How-To Series: Spring Home Refresh

We're all about new beginnings here, especially when they involve getting rid of things that aren't working to make space for things that do. That's why we love the whole idea of "spring cleaning": de-cluttering our home, making things more efficient and taking some time to reevaluate how things operate in our space.

Here are some of the things we're planning on doing to refresh our home and shop this season. 

  • Clear out the things you don't need. You know that book everyone always talks about? Well, you don't have to read it in order to get the idea: the Japanese are on to something when it comes to clearing out the unnecessary clutter in your life. We're looking forward to going through our belongings, asking ourselves if they still have value and donating the things that don't. 
  • Tackle those little projects. Whether you own your house or you rent, there are always little home improvement projects that pile up. From installing a new clothing rack in a closet to an entire bathroom renovation, now is a great time to set aside some time (and money) to get those reno jobs done. 
  • Prep your outdoor space. If you're anything like us, you think every hangout is more fun if it's outside. We're planning on making this the year that we finally make our patio a place for a few drinks with friends by adding some furniture, incorporating outdoor lighting and brightening it up with lots of plants. 
  • Switch out your linens. This one is pretty specific, but we love the idea of switching out heavy winter bedding and shabby towels with light linens for the warmer seasons. 
  • Make the most of your windows. Now that the days are longer and the temperatures are warmer, you'll likely be using your windows a lot more. Give them a thorough wash inside and out to clean off any winter debris, then trade in any heavy window treatments for light, white curtains or blinds that you can easily pull away. 

How-To Series: Hygge

Have you heard of this word “hygge”? It’s one of those trendy design terms that we’ve been seeing everywhere lately, but not a lot of people really know what it means. We did some digging (and even talked to a Danish friend) about the real meaning of hygge — and more importantly, how to pronounce it.

Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word that refers to a feeling that is a cozy, special or charming. It’s kind of a combination of not just the vibe of your home when the fireplace is roaring or there’s a loaf of banana bread in the oven, but also when the people you love are around and you’re conscious of taking the day a bit slower than usual. Is this making you feel all warm and fuzzy yet? Good — you’re halfway to hygge!

One of our favorite things about hygge is that it’s not a design trend per se (at least not in the sense of something you can purchase). You can’t go into a store and choose a hygge sofa in the same way you can choose a mid-century modern sofa; rather, it’s a feeling that you attach to the sofa once you curl up on it with a mug of coffee and a good book in hand. With that said, here are a few of the ways that you can try to add a bit more hygge to your home this winter.

 Image: autumnfever

Image: autumnfever

  • Use the things in the home rather than buying new things. From dusting off that French press that takes a bit longer than the modern coffee maker to appreciating a pair of boots with a lot of life in them instead of buying a new pair, embracing the old-yet-useful things in your home is a great way to create a feeling of hygge.
  • Invite friends over and attach memories to your home. Especially during the cold winter months, it can be easy to hole up in your home and let the weather get you down. Invite a couple friends over for a home-cooked meal or plan a brunch at your kitchen table instead of waiting in line at a restaurant to make your home feel like a warm, welcoming place.
  • Plan a night in — but really plan it. Instead of staying in simply because you have nothing better to do, plan your own night in to do all of your favorite “home” things. Light a few candles, crack open a new book, pour yourself a special drink and wrap up in a big blanket. Once you’re settled in, take a look around and appreciate all of these small comforts of home.
  • Talk to your housemates. Whether you live with a roommate, a partner or your family, many people get in the habit of orbiting their housemates rather than really interacting with them. Take some time out of your day to sit down and have a conversation with these loved ones to fill your home with an instant feeling of hygge.
  • Ignore the unfinished or underwhelming parts of your home. Sure, everyone has those corners of the home that can feel stressful to look at, but the art of hygge involves not letting these things get you down. Instead, look at your home as a long, slow project that will eventually get to where you want it to be — and more importantly, furnish it slowly with meaningful pieces that you won’t get tired of over time.  

