How to Add a Pop of Color to Your Existing Decor

While a nice, neutral color palette is a great way to make your home feel chic and polished, things can also feel a bit drab without any color. If you’re looking for a way to add a pop of color to your home at Residences at Gramercy without going overboard, these tips will help.

  1. Add a throw pillow. Even if you already have throw pillows on your furniture, adding just one more in a bright, complementary color may be all that you need. Try one bold shade and keep the others simple by using textures or patterns in neutral hues.
  2. Freshen up your window treatments. Replace your blinds or shades with sheer curtains in a fresh color. If you don’t want to commit to one color, try curtains in a repetitive pattern with an accent color throughout.
  3. Add some bright artwork. If your walls are looking a bit bare, try framing some colorful prints that are much brighter than the rest of your decor. This is a great way to maintain your existing style while still brightening things up a bit.
  4. Add colorful chairs. Update a home office or your kitchen table by swapping out the matching chairs with something in a contrasting shade. You may even want to paint your current chair in a bold turquoise or rich red!

Top 10 Tips for Adding Color to Your Space [HGTV]
10 Surprising Ways to Add Color to Your Home [House Beautiful]
Five Ways To Add Color to Your Home This Week [Apartment Therapy]

Blank Wall, Blank Slate: How to Transform a Wall into a Focal Point

Plain, bare walls are blank canvases just waiting to be filled with accessories or décor. Hang almost anything on your wall and your space will instantly feel homey and more personal. Follow these tips to bring some life to your bare walls.

  • Use a variety of different patterns or colors of washi tape to create a custom design on your wall. This is great because you can easily switch it up if you get bored of the same design and want to switch it out for something new.
  • Add an oversized photograph or piece of art that is almost as big as your whole wall.
  • Hang or lean a large mirror with a detailed frame to your wall. They make a really strong statement and can make your room feel larger.
  • Frame a large chalkboard to write messages on, display photos, or to write recipes. You can even use unique frames or frames to match the rest of your framed photos on your wall to bring the whole look together.
  • Give your wall an elegant touch by hanging a large, oversized clock.
  • Add character to your wall by hanging modular shelves. Not only do the shelves look great, they also provide space for more decor. Use them to display your photos, vases, candles, books, or more.

​25 Ways to Dress Up Blank Walls [HGTV] To Decorate A Large, Blank Wall [Elle Decor]
Wall Decor: How To Fill Your Blank Walls [Style At Home]

How to Create a Chic and Stylish Bar Cart

Bar carts are the types of finishing touches that add a major pop of designer flair to any room in the home. From the living room to the dining room, adding a well-curated bar cart will really give your home the type of 1950s style that is right on trend. Here are just a few tips for creating a truly chic bar cart.

  1. Start with the perfect cart. Scour flea markets and thrift stores for an authentic vintage bar cart. If you can’t find one there, try purchasing one at an affordable furniture store or even using a small three-tiered bookshelf.
  2. Choose your spirits. The types of spirits that you add to your cart really depend on your personal preferences. Investing in three or four bottles of common spirits like vodka, gin, and bourbon is a good place to start.
  3. Add your glassware. Next, invest in new or secondhand sets of wine glasses, low tumblers and martini glasses. You may even want to add decanters to fill with mixers or to trade out unattractive liquor bottles.
  4. Add the accessories. Fill a glass jar with stirrers, add a small cutting board for slicing lemons and limes and even add stacks of mixology books for the finishing touches.

How to Style a Bar Cart [The DIY Playbook]
How To: Create and Stylize the Perfect Bar Cart [Guest of a Guest]
Assembling the Perfect Bar Cart [Primer Magazine]
How to Style the Perfect Bar Cart for Any Party [HGTV]

How to Add Pizzazz and Personality to Your Rental

You don't have to splurge (or violate your lease) in order to put your own mark on your apartment. Here are four ways you can give it some personality without leaving any holes behind.

  1. Use temporary wallpaper. In lieu of repainting a wall or using permanent wallpaper, try a temporary adhesive wallpaper instead. It'll peel right off when you move out, and you can lean into whatever trend you're loving right now without fear of doing permanent damage to your living space.
  2. Make over a space with mirrors. If you want to create even more room in your apartment, hang a statement mirror or create a gallery wall of smaller mirrors. Either way, you'll create the illusion of extra square feet with the piece(s). Scour local thrift stores for mirrors that suit your tastes, or look online for the perfect accent.
  3. Hang fresh curtains. Hanging curtains is an easy way to revamp a room with very little effort. If you're at all handy with a sewing machine, you can easily make your own set of curtains using your favorite fabric from the craft store. If you're not much of a crafter, buy a fresh set to spruce up your living room or bedroom.
  4. Create a focal point with a print. If you really want to make a statement, find a big print or a piece of colorful vintage art that you love, as well a a frame that suits it, and hang it on the living room wall. With just a small hook or two, you'll create an entirely new vibe in your home.

10 Ways to Customize a Rental [Apartment Therapy]
11 Decor Ideas That Will Change Your Rental Apartment (Without Risking Your Security Deposit) [HuffPost Home]
30 Ways To Upgrade Your Rental Apartment [StyleCaster]

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]

Home Decorating Tips Everyone Should Know

You don’t have to be an interior design pro to create a magazine-worthy home; all it takes are some smart tips and some creative thinking. Here are just a few of the most important home decorating tips that every renter should know.

