Attic Transformation Gives Mom Posh Closet of Her Dreams


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Few women would say they’re satisfied with their current closet situation. From lack of space to poor lighting, there are plenty of reasons to covet about a closet upgrade.

One woman got a closet makeover that’s safe to say surpasses most people’s dreams. How did it come about? Her husband Rodolfo Cabrera, the talented owner of Maryland-based Remodeling & Design LLC, converted their unfinished walk-up attic space that was going to waste, so the builder decided to repurpose it. The transformation is nothing short of spectacular.

Brace yourself for serious closet envy!

Looks like a massive undertaking, right? Not so for Cabrera. He went right to work framing the space, then installing the drywall and electrical work. He even put a split air conditioning unit up there, making it even “cooler” than your average closet in more ways than one!

With the walls in place and painted this vibrant white, you can see it already taking shape. The LED lights make it nice and bright. No more hunting around in a dark closet!

This window adds tons of natural light but if the couple gets dressed in there, they may want to hang some curtains as soon as possible.

With 15 years experience in home remodeling, Cabrera has the skills and expertise to maximize every inch of space. These built-in shelves are beautiful and will help keep clothing and accessories well-organized and easy to reach.

As if the closet itself weren’t beautiful enough, take a look at the ultra-modern staircase that leads to it.

This floating staircase is a work of art in itself.

Now that is a way to put an unfinished attic to better use!



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9 Inspiring Ways to Make the Most of a Walk-Up Attic


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Finding a home with a walk-up attic can feel a little bit like discovering gold. Why? Because it’s a valuable asset that opens up a wealth of opportunities.

Even if you don’t think you need the room in the near future, it’s nice to know that looming, just above your head, is an area beckoning to be transformed.

Don’t be put off by the vaulted ceilings, there are plenty of clever work-arounds.

Wondering how you can make the most of your walk-up attic? Take a look and get inspired.

1. Home office

Whether you work from home or just want a quiet spot to return emails or take a call, your attic can become the private office you need to be productive.

2. Bedroom

A bedroom on a separate floor can feel like a stunning retreat. A sanctuary, if you will. If there’s room for a bathroom, even better.

Adults aren’t the only ones who like an attic retreat! Kids can also love having a room that’s got some quirky angles!

3. Walk-in closet

Attics are known for their storage capabilities, but why not enhance this area so it feels like a boutique? Getting dressed in an elegant space may quickly become your favorite part of the day.

4. Playroom

If stuffed animals and toys have taken over the other rooms of your home, why not relegate them to one out-of-the-way space? Consider putting safety bars on the windows for peace of mind, and a video monitor for those moments when you need to leave the room.

5. Home theater

Grab a bowl of popcorn and queue up your favorite film in your home theater.

6. Music studio

Instead of the traditional garage band, lay down those tracks or create a symphony of sound in your attic music studio.

7. Game room

Pool, ping-pong, pinball? The possibilities for your attic game room are endless.

8. Gym

You can’t beat the convenience of a home gym. From cardio and weight training to your very own yoga studio, find the fitness routine you enjoy and build it out.

9. Workshop

Have a hobby that’s outgrown your lower levels? An attic workshop lets you enjoy your craft with room to spare.



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Is Shiplap Still ‘See’-Worthy?


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Over the last few years shiplap has been making waves as one of the most popular materials to incorporate in home decor. From walls and ceilings to wainscoting and focal points above the fireplace, you’ve probably seen these wide wooden panels all over the house.

Previously used as exterior siding in the building of barns, sheds, homes and, of course, ships, these statement-making slats are now getting awfully comfortable indoors.
Beloved for its versatility and perceived rustic charm, this trend got a big boost in popularity from HGTV’s fixer-upper duo Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple, known for their farmhouse flair, has fully embraced shiplap and used this paneling from kitchen to bathroom and beyond.

