Black living room interior with leather sofa, minimalist industrial style

The Minimalist Approach: Less is More in Home Decor

Black living room interior with leather sofa, minimalist industrial style

It’s much better to have a few quality items than a bunch of clutter. This is what the minimalist approach in home decor is all about. Forget about cramping your space with a ton of little items – instead, adding a handful of stylish pieces can say a lot more than lots of little knick-knacks.

Paring down on things in your home can make the space feel more open and breathable. While you don’t exactly have to eliminate everything down to the bare bones, consider the following tips to creating a space that’s comfortable, sophisticated, and easy to take care of.


Getting rid of overcrowded items sounds like a no-brainer, right? But it’s usually the first step in achieving the trendy minimalist approach in interior design. Certain spaces in the home tend to be easy targets for clutter, such as the dining room, kitchen and living room.

Unopened mail spread all over the dining table, and magazines on the coffee table can make a space look smaller. Clearing the clutter and replacing it with one attention-grabbing piece, such as a seasonal arrangement or tall glass vase, can do wonders for creating a simple yet chic look.

White is More Expressive Than You Think

While white walls might be immediately associated with hospitals and doctor’s offices, this neutral shade is making a comeback in the world of home interior design. Accent walls and punches of bright hues may have been the trend a few years ago, but these days, simple white has found its place in decor.

A white backdrop has the power to highlight certain aspects of your home – such as antique pieces or hand-scraped hardwood flooring. It acts as the perfect canvas upon which you can display all of your finishes, furnishings, and other decor that you want to focus on in your home.

Group Like-Objects Together

Rather than splitting up similar objects, group them together instead. For instance, assemble a few mirrors together on a vacant space on your wall, or cluster glass vases together on your window sill.

Arranging objects in this manner can do wonders for pulling a room together. Just make sure that you don’t overcrowd the area – the key is finding that sweet spot between too little and too many.

Tone Down the Lighting

Task lighting is important in certain space to help focus on what you’re doing, such as in the kitchen when preparing meals. But such lighting has a tendency to create harsh shadows.

To counter this effect, mixing up your lighting can help add a softer ambience to the space that’s conducive to minimalist decor. Ambient lighting that’s non-directional, such as pot lights with dimmers or lamps with soft halogen bulbs, can help to bring warmth to a space.

Be Careful With Your Accessories

It’s easy to overcrowd a room with an over-abundance of accessories. But when it comes to a minimalist decorative approach, less is more. When accessorizing a space, it’s better just to have a handful of striking pieces than a lot of small objects, which will do nothing more than clutter the space. How you use accessories in your home can mean the difference between cozy and cramped.

The Bottom Line

As the saying goes, quality is more important than quantity. This rings especially true when it comes to achieving a minimalist style in your home. It’s practical, simple, and even more affordable. Keep the above suggestions in mind while paring down each room in your home to get back to basics.

Living room interior in gray and brown colors features gray sofa atop dark hardwood floors facing stone fireplace with built-in shelves

Things to Consider Before Switching Your Carpet for Hardwood

Living room interior in gray and brown colors features gray sofa atop dark hardwood floors facing stone fireplace with built-in shelves

In many homes, hardwood has replaced carpet as the primary flooring type, especially in rooms like living rooms and kitchens. New homebuilders are aware of the trend and have shifted their design choices accordingly. However, many older homes still have carpeting throughout, leaving homeowners with a dilemma. Should they remove the carpet and replace it with hardwood or leave it as it is?

Hardwood flooring has several benefits over carpeting, but there are some disadvantages, as well. Before making the decision to replace carpeting throughout your house, there are three questions you should ask yourself.

Will You Be Selling Soon?

Today’s home shoppers are likely viewing a large number of homes with beautiful hardwood floors throughout. This has upped the game for sellers of older homes, who are now required to compete with brand new homes in the same price range. While hardwood flooring is the top request of homebuyers, this may not translate to every room. Some consumers have stated a preference for carpeting in bedrooms, which allows them to step onto a soft surface when they get out of bed in the morning. Hardwoods in areas like kitchens and bathrooms can also turn some buyers away, since these areas are prone to spills and moisture. For that reason, some homeowners choose instead to install tile or laminate flooring in these rooms.

Do You Have Allergies?

