Lifestyle and Longevity

The trends changing houses in 2020 and beyond.

By Camilla McLaughlin

New values, shifting demographics and technology are all transformative agents in 2020, and each will shape real estate and design well into the next decade. Some, such as outdoor living, are not new, while others, including the importance of ancillary spaces or a desire for slightly smaller but highly customized homes, are just getting underway. Farmhouse is out; contemporary, along with modern interpretations of traditional styles, is finding favor with architects and home buyers. Attitudes about what’s important in a home beyond an open floorplan, and even the open concept itself, are being reconsidered and revised. Color is back. Experts tell us the passion for grey and all-white kitchens is waning, although in practice designers also say neutrals still dominate.

Got all of that?

Even the term “move-up buyer” has a new meaning. “Move up doesn’t necessarily mean move into a bigger home as it did for previous generation,” explains Leigh Spicher, national director of design studios for Ashton Woods. “Today’s move up buyers expect quality and are willing to invest in special features in their home.” For upscale owners, preferences are likely to lean toward diversification in favor of several properties in different locations rather than a large estate home.

Each year, The Best in American Living program (BALA), an annual design competition held by the National Association of Home Builders, showcases award-winning design and architecture and pinpoints current and growing trends. Awards this year, based on homes built in 2019, showcased a range of styles from midcentury modern to transitional to contemporary expressions rooted in traditional styles or regional aesthetics.

Another change, according to Don Ruthro , principal at Dahlin Group Architecture Planning and this year’s judging chair, is more homes with the same style inside and out, which he says conveys a greater sense of authenticity.

Even in production homes architects are pushing for more character and uniqueness with thoughtful, well edited design elements. Well edited, according to BALA, means a genuine purpose of place and points of interest that draw the eye across the facade without all of the fussiness of past decades.

Curated design details are another design trend BALA judges highlight. “It’s clear that buyers want their home to feel personalized to their taste. From ceiling textures to shelving choices to mullion size. Every detail matters, and today’s educated buyers won’t settle for anything less,” they explain.

Other trends play into the desire for personalization. Anything that adds texture is on trend, especially wallpaper. Also enhancing personalization are unique applications of wood to highlight forms and also warm up interiors. Compared to prior years, the use of wood, often a dark hue with a matt fi nish, mixed with other surfaces, was very much in evidence in homes, new and remodeled, constructed to showcase current trends at the International Builders Show. Adding to the depth created by an overlay of textures in a home is the use of mixed metal finishes, with gold tones very much in evidence.

No facets of design are left to chance or convenience, even lighting. “Like other design details, just installing what’s on hand without added thought about placement just won’t fly with the 2020 buyer,” further advise BALA judges. Curated design details, personalized lighting design and texture were all highlighted as trends buyers can expect to see in homes over the next few years.

Even though kitchen, great room and dining — casual or formal — combined into a central living space continues to dominate, how that space is organized and expressed in an overall fl oorplan is slowly evolving. “Open space plans for the family room, kitchen, and dining area are still going strong. Our challenge in open plans is how to defi ne each space and give it some separation while still maintaining the overall open feel,” says Chicago designer Donna Mondi.

In California, designer Christine Markatos Lowe says the open plan is going strong, and perhaps the biggest change has been the addition of a second functional space to kitchens. For higherpriced homes, the presence of a back kitchen, whether a full-blown kitchen, a large walk in pantry or a butler’s pantry, has become a must have, central to keeping the main kitchen streamlined and clutter free.

Colorful kitchens? Maybe.

Examples at the national kitchen and bath industry show refl ected forecasts calling for color to punch up kitchens. Dark blues and earthy greens combined with wood finishes often clad lower cabinets and islands. Still, a number of designers express reservations regarding too much color. Wood cabinets continue to be on trend, mixed with other finishes.

“There has been a shift back into furniture-style cabinetry, exposed appliances (there’s always a place for LaCornue!), and especially statement marble countertops. European influences have made their way into the modern kitchen and I couldn’t be happier,” adds Mondi.

