How to Create an Elegant Easter Tablescape

I can’t believe Easter is less than two weeks away!  I’ve begun to plan my Easter tablescape and which made me think to share with you How to Create an Elegant Easter Tablescape.  Creating the tablescape is always one of my favorite things on any holiday To-Do List!

These are the guidelines I use to help me create a beautiful Easter table for our family.  I’ve also shared several tablescapes from past years to inspire your tablescape this Easter.  It is always my goal to inspire you to create your own gorgeous tablescapes with tips and ideas.

How to Create an Elegant Easter Tablescape

Alicia Wood, Dallas Fashion Blogger, Dallas Style Blog, Pastel Easter Table, Juliska Easter Tablescape, Juliska Easter Bunny Party Plates

Use a pastel color palette

After the dark and rich colors of fall and winter, fresh pastel colors are such a welcome change. I have chosen pale blue and white to anchor this tablescape. I used these Juliska Country Estate in Delft Blue dinner plates on my Thanksgiving table and love how fresh and light they look in this table setting.  I’ve added similar pale blue linen napkins to highlight the pastel blue in the plates.  They have a hemstitch detail that matches my classic white linen hemstitch tablecloth.

Five Tips for a Beautiful Spring Tablescape, Gracious Garlands, Easter Tablescape, Blue and White Easter Table Setting

Incorporate seasonal flowers that accent your color palette

Nothing says spring like beautiful tulips. Whether you fill your favorite vase to overflowing or incorporate them into another arrangement as I have here, they embody spring to me. I used water picks (small containers that hold water on the end of the flower) to keep the flowers hydrated.  You have to do this the day of your event with the hydrangeas.  A mix of small vases would be beautiful mixed in and around the garland, as well.  Other spring flowers for a fresh tablescape include hydrangea, hyacinth, ranunculus, peonies, daffodils, azaleas and anemones.

Bring the outdoors in with fresh greenery

Beautiful greenery is the first sign of spring so why not highlight it in your table setting. The beautiful garland in the photos is from my friends at Gracious Garlands arrived farm fresh and ready to display.  In this Easter tablescape, I have clippings from my hedge intertwined with floral arrangements. You can see that post here.

Don’t just think about your dining table.  I added a piece to accent my side table where my Juliska Country Estate Soup Tureen holds our favorite spring soup: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Tart Raspberry Puree. (I’ll be sharing my Easter Menu soon so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you are the first to have it!

Pastel Easter Tablescape, Juliska Classic Bamboo, Juliska Classic Bamboo Napkin Ring, Mademoiselle Napkin, Bamboo Flatware, Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Eggs, Spring Flowers

Add a natural element like bamboo or wicker

I love the texture that a natural element adds to the table. Bamboo and wicker are perfect for spring. Here I have used Juliska’s Classic Bamboo Salad Plate and Dinner Plate, bamboo napkins rings. and faux bamboo flatware..  I also have their bamboo patterned charger   I love having items that mix and match!

Add a whimsical element

Whether you add something with bunnies or a novelty-shaped topiary to your centerpiece, adding a touch of whimsy is just plain fun. On these tablescapes, I have used bunny plates, flower-covered bunnies, hand-painted eggs and bunny salt and pepper shakers. The sky is the limit when you engage your playful side.  I’ve shared how to create a container garden like this one here.  I just added the moss bunny, and, Voila!  Easter centerpiece!

I’ve shared details on each of the tables I used as examples and linked to their original posts so that you can see more details on each table for even more inspiration.  There is also a boutique below with items to help you create an elegant Easter tablescape for your family this year.

Pastel Floral and Bamboo

Pastel Easter Tablescape, Juliska Classic Bamboo, Juliska Classic Bamboo Napkin Ring, Mademoiselle Napkin, Bamboo Flatware, Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Eggs, Spring Flowers

Juliska Classic Bamboo Dinner Plate / Classic Bamboo Salad Plate / Bamboo Flatware / Tobacco Leaf Placemats / Ruffled Napkins / Bamboo Napkin Rings / Bamboo Platter / Bamboo Triple Server / Similar Butterfly Serving Tongs /Similar Mercury Glass Easter Eggs) / Amara Wine Glasses See the full post here for all the details.

Classic Blue and White Easter Tablescape

Juliska Country Estate Dinner Plate / Juliska Classic Bamboo Charger / Juliska Country Estate Tureen / Juliska Berry and Thread Napkin Ring (Sold out, Similar) /  Bamboo Flatware  / Berry and Thread Footed Goblet / Berry and Thread Double Old Fashioned / Similar Blue Linen Napkins / White Hemstitch Tablecloth  See the full post here for all the details on this post written for Draper James.

