The feeling of coming home to a well organized apartment feels…nice, right? Everything has a place and every inch is used to create a space where you can live and breathe. We got you!

Tip 1: Use Your Wall Space.
Grab broom holders and tall bookshelves to make the most of your wall space and remove things that are shoved in corners of the closet. Adding these small touches help to organize cleaning items and also give your decor a place to bring an ambiance to your space.

Drawer organization

Tip 2: Drawer Management.
We all have ONE of those drawers (or more), the ones where junk just goes and is a mix of everything. Add some purpose to the chaos with drawer organizers. That way the next time you need tape, you’ll know exactly where to look.

Tip 3: No More Tangled Necklaces
Hang your necklaces. Trust us. Grab several of these to hang on your closet wall and organize your jewelry by color or style.

Tip 4: Bathroom Cleanup
Start with the cabinet under your bathroom sink. These clear caddies help in keeping soap, lotion, extra razors, and other hygiene items in easy view so you can see when it’s time to restock.

Tip 5: Multipurpose Coffee Table
It’s a coffee table! No, look again. It’s a coffee table AND a storage bin. Yes! We love this coffee table that can easily hide magazines or unused seasonal decor.

closet organization

Tip 6: Maximize Closet Space
Closet space often comes as limited real estate in any apartment or home. Get the most out of your closet space by adding more storage options with a tall chest of drawers. These can be used for t-shirts, workout clothes, or shoes.

Tip 7: Use Kitchen Cabinet Doors
Extend storage possibilities to the doors of your kitchen cabinets. Use these over the door organizers to hold cookie sheets, cutting boards, or muffin tins.

Tip 8: Hang Cleaning Supplies
Hang a shoe organizer on the back of your closet door to hold all of your cleaning supplies (because let’s be real, those things don’t hold ALL of the shoes most people own).

Tip 9: Towel Hooks
Use these handy S hooks to hang towels or to air dry items from your shower rod.

Tip 10: Hidden Storage
For furniture that has height off of the floor, like beds, use roll away storage bins to easily create more storage that is hidden from view.

By: Lori from Stellar Designs

Designers are a mysterious bunch. We can look at an empty space and see an engagingly decorated home. With the blink of an eye, we see charm, where others see peeling paint; we see potential, when others see retched brown carpet; we say, stay; when others say, we’re moving!

Although we do possess a bit of clairvoyance when walking through a new space, believe it or not, designers don’t have a secret rule book we consult for every project. Our Interiors Bible is more like a recipe, a collage of tried-and-true principles, a mish-mash of inspirational resources, and a generous pour of our unique tastes. So whether you’ve just moved into your first apartment or pushing the reset button on your home decor, check out a few of our not-so-secret designer tips!

ONE. Crowd Control

If you have to shimmy, stretch and yoga warrior pose past your friend to get to the empty seat by the window -listen up. Back off, man! Optimize your furniture layout as to not overcrowd. Give yourself room to walk through and around the furniture arrangement. In other words, pick your furnishings carefully and really think about how many people will be using the space, the function of the space, and its flow. Here are a few quick notes when working on your room layout:

Living Space. Yes, you are the most important person in any room, however try to build around any architectural focal points in the room -like swanky fireplaces or gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows.

Study/Work Space: Locate those electrical connections for media and place furniture accordingly. Nothing is worse than trying to stretch your 24 inch computer cord to fit that outlet just out of reach. Well, some things are worse, but you get my point.

Bedroom: If possible, position your bed so the foot board points to the bedroom door. Mostly because it would be strange to have it the other way around.

Always consider symmetry or balance in the room, like having two side tables next to the sofa instead of the one multi-functional stack of books you may be using to hold your cup of tea.

TWO. Tricky, Tricky Rugs

Let’s keep this simple folks. Your rug should be large enough that most of your furniture sits on top.

Rug Placement

Next. Paint Transformation

Trust me, I know from experience. Paint transforms! Probably one of the essential tools in any designers arsenal is introducing a new color or neutral into a space. Accent ceilings, feature walls, or a completely repainted room will drastically change the energy and overall vibe. Choosing the perfect paint color can be a daunting task. But that’s what designers are for!

Trend Alert! Richer, darker, moodier colors are taking thestage right now, creating dramatic interiors. Deep greens, shimmering blacks, and vibrant blues are good choices if you’re considering repainting at the moment.

Paint colors for interior

If you’ve just moved into your place -put the paintbrush down and step away from the Moth Wing paint can. I suggest not painting as soon as the ink dries on your lease. Move in. Settle in. See how the patterns, colors, and textures of your furniture collection affect the interior before selecting paint.

FOUR. The D Word

Wait -is this blog about to get interesting? Focus please. D is for Decorate. Because your home is a reflection of your most authentic self, even the smallest detail matters.

