How to Define a Budget for Your Interior Design Project

You can have tens of thousands of dollars and still end up twisting your budget for your interior design project. There is simply too much to consider; from labor costs to furniture, to paint, you have to think about so many things! This is why budgeting is critical when you think of remodeling or designing your home.

But, why?
It is not important to have a very strict budget. You just need something to work with. If you don’t, your design mission can whirl out of your hands in a minute and you can lose on your dream project. The key here is being money smart, not cheap! And hopefully I will help you do exactly that – learn about a few different and unique ways in which you can define your interior budget!

5 Ways to Set Your Budget

  1. Set a Number – Keep It Real

This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Even if you are not on a budget and don’t think money is an issue, you need to be very specific. Quote and set an amount you are comfortable with. The best way to go about this is to calculate all your running costs. Also, keep aside funds for a “rainy day”. After doing this, see what remains for your interior design project – you should not try to invest more than you can manage.

2. Design Concept – Envision Your Space

I know! Easier said than done. But it is important to envision how your space will look like. What sort of fixtures will you incorporate? What paint will you use? Will you go for built-in walls or mosaic tiles?

All these should have an effect on your budget considerations. Will you be going for minimalistic or a contemporary design? Your style will also have an impact – the more accessories and details you add, the more dollars you are going to spend. Close your eyes and imagine what will go where. Keep in mind you should try to visualize EVERYTHING you want to upgrade or change at this point. You can get to less significant details later.

3. Quality Or Quantity – Do It Right Even When No One Is Looking

Another decisive factor in your budget is going to be whether you are going for quantity or quality. Again, it is a personal choice. Interior designers always focus on going for high quality. But, sometimes we have to be a bit less strict, depending on the client’s needs and – you guessed it – budget. If your brand-new home requires a luxurious chandelier in the living room, pick quality. At the same time, no one is going to come up and check the bath rug you have outside your washroom, are they? So, on these items, you can allow yourself to be flexible in terms of the quality and don’t need to necessarily spend a lot of money on them!

On the other hand, things like bathroom fixtures, mirrors, lights, etc. need to be of good quality. No compromises there!

4. Budget Busters – Yes, They Exist

“Impulse Buying” Been there, done that, right?
We have yet to come across someone who has not bought on impulse. Now that you have your interior design project, we can’t expect you to go by the book. Always keep some extra funds aside for these impulse purchases and other alternatives for your project selections.

Tip: It’s recommended to keep about 10%-15% of the entire budget you have decided on for these expenditures.
If you need to spend it, you will not go out of budget. On the other hand, if everything goes according to plan, you will have extra cash after the project is over! Win-win!

5. Wants VS Needs – What Do You Want?

Everyone knows the concept of wants and needs, right? Decide what you want and what you need. Take a pen and paper and make two columns. Label one as wants and the other one as needs. Now, start jotting down all the necessary things. For example, if you are renovating your bathroom, the shower fixtures are necessary – one would hope! In the other “Wants” column, you can add anything you WANT in your bathroom. Anything that will make you happy if you had it, but not exactly “necessary”. Now, you will come up with two budgets, one with the needs only and one which has needs and wants. If there is no major gap and if fits your budget, then go for it!

The best way to go about it is to go in phases. Redesign or design room by room or floor by floor. This will give you more flexibility and fewer headaches – which is why e-design is the perfect option! One step at a time and as your budget allows.

Book a free consultation today to learn more about how e-design is the right option for you!

How to avoid poor decor choices

Happy Spring! I can’t tell you how excited I am for warmer weather in New York. With a new season, comes new decor – or so some of us believe anyway. For those of you that have subscribed to my seasonal box – I hope you enjoy your spring box as much as I enjoyed creating it for you! Thank you so much again for subscribing and for choosing ReHome Interior! Let me know if you’re excited about our fall box in the comments 🙂

So regardless of whether we are switching up our decor for a new season or not, we have all made poor decor choices, probably more than once – am I right?! I wanted to share a few tips on how to avoid making poor choices in your decor since it can turn out to be a difficult task, whether you own or rent. Although there is no one rule of thumb when trying to put together the design in a home, as every design could and should be unique to the individual’s taste and style, there are, however, a few decor decisions that one could avoid entirely when picking them out. I have outlined a few below that just might help.

  1. Don’t overwhelm the theme

Avoid overwhelming the room with a particular color scheme or pattern – it can make the living space appear dull and basic. Add small alternate designs to accentuate the default theme of the room instead. Try mixing up multiple-styled decor pieces around the room you’re decorating to give it a variant and dynamically aesthetic undertone. I’m into mixing metals lately, which I believe is becoming a trend!

  1. Strategic TV Set-up

The TV is always an integral part of the living space, but as much as we can be tempted, this electronic gadget should not become the center of attraction in the living room. Before anything, a proper design structure around the TV area should take up center stage, then the TV can be added. This will ensure the room has a better look and sets out a point of focus.

  1. Furniture placing and balancing

I recommend my clients to try not to place furniture so far up against the wall. This usually makes the living space appear drably and without form – I think there should always be space around the sofas! It would not only make the room look more comfortable, but also add a portable touch to it. The furniture layout is also very important to the overall look of the living space. This may sound obvious, but placing large furniture in small spaces can amount to giving the room an awkward feel, same with having small furniture in a large space – not to mention you’ll either have too much or not enough space as a result. The trick is to have proportionately sized furniture that fits just right, giving it a balanced feel. The arrangement is also key – like going for a circular arrangement in small spaces for example. I also recommend striving for portability when picking out and placing coffee or center tables.

  1. Always test out paint colors

Super, super important to have paint colors tested properly before application. We all know color shades might appear different in the paint swab than it does when eventually applied to the walls. Take the time to test out different paints colors in small areas on the desired space – this will save you a whole lot of trouble, time and money!

