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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How to Get the Perfect Valentine’s Day Table Setting

If you’re planning a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to make sure everything is just perfect. And even if you’re single, it can be fun to have a Valentine’s Day gathering just among friends. The best way to set the mood for the day is to make sure you have an amazing Valentine’s Day table setting.

There are several ways to go about decorating a table for Valentine’s Day, from bright pink accents to bold heart designs to classy Victorian-chic styles. Below are several ideas for getting the right Valentine’s Day vibe at your dining room table.

Valentine’s Day Table Setting Neon Pink

Neon pink and white is a wonderfully chic color scheme. Image: Love, Thomas

Neon Valentine’s Day Table Setting

One of the cutest upscale ways to get a Valentine’s Day table setting is to go for bright neon pink shades. Neon shades give just about anything an uplifting, modern and artsy feel. You can see how some classy neon pink candles set the tone in the table setting above. Little accents, like the pink drink umbrellas and circles on the tablecloth, make the pink color well-integrated with the rest of the table. And by balancing the pops of neon pinks with plenty of white, you keep this concept grounded and chic.

Another great aspect of this style is how elegant, yet relaxed, it is. The neon pink and white give a classy look, but laidback elements like the drink umbrellas and flowers in jars keep the layout casual. This would be a good table setting for a gathering between friends or a very casual date.

Valentine’s Day Table Setting Rustic Red

Make a table setting pop with bright accents of cherry red. Image: KayLovesVintage

Rustic Red Accents

Red is another great design choice for Valentine’s Day. Bright cherry reds really pop in a space and bring the whole area to life. Using red accents on a Valentine’s Day table setting is a wonderful way to celebrate the season in a bold and classy way.

One example is the table setting in the photo above, which makes use of some gorgeous rustic red accents. The old-style red lanterns help set a rustic tone, along with the wax-dripped heart candleholders. Added candles in votive holders keep this style on track, since nothing says rustic and romantic like plenty of candles. The red berries also keep things looking natural and rustic.

Valentine’s Day Table Setting Ruby Frog

Layer plenty of textures on top of each other for a classic look. Image: Willadsen Design

A Romantic Vibe

Another idea is to go very traditionally romantic. The table setting in the photo above does a wonderful job of layering different textures on top of each other. This creates a classic table setting.

The white, textured doily contrasts well with the woven red tablecloth. Different textures in the candleholders create plenty of visual interest. Little accents, like the pearls and rubies, give a very romantic, upscale feel. And the creative element of the jeweled frog adds even more character to this classic table setting. Classic dinnerware with a flower pattern rounds out the romantic tone. It would be a great table setting for the most romantic of dates.

Valentine’s Day Table Setting Victorian Romantic

The Victorian look is all about a romantic feeling. Image: Comfy Dwelling

Modern Victorian

Speaking of going classic, you might also want to try a Victorian table setting for Valentine’s Day. What makes the Victorian style so applicable to this holiday is the use of romantic flower prints, which were common in the era. It gives you a wonderful excuse to incorporate plenty of pink flower prints into the dishes, like on the teacups and plates in the photo above.

The Victorian style is also one of timeless romance. It’s dominated by fine textures like lace and bold flower textures like bouquets. And by aiming for the lighter shades of white and pink, like in the photo above, you can keep this look firmly in the modern Victorian realm.

Valentine’s Day Table Setting Seaside Theme

Combine pink elements with seaside themes for a surprising take on the holiday. Image: The Home

Subtle Beachside Theme

Most people probably don’t think to combine subtle Valentine’s Day accents with a beach theme. But that’s what makes it so special and creative. You can see in the photo above how subtle pink accents combine with rustic pieces, like the driftwood candleholders and the classic lanterns.

The elements that could make this a Valentine’s Day table setting are exceptionally subtle, as you can see in the pink macarons and the pink candles. What this means is they don’t overpower the seaside theme. It’s a wonderful idea to use if you’re spending the holiday in a seaside resort and you want to make the night special.

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5 Ways to Set Up a Home Bar for New Year’s Entertaining

If you have a New Year’s party coming up, you may want to think about getting a home bar – or updating the one you have. Drinking tends to be a major pastime on New Year’s, especially with New Year’s Eve toasts, so a home bar is a good choice for the upcoming celebrations. You can enjoy the company of friends and family and ring in 2019 without crowded bars, cover charges and long drives.

Below are a few ways to organize a home bar for that New Year’s party, whether you’re looking for something temporary or you’d consider a remodel. And who knows? After seeing these ideas, hosting New Year’s parties just might become a new tradition for you.

Home Bar Shelving on Wall

Textured backsplash designs give plenty of style to home bars. Image: Lemaster Architects

A Place for Champagne Glasses

Any great home bar has plenty of shelving where you can put glasses and drinks. This can be helpful when you want to make the New Year’s toast. An example is the bar space in the photo above. This stylish design even shows some attractive textured backsplash work behind the shelving.

