7 Home Organization Resolutions To Start 2019 Strong

home organization resolutions - office

Kick 2019 off right with these home organization resolutions. Image: Rookery Design

The new year is right around the corner, and you know what that means. It’s resolution time. Maybe you’re the type of person who makes about a hundred resolutions, or maybe you’ve decided to eschew the whole thing altogether because who actually keeps their resolutions, anyway? And we agree, resolutions are hard. Our resolve to hit the gym or eat right usually dissolves by February. But we’ve found some home organization resolutions can transform your whole year.

Tap into that January motivation to get your house in order and you’ll reap the benefits throughout 2019. We rounded up seven different home organization resolutions to get you started. Whether you tackle the whole list or choose the one that most speaks to you (and your home’s problem area), you’ll thank yourself. Here are seven ways to get to a cleaner, more beautiful home next year.

home organization resolutions

Tackle your junk drawer to motivate yourself for additional organization projects. Image: Pedini PDX

#1: Deal with your junk drawer

Finally cleaning out that junk drawer should be the first resolution you tackle. It’s a fairly manageable task, but the results are almost always impressive. Seeing your streamlined, de-junked drawer will give you the motivation you need to take on bigger home organization resolutions.

So let’s get started. First things first, take everything out. Yes, we mean everything. If you can take the drawer out entirely and turn it over on the counter, all the better. Wipe out the inside of the drawer. There, doesn’t that feel better? Now think about which items in the drawer you used in 2018. If they didn’t get used, they don’t go back in. Say goodbye to old rubber bands, those miscellaneous paper clips and that punch card for the place you haven’t been since 2016. When you’re ready to put things back into the drawer, use small organizational bins to keep things neat.

#2: Implement a filing system

Where do all your papers go? If you’re like most of us, they get distributed to a number of places (er, piles) throughout the house where they can be forgotten. Prohibit the pile! Buy a small file box and some hanging file folders you can label. Make categories as they come to you (e.g. bills, receipts, school papers), but leave some blank so you can continue expanding your system throughout the year. With a single, streamlined home for all of your papers, you can 1. Find any document you need at a moment’s notice and 2. Eliminate a big source of visual stress throughout your home.

home organization resolutions - pantry

Eat your way through your pantry to create space for better organization. Image: NEAT Method

#3: Clear out your pantry

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to save money, we’ve got a two-for-one option for you. Pick a week in January where you’re not going to buy any groceries. You and your family will eat only what’s in your pantry. Yes, it will probably mean eating a lot of rice and soup. But at the end of the week, you’ll be amazed how much space you’ve cleared out, how much money you saved and how full everyone’s bellies got from those long-forgotten canned goods. And now that you’ve made some space in your pantry, you have room to try out some high-end organization options, like glass jars and multi-level racks. Get your inspiration for a gorgeous pantry with these tips.

#4: Organize cords and miscellaneous electronics

How many nests of cords do you have shoved behind pieces of furniture? These tangled messes trap dirt and lint. It’s time to finally deal with them. Prep with a pack of zip ties and washi tape. Untangle the mess, zip tie the cords in a neat bundle and add a piece of washi tape at the base where the cord plugs into the power strip. On that tape, write the device to which the cord connects. That way, if you ever need to cut power to something specific, it’s a snap.

While you’re at it, deal with all those unused mystery cords that seem to accumulate. If you don’t know what the cord originally powered, tag it (your washi tape can work here, too) and set a calendar reminder to revisit the pile in June. Ditch anything that hasn’t revealed its use. Wrap up cords that do have a use – but that you don’t need at the moment – and put them in a cardboard toilet paper roll. Write the cord’s use on the outside of the roll. File the rolls upright in a box and – voilà – you’ve dealt with a major organization headache.

home organization resolutions - medicine cabinet

A cleared-out medicine cabinet leaves space for prettier accent pieces. Image: Daniel Contelmo Architects

#6: Toss expired medications

This one’s simple. Go into your medicine cabinet and throw out every medication that’s expired or no longer useful. Oh, half of your medicine cabinet is now cleared out? It just got that much easier to organize.

#7: Switch your hanger orientation

Look, we now that it can feel daunting to organize so many of the home’s problem areas in one go. So we won’t ask you to add your closet into the mix. But do yourself a simple favor and switch the orientation of your hangers so the necks face to the back of your closet. When you are ready to clean out your closet (hello, spring cleaning!), you’ll have a clear idea of what items of clothing you never wear because the hangers will still be the wrong way.

2019’s best home organization resolutions

Do you have a resolution you set every year to keep your home streamlined and beautiful? We’d love to hear your best home organization resolutions so we can whip our houses and apartments into shape in 2019. Let us know in the comments!

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2018 Design Trend Recap: The Year’s Most Daring Home Design Trends

It may be hard to believe, but it’s almost 2019. That’s why we’re taking this opportunity to pause and look back at the last year at Freshome. We explored a lot in 2018. But what really made its mark? Which daring trends reshaped our homes – and maybe even our lives? Which have enough staying power to survive into 2019 and beyond? Let’s find out as we walk through a brief 2018 design trend recap.

