Shower Plants Are Going to Transform Your Bathroom

This Pinterest-perfect trend does more than keep your bathroom Insta-ready.

Shower plants are everywhere right now—Pinterest searches for the topic are up by 302% —but it’s not for the reason you’d think. While a claw foot tub surrounded by cascades of ivy and lush aloe is downright Insta-worthy, plants also offer a natural defense against bacteria and the harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaning products.

Through the process of photosynthesis, simple household plants can remove harsh chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air in your home. They can also help keep indoor air pollution in check, while upping the ante on your bathroom’s decor. Another bonus? The humid environment means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to water your plants again.

With their low light and high humidity, bathrooms are well-suited for tropical plants that boast pollution-fighting capabilities. Below, we’ve highlighted six of the best plants to add to your bathroom RN.

Peace Lilies

Photo via iStock

With their lush green leaves and bright white blooms, peace lilies exude serenity but are powerhouses when it comes to tackling the problem of indoor air pollution. They’re also low-maintenance, making them a perfect pick for black thumbs. The leaves are toxic to pets, so make sure to keep them out of their reach.

Aloe Vera

Photo via JEngland Handcrafted

Beyond the healing properties of its gel, this iconic succulent acts as an air quality indicator. If the leaves start to exhibit brown spots, it’s a sign that the level of chemicals and pollutants in the air is high. Aloe plants like indirect light and only need to be watered sparingly.

Boston Fern

Photo via Bakker

Though it requires more maintenance than aloe vera or peace lilies, Boston ferns are one of the most effective plants at removing pollutants such as formaldehyde from the air. It also acts as a natural humidifier, which can be beneficial during the winter months when the air is dry. Mist regularly to maintain moisture and place in a spot with moderate, indirect light.

English Ivy

Photo via The Lovely Drawer/Domino

This elegant climber can help keep your bathroom clean and more hygienic by removing mold and fecal matter from the air—now if only it did floors…

Spider Plant

Photo via Decor Demon

Spider plants are almost impossible to kill, which makes them a particularly good pick for people with jam-packed agendas (or bad track record with plant care). In addition to kicking harsh chemicals to the curb, it can also help clear a room of carbon monoxide.

Snake Plant

Photo via Houzz

This hardy workhorse is about as fuss-free as they come. They can survive in both full sun or shade and only needs to be watered when the soil is completely dry. In addition to removing fumes and chemicals from the air, snake plants will help keep your bathroom smelling fresh in a totally natural way thanks to its odor-removing capabilities.

10 Designer-Approved Ways to Decorate on a Budget

Cutting corners when decorating on a budget can be a tricky affair. You don’t want to accidentally skimp in the wrong places—better to spend a little more on a couch that won’t fall apart in a year or two, and spring for a wool rug that doesn’t ignite in full if you look at it the wrong way. But somewhere, somehow, you’ll need to skimp. Designers, who are often catering to folks decorating on a budget, have some of the best tips for cutting costs without compromising quality. Here are some of our favorites.

Choose Natural-Fiber Area Rugs

While a high-quality area rug can be a great investment, it can also be an incredibly expensive one—which is one reason so many designers spring for natural-fiber rugs when they need large-scale coverage. (This 100 percent jute number from World Market is just $370 for a 9′ x 12′ and it looks quite luxe.)

“I like to use natural-fiber rugs layered underneath smaller wool rugs to “expand” the overall rug area,” says designer Lauren Liess.

Match Fancy Paint Colors

Rather than spring for a $300 bucket of paint (which is tempting, because the colors can be exceptional), designer Casey Kenyon recommends trying a Benjamin Moore match of one you’ve fallen in love with (they even have an app, Color Capture, that will help you snatch a color you see and love in the world). “By saving a few dollars [on paint],” designer Sabrina Soto says, “you can splurge on new accent pieces to complement your freshly colored walls!”

At the Connecticut home of Edie Parker accessories designer Brett Heyman, wall color makes a statement.

Paint Inexpensive Wood Furniture

If Bunny Williams thinks it’s a good idea, you might as well consider doing so yourself. Matte finishes will look sculptural, while high-gloss can make a statement.

A coat of paint transformed this rococo wood mirror in Bunny Williams’s Punta Cana home.

Speed Patina (When You Can’t Splurge on Antiques)

While we don’t advocate for faux-aging your walls or wood furniture to look “shabby-chic,” we do admit to sometimes speeding up the real work that nature can do—especially on natural materials like brass, copper, terra-cotta, and more.

The patina on this circa-1970s brass table in designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s home can be achieved on a new piece—with a little hard work from your faucet.

