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Designing a 'Zen' Space: Important Tips to Know

Designing a ‘Zen’ Space: Important Tips to Know

In today’s society where everyone constantly seems to be in motion, it’s nice to have a relaxing, calm environment to come home to. This is why more and more homeowners are choosing to design their house more zen-like. Having a place where you can relax both your body and mind is important. So if you’re looking to create a calming ‘zen’ space in your home, keep reading for some great tips.

Designing a 'Zen' Space: Important Tips to Know

Utilize Natural Lighting

One of the first things you should focus on when creating a relaxing environment is the lighting. You shouldn’t have harsh fluorescent lighting in your zen space — this lighting can keep you feeling restless and even give you a headache. Instead, opt for natural and soft lighting. If you’re focusing on one room, choose a room that has windows that can let natural lighting in. For other sources of soft light, mix a variety of floor lamps and wall-mounted light fixtures to give yourself the ability to control the lighting in the room. With soft, natural light, you’ll be able to relax easily. Furthermore, you should consider moving any electronics, including your phone, out of your new space. Blue light emitted by electronics can not only be harmful to your eyes, but it can cause difficulty focusing and sleeping as well.

Get Rid of Clutter

With the average U.S. home having 300,000 things in it, you probably have a good amount of belongings in your house. And while it’s certainly fine to have some items in your home, you don’t want to try relaxing in an area that is cluttered. This is because extra objects in the room will cause distractions and could even prevent you from forming a relaxing space in the first place. So when you’re designing your zen area, make sure you get rid of unnecessary clutter to allow yourself to clear your mind. You should stick with some comfy furniture and maybe a few decor elements to make the space truly your own, but otherwise, unnecessary items should be moved out of the room.

Choose Warm, Earthy Tones

There are a lot of different ways to design rooms. While a recent survey found that 60% of respondents agreed they would have a sofa be the center of focus in their living room, it’s important to create a space you feel comfortable in. An easy way to do this is to use neutral and earthy tones throughout your space. Whether it’s the color of the walls, furniture, or accent elements, being in a space that offers warm and neutral tones — these colors will promote relaxation and allow you to not be distracted by bright colors around you.

While it’s true that a bathroom remodel can offer a return on investment of 70%, you should focus on making your home a space that allows you to de-stress and feel at peace. So keep these tips in mind when designing your ‘zen’ space for a result that truly allows you to feel your best.

The Best Interior Design And Decorating Trends To Revamp Your Space

Whether your design and decorating choices are big or small, they can immediately communicate your style to anyone who enters your home. They can also bring you a sense of joy whenever you look around you and see the beautiful pieces you picked out. Revamping your space can even have health benefits. One-third of homeowners say that they change to a healthier lifestyle after remodeling their kitchen, according to Houzz.

Now is the perfect time to give your space a makeover and start feeling those benefits. It doesn’t matter if you rent an apartment or own a house, you have options for how you want to express yourself in your home. Let’s take a look at some of the top design and decorating trends of this upcoming year to get inspiration and ideas for your home.

A new kind of subway tile

For a number of years now, white subway tile has ruled the kitchen backsplash market. This style gets its name from the subway tiles that were first used during the early 1900s in New York City subway stations. These tiles became the standard subway decoration because of their easy-to-clean and durable surface that reflected light well. They also became common for kitchens because of similar reasons, but now designers are putting a spin on them.

This year’s trendy backsplashes are still utilizing the fresh white color of subway tiles, but the individual tiles are larger than the standard three by six inches of past tiles. The larger tiles also minimize the amount of grout that shows. Designers are arranging them in herringbone, chevron, or stacked patterns, rather than in the offset brick pattern of years past. Some people are even ditching the rectangular tiles completely and opting for circles and curved lines instead.

Going green

For once we’re not talking about eco-friendly living (although incorporating environmental options remains a popular trend), but rich and vibrant green hues that bring nature inside. Interior designers have seen earthy green tones on the rise in homes as people want to create a paradise that allows them to escape technology and the stress of the outside world.

The best part of these decorating trends is that you don’t have to make permanent changes your landlord wouldn’t appreciate in order to incorporate green into your home. Pick out green throw pillows and blankets to accent your living room, or go bold with an armchair or sectional entirely upholstered in green. If you can make lasting changes to your home, consider incorporating sea glass into a kitchen or bathroom countertop. Subtle shades of green, blue, and aqua are typically found in every 50 to 100 pieces of sea glass and can make a plain space feel like a relaxing oasis.

Multifunctional furnishings

As more people move into smaller apartments and homes made for city-living, decor is also becoming more compact and multifunctional. Anyone who has lived in a more modest space knows the challenge of making a living room double as a guest room or finding storage space when it seems impossible.

Luckily, the furniture to solve these problems can be both stylish and functional. Designers have created storage options that fit neatly into existing furniture pieces, like under-bed drawers. Couches that transform into beds no longer look like the clunky messes that your parents had, but like a completely normal sofa that fits seamlessly into a living room. If you’re working with a small space, be sure to look for pieces like these that can do double duty while adding to the aesthetic of your space.

