6 Simple and Minimal Ways to Style Your Home

Minimalist living. Have you tried it? I have seen lot of bloggers and social media influencers pop up lately who talk about minimalist living. We all own too much, don’t we? It is suffocating. And where on earth do you leave all the stuff? I would love a house with less clutter myself. One day. Today on the blog have blogger and stylist Lisa Ramirez of  Casa de Rami (www.casaderami.com) sharing some ideas with us. She’s done it. She’s cleared the clutter and feels so much better for it! How did she do it?

minimalist living. scandinavian white kitchen
Image: Pixelbay

 


Lisa Ramirez Casa de Rami
Lisa from Casa de Rami

Lisa: I went through a major transition of ridding my home of all the unnecessary, so my family could live a more minimal life. This new way of living helped me realize that I was in fact over cluttering my home. I owned too many items that no longer served a purpose or fit in with my own style. Much of it was sadly the result of overbuying when my husband and I purchased our first house a couple of years back. Back then we felt the need to have to fill every room to the brim. But after downsizing to a smaller space, I learned that it’s not about how much you have, but what you have, and how you style it to serve multiple purposes.

From overbuying to downsizing

Styling your home in a way that makes you never want to leave is the number one goal for most of us. Displaying items and decor that speak to our personality and make us happy instead of feeling overwhelmed. Having a space that welcomes and comforts us, and doesn’t make us want to turn around and walk right back out. Those are the goals. But where do you draw the line between over doing it and getting it just right? In a society that constantly screams “More, more, more!”, how do you keep the balance between minimal & straight up too much. Here are some of the things I did to create a more minimalist home.


1.Clear out the clutter

This can be a fun process! Letting go of physical items is freeing. The more you toss, the more you gain. Make a plan and get going! Go through cupboards, closets, the basement. If you’re a family of four, you probably don’t need twenty plus coffee mugs, right? Pick through them, get rid of the ones that are chipped or broken and keep the good ones. Same for dishes, bowls, silverware. If you haven’t used an item in over six months, do you really need it?

Minimalist living. White kitchen
Having a minimal amount of serving ware allows you to be able to display it nicely on an open shelf or glass cupboard. Image: instagram.com/mariloubiz/

 


Go through your drawers, donate clothes that no longer fit you, and toss the ones that are too broken or stained to fix. Same for shoes, and accessories you no longer use or care for. And if you share your home have others do the same. If your kids are too young to decide, do it for them, ESPECIALLY when it comes to their mountain of toys! The more you clear out, the less you have to maintain and clean up. After the clutter is gone, you’ll be left with a new found appreciation for what you DO have – all of which serves a purpose, and you’re more than happy to keep and display in your home.


2. A place + purpose for everything

Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, you should be left with only that which you truly need, and those unique + special items you love. Display them and use them. Everything should have a spot it calls home. Whether you want to display them on a shelf or keep in a cabinet, choose a proper place for each every single item.

Minimalist living. Clear the clutter
Clear jars aren’t only stylish, but just as functional. Image: instagram.com/lorewilbert


3. Display what you love + what makes you happy 

This part should be easy seeing as how you should only be left with items + decor that you love & enjoy. Display it all proudly. Style it with other items that pair well and create a cohesive balance. You want it to not only look good, but to also create a vibe of simplicity & calm.

Minimalist bedroom hygge
From the sweet message above the nightstand, to the stylish hats on the wall. It’s all being displayed in a way that says “these are some of my favorite things”. Image: instagram.com/cynthia_harper_


4. Take your time sourcing new items

After your big clutter purge, you may realize that you’re left with almost zero to no decor items. That’s OK! That’s actually a really good thing. That means you never really cared for what was in your home, and now you can start building a collection of items that will create the character and space your style speaks to. But try not to buy it all at once. Sometimes when we try and do this either at one particular store or online, we get easily overwhelmed because of all the choices that are out there. Take. Your. Time. You don’t need to fill your space in record speed. It’s not a race, but a journey. Pick out pieces little by little. Think it over, and you’ll see that your efforts will create the space of your dreams!

Minimalist boho living. The bedroom
Everything seen here has taken well over a year to source and put together. Our bedroom is finally coming together because we took our time to decorate and style it based only on what we truly love and makes us happy. Image: @casaderami


5. Cohesiveness is key

Creating an environment that has balance & simplicity is the perfect way to harmonize a space. Pieces that blend well in terms of color, style, texture & pattern help unify a room and bring it to life.

