These 10 Swimming Pool Floats Replace Last Year’s Unicorn and Swan Pool Floats

It was all about swans and unicorns at the pool last year. This year’s best pool floats focus on comfort, novelty and pop culture trends like Game of Thrones and our craze with avocado toast. Here’s a roundup of this year’s best pool floats. Bring on summer!

1. Kai Seat Lounger at Pottery Barn, $199

Everyone loves a beanbag. And a swimming pool. Put both together and this is bound to be the hottest pool float this summer. Pottery Barn’s stock of the product sells out fast. If you catch it when it’s sold out, you can also buy it at Brookstone.

2. Glow Float at Front Gate, $129

How about a floating lounge chair that lights up at dusk? The Glow Float is not only one of the best pool floats this year, it’s a great pool light at night.

3. Glitter Rosé Pool Float at Urban Outfitters, $36

Rosé wine is making a comeback – and the pool float is the perfect lounge accessory. Pink is hot right now, so this chic float is also on-trend.

4. Flamingo Pool Float Rose Gold at Target, $19

Since we’re talking about pink’s popularity, it’s highly likely that this modern pink flamingo pool float will be popular in Florida.

5. Avocado Pool Float At Bed Bath & Beyond, $20

The avocado toast obsession drove avocado prices up. The phenomenon sparked the Washington Post to write a story on how millennials can’t afford houses because they’re spending it on avocado toast. Have your toast and float on it this summer.

6. Ice Dragon Party Tube Inflatable Raft at Amazon, $20

Game of Thrones is over, but themed accessories including dragons, crowns and thrones aren’t. This ice dragon party tube will hopefully have a better happily ever after than the show’s finale.

7. Canopy Island Inflatable Lounge at Amazon

This is the best pool float for when you want to lounge at the pool for hours. It’s sized for two and features a canopy to keep you from getting sunburn.

8. Poolcandy 2-in-1 Chair & Pool Lounger in Gold At Bed Bath & Beyond, $50

Gold isn’t going out of style anytime soon. And this pool lounger is perfectly blinged out for the most luxurious pools around.

9. Monterey 4-in-1 Multi-Purpose Inflatable Hammock at Amazon

Amazon shoppers swear by this versatile pool float and rate it high. You can use it as a saddle, lounge chair, hammock or pool drifter. It’s inexpensive enough to have a few, and plenty of fun.

10. Christine Pup Pool Mat at Wayfair, $75

Don’t forget man’s best friend. Wayfair hasn’t. This bone-shaped pool float means Fido can float right with you this summer, too.

All images courtesy of the retailer.

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How to Create the Ultimate Game Room

It’s nearly everyone’s dream: the ultimate game room. Whether you’re into classic pool hall games, retro arcade cabinets, card games or the latest in video games, you can’t beat having a place to go in your own home where the only thing to think about is having fun.

Also, the beauty of a game room is that one can fit in almost anywhere. If you have a spare bedroom, an unused den, a corner of the basement or even space above a garage, you can fit in a game room. And if you’re thinking about building a home, a game room is easy to work into a floor plan. So below we’ll cover how to design the perfect game room around your individual interests.

Game Room Pool Table

You can plan for multiple game types. Image: krsmanovic/Shutterstock

Assess What Types of Games You Want to Include

The first step is, of course, deciding on what games you want to have. The photo above shows how you can have more than one type of activity. Combining a pool table with table tennis is a very common game room idea. Foosball is also common. And there’s the classic standby of professional card tables.

You might also find other smaller games to include, like a dart board on the wall. Small-scale games are great both as additions to larger game rooms or when floor space is a concern.

You can also elect for modern video games, classic arcade cabinets or pinball machines. And a less common idea could be indoor bocce ball or shuffleboard courts.

Game Room Foosball Table

Gaming additions like this foosball table can fit almost anywhere. Image: zhu difeng/Shutterstock

Think About Combining the Game Room with Other Areas

As mentioned above, you might be surprised to learn what you can make into a game room. An example is the gaming addition to the spacious modern home in the photo above. If you have some extra space just off of a living room, you can add something like a foosball table or a corner with arcade cabinets.

This is also a great idea for small space homes, where turning areas into multifunctional spaces can help save room. Some other ideas might be adding a dart board into a den, setting up a pool table next to a home bar area or placing table tennis in a converted loft area.

Game Room Home Bar

Remember to create ambiance in your game room by choosing appropriate themes. Image: Richman21/Shutterstock

Pick a Theme

Another aspect to keep in mind is picking a design theme. Some game rooms go minimalistic and simply have the game tables with little to adorn the room. That can be its own modern style. However, other game rooms go for a whole design theme, right down to the building materials. An example is the photo above, where the foosball table and pool table are part of an industrial bar theme.

Based on the games you choose, you could go a number of different directions. You could make the area look like a classic arcade if you choose video games or pinball machines, with retro posters featuring classic games on the walls. Or you could go with a classic billiard room full of rich textures and elegant lighting fixtures. These are just a couple of examples. The area should reflect your tastes and interests first and foremost.

