4 Fresh Ways to Celebrate National Curb Appeal Month

August is National Curb Appeal Month! It’s the perfect time to give your home’s exterior a refresh. With that in mind, we’ve brought you four fresh curb appeal ideas to help you celebrate. The ideas below are small changes that can be done on a variety of budgets.

Read them over and decide which ones will work best for you. Even just doing one or two will leave your front entrance feeling brand new.

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curb appeal month

Give your front door a pop of color. Image: Trimlite

Paint your front door

If you want your curb appeal to truly pop, there’s no stronger statement you can make than with a freshly painted front door. This will ensure that all eyes zoom to your doorstep from the street. Those going for a modern look should choose bright colors, much like the fire-engine red door above. However, if you’re a bigger fan of classic aesthetics, opt for a more neutral shade like black to keep the look subdued.

To do this, start by removing the door and any hardware. Then, move it to a flat surface and sand it down to get rid of the current finish. When you’re ready, apply a coat of primer. Follow that with a coat or two of exterior paint in the color of your choice. Finally, allow the door to dry completely before re-installation.

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Try out some new exterior hardware. Image: Terracotta Design Build

Replace your hardware

If you’re not up for the workload that comes along with painting your front door, you can still make it shine by replacing your hardware. Since replacing these pieces only involves using a screwdriver, your biggest consideration, in this case, is which finish to choose. Opt for a color that will contrast with your front door in order to bring the biggest amount of visual interest to the space.

Beyond your doorknob or handle, consider adding a few additional accessories to finish off the look of your doorstep. The addition of a door knocker will help bring a stately feel to your property. Some fresh house numbers will help create a welcoming vibe, as well as providing passersby with useful information if needed.

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Treat yourself to some new exterior lighting. Image: D. Claire Designs

Invest in new lighting

Having proper, working lighting on the front of your home is crucial for helping to guide visitors in the dark. Plus, it can make a strong style statement for relatively little expense, helping you celebrate National Curb Appeal Month. You can buy lighting sets at nearly any home improvement store. In this case, your main concern should be matching the finish to your other hardware.

Installing a new light properly is mainly about following the instructions. That said, when you’re working with electricity, there are a few key factors that you’ll want to keep in mind. First, be sure to turn off your existing lights and the breaker. Then, pay close attention to which wires connect as you remove the existing fixture. Feel free to take photos, if needed.

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Use flowers to add visual interest. Image: F. M. Construction Ltd

Add colorful planters

Colorful flowers are a great way to add a pop of visual interest to any space, especially your front entrance. When chosen correctly, they can add layers of color, texture and shape to your overall design. In particular, planters are a good option for this space because they are self-contained and don’t need to be worked into your existing landscaping.

When picking which flowers to use in your planter, your top concern should be making sure that they will flourish in your environment. Consider things like the amount of sun exposure that the flower needs, as well as the amount of water. After that, it’s all about finding a plant or flower that is aesthetically pleasing to you.

Happy National Curb Appeal Month! How will you be celebrating?



8 Swoon-Worthy Wallpaper Ideas

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Chevron Wallpaper

Runge Chevron Temporary Wallpaper by Wrought Studio. Image:Wayfair

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Decorating with wallpaper is back in our creative toolbox. We’re loving the new patterns and colors. This is not the paper that we rush to cover or remove when we buy a home. The top wallpaper trends include graphic patterns, large-scale florals and metallic accents. In addition to the enticing new selection of colors and patterns, temporary wallpaper is now available from most major home retailers. This means there’s an option for every home or rental. Here are some of our favorite ways to use wallpaper:

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Rose Gold Wallpaper

Create a stunning accent wall with a stylish pattern like Graham & Brown Rose Gold Reflections. Image: Graham & Brown 

1. Create an accent wall

When your space needs a focal point, painting an accent wall is a simple solution. Before you reach for that paintbrush, check out wallpaper options first. By choosing one with a colorful palette or geometric design, you’ve just increased your accent wall’s impact. If you’re struggling to create a pulled-together look in your home, adding a stylish wallpaper accent can create a unifying element for mismatched decor — and can transform an entire room with just one wall. Your foyer, living room and bedroom are just a few of the spaces that can benefit from a pop of color and pattern.

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gray wallpaper

Elevate the style of your neutral room with Graham & Brown Innocence. Image: Graham & Brown

2. Add texture to a neutral room

Neutral and monochromatic rooms can be so soothing, but after a while, you may be ready to add more drama to your space. When your goal is to update your decor without completely changing the color palette or furnishings, adding a neutral textural or patterned wallpaper could be the answer. Choose with your existing color palette in mind and focus on pattern and texture to change things up. Your wallpaper texture can have an organic vibe, like grasscloth, or a tone-on-tone pattern which can give the illusion of texture.