Sweet Pastels

Juliska Easter Bunny Party Plates, Juliska Tablescape, Elegant Easter Tablescape, Dallas Lifestyle Blog

Similar Easter Bunny Party Plates / Similar Bunny Salt and Pepper Shakers / Similar Goglets / Berry & Thread Dinner Plate / Similar Placemats in gold/ Madamoiselle Napkin  / Musee Flatware See the full post here for all the details.

An Easter Garden

Juliska Country Estate Charger / Juliska Puro Platinum Dinner Plate / Blue Agate Coasters as Placecards / Similar Container Garden in Blue and White Bowl / Wallace Grand Baroque Silver / Julisak Footed Goblets / Blue and White Small Planters here and here /  Garland from Gracious Garlands  See the full post here for all the details.

I hope these photos and tips inspire you to create an elegant Easter tablescape for your family this year.  It will be so nice to celebrate with my parents and go to church this year.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so ready and thankful to celebrate the goodness of the Lord.


Read more:

Green Front Gardens Reduce Physiological and Psychological Stress

METRO.NEWS – THERE is growing evidence that being in natural spaces — whether while gardening or listening to bird song — has a positive effect on mental health. Being in nature is also linked to improved cognitive function, greater relaxation, coping with trauma and alleviating certain attention deficit disorder symptoms in children.

However, most of these studies have specifically looked at the effect of public green spaces, rather than private gardens. During a time when many people are at home due to Covid-19 restrictions, private garden spaces have been the most accessible green spaces for those who have them. But do these small green spaces have the same benefits for our mental health?


Original source:

How Much Is A Mobile Home In 2021?

The number of mobile homes in the United States is decreasing and is expected to continue decreasing over the years. This isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but if you want to help flatten that curve, then contribute by buying a mobile home.

How Much Is A Mobile Home

But before you do, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Check out these fasts as well as the average cost of each type of mobile home. Get your facts together and make your decision without regrets.  

How Much Is A Mobile Home?

The cost of a mobile home isn’t a set number. Just like any other type of housing, there is a large range. According to Cost Helper, there is an average for each type of home. These are the three types of mobile homes and the average price in 2021. 

  • Single-Wide Average: $37,100
  • Double-Wide Average: $73,600
  • Triple-Wide Average: $100,000+

Now, this is the average cost for a mobile home in general. If you are building a new mobile home, the prices are about 30% more. If you shop for repos or older models, you can get them for a lot less. 

types of mobile home

Types Of Mobile Homes

Knowing the cost of different types of mobile homes isn’t very helpful if you don’t know the size of each type. After all, most people don’t know the difference between a single-wide and a double-wide by looking.

So check out this briefing of the three types of mobile homes so you can find out which one is right for your family. Shopping without keywords is difficult, so find out which one you want to look for.

Single-Wide Mobile Home

The average range for a single-wide is 600 to 1,300 square feet. There are rarely more than two bedrooms and often only one bathroom. They are 18 feet or less in width, and 90 feet or less in length.

Single-wide mobile homes are half the size of a standard home in the United States. If you live alone or only with one other person, then a single-wide is all you will need. The average person doesn’t need more than 500sqft alone. 

Double-Wide Mobile Home

The average size for a double wide is 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. They are at least 20 feet wide yet 90 feet or less in length. Most of them have at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms. They also have entryways and dining rooms. 

Double-wide homes are the same size as standard homes in the United States. Average-sized families will need a double-wide to fit comfortably. But if you have more than four or five people, you may want to upgrade.

Triple-Wide Mobile Home

The average size of a triple-wide is between 3,000 and 4,500 square feet. They are usually shorter than double-wides as they appear more square than oblong. They often look very similar to a property-built home.

Triple-wides are larger than most other homes in the United States. But if you have a family of five or more, it might be necessary. Large families have trouble with just two bathrooms and two or three bedrooms. 

Mobile Home Vs. Motorhome Vs. Prefab Home

Mobile Home Vs. Motorhome Vs. Prefab Home

One of the reasons that the popularity of mobile homes is decreasing is because other types of similar homes are becoming more popular. Check out the differences so there will be no more confusion in the future. 

What Is A Motorhome?

A motorhome is a recreational vehicle that is designed to transport families like a car but also designed to live in like a house. It doesn’t have a foundation but rather can be placed on concrete pads anytime. 

Motorhomes have built-in water and electric systems while mobile homes need to be hooked up to separate systems. They need a foundation to operate and aren’t nearly as “mobile” as motorhomes.

What Is A Prefab Home?

A prefab home may look similar to a mobile home, but the truth is that a prefab home isn’t mobile at all. While mobile homes used to be more mobile than they are now, prefab or modular homes are very different.

A prefab home is a home that is built off-site and then set on-site for the owner to use as a home. While a mobile home is also built off-site on most occasions, it is designed to be moved if necessary. A prefab home is just a normal home that is built off-site. 

What Is A Tiny Home? 