Game Room Focal Point

Make sure your game room is well-organized around a focal game or two. Image: Stelmakh Oxana/Shutterstock

Organize Your Game Room

When it comes to planning a game room, there is one key design principle to keep in mind. The game room itself should be designed around the largest game or two, which serve as your focal point. The photo above shows how the pool table is in the center of the room and draws the eye. A large wall hanging sits next to the pool table, with lighting fixtures above the table. A sitting area is also off to the side.

Everything in the room is arranged out from the largest game in the room. For other game styles, the focal point might be a big screen television if it’s a video game room or a set of pinball machines along the wall.

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The Freshome Dream Living Room

dream living room

Psst! Here’s the (not so) secret Freshome recipe for a dream living room. Image: Hero Images/Getty Images

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. 

Sometimes we take for granted that the living room is, in fact, the place where we do most of our living. It’s a space that needs to serve multiple purposes and please multiple personalities. The living room is a place for parties and the location for movie nights. It’s a harbor where you can catch your breath after a long day, and the space where families can come together through the thick and thin and enjoy each other’s company. So it’s no surprise that the Freshome team has some opinions on what makes a good living room. Let’s take a quick look at what we think the dream living room needs to really shine.

When polled, we all agreed that there are a few key elements every living room simply must contain. There’s the couch, comfortable and large enough to seat everyone in the family. Then there’s the accent furniture that makes the space pop. And we can’t forget the TV that often serves as the hearth of the home in the digital age. But what sets one living room apart from another? It’s all about the personality and the pieces you gather in the space. We polled our Freshome team to find out which pieces are absolutely critical in a dream living room and which can make all the difference when it comes to your design.

dream living room - accent sofa

Your accent sofa is the place to show off your personal design flair. The Drake Sofa in mustard yellow? Why not! Image: West Elm

#1: An accent color loveseat or sofa

One of the most fun pieces to shop for your dream living room is the accent loveseat or sofa. While you may want to go more traditional with your primary couch color (see below), this is a place to have some fun. With maximalism trending, who says you can’t get a jewel-toned sofa is a rich velvet? Or a bold, patterned upholstery? Really, this is your opportunity to dream something up in your head, then buy it for your home.

If you’re looking for a place to get started, we recommend one of our Freshome favorites: the Drake Sofa from West Elm, pictured above in Twill in Dark Horseradish. Some of our writers love the bright pop of yellow, while others prefer the more lush look of Distressed Velvet in Forest or Dusty Blush. All this to say, your accent furniture is a place to showcase your design preferences and pick a piece that will wow your friends.

dream living room - couch

A giant couch invites friends and family to gather – or gives you a place to stretch out by yourself. Image: CreativaStudio/Getty Images

#2: A giant couch

The right couch can be the centerpiece of any dream living room. When it comes to choosing your couch color, it’s tempting to want to go big and bold. After all, this is a piece that everyone’s going to be looking at – and sitting on. But don’t forget that this will be one of the biggest investments in your home (good couches aren’t cheap!) and you’re going to want to love it for years to come.

Neutral colors give you the flexibility to change the room without needing to buy a new couch. All you need are new throw pillows and you can make your couch work with virtually any theme. When it comes to the shape, try to strike a balance between interesting and classic so you choose a design that has staying power. We love a good, square sectional sofa or one that invites you to plop down, like the Hamilton Leather Sofa from West Elm. Still not sure which couch is right for you? Check out this guide on the different sofa styles for more clarity.

dream living room - gallery wall

A living room gallery wall is the ideal place to showcase what you love. Image:

#3: Wall art

Your living room wall art is your opportunity to really let your personality shine and have some fun! Maybe you want a bright and open feel to your living room space. In that case, an oversized mirror is just the thing to place on one of the prominent walls. It reflects light, making the space feel brighter, and adds an interesting design element.

Or maybe you want to really add some personal flair. The living room is the perfect place for a gallery wall. When putting together a gallery wall, our Freshome team says you need:

  • Art you truly love, like photos with personal meaning or paintings your kids made in class.
  • Something thought-provoking, like a mounted sculptural element, an abstract art piece or black and white photos.
  • A large piece to anchor the layout. If there’s no single piece you want to spotlight, consider adding a floating ledge to serve as your anchor.

We’ve rounded up more gallery wall hacks to help you pull the whole thing together.

When looking for art for your living room, don’t settle just because you feel like you need to get something up on the walls. Wait until something really speaks to you. Remember, you’re working to create your dream living room! And being surrounded by art you really love makes your dream living room a truly enjoyable place to spend time.

dream living room - entertainment

Your living room can easily pull double-duty when it’s simple to tuck away your TV. The Cameo 2-Piece Entertainment Center makes that easy. Image: Crate & Barrel

#4: A space for entertaining and entertainment

While a number of us at Freshome would love to have a home theater, those of us who are still waiting to make our millions and buy our mansion settle for creating a theater-like space in our dream living room. A flatscreen TV is a must (here’s a VIZIO D-Series 24″ option from Target to get you started), but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the focal point of the room. We’ve highlighted a number of ways you can seamlessly integrate your TV into the room or cleverly hide it away. For example, you can tuck it away in a polished entertainment center, like the Cameo 2-Piece Entertainment Center from Crate & Barrel.

