Corral Clutter and Create Beautiful Vignettes Around the Home Using Serving Trays

If you’re looking for an affordable way to add high style to your home, using serving trays is a great idea. On countertops, dressers, and even on the bed, serving trays add a designer-inspired look to any surface in the home. Here’s some inspiration for styling trays.

  1. Add a serving tray to your coffee table to corral remote controls, display magazines, and hold decorative objects. You can even add scented candles to create an enjoyable ambiance.
  2. Use serving trays in the bathroom to organize your everyday essential products. Add one to the back of the toilet if you’re lacking in cabinet space, or use one under the sink to hold lotion and soap bottles upright.
  3. Place a serving tray next to the front door to create a drop-off place for your keys, cell phone, and other items that would normally amount to clutter.
  4. Center a kitchen island by adding a decorative tray for displaying flower vases and plants. You may also want to add your favorite cookbooks to keep them within reach.
  5. While serving trays are originally used for serving food and beverages, they’re just as great for serving breakfast in bed—or even a midnight snack. If you enjoy relaxing with a good book and glass of wine at night, use a serving tray to avoid spills.

7 Ways to Decorate With Trays [Home Goods]
10 Creative Ways to Decorate with a Serving Tray [Kirklands]
See Why Trays Are the Ultimate Decorator’s Trick [One Kings Lane]

Learn How to Manage Clutter — Not Hide It!

If you find yourself tucking away all of that extra clutter every time you clean your home, you may wonder how you can get rid of it for good. Instead of managing the clutter in your home, these smart, space-saving tips will show you how to control your clutter by getting rid of it completely.

  • Take an assessment of your clutter. Where do you notice clutter the most in your home? Is it in the junk drawers in your kitchen, the entryway area or your bedroom closet? Make note of those places where clutter always seems to accumulate so that you can focus the majority of your energy there.
  • Invest in storage systems. If the current storage systems in those areas just aren't working, it's time to reevaluate them. If clothes are always tumbling off of the shelves in your bedroom closet, add some affordable plastic drawers from your local home goods store; if you're always tripping over shoes in the doorway, add a stylish shoe rack.
  • Get rid of clutter-prone areas. Those junk drawers that are always overflowing? Get rid of them! If you don't have that go-to spot for disposing of those unused items, you'll be forced to really think about where they go — or if you need them at all.
  • Make it a part of your routine. If you don't usually think about where to put certain items, you might want to start. A big part of keeping a clean home is developing clean habits, so before you toss those shoes or that extra junk mail aside, take pause and deal with it right on the spot.

Follow These Tutorials to a Cool and Kitschy Macrame Plant Hanger

Macramé may have originally gained popularity back in the 1970s, but the kitschy weaving craft is coming back in a big way. If you love plants and you’re always looking for fun new ways to display them, you may even want to try making a macramé plant hanger of your own. Here are a few tutorials to help you get started!

Colorful Polyester Rope Hanger []
With this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a macramé hanger using only a few colors of polyester rope, a carabiner, and a screw hook. The actual plant hanger itself is fairly simple, but wrapping the multicolored string around the top adds a fun pop of color.

Sturdy Macramé Plant Hanger []
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit sturdier to hang a particularly heavy plant, this is a great tutorial. It uses clothesline instead of the usual yarn or polyester rope, as well as 18-gauge steel wire and a chain ring for added reinforcement.

Mini String Planters []
For something quicker and easier, this cute tutorial from the Free People blog uses standard yarn that you might already have stashed away at home. This is a fun tutorial to do while you relax in front of the TV, and the finished product is a great way to hang small air plants or succulents in miniature pots.

Spruce Up Your Windows With These Creative, Affordable Window Treatment Ideas

If you’re looking for an alternative to the usual heavy drapes or vertical blinds for your apartment at Jefferson Marketplace, these unique and affordable ideas just may be the answer.

Stick-On Window Coverings
If you’re looking for a truly creative window treatment alterative that still blocks out glaring sunlight, try frosted window stickers. This fun and modern DIY project shows you how to create your own choice of pattern, and best of all, it comes right off when it’s time to move out.

Coffee Sack Curtains
If your style is more rustic and antique-inspired, create your own affordable curtains using recycled coffee sacks. Because the sacks are supposed to have a bit of a rough edge, there’s absolutely no sewing required for this simple project.

Flower Chain Curtains
For fans of all things bohemian, this simple DIY project is the perfect choice. Simply string faux flowers to clear fishing thread, and then tie a row of 10 or so across a slender curtain rod. This one is ideal for anyone looking to create a bit of privacy without blocking out too much sunlight.

How to Style and Organize a Bookcase

Sure, bookcases are meant to hold your book collection, but that doesn’t mean that yours should look like a jumbled mess. Turn your overstuffed bookcase into a focal point in your home with these simple, designer-worthy decorating tips.

