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How to Decorate with White

White looks cozy in winter and beachy in summer, it’s clean and uplifting, and best of all, it’s incredibly easy to work with. If you love the look of white spaces, but want to make sure your beautiful white rooms never come across as cold, clinical, or boring, read on because these tips are for you!


Photo: Domino Magazine

Think of white as a canvas for color. I love changing up the look of my home fairly regularly, and using a white “base” can make this so much easier. In the living room shown here, for example, a white sofa, coffee table, walls, and shelving provide the framework, and the lavender and leopard print cushions add a fun pop of color. This makes working with color super easy, because in such a small dose you can be quite bold and it will always work!


Photos: top, Rachel Ashwell; others Domino Magazine

Add texture. If you prefer to keep things very monochromatic, that can absolutely work, too! The thing to remember is, the less color you have in a room, the more texture you should add. Think of beautifully textured wood floors, fluffy rugs and sheepskins, natural fibers, and woven baskets. All of these things will help your eye read the space as warm, inviting, and interesting, even without any color!

When in doubt, add a bouquet! In my humble opinion, no white room should ever be without a small bouquet of flowers. Even a single bloom in a bud vase can add that much-needed pop of visual interest to a space. Notice that in every single photo I have chosen to illustrate this post…there are flowers!

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Feizy Rugs Indochine in white; Safavieh Tibetan 100 in white; Surya Grizzly Shag in white; Martha Stewart Rugs Hand Knotted Piazza Rug in milk white.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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5 Rise and Shine Tips to Start Your Day Off Right

Mornings can be tough, especially when you’re facing a packed weekday filled with tasks you are maybe not so thrilled to tackle. If you want to wake up with more energy and a positive, can-do attitude, read on: these 5 tips are for you!

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1.  Make your bedroom a peaceful oasis. Having a space where you can unwind and let go of the pressures of the day is essential to a good night’s sleep. Create your own oasis of peace and serenity by making sure your bedroom is clean and clutter free, and filled with soothing colors and textures. Soft shades of lavender or blue are ideal for promoting rest. Also consider making your bedroom a screen-free zone, because the blue light emitted by our devices (including that e-reader) can make it harder to fall asleep.

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Peter Kragballe, Avenue Lifestyle + decor8

2. Splash out on lovely sheets and a quality mattress. A comfortable and supportive mattress and fresh, smooth sheets are two items definitely worth a splurge. If you can’t get a new mattress, make your old one more comfy by adding a plush topper. For the ultimate in pampering, spritz your sheets with lavender linen spray a few minutes before you get in.

3. Select your your outfit the night before. There’s nothing worse than frantically searching in your closet for something to wear….when you need to be out the door in 5 minutes! Avoid last-second panic by choosing your outfit (including shoes and accessories) the night before, when you are calm and collected.

4. Read something uplifting before bed. Bed time is not the time for picking up that fast-paced thriller that will keep you up half the night! Choose something that will actually help you drift off to sleep and give you sweet dreams, like an inspirational book or poetry. Dim the lights for the last few minutes, and sip some relaxing herbal tea.

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5. Make a sit-down breakfast easy. We all know you should start the day with a proper breakfast, but so often in the rush to get out the door, it simply doesn’t happen. This was almost always the case for me, until I began preparing a few breakfast things the night before. Fill your blender with smoothie ingredients and pop it in the fridge, set out a bowl and a jar of granola, and wash some fresh fruit: it doesn’t take much to make breakfast happen, and you will quickly realize those few moments the night before were well worth it when you can sit down to a relaxing breakfast and get your day off to a good start.

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These few simple changes can make a big impact on your mornings…I know they have for mine! If you take the time to make your bedroom a lovely, relaxing space, prepare a few things the night before, and create a few peaceful bedtime routines to help you drift off to sleep, you’re sure to greet the new day with a positive spirit (even on Monday).

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Kingston in ivory and stone; Rugs America Asteria in lavender; Surya Mystique in pale blue; Nourison Karma in blue.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Work-at-Home Chic

Whether you work from home full-time, once a week, or simply want a corner to call your own where you can blog and be creative, having a lovely home office space will help you get the job done in style. And the best part about setting up a workspace at home? It doesn’t have to look the least bit office-y!

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Photo credits throughout: The Glitter Guide

Take the lovely, sunny space shown above for example: I know I wouldn’t mind spending all day working here, what about you?! If you have an entire room to devote to your office, this is also an excellent example of how to use the space – an extra-large desk floating in the center of the room rather than pushed against a wall allows light to flow in and around your workspace, and offers a much more pleasant view. This is also a good setup if you ever take client meetings in your home, because you can easily pull up a few chairs on the other side. A tray keeps desk accessories neat and tidy, and a cozy flatweave rug and throw bring some warmth to the space.

