"Higher thread counts feel great, but they aren't the only factor to consider when evaluating quality," says Crowell. "Fiber content (natural vs. synthetic) and fabric finishing play an important role in the quality of bedding. Keep an eye out for attributes such as long-staple cotton, single-ply yarn, shrinkage control and mercerization."
Inexpensive BYGEL containers from IKEA are more versatile than you may think. They can add convenient storage to the back of any cabinet door! Hanging them with Command strips makes them temporary with no damage to your cabinet.
Gray subway tile feels more contemporary than a traditional white subway tile backsplash. The marble island not only provides extra storage and counter space, but also a place for bar stools to hide when not in use.
Gray Tile and Granite Guest Bathroom with Rustic Mirror and White Cabinets
A small countertop in a guest bathroom is an opportunity to use remnant pieces, achieving high style with huge savings. Austin Lineberry, owner of New River Building Co., did just that to save money per square foot on this granite counter. The gorgeous gray tile complements the counter and looks more expensive than it was, because it was stock glass tile from a home improvement store.
Oversize Transitional Backyard with Fireplace, Jacuzzi, and Pool
In general, the biggest mistake in backyard design is one oversized patio with plantings on the borders. When you're designing outdoor space you have to think about how people socialize. As soon as you have more than four people over they break into different groups, and that's how your yard should be divided, too.
Stretch your design budget with discounted tile. Atlanta designer Karina Souki Bryant recommends finding a discontinued tile on sale. Often stores will only have a few boxes of discounted tile, but if you collect multiple boxes from more than one location, you can get the tile you need for a much lower price tag. Bryant suggests asking a store associate to check the supply at other store locations to make sure you’re making a good choice. The gray glass tile in Bryant’s contemporary bathroom, which was built by Imery Group, was on discount at a builder's supply store.
A large kitchen island can solve more problems than one when mealtime comes, so we encourage investing in this piece. When you feel short on necessary counter space, an island adds space to chop and prep. Then, transform it into a casual dining space for everyone to gather round.
Homework Station in Green Boys' Transitional Bedroom
Think outside the box when creating a workspace that needs to accommodate more than one person. In this shared boys’ bedroom, a Parsons-style desk allows multiple seats to be stored underneath. The working wall affords kids a low-commitment way to tape artwork and mementos right at their eye level. Gold garden stools provide versatile seating options that can accommodate group study sessions.
Neutral Family Room With Fireplace and Built-In Media Storage
A new open space for family gatherings makes your home much more livable. Although a family room addition will be expensive, especially if you’re adding exterior footprint, you’ll recoup more than half your costs in added home value. If you want to add high-end touches in a space where the kids will run wild, think vertically (and make durable choices for flooring and furniture): this remodeled family room from Tenhulzen Residential is comfortable but modern, featuring cherry cabinets with vertical-set tile surrounding the fireplace.
Kid-Friendly Bathroom Update with Wall Art and Grasscloth
Start with a theme, even in a small bathroom. Robin LaMonte, owner of Rooms Revamped Interior Design, continued the travel motif from a nearby bonus room into this bathroom, by using framed photos of planes and a faux propeller from a discount home decor store. For an interesting background, she covered the walls in grasscloth. While grasscloth can be expensive, you can find it at a discount if you look around -- this one was $45 for a roll and more than half off the usual price, she says.
"I love gray — I think I always will," says interior designer Lexi Westergard. "However, I am definitely using it differently than I have in the past. I still love it for bathroom cabinet colors, pillows, rugs and accents. I am loving more of a greige or white for wall colors. I think this year we will see white as the dominant, go-to neutral color for walls."
If bright white walls are a bit out of your comfort zone, try a warm gray tone that’s light enough to almost look white, like Lexi did in this living room. She chose Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray, one of her favorite paint colors.
When designing a mudroom, think of how your children will use the space. Jeffrey S. Brown, president of J.S. Brown & Co., says, "Most parents tell us their children do better with open areas because they are more likely to hang their coat on a hook than to open a closet door and pull down a hanger." In this situation, low-hanging hooks are the best option. Kids can easily hang their bags and coats on rows of hooks and kick off their shoes below. Designer Sarah Richardson's walk-through mudroom is the perfect example of a low-maintenance entry with kids in mind.