Small Space Storage Solutions: Bathroom

A couple of weeks ago, we explored how to best utilize your kitchen storage. We heard from you that it was so useful — especially for those living in the NYC area — we decided to extend the organization to the next most chaotic room: the bathroom!

Let’s walk through all the main areas where clutter accumulates and how to fix it ASAP.  

Cabinets under the sink

Such a wide variety of things get stored in the bathroom (cleaning products, shower supplies, makeup . . . ) it can pile up fast, and the last thing your morning scramble needs is more chaos.  Try an expandable shelf to keep these items organized and separated for easy access.

Image via  Bed Bath & Beyond .

Medicine cabinet

Whether you’re sharing the bathroom with a roommate or significant other or even if you’re not, it’s nice to keep your products separated and categorized. From medicine bottles and oral hygiene products to makeup and nail polishes, these acrylic organizers with keep everything anchored in its place!


Some bathrooms seemingly lack appropriate space for towel racks, causing you to use up valuable under-sink storage. There’s another way! Try a wall-mounted rack for inside the shower. The best part is that your towel will be easily accessible before stepping out.

Image via  Wayfair .

Image via Wayfair.

Additional storage

When under the sink is already overflowing, you need reinforcements. Take advantage of oft-neglected height and try an over-the-toilet storage system. It’s perfect for storing extra toilet paper or towels.


Are there any bathroom storage solutions you love? Share it with us here or on our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

Q&A with AID owner, Betsy Helmuth!

Every now and again, we like to check in with our team members and take a deeper dive into their passion, process, and direction. This week we caught up with AID owner, and our favorite source of inspiration, Betsy Helmuth.

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You care a lot about making exceptional home design accessible to all. Why is this so important to you?

It's really important to me to share my tips and make the world of interior design completely transparent, because I feel for too long the field has been somewhat elitist. It has been something that is only accessible for people who are wealthy — people who can afford to hire an interior designer — and yet everyone should live in a home that they're proud of.

Now, more than ever, there are beautiful items on the retail market. You can buy furniture and accessories that look just as good as what you would find in high-end boutiques. That was not the case 20 years ago. The landscape has totally changed.

Interior design can be accessible. People are very interested, but so many of them just don't know the rules. I personally do not feel you need a designer. Anyone who knows a few simple rules can have a well-appointed home.


I look to my clients. I have them fill out a questionnaire ahead of time so that I can clearly understand their style preferences but also understand the challenges that they're facing. Then I ask them questions about the answers that they've given. I want to know what the problems are and what they like.

I’ve used the metaphor of a painter who is painting a still life. When you're painting a vase of flowers and you're feeling uninspired, all you need to do is look back at that vase of flowers — look more deeply at the rose petals. Look for that shine on that side of the vase. The inspiration is there!  Just look more closely.

That's exactly what I do with my clients when I'm feeling uninspired or when I don't know what to choose. I just go more deeply into their questionnaire, looking at their answers, understanding what they've told me and who they are.


What do you do when you are faced with an empty room?

I always begin with one question: What do you want to do in this room? What are the functions that this room needs to perform? Form should always follow function.


Is there a design rule that you always follow?

The design rule I always follow is that I do not mix warm and cool metals.  Cool metals are nickels, silvers, pewters, chromes. Warm metals are coppers, golds, brasses. I don’t use them both in one room. I stick to only cool or only warm.  

The only other metals that I will mix with them are black metals or wrought irons. I happily mix black or wrought iron metals with both cool metals and warm metals.


What is your favorite room to design?

In the city, my favorite room to design is a studio apartment. I love designing studio apartments because they have so many functions to perform. You have to be strategic. You have to think more critically. You can't just have pretty things for the sake of having things. And I really love the challenge in that. Not to mention the fact that I lived in seven studio apartments over the course of my life, ranging from 150 square feet all the way to 500 square feet. And each one had its challenges and opportunities.

In the suburbs, I love to design living rooms because they can really be impressive showpieces that reflect a client’s personality.


Have more questions for Betsy? Share it with us here or on our Facebook page!

© Affordable Interior Design

Small Space Storage Solutions: Kitchen

Whether you’ve already built your dream kitchen or are just trying to make the best of what you have, it’s rare to have enough storage space. Clever and efficient storage solutions are key! Having a designated home for every kitchen appliance and grouping like food items together will not only save you a lot of time, it will make using your kitchen so much more pleasant. And we have a few tools to help you do just that.

Photo via  Imagine it Done .

Photo via Imagine it Done.


The pantry is where you store lots of small items — spices, oats, cereal, canned food, pastas —  you name it! If not properly organized, it’s easy for them to become a cluttered mess. You end constantly buying items again while the ones you originally purchased lay on the bottom of a pile, inching towards their expiration dates! But if you compartmentalize each food group into bins or racks, you’ll have easy access to whatever you need.