Carpet has gotten a bad rap for its supposed contribution to allergies and asthma. However, a 15-year study in Sweden determined no correlation between the two. In fact, the study pointed out that when carpet use declined in the country, allergies increased by 30 percent. Some postulate that carpet acts as a filter, trapping allergens that might have otherwise been floating freely in the air. If carpet is cleaned regularly, it may be a better option for families that are concerned about air quality. When handled by a qualified professional, even the most deeply-embedded particles can be removed, keeping the home free of allergens.

Are You Prepared for Maintenance?

Whether you find hardwood maintenance easier than carpet depends largely on your preference for sweeping versus vacuuming. Carpets should be cleaned at least once every one to two years—more frequently if your household has pets. Hardwood flooring removes the need for this type of cleaning, but don’t assume wood-based flooring doesn’t have its own maintenance requirements. At least once a year, homeowners should use a wood-cleaning product to deep clean floors and remove any dirt and grime that builds up. Many experts recommend also using area rugs throughout the home to reduce dirt and protect wood from furniture marks. Just like carpet, these area rugs will need to be vacuumed and deep cleaned on a regular basis to remove embedded dirt.

Hardwood floors can up your home’s value by meeting customer demand. But consider the maintenance requirements of this type of flooring before making the commitment. If you don’t plan to sell your home soon, it may be best to leave the carpet in place until you prepare to sell, especially if you enjoy the feeling of carpet beneath your feet.

Air purifier and houseplant in living room. For fresh air and healthy life concept.

4 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Air purifier and houseplant in living room. For fresh air and healthy life concept.

If someone in your household regularly suffers from allergies or sinus problems, there could be issues with the quality of air. Including the time you’re asleep, you’re breathing the air inside your home more than any other, making it vital that it be clean and healthy.

The good news is, there are a few small, easily affordable changes you can make to reduce dust and purify your home’s environment. Pollutants are either trapped inside your home or traveling inside through your air ducts. By making these small changes, you can remove the bad sources from your home’s interior and keep bad substances out.

1. Clean Your Air Conditioner

Many heating and air companies offer twice-yearly maintenance options, cleaning your system and checking for problems. Wait until the outdoor temperature is warm enough to test your unit while also being cool enough to turn off power to your air conditioner while you clean it. Open the blower compartment and, using a vacuum with a soft bristle attachment, remove all dust and debris that has gathered on the condenser fins. There are detailed instructions on this video that can help but if you’re feeling uncertain, contact a local HVAC repair company to schedule a cleaning.

2. Invest in an Air Purifier

An air purifier can dramatically improve the air quality in your home. However, not all air purifiers are alike. Different types of air purifiers eliminate different types of pollutants so before you begin shopping around, it might be best to determine the allergens that are impacting your family. There also might be certain types of pollutants that are specific to your region of the country. A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter removes more than 99.7 percent of all airborne particles, including those as small as 0.3 microns.

3. Buy Houseplants

Plants do more than add to the aesthetic value of your home. They can help reduce volatile organic compounds in a home’s air, as well as cutting indoor ozone, which is the main component in air pollution. The best type of plants for your home largely depends on the type of pollution found in your air, as well as the area of your home in which it will be located. Some plants are great for reducing the effects of chemicals found in cleaning products while others are good at removing car exhaust.

4. Clean Regularly

If you tend to go weeks without sweeping and dusting your home, you may be suffering from more than a messy house. Dust particles can linger in the air, impacting the health of your family. In addition to dusting, sweeping, and mopping, change your air filter on a monthly basis to make sure air is being properly filtered.

If you’re experiencing allergens, these small changes can make a big difference. For best results, have an allergy test performed to determine exactly which particles are causing a problem. By identifying the culprits, you’ll be able to directly address them and avoid spending a great deal of time and money on ineffective solutions.

Woman using computer and calculator during note some data on notepad for calculate financial at home office

Avoid These Mistakes When Listing Your Home For Sale

Woman using computer and calculator during note some data on notepad for calculate financial at home office

Selling your home involves a heck of a lot more than just planting a ‘For Sale’ sign on your front yard. There are still some considerations to be made, and some work to be done before your home ever hits the market. Unfortunately, sellers often do things that actually hinder the sale of their homes. Don’t be one of them.

Here are 6 common mistakes that you should avoid when listing your home on the market.