  1. Effective rug choices

Run away from placing small rugs at the middle of a large living space. We don’t want an unbalanced, clumsy look! If you are a rug lover, as I am, you’ll have to go for large enough options that will fill the space within the furniture. When working on a tight budget and a small rug is all that is accessible, the trick is to pull the furniture closer to brush slightly off the rug and you should be good to go!

  1. Avoid loosely hanging curtains

Curtains are a crucial addition to completing the look in a space and this single most important window accessory must not be overlooked when picking out your decor. I recommend completely avoiding curtains that hang halfway to the ground – eek! Do your homework (and proper measurements) and go with a large enough curtain that takes up the entire vertical length of the wall from ceiling to floor.

  1. Flower placement

You all know how I feel about artificial flowers and plants – love them! Add a sparkle in and around the living room with one or two (or three 🙂 ), they can be real too of course, depending of your preference. I honestly believe there is almost no spot in a room where a plant cannot fit nicely. However, setting up too many can also overwhelm a room, so again, find your balance. It is advisable that big plant vases be placed unconsciously from plain view in key intersections of the room. Depending on the space, sometimes the plant sprout (s) should be the only visible component.

  1. Photo galleries

Avoid placing too many photo frames on tables (center, end, or coffee tables). Although this used to be a thing, it has fallen out of style and if you’re going for frames, the quantity should definitely be considered. Photo galleries are

more in style nowadays and can add a focal wall point to a space, as opposed to hanging w

all art. All photo frames and galleries should be placed neatly and stylishly on walls, leaving only a frame or two on tables, if it’s an absolute must. Remember, adding photo galleries is an alternate option to adding large pieces, like artwork, that will stand out in some key wall space in your home – don’t overpower the walls by adding both to the same area.

  1. Multiple lighting

Lighting can seem like a simple task, but from my experience, it almost always ends up being more work than you’ll expect. I’m probably obsessed with fixtures and in a perfect world, would love if I can use multiple lighting! Like in all aspects of interior, balance is key when it comes to lighting selection, not to mention finding a functional option to make that part easier! My recommendation? Avoid installing settled lighting everywhere, one would do. Also, don’t hang your fixtures too low, your lighting should not be used to obstruct views.

I hope you find this blog informative and useful! Do you have any tips on avoiding poor decor choices? What is your absolute decor don’t? Comment below!

New Year Decor Trends: Try it or toss it?!

It’s a new year and perhaps, time for a decor change – cause’ who doesn’t want to style up their home with trendy, in-vogue decorations to give the house a new, posh and modern look?! 🙂

As most of us saw, top decor styles like rose gold, subway tiles, and exposed lighting were trends that rocked 2018, but a new year calls for great decorating patterns, stylish, timeless pieces to take on old styles – out with the old, in with the new!

Velvet Furnishings

Velvet was seen as old fashioned and stuffy before but now viewed as luxurious yet funky – who knew! We saw it has already started gaining lots of attention last year, leading many designers to accept that velvet decor will be one of the most sought-after trends of 2019. Love me some velvet!

Brass Decor

It’s predicted that 2019 is going to be a year where the decor world waves goodbye to stainless steel and polished nickel (hopefully not for good!), and usher in brass accents into decor ideas. Brass is an excellent choice, as its surprisingly warm and subtle alternative to the expected steel accents – super functional in term of incorporating accents!

Copper Accents

Although rose gold enjoyed wide preference and dominance in 2018, it seems to have overstayed its welcome as most decorators are looking to favor more copper accents and less rose gold, along with a mixture of other metals. With its red and orange tones and endearing earthy hues, copper gives the much-needed breath of fresh air for the New Year – I’m excited to incorporate more of this one for myself and my clients.

Richer Color Palettes

Although muted colors can help you avoid making spaces feel overwhelming, decorators believe that the New Year will favor bolder colors, because it features richer hues throughout your home, capable of making your more muted furnishings and decorative decor pop! As most of you already know, I’m all for darker colors and darker themes so I’m beyond excited to continue to play around with those palettes!

Bold Black Bathrooms

Speaking of dark shades, style up back again as the spa-inspired bathroom trend is officially back. These days it’s all about dark, bold, sultry bathroom decors that evoke an indulgent high-end experience in your residence. And to me, that’s exactly what being bold in your decor is all about!

Natural Elements

Progressing from the tech-obsessed decor that dominated 2018, 2019 moves towards natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite. These elements will give your residence an organic and serene ambiance while reflecting the world around your home. A distinctive way to showcase your daring side. 🙂

Floral Patterns

The floral pattern trend has been around for a while, and it’s expected to continue flourishing this year. Floral patterns will be seen in a new light this year as exaggerated proportions, and contrasting colors are expected to feature on this timeless decor pattern – just in time to start thinking about your spring decor this year! Be sure to subscribe to my seasonal box to receive some exciting trendy decor accent items for the season.

Artisanal Fixtures

These are naturals. They are usually homegrown and locally made; mostly by local artists and small businesses. Most designers are beginning to notice a preference shift towards these types of home fixtures and also that more decorators are getting partial to using them, especially with lighting. These Artisan fixtures personalize your home, and just like natural elements, they help shift home focus from the tech world to the natural world just a bit.

Acrylic Furniture

Acrylic can give a room the architectural structure needed without even taking up visual real estate. With the new year in, acrylic furniture can serve as an awesome foundational piece in a small space, like an entry, to provide a surface that can be layered with more organic items without feeling loaded. I think this one is a continued trend from the past couple of years and has very well managed to stick around – have you given it a try?! Worth looking into.

