Tag Archives: decor

Sure your dog’s bed is nice. But here’s how to take it to the next level

Sadly, you cannot buy this modular dog bed that industrial designer Hyemin Kim created called the MUF as a project for his studies. But if you go to this link, you can see more of his approach to making his dog bed that can appeal to all types of dogs. You might be able to take some of his ideas and apply them to your own dog bed. Your dog will thank you for it, because of course, they are a good dog. 🙂

On starting your own Orangery this winter


Ok, ok, maybe that is a bit ambitious. But as the winter settles in, you might want a bit of summer in your home. If just to help you get through the days when it seems like winter will never end and summer will never come. (Collapse face first on the bed after you say that. :))

If you like that idea, read this: The Plant That’ll Make it Feel Like Summer in Your Home All Year Long. 

Then go get one and get started on making your own orangery.

Need more encouragement: read this from Bon Appetit.

P.S. if you are asking, “what the heck is an orangery”, then go here: Orangery – Wikipedia. It’s a fascinating idea and history.

Image above of the Belvedere Orangery in Vienna, via Wikipedia.

Four good ideas from IKEA


Nothing radical decor-wise, but here are some good ideas from IKEA. For example, they’ve packaged up some of their products to make improving your home easier: IKEA Launched Decor Kits That Let You Mix Up Your Style Easily

They have these speakers (seen above) that I would quickly get if I didn’t have a Sonos speaker already. It combines the quality of Sonos with the affordability of IKEA: SYMFONISK WiFi bookshelf speaker – black – IKEA.

Speaking of affordability, here’s a reminder that IKEA is always stocked with affordable items: Under $10 – Affordable Furniture and Gifts – IKEA

Finally, it is easy to criticize rooms with too much IKEA furniture in it. Such rooms tend to look like a showroom rather than your room. However, for people who have a hard time making good choices about their decor, stealing ideas from IKEA makes a lot of sense. To see what I mean, check this article out: IKEA Catalog 2021 Neutral Calming Rooms | Apartment Therapy

The process of hand blocked wallpaper

Is shown, here.

Captivating.

Virtual travelling: hotels in New York for people who love design

Assuming these will still be around post pandemic, here’s 12 beautiful hotels to consider staying at in New York, starting with the TWA hotel which has been wonderfully remade. I have seen a number of New Yorkers staying there and posting pictures on social media because….why not. While the other hotels don’t have the benefit of being put in a  building designed by Eero Saarinen, they are still great. You can see them all here.

In praise of cozy corners (and how you can make your own)

Cozy corner.

Coziness is in the eye (body?) of the beholder. For example, I find the above image cozy. Other people might find the picture below cozy.

Cozy with cats.

Regardless of which one you prefer, I think having a cozy corner in your home is essential, especially as the cooler weather starts.

If you don’t have one or need inspiration, here’s 12 cozy corners from Cup of Jo you can check out and steal ideas from. A nice couch helps. So do blankets and pillows. Sleeping dogs and cats are nice. As are books and fireplaces. But don’t let me tell you how to be cozy: I think you should get there however you think best. 🙂

(Images from links to that blog post on Cup of Jo).

Alternative materials for buildings homes (concrete) and furniture (drywall)

I thought both of these pieces were interesting. First this one, on the home of artist Sue Webster (shown below)

and then this piece on drywall furniture: Drywall? Dry Furniture Takes On the Issue of Affordable Furniture (shown below)

Not sure I’ll ever warm up to furniture made of drywall or homes with that much concrete, but it’s worthwhile considering them and what it would be like.

Some of it reminds me of the houses and furniture that Frank Gehry used to build.  Perhaps we will all live in such houses in the future.

 

Virtual Travelling: Sinner hotel, in Paris

I won’t be going anywhere any time soon, but if I could, I might go and stay at this boutique hotel in Paris, just to stay in that bed.

The hotel, in the Marais district of Paris, is a stunner. You can find out more about it, here, or by visiting their website, here.

Once the pandemic is over, I think there will be an orgy of travel. And what better place to stay than a place called Sinner? 🙂

P.S. This suite is nice, too.

How to be a better Maximalist

 

If you love maximalism but worry that you will get stuck looking more like a hoarder than a design pro, you need some rules to follow. Apartment Therapy has six rules your to follow, and you can find them, here.

I found the above image at vinterior.co which has gorgeous stuff. Check them out.

The very stylish MOON Coffee Machine

 

This beautiful coffee machine isn’t a product you can buy, but I wish I could. It’s beautiful. For more on this design product, including more photos, check out Stylish MOON Coffee Machine Design.

Two good decluttering projects for you to do this week

 

One is analog and one is digital.

