea market, this is the perfect excuse to do just that! It really doesn’t matter too much if your spare chairs match your other dining chairs — in fact, mixing it up is a great way to cultivate an eclectic look. Just be sure to make one element (color, material, or style) go with the rest of your chairs for consistency.

2. Stock up on cute folding chairs. Folding chairs don’t have to be boring. Seek out fun, colorful folding chairs (like the ones shown above) or classic folding cafe chairs. They are so handy to have around when you need to seat more people than you were expecting. Since they fold up, you can slip a few in the back of a closet, or even under a bed, and simply pull them out as needed.

3. Embrace poufs, ottomans, and x-benches. These decorator staples are well-loved for good reason — they solve seating problems and look great doing it. Use poufs or square ottomans as a coffee table alternative that can also serve as party seating. X-benches look chic anywhere you put them; keeping a few on hand is smart since they can be used as extra seating in the living room or at the dining table.

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4. Make a stack of stools. Sleek little stools that stack, like the ones shown above, look like an intentional part of the decor — only you need to know they are secret seating superstars that can leap into service at a moment’s notice.

5. Slide benches under consoles. Not only does a bench tucked under a console table look chic, it’s a smart way to hide an extra seat in plain sight. For extra credit, tuck a pair of petite stools beneath one console to double your extra seating.

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When it comes time to shop, hunt for versatile pieces that will work in any space, with any color scheme. We love the graceful lines of the Aiden bench (top left), classic style of the Ann side chairs (top right), secret storage of the Owen linen storage bench, and stackability and modern good looks of the Easton stainless steel side chair.

Now it’s your turn to spill the beans: where do you seat extra guests? Share your tips and tricks in the Comments!

Shopping Guide: Owen Cream Linen Storage BenchAnn Carved Mahogany Light Gray and White Side Chairs (set of 2); Easton Stainless Steel Side Chair (set of 2); Aiden Hand-Painted White Bench.

Photo Credits: Society Social folding chairs; photographer Hoi Ning Wong coral x-benches; Inspired by Charm living room; Scandinavian Love Song stacked stools; 2 Design Group elegant entry; Glitter Guide console with bench.

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Falling Into Autumn

Falling into Autumn
CREDIT + LINK: Mikko Ryhänen

Fall is just about my favorite season to change things up in the home. Cooler weather and shorter days equal cozy, comfortable, and layered which luckily translates over very well when it comes to switching things up indoors. First up are those layers, and by layers I mean mixing textures. A shaggy rug there, a knit throw or pillow over there, and a few wood and metal accessories way over there, and you’re onto something.

Falling into Autumn 2
CREDIT + LINK: Skona Hem

Heavy cotton canvas can add a light and smooth touch, while hides add an organic touch to your floors that’s unmatched. Change up the curtains to something a bit heavier that helps keep out the chill. Think long, late nights spent in front of the fireplace fire with a snifter and your honey — you want to be building an environment that begs to be hunkered down in for many lost hours.

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Layering up a few rugs — hides included — immediately takes the chill out of a room. I swear by it! This trick is especially fitting for bedrooms, so that when your toes hit the floor each morning they turn toasty instead of frozen. Go with a few contrasting patterns or textures, but keep things the same color to avoid too much busyness.

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Go dark! Yes, this one is admittedly a bit strange, but there’s something about colder days (and nights) that almost welcomes the darkness. Bring in a navy throw or add a new piece of art featuring a moody palette for an instant lift.
Falling into Autumn 5

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Get Cozy in the Home and Wardrobe


Another autumn is upon us and I honestly could not be more excited. Fall means so many things to me: cozy flannels, chunky sweaters, thick socks, even the perfect pair of leather boots! I have always considered fall to be prime time when it comes to my wardrobe — it just gets better when the leaves start to turn. When it comes to getting dressed this fall, don’t be afraid to layer it all on. I’m talkin’ buttondown shirts, chunky cardigans, woolen coats, and over-sized scarves. Bigger is definitely better for this look. As for accessories, I’m obsessed with those super-thick, woolen rag socks that old school hikers used to wear. Don’t even bother hiding them. Instead, wear them slouchy over skinny jeans and finish off the look with clunky boots. One more tip: swap out the standard laces for bold red ones.


When it comes to bringing fall fashion into your home, I have one word for you: PLAID. Truly the simplest way to bring this cozy look into your home, plaid is a pattern that immediately lends that comfy, lodge feel to any space. I suggest opting for a larger size than you’d typically select — that way you keep those toesies extra warm this winter. Another idea is to take inspiration from your fashion and layer up the rugs, too. To do this, select a unified color palette. Maybe each rug shares the same shade of ivory, but each has a different pop color. For example, emerald and navy would pair well together when grounded in a warm shade of ivory.

Photo Credit: Fashionista, The Perfect Flannel Shirt from Orvis, and furry plaid coat from Urban Outfitters.

Shopping Guide: Martha Stewart hand-tufted colorweave plaid rug, Kathy Ireland by Nourison plaid rug, and Nourison graphic illusions rug.

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Cozy Up Your Dining Room with Rugs

Rugs can add warmth and texture to the dining room, which is especially welcome in the fall and winter. Even if you go without a rug most of the year, adding one to the dining room now can be quite transformative! Take the space shown above for example. The rich pink walls are fun, but it’s the over-dyed red rug that really gives the space that “wow” factor.

And because of the many upcoming fall and winter holidays, this season is a great time to add a dining room rug, and really get your entertaining space ready to go. A warm, rich rug as shown in the top image is lovely for fall, but if you want something a bit more versatile, consider a black and white graphic print like the one shown here. It’s fresh, modern, and goes with any other colors you like. Notice how these homeowners warmed up the seat of their dining bench with a sheepskin for a cozy touch.

Choose a flat-weave rug for the easiest cleanup in the dining room. The fact is, people do spill things — and if you have kids, this point is even more important to drive home! Save the thick pile rugs for the living room, where food and drinks are not involved. And be sure to keep appropriate cleaning products on hand so you can tend to spills quickly.

Adding a simple striped rug in an easy color like blue is a great way to update a traditional dining room. Just imagine the space shown above without the rug — it would be perfectly nice, but a bit boring, right? But with the rug, it balances trad and modern elements for a fresh, eclectic look.

If you really want your rug to stand out (and you own your home) consider painting the floors white for contrast. While certainly not for everyone, if you are a fan of Scandinavian design, this could be just the look for you. The addition of a rug makes the white floors more practical, covering up some of that pristine white with warmth and texture for an appealing mix. And did you notice that pressed tin ceiling? What an unexpected way to add a bit of shine!

A rich denim blue rug like the one shown here can almost act as a neutral — just think how many things pair with your blue jeans to get an idea of the versatility of a denim rug. And you can actually get the exact rug designer Emily Henderson used in the space shown here: it’s the Loloi Anzio rug, a flat-woven, all-wool rug perfect for the dining room.

Ready to go shopping? Here are three can’t-miss rug picks for the dining room:

Rich raspberry and burgundy, cool black and white, or classic indigo denim. Which is your favorite?

Rug Shopping Guide (from left to right):

Kaleen Restoration rug in raspberry, burgundy, and milk chocolate brown; Surya Frontier rug in ink and winter white; Loloi Anzio rug in Denim.

Photo Credits (from top to bottom of post):

Horchow; Design Sponge; Stephanie Swander Interior Design; Blue and white stripe rug from Logan Killen Interiors; Mad About Your House; Emily Henderson.

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