Five Low Maintenance Houseplants You'll Love by Mackenzie Collier

Houseplants, who doesn’t love them? They are aesthetically pleasing, purifies your indoor air and can brighten up just about any space. They are the perfect, inexpensive way to change and freshen up just about any room.  If you don't have a green thumb, picking a plant that has a chance of surviving longer than a month can be a bit challenging. We've put together a list of five plants that are some of the easiest to care for as well as versatile for any space. Oh, and did we mention how easy they are to take care of?

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Aloe Vera

This plant is definitely the easiest plant to take care of and it’s also a good one to have around the house. Not only can the leaves from Aloe Vera be used for the healing of cuts and burns, but you only have to water it when the plant’s soil is completely dry, which can be every two to three weeks (depending on your climate). 

 

 

Photo by Domino

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Snake Plant

Also known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (oof), the Snake Plant is a pretty popular houseplant and is the best kind for those who forget plants need love. It thrives in a pot and rarely needs sunlight or any attention at all. Place it in the bedroom —possibly in a cute plant stand like this one—since it does an excellent job at releasing oxygen at night. 

 

 

 

Photo by Suburban Bees

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The Chinese Evergreen

Talk about a plant that thrives in what some would think are intolerable conditions! This plant, with its colorful green leaves, is a very durable houseplant that can grow exponentially in poor light and in pretty much all conditions. Although it prefers humid air, misting it a few times every week is an easy fix if the air is too dry. 

Photo by Bakker

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The Rubber Plant

The plant that can prosper in extremely low temperatures and bright but indirect sunlight. The rubber plant can grow up to 8 ft tall, but if you’re not up for it, just make sure to keep them in a small pot. Keep the soil most in the summer and a little drier during the other seasons.

 

 

 

Photo by Miss Moss

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The Spider Plant

The Spider Plant is the houseplant that can easily adapt to almost any condition. It's the perfect plant to place in the bathroom since they don’t really like a lot of direct sunlight, and it's super pretty in hanging baskets and pots. Although they are easily adaptable, it’s best to keep the soil moist and use distilled or purified water when watering them.

Photo by BritCo

Welp, there's our list on the top houseplants just about anyone would have a hard time killing.

Also, all of the plants listed, except for the Chinese Evergreen, are pet friendly. Of course we thought about your four-legged friends as well!

Comment below and let us know which one is your favorite or any other tips and tricks dealing with houseplants!

Decorating For Couples: Tips for Finding Common Ground by Mackenzie Collier

Moving in together is a big step. As cute and romantic (and sometimes scary) this step may be, we want to suggest a few tips to help with the decorating process of it. How do you make a compromise with your significant other so they won’t hold on to that one thing you absolutely despise? How do you try and get your dream of having a velvet blue couch in the living room when they are not into it? We've all heard how the secret to a great relationship is communication, and that factor definitely plays a role when designing a new space for the two of you. Communication is key to finding the right balance and design when merging into a new space with your love.

Image: Mackenzie Collier Interiors

Image: Mackenzie Collier Interiors

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we decided to dedicate this post to design tips that will help you combine styles with your boo to create a functional space that represents the both of you!There is always a common ground between even the most widely differing styles. The key is finding it before you cause a breakup...

Pinterest is your mutual bestie.

Get to pinning. Both of you create a Pinterest board and pin every design-related thing you like: your favorite bathroom designs, living room furniture, bedroom lighting, art, color palettes—anything and everything you like, pin! Get ideas flowing so you have some concrete ideas of what you do and don't like. 

Share your ideas. 

Time to hear each other out. Compare your boards and (nicely) point out what you like and don't like from both of them. Look at the mood boards side by side; there HAVE to be common elements. Find them. (White walls? Good lighting? A certain color?) Make a list of what you have in common. Create a third mood or Pinterest board that shows only the items/qualities/features you both agree on. Maybe there's enough to go on with this? If not, expand on the things you have in common to find new ideas that are cohesive with what you both agree on. If you are creative enough, you'll find them without having to duke it out. Remember, this space has to express both of you guys—so be open! The more open you are, the fewer arguments you’ll have. 
 

Image: James Stewart for Mackenzie Collier Interiors

Be considerate.

For all the items you don't agree on, priority should go to the person who spends the most time in a given room. For example, if the closest thing you do to cooking is putting your Postmates order on a plate, but your partner is a part-time chef at home, then you probably shouldn’t have the first pick on all kitchen decisions. Whoever spends the most time in a certain space should get a final say on decisions involving that area. That seems fair, right?
 

Image: Heather Kirchhofer for Mackenzie Collier Interiors

Image: Heather Kirchhofer for Mackenzie Collier Interiors

Need a tie breaker? 

Still can’t decide on what should be done in the dining room? Let the architecture of your space be the final judge. There are certain color schemes, furniture shapes, etc. that just suit a specific architecture type. Research your space and the architecture associated with it and look at what works best. When in doubt, ask an Interior Designer!

January Design Favorites Roundup by Mackenzie Collier

This month, the MCI team started a new weekly feature on Instagram called “Friday Faves” in which our designers pick a new thing they are over the moon about. We post anything design related, ranging from a cool piece of furniture, a new design concept and even rad architecture. We know a lot of you may be a little busy to keep up with all the favs of the week, so we decided to make a blog post each month highlighting our favorite items of the month. 