Use Found Natural Objects as Accents

“Taking a walk through the woods and collecting interesting things like bark, tree stumps, stones, and botanicals to press can yield striking results,” Liess says, by the same logic that flowers always brighten up a room.

A cypress tree root plays sculptural wall hanging in the living room of Liess’s home.

Buy Thrift Store Art

“Hunt for vintage art at places like Etsy, eBay, Chairish, and in thrift stores,” Liess recommends. We recommend hunting for them the way professional designers do and then giving them a more elevated look with these spiffing-up tips.

Thrift-store art looks elevated indeed in a Liess-designed bedroom (note: the juxtaposition against a refined dresser helps!).

Or Put Your Kids to Work

“Expose your children to the world of abstract art and let them have fun with paint in colors you’d like to see in your home,” Liess says. “En masse, [their art] can feel bold and sophisticated.”

“My son painted “portraits” and was so pleased when I hung them in our home,” Liess says of the artful lineup.

Two Words: Bamboo Blinds

When all you need is to filter the light (dapple: check), rather than block it out entirely, pick up a set of bamboo roller blinds from the hardware store. They’ll give your room a beachy feel—and cost far less than any other window treatment possibly could.

“The bamboo blinds are an essential element because without them it really gets too cold,” says Alexa Hampton of her New York City office. “They help give the space warmth and ground it.”

Know When to DIY

“Clients always think custom-made is more expensive,” Soto says, “That’s not always the case. I’ve made everything from neon serving trays to sofas for much less than the price you would pay at a boutique.” In case you’re not sure what you should attempt yourself, here’s our guide to knowing when to call on a pro.

Stick-on flooring is definitely something you can attempt yourself, as proven by Brady Tolbert’s rental kitchen transformation.

Wraparound Headboards: The Sexy, Unusual Bedroom Detail We Love

There’s something I really love about an upholstered headboard. It’s like a headboard that wants to be a pillow. Come, it says. Sit here. Lean on me. So of course I was delighted to find this photo of a bed from Dublin’s Dean hotel, which has an upholstered headboard that wraps all the way around the bed, to encase you in coziness while you sleep, or when you wake up.

The padded beds appear in the hotel’s Mod Pod rooms, which at 136 square feet, are quite small. The wraparound headboard is, in fact, a great setup for a small space, giving the bed a couch-like quality that encourages multiple uses.

You may have already noted that a headboard like the one above, which wraps around three sides of the bed, is really only possible if your bed is tucked into a little nook like the one above. But you can also create a headboard that wraps two sides of a bed placed in a corner, for much the same effect. Want to get the look? This project is actually a DIY, from Ann Sandy of Med et Lekent Sinn.

 

This daybed, in the living room of a New York apartment from Elle Decor, does double duty as both couch and guest bed. (I’m guessing this is probably a custom job, but the way the headboard matches the upholstery of the bedframe gives it a nice cohesiveness.)

In this photo from Glamour Nest, the wraparound headboard actually serves a very practical function: keeping the pint-sized occupant of this pint-sized bedroom from whacking himself on the wall.

 

And now for something a little bit different: a bedroom from House & Garden with a wraparound headboard that wraps not just the bed, but the nightstand too. Talk about an embrace! You still get the same cozy effect, but with the advantage that it’s much easier to make the bed.

In this California home spotted on 1st Dibs, a bed fits neatly into a little nook thanks to a wraparound headboard in the most beautiful blush pink suede. The tiny shelf that serves as the nightstand looks to be built into the headboard. It’s both incredibly stylish and incredibly cozy—exactly what you would want in a bedroom.

11 Rustic DIY Home Decor Projects

Rustic style has morphed into a more eclectic look that has been styled well with everything from farmhouse to super modern. It can stand alone, or bring warmth into a more contemporary space. It can be a whole entire home theme, or it can be simple touches to add some character to a room. The great thing for DIY’ers is that rustic style is pretty easy to achieve in a DIY project, very forgivable of an oops! All it takes is some inexpensive materials, a few tricks of the trade, and a little elbow grease. Or, you could go to a home store and pay for it. But where’s the fun in that?

Love, love, love this DIY wood framed mirror from Shayna at ‘Wood Grain Cottage’. This looks like an expensive home store item, but with a lot more character. Cheap fence boards, cheap Walmart mirror. Great project!

 

These DIY rustic lanterns from ‘100 Things 2 Do’ are a Pottery Barn knock off, so you can guess what they might cost retail. Easy to follow tutorial, and these are really cute. I could think of a ton of places these would look great both inside and out. What about filling these with plants instead of candles?

