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Category Archives: Design ideas

Add warmth and confidence to your abode with Radiant Orchid hues

Color is the best way to breathe new life into an apartment scene. It’s also the easiest way to make a statement of style and beauty, or to create a soothing retreat for you and your loved ones.

Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014, would be an inspired choice if you want to add zing to your home. This bold hue can magically freshen up your interiors, with its surprising gracefulness and warmth.

Purple Phalaenopsis Orchid

“An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

We’ve collected a few ideas of purple – patterned home accessories that you can easily mix and incorporate into your home décor, without having to dig too deep into your pockets.

Purple drapery, wall art, vases, or frames would all make perfect additions to a home, especially if you’re aiming for a dazzling pop of color. A few accent pieces in this vivid shade and your décor will gain a plus of character, maybe even that “wow” factor that will impress your guests as soon as they step inside your quarters.

Purple draperies

As a more inexpensive option, think of bringing in spring blooms, such as peonies, lilac, roses or tulips, in lively hues of purple, lavender, pink, fuchsia or any other bright color that might add a plus of cheerfulness to your day.

Gorgeous Roses in Modern Vase

According to color experts at Pantone, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows. Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe.

If you want to give a boost of energy to your living room, go with purple decorations and accessories. A vivacious blanket thrown on the living room sofa, a brightly colored lampshade enhancing your reading nook, a refreshing flower arrangement or an entire wall painted purple could make all the difference in terms of stylish design.

Plum. Darker, reddish purples are warm and sophisticated.

 

As the one place offering respite from a busy lifestyle, the bedroom could really benefit from a little warmth and coziness. And introducing purple accents into your bedroom’s design scheme is one way to do it. Soft linens complemented by plush pillows, bedspreads or throws in this energetic hue that symbolizes la “joie de vivre” will add a playful feel to your retreat.

Purple pillow cases via etsy

For creating a more inviting ambiance and making your kitchen sparkle with emotion, go with Radiant Orchid colored appliances, wallpaper or even cabinets painted in this enamoring hue. Your kitchen will get an exotic vibe all of a sudden, and maybe even add a little more flavor to your cooking.

Kitchen remodel featuring purple cabinetry
 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Design ideas

 

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Invite spring into your home with blooming plants

Spring is finally here, and with it a craving for new beginnings. Whether it’s a new job, new relationship, a revamped interior, or a newly-discovered passion, they all have the ability to bring a plus of energy to our existence.

For me, it’s always flowers that do the trick. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than a garden in bloom, inviting to reverie and joyfulness.

Purple, pinnk and red tulips

My dream garden is filled with daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, roses, peonies and lilac.

Garden in bloom

And although I’m positive that I’ll get there someday, for now I have to settle for a small urban garden, pretty and refreshing nonetheless.

Plants in bloom: hyacinth, tulips, daffodils

 

If you’re looking for simple, low-cost projects to spruce up, add color or bring new life to your apartment as well, here are a few ideas to get you started.

First you need to find a good place for your plants to thrive, preferably a sunny balcony, terrace or outdoor flowerbed; window sills are also a good option to grow flowering plants, as well as other places around the apartment that benefit from natural light.

Houseplants

Phalaenopsis, White Gardenia, Rosa Rugosa

Orchids are my favorite when it comes to enhancing interior spaces. They always strike me with their beauty, so delicate yet totally impactful. I’ve collected quite a few varieties, including Oncidium, Vanda, Miltonia (scented), Cymbidium, and Paphiopedilum (or slipper orchid), and they are equally impressive.

Houseplants

Orchid varieties: Miltonia, Phalaenopsis, Yellow Oncidium; Potted plants: Fuchsia, Pansies and Petunias

Among the many commonly cultivated plants, Phalaenopsis hybrids are probably the easiest to care for. They enjoy the light behind curtains and window blinds so they are a perfect option for apartment gardening. Just keep in mind that orchids, Phalaenopsis included, are extremely sensitive to excessive watering; over-watering is frequently cited as the main reason leading to their demise, so place extra care when you feed your orchids water. The general rule of thumb for plants grown indoors is to water every 5 to 12 days, depending on the type of orchid, the temperature the plant is grown in, and the time of year.