Overpricing Your Home

One of the biggest mistakes sellers make when they put their home on the market is overpricing it. Sure, it would be nice to just slap a huge price tag on your home and collect as much cash as possible when selling. But it’s important to be realistic about what buyers will actually pay for it.

Nothing will scare off hoards of buyers more than a home that is way out of their price range, or that is priced much higher than what it’s really worth. The longer your home sits on the market, more ‘stale’ the listing will get. You’ll probably wind up selling after a few price drops for less than you would have if you had just priced it right the first time around.

Hiding Information From Buyers

If your basement has flooded a few times, or your kitchen faucet is prone to leaking, you might want to disclose this info to your buyers. If a home inspection is scheduled, odds are that these problems will be found out anyway.

If they’re not, and your buyers move in only to find out these problems after the fact, you could find yourself in the middle of a nasty litigation situation to settle things. Do yourself a favor and disclose any issues up front. It’s not only required, but it’s the ethical thing to do.

Not Staging Your Home

Sellers often underestimate the power of staging before buyers walk through a home. People form an impression of homes within a few short seconds, so your property really needs to presented in a visually pleasing way. No one wants to walk through a home that’s so cluttered that it would make a great candidate for the television show “Hoarders.”

Staging your home not only involves giving your home a good de-cluttering and cleaning job, but it also involves neutralizing your decor so that it appeals to the masses. Buyers probably won’t like your hot pink shag rug, or your electric blue checker-print wallpaper. The key to staging is to make your home inviting to buyers so that can actually visualize themselves living in it.

Not Fixing Minor Repairs

If you’ve got scuffs on the walls, door hinges that are loose, or an air conditioner that acts up, you’re better off putting in a little bit of money up front to fix these problems before you list it for sale. You might be tempted to just credit the buyers so they can fix these issues themselves, but this might backfire. Buyers are busy too, and will probably want something that’s move-in ready.

If you fix these minor problems yourself, not only will your home sell faster, but you’ll probably be able to get more money for it too. A $300 visit from the plumber before listing the property could save you $3,000 in a low-ball offer or credit requests later on.

Making it Difficult to Show Your Home

You’ve got to be flexible when it comes to making your home available for showings. Don’t be so stringent that you don’t want showings after 5pm, or only on the weekends, for example. Don’t request any more than 12 hours notice to have the home shown to prospective buyers either. In fact, you should only need a couple of hours notice to give you enough time to leave the house before the buyers get there.

Once your home is on the market, you should always plan on having it ready to show. If you’ve got little kids or pets that make having the home ready to show a little more challenging, consider planning your showing times with your realtor up front. Making showings challenging will do nothing but cut down on the number of prospective buyers who otherwise might have considered putting in an offer.

Not Taking Your Next Steps into Account

Putting your house on the market is only one part of the real estate equation. Other plans need to made to accommodate the various scenarios that might occur after you’ve found the right buyer.

What if it takes months for your home to sell? Are you prepared to cover all the carrying costs? On the other hand, what if a buyer snags your house and wants a tight closing? Are you able to vacate that fast? And if so, will you have a place to stay if you still haven’t bought another home? Make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row so you’re not caught off guard when things don’t go exactly how you initially planned.

If you’re serious about selling, avoid these mistakes. Failure to do so could risk having your listing dragging on for weeks or months. You’ll just wind up exhausted, frustrated, and even financially drained. As always, hire a good real estate agent and put your best foot forward to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

Photo of a kitchen in newly constructed luxury home

5 Things That May Not Be Included in Your Home Purchase

Photo of a kitchen in newly constructed luxury home

What stays and what goes when you buy a new home? While it might seem like a no-brainer that the appliances or light fixtures might be staying, making assumptions like these could burn you come closing day.

Even though it might be customary for certain items to be left behind for the buyer, you’d be well-advised to get it in writing.

Here are 5 things that might not necessarily be included in your new home purchase.

1. Window Treatments

While it’s more common for window treatments to be left with the new home owner, sometimes sellers decide to take them to their new home. Drapes that are used for a decorative purpose might not necessarily stay with the fitted shades. Maybe the seller had the drapes custom-made to match their furniture, and plans to use the combo in the new dwelling.

