Create Some HER Time With Woman Caves and She-Sheds

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When they want a timeout, men have been able to retreat to the man cave, the garage, the shed or other areas usually uninhabited by their family members. Women also deserve a place to escape and have some quiet time alone (or with other women). Whether it’s a place to relax, work, read, craft, sleep or just sit and do nothing, women are creating their own spaces. Below are some of the trends in woman caves, she-sheds and other relaxing spaces that women can design and decorate solely for their pleasure.

woman caves basement retreat

A fashionable woman’s cave in Calgary, Alberta. Image: Urban Abode

Basement retreat

The woman cave in the basement of this Calgary home has everything a woman needs to relax and spend time alone – or entertain friends. A mix of leather and crushed velvet furniture provides a relaxing place to kick back. The purple hues in the room range from the deep tones in the curtains, chair and wall-papered accent wall to the mauve carpet and crushed velvet loveseat. The neutral wall color and white tables help to balance the color scheme. The adjacent bar has Carrera marble countertops and a small stainless steel refrigerator.

woman caves craft room

Woman caves can double as craft rooms. Image: Van Metre Homes

Craft room retreat

This Washington, DC craft room is stylish and functional. Large, sturdy tables with plenty of work space are the central focus in this room.  The comfortable task chair provides mobility without having to stand up. Plenty of storage allows the homeowners to hide fabric and other sewing supplies out of sight and avoid clutter. However, some of the sewing materials are also displayed on the wall as art.

woman caves reading nook

Woman caves can be as simple as a reading nook. Image: Alex Findlater

Reading nook retreat

Consider carving out some room in your home to create a small library. The white faux fur pillow and rug add feminine touches, while the transparency of the glass coffee table doesn’t take up any visual space in the room. The unadorned window lets in plenty of natural light. And the mounted cabinet provides additional storage for your most valuable book collections, while the glass front allows you to display them.

woman caves porch

A London-based porch turned into a cozy nook. Image: Joanna Thornhill Interiors

Here’s another idea for a reading nook. Just carve out a space on your front porch. You can use plywood to create a bench seat – and ply-bead panels painted white create architectural detail. Cover the bench with foam and your favorite fabric. Add a few pillows and a comfortable throw to create a cozy area. The plants and natural light help to create a serene retreat.

woman caves powder room

This Seattle powder room serves a lot of functions. Image: Six Walls Interior Design

Powder room retreat

This spectacular powder room has it all. The custom cabinetry (seen through the mirror) provides space for showing off shoes and handbags. The wallpapered ceiling mimics the design in the bejeweled chandelier and the custom-made wool and silk rug. The multifunctional vanity has plenty of space for makeup essentials and can also be used as a desk, and the chaise lounge is perfect for relaxing.

She-sheds

She-sheds allow women to create a space separate from the main house. You can purchase a standard storage shed and add your own style to it, or it can be a DIY project.

woman caves she-shed

This is a not-so-basic she-shed in Australia. Image: SheShedz

This wooden shed with French doors can be installed by the builder or delivered completely flat on two pallets with easy-to-assemble instructions. When painted white, it looks like the perfect cottage. The shed is ideal for a daybed and the white patio furniture helps to complete the clean, airy look.

woman caves shed

This stylish Lynwood, WA she-shed is a sight for sore eyes. Image: Ethan Allen Design

If you want a little more detail in your she-shed, consider this space, which incorporates a coastal vibe. This shed has French windows and flower boxes against a cool gray background. Inside, the beachy blue wall color combines with grays and whites in the bed, curtains, chair, pictures and other decorations. The she-shed serves a dual purpose, since it also functions as a guest bedroom.

woman caves outdoor

Get your creative juices flowing in this Perthshire, Scotland she-shed. Image: JML Garden Rooms

This she-shed studio in Scotland was built with structurally insulated panels so the shed can be used in every season of the year. It also features triple glazed aluminum clad doors. There are two roof lights to take advantage of natural light and the floors are engineered oiled oak flooring. The deck, which includes outdoor furniture, provides a space for the artist to relax and entertain guests.

Do these woman caves inspire you? Which would you like to build in your home for some time away?

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Thanksgiving Decorating Checklist

decorated fallmantel

Start your Thanksgiving decorating plans early to make the most of the season. Image: Improvements Catalog

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We love the colors and flavors of Thanksgiving. The highlight of fall is decorating our homes with warm hues while anticipating welcoming guests for Thanksgiving dinner. Whether your holiday will be spent as a couple, with your immediate family or with a large group of friends and relatives, great decorating requires a plan. With so many details to keep track of this season, a guide is helpful. We have your Thanksgiving decorating checklist.

1. Choose Your Theme

thanksgiving decorating mantel

Use the dramatic colors of late autumn for your Thanksgiving decorating. Image: Grandin Road

To create your Thanksgiving style, you can decorate elaborately or just add harvest-inspired accents around your home. Before you start buying anything, you’ll want to choose your decor theme so that your decorating is fun and easy.

Here are our favorite Thanksgiving theme inspirations:

  • Harvest – This theme features fruits, gourds and elements of the harvest.
  • Natural – Fabric and ribbons of burlap and linen combine with fall foliage for a natural theme.
  • Rustic – Incorporate antique decor and unfinished wood into your decorating vignettes.
  • Glamorous – If you love metallic or colorful candle holders and elegant dinnerware, this could be your theme.
  • Vineyard-Inspired – Love wine? This theme celebrates the wine harvest with the colors and art of the vineyards.

