Going "Green" in the Bathroom

Saving the planet actually begins at home. You’ve already ditched the plastic grocery bags, started a neighborhood recycling effort and bought yourself a hybrid car. As odd as it sounds the next step can start by greening up your bathroom. It’s a room that is used frequently on a daily basis. You’ll be quite surprised at the simple changes you can make to create an environmentally friendly bathroom. Here are some of our favorite ideas!

Shower Curtains

Choosing the right shower curtain will make a positive difference on your health and the environment. Today, there are many options for “green” shower curtains.

Did you know those cheap PVC (polyvinyl chloride) shower curtains create noxious gasses that can harm you and your family? The minute you take that plastic shower curtain out of the package, you get a big hit of that horrible smell. It’s a result of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs that include a cancer-causing compound known as bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP. Once the package is opened it will off-gas for a month or more.

Choosing the right shower curtain will make a positive difference on your health and the environment. Today, there are many options for “green” shower curtains. To save money, look for PEVA ((polyethylene vinyl acetate). These are environmentally friendly, approved by the EPA and PVC free. Another choice is recycled polyester fabric. They’re machine washable and mold resistant.

A more expensive option is organic cotton or hemp shower curtains. They often come in their natural hues or printed with non-toxic dyes to add a pop of color. Like most shower curtains, these also come in various sizes and can be installed with regular shower rings, clips or grommets. This type is quite an investment but will last much longer than synthetic materials.

Bath Mats
Another environments hazard is your unassuming bath mat. The cheap rugs contain those nasty VOCs which also pose a health threat. They tend to easily breed mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory problems and severe allergies. In addition, they do not break down, so they will remain in landfills for posterity. Consider buying a biodegradable bath mat to help the environment.

Fabric bath mats and rugs are the most common but other materials work just as well and are extremely durable and create less of a health hazard. Teak or cork mats dry quicker than fabric or synthetic rugs and have a stylish spa-like appearance. Cork is a renewable resource and has a little cushion versus teak.

If you still prefer soft fabric underfoot, why not research organic cotton. It’s another eco-friendly choice and has the same look and feel as a standard cotton bath rug—except it’s much softer to the touch. Mats made from bamboo fibers are another sustainable choice and are even suppler than cotton. Both plants are grown without the use of pesticides.

Cleaning Products
It’s time to move away from chemical bathroom cleaners. They do happen to kill bacteria effectively, however they are a danger to your family and the overall environment. The chemicals go down the drain and into public water systems, or in the case of a well, they can soak into the soil via septic systems and contaminate ground water.

Chemical cleaning products can cause contact dermatitis and many other issues if absorbed into the skin. Their caustic vapors are very harmful to your lungs, mucus membranes and eyes.

Luckily there are hundreds of environmentally friendly cleaning products for use in the bathroom and other parts of the home. These naturally-based, biodegradable cleansers are about the same price as chemical-laden products and, in most cases, are as effective. With greening of the planet at an all-time high, large corporations are looking into formulations to compete with natural cleaning products.

Always check the label when buying bathroom cleaners. Avoid anything containing phosphates, chlorine and ammonia. Ingredients such as d-limonene and lauramine oxide are great alternative to chemicals.

Bath Towels
Along with shower curtains and bath mats, you can make a change by switching from regular cotton or microfiber to organic cotton and bamboo towels. Both are super soft, absorbant and contain no harmful dyes or chemicals.

Higher quality organic bath towels will cost more than the standard versions. You don’t have to go out and replace them all at once. You can purchase one at a time as your old towels wear out.

More Eco-Friendly Bathroom Ideas
Traditional water heaters are a drain on your pocketbook and a huge waste of energy. Consider the amount of consumption to run a water heater 24/7. It has to maintain gallons and gallons of water at a constant temperature. Tankless water heaters are the wave of the future.

They take up little space, mounted on a wall and heat the water as it is needed—that’s why we refer to them as “on-demand” water heaters. The price of tankless units have dropped, so they’ve become much more affordable and on par with conventional water heaters.