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Go ahead and make your workspace a place that you LOVE and that puts a big smile on your face…after all, why not love where you work? A grid of simple bulletin boards from the office supply store can easily become an inspiring mood board when covered with your favorite bits of inspiration and magazine tear sheets. Or hang an inspiring + motivating message above your desk in the form of a removable decal or wooden sign. Fresh greenery, cut flowers, a scented candle, and a comfy chair and pillow will round out your space and make it your own.

Want to add big color to your workspace without painting the walls? Take a cue from this deliciously bright office and prop up an oversize canvas behind your desk – either purchased or DIY-ed, a great big piece of art is the quickest way to add style to a room. Style tip: pick up the hues from your artwork in the rug you choose to roll out underfoot for a polished, put together look.

And if you don’t have even a corner to spare for a dedicated home office, who’s to say you can’t simply take over the dining room? Making this space work overtime is a great excuse to give it a revamp with fresh and fun wallpaper, a new rug, and some really cool chairs. After all, if you work on a laptop anyway, you can plug into any room in the house!

One of the best things about working from home is being able to surround yourself with cozy comforts, and there’s no better way to do that than with a lovely rug. Above you can see four of my favorite rugs for a home workspace, from a simply gorgeous natural fiber, to bright and cheerful blue or yellow, and always-chic navy and white. Designing a work-at-home space just begs for a little extra dose of style, so choose with your heart and go for the look that really inspires you.

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Shopping Guide: 1. Jaipur Rugs Naturals Lucia Marvy rug in natural beige; 2. Feizy Rugs Harlow rug in teal; 3. Jaipur Rugs Urban Bungalow Farid rug in white and butter; 4. Surya Frontier rug in navy and cream.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Mood Board to Room: Paris in the Spring

Strolling along the Seine, searching for the perfect antique treasures in the brocantes, eating croissants in a little cafe, admiring the abundant bouquets at the flower stalls … who wouldn’t love Paris in the springtime? Travel can provide some of the best decorating inspiration around, and Paris is simply a natural when it comes to style of all kinds. In this post, I will walk you through the process of creating a Paris mood board, and translating that to concrete ideas you can use in your own home. Ready? Let’s go to Paris!


Photos: The Paris Print Shop

In the inspiration board shown above, I have pulled together some of the most charming elements you might find while walking around the city streets of Paris: a smattering of pastel colored cafe tables, towering stacks of vintage books, bouquets of pink ranunculus, wrought iron balconies, plush antiques, and of course, the striking figure of la Tour Eiffel in the background. Le sigh.

So, how to begin pulling this inspiration together into something that you can actually use in your own home, even though you are likely thousands of miles away from grand Paris? Start by identifying some of the features that are easy to replicate at home: fresh bouquets of flowers, bistro-style chairs, and a print or map of Paris would be easy enough to track down, and will add lots of charm on a dime.


Photo: decor8

To take your inspiration a bit further, it helps to take a peek inside an actual Paris apartment, like the gorgeous one shown above. The first thing you might notice is that the French are not afraid to mix things up – a stately tufted velvet sofa and classical flowing drapes stand happily alongside a modernist coffee table and unique artwork. But look a little closer, and you will notice there is something of a formula at work here: the classical “bones” of the apartment, including crisp white walls, subtle carpeting, and a few big classic pieces of furniture set the stage for the more eclectic accents.

Tips for decorating, Parisian style:

- Start with a clean, crisp white paint on the walls (tip: try Oxford White or Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore)

- Roll out a subtle + super-soft rug in pale blue or white

- Embrace luxurious textures like velvet and taffeta

- Have fun hunting for antiques at the flea market to add character

- Mix things up with a few very modern pieces

- Integrate small flashes of bold color (like pink) in accessories + artwork


Photo: French By Design

To pull it all together, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pieces that would work very well together in a chic, eclectic Paris-style living room. Begin with a few coats of crisp white paint on the walls, add in an antique gold-framed mirror above the mantle, a tufted velvet sofa, and a modern chair. Add a soft, Moroccan-style rug on the floor, toss a few hot pink pillows on the couch, and hang a vintage-reproduction map of Paris on your wall. Then all you need to do is buy yourself a baguette, and cue up the Edith Piaf on the gramophone!

Shopping Guide: Surya Morrocan Ogree pillow in Magenta; Safavieh Barcelona Shag in White and Silver; 1890 Guilmin Map of Paris.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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