 

Big fans here of ‘Stikwood‘, the easy peel and stick real reclaimed wood products that any DIY’er can use to make a room look awesome. I am dreaming of using this on the ceiling of our master bedroom… A pretty modern space that would just come alive with this! So yes, this is a DIY, but yes, it is also a product we are obsessed with. I mean, just look! Go check out their gallery of ideas, you will be inspired! (P.S. For all you budget decorators, remember, you could use this on a small project to save bucks… the front of a kitchen island? A small accent wall?)

 

This DIY rustic entry bench is from Rebekah at ‘Charming Imperfections’ via ‘Over the Big Moon’. Made from 2×8’s, this has a full step by step tutorial. Charming!

Make these Restoration Hardware inspired DIY curtain rods with this tutorial from Rachel at ‘Maison de Pax’. ‘Domino Magazine’ recently gave Rachel some honors, so pop on over there! This DIY cost only $15, btw. Elegant and rustic!

Speaking of curtain rods, these DIY reclaimed wood rods from ‘Olive and Love’ are being used by this blogger for shower curtains. You could use them anywhere!

 

From ‘Andrea’s Notebook’, this DIY rustic headboard is really easy, even for someone who has never done woodwork before. You could even get the cutting done at the home improvement store if you don’t have a saw. Love it with white and bright, clear colors… Our oldest daughter and her husband made one similar to this for their master bedroom, and it looks amazing. It’s hard to get the rustic look wrong, if you make a mistake, it just looks… well, rustic!

 

This DIY office memo board by Ashley from ‘Little Glass Jar’ is such an easy tutorial! I love the chicken wire, but even more I love those mini wooden clothespins they used as clips. Cute! Perfect project to warm up your home office or homework area.

 

This DIY rustic wood box centerpiece is from the ‘Liz Marie Blog’, which has always been one of our favorites. This project is a simple one made from a 1×6 piece of lumber. I love the little rope handles she made. This is the softer side of rustic! Sweet look!

 

This DIY wood striped wall from Taryn at ‘Design, Dining and Diapers’ is the perfect choice for someone who has been dying to have a wood wall, but doesn’t want that much work! This was only 5 – 1×8 pine boards and some nails… plus, a little bit of planning.

 

Ok, this cute DIY crate and pallet bookcase from Jen at ‘House of Wood’ is a pretty easy build, very cheap, and we are loving on her styling! She can not only build just about anything, she has decorating skills too! Lots of photos to take you through this, plus a warning you should pay attention to.

So bring some rustic flavor into your home, DIY style!

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

Have you ever had a room crush? You know the feeling: you see the photo of a room so enviously gorgeous that it stops you dead in your tracks, and you can’t help but think about it – heck, you’re even talking about it to your friends who care to listen.

Sometimes, the crush is on a room that’s totally on your level; something you can Pin for later and aim to recreate with your own twist. Other times, it’s just something so pretty, so unattainable, so over the top, that it instantly steals your attention. This is one of those times, and this decadent space, designed by Jonathan Rachman for the 2017 San Francisco Decorators Showcase, is one of those rooms.

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

Inspired by the friendship of couturier Hubert de Givenchy and his muse, the iconic Audrey Hepburn, as captured in the photograph by Jacques Scandelari, Jonathan created this marvel of a room with Paris in the springtime in mind. “I imagine them returning to Givenchy’s green salon on Rue de Grenelle to enjoy each other’s company while ‘April in Paris’ (duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong) plays softly in the background,” notes the designer. “‘Til April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom…’ I wanted to bring the Parisian Spring glamour and romance back, in a fresh current way, airy—not stuffy—fresh and classic.”

Room Crush: A Decadent Designer Green-on-Green-on-Green Living Room

This living room is all at once glamorous, modern and timeless; it’s also a study in how to do green-on-green-on-green in a way that doesn’t feel redundant. And that wallpaper…well, don’t get me started on that! “Silk Tree” is a custom de Gournay commission by Jonathan that took 12 weeks (expedited from the customary 22 weeks it normally takes to complete a similar project) to install and it’s the showstopper here. Hand-painted and embroidered in place, it’s a feat (and of course, a total luxury). It makes the voluminous room feel full, verdant, alive.

