Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Creating a Cozy Fall Outdoor Space

Courtesy of Sam Henderson
Photography by Sam Henderson

Hi Friends,

Continue entertaining outdoors well into the chilly weather with this simple idea to cozy up your outdoor living space. Add warmth to your space. Surround chafing dish warmers with river rocks or lava rocks for a cozy glow.

Editor's note: Always use caution with open flames.

Now cozy up to the fire...

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Live well,

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fall Door Decorations That Aren't Wreaths

Courtesy of Chelsea Faulkner
By: Jaime Costiglio

Hi Friends,

Break the wreath mold this season with creative door decor ideas that are sure to stun. Now don't get me wrong, I love a gorgeous fall wreath. But sometimes it's nice to take a break from the norm and try something new. So this year, I've decided to swap out my usual grapevine wreath for a front door decoration that's equally as beautiful but totally unexpected. Who knew there were so many gorgeous non-wreath options out there? Check out a few of my faves below.

DIY Door Tags
Simple and chic, the featured fall-themed door tags from DIY blogger Jaime Costiglio are a fun, elegant way to add a touch of seasonality to your outdoor decor.

Dried Florals

Jeremy Hartwell

Get a long-lasting fresh flower look by filling a vintage hanging container with dried hydrangea, cotton stems and curly willow branches. When it's time to switch out your fall door decor, simply rearrange all materials in a vase to be enjoyed indoors.

Garden Rake Welcome

Is last year's rake looking a little worse for the wear? Instead of tossing it, give it new life as a cheery fall welcome arrangement.

Basket of Flowers


A woven hanging basket is a simple, pretty way to display potted, dried or faux seasonal blooms.

Corn Door Hanger

iStock/Brian McEntire

Nothing says "fall" quite like a bundle of dried flint corn. For an elegant presentation, choose three to five large ears in a variety of colors, then hang with a trailing branch of fall foliage.

Wow With Wheat

Julie Blanner

This quintessential fall door decoration from lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner is as pretty to look at as it is easy to make. All you need is a handful of wheat, a rubberband and some ribbon.

Chalk It Up

Sara Syrett

I'm in love with the way DIY blogger Sarah Syrett upcycled this old silver tray with a little chalkboard paint and some eye-catching fall florals.

Pumpkins Aren't Just for Carving

Hortus Ltd.

A rustic metal basket lined with wheat straw creates the perfect base for displaying pumpkins, apples or other decorative seasonal produce. Opt for high quality faux varieties instead of the real thing to keep the basket from getting too heavy and to ensure your decor will last throughout the season.

Great options to the traditional, right? Come share some of yours with us too; look forward to hearing from you...

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Live well,

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Hi Friends,

Summer's behind us with Autumn just ahead, the perfect opportunity to thank you for visiting us during the hot days with our hopes it will continue through the chilly ones. You know, it doesn't matter if you are white collar, blue collar or no collar; working with your mind, hands or heart; taking the time, devoting the energy or making it happen, we appreciate all of you.

Have a restful and enjoyable Labor Day from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

4 Exotic Plants for Summer Containers

Courtesy of DK Books - How to Grow
Photo By: DK - How To Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hi Friends,

Create the feeling of the tropics and inject spicy colors and scents onto your outdoor space with these beautiful plants starting with our featured Glory lily (Gloriosa superba). A Climbing plant, about 6 feet tall.

Angel's Trumpet

Mature size: 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide


Mature size: 3 feet tall and wide, depending on variety

Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Mature size: 3 feet tall and wide In all but the mildest climates, bring all these plants indoors for winter.

Happy planting...

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Live well,

Sunday, August 27, 2017

8 Apps That Make Life So Much Easier

Courtesy of Erica Reitman
Photography by Sebastien Cote
Graphic by Erica Reitman

Hi Friends,

Not our normal post; no recipes or design ideas but we felt they were such good finds that we definitely had to share; hope they're useful.

Here we go...

The new Aaron Sorkin-written, Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs movie, starring Michael Fassbender, releases nationwide this Friday, October 23. As we patiently await the widely-anticipated premiere, we're geeking out (behind the screen) with some of our favorite life hack apps. Stay efficient, friends.

Level Money

Click here for LEVEL MONEY

There are almost too many awesome budgeting apps to mention here, but this app provides you with a simpler approach to your money: how much can I spend today? This is not the app to choose to manage a large budget for a family of four or to track your every expense; however, if you're looking for an easy-to-use, straightforward solution to keep track of how much SPENDABLE cash you have available at all times, it's a great choice.


