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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 May 21, 2019

                                                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                      Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                                      Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                                      Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                                      1. Stress Eating

                                                      I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                                      While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                                      I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                                      If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                                      How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                                      2. Nail Biting

                                                      Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                                      People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                                      Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                                      For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                                      3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                                      We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                                      Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                                      Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                                      4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                                      Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                                      While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                                      Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                                      Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                                      5. Smoking

                                                      Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                                      In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                                      Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                                      Smoking risks

                                                        6. Excessive Drinking

                                                        All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                                        According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                                        • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                                        • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                                        • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                                        • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                                        • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                                        If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                                        If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                                        7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                                        Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                                        If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                                        A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                                        “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                                        And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                                        While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                                        Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                                        Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                                        8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                                        There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                                        In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                                        Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                                        Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                                        9. Watching Too Much TV

                                                        I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                                        Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                                        Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                                        It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                                        10. Being Late

                                                        Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                                        Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                                        Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                                        11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                                        Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                                        I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                                        Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                                        12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                                        Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                                        Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                                        Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                                        By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                                        Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                                        13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                                        In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                                        Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                                        Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                                        And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                        So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                                        Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                                        Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                        Reference

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