5 Surprising Things I Learned on My Tiny Home Vacation

Staying in a hotel with my family – husband, three kids and springer spaniel – isn’t always my idea of a vacation. Let’s face it: most hotel rooms are pretty bare bones. So, to foster a spirit of relaxation and actual sleep, I usually opt for condos or townhomes whenever I can. This past fall, instead of booking our usual condo for a weekend getaway, I decided to book a tiny home.

I won’t lie; I did it a little as a joke. My architect husband has long bemoaned the tiny home movement. He’s very considerate of a family’s lifestyle when designing homes and it’s usually his opinion that tiny homes are better on paper than they are in practice. When he found out that I’d booked a tiny home for our vacation, he rolled his eyes and I was ready for a round of “I told you so.”

What we learned over a three-day stint in a tiny home surprised me. As it turns out, small space living isn’t for everyone, but it’s probably not as crazy as you’d think. Here are five things I learned about tiny homes that I couldn’t have grasped without actually staying in one.

Layouts aren’t always ideal

Rustic tiny house

Tiny home layouts can be strange. Image: The Tiny House Project

Okay, first, some of the drawbacks. While the tiny home we stayed in was cleverly laid out and made use of every inch of space, it also meant the floorplan wasn’t exactly ideal. To fit a full galley kitchen and range, the full-sized fridge opened directly across from the bathroom door. In fact, you couldn’t walk through the kitchen if the fridge was open at all. You definitely make a few concessions when it comes to a dream layout, especially if you’re trying to utilize standard-sized appliances and cabinets.

Outdoor space is everything

Tiny home with deck

Consider outside space as part of your square footage. Image: Sol Haus Design

Because tiny homes have such limited space, your outdoor living situation becomes more important. We found ourselves spending a lot of our time playing outside. With three active kids (and a hyper dog!), staying inside would have meant cabin fever – and probably a few broken lamps. If you really are considering a tiny home, I think your location and lot will be even more important than that of a traditional home. Simply building a tiny home under the premise that you’ll just park it wherever you can could mean getting stuck inside – and that could lead to some major cabin fever. A great porch, open lot and outdoor seating made all the difference to us.

You have to compromise

Tiny A-frame home

You might need to compromise on ceiling height. Image: Sol Haus Design

It’s no secret that tiny house living comes with some major compromises. You’re trading off a high house payment with square footage and a simpler lifestyle. Still, some of the compromises surprised me because I just hadn’t thought of the day-to-day of living in a tiny home. Take laundry, for example. Tight space usually means tiny homes don’t have the space for a washer and dryer. Another compromise is understanding that some areas of the home are inaccessible to full-sized adults. Our home had a sleeping loft that was great for kids, but I don’t think it would be ideal for adults. My 6-foot husband didn’t even attempt to go upstairs.

It’s great for community

Tiny mountain home exterior

Tiny homes foster a sense of community missing from other neighborhoods. Image: Steiner Art and Design

We rented our tiny home as a part of a group of friends. The home was in a development of a handful of tiny homes, all just a few feet apart. That made it a great option for traveling with a group since everyone had their own space but wasn’t as far removed as we would have been in different hotel rooms. It was great to light a fire and cook dinner with everyone, so I can definitely see tiny homes as a way to foster a sense of community. As long as you liked your neighbors, of course.

It’s not great for entertaining

Tiny home interior

A tight squeeze means less room for entertaining. Image: The Tiny House Company

On the last night of our getaway, our plans for a BBQ were derailed by some bad weather. No big deal, we just moved the party inside. Problem? Tiny homes don’t have the typical space and comfort you’d expect when entertaining. In fact, dinner that night felt more like a game of Tetris than anything, with kids eating in the sleeping loft and adults taking turns on the small couch. It reminded me that tiny homes probably aren’t the best option for those who love to entertain. Sure, you could plan to entertain in your outdoor space, but there’s not much of a plan B. I can definitely see this roadblock becoming a major lifestyle change for some people.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I preferred having my own tiny home over crowding everyone into one hotel room. Even if the square footage is similar, tiny homes are well thought-out and utilized so you have all of the comforts of home. In fact, my skeptic husband reluctantly admitted that with a few tweaks, a tiny home could be a livable option – especially for a vacation home.

