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Easy Feng Shui Tips for Your Home

Every room in your house has the potential to emanate peace and tranquility. How? Through the use of feng shui.

Feng shui is based on the idea that our homes are a reflection of what’s going on inside of us. By aligning the outside space with our inner feelings, you create a harmonious home.

This ancient Chinese method may seem a little bizarre on the surface, but feng shui principles are easy to follow and don’t (usually) cost a dime! We’ve culled a few simple ways to incorporate feng shui into your home.

round coffee table

A round coffee table facilitates ease of movement according to feng shui principles. (Photo courtesy Pinterest)

Easy Feng Shui Tips

Keep Toilet Lids Down

This is a good practice from a hygienic perspective, of course, but there’s also a feng shui explanation. Feng shui posits that the toilet is a drain – leave the seat up, and you allow good energy to literally drain out of your home.

Arrange Your Desk to Face the Door

In the feng shui method, having your back to a door puts you in a compromising position. Try arranging your desk so that it faces toward the door – you’ll feel an instant sense of control and empowerment that could show through in your work!

Place Your Couch Against a Wall

This is usually a natural spot for arranging couches, but it also has a feng shui purpose: a wall brings a sense of steadiness and security that can help you relax. If there isn’t a wall available, you can place a sturdy console table behind your couch instead.

Try a Round Coffee Table

Square and rectangular coffee tables have harsh lines that point directly at people when seated. A circular coffee table creates a harmonious flow that lets energy (and people) move around more easily.

Surround Yourself with the Items You Love

We devoted a blog post to this feng shui trick. Choosing items that bring you joy helps eliminate clutter and also amplifies positive energy. Move a favorite item to a prominent spot so you see it every time you walk in the room!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

In feng shui, mirrors bring good fortune and double the abundance of positive energy. Use them!

Use Shapes to Create Energy Flow

According to Feng Shui, shapes are an important factor in the flow of energy in a room. Triangles, for example, are largely unwelcome as they convey a sense of hostility. Round or square furniture is a better choice, though Feng Shui encourages mixing shapes to avoid an overabundance of a single energy.

Fountains & Fish

If you’re a fan of the life aquatic, Feng Shui may be your ideal decorating method. Feng Shui literally means wind and water, so these natural forces play an important role in the practice. Ch’i, the life force, is said to be attracted to water so a well-placed fountain or fish tank is sure to attract positive energy.

A small water fountain or water wall will also attract good ch’i. Small fountains are available in many styles from retailers like Amazon.com and Pottery Barn. Prices, of course, vary, but you can find a nice fountain for your home for between $50 and $150.

America’s favorite starter pet, the fish, and its likeness are associated with success in Feng Shui. Stagnant water, though, is associated with a messy life so keep your fish happy and their water clean. If you’re not up for buying a fountain or new pet, mirrors are said to serve a similar function in Feng Shui.

The Practice of Placement

The best known aspect of Feng Shui is likely the practice of arranging furniture to achieve a harmonious energy in the home. For example, for all rooms in the home, artwork should be hung at eye level, though art should be hung above large pieces of furniture such as a sofa. Beds should not lie under exposed beams or near windows, as this blocks energy flow. The foot of the bed should also be kept clear.

As there are many rules in Feng Shui regarding placement of objects, you may want to research the finer points of the practice as they apply to your specific space, but achieving a more harmonious home is worth the effort.

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Related posts: What is Eclectic Home Decor? We Explore This Design StyleDIY Home Decor IdeasHome Decor for Small Apartments

 


Insta Inspiration: Our Favorite Home Décor Accounts to Follow on Instagram

Our Favorite Home Décor Accounts to Follow on Instagram

A beautiful picture can spark inspiration, which is why we’re obsessed with Instagram. Whether it’s searching for what to make for dinner or scrolling through images of cute animals, spending a little quality time on Instagram is one of our favorite hobbies. We also find it’s an especially good tool for home décor ideas.

Check out our list of the best home décor accounts to follow on Instagram below!

Favorite Home Decor Shops on Instagram

Following brand accounts brings multiple benefits – you’ll see incredible images of gorgeous interior spaces, plus, you’ll know exactly where to buy the products in each picture!

  • @westelm Find beautiful images of the brand’s modern home furnishings and décor. You can also follow the New Orleans store specifically (@westelmnola) for up-to-date information on sales and NOLA-friendly imagery like Mardi Gras floats and local eats.
  • @jonathanadler A designer and a brand, this Instagram user is your destination for snappy, preppy-chic design with loads of color and graphic prints.
  • @fab – Fab.com’s Instagram highlights everyday design from around the globe. The shoppable brand recently featured a photo-realistic clutch from DVRA – a New Orleans-based company!