Concrete Accents

A lot of people are probably wondering why concrete has left the construction zone, yet 2019 is being tipped by designers to be the year concrete accents step into many homes again. Featuring a crisp, clean look that is easy to compliment. Geometric concrete tiles are expected to become increasingly popular and pair two of the hottest design trends into one stylish piece!

I’m always here for bold, new, exciting, functional and diversified decor – I think these trends do just that! The New Year is going to feature the styles mentioned above and many other styles ready to take it by storm. Take your time in choosing the perfect decor for your home, but keep mind you’d want to maintain quality designs above all. What are your favorite trends? Will you try any of these? Comment below!

 

 

Decor Tips: A Choo Choo Christmas

Christmas is around the corner and I still can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! It has been a very special year for me where I have found and pursued new interests and goals and I couldn’t be more excited with my progress and for what’s yet to come! It’s all about personal growth, perseverance, patience and self-love 🙂 . As I reflect on this year and start diving into my Christmas decor, a thought came to mind: as exciting and eventful this season can be, it also means decorations and shopping which for some, might not be that exciting. It is that time of the year when everyone is shopping and lighting up their homes with beautiful decorations to usher for the holidays and while there are many traditional ways of decorating the house for Christmas, bringing in a little personal modern touch can make a big difference in how your efforts turn out at the end. With the right tweaks and tricks your home should have a refreshing and happy holiday vibe.

For those procrastinating decorators (me 🙂 ) I wanted to share a few tips on how to decorate different parts of your home as well as a few ideas on Christmas shopping. It can be fun decorating for Christmas, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for indulging in your holiday spirit. Let’s get right into it!

A time of wonder

Red and green are the standard colors for interior Christmas decorations, but why not take yours a step further? Why not challenge the status quo? Do you dare?

  • Personalize the Traditional
    Yes, you can stay with the traditional Christmas decor, and still win. What colors make you tick? Get creative and combine those colors with the classic red and green to create something truly magical and different. Ribbons are an excellent tool for any decorative work, and they deliver super cool effects when used creatively for Christmas. You can use burlap to add a rustic feel to your tables; candy colors also stand out or add the classic black and white contrast to make your Christmas decor remarkable during and after the holiday season. I’m also really into farmhouse Christmas decor lately, which I think is a great style to combine with a modern touch.
  • Combine Metallics
    In the past, decorating with metals required sticking to one type of metallic. Now, you can spice up your bedroom with an elegant mix of different metallic textures to create an artistic look that makes your home unique and sophisticated. Whether you are combining golden candle stands with silverware, brass bowls with aluminum vases and so on, you can never go wrong with this combo!
  • Swap Your Beddings 
    As you prepare for the new season, it’s time to reshuffle your bedding arrangement to accent your private space. There is nothing wrong in combining white and cream-colored beddings and touching it up with red or purple throws. It gets better if you can get flannel sheets as well as a blanket to help lock in the heat during the cold months and reduce your energy bills. Let your creative juices start flowing. Get to it!
  • Christmas Lights
    I think an often underrated decoration item for Christmas is the lights – for indoor use at least. Those multicolored, vibrant, beautiful lights can transform your dull space into vivid brightness if you know how. Whether it’s in the kitchen, living room, bathroom or porch, Christmas lights can add life, glam, and an air of festivity to any space! Last year, I added so many lights in random places like the hand railing on my stairs and my huge artificial indoor plant – don’t ask— it made a huge difference and I loved it!
  • Transform Your Porch
    The best way to create a lasting impression with your Christmas decor is to start from the exterior, and nothing beats a beautifully decorated porch. There are many ways to make your porch look stylish this holiday season; your creativity is the only limitation. Garlands and wreaths are a simple and affordable way of transforming your porch into a wonderland. Hang wreaths and garlands on the walls of your porch, from the roof, arrange on the floor in symmetrical order, and you are good to go! You can also make a bold statement by moving your Christmas tree outside or even getting a second one for the porch – there are many beautiful outdoor trees selections. I even went with the opposite last year and used an outdoor tree as my indoor – it looked amazing! Lights, of course, can also make your porch lovely. From stringed lights hanging from the roof, ornament-filled lanterns, to glowing garlands that send off the lights in a hundred directions, your porch should wear an excellent look this Christmas 🙂

  • Kitchen Decor
    The kitchen is the melting pot of the home for people who cook. It is the place where the family catch up with each other and also serves as a cool spot for the homely visitor. It is also where all the holiday delicacies we love so much come from, making it a top candidate for Christmas decorations. Candles can add a golden and traditional ambiance to your kitchen space, but make sure to choose the right combination to go with your table setting. You can also display your treats in a beautiful decorative Christmas bowl on the counter. Garlands, lanterns and string lights also do well in the kitchen and add a bit of a different feel. Lastly, you can spice up your kitchen decor with natural elements such as pine cones, flowers, twigs, and others. Keep it simple, and Christmas is lit!

A time of giving

Now, let’s move on to Christmas shopping. Can be stressful, I know! With the whole country making last-minute purchases, prices can go up quickly, and stores run out of stock fairly fast on the items that you love! Yep, been there. During this time, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind. But there are few ways to do last minute Christmas shopping without emptying your bank account or losing your sanity.

  • Make a List
    As simple and obvious as this might seem, many people are so panicked by the fear of missing out they have no time left for making a list. Even if you are doing regular shopping, it’s wise to always shop with a list. A list helps you control your thoughts and stay focused on what you need to buy, not what your impulse or suggestive ads make you to splurge on. There will be so much temptation to buy everything at the store, but don’t fall for it – don’t be like me! Before heading out for the last run for Christmas shopping, make sure you have a list of the specific things you are getting and for who.

