16 DIY Planters to Get You Ready for Spring

Many of us who are still donning our winter parkas and shoveling snow may think it hard to fathom, but spring IS on its way, and with it comes color, blue sky and flowers. Start prepping now to spruce up your outdoor (or indoor) garden. And don’t worry; if you don’t have time for digging in the dirt, we’ve got a few other green thumb DIYs up our sleeves. Keep Reading!


Are You A Hostess With The Mostess? Keep These 12 Don’ts In Mind

If your holiday social calendar looks anything like ours, then we know your next few weeks are filled with celebration and cheer. Whether you’re poppin’ champagne and counting down until midnight or hosting a multi-course holiday dinner party, we’ve got some essential advice to transform you into the hostess with the mostess. Keep Reading!

Splurge or Save: 10 Living Room Essentials for Your New Home

Moving into a new home can be incredibly exciting (hello, housewarming soiree!), but it also comes with its fair share of planning, budgeting and to-do lists. <!–more Keep Reading!–>It’s a good rule of thumb to live in your new space for at least two months before making any major purchases. Once you have a feel for your new digs, the fun part begins: turning your empty house into your home. As much as we love poring over catalogs and browsing for new goods, it can be hard to know when to splurge and when to save on all those dream items. We’re making things easier by sharing 10 must-haveliving room essentials for every buget.

Danish Modern Sofa

1. Sofa: Couch, settee, davenport… whatever you call it, a living room looks a little sparse without it. The gorgeous EJ 315 Sofa ($11,900) hails from the ’70s, but Erik Jørgensen’s design has stood the test of time. A touch of class that yields comfort too, the Danish modern design rests on a wooden frame with soft leather cushions and eye-catching, stitched buttons. To avoid blowing your entire living room budget on your sofa, we’ve found a comparable design in the Alcott Sofa ($1,699). We’re definitely loving the price tag on this beauty.

River Stone - Pebble Coffee Table

2. Coffee Table: You need somewhere to rest your mug when you’re enjoying your morning brew or curled up at night with a glass of wine. The River Stone Cocktail Table ($1,035) is a beautiful place to rest your glass while lending elegant flair and a touch of nature to your living room. If you don’t necessarily want your coffee table taking center stage but like the river stone look, then check out this Pebble Coffee Table ($299) that will totally rock your budget.

Living Room Accent Chair

3. Accent Chair: Let go of that Lazy-Boy you “borrowed” from your parent’s basement and get yourself an accent chair. Extra seating is never a miss, especially when you have a seat that’s as stylish as this Kilim Accent Chair ($999). Resting on mango wood legs, the chair is upholstered with 100% cotton textiles and is sure to spark major interest from visitors. Of course, we’re all about the price tag on the 1938 Bergama Butterfly Chair ($229), not to mention, you can’t go wrong with this graphic twist on a classic.


4. Statement Rug: Pull everything together and create an inviting space by adding an interesting rug. We’re all about the geometric-inspired Buche Wool Flatweave Carpet ($3,000). The price tag reflects the durability and artisanal work that goes into it. If you like the look but would rather splurge elsewhere, the Stockholm ($199) pulls off the same modern and geometric look. (Photo via Apartment Therapy)

Patterned - Pillows- Cushions

5. Cushions: Every couch needs a cushion. This comfy textile adds a happy splash of color and pattern to your space. Colorful and fluffy as a cloud, the duck feather-filled Ink Jungle Cushion ($145) adds comfort and a bit of WOW factor to the settee. Equally bright at a fraction of the cost is the Geometric 3D Cushion ($31), which is illustrated and hand-sewn stateside.

Living Room Throw

6. Throw Blanket: Any truly “lived in” living room will have a soft, comfy throw rolled up in a basket next to the sofa. Textile trendsetters may be swayed toward the Multi-Color Stripe Throw ($550), but the uber-soft Fireworks Alpaca Throw ($115) gets the job done at a quarter of the cost.

Curtains - Drapes

7. Curtains: Window treatments offer a vast array of materials and style, but if you want to keep things sleek and understated, the Zoe Beige Geometric Window Curtains ($278) make an impressive statement. Like the look, but not ready to splurge? The budget-friendly Gray Geometric Curtains ($50) are equally as charming.