Image via  Home Depot .

Image via Home Depot.

Lower Cabinet

There are many ways to go about creating a system for your lower cabinets; depending on what you need the space for. You can install pull-out drawers, attach small racks on the inner door, or you can add shelves (which will talk about in the next point) for organized division. Pick the tool to make the space work for you.

Image via  Bed Bath & Beyond .

Upper Cabinet

Most kitchen cabinets have very high shelves, and people ending up stacking different types of items to make the most of the space. But it’s super annoying to have to lift up a whole stack of small plates just to reach one large one. A shelf system can help you keep different items separate, so you can just reach for what you need. Plus, they can be super affordable!

Image via  Bed Bath & Beyond .


We’ve all been there — you spend forever rummaging through the drawer in search of a specific tool and your reward for finding it is not being able to open the drawer again because the reshuffled contents made the drawer stick. There’s a better way! A drawer separator can contain some of the chaos by grouping like utensils together.


Are there any kitchen storage solutions you love most? Share it with us here or on  our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

Iconic Designs for So Much Less

Are you a sucker for great design? Dreaming of one day buying yourself a classic Eames chair or Roll & Hill light fixture? Well you definitely don’t have to dip into your savings or wait a decade to get the look! We’ve collected a few iconic designs for you at much more modest price points.

When you see the replicas alongside the original designer’s work, you’ll be amazed at how similar they look!  

Shell  Chair

Known as “the smiling chair”, this masterpiece was designed by Hans J. Wegner to be attractive from all angles. But it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. If you are crushing on this joyous chair, you can find it on Houzz for only $232.99!

Grasshopper Floor Lamp

Doesn’t this lamp remind you of a modern day Pixar light? It’s perfect to set behind an armchair as a reading light. Designed by Greta Grossman, this slim and angular floor lamp retails for just above $1,000.00. But the Article option will equally elevate your space for just $149.00!     

Saarinen Round Dining Table

You’ve seen variations of this classic modern table at most retail and online furniture stores, and there’s a good reason. It’s beloved for the simplicity and function of its design. The original piece from Knoll ranges in price from $3,000.00 to $9,000.00. Good thing Target has one just like it for $379.99!

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

The famous Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman dates back to the 1950’s and still remains one of the most popular design pieces ever. Offering the best in comfort and functionality, you may have a hard time getting out of this chair but not finding copycat versions. Check out the replicas on Houzz for just $799. That’s a major savings compared to the original, priced at $6,000.00!  

Modo Chandelier

When a newer high-end lighting company, Roll & Hill, came out with with this globe chandelier, its popularity skyrocketed. Unfortunately the price was also through the roof; this 10-globe version will set you back $4,100.00! If that’s beyond your budget, hop onto Overstock and you’ll find a comparable option at $182.99 that looks so good, it’ll leave your guests guessing.   

Do you have a favorite furniture designer? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

Chic Accent Chairs Under $200

You’ve just splurged on the perfect sofa and couldn’t be happier about how it looks. But it also ate up most of your budget. Now you’re scratching your head, wondering if you can find an affordable accent chair without jeopardizing the style of your interior design. Don’t panic -- we’ve collected a few accent chairs that are both chic and affordable!

Image via  Target .

Image via Target.

Making us Blush

This armchair from Target has us swooning. The soft color and curved arm detailing add a feminine touch to a mid-century or transitional look. And at just $144.99, it’s enough to make you blush (and rush to order it before it sells out).  

Image via  Hayneedle .

Image via Hayneedle.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Need a pop of color in an otherwise neutral room? An armchair is a low-risk way to get it, and this Hayneedle one fits the bill. It’s sleek, bold, and affordable at $140.98. It would even make for a super cool dining chair option! 

Image via  Wayfair .

Image via Wayfair.

Winged Out

This chair from Wayfair is the epitome of cozy class for the affordable price of $184.99. Perfect for the corner of a bedroom, living or family room, it has us dreaming of curling up and reading a book while enveloped in its wings.

Image via  Anthropologie .

Image via Anthropologie.

Wood-a Deal!

Love mixing and matching textures? Looking for a space-conscious chair that is also attractive? This wooden one from Anthropologie would be a great addition to an eclectic home at just $98. You can even carry it over to the the dining table to add an extra seat!   

Image via  Walmart .

Image via Walmart.

Extra Padding

Sometimes when you curl up to watch a movie or read a book,  you just want a little extra padding. This chair from Walmart sure doesn’t lack it, and at $189.99, your wallet won’t either. The light tones of both the fabric and the wood would blend really nicely in a Scandinavian style home.