  • The Rule of Two’s and Three’s. Group small items on coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, and bookshelves in groups of 2 or 3. Why? Because that is what they taught me in design school -and something about proportion.
  • Art isn’t just for hanging on the wall. Layer it or lean it on a piece of furniture and let it become a collage and focal point in the room.
  • Add a pop of greenery!Bringing the outside in is a great way to wake up a dead space.
  • Embrace organization. Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes a slob. Use trays, magazine ladders, and baskets to clear/hide the clutter and keep the room looking fresh.
Interior Decor Ideas

Have design questions? Let’s Connect!

Stellar Designs is a lifestyle design boutique for your small space, apartment or dorm, dedicated to offering well-curated designs and on-trend products that are both practical and creative.

Take this Valentine’s Day to spread a little love to those near and dear or to yourself! Here are some of the best deals to grab this week:

Stuff:

PrimRose Oil Mask $2.50

Automatic Electric Wine Bottle Opener $27

Buy two, get one free on movies, video games, and books

Canvas Travel Bag with Leather Trim $50

10% Off Wines $99 and Less

Fluffy Wool Area Rug Starting at $40

Experiences:

Retreat to the lake in this serene cabin by Big Bear Lake, California $165/night

Hamilton Tickets Starting at $175

Two Week Free Trial at Class Pass

Beach Views in Cape Town, South Africa for $220/night

Take a little time for yourself this year and treat yourself. We have a few tips to take a few “me” minutes from free to splurge-worthy.

Free:

Bath time: It’s a simple thought but taking a bath really has health benefits like improving circulation and calming the nervous system. This is our favorite bath bomb (and it’s less than $4).

Rewatch your favorite movie or TV show: It can be the one movie you’ve seen 287x or a TV show you haven’t watched in a while. We all have those favorites and there’s no judgement in rewatching as many times as necessary. Looking for a movie to rent? Checkout these finds that are $3 or less.

Plan a trip: Planning doesn’t cost anything and we support a little dream time. Look into a small road trip and a big trip. Take time to dive into the best places to visit, where to stay, what to do, etc. AirBnB has a tool to help you start planning, see it here.

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Release tension: Use heating pads and massagers to give your muscles a breather. From work to the stress of live, your muscles and body needs a break. We like this Hot and Cold Therapy Kit for $15.

Skin care: Take a little longer today to invest time into your skin care. A mask, proper hydration, and cleaning can go a long way to seeing benefits for the future. If you haven’t tried the Indian Healing Clay that’s all over Amazon, give it a try for $11.

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Wine and chocolate: Both of these are known for the health benefits (in moderation of course). Sometimes all you need is a nice glass of wine with a little chocolate to wrap up the day. See our pick here.

Take a Yoga break: If you haven’t tried Yoga before or you’re a returning Yogi, easily see classes available in your area through ClassPass. For even better relaxation, try a stretching class.

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Book a vacation: From planning to executing, go for it and book a trip! Southwest Airlines offer package booking deals to make it easier.
Or start with where to stay first and then find your destination. AirBnB lists verified places to stay across the world.

Hot chocolate: Check
Oversized blanket: Check
Favorite movies: Check
Fuzzy sweater: Need

It’s that time of the year where the spring clothes start making an appearance in stores but our winter bodies are still screaming: layers! 

We’ve found a few great winter finds to collect this season (a lot are for sale!) to keep warm:

Puffer Jacket for $45

Military Hoodie Jacket for $30

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Tori Jacket for $299

Tori Jacket

Open Layering Cardigan for $25

Open Layering

Split Sleeve Sweatshirt for  $15.44

Sweatshirt

Women’s Joan Of Arctic Boot for $75

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Sneaker Boots for $35

Sneaker Boots

Cuffed Lounge Pant for $28

Lounge Pant

Faux Fur Booties for $38

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A few weeks into the new year and we hope you’re holding strong to those resolutions. If you’re experiencing times of weakness, hey, it’s ok. We got you.   Below are a few tips to get you back on track with your resolutions and feeling good about the year to come:

Working On Your Fitness
If you’re working on your fitness this year and need a little motivation, start out slow and make a dedicated time in your schedule each week for working out. Hitting the gym every day may not be an option for your schedule so do what works best for you.   Try going with a pal because, you know, the whole accountability thing and it’s more fun to have a friend along for the same ride.   Don’t be afraid to try a few different classes or workout options. Classpass is offering 1 free month to help you find what workout options you like the best.

Flat Stomachs Happen in the Kitchen
Taking on a new diet or just simply eating better for the new year? Meal prepping is the name and sticking to your plan is the game. Planning out your meals in advance can help reduce the desire to make impulse food choices. Use a grocery delivery service to make it even easier and secure everything on your grocery list. Thrive Market sells all organic foods and is offering 25% off first orders.

