Category: House and Home

How to Make Your Home Smart Without Breaking the Bank

how to make your home smart

Transforming your home into a smart home can make your house more convenient, efficient and also fun. You don’t have to break the bank to turn your house into a smart home. Here’s how to make your home smart on a budget.

How to Make Your Home Smart

Making your home smart doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. Instead, it’s small investments in cost-efficient products that can improve your home’s security, lighting, communications, energy, and efficiency and audio and visual appliances.

For more reasons on why you should make your home smart, read more about the benefits of a smart home.

Start With a Problem

When deciding which products you need to make your home smart, start by trying to remedy any problems your home already has. For example, let’s say you always stress about leaving your house and wondering if you locked your door. If that’s the case you might want to invest in a device that can solve that problem.

Once you’ve mastered how to use your new smart home appliance, then look into other technology that can help you with other home headaches.

Build Over Time

Don’t stress about having to replace every appliance in your home with it’s smarter upgrade. Smart products can take a second to learn how to use and set up, so give yourself time with this. Adding items gradually over time will not only save you money, it will also save you stress.

Here are some of our favorite smart items right now, broken down by the problems they solve.

Safety and Security

Investing in smart door locks, window shades, smoke detectors, alarm systems and internal and external cameras can really help give you a peace of mind. Here are some of our favorite smart home security devices.

Blink Security Camera

This basic security camera records in 720p and has infrared that can detect movement up to 20 feet away. It might not have the highest fidelity, but it can store up to 20 hours of footage for free in your cloud. This device also works with IFTT making it easy to connect with other smart home devices like Phillips Hue smart lights, Alexa, Google Home and the Nest learning thermostat.

Lighting and Switches

Smart switches, lighting, and outlets make it easy for you to turn off or on your lights remotely. You don’t have to fuss around the house flipping off switches or worry if you left a light on when you’re away from home for a while.

Here are some of our favorite smart switches, lights, and outlets.

Sengled Element Starter Kit

This doesn’t work with as many smart home systems as Phillips, but these bulbs are much less expensive. A bulb costs about $9 each, which is great for smart lighting on a budget.

Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug

This plug can turn any of your basic devices smart and it lets you control all your appliances via a smartphone app. It’s best to use the Belkin WeMo with items like floor lamps, but you can even use it to turn on your coffee maker at a set time. It works with Alexa, Google Home, Nest and IFTT without blocking the second outlet.

TP-Link LB120 Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Tunable White Light

We love how these bulbs can directly connect to your Wi-Fi network without a hub. They are dimmable and turntable so you can turn them from bright to daylight. These settings allow your lights to keep you alert during the day, or calm with soft white light in the evening.

This set also comes with a circadian mode that adjusts the lights automatically based on the time of day. You also can control these lights with Alexa or Google Home.

Logitech Pop Home Switch

Manually turning off all your lights, thermostat, TV and whatever else you have can be incredibly time consuming and annoying. Logitech’s Pop Home Switch allows you to do all of these tasks with a touch of one button.

Each button on your switch can be programmed for more than one action with the single, double or triple press. This lets you conveniently adjust all of your smart home devices at once, and it easily works with your Apple Homekit.

TP-Link HS105 Smart Plug

This smart plug has a great small design, easy to use app, and low price. You can make a lamp or anything else in your home that isn’t smart, with this simple plug, Just plug it into the HS-105, and you can set a schedule of when you want your devices turned on or off just by using your smartphone.

Philips Hue White Starter Kit

Philip Hue lights are one of the most popular for smart homes because they’re easy to use, they have a strong app and they can easily work with a number of smart home systems. While these bulbs don’t change colors but can dim and are an affordable way to get into smart home gadgets.

Ecobee Switch+

This switch takes the idea of an Internet-connected wall switch to another level. Alexa is already built into this switch so you can use it without having to get an Echo or other devices.

The switch also has a motion sensor so it can turn your lights on and off when you enter or leave a room. There’s also a temperature sensor making it easy to link it to Ecobee’s smart thermostat.

Aukey Wi-Fi Smart Plug

This plug doesn’t have the scheduling features like some other smart plugs, but it works well with Google Assistant and Alexa at about half the price of its competitors. At $24 these plugs are also small enough that you can easily fit two into an outlet.