Minimalist interior design tips
From the bright whites & neutral tones, to the pops of dark blended with wood & greenery. It all creates a wonderful cohesive vibe. Image: instagram.com/cynthia_harper_


6. It’s all in the details

Details are what tell the story of your home. A picture of your family, an inherited heirloom sitting on the mantel, a worn out dresser that’s been given a hardware upgrade – it all speaks and lives in your home. This goes back to displaying only that which you love and makes you happy. You want to be able to look around your home, and have guests look around too and think, there’s a beautiful story to be told here.

Make it cozy, make it warm, make it inviting, make it yours.

 

Minimalist interior style tips
At a glance, there’s a majestic sense of history in this room. From the old fashion piano, to the vintage candlesticks on the mantel. Your home should tell a story. Image: instagram.com/mariloubiz/

For more inspiration from Casa de Rami:

www.casaderami.com
www.instagram.com/casaderami
www.facebook.com/casaderamiinteriors
www.pinterest.com/casaderamiblog
www.twitter.com/casaderami

Prepare your house for selling: 7 tips to style your home

We have just put our house on the market and that meant we had to make it look great for potential buyers. To prepare your house for selling means a lot of decluttering. I cleared out little by little for months, which is quite a nice thing to do believe it or not. The letting go of stuff, the minimising, the emptying out, it is all rather therapeutic.

Our house, which we redecorated top to bottom, remodeled and upgraded over the past ten years, is up for sale. I thought I’d share some tips to help you prepare your house for selling if you happen to be in the same position. We ended up taking all furniture with us to our next home already, so the house is currently empty. At least the photos for the advertisement were done before, to give viewers a good idea of what the house can look like when furnished. Here’s what we did.


How do you prepare your house for selling?

1. Pretend to be a viewer

To get a better idea of what work needs to be done to prepare your house for selling, have a walk through. Pretend to be a potential buyer. Come in through the front door. What do you see? Is there anything that catches your eye? What do you like and what annoys you? Take a note pad and scribble your comments while wandering from room to room. Once you’re done, make the changes. A good idea is to ask a friend or neighbour to come in with a fresh pair of eyes and give some honest feedback – sometimes you don’t see things yourself when you’ve been so busy doing all the work.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
All shoes, bags, jackets neatly stored away in the hallway, nothing on the stairs. Mail and paperwork sorted out and cleared from the landing spaces.

2. Put the toys away

When you prepare your house for selling, you’d better clear all Lego away. Put those action figures in the cupboard and drag toy cars from under the sofa. You may have a busy family and all the junk that comes with it but no one needs to see that. It’s tricky to keep the house tidy all the time when you still live in it, but try to clear stuff away at least for the photos. Have a few nice big storage baskets handy for when viewings are booked and you quickly need to clear the decks.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
Books and toys stored on the shelves, in baskets or put away in drawers for the time being. Bed made up neatly with a neutral cream woolen blanket on top, with added throw cushions. I also added three new pictures above the bed, replacing the more personal ones.

3. Clear away your own clutter

How many vases do you need in your window? How many picture frames or knick knacks? If you want to keep them, put them in a box under the bed or in the cupboard for now. Spaces look better with clean lines and clear surfaces. It doesn’t need to look like a house that’s not loved or lived in, but viewers may see themselves living in your house better when the shelves are not full of personal items and family photos. You’ve got to pack them anyway at some point anyway, right?

Prepare your housee for selling. Styling tips for your home
The kitchen never looked so tidy! All clutter put away, with just a few items remaining on the worktop. Jars tidied, some fresh fruit in the bowl. And don’t forget to polish that cooker hood!

4. Store excess furniture

You may have needed that extra armchair, comfy foot stool or side table in the lounge because it worked for you and your family, but the room will look bigger and tidier if you only leave the necessary pieces in. A sofa, an armchair or maybe two if space allows, a coffee table, perhaps a sideboard or lamp table, that should be sufficient. Store extra furniture in the garage or shed for the time being.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
I took out some excess furniture such as a chair which I used to put my clothes on at night. It makes the room look a lot neater and more spacious. Books tidied, lamps straightened, curtains open. A nice throw can make a real difference to the bed.

5. Buy some new throw cushions or blankets

You may already have lovely pretty soft furnishings all over the house, but perhaps the cushions on the sofa have seen better days and the blanket on the bed is your dog’s favourite. Buying a few fresh new cushions and blankets for your living room or bedrooms will freshen up the look and will add colour and interest to the spaces. They don’t need to be expensive, try your local supermarket, Ikea or other affordable high street stores for some quick updates.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home

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6. place Fresh flowers and house plants

A house looks cared for when there are fresh flowers on the kitchen table and leafy plants around the house. A bit of greenery can do miracles for a room.