Favorite Home Decor Publications on Instagram

Print magazines and online publications are a great resource for on-trend designs.

  • @elledecor A classic. Sophisticated interiors that cater to a range of aesthetic styles plus a dash of wanderlust – to-die-for homes in Capri, Milan, and Los Angeles are all part of the mix.
  • @dominomag No longer a print publication, Domino Magazine has fortunately taken their eclectic interiors to the digital world. Expect a mix of decorating inspiration, entertaining ideas, and bright bursts of color.
  • @apartmenttherapy One of our favorite websites is also one of our favorite Instagram accounts. This apartment-specific Insta is chock full of space-saving tips, DIY tutorials, and the latest design trends.

 New Orleans interior designer Whitney Jones shares design inspiration and DIYs on Instagram. (Photo courtesy whitneyjdecor on Instagram)
New Orleans interior designer Whitney Jones shares design inspiration and DIYs on Instagram. (Photo courtesy whitneyjdecor on Instagram)

Favorite New Orleans Design Inspiration on Instagram

In a city full of style and character, these Igers serve up some serious design inspiration.

  • @whitneyjdecor – This New Orleans based interior designer offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a day in the life of a designer and sneak peeks of DIY home decor projects.
  • @hattiesparks – The Uptown boutique owner’s Instagram feed is a beautiful blend of local life and spot-on design inspo.
  • @perchneworleans – The stylish Magazine Street home goods shop offers up antique, vintage & contemporary decor finds.

Favorite Home Decor Designers on Instagram

Take cues from these interior designers’ Instagram accounts  it’s like having a private consultation for free!

  • @ryankorban Elegant, decadent spaces juxtapose designer Ryan Korban’s witty captions.
  • @kellywearstler You’ll love her sartorial style as much as her interior design expertise. Swoon!
  • @mrorlandosoria The interior designer’s Instagram account is equal parts travelogue, foodie paradise, and clean-lined interior spaces.
5ftinf instagram

Instagram user 5ftinf packs a rainbow of color into every photo. (Photo courtesy 5ftinf on Instagram)

Lagniappe – Irresistible Instagrammers

A few other favorites we couldn’t resist including.

  • @5ftinf Flowers! Botanicals! Tea! A dreamy Instagram account that celebrates natural simplicity.
  • @themakerista DIY prodigy Gwen Hefner shares some of her favorite projects.
  • @sfgirlbybay Stylist and blogger Victoria Smith shows us “the world through rose-colored glasses.” California dreaming at its finest!

Looking for more interior decorating inspiration?

Be sure to follow our Apartment Decorating board on Pinterest for even more home décor ideas!


Repurpose Mardi Gras Beads with These DIY Crafts

Sure, you have your costume picked out, but is your home decorated for Mardi Gras? We’ll show you two different ways to jazz up your space just in time for Fat Tuesday. For both crafts, you’ll need Mardi Gras beads. Speaking of…

Whether you’re in need of beads or need to get rid of some, Beads by the Pound program – the Arc recycling center in Metairie not only saves you money but also provides green jobs and helps save the planet.

OK, do you have your beads ready? Here we go!

mardi-gras-coasters

Make these Mardi Gras coasters using leftover beads and felt. (Photo courtesy DollarStoreCrafts.com)

Mardi Gras Coasters

Materials

  • Beads
  • Felt cut into 3- or 4-inch circles (see How-To)
  • Fabric glue
  • Thread

Method

First, measure your beads. Necklaces that are 24-inches long correspond perfectly with 4-inch felt rounds; necklaces that are 16-inches long fit with 3-inch felt circles. Find the point where the string of beads joins together (usually a deformed bead) and cut it off to make one long string rather than a necklace. Remove any medallions or pendants using pliers.

Place a dot of fabric glue in the center of the felt round. Attach one end of the bead string to the center dot, then wind around in a spiral motion, adhering with fabric glue as you go around. Continue until you run out of beads, then let dry overnight.

For a complete tutorial, visit Rust & Sunshine.

Mardi Gras Centerpieces

Materials

  • Beads
  • Glass containers
  • Tea lights

Method

Simply place the beads in the bottom of the glass vessel, and place a tea light on top. Remember to never leave a lit candle unattended!

For color ideas and a complete how-to, visit Bustle.

 


How to Decorate with Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone’s annual “Color of the Year” is always a source of inspiration, and while some of the hues have been fun (like 2014’s Radiant Orchid), they haven’t exactly been easy to work into our design scheme. That’s why we’re thrilled with Pantone’s 2015 choice.