2. Create a Color Palette

Thanksgiving decorating

Find your Thanksgiving color palette inspiration in harvest patterns and accessories. Image: Pottery Barn

Once you’ve chosen your decorating theme (or have chosen to just do a little bit of decorating), it’s time to choose a color palette. Though it may feel like an unnecessary step, having a simple color palette in place can help you make the right purchases when shopping for decor and accessories.

Choosing color for seasonal decorating is easy because you don’t have to limit yourself to just a few colors. You’ll want to choose three main colors for your decorating plan, then add three accent colors to your palette. There are no must-not-break rules for choosing color for your Thanksgiving decor — just choose the colors that express the vibe you’d like for your home.

3. Gather the Basic Supplies You’ll Need for Thanksgiving Decorating

Thanksgiving craft ideas

A burlap wreath is a simple Thanksgiving project for your home. Image: Etsy – CraftnRelax

Whether you’re decorating for a big Thanksgiving dinner or for the entire season, your decorating supply list won’t change. Here are the basic supplies for any Thanksgiving decorating project:

  • Burlap
  • Foliage, gourds, pumpkins
  • Candles
  • Serving pieces
  • Tape, wire, glue gun, craft supplies
  • Fabric
  • Ribbon

4. Decorate Your Front Porch for Thanksgiving

Autumn porch

Create a beautiful welcome with a Thanksgiving wreath and foliage. Image:  Pottery Barn

Autumn and front porches are made for each other. You may have already decorated your porch for the fall season or Halloween with lots of orange and gold colors. Whether you’re updating your fall porch decor or starting fresh for Thanksgiving, the right colors will make decorating simple. The colors of Thanksgiving are richer than early fall colors. Plum, russet and ginger all reflect the colors of late autumn beautifully.

5. Welcome Your Thanksgiving Guests with a Decorated Foyer

Fall foyer decorating

Decorate your foyer with warm fall accessories. Image: Wayfair

Make a stunning first impression on guests stepping into your home by decorating your foyer or entryway. Your foyer sets the theme for the rest of your home, so don’t be shy about going a little overboard with the Thanksgiving decor. Seasonal foliage and garland can dress up your staircase, door frame or even a mirror — your entire foyer is a palette for the rich colors of the Thanksgiving holiday.

6. Give Your Living Room Thanksgiving Warmth

autumn living room decorating

A collection of elegant glass pumpkins dress up a simple Thanksgiving coffee table arrangement. Image: Pottery Barn

Your living room offers another Thanksgiving decorating palette in your home. Switch out throw pillows to reflect the colors and designs that inspire you for the season. Adding a cozy fall-colored throw on a couch or chair can incorporate your Thanksgiving color palette. If you have a fireplace, your mantel can be the focal point of your living room decorating plan. Foliage, candles and decorative accessories can be displayed on your mantel or, if you don’t have one or just want to mix it up, on a table.

7. Decorating Your Kitchen (Where Everyone Gathers)

Kitchen Gather Sign

For an easy kitchen Thanksgiving decorating idea, add a charming sign. Image: Etsy – Laurenmary Home

With all the care you’ve taken to create a beautiful and welcoming setting for your Thanksgiving guests, they will all end up in your kitchen at some point in the celebration. This is a fact of life when you entertain. On a holiday like Thanksgiving, your kitchen will be a hub of activity – and not necessarily organized. Though you can’t stop your food prep to tidy up, you can still add a few decorative touches in your kitchen. Choose accessories that will not interfere with the flow of your kitchen as you work. Seasonal kitchen towels, mats and wall art provide color and pattern without getting in your way.

8. Your Dining Room can be the Star of Your Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving Dining Room

Dress up your dining room with a festive chair wrap adorned with fall decor. Image: Grandin Road

Of course, your dining room is the center of your Thanksgiving universe. Buying or bringing out your table linens and serving pieces is the first step to creating a breathtaking Thanksgiving table. When you have a decorating plan and color palette already in mind, it will be easy to see what linens and serving pieces you may need to purchase. Candles and a centerpiece are must-haves for even the most casual tables. The more formal your table design, the taller your candles can be. Votive candles are perfect for a simple table.

9. Don’t Forget to Decorate Your Guest Bathroom

Autumn Bathroom Accessories

Pretty jars and a soap dispenser are functional and festive for a guest bathroom. Image: Etsy – ChalkPaintMasonJars

Bring your seasonal decorating into the guest bathroom with just a few simple items. Decorative jars and a soap dispenser are functional and pretty for your guest bath. Seasonal scents like pumpkin and vanilla are perfect for autumn. One or two pretty guest towels in your color palette look festive, but many guests prefer disposable guest towels instead. (There’s nothing worse than a damp guest towel.) Look for paper guest towels in seasonal designs and colors.

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Five Lawn Maintenance Tips for Fall

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If you spent a lot of time this summer maintaining your lawn, you probably welcome the arrival of cooler temperatures. However, the end of summer is not the end of lawn maintenance. “Fall comes with a mix of warm soil and cool air, perfect for planting grass seed and allowing time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in,” according to Phil Dwyer, Ph.D., Turf Grass Scientist at Scotts Miracle-Gro.

“It is also a good time to feed and build stronger, deeper roots for winter, resulting in a thicker, greener lawn next spring,” Dwyer tells Freshome. Every lawn is different, but here are some lawn maintenance tips to take advantage of the fall weather.

Repair bare spots

Fall lawn

Fall is the perfect time to tend to bare patches. Image: John Askew Homes

During the summer, there’s usually a lot of lawn traffic. By the fall, Dwyer says, pets, kids playing, and foot traffic have probably resulted in a few bare patches. “Using a hand rake or other tool, loosen the top layer of soil to give the new seed a better chance to nestle in and begin to build strong roots.” Next, he recommends applying a repair product over the entire bare spot, according to the label’s directions. “Finally, give the newly seeded patch a deep and thorough watering – but stop if you see the water start to puddle.” Dwyer recommends watering the patch daily to keep those seeds hydrated and growing.

