The Defining a Style Series: What Is Contemporary Design?

Contemporary design

What features make up contemporary design? Keep reading to find out. Image: Openspace Architecture

Whether you’re new to the world of interior design or have been an aficionado for years, sometimes it can be hard to tell design styles apart. Admittedly, there is a lot of crossover between aesthetics and nowhere is there more crossover than with contemporary design. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly it is that makes a room “contemporary,” you’re not alone.

That’s where we come in. This post is dedicated to dissecting the ins and outs of contemporary design. Keep reading to learn which features set this style apart from the crowd, as well as what you can do to create this look within your own home. Believe us when we say there’s a reason why this look has stood the test of time.

borrowing elements

Contemporary design borrows elements from many different design styles. Image: Michael Downes – UA Creative

What is contemporary design?

At its core, the word “contemporary” means “of the moment,” which makes this style particularly hard to define. Dating back to the 1970s, this style is unique because it borrows elements from many other aesthetics. In it, you can see nods to modern, traditional, art deco and even futuristic design.

The other defining point of contemporary design is that it’s constantly evolving. Unlike other styles which are more or less set in stone, what’s “of the moment” today may change in a few years’ time. Today, the look is defined by curved lines, neutral colors and minimalism, but it may look slightly different in the future.


Pay attention to shape and form. Image: Hillstar Construction Services

Focus on form

Usually, when we discuss how to put a room together, we recommend focusing on function over form. In this case, however, the two have to take equal priority. Form is one of the foundational elements of contemporary design. It’s one of the elements that sets this design style apart from other, similar aesthetics like modern design.

When we talk about “form,” we’re really discussing shape. Where modern design is synonymous with clean, almost boxy lines, contemporary design takes things a step further. These spaces often feature a mixture of both straight and elegantly curved lines, which can be seen as a slight nod to this style’s art deco roots.

Ideally, you should incorporate these eye-catching lines in a variety of ways throughout the design. If you’re working on a remodel, consider adding an eye-catching architectural element like a shapely fireplace or room divider. If not, make an effort to include some curved furniture, lighting or décor elements.

neutral shades

Stick to neutral shades. Image: Mesh Design Projects

Stick to neutrals

Neutral shades are the cornerstone of contemporary design. If you’re aiming to pay homage to this style, blacks, whites, tans and grays should make up the bulk of your design. Occasionally, bold solids may also be used, but if so, they are typically relegated to the role of an accent shade and used sparingly.

Ultimately, you can decide whether you want to include a splash of color or to stick to mixing neutrals. However, if you choose to go the latter route, it’s a good idea to include lots of texture in your design. Remember, in design parlance,  the term “texture” refers to how an item looks like it feels. A variety of textures will help add visual interest into the space.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting elements for ambiance. Image: Arthur Rutenberg-Oakmont Custom Homes

Let in light

The final key to creating a contemporary design is layering plenty of lighting throughout the room, paying special attention to natural light. In this case, contemporary style borrows a detail from mid-century modern design. Whenever possible, be sure to let in lots of natural light. Windowed walls are common in these spaces, but if they’re not an option, do your best to let light in from any available windows.

After exhausting your options for natural light, it’s time to look into your typical layered options.

  • Ambient: Also known as general lighting, ambient light fills the majority of the room and allows you to move around safely. It usually comes from recessed lighting, track lighting or wall-mounted fixtures.
  • Accent: Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular focal point, such as a piece of wall art. Picture lights, wall-mounted-fixtures or track lighting are common, and dimmers are often used on these features to provide mood lighting.
  • Task: As the name suggests, task lights are used to assist you in completing a particular function. This could be anything from desk lamps to pendant lights that hang over a kitchen island.

Ideally, your room will feature at least one lighting element from each category. To add a contemporary flair to your design, focus on choosing shapely fixtures that work well with the curvy lines in your furniture. You’ll also want to choose pieces made of metals.

contemporary design

Use these tips to create contemporary design in your own home. Image: Elena Calabrese Design & Decor

Unlike other styles, contemporary design is defined by the fact that it’s essentially a hodgepodge of other aesthetics from the later part of the last century. In our opinion, it’s taken the best elements of these looks to create a style that stands the test of time. If you, too, are a fan of contemporary looks, use this post as a guide for how to re-create this style in your own interiors. All it takes is a few simple steps.