Click here for ACORNS

If you're not necessarily the best at increasing your savings account but want to try to work toward your nest egg, Acorns is a super easy and satisfying app to try. The idea is that Acorns takes small amounts of extra money, i.e. your "spare change" (either by rounding up a purchase or by putting aside a certain amount of money at regularly scheduled times) and invests it for you in the background. You sort of just set it and forget it, and before you know it, you have a nice little chunk of change piling up.

Amazon Prime Now

Click here for AMAZON PRIME NOW

I was already in love with Amazon's Prime service, but now that I've discovered Prime Now, I might actually propose. While you don't have access to all of the items on Amazon, this app allows you to order a limited number of items, as well as food and groceries from local participating stores, that will arrive at your house in less than an hour. It's like magic.

Key Ring

Click here for KEY RING

If, like me, your wallet is packed to the max with loyalty cards to every store under the sun, you need Key Ring pronto. This app allows you to ditch your physical loyalty cards and add them all one by one so that your phone can easily be scanned at the register. You simply snap a picture of your card's barcode, as well as the front and back of the card, and you're good to go.

Our Groceries

Click here for OUR GROCERIES

For those of us with more than one hungry member of our household, keeping track of the family grocery list is no easy task. This simple app keeps your lists synced up on all of your devices, with all members of your household. It also allows you to create multiple lists, so you can keep running shopping lists for every store you need (drugstore, Costco, Trader Joes), certain members of the family or even special events (Thanksgiving or baby shower).


Click here for SHYP

This app is so cool, it almost makes me want to open an Etsy shop! Basically, Shyp helps you mail out everything without any of the hassle. You simply set up a shipment on the app, then someone shows up at your house, takes your item (unwrapped!) and arranges shipment through the most economical means possible. You pay the shipping fee and a small service fee but get to skip all of the annoying things that come along with mailing out a package.

Mail to Self

Click here for MAIL TO SELF

While there are built-in options for sharing virtually all of the info on your phone, you still have to go through several steps if you want to mail yourself a link to an online post or article. Mail to Self is a handy little app that, once installed, allows you to mail anything directly into your inbox with just one click. Hello, efficiency!

True confessions: I usually have approximately one million tabs open on my browser at any given time, so it's no surprise that my Safari open-page count is always sky high, too. I'm constantly coming across interesting articles, blog posts and videos that I want to save, read or watch later, and Pocket is the perfect app to help me organize it all in one spot. It also syncs up across your devices, so whether you access it on your phone or online, you always have your reading/watch list queued up and ready to go. Click here for POCKET.

Just for Fun
Just because we all love a good GIF, here are a few bonus apps that won't necessarily make your life any easier, but they will make it way more fun.

Giphy Cam: This app allows you to quickly create a GIF using your phone's camera, add silly effects (like dancing cats) and easily share it on social media. Click here for GIPHY CAM.

Giffiti: Add hilarious GIFs, like Britney Spears rolling her eyes or Donald Trump dancing, to images already in your photo library. Click here for GIFFITI.

Now, have fun...

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Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

An 8-Step Game Plan for the Reluctant Minimalist

Courtesy of Erica Reitman

Hi Friends,

I'm guessing you've heard the "ditch everything in your home that doesn't bring you joy" advice before? I'm also guessing that you may have rolled your eyes when you heard it. If you're interested in exploring the concept of minimalism but you're not quite ready to purge everything, you might be a reluctant minimalist. This means you're not quite ready to commit to the life-changing magic of, well, anything, but you do want to make sure that your home is organized, purposeful and not overrun with crap.

I've put together a step-by-step game plan for all of you wannabe minimalists who still might be skeptical of this whole minimalism thing.

1: Time to Purge (But Not Everything)

Look, I can't really tackle this minimalism thing without doing a bit of purging. But don't worry — I'm not going to make you get rid of everything in your closet. And if you happen to have a collection of 54 rolls of wrapping paper that you can't give up, that's cool, too. However, I want you to look at your space and do an honest assessment of anything that really is ready to go.

A good place to start is in your closet. But this shouldn't feel like a scary assignment; you're really just taking a look at anything you don't wear anymore and making room for new stuff. ThredUp is an online vintage clothing site that will send you a "Clean Out" envelope. Basically, you put all of your unwanted clothes in there, then put your pre-paid package back in the mail. They take care of everything else. They'll look through your clothing, see what they might be able to resell and donate anything they can't. It's simple.

Amazon also just started a program that makes it easy to donate clothing, accessories or household goods you don't need anymore. Simply take an Amazon box from any of your recent deliveries, fill it with items you'd like to donate, then print a shipping label from givebackbox.com. Once they receive your items, they'll donate them to local charity organizations for you.

2: Whatever You Keep Needs a Home

Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox; 2 Ivy Lane

Once you've done your mini-purge, you need to assess everything that's staying. Your rule should be: If it stays, it must have a home. So that means: If you want to keep your 54 rolls of wrapping paper, you need some place to put them all. (And in a plastic bag behind the couch doesn't count.)

