design

Sabrina Soto’s Best Tips for Decorating a Small Space

September 16, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

Since moving to New York City last year, I’ve struggled to make my tiny apartment feel homey. Every piece I own is either a hand-me-down or a Craigslist purchase, and I’m ready to trade my hodge-podge items for a more put-together, adult style. My biggest challenge is sticking to a strict budget—no small feat. So I enlisted the help of Sabrina Soto, HGTV designer and Target Style Expert for Home, to get me started. As a fellow New Yorker, Sabrina knows how much careful planning and consideration must go into furnishing a small space. She shared with me some of her best tips for decorating an apartment, dorm, or small home in innovative ways, and you can be sure I’ll put her advice to good use!

    1. Choose items that do double duty. 
      A modern daybed provides lounge seating during the day and transforms into a comfortable bed for guests at night.
    2. Don’t sacrifice style for function. 
      Innovative solutions like storage ottomans will hide the clutter, provide extra seating, and can even serve as a tabletop.
    3. Maximize your visual space. 
      Wire frame and translucent accessories are on-trend and work well in smaller spaces. Another tip: Use Halogen lights because they are the most like natural light. They are warmer than fluorescent and cooler than incandescent.
    4. Cut the clutter. 
      Clutter is a small space’s worst nightmare. Use colorful baskets like these from Target to keep personal items organized and easy to find. Accessorize in odd numbers. It helps break up the uniformity while adding flow and visual interest.
    5. Avoid decorating boredom without breaking the bank. 
      A reversible comforter lets you change your room’s look in an instant.
    6. Mirrors are your best friend. 
      They reflect light and create the illusion of a bigger space. On a budget and can’t afford a large piece of art? Consider mixing small mirrors and prints to create your own art collage!
    7. Make the most out of limited closet space. 
      A hanging closet organizer is a smart investment and great way to take advantage of vertical storage space.  

 


Design It Yourself: Jewelry Design Goes Digital

June 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm , by

Create your own Necklace with the Love Heals Design StudioHi ladies, I’m Chelsea, the new fashion and beauty intern at LHJ, and I’m here to give you the scoop on a cool new jewelry DIY tool.

Love Heals launched its custom Design Studio so would-be designers like me (seriously, it’s crazy how much I spend on beads and chains), can design the perfect piece of jewelry without actually having to make it.

You can choose from a selection of charms, pendants and strands to create anything from a simple cord necklace (like this pretty number I made, at right) to a pair of lavish pearl chandelier earrings. After you submit and purchase your design, your jewelry is handcrafted by their California-based artisan team and sent to you in two weeks. The Design Studio is easy to navigate and use and it’s not too expensive: A custom piece of jewelry can cost you less than $100—my necklace clocks in at $90.

Another good reason to shop: Love Heals is committed to doing good. They use ethically-sourced materials for their jewelry and have planted more than 432,000 trees with GreenerEthiopia.org. And if that wasn’t great enough, here’s another huge shopping bonus: If you design a custom piece, you can buy it for 40 percent off with the promo code DESIGN40! Enter the code, which is good until June 30, at checkout.


NYC Restaurant Turns Trash Into Design Treasure

May 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm , by

The Collective (53) LE The Collective (12)

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending an event at The Collective, a new restaurant in the meat packing district of New York City. The drinks and food were good, but the intriguing design was even better! The design team from ICRAVE searched sites like Craigslist, Etsy and Ebay for the materials to fill The Collective rather than turning to their usual vendors or high-end design shops for inspiration. The results? A wall made of used Legos and casino slot machines; a ceiling composed of Styrofoam and turned into a captivating light fixture; bottle caps from restaurants around the neighborhood; a bar decorated with flying seagulls made from license plates; a host stand made from the hub of a plane and a wall decorated with butterflies made from old records. The list goes on and on. Although you may not decide to turn your entire home into an upcycled shrine, you have to admit that the concept is inspirational. Do you have any “trash to treasure” stories of your own to share?


Inspiration is Still Free

October 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm , by

bkstore3

Sometimes when strolling out and about in fabulous New York City I pass a beautiful home store and think, Why even bother going in, those lovely things are probably waaaay too fancy for me. My mind instantly flashes back to the scene in “Pretty Woman” where the saleswomen shun poor scantily clad Julia Roberts for even attempting to peruse their fine merchandise. I cautiously glance at the beautiful window displays as I pass by, as if some expensive item might jump into my hand if I don’t move quickly. A&G Merch2I don’t give it much thought after that, and continue on toward more familiar territory. Well, guess what I did last weekend? I shrugged off my inhibitions and went into an adorable design store, A&G Merch, in Brooklyn—and you know what, it was a fantastic experience. Okay, so there were a few things out of my price range, but what I found most enjoyable were all of the creative displays! My mind couldn’t help but think about how I could incorporate some of their funky design ideas into my own apartment and the inspiration was undeniable. I started to wonder about other shops that I had walked by in the past and what muse-like displays I had unknowingly deprived myself of.

Inspiration is free, and perhaps more important than ever during these trying economic times. Window shopping is great fun when you walk away with a brain full of new ideas. Okay, friends, your assignment is simple—the next time you pass a store that strikes your fancy, even if you think it might be too fancy for your wallet, go in! You never know what you might find. Oh, and a nice shade of lipstick can definitely help… See Erica’s entry on red lips!


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