7. Tidy up the garden – or dig out some summer pictures

Our garden is large and it was winter when the photographer came around. Not great for pictures. Dead plants, snowy patches, no leafy trees. We still tidied up the garden furniture and potted plants and cleared away any stray toys from the lawn. We also found some photos of the garden in summertime. This helps viewers get a better idea of what the garden looks like in its full glory when the sun is out.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips
If you are selling in the winter months, a photo of your garden taken on a nice day last year may help give the buyer a better idea of what the garden looks like in summer.

Bonus tip: use baby wipes to get marks off walls!

Before you get the pain brush out to redecorate the walls when all of a sudden you spot all those marks and hand prints, sometimes all it needs is a baby wipe and some elbow grease to get rid of them or at least make them less visible. If all else fails, by all means go over it with the emulsion, but I tell you, just give it a try 😉

Have you tried any particular thing to sell your house?

For anyone interested in finding out more about our house, please visit www.aspc.co.uk for more pictures, the full details and to book viewings.


 

Decorating with vintage: how to get it right

Decorating with vintage, do you know how to do it? Where do people find all these perfect vintage pieces of furniture and objects? How do they put it all together?

DECORATING WITH VINTAGE- HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

5 Tips for Decorating with Vintage:

  • Buy what you love

Your home should be pleasing to your eye. You have to live there, so buy what you love! If you don’t love your decor, you will not feel comfortable in your own home. If you love those crazy antlers or that old travel trunk, use them! Decorating with vintage should be fun, so be brave.

Decorating with vintage
Image: My Scandinavian Home

 


  • Don’t be afraid to mix wood tones

Many people think that if they own one piece of oak furniture, the rest has to match. But wood is just a colour. Vintage furniture that was meant to last was made of wood. When decorating with vintage check for tones in the wood grain that may be complimentary to one another.

  • Be patient. Shop often

My furniture did not come home with me in one weekend. That’s one of the luxuries of buying everything new – you can get a catalogue looking living room in one shopping trip.  But in order to achieve decor with character, you may have to be patient for the right piece to come along. Check your local vintage traders, charity shops, flea market, Gumtree and Ebay, often.

 

Eclectic-Modern-Bohemian-interior-decor-brass-marble-cocktail-trolley-vintage-record-stand
Image: Design Soda

  • Mix it up

True design comes from mixing unexpected elements, colours, and textures. With vintage furniture, you run the risk of looking like you live in a time warp – same goes for vintage clothing.  When decorating with vintage don’t be afraid to mix decades, vintage and modern, and shapes.  A very ornate antique cabinet can look amazing when given pride of place against a fresh white wall, next to a fairly inexpensive standard lamp from Ikea.

Decorating with vintage
Image: The Future Kept
decorating with vintage
Image: Projektila

  • Don’t be afraid to re-purpose

The goal of decorating with vintage is two fold – owning quality constructed pieces and creating a unique, eclectic look.  If you happen to find a fabulous dressing table, but have no room or need for one, try re-purposing it without the mirror as a storage sideboard or desk in the living room. A double door antique wardrobe could turn into a fabulous kitchen pantry with new shelves top to bottom, and painted in a vibrant blue.

How do you style with vintage? Do you find it easy or do you have difficulty creating a ‘together’ look?

Midcentury modern furniture in a Victorian house – styling tips

A lot of people believe that midcentury furniture doesn’t suit an our older style house. I don’t think this is true. I believe that the clean, simple design of midcentury furniture suits most properties, whatever the age of the house and no matter whether you live in the city or countryside. The highly decorative features of Victorian properties, like ceiling roses, high skirting boards and tall windows create an excellent backdrop and contrast to show off your sleek, timeless midcentury modern design.

MIDCENTURY MODERN FURNITURE IN A VICTORIAN HOUSE


What is midcentury modern furniture?

Midcentury modern furniture and the Scandinavian minimalist look has been on trend for quite a while now. For good reasons too! The clean, fresh designs of a teak Danish sideboard or the monochrome graphic 1960s patterns in lots of textiles and other home accessories are simply beautiful. What is Midcentury modern furniture?