Now that you’ve got some inspiration from what’s trending right now, it’s time to go forth and give your home a facelift with these decorating trends. It’s probably in need of one, as about 85% of all homes in the country were built before 1980. While you’re remodeling, remember to have fun and pick out designs that speak to you. When all’s said and done, you should have a space that wipes away the stresses of the day and brings you absolute joy.

Tiny Apartment, Huge Style: How To Add Your Personal Flair To A Small Apartment

You’ve finally found the perfect apartment located right in the center of your favorite restaurants with plenty of natural sunlight streaming through your windows. The only drawback? It’s tiny. So tiny that you can walk from one end to the other in a matter of seconds and you constantly fear that you may join the 25,000 Americans who sprain an ankle every day from tripping over the jumble of things laying on the floor.

In the interest of both your personal safety and the aesthetics of your space, you need to get your prized possessions off of your floor and neatly stored or displayed in your apartment. These tips for decorating a small apartment will do just that while also giving you a stylish space that you can’t stop showing off.

Moving boxes in new apartment. Real estate concept.

Incorporate Removable Pieces

One of the biggest challenges for apartment-dwellers everywhere is making decorating decisions that won’t send their landlord into a tizzy. However, with unfurnished apartment renters in the United States paying a median price of $1,492 per month, you deserve to add some spunk to your space, no matter how temporary it is.

A quick way to make a statement in your space is with removable wallpaper. This isn’t the wallpaper that plastered your grandparents’ raised ranch. Today’s interior designers are going for modern and chic wallpaper that you can easily remove without leaving a trace. You can also switch up the cabinet hardware, lighting fixtures, or window treatments for easily reversible yet stylishly impactful decorating decisions.

Make Your Storage Do Double-Duty

You’ll be shocked at how much better your apartment feels when you have a great storage system to organize your space. If you don’t have a ton of closet space in your tiny apartment, invest in small baskets and bins to station in strategic locations throughout your home. These tiny organizational tools can sit on floating shelves or on top of cabinets to help hide clutter from view. Just a few well-chosen baskets can make your apartment feel homier.

If you lack the space for long horizontal shelves, try to think vertically. Tall and narrow storage systems are a great option when you don’t have a large amount of space in your apartment. Put identical bookshelves on either side of a doorway for a built-in shelving illusion or stack floating shelves from the floor to the ceiling.

Keep It Light

According to designer Libby Langdon, something as simple as a light rug can do wonders to make a room feel larger than it is. Keep in mind that ark, rich colors tend to make a space appear smaller. Even if your apartment came with dark wall-to-wall carpeting, you can cover it with an area rug in a lighter color to open up your space.

When you’re choosing the color palette for your apartment, focus on using two light and bright shades for the bulk of the space and choose one darker accent color to keep the design visually interesting. This strategy will help you use the design rule of three to your advantage while enlarging your space as much as possible.

As an apartment renter, you have many different responsibilities to juggle. On one end, you have practical duties such as checking radon levels, which are at or above the EPA action level in about one in 15 homes in the United States. On the other, you have the job of transforming your space into a home. Take a deep breath, tackle one thing at a time, and don’t forget to have fun with your interior design choices.

Decorate This, Not That! Small Space Decorating with Janet Lee is Fun

The first warm and sunny day in Spring will often have you taking a survey of your living space. Warm and cozy winter lighting transitions into soft life-lifting yellow beams of sunshine –  forcing you to take a fresh look – or drag a weary eye – across your living space. And if you’re anything like us, you often sigh  to yourself “I need some newness in here.” But what’s to be done to spruce up a small space where every square inch is utilized to function, store, and showcase your style? Luckily at just the right moment of seasonal change, I was invited to a book signing hosted by G ARTS books at Rizzoli Bookstore on Broadway for the launch of Emmy Award-winning television producer Janet Lee’s second book, Decorate This, Not That! It’s not just a book it’s a MIY (Make-It-Yourself) movement!

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018, glitteratieditions.com

Janet Lee, a famed television producer who has worked with some heavy-hitting American tastemakers such as Martha Stewart,  Nate Berkus, and Oprah Winfrey, knows her way around a small space. Her first book, Living in a Nutshell, is a testament to making more out of less. Her new book, Decorate This, Not That!, is PERFECT for us small-space dwelling city girls and guys with an eye for design, function and finds.  Something I am able to do to make my small space a little bit more beautiful.

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

During the book signing, her guests were treated with many gems of wisdom from her book, trivia questions, and prizes, and a really fun DIY decoupage crafting project which I have to say was relaxing after a long day of hustle and bustle in New York City.

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

Flipping through the book Decorate This, Not That!  You will find multi-functional storage ideas. Chapters are organized by both indoor by room and include TIMED  step-by-step design challenges that will flex your style quotient and mentorship for hard-core design junkies and first home buyers alike.

Photo Courtesy of ©Aranya Edmonds

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018, glitteratieditions.com

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018, glitteratieditions.com

Especially useful is the book provides the financing of each project,  as well a ‘Where to buy’ for many items at the back of the book.

Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee is published by G ARTS. It boasts 200 pages and is available for $35.00 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Rizzoli Bookstore.