8 Tips For Minimalism In Home Design: What Sparks Joy?

Maintaining a clean home isn’t just about keeping up appearances. It’s about comfort, relaxation, and even mental health. Did you know that your environment can contribute to stress and anxiety?

When we’re trying to exist in a space full of clutter, it can be distracting. Staring at a mess can overstimulate our minds, make us feel guilty, and inhibit us from being able to relax or focus on a task.

This is why so many people are drawn to learning about tips for minimalism. The fewer items you have, the less you have to worry about keeping clean. 

Want help turning your home into a stress-free paradise? Keep reading for everything you need to know about minimalist design.

1. Keep It Simple, But Be Creative

Obviously, when we’re talking about minimalist interior design, we need to keep your plan simple. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity in your decor. The best thing about interior design is the individualism expressed in every space.

It’s important to remember the true essence of minimalism, but not at the cost of your creative nature. Feel free to express yourself through colors, unique pieces, textures, and layouts.

This may also mean investing in top-of-the-line fixtures of design, such as elite modern furniture.

2. Make Storage An Extension Of Your Design

One of the most important tips for minimalism is finding a way to store your possessions in a creative manner. Naturally, converting to minimalist living means owning fewer possessions. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything that’s not currently in use. 

For example, you probably have supplies for various hobbies, keepsakes, equipment for outdoor activities, family board games, and more. Living a minimalistic lifestyle doesn’t require you to abandon these important items. Instead, come up with decorative and creative storage solutions that don’t infringe on your minimalist interior design. 

3. Clear Out Your Clutter

As noted above, clutter can cause stress. Not only that, but clutter also creates a sense of uncleanliness and disorganization. Though you make pick things up in a hurry before guests come over, you shouldn’t have to live like that in between.

Fortunately, cleaning out your clutter can benefit you in multiple ways. Aside from having a tidier, stress-free home, you can also make money off your unwanted items.

Host a big garage sale and get the neighbors involved to drive in more traffic. You can also sell your items online using social media, Craigslist, and other listing platforms. Worst case scenario, you can donate whatever you can’t sell.

4. Live By The “One In, One Out” Rule

Minimalism in home design isn’t just about decor, it’s also about controlling your consumer habits. As consumers, we have way too much stuff. For example, studies show that most of us only use about 50% of our wardrobes.

Instead of clogging up your closets, dressers, drawers, and storage units with clothes you’ll never wear, take an alternative approach. Use the “one in, one out” rule. Only buy new pants (or shoes, or shirts, etc.) when replacing another one.

Use this principle for the entirety of minimalist living. This includes everything from creating a productive workspace to decorating your living room.

6. Invest In Good Lighting

One of the best things about minimalist room designs is how much space it seems to add to a given area. The fewer items there are in a room, the bigger and more open it feels. However, an exquisite minimalist design also incorporates quality lighting. 

The warmth and brightness of the lights in your rooms will play a significant role in the overall feel or ambiance of that space. You don’t want it to feel like a hospital with overly-bright lights, but you also don’t want your rooms feeling dark and dingy. 

We recommend increasing the natural light in each room as much as possible. You can do this by using high-gloss paints on your walls. It’s also important to use light, bright colors for your walls and ceilings.

If a room has limited natural lighting options, you can either install a skylight or invest in lamps and lights that create the illusion of natural lighting.

7. Keep Things Interesting By Using Different Textures

Some people worry that incorporating a minimalistic design into their homes will leave things feeling cold and boring. If executed improperly, this fear can become a reality. However, this undesired outcome is relatively easy to avoid.

One of the best tips for minimalism is learning how to use textures to your advantage. While a hodge-podge of colors can make any room feel cluttered (even a minimalistic room), a myriad of textures adds depth and intrigue.

However, you must adhere to a few simple rules:

  • Use warm textures (wool, felt, rugs, knitted throws, pillows, etc.)
  • Balance out with cold textures (metals, woods, etc.)
  • Stay within the same color tone
  • Be conservative with color-pops

With minimalism, less is more, except when it comes to textures.

8. Focus On Function

Finally, remember that one of the most important elements of minimalist living is functionality. This applies across the board to your lifestyle, decor, wardrobe, and more.

There’s no point in making great efforts to downsize your possessions and declutter your home if it’s left in a state of dysfunction. If anything, the minimalist design should increase the functionality and efficiency of your home, not make it worse.