Another trend in renovations, Lowe says, is to open sightlines so rooms feel more connected to each other but still have their own language. “So it’s a combination of both things we’re seeing.”

“The main living spaces are getting bigger and more integrated with each other, but a good architect will design in such a way so they feel like individual spaces even though it’s part of one room,” says Bob Zuber, AIA, who is a partner at Morgante Wilson Architects in Evanston, Illinois.

Tricked Out Extras

Chances are what makes a house special for most buyers is not the number of bedrooms or even a great open plan but extras, what K. Tyler, also a partner and head of Interior Design at Morgante Wilson, dubs ancillary spaces. From tricked out mudrooms and laundry rooms to glass-enclosed wine rooms to pantries and second kitchens, what might be extras are essentials to buyers often shaping a unique living experience and often tilting them in favor of a certain house or floorplan. Offices, dens and studies will continue to be important additions to open plans. Nine times out of 10, homes with these features are going to be preferred over ones that just have big rooms, says Tyler.

Signature front entries are also gaining prominence. Expect to see continued emphasis on front entries. Foyers are designed to be functional but also to make a dazzling first impression.

Preferences for these features and quality over square footage extend to a range of price brackets. According to the National Association of Home Builders annual survey of buyer preferences, more buyers overall are likely to choose less square foot but higher quality homes with desirable features such as large walk-in master closets and energy efficient windows and lighting over large homes with fewer features.

Innovative materials continue to be important change agents. Consider outdoor living, one of the most transformative trends of the last decade. The modest pool and patio is now an array of open air venues and outdoor rooms. Pools and fire features are equally artful and functional. Rather than just an amenity tacked on to the house, outdoor connections are now the main orientation and organizing element for plans. Transitions between the two are hardly noticeable thanks to new materials and finishes, extending flooring beyond interiors. Master bedrooms morph into full blown retreats with their own outdoor spaces.

Innovative plans further bring green spaces deep into the home via interior courtyards. Expect to see more ways to bridge inside with outside as the decade progresses. Most recently, super large panes of glass and larger glass doors, further enhance visual connections and light-filled interiors. In most regions of the country, an indoor/outdoor sync is considered a “must have” for luxury, and there are no indications the penchant for outdoor connections will diminish. Among BALA trends, expansive largeformat windows along with sophisticated indoor/outdoor connections figured prominently.

Thinking Long Term

Beginning with the recovery, the tenure of homeownership increased. Instead of the 4.21-year average, typical from 2000 to 2007, ownership extended to 8 years or longer, hitting a record high in the end of 2018, with some cities — Boston, San Francisco and Hartford — charting tenures of 10 years or more. Whether or not this is a trend worth watching or simply a blip on the charts remains to be seen, but it is a solid indicator of changing attitudes toward home that spills over into design, interiors, even furnishings. Increasingly owners in almost all price brackets are thinking long term and lifestyle when it comes to their homes.

Resale seems to have moved to the back burner. Instead, consumers look for features and fi nishes that uniquely sync with and enhance their lifestyle. “I would say people are tailoring the house more specifically towards they way they want to live,” explains Zuber, noting sometimes those same features will also enhance resale.

According to Ashton Woods’ 2020 design trends survey, 86 percent of today’s buyers said home personalization is important.

Another indication of consumers anticipating longer ownership is growing interest in fl exible spaces and also in accommodating a range of ages. The term flexible spaces is taking on a new meaning. Instead of extra footage for a mancave or teen hangout, it’s viewed as versatile rooms that can change over time, explains Spicher. Perhaps a nursery today and a home o ce tomorrow. Or as many owners (55 percent in Ashton Woods Design survey) say, space that can transform into additional living space in the future for an aging family member or boomerang children.

More clients even in the 40s are looking to use the house when they are older and are planning to these accommodations with wider doors and space for an elevator shaft, say Tyler and Zuber.

