8 Cozy, Creative Ideas to (Safely) Entertain Outdoors

Entertaining has always required organizational finesse. Accommodating guests, finalizing a menu, and even figuring out a playlist takes planning, and that’s probably why at a gathering, the host often resembles an orchestra conductor, pulling together…

Entertaining has always required organizational finesse. Accommodating guests, finalizing a menu, and even figuring out a playlist takes planning, and that’s probably why at a gathering, the host often resembles an orchestra conductor, pulling together various facets. Add on a global pandemic, and well, the job to host even the smallest gathering is that much harder.

In the summer, people could gather in small and socially-distant groups in outdoor spaces that were either as comfortable—or for those of us without air conditioning—more comfortable than an indoor setting. But now that temperatures have cooled, a new challenge has presented itself: hosting outdoors without turning guests into walking coat racks. We spoke to two designers to ask how they would host an open-air gathering so that it’s both fun and budget-friendly.

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How to Score a Vintage Rug You’ll Love Forever

As thrown around as the word “vintage” is in design, there’ll always be an allure to it. The word hints at a treasure from the past, of course, but it also winks at a certain insider knowledge—the idea that the owner of a purportedly vintage piece has …

As thrown around as the word “vintage” is in design, there’ll always be an allure to it. The word hints at a treasure from the past, of course, but it also winks at a certain insider knowledge—the idea that the owner of a purportedly vintage piece has the scoop on tips not found readily or easily. And that, no matter how often the word gets passed around, is the definition of cool.

“Using vintage pieces is guaranteed to add that one-of-a-kind sparkle to a room,” Decorist designer Megan Wright says. “Having elements in your home—that no one else has—adds a sense of achievement to your decoration. I absolutely love pieces that tell a story and that, as a bonus, are showstoppers.”

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2020’s Best Interior Design Books Put Comfort & Creativity First

Design has always been about the power of imagination. But this year, when being indoors made it much easier to take stock of what our spaces could be, design has taken on a certain level of much-needed hope. While the outside world might continue to b…

Design has always been about the power of imagination. But this year, when being indoors made it much easier to take stock of what our spaces could be, design has taken on a certain level of much-needed hope. While the outside world might continue to be trying, with some effort, our homes (aka, our inner worlds) can be spaces full of comfort, calm, and inspiration. At least that’s the sentiment we felt as we gathered together our favorite interior design books of 2020.

These 12 titles feature well-known blogger and designer names alongside up-and-comers, and small footprint homes next to more expansive spaces. They detail useful tidbits on layering pieces in a living room and also describe the intricate histories behind those objects. And whether they rev up dreams of a renovation or simply remind you of the cabinet that could use your attention, they aim to inspire readers who want to make a home that fulfills them, now and in the years to come.

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This Is How Many Towels You Really Need to Own

A towel isn’t exactly something that invokes deep contemplation. A linen closet or drawer is usually a necessity and not a luxury, and the towels stacked inside them are out of mind unless they’re needed for a few seconds each day. The only time towels…

A towel isn’t exactly something that invokes deep contemplation. A linen closet or drawer is usually a necessity and not a luxury, and the towels stacked inside them are out of mind unless they’re needed for a few seconds each day. The only time towels really grab your attention is when they’re stained, stiff, or smelly. But they could probably use more thought.

At a time when self-care can be defined by long and involved routines, simply having a good quality towel is one easy way to treat yourself—after all, you do need to bathe. But how many do you actually need? An informal poll among friends yielded a wide range of numbers. If you’re anything like me, you probably have too many, leading to overstuffing, stress, and dwindling storage. On the other hand, if you're constantly rushing out to launder your towels, you probably have too few.

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6 Things to Know if You’re Switching to Linen Sheets

Sleep sure has been getting a lot of attention lately. Perhaps it’s because we all need more of it—we know!—and so we’ve brushed up on the best ways to wind down and the most sleep-inducing styles for bedrooms. And yet, sitting beside all of this infor…

Sleep sure has been getting a lot of attention lately. Perhaps it’s because we all need more of it—we know!—and so we’ve brushed up on the best ways to wind down and the most sleep-inducing styles for bedrooms. And yet, sitting beside all of this information is one simple truth: Good bedding is at the heart of restful slumber. When a bed is too comfortable to resist, we probably won’t try.

If you’ve been on the hunt for sheets that lend themselves to a solid eight hours, linen may have crossed your mind. “Linen is one of the most durable and sustainable fibers in the world. It's also one of the oldest in history,” Paul Denoly, cofounder of Hawkins New York, says.

