5 INTERIOR DECORATING TIPS THAT WILL BOOST THE ROMANCE IN YOUR HOME THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

Believe it or not, the way you design and decorate your home can have an impact on your relationship. There are a lot of things that homeowners do in designing their spaces that can put romance on the back burner. The decor in a home—whether that’s a rented condo or a house in the suburbs—is important for setting the right tone and sending the right message to those who inhabit the space. Make sure cupid is ready and willing to visit with these easy to apply decorating ideas:

Add out-of-sight storage for turn-off items

Shoes, stacks of bills, kids toys, and dirty laundry don’t exactly set the mood for Valentine’s Day. One way homeowners can improve their living space in time for the holiday of love is by reducing clutter and installing storage options that keep turn-off items out of sight. Over-the-door organizers in closets are perfect for anything from shoes to house cleaners and stuffed animals. Double duty storage benches by the front door provide a home for seasonal gear, such as coats and boots, and a place for family and friends to sit down and take off outerwear upon entering the house, decorative baskets as a catch all for books, magazines, pet/kids toys etc… Installs shelves or modular closet systems in smaller spaces that cannot hold bulky pieces of furniture. Nothing melts worries and stress, leaving vacancy for feelings of intimacy, then a clean and clutter-free environment.

Decorate the walls with photos and memorabilia

Displaying pictures and items that represent special moments in a relationship helps foster intimacy, and it’s an easy and inexpensive home improvement option that can be done by Valentine’s Day. Homeowners can stage precious moments in shadow boxes and on floating shelves. Collect saved items from events like weddings or childbirth and store them together with props to elevate the setting. For example, if a picture captures a husband kissing his pregnant wife’s belly in a field of flowers or on a beach, incorporate elements from that scene such as a vase of sunflowers or a bottle of sand and sea glass. Next, frame ultrasound pictures and announcements and arrange them with props in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Choose soothing colors

Take a look at the colors that a business like a spa will choose: natural shades of green, blue and light hues of browns and taupes, all intended to create the feel of a lush and calm oasis. Homeowners don’t always consider the use of color in the aesthetic of a home, often opting for neutrals that border on boring. That doesn’t inspire a lot for romance though, and even if the homeowner begins with a single room (the bedroom, perhaps?), adding colors that soothe the soul will help create a perfect mood. Whether that’s wall color to the choices of artwork on the wall, choosing soothing colors from nature inspired palettes will help to create a harmonious space. In the same style, it’s best to avoid gender focused colors and styling, so that everyone feels comfortable in the space. Too much pink or mahogany can be off putting.

Set the mood with lighting 

Homeowners will be surprised by how much a simple change of a light bulb can impact the atmosphere of a room. White light mimics natural light, making a room feel more expansive. Yellow light, on the other hand, casts a cozy glow, perfect for setting a romantic tone. Utilize both lighting options by pairing white lights with ceiling fixtures and yellow light with table lamps. That way homeowners can choose between the two lighting based on their needs. (White light while reading and working, and yellow light while cuddling their partners.) Take lighting a step further by burning candles with pleasant scents regularly, and stringing up twinkling fairy lights for a whimsical, fairy tale atmosphere.

Focus on the bedroom

When romance is in the cards, a cozy den is nice. A beautifully set dining table is excellent. But the ‘’pièce de résistance” has to be the bedroom. This is where a little luxury is worth the expense. It starts with adding storage for everything, as noted in the first tip, and then then it’s a question of personal taste. A quality mattress is a good first step. Considering that adults spend 6-8 hours a night sleeping, which is a full third of every day, it makes sense to put a little quality into the one piece of furniture that gets used the most. Bedding should be luxurious, with 1000 count thread sheets, soft duvets and perfect pillows. A cashmere throw blanket is the height of luxury and would put anyone in the mood! The right color palette, lighting and bedding is all it takes to make the bedroom a space to enjoy.

With most people spending more time at home these days, events like Valentine’s Day are more important than ever. Creating a beautiful space has the advantage that, while homeowners will enjoy it on the day, it can be appreciated the rest of the year as well!

Bio:

Marty Basher is the home improvement and organization expert with Modular Closets, https://www.modularclosets.com. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement and more, helping home owners get the most out of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom closet look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets. 

