Break These Bad Living Room Cleaning Habits & Transform Your Living Space

bad living room cleaning habits

Are bad living room cleaning habits keeping you from your best home? Image: NelleG/Getty Images

Cleaning is a hassle. But you might be making it harder on yourself than is absolutely necessary. Whether you’re tidying up your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, banishing your bad habits can make it easier to clean — and easier to keep your place clean.

And nowhere will a truly good clean be more apparent than your living room. It’s your space for relaxing and it’s where you entertain guests. It’s where your most statement-making decor will most likely live. So it deserves some TLC. And you can deliver it with a little help.

Break these five bad living room cleaning habits and you can get your space pristinely clean. So clean, in fact, that it might just stay that way for good.

Living with piles

Look around your living room. What’s the state of your stuff? If you’ve got piles, it’s time to reconsider. That stack of magazines and that heap of throw blankets aren’t doing your aesthetic any favors. Plus, do you know what piles invite? Bigger piles.

Now, that’s not to say that your stuff might not benefit from being gathered in groups. But there’s a difference between having your kids’ toys piled loosely in the corner and neatly stored in a bin. If you can’t part with your pile because it makes sense to keep the items gathered that way, invest in a storage system for those items to keep your living room neat. As an added bonus, it can clue your family members or roommates into where that stuff should go when it’s not in use, helping them put stuff away so your living room stays tidy.

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Keep your surfaces streamlined so they’re easy to wipe down. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Cluttering surfaces

How often do you dust and disinfect all the surfaces in your living room? If it’s not often, you might be facing one of the most common bad living room cleaning habits: too much clutter. You’re never going to wipe down your mantel if you have to move over a dozen items off it to cross that chore off your list.

Streamline what you keep on your surfaces to make it easier to keep everything near looking and sanitized.

Not dusting first

The living room tends to accumulate dust. So when you start by vacuuming without addressing the dust on your surfaces first, you’re just moving the problem around. Instead, start by dusting. And do your highest ledges first, then work your way down. Wait to clean your floors last so you’re catching all of that dust and getting your space truly clean. Bonus: making sure all of the dust is completely gathered throughout the course of your clean will help you space stay cleaner over time.

Also, don’t forget about the items that aren’t easy to knock free of dust, like throw pillows and blankets. Launder them regularly to catch those dust mites.

bad living room cleaning habits 3A sparkling living room requires clean tools used on a regular basis. Image: FollowTheFlow/Getty Images

Using dirty tools

Cleaning your living room takes some elbow grease. Don’t waste it. One of the most common bad living room cleaning habits is starting with tools that aren’t clean themselves.

If you haven’t cleaned your vacuum filter in a while, this is the time. The same goes for your cleaning rags, sponges or whatever else you use to disinfect and dust.

And speaking of disinfecting, don’t forget this part. It’s easy to give your coffee table a quick wipedown, but don’t forget to get those frequently touched items like remotes and light switches.

Not having a place for everything (and everything in its place)

Where is that remote supposed to go? What about that throw pillow? How about that board game? If you’re not sure, odds are no one else in your house knows either. And that’s why you end up with stuff just floating around, creating visual clutter and making it hard to keep your place looking clean. It also leads to the problem of piles we discussed above.

Because living rooms are generally spaces for relaxing, it’s easy to get relaxed about how they’re maintained. But that can lead to junk accumulating. And not only does that leave your place looking messy, but it also makes your to-do list that much longer when it comes time to clean.

Collect all the stuff in your living room that doesn’t have a place. Then, find a place for it. Then, keep it in its place. Easy-peasy.

Do any of these bad living room cleaning tips sound familiar? If so, it’s time to reconfigure your space so it can better serve you. Break these habits and you can enjoy a cleaner space for longer!

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6 Living Room Storage Tricks from Top Interior Design Pros

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If you’ve ever wondered how to make the most of your living room storage, you’re not alone. Nearly every homeowner is on the hunt for ways to keep their most-used room functional while still keeping it aesthetically appealing. In light of that, we decided to ask the experts for their advice. We asked six interior design pros to share their best living room storage tricks.