How-To Series: Display Wall Art In a Rental

Being that a big bulk of our art pieces are meant to hang on a wall, we get asked a lot about how to hang them. Many of our customers live in rental homes or apartments, and in those cases, the heavy-duty nails required to hang some of our heavier wooden pieces just won't fly. In a perfect world, you would be able to hang the art you want to in your home and still get your security deposit back — and we're here to help you do just that. 

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  • Try the lean method. Many interior designers and savvy renters simply lean their larger art pieces against the wall rather than actually hanging them. This works best with a shelf or some type of surface (a la this scene from The Stella Blue Gallery above), but if you're working with a really big piece, it also looks cool and carefree to simply tilt it against the wall while resting the bottom on the floor. 
  • Get smart about your hooks. If you're able to make a few holes in the wall and you're just looking to limit the extent of the damage (and your eventual workload when you move out), try using monkey hooks in place of regular nails. These J-shaped hooks can hold up to 50 pounds if you use them the right way, so they're perfect for hanging even our larger pieces. 
  • Create a mantle display. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace in your rental, our pieces look great when displayed on the mantle. Mix them with plants, picture frames and other decorative objects to create a designer-worthy vignette. 
    • Try Velcro strips. While these little guys aren't quite sturdy enough for our larger pieces, they would work to hang pieces like the Shelby or the Trinity. Plus, they're easy to remove from the back of the piece, so you can easily take it with you if you move. 
    • Think outside the wall. If you just can't risk your security deposit but you still want to display a 1767 piece in your home, check out our serving trays or tables instead. These feature the same reclaimed wood construction and signature designs as our wall art pieces, but they don't require any nails, screws or even tape to incorporate them into your decor. 

How-To Series: Throw a Great Party

Since the only thing we have on our minds this week is our Showroom Opening Party on Saturday, we figured we'd share a few of our favorite party-planning tips with all of you. Now, this has nothing to do with etiquette and everything to do with atmosphere — from creating a cozy, welcoming space to filling our guests up with our favorite foods, these tips are all about making people happy. Enjoy! 

  • Set the scene. Whether you're throwing a bash in your backyard or renting out a space, we're big believers in always adding your own touch. Outdoors, you can scatter some vintage rugs on the ground for instant seating, add some string lights for a bit of ambiance and even set out a few games (bocce ball, anyone?). Inside, you can hang some paper lanterns, light your favorite candles and add some additional seating with pillows on the floor. PS: our serving trays make great party accessories! 
  • Add some music. Since we live in Nashville, we're lucky enough to have a musician (or two... or three...) at just about every party. While an acoustic guitar and a mandolin are great party entertainment if you have people who know how to use them, you can get just as much out of a stack of records and a record player. 
  • Plan the menu. We love eating, and we're not stingy with our food. We love making big batches of tacos, grilling up carne asada or setting out heaping bowls of homemade guac for our guests. No matter what you serve, be sure to order plenty for the whole group — too much is always better than not enough. 
  • Provide some entertainment. We love playing games, especially board games and ping pong. While some games are great as the focal point of a party (such as volleyball at a barbecue or charades at a game night gathering), things like cards or horseshoes are great back-ups if things start to get dull. 

Now that you know how we like to get down, we hope to see you on Saturday at our Showroom Opening Party! You can expect great music, great food, and great times in our brand new space. 

How-To Series: Perfect Your Outdoor Space

Summertime is hot — really hot — in Nashville, but we still find ourselves wanting to spend every chance we get on our porch or one of the patios in town. A good patio can be fun even on the hottest day, but it's all about the amenities that make it really enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite must-haves for an outdoor space (plus some ways that you can incorporate our 1767 pieces into your porch or patio decor). 

