New Orleans Artist Debbie Boyd Hageman Looks to Mother Nature

The balance of cool and bold work perfectly in artist Debbie Boyd Hageman’s work. All images courtesy of Debbie Boyd Hageman.

New Orleans-based artist Debbie Boyd Hageman has always looked to mother nature for inspiration, solace and refuge. From the time she was a little girl out in the garden with her mother, helping to grow their vegetables, to photographing and painting outdoors in her beloved New Orleans, Boyd Hageman finds her creativity flows best when outside.

“I look at the landscape and I see something new every time,” says Boyd Hageman. She paints big, bold, colorful abstract paintings for commercial and retail clients around the globe.

The Philly native spent a good chunk of her childhood in the state of Indiana. In her early 20s, she headed south to Florida, where she began her artistic career. Though she had always painted and briefly spent time in college art classes, it wasn’t until the then 20-something hit the Sunshine state that she was able to sell her paintings and confirm she could be successful as an artist.

Her use of both bright and muted colors, often together, is part of what makes her art so appealing. Though she does sell smaller pieces so that her art is accessible at all price points, Boyd Hageman mostly creates larger pieces that can stand on their own. “I tend to express myself best using large-scale canvases,” she says.

Deep, dark colors from artist Debbie Boyd Hageman work well in a monotone room.

Freedom of expression

For this busy artist and mom, it truly is all about expression.

“Sometimes I hate a piece, then I love it, then I hate it. Eventually, I come to a place where I can stop working on it, which is where I love it again,” she says with a laugh. Though she works to keep the artistic temperament to a minimum, Boyd Hageman jokes she’s been known to throw a piece outside on the ground when completely unsatisfied. “I usually go pick it up later and get back to work on it.”

The prolific painter is also a talented cook who makes most of her family meals daily – and from scratch. Working as an artist has allowed her to spend more time with her husband and two children. Her family also loves the outdoors. Often, they will walk the levee overlooking the Mississippi River. The scenic walk is just a few hundred feet from her front door in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans. It’s that kind of freedom she finds most appealing.

“I love that I make my own schedule, set my own rules and can truly be myself,” she says.

New Orleans-based contemporary artist Debbie Boyd Hageman in her studio.

The creative process

The artist has set up a studio in her home and posts pictures of her process almost daily. Many collectors buy their pieces directly from Boyd Hageman through her social media channels. She says those channels are like a virtual art gallery and she has a huge appreciation for them. Some artists she follows and admires on Instagram are Adam Handler, Eileen Noonan and Joseph Conrad-Ferm, as well as many others.

The busy artist also sells her pieces at various art galleries and artistic spaces such as the Broad Theater. Plus, she sells at local hotels like the Old 77 Hotel through the curated collection from Where Y’Art. She also has pieces in the permanent collections of The Jung Hotel, Pigeon and Price and The Brent House Transplant Institute.

On days when her schedule and mother nature align, the natural beauty will pack up her paintings and her gear and head to the famous French Quarter. There, she often sets up shop in Jackson Square with a multitude of other talented artists.

“It’s a real community of people who take care of one another,” she says. She adds that she learns a great deal from her contemporaries on everything from the location of the best parking spaces to easy ways to haul canvases and equipment through the busy streets.

For more information on Debbie Boyd Hageman, visit her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

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Get Inspired By This 1970s Color Flashback

1970s Color Inspiration Room

Get 1970s color inspiration from this stunning living room. Image: MindfulDaze

Retro paint colors have us falling in love right now. Neutral colors have ruled the interior design world for years, but now we’re seeing exciting new colors everywhere. Though the colors we’re seeing may seem new, many are flashbacks to more colorful palettes of the past.

The paint and decor colors of the 1970s are making their way back into today’s color palettes. The 70s design trends moved away from the bright and psychedelic colors of the 1960s into more natural colors. These 1970s natural colors were far from neutral; they came from the more colorful elements of nature. Everything from paint color and carpets to stoves and refrigerators could be found in colors like Avocado Green, Harvest Gold and Burnt Orange. Though the industry may have gone overboard with these iconic colors in the 1970s, many have been reformulated for today’s homes.