Overseed your lawn

Overseed your lawn

Overseeding can produce strong, lush grass. Image: Connor Homes

If your lawn looks thin in the fall, this is a good time to thicken it by overseeding before winter sets in.“To overseed your lawn, start by setting your mower to one of its lowest settings so you can cut your grass to a height of 2 inches or less, and bag the clippings,” Dwyer says. Then, he recommends raking the lawn to remove dead grass and debris, while also loosening the upper layer of soil.  “This will make it easier for seeds to take root once they’ve sprouted,” he explains. “Fill and adjust the spreader according to the instructions on the product package and apply as directed.”

Feed your lawn

Fall lawn maintenance

Your grass needs essential nutrients. Image: Savoie Nolan Architects

Your lawn provides many environmental and health benefits – but only if it’s nourished and healthy. Dwyer says fall is also a great time to feed your lawn. “Fall is peak time for your lawn to begin storing nutrients and growing lots of strong roots,” he says. “From grass roots to blade tips, feeding in the fall will do a whole lot of good for your lawn, both now and in the spring.” Dwyer lists 3 benefits of fertilizing your lawn in the fall.

  • Help rejuvenate and repair your lawn: All lawns get stressed by summer heat, drought, heavy foot traffic, or a combination of those. Applying lawn food can help replenish frazzled, worn-out grass so it recovers quicker and better. Plus, a fall feeding provides a noticeable greening that lasts longer than an unfed lawn.
  • Give roots a pre-winter nutrient boost: Lawns get hungry, especially as they slow down at the end of the growing season. Fall lawn food helps your lawn grow stronger, deeper roots before cold weather and frozen soil set in.
  • Make for a strong start to spring with a greener lawn: During the dormant season, it’s natural for your lawn’s growth and energy to come to a near standstill. A fall feeding gives grass a big dose of essential nutrients to store for when they’re needed most: the spring growing season. Not only will that lead to a thicker, lusher lawn, but your grass will green up earlier by as many as 2 to 6 weeks!

Keep cutting your lawn

Fall lawn maintenance grass

Don’t cut your grass too low. Image: Liquidscapes

You still need to cut your lawn in the fall, according to Susan Brandt, co-founder of Blooming Secrets. “However, make sure you keep it two and a half to three inches tall,” she advises. “A shorter lawn will reduce the energy available to the grass which is needed to obtain nutrients for healthy root systems.” Brand says a shorter lawn could also reduce your lawn’s ability to resist the cold and dryness of winter. “Mowing also chops up the leaves and turns it to mulch – which enhances the soil,” Brandt says.

Clean Up Your Leaves

Fall lawn maintenance leaves

Use leaves as mulch. Image: Savoie Nolan Architects

Raking leaves is typical lawn maintenance in the fall. Brandt says they can be used as mulch, compost or several other applications. “One additional way I use the leaves is to chop them up with a leaf vacuum and store them outdoors in a black garbage bag,” Brandt says. “Rather than purchase new soil for my containers, I take the chopped-up leaves and mix them into the existing container soil.”

“As the leaves break down during the season, they improve the container soil and also help the soil retain a little bit more moisture,” Brandt explains.  She’s been doing this for several seasons and achieving great results.

Do you have any additional fall lawn maintenance tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

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Decorating Ideas for Behr Blueprint: 2019 Color of the Year

Behr Blueprint in Kitchen

Behr Blueprint, their 2019 Color of the Year, brings fresh color to a kitchen. Image: Behr

Behr recently announced Blueprint as their 2019 Color of the Year – and we are in love with this versatile blue. Behr Blueprint is a true blue. There is no hint of green or aqua, which has been the trend for several years. Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, explained why Blueprint was their choice for 2019. “Much like the sketches builders rely on to bring an architectural design to life, Blueprint S470-5 lays a foundation for consumers to make their unique vision a reality. This universally appealing hue provides a steady stream of positivity and is poised to be an instant classic for years to come.”

Blueprint is a rich and relaxing color that is suitable for any room in your home. The simplicity of this paint color means that it can be introduced into any room without making a lot of decorating or color changes.

Tips to Incorporate Behr Blueprint Into Your Color Palette

  • Use Blueprint as a neutral. Remember, blues like navy and denim can be paired with almost any color.
  • Replace a gray with Blueprint. This versatile blue can replace any cool gray color.
  • Use it in a monochromatic scheme. Blueprint can work with lighter and darker blue shades.
  • Add Blueprint as an accent color in your neutral color scheme.

Behr made it easy to use their 2019 Color of the Year by choosing a friendly blue without those surprise undertones that can pop up and ruin your color scheme. Here is our favorite inspiration for using Blueprint at home:

Behr Blueprint in the Living Room

Behr 2019 Color of the Year

An eclectic living room is made dramatic with Behr Blueprint. Image: Behr

  • If you love the look of saturated color, you can totally use a mid-tone blue like Blueprint in your living room with other mid-tone colors. Mid-tone is a way of identifying colors that may be different, but are of similar light or darkness. Using colors of similar tones can give you a hip, eclectic look.
  • Blueprint is a beautiful and rich blue, but perhaps you’re concerned about your living room appearing too dark. You can handle any darker paint color by pairing it with lighter colors. Light flooring, rugs, trim or ceiling paint can balance the darkness of your wall color.
  • Too soon to commit to Blueprint as an entire living room color? Painted furniture is a low-commitment way to introduce a new color into your space. Coffee tables, consoles or end tables are perfect spots for adding color to your living room.