Integrating your TV is so important because your living room needs to pull double-duty. It can’t just be a space for entertainment, it also needs to be a space for entertaining. When choosing electronics, furniture, decor and lighting for your dream living room, picture the space full of people. Will it comfortably accommodate the groups you plan to host? Sectional furniture that can be moved around can help you carve out a better entertaining area. Hideaway TVs can make the space feel more intimate and dimmable lights can create ambiance. In short, when planning your dream living room, think through how it will function whether you’re curled up on the couch solo or you’re entertaining a large group.

dream living room - chair

Give yourself a space to relax by adding a comfortable chair to your living room. Image:

#5: A comfortable chair

Sure, a big couch is key in every living room. But what about when you want a little more space for yourself? A big, cozy chair is the ideal place to curl up and grab the aforementioned alone time. Plus, it’s a great addition to the living room of anyone who entertains. Not every guest wants to sit side-by-side with a complete stranger – or even a close friend. Add an accent pillow and a cozy throw and you’ve created an inviting addition to your dream living room.

dream living room - coffee table

When picking furniture, remember that an interesting coffee table (like the Yukon Natural Coffee Table) makes even the simplest living room pop. Image: Crate & Barrel

#6: A memorable coffee table

No living room would be complete without a coffee table where you can place decor, books and drinks. And in our dream living room, the coffee table itself serves as a piece of decor. Go beyond the basic and look for a coffee table that will add a level of interest to your room. Here are a few of our Freshome favorites:

What would we find in your dream living room? We had a lot of fun thinking about it – and you might, too! Picture your ideal living room and tell us what sets it apart in the comments.

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Here’s Your Design Style According To Your Zodiac Sign

Your zodiac sign can say a lot about your personality and preferences. Depending on where the stars were in the sky at the time of your birth, your design style may be bold and messy, neat and organized or somewhere in between.

Look up your zodiac sign below (or the sign of someone you love) to check out the sign’s favorite design style. It’s a great way to find the perfect gift for someone or help yourself define the best design style for your personality.

March 21 – April 19 | Aries
April 20 – May 20 | Taurus
May 21 – June 20 | Gemini
June 21 – July 22 | Cancer
July 23 – August 22 | Leo
August 23 – September 22 | Virgo
September 23 – October 22 | Libra
October 23 – November 21 | Scorpio
November 22 – December 21 | Sagittarius
December 22 – January 19 | Capricorn
January 20 – February 18 | Aquarius
February 19 – March 20 | Pisces


what's my design style

The fiery Aries loves the latest design ideas and the color red. Image: Silver Dragon

About you: You’re fiery, passionate and a pioneer. An Aries is full of energy and people are drawn to your fun, warm personality. Aries people aren’t afraid to try something new. You love to be out and about, so you prefer your home to be low maintenance.

Design style: Contemporary

Design keywords: Minimalist, contemporary, sleek, the latest

Power color: Red and any bold, fiery colors

Must-have home element: Anything in leather, especially if the leather is red, black or white

Stores just for you: All Modern, Design Within Reach


Taurus design personality

Taureans love soft, tactile fabrics and textures. Image: Tarimas Deautor

About you: Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty. Comfort, security and a warm, peaceful environment are important to you. The best food and decor await behind the doors of a Taurus space.

Design style: Traditional luxe

Design keywords: Luxury, classic, comfortable

Power color: Green

Must-have home element: The ultimate lounging sofa or daybed, complete with throw pillows and a soft throw

Stores just for you: Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma


gemini personality at home

It’s likely that a Gemini will have bookcases that display their book and object collection. Image: Carla Capdevila

About you: You’re easy-breezy, a great communicator and always on the hunt for new things. You’re ruled by twins, meaning you have two very opposite sides to you, making you seem eclectic. You’re the one sign that can love traditional and modern at the same time while falling in love in an instant with the next design trend.

Design style: Modern eclectic

Design keywords: Trendy, mix and match, light and airy

Power color: White

Must-have home element: A modern bookcase (or two) for all your books

Stores just for you: CB2, Urban Outfitters


Cancer design style

A Cancer space is always cozy, inviting, unfussy and family-friendly. Image: Zero Energy Design

About you: Cancers are the ultimate homebody. Your home is very important to you and it’s always cozy, comfortable and unpretentious. People gravitate to you because of your soothing, nurturing personality.