2018 design trend recap - color

A black accent wall? Why not! In 2018, there were no limits when it came to color. Image: AMR Design

With color, anything goes

Yes, neutrals are still – and will always be – important. But 2018 invited us to blow the lid off our preconceived notions about color theory and have some fun. Jewel tones started making their mark on the scene, inviting us to amp up the saturation and give our spaces a feel of richness. Previously off-limits colors were welcomed into our homes. Black even set itself apart as a decidedly trendy and luxurious color for walls, flooring and cabinetry. And as we expanded our color palettes, we also expanded the way we use color. Gone are the days of a single accent color. In 2018, layering multiple different accent hues helped a room shine.

And beyond simply choosing which colors to implement in your home, 2018 was a year to explore where you use those colors, too. Often forgotten spaces like the foyerceiling and front door got new leases on life thanks to the drive to add vibrant and interesting hues everywhere in the home.

Feeling overwhelmed by the overload of color options? Don’t worry. We have a guide on how to balance bold colors to help you out.

2018 design trend recap - maximalism

When putting together rooms this year, designers started agreeing that more is more. Image: Jonathan Adler

Maximalism starts making its mark

No 2018 design trend recap would be complete without taking a dip into maximalism. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that home design seems to be trending in the direction of more. We just talked about how we started making our foray into more color. We also went for more pattern and texture, like eye-catching or moody floral wallpapers, interesting kitchen backsplashes and colorful grout. Maximalism is all about filling a space with things you love and that bring you joy, and we jumped on that opportunity in 2018.

Out of all the different home changes we’re exploring in this 2018 design trend recap, we think maximalism is the one with the most staying power.

2018 design trend recap - lighting

Your lighting fixture could be the most interesting part of your room. Image: Poliform Australia

Eye-catching lighting sets the stage

Sure, our parents told us not to stare at the sun. But in 2018, it’s been hard not to stare at the light – at least, the lighting we brought into our homes. Gone are the days of boring, basic lighting that just gets the job done. This year, we took pendant lights from simple to really something. Suddenly, you could find them in architectural shapes and mixed textures hung in new and exciting configurations.

And we didn’t stop with pendants, either. This year, lots of designers and decorators took risks with unique and funky lighting. Even the humble string light got a major upgrade and expanded usage this year. Some of the trends might not survive past this 2018 design trend recap, but some – like abstract metal chandeliers – are surely just starting to enjoy their time in the, ahem, light.

2018 design trend recap - industrial

This year, we blended the clean lines of industrial style with the softness of nature for more comfortable spaces. Image: ALL & NXTHING

Natural and industrial blend

In 2018, we finally started finding ways to marry our innate craving for nature with our love of the sleek simplicity of industrial design. That was thanks, in large part, to the concrete craze. All of a sudden, we were pouring cement for our countertops, floors, mantels and more. As a key element in industrial design, concrete lends an inherent sleekness even as it mimics natural stone. With concrete in place, we had our canvas to bring other natural textures into our homes, like greenery walls and roughly-hewn wood.

We also looked to plant life to soften the edges of industrial and minimalist spaces. Potted plants are having a moment, but you’re not limited by open floor space. Hanging and wall mounted plants trended in a major way in 2018. We even added greenery to our roofs. This year, we blended natural and industrial. Looks like we finally figured out how to have our cake and eat it, too.

What trends were you surprised to see Freshome cover in 2018? Which ones would you have liked to learn more about? Which ones did we skip in this 2018 design trend recap? Let us know! We’re coming up on a new year and are excited to explore 2019’s design trends with you!

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Follow These 4 Tips To Successfully Move During Winter (And Make It As Pain-Free As Possible)

Making a move during winter isn’t exactly the most pleasant task, but sometimes it’s one that’s unavoidable.  No matter why you’re moving, it can be done. All it takes is a little extra planning and forethought.

With that in mind, we’ve brought you some of our best tips for how to move during winter. Read them over as you prepare for your big day. If you follow these tips, you should be able to complete your move without the weather getting in your way.

move during winter

Make a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Image: John Maniscalco Architecture

Plan around the weather

If you live in a seasonal climate, you know that winter storms can cause life to come to a grinding halt. The last thing that anyone wants is to have their already-stressful move delayed by inclement weather. However, unfortunately, it’s a distinct possibility when you move during winter. You need to have a plan in place so that you know what to do if it starts to snow.

If you’re hiring movers – which we highly recommend because heavy boxes and icy walkways are not a good mix – be sure to ask them what their procedures and policies are in case of a weather delay. If you’re moving on your own, have a backup moving day in mind in case your first one doesn’t work out. In either case, be sure to start earlier in the day since winter days are shorter and offer much less sunlight.