For the month of January, we featured a cool throwback from the 90’s, a design to get us pumped for the warmer months ahead and a bedroom item that correlates with our love for nature and the outdoors. 

Urban Outfitters Chair

Urban Outfitters Howell Modern Print Arm Chair

Aleah's fav this month was this super cool chair that's an ode to the decade that brought her to us. This chair puts a funky-fresh spin on the pop pattern we were used to seeing in the 90s. Pro tip: pair this cutie with a simple muted sofa to give your living room or office a fun, cool twist. 

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Plunge Pools

Plunge pools… enough said! These pools are popping up everywhere and we can’t get enough of them. They are perfect for Phoenix and the perfect route when you don't have a lot of backyard space. Our favorite is the water tank turned plunge pool by Sparks Architects— genius!

Top left: Happily Grey; Bottom left: Her New Tribe; Right: via Hunting for George

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Anthropologie Kinsella Rattan Bed

As Mackenzie said, "it looks like it could have grown straight out of the forest and could be perfectly at home on a bed of ferns." The wicker rattan was used in ancient Egypt for baskets and furniture and then made a comeback in the 20th Century for tropical deco on Hollywood set designs like Casablanca and Golden Girls. Oh, and did we already mention how much we love it?

We Won Best of Houzz 2018! by Mackenzie Collier

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We won Best of Houzz 2018 for Design and Customer Service!

Great news, we were chosen by more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community and from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

This is our fifth year in a row winning Best of Houzz for Customer Service and our second time for Design.

We are absolutely honored and want to take this time to thank the Houzz community and the many clients that have entrusted us with designing their dream spaces! 

Check out our Houzz profile and cool new badges here: https://www.houzz.com/pro/wedesignhomes/mackenzie-collier-interiors

Sleep-Friendly Bedroom Design Trends for 2018 by Mackenzie Collier

We all know how important it is to get those ZZZs. Yes, we sometimes like to contribute a lot of our focus and daily success to the mass amount of coffee we may intake—but truly it’s sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep is so important, but sometimes that may be hard to achieve when you're not in the ideal sleep environment. Obviously, we know the difference from sleeping on the couch opposed to sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic mattress; but the way in which your bedroom is designed can mean a lot. The colors in your room, the type of art, and even the height of the bed itself can influence your sleep patterns. The Tuck Sleep Foundation— an online community developed to improve one’s sleeping habits— put together a blog with a few design tips on how to get the most out of your sleep as well as correlating to the top bedroom design trends of 2018.


Where you sleep is just as important as how you sleep. Your sleep environment can influence your sleep quality. A healthy sleep environment should be cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable, offering a restorative place to doze off easily. Some design trends are too bold and exciting, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep comfortably. But many of 2018's new design trends take on a cooler, more minimalist and streamlined look that supports healthy sleep.

The Right Color Scheme

  • Cool colors: We're seeing a lot of light blue, gray, and yellow in design trends for 2018. Light colors, especially blue, are a great choice for bedrooms. Dark, bold colors can be too stimulating, or make your bedroom feel cavelike. A light, cool color is calming and opens up the depth of the room. Look for shades of light turquoise for an on trend look. These tones can be used on walls, bedding, curtains, accents, and more.

Photo: @oh.eight.oh.nine Instagram

Photo: @oh.eight.oh.nine Instagram

Ideal Bedroom Furniture

  • Minimalist headboards: Headboards can be a bold focal piece in your bedroom, but a more minimalist look can help you avoid letting a massive headboard take over the room. A bed that feels too large can make your entire room feel cluttered and stressful, so a less imposing headboard is a good choice for smaller bedrooms.

  • Low profile bed frames: Similarly, bed frames are becoming more minimal. Often, bed frames don't require the use of box springs, offering a more low profile look. Beds are often set closer to the floor as well, a departure from beds set high up with tall box springs.

  • Ordering mattresses online: We shop for everything online these days, and mattresses are no exception. More consumers are looking online to buy mattresses, not just find inspiration. This is a positive trend, as online mattress companies often have excellent 100-night+ guarantees, good customer service, and extensive information to help you choose the right mattress for your needs.

Photo: Decoist

Photo: Decoist

The Perfect Lighting

  • Hanging metal pendant lamps: Light in your bedroom is important to maintaining the right circadian rhythm, and light that shines in your eyes from above, such as a fan light or recessed lighting can confuse your brain and body at night, making you feel as if it's daytime. A better choice is lighting that is below eye level, which can be achieved with hanging pendant lamps. Hang these near your bed in a way that they don't shine directly into your eyes, but illuminate below with light that diffuses gently throughout the room.

Design Styles

  • Minimal, yet bold accents: An single large piece of bold art, or pops of color on an otherwise gray or monochromatic color palette can add personality while keeping your bedroom environment calm.

  • Midcentury design: Clean, modern lines are making a comeback. This design is an excellent choice for your bedroom, offering a streamlined look that can reduce stress and anxiety as you're resting.

  • Carefully designed mess: The boho look is in, which can be a little cluttered and stress inducing. But there's one big caveat to this trend: this mess is carefully arranged, such as stacks of books or asymmetrical lighting. With careful arrangement, you can organize your things so it's not stress inducing as you're ready to go to sleep -- but still embrace somewhat of a mess.

 

Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.