Author Archives: Maria Kaplan

About Maria Kaplan

An architecture graduate and an interior design blogger who's pationate about innovation and ergonomics in modern home living. Capable of finding simple solutions to complex design problems.

Top 5 Interior Design Trends To Throw Away Forever

There is so much information online and in print relating to interior design today that it’s easy to be confused with the constant barrage of advice we receive from various sources. At the same time, every month sees exciting new trends “that are going to be huge,” only to disappear after a month or two and prove to be nothing more than a fad for that particular time.

While these new and exciting trends are great and can inspire us to create amazing designs for our home, most people in the real world don’t have the financial capacity, or the willpower or need, to keep changing their home interior every few weeks.

Therefore, it might be better to look for the trends you need to avoid at all costs, and then take yourself in completely the opposite direction. Here are the five interior design ideas that you need to throw away for good.

Morbid Magnolia

It pains us to even call magnolia a trend, but the legendary color of the landlords is something we see repeated far too often considering it is well-known for appearing in rental properties more than anything else.

Why do homeowners choose magnolia? The only answer we can think of is that it hides dirt whereas white doesn’t, but surely, that is no reason to make your home so dull.

Laminate Floors

If you don’t like carpet, you’re not alone. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go for laminate flooring throughout. You have numerous options, from tiled floors, to natural or treated wood floors, without having to resort to laying down the lino.

Stick to laminate in the kitchen and bathroom, if you need to, and keep the rest of your home stylish.

Swing Open Wardrobes

Space is at a premium in 21st century housing, and you need to do whatever you can to save yourself a lot of space. With that in mind, ditch the old-school swing open wardrobe doors, and find a sliding door wardrobe company that will give you space saving wardrobe doors as well as options for mirrored ones that will be convenient and save money elsewhere.

Never again will you have to squeeze between your wardrobe and bed to get to your clothes, or have to pull out a shirt at random because the door only opens halfway.

High Pile Rugs

We’ll be honest, we loved these when they were stylish and relevant, but we’re talking around ten years ago, at least, when it was last acceptable to have a high pile rug in your lounge or bedroom.

Today, it’s all about neat low pile alternatives that are much easier to keep clean and are less likely to gather up food and your money!

Decorative Wording

Having an ornament of the word “EAT” in your kitchen or “WASH” next to your sink, as well as blocks spelling our “LOVE” or “SLEEP” around your home, is unoriginal, unimaginative, and just awful.

If you have any of this in your home, throw it away now. If you haven’t, don’t be taken in when you see it massively reduced in a sale; there’s a reason why they’re so cheap.

Improving Your Interior Designs

Now you know what to avoid, you can start putting together timeless looks around your home. Don’t be tempted even by one room of magnolia or laminate floors in the lounge; you’ll regret it in the long run.

Terance Nichols is a home improvement expert who is passionate about making unoriginal and outdated interior design trends disappear forever.

3 Important Things To Look For When Hiring A Moving Company

Moving is disruptive and extremely stressful. Moving can quickly go from an eagerly anticipated event to one that is filled with frustration caused by insufficient planning or unexpected circumstances. To make the move as stress-free as possible for each member of the family, the choice of moving company is critical. This means that a person needs to do more than check out a list of movers available and go “eenie meenie miney moe.” Here are three important things to look for when hiring a moving company.

1) Do the Research

If you have family or friends who have moved within the last year, ask them what company they used and the positives and negatives about their move with that company. Go online and check websites of local companies. Check to see if they will take your household goods where you wish to move. Not all moving companies haul long distances. Make a list of three companies that seem to best fit your needs. Call the company and ask more specific questions about your situation. It is important that you choose a company that is easy to contact, treats customers with respect and that is willing to work with you for the most positive outcome.

2) Those Pesky Details

Choosing a moving company is all about those details that are easy to miss or skip, but that can make a huge difference in the long run.

  • Make sure the moving company has all the legal licenses and certification required in your present and future location.
  • Make sure the moving company offers insurance so your goods will be protected should something happen in transit.
  • Make sure the cost estimate is something you can afford and that you are clearly apprised of any possible extra fees that might be incurred in certain circumstances.
  • Read any contract offered, including small print. Anything offered verbally needs to be included in the written document.
  • Ask for and check references. It also doesn’t hurt to go online and check reviews of the moving company and the services they offer.
  • While the company is most likely bonded, ask. Also make sure each mover who will be involved with your move is also certified, bonded and insured for your safety.
  • After talking to at least three companies and receiving estimates, compare the overall service and not just the bottom line. One moving company may offer more services than another one, or services that better work with your situation.

3) Packing and Unpacking

Ask specific questions about the packing procedure.