1970s paint colors

Here are the prettiest ways to use 1970s-inspired colors today:

  • Mid-Century Modern – This decorating style is associated with the 1950s and 1960s, but the earth-inspired colors of the 1970s made their way into mid-century homes as homeowners redecorated over the years.
  • Lodge Style – The rich greens and warm reds of 1970s palettes are a great fit for rustic rooms with lots of natural stone and wood.
  • Exterior Color Schemes – The typical beige and gray exterior color palettes are now being joined by richer colors like deep gold and dark blue for dramatic curb appeal.
  • Family Room Color Palette – Earthy colors inspire socializing and relaxing together in a warm and unpretentious way.

You probably won’t want to recreate a totally 1970s color palette for your home unless you’re looking for a completely retro look, but you can find inspiration from these gorgeous shades in today’s most popular paint colors.

1970s Color: Harvest Gold

1970s color Harvest Gold

Sherwin-Williams’s Ceremonial Gold is an updated color that warms up any room. Image: Sherwin-Williams

Harvest Gold is the most recognizable color from the 1970s era. This warm and inviting gold was the focal point of kitchens, popping up on appliances, linoleum floors and even wallpaper. Decorators in the 1970s used Harvest Gold as a neutral, the way we use beige and gray today. When the color schemes of the 1980s were developed, Harvest Gold was the last of the 70s colors to get phased out because it was so popular. Gold can be a dynamic color in any decorating color scheme, but finding the perfect one can be elusive. This is definitely a color that needs to be tested on your wall before committing. 

1970s Color: Avocado Green

Avocado Green color ideas

Avocado Green is still popular now. Behr’s Bermuda Grass brings a fresh update to this decades-old color. Image: Behr

As proof that Avocado Green is still popular, many paint brands still include it in their color palettes. Of all the iconic 1970s paint colors, avocado green was the most versatile. It has evolved slightly as a paint color. The new shades are less muted and more dynamic.

1970s Color: Burnt Orange

Orange Paint Colors

Though today’s orange paint colors are not as vivid as a 1970s color palette, colors like Behr’s Japanese Koi can bring energy to any space. Image: Behr

Burnt Orange was a big part of the 1970s decorating scene. Decorators and homeowners weren’t shy about including it in most designs, even for carpeting and countertops. While we don’t recommend carpeting your house in orange, this vibrant color can still have a place in your palette. Today’s orange paint colors are softer and could be the warm accent color your kitchen or dining room needs.

1970s Color: Autumn Brown

Dark brown bedroom colors

Benjamin Moore’s Clinton Brown continues in the tradition of rich, earthy browns from 1970s color palettes. Image: Ballard Designs

Autumn Brown was a rich and rustic brown that was popular in 1970s decorating. Even though this brown was dark, it had a soft and muted look. Today’s popular brown paint colors are crisper and more neutral. The right brown can anchor a rustic neutral color palette or complement pastels in a contemporary space, but watch for unexpected undertones. Dark brown can also be used in place of black or navy blue in almost any color scheme.

1970s Color: Barn Red

Red paint color ideas

Red will always be a popular paint color, especially for accents and front doors. Behr’s Red My Mind is a beautiful and warm red that brings energy to an eclectic dining room. Image: Behr

Barn Red was just one of the popular red shades in the 1970s. Today, it’s still easy to add red to most interior decorating styles, especially as an accent color. The most popular 1970s red was warm and earthy, rounding out a palette that could be easily considered autumnal. There will always be a place for red, both cool and warm, in home decorating. If you love the color but can’t find a way to incorporate it into your home’s interior color palette, it can also be the perfect color for your front door and exterior accents.

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The Most Searched for Furniture Item in Each State

We’ve already talked about how Google can give us some pretty cool data when it comes to interior design, but the monster search engine is proving itself yet again. This time, Next Day Blinds analyzed Google shopping data for over a year to figure out what is the most searched for furniture item in each of the 50 states.

What did your state choose? Scroll down to find out.

furniture item

What’s the most searched for furniture item in your state? Image: Next Day Blinds

A breakdown of the results

A sectional was one of the two most searched for items, topping the list in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.


