Nap time may once have been public enemy #1, but now, as adults, we look forward to few things more than an afternoon bundled up on the sofa. Whether you’re spending your downtime snoozing or catching up on The Great British Bake Off, that tiny bit of R&R is a true luxury. Integral to this plot is a really good blanket—though picking the perfect one is easier said than done. It has to be stylish enough to double as textile art when draped elegantly (of course) over the arm of your sectional. It has to feel as snuggly as your favorite sweater. It also, ideally, won’t force your bank to notify you that an unusually high amount has just been charged to your credit card. (Yikes.)
In the spirit of the season, we’re here to help. Affordable throws exist in every color of the rainbow; you just have to know where to look. We can confidently say it doesn’t get better than these eight options—all of which are under $100. Happy shopping.
If you like to keep things simple…
Channel the color of the season in a much chicer (and longer-lasting) form than a pumpkin spiced latte or keep it pared back with an earthy green accent.
Stripes are basically the gateway drug to a pattern-filled home. Bring home an eggplant blanket as your first step into bolder style, or, if you’re willing to incorporate a few more colors, CB2 has the perfect subdued, ’70s-esque option.
Try a different kind of animal print to liven up your nook, like this snake-emblazoned knit or a fun leopard design that requires forking over just 10 more bucks. (It’s made from mostly recycled cotton, so you can treat yourself and Mother Earth with one purchase.)
With many now seeing their sheds, garages and outhouses as an extension of their homes, the ante has been well and truly raised as they become far more than just a place to store tools and garden furniture. Vintage tea houses, artist’s studios and cosy hideaways are just some of the winners of Cuprinols shed of the year 2019, a competition that attracted over 16,000 entries, highlighting the sheer volume of people who are turning their sheds from practical to prize-winning.
Here, we reveal the winners of the six publicly-voted categories, as well as the over-all winner, that claimed the title of Shed of the Year…
1. Winner of the Summerhouse Shed of the Year – Woody Willow by Tom Prior
Dad-of-two Tom held a lifelong ambition to build a playhouse for this two children, and this impressive design grew so big it needed planning permission! Using just his spare time at evenings and weekends to complete the build, talented Tom heralds Woody Willow as his “greatest creation yet”, with his children fast becoming his biggest fans yet.
2. Winner of the Workshop/Studio Shed of the Year – Artistintheshed by Mary Price
Mary’s beautifully hand-painted studio space secured her the most votes in her category, reflecting the rise of more people using their shed spaces for hobbies or running space businesses. Mary’s work has seen a surge in popularity since entering the competition.
3. Winner of the Unexpected Shed of the Year – The Lorry Life by Tom Duckworth
Impressing voters with his stunning entry into the Unexpected category, Tom Duckworth proved just how versatile a shed can be, after putting his on wheels and making it a home. With its own water system, a tiled shower area and even a reclaimed red chesterfield to lounge on, there’s no denying that this worthy winner has the wow factor.
4. Winner of the Pub/Entertainment Shed of the Year – Reef Cavern by Chris Smith
Chris brought a tropical vibe into his back garden with his unique Hawaiian-themed Reef Cavern, which he created after he and his wife were too busy to get away on holiday.
5. Winner of the Budget Shed of the Year – Vintage Tea Shed by Anne Hindle
Spending less that £100 on her build, Anne proves that you don’t need to invest lots of money to build your own tea shed, complete with chintzy tea cups and painted in pastels.
6. Winner of the Unique Shed of the Year – Space Shed by Jon Spooner
Demonstrating stand-out brilliance and innovation with his Tim Peake-backed educational creation, Jon has used hydraulics that open up the doors to reveal a mini stage, big screen and sound system.
Overall Winner of Cuprinol’s Shed of the Year 2019 – Bux End by Chris Hield
Fighting off stiff completion, it was Chris’s hobbit-hole style shed that won the accolade of the nation’s favourite shed. Chris, 49 says, “It had to fit in with the wildlife and nature that we have cultivated in the rest of our garden so the grass roof was a big feature. We have seen so much wildlife since adding the shed- so much it distracts me when I’m working here!’
You like Weird Christmas? Of course you do. So help a man out with a new fantasy Christmas comic! This isn’t me. But I think this is an awesome idea, and the guy’s time is running low. Please take a look, share this, and consider donating a small bit. It looks like a really fun/strange/Christmassy comic.
