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3 Simple Alternatives To A Minimalist Interior

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For the past decade, magazines and TV shows have been telling us about the joys of a minimalist interior. White walls, high gloss kitchen units, minimal clutter, and simple furniture have been the trends of choice. Only with the emergence of a more creative set of designers and a frustration with the lack of artistic license in a minimalist environment, have people become more enamored with more colorful, exciting and unique designs. Magazines are now showing off more vibrant ideas on their covers and showcasing younger interior designers with their more forward thinking creations. If you fancy stepping away from the sleek and monotone to a more cheerful and homely atmosphere, take a look at these three simple alternatives to a minimalist interior.

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Walls

Forget white walls or even a touch of magnolia. It’s time to be bolder with your palette. If you fancy introducing more color in a subtle way, play around with duck egg blues, pastel hued greens or even a teal wall or two. If you’re more willing to experiment with a broader range of colors, consider mixing palettes and hues. A dark damson feature wall with lighter surrounding walls can create a focal point and break up the sea of white.

Artwork can also add touches of flair within a space and allows you to express your personality. If you love graffiti art, pick up a couple of Banksy prints. For traditional art lovers, why not head to your local gallery, purchase an original watercolor and support the local artisan trade. For a more realist approach to your artwork, you might wish to think about the photography prints for sale online. A spectacular landscape, some wildlife shots or street photography could be perfect for your interior.

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Furniture

While minimalist furniture has been the order of the day, people are now looking to source vintage furniture to create a mix of modern and old for their interior design. G-Plan, Ercol, and Meredew made stunning and affordable mid-century teak tables, chairs and sideboards. With people looking back fondly on the swinging sixties, people are keen to bring a touch of retro to their designs.

Coupled with drapery and fabrics, the wooden or teak inspired furniture can come alive with more texture, colors and a tactile nature. Hygge has been a Danish concept that has suddenly gained traction within the design world as families are more interested in function over form. Interior design lovers want comfort, cosiness, and a homely feel more than something that simply looks stunning but is virtually unusable. Banish the chaise lounge that never gets used and swap it for a fashionable leather recliner that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Playing around with your interior design can be a daunting prospect, but it should also be enjoyable. With our busy lifestyles, we want a humble abode that is welcoming and comfortable; minimalism doesn’t always deliver this. Banish the white walls and clinical look to welcome a more vibrant and exciting interior design.

 

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End-of-Summer Home Checklist

It may be sad to say, but summer is just about at an end. It is time to start battening down the hatches for the colder months ahead. Plus, there are plenty of other home improvements which you can make during the following weeks and months. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at just a few of them. Many of these jobs will be much harder to complete when the real cold of winter sets in. So, here is an end-of-summer checklist which you can start ticking off.

A Lick of Paint

Since you will be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months, it makes sense that you have a nice environment to look at. So, now is the perfect opportunity to give your walls a lick of paint. It could be that you simply want to refresh the wall colours which you have already. Otherwise, you may want to go for something completely different. Since the weather is still warm, you can leave your windows and doors open to let the paint dry. This is helpful in not leaving your home stinking of paint fumes.

Check for Any Leaks and Get Them Repaired

Winter is the last time of year that you want leaks in your home. So, to avoid suffering from chilly draughts, you need to check for leaks around the house now. Look around the home for the potential places where cold air could enter. Step outside to check for any cracks or holes in your windows, walls, doors or anywhere else. Some of these could be solved with a DIY job like caulking in the gaps. This will dry better during the warmer weather. However, if you do notice any in your windows, now is the time to get in touch with a firm like Westview Glass. Getting these jobs taken care of now can help to provide you with great peace of mind.

Get Your Fireplace Ready

There is nothing like cosying up indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. So, if you are lucky enough to have one in your home, now is the time to make sure that it is in good working order. Give it a test out now, as it is going to be much harder to get it repaired in the height of winter. It may simply need a good clean since it has likely not been used for several months of the year. Now is a good opportunity to stock up on some firewood so that you are all ready to go.

Clear Out the Gutters

If your home has rain gutters, now is a great opportunity to get them properly cleared out. Of course, you may want to do this job a little later in the year as well, since they could get clogged up with leaves when they start falling. All sorts of damage can be caused to other parts of your home if you don’t take care of this task now. Prevention is far better than the cure, so now is the time to take action.

Wash Your Winter Clothes and Bedding

 

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It won’t be long before you want to start digging out your winter clothes and bedding. And it is likely to have been at the back of your closet gathering dust over the past few years, so now is the time to dig it all out when the weather is still warm enough to dry it all properly. Just some of the items to put on the washing checklist include winter duvets, blankets, coats, pillows, jumpers, to name a few. Hang them all up outside if you can as the UV light in sunshine works as a fantastic disinfectant. Odours and mildew can also be cleared by the fresh air.