Everything in your home needs to have a purpose. For extra points, find ways to make things have multiple purposes. 

Are you looking for minimalist furniture inspiration for your home? European Leather Gallery carries Ekornes Stressless and Fjords Hjellegjerde—the best and most famous Nordic design furniture in the world.

Hygge Your Home: American Home Design With A Nordic Twist

There’s nothing better than a comforting living space. The old phrase “home is where the heart is” speaks volumes.

Not only does your home provide shelter, but it also plays a huge role in your mood and overall well-being. According to studies, your environment can improve depression, agitation, and sleep.

If you’re looking for ways to soften the American home design in your home, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn the art of hygge and nordic design.

What Is Hygge?

The word hygge may be a bit difficult to pronounce, but its concept is simple. It’s enjoying the little things. According to the Danish, the word translates to coziness. It’s snuggling on the couch to read a book, putting on comfy socks, or drinking a warm beverage.

You know that feeling you get when the simplest things make you happy? That’s hygge! Even if you’re not from Denmark, chances are you’ve unknowingly practiced hygge for many years.

But, it’s not just a cozy feeling. It’s a way of life and it’s the environment around you. That’s right, you can even create hygge through your home decor!

American Home Design Reloaded

While bright colors and contemporary furniture is trendy in American home design, there’s something about nordic design that’s still alluring.

As the minimalist lifestyle has continued to grow in popularity, so has hygge. Here’s how to give your home interior a Scandinavian twist.

Use Neutral Colors

Nordic interior design is all about creating a calming atmosphere. Colors like beige, gray, brown, and cream are perfect for setting the mood.

Think about it. If your living room is full of bright colors or uncomfortable furniture, you’ll feel uptight. Bold interior is primarily for display. Although it’s nice to look at, it’s not inviting.

Decorate With Comfy Furniture

Nothing says relaxation like nice, cushioned furniture. After a long day of work, what feels better than sitting in your favorite recliner?

If you’re going to decorate with nordic design, the furniture has to be right. Stressless chairs and sofas are the perfect combinations of chic and comfort.

Bring Nature Inside

There’s something about nature that soothes the soul. But even if you live in a noisy, busy city, you can create serenity around you. By filling your space with plants, it changes the entire ambiance.

Also, using rocks or pebbles to decorate your home adds to the nature theme.

Decorate With Candles

Not only do candles smell good, but they create an amazing feeling of hygge. When you want to wind down from a hectic day, candles are the answer.

The soft, twinkling glow that they provide creates a calming effect. You can use candles just for decoration or for lighting.

Play with Natural Light

Nordic interior design should make you feel good during the day and the night. By using sheer or soft-colored curtains, it lets the sunlight shine through. Beautiful sun rays can light up a room, making mornings feel magical.

Make Your Decor Speak to You

Surround yourself with things that you love. For instance, if you enjoy coffee, use decorative pictures with mugs on them. You can also put a book and a teacup on a side table as decor. When it’s time to get cozy, it’ll be ready for you.

Decorate With Wood

There’s something about wood that makes a person feel good. Maybe because it comes from trees or reminds people of a log cabin.

Whatever the case, it works well for creating hygge. Decorating with a wooden coffee table or bookshelf adds a special touch to the atmosphere.

Since nordic interior design is all about neutral hues, wooden items fit right into the color scheme.

Use String Lights

String lights create the coziest of all cozy atmospheres. You can hang them in your bedroom, living room, or an outdoor sitting area.

Imagine sitting in your favorite chair and drinking hot cocoa while the flickers from the string lights twinkle in the room. Does that sound amazing?

If you want to create a relaxing ambiance, this is the way to do it.

Add a Layer of Softness

Blankets are a huge part of nordic design. Laying a fleece blanket over the edge of your bed or couch makes a world of difference. Not only that, but it also sets the mood.

While you’re snuggling on the couch on Friday night and watching a movie, all you need is a warm blanket to make it complete. Therefore, it can double as decor and a little bit of hygge.

Use Texture

Speaking of blankets, another big part of nordic interior design is texture. Fabrics like fleece and wool are a great accessory. Knitted materials work well too. You can also decorate with textured pillows.

Decorate with Rugs

As you go to sit down on your plush furniture, nothing feels better than a soft rug under your feet. Faux fur or shag rugs are the perfect complement to nordic interior design. They look amazing, and provide warmth and coziness to the environment.