Take extra care when packing to protect your belongings from the cold. Image: Maple & Gray

Pack for cooler temperatures

In the summer months, packing for a move is as simple as placing your items in boxes with a little bit of padding and taping them shut. In the winter, however, the same packing process gets a little bit more complicated. You need to prepare for your items to be sitting out in cooler temperatures for hours on end and you need to contend with the possibility of wet weather.

Glass and porcelain items can break in the cold. Make sure you surround them with extra packing materials in order to keep them properly insulated. Electronics are particularly sensitive, as well. If possible, try to move them in their original packaging as those were made to handle transport. Then, once you get to your new home, move them in first to limit their time in the cold.

move during winter

Clear any pathways to the house for easy access. Image: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Prepare the outside of the house

Before the movers arrive, prepare the exterior of your home to ensure that they can access everything safely and easily. If it’s snowed recently, be sure to shovel your driveway, as well as the pathways to and from the house. If it’s been cold and icy, you may also want to put down some salt or kitty litter to reduce the risk of a fall.

Most importantly, don’t forget to do the same for your new house, too. You don’t want to slow down the moving process by having the movers arrive with your belongings only to be unable to access the house. An hour or so before they’re ready to leave, send someone over to your new property to get it ready for the unloading.


Protect your floors from people tracking in ice and snow. Image: Christoff and Sons Floor Covering Inc.

Protect the inside of the house

Though you’ll want to clean your new home as soon as you move in, there’s no reason to make the job harder for yourself by allowing your movers to track in mud, ice and snow. In this case, asking people to remove their shoes before entering your home is unrealistic. Your only other option is to take measures to protect the inside of your home.

Your best bet is to designate one room of your home as a drop-off area and disperse your belongings to the appropriate spots after everything has been unloaded. You can then protect the floor of the drop-off room with a disposable tarp. Just be sure to secure the edges to the floor with tape so that there aren’t any tripping accidents.

A move during winter requires some extra planning, but with these tips you can easily pull it off.

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12 Easy Ways to Rock an Open Floor Plan Layout

The open floor plan layout featuring a large open space and plenty of light is high on the wish list for home buyers and renters. But the open floor plan layout isn’t easy to pull together. It may lack warmth, intimacy and privacy if improperly laid out. It also might seem daunting to figure out how to arrange furniture with no defined areas.

It’s easier than you think to layout an open floor plan in a way that is stylish and functional. The first step is to imagine which zone will be your living, office, dining kitchen and bedroom area. Once you have a general idea of your zones, check out these gorgeous open floor plan spaces for 12 ways to rock an open floor plan layout.

Arrange your furniture away from the walls

open floor plan ideas and modern loft spaces

To make the best use of a large, open space, float your furnishings in the middle of the room. Use the wall area as the “hall” to move from one section to another. Image: Gaile Guevara

Create a “room” with an area rug

modern lofts and open floor plan furniture arrangement

When you’re dealing with a large, open floor plan, designating an area for dining, sitting or working can be confusing. Adding a large area rug as the landing spot for your living room arrangement or dining area creates a defined, visual room within an open space. Image: Moloney Architects

Repeat a favorite element in each open floor plan section

industrial lofts and open floor plan ideas and furniture for open floor plans

A successful open floor plan features several “rooms” that tie in with each other. To create a cohesive look, use a key element, like the brass light fixture over the dining table of this setting, repeated in the brass legs on the chair in the living area of this open space. Image: Kimberly Peck

Go with a cohesive color theme throughout

best open floor plans when decorating a modern loft

Paint the large open space in the same neutrals throughout, but choose an accent color that repeats in every section. In this gorgeous loft space, whites and greys are the neutral with various shades of seafoam blue as the accent color, repeated in the kitchen island base, sofa throw pillows and dining room wallpaper. Image: Blue Ladder Studio

It’s all about flow in an open floor plan

open floor plan layouts

Flow is defined as how one moves through a room both physically and visually. In Feng Shui, flow also includes the movement of energy like air and light in a space. To create flow in an open floor plan, allow for ease of movement througout the room. The most ideal flow for a space involves movement through the room in “s” shapes instead of in a straight line. Follow the path in this image from dining area to living space, fireplace and back around and you’ll see how you can meander through the room effortlessly. Image: Gaile Guevara

Address the floor and ceiling, too

Modern open floor plan rooms and lofts

To create an interesting and dynamic open floor plan, you’ve got to break up the large, empty-box effect. Anchor the floor for an intimate feeling by adding richly textured rugs or flooring in areas. Once the floor is addressed, look at how you can bring the ceiling down in certain areas for a more intimate section. A good way to do so without losing the large, open space feeling is by a large hanging pendant or group over your dining table, kitchen island or living room. Image: BW Architects

Decorate with multi-function furnishings

small lofts and open floor plan ideas

If you float your furniture away from the walls to maximize your space, make sure you choose furniture that can be accessed from all sides, like the floating island in this image that features a bookcase on one side. This adds functionality to your open loft space and if you’re dealing with a small studio size, expands your room. Image: Amitzi

