Before & After: A Dark Walk-In Closet Becomes a Dreamy Home Office for $3,000

Before & After: A Dark Walk-In Closet Becomes a Dreamy Home Office for $3,000

Lydia Mack

Contributor

Lydia Mack is a freelance writer and author of the book “I Put Pants On for This.” Her work has been published by VICE, HelloGiggles, On Our Moon, and more. She has been a sweatpants loyalist and homebody since before it was cool, and frequently forgets that she just made a cup of tea. You can find her on Instagram and at lydiamack.com.

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I Tried a Bunch of Air Purifiers for the First Time, and This Was the Clear Winner

I Tried a Bunch of Air Purifiers for the First Time, and This Was the Clear Winner

Britt Franklin

Contributor

Britt is a stargazer and sunrise-chaser with a collection of magic erasers, and a fascination with the fantastic. A storyteller at heart, she finds inspiration in all the small things, and can likely be found singing show tunes, catching up on K-dramas, or going on adventures to satiate her natural-born wanderlust. (Sometimes even all at the same time.) An all-around creative, Britt has worked in various facets with Scene Louisiana, The Nerd Machine, and The Daebak Company, Inc.

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26 Thoughtful Personalized Gifts That Aren’t Cheesy or Too Expensive

26 Thoughtful Personalized Gifts That Aren’t Cheesy or Too Expensive

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I was a kid when the iPod Nano had peaked in popularity. At the time, Apple offered an engraving option where you could put any message you wanted be it a name or initials, a loving note, an inside joke, or really anything on the back of the device. I remember making frequent visits to the Apple website just to experiment with different messages various loved ones might write for me, should they ever decide to generously bestow one upon me. And even though I eventually got one myself sans customization, I was always jealous of friends who had their name or a sweet message from their parents laser-cut on the back. No matter how small, it’s hard to resist a custom-made gift!

Think of the popularity of name plate necklaces, or monogrammed towels. There’s just something so special about getting something made for you and only you. If you’re looking for just the right gift to give for a loved one, or to mark a special occasion, a personalized gift is sure to communicate your thoughtfulness. From jewelry to artwork to kitchenware, you too can find your recipient’s iPod Nano: Something so meaningful, they’ll love and use it for years to come. And luckily for you, we’ve gathered together some suggestions here to make your search a little easier. Read on for 26 of the most unique personalized gifts that money can buy. 

Olivia Bowman

Commerce Editorial Intern

Olivia is an editorial intern on the commerce team at Apartment Therapy. When she’s not writing, she’s probably re-watching The West Wing, reading her horoscope, or researching skincare products. She is a proud University of Oregon alumna and firmly believes that seltzer water is part of a balanced diet.

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This Kitchen and Bath Trend Is Good for Anyone Looking to Add Shine to a Space

This Kitchen and Bath Trend Is Good for Anyone Looking to Add Shine to a Space

If you’re looking for a way to jazz up tile work in a kitchen or bathroom — or even flooring, a wall, or a kitchen island — then you need to know the word “schluter.” This design term may sound fancy, but it really just refers to strips or pieces of metal edging that can be inlaid to break up or add definition in between individual tiles, planks, or paneling. Most of the schluter installations I’ve seen lately have been with brass, but you should be able to find it (or have it fabricated) in any kind of metal you’re looking for, and usually, it’s placed where you’d have standard grout lines. 

Make no mistake about it: Schluter is not exactly a new idea. You’ve probably seen versions of it in fancier buildings all your life — think the flooring in municipal buildings, lecture halls, and theaters/auditoriums. I just haven’t seen people use it quite so prominently as a design feature until recently. Whereas inlays often used to disappear into the floor or wall they were on, the point today is to add extra charm, visual oomph, and a bit of literal shine and movement to any spot you want to highlight.

I first came across this treatment in a kitchen by Louisville-based designer Gretchen Black of Greyhouse Design, who has used brass accents in both kitchen and bathroom projects as early as 2017 (according to her Instagram). Stylist and blogger Emily Henderson also used little gold pieces in her backsplash a few houses ago, and designer Sarah Sherman Samuel incorporated schluter into Mandy Moore’s terrazzo floors (and may do so again in Moore’s new home project). 

In general, the more liberally you use schluter, the more it’s going to cost you. That’s why for a more budget-conscious solution, I love the idea of installing it the way Black did in the kitchen island at the top of this page. Just a few long pieces can create a fun, modern striping effect. The fewer the cuts (and smaller/thinner the pieces), the more economical, I’d think.

Schluter installation can be a DIY friendly project, depending on your level of skill and the scope of the project. It’s certainly something you can have a contractor or subcontractor look into as well. That being said, it’s best incorporated when you’re starting anew with a backsplash, flooring, or wall covering. You can also use larger pieces of schluter to set off a wall covering, as shown by this home tour here.

I’ve yet to see the schluter trend really pop with matte black finishes, but I have to wonder if that’s where it’s going. Maybe somebody out there will create a funky plaid pattern with it? Keep your eyes peeled for schluter from here on out. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing more of it.

Danielle Blundell

Home Editor

Danielle Blundell is AT’s Home Director and covers decorating and design. She loves homes, heels, the history of art, and hockey—but not necessarily always in that order.

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10 Grown-Up Futons That Aren’t Anything Like What You See in College Dorms

10 Grown-Up Futons That Aren’t Anything Like What You See in College Dorms

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If the word “futon” brings up an image of a horrible metal contraption with a dark “mattress” that always slides off the frame, know that you’re not alone. Any of us who have ever couch surfed at a friend’s place or opted for one of these affordable finds when furnishing our first place know exactly why futons get a notoriously bad rep. But it’s a new day, and we’ve come so far. There’s a lot that goes into buying a sleeper sofa, but if you’re looking for something that’s budget-friendly, comfortable, and stylish, a futon is a solid furniture choice. And happily, the futons of today are just as attractive as they are practical. From futons that feature that classic design we all know and love (with updated construction) to those that one could easily confuse with a high-end sofa, here are 10 of the best futons that (and your guests) you won’t mind having in your space.

Sarah M. Vazquez also contributed to reporting.