Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

Buying an area rug is one of the most surefire ways to update your space and make an old room feel new again. Or, if you’re decorating from scratch, many designers recommend starting with the rug and then choosing your paint colors and other accents from there. But for those same reasons, it’s also one of the more intimidating interior décor purchases. Many people make the mistake of buying rugs that are too small for their space because 5×7 and 6×9 rugs are so much less expensive than rugs that are 8×10 and larger. But just like it wouldn’t make sense to purchase a dress that’s two sizes too small  just because it’s on sale, buying a too-tiny rug can be a waste of money. So with that in mind, today we are sharing an easy to understand guide to choosing the right size rug for your space. I’ve broken it all down for you room-by-room…

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

Living Room

In the living room, you want as much of the furniture to be on the rug as possible. This actually makes the room appear larger and defines an intimate conversation space all at the same time. Having all four legs of any couches and chairs on the rug is ideal. But if your couch is against the wall and you can’t see the back legs as well, you can usually get away with having only the front legs on the rug. When it comes to width, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the rug extends at least 6 inches of either side of the couch.

Dining Room

The dining room can be a tricky space to measure since you have to account for chairs being pulled in and out without catching on the rug. First measure the table’s length and width, then add 54 inches to each measurement. This will allow at least 27 inches on each side for the chairs to pull out.

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

Bedroom

If you are buying one large rug to place underneath your bed, I recommend that the rug should extend at least 2-3 feet on either side of the bed. If that large of a rug is simply out of your price range, a good alternative is to opt for a traditional “bedside” layout. This features two small rugs on either side of the bed and one rug at the foot of the bed. For a guest room or kid’s room with two beds, consider placing one rug between them.

Hallways

Many people forget about the hallways when they are decorating with rugs, but a runner is a beautiful way to make a statement in this often neglected space. Measure the hallway and then subtract 12 inches from the length and width. This will allow for a six-inch border all around. If you have an extra long hallway, using two runners laid end to end is perfectly acceptable.

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

When you’re measuring your room for a rug a good trick that I use is laying out newspaper in the area that you are considering covering. This will give you a visual reference point and help you figure out the proper size. Also, make sure you consider doors and vents when measuring. You want to make sure your door can open and close over the rug!

If you’ve measured your space and the right size rug is simply out of your budget, all is not lost. A décor trick that is also particularly on trend right now is layering rugs. You can buy a larger sisal or jute rug (which tend to be much less expensive) as a layering piece, and then layer your smaller dream rug on top.

We hope these tips help

What interior décor posts would you like to see on the blog next?

XO Elizabeth

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Operation Organize: How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Simple Steps

In most households, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place to whip up a healthy meal, back a sweet treat,  or mix a delicious cocktail. But it’s also the area most prone to mess. And since we take our spring-cleaning pretty seriously around here, today we wanted to share a few tips for keeping your kitchen sparkling. Follow the five easy steps below to ensure your kitchen gets a deep clean…

The Prep

Before you begin deep cleaning your kitchen, you will want to gather all of your supplies in one place. A secret that professional organizers swear by is storing your cleaning supplies in the room you use them. Not having to run to a separate hall closet will save you valuable time when you’re deep cleaning. Plus, it will make in-between touchups so much easier, too. When it comes to cleaning supplies, we use all of The Honest Company’s products since they are both extremely effective and made from natural, non-toxic ingredients. Using gentler cleaning products has so many benefits. They are safer for everyone (including pets and little ones), they are eco-friendly, and they don’t leave behind a residue or funny fumes like many conventional cleaning products do. We subscribe to their Essentials Bundle for the best deal on their products delivered to our doors every month.

In addition to cleaning products, it also helps to keep a cleaning checklist on hand so that you remember to reach all the nooks and crannies of your kitchen. Also, never underestimate the power of an upbeat playlist or your favorite podcast to get you through the job. Having something entertaining to listen to will make the time pass so much faster.

Operation Organize: How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Simple Steps

The Sink

Most people’s least favorite part of cleaning the kitchen is doing the dishes. So it makes sense to bite the bullet and get that over with first! Load up the dishwasher if you have one, wash any pots and pans by hand, and then give the sink itself a thorough scrubbing. If your sink is porcelain, you can polish it with Honest Oxy Boost (turns out it has a few surprising uses besides laundry!). Before you move on to the countertops, toss half a lemon and a little white vinegar (or a bit more Honest Oxy Boost) down your disposal to keep it smelling fresh.