  • Do they send in a crew to do all the packing or expect you to do some or all of the packing? Ask how might this affect the insurance coverage.
  • Will the moving company supply boxes, tape, markers and labels with the cost estimate, for an extra fee or expect you to purchase these materials.
  • Check what guarantees you have that your goods will arrive on schedule and in the same condition in which they were packed?

Before hiring a moving company, make a list of your requirements. This way, you make sure that you cover all your bases when talking with a moving company. While choosing a moving company takes time and effort, choosing the right one ensures a much smoother and less stressful move.

Michael Little has worked as a home and corporate relocation specialist for the past 6 years. For more information, please visit All Star Move at allstarmove.com.

Sample Studio Apartment Layout

Top 5 Bedding Options for a Studio Apartment

When most people think of a studio apartment, they think of cramped quarters and little floorspace. Fortunately, if you know how to choose and arrange the right furniture, your studio unit can feel spacious and homey. In order to achieve a stylish and comfortable home inside your studio, here are five great bedding options that will allow you to optimize the room that you have.

#1: Sleeper Sofa

Sleeper sofas are one of the best space-savers available for residents of studio apartments.

Sleeper sofas

The great news is that sofa beds are not what they used to be. Today’s sleeper sofas are built for optimal comfort and come in a wide range of traditional to modern styles so that they will compliment your space, rather than act as an eyesore. Regardless of how big or small your particular unit is, the variety and versatility of sofa beds makes it easy to find the best match for your needs. You may consider options such as:

  • Love Seat/Queen Sized Sofa Bed – Incorporating one of these sofa sizes into your apartment is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you have a seating solution, but you will also have a comfortably-sized full or queen bed that can sleep 1-2 people.

Queen size sleeper sofas

  • Sectional Sleeper or Chaise-Lounge – Bigger studio units will look great with a sectional or chaise-lounge sofa sleeper. These furniture pieces will provide ample seating for guests, give your unit a modern look, and keep you comfortable so you can get a good night’s sleep

Sectional Sleeper Sofas

  • Chair Sleeper – Although you may not want to sleep on a twin-sized bed every night, a chair sleeper is a great way for you to keep your overnight guests comfortable. The chair can be incorporated into your seating arrangement during the day and accommodate visitors as needed.

Chair Sleepers

#2: Murphy Bed

If you want to completely conceal your bed, a Murphy bed may be your best bet. Depending on the brand that you select, these hideaway beds can either fold out from a wall or down from your ceiling, or even appear as a cabinet or shelving unit when folded up.

Murphy Bed or Wall Bed

In fact, these beds can add a great deal of contemporary style and flair both when in the concealed and open positions. Be aware, however, that some Murphy beds will require structural alteration to your unit, so don’t get your heart set on such a bed without clearing it with your landlord or apartment manager first!

#3: Tri-Fold Mattress

For a really compact sleeping solution, you may consider a tri-fold mattress.

Tri Fold Mattress

This Japanese-style method of sleeping is easy to pack up and hide away in a closet when not in use and comes in a variety of colors and thicknesses so that you can rest comfortably when you need to.

For those individuals who prefer to sleep in a non-conventional manner, without a bed frame, the tri-fold mattress is an extremely low-cost solution, without the bulk of a traditional mattress taking up space in your unit. It is possible, however, to purchase a tri-fold bed frame that is shaped as a lounge chair and can double as seating during the day.

Tri Fold Bed Frame

Be mindful that this particular sleeping arrangement can only accommodate one person so is not the wisest investment for couples. A tri-fold mattress is a very cost-savvy and convenient way to provide guest accommodations, regardless of which sleeping solution you select for yourself.

#4: Lofted Bed

Take a lesson from the modern dorm room and incorporate a loft bed into your apartment. You can even find a lofted queen-sized frame that is perfect for couples, or even single individuals who just like to have more space.

Loft Bed

Don’t like the idea of climbing a ladder? No problem. Many of these beds now include stairs, making it easier for you to get to the comfort of your mattress when you’re ready to go to sleep. If you like, you can create a living room area underneath of your bed.

An especially smart idea is to place a futon or sleeper sofa beneath the loft as your seating solution which can also double as a guest bed. You could also use the space beneath the loft as an office or breakfast nook. And you can even select stylish lofts that come with a built-in walk-in closet underneath.

#5: Regular Bed

If your space allows for it, you can also employ a regular bed in your studio unit. A great way to make make your apartment look more homey and spacious is to create the illusion of separate “rooms”.

Regular bed in a studio apartment with space dividers

Strategically placed cubbies, shelving units, or partition walls can allow you to create a bedroom that is private from your living areas so that it feels like you’re in a regular apartment instead of a studio.

Studio apartment bedding solutions with dividers

Happy furniture shopping!