What do you think of contemporary design? Will you bring this look into your own interiors? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Check Out Trends and Products from 2018 Kitchen and Bath International Show

The Kitchen and Bath International Show (KBIS) is the biggest show of the year for kitchen and bath designers and manufacturers. It took place in Orlando last month and the product offerings were pretty hot — especially if you’re into modern and contemporary design. Here’s a round up of the best kitchen and bath trends and products from KBIS 2018.

Show winner: Grid faucet by Kallista

kitchen and bath trends for 2018

The striking design and black finish, which was a big show trend, earned this faucet the KBIS Best in Show prize. Image: Kallista

Walker Zanger Liquid Forms Tile

kitchen and bath trends for 2018

The tile manufacturer hosted the inaugural Kaza Design Competition in search of the best and most innovative new tile design and the winner was this Liquid Forms, by architect Aybars Asci, now available as part of the Kaza design collection.

V-Zag Glass Shower Door by Vanessa Deleon for Coastal Shower Doors

Part of the Coastal Shower Doors Insider Series, the V-Zag features a chevron pattern with gold on the glass panels.

WineSteward Wine Dispensing System by Vinotemp

kitchen and bath trends 2018

The WineSteward, a wine cooling and dispensing system that keeps wine fresh for 45 days, can be integrated into kitchen cabinetry.

Verdera by Kohler Voice Activated Mirror

best bathroom trends for 2018

The Verdera has built-in Amazon Alexa technology so you can voice activate the lighting, send it commands and stream music much like you could in any other Alexa device.

Electric Marble by SICIS

best kitchen countertop ideas

SICIS has figured out how to take ordinary marble and insert bold colors like fuchsia, turquoise, gold and silver into the material.

Expanding Table Mechanism by Richelieu

A brilliant idea for those with limited space and counter area. Richelieu created this sturdy and elegant-looking stowable counter surface.

NikolaTesla All-In-One Cooktop by Elica

A cooktop designed for the true minimalist, this surface by Elica not only cooks but also extracts smoke, eliminating the need to have an overhead hood.

Essence Interchangeable Color Faucet by Grohe

If your mood and style change often, you’ll like the new addition of color to the Essence faucet collection by Grohe. It’s easy to swap out the color to update the look of your sink on a whim.

DXV Modulus Bath Suite

The items in the Modulus Collection by DX are all contemporary, interchangeable, floating in design and modular so homeowners can create the bath suite of their choice.

 Professional Series Range by Bertazzoni

The Professional Series features old-school chronograph dials and the most vibrant yellow, orange or red finish you’ll ever see.

Vale Hardware by Belwith Keeler

Belwith Keeler has been making hardware for 125 years. The Vale knob was first introduced in its 1953 Modern Hardware catalog. New finishes were introduced at KBIS to update the classic design.

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Big lifestyle makeovers fail, this is what does work

It’s tempting, when you know you want to change, to change everything all at once.

It feels like you’re really doing something, taking control, if you do it big and full force.

Making these big sweeping changes feels powerful. Any discomfort at the changes is overshadowed by this sense of power and control.

Until that sense of power begins to wear off, and all you’re left with is discomfort. Everything is different and your brain, who lovesssss homeostasis, is screaming at you to just get back to normal.

But still, if you’re pregnant or postpartum and want to be healthy, you probably don’t know another way than this total lifestyle makeover that is so popular in our culture and the media (Biggest Loser type shows, etc).

But you want permanent results, not to start and stop, start and stop all over again, right? This needs to be sustainable for the long-term.

So if a total lifestyle makeover all in one day doesn’t work in the long-term, what does?

Tiny Lifestyle Tweaks

Let’s say your current breakfast is a fast food breakfast sandwich that you’re scarfing down between red lights on your way to work, washed down with a sugary latte.