Zoom Backgrounds Inspired by 2021’s Hottest Interior Design Trends

With 2020 finally in the rearview window, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the new year by embracing some of the hottest new interior design trends of 2021.

While you may be itching to redecorate your home in high style (or maybe just tidy up the living room before your next meeting), the online interior design experts at Modsy will spot you one better!

They’ve rounded up their favorite designs inspired by each one of this year’s hottest new home interior trends and turned them into beautiful Zoom backgrounds that are perfect for any virtual get-together, whether it’s a work conference call or a girlfriends wine night.

The biggest emerging style trends of 2021, which are embodied in each of the Zoom backgrounds, are outlined below and can be downloaded HERE.

    • 1980s Style Revival. Sculptural furniture, bold colors, and plenty of drama. The 80s are back—but only the good parts.
    • Natural Materials. Brings effortless texture into your space and gives your home a perfectly layered look.
    • Bold Wall Colors. White walls, be gone! Bold wall colors are the perfect way to bring joy, excitement, and personality to your home.
    • Lighter-Toned Wood. Hello, Scandinavian and Rustic inspiration! We’re seeing lighter-toned and whitewashed woods take center stage.
    • Grandmillennial Style. More and more people are embracing the “granny-chic” style—filled with antiques, wallpaper, and ruffles galore.
  • Rise of Traditional Comfort. Slipcovered sofas. Traditional patterns. Functionality. It’s time to get comfortable without sacrificing on style.

And if you’re feeling inspired after seeing these designs, explore and shop them all at www.modsy.com.

FIVE DECORATING TIPS FOR A CLEAN FRESH MODERN HOLIDAY SEASON

Laura Muller, the Principal Designer, and Owner of Los Angeles-based design firm, Four Point Design Build, has five easy and effective tips for decorating a perfect holiday home worthy of your in-law’s expectations. Check out these inspirational photos ALL from Laura’s personal home!

☆ Tip 1 ☆

That’s a Wrap!

For a fresh and cozy style, add a single pine cone or cedar stem to your gift wrapping. Tie packages with raw linen strips, cotton ribbon, or twine. To give a cohesive look to your whole décor, coordinate the gift wrapping details to your tablescape!

☆ Tip 2 ☆

Deck the Decor Make sure to keep your holiday color scheme clear and consistent throughout your décor. For a clean, fresh, modern look, we use white candles in clear glass. For visual interest (and for the collectors at heart), we suggest all clear glass, but mix it up in size and shape! Use assorted greens for dynamic contrast. Keep greens fresh and in the same proportion for a full and elegant display.

☆ Tip 3 ☆

Let There Be Light Place a table or desk next to a bright window and group three to five mini pine trees with gifts. Display with a collection of assorted white candles in clear glass, and stacks of holiday books for inspiration.

☆ Tip 4 ☆

Add an Easy But Noticeable Accent! Adding simple fresh stems of pine can give your kitchen countertops a cozy wintery feeling! Lace fresh stems in between canisters for a fresh touch of the holiday and fresh mini Christmas trees look perfect in white ceramic utensil crocks!

☆ Tip 5 ☆

Tabletop Trinkets When thinking about your everyday holiday table settings, start with some basic year-round pieces. A large natural grain rustic charger will ground your entire décor theme. For a clean fresh modern farmhouse style, layer with simple white pantry pieces. Once you have the basics, all you need to change from theme to theme is the napkin details!

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC. is an award-winning, full-service residential and commercial interior design and construction firm based in  Los  Angeles,  CA serving clients nationwide. Established in 2010, and led by the husband-wife team and Co-founders, Cliff and Laura Muller, Four Point Design Build was the result of a chance in-class meeting at UCLA, followed by nearly a decade of successful collaboration and noteworthy published design-build projects, and finally, a beautiful romance. It is Four Point’s commitment to cultivating, building, and leading a  strong project team of experts; working closely with all project team members during every phase of project development and execution. Laura has been voted into the Top 15 of Designhounds Top 100 Design Influencers for 2017 and 2018 and has the distinct honor of being one of four top interior designers selected to the prestigious DXV Design Panel (2018 – 2020).

How To Find Your Dream Home On A Budget

A low budget shouldn’t mean settling for a low-quality property. Your home is your personal space and deserves to meet your requirements. You may have to manage your expectations somewhat – you’re not going to find an eight-bed mansion on a shoestring – but you shouldn’t discount every luxury. Here are just a few ways to help you find your dream home on a budget.

