Ned Mahoney's Blog
Want to get the sleek and stylish Scandinavian look in your new home? It’s much easier than you might think. And it doesn’t require buying all your furniture from Ikea. I’ve got a few tips for you to create a warm, welcoming home that could grace the pages of any home design magazine.
When attempting to recreate this look most go wrong by painting everything black and white. The real secret to this look, however, is in the details. Less is always more so a serious decluttering project will start you off on the right foot. And don’t think that the only way to recreate this look is to replace all your furniture. In fact, working with existing pieces will make the look feel more natural and unassuming.
You probably already know to reach for shades of grays, whites, and creams when choosing your color palette. But having some color is crucial. Blue is the perfect addition of color for this look especially for a sofa, some throw pillows or your kitchen table chairs. When adding other colors do so sparingly to really make a statement. For example, a yellow lamp in the kitchen, green chairs in the dining room or pink throw pillows on the couch.
To avoid a cold, sterile environment natural elements like wood, stone, and glass add warmth back into the room. Copper and gold accents also warm up a room while keeping a modern touch. Think a natural wood table top where the grain takes center stage or copper hardware that pops when placed against blacks and whites.
Give your space a welcoming homey feel by reaching for texture to create visual interest. Think furry pillows, woven textiles, and chunky knits. Monochrome artwork breaks up blank walls without looking out of place and furniture pieces are the main attraction. There’s no need for knick-knacks here, in fact, they’re best donated or stored away. To stay true to this look each piece you add to the room should have a function.
Another key to this look is lighting. During the day you want to let in as much of it as you can. While curtains and blinds are often skipped altogether pleated and roman blinds maintain privacy and a clean look. When choosing curtains stick to your neutral palette and avoid prints or dramatic drapery. For the night you can create perfect ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. As a bonus, a paper lantern floor lamp pulls double duty by adding natural texture to the room.
The sleek clean lines of Scandinavian design, especially those you see in catalogs, can seem impossible to replicate. At least not without replacing everything you own. But the truth is it is easily achievable to recreate with your existing furniture. With a little creativity, a few cans of paint and a lot of decluttering you’ll have a cozy, modern home before you know it.
Do you ever look at pictures of dream homes online and wonder what yours is missing? The answer probably lies in a cohesive design style. All homes are built around architectural and design principles. Whether you realize it or not, there are probably at least two or three interior design styles that would perfectly complement your home’s architecture, giving it that dream house” appearance that we all wish we could achieve.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the top interior design styles, from time-tested classics to contemporary trends that are sure to stick around for decades to come.
Minimal, but not barren. Reserved, but not sterile. Mid-century modern, as the name suggests, began to take shape in the mid 1900s. You’ve probably seen mid-century decorations dozens of times, especially if you’re a fan of TV shows like Mad Men.
Mid-century furniture has some of the most creative, while still tasteful shapes and textures. Egg-shaped chairs and wide, minimal sofas are highlights of this style. However, one of the most defining features is the use of wood. Exposed wood in furniture, floors, walls, and ceilings give the home a warm and cozy feeling in spite of its modern decoration. It really is all about balance.
One of today’s most commonly used design trends, especially in urban areas, is the industrial home. Industrial homes use a great deal of white, stainless steel, and classic red brick to give the home a factory vibe.
While this may seem off-putting, once you see an industrial home you’ll immediately recognize the appeal. Industrial design appears clean well put-together. With the use one or two bold colors, it’s also easy to showcase fun decorations that are used sparingly throughout the home.
A more recent design trend, shabby chic, takes influence from a number of other trends over the years, combining them into something that is both cozy and clean.
Most people associate shabby chic with vintage items painted white and then stuck into a corner somewhere with fairy lights dangling off of it. And, while this style does leave room for fun lighting and getting creative with paint, it’s core really lies in repurposing items whose era has gone by and giving them new life.
Contemporary design is what we call the amalgamation of today’s design trends that have yet to be identified as a particular style. At one time, mid-century modern was contemporary. And, someday, today’s style will be given another name and its place in the interior design history books.
Contemporary design uses modern principles but take some artistic liberty. Curved lines, and patterns that may be seen as too noisy for modern design find a home in contemporary styles.
Similarly, furniture choices are geared more toward comfort than aesthetics, making contemporary a more livable alternative to modern styles.
Guest rooms, often unused most of the year, all too often end up as a holding area for clutter you're too attached to toss but not quite in love with enough to put out in a frequently used room. Moving into a new home creates the perfect clean slate for setting up a guest room that is a luxurious home away from home for visiting friends and family. Keep reading to learn how to set up a guest room that wows visitors.
