11 Philly-Themed Home Items That Will Actually Look Cool in Your House

philly-etsy-itemsIt’s just a fact of life that themed home decor of any kind can skew really cheesy really fast. There’s a delicate tipping point at which you go from having a good eye for interesting pieces to becoming the weird bag lady with all the porcelain cat figurines.

But another fact of life is this: Philadelphians love Philadelphia. And that’s a good thing. But decor-wise, the trouble begins when you start filling your home with every kind of Philly-themed item under the sun (especially if said items have to do with your favorite Philly sports team).

I’m here to tell you: Moderation is key. One or two striking pieces or objects that show your hometown pride can add a nice punch to your room. I waded through the depths of Etsy to find a handful of non-cheesy Philly-themed pieces you could be proud to display in your home. Just don’t overdo it.  Read more »

How to Live Gorgeously in Small Philly Apartments: Lessons from Airbnb

airbnb_lead

Photos via Airbnb, with permission from homeowners

I’ll be the first to admit that I love some good house porn — especially when said house porn involves a peek into my neighbors’ homes. After nearly a decade of living in rentals in two cities, I’ve become particularly enamored with small spaces that are utilized with utmost efficiency: each nook, cranny and corner thoughtfully employed to maximize every square inch of living space. It’s basically icing on the cake if the space is styled well to boot.

So what better place to gawk at stylish small spaces that happen to belong to my neighbors — by which I mean, fellow Philadelphians — than Airbnb? Oh, the bookcases that double as room dividers! The tiny tables to create a coffee nook! The ladders and lofted beds! It’s as good as Christmas.

So snoop with me, will you? Maybe there are some smart design schemes you can crib for your own pad. But if not, hey, at least it’s still some mighty fun house porn.  Read more »

12 Cozy Throw Blankets to Keep You Toasty Warm This Winter

Clockwise from left: Thomas Paul Octopus Throw from Houzz, Henri Dove Cotton Throw from DwellStudio, 5th Avenue Glacier Park Throw from Pendleton, Houston Throw from Fab.com.

Clockwise from left: Thomas Paul Octopus Throw from Houzz, Henri Dove Cotton Throw from DwellStudio, 5th Avenue Glacier Park Throw from Pendleton, Houston Throw from Fab.com.

I was outdoors for approximately 20 minutes yesterday, and no joke: I was so cold, my ears ached. The sad, sad reality of winter in Philly is this: Mild ol’ December always lulls us into believing, Hey, this isn’t so bad!, but then January and February come, bringing the absolute worst of it, so you’d better be prepared. And what better way to ride out the snow, ice and bitter cold than on the couch in front of a Netflix marathon shrouded in a cozy new throw blanket that wraps alllll the way around, maybe even twice? Thought so.

Please, let your fingers do the shopping today and get warm at last. Piping mug of hot cocoa not included, but highly recommended.  Read more »

Current Obsession: This De-Stressing Chaise Lounge For the Perennially Frazzled

Konekt chaiseThough the base of the “Pause” chaise is rooted in technology — an ergonomic fiberglass shell created from a 3-D computer rendering — the finished product is crafted to help you escape it. The lounge is an offering from the year-old furniture company Konekt, a Philly-based outfit that combines the work of local artisans (those custom-made, and customizable, brass legs) with sleek design. The result? A sinuous, sexy spot where the perennially stressed-out can disconnect, unplug and, fittingly, pause. Starting at $8,000. Read more »

7 Philly Architectural Salvage Companies That’ll Transform Your Space

It seems like everybody in interior design is clamoring to get into the architectural salvage game. Beloved brands like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel make a killing off brand new “salvaged iron” tables, and Pinterest is chock full of reclaimed wood DIYs. So there’s certainly a desire for upscale salvaged goods — for good reason. Not only do they look phenomenal, but buying salvaged materials (like petrified wood and abandoned doors) also helps the environment by keeping perfectly good items from clogging up our landfills. Wondering where to go to spruce up your home while unleashing your inner Captain Planet? Look no further than these seven Philly architectural salvage companies that’ll transform any space into a cozy, charming haven. Read more »

Best of Philly: 7 Shops to Help You Create the Home of Your Dreams

home decor BOP

Photo by Courtney Apple for Philadelphia Magazine.

Best of Philly 2016 is now online as well as at newsstands. Check out the best in Philadelphia-based home decor shops, as well as the rest of the best in food, drink, shopping, beauty, health, fitness, fun and games.

Curating a home that feels entirely you is one of the more fun challenges that come with adulthood, but is still a challenge in and of itself. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the crème de la crème of all home decor shops in Philadelphia to help you outfit the pad of your dreams. From top-secret Instagram steals on home furniture to boozy barn sales, here are the Best of Philly winners for all things home decor, from fancy to refurbished:  Read more »

Scientists Discover a New Shade of Blue That Could Lower Your AC Bill

blue

Image via Oregon State University

Back in 2009, a group of scientists at Oregon State University were testing new materials to be used in tech advancements. What they found instead was a surprising, brand-new shade of blue when they heated manganese oxide and a cocktail of chemicals in a furnace to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aside from its obviously gorgeous, vibrant hue, the color compound contains properties that make it energy-efficient, super safe, and long-lasting. Why should you be excited about this now? Licensing agreements have only just come to terms, meaning the new shade of blue will hit marketplaces soon.  Read more »

7 Ways to Step Up Your Patio Game This Summer

step up your patio game

iStock/Alan Lagadu.

Summertime begs for backyard gatherings, whether you’re drinking coffee in the sunshine on a lazy Sunday morning or entertaining your crew for a cookout. Spruce up that outdoor space that you’ve managed to neglect since late October by testing out these doable patio upgrades — all it takes is a Saturday afternoon’s worth of elbow grease. (You got this.) And once it’s all said and done, your friends will fancy you an everyday Martha Stewart; plus, your neighbors will thank you a million times over. Here are seven simple ways to step up your patio game this summer: Read more »

This One Paint Job Could Make Your House Sell for $1,400 More

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iStock/TinaFields.

If you’re thinking of putting your house up for sale (or if it’s been sitting on the market for a hot minute), maybe it’s time to hire a painting crew. A recent study by Zillow Digs goes against pretty much all realtors’ advice ever, revealing that painting your kitchen an unconventional color could actually make it sell for a whole lot more — but not just any color. Read more »

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