But for anyone who grew up on a steady diet of Brady Bunch and Hawaiian Punch in heavily-paneled basements and family rooms, the thought of seeing more wood on a wall is a blast from the past they’d probably prefer to keep in the rearview. In fact, some may see this trend as better referred to as “shiplapse”—an unfortunate relapse into the days of avocado kitchens and linoleum floors, or just a total lapse in decor judgment.

For example, some homeowners are attempting to craft this countrified look into even the most modern dwelling, causing a George Costanza-like “worlds are colliding” vibe that just doesn’t work.

Additionally, while Chip and Joanna might not have mentioned it, the area between those panels is a prime spot for dust to collect. And does anyone need any extra housework?
If you feel like you’ve looked at enough paneling to last you a lifetime, you’d probably be just as happy to see this design feature go back out to sea.

But if you’re feeling nostalgia (or even a bit nautical) and ready to revisit the past by including shiplap in your home, you’re not alone. Plenty of homeowners are getting on board with this woodwork that many note makes for a simpler-than-you’d-think DIY project.

If you’re excited to bring it into your home, just be careful not to overdo it—especially if you’re hoping to sell your place in the next few years just in case buyers lose their love for the style entirely. Prying off those boards is no picnic, and will likely create some repair work underneath the slats!

Trends come and go. For many, shiplap—and paneling in general—has overstayed its welcome. That said, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.



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Upscale Your Home By Copying The Real Housewives


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America is fascinated with The Real Housewives of Bravo.

They’re busy, bossy, and sometimes boozy, and boy, oh, boy, is it fun to watch them.

These women are no dummies, though. From journalists to restaurateurs to soap opera queens, they do a lot more than just flip tables and give away their rescue dogs.

They often have real jobs, and real lives, and really exquisite houses, too, and whether you love them or hate them, chances are good you’ll find these palatial estates downright drool-worthy.

Here’s some design advice from a few of your favorite Real Housewives—you can use this advice in your home even if you don’t have a billion dollar budget.

Mirror Bethenny’s Look

Bethenny Frankel’s living area features a massive wall of mirrors right behind the sofa, but it’s not because the star wants to watch herself as she watches TV. Rather, Bethenny’s designer Cheryl Eisen incorporated the mirrors in both Bethenny’s personal and investment properties. Like the old saying goes, if the signature look ain’t broke, why fix it?

Bring the Indoors Out

Don’t neglect your outdoor living spaces! Lisa Vanderpump knows this, so she decked out her deck (ok, it’s actually a covered patio) with full furniture and lighting. If you’re going to spend time there, you might as well be comfortable, right?

Mind Your Budget

OK, OK, so you might have champagne wishes and caviar dreams WITHOUT the Real Housewife cash reserves, but that’s ok. Spend on quality, and splurge only where it counts. When redoing her SoHo loft, Bethenny Frenkel knew she could break the bank on all new stuff, but she decided to only spend where it counted and instead of going hog-wild, she reused a lot of what was already in the space. You can, too.

Don’t Be Afraid Of A Do-over

Many people face design paralysis – they don’t know where to start because they’re afraid to mess up. Carole Radziwill ran into this problem and tackled it head on—she redid the whole dang room after reupholstering the couch. Life—and design!—is messy. Just dig in and get started and be okay with the possibility that you might have to call a Mulligan once or twice.

Personalize With Photos

There’s nothing more boring than a beautifully designed space that no one lives in. Personalize your place with the things that matter most – photos of yourself and your family. Lisa Van Der Pump loves to dot framed photos of her favorite people around the home—make like Lisa and print some photos already, will ya?

Monochromatic Can Be Beautiful

If you have trouble committing to a full on color palette, just go with one color and play it up with different shades. The Kemsley’s home takes this look on perfectly with a whole lot of black and white—this look is classy as can be and easy to replicate for yourself.

Go For A Colorful Surprise

Not into playing it safe? Then double down on the color! Cary Deuber picked an insanely colorful range for their kitchen, and it’s rumored to be the only one of its kind in all of Texas. Of course, you don’t HAVE to be so over the top about it—you can use an accent wall or even bold artwork to add a ton of color and character in your space.

