With summer on the outs, it’s time to think about switching up your decor in time for fall. Colors are shifting, leaves are falling, and the weather is turning. Take inspiration from the great indoors and switch-up that interior!
Make easy switches
Accents like throw pillows, sheets, and blankets are great ways to add autumnal colors into your home. Warmer colors like shades of red and orange are ideal, and can really bring that fall touch into your living space.
Use this as an excuse to clean
Spring cleaning doesn’t mean that a giant declutter project only happens in the spring. While you’re in the middle of taking down the old and putting up the new, clean your space as well. Dust off the mantle, sweep the floors, and ensure that you have a blank canvas going into this interior switch-up.
Fragrant fall touches
Few things take us to a new season quite like certain smells. Candles like ground cinnamon, chai, sandalwood, pecan pie, and of course, pumpkin spice, are scentsational additions to any home!
Consider adding lighting
The days are slowly, but surely, getting shorter, meaning you may want to think about putting additional lighting around your home. Even something as simple as tea lights or small lanterns could make a big difference when the sun sets.
Take inspiration from nature
Fall foliage is one of nature’s finest gifts, so why not put it to use? Get crafty and save money all at the same time. Clay leaf plates and a foliage garland are great ideas to get you started. Take a stab at this fall bucket list for even more inspiration to bring into your home.
Laura Hodges is a Baltimore-based interior designer whose worldwide travels and passion for design from an early age have given her a keen eye, making her projects truly tailored to the client. Laura discusses her signature aesthetic, the importance of practicing sustainability, and what has impacted her work the most.
Where does your love for design stem from, and how did you break into the business? My family traveled a lot when I was growing up, so I was exposed to many styles of architecture and design, which expanded as I began traveling on my own as a young adult. I earned my interior design degree from the New York School of Interior Design and worked with distinguished designers such as Jamie Drake and Thomas Jayne after graduating, before starting my own firm in 2016.
You define your aesthetic as clean and classic. How do you incorporate this aesthetic into your various projects? As much as I love seeing new trends and design styles, I always take my cues from classical architecture and design. I lean more toward a modern take on traditional shapes with an emphasis on contrast and form.
What is your process like as you approach each project? I always start with an in-depth discussion with my clients to find out not only their practical and functional needs for the space but also how they want to feel in their home and what would bring them joy and a sense of calm. From there, I look to their art collection (if they have one), travels, and interests, as well as my own intuitive take on their design style, to find inspiration for their project.
Where do you find the balance between functionality and style? Luckily, we’re in an age when style and functionality do not need to be mutually exclusive anymore. We have access to so many beautiful fabrics and materials that are specifically designed to last. The primary function always comes first, but we consider both at the same time and happily have to make few compromises.
What’s your favorite piece in your own home? I found a beautiful, handmade Italian Savonarola chair from the early 1900s at an estate sale, and it has remained my favorite piece.
You’ve traveled to many places in your life. How have your travels impacted your work? I absolutely love traveling and never want to regret not having made the effort to visit historically significant or naturally beautiful places. My travels inform me every day—whether it’s the colors, culture, and style of another country or simply understanding how historically important architecture feels in person. I grew up traveling to France and England with my family, which formed my love for classical architecture. I later traveled to countries like Peru, Thailand, and Morocco, and they really opened my eyes to more extensive design styles and cultural influences.
You recently opened your own boutique home-decor shop, Domain. How did that come to be? It’s been a longtime dream of mine to have my own home-decor shop. My husband and I had the opportunity to purchase a property in the historic district of Catonsville, Maryland, in 2017, and we were excited to explore the possibilities.
How do you balance heading Domain with your design responsibilities? Since the shop is in the front of our design studio, I’m able to physically be in touch with the day-to-day responsibilities while leading our design projects. I love sourcing locally for the shop and incorporating design finds from our projects. The two businesses definitely feed off each other.
Sustainability is a big part of your mission. How do you go about achieving this? I always start my sourcing of furniture and fabrics from companies with sustainable manufacturing practices and a commitment to fair trade. We also help our clients find a new home for their unwanted furnishings and commit to donating salvageable building materials from our projects.
Tell us more about the Patapsco residence you designed: The Patapsco project is in Catonsville, near Patapsco Valley State Park. The park was a big inspiration for the general color scheme and feel of the space. The main living space is very bright and airy, with beautiful views of the park, so I used a very light ivory color on the walls to draw focus to the view. This property was the model home of a newly built neighborhood, so it was important to bring a sense of character to the home and inject the clients’ personality as much as possible. I pulled the color palette from the breakfast room rug, which was one of the first design choices I made. Once the color palette was established, I chose modern sculptural pieces that would have a significant presence in this open space. Creating more intimate gathering areas that felt more welcoming was important to me.