Do What Makes You Happy

The art of hygge means creating happiness for yourself. There is a certain “style” to nordic design, but the interior of your home should look the way you want it to. So if that means adding in a splash of bright color to your decor, do it!

Hygge Your Home

Doesn’t the thought of hygge make you want to curl up under a soft blanket? With all the chaos that everyday life brings, everyone needs solace. What better way to find your happy place than to create it in your home?

If you’re ready to change the American home design decor in your house, look no further. European Leather Gallery has a large inventory of Ekornes Stressless, Himolla, Fjords, and Luonto furniture that’ll give your place that nordic feel you’re looking for.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We can’t wait to give your home a cozy makeover!

6 Tips on Choosing Seating for Your Home Theater

You’ve spent all of this money on great audio and visual equipment for your home theater. Now what?

It’s time to consider your theater seating so that you can start enjoying the room!

Before you start buying anything, however, there are a few key things that you must consider.

What features do you want for maximum comfort? How much can you spend? What is the aesthetic of the room supposed to be?

Keep reading to find 6 tips for choosing the best home theater seating for your new theater.

1. Consider Field of View

One of the most important things that you must do before you plan seating arrangement layouts for a home theater is think about the field of view.

The field of view matters because you should be able to easily see the screen from every single seat in the home theater. If not, there will always be seats that everyone will avoid and that’s a waste of money.

Try to get around a 30-degree field of vision relative to the screen’s location. In addition to that, try to make sure that whoever is sitting in the chair is close to having their eyes aligned with the center part of the screen. This will avoid neck strain.

It can be hard to figure this out before you get seats, so it may be easier to think of it as an arc instead. A 90-degree arc from the center of the screen should be enough to work with and you can always adjust before actually installing the seats if it isn’t exact.

If you’re planning to have more than one row in your home theater, you may want to consider risers to make sure that each person is able to see the screen looking forward.

2. Think About How Many Seats You Need

Obviously, there are different theater sizes and each size will be able to incorporate different features. How many seats can you comfortably fit into your home theater room?

If you have a really large space, you can think about having theater seating with aisles. If you’re dealing with a much smaller room, you probably will want to consider including only 2 or 3 chairs arranged around the space.

Regardless, you have to make this determination before you can really start to budget for seating or think about the type of seating you want. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money trying to rearrange furniture that may not fit.

stressless legend SC121 home theater seating

3. Measure the Amount of Space You Have

After you consider how many seats you can fit, you will need to get some measurements. Not only does this help you with determining if your seat idea will actually work, but it also helps you figure out the size of seats you want before you shop.

The seating available for home theaters is usually pretty bulky and may take up more space than you think. This is to maximize comfort, but before you can get that comfort, you have to make sure it’s going to fit well in the room.

Measure the room all around and be sure to consider where you plan to have the walking area. This needs to be wide enough for people to comfortably get around.

You’ll also want to be sure that there is space around the front and back of each chair for feet on the floor or a reclining function if needed.

4. Budget How Much Money You Can Spend

It’s not a secret that home theaters overall can be pretty pricey. As a result, you need to make sure you know how much you’re able to spend in order to not break the bank.

You can get lower-end home theater seating, especially if you don’t plan to use the home theater often, but remember that lower-end typically means lower-quality materials and structure.

You can also get high-end seating if you plan to entertain in that room or you want the extra status.

In the end, it will depend on how much you want to spend and what you’re trying to do with your home theater. It may be worth it to wait a little while to save more money for nicer seating if that’s your goal.

5. Consider Any Accessories You Want

If you want your home theater to stand out, consider including a few key accessories. You may even be able to get your home theater seating with additional features that will make it more special.

There are a lot of extra accessories that you can find in various home theaters, but some of the popular options for seating include:

  • Seats with cup holders
  • Storage spaces
  • Seats with armrests
  • Attached or detached headrests
  • Built-in LEDs under the seats

You might be able to even get customized accessories that include some of the key things you’re looking for, but be sure to consider your budget before doing this.

6. Determine Which Style Works Best

After you know what you’re looking for and how many seats you’ll be getting, you can start to think about how the seats will look.

The good news is that there are a ton of options available, but the bad news is that it may make it more difficult for you to narrow down what you like best.

The first thing to do is consider the different furniture types out there. Are you looking for a sofa style or would you prefer recliners? Do you want the seats to be connected or should they all be separate?

The second thing to think about is color and design. What type of finish do you want? What materials do you want to use for your seating?

