Easy and Fast Ways to Modernize A Home for 2019

Do you wish you could breathe some fresh life into your home for 2019? Then you may want to add some elements to your home featuring current design trends. But you might look at some of the trendiest contemporary spaces and feel those are out of reach. After all, many spaces incorporate a contemporary aesthetic in the way they are designed on an architectural level, meaning you might need a complete remodel or new build to achieve those looks. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to modernize a home that don’t require a wrecking ball. Below are some added embellishments that can make your home look more updated for the new year.

Modernize A Home Large Mirror

Mirrors add a new style in an instant. Image: Elad Gonen

Large Contemporary Mirror

An easy way to add stark, updated geometry to a space is to look into the different mirror designs out there. An example in the photo above uses circular and square geometry in juxtaposition. It really adds some sleek geometry to the space, and the gray frame matches the neutrals in the rest of the room.

Mirrors are an easy way to modernize a home. A large mirror can be its own focal point. They’re easy to source and hang and a large mirror can do wonders in opening up a space. Plus, the sleek texture of a mirror makes any space look more updated.

Modernize A Home Trendy Furniture

Change up your furniture to something more creative for an updated look. Image: Laurie Woods

Modernize a Home with Unconventional Furniture

Large pieces of furniture tend to be their own focal point. So if you want to overhaul how a room looks, simply change the furniture.

If you want a look that is on the more contemporary side, try for unique pieces of furniture, like in the photo above. Pieces that eschew the traditional sofa and chair shape have a more updated, almost futuristic look. The open back and freely placed armrests also add some interesting geometry to the space.

If you’re not looking to go too bold, you also might want to think about more understated contemporary ways people are using furniture. For instance, neutrals tend to be popular right now, but mixing them with brightly colored single accent pieces can help a room pop.

Modernize A Home Lighting Fixture

A new light fixture can add some instant style. Image: Paul Davis Architects

Geometric Light Fixtures

Another way to modernize a home is to think about the lighting fixtures. An intricate lighting fixture can breathe life into any room. An example is the highly interesting piece in the photo above. Its sleek chrome design and industrial-style exposed bulbs make it quite the eye-grabber.

A new lighting fixture is a good way to set the tone for a more updated look. You can go for industrial pieces, sleek metal pieces or even retro sunburst designs – they’re making a comeback. Lighting fixtures are also fairly easy to replace, but they make it look like you did some major hardware overhauls in your space.

Modernize A Home Wall Art

Set a new style or color tone with some updated wall art. Image: Hills and Grant Interior Design

Change the Wall Art

You can also change the art on your walls. That’s an easy way to update a space without doing anything too drastic. Like the other design elements above, large art tends to stand as a focal point so changing the art can help set a new tone in the space.

One idea is to go for abstract art, like in the photo above. Many people associate the height of abstract art with the mid-20th century. Because of that, it tends to pop up in mid-century modern styles. However, a good piece of modern art can transcend the ages with its color, raw emotion and eye-grabbing designs. Abstract art can also serve a design purpose. For instance, the piece in the photo above juxtaposes some earthy green color against an industrial space.

Modernize A Home Neutral Colors

Going for a neutral tone in a room can make the space look more open and updated. Image: StudioLab

Combine Neutrals

Neutrals are very popular in updated, contemporary spaces. They open up the room and tend to give a relaxed tone that won’t go out of style too soon. So if you want to modernize a home, try going for neutral tones.

An example is the space in the photo above. The room balances its neutral tones impeccably. The brown in the sofa reflects the wood coloring behind the TV and shelving. An area rug is a good way to add more neutral tones to a space, as well. Neutral throw pillows and a neutral-colored coffee table are even more easy ways to add these tones to a space without having to remodel.

