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2March
2015

Utility Desk

by Ross

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If you’re a student or work from home, a utility desk is an absolute must. Your productivity on the computer, on paper, or doing just about anything else work or school related will be increased exponentially by having a self-contained area that collects and organizes all of the tools, reference materials, and supplies you will need to get the job done (whatever that job may be).

Sure, you could just lay in bed with your laptop and papers and books sprawled about, but you’ll wake up to your alarm and a half-completed paper covered in drool. That’s A+ quality right there.

You could do work at your dining room table, or worse, a folding card table, where you’ll have to stack and balance all of your reference material and either dig through or get up to retrieve that certain document you need to double check. Not only will it take longer, but there’s a better chance of distractions going on around you as well (and cross your fingers that card table doesn’t buckle).

A utility desk usually provides ample, if not surplus, storage solutions for all of your stuff. Creating the right spot to put your utility desk also creates a creative and efficient area where your mind will stay focused and work effectively without the distractions of getting up to look for something or potential disturbances in the room around you. Designate that area as your “work zone” and train your brain to go into “work mode” while you’re stationed there. You’ll find work (career or scholarly) will get done faster and with better quality when you create an area like this.

Utility desks come in many shapes and sizes: you might not need locking file cabinets, you might want a keyboard drawer and/or printer compartment for a desktop computer setup, or you might just want something small for your apartment or dorm room. There are tons of options out there, from simple writing desks to entire office suites, figure out what would work best for your situation and work-load, and find a good fit to help you get it done.

Remember, a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, so make sure your utility desk has solutions for what you need!

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2March
2015

The Bernhardt Vintage Patina Square Cocktail Table

by Ross

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Cocktail tables are one of the most overlooked pieces when building a living space. You pick out paint and carpet, get a nice couch to match, an entertainment wall or media chest, a nice TV, maybe a chair or loveseat, even lamp tables seem necessary. But a table to go in the center of room? What would you even put? You can’t find anything to match. And look how much floor space it will eat up. You don’t want that.

So once everything finds its way to its position as governed by your theoretical layout, and you stand back and take in the style and atmosphere of your newly decorated living space, it feels great! Look at this marvelous room you’ve designed!

You sit down and love how comfortable your couch is. The TV is in perfect view. The lamp tables are within reach to light up the room just the right amount. Perfect.

A few days after that original sense of accomplishment, and watching your fantasy come to life, you feel something is… off. You cook dinner or order a pizza and want to go sit and watch TV while you eat. After awkwardly balancing your plate on your lap, with sauces teetering precariously over your brand new couch, you start to think.

You invite friends over to watch the game or catch up with a drink, and suddenly everyone is holding a beer can or wine glass in between their legs, in an awkward hand, or setting it on the floor where passing feet are just waiting to spill it all over your carpet. You REALLY start to think.

The room is comfortable, the room is attractive, the room is great most of the time, but it lacks functionality. Cocktail tables are a simple and easy way to exponentially increase the convenience and functionality of any living space, and can often be quite charming pieces. Although it’s true, you will give up center stage as far as floor space goes, you will get much more use our of a few square feet of convenient table space than you ever would out of a few square feet of open carpet.

The Bernhardt Vintage Patina Square Cocktail Table is just one of many examples of an excellent cocktail table option. This piece has charm, functionality, simple design, and its square shape maximizes the ratio of convenient tabletop space to floor space sacrificed.

This piece has a lower shelf that essentially doubles the storage space for convenient temporary storage or as a display platform to add decorative items to accent the room. This relatively large cocktail table (4’x4’) has more than enough surface area to use for dinner plates or drink glasses, even a box of pizza can be easily laid out for guests or family to partake in.

You’ll likely wind up with newspapers, books, the TV remote, DVDs, mail, and other everyday items finding their way onto the upper or lower area of this piece as it provides such an accessible and convenient area to store and retrieve them, but this cocktail table is no one-trick-pony. The Bernhardt collection is an extremely style conscious furniture line that blends traditional and modern style into something attractive to virtually anyone’s tastes.

If you are looking to add a functional piece to a living space, or designing a living space from scratch, consider the advantages of a cocktail table, and maybe the Bernhardt Vintage Patina Square Cocktail Table will make the perfect center to your space.


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27February
2015

Favorite Friday!

by kristi

It’s Favorite Friday!

Today, I am sharing my favorite room settings in our ‘Country / Cottage / Lodge‘ Style.

Country / Cottage  is a style that gets its inspirational elements from all over the world, including English Country, French Country, Early American, Farmhouse and Cottage styles.

Lodge is a style that gets its inspiration from more remote areas such as mountains and the country side, or rivers and lakes that are less inhabited. It is often influenced by Western, Southwestern, Log Cabin and Alpine Lodge styles.

Check out these beautiful Country / Cottage / Lodge styled rooms!

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23February
2015

The Jackson Furniture Everest Sectional

by Ross

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Sectionals are great. If you have the room, you can create some of the coolest and most comfortable arrangements for your family and guests to enjoy. And even if space is at more of a premium, the whole concept of sectionals is to provide you with flexible options to create the most comfortable and enjoyable area that you can. The Jackson Furniture Everest Sectional is a great example of that; with eight preset configurations, you’re sure to find a comfortable and effective setup for any living space. But the Jackson Furniture Everest Sectional is more than just a flexible set of sectional pieces; this sectional features a plush, casual “deep seating” design with extra thick seat cushions and super soft, luxurious suede fabric for the ultimate level of comfort.