You will usually find theater seating in leather or vinyl options because they are durable, but also stain-resistant. Fabric-covered chairs are also an option if you would prefer it.

Think about the type of look you want your home theater to have. You can look at pictures of modern home theaters versus classic home theaters to see the stark contrast.

Do You Need Home Theater Seating?

If you’re in the process of creating a home theater, the seating you choose is absolutely crucial. It may seem difficult to narrow down what you need to buy, but we are here to help.

We have a variety of leather furniture and other home theater necessities that you can use in your home.

If you’d like to learn more about creating the perfect home theater, check out our blog post regarding what design elements you may want to look for.

Don’t forget to check out our home theater catalog as well for even more inspiration!

7 Home Office Setup Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

As more people are working from home, researchers are noticing an exciting trend. Workers are more productive.

According to a survey by Airtasker, working from home can “increase productivity and leads to a healthier lifestyle.”

One of the most effective ways to boost productivity working from home is by properly setting up your home office. For example, studies have shown that plants can boost productivity by 15 percent.

If you are working from home and would like to boost your productivity, keep reading to discover seven common home office setup mistakes to avoid for beginners.

1. Too Much Clutter

Having too much clutter is never a good thing, but especially when it comes to your home office. Clutter can get in the way of your work and can limit your creativity as well.

Organization is critical when it comes to designing your home office. To start, it is recommended to limit the number of personal items on your desk to three, anything over seems to be too distracting.

Another thing to keep in mind for your office is storage. Having a place to store office essentials properly will create a more comfortable and visually pleasing office. Simple bins and baskets can be used to keep essential items within reach and still out of the way.

2. Wrong Office Chair

Having the right office chair can make or break your home office. Nobody wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair for 8, 9, 10 hours, or longer a day.

Purchasing a comfortable Stressless office chair will be worth the investment. Having the right office chair will not only help you feel better at the end of your shift, but it can also boost productivity and work satisfaction.

The perfect office chair will vary depending on the worker’s height and preferred style. It is recommended to look for something comfortable but not too much so to where you will just want to relax in it, remember you will be sitting in it for 8+ hours a day.

When shopping for an office chair for desks, it should have a good balance between being supportive and comfortable.

3. Too Dull Lighting

Have you noticed a difference in your work on days when its sunny out compared to those dark and dreary days? That’s because natural sunlight has been shown to improve your mood and ability to focus.

According to a study on employee health conducted by the University of Twente in conjunction with VU Amsterdam and CBRE, when participants were introduced to the right lighting:

  • 71% felt more energized
  • 76% felt happier
  • And 50% felt healthier

It is best if you can utilize natural sunlight for your home office lighting but, if not, there are a few things you can consider. Avoid using direct light sources as they can create glare and distract you. You can also create different “layers” of lighting by using various sources of light for tasks and the general lighting of the room.

4. Near Too Many Distractions

When working from home, it is no secret that there are more distractions around you. Distractions are everywhere, but you can do your best to limit them and avoid letting them get to you.

Some of the most common home distractions that people experience when working from home include:

  • Kids
  • Cell Phones
  • Background Noise
  • Other Duties
  • Checking Email
  • And Clutter

However, the number one distraction reported by remote workers was the television, according to a study by Porch. To avoid this as a distraction, it is recommended to keep your office space and personal space separate. This way, you won’t have the temptation to turn on the TV.

Another way of avoiding distractions is by choosing an area of your house that isn’t as busy, the fewer people walking past, the fewer distractions you will have. Also, if you are easily distracted, avoid placing your desk right in front of a window if the scenery tends to be busy.

5. Ignoring Ambiance

When talking about ambiance for your home office, it is crucial to consider what you are looking for. The ambiance is all about having character and what feel you want the room to have.

The ambiance of your home office will include many things like lighting, design, layout, and accessories.

An important thing to keep in mind when considering the ambiance is having space for desks and how you will utilize that space. It is recommended to create a space that is fitting for you. There is no “one size fits all” for the design of your home office.

Some people prefer having a classic office style setup and others like the look of a modern home office setup. You will have to decide what works best for you and in what setting you are most comfortable.

6. Not Having Enough Space

Sure, when working in the office, you are typically confined to a cubicle or a smaller environment. But when working from home you will want to adequately utilize your space and make it as useful as possible.

To start choose a room that is sufficient enough to get work done in. This means having space away from distractions that will be big enough to work in.