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Candice Olson Wallpaper

Dial up the glam with Candice Olson’s Velocity. Image: Bellacor

3. Channel your inner glam

We love wallpaper that expresses your inner glam with metallic patterns and accents. Your foyer, powder room and living room can get a glam makeover with a shimmering foiled wallpaper featuring a floral or graphic pattern. Touches of metallic color add light and dimension to a room, so don’t worry about choosing a design with a dark background. 

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Silver Wallpaper

Create a stunning focal point behind your bed with Graham & Brown Souk Damask Pewter. Image: Graham & Brown

4. Spice up your bedroom

We love the look of wallpaper to transform a bedroom into a glamorous retreat. Floral and damask patterns are perfectly suited for bedroom walls. For a total makeover, designs can be applied to every wall. If you love the look but you want a more subtle vibe, an accent wall probably works best for you. An accent wall behind your headboard is an easy way to add a dramatic pattern that you may not be comfortable with for an entire room.

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Create a special little space with Tempaper Self-Adhesive Marrakesh Wallpaper. Image: Lord & Taylor

5. Define a tiny space

Wallpaper is a clever option for claiming a small space in your home. A neglected corner or niche becomes a useful space when you define it with pattern and color. Your newly-claimed space can become a small dining nook, a workspace or a reading corner in one afternoon with fresh walls and a few new pieces of decor.

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Tropical blue wallpaper

Lush and tropical Graham & Brown Ubud Tropic is an artful way to accessorize a room. Image: Graham & Brown

6. Use wallpaper as art

Can wallpaper be considered art? Yes! Look for mural-style designs with big images and colorful patterns. Bold colors and images can add just the right amount of pattern to a minimalist room without overwhelming it. 

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Stone mural wallpaper

Add drama to your dining space with West Elm Quartz Stone Mural. Image: West Elm

7. Reclaim your formal dining room

Our dining rooms have been a bit lonely lately. Wallpaper can re-energize our neglected rooms, making them a magnet for entertaining and everyday meals. Whether you choose a bold mural style for an open dining space or something more formal, you can definitely be more adventurous in the dining room because it’s not a 24/7 space. Like powder rooms, our dining rooms are the perfect spot for expressing our creative style.

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Home Office Wallpaper

Personalize your home office with Expressionist Rounds Gold Wallpaper. Image:CB2

8. Create a stunning home office

Though your home office should be functional, don’t scrimp on making it inviting, too. The top wallpaper patterns for a working space have simple color palettes and geometric lines that create interest without being too busy. The perfect choice for your home office is a paper with color and pattern that make you feel good whenever you walk in the door, inviting you to linger and work.

How have you used wallpaper in your home? We’d love to hear about it below.



20 Creative Ways to Use Natural Textures in a Home

If you love the outdoors, it’s understandable to want to incorporate nature into your living space. When it comes to bringing natural textures into the home, you can go as drastic or as simple as you want. If you’re looking for bold statements and design elements that make you feel like you’re practically outside, take a look at these creative ideas for surrounding yourself in nature. From wild natural texture accent walls to full indoor gardens, these ideas will make you rethink the division between the indoors and the outdoors.

Wild natural stone

One of the best ways to use natural textures in a home is to choose natural stone accent walls or other stone features. There’s nothing like natural stone to add visual interest to a room. And you may end up feeling like you’re hiking in your favorite canyon right at home.

Natural stone also comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, so it can match almost any style. If you go bold enough with the pattern, that stone becomes its own focal point around which you can design the rest of the room.

Natural Textures Lava Stone

Lava rock on the wall adds tons of texture to the space. Image: DRD

Natural Textures Green Stone Bathroom

Colored green marble means an eye-catching stone texture and the shades of a forest. Image: Domb Architects

Natural Textures Geode Bathroom

This natural geode design creates an interesting focal point for this bathroom. Image: Mezzanotte Carpentry

Natural Textures Stone Sink

Natural stone can also go in creative spaces, like in a sink base. Image: Angela Wells Interior Design

Natural Textures Rock Wall Floor

A good way to add cohesion to the space is to choose a natural stone texture for the wall and floor. Image: J Design Group

Greenery walls for natural textures in a home

One of the most striking trends to come out of home design in the last several years is greenery walls, also sometimes referred to as living walls. These place living plant life right onto a wall. And nothing gets natural texture into a home like living plants.

Some styles go thicker, with full moss textures covering the wall. Others opt for a more minimal vertical garden. Another easy idea involves filling alcoves with plant life. Greenery walls are also a great way to section off outdoor living spaces. Whether you want a statement wall or a subtle natural accent, the styles below have all bases covered.

