Create an At-Home Art Gallery With These Simple (and Affordable!) Framing Tips

You want to fill your home's walls with art, but anyone who has ever tried to get something framed knows just how pricey it can be. Luckily, there are a number of great alternatives to professional framing that will still help you to show off your art in an attractive way. Here are just a few smart tips for framing art on the cheap.

  • Use an online framing service. Nowadays you can do just about anything online, including framing your art. Browse the web for online framing services like Framebridge and in just a few business days, you'll receive a beautifully framed art print in the mail — often for less than $50!
  • Stock up on frames. If you prefer to frame your art on your own, stock up on affordable frames at craft stores or thrift shops. You'll often find secondhand, mass-produced frames backed with craft paper and foam, but don't worry; those can be easily removed.
  • Remove the backing. If you do happen to find a great deal on a secondhand frame with built-in backing, remove the layer of craft paper by pulling out the staples or simply cutting it out. Next, remove the inner layer of foam or cardboard by again removing any nails or staples.
  • Add a mat. Whether you disassembled your own secondhand frame or bought one new, at this point you'll want to add a mat to create a professional look. You can purchase a mat at any craft store, so long as you carefully measure both the size of your frame (for the mat's outer edge) and the size of the print (for the mat's inside edge).
  • Clean the glass. Finally, clean the glass thoroughly and let it dry before placing it back in the frame. If you removed the backing, add your own backing with more craft paper and either glue or staples.

Frugal Living: How To Frame Your Art on the Cheap [Apartment Therapy]

Clear the Air With These Air-Purifying Houseplants

You might think that, in order to breathe truly clean air inside, you'll have to invest in an expensive air purification system, but that's not so. There are many houseplants that eradicate airborne toxins, and you can pick them up at any major home improvement store. Here are just four of them.

  1. English ivy. According to the scientists at NASA, there's no plant better at purifying the air than English ivy. It helps soak up any formaldehyde that could be floating around in your air, and you definitely don't want to be inhaling the stuff. Plus, it's almost impossible to kill them.
  2. Peace lily. The peace lily may be beautiful, but beauty can be deceiving. Don't fall for its game; this is actually a powerful plant. Harmful chemicals like xylene, ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene will all decrease in your air when a peace lily blooms nearby.
  3. Red-Edged Dracaena. Named for the strips of bright red that run along the edges of its thin, long leaves, the Red-edged Dracaena is more than just a pretty plant. It also gets rid of xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde when you feed it enough sunlight.
  4. Golden pothos. If you really want to make a statement with your new houseplant, consider buying a hanging pot for the golden pothos. When positioned properly, its leaves will snake their way down to the floor in beautiful vines.

7 Plants That Purify Indoor Air [Rodale's Organic Life]
This Graphic Shows the Best Air-Cleaning Plants, According to NASA [Lifehacker]
10 Best Houseplants To De-Stress Your Home And Purify The Air [HuffPost Home]

Three Cool Ways to Display Houseplants

Looking for a fun way to display your houseplants? Think outside the pot and check out some cool and creative ideas from your favorite home goods stores. From wall planters to test tube-style vases, these are just a few great new ways to show off your green thumb.

Glass Wall Vases []
Turn your plants into something inspired by a science laboratory with these modern glass wall vases. CB2 offers versions in test tube and teardrop shapes, and they all mount right on to your wall for easy hanging. Pop in a flower, a piece of bamboo or a leaf from outside to create a truly unique display.

Pyramid Wall Planter []
West Elm’s pyramid-shaped wall planters can be used alone or hung in a group to create a display in a completely custom size. Just place the plants of your choice inside the pocket and the galvanized frame will hold them all together.

Succulent Living Wall Planter []
Turn your favorite succulents into living art with this photo frame-inspired planter. The exterior is lined with rustic wood in a square shape, while the interior contains water-preserving moss and light mesh that holds the plants inside, even when you hang it on the wall.

How to Take Your Couch From Furniture to Focal Point

Your couch is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your home. It provides a space to curl up and watch a movie, to catch up with a longtime friend, and even to share a meal during those weekend take-out nights. If you want to make your sofa more of a focal point, these smart tips will show you how.

  1. Update your throw pillows. The easiest way to take your sofa from basic to stylish is by adding fun, vibrant throw pillows. Choose a few in complimentary colors, mix and match patterns or even go with a geometric, black and white scheme for a hip, retro, look.
  2. Add a blanket. Take a tip from the pros and casually drape a throw across the ottoman or folded on the back of the sofa. Choose something that pairs well with the rest of the room’s color scheme, or go with a classic knit throw for a cozy feel.
  3. Switch up your rug. Choose a vibrant area rug that extends a few inches wider than your sofa, and make sure that it’s large enough to tuck under the sofa’s front legs.
  4. Add a gallery wall. Finally, create a designer-worthy gallery wall directly behind your sofa by framing your favorite family photos, wallpaper swatches, and art prints.

Before & After: How to Style Your Sofa [Elle Décor]
Style a Sofa 5 Different Ways [HGTV]
How To: Style A Sofa [Glitter Guide]

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.

Pro Tips for Keeping Your Bedroom Neat and Organized

​Even if you’re not a particularly neat person by nature, it’s important to keep your bedroom organized in order to promote a better night’s sleep and help you to get ready faster in the mornings. Here are a few smart tips from the pros that will show you how to make your bedroom look neat and tidy by bedtime tonight.

