Bad Kitchen Cleaning Habits to Kick in 2019

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Want a sparkling kitchen? Kick these bad kitchen cleaning habits in 2019. Image: aydinmutlu/Getty Images

Are you freshly invigorated by the new year? We definitely are – and the clean start is motivating us to, well, clean. In the spirit of new year’s resolutions and becoming our best selves in 2019, we’ve been working to upgrade our cleaning routines. And that means eliminating bad kitchen cleaning habits.

We’ll be doing a whole series on bad cleaning habits worth kicking this year, but we’re starting in the kitchen. As the hearth of the home and the place where all your food preparation takes place, it’s a key area to keep hygienic. Let’s get started! Here are five bad kitchen cleaning habits to break this year.

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Don’t forget your sink when you’re doing your kitchen clean. Image: Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images

Skipping your sponge and sink

Do you clean your cleaners? If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the hygiene of your sponge and sink, it’s time to start now. For starters, get a sponge setup that allows it to drain. Sitting in its own food-particle-filled water definitely isn’t doing it any favors. This can be as simple as wringing it out and propping it up against your dish soap bottle. Just get in the habit of allowing it to dry between uses.

You should also regularly disinfect it. Run in through the dishwasher, microwave it or soak it in full-strength vinegar or diluted bleach. Bam! You’re ready to wash dishes without any weirdness hanging around.

And, the next time you disinfect your kitchen counters, don’t forget your sink. Who knows what mishmash of bacteria could grow in there if you’re not giving it a regular wipe down.

Ditching your disposal care

Think your garbage disposal is one of those set-it-and-forget-it things? Think again. Your garbage disposal needs some TLC. Just think about all the stuff you’ve asked it to handle for you over the years! You can buy garbage disposal cleaners, but you can also DIY. Sprinkle in a half cup of baking soda, then pour a cup of white vinegar down. Let it sit for ten minutes, then follow it with boiling water.

If you’ve got a smelly garbage disposal and are looking for a quick fix, freeze some citrus peels into ice cubes. Run them through the disposal for an instant refresh.

Also, if you’re still dumping grease down the drain, stop! Not only can this cause issues in your own household plumbing, but it’s also got far reaching implications. Have you ever heard of a fatberg? Yes, you read that right: fatberg. Apparently, when we all pour grease down our drains, it builds up in the sewer system and bonds with calcium, creating giant fatbergs that can cling to the sewer system’s ceiling. Over time, this can cause a major sewer backup. Don’t be a part of the problem. Store a lidded metal coffee canister under your sink and pour your grease and oils into it. Once it’s full and the liquids have cooled and set, you can safely toss it in the trash.

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Want a sparkling kitchen like this? Work from the top down. Image: Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images

Cleaning floors first

When you clean your kitchen, move from top to bottom. Wipe off your kitchen hood first, then clean your stovetop. Otherwise, everything you just wiped off can settle right where you prepare your food. The same goes for the rest of your kitchen. Start at the top, cleaning cabinets, then disinfect counters. (We’ve got some eco-friendly DIY disinfectant options for you.) Finish with the floor and you’ll have a truly clean kitchen instead of one in which you’ve just relocated whatever dust and food particles were accumulating.


Look, we know that procrastination is a fact of life. In fact, it’s hard to rank it on the list of bad kitchen cleaning habits because it’s in a field all its own. But, when it comes to your kitchen, it’s really worth trying to push past.

Why? When you let things sit in your sink (yes, we know the whole “I’m leaving it to soak” routine), you invite issues. For starters, sitting out a room temperature gives any leftover food bits the opportunity to mold. Beyond creating a bacteria breeding ground, you invite pests. Most of them will come to call in the night, which means you have no idea what’s scuttled across your kitchen countertop while you were sleeping.

bad kitchen cleaning habits

What’s hiding behind those pristine stainless fridge doors? Image: Luxy Images/Getty Images

Forgetting your fridge

A sparkling kitchen is a beautiful sight. But don’t forget about the areas you don’t see when you step back to admire your handiwork. Your fridge, in particular, needs attention. Make it a part of your regular cleaning routine to open those doors, wipe down shelves and check expiration dates. Adding a fridge sweep to your kitchen cleaning checklist can prevent you from discovering that a small lifeform is evolving in the jelly jar that was tucked in the back. It can also help you cut down on food waste. When you know what’s about to expire, you’re more likely to use it. And that saves you money! It’s well worth the extra few minutes.

