If you’re shelling out several hundred dollars on a large area rug it can be tempting to think it’s safe to forego a rug pad, but that’s not the case. Not only can a rug pad help prolong the lifespan of your investment, it also acts as a safety measure if you have wood or tiled floors by helping to anchor it and preventing slippage. They’re relatively affordable and help your new rug to breathe.
Not constantly, but once or twice a year rotate your rugs to avoid wear and tear – particularly in high traffic areas. Few things make an area rug look old faster than a worn-out path of travel that’s discolored and compressed its fibers.
Pro Tip: If you have indentations from furniture legs after rotation, just pop an ice cube into each one and let it melt for a rejuvenated pile.
It’s a good idea to vacuum the topside of your rugs weekly to avoid dirt and debris getting ground into the pile, but the backside needs some attention too. Most people neglect to vacuum the underside every few months, and I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much dirt is just waiting under there for you. (I always am!)
Vacuuming regularly is all well and good, but every other year or so you’ll want to go deeper to get that just-like-new look and feel back. A professional rug cleaner is usually the most thorough, but if you want to try the DIY route be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions that are likely located on a sticker on the backside of your rug.
Of course, the best way to keep your rug in tiptop condition is to keep dirt and grime as far away from it as possible. That means having doormats located at all entrances to your home and cleaning the floors on a regular basis to cut down on much debris should it ever get near it.
While most people’s first instinct is to hide everything away behind closed cabinets, open shelving in the upper half of your kitchen or bathroom creates the opposite effect – one of airiness! Yes, you’ll need to pare things down and be a bit more organized but you also still have those traditional bottom cabinets to tuck away anything you don’t want in sight. If you’re staunchly against open shelving, consider glass-fronted cabinetry.
It’s an age-old trick, but adding a large mirror to any room creates the instant illusion of space. The bigger, the better! The depth created and light reflected is magical, just be sure to direct towards an interior wall rather than a window or your neighbor’s place.
The same trick is true with legged furniture, it feels lighter because you can see everything on all sides. The room it’s in will feel more spacious as a result and give the illusion of some added real estate. Pro Tip: Pull your furniture slightly away from the walls to get even more out of this trick.
Most homes tend to have nooks and crannies that aren’t being used to their full advantage, and that’s usually when a built-in makes the most sense. Add storage in the form of shelves, an entryway bench, or breakfast nook. It’s virtually impossible to find the perfect free-standing piece for these spaces, so consider the splurge of a permanent solution or create your own Ikea hack.
The lighter the color, the more wide open the feel. Stick to paler, neutral choices throughout your space to take full advantage of the natural light coming in and you’ll thank yourself later. Bonus points for sticking with a predominantly monochromatic color palette throughout.
Make the decision to go with one large piece of art instead of a gallery wall. The impact will be huge, guide attention exactly where you want it within the room, and create the look of order and space by freeing up the other walls. Hang the piece a little lower than you normally would to give the impression of taller ceilings.
A smart call no matter the size of your home is furniture that pulls its weight. Whether it’s an ottoman or a coffee table that opens for extra storage, use it to place out of season blankets, games, or books out of sight and out of mind.
One of my favorite tips is to take advantage of the square footage you have vertically! I love the look of a shelf that sits only about a foot below the ceiling. It’s a sweet spot to house your plant babies, your ever-growing library, or whatever other little things you collect.
Find a focal point and prioritize the placement of your largest pieces. Try not to block windows or doorways, and keep a clear walkway open. If you’re going for a more formal look, think about placing things symmetrically, an asymmetrical layout welcomes a more casual vibe.
While we’re used to having a statement something in the room, focusing on the ceiling is having its moment. A black ceiling can do the opposite of what you’d expect and add a feeling of vast space, while a wallpapered one can basically turn your ceiling into art. I love this trend for its unexpectedness and ease – if you don’t like the result just grab a paintbrush and cover it up.
This look has been creeping up on us for the last few years, and in 2018 trough and bucket kitchen sinks are coming on the strongest yet. Who wouldn’t want a big, luxurious one that gives you space to wash the dishes and adds some killer lines to the room? Before you raise your hand, keep in mind that you can find these huge basins in a variety of materials, finishes, and price points.
Another trend that’s been gaining momentum is concrete. Concrete everything. The material that was once considered bottom of the barrel and industrial is now a decor darling in the form of bare floors, countertops, furniture, and so much more. What I like most is how concrete has the ability to make the indoors feel like the outdoors and vice versa. (Bonus: It’s incredibly easy to clean.)
While green isn’t my go-to wall color, I’d happy paint away with these recently popular green/greys. A dusty sage can make a room feel instantly more breathable, relaxing, and charming. It would be a nice wall option for the popular jungle bathroom look as well as if you have a black thumb and are simply craving the feeling of life and earth in your home.
Some classic looks ebb and flow with the decades, and herringbone is one of them. Right now you can find the chic pattern gracing floors, shower enclosures, and kitchen backsplashes alike. It’s an easy fix to make this look modern, it all comes down to the materials and color choices made. Pair it with other trends – a herringbone ceiling or a concrete shower floor – to pack a design punch.
As much as I love the real thing, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with florals in home decor. This year they’re seeing a big resurgence and I’m having a change of heart, at least when it comes to big, bright, and bold patterns that are full of color. I also love the idea of replacing a backsplash with floral wallpaper as seen above – how great would that look paired with some open shelving?
What’s old is new again, at least when it comes to vintage rugs! No one can deny the appeal a well-worn rug with the perfect combination of color and pattern brings to a space. But if you’re not ready to commit to the real deal because of kids, pets, or your own clumsy ways, these lookalikes are the perfect choice.
Here’s a trend that’s slowly and steadily been creeping up on the design scene – shower plants! One of my decorating rules of thumb is having some live greenery in every room, and some of these bathrooms take it to the next level with their jungle-like vibes. We might all not be lucky enough to have a large window ledge near our bathtub like above, but this look is very forgiving and easy to adapt to whatever bathroom configuration you do have in your home.
Have a bit of a black thumb? One of the best pros about shower plants is that you never have to remember to water them and the humid air that occurs post-shower is fantastic for their care. Some varieties have also been proven to remove toxins and bacteria from the air, which is a bit of a health benefit. If you have a lot of natural light coming in a vining philodendron would be a great choice with lots of vining drama.
If the bathtub or shower itself isn’t an option, think vertically and consider hanging a plant from the ceiling where you can spare a square foot or two. Something that cascades as it grows – think ivy – would be ideal. If that’s not an option think about adding a few smaller plants on a shelf or even gasp the top of the toilet tank. Work with what you’ve got!
If you’re a bath lover your caddy can act as a sort of pseudo coffee table, so add a few small pots or large air plants to it for personality. You can also add a few larger pots on the bathroom floor if you’ve been blessed with a big enough space, Boston ferns and snake plants work great.
Perhaps one of the smartest – and easiest – ways to incorporate some greenery is by simply hanging a plant over the showered or curtain rod for the perfect careless bohemian aesthetic. It’s also a perfect option if you’re living in a rental because it involves zero permanent alterations that will need patched up when your lease runs out.
Add more of that natural earthy feel to your bathroom with a rug made from natural fibers in an interesting pattern or shape!