A lot of people assume all prefab homes or motor homes are tiny homes. This isn’t the case. A tiny home is simply a home that is under certain square footage. Mobile homes and prefab homes are usually considered small homes, not tiny homes.

Tiny homes come in two types. Tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on foundations. So, tiny houses on foundations work like any other house while tiny houses on wheels work like a motorhome. 

Types of mobile home

Pros And Cons Of Mobile Homes

Mobile homes have their fair share of flaws, but they also have a lot to offer. Take a look at these lists so you can weigh the pros and cons on your own because we all have different priorities. 


  • Quick – you can get a used mobile home next week if you want. But even if you want to buy a new one, or build one, it can be completed and the paperwork processed in less than a month. This is much faster than other homes.
  • Cheaper – square footage-wise, a mobile home can cost half as much as other homes. If you buy one used, you can get a really good deal, but the newer they are, the safer they will be. Original mobile homes don’t follow the same codes.
  • Lower Taxes – because they aren’t considered real estate property, mobile homes don’t have property taxes so you can save a lot of money here. Especially considering the average annual property tax is over $3000.
  • Mobile – that’s easy to assume! Although mobile homes aren’t as mobile as they used to be, they can be moved. You can hire professionals to have your home moved to a new location in mere days.
  • They Are Now Safe – when they came out in the 70s, mobile homes were quite unsafe. But now, they are much safer. Not many people have serious problems with their mobile homes that other homeowners don’t have.
  • Custom Builds – not only can you have a home built in a month, but you can also have that home the way you want it. Most companies have base models that you can design the way you want. Who doesn’t want a custom home?


  • Value Decreases – unfortunately, the second that mobile home leaves the lot, its value will decrease. Unless you make major changes, it will continue to decrease the longer you own it. This isn’t always true with other homes.
  • Hard To Finance – because you can’t get a real estate loan, it can be difficult to finance a mobile home. We’ll talk more about how you can get a mobile home financed later. It happens all the time, it just isn’t simple.
  • Not As Sturdy As Others – although mobile homes are much sturdier than they were twenty or thirty years ago, they aren’t as sturdy as regular homes built on foundations. Maybe one day they will be.
  • Different Laws – even if you know all of the laws on properties, you need to learn the codes when it comes to mobile homes. Things are different by state so if you move to a new state, make sure you know the differences.
  • Stigmas – you may not think about this one, but it is true. Sadly, there is a stigma and stereotype for people who live in mobile homes. So if you care what people think, then keep this in mind.

How To Buy A Mobile Home

How To Buy A Mobile Home

Buying a mobile home isn’t the same as buying a standard home. With a regular house, you can get property or real estate loans. But with a mobile home, it isn’t real estate, so you have to do things differently. 

Here are a few types of loans to look into if you are having trouble getting financing for a mobile home. 

  • FHA Loans – the Federal Housing Administration is a great way to get your loan approved. They have low down payments for people with decent credit scores but offer loans to almost anyone.
  • USDA Loans – the USDA, or United States Department of Agriculture can help in some cases. Your income must be a certain amount, and they don’t offer loans to as many people as the FHA does, but they are worth a try.
  • VA Loans – if you or a family member are a service member or veteran, there’s no better place to go than Veterans Affairs. They make it easy for those who have served our country to get approved and get the help they need.
  • Chattel Loans – chattel loans are probably the most popular type of loan for a mobile home. They work for “movable property” and while mobile homes aren’t often moved, they still fit within the guidelines. 

The post How Much Is A Mobile Home In 2021? appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

* This article was originally published here

Modern Exterior House Colors That Are Trending

Painting the exterior of your house can be just as important as painting the interior of your house, sometimes even more important. The exterior is what everyone will see even if they never enter your house.

So, make sure you know what you want before committing to a color, and how much it will cost. While you can change it later, it’s much better to take your time beforehand to save valuable time and money. Find out what is trending today.

Modern Exterior House Colors

modern exterior house colors
Image from Urban Infill Corporation

While you can paint the exterior of your house any color you want, there are a few colors that are trending and with good reason. If you want a modern look, then following along with the trends is your best bet. And don’t forget the door!

Now, when we say “modern” we don’t mean contemporary or a particular design style. What we mean is that these colors are modern in the way that anything else that is trending is. Farmhouse can be modern because it is trending.

House Color – Outside World

Image from Ketron Custom Builders

When it comes to painting your house, it is important to note the other aspects of the outside world. Nature can play a huge role in how you paint your house. If you live in an area with a lot of greenery, you want something that matches.

However, if you live somewhere that is dry, you want something that suits the desert landscaping. The color of the exterior of your house should mesh well with the other colors you see and can be considered part of landscaping.

Popular Exterior House Colors

Picture from David Weekley Homes

Now, if you don’t want to think about this, choosing the Color of the Year always works out well. The two colors are Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. The yellow and grey combo can work for anyone if done right.