As it turns out, small spaces can have a big impact, even if it was just for the weekend.

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10 Modern Storage Beds that can Solve your Storage Issues

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An oversized closet is a very rare luxury. So what do you do if yours is less than generous? You get creative with where you store your items. The bed is the largest piece in the bedroom – and often wastes lots of valuable storage space. No more! These 10 modern storage beds cleverly solve your storage issues.

1. Morphis Upholstered Platform Bed at Wayfair, $440 and up

best modern storage beds

The Morphis is a simple, modern upholstered and tufted bed that pops open to reveal tons of storage underneath the mattress. Add boxes, bins and baskets to keep the contents under the bed organized. Image: Wayfair

2. Step One Full Platform Bed at AllModern, $360

best storage beds

This storage bed is a good choice if you already own a simple headboard. Mount the headboard on the wall and pair it with this bed. Image: All Modern

3. PB Teen Ultimate Platform Bed + Cubby/Cabinet Set, $900 and up

best storage beds with shelving

This bed may be sold by Pottery Barn Teen, but the clean styling makes it perfectly grown up. Image: PBTeen

4. Flexible Full Storage Platform Bed at Wayfair, $330 and up

storage beds with cubbies

Open cubbies underneath the mattress can hold books, boxes and baskets for additional storage. Image: Wayfair

5. Room & Board Marlo Bed with Storage Drawer, $2100 and up

upholstered storage beds

This custom upholstered bed features a large drawer at the footboard instead of on the sides to avoid interfering with your nightstands. Image: Room & Board

6. Carnevale Upholstered Storage Platform Bed at Wayfair, $770

storage beds with under the bed storage

The mechanism of this platform storage bed lifts straight up and locks in place to allow for ease of access to the items underneath. Image: Wayfair

7. Ikea BRIMNES Bed Frame with storage & headboard, $399

storage beds with drawers

This is one of Ikea’s best selling beds, with 2 drawers on either side of the bed and a headboard that features a bookcase and slide-out storage. Image: Ikea

8. PB Teen Cleary Captain’s Bed, $1600 to $1800

best storage beds with many drawers

If you have lots of small things that would benefit most from drawer storage, the updated look of this traditional captain’s storage bed is what you need. Image: PB Teen

9. PB Teen Store-It 6-Cubby Bed + Storage Headboard Set, $730 and up

storage beds

Simple clean lines and plenty of shelving area on the headboard and below make this bed a versatile choice with plenty of places to arrange your extra items. Image: PB Teen

10. LAXseries Queen Storage Bed at Amazon

best contemporary storage beds

The LAX Storage bed is a contemporary platform bed with the bonus of self-concealing drawers on wheels. Image: Amazon

Which of these modern storage beds are your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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You’ll Never Want to Come Down from These Attics

The attic used to be the place to store items you rarely – if ever – used. In horror movies, apparently, it was also the place where the boogeyman would rest and regroup. Perhaps as a result of this media portrayal, there was a tendency to avoid going up into the attic, if at all possible.

However, homeowners are discovering that the attic can provide a lot of usable square footage, creating new places to sleep, play, work or just hang out and do nothing.

“When it comes to utilizing the space in your attic, we are finding that a lot of people are taking the opportunity to go to the next level and add on a whole second story. They then transform it into a parents’ retreat complete with master bedroom, living area and bathroom,” says Matt Keogh, director of Nexus Homes Group. Below are some of the ways you can transform your attic.

Luxurious Bedroom

Attic bedroom

An attic is a great place for an additional bedroom. Image: Astronaut Images/Getty Images

“If it’s purely for investment purposes, it’s recommended you use the attic as an additional bedroom with plenty of storage available,” Keogh recommends. “Having an extra bedroom adds value to your home and will increase your rental income or sale price,” he says. Parents may also find that an attic basement can serve as a retreat from a noisy household.

