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Defining a Mini Library

Livet Hemma
Livet Hemma

The moment you set foot inside my home, you know I’m a book lover. They’re everywhere. On shelves and benches in the living room and entryway, stacked on my dresser, and even more hidden inside boxes in the attic. While there’s nothing more I’d love than to have an entire room as a dedicated library, I satisfy my need to display books by creating little nooks full of them here and there. Long after being read, your favorite books can serve other purposes – two large stacks of mine even bring the television up to eye-level on top of a low console, and I love how the Ikea desk above replaces one side’s legs with a tower.

Surrey Homes
Surrey Homes

This glass-fronted armoire makes for the perfect book nook, keeping your tomes protected and in full view at the same time. A bonus that any book lover will surely appreciate is that they’d also be kept dust-free! Wouldn’t a wall of three or four mismatched armoires filled to the brim with books make for a beautiful compact library that makes a statement? The wheels are turning…

Vaaleanpunainen Hirsitalo
Vaaleanpunainen Hirsitalo

If lots and lots of books aren’t your thing but you’d like to hang onto and show off your favorites, then this idea might be the one for you – a slim but sturdy set of shelves turned on its side. Fill the cubbies with the books and magazines you already own, then add to it as your collection grows! When the shelves fill up make freeform book stacks on top of the piece and create a real focal point of the room it sits in.

Curbed
Curbed

If coffee table books are more the type of library you want to create, consider taking shelves of any type out of the equation. Fill your empty fireplace and display their spines, stack them on the floor against an empty wall and create your own art installation, or consider filling a bar cart to make a makeshift library on wheels. Any little nook or cranny in your home can become a mini library with a little creativity.

Elle Decor Espana
Elle Decor España

As can any piece of deep furniture house some of your collection – a desk, a console table, an armchair, an end table. Not every book needs to be in the same place if you don’t have the room for it and you can think out of the box. Help define your mini library space by adding a rug, some of my latest favorites are shown below:

Rugs-Direct-Collage

1/ Kaleen Rachael Ray Highline   2/ Company C Handwoven Chromatic Plaid
3/ Surya Mountain   4/ Company C Hand Tufted Diamond Lattice
5/ Karastan Cosmopolitan French Affair   6/ Surya Jax

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

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How to Use Rugs in Small Spaces

Mademoiselle Claudine
Mademoiselle Claudine

There’s an argument to be made that when you’re living in a small space, whether out of choice or necessity, that it’s even more important to hone in and establish your interior style. Having fewer square feet to work with doesn’t mean you have to compromise on aesthetics, but it does mean you need to make better decisions because every inch of space counts for more. One decor element that can make a huge difference is the right floor rug because it can serve any number of purposes.

If you’re dwelling in a studio, drawing an invisible line between areas of use can get tricky because you want your space to feel as open as possible. Opting for a floor rug that coordinates with the area you’re putting it in is a great place to start. For example, if it’s the living room, bring in some tones from your couch. That’s not saying you have to go super trendy or make a huge statement; sometimes sticking to a more neutral, budget-friendly option is the way to go.

Just laying down a simply designed floor rug can make your place feel instantly more pulled together, particularly if you have a collection of mis-matched home goods. An extra soft rug will add layers of texture and a feeling of homeyness that we can never get enough of. Pro Tip: Think outside of the norm and place your rug vertically rather than horizontally for an unexpected design decision.

Bring an entire space together with one large floor rug that compliments everything from your bed to your sofa, and it will also serve to create a great focal point for your living area. Go with a bold pattern or unexpected rug shape to make a real statement.

Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you need to skimp on color! Choose an unexpected hue that gets along with whatever other colors are present for a bit of energy. This is also a great technique for delineating space between bedroom and living room – you’ll spend far less time watching TV from bed. Using a rug with an unusual texture or layering several together is another good way to achieve this separation when using multiple rugs in your small space.

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

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Dreamy Sheds

What’s not to love about having a mini-getaway right in your own backyard? Whether you opt for a garden retreat, backyard art studio, party shed, or solo relaxation zone, a shed to call your own can be a fantastic way to de-stress, practice a craft or hobby, or even start a side business. Read on for five totally swoon-worthy examples of backyard sheds, plus tips on decking out your own tiny backyard dream shed.

