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.


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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


Scandinavian

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







THE BEST GREEN PAINT COLORS FROM BENJAMIN MOORE

Choosing just the right color is imperative as greens that aren’t found in nature can feel uncomfortable and “off.” Stick with these shades:

  • Hancock Green, HC-117—If you are looking for a real green, this is an unapologetic yet inoffensive choice.
  • Aganthus Green, 472—My clients are constantly seeking a sage that isn’t too bright or too drab. This is the winner time and time again.
  • Gray Cashmere, 2138-60—Subtle like a newly sprouted bud, my favorite greens whisper rather than shout from trees.
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THE BEST ORANGE PAINT COLORS FROM BENJAMIN MOORE

Deep orange is a tough color to choose and even tougher to live with for years and years. I prefer less vibrant shades like these:

  • Jumel Peachtone, HC-54—Peach’s perkiness is kept in check with this subdued shade.
  • Ansonia Peach, HC-52—This color reminds me of caramelized peaches in a cobbler. (Note to self: Don’t write when hungry.)
  • Soft Marigold, 160—It casts a bronzed, sunset-like glow on everything it touches. Skip your next spray tan. Just get naked in a room painted in this color.
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AID Across the Pond

Back in 2005, Affordable Interior Design was founded in New York City.  It was then that Betsy decided to bring high-end style and her budget sensibility to the Big Apple.

Designer Kelsey Surock has been working with us from those early days, and we’re happy to report that she now heads a division of Affordable Interior Design from one of our favorite places:  the UK! Our globetrotting Kelsey has an international background, having studied interior design in Copenhagen, designing for Giorgio Armani in New York, and now lives and works in London.

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