Natural Textures Greenery Wall Bathroom

A moss texture adds solid coverage across this large greenery wall. Image: Habitat Horticulture

Natural Textures Plant Wall Outdoors

Greenery walls can also contain different types of plants for a variety of textures. Image: Dyer Grimes Architecture

Natural Textures Outdoor Area

Greenery walls are a good way to section off an outdoor living space, especially in close urban areas. Image: Millennium Interior Designers

Natural Textures Plant Alcove

Sometimes you can cheat and get a “greenery wall” with just a small accent plant in an alcove. Image: Werschay Homes

Natural Textures Plant Panels Wood

Greenery walls can also have smaller panels for contrast between the wood and plant life. Image: ERA

Indoor gardens

Another way to bring natural textures into the home is through the use of indoor gardens. Like greenery walls, these make use of natural elements to add texture to a space. However, these are more traditional horizontal gardening spaces.

What results is a traditional-looking space that just happens to have a gorgeous garden in part of the floor. Other spaces take a whole room and make an indoor garden oasis. It’s a great way to get some nature in your life if you live in an urban area or don’t have much outdoor space.

Natural Textures Staircase Ferns

If you feel like you don’t have space for indoor plant life, try playing with previously unused floor space, like under staircases. Image: CplusC Architectural Workshop

Natural Textures Zen Garden

An indoor Zen garden is a good example of how gardens can work right in the home. Image: Garden Mentors

Natural Textures Stone Pathway

This natural design found a way to combine a stone pathway with a garden indoors. Image: Allen

Natural Textures Floor Garden

This home demonstrates how a small garden can fit right along the wall of a hallway. Image: LandStudio

Natural Textures Foyer Plants

Greenery makes an inviting addition to foyer spaces. Image: Paris K Design

Getting creative with natural wood

Then there’s the standby for getting a more natural vibe in a space: natural wood textures. There are as many ways to work with this idea as there are types and finishes of wood.

You can use natural wood on the wall, sure. But other ideas include using it in actual sink fixtures, countertop spaces and mirror frames. You can use as much natural wood as you want for a truly rustic space or keep it a little more minimal for an updated look. Take a look below to see some of the creative ways designers have used wood to get natural textures into the home.

Natural Textures Wood Counter

By incorporating rustic wood design into a counter space, you can showcase that natural texture with ease. Image: Laura Fedro Interiors

Natural Textures Wood Floor

Using textured, reclaimed wood as the floor is a popular way to get natural wood textures into the home. Image: Totally Floored

Natural Textures Wood and Stone Bathroom

Wood works well when combined with natural stone designs in the shower and on the floor. Image: High Camp Home

Natural Textures 3D Wood Panel

Three-dimensional wooden paneling helps add visual interest to an all-wood space. Image: AREA

Natural Textures Wood Sink Bathroom

Wood can also be used in key fixtures, like this raised wooden sink. Image: Danjoseph Architects

There are countless ways to use natural textures in a home, whether you prefer the look of wood, stone or plant life. Are you inspired by any of the ideas above? We’d love to hear about it below.

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Best Baby Glam Pieces From the New PB Modern Baby Line

PB Modern Baby, Pottery Barn’s anxiously awaited line of high-glamour baby furnishings, is now available online and in select stores. Check it out here!

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Building Versus Buying a Home: What’s Right for You?

You’re finally ready to purchase your own home, but the options are overwhelming. Any visit to a real estate website nets you hundreds of potential properties, from empty lots to decades-old homes. One of the most important decisions to make — and something you should decide before you start shopping — is whether you’d prefer building versus buying a home. Both have specific pros and cons that can drastically affect your new home experience. Look at building versus buying from every angle to decide whether you want a brand-new home or if you prefer an existing home and all of its charms.

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building vs buying new home

Building a home means getting exactly what you want. Image: Greenbelt Homes

5 reasons to build

Building your own home takes time and patience, but you’ll be rewarded with a place you can really call home. Some of the benefits of building include:

  • A custom approach. When building your home, you’ll get to choose from a catalog of floor plans or even design one from scratch. That means building a home that makes sense for you and your family. Whether you’re a five-star home chef, wild about sports or into entertaining, you can get exactly what you need, rather than just working with what you have.
  • No surprises. You’ve probably heard the horror stories: A family buys an existing home only to find it filled with mold or riddled with foundation issues. Building new means you won’t have any of the surprises or risks that come along with purchasing an existing, older home.
  • No renovations. A cheaper existing home can suddenly become a money pit when the kitchen requires a complete gut job or all of the carpeting needs to be replaced. Because you design a new build exactly the way you want, you won’t need any pricey renovations for a few years. This cuts down on stress and cost, so you can enjoy your home after your move-in date.
  • Warranties. Most reputable home builders offer warranties when you build. Warranties typically cover cosmetic issues (think paint and grout) for a year and mechanical issues (like electrical and plumbing) for two. That means if you have any problems, you can have experts take care of your home free of charge. Buying a home means you’re responsible for the costs and repairs from the day you take possession.
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building versus buying old home

