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Decorating Tips for Small Spaces

via STADSHEM REAL ESTATE
via Stadshem Real Estate

I think we’ve probably all served our time living in small spaces – whether it’s a dorm room, studio apartment, or even a small one bedroom home. While they can be the more charming of spaces, sometimes you’re left wondering how to make them feel a little less charming and a little more chic.

Let’s get started. The one thing you’re sure to notice in all of these photos is that they have one thing in common: they’re light and bright. Using a clean white paint on the walls, floor, and anywhere else opens a space right up to create an airy feeling that instantly creates an illusion of more space. It also allows your furniture, your wall art, and everything else, shine all the more.

Another great tip is to take advantage of small and unusual spaces to add shelves because we all know what a premium storage is at. Aside from being functional, shelving can add personality, allow you to display your favorite items, and free up precious floor space. The room above installed a shelf across the upper border to house their book collection. I love how out of the way it is as well as the unexpected visual statement it makes!

Tessa Neustadt
Tessa Neustadt

One of my very favorite decorating tips – for smaller spaces and homes in general – is to hang floor-length drapes in light, sheer fabrics. By also setting the curtain rod a little wider than the actual window, your home will appear to have higher ceilings and larger windows. All of that diffused light that can now pour in feels so luxurious and opens up a space beautifully.

via Fantastic Frank
via Fantastic Frank

A small kitchen might be the trickiest of all small rooms–there are just so many necessities to cram in that you really need a strategy. By eliminating the four dining chair the kitchen table is able to be pushed against the wall (store the extra chair somewhere else useful and bring it in for guests). If you have cabinets with space above them, baskets are your new best friend. Use them to store things you use less often to clear up cabinet and counter space. Pattern in a tiny area can feel overwhelming, and that rug offers just enough.

via Homedit
via Homedit

In the bathroom, as well as in every other room, large mirrors act as a magician. Instantly add more real estate and make small areas expand visually by adding in the largest one you can afford or find. Pro Tip: Flea markets are a great antique mirror source. The tiny bathroom above capitalized on counter space as well by installing the smallest sink needed. I’m willing to bet that even with the door closed it feels airy and chic!

Monica Wang
Monica Wang

Living in a small space might have you thinking that larger pieces are out of the question, on the contrary, they’re not the decorating faux pas you may imagine. A large piece of art that draws your eyes toward the ceiling or a large storage piece is definitely worthwhile. Stick with neutral, light colors to help them blend into their surroundings and clean lines that won’t distract.

Floor rugs can help a room feel wider and give a more polished finish to your home. Here are a few favorite new arrivals that would look fantastic in any space, no matter the size.

Rugs Direct Rugs

1/ Paramount by Surya   2/ Hygge by Loloi Rugs
3/ Riviera Stripe by Liora Manne   4/ Monaco by Momeni
5/ Polaris by Jaipur Rugs   6/ Bella by Safavieh

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Sweet Holiday Decorating Ideas for Kids

Want to give your favorite kiddos an extra helping of holiday cheer? Add one or more of these sweet seasonal touches to a child’s bedroom or play space and make little spirits bright. Pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and read on for all six ideas…

Ave Styles - holiday kids room
Ave Styles

1. Tiny tabletop tree. Itty bitty and totally touchable, a tiny tabletop tree (either real or fake) makes a fun addition to a young child’s room. Pick out a small selection of soft, non-breakable felt and fabric ornaments, and top the tree off with a mini stuffed animal or finger puppet.

Christmas 365 - chalkboard christmas tree
Christmas Around the World

2. Chalk wall tree. Do you already have a chalkboard wall in the bedroom or playroom? If so, you’re potentially mere moments away from one of the most cheerful holiday decorations around: the chalkboard tree! Sketch out a simple Christmas tree shape on the chalk wall and decorate with a taped-on garland. Or, for an even quicker setup, add ornaments drawn on in colorful chalk. Pile up pretend wrapped gifts (try wrapping wooden blocks from a set) and cute stuffed animals to create a festive scene.

Young House Love
Young House Love

3. Petite tree. For children a bit older, nothing beats having their very own kid-size Christmas tree right in their own room! Complete the setup with strands of twinkle lights, soft ornaments and a swath of pretty fabric wrapped around the base to conceal the Christmas tree stand.