Behr Blueprint in the Kitchen

Behr Blueprint Kitchen

Behr Blueprint is right at home in this comfortable kitchen. Image: Behr

  • We love the trend of colorful kitchen islands, and Behr’s Blueprint can transform your kitchen in a flash. Adding color on a kitchen island provides a pop to all of your cabinets without a long and complicated painting project. 
  • Glass cabinet doors or open shelving offer a fun way to add color to your kitchen. Paint your accent color on the inside of your cabinets, letting Blueprint peek out from behind your dishes. You can also use this pop of color in the back of shelving or bookcases.
  • If you’re ready to change your kitchen wall colors, a pretty blue like Blueprint can highlight your white or wood cabinetry. You can also replace your cabinet and drawer hardware for a total makeover. Burnished gold hardware looks especially beautiful with blue cabinetry if you really want to make a statement.

Behr Blueprint in the Bathroom

Blue Bathroom Color

Blueprint, Behr’s 2019 Color of the Year, works in most bathroom styles. Image: Behr

  • Behr’s Blueprint can give your walls more presence and warmth in a traditional-style bathroom.
  • If you love contemporary style, a mid-tone blue like Blueprint can soften simple lines and shiny surfaces without taking away from your decorating vision for the room.
  • Updating your powder room can be as simple as a new paint color. Blueprint works very well in small spaces if you add white fixtures and light accessories. A rich blue powder room is not only welcoming to guests, but it also offers that “wow” factor you want in a room.

Behr Blueprint in the Bedroom

Blue Bedroom Paint Color

Soothing and serene, Blueprint is a relaxing choice for a bedroom wall color. Image: Behr

  • If you’re looking for a way to create a serene space in your bedroom, Behr’s Blueprint offers a soothing blue that is very comfortable.
  • If you want to add a touch of color to your bedroom, an accent wall behind your headboard is the perfect spot. Painting an accent color behind your bed brings out your headboard and pillow shams, so be sure to add that rich blue as an accent color in your bedding to pull it all together.

Behr Blueprint for Your Front Door

Blue Front Door

Blue is a welcoming color for your front porch. Image: Behr

  • If you would like to boost your home’s curb appeal, a freshly painted door is the top way to make a dramatic change. Blue doors are welcoming, friendly and coordinate with most exterior paint colors. Add a few matching planters or outdoor accessories to really rev up your curb appeal. 

Behr Blueprint in the Laundry Room 

Blue Laundry Room

Create a laundry room you love with Behr Blueprint. Image: Behr

  • If you’d love to bring Blueprint into your decor but can’t find the right space, your laundry room could be the perfect spot. Our laundry rooms are considered a private space within the home — you or your family are the only users of the room. A private space is your personal palette to choose any colors you love, and that can (hopefully) make doing laundry less of a chore.

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Creating a Home Gym That Makes You Want to Exercise

Nothing beats being able to exercise at your convenience – and in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  No driving in traffic, showering with strangers, wondering if the exercise equipment has been disinfected recently or being too hot or too cold.  Even if you’re not an exercise buff, designing your own gym allows you to create the type of space that is conducive to working out. Below, you’ll find design inspiration and tips to help you design a home gym that beckons you to work out.

This Orange County, California home gym features stained white oak plank floors. Image: Gaetano Hardwood Floors

“Compared with the cost of a gym membership or personal trainer, creating a home gym can pay for itself in no time,” according to Dan DiClerico, home expert and smart home strategist at HomeAdvisor.

And Wi-Fi-connected exercise equipment has increased the popularity of home gyms, he explains. “For example, a smart exercise bike with an interactive display makes it possible to join your favorite spin class without leaving the house.”

However, if you’re planning to install Wi-Fi-connected exercise equipment, he says it’s important to make sure there’s a good internet connection in the workout area. “That might mean installing additional wireless access points or range extenders to ensure fast internet speed. Otherwise, the weak signal could really slow down your workout.”

Space considerations

The dual fans in this Tampa, Florida home gym are stylish and functional. Image: John Cannon Homes

Fortunately, adding a home gym doesn’t have to be a major renovation project. “A finished basement or spare bedroom will do the trick,” DiClerico says. “Just make sure there will be enough clearance around and above the exercise equipment. Clearance requirements vary by machine but, in the case of treadmills, you generally want at least 6 ½ feet of free space at the back of the machine and 1 ½ feet at either side.”

The home gym is underneath the garage in this Minneapolis lakefront home. The walls are concrete and the ceiling is spancrete. Image: John Kraemer & Sons

If you don’t have an existing space, DiClerico recommends finishing the basement (unless, like the homeowner in the photo above, you can place the gym underneath the garage). “The average cost for finishing a basement ranges from $6,500 to $18,500,” DiClerico says. If you stick to the basics – hanging and painting drywall and installing plywood floors – he says you can control some of the costs. “But for the best workout experience, you’ll want good lighting, ventilation and audio/visuals, all of which will drive up the cost,” he explains.

This Chicago home gym is a weightlifter’s dream. Image: Raugstad, Inc

If you’re setting up your home gym to have a power rack, it’s going to take up a lot of space, according to Shawn Breyer, owner of Atlanta, Georgia-based Breyer Home Buyers. “Power Racks allow you to set the bar’s height at any level, allowing you to perform bench presses, squats, shoulder presses, etc.” He recommends a wall mount power rack.  “When not in use, they fold up and stick out five inches from the wall, allowing you to have your gym and your cars in your garage.”