Design style: Farmhouse

Design keywords: Simple, comfortable, nostalgic, family-friendly

Power color: White

Must-have home element: A gallery wall or photo frames to display your favorite family photos and keepsakes

Stores just for you: Magnolia Home, Pottery Barn


leo design styles

Leos love high-end details like gold accents and graphic patterns. Image: Interior By Malin

About you: You’re regal and you know it. You were born to shine and be the star of the zodiac. In fact, many Leos have wild hair or some attribute that sets them apart from the crowd. Your home is a reflection of you – unique, lavish and eye-catching.

Design style: Maximalist

Design keywords: Regal, more is more, lavish, personalized

Power color: Gold

Must-have home element: Monogrammed everything

Stores just for you: One Kings Lane, Neiman Marcus


virgo design styles

This immaculate space has a warm feeling, thanks to rustic, natural elements like recycled wood floors. Image: Luigi Rosselli

About you: You have an eye that notices every tiny detail. You need order, organization and cleanliness or you’ll go crazy. Because Virgos belong to the earth element, you prefer natural materials. People appreciate your helpful, practical personality and your need for harmony at home.

Design style: Rustic modern

Design keywords: Zen, organized, natural, organic

Power color: Earth tones like mocha and beige

Must-have home element: A striking living wall or lots of indoor plants

Stores just for you: West Elm, The Container Store


libra design style

Libras love to entertain and their homes are a pleasing environment for guests and family. Image: Kixo

About you: You’re naturally stylish and can be quite artistic. People are drawn to you because of your talent for being diplomatic and fair. Harmonious relationships are very important to you. Your home shows this innate talent for balance and harmony, although sometimes you get overwhelmed by everything and your house becomes a bit messy. But it will always be a pretty mess.

Design style: Modern

Design keywords: Proportionate, inviting, elegant, fashionable

Power color: Light blues and pinks

Must-have home element: A gorgeous dining room setting for six or more

Stores just for you: Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom


Scorpio design style

Scorpios are best known for their air of mystery and their love for dark, refined and dramatic style. Image: Project Interiors

About you: Your secretive nature makes you mysterious and enigmatic to others. You’re fascinated by all things deep and below the surface, like how or why things work. You’re suspicious of trends and superficial ideas. You prefer your home to be your gorgeously-appointed cave where you feel safe to be yourself away from the prying eyes of the world.

Design style: Classic

Design keywords: Mysterious, refined, private, sensuous

Power color: Black

Must-have home element: A bedroom featuring a velvet headboard and layers of richly colored silk sheets with blackout curtains

Stores just for you: Bo Concept, Restoration Hardware


sagittarius design style

Outdoor elements like potted plants or natural materials, fused with exotic objects from their travels, are often found in the home of a Sagittarius. Image: Rikki Snyder

About you: We thank you, dear Saggie, for being you. You’re funny, easy-going and the first one to sign up for a road trip or outdoor adventure like bungee jumping or a treasure hunt. You can’t live without the outdoors or far-off cultures, making you the ultimate free spirit.

Design style: Global chic

Design keywords: Global, boho-chic, bright, outdoorsy

Power color: Indigo

Must-have home element: A wall of objects from your travels

Stores just for you: Pier 1World Market


what's my design style?

Capricorns may put practicality above all, but they still manage to create an elegant signature style. Image: Rachel Madden Interiors

About you: You tend to be traditional. Friends love you for your reliable nature and the wise advice you offer. Practicality comes before comfort or style. You work hard to earn what you have and value everything in your possession. There’s no room for things of no use in your space.

Design style: Scandinavian

Design keywords: Practical, antique, durable

Power color: Grey

Must-have home element: A beautiful and well-organized closet

Stores just for you: Room and Board, Hay


what's my design style?

Quirky, artistic and fun objects are often found in the home of an Aquarius. Image: 30s Magazine

About you: You’re fascinated by anything unusual or different. Good causes and the environment are important to you. You’re a rebel and crave freedom so you can express your unique self fully. You have lots of friends and admirers that find you to be unpretentious and a breath of fresh air.

Design style: Eco-eclectic

Design keywords: Hi-tech, avant-garde, green, crafty

Power color: Aqua blue

Must-have home element: A living room featuring repurposed objects like a wood pallet coffee table

Stores just for you: Etsy, Viva Terra


star sign design style

Pisces dwellers are drawn to all things water-related. You’re bound to find lots of glass and blue decor in their airy homes. Image: Black Band Design

About you: Pisces is the dreamer of the zodiac. You’re sensitive, have a great imagination and need a sanctuary where you can rest, relax and recharge your batteries. Pisces is a water element and is drawn to the sea.

Design style: Coastal

Design keywords: Beachy, zen, relaxed, subtle, ethereal

Power color: Slate blue

Must-have home element: A crisp white bedroom with a beachy-zen vibe and a small fish bowl

Stores just for you: Anthropologie, Joss & Main

Do you agree with your zodiac sign personality and design style? Or is there one that you identify with more closely?