If any of these bad kitchen cleaning habits sound familiar, don’t worry. We’re right there with you. But 2019 can be our year to get it right and start keeping our kitchens totally clean!

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How to: Clean your Refrigerator

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If your kitchen is spotless, don’t let your fridge spoil it. Use this guide to clean your refrigerator. Image: JadeNinaSarkhel/Twenty20

The new year always offers a fresh start. Why not take this opportunity to knock out a few to-dos that will help you start the new year strong? This is an ideal opportunity to take on those tasks you always say you’ll get to someday. Tasks like taking the time to clean your refrigerator.

Sure, it’s not fun. Yes, it will take time. And yes, you will probably find a long-forgotten condiment growing something you wish you hadn’t seen. But that’s all the more reason to jump on it! Every time you open your sparkling clean fridge, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment. Plus, you’ll likely end up clearing out some space you can use to help yourself on any New Year’s healthy eating resolutions.

So where to start? Here’s a quick checklist you can use to deep clean your refrigerator.

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Shutting off power and emptying out the fridge makes your deep clean a lot easier. Image: BondRocketImages/Shutterstock

Step one: disconnect the power

You will need to open your fridge door for quite a while, so there’s no sense wasting energy while you clean. Either unplug your fridge or, if you’re not keen on climbing behind it, turn off power at the fuse box or circuit breaker.

As soon as you disconnect power, open your freezer door so it can begin to defrost. No one likes to have cold hands while they clean!

Step two: transfer food

If you think you’re going to hustle through this project, you can simply take all your food out and put it on the counter. But if you’ve got a larger fridge, know yours is going to need some serious elbow grease or simply don’t want to feel rushed, grab a cooler. Load the highly perishable items like dairy and fresh produce into the cooler with items from your freezer to buy yourself some time.

While you’re at it, take any removable parts – like glass shelves and crisper drawers – out and put them on the counter. Letting them come to room temperature before you start cleaning them can help you avoid cracks.

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Would you let people take photos of your open fridge? After this clean, you’ll be setting up your own photoshoot. Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Step three: wipe it down

While it might be tempting to grab your Windex and get to scrubbing, don’t. Chemical cleaners shouldn’t come into contact with your food, even indirectly. Instead, choose a food-safe option. You can make a paste of baking soda and water for caked-on grime (like that oddly-colored goop that accumulates under condiments in the door). Use a spray of half vinegar, half water for your general wipedown. A wet towel can be a huge help in grabbing particles from all the tiny nooks and crannies inside your fridge.

Step four: clean the door seals

Have you ever looked inside the flexible seals around the edges of your fridge doors? This is an often-overlooked area, even if you regularly clean your refrigerator, so don’t skip it now! Spray it down with your vinegar solution, then use your wet towel to get inside the folds of the seal.

While you’re at it, check the seal. If your fridge doors aren’t sealing properly, your fridge is working overtime. This shortens the lifespan of your refrigerator and drives up your energy bill, so it’s worth getting fixed.

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Don’t just wipe down your fridge’s interior. Clean the removable parts and exterior, too. Image: bezikus/Shutterstock

Step five: clean drawers and shelves

While it’s tempting to throw your shelves and drawers into the dishwasher, they could crack in there. Instead, use the same food-safe solutions you used above to get them sparkling clean. Or, if you’ve got a large enough sink, you can wash them the same way you would any other dishes.

Make sure these items are completely dry before you add them back to your fridge. Otherwise, trapped moisture can breed bacteria, undoing all your hard work.

Step six: clean the exterior

You’re almost done! When you clean your refrigerator, don’t forget to wipe down the outside. Disinfect the door handles, then grab a step stool. Wipe down the top of your fridge to keep your kitchen that much more sanitary. Clean fridge doors with the appropriate solution (e.g. glass cleaner for glass fridge doors, stainless cleaner for stainless doors). Because the food stays inside the fridge, the no-chemical rules don’t apply here.