An existing home means a quicker turnaround time. Image: Locati Architects

5 reasons to buy

Not everyone is the build-your-own type, and that makes sense. Buying your own home definitely has its benefits, including:

  • Tighter time frame. The average turnaround to qualify for, shop and purchase a home is one to two months. In comparison, the average build time for a new home is seven months. If you’re ready to move ASAP and don’t want to rent while you build, buying a home makes more sense.
  • Established neighborhood. Most new builds reside in new developments, which could mean noisy construction and a lack of amenities. Buying an existing home means a more established neighborhood, where you know what to expect as far as the general feeling of the area. You can even talk to potential neighbors to see what they like and don’t like about an area.
  • Mature landscaping. If you love the idea of lush trees and gardens, an existing home is your best bet. New homes require new landscaping, while buying an existing one gives you access to more mature trees and landscaping spaces.
  • Existing homes give you plenty of wiggle room when it comes to price negotiations. The things you might see as drawbacks — think tired carpeting — become bargaining chips for you and your agent. New builds are priced based on materials and contractors, so you won’t have a ton of space to negotiate a better price. If you’re bargain-hunting, a fixer-upper at a cheap price helps you stay in-budget.
  • Less stress. Let’s be honest: Building a new home is stressful. From material selection to construction delays, no build is without hiccups. When buying an existing home, all you need to do is choose the one you love. No delays, no big decisions, no flaky contractors: just you and your new place.

Making the choice of building versus buying means examining the way you live and how that reflects on your home. For some, the idea of starting from scratch and checking off that must-have list is appealing. For others, the low-stress environment and better deals found in the existing home market makes more sense. Either way, deciding what you want from day one puts you on the path for the home that’s right for you.

What is your stance on building versus buying a home? Do you prefer one method over the other? Let us know about it below!



DIY Floating Deck, Part 3: Diagonal Decking • Ugly Duckling House

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I’m building a DIY floating deck in my back yard! Catch the whole thing, start to finish, right here. In this chapter, I’m covering the details on decking on a 45-degree angle.

Hey hey! I know some of you have been waiting since last month’s post for the next update on my ground-level deck, and here it is!

The last time I posted about the deck, it was a full recap on all of the things required to ensure a solid foundation, water resistance, type of wood to buy for the frame, etc. Since there has been way too much info to cover everything in a single post, I’ve been dividing it all into separate parts.


And now, it’s onto the the next step: decking on a 45-degree angle.

Watch the video

This was one of the most exciting completion steps for me, since this is when you start to see the deck really come together.

This deck project is sponsored by Wood Its Real.

Tools & materials used:

Laying the deck at a diagonal:

Getting the 45-degree angle was easier than I thought it was going to be. I think the main reason for that is because the angle was spot-on from the frame underneath. To make sure I kept my alignment correct, every now and then, I’d extend a board with a square edge perpendicular to the 45-degree angle I was laying the boards to. As long as the bit hanging off of the other end was even and not crooked, I was good to go.

(I know it looks like Stella might be having a, erm, private moment here, but this is actually how she sits in the heat. Go figure.)

I planned for a 1-inch overhang on all sides, but it really only mattered when fastening the first deck board on. After that, I just kept the ends jagged and hanging off; I would later trim all of the other sides down to continue the 1-inch overhang.

Using a deck fastening system:

The new decking tool was simple enough to use, and I bought it for two specific features:

  • It worked almost like a clamp, expanding itself over the edges of each deck board. When clamped down on the board, its metal tabs provided a consistent 1/16″ gap between each board. I think this is plenty, since I did most of my install between rain storms (this has been the wettest summer!). As the deck boards have since had time to dry out, they have a little bit larger of a gap now. I think if I had gone with something wider initially, it would look too gapped by now.
  • Once clamped onto the deck, it had a screw guide on each end to guide one of the specialty screws at an exact angle so as to fasten the deck right at the edge of the board. This makes the whole deck pretty much look fastener-free. It doesn’t work for the very ends when you have a little bit of an overhang, but I don’t mind having just a few screws visible.
  • I bought the CAMO materials as separate items, but sometimes it’s sold as a whole kit as well. Note that they work as a system together, so you’ll need to invest in buying the screws that match up to the tool if you go the same route as I did. I had enough screws to last me through my deck, the pub shed deck, and the pub shed bar… so they go a long way! No regrets!
  • Since the CAMO screw box comes with two bits to use with the screws, I found using multiple drills and impact drivers at the same time sped things up a good bit. K and I could both work on the same board at once and just pass the guide tool in between.

Seams and supports: fight the wiggle

When I started with the first board, I realized that I didn’t have enough support where the deck went over the patio. It was easily fixed with a few scrap pieces added in, but the rest of the deck’s framework needed no modifications.

