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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!

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It’s a Trend: Shower Plants

Heather Keeling
Heather Keeling

Here’s a trend that’s slowly and steadily been creeping up on the design scene – shower plants! One of my decorating rules of thumb is having some live greenery in every room, and some of these bathrooms take it to the next level with their jungle-like vibes. We might all not be lucky enough to have a large window ledge near our bathtub like above, but this look is very forgiving and easy to adapt to whatever bathroom configuration you do have in your home.

Design*Sponge

Have a bit of a black thumb? One of the best pros about shower plants is that you never have to remember to water them and the humid air that occurs post-shower is fantastic for their care. Some varieties have also been proven to remove toxins and bacteria from the air, which is a bit of a health benefit. If you have a lot of natural light coming in a vining philodendron would be a great choice with lots of vining drama.

Bauer Media via My Domaine

If the bathtub or shower itself isn’t an option, think vertically and consider hanging a plant from the ceiling where you can spare a square foot or two. Something that cascades as it grows – think ivy – would be ideal. If that’s not an option think about adding a few smaller plants on a shelf or even gasp the top of the toilet tank. Work with what you’ve got!

Design*Sponge2

If you’re a bath lover your caddy can act as a sort of pseudo coffee table, so add a few small pots or large air plants to it for personality. You can also add a few larger pots on the bathroom floor if you’ve been blessed with a big enough space, Boston ferns and snake plants work great.

Molly Winters via My Domaine

Perhaps one of the smartest – and easiest – ways to incorporate some greenery is by simply hanging a plant over the showered or curtain rod for the perfect careless bohemian aesthetic. It’s also a perfect option if you’re living in a rental because it involves zero permanent alterations that will need patched up when your lease runs out.

Add more of that natural earthy feel to your bathroom with a rug made from natural fibers in an interesting pattern or shape!

Rugs-Direct-Collage

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

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Perfect Piano Rooms

West Elm
West Elm

Did you ever take piano lessons as a kid? I taught myself how to play with one hand on my grandparents’ piano before being put into lessons for a few years to properly learn. My grandmother asked if we wanted to take the instrument with us when we moved halfway across the country, but I was 18 and had lost interest. I regret that decision to this day! A piano is a substantial element, bringing plenty of heft and presence to any room its placed in. But it also oozes character and gravitas and offers up a unique decorating challenge – how to do so around it?

Domino

Decorating around a piano can be a daunting and demanding task, but when done right it can feel like the room was built around it. I really love the idea of bringing in other instruments from the home or creating a new collection to make a pseudo music room. The one above features the owner’s stringed instruments on the wall above that act as playable art!

Sincerely, Sara D

I’m really feeling this monochromatic vibe! The bare legs of the piano itself and the lucite of the bench’s make the setup feel super fresh and modern. By the way, they painted this piano which is definitely an option if you’re looking to freshen up an instrument that’s seen better days. Rescuing a previously loved piano would make owning one much more affordable!

Emily A Clark

Some of the pianos above are almost treated as mantels, their upper surfaces decorated with vases, candles, and picture frames. But a simple lamp is very striking. The super chic crowded gallery wall behind this one doesn’t leave room for clutter, and the brass of the lamp really stands out against all of that black, white, and navy blue.

My Domaine

This arrangement (no musical pun intended) is perhaps my favorite. That piano feels like it just about grew up out of the floorboards, it’s that much a part of everything. The only thing that I think might be able to make this setup a little more ideal and cozy is a great floor rug.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

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

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5 Ways to Perk Up Your Home With Color

It’s always around this point — about halfway through winter — that the gray skies begin to take their toll. Enough already, we want some color! Since spring is still a flip of the calendar away, it’s time to take matters into our own hands. So pour yourself a mug of something hot to drink, and feast your eyes on these sunny, happy projects, and quick ideas. Then pick one (or more!) to try, and see your home bloom with glorious, rich color.


Amelia Tatnall Lawrence for Paper & Stitch

Idea #1 — Add fresh flowers, fruit, and books. This is so quick, easy, and affordable, you’ll want to keep it on repeat. The next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers (anything that catches your eye), and a bag of citrus fruit. When you get home, pile the fruit into a pretty bowl, put the flowers in a vase of water, and set both on your coffee table. Clear away the random papers and other junk, and place a pretty stack of books from your own bookshelves on the table beside the flowers and fruit. And voila, you have a colorful, beautifully styled coffee table sure to light up the whole room.


Amelia Tatnall Lawrence for Mollie Makes magazine

Idea #2 — Paint a half-wall. It’s true that this project requires significantly more effort than, say, buying a bouquet of flowers. But it’s a lot quicker and easier than painting a whole room! Painting just half a wall, in fact, takes much less time than you probably think (just a few hours), and the results are so darn cool, it’s well worth the effort.

Tip: Pick a wall where the base color is already white (or at least a pale neutral), and splurge on the high-quality painter’s tape to make a really crisp line with ease.


Paper & Stitch

Idea #3 — DIY Stick-on tiles. If you have a really dated floor you’d love to cover with on-trend cement tiles, but need a more budget-friendly option, this DIY from Paper & Stitch could be just the thing for you. By customizing peel-and-stick vinyl tiles with a DIY painted on pattern, you can create a really unique floor covering without breaking the bank.

Note: This project is not recommended for renters, because the glue backing may leave a residue when you remove the tiles.


Amelia Tatnall Lawrence for Mollie Makes magazine

Idea #4 — Frame some large-scale artwork. Adding a great big framed poster to a wall, or atop a credenza, is a great way to add big-impact color without spending a fortune or doing anything permanent to your space. So if you’re a renter, and dream of being able to paint the walls or stick cool tiles on the floors, this can be a really lovely alternative. Choose art with your heart, without worrying about what anyone else will think. It’s your home, and it should make you happy…end of story!


Paper & Stitch

Idea #5 — Layer on colorful textiles. Rolling out a new rug or adding a warm throw to your sofa or favorite chair are foolproof ways to add color to your space. In the room shown here, a simple white throw was upgraded with handmade tassels for a colorful twist.

Whichever projects you choose to try, here’s to a cozy winter…and an early spring!

Rug shopping guide: (clockwise from top left) Safavieh Bellagio in red and pink; Feizy Rugs Arushi in orange; Kaleen Rosaic rug in lime green; Safavieh Soho rug in rust.

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

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