  • Shop at the Right Time
    You can get great deals if you know the right time to shop. The right time is when stores are discounting their stocks, making it easy to get special gifts at unbelievable prices. It’s also important to shop during off-peak periods. That way, you won’t be pressured to buy on impulse. But since next week is already Thanksgiving – be sure to take advantage for the sweet Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!
  • Choose Smaller Stores
    The large stores pull the biggest crowds, a recipe for confusion and bad choices. However, you can get everything you need at smaller, less crowded stores as well, which means you have more time to think before buying and make fewer shopping choices you’ll regret later.
  • Online Shopping
    In the age of Amazon and online shopping, you can get anything you want online, and it will be delivered to your home in record time! Why waste your energy and effort struggling with hundreds of people at full stores and risk getting punched in the face if you can order from your smartphone while making your Christmas shopping list? Nothing beats the convenience of online shopping. It makes life easier!

Remember Christmas is a special and magical time filled with love, family, and cheer. Make sure you always remember the things in your life that truly matter. Wishing you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season!

Check out a few of my fave holiday sources below! Do you have any Christmas decor tips? What is your process for Christmas shopping? Let me know in the comments!

HomeGoods
Pier1
Zgallerie
Wayfair
Kirkland’s Home for the Jolly
Target Christmas Decor
Houzz Christmas Decor
Macy’s Holiday Lane
Gilt’s Home Holiday Sale
Walmart Holiday Headquarters

A simple guide: Home Organization Hacks!

“A place for everything, and everything is it’s place” – I think that’s how a home should be! You should view your home as your haven, and a haven should be properly organized. I can see how this can be a challenge for some as there are sometimes things that factor in that are out of our control: large families, kids, messy husbands etc. But when there is order, there is tranquillity 🙂 . Organization is not about being perfect or having a perfectly organized home at all times, it’s about efficiency, minimizing stress and clutter, and saving time and money by improving your overall quality of life!

Do you ever wonder how your friends manage to keep their house so perfect when all you do is complain of the chaos in yours? Well, first step is accepting that clutter doesn’t appear just out of thin air. At times you end up pilling up unnecessary stuff in your house and before you know it, your home is nothing but a mess. Organizing is a practice, not a project – make it a habit!

Surprisingly, people with organized homes spend time at home too. This means you can’t keep your house organized by merely avoiding being there. If you know your house turns into a mess at some point in the day, follow these simple organization hacks that can help you control the flood of clutter in your home before it gets out of hand. Now, let’s get organized!

Spic and Span Bathrooms

The bathroom happens to be one of the most used rooms in the house. That said, for you to achieve a clean, beautiful and fully functional bathroom, you have to make a habit out of getting it AND keeping it organized at all times. Diverse products, towels, and other small appliances make their way to the bathroom and slowly contribute to clutter and mess.

So let’s look at the basics:

  • To keep the sink area tidy, opt for a soap dispenser rather than a bar soap tray.
  • If you have the option, ensure that the vanity floats off the floor. This way, your mopping and cleaning routines will be much easier, and dirt won’t pile up at the toe kick.
  • If you have it, use the space above the toilet to fit some shallow shelves for storage of washcloths and towels. I loveee wall shelves!
  • Have a medicine cabinet where you can house small items. Medicine cabinets with mirrors come in handy since they add to the organization storage options.
  • Install wire shelves or niches on the shower wall. You can use the space to keep shampoos and soaps rather than leaving them lying on the shower floor or tub edges. Keep your products out of sight unless you have some beautifully bottled skin care products that you’d like to show off 😉 .
  • Opt for drawers in your cabinetry rather than doors. This will give you easy access to the products and other bathroom appliances and you’ll be more incline to put it right back where you found it – in & out! 

A Flawless Living Room

Your living room – a place for relaxing, entertaining, dining, playing and family gatherings. For these and many reasons, the living room is one area in any home that is the most prone to clutter. Can you relate? Let’s look at a few tips that will help you reduce that living room chaos:

  • Every house has a focal point, can be the fireplace or the television set Arrange your furniture around this place to allow easy walking access.
  • Choose an entertainment area where you can keep your DVDs, Blue Ray, video games, etc. Ensure there is a separate storage space so you won’t have to deal with piles lying on the living room floor.
  • Keep the cable and cords out of sight. Use a cable zipper to enclose the wires.
  • If you have kids, make space for a playroom to avoid having toys lying all over the house. This will also help void having the kids carrying the toys around since everything will be in one place.
  • A coffee table is a great addition to any living room décor, but if you notice that clutter is accumulating on the coffee table, try adding some modern chic bins and rolling baskets under the table (just make sure they match your decor!).
  • Choose only a few photos that should be framed and place them strategically in the house. Don’t have all your photos on the wall, it can overwhelm your décor.
  • Use decorative pots for your house plants and organize them tactically to avoid that crowded look.

A Dashing Kitchen

A kitchen is the home’s center of attention. I don’t know about you, but for me, it is so much easier to cook in an organized kitchen. I clean as I cook to help me keep it together! This is easy for some, but I do know a few that make a mess out of broiling water 🙂 . For those, there are a few tricks that can help maintain an organized mess-free kitchen:

  • The depths of the pantry can be black holes if they are not visited now and then. Make it a habit to go through your pantry at least once a week and throw away anything that looks off or expired. That way you can clear up space for extra stuff.
  • Create extra space on the walls or the back of your kitchen cabinets. Do not overload your knife holder or peg board, instead leave those you use more often and put away others in a cabinet.
  • To help you find the spices while you are cooking, ensure that you label the sides or tops. Trust me this will save you so much time and frustration in the kitchen!
  • Depending of the size of your kitchen, create work zones; this will help you move around with much more ease. Also, ensure that you store everything according to their zones. You can have a cooking area, dishwasher storage area, clean-up area, preparation area, etc.
  • Organize your fridge according to the food categories. For instance; consider placing the dairy products on the top shelf of the fridge and meat in the lower section. That way you won’t have leakages from meat dirtying the fridge and contaminating other foods.