Big or small, sectionals bring a feeling of warmth and comfort into a living or family room. Image: Niche Interiors

The TV stand also came in first in seven states, including Illinois, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania,  Texas and Wisconsin.

tv stand

The TV stand is a staple element of any modern living space. Image: J.Fisher Interiors

A distant second, the hutch is favored in Delaware, Kansas and Nebraska.


A hutch is a classic piece that will never go out of style in your kitchen or dining space. Image: LIV Design Collective

Sofa tables were also favored in three states: Colorado, Maryland and Missouri.

sofa table

If you need more storage, consider using a sofa table in the room. Try stylizing the surface with some decor pieces to make it even more visually interesting. Image: JS Interiors LLC

Bar stools are popular in Idaho and Iowa.

bar stools

Bar stools don’t have to be for a bar. They’re great for finishing off a kitchen island. Image: Seattle Staged to Sell and Design LLC

Dining benches took the title in California and New Jersey.

dining bench

Looking for a way to make your formal dining room less formal? Try a dining bench in place of a few of your chairs. Image: Grand Floridian Builders, Inc.

Arizona and Florida prefer entertainment centers.

entertainment center

An entertainment center makes the perfect focal point for any living space. It provides function and organization all in one. Image: Scheinholtz Associates

Jewelry armoires are favored in Louisiana and Mississippi.


Those who love to dress to the nines should consider a jewelry armoire to put your prized pieces on display. Image: Jae Joo

Recliners took the prize in Oklahoma and West Virginia.


There’s nothing comfier than a recliner. Round out the look by adding a sofa for balance. Image: Christy B.

TV cabinets were the item of choice in New Mexico and Oregon.

tv cabinet

TV cabinets are great if you want to be able to hide the TV away when guests arrive. Image: Stiff and Trevillion

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming all voted for individual items. See them below:


Find your state on this list. Image: Next Day Blinds

Key takeaways from the study

living space

According to the results the living area is the most important space in the whole house. Image: BATC-Housing First Minnesota

Based on these results, we can gather a few key insights from the study.

  • Sectionals and TV stand are the #1 most searched home furniture item in 7 states each, tying for the highest number of any item included in the study.

  • 27 states chose an item specific to the living room, highlighting the importance of the room in the home.

  • The dining room, however, was the least searched room. Only 2 states searched for any accompanying furniture.
  • 5 of 14 states in the Midwest are searching for a TV stand the most, while 5 of 16 states in the South are searching for a sectional. However, states in the Northeast and West tend to all be searching for different items.

What do you think of these results? Will you be searching for your state’s top pick?

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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Creating A Hygge Home This Winter

Now that cooler temperatures are upon us, it’s the perfect time to embrace hygge design. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” the Danish word means “comfort” and who couldn’t use more of that? With that in mind, we’ve decided to bring you our best tips for creating a hygge aesthetic. Use them to keep your home feeling warm and cozy all winter long.


Build the room around a neutral color palette. Image: Intro

Start with neutral colors

Color is the first building block for any design. It helps to set the tone for the space and to bring the different design elements in your space together in a cohesive manner. Hygge spaces are no exception to this rule, which is why you should always start your hygge designs by relying mainly on a neutral color palette.

Since hygge is all about comfort, neutral tones give the eye plenty of places to rest. With that in mind, you’ll want to stick with softer neutrals, in particular. Work in plenty of soft grays, rich creams and icy blues. You’ll want to limit the use of higher contrast neutrals like black or dark brown, as these can be more visually taxing.


Hygge is all about creating comfort. Image: Rosanna Parker Interiors

Focus on comfort

An article in TIME explains the Danish concept as “an approach to living that embraces positivity and enjoyment of everyday experiences.” Practically, it’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like the feeling of curling up under a blanket or slipping into bed after a long day.

From that perspective, creating a hygge home is all about infusing the space with a feeling of comfort. To do that, you want to ensure that your furniture is as plush as possible. Think big, comfy sofas and gloriously overstuffed chairs.