Orchids

Phalaenopsis Hybrids and Slipper Orchid

Balconies are the closest thing to a garden that most urban dwellers may hope for. Don’t let your outdoor space go to waste and start by adorning it with hanging baskets. You can easily turn your terrace into a lush oasis by placing a couple of blooming petunia plants, fuchsias or gardenias in hanging baskets or containers. Their superb verticality will add colorful depth to the space and surprise you with their cheerfulness every time you step out into your balcony. Plus, they will bloom all summer long with a bit of attention.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Design ideas, Outdoor living, Urban living

 

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Decorating ideas for a refreshing bathroom

Embarking on a remodeling project often means time and money flying out of our pockets with the swiftness of light. But if you possess a bit o imagination and you’re willing to put your creative skills to a test, the results may be spectacular.

To keep things simple, you might want to focus your redecorating efforts on a single nook of your home, and start with the bathroom since it involves a smaller footage. And we all know that sometimes a nice hot bath after a long day at work is all that it takes to invigorate body and spirit. The good news is that you don’t need mega-bucks to turn your bathroom into a soothing retreat.

Sedona-grey-hamper via CrateandBarrel

First thing if you live in a rental, check with your landlord what you can and cannot do with the space. Most landlords or property owners understand the renters’ need to make a few adjustments to the place for a more comfortable feel, and generally allow minor remodeling projects like changing a bulb or the wattage, applying a fresh coat of paint, hanging decorations to revive the walls, or updating window treatments.

Then take a moment and assess your daily adventures in the bathroom, especially your morning routine. Are there times when you can’t seem to find anything? This means clutter is your worst enemy so you must find a way to keep things organized.

If your bathroom is already furnished, think of bringing in a couple of pretty baskets, an over the door organizer (as pictured below) or dividers to retain your toiletries. The best part about these systems is that you can throw everything inside and your bathroom still looks neat and tidy.

Bamboo over the door organizer via west elm

Accessories are life-changing when it comes to enhancing bathroom space. For a classier look, install a sleek towel bar, a nice soap holder or lotion dispenser. Make sure you complement the décor with some bright fabrics that make a statement. If your bathroom is cloaked in neutrals, get some red towels or patterned shower curtains for a splash of color and energy.

Hardware is pretty expensive to replace, no need to go there. But the shower head is totally worth it and you’ll be able to take it with you once you get on the road again. Featuring innovative designs and appealing functions, high-quality shower heads can instantly transform a bathroom into a cool spa, inviting to relaxation and pampering treatments.

Some nice pieces of wall art can totally add appeal to a drab space. Even if you don’t have a lot to spend on artwork, you can still have some pictures printed out, fit them in a thrift store frame and hang them on the bathroom wall. The results will be stunning!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Design ideas

 

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Inspiring home decor ideas for a cozy pad

I’ve always dreamed of having my own place, a home where I could re-paint partitions without asking the landlord’s permission or where home decorating wouldn’t feel like money wasting. Now when I’ve finally got there, I realize that there’s a purpose to everything.

On the plus side of my journey, I’ve discovered that home improvement doesn’t always call for loads of money; you just have to know where to look and put your creative skills to a test. Vintage shops, thrift stores and even yard sales are great places for finding unique pieces of décor that will add instant vitality to your quarters.

I must admit though, decorating on a budget is no easy thing.

Whenever you feel like trying something new, always find a starting point. Instead of giving your home a floor-to-ceiling remodel, focus on a single nook and make it as comfortable as possible. Foodies for example will love the idea of a welcoming booth and table corner inside their kitchens where they could indulge in homemade delicacies and luscious treats.

Book-lovers on the other hand will appreciate a comfy armchair near a window where they could meet their favorite characters and relish words on paper after a hard day’s work.

The secret to a cozy space is incorporating a few accessories that inspire positive thoughts; artsy elements, your favorite collection of minerals and rocks, hats or any other trinkets that could positively affect your state of mind just by being there.

If you have some nice pictures of your family at hand, select a few and get them up on a wall. They will put a big smile on your face every time you walk by. Additionally, you can get your hands on some nice vintage picture frames that will add even more oomph to the arrangement.