  1. Clear out anything that isn’t meant to be there. Many people fall into a habit of dragging unused belongings into the bedroom (or the bedroom closet), and putting them in their rightful places will leave you with a blank slate.
  2. Take a peek into your closet and consider the storage options. Add additional shelving, drawers or storage bins to make your closet work better for you—and your wardrobe.
  3. Invest in a hamper. If you don’t already have a designated space for your dirty laundry that you can easily reach for, get one. In fact, get two hampers so that you can separate your lights and darks as soon as you take off your dirty clothes.
  4. Minimize furniture. Most people have far too much furniture in their bedrooms, so get rid of anything that you don’t actually need. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space you have!
  5. Make the bed. This is one of the quickest and simplest things that you can do to create the illusion of an organized bedroom.

7 Tips to Keep Your Bedroom Clean and Organized [Eversave]
Achieve Better Sleep: 7 Tips for a Cleaner and Healthier Bedroom [HuffPost Healthy Living]
Tips for an Organized Bedroom [One Good Thing]

3 Interior Decorator Secrets Everyone Should Know

So you’re not an interior decorator by trade? No sweat! When it comes to decorating your rental, all it takes are a few tricks from the professionals to make your home look like it belongs on the pages of a design magazine. Here are a few secrets that interior decorators don’t mind sharing.

  1. Arrange furniture in the way that makes the most sense. If you’re constantly tripping over furniture or struggling to reach things on shelves, you likely don’t have your room arranged in the most functional way. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the room until it works — or even to get rid of pieces that you don’t really need.
  2. Add good lighting. If you’re lucky enough to have lots of windows in your apartment, play up the natural light with sheer curtains or neutral-colored blinds. If you don’t have much natural light, fake it with daylight-imitating light bulbs.
  3. Use light or neutral colors. Choose furnishings in light or neutral colors to create an airy, open feeling.
  4. Add art. Adding framed art to every wall is a great way to decorate your apartment without taking up precious space. Create an eclectic gallery wall or add a series of three large frames to create the illusion of depth. Don't forget to add mirrors!

11 Foolproof Decorating Tips [This Old House]
20 Decorating Secrets [House Beautiful]
9 Interior Decorator Secrets [Woman’s Day]

Where to Shop Industrial-Style Furniture and Decor Online

Want to get in on the industrial-chic trend? You can inject the cool, hip home decor style into your space at Portofino at Biscayne with help from these popular retailers. A bit of distressed metal here, a dash of reclaimed wood there, and your cozy rental will take on the big-city loft vibe that you’ve always wanted!

Dot & Bo
Although this popular online home goods retailer is best known for its affordable selection of mid-century modern furnishings, it’s also a great resource for finding industrial furniture pieces that look like they came straight from a converted warehouse. Browse metal pendant lights, concrete planters, and even Parsons desks with perfectly weathered wood tops.

World Market
This affordable, eclectic housewares store offers an impressive selection of industrial-inspired furniture items that includes wooden beds, coffee tables on rolling casters, and metal bar carts perfect for entertaining.

Industrial Home
The name says it all at this popular online retailer. Industrial Home carries what it describes as “a vintage twist on modern industrial living,” which includes a great selection of antique-inspired light fixtures, warm leather sofas and rugged, wooden dining tables that offer that signature loft feel.

How to Master the Art of Conversation

Whether you'd like to be less shy or you want to make meaningful connections for the sake of your business, there are a number of reasons why people may want to become better conversationalists. Here are a few smart (and sincere) ways to become better at making conversation.

  1. Do some research beforehand. This may seem like a bit too much if you’re on a first date, but if you’re speaking to someone for the sake of business, it always pays off to know a few things about him or her before meeting.
  2. Really listen. Instead of thinking of the next point that you want to make—which is often very apparent to the other person—really listen to what he or she has to say. The person you’re talking to won’t mind waiting for your thoughts to catch up if it seems like you’re really engaged.
  3. Ask questions. You might even want to encourage the other person to keep talking by asking thoughtful questions. This shows that you’re interested enough that you want to know more.
  4. Keep things short. You don’t have to talk for hours to seem like a good conversationalist; in fact, both parties will likely feel relieved to leave when the conversation naturally dies down.

13 Simple Ways You Can Have More Meaningful Conversations [Forbes]
5 Secrets That Will Help You Master Conversation Skills [TIME]
Making Conversation: A Skill, Not an Art [Psych Central]

Easy Decorating Tips Every Renter Needs to Know

Decorating the bare walls of your new apartment may seem overwhelming at first, but even if you’re not a professional interior decorator, you can create a magazine-worthy rental by following a few simple tips. Here are just a few smart tricks that you should know before hitting the home goods store.

  1. Incorporate storage wherever you can. Choose furniture items that contain built-in storage, and make sure to hang shelves in spaces like the kitchen or bathroom.
  2. Replace the hardware. Showerheads and drawer pulls are easy to replace to reflect your style. Hit up your local hardware store and invest in a high-pressure, filtered showerhead, and then choose kitchen and bathroom pulls in whatever style you like. You can easily switch these back once you move out.
  3. Work around a rug. Unsure about the color scheme for a room? Choose a rug first, then decorate around it since it will likely be the largest item in the space.
  4. Add temporary wallpaper. Try temporary wallpaper in a fun color or edgy pattern to create a designer-inspired look that you can easily remove.

The 10 Commandments of Rental Decor [PopSugar]
5 Easy, High-Impact Rental Decorating Ideas (That Can Move With You) [Apartment Therapy]
6 Ways to Decorate Your Rental—Without Losing the Deposit [Oprah]

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