Architectural Digest’s Style & Design Tips for April 2017

Did you know that Architectural Digest has been around since 1922? The cover design and magazine layout have changed multiple times since then, of course, but to this day the magazine still remains a renowned international resource for home design and decor. Its staff must already be hard at work on changes and improvements for the publication’s upcoming 100-year anniversary!

April and May are popular months for spring cleaning and home renovations, so with that in mind, I hope you’ll get some good information from the below tips.

1. Don’t be afraid to break the rules when decorating.

Monogrammed pillowcases, Serpentine sofas, brightly-painted walls, and vibrant art all made appearances in this month’s issue. No matter how “out there” your decor may be, the magazine reiterates that the idea is to showcase your style, so don’t worry about what others might think of it! So don’t hesitate if you want to display an undulating couch or paint every room a different colour.

2. Incorporate ethnic pieces for a “global flair” and patterned floors, pillows, and carpets for a “geometric punch”.

Whether it’s a Persian rug, Moroccan bowls, South American textiles, or African sunset paintings, there’s no doubt that worldly accents make you appear more worldly. This has been a recurring theme in many issues of Architectural Digest, so we can assume the trend is here to stay. Also, adding geometric designs around your home will brighten and modernize your space. Start with something small, like a lamp shade or picture frame, and work up to floor-length curtains or the floor.

3. Old-school glamour is making a comeback – think opulence by way of stunning jewel tones, brass accents, and porcelain.

Both jewel tones and brass accents are reminiscent of Old Hollywood glamour, which the magazine says is a very sought-after theme right now. Stunning jewel colours such as emerald, ruby, sapphire, and gold (as seen on the April cover) can instantly take your dining or living room from boring to elegant.

4. Architecture works inside, too! Majestic archways, wooden dining room tables, and oddly-shaped furniture will never go out of style.

If you want to display cool furniture that no one else will have, pick up an exposed wood table or an art deco-style piece. (IKEA has both, and at affordable prices.) Arched windows, entryways, or doorways, as seen here, can make your home look like it was designed by a world-famous architect. And who doesn’t want that?

5. Jazz up a plain bathroom with eye-catching tiles and mosaics.

Tired bathrooms, be gone! As explained here, mosaics and punchy tiles can make your powder room look big and extremely stylish. FYI: placing fun wallpaper over boring walls and installing cheap yet chic sink fittings definitely counts as redecorating.

6. Turn your bedroom into a mix of nostalgia and comfort.

Decorate with simple elements from your childhood that take you back to the easy, carefree life you likely had as a kid. Patterned bedspreads, vintage mirrors, and wooden headboards are a good place to start. Often, modern bedrooms feel too reminiscent of a hotel room; while that works for some people, others may feel more at ease in a room that feels like the space they grew up in.

 

 

This Earth Day, Here Are 7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact on Earth

On April 22nd, 1970, after witnessing the devastating effects of a massive oil spill in California, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson successfully inspired 20 million Americans to march and demonstrate until environmental protection became a part of their country’s political agenda. Since then, April 22nd has been celebrated as Earth Day every single year. Today, it is a global event aimed at educating people from all walks of life about how we can help create a healthy and sustainable environment. (First and foremost is to reduce, reuse, and recycle.)

Whether we know it or not, each of us has contributed in some way to climate change, air and ocean pollution, and environmental degradation. According to wired.com, “In 2014, plastic grocery bags were the seventh most common item collected during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, behind smaller debris such as cigarette butts, plastic straws, and bottle caps.” Those are likely some of the items each of us throws away on a weekly basis, and that’s something we need to change. The following is a list of ways to reduce your environmental impact on our planet!

1. Use travel mugs and reusable water bottles instead of Styrofoam, plastic, and paper. 

This is one of the simplest tips on this list to adhere to. You can find affordable travel mugs and BPA-free water bottles at Walmart, Costco, or your local grocery store. Globally, we create so much pointless plastic and paper waste that ends up decomposing in landfills and oceans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away an estimated 25 billion Styrofoam cups per year (around 82 cups per person). That means there are literally millions of pounds of Styrofoam and plastic debris floating around in our oceans, which pose a very real risk to the health of marine life. Bonus: many coffee houses, such as Starbucks, will reward you with a $0.10 or $0.20 discount on drinks when you bring your own mug or tumbler. Starbucks even sells an environmentally-friendly, reusable cup for $2 that is an exact replica of the brand’s traditional paper ones. 

2. Carpool, walk, bike, and use public transportation whenever possible. 

This isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s worth making the effort if you do have access to a bike, shared car, and/or public transportation. You’ll cut down on the amount of pollution you produce and may even get to your destination more quickly. If Canadian and Americans (roughly 372 million of us) carpooled, biked, or took the bus every other day, we’d make a noticeable difference in the amount of emissions our countries would produce. 

3. Switch your plastic grocery bags for reusable ones. 

You can find these bags everywhere (try Walmart or your local grocery store). Whether they’re made of cotton, straw, or recycled materials, you’ll be reducing the number of plastic bags you throw away each year that end up negatively impacting marine life or taking decades to decompose in landfills. 

4. Lower your water and energy usages. 

You might be surprised at how much of a financial and environmental impact your household’s energy consumption and water usage have. These are a few ways to reduce your water and energy bills: only run the laundry and dishwasher at full capacity and during off-peak hours, don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth, take faster showers, fix leaky faucets to save wasted water, turn off the lights when you leave a room, only turn on the heat and air conditioning when necessary, buy energy-efficient light bulbs, and unplug electronics from the wall when they’re not in use.

5. Pack waste-free meals, picnics, and snacks.

As noted in tip #1, it is incredibly important for each of us to reduce our amount of Styrofoam, plastic, and paper waste! Rather than packing breakfast or lunch for yourself or others using Cling Wrap/plastic wrap, paper napkins, and plastic utensils, use Tupperware, real cutlery from home, and basic cloth napkins that can be tossed in the laundry when they get dirty. Reusable food containers (such as Tupperware) can be used in any situation, from bringing home food after a family get-together to packing away leftovers at a restaurant to storing your entire take-out meal. (The last two sound a little extreme, but a quick Google search proved that they’re good ideas that help cut down on waste.) 

6. Upgrade to energy-efficient home appliances.

Look for home appliances such as dishwashers, air humidifiers, and refrigerators that are emblazoned with the ENERGY STAR logo – this means they were built to reduce energy consumption and money spent on said energy. (Products become ENERGY STAR-certified when they reach high levels of energy efficiency.)

7. Eat local, or go vegetarian if you’re really committed. 

The idea of eating locally is that food that is grown, produced, and manufactured locally (usually within 100 miles) doesn’t have to travel very far to end up on your plate, thus reducing the amount of emissions produced in preparing your meal. Restaurants have caught on to this trend and often have tasty “farm-to-table” or “sustainable” menu options. You can take further action by becoming a vegetarian, which is not a new lifestyle choice but has garnered tons of support in recent years as research shows that it results in fewer emissions produced per person. Find out more about eating locally here and more about becoming a vegetarian here