Rather than labeling foods “good or bad”, which causes you to go into the restrict/binge cycle (or yo-yo dieting), look at how these foods are affecting you. Do you have indigestion? How does your blood sugar feel after you eat? Are these choices making your long-term goals easier or more difficult? This mindset of non-judgmental evaluation makes your decision less emotional and more rational.

So how can you level-up your breakfast, making it just a little bit better? What *tweak* can you make that will help you feel better and move you closer to your goals, one baby step at a time?

You might decide to leave 5 minutes earlier and eat your breakfast sandwich at work, but mindfully and slowly instead of scarfing it down. You might decide to switch to a coffee with 2% instead of the latte, or one less pump of syrup.  Whatever it is, it’s just a tweak.

Once you’re comfortable in this new habit, you take it to the next level with another tiny tweak. Maybe you add some fresh fruit that you can grab and bring with you, or maybe you try your hand at making your own breakfast sandwiches at home that you can bring to work.

When those habits are well-established, you tweak again. You repeat this process until before you know it, you’re waking up a little earlier, sitting down to breakfast where you are slowly and mindfully enjoying a healthy plate of eggs with veggies, fresh fruit, and a huge glass of water along with your coffee (I mean, let’s not get crazy and give up COFFEE).

The same goes for getting physical activity in. You’re doing nothing at all? Start with 5 jumping jacks in the morning as soon as you get out of bed, or at lunch before you eat. Then once that is well-established, level up, tweak that, and make it 5 jumping jacks and 5 air squats. Repeat until you are moving for 30+ minutes each day, and that time you never thought you’d find has suddenly appeared.

It’s not uncommon for me to start new clients with a daily exercise routine of 10 reps of exercise if they haven’t been exercising in some time. I learned to do this the hard way when none of my clients could figure out how to fit 30 minutes a day in, and their adherence levels were falling off to zero after the first week or two in my program. But when I had the idea to only assign them 10 jump squats a day instead, suddenly their confidence grew–“I was able to work out every day!” 10 more jump squats felt fine, and before long they were doing full routines. Whereas before, by the 3rd or 4th week, they had completely given up and stopped exercising completely.

Redefining Success

So what’s better, the perfect plan that you won’t be able to follow, or taking a baby step towards a goal every day that you CAN follow?

“But Deanna, ______ extreme diet worked for me in the past. I lost weight, I felt good, and it worked fast.”

Consider this: if it HAD worked, wouldn’t you still be following it?

Re-define your definition of what “works” means. If you’re wanting to transform your body temporarily, always bouncing back and forth between meal plans and workout plans and beating yourself up for your lack of willpower along the way, then maybe the total lifestyle makeover is your jam.

But for most of us, we don’t want to be fighting a war with our bodies for the rest of our lives. We’d like to make healthy but SUSTAINABLE changes, working with our brains instead of against them.

ACTION: Make a tiny tweak plan for your life. Where are you wanting to make changes, or what do you want to improve? What are the effects of your current lifestyle? Take inventory of those things, and then look over where you can make tiny but sustainable changes to begin.

Once that first tweak is established, you can do the same inventory and find your next “level up” tweak. Keep repeating this process until you are where you want to be and moving towards your goals.

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Big lifestyle makeovers fail, this is what does work


Sketching a New Master Bedroom Closet

My master bedroom closet: what once was a nice upgrade has turned into something that’s completely falling apart!

Within the first year of starting this blog, I wrote at length about converting the three boring hanging poles of my master bedroom closet into a more robust closet organization system.

It was fine… for a few years. But I bought all of the pieces on steep clearance from Lowes, and it all came together somewhat shabbily. I most definitely got what I paid for, and spent years trying to make it work.

The bottom drawer along the back wall kept falling out of its track (the frame was slightly too wide and kept pulling the drawer apart). I realized that I never really used the upper cabinet space. And soon enough, other pieces began to fall apart. After redoing the tile in the master bathroom and realizing that I might need an access panel (in the wall that separates the closet from the maser bath), redoing the closet while I’m at it would be a perfect excuse.

Deciding to revamp my master bedroom closet

When it comes to remodeling a house, there are certain projects that you wish you could redo. This is one of mine. I’ve written about it before, but use it. Unfortunately, you don’t quite know it until you’ve lived in a house for a while, when drawers sit empty and shelves are too short. And that sometimes leads to a good, old-fashioned project revamp.