The boards I bought were only 12 feet long. The store might also sell 16′, but even that wasn’t going to be long enough to extend over the longest parts of the deck. That meant I would have to lay two boards side by side in multiple places along the deck. It’s probably no surprise that I have notes for you on that, too!

Work in a Z pattern: When one board wasn’t long enough to span a single row, I used a full board, then cut off another piece to fit the remainder. On the next row, I again used a full board, but started from the other end (where the shorter piece from the previous row was). I would usually then be able to use another cut piece for the rest of the row, and so on. Doing this Z pattern of swapping which end to start with a full piece resulted in fewer seams meeting up across rows, so they weren’t as noticeable.

Square up the seam: I found that the edge of most of the deck boards to be slightly off square. Using my miter saw, I squared them up and was able to lay them side by side with almost no perceptible gap. Just be sure to lay the board so that both ends, when laid side by side, are well-supported at this seam. Add another support if not, or move the seam to . Test before screwing them in that you can step on top without any wiggle (that seam will only get weaker over time if so).

Use clamps where possible

Pressure treated wood is often wet when purchased, and the rain continued to wet down my boards as I installed. So, it was inevitable that some of the meticulously-checked straight boards I bought warped a little once they were home and drying out. I was able to fight a lot of it by regularly flipping boards on a flat surface so that they could dry evenly, but I still wound up with a few that twisted on the ends and such. For this, clamps were my best friend. I would also sometimes position the boards so that the warped part got cut off once the deck was trimmed down to its actual shape.

Trim back surrounding plants

Something I know I could have made the job easier on myself, but didn’t: trimming back plants! Installation happened right as my hydrangeas were blooming like crazy, and I hated the idea of chopping them down to make it easier to access one of the corners of the deck. I eventually did, but if you watch the video, you’ll see one funny part where I’m basically installing with a faceful of blooms.

Before long… boom! Deck finished, and time to celebrate. (Psst, for more celebrating shenanigans from Charlie, watch the video.)

Ok, so not exactly totally finished when the decking is in place. In the next part of the deck series, I’ll have to walk you through how to trim the boards to a straight line and round off the end. Then we’ll install some steps, improve the landscaping, stain, and more. But this was a huge step! More soon.

How to install a deck at a 45 degree diagonal angle #floatingdeck #groundleveldeck #deck

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy & effectiveness of the information displayed on this website, The Ugly Duckling House is for entertainment purposes only. All tutorials and demonstrations are not intended to be professional advice (nor substitute as such), and I make no guarantees as to the procedures and information here. Creating with my suggested methods, materials, and tools is under your own risk. Please ensure you are following proper guidelines with anything used, and seek professional advice if you don’t know how to do something! Read my complete disclosure here.


DIY Floating Deck, Part 3: Diagonal Decking


4 Ways to Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels

Mantels used to be more ornate pieces in traditional homes. They acted as the focal point of the room, harkening back to a time when people were more likely to watch the fire than a television. But today’s mantels have taken on a more minimalistic touch. Many have simple, lightly colored facades around them. Some are little more than a square where the fire goes. All are defined by a stark geometry. Because of how minimalistic they are, there are several different ways to decorate around minimalistic mantels. Read on to discover how to work with the simple, but powerful, design element that is the minimalistic mantel.

Use Mirrors

Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels Large Mirror

A large mirror over a minimalistic mantel opens up the space. Image: Polina Pidtsan

Mirrors are a favorite element in , small and minimalistic spaces. Having both a sense of minimalism and a classic appeal, they make a great addition to more timeless designs. They also work well in small spaces because their reflections visually double the space in a room.

Mirrors are a basic element to have in a room and can be kept in very slim frames, or no frames at all. As a result, they work great in spaces with the simple mantels that are common in small, transitional and minimalistic spaces.

The photo above shows how a large mirror can juxtapose a smaller mantel. This makes the space look more open and alive. A collection of smaller mirrors could also work. So could art pieces that use mirror surfaces as part of their design.

Use Large Art to Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels

Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels Large Art

Large art makes that minimalistic mantel area into a full focal point. Image: Deroseesa

One of the most popular ways to decorate around minimalistic mantels is to use large art over such a mantel. The art then acts as a focal point and creates some visual interest around the more basic element of the mantel. Because minimalistic mantels tend to be on the smaller side, the wall space above the mantel is a natural place for that art.

Abstract art works great with minimalistic mantels for a more modern touch, but you can also go for something more realistic like in the photo above. Realistic art adds a touch of tradition and timelessness that works with many different room designs.

Keep it Minimalistic

Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels Single Plant

Using just one element on the mantel goes with the overall minimalistic look. Image: Lauren Shadidarch

Another option to decorate around minimalistic mantels is to stay with the minimalistic vibe. The photo above shows how you can use a single decorative element like a plant to add a touch of visual interest. But the single plant still keeps the space distinctly in the minimalistic category.

