It’s a relief to not always be looking at my phone to check the time, and this clock, a reproduction of the classic mid-century IBM clock, looks equally good in homes and in our clients’ offices.
You might think this is a bag, but you’d be mistaken. It’s a laundry bag, a picnic basket, a way to schlep all your things across town. I own eight of these, and at this moment, they are all in use.
If you need extra closet room but also want some tasteful décor, the wall ladder is an ingenious small-space hack.
“With art, you’ll want to go salon style,” Redd says. This means your art pieces should cover the wall from the floor to the ceiling. Redd likes the idea of investing in a set like this framed botanical set from Natural Curiosities. Another way to create a similar effect would be to snap up several different prints of a similar color scheme to fill a large swath of the wall. We like this 30-by-40 flower-head print.
White walls and fiddle-leaf fig trees, as a design scheme, has hit its peak. For anyone who’s getting over this stark, minimalist look — common by now in both homes and offices — pattern-punched interiors and more decorative décor are probably starting to sound appealing. But that doesn’t exactly mean “more is more” is a good approach. Without some guidelines, it can go wrong.
You can really buy sofas and love seats online now, but which ones are the best? We talked to designers to sniff out the best versions under $1,000 and $500.
A good-looking, well-designed dresser can transform a whole room, but dressers for less than $500 are hard to find. So we asked some interior decorators for their recommendations (including a couple of options under $1,000).
At a fraction of the price, you might try Zara Home’s red botanical dinner plates. Nothing says maximalist like turtles printed on your dinnerware.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.
If you’ve been doing the boho-minimalist thing, you might be using some shiny white ceramic plates. A maximalist approach to the dining table might be to mix and match printed pieces. This means choosing items beyond patterns and etchings, and picking plates or bowls sporting full-on painted scenes — think of it as dishware as art. Designer Christopher Stevens advises to “start collecting with a special occasion platter that you especially love, and then go wild.” For him, that might mean starting with painted-lady bowls, from French brand La Tuile à Loup.
Even more cheap but expensive-looking décor items, this time for your bedroom.
Looking for an unboring duvet cover? We found a dozen and a half experts to tell us their favorites.
These stools, designed by architect Alvar Aalto, are stackable, fun pops of color, and can be used a million ways. Ours moved from office to living room to baby room.
You might have a chef’s knife, a cleaver, a paring knife, and a knife set, but this is about to become your most-used knife. For morning and lunchtime meal prep, I grab this knife and chop fruits, vegetables, bread, and cheese. And sandwiches! I bet you didn’t even realize how much you needed a knife that cuts through a crusty baguette and layers of fillings in one chop. My father, a professional chef, gave this to me after grad school, and he always knows best.
Over the last few months, some of the storied fashion houses have released loud fantastical designs: Alessandro Michele’s first line of wares for Gucci included chairs with embroidered tiger heads and flowers; likewise, this Versace plate mixes Versailles-like gold details with butterflies.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
An easy way to make your space look a little fancier is to add some brass décor, be it a tea kettle or a lamp. After all, brass is the ultimate cheap but expensive-looking material, and these are some of the best brass accessories on Amazon.
… And pair it with these yellow-and-black vintage pillows — which closely mimic some vintage ones that Redd initially picked out — made from hand-dyed fabric.
Or, for more texture but equal coverage, try a hanging like these bamboo beads.
A true maximalist would never leave a couch or accent chair bare. “With maximal interiors, you’ll want layers and a touch of something exotic,” Redd says. “Nothing says luxury like a faux-fur throw thrown over the back of your sofa, with exotic ikat pillows layered on top.” Try this supersoft one from PBteen for texture …
I often see vintage biergarten benches, imported from Germany, for $50 or less at flea markets across the Northeast. The combination of light wood and painted steel is classic, and their simple design shows the beauty of good engineering. They fold up, are great for parties, and will make appearances in your home over the years in the entryway, the dining room, and the deck.
The best bathroom accessories needn’t be pricey. We found some upgrades from brands like Umbra and Pendleton that are way cheaper than they appear.
I have three of these beakers, and use them for water, fancy drinks with floating fruit, and vases. Useful, slim, and just durable enough.
Remember last winter when all anyone could talk about was hygge (the Danish concept of coziness)? We went and found all the best Danish design items to be had on Amazon.
Why should a scented candle have to cost $80 or more? This French-sounding one smells just as good and costs just $30-something.
Writer Jinnie Lee swears by the utility and aesthetics of this award-winning Japanese ladder.
We’re a little finicky over here at the Strategist — we want to surround ourselves with things that look good (exciting, different, expensive) but we don’t want any of it to cost too much. So when we sniff out, say, a great-looking side table that’s under $50, or bathroom accessories that cost as much as a Sweetgreen salad, we just have to tell you about it. Here, we’ve compiled all the home décor stories we’ve done in one handy post, whether you’re moving into a dorm room, decorating a spare bedroom, or furnishing a first (or fifth) apartment.
After breaking dozens of paper-thin glasses, I invested in these timeless and durable glasses in the colors of the sea and sky. They feel just right in your hand, with a heavy bottom and a comfortable shape.