An interesting aspect of this design is the set-in counter area along the wall. Designs like these are great for New Year’s parties because they offer a space for setting out party platters and other snacks right by the drinks. A mini fridge is also a convenient touch.

Home Bar Sleek Black

Set-in wine racks are a functional trend in home bars. Image: Venegas and Company

Home Bar with Wine Rack

A popular addition to home bars is the built-in wine rack. In the photo above, you can see the cubby system that holds wine above the counter space. It’s a great way to hold wines you don’t want to cool or bottles you are keeping until the vintage is older. It’s a good place for having wine right at hand while serving, too.

The home bar above is also a good example of a sleek, dark design that works well in transitional or contemporary spaces. The white countertop contributes to the stark look of the style by adding some contrast against the black cabinets.

Home Bar Small and Hidden

Go for a hidden bar if you have a sleek home design or smaller space. Image: Milan Design + Build

Hidden Bar with Wine Cooler

A great option for minimalist homes with sleek designs is to go for a hidden bar. An example in the photo above is this small bar that sits behind folding doors. Its placement just off the kitchen makes accessing drinks convenient in relation to where the food might be placed.

Designs like this are also good for small spaces. You can see how some smart organization can fit a wine cooler, shelving for glasses, counter space and bottle storage into a small space with ease. A station like this would make it easy to prepare a drink tray for guests before that big New Year’s toast.

Home Bar Small Tray

Home bars can also be temporary and understated. Image: Le Michelle Klein

Casual Bar

If you’re not looking to go for a big remodel, you can still use a temporary option that can look classy. An example is the stand-alone tray in the photo above. A little accent like a matching potted plant or another small decor piece on the tray can help it look like it’s part of your natural decor style, too.

Tray bars sit easily along walls and make drinks accessible throughout the home. They can also be good options for placing snack trays along the walls, too. And when you’re done with the party, they fold right up and can go back into storage.

Home Bar Wood Wall

Here’s a good example of how to fit a TV into a home bar’s styling. Image: Rice Residential Design

Rustic Space with Television

When guests come over on New Year’s, people might want to watch the big ball drop or other programming. The photo above is a good example of how you can fit a flat screen behind a bar in any home style. Even this rustic space isn’t diminished by a modern TV.

The style also shows how well a natural wood-textured accent wall works behind a home bar space. Since many people are facing that wall naturally, it’s a great place for an eye-grabbing accent wall. You might try wood like in the photo or go for a deep, saturated hue. Just avoid putting a bright, funky shade around a TV, as that can be hard for guests to stare at as they watch television.

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5 After-Holiday Cleaning Tips to Get a Renewed Home

It can be a relief to finally be done with the holidays. If you were particularly busy, it can feel like you finished running a marathon. Suddenly, you have more time to yourself. But now that all the presents have been unwrapped, all the guests have gone back home and the holiday food has been eaten, we’re faced with after-holiday cleaning.

Like any cleaning task, it can feel more manageable if you come at it with a plan. By tackling the chore in smaller steps, the project doesn’t feel quite as insurmountable. So below are several ways to get your home clean after the holidays.

After Holiday Cleaning Wrapped Gifts

You often can’t use everything in these packages. Image: The Happy Home

Sort Out the Gifts You’ll Actually Use

The first step in after-holiday cleaning is to go through all those gifts. After all, you suddenly have a pile of things for which you need to find places. And if you were already feeling like you had little space, this can be the biggest headache of cleaning up after the holidays.

In order to conserve space, it’s okay to go through and assess what you’ll actually use. Many of us have well-meaning relatives who still remain clueless about our personal tastes year after year. There’s no reason to take up closet space on something you’ll never use. Consider donating some of those “it’s the thought that counts” gifts.

On the other hand, you might have the opposite problem: you have all these great gifts you want to keep, but no room for them. In that case, take stock of what you do own and consider donating some of your older items that are worn out or haven’t been used in years.

After Holiday Cleaning Card Tree

Remember to keep those holiday cards; they make great home decorations. Image: Thyme is Honey

Decide What to Keep for Decorations

After you have all the gifts sorted and put away, next it’s time to tackle the holiday decorations. It might be tempting to take everything and throw it in a box in storage. However, you’ll end up with a mess to sort through next year. A good way to put away your decorations is to take an inventory of what you’d like to keep for decorations and what you’d like to throw away.

For instance, many people use their favorite holiday cards as decorations in the home. Sort through your holiday cards, figure out which ones are good for future use and throw away any old ones. You can also use the same method for other holiday decorations. If you got a new decoration that can replace an older or worn out piece, don’t be afraid to part with the latter.

