8 Ways to Design a Happier Home

Your home is your haven, and you deserve to be happy in it, no matter how much money you make, how big your space is, or how much you know or don't know about decorating. The good news is there are tiny tweaks you can make to boost your mood in your house, and none of them cost a fortune. Some of them are scientific, so you might not even understand how or why the happy hits you. Just go with it—and the rest of these strategies for feeling your best in your nest.

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One: Colour Everywhere

Okay, maybe not everywhere, because there's something to be said for serene neutrals and using a little bit of restraint when you decorate. But high energy shades like yellow and green have been shown to make people happier and more productive. These hues are tricky to get right as wall colors, but it's definitely doable. Don't discount the effect a new lemon-colored throw or emerald desk lamp could have either. Bigger isn't always better when it comes to color.

Two: Make Your Bed

Making your bed is the easiest way to start your day off on the right foot. You get something productive done right away that sets you up for success later that night. The last thing you see before hitting the hay shouldn't be a disheveled mess of sheets and pillows. You'll be happier for making it in the morning. Promise.

Three: Light Your World

On the whole, you're probably more smiley on sunny days as opposed to cloudy ones, right? Well, harness that happy by letting as much natural light into your home as possible. Trade out heavier drapery for sheers or go entirely without window treatments if privacy isn't an issue. Open up your windows when you can. And if you don't get a ton of sunlight in your space, fake it with an OttLite Wellness lamp, which features LED technology that's as close to the sun's output as possible. And try this trick—swap out your living room lights with pink bulbs, which make it seem like you're looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, literally.

Four: Be a Proud Plant Parent

Studies suggest that surrounding yourself with greenery can boost your mood and decrease your stress levels. Can't forest bathe in your neighborhood or turn your sunroom into a greenhouse? That's okay. Buy a couple of succulents for your windowsill or a fern for your shower. And if you're a total black thumb, bring in some crystals or shells. You can't exactly nurture those guys, but even a tiny touch of nature may make you a little more zen.

Five: Look For Furniture With Softer Edges

Pieces with round edges are much more soothing to the eye than boxy, angular shapes. Just bought a squared-off sofa? No worries. Just add some cozy, cushy throw pillows to break up the hard lines. Texture is key. Anything chunky knit will do.

Six: Trick Out Your Bathroom For “Me Time”

Treat yourself by turning your bathroom into self-care central. Get one of those across-the-tub caddies if you have the room for it or a shelf for a plant, your wine glass, and a piece of art that makes you smile. Maybe write an affirmation on your mirror in lipstick or dry erase marker if you're into that kind of thing.

Seven: Find a Happy Scent For Your Home

Smell is a very powerful tool and can often elicit memories from the depths of your mind. Think of something you have a positive association with—maybe it's the ocean, where you first learned to swim. Or a pine scent that reminds you of summer camp. Whatever it may be, start layering it around your home. Candles are an obvious choice, but consider an ultrasonic diffuser as well, especially if you have kids or pets. Pilgrim's Zoemodel ($120) works with essential oils and even has a built-in meditation light, if you really want to let the good vibes flow.

Eight: Get Rid of Clutter

File this one under "duh." But really. Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed at a hotel? Nice linens and a big fluffy robe help, though I'm inclined to think the totally clear surfaces are a big part of that "ahhhh" feeling. When your stuff isn't closing in on you, life just feels a little less overwhelming. Biggest takeaway here: "Everything in its place, and a place for everything." So toss what you don't need, and try to put things away when you're done using them. That way, you won't have a major organizing crisis on your hands at the end of the each week.

Originally Posted on Apartment Therapy by Danielle Blundell

How To Step Up Your Halloween Decor This Year

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There is no reason for your halloween decor to be any less elegant or fabulous then you decor for any other holiday or season! We love halloween, and know it can be done in an elegant and upscale way so that you are wowing all October long! Here are a few of our favourite tips and tricks for how to step up your halloween game for 2018!

Know Your Pumpkins

Here is a handy dandy chart for all your pumpkin needs! All orange, round, jack-o-lantern pumpkins are for the past and we are all for it. Here are a few of our favourite pumpkins to add some fun and whimsy to your halloween decor.

