Design Fixation

3/24/17

10 Tips To Make Spring Cleaning A Breeze


It's that time of year... the tulips are finally starting to pop up through the lingering snow, and the days are getting *slightly* warmer. Which means that spring weather is just around the corner! After a long cold winter, I'm always excited to get my house in order with a deep cleaning and some serious decluttering. Now don't worry, I don't actually like to clean, but I love the way the house feels once it's done. So today I'm sharing some of my favorite tips to make spring cleaning easier. Here goes:

1. Make it fun! Pump up the tunes and grab your favorite beverage. 

2. Make a checklist. In my opinion, there's nothing more satisfying than checking something off your to-do list. Write down each task you plan to do, so you can check them off as you go.

3. Be prepared. Take inventory ahead of time and buy plenty of storage items so you aren't left with piles of things with no homes. Choose pretty baskets for exposed storage, and functional boxes for hidden storage. 

4. Split it up. Set small goals for yourself, splitting the tasks up over a couple of days. It's no fun to spend an entire day cleaning, so why not do some one day and some the next? You'll get less discouraged that way.

5. Divide and conquer. If you have other human inhabitants in your house, enlist them to help too. Odds are they created some of the mess, so why not have them help clean it up? Give each person a specific task.

Magazine File Box     
6. Clear the clutter first. Be sure to clean up clutter before you start doing things like dusting and vacuuming. If everything is organized and in place when you go to dust, then hopefully you'll really be able to cover all visible surfaces.

7. Mop last. There's nothing more annoying than having to go back and re-clean an area because, say, you dusted after you mopped and the dust got all over the floor. Mop last!!

8. Automate. If you can afford it, automate the cleaning process as much as possible by purchasing things like robotic vacuums and window cleaners.

9. Reward yourself. Allow yourself a relaxing evening reading a magazine or a special dessert as an incentive. It will help, trust me!

10. Make a maintenance plan. To eliminate massive cleaning efforts in the spring, plan to maintain an orderly home throughout the year. A cordless handheld vacuum is one of my favorite tools for quick cleanups. 

To check out all of my cleaning product picks, head over to my Wayfair idea board. Good luck with your spring cleaning everyone :) Here's hoping that spring actually arrives one of these days... because it sure doesn't feel like it here in Boston!

This post was created in partnership with Wayfair. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Design Fixation online!




3/22/17

How To Style A Shelf + A Coupon Code


How To Style A Shelf + A Mixbook Coupon Code /// Design Fixation

Today we're going to learn how to #shelfie like you mean it. Sure you can toss a bunch of knick knacks on a shelf and call it a day - but there are actually some specific techniques that you can use to create a perfectly styled shelf. Keep reading to get started!

3/16/17

Designer Spotlight /// Kia Designs


Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
Eating lunch one day at Alt Summit a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kia Stanford of Kia Designs in Central London. The more I talked with her, the more I realized that I had to share her work with you guys. She has a five star rating on Houzz, and was voted Best of Houzz 2017 for both design and service. This gal is the real deal. Since Alt, I've chatted with her in more depth about her design aesthetic and what trends she foresees for 2017.

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
Although Kia designs spaces according to her clients' needs and wishes, she does share a similar aesthetic with a few of her past projects. "I am currently drawn towards pink and grey. It is such a pretty combination and can be the ultimate luxury," says Kia, and notes that she loves the color scheme of her Notting Hill project (shown above).

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
I was curious whether design design trends differed in the UK compared with the US, and Kia said that she thinks they do. She feels that the grey weather common in the UK has a big effect on home design trends, causing people to choose more muted colors to complement the lighting. I'm loving the moody tone of the sitting area in the photo above, from Kia's Knightsbridge project, a perfect example of that understated look.  

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
I never miss an opportunity to ask an expert what they think the upcoming trends might be - and this was no different. Kia has noticed that patterns are becoming very popular, honeycomb in particular. You can see a beautiful honeycomb coffee table in her Waterside project above.

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
It was fun to hear a new, more international take on the world of interior design - I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. Be sure to check out Kia's Instagram account here. Thanks Kia!



3/10/17

Unique House Plant Display Ideas


Since spring has decided not to grace us with its presence yet (it's currently snowing outside here in Boston), I thought it would be nice to share something green. So today I'm going to bring you inside my home to check out some of the unique ways that I like to display houseplants. 

This first one is a wall mounted test tube vase set that I made for a post over at DIYs.com. You can find out how to make it here. I like to put clippings from my pothos plant in the test tubes, and then transplant them to pots once they're larger.


