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Design Trends

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Living room décor should reflect the personal style of its inhabitants. This can range from cozy and comfy with earthy tones, bright and cheerful with vibrant hues, or rich and textured layers of character. But no matter how carefully you decorated your living room initially, it’ll start looking shabby in a couple years without proper maintenance and upgrade. Here are 5 quick tips on how to freshen up your living room without breaking the bank or throwing everything out for new furniture!

Brighten Your Wall

Add instant liveliness to the room by painting a wall with a poppy accent or switching the color of an already-painted wall to a new trending tone. Elevate your wall by experimenting with textures, geometric shapes and patterns to create depth and style.  

Be Bold With Print

Use well-curated bold accents like animal print cushions, rugs with asymmetric patterns or bold table pieces to add contrast to an otherwise monotonous or monotone room. If you want to invest in something more seasonal, add colorful art to your walls for a touch of visual, on-trend counterpoint.

Deliver Couch Appeal

Give your couch a look by switching its cover with the season. It’ll add character and provide the look of “instant renovation”. For smaller piece options, acquire a luxurious new throw, or fluffy cushions for the sofa. Whatever you do, make sure your couch is an accurate reflection of your lounging best self, whether that be monochrome minimalist, vain and luxe, or wine and leather!

Draw a Silver Lining

For a sleek new look, bring in metallic elements to the room.This  can come in the form of cool mirrors on the wall, chic silver bowls on the coffee table, and fancy aluminum vases besides the couch. Although we said silver, we mean any tone on the metal spectrum, including copper, brass, matte black metals and mirrors!

Arrange For Symmetry

If your feel your living room looks cluttered or untidy, try arranging the furniture in a symmetric pattern to give a sense of organization and balance to the room. Simply rearranging your current assets can  greatly affect the outlook of the space as a whole!

 

Hope you’re itchy to give your living room a brand new look, we know we are! Time to start that Pinterest board, and head out just in time for all those holiday deals!

Fall is just around the corner and a new wave of interior design trends are arriving with it! This fall, we at AskforTask have an eye out for the most prominent trends in home living! If you’re looking to update or liven up your home spaces, consider flipping your decorations to match the cooler climates and wintry festivities that are on their way, look no further. Catch these 5 design trends that are sure to elevate your living spaces, and satisfy your aesthetic home living itch!

Pink Is In

image of pink couch in a living room with pink walls
Courtesy of Marks and Spencer

Think of russets and woody darks! Maple Autumn cabinets and tables! The pink craze continues but deepens and ages to match the autumnal vibes. Deep pinks are available for high-pile rugs, couch cushions, orange-red hued wood cabinets and tables, and available as accented prints as well!

We’ve Got The Navy Blues

image of blue couch against a grey wall and a corner table with a vase of yellow flowers and blue book

Navy bue is timeless and classy, but they’re on the upsurge this season, used for wallpapering or as primary monochromes on large pieces of furniture like couches. Navy blue is also a great accent against other tones, and can be used with gold, browns, greys and whites!

Stay Wicker(d)

dining table with wicker tray in the middle

Woven wood is here to stay, as we continue to see an increased celebration of handmade, traditional but elevated. Watch for rattan, wicker and other textural weaves incorporated into kitchen and storage pieces, dining furniture and coffee table pieces!

Hold On To Your Prints

dynamic green plant and hyacinth flower wallpaper
Courtesy of Cole & Son

Prints continue dominating this year with oversized floral decals, and lush wallpapers and green prints. If you’re looking for something more stripped down, the Scandinavian trend has also taken on print by working in understated patterns into pillow covers, and monochromatic rug options for your bedrooms or under the coffee tables.

Drown in Lush

lush velvet green couch against moss green painted wall
Courtesy of Heal’s

As the temperatures drop, burrow into woolly knits, plushy carpets and pillows. Velvet textures are taking over interior design and merging into matte and shine hybrid pieces that feel rich and soft. Up your luxe game with some simple throw pillows, or a throw over for your couch in this curl and cuddle stay-in season.

Welcome the fall-winter season with a little decor upgrade! Hop onto any of these 2018 interior design trends to elevate your living space and make your home life a little more aesthetic and comfortable! If you need help moving furniture or getting your space spiffed up, use BLOG10 to get $10 off your first task with AskforTask!

 

Don’t you dare do it! I know what you’re thinking! You want to finally cover up your bare walls, and decided that the best place to get an affordable art piece is IKEA. You probably saw the big wall print of New York on your last trip there and fell in love with it, or maybe the big canvas with a zebra on it caught your attention. Well, don’t fall for IKEA’s low prices! If you want something affordable and beautiful to add some oomph to your space, there are plenty of other places to get interesting wall prints.