The analog one is to declutter the space you are using to work from home. Apartment Therapy has a plan to not only declutter it but to make it better. (I find it easier to declutter if you can image the space looking good at the end).

The second decluttering plan is for your phone. Let’s face it, you have tons of digital clutter. Here’s another Apartment Therapy plan to tackle that.

(Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash)

The timeliness of a stylish gray sofa

If you are about to buy a sofa, it is tempting to get something colourful and bold. I recommend you consider getting a neutral coloured sofa and let the other parts of your room do the colourful and bold parts. A solid gray sofa can provide a great anchor for the rest of the room. To see what I mean, check out these sofas. None of them are dull, but all of them work really well in the rooms they are in.

I also like gray because unlike some other neutral colours, it doesn’t show wear and tear as much. 

It may be fun to get a bright coloured or black sofa, at first. In the long run, gray is the best choice.

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Everything you wanted to know about flower arranging but were afraid to ask


Ok, fine, you weren’t afraid to ask. Still! If you want a mindblowing list of great ideas to arrange flowers, look no further than here: The Best Flower-Arranging Tricks & Tutorials | Apartment Therapy.

Then take those new ideas and go out and buy a big bunch of flowers and arrange them all nice and fancy.  You deserve it.

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On why I will likely never be a minimalist

Simply put, I love rooms like this. The books! The colour! The nik naks! 🙂

Love it. If you do too, check out where I found this photo: 19 vibrant rooms that don’t shy away from color and pattern.

Many of them are stunning and luxurious, and others are simple and low key, like this:

I’d be happy to hang out and live in any of these 19 rooms.

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On my odd fascination with minimalism

I am oddly fascinated by minimalism. It appeals to me, though I could never adopt it. Visually I like the look of minimalist places (like the one pictured above, from this piece, Goodbye things, hello minimalism: can living with less make you happier? | Books | The Guardian). But then I know I am terrible and I would be hanging pictures and adding furniture in no time.

I suspect the simplicity of it appeals to me too. So much less to manage. But then I would get bored of wearing the same clothes, like this:

Likewise, a kitchen with this many things in a drawer seems great. No clutter, no struggling to find things, or manage things

But then I think that a kitchen is a workshop and like any good workshop, you need supplies and tools to be effective.

So when I read pieces like this, about Japanese hardcore minimalist, it lures me in to thinking about it for awhile. Then that dream fades.

I am not as anti-minimalist as the author of this piece. But I think they raise some excellent points. Then again I have read the book Goodbye Things and thought it worthwhile.

I suspect that my odd fascinating with minimalism will live on for some time.

The soothing calm of Japanese minimalism in a canal house in Amsterdam

If you want to soothe your eyes and spirit with some calm today, check out this canal house in Amsterdam:

Design Milk has a feature on this place and every image is a sight for sore eyes. To see what I mean, take yourself to this page.

You’ll be glad you did.

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Change your rug, change your room

You might reply, sure Bernie, that’s fine and I agree, but rugs are expensive. I can’t argue that: rugs can be expensive. But there’s also good cheap rugs  and if you don’t believe me, read this: Cheap Thrills: Vintage-Style Rugs Under $100 | Apartment Therapy

Now, that’s an older piece. Some of those rugs may not be there. But it’s worth reading just to get the names of websites that have low cost rugs. Check them out; you’re sure to find one you like.

If you want to change your room, you can change your furniture and you can paint your walls. But that’s can end up being a lot  time and money. A cheap rug could just be the thing to freshen up your room.

P.S. Not all the rugs are colorful, but I like colorful rugs so I chose that image. Also that rug has pink and pink in a rug tends to go with many room colours.

P.S.S. IKEA is also a source of inexpensive rugs. And their black and white Stockholm rugs is famous for a good reason while being low cost.

When you need to paint your room and you don’t want white or strong colours, then…

You need to read this piece: The Best Neutral Paint Colours That Aren’t White.

Most of them are variations of gray, which is…good. You still get some colour in your room, but the overall effect is still neutral. (For example, this room in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter).

The article gives a wide range of colours (yes, gray is a colour). You should be able to find something to take the white off your walls.

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You should fill your house with eucalyptus

Why? Because it makes any room look better! This piece shows how, be it your bathroom, your bedroom or really any other room:  Eucalyptus: The Affordable Plant You Should Be Buying | Apartment Therapy

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How to make your rooms pop by using bright complementary colours

Last week I wrote about white paint. Now for something completely different: bright colours! This piece is a great guide for how to use colour in your home, which is especially good for people shy about using bolder colours: Complementary Colors & How to Decorate With Them | Apartment Therapy

In a nutshell: “Complementary colors, when used together in color schemes, are especially dynamic and pleasing to the eye.” So find your favorite colour, find its complement on the colour wheel, and use that as your guide.