Smart Home Challenges

In the next decade, smart home technology will change homes more than any other factor. Already new homes beyond a certain price point include a range of apps and devices, particularly in the kitchens, where manufacturers are already adding connections among appliances such as the hood with a range top. Also, voice control. Some brands also incorporate technology that enables some repairs to be made remotely. “What’s exciting is that every passing second, we get one step closer to a context-aware smart home. Manufacturers are pushing the boundaries. Developments in the areas of sensing technology and AI will result in appliances, fi xtures and systems that automatically respond and adapt to our home and environment changes,” says Kate Bailey, senior director of Category Management at Ferguson Enterprises.

“It’s not so much about new things as it is about things getting smaller, faster, lighter better integrated, so they get to the point where smart becomes livable and something you want to put in your homes,” says Melissa Morman, client experience officer at Builders Digital Experience.

Looking ahead, the key, the most transformative feature will be the development of an operating system that will integrate diverse function which will enhance integration and connection of devices and enable a home to further adapt to changing conditions.

Also on the horizon is a desire for homes to be a nurturing center for wellness, a capability that will be enhanced by new technology.

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365 Days of Summer

With summer in full swing, vibrant colors and shining sun make spending long days outdoors a treat. Nature’s textures, sights, and patterns boost your mood and energy, enhancing the feeling of a perfect summer day. Why not bring the outdoors in, and create your space to enjoy a summer state of mind all year round?

Koket’s artistic and product designers have crafted summer decor perfect for creating an indoor retreat. Forget minimalism, Koket says to go big and go decorative for a maximalist approach to pattern, color, texture, and accessories. 

Incorporating natural materials, such as the classic white marble in Koket’s Vengeance Table Lamp, are a perfect way to capture pieces of nature. The shape of the golden hand on the lamp also adds unique flair to the piece. 

The vibrant colors of the Seville Pouf from the KK by Koket collection make it a fun, playful accent seat that is sure to add a summer feel to your space. Next to the swirling curves and glass top of the Kiki Side Table, this set-up is the perfect destination for enjoying a summer cocktail.

Curling up in the cozy Koket Audrey Chair in your favorite reading corner will make you feel like you are enjoying light summer reading on your favorite beach. Or, bring some of the outdoor summer sky indoors, with the uplifting sky blue color of the Tayma Chair from the KK by Koket collection.

Exotic animal touches can help your space get in touch with the great outdoors. A perfectly placed, subtle piece of exotic decoration will make a statement in your home. Koket’s Serpentine Collection adds allure and glamour to any space, such as the Serpentine II’s apple-shaped mirror or Serpentine Chandelier. Feathers also add a one-of-a-kind, soft touch to pieces. Koket’s natural feathers are combined in patterns of waves, natural stripes, and diamond crisscross, and are available by the panel or as a finish on numerous furniture designs.

By utilizing bold, summer touches in your interior decorating, you can bet that summer feel will stick around all 365 days of the year.

Photos courtesy of Koket 

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Furniture Shopping Made Simple

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, people and businesses have had to adapt to a “new normal,” with daily life shaken up by social distancing and limited physical contact. Making changes to adhere to guidelines while keeping people safe often requires some creativity, and MY Furniture, a luxury, high-quality furniture retailer, has made it easy for customers to enjoy furniture shopping without ever having to leave their homes.

First, MY Furniture introduced a Video Call Facility for customers, a video call-in appointment that allows people to easily visit the company’s virtual showroom. By navigating to the website and clicking the “Request Video Call” button, a member of the MY Furniture team will be able to call the customer at a suitable date and time via FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp depending on the customer’s preference to show them the item they are interested in. This is also helpful for busy customers who would rather skip out on viewing furniture pieces in person in a showroom.  

To control the flow of customers in and out of their showrooms, MY Furniture has also introduced an appointment system, adhering to social distancing and capacity guidelines. Deliveries are handled by couriers that deliver to the front door, and not inside the property, to maintain cleanliness.

Increased social distancing and personal appointments have proven to fare well for MY Furniture, with the changes resulting in a 30-percent increase in online business and an increase in older customers shopping online who previously would not have shopped this way. With new adaptations like virtual shopping and private appointments becoming the norm, customers can rest assured that furniture shopping can effectively be a safe, enjoyable experience.