You have many options with this idea. Another common minimalistic mantel decoration is to have one small photo in a frame. Many people place the photo off to the side of the mantel to showcase the stark, minimal space. Another idea is to do the same with a single ceramic jar or a small grouping of jars. A set of three pillar candles is also a common design element on minimalistic mantels.

Cleverly Placed Artistic Pieces

Decorate Around Minimalistic Mantels Mirror Candles

Just about anything works well on a mantel if you know how to place it. Image: Designer Premier

Speaking of artistic elements, another way to decorate around minimalistic mantels is to use a variety of artistic pieces for one cohesive look. The photo above shows how you can use candles, plant life, a mirror and small ceramic art in one cohesive design.

A general rule of decorating on the mantel is to have taller or larger objects near the edge of the mantel. Smaller objects should be in the middle or spaced throughout. That creates a look of balance. For instance, it’s common to see pillar candles in holders on either side of some art hanging over a mantel. A series of ceramic jars in different sizes and heights is also a common style.

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12 Fresh New Front Door Colors to Welcome You Home

Cottage front door ideas

A cottage porch is the perfect spot for a colorful front door. Try Clark +Kensington Vintage Peach to get this look. Image: The Cottage Building Company

We love the look of a colorful front door to welcome guests into our home. Perhaps our front door is like our home’s jewelry — adding a little sparkle to the curb appeal. Painting your front door is one of the quickest (and prettiest) ways to change up your home’s exterior. Front door colors can be warm, cool or neutral. The freshest colors are warm and cool. You can use them as an accent in your exterior paint color scheme. Here are the freshest front door colors that we’re loving right now. 

Cool Front Door Colors

Our favorite cool front door colors include blue and purple shades. Green can be considered a cool color, but it can also be considered warm if it has a lot of yellow undertones. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect cool color for your front door, try sampling warm paint colors instead.


Aqua front door

A pretty aqua front door is relaxed and welcoming. Image:Kate Lester Interiors

An aqua front door is not just perfect for a beach-inspired home — it’s becoming the go-to color for modern farmhouse and cottage styles. Aqua and turquoise doors are versatile, putting a fresh spin on neutral color palettesTry Sherwin-Williams Aquaverde to get this look.


Lilac front door

Lilac and periwinkle doors are soothing choices for a front door and can cool down red brick exterior colors. Image:London Door Company

Lilac is the new Millennial Pink, appearing on the runway and in home decor right now. With all the emphasis on pastel colors lately, lilac and periwinkle have finally taken their place in today’s color palettes. A lilac front door is a bold choice in a sea of white doors that reflects your creativity and individuality in a sweet way. Try Sherwin-Williams Perfect Periwinkle to get this look.

Mint Green

Pastel green front door

A painted mint green door is the perfect fit for a cottage home. Image:Studio Three

Who can resist sweet mint green? Cottage and modern farmhouse lovers have already discovered the joy of this fresh color for their homes. Mint green is a popular exterior paint color right now, but you may not be ready to tackle such a big project. Changing your front door color is an easy way to bring a fresh shade like this to your home’s exterior without a big price tag. Try Magnolia Home Mineral Green to get this look. 

Pastel Blue

Light blue front door

A pastel blue front door makes coming home even sweeter. Image:Little Greene Paint & Paper

A sweet cottage or beach-inspired home with a pastel blue front door has that ‘love at first sight’ appeal. We’re smitten by the thought of coming home to an adorably fresh blue door accented by black shutters and colorful flowerpots. Try Little Greene Paint & Paper’s Celestial Blue to get this look.


Purple front door

A purple front door complements traditional gray siding to create an eye-catching focal point for your home. Image:Chattanooga Exteriors

A purple front door may be a surprising choice, but the right shade of purple can be a fresh change for your home. With the popularity of lilac these days, purple can be the right choice if you aren’t really into pastels. The secret to choosing the right purple for your front door is to look beyond rich jewel tones and try more vibrant shades. Try PPG-Pittsburgh Paints Purple Grapes to get this look.

Fresh Green

Green front door

Green is a versatile front door color, perfect for more than just mid-century style homes. Image:Benjamin Moore

Apple green, lime green and grass green are all popular mid-century modern front door colors that can be a showpiece for any style home. The secret to the mid-century green look is to choose a fresh color with yellow undertones. Charcoal gray, dark brown, and even black siding is a strong backdrop that can handle these bright green door colors. Try Benjamin Moore’s Green Meadows to get this look. 

Cobalt Blue

Cobalt Blue Front Door

The cobalt blue front door and shutters brighten up a traditional home. Image:Glen Layton Homes

A fresh new take on a traditional navy blue door is cobalt blue. We love this vibrant blue shade for front doors because it works with almost any home style. A traditional or Cape Cod-style home is a natural fit for a cobalt blue door, but that’s just the beginning. Contemporary, farmhouse and beach-inspired color palettes can easily accommodate a vibrant blue door. Try Sherwin-Williams Jay Blue to get this look.