So, that’s what I’ve finally decided on doing. Buh-bye, broken old closet system. Time for one that I build instead of relying on a closet system that won’t line up or baskets I’ll never use. Luckily, my build skills have grown too, so I am in much better shape to give myself what I really want.

Designing for what I really need

The other night, I started drawing up what I think would be ideal for the kinds of clothes I have and how I like to put them away. For one thing, I hate hanging clothing unless it’s absolutely necessary. I have a lot of bulky sweaters and (somehow) way too much underwear, so I need ample drawer space. Same goes for too many t-shirts (I’ve tried to purge, but I’m still left with lots of ones I can’t part with) and tank tops.

Since shoes are stored in a completely separate place, I no longer need baskets on the floor for shoes. And I’ll need one section for dresses without it running into a lower hanging pole (one of the errors I made with the last closet design). Christmas ornaments will go up top (I have some old family ornaments and I have read extreme temps can tarnish/dull glitter, so I keep them stored in the closet).

Sketching out my plans

After looking at a ton of design options online, I’ve come to a combination I like: several larger drawer spaces, stacked open shelves on one side, and simplified hanging areas along the back.

Left side

Right side


back wall - master bedroom closet
The top pole will run under the left and right side poles…

I scanned these drawings and turned up the contrast, so hopefully this translates well enough for you guys to picture it, too. I’ll eventually sketch these up in 3D as well. But sketching it out felt strangely good; just me and pencil and paper, quietly drawing up a new design.

Have any of you done a closet revamp? Do you have anything you wish you would have accounted for? Happy Friday!

P.S. I also redesigned a new idea I’m kicking around for a taller dresser (#GiveMeAllTheDrawers). It’s based on a photo of a cartographer’s flat file cabinet. The Painted Hive has an absolutely gorgeous project that’s worth checking out in the same vein if you want to get a better picture!

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Sketching a New Master Bedroom Closet


Office Design Envy: Awesome Office Spaces at 10 Brands You Love

There are certain brands we can’t live without – they’re part of our every day lives in so many ways! Do you ever wonder where all the magic happens? Well, we can tell you that amazing things happen in amazing office spaces – and we’ve got proof. Here are some well-known brands and their cool office design, bound to enduce some office envy.

1. Etsy Corporate Headquarters, Brooklyn

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The Etsy reception features a living wall of plants and large, dramatic pendant lights. Image: Etsy

If you’re an entrepreneurial crafter, you probably owe Etsy a muffin basket. We thought Etsy’s offices would be one giant yarn-bomb experiment, but we’re impressed with their elegan, collab-friendly office spaces. Here’s more:

Etsy office spaces and modern office design -

There are plenty of areas throughout Etsy’s office spaces to get your craft on. Image: Etsy

Etsy hanging basket chair office design -

The Green Library may be he coolest hangout in the Etsy Corporate Headquarters, featuring a wall of plants and a hanging basket chair. Image: Etsy

2. Nike NYC Offices

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Nike’s NYC offices are sleek and industrial. Image: Nike

Yes, there’s a big “swoosh” – it’s on the rooftop. But besides the signature swoosh, there are little nods to their sports origins, like the mosaic of Michael Jordan in their cafeteria (below).

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The Nike cafeteria. Image: Nike

3. Airbnb Headquarters, San Francisco

airbnb offices

A living wall of green plants is both stunning and helpful for interior air quality. Image: Gensler

Airbnb has revolutionized how we travel, and make it possible to stay somewhere other than a hotel – and their workspace reflects this. The meeting rooms look more like camping tents than office cubicles.

office space ideas

Camping-style workspaces and meeting rooms. Image: Gensler

4. Apple Park Headquarters, Cupertino

Apple Park office design and office spaces -

A contemplative space with a view in the new Apple Park headquarters. Image: Apple

The spherical building has been top secret for some time now. It’s finally complete — and the views and office design are breathtakingly minimalist. Rumor has it some employees are uncomfortable with the sparse and open office spaces. But the lack of visual clutter is probably incredible for unleashing your creative side, distraction-free.