However, most people prefer to branch out a little. If you’re looking for color combinations, then this is a better bet. But if you want base colors, here are some of the exterior house paint ideas that are popular right now.

White, But Not White

White can work if you really like that starkness for your house, but a little bit off-white is more common now. It’s also much easier to keep off-white clean than pure white. Find a dainty white with a blue hue or an ivory one with a yellow hue.

A great tip for whites is that if you live in a climate that is cooler or has cooler colors in nature, choose a blue hue. If you live in a dry or warm climate with warmer natural colors, then add a red or yellow hue.

Pale Yellow

Any yellow will brighten a place up, but pale yellow never gets old. It is a yellow that is evergreen. It will automatically give you a cottage feel if you’re not careful. If this is something you want, then it’s a no-brainer.

If you want a more modern look, then go for a brighter yellow or a white with just a hint of yellow. That hint is teasing and will look white unless inspected closely or the sun hits it just right. This is a great way to go.


Image from Whitten Architects

Taupe is a grey-brown color similar to beige only much darker. If you like the way beige makes a house feel but want something darker, taupe is the most logical choice. It works well with any type of climate too.

If you can’t decide on a neutral color but don’t want grey, then taupe is great. It adds warmth to grey colors by adding brown which makes it work for cool and warm pairings.


Teal, aquamarine, turquoise. There are many colors in this family and all are amazing. They work perfectly for beach houses, especially when combined with a sandy color or white. There are so many different shades too.

Despite popular belief, although teal is great for beach houses, it shouldn’t be limited to them. You can use these colors for anything as there are many tones and shades that can work for any type of home.

Pastel Blue

Pastel blue is always a winner. It’s another color that has a cottage feel to it. You can mix it up with another bright color to contrast it or keep it simple with white for a true cottage look. There are no rules!

If you want an alternative blue color that is still trending, check out colonial blue. It is dark, neutral, and alluring. While pastel blue is welcoming and cheerful, colonial blue will make you feel at home right away.

Gray, Gray, Gray

The world cannot get enough gray right now. Dark gray, light gray, even greige, which is similar to taupe in that it has warm and cool colors mixed. This time, mixed with beige. But basic gray is more popular than greige.

If you can’t decide which color to paint your home, then you can’t go wrong with gray. You can even get whichever gray is on sale and save money. Remember to pair it with white for a clean look and a crisp feel.

Forest Green

You may not think it, but forest green is actually a strong color that is trending this year. The deep tones of the forest green add a lot of warmth and character. Green is always a winner, but forest green is rising as one of the world’s favorite greens.

If you can’t decide which shade of forest green to get, darker color with more neutral tones, as opposed to brighter tones, is usually better. This way, you won’t tire of it as easy, because bold colors can be too much at times.

Sage Green

Image from Eurodale Developments Inc

Sage green may be the most popular green for exterior paint. Not only is it a safe green to use, but it is a natural green with so many different possibilities. You can almost smell the dried sage just by thinking about it.

Alternatives to sage green would be green tea, which will be quite light, or pistachio which adds more depth and color. There are plenty of green colors to suit almost anyone painting the exterior of their house.


Mocha is a versatile color with many options. Most mochas are medium to light brown and always warm. What is better than a creamy coffee and chocolate tone? It is comforting for any room in the house, as well as the exterior.

Brown has always been a great house color, often occurring naturally when using boards or logs. So using mocha is a great way to keep things simple and traditional while adding a modern flair.

Creamy Vanilla

Creamy vanilla is another color that can’t help but make you feel good. It is warm, inviting, and reminds one of a coffee shop or grandma’s kitchen. It is perfect for any house, both warm and cool climates are welcome.

You see, in warm climates, creamy vanilla matches the scenery. In cool climates, it offers a refuge like a fireplace on a cool night. You can’t go wrong with this color, so if you like it, don’t be afraid to choose it.


Peach is a great color if you want something different. You can add a coral spin by going darker or keep it simple with barely-there peach. The color is much more versatile than you’d think, although it favors cottage and beach houses.

Even though you may feel peach is not for you, remember that it doesn’t have to look like a Barbie house. With the right shades, you can have a peach house that looks modern, mature, and sophisticated.


Although you can choose a different wood tone, cedar-colored houses are a safe choice. Even if you can’t afford wood siding or don’t want wood siding, you can make your siding look like wood with the right color.

Add a texture or whitewash, with color, to achieve a more realistic wood tone. Cedar color may be labeled as something else, so take a sample of the cedar tone you want to find the perfect match for you.


Here are the most frequently asked questions about exterior house paint colors.

Can You Pair Two Of These Colors?

You can, if that suits you. However, it is recommended to choose at least one neutral color and the other color can be either neutral or bright. That part is up to you. But not having any neutrals can appear cheap.

Which Colors Are Best For Resale Value?