If you're keeping items that don't have a home right now, no problem — you just need to find one for them. This might mean buying a few bins for your shelves or cleaning out a closet to make more room for your craft supplies. Just make sure that if something is staying, it has a place to go.

3: Organize Spaces You've Ignored

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

While you're in organizing mode, now is a good time to also tackle those forgotten spots in your house. For most of us, this might mean junk drawers, linen closets, attics, basements or even the garage.

If this feels like an overwhelming task, commit to tackling one of them one day a month until you feel like the space is organized.

4: Develop Systems

Melissa George, Polished Habitat

Developing systems for dealing with your stuff will help ensure that your home doesn't get to an out-of-control state again. Each family has different needs, but you can develop systems based on all of your own habits.

This might include developing a system for dealing with receipts (set up a catchall bin in your office), managing the mounds of laundry in your home (adding pretty hampers to each room) or even a system for handling the groceries when you come back from the store. Once you have your systems in place, practice sticking with them. It might take a while, but eventually, they'll become habits.

5: Take a Deep Dive Into Each Room

Now is also a good time to take a good, hard look at each room in your house to ensure it's functioning the way you need it to. For example, if your daughter's room is always a mess, figure out a way to keep things more orderly by adding a chest so you can quickly get toys and books out of the way or by pulling in some baskets that can slide under the bed to store messy items.

6: Bring Less Into Your House

Another great way to ensure that you keep your space feeling clutter-free is to bring fewer things in. If you're sick of piles of mail all over the place, keep a recycling bin in your garage so you can ditch any unwanted letters or catalogs before bringing them into the house. Try setting up a designated space to store extra shopping bags so you can hide them away as soon as you're done unloading your groceries. If you're feeling a bit overloaded with kids' art, create an area in your mudroom or garage to file away each child's creations.

7: Get Your Family Involved

Julie Soefer Photography

Another great way to get on the minimalism train (and make sure you stay there) is to get your family involved. Teach your kids about giving by donating things they're no longer using. Set up one day per month where you and your kids go through their toys and clothes and pick out anything they might be willing to donate. You can set a goal of three items per month so it doesn't feel overwhelming. Call it "Giving Day," and put a note on your calendar so you don't forget.

8: Give Yourself a Break

James Angus and Jamie Bolton, The Cavender Diary

This is, perhaps, the most important rule for the reluctant minimalist — remember to give yourself a break. There's no one perfect way to go minimal in your home. The fact that you're even thinking about minimalism and making small efforts is a really big deal. So don't worry if you're not ready to tackle everything on this list. Maybe just pick one and start from there. Baby steps are totally A-OK.

Sometimes lots (and lots) of wrapping paper brings you joy and that's OK too...

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Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Stop Household Clutter: Things to Get Rid of Right Now

Courtesy of HGTV
Photo By: Faith Durand, Elana's Pantry

Hi Friends,

Ready to rid your house of clutter? Start here with these items you're sure not to miss. Old Spices is a great start. Most ground spices should be replaced after 12 months. A simple test? Give each one a wiff. If there's no scent, there will be no flavor. Go ahead and toss it!

Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three months for maximum brushing power.

Unidentified Frozen Objects

Photo By: DK - House Works, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Toss any unidentifiable objects in the refrigerator or freezer.

Cookbooks You Never Use

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Give unused to your foodie friends who will get more use out of them.

Unidentifiable Keys

Most recycling centers have mixed metal bins you can toss old keys in. Make sure to remove any rubber coverings before you recycle.

Business Cards

From: Brian Patrick Flynn
Photo By: Shane Hawkins Photography

Congrats, you just got promoted! And now you've got 300 unused business cards with your old title. Go ahead and recycle them.

Old Chargers and Cables

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Jones

A friend or relative might be able to use a spare USB cable or an old charger. Anything you can't give away can usually be recycled in electronic stores or online. Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into "cubbies" with scraps of cardboard. Label each section, so you'll never confuse the camera cord for the phone charger again, and give the boxes a bit of color by decorating the cardboard with scrapbook paper.

Old Paint

Photo By: malerapaso

If it's more than a year old, throw it out. (You'll probably have moved on to the next color sensation by then, anyway.)


From: Ellen Foord

If you think you might return it or need to keep a reciept for a warranty, try scanning the receipts and keeping copies online instead of an old shoebox.

Appliance Manuals

From: Ellen Foord

Most appliance manuals have an online version. Keep really important ones together in a folder.

Soap Scraps

From: Genevieve Gorder
Photo By: Chris Amaral

Unless you're really dedicated to melting down the slivers into one mega-soap, toss them out - now!

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,