After Holiday Cleaning Christmas Tree

Sure, it’s pretty now, but this jerk is planning to ruin your new year by leaving needles everywhere. Image: M&S

Remember to Vacuum Thoroughly During After-Holiday Cleaning

There’s nothing weirder than finding pine needles from the Christmas tree in the sofa cushion in July. To avoid unpleasant surprises year-round, make sure to clean thoroughly to remove any remaining tinsel, pine needles or other debris like glitter from gift bags. Take the cushions off the furniture and make sure to use an extension on the vacuum cleaner to get everything clean. Plus, this also helps get rid of odors.

Be aware, however, that many home vacuum cleaners cannot handle picking up pine needles or tinsel. In large amounts, both can easily clog many home vacuums, and tinsel can stop the roller bar from turning. Your best bet is to sweep hardwood floors with a trusty broom. For carpeting, you can use a rubber broom or lint brush. You may also want to use a shop vacuum if you have a lot of needles to clean up.

After Holiday Cleaning Refrigerator Cleaning

After the holidays, it’s a good idea to organize and clean the refrigerator and freezer. Image: Normandy Remodeling

Clean Out/Store All the Holiday Food

After-holiday cleaning is a great excuse to take stock of the refrigerator and freezer. Make sure to clean out any holiday food that has already gone bad or you don’t plan on eating. For things you want to hang onto longer, try vacuum sealing them and putting them in the freezer for extended storage.

If you just didn’t get around to cleaning the refrigerator or freezer before the holidays, now is a good time to do it. Clean out any old or expired food to make room for the new. While you’re at it, give your fridge and freezer a good once-over with your favorite cleaning product. (A half and half water/vinegar mixture works well for cleaning the fridge and freezer.)

After Holiday Cleaning Guest Bedroom

Remember to clean the linens in the guest bedroom. Image: Murray Homes

Thoroughly Clean Where Guests Slept and Food was Prepared

This isn’t to say our fondest friends and family are filthy, but it’s a good idea to disinfect the house as part of your after-holiday cleaning. The flu and colds like to hitch a ride on anyone this time of year, so after the holidays, launder the guest bedroom linens if anyone has stayed over.

You should also give your surfaces a once-over with a disinfectant solution or wipes. Target areas like the bathroom, the kitchen and tables. You’ll want to focus on areas where food was prepared in the kitchen to reduce any bacteria from raw meat.

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Cheers! 21 Home Bars to Inspire You

Creating the ideal home bar might be the most fun DIY project, regardless of whether you own or rent. Not only do you get to add a space purely dedicated to having an enjoyable time with your friends and family, you also get to add some glamour and interest to your home’s aesthetic. Plus, you have so many options for home bars. Will you put in a freestanding bar, an island, a bar cart or something else entirely?

Before you start shopping for cool glassware at your local antique store or decanting bottles of your favorite liquor, check out the photos below. We’ve rounded up 21 of our favorite home bars for the 21-and-over crowd. Armed with this hearty dose of inspiration, you’ll be ready to create a home bar that will be the talk of all your friends.

21 home bars to spark your creativity

home bars

Add some seating and display your bottles and glassware for an instant home bar. Image: Vernich Interiors

home bars 2

When creating your home bar, don’t forget to include comfortable seating if you have the space. Image: Regan Baker Design

home bars 4

Let guests know that the fun starts right away by positioning your home bar near your front door. Image: Rockwell Interiors

home bars 3

A compact wet bar makes a perfect setting for your favorite home bar details. Image: D2 Interieurs

home bars 5

Your home bar doesn’t have to take up a lot of real estate. A simple – but beautifully designed – bar cart is enough to get the party started. Image: Kristin Laing Designs

home bars 6

Creative lighting will highlight your home bar – quite literally. Image: Steven Dailey

home bars 7

Start gathering interesting glassware to fill out your home bar. Open shelving lends itself to a stunning display. Image: Herlong Architects

home bars 8

An inset, backlit cabinet is all you need to transform any room into a glamorous bar. Image: Northworks Architects + Planners

home bars 9

Club chairs will make your home bar feel refined – and you’ll feel distinguished enjoying a cocktail in them. Image: CIRCLE Design Studio

home bars 10

Back your bar up to a window to give yourself easy access from the patio. Image: Sierra Pacific Windows

home bars 11

You can tuck your home bar behind doors so it’s at the ready when you entertain but doesn’t intrude in your daily life. Image: Sutro Architects

home bars 12

A floating, open-backed bar creates structure while maintaining an open feel. Image: 2id Interiors

home bars 13

Add cocktail-inspired art for a fun element in your bar area. Image: The Rinfret Group