In short, neutral or muted colors. This doesn’t mean the colors have to be white or gray, it just means that bright colors can deter people. You’d be surprised how many people’s brains are tricked into feeling trapped by colors.

What Should Be My Focus?

What you want your house to be. Find an aesthetic that you love and try to achieve it. Your house should be an extension of who you are. If you want a purple house then go for it. Nothing is stopping you and creativity is encouraged!

The post Modern Exterior House Colors That Are Trending appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

The Best Paint Colors for Outdoor Furniture, According to Real Estate Agents

Your outdoor furniture is so much more than just a place to sit down after a long day. Like the modern leather sofa or the stylish bar cart in your living room, outdoor furniture is the home decor workhorse that helps set the tone for your patio, porch, balcony, patch of grass, or whatever outdoor space you’ve got.

The best part? You can often spruce up existing outdoor furniture with a fresh coat of paint, which is especially helpful if you’re preparing to sell your home. It’s easy to update outdoor furniture as your own style changes, or to make your outdoor living space more appealing to potential buyers.


You can never go wrong with black, that sleek and stylish standby color that goes with everything. Pair black metal outdoor furniture with taupe cushions and you’ve instantly upgraded your outdoor living space — and no matter their personal taste, prospective buyers will be impressed.

“It looks high-end even when it is not,” says Patrick Lilly, a real estate agent in New York City.


When it comes to outdoor furniture, go ahead and use a super trendy paint color — there’s a reason why these hues are so popular, after all. Leanne Bonter, a real estate agent in Maryland and Washington, D.C., recommends the Sherwin Williams 2021 Color of the Year, “Urban Bronze.”

“It is a dark, neutral, yet dramatic hue,” she says. “It pairs beautifully with garden greens, stonework, and wood finishes. It looks great with neutral beige furniture cushions as well as brighter, bolder accents.”

Post Image

Credit: Minette Hand

A Neutral

If you love bold hues but you don’t want to go totally overboard on your deck or patio, consider sticking mostly to neutrals but adding little pops of color here and there. If you’re unsure what color to go with, pick one from inside your home, then carry it through to the outside living area.

“A neutral color is still going to be key as the main color, especially in the luxury market, but there is always room for a statement color to add a little more definition to your property,” says Rogers Healy, a real estate agent in Dallas. “As for what color to choose for a little pop of color, we are seeing more yellow, turquoise, and red palettes.”

Something Bold

If you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, go big and bold — neon green, turquoise, purple, or whatever your favorite color is, says Betsy Ronel, a real estate agent in New York.

But when you’re trying to sell, revert back to colors that will appeal to the widest array of buyers.

Ronel recommends whites, grays, blacks, and natural wood stains. The reason? If you paint every square inch of your patio furniture fire-engine red, for example, you may turn off some buyers. Even though it’s just furniture and you’ll be taking it with you when you move out, there are some buyers who just can’t get past their gut reaction of, “Yuck, I hate red!”


This article  first appeared on Apartment Therapy

Koble Speaker Lanterns and Smart Side Tables With Speakers

Is music getting everyone else through this quarantine? It doesn’t matter if I’m working or relaxing before bed, music is generally playing…from my iPhone or MacBook Pro because I don’t have any speakers. Even if you have an entire stereo setup, unless you have a portable speaker, you’re going to be sitting in the same room your music is playing if you want to hear it. Enter the genius that are portable speakers. Now, the concept isn’t new but adding an LED light to it in recent times kills two birds with one stone – basically doubling the product’s functionality and that’s just what Koble is doing. Koble created a series of portable speaker lanterns that beautifully fill their surroundings with light while filling your ears with your favorite music. The lanterns are equipped to glow in a variety of colors, all controlled with an included remote, while streaming your tunes. Charge via USB and off you go!

Ava X Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Ava Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Ava X Portable LED Speaker Lantern + Ava Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Koble Neptune LED Speaker Lantern

Koble Neptune LED Speaker Lantern

Let’s Go Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Let’s Go Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Dalia Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Dalia Portable LED Speaker Lantern

Frio LED Ice Bucket with Speaker In addition to the color-changing LED light, Frio is equipped with two 15W speakers and two 6W tweeters, as well as ice bucket to keep your beverages cold! Connect your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to control the music while the cooler chills two bottles of wine or eight beers or seltzers. Light + music + cold drinks = the perfect party accessory, whether it’s for a group or a solo living room dance party!

Frio LED Ice Bucket with Speaker

Ralph Height-Adjustable Smart Side Table Available in three finishes – Walnut, Oak or White – Ralph features a twin Bluetooth-connected speaker incorporated into the base with a storage drawer below and a 5W wireless charging plate built into the table top. Play music, listen to your favorite TV show or take a phone call through the speaker, all while charging your phone without the need for cables.