Do you have a favorite bargain store at the moment? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

Stylish Sconces Under $100

You saved the splurges for some of the big furniture pieces in your home, but you know the devil of design is in the details. The pendant lighting that’s so on trend, that gold-rimmed mirror that adds the perfect amount of glam, the hard-lined chrome side table that brings a totally modern vibe. It’s just these details that create a room’s aesthetic. But where to begin?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on affordable finishing touches that elevate your space’s style.

We’re kicking things off this week with wall sconces! Wall sconces are a great way to add additional accent, direction, or task lighting to a room. Here are a few that we love at a completely attainable price!

Image via  CB2

Image via CB2

Go Minimal

If you’re a sucker for interior spaces with black details, CB2 has a sconce that is just right for you! This little ball of light has a sleek, minimal design that would look just as a great on a painted wall as it would on exposed brick. At just $59 per sconce, what’s not to like?

Image via  Wayfair .

Image via Wayfair.

Country Chic

These simple, metal wall sconces are so versatile, they’d work almost anywhere, from bedside lighting to an entryway accent. They’re just the right style for an industrial look or a country home. Love those rustic vibes!  

Image via  West Elm .

Image via West Elm.

Stay Transitional

West Elm has a beautiful shaded sconce for only $79 that will capture the hearts of both transitional and mid-century modern enthusiasts. With black and bronze detailing and a large round canopy, it’s perfect for bedside lighting or alongside a piece of art.

Image via  High Fashion Home .

Go Glam

Love feminine touches? This trendy, blush wall sconce is a great way to add some color and a whole lot of style! At just $78, it’s modern appeal matches the allure of its affordability. The best part? All you have to do is plug it in!  

Image via  Target .

Image via Target.

Glass Globe

We’ve been big fans of Target’s home accents for a few years now, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be disappointed anytime soon. With a little brass and a clear glass globe, you’ve got modern charm for just $61.99.

© Affordable Interior Design

Our Favorite Of-The-Moment Paint Colors

Paint is such a foundational element in any room -- it’s the backdrop for all of your interior decor! It’s amazing how a small difference in shade can make a big difference in the style and feel of your space. The good news is, with new colors coming out every season, there’s always something new to try. But we also know that can be overwhelming. So we thought we’d give you some inspiration to start.

We polled our designers to find out their current go-to hues. As we’ve mentioned, we only use Benjamin Moore paint, so all the colors and photos here are via Benjamin Moore.


Designer Allison’s go-to paint color is Witching Hour 2120-30. She especially loves to use it for window trims to create a nice contrast in the room and make everything else stand out.


Angela admires Admiral Blue 2065-10. It’s a strong color but still firmly planted in the realm of traditional or transitional styles. Angela puts it to use in both interiors and exteriors.  “For exteriors, I would use it on the front door, and on the walls for an interior space, preferably the living room/family room,” she says.


New York-based designer Ashley is on trend! Her pick is also Benjamin Moore’s color of the month, Metropolitan AF-690. Her favorite place for this fun shade of grey? The bathroom!

Blue Fescue Q6 is DC-designer Bita’s pick. “This color can be used as an accent in the bedroom or living room, giving more dimension and depth,” she tells us.


Jeanie is “Head Over Heels” for Benjamin Moore AF-250.  She suggests using the paint color for a sophisticated living room. She especially loves the contrast when it’s accented by black wood furniture. So chic!


New Yorker Paulina is totally crushing on Pale Oak OC-20 right now. This light taupe lets you enjoy the airiness of a lighter color, but with an added subtle warmth. It’s just the right amount of livable elegance.  

Stephanie’s a big fan of Hale Navy HC-154. From exterior doors and shutters to interior walls and built-ins, this shade adds excitement to a room while still acting as a neutral.


Do you have a favorite Benjamin Moore color at the moment? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!

© Affordable Interior Design

Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall

If you’re a feng shui fan like us, you might already know that gallery walls are thought to have beneficial properties. They soften up a space and promote positive energy — who doesn’t want that? Or maybe you just like the way they look. But it’s also very common for even talented interior designers to feel intimidated by the process of putting together that perfect collage. From curating a varied, yet cohesive, set of pieces to selecting the right frames and deciding on the ultimate placement, it takes a lot to get it right. But with our tips and tricks, this can be fun DIY.


The art of selecting art.

The foundation of the gallery wall, the artwork is the most important step. If you’re going for an organic look, try mixing a combination of new pieces and vintage finds. Flea markets are one of our favorite sources for affordable treasures. Pick a uniform colorway or tone to maintain a sense of cohesion on the wall. If you’re going for a more modern look, it’s best to choose prints from the same collection.

Image via  All Home Decor

Image via All Home Decor

Anchor your frames.

For vintage pieces or an eclectic look, try mixing and matching your frames. Traditional metal, modern wood, or a color frame that matches a primary print color — anything goes. Going for a modern aesthetic? Stick with one uniform choice throughout, such as a thin black frame.