Samsung SmartThings Hub

This lets you connect with smart-home devices that usually don’t work with each other. The app also lets you group items together. With this device, you can adjust shades, lights, and the thermostat at a certain time of day or when you come home from work.

iHome ISP100

Most smart plugs only work for indoor use, but not this one. The iHome ISP100 works with a ton of home systems so you can turn on and off your Christmas light or that outdoor fountain. It’s also easy to set up and use.

Energy Efficiency

There are some other smart devices that can really help the energy efficiency of your home. These devices include smart thermostats, window shades, and fans that can help cut down on your energy bills.

Roost Smart Battery

This Wi-Fi connected battery can insert into any smoke detector and it notifies you on your smartphone when the detector is activated. The app also allows you to alert other people. There’s also a snooze button, in case you were just cooking a steak and the alarm went off.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat

Most smart thermostats can cost over $200, but this one isn’t as flashy as the Nest or Ecobee and still gets the job done. It works well and even better with most smart home devices than it’s competition.

Audio and Video

Improving your audio and video is always a nice upgrade. There are devices that stop you from searching for multiple remotes and can easily improve your experience.

Amazon Echo Dot

The Echo Dot is an inexpensive way to get a voice control in your home. It’s only $49 and it lets you control all of your devices. From playing music, to ordering pizza without lifting a finger.

Vaux Portable Speaker

The Echo Dot’s speaker isn’t great, which is why the Vaux is a great addition. It’s also super easy to use and only needs to be plugged into work. It also has six hours of battery life is there isn’s a plug nearby, and its sound quality is incredible.

Google Home Mini

This is Google’s version of the Amazon Echo Dot. The Home Mini is a small smart speaker that brings Google Assistant to your house. It’s super cost-effective that sounds better and looks better than Amazon’s.

Logitech Harmony 665

This is one of the most affordable universal remote and it can easily control up to 10 of your entertainment devices at once. While it doesn’t work well with other smart home devices, it’s affordable and a great solution if you’re on a budget.

Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)

This second generation Echo is smaller and more visually appealing than it’s original but it sounds just as good. It also gives you full access to Alexa and you can swap out the cover to one that matches your style.

Google Chromecast

This is the least expensive way to stream content on your TV for only $35. It easily plugs into an HDMI port and lets you stream TV shows and movies from your phone, tablet or PC. It also works with Google home so you can control it with your voice.

Make Your House Smart Today

Now that you know how to make your home smart, start doing the research to transform your home today. Start with where you can really use the help and gradually add devices one day at a time. For more information on home repairs, check out our blog.

10 Tips for Decluttering Your Home and Live an Organized Life


Are you tired of stuffing things into a closet whenever you have friends over? Are you sick of wasting time trying to find things in your house? Or are you fed up with feeling frazzled and stressed out every time you look around a room?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it sounds like you might be in need of some home decluttering.

Getting rid of clutter isn’t just about making your space look nice. It also helps you be more productive and has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety.

Read on for 10 great tips on decluttering your home and living a more organized life.

1. Don’t Try to Do Everything at Once

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you take on a decluttering project. This is especially true if you try to tackle the whole house at once.

Space out your project and start by choosing just one room. Don’t try to declutter everything in just one day — that’s a major undertaking, and you’re likely to feel exhausted if you take that approach.

Give yourself a specific date when you’d like to have the house cleaned out by. Then, figure out how much time you’re willing to spend getting rid of clutter each day.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate. Even if you just spend 15-20 minutes a day, it’s better than nothing.

2. Move the Clutter to a New Place

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell how much clutter you’re dealing with until you move it to a new place. For example, try moving everything that has accumulated on the kitchen countertops into the living room.

You’ll be able to look more objectively at your belongings and get rid of anything that you don’t need or want.

When you’ve finished pruning your clutter pile, just be sure to move everything back and put it away — otherwise, you’re not really clearing clutter, you’re just moving your junk from one room to another.

3. Gather Plenty of Equipment

It’s hard to declutter effectively if you don’t have any containers to hold all the clutter you’re eliminating.

