How To Make Your Home Cozy For Fall: Practicing Hygge

Hygge. This term has become increasingly popular in recent years. But what is it exactly? Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish term, describing the art of creating intimacy with yourself, your friends and your home. Through cozy textures, warm tones, sweet smells, and soft lighting, you can create your own hygge home.

Cozy textures. What is better than cozying up in a chunky knit throw blanked on a chilly autumn evening? Bring textures into your home with soft faux fur throw pillows, some chunky blankets, and textured upholstery. Roll out a rug you can really sink your feet into.

Warm tones. Nothing is cozier than a warm-toned room. Pull in warm tones with gold and copper accessories, dark, warm wood tones and orange, mustard, blush or red accent colors.

Sweet smells. Brew some fresh coffee, bake some cinnamon rolls, light your favorite scented candle. These scents will comfort and calm you, and make you really work up an appetite! Indulge, you deserve it.

Soft lighting. Soft lighting is extremely calming and cozy. Light candles, string up some fairy lights, turn on a few table lamps. Keep it dim and warm, but make sure you have enough light to curl up with your favorite book!

Make this fall cozy. Try hygge!

Spice Up Your Home With Stencils

Is your house boring? Too many plain walls and floors? Do you need to make a statement that will wow your family and guests? Maybe stenciling is for you! A cheap, easy alternative to wallpaper and fancy tiles, stencils allow you to change up the feeling of a room without blowing your budget.

Image from Royal Designs Studio Stencils on Amazon

Stenciling is not a new concept. Walls have been decorated with stenciled designs for hundreds of years. But stenciling floors and walls have made a comeback, and it is HOT!

How do you stencil on walls or tile floor?

Step 1: Choose your stencil. If you are stenciling tile flooring, find a stencil that matches the measurement of your tiles.

Step 2: Clean the surface you will be stenciling. Use mineral spirits to make sure the surface is free of dirt, hair, and other foreign objects. Make sure to dry the surface completely.

Step 3: Tape the edges. Make sure all edges have painter’s tape so areas you do not want painted stay clean.

Step 4: Prime the surface. Make the surface paint-ready with some primer!

Step 5: Paint the base color. Use a roller and paintbrush to paint on the base color. If you are planning on stenciling your floor, start at the back wall of the room and work your way towards the door so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. You may need more than one coat, but make sure it has time to dry between coats.

Image from CuttingEdgeStencils on Etsy

Step 6: Stencil time! After you have let the base color dry completely, gently tape the stencil to the first tile in the back corner of the room using painter’s tape. Use a small foam stencil roller, or foam stencil brush to apply the secondary color. Make sure to use thin layers of paint and do multiple coats if needed as to have the least amount of bleed under the stencil. Allow the paint to completely dry.

Step 7: Touch up the stencil work. After the stencil paint has dried, use a small paintbrush with your base color to smooth out the edges of the stencil. With another small paintbrush, cover up any thin patches of the stencil paint.

Step 8: Seal the paint. If you are stenciling tile or any floor surface, make sure to seal the stencil work so that it lasts longer. Pay particular attention to anywhere that water is likely to splash.

Step 9: Enjoy your hard work! Look at this awesome floor or wall that you just created! Great job! Take a minute to look at what you just did. You are awesome!

Image from The Home Depot Blog

To style a room with a stenciled wall or floor, keep the other patterns minimal, and let your new stenciling be the statement piece of the room. You worked hard for it, so let it shine!

The History of Eclectic Design

Our well-loved lifestyle, Urbanology, is widely described as “eclectic”, meaning that the design is derived from many styles and tastes – A look that doesn’t fit into any traditional molds. Where does this style come from?

The first use of the word “eclectic” can be traced back to the 18th century when German art historian and archaeologist Johan Joachim Winckelmann used it to describe the work of Annibale Carracci. The 17th century artist borrowed diverse styles, ideas and theories relevant throughout different periods of history and combined them within a single work of art to create his own unique style. Eclecticism is found in many artforms; from paintings, to architecture, to interior designs. All of these follow the same general idea: Connecting different styles throughout history into one cohesive look.

How does this transfer to interior design? Eclectic design surfaced in the 20th century and is a rejection of rules and canon within the design sphere. This style is set in the direction of freedom of expression by combining what is most beautiful, comfortable, and interesting through existing styles. By utilizing a neutral color palette, multiple different styles can fit perfectly and harmoniously in a space. Designers looking to create an “eclectic” look will focus on layering textures, time periods, and trends, making sure that all elements come together to create a unified look and feel.