You also want to invest in plenty of textiles. Textiles like rugs, woven wall hangings, pillows and blankets will do a lot to bring warmth and, therefore, comfort into a room. Layer them one on top of the other to add some visual complexity into the space, but don’t get too caught up in making the layers look neat. Hygge is also about accepting imperfections as a part of life.


Add in plenty of soft lighting. Image: Louise de Miranda – 30’s Magazine

Include plenty of soft lighting

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: creating the right lighting scheme has a huge effect on the way a space feels. If you need proof, just think about how draining overhead, industrial lights can feel in an office setting. Alternatively, remember how peaceful and relaxing lighting some candles feels at the end of a long day. In this instance, we’re looking to set the latter mood.

To that end, make sure to bring plenty of soft lighting into the room. In this case, while every room does need some ambient lighting, it should almost be an afterthought to your other types of lighting. Here, you’ll focus on including some accent lighting like soft fairy lights or even candles


Avoid any unnecessary clutter. Image: June

Stick to the essentials

Keep in mind, what’s not included in these interiors is just as important as the pieces you select. A central principle of hygge is allowing yourself enough material pleasures to feel comfortable without feeling the need to go overboard. This is one occasion where less is more.

To do this effectively, your best bet is to start from scratch. Remove all the items from the space and, once you have a blank canvas, move them back in piece by piece. Think like a curator and decide individually whether each item adds specific value to the design. Whenever you’re unsure, feel free to leave that piece out.

We know that, for some, negative space can feel uncomfortable at first. If you’re one of these people, try not to give in to your initial impulses. Give yourself some time to adjust to the room’s new design. If, after a few days, the space still feels too empty, consider which parts of the design need work. Tweak those until you find your perfect balance.

To maintain a sense of comfort, especially in the winter, make sure your room temperature is an after thought. You can do this by setting your smart thermostat to work with your schedule.  Also consider the use of other warming devices in your home such as a fireplace, electric blanket or oversized sweater.  What is more comforting then curling up on the couch in front of the fireplace on a snowy winter evening? Happy Hygge!


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4 Secrets To Successfully Decorating a Tiny House And Making It Work For You

tiny house

Here’s a quick guide to decorating a tiny house. Image: Calvin Hanson Creative

Congratulations, you’ve finally taken the leap and bought a tiny home! Now all that’s left to do is decorate it. Decorating a tiny house is not difficult. However, there are a few unique considerations to keep in mind.

We’ve laid them out below. Read them over to learn how to create a tiny home that’s equally functional and aesthetically pleasing.


Make the room’s function clear. Image: Sol Haus Design

Put function first

In a tiny home, there’s so little space to work with that it’s especially easy for your design to become muddled. Having too many items in that small amount of square footage can result in things getting cluttered fast. There’s a risk of losing your design in the midst of it all. With that in mind, you need to take extra steps to ensure your intent stays clear. You can do that by putting function first in your design.

When we say “put function first,” we mean “let furniture carry the room.” While every space needs aesthetic touches, those should take a back seat to essential items like a sofa, table or bed frame. Get those in place first. In an ideal world, the purpose of each distinct functional area of your home will be clear with just a glance.

For an example of what we mean, look at the picture above. Notice how it’s very pared down. Yet, thanks to the furniture and directional visual cues, you can clearly tell that there’s meant to be a work area that’s separate from the main living space.


Plan out your storage even when it seems unconventional. Image: Tiny Digs

Get creative with storage

The biggest challenge when it comes to setting up a tiny home is finding enough storage. While you undoubtedly decluttered before moving in, there will likely be many things leftover for which you need to find a home. While standard storage options like closets and cabinets will undoubtedly be necessary, you’re going to need to get a little creative and include storage options in unexpected places.

To do this, go over every inch of your tiny house with storage in mind. Challenge yourself to think of a way to add storage everywhere, whether it’s adding under-mount storage to an existing piece of furniture or bringing in more shelving. You don’t have to utilize all your ideas but, odds are, you’ll be glad for any added functionality.


Every piece should add functional and aesthetic value. Image: Shelsi Lindquist Photography

Choose items that do double-duty

Since you only have a limited number of items to work with in a tiny house, you need to choose them carefully. Here, your focus should be on what kind of value they add to the space. Is it functional value? Is it aesthetic value? Or is it both? Ideally, when you’re designing a tiny house, each piece that you bring into your home will offer both.