Plan to Plan
Failure to plan is a plan to failure…or something like that. Get organized, start goal-setting, and keep yourself on track with a handy planner. Often, just writing plans down and crossing them off a list can do wonders for feeling productive. Check out the top selling planners on Amazon here.   How do you keep your resolutions? Leave us a comment below!

Wintertime, it’s here and your car could be screaming for some much needed attention to keep it going through the winter season. Save a headache and some dollars with these tips to keep your car happy this season:

Tire Check
Depending upon where you live, not only could temperatures be dropping but also white fluffy snowflakes. Keep an eye on your tire pressure and thread. Low tire pressure can be dangerous and no one wants that.   If you live in an area that gets a lot of winter weather, a set of snow tires can help you stay sane this season. Goodyear and Bridgestone are currently running rebates through Discount Tire.

Must-Have Kit
This is important, mainly for snacks because you never know when hunger will strike. We kid. It is important to have an emergency kit in your car, especially in the winter, in case you find yourself stuck in winter weather. Grab this one from AAA for less than $35.

Insurance Check Before bad weather hits, review your car insurance policy and coverage. It doesn’t hurt to do a little price shopping to make sure you’re getting the best price for your car insurance. Metromile is car insurance that is pay-per-mile for those that drives less than 200 miles a week.

Squeaky Clean Windshield
ow would be a good time to check your wiper blades and replace if necessary. You can purchase a new pair and install them pretty quickly. A nice and clean windshield will be a good defense against snow and ice.

Power Up
Cold weather can do a number on your battery. We’ve been there with that terrible sound the car makes when it won’t start is NO FUN. Have an automotive specialist check your battery for any signs of a needed replacement. Prices to replace your battery can vary so be sure to shop around.   See a collection of winter products for your car here and here so you can enjoy the winter weather better. 

If you’re shopping for others or grabbing some deals for yourself this holiday season, don’t miss these steals.

This time of the year can make the wallet feel a little lighter and can be overwhelming in what sales are truly the best ones out there. Our team researched the 12 best deals going on this holiday season to spread a little holiday cheer to yourself and your wallet.

1. Shark ION Robot Vacuum: 50% Of
Why we love this: The robot vacuum makes keeping the apartment tidier much easier (especially with kids and pets). It’s easy to set and let it do its thing while you have to spend less time vacuuming.

2. Board Games: 50% Off
Why we love this: We are a sucker for a good board game. If it’s a classic or a new one to try, we can’t help but get a little competitive. We stocked up on a few after we found them at 50% off.

3. Amazon Fire HD Tablets for Kids: Save $40
Why we love this: If you already use several other Amazon products, this one is a go-to for the protective case, loaded with kid-friendly apps, and easy setup for parental controls. The protective case come in a variety of colors.

4. Nespresso Machines: 25% Off
Why we love this: The very best coffee machine we’ve owned so far is a Nespresso (especially the ones with the frother). Depending on which model you get, they can get pricey but this time of the year makes for scoring a good deal.

5. Beauty Gift Sets: Buy One, Get One
Why we love this: Find some of your friend’s favorite beauty finds and get one for yourself 25% off. This is the time of the year to give your skin a little extra TLC. The Burt’s Bees and Yes To Face Masks were our first grabs.

6. Ancestory DNA Kit: 40% Off
Why we love this: Pretty awesome to find out about your origins and ancestors. No more guessing or wondering. Plus this makes a great gift for family members.

7. Ring Doorbell 2 with Echo Dot: 32% Off
Why we love this: The convenience of the Dot with Alexa is an awesome tech gadget in any house, we use it all of the time. When paired with the security of the Ring, it adds an extra benefit of when you’re at home or away. We definitely have the Ring on our list this year.

8. Hot Wheels – Mega Metropolis Track Set: $40 Off
Why we love this: Hot Wheels Track Sets are classics and this one has us wanting to try it out (even if we do buy it for our nephews and nieces).

9. Orvis Memory Foam Dog Bed: $80 OFF
Why we love this: Simply because it’s our fur baby’s favorite bed ever (and the cover is machine washable)

10. Outdoor Furniture: 50% or More Off
Why we love this: This time of the year is the best time to purchase outdoor furniture. A lot of companies, like Wayfair, have furniture for more than half-off. If you have a patio at your apartment, purchase outdoor chairs and a table now and save some money.

11. Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones: $30 OFF
Why we love this: For when you want to be in your own little world, these headphones do the trick in knocking out any other sound.

12. Rachel Ray Cookware: 33% Off
Why we love this: This is probably the best cookware we’ve ever owned. If you’re a chef in your kitchen, we highly recommend adding this to your “tools.”