For doing dishes, we use The Honest Co.’s coconut-based cleanser, which is all-natural and super effective at cutting grease. Plus, it comes in three amazing scents: lavender (which is our favorite), white grapefruit, and lemon verbena. They smell so good that you might forget you’re doing dishes for a second and think you’re indulging in some aromatherapy! We’re also obsessed with the Suds Up soap dish and bamboo brush from The Honest Company. The dish can be pumped up and down to create bubbles and it looks chic sitting on your counter too.

The Surfaces

Once your sink is clean and free of all dirty dishes, it’s a good time to wipe down all of your kitchen surfaces. Keep a basket on hand to gather any odds and ends that don’t belong in the kitchen or just need to be moved out of the way temporarily while you clean. For granite and other countertops without grout, start with a squeegee (yes, like for window washing!) to quickly and easily sweep any crumbs into the kitchen sink. Spray all surfaces and the stovetop with a multi-surface cleaner like this natural, grapefruit scented spray from The Honest Co., and let it sit for a minute before you begin to wipe them down with a scrubber sponge. Letting it sit will help break down grease and grime, and soften any crusted on food. Don’t forget the backsplash, walls, and exteriors of the cupboards—the Honest Company spray can be used on all of them. Use a toothbrush to tackle any tough food stains around burners on the stovetop. Wipe dry with a clean cloth, and dust off any decorative accessories while you’re at it.

Operation Organize: How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Simple Steps

The Appliances

It wouldn’t be a deep cleaning if you didn’t get inside the appliances. Begin with your refrigerator, emptying the contents one shelf at a time. Toss out any food that’s past its prime, and then wipe each shelf clean with your Honest Co. multi-surface cleaner. Keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to neutralize odors. When it comes time to clean the microwave, microwave a clean, wet, organic cotton towel on high for 3 to 5 minutes. The steam from the towel will soften grime, and you can then use the towel itself to wipe down the interior. Remove oven racks and give them a good soak in a sink full of warm, soapy water. If your oven has a self-clean setting, take advantage of it before wiping it down with the same multi-surface cleaner. Dispose of any crumbs that have gathered in your toaster or toaster oven.

The Floor

Remove and shake off floor mats outside. Give your floors a good sweeping, and then finish with our favorite floor cleaner from The Honest Company. It’s designed to safely break down grease, food, bacteria, and dirt without damaging your floors. The best part is that it’s a rinse-free formula, which means no bucket of water sloshing around. Pay special attention to the spaces below the sink and oven, since that’s where water and grease spots tend to gather.

Operation Organize: How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen in 5 Simple Steps

Finish by taking out the trash and loading any sponges and scrub brushes into the dishwasher to disinfect them. If you don’t have a dishwasher, microwaving them on high for one minute will do the trick too.

And voila! Your kitchen should now be sparkling from top to bottom.

What are your best spring-cleaning tips and tricks?

Share them below!

XO Elizabeth

Laundry List: How to Keep Your Whites White Without Chemicals

The minute spring and summer hit, the whites in my closet are put on heavy rotation. White jeans, white T-shirts, and crisp, white button-downs are all major staples in my wardrobe this time of year. So the challenge has been keeping my whites looking as fresh as when I first bought them. When you’re wearing whites a lot, you don’t want them to fade or yellow over time. But I also prefer the eco-friendly solution  over harsh chemicals, and try not to keep bleach under my sink (especially with the pups in the house). So, I did a little research, and I was pleased to discover that there are several safe and natural alternatives to bleach. Check them out below…

Wash Your Washer 

If your washing machine is full of rust and mineral deposits, your whites will come out looking duller than before you put them in. So before your next load of laundry, add 1 cup of white vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda to your washer’s rinse cycle to ensure a squeaky clean machine.

Whip Up a DIY Laundry Whitener 

When I was researching it, most of the natural whitening solutions that I found all contained hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice (plus water to dilute it). Not only does lemon have lightening properties, but it will also make your laundry smell amazing. You can tweak the quantities slightly depending on how big your load of laundry is, but here is what worked for me:

  • 1 ½ cups hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

Soak Up the Sun

If you’ve ever accidentally hung a print in direct sunlight or left a towel out on your deck, then you know that sunlight has bleaching properties. So instead of tossing your clean clothes in the dryer, try hanging your whites out to dry on a clothesline. Along with keeping your whites bright, skipping the dryer is also the eco-friendly thing to do and will cut down on your electric bill. Plus, nothing beats the smell of freshly laundered sheets swaying in the breeze.