My small tip: if you love a certain colour (e.g. orange), then look to use the complementary colour in the background (e.g. blue sofa, blue wall colour). Then you can fill the foreground with objects in your favourite colour.

Another tip: use artworks containing both colours. Obviously you should love the art first, but if you have many pieces you can hang or display, aim to use those that fit in with the overall colour scheme of the room. (See the image above for examples of this. It’s a good example of how blue and orange go together.)

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Do you have a collection of flat objects? Then frame them and hang them!

It can be anything: book covers, old CD covers, stamps, old money, wallpaper, old kid drawings (of course), letters from loved ones…you name it, if it is flat and interesting to you and you have a spare wall, go for it.

For more on this, plus other ideas, see this: Cheap Art Picture Frame Ideas | Apartment Therapy

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How to decide which white paint to go with in your home?

Well, one way is to pick one of the versions listed here: The 15 Shades of White Paint Top Designers Swear By

I’m a big fan of Benjamin Moore paints, and one of the 15 shades highlighted is Super White (shows above). I think that is great, but I was and remain a fan of Cloud White, which has almost a beige undertone and is warm, though arguably not as warm as Simply White.

For more on the Benjamin Moore paints (and the location of the image above), go here.

 

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How to make basic flowers into something beautiful

Flowers from grocery stores and other such places are often uninspiring. Sure, you could take them home and stick them in a vase and be done. Or you can go over to this post and get some better ideas on how to make even a few stems of anything look beautiful: How to make basic flowers into something beautifulHow to Arrange Grocery Store Flowers | A Cup of Jo

The photo above is just one example. Go to A Cup of Jo to see some other smart examples.

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You can still have a nice patio even if it is as small as a stamp


At least I think you can, based on this Tiny Patio Ideas – 9 Inspiring Small Patios

Plenty of ideas to steal from there, including from Igor Josifovic. (He has a blog and a book on the topic, so you can should check that out for even more good ideas. The photo is a link to the one on the Food52 site)

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If you are feeling blah, set up an inspiration board

For some people, the first response is going to be: “great idea, but I need some bootstrap inspiration”.  Totally understandable response. So here are seven boards to get you going on making your own: Peek at the Inspiration Boards of These 7 Female Designers

If you first response was something the opposite of “great idea”, then all I would say is try to find 3 or 4 items that represent things you value and have them in a space that you can see often. Maybe they are awards, or pictures of people you love, or items from trips you’ve been on. A cluster of things to remind you of what you have and what you accomplished. They may sit on a shelf instead of a board, but they will inspire you nonetheless. Whatever works.

One thing I would recommend is set the board up so you can change it often. I find if the board is inflexible, you end up not seeing it any more. If you have a dozen images or items you want to post, perhaps post a fraction of them, then switch them around with the unposted ones. It will keep it fresh that way.

It is a slog being locked down during this pandemic. Anything that lifts your spirits help. Inspiration boards can be one of those things. Make yours today.

 

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How to choose artwork for your home (plus gallery wall ideas)

If you are thinking of improving your home by adding some artwork, this piece can be helpful: How to Choose Artwork for Your Home – Decorology

Among other things, there’s some offbeat examples of how to do gallery walls. Sure, you can do strict grid patterns for your gallery wall, but why not try something different, like that wall shown above?

Also, if you are interested in getting great affordable art, check out the works for sale at Art Interiors. They have gallery wall ideas, too.

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Now for a completely different form of floor tile!

That is actual floor tile you can buy! The floor is flat underneath, but the different shaped tiles trick your eye into thinking otherwise.

For more on this trompe d’oeil, see: An Optical Illusion Tile System Designed by Casa Ceramica via Colossal

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You’ve been working from home for awhile. You need to spruce up your space. Here are some ideas. #wfh

Many of you have been working from home for several weeks now due to the pandemic. You may be getting fatigue for a number of reasons with your environment. Worse, you might have to keep doing it for some time to come.

Don’t fret. Here’s 10 Home Office Ideas That Will Make You Want to Work All Day from Real Simple magazine. Lots of good ideas in that piece, and nice photos to offer up some inspiration. Best of all, most of the ideas are affordable. If you can’t get out to shop and don’t want to shop online, consider “shopping your house” (i.e. take pictures, rugs, clocks, etc from other parts of your home and put them in your work space. Hey, you are there most of the time, why not make it shine). Also Google things like “home office gallery wall” or “home office decor ideas” for more visual ideas.

