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26 Simple Ways To Add Style To Your Home

26 Simple Ways To Add Style To Your Home

Finding the right balance between functionality, coziness and style seems difficult to achieve when decorating our homes. No matter how much money we spend on decent furniture, rooms always seem to be lacking something and look nothing like the perfect spaces we see in magazines.

Sometimes the situation can be solved with a few small tricks that only require a few minutes of your time and don’t involve spending any money. Read through the following tips to find out how you can make your home look more stylish with minimal effort.

1. Treat the front door the same as the indoor

    The first impression you create about your home should not be overlooked, even if you live in an apartment building. Treating the outside of the entrance with the same attention as the inside is a great way to add style to your home.

    Put something from the inside of your house (nothing particularly precious though), hang a seasonal wreath or decorations, or update your house number sign. Plants are always a great idea, as long as they get sufficient light.

    2. Display stuff in threes

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      As in many fields and disciplines, the rule of three is vastly used in decorating and styling. Displaying a trio seems to be more appealing visually and more balanced, especially when sizes, heights and materials bring some variety.

      Start small by testing in a little corner or table and then apply the concept to different areas throughout the house. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it, otherwise the effect won’t be read right.

      3. Layer your carpets and rugs

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        Professionals use this tip a lot to save money on client projects or to “cheat” on shoots. Not only does this method cost less to bring a room together, but it also doesn’t deprive you from getting the pattern you love in case you can’t find the right size. It’s also a great way to test how you feel about a bolder choice and it makes the whole room feel cozier and more stylish.

        Start by layering a small bold rug on top of a bigger neutral carpet or rug.

        4. Stack your books in alternative ways

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          While the usual vertical or slightly tilted stack in bookshelves is common for a classic home, alternative placement speaks for a bolder style.

          Try alternating between vertical and horizontal book piles in shelves. Horizontal stacks will break the pattern of the vertical lines and add more visual interest, making it much more easier to style the shelves with additional objects. Just make sure the rhythm is random and not the same all over, as it defeats the purpose by creating a rigid pattern that’s heavy on the eye.

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          5. Display conversation pieces

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            This tip is a little trickier than it sounds because you don’t want to display your dear objects all over and find out nobody is impressed.

            In order to get people’s attention, conversation pieces should be standing out from the surroundings and immediately draw the eye to them. Don’t forget that you don’t need to cross an ocean to find a piece worth talking about. As long as there’s a dear memory related to them, distant or recent, anything can be a conversation piece (even a random picture or a thrifted piece).

            6. Make liquid soap bottles fancier

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              Next time you have a beautiful bottle of hand wash, save it after you use up the soap and refill with a cheap one. For a quick and easy fix, just soak the plastic bottles you usually buy in warm soapy water until all labels are easy to peel off. A transparent bottle looks less tacky and much fancier than a labeled one, even if it costs very little and is still plastic. Do this in the kitchen sink with dish wash bottles and on all bathroom sinks.

              While you’re at it, add a bottle of random lotion by each sink, to slather on your hands after doing the dishes to keep them soft and feel more stylish yourself.

              7. Keep the dust away

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                Nothing kills style like dust. It might be just yesterday that you cleaned the whole house, but dust finds its way back no matter what.

                Test and see which surfaces are more visible in the usual light at home and be sure to swipe them more often in between general cleaning. You will be able to enjoy your home and stay relaxed and not get alarmed when guests stop by. To remember to do it often, keep an easy cleaning supply (even wet wipes will do) tucked somewhere near the problematic areas.

                8. Display fresh flowers randomly

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                  When you get flowers put them in a vase somewhere in a corner of the room, nothing too central. Bonus points if the flowers are mismatch from street vendors or a garden. The casual look and random placement gives the impression that you do this all the time and for your own pleasure, without trying too hard to impress others.

                  9. Move stuff between different rooms

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                    We’re used to the logic of moving things around in the same room and it doesn’t naturally occur to move things from room to room. Doing so provides a fresh way of rearranging furniture and layouts. Also many things might look better in a new space or might serve a better function. When there’s no time or budget to go shopping, this is the fastest solution to freshen up every room in your house.

                    10. Keep white towels in the bathroom      

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                      This is a personal choice, but the white color in towels gives the idea of freshness and cleanliness (they have to be actually clean though). Additionally, having more than one towel in the bathroom is great, because it adds to the idea of effortless hospitality and curated details.

                      11. Always have books on the coffee table

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                        Books instantly add style and make for great entertainment moments with guests. Make sure to include what you love most and a couple of different genres, so everyone is pleased. You can have only books stacked in low piles or a mix of magazines, photo books and table books. This is a perfect setting to apply the rule of three and mix books with decorative elements and small objects.

                        12. Serve water in a pitcher

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                          Whether you drink water out of the tap, refrigerated or bottled, keeping it in a pitcher allows for easy access for also looks fancier. There’s nothing cooler than taking out a pitcher during meals with family or when guests are around. You can also add slices of cucumber or lemon to the water for a ridiculously quick, but super fancy touch.

                          Add a pitcher to your bedroom nightstands as well, to make hydration easier and give your bedroom extra style points.

                          13. Paint mismatch pieces the same color and finish

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                            If there’s a lot of mismatch pieces of furniture around your home that don’t stay well together because of their different style, finish or color; consider painting or even spray painting a few in the same color and finish to bring some unity to the space. Choose a couple of pieces that are scattered across the room and not too close to each other. There’s no need to go overboard, as even a small dose can help bring unity.