Next is a hanging planter for tillandsia, more commonly known as air plants. This is another DIY of course, and you can check out the instructions here.


Next up is a gorgeous terrarium from Urban Green Makers, based in California. They offer kits along with fun extras like air plants, driftwood and even aroma wax to give your terrarium a custom scent. 

Their products are fantastic, but I love their mission even more - for every terrarium kit purchased, they donate a tree in hopes of bringing more green into our world. Read more about their mission here, and check out their beautiful terrarium kits here.


Don't forget to consider unusual vessels like lab beakers - I bought this one at the Brimfield Antiques Fair last season.


You might even think about mounting a succulent right to the wall! I've watered this thing twice in the two years that I've had it, and it's growing more than any of my other plants! Go figure. Hope these ideas have inspired you to add some extra plants to your space!

This post was created in partnership with Urban Green Makers, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Design Fixation online.




3/7/17

A Day At Wachusett Mountain



When I was a kid, my parents used to bring me skiing most weekends during the winter. I mean, we did live in Vermont after all. So I became pretty good at skiing at a young age. Fast forward 30 years... now I'm not nearly as good as I was then, but I think I enjoy it more now. There's something about filling your lungs with crisp mountain air in the middle of winter that's just exhilarating. So when I got the opportunity to go to Wachusett Mountain on a Monday, I said yes. Duh. 


I've been to Wachusett in Princeton, Massachusetts a couple times before, but they've recently made some major improvements which have allowed them to compete with some of the bigger ski areas in the northeast. They now have ID cards instead of those silly tickets you attach to your jacket, so when you get to the lift, you just ski through a turnstile which scans your card automatically. Which means no more waiting in long lines to buy your ticket, and less time in lines at the lifts. 

They've also doubled their snow-making abilities, so despite the warm temperatures that we had last week, the chilly temps this past weekend allowed them to make ample snow so there were very few icy patches on the trails. 


They also have a lodge part way up the mountain called Bullock Lodge, which was new to me. It was built in 1930 and served as the original base lodge. It's now serviced by Red Apple Farm, and provides refreshments to skiers and riders who need a hot cup of cider or a snack. 


The vibe at Bullock Lodge is all out vintage, and it makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Even the beverages look like they're from a different era! 


They also make cider donuts, fudge, maple ice cream, apple dumplings, and lots of other delicious treats which are sold every day during ski season. I had a piece of the chocolate peanut butter fudge and it was incredible. You can also visit them at their farm or at Boston Public Market.

There's still time to head over to Wachusett this season, they'll be open as long as it's cold enough to make snow. Check out their website for current conditions.  


This post was sponsored by Wachusett Mountain, but all opinions are my own. 
Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Design Fixation online!



2/21/17

Trend Alert /// Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Well, I'm ready to declare it officially... black swing arm lamps are a hot trend. I noticed them first while doing some research on Scandinavian decor - four of the ten rooms that I had picked to feature had one or more in them. And as I've been scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest lately, I've been seeing more and more of them. And with good reason, because they're both beautiful and functional. I love all of the different whimsical shapes that they can take on, thanks to their mobility.

So today I'm sharing ten beautiful examples of black swing arm lamps in different rooms and in different interior design styles. Keep on scrollin' the check em out.

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation
  
Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Trend Alert: Black Swing Arm Lamps In Home Decor /// Design Fixation

Image Sources: 1 /// 2 /// 3 /// 4 /// 5 /// 6 /// 7 /// 8 /// 9 /// 10

In the mood to ogle more lighting ideas? Head over here to check out lots of inspiration.



2/13/17

My Experience At Alt Summit In Palm Springs


My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation
Photo: Alt Summit
Five years ago, I remember scrolling through my blogs on my Google Reader (RIP) and every winter all of my favorite bloggers would be raving about some event called "Altitude Summit." It was around that same time that I was getting more serious about Design fixation, so I became curious about this Alt Summit thing. It turns out that it's one of the biggest and best conferences for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs. So I become even more obsessed.

Ever since then, I've had blogger-conference-envy every time Alt Summit rolls around. So this year I finally decided to go. It was no easy feat - in addition to buying the conference ticket, it also included flying to Palm Springs, California from Boston, booking a hotel for four nights (not to mention five overnights for my pup Charlie), and buying all kinds of fun outfits :) But it was worth EVERY PENNY.

My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation
Photo: Alt Summit
As my sign suggests, the conference was incredible. Although I didn't know a soul there, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and met tons of people. Because almost everyone was there for the same reasons (networking, learning, meeting sponsors), people were generally super receptive to random conversations and business card trading. 

