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Perfect Plank Floors

Home Bunch
Home Bunch

Ask ten people and they’ll all have very different dreams for their home; mine is to have one type of flooring throughout. The hope is that one day the laminate flooring, tile, and wall to wall carpeting will all be replaced with one single cohesive material, preferably wide plank flooring. Entryway, living room, kitchen, and beyond – as far as the eye can see!

sara medina lind

Some of you are lucky enough to have it just lying in whatever is currently covering your floors, but I have a subfloor made of 3-inch wide wood that has most definitely seen better days in its 117+ years. If the wood were wider I might just whitewash and call it a day. The looks lends itself particularly well to Scandinavian and farmhouse aesthetics.

via decor pad

Conversely, this dark wood is a real showstopper. The kind of flooring that welcomes dings and variations because they somehow manage to give it even more character. I love the all white shiplap, built-ins, and doors that welcome all of those lovely tones in each individual plank.

Hull Forest Products

Or perhaps you’d like the best of both worlds? This plank floor is perfection, and I really like how easy it would be to incorporate other wood in the room with all of those striations. Those walnut counter stools do a great job of pulling out some of the darker bits, but overall that floor is the superstar of the entire kitchen’s design.

Sloan Architects

Plank flooring – actually real wood flooring of all types – can get pricey fast. Thankfully there are laminates and tile flooring that looks as much like wood as the actual thing! I suspect this is the route I’ll be going should my dream ever approach reality. Of course, with all of those bare floors you’re probably going to want some accent rugs to call attention to certain gathering areas.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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How to Keep Summer Going All Year Long

Jane Beiles

In a blink summer will be over but I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet, are you? So let’s talk about some ways to keep warm weather and vacation vibes around for the rest of the year. This first idea is the one I use most – art and books. A beachy scene hanging on the wall is a vacation for the eyes and a few coffee table books about the ocean or islands can sweep you away whenever the temperature finally starts to drop. Both are also a great jumping off point for other decor.

Henny van Belkom

When you think about the beach there are probably a lot of natural materials aside from water and sand. I’m thinking of materials like wood, rattan, and sisal. Hang a large wicker light fixture with some vintage vibes in the living room or add a dining table with a roughhewn look to it. These materials have the powers to help transport you right back to the shore.

Alyssa Rosenheck

If you’re at all into the tropics, you’re probably also into plenty of foliage. Bring a few large plants into the living room to mimic seaside greenery and add a tropical vibe to your home. If that’s not enough add a few more vining plants, like philodendron, that can be draped as they grow for that jungle-like feel.

Monica Wang

Think about the color palette of vacation – deeply saturated blues and greens with some sandy brown thrown in for good measure. If you’re not ready to pull the trigger and go all out with furniture or freshly painted walls, consider some new accessories or floor rugs to give you that beauty vibe all year long.

Summer Rugs

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Thinking Beyond the Kitchen: Eggplant

Bo Concept
Bo Concept

I think it’s time. Time to take that rich purple known as eggplant or aubergine out of the kitchen and bring it into the other rooms of our homes. Purple is known as the most royal of colors, and the deeper the hue the more elegant it can feel – in other words, this isn’t the same purple your junior high self likely would have chosen.

If you’re all in on eggplant and looking to add tons of impact and charisma, you might want to consider biting the bullet and painting the walls. As I continuously say, there is no better bang for your buck than a few gallons of paint. (Bonus: If you end up hating it, it’s not an expensive fix either!) I think this color would look incredible on the wall of a dining room or bathroom.

via Beauti Tone

Okay, okay. So maybe you’re not into painting an entire room eggplant, but what about making a statement with your front door? Choose a tone that’s so deep and dark that passersby are left wondering if they’re looking at dark purple or black. It looks great with just about any color of brick and any other neutrals as well!

Romero Armchair

The right eggplant can act like a neutral, believe it or not. Check out these stunning chairs with mid-century lines that manage to strike a balance with the wood tones and natural textiles in the room. They’re showstoppers without being scene-stealers.

via Frenchy Fancy

Last, but certainly not least, are accessories. Whether it be a great throw, a piece of art featuring the color, or floor rug, there are a hundred different ways to inject a dose of eggplant into your current decor. One of my favorites is a plant called Oxalis that has stems capped with shamrock-like leaves and is very easy to grow.

What’s your favorite way to incorporate a new, bold color in your space?

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Secrets to a Luxe Look on Any Budget

If you crave the easy elegance of a luxurious abode, but your budget reality is more Target than Restoration Hardware, you’ve come to the right place! From symmetry and understated color palettes to linen on everything, these designer go-tos and insider tricks will make your house look luxurious, no matter your budget.

barbarachambers.041r-hires
Chambers + Chambers Architects

Your first step is to streamline the color palette. Luxurious homes, while sometimes bursting with color, are more often than not odes to layered neutrals. Think rich browns, cool grays, sandy beige, and crisp white. One trick, if you’re having trouble winnowing down the color palette of a particular room, is to pull out your phone camera and snap a few pictures — viewing photos of your space can help give you some perspective. Notice which colors jump out at you first, and then take a moment to actually count the number of hues you can spot in the photo of your room. If it’s more than three (not counting neutrals like gray and beige) you probably have some editing to do!

With the color palette in hand, bring your focus to how your furniture and decor is arranged — generally the more symmetry you can introduce into your room, the more formal (and luxurious)  it will feel. Try facing your sofas or armchairs towards one another, place a pair of topiaries or potted plants on either side of the mantle, or identical lamps at each end of the sofa.

barbarachambers.047r-hires
Chambers + Chambers Architects

Often, simply rearranging what you already own is enough to bring a completely different feeling into your space. For example: pull some gorgeous coffee table books off the shelf (where you rarely notice them) and place them in stacks on a round table, or on the coffee table. Then place a vase in the center. Ta-da, you’ve just created a luxe looking vignette!

If you’re still working through the color palette and find you still have too many competing hues in one space, consider having some of your existing furniture re-upholstered in neutral fabric. The cost can be less than purchasing new furniture, and this one change can completely transform your space.

Luxe Bedroom

Luxe Bedroom 2
My Domaine

Another element that can have a massive impact on how luxe your room feels is what’s underfoot. Go for something big — the bigger the better — and in a soft, neutral hue. Too often I see rooms with rugs that are too small for the space, but I understand why: big rugs are expensive … at least, a lot of the time they are! I took the liberty of tracking down four chic options that all come in large sizes (8 by 10 and up) for less than $500:

Affordable Luxe

Luxe rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Nourison Enhance in Ivory; Safavieh Cedar Brook in Navy and White; Jaipur Rugs Natural Lucia Marvy in Natural Beige; Safavieh Chatham in Gray and Ivory.

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

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