Design Guides

Multifunctional Seating Ideas to Get the Most Out of Your Space by Mackenzie Collier

 Source:  A nthropologie 

Source: Anthropologie 

Unconventional seating: it's a great way to enhance your space. Utilizing pieces of furniture that are refreshing and different, but also multifunctional, opens up a world of options! Instead of having your guest sit on a normal chair, pull out a bench or ottoman that can also double as storage. Thinking about rejuvenating your reading nook? Opt for a hanging chair or cozy bean bag to make things a little more cozy. Unconventional seating is the ultimate solution for saving space in smaller homes or apartments all while making your home accommodating for more guests.

We picked a few great pieces that range from bean bags and benches all the way to unique design chairs that can be used in various homes and office spaces to incorporate movement. 

Anthropologie Edlyn Bench

This oh-so-classic bench is definitely on the list when it comes to unconventional seating. We love this one from Anthropologie since it's customizable, letting you pick from an array of fabrics, colors and finishes. This can go in an entryway, a dining table or even in the living room in place of a couch. One of our interior designers Jenna suggests pushing the bench against the wall when you're not using it, since it doubles as storage, and pulling it out when you need it. 

Source: Anthropologie 

Urban Outfitters Cooper Faux Sheepskin Lounge Chair

A '90s revival that brings back so many memories for the MCI team. The bean bag chair, for grownups, is comfy, fun, and the perfect addition to any space. Wine night, game night, movies or even reading a book instantly becomes cozy with this chair, and it is definitely on Mackenzie's Pinterest board for a future purchase. 

Source: Urban Outfitters

Anthropologie Woven Hanging Chair

The perfect way to bring a little more fun in your space. Hanging chairs are also good at creating the illusion of more space since it is of the floor, opposed to most of your furniture items. This hanging chair from Anthro is an ideal way to make a comfortable nook in your home, filled with plants and ideal lighting. Pro tip: get a floor hook instead of mounting it to the ceiling so it's not permanent and you can move it wherever, whenever.

Source: Anthropologie

West Elm Montauk Nest Chair

Okay, so this one is technically a chair, but we just had to add it to the list! The shape is so different that we can't classify it as your average seat. This chair could live inside, outside on the patio or even in a cool Arizona room. Our Project Manager Aleah thinks it's a modern papasan chair that "looks like it just hugs you when you're sitting in it." 

Source: West Elm

Urban Outfitters Trixie Inflatable Chair

Inflatable furniture, it's making a comeback and we are supporting it's revival. This takes you right back to the '90s and can be a cool addition to a teenager's room. Can we also dream about how much cooler pool days would be when floating on this...

Source: Urban Outfitters

CB2 Leather Ottoman-Pouf

Sophisticated and chic—but still a fun, and not so risky, unconventional seat. This leather floor cushion is multi-functional and an ideal piece to add to your space without sacrificing style. Use it as an extra seat for guest or as a temporary home for your favorite book or magazine. Bonus points if you have an ottoman that doubles as storage!

Source: CB2

Design Within Reach Spun Chair

When talking about unconventional seating, this chair takes the cake! It is so fun to sit in but it's still architectural and can give your space a unique or edgy twist. Take it outside to sit by the pool or grab it for movie night with the fam. Whatever you do, you're destined to have some fun it. 

Source: Design Within Reach

Tree Stump from West Elm

We at MCI love the outdoors, that's no secret! So, we had to include an alternative seating idea that is inspired by what we love. The tree stump is so underrated and a multifunctional item that's a bonus to have in any home. This little guy can be a side table one minute and quick stool the next minute. You can even take him back outside to use on the patio!

Source: West Elm

Which alternative seating do you like best? Comment below and let us know! 

Tips on Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall by Mackenzie Collier

 Source: Framebridge/Leslee Mitchell

Source: Framebridge/Leslee Mitchell

Gallery walls are always a hit and is something that can help show more of your personality in your home. They can bring so much life to a boring wall in and transform the space completely. They can be as big or small as you want and can range from any color or style—whichever suits your space and personality. 

Now, we can all agree about how much we like them, but putting one together can seem like a hard task; one that might get you discouraged. Don't back out now, keep reading! We're going to give you a few tips on creating the perfect gallery wall that complements and adds to your ideal space! 

Monochromatic themed gallery wall.jpeg

1. Plan out your purpose

 

 

Maybe you want to fill a boring blank wall. Maybe you have a few pictures you love but you don't know what to do with them. Maybe you just want a gallery wall since they're fun and cute. Whatever the reason is, make sure you plan out your purpose or the story you want your gallery wall to tell. Do you want it have a certain style or color theme? Think it out, brainstorm, get inspired, and most of all have fun with it.

Source: Domino

Pretty Artsy Gallery Wall.jpg

2. Choose art that you love

This should go without saying, but it's still something we felt was important to add. If a picture goes with your theme but you kind of hate it, don't add it to your gallery wall! The best thing about a gallery wall is that it can be eclectic and incorporate a bunch of different things you love—just make sure it's something you actually love, not something you think you should love!

Source:Elle (Sweden)

Unique Gallery Wall.png

Figure out your ideal size and space 

First thing's first: pick out the perfect spot in your home for your gallery wall. Try getting creative and use spots you wouldn't normally think of like stairways and corners. Once that's covered, it's all about the ideal size you want for your gallery wall. Sizing all has to do with the space you have to work with, your style, and the number of items you have to contribute. Do you want a bold gallery wall with just a couple of big items or do you want a bigger one that's a little more spread out with numerous pictures and pieces to add? Make sure to make good use of your planned space while considering style and budget.

Source: Inside Out

Planning of Gallery Wall.png

4. Plan and measure

Planning out your gallery wall is key for creating the perfect one. Lay out all your frames on the floor and see which color and styles you believe to be complimentary of each other. This gives you an idea of how you want to arrange your pictures based on their individual style. Next step is to get butcher paper to trace the frames and arrange it on the wall to make sure everything is perfect before you start drilling or command stripping. 

 

Source: Momtastic

Arranging Gallery Wall.jpg
 Processed with VSCO with g6 preset

5. Work your way out 

Starting in the middle and working your way out is a great way to anchor your collection. A good tip is to start with your boldest, biggest, or favorite piece and then add all the other pictures around it. This makes it easier for planning since you are drawing a lot of your inspiration from your favorite piece or one that sticks out the most. Try to not be symmetrical and use an odd number of frames or items—nothing's perfect and that makes it fun!

 

Source: Mor Til Mernee

 

Alternative items in Gallery Wall.jpg

6. Don't forget the alternatives

Last but not least, don't forget about all the other items you can use to create your ideal gallery wall. There is so much to choose from: mirrors, clocks, plants, macrame, decorative objects, baskets—you name it. This is an expression of you and what you love so make sure to show that in any way possible. 

 

Source: Love Chic Living

Easy enough, right? Don't forget to have fun with it and comment to let us know what has worked for you! 

 

Five Low Maintenance Houseplants You'll Love by Mackenzie Collier

Houseplants, who doesn’t love them? They are aesthetically pleasing, purify 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?

Domino .jpg

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

http-::leedyinteriors.com:10-houseplants-that-dont-need-sunlight:.jpg

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

Bakker.jpg

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

Miss Moss.jpg

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

Home edit.jpg

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. 

plunge pool 3.jpg
plunge pool 2.jpg
Water Tank Plunge Pool.jpg

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

Kinsella Rattan Bed.jpeg

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?