Make a game plan.

Your art is all framed and ready to go. Now it’s time to arrange your perfect collection! The most efficient way to do this is to measure out the hanging space on the floor and test out your pieces in different configurations. Once you have settled on the perfect spacing and placement, you’re ready to bring your masterpiece to the wall.

Keep the spacing uniform.

Here’s a little trick from the books: blue painter’s tape is your best friend. Use it to space out your frames evenly and mark where to place the nails. It’s sticky guidance that won’t leave you (or your wall) feeling blue.

Start from the bottom.

You want the center of the gallery to be at eye level or about 5’7”. If the whole picture is too high, everyone will have to crane their necks to see it. Too low, and you have the reverse problem. The trick to getting it just right is to start by hanging the print at the very bottom and building up and around from there. This will also allow you to accurately space out the distance between the gallery and the closest piece of furniture, which should be between 8”-12”.  


Now you’re ready to get your hang on! Do you have a gallery wall you are proud of? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

6 Steps to the Perfect Paint Color

Buying paint is one of the more affordable aspects of interior design, but the actual painting of a room is time consuming and can be costly.  It’s a process you don’t want to have to repeat often, hopefully only every 7-10 years. That means there’s a lot at stake when choosing your color.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting it right the first time, every time.

Step 1: Pick the color you think is going to be perfect.

Scroll through paint chips.  Flip through a paint fan. Google top colors for each type of room.  

Then from all those choices, pick the one that looks perfect.* But don’t stop there . . .  

*If you’re really having trouble finding a color you know you can live with, check out Benjamin Moore’s Historical Colors. They offer a deeper, richer and more sophisticated set of colors — you won’t go wrong with one of these beauties. We use Benjamin Moore paints exclusively because the quality is great, they have lovely options, and their line is readily available most everywhere.


Step 2:  Pick your comparison(s).

You need a point of comparison to determine whether the color you’ve selected really is prefect. It’s especially important since the lighting in each room varies and it might turn out that you need a lighter (or darker) color than you thought.

Pick a runner-up, or if that feels like too much, pick a shade lighter or darker than your perfect color (or both!).  But whatever you do, don’t sample more than three colors, or you’ll open Pandora’s box. Going “paint crazy” is a real thing. There are so many options, you can easily go mad. In case of paint paralysis, check out our Historical Color note above.


Step 3:   Prep for sampling.

Purchase sample pots of paint. The paint stickers, chips, and swatches can be a big help. But different wall textures absorb and reflect paint differently. There is no substitute for actually applying the paint to the surface to get a true sense of what the color will ultimately look like.  

You’ll need to sample the paints on two (yes two) walls in each room to be painted. You want to see how the color looks with lots of sunlight and without, so be sure to choose one wall that gets direct sun and another that doesn’t.


Step 4:   Start with white.

Painting samples over an existing color is not going to give you a true sense of how the color will look on the wall. You need pure white space around each sample so you can “read” the color against a neutral backdrop.

If the wall isn’t already stark white, buy a can of white primer and create a 3’ primed square for each sample. Allow it to dry.


Step 5:    Paint a sample swath of each color directly on the walls.

Paint 18”-24” squares of each color inside each of the primed areas. It’s a good idea to paint the squares in alphabetical order of the paint names, so you can remember which color is which. Apply one coat. Allow it to dry. Apply the second coat, and allow it to dry.

As it dries, the paint’s color will change, so be sure to wait a full 1-2 hours after the second coat has been applied before committing to a color. It’s also important to make sure you see the color during the day time and after the sun goes down. Finally, keep in mind that a small sample will appear darker than the color will look when painted all over.


Step 6:   Choose the winner!

Be bold.  Paint fearlessly knowing that you have done your paint due diligence.


And don’t forget to email us “after” pics or share with us on our Facebook page!  

We can’t wait to see what color you chose!

© Affordable Interior Design

The Hottest Design Trends, Part II

At the start of each new year, we expend a good amount of energy trying to better ourselves. Some of our resolutions are mainstays, showing up on our list year after year. Some build on our successes, as we aim to take our wins to the next level. And finally a select few involve a little bit of risk taking.

It’s no different in the world of interior design. Some styles followed us into the new year, some were tweaked just a little, and then there's some bold fresh ideas ready for us to try out — if we dare!  

Image via  Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor

Vintage Lighting

What’s old is new again! Vintage styles have been all the rage over the last few years in everything from clothing to furniture. This year, it’s all about old-school versions of lighting design. And when we say vintage, we’re not just talking mid-century modern. Everything from art deco to minimalist bulbs is making a comeback. So while you’re busy Marie Kondo-ing your home, be sure to spare grandma’s old light fixture from the purge.

Image via  Living Etc.

Image via Living Etc.