In the mid-1990s, low-flow toilets were a decent way to reduce water consumption. Unfortunately, they used such little water it was much more difficult to flush solid waste. Now, a better alternative is to install a dual-flush toilet. It only uses on average 1.5 gallons of water per flush. One lever is for liquid and the other one is to remove solid waste. This type of toilet can save approximately 7,000 gallons of water in a year for a family of four. Or, you can convert your regular toilet unit into a dual flush with a converter kit.


Stylish Ways to Decorate With Mirrors

Mirrors not only help us get ready every morning, they can also add sparkle and personality to your rooms in the most unexpected ways. While we tend to think of them as strictly functional, using properly placed mirrors will actually maximize your home’s style, enhance existing décor and visually expand spaces.

If you’re looking to add design drama to your rooms, we have a few smoke and mirror tricks up our sleeves to get your inspiration flowing. It’s time to become one with the reflective magic of mirrors.

Mirrored Tabletops

Consider using a mirror to top a table. This DIY project is an easy and cheap way to use what’s on hand and give your room a hint of sophistication. If you don’t have one lying around, look for a round, square or rectangle mirror and pop it onto a ceramic garden stool, tree stump or an old table base to create a stylish side table as a perch for your favorite libation.

Here’s how to do it: Attach the mirror with an all-purpose adhesive that works on ceramics, pottery, glass, metal and wood. Let your creation dry for at least 24 hours then show it off to everyone at your next cocktail party! Or how about another fresh idea? Inset a mirror into a retro coffee table. It’s great for showcasing decorative accessories and creating a shimmering surface in the room.

Mirrored Focal Point

An oversize mirror as a focal point is a foolproof option used by designers to create major impact in a room. A large mirror will look fabulous above the fireplace, over the sofa or simply propped against the wall in the entry or dining room. If you don’t have or can’t afford a large-scale mirror, arrange a grouping of smaller mirrors on the wall to create the same effect. Decorative items reflected in the mirror will increase its prominence.

Mirrored Table Settings

We love this idea! When you’re out and about at garage sales or flea markets, hunt down unframed vintage mirrors to substitute as chargers for a dinner party, holiday event or everyday meals. Plain mirrors or ones with bevels or etched edges will give your dining room an eclectic feel paired with mismatched dinnerware. Any shape will do as long as they are slightly larger than your dinner plates. In lieu of individual chargers, find a long rectangular mirror to place down the center of the table. Imagine the flicker of candlelight and the reflection of your centerpiece on your unique table runner.

Mirrored Backsplash

If you’re looking for an idea that will open up a cramped kitchen, look no further than mirrors. A mirrored backsplash is perfect for a butler’s pantry or counter area away from cooktops or sinks to cut down on constant cleaning.

For non-DIYers, your local glass company will be more than happy to do the measuring, cutting and installation. These professionals will create a seamless gleaming backsplash that is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood. To save money on materials, labor and installation consider doing it yourself by installing mirrored wall tiles. Use the peel-and-stick versions or regular mirrored tiles. Either way, a mirrored backsplash will transform bland to glam.

Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture pieces are the epitome of sophistication and a key element in Hollywood Regency design. If you love the look but hate the high price tag, it is possible to create this classic style yourself. Start small by covering drawer fronts on a small dresser or end table. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can attempt wrapping an entire piece of furniture in mirror.

Head to the home improvement center with your furniture dimensions—drawer fronts, sides and top. An associate will be more than happy to cut the pieces for you. Put on your work gloves and lightly sand the sharp edges. Apply heavy-duty mastic to the back of the mirror sections and firmly press onto the furniture’s surface. Use clamps to secure the mirror pieces until the mastic dries. Attach knobs to the drawer fronts with an adhesive made especially for glass. Clean up the mirror with acetone to remove excess adhesive. This project is not for the faint of heart but the finished product will totally up the trend factor in any room of your house.


Design Styles : : Arts and Crafts

The main appeal of Arts and Crafts style draws from its simple design and straightforward values. This style movement was a reaction to the ornate and mass produced excesses of the Victorian Era. In contrasts, Arts and Crafts employs natural materials, handmade craftsmanship with a minimalistic air.