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Transform Your Basement with these Creative Ideas

Basements are undergoing a renaissance right now. “Traditionally, basements were filled with a sectional, a big screen television, a pool table and a mini fridge for small refreshments,” according to Patrick Garrett, real estate broker at H&H Realty in Trussville, AL.

However, he says the basement is now transitioning from man cave to family room. “Many modern-day homeowners are now going for the ‘wow’ factor,” Garrett explains. From movie theaters to offices and even kitchens, homeowners are using their basements for way more than storage.

Here are some imaginative ways that you can transform your basement.

Home theater

home theater1

Entrance to a Westborough, MA basement home theater. Image: CHIC Redesign

This basement home theater certainly looks opulent – but that’s actually a basic solid core door with upholstered vinyl panels. The photo below shows the inside of the theater.

home theater2

A true home entertainment experience. Image: CHIC Redesign

“From mass in-home family game rooms to full-blown home theaters, you can expect to see oversized recliner theater seating, high-resolution LCD projectors which produce theater quality images mounted to ceilings, and images the full width and height of the walls.” Garrett says. You could even add a popcorn machine to complete the movie theater theme.

Multipurpose game room

media room/game room/bar

Washington, DC-area multifunctional basement with a maple hardwood floor and custom bar. Image: Moss Building and Design

“Homeowners are also creating multipurpose fun areas and using a vast array of lighting options to brighten or soften the atmosphere,” Garrett says. “In my opinion, basements are still a highly sought out home amenity, even if just for the luxury of entertaining guests and friends.” This basement game room offers multiple areas for guests to relax and play.

Basement bar and brewery

basement bar

This Ottawa home has a bar and homemade beer. Image: Just Basements

What’s on tap? In this Ottawa basement home bar and brewery, there’s actually an 8-tap chrome draft tower. For complex basement redesigns, it’s especially important to plan ahead. “If you’re planning a basement remodel, establish your budget in advance,” advises J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a professional, he says it’s important to make sure that any work meets local ordinances.

Home office

home office

This Fulham, UK, town house basement has plenty of light. Image: MH Costa Construction Ltd

A home office in the basement can provide a nice, quiet place to work away from distractions. This minimalist home office in this townhouse has a cantilevered steel staircase and offers plenty of natural light.

Basement suite

mother in law suite

This Toronto basement has separate living quarters. Image: Rebecca Purdy Design

When you transform your basement with a separate bedroom, bathroom and office that look this inviting, be advised – guests may not want to leave. “If you are adding another bathroom, you will need to hire a licensed plumber,” says Sassano. “If you are simply enhancing an existing bathroom, some paint, a more modern vanity, new fixtures, towels, and accessories can make a huge impact,” he says.

Basement kitchen

basement kitchen

The kitchen is in the basement of this sleek London space. Image: Casey & Fox

Garrett says another trend he’s seeing among homeowners is kitchens in the basement. This London basement kitchen has a blue-grey glass backsplash, a quartz island, and a micro concrete heated floor. If your basement is cold, air may be seeping in, according to Sassano. “Hold a wet hand in front of a light switch plate or outlet; if you feel air, you have a leak,” he says. “Installing foam gaskets behind all the light switches and outlets can stop these energy leaks.” Other ways to boost your energy efficiency in the basement include using low-VOC caulk and foam strips around windows and door frames that leak air, advises Sassano. “Also, add door sweeps and door shoe gaskets around threshold and exterior doors,” he says.

Craft and laundry room

craft-laundry room

This basement area serves dual purposes. Image: RW Anderson Homes

In addition to being the laundry room, this Seattle basement also serves as a craft room. The spacious table provides plenty of room to work, and the storage bins hide all of your supplies. This basement would certainly make laundry less of a chore.

Kid-friendly basement

Kid-friendly basement

This Burlington basement has a custom storage system to keep toys neatly organized. Image: Peregrine Design Build

The best way to keep your house neat and clean is to give the kids their own space. Bright colors and natural light add to the allure of this kid-friendly basement.  “It’s important to determine the scope of your basement remodel, since load-bearing walls play an integral role to your home’s structure,” Sassano says. This can be a factor in how to best use the space when you plan to transform your basement.

Home gym

Home gym

Portland-based home gym in the basement. Image: Rhonda Divers Interiors

You’ll never have an excuse for not exercising when the gym is downstairs in the basement. This Portland basement gym includes a recycled rubber floor, and everything you need to get (or stay) in shape while watching your favorite show.

Do any of these ideas inspire you to transform your basement? Let us know in the comments.

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How to Create a Home that Helps You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Last year, Stastisa revealed the most common New Year’s resolutions – and they probably won’t surprise you. The top five were: eat healthier, get more exercise, save money, focus on self-care and read more. If you’re setting your own resolutions for 2019, some of those might resonate with you. But this list can also be discouraging. If we’ve all been trying to eat healthier year after year, why haven’t we pulled it off yet?