Are you going to give my tips a try?

Let me know below!

XO Elizabeth

Odds & Ends: How to Stop a Rug From Shedding

At about this time every year, I find myself in a total spring-cleaning frenzy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t obsessed with organization all year round, but even my normal tidy tendencies seem to be heightened in the spring. I want my space to be spotless and sparkling from top to bottom.

When Operation: Spring Clean started this year, I promised myself I’d find a solution to one of my biggest cleaning frustrations: the constantly shedding rug. I have a couple of the beautiful Morrocan-inspired shag rugs that are in style right now, and I love them except for one thing: the trail of dust bunnies they leave behind. So, I did a little research, and found a couple of tricks to eliminate that dreaded fuzz. Check out my tips below…

Rake Your Rug

You can purchase a specialty rug rake at a carpet store or on Amazon (here’s a handheld version as well). A pet brush may also do the trick, but using the intended tool eliminates the risk of pulling up the rug’s delicate fibers. I know it feels funny to groom your rug like you would your dog, but believe me, it helps!

Don’t Skip the Rug Pad

Along with protecting your rug from dirt, moisture, and general wear and tear, using a rug pad absorbs some of the impact of walking on your rug. Treading lightly on your rug by using a rug pad or placing it in a lower traffic area will eliminate some of the shedding. 

Vacuum Your Rug the Right Way

You might be tempted to go full force on your shedding rug with your arsenal of vacuum attachments. But in fact, a brush or beater bar attachment will actually just pull the fibers out more. If you’re going to take a vacuum to your rug, be sure to use a low-pressure setting without any brushes on it.

Be a Savvy Shopper

If you already have a shedding rug at home, your best bet is to resort to the tips listed above. But if you’re in the market for a shag rug and want to find one that sheds less to begin with, make sure you know what to look for. A “continuous filament” rug means that it’s made of one long fiber that won’t unravel or pull out. These are generally more expensive, but much better quality. A “staple fiber” rug is made of many short strands that can potentially come out and cause excessive shedding. It’s kind of a case of “you get what you pay for.” If the fiber type isn’t listed on the tag, don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson.

Do you have any other spring-cleaning questions I can answer?

Let me know below!

XO Elizabeth

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

Spring is officially upon us, and there’s something about this season that has us in the mood to redecorate. It may be the warmer weather that has us inspired, or maybe it’s the bright spring blooms popping up everywhere we look. Adding fun throw pillows to your couch or investing in a new rug are great ways to add pops of color to your decor, but sometimes a bigger project is in order—one that totally transforms your space. I’m talking about a major redesign with Formica Laminate. So, if you’re in the mood to revamp your countertop, backsplash, vanity or cabinets, then prepare to get inspired…

Today I’m showing you 10 ways to transform different spaces in your home, taking them from subdued and dull to bright and fresh. With pretty pops of color in mind, I’m spotlighting The Formica Laminate Jonathan Adler Collection, a gorgeous line of laminates that come in beautiful bold colors.

So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to add a pop of color to your home…

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

1. Brighten up your bathroom.
Bright blue is the perfect hue to add color and life to a bathroom. And this gloss Blue Malachitepattern is a bubbly and fun backdrop for your vanity. Jonathan was inspired by precious stone and the patterns of the 60s and 70s, when he designed this unconventional, daringly bold laminate. Pretty groovy, right?

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

2. Add a little orange.
Orange is often an underused color when it comes to decorating, and it can really add a lot of warmth and brightness to a home. We love the way the Orange Greek Key laminate transforms this kitchen into a cheerful family space. And the pops of white on the cabinets and shelving really complement the bright color scheme.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

3. Beautify your backsplash.
Often times, people think that redoing their backsplash is a huge undertaking that involves tile, grout and a planned-out design. But it can really be so much simpler than that! Jonathan’s Blue Greek Keylaminate pattern instantly changes the atmosphere inside this kitchen, and doesn’t involve much handiwork either. We love the way a pop of yellow looks against the bright blue.