As for how to pull this off, it’s all about going bold with style. Choose items that have bold colors, patterns and textures.


Leave a little room for decor. Image: New Frontier Tiny Homes

Don’t forget accessories

Lastly, we know that when you’re living in a tiny house, you can spend so much time figuring out how to make the space work for you that you completely forget about the traditional elements of design. However, we’re here to remind you that they’re important – and accessories can help. After all, that’s how you infuse your personality into the space and make it feel like home.

Don’t be afraid to add a design element that solely adds aesthetic value to the space. Your accesorizing decor could consist of any of the following:

  • Area rugs
  • Throw pillows and blankets
  • Wall art and mirrors
  • Decorative bowls and trays
  • Coffee table books
  • Candles
  • Picture frames
  • Flowers and vases

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14 Times Open Shelving Looked Oh-So-Soothing (And How To Bring Order To Your Own Home)

When it’s done right, there’s something about open shelving that is so soothing and aesthetically pleasing. It’s no wonder this look has been trendy for a while and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. If you’ve been wanting to put this trend in your own home, you’re in luck. Below are 14 of the most unique open shelving ideas, plus some tips on how to make the look work. Read them over to find a style that works for you.


Follow these tips to style open shelving in your own home. Image: Banda Property

How to make open shelving work

Open shelving may look simple, but it’s actually pretty tricky to pull off. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together four tips to help you make this look work in your own home. They are:

  • Make it simple: When it comes to open shelving, less is more. Edit your display down to the bare essentials so that your shelves don’t look overly-stuffed.
  • Color-code: Above all, your shelves need to look cohesive. Help pull them together by filling your display with items that fit a united color scheme.
  • Vary the heights: That said, things can’t look too matchy-matchy. Vary the heights of your items in order to give your display a sense of dimension.
  • Keep it clean: After you’re done putting it together, make sure to keep the display clean and in order. In this case, one out of place item can throw off the whole look.

Check out these soothing open shelving ideas.


Don’t miss out on your chance to put this shelving in the bathroom. Though it may seem strange at first, it’s an opportunity to put all those curated bath products on display for your guests. Image: Joy Street Design


In the living room, open shelving can act as a more modern take on built-in shelving. Image: Natalie Fuglestveit Interior Design


Putting this type of shelving in your closet means that you know which outfits you have at your disposal with just a glance. Why waste time rooting around for clothes when they can be within arm’s reach? Image: MITERBOX


If you have an awkward corner in your home that needs to be put to good use, look no further than shelving to get the job done. You can use it to store odds and ends or to display decor items. Image: Scenario Architecture


Open shelving is the perfect place to display all your decor items. Use the shelves as an opportunity to infuse your sense of personality into the space. Image: CAVdesign


Bring your shelving unit out beyond the cabinets and into the dining area. A setup like this one acts as an organizational unit for the whole family. Image: Tipfords


What you put on your shelves is just as important as the shelving itself. Make sure to find items that coordinate. You could match their color, size or shape. Image: Alice Lane Home Collection


If you love minimalism, try open shelving that looks like this. The barely-there feel to it is very on-trend. Image: Moloney Architects


Open shelving is a natural fit for office spaces. Use it to put your credentials and any awards on display. Image: L2 Interiors


This type of shelving doesn’t have to be just for grownups anymore. Consider using it in a playroom or kid’s bedroom. Image: Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design


Lining open shelving up and down your stairs is a trendy way to display wall art. Think about it as an updated take on the gallery wall. Image: Studio 80 Interior Design

wrap around

If you have the space in your home, consider doing a take on wrap-around shelving. Not only will you have lots of room to store things, but this shelving will become a neat architectural feature. Image: ODS Architecture


No modern kitchen would be complete without some shelving that puts your tableware on display. Notice how this one is styled to match the butcher block on the island. Image: Design Shop Interiors