This thing elevates your plants, both physically and aesthetically. A $10 Home Depot palm looks like a million bucks.
These Lenox French Perle Old Fashioned glasses have a similar effect as the Yeowards, with a slight Art Deco vibe.
This is one of the most expensive items on this list, but if you like cooking in the least, you’ll use this all the time. I have many Dutch ovens in my kitchen, but this size and shape gets the most use — it’s the perfect size for chili, soup, and pulled pork. In black, it’s stylish, easy to clean, and will be a kitchen workhorse.
Ming Thompson is an architect and principal at Atelier Cho Thompson, a San Francisco– and New Haven–based design firm with a portfolio that includes offices, university spaces, and private homes. We spoke to her about the 20 things — some cheap, some not, but all investment-worthy — to buy for that first home in your 20s and hold on to forever.
There’s more to decorating your apartment than wall art or rugs — a side table (or end table or cocktail table) can be surprisingly special and affordable.
Ming Thompson, an architect and principal at the San Francisco– and New Haven–based design firm Atelier Cho Thompson, rounded up 20 investment-worthy pieces for your first apartment that’ll last long after you move.
Actually good deals, smart shopping advice, and exclusive discounts.
The big one, 24 inches by 18 inches, moves with us from house to house, and makes any of our terrible kitchens into great places to cook. It’s the centerpiece of every dinner party, loaded with pizzas or cheese spreads, and we do all of our food prep on this.
Simple things you can buy on Amazon (many of them under $20) that give your space a design-y upgrade.
These are a ubiquitous knife in France, and for good reason: It’s a simple and well-designed tool that will come in handy for years. The handle is perfectly shaped to your hand, a simple locking ring holds the blade in the open position, and it will last you forever, with a bit of sharpening once in a while. I’ve tried a few, and the No. 8 is just the right size for slicing an apple, opening boxes, and cutting flowers.
We asked Mary Ping, founder of conceptual clothing line Slow and Steady Wins the Race and recipient of 2017’s National Design Award for Fashion, to pick 12 of her favorite art posters for your walls.
It’s cheap; it’s a necessity; it really spruces up a bar set or dinner spread.
New York designer Rodman Primack advises mixing materials and loves “how large-scale ceramics look with soft things,” (such as a soft faux-fur throw). Primack loves Floris Wubben’s work. As a less-expensive solution, he looks to this glazed blue-and-white iteration, which can be used as an end table.
We rounded up the best full-length mirrors on Amazon, including one with hidden storage and several options under $100.
When you think posters or art prints, you may think “college dorm room,” but that doesn’t have to be the case. There’s plenty of wall art on Amazon that you’d be proud to frame in your adult home.
Growing up, my mom always told me, “Everything has a home,” meaning that all the objects in your house should have an assigned and sensible place. I finally figured out that I need nice-looking storage boxes to help me stay organized all around the house.
These placemats, selected by interior designers, can make your old Ikea flatware look new again.
This has been one of the most useful gifts I’ve received. It’s incredibly warm, durable, and great for movie nights, picnics, and guest beds. I’d recommend a dark color, as you’ll use it so much that it’s hard to keep clean.
Contrary to reports, Ikea is not officially selling on Amazon (yet), but you can buy the Swedish designs if you really want to — we picked some of our favorite pieces.
New York designer Miles Redd says one of the fastest (and arguably most fun) ways to inject some maximalism into your home is to set up a fully functional bar, preferably in the living room, and to replace your purist Bormioli glasses with some textured or patterned ones. “I find it so immediately inviting,” he says. To take high-balls and goblets out of the cabinets and display them alongside shakers and spirits is a noncommittal twist on maximalism. For fancy decorative glassware, Redd suggested a crystal set of tumblers from William Yeoward, which makes baroque engraved glasses.
A drink of cold milk from an enamel mug is a pretty perfect experience. Enamelware is so durable that you’ll pass this mug onto your grandchildren one day. You’ll use it for breakfast at home, camping, and dinner-party desserts. Falcon, a British enamelware company, makes the most beautiful shades of gray and green pieces.
These affordable furniture picks from celebrity designer and founder of Interior Market Group Cheryl Eisen look just as good at an open house for a penthouse apartment as they do in a starter apartment.
Because going all-out maximalist at home is not easy to do, or cheap to pull off, we asked a few unabashed maximal designers about how they’d pull off the style today. Often, their advice wasn’t about revamping an entire room, but rather swapping in something a little louder than whatever sleek, Scandinavian thing you had before. Here’s their advice, from small upgrades in drinkware to a “maximalist” scented candle.
This Bungalo jute rug (five-by-eight) has a nice varied texture, for a great price.
Related 17 Cheap (But Expensive-Looking) Apartment Accents on Amazon
These statement watercolor plates are perfect for appetizers or desserts.
No one expects yellow wallpaper. (The price here is for a sample.)
A pouf works as a table, a footstool, and a seat for dinner parties. While you’ll likely have a neutral-colored couch, you should pick a colorful pouf as an accent piece.
If you need more desk-décor inspiration, we surveyed creative types, including an art director for the office-goods company Poppin, about their favorite desk accessories.