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How to Undeck the Halls (Because It’s Almost Time)

Putting up holiday decorations can bring such joy that there are whole songs about it. But taking them down? All you’re likely to hear about that is a symphony of groans. When decking the halls has come to an end and good cheer is in short supply, the …

Putting up holiday decorations can bring such joy that there are whole songs about it. But taking them down? All you’re likely to hear about that is a symphony of groans. When decking the halls has come to an end and good cheer is in short supply, the thought of packing decorations away efficiently is about as appealing as a fifth slice of fruitcake. That’s why it’s far more common to throw everything haphazardly into boxes and get on with a new year.

But why not make this season close on a high note? Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, co-founders of The Home Edit, think that creating an orderly storage system can be a satisfying holiday tradition as well—as long as you have a plan. And while they’re best known for streamlining everyday spaces for their eponymous blog and upcoming Netflix series, their general principles still apply to scenes of a winter wonderland. Read on to get their tips for organizing and storing holiday decorations, so that you can get as much joy out of this process as possible (it is possible).

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5 Ways to Make Your Gift Wrapping A Gift In Itself

It’s standard practice to put a lot of thought into a gift for a loved one. It’s sought out over time, selected with the warmest of intentions, and given with a smile. But the same can’t necessarily be said about wrapping that gift up. When the holiday…

It’s standard practice to put a lot of thought into a gift for a loved one. It’s sought out over time, selected with the warmest of intentions, and given with a smile. But the same can’t necessarily be said about wrapping that gift up. When the holidays are in full swing, papers and bows are often thought of as just a means to an end.

Trisha Sprouse, the founder of lifestyle site Vignette, thinks this step should never be overlooked. “Anyone can grab a gift card, or stash an item in a gift bag and call it a day. Heck, I’ve been guilty of it myself,” she says. “But have you ever received a gift that was packaged so well that you hesitated to open it because you wanted to stop to admire it? Think of that as your duty as gift-giver: to create a moment of pause, by adding a little something extra that lets the recipient know you care.”

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The Thing About ‘Seasonal Colors’ No One Tells You

In the ritual of seasonal holidays, color plays an outsized role. Orange and black are designated to the thrills of Halloween, palettes that mimic autumn leaves are signs of Thanksgiving, and red and green denote the unmistakable arrival of Christmas. …

In the ritual of seasonal holidays, color plays an outsized role. Orange and black are designated to the thrills of Halloween, palettes that mimic autumn leaves are signs of Thanksgiving, and red and green denote the unmistakable arrival of Christmas. To surround ourselves in these colors is to act out a familiar scene of celebration.

Given that these holidays are commonly filled with cheer—and that these colors are often tied to good memories—decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities can be distinctly comforting. So why don’t we decorate with orange, black, red, and green throughout the year?

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The Best Ways to Declutter Cables & Cords (& Keep Them Out of Sight)

These days, a modern home can have many definitions. Perhaps it’s a place of clean lines and sustainable materials. It could convey a carefully curated aesthetic of things that “spark joy.” Or maybe it has something to do with cables—lots and lots of c…

These days, a modern home can have many definitions. Perhaps it’s a place of clean lines and sustainable materials. It could convey a carefully curated aesthetic of things that “spark joy.” Or maybe it has something to do with cables—lots and lots of cables.

A modern home is a plugged-in home, whether that includes a flat screen, a computer, a sound system, an appliance, or whatever else that needs a charge. And while it’s tough to picture our lives before these gadgets entered, it’s totally unavoidable that these things come with a lot of cables. And when you’re hoping to create a modern home with clean lines, sustainable materials, and a carefully curated aesthetic, those cables can sure get in the way.

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7 Easy Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades You Can Do in a Weekend

At first, a dated kitchen seems like a puzzle full of fixable pieces. A rug can hide unsightly floors and shiny accessories can distract from dingy countertops. But cabinets pose a particular challenge. When it becomes obvious that these have seen bett…

At first, a dated kitchen seems like a puzzle full of fixable pieces. A rug can hide unsightly floors and shiny accessories can distract from dingy countertops. But cabinets pose a particular challenge. When it becomes obvious that these have seen better days—as evidenced by jammed doors, missing hardware, and a dull finish—an entire kitchen feels stuck in the past. And the longer you leave them be, the more likely this minor headache turns into something you just can’t stand.

Replacing old kitchen cabinetry, however, can be expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cabinet installation costs just under $5,000, depending of course on the square footage, materials, and labor. It’s the type of big-ticket item that merits planning and budgeting.

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