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Plan Your Trip The Right Way Every Time

Making travel plans takes time, money, and research. No matter where you’re traveling, and no matter what means of transportation you’re using, you can simplify your travel plans in a variety of ways. The following tips provide you with information on how to have a safe, comfortable, relaxing, and inexpensive trip.

Many out of the way destinations are often overlooked for vacations. For example, while St. Thomas in the Caribbean is incredibly popular, with very little extra effort one can make a trip to Vieques off of Puerto Rico instead. It has many of the same amenities, is much less crowded, and will make your vacation seem much more special!

If you are traveling to an area that has a liquid-restriction on all liquids you might be packing, invest in bar shampoos and tooth powder. Believe it or not, you can actually find bar shampoo and toothpaste available in powder form online. These items are a great way to get around liquid-restrictions.

If you’re staying in a hotel and you like coffee, don’t use the tap water to make it. Instead, get some ice from the ice machine and put it in the coffee maker the night before to melt. The ice machines use filtered water so you’ll get better tasting coffee!

Check out user reviews. The experiences of others who have traveled to the same location can be much more helpful than the biased sales information from the destination itself. Also, check out guest-contributed photos, which will be more real and less doctored than the professional photos. Be sure to look for recent reviews, and find ones written by people having similar vacation needs to your own.

Whether for business or pleasure, traveling can be a hassle. Both your national and international travel plans are subject to a host of snags and snafus from the time you book a hotel to the time you arrive back home again. However, if you follow the advice in these tips, you can save both time and money and make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.

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Interior Design
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Popular Interior Design Ideas For You

Whether you’re a DIY pro or a decor novice, it never hurts to have interior design ideas up your sleeve. Here, a few of our favorite inspiring reads to help you discover a new decorating style.

Eclectic interior design mixes styles to create a unique aesthetic that’s fresh and trendy. Look for textured surfaces, global accents, and moody hues.

1. A Tale Of Interiors by Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward

The acclaimed design duo Pierce and Ward believe that every home tells a story. And in this lush new book, readers will find themselves enchanted by the mystical beauty of those stories: stately striped wallpaper mixes with French florals; brass-lion bookends sit beside trays inlaid with glinting mother-of-pearl; and milk-glass globes hang down hallways like glowing moons to guide the way. The result is an imaginative kaleidoscope of patterns, textures, and objects that is equal parts organized abundance and un-gaudy decadence.

A Tale Of Interiors will show readers how to make these elements work together in a cohesive and beautiful whole. For instance, a large entryway rug is a must-have for creating visual texture and defining the space. And if there’s room for it, a console table is a great place to store keys and other small items that can quickly clutter up the floor.

Another idea recommended by the authors is to display pretty plates and glasses on open shelves for both function and style. It’s a great alternative to cabinets and can even add a touch of glamour to a dining room. And if you don’t have the space for a full buffet, this same concept can work for the kitchen, too.

In addition, the book recommends adding a pop of color to an otherwise all-white room. “A splash of color adds a bit of personality to any space,” Melone Cloughen, co-founder of Decorilla says. This is a great way to bring your personal style to the room without overwhelming it with too much color. Whether you choose to go big with a bold painting or simply add a few colorful accents, the authors say that it will instantly make the room feel more welcoming and alive.

2. Habitat: The Field Guide To Decorating by Lauren Liess

A practical and inspirational decorating guide for incorporating natural elements with sophistication, style & comfort. Florals, woods & vintage pieces are all included in this beautifully photographed book that addresses room-specific challenges & demonstrates how to create moods with furniture and color choices.

While all-white spaces are popular, they don’t have to be permanent. Embrace the dynamism of color with a few carefully chosen accents that are easily swapped out as tastes change or you tire of them. This book features an eclectic mix of rooms with a diverse palette and features such as Louis VI chairs redone in a modern geometric print, an era-less sofa topped with an organic floral pillow, and a textured rug inspired by weeds and wildflowers.

Showcase heirlooms, antique quilts, old family photos and other mementos on open shelves for both function and beauty. “This is a great way to create a warm and welcoming home,” says Melone Cloughen, principal designer at Miss Alice Designs. “It shows guests that you are not afraid to take risks.”

3. May I Come In by Wendy Goodman

In this eye-popping feast for design enthusiasts, New York Magazine’s legendary fashion and interiors editor Wendy Goodman presents a selection of 70 homes that reflect their owners’ spirit and passions. From a Renaissance theater built into a closet by Amy Sedaris to the animal kingdom Jay Maisel created in his former bank, each home offers a glimpse into the world of its owner. Goodman visits homes of restaurateurs, photographers, fashion designers, artists, socialites, and celebrities—a pantheon in which imagination and originality are as celebrated as traditional taste.

Goodman’s style is distinctive, as is the book’s refusal to offer tips on maximizing tight apartment space or traffic in of-the-moment designer names or layout techniques. Unlike the service-y slices of life that fill up the Internet, this book is pure fantasy, designed to preserve the majesty of its subjects’ reputations and not flatten them into a logging exercise.

This abridged collection of Goodman’s best essays, including visits to the homes of Valentino Garavani, Donatella Versace, and Whoopi Goldberg, showcases her exquisite sense of design and her fabulous subjects. Presented with photographs by leading interior photographers and filled with the author’s personal memorabilia, May I Come In is an irresistible invitation into the lives of a glamorous and diverse group of people. This is a book that will appeal to design-world insiders and outsiders alike. This soothing collection of dozens of inspirational interiors is the perfect antidote to an era of oversharing and image saturation.

4. Habitat: The Field Guide To Decorating by Lauren Liess

Whether you’re a seasoned decorator or just starting out, this book is full of practical ideas for making your space feel like home. The book covers the essentials of design and addresses unique room-specific challenges, from the intangibles (like creating a mood) to the practicalities of furniture and color choices.

If you’re a fan of bold hues and geometric shapes, then this design aesthetic might be for you. The Art Deco style is characterized by sleek materials, decadent accents, and angular patterns, such as chevrons, sunbursts, and zigzags. Implement this bold aesthetic by choosing a metallic-finished dining table, plush yellow chairs, and graphic wood wall art.

If you have a large space, designer Melone Cloughen recommends using rugs to define smaller areas of the room and create visual cohesion. She also suggests experimenting with different lighting options, including sconces.

5. Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors for a Meaningful Life by Lauren Liess

Lauren Liess is a name you might already be familiar with—whether from her three best-selling design books, her blog Pure Style Home, or her HGTV show Best House on the Block with her husband. She’s a mother of five, an interior designer, textile and furniture designer, and has her own line of products with Troy Lighting. Her style embodies authenticity and intentional living, as evidenced by her new collection.

Liess’ latest collection embraces textural layering, natural inspiration, and a timeless, curated feel. The pieces are simple and clean, yet they are also detailed, and the collection as a whole is undeniably gorgeous.

If you’re not a fan of the all-white kitchen trend, don’t worry! You can still add pops of color. “Color is an excellent way to make a space feel more lively, especially in a room that is primarily used for cooking,” interior designer Nicole Michael says. Adding a painted runner or painting your cabinets is an easy way to bring some life to a kitchen.

Another way to incorporate drama into a space is by using dark colors. “Dark colors can be very effective and dramatic, but they also add depth and contrast to a room,” interior designer Dorene Lorenz says. “I like to introduce these dark tones in unexpected ways, such as in a bathroom or hallway closet.”

If you’re feeling more daring, consider adding a splash of color to an otherwise neutral space. “Color is an incredibly powerful tool to use,” Piercy says. “It can change the entire mood of a room and even influence the overall energy.”