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How to care for cut tulips

It’s tulip time. If you love them and buy them often too, here’s some advice on how to better take care of them: Tulips – Flower Care via Apartment Therapy

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You are not travelling any time soon, so now is a good time to make your master bedroom feel like one in a boutique hotel :)

For example, if you have space, do what good hotels do and make a lounging area, like this:

Let’s face it we all have more time these days to lounge.

For more such tips, see: 25 ways to make your master bedroom feel like a boutique hotel

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Ikea, in Architectural Digest, no less


So yesterday I highlighted that fast furniture is low cost and not great. Is it possible to have low cost furniture that is also good and stylish? I think you can, if you stick to the products listed here: The 13 Most Popular IKEA Products | Architectural Digest

If you mix them in with other furniture, or style them well, you can have a well furnished home that looks great and doesn’t cost much.

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On “Fast Fashion” Furniture


This piece
outlines how “fast-furniture” manufacturers have take a page from the book of fast fashion manufacturers and have gone on to make visually appealing but physically awful furniture.  It says:

Fast-furniture manufacturers (are) giving shoppers an opportunity to buy trend-informed furniture at a price that doesn’t force them to pretend they’re investing in the future. Wasteful though it may be, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to buy an expensive sofa if you don’t know where you’ll be living in a year.

So it should come as little surprise that much of this furniture isn’t great.

People want new furniture. They want to transition from stuff they find on the side of the road, or from IKEA, or even hand me downs from their family. But they don’t have the money or the patience to buy better pieces. This creates the fast furniture market.

File under “you get what you paid for”. Worth a read. Especially if you are attracted to the look and the price of some of these pieces.

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It’s winter in New York. You don’t want to be outside. So go see these places.

Yesterday I showed you how to cry in New York. Today I want to show you how to enjoy New York when the weather is less than ideal. The best way to do that is to be indoors. And the best way to enjoy the indoors in New York is to visit the most beautiful interiors in New York City

P.S. If you are a fan of New York like I am, then ny.curbed.com might be for you too.

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Houseplants for people terrible with plants

If you are terrible with plants, like me, and want to get some plants regardless, then check this out: Houseplants You Can’t Kill – Dwell.

The plants are:

  1. Snake plant
  2. Cast iron plant
  3. Jade
  4. Aloe
  5. Rubber plant

Relatedly, my office recent had plants added, and the plants added were from this list. So far they are doing fine. Let’s see if I (and you) have similar results.

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Is Muji doomed?

Not yet, but clearly it is in trouble, based on this: Why Muji Is Struggling | News & Analysis | BoF.

My feeling is they have expanded past the point it is sustainable, and now they are going to have to adjust. Hopefully they can adjust: they are a good company and they could be as big as IKEA or H&M. Or they could go bankrupt. The next few years will show which direction they go.

Thanks to Jeff Smith for sending me this link!

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If you feel overwhelmed at Christmas but still want to decorate – minimalist decorating


Then consider this idea from Apartment Therapy: Fresh Christmas Garland Home Decor Idea.

Basically just get some garland (and a tree) and keep it simple. If you have a bit more energy, candles are a good idea. Or small LED light chains in a vase with some Christmas balls.

But the garland (and the tree) signify the holiday season quite nicely.

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An ideal bedroom to go and read in

To me, it’s this one:

Image via the great blog Lottie + Doof. Go see it. They have a great gift giving guide too. (Top of the blog.)

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This Decorating Technique Separates the Pros from the Amateurs

It’s a very simple idea:

“It’s all about the procession,” said Andrew Franz, an architect and interior designer in New York. As soon as you enter a home, he believes, your eye should be led to another visual destination, “because the activity between rooms is what creates a successful, comfortable design.”

via This Decorating Technique Separates the Pros from the Amateurs – WSJ

It doesn’t have to be color either: it could be pattern, style, material…anything that links the rooms. In linking rooms, you make each room appear stronger while making the space feel unified.

Image from the article, where the colors in each of the rooms are linked to each other.

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For DIY fans looking for something to do this weekend….


I recommend this site and this section of it: Poppytalk – do it yourself

Lots of good projects here. And there’s also a part of the site dedicated to Ikea hacks. Worth checking out.

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What’s happening with Midcentury Modern Design


According to this, the interest in this style of furniture may be slowly fading:
Is Interest in Midcentury Modern Design Declining?

I’m not surprised. Revivals all have their rise and falls, and this style of furniture is overdue. Likely it won’t totally fade, since so many pieces of that era really blend in well with other styles of furnishing. It’s just likely you won’t see whole rooms dedicated to the style.