My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation
Photo: Faith Towers
Here's the famous "business card wall" which grew larger and larger as the week went on. Rumor has it that 550 people attended... that's a lot of business cards! I came back with many dozens of cards which I've been working my way through.

My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation
Photo: Faith Towers
The fact that Alt Summit was held in sunny Palm Springs, California this year definitely sweetened the pot. Those of you who know me personally probably know how much I abhor winter, so a week of sun and palm trees was heavenly. Many of the events were held in the colorful courtyard pool area at The Saguaro Hotel, shown above. 

My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation
Photo: Alt Summit
It was possibly the perfect place to hold a conference filled with such colorful people. I mean, at what other conference are there pool floats in the shape of donuts, pizza and diamond rings?!  

Here are some of the most important things I learned about Alt if you're planning to go:
  • Bring lots of business cards (like at least 100), a notebook and a portable phone charger
  • Go to as many events as you can, even if you're tired. That's what coffee's for!
  • If you can't stay in the hotel that's hosting, stay within walking distance
  • Get to each session early to get a seat - some are more crowded than others
  • Don't be afraid to walk up to random people to say hi - people standing by themselves are usually the most receptive
  • Wear bright colors and patterns... they are great conversation starters
  • Bring your own snacks with you, especially if you have specific dietary needs
  • Bring an extra empty duffel bag for all the swag!

My Experience At Alt Summit 2017 In Palm Springs /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

Here I am posing in the Sherwin-Williams booth after a long day of classes... how cool is this booth?! 

My biggest advice is to be as actively involved as you can. Join the Alt attendee group on Facebook ahead of time. Write notes about each person on their business cards as you meet them, while they're fresh in your mind. Follow them on social media that night. And talk to every single sponsor that's there. Feel free to contact me with questions if you're thinking of going next year!

Check out more photos from Alt over at my Instagram page, and here's my post about the colorful city of Palm Springs.




2/9/17

The Colors of Palm Springs, California

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

When I saw that Alt Summit (one of the biggest and best blogger conferences) was being held in Palm Springs, California, I knew I had to go. See my post on Alt here. I hadn't been to Palm Springs, but I've never met a part of California I didn't like - so I figured I'd fall in love with Palm Springs just as much as I did San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco. Boy was I right! And it didn't hurt that I've been dreaming of attending Alt Summit for ages.  

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

As we flew into the Palm Springs airport, I could already tell that it was going to be a special place. Since it is desert land, I expected everything to look like the left side of the picture above. So I was pleasantly surprised to see all the variations in the landscape.

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

The conference was held at The Saguaro Hotel, possibly the most colorful hotel on earth. We stayed at La Maison across the street because The Saguaro was full, which turned out to be a happy accident. I would highly recommend La Maison, while most people who stayed at The Saguaro said the outside was way cooler than the rooms.

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

The outside is really. cool. Definitely the ideal spot for a conference filled with the most colorful bloggers - both figuratively and literally. My theory is that the landscape in Palm Springs lacks color, so the city makes up for it with architecture - I can't tell you how many colorful buildings and doors we saw. 

And yes, we saw that pink door which didn't disappoint.

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation


The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

There are succulents and cacti everywhere in Palm Springs, and I stopped to take a picture of practically every one. Mike loved it ;)

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

We visited The Parker as well, a personality-filled hotel situated on 13 acres of land which is famous for holding amazing weddings and events. This is definitely one of the coolest hotels I've ever stepped foot in. 

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

Above is another example of the colorful architecture. You can also see a bit of fun typography, which was a common theme all over the city. And while I would consider this more Art Deco style typography, there were signs of all styles... particularly mid-century modern. Actually, the majority of the city has a mid-century modern vibe going on. 

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

We also took a ride out to Joshua Tree National Park, and man am I glad we did. What an incredible place! The landscape was like nothing I've ever seen before, with those Dr. Seuss-like Joshua trees (you can see a few in the background of the photo above) and the humungous rock formations. I loved how blue the sky looked in contrast to the bleached look of the land.

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

A random Gerber daisy that somebody left behind at The Saguaro even looked pretty against the colorful outdoor bar.

The Colors of Palm Springs, California /// By Faith Towers of Design Fixation

Check out some more pics from the week over on my Instagram account, and head over here to my post about the Alt Summit conference itself. Until next time Palm Springs!!

All images by yours truly (Faith Towers)




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