Paint a focal wall in a rich, contrasting color for depth

decorating ideas for open floor plans and lofts

To warm up a large open floor plan and define your areas further, add a contrasting color wall. A good way to add a striking focal wall to an open loft includes wallpapering a section, painting a wall in a rich color or adding contrasting-color cabinets in the kitchen. Image: Kimberly Peck

Use round furnishings to soften an open floor plan

modern loft decorating ideas and open floor plan inspiration

Since most open floor plans are rectangular and feature angular elements, adding round furnishings and accessories breaks up all the sharp angles. This boxy modern loft was softened up with a round dining table, a round footstool or pouf, round side table and a large, arching floor lamp. Image: Homewings

Add a room divider for privacy

open floor plan room dividers

Being able to close off a section occasionally with a creative room divider adds function and intimacy to the large open loft space without permanently closing the open floor plan in. Check out more creative room divider ideas. Image: Allen-Kilcoyne

Decorate your open floor plan with modular or movable furnishings

open floor plan designs and loft living furniture ideas

The beauty of an open floor plan is that the space can be anything you want it to be. Don’t commit yourself permanently to a single layout. Choose lightweight furnishings, modular pieces that expand and separate and furniture on wheels that can be moved and changed around easily. Image: Destination Eichler

Break the open areas down further

open floor plans

When you set up your open loft into general spaces like a living area, dining area or kitchen, think about how you can break the space down further to maximize use. For example, this small kitchen’s island was placed perpendicular to the cabinets to divide the space into two zones – cooking area and eating/breakfast spot. Image: Chorazak Studio

When working with an open floor plan layout, visualize where you’ll place the most important zones of your space. Once you’ve decided where your living room, bedroom, dining and kitchen areas are, use these 12 open floor plan layout ideas to add maximum function and style to your modern loft space.

Want to see how you can take a small open box and turn it into a fabulous small and open floor plan? Check out the 10 tiny coolest studios we’ve seen.

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Winter Home Maintenance Checklist: 8 To-Dos Before Temperatures Drop

Winter is coming. Whether you live on the coast or in an area that gets blanketed in white for months of the year, it’s time to prep. Sure, your winter home maintenance checklist will look a little different depending on whether you’re braving temperatures of 10 below or just unpacking a few light sweaters. But even if you’re not facing ice and snow, the changing seasons are a great reminder to stay on top of the to-dos for your home or apartment.

We’ve put together this winter home maintenance checklist to help you get ready before temperatures drop. Tackle these eight tasks to be prepped for the changing weather.

winter home maintenance - heating system

Take the time to get your home’s heating system into top shape before you rely on it all winter. Image: Mihaly Slocombe

1. Check the heating system

How does your home stay warm? Whether you have a high-tech HVAC system or an old-school furnace, give it some love. Change out the air filter and test the igniter switch. If it’s been a while since a professional has serviced your system, there’s no time like the present.

If you have a fireplace that you use during the winter – whether for heat or just for the aesthetic – this is the time to have it cleaned. This is a must; the buildup in your fireplace is flammable and can pose a serious hazard.

winter home maintenance - pipes

Whether your pipes are exposed or not, make sure they won’t freeze this winter. Image: Urban Rebuilders

2. Prep pipes

A frozen pipe is a unique brand of terrible. Insulate your pipes to protect yourself against a water shortage or, worse yet, a major flood. Not only will this help keep them from freezing, it makes your home’s hot water system more efficient, saving you serious bucks throughout the year.

While you’re at it, disconnect hoses from their spigots so they don’t freeze in place. And, if you’re leaving town this winter, keep your thermostat at 55 degrees F or above. That way, the radiant heat from your house can keep water moving through your pipes.

winter home maintenance- windows

Check the seals around windows and doors to ensure that cold air stays out and warm air stays in. Image: Moloney Architects

3. Seal windows and doors

The hotter weather of the summer months can cause the seals around your windows to crack. You might not notice – or even mind – when the weather outside is temperate, but leaks and cracks can leave you facing a chilly home and higher heating bill during winter. As part of your winter home maintenance, feel around your home for any drafts. Recaulk or install weather stripping as needed to keep your home toasty during the months ahead.

winter home maintenance - fans

Keep your bedroom comfortable throughout the winter by flipping a switch on your fan. Image: Actual Size Projects

4. Switch ceiling fans

The simple flip of a switch can make your home more comfortable this winter. If you have ceiling fans, change their direction to clockwise. This pushes the warmer air that gathers near your ceiling down into the room. This simple swap is key in rooms where you run your fans even in the winter, e.g., if you use your fan for white noise to help you sleep.

winter home maintenance - carbon monoxide

You depend on your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors to protect your family. Make sure they’re up to the task. Image: StudioChevojon

5. Check batteries

During the cooler months, you’ll likely be running your heater and keeping your windows closed. This keeps your home warmer, but it also poses a danger. Any carbon monoxide leak can quickly become fatal. Before winter sets in, change out the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. It’s easy to get into the habit of making sure these key devices have fresh batteries by doing it every time you change the clocks for daylight saving time. (We “fall back” on Nov. 4 this year.)

