Welcome to February. January’s resolutions have come, and let’s face it, some have already gone. But if a décor refresh remains an unchecked box on your to-do list, our Living Editorial Director Nancy offers a few themes to incorporate. From rosy hues to canine designs – a nod to the annual Westminster Dog Show – here are the accents we’re loving this month.

Hello, February

Heart Motifs
For hearts that aren’t overly saccharine, try hanging a pop art–inspired print. A bold, two-tone graphic like this one is a surefire way to add visual interest to your walls.

All Things Dog
While you can’t snuggle with them, these adorable silver-plated salt and pepper shakers are looking for a home. We’ll gladly adopt them for our tabletop.

Red and Pink
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, shades of crimson and magenta are bound to appear at every corner. These hot pink and gold Moroccan tea glasses are a romantic touch for your at-home bar.

Find more of our favorites in our Hello, February: This Month’s Top Home Picks Boutique, which opened Monday, February 2, at 3PM ET.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

Which theme do you prefer? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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February 2, 2015

Well, your prayers have been answered. British Vogue was invited to Kate Moss’s North London abode for a chance to peep her designer duds. Let the closet envy commence… now.

Kate Moss British VogueImage by @britishvogue

Turns out Kate is a bit of a style pack rat – in the best way possible. She still has her bunny costume from Playboy‘s 60th anniversary issue, more than a hundred bags organized by color, a drawer full of sunglasses, and Louboutins galore.

“My wardrobe is brimming with Louboutins – the classic black Pigalle stiletto in patent or matte black leather is my go-to shoe,” she told the mag. “I have so many pairs that Christian designed a style with a sharper toe and nail-thin heel, which he named the So Kate.”

To see the rest of the supermodel’s drop-dead gorgeous home, head over to British Vogue. Just try not to fall in love with every inch of it. We dare you.

By Emily Ketterer, Staff Writer

What would be in your dream closet? Tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 28, 2015

Beanbag chairs: the stuff our tween dreams were made of. And now, Alexander Wang has single-handedly made us yearn for the slouchy furniture once again. How? With a high-end leather version for a cool $8,800.

The designer – always chic with a bit of edge – teamed up with Poltrona Frau for a capsule collection boasting two styles of his black leather and brass beanbag chair, as well as a matte leather trunk bar.

It’s official: I’m adding these buttery-soft beauties to my already extensive Alexander Wang wish list.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

What has you buzzing this morning? Tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 28, 2015

For bedroom décor: Put a spin on the traditional headboard. Try framed wallpaper, a texture-rich woven curtain, or repurposed vintage windows as a design-savvy alternative.

For your sheet storage: The chore of bed-making just got a bit easier. Neatly fold pillowcases and sheets, then wrap sets together with eye-catching fabric (or even an old fitted sheet). Grab from the closet and go.

For a quick clean: Guests on the way? Give your bathroom a five-minute refresh. Wipe off toothpaste stains, drain the soap dish, and flush a bit of toilet cleaner. But skip the shower: mildew is easily concealed with a pull of the curtain.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

Know any lifesaving tips or tricks? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

Not a Member and like The Style Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

January 26, 2015

For small spaces: Make your tiny apartment feel bigger with a unified color palette or aesthetic – that way rooms flow together and create the illusion of a larger environment.

For leftover vino: Freeze any remaining wine in an ice cube tray. Next time you make a sauce, glaze, or stew, pop in a cube for an extra hit of flavor.

For a no-cost craft project: Inject a bit of nature into your home with a DIY doorstop. Grab a sizable stone and cover it with your choice of paint (think a matte black or neon hue).

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

Know any lifesaving tips or tricks? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

November 10, 2014

For your hair: Forks aren’t just for pasta anymore. Twirl one through your strands (à la Disney’s The Little Mermaid) and dry with a diffuser nozzle for the ideal wave.