Arts and Crafts not only defines a specific architectural style but also refers to the overarching artistic movement which began in England during the 1860s and is attributed to William Morris. Arts and Crafts crossed the Atlantic around the turn of the 20th century with American furniture maker Gustav Stickley at the helm and remained popular well into the 1940s—thanks to the design contributions of renowned architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

The movement encompassed art, interior design, architecture and a general philosophy that embraced simpler times. While the Arts and Crafts aesthetic highlighted slight regional differences, each showcased handmade objects, functional and affordable decor, warm, earthy colors, locally sourced materials and homes that blurred the line between architecture and nature.


Craftsman style was the American offshoot of the British Arts and Crafts movement. The style was adopted and honed by California brothers and architects Charles and Henry Greene. This radical shift in design, referred to as Western Stick style, was publicized in magazines such as Gustav Stickley’s, The Craftsman.

This down-to-earth style took hold quickly and spread from coast-to-coast. Craftsman house plans and furnishings flourished between the world wars. Craftsman style was the antithesis of fussy Victorian decoration. Craftsman homeowners subscribed to the ideals of straightforward design and  basic construction techniques.

Beautiful woodwork was the hallmark of Craftsman style—from its dark oak wainscoting, doors, trim, built-in storage and functional furniture pieces. Nature inspired stenciling and friezes adorned walls. Earth tones and muted colors were chosen in favor of bright hues. Domestic pottery, hammered metal detail, bronze lighting and organic accessories created the perfect pairing for Craftsman homes.


Mission was an offshoot of Craftsman style with a variety of interpretations. In southwestern states it was referred to as Spanish Mission with Latin elements and Native American influences. In other parts of the country, Mission stayed close to the earthy color palette and angular lines of the original Arts and Crafts movement.

When choosing a Mission style decorating scheme, choose colors that evoke a natural feel with hints of the desert such as deep green, umber, dark gray, slate blue, soft rose and gold. Add pops of saturated colors that inject southwestern flavor like turquoise, deep red and goldenrod—especially in accessories or hand-painted tiles.

Mission style is characterized as casual and welcoming. As with Craftsman furnishings, natural oak woodwork is the star of the show. Painting wood is a no-no—a warm stain is all that’s required. Furniture pieces, cabinetry and paneling are simple and play off of geometric lines and uninterrupted surfaces that display the beauty of wood. Leather upholstery and hand woven textiles add a touch of softness to hard surfaces.


Frank Lloyd Wright was at the forefront of Prairie School style in the early years of the 20th century. Prairie homes and furnishings echoed the geography of the Midwest plains—flat and expansive. The style featured horizontal planes, low roof lines, geometric forms and organic materials.

Wright’s interpretation of Arts and Crafts included many built-in furnishings such as seating, shelving and inglenooks to keep interiors free of clutter. Furniture was also designed with Prairie architecture in mind. Minimal lines, low coffee tables and long benches mimicked the low ceilings and long lines of Prairie style homes. Oak, slate, decorative tile and art glass were materials common to Prairie School design.

Wright also drew heavily from the clean geometry of Japanese design and decorative arts, including Shoji-type screens, pocket doors, lacquerware accessories and Asian-inspired light fixtures. A subtle color palette in a Prairie style home might include terra cotta, cream, butter yellow and taupe. Handmade textiles and folk art with a southwestern flair played to Wright’s deep appreciation of the American West.


Color Cache : : Give Your Rooms a Color Therapy Session

We most often associate home decorating with aesthetics but it goes much deeper than superficial beauty. Did you know you can positively affect the emotional well-being of you and your family by simply changing paint colors? Color psychology is used in both residential and commercial applications to promote specific moods and behavior.

Color consultants have been doing this for years and it is something you can do for your home as well. Start by examining the primary use of each room or space in your house. Although it is not an exact science, color professionals say certain colors work better than others depending on the room’s function.

Next, choose a wall color that encourages whatever activity is happening in the room. So how do you know which colors to choose? That’s where we come in! We’re going to share expert advice and the psychology behind paint colors that work best for each room in your house.