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California Residence Nestled Between Massive Oak Trees

Dougal Murray completed the design of Mulholland Hills Home, a contemporary California residence located in Beverly Hills. The project restores a run-down 1930’s home hidden between massive oak trees above the Studio City valley. In order to integrate the building into its surroundings, the developers used a variety of earth tones inside and out. Neutral textures also wrap the exterior decks and the infinity pool.

“I’ve always been a massive fan of contemporary Californian architecture, and my goal was to create an open space that utilized the incredible views and natural light the land so generously gave us,” Murray said. “Whilst we wanted to build something impressive, it was also important for myself and my design partner, Jonathan Waud, that the concept and the interior itself was understated and reflected its surroundings.”
Meant as a sanctuary away from the hectic life of Los Angeles, Mulholland Hills Home California residence combines generously-sized social spaces with calm interiors for a personal retreat.

“For the kitchen we wanted to design something functional, but also sleek, and easily maintained,” the lead architect added. “As you ascend to the tiered second floor, two guest bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms and north and south facing views can be found to the right, and to the left a charismatic seating area leads to an impressive 1200 square-foot master bedroom with a double fronted, glass façade and master bathroom access.” Photography and information provided by Dougal Murray Architect.

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Not Your Shrinking Violet: Here Are 15 Ideas For Decorating With Purple For A Modern, Sexy Space

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We continue our series on decorating with colors like orange and olive green by throwing violet into the home design ring. Also known as purple, aubergine and amethyst, violet is one of the hottest colors for the home this year, especially as we move into fall and winter.

Decorating with purple is less challenging than you think. There’s a rainbow of tones (from cool to warm to neutral to vivid) available to add a little violet to your life. Here’s how:

Decorating With Purple In The Dining Room

A vibrant violet or rich aubergine (eggplant) is a natural color for a dining room. Sumptuous, warm and intimate, try it as a wall color, accent furniture shade or by including tableware in purple.

decorating with purple in the dining room

If you love jewel tones, group a vibrant violet color with other rich colors like indigo and emerald. Image: Homepolish

how to decorate with purple

A primary purple curtain serves as a room divider between the dining area and living space. Image: Alpha Blinds

purple home decor

Beautiful, mid-century modern dining chairs in eggplant flow with the warm wood tones and neutrals in this dining room. Image: TS Design

Purple Wallpaper Ideas

Painted walls in a bold color are a good way to update a room, but wallpaper adds a big design effect, thanks to the patterns and textures available.

purple wallpaper ideas

Grasscloth is a natural wallpaper material made from exotic, dyed grasses. The finish is matte and features a subtle, irregular texture that adds dimension to a wall. Image: Icon Interiors

Decorating with purple decor

This purple wallpaper pattern is subtle due to the metallic graphics that reflect light, making them appear lighter than the deep violet paper. Image: Schaefer Architect

modern purple wallpapers

A simple, white room gets a focal wall wallpapered in a bold purple floral pattern. Image: Elliott Walsh

purple decorating ideas

When adding purple wallpaper or paint to your room, tie the color in by adding at least two more accents in purple in the space. This room features a bed runner, pillows and curtains. Image: Tendance Co.

Add Purple Home Decor To A Neutral Room

Adding just one or two purple home accents to a room may infuse enough violet to breathe life into the space. Check these out:

purple decorating ideas for the living room

Oversized abstract wall art in purple adds a contemporary tone to your room. Image: EM Design

purple home office

A purple area rug, paired with acrylic furniture, adds a contemporary look to this home office. Image: Smart Homes

how to decorate with purple

Purple accessories transform a neutral living space into a stunning and personalized room where you can relax and lounge. Image: Tapeten Fieber

Mixing Purple And Grey

Grey has been the classic go-to color for modern living. Purple pairs perfectly with all shades of grey, making the duo a match.

purple and grey color theme

A wall was painted in two complementary tones: purple and grey. Other neutrals were layered for depth. Image: Niche Interiors

modern purple decorating ideas

Throw pillows in the room colors – violet and charcoal grey – pull the space together. Image: DKor Interiors

