Category Archives: Home and Garden

Cozy Home Style For Fall

Fall is here, and with it comes new opportunities to style your home for the new season. This is the time of year when we all start to huddle a little closer together in anticipation of the holidays and chillier weather. At the same time, our interiors reflect this by becoming warmer and more inviting. In this month’s segment of Steal The Look, we’re going to break down this cozy, modern room setting so that you can see which elements might be right for your home decor this fall.


With the seasons changing, you will likely be spending more time indoors than out, so the look and the comfort of your sofa will become more important than ever. Selecting a neutral-colored sectional is always a good base to build your living room on because it gives you a perfect foundation over which to lay a colorful arrangement of accessories. It’s even better for fall decorating because many of those neutral earth-tones are fall colors. If you want a modern sectional that is low to the ground, offers soft cushions and is so comfortable that you will never want to get up, look no further than the Harding Sectional from Room &Board.

Take a look at the most recent fashion trends and you’ll notice something exciting: fall is getting more colorful. The best way to bring this bright new trend to your fall decor is with throw pillows. Layering a sofa or sectional with pillows is one of the most enjoyable parts of the decorating process. It can also be one of the most overwhelming because there are just so many options. Cutting down the options is always a matter of personal taste, but there are a few stylist tricks that will make creating the right pillow arrangement a breeze. First, choose an odd number of pillows to place on the sectional (think 5, 7, or 9 based on your ideal comfort level and the size of your seating). Second, look for opportunities to create variation in the sizes and shapes of the pillows. We all love 20 x 20” square pillows, but mix it up a little by throwing in a kidney shape here and there. You can also mix smaller and larger sizes of the same shape. This will help to create visual interest by layering patterns at different heights and on different scales. When recreating this particular color palette and style look for global patterns like batik, African mudcloth, and other vintage fabrics with pattern to layer on your sectional. If you’re wondering where to find these types of pillows, you’re in luck, because I have a suggestion. Visit the pillow collection page over at Studio Matsalla. I want, literally, every single pillow they offer, and chances are, you will too.

Old Denim Jeans into Home Decor

If it’s time to shed your favorite jeans, don’t kiss them goodbye. While jean styles come and go, the denim they’re made of is a workhorse fabric that’s perfect for repurposing. So why not reimagine your old bottoms?


To inspire you to get making, here are 11 stylish ways to repurpose denim jeans into something cute and useful for your home.

Dress up a no-frills bench with a comfy denim box cushion. To DIY, you’ll need a sewing machine equipped with a denim needle.


Here’s the supply list:


  • Multipurpose foam for filling the bench cushion.
  • Several pairs of clean old jeans.
  • Sharp fabric scissors for easy cutting.


The first order of business is to transform your old jeans into a flat material you can work with. This DIY shares what you need to know.


Next, sew your box cushion. This tutorial breaks down the process into seven easy steps.

Turn your old jeans into a shaggy treat for your feet.


Rag rugs like this one made by Lana Von Haught, are simple to DIY using a utility fabric rug liner.


So that you know, super soft denim works best. After cutting the fabric into two to four-inch strips, you’ll loop each piece through a different hole in the rug liner and then knot. Here’s Lana’s tutorial.

You’ll need a few things besides tailor’s shears:


  • Container to use as a template for your basket. Ama used a small utility bucket.
  • One or more pairs of jeans depending on your basket’s size. You’ll cut the pant legs into long 1-inch wide strips.
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread. You’ll be sewing the denim pieces end to end before weaving.

A California Cottage Ideas

Attempting to overhaul your design scheme DIY-style? You don’t need to conform to a specific decorating style—or era—to create rooms that are stylish and modern with a unified look. Rather, your rooms should be dynamic, interesting, and full of the things you love, regardless of their provenance. In other words, yes, you can mix this with that!


In this new recurring series, we’ll dissect gorgeous spaces to see what makes them tick—by hearing directly from the pros that designed them. You’ll learn exactly why each room works, item by coveted item.


This month, we examine an adorable three-bedroom cottage in Altadena, California. Charmean Neithart, the San Marino-based designer, talks to us about the home’s Modern-Tropical aesthetic.

Neithart chose to mix the two decorating styles based on the downsizing homeowners’ fun-loving nature and their willingness to incorporate bright colors.

“But marrying styles isn’t always so intentional,” says Neithart. “A designer will rarely hear a client say, ‘Here’s my empty room. Here’s a bunch of money. Do whatever you want.’”

“That concept is a fantasy,” she adds. “And design shows on TV often make it seem like reality.”

Stylists Do Before a Photo Shoot

Have you ever looked at a photo of a beautiful room in a magazine and wondered why your own home doesn’t look like that? Don’t feel too discouraged. The truth is that those rooms don’t usually look like that either – they’ve been styled by professional prop stylists.

Before a photo shoot a prop stylist comes in armed with accessories, art, and props of all kinds to make the room look as good as possible on camera.