 Image via  Design*Sponge

Image via Design*Sponge

  • Comfortable seating. Whether you're creating a secluded space or hoping to use your patio for hosting get-togethers, comfortable seating is a must. We're loving these affordable IKEA chairs for smaller spaces, or a sectional with deep seating for larger spaces. 
 Image via  Rue Mag

Image via Rue Mag

  • A space for dining. Even if you don't have the room for a complete dining set, you can still dine al fresco with a small side table or one of our 1767 coffee tables.
  • Mood lighting. If you plan on hanging out on your porch at night, you'll need the right lighting. We love stringing bulb lights around the edges of a porch, but you can also switch out your existing light fixture with something sleek and modern just like you would inside. Finish things off with hanging lanterns or scented candles (bonus if they also ward off mosquitos). 
 Image via  Bjurfors

Image via Bjurfors

  • Plants. There's nowhere in (or out) of your home that doesn't benefit from plants. You might plant some vegetables in large pots to use when cooking at home (use this guide to know when to plant which kinds), or just plant your favorite houseplants outdoors in sturdy ceramic or terra cotta pots. If you're lucky enough to have a wall or trellis, you can also add climbing vines. 
  • Outdoor textiles. Once you have the basic set-up of your outdoor space together, you can add the finishing touches to really personalize things. Black and neutral cushions look great against dark or natural wood furniture, but we also love cushions and pillows with bold patterns like palm leaves or Turkish designs. 
 Image via  The Lovely Plants  

Image via The Lovely Plants 

How-To Series: Make the Most of a Guest Room

Though we have a proper guest room in our new home, we're no strangers to hosting guests in a one-bedroom apartment or attempting to transform an office into a temporary bedroom for out-of-towners. Whether you're working with a full spare bedroom or just a nook in your common living area, here are some of our favorite tips for making guests feel at home. 

 image via  Design*Sponge

image via Design*Sponge

  • Create a private area. If your guests are able to close the door when they want to change clothes or have some down-time, this step is simple. If they'll be sleeping in a common space, this one takes some thought. Try using a room divider screen to create some privacy for your guests, or if you can, put an air mattress in another room so that they're able to create their own designated space throughout the visit. 
  • Make it comfy. The days of tossing a pillow and blanket on the couch are gone (at least in our home). We know that guests want a good night's sleep, so we always try to make things comfortable with an extra mattress pad, clean, fresh sheets, extra blankets and proper bed pillows. 
  • Add some decor. It's not an essential step, but adding some homey touches is a nice way to make their stay more special. We like to put one of our art pieces above the guest bed, add patterned throw blankets and place a plant nearby.
  • Amenities! If you watched Parks and Recreation, you know how important those amenities are, even in a home. It's simple and sweet to make a little welcome basket for your guests to find as soon as they arrive — just fill any old basket with a few snacks, some water bottles, candy and maybe their favorite wine or beer. 
  • Consider the bathroom situation. If you're like most young people, you're probably only working with one bathroom (two if you're lucky). It's a nice touch to give your guests a few things that they may have forgotten, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and fresh towels, to make their stay a little easier. 


How-To Series: Decorate With Rustic Pieces

While we're big fans of the worn, well-loved look of vintage furniture and decor items, we also understand that too much of anything is just... too much. For many people, adding one too many nail-filled benches, rusted clock radios and patina-covered knick knacks may start to make your home feel cluttered and a bit dated. If you're looking for ways to incorporate rustic vintage pieces while still maintaining a cool, clean space, here are some of our favorite tips.