Think Storage

One of the biggest problems people often complain about in their homes is a lack of storage. Look for places to add more closet, cabinet, and shelf space so you can keep all your stuff tucked away nicely. Lisa Vanderpump makes room for what matters most – you can see her ginormous handbag collection has a place for everything and everything in its place.

Focus On The Details

Merk Deuber recentered the entire entry to their home over a 1.5” offset. Maybe you don’t need to be THAT meticulous, but paying attention to the details is the difference between, “Eh, it’s ok,” and “I’m going to love this forever!”

Dedicate Space To Your Hobbies

When it comes time to renovate, think about how you’ll really USE the space. Maybe you don’t really need a guest room, but a personal would get used on the daily. The Kemsleys turned one room into a full-on theater, and if they can dedicate space to their hobbies, so can you.

Wait Until Life Calms Down

Renovation and redecoration can take a toll, as Carole Radziwill knows. Don’t start a new project in the middle of filming—or when you’re going through a stressful life change. Wait until you’ve got the mental bandwidth to see your project through to the end.

Reflect Your Personal Style

When it comes to picking out finishes, sure, it’s smart to play it safe, but you’ve got to add some personal style in there, too! Whether your style is laid back or drop-dead fabulous, find ways to incorporate it into your home. For example, Kyle Richards uses chandeliers in every room for extra sparkle.

Renovate and Decorate For YOU

Bethenny’s home features just two bedrooms – she’d rather have dressing rooms and bigger living quarters than places for guests to stay. And that’s perfectly ok! At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live there, so don’t worry about what everyone else will think – it’s your home, so make yourself happy first.

Did you enjoy these Real Decor tips? Remember to Pin this post for your future design projects – or, better yet, just hit up Bravo and see all of the design decisions and shocking shenanigans for yourself!



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8 Houseplants You (Probably) Can’t Kill


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Having plants in the home makes the whole place feel cheerier and brighter. But let’s be honest, some plants require more care and attention than a newborn baby. That can be hard to pull off with everything else in life you have to deal with. And even when you’re good about tending to them, they can often be hard to keep alive.

Even if you have little time, or don’t have a green thumb, you can still have beautiful, lush greenery in your home. You just need to know what plants to look for.

Here are 8 easy-care houseplants you (probably) can’t kill.

1. Maidenhair Ferns

Pretty, frilly, and hard to kill, Maidenhair Ferns are pretty much the ideal indoor plant. Add a couple in your living room or dot them around a bookshelf for a bold-yet-boho look.

2. Air Plants

These are SO hard to kill, you might even wonder if they’re alive to begin with. They have a spiky, weird, otherworldly look that adds a nice sci-fi feel when in a funky planter, or a nautical vibe when grown on driftwood.

3. Aloe Vera

Ahhh, every home medicine advocate’s favorite. Not only is this plant easy to care for, it’s super useful, too. Got a sunburn? Aloe vera. Upset stomach? Aloe vera. IRS is after you? Aloe vera. OK, maybe not so much on the last one, but you get the point. You need this cool plant in your life.

4. Basil

Speaking of useful, basil is a great plant to have around the house. You can add basil to your sauces, or bruise a leaf and drop it into your cocktails. Trying to impress someone? Put a basil leaf on top of their food! (Just not on, like, Cheerios. That’s weird.) Best of all, you can forget it’s around for a couple days and water it when you remember. It’ll come back again and again.

5. Snake Plant

Snake plants are durable and thrive in a pot, so you won’t ever have to worry about it when you’re leaving on a trip. Important note: This plant is toxic to pets, so keep it far out of their reach.

6. Monstera

Forget about the trendy plant du jour fiddle-leaf figs; they’re expensive and hard to care for. Instead, double down on Monstera. This easy care plant is also having a trendy moment and it gives your whole pad a Palm Springs kinda vibe. (Who doesn’t want that?)

7. Devil’s Ivy

Even the worst gardener in the world can keep this plant alive! Just water it once in awhile and it will reward you by cleaning toxic carbon monoxide out of your air.