Library/Living Room

Library attic

Consider storing your books in the attic – along with a comfortable place to relax and read them. Image: asbe/Getty Images

“For an attic with sloped ceilings, place a large lighting fixture at the highest point in the center of the room,” advises Steve Brielmaier, CEO of LampsUSA. Many bulbs can start to heat when left on, so install LED light bulbs for added safety while also reducing energy consumption. Aside from the central lighting in the middle of the room, additional lighting should be added to darker corners to assist the space in appearing larger and less cramped.


Office attic

An attic office offers a marvelous view of the neighborhood. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

“A home office situated in an attic with a windowed view can be a great secret getaway to work in peace – perfect for households with children or roommates,” says Brian Gow, president of Scheel Window & Door. “Complement the room with plenty of free space for storage, and try adding bright decor and wall paint to make it even more welcoming.”

Hobby Room/Studio

Attic hobby room

An attic is a quiet place to sew, paint, or work on other hobbies. Image: fotostorm/Getty Images

If you need extra space to paint or work on your hobbies, consider carving out space in your attic. Make sure that your attic is light and airy. “Attics are known for being quite dark. Minor renovations will turn it from a roof cavity to a space that can be greatly enjoyed by various members of your family,” Keogh says. “Keep the furniture light and install light-colored carpet or floorboards (preferably carpet to reduce any noise).”

Kid’s Bunkroom

Kid's Bunk Room

There’s a place for everything in this Montana bunk room. Image courtesy of: Sanctuary Home Decor

Karen Synder of Sanctuary Home decided to turn her family’s attic into a bunk room for the kids. “The attic bunkroom is the most popular space in our Montana ranch home, offering kids (and sometimes adults) a chance to escape to a ‘camp cabin’ with modern touches.”

Synder says there are three single beds along one wall – and one has its own bookshelf, cubby and electric lantern. “There are also two larger beds extending out from the opposite wall,” she says. “The other side of the room is a hangout area with a cozy couch that doubles as an extra bed, a game table and a desk.” Synder says all of the beds – and many of the walls – were created using locally-sourced barn wood.


Attit playroom

Cut down clutter by moving the kid’s playroom to the attic. Image: archideaphoto/Getty Images

Keogh says his company is frequently asked to convert an existing attic into a kid’s playroom or a game room for teens. “This involves making sure the area is secure (including the flooring, walls and roofing) and creating a warm, inviting space with carpet and large windows,” Keogh says. “Ensuring there is plenty of storage is a must. We also often recommend adding fold-out couches up there for the kids to have sleepovers with their friends. It’s a fun experience for them, and you get extra peace and quiet.”

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Decorating Essentials for Your Airbnb Rental

airbnb Sofa ideas

A small, neutral sofa is perfect for a short-term rental. Image: Pottery Barn

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Vacation rentals like Airbnb offer home-like experiences that travelers crave. The most popular rentals have all the comforts of home, only better. Rental hosts try to create the ultimate retreat that brings guests back over and over again (after leaving fabulous reviews, of course). If you’re a vacation rental guest wondering what goes into an in-demand rental, or an Airbnb host looking for ideas to elevate your guest experience, we have your Airbnb decorating ideas here.

5 Basic Features Every Guest Craves:

  • Great Wifi: Today’s guests are often working while traveling, or at least looking to share photos of their trip. Slow internet can have a major impact on your reviews.
  • Comfy Beds: No matter how beautiful or trendy your Airbnb may be, an uncomfortable bed can quickly ruin the experience for your guests, and they will write about it online.
  • Info on How Things Work: The best hosts have put together a list of little quirks the house might have, like hot and cold water handles reversed in the bathroom. Having these details available also cuts down on panicked guest calls late at night. But don’t go overboard — a common complaint is finding notes everywhere, making guests feel like they may do something wrong at any moment.
  • Hangers and Closet Space: Guests who stay more than a night will want to hang clothes up, even if it’s in an armoire or on a rack.
  • Coffee: Even if your rental doesn’t have a kitchen, most travelers would like, or need, to have their coffee before venturing out for the day. A single-cup coffee maker is a nice touch.