Fantastic Florals

Delicate flowers are getting a bold new treatment. Whether on upholstery or wall coverings, you’ll be seeing dramatic florals blossoming in all kinds of interiors. When done right, floral prints are a beautiful addition almost anywhere in your home, from the dining room to the powder room. It may add just the pop of color and personality your decor needed.

Image via  Living Etc.

Image via Living Etc.

Bold Backsplashes

Farewell to all-white kitchens! Last year, the mid-century modern trend brought some woods into the kitchen. This year, the backsplash game is on! So good news if you went with the monochromatic kitchen fad — you can get back on trend without a full reno. Just incorporate a funky backsplash to all that white and your kitchen will be transformed (and at minimal cost)!

Image via  Decor Aid

Image via Decor Aid

The Return of Boho

For some, the boho look never really left, but this year, it’s not up for debate. Boho is primed to dominate the design world. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate this laid back, whimsical vibe to your decor, simply switch out your rug, add some mix-and-match throw pillows, and you’ve got yourself the colorful abode that will keep you looking on point!

Are there more trends on you radar for 2019?  Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design

The Hottest Design Trends, Part I

If you thought 2018 was an exciting year with all the velvet, jewel tones, and curved sofas, then 2019 will not disappoint. In terms of design, all roads are continuing to point to an eclectic, looser style. From vintage pieces and warmer colors to worn metals and exciting prints, we’re seeing unexpected designs come to life. Here are a few that are really inspiring!

Image via  CB2

Image via CB2

Canopy beds

No more low, minimal platform beds! Inspired by the world of hospitality, designers are helping us bring that lush, giant hotel bed home. Maybe it’s the additional security that comes with a four-poster, but we’re feeling comfort on a whole new level.

Image via  Forbes

Image via Forbes

Earth tones

We’ve already seen a lot of earth tones in mid-century pieces, but in 2019 they’ll be expanding to all decor styles and pushing everything else aside. So long cool grays! From the sandy beige tones to the burnt oranges, we’re feeling pretty groovy.


Yes, we are still hot for velvet! This plush fabric has been, and continues to be, oh so popular for everything from throw pillows and blankets to sofas and chairs. Kill two trends with one touch by trying a velvet piece in a trendy jewel tone for a dramatically luxe look!

Image via  Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor

Low pile rugs

What’s not to like about a low pile rug? The flat weave allows for easy clean up, clears the door, and doesn’t get marked up from the furniture. And you can rest easy knowing these rugs are mostly made from natural fibers. No more knotted shag rugs capturing all that unwanted bacteria!   

These are just a few of the trends we’re looking forward to experimenting with in 2019, but we’ve got a bunch more. Check back next week for Part II. And don’t forget to let us know which ones you’re most excited about!  Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!

© Affordable Interior Design



4 New Year’s Resolutions for your Home Decor

Go to the gym four times a week. Eat healthier. Get more sleep. Similar lists are created and recreated by the best of us year after year. Maybe it’s time to change it up a little. Have you stopped to consider the impact your living environment is having on your mental health?

If you have a buildup of clutter that makes it hard to get out the door in the morning, are afraid to step into your home office for fear of knocking over your paperwork, or are always putting off hosting friends, it’s time to add your home to your list of resolutions.

The good news is that small touches can make an immediate impact, helping you chip away at your goals and build confidence in your interiors.  

Image via  Crate and Barrel .

Image via Crate and Barrel.

Get organized.

Meet your new best friends — storage bins! This affordable organizing tool not only hides all of your clutter, but when you put a few similar ones together, it adds a sense of cohesiveness to your space. We love these wicker bins from Crate and Barrel for a transitional space, but with all the inventory out there, you’re sure to find one that pleases any aesthetic. Don’t forget to think of other places where a decorative element can do double duty as an organizer, such as a tray on your coffee table to corral those coasters or a bowl on your console table to store your keys.

Image via  West Elm .

Image via West Elm.

Streamline your space.

Do you walk into your home at the end of a long day only to feel like it’s cacophonous rather than soothing? Too many colors? Too much clutter? Too many furniture styles? It’s time to minimize. A good place to start is by eliminating some of the extraneous color in the space. A pop of color is one thing (which we love), but too much competition just leads to overwhelm. Swap out those loud throw pillows or the decorative accessories in different shades. And while you’re at it, declutter the surfaces — bookshelves, counters, tabletops. Your home will instantly feel more inviting!

Image via  CB2 .

Image via CB2.

Make small swaps.

If you’re bored of your decor scheme but aren’t quite ready for a complete overhaul, don’t underestimate the power of small changes. Replacing a tired comforter or purchasing a new rug in a fresh print can breathe new life into your space and have you feeling refreshed. If you’re up for something bigger, why not paint that accent wall you’ve been meaning to do since you moved in?  

Image via  HGTV .

Image via HGTV.

Prepare for entertaining.