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The organic yet minimalist furniture was created by Naoto Fugasawa. Image: Apple

5. Beats by Dr. Dre, Los Angeles

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A giant wall mural of Los Angeles is the focal point of the main work space area. Image: Bestor Architecture

They may be owned by Apple, but they definitely don’t look like it. Gold stairwells and lacquer red meeting areas are just a few of the tricked out office design features in this cool office space. Two industrial buildings were renovated to create the space where audiophiles and hipsters come together.

office design spaces and modern office ideas

Whiteboard walls allow creatives to scribble ideas on the wall on the fly. Image: Bestor Architecture

6. Google Offices, New York City

google offices and office design

The ceiling panel in the meeting area projects images and video overhead. Image: Interior Architects

Google has offices around the world, and they’re all pretty creative. In fact, Google’s Zurich, Switzerland location took real ski gondolas and converted them into hanging cubicles. But the NYC location might feature the coolest office design, complete with hammocks for “hanging” out.

google office design

Tech companies are famous for their perks. This bright and sunny space with hammocks is a unique one. Image: Interior Architects

7. Amazon Corporate Headquarters, Seattle

Designed to be part of the community, the Amazon offices in Seattle feature indoor and outdoor spaces. Image: NBBJ

A recent renovation updated Amazon’s Seattle offices to offer more work and lounge areas. An open floor plan optimizes flow and allows for workers to drift throughout the day while working.

Industrial cool tones and steel are offset by vibrant reds and oranges. Image: NBBJ

8. YouTube Work Space, Los Angeles

work space YouTube

The main lobby area of the YouTube workspace located just south of Los Angeles in Playa Vista. Image: YouTube

Most of the office spaces in this article are off limits. But if you have at least 10,000 YouTube followers, you can access their workspace for your production needs. According to their website, “YouTube Space LA contains large production stages, green screens, cameras, lights, sound gear, electrical and grip equipment. We also offer post-production resources ranging from private editing suites to voice-over recording booths. It’s all available at no charge if your channel has at least 10,000 subscribers.”

YouTube creators have access to 41,000 square feet of work and office space. Image: YouTube

9. Pandora Radio, Oakland

Each booth lights up when occupied. Image: Studios Architecture

The Oakland headquarters feature a DJ booth and plenty of spaces to work, meet and hang out, like the “RADIO” themed booths above.

Pandora Radio Oakland offices reception. Image: Studios Architecture

10. LinkedIn, San Francisco

Bright, airy and vibrant in white with bold color accents. Image: Interior Architects

The San Francisco office designed by Interior Architects was such a hit that LinkedIn asked them to execute their NYC offices, too. Allegedly there’s a hidden speakeasy somewhere in the office spaces, but they’re not telling.

Polished concrete floors add an industrial and low-maintenance vibe to the NYC office space. Image: Interior Architects

Which of these office spaces is your favorite?

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Warning Signs You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet

Similar to a small kid who can’t speak, your dog often needs medical attention, yet have certainly no way to express the fact that this is the case. Too much whimpering might become the standard for a sick doggie, but even then, it’s difficult to distinguish an unhappy pooch from an ill dog. You will find specific warning signs that you must look for if you think your canine should be taken to a veterinarian.

Over the years, we have learned subtly clues from our Mastiff that he is not feeling well.  Once we spot the signs, we take him to our local veterinarian clinic in Wesley Chapel, NC.

Following is a list of some telltale signs, which your dog could deserve a check-up from a vet.

  • Distension or Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a warning sign that your pet should be brought to the vet immediately. If you feel your canine’s abdomen and he shows indications of pain, it may denote that he has a sick stomach. It’s known as gastric dilation-volvulus or typically called as bloat. Internal bleeding because of a ruptured spleen and fluid distension from heart illness may also cause abdominal pain in pets.


  • Leg Paralysis

If you see your four-legged friend suddenly having struggle using one or more of his legs, this is probably herniation in a portion of his spinal cord. This is normally a medical emergency in dogs and when left untreated, it can result in changes in the mental state of your hound.