home bars 14

Don’t be afraid to mix materials. The home bar is a place for fun – and you should have fun while designing it! Image: Patrick Schmitt

home bars 15

Home bars can find a place in even the most minimalist of homes. Image: Pedini PDX

home bars 16

… or in the most rustic. Image: M. Swabb

home bars 17

Any dead space in your home – like the awkward area under the stairs – is a prime place for your barware. Image: Timothy Godbold

home bars 18

Renters, rejoice! You don’t need to build in cabinets or shelves to create a home bar. Image: Design Milieu

home bars 19

Home bars are perfect places for an accent wall. Image: Plain and Posh

home bars 20

If you entertain families more than adults, make your home bar appropriate for all ages with fun details like candy jars and non-alcoholic drink options. Image: OSMOND DESIGNS

home bars 21

A home bar positioned just off the kitchen can make hosting a breeze even when you’re putting the finishing touches on the meal. Image: Fivedot Design/Build

Once you get your home bar set up, don’t forget to invite all of your friends over for its grand opening. Cheers!

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Get The Look: 5 Themed New Year’s Eve Decor Ideas For Your Holiday Party

Throwing a New Year’s Eve party can be stressful. In fact, it can even be difficult to know where to start. However, we believe that the easiest way to get a party started is to build the decor around a theme. With that in mind, we’ve brought you five themed New Year’s Eve decor ideas to help you get set for this year’s bash. Look them over to see which one best fits your personal sense of style.

gold new year's eve decor

Black and gold is a classic New Year’s color combo for a reason. Image: SMART ARCHITECHTURES

1. Go classic with black and gold

There’s nothing more traditional – or classic – than a New Year’s affair that’s decked out in black and gold. In this case, pulling the look off is all about creating a sense of balance throughout your entertaining area. Too much black may end up looking somber while an overabundance of gold may be too overwhelming to the eye.

To make sure that you achieve the perfect balance, pick one color to play a dominant role and allow the other color to play an accent role.

Get the look items:

gold new year's eve decor
gold new year's eve decor
gold new year's eve decor
gold new year's eve decor

black and silver

Shine on with silver. Image: Frog Prince Paperie

2. Bring in some shine with silver

If lots of gold is not your thing, consider swapping it out for silver this year. Silver is a strong enough color to hold the theme on its own, or you can mix and match by adding in touches of other colors. With silver, you want to pay attention to the finish. Not all silver finishes are created equal so you’ll want to make sure you select finishes that match.

Get the look items:

black and silver
black and silver
black and silver
black and silver

rose gold

2019 is going to be all about rose-colored items. Image: Pink The Town

3. Be on-trend with rose gold

Rose gold is a newcomer to the scene this year, but suddenly, we’re seeing it everywhere. If you want to be on-trend with your party this year, rose gold is the way to go. Simply step up your game by replacing all of your traditional New Year’s Eve decor with similar versions in this rose-colored hue and you’ll have created a fun and flirty celebration that anyone would be lucky to attend.

Get the look items:

rose gold
rose gold
rose gold
rose gold


Whenever possible, add a little whimsy to your New Year’s Eve decor. Image: SMART ARCHITECHTURES

4. Don’t be afraid to bring in plenty of whimsy

Who says New Year’s Eve has to be all about keeping up time-honored traditions? This time, why not ring in the new year with plenty of whimsy by making light of the whole ordeal? When going this route, your best bet is to check in with smaller, independent retailers rather than big-box stores.

Get the look items:


navy new year's eve decor

Think outside the box with navy. Image: Pom Joy Fun

5. Go navy for an unexpected twist

If you want to go with a theme that’s unexpected but still elegant, think about swapping out your usual black New Year’s Eve decor for navy versions. From navy kitchen cabinets to navy accent chairs, we’ve been seeing this dark blue hue become increasingly popular. There’s no reason why it can’t be paired with gold to create a party theme that stands out from the crowd.

Get the look items:

navy new year's eve decor
navy new year's eve decor
navy new year's eve decor
navy new year's eve decor

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The Freshome Dream Dining Room

dining room

We polled our Freshome team to come up with a list of must-haves for a dream dining room. Image: Urbanology Designs

The dining room is such an interesting part of the home. It’s gone through a number of transformations over the years. It first served as a mark of wealth, setting apart families who could afford the extra square footage to dedicate an entire room just to eating. Then, it fell out of favor. As dinnertime because less of a formal affair, many families turned to casual eating areas like breakfast nooks (or even the couch in front of the TV) as the primary spot to dine. Today, all too many dining rooms sit sad and vacant.

It’s time to reclaim this space! Because the dining room isn’t used as much as, say, the kitchen or master bedroom, it’s an exciting design opportunity. You can take some risks and make bold choices. When you do, you turn the space into something visually interesting that might entice your family to make more use of the room.