Just to make things clear, make sure the inclusion of the window coverings is in writing in the purchase agreement. Don’t just assume that they’ll stay.

2. Appliances

You might think it’s the norm to have appliances left behind after the sale of the property is complete. But, just like window treatments, perhaps the seller wants to take them with them. And if they are included, they might not exactly be what you thought you were getting.

Picture this: the listing and agreement specified that the appliances were included, but the description wasn’t specific enough. Imagine your shock when you move into the home and find that the seller had replaced the high-end stainless steel appliances with cheaper versions! If the agreement doesn’t specify the precise appliances to be left on the property, you could be left with less than what you bargained for, and be forced into litigation to get those original appliances back.

Rule of thumb: always put it in writing. Ensure that “existing” appliances are included. Take things a step further and spell out the precise appliances to be included, such as the Sub Zero Refrigerator or the Kenmore gas range.

3. TV Mounting Equipment

Flat screens are typically mounted to the wall, using mounting brackets to keep them suspended. Many buyers make the mistake of assuming that these brackets will be left behind after the sellers dismount their flat screens and take them to their new home. But these accessories are actually becoming more commonly negotiated items in real estate transactions.

Mounting equipment can be expensive, so a lot of sellers are going to want to take them with them. As a buyer, don’t assume that any mounting brackets will be staying behind after the sale, even though they are technically considered “fixtures” that are attached to the walls. Make sure this inclusion (or exclusion) is penned on paper.

4. Pool Accessories

The in-ground pool is obviously going to stay, but the accessories needed to maintain it might not. Items such as pool chemicals, vacuums, skimmers and cleaning equipment are all considered personal property, which the seller has the right to take with them when they vacate. The purchase agreement should specify whether the pool accessories stay or go.

5. Lighting

Lighting is typically considered a fixture in a home, which is why buyers will most likely expect them to stay. But if they discover that the gorgeous chandelier in the foyer or the pendant lighting in the kitchen have been removed at their pre-closing walk-through, they’ll be less than impressed.

Unless the seller explicitly states that the item is not included in the sale of the home, they should stay with the home. However, lots of lighting involves simple plug-and-play, which is not considered a “fixture.” Even if the lighting has been mounted to the wall, if they’re not hard-wired, the seller might take them with them.

Making assumptions when it comes to a real estate transaction can leave you sorely disappointed when you realize you didn’t get what you thought you would. The bottom line is, everything that you want to stay in the home should be written down with specific descriptions, including the make and model if necessary.

Don’t leave it for moving day to find out your mailbox is missing, or the stainless steel fridge and stove were swapped with old 1970’s green ones. Your best bet? Work with a professional realtor who is experienced when it comes to the game of give and take in real estate negotiations and contracts.

Photo of modern furniture, white shelves

Storage Solutions to Make the Most of Small Spaces

Photo of modern furniture, white shelves

Living in a small house or apartment can be challenging, even if you have few belongings when you move in. Over time, you’ll inevitably collect more items, requiring you to creatively store things with limited closet space and shelving.

But you don’t have to live in a 2,000 square foot house to have plenty of space for everything you own. By making the most of the space you have available, you’ll have more room than you ever imagined. Here are a few of the most popular types of storage solutions for small living areas.


Your place is likely covered in unused space. As you look around, pay special attention to empty walls, especially toward the ceiling. Shelving is a great way to create extra storage space where it didn’t previously exist, even if that space is close to the ceiling. Rarely-used items can be stored there to be accessed only when needed. This type of storage can be implemented in bathrooms and kitchens, as well, to create extra storage space above toilets and sinks.

Corners are also ideal for storage, with specially-designed shelving units creating a place for your books, keepsakes, and supplies. You can also use creative shelving in cabinets and closets to add extra space. Instead of simply installing shelves under your sink, you can use a Lazy Susan approach that makes frequently-used items more easily accessible. With the right type of shelving, cabinet space can be maximized to double, triple, and even quadruple the number of items that can be stored there.

Storage Bins

There’s no shortage of bins and baskets available to meet your small-space storage needs. For high-visibility areas, you can employ attractive baskets that match your décor, including stackable options that can make the most use of vertical space. Mini-chests of drawers can be used in closets and bedrooms to provide extra space for storing clothing and other personal belongings. With so many attractive options, you can find a look that enhances your living space while also keeping items neatly tucked away.