Decorating a short-term rental is about more than just making your guests happy. Your online photos are a crucial part of your success as a host. When you’re starting with a new rental, or just adding fresh decor, your rental photos should be a consideration. Try thinking like a homeowner who stages their home for sale; your space will need that same level of attention to detail to attract new guests online. Here are our favorite decorating tips created especially for an Airbnb or short term rental.

Decorating Your Airbnb Living Room

Short Term Rental Sofa

A sleeper sofa like CB2’s Tandom Sleeper adds extra sleeping space in a stylish way. Image: CB2

Your Airbnb rental may have a dedicated living room or could be a studio with a seating area. Guests like to have a space where they can visit or watch TV without a hotel-bed vibe. A comfortable sofa is essential. Get it in a size as large as you can comfortably accommodate in the sitting area. If you’re only able to fit a love seat, an accent chair or ottoman can round out the seating. If your rental home sleeps more than one person, there should be enough seating for each person, even if that means a bench or dining chair pulled into the room.

Neutral colors are the best choice for sofas and other large furniture, especially in colors like brown and dark gray because they handle the wear and tear better than lighter colors. Your accent chairs and ottomans are where you can add color and pattern to give your space style and character.

Accent pillows and throw blankets are a design essential for vacation rentals. These are the decor items that not only express your home’s style, but add comfort for guests. 

Airbnb Decorating Ideas for the Kitchen & Dining Areas

Dishes for Vacation Rental

Pretty and colorful easy-care dinnerware is a no-hassle choice for short-term rental dining. Image: Joss & Main

You probably already know that the best Airbnb rental kitchen is stocked with essential cooking utensils appropriate for the type of facilities it offers, but choosing dinnerware is also important. Your choice of dinnerware can echo your color scheme and support your decorating theme. Kitchen accessories, like utensil holders and linens, matched to your dinnerware create a pulled-together look that guests remember.

Focus on Your Bedrooms – Because Your Guests Will

Short Term Rental Bedding

Colorful accents brighten up a neutral bedding set. Image: Wayfair

One of the smartest things you can do as an Airbnb rental owner is spend at least one night in your rental so you can experience it as your guests will. This is how you’ll know if the beds are comfortable, if your bedding is adequate for weather conditions and how everything works for a guest in your home. You could own the cutest Airbnb rental, but if your guests don’t get a good night’s sleep, it won’t matter.

Decorating your Airbnb sleeping spaces with complete bedding sets is easy and affordable. You can customize these pre-matched sets with extra accessories like pillows and throws. If you’re decorating more than one bedroom, buying two bedding sets in the same color scheme but different patterns lets you mix and match linens and accessories between the two rooms for a custom style.

Bathroom Essentials for Any Short Term Rental

Vacation rental bathroom ideas

A neutral chevron pattern gives a small bathroom a larger look. Image: Wayfair

Before you buy towels for your Airbnb rental, it’s a great idea to try them yourself at home. If you wouldn’t want to use them every day at home, you can assume neither would your guests. Soft and absorbent towels are must-haves for repeat rental guests. Plan to buy at least two sets of towels in your accent colors, matching your bed linens.

Bring the Indoors Outside With Decorated Outdoor Spaces

Airbnb decorating ideas outdoors

Set a colorful outdoor table to give guests more space to enjoy. Image: Pottery Barn

Your Airbnb decorating ideas shouldn’t end at the front door. If your vacation rental has outdoor space available to your guests, you’ll want to focus attention out there, too. In a small Airbnb rental, a comfortable outdoor area can give your guests additional space for relaxing.

When you think of your outdoor areas as an extra room and bring your style and color scheme outside, you can make your rental feel larger to guests. Adding an exterior dining area can really maximize your rental space, especially if there’s no room for one indoors. Colorful Adirondack chairs, outdoor pillows, rugs and fun tables can easily turn a patio into an outdoor living room. Look for low maintenance accessories that can be stored easily in bad weather.