Photos courtesy of MY Furniture 

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Tiles Traveling Through Time

Travel through time and admire seven handcrafted designs in the New World Collection designed by Sasha Bikoff for New Ravenna, America’s premier mosaic designer and manufacturer.

The historical journey begins in the 17th century with Atlas Major, a charming rendition of Dutch cartographer Joan Bleu’s Baroque geography. The aged appearance of a crinkled, antique map was replicated by New Ravenna’s design team applying a honed finish to the 12 different stones, and then selecting a darker grout to finish the piece.


From the 17th century, we move to the modern world and the quintessential American textile pattern: the bandana. 

“Tile is a cultural emblem that represents a country’s aesthetic. There are unlimited beautiful tiles that feel Italian, Delft, Portuguese, Spanish. America’s history is younger and the culture has a more relaxed vibe. I’d like to define that through tile,” Bikoff says.

The iconic bandana print is available in two versions: East Coast and West Coast. A honed background was chosen by Bikoff and New Ravenna to give the allure of softened cotton, and grout lines and paisleys mimic the cloth’s permanent creases from being worn and folded hundreds of times. 

To contrast the bandana design, three delicate lace designs, Point d’Angleterre Lace, Queen Mary’s Lace, and Swiss Dot Lace bring in the gentle femininity found in women’s garments and home textiles to the collection. 

Designer, Sasha Bikoff

“The lace is a juxtaposition to the bandana prints and offers the same playful idea of turning a textile into a tile mosaic,” Bikoff adds.

 The designs, inspired by the complexity of antique lace, include honed and tumbled stone to create texture, and differing grout colors to highlight the intricate webbing. The New World collection is as versatile as it is beautiful, and can be installed on walls and floors, indoors and out. Add a splash of color and a dash of design to your home with help from New Ravenna.

Photos and featured image courtesy of  New Ravenna

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The Ways to Wellness

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to swing into health and wellness. Envisioning and reflecting on your health goals is a breeze when your home supports and sustains your best self. Wellness themed homes are the perfect balance between comfort and functionality, blurring the lines between a relaxing, replenishing vacation and a regular Thursday night.

Christie’s International Real Estate showcases five beautiful home retreats that are sure to make returning home after a long day as anticipated as jetting off to a luxurious retreat. 

Contemporary Mountain Retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nestled en route to the Santa Fe Ski Basin and miles of hiking/biking trails, this home makes wellness a top priority. Melt stress away in the private spa with a professional-grade gym and indoor hydrotherapy SwimEx pool, and wind down after a long day in the patio hot tub.

Shangri-La on Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island

This idyllic waterfront estate was crafted for the outdoor enthusiast and molded for relaxation. Enjoy a sunset walk along the private beach, or evening swim in the heated infinity pool. A serene koi pond invites quiet meditation and reflection. Taking it easy at this quiet seaside retreat is a beach-lover’s dream come true.

Alhambra-Inspired Palace in Marrakesh, Morocco

Nestled in the Palmeraie oasis, this home features designs in the tradition of ancient Moorish baths, and includes an authentic hammam, beautiful relaxation area, a spa, and lounges. Outdoors, guests and residents can relax in the rose and vegetable gardens, a pool area with pool house, or tennis court.

Hot Spring Estate in Ashigarashimo-Gun, Japan

This home is set in one of Japan’s ancient hot spring resorts, Yugawara. The home’s lavish spa amenities include both indoor and outdoor onsen (hot spring) baths, celebrating Yugawara’s rich history as a prominent hot spring, and providing the utmost relaxation.

River Oaks Estate in Houston, Texas

This estate offers ample opportunity for both fitness and relaxation. Achieve healthy eating goals in the custom-designed chef’s kitchen, and exercise in the professionally equipped gym and sauna housed on the top floor. Outside, a pool, tennis court, and practice golf course make fitness and wellness goals a reality. 

Photos and featured image courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate 

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Live Your Best Light

Ask any stylist the key to a successful shoot and you’ll find yourself in a conversation about lighting.