Mid-century modern is the design movement in interior, graphic design, product design, architecture, and urban development from about 1945 to 1975. It started just before the Second World War but became particularly popular in the 1950s and 60s in the Nordic countries, but also in England and the US. Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, their style known for clean simplicity and integration with nature. Designers like Arne Jacobsen and Charles and Ray Eames produced their most famous classics here, including the iconic Ant chair and the Eames chairs, of which are now millions in reproduction.

midcentury modern furniture set in victorian cottage
Image: The Vintage Cabin

Light, connection with nature and large windows have always very important features in midcentury modern architecture. Victorian architecture is different in almost every sense, but the usually large windows are a feature that is similar. The light and connection with a garden for example can be utilised well. Use them to your advantage and make midcentury modern furniture work well in your historic home.

mid century modern furniture in victorian house
This beautiful Victorian apartment in Manchester features many midcentury modern pieces. They all look fabulous combined with the high ceilings and architectural features. A nice combination form the minimalist teak wall unit, the heritage colour green, herringbone floor and the oversized drapes. Very stylish. Image via Seeds and Stitches

Create contrast with midcentury modern furniture and victorian features

If you happen to live in an old house with lots of character, a minimalist, understated piece of furniture forms a nice contrast. It will compliment the features of the house rather than compete with it. Likewise, a Victorian property with high ceilings forms a perfect back drop to show off the clean lines of a mid century modern armchair or sideboard. Please don’t feel you have to compromise on style, just because you think a country cottage doesn’t go with a 1960s sofa. Think outside the box! Be brave and mix it up, you might surprise yourself.

Decor ideas

To match the minimalist look of the midcentury modern furniture, you may want to choose to keep the room decor quite simple. Choose floor length curtains to dress windows, but without patterns. Keep the walls plain, but instead use abstract art and framed prints to jazz things up. Keep the floorboards bare, rather than using carpet. Use vintage rugs instead.


mid century armchair and bookcase in georgian house

This is a bright Georgian house in Islington, London. The old shutters, decorative ceiling and original fireplace create a nice contrast with the midcentury modern style furniture. The design of the armchair and bookcase are very 1950s. The blonde wood floor boards are typical in Scandinavian homes. The standard lamp in orange adds a lovely pop colour. Image via Design Milk

orange retro lamp above a mid century dining table in cottage
Image via Desire to Inspire

In this little dining room inside a Victorian or similar age cottage, the midcentury modern furniture looks great. The old floor boards, bright orange retro pendant light and bookcase all combine very well and  create a lovely space. The retro style is not overpowering, there is not much clutter and all is in balance. You can try this look in any country cottage.


Small danish teak mid century sideboard in swedish house
Image via Desire to Inspire

Do you live in a small cottage or apartment? If your living room just isn’t very big, try and find a smaller midcentury modern sideboard. Keep the room light and bright. You can also combine it with  some vintage finds and a statement armchair for an eclectic, Scandi look.


For more ideas on how to create a beautiful interior using mid century modern furniture, have a look on Nina’s Apartment’s Pinterest Board.



How to reupholster a vintage chair. Costs, fabrics and tips

How do you reupholster a vintage chair? What are the costs, is it worth the effort? What are the best fabrics to use and can you do it yourself? Today I am sharing some tips on what to do when you find a gorgeous vintage chair in need of new upholstery.

So you walk into a charity shop or second hand store and spot a beautiful old chair. Or you inherit an old armchair from your grandmother and have grand visions of it looking totally cool again. It can be a bit daunting, the prospect of doing it yourself.  Even if you have the skills. And what does it cost if you find someone to do it for you? What fabric is suitable and what will look nice?

how to reupholster a chair
A vintage Lloyd Loom chair I transformed for a customer, using Farrow and Ball paint and a gorgeous piece of purple and grey patterned fabric.

DIY it or hire someone? The pros and cons

I have revamped a number of chairs for customers and to sell in my shop. In some cases I did it totally myself, when it was the more straight forward type of seat. In other cases I would come up with the design and hand the actual job over to a professional upholsterer. It is amazing to see a smelly and tatty old chair being transformed into a fabulously stylish piece. My advice? Go for it. There are just a few things to keep in mind.

what to keep in mind

There are pros and cons to tackling a project like this yourself or getting someone else to do it. If you have no money but lots of time, it might be worth-wile learning how to do it yourself. There are plenty of books and Youtube videos out there. It will be a fantastic achievement and something to be really proud of.

On the other hand, especially when you have little patience, some things are better left to people who make a great job of it. It is worth every penny to spend that little bit extra to get the result you are after. After all, ask yourself how much you would spend on a new chair in a high street store. Probably not even of the solid quality of your old vintage find.

how to reupholster a chair
For a more complicated vintage wing back chair I selected the fabric and designed the new look and asked a professional to reupholster it for me. I painted the feet in a graphite chalk paint to match the fabric.


what does it cost to reupholster a chair

People are sometimes surprised by the cost of getting a chair reupholstered. It is however a mistake to think that just by buying a second-hand chair that needs new covers, you are going to save lots of money. Apart from the amount of time and material it takes to bring a chair back to life, it’s not about saving money really. It should be regarded as an alternative option. A different, far more interesting and exciting option. Plus you are saving something from being thrown away by giving it a new lease of life. That is worth something as well.