winter home maintenance - trim trees

Keep tree limbs clear of windows so storms and heavy snow don’t knock any limbs into your home. Image: Splyce Design

6. Trim trees

Winter can mean storms. Whether it brings wind, rain or snow, you don’t want to be contending with any falling tree limbs. This fall, trim the trees around your house. Make sure no limbs are overhanging your roof or skimming your windows. While you’re at it, scan your property for any limbs that could pose a hazard if they become overladen with the weight of snow.

winter home maintenance - gutters

Unclogged gutters are crucial during the winter months. Image: Zone 4 Architects

7. Clear gutters

Cleaning your gutters is never fun, but it’s also never more important than before the winter months. On a stable ladder, clear out twigs, leaves and other debris. Then flush the gutter with a hose and watch as the water comes out of the downspout. A slow drain could be indicative of a clog. If you notice anything off, detach your downspout to clear it before winter comes.

winter home maintenance - patio

Don’t leave your patio furniture exposed to the elements during the colder weather ahead. Image: Entrada

8. Protect patio furniture

You’ll likely be using your patio less during the chilly season ahead, so why leave all of your patio furniture out and exposed to the elements? No matter your climate, your winter home maintenance checklist should include putting some protections in place for your outdoor spaces. Cover patio furniture or move it inside. Alternately, if you have removable cushions, you can leave the sturdier bases of furniture outside but move the cushions that would be more affected by the elements into storage.

Get started with winter home maintenance

No matter your climate, getting your home or apartment ready for the colder months can help you shrink your energy bill, be more comfortable indoors and rest easy knowing your space is in top shape. What to-dos do you add to your list to get ready for winter? Let us know in the comments!

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Building On An Infill Lot? Here Are 3 Things to Consider

Some people prefer to build their homes in brand spanking new developments. For them, a fresh start with like-minded neighbors makes sense. But if you’d like to build in an already-established area, you’re looking at infill lots. Infill lots are those spaces left after developments and cities have already been populated. They might be empty lots or spaces left after old structures were removed. For some, infill lots mean access to great locations and an established neighborhood, but there are a few factors to consider. Before planning on an infill lot, decide if the spot is right for you.

An infill lot could help you snag a better location. Image: Neokitchen

Location, Location, Location

The main draw for most infill lots is the location. These spaces are often in highly-desirable neighborhoods. But don’t make an offer just yet, since that location can come with a price. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The reason for the vacant lot. Have you considered why a lot might be left vacant in a desirable area? Some infill lots are left over because they’re closer to smells, sights and sounds than the rest of the neighborhood. The lot might also have different utility drawbacks than the other lots. Talk to your real estate agent about why the lot is vacant and see if it affects your opinion.
  • Existing amenities. One of the major pros for infill lots is that you’re able to plug into the existing neighborhood amenities. From parks to utilities and even retail, take a look around the neighborhood to see what amenities you would use (and which amenities might be more of a drawback).
  • Pricing factors. Infill lots can either go one of two ways: they can be cheaper because of certain drawbacks, or they can be more expensive because of the established area. With infill lots, you’re not paying for the land as much as you’re paying for the neighborhood and development. Naturally, your real estate agent can help you suss out the details and negotiate the best price possible.

Other houses may dictate your home’s design. Image: Garman Builders

Development by Design

Because you’d be building a home in an established neighborhood, the design of your dream house is an important factor. Consider these potential issues:

  • The size of the home. Infill lots mean you’re sandwiched between other structures. The last thing you want to do is build a home that towers over or eclipses your neighbors. An infill lot might require you to build a more modest home than you were originally planning.
  • The home’s design. Building a super-modern home in a traditional neighborhood could have your place sticking out like a sore thumb. A talented architect is needed to create a design that feels fresh, but still works harmoniously with the look of the homes in the development.
  • Resale value. Don’t forget to consider resale value when designing a home for an infill lot. Even if you totally disregard the other homes in the area, resale is generally poor in homes that don’t match their surroundings. It’s always better to be the least expensive home in a desirable neighborhood than the most expensive home in a less desirable location. Think about what a potential buyer might see in your home design and how that could affect your resale value.

Consider your neighbors when building on an infill lot. Image: Think Architecture

Neighborly Love

Choosing an infill lot means moving into a ready-made community – for better or worse. Take your potential neighbors into consideration before making any decisions.

  • Making friends. Consider the fact that some neighbors might not take kindly to infill development. If a lot has remained vacant for years, neighbors may have become accustomed to the extra space. Getting to know your neighbors helps soften the blow of the sudden noise and dust of a construction process.
  • Respecting the rules. It’s important to acknowledge and respect any community rules in place. Whether you’re paying an HOA or there are already community rules and policies set up, choosing an infill lot means becoming part of an existing neighborhood. You’ll be responsible for respecting those rules.

Want a new house but an old neighborhood? You might need to find an infill lot. Infill lots definitely have their benefits, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper before making an offer. By considering why a lot has been left empty and seeing how you’d fit into an existing community, you can picture yourself there.