Ralph Height-Adjustable Smart Side Table

Zain Height-Adjustable Smart Side Table Lastly, Zain, which is available in Walnut, Oak, White or Black, is a stylish yet smart, side table featuring upholstered sides and solid wood legs. The legs are interchangeable with 6″ or 10″ included options for your preferred height. Zain will hold your drink while offering rich, immersive 360-degree sound and a spot to charge your devices on the wireless charging pad on the tabletop or via USB charging port on the side.

Zain Height-Adjustable Smart Side Table

Read more:

7 Tricks To Turn a Tiny Bedroom Into a Spacious, Relaxing (and Romantic) Retreat

We’d all love a spacious boudoir fit for lounging in all day long, but let’s get real: This is just a pipe dream for many homeowners. Instead, we’re banging our shins as we struggle to straighten the sheets.

But you don’t need to feel constricted by the actual physical size of a bedroom. In fact, there are plenty of ways to create the illusion of more space—all by focusing on the right colors, lighting, and accessories.

For starters, make sure you’ve decluttered, since too much stuff is probably the No. 1 culprit when it comes to cramped sleeping quarters.

“All the square footage in the world won’t make a difference if your space is crowded with stuff, so keep your room picked up,” notes Marty Basher, a home design and organization expert with Modular Closets.

Multiple-use furniture and bare, spare windows are two more smart ways to create the feeling of a larger bedroom, say design pros. For more help, check out these seven ways to create an airy, open (and even romantic) oasis where you sleep.

1. Float the bedside tables

You have to edit your furniture ruthlessly in a cramped bedroom, so start by removing the bedside tables (they’re usually a big source of clutter anyway). If you can’t live without a special spot for tissues, lip balm, and your books, consider small floating shelves on the wall that act as bedside tables.

“There are also headboards on the market that come with drawers on either end, which can be used as bedside pieces, too,” notes Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.

Photo by Luca Andrisani Architect

2. Fake a headboard

A bulky headboard or bed frame takes up precious real estate. The fix: Mimic a real headboard with a row of pillows, a design painted on the wall, or stitched fabric.

Photo by Cherie Marcel

3. Use light paint and linens

The best paint colors for a smallish bedroom are light neutrals and whites, as these paler shades tend to make spaces look bigger, shares Basher.

The same goes for your bedspread and sheets.

“The lighter and more monochromatic the linens, the better for enlarging a space,” says Jaime Novak, an organizing pro and author of “Keep This Toss That.”

Photo by Hendricks Churchill

4. Add storage and clean lines

Small furniture with clean lines is a critical consideration when outfitting a tiny bedroom. (Banish anything overstuffed!) Chairs and other pieces made from Lucite are also worth a look as they take up less visual space and give the feeling of a more open room, notes Basher.

“Stay low to the ground with your furniture—and don’t pick a tall chair, as it’ll make the space feel smaller,” says Novak.

And try to go the extra step and consider pieces that have integrated storage. (Think ottomans and benches that open up to hold sweaters, extra pillows, and blankets.)

Photo by Prepac Furniture

5. Expose the windows

Let there be light!

“Leaving windows uncovered lets more natural light in and creates an airy, spacious feeling,” points out Basher.

Can’t ditch your drapes? Try sheer panels—you’ll still have some coverage around your windows while allowing some brightness in.

Photo by Woodmeister Master Builders

6. Mount sconces

Floor lamps take up floor space, and table lamps may sport wide shades that also fill a small room. The pros recommend that you skew higher with lighting by affixing sconces to the wall.

“The ones with swinging arms are perfect because they can be adjusted for reading, though pendants lights work well, too,” explains Basher.

Photo by MMO Designs

7. Play with art and mirrors

A wall gallery may seem like a pretty addition to your bedroom, but all those frames break up the space and tend to make it look cramped, says Novak.

“Opt for a large piece of art over the bed,” she suggests. And look to mirrors, which have long been used by decorators to aid a room with space woes.

“Mirrors let your wall hangings, furniture, and accessories reflect back into the room, and any natural light you get is also played off this glass, making the room brighter and lighter—and somehow bigger,” says Basher.

Photo by Rethink Design Studio


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Chip and Joanna Gaines Reveal a New Design That Undermines Everything You’ve Been Told

Chip and Joanna Gaines are known for their signature modern farmhouse style, but lately, they’re exploring different looks in their new show “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.”

In the Season 1 episode “Modern Take on Old-World Charm,” Chip and Joanna meet Nicole, a young woman who’s just returned to Waco, TX, after years of missionary work. She’s ready to settle down—but after all her experience traveling, she wants her American abode to have a more worldly design.

She’s hoping to give her midcentury farmhouse a European cottage makeover—but this may prove to be a bigger challenge than she realizes. While Chip and Jo have a $100,000 budget to play with, they’ll need to use every dollar wisely if they’re going to bring some European charm to every room.