Now, we’re not going to try to solve the New Year’s resolution problem in one fell swoop. Your local gyms will probably still be packed in January but a ghost town by early March. We can, however, make some recommendations to help you stick to your resolutions next year. Making some small changes around your home can make 2019 the year where you reflect on your resolutions with pride come next December. Here are a few things you can do to create a home that sets you up for success.

new year's resolutions - pantry

An organized pantry stocked with healthy, easy-to-grab food makes healthy eating easier. Image: Inspired Closets Nashville

Resolution #1: Eat healthier

Are you trying to get on board the healthy eating bandwagon? Us, too. This is a hard one when you’ve got coworkers who bring in cookies or friends who love to eat out. But you can at least make your life easier at home. First things first, clean out that pantry. Give yourself the challenge to stop buying groceries except for fresh produce until you’ve eaten all your pantry staples (and, yes, those extra bags of chips while you’re at it). Now that you’ve cleared out all those refined grains and trans fats, restock with healthy, whole food. As a rule, the less processed food is, the better it probably is for you. Check the ingredient list. Fewer ingredients, and especially fewer items you can’t pronounce, usually means a healthier selection.

Keep your pantry organized and stocked with healthy options. It’s a whole lot easier to eat right when you’ve got a bag of almonds or a banana waiting for you when hunger strikes. Similarly, make it a point to keep healthy options within reach and at eye level, where you’re more likely to grab them. Even if other family members aren’t on the health kick with you, you can protect yourself by shoving those Oreos to the back of the pantry and putting a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter.

new year's resolutions - gym

Put your gym in your house so you have fewer excuses to avoid working out. Image: GM Construction

Resolution #2: Get more exercise

Who among us couldn’t use the physical and mental health benefits of getting moving more often? But with the busyness of life, actually getting to the gym can be a real hassle. Instead, why not create a workout space in your home?

If you have the space, setting up a full-blown home gym is motivating. Every time you walk past it, you’ll get a little nudge to get your sweat on. If you’re working with a more compact footprint, a yoga area doesn’t need to take up much space. Queue up a YouTube video to guide you and you’re ready to go! Or, if you’re trying to go the cardio route, set up an area near your front door where you can lay out your sneakers, headphones and whatever other gear you’ll want. This visual reminder to get moving can help you keep your new year’s resolutions in 2019.

new year's resolution - led

LED lighting doesn’t just look cool. It’s also more energy efficient. Image: Roundhouse Design

Resolution #3: Save money

This is another one of those resolutions that pretty much everyone can agree would be great to pull off. If you’re looking to end 2019 with a little more padding in your wallet, your home can definitely help. Make some high-efficiency changes to cut back on your utility expenses. We’ve got five easy ways to get started. Swaps that will take you just minutes – like changing out a light bulb or turning down your water heater – can help you tuck away savings throughout the entire year.

Another great way to save money is to encourage time at home. It’s a whole lot cheaper to have a friend over for drinks or a movie than it is to go out for the same activity. Set up your space for entertainment and see some serious savings next year.

new year's resolutions - meditation

Imagine how relaxed you could be in 2019 if you added a meditation space like this. Image: Veneshe Master Venetian Plastering

Resolution #4: Focus on self-care

This resolution captures a wide range of sentiment, from people just trying to get more sleep to those who are feeling seriously burnt out and need to scale their commitments back in a major way. However you want to practice self-care in 2019, a comfy, cozy bed is key. Upgrade your bedding to encourage yourself to the get the rest your body needs.

If simply catching more zzz’s isn’t your goal for next year, create a physical space in your home where you can take care of your body and your mind. If you love chilling in the bath for its calming effects, create a spa-like feel in your bathroom to amplify the benefits. Or if you want to explore meditation, make a meditation room so you can minimize distractions. Think through what you want to do for yourself to feel more relaxed and balanced next year. Then, create an area in your home where you can regularly revisit that practice, keeping your New Year’s resolutions and keeping yourself healthy.

new year's resolutions - book

A cozy reading nook could be just what you need to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Image: Hudson Home

Resolution #5: Read more

If the digital revolution of the last few decades has shown us anything, it’s that finding time to unplug is key in maintaining our sanity. Diving into a good book is a perfect way to both relax and stimulate the brain. So it’s no surprise that when coming up with new year’s resolutions, so many of us are resolving to read more. Making a change to our homes can definitely help us keep that resolution.

If you’ve got the space, why not add a home library? That awkward area under the stairs or unused corner can transform into a place that inspires you to crack open a book. Or, if you’re not keen on adding a bunch of bookshelves, at the very least carve out a reading space. Place a comfortable chair in a location with a nice view. Add a soft throw and a table where you can place a mug of tea or a cool drink and you’re ready to read!

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Are you making any changes to your home or apartment to help yourself keep them in 2019? Let us know in the comments!

