West Elm

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! 

 

March Design Favorites Round Up by Mackenzie Collier

Source:  Anthropologie

March came and went, which was a good thing here in the MCI office since we were super busy, producing fresh designs left and right! This month, we also introduced a new design service called Room Service—which has been pretty fun and exciting. March was great for design, and we're so excited to move forward and spring into April. 

Of course, like always, we end the month with a roundup of a few of our favorite things, which we featured each Friday on our Instagram

Anthropologie Tulip Chair 

This gold velvet tulip chair was our first Friday Fave for spring, and it couldn't have been a better choice! This chair from Anthro is a biomorphic design piece, which means it draws inspiration from natural patterns and organisms. We also love how it's a vintage inspired piece from the 40s, and you can customize it to whichever color and/or fabric you feel works best for your space. 

Source: Anthropologie

Caressi Colours Kitchen Taps

These fun stainless steel kitchen taps are so fun and a great way to brighten any kitchen without completely conforming to one specific color. These taps come in 12 different colors, which makes it even harder to choose!

Source: Caressi

FLOR Palm Reader Rug

Textiles are a great way to incorporate trends, and we love the use of the currently-trending palm pattern here! FLOR square tiles are perfect for any size room, and each square can be easily replaced or clean when needed. Being 100% recyclable, these are perfect for just about any home—especially those with kids! That's a sustainable design trend that we are over the moon about! 

Source: FLOR

Cathy Terepocki Ceramic Stools

These ceramic stools from Anthropologie were a favorite from Aleah, and we totally understand why. They are multipurpose and can be used as alternative seating in just about any space since they are easy to move around and can go just about anywhere. The geometric motifs and metallic accents are an added bonus. 

Source: Anthropologie

Which one of these is your fave? Comment below and let us know!

Sales are Here: Our Fav Products for Less by Mackenzie Collier

Sales are an excuse to shop and spend some of the money you've been stashing away for your next vacation. President's Day just passed, and a few of our favorite stores are having a sale on some of our favorite items—items that we passed up before and now, we can't. Maybe you need a new chair in the office or a couple of throw pillows to spruce up the living room? Maybe you don't think you need anything at all until you see a gorgeous media console on sale at West Elm. To help you shop a little less, we decided to give you a couple of our favorite items on sale right now.
Warning: If this leads you to the website, with five extra items in your cart; we will not take the blame... 

West Elm

Urban Outfitters

Anthropologie

Although not listed, make sure to check out some of the cool sofas on sale at Article... if you dare!

Get the Luxe Look for Less by Mackenzie Collier

We love the classics, the high-end originals—we marvel at their fine details and clever ingenuity—but we also realize not everyone who wants a cool space to live in can spend $7500 on a lamp. (Personally, we'd rather spend our money on experiences, not necessarily on things!) If you're willing to compromise on some features, you can achieve almost any look for less. Here are a few options for awesome-looking, quality products that won't break the bank... 

DWR Cross Round Table.jpeg

This Mathew Hilton table from Design Within Reach is made of solid walnut, which sounds fancy, but solid wood has a tendency to contract and expand with the weather, making it less stable at times. This piece is 59" in diameter, while the similar piece from Article is 73" oval. Both say they seat eight, but it may be a tad crowded at this table.

Article Conan Dining Table.jpg

This piece has an ash veneer stained in a walnut finish. You wouldn't be able to refinish this piece, but veneers tend to be more stable than solid wood furniture, so it's a trade off. This piece is also a touch bigger than the DWR counterpart, making it more comfortable for 6-8 people.

RH Luke Leather Chair.jpeg

"An inspired take on the modern forms of 1970s Italian design," there's no denying this Restoration Hardware chair is a sophisticated selection. It's scaled slightly larger than the West Elm version, but both are made from top grain leather (that's the next best thing from full grain leather. Top grain leather has had the top few millimeters sanded off to eliminate imperfections).

Slightly smaller than the Restoration Hardware counterpart, this West Elm piece offers the same cool industrial style at a significantly lower price. It does, however, lack the built-in lumbar pillow. If you're in the market for a $4000 chair and want the best available, RH would be the best choice. If you are looking for something to do the trick while your kids are still in their "color on everything" phase, this West Elm chair is a great option!

Design Within Reach Kelston Sofa.jpeg

This 115" sofa by Mathew Hilton for Design Within Reach has articulating headrests, which is super cool—you can adjust them to just the right angle and height for reading or watching TV, or fold them out of the way when not in use. It's also made in Italy- hence the price tag.

CB2 uno 2-piece sectional sofa.jpeg

This piece has the same minimal yet cozy lines as the DWR piece but at a fraction of the price. This piece is made of FSC (SUSTAINABLE) kiln dried hardwood right here in the US. It's even deeper and longer than DWR version—134" wide as opposed to the DWR's 115"—so you can probably squeeze an extra friend on here. If you can live without articulating headrests, I'd save the money.

RH SUAR WOOD LOW TABLE.jpeg

This piece is carved from a single block of sustainably harvested kiln-dried wood, which is great, but coffee tables are meant for feet and cocktails and buttery popcorn, so I'd be a tad worried about stains.

CB2 darbuka black coffee table.jpeg

I actually like this design better than the RH piece because lifting the sphere up a bit shows off the shape more. I also like the structured architectural base, it juxtaposes with the smooth sphere quite well. It's cement, so it will be really durable and you won't get ring marks from wet glasses.

DWR Serge Mouille Three-Arm Floor Lamp.jpeg

So if you're the kind of person who needs the BEST lamp available, this Serge Mouille lamp is the one for you. Its three arms swing freely in any direction so that you'll need never fear a shadow. It has elegant lines and exquisite hardware. And the price tag? Well...

Target Iris Floor Lamp - Safavieh.jpeg

This lamp by Target (pronounced Tar-zhay) may be less flexible and a bit smaller, but it still has that modern insect look to it that sets it apart from your mother's old Pottery Barn wood & linen deal.

RHModern CHUNKY BRAIDED JUTE RUG.jpeg

Both of these rugs are 100% jute, handwoven, unbleached, and will inevitably shed for a while. So what makes them different? This one is woven into a latex backing, while the PB version is woven into wool. Personally, I'd prefer the wool. I think the cost difference here is simply a matter of comparing the textures (this one looks more expensive), but this chunkier version may be tougher to live with.

Pottery Barn chunky-wool-jute-rug.jpg

Pottery Barn | Chunky Wool & Jute Rug ($719)

You might compromise a bit visually on the smoother texture here, as compared with the RH version, but frankly, a thicker texture is much more difficult to keep clean, so I would opt for this one anyway! Have you ever tried to clean a spilled bowl of quinoa out of a textured jute rug? No? Oh. Err, me neither.