Jackson’s Comfort Coil seating features Comfor-gel advanced seating technology which offers superior comfort, reduced motion transfer, and a cooler seating experience. 100% gel-infused memory foam inserts provide long-term quality, support, and durability. The frame of each piece uses solid hardwoods at the stress points to ensure longer-lasting, sturdier furniture. Precision tailoring ensures that seams, nails, and ornamental trims are built right every single time. Springs of 11-gauge steel in the back and heavier 8-gauge steel in the seat provide strength, comfort and flexibility. Springs are held by computer-positioned clips, a feature important for consistency and long term wear.

This durable, comfortable, and versatile set provides you with everything you could ask for, in whatever arrangement best fits your living area. With excellent lumbar support, advanced comfort design and technology, and a number of configurations to choose from, the Jackson Furniture Everest Sectional is the perfect solution to any and all living spaces.

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20February
2015

Picking out Hardwood Floors!

by kristi

It can be overwhelming when redesigning your home. There are so many options and little details that go into picking out everything, for example, picking out hardwood floors!

Between the type of wood, the wood pattern, the stain color, and the finish, there are hundreds of options! Depending on the wood you pick, the stain will look different, and the finish could look different depending those decisions. And whichever pattern you choose, along with the color and stain, it could look traditional or modern. So, like I said, it can all get a bit overwhelming.

So I went searching for some helpful guides with today’s most common options, lets see if I can make the process a little easier!

 Wood Type: while Oak is very common, these are some other woods that are also very popular. As you can see, each wood has different grain patterns, and some are more contrasting than others. Right now, I’m only looking at the aesthetics, but there are many characteristics of each wood to consider when picking out one for your home (a topic for a future post, perhaps!?!)

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Wood Stains: Here are some examples of common wood stains on 2 different woods. The first is on Oak , the second on Hickory. The results are beautiful, and so different, with each combination!

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Stain-Color on Hickory

Floor Patterns: most people use the traditional plank style, easy decision right? Not exactly! The width you choose can affect the overall style of the room. Here are your most common options.

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Alternative Floor Patterns: In case your style doesn’t fit in the ‘most common’ category…

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I hope these diagrams helped and you have an idea of what hardwood floors are right for you! Now, here are a few Fabulous (Friday) rooms with hardwood floors!

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18February
2015

The Extra Wide Recliner

by Ross

When first moving into our apartment, my fiancée and I had zero furniture. Fortunately, the previous tenants who moved in only 8 months before us decided not to bother with taking their couch, microwave, dining room table, or extra wide reclining chair. We were ecstatic to find furniture less than a year old left with a note saying we could have it.

Today, the couch is mostly covered in bags and coats and hoodies (a temporary storage shelf), the dining room table has been broken down and stored in the furnace room, I have no idea why they left the perfectly functional microwave, but the real mystery is the extra wide recliner. Next to sleeping in the bed, I easily spend most of my time at the apartment in that chair. I remember having reclining couches at my house as a kid, but it had been at least a decade since I’ve had one to sit in. In fact, for the first few weeks, we didn’t even know it was a recliner; we just thought it was essentially a loveseat as we could both sit comfortably in it. One day, I noticed that there was a small handle just below the arm rest on the right side facing the wall. This recessed mechanism was different than the large wooden lever I remembered from my childhood, but sure enough, giving the small plastic flap a pull transformed the decently comfortable, slightly small loveseat into a heavenly, extra wide recliner.

If I had known the previous tenants’ forwarding address, they would have gotten a Christmas card.

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6February
2015

How to Change your Room with a Single Item

by kristi

Time for a new RUG!

Switching out your rug is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to change the look of your room. It’s the best single item that can brighten your room or soften it up. There are thousands of patterns, colors, and styles to choose from and we carry some really great brands, like

Oriental Weavers, Surya, and Momeni.

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30January
2015

Create a Contemporary Bedroom with our Room Designer!

by kristi

Have you tried our Room Designer lately?

I’ve created a contemporary bedroom with gray, white, and silver accents. This room is inspired by the latest gloomy weather we’ve had on our side of the country.

Even something lacking in color can be beautiful!

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Fashion Bed Group Euro Bed, Uttermost Kagami Mirror, Momeni Radiance Rug, Sferra Simple Celeste Duvet Cover, Uttermost Metal Comtempo Lamp, Modloft Jane Dresser, Zuo Modern Wilco Side Table, Handy Living Sasha Chair, Safavieh Becca Side Table

26January
2015

No Roommate, No Dining Table

by Sarah

Last week, my roommate moved out of the apartment we shared, which means that I lost about half the furniture I was using. It wasn’t earth-shatteringly disappointing, but it was kind of a bummer when I made breakfast the first day by myself and I had no table at which to eat. So over the weekend, I made it my number one priority to find myself a new dining table.

It didn’t take me long to find what I wanted. I needed something smaller, so it would fit in the combined dining/living space, and I needed it to have a fairly flexible style so that it would flow with various apartment or home designs. The Amisco Kai Wood Top Dining Table fit the bill exactly, from design to price. I was even able to choose the finishes and the shape of the table top. Once I combine it with the rummage-sale chairs that I’m repainting, I can finally stop eating breakfast on my couch and enjoy it at my new Amisco dining table.

 

Amisco Kai Wood Top Dining Table

Amisco Kai Wood Top Dining Table

Amisco Dining Table

23January
2015

Get the Look!

by kristi

Get the Look!

Today’s post is courtesy of our sister-site, CarolinaRustica.com! I found this beautiful room and now you can get the look for yourself! Combining traditional elements like the tufted chair, and rustic pieces like the coffee table is a growing trend. Animal prints have been in and out of design for a long time, but I think this one is perfectly placed to give the room a chic look. Adding the white slip-cover sofa and shiny drum table also incorporate soft and flashy looks respectively.

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Sofa, Chair, Cocktail Table, Drum Table, Rug