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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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The Best Netflix Shows About Home Design

Who hasn’t gone on a major Netflix binge? Thanks to today’s streaming services, powering through a new favorite show is commonplace. But sometimes you might feel like you wasted a whole day doing nothing but watching TV. So why not binge something a little more edifying? The next time you’re going for a marathon on the ‘Flix, use the time to expand your knowledge about interior design and architecture. Netflix shows about home design could be just what you need to enjoy your binge guilt-free. Here are four of our favorite Netflix shows about home design.

netflix shows about home design - stay here

This Netflix Original focuses on rental makeovers so impressive you’ll want to stay there yourself. Image: Flytographer

Stay Here

Stay Here lives out its tagline: “Makeover. Make Money.” In each episode, designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate expert Peter Lorimer help people with rental properties re-design and re-brand their spaces. The goal is to help property owners maximize their rental revenue. But this show isn’t just for people who have a space they want to list on Airbnb. Because they’re creating spaces that need to have mass appeal, they teach the property owner (and the viewer) some great core design lessons. What’s more, because they’re teaching these property owners to be great hosts, they offer some clutch hospitality takeaways. Watch the show and you’ll learn tips and tricks that your future houseguests will definitely appreciate.

Plus, with only one season of eight 30-minute episodes, this Netflix Original won’t eat up too much of your weekend even if you decide to watch it all in one go. And it gets off to a great start, hooking you from the first episode. Tune in to watch Gorder and Lorimer transform a basic (and basically ugly) houseboat into a space so good you can tell the new hosts might just want to keep it to themselves.

netflix shows about home design - extraordinary

Take a tour of incredible properties around the world in this charming show. Image: Now on Netflix

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

No, really. These homes are truly extraordinary. In The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, charming hosts Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin show you around some really remarkable properties. The show is especially fun because Taylor, a notable architect, focuses on the structures themselves while Quentin, an actress who just loves property, marvels at the homes in a way that will resonate with any layperson.

While each episode of the first season focuses on homes set in specific types of natural surroundings (e.g. Forest, Coast), the second season is divided by country. The first episode of Season 2, USA, will show you a really fun, interesting side of Florida. It just might surprise you if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest in Tropical Modernism. With its wide focus on everything from overarching architectural themes to small-but-meaningful decor details, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes is one of the best Netflix shows about home design.

netflix shows about home design - grand designs

One of the UK’s most successful programs takes its place as one of the best Netflix shows about home design. Image: Excellent

Grand Designs

This show is one of the most popular, longest-running (it’ll hit 20 years in April) programs in the UK. And now you can binge it on Netflix. In each episode of Grand Designs, host Kevin McCloud walks with people as they work through the process of creating their home. Sometimes it’s a new build, sometimes it’s a major renovation, but it’s always a project of fairly major scope.

What makes Grand Designs worth the watch is its inside look at the process of creating a dream home. In new build episodes, McCloud visits the untouched site with the homeowners before ground is broken, talking through their vision. He visits the site again throughout the build and ends most episodes with a tour of the finished product. When we say most, it’s because each episode shows you the build process behind the curtain. When builds fall behind schedule, it may mean they don’t get finished before the show wraps. This is the real deal. If you’ve thought about building your own home or taking on a major fixer-upper, Grand Designs can give you an inside look.

netflix shows about home design - reno

Looking to scratch your HGTV itch even when you don’t have cable? Check this show out. Image: Now on Netflix

Reno My Reno

If you’re a cable cutter who’s looking to get your HGTV fix by finding the best Netflix shows about home design, start here. This show has the most HGTV feel of any on the list. Reno My Reno is full of quick cuts of drills working set to catchy music and pithy quips. In each episode, host Dave Depencier comes to the rescue of property owners who have gotten in over their head with DIY projects. If you’ve ever had a Pinterest fail on your hands, you’ll enjoy watching Depencier dig people out of their trouble.

Plus, it’s heartwarming. Depencier and his crew are like a family, and they put the property owners to work with them, inviting them to join the gang. From Episode 1, you get a sense of Depencier’s rapport with the rest of the show’s cast.

Have you checked out these Netflix shows about home design? Or do you have another favorite that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments so we can binge it ourselves!

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19 Fortnite Gifts For A Battle Royale Home

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If you haven’t heard of Fortnite, you must have been off of planet Earth for the last year. The online battle game has become so popular it has over 125 million players worldwide. And it’s responsible for some of the funniest (and most awkward) dances around, like the Floss and Orange Justice.

With so many Fortnite fanatics around, it’s likely you know at least one or two. We’ve got a cool roundup of 19 Fortnite gifts for the home that turn any room into a Battle Royale arena this holiday season.

