Design Guide

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! 

 

Room Service by MCI: A New Interior Design Package! by Mackenzie Collier

Guys—it's here. We are so excited to announce the launch of our new, made-to-order design service: Room Service by MCI!
*Cue upbeat dance music*

Great design, made to order.

Room Service is a flat-fee package that delivers a fully developed design plan to your doorstep in under two weeks. We work together to understand your design vision, then give you all the resources needed to achieve your dream space. No matter where you are in the world, we get to know you, your personal journey, and your unique style to curate a design that is exclusive to you and functional for your everyday life. You'll get complete personalization and transparency, without the hidden expenses. 

For more information and a full break down of the Room Service Package, make sure to check out our Room Service Page!

Photo by  Joanne Encarnacion  

The first delivery.

We kicked off the service with our dear friend, fitness and lifestyle blogger Joanne Encarnacion (aka GoFitJo), and it was such a delight.

Joanne and her family just moved into a beautiful mid-century double A-frame Eichler home in the San Francisco Bay Area. They've dubbed it the Highwood Haus, and it is an absolute dream! 

We wanted to create a retreat-like atmosphere for Jo and her family that fosters inspiration and creativity and cultivates a sense of wellbeing and harmony, all while honoring the Eichler aesthetic. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure to reflect the vibrant family that inhabits the space!

We had so much fun designing their amazing home and are happy to say they were completely thrilled with the results! We can't wait to see their design come to life.

To stay up to date on the design process, make sure to check out @GoFitJo on Instagram! 

Photo by  Joanne Encarnacion  

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.

Houzz: Interior Design Tips for Renting Out Your Home by Mackenzie Collier

Considering hosting your space on Airbnb or renting your place to vacationers? Our latest Houzz feature offers advice on how to step up your rental game and get the most out of your listing.