The Bedroom you ask?

To achieve a serene look in the bedroom you must have some of these common factors: a soft color scheme, a pampering bed, soft lighting and greeneries (or, as you know, my favorite option – faux flowers!). To maintain this kind of look in your bedroom, here are a few recommendations:

  • If your bedroom space is limited, maximize the under the bed storage. Use it to store shoes, sports gear, seasonal clothing and other bulky items in your bedroom. Preferably use clear boxes with handles for easy access. The Container Store and Amazon have some great options!
  • Install hooks on the back of your closet doors so you can hang belts, hats, and bathrobes.
  • If you have a large jewelry and accessories collection, give it a home in your bedroom. Look for a small pegboard and hung it on a wall (preferably in a closet or closed space). Or get a drawer jewelry organizer.
  • Utilize the bedside storage – get a stylish nightstand with drawers or doors.

There is no better feeling than being in an organized home – you’re hearing this from an organization freak! Give these tips a try and see how they help keep the main areas in your house sparkling clean and chaos free. Once you have an organization routine going, it will get easier. Remember – if you don’t LOVE or USE it, it’s clutter. The secret to getting organized is YOU! What are your organizing hacks? Share them below!

How to find your decorating style

If you are one of the many having trouble finding their decorating style, you should know you are NOT alone. While there are some that are naturally inclined to a style, for others, trying to find theirs can sometimes be a lifelong journey. Of all the years we spend in school, decorating isn’t an idea we pick up in class. Go figure! You can run through every design style and still end up not feeling convinced or satisfied with your decor choices. Most of the time you will be undecided between going for modern, simple or just on picking between color palettes. Again, you are not alone and you should also know there are resources available to help you find it!

Let’s first take a journey through your creativity while trying to figure out what best suits you, your style, and your personality. Block off everything else in the room for a second 🙂 .

Start with the basics

We live in a world full of an endless number of finishes, decorations, colors, and designs. Each decorating item that you plan to add to your room of choice should be something that will add a special spark to the entire overall design to make it YOURS. If you’re unsure about a particular scheme that will suit you, these four basic styles are a good way to help you think through your options:

 

  • Formal style: in most cases, a formal design will invite delicate elegance and symmetry furniture – great for homes fitted with high ceilings. This design can also go well with tall windows and polished woods.Some of the essentials in this type of style include; antique accessories, decorative trims, and accent rugs. This can be a good basic start for anyone in love with chic designs.
  • Casual style: casual styles will bring warmth, relaxation, and comfort to your home. This style is easily cultivated by rustic design, rectangular elements and any additional soft furniture that has textured fabrics.
  • Traditional style: you can decide to take a trip through the traditional decors and reconnect it with the modern improvements. You might end up liking the mix 🙂 . Interior designers often use this process to come up with new designs.

 

  • Contemporary style: modern styles keep the trending designs alive. As much as the fresh design will change, some of the contemporary new designs will include simplistic, refined and sophisticated themes. I find the designs in this style very exciting! Take your time and pick something that is more interesting and appealing to you. If you are settled on the contemporary style, you can choose to consult a professional interior designer to make sure you are aligned with the current trends. An initial consultation might also help you narrow down your decorative style.

 

Get inspired!

Take inspiration from your sources and other designs in countries outside of yours to the next level. After you have identified your style, take an online tour of some of the latest designs in that particular style. Once you have YOUR style down and start putting pieces together for your decor, even the tiniest details in your design style will improve from being “basic” to stylish and elegant over time without you even noticing! But of course relying on outside inspiration can ease the process of getting you there faster. Here are a few world-wide styles to choose from:

  • French style: the French have a unique way of decorating which involves the use of symmetrical chairs, mixed patterns, chandeliers with an ivory kitchen and a pop-up.
  • Swedish style: going the Swedish way will require you to use white, clean, blue and light color blends. If you choose to mix in the casual style here, you can choose to blend those colors with silver and gold accents and gentle and straight lines for your furniture that have simple fabrics. This will give your décor a light and sophisticated touch that will brighten your home.
  • Tuscan style: this design will combine some earthy colors with natural stone giving you that perfect finish. Most of the Tuscan styles are paired with open cabinets and rustic shutters. You will have to do more research on this one to make sure it suits you before getting started since there is a wide variety of options. Make sure to settle for something that catches your heart!
  • The Paris style: romance is something Paris is known for – their designs are not the exception! Add more mystery and romance to your home by taking a bit of Paris into it. You can complement your home with an 18th century European style and classical touch that can include luxurious silks, jewel colors and large paintings.

Be sure to check out magazines for ideas as well. Pinterest is also a great source for inspiration — check out my Pinterest account for more inspo! Study what you can and make a decision based on that. If you want to take it a step further, take an online quiz. There are tons of quizzes that will give you a good idea of what your style is to get you going. I recommend the Houzz Quiz and What’s Your Decorating Style? – Better Homes and Gardens for clearer and more thorough results! Have you found your style? What was your process? Comment below!

In the zone – My outdoor decor!

Hi everyone! So I finally got around working on my outdoor project and décor and I could not wait to share! It has been pushed back due to the weather changes in New York, but it’s finally [almost] completed and I am beyond excited 🙂 . Grab a snack and let me show you around! You can find a full product list at the end of the post.