Make Your Rooms Cosier

Once your winter duvets, rugs, and blankets are washed, now is the time to start putting them around your home again. You can swap them out for your light and simple linens. You may even want to invest in some new ones. Layering up your furniture is also a fantastic way of updating your interior design. Choose a wide combination of colours, prints, and fabric varieties. This way, your home will appear inviting from the moment you step through the front door.

Rearrange Your Coat Room

There is a lot of effort in the winter months when you are putting on and taking off your coats, boots etc. Maybe you need to clear out your coathooks or get some new ones entirely. Perhaps you have some winter clothes hanging around which you no longer need, and they are simply taking up space. It is worth getting a little rug to wipe your muddy and wet boots on. A little stool will also make your job so much easier. And a shelf to put your shoes on will also help you to keep everything properly organised.

Clean the Windows

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Since the days are getting shorter, you will want to allow as much natural light into your home as possible. The first thing to do is to give them a good wash. On the inside, you can do the job well with a damp microfibre cloth. Outside, they are bound to get dirtier, so you can start by spraying them down with a hose. Finish off the job with a squeegee for the highest quality results. You may also want to switch out your thin blinds or window treatments for some which are a little thicker and heavier. This way, you can better contain the heat in your home.

Bring Your Outdoor Furniture In

It is sad to say, but the days of having outdoor gatherings are coming to an end. So, you want to make sure that your patio furniture and grill are stored safely indoors. Before you do this, now is a good opportunity to wipe down your tables and chairs with a cloth to get rid of the dirt on the surface. Afterward, you can then hose them all down. However, you need to make sure that everything is properly dry before you put it all indoors. Take this extra bit of care now and your furniture is much more likely to stand the test of time. And before you are closing your grill up for the season, it is worth wiping it down with a soapy cloth. If you have a gas-powered grill, take special care to close the tank of the valve is closed and detached.

Clean Out the Sink and Garbage Disposal

  If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, this is a very useful tool which is worth keeping in good working order. However, during the warmer months of the year, it is very easy for the bacteria lurking within to multiply significantly. A simple way of clearing it out is by using a specially designed garbage disposal cleaning product to disinfect it and remove any clogs which may well have built up. Again, this is the type of job which becomes much more complicated to complete if you wait for the winter months to do it.

Scrub All the Bathrooms

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Spring cleaning is a phrase that you hear all the time, but autumn cleaning is one which hardly ever gets mentioned. And if you are going to complete a fall cleaning job, it makes sense that you kick things off in the bathroom. A mildew remover is a useful tool which you can use to scour the surfaces until they are shiny and clean. Perhaps you have spotted some areas which need regrouting, and now is the perfect opportunity to complete this simple DIY task. And if there are any other major bathroom repairs or improvements that you would like to make, start now and they will be done in plenty of time before winter arrives.

Though you may be sad about the end of summer, rather than dwelling in your depression, now is the time to start taking action so you can kick off the winter in the best way possible. This way, you will be able to relax indoors rather than rushing around trying to complete a million different jobs when the nights are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder.

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A Guide to the Best Baking Apples

It’s that time of year again — apple picking and fall baking! With so many apple varieties to choose from, it can be hard to decide which apple is the best to use when baking. The best baking apples offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as firm flesh that doesn’t break down in the oven while baking.

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Here is a list to help when deciding what apples to use in your fall baking.

8 “go-to” apples for the perfect Fall apple dish:

Jonathans

A classic American variety, and widely regarded as one of the best flavored with a good sweet/sharp balance. You’ll recognize Jonathans apples by their deep red-stripe skin and classic apple shape. Grown in many Midwest states, Jonathans are a great apple for pies, juice and cider.

Honeycrisp

The name says it all! Honeycrisp apples are one of the sweetest apples around. They are distinctively crisp and firm, holding their shape while baking. Mix Honeycrisp apples with a tart apple like Granny Smith for a stellar pie packed full of flavor!

Granny Smith

These pretty green apples are tangy and tart with a firm flesh. One of the most popular apples for pie making, pair them with your favorite sweet apple for the perfect flavor combination.

Braeburn

This deep red beauty is spicy and sweet. It’s stores well with it’s firm texture and holds it’s shape well while baking. A great apple to eat raw. It makes the perfect portable snack!

Golden Delicious

This golden beauty is sweet with a thin skin. Golden Delicious apples require less sugar in recipes due to it’s innate sweet nature and breakdown quicker in the baking process. These are the perfect apple if you like your apple pie to have a softer texture. Great sliced in salads and to make apple butter.