A space does not have to be perfectly decorated to make a great setting for a gathering. A few quick and simple tricks can get a room up to the task in no time. Start by rearranging your furniture to be more oriented toward conversation. Bring seating closer together so people will face one another. If you have more time and want to accessorize, add in a couple of decorative items in a color (not a neutral) that is already present in your decor scheme. Finally, pick up a plant or a dramatic flower arrangement. Presto - your room is company-ready.

Let 2019 be the year you bring new energy into your home while sticking to your budget! Do you have other interesting resolutions we should know about? Share it with us here!

© Affordable Interior Design

5 Tips to Creating a Family-Friendly Home

Is the thought of crayon on the sofa or a knocked over vase keeping you from achieving your decor dreams? We understand. Between the little ones running around with various coloring instruments and the dog jumping all over the furniture, it’s no wonder redecorating gets put on the back burner “until the kids get a little older.” But you don’t have to sacrifice style to have a family-friendly space! We have just the tips to help you have your design and childproofing too. Try them out and we promise, you won’t be crying over spilled milk!  

Find a forgiving rug.

A great starting point is to find an attractive rug that is also forgiving! Steer clear of synthetic fabrics, as they tend to be pricey and difficult to clean. For a busy family home, we highly recommend natural fiber or wool rugs, — they’re not only durable, they come in large sizes at affordable prices. Additionally, be sure to choose a rug with a low pile, because the lower the pile, the less dirt the rug absorbs. And if it’s really a high-traffic area, opt for an indoor/outdoor rug, which are made to be resistant.

Image via  West Elm .

Image via West Elm.

Cut the corners.

We’ve all had close calls with those sharp coffee table edges! Sure, we can childproof them with the plastic stick-on corners, but they’re truly no match for a determined kid with a strong grip. Plus, they cramp our style. So avoid them altogether by choosing a round coffee table or an upholstered ottoman with a tray on top. You’ll alleviate your safety concerns and may even get a little extra storage. Now that’s an elegant solution.

Test the fabrics.

Beware: stores will often tell you what you want to hear. So if you’re in the market for a stain-proof sofa or chair, all of a sudden, virtually everything is a candidate. Don’t just trust — verify! Ask for a swatch (most online vendors will ship them for free), stain it and see for yourself if it comes out. After all, the proof is in the pudding (or grape juice).

Image via  Pinterest .

Image via Pinterest.

Create a play station.

Every kids wants to be a part of the action! They love to follow you around and deplore being relegated to a different room when the adults are all hanging out. In the spirit of, “If you can’t beat them, join them, create a corner for them in your primary living space that goes with the room’s aesthetics but is all theirs. It will contain the clutter and keep the kids occupied while the adults have their fun.  Plus, it will hopefully steer the kids away from the more expensive pieces.

Embrace seating of all sizes.

Another great way to consider your little ones in your interior décor plan is to give them seating of their own. A specially designated area by the sofa and coffee table — with a little lounge chair perhaps — will make them feel special AND keep them off the beautiful sofa!

Hopefully we’ve convinced you that, while you may need to make some compromises, you can decorate while the kids are still young! Do you have other great tips we should know about? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page.

© Affordable Interior Design

Last Minute Holiday Touches

It’s an old story. You’re so focused on all the gifts you need to purchase for others, you neglect the fact that you’re expecting 20 guests next week. But we know you still want your space to look picture perfect when everyone arrives. Have no fear! Our gift to you this week is a bunch of last-minute holiday decorating ideas that are as easy as they are affordable!

Image via  Midwest Living

Image via Midwest Living

Branch Out

Branch out by bringing the outdoors in. Add branches to vases, spread them across your dining table, or simply top your mantel with overflowing evergreens. The best part about this DIY is there’s no wrong way to do it! Plus you get that wonderful outdoorsy scent in your entertaining space.

Image via  HGTV

Image via HGTV

Origami Fun

Do you find yourself folding up scraps of paper or napkins into various forms at the dinner table? I know we do! Make your habits work for your decor by creating cute little decorative objects for your table, mantel, or entry table. Love these different sized trees from HGTV!

Image via  HGTV

Image via HGTV

Make a “Greenman”

If you live further south, or Mother Nature has left you without the white stuff this season, you can still create a snowman using different-sized wreaths. Dress your “greenman” up and he’ll serve as a handsome greeter for your guests!

Personalized Ornaments

Whether you use a photo or a quote, personalized ornaments add a fun and sentimental touch for family and friends. You can even get playful about it and turn your Christmas tree into a vintage-style family tree!  If you’re as into this idea as we are, here’s a tutorial to get you started.

Image via  Woo Home

Image via Woo Home

 Edible vase

Who doesn’t love flowers during the holidays? Add touch of whimsy to the traditional arrangement by  using a vase that doubles as a goodie bag. It’s perfect for an entry table — each guest can take a candy as a little treat when they leave! How cute is that?!