If your bedroom doesn’t provide a healthy respite from the hustle and bustle of the day, then it definitely needs a revamp. Add more comfort and style with relaxing furnishings in earth tones, organic bedding, plush pillows or dreamy window treatments.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Design ideas

 

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Decorating for two – double the fun, double the challenge

There comes a time when even the most independent and carefree woman must settle down. And sometimes it’s no easy thing as you’re accustomed to having things done your way; even a piece of clothing thrown randomly on the living room couch may bug you terribly at first. But one of the secrets to a happy co-existence is learning to compromise. Even the most stubborn and proud personalities have to learn to compromise if they want a peaceful relationship. In return you get to experience so many beautiful things. No more lonely nights for starters; but you also gain a best friend waiting for you at home, eager to learn about your day or laugh at your jokes, or someone who’s just there in times of trouble. And on the more practical side, you get to share everything, including bills, expenses and household chores.

For some people, moving in with that special someone is just a natural step in the development of a relationship. Others may find it difficult to combine lifestyles and daily routines. Here are a few decorating tips that will help you create a nurturing environment for the both of you.

Adopt a neutral design scheme. Personally, I’m a big fan of white interiors as they induce a state of relaxation and innocence. But if you want to establish a serene atmosphere you can also use decor pieces, rugs, furniture, picture frames or bedding in shades of gray, creamy beige and brown. Or use a neutral color palette as your base and toss in a textured pillow in a fun print or a vivacious houseplant for a plus of energy.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate a few masculine touches. A rougher approach to a design scheme can actually do tons of good to a place. It adds personality, strength and a more down-to-earth feel to a home.

I for one just love what exposed brick can do to a room. It’s a bold move but the effects can be spectacular. It’s a look that many think fit for a bachelor’s pad but it can perfectly complement a contemporary, minimalist design scheme fit for two.

Keep it comfortable and cool. Luckily for us, most men don’t have strong opinions about home décor so it’s pretty much up to us to beautify the space. You must know by now what he likes to do when he’s at home or what his passions are. If he likes reading let him have a reading nook, get a comfy armchair and a lamp, put them somewhere near a window and his corner is all set. If he’s a gamer, make a little room for his PlayStation. He’ll be glad to know that you’ve been thinking about his needs, too.

Remember, it’s his home, too. I know we’re ladies and we need our makeup, cosmetics, skincare and other beauty products, it’s what keeps us looking fresh and glowing all the time, am I right? But instead of having them lying all over the place, keep them looking neat somewhere in the closet or in the bathroom.

Romantic, whimsical style is a definite no – no. No pink or orange walls, get rid of the flowery, mushy linens and oversentimental decorations. Instead, focus more on creating a pleasant, more functional environment that could transform the apartment into a real home for you both.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Design ideas, Relationships, Urban living

 

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Give your home a vacation-inspired makeover

Summer is a time for outdoor fun, relaxation and daydreaming. And when it’s over it’s nice to have some things around to remind of its beauty, maybe let it linger a little bit more inside our apartment homes.

Whether you want to hold on to your sweet memories or just feel like engaging in a DIY project to refresh your quarters, here are a few inspiring ideas to get you started.

If you’ve had your summer vacation at the beach, chances are you’ve collected things like seashells, sea glass, pebbles or rocks you deemed interesting. If you haven’t, keep it in mind for your next escapade as these natural treasures make great decorative elements.

Pebbles used in home decor

I, for one, am proud of my collection of vacation gems; I’ve brought home little stones and rock bits from Dubrovnik, pebbles from Crete and seashells from Antalya, Turkey which I’ve used as décor pieces all around my apartment.

Decorate house plants with seashells and stones

If you’re looking for a way to add a personal touch to your home, grab a glass vase or jar and fill 1/3 of the way with dry sand; then add a few of those marine stones you’ve collected. They will look fantastic on a shelf in the living room or on the kitchen countertop, charging the space with positive feelings and a plus of energy.

Pebbles collected from Dubrovnik

However, if you forgot to fill your pockets with pebbles and conch shells, you can use the same glass recipient and fill it with sand, but replace the pebbles with a picture of yourself or a loved one. Place it somewhere where it can be easily seen, on a coffee table or mantle, to be sure it makes an impression.

Photo frame from vacation in a glass vase with seashells via modishspace

Maps or brochures of the places you’ve traveled to can be turned into great art pieces to color up your walls. Assemble a collage of your journey logs, travel ticket stubs and maps and complement the arrangement with a vacation picture of yourself and your family. That should trigger a few happy memories every time you walk by.

