October 28, 2009

Rugs for the Season

What better season to replace a rug than in the fall? If you take the time to browse online and in your favorite home stores, you can find one for just about every style and budget. Here are some good options to consider:

Pier 1 Jute Rug ($49.95 - $159.95)
The chocolate border is a nice accent to the natural color and jute is known for being durable.

ABC Carpet and Home Shag Rug ($449). I always tend to stay away from super dark hues when it comes to rugs, but this shag rug would make me do away with my policy. The olive shade is warm and the best part--it will do wonders masking stains.

Chris Madden Artisan Rug ($49.99-$419.99, JCPenney). This floral print is also available in dark red and comes in a few different shapes. It's elegant and although the design is intricate, it won't takeover a room.

October 23, 2009

The Perfect Breakfast Table

Photo: MyHomeIdeas.com

After a week of hectic mornings rushing out of the house, I'm definitely going to have a nice, proper breakfast at home tomorrow. I came across this simple breakfast table setting over at MyHomeIdeas.com and a close version of this will be recreated in my dining area in the morning. The only thing I'm missing are fresh flowers, but I do have some pretty, artificial ones that will work out just fine.

I always enjoy when people take the time to set the table properly for meals, instead of just parking in front of the television with a plate (which I personally probably do a little more than I should). Living in New York, this kind of on-the-go lifestyle is sometimes hard to break away from. So when I see a pretty table setting like this one, it reminds me that it's really worth the effort, especially since it doesn't take much time at all to put together.

October 22, 2009

Getting in Order

I'm constantly working to find a good system to keep things organized at home, not just because I believe your physical space impacts your mindset, but because having great organizational skills saves you tons of time. And I'm all about saving time to do more of what makes me happy. Most of us could probably do a better job of keeping our paper in order, so check out the items I'm personally eyeing to kick my organizational skills up a notch:

See Jane Work Basics File Box ($20). The lime-green fabric would look great in just about any office, and it's the perfect size for hanging folders.

Target's Tapered Canvas Bin with Suede Trim ($12.99). I would use something like this to keep my mail all in one place. Stylish and easy to access. It's not available online, so you'll have to make the trip to the store to purchase.

Safco Wood Vertical Sorter ($54.99, Staples). This could work really well on a desk that's of a good size. It would be easy to see exactly what's filed in all the compartments and the wood finish is a nice touch.

October 18, 2009

Decorating Made Easy with 'The Nest'

Although decorating your home can be an enjoyable experience, just figuring out where to begin can be frustrating. Random House was kind enough to send me a copy of Carley Roney's The Nest Home Design Handbook, which offers a slew of useful tips that can help you get started. The book goes through the basics on everything from putting your living room together (i.e. deciding on seating, configuration of furniture, art, displays, paint color) to figuring out style choices for the kitchen and dining room. Coupled with the practical advice are photos and diagrams that illustrate the points discussed.

All for Shabby Chic

Photo: ShabbyChic.com

I've never understood the point of owning stuffy furniture people would be afraid to use. That's why I adore the Shabby Chic sofa by Rachell Ashwell. It's simple and looks like it's extremely comfortable. It even seems a bit worn, which can add a sense of character to a living room. The New York Times covered Ashwell's Shabby Chic style last week (read it here), and she just opened the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture store in New York. I definitely have to pay a visit.

October 10, 2009

Rita Konig's Guide on How to Achieve Domestic Bliss

Ever since Domino, which I miss dearly, began featuring its then-contributor Rita Konig's apartment, I've been a fan of the design expert. Konig currently writes for the design section of The Moment, a blog on NYTimes.com, and her posts are always jam-packed with useful tips on home decor or just simple insights into the items she loves or what she's doing with her own place.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I had no idea Konig is an author and was so delighted to come across her 2002 book, Domestic Bliss: Simple Ways to Add Style to Your Life. My favorite chapters are "The Details" and "Domestic Chores." If you can get down how to pay attention to the small elements in your home that can make it more inviting, and then figure out a not-so-painful routine for keeping the place tidy, you're in really good shape. Domestic Bliss is a must-read, but these two chapters in particular really hit home for me.

Konig in her adorable apartment. Photo: dominomag.com