Photo Credit from Architectural Digest

Consider a self-build

Building your own home can often cost a third of the price of buying a home – that’s the cost of land, architects, lawyers, labor and materials all included. Self-build mortgages exist to cover these costs, meaning a deposit could work out much less than buying a regular property. Buying land can be tricky – you may be limited by location and council legislation. However, if you do manage to find suitable land, you have total creative freedom (within reason) of what your property will look like. For building a dream home, this is the way to go.

Consider renovating

Another option to consider is renovating. There may not be a property out there that meets all your specs as it stands, but when you start to consider the small tweaks that can be made, you may be able to turn a dull property into a dream property with time. Colors can often be the most off-putting elements to buyers and yet are the cheapest to fix. It costs very little to repaint pink walls or repaint flaking cabinets. Structural alteration will be the most expensive, such as extensions or removals of walls. So long as a property doesn’t need these alterations, you may be able to fix other faults on a budget.

Don’t let location limit you

Being in a location you love is important. But when you consider you can buy a large house in country for the same price as a flat in most city centers, you need to start weighing up your needs. You may not want to live in an extremely remote location, but you may be able to find a happy medium on the outskirts.

Local moves have their financial advantages. You won’t have to pay for removals, and could rent a van and do it yourself. However, weigh up the added cost of movers and thousands off your mortgage and it may not seem like that much of a sacrifice. Start broadening your search and see what your find.

Don’t rush

When trying to find your perfect property, patience is key. Waiting may allow you more time to save up for something you truly want, as well as giving you more time to scope the market. Try to resist the urge to jump upon the first good property you find, sometimes it can be worth taking the risk and waiting for that ‘great’ property to arise. If you feel you’re being too finicky, discuss what you’re looking for to an agent and see how realistic they think your criteria are. Consider giving such agencies your number and ringing you when they think they’ve found a property you may like.

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WEST ELM OPENS FIRST STORE IN MARYLAND

Home furnishings retailer West Elm announced the opening of its first Maryland location at 1301 Dock St. in downtown Baltimore, along the waterfront between Harbor East and Fells Point. The 11,377 square-foot retail Harbor Point location at the Exelon Building will open on Thursday, September 15 at 10 a.m., bringing approximately 30 jobs to the neighborhood. As part of West Elm’s LOCAL program, seven Maryland-based makers and designers will sell their products within the store’s fall assortment of modern furnishings and décor, and a complimentary Design Lab will offer services that support customers in their journey to express their personal style at home. “We are proud to open our first Maryland store in a neighborhood experiencing a renaissance with both locals and visitors,” says West Elm president Jim Brett. “Our goal is to become an active contributor to this historically conscious community, supporting their efforts to preserve the waterfront while sustainably revitalizing a once overlooked area of downtown Baltimore.”

The newly constructed Exelon Building is expected to bring a mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment to Harbor Point, originally a commercial corridor. West Elm Baltimore speaks to the neighborhood’s industrial and shipping heritage by incorporating salvaged materials sourced from Baltimore harbor into the interior’s architecture. Reclaimed pylons constructed from pine, spruce, and fir lumber, once part of the harbor docks, have been repurposed for the store’s ceiling and distinctive cash wrap design.

To celebrate the opening, West Elm partnered with Baltimore-based artist Tomahawk Design Co. to design a limited edition tote bag that will be presented to the first 300 shoppers with a $50 minimum purchase on opening day. Additional store opening activities will include a sweepstakes* offering local customers a chance to win a $2,000 gift card and an invitation to a private pre-opening celebration on Wednesday, September 14 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. A portion of the pre-opening celebration proceeds will benefit Living Classrooms Foundation, a local nonprofit organization aiming to strengthen communities and inspire young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training.

A selection of locally made products by seven Maryland-based makers and artisans will be a part of the West Elm Baltimore LOCAL assortment including:

Dylan Design Co.: Tables made of wood and metal and manufactured in Baltimore, MD.

Forty Third Place: Trays and wall art made from salvaged and reclaimed wood in Hyattsville, MD.

Foxwood Co.: Handmade sculptural vessels, dishes and objects carved from locally sourced wood in Annapolis, MD.