This is one room where mood is of utmost importance. The bedroom is your sanctuary and a place that is designed for relaxation and intimacy. Stick with cool colors like subtle blues, grays and greens to give your master retreat a serene resort hotel feel. Colors with higher intensities such as red or orange tend to stimulate rather than calm. Green, blue and even certain shades of purple have the opposite effect, making them perfect for the boudoir.

Living Room

Warm colors like browns, oranges, reds and golds are perfect for public spaces like the living room and entry hall. These earthy hues tend to initiate conversation and make friends and family feel welcome in the space. This group of colors encourages social interaction and a sense of connection.

Home Office

Make your office setting the scene of success and productivity. Most color experts agree that the color green is a great choice for a home office. Green subconsciously equates to money and the desire to earn more. It contributes to concentration and allows you to focus on your tasks in order to complete them faster. This will allow you to spend more time with your family and less time working. 

Dining Room

Select a wall color that stimulates the appetite of your guests. By the way, red is one of the most popular colors for restaurants and dining rooms for that very reason. It is a fun color that works equally well in formal or casual spaces. Use it to stir up imagery of delectable dishes and enticing aromas. No matter what you’re serving for dinner, it will look and taste even better with a dash of red!


Did you spend a lot of time in the kitchen with your mom or grandmother when you were growing up? Those happy memories might give you inspiration for your kitchen color. If your family home had a sunny yellow kitchen, it could be the right color for you and your family. If you can’t remember a kitchen color from the past, neutral colors like light gray or white will give your food prep area a crisp, clean appearance. They look fabulous with dark countertops and stainless appliances.

Exercise Room

If you like to start your day with an invigorating workout, you’re exercise room color should be highly motivating. Hot colors such as red and orange help you wake up and move. The downside is they can make you feel overheated. Try using electric colors like lime green, neon yellow or vibrant fuchsia to get your blood pumping without the added heat.


Whites and neutral colors were once the favorite colors for bathrooms. In many homes they still are, but now colors of the sea are particularly popular to create a spa-like environment. These fresh colors are the perfect choice if you like a luxurious soak in the tub. Ocean-inspired colors like sea glass green, tidal pool blue or sandy beige are not only relaxing, they also put you in a very flattering light. Tiny powder rooms are a completely different story. They are known as the jewel box of the home. These diminutive spaces can easily carry off intense hues, such as rich teal, metallic gold and deep aubergine.


Home Decorating for Beginners

You're all grown up with a real job and an apartment of your very own. You’re starting life’s big journey and suddenly realize it’s time to look and act the part of a responsible adult. You dream of inviting friends and family over for a sophisticated evening of cocktails and dinner, but sadly your place still looks like a college dorm room.

As much as you’d love to completely redecorate, the reality of a limited budget leaves little left for home décor. So, to help you get on your decorating feet, we’re sharing valuable design tips from the pros that will make your place look like the successful person you have become—without cleaning out your bank account.

Don’t skimp on essential pieces. Interior designers will tell anyone decorating their first home to spend as much as you can afford on items such as sofas, dining room furniture and beds. You can always go the budget route with your accessories like throw pillows, bedding, art and lighting to pull it all together. Investment furniture works like your go-to black dress or favorite jacket—they’re the foundation for everything else.

Seek out furniture with character. There’s nothing like a vintage furniture piece to impart quality and character to your home. You don’t want your place to look like a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog. Adding in a few vintage items create a space that is interesting, personal and inviting. Obviously, we’re not talking about Grandpa’s broken down recliner or Aunt Emma’s plastic covered sofa. We’re referring to good deals on solid furniture like a mid century coffee table or an art deco hutch. Scour your local paper for estate and garage sales and sites like Chairish and Craigslist for steals and deals.

Invest in transportable furnishings. When first staring out, you’re more than likely to move several times before settling down in the home of your dreams. A chair or dresser can go along with you, but it will be impossible to take wallpaper, shiplap or specially made window cornices. Instead of custom touches that remain behind, consider investing in paintings to make your home a personal statement. Original art doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can reframe a thrift store find making it part of your curated collection.