9494_CharcoalGreekKey_601_BleachedConcrete_2-copy

4. It’s all in the details.
A dark wall can create a really gorgeous contrast against white objects in a home. Which is why we love this vignette picturing the Charcoal Greek Key. It’s the perfect mix of modern, sleek and sophisticated. It’s a great tone-on-tone, crisp pattern that’s laid out diagonally.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

5. Remember that opposites attract.
We all learned about primary and secondary colors when we were kids, but it’s important to know a bit about ROYGBIV even as an adult, too. Especially if you’re an adult who is redecorating. Complementary colors, like the orangey-red and green combo here, really make features in a room pop. The bright green shelves balance out the bold Orange Lacquered Linen above.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

6. Add color to your cabinets.
Don’t shy away from giving your cabinets a boost of color. Whether it’s in the bathroom, the laundry room or the kitchen, like this photo above, a bright orange will do the trick. We love the Orange Lacquered Linen.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

7. Curate your closet.
Ladies, I think we can all agree on one thing: A fabulous closet is one of the most covetable “rooms” in any house. In a perfect world, our dream closet would be polished off with glamorous and decadent-feeling countertops, like this Charcoal Lacquered Linen laminate. It elevates the closet to a whole new level of elegance.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

8. Add an accent color.
If you’re someone who likes neutral spaces, like the black and white one above, it’s a good idea to add an accent color. We love how the green hand towels in this bathroom give the modern space a more organic feel. And the Charcoal Greek Key print provides this space with the perfectly modern backdrop.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

9. Liven up your island.
Your kitchen island can be a fun way to play around with color and pattern. The great thing about an island is that it stands alone but is centered in the room, so it can have its own personality as long as it goes with the flow of the décor. We love the punchy Orange Greek Key pattern on this island alongside the softer Crème Lacquered Linen.

Home Makeover: 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

10. Trust your gut.
When you’re redecorating, everything really boils down to one thing: How you let your personality shine through in your home. It doesn’t matter whether you like dark neutrals or bright bold colors, as long as you’re happy with the final result. You’re the one who will be living in your space, so the most important thing to remember is to create an environment you love! When you achieve that, the rest will follow.

Between the bold pops of color, crisp patterns, unconventional looks, and classic neutrals with a modern twist, it’s easy to find a pattern that fits your décor style.

How are you inspired to redecorate your home this spring?

XO Elizabeth

Living Together: Tips for Decorating With a Roommate

Whether you and your roommate are besties or you found each other on Craig’s List, decorating together definitely has its challenges. Chances are you won’t have exactly the same taste in décor or the same vision about how you want your home or apartment to look. Furnishing your shared space will involve compromise, and force you to decide what design elements are really important to you and what you’re willing to sacrifice. But while it is a challenge, it’s not an impossible one. It’s totally achievable to not only find a middle ground, but to come together on a beautiful living space that you both truly love. So today I am sharing a few tips I learned from my years spent rooming with friends, along with some expert advice from Orlando Soria, West Coast Creative Director of Homepolish

Start on the Same Page

Before you begin, it’s important that you sit down together and make sure you’re on the same page. Brainstorm a few key words to describe your style, pick out a color palette, and start a joint décor board on Pinterest. Orlando advises, “Ask your roommate what they like and what they hate. The most important part is that your roommate feels like you’re listening. The more sympathetic you seem to their design needs, the more willing they will be to listen to what you want.” This applies to budget too: “People get in trouble when they don’t make their expectations clear before they get started. Usually one person has one idea about what she wants to spend money on, while her roommate might have something totally different in mind.”

Pull it Together

Unless it’s your very first apartment, both you and your roommate will probably have existing furniture and décor from your last place. Luckily, there are a few easy and inexpensive things you can do to make your combined home decor inventory look cohesive. This includes painting or refinishing a couple key pieces of furniture, switching out knobs, purchasing a slipcover or new throw pillows for the couch, and hanging onto both of your wall art but investing in a cohesive set of frames. And as far as double items go, Orlando suggests selling, donating, or storing items that are redundant. Don’t try to make two sofas in your living room work unless they really make sense together!

Split the Difference

If you just can’t seem to compromise creatively, you each might want to consider taking ownership over different spaces. As Homepolish’s Orlando says, “If your roommate is super adamant about what she wants the bathroom to look like, suggest she take that on as a design project while you take on the kitchen. This gives you each responsibility and ownership over a project, and makes designing the home a fun activity instead of an annoying argument.”