Because the eclectic style doesn’t really fit into any traditional design molds, this also means that it can be interpreted in many ways, and can evoke different emotions, and feelings within a space. This makes the eclectic look great or a variety of tastes and locations. From a rural farmhouse to a mod downtown loft. An eclectic room can be feminine or masculine, rustic or polished, monochromatic or colorful. The possibilities are endless!

How can I replicate this style at home? Start with a neutral palette, which will act as a blank canvas to introduce your various styles into. While compiling pieces to add to the room, look for pieces that complement each other either in size, shape, pattern, or color. If you do have a certain piece that stands out, let it! Use it as a focal point of the room, don’t attempt to blend it in. Another awesome way to achieve the eclectic look is through the layering of textures. Take a big chunky throw and pair it with some suede textured pillows. Add highly textured picture frames to your walls, and throw in a very smooth, mid-century coffee table.

Do whatever suits your personal taste, and don’t be afraid to experiment with placement and styles. The biggest takeaway from this style: Have Fun!

Thoughts On Making Your House A Home

The idea of “making your house your home” is nothing new. We hear it all the time. 

When you stop and think about it, though, what does it really mean to actually do it? It’s not something that abruptly happens, or is even done consciously at any point in time. It’s not like one day you decide, “Ok, self, today’s the day I’m going to start turning my house into my home.”

It simply begins with an empty space. A place where so much can (and will) happen. Walking into a new place, where you’re going to live for years to come, is like staring at a blank canvas for your future. Nobody knows what will happen there; nobody knows what it will look like once its lived in, as your family grows and your own style manifests. You just know that it’s the place where things will happen. Stuff will accumulate there. People will gather there. Life will happen there.

Obviously, the furniture and art you choose to fill the rooms and walls are a big part of making a house a home. It’s really just an extension of your personality and your family’s lifestyle.

But what’s behind those choices?

Over all else, what really shapes the evolvement of a house becoming a home is a collection of moments that ultimately dictate what goes where in what spaces.

Watching home renovation shows or scrolling through pages of Pinterest-perfect pins on the latest interior design trends, it’s easy to get caught up in “the look” and forget that your space has to be livable and adaptable to become a comfortable, yet functional home.

Your house truly starts to become your home when you take the style inspiration that you see on the outside and bring it inside—literally and figuratively—adapting tangible things to the situations and needs for everyone in your family.

For instance, when your living room becomes the bedroom, your house is becoming a home. When your dining room becomes a classroom, your house is becoming a home. When your bedroom becomes the play room, your house is becoming a home. When the doghouse is inside the house, your house is becoming a home.

It’s all of these situations, adding up over time, that impact what you choose to bring into your home. The look and feel of where you live is simply a product of how you live. Style and circumstances, together, shape a unique place that fits the life you’re building and the space you’re building, silently bringing everything together—people, pets, furniture, art work, homework, dirty dishes, nap times, play times, game nights… 

All of these little things, and your reactions to them, are what will lead you to naturally turn your house into your home.

There’s more than one room to decorate for the holidays

‘Tis the season for all the red and all the green, trimmed with gold and silver and everything pine.

Lights strewn about inside and out—it’s the happiest time of year for decorating, no doubt. More often than not, though, the living room gets most, if not all, of the redecorating love.

Think outside the living room.

This year, for an extra dose of cheer, remember that there’s more than one room to share all the holiday love that you have for your home. Here are a few different ideas to spread the joy all around the house:

Oh, Christmas trees… everywhere.

There are no rules when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, so why not make it TREES?! Two in the living room, hallway trees, table trees. Spruce it up! A tree can be wherever you want a tree to be during the holidays!

Have a holly, jolly bedroom.

If coziness matters anywhere beyond the living room, it’s in your bedroom. What better time to amp up the cozy factor than during the holidays? Swap your comforter for a trendy, red buffalo check pattern. Put up a tree in the corner, while adding sprigs of tree branches or garland all around the room. You’ll never be sad to wake up to holiday cheer all through the end of the year!

Switch your “other sofa” style.

Many homes have multiple sofas or loveseats—in a back room, a den, the basement, or elsewhere. Bring the merry there, too! Make your extra room look like The 12 Days of Christmas by changing up your accessories as much as you want—plaid pillows, red, green, gold blankets, and more. Swap your regular wall art with something seasonal, or even some fresh pine wreaths. You can’t go wrong with all the little details during the holidays. If you’re feeling really fun, add a second tree to match!

Before the winter blues even have a chance to set in, try a few of these tricks for the merriest cold weather months ever! Check out even more holiday design in person at your local Ashley HomeStore.

Pumpkin spice it up

Yeah, yeah. Pumpkin spice everything.

“It’s too early.”

“I can’t get it soon enough.”