In an age when everyone is after an open-concept kitchen floor plan, just the word galley can have you feeling claustrophobic. It’s understandable—there are multiple components that make the layout less than irresistible to cook in. For one, galley kitchens are basically one narrow passage framed by two parallel walls or countertops (one side usually holds the appliances while the other is outfitted with tall cabinets). If you’re renovating, your first inclination is probably to expose the whole thing and plop an eat-in island in the center. But sometimes—and this rings especially true for renters and small-space dwellers—sticking with the corridor is your best bet. It really comes down to making the most of what you’ve got. These six spaces lead the way with breezy floating shelving, hidden cupboards, and more small-space tricks.
Group Your Appliances
Designer Brady Tolbert divided his tiny galley into two parts. On the side with the sink, he installed floating white and brass shelves to display dishware, cutting boards, and personal mementos. Directly across the way is the cooking zone, complete with a black Smeg fridge, his existing stove, and a coffee center. Divvying up the small nook according to function makes for a less chaotic scene come dinnertime.
Stick to Cosmetic Changes
Melissa Colgan only gave her Washington, D.C., space a surface-level facelift, not because she couldn’t expand into the living room, but because she found the traditional footprint of the 100-year-old apartment charming. In addition to replacing the cherrywood cabinets with Shaker-style fronts, she refinished the backsplash in a zellige subway tile. Her words of advice: You don’t have to fight a humble layout. It’s the finishes that matter most.
Tuck Half Underneath the Staircase
Dutch Architect Christ Collaris chose an unexpected location for this Amsterdam home’s kitchen. What would have been a hollow gap beneath the stairs is now packed with birchwood cupboards. The clever placement kept costs down (no full build-out required!), as did the strip of countertop opposite, which is made from discarded roof and floor parts from the original house.
Turn Up the Drama
Semikah Textiles founder Veronica Hamlet knew she wanted to go monochrome in her Michigan home’s kitchen, so she opted for a soapstone countertop on both sides of the aisle, a veiny marble farmhouse sink, and matte lower cabinetry. Since there’s less surface area to cover (the perks of not having a giant island), the luxe materials don’t seem like such a splurge.
Make the Ground the Focus
No one will be thinking about how cramped the room is with a pattern like this underfoot. Studio McGee shifted the attention of this narrow kitchen using graphic floor tile, which recedes into the distance, giving the illusion that the space is longer and larger than it really is.
Paint It White
You don’t have to knock down a bunch of walls for a place to feel bigger and brighter. Color (or lack thereof) can achieve the same sense of openness. After painting this two-sided kitchen white, Leanne Ford incorporated salvaged wood shelves and beams and sandy-colored ceramic dishes for warmth. Cooking in close quarters has never looked better.
This story was originally published on April 18, 2016. It has been updated with new information.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it couldn’t come at a worse time. Early wake-ups, one too many alarm clock snoozes, and rushed routines mean filling, homemade dishes (in other words, not cereal or toast) fall by the wayside. Once more, one-pan recipes are here to save the day. Simply toss the ingredients for these nine recipes in a tray (or oven-safe skillet, if you wish) and let the flavors do their thing while you apply your favorite brightening serum. The best part: Cleanup is next to nothing.
Savory Fried Eggs
Eggs, bacon, potatoes…Spoon Fork Bacon’s concoction has it all (plus chunks of buttered bread). Swap your next BEC run with this dish—the extra time spent in the kitchen will be well worth it, we promise.
If you’re more of a make-ahead cook, Feed The Swimmers’s recipe is for you. Pop the seedy, coconut-flecked concoction in the oven the night before, let it cool overnight, and enjoy over Greek yogurt with some honey in the morning.
Shakshuka With Feta and White Beans
A Couple Cooks’s take on this beloved brunch staple will have you buying a cast-iron skillet just to be able to make it. Serve this flavorful—and surprisingly easy—dish with a good loaf of crusty bread. You need something to sop up the spiced tomato sauce, after all.
Eggs and Crispy Potatoes
Crispy roasted Parmesan potatoes is our idea of a good time. Blogger Damn Delicious has mastered the art of the two-item meal and it certainly doesn’t look like a sacrifice.