Flooring considerations

If you plan on using weights in your home gym, it’s also important to make sure that they’re evenly dispersed across your flooring joist. “You don’t want to load up a dumbbell rack that happens to be in between two floor joists,” Breyer explains. “A 12-by-36-inch piece of 3/4-inch fir plywood can support up to 50 pounds without problems – but the average two-tiered dumbbell rack weighs 705 lbs.” Over time, Breyer says that either the plywood is going to warp or it’s going to collapse under the load.

This Cincinnati home gym has something for everyone. Image: Custom Homes

Breyer also recommends using rubber mats. “No matter what equipment, weights or workouts you throw at them, they can handle it,” he says. “Other benefits are that they’re easy to clean and provide great sound insulation – and that makes for a happy spouse.”

An Olympic platform sits in this San Francisco home gym. Image: Sarah Evers Hoffman

“Whether you’re setting up your gym in your garage or the spare room, if you are performing Olympic lifts such as power cleans and deadlifts, you need to have an Olympic platform,” advises Breyer. “Dropping weights can bust concrete and plywood, costing you hundreds or even thousands to repair the damages.” He says you can either purchase an Olympic platform or, if you’re DIY-inclined, you can build your own.

Resale considerations

This Corona del Mar, California home gym has rubber floor tiles and a garage door. Image: Jeri Koegel Photography

When deciding on the layout of your gym, consider how it will affect your home’s resale value. “If you have modified the house in any way, you’ll want to make the necessary repairs and changes prior to relisting your home,” Breyer advises. “And you need to put your gym equipment into storage.” He says home buyers like to picture themselves in your home. “If exercise is not a part of their lifestyle, a room full of gym equipment is going to decrease the chances that they will fall in love with your home and want to buy it.”

Equipment considerations

This spacious London-based home gym allows for plenty of equipment. Image: Originate Architects

Exercise physiologist, celebrity trainer and Nautilus, Inc. fitness advisor Tom Holland is host of the weekly Bowflex live stream “Breakfast Club.” According to Holland, your equipment is the key to a successful workout. “First and foremost, consumers must take time to select equipment that they are most likely to use on a consistent basis, especially cardiovascular equipment,” he tells Freshome. “While price is often a factor for most people, paying a little more on equipment that you will utilize is a much smarter decision than spending less on a piece that will sit unused.”

Holland recommends the following three pieces of equipment:

Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells. Image: Nautilus, Inc.

“The Bowflex SelectTech 560 dumbbells are the first-ever smart dumbbells that offer a fully interactive workout experience with a Bluetooth 3DT sensor and SelectTech app coaching you through your workout, allowing you to save time by working out at home and reducing the number of separate dumbbells from 32 down to only two,” Holland says.

The Bowflex Lateral X. Image: Nautilus, Inc.

“The Bowflex Lateral X is a unique cardio trainer designed to provide a full-body workout and move in three dimensions: side-to-side, push-and-pull and stand-and-squat,” Holland says. “These motions mimic real-life movements like yardwork, housecleaning and playing with your kids, which can help strengthen those otherwise-neglected muscles.”

The Modern Movement M-Pad. Image: Nautilus, Inc.

“The Modern Movement is a line of balance, core and strength training products that feature the revolutionary M-Trac app, which allows users to measure improvement in balance and agility or utilize a digital personal trainer to guide them through their workout,“ Holland says. “Both the Edge-Board Core Strength Trainer and M-Pad Balance & Strength Trainer are easy to store and perfect for tackling core strength exercises throughout your home if you are short on space.”

The post Creating a Home Gym That Makes You Want to Exercise appeared first on Freshome.com.

4 Tips to Help You Create a Perfectly Cozy Breakfast Nook in Your Home

If you have enough space for it, we highly suggest incorporating a breakfast nook into your home. This space can serve as the perfect place for the family to gather, whether it’s over your morning cup of coffee or the kids’ homework after school. Keep reading to learn how to put together a breakfast nook that feels equally cozy and functional.

breakfast nook

Have your seating work with the angles of the room. Image: Moneyhill Interiors

Get creative with seating

Seating is the key feature of a breakfast nook. However, in this case, we’d encourage you to think beyond the standard table and chairs. Get a little creative with your seating. Breakfast nooks are supposed to be relaxed spaces and some shapely or otherwise out-of-the-box seating can go a long way toward driving home that feeling.

With that said, you have a few different options to consider. You could build your breakfast nook into a corner and offer rounded seating as shown in the picture above. Alternatively, you could create a full booth for a restaurant-style look or install bench seating underneath a kitchen window.

lighting

Make a statement with your lighting. Image: Twelve Chairs

Include statement lighting

Whenever you create a new functional area in your home, it’s important to include some visual clues to help denote it as separate from the rest of the space. Your breakfast nook is no exception. You’ll want to include a few design elements to help ground the nook as a space unto itself. The best way to do that is by hanging a statement lighting fixture over the table.

As for what we mean by “statement lighting,” in this case, we’re talking about anything that will catch the eye. It can either be through shape, like the one in the picture above, or size. A good rule of thumb is that, typically, your light fixture should run about 3/4 the width of your table.

pillows

Don’t forget the pillows and cushions. Image: Anne Becker Design

Keep it cozy

Picture it: You sit down at your breakfast nook every morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and ease into the day. That doesn’t sound like a space that should feel stark and cold, does it? Rather, just the opposite. We recommend that you make your breakfast nook as cozy as humanly possible. Create a space where people want to sit and lounge for a good, long while.