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Voilà! Once you load your food back in, your sparkling refrigerator can become a source of pride. Image:  asbe/Getty Images

Step seven: reload the fridge

Now comes the fun part. Use this opportunity to organize your fridge and you’ll be significantly more likely to keep it clean. Before you put any item back into the fridge, check the expiration date. This is the perfect time to make sure you haven’t been harboring any long-expired products in the depths of your refrigerator.

What tips and trick do you use when you clean your refrigerator? Did any of these help you out? Let us know in the comments.

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Totally Chic And Affordable Tabletop And Furniture Finds For Your Holiday Dinners From

This article is sponsored by The opinions and statements below are those of our writer’s experience. Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

The holiday entertaining countdown is on! Thanksgiving dinner, holiday cocktails, Christmas roasts and New Year’s Eve parties are all coming up. Are you ready to host the best (and most fabulous) dinners and cocktail parties around?

We’ve got a secret for you – is a great source for the urban dweller who loves modern style and a good deal. And we’ve found great prices on dining room furniture, table accessories and dishes. Check these out:

Table Settings

Let’s work backward and start off with the icing on the cake: the table setting. A good table setting of interesting colors and textured layers is the perfect backdrop for any event from a multi-course Thanksgiving meal to a Chinese takeout New Year’s Eve night. tableware

Layers of browns, coppers and golds can work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Add pinecones or rustic twigs and berries for Thanksgiving or red accents for Christmas. All images:

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Dining Chairs

Sometimes all you need to update your dining space is a striking dining chair. Mix and match yours or order the same style in several colors for a personalized look. tableware tableware tableware

Best Small Dining Sets

If you’re dealing with a small space, look for small-scale or multi-purpose pieces with storage or that can also work as a desk or kitchen prep table. dining

The LumiSource Sedona 5-Piece Industrial Counter Height Dining Set, $800, can also work as a bar, breakfast counter or kitchen prep table. dining dining dining dining

Modern And Farmhouse Style Dining Room Furniture

If you’re working with a regularly-sized dining room or eating area, you can add a table for six or more guests. For the ultimate flexibility, a bench can expand the seating area of a dining room. has some good deals on these modern dining sets. holiday tableware

The Yumandale Teak Finish Acacia Wood 3-Piece Dining Set, $612, can be dressed up or down according to your table setting. holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware holiday tableware

Turn your dining room or small eating space into an intimate, inviting place to gather this holiday. Start with the right dining furniture and dress it up with a fun and creative layered table setting.

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National Kitchen + Bath Association Reveals Key Design Trends in U.S. Kitchens

Want to know the trendiest styles, colors, materials, finishes, appliances and lighting fixtures in U.S. kitchens? Sure, you do! The National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) queried hundreds of designers, remodelers, architects, manufacturers and dealers to discover the most dominant preferences and the biggest kitchen design trends.

Freshome asked trend spotter Elle H-Millard, Certified Kitchen Designer and Industry Relations Manager at the NKBA, for photos and insights regarding the key U.S. kitchen design trends.

The 3 Most Popular Kitchen Design Styles

3 most popular design trends

Farmhouse kitchen. Image: NKBA

Farmhouse kitchens have emerged as the most popular style. “A signature statement in a farmhouse-style kitchen is the apron-front sink,” says H-Millard. “But let’s not leave out the rugged wood beams and large dining table that give the space its charm,” she says. “Farmhouse style lends itself to a cozy atmosphere with a nostalgic flair.”

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Transitional kitchen. Image: NKBA

The second most trendy kitchen style is transitional. “The transitional-style kitchen presents a juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional styles. You might see a mix of sharp lines and soft and delicate curves,” H-Millard explains. “The transitional kitchen evokes both charm and edginess.”

3 most popular kitchen designs

Contemporary kitchen. Image: NKBA

The third most trendy kitchen style is contemporary. “Contemporary lends itself to a minimalistic look,” says H-Millard. “Often, contemporary includes frameless cabinetry with slab front faces and stark, contrasting colors.” She explains that contemporary kitchens have larger surfaces and are more sculptural in shape and appearance. “Your eye absorbs the entire space as one unit.”