Swap out old fixtures for new. Just because you’re renting, doesn’t mean you have to put up with old light fixtures. Changing out a chandelier or pendant is much easier than you might imagine and makes a big impact. Check out thrift stores and big sales at lighting retailers for deals on sconces or outdoor lighting. When you’re ready to move, switch it back and take your lighting to the next place. If you are super handy around the house, you can even swap out plumbing fixtures—it’s just a bit more involved and time consuming than lighting.

Buy budget-friendly accessories. Don’t toss away your hard earned paycheck on things like bedding, towels, area rugs and throw pillows. These are items that get a lot of wear and will need to be replaced regularly. Accessories in general are also trendy in nature, so as tastes and trends evolve, you are more inclined to exchange them for the latest colors and styles. And besides, updating your space with inexpensive accessories is a great way to refresh your space.

Don’t get carried away. Settling into your first place is always an exciting time. The inclination is to go on a major shopping spree to fill every wall, nook and cranny right away. Don’t rush. Go slowly so you can feel it out and see what you really need and determine how you want to decorate the space.

Bring in the basics one at a time. That way you’ll put together a home that functions for you and is a reflection of your personal style. This gradual approach will also give you the chance to save up for better quality furniture. If you are cash strapped at the moment, you can always go to IKEA for your foundation pieces, then in a few years upgrade as needed.

Set up your kitchen on the cheap. Even though you may not have the stylish cooking space you’d hoped for, you can make some simple additions to spice it up. Make a grocery run and grab wonderfully graphic items like brightly labeled canned tomatoes or beautiful tins of cookies from the import market. Display them on open shelves or in glass front cabinets. Create a still life with wine and fruit placed on a wood cutting board to add texture and interest.

When stocking the kitchen for the first time, spend a little extra on three different types of utility knives, one style of drinking glass that can be used for a variety of beverages and several decent pots, pans and baking dishes. Big box discount retailers or restaurant supply stores are good sources to help you save money.


Make the Most of Your Small Outdoor Space

Not all of us are blessed with an expansive outdoor entertaining space. Whether you have a dinky patio, narrow balcony or a diminutive deck, you can turn it into a beautiful, practical and fun outdoor space to enjoy all spring, summer and fall. Check out these super easy tips to give your small patio the big presence it deserves!

1. Treat it like another room in your house.

You don’t have to spend much at all on this one. Simply leave the door or slider to your outdoor space open and make it an extension of your indoor living space. All you need is an all-weather area rug and a simple seating group to create another “room”. Layer on a few outdoor pillows, candles and plants to connect the outdoors with the indoors.

2. Go minimal.

If you have a teeny tiny balcony, keep things simple. Three furniture pieces will do the trick. A bistro set will double for entertaining and dining making your small outdoor space extremely versatile.

3. Consider Scale and Proportion

Basically this means to make sure your furnishings fit in the space and work with each other. Use items of similar scale so they don’t overwhelm the limited dimensions of your patio. Create balance through shape, color and texture for a pleasing visual effect.

4. Use space saving furniture. 

Give yourself and your guests a little breathing room by using functional furniture that folds up and moves out of the way when not in use. A folding table and chairs can come out for an intimate dinner party and can go into storage when you are ready for a relaxing afternoon with your folding chaise lounge and side table.

5. Draw the eye up.

You may not have square footage on your side, but you can give your patio the illusion of additional space by utilizing perpendicular surfaces. A small patio umbrella not only protects you from the summer sun, it also adds height. Plant a hanging wall garden to free up floor space and create vertical interest.  If you have a patio cover, install a set of patio string lights overhead to enhance the mood.

Moving Checklist

As summer fast approaches and the kids are finally out of school, moving season kicks into high gear. While you may not be able to undertake the physical part of your family's move on your own, you can plan and organize it with the help of our handy-dandy moving checklist!

Baebii | Homeagination

Outdoor Grills 101

Get ready for barbeque season with our introductory class on outdoor grills. We break down each type and give you the pros and cons so you can get the most out of your investment.