In terms of how to go about creating a cozy feeling in your space, it’s all about incorporating the right textiles. Here, you’ll want to opt for upholstered furniture over unupholstered seating, which tends to feel colder and less inviting. Then, pile on the accessories. A few well-placed throw pillows will go a long way here. If you live in a cooler climate, there’s no shame in including a throw blanket, as well.

fun

Keep your breakfast nook a casual space. Image: Walker Architects

Stay casual and fun

Lastly, take the time to consider what aesthetic you’re going after in this space. Typically, breakfast nooks are more casual than formal. They’re spaces meant for a quick breakfast before work or school, an afternoon snack or an evening study session. Ideally, they should feel more fun than stuffy in order to encourage everyday use.

The two best ways to achieve this feel are through color and pattern. Take a note from the photo above and work these two design elements into your upholstery and accessories. Of course, you could also take things a step further and incorporate the wall into your design, as well. Consider adding a whimsical touch with a chalkboard wall or some patterned wallpaper.

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12 Times Acrylic Furniture Made All The Difference In A Room (And Why It Will Work In Your Interiors)

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Acrylic furniture, sometimes also known as lucite, has been around since the 70s. Yet, this look isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The translucent material has what it takes to stand the test of time and still look the part of today’s modern interiors.

Don’t believe us? Keep scrolling. We put together some design inspiration on how to pull this look off in your own space. By the end of this post, you, too, will be on Team Acrylic.

acrylic

We’ll explain a little bit about why acrylic pieces are here to stay. Image: Portal Design Inc

Why it works

When working with any interior, you need to consider visual weight. Visual weight refers to the measure of force an object has on the eye, otherwise known as a measure of how heavy an object looks. Successfully pulling this off in a room is all about making sure that the visual weight is in balance.

Acrylic or lucite furniture is a great equalizer when it comes to achieving this goal. Since the furniture is literally see-through, it adds very little visual weight to the room, leaving plenty of opportunities for your other design elements to shine. Yet, at the same time, it adds a level of function to the room.

These pieces also pack a punch aesthetically. Their sleek lines and sharp edges lend themselves well to a modern look.

Convinced yet? Take a look at this acrylic inspiration

textiles

If you feel the need to ground your acrylic pieces to keep them from seeming too light, don’t be afraid to use textiles like seat covers or pillows. Image: cityhomeCOLLECTIVE

bar stools

Bar stools are a great addition to any kitchen island, but they can appear very bulky. Consider using acrylic versions to help them blend in with the rest of the space. Image: Michael Morris – Residential Project Advisory, Red Rock Development

Don’t think your acrylic furniture has to be simply-shaped or borderline boring. This material can be made into any shape or size your heart desires. Image: Raegan Ford Interior Design

legs

If you want to create the illusion of more space without giving up a piece’s sense of presence, try opting for items with acrylic legs and solid seating. Image: Ann Lowengart Interiors

seating

Alternatively, you can flip the script and have acrylic seating with solid legs. Image: Zehana Interiors

focal

There is a way to get acrylic furniture to stand out. Make it the focal point of the room by only using one item in this material. Image: Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

Acrylic furniture is a natural fit for small dining spaces like the one pictured above. You can have a full set of chairs without adding much visual weight to the space at all. Image: Hilary Mac Interiors

desk

You can use acrylic furniture to add a cool factor to your workspace. It doesn’t get much better than a see-through desk. Image: Maria Causey Interior Design

coffee table

If you’re working with a crowded room like the one pictured above, acrylic furniture can help you add function without bringing much more visual weight into the space. Image: Stephani Buchman Photography

bar cart

Occasional-use items like bar carts are a natural fit to be done in acrylic because they’re there when you need them and nearly out of sight when you don’t. Image: Rikki Snyder

tables

Surfaces like coffee tables and side tables work especially well in acrylic. Image: Mina Brinkey

The post 12 Times Acrylic Furniture Made All The Difference In A Room (And Why It Will Work In Your Interiors) appeared first on Freshome.com.

The Best in Skeleton Decor for an Awesome Halloween

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If you’re decorating for Halloween, chances are you’re thinking of using skeleton decor. Skeletons just go with Halloween. However, there’s an art to using skeletons in your Halloween decorations. Done right, they can look creative, truly spooky and even classy. Done wrong, you end up with a tacky plastic skeleton haphazardly hung from a tree or thrown into a chair. Even worse, you could end up with one of the lame 2D cardboard skeletons. Below are some ideas for using skeleton decor in your Halloween decorations that will take your home to the next level this season.

Skeleton Décor Multicolor Design

Get a different multicolored look with this shimmery design. Image: Grandin Road

Iridescent skeleton

New this season from Grandin Road is this iridescent skeleton. Gone are the days of having to find a cheap-looking white skeleton to throw into a chair. The shimmering, multicolor design gives it a truly supernatural feel. It also makes it look more artistic, and the metallic finish makes it look more upscale.

It would work great placed into a chair, as the photo above shows. ItHe stands over five feet tall, making a good go at looking like a real, life-sized scare. You could also hang it so it looks like the skeleton is floating. It comes fully hinged for easy posing, so you could prop it standing against something. Dress it up or give it something to hold for added fun.

Skeleton Décor Jazz Time Dolls

Group your collectibles for a subtle way to use skeletons in your decor. Image: Grandin Road

Skeleton dolls

Another idea for incorporating skeletons is to work with dolls. An example is the Jazz Time skeletons from Grandin Road. This set is a handmade design from Mark Roberts. Designs like these can make fun collectibles you can display around Halloween year after year.

Because of the creative wardrobe, they make a fun, artistic addition to your home’s seasonal decor. They could work as an overall haunted theme. Or you could place them out on the mantel or other display areas as a fun, subtle addition this Halloween. A wonderful aspect of these pieces is the versatility of the design.