For your tabletop: Want to inject a little industrial Zen into your home? Pour concrete into paper cups, stick in a tall tapered candle, peel away the cup, and voilà! New centerpieces.

For your ankles: Your Achilles’ heel? Stilettos. Strengthen your ankles for that new pair by tracing letters in the air with your foot.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Editor

Know any life-saving tips or tricks? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

August 11, 2014

For your walls: Skip the art gallery and swing by a newsstand instead. Rip out your favorite magazine pages and frame them with brightly hued electrical or washi tape.

For stained nails: Your nails have seen the entire spectrum of polish hues – with discoloration left behind as evidence. Squeeze some whitening toothpaste on an extra toothbrush and scrub away to lift stains.

For a digital detox: You’re in a relationship with your phone. Learn to put it down during a very tempting moment – dining solo! Don’t worry, no one will think you were stood up. Just play it cool and people-watch.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Editor

Know any life-saving tips or tricks? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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August 4, 2014

The season for opening the windows, donning those ripped jeans, and trying your hand at refreshing every wall color is here. And when it comes to painting, we turn to none other than Andrea Magno, Color & Design Expert at Benjamin Moore.

To date, we’ve touched on sheen levels, chevron stripes, and the just-right balance of dark and light. Today’s topic? Adding dimension with paint. No, not top coats and bottom coats. We’re talking the technique of using different paint tones, shades, and finishes in the same space. From matte finishes to accent ceilings, our go-to paint pro discusses the ways.

Benjamin Moore Painting Tips

Continue reading “Beyond Floor to Ceiling: Painting Tips from Benjamin Moore®” »

June 18, 2014

With its centuries-long history of art and craftsmanship, it’s a no-brainer that Europe is one of the world’s most stylish continents. Here, we share tips for incorporating three of its countries’ distinct looks into your home.052714_blog

Continue reading “Passport to Style: Get the French, Belgian, or Italian Look at Home” »

May 27, 2014

To fans of HGTV, Orlando Soria is best known as Emily Henderson's assistant on the home-makeover series Secrets from a Stylist. But Soria’s design portfolio and talent don’t stop there. The Los Angeles–based interior designer and visual artist is also founder and author of the lighthearted design and lifestyle blog Hommemaker, as well as the West Coast creative director for Homepolish, a website that connects homeowners with professional interior designers in their region. The lucky winner of our sweepstakes with Trulia will welcome Soria into their home for a personal design consultation (and, we’re betting, lots of laughs). Here, Soria chats with Rue Living about clients, consultations, and having fun with it all.

Interview with Interior Designer Orlando Soria
Images courtesy of Orlando Soria

Rue La La: What are some of the most common hang-ups you encounter when consulting or working with clients for the first time?
Orlando Soria: Most often it’s that people don’t know what things are going to cost. For example, rugs and drapery tend to be very expensive, as is quality art. Most clients experience sticker shock with those items because they are pricey investment pieces you’re meant to buy and keep for years, and their prices reflect that.

RLL: Where do clients often go wrong on their own with their interior design?
OS: An issue I see a lot is people choosing items they love without thinking about how they work together. So they’ll paint a wall bright red and then buy maroon chairs and bring in some chrome accents and while all those things might be fine on their own, together they look garbled and chaotic. When designing a space it’s important to think about what story you want to tell, how you want the room to make you feel, and to use furnishings, wall treatments, et cetera, as a means to producing that feeling/story.

RLL: You must see a wide variety of homes and tastes between all of your clients. How do you pull together a unique vision for each?
OS: I don’t like to do anything too themey or fake, so I can find things to love about all styles. The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, tailored to the people who live there. You do this by making sure you’re incorporating the client’s art, books, and other items they’ve collected over the years. What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them. This is why design is so pyschological. You have to really dig deep to find out which furnishings are really going to make people happy, and which things they’re going to hate because they remind them of their grandma or something dated.