Here’s what they had to say:

living room storage

An ottoman can be a great option for storing odds and ends. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Invest in a storage ottoman

“Storage ottomans are a great solution for living rooms because they serve a dual purpose. In addition to having a lovely place to rest your feet, they provide a good-sized space to tuck away items you don’t want all over the living room. This could be a good place for blankets or extra pillows, maybe even sheets if you have a pull-out sofa bed. Storage ottomans can tuck away DVDs and games, remote controls and those magazines that pile up in the living room. This functional piece of furniture is the perfect place to stash items before guests arrive.”

—  Erika Bodine, Decorator, Interior Planner and Sales Manager, LuxeDecor

wall hooks

Create your own entryway with a few wall hooks. Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

Don’t overlook wall hooks

“Installing a couple of wall hooks is an effortless way to organize hats, coats and purses without cluttering drawers and counters. It’s important to find balance and spacing that works for the item you are hanging, as it will create visual appeal and also naturally function as wall decor.”

— Emilie Baltorinic, Interior Designer, Living Spaces

closed storage

Use closed storage to your advantage. Image:

Hide clutter in closed storage

“Some items, like books, can store really beautifully, while other items, like papers, children’s toys or small electronics, can be an eyesore.  For these more difficult items, consider closed storage like a fabric cube or wicker basket. This strategy still makes all items accessible but makes it easier to also design a functional space with storage in mind!”

— Kayla Hein, Creative Director, Modern Castle

wall storage unit

Go vertical with a wall storage unit. Image: Vadym Andrushchenko/Shutterstock

Think about using a wall storage unit

“Symmetry creates order out of dissimilar items. Storage wall units like the IKEA Kallax create a wall of squares that get items up and off the floor and other horizontal surfaces. They can also be used to create these little feature cubes where you can play with color, theme and texture.”

— Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer and Owner, HeartWork Organizing

sofa table

Use a sofa table to add storage that won’t take up much space. Image:

Add a sofa table

“My favorite tip for increasing the storage space [in a living room] is to add a sofa table. In most cases, there is a little bit of space left between the couch and the wall. Take advantage of this space by placing a narrow table behind the couch. Pick a table with complementing color that’s the same length as the sofa. You can use it to store magazines, books, remotes, frames, decor or lamps. You can even install an outlet in the table to create a phone charging station.”

— Eva Bowker, Home Improvement Coordinator, Fantastic Handyman

under stair storage

Store larger items in the space under the stairs. Image: Jo Ann Snove/Shutterstock

Utilize the space under the stairs

“The space under the stairs can be used as a closet space with pull-out shelves or racks. A remodeling contractor can create this extra storage safely while maintaining the structural integrity of the stairs. This storage space can be used for many purposes like shoes, coats or a mini library.”

— Amira Johnson, Interior Designer, Emerald Doors

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Tom Dixon’s IKEA Line is the Sleekest, Most Contemporary Collection Yet

British designer Tom Dixon is well known for his iconic S Chair and the interior of the stunning Mondrian Hotel in London. The Queen even formally appointed him to the Order of the British Empire (OBE). And, now, you can get his iconic pieces for a few hundred dollars or less at IKEA.

Tom Dixon IKEA

The new Tom Dixon IKEA DELAKTIG collection offers accessories that make it possible to customize the furniture pieces. All images courtesy of IKEA.

Dixon’s DELAKTIG collection consists of upholstered seating and a bed featuring a frame made of 50 percent recycled aluminum. You can customize the small selection of pieces by adding from the selection of accessories.

IKEA Creative Leader James Futcher says, “We called it an open platform for living, and Tom kept referring to it as a bed so, of course, we couldn’t stop after the first DELAKTIG launch. The bed is a key piece of furniture in any home — I mean, everyone needs a good night’s sleep. So we decided to go for a second launch: a bed frame that is designed to be personalized.”

tom dixon ikea

Put two sofa bases together with a side table and lamp for a deeply relaxing lounge that can double as a guest bed.

