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Comfy sofas that look good are not exactly hard to find. There are so many furniture makers that really get that what we want when we plop down at the end of the day is a couch that not only feels good, but looks good, too. However, if you add a couple of key constraints about price and size, the field of options becomes considerably narrowed. When Kayla requested that I help her in her search for an apartment-sized sofa that worked well with a mid-century modern look, but was conventional enough to live with every day, AND cost under $700, I knew I had a tough assignment.

So for everyone who is in the camp of needing something small but really good looking, I present to you the following affordable and handsome options:
apartment sized sofas

The Chloe sofa on the left is from Macy’s and is currently on sale for $599. The sales at Macy’s come and go but the good news is they always come back around. Over the past several years, they’ve upped their furniture game and partnered with a bunch of great designers to put out some really refined looking pieces. On the right is a new classic from IKEA – the Kivik sofa. It’s actually one of the larger sofas on my list at 89″, but its proportion is right for not overwhelming a smaller space. Plus, it’s a perfect movie-watching couch.
apartment sized sofas

I’ve learned from designer Brian Patrick Flynn to always check Overstock.com when looking for pretty much anything. Chances are they’ll have something really close to what you want for a really good deal. That definitely holds true for this Signature Design sofa on the left at $679. Ditch the pillows that come with it and add some with a bright mid-century pattern and you’re all set. The loveseat on the right from West Elm is one of my all-time favorites. In fact if I had a need for another couch myself, I’d pick this Everett Upholstered Loveseat.
apartment sized sofas
An option I hadn’t considered for apartments before — but one that makes total sense now that I think of it — is a daybed. The one on the left is also from West Elm and has great mid-century modern lines. It would double as an excellent guest bed for company. Those of us who live in apartments often lament the lack of guest accommodations and this could be just the answer. It’s on sale right now, too, for $639. Last but not least is the Courtney Sofa from Target. Granted, it comes in at a fairly tiny 60″, but if you’re looking for something that’s an upgrade from a college-era futon, this is a pretty good bet. And at $499, the price is pretty hard to beat.

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You guessed correctly if you chose option A. Lemons and pops of yellow contrast well with the rhinestone LOVE sign and gray accents on this wedding dessert table.

Lemon and Gray Dessert Table

We randomly selected one person from the comments, and Freddie is the winner of this month’s issue of HGTV Magazine, HGTV gardening gloves and HGTVGardens.com plant markers. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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Yep, it has happened. Rattan is back with something to prove and the trend has spread to every corner of the design world. It has been on the creep for many years now, a slow methodical takeover perhaps, and it has managed to get its spindly tendrils wrapped around virtually every variety of taste-maker out there.

Rattan

Image Credits: 1 | 2

From the scantily clad Scandinavian crowd (ahem, I wasn’t referring to their clothing) to the desert mod movers and shakers, no design stone has been left unturned by this organic material and its clear and present quest for world domination. So what gives? Well, I think this trend is right on track with several of our other recent trends and feeds societies’ basic need to focus on a more gentle and handmade aesthetic after coming out of a more mass produced period of time.

Rattan

Image Credits: 3 | 4

I think the texture that these pieces add to a space is something we seem to be craving right now, and the unique qualities these pieces offer don’t require us to sacrifice that show-stopping nature we have become accustomed to in our recent glam-loving past. If we can’t have those shiny objects, we will at least have a rather tall peacock chair or a hanging egg chair to ease the pain of our loss.

Rattan

Image Credits: 5 | 6

Those who covet that vintage vibe will be excited to know that there was wicker and rattan well before there was the wicker and rattan of the nineties. Normally I might say, “This ain’t your mee maw’s wicker,” but in this case, that’s precisely what it should be. It might just be your mama’s wicker you should avoid this particular go around, depending on her age of course. True vintage rattan furniture will come at a premium, and will be difficult to find for the average person, but the modern take on these pieces can be both fun and budget-friendly with retailers like IKEA getting in on the textural action these days. So what do you think, do you love it or hate it? Will you be partaking in some wicked, wicked wicker? Or is the Papasan chair better left in the past?

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Can you guess what type of wall decor belongs with this dessert table?

Decorate This Space

 

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win this month’s issue of HGTV Magazine, HGTV gardening gloves and HGTVGardens.com plant markers. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on April 2, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 3, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Happy spring, friends! To celebrate, we have a refreshing, colorful and totally inspiring home makeover you’re going to love. A few months ago, our design team got to work (and even battled a southern blizzard!) to redo an Atlanta bungalow, inside and out. The result is a home ready for alfresco lounging and spring soirees. I can’t wait for you to see all the ideas and inspiration we have to share, from sprucing up your patio and boosting curb appeal to styling bookshelves and picking the best window treatments.

Outdoor Living Room Ideas

Shake out the area rug and refresh outdoor furnishings to create the perfect alfresco living room. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

Outdoor Dining Room Ideas

Transform an underused deck into the ultimate outdoor dining space. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

And the winner of our Spring House Blogger Challenge is — Marianne! Her casual, midcentury-modern styling fit in perfectly with the exterior decor picked out by the design team. Plus, they loved her chevron ombre artwork and integrated it into the final design, along with other fun accessories. SEE THE BAR CART PHOTOS >>

Outdoor Table Settings

Take the party outside! Host a spring shindig even after the sun goes down. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

See Our Spring Makeover

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Baseball birthday party from Catch My PartyCatch My Party

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd…

There’s nothing better than a hot dog, a Coca-Cola and a day at the ball park – except maybe a top-to-bottom baseball-themed party. In honor of opening day, I couldn’t resist sharing details from these adorable baseball extravaganzas perfect for birthdays, baby showers and, of course, gamedays!

Pitch a Party!

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Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

I love vintage furniture.  I love that it has a history and that someone else loved it before me. How great is it that I can breathe new life into them? One of my most prized possessions is a set of vintage lamps that I inherited from my great-grandmother. The lamp bases are fabulously gold and embellished with cheesy and wonderful designs. They are perfect lamp bases for a little girl’s room, but the lampshades need a fierce update. A feminine and lovely makeover was in order, and I had just the craft: fabric circles used to create a ruffled lampshade!

Let’s Get Started

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We’re all about sharing the insider info—when it’s a secret, it sounds so much more fun, right? So take a look at some of the coolest DIY projects, house tours and transformations we have on the pages of the latest issue of HGTV Magazine before it hits newsstands in exactly one week.

May cover

You could barely even tell there was a house on this lot before all the overgrown greenery was cleared. And if you think the exterior transformation is amazing, just wait until you see what’s inside.

fixer upper house

If you haven’t been brave enough to rummage through your attic, this sewing machine turned side table can act as your motivation.

sewing machine diy

This rainbow wall that reminds you of sunshine and warm weather and well, rainbows is not from a home by the ocean. Nope, you can find this and more tropical style in the suburbs.

rainbow wall

We hope you’re loving what we showed you, and now we’re hoping you’ll do the same. In the front of each issue is the You Showed Us section where you get to show off some amazing projects. If you find something in the May (or any other) issue that you just have to replicate, take pictures and send them to us at hgtvmagazine@hearst.com, and your handiwork could be featured in an upcoming issue. You can also send pics via Instagram using the hashtag #HGTVMagDIY.

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“Marianne, you make it all look so easy!”

“Marianne, you’re so good at making things!”

All I’ll say is…watch this, y’all.

Happy April Fool’s Day from all of us here at Design Happens! Playing any pranks today? Dish in the comments below.

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Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.

Blinds

Shutters

Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

More Money-Saving Tips

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