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Nail the Look: Desert Modern

A little bit midcentury, a touch bohemian, and a whole lot of warm Southwest texture and textiles makes up this popular look. If your dream home is a cool adobe in Joshua Tree with a pottery studio out back, you’re in the right place. Read on for interior inspiration and practical get-the-look tips to bring desert modern style home, no matter where you live.


Emily Henderson

Furniture: This is where the modern in desert modern comes in. Think vintage mid-century modern pieces in warm wood tones, like the bookshelf shown here. Sofas and chairs with simple, straight shapes work well, as do campaign furniture (like the folding leather stool seen here) and woven pieces.

Accessories: A few small accent pieces can go a long way towards creating a great desert modern look. Poke around in thrift shops, mineral stores, and antique fairs for hunks of crystal, cool rocks, and vintage pottery. Use your finds to perk up bookshelves, hold down a stack of papers on your desk, or add interest to your coffee table.


Design Sponge

Textiles: Bring warmth to simple, clean-lined modern pieces (like the sofa and pendant light shown here) with rich, colorful, southwest-inspired textiles. A great big rug in the living room is a great way to ground the space and set the color palette.


Style Me Pretty

Lighten up: What sets desert modern style apart from straight-up southwest or desert style is a lighter touch. Instead of bringing in lots of heavy, rustic wood furniture and painting the walls in earth tones, lighten things up with airy wire furniture legs, crisp white walls, and delicate vases of flowers.


Apartment Therapy

Cultivate your desert garden: Thankfully, cacti and succulents make excellent houseplants no matter where you live! Bring in little terracotta or handmade pots and fill them with a variety of cacti to create your own mini-southwestern indoor garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Consider picking up an art print or photo featuring desert-inspired plant motifs instead.

Desert Modern Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Surya Scion Tribal rug; Safavieh Aspen rug; Rizzy Home Tumble Weed Loft rug; Nourison Tribal Decor rug in red.

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

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Design Tips for Renting Out Your Space

Whether you’re planning to rent out your space while you travel, or are thinking of turning that spare room or backyard cottage into an Airbnb, there is a lot to consider before you put up your listing. From taking great photos to designing with guests in mind, here are a few foolproof tips for making your space stand out.

Airbnb

Assess what your place has going for it. Do you live near the beach, a great farmer’s market, or a cool bike path? Play up your neighborhood’s features in the decor by choosing local art or photography for the walls, and a color scheme that reflects your unique location. In the Southern California Airbnb shown above, the owners chose a poolside photo print, trendy blue animal print rug, and sleek, modern furniture for a sunny LA look.

Take great photos. When you’re ready to photograph your space, choose a sunny day and take pictures of each room when natural light is at its best. Open up window treatments wide, turn on the lights, and check to make your you’ve cleared any personal items out of the shot. Straight-on shots (like the one above) tend to look better than photos shot at an angle — if you have a tripod, set your camera on it and adjust the position until it looks just right. Then, click away!

Design Tip: One big framed photo makes a bigger impact than a salon-style gallery wall of smaller pieces … and it costs less, too!

Airbnb3

Declutter. Before welcoming visitors into your home, you’ll need to pare back your personal items and excess belongings so that your space feels fresh and inviting. Useful items like basic cookware and dishes should stay. But the family pictures, plastic cups, and laundry baskets full of clothes have got to go. In the kitchen, any items left out should be functional, beautiful, or both.

Protect your valuables. It can help to dedicate one lockable closet or storage area for storing your personal items and valuables before you open up your home to short-term renters. Of course, you may get so used to enjoying your space without all of that extra clutter that you decide to get rid of it for good!

Design Tip: Splurge on a set of handmade mugs from Etsy or a local shop, plus a French press or pour-over coffee maker. These little items won’t set you back too much, and they look great in photos advertising your rental!

Airbnb2

Go for budget-friendly decor. Presenting a space that’s really clean and clutter-free is way more important than spending a lot on decor. In fact, it’s important to keep in mind that occasionally guests may damage some of your belongings — so choosing budget-friendly pieces that you can replace as needed is a smart move. Floors especially can get a lot of wear-and-tear, so roll up the fancy rugs and opt for a simple natural fiber or flat-woven cotton instead.

Design Tip: Plants make any space look more complete. Potted cacti and succulents are ideal for a short-term rental, because they are easy to care for, and look hip. Cluster a few tiny pots on the coffee table, and put one bigger plant in a sunny window.

Pamper Guests

Pamper guests with little luxuries. So often, it’s the little things that leave the biggest impression. Leave guests with little treats in each room — fresh flowers on the kitchen table, fluffy white towels in the bathroom, a tray of snacks and magazines in the bedroom. And be sure to include a home reference binder, too. This essential should include any need-to-know info about your space (like the wifi password), plus local maps and phone numbers.

Design Tip: A tray makes anything look more special! Use one to corral small items like snacks, spare toiletries, or coffee-making items.

Rugs for Airbnb

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Justina Blakeney Kahelo in black and ivory; Safavieh Kilim in navy; Momeni Laguna in black; Safavieh Kilim in blue and purple.

Photo Credits: Airbnb

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

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Part VIII: Rug + Room

Shannon-McGrath
Shannon McGrath + Couristan Easton Charles

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.

Claudia Uribe

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.

ANSON SMART

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.

via-Bang-&-Olufsen

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.

Melissa Mills

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!

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Tips to Pretty Up Your Porch

Spring is here, and with the longer days and sweet birdsong comes the irresistible urge to start sprucing up those outdoor spaces. Get inspired to pretty up your porch, deck, or patio with these styling tips — and when you’re done sprucing, pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea and put your feet up. You deserve it!


Giannetti Architecture and Interiors

Look No. 1: Modern Classic

This look is a little bit farmhouse (but not rustic) and a little bit modern (but not trendy). If you love traditional style, but want an update, this could be just the ticket. To get a modern classic look for your front porch or back patio, look for natural fibers and materials like stone, jute, and zinc, and keep the color palette calm with gray, black, white, and lots of greenery.


Giannetti Architecture and Interiors

Key elements of modern classic style:

- Neatly trimmed topiary

- Zinc, concrete, slate, and bluestone

- Hydrangeas

- Classic lantern-style lighting

- Fresh white paint


Thou Swell

Look No. 2: Beachy

Craving a fun, fresh look for your outdoor spaces? Beach style could be a match made in heaven. This laid-back look is easygoing, carefree, and works with a number of architectural styles. And nope, you don’t have to live by the beach to channel beach style! Think of adding lightweight elements like breezy outdoor curtains, seagrass rugs, and bamboo furniture. And if you feel inspired to add a bar cart or a hanging chair, that would fit right in here!


Monpalmer

Key elements of beach style:

- Outdoor curtains

- Bamboo, rattan, and other lightweight furnishings

- Potted palms and ferns

- Hanging chairs and hammocks

- String lights

- A pop of fun, bright color


The Glitter Guide

Look No. 3: Bohemian

Are you artistic, creative, and adventurous? Channeling a bohemian look in your outdoor spaces will help bring your wild imagination to life. Boho outdoor spaces are all about warm, spicy layers, eclectic and worldly furnishings, and loads of plants and cushions. A bohemian outdoor space is ideal for entertaining.

Key elements of bohemian style:

- Moroccan and kilim rugs

- Layered textiles

- Floor cushions and leather poufs

- Hanging planters

- Cacti and succulents

- Pottery and woven accessories

Porch and Patio Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Surya Alfresco in sage, black and cream; Kaleen Sea Isle in gold; Safavieh Courtyard II in black and bone; Kaleen A Breath of Fresh Air in green and blue.

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

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