Trends in Cabinetry

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Green cabinets and hood. Image: NKBA

Paint is the most popular choice for cabinet facing, followed by wood. Glass cabinet facing lags far behind in popularity. Full overlay doors are vastly more popular than inset or partial overlay door types.

Trends in Surfaces

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White cabinets and ceramic subway tiles. Image: NKBA

The preferred choice for kitchen countertops is quartz, which is far more popular than granite and marble. Among backsplash choices, H-Millard says ceramic or porcelain tile is the runaway favorite, followed by glass, natural stone tile and quartz.

Regarding flooring, hardwood floors continue to reign. However, ceramic and porcelain tile are also popular choices. Engineered wood is the third most popular choice.

Trends in Sinks and Faucets

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Stainless steel, undermount sink. Image: NKBA

While farmhouse may be the most popular kitchen style, a simple, stainless steel undermount is the preferred sink style. “Stainless steel is almost twice as popular as composite and fireclay materials,” H-Millard says.

Single handle and pull-down kitchen faucets are almost neck-and-neck, followed by gooseneck styles (no pun intended). According to H-Millard, “Stainless steel and brushed nickel are the most popular finishes, with satin nickel being the third most popular choice.”

Trends in Appliances

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Stainless steel, French door refrigerator and double wall oven. Image: NKBA

While there is no runaway favorite in types of refrigerator/freezers, refrigerator column/freezer column combos are most popular, followed by single-door refrigerators and single-door freezers.

The French door style is the overwhelming favorite, followed by under-counter and bottom-mount styles.

Gas cooktops, convection ovens and microwave drawers are the most popular cooking appliances. In second place: induction cooktops, gas ranges and warming drawers. Double wall ovens are also popular.

Trends in Color Schemes

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A mix of whites and grays. Image: NKBA

“The hottest kitchen colors are white and gray,” H-Millard says. These colors are almost twice as popular as the other kitchen colors listed by respondents: blue, black and beige/bone.

Emerging Trends

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A look ahead reveals numerous new kitchen design trends. Image: NKBA

Several kitchen design trends are gaining traction, according to H-Millard. Some of them include space-within-a-space concepts, such as a homework station or a desk area in the kitchen. “Other emerging trends include custom hoods, island prep stations and French door ovens that open horizontally instead of vertically.” She says that appliances are taking center stage. “We are seeing jolts of color and varied metals and finishes.”

Technology will also play a larger role in the kitchen, thanks to the increasing ease of wirelessly connecting to smart devices via apps.

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The Most Important Items for Any Kitchen

What room in your home could you absolutely not live without? With the exception of perhaps the bathroom, no room matters more to your family’s comfort at home than the kitchen. This room is often the heart of the home. And even if you don’t love cooking, your kitchen is still a room you’ll use a regular basis to grab coffee, a quick snack or a throw-together meal.

Whether you’re an expert chef or a have never stood over a stovetop, a well-stocked kitchen can make your life at home a little easier and more pleasant. We polled our team at Freshome to figure out which items we all agree are needed for a functional kitchen. Here are our kitchen must-haves.


A quality refrigerator is the cornerstone of a functioning kitchen. Image: Haven Design & Construction


There is no shortage of kitchen appliance options. But none of them are as critical as the fridge. It might not seem glamorous, but the refrigerator is a superstar in any cooking space. If you’re just moving into your first apartment, a smaller, standard fridge is a great place to start. If you’re ready to upgrade, however, shop around. Glass door refrigerators are beautiful and trendy. They’re ideal for people who want a sleek, modern look to their kitchen. Or, if you like a more traditional look, you can panel the fridge doors in material that matches your kitchen cabinets.

Alternately, smart fridges are ideal for the tech-savvy family – or those who just want to save time and money. They can do everything from help you remember to use items before they expire to serve as a message board for the house. Whichever type of fridge you choose, be willing to invest. This is a staple appliance and it’s worth getting a good one.