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These Are The Biggest 2019 Interior Design Trends, According To The Pros

Believe it or not, the new year is right around the corner and with it will come some eye-catching new design trends. With that in mind, we went straight to the source and asked some top interior designers to share what styles they think will capture our interest in the coming year.

Keep reading to learn their picks for the biggest 2019 interior design trends, as well as some tips on how to incorporate these looks in your own home. By the end of this post, you should feel ready to tackle 2019 in style.

2019 interior design trends

Big, bold plants are in this year. Image: A.Jennison Interiors

Big, bold plants

“One trend that will be at the forefront of home interior design in 2019 is big, bold plants. A dragon tree, a rubber tree or any kind of palm tree make eye-catching statements anywhere in a home.  You can flank your sofa with one on each side or situate one in any corner.  The bigger, the better here.”

– Kenny Colvin, Designer,  Giant Squid Creative

Incorporating plant life into your decor is a bit different than taking on other 2019 interior design trends. Here, instead of relying purely on aesthetics, you’ll want to allow the plant’s care-and-keeping instructions to dictate its placement in your home. Be sure to check how much sunlight and water a plant needs before purchasing it to ensure that whichever plants you end up using will flourish in their ideal environment.


Don’t hesitate to give your ceiling a pop of color. Image: Elena Calabrese Design & Decor

Painted ceilings

“In 2019, we’ll start to see people taking advantage of the fifth wall – the ceiling has been ignored for too long! From wallpaper to molding and daring paint colors, the ceiling will be the place that people start taking chances and creating a ‘wow moment’ in their spaces.”

– Rebecca Rowland, Owner, Rebecca Rowland Interiors

Consider this look for spaces that you want to feel intimate, especially bedrooms and formal dining spaces. Here, you’ll want to keep the 10-30-60 rule in the forefront of your mind. Either continue to the ceiling with your base color, which covers 60 percent of the room, or make a strong statement by using your accent color – the last 10 percent – to add a pop of visual interest.


When it comes to furniture, make it multi-functional. Image: Antonio Aurigemma

Multi-functional spaces

“With more and more people adopting the ‘Less is more’ attitude, we are seeing a shift in interior design. For 2019, I predict we will be seeing more multi-functional spaces. The murphy bed has been making a comeback and I think we’ll see even more modernized versions.”

– Alexis Kokolias, Owner, Lexi Interiors

Multi-functional furniture doesn’t just have to be for small apartments anymore. Think about incorporating it into any multi-use spaces, such as an office that pulls double-duty as a guest room. On a smaller scale, you could also think about incorporating an ottoman that doubles as added storage. The key here is to start thinking outside the box when it comes to functionality.

bold colors

This year, colors will be bolder than ever before. Image: Дизайн — бюро Ecole

Bold colors

“In 2019, bold colors are going to explode even more than they already have. Think navy blue, deep red, and burnt orange to really bring some excitement into the room.”

– Shea Nikkel, Owner, Blue Charlotte Lifestyle

Bringing bold colors into a room is all about creating balance. Make sure to pair your bold shade with calmer, neutral hues like white or gray. Use your bold color sparingly, either as a statement piece or an accent.


Look out for mission-style details like patterned tile. Image: Mark Green Home Design

Mission-style details

“Recently, I’ve seen a lot of the modern looks that photograph well, but feel very cold and clinical in-person. 2019 will be about adding warmth to modern spaces through mission-style details. You’ll see things like patterned tile in a kitchen backsplash, texture on walls or terra cotta colors. It’s all about finding ways to inject more character into the room.”

– Anna Dunn, Owner, Paper Cranes Designs

Successfully paying homage to a certain style is about incorporating small touches of it into a room, rather than trying to copy the look in its entirety. Take Anna’s advice here and stick to adding mission-style touches into your existing design.

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Designing Your Home with Self-Care in Mind

Self-care is trending. But it’s not just another hot topic that will be here today and gone tomorrow. Taking care of ourselves is, perhaps, more essential than ever. In our digital world with near-constant stimuli, it takes diligence to slow down and check in with ourselves. Failing to do so leaves us feeling burnt out and uninspired. The good news? We can all make some changes to our homes to make self-care a little easier. Here are a few of our top tips.

self-care - relax

Where do you go to get away from it all? Image: Alex Dampsey Design

Make space to relax…

This is probably a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. Can you think of any areas in your home that are truly free from distractions? The bathroom comes to mind, and that’s probably a big reason why so many people who regularly practice self-care are big on taking baths. But if you’re not a bath person and don’t love spending time near your toilet, make sure you make space somewhere else.