Even those rooms designed by well-respected decorators and interior designers are amped up a bit with props. That’s because what we see in reality and what we see through the lens of a camera can seem a little different. Rooms that look beautiful in reality can look a little empty through the lens, so it’s up to the prop stylist to layer in the appropriate items and fill the space in the appropriate way. It’s also up to the prop stylist to make any other necessary alterations to the room so that it looks like the aspirational fantasy we all look for in magazines and decorating books.

Here are 10 of the most common things prop stylists do to get a room photo shoot ready.


Get Rid of Clutter

The first, and arguably most important thing, is to get rid of the homeowner’s clutter. That means envelopes and papers, remote controls, dishes, rogue pens and pencils, kids toys – all the things that are a part of normal, every day life.

These are things we all have laying around our homes, but they don’t look great in photos. So when the prop stylist comes to prep the room for the photo shoot, all those things get carefully hidden away out of sight.

Clean Everything

It goes without saying that a dirty house is unacceptable for a photo shoot.

So prop stylists make sure there are no specks of dust or dirt on any of the furniture or other surfaces being photographed – especially the floor. There’s usually someone wiping things down right before the shot is taken so that no speck of dust has time to settle. And if they happen to miss anything it gets touched up by the photographer after the fact so that no one will ever see it. So don’t feel too bad that your house doesn’t look as clean as what you see in the magazines. Those houses aren’t that clean usually either!

Steam Fabrics

Every prop stylist has a steamer and iron on stand by, and before the first shot is set up, every fabric that is going to be in the shot gets ironed or steamed so that any and all wrinkles are eliminated. Any window treatments gets steamed so that there are no visible wrinkles as are any other hanging fabrics.  In many cases upholstery and throw pillows also get a quick steam or swipe with the iron so that they look smooth. It’s also very common to add a decorative throw to a sofa or chair, and this item will be steamed as well.


Fresh Cut Flowers

Every interior prop stylist knows the ins and outs of flower arranging. That’s because fresh flowers are the most common prop you’ll find in professionally styled interiors. Look in any decorating magazine and you’ll see them on coffee tables, end tables, bedside tables, and mantles. Fresh flowers add color and life to photographs (and real life rooms), and they work in any space at any time. They can add a burst of color and they quite literally bring rooms to life.


Decorative Boxes

One of the most common props used by interior stylists (besides fresh flowers) is decorative boxes. This is because boxes do wonders for filling empty spaces, and for creating height in styled vignettes. And in real life they’re great for hiding things like remote controls, pens and papers, etc. Decorative boxes come in all sorts of styles and colors. Antique mahogany or inlaid boxes are classic and traditional, while faux shagreen and lacquer boxes can be modern and glam.

Home Decor That You Can Make It

There’s no doubt about it: metallics have the power to elevate almost anything to glamorous new heights. Specific metallic finishes–just like colors and patterns–come in and out of style when it comes to home decor. Brass was the big thing in the 1980s, followed by cool metals such as silver in the late ’90s. Now, almost anything goes when it comes to metals; mixing metals and finishes is even encouraged.


That being said, however, copper is definitely having its moment to shine. Copper’s rosy glow complements lots of color palettes. It contrasts beautifully with jewel-toned blues and greens, and warms up lighter hues like Rose Quartz and Serenity. When copper couples with black and white, it has a modern appeal.

While spray paint is one of the quickest ways to give objects a metallic glow, copper materials–unlike gold–have the added advantage of being relatively inexpensive and easy to find. A trip to your local hardware store, in fact, will yield copper wire, coil, tape, pipe fittings, and even contact paper that will help you transform humble items into chic home decor. Here are thirteen project ideas to inspire you.


Copper Coil Vase

Copper coil pipe from the plumbing section of the hardware store can inspire loads of project possibilities, and a five-foot length costs less than ten dollars. Here, it’s simply wound around a simple glass cylinder vase (you can pick these up at the dollar store) to give it style that only looks expensive. One single green leaf makes a contemporary, organic statement.

How to make a perfect home

Architect and interior designer, Lauren Goldman of l’oro designs designed a beautiful home in Atherton, California. A small town within San Mateo County, the project was a new build, constructed from the ground up. The idyllic residence was designed with family life in mind, offering a variety of public spaces for entertaining and intimate rooms designed as personal retreats. From the exterior, the home is immediately inviting, with a wrap-around porch, large paned windows and beautifully curated landscaping. 

Inside, the home’s open plan layout is perfect for hosting large family gatherings, entertaining for holiday dinners, or finding space for a quiet respite. The kitchen is the ultimate space for gathering together as a family. Wall-to-wall white cabinets keep everything streamlined, even hiding away eyesores like the refrigerator. A backsplash in white and gray marble adds a dose of luxury to the space. The contrasting gray shade continues with the oversized kitchen island. For even more contrast, a modern black chandelier floats above the kitchen table. 

While the kitchen and most of the home sports a neutral color palette, Goldman’s way of incorporating unique finishes and marrying different design eras keeps things feeling interesting and fresh. Glass pendant lights above the kitchen island continue the modern lighting theme in the space. Within the island, a farmhouse sink points to the home’s small town roots, located in a community with just a little over 7,000 residents.

DIY Decorating Projects

Looking for some simple, inexpensive DIY decorating projects to try? Let the inspiration juices flow with this roundup of easy DIY projects.