Another important investment, a good kitchen knife makes chopping easier and can even help you avoid injury. The good news is that quality knives will last for years and years, so you can feel confident about investing in them. If you’re looking for something to get you started, our team loves this three-piece knife set from Williams Sonoma.

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A coffee or tea station adds a fun touch to your morning routine. Image: Lisa Robazza Design

Coffee or tea station

Food isn’t the only reason to use your kitchen. Beverages can be equally important, especially if you’re looking for a quality way to start your day. Setting up a well-appointed coffee or tea station makes the ritual of enjoying a warm beverage easier and more pleasant. Stock your station with plenty of mugs you love and whatever equipment you need to whip up your beverage of choice. If you’re looking for a starter option, check out this extremely affordable coffee pot from Target. Or if you want to add a splash of color, try this vintage-style tea kettle from Williams Sonoma is aqua or red. Then, add other fun touches like stir sticks, a sugar jar and fun art.

Functional stovetop

Much like the refrigerator, a stovetop is a non-negotiable in a kitchen. Our team has a variety of preferences on the type of cooking surface; some of us prefer a gas range while others love a glass-top stove. The latter is easy to clean and adds a nice streamlined aesthetic to the kitchen while the former allows you greater control over your cooking temperature. Ultimately, either option will suffice as long as it provides you with a quality place to fry, sautee and stew.

Even if you don’t love to cook, a stovetop is still important. Our team loves meal prep services like Blue Apron because they take so much of the guesswork and headache out of prepping dinner. If you want to make cooking easier and more fun so you actually enjoy standing at your stovetop, we recommend trying one out.

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Kitchen seating gives the room more usefulness and creates a space your family can enjoy. Image: JKA Design

Eat-in area

Even if you’re lucky enough to have space for a formal dining room, that may not be the vibe you want for all of your meals. Creating an eat-in area in your kitchen, whether it’s a few stools pulled up to your kitchen island or a sunny breakfast nook, gives the room extra functionality and creates a space where all your family members – even those who don’t cook – can enjoy the room.

Grab and go food

While the kitchen is a place to occasionally invest hours creating masterful meals, many of us are so busy that it also needs to offer quick-service functionality. Keep your kitchen stocked with your family’s favorite grab-and-go options. You’ll find our pantries prepped with cereal and granola bars (we love KIND). A bowl of fresh fruit on the countertop makes it easy to get in our recommended daily servings. Or we’ll throw some English muffins in a Cuisinart toaster for a quick, versatile breakfast base. Whatever options work well for you, keep them handy so your kitchen can serve you even when you’re in a rush.

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What items could you not live without in your kitchen? Image: Lake Country Builders

Other kitchen essentials

Obviously, we haven’t even gone into some of the other, more straightforward must-haves like silverware and dishware. Choosing your ideal sets all comes down to marrying your needs (i.e. durable dishware is key with young kids) with your tastes. Have fun with it!

What items do you think are most important for a well-stocked kitchen? What did we miss? Tell us about your kitchen essentials in the comments below.

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Freshome’s Tips on How to Entertain at Home

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You’ve got the cake and champagne. But what else do you need to entertain at home? Image: Danenberg Design

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. 

Whether you’ve lived in your house for years or are just moving into your first apartment, planning to entertain at home can be a big undertaking. You want your house or apartment to look its best and your guests to feel comfortable. You can cook and clean and still be left feeling like your space isn’t ready. But don’t panic! We’ve got you covered.

Our Freshome team has a very wide range of experience when it comes to entertaining at home. We all love home design and enjoy freshening up our spaces for guests, but we also know that breaking our backs to get ready for a party just isn’t worth it. So without further ado, here are our absolute essentials for when we entertain at home.

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The right pans, knives and lighting set your kitchen – and you – up for success. Image: Twelve Chairs

In the kitchen

Although guests won’t spend much time in the kitchen, most parties start there. Setting yourself up to cook without any issues makes hosting much easier. Here are a few kitchen items that our Freshome team leans on when we get ready to entertain at home.