Skeleton Décor Black Skull

Skulls can look chic, too. Image: Target

Skeleton chic

Decorating with skulls is a classic way to get into the Halloween spirit using skeleton decor. And a great way to go upscale with that idea is this black skull with jewels on it, part of Target’s Dark Wonder Decor Collection. This is a line of indoor decorations that focuses on bringing the chic to Halloween decor. It features a darkly elegant style that’s easy to layer in your home.

And like any Halloween decor collection worth its salt, it features tons of skeleton decor items. There are skull wall hangings, a variety of skull statues and even a life-sized poseable skeleton that would look great dressed up in some gothic attire.

Skeleton Décor Plush Skull with Cat

Go plush for a cute take on using skeleton decor. Image: Target

The Hallow’s Eve Collection

Another idea for decorating with skeletons is to go cute and plush. You don’t have to always go for frights. A cuter, softer look can be great with fun Halloween styles. The piece is part of Target’s Hallows Eve Decor Collection. This line is more in the rustic chic and traditional vein. It’s a great option if you’re decorating a country style home or just looking for items that are on the cute side of things. In this collection, you’ll find adorable plush figures, a cute witch doll and classy painted pumpkins, to name a few items.

Skeleton Décor Climbing Spook

Simulate an invasion by creepy undead monsters. Image: Wayfair

Skeleton decor featuring creative placement

Here’s another fun idea for skeleton decor if you’re going for the spooky or scary side of Halloween. This skeleton is made to look like it’s climbing the walls. And the way it peers over its shoulder at people is delightfully unnerving.

This item would be great on fences or on the front door to greet trick-or-treaters. Or place it inside as part of a haunted house theme. It’s a neat way to make it look like your home is being invaded by the living dead, no matter where you choose to place it.

Skeleton Décor Realistic Painting

Anatomical paintings are an upscale way to use skeletons in your Halloween decor. Image: Anna Burles

Going artistic

You can also work skeletons into your Halloween decorating by using realistic anatomy paintings. You’ll want to look for something that’s highly realistic in the way the skeleton is depicted, like in the photo above. If it looks like it’s on parchment, all the better. That way, it appears that the skeleton drawing is out of an old anatomy book. Bonus points for subtle scientific labeling of the parts of the skeleton.

This idea allows you to use skeletons in your decor while looking artsy, scientific and classy. A neat way to use it in Halloween decor would be to go for a mad scientist party theme. You could have a skeleton painting hanging with some Frankenstein’s-monster-themed decor and faux mad scientist lab equipment. (For more ideas, check out our other tips for throwing Halloween parties.)

Are skeletons your go-to Halloween decor item, as they are for many people? What are some of the ways you’ve used them in the past?

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Benefit Cosmetics And PBTeen Have Teamed Up To Bring You The Home Decor Collection Of Your Girly-Glam Fantasies

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Get ready to say goodbye to your allowance – or paycheck – because two titan teen brands have teamed up to deliver you the home decor collection of your girly-glam fantasies. This collaboration between Benefit Cosmetics and PBTeen is unapologetically feminine and totally on-trend. Its beauty-inspired decor delivers plenty of rose gold with a little bit of a 70s art deco vibe. Trust us when we say you won’t be able to get enough.

The whole collection is utterly swoon-worthy, in the best way possible.

Does it get any more glamorous than this? Image: PBTeen

“The Benefit x PBteen Collection is mod with a nod to the 1970s! It’s inspired by the luxe glam rock aesthetics of the era with opposite forces fusing together in surprising ways,” said Shannon Clemence, Senior Vice President of Global Creative Services at Benefit Cosmetics.

If you like one item in this collection, you’re going to want them all. But, before you start making your wishlist, keep scrolling. We’ve picked out our top 10 favorite pieces from the Benefit Cosmetics and PBTeen line that we know you’ll love, too.

1. Benefit Gorgeous Pillow Case, $79 

Talk about getting your beauty sleep. This makeup-inspired pillowcase will ensure you wake up feeling – and looking – ready to take on the day.

If you love this look, you’ll also love their Benefit Face Framed Art, 18″x24″.

2. Benefit Hello Gorgeous Framed Art, 18″x24″, $99

Every day should start and end with a little positivity. This wall art makes sure you never have to look far to see how beautiful you really are.

3. Mongolian Fur Pillow Cover, $35 – $60

Who needs boring throw pillows when you can have these instead? They look plush, soft and utterly perfect for rounding out a bedroom design. We might want one in every color.

4. Benefit Gorgeous Round Marquee Mirror, $249

We clearly get the 70s vibe from this lighted makeup mirror and we’re loving it. It’s a little bit glam, a little bit punk and completely fit to help you get ready for the day in style.

5. Benefit Gorgeous Glass Shelves, $199

Sometimes the simplest things are the best and these shelves are no exception. The clean lines and barely-there shelving will always let prized possessions take center stage.

6. Farrah Side Table, $199

Other side tables have nothing on this one. The combination of rose gold and glass gives this piece a touch of modern elegance.

7. Kinetic Chandelier, $249

Who doesn’t want a chandelier in their bedroom? The blush gold tones and geometric shape of this one ensure that it feels totally in-line with today’s styles.

8. Benefit Gorgeous Travel Vanity, $599

Perfect for the girl on the go, this lighted travel vanity ensures that you’ll always have your favorite products at arm’s reach, whether you’re at home or off on a grand adventure.

Pair it with the Benefit Gorgeous Vanity Chair.

9. Customize-It Project Metal A-Frame Desk, $939

Whether you’re catching up on paperwork or homework, this minimalist, A-frame desk has everything you need to be the boss of your own space.