8. Rubber Plant

Talk about handy! This little guy (who can grow up to 10 feet, actually) is one of the best plants for removing toxins from the air AND you still can’t kill it — even if you live in a colder climate or like to keep your house at a brisk 68 degrees. Give your rubber plant a name and voila, you’ve got a new best friend that you barely have to do anything for.

Now that you’re armed with this info, you can head down to your local nursery and get an armload of greenery to spruce up your place.

Don’t forget to share this article with your plant-killing friends. They’ll appreciate you every time they inhale their fresh, plant-cleansed air!



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8 Biggest Home Decor Trends For The 2020s


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Whether you’re decorating your current home or looking for a new one, you’re probably wondering… what’s in style these days? Which ideas are just a flash in the pan, and what trends will stick around for awhile? After all, no one wants to change up their house just to find out that what they’ve picked is dated a year later.

Although no one has a crystal ball, the following home decor trends seem the most likely to happen based on the collective buzz in the home decor world.

1. Eclectic Design

As more and more people become conservation-minded, we’ll see less waste and fewer cookie-cutter catalog rooms. Instead, people will give old belongings and even hand-me-down collectibles new life by pairing them with a few new pieces.

2. Having Fun In The Bathroom

People always want to splurge a little, and the bathroom is a great place to do that. Since these rooms are small, you can dress them up on the cheap — a small amount of wallpaper or a splash of pricey tile goes a long way in a small space. You spend so much of your time in the bathroom every morning… why not enjoy it?

3. Greenery (The Real Stuff)

Faux plants are out (big time!), but their real counterparts are more hip than ever. Fill your home with plants to get a vibrant, lush feeling. This change won’t even cost you very much green.

4. Colorful Kitchens

This trend started to pick up momentum in the late 2010s, but we’re seeing more and more of it in the interiors mags, so in all likelihood it’s here to stay. If you really love a color, then why not commit to it? Blue, green, or even red cabinets will make you smile every time you see them.

5. Everything Old Is New Again

From rustic tables to antique art, pieces that are aged (or at least look aged) will be big throughout the 2020s. Need to add something old-but-new to your home? Hit up your local antique shops and flea markets; the finding will be half the fun.

6. Mix It Up

Metals, textures, patterns… it’s all good. In the 2020s, you CAN mix metal finishes, you CAN layer pattern on pattern, and you CAN have multiple textures going on. Rather than a perfect-but-plain interior, this creates a luxurious but lived in look, and that’s a good thing. Just remember: mix and match tastefully or it quickly becomes too much of a good thing.

7. Be One With Nature

From real wood details to textured stones, from water features to corals and crystals, natural accents are everything for the 2020s. No more plasticky, glossy, impersonal hotel type looks! Instead, we want our homes to look like we’ve brought the outdoors in.

8. Live Large

One final trend is to go big with your art. Whether you pick huge pieces of wall art or large-scale wallpaper, bigger really is better these days… and this will continue into the foreseeable future.


So there you have it – some very liveable trends for your home in the 2020s. Which ones will you try, and which ones do you think you’ll skip?



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10 Ways To Upgrade Your Home’s Style…Without Breaking The Bank


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So you’ve got a new house – congratulations! There’s just one problem…

It’s not quite your style. But with all the money you just dropped on closing and moving and new furniture, you don’t have a lot of cash to spruce it up.

Or, maybe you’re just about to sell your house and you wish you could spruce it up a bit before putting it on the market, but you don’t want to spend a ton.

Basically, you need a lot of look for not a lot of dough, right?

Don’t worry! These quick and usually DIY upgrades will make your home look and feel like a million bucks (for just a tiny chunk of change).

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You can upgrade your home’s style with these easy projects.

1. Remove The 90’s Ducks

Maybe your home doesn’t have literal country blue ducks all over the kitchen, but if you have an older home, chances are good there’s some equally cheesy decor hanging around. Just taking out the cheesy badness of decades past — by removing the wallpaper or covering up the hokey paint — will make your home look and feel much fresher.

