SPONSORED POST: This “It” Fabric Makes for the Most Nappable Chair

SPONSORED POST: This “It” Fabric Makes for the Most Nappable Chair

Our love for bouclé knows no bounds: Touchable and trendy, chic and comfy, this looped fabric — which designers have been rediscovering in recent years — makes a style statement that’s also super approachable. We’re fans of the warmth and texture it adds to seating — especially when the seat comes from a collection we already know to be built with relaxation in mind.

The Maxwell Chair, designed by AT’s founder and CEO, Maxwell Ryan, and Interior Define, has plenty of warmth on its own, with softly contoured lines and a deep seat ideal for Sunday afternoon reading sessions. You can outfit it in more than 100 colors and fabrics, but our favorite is Snow, a bouclé in winter white. It has a fresh, inviting feel that hits dead center in the Venn diagram of “I have impeccable taste” and “I love a good nap.” Plus, it’s a timeless neutral backdrop for whatever colorful throws and patterned pillows you fancy.

And because the Maxwell Chair — like Interior Define’s entire Maxwell line — is fully customizable, you can choose more than just the fabric. Select from a variety of leg styles and finishes, from traditionally inspired tapered turned wood to modernist metal. Then choose your cushion filling for optimum firmness or softness, and ask design experts for real-time help as you build your perfect chair. Pet- and kid-friendly fabric options are also available to make it welcoming to everyone in your home.

Every living room gets lived in differently, which is why Interior Define’s sofas, sectionals, chairs, and ottomans can be designed to suit your specific needs — while expressing your singular style.

SPONSORED POST: Your Guide to Ditching Renting & Building Wealth

SPONSORED POST: Your Guide to Ditching Renting & Building Wealth

You don’t want to rent for the rest of your life, and now you don’t have to.

We’re partnering with the mortgage experts at Lower.com to guide you through the whole process — and answer your real questions along the way.

For example, did you know you can own a home for less than 5% down? Or that your monthly payment could be less than what you pay in rent? So, sit back, relax and let the Lower team show you the ins and outs — so you can buy a home and become your best homeowner self, sooner than later.

First thing’s first. Before you think about home shopping, you’ll want to get an overall view of your financial health, and gauge if you’re ready to buy a home now, need to get saving, or have a different step to take. It’s always best to trust a professional with these details — and getting pre-qualified is a great way to get started.

Unless you have a stack of cash just sitting in the bank, you’ll likely need to save at least a few dollars for a down payment. If so, you’ll want to download the Lower app and set a savings goal. Just enter the price of the home you’re looking to buy, and when you want to buy. Lower does the math for you — how much you need to save per month to meet your goal.

One way to keep motivated when saving is to remember your goal and why you want a home. Plus, when you have the Lower app, Lower will match your home savings up to $500 in HomeCash™! And Apartment Therapy readers get an additional $500 in HomeCash™ when they use code ATHOME500 in the app.

You’ll also rest easy knowing you’re earning 0.75% APY¹, which is 25X² higher than the average savings account. You’ll be buying in no time!

To get pre-qualified, just tell your loan advisor a bit about you, how much you make, and any debts you have. And that’s it! Once you move further down the process, all of the information will be checked and verified.

Until then, getting pre-qualified is great for seeing what you can afford, it looks great to sellers, and your real estate agent will also appreciate the guidelines it provides.

Now, you’re “in contract,” which is a fancy way of saying you’re almost there, but the deal hasn’t closed yet. Keep it steady. There’s a lot changing right now. It can be tempting to make big purchases for your home (new couch, anyone?), but try to leave them until after your loan closes. If anything comes up, reach out to your loan advisor so there aren’t any surprises.

Lower Account is provided through Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC. Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of May 01, 2021, and subject to change after account opening. We use encryption and secure processes to help ensure your money is safe. See footnotes below for more details.

¹ Interest Rate Information – The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the HomeFund is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of May 01, 2021. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 or greater in savings to earn interest. Interest is calculated and deposited on a monthly basis.

² Based on National Deposit Rate of 0.03% for Interest Checking according to the FDIC, last updated August 16, 2021.

SPONSORED POST: See How 3 Designers Added Their Personal Styles to a Neutral Living Room

SPONSORED POST: See How 3 Designers Added Their Personal Styles to a Neutral Living Room

A blank canvas doesn’t mean boring. When you start with a couple of timeless pieces, you can create myriad style statements, looks that can change according to seasons, trends, or just your mood. That’s why we were so excited to ask three of our favorite designers to put their own spins on the same living room.

We started with a classic couch and coffee table. The Brookside Clara 3-seater sofa has a traditional look, with buttery faux-leather upholstery and curved arms for a modern update. And at 72 inches, it’s roomy but still slim enough for small spaces. An elegant wood coffee table can suit midcentury, boho, and even farmhouse decors, with spacious drawers that keep clutter at bay. Both pieces — along with all of our designers’ finds — are from The Home Depot, whose online store is packed with on-trend pieces at on-point prices. From anchor pieces to finishing touches, there’s something for every design aesthetic. Check out the different looks our designers created.

