Turn Your Apartment Into a Happy Home With These 5 Mood-Boosting Design Tips

Your home should be a place for inspiration and relaxation, not just a place to store your belongings. Improve your rental's overall mood with these design tips that are sure to bring the "happy" back into your happy home.

  • Improve the lighting. It's no secret that natural sunlight improves your mood, so you want to maximize the amount of it that flows through your home. Switch out heavy draperies or blackout curtains with light, sheer curtains or bamboo blinds, and even replace fluorescent lightbulbs with modern bulbs that mimic the look of sunlight.
  • Create a place for everything. Target the areas in your home that collect clutter, such as the area around the front door or the always-overflowing recycling bin. Think of smart solutions for the storage in these areas to create a better flow throughout the home.
  • Add some plants and flowers. Studies show that adding some green to your home makes you happy, so fill small pots with leafy green plants, stylish succulents, or blooming flowers.
  • Redecorate in soft colors. If you're having trouble relaxing in your bedroom or feeling inspired in your home office, try switching up the color palette. Adding stark white bedding or soft colored throw pillows will create a calming effect in these frequently used areas.

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]

Three Awesome Ways to Decorate With Maps

These days, mobile maps can definitely be more useful for traveling than a paper map. However, paper maps are beautiful to look at! So why not use them in your home decor? Here are three creative ways you can decorate with a map.

  • Use a map to revamp your lampshade and give it a warm, vintage feel. All you need to do is find an atlas with pictures of beautiful maps inside, a lamp with a shade, and a few craft items. Make a template for your shade and test it out to make sure it fits perfectly. Then, just lay out your template on top of your map pages and make the pages match the size of the template. Finally, use some rubber cement to glue your map on and you're finished!
  • Cover the drawers of your plain-looking dresser with a map. You're pretty much going to use the same process you did for the lamp. Make sure to measure everything out perfectly and remember to cut out tiny circles for the knobs.
  • Give your living room a unique, vintage feel by covering the top of your glass coffee table with a map. If you have a large enough coffee table, you may even be able to see the whole map.

Vintage Map Lampshade [Pretty Handy Girl]
10 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Maps [Babble]
7 Ways to Decorate with Maps and Globes [Conde Nast]

Looking for a Unique Design Element? Try Decorating With Citrus Fruits!

Now that summer is here, you're likely looking for fun, colorful ways to brighten up your home. If you want to add a pop of color and a burst of freshness to your kitchen or dining space, try decorating with something a bit out-of-the-ordinary: citrus fruits! Here are a few ways to decorate with oranges, lemons and more.

Dried Citrus Ornaments
While these types of dried citrus ornaments are normally used around the holidays, they look (and smell!) just as great in the summertime, too. Try drying your fruits and hanging them on a garland of eucalyptus over the kitchen window, or forage some branches, pop them in a vase and hang the ornaments on the ends.

Lemon Centerpieces
Planning a dinner party or a weekend brunch? Create your very own centerpiece made with bright, fresh lemons! If you're pressed for time, simply fill an attractive bowl with whole lemons for a subtle scent and a pretty pop of yellow. If you have a bit more time to spare, try filling a glass vase with water. Cut lemons into thin slices, and then submerge them in the vase for a more unique look.

Preserved Lemon Jars
This one plays double-duty as both a decoration and a helpful baking ingredient. Quick-preserve your lemons using just lemon juice and kosher salt, and then store them in large jars around the kitchen for a rustic, farmhouse-inspired look. Reach into the jars whenever you need something to zest up a pasta dish, roasted chicken or even a dessert!

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]

Bring Some Green Inside With These 5 Unique Ideas for Displaying Houseplants

Instead of displaying all of your favorite herbs, flowers and succulents in simple terra cotta pots, create more artistic plant displays with these fun DIY projects. From the kitchen to the living room, these plant hangers and pots will show off your greenery in any room in the home.

Living Monogram Wreath [BHG.com]
Create unique wall art and a fun planter in one with this monogram frame. Simply line a plywood back with 2-inch cedar boards in the shape of your initial, then fill the inside with peat moss and cover with chicken wire. Plant succulents inside, and then hang the whole thing on your wall.

Copper Hanging Rod [morganours.com/]
Looking for a way to hang plants over the kitchen sink? Simply balance a copper rod across the tops of your kitchen cabinets (or any other type of cabinet). Hang lightweight plants or herbs from the rod using your favorite hangers.

DIY Rope Pot [nostalgiecat.blogspot.sg]
With this rustic DIY project, you can add colorful rope to your cheap terra cotta pots. Simply wrap a simple cotton rope with colorful thread in your choice of colors, and then wrap the whole thing tightly around various sized pots.

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 [cb2.com]
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 [westelm.com]
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 [uncommongoods.com]
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 [hgtv.com]
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 [lowes.com]
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 [blog.freepeople.com]
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]

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