Warm Front Door Colors

Autumn colors are usually the first thing we picture when looking for warm door colors. Yellow, orange, red and all our favorite fall shades give a welcoming look to your front porch. Warm paint colors look their best as an accent in a cool exterior color palette.


Yellow front door

A vibrant yellow front door for a traditional home. Image:lda Architecture & Interiors

Will you choose bright yellow or butter yellow for your front door? We love them both. Vibrant yellow doors are popping up in every neighborhood for a good reason. A cheerful yellow door can give you that summer feeling all year long. Your yellow front door is an easy fit for a neutral exterior color scheme, but looks just as stunning on a navy blue or dark green home. Try Sherwin-Williams Sunny Veranda to get this look.


Orange front door

A painted orange or coral front door color is a stylish way to warm up a gray craftsman home. Image:Platform Home

Coral front doors have been a popular choice for mid-century modern homes for decades. Now this energetic color is one of the freshest looks for any style home. Coral is a striking complement to your green foliage and can brighten up a dark exterior. Try Behr Paint’s Orange Burst to get this look.


Gold front door

A rich gold front door is a welcoming way to greet guests at your home. Image: Garden Studio

If you love the look of yellow front door colors but want something with more presence, try on a gold front door. Mid-century homes were filled with harvest gold accents, and that’s still a good choice for the front door of a modern or contemporary home. Your traditional or cottage-style home can also benefit from warm gold front door colors, especially if you love fall colors and decorating. Try Benjamin Moore Yellow Hibiscus to get this look.


Peach front door

Peach is an unexpected front door color but could be the right choice to soften your curb appeal. Image:The Decor Fix

We’re ready for peach to make a big comeback in interior design. With the resurgence of pastels, colors like lilac and peach are next up for decorating trends. A peach front door can brighten up a white cottage with black accents or a beach-inspired exterior color palette pairing beige and aqua. Try Benjamin Moore Hathaway Peach to get this look. 


Pink front door

A pink front door is a cheerful way to welcome friends and family into your home. Image:Southern Living

Finding the right pink front door color may take a little while. From muted Millennial Pink to a saturated geranium color, your choices are seemingly endless. You might feel overwhelmed by your color choices but you can narrow down your pink options quickly. Decide right away if you like a muted or pastel pink or prefer a more bold front door color, then pick up a few samples in paint colors that you love. Keep your options simple by sticking to just a handful of color samples at a time. Try Sherwin-Williams In the Pink to get this look.

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Decorating a New Home? Here Are 5 Resolutions You Should Embrace After a Move

The moving process can be pretty work intensive. If you’re selling, staging your home so that someone will fall in love with it and buy it is a job in itself. Then, there’s the task of packing and clearing out your old place. And then there’s the actual move, unpacking and decorating a new home.

Many movers feel like they never want to move again, or at least they may want to set up their home differently the next time around. Here are five moving “aha!” moments and the lessons they provide on decorating a new home better and more easily the next time.

1. Some of the stuff you packed (and carried) should have been left behind

The most common realization during the moving process is that you have far more than you thought you did. And honestly, how much of it have you even used recently? Many movers end up realizing that a sizable percentage of the stuff they paid to move should have stayed behind. Moving it wasted time, effort and money.

It’s time to clear out the clutter, even if you have no plans to move soon. You’ll feel better about the space you make and you’ll be ready when it’s time to pack things up.

new home decorating

Even if you have tons of storage, like this large cabinet unit, keep only the items you use regularly. Image: Banda Property

Resolution: Packing and purging are two different tasks. Trying to clear out during the packing process is way too much work in a short time span. Start the editing process at least two months before you move. Take on one room at a time and decide what gets thrown out, recycled or donated. That way, when it’s time to pack, you’ll have less to handle.

2. Some of the furniture from the old home may not fit in the new place

One of the common problems when moving furniture from one place to another is that the scale or style of the major pieces doesn’t work in the new place. You can have a garage sale and practically give the pieces away, then have to spend money on new ones – or you can shop smart next time.

Modular furniture items can be used in different ways and take up minimal space. Color is infused in the form of small, affordable accessories. Image: Caitlin Wilson

Resolution: Your main furniture pieces should be classic in style, neutral in color and as modular as possible. Look for sofas or sectionals that can be separated into smaller pieces or can be expanded into large ones as needed, like the Tillary collection from West Elm. And once you move in, invest in bold or colorful accent pieces to give your classic neutral furniture some pop. It’s much cheaper to buy some graphic pillows or an area rug than it is to replace a sofa that’s too style-specific.