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Use All The Candles and Lanterns To Your Hearts Content

We LOVE this idea! At Amanda’s House of Elegance we have a ton of long tampered candles so that you can get this look in your own home. As an alternative, we think that candles and lanterns in any form bring in the Halloween feelings to any room. Come down to the store to pick up some WoodWick candles and view some of our beautiful lanterns.

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Dark Is Not A Bad Thing

If there is any holiday to bring out the black it is Halloween! We love the dark and moody presence some intense hits of black give to a room, it is sure to add some boldness to your decor. And if you want spooky, black is the way to go. Dim the lights and let the mood take your guests to another world for the night.

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Monochromatic Schemes Are Not To Be Feared

Have some fun with a monochromatic scheme! We love all white scenes with pumpkins and flowers. While it may not be the spookiest of decor, it is sure to make a statement all on its own.

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Add A Wreath

We still have a few beautiful wreaths in Amanda’s House of Elegance that you can purchase for your home! We love wreaths with notes of both autumn and halloween so it fits in the whole month long. Wreaths are a great way to add some fun to your door while staying classy and sophisticated, and there are just so many great options you are sure to find something!

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Some Of Our Favourites For Inspiration

Less than two weeks till the big day! Happy Halloween!

Interior Design Style Quiz

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Are you having trouble with the design in your home? First you have to pick a style and start to build your personal style around that! At Amanda’s House of Elegance are ready to make this whole process a little but easier for you. Here is the style quiz to answer all your questions. Not only does the quiz tell you what style you are drawn towards the most, but we have comprehensive descriptions to read through once your styles are defined. We are not claiming to be experts but we love design and think that this will be not only fun insight into your style but also very helpful. We will be consistently updating these profiles to make them better and make your life easier. Feel free to explore these style pages and also see some products in the store that match up with your style. We can guarantee that all the products will be available at all times, so you better come in as soon as possible so your favourite piece doesn’t leave without you! Have fun!

Rugs To Add Warmth To Your Space Through The Cold Months

When its cold outside, sometimes the only thing getting you through the day is the knowledge that you can get nice and cozy once you get home. There are some very easy tactics that can be used in order to add warmth and design to your home. Adding a few rugs to your space is one of these tactics. Having a warm, soft surface under foot adds so much character and keeps the house warmer all at the same time. Here are some great rug options available at Amanda’s House of Elegance that will be perfect in your home for the fall and winter and then can easily transition to the warmer months.

The Perfect Neutrals

These neutral beauties will add warmth and comfort to your space without adding too much of a statement. Even though the patterns are bold, the neutral colour palette keeps these rugs an easy statement for any home. These are great for spaces already in a neutral palette, space with colourful palettes and also spaces with wall to wall carpeting to achieve a layered effect. If you are unsure what rug would suit your space, bring in photos to Amanda’s House of Elegance and we would be happy to help.

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Add Some Colour

A colourful rug can be the perfect addition to the right space. Definitely a riskier move then a neutral choice, but the payoff can make it worth it! We love the colours in these options and think they could be a perfect purchase for your home. Sometimes a pop of colour is what is needed to really liven up a room.

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Falling For Fall: Slowly Bringing Autumn Decor Into Your Home

With fall colours and temperature fast approaching, for better or worse, Amanda’s House of Elegance is ready to solve all of your fall decor needs! We suggest slowly transitioning your home’s decor to including fall colours and pieces that match the changing exterior. Come down to House of Elegance to fall in love with autumn once again!

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Gold Is Fall Approved

If we had to assign a colour to the seasons, autumn would definitely be gold. Everywhere you look in the fall season you see warm hues of reds, oranges and gold’s. It is not a secret that gold in very on trend and at House of Elegance we are very on the gold train for injecting some autumn decor into your space. A gold touch here and there will add warmth and light to your home and we would love to show you how.

Let’s Bring The Outside In

Let’s be honest, there is nothing better then being outdoors in the autumn season. All of the leaves changing colours and the crisp, clean skies during the day, some may call it magical. Bring this feeling into your home by bringing in the colours of the changing leaves, greenery, and natural woods and stone. The feeling that fall brings needs to be brought inside and this can be easily achieved through your choice of decor. Perhaps a natural wood tray to display some festive pieces, or natural stone candle holders would truly bring the outside in.