Image via  Midwest Living

Image via Midwest Living

Festive Fairy Tale Forest 

If you’ve already hopped on the succulent bowl bandwagon, we have an easy holiday update for you. Just add a little glitz and colorful trees to your existing plants, and you’ll have a fairy tale forest come to life. Take it to the next level by including miniature reindeer and sparkles of faux snow!

We hope these ideas for special touches help make your holiday decor feel a little more inspired. Creating a unique, affordable, and easy decor element of your own? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!


© Affordable Interior Design


Designer Picks for Holiday Gifts

Still looking for the perfect gift for your family and friends? Let us alleviate some of that shopping stress! We asked our designers to share their holiday wish list to give you some great ideas. Here are their faves.  

Jeanie: Canvas Pop 

Don’t let your favorite images languish on your phone. Canvas Pop turns your photos & artwork into beautiful framed canvases. And as an added bonus, they often have a 50% off promotion!

Allison: The Dyson V6

Clunky vacuum cleaners be gone! The Dyson V6 is as sleek as it is effective so you can do your cleaning in style.

Rose: Byrd & Belle Laptop Sleeve

The Byrd & Belle laptop case is durable, functional, and beautiful! It comes in a variety of colors to suit your taste.  We’re partial to the cool grey.  

Angela: FIXD

No more questionable charges from the mechanics! FIXD tells you what’s really wrong with your car, so you can be a more informed customer.

Ashley: Homebody

For the creative giftee who loves to DIY — Joanna Gaines has a new book out right on time! There’s something for everyone in Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave!

Stephanie: Leatherology Phone Case 

Stylish and affordable, Leatherology offers a personalized touch with their monogrammable phone cases. So many great colors and fonts to choose from!

Paulina: Facial Rollers

It's no wonder facial rollers are such a big trend this year. The crystals are used to promote youthful skin AND they look great in the bathroom!

Planning a great gift? Or planning on receiving one? Share it with us here or on our our Facebook page!

© Affordable Interior Design

Styling Your Coffee Table

It’s that time of year when many of our clients are doing more entertaining in their homes or even hosting out-of-town guests for the holidays. You’re cleaning up, reorganizing, and doing all the little things it takes to make your space feel inviting. But when you get to those final decorating touches, you might actually find yourself spending way too much time time accessorizing your coffee table. That’s because getting the balance just right can be a process of trial and error. But we are here to guide you through with some helpful tips!

Image via  Joss and Main

Image via Joss and Main

Embrace different heights.

Create levels of interest. Not all items need to be the same height or size. This rule doesn’t just apply to coffee table decor; it’s a basic interior design principle to create balance and harmony throughout any space. For those of you with a green thumb, plants and flowers are a great way to add a little height. If plants aren’t for you, try a candle, lantern, or tall sculpture!  

Image via  Studio McGee

Image via Studio McGee

3 is company, 4 is a crowd.

Interior designers will sometimes use this expression as a rule of thumb to avoid cluttering the space with too much. Whether you choose to style your table with 3 individual items or 3 groups of accessories, the rule of 3 is a great balancing technique. It’s also a helpful reminder for those with a tendency toward over-accessorizing. Take some of those decorative items off the table and share them with the rest of your home!

Image via  Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor

Put your collection on display.

As they say, the exception makes the rule. When you play your cards right, overcrowding can fit right in. This works best for someone with both a fairly extensive collection of one item, such as coffee table books, and a larger table. The image above is a great example from Elle Decor. We love how the books are stacked and a couple of trinkets serve as the finishing touches.

Image via  Noteworthy Mag

Image via Noteworthy Mag

Stay anchored.

For those of you who crave organization, a tray is great way to anchor all of those decorative accents and keep them in place. Get frustrated when your kids leave the remote controls scattered on the table? Want to free up some space on the table? Trays will also solve those problems!

Ready to show off your coffee table styling skills?  Post a photo here or on our Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

© Affordable Interior Design

2018 Holiday Tree Trends

‘Tis the season! Thanksgiving is a wrap, which means it’s time to bring out the tree (if you haven’t already)! If you’re feeling a little extra creative this season and want to try something new, why not experiment with your decorations?  

Check out our guide to different interior design styles and how you can bring them to life on your tree!  Then gather the troops and get decorating.

Rustic Chic

Achieving a rustic chic look is all about mixing textures and materials, like with this tree featured in Elle Decor. Wooden bows and the check-patterned garland bring the rustic elements, while a velvet bow and glossy white accents bring the chic.

Image via    Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor


Not only are we crushing on the interior design in this Scandinavian home, but how cute is the wicker basket serving as a tree skirt? The key to this look is using a natural yet unexpected object to replace the traditional tree skirt, while keeping the add-ons to a minimum. For a more modern take, try using a large glass vase or up the hygge factor and dress the base of the tree in a blanket.

