It’s been many years since I lived in the suburbs and over 10 since I lived in the house I grew up in. Enamored by the Edenridge neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, my parents bought the house in the 90s when absolutely nothing in it had been updated since the 70s. After spending two years living in a construction site, as the kitchen had to be completely gutted and the electric green shag carpets burned, we ended up with a masterpiece of a house custom made for us. Naturally, it was hard to leave when we did. So whenever I come home to visit, I can’t help but drive by the house where I grew up in and reminisce about a simpler time.
Winter decorating is like wrapping your whole home in a cozy sweater, it looks chic, feels satisfying and somehow makes you less grumpy about scraping icy windshields in the morning. If you think winterizing your home is all about putting up storm windows and wrapping pipes, read the following tips to inspire a winter wonderland of your own.
Tis Not the Season
Winter decorating isn’t the same as decorating for the holidays. It’s an opportunity to spruce up your home and make the indoor environment cheery even when things look dismal outside. We spend more time indoors during the winter, so why not make the indoors as comfortable as possible? You don’t have to turn your home into a mountain lodge to give it a wintry look (though you certainly could). Use this quick list of dos and don’ts, with ideas from HGTV, to help you add chic, seasonal flair to any room:
Add Texture: You wear heavier fabrics in the winter and so should your home. Look for pillows, throws and other accessories in traditional winter fabrics like wool, leather, heavy cottons and nubby knits. Think of cable knits, soft suedes and herringbone tweeds. Fabrics with a sheen or touch of sparkle are also considered textural.
Add Color: Snowy white isn’t the only color that evokes thoughts of winter. All “cool” colors can be used for winter decorating. Icy blue, pine green, touches of gold and silver, and even cool-toned shades of purple fit the bill. Choose accents that will complement your existing color scheme.
Stick with your Style: Don’t try to change the entire direction of your décor. If your home is minimalist, choose no-fuss items like a bright white throw rug, a silver metallic lamp and a glass bowl full of white marbles as winter accents. The idea is to complement your décor with seasonal touches, not reinvent the room.
Look to nature for inspiration: But, avoid literal translation. Choose decorative accessories that remind you of icicles, snowflakes and snow-covered mountains, but leave the plastic icicles, snowflake-shaped pillows and photos of snow-capped mountains in the store.
Changing window treatments is one of the easiest and most effective ways to refresh winter décor. If you currently have light and breezy window coverings, changing them is also a smart way to reduce energy costs and keep your home warmer. Swapping less weather efficient treatments for cellular shades adds texture to your décor and helps keep out the cold. Better Homes and Gardens recommends using twin blankets as temporary winter curtains instead of more expensive window treatments. A wool blanket draped over honeycomb shades would add both practical insulation and rustic appeal to a family room or bedroom, especially a plaid or Pendleton-style blanket.
Safety is Sexy
Most of the winterizing we do, whether it’s aesthetic or functional, is meant to keep winter’s chill away. However, the CDC warns that the more we seal up our homes, the more carbon monoxide, radon and other toxins we lock in. According to WebMD asthma and allergies can flare in the winter due to mold that occurs from poor ventilation. As part of your winter decorating tradition, perform a radon test in your home and check the batteries in your CO detectors. Have your gas appliances maintained regularly and make sure vents work properly. No amount of beautiful accessorizing can substitute for a healthy winter home.
What is it that makes a person boho chic? It’s the clothing, the attitude and the funky aura that offers that unique bohemian charm. Whether your looking for a new apartment or want to remodel your current one, explore your inner boho child and get earthy.
How to Find Your Ideal Space
If looking for a non-traditional apartment layout, you may have to skip the typical local broker that will more than likely show you cookie-cutter layouts. Look to online advertisements on Craigslist, visit specialty apartment websites like www.ForRent.com. ask friends and family to keep an eye out for potential rentals and snap a picture of every “For Rent” sign you see to get the number.
Before you look at a property, search online for renter reviews. Try sites dedicated to apartment feedback such as DoNotRent.com or plug the address into a search engine to see what pops up.
Go online to learn more about the community you will call home, too. City guides are a starting point to find basic mass transit options or mobile service providers. Look up crime information at Neighborhoodscout.com too, so you know what to expect.
Fitting in Your Old Stuff
Now that you’ve signed the lease, it is time to fill up your space, because a true bohemian has treasures. You want to create the illusion that you spend your off hours trotting around the globe.
Evaluate what you already own first and distress any furniture that looks too good. For example, maybe mom pawned off her perfectly good dresser and sofa on you as an excuse to buy new ones. The paint should be peeling and each piece must have a proper amount of wear and tear. HGTV offers a practical guide on distressing furniture.
Raid your parent’s and grandparent’s attics. Free stuff is always a plus. Take pictures of the room before you leave to catalog what you don’t use just in case you need something later.
Learn to Upcycle
Upcycling means you take one thing and make it something different. This is how you make use of old lampshades, wine bottles, pallets and old tires. Design site S.A.S. Interiors calls this “shopping your home.” It is a zero budget approach to filling up your bohemian space. Pinterest offers inspirational ways to put old stuff to good use. Just enter upcycle or repurpose into the search box.