PeasAndNeedles2

PeasAndNeedles
Peas & Needles

First up is this glorious shed created by a textile designer in the UK who wanted her own weaving studio where she could set up her loom, work on projects, but also relax with a cup of tea. I love how the layers of cozy rugs, cushions, and weavings create a cocoon-like effect — don’t you just want to jump in and snuggle with all of those fluffy pillows?

Lesson learned: If your shed isn’t feeling as comfy or inviting as you would like, add more soft stuff!

AliceInScandiland

Alice
Alice in Scandiland

Next up, we have an adorable little backyard office and studio for a Cornwall-based blogger and work-at-home mom. The interior style is very clean and Scandinavian with a natural fiber rug, light blue armchair, and mirrors reflecting the greenery outside — but my favorite part has got to be the fort addition for her daughter! This seems like the ideal solution if you want to be outdoors with your kids, but also perhaps sneak in a little work or (ahem) write a blog post.

Lesson learned: A shed doesn’t have to be just one thing. Make it work for your family by incorporating a fun element or two.

BHG
BHG

If you’re looking for complete and utter relaxation surrounded by nature, this is the shed for you. A converted greenhouse design, this shed is all fresh air and glass, so you can enjoy birdsong and fresh breezes as you read a book or cat nap on the daybed.

Lesson learned: Context is everything. What makes this space so great is that it’s tucked back into a quiet corner of the garden and completely surrounded by lush green foliage.

BHG1
BHG

It’s shed party time! From the black-and-white striped floors and hanging chair to the bar cart and fringed chandelier, this super fun space has a lot going on, and it totally works. If you love to entertain but are getting tired of having everyone in your house, an entertaining shed could be just the ticket.

Lesson learned: You don’t need a shed big enough to fit a crowd to count as a party shed! If you can fit the drinks cart and a seat or two, you’re good. Guests can drift in and out, and the party fare will stay out of the sun.

Emily-Henderson3
Style By Emily Henderson

Sometimes you just want somewhere to get away from it all and relax. If that’s the case, may I recommend outfitting your shed with a daybed, topped with loads of soft blankets and cushions? Add a tree stump table and oil lamp for a back-to-the-woods feel, but keep the palette light with shades of cream and driftwood.

Lesson learned: Sheds are awesome, no matter how you use them. Now if you need me, I’ll be in the greenhouse with my dog-eared copy of Anne of Green Gables and a tall iced mint tea.

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide (Clockwise from top left): Boho Paisley Elephant II by Danhui Nai; Not All Who Wander by Katie Doucette; Momeni Boho rug in ivory; Surya Jute Natural Woven rug in natural.

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

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Creative At Home Bars

via 101 Recycled Crafts

A proper bar is something every home should have. They look lovely and it’s so nice to be able to offer guests – or yourself – a little tipple upon walking in the front door. Bar carts have been hot for a few years now, but what if you want something a little more outside the box? Something to show of your style, your creativity, and the collection of bottles you’ve been working on building for awhile perhaps. Well, here are five ideas to get your mind turning and churning.

Give your desk a more exciting life by moving it into the living room, dining room, or entry and turning it into a place to keep your spirits. If it’s equipped with drawers you can store smaller glassware and accessories like stirrers, jiggers, etc right there as well. If not that’s okay too, add a few shelves for extra space or only keep the pretty bottles out and stash everything else in the kitchen.

My Domaine

Maybe you own or rent an older home, one with a built-in. It’s not always an obvious thought to use it as a bar, but why not? At the least there’s a sturdy surface to mix drinks and a few shelves to sit bottles or glasses upon which is really all you need. Set it off by wallpapering or painting the back wall a contrasting color and adding some fresh hardware to any drawers or cupboards.

Spring 2015

A cabinet with closed doors and no sign of what’s behind them has its own kind of appeal. A stand alone piece that can hold everything from bottles of wine properly along with everything else takes your bar to the next level. The piece above is made for just that purpose, but it would be just as easy to retrofit any standard piece with a little time and effort.

Rue Magazine

Or maybe you’re the thrifty type, preferring to dig and hunt until just the right piece speaks to you. If industrial is your style of choice a metal piece might do the trick, especially with some doors that could be locked from little curious fingers. Though the wheels on this particular piece might be reminiscent of a bar cart, this is surely its big brother.

Apt Therapy

Working with what you already have is usually my go-to. Not only for the sake of saving money, but also because it feels darn good to come up with a new purpose for something. Maybe it’s your television cabinet or an old bench. What about your mantle or a large side table? The options really are endless.

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

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