Tom Dixon IKEA modular furniture

Accessories like additional arms, side tables or removable fabric covers give your pieces a personalized look.

Here’s a look at the Tom Dixon IKEA pieces you can mix and match:

tom dixon IKEA sofas

The 88″ sofa is shown here as a traditional 2-arm sofa, $770.

new ikea tom dixon furniture line

If you want to change up the traditional look of the sofa above you can move the backs and arms around. Get the modular sofa, including an attachable lamp, $854.

new ikea tom dixon furniture line
new ikea tom dixon furniture line
new ikea tom dixon furniture line
new ikea tom dixon furniture line
new ikea tom dixon furniture line
new ikea tom dixon furniture line

tom dixon for IKEA

Customize the platform bed by adding and removing side tables and a headboard.

tom dixon for IKEA
tom dixon for IKEA
tom dixon for IKEA
tom dixon for IKEA
tom dixon for IKEA
tom dixon for IKEA

For more info, check out the rest of the collection here.

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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

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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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Trending Now: Rattan Furniture

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Rattan isn’t just for outdoor furniture anymore. You might associate this material with your grandma’s house, but rattan furniture is having a moment. And we’re here for it. It’s versatile, durable and can take just about any room to the next level.

Before we dive deeper, let’s get clear on rattan. It’s not the same as wicker. Wicker is a type of weave, whereas rattan refers to the actual material itself, a flexible, fibrous plant. We’ve long used its pliable stems to make furniture because it’s both lightweight and durable. Today, not all rattan-style furniture uses actual rattan – but we’ll forgive it because the whole point of synthetic rattan is to protect the natural environment in which rattan grows.

If you’ve been looking for furniture that packs a punch aesthetically but doesn’t add a ton of visual weight to your space, rattan is for you. Let’s look at some of the various ways you can use rattan furniture to set the tone of a room.

Rattan furniture in the bedroom

Like we said, rattan is versatile. That’s why you can use it just about anywhere in a bedroom, from the headboard to the accent chair to the table. Here are some different ways you can incorporate this material in any bedroom in your home.

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In a tropical bedroom, the Curved Rattan Bed is a no-brainer. Image: Anthropologie

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If you want to add an eclectic feel to your bedroom, the Kubu Rattan Woven Headboard can deliver. Image: Pier1

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The comfy Pari Rattan Daybed creates a cozy – but still airy – lounging area in this bedroom. Image: Anthropologie

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Make it extra fun to get ready with the Ria Leaning Rattan Mirror, which includes a place to hang extra outfit options. Image: Urban Outfitters

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Pair your leaning mirror with the matching bed. With a low profile, the Ria Rattan Bed invites you to lounge. Image: Urban Outfitters

Rattan furniture in the living room

Maybe you’re the type of person who has a set style you follow in your living space. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who pulls from various influences, from traditional to mid-century to eclectic. Either way, rattan can serve you. Because of its vintage roots and natural feel, it works in a wide variety of living spaces. Check it out.

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Rattan doesn’t just work for boho spaces. It can be ideal when you’re looking for a modern edge, as exemplified by the Tiered Rattan Pendant. Image: Anthropologie

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The inviting Noelie Rattan Lounge Chair offers welcoming seating when you invite guests over. Image: CB2

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If you’re looking for a statement piece for your living room, look no further than the Natural Rattan Fallon Cocoon Chair. Image: Cost Plus World Market

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Rattan is more versatile than you might think. It gives the Reflect Rattan Credenza texture and warmth. Image: CB2

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If you’re looking to add seating without adding visual weight, an airy rattan piece – like the Pari Rattan Chair – is a perfect fit. Image: Anthropologie

Rattan furniture in the dining room

The dining room is an interesting space to design. You want it to feel both structured and comfortable. It’s a place where you might serve an elegant, multi-course extravaganza or enjoy a cozier meal like spaghetti. Rattan works in either setting – and everywhere in between. Its carefully woven, sculpted feel is elegant but its natural fibers can help add a sense of casualness. When you want your dining room to make a striking statement without feeling stuffy, this material can deliver. Here are a few examples of it doing exactly that.