If you’re thinking about listing your home on Airbnb, get started here.

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4 Fast, Fab and Temporary Flooring Ideas For Renters

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Do you hate your apartment floors? What if we told you there is temporary flooring available that can cover (or completely change) your rental floors easily and without any complaints from your landlord?

We’re not talking area rugs, although they’re not a bad solution. We’re talking full-on floors that look fabulous, are easy to install and are just as easy to remove when you move out. Check out these four fast and fab temporary flooring ideas:

1. Carpet Tiles

temporary flooring ideas

The new Hollin Hills mid-century modern inspired carpet tiles by Flor add vintage-chic to any room.

Carpet tiles are the ultimate instant flooring makeover solution. They’re recyclable, making them eco-friendly, fairly inexpensive and very easy to install. Worried they may not be durable? Carpet tiles are used in hospitals, airports and other high-traffic locations around the world.

Order them in boxes according to how many you may need, cut them easily and stick them together with little adhesive dots for a cool and unique wall-to-wall look. Order extra so you can replace damaged ones in the future. And challenge your creative side by mixing and matching patterns and colors.

Check these out:

temporary flooring ideas

2. Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Vinyl sheeting is a great temporary flooring solution in kitchens and bathrooms. Filigree vinyl sheet flooring by Mannington.

A quick and easy way to hide unsightly apartment floors is by rolling out a big sheet of vinyl flooring. You can use a removable adhesive or double-sided carpet tile to stick the flooring in place. Or simply anchor down the sheet with furniture. The best part of vinyl sheet flooring is that it’s waterproof and easy to wipe clean.

Check these out:

3. Interlocking Floor Tiles

temporary flooring ideas

When a soft, forgiving surface is preferred, foam interlocking tiles are a good choice. Foam Woodgrain Interlocking Floor Mats at Amazon.

Interlocking tiles have come a long way from the colorful children’s playroom styles. They’re lightweight, quick and easy to snap together and require no adhesives. They also offer some cushioning and soundproofing as a bonus.

Check these out:

temporary flooring ideas
temporary flooring ideas

4. Laminate Flooring

The Augustus Smokey Gray Oak Laminate Flooring at Wayfair has a contemporary feel but can also work well in more traditional or farmhouse-style spaces.

Laminate flooring is durable, authentic looking and easy to install as a floating floor. Look for click and lock laminate flooring as a temporary solution that doesn’t require nails or adhesives. For extra soundproofing, add a foam underlayment sheet underneath the laminate.

Check these out:

You can add any of these temporary flooring options to update your boring floor in nearly any room of your rental home or apartment. Be sure to measure carefully, order extra (just in case) and save your receipt to return any unused portion of the flooring.

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Beat The Winter Blues With These 8 Winter Lighting Ideas For A Brighter Home

The winter blues are real! They’re actually called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” Luckily, there’s a fix to SAD and it’s easy: light therapy.

Short winter days and bad weather tend to make your home feel much darker than normal. It’s important to adjust your lighting in the winter to replace the lack of natural sunshine. Here are eight winter lighting ideas that will brighten up your space (and your outlook):

1. Maximize Natural Daylight In Your Home

how to brighten up a room in winter

Frosted window panels block out passersby for privacy but allow in natural light. Image: Jeffers Design Group

Keep windows open to let as much light in as you can. Here are some ways you can optimize your home to reflect the most natural light possible:

  • If your view isn’t inspiring or you’re worried about privacy, use sheer window panels or install a DIY frosted window film.
  • Hang or rest a mirror on an empty wall facing the window to reflect light in the room.
  • Place furniture with surfaces that are reflective – like glass, mirror or metals – near windows.
  • If you own your home, add a skylight.

2. Create A Panel Of Light To Replicate A Sunny Window

winter lighting ideas brighten up a room

Backlight sheer curtain panels to create a glow that replicates a sunny day. Image: Kababie Arquitectos

If there’s no chance of daylight filtering in from your window or you don’t have a window in the room, hang a lightly colored sheer curtain. Place an LED floor can (that points lighting straight up) behind the sheer curtain to create a soft, diffused glow, similar to a sunny window.