Storage bins can allow for items to easily be placed under beds, in closets, and in storage areas like attics and basements. Because these bins often stack easily, you’ll often find that you can pack mass quantities of personal belongings into them, squeezing a large amount into a small space. These bins are also ideal for seasonal items like off-season clothing and holiday decorations. Even once you’ve moved to a larger space, you’ll often find that storage bins are a great way to store items when they aren’t in use.

Living in a small space presents quite a few obstacles but with a little creativity, you can tuck items neatly away and free up extra room. Once you’ve learned to use the extra space available, you’ll likely realize that even in larger spaces, creative shelving and storage bins are a great way to keep clutter at bay while still having access to belongings in case you ever need them.

Photo of a happy married couple talking with financial advisor on a meeting in the office

How to Compete With a Cash Offer When Buying a House

Photo of a happy married couple talking with financial advisor on a meeting in the office

After pounding the pavement for what seems like forever, you’ve finally found the place you want to put an offer on. But alas, someone else has already got their fingers on it, and it’s a cash buyer, no less. Buyers with cash are known to swoop in and snatch up properties from under mortgaged buyers. But don’t fret – you’re not necessarily out of the game just yet.

Here are some ways you can be some stiff competition to an all-cash buyer.

Offer More Than The Competition

Throwing more money on the table that what the cash buyer is offering might sound nuts. But when sellers see dollar signs, they might just be willing to look in your favor, even if the cash offer looks like a shoo-in. If you want to increase your chances of landing the house, you might want to consider topping the cash offer with more money. If this is the house you plan on living in for a long time, the extra cash might be worth it.

Give the Sellers the Closing Date They Want

If the sellers still haven’t bough another house to move into, they might need some extra time to find the right place, especially if the supply is short. On the other hand, if the sellers are anxious to get the house off their hands in order to save on carrying costs, they might want the deal to close sooner rather than later.

If you want to stand up to the competition, give the sellers the closing date they want. Whether this means having to wait a little, or closing next week, so be it. It’s just one additional way to sweeten the deal.

Offer a Massive Down Payment

If you can afford to scrounge up as much liquid cash as possible to put towards a down payment, your offer will look more attractive. You may not be able to pay for the house in full with cash, but the more money you put towards a down payment, the less financing you’ll need, which always looks safer in the eyes of the seller.

Many times the reason why financing may fall through is because the appraisal comes in at a lower number than the purchase price. In this case, if you’ve only borrowed 50%, for instance, you shouldn’t have as much of an issue compared to borrowing 75% or 80% of the purchase price.

Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage, and Skip the Financing Clause

Sellers ideally like to see a clean offer, which means little or no clauses. One condition in particular that can get the sellers’ guard up is a financing condition. While this is great to protect you against losing your deposit should the financing not go through, it’s not so great for the sellers. One of the most effective ways to compete against an all-cash buyer is to eliminate this condition altogether.

However, you don’t have to forego all protection whatsoever. To shave off some risk, make sure that you get pre-approved for a mortgage first. Just make sure that you’ll be able to bail yourself out in the event that you do lose your deposit if the seller accepts your offer, but your financing falls through for some reason.

Get a Pre-Appraisal Done

Getting the property appraised in advance can not only cut down on the time it takes to close the deal, but it can also help increase the assurance that the lender will cover you for a specific loan amount to pay for the property. However, this might be easier said than done when it comes to bigger lenders, so you might have to go through a smaller lender or mortgage broker to make this happen.

Of course, there’s only so much you can do before exhausting all your resources and efforts. But by getting your finances in order, working with a mortgage broker in advance, and dealing with a good local real estate agent, you can draft up an offer that’s as attractive to the seller as possible. You never know – you just might end up a winner.

Image of a bedroom interior with black stone wall, ceiling side lamps and wooden floor

Creating a Luxurious Bedroom Retreat on a Budget

Image of a bedroom interior with black stone wall, ceiling side lamps and wooden floor

Considering how many hours of the day are spent in your bedroom, it makes sense to pour a little focus and budget into this often-overlooked space. After a busy day, it would be nice to come home and retreat to a comfortable, soothing, esthetically-pleasing bedroom.

But you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to create this welcoming space. With a few simple changes, you can effectively turn your bedroom into a retreat where you can relax and unwind in style.

