How to Style a Kitchen You’ll Love to Spend Time In



We use our kitchens for so much – cooking quick weeknight dinners, sure, but also hanging out with our little ones, catching up with friends, surfing the internet, and perhaps even working from home. Why not add a few special details that will make hanging out in the kitchen more fun? In fact, with a few styling tricks, you can quickly transform your kitchen into a super comfy hangout zone you and your guests will love spending time in.

An easy styling formula for the kitchen includes 3 things: color, texture, and life. As in, colorful rugs and tea towels, texture from handmade pottery and smooth wooden boards, and life from fresh flowers and potted plants. These simple additions will bring lots of personality to your space!


If you own your home, adding a splash of color in the form of patterned tile on the floors, or a vibrant trim color (as shown here) can bring a white kitchen to life. If you rent, you can get the look by focusing on the details: a colorful blue espresso pot and kitchen towels, textural woven baskets, and fresh greenery in the form of potted rosemary plants lining the window.

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Also think about how your kitchen basics are organized – I love the clean, natural look of simple glass jars for storage. They are easy to use, and look chic lined up on open shelving. Mix in a few little house plants or pots of herbs in with the objects on your open shelves, letting the foliage trail over the edge of the shelves for a relaxed, bohemian vibe.

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Photo Credits: Domino Magazine, Practising Simplicity, Amber Interiors

A happy jumble of layered textiles, comfy seating, well-used pots and pans, and fresh linens makes for a welcoming space you will be happy to come home to.


Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Surya Zahra rug in hot pink and burnt orange 2. Rugs Direct Gallery Kashkoli Kilim rug in camel 3. Jaipur Rugs Urban Bungalow rug in white & butter.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at!

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5 Tips for a New Year Tidy Up

January brings with it the promise of fresh starts and new goals. If you’ve been wishing for a more organized space, why not take advantage of the energy a fresh new year brings, and get your space neat and tidy? Clearing the clutter from your home means less time spent looking for lost items, less time cleaning (because you’ll have less stuff to clean!), and perhaps most importantly, a more peaceful and relaxing feeling home. Ready to get started? Follow these 5 tips for a beautifully organized, clutter-free space in the new year and beyond.



1. Get inspired. This is where all of those glossy magazines (and Pinterest!) come into play – browse through some inspiring sites + publications until you hit upon a few images with an aesthetic that really speaks to you. Cut out the images (or print them) and post them somewhere you can see them while you work on organizing your space. When you feel your motivation flagging, go back to your inspiration images for a quick perk-up.

2. Block out time. I like to think of clutter clearing and organizing as “me time”, because I find it helps to put a positive spin on the experience. Look at your calendar for the month ahead, and pencil in at least one block of time per week to dedicate to getting your house in order.


3. Toss, keep, or replace. As you sort through your belongings, first consider whether you need the item at all. In order to really make a change in the way your home looks and feels, you will likely need to let a lot of things go, so don’t be shy about saying goodbye to stuff that you don’t use, or simply doesn’t feel like you. Anything you adore and use is a keeper. Some items you may use, but not love, and these should go on your “consider replacing” list. If you have any rugs that need replacing or upgrading, consider going with a flat-weave, like the ones shown above: their flat surface makes them easier to keep fresh and clean. If you must have your shaggy flokati or Moroccan beni ourain, keep it in the bedroom far from foot traffic!

4. Let one stand for many. Sometimes parting with things is really tough. When it comes to things like photographs and children’s artwork, it really helps to think of choosing the best example to stand in for the group. This allows you to honor your emotional attachment to the items, without needing to keep every single piece.

Photo Credits: Domino Magazine

5.  Make a place for everything. Organizing should actually come after clearing clutter, because you don’t have to organize what you no longer own! So focus on clearing clutter first, and then once you have pared back (and only then) take some time to consider where to store each category of item in your home. There are tons of creative storing and organizing ideas out there, and I’ve shown a few of my favorites above: try hanging items (towels, magazines, clothing) on a ladder; file papers in pretty magazine files; stash things in numbered bins; or hang items on a pegboard. Whichever method you choose, make sure it’s easy to use, and a pleasure to look at.

Once your home is all freshened up, get in the habit of regularly taking a bag of items to a charity donation center or consignment shop. I keep an empty reusable grocery bag on the floor of my hall closet, and place items to donate inside – when it’s full, I know it’s time to make a trip!

Is getting organized one of your resolutions this year? What’s the biggest organization trouble spot in your home? Share your thoughts in the Comments!