Have a deal we missed? Comment below!

We’ve been collecting cookie recipes for months to find the best ones for any occasion. If it’s cookies you’re craving, bring out the mixer and get ready for some favorites!

Knowing that cookie taste buds can vary (we see you the no-coconut-or-nut-anything cookie lover), we’ve complied several recipes below that can cover a gamut of cookie lovers. Best of all…they’re pretty easy and don’t take very long to make.

Mint Chocolate Chip

1 package of sugar cookie mix
½ cup of butter
½ teaspoon of mint extract
1 egg
1 cup of Andes chocolate mints (chopped)
½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips
Green food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, butter, extract, and egg until dough is well mixed and soft. Stir in chocolate mints and chocolate chips.
Roll dough into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet with dough 2 inches apart.
Bake 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool and remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Store at room temperature in an air tight container.

TIP: Store the cookies in this super cute cookie jar.


The Best Cookie Bars

2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of dark brown sugar
3 eggs
Dash of vanilla
3 cups of all-purpose flour
¾ tsp of baking soda
¾ tsp of salt
1 ½ cups (plus a little extra dash) of candy coated chocolates
1 cup of semi chocolate chips
½ cup of peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking pan.
Beat together butter and sugar until well mixed and fluffy.
Add in eggs and vanilla extract, continuing to mix.
Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing between each addition.
Stir in candy coated chocolates, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. Press mixture into baking pan and bake for 35-45. Let cool and cut into squares.

TIP: Use the peanut butter filled candy coated chocolates for more PB flavor.


The Best Cookie Bars

One package of premade sugar cookie dough
¼ stick of butter
Cinnamon (amounts will vary depending upon amount of cookie dough)
Brown Sugar (amounts will vary depending upon amount of cookie dough)

Icing
1 cup of powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup of cup milk
½ tsp of melted butte

Preheat oven to temperature on cookie dough packaging. Flour a large surface and roll out sugar cookie dough. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar over the melted butter to make a light, even layer. Roll the dough into a long log and cover with plastic wrap. Chill dough for two hours in fridge or 30 minutes in freezer.

Remove dough from plastic wrap and slice thinly. Bake the cookies according to the sugar cookie dough instructions.

While the dough bakes, mix the butter, vanilla, and milk together. In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar and slowly mix in the milk mixture into the sugar until desired consistency. Once the cookies are done and removed from the oven, drizzle with the glaze while still warm.

TIP: Our favorite cinnamon is the Simply Organic Cinnamon found at Thrive Market. It really has the best taste and no additives.


Vegan Fudge Cookies

½ cup of vegan butter
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of light brown sugar
Dash of vanilla
1 cup of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of unsweetened coca powder
¼ tsp of salt
1 tbsp of non-dairy milk
½ cup of dark chocolate, chopped or morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the vanilla. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the milk into the dough and then the dark chocolate chunks. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Roll dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until set, the cookies will firm as they cool. Store in an air tight container.

TIP: We use Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars chopped in to bite sizes. You can order these here.


Gluten-Free Apple Pie Cookies s

1 cup of instant oats (gluten-free)
¾ cup of gluten-free flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 tbsp of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 large egg at room temperature
Dash of vanilla
½ cup of honey
1 cup of finely diced red apple

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the honey. Add and stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well mixed. Fold in the apples and chill the mixture for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
Scoop dough onto baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool and store in air tight container.

TIP: If you’re looking for gluten-free flour, try the Simply Balanced gluten-free flour at Target.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe to share? Comment below!

We’ve got a sneak peek at all of the best deals happening this year. Plan out your shopping in advance and make it easy with our favorite gift finds.

Unique and Innovative Gifts

We all have that one person in our life that makes gift shopping a little more challenging. Check out these unique gifts at Amazon that could bring a happy holiday surprise!

Poppin’ Bottles
Cheers to 20% off gift baskets until 12/15 at Wine.com: see them here. 

Holiday Decor
We have a weakness for Target and their holiday decor this year is too good to pass up. Get deals of 30 – 40% off so you can deck the halls.

Sports Fans
Show your team’s colors with 50% off sweatshirts at Fanatics.

Pet Doorbusters
Treat Fluffy or Fido this holiday season with these fun pet essentials up to 70% off at Wayfair.

Toys for Everyone
BOGO or 50% off toys at World Market. The activity kits are our favorites for adults or kids.

Stuff the Stockings Need a few unique gifts for the stockings this year? Here are our favorites:

And because we all love free shipping, below are a few of our favorite stores offering free shipping this season! 

Best Buy

Target

Sonos (free 2nd day shipping with code SNSFS18)

Pet Street Mall