More than just aesthetics, it possesses its own emotional language, writing atmosphere and warmth into contemporary interiors. If you or your home are feeling a little under the weather, consider experimenting some with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

To help you get started, Chaplins Furniture has created a shortlist of the best new launches this season…

On the Move

Freed from the shackles of cables, today’s best designer lighting its portable, fun and ready to move. Opt for the comfort of a time-honoured lantern or keep things contemporary with a colourful new BELLHOP.

Ideal for study nooks, reading or outdoor soirees, these versatile luminaires reimagine the intimacy of candles for the modern age.

Sleek Scandi

All clean lines and essential silhouettes, sleek Scandi finds beauty in the bare minimum, offering a serene reprieve from the clutter of contemporary life. Leading the subtle style stakes are the new POST WALL LIGHTS by Muuto.

Thanks to a system of magnetic wall brackets, they can be arranged in striking linear configurations, with 360 degree swivelling bulbs and touch-controlled dimming.

Back to Black

In 2020, designers are experimenting with classic drama, revealing a host of iconic designs in sleek matt-black colourways. Seductive and bold, the new palette feels fitting for this time of year, updating winter homes with a little monochrome magic. A new favorite? The New PH Artichoke in BLACK, a daring design statement if ever there was one.

Deja-Vu

We couldn’t sign off without mentioning a handful of new retro lights that are making waves in maximalist circles. Boasting everything from 70s fringe through to art deco prints, these funky designs pack a serious punch, with island culture inspiring the creation of the new ARCIPELAGO LAMPS and CONTARDI’S extended CALYPSO collection.

All photos courtesy Chaplins Furniture.

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Picture Perfect

What could be easier to give your own home personality than with the right photo?

Whether it’s a memorable quote or drawing, sophisticated or playful the right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style. When finding the perfect picture, there are some tips that can help to skillfully stage the personality of your space. Katarzyna Kolenda, interior expert and managing director for Dekoria GmbH, reveals which wall decorations suit which type of home decorator and gives tips on how to arrange them perfectly.

 

 

 

Your Natural Habitat

From natural wood to walls of stone, untreated natural materials have once again become the focus of many interiors today. The comfortable, light effect that natural designs have on a room’s style is undisputed and can even be proven to reduce stress, from images of greenery and nature itself to a simplistic color palette of softer greens and whites. So what would go better with an urban jungle look than botanical motifs and photos full of vibrant greenery? 

Nature lovers can live out their great passions when choosing frames and photos. For example, canvases that display green or wooden elements give the room a rustic, creative charm. “As [if back] in the forest, the botanical motifs should find their perfect place on the wall,” advises Kolenda.

More than Words

The home is a place where you most feel comfortable, a perfect place to organize your favorite thoughts and feelings and give them a place of importance visually, such as a framed photo of a quote or life motto. If you frame a motto of life on the wall, it not only looks modern but also conveys a message to visitors, whether it’s to “Be brave!” or to “Find the beauty in every day.”

“Statements and sayings no longer just belong in the notebook or on a T-shirt,” says Kolenda. “You can give rooms a new mood in just a few moments while looking calm and trendy, especially when combined with other pictures.”

The Art of Change

Each photo or art piece reveals a lot about the person who puts it on display, whether it’s floral patterns for nature lovers or action heroes for die-hard cinema fans. “When finding the right picture, people should simply listen to their gut,” summarizes Kolenda. With passion comes the potential for change, so do not be afraid to change your art or photo style over time. Like art itself, style is never truly static and therefore has the potential to show growth and change.

Lifestyle and Longevity

New values, shifting demographics and technology are all transformative agents in 2020, and each will shape real estate and design well into the next decade.

365 Days of Summer

Bring the outdoors in to create your space to enjoy a summer state of mind all year round.

Furniture Shopping Made Simple

MY Furniture, a luxury, high-quality furniture retailer, has made it easy for customers to enjoy furniture shopping without ever having to leave their homes.

Tiles Traveling Through Time

Travel through time and admire seven handcrafted designs in the New World Collection designed by Sasha Bikoff for New Ravenna, America’s premier mosaic designer and manufacturer.