10. Avalon Channel Stitch Daybed, $1,299 – $1,399

Is there anything chicer than a daybed? While this one might be a luxurious purchase, it’s guaranteed to be the statement piece that takes your design to the next level.

Like what you see? You can view the entire 20-piece collection from Benefit Cosmetics and PBTeen here.

The post Benefit Cosmetics And PBTeen Have Teamed Up To Bring You The Home Decor Collection Of Your Girly-Glam Fantasies appeared first on Freshome.com.

Top Designer Tips to Style Your Nightstand

Style your nightstand tips

Style your nightstand with pastel colors and mid-century modern inspiration. Image: Williams Sonoma Home

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Nightstands have a way of attracting clutter with everyday use. Is there really a way to organize the items we keep close at hand every night? We spoke with top interior designers to find out their favorite ways of maximizing this small surface while making it a stylish focal point in the bedroom. Instead of using your nightstand as a catch-all, you can style it to be functional and attractive with these simple ideas:

Creative Nightstand styling

Use nightstands to express your unique creativity and taste. Image: Lisa Gilmore

Get creative with personal touches

Interior designer Lisa Gilmore, known for her colorful and glamorous design, shares her out-of-the-box tips to style your nightstand in unique ways:

  • Books: Choose some pretty books — it can be color, font or subject that attracts you — and make a neat little stack.
  • Table lamp: Have fun with your table lamp. It can be an artistic piece or something that complements the whole room nicely. Make sure that the scale is appropriate for the space you have.
  • Personal touches: Add something a little whimsical or sentimental. Those little pieces make a nightstand go from boring to perfectly styled!
neutral bedroom nightstands

Well-styled nightstands complement a neutral bedroom. Image: Mark Cutler Design

Style with technology in mind

Los Angeles-based interior designer Mark Cutler offers practical tips for incorporating your tech needs while styling a beautiful nightstand: “I think the first rule of thumb is to start with what you need. Are you a tech person with a bunch of remotes? Then find a beautiful box to store them in.” 

How we use our nightstands should also determine how we style them. “Another thing to consider is: What do you want to see first thing in the morning?” Cutler says. “A framed picture of your family? An alarm clock? Or maybe just glorious open space? Try to make the nightstand a reflection of you. As a general rule, my nightstand always has a decanter of water, a cool retro alarm clock, a book or two, a vase with fresh flowers from my garden and a tall table lamp.”

Pottery Barn Nightstand

Rustic meets industrial in Pottery Barn’s Juno Nightstand. Image: Pottery Barn

Consider functionality

Margaret Ash, a leading San Francisco-based interior designer, offers a formula for styling your nightstand to create the bedroom of your dreams:

  • Design: It’s important to start with a good foundation — the nightstand itself! Choose a nightstand with a drawer and/or lower shelf so you can hide the clutter and stack your books, magazines and iPad underneath.
  • Lighting: Lighting in a bedroom is key, as you want to create a warm and gentle ambiance to set a calm environment for bedtime. Choose a lamp that doesn’t take up the entire nightstand. If your nightstands are small, opt for a sconce mounted on the wall above the nightstand so you have more surface area for styling and storing the essentials.
  • Mirrors: If your room is small, a mirror mounted on the wall behind the nightstand can make the room feel bigger.
  • Ring holder or jewelry box: A box or small plate to hold your ring, watch and trinkets is important to help keep your bedside table organized.
  • Family photos: Having one professional photograph of a special milestone like a wedding or newborn photo is a nice way to remember the important people in your life. Make sure the frame doesn’t overpower the picture. Sterling silver frames or gold leaf frames are always best.
West Elm styled nightstand

Natural materials and clean lines enhance the feng shui energy of this simple nightstand from West Elm. Image: West Elm

Incorporate feng shui

Feng shui principals promote balance and positive energy in any bedroom. Feng shui expert Patricia Lohan claims that “the bedroom needs to represent rest, romance and relaxation.” When it comes to a nightstand, she says that equilibrium and balance is key. “For relationships, we want harmony and balance, so both sides of the bed need to be treated equally.”

To create a peaceful sleeping space, Patricia recommends incorporating solid wooden nightstands, soft-toned lamps and uplifting books. If you want to go even further, try placing a picture frame or object with inspirational quotes on your nightstand.

Above all, Patricia suggests keeping your nightstand uncluttered. Having too many items beside your bed may affect your sleep.

West Elm Nightstand

This simple and stunning piece from West Elm is the perfect match for a neutral bedroom. Image: West Elm

Avoid clutter

For some bedrooms, the best approach to a nightstand is simplicity. This helps keep the space relaxing. The Ida York Design Group agrees — here are their five simple tips for the perfect bedside space:

  • Keep it simple: Clutter has a way of stressing us out. Make sure your nightstand has built-in storage for all of your bedside accessories. Leave the top for essential accessories like a clock, lamp, phone, etc.
  • Add a plant: Plants are continuously evolving accessories that you can customize over time. Not only do they look great, but they also create better air quality.
  • Be consistent: Bed frames and nightstands are an investment. Make sure they all match in style and color so your space feels visually consistent.
  • Refresh your look: A quick and inexpensive way to style an outdated nightstand is to add contact paper to the top. Contact paper comes in many colors and textures, allowing for endless possibilities.
  • Mix and match: Use the same color while mixing different shades, patterns and textures throughout your nightstand accessories.

A nightstand doesn’t have to be an afterthought in your bedroom; with careful planning and a few intimate touches, it is a great instrument for bringing serenity to your sleeping quarters. Which items are must-haves on your nightstand?

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