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

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

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

2019 interior design trends

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

Big, bold plants

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

– Kenny Colvin, Designer,  Giant Squid Creative

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


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

Painted ceilings

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

– Rebecca Rowland, Owner, Rebecca Rowland Interiors

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


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

Multi-functional spaces

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

– Alexis Kokolias, Owner, Lexi Interiors

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

bold colors

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

Bold colors

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

– Shea Nikkel, Owner, Blue Charlotte Lifestyle

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


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

Mission-style details

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

– Anna Dunn, Owner, Paper Cranes Designs

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

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Cheap Tricks: 10 Inexpensive Design Elements to Upgrade Your Home

Whether you’re building a new home or you’re looking to upgrade your space, you’ll find that little luxuries can add up. What might seem like a few bucks here and an upgrade there can totally blow your budget, especially if you have Versailles taste on a suburban budget. But you shouldn’t have to spend a ton to make your home look higher end. Stretching each dollar and knowing where to spend gives you the most bang for your buck. Try some of these inexpensive tricks to make your home look more luxurious without totally breaking the bank.

1. Install Woodwork

Wood panels warm up basic spaces. Image: Seavey Builders

Custom woodwork usually carries a hefty price tag. Still, if you use it judiciously, just a few accents can have a huge impact on the final product. Installing molding panels on one accent wall, for instance, can change the whole look of a room. By the same token, a well-placed chair rail can completely transform a room from cheap to choice.

2. Consider Built-Ins

Built-in shelves give a custom look. Image: Scheinholtz & Associates

Bookshelves and nooks make a home look more custom, and a custom home looks more expensive. Custom elements are always cheaper to install during a build, so ask your contractor to build in a few bookcases, some shelving or niches. If you’re renovating, you can mimic the look of built-ins by placing bookshelves alongside an entertainment center or beside your bed.

3. Add a Backsplash

Tiled bathroom

Use subway tile in unexpected places. Image: Distinctive Remodeling

Dollar for dollar, backsplashes are one of the cheapest ways to make a big impact in your home. They add color and texture on the cheap for a quick weekend project. The trick to ensuring your backsplash looks expensive is to choose a medium-sized tile in a classic shape, like subway tile.

Think outside the kitchen when it comes to installing backsplashes. They look equally elegant in bathrooms, mudrooms and even as an accent on neutral furniture.

4. Create a Palette

Light blue and white kitchen

Carry a color theme throughout the home. Image: Cottage Home Company

Your home is a reflection of your personality, so it can be tempting to make your mark using different colors in each room. But while different bright colors and patterns in every room is a fun way to decorate, it doesn’t exactly scream luxury. Creating a consistent color palette throughout your entire home will sustain flow from room to room for a more expensive look. The bright side? You’ll save on buying paint in bulk!

5. Tone it Down

Neutral room with pop of orange

Use accessories to color your home. Image: Fiorella Design

While deciding on a color palette for your entire home, consider going with a neutral theme. It might not be the most exciting choice, but neutrals always look classic and expensive in a home. Don’t worry, you can always add color with textiles and accessories. It’s impossible to get bored with neutrals when you have endless decor possibilities. Just think of your neutral walls and furniture as a backdrop and accessories as your splashes of color and personality.

6. Mix Metallics

Transitional living room

Mixed metallics easily add style. Image: Duet Design Group

You may have heard that matching metallics and finishes when decorating is practically the Golden Rule of design. But mixing up your finishes can give your home a custom, elegant look by directing focus. Give your most eye-catching fixtures more attention by choosing them in a different metallic than the other fixtures in your home. An elegant gold faucet will have more of a luxurious design impact if most of your other fixtures are silver.

7. Upgrade Lighting

Kitchen with wood paneled ceiling

Upgraded lighting makes a big impact. Image: Jennifer Gilmer

If you have a little room in your budget for upgrades and are wondering where to spend it, go for lighting. It’ll be one of the more inexpensive items on the upgrade list (especially when compared to things like cabinetry and flooring) and can make a huge visual impact. When your light fixtures are luxurious, chances are your guests will assume the rest of your home has high-end finishes, too.