At Freshome, we love the idea of doing something extra fun with dining rooms. We’ve dreamed up some ways to help you breathe life into yours. Whether you’ve got a large formal dining room or are working with a compact corner of a room, these are the things you need – according to our Freshome team – to create a dining room you’ll love.

dining room seating

Plenty of seating creates a welcoming dining room – and makes it more likely to actually get used. Image: Envision Custom Homes

Set out seating

A good dining room needs a place where people can dine. If you’ve got the space, set up a table that seats at least eight. Hosting friends and family just got that much easier! We love a large, sturdy dining table – like the 96″ Sydney Dining Table from Wayfair – as a way to establish your dining room. If you’re tighter on space, a smaller table can work just as well.

Extendable dining tables can help you find a middle ground between roominess when the space isn’t in use and functionality when you’ve got a handful of people coming over for dinner. Either way, find a table you love and you can build from there.

Once you have your table picked, it’s time for more fun shopping. Your dining chairs set the tone for the room. Think of your dining table like the sofa in your living room and your dining chairs as the accent pillows. This is a place to have some fun! Maybe you want to go traditional, like the Hayes Tufted Chairs from Pottery Barn, or mod, like the Mid-century Chairs from Target. When it comes to dining chairs, your options are virtually endless. As proof, we’ve rounded up some great dining chair options for you.

dining room bar cart

A bar cart is a chance to add a pop of personality to your dining room. Image: Wolfe Design House

Build out your bar cart

If you’re the kind of family that sits down together for dinner every night, your dining room will get more use than most. If, however, you primarily gather around the table when you’re entertaining, you still need a dining space that will meet your needs. Building out a bar cart ensures that you’re set up for whatever the night has in store.

Much like your dining chairs, your bar cart is a design opportunity. Don’t be afraid to choose something fun. We love the Mid-Century Bar Cart from West Elm, but you could also go sleek with an all-chrome cart, find a truly vintage piece at your local antique store or add casters to a small bookcase for a DIY solution. If you’re ready to live that lush life, we’ve got a list of fabulous bar carts – and they’re all under $300.

Once you’ve picked the cart itself, the fun continues. Start gathering glasses, decanters, bottles and the other essentials. Pick up a bouquet of fresh blooms or a scented candle. Adding little touches you love to your bar cart gives your dining room personality and keeps it from feeling stuffy.

dining room accent wall

Your dining room is a place to play with design. A bold accent wall is just the thing. Image: Duet Design Group

Work on your walls

Like we said, because your dining room is less used than other spaces in your home, it’s a place to go big with your design. If you’ve ever wanted to try a bold wallpaper, a bright accent wall or a major piece of wall art, this is the place. We love making a big statement with your dining room walls.

You can choose a unique paint color (why not black?) or striking wallpaper (we love the options from de Gournay). An accent wall covered in Palm Wallpaper from CB2 or hung up with some large-scale, eye-catching art is just the thing to transform your dining room. You know those design ideas you’ve had pinned on Pinterest for years but never had the guts to try? This is the place to finally put them into practice.

dining room - storage

Adding storage to your dining room makes entertaining easier. Image: Granger Family Homes

Set up storage

When you invite people over for dinner, the last thing you want is to spend the evening running around. Adding convenient storage to your dining space makes the entire evening easier, from the moment you start setting the table to clearing the dessert dishes.

Create a space in your dining area where you can store dishes, salt and pepper shakers and whatever else you find yourself running to the kitchen for during a meal. A couple of our Freshome picks include a vintage hutch sourced from your local antique store or a sideboard with lots of drawers, like this Beaufort Farmhouse Sideboard. Or, if you have the space to add built-ins, go for it. Again, this is a chance to expand the design of your dining room. Feel free to go bold and choose a piece of furniture you truly love.

dining room 2

What would we find in your perfect dining room? Image: Studio G Interior Design

What’s in your dream dining room?

We had a lot of fun coming up with these key ways to make your dining room one of your favorite spaces. But, obviously, we didn’t cover everything. If you want to keep exploring ways to take your dining room’s design to a higher level, we’ve got a list of four ways you can get started.

What would your dream dining room contain? Statement lighting? A knockout centerpiece? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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How to Transform Your Home into a Winter Wonderland

Global event designer Edward Perotti has managed over 2,000 events, including social galas, ornate weddings, corporate affairs and notable events in such places as the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the Great Wall of China and the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. We asked him for some ideas to help Freshome readers create the perfect winter wonderland at home this holiday season.

Winter Wonderland Holiday Decor


Candles create a soft and elegant look. Image: Robeson Design

With all the events Perotti designs around the globe, you would expect him to come home and just relax during the holidays. “However, it’s actually the opposite. A second wind always seems to kick in and I’m newly inspired to decorate at home.”