Make sure you have plenty of trash bags, bins, and organizational tools on hand so that you can permanently get rid of the things you no longer need. Get yourself a paper shredder, too, for sensitive documents.

4. Create a Master Plan

Many people find it helpful to sit down and create a master plan before they begin a decluttering project. Then, they have a guideline to follow and can cross things off as they go.

Grab a piece of paper and write down every room or area in your house. Then, make note of what belongs in each room or area.

Be sure to include items that don’t currently have a designated space — for example, do you have important papers or toys scattered throughout two or three different rooms? Pick one place where you want all of these items to be stored.

5. Use a Storage Unit

If you have items that are taking up a lot of space but that don’t get used very often, you may want to consider renting a storage unit (like the ones offered by Secure Box Self Storage).

If you have the money to spend, this is a great option for clearing clutter and freeing up space.

6. Work in a Pattern

It can also be helpful to systematize your process. For example, work from the inside out and clear items off the floor first. Or you work in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction in each room.

This eliminates the problem of not knowing where to start when you move on to a new room. You’ll just pick a corner and move in the same direction as you did in the last room!

7. Use Labels

To keep track of the items your getting rid of, take some time to label your piles as “trash,” “recycle,” and “donate.” That way, you’ll know what goes where when you’re finished clearing out a specific room.

You can also expand your labeling to your newly organized rooms to keep them that way. Label areas for toys, books, clothing, etc. That will take the guesswork out of maintaining these areas later on.

8. Make it Cute

Decluttering doesn’t have to be boring. It can also be a great way for you to enhance and personalize your home.

Floating shelves, colorful bins and baskets, and glass containers are all great ways to make your home look cute and clutter-free.

9. Ask Yourself Some Tough Questions

It can be hard to get rid of things that you’ve had for a long time, even if you don’t use them anymore. In order to successfully declutter your home, you’re going to need to ask yourself some tough questions, including the following:

  • Have I used this item in the past year?
  • Am I making use of this item right now?
  • Am I saving this item for future use?
  • Do I actually like this item?
  • How does this item add value to my life?
  • Is this item preventing me from doing something I’d like to do?

It can be hard to answer these questions and realize you’re hanging on to things that are no longer of value. But, they’ll take some of the guesswork out of the process and help you successfully clear out your home.

10. Finish What You Start

Finally, make sure you finish what you start. Don’t move on to a new room until you’ve completely cleared out and thrown away (or given away) everything you’ve taken from the first room.

This will help you avoid having a bunch of half-decluttered rooms, and you’ll be able to track your progress more easily.

Looking for More Decluttering Tips?

These decluttering tips should be more than enough to get you started. But, if you want to take your clean out to the next level (without spending a fortune), be sure to check out the cleaning section of our blog today.

We’ve got tons of tips and tricks to help you conquer clutter and simplify your living space.

Top 10 Ways to Brighten a Room on a Budget

how to brighten a dark room

A dark, depressing room can be hard on your mental health.

But finding cheap and easy ways to update your space can become expensive. If you want to update your space and make it lighter there are some easy ways to get it done though. And most of them won’t break the bank either!

From adding some bright colors, updating your lighting and adding some reflective decorations, you can change any space from a dark and depressing dungeon to a bright and elegant zen space.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn more on how to brighten a dark room without going over budget!

1. Update Wall Colors

One of the pricier but definitely most effective ways to brighten a room is to update the wall colors.

Whites are always bright and welcoming but if you’re not a fan of plain walls, maybe try some light blues, greys or even yellows. These colors are all airy and will liven up any room. Find a color that will work well with your floor color.

2. Paint the Ceiling White

Some historic homes come complete with dark, heavy woods. If your home is not a historical landmark, consider painting the ceiling white. This will make the room appear bigger and will also bring some bright light into the space.

White ceilings will reflect any light within the space. And it will also clean up any dingy ceiling.

3. Change Light Fixtures

Updating your light fixtures will do wonders on improving the level of light in your space.

Getting rid of outdated, dark and clunky light fixtures will give your room a modern and elegant feel.