Modern Mrs Darcy
Modern Mrs Darcy

4. Book “tree”. You can make this purely decorative or (and I think this is more fun!) you can let your book tree do double-duty as a literary advent calendar. Wrap up books — they can be from your home collection, the local library or new books — and pile them up with the largest on the bottom and smallest on top. With each layer, turn the book a quarter turn to create the spiral effect shown here. When your book tree is complete, decorate it with a few shiny ornaments or a tiny strand of battery-powered twinkle lights.

Christmas 365
Christmas Around the World

Yvestown - colorful striped stocking
Yvestown

5. Sweet stockings. In England and some other regions of the world, Christmas stockings are traditionally hung on the bedposts. But even if Santa will be filling the stockings hung by the chimney, it can be a cheerful touch to put a bonus stocking in your little one’s room as well. A small stuffed bunny rabbit peeking over the top makes an irresistible finishing touch.

Yvestown - red chair with presents
Yvestown

6. Something fluffy…and something red! Fluffy sheepskin, faux fur or even a super-soft knitted throw makes an inviting addition to a child’s room or play space. Try draping a fun throw over a chair or on the bed to provide a cozy spot to sit and read. And finally, consider adding something red. This undeniably bright and cheerful hue tends to be a big favorite with kids year-round and looks especially festive in midwinter. Perhaps a red rug would fit the bill? If so, keep scrolling to see 6 of my favorite cheery red rugs perfect for the holidays and beyond.

Christmas Rugs

Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Santino by Feizy Rugs in red; 2. Kilim by Safavieh in pink; 3. Kenwood by Kaleen in pink; 4. Awning Stripes by Couristan in red; 5. Montauk by Safavieh in red; 6. Montauk by Safavieh in red and ivory.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Classic Home Color Combo: Blue and White

Like your favorite pair of blue jeans paired with a white tee, decorating with blue and white feels easy for most people. Today we’ll take a look at three ways to bring a blue and white color palette into your home: country, classic and coastal.

Country Living
Country Living

1. Country. The dining space shown here has that warm and inviting French country look perfected. Casual blue and white striped textiles pair up with cozy toile wallpaper and a farm table and chairs to create a room that would be a delight to spend time in. To get this look, use a mix of vintage or antique wood pieces with new blue and white textiles like slipcovers, table linens, wallpaper, and even ceramics for your tabletop. A country-take on the blue and white scheme can include shades of cream for a softer look.

domino2
Domino

HGTV
HGTV

2. Classic. Blue and white china is probably the quickest way to add this color palette to your classic or traditional space. And while less is sometimes more, in this case, more is more! Cluster a group of blue and white china vases together on the kitchen counter, or display a collection of pieces in varied sizes on wall-mounted brackets. Carry the blue and white theme throughout your space with blue linens in the bedroom and tea towels in the kitchen.

Bright Bazaar
Bright Bazaar

Roost Blog
Roost

3. Coastal. Nothing says coastal style more clearly than a crisp blue and white stripe. If you want to channel a beach vibe, don’t be shy with the stripes! Try a blue and white striped rug, roman shades, pillow covers, curtains, or all of the above. Mixing stripes is easier than it sounds, so don’t be afraid to pile them on — just remember that mixing and matching is easier with stripes of different widths. Try a wide stripe rug paired with narrow ticking stripe pillows, for example. Then round out your room with upholstered pieces in solid blue or white and crisp white walls.

Leslie Shewring Blues

Leslie Shewring for decor8

Putting it all together: Have an idea of what you would like in your blue and white room? Before you get started, consider pulling together a quick mood board with a few images that capture the particular shades of blue you love, textures you’re hoping to use, or even specific pieces you have your eye on. Then stand back and ask yourself if they all work together. Play around with adding and removing pictures until it pleases you, and then use your mood board as a reference when selecting products for your space. You can pin tear sheets from magazines and catalogs to a bulletin board, or create a digital inspiration board using an online tool like Pinterest.