3. Heavy furniture makes moving and rearranging harder

It used to be a fact that the heavier the furniture, the better the quality. But that is no longer true, thanks to manufacturing and material advancements. And once you have to haul your heavy, giant sofa up a few flights of stairs, you may not love it as much as you once did.

new home decorating ideas

The dining table and benches are surprisingly strong yet lightweight, thanks to the hollow steel tubing frames. Image: Photo by Pixy

Resolution: Consider the weight of furniture before you buy. Look for pieces that are well constructed but feature lightweight materials. Even better, consider buying furniture that breaks down easily, or even flatpacks like these pieces, to save you time and money on your next move. Even if you’re not planning on moving, lightweight furniture makes it easier to rearrange or clean around it.

4. You loved the home staging of your old place so much, you considered staying

Did you fall in love with your old home all over again after the home stager worked their magic? You’re not alone. What’s the secret to the way your home looked so awesome after being staged to sell? Simplification and a few applied design principles.

new home decorating ideas

Stagers focus on creating a room layout that features soft, neutral colors and furniture pieces that don’t compete with the room’s architecture or view. Image: Georgia Home Staging

Resolution: When decorating a new home, set it up to look like it’s a model home – and live that way every day. That means that clutter is non-existent, everything is put away and every room has the right touch of accessories and color. Burn fragrant candles and enjoy your home!

Here are some great articles to check out to get you started:

And when the home doldrums set in, rearrange your furniture and accessories. Freshening up your space every few months can work wonders for the energy of the room.

5. Paint and decorate right away or it’s not going to happen

Let’s be honest. If you’ve moved in the last couple of years, you probably have some boxes you still haven’t unpacked. Or home improvement projects you wanted to tackle and never got around to starting. You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and before you start settling into a daily routine.

A single wall was painted in a rich mocha tone to create a focal wall. Image: Unique Spaces

Resolution: Decorating a new home needs to happen right away. If you have projects you want to do, like upgrading lighting, painting or replacing the flooring, do them before you move in – or right when you do. It’s far easier to get the messier projects like painting and flooring done before you arrive, but if you can’t do them in advance, make them a priority when you move in. Unpack all boxes ASAP. And if you’re burnt out and rethinking painting the living room in a pumpkin spice shade, paint just one focal wall in the color. You’d be amazed what one single bold wall can do for a room.

Have you moved recently? We’d love to hear what you learned from your move and how you’ll approach decorating a new home.

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Which Uses More Water: Taking a Shower or a Bath?

If you’re trying to save money, which bathing option uses more water? How can you tell?

Comparing a shower to a bath is like comparing apples to oranges.  That’s because you measure showers by duration (how long the water is running while you’re in the shower), but you measure baths by the amount of water it takes to fill up the bathtub (regardless of the time).

As a general rule, taking a bath uses more water. However, these are some factors to consider when trying to determine which method is more (or less) water efficient.

Which uses more water: the shower or the bath? Image: LEAN Home Remodeling

How big is your bathtub? According to data from the USGS Water Science School, the average person needs 36 gallons of water to fill the bathtub. However, a larger than average tub will need more water.

Do you fill your tub all the way to the top? Image: Janet Brooks Design

Another factor to consider is how much water you’re running in the bathtub. It takes more water to actually fill to capacity, compared to filling it halfway or three-quarters of the way full.

The amount of water used during a shower depends on its duration. Image: Reid Architects

How long are your showers?  Are you singing one song as you shower or a compilation of greatest hits? The longer you remain in the shower, the more water you’re using.

Letting your shower run means more water consumption. Image: Rockridge Fine Homes

Also, leaving the water running while you’re lathering your hair and/or shaving causes you to consume more. Think about it: if you wash your hair in the bathroom sink, you would cut the water off during the lathering process.

Rinsing and repeating could be costing you when it comes to water use. Image: Sisters in Sync Design

And speaking of lathering, are you doing it for a minute, two minutes, three minutes, maybe more? If you lather for three minutes with the shower running, and then you rinse and repeat, you’re wasting a lot of water.

How water-friendly is your shower head? Image: Key Residential

Another factor that determines if you’re wasting water in the shower is your showerhead. On old showerhead can use up to five gallons of water per minute, according to the USGS. However, a low-flow showerhead only uses two gallons of water per minute.

The fabulous shower below has six body sprays, fixed and hand-held shower heads, as well as a rain shower head. If you’re using all of these bells and whistles, you’re probably wasting a lot of money in the shower.

Time your showers to evaluate water use. Image: Drury Designs

One way to evaluate your use of both water sources is to take a timed shower to see how long it lasts. Let’s say it was a five-minute shower. The next day, run water in the bathtub (and try to adjust the faucet level so it’s similar to the same water flow you have in the shower). Again, set your timer so you can determine if you reach your typical bathtub level in more or less than five minutes. If it takes longer to fill the bathtub, you’re using more water to take a bath.

However you choose to get clean, be aware of your water consumption. Image: thirdstone inc