Dairy-Free Blackberry French Toast Bake
Berries and brioche is truly a perfect combination. The Wooden Skillet’s sweet treat is the ultimate reward for those mornings where you have to literally drag yourself out of bed. To be enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee the size of your head, of course.
Triple Berry Granola Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bark
Honey and Birch created the ultimate on-the-go snack—the fruit provides a major antioxidant boost, while the granola supplies the crunch. Cut it into squares and bring a few pieces with you on your commute.
If you’re a fan of quiche, try this riff on it by The Cookie Rookie. It’s great for when you’re hosting a big group (or just your kids), as it serves up to six people and comes together in less than 40 minutes.
Baked Blueberry French Toast
In Marla Meridith’s version of this classic dish, the bread is soaked in an egg mixture that already includes maple syrup and cinnamon, so you can just slide it into the oven and walk away. If blueberries aren’t your thing, trade them for another seasonal fruit, like baked apples in the fall.
15-Minute Baked Eggs and Kale
This is one “salad” you’ll actually want to eat. Healthy Nibbles’s alternative to the ubiquitous green smoothie is a fried egg creation that sits on a bed of roasted kale. Consider this your go-ahead to skip the gym tomorrow.
In fact, press snooze to your heart’s desire—you don’t have to sacrifice your morning nutrients anymore.
A large open-plan kitchen diner and a master bedroom on the second floor provide the real wow factor in this stunning home
Photo credit: Savills
In the much sought-after London borough of Chiswick, this house resides on an idyllic tree-lined residential street. We love the original tiled path, that leads to a beautifully presented entrance porch.
Photo credit: Savills
The hallway leads straight through to an incredibly impressive open-plan kitchen. The clever use of glass roof panels allows for privacy while at the same time flooding the room with plenty of natural light. A generous central island anchors the kitchen elements of the space.
Photo credit: Savills
While large decorative lettering clearly zones the dining are of the open-plan kitchen space.
The herringbone-style flooring adds a stylish finish to this practical family room.
Photo credit: Savills
The master bedroom is a room filled with triumphant design elements. From the wall on the movable tread to built-in storage and the statement skylight windows, it’s an incredibly creative use of space.
The wall can be moved to allow the room to be reconfigured, creating a fluid layout. It acts as a clever barrier to zone off the en-suite bathroom.
Photo credit: Savills
The sloping ceilings are no problem for this clever loft conversion. A shower is housed at one end under the sloping roof, with a bath sitting prominently in the middle of another.
Multiple skylights provide plenty of natural light, creating the ideal revitalising bathroom environment.
Photo credit: Savills
The modern glass extension adds a contemporary feel to the period property. The sliding doors provide a seamless transition to the outdoor space, which includes a sizeable patio – perfect for entertain.
This stunning house is currently on the market with Savills, with a £1.8million asking price. We can but dream.
You know that feeling when you’re in a furniture store just looking around and a piece catches your eye or when you’re browsing a furniture catalog and something immediately stands out? It’s those furniture pieces that we’re after so we’ve searched far and wide to assemble a little collection that we think you’d really enjoy too. This is the type of furniture that stands out without being ostentatious and that’s really what great design is all about.
The Gemini sofa is unlike any other furniture piece. It’s a sofa without a frame, with a design that’s both creative and clever, a modular sofa that you can use in new and ingenious ways. Its seats are double cushions which rest directly on the ground. They can become poufs and used individually or in groups, with or without backrests.
This is the Theo table, a stylish and sophisticated piece of furniture with a metal base and a tempered glass top, two materials which come in contrast with each other and yet also bring out the beauty in one another. The top is available in a variety of finishes and the base is available with an embossed or a striped texture.
Mac’s table is another cool piece of furniture with an outstanding design. The main attraction is obviously the base which is available in wood or a special innovative material. It’s sculptural, modern and very versatile too. The table makes a good fit for the equally stylish Up chairs featured here. They come in 14 different colors and you can mix and match them however you want.
The Margareth bed and Milvian nightstand also make an excellent pair. They both have sleek and soft curves and slender shapes in addition to an amazing selection of materials and finishes. With these beautiful pieces you’d be able to spice up any bedroom.