Framed Artwork

8. Framed Artwork: It doesn’t have to be a Picasso, but framed artwork is a great way to add a focal point to your living space. We’re loving the individually signed and numbered Botanical Print ($150) gracing the walls. If flora is your thing, then this set of 12 Vintage Orchid Prints ($82) will add visual appeal to a plain living room wall.


9. Table Lamp: Essential for illuminating a room, table lamps also make a big impact on your living room’s overall look. Brighten things up with the vibrant Mini Foo Dog Lamps ($850). These dogs were the sacred guard dogs of Buddhist temples. Protect your home for about half the price with a pair of vibrant Turquoise Foo Dog Lamps ($340).


10. Tchotchkes: All you need is love. The Beatles sang it, Robert Indiana sculpted it and you can have it in your living room with the Miniature LOVE Sculpture ($200). All love is equal, but the price on this awesome3D Printed LOVE Sculpture ($36) may mingle a bit more with your budget.

What are your living room essentials? Share your top picks with us below!

Washing Dishes: An Art Form

Where I come from dishwashing is serious business.  I grew up in a house that had an actual, mechanical dishwasher but my mother never approved of its dishwashing capabilities.  The phrase, “but you’re the dishwasher” was a typical answer to, “but Moooom why can’t we just use the dishwasher?!”

So you see, I grew up mastering the art of hand washing dishes.  If you have visions of free form dance flowing through your head switch gears to something more akin to printmaking—a systematic approach.

Dirty Dishes

The 3 keys to successful dishwashing: Organization, Heat and Muscle.

Rinse Cycle

The dishwashing process begins by rinsing all the dirty dishes with scalding hot water, eliminating grease residue and stubborn bits of encrustulated food, down the drain.  After rinsing, remember to wipe out the sink BEFORE washing, the process can’t begin with a dirty sink!

Sorting Cycle

Next we methodically stack our dishes in the order of washing; glasses, cups and silverware followed by plates, bowls and then pots and pans (saving the greasiest and dirtiest dishes for last.)  Plug the drain and fill that side up with more scalding hot water and a swirl of dish soap.  The other side of the sink is used for rinsing which is done with cooler (less scalding) water— my mother would approve of adding vinegar for good measure. To the right of the rinsing station is the drying station.

Washing Cycle

Here is where the brawn and muscle come in, don’t just swipe the dishes with a twirl of the dish rag, get in there and really scrub on all sides—fork tines, the very bottom of drinking glasses and even the bottom of pots and pans.

*I should also mention to refrain from those scrubbing brushes and rubber gloves. These items deter the sensation of residual bits of food and grease that may be gripping to the dish.  Also sponges are not recommended as they soak everything up and store the food bits and bacteria inside their crevices.

Rinse Cycle x2

The systematic approach to washing applies to rinsing as as well e.g., once all the cups are washed rinse and stack, repeat with silverware, then plates and bowls and so forth.

Drying Cycle

Once the soap is rinsed away stack the dishes in an orderly manner on a clean dishtowel (because we wash dishes in an orderly fashion, stacking is a cinch!)  If you have one of those fancy dish racks then by all means use that.  Dry with a clean dishtowel then put away your sparkling, dry dishes.

Final Spin

Wash down the countertops and sink, rinse the dishcloth and hang it to dry, viola!


∆ If the water becomes cloudy or grimy at anytime during the washing process, drain it and continue with fresh water.

∆ If you break a dish, your master plan of getting out of doing dishes ever again will foil—be prepared to never hear the end of how you shattered Mom’s favorite trifle bowl!

∆ An SOS pad, steel wool, or tin foil are acceptable tools for scrubbing those extra stubborn stains and grime.

Forking Fantastic!

Forget about folding cloth napkins into fancy swans and contorted shapes, DING3000’s JOIN Cutlery by Konstantin Slawinski, provides a stunning table display in all it’s plasticized glory.
Designed after a Japanese mind-trick puzzle, JOIN’s cutlery is made from high-grade plastic, which helps keep down the cost in comparison to a metal model.

JOIN Cutlery
JOIN Cutlery

Designers studied different materials and prototypes with an end result of sturdy cutlery for everyday use, playful in nature.  An excellent conversation piece, guests may enjoy figuring out how to pull apart their utensils to EAT!

The simply irresistible JOIN Cutlery set comes in array of colors, get yours here