  • Lethargy or Collapse

You will find ways where your furry friend may seem lethargic or lazy. But when this goes on over 24 to 48 hours, you need to bring him to the vet. If you notice him having extended periods of sleep, disinterest in playing or interacting, hiding in strange places and no desire for your regular walk, he may be suffering from collapse. Metabolic distress, dehydration, internal bleeding, allergic response, Addison ’s disease and even anaphylactic shock normally cause this.


  • Eye Problems

Bulging eyes, red eyes, and extreme tearing and swelling are considered eye emergencies in dogs and they must be carried to the vet as soon as possible. If this left untreated, eye concerns will worse and can result in blindness.


  • Fluctuation in Weight

If you observe that your dog has an impartially rapid weight change, a visit to a vet may be in order. If this denotes that weight is gained quickly or lost quickly, issues can come from both. Maybe it will mean nothing; however, this warning indication poses enough of a danger that you must take your pet to see the veterinarian.


  • Difficulty Breathing

If your pooch starts breathing heavily or having difficulty to breathe, don’t hesitate to call his vet. More so that gain weight, the difficulty of breathing points to a specific issue, which needs attention. Don’t take that wait-and-see approach anything something as a must as breathing becomes a problem for your pet.


  • Seizures

This warning sign seems like a no-brainer when we talk about seeking out medical attention for our pet. This may be caused by massive underlying conditions like epilepsy, toxin ingestion, electrolyte imbalance or brain mass.


  • Diarrhea

If your hound has one or two bouts of diarrhea, he probably doesn’t need a visit to a vet. Nevertheless, if diarrhea continues too long, you may wish to look into seeing your pets’ vet. Too much diarrhea can become challenging, as you may put your pet through a list of harmful problems. For instance, too much diarrhea can result in dehydration. This can severely affect the overall health of your dog that may result in death.

So, if you notice any of these warning signs on your hound, do not hesitate to ask the help of your vet as soon as possible.


Why you might not be eating enough to lose weight while breastfeeding

You’ve established your milk supply and ready to drop the extra weight of pregnancy, but it’s not budging. You’ve tried everything that worked before pregnancy but it just isn’t cutting it this time.

Your frustration levels are through the roof! Why isn’t healthy eating and exercise “working”?

Calorie needs increase during breastfeeding; an estimated 500 calories per day for someone who is breastfeeding exclusively. This seems like it would help with weight loss (and for many women, it does!), but for some, it can make things more challenging.

The rules of weight loss change when you add nursing into the picture. With your calorie needs going up and postpartum hormones at play, your body is going to behave differently.

Why you might not be eating enough

Chances are if you’re anything like most of the women I speak with and coach, you’ve been under-eating without even realizing it (you may not be used to your increased need for energy during breastfeeding, or you think you have to cut a large amount of calories to lose weight). There are two reasons this can make fat loss during breastfeeding difficult:

1. Your body is holding on to reserves

When you’re pregnant and nursing, biology dictates that your body will prioritize calories, nutrition, and energy for the baby over you.

What this means is that your body will desperately hold on to it’s energy reserves if it thinks there is a risk of energy running out.

If your calories are too low, this is sending the body that very signal: energy coming in is low, so hold on to the reserves (stored fat). The body’s metabolism will adapt to be as efficient with the incoming calories as possible so no (or less) fat reserves are used.

2. You’re overeating regularly to compensate for chronic under-eating.

You have planned core meals, and you have compulsive eating. The less you’re eating at your core meals, the more likely your compulsive eating will increase.

By the time you begin to eat compulsively (snacking, grazing, even bingeing), your blood sugar has dropped and your body is seeking fast forms of energy: sugar and simple carbohydrates, foods that do not take long to digest into the blood stream. These foods are generally higher in calories, and this compulsive eating can add up fast, making up for the calorie deficit you created by under-eating and then some.

What to do about it

Use the breastfeeding calorie calculator here to find your maintenance calories (the calories you eat to maintain your milk and your current weight) and subtract 15%. This is your goal range to begin.

Make sure you’re filling about 80-90% of that calorie goal with whole, healthy foods (fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, legumes, and grains). The other 10-20% save for fun nights out, the occasional sweet tooth, birthday parties, social occasions, or weekend brunch.