Why You Need Some Violet Velvet

Velvet fabric amps up the rich tone of purple. Look for purple velvet upholstery, throw blankets or accent pillows to add a luxurious look and feel to your room.

violet velvet furniture

There are several bold design choices in this room. Check out the floral rug, dimensional wall and deep teal paint. But the velvet violet sectional is the star of the show. Image: Mike Shilov

purple velvet chairs

Nix the sofa and create a circular sitting room featuring deluxe purple velvet armless chairs. Image: Archidea

purple velvet sofa

When decorating with purple furnishings, include other similar tones like red, raspberry and fuchsia. Image: Roche Bobois

Love these purple decorating ideas? Check out these purple and violet accents, in stores now:

purple velvet sofa


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5 Clever Ways to Get that Organized Basement for 2019

It’s easy to get a cluttered basement. People often treat the basement like a no man’s land. It’s rare for guests to go down there unless the basement is furnished with entertainment areas or bars, so it can make a convenient place to throw things when you don’t have room for them upstairs. Soon, an organized basement seems like something from a distant dream.

However, with a little time in the basement and a clear organizational system, you can get your basement organized and usable once more. Cleaning the basement makes a great New Year’s resolution. It’s a good home project for that time between Christmas and New Year’s when many people have time off of school or work. Plus, it’s an easy way to ignore the cold temperatures outside. Below are some ideas for finally getting that organized basement.

Organized Basement Shelving System

Built-in shelving looks like a cohesive part of a basement’s design and color scheme. Image: Peregrine Design/Build

Built-in shelving systems for an organized basement

One great way to finally get an organized basement is to make use of some shelving along the walls. The cubby system in the photo above is a great example. It shows how you can incorporate a fun, colorful paint design into the back of the shelving.

You can go about this idea in a couple of ways. You could get a carpenter to build a shelving system like this or build one yourself if you’re handy. Or, an easier way to get a shelving unit is to go for a pre-fab system that gives the look of a built-in unit. You could place something like this against the walls.

Organized Basement Separated Areas

Basements with open floor plans can benefit from organized and clearly defined areas. Image: Kaja Gam Interior Architecture and Design

Visually separated areas

When organizing your basement, you may also want to think about how different areas work together towards the overall functionality of the space. An example is the space in the photo above, where there is an area for doing laundry next to a table space. Even without using dividers, there’s an internal logic to the space. You can tell where laundry is supposed to be done by the placement of the washer and dryer, and the table visually separates the space next to the washing area.

You might get a similar design by making one corner of the basement clearly a child’s play area with a colorful rug surrounded by toy bins. Or you could mark another corner as a workout area, where all the workout equipment sits. Basements often don’t have partitions, so this is a good way to give organization to an open plan basement design.

Organized Basement Minimalism Style

Thinking from a minimalist’s frame of mind, you might be able to clear out what you don’t need more easily. Image: It’s Organized

Basement minimalism

Minimalism doesn’t just have to be for the upstairs. This photo above shows a minimalistic basement style. Cupboards in the background keep everything neatly put away. And it’s easy to organize sparse items along the wall in an orderly way. A white color scheme keeps the space looking bright and open, as well as imparting a stark minimalism.

By thinking of your basement in terms of minimalism and minimalist lifestyles, you might be able to prioritize what to keep and what to throw away more easily. A good rule of thumb is that if you either forgot you owned something or haven’t used it in a year, it’s ripe for throwing out or donating. You can find additional decluttering tips here.

Organized Basement Workroom Organization

Basement workrooms can get a new lease on life with wall organizational systems. Image: transFORM

Organized workstations

The basement workroom is one of the trickiest areas to organize. Tools jumble up, cords tangle and we somehow tend to end up with duplicate tools.