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Spice Up Your Space

And by adding “spice” I mean adding warmth to your space! The best way to do this is through warm candles and scents throughout your home. At Amanda’s House of Elegance, we love WoodWick candles for so many reasons. Not only are they made in a variety of fall approved colours and scents such as autumn, pumpkin pecan and warm wool (even the names provoke feelings of fall!), their wicks crackle as they burn bringing a fireplace feel into any room.

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Elegant Pumpkins

While natural pumpkins themselves can be beautiful as a decor element, since we are only halfway through September, it may be a tad too early to invest in the real thing. Pumpkins are a true symbol of fall, and we think they can be used in an elegant way all through the autumn season. At Amanda’s House of Elegance we have some great alternative to the tradition Halloween pumpkin that are both elegant and that will inject some fall into your home.

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Fall In Love with Autumn Textures and Patterns

There is nothing better then cozying up in the fall with a big chunky blanket and some beautiful pillows. Now that September is here and the temperatures outside will be slowly dropping, its time to replace your cottons and linen’s with wools and luxurious velvet fabrics. Pick out prints that highlight the colour tones in your house and also inspire warmth in your home. Plaids and rich hued florals are great for autumn.

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Pick Rich Hues In Your Floral Displays

At House of Elegance, we love bright and beautiful floral arrangements especially when paired in one of our stunning vases. Now that the colours and temperature of the season is changing, its time to change up those flowers and add in richer hues and fall flowers to the mix. We love adding in fall foliage, sprays that add colour and texture and some greenery to tie it all together.

5 Ways to Personalize Your Space!

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Does your home feel like your refuge, or is it kind of…generic? It can seem challenging, especially in a rented space, to make your place feel like your own. But you don’t need a big budget to personalize your pad. A designer at Laurel & Wolf can help channel your unique likes, quirks and personality and translate them into different pieces of your decor.

Display Your Memories

These days, we all have enough personal photos to cover every inch of our walls. While you probably don’t want to turn your home into a shrine, incorporating some of your favorite shots is an easy way to personalize your space. Pick out faves from your phone’s photo album or Instagram feed, upload them to an online framer, and voilà. Instantly personal (and affordable) decor. Don’t have anything you’d deem frame-worthy? Sounds like a great excuse to book an exotic vacation or professional family photo shoot.

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Add a Signature Scent

There’s nothing like walking into a home and getting a whiff of freshly baked cookies or a bouquet of roses. A well-chosen aroma may not change the way your space looks, but it can instantly change the way it feels. What scents instantly say comfort and “home” to you? If you’re not sure, start experimenting with different fragrances via your method of choice—i.e., room sprays, essential oil diffusers or votive candles, to name a few.

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Carve Out Space for That Thing You Do

Think about your hobbies. Which of your most loved extracurriculars could you make a dedicated space for in your home? You could devote a corner to a cozy reading or meditation nook, create a chill zone to play or lounge with music, or bring in a bar cart to indulge your affinity for gourmet cocktails. Even just a few square feet dedicated to that thing you love will make your space feel more like you.

 

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Inject Your Personality Into Accessories

Accent pillows, rugs, bed linens—they’re all a canvas for you and your tastes. Are you bold and vibrant? Make your home accessories reflect that with bright colors and striking patterns. Love humor? Add some pillows or prints with funny phrases or cartoons. Whatever your personality, there’s decor out there to match.

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Incorporate Your Favorite Flora

Plants are another no-brainer way to add a personal touch to your space, with the bonus of adding life and warmth. Whether you swoon for soft pink peonies or succulents, it’s easy to find the perfect spot for plants in your home. Don’t have a favorite yet? Spend a Saturday morning wandering your local nursery and vow not to leave empty-handed.

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Come into House of Elegance located at 70 Princess Street Kingston today to see how we can help you personalize your space! Remember no space is too big or too small!

This article was written, photographed, and posted on Laurel & Wolf Interior Design

Peek Inside Mandy Moore's Dreamy Mid-Century Maison (By: Apartment Therapy)

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If you've been diligently following the peeks Mandy Moore has been sharing on Instagram about her freshly renovated mid-century home in Pasadena, then this is what you've been waiting for. With the over-a-year process finally complete, the This Is Us star is on the cover of the July/August issue of Architectural Digest talking about her brand new abode.

