There’s an argument to be made that when you’re living in a small space, whether out of choice or necessity, that it’s even more important to hone in and establish your interior style. Having fewer square feet to work with doesn’t mean you have to compromise on aesthetics, but it does mean you need to make better decisions because every inch of space counts for more. One decor element that can make a huge difference is the right floor rug because it can serve any number of purposes.
If you’re dwelling in a studio, drawing an invisible line between areas of use can get tricky because you want your space to feel as open as possible. Opting for a floor rug that coordinates with the area you’re putting it in is a great place to start. For example, if it’s the living room, bring in some tones from your couch. That’s not saying you have to go super trendy or make a huge statement; sometimes sticking to a more neutral, budget-friendly option is the way to go.
Just laying down a simply designed floor rug can make your place feel instantly more pulled together, particularly if you have a collection of mis-matched home goods. An extra soft rug will add layers of texture and a feeling of homeyness that we can never get enough of. Pro Tip: Think outside of the norm and place your rug vertically rather than horizontally for an unexpected design decision.
Bring an entire space together with one large floor rug that compliments everything from your bed to your sofa, and it will also serve to create a great focal point for your living area. Go with a bold pattern or unexpected rug shape to make a real statement.
Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you need to skimp on color! Choose an unexpected hue that gets along with whatever other colors are present for a bit of energy. This is also a great technique for delineating space between bedroom and living room – you’ll spend far less time watching TV from bed. Using a rug with an unusual texture or layering several together is another good way to achieve this separation when using multiple rugs in your small space.
I saw SO MANY people out in their yards taking care of business this past weekend! Trimming, sprucing, planting, and generally tidying up and adding a little extra appeal to their homes for the summer months. My own game is slightly behind schedule, but I did manage to pot a bunch of plants so I’m calling that a small win. The end of May and early June always kicks my desire to complete manageable home projects into overdrive, so I’ve gathered up a few that are completely manageable for my fellow weekend warriors.
Add some house numbers.
Let’s start with a little curb appeal! The house numbers on my place are in the most ridiculous spot – below the front door frame. I have a plan to add some incredible stickers to the transom above the front door, but there are so many great options to call out your address. I love this DIY planter box that not only adds some mid-century personality but also provides a place for more plants to thrive.
While we’re discussing curb appeal, let’s talk about arguably one of the fastest, easiest, most impactful projects you can tackle – repainting your front door. While bright pops of color are the current trend, there’s nothing wrong with staying tried and true with a bold red or deep rich black. Check out a color wheel and choose a hue that complements the rest of your home. Most times there’s no need to remove the door from the hinges, and it’s your prerogative to paint only the exterior or both sides. And hey, maybe there’s an opportunity to add some of the aforementioned house numbers on your newly updated entrance.
If you’re after something unique don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and turn the unexpected into some fresh wall art. Some ideas: a deck of cards, a favorite photo blown up as a black and white engineering print, a swath of your favorite fabric pattern. The possibilities really are endless – above you’ll see a couple’s handwritten wedding vows perched above their bed. (Swoon.)
A weekend project currently sitting on my own list is painting my home’s window frames. When paired with white or light grey colored walls they just about take on the feeling of art! While I’m leaning more towards black in my own space, I love the bright personality this cobalt adds to the kitchen seen above and may even pop something unexpected into the guest bathroom if I’m brave! (Maybe some light pink?)
The foot of the bed makes a fantastic space for extra book storage when a bench is added. That little nook at the end of the hallway has endless potential for either a cozy reading chair or small desk. You get the idea – use all of your space to its full potential with a few creative solutions. A trip to a big box store or simply repurposing other storage devices will make you feel like you’ve retaken control of your home in no time.
I have yet to tackle my deck this spring, which needs power washed to within an inch of its life and repainted. But you can bet as soon as that happens I’ll be bringing in a new fire pit, circling it with my Adirondack chairs, adding a few light blankets and pillows, and settling in for plenty of relaxing late summer nights. The DIY project above was actually made from the laundry drum of a defunct washing machine – people’s creativity will never cease to amaze me.