Shop Second Hand
Any person worthy of the label boho chic lives for second-hand finds. Keep your eye out for some shabby essentials:
Textiles, such as rugs, pillows, blankets and curtains can translate into wall hangings, floor coverings and room accessories. Anything Moroccan is a bonus find.
Velvet furniture. You need at least one piece of low-pile velvet in your living room.
Crates are multi-functional tools for any room.
Lanterns, especially ones with colored glass to create ambiance.
Over-sized mirrors — the shabbier the better.
Anything wrought iron. From beds to tables, wrought iron is simple yet ornate, and the obvious choice for the boho enthusiast.
Use thethriftshopper.com to locate secondhand stores and consignment shops in your area. You will be amazed at home many vintage shops there are just around the corner.
Summer is the prime time for Holiday and Fall Previews. It’s ironic how somehow they all seem to land on the hottest days of the year leaving us bloggers and editors going through winter coats and sweaters in sundresses and sandals. At the Fall/Holiday 2013 Preview of American Rag and barIII that was certainly the case. While American Rag has a fun California appeal that had me picking out outfits for the next Coachella festival, barIII is a bit more Upper East Side and featured some amazing statement necklaces set to hit stores in the next few months. I’m particularly excited about American Rag’s new premium denim line making its debut this fall. The fit is absolutely amazing and at around $60 a pair, also incredibly affordable. BarIII also has its share of affordable pieces. All of the jewelry is priced well under $100. Both lines are exclusive to Macy’s.
No, this isn’t my new apartment, but I really wish it was! It’s barIII’s home collection for fall.
Love the detail in this Holiday sweater by American Rag.
Getting custom nail art by Miss Pop Nails was by far the highlight of my day!
Most Manhattan dwellers aren’t exactly known to live in large spaces, but a girl can dream. For those of you who do have spare rooms to decorate, your stately dream house isn’t complete without interior-designer objects of your desire and affection. From iconic furniture pieces in the lounging room to a beautiful, dramatic bathroom fixture, the following products will extravagantly enhance your interior space:
Eames Lounge Chair — Sitting Room
Engulf yourself in timeless, modern style while sitting in the classic Eames lounge chair and ottoman. The iconic Herman Miller leather furniture pieces are crafted with molded plywood and are luxuriously comfortable for reading “Atlas Shrugged” or taking a disco nap after a long day of work.
Hästens Vividus — Bedroom
Retreat to the Hästens Vividus hand-crafted masterpiece — a world-class bed designed for dreams of faraway places and optimal rest. Among floor-to-ceiling drapery and custom window treatments, Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring, and stately crystal lighting, the Hästens Vividus complements the epicurean space with its grandeur and comfort excellence.
The Brass Bateau — Bathroom
Adorn your master bathroom with the indulgent Catchpole & Rye brass bathtub that makes anyone feel like grand royalty. The 100 percent brass bathtub stands as more of a statuesque art piece with its breathtaking, hand-beaten finish and flawlessly polished look. Propped up against the tub, pamper yourself with a natural sea sponge, organic sugar scrub and REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil.
CAVICCHI Billiard Tables — Game Room
Entertain fabulous guests by drinking Scotch on the rocks and catching up on current events during a game of pool. For the pool aficionado, customize your billiard by hand-selecting details such as dimensions, pocket shapes and wooden features. Following a gourmet dinner, invite guests to play a round of pool. Not only can you impress your guests with your top-notch gaming skills but with your polished aesthetic taste as well.
Italian Etagère — Kitchen
Accent your kitchen space by installing a vintage Italian étagère for eye-catching vertical dimension. To mimic affluent designer Darryl Carter’s townhouse in D.C., install oyster-colored cabinetry and granite countertops as well as a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator, describes ElleDecor.com. The antique étagère serves as your eatery focal point and can also aesthetically store dishware.
Holloways of Ludlow Lamp — Office
Illuminate the office study or your home library with the sensuous glow of a Bernard-Albin GRAS-designed industrial lamp. HGTV host, designer and stylist, Emily Henderson, adores the lighting feature for its cast-iron pedestal and oak table base. Turn the lamp onto your desk as you study maps for your next overseas adventure or while managing your finances.
Serene Collection — Poolside
Escape poolside on a Serene collection furniture piece by Henry Hall Designs — a high-end company that specializes in innovative and timeless outdoor products for relaxation and socializing. By accessorizing your pool and landscape with a Henry Hall day bed or lounge chairs with a coffee table, you’ll transform your backyard into a first-class oasis for tranquility and afternoon napping in the sunshine.
Superodinate Antler Pendant — Dining Room
Create a rustic and eclectic ambience in your dining room by making a statement with an antler chandelier installation. The Jason Miller-designed light fixture is described as nature made better and a collision between high-end contemporary design and hunting-lodge decor. Even more exciting, the ceramic antlers cast shadows onto the walls. Dim the lights and cozy up underneath antler lighting with a Moscow Mule in a copper mug and Interior Design Magazine.