Paint the Walls

Surprise, surprise. Painting the walls is among the most common suggestions when it comes to redoing a room. And for good reason – it makes a room look fresh, and it’s pretty cheap.

But before you take a paint brush to your bedroom, make sure to choose a cool, neutral, pleasing color palette. Psychology really does come into play here. In case you haven’t heard, certain colors evoke specific feelings and moods in people. When it comes to the bedroom, you want the mood to be a soothing one.

In this case, a cool, neutral, serene color palette will do the job. Choose colors like pale blue, warm gray or soft yellow to create a calming sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

If you want to go for something a little more luxurious, consider wallpaper instead. This can help you not only change the color, but add a sophisticated and rich-looking pattern that will dramatically change the look of the space.

Change up the Lighting

Forget about a standard light fixture in the middle of the ceiling. This type of lighting does little to create a soothing, relaxing, and even romantic mood in your bedroom. Instead, layer your light fixtures to create the perfect ambient lighting. Change the standard fixture on the ceiling with a more luxurious chandelier, or install pot lights at various points across the ceiling.

Add table lamps on each end table beside the bed, and affix wall sconces on opposite walls. Make sure to use soft bulbs, and install dimmer switches to allow you the opportunity to adjust the amount of light to create the perfect ambiance within your bedroom.

Add a Fancy Headboard

If your bed’s headboard is tiny, awkward, or even non-existent, consider adding a more lavish headboard. But instead of buying one already made, consider channelling your inner artist and create one yourself! Compared to upwards of $400 or even $600 for store-bought headboards, you can make one yourself at a fraction of the cost.

Grab yourself some wood, a hammer, fabric, padding, and a staple gun, and you’d be surprised at the masterpiece that you can create, fully customized to your bedroom! If you’re not feeling so productive, even just draping the wall behind your bed in a lush fabric can make a difference.

Update Your Bed Linens

The bedding that you sprawl across your mattress will make a huge difference to the room. New bedding in gorgeous colors and luxurious fabrics can instantly refresh a bedroom.

Consider piling up your blankets to create a “plumper” look to the bed. Add a number of pillows in a variety of sizes, and make sure to incorporate punchy color accents to really add some pizazz to the look of your bedroom. Beds are typically the focal point of the bedroom, so it’s worth it to spend the time and budget where it really matters.

Layer Area Rugs

It’s amazing how expensive area rugs can be, but to keep costs down, consider buying a few different sized ones instead of one big one. Takes these rugs and layer them to create an eclectic look at a price you can afford.

Be sure to stagger the edges of the rugs too, which will help make your bedroom appear more expensive than it actually is. Obviously a high-quality wool rug will look the most deluxe, but a simple and affordable cotton rug can be just as comfortable, and will add instant style to any bedroom.


To top off the bedroom, make sure to add accessories to the space to add extra color, beauty and warmth to the space. Make sure to add throw pillows, extra fabrics, window treatments, fresh flowers, aromatic candles, and even soothing sounds to the room.

It’s the little details that really bring out the best in a bedroom. For the price, you simply can’t beat the big punch these little fine points can bring to a space.

Living in the lap of luxury doesn’t exactly have to rob you of your life savings. By following these tips, you can totally transform your bedroom into one that you’ve been dreaming about – literally.

Image of Scandinavian home decor with green couch, rattan pot and floor lamp

Improve Your Living Space With Color

Image of Scandinavian home decor with green couch, rattan pot and floor lamp

Without realizing it, we’re affected by the colors that surround us throughout the day. While the walls of your home may be plastered with the same neutral tone while it’s on the market, part of making it your new home is customizing it to your own preferences. A coat of paint on the walls around you can make a big difference.

Before you head out to the hardware store, however, you should carefully consider your color choices. The right color can create warmth or ignite your appetite. Using basic color psychology, you can realize how experiencing certain colors can change your mood. Here are a few color suggestions for your living space.

Stimulating Conversation

In certain areas of your home, you’ll likely want to encourage conversation. This can include a living room where you regularly welcome guests or the dining room where you enjoy family dinners. For rooms where conversations will often take place, consider bright colors like red and blue. You don’t have to bathe your entire kitchen in vibrant red. Instead consider using vibrant colors as accents throughout the room.