Additionally, if you like buying souvenirs and pottery specific to certain cultures or regions, such as handcrafted mugs or plates, think of personalizing them with suggestive prints or photos of your vacay and put them on display on a wall or shelf. For little or no cost, you can give your apartment a whole new and invigorating look.

And for all of you mountain vacationists out there: know that a walk through the woods can get you genuine art pieces that will render your home unique in an instant. Gather a few twigs and branches and arrange them artistically in a vase; driftwood can be used as the focal point in a cottage-style design scheme for example, either placed in a vase or standing by itself, or leaning against a wall.You can also pick up pine cones and acorns which you can easily pile into a nice bowl for a most delightful effect.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Design ideas, Urban living

 

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Smart and easy DIY projects for an inviting home

If there’s something I dislike more than a gloomy day, it’s a gloomy interior. From time to time, I feel an acute need to bring in new design elements and make my home vibrate with positive energy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love these DIY ideas as they are easily achievable and can instantly revive your quarters.

#Jewelry holder. Any girl who cares about her image would appreciate a little visual help when it comes to matching jewelry with the day’s outfit.

I must confess I’m not a morning person, nor do I enjoy my coffee on-the-go, so I’m always looking for ways to make my mornings easier. Turns out this jewelry holder was just what I needed to start off the day right. And it’s an easy DIY. Order a cork plank online, Staples should have them in stock, and use it as backing material. Then, you can either use an old milk box (primed and repainted) like I did, or buy a frame and have it cut as per desired size. I finally dressed the cork board into a textile fabric and glued it to the wooden frame. And voila, my jewelry holder in place.

DIY Jewelry holder

Having all your jewelry pieces at hand can help save precious time when trying to mix and match. In addition, it’s a great way to color up the walls of a bedroom or add functional appeal to a plain bathroom.

#Greenery. I’ve always been a fan of greenery and its tremendous effects on the living environment. Beside playing a major part in refining home aesthetics, houseplants do a great job in cleaning the air of toxins and carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen.

Slipper orchid

Vertical gardening can be the best choice if you’re rather tight on space as most of us urban apartment dwellers are. Williams-Sonoma offers a wide selection of freestanding planters that can be placed indoors. Just fill the cells with your favorite herbs or other houseplants, and water as needed through the top irrigator; the hidden collector tray catches excess runoff.

Free standing vertical garden via williams sonoma

Make a statement by mixing freshly cut flowers with a few branches. That should add a plus of vitality to your home. You can also bunch together a group of freshly cut single stems, for a touch of simple beauty.

Contemporar flower arrangement via Flower Factor on Flickr

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Apartment living, Design ideas, Urban living

 

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How to create an inspiring home office

As work seems to follow us everywhere these days, even at home, it’s important to build a nurturing environment so that we can give the best of ourselves. Whether you’re a web designer, a creative writer or a dedicated artist, you’ll love the idea of a cozy working nook within the comfort of your own home.

Unless you’re living in a classy mansion and you have an entire room to transform into a home office, creating a stimulating workstation in a city apartment comes with its challenges. Most renters are constantly faced with the space issue when decorating a rental home, and trying to fit in a massive desk does not make it easier. Multi-functional pieces may turn out to be life-savers in this case. Hit the flea markets or local thrift shops and find a solid armoire which you can easily revamp and turn into a great home office. As they come with many drawers and shelves, they provide lots of storage space; and what’s even better, when you’re done with your work, simply close the doors and you’re back home.

If you want to build a conventional working space, focus on delineating your environment. You can apply a fresh coat of paint onto a wall, a different color than the other walls of the room for an enhanced separation effect, and mount a few wooden shelves for holding documents, books or anything else you might need for your work. Repainting can be done in a day for very cheap, and your eyes will totally thank you. Just don’t forget to ask permission from your landlord first.

If you want to do it right, put your desk near a window as there’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying natural lighting as well as a nice view. Fresh air can do wonders on your morale; it helps productivity and makes you feel more at ease while working. For an energy boost, add a couple of oxygen-generating plants to your working space. And a really comfortable chair.

