What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

by Rachel Jacks

Backyard Solstice Party

While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don't get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there's no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!                

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The Days After Christmas Should Be the Best Week of the Year - Here's How

by Rachel Jacks

And breathe

You've decked the halls, hung the stockings with care, wrapped and unwrapped the presents, and it's no wonder if you're all tired out. Hopefully now that Christmas is over you finally have a bit of time to relax. Maybe you already know exactly how you want to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's, but here are 10 ideas for how to unwind in case you've forgotten how.       

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3 Ways to Give Plain Ornaments a Stylish, Scandi Makeover

by Rachel Jacks
Scandi Christmas ornament makeover
Photo: Rachel Jacks

If you've ever been inspired by try a whole new color scheme or style in your Christmas decor, you may have been deterred by the fact that you'd have to replace all of the ornaments you already have. But with a little paint, you can give your ornaments a makeover, saving cash and keeping your old decor out of the landfill. Here's how I gave some glass bulbs a new look, three different ways. 

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Make DIY Mini Concrete Christmas Trees

by Rachel Jacks
DIY cement Christmas trees
Photo: Rachel Jacks

 

Though real Christmas trees are wonderful, not all of us have the time, space, or energy to deal with them. So if your tastes lean to the more industrial, minimalist side of things, you can make your own little Christmas trees out of cement. These concrete Christmas trees are reusable, require no maintenance, and you don't have to worry about ornaments or lights. Of course, there's no reason you can't have both a real tree and some of these mini ones. They're pretty quick and addictive to make, so go ahead and make a whole forest. 

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Giant Chunky Knit Blankets to Buy or DIY for Your Coziest Winter Yet

by Rachel Jacks
Chunky knit blanket to buy or DIY
Photo: Colorways Gallery

A few years ago, super chunky knit blankets started popping up on blogs and Pinterest, and I immediately knew I wanted to knit my own. Mine knit up quite quickly and easily, and I've been enjoying its cozy embrace ever since. Now I'm even considering putting one of these kits to knit another on my Christmas list, partly because my cat thinks that the one I made should be reserved soley for her use. But also because I'm really not sure you can have too many of these luscious chunky knit throws. Ready to test that hypothesis? Here are a variety of options for buying or making your own chunky knit blanket. 

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Where to Find Scandinavian Style Staples Even If You're Not in the Nordic Countries

by Rachel Jacks

Scandinavian Style Staples

Perusing online tours of beautiful Scandinavian homes can be an addictive, and envy-inducing, pastime. Though you may not be able to import their high ceilings, period features, or masonry heaters (those cylindrical white corner fireplaces that I endlessly covet), you can certainly create your own replica of the Scandinavian look with the right furnishings. Figuring out where to find certain pieces can be tricky, so I'll round up some popular Scandinavian-style pieces, and tell you where you can buy them in the US.     

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Update Your Decor With These 16 Cool Rattan Pieces

by Rachel Jacks

With the recent resurgence of bohemian style, it's no wonder that rattan is also making a comeback. But you might be surprised to discover that rattan can look surprisingly chic. Context is everything, and mixing a rattan piece or two in with more modern elements can make all the difference between a room that looks like the revenge of the '70s, and one that looks like you just added in a bit of natural rattan flair. If you're ready to give it a chance, check out our modern rattan finds (no papasan chairs included). 

 

Rattan Beds

Rattan daybed
Rattan daybed available at Anthropologie

If you're ready to re-create the above look for yourself, you can buy a similar rattan daybed here.

Rattan headboard
Rattan headboard available at Urban Outfitters

This rattan headboard is a lower-commitment, less expensive way to get a similar look.

Rattan headboard
Rattan headboard available at Target

Target also has a rattan headboard at a similar price point, as well as that cute little ottoman at the end of the bed. It would make a great plant stand or side table.

 

 

Rattan Chairs

Rattan armchair
Armchair available at Ikea

If the natural blond color of rattan doesn't work with your decor, the black paint color on this Ikea armchair might be a better fit. 

Rattan hanging chair
Rattan hanging chair from Serena & Lily

I have to admit that I've had a soft spot for rattan hanging chairs ever since I sat in my grandparents' when I was a child. A few years ago I hunted one down at vintage shops, but if you're not having any luck with that approach, this one is a great alternative. 

Rattan chair
Rattan side chair available at Target

This simple rattan arm chair looks perfect for that awkward corner in your bedroom or living room. 

Rattan chair
Chair available from World Market

Although similar to the one above, this rattan chair is a bit more expensive, but has a more intricate look. It also comes in a black version.

Rattan side chair
Rattan side chair available from Anthropologie

Surprisingly considering the source, this stylish rattan chair beats both of the above on price.

Rattan side chair
Rattan side chair from CB2

This curvy take on a rattan chair almost reads more like sleek black metal.

Rattan Accessories

Rattan side table
Rattan side table from The Citizenry
 

The woven pattern makes this rattan side table an especially cool piece.

Rattan globe ceiling light
Globe light available at Target

This black rattan globe light easily fits in with sleek and modern decor.

Rattan Ikea basket
Rattan basket from Ikea

This rattan basket would be perfect for holding cozy winter blankets and throws.

Rattan floor lamp
Rattan floor lamp available from Target

If you don't have a spot for a hanging globe light, this rattan floor lamp is another cool option.

Rattan mirror
Rattan mirror available from Target

Not ready to go for a full rattan chair? Add just a touch with this loopy rattan mirror

Rattan baskets
Rattan baskets available from World Market

These rattan baskets are another stylish way to incorporate the trend in a small dose.

Rattan finds for your home that look fresh and modern

Ready to add some rattan to your decor? 

Need more rattan in your life? Learn how to make a rattan jewelry organizer.

How to make a bohemian wall-mounted earring organizer

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The Internet's Best Pet Halloween Costumes to Make and Buy

by Rachel Jacks
Halloween pet costume lion mane
Lion dog costume available here.

If you have pets who can and will wear pet Halloween costumes, you practically owe the rest of us that spectacle of cuteness. As a longtime cat owner, I am fully aware that costumes just aren't practical for many pets, so please, do your duty and dress up your furry friend for the rest of us to enjoy (as long as they don't mind, of course). Remember to post lots of pictures of your pet Halloween costumes!           

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Use What You Have: Practically Free Upcycled Organization Ideas

by Rachel Jacks

Underbed storage

If you've ever gone on an organizing spree, I probably don't have to tell you that the cost of stuff to organize your stuff can really add up. But if you want to get organized on a budget, your best bet is to create solutions with things you already have. Things that might instead end up in the trash or recycling, so you're saving the planet at the same time. These upcycled organization ideas for every room in the house prove that with a little creativity, you don't have to spend big bucks to create an organized space.        

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