Also, consider updating the bulbs your fixtures use. Finding bulbs with high numbers of lumens is always a good idea. These bulbs will emit a purer and brighter light.

Energy efficient lighting will also save you money in the long run once your space is freshened up.

If you don’t want to get rid of your fixtures maybe consider getting them some new shades. White shades will help reflect the lamplight. Also, consider turning all lighting fixtures towards walls or ceilings. This also helps with reflection.

4. Add Some Green Things

When it comes to brightening up a space, nothing does it better than some fresh cut flowers from your florist. Finding seasonal flowers doesn’t have to be complicated.

When you choose your favorite local florist in LA you know you’ll have a wide range of flowers, designs, and colors to choose from.

Putting some greenery in your space doesn’t have to break the bank.

Terrariums are a simple but interesting and elegant feature that can bring any room to life. They’re easy to maintain and can survive even the worst green thumb.

Houseplants like snake plants and Chinese evergreens also purify your room’s air.

5. Update Your Window Dressings

Old and outdated curtains can drag any space down.

If you have some fabric in a color scheme that you like and that works for your room though, you should consider DIYing some new and more personalized curtains for your room!

If you have some white fabric, try stenciling a design on them that reflects the overall look of your space. This is a cheap and easy way to dress any room up and bring some light and air into a dank and dreary space.

Not all of us are great at DIY projects though. But luckily sheer drapes are not terribly expensive and they’re easy to hang yourself. Just remember to avoid dark colors and heavy fabrics.

6. Switch Out the Furniture

Is your room full of clunky and dark colored furniture? Is there a room that those pieces might work a little better in?

Well, maybe it’s time for a whole space overhaul! Switching out a few pieces for some with lighter color schemes or slimmer designs can do wonders for any dusty room.

It may also be a good idea to consider de-cluttering in general. Anything old and outdated that you don’t have too personal of a commitment to could be sold or maybe even rehab yourself.

Try re-staining pieces with different colors or lighter stains. That way you can keep some of your favorite pieces, without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.

7. Add Some Shiny Details

Everyone loves things that sparkle and shine.

This is one of the easiest ways to add some light to your sad space. Consider a few pieces that have some shimmer to them. Adding a few reflective candy dishes or even a mirror can brighten up your space and even provide the illusion of a bigger space.

Consider visiting your local thrift store or budget clothing store for cheap but still unique pieces that will draw the eye in your room.

8. Put Some Colors on the Floor

Dingy floors are not fun to look at.

While changing flooring can be a costly and time-consuming process, there are a few easy fixes you can do yourself that won’t bust your budget. If you have carpets, maybe it’s time to get them shampooed.

Hardwood or tile floors can be dressed up with colorful carpets and rugs.

Visiting carpet wholesalers can give you some interesting and colorful options, all without too much cost.

9. Accessories Bring it All Together

Last but definitely not least: The accessories.

Have some throw pillows you think will give your room that needed splash of color? Add them! Maybe there are a few colorful art pieces you’ve had in another room for the past few years that might look a bit better in your freshened room.

Finding some unique and bright pieces to give your room that added boost is a great way to give your space some light.

Get More Tips on How to Brighten a Dark Room

Want to know more on how to brighten a dark room on a budget?

Well, luckily for you I’ve written several blogs on how to decorate your spaces, all without breaking the bank. There are so many ways to liven up a space. Feel free to explore my site and read some more decorating tips.

Top 10 Ideas for Home Lighting Fixtures that Don’t Look Cheap

home lighting

Finding the right light fixtures helps you to see your home in the best possible light. It’s a bad pun but a universal truism. The right home lighting will draw out and emphasize your interior design scheme and color trends.

Bad lighting makes everything look dingy, dirty, and dull, on the other hand. Garish fluorescent lights give your home as much warmth as a dentist office. Low-watt bare light bulbs are like some nightmarish vision of the 1970s come to life.

Changing light fixtures can even serve as a low-cost renovation, luckily!

Let’s take a look at 10 home lighting fixtures ideas that are elegant but still cost-effective.

1. Stick-On Lights

You don’t necessarily need recessed track lighting for every inch of your home. Spending hundreds just to light up certain shadowy nooks might be overkill.