Use an LED lightbulb for safety. LEDs don’t heat up like a traditional bulb so you don’t have to worry about your sheer curtain catching fire.

3. Watch Your Wall Color Choices

winter lighting ideas to brighten up a dark home

Compare the white wall to the pale yellow wall in this living room. The white looks dingy, while the pale yellow looks bright. Image: Brookfield Residential

One of the most common errors homeowners make to brighten up a room is painting it white. If your room is naturally dark, the white will end up looking dull and lifeless. Choose light colors with some pop to them instead, like pale blue, butter yellow or mint green.

4. Freshen Up Your Lampshades

how to lighten a dark room

White light and pendant shades do a better job of diffusing light in a room. Image: Monica Hibbs

Take inventory of your lamps, chandeliers and pendants. If your shades are dingy, yellow or outdated, replace them with fresh white ones. They’ll look crisper and diffuse brighter light better.

5. Use The Right Temperature Bulbs

winter lighting tips when it's dark

Warmer temperature bulbs still lighten up a space in winter, but also feel cozier when it’s cold outside. Image: Perfect Integrations

The quality of light is one of the most important things to consider about lighting your room to avoid the winter blues. Fluorescent lighting is unattractive and the flickering of the tubes gives some people headaches.

While bulbs that are sold to replicate daylight colors seem like a good idea, they may feel too cool in the winter months. Remember, winter is about warm and cozy, so go with a warmer temperature bulb.

When shopping for LED bulbs, look for the Kelvin (K) units. The lower the K-value, the warmer the quality of light. 2700K is a nice, warm color option for most homes.

6. Make Dark Corners Work For You

winter lighting ideas and types of lighting

A corner lamp or pendant lights up the corner and surrounding wall and ceiling. Image: Decotick

Take advantage of an awkward corner by lighting it up. If you place a torch floor lamp in a corner, you can reflect the uplight onto the adjacent walls and bounce it off the ceiling.

7. Have A Variety Of Lighting Options In Each Room

This room is layered with different types of lighting to create a bright and airy feel year-round. Image: Facile Ristrutturare

You’ll want to have different lights in every room for different tasks or moods. You probably have an overhead light. Layer your existing lighting by adding:

  • A floor, table or reading lamp
  • A wall sconce or pendant light
  • Strip lighting
  • String lights

Each type of light serves a different function and creates a mood. You may not always want to switch the bright ceiling light on so it’s nice to have a table or floor lamp available. Table and floor lamps are easy to move around so you can change a room’s lighting plan as the season changes.

LED string lights come battery-powered, making them a great option for ambient lighting in areas where there’s no electrical outlet. Here are ideas for decorating with string lights.

8. Automate Your Lighting With Smart Home Timers

winter lighting tips

With the new smart home automation available, you can program your lights remotely. Image: My Renovation Magazine

Automate your lighting to welcome you home every day by using smart home lighting plugs and timers. You can program them to go off and on according to a schedule – or even operate them remotely from your smartphone.

Coming home to a nicely lit home is uplifting, especially after trudging through the cold, cruel world outside.

Focus on using these winter lighting ideas in the rooms where you spend the most time. Start by upgrading the lighting in your living room, kitchen and bedroom and see how you feel after you make the changes.

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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 Easy Ways to Get 2019 Interior Design Trends

Half the fun of the approaching new year is looking forward to all those new design trends. And 2019 has some stellar upcoming trends. Interior designers have been discussing what will be popular in 2019 since the middle of this year. What they’ve come up with include rich colors, clever use of space, elegant furniture and an eye towards sustainability. These trends might seem daunting to place in your home. But below we’ll cover some easy ways to make these new 2019 interior design trends work for you and your space.

Colors of the year

One of the best parts of looking at next year’s design trends is taking in all the different colors of the year. It seems like all the major paint companies have their own eye on what will be big in the following year. With so many options, like Behr’s Blueprint, you have plenty of choices for staying trendy.