This could be a big, cozy chair where you add a comfy throw and a side table with a scented candle. Or maybe it’s a spot in your backyard where you can take in your favorite view from your house. Wherever you choose, dedicating a space to self-care can make it easier to step away from the busyness of daily life and check in with yourself.

self-care - recharge

Making space in your life to pursue your hobbies isn’t always easy, but carving out a physical space in your home for them makes it easier. Image: David Churchill

… and recharge

Part of the reason self-care is trending is probably due to the fact that everyone likes an excuse to sit around in their PJs, eat snacks and binge TV. And while that can be an effective self-care practice, especially if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and are feeling downright exhausted, don’t stop there. Solid self-care should leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired. Create a space in your home to recharge your battery by doing things you love.

If you’re an artist, carve out a mini studio space. Do you love working out? Then clear out the garage or convert a spare bedroom into a home gym. If family time recharges you, set up your living room with games and movies everyone loves. Building in spaces where you can pursue your passions makes you more likely to do exactly that. Plus, the physical space can be a visual reminder to make time for your hobbies on a regular basis.

self-care - cleaning

Clear counters make wiping down the kitchen a snap. Image: Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design

Streamline to simplify cleaning

One of the best ways to care for yourself is to ensure that when you’re home, you’re able to relax. Walking through your front door and seeing a pile of dishes, dusty bookshelves and an overflowing laundry hamper is not ideal. Now, we’re not necessarily saying you should shove everything under the rug. But there’s something to be said for being able to employ the out of sight, out of mind principle. If you feel the urge to clean when your body or mind is screaming for you to slow down, it could be time to rethink your home design.

This can be as simple as investing in a laundry hamper to hide dirty clothes away or a pretty dish drying rack so the countertop doesn’t look so cluttered. It might mean more work now to create less work in the future, though.

Think through the things that are most tedious to clean. Simplifying your home design could mean simplifying your cleaning. If it’s your shelves filled with small items that are annoying to dust around, it might be time to part with some of them – or at least put them into storage. If your bathroom grout never looks clean, taking the time to re-grout now can save you from an ongoing headache for years to come. Pay attention to what taxes you the most in keeping up your home, then act on ways to change it.

self-care - love

This bedroom is a birdwatcher’s dream. What would you dream space contain? Image: Greenwood’s Home

Fill it up for yourself

What kind of items do you have in your home? How do they make you feel? When you look at that art on the wall or that chair in the corner, are you filled with joy? If not, it could be time for a home makeover. Your home or apartment is the space where you are likely to spend the most time. Fill it with things that you love and you’ll get more enjoyment out of where you live – and your life in general.

This can – and probably will – take time. But enjoy the process of hunting for items that are truly special. You might stumble across them in a thrift store of a friend might gift you with them. As you build your home collection of items that bring you joy, you’ll be creating a more meaningful, life-giving home. In short, you’re building self-care into the very fabric of your living space.

What kind of changes have you made to practice self-care? Has it shifted your home design? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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6 Health Benefits of a Clean Home

health benefits of a clean house - kitchen

Cleaning isn’t just to keep up appearances. There are some major health benefits of a clean home. Image: Studio 1 Interiors

You have a sense that you should keep your house clean. Maybe your parents instilled it in you, or maybe societal pressure has you feeling like you need to pull out the mop. But does it really matter if you let your home slip into a mess? Actually, yes. There are some scientifically backed health benefits of a clean home. Conversely, letting your home get dirty and/or disorganized can negatively affect your mental and physical well-being. So what are you waiting for?

Sometimes, you need a little push to help yourself start building good habits. And we’ve got you covered with a handful of compelling reasons to keep things neat and tidy. Here are six of the top health benefits of a clean home.

health benefits of a clean house

If you’re looking for a way to manage your stress, pick up a broom. Image: Corr Contemporary Homes

You’ll feel less stressed

Visual clutter leads to mental clutter. You might think you’ve learned to live with your various piles, but they’re most likely affecting you more deeply than you realize. A 2010 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that women with messier homes have higher levels of cortisol than those with tidy houses. What does that mean? Your stress levels are linked to your space. Tackling those outstanding to-dos and getting your house in order can help you manage stress. And couldn’t we all benefit from meaningful ways to reduce stress in our busy lives?

You’ll be more active

It’s simple but it’s true: cleaning gets you moving. Sure, tidying up the house isn’t going to torch as many calories as a full-blown HIIT workout, but it’s a lot more physically involved than sitting on the couch. Keeping your house clean means that you’ll get some sort of movement for your body throughout the week. In fact, Health Magazine rounded up 10 different chores you can do that burn 100 calories each.

health benefits of a clean house - office

Boost your productivity at home by keeping things tidy. Image: Izumi Tanaka

You’ll be more productive

When you have a task you don’t want to start, do you ever find yourself scanning the room for a distraction? Disorganization makes it easy to spot something you can use to procrastinate. When everything is in order, on the other hand, your mind finds it easier to get stuff done. Don’t believe that your space directly impacts your productivity? Check out this 2011 study on the way visual stimuli compete for your attention.