The Cleo chair is a perfect example of a stylish piece of furniture that looks surprisingly simple and modest. It’s refined and elegant, with a solid wood base and padded seat and backrest that emphasize and complement the soft lines and delicate curves.
It’s difficult to catalog a design like this because the Parentesi is not entirely a room divider, or a dresser alternative or anything else. That’s because it can serve as all of those things and more, depending on how you want to use it and where.
Bookshelves are anything but boring and designs such as this one as the perfect example. The Tripolio was designed by Mario Mazzer and is simple and extraordinary at the same time. The combination of wood and metal give it lots of character without making it look overwhelming.
Console tables are designed to stand out and to add style and beauty to the spaces that they’re a part of but few are as eye-catching as the Arbor console. Its eclectic design turns it into a beautiful statement piece able to look amazing in any setting.
The Panorama table’s subdued elegance makes it a great fit for modern and contemporary living rooms as well as a variety of other spaces. It can be great as a standalone piece or in groups or two or more if space allows it.
The Isola series is a collection of sofas and poufs, all sharing in common the same delicate lines, soft curves and select palette of materials and colors. The designs are simple but vibrant and can change a space in an instant.
Round beds are not for everyone but they do look exquisite and are definitely very glamorous which is why the Glamour bed has a very suiting name. It’s elegant and also playful and the perfect piece if you want to create an original and special bedroom setup.
A regular dresser or closet wouldn’t do it if the goal is to add glamour or style to the bedroom so that’s where the Pret a Porter comes into play. It may not look like much and that’s actually one of its strong points. Thanks to its versatility and stylish minimalism, you can turn this into a really cool accent piece.
What’s the best flooring material for the kitchen? Opinions differ and the reality is there no single best option as different materials have different characteristics and offer distinct advantages. There are quite a few great options to choose from and we’re going to explore the pros and cons and the defining features of each one.
Wooden floors make spaces look warm and organic and that’s something we can’t say about other materials. They’re also durable and can stand the test of time, some even looking better as they age. Hardwood floors are also super versatile and suit all styles and they’re pretty easy to clean. When cleaning hardwood floors start by removing everything you can and then sweep, vacuum and finally mop the floor making sure to focus on the corners and the little nooks and crannies. You can even make your own natural cleaner by mixing vinegar and water in a 1:10 ratio.
There are of course some disadvantages as well. Hardwood floors can be pretty expensive and they get scuffed and scratched quite easily at which point they need to be refinished. They can also be pretty noisy when walking across so keep that in mind if you plan on leaving them bare with no area rugs to muffle the sound. With all that in mind, wood may not be the most practical flooring material for a kitchen but it definitely looks amazing and is ideal if the goal is to create a warm and inviting decor like that of this gorgeous kitchen created by Soda Pop Design.
Ceramic and porcelain tile
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are perhaps the most common option when it comes to kitchen flooring and the reasons for that are multiple. One of the biggest advantages that tiles have is the fact that they’re resistant to liquids and stains. Since it’s practically impossible not to spill or drop things in the kitchen, that’s an amazing detail. The tiles are also fireproof and very durable plus even if any of them cracks or gets damaged they can be replaced individually. Another big advantage is the low maintenance which porcelain and ceramic tiles require.
It’s also important to mention that porcelain tiles can mimic numerous other flooring materials such as marble, granite, cork or even wood and steel meaning you can enjoy all the advantages of a tiled floor while also opting for a specific type of look that suits your style just right. As far as the cons go, the most notable disadvantages include the price, difficult installation and the fact that the grout between the tiles can get quite dirty and create an unaesthetic appearance but that’s actually something you can deal with. We have a tutorial which explains how to clean the grout and the tiles depending on how dirty they are.
Concrete is one of the most durable and most resilient materials out there and an excellent choice for the kitchen. If properly cared for it can basically last indefinitely. Maintenance is also fairly easy for concrete flooring, requiring attention every 3 to 8 months when it need to be sealed in order to remain resistant to moisture and liquids. The rest of the time neutral cleaning products can be used. A cool advantage is the fact that if you ever decide you want a different type of flooring in your kitchen you can just install it over the existing concrete. The biggest inconveniences include the fact that concrete flooring is very hard and can quickly become uncomfortable plus it doesn’t retain heat and can feel very cold, especially during winter. For cleaning, you can make your own mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent which would get rid of easy stains and if you want something more powerful you can add some baking soda as well.