Ready to shop for a blue and white rug for your space? These four favorites are a great place to begin your search:

blue and white rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Evoke in navy and ivory; Spicher and Company vintage vinyl floor cloths in blue and ivory; Company C ticking stripe in indigo; Nourison Somerset in light blue.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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5 Common Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Whether you’re decorating your first place or revamping a home you’ve lived in for decades, figuring out where to begin can feel overwhelming. To take away some of the guesswork, we’re walking you through five top decorating mistakes so you know what to look for, and (more importantly!) how to remedy them in your own home. With these five areas of design know-how under your belt, your home will feel beautifully, intentionally designed in a flash.

Erin Gates Design
Erin Gates Design

Problem #1: Too short curtains. If your curtains do not reach the floor or if the curtain hardware is attached to the window frame, your curtains are probably too short. The only exception being if you have a radiator blocking the curtain’s path to the floor — in which case, you may want to consider opting for blinds or roman shades rather than drapes.

The fix: Think of your curtains as not just a covering for your window, but a frame for these light-enhancing architectural features. When measuring for curtains, take your measurements high enough that you can hang the rods near the ceiling, and the drapes will just brush the floor. If there’s wall space on both sides of the window frame, consider hanging your curtains wider than the frame itself, so when you pull your curtains open the entire window is visible, maximizing the light.

Svenja Brucker for Decor8
Svenja Brucker
for Decor8

Problem #2: Too small rug. It’s tempting to go for a 5×8 foot or even a 4×6 rug because they tend to be more affordable. But the thing is, unless the room you are decorating is truly petite, or if you’re looking for an accent rug, those sizes are not usually big enough. Most standard size living rooms can easily handle an 8×10 rug, if not bigger.

The remedy: The simplest way to measure for a new rug is to set up the furniture arrangement in your space first, and then measure around it. There are all sorts of design quibbles about how many feet ought to be on or off your rug, but it’s never wrong to have a nice big rug that all of the main furniture can fit on. If you already own a pretty little rug, consider layering it over a less costly (but bigger) natural fiber rug to expand the sense of space.

Lighting 3 studio mcgee
Studio McGee

Problem #3: Not enough lighting. It’s a fact: a dark room feels smaller and less inviting. Including lots of light sources is second-nature to professional designers, but isn’t always so obvious to the rest of us. After all, isn’t the overhead light that came with the house, plus a table lamp enough? The answer is…nope, probably not.

The fix: At a minimum, aim to include at least three different light sources in each room. But if you really want to make your space feel magical, bump that number up to five. Overhead fixtures can be great, but consider swapping out the simple flush-mount light that came with the house for something more stylish (and with more lighting potential) like a pendant light. Floor lamps are handy for lighting dark corners, and sconces are fantastic in dark hallways and bedrooms.

 The Shade Store and Studio McGee
Studio McGee

Problem #4: Jumbled color palette. This usually comes down to indecision and lack of planning. You may have the best of intentions, but without a clear plan for your home’s color palette, chances are you’re going to end up with a mishmash of hues throughout your space, lending it an unintentionally cluttered look.

The fix: I find a camera to come in quite handy for determining which colors need to go — simply snap a few photos with your phone, and look at them with a keen eye for color. What jumps out at you? How many different colors can you spot in each room? Once you’ve examined your photos, go back into each space and edit out excess items in clashing colors until you’re down to neutrals plus one main hue.

Decor
Studio at One Kings Lane
via Studio McGee

Problem #5: Too many little decor items. This is what I like to think of as the Target trap. You’re strolling along, minding your own business, just trying to buy some cat food and laundry detergent when — bam! — sparkly, shiny, colorful little decor items call to you from those enticing endcaps and somehow end up in your cart. I know, I’ve been there! The problem with collecting too many small decor items is they end up losing their impact. From a distance, it reads as clutter. So let’s take a step back and edit our decor.

The fix: Less is more when it comes to decorative objects. Choose just a few key decor items for each room that have real presence. This could be a big mirror, a pair of cool vases, and one framed art print you love, for example. Fewer but larger decor items will make a stunning statement.

And that’s it! Put these 5 tips into practice, and your friends might just start asking you whether you hired a decorator.

Gorgeous Large Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Hygge in gray and mist; Loloi Rugs Hygge in smoke and taupe; Jaipur Rugs Genesis Atha in copper and gray; KAS Montreal Heidi in gray.

To shop more large rugs, shop all 8×10, 9×12 and 10×14 rugs.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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