The best bedside table is just a little bit garish, but it adds a nice zing to boring bedroom décor.
Another maximalist choice for the drinkware: tortoise-print glasses.
Primack recommends layering rugs for an ornamented interior. One way to do this without turning your living room into too much of an opium den is to pair a natural weave like a sisal or jute rug with an animal (or faux-animal) hide. “I would lay a cow or sheepskin on top,” he says, recommending in particular the affordable ones at Ikea. “We use them in lots of projects, and they are durable and add visual texture and softness on the feet.”
Even if you’re just buying bodega flowers, these vases are sophisticated enough to make them look ten times more expensive.
Another textural rug option for those seeking excess, from Stevens: “I love kilim and Konya rugs in particular for their range of colors and graphic quality,” he says. “I think they look great next to a bed or under a coffee table.” His higher-end source for kilims is textile maven Clare Louise Frost, whose beautiful pieces are available for “price upon request” types. This rug is a good (cheaper) dupe.
For those times when you need to quickly fill a room with cheap furniture that’s totally recyclable.
Affordable area rugs are hard to come by, so we asked some big-name interior designers about the ones they like the most.
Expressive Palms Removable Wallpaper (in Panels of 24” x 48”)
Clear-plastic things are experiencing a resurgence, and if you’re not willing to wear the (uncomfortable) stuff, there are scads of fun décor items you can dress your apartment with.
You don’t have to be a smoker to appreciate a beautiful ashtray, which can be the perfect vessel for keys, knick knacks, or even plants.
If you’re inclined to go with a big-name design team (the Bouroullec twins), this piece of theirs is like a Cubist take on a kilim.
Continuing our dedication to cheap things that look expensive, we went and dug up the best sneakily affordable dining-room items on Amazon.
For drinkware with a more powerful punch, decorator Sasha Bikoff suggests getting some funky mid-century tumblers — maybe even ones that come in their own caddy — like this set of red-and-gold glasses from her own shop, which even have cocktail recipes on the side. Plenty of other one-of-a-kind drinkware sets can be found on Etsy. Search for “cocktail glasses caddy,” and a bounty of Tom Collins–size glasses, printed with retro motifs, will appear.
A post shared by La Tuile à loup (@latuilealoup) on Apr 20, 2018 at 2:06am PDT
The ‘80s design movement is having a moment (an exhibition currently runs at the Met Breuer), and we found some of the best Memphis-inspired design you can buy online.
It’s a laptop table, a nightstand, or a side table for your antique lamp. It’s steel and lasts forever. It will scratch up over time, but that’s part of the natural beauty.
One marker of adulthood is that you finally need to own a ladder. I’ve climbed a lot of ladders over the years, and I never thought one would bring me joy. But this one is a real gem — it folds down to only three inches and weighs seven pounds, so it’s easy for me to cart around while I work on crazy projects.
If you’re getting tired of that minimalist Scandinavian look, we found colorful, affordable décor items to zhuzh up your space.
Heath’s been making beautiful modern housewares since the ’40s, and this bud vase will never go out of style. Its form is crisp and clean, but it has a handmade quality that gives it character.
Lest you forget to decorate the bathroom floor, we found the best (arty, minimalist, or spa-like) bath mats for transforming your shower space.
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret — some of the best décor pieces for adult apartments come from the kids’ section, especially if we’re talking about brands like Land of Nod and PB Kids.
The decidedly maximalist home of New York designer Misha Kahn. Photo: Annie Schlechter
Don’t neglect the home office. There’s plenty of stuff you can do to transform your work station from drab to designed.
Everyone looks better in pink light, says writer Sadie Stein, who uses these GE light bulbs to cast everyone with a healthy glow.
The spirit of maximalism extends to a home’s aroma — not just its décor. This pricey marble candle from Buly 1803 with a glass cloche succeeds at both. “The scent is exotic, but not too heavy,” says Stevens.
“You always need something alive in a maximalist interior,” Redd says. “Nothing says lush like the floating leaf of a maidenhair fern.”
When I was 20, I decided I loved Hans Wegner wishbone chairs, so I bought one pair that anchored my dining table, and had a mix of thrift-store chairs, too. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve bought new pairs, and now I have a big old-wood farm table with eight chairs. Right now, I’m loving the Hay AAC chair, the Normann form chair, and the Thonet Era chair. Find statement chairs that you love, and grow your set over time.
If you’re the kind of person who kills all your plants, here’s a faux maidenhair.
There is something dreamy, peaceful, poetic, cheerful yet innocent about these painted bowls. Conversation pieces. Back on our shelves by public demand. #bolfemme #potteryfromlatuilealoup #madeinfrance🇫🇷 #handmadepottery #decorativepottery #spring2018🌸 @latuilealoup
Designer Ken Fulk adds: “For a truly layered look, you must start with a bold background.” For him, that’s a custom mural or wallpaper, like from fan-favorite de Gournay or Adelphi Paper Hangings’ Fancy Ashlar collection. If you can’t commit to such an avant-garde design decision, start with removable wallpaper.