The clients have a very fun and quirky sense of style that I loved incorporating into the design. They love birds and other animals, so the palette for the fabrics and rugs is upbeat and colorful with a sense of humor. I wanted each element to feel as personalized as possible.
Describe your favorite design elements in this project: The red cabinet with the round wood mirror in the entry is one of my favorite parts about this project. The vignette feels so striking yet inviting when you enter the home, and it instantly gives you a sense of the homeowners’ taste. The breakfast room is a warm and bright space off the kitchen that originally was of little use to the homeowners. I brought in an oversized daybed full of comfortable plush pillows and nesting tables, as well as a colorful rug, to create a cozy reading nook that’s now one of their favorite places in the home.
As an homage to their love of birds, the dining room has an oversized art installation of watercolor paintings on silk that makes a dramatic statement in this open-concept space. Sitting in front of these paintings are a beautiful, handmade dining table and bench from a local woodworker.
In the family room, the navy Chesterfield sofa anchors the large space, defining the room and creating more intimacy. A round wood coffee table brings in more natural textures and visual interest. The black-and-white photograph above the mantel and brightly colored chartreuse chevron lumbar pillows are perfect examples of their quirky style.
Who in your life has been most influential to you? My grandmother and mother were big influences on me. They were both amazing mothers and wives, while also pursuing their own interests and education, which included art, travel, and all kinds of crafts.
How do you define success in this industry? My own definition of success is based simply on being able to do what I love for my clients and for them to be happy with our service and projects.
When do you feel most creative? How do you overcome times when the creativity is harder to come by? I feel most creative when I’m able to travel and visit new cities and meet creative people. I love going to High Point, North Carolina, twice a year for the furniture market. We find great pieces to create and design with there. When I feel uninspired, I usually find ways to spark interest by visiting an art museum, a design shop, or a maker’s space.
What is your favorite part about designing a space? My favorite part is creating a space that is beautiful and functional but still speaks to my clients’ aesthetics and makes them feel good in their own home.
People who love books often use them as an escape. Books take you to faraway places and different time periods. Why not create an area devoted to burying yourself deep in a book? If you have too many books to count, consider creating an at home library.
People who can benefit from an at home library
This is an obvious point, but if you love books, maybe even just the smell of old books and the charm of having them on shelves, then an at home library is for you.
If you have rare, collectible items you’ve always wanted to display, this is your chance to shine. Rare books, antiques, and everything in between would make a perfect aesthetic for a library space.
People who like to cozy up
Creating a personal library space can be used for more than just reading. If you love to get cozy with a blanket and chair, your naps and movies can have their own secluded space too.
Where your home library should be located
Adequate wall space
The key to any successful at home library is storage. Installing shelving will require a room with clear, usable walls.
A nice touch to a library is having windows to let in natural light and views of the outdoors. However, if you’d prefer a darker, more secluded space, use a room with no windows or invest in black out curtains.
Share with an office space
Many don’t have an entire room to dedicate to an at home library, so if this is the case for you, consider sharing the space with your home office.
What to include in your home library
Style and amount of seating is a personal preference. Whether you’re looking to accommodate a few friends or want a solo space, make sure the seating is comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, you won’t be able to relax, and you’ll end up relocating. Consider getting a recliner so you can really kick back.
Setting the tone of the room is all in the lighting. Creating an inviting space will need accent and ambient lights. To create a warm, cozy atmosphere pick incandescent bulbs. LED lights are great, but they tend to have a colder feel to them. Use floor and table lamps directly over your seating area to have well-lit areas to read.
If you’re looking for a traditional look, make the shelves a dark stain and have leather seating. For a modern feel, paint the shelving a white or off-white color and have furniture with your favorite accent color.
Your style will determine how you decorate your library. Infuse your personality into the library with pictures, artwork, collections, and anything else you want to display. This is a space to call your own and you deserve to love what is around you in the room.
The important part of storage will be shelving. There are different styles of shelving, including free–standing, floating, and built–in. Choose according to budget and style. If you’re indecisive about layout, go with free–standing shelving you’ll be able to rearrange. If you have your heart set on a layout and style, choose built–in.
Aside from your personal aesthetic, at home libraries should all function to give you an at home oasis to escape and have time to pursue your interests. Get started with these tips—your dream library awaits!