Radica Textiles: Pillowcases designed by hand and printed in small batches honoring Baltimore’s rich history in the textile industry.

The Vintage Vogue: Modern handpainted wood coasters that blend patterns and artfully crafted, minimalist shapes by a Baltimore-based artist.

Tomahawk Design Co.: Baltimore-based graphic design firm specializing in home goods, stationery and apparel.

● Waxing Kara: Beeswax-infused bath and beauty products made by a beekeeper in Owings Mills, MD. For up-to-date information on in-store promotions and events, customers are encouraged to “like” the West Elm Baltimore store on Facebook: www.facebook.com/westelmbmore/ and follow the store on Instagram: @westelmbmore. West Elm Baltimore is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The store’s address is 1301 Dock Street, Baltimore, MD, 21231 and the phone number is 410-244-0121. *Open only to residents that live within the Baltimore, MD area. Official rules of the sweepstakes can be found on the Baltimore Sweepstakes page.

About West Elm Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY since 2002, West Elm opened its first store in DUMBO, the neighborhood it still proudly calls home. With the mission of helping customers express their personal style at home, everything West Elm does is designed to make an impact in everyday life, from creating unique, affordable designs for modern living to its commitment to Fair Trade Certified, from LOCAL and handcrafted products to community-driven in-store events and collaborations. The brand operates 91 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK, ships internationally to customers around the world and operates 11 stores in Mexico, the Middle East and Philippines through unaffiliated franchisees. In addition to home furnishings retail, West Elm operates West Elm Workspace with Inscape in the commercial furnishings industry. West Elm publishes the blog Front+Main and is part of an active community on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. West Elm is a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands.

### Contacts for West Elm: Andres (Dru) Ortega 718-780-0452 aortega2@wsgc.com Hannah Zeskind 718-780-4432 HZeskind@wsgc.co

MYHABIT Art & Wall Decor

Take your space from blah to incredibly beautiful with a canvas, wreath, or charger.  View the items below from Myhabit.com

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Linnea Heide “Queen of Hearts” Giclée on Canvas
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Set of 12 Glass Wall Spheres, Carmen/Sky
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Uptown Down 1960 Metal Framed Mirrored Wall Hanging, Bronze
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Oliver Gal “Type Writing Machine 1899” Framed Art
Nova Graceful, Wall Art-Ground Steel, Brushed Aluminum
Nova Graceful, Wall Art-Ground Steel, Brushed Aluminum
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Asian Art Imports Rustic Palm Wall Art

Setting Up A Kitchen – Lifestyle Tip

Whether you cook everyday or stop to grab a cereal bar, we all have a home kitchen.  It’s the second most important area of our home (other than the bathroom) because it’s closely related to health, nutrition, and beauty.  We eat there, drink water there, and store our food there.

Do we consider how important it is to properly set up our kitchen?  Are we prepping this area according to our lifestyle?  In college, the process began and ended with grocery shopping, dropping off food, and then eating.  Now we have matured into adults and these things matter to be productive in our daily lives.

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To get started, I like to look at the kitchen layout and see what’s available to me.  Do I have an island…is there a bar area…what’s the counter and cabinet space…where are the appliances located?  If I’m really meticulous I will analyze the floor type and whether the counters are granite but that’s related to interior design.

The next step is to start laying out kitchen tools, pots, and pans.  Place those items near the areas they will be used.  For example, olive oil, spices, and cutting boards can be stored near the stove.  You will more than likely use those items while cooking.  Scrubing brush, dish liquid, and dishwasher pods near the sink.

Baskets are perfect for cabinet storage because they help to eliminate lose items or (crumbs.)  It’s also easier to grab a basket when you’re on the go versus searching through a dark space.  It’s all about saving time and practicing cleanliness.

Consider a hanging rack for your pots and pans; I need to purchase one for my own kitchen but when preparing a meal you can visualize if you own a frying pan.  Nothing’s worse than starting a meal only to find out you don’t have all of the supplies needed to complete the dish.

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Special touches include purchasing a wine rack (near the refridgerator) and setting up a correspondence area.  In terms of kitchen size, the correspondence area can include stationery and a mason jar filled with pens.  This is not your home office but a place for reminders.

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Setting up a kitchen can be fun for any modern girl (or guy) but remember we’re striving to create an efficient space!  Read more at Real Simple Magazine.

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