We humans have been cooking over an open fire since the dawn of man. You’d think by now we’d know everything there is to know about outdoor grills. But thanks to ever-changing grill technology and design, we spend most of our time scratching our collective heads trying to figure out which one best suits our needs and budget.

We will help your decision-making process along by breaking down the three main types of grills based on how they work, their strengths, weaknesses and average price tag.

Grilling purists swear by the simplicity of the charcoal grill. Based on its name, this type of grill relies on chunks of charred wood (carbon) to cook your food. If you have a leisurely afternoon or evening to prepare your meal, charcoal grilling is perfect for you. This method takes time but the end result is definitely worth the wait. There’s nothing quite like the flavor of a steak cooked over charcoal embers.

When you hit the stores or online retailers, these features are a must: purchase one with stainless steel, porcelain or ceramic grates to make clean up easier. Design choices are wide and varied. The ubiquitous kettle grill is one of the most popular, followed by barrel styles and egg-shaped—plus many of shapes in between. The kettle grill is mainly for cooking up a quick dinner. Barrel and egg grills are more along the lines of smokers that rely on low and slow grilling.

The Good: Charcoal tends to cook hotter than gas or electric which is great for searing meat and getting a tasty char on veggies. This keeps foods moist and juicy while creating a nice flavorful crust on the outside.

The Bad: As we mentioned earlier, charcoal grilling take a bit of patience to the coals glowing. The traditional method takes at least 30-45 minutes to get the coals hot and ready for cooking. You could use a lighter fluid, but it’s not a healthy option and gives the food an extremely unpleasant taste. Use an electric wand or chimney starter to help speed up the process. At the end of your meal, it takes time to clean out the grill and properly dispose of the ashes.

The Cost: Cheap charcoal grills are out there for as little as $20. However, those of higher quality can fall within the $160 to $350 range. If you want the best available, high-end models can be had for $1000 and more.

Traditionalists may consider gas grills cheating, but  most admit that grilling with gas is quicker and easier than charcoal. Statistics show almost 60% of Americans purchase gas grills versus charcoal or electric. If you are a renter, you probably run your gas grill via a propane bottle. Homeowners with natural gas can hook up their grill to an exterior line, eliminating the need to run out at the last minute or during cooking to refill the propane tank.

Basic gas grills feature black powder coated aluminum and can have either one or two burners. For the occasional outdoor chef, these meet most of your requirements. If you take care of your basic gas grill, it can easily last for 10 years.

Higher end gas grills often have stainless steel cases and multiple burners to allow for indirect grilling. Plus, your grill will probably have a side burner or two and stainless steel or porcelain grates. Top of the line models feature warming shelves, a rotisserie function, heat zone separation, wood chip drawers and built-in digital meat thermometers.

The Good: These grills heat up in a matter of minutes, making them the perfect option for getting out of the kitchen on warm summer evenings to prepare a quick and easy meal. There’s really no messy cleaning involved—burn food particles off the grates and empty the grease trap once the unit has cooled.

The Bad: Less expensive models don’t have all the bells and whistles, and you don’t get quite the same smokiness of a charcoal grill. The cost of propane and especially natural gas can make gas grilling less attractive if you are on a tight budget.

The Cost: Basic gas grills start at about $150. If you’re looking to impress, you can find them upwards of $10,000.

While they may not be everyone’s go to grill, electric versions do provide a viable alternative to those who live in apartments or high rises with restrictions on gas and charcoal grills. These types of grills are compact and operate with electric elements that produce high heat instead of flames.

Your food either rests on a griddle type surface or a ceramic grate. Infared technology has made electric grills more efficient and popular. They not only maintain even heat distribution for juicy cooking, they also prevent big flare-ups.

The Good: Electric grills are compact, portable and will work wherever there is an electric outlet. The cooking technology in the electric segment has improved greatly.

The Bad: You won’t get the smoky flavor like you do from charcoal and gas grilling. You can, however, add a pan of wood chips to add a little extra zip. Depending on your local electricity rates, it could be costly to operate.