Stick-on lights are a perfect solution if you’re looking to light up your cabinets or countertops. You can get a 3-pack of stick-on lights for around $10.

2. Portable Light Fixture

A portable light fixture can be a great choice if you’ve got numerous dim spots around your house or apartment. Battery-powered LED light fixtures like the Rite Lite 9-Light LED Accent Light is wonderfully portable, so you can bring your illumination with you wherever you go.

Portable light fixtures are great for amateur photographers without access to studio lights, as an additional benefit. Use your light fixture to brighten your living room or kitchen but grab it when you need some bright, direct lighting for taking clear, attractive photographs.

3. Schoolhouse Electric

All things old become new again. This is true in every area of modern living, from cooking to how we listen to music. It’s particularly true of interior design.

Check out some of the cool lamps from Schoolhouse Electric as an example of how designers are updating retro designs and aesthetics.

4. CB2

Crate & Barrel are legendary for featuring lavish, luxe interior design accessories. Unfortunately, Crate & Barrel’s prices are higher than many other big-box retailers because of their quality.

CB2 is a blessing for those looking for exquisite home furnishings on a budget. CB2 feature high-quality, stylish home furnishings at a fraction of Crate & Barrel’s cost.

5. JC Penney

JC Penney isn’t exactly known as a bastion of high style. That’s changing with the new JCP line of home accessories. Martha Stewart, Conran, and Jonathan Adler have been reviving this iconic retailer for a new generation.

Check out the Charlotte Green Ceramic table lamp from the Jonathan Alder Happy Chic collection for an example of these cool lines.

6. LED Rope Lights

LED rope lights are another great, low-cost lighting accessory to revivify your living space. They can bring a soft, gentle fairy light glamour to any room. Even better, they’re supple and flexible so you can run them around any trim or baseboard your heart may desire.

LED rope lights can be found for around $25 from nearly any hardware or department store.

7. Spider Light Fixture

We’ve talked about brightening up shadowy corners. We’ve emphasized how lighting accessories can bring a sparkle to any living space. What about accomplishing all of these feats at once?

IKEA’s Tived light fixture is like having multiple independent track lights in one room. Even better, this ceiling light fixture has six fully-bendable arms. You’ll be able to light up all of your counters, cabinets, and corners with one light fixture!

8. Look For Interesting Shapes In Home Lighting

We’re not just here to offer you a product guide. After all, you can find great deals on lighting fixtures so many different ways. You could go the DIY route or you could upcycle retro lighting fixtures from a thrift store, for instance.

Keep your eyes peeled for interesting shapes and silhouettes. These will help your decor stand out in a subtle way while costing significantly less than a fresh coat of paint or brand-new furniture.

9. Oversized Lighting Fixtures

It might seem like your lighting fixture should match the space it’s illuminating. It would stand to reason that a small room would best fit a small lighting fixture. That’s not necessarily the case.

Interior designer Hilary Nagler talks about making an impact with a lighting fixture. “You’ll get the most bang for your buck with a dramatic piece, whether that’s a chandelier, a floor lamp, or a grouping of pendants. The tendency is to put a small fixture in a small room, but the opposite is true,” as she told Glamour Magazine.

So consider putting a dramatic piece like a raindrop chandelier on your staircase landing, for instance. Your home will be instantly transformed into a more inspiring location.

10. Install A Dimmer

Variable lighting automatically makes a space feel more upscale. It’s also infinitely more customizable, which will help transform smaller spaces for multiple different uses.

Something as simple as a dimmer switch can make you feel like you have a brand new house, usually for less than $20. That’s proof in-and-of-itself you don’t need to drop a mint on fancy light fixtures to revitalize your living area.

Updating your home’s lighting will help you feel more relaxed in the evenings, coming home from a long day at the office. It will help you feel awake and eager to meet the day in the mornings. It’s an investment in your well-being as well as your interior design.

Want To Learn More About Designing On A Budget?

Whether you’re looking for home lighting or wanting to plant a garden, there are ways to make every penny count. Everyone deserves to live in the home of their dreams, no matter what budget you’re working with.

Browse the rest of our interior design articles for more design inspiration!

