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Hurray! Autumn! By Hillary Kelly
Looking forward to more weekends in front of the fire? Photo by Jonas Ingerstedt for Hus & Hem.

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Posted at 09:22 AM/ET, 09/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

Want to up your home’s intelligence? These gadgets—among the most popular “smart home” toys on the market—function via your phone and voice, and even on their own, learning your schedule and programming themselves accordingly.

RELATED: Look Inside the Smartest Apartment in Arlington.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 09/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
No matter the size of your outdoor space. By Hillary Kelly

Grilling always feels like it belongs to the realm of the suburbanites. As if by opting for city-living we give up the priviledge of blackening our own franks. In some part, that's due to the fact that grill equipment seems so hulking and permanent. Where on earth would an apartment-sweller even keep one of those massive chrome fireburners? But there are actually plenty of options for spaces as tiny as a ten square foot patio. (Unless all you have is a fire escape; then you'll have to mooch.) The best part is they're all beautiful and functional, so feel free to invite over some friends.

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Posted at 06:06 PM/ET, 07/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Affordable AND stylish. Bookmark everything. By Hillary Kelly

It's always a little thrilling when a new Ikea catalog lands in your mailbox (with a thud, those things are dense). The Swedish purveyor of cheap, stylish furniture and design decor just keeps on coming up with new takes on clean, organized, easy living. So while you may not be able to live in an all-white Stockholm apartment flooded with that gorgeous Scandinavian light, you can go a little wild with new 2016 collection, which is seriously brimming with amazing finds. While you wait for the paper version to arrive, check out our favorite pieces below. (There isn't a Poang armchair in sight.)

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Posted at 11:56 AM/ET, 07/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
You'll get hours of your life back with Attic. By Hillary Kelly
Photo by Ambroise Tezenas

After Tarek Anandan and his wife bought a new house in the Columbia Heights area they went on the usual trek through DC's vintage and secondhand furniture stores. But they "found it exhausting" to make the rounds and browse websites week after week, says Anandan. After all, vintage shopping imposes a pretty tough set of restraints when you're trying to fill an entire house. You only want to buy things you love, but inventory can be uneven in quality and style. And if you do find a stellar piece, the decision of whether to buy needs to be almost instantaneous--I once watched another customer buy the navy blue leather Chesterfield sofa I wanted at Goodwood and found it hard not to intervene. Luckily, Anandan is a web developer by day, and so he put those skills to use by creating, with partner Francisco Serrano, a website that would house the inventory of over 35 local vintage furniture shops. They called it Attic.

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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 07/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
If you're tired of having the same living room as everyone else. By Hillary Kelly
Photo via Lonny magazine

There's something perfectly simplistic about the Beni Ourain rug, with its thick, creamy pile, and coffee-colored diamonds. It's so neutral and and beautifully benign that it blends into almost any room: traditional enough to accompany a club chair and brick fireplace, but also bohemian enough to pair with a low-slung, pillow-strewn daybed, some pale oak, and a lush, leafy palm.

But at this point, the Morrocan diamond-print rug is so ubiquitous as to have lost a bit of its luster. Luckily, there are dozens of variations on this theme, so you can break outside the Beni Ourain box and mix things up a bit more. Here are our 8 favorite options if you're looking to maintain that laid-back global vibe, but are tired of that same old rug.

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 07/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The best places to spruce up your home between Florida and Rhode Island avenues.
Photogaph courtesy of Lori Graham Home.

It gets lots of press for its trendy restaurants and bars, but Northwest DC’s 14th Street is also home to some of the city’s best decor stores, which offer new and vintage furniture and home accessories.

1. Mara Home

Apartment-size sofas from Gus Modern, colorful rugs, customizable glass-topped dining tables, and local art fill this cement-floored showroom.

2213 14th St., NW; 202-232-4526.

2. Room & Board

Photograph by Daniel Swartz.

On four levels of a 1919 auto showroom, you’ll find clean-lined outdoor furniture, low-slung sofas in your choice of fabrics, and bright kids’ furnishings, all with a midcentury vibe.

1840 14th St., NW; 202-729-8300.

3. Salt & Sundry

Photograph by Jeffrey Martin.

An elegant outpost for boho-cool printed plates, throws with exotic patterns, and gifts like jewelry and kids’ clothes, plus bar-cart and kitchen supplies (cherry-bark/vanilla bitters, anyone?).

1401 S St., NW; 202-621-6647.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 07/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The best hand-crafted creations from your favorite online marketplace. By Michelle Thomas

No question, Etsy’s great. Where else can you spend hours trawling through a seemingly endless selection of unique, handmade goods? But there’s one looming downside: For every beautiful find, there’s a slightly wacky creation to counter it—which means sorting the terrific from the terrible can sometimes be a task. Allow us: Here are 12 awesome Etsy scores, from geometric bar carts to glam marble trays.

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Posted at 12:07 PM/ET, 06/10/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The best of the store's modern-classic selection. By Michelle Thomas

While there’s nothing wrong with a good cheap-chic score from the likes of Ikea, sometimes you need a piece that offers a little staying power. That’s where Room & Board comes in. Inspired by design movements of yesteryear—the store’s team counts Bauhaus, midcentury modern, and Shaker styles among its influences—the selection deftly blends clean-lined modernism, organic sophistication, and Scandinavian simplicity. Add in a made-in-America credo and a focus on sustainability, and the result is an exacting collection of home decor that feels of-the-moment and timeless at once. Here, we've pinpointed seven of our current favorites at the shop.

1) Hale walnut bed, $1,999; 2) Sharon Montrose Friesian Horse, $299; 3) Hennepin Made silver-leafed glass pendant trio, $1,146; 4) Open End Steel Tray, $79; 5) Case Study planter with walnut stand, $149 to $189; 6) Pierre chair in cowhide, $899; 7) Sabine sofa in Vance indigo, starting at $2,299.

Posted at 12:22 PM/ET, 06/02/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
From faux-wood melamine plates to pretty citronella candles. By Michelle Thomas

There’s no rule that limits you to only flimsy paper plates and plastic cutlery for outdoor dining. If you’re throwing a backyard get-together, why not bring your party style up to par by swapping the boring basics for interesting melamine plates and graphic paper napkins, then finishing things off with unexpectedly chic little extras like luxe linen throws or a modern-minimalist beverage dispenser? Here are ten sophisticated finds that'll upgrade your al fresco entertaining.

Kaufmann Mercantile linen picnic blanket, $179; Skeem Citronella Blossom Candle, $34; Jayson Home Rope Handle party tub, $85; CB2 glass beverage dispenser, $49.95; H&M paper napkins, $2.95 for pack of 20; West Elm faux bois Naturalist melamine charger, $24.99; Wood bluetooth speaker, $39.99; Twig picnic salad servers, $14; H&M dark gray plastic pitcher, $9.95; Starburst teak tray, starting at $295.

Posted at 03:25 PM/ET, 05/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()