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The Maluku Natural Rattan Dining Chairs give a dining room table extra texture. Image: Crate & Barrel

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Make it easier to entertain at your next dinner party with a compact and mobile bar set up on the Kali Bar Cart. Image: Pottery Barn

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Traditional rattan meets modern design in the Haylee Mono Rattan Chair. Image: Urban Outfitters

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Rattan can help you bring the outdoors in. These Cinta Wicker Dining Chairs add an earthy feel to an already eclectic dining space. Image: Pier1

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Rattan doesn’t have to be in your face. In the Marte Dining Chair, it’s a subtle element. Image: Urban Outfitters

What do you think of rattan furniture? Would you add it to your house? If so, what room would you choose? We’d love to hear in the comments!

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These 4 Living Room Trends for 2019 will Inspire your Next Home Design Project

Every year, new trends hit the interior design landscape and 2019 is no different. In particular, this year there is an emphasis on  living room trends. We’ve decided to take a closer look at them today. Read on to learn about these new living room trends and tips on how to make these looks work in your home. Believe us when we say that you’ll fall in love with these popular design statements.


The bolder, the better when it comes to furniture colors this year. Image:

Colorful seating

If there’s one trend this year that’s totally eye-catching, it’s the colorful seating trend. These days, sofas, accent chairs and barstools all come in an array of bold shades that we haven’t seen in a while. In particular, jewel tones – such as ruby red, emerald green and sapphire blue – are the hues that are turning heads.

If you’re going to embrace the colorful seating trend, there is one thing that you need to keep in mind. Whichever item of furniture you choose to make colorful, it needs to be the statement piece of the room. Be sure to balance out the bold hues by using lots of neutral tones in the other areas of your design. Neutral shades will give the eye a place to rest and help keep the design, as a whole, from feeling overwhelming.


Everything gets a splash of color this year, even the ceiling. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Statement ceilings

Statement ceilings have fallen in and out of favor over the years and it looks like they’re set to make a big comeback. However, this time, the trends are skewing darker than they have before. There’s an emphasis on dark browns, blacks and grays that hasn’t been as prevalent in the past. We have to say that we’re loving it.

However, you should not let those colors be the only ones in your design roster. The key, here, is that you incorporate colors that you’ve used in other applications throughout the room, much like you see in the picture above. In addition, you should also consider using materials beyond paint. Wallpaper or temporary wall decals will make a fine statement on your ceiling.

wall art

When it comes to art, make it big. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Large-scale wall art

In 2019, artwork is also set to make a big splash. In particular, we’re seeing an emphasis on large-scale prints. Just like the color trends that we’re seeing this year, current wall art styles are big, bold, and in-your-face. These days, it’s not uncommon to see prints that take up the better portion of an entire wall as the focal point of the room.

If you’re worried about picking a piece of wall art that works, take a look at our artwork sizing guide. However, conventional wisdom states that artwork should take up four-sevenths of the wall on which it is placed. To figure those dimensions, start by measuring the length and width of the wall. Then, multiply each number by 0.571, which is four-sevenths as a decimal.


Take seating arrangements to the next level. Image: United photo studio/Shutterstock

Purposeful arrangements

The last trend we’re talking about today is purposefully arranging furniture. Gone are the days where it’s acceptable to shove a couch up against the wall and leave a cavern of space in the middle of the room. The coming year will be all about creating room layouts that make sense from a functional standpoint, as well as looking aesthetically-pleasing to the eye.

In terms of what constitutes a functional layout where living rooms are concerned, it’s all about creating an inviting seating area. Start by adding an appropriately-sized area rug to help ground the space. This also adds more visual interest to the room. Then, arrange your seating around a central focal point like a fireplace or television.

What do you think of these living room trends for 2019? Let us know in the comments.

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25 Gorgeous Minimalist Fireplaces to Keep You Cozy This Winter

minimalist fireplaces

Minimalist fireplaces prove that function can follow form and still, well, function. Image: Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

In the winter, having a fireplace is a little slice of heaven. When the sun sets behind the horizon, it invites you to grab a cozy throw, a book and a mug of something warm. The only problem with having a fireplace is that it can take over your room’s design. That is, if you let it. Fortunately, modern and minimalist fireplaces are delivering design-savvy homeowners and renters an alternative to the stodgy hearths of yesteryear.

