Friday, September 28, 2012

Displaying Personal Photos: Cozy and Homey? Or Awkward?

Do you decorate your home with your guests in mind? Or with your own taste and comforts?

My older sister got married this summer, and due to a credit with her photographer, I was told that I could choose one or two of the wedding photos as a print for myself. On hearing this, the question that came to mind (besides which of the 691 gorgeous images to go for) was: Is it okay to put these things up in my home?!

The last time Apartment Therapy spoke about displaying personal photos, be it wedding or otherwise, there were a lot of opinions raised. I know many people who believe that personal photos have no place in the public areas of a home, and should be relegated to bedrooms and upstairs hallways only. I've got to admit, I've always been somewhat flummoxed by this view. After all, just how "public" are our homes really, and shouldn't we be decorating them for ourselves, not for the preferences of people who occasionally drop by?

However, when I look around my home, it seems that I've internalized this common view without even realizing it. In this digital age, I have Facebook albums and iPhoto events a-plenty, and occasionally even manage to have a photobook printed up. But these are items which I have to make an effort to peruse, not ones displayed, with pride, where I'll see them every day. Instead, my walls are adorned with prints, paintings and vintage paraphernalia, with not a single human representation among them.

And here's the thing — I love looking at other people's photos. Whether it's wedding portraits, photos from a recent holiday or old snaps from childhood, there's something about glimpsing the special moments, grand and mundane, of people's lives. They're conversation fodder, and in my opinion, help make a house feel loved and lived in. So, why wouldn't I share similar pics in my own home?

On reflection, I think I would. In fact, have made it a goal of mine to get some of my favourite images off my laptop and into some picture frames before the year is out. So now, the only question I'm concerned with is which of my sister's wedding pictures to choose (the one of her and me laughing our heads off in our parents' backyard is the current frontrunner).

But what do you think? Do personal photos have a place in the home? Do you draw the line at wedding pictures or ones of children, or is it the more, the merrier?

Read more here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tips To Help You Enjoy the Transition to Autumn

Are you ready for autumn? Here are a few ways to make the transition from summer a little easier!

A new season is approaching and along with that inevitably comes change: a change in light, a change in weather, a change in lifestyle. Depending on where you live it can either be drastic or just a little blip; either way there are things you can do to make the transition easier. Follow me after the jump to find out how...

Bring the Outdoors In: One of the things we tend to love about summer is all of the outdoor nature time. Well, just because you are gonna be staying in more doesn't mean you have to shut the outdoors out. Start bringing in bright, cheery flower bouquets and new hearty plants. Look for indoor plants that work double duty, like English Ivy, they are not only beautiful and can make you happy but clean the air as well.

Purify the Air: Since we just mentioned cleaning the air with house plants let's take it a step farther. With windows shutting out the cold air, less circulation, and furniture off-gassing you're gonna want to keep the air clean with a Hepa Air Purifier.

Fall Cleaning: Spring shouldn't be the only season where your home gets a fresh new face. Before you go into cuddle up on the couch nesting mode, clean up all the nooks and crannies so you can hunker down in a squeaky clean space.

Get Cooking: Stews, soups, and pies are the smell of fall. If you love to cook this is surely something to look forward to. Stock up your pantry with new, fresh ingredients so you are ready on a whim to whip up your favorite fall recipes.

Brighten Up: Since you will be spending more time indoors this would be a good opportunity to add in some new bright and lively colors to your place. Get some new throw pillows, blankets, or accessories that will keep your home happy and energizing. If you are really daring, try painting an accent wall for the new season.

Bring Out The Faves: What are your favorite things about fall? Is it a great sweater, the best boots, a warm down comforter, a magnificent tea? Well, start to place them in your line of sight so you can get excited about their appearance back in your life in the not too distant future.

Get Moving: Don't let the natural slow down slow you down. Make sure you still move your body. If you will need to move your routine inside, you should start preparing for that now. Not only will it keep you in shape, but it will help your brain stay happy and positive through the coming months.

Be Social: It's easy to just get lost in your own world once it gets chilly and holiday seasons begin but don't let it. Make dates now for gatherings, dinner parties and holiday cheer so you are all scheduled and ready to go. Read more here

Want more ideas to make autumn awesome? Check out our blog entry "Easy Ways to Decorate for Autumn" and get inspired!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Easy Ways to Decorate for Autumn

Ahh, fall. It's the season of crisp mornings, hot apple cider, snuggling into oversize sweaters...and luxurious, warm reds, oranges, and browns. We love fall!

Here are some easy ways to decorate for the season without completely redoing your whole house:


A new rug can tie your room together in a whole new way! Doesn't the Piazza Linen remind you of the forest floor covered with freshly fallen leaves?

Throw blankets

Nothing says autumn like curling up on the couch with a big mug of hot cocoa and a warm, fuzzy blanket. The Contempo Berber throw blanket captures the season's colors perfectly.


Let your creativity go wild with the Jemma 5 piece accessory set. Frame a picture of your favorite fall day. Arrange acorns and pine cones in the charger bowl. Fill the vases with freshly collected branches still bearing the vibrantly colored leaves of the season!


Cast a warm glow over your room with a seasonal table lamp. The leaf motif on the Eloise table lamp fits in perfectly with autumn-themed decor.


After a long day of hiking through the forest, hay rides, and bobbing for apples, snuggle under the covers of the Diamonte 9-piece queen comforter set.

How do you like to decorate for autumn?

Friday, September 7, 2012

5 Completely Free Ways to Make Your House a Home

Do you know how to make your house feel like a home? Decor helps, but there are other things you can do as well...

We've talked time and time again about all the little things you can do to make a house feel like a home. You can have warm enveloping lighting, plants for fresh air and fun additions of color, collections and artwork, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about how to make your home feel like a refuge; it doesn't have a single thing to do with your decor or the design of your space and nothing costs a dime - it's all totally, 100% free...

1. Spend Time In It: It's almost a badge of honor these days to rattle off your itinerary for the day which leaves little or no time spent at home other than the 6 hours of sleep you try to weasel in. You can't have the feelings of a safe harbor within your walls if you're never there. If it's merely a place to lay your head and hang your coat then it will never mean anything more to you than a coat rack does. Saying no to things in the outside world can be hard, but sometimes it's worth it for your home, peace and comfort in the long run.

2. Use Your Space: So you're at home. That's what we just told you to do right? Chillin' watching television, staring out the window. What more do you want? Well, lots actually! Use your table, sprawl out on the floor, cook, bake, clean, paint a picture... do something that forces you to interact with the things in your home. So often we're on auto pilot that forcing yourself to break the home-dinner-tv-bed routine can awaken your senses to how you'd like your space to function or embrace your hobbies and habits.

3. Speak Kindly: Homes are places where love and memories are made. Do your best to make them kind, wonderful thoughts. We're not going to tell you the words you should or shouldn't be saying, but tone, attitude, and spirit go a long way to making your environment one that is comforting and a refuge away from everything else.

4. Music Matters: It's easy to think about music while we're doing certain things. It's a no-brainer to listen to music at the gym or during a morning commute. But kick out the jams at home, too! Some of the strongest memories you can make often involve music. Open the windows, add a breeze and choose your tunes to match or make your day.

5. Entertain Without Worry: Quite often when we have friends and family over to our homes, it's easy to spend our time apologizing or talking about the things that aren't quite right that we still plan to fix. Spend time with others in your home, just enjoying your home as it is right now. Don't worry about the dust they might see or the things that didn't get done. One of the hardest things we can learn is to let go and enjoy being us, wherever we are, without worry or concern.

Read more at Apartment Therapy.
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