Although the photo above is a garage space, it also applies well to basement workrooms. An organizational unit like this works well for holding small tools where you can easily grab them, keeping things in neat drawers and hanging large tools from the wall for better organization. With a system like this, you’ll get an organized basement in no time. You can either have the organizational system put in by a professional contractor or buy the components of systems like this.

Organized Basement Bin System

Plastic bins are a customizable way to organize many different items. Image: Board and Vellum Architecture and Design

Plastic bin system

A popular way to get an organized basement is to go for a bin system. The photo above shows a very comprehensive one. This is actually for a LEGO room. It’s a good way to contain all the small pieces if you have hobbies like LEGO building or model building.

You can also use this system to contain small children’s toys, clothing, holiday decorating items and all the other things that tend to end up strewn about a basement. A great aspect of a bin system is that you can customize the size of the bins you need based on what you are storing.

Achieving an organized basement may feel like a daunting task — especially if it’s been a while since you last cleaned — but with these organizational tips, you can have a livable basement once again. Did we miss any of your favorite organizational systems? Let us know below!

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15 Bathrooms That Will Make You Fall in Love With Penny Tile

penny tile

Penny tile can give any bathroom a polished look. Image: Hisbalit

Tile in the bathroom might sound as original as florals for spring. But like any good floral print, the wow factor of the tile all comes down to the one you choose. Don’t be square! The penny tile (also known as a penny round) is a small tile in a round or hexagonal shape that can help you make a visual impact in your bathroom.

Penny tiles are often spotted in historic homes, but we’re also starting to see them in the hippest coffee shops and hottest bars. Why? They add an interesting aesthetic, they’re extremely versatile and – like any good tile – they’re also easy to maintain in even the wettest areas.

penny tile 2

Find this tile in a metallic finish for a sophisticated feel. Image: The Yard

Using penny tile in the bathroom

Let’s talk more about the versatility of these tiny tiles. You can find them in traditional ceramic or porcelain, but they’re also available in more interesting materials like glass or metal. And before you despair about the work involved in laying what is essentially a low-key mosaic, don’t worry. You can buy penny tile already arranged on a mesh backing so all you have to do is grout around the established pattern. It’s a little trick that will have people thinking you invested a lot in establishing a high-class look for your bathroom.

penny tile 3

The penny tile backsplash is easy to keep clean, helping it regain popularity. Image: Modwalls Tile Company

The resurgence of the penny tile

This isn’t the penny tile’s first time in the sun. The tile – especially the hexagonal variety – was popular in homes across the country in the early 20th century. That’s while you’ll often spot it in historic homes, or in homes where people are trying to create a vintage feel.

That doesn’t mean this tile style only works if you’re going for a retro feel, though. Choosing a single color of penny tile can deliver a clean, minimalist look. On the other end of the spectrum, choosing a broad range of colored tiles and arranging them in interesting patterns delivers maximalism. Clearly, this is a versatile design feature. Let’s take a look at some more bathrooms that use penny tile to get your creative wheels turning.

12 more bathrooms with penny tile

penny tile 4

You can use penny tiles to create an abstract pattern. Image: Design Platform

penny tile 5

White-hued penny tiles can give a bathroom a clean look without feeling too stark. Image: L. Thibeault & Assoc.

penny tile 6

You don’t have to limit yourself. You can mix and match tile styles to create your dream bathroom. Image: Kitchen Design Concepts

penny tile 7

Choose penny tiles in a moody hue to give your bathroom a retreat-like feel. Image: Студия Антона Базалийского

penny tile 8

If you’re looking for a classic feel in your bathroom, penny tiles are just the thing. Image: Brennan + Company Architects

penny tile 9

Choose tiles in multiple shades of the same color for a textured look. Image: bg architecture

penny tile 10

Rounded penny tiles give a bathroom a clean, polished look. Image: Kelly Scanlon Interior Design

penny tile 11

Contrasting tiles can add an interesting element without overwhelming a small powder room. Image: Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

penny tile 12

Marry penny tiles and wood for a refined sauna. Image: Hufft

penny tile 13

Play your penny tile against other patterns for a fun feel in your bathroom. Image: Embracing Space

penny tile 14

These small tiles are perfect for lining smaller areas, like this wall nook. Image: USi Stone & Tile

penny tile 15

There is no limit with this tile. Any pattern you can envision, you can create. Image: Nicole Migeon Architect