Here’s a quick comparison of doing it yourself versus handing the job over to someone else:

Doing it yourself:

  • Pros: you will be learning/practicing new skills, potentially saving some money, get a feeling of great achievement and have a fab creative project to work on.
  • Cons: it will probably take you a long time to do, it is quite technical when trying to tackle a big chair such as a wing back. You may not get the professional looking result you were aiming for.

Paying a professional:

  • Pros: they know what they are doing, using the right materials (fire retardant etc) and make your chair look amazing. They have the knowledge and expertise to advice on fabrics. They work a lot faster than you!
  • Cons: it is more costly than doing it yourself.

How to find an upholsterer

You can of course google upholstery firms in your area. But great upholsterers often work for themselves, running their own little businesses. It is worth around in your networks for recommendations or post the question on your local Facebook pages. There’s bound to come some names out of the woodwork!

how to reupholster a chair
An old rocking chair I revamped using Ikea fabric, which is now living in the Dell of Abernethy holiday accommodation in the Cairngorms!


practical Reupholstery tips


1. reupholster a chair: Choosing fabric

When choosing fabric for an a chair or sofa, make sure it is suitable for upholstery. For smaller seats such as kitchen chairs it is OK to use curtain material or fabric you would use for making cushions, but for the bigger chairs it needs to be suitable for upholstery and fire retardant. If in doubt, ask a specialist fabric retailer.

There are of course millions of fabrics to choose from and it is totally up to you whether you want to go wild and patterned or choose a more classic and timeless fabric such as plain wool. I love the furnishing fabrics at Ikea. They are fun and inexpensive and most are suitable for (light) upholstery. Ideal for a quick makeover of kitchen chairs or box cushion seats. John Lewis also has some great fabrics, ranging from around £11 per meter for some of their printed cottons to well over £50 per meter for a quality wool. Keep in mind that for a wing back chair you will probably need around six meters of fabric, so the fancier your material, the more costly your project.

upholstery fabric for chairs
I love the fabrics by Scion (Harlequin), which come in fabulous graphic patterns. This is Scion Axis Tangerine.

 


Other sources for finding fabric I have used are good old eBay (you can often find some good value remnants of wool, linen and other quality materials) and Fabric Rehab, a great website with beautiful patterned fabrics, which you will love if you like the Scandi look like me. Always try and get a sample if you can when buying online, to prevent getting a roll of fabric that is not what you were after.


2. reupholster a chair: Webbing and foam

Mid century armchairs, including those made by Ercol, often have rubber Pirelli webbing rather than traditional webbing, which is fairly easy to replace, using the metal clips that come with it. The rubber straps are quite costly, so make sure you measure up how much you need before ordering. Pirelli webbing can be found on eBay or online shops specialised in upholstery.

Furniture from the 1950s and 60s also often has foam blocks inside the seats (as supposed to horsehair filling used in traditional, antique furniture), so this is another thing that is pretty straight forward to replace. You can get foam in various thicknesses and density. For an armchair seat I usually buy a 4″ thick block, for a kitchen chair 1″ or 1.5″ is often enough. A useful website to buy foam from I find is Easyfoam.

reupholstering midcentury furniture
Two Pirelli webbing projects I tackled myself: a small sofa and an armchair
Greaves and Thomas armchair
A gorgeous mid century armchair by Greaves and Thomas I replaced the Pirelli webbing and box cushion for.
reupholstering midcentury furniture
The small vintage mid century teak sofa, with new webbing and grey linen box cushions

3. reupholster a chair: Paint or strip?

Then there is the question of what to do with the woodwork. Strip it, paint it, leave it the way it is? I stripped a chair once (see picture below) and it was a LOT of work. I was super pleased with the result, yes, but it is not something I would want to tackle every week. Still, much better than the horrible shiny mahogany stain it had before. Painting is an option if you really don’t like the look of the wooden frame, but if it is a nice oak or teak then it is best to just give it a good oil or wax and polish and it will look just fine. (Please don’t ever ‘Annie Sloan‘ a mid century piece!)

how to reupholster a chair
A £12 vintage find at an auction, stripped bare to a beautiful light wood, oiled and reupholstered in a black Marimekko fabric.

 


a unique chair with a story to tell

Conclusion? A revamped vintage chair is money and time well spent. A chair with a story to tell beats any mass produced seat any day. Whether you do it yourself or ask a professional to do it for you, the choice is yours. You will have a unique statement chair for years to come, that’s for sure.

Have you tackled an upholstery project yourself? What were your challenges?