1. Desenio

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Desenio is the interior designer’s little hidden treasure. These prints are affordable and sophisticated. They start at $17.95 and come in a variety of sizes too! On Desenio’s website you can buy paired prints for a fraction of the price which will save you time and money. All you have to do is hang them!

2. Spacing

Are you a city lover? Does the idea of map prints and urban design prints excite your decorating senses? Spacing will fulfill all of those needs and fan your hunger for more. Considered Toronto’s city store, they source their prints from a wide range of local and national designers, they offer a range of product that constantly reinterprets all parts of the city through an artistic lens. You’ll find some great unique wall prints here that might remind you of why this city is your city!

3. Tapestries

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Tapestries are underrated. They’re a great way of covering up a large space with something cozy and beautiful. Your local Urban Outfitters offers a wide range of materials and textures that you can mix and match. If you’re looking to go alternative budget bet is to source your materials from a store that sells blankets and curtains and use different patterns to make the most out of it. These can be hard to hang, since they can get heavy.

4. DIY Your Life

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The most affordable way to cover up your bare walls is by getting crafty! This hashtag is a simple way of translating your own personality onto your walls. Start out with a base: you can find wooden letters and signs at craft stores like Michaels. Then add whatever you want, greenery, a picture collage, or use chalkboard paint and turn it into something you can write on! You’ll love the dynamic, trendy element it brings to your space.

Want to spice up your walls with wall prints but afraid of the damage your hands might do? Turn your ideas into a reality with the help of a professional! AskforTask has certified handymen to help you with everything you need!

Use code BLOG10 to get $10 off your first task!

I’ve lived in an apartment for the past 2 years that has a small but beautiful balcony. I’ll go out there sometimes, mostly to check the weather but other than that it stays empty and unused.

I mean, it’s a privilege to have a balcony in the busy city! Imagine how lovely it would be to be able to go out there, sit on a comfy chair and sip a cup of tea? Transforming your balcony into something you actually use sounds complicated and a lot of work, but it’s much easier than you’ll think, and you will be able to enjoy the payoff immediately!

1. Start With A Seat

If you’re going to start using your balcony and enjoying your home to the fullest, start with a comfy chair. Preferably an outdoor-ready chair but at the end of the day, anything can work. Find something you can lounge in, and pair it with a cozy blanket. We love this look: it’s small enough to fit on tiny city balconies but still comfortable enough that you can curl up in on those warm summer evenings.

lol

via Pinterest

2. Get Your Twinkle On!

Transforming your balcony into a space to relax is all about bringing your inside, outside. So try adding a little lighting to the mix. We hate to suggest being the kind of person who has Christmas lights up in July, but hanging up a string of white fairy lights can make your balcony look magical. They’re also weather-ready and can provide the light you need in a subtle way.

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via Pinterest

3. Cover Up!

Rugs and carpets with different textures and colours are your new best friend. Not only are they stylish and decorative, but they’ll cover up your balconies cold concrete and make you feel warmer. Alternatively,  cover your balcony with artificial grass for a simulated small backyard feel.

carpet

via Pinterest

4. Huddle Around Your DIY Campfire

Bring the candles outside for a still, warm evening and enjoy the view, a conversation with a cup of something warm! Paired with your white twinkling lights, this will make your balcony feel like a retreat. Cuddle up, read a book, and go on a vacation without leaving your home!

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via Crazy Chic Design

5. Go Green

Make your balcony your personal garden. Grow some plants, hang some plants or pot some plants. The options are endless and the greenery can turn your space into something completely new. We love the idea of growing herbs on your balcony. They don’t require a lot of space and are a practical plant! Need some flavour in your pasta? Skip the grocery store and go to your balcony!

green

via Arctic Gardens

It’s easy to transform your balcony into something fun and practical! Summer’s coming and there’s no time like today to start a fun spring project! Have some big ideas but don’t want to do it alone? We’ve got the cleaning and handyman services you need to get your project started: use our code BLOG10 to get $10 off your first task with AskforTask!

 

 

To the window! To the wall!

Think about that elevated sense of happiness you experience when walking around in a park. Think about how unhappy you feel, in contrast, in your harshly-lit office space. Nature enables all of our senses to come alive and our body becomes much less strained and relaxed. “Biophilic Design” is a theory that incorporates elements of nature into our work and home environments, believing that this will reduce stress, enhance creativity and improve general well-being. Terrapin Bright Green, a company working on bringing ecological design into the workplace, developed 14 patterns of biophilic design as a way of thinking through space, and uses it to improve at a structured design level, the places where we spend the majority of our time. Here are a couple of simple ones that we suggest implementing at the office!

Visual Connection With Nature

Image © Hubert J. Steed.