In the spirit of keeping new colors easy, you might want to incorporate these shades in throw pillows, blankets or a single painted accent wall. You could even try simply painting your molding with a new shade.

With that in mind, here are some of the big colors of 2019:

2019 Interior Design Trends Blueprint Color

Behr’s 2019 Color of the Year ­— Blueprint S470-5

2019 Interior Design Trends Clay Color

Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year — Cavern Clay SW 7701

2019 Interior Design Trends Night Watch Color

PPG’s 2019 Color of the Year — Night Watch PPG 1145-7

If you’re incredibly devoted to color inspiration, you might want to check out the hefty PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2019, which focuses on the bold culinary-inspired CRAVINGS palette and the warm CLASSICO palette.

2019 Interior Design Trends Boho Style

Go artsy with an on-trend boho look. Image: Breeze Giannasio

Boho is big again

Boho never became unpopular, exactly. It has been a favorite of any homeowner who loves bright colors, artistic styles and free-spirited themes. However, it’s back in a big way in 2019 interior design trends. If you’ve been looking for a new style for your home, boho might just be the way to go to stay on trend. And with so many boho products out there, like area rugs, styled pillows and wall hangings, boho has never been an easier style to get.

If you’re not looking to go full boho, you might also want to consider Haute Bohemian. Haute Bohemian is all about getting an upper class, cultured look, like the home of a fine art connoisseur. You can also want to try boho chic.

2019 Interior Design Trends Small Spaces

Small spaces are becoming more common, so smart ways to use them are more important than ever. Image: Ikea

Ingenious small spaces

Step into Ikea lately and you’ll see how designers are making use of the small spaces of the future. And it’s not going away in 2019 interior design trends. With trends like tiny homes and downsizing, small spaces are here to stay. So a huge trend in 2019 is smart, functional and creative ways to make use of those small spaces. Ideas focus on multi-functionality spaces, fold-out storage and clever room dividers like curtains.

Even if you don’t have a small space, you might want to consider trendy space-saving techniques like stand-alone closets, convertible furniture, fold-down desks or compact kitchen storage. These ideas can lead to a clean, minimalistic and streamlined space.

2019 Interior Design Trends Eco Design

Expect sustainably sourced materials to trend, like the sustainable Kirei bench in this home spa. Image: Studio Santalla

Sustainable design in 2019 interior design trends

Sustainability is a popular concern. So expect to see 2019 interior design trends that help people live eco-friendly. For instance, indoor gardening like a vertical herb garden is a popular feature in kitchens. That allows you to grow your own fresh cooking ingredients in a way that couldn’t get more local. Living plant walls have become a huge trend that don’t appear to be going away in 2019, either.

You’ll also likely see sustainable design materials. For instance, the photo above features sustainably sourced materials in the furniture and fabrics. Even the wall art is sustainable: it’s made of black and white recycled plastic! Finding trendy and eco-conscious pieces like this can be an easy way to make your home more sustainable in 2019.

2019 Interior Design Trends Curved Furniture

Curved furniture is finding a place in contemporary styles. Image: Amy Lau Design

Curved furniture

Perhaps one of the most surprising trends is the return of curved furniture. This style of furniture was popular in the mid-20th century. It has since been replaced by stark geometry using sleek lines. But now curved lines are back.

Expect to see furniture with curvilinear cuts, from chairs to sofas. So if you’ve been needing to replace a piece of furniture and want to be trendy for the new year, maybe try a curved piece like in the photo above. The slight curves give a look of relaxed elegance. Curves also fit in especially well with natural, casual or artistic room styles.

Which 2019 design trends are you excited about? Let us know in the comments.

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

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

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

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

Table Settings

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

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

Get the look:

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Other jet.com table setting ideas for the holidays:

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Dining Chairs

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

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Best Jet.com Small Dining Sets

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

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

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Modern And Farmhouse Style Dining Room Furniture

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

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

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

The post Totally Chic And Affordable Tabletop And Furniture Finds For Your Holiday Dinners From Jet.com appeared first on Freshome.com.