The Ways to Wellness

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to swing into health and wellness. Envisioning and reflecting on your health goals is a breeze when your home supports and sustains your best self.

Live Your Best Light

If your home's style is feeling a little under the weather, try experimenting with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

Picture Perfect

The right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style.

Declutter Your Space

Start 2020 off right by organizing your space and making room for a decluttered start.

Colorful Royalty

In an interview, Nelson De La Nuez discusses the incorporation of images from American pop culture, today’s advertising and high-end branding in his art.

Be My Guest!

Make your guests feel more at home with these tips to improve your guest room, making friends and family feel as if they stepped into a five-star hotel!

Dining Responsibly

Seafood challenges chefs and delights diners, but a world of rapidly depleting resources requires conscientious choices.

A Guide to the Michelin Guide

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce that both the hotel’s signature restaurants, the Italian Il Ristorante — Niko Romito and the Chinese Bao Li Xuan, have been awarded Michelin stars during the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2020 presentation ceremony.

Big Gardens for Small Spaces

By focusing on a desire to nurture carefully grown fauna, this company has rethought the living wall by making gardening easy for small spaces.

How To Make Your Home Sports-Friendly

Whether you’re looking to add a basketball or tennis court, or something more adventurous like a putting green, home golf simulator or bocce ball court, having the ability to play these sports while at home can provide countless hours of enjoyment.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Modern Midwestern Makes

These two Midwestern brands, both with a reputation for timeless design, craftsmanship, and innovation, will debut a new collection in January 2020.

Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Check out this gift guide with an edge. These concrete-inspired items are perfect for your home or office and will stand the test of time to celebrate for years to come.
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Declutter Your Space

What better way to welcome the new year with a positive start than decluttering your space. Reorganize the rooms in your home and take advantage of stylish furniture pieces that can help neaten up different areas. From modern coat hooks to rustic desks, the design possibilities are endless. 

Photos courtesy of WOODENDOT. 

Spruce up the Entryway

To ensure that coats, keys, and purses aren’t strewn all over the kitchen table or living space, consider installing coat hooks. Choose options that also double as a cabinet or shelf. These contemporary coat hooks by Woodendot have the hooks hidden and provide extra space for other items to be stored or decorative space.

Need a place to keep shoes? A shoe nook is a great way to avoid the mountain of shoes that can pile up as guests (or kids) come into the home. Try and find one that doubles as a storage unit and a place to sit.

Photo courtesy of Bombay Duck. 

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland. 

Office Organization

Arguably, a home’s office has the most clutter. Between unfiled papers and jumbles of wires, this space can induce a lot of stress. Start by going through old papers and getting rid of documents that are no longer needed. It’s recommended to shred any important documents. 

When it comes to furniture, the main focal point will be the desk. Desks don’t have to be clunky and boring. A nicely finished or painted desk brightens up the space, creating a peaceful mood.

 

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland. 

Choose a desk that has plenty of storage for filing and office supplies. Keep the top of the desk clear, only allowing a computer, calendar, keyboard, and small organizers to remain on it.

To expand organization space, find a bookshelf with a lot of shelving and room for filing. Like the desk, a bookshelf does not have to keep to a classic style. A modern one updates the room. For all those wires on the floor, use twist ties to keep them separate and attempt to hide them from view. 

 

Photo courtesy of SONGMICS.

Love Your Living Room 

Continue the organizing flow into your living or family room. Recycle any old magazines or newspapers and keep the ones you want in a magazine rack for easy access. A stylish modern magazine rack enhances the look of your living room. Make clearing out the rack part of your daily routine to keep everything organized. 

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison. 

Toss out any broken or unused items in the room. Take the opportunity to reorganize the furniture and take the opportunity to clean under the couch or other pieces of furniture. Invest in feng shui books to further change the feel and energy of the room. 

 

Just like the shoe nook in the foyer, purchase new furniture that can act as extra storage to reduce the amount of space used. An ottoman acts as a place to keep blankets or extra pillows. Some couches also have a place under the cushions to keep extra items. A coffee table or side table can hide remote controls, books or other small objects that can be tucked away. Adding a bookshelf in the living room is always a nice touch. If there is enough wall space, go for a bookshelf that can be hung up on a wall, allowing the chance to keep the floor clean and dust-free. 