  1. Organize all of your books in an attractive way. Whether you organize them by color to create a rainbow effect or by height for a unique pattern, you should consider book placement before anything else—it is a bookshelf, after all!
  2. Add knickknacks. While knickknacks may make you think of a cluttered grandmother’s house, modern versions will add an artistic flair to your shelves. Hunt for vintage brass or ceramic objects at local thrift stores, pick up small sculptures on your travels, or simply place green plants throughout.
  3. Fill it with frames. For a personal touch, frame photos of your friends or family and place them upright on the shelves. Or, if you want to create a more unique effect, attach the frame with a small nail to the front of the bookshelf where a corner meets.
  4. Step back and admire your work. To ensure that your bookshelf looks as good from afar as it does up close, frequently back up and reconsider the placement of each item.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]
How-to Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]

Beautify Your Bathroom With These Easy Tips

Did you know that by adding a few homey touches, you can make your bathroom feel much more luxurious? Here are a few ways to transform your rental bath into a spa-quality retreat.

  • Add fluffy towels. Investing in a new set of thick, plush bath towels is one of the best things that you can do for your bathroom. If you don’t have a set color scheme, classic hotel white always looks great.
  • Incorporate baskets. Add attractive wicker baskets or wooden crates to clear away clutter and add a soft, rustic effect.
  • Add fresh flowers. Don’t overlook the bathroom when it comes to greenery. Add a vase of fresh flowers or a low-light plant to help clean the air.
  • Add floating shelves. If you still need additional storage, add small floating shelves along a bare wall.
  • Light candles. Finally, light some great smelling candles along the bathtub or toilet and settle in for a relaxing bubble bath.

10 Ways to Give Your Bathroom a Quick Facelift [Oprah]
50 Cheap and Chic Ways to Perk Up Your Bathroom [Style at Home]
Freshen Your Bathroom with Low-Cost Updates [Better Homes & Gardens]

Transform Your Ordinary Bookcase Into a Showcase With These Simple Tips

If you frequently find yourself admiring stylish bookcase vignettes on interior design websites, you’re not alone. While these beautiful shelves look effortless online, it can be much more difficult to create one in person. Here are a few simple steps for creating a designer-worthy bookcase — without giving yourself a headache!

  1. Alternate books. Instead of lining your books up library-style, alternate their direction by also adding stacks of horizontal-facing books. You can even place a small paperweight or candle on top of those stacks to add more visual interest.
  2. Organize books by color. If your bookshelf is filled to the brim with reading materials, make it look more organized by arranging the titles by color to create a rainbow effect.
  3. Unify mismatched knick-knacks. If your collection of knick-knacks looks a bit shabby, unify the set by painting them all one color. Try a stark white, a bold primary hue, or a fun pop of neon.
  4. Decorate the insides of the shelves. Give your bookshelf itself a makeover by adding a bright coat of paint or a layer of wallpaper to the backs of each shelf.
  5. Add artwork. Instead of just using books and knick-knacks, turn your shelves into an art gallery. Prop up a frame or even hang a picture from the front of the shelves where their corners meet.

Bookshelf Styling Tips: The Basics and Beyond [HGTV]
Styling a Bookshelf: 10 Homes That Get It Right [Design Sponge]
10 Tricks for Styling Your Bookshelves [Style Me Pretty: Living]

How to Care for Fresh-Cut Flowers

You just received a colorful bouquet from a sweet admirer, and you want to make the beautiful flowers last for as long as you can. There are a few tips for caring for fresh-cut flowers that will help you to keep that bouquet looking fresh for as long as possible, and they’re actually surprisingly simple.

  1. Place them in water quickly. This one may seem like a no brainer, but every second counts when it comes to preserving the life of your fresh-cut flowers. Be sure to place the flowers in a vase as soon as possible.
  2. Cut flowers under water. It is fairly common knowledge that cutting the lower portion of the flower’s stem will help it to absorb water, but many experts agree that cutting the stem while it is submerged will help it even more by ensuring that no air enters.
  3. Always use a preservative. If your fresh flowers come with a small sachet of powder preservatives, be sure to add the powder to the water before placing the flowers in the vase. Alkaline-heavy water can reduce the lifespan of flowers, but preservatives help neutralize the water.
  4. Store flowers in a cool spot. Although you likely want to keep your flowers on display when you are at home, place them in the refrigerator when you leave the house in order to lengthen their lifespan.

Cut-Flower Care—How to Make Your Fresh-Cut Flowers Last [Brooklyn Botanic Garden]
Keeping cut flowers and flowering plants [University of Minnesota]

Pin It on Pinterest