  • Alternate large and small items. If you scored big at the flea market and found a well-loved credenza or perfectly worn leather chair, balance things out with an ultra-modern floor lamp or a row of clean, simple abstract prints to keep things fresh and stylish. On the other hand, if you have some treasured antique candlesticks, placing them on a sleek white shelf will give you that balance you want. Combining antique decor items with antique furniture may start to make things feel a little bit drab. 
  • Only go for the really special items. You may love the look of distressed furniture, but you don't need to take home every cool piece you see. Save up for a really rare collector's piece or wait until you find that perfect item. 
  • Consider the space. If you're lucky enough to live in a period home, you may want to try to incorporate vintage pieces that are true to the time in which it was built. If not, just be conscious of the size and needs of the space you're trying to fill before buying a bulky piece that might not work. 
  • Make it work. Sometimes, all an antique furniture or decor piece needs is a little bit of TLC. If it's a little too rough for your taste, try giving it a good polish, fixing that broken leg or sanding it down and adding some fresh stain to give it a second chance. 
  • Admit when rustic is too rustic. We've all been there: you find a major piece at the thrift store or the flea market, but it's in such bad shape that you stop to wonder if it's worth buying at all. It's best to be honest with yourself about what you're comfortable with in your home — if it might give you tetanus when you touch it, it's probably too rustic. 

How-To Series: Decorate a Vignette

While most design blogs make vignettes on shelves or mantles look effortless and casual, some serious thought and planning goes into creating a seriously stylish vignette. While we're big fans of the trial-and-error technique, here are some tips to help get you started with creating displays on all of the surfaces in your home. 

  • Start with something large. While we think a 1767 piece makes a great start to any vignette, we may be a bit biased. No matter what you choose, you'll want to start with something large and eye-catching to use as the anchor of your display. 
  • Decide on placement. We like to place the largest piece (or pieces) first, since this usually helps the rest of the objects fall into place. Try placing a large vase toward one side, or prop an art piece against the wall in the center. 
  • Incorporate a plant. No good vignette is complete without a plant — stick one in there wherever you like and it's sure to brighten things up. 
  • Choose meaningful objects. Sure, you can go to a home goods store and buy some decorative items, but they're not going to make you happy when you look around your home. Instead, start slow and build your shelves full of meaningful, beautiful objects, such as gifts from friends, knick knacks from your travels and found items from your favorite thrift shops. 
  • Keep things useful. Most people would say that they could use a bit more storage space, so make your vignette useful by incorporating items that you actually need. Think writing utensils in an attractive cup in the office, cocktail supplies above a bar cart or dishes in the kitchen. 
  • Take a step back. Like most things in life, you won't know if your vignette is complete until you take a step back and look at it as a whole. There's always time to move things around or remove unnecessary items. 

How-To Series: Cleanse a Room

Cleansing the atmosphere, creating a vibe – whatever you call it, sometimes a room just needs it. We're big believers that a clean space is key for getting to work or getting creative, so we've found lots of ways to freshen up a room and make it feel bright and airy. Here are a few of our favorite ways to cleanse a room (or your whole home). 

 image by Deane Hearne via  The Future Kept

image by Deane Hearne via The Future Kept

  • Smudging. Smudging involves burning a thick bundle of dried herbs, such as sage or cedar. In order to disperse the scent and the cleansing smoke around the room, many people wave it through the air or walk with it through their home. 
  • Palo Santo sticks. Similar to smudge sticks, Palo Santo sticks are great for cleansing the energy in a room. The sticks are taken from Palo Santo trees in South America, and when you burn them like incense, it creates a really calming, fresh-smelling smoke. 
  • Candles. Sometimes all it takes is the glow of a candle to instantly make a room feel cozy and a little mysterious. We like to light a few musky scented candles when we're sketching out new design ideas. 
  • Open it up. We're all about openness when it comes to feeling inspired, so if you're feeling a little stifled in your office or bedroom, try clearing away clutter and getting rid of any bulky furniture that you don't need. 
  • Essential oils. If you're the type who prefers something with a longer lasting scent, ditch the store-bought air freshener and invest in a diffuser. These devices create a steady stream of water vapor when you fill them with water and essential oils, and depending on which oils you choose, they can even help with lots of different ailments. Try diffusing a nice jasmine oil if you're feeling stressed or lavender if you want to relax before bed.