Photos courtesy of WOODENDOT.

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture.

A Peaceful Bedroom

The first place to start: The closet. Donate any lightly used clothing and keep the closet as neat as possible. Beds with drawers underneath create more space to store clothing as well. On a tight budget? If the current bed doesn’t have drawers, baskets are a fun and appealing way to store any extra items in your room. 

Photo courtesy of Sweetpea & Willow. 

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading.

For women, jewelry wall organizers take the place of a bulky jewelry box. Men can utilize organizers for watches, rings or other jewelry they may own. Chargers for phones, laptops or tablets can be kept neatly on an organizer as well.

 

Take off any unnecessary items from a dresser or nightstand and go for something that allows for smaller items to have their own place without the worry of something getting lost. A practical addition to a bed is a bedside pocket for easy access to books, remotes or a laptop. 

Photo courtesy of Woodyoubuy.

Photo courtesy of Einrichten Design.

Photo courtesy of Woodyoubuy.

Photo courtesy of Gyrofish.

For some tips on how to furnish and organize a small space like an apartment click here.

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Colorful Royalty

Known as the King of Pop Art, L.A.-based artist Nelson De La Nuez is one of the most sought-after pop artists working today. His work is regularly exhibited at prestigious art fairs, such as Art Basel Miami and Art Central Hong Kong, as well as promoted through partnerships and private collections, including a series of works for Warner Bros. to commemorate The Wizard of Oz’s 70th anniversary.

In an interview with De La Nuez, he discusses how the incorporation of images from American pop culture, today’s advertising, high-end branding and more have strongly influenced his artwork since the 1980s. 

What kind of memories do you have from your childhood?

I was born in Havana and I came here to Southern California when I was seven years old, started first grade here. I still remember Havana, which I can remember back to when I was three years old. I took it all in. Fond memories of going to the beach, riding my bicycle around the neighborhood, doodling in the backyard.

How did your childhood affect you later on as a person, as an artist?

Well I’ve always been an artist, ever since I can remember. That kind of kept me entertained for hours, I would always get lost with [my art]. I love sports, but art has always been there for me. It was my escape. It was just a way to get away from everything.

Do you still use art to get away, now that it’s your career?

I’m always thinking 24/7 about what I am I gonna do, about ideas — so what I do is I jump on and go motorcycle riding and that kind of helps me come back again and revisit a piece or an idea, and look at something differently. What I was looking at a half hour ago looks different now, since I’m in a different state of consciousness, and I get to relax.

Material Girl

The Good Life

What kind of themes do you see from your childhood that are presented in your art now?

Most of what I do today is rooted in American themes from my childhood. I remember coming here [to America] and I remember seeing on TV the first Superman, TV commercials, the mascots — it all just spoke to me and I just absorbed it like a sponge.

How did these themes develop into your style?

The reason why I’m doing pop art is because of everything I observed early on when I came to this country. Living in
California is like living in a fantasy land when you come from a different country. There’s billboards, commercials, advertising, and you never know where the ideas come from. When I really think back, a lot of what I do today is really a reflection of what I was thinking and experienced when I was a kid.

Aside from your childhood, are there trends or present-day themes that inspire you?

I’m inspired by everything, literally. Every mundane object that you could think of I will look and see something there that I can maybe create into a piece of artwork. Whether it’s a billboard or a magazine ad, or an elusive train [of thought] I had the day before, I’ll ride it all the way down. I am really a byproduct of everything I’ve observed or experienced in my entire life. So I have this database in my subconscious where I can draw from.… Everything is art for me. It doesn’t necessarily need to be hanging on a wall, it could be fashion, it could be a song; everything is just an inspiration.

Corum Bubble Martini Watch

How does your art coincide with the clientele you usually work with?