He’s passionate about decorating the home himself, without any help from his events team or even a florist. “It’s just me and my holiday elves – otherwise known as my family.”

Perotti brings his event design perspective to his personal decorations. “It needs to be a cohesive experience and convey an overall emotion,” he says. “Living in sunny California, our winter is far from frosty, but this year I’m creating our very own winter wonderland.”

Perotti is not a fan of decor that is overwhelming. “I don’t believe in decorations that hit you over the head with a theme. Instead, I like to create a mood and feelings with design moments,” he says. “The trick is to establish a flow from the front door to the mantel and continue it throughout the house. It all needs to tie together with a common thread and tell a story.”

Curb Appeal

diamond wreaths

Square wreaths can help your home stand out. Image: Brian Gille Architects

This is what Perotti’s doing this year to decorate his home’s exterior:

  • Icing the glass panels on the front door to give them a frosted look, which contrasts well with his dark walnut door.
  • Using a square wreath made of bay leaves and hung from one corner so that it appears as a diamond. It’s a contrast to the classic circle wreath and sets the tone for modern, non-traditional decor.
  • Taking items that have been handed down and upcycling them. For example, a plaster rabbit’s head from Holland has been built into the center of the wreath.
  • Surrounding the door with 5’ evergreen trees, potted in galvanized metal buckets and dusted lightly with fake snow. The trees have small crystals tied to the branches.

Living Room


A beautifully-decorated room. Image: Vale Garden Houses

Starting with the fireplace, Perotti explains the following:

  • I searched for (and found) a faux, long (about 3’) single antler, which I’ve attached to our small mantel. We’ll use this to hang stockings. This year, the stockings are an ivory velvet trimmed in faux fur.
  • Our fireplace hearth is a white-painted brick – very mid-century modern during the year, but also perfect for a winter wonderland. We lost the actual use of our fireplace with our remodel (California building codes), so the inside of the fireplace is the perfect location to create a winter display.
  • Combining white poinsettias, mercury glass elements (you can never have too much mercury glass!), vases, oversized ornaments, faux deer antlers, pine cones, battery operated mini LED lights and candles, I create a winter motif in the fireplace. (We use LOTS OF CANDLES for this. The remote-controlled artificial ones are great so that I can turn them on and off with one click.)

Trimming the Tree


This tree is definitely the room’s focal point. Image: A Pop of Pretty Blog

The tree is always updated on a regular basis. For the winter wonderland theme, this is what Perotti says he’ll be doing:

  • The ornaments and trim are cream, mercury glass and crystal. To continue upcycling, I’ll also include ornaments made from boxes, wrapping paper, books, etc.
  • Clear lights add the necessary sparkle.
  • In keeping with our overall design mindset, the tree will be crowned with a beautiful silver Frank Lloyd Wright tree topper.
  • The tree skirt matches the stockings, made from the same ivory velvet and faux fur.

“Throughout the rest of the house, I’ll reinforce the theme with matching style vignettes. The entrance credenza, coffee table and even the staircase landing will all be decked out in winter wonderland,” Perotti says. “The house will be filled with the coolness of ivory, crystal and mercury glass along with the warmth of the faux fur and candles.”

Dining Table

blending elements

Blending elements together helps create a memorable holiday tablescape. Image: Robeson Design

Perotti says the trick is to set the dining table once so it’s ready for entertaining and daily use. In this way, he says you don’t have to make any changes from the beginning of the holiday season to the end.

In keeping with the winter wonderland theme, he’s creating a runner of decor that is tonal by design.

  • I start with faux antlers and spray paint them a matte white linen. Then, I paint mason jars in the same matte white (four of each).
  • I’ll then add mini mercury glass bud vases and an assortment of leftover silver ornaments and white-tipped pine cones.
  • The final touch to the runner is ivory hydrangeas, added to make an eclectic runner that stands on its own yet ties in with the entire holiday decor style.
  • To the table place settings, I’ll add galvanized metal chargers, grey and white thick striped napkins and basic white china for a table that is ready to entertain.

“If you want to make the dinner a family style, add a variety of white, metal and clear glass cake pedestals,” Perotti says. “Put the platters of food on them and make your cuisine part of the decor.”

While he has provided tips for our readers, Perotti has this final piece of advice: “This is about your voice, your taste and your style, so use what I’m doing as your jumping off point. Play with it, but make it your own.”

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10 Holiday Decor Storage Hacks You Need to Know

holiday decor storage hacks

Here are a few holiday decor storage hacks to take the pain out of packing up the season. Image: Joanna Kosinska

The holiday season is one of the most fun and beautiful times of the year. We gather with friends and family, we share meals and gifts and we can all feel the cheer in the air. When it comes time to pack up the tree, take down the stockings and unstring the lights, it can feel a little sad – and a little overwhelming. After the busyness of the season, you’re looking at a fair amount of work to get your house back to normal. Fortunately, these holiday decor storage hacks can make things a little easier for you.