Decision Process

We have a small deck with raw wood so the first step was to find the right color to stain it. It had a few stain marks that were very visible so I needed a semi-dark color to make sure it was all covered. I struggled to think of a color to go with at first, but I ended up with gray… of course! (if you don’t already know about my obsession with gray, check out my blog post here!). I wanted something different, but at the same time, pick a color that went well with what I had in mind for the overall décor and color scheme inside as well as outside the house. We looked through a few deck paint catalogs and found a perfect blend of pewter gray. The next challenge was to find the right outdoor conversation set – I wanted a modern and contemporary gray wicker set with gray cushions. I know what you’re thinking, too much gray right? I was looking to create the perfect contrast of grays and adjust to my taste, which I think worked out 🙂 . Selecting the right wicker set was a bit challenging due to all the overwhelming options, but with my research, I noticed there are actually NOT a lot of gray wicker-and-cushion combos to choose from, so that narrowed it down a little.

Another important factor was finding a set that had separate pieces for personalized arrangement – I had limited space to work with and there was only one place for the set on the deck, so I had to be able to get creative and play around with the pieces. Don’t you love a good challenge? I do! After that, I got a bit more specific with what I wanted so the search got a lot easier:

  • Removable and washable cushion covers – make sure you can wash em’!
  • Connecting clips included – this helps so that they don’t move around when people are sitting on them
  • Weather and water resistant – this is key for any outdoor set, you want to make sure your set will last!
  • UV protected – super important if your set will be completely outdoors at all times
  • Seating up to 6 people – totally up to you and your space
  • Preferably fully assembled – who doesn’t want to avoid assembly? 🙂

The Fun Part

After the search, narrowing down options, and looking for the right set at a good price, I found Mr.Right! Not only did it check off all the things I was looking for, it also came with 3 beautiful blue pillows – does it get better than that? I was really happy with my choice and was ready to move on to the more exciting part, the décor! First, I opted to add an outdoor rug. I love accent rugs overall (the inside of my home is full of them), so I wanted to keep it consistent and include one in the outdoor décor as well. I picked a champagne/grey textured rug which brought all the grays together nicely.

To spice it up, I added a few accent pieces in the mix: a ceramic garden stool (which I planned to use as an outdoor side table), a large artificial green plant with a very pretty geometric pattern, and a set of two decorative lanterns. I added a small artificial orchid with a gray ceramic base to decorate the stool, just to make it interesting. For the coffee table, I went with another accent plant and a smaller sized decorative lantern in white. Our backyard is very dark at night so I wanted to add as much light as I could. The lanterns have LED candles (with AA batteries bought separately), which you can find in a variety of stores or online!

There are a number of ways you can decorate your outdoor space and it mostly all comes down to your style and personal preference. Like all things in design, start with the color and go from there! You can keep your décor even simpler and add just one accent piece to the coffee table for example. My coffee table was more on the larger side, so I wanted to fill up the space as much as possible. The selection process can be overwhelming, but again it’s a matter of choice and what you prefer. It is also more challenging to buy a patio set online, but just make sure to do your research, read the reviews and be sure it works for you. Also keep in mind you are more likely to find it at a better deal online than in-stores 🙂 . Work with your space and make it simple, yet creative and fun! I’ve added a full source list below. Comment below with any questions or tips!

Product List

Outdoor seating area: Patio set – {this set} is similar but with a darker gray wicker | pillows: dark blue, light gray, blue pattern set | Grill

Décor: Outdoor rug | Garden stool – HomeGoods {similar} | lanterns {similar} {alternative} | LED candles {alternative} | Artificial orchid | Artificial plant, small desk plant, white sea shell {similar} – all from HomeGoods |  gray wood tray | small white lantern – HomeGoods {similar}

Decor tips: How to decorate small spaces

Decorating small living spaces is often looked at as too difficult or too challenging. I think that with the right attitude and the right guidance you can turn small spaces into peaceful, cozy wonders you’ll love going back to day after day. I for one, have a small home and love working with small spaces – I love a good challenge! Plus I think they are so much fun 🙂 .

I have a few key rules when it comes to small home decorating ideas that I stick by to reach a good end result. Let’s look into how we can apply them to each room of your house:

  1. Lighting. When it comes to small spaces, it’s great to have lots and lots of light. To help with the brightness, make sure you have light colors on the walls, preferably pure or off-white. This ensures the light coming in is not absorbed by large surfaces, but rather reflected back in the room. It makes a huge difference since the same space painted in darker tones can feel like it’s caving in on you making the room appear smaller instead of feeling open and fresh!
  2. Have as many multi-use items as possible. It stands to reason that you need to use the space to the maximum and you’ll be able to do that if most of the items in your house serve more than one purpose.
  3. Create the illusion of more space. There’s a quote that says “appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”… so, if space is what you’re lacking, try to make more space appear! I’ll give you some tips on how to do this, but as a golden rule, remember to always avoid clutter!

Guided by our three rules, let’s find practical solutions for each important room in your house.

Small Living Room

Let’s say you have a small living room. What can you do to make it look bigger? Well, first tip – you should hang your curtains as high as possible! Don’t worry if they are well above your windows. This will make the room seem taller, with higher ceilings! Another trick is to make good use of a few ottomans. They can be used for sitting down or double as small accent tables. You can also place a tray on top and you’re good to go!

 

For small living rooms, it’s essential to use large room-sized area rugs. This will create the illusion of space and will give a rich texture to the whole area. It will also bring the room together, creating structure. The walls should be white or very light in color and they should match the sofa so that it blends in with the wall and the illusion will be more visible and believable!

Another simple yet very effective trick is to slightly downsize your furniture. If you can change the sofa to one with a fewer less inches in length that will not affect how comfortable it is but still make it look better in the small living area, then go for it! It will also save you some valuable space to let the room breath.