The Ultimate Guide to Conquering a Crowded Closet

crowded closet

Do you dream of a closet that’s as perfectly organized as your favorite celebrity’s?

Do you know that you have a seriously crowded closet on your hand, but feel overwhelmed by even the thought of organizing it?

Would you like to buy new pieces, but understand that you just don’t have any room in your closet for this season’s hottest trends right now?

If so, then you need to keep on reading this post.

In it, we’ll tell you three of the top tips about how to organize your closet and cut clutter and old clothes out of your life for good.

1. Get Ruthless

The first step to tackling a crowded closet?

You need to have a serious discussion with yourself about the things that you actually wear.

First of all, remove anything that still has a tag on it and has been in your closet for over a month. If you haven’t worn it yet, you’re not going to. Sell it on places like Poshmark to make a profit.

Or, donate unworn or gently used clothes to a local charity or homeless shelter.

This is a great way to open up space in your closet, and it will allow you to plan your outfits more quickly in the morning.

You’ll probably also rediscover pieces you’ve completely forgotten about.

2. Invest in the Right Hangers

The types of hangers you buy don’t just upgrade the look of your closet. They can also be serious space-saving tools.

You can even color organize closet space by choosing hangers that have several different tiers.

For example, layer all of your jeans on hangers. Then, next to it, place all of your white pants on a tiered hanger. Hang your leggings, hats, and even purses on specialty hangers and organizers, as well.

This will make it much easier for you to find what you need. Plus, by hanging items vertically, you’ll save yourself a ton of space.

3. Bag up Out of Season Pieces

So, what if you’re a little bit more of a clothes horse than most people, and your wardrobe has officially outgrown your crowded closet space?

Before you call in the services of a professional closet organization, try separating your clothes according to the season.

Instead of having your large winter coats take up half of the space in your closet, bag them up and store them instead.

Invest in vacuum sealer plastic rolls like these from Save It Fresh. Not only will this save you some serious space, it will also help to protect your clothing from getting damaged in the storage process.

Simplify your Crowded Closet with These Tips

We hope that this post has taught you just how easy it can be to tackle and organize a crowded closet. Remember to buy the right hangers, get rid of what you don’t need, and store out of season pieces in vacuum bags.

Looking for more advice about how to organize your life and save some serious money in the process? We’ve got you covered.

Keep checking back with our blog for more tips on how to master everything in your life.

Top 10 Tips for Decorating Your Studio Apartment

studio apartment

Getting an apartment for the first time is quite the adventure.

Whether you’re transitioning from a college campus or your parent’s place, this is your chance to spread your wings. Having a place to call yours is both a lesson in independence and an exciting, inspiring time.

Most people enter this stage with a few roommates by their side. They try out a couple different apartments, until eventually venturing out on their own.

If you’re going through this, you’re likely downsizing to a studio apartment.

Studios are the ultimate home for one person to reside in or for a couple to share. But, decorating a studio is definitely not the same as furnishing a house or setting things up in an apartment.

However, it can be just as fun if you know what you’re doing!

Here are ten simple tips to keep in mind when moving into a studio apartment.

1. Walk the Studio a Few Times

Once you’ve decided on your new studio after browsing your options, visit the place that will become your future home. Take a second to walk around and really get a feel for the space.

This is best to do when the apartment is empty of all furnishings. If you’re looking at a model, or at a studio apartment that the previous tenant hasn’t moved out of, it can be hard to get creative juices flowing.

The point of doing a walk-through is to start putting design ideas together in your head.

Stand at different areas of the room and consider where you want the main pieces of furniture to be. These include your bed, dining area, and some sort of lounging space like a couch or an armchair.

2. Prioritize Function Over Form

As you’re looking around, make sure all the things you want in your studio have a purpose. This keeps you from getting too cluttered and making your small space feel busy.

The best thing to think about if you aren’t sure whether you really need something is function over form. This means to choose the furniture and decor items that work well for a studio apartment – which may not always be the most beautiful things you see in a store or online.

The silver lining, though, is that you get to make the most of your studio with the items that actually fit. Instead of trying to cram a huge bed or too many lounging pieces in your space, you get to establish a cohesive environment where everything adds value.