                            14. Keep placemats on the table even when you’re not eating

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                              This might sound counter-intuitive, but it actually gives the illusion of tidiness at home and order in the family (especially if you have kids). Placemats are also a great way to add color and pattern in small doses, if that’s your style. They can be inexpensive store-bought ones in plastic, rubber or paper. You can also make your own by cutting fabric or repurposing old sheets.

                              15. Display a bunch of the same element

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                                Choose one kind of produce you have in bulk at the moment. Fruit works best and the brighter the color the better. But you can also use some kind of vegetable or simple elements found in nature, such as stones or wood pieces.

                                Place a bunch of them in a big vase or bowl and display somewhere visible (like the kitchen countertop or a shelf), but not too central, unless you are using it as a table centerpiece. The aim is to make a big visual impact by having the same element in bulk, so better keep it simple with the shape and material, going for a glass vase or porcelain bowl.

                                16. Light candles in groups

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                                  Gather all the candles you have and arrange them in small groups around the house. The leaving room and entrance are great spots to start.

                                  Lighting candles in groups is much more effective than displaying them individually because they will provide a bigger glow, which is perfect for the evenings and when you have guests over. Also, having a bunch of candles burning gives the impression that you are used to do this randomly and you don’t save them for special occasions.

                                  When buying candles, skip the fancy smells and go for plain white ones, which look classic and chic and perfect for grouping.

                                  17. Add indoor plants

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                                    Plants are a great way to take any place to the next level. Not only they bring freshness and color to the room, but treating them as decorative pieces when choosing their placement helps adding style points to the room.

                                    Play with different scale plants and different leaf design if possible. Put big plants near big pieces of furniture or use them to fill empty corners, while small plants can be mixed within furniture parts or compliment bigger ones (when the rule of three is applied). Just make sure to provide them the right amount of light needed to survive.

                                    18. Remove some accessories

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                                      If you’re usually a fan of the “more is more” look, you have an eclectic style or you’re just looking to define your style, this is a quick tip for you. Take away a few items from what’s on display. Decorative objects, wall art, rugs, pillows can go one by one until you are left with a cleaner state. You can go back and forth replacing items or taking things back until you’re pleased with what you have.

                                      This tactic is not aimed to give you a minimalistic home, but rather take you a step back in order to rediscover the potential your home already has. From there, it’s easier to add “style” in different ways, big or small.

                                      19. Keep throws and blankets over the sofa

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                                        Not only do light blankets and throws make everything look cozier and lived-in, but they provide an effortless way to add texture or color/pattern to a rather flat or neutral room. If you want only one throw, make sure it’s not neatly folded, but thrown a little loosely. If you want two or more, play with the placement until the space looks balanced.

                                        20. Keep baskets in display around the house

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                                          Baskets are great to fill with clutter before guests arrive or carry from room to room to pick up stuff and take objects back to where it belongs. They seem much more expensive and exotic than they really are. Having them around the house in a few visible spots makes them feel part of the decor.

                                          They can be different sizes and shapes, but they should be the same material or have a common color, in order not to make too much noise in a rather busy looking home. On the contrary, they can be totally unique and loud in a neutral space.

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                                          21. Remove all packaging and store products in containers

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                                            Often stylish homes are defined by a few details and this little tip is a big helper. For everything food related you buy and keep on display, you should remove the packaging it came in and place it in a neat looking container. Glass containers are beautiful, but they can sometimes get expensive if you need a lot. Repurpose jam or sauce jars for an inexpensive solution or get plain porcelain ones. The point is not to have a whole matching set, but go for the same material or color in order to create a coherence and clean look in a kitchen or pantry.

                                            22. Hang up stuff on the walls

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                                              Many people avoid dressing the walls because they dread the expensive cost of art and frames. But you don’t need frames and you don’t even need art, because everything can be art as long as it moves you in a way and evokes feelings.

                                              Magazines pages are fast and inexpensive to display using tape, as you can choose images of the same theme or contrasting ones to add dynamics to the wall. Also, you can switch them up as often as you can without feeling guilty.

                                              23. Display your hobbies

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                                                Nothing says “you” like the things you love doing, so don’t shy away from letting your hobby creations or even equipment right there in the open. It will ensure for interesting discussions, probably more quality time if you manage to get someone else into it and a ton of character added to your house without any extra effort. Hang objects on the walls, place randomly on shelves or just leave on the floor.

                                                24. Fill a non-functional fireplace with something unexpected

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                                                  The classic place to play with its function is a fireplace. Put anything other than burning wood inside it and you instantly have style added to the space. Other examples where you can apply the same tip are small corners, architectural elements, windows with partial or no view, old appliances or even parts of big furniture.

                                                  25. Layer, layer and layer some more

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                                                    If you want to go the full magazine styled home, layering is the answer for you. Start small and add more layers as you get comfortable with your home’s dynamics. A good place to start practicing is a sofa or coffee table. Experiment with the rule of three and different materials, textures, colors until it feels right to your eye.

                                                    26. Let your home reflect who you are

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                                                      The most stylish homes I have seen are either styled for a photo shoot; or are real life houses of interesting people, that look somewhat “different” to what we are used to see, but hold a lot of character and style.

                                                      The easiest and foolproof way to make your home more stylish is to add more of who you are and what you like. Make it a beautiful place you are eager to spend time in and love it as much as you can. When you love and “support” your home’s quirks, it’s easy to impress everyone else.

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                                                      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                                      Listen carefully:

                                                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                                      1. Pray Daily

                                                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                                      3. Smile Often

                                                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                                      8. Go Exercise

                                                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                                                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

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