Rather than just shoving things back into boxes, only to find broken ornaments and missing bulbs when you start to decorate next year, employ these tips. With these holiday decor storage hacks in your arsenal, packing up – and packing neatly – is a snap.

holiday decor storage hacks - labels

Label your decor as you put it away to make decorating easier next year. Image: Squared Away

Get on board with organization

Here are two tips to help you store everything in a logical way so decorating next year is a breeze.

  • As you’re packing things up, set yourself up for success next year. Rather than shoving things into random boxes, label each one (e.g. the “Living Room” box would get filled with all the decorations you use in the living room). You can also place individual labels on items of which you have multiple (e.g. “Banister Garland” and “Mantle Garland”). Those leftover gift tags are perfect for labeling as you pack up.
  • When you buy new strings of lights, write critical information like where you bought them (so you know where to go for replacement bulbs) and length on the plug. Then, as you take strands down at the end of the season, wrap them around an old Pringles can or cardboard tubes that held paper towels. Cut a slit in the lip to hold the plug in place so you can neatly wrap the entire strand and easily access the info you’ve written. You can also tape spare bulbs in the tube’s center.
holiday decor storage hacks - reuse

Reusing items you already have can help you protect your holiday decor. Image: Make Life Lovely

Reuse to reduce

The holiday season creates a lot of waste. But you can use that to your advantage with these tips.

  • Shred old wrapping paper, including those random scraps that get left over when wrapping oddly shaped gifts. Use this stuffing to pad fragile items as you pack your holiday decor into storage.
  • Hold on to the packaging for your ornaments. This the ideal way to store them so they don’t get broken. If you’ve already tossed the boxes, however, you’ve got some other options. Save egg cartons to store smaller ornaments. Larger ornaments can get a similar upcycle treatment if you save two cardboard drink holders. Nestle four ornaments – one in each cupholder – in the first one, then use the second as a lid. Plastic carryout containers can be equally useful when padded with a little leftover tissue paper.
  • Corral garlands and little holiday tchotchkes in old tennis ball containers.
holiday decor storage hacks - moisture

Your holiday decorations are precious – so protecting them from moisture is key. Image: Piccadilly Design

Minimize the effects of moisture

There’s a reason you dedicate precious storage space to your holiday decor. Treasured heirlooms, handmade items and memory-filled objects make up the bulk of your decorations. Here are a few ways to protect them.

  • Are you storing your decor in the basement? If so, make sure you safeguard it from the effects of a damp space. Pack everything in plastic bins to keep it dry.
  • Put homemade, food-based ornaments (like those precious macaroni stars) in sandwich bags to keep the food in better shape and prevent them from falling apart. Store everything in cookie tins to keep away pests who would want a nibble.
holiday decor storage hacks - fresh

Opt for fresh greenery that you can toss (or compost!) at the end of the year to free up storage space. Image: Julie Ranee Photography

Get fresh and free

How much space do you dedicate the other eleven months of the year to storing your decorations? Here are a few holiday decor storage hacks to help you free up some of that square footage.

  • Fresh decor – like garlands, pinecones and cranberries – adds festive cheer to any space but can be tossed in the trash guilt-free at the end of the season. Plus, you just can’t beat that evergreen smell!
  • Tired of trying to stack rolls of wrapping paper? Use a plastic garment bag to corral them. Thread a hanger through the top to make it easy to hang them up and out of the way.
  • Similarly, wreaths will stay in better shape if they’re hung vertically, plus will take up less space that way. Twist tie a wreath to a hanger. Cut a hole in the bottom of a trash bag and thread the hanger through to protect the wreath from dust.

Good luck packing up the season! We hope these holiday decor storage hacks make life a little bit easier for you. And if you want to keep the home hacks rolling, here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions to help you get your house in top shape.

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20 Ways to Plan Room Designs with Seasonal Decorating

If you’re planning to redecorate a room, you might want to stop and think about how that year-round design will fit in with your seasonal decorating. It sounds counterintuitive. After all, it’s common to just throw any seasonal decor into the room style you already have. Why should holiday decorating dominate the home all year?

But if you were to stop and think about how your overall room colors work in relation to your seasonal decorating, you could take your home to a new level around the holidays. For instance, you might choose a warm color scheme if you prefer gold holiday decorations so that the bright gold shade doesn’t clash with too many other colors in the space. Or you might have pops of red around the room to go with a variety of holiday items.

Another option is to find holiday decorating color schemes that work with the room styles you already have. That way, you don’t have to completely redesign rooms, if that’s not something you want to tackle. Take a look below to see how different holiday color schemes work with different overall room designs.