Underutilized Spaces: Getting the Most Out of Your Home

Let’s face it: some of the areas of your home can feel like an afterthought. After all, it’s not like you’ll be showing your linen closets off to your guests. But just because a space isn’t Pinterest-worthy doesn’t mean it should be any less functional. In fact, some of the underutilized spaces in your home can actually become the most useful. By thinking outside of the box, you can turn what seems like wasted space and dusty corners into your favorite places in your home. Here are some ideas to help you look at every nook and cranny a little differently.

Use stair space as a play area. Image: Elena Del Bucchia Design

The Space Under the Stairs 

The space under the stairs is typically ignored or drywalled. But, with the right repurposing, it’s valuable square footage. Before you opt to drywall that empty area, consider making it into a kids’ play area. It might not be a great space for adults, but it’s the perfect area to set up with toy storage, or even to create a playhouse.

No kids? The space under the stairs can make an ideal mini-library. Installing simple shelves means your favorite books stay dry, organized and easily accessible.

Turn a messy mudroom into a homework space. Image: Jim Schmid

The Mudroom

The mudroom is one of those spaces that you can’t live without – but don’t really want to see. It can become a dumping ground for backpacks, coats and shoes, so put it to work: rearrange to create a homework nook. If your kids tend to dump their backpacks there anyway, a small desk with supplied and dedicated study space makes sense. It’ll keep the endless papers and pencils out of your main living space and give kids a quiet place to work that’s still close to the action.

Keep blankets and sheets at the foot of each bed. Image: JCD Custom Homes

The Foot of the Bed

There’s nothing like your own bed – unless it’s the foot of your own bed. This underutilized space is ideal for solving storage problems, especially if your home is short on closet space. A hinged ottoman becomes the perfect place to put on shoes and can help stash away blankets, sheets, clothes and any other quick-access items. Or, add a desk and chair for study space that won’t fit on any of your walls. Rethink the space at the foot of your bed as functional square footage and it becomes more than just a place for your socks.

Double up by using your guest room as an office. Image: California Closets

The Guest Room

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated guest room, you know how great the space can be. But while it’s an ideal place for friends and family to crash, it can sometimes go unused. Instead of keeping one room as just a guest space, double up on functionality so you can use it when you’re home solo.

Turn your guest room into a sleek office part of the time, or store craft supplies in the guest room closet for when you’re feeling creative. There’s no reason to leave an entire room unused except for when you have house guests. Be a little selfish and use the room for yourself the rest of the time.

Think beyond linens for functional storage. Image: ClosetMaid

The Linen Closet

Most people would say the linen closet is one of the most underrated spaces in a home. But that doesn’t mean you have to fill it with linens and blankets. If you’re able to store extra blankets in bins underneath each bed, you’ll free up an entire closet for things that make more sense to you. Whether it’s outfitting your linen closet as bathroom storage for products and towels or making over your closet as a storage pantry, think beyond sheets when rethinking your linen closet.

Look up for great storage space. Image: Ike Kligerman Barkley

The Space Over Doors 

Look up! The space over each door in your home is a treasure trove for storage and decor. With simple shelving solutions, you’ll find a totally new space to store books or to show off souvenirs and decor items that don’t have a home elsewhere. Simple, straight shelving is easy to install and remove and can add plenty of character to an otherwise stark hallway.

Think of your garage as a multifunction space. Image: Garage Solutions

The Garage 

Bikes, trikes and tools: oh my! The typical garage is a catch-all space for anything you don’t want in your house. But it can also be valuable space for other interests. With the right storage solutions, you can get larger items off the ground, opening up precious square footage.

Store bins up in your garage trusses to get rarely used items out of the way. Then, use wall hooks to keep bikes and gear organized. With your new floor space, you could have a great indoor gym, a lounge, a rec area for rowdy kids or even a music studio.

Sure, there are other spaces in your home that are more photogenic and fun. But underutilized spaces can be some of the most functional places in your house. By thinking beyond the usual, you can create storage, work and living spaces that make sense for you and your lifestyle. Get creative and you’ll learn to love every inch of your home.

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