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Spot On Dalmatian: A Unique Animal Print In The Home

Lilly Bunn Interiors
Lilly Bunn Interiors

When you think of trendy animal print patterns, I’m guessing Dalmatian doesn’t make the list. But oh, it really should! Not only does this pattern provide a dynamic, bold statement, it also magically maintains the neutral appeal that other animal prints have. That means it’s a really versatile look and works great in small spaces like a bathroom, a small hallway, or even lining the back of a linen closet or bar cabinet.

Courtney Apple
Courtney Apple

A Dalmatian print is modern and graphic – an edgier take on the classic polka dot, if you will. At the moment this print is really enjoying its time in the spotlight with lots of wallpaper and fabric options readily available. There are also plenty of DIY projects to be had if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in stores. Most projects, like the pair of dining chairs above, only require a Sharpie marker and a willing hand with some time to spare.

Genevieve Garruppo
Genevieve Garruppo

Dalmatian manages to pull off the rare combination of feeling pulled together and chic, yet playful and fun. I really like what an unexpected surprise it is in this casual dining space. Thanks to removable wallpaper, the pop behind the shelves doesn’t have to be permanent, and the same goes for the chair cushions with so much affordable fabric by the yard readily available. The simple palette of black and white works so well, but this space would look just as fantastic with royal blue shelves or a bright red dining table.

Domaine
via Domaine

When in doubt go against the expected and flip it on its head – in this case, black on white reverse Dalmatian! When partnered with a large and bold pattern, like the tile floor in this bathroom, it really shines as a neutral with some power behind it. By keeping the rest of the room simple with glossy black and white the two patterns doesn’t need to compete with one another.

Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond

If you’re still not convinced, or maybe just not quite ready to take a diving leap into full-on Dalmatian, think about how you might incorporate the print in smaller ways. Throw pillows or sham covers, a cozy blanket, dish towels or napkins. Floor rugs are also a smart way to dip your toe into any trend you’d like to experiment with, here are a few favorites.

Dalmation Spot Rugs

1/ Artistic Weavers Stella Dalmation   2/ Surya Moroccan Shag

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

Looking for other animal print rugs? Shop all animal print rugs.

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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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Tips for Decorating With Vintage Finds

With bright blue skies and crisp air, fall weekends are perfect for antiques hunting trips. Even if you don’t find anything to buy, browsing vintage shops, flea markets, and antique fairs makes for a fun and satisfying day trip — and of course, if you do find a treasure, so much the better! Read on for a few favorite pieces to keep on your radar, how to decorate with them, and what to look for when inspecting vintage furniture and decor. Happy antiquing!

Design Sponge
Design Sponge

Consider your needs: When you need something specific for your home, it’s easy to overlook vintage and antiques. After all, shopping for brand-new items in your local big box store is usually quicker (and more of a sure bet). But taking the extra time to shop for something that has stood the test of time is worth the effort — vintage goods are usually well made, long-lasting, and elegant. A few practical finds to look for in vintage shops and flea markets include cast iron cookware, wooden spoons, drafting tables, desk chairs, wall hooks, and all sorts of cabinets.

Domino
Domino Magazine

Where to shop: Local vintage and antique shops are fun to pop into, but if you’re looking for a full-immersion experience, it’s worth seeking out a big antique fair in your region. Antique fairs bring together many individual sellers into one (often outdoor) space. Vendors go all-out with beautifully styled vignettes that can help you imagine how you might use some of the pieces in your own home. Plus there are usually stands selling food and drinks for when you need a break! A few of the best fairs across the country include:

Holly Marder
Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle

Master the mix: A mix of old and new makes a house feel more like a well-loved and lived-in home, so don’t stress about whether your vintage and antique pieces will “go” with the newer items in your space. Pair vintage bentwood chairs with a modern tulip-shaped table; use an antique glass cabinet to hold your bath towels; or put a vintage credenza to work in the living room as a media console for your flat screen TV.

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess

Start a collection: If you love browsing flea markets and fairs, starting a collection can be a great way to focus your shopping efforts. And of course, displaying a cherished collection in one spot can make a beautiful focal point in your home. Just remember that when it comes to collecting, small and curated is often more impactful than large and unruly. Here are a few ideas for fun vintage items that look great in collections:

  • Rainbow-colored glassware

  • Vintage globes

  • Midcentury pottery

  • Vintage oil portraits

  • Typewriters

Rip & Tan
Rip & Tan

Look for quality: Before you make a purchase, be sure to take your time inspecting the vintage piece from all angles. Look for wood that’s smooth and blemish-free; drawers that slide open easily; and sturdy, comfortable chairs. If a dealer claims the piece was made by a known designer (and has raised the price accordingly), check the underside or back of furniture for a maker’s mark. But the most important question to ask yourself is, “do I love it?” As with people, a few imperfections just add character.

Rug pairings: What could go better with your antique and vintage finds than a gorgeous one-of-a-kind rug? Each of the rugs shown featured here is either handwoven or hand-knotted, and the rich hues would go perfectly with all sorts of vintage treasures.

One of a kind rugs

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Bokara Rug Company Semi-Antique Turkish Kazak in blue; Solo Rugs Tribal in orange; Solo Rugs Suzani in purple; Solo Rugs Tribal in red.

For more one-of-a-kind options, shop all of our one-of-a-kind rugs.

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

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The Fringe Factor

Fringed Wall Lamp in Gold and Green
Out There Interiors

You’ve noticed it too, right? Fringe is officially back in the interior design game. The resurfaced trend offers texture and dimension to any number of decorating elements and can be approached from either a luxe or boho angle. Read on to check out a few ways to embrace the trend before you delve right into – or out of – this back from the dead look!

Accomplish equal parts function and elegance with a fringed light fixture like the one above. Whether it’s a pair of pendants bringing a pop of color into the bedroom or a larger chandelier perched over the dining room table, a fringed fixture is bound to make a statement.

Fringed Wall Art
Anthropologie

The fringe trend began its reemergence with fiber wall art’s popularity and has steadily gained momentum since. This type of art is perfect for adding a bohemian touch to your space without breaking the bank because it’s so easy to DIY a simple piece. Make one large statement hanging or group various sizes together to showoff a collection like the living room above does so well. (Or look to purchase from the pros for a more intricate piece!)

Fringe Basket
Fringe and Forest

Some of my favorite fringed pieces are low-key, like the accent on a woven basket or a simple throw pillow. Both will add a touch of fringed flair to your home without looking like you’ve gone all in or being too much of a financial investment. They’ll also help to keep some of those warm weather vibes around that you’re sure to miss come winter.

Emma Blackout Fringe Window Curtain
Urban Outfitters

Speaking of winter, think ahead a little to getting cozy – even if it seems difficult in September. A set of fringed curtains in a dark and moody hue will help to keep the warmth of the indoors where it belongs and create a sanctuary for those chillier months. Pro Tip: Put them in the bedroom if you’d like to block out the light for weekend sleeping in!

Out There Interiors 1
Out There Interiors

One way to incorporate fringe into your life in what’s sure to be a lasting way is through floor rugs. Nothing takes one from so-so to oh wow like a tasseled edge – you can see six of my favorites below!

Fringe Rugs

1/ Surya Restoration   2/ Surya Berber Shag
3/ Nourison Kamala   4/ Surya Laural
5/ Dynamic Rugs Metro   6/ Surya Restoration

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

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