Small Bathroom

Pretty simple – here you might want to stick to calming palette tones as well: white, off-white, or tan. The pattern in the tiles on the floor also play an important role in making the bathroom decor a bit more interesting – busy floors and simple walls will help draw the attention off the size of the bathroom. Try to go with fixtures with storage options or use decorative bins as well!

Small Bedroom

The best way to go about creating more space in your bedroom is to add mirrors. They work wonders with the illusion and can also be inexpensive (depending on your choice and taste) and are relatively easy to install. You would need to place them facing a source of natural light so they can reflect it inside but also some artificial lighting like candles or a light fixture will do. Lastly, try to stick to a single theme throughout the bedroom décor — bring in some calming good vibes by keeping the scheme consistent.

Bonus Tip!

Going back to furniture, opt for a bed with storage options! If you can stash things in a few drawers on the bed you’ll gain a ton of room that would otherwise be drowned with clutter – trust me I know! There are a few modern chic styles available so you can be still be stylish while you use your bed for storage. It can be a simple and cost-effective way to turn what appeared to be a bad hand into a pot of gold!

For additional inspiration, check out my decor in my small half-bath and beauty room! Simple wall art and greenery / accent pieces, can make a huge difference in your small space! Do you know of any other tips worth mentioning that I missed? Leave a comment below!

A simple guide: How to make your home smell good

So I’m kind of big on smells… more so when it comes to smells in my home 🙂 . I think only a few things in life can change one’s mood so drastically like smell does. It can make or break a moment and for the truly extreme ones, they get stuck in our memory forever. I think everyone has a certain smell that takes them right back to when they were a kid or straight into a lover’s arms, or a gathering at grandma’s house. Memory, scent and emotion make for good friends and that’s pretty useful information if you know how to use it right *wink*. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few simple tips on how to make your house smell good for those that, like me, love a good pleasant smell when they take that first step in the house after a long day at work!

First thing’s first… before we explore the good, let’s go through the ugly. To have a house smelling flawless you’ll need a clean slate to start with, so eliminating all bad odors is a must. There are two ingredients to fight off even the worst of smells and they are bleach and vinegar – yep, I know! Use either to clean trash cans, drains or rust areas. For pet odor, there’s nothing like baking soda mixed with a little bit of lemon juice.

Let’s look into a few ways you can make your house smell good:

  • Go with the obvious first: Candles, essential oil diffusers and potpourris should be a must in every household. Not all at once, depending on your preference, choose at least one to have lying around in your preferred areas. The products you can use to make your house smell good have pluses and minuses that will influence your choice. I am obsessed with scented candles since they can also serve as an interior decor piece or a splash of color that you can add almost anywhere. The same goes for potpourris, although this option is a little more showy and less versatile. One trick to essential oil diffusers: take one stick, dip it into the oil and then rub it against the door frames in your house at nose level. This works wonders since the smell will be extremely powerful right when someone comes in through a door. The passing through the doorway creates small yet intense traces of fragrance – now that will make an impression!
  • Use the biggest surfaces as scent relievers. The floor… a huuuuge part of your house, can be turned into scent-friendly by washing it rapidly with tea every morning. You read that right! Next time you’re making yourself a mint tea, put a double portion in the pot, one for you and the other, sprinkle it on the floor then wipe it off with a mop or a swiffer. It’ll take you 3-4 minutes to do and it doesn’t have to be a perfect job! Just a splashing and a swift wipe and it will dry out in less than 5 minutes. The result will be a mint-scented floor for the whole day. Nice, right? You can use the same tip with your drapes and blankets. Wash them with laundry softener so when you hang them or place them on the couch, they’ll take in that freshly washed laundry smell for days and days.
  • Listen to your grandma. There are two old-school tricks no modern household affords to forget when it comes to having your house smelling amazing. One involves a pan, some water and your desired choice of smell: orange peels, cinnamon sticks, basil, mint, cloves, essential oils, you name it! Whatever is more convenient and appeals to your nose, put in the pan while the water is boiling and leave it for a fewminutes until the smell spreads. The vapors will make the smell travel all over the house and stay for a full day or two getting rid of any bad odors. The second old-school trick… cotton balls. Soak a few of them in your preferred cologne or scented oil and place them around the house. Put them between cushions, behind furniture or inside the AC. Out of sight, but spreading scent!

You can even go a step further and look for your own, personal smell. Something you’ll use every time, something you love! Whether it’s vanilla, mint, cinnamon or apples, be sure to use that one scent constantly. If you’re going for the tea spread on the floors, make sure it’s always the same. Same with essential oil fragrances. A signature scent that will be embed in your home and all the people you share it with or come to visit!

Here are my favorites:

  1. Scented candles and potpourris from Zgalleriereflection candles are my favorite!
  2. Scented candles and potpourris from HomeGoods: I love them all! You just can’t go wrong with HomeGoods 🙂
  3. Oil diffusers from Pier1: these smell sooo good and last longer than most I’ve tried.
  4. Kirkland’s has an awesome selection of candles and fragrances. I love how unique the candles are!
  5. Target also has great home diffusers, candles and oils
  6. Amazon

Do you know other tricks and hacks for making your house smell good? Which is your favorite? Comment below!

Decorating with gray – Are you neutral?

A lot of people think using gray as a neutral color it’s an overwhelming trend, in a good way. I’m with them! I have always been a dark color girl (I can wear black every day), so you can imagine how I feel about using gray in my décor. I just love the sophisticated look and attractiveness gray brings in – it’s overwhelmingly awesome! On the other hand, other people do think decorating with gray is outdated. That said, let’s explore some ways you can work with gray and how you can add it to your décor and style. Who knows? You might change your mind 🙂 .