We often perceive basements as “dark, dingy, and scary”.  After all, who knows who or what is living in the shadows down there! If given a choice, most people would prefer to have a desk or office near a window. A window can facilitate a connection with nature, but in our urban jungle, a window often just opens out onto other concrete buildings. To sustain a visual connection with nature, a biophilic design space should hold pockets of real nature when possible, and simulated nature when not possible. This includes vegetation, natural light, fossils, water and animals.

 

Non-Visual Connection With Nature

Image © Dax Fernstrom/Flickr.

Are you confined to a windowless office or cubicle? Don’t worry, there are other ways to bring nature into the office. Introducing shade plants that can thrive in low light environments, the sound of a fireplace, textured fabrics for carpets or couches, and even diffusers with plant essential oils can all help create a more comfortable work environment. Textures such as wood, grass or stone can also be accents in a space. Additionally, people usually respond positively to shapes that exist in the natural environment, such as the honeycomb (hexagon) or objects that mimic the Fibonacci ratio.

 

Thermal and Airflow Variability

Image © Jui-Yong Sim/Flickr.

There is a sense of calm and joy when we are outside on a beautiful day in the middle of a park. The moving air circulates freely and refreshes our body and spirit. In the office, small cubicles with high walls trap air, stress and problems, making us feel like caged animals. Bring down the walls and think wide open spaces! Different kinds of light allow access to different kinds of heat. It also gives us options to moderate our own feelings of comfort at work. Additionally, having big windows let in sunlight and breezes will drastically improve everyone’s moods on a warm day, or bring some hope of warmth on a cold one.

 

Presence of Water

Image © Tim Evanson/Flickr.

Including the presence of water into a biophilic design space optimizes the engagement of the area as it uses multiple senses simultaneously and facilitates calm. The sound of running water is known to enhance moods, lower stress levels and improve concentration. These are ideal qualities for someone at a workplace. Integrating visual stimuli of water or sounds of water through projections, sculptures and small water fountains are all ways to bring water presence into an office space. Ensure that these water features are not too overpowering or it can become disruptive and interfere with people’s work.

 

Dynamic and Diffuse Light

Image © K. Kendall/Flickr.

Strong UV lighting is often used to keep people alert and awake, but it actually has the opposite effect. Between the harsh unnatural lighting of a space and the glare of computer screens, eyes tend to quickly feel strained and tired. To reduce this effect, try to increase how much natural light is in a space. Skylights and windows can bring in diffused light that responds to wall colours, and other features within the room to create different lighting moods. Our brains respond well to light and shadow that reflect natural fractal patterns. Placing a tree or plant near a window to create naturally-occurring shadows throughout the day is a way of introducing dynamic light.

 

Interested? You can read more on the 14 patterns of Biophilic Design here.

With so many of us migrating back to living in big cities, and the skyrocketing housing prices, people are choosing to live in smaller spaces such as apartment condos and tiny houses. Moving furniture into small homes is sort of like a tetris battle, plus way more emotional fatigue. But fear not! We’re here to offer some great tips to expand your shrinking condo space so it feels cosy, but remains roomy enough for all your nesting activities!

Buy “Superhero” Furniture!


And no, we aren’t suggesting you buy a couch covered in Batman logos. Invest in furniture that has a secret identity or an alter-ego. For example, a sleeper sofa or futon which could function as a couch by day, and a bed by night, or a hollow ottoman which doubles as handy seat for your friend AND amazing storage unit!

Light it Up!

Thoughtful lighting will do wonders for your space. Eliminate dark corners and open up areas with cool, modern ceiling lights or sleek floor lamps. Awesome design stores in Canada such as RADform, Elte Market, and Carrington Lighting will definitely carry pieces that give you lighting envy. If you’re looking for something hip and young, neon lights are right on trend this year as both lighting and decor home accessories!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Hanging mirrors are a great way to reflect light throughout the room and objects in front of them to give the illusion that the space goes back a lot further! Consider grouping mirrors together on a wall, placing them in darker spots in your apartment so that light can bounce around and naturally brighten the space, or just bringing in a large floor length standing mirror to give your space some oomph!

Copy the Zebra

Incorporating vertical or horizontal stripes into a room can really elongate a space as your eye tends to travel and follow those lines. Think about a thoughtfully designed graphic piece or funky feature wall. Not inclined to commit to such large stripes? Build little design pops in your space through home accessories such as lamps, bedding, rugs, and dishware.

A small space can go a long way if you’re thoughtful and creative with your options! Don’t let a shrinking condo daunt you or cramp your living style. Be smart about how you’re placing things, creative with your home accessories, and keep your living space clutter-free and you’ll have an expanded condo experience in no time!