All of that pop culture pumpkin stuff aside, a fall home design isn’t done right without a pumpkin or two for flavor.

Whether you’re a seasoned seasonal designer or dabbling in interior fall festivities for the first time this year, pumpkins are a must-have that are way more versatile (and stylish) than you may think. So, before carving that orange beauty, stop and think about how you might pull some design inspiration from it.

Here are a few fun ideas to get you fall fired up:

Tradition ambition

There’s nothing wrong with copying your mother and sprinkling a few actual, living (breathing?) pumpkins around the house. However, updating traditions is what we’re all about in the 30-something household, so do it up your own way.

Paint patterns, cute letters, or whatever you can creatively conceive. Mix and match other things you have to compliment your fall pieces of flair. The possibilities are vast, but do keep it in check. Over-gourding can quickly become kitschy.

A good check is to implement the rule of thirds for this one. Try arrangements of three pumpkins, or even gourds and any other fall fruits, in a variety of sizes, and even colors. The pop of pumpkin freshness won’t disappoint—inside or out!


Center of attention

There’s no better time for amazing centerpieces than the fall—and there are so many options and outlets for creativity.

Obviously the table deserves front and center attention, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Centerpieces for sofa tables, side tables, ottomans, and random trays around the house are awesome places to place centerpieces, too.




Reuse, redecorate

In with the new, mixed with what you already knew. The best part about using seasonal flair to spice up your home is that you can take your own personal design style and simply add to it.

Rather than buying everything brand new, select a few pieces you love that go with what you already have.

Old crates, suitcases, baskets, blankets, pillows, and more pair beautifully with fall-themed accessories.

So, there you have it. Fall is fun, so live it up and let your design mind go wild!

What do the designers see?

An interior designer’s eye is different. Instant reactions to what’s happening in a room are second nature to those who design for a living. After some informal chats with the interior designers in our HomeStores, we decided to poll our creative audience in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—asking some of our designers to talk about what things they notice when they enter a home for the first time. From entryways to hallways, here’s what our designers had to say!

“I think I always look at the floors first, then work my way up. I look at placement of furniture and then how the walls are decorated. Eventually, I look at the ceiling to see light fixtures or any fun details. While I am scanning the space, I am always thinking what could make the space better. Overall, I pay the most attention to furniture and the space planning.” – Vera

“As a designer, when I enter a new space or new home, I’m usually on sensory overload. I take in the whole space. What I probably notice first is the amount of lighting, as well as any fragrances. After that, I start to pick up on the whole vibe or emotion of the space and how that is directly correlated to the colors within the room. My eyes are then searching for focal points—and hoping that it isn’t a multitude of clutter. Once I can digest all of that, I’m usually trying to remember that there is probably a person in front of me that requires the attention of my wandering eyes. Then I start sneaking peaks of all of the other things… flooring, finishes, furniture, artwork, textiles, textures, etc. Oh, and I always tend to notice awesome doors! I love arched tops, little window cut outs, and when a door is painted in a darker color. I like how anchoring a dark door helps bounce my eyes back around to the artwork and accessories in the rest of the room.” – Matthew

“When I first enter a home, I take it all in as a whole. I love a lived in, loved home. Especially if I know the person who lives there. I can see their personality in what they’ve chosen to surround themselves with. I sneak peaks at everything I can, and then usually, at the same time, I’m looking for any signs they have animals to pet!” – Sarah

“When I first enter a home I can’t help to just see where my eye goes. I love to find the focal point of the space. I love to dissect what was the inspiration for the whole look? I go from there and look around. I look at the furniture placement… if it makes sense or if there is a better way to make it look more inviting. I also look to see what the theme or color story is. I feel color tells a lot about the person and their interests. I always look at all the small details—pictures, small knick knacks… this is where the person’s personal touch shines.” – Michaela

“When entering someone’s home, I first take in the basics like if the room is full or not. I look at color and wall art. I love when homes have interesting wall art. I also notice if there are prints, whether it’s on the couch, curtains, or in art. Print designs are personal; I can get a sense of the person’s style by what they chose.” – Anna

“The first thing I see when entering a home is either the pets or the kids. If there is a dog, I will notice nothing else. If there are kids, then I usually notice the mess (but that’s parent life, I guess!) Next, I notice the color, and if there is a non-neutral color scheme. I think I see the biggest, heaviest pieces first, like the sofa or TV and entertainment pieces. then I start seeing the decorations. My house is always under some kind of renovation, so messy houses don’t bother me, but it also makes me always see what needs straightening. When I walk into a beautiful, neat, organized house, I am a child of color and see whatever is bright and beautiful in front and center. – Alicia

And there you have it… a glimpse into what designers might see in your home. We hope you have a blast making your home you, using the inspiration from our team!