You might eat healthier

Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling stressed, you crave junk food? That’s your body’s natural response to stressors and – as we’ve already mentioned – clutter and messiness are stressful. There’s good news, though. Cleaning up doesn’t just make you less likely to want food that’s bad for you, it can actually help drive healthy choices. A 2013 study published in Psychology Science presented people with food choices. People who had been working in an organized space were two times more likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who had been working in a messy area.

health benefits of a clean house - bedroom

Making your bed has a notable impact on the quality of your sleep. Image: Rodríguez Studio Architecture PC

You’ll sleep better

Isn’t it easier to drift off to sleep when you don’t have any leftover to-dos nagging at your brain? When your home is clean, you can look around before you go to bed without spotting any should-dos that could keep your gears turning even when you put your head on your pillow. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey that revealed that just making your bed in the morning boosts your chances of getting a good night’s rest by almost 20 percent.

You’ll get sick less frequently

A clean home leaves fewer places for germs and bacteria to hide. Plus, dust and allergens build up in carpeting, bedding and upholstery over time, contributing to worsened allergies and asthma. In short, the health benefits of a clean home are obvious. If you want to keep yourself and your family healthy, cleaning on a regular basis is a must. Don’t just vacuum and dust, either. Think about decluttering your surfaces. The more items you have, the harder it is to dust and sanitize. A streamlined aesthetic makes it easier to keep everything truly clean, helping your health. If you’re ready to get started, here are the nine germiest areas in your home to tackle ASAP.

Do these health benefits of a clean home put a little pep in your chore-handling step? We can help you get started. Check out these 12 things you can tackle to make your home look less messy and some easy tips to keep your countertops clear. Happy cleaning!

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5 Ways to Set Up a Home Bar for New Year’s Entertaining

If you have a New Year’s party coming up, you may want to think about getting a home bar – or updating the one you have. Drinking tends to be a major pastime on New Year’s, especially with New Year’s Eve toasts, so a home bar is a good choice for the upcoming celebrations. You can enjoy the company of friends and family and ring in 2019 without crowded bars, cover charges and long drives.

Below are a few ways to organize a home bar for that New Year’s party, whether you’re looking for something temporary or you’d consider a remodel. And who knows? After seeing these ideas, hosting New Year’s parties just might become a new tradition for you.

Home Bar Shelving on Wall

Textured backsplash designs give plenty of style to home bars. Image: Lemaster Architects

A Place for Champagne Glasses

Any great home bar has plenty of shelving where you can put glasses and drinks. This can be helpful when you want to make the New Year’s toast. An example is the bar space in the photo above. This stylish design even shows some attractive textured backsplash work behind the shelving.

An interesting aspect of this design is the set-in counter area along the wall. Designs like these are great for New Year’s parties because they offer a space for setting out party platters and other snacks right by the drinks. A mini fridge is also a convenient touch.

Home Bar Sleek Black

Set-in wine racks are a functional trend in home bars. Image: Venegas and Company

Home Bar with Wine Rack

A popular addition to home bars is the built-in wine rack. In the photo above, you can see the cubby system that holds wine above the counter space. It’s a great way to hold wines you don’t want to cool or bottles you are keeping until the vintage is older. It’s a good place for having wine right at hand while serving, too.

The home bar above is also a good example of a sleek, dark design that works well in transitional or contemporary spaces. The white countertop contributes to the stark look of the style by adding some contrast against the black cabinets.

Home Bar Small and Hidden

Go for a hidden bar if you have a sleek home design or smaller space. Image: Milan Design + Build

Hidden Bar with Wine Cooler

A great option for minimalist homes with sleek designs is to go for a hidden bar. An example in the photo above is this small bar that sits behind folding doors. Its placement just off the kitchen makes accessing drinks convenient in relation to where the food might be placed.

Designs like this are also good for small spaces. You can see how some smart organization can fit a wine cooler, shelving for glasses, counter space and bottle storage into a small space with ease. A station like this would make it easy to prepare a drink tray for guests before that big New Year’s toast.

Home Bar Small Tray

Home bars can also be temporary and understated. Image: Le Michelle Klein

Casual Bar

If you’re not looking to go for a big remodel, you can still use a temporary option that can look classy. An example is the stand-alone tray in the photo above. A little accent like a matching potted plant or another small decor piece on the tray can help it look like it’s part of your natural decor style, too.

Tray bars sit easily along walls and make drinks accessible throughout the home. They can also be good options for placing snack trays along the walls, too. And when you’re done with the party, they fold right up and can go back into storage.

Home Bar Wood Wall

Here’s a good example of how to fit a TV into a home bar’s styling. Image: Rice Residential Design

Rustic Space with Television

When guests come over on New Year’s, people might want to watch the big ball drop or other programming. The photo above is a good example of how you can fit a flat screen behind a bar in any home style. Even this rustic space isn’t diminished by a modern TV.

The style also shows how well a natural wood-textured accent wall works behind a home bar space. Since many people are facing that wall naturally, it’s a great place for an eye-grabbing accent wall. You might try wood like in the photo or go for a deep, saturated hue. Just avoid putting a bright, funky shade around a TV, as that can be hard for guests to stare at as they watch television.

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