Read on to see how Chip and Joanna completely change this home’s style, and find out which old-world looks are coming back—which might inspire a few changes around your own abode, too.

Use copper gutters for an elevated exterior look

Before: This house looked great from the outside, but it needed some updates. (Discovery+)

When Chip and Joanna first see Nicole’s new home, they know the exterior needs some freshening up. The exposed brick is a little too midcentury for Nicole’s taste, so Joanna decides to paint the brick a creamy white, add some wood-tone shutters, and refresh the blue door.

Still, there’s something missing from this old-world look. Joanna decides to add copper gutters to give the house an extra touch of color.

“When I think about this cream exterior, with these antique shutters, a Frenchy blue door, copper gutters is, like, perfect,” Joanna says.

After: These new colors give the home a fresh look. Discovery+

While Chip says that typical vinyl gutters would be less expensive and look great, Joanna knows that this copper upgrade will make a big difference for this home. When the work is done, the house looks perfect. The gutters add a bit more color to the exterior, and give the house a classic, elegant look.

These copper gutters are a big upgrade. They also add extra color to the house. Discovery+

Update the flooring with terra cotta

Before: This flooring didn’t make a good first impression. Discovery+

While the exterior of Nicole’s home needs only a few upgrades, the dated interior needs lots of work.

Chip and Joanna know right away that the old carpet and tile floors will have to go, which is perfect because Nicole says she has her heart set on terra-cotta floors.

While terra cotta may not be as popular as hardwood, it’s a great flooring choice because of its warm color and unique texture. Plus, while these floors would be new, she knows that terra cotta will make the space feel aged, helping to accomplish that old-world vibe.

“Great material,” Chip says. “Definitely it’s going to give her a European feel.”

living room
The terra-cotta floor makes this living room feel warmer. Discovery+

Chip lays the terra-cotta bricks in a basket-weave pattern, giving the home an extra special, custom look. Then, to finish it, they put down lots of cozy rug accents to bring the design together.

Arches are back—and defy everything we’ve been told to do

This archway brings some old-world charm to the room. Discovery+

Arches are sometimes seen as a dated style that makes a room feel closed off. Time and again, we’ve been told to break down walls to make a space feel open. But for this renovation, Joanna eats those words by saying she wants to put an archway in.

“Chip would say I’m, like, the worst in that when there’s walls I want to take ’em out. When there’s not walls I want to put ’em in,” Joanna jokes as she shows Nicole her design ideas. “It’s confusing, I get that. But for this space, your style, it needed more character.”

While adding a wall may seem like a strange idea, Joanna explains that adding this archway will bring some character to the long living and dining space, giving them definition so the area doesn’t look like one long box.

This feature ends up being an “overarching” success as it gives the house that cottage feel Nicole loves.

Use a rounded kitchen island for a more classic look

Before: These curved upper cabinets provide some inspiration for Joanna. Discovery+

With plain white cabinets and dated tile floors, Chip and Joanna are wholly unimpressed with Nicole’s kitchen. However, they’re interested in the curved design of the upper cabinets. In fact, they love the detail so much they decide to re-create that feel in the new design.

“I loved the curved cabinets that you had, so the island will be a nod back to that,” Joanna explains.

This curved island has the European look Nicole wants, and the rounded edges work well with the archway in the dining room. Together, these curves give the house a soft, romantic charm.

This rounded kitchen island looks amazing! Discovery+

Use wallpaper on the ceiling to bring the eye up

This wallpaper gives the bedroom a fun splash of color. Discovery+

When it comes to the bedroom, Joanna wants to give Nicole a cozy space filled with lots of cottage-inspired charm. She uses soft textures and light colors in this space. Then, to add some style, she chooses a floral wallpaper for the ceiling.

“It just feels like there’s a lot of visual interest kind of everywhere you look, but it is still subtle and simple,” Joanna says of the wallpaper accent.

The wallpaper design is a great choice, and Joanna does well deciding to put it on the ceiling, rather than the walls. The pattern brings the eye up and gives the room a unique look.

This wallpaper is fun and floral, while also looking elegant. Discovery+


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Designer toilet brushes and bins the new must-haves for a stylish bathroom

While Australia’s homewares scene has continued to dramatically improve over the years, when it comes to bathrooms it can still be a little tricky to find stylish wares to put the icing on the cake. Oliver Thom, the exclusive bathroom accessory store launched in 2019, has well and truly filled that gap, which is probably why it’s been such a big success.

Oliver Thom's Woollahra bathroom emporium
Oliver Thom’s Sydney bathroom emporium

“Over the years of working in bathroom design, I noticed a real lack of high-end, well-produced bathroom accessories that were easily accessible in Australia. We would fit out really beautiful luxe bathrooms and then struggle to style them and give them the finishing touches they deserved,” explains co-founder Kaety Thompson. She spent many years as a design consultant and buyer at high-end bathroom ware store Candana, before starting Oliver Thom with its owner Marc Reed.