The Cost: Electric grills range anywhere in price from $60 for a tabletop model to over $1,000 for a deluxe smoker.


Goodbye Hygge, Hello Lagom

If  Scandinavian 'hygge’ has somehow passed you by, don’t worry, you can take advantage of another trend from the land of the midnight sun. There’s a new kid in town that's even better than hygge and it goes by the name ‘lagom’. Remember that word.

If you don't know, hygge is pronounced ‘hoo-gah’ and roughly translates to coziness. Over the last year or so, hygge has been EVERYWHERE. You could hardly open Pinterest, flip through a shelter magazine or shop anywhere without being bombarded by warm knitwear, rough wood, comfy throws, scented candles, hot beverage recipes and sheepskin rugs. That’s hygge. But hygge is over and overdone. Enter its younger, cooler, socially-conscious cousin, lagom. 

First of all, lagom is pronounced just like it’s spelled. That gives it a definite leg up over hygge. Its meaning, translated into English, is ‘just the right amount’—a Scandinavian trait that’s quite the opposite of snuggly cozy. Lagom is more along the lines of frugality, practicality, equality and symmetry. It’s kind of like channeling Goldilocks—Not too much. Not too little. Just right.

While hygge focuses on a specific point in time, like curling up in a comfy chair on a snowy afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate, lagom is seen as a key philosophy of life. Instead of creating a moment of hygge in your day, lagom is an overall approach to daily living. Lagom is extremely popular in the UK and is quickly making its way across the pond into your home and life.

If you’re wondering how to get lagom in your life, look no further than furniture and lifestyle retailer, IKEA. They have a project called ‘Live Lagom’ to show consumers how to create a more sustainable life. Other companies are also getting in on this hot trend by introducing health and beauty products, clothing and furnishings to help you get more out of life and save money at the same time. Now, that’s a concept we can really get on board with!

In relation to design, lagom has a minimal look and feel without all the trappings associated with hygge. If you decorate your home in moderation, add a few plants to the mix and you’ll be on trend. Simple, right? Take lagom a step further by keeping track of your expenditures and create a monthly budget. Cut back on energy consumption, buy only the things you need, recycle as much as you can, purchase fair trade products and use more organic materials in your home. You will then be living lagom.


Design Crush : : Triptychs

We’ve all heard of the rule of three in interior design and art. There’s something magical and almost mystical about this odd number—which makes triptychs ideal for adding visual impact to a room. The word and concept of triptychs derives from the Greek word meaning “three fold”.  In home design, triptychs are commonly referred to artwork that is divided equally into three sections.

These impressive works of art were initially discovered gracing the walls of eastern European churches of the Byzantine Empire. Today, triptychs can be photographs, painted works or reproductions of a single image split up into three separate panels. Occasionally you’ll see triptychs consisting of three distinct images that work together thematically.

Let’s take a look at a few fun examples and we’ll give you ideas on how to work them into your décor.

Birch Tree Forest
An abstract take on a birch forest is the perfect complement to a contemporary room. These oversize panels are the perfect backdrop for mid-century inspired design and contrast beautifully with an edgy, industrial wall treatment. This particular triptych is reproduced on canvas panels and covered with a gel coat to give the illusion of brushstrokes or application with a palette knife.

Still Life Palm Fronds
This triptych features a realistic composition of banana palm fronds created from metal. The open sections and pressed metal fronds add texture, interest and a hint of color to a dining room above a sideboard or a headboard wall in the master bedroom. A triptych can transform your room into a tropical vacation getaway.

Graphic Photography
An up close and personal tri-panel split photograph of a hybrid wolf dog aims to impress. This triptych is printed on HD aluminum metal panels to give the image a lustrous finish. This engaging trio will surely be the  focal point of an office or expansive wall in a great room.

Coastal Getaway 
This is a wonderful triptych with a calming coastal feel that would be right a home in any casual living area. Its generous dimensions make a big statement, while the soft, beachy hues prevent it from dominating the space. These three pieces work as one large piece of art. They would look great over a sofa in a vacation home or an urban loft apartment.