RLL: At its core, what are the key elements of successful interior design?
OS: Composition. I come from an art background so I think about everything in terms of color, light, and balance. It’s important to balance a room with color, finishes, and textures. For example, if you have a large, dark sofa on one side of the room, it helps to add something dark/heavy across from it so it doesn’t feel like the room is being sucked into a black hole.

RLL: What do you typically discuss with a new client in your first consultation or meeting?
OS: I like to get a sense of who they are and what their style is by asking them about their job, movies they like, their favorite kinds of clothes, where they have lived, and where they like to vacation.  There are a lot of other indicators besides interior-design tastes that can tell you what people like. Being able to make connections between personal interests, fashion, and everyday activities and home furnishings is what makes a good designer.

RLL: What are your favorite interior design aesthetics?
OS: I’m a big fan of things that are modern and earthy at the same time. My design hero is a New York designer named Robert Stilin. His designs are simple and clean, yet still so warm and welcoming. They feel fresh and new without being hard, cold, and sterile. That’s the line I like to walk. Just modern and fresh enough, yet still comfortable, visually interesting, and inviting.

RLL: Describe your role as creative director for Homepolish L.A.
OS: My job is essentially the combination of everything I love to do: interior design, writing, marketing, team leading, making design more accessible, and promoting young, innovative designers. I do a lot of exciting design collaborations with wonderful brands and media outlets like goop and HelloGiggles, and fun collaborators like writer Kelly Oxford and fashion blogger Rumi Neely. It’s a great job and somehow everything I did before – from being on a TV show to doing graphic design and publicity – prepared me for it.

RLL: Tell us about a project you did for a client that you’re particularly proud of.
OS: I love a project I did with a wonderful family in La Habra Heights, which is a lovely little city about 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Their home is a beautiful Spanish Revival and I had so much fun decorating it with furnishings that both complemented the architecture and reflected the young, hip styles of the homeowners.

RLL: Do you have any signature “moves” when it comes to interior design?
OS: I tend to make my own art and use it to fill spaces I don’t know what to do with. Or put benches in random places that feel empty or weird. Normally, if a space feels empty or awkward, a bench with a great art piece above it can solve the problem.

RLL: What’s your favorite room in a house to design and decorate?
OS: I love decorating guest bedrooms because you can be a little more adventurous with your design. Since no one has to sleep in there every night you can be bolder with color and art, which makes them a really fun opportunity to showcase your design perspective.

RLL: Have you ever done any staging? What are the biggest differences between staging and designing a home that someone intends to live in?
OS: I have not done any staging, but I have advised on it a lot. Basically, the idea with staging is both to give people ideas and inspiration and to show them how they might possibly lay out the space. They need to be aspirational, in a sense, because you want people to want the space, to buy the house. So in a way it’s not that much different than a regular design job. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make the space look as natural and inviting as possible.

RLL: What’s Hommemaker all about? 
OS: Hommemaker is a space for me to be creative just for me. No clients, no company, just share ideas about things I’m making, spaces I’m designing, what I’m thinking about and seeing it. I love doing it and it’s so satisfying to get feedback from readers. I kind of just treat it like a big art project and do whatever I want with it. That people read it is amazing and humbling.

RLL: Your writing style on Hommemaker is very playful. Do you try to work a sense of humor into your relationships with clients?
OS: I tend to joke around with clients and am naturally a playful person. It’s just my personality. I think it’s because I was shy my whole life, so I learned to joke as a way of making myself and others feel comfortable. Thus far all of my clients have been fun and great, so I can joke and laugh with them while also making sure we get everything done and that their home looks how they want it to look.

Want Orlando Soria to come to your home? Enter the sweepstakes in our New Home Know-How: Essentials for Staging & Decorating Boutique, opening Saturday, May 17, at 3PM ET.

Discover selling strategies, search neighborhoods, or contact a real estate professional at Trulia.com.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

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Continue reading “Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria” »

May 17, 2014