Rug Shopping Guide: Surya Atrium Diamonds rugSurya Frontier rugJaipur Rugs Traditions Made Modern rug in blue & whiteJaipur Rugs Luli Sanchez En Casa Sawyer rug in dark gray & yellow.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at!

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Prep Your Space for Overnight Guests

Prep your space for guests

When you are expecting overnight guests, getting ready can make even the most calm among us completely frazzled. But a bit of preparation will leave you feeling relaxed and ready, and make your visitors feel right at home.


The first thing to do is clear any clutter out of the guest zone. So often guest rooms become the clutter dumping zone of the house, but of course no one wants to stay overnight in a room with junk, so that clutter has got to go! Guest rooms can also become quite dusty when they haven’t been used in some time, so vacuuming (including under the bed), and dusting the surfaces is essential. Once the cleaning is done, make the bed with fresh sheets, and fold a few extra blankets at the foot of the bed.

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Once the basics are in order, it’s time to focus on those little details that make staying over a pleasure. A small desk where your guests can plug in their laptop, a candle (with matches) and fresh flowers on the bedside table, and a basket of toiletries (it’s so easy to forget something when you’re traveling!) are welcome additions. Be sure to also include a stack of fluffy bath and hand towels, a bottle of water and glass, and a printed card with your house wifi password. Want to go the extra mile? A stack of current favorite books and magazines, a bar of chocolate and some roasted nuts, and a pristine white robe will win you major points!

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If you’re decorating a guest room from scratch, look to the style of the rest of your home and carry it through into the guest space for consistency. For a welcoming rustic farmhouse look, try a natural fiber rug and oak secretary desk; for a modern glam guest room, go with a sleek white desk and plush rug. To keep costs down, consider using mattresses on a simple platform rather than a headboard, and accent the bed with a beautiful textile hanging on the wall above it.

Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Kayla Oak writing deskSafavieh natural fiber rugSurya Candice Olson Modern Classics rugBrandon White Hide-Away desk.

Photo Credits (from top to bottom of post): Domino MagazineHolly Marder for Decor8Country Living; Holly Marder for Decor8SF Girl By BayDomino Magazine.

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Decorating for Winter: Scandinavian Style


In the countries of the far north where the winters are incredibly long and cold, people have learned to take what could be quite a dark time, and transform it into a time of light and good cheer. There is a Danish concept called hygge, which roughly translates to mean creating a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home, and enjoying time with family and friends. Delightful, right? I love adopting a Scandinavian approach to winter, and you can, too: it’s all about light, coziness, nature, and a bit of sparkle.

Key elements of Scandinavian style winter decorating:

- Sheepskins flung over chairs for warmth (faux is perfectly acceptable!)

- Knitted accessories

- Natural birch bark

- Star motifs

- Clean and simple black and white color palette

- Loads of candles

- Potted bulbs like amaryllis and paperwhites

The beauty of Scandinavian or Nordic style decorating is that it’s based heavily in nature and simplicity. This is especially great around the holidays if you are craving a simpler approach. Consider forgoing the store-bought gift wrap in favor of plain kraft paper fastened with twine. To decorate each room, place a small fresh-cut tree or cluster of evergreen branches in a vase on the floor or table, and hang stars cut from bark or wool felt. Instead of baking ten kinds of cookies, bake one batch of gingerbread and decorate it with white icing. Simple!

Of course, another key part of embracing a Scandinavian sensibility at this time of year is to enjoy getting outside in nature…and then coming indoors to warm up with hot drinks and tasty cakes! So bundle up and go for the sled ride, take a walk in the woods, or gather round a fire pit in the backyard. Find the beauty in this time of year.

If you would like to bring some Nordic style into your home this season, I recommend keeping the palette simple with soothing shades of gray, cream, black, and white. Above are a few of my favorite pieces: a silky soft gray area rug, gorgeous wintery photo print, chunky knit pillow, and cozy faux fur rug for tossing on your favorite chair.

Now it’s your turn: Share your favorite thing about wintertime in the Comments!

Shopping Guide: 1. Surya Textured Pillow in light gray; 2. Gordon Semmens ‘Buffalo River Snow Field’; 3. Loloi Grayson Animal Shape Rug in graphite; 4. Artistic Weavers Silk Route Rainey rug in light gray.

Photo Credits: from top to bottom of post My Scandinavian HomeThe Style FilesHouse of ValentinaLaura Gaskill.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at!

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