“I love starting with a neutral sofa that’ll stand up to pets and kids and then layering on the fun color and personality,” Ashley says. “Then everything can work together to create a room that’s nice to watch TV and entertain in, but still tells your story. It’s the details that can be quirky and fun and bring in texture and really speak to who lives there.”

Armed with amazing ideas, plenty of power tools, and a killer collection of overalls, Ashley Basnight is a DIY and design force of nature. Her spin on this neutral living room speaks to her personal style influences, with boho patterns, earthy colors, and a few surprises. Using the couch as the room’s anchor piece, Ashley added softness with a plush Moroccan rug in a neutral cream and complementary woven throw pillows. A richly hued midcentury chair and chunky knit throw in deep olive green add texture and color. Touches like a sculptural concrete accent table and gold tripod floor lamp lend glamour. And for the ultimate finishing touch: “Woman in Garden,” a frameless, free-floating artwork on glass that bursts with color.

“It’s definitely a statement piece and brings that glam element to the living room,” Ashley says. “Layout is everything when designing a well-thought-out living room. Having a really strong anchor piece is important.”

One look at David Quarles IV‘s Instagram and it’s easy to see why he’s such an in-demand designer for homes and restaurants. With exuberant colors, captivating patterns, and a masterful command of maximalism, David’s spaces are chock full of life. Here, he started by leaning into this neutral living room’s midcentury vibes, with a pair of handsome MCM-style club chairs in mustard yellow. Then he layered on some of those eye-catching patterns he loves, with a global-inspired area rug, geometric peel-and-stick wallpaper, and abstract wall art. An olive green pillow, a subtly textured yellow throw, and an eclectic ceramic vase add earthiness. An asymmetrical floor lamp casts a beautiful glow on the whole scene.

“I like to prioritize the function and the feel of the space,” David says. “For the function, I aim to provide a comfortable space for conversation. And for the feel, I incorporate music when designing — songs help me understand the color and mood a room will have. For instance, I listened to  ‘Be Honest’ by Jorja Smith and Burna Boy while sitting near an olive green lake. The cultural tie came through the Afrobeats base of the song while echoing the colors of the lake and glimmering sunshine. I pulled that inspiration together and designed the room with how I’d imagine myself feeling when relaxing there.”

SPONSORED POST: 10 Gorgeous Coffee Gifts to Treat Yourself With

SPONSORED POST: 10 Gorgeous Coffee Gifts to Treat Yourself With

The coffee accessory landscape is ruled by one thing: coffee mugs. And while we all have a favorite one in our cupboard, we can definitely express our style and taste through other tools and accessories, which can be beautiful in their own ways.

Whether you might appreciate a handsome carafe or could use some add-ons to your home espresso setup, we found a range of gorgeous — and well-built — tools to make coffee time percolate. All our picks come from Prima Coffee, which sources the best coffee gear from around the world, and we covered everything: From countertop grinders and must-have espresso accessories to immaculately designed essentials, there’s a gift here for every coffee lover. 

Hario Buono Kettle ($44.05) This elegant stainless steel kettle is the perfect partner for your Chemex, French press, or other manual coffee maker. Most importantly, the gooseneck design allows you to control both the flow-rate of the water and to precisely pour it over the grounds. Try the Fast Checkout button for flawless pours ASAP.

Orphan Espresso LIDO E-T Hand Grinder ($194) If you have high-quality coffee beans, you need to pair them with a high-quality grinder. This versatile hand-grinder can produce the consistently fine grind needed for espresso, or it can go even finer if Turkish coffee is your (ultra-strong) jam. It also comes with a neoprene travel case, in case you don’t want to settle for the instant coffee your Airbnb host leaves on the counter. Click below to get better grounds instantly.

Hario Thermal Server ($29.95) These smart-looking stainless steel carafes can keep your pour-over coffee hot for up to 90 minutes. It has been designed to accompany the Hario V60 Coffee Dripper ($8.15 – $49.99), which is the go-to manual brewer for some of the most in-the-know coffee pros. Tap the button below and never serve room temp coffee again.

Fellow Ode Brew Grinder ($299) This sleek countertop grinder has 31 adjustable settings, so you’re covered whether you need a finely ground afternoon shot of espresso or a coarse grind for a cold brew on an unseasonably warm day. And with its compact size and striking matte black finish, it’ll look cool on your countertop well after you’ve finished your last cup. Click below to get perfect grounds effortlessly.

Bellman Stovetop Steamer ($109) If you’re ready to start making your own lattes but don’t have the space (or the budget) for your own espresso machine, this stovetop milk steamer is the next best thing. Prima Coffee suggests that this is even good for making milk-based drinks during a camping trip. (If you’re the kind of person who can’t go camping without access to a cappuccino, we completely understand.) Click here to become a latte art pro.