Decorating is key in making the workplace a low-stress environment. Incorporate a few personal elements, a photo of your loved ones, a calendar and your daily to-do list. This will also help you keep things organized. Don’t forget to cross off tasks as you see them done. Seeing all those things completed can give you a great feeling of accomplishment, acting as a sort of confidence booster. At least that’s how it works for me.

Certain colors are inspiring and make people feel more relaxed. Experts say purple is extremely stimulating when used in office design as it fosters creativity and meditation. Bring in a beautiful lavender vase, a lamp or a photo frame in this vibrant hue; just make sure you use it with moderation, so that you keep the mood tranquil and comforting.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Design ideas

 

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Home décor for the spring enthusiast

Get inspired by this fabulous sunny weather and give your home a refreshing makeover. Many modern apartments and condos include open floor plans which are great for flexibility and can be easily re-organized to suit any taste or personality.

As it’s a perfect time for reinventing and re-energizing, think of your home as a canvas and start painting. If you’re up for a major change, you can replace your old couch with a trendy sofa and make it the central piece of the design scheme. Nothing says cozy better than a nice sectional or modular sofa with deep, plush cushions where you can sit back and relax after a hard day’s work.

Leather sectional sofa

If you live in a small apartment and don’t want to disturb the harmony of the place with a large, imposing piece, try finding a snug loveseat or a two cushion sleeper that is easy to fold and unfold.

You’ll be even more content with your choice the next time a relative or friend drops by and needs a place to crash for the night. Sleeper sofas allow the room to double as guest quarters. Rather than purchasing inexpensive, low quality furniture just to fill the room, learn to prioritize and invest in quality pieces that will pay for themselves in the long run.

To complement a simple design scheme, use patterned rugs and colorful window treatments. Area rugs are perfect for creating rooms without walls in an open space or differentiate your dining room from your living room. As rugs and blinds can be pricey, it’s important to shop around and know your options well. Keeping an eye out for bargains pays out every time.

And remember, spring décor yells flowers. Nothing comes close to brightening up a bland room as placing a pretty floral arrangement in it, be it fresh cut flowers or live plants. Potted plants can be used to spruce up any apartment, placed on the window sill or included in more elaborate arrangements. Live wall art is the new trend in home design and can instantly invigorate any environment. With a little care (and a green thumb) you could even grow a herb garden in your own kitchen. Your meals will get a whole new flavor, for sure.

Have a wonderful spring!

 

 
 

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Reinvent your apartment home with these easy decorating tips

A home tells a lot about a person. More often, the place we live in can be viewed as an extension of our personalities, of our interests and hobbies. All the more reason to think things through when looking for a theme to govern an interior redesign project. More than complying with some impersonal notions of beauty and glamor, your home’s décor should reflect your own personal style.

The right accessories can really pull a room together and give it a welcoming feel even if you’re not up for a major remodeling project. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Create a romantic ambiance. All of us could use a little more romance in our daily lives so it might be a good idea to add a few quixotic touches to your home. If you’re a dreamy person, go with the image of a garden in bloom and dress up your walls in floral motifs and soothing colors, either by applying lively wallpaper or some easy-to-install joyful decals. If wall redecorating goes against your apartment building’s rules, think of adding a vase of real blossoms, some perky decorations or a couple of colorful throw pillows for a plus of energy and subtle sweetness.

Shabby chic will never go out of fashion. This classic trend always finds its way back into the world of interior decorating as it allows design enthusiasts like us to easily mix a plurality of styles and elements. It offers a great pretext to bring antique treasures into the spotlight and lay emphasis on our heritage and culture. Cottage-style furnishings, antique picture frames or vintage mirrors, cotton bedding complemented by lacy curtains, a striped rug or a pitcher of dried organic lavender can magically remind one of a novel ambiance.

shabby chic living room courtesy of coastalliving

Add a masculine touch. Moving-in with a partner can be a real challenge when it comes to interior decorating. A lot of disputes rise over who gets to dominate the space. Male partners may not enjoy living surrounded by glitzy accessories and rosy décor or sleep in a girly bed covered in flowery linens. Neutrals are a great solution to this eternal gender battle. A combination of cream and plum can covey a powerful masculine vibe, cozy and energizing in the same time. Simple, clear lines and bold colors are key elements in creating a masculine look.

plum cream living room courtesy of darlingstuff.net

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Apartment living, Design ideas, Urban living

 

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