Natural stone tiles have the ability to give a kitchen a very elegant and refined appearance plus they offer numerous other advantages as well. For example, natural stone can handle heavy foot traffic well which is important, especially for modern and contemporary kitchens which are part of open floor plans. Some of the most common types of natural stone include granite, marble, travertine and limestone, each with its own unique look. Of course, different types of stone can require different types of treatments so make sure to be specific when doing your research. Certain types can scratch and chip easily so that’s also a disadvantage to consider, along with the cost which is higher than with other types of flooring.
For many people laminate wood is just the cheaper and less good alternative of real wood but in reality this is a category of its own with lots of unique advantages and not that many cons. First of all, laminate flooring is a lot cheaper than solid wood or other types of flooring. It’s also easier to install and you can probably do it yourself without any help. Laminate floors are also resistant to spills and even to scratches which makes them a good option if you have pets. However, there are also a few obvious disadvantages such as the fact that they can’t be refinished, don’t last as long as real wood and are not suitable for wet areas. Even so, it’s a great option for the kitchen.
Although not as popular as other types of flooring, bamboo is yet another good option for the kitchen and interior spaces in general. If harvested and handled properly bamboo flooring can be as durable as hardwood floors. It also has a distinctively clean and modern appearance and can be refinished meaning you get to enjoy it for a really long time. One of the key advantages associated with bamboo flooring is the fact that it’s eco-friendly and there aren’t really many other similar options to choose from. Bamboo flooring is also relatively cheap and easy to clean and to care for. On the other hand it can scratch easily, can be damaged by moisture and liquids and is not as versatile as other types of flooring.
Until not that long ago linoleum flooring used to be very popular in homes throughout Europe and recently it’s been seeing a comeback. There are quite a few valid good points to consider such as the fact that linoleum is a very flexible material. it’s soft and comfortable to walk on and comes in lots and lots of different colors and patterns. In addition, it’s a renewable resource and an eco-friendly material which requires minimum maintenance, perfect for kitchens. Of course, there are also disadvantages to consider such as the fact that it can get scratched easily and can get a yellowish nuance is not cared for properly. It also becomes yellow if exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. We should also mentioned that upon installation is gives off linseed fumes for about a week up to a month and while this isn’t harmful it can be annoying.
Aside from being the center of the occasional debate on the best way to cook cauliflower gnocchi, Trader Joe’s isn’t known for being controversial. (Probably a good thing, considering it’s a grocery store.) But a recent podcast episode may have just changed that: Employees walked listeners through a few upcoming products slated to hit shelves in the near future, and, suffice to say, things got weird.
Examples like “an advent calendar for cats” and “pumpkin spiced face masks” were tossed around casually. The announcement of Beyond Burger–esque plant-based patties—meant to resemble actual meat, though they “don’t do [faux] blood,” says Marcy Kopelman of the product development team—was met with excited laughter. Then amid the flurry of new products, they mentioned a couple Frankensteinian goodies arriving soon. Whether they’ll become pantry staples or not is still very much up in the air, but here they are: the two wonderfully bizarre Trader Joe’s releases we can’t wait to get our hands on, along with funky serveware suggestions befitting their character.
Chocolate Lava Gnocchi
Yes, you read that right. The dumpling-like dinner favorite has taken a turn for the dessert table, inspired, according to TJ’s product development team member Lori Lotta, by a similar item at Harrods in London. This version takes around the same time as its cauliflower counterpart to cook—they only need a quick pan browning with a little bit of butter.
Serve: In individual bowls at your next dinner party. No one needs to know they came from the frozen aisle.
Trader Joe’s just turned an entrée into a last course, so it’s only fitting that it does the reverse, too. Traditionally a sweet treat, this new mochi is anything but: “The idea of this came from a meal we had in Tokyo, where we had some mochis,” explains Lotta. “Something similar [to them] was in a soup, and then some were fried. The fried ones were incredible, so we asked someone to make a [more flavorful] version of what we had in Japan.” The TJ’s ones have the standard rice-based exterior but are filled with spicy Kung Pao chicken. The whole thing takes about 12 minutes in a toaster oven to get crispy. What’s not to love?
Serve: As an appetizer on a large platter, to pass around to bemused cocktail party guests.