If you’re looking for a fireplace that will meld with your design vision, rest easy. There are a wide range of indoor varieties. You might want something larger-than-life that completely defines your living space. Or you might want something that will play nicely with the other elements in the room. If the latter speaks to you, read on. We’ve lined up 25 gorgeous minimalist fireplaces that will keep you warm all winter long.

White minimalist fireplaces

When you have an intriguing, textured element in the room, your fireplace can take a comfortable back seat. Image: Folds Inside Ltd

Setting your minimalist fireplace on the floor gives you maximal ambiance will freeing up more wall space for art. Image: Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design

This room blends a lightly textured rug, floating glass coffee tables and the streamlined fireplace to create a decidedly airy feel. Image: Michael Downes – UA Creative

In an all-white living space, a simple, architectural mantel is all you need. Image: Designer Premier

Unobstructed sides are a major trend in minimalist fireplaces – and for good reason. They help the design feel light and give you better access to your cozy fire. Image: The Interiors Project

Interesting architectural details – like this art cutout – help root minimalist fireplaces in the space even while leaving room for other elements to play. Image: Clark | Richardson Architects

The shape of the fireplace mirrors the shape of the high-impact table behind the couch, drawing the eye to it without detracting from its intricate detailing. Image: NICOLEHOLLIS

Dark minimalist fireplaces

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Adding a fireplace to an accent wall doesn’t have to mean losing the impact of the accent. Image: Stephenson Design Collective

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The soft glow of this streamlined fireplace design also highlights the warm tones in the stone wall. Image: SKG Designs

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Minimalist fireplaces let the view shine. And with a view like this, why would you choose anything else? Image: Bacic Group

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When you have an architectural element meant to draw the eye up, keeping the fireplace minimal ensures it doesn’t get weighed down. Image: Lango Works

Glass-enclosed minimalist fireplaces

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A simple glass cutout helps this fireplace shine even in the midst of so many other visually interesting elements. Image: Pixers

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Glass on either side of the fireplace connects the living and dining spaces. Image: JAWS

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A glass-encased fireplace inset in a heavy, dark wall gives this dining room a cozy but elevated feel. Image: Swiss Milk Studio

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This minimalist fireplace serves as a way to connect the living area to the space beyond – even through a towering wall of concrete and wood. Image: Rustic Fire Place

Minimalist fireplaces in the bedroom

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A fireplace nestled among your dresser drawers adds warmth without limiting your storage options. Image: Krista + Home

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If you like a streamlined aesthetic in the bedroom so your mind can drift off to sleep undistracted, minimalist fireplaces are for you. Image: Tierney Conner Architecture

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Alternately, minimalist fireplaces also work well in darker, more moody spaces where you don’t want to disrupt the feel with too much light or warmth. Image: Ownby Design

Traditional fireplaces often feel masculine, but this simple and bright alternative helps the room establish its feminine air. Image: The Cross Decor & Design

Mixed material minimalist fireplaces

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In a room where multiple shades of grey are at play, the black of the fireplace also provides an anchor. Image: Design 2 Finish

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A floating row of cabinets, an inset for firewood and a textural accent wall all complement the fireplace in this room. Image: J.E Keating + Associates

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The small black inset of this minimalist fireplace breaks up the creamy expanse of concrete in this space, adding character. Image: Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

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In this living room, the simplicity of the extremely minimal fireplace helps balance bright accents. Image: LEIVARS

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This backlit, white expanse proves that the space above minimal fireplaces can be simultaneously sleek and also visually captivating. Image: Barc Architects Ltd.

What do you think of the minimal fireplace trend? Would you add one to your home or apartment? Let us know in the comments.