It’s got to go.

2. Get Rid of Grime

Take a close look at the surfaces that often get ignored. Places like the base molding and window sills often have a layer of grime that needs to be removed or even repainted. Get your elbow grease on and try a Magic Eraser on these surfaces. If that doesn’t work, fresh caulk and a new coat of bright white paint will go SO FAR to making your place look bright and clean again.

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Get ready to scrub.

3. Paint!

A new coat of a light, neutral paint will make any room look and feel invigorated.

Not sure what to choose? Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige works just about anywhere if you like neutrals. Not into beige? That’s ok. Agreeable Gray is a great cooler neutral, and Alabaster is the perfect white-but-not-TOO-white.

So fresh. So clean.

4. Highlight One Wall

If you’re already working with a neutral palette, you can add in some personality and pizazz. Add an accent wall in a fun spot like your breakfast nook or powder bath and really go all out.

You can use wall stickers or removable wallpaper for a low commitment look, or go simple and slap on the paint. Just this one simple addition will make you smile whenever you walk in the room.

How cute is this?

5. Add Art

Adding art to your home is a great way to add style. But not just any art…

Add some large scale art that you LOVE.

What does large scale mean? Well, think of the biggest piece you have, and then find something bigger. If you LOVE it, it belongs on the wall, and a big piece will set the tone for an entire room. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. You can get great pieces at Living Spaces or IKEA for around $100.

Want to spend a little more? Scroll around Instagram. You can find fantastic original art there AND you’ll be supporting small business owners. Win / Win.

I actually have this painting and I love it.

6. Show The Ones You Love

When you’re moving into a new place, it can be a little unsettling. Nothing will bring a sense of home like the faces of your loved ones. You can add professional portraits if you like, or you can share your happy memories of more candid moments in a big ol’ grid like the one below.

Again, this doesn’t have to break the bank. Mixtiles will ship you ready to hang photos for $12 apiece (sometimes even less)! Best of all, these babies don’t damage your walls, and they can be moved again and again.

BRB – I’m about to buy some photos.

7. Change Out The Faucets

Now that we’ve fully addressed the walls, let’s turn our attention to other areas. Those “crystal” faucets? They’ve got to go.

Luckily, replacing them is a pretty easy project AND you can get some much better looking alternatives at your local Home Depot. This super simple faucet is a huge upgrade… and it’s less than fifty bucks! Watch a couple of YouTube videos, break out the wrenches, and kiss those acrylic cheapies goodbye.

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You can do this. Trust me.

8. Swap Out Light Fixtures

Now we’re getting a little more technical. if you don’t have a ton of knowledge in this area, you might want to bring in a pro. Don’t worry, though. You can find an electrician who will give you a reasonable rate for this task, and if you’ve got a couple lights to replace, they can help you with all of them at once.

No matter who does the installation, you can find great looking lights to replace the brass builder basics. This alone will make a huge transformation in your space!

Simple. Architectural. What’s not to love?

9. Change Your Light Switches, Too.

While you’ve got the electrician there… (or if you’ve decided you can DIY), change out your switches and outlet covers.

There are so many options nowadays; there’s no reason to have yellowed, cracked switches. Also, the sky’s the limit on this. You can stick with simple new plates or you can add dimmer switches or switches with smart features.

TBH, this one would mystify me for a few months.

10. Bring The Outdoors IN!

Adding plants brings a vibrant, happy energy to any room, and they can be super cheap, too.

So, head on down to your local nursery and stock up on succulents and shade lovers.

These little guys just want you to take them home!

There you have it — some great ways to spruce up a house on the cheap. Which one will you try first? Fair warning: Once you get started, it’s kind of addictive. You might wind up the next Bob Vila yet.



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Most Popular Decor Trends In 2020


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When it comes to home decor, there are lots of styles to choose from, and their applications vary wildly from home to home.

But did you know that tastes also vary by state?