8. Frame Your Mirrors

Kitchen with wood paneled ceiling

Disguise builder-grade mirrors with frames. Image: Workroom C

Builder-grade mirrors are notoriously basic. That’s because buyers usually focus their upgrade dollars elsewhere, leaving inexpensive but boring plate mirrors that lack style and substance. Luckily, framing mirrors is an easy project that gives your home plenty of character. You can even have your hardware store cut lumber to size so all you need to do is stain and install.

9. Emphasize Texture

Bedroom with textured wallpaper

Textured paper adds luxury without looking inexpensive over time. Image: Heather Hilliard

Something you’ll notice in high-end houses is the emphasis on texture over pattern and color. That’s because luxury builders know that while trendy patterns come and go, high-end texture is always in style. If there’s anything that the chevron craze of 2013 taught us, it’s that what was popular one year can be mass-produced and common the next.

Opt for textured wallpaper instead of patterned or decorate with neutral, textured throw pillows to warm up a room. You’ll be co-opting a high-end look without spending more than necessary.

10. Rest Your Eyes

Bedroom with textured wallpaper

Leave empty space for a clean, elegant look. Image: Wyckoff Heating and Cooling

One of the best-kept secrets in high-end homes is the principle of “resting the eye.” Designing every inch of your space so that it’s bursting with accessories, texture or intricate pattern can make even the most expensive home look cheap. Therefore, make sure your eyes have somewhere to rest. Whether it’s a warm, neutral wall, a simple piece of furniture or an uncluttered shelf, less-decorated spaces give the eye relief (and are inexpensive to create). Overdecorating is a rookie mistake, especially when you want an upscale look. Make sure you’re not adding too much of a good thing.

Choosing a few upgrades and adding in luxurious design elements might require a little more creativity, but it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. They say you can’t buy good taste, and that’s a good thing. It means any budget has room for style.

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These Are The Outdated Interior Design Trends You’ll Be Waving Goodbye To In 2019

Interior design trends are cyclical and, unfortunately, no trend will last forever. With that in mind, we decided to ask the experts what outdated interior design trends they think we’ll be saying goodbye to in 2019. If their predictions are right, the new year looks to be an opportunity for some big style shake-ups. Keep reading to find out which of your favorite trends are on their way out and which are still going strong.


The era of grey everything is about to end. Image: Milan Design + Build

Grey shades

“While there has been a bit of a craze for the color grey, I think this is likely to die down and stay that way for some time. The sometimes-bland color palette of a grey room doesn’t work as well as it used to.”

–  Charlie Worrall, Designer, NGI Design 

Though it may be hard to believe that the era of “grey-everything” is coming to an end, it’s finally happening. In 2019, people are craving neutrals with more personality. If you’re looking for a neutral that will please the masses in the new year, go towards warmer tans and browns. Alternatively, a stark white can also be used to create a look that’s still on-trend.

accent furniture

Metallic accent furniture is on its way out. Image: Alexander Pollock Interiors

Metallic accent furniture

“One home trend we can kiss goodbye is metallic accent furniture. Gold and silver settees and accent chairs are being traded for jewel tones in suede and velvet. We’ll still see a presence of metallic in tabletop decor, but it’s disappearing from furniture trends.”

– Erin Fausel, Lifestyle Blogger at American Freight Furniture & Mattress 

Like it or not, metallics seem to have fallen out of favor. In gathering quotes for this post, we received several submissions about rose gold alone. If you want to switch out your metallic pieces for something a bit more current, we suggest opting for natural materials. In particular, green and sustainable design has been gaining popularity recently.


The tide has changed on tropical design. Image: Martha O’Hara Interiors

Morrocan and tropical design

“Tropical and Moroccan themes are going to be out. These trends tend not to be long-lasting so it’s no surprise that they’ll be overtaken by the likes of Dutch House and color-blocking in 2019.”

– Nicola Croughan, Interior Designer, Blinds Direct

Like Nicola says, it’s no surprise that tropical and Morrocan looks will decline in popularity in 2019. Trends like these offer such specific aesthetics that they often don’t last long. Next year, you should be looking to trade out your tropical accessories for solid-colored items in bold hues and jewel tones.