3. Create Levels in Your Space

One way to add value and make the most of a studio apartment is to create levels.

Turn your bed into a storage area by placing drawers underneath, or investing in a frame that comes with floor-level shelves already. Or, go up instead of down.

Add wall shelves somewhere in the room where you want to place photos, plants, candles, or books. Such shelves can be set up in a neat stack or row, or in a unique line that adds some depth to the room.

You can make use of hooks instead of shelves, as well as tall stands like a bookshelf or a leaning tower shelf rather than those that screw to a wall.

These are great in the entertainment section of a studio apartment where you plan to have guests, as bathroom organization, or for added aesthetics and function in the kitchen.

4. Make Storage Stylish

While you’re thinking about all the ways to add more storage space, consider how it can add to (or possibly take away from) the interior design style you have going on.

Some shelves will work better if they are small and in a group, while others will be long statement pieces that you can put up and organize as you please. There is also a big difference in having wall shelves versus standing shelves.

Even if you get the same amount of storage from different options, each look is entirely unique. Take your time making the final plans for this step in order to make your studio apartment as cute and cozy as possible.

5. Use Color and Texture

Another design element to consider is the use of color and mixing certain textures.

White walls are a common canvas in most studios. You can choose to keep them as is for a clean, open look. Or, paint one of your walls an accent color to add some life and excitement to the space.

If your studio apartment agreement doesn’t let you paint, get a wall decorating item that is bright and bubbly. This may be a big picture that you hang or a collection of little canvases and other wall items that catch your eye.

Play with different ideas before making a decision regarding this. The more you let your creative juices flow, the better everything will come together. Not to mention, the depth of the room and the way all the textures complement each other will align more.

6. Play with Visual Tricks

Color is just one way to make a room feel taller, wider, or overall more welcoming.

There are other things you can do to the walls of your studio apartment to enhance the look and feel. These are simple, affordable, and absolutely outstanding when you know how to pull them off.

The first trick to consider is to invest in tall, floor-length curtains.

Curtains that hang from the top of your windows to the floor make a wall look taller than it actually is. When a person looks at this and the rest of the studio together, the whole space looks more elegant and a bit bigger, too.

Another visual trick to have some fun with is the use of mirrors.

You definitely need at least one full-body mirror to give yourself an outfit check before you walk out the door. But, why not get a few smaller mirrors to create some dimension in your studio apartment?

This is as simple as hanging the mirrors up in a fun, interesting way. You may choose to place the mirrors opposite of where guests will sit, or behind them as something to look at when they first enter your space.

7. Get Creative

The thought of using mirrors as wall decor or getting big curtains may not have come to mind at first. But, these are just some of the unique ideas you can use to make your studio apartment everything you want it to be.

Studios often present the challenge of balancing beautiful design with making sure everything has a place and purpose. You want to get a look that is just right, without making it too busy or risking it being bare.

In particularly small spaces, you have to get creative to accomplish this.

Consider installing a hanging rack, or rolling in a standing rack, in order to have more room for your clothes. This looks fine against one of your studio’s walls and provides the little bit of extra storage you may be missing.

Another fun idea you might want to use is actually the use of big furniture rather than a bunch of small things.

It sounds backward at first, but it actually works perfectly! Big furniture doesn’t overpower a studio and make it look small – when used correctly, it can allude that the space is a bit bigger than it is.

You can gather more ideas by visiting friends who live in studios or trying out a different living situation for a little while before making your move. Start a Pinterest board or some other running list of design tricks you’d like to try.

Maybe even turn this learning experience into a mini vacation! Visit for some travel inspiration.

8. Set Aside Room for Privacy

Whether you want to visually expand your space or not, make sure there is a place in your studio apartment that is meant for privacy. Most often, this is your bed and the immediate surrounding area.

Find a way to block this off that works for you.

Most studio dwellers put a bookshelf in between their bed and the rest of the room. Others install a privacy curtain to make this space a little more comfortable and luxurious.

Whatever method you choose, don’t overlook this idea. Creating privacy in a space that is already small can be hard to do. But when you have guests over or a lot of things going on, you’ll be glad to have established a special place to retreat to.