This rag rug can be customized to meet the decor of any room, and it is easy enough for kids to join in on the DIY decorating fun.

Add a delicate, vintage-looking touch to your decor with these lace containers. Modge Podge brings it all together.

Finally, something to do with all those bottles caps that you have lying around. This stylish tray can show off your favorite drinks and do double duty holding them.

A little painter’s tape goes a long way to creating a trendy geometric painted rug.

This love message board lets you express your love for others over and over again–with just a quick wipe off and rewrite.

Repurpose your old spaghetti sauce jars into Moroccan-inspired lanterns, which are all decked out with gold paint.

Guide To Interior Home Decorating

When you’re searching for inspiration, not just on what to put in your place, but on how to actually decorate with it, the possibilities are nearly endless. There’s tips and guides and suggestions, all talking about totally different approaches to totally different topics. Trying to sort your way through it all can turn into a full-time job all by itself. Well, we’d like to do something to rectify that situation and help you get right to the business (and fun) of actually designing your home. So here’s our Ultimate Expert Guide – sort of a guide to all of our guides, covering just about every area of home decorating, from sofas and rugs to dining tables and art. Best of all, we’ve broken everything down to it’s simplest units – things to do and things not to do. So jump right in, and get to the good part that much faster.

Walk into just about any house that hasn’t been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you’re bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It’s no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these rules on how NOT to decorate. Just because most people make these mistakes, there’s no reason why you should have to.

One of the biggest furniture investments you’ll make is a sofa. Sofas cost a lot of money, they take up a lot of space, and they’re where you and your family will likely spend a lot of time. So make sure you know what you’re doing before you go out and buy one. Check out these sofa do’s and don’ts to make sure you get the best sofa for your investment.

Framing windows with long curtains and drapes is a great way to add glamor and personality to a room, but before you head out to the store to buy some check out these curtain do’s and don’ts.

Modern Living Room Elements

If you want to remodel your home in the style of mid-century modern (MCM), incorporating the following elements will take you a long way towards your goal.

The quintessential MCM-style living room from the early to mid-Sixties period would have included some of these things:


Vaulted Ceiling With Exposed Beams

The prototypical MCM low-vaulted ceiling had exposed natural wood beams.  For the mid-century Jet Agers, a feeling of openness–of soaring to the sky–was always emphasized.

Wood Panel Accent Wall

The accent wall in the center of the room is paneled in dark, rich walnut.  For your home, you’ll want to panel sections of the room, not the entire room.  And go for real veneer wood panels rather than cheap Home Depot panels.


Horse Sculptures

Depictions of horses were a feature in 1960s homes.  Look no further than The Brady Bunch set and its famous prancing faux Tang Dynasty horse sculpture.  In this living room, you will count no less than six horses.


Danish Modern Chairs and Coffee Table

Danish Modern furniture pieces found in common MCM homes on the whole were not expensive Drexel Declaration sideboards, coffee tables, and chairs.  They were knock-off Danish Modern pieces purchased from local department stores.


Two-Tier Coffee Table

The prototypical Fifties and Sixties double-level coffee table is found today at many antique stores or on eBay.


Linoleum Floor

In the Sixties, the linoleum industry was heavily promoting the “durability” and “beauty” of linoleum floors all throughout the home.

 So, even though MCM homes are frequently depicted in movies as being heavily shagged, MCM homes in most of the United States often had hard floor coverings, like linoleum or vinyl.

Sunburst Clock

Sunburst clocks are so Sixties-looking that you risk going over the top by putting one in your living room.


Remnants of the Past Era

Hugely important, yet rarely found in MCM installations.  Except for homes of the wealthy few, most homes had mixed-era decor.  In this image you see:  the 1940s radio still hanging around in the corner; twee items on the curio shelf; overly sweet floral wallpaper.

Russian Hill and so Great Home

A focus on bespoke, vibrant homes, interior designer Kari McIntosh takes us inside her latest project – a modern family home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The project had a tight deadline as the family of soon-to-be three needed a designer who could help them complete their newly renovated home just two months before their first child was about to be born. Under a strict deadline, McIntosh was able to design a home that’s warm, colorful and perfect for a young family with a newborn on the way. 

“I worked quickly to curate a fashion-forward and family-friendly home fit for a young family that loves wine, sports, and entertaining.” McIntosh started with a blue and green color palette in the living room. A choice of furnishings and art lends to the rich palette that’s warm and cozy, perfect for a family that desires a stylish environment.

The colorful interior has a mix of modern elements as well. Perfect for a newly renovated home in the Bay. In the office, a lacquered white desk with chrome legs keeps things contemporary. A structured desk chair is the perfect complement.

The home’s dining room has an open plan right into the kitchen. A mix of color and texture creates a striking statement in the dining area. The dining table is burled wood. A beautiful, natural wood tone that’s warm and inviting. Surrounding the table, a set of modern classic Panton Chairs add some soft curves. On the wall, green malachite wall art is the perfect pop of color. And overhead, the modern chandelier is the perfect way to bring home some ambiance.