Good knives

Any chef worth their salt will tell you that their #1 must-have item is good knives. And we agree. When you entertain at home, the last thing you want is to end up with a tomato mush or behind-schedule bake because your knives weren’t up to the task. If you’re ready to upgrade your current set, this 3-piece one from Williams Sonoma is a favorite of ours.

Good pans

Whether you’re roasting something in the oven all day or just frying up a quick appetizer, the right pans make all the difference. A good pan distributes heat evenly and helps your cooking along. The wrong pan can ruin a dish – and make cleanup a total headache. At Freshome, we agree that every kitchen needs a non-stick frying pan and a cast iron skillet. If you’re hunting for some for your own kitchen, Williams Sonoma has a Calpahlon Elite Nonstick Essential Pan that cooks like a dream and makes cleanup a breeze.

Good lighting

When designing your home, you probably think carefully about the type of lighting you’re going to install in the main rooms where you’ll entertain. But don’t skip your kitchen just because it might have less foot traffic during parties. Ample, comfortable lighting makes spending time in the kitchen prepping for a major luncheon or dinner party much less tiring.

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Make sure you have ample – and visually interesting – seating. Image: Allen Construction

In the living room

Unless you’re hosting a dinner party and plan to gather everyone around the dining table, the living room will probably be at the heart of your event. What makes the ideal living room for entertaining? At Freshome, we love all the design details like a gorgeous rug and an interesting coffee table, but we all agree that nothing is more important than seating. Here are a few key pieces of furniture we recommend.

A giant couch

What’s the one thing a living room absolutely has to have? A couch! And if you host people regularly, the bigger, the better. Sectionals are a favorite among our team. You can’t beat that versatility! Plus, they add structure to your space, helping you define it so your guests can understand the flow of the room at a glance. When measuring for a couch, remember that length isn’t the only thing that matters. Don’t forget depth for the comfort it adds. A deep couch, like the Lounge II from Crate & Barrel, invites everyone to kick back and relax.

An inviting chair

Not everyone wants to be squished together on the couch. Providing alternate seating helps all of your guests feel comfortable – and can make your space more welcoming. This oversized Newton Grand Armchair is a great example. It gives guests the chance to establish their own space and, when you’re not entertaining, is an ideal place to cozy up. Or, if you’re pressed for space but need additional seating, something more compact that still packs a style punch, like this Fabrizzi Mid-Century Modern Chair from Target, is a great option.

An accent loveseat or sofa

Are you sensing a trend? When you want to entertain at home, prepping your living room comes down to creating enough seating to host everyone comfortably. But don’t forget the design, either. That’s what makes accent furniture a slam dunk. It adds a pop to your room and creates a place for guests to plop down. We love velvet sofas and chairs, especially in rich jewel tones. You can grab a gorgeous one from West Elm; their Drake Sofa can be made-to-order in forest green velvet.

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Creating a comfortable space makes it so much easier to welcome guests. Image: Rikki Snyder

In general

While prepping your kitchen and living room gets you off on the right foot, you certainly shouldn’t stop there when you plan to entertain. Here are a few more of our Freshome recommendations.

A comfortable space

This might seem broad, but it’s really key. In the throes of designing an entire home, it’s easy to get carried away with the way everything looks and forget about what it will be like to actually live in it. Creating comfy spaces isn’t just a plus for you and your family, either. It helps your guests relax when you have them over. A soft sofa, a cozy throw and inviting colors all help to create a room where you’ll want to entertain at home.

Plants and flowers

Plants are are a great addition to any room. Not only do they add texture and vibrancy to the room, they also clean the air. If you want to add some extra wow when getting ready to entertain at home, turn to potted plants and/or fresh flowers. Anywhere you feel needs an extra pop – whether that’s the center of your dining table or a small corner of the bathroom – plants can deliver.

How do you entertain at home?

All of us are still learning. We refine our party prep after every event we throw, so we’d love to hear about your entertaining essentials. What items do you stock to get yourself and your home or apartment ready for guests? Let us know in the comments!

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

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

breakfast nook

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

Get creative with seating

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

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


Make a statement with your lighting. Image: Twelve Chairs

Include statement lighting

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

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


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

Keep it cozy

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

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


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

Stay casual and fun

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

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

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