Eating this way will make sure your body is receiving plenty of nutrients and calories so it will be signaled to release the energy reserves stored on your body in the form of fat.

If you’ve been chronically under-eating, you are going to feel so much better right away – my clients report an increase in energy levels, a decreased obsession with food and snacking, and a stable blood sugar.

Remember to be intuitive over blindly following the calorie calculator, which is just an estimate: don’t force-feed yourself until you are stuffed, but do experiment with different calorie ranges until you find what is right for you.

Be Patient

Give your new calorie range two entire weeks before you judge whether or not it’s the right range for you, and then slowly decrease by 50-100 calories each week after that until you hit what I call “the sweet spot”: enough calories to maintain your milk, signal to your body that it’s getting enough energy in to release the fat reserves, and still be under your maintenance calories.

Do yourself a favor and don’t obsess over any aspect of this process, especially the scale and counting calories. This will drain your energy and cause you to make decisions that will not benefit you in the long run. Stay process-focused rather than results-focused so you don’t make impulsive, emotional decisions.

This process is going to require patience. Focus on your daily habits and the process rather than focusing on the results (the scale). There is a reason they say it took 9 months to put the weight on and 9 months to get the weight off: the postpartum, breastfeeding body is very sensitive and for good reason, it is protecting your baby’s food.

Take this opportunity to learn to love your body at any size, and treat it with the respect it deserves for protecting your baby through nine months of pregnancy and many more months of nursing. Don’t compare yourself to other women: if I have learned anything, it is that we are all so different in our body’s responses to breastfeeding hormones. It’s not personal, it’s just DNA.

The post Why you might not be eating enough to lose weight while breastfeeding appeared first on Fit To Be Pregnant.


Why you might not be eating enough to lose weight while breastfeeding


How To Style a Chic Galentine’s Day Brunch

As soon as stores swipe the tinsel off the shelves, it’s replaced by heart-shaped boxes and all things bright red and pink. When it comes to Saint Valentine’s Day, there are people who love it, others who passionately hate it, and those who remain indifferent to the romance and expectations of the day.

Admittedly, I have dabbled in the indifference category for several years now. I normally love any excuse to celebrate. But Valentine’s Day plans often come with too much pressure to be over-the-top extravagant.

This year I’m taking a new route and looking at the occasion through a new set of rose-colored glasses. The day of love shouldn’t be limited to romantic relationships — why not take a day to celebrate the women in your life by hosting a Galentine’s Day brunch? We’ve got ideas on how to host an elegant brunch that your group won’t soon forget.

Muted pinks and greys add a laid back and sweet ambiance to the room. Image: House of Five

Take a muted path to your color scheme

Millennial pink is the perfect color to build the details of your décor and color scape around. Taking a turn away from the bright reds and pinks usually associated with the holiday adds an unexpected element.

Both these darling candles and this image come from Very Vintage Boutiques on Etsy.

Add elegant birthday candles

Who says birthday candles have to be reserved for once a year? We love the essence of minimalism and festivity that tall birthday candles bring to a batch of cupcakes or otherwise plainly decorated cake for dessert. Try grouping them together in the middle of a full-sized cake, or stick to using just one in the middle of each cupcake or layer cake.

We love these sweet tulip and lavender bunches. Image: Nine and Sixteen Home

Keep floral arrangements short, sweet and plentiful

Sweet petals add a soft texture and some often much-needed color to tablescapes. Rather than opting for a large arrangement, try putting short vases of blooms along the table and around your apartment to spread the cheery blooms.

This balloon-covered ceiling is a sweet surprise for all. Image: Lenzo

Transform a room with matte balloons

One of my favorite party decorations of the moment is large, matte balloons. They’re celebratory enough to transform corners and doorways, but simple enough they don’t look out of place. Try tying a group of these matte beauties at different heights to create a fuller-looking bunch.

If ever there were a time to cover everything with frosting, fruit and rose petals, it would be for Galentine’s Day. Image: Gal Meets Glam

All the desserts

We may be opting for a more modern take on everything else for this brunch, but Valentine’s Day is the sugariest holiday … and your Galentine’s brunch should be no exception. For this brunch, however, let’s bypass the flavorless candy hearts and sour suckers. Instead, indulge in over-decorating those cupcakes and buy the specialty macarons from that bakery down the street from your office.