1. Eat Sleep Fortnite Repeat Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker, $25

Fortnite gifts for the home

2 – 7. Fort Nite Throw Pillows, $5 – $24

Fortnite gifts for the home
Fortnite gifts for the home
Fortnite gifts for the home
Fortnite gifts for the home
Fortnite gifts for the home
Fortnite gifts for the home

8. Keep It 100% Fortnite Unframed Print Poster, $10

Fortnite Christmas presents

9. Monopoly: Fortnite Edition, $16

Fortnite gift ideas

10. 3D Star Series Vinyl Floor Decal, $5

fortnite home decor gifts

11. Fortnite Alpaca 3D Illusion LED Night Light, $20

cool fortnite gifts loot llama

12. Fort Battle Drop Royale Bathroom Decor, $17

fortnite wall decor

13 – 16. Fortnite Coffee Chug Mugs, $9 – $18

fortnite wall decor
fortnite wall decor
fortnite wall decor
fortnite wall decor

17. Do Not Disturb Fortnite Door Sign, $15

fortnite gift ideas for the home

18. Fort-NITE 3D LED Chug Mug Night Light, $25

fortnite lamps

19. 20×20 Fortnite Battle Royale Map, $50fortnite battle royale gifts

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5 Pinterest Christmas Table Decorating Trends You’ll Want To Try This Year

Pinterest is a great way to see what’s going on trend-wise. If you’re looking for something new and different to try this year for your Christmas tablescape, you’re going to love these five Pinterest Christmas table decorating trends.

1. Vertical Table Settings

Go beyond your dining table and think about the area over it. Hang items from your ceiling or chandelier to add some whimsy and wonder to your Christmas table.

Pinterest Christmas Table Decorating Ideas

Christmas snowflake and star paper ornaments are lightweight and easy to hang. Choose an odd-numbered grouping of paper ornaments in different patterns, colors and sizes and hang them at varying heights. Pinterest Pin: Style Estate

pinterest christmas decorating ideas

If it’s not possible to hang items from your ceiling or chandelier, try arranging balloons instead. These clear balloons are filled with fake snow and feature star ornaments on the ribbon that tethers them to the table. Pinterest Pin: Diane Pinto

pinterest christmas decorating ideas

In this tablescape, a large manzanita branch was placed in a weighted pot at one end of the table and lights and ornaments were hung from the branch. Pinterest Pin: Neptune

2. Christmas Bird Theme

A collection of birds, nests and feathers adds a unique and outdoors-chic look to your Christmas table setting.

Pinterest christmas table setting ideas

This table has an Asiatic look, thanks to the cherry blossom twigs and small birds that rest on the branches. Pinterest Pin: Gracious Living

Pinterest Christmas bird decorating

Owls are the theme of this Pinterest Christmas table setting and are featured as salt and pepper shakers, plates, place cards and ornaments. Pinterest Pin: Home Is Where The Boat Is

unique christmas table setting ideas

A subtle and elegant bird-themed Christmas tablescape includes feathers, nests and fine china featuring birds. Pinterest Pin: Home Is Where The Boat Is

3. A Pinterest Christmas Table Featuring Metallics

For a festive Christmas table, add some bling! Rhinestones, polished metals and crystals all create the sparkle and magic of the holidays. Don’t be afraid to mix metals and finishes.

silver Christmas table decorating ideas

Grey linens, vintage-looking mercury glass votives, a rhinestone-encrusted branch and polished chrome all simulate a snowy winter scene. Pinterest Pin: Look and Love With Lolo

Pinterest Christmas decorating ideas

Mix and match golds, champagne and silver tones for a fresh take on metallics. Don’t forget to add lights or candles for the ultimate reflective effect. Pinterest Pin: Pottery Barn

metallic Christmas tablescapes

Crystal trees and the cool tones of grey and white create an elegant, frosty Christmas table look. Pinterest Pin: Hobby Lobby

4. Check and Plaid Christmas Table Settings

Plaid may be the biggest holiday table trend this year. For a modern take on plaid, choose a larger tartan print or buffalo check pattern.

plaid Christmas decorating ideas

This modern table setting features layers of buffalo checks and herringbone pattern. Pinterest Pin: Cuckoo 4 Design

decorating with plaid for Christmas

A clever way to pull together your plaid-themed Christmas table setting is by hanging plaid blankets or scarves on your dining chairs. Pinterest Pin: Judy Aldridge

5. Alternative Christmas Table Setting Colors

Break away from traditional red and hunter green table settings. You’ll love these unusual yet perfect color alternatives for Christmas.

green Christmas dining table ideas

A bright emerald is a vivacious and contemporary way to add the color green to your Christmas tablescape. Pinterest Pin: Brit Morin

colorful Christmas table decor

An elegant teal blue table setting can be paired with silver, greens, oranges or earth tones for a different take on the Christmas table. Pinterest Pin: Pier 1

Pinterest Christmas table decor

To incorporate colors like purple or celadon, choose a holiday-inspired print like the tartan featured on the placemat. Pinterest Pin: House and Home

Pinterest Christmas table ideas

A black and white Christmas table is a modern way to decorate for the holidays. Add gold silverware and accents to warm up the tablescape. Pinterest Pin: Kait

What do you think of these Pinterest Christmas tablescape ideas? Which one are you most likely to try this Christmas?

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