Say goodbye to industrial design. Image: MARTIN Architects

Industrial design

“The industrial look was on the tail end this year. What we’re seeing come from this shift is clean and modern. You can style a home to be clean, modern and have a little personality and that’s why we believe we’re seeing this style preference.”  

– Debi Davis, Owner, Debi Davis Interior Design

Though the industrial design trend has served us well over the last couple of years, again, we see tastes moving in a warmer direction. These days, instead of migrating towards starker aesthetics like industrial design, if you want to be on trend, you should take Ms. Davis’s advice and move toward styles that allow for more self-expression. Maximalism, for example, is a great way to embrace newer looks.

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4 Ways to Ensure a Large Room Doesn’t End up Feeling Too Stark

Normally at Freshome, we spend a lot of time talking about how to design around small spaces. However, the reality is that those with the opposite problem also deserve our time and attention. Today, we’re revealing our best tricks for how to design a large room. Read on to learn how to put together an expansive space without it feeling too stark.

large room

Break the room up into distinct functional areas. Image: Lindye Galloway Interiors

Visually divide the space

Here’s one of the biggest secrets in dealing with expansive spaces: You can break the space up however you choose. In this case, each large room in your home doesn’t have to have one, singular purpose. Instead, you can divide the space up into distinctly different areas in order to increase functionality while using up square footage at the same time.

Take the photo above as an example. Yes, the main purpose of the room is to serve as a bedroom. However, if the room was just a bed and some dresser drawers, it would be swimming in empty space. That’s why the owner included two additional seating areas. The room still offers plenty of room to sleep, yet you now also have a place to curl up with a good book or your morning coffee.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll design the room the same way that you would an open concept space. Go in with a plan of attack for what purpose you want each of the distinct areas to serve. Then, include visual clues like area rugs, lighting fixtures and designated pathways to help signify to the viewer that each section of the room has its own unique purpose.


Use a rug to ground the room. Image: Blue Ocean Design

Anchor the room with a rug

If you’re looking to visually tie a large room together, there’s no better way to do so than with a great area rug. An area rug will help ground a seating area, dining table or bedframe. It helps by making the placement of the furniture look purposeful rather than like all of your pieces are just floating out in space.

When buying an area rug, the correct sizing is key. In general, you can follow these guidelines:

  • If you’re choosing a full room rug, remember to leave room for a border of flooring around all sides. 18 inches is considered the standard border measurement.
  • If your rug will be grounding a seating areameasure the length and width of the seating area in its current layout and buy the next size up.
  • If the rug is meant to highlight a piece of furniture like a dining table, make sure it’s big enough to extend beyond the piece with room on all sides. For a dining table, 24 inches is standard. However, it should be less if you’re working with a smaller piece like a coffee table.

That said, the placement of your furniture is also important. When designing a large space, it can be tempting to place all of your furniture along the walls. However, doing so can leave an uncomfortable amount of dead space in the middle of the room. Instead, think about keeping your furniture – and by extension, area rug – centralized. At that point, any extra square footage will become a useful walkway.


Choose furniture that fits the scale of the room. Image: Mary Cook

Pay attention to scale

Another thing to think about is the scale of the items, and especially the furniture, that you put in the room. In interior design parlance, scale and proportion refer to how well an item’s size corresponds to the room itself. Here, it stands to reason that if you have to fill a larger room, you’d want to also have larger furniture to go with it.

You’ll want to focus on finding furniture that has a heavier visual weight. In general, upholstered items often look heavier than those without cushions. Furniture that sits low to the ground appears heavier than items on tapered legs. Keep in mind, this principle extends beyond furniture, too. You’ll also want to find lighting fixtures and wall art, for example, that are large enough to work within the space.


When in doubt, think in multiples. Image: JCD Custom Home Design

Think in multiples

The last tip we have to offer for larger rooms is to not be afraid to double up on furniture and accessories in order to take up more space. It may seem strange at first to try and wrap your head around the idea of having two couches and two ottomans, but as you can see from the picture above, you can use multiples to create a chic look.

If you decide to go this route, it’s important to give the large room a sense of balance. Not only has balance been shown to be psychologically pleasing, but it will also help your design to feel more cohesive. Focus on using your doubled design elements to create near mirror images.

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