Marsala is a color that’s bold, but easy to incorporate into interior designs. Whether you use it sparingly or let it color an entire room, the cherry-chocolate hue is universally flattering, versatile for both men and women, and, with its rich hue and warm undertones, is especially appropriate for the winter months.

Check out our guide to incorporating marsala into any room of the house – we’ve provided online links, but all these shops are nearby for those who prefer in-store shopping.

For the Kitchen

Red Hobnail Ramekins – You can’t beat the price on these cute, textured ramekins from World Market. Use the set of four for snacks like nuts and chips. Their true purpose (souffles!) is a bit more challenging, but you can try this easy recipe for a savory version.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

Garnet Enamel-on-Steel Tea Kettle – Also from World Market is this tea kettle in a slightly cooler shade of marsala. A cheery addition to the stovetop, the kettle quickly has a sleek shine and is of high-quality construction.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

For the Living Areas

Mansfield Print Pillow Cover – The intricate pattern of this Pottery Barn pillow cover pulls in neutral hues like khaki and sage. Pantone’s own color pairings suggest that marsala plays well with such shades – their number 5 palette includes similar hues like Fennel Seed and Silver Fern.

(Photo: potterbarn.com)

(Photo: potterbarn.com)

Love Marquee Lights – A message of love in a bold color is welcome any time of year. From World Market, these lights add visual interest to a wall and also serve as a light installation with their warm, ambient glow.

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

(Photo: worldmarket.com)

For the Bedroom

rose-bisque

(Photo: westelm.com)

Organic Cotton Pintuck Bedding – The romantic tucks and ruffles of this organic bedding underscore its sultry hue. In fact, all of the “Rose Bisque” color choices from West Elm offer a softer version of marsala that works as well in spring and summer as it does in fall and winter.

For the Bathroom

Quilted Velvet & Silk Cosmetic Bags – Irresistibly soft and textural, these cosmetic bags from Pottery Barn (in a set of two) are a beautiful accent for bathroom storage. Even better, you can take them with you on trips – they’ll double as a clutch on nights out. Optional monogramming adds even more personalization.

(Photo: potterybarn.com)

(Photo: potterybarn.com)

 

 


Holiday Decorating for a Small Space

‘Tis the season to liven up your decor, but sometimes a small space can present challenges you may not face in a traditional house. Check out our dos and don’ts for decorating a small space for the winter holidays.

Celebrate Christmas in New Orleans

Do think miniature. A 20-foot tree works for the White House, but a grandiose fir can be unrealistic when decorating a small space. Stores like Whole Foods and The Home Depot offer fresh, beautiful mini trees that have the look, feel, and smell of their larger counterparts. The trees might be small, but their benefits are enormous: they’re easier to transport (both to your home and out to the dumpster after the season), they’re cheaper to purchase, and they only have room for your most special ornaments.

Don’t let your festive dishware stay hidden. You probably have some fun holiday dishware at the back of your cupboard – maybe a themed mug or a set of dessert plates. Why not let these dishes take center stage during the holiday season? Fill a festive mug with fresh, white flowers for a wintry look for your desk or kitchen counter, or use holiday dessert plates as a tray for simple ornaments to create a festive display.

Don’t wait to wrap gifts. The winter season is often a time of giving, but we are quick to consider gift wrapping a chore. Instead, make a plan to wrap presents early, then place them around your apartment for a fun and festive look.

Do dress up your dining chairs. Whether you’re using them in the dining room or a non-traditional space like the bedroom or bathroom, dining chairs can benefit from a bit of holiday pizzazz. Tie wide ribbons to the backs of the chairs and suspend small, lightweight ornaments at the bottom. You can also hang pinecones from the back using this tutorial.

holiday-presents

Wrap your presents in advance and place them around your apartment for a festive atmosphere. (Photo courtesy JD Hancock on Flickr)

Don’t forget about easy decorating opportunities. Coat racks, doorknobs, towel hooks, and any other hanging place can become a home for a wreath, festive scarf, ornaments, or other holiday items as part of your décor.

Do consider old-school crafts. Remember when you made paper snowflakes as a kid? Believe it or not, they can look incredibly chic and take up very little space. Place them in windows where they’ll catch the light and cast dancing shadows. Other space-friendly favorites include cranberry garlands (use dental floss!), tinsel stars, and fragrant citrus pomanders.

Don’t get hung up on what the holidays “should” look like. Who says you need a real tree or decorations galore? Displaying sentimental pieces or even a simple strand of lights over your doorway can bring festive cheer when decorating a small space. Plus, the fewer items you put out, the less there is to clean up after the holidays!