Prior to today, we've gotten a few looks at finished spaces—her laundry roomand pantry in particular—but nothing quite as extensive since the massive moving day Insta story.

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"We fell in love with the views, the pool, the yard, basically the whole energy of the place," Moore tells AD of the Harold Zook-designed home. "We wanted to recapture the home's original spirit without delving into a slavish period restoration. We tried to imagine what Zook would have done if he were designing it today."

"I've been bursting to talk about home stuff but this has been in the works for a little while and we had to keep it a secret," she writes in an Instagram caption featuring the cover. She also praises architect Emily Farnham, interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, and the rest of the team that worked on the project, including "an extra thanks to all of you who took an interest in this silly home renovation and followed along via my stories, etc..... can't wait for the next one!" she teases with a wink face emoji.

And it might not be that far off—Moore discovered a love of the process during the extensive project. "It's hard to convey the excitement of working out every detail, from picking slabs at the stone yard to figuring out how many burners we wanted for the stove," she says. "Once you realize that you can actually build your true dream house, it's hard to go back to anything else."

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Written and Published By: Apartment Therapy

6 Things to Try When a Room Just isn't Coming Together (By: Apartment Therapy)

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If you've ever had a room hovering at "almost there," you know how frustrating of a situation it can be. The room doesn't look bad, it just doesn't quite sing. It's missing something, and you can't put your finger on it. You might find these six things to try helpful when a room just isn't coming together like you thought it would!

1. Compare it to your inspiration
Whether you tried to copy a room you saw on Pinterest piece by piece, have always just wanted a room that feels like Kelly Wearstler designed it or looked to a piece of art for color palette inspiration, go back to that inspiration and compare. What do you have in your room that's not in the inspiration? What don't you have? It might be a case of you trying an extra element that's fighting the harmony of the original inspiration, or you may have forgotten to include a vital element that makes your inspiration work.

2. Try taking things out
Take out a big element. Yes, even something big like curtains. Now step back and look at the room again. Even if the room feels a little emptier, you might be able to see the potential of where the design needs to go. You might not be able to see what your room is missing because there's something that doesn't belongin there already, blocking your ability to see the room's potential.

3. Focus in on a spot, corner or wall that you do love
Why do you feel like that spot is working? What is it that you love? Take what's working and spread it out around the room a little more. Maybe it's a color you only used a touch of that could be maximized more in the space. Maybe it's a style of furniture you played around with on a small scale that the room could use more of. See what adding more of what you love in the room does to the feel of it.

4. Shake up your style
Grab something from another part of the home, from a friend's home or find a free thing — just make it something that seems surprising to add to the space. As we've mentioned before, sometimes bringing something that you think obviously doesn't go can produce one of two equally favorable outcomes: either it surprises the heck out of you by working in the space, or it points you in the right direction to go in by being so mismatched!

5. Take a picture (or two or three)

And then leave the room you're trying to figure out. Like, go to a coffee shop or somewhere else. Look at the photos you took on your phone and scroll through them. Look at the photos on a small scale; small thumbnails that let you see the whole space. Put some mental distance between the fact that this is a room you live in and see every day and instead view it like a room you'd be spotting on a blog somewhere. And then immediately listen to your gut on what you think the room might need (or need taken out). 

6. Doodle
Those pictures you took earlier? Print them out if you can (or turn to a digital photo manipulating tool) and start doodling. Drawing patterns. Drawing furniture pieces. Squares where you think more art could go. Doodle stuff you wouldn't do in your right mind with actual items. That you can't do financially. Play. And when you hit on something that feels like it clicks, figure out how to make it work on your budget and in your space!

Written and published by Apartment Therapy 

A Pillow and Its Pair: 6 Perfect Pillow Pairings

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Every well design home needs well curated accents in order to successfully execute the desired look. While the bones of the design are often large pieces such as rugs and furniture, the best way to outfit your space is through smaller accents such as pillows and throw. Pillows can be changed up depending on the season or occasion; they can also be an easy way to change up the look of the room on a small budget. We love pillows at Amanda's House of Elegance. Here are our favourite pillow and throw combinations currently available in store right in the heart of downtown Kingston. We can't wait for you to add new life and design to your couches, beds and chairs. 