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Freshome’s Tips on How to Entertain at Home

entertain at home

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

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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.

entertain at home - kitchen

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.

entertain at home - living room

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.

entertain at home - general

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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Check Out The Inside’s New Katherine Carter for Homepolish Collection

The Inside is a great source for affordable home accents as well as textiles, similar to what you’d find if you work with a top interior designer. And now you can buy affordable, Mid-Century modern style pieces from one of the busiest interior designers around with the Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection.

Her top clients include Lauren Conrad and Marianna Hewitt. Her first home collection, in collaboration with The Inside, is offered in three custom prints she says were inspired by “natural textures and organic shapes in a reduced, modern palette.”

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection at The Inside is perfect for renters as well as apartment dwellers. The collection’s pieces are small-scale and also include removable wallpapers that are perfect for dressing up a wall and taking it down when moving out.

Here’s a look at The Inside’s new Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection:

modern platform beds

The  Modern Platform Bed, shown in Black Sybil is $799 & up (depending on size), features brass legs. It’s also available in other Katherine Carter textiles. All images: The Inside

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside

Katherine Carter’s Marble print is available as a 20″ throw pillow with down insert for $49.

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside Mid-Century furniture

Turned legs and tufted buttons give this 48″ Mid-Century Bench in Black Fracture fabric, $345, a vintage modern look.

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside

A perfectly tailored Square Pouf in Marble, $249, would be perfect as an occasional table, extra seat or footstool.

Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside bench

The Modern Bench, shown in White Sybil, $399, features the same 70s-style brass legs as the Modern Platform bed.

removable wallpapers for apartment

The Marble Removable Wallpaper, $129 and Cocktail Chair, $399 make a great pairing in a small sitting area.

What’s your favorite piece and pattern from Katherine Carter’s new collection? Let us know in the comments.

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Wayfair’s New Line, Greyleigh, Puts Fully Styled Rooms At Your Fingertips

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. 

With the holidays fast approaching, is your home or apartment ready to impress your guests? If the answer is no, you’re gonna love Wayfair’s new line. Greyleigh is a collection of super-chic room settings that are fully styled from ceiling to floor. All you need to do is click on your favorite pieces and you’ll have an insta-fab home just in time for the holidays.

Here are six of our favorite rooms (and the pieces that make it all come together) from Wayfair’s Greyleigh collection:

Wayfair Greyleigh

This Rustic Dining Room by Greyleigh would work just as well in a small studio or loft as it would in a larger home. All images: Wayfair

A note about prices: We love showing you the prices of items we select. But Wayfair’s very competitive pricing means prices may vary day to day as they discount the items or run special sales. Clicking on the item will take you to the best price available at the time. Get it before it’s gone!

Shop the look:

greyleigh living room rustic

The modern Rustic Living Room Design is elegant yet relaxed and casual enough for the whole family to enjoy.

Shop the look:

modern 4 poster bed

A contemporary four-poster bed, part of the Greyleigh Rustic Bedroom Design Collection, features storage underneath to add function to smaller spaces.

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wayfair greyleigh

For a more formal look, go with a rectangular dining table and slipcovered dining chairs, like the ones in this Greyleigh Rustic Dining Room.

Shop the look:

Greyleigh Rustic Bedroom

A perfectly polished and tailored bedroom can be yours. All you need to do is paint your bedroom walls grey and wait for delivery of this Rustic Bedroom Design.

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Get work done stylishly by turning a spare guest room or home office space into this Greyleigh Rustic Office Design.

Shop the look:

In addition to this new brand, Greyleigh, Wayfair is also introducing a new subscription program called MyWay.  MyWay is a subscription-based membership program that grants members the following benefits:
1. Free Shipping on Everything (even orders under $49)
2. 25% off In-Home Services, such as assembly and installation, and upgraded delivery services like “Room of Choice” and “Full Service Delivery”
3. Exclusive Perks, including access to insider sales
4. Free 1-day Shipping on Thousands of Items

So before you shop any of the great products above you may want to consider the MyWay program, especially if you are a frequent Wayfair buyer!

Greyleigh is affordable, high-end and, best of all, put together for you by the experts. Your home can look like the inspirational pictures in no time. What room setting is your favorite?

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