Airscape 64-ounce Coffee Storage Container ($26.49) This slim stainless steel canister keeps your favorite beans fresher, longer by ensuring that they aren’t exposed to oxygen or moisture. It’s not the most exciting addition to your countertop coffee setup, but it’s an essential one that can add to your kitchen’s aesthetic. Click here to protect your beans.

Cafelat Robot Barista Espresso Maker ($499) We love the design of this manual espresso maker, and not just because it looks like something that wandered out of an eccentric inventor’s workshop. It’s a satisfyingly hands-on way to get a shot of espresso — and it’s a worthy complement to both the Orphan Espresso LIDO E-T Hand Grinder and the Bellman Stovetop Steamer. Tap the button below to bring this beauty into your home.

Barista Hustle Precision Milk Pitcher ($29.95) If you’ve ever wanted to start drawing your own latte art, this milk pitcher is the way to go. Plus, you can just drink the rosettes or ferns that look more like blobs and… bigger blobs. Click the button below to buy yours now.

Hottop Home Coffee Roaster ($1,300) If you like your coffee beans to be roasted just so, then it’s worth checking out this machine, which allows you to customize and fine-tune every aspect of the roasting process. Prima Coffee also offers a free Home Roasting class with every purchase, along with a six-pound coffee bean sampler. Click below to learn how to RIY (roast it yourself).

Hario Cupping Spoon ($22.05) and Hario Cupping Bowl ($16.95) To truly appreciate a particular coffee — especially if you’re roasting and grinding your own beans — then you need to try coffee cupping. This exquisitely designed spoon and bowl will allow you to distinguish the taste of coffees from different parts of the world, or to experience the full range of flavors from your favorite coffee shop’s in-house beans. Click below and taste the difference.

SPONSORED POST: The Unexpected Way to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

SPONSORED POST: The Unexpected Way to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Improving your home’s energy efficiency can feel daunting. There are so many ways to approach it, but finding a starting point that’s not too much work and that still has an impact is hard. One simple way to trim your power bill without giving up comfort: swap out your old, dusty ceiling fan for a better (and far more stylish) one.

Big Ass Fans® took the once humble ceiling fan and upgraded it to an attractive home addition that’s majorly energy efficient. Their fans use around 50 watts per hour, compared to 100 watts for typical ceiling fans and over 1,000 watts for standard A/C units, meaning a Big Ass fan costs just about $4 to run all year. Some users even saw their energy bills drop by 30 percent!

Here are some of our favorite reasons — big and small — why Big Ass fans are amazing home energy wins.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice beauty for effectiveness. The i6®, es6®, Haiku®, and Haiku® L models offer elegant and stylish design alongside efficient construction (think how the blades move air around) that save you money. 

Just choose your diameter and your favorite finish — the i6 offers four color choices; the Haiku model has an astonishing 10 finishes; and the Haiku L and es6 both come in either sleek black or neutral white — then relish in the fact that your fan actually contributes to your home’s design scheme. For more polish, the i6 and es6 have chic casings and aircraft-grade aluminum airfoils, while the curves (and optional bamboo finishes) in the Haikus bring a sense of calmness.

Setting the ambiance is simple with the i6 and es6’s optional LED lights that adjust from warm to daylight. Or dial in your perfect mood lighting with the 16 different dimmable LED settings on the Haiku and Haiku L.

Easy Adjustability & Versatility

Getting up from the couch or bed just to turn your fan on or off feels a little archaic at this point. Which is why Big Ass fans include a remote control so you can flip between seven different speed settings and adjust the lights.

And if the remote is all the way across the room? Don’t bother getting up — download the app instead and control everything from your phone. You can even pair your fan with Alexa or Google Assistant if you really want to avoid buttons all together.

When you’re heading to bed, set the fan for sleep mode so the speed reduces gradually over a specified period of time, boosting your comfort throughout the night without wasting energy. The Haiku also lets you opt for the Fan Eco setting during the day for permanent efficiency.

Big Ass fans have been smart for over ten years, and one of their coolest innovations is found in the Haiku and i6: SenseMe™ technology, which picks up on the temperature and humidity in your environment and adjusts the fan’s speed accordingly.

Plus, these fans detect motion in the room so they can provide cool air and comfort when you actually need it and energy savings when you don’t. Makes sense why they routinely make the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Ceiling Fans list.

One of the best ways Big Ass fans stand out is by blending in. Thanks to their brushless DC motors and aerodynamic blades, they’re much quieter than old pull-chain fans. Enjoy the breeze in peace, without turning your TV’s volume all the way up.

If you’re not a big fan of rumbling window A/C noises either, Big Ass fans help with that. The right ceiling fan keeps cool air circulating to give your A/C a break in the summer, and in the winter, it can cut down on heating usage by mixing warm air more evenly.

As far as energy upgrades go, Big Ass fans are an easy place to start. And with the company’s history in making industrial-sized fans for factories and warehouses, you know you’re getting something made to last. Each fan is built to deliver years of powerful airflow and effortless operation, so you can do exactly what you’re supposed to do at home: chill.