Embrace Your Bedroom

It goes without saying that you will have to make certain sacrifices in the shared spaces like the living room, dining room, and kitchen. So if you feel stifled creatively, let your true style shine through in your bedroom. If it makes you feel better to have a place to freely express your taste in decor, the bedroom doesn’t have to feel 100 percent in line with the other rooms in the house. Once you move in with your significant other, this no longer applies (bye bye, adorable girly bedding…). So have fun with it while you still can!

I hope these tips help! And most importantly, just keep this in mind: Being on good terms with your roommate is way more important than having your home designed exactly how you wanted it.

Are you living with a roommate right now? What kind of décor tips have you learned?

Share them in the comments.

How to Decorate with Candles

I have a soft spot for delicate little details. Whether it’s a vintage trinket or an inspiring art print, my home is fill with pops of prettiness. If there’s one item that you’ll find in every room I decorate, it has to be candles. Not only do candles make for gorgeous décor, but I also love having a sweet smelling candle burning while I work, watch tv, have a drink with friends or make dinner. And because I am a little bit (ok, a lot) candle obsessed, I’m always on the lookout for new styles and scents.

Which brings me to my newest find…Bijou Candles. I discovered these stunning candles a few months ago, and ever since, I’ve completely fallen in love. These candles come in gorgeous pastel bowls that look like flower petals, and with scents like Pink BelliniFrench Lavender and Wild Lilac, they’ve instantly become a new favorite. The bowl of a Bijou Candle is made of 100% fire-retardant resin, making it unbreakable, easy to clean and reusable. Which means that once you’re done burning the candle, it turns into a beautiful bowl that you can use to store anything you’d like.

So, today I’m talking about one of our favorite interior design tricks: decorating your space with candles. I broke down how to style any kind of space with candles—from bookshelves, to coffee tables, to desks to kitchen countertops.

On Your Coffee Table…  

How to Decorate Your Coffee Table with Candles

I believe that coffee tables should be equal parts functional and stylish. Having a beautifully decorated coffee table comes into play when you’re relaxing after a long day, entertaining friends or simply watching your favorite TV show. On my coffee tables, I’ll always find a decorative tray to house my candles, trinkets and fresh flowers, and a stack of coffee table books topped with a pretty candle. A variety of candles not only add a sweet scent, but they also give the table a little bit of height and an added pop of color.

How to Decorate Your Coffee Table with Candles

Because, really, is there anything cozier than cuddling up on the couch with a glass of wine to watch your favorite TV show with a sweet smelling candle nearby?

As Desk Décor…

 

How to Decorate Your Desk with Candles

I find that the prettier my office space is, the more inspired I become while working. And candles are a guaranteed way to add that little dose of inspiration. I can either place a candle in a pretty gold tray off to the side of my work station (like the one pictured above), or simply set a few candles around my desk for an extra pop of pretty…

How to Decorate Your Desk with Candles

Also, I’ve found that I’m much more productive when I’ve got a few yummy candles burning and a good playlist going. Pictured above are some of my favorite scents: the Pink Bellini Bijou, the Blue Bamboo Petit Bijou and the Rose & Currant Petit Bijou. So pretty, right?

Styled on Bookshelves… 

LaurenConrad.com's Guide to Decorating with Candles

For myself, candles are a go-to décor accent when styling my bookshelves. You can stack them on top of books, group them together with your trinket collections, and even use them as bookends (if they’re large enough). Try to tie in the color of the books with the color of the candle you’ll be stacking on top of it or placing next to it.

How to Decorate Your Bookshelves with Candles

How pretty do these candles look styled in this gorgeous bookshelf? Try choosing candles in the same color family as the books you’re choosing, or just go with neutral colored candles, which will blend in well with any stack of books.

In the Kitchen…

How to Decorate with Candles in the Kitchen

When you’re setting up for a dinner party or simply preparing a meal for yourself, I love to create a cozy atmosphere with candles. They give the entire kitchen a glow, and also make for pretty cute décor. In a bright white kitchen, simply setting a couple of candles on the countertop can instantly elevate the look of the entire room.

How to Decorate with Candles in the Kitchen | LaurenConrad.com

I recently tried Bijou’s holiday candle collection and they instantly became my new favorites. The white candle is a Maple Apple scent (yum), and the pretty red one is Mulled Wine. They are perfect for any upcoming holiday season.