It’s true. Trends vary by where you live. According to data from Google (and a really great graphic made by the folks at Living Spaces), there are seven main design styles that are popular right now… and the people in every state show a distinct preference for one of these styles.

national decor trends

Image credit: Living Spaces

These States Love The Bohemian Look:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Virginia

With an eclectic mix of interesting items and appealing textures, Boho style decor is carefree and relaxed. Just like the style itself, a wide variety of states call this style their favorite — from the farthest west to the farthest east, Boho is here to stay.

If you like variety and comfort, the Boho look might be right for you no matter where you live.

Boho Style

These States Prefer Contemporary Style:

Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada

Contemporary style really came into its own over the last 50 years or so. Think of it as Modern’s easygoing brother. They both share a love of simplicity, bold color, and clean lines, but Contemporary decor is more rounded, soft, and comfortable. It’s interesting that three East Coast states and one Old West state went this way. Maybe a lot of East Coast folk made their way to Vegas?

If you favor open spaces and a sleek but comfortable aesthetic, consider Contemporary style for your home.

Contemporary Style

These States Went Crazy For Coastal Decor:

Delaware, Florida, South Carolina

This one’s kind of a no-brainer. All three states that love coastal style for the home are beachy destinations. That doesn’t mean the folks in these states are hanging fishnets and oars on the wall à la Red Lobster, though.

Coastal style in 2020 means beachy vibes — bright and airy, with clean, unfussy lines and classic colors. Earthy textures are also part of this scheme, so if you like grasscloth and linen, then coastal might just be the right style for you!

Coastal Style

These States Fell In Love With Farmhouse Style:

Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming

Back in 2013, a little show called Fixer Upper aired for the first time on HGTV. From then on, farmhouse decor exploded in popularity, and in these 10 states, it’s still the reigning queen of all styles.

Now, Chip and Joanna Gaines didn’t invent farmhouse decor, but their show certainly helped usher it into the mainstream. With traditional shapes, rustic finishes, and warm, homey colors and textures, farmhouse is a very liveable style and that’s why it’s still popular in many places across the US to this day.

If you like a mix of well-loved classic items and new country-chic touches, then Farmhouse would be a great choice for your home!

Farmhouse Style

These States Think Industrial Decor Is Ideal:

Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin

In years prior, many of the states that favor Industrial once thought Farmhouse was tops. Industrial style is kind of a more modern version of Farmhouse, so many of the homeowners who made the switch just updated a few pieces rather than going for an overhaul.

Industrial style gives a nod to the steampunk trend, so if you’re a fan of salvaged and upcycled wood and metals, then this look will probably appeal to you!

Industrial Style

These States Adore Mid-Century Modern Style:

Nebraska, Oregon, Washington

Mid-Century Modern is a style based in — you guessed it — the designs of the mid-20th century. The “futuristic” look created in the 40s and 50s has a Jetsons-esque vibe, so it’s no surprise that it’s popular in tech-heavy Washington and neighboring Oregon. As for Nebraska, this midwest state has a long-standing history of appreciating the tried-and-true.

Featuring clean lines, organic shapes, and bold statement colors, Mid-Century Modern looks good in a variety of homes and, if the last 70 years is anything to go by, it won’t go out of fashion any time soon.

If you like designer classics and retro overtones, then MCM could be the perfect scheme for your home, too.

Mid-Century Modern Style

These States Have A Soft Spot For Scandinavian Design:

California, Colorado

With a cool, airy, minimalist vibe, and sleek, functional furniture, Scandinavian design feels both futuristic and timeless. California is usually at the forefront of trends, so expect Scandi style to sweep eastward in the near future.

Low pieces with slim legs, simple but bold accessories, and primary colors play a big role in Scandi design. The ultimate in unfussy decor, this is a good look for homes of any size.

Are you a fan of practical but warm and fashionable design? If so, Scandi might be just the thing for your home!

Scandinavian Style

Now that you’ve seen all of these styles and the states that love them, which style do you like best? And does your state agree, or are you the odd one out?



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