What do you think of penny tile’s return to popularity? Would you use it in your bathroom? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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5 Clothing Organization Ideas for New Year’s Cleaning

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is  finally getting the home organized. That is certainly a worthy goal, especially if your messiness has turned into a… situation. One of the places that usually needs the most TLC is the closet. Too often, it’s easy to throw things haphazardly into the closet. Sometimes it feels like because you put things behind those doors you managed to clean a room. Luckily, there are several easy ways to get those piles of clothing into a working system that’s easy to browse on short notice. Below are some clothing organization ideas for finally getting that closet space organized.

Clothing Organization Stand Alone Rack

Displaying dresses on racks is a good way to plan an outfit. Image: Kootut Murut


One increasingly popular clothing organization idea is to go for standalone racks. These are especially popular in small spaces, where designers are even using fully stocked clothing racks as room dividers. You can see other small closet or no-closet ideas here.

A clothing rack can also be a good way to hang formal wear you don’t want to get wrinkled instead of jamming it in with other clothing. Or you can place a clothing rack at the side of a bedroom and use it to plan and hang your next day’s outfit. A rolling rack can also add additional storage to larger walk-in closets. Stand-alone clothing racks are highly versatile as well.

Clothing Organization Drawer Dividers

Store just about anything with drawer dividers. Image: Wow Great Place

Drawer dividers

Another organization idea is drawer dividers. You can see how well a system like this works for belts. You can place just about anything in these drawers: rolled-up socks, smaller shoes or hair accessories, for example. With larger drawer dividers, you can even place folded pants or shirts in them.

Products like this are easy to find and even easier to place in the drawer. An example is this expandable drawer divider from The Container Store. A design like this can fit almost any drawer and allow you to have just the right amount of space.

Clothing Organization Cubby System

Cubbies work great for items that roll well, like scarves. Image: Built-Rite Closets

Clothing organization with a cubby system

Another clothing organization idea is to add a cubby system to the closet. A cubby system can work well for rolled cloth items. A system like this is great for scarfs, socks, knit hats and gloves, especially. Turns out rolling your clothing isn’t just a suitcase packing hack.

This is actually part of a customized closet system. If you want to be serious about getting your closet in order, you may want to look into having a custom-built closet organization system. A variety of carpenters and handymen specialize in making these types of closets.

Clothing Organization Basket System

Baskets are a classy way to get clothing organized. Image: Plan A

Basket storage

Basket storage offers another popular clothing organization idea. Baskets are a great option because they fit right on a shelf. However, the sides of the basket give a sleek, uniform look to the space, rather than just having things heaped on the shelf itself.

Baskets can also add a certain design element to a space. Wicker baskets can work in more traditional or rustic homes. Neutral cloth baskets fit into any space. Or you could go for brightly colored baskets as an added accent color to the space.

Clothing Organization Shoe Shelves

Display shoes on a shelving system for ease in choosing a pair. Image: Neat Method

Shoe shelving

An organized clothing area wouldn’t be complete without having all those shoes in order. Full-wall shelving can work for organizing shoes. You can place your shoes right on the open shelves and remember what types you actually own with a single glance. (Because let’s be honest, we all have a shoe style we forgot we owned until we pulled them out from under the bed.)

It’s also a good way to organize your shoes by style, like formal, boots, sandals and running shoes, for instance. That makes picking a pair to go with an outfit or activity all that much easier.

Could your closet benefit from any of these organization tips? Do you have any other New Year’s organization resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

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