Start with the essentials:
If nothing else, be sure to put out plenty of blankets and pillows for your overnight guests to sleep comfortably in your home. Make sure to have at least one lightweight blanket and one heavy one to suit varying temperatures.
Try spending at least one night in your guest room to get a feel for the room. Is it extra drafty? Is the sun overbearing in the morning or maybe the room is poorly lit for the nighttime. Having first-hand experience with staying in your guest room helps you to thoughtfully furnish the room.
If your guest bedroom doesn’t have its own bathroom hang a mirror up for guests to get ready in the comfort of their own room.
Put items for guests to use out in plain sight so that they do not need to feel like a snoop going through drawers to find an extra blanket or spare toothbrush. When setting up the room get creative with ways you can tastefully leave these items out instead of just cluttering up available surfaces.
Speaking of a spare toothbrush, earn bonus hospitality points by leaving out spare and travel size personal care items for your guests who may have forgotten their own. You’ll also want to stock the bathroom with extra toilet paper, tissues, and towels.
Little extras that make a big impression:
For guests who are staying for a few days or longer, you should provide plenty of available hooks and hangers as well as at least one empty drawer. You may also want to include a bedside clock with an alarm feature.
Bring in the comforts of home by providing a bedside light, books and magazines as well as a comfortable chair to sit in with a side table. Fresh cut flowers or houseplants always make a room feel more pulled together and lived in.
Leave out some entertainment options for guests who may be night owls or early risers. Whether you add magazines, books or a few movies make sure they are current and interesting. In the age of the mobile phone be sure to also include your home’s wifi password out in the open, perhaps even framed, and spare charging cords.
Add lastly, you can add a touch of luxury by including an electric kettle, mugs, packets of tea, instant coffee and packets of creamer and sugar. Consider also putting out a few snacks and drinking water.
When having friends and family stay overnight the hope is always for them to feel at home. You can avoid a cold, unwelcoming guest room by employing just a few of the above tips. After all, it’s the little things that count and your extra efforts surely won’t go unnoticed!
Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. It’s where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.
But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. That’s where the home office comes in.
Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. You’ll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, you’ll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like children’s play rooms and spare bedrooms.
The bare necessities
There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. We’re talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, it’s easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.
So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.
What kind of worker are you?
A hard one, I’m sure--but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.
Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. There’s no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.
If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.
Use space wisely
If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.
When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.
Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when you’re not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.
Whether you’ve just bought a home or you’re hoping to spruce up your current house, redecorating can be a great way to make a home feel new and exciting. However, when it comes to the actual decorating and design, many homeowners are at a loss.
Sure, you could hire an interior decorator to help you out, but oftentimes that expense doesn’t fit into the average homeowner’s budget, especially if you just spend thousands closing on a new home.
Fortunately, there are many free sources of inspiration available that will help you identify the right style for your home at the right price for your budget.
In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on where to find interior decor inspiration so you can get started on restyling your home.
Grab an app or two
Searching for redecorating tips doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You can browse ideas when you’re on the train to work, relaxing in bed at night, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office just by downloading a few select apps on your phone.
Two of the most common apps for home decorating are Pinterest and Instagram. However, you’ll need to give those apps some information to make sure you’re getting the right images in your feed.
On Pinterest, add “home decor” “interior design” and “home decor ideas” to your interests so that you’ll see those images and articles first in your feed.
For Instagram, you’ll have to follow accounts that post what you’re looking for, then Instagram will recommend similar accounts.
Here are a few common interior design accounts to get started with:
Take an online course
There’s more to interior decorating than just finding some furniture you like, making sure it will fit in your living room, and buying it. Design principles of color, texture, and form all work together to create the full experience of a home’s interior.
While people study for years to develop techniques of design, you can learn the basics relatively quickly. If you’re interested in learning something new and updating the design of your home, you could take an online course in interior design.
Howcast has a great series of free videos called Interior Design Basics that will provide you with a good overview. Then, if you want to continue learning, check out one of SkillShare’s many interior design courses.
Take a trip to the library
When it comes to seeing the best examples of interior decoration or finding detailed information on design techniques, nothing can beat your local library. Most libraries also have subscriptions to common magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and HGTV Magazine.
If your library doesn’t have many options, you can often request items for free through their interlibrary loans system. They’ll send you books and magazines from surrounding towns and give you a notification when they’ve arrived.