  • Focus on creating balance. No matter how large or how small a space, creating balance through furniture and decor is one of the best ways to make any room feel spacious and comfortable. Rearrange furniture as many times as you need until you can move easily around the room, and attempt to create symmetry whenever possible.
  • Choose a color scheme. You don’t need to go all out with a specific color scheme, but choosing a few key colors and using throughout the room is key for creating a cohesive look. Use things like throw pillows, artwork, and rugs to tie the whole room together.
  • Focus on height. Many people focus on filling the room from side to side without thinking of filling it from top to bottom. Make sure that you add taller furniture, shelves, or large frames to fill that empty top half of the room.
  • Create an ambiance. Even if you have brand new furnishings, your space won’t feel like a home without personal touches. Add lush, green plants, great smelling candles and meaningful artwork to achieve this kind of ambiance.

What are Some Interior Design Tips for Beginners? [wiseGEEK]
Interior Design 101 [Visually]
Top Interior Design Tips for Beginners [Bliss @ Home]

Healthy Ways to Indulge a Chocolate Craving

Many people have a sweet tooth that creates a craving for chocolate, but while the occasional indulgence is okay, eating too much chocolate could be the end to your healthy diet. Here are a few healthy ways to eat chocolate that will keep you right on track when a craving strikes.

Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Shortbread Crust [Eating Well]
Make this seemingly decadent dessert the next time you have friends over for dinner, and no one will even know that it’s actually healthy. With just over 250 calories per serving and six grams of protein, you’ll get the taste of chocolate without feeling weighed down.

Black Bean Brownies [Chocolate Covered Katie]
While the addition of black beans to brownies may seem strange at first, you won’t even be able to taste the protein-packed beans when they’re masked by the rich, dense chocolate flavor. These brownies are also flourless, which is great for low-carb diets.

Healthy Homemade Chocolate [Wellness Mama]
Instead of grabbing a fat- and sugar-packed candy bar from the checkout counter at the grocery store, make your own healthier version at home. This recipe includes only four ingredients, and because they’re all natural, you won’t have to worry about ingesting any chemicals and unnatural ingredients.

How to Decorate Using the Principles of Feng Shui

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese belief that states that the way your home is organized will, in turn, influence everything else in your life. From your finances to your inner happiness, the aspects that feng shui influences are limitless. If you want to decorate your home in a way that better serves your feng shui, use these basic principles.

  • Keep things minimal. First and foremost, improve your home’s feng shui by getting rid of everything that you don’t need—including furniture, clothing and even kitchen supplies. This will leave you with more space for movement, creativity, and positive energy.
  • Maximize natural light. Take down heavy drapes and blinds and replace them with sheer curtains that allow in as much natural light as possible.
  • Add plants. Feng shui emphasizes the importance of having green plants to clean your home’s air and add a peaceful look to every room. Try options like jade plants and aloe plants that require little maintenance.
  • Leave entryways clear. Feng shui says that the doors allow positive energy to flow into your home, so be sure to leave yours clear.
  • Face the doors. Important pieces of furniture, such as your desk and your bed, should always face the door of the room without sitting directly in front of it.

Feng Shui 101 for Your Living Space [Wonder How To]
10 Easy Feng Shui Rules You Should Follow [Kris Carr]
Feng Shui Decorating Tips [Real Simple]

Enjoy These Sweet Lava Cake Recipes

With warm, gooey chocolate inside of a moist cake exterior, molten lava cake is a chocolate lover’s dream. This decadent dessert may look like a gourmet treat, but it’s actually surprisingly easy to make. Here are two sweet and simple molten lava cake recipes!

Paula Deen’s Molten Lava Cakes [Food Network]
Everything that Food Network host Paula Deen makes is delightfully sinful, and these Molten Lava Cakes are no exception. They take just 30 minutes to prepare, and the mix of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate with orange liqueur adds a unique taste that your guests and family will love.

Healthier Molten Lava Cakes for Two [Texanerin Baking]
If you want to cut calories while still maintaining the indulgent taste and texture, this Healthier Molten Lava Cake recipe from Texanerin Baking is the perfect choice. It makes just enough for two people so that you can share with a friend, but you won’t be tempted with leftovers. Plus, the dark chocolate and espresso powder add major chocolate flavor without the added sugar of milk chocolate.

Foods to Avoid Before a Workout

It can be a good idea to fuel up with a healthy snack before a workout, but some foods should be avoided altogether before hitting the gym. To see the best results possible, avoid eating these three foods for at least a few hours before you work out.

  1. Flax Seeds. This may come as a surprise since flaxseeds are certainly having a moment in the health food world, but one time that you should not consume the tiny seeds is right before exercising. Because flax seeds are full of fiber, they could cause gas or bloating, which will make you feel pretty uncomfortable when doing crunches or running on the treadmill.
  2. Milk and dairy. If you frequently snack on yogurt or drink a glass of milk for calcium, you may want to cut it out right before heading to the gym. Many trainers say that dairy slows down performance due to its tendency to cause excessive burping and an acidic feeling in the stomach—both of which sound pretty uncomfortable, especially when working out.
  3. Protein bars. This one may be the most surprising of them all, but many common protein bars contain as much sugar and calories as a candy bar. Bars with less than 10 grams of protein could cause a drop in blood sugar and only leave you feeling tired and weighed down.

Top 5 foods and drinks to avoid before workouts [SheKnows]
Foods to Avoid Before a Workout [PopSugar]
20 Foods that Can Ruin Your Workout [Shape]
Worst Workout Foods: What Not to Eat Before a Workout [U.S. News]

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