Remodeling a room can feel like the ultimate test of patience and financial savvy, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune (or months of your time) to make any space feel like new. Put some of these tips into practice, and see for yourself!
Places like the dollar store and discount retailers are gold mines for inexpensive pieces you can use to upgrade your space. Think throw pillows, rugs, picture frames, and faux plants and flowers, which breathe life into a dull space without the expense.
A touch of paint
The best thing about paint is that it’s relatively inexpensive and a little goes a long way. Just one gallon of paint is enough to repaint a bathroom or other small space, and it can even be used to give cabinets, shelves, hardware, and other surfaces, new life.
From wall to wall
Wall decor can make a huge difference when it comes to the look and style of a room, and if you already have perfectly usable picture frames, something as simple as a quick coat of paint in a bright color can tie your room together.
All about the accents
Does your room have large windows? Make sure you opt for light, breezy curtains to maximize the natural light. Is your coffee table the most beloved piece of furniture you own? Don’t tuck it away behind a table runner or large centerpiece—let the best parts of the room speak for themselves.
Declutter—ridding a space of built up, unnecessary items can make it look like new in no time!
Rearrange items in your space to avoid monotony and help you feel refreshed.
Add bits of greenery (via flowers or plants) to breathe life into your space.
Break out the duster, and watch as your room is instantly brighter!
In with the new? More like in with the old, at least, according to trends popping up in the interior design world. Vintage is making a comeback in homes nationwide, so why not incorporate some of these old-school elements into your space, as well? From fabric choices to color palettes, broaden your horizon with these trending interior options.
Bring on the velvet
There’s a luxurious quality in adding velvet touches to your home that other fabrics just don’t achieve. A sofa or a love seat could help bring velvet into your space, but if the splurge on a piece of furniture isn’t in your budget, consider throw pillows, poufs, or even curtains for a dramatic look.
Light it up
Do you have artwork you want to show off? Is your gallery wall not getting enough light to truly bring out the quality of the pieces? Think about putting light fixtures on the wall to enhance the artwork you have. While this used to be considered a dated effect, it’s something that many homeowners are bringing back to distribute light to decor that isn’t being put on display properly.
Accessorize with antiques
If your grandparents’ vintage luggage is sitting in the attic collecting dust, think about turning those timeless pieces into functional accessories instead. Repurpose to use for a coffee table, a bedside table, or even get crafty and turn a suitcase into a bar cart. Accessorize using other antiques that you or other family members may have lying around, and watch as your home transforms into a truly unique space.
Bold is the move
Neutrals—specifically all-white kitchens, muted living rooms, and earth-toned bathrooms—have been all the rage for the past few years, but color is finally having its time in the spotlight. Color schemes, reminiscent of the ‘40s and ‘50s, are making a comeback, and are great for really making your interior pop. Don’t be afraid to breathe more life into your home via bright- colored paint or patterned wallpaper.
Consider these vintage home trends to add more personality to your interior while paying homage to some iconic eras.
People are making DIY improvements to their homes in increasing numbers. Television shows and blogs have helped homeowners feel a sense of renewed confidence in tackling everything, from replacing tile to full demos, on their own.
But one of the best sources of interior design inspiration are apps—that’s right, the convenient little programs on your computer, phone, or tablet—that can help you plan out your rooms and bring your vision to life.
This website/app is valuable for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a place for professional designers and DIY-ers to meet and share ideas. Not only can you search for a professional in your area and read reviews on their work, you can look at their portfolio to inspire your own projects if you want to go it on your own. There is also a tool that allows you to place virtual products into an image of your space to see how it looks before you buy!
Determining how to arrange the items in your rooms and what fits where can be challenging. This app allows you to scan rooms in your home to create digital floor plans, which can make planning your renovation a lot easier. The app can also generate 3D models of your floor plans for you to be able to visualize your space even more realistically.
If you have a hard time picturing new furniture or colors in your room, this app can help you out. All you have to do is upload an image of the room, and it allows you to add and remove items that you want. Looking for a new bed? Simple swap out the old and browse through the app’s collection of products to preview in the room. You can even buy items straight from the app!
If you’re still unsure of whether or not your home renovation will require a professional, this app can help you decide before you get yourself in over your head. It allows you to post the project you’re working on to the app, and browse for local contractors based on reviews and qualifications.
For simple fixes, like making sure that picture frame is straight, there’s no better tool than iHandy. It includes tools like a bubble level and a steel ruler to help you avoid crooked decor and to complete projects with a professional look.