I’ll stop myself from gushing further on the walls, and dive into all the other aspects that make this aspirational room totally crush-worthy:

  1. Jonathan accomplished an all-green palette beautifully. The key here was mixing of shades (some warmer, some cooler), textiles (velvets, crushed velvets, silk) and patterns mix-and-match prints on the throw pillows, a faux bois scheme on the rug).
  2. When you’re maxing out on style in a room, then actually max out. Bring in real greenery and flowers to complement the leafy wallpaper. Regular window coverings? Nope, try a full-frame, scrolled valance. Small built-in dining bench? Take it wall-to-wall instead. And, of course, never ignore your ceiling, which brings us to our next point…
  3. The plaster and gold-leafed ceiling of this room could easily steal all the attention, except here, the designer was able to introduce this bold design element in a way that worked cohesively with all the other show-stopping additions to the room.
  4. Velvet, velvet, everywhere. As if an emerald green velvet Chesterfield weren’t enough, the luscious material reappears on a pair of wingback chairs, the extra long dining bench and on the dining chairs.

Personalize Your Windows with Trim Molding

Truly polished decor mostly comes down to those tiny touches throughout your home. It’s that great accent lamp you got from an estate sale, the unique glass hardware installed on a set of drawers, or—best of all—beautiful trim molding on your windows. Trim molding adds intention to your interior design, elevating the overall impact of your windows. It makes them stand out as an architectural focal point, rather seeming like an unfinished afterthought.

Molding makes a great DIY project, even for those homeowners with little to no experience in home renovations. Plus, it can even help boost your window’s energy efficiency. Let’s take a look at the basics of window trim molding, so you can decide if this decor element is right for your home.

Trim Molding: A Primer

Builders and homeowners use molding in a variety of locations throughout the home. Decorative crown molding adds an accent around the base of a ceiling, while baseboard molding goes between the floor and the wall to make it appear more finished.

Window trim, often referred to as casing, measures between two to three inches in most cases, and comes in a range of different styles. Most homeowners purchase it pre-cut from a home improvement store. However, if you want something truly unique, you can also hire a woodworker or frame maker to hand carve designs into the wood.

Window Trim Elements

Window trim can be as embellished or minimalist as you like. While many different types of trim exist for windows, you don’t necessarily have to add every single part. Each piece performs a different function and must be joined to the surrounding trim, as well. Here’s a list of the different pieces.

  • Crown molding: Often applied as a decorative flourish at the top of windows in Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival style homes.
  • Mitered return: Used with crown molding to join the sides of the molding to the wall.
  • Frieze board: Added as a horizontal boundary to separate the crown molding from the casing.
  • Crosshead strip: Sits just below the frieze board, above the top of the casing.
  • Side casing: Covers the gap between the edge of the window and the wall.
  • Backband molding: A small piece of molding running along the sides of the casing, used to add dimension to plain designs.
  • Inside stop: A small frame that runs between the glass and the outer casing.
  • Stool: What is typically referred to as the window sill, this ledge sits below the window, jutting out from the wall.
  • Apron: A decorative piece of molding that fits below the stool.
  • Cap: Sits above the top crown molding to finish the design.
  • Head casing: Positioned below the crosshead strip to join the window frame to the wall.
  • Square-cut joint and rosette: This optional decorative element is positioned on the top corners of the window frame.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the parts of window molding, read on to decide how to best integrate these into your home’s existing aesthetic.

Selecting a Style: What to Consider

Your home’s aesthetic and architectural design should largely inform the type of trim molding you choose. For instance, if you have a classical home design, such as a Georgian, Federal, or Greek Revival, an entablature—made up out of crown molding and frieze board—will add historical authenticity to your home decor. If you have a Victorian style home, try a custom-made high-profile casing. Complete with square-cut joints and rosettes, it will capture the ornate aesthetic so favored in that time period.

If your style tends toward more modernist sensibilities, a more nuanced trim, like a simple casing with clean lines, makes a better approach. Usually these casings match the color of the existing window frame for a more subtle effect. But if you’re looking for something eye-catching in a modern home, choose large side casing that keeps the clean lines, but measures wider than the traditional three to four inches.

And if you’re just looking for something simple, a low-profile casing makes a suitable choice for almost any type of home decor. These utilitarian trims help to block wind from entering your home through the sides of the window frame, without adding cluttering up your interiors with too much flash.

You should also take into consideration the aesthetic profile of the existing baseboards, crown molding, and other trim throughout the room, as well. You want your windows to match the feel of the rest of your home, instead of standing in jarring contrast to it.

Energy Efficiency Benefits of Window Trim

Window trim isn’t all about style and design, of course. Casings also defray drafts and help boost the energy efficiency of your window frames. Trim covers gaps between the wall opening and window frame—especially when you seal behind the windows with foam sealant spray. Also make sure to caulk between the edge of the molding and the wall, where the window frame meets the casing, and around all other joints. With properly installed window trim, your home can be more beautiful and more comfortable!