I change out several of my floor rugs seasonally, it’s a texture thing. Soft and cozy when it’s chilly and flat and fibrous when it’s not. The impact it makes when I swap them out every six months or so continuously surprises me, and with so many affordable options available this is one of the easiest – and fastest! – weekend projects you can take on.
As the seasons shift and we begin to spend more time outdoors than in, let’s talk about outdoor living spaces. In particular, outdoor bars. I really like the idea of having an outdoor bar because it manages to bring any of the entertaining hotspots of the home – the kitchen – into the light of day in a fresh way.
The extent you go to with design depends upon what type of climate you live in and just how much use you might get out of such a feature. If you’re in, say Southern California, you’d probably want to go all out like this design above because you can use your outdoor bar year round. This one even has a television to help achieve its full level of entertainment!
An outdoor bar doesn’t even have to be a freestanding statement, you can opt to just add it on to an outside wall of your home the way Sarah Sherman Samuels did in this design. I really like how it blends in to the existing structure. She even took things a step further by adding a dining table and chairs rather than barstools. I’d be enjoying my meals al fresco here as often as possible, wouldn’t you?!
If you live in a climate that only has one or two favorable outdoor seasons, consider an outdoor bar that can be closed up when not in use. This design repurposes old windows as doors that can be closed during the offseason with the use of a simple pulley system. So smart and a great look aesthetically if you’re partial to farmhouse or industrial decor.
If you’re looking to build your own outdoor bar realize that it doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. This one was created from some simple cinderblocks and lengths of wood! Plants make the perfect accessories, while the bar top gives you additional space for growing. Bring in a portable umbrella and stand for especially hot, sunny days and you’ve got a spot both you and your guests will gravitate towards.
If outdoor space is scarce, think portable rather than permanent. A cart like the one above holds all the necessities and can be brought out for entertaining and stored in a corner when not in use. Thanks to its wheels you can turn any space you do have into an outdoor bar at the ready – patio, fire pit, or balcony.
Make your outdoor bar even more of a styled living space by adding a chic indoor/outdoor rug. Here are a few I’d love to add to my own deck area.
An almost perfectly designed room that’s lacking a rug is akin to an awards show caliber ensemble without the perfect shoes. In other words – a big deal. If you’ve ever come across one in your Pinterest feed or a home decor magazine then you know just what I’m talking about.
This bathroom has got it goin’ on. The vertically stacked rows of subway tiles, a veined marble floor, even a little nook for your bath time necessities. It even has what’s one of the best modern clawfoot tubs I’ve seen yet – just check out those feet! It also makes me nervous to think about stepping out and slipping on that pristine flooring. I’d bring in a smallish rug that doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetic, something with an organic feel that adds to the spa-like experience you’re sure to have in this room.
I’m really into the way this gallery wall was pulled together, with little to no space between the frames. And the color of the flooring and walls is almost an exact match to my own home, so you knowI’m on board with both of those decorating decisions. What I dislike is how interesting the walls are when juxtaposed with that bare floor. Let’s add in a runner with a muted color palette that makes the space feel more well-rounded, drawing your eye up towards the frames on the wall rather than towards the bare floor beneath your feet.
The vibe of this office space is spot on sophisticated. The wood tones partnered with moody blacks and grey let you know that this is where the work gets done, but that maybe this is also where 5 o’clock happy hour occurs. It’s that second part that makes me want to inject something with just a bit of color into the decor, like this area rug with the perfect mid-century colors and a not too serious design.
Now this doing room is F-U-N. Such great natural lighting, and those slanted walls flat-out stunning. (Although that one mismatched chair makes me a little itchy.) I’d like to bring in just a bit more of that dusty pale pink hue in the form of a large floor rug with a minimal pattern for more textural detail.
This looks like a home I could sink right into! Few things are more welcoming than a well-worn leather couch and big dining table – and those high ceilings and beams are to die for. I even like that the walls are bare, but would love to see a little more color in the space. Check out this patterned rug that will most definitely bring some personality and jolt into the picture.
For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!