4 Ways to Transform Old Furniture Into Adorable Pet Beds

Lots of furniture shoppers ask what to do with their old furniture when it’s time to replace it. Believe it or not, there are fun options that don’t involve tedious trips to the dump or pushing off unwanted hand-me-downs to family and friends.

Instead of getting rid of the old stuff, we found some clever (and ridiculously cute) ways to rework different pieces into something enjoyable for pets!

Idea #1: K-9 Bedside Manor – Your pup will love you forever when you put his bed right next to yours! Apply a funky paint color and fun patterned fabric to your old nightstand and you, and your pet, can enjoy sleeping in style.

Source: DIY Network

Idea #2: Doggie Drawers – Old, distressed dresser? No problem!  Pull out those drawers and add some comfy pillows for a space-friendly place for your pets to rest.dogbed4


Idea #3: Pillars for Pooches – Make a luxurious little bed for your furry friend by flipping over an old end table and giving it a cute paint job. Stuff it with a standard pillow (and an accent pillow for fun) to put your pet in the lap of luxury! 

Source: All Created

Idea #4: Cutie Cabinets – Are the 80s still lingering in your living room? When it’s time for a change but you don’t want to ditch all of the old pieces, just get some paint, remove those old storage doors, and fill them in with your plaid pet bed for a crazy adorable, functional accent piece!

Source: DIY Network

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DIY Dining: Furnishing Farmhouse Chic

farmhouse2There’s something undeniably charming about the rustic dining spaces that come standard in old farmhouses. There’s no doubt that an older home has built-in character that creates an authentically comfortable backdrop for living and entertaining, right from the start.

Focusing on rustic, farm-inspired interior design choices can emulate that feeling anywhere.

Although living in an urban or suburban setting may not be exactly farmhouse-friendly when it comes to real estate, creating that same charming, comfortable environment is possible—no matter where you live—if you just find the right furniture and accessories. Not to mention, it’s much easier (and certainly more affordable) than buying an old country home.

Taking shabby chic interior inspiration from old homes and mixing it with contemporary colors and accessories brings a unique, modern appeal to classic style. From mixed natural woods to textured, layered spaces and rustic accessories, creating the look and feel of an older home is possible to pull off in any style home—and you can do it yourself.

Here are our 7 Ashley picks, with some simple DIY design tips, that can make it fun and easy to furnish farmhouse chic dining spaces in your home:


Mix up wood and metal textures throughout the room and pair them with eclectic acoutrements, like old windows and mirrors layered in pairs. Balance the look by placing accents, like tall candlesticks, on top of storage pieces and fill them with light-toned dish ware that stays on display.


Distressed wood brings shabby chic to life in any dining space. Blend different wood tones and offset them with light upholstery to create sophisticated contrast. A unique light fixture can serve as the focal point that brings it all together.


Mixing and matching chairs with different colors, fabrics, and wood is a great way to add some style to traditional dining pieces for an irresistible rustic-chic vibe.


A variety of textures in a room creates a naturally relaxing atmosphere. Leather, metal accents, woven accessories, and soft patterned area rugs are great options, but don’t stop there! Let your imagination run wild and use nature to inspire accessorizing. Colorful fruit or fresh-picked flowers can bring an unexpected spark of style to your dining table or storage pieces.

Country classics with subtle modern twists can really make a bold statement in your dining room. Off white trim with dark wood is a great way to create elegance without being over the top. Basic glassware and streamlined, clear lighting options add delicacy, while staggered statement pieces on the wall make the space exciting and inviting.


Simplicity can rule when it comes to modern-meets-farmhouse style. Substantial pieces, like large family-style tables and a wall-sized storage pieces, work wonderfully with a basic beiges and soft white tones as the backdrop. Elegantly simple accessories, like matted picture frames and rustic pottery, bring simple sophistication to turn basic into bold!


A classic pub table and industrial-chic stools are a match made in modern farmhouse heaven. A minimalist-inspired table is beautifully anchored by the boldness of tall bar stools in a contrasting material and color that will make anyone want to have a seat and stay awhile.

Get the look for a great price!

 1. Ranimar 5-piece dining set | $1699
2. Strumfeld 5-piece dining set | $1199.95
3. Mestler 5-piece dining set | $997.99
4. Zenfiled 5-piece dining set | $979.95
5. Marsilona 5-piece dining set | $1099.95
6. Tanshire 6-piece dining | $1599.65
7. Pinnadel 5-piece dining set | $899.52

All prices are subject to change. 5-piece dining sets include table + 4 side chairs. Tanshire 6-piece dining set includes pedistal base and table top + 4 side chairs.