Cortland

The cousin to the very popular Macintosh, Cortland’s are sweet with a tart aftertaste for a little kick. This  red, plump apple has a snow white flesh that is slow to brown after slicing.

Gala

This crisp apple has a sweet, mellow flavor. A beautifully marbled apple is ideal for applesauce and is the perfect apple to eat raw.

Macintosh

Sweet and juicy, Macintosh apples have a thick red skin with a soft, meaty flesh. Macintosh apples flesh is softer in consistency and will breakdown quickly while baking. Pair Macintosh apples with a firm, crisp apple like Granny Smith for the ultimate pie combo.

Ok, now that you are educated on all the apple facts, it’s time to make something yummy and I have just the recipe, Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble.
Enjoy ~M

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Copper Mug Buying Guide

Copper drinkware is all the rage right now, with the popularity of the Moscow Mule. This new mixology wave has elevated the drinking experience with a heightened sense of exquisite flavors, aromas, and perfected presentation.

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Why copper?
The most scientific benefit of using copper drinkware is temperature. Copper is a great conductor, quickly taking on the icy temperature of the cocktail. The cold metal is highly effective at insulating the cold temperature keeping it cool even on the hottest of summer days.

Things to consider when purchasing copper drinkware:

Materials
Not all mugs are equal. The more copper, the better the conductor, keeping your drinks cooler. This also means the more copper the higher the price. Some retailers offer mixed metal options which will give you the same look, but at a more affordable price.

Construction
Handles on copper cups not only add an easier way of holding onto your drink. Handles help keep your hot hands off the body of the cup, making your drink stay cooler, longer.

Shape & Style
Really, it all depends on your style. There is a huge selection of copper drink ware available. Vintage,hammered and handmade to sleek, brushed and sophisticated there is a cup out there that will fit your style.

Here are some affordable and stylish copper options to add to your bar:

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1. William Sonoma Hammered Copper Mug – Retail Price $29.95 

  • Solid Hammered Brass
  • 16-oz. capacity
  • Tarnish-resistant coating
  • Made in Turkey
  • Monogrammable

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2. West Elm Moscow Mule Mug – Retail Price $24

  • Copper-finished stainless steel
  • Brass handle
  • Available in hammered or smooth finish
  • Monogrammable

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3. Crate & Barrel Moscow Mule Mug – Retail Price $19.99

  • Stainless steel with brushed copper-plated finish
  • 16oz capacity
  • Made in India
  • Also available in Stainless Steel and Gold finish

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4. Anthropologie Caldley Moscow Mule Mug – Retail Price $24.00

  • Unique design
  • Copper body with brass handle and feet
  • 14oz capacity

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5. Pottery Barn Hammered Copper Tumbler – Retail Price $28 (set of 2)

  • Hammered Copper
  • Handmade
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Sold in sets of 2

Need a good Moscow Mule recipe? Here you go >

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Home Décor Hacks for $1

You’d be surprised at what one buck can buy you at the local dollar store. With a keen eye and a couple dollars in hand, you can pick up treasures that can fool most people into thinking that you spent much more. I’m a bargain hunter. I love to get a good deal, but what I love even more – surprising someone with the statement, “I got it at the dollar store!” *gasp* “Yes, the DOLLAR STORE.”

When I say dollar store items, I’m not talking about decorating with seasonal party supplies or a grouping of ceramic geese. I found items that with a little styling and imagination can easily be mistake for something from a higher-end retail store.

Here are some examples of some of my favorite finds and what I use them for around my house:

Hobnail Glassware

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What a perfect juice glass! These hobnail glasses add the perfect vintage touch and would look great on kitchen table for Sunday brunch. They are the perfect size for a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed OJ.

Glass Apothecary Jars

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I always need a little extra organization in my life. (who doesn’t?? lol) These petite glass apothecary jars are ideal for wrangling small items. I popped a couple of these on my bathroom counter to hold my cotton rounds, q tips and hair ties. What a great way to keep the bathroom tidy, store commonly used items at hand and add vintage style to your bathroom.

Ceramic Dinner Plates

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The dollar store is always a good spot to pick up some inexpensive dinnerware. (You won’t have to cry over a chipped plate…it was only a $1!) These neutral plates can be easily mixed and matched with dishes you already have.

P.S. The flowers and napkin where a dollar too! 🙂

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It is always a fun challenge to elevate dollar store items. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had luck finding treasures from the dollar store. Message me, I’d love to share!

<3 Melissa @ House Fenway