Oliver Thom co-founders Marc Reed and Kaety Thompson

After combining Marc’s business savvy with Kaety’s interior design prowess, the pair decided on a business name that is both personal and clever. “Oliver is Marc’s middle name, and Thom is the beginning of my surname Thompson. Simple but effective, we thought Oliver Thom sounded like a stylish, design enthusiast and imagined a whole persona to fit the store,” says Kaety of the business that started as an online store in 2019, before becoming a physical one in Sydney’s Woollahra a year later.

The bricks-and-mortar store was developed in response to feedback from clients who really wanted to see the products in real life before specifying them. Opening the store proved to be the right move as it instantly improved brand exposure and boosted sales. “It’s probably a 60/40 percent split with in-store sales being the more profitable part of the business,” says Kaety.

Oliver Thom store

The store is located close to Candana which works well – customers who have just finished a renovation or new bathroom can pop down to the store and get everything they need style it. “Our shop corner on busy Edgecliff Road has been extremely beneficial in terms of exposure, so even if customers aren’t able to find parking (which is often the case in Sydney!) they can jump online and view the full range.”

As for which items are the most requested, predictably they are the ones that are usually the ugliest – toilet brushes and bins! “They are absolutely necessary in the bathroom, but they often end up being the least thought about, which doesn’t make sense if you’re designing a beautiful bathroom and then finish it off with ugly bins and toilet brushes,” says Kaety.

The Nova pedal bin by Zone Denmark is another popular style
The Nova pedal bin by Zone Denmark is another popular style

She admits that finding stylish alternatives for those items hasn’t always been easy. Oliver Thom’s curation of bins are not only pleasing to look at but they won’t rust or look aged in a few years’ time.

Lotus toilet brush
The Mette Dimmer toilet range includes a rather attractive brush

Also popular is the Frama Apothecary range of soaps and lotions that come out of Copenhagen. “We’re one of only a handful of Australian retailers of this product, and they are becoming a design icon,” says Kaety.

The cult Frama range
The cult Frama range is a big hit for the store

Unsurprisingly, their own range of across-the-bath caddies are another top seller. Designed in collaboration with the San Francisco artist Tina Frey, they are hand-cast and finished in black or white resin. They’re certainly the most stylish bath caddies we’ve seen. In addition, the Baina Josephine hand towels sell out every time they are restocked. “The simple check design and feel of organic cotton will always ensure they are a coveted item,” says Kaety.

Bath caddy
The resin bath trays are designed in-house in conjunction with the US artist Tina Frey

And as with many furniture and homewares retailers, Oliver Thom has seen a boom in sales since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. “Just like I think the rest of the building and design industry, we were lucky that our customers were able to spend money that they would normally reserve for travel and hospitality on their homes, and making them beautiful.”

Kaety’s favourite three products under $100

Tradition beechwood bath brush by Andrée Jardin’s, $60: “Our Andrée Jardin brushes are made in France by third-generation artisans. The entire range of brushes is under $100, but if I had to choose a favourite it would be the Tradition bath brush in Beechwood,” says Kaety.

The Raconteur Hamilton Island candle, $75: “It reminds me of holidaying on Whitehaven and the aromas of Australia’s natural beauty,” says Kaety.

Hamilton Island candle

Baina Josephine hand towel, $45: “These hand towels sell out every time we re-stock them, but the simple check design and feel of organic cotton will always ensure they are a coveted item,” says Kaety.

The Le Bain collection.
The Le Bain collection.

Photography: Jacqui Turk

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Creating Flowering Fences – Flowers That Grow Over Fences

Living fences are a fabulous way of bordering your property. Not only are they lively, but if you choose blooming shrubs, they brighten the garden with their flowers. You might also add some “wow” factor by growing flowering plants on an existing fence. The effect will add vivid color and texture, especially on old, ugly fences. Flowering fences work in a variety of sites, provided they are suitable for your zone, lighting, and soil type.

Things to Consider About Flowering Fences

Almost everyone loves flowers. If you have an old, unkempt fence, cover it in blooms. Flowers to cover fences may be vines or shrubs, and they are the perfect cover-up for a divider that is past its prime. Flowers that climb fences are another option to beautify an eyesore. Using flowers along fences can pretty up the boundary. They will also attract bees and other pollinators to help your veggies and other flowers produce.  You may want a plant that will produce a boundary, flowers that grow over fences, or a blooming vine or shrub as a cover up.

Before you select your plants, remember you will need to consider their mature height so you can get the correct number of the bloomers. Check the plant’s zone and lighting requirements. Additionally, do a soil test so you can amend the soil as needed to provide the perfect place for the roots. You may have to plant support for your plants as well, which is easier to set up prior to planting. If you want drip irrigation, set up the bare bones so it will be easy to direct water to each plant’s roots. […]

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