Shades of purple are ideal for rooms where you plan to relax and unwind, such as bedrooms and master baths. These colors can also ignite the imagination, making them ideal for daydreaming or brainstorming ideas for your next home-remodeling project. Consider a rich purple or lavender for these rooms for an instant calming effect after a long, hard day.


Since the color red is thought to stimulate hunger, it’s probably best to avoid using it in rooms where you’ll be enjoying late-night TV. However, when used in the kitchen, it can be a great tool to make sure your kids eat dinner rather than playing with their food. It might not be the best color for your dining room walls, but it could be implemented into your placemats or your table’s centerpiece.


If you have a home office, productivity is likely your main goal. The color blue has been connected with an increase in productivity. In addition to increasing productivity, blue also has a calming effect, which can help you set aside distractions and focus on the task at hand.

Colors to Avoid

While many people associate yellow with sunshine and long summer days, color psychologists have found it can increase anxiety. Some studies have even found that babies cry more in yellow rooms and some people even go so far as to say the color can exacerbate psychological problems. If you want to use yellow in your decorating scheme, consider using it sparingly and try to avoid it altogether in nurseries and bedrooms. For best results, utilize the relaxing shades mention above in nurseries and children’s rooms.

Whether you’re putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls or upgrading your furnishings, a little color psychology can make your home a more welcoming place. When you carefully choose the right color for each room, you make subtle changes that will have a subliminal impact on everyone who spends time in that room.

Photo of a lounge area interior with comfortable armchairs and houseplants

Houseplants: Why, What and How?

Photo of a lounge area interior with comfortable armchairs and houseplants

The “Why”

The “why” for indoor houseplants should be fairly obviously, right? They scrub the air in your home, they lend a tranquil vibe to any room, and as a design element they’re super versatile, adding color, texture, and shape for great interest and appeal. Their aliveness makes you feel alive.

The “What”

Now, how to choose among the many, many, many options?

The Classics

Ferns and bamboos add class and cleaner air without clutter. The tiny leaves allow the eye to flow right past and beyond, not distracting from your decor. They’re so zen, you can pile on these plants in a bedroom, office, kitchen, or foyer – anywhere you need that subtle calming vibe.

The Best Air Scrubber

If NASA really thinks you should have these in your home, who are we to disagree?

Your top 3 air scrubbers all have that leafy green look, as you would imagine. They are: English Ivy with its classic trailing greens, the Peace Lily, a Christmas favorite, and Red-Edged dracaena with its tall, lanky beauty. The first two do well in low-sun or indirect sun, so they’re great for corners and dim rooms. They’ll give you fresh, benzene-free oxygen to breathe year-round – yay! The dracaena prefers sunlight and likes to grow tall, so pick a big open, sunlit room – you’ll feel healthier just looking at it. The red edge (hence the name) adds a pop of color and a sweet tropical feel. All three are easy on your lungs and easy to work into your home designs.

The Air Plant

If leafy green is not your style, or if you need something ultra-sleek for that modern guest bathroom you just put in, air plants are certainly all the rage. They range in color from deep maroon to dusty blue to light airy sage. Sculptural and elegant, they satisfy the strictest minimalist design. But they’re equally at home in their glass pods sitting atop your rustic dining table.

The Statement Makers

A lush rubber tree towering next to your white leather sofa? Awesome. Tiny decorative succulents in delicate hues of blue and purple on your mantel? Just as gorgeous. Statement pieces come in all shapes and sizes. All of which, your common house plant can accommodate with grace and living energy.

The “How”

Over-watering is your enemy. Really, it’s your number one enemy. Don’t do it. Most plants need a good soaking once a week on average, but if it’s hot and dry in your house, you’ll clearly need to stay on top of dry soil more often. Otherwise, placement is hugely important. Put sun-loving plants directly in the sun, near windows, etc.. Put shade-loving plants far away from harsh direct rays. Some of the ivies and lilies are pretty fussy. Orchids, naturally, are very finicky about their needs. While succulents of course are your easiest to care for. Give them some loose, drainy soil, and water them at most every 1-2 weeks, depending on the dryness of your home and the type and size of the container.”

Finally, houseplants can perish even under the most cautious care. Don’t beat yourself up. Our policy is: buy more. Enjoy more.