Seasonal decorating in red

Red is, of course, a mainstay for seasonal decorating. Along with green and white, the three make up the traditional colors associated with Christmas. Red is a favorite because it just pops, making it a good option for an accent color during the holiday season. Plus, red shows up in many seasonal decor items, from Santa’s red suit to Rudolf’s nose.

Think about either subtle or bold ways to have red in your space all year. That way, it will be easy to fit into a variety of seasonal decor items. You could paint an accent piece, have a bright red chair or go for a bold all-red color scheme. Take a look below for some holiday color schemes that accent the red colors already in the space.

Seasonal Decorating Red Kitchen Island

Paint a kitchen island red to match a traditional green and red Christmas color scheme. Image: M&S

Seasonal Decorating Red Door Design

A red accent door looks bold year-round and is a natural look around the holidays. Image: Your Space by Design

Seasonal Decorating Distressed Wood Red

You’re not restricted to color scheme; try going for distressed wood to go with a red classic country Christmas theme. Image: Cosa Belle Interiors

Seasonal Decorating Red Wood Style

Warm cherry wood also pairs well with lush, red Christmas displays. Image: Rikki Snyder

Seasonal Decorating Red Color Scheme

This bold all-red color scheme works well around the holidays. Image: Farrow&Ball

Seasonal decorating in green

And then there’s the other main color of the holidays: green. Green is easy to incorporate into a space around the holidays, as it makes a natural addition in the form of evergreen trees and garland. Many holiday items also have red and green on them, like Christmas throw pillows.

So, naturally, a good option to give your home a cohesive look around the holidays is to have some permanent green fixtures. You might have green furniture, green topiaries or even green accent walls. Take a look below to see how green holiday color schemes work with the overall design of the room.

Seasonal Decorating Green Chair Style

This Christmas tree matches the green chairs and greenery on the curtains. Image: Tobi Fairley

Seasonal Decorating Topiaries Style

Year-round green topiaries are a natural match for garland and a Christmas tree. Image: Leanne Michael

Seasonal Decorating Green Accents Chair

This photo shows how well a Christmas throw pillow goes with green floral accents on a chair. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Green Ottoman Design

A bright green armchair and ottoman go well with the Christmas tree. Image: Maria Killam

Seasonal Decorating Outdoors Table

The napkins in this unique Christmas table setting go with the surrounding lush greenery; it’s a good idea for climates that are warm in December. Image: Earthwork

Seasonal decorating in silver

Another color scheme favorite for seasonal decorating is silver. From silver bells to silvery snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, silver gives a cool, wintery ambiance. You have many more options with silver for your overall room design, as well. With silver, you’ll want to err on the side of light and neutral color schemes. That way, the silver doesn’t have to compete with bolder colors to stand out.

And because light and neutral color schemes are so popular, you might already have the perfect palette for decorating with silver this holiday season. Take a look below to see some amazing silver holiday color schemes and how they work with the rest of the space.

Seasonal Decorating Silver Style

The light blue walls and silver textures on the tree create a cool, icy effect for winter decorating. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gray Room

Silver is a natural choice against a backdrop of neutral colors schemes, like this white and gray space. Image: Lux Interior Design

Seasonal Decorating White Wall and Reindeer

This silver-flecked reindeer stands well against a cool white and light blue color scheme. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gray Wall Room

Here’s another example of how well silver works against a gray color scheme. Image: Houseology Design Group Limited

Seasonal Decorating Silver Snowflakes Design

The silver-flecked reindeer and silver snowflakes don’t have to compete against anything when placed in front of a large mirror and a light wall. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal decorating in gold

Another holiday decorating favorite is gold. It gives a look of lush holiday riches, making it a favorite for holiday decor color schemes. Gold can be a little harder to just throw into any space, however. It tends to work best against warm color schemes that are already present in the room. That way, gold seasonal decorating elements look like they belong, rather than something you just threw in your home during the holidays. Below are several styles where gold naturally fits in with the surrounding room design.

Seasonal Decorating Gold Style

Gold holiday elements work well against warm wood designs and gold year-round elements, like the mirror frame. Image: Linly Designs

Seasonal Decorating Gold and Brown Walls

Gold can work well against light brown wall textures. Image: Regina Gust Luxe Seasonal and Floral Décor

Seasonal Decorating Yellow Stone Mantel

These golden angels pair well with the golden/yellow tones in the mantel stone. Image: Dawn Hearn Interior Design

Seasonal Decorating Art and Garland

Gold accents on a garland are a natural match with warm-toned art. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gold Curtains

The gold decorations on this tree match the golden curtains well. Image: Regina Gust Luxe Seasonal and Floral Décor

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