Modern Minimalist

Love a super modern look? How about a treeless tree? (No, we’re not kidding.) In this holiday trend, LED lights act as the tree branches supporting the translucent ornaments. But maybe only go for this one if you’re a true minimalist!

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern decor has taken the interior design industry by storm, and we’re not complaining! Those neon and retro colors add just the right amount of nostalgia to your holiday decorations. To rock a red tree (or purple or orange), grab a bottle of spray paint and get to work or seek out an aluminum tree in the color of your choice — whatever suits your fancy!

Image via    Overstock

Image via Overstock

Now it’s your turn! Show us your holiday decor. Post it here or on our Facebook page.

© Affordable Interior Design

The Dos and Don'ts of Styling a Narrow Hallway

Loyal listeners of the Big Design, Small Budget podcast may already be experts at styling a narrow hallway. But for those who don’t listen (what are you waiting for?!), we’ll fill you in on all the tips you need to make the most of a long and narrow space.

First take the chicken test.

Most people assume that a narrow hallway is the perfect spot for a gallery wall or artwork in general. But sometimes it’s actually not ideal! To figure out whether it will work, follow Betsy’s “Chicken Test”: stand in the hallway, place your thumbs under your armpits to form chicken wings and spread them out! If you have plenty of room to do the chicken dance, hang all the art you want! But if your wings touch — or come very close to touching — the walls on either side, forget the artwork, lest you end up bumping into your perfectly hung prints each time you pass by. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other options to add visual interest to your hallway.

Lay down a runner.

A long runner is a great way to fill the space and can do the job of bringing in color, which the artwork would otherwise have done.  Leaving a 3” border of floor space on either side of the runner has the additional benefit of making the hallway seem wider than it actually is.

Add architectural details, such as wainscoting.

Wainscoting is not the simplest fix, but if you can swing it, it’s a fabulous way to break up the wall, giving it character. It’s also a lovely finishing touch for a traditional, transitional, or eclectic home.

Make mirrors work, if you can.

Mirrors are an easy way to make a space feel bigger (or wider). While we wouldn’t suggest framed mirrors in a hallway that didn’t pass the chicken test, you can take advantage of existing wainscoting or paneling to inset the mirrors.

Focus on the end of the hallway.

When facing a narrow hallway, your eye naturally goes toward the end of the hall, so why not take advantage of that focal point? Hang a large piece of art in the center of an opposing wall; place an attractive accent chair in the corner accompanied by a piece of art; or paint the wall a contrasting color.

Do you have more questions about long, narrow hallways or anything else? Leave a comment below! And don’t forget to tune into our podcast!

© Affordable Interior Design

Do You Have a Thanksgiving Game Plan?

We know that Thanksgiving can really sneak up on you, especially when you’re hosting.  Suddenly you find yourself a lot to do, and very limited time to prepare for your guests. If you’re doing most of the meal planning and cooking, it’s easy for the decorations to fall by the wayside. But don’t fret, we’re here for you so you can set just the right tone for a celebratory day.  

Here are a few of our easy and affordable Thanksgiving decorating hacks.

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Bring the outdoors inside

The fall is one of the prettiest times of the year. If you are from the north, you are surrounded by so much beautiful foliage. There are many ways to incorporate nature into your decor! Place colorful fallen leaves in mason jars, trim a few branches off of your evergreen, and bring in the fallen acorns or pine cones.

You can incorporate these items on your living room mantel or scatter them on your dining room table. It’s a great way to get creative!  

Use your food as decor

One of my favorite ways to use food as decor is by layering nuts in different-sized glass vases or candle holders, like The Food Network did in this image. It’s a simple way to bring color into your space and perfect for your coffee or side table decor. Bonus: it will keep your guests from getting hangry!

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Warm up with candles

When you are expecting guests — especially when the weather starts to drop — candles can bring a lot of hygge into any room. Not only do candles contribute natural light, but they’re a great way to maintain a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

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Make a message board

What better way to bring a family (or your friends) together than by giving them a visual representation? There are so many creative ways to make use of a message board. One of our favorites is taking a polaroid of each guest throughout the day and having them write what they are thankful for on the back. By the end of the night all of the polaroids will be pinned on the bulletin board, available for everyone to see as they leave!

Placement cards

A table is not complete on Thanksgiving without placement cards! The options for creativity are endless, and your guests will appreciate the personalized touch. This article in Country Living has some great ideas for DIY placement card ideas. Our favorite is the pine cone card holder, which brings us full circle to where we started — bringing the outdoors inside!

If you try one of these hacks, we’d love to see it! Snap a pic and post it here or on our Facebook page.

© Affordable Interior Design