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A very classic set of pillows, but they will add new life to any space. The gorgeous grey large scale gingham is a modern take on a classic design. We love this pair because of the contrast between the muted tones and the bold patterns.

Grey Gingham Pillow - $79.95; Blush Pink Pillow - $59.95; Cream Floral Throw - $139.95

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Beautiful neutral pillows with bold and interesting prints and patterns can be a great choice for many homes. This over scale bird print is a great whimsical way to add some interest to any room while the cowhide pillow add some elegance and glam.

Bird Pillow - $64.95; Cowhide Metallic Pillow -$107.97

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This combination is the perfect mix of pattern, neutral and colour. The variation between the three pieces combined beautifully to create depth and interest.

Blue and Cream Floral Pillow - $64.95; Cream Lumbar Pillow - $74.95; Mustard throw - $98.95

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Every room needs a little shimmer and shine. This beaded quatrefoil pillow is a subtle bit of sparkle, but when light hits the beading it will create a large impact. This metallic printed pillow is the perfect pair.

Beaded Quatrefoil Pillow - $69.95; Cream Metallic Pillow - $68.95

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Green is the perfect colour to add some life and energy to your space. We love subtle greens that lean more towards neutrals in a space and these pillows are the perfect example of this. The stripes and floral balance each other out perfectly.

Beige and Green Striped Pillow - $94.95; Green and Grey Floral Pillow - $64.95

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This is definitely the most eclectic of the pairings we came up with. All three pieces have bold prints but they are all working together to create a mixed-match look that is eclectic and fun. Coral/orange and navy pair beautifully but are an uncommon pair which adds a unique touch.

Orange Elephant Pillow - $66.95; Grey and Cream Pillow - $64.95; Blue chevron Throw - $98.95

Amanda's Favourites: March Edition

Spring is ever so slow approaching, but here at Amanda's House of Elegance we are in full spring swing. Located right in the heart of downtown Kingston, here are Amanda's March favourites. With new merchandise being brought in all the time it won't be long before these items are picked up by a lucky buyer! We hope to see you soon! 

Oversized Apple - $119.95

We are currently loving this oversized apple. It adds a whimsical and clean touch to any space while still being a striking piece of decor. It can easily be a stand alone accent because of its size and will look beautiful in a clean space. The bright while colour is the perfect way to brighten up your space. 

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Dandelion Sprays - $33.95

These dandelion sprays are a unique take on the classic spray of greenery or flowers. They have a large impact and are the perfect accent for spring! 

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WoodWick Boat Candle - $38.95

Here at Amanda's House of Elegance we love these WoodWick candles. They are the perfect scent and sound to create a beautiful ambiance for any lifestyle. This boat shape is a favourite of ours because of the long wick that creates a beautiful long flame. These candles have a long burn time and we can promise you won't be disappointed. Available in other scents. 

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Blush Glasses - $9.95, $12.95, $27.95

These blush coloured glasses are giving us all the heart eyes. They are a frosted blush glass with a beautiful gold rimmed detail. We can't get enough of the unique look of these glasses that are sure to blow your guests away at any party you may host. 

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Charcoal Rose Soap - $10.95

The L.A.M.A. soap company is a fairly new line being carried at Amanda's House of Elegance, but it is the perfect gift or party favour for occasion. We love how soft and gentle this soap is on your skin, and this charcoal rose scent is our absolute favourite. Its a elegant way to add some class and beauty to any bathroom. Available in other scents.

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Throw Pillows - $88.95 each

The play on textures in the reason we love these throw pillows. They are a beautiful mix of materials and colours all working together to create a unique and elegant look. Each pillow is feather filled and have a zipper bottom for easy cleaning. 

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Bell Jar Stand - $48.95

A whimsical take on a cake stand or food tray. This bell jar food tray is a modern but unique take on the perfect way to display and cover treats and sweets in your kitchen. the light wood base mixed with the glass top is the perfect way to mix eclectic and modern styles.