Each partnership that I’ve done is
different, basically all with high-end brands. Each of them is unique and different; I just love working with high-end brands because it just puts my art on a different level and exposes me to a lot more people. Basically it provides a plateau to take my work to the next level and having the audience take a look at my work in a different way. That’s my audience, it’s always been a very well 
cultured, well traveled group that love high-end brands. It’s an audience that know what they want and how to express themselves, and they do that with my art.

What do you like most when people view your art in various forms?

I love when people react immediately. That kind of gives me a great deal of comfort. You put in all this energy and hard work and you don’t know what to expect. And they usually say “Yes, that’s the painting for me,” because it’s got legs, it speaks not just to them, but to a mass audience — it makes them happy, makes them smile, sometimes it makes them laugh. They know the perfect place that they want this for in their home. Some of them are drawn to a specific piece for no reason at all; they just relate to it.

Upper Left: First Class Girl – LA Art Show 2019

Bottom Left: High Maintenance (Left) and Yacht Life (Right)

Above: Chanel No. 5 (Black)

What’s a project you’d love to work on in the future?

I would love to design something like an entire hotel design, the colors, the furniture, the wallpaper. The other thing that I would really love to do is work with a cruise ship to design their rooms, or design the entire ship using my art. That’s kind of what I get excited about most, getting to do [art] on a large massive level, where it’s not just a small project, but a huge undertaking, to take it to another level.

Any advice for aspiring artists?

The number one piece of advice I can give is that you have to be committed to your craft. You need to find out who you are and what message you want to put out into the world, then you have to be good enough and clever enough and have something unique and different. You can’t just be a part-time artist, you have to do it full time and it takes a while.… Good art is subjective, but when you have people paying sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars for your art, you know that you’ve done something right.

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Be My Guest!

Now is the time of year where people’s homes becomes the center for entertainment. Between the holiday get togethers and New Year celebrations, a home must be kept in party-ready shape. One room not to neglect: the guest room. Give this extra space a much-needed upgrade and create a memorable stay for guests, whether it be friends or family. Below are some tips to take a guest room from a drab bonus room to a five-star accommodation. 

 

Photo courtesy of Darlings of Chelsea. 

Maximize Space

Guest rooms are typically on the smaller side when it comes to the size and amount of space is available. For that reason, skip the queen-sized bed with minimal to no extra seating and go for a couch that can turn into a bed.

A traditional sofa bed will do or go more modern and purchase a futon that flips to a nice-sized bed.

Provide guests with nice sheets, pillows and blankets to make them feel more at home. 

 

Photos courtesy of KSL LIVING.

Storage, Storage, Storage! 

Living out of a suitcase is never fun. Whether people are staying for one night or 10, give guests enough storage space to organize their belongings. A dresser provides a good amount of drawers and the counter space allows people to keep track of smaller belongings. 

Limited on space? A trunk at the foot of the bed or along the wall. The trunk allows for some extra seating as well.

Storage baskets are a great space-saver and can be tucked away under the bed or in a closet. Select some that have a pop of color or an interesting pattern. 

Photo courtesy of SONGMICS.

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland.

Photo courtesy of Lola & Mawu

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

A mirror is a must when it comes to upgrading the space. Not only do mirrors make smaller spaces appear bigger, but it is a nice feature to have for guests so they can get ready in the comfort of their own space. Sharing bathrooms becomes a hassle, but a full length mirror and a wall mirror give people the opportunity to prepare for the day or night in the room. 

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co.

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison

Light it Up

Don’t skimp on lighting and skip the boring choices. Have fun with the various selections that are out there and pick out some creative pieces that add to the room. Install a lamp that rotates so guests can read or choose lighting with different settings so your guests can determine how much light they want before they go to bed and when they slowly wake up.

Photo courtesy of KSL LIVING.

Photo courtesy of Astro Lighting

It’s the Little Things 

Small details and amenities can give the guest room a Ritz-Carlton feel. Provide them with cozy slippers and magazine to read.

A breakfast tray or cart with some welcome treats, glassware or flowers makes the space welcoming.

Personalize the space with extra items for the people staying in the room, giving the space a warm touch. 

Above two images and featured image courtesy of Garden Trading

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