Explore your idea of neutral

Neutral colors are actually basic to every tool kit. I think the beauty of neutral is within their flexibility and versatility. Neutral tones offer just the perfect framework that blend in well with some accent colors that will come in later with your furniture as well as decorative accents. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, among all the known neutral colors, gray has been considered the “hot shade” for the past few years and it has hit the design space with a boom! Finding its way through most people’s hearts – mine included!

Some associate it with sadness and misery. But all in all, people’s perception towards it has changed over the years since more and more people (professional designers and not) are learning to appreciate the sophistication that comes with it! When you think neutral, the goal is to go with a color that can blend in well with both the sleek modern look and the traditional vintage look, right? Well, that’s what the neutrality of gray does!

50+ Hues of Gray

Gray hues will give you that modern taste of freshness and simplicity all in one package. Find the perfect shades of gray! They will blend in with almost any furnishings giving you a complementary natural feeling. Because of all the different shades of gray, it is now being integrated in most of the interior color schemes; bathrooms, living rooms and even bedrooms. I would say this though, to bring out the best out of that simple yet powerful look, you must know how to choose the best shades for YOUR décor. There are a variety of cooler and warmer shades to choose from; cool ones come in some kind of under-shade of blue, while the warm ones have the brown or yellow under-shade – so you’ll have tons of options! A few things to consider in order to make the best selection: the color of the bricks or stones of your house (if you have any), the lighting fixtures, the cabinetry, the flooring, and wood trims (which can be stained or painted to match).

Adding gray dimension

Nothing is as boring as having bare walls. They make your house loose that sense of belonging. With gray paints, you can add more personality to your walls giving them better dimensions so that they won’t feel bare.
A blend of white ceilings and gray walls is the perfect match! Or you can paint the ceiling with a slightly lighter shade of gray than the walls to contrast. This gives the smaller rooms in the house a more spacious feel as well. If you have a higher ceiling, you can opt for darker shades of gray which will help create the perfect illusion of a cozy space! So if you feel that beige or nude is not giving you the ideal look you’re looking for, try gray! Is a great neutral alternative that will give you a much modern, cleaner and crisper look. Talk about dramatic dimension!

Making the best out of your Gray

Whether you go with a cool or a warm gray, there is always something unique with both. The secret is knowing how to blend them in to your home décor, but first, consider breaking out of your neutral color comfort zone! Look into the different kinds and shades of gray and what your options are. People tend to feel more comfortable with a cool shade, but there are other grays too. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a warmer gray or “greige” – combination of gray and beige – if that is a more comfy and familiar route for you.

After you’ve decided to give gray a go, I think it’s important to learn about the diverse differences that distinguish between the cool and warm shades of gray. Being familiar with the color temperatures will help you choose the right palettes easier. If your colors are inconsistent and the undertones do not match, it can ruin the whole gray décor! Also, consider using dark blues and dark grays (like charcoal), it will bring in that dark accent while still not being too dull. The charcoal gray shade does very well when used in home accents like area rugs or fabric furniture. Once you’ve mastered the undertones and different shades you’ll be matching your gray colors like a pro!

Gray-ro-ration! Décor Ideas

1. Living Room

Think of gray as a fun color – it is! Each shade gives you a different style and look so you can play around with it and find YOUR perfect gray. When considering gray for your living room, if you want the modern look, go with a darker shade – go all out! This is one of the most important rooms after all. Add curtains or area rugs with patterns to bring out the gray and make it more fun; you can go with stripes or geometric. As for the décor, think of accent shades that will break out the gray, but still define it – something bright and shiny maybe?

2. Bathroom

Gray is the trending bathroom color of our time! You may wonder why still so many people choose gray when it seems so ‘cold’ for the bathroom? Well, with the right blend, gray makes just the right combination for your bathroom décor since opportunities will be endless! Gray doesn’t have to be boring or remind you of a prison cell; you can add a little spice to the mix by adding a charcoal gray with contemporary bathroom fixtures. If your bathroom is small (like mine), gray will add just the perfect drop of elegance you need to make it interesting. You’re missing out!

Here are other ideas to include gray in your bathroom décor:

  • Use of dark gray tiles: You can use large gray format tiles to give your bathroom that ideal vibe.
  • Gray paint. Give your bathroom that gray fresh face using gray paint on either of your walls or the ceiling.
  • Gray marble walls. Are you obsessed with marble like I am? If you would like to give your bathroom a full transformation, use marble walls with a blend of gray and white. You’ll thank me later 🙂
  • Dove gray. You don’t have to view gray among those gloomy and shady colors. Lighten up the mood in your bathroom with a dove gray and a blend of fresh pink tones. This will make an awesome combination that will help bounce in light in to your bathroom space.

3. Bedroom

I like my bedroom to feel soothing and calm. By now, you probably already know, I am obsessed with gray 🙂 . It’s the color theme at my home and I opted to using a lighter shade in the bedroom – pale gray headboard paired with light gray and white bedding. I was going for a sunnier setting in the bedroom, but if you’d like to use gray in yours, you can contrast the gray by going for a light shade on the walls and darker bedding (or vice versa). Bring in a little extra life with artificial plants (or real if you prefer), a couple of art work pieces, floor vases, and mirrors! Try to find the right combination and be on your gray-way.

What’s the verdict?

Are you open to have a little fun with gray? I hope you now have a different perspective of how you can add gray to your decorative accents, accessories, furniture and wall paint! All you need to do is understand the different shades and know how you can make them work for you and your décor. Gray does not have to be dull and plain – it can be so much fun, original, and adaptable. Give it a chance and you won’t regret it! What are your favorite neutral colors? Do you consider gray a neutral? Let me know your thoughts below!

Here’s a video for additional guidance!