Try a new take on February 14th this year. Opt for something more modern and elegant than the usual drugstore décor and shift your focus from stressing about relationships and grand gestures to enjoying time with the best women in your life and popping some bubbly.

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Home Library Ideas to Create Your Very Own Smart Home

If you love to read and have a nice collection of books you value, why not create a home library or study where you can stylishly house your books? It doesn’t require as much space as you think, so check out these home library ideas to create a smart space in your home.

What you’ll need to execute these home library ideas

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A large and vibrant library with plenty of seating and a vintage wood ladder to access the taller shelves. Image: Kvart Interior

You don’t need a lot of space to create an awesome home library, although taking a room over would be ideal. Besides your favorite collection of books, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bookcases or wall shelves: This is the key item in your home library. Choose the bookcase or wall shelves of your choice. For a sleeker, built-in look, choose closet cabinetry that also features doors, drawers and other storage options.
  • Lighting: For a high-end look, add lighting for different purposes. A reading lamp is a must. But don’t forget to add accent lighting that lights up the shelves or washes the bookcase wall with illumination. If installing recessed lights isn’t possible, consider using battery-operated LED lights and light strips.
  • Seating: A comfortable reading chair and footstool, a bench or a built-in reading nook are all great home library ideas. If you’re converting a guest room, a sofa or futon with a pullout bed could work as seating and a guest bed.
  • A desk (optional): If you want your home library to double as a study or workspace, consider adding a desk, if space allows.
  • A ladder (optional): Depending on the height of your shelving, a library ladder is an awesome design feature that’s also functional.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget to add wall art, flowers or plants that personalize the space. Special objects like vases or small sculptures can also be placed in the shelving to break up all the books.

Now that you have an idea of what you need, check out these stunning home library ideas for inspiration.

Home library ideas for small or awkward spaces

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Take advantage of the unused area under a stairwell by adding shelving to create a small library section. Image: Marc Koehler Architect

A small, awkward room has been converted into a home study and library with some built-ins and wall-mounted units. Image: Sanya Polescuk

home library bookcases

A narrow bookcase includes a long, low wood shelf that doubles as a bookcase and bench. Image: Stephen Moser Architect

Home libraries featuring a built-in daybed

built in bookcase and daybed

If all you have to work with is one wall, add a built-in reading nook for relaxing. Image: Marie Kalok

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A small narrow room features bookcases on either side with a daybed, framed by the window with a gorgeous view. Image: Mom Spark

Home libraries that make the most of the space

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This studio may be small in square feet, but it features tall ceilings that the homeowner has cleverly taken advantage of. Image: Egue y Seta

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Floating shelves are mounted on the swing doors of this home library to maximize book space. Image: M&B Interiors

A small and dark hallway next to the kitchen has been converted into an inviting library and lounge with some built-in bookcases and a couple of chairs. Image: Stephen Fletcher Architects

Home libraries featuring unique shelves

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Square box shelves were mounted at an angle for a unique diamond pattern design. Image: Gabellini Sheppard

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Narrow 8″ deep shelves with no backing keep the room feeling open and airy. Image: Redmond Aldrich Design

Home libraries with a custom built-in look

modern home libraries

A sleek and contemporary home library features ebony wood and a luxurious lounge for reading. Image: Inlite

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Strategically arranged books add color and visual interest to this home library, framed by the crown molding of the entry. Image: Bowerbird Interiors

Pops of color and the large glass sliding door create a cheerful and bright home library. Image: Stefan Hohloch

Home libraries that double as a home study or office

Adding a desk to a home library creates a double duty space for reading and work. Image: Upstairs Studio Architecture

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To add a sense of privacy, this loft’s library features a glass wall and door. Image: Naiztat+Ham Architects

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Modular 4-Bedroom House in Portland Assembled in One Day

This impressive modular house in Portland, United States, is comprised of 28 triangle modules which were stacked and assembled on the site in one day.

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