9. Budget, Budget, Budget

How are you supposed to make all your studio design dreams a reality?

By budgeting properly. Remember, moving comes with many costs.

There are the initial expenses of signing your studio apartment – which is usually first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. There is also the matter of transporting your furniture, which will either be shipping costs or some sort of mover’s cost.

Not to mention, you have to pay for your first grocery trip and get all the basics. Plus, something always comes up, so a little bit of extra cash to be prepared is worth accounting for.

10. Take Your Time

Chances are, you feel pretty overwhelmed after reading the previous tip.

Well, here’s one that will settle your financial stresses – you don’t have to pay for everything and furnish your studio apartment right away! This is a space that is yours to call home for quite some time.

As such, you can prioritize which decorating items come first and what will have to wait a bit.

Priorities vary for everyone, but as a good rule of thumb, you should have your bed set up and your kitchen stocked first. These are directly correlated to your health and quality of life because good sleep and eating well are so important.

Turn a Studio Apartment into Your Cozy New Home

Studio living is affordable, fun, and, honestly, something that everyone can learn from.

It teaches you how to manage a home by having all the different parts of a traditional setup in one place. You notice how things get messy much quicker and learn from the interior design challenges you have to first tackle when moving in.

For tips on making your move a breeze and budget-friendly, click here.

The Top 3 Bathroom Design Trends for 2018

bathroom design trends

Don’t let your bathroom go down the toilet. Welcome to 2018, the year of awesome bathroom design trends.

Is your bathroom boring? Hope is not lost for you. There’s plenty you can do to breathe life into your bathroom.

You, too, can have a stunning bathroom that’s up-to-date and stylish. Bathrooms are all the rage in 2018, but certain features are trending more than others.

Here are the top 3 bathroom trends of 2018:

1. Darker Colors

As far as bathroom design trends go, darkness is in vogue right now. This is monumental because bathrooms are typically known for their lighter or neutral tones.

Dark colors make the space seem more compact, sophisticated, and intimate. Dark colors also make it harder for your bathroom to look dirty.

Dark colors can be incorporated into nearly all aspects of your bathroom. You can install black or grey tiles, cabinets, and accents on your walls.

You don’t have to go all black – you can simply integrate dark colors into a bathroom’s already-existing color scheme.

Some people are wary of using dark colors because they don’t want their bathroom to look gloomy. In that case, use dark colors in moderation.

A little bit goes a long way, but not just with dark colors:

2. Unique Tiles

Original and compelling tiles are one of the most prominent bathroom design trends out there. Unique bathroom tiles make a big statement.

Bathroom tiles define a lot of your bathroom’s personality. If your bathroom tiles are basic, then so is your bathroom.

Fortunately, tiles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, patterns, and textures that people don’t know about. Why choose a boring tile pattern when you can spice it up a bit?

Larger tiles create the illusion of having a larger bathroom. They also accumulate less dust and reduce the number of joints.

Are you going for a more organic style? Try woodcut tiles that give a woodsy-type feeling to your bathroom floor.

Terra-cotta tiles give your bathroom more of a rustic feel. Plus, they have a 70’s chic vibe to them.

Get colorful ceramic tiles to add a splash of excitement to your bathroom. Go wild with looking at different geometric patterns and color schemes.

3. High Tech Bathroom Design Trends

As technology progresses, so does its role in our bathrooms. There are new ways to digitize your bathroom experience that fit into your budget.

There are now electronic toilets that contain a lot of functions like built-in seat warmers, built-in deodorizers, automatic lid openers, adjustable air dryers, and more.

Some electronic toilets even have built-in wireless music players. These music players will often turn on automatically once the seat is up and stop once the seat is down.

You can also install self-heating floors with a heating system. The heating mechanism will not interfere with any types of seats in a shower.

The days of reading in the bathroom are over. There are even televisions made specifically for bathrooms!

Your Bathroom Is Counting on You

It’s time to get on with 2018 and jazz up your bathroom. A bathroom upgrade is an investment you’ll be thankful for every day.

Don’t wait any longer. Contact a home expert to learn more about modernizing your bathroom.