Avoid having a desk in your room if at all possible. You will want to separate where you work, from where you sleep. It’s best to have a dedicated workplace that you can go and be fully plugged into work.

7. Failing to Consider Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to doing what is necessary to increase productivity and efficiency, while at the same time reducing discomfort.

Important things to keep in mind while considering ergonomics include:

  • Desk height
  • Chair height
  • Chair design
  • Where your computer is sitting
  • And your posture

Setting up your home office to make it ergonomically correct, along with making sure you purchase ergonomically correct office chairs, will give a significant boost to your productivity as well as your health.

Need Help With Your Home Office Setup?

Working from home has its perks like having more freedom, no commuting, and less workplace drama. But to be able to do your job effectively, you must have a proper home office setup.

If you are looking for furniture or accessories for your home officecontact us today, and we can help answer any questions you may have.

5 Simple Tips for Creating a Stressless Dining Room

If you’re like us, you can get enough of Scandinavian designs. Its clean lines and functional pieces offer a simplistic elegance that is hard to match.

Thinking about changing up your dining room? Follow these five simple tips to create the ultimate Scandinavian dining room.

Scandinavian Dining Room Design 

Every few years a new design takes over. We’ve tons of designs come and go. Yesterday’s rustic farmhouse is today’s modern elite.

But Scandinavian interior design has real staying power. We’re not saying those other designs are out of fashion, but we can’t get enough of Scandi decor.

Nothing looks better than a Scandinavian style dining room. It provides a simplistic, clutter-free space for elegant dining and entertainment. Here are a few of our favorite Scandinavian dining room ideas that you can replicate.

Choose a Simple Color Palette

What colors come to mind when you think of Scandinavian designs? A quick Google search will show you lots of Scandi dining rooms that are white, grey, or off-white.

These colors are at the heart of Scandinavian style but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a pop of color in your dining room. Trying adding a pastel or blush color for a subtle hint of color.

Color doesn’t necessarily have to come from your walls. Add a splash of color by hanging art or putting new throw pillows on your couch. Even a simple colored lampshade can do the trick.

Monochrome

People who live by Scandinavian design usually opt for a monochrome palette in their dining room to achieve a clean, more put-together look. While black and white may seem boring it can provide a pretty bold statement if done correctly.

Try leaving all your walls a crisp white and accenting them with black and white framed photographs. You can also lean into the monochrome look by using all black hardware such as knobs, curtain rods, and the base of light fixtures.

Add Warmth With Textiles

Once you have the color palette down for your Scandinavian dining room design, add warm with textiles. Blankets and pillows can help soften the look of your monochrome room and make your home look inviting.

Play With Fabrics

In the dining room, opt for textured dining room drapes. Keep the color of the drapes in your color palette and focus on the feel of the fabric. This will help play up the drama of your design.

Add seat cushions on your chairs to make your dining room appear more comfortable. Bonus: they will also help keep your chair’s cushions from getting stained in case of an accident. Or even go all in and get upholstered dining rooms chairs made to match your color scheme.

Hang a tapestry of a woven macrame piece on the wall for extra flair. Play with animal skins by adding a sheepskin or cowhide rug to your nordic living space.

 Bring the Outdoors Inside

One of the common features of the Scandinavian style is using natural elements in the design. This could be as simple as opting for a solid wood dining table that is finished with a light-colored stain to bring out the natural knots in the wood.

Find a buffet table or China cabinet in natural wood and display your minimalist dishes in it.

Add a Few Potted Plants

Bringing in a few minimalist plants that can survive indoors is another great idea. A simple orchid or succulent will add to the Scandi look. Place larger plants on the floor and arrange smaller plants on plant stands or tables.

Bringing plants inside your home will also help keep your home’s air purer, particularly in winter. This is because plants breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb and you’ve killed every plant you’ve met you can achieve the same results with a few high-end silk plants. Just be sure to dust them. There is nothing worse than a dusty silk plant!

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is the star of Scandinavian design. Whenever you can design your dining room around the closest natural light sources. This could be an open window or a skylight. Leave your curtains open during the day so your dining room can soak up the warm glow of the sun.

Keep Your Home Free of Clutter

A key element in a Scandinavian dining room is for it to appear very minimalist. This doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. It can be achieved through careful organization and strategy.

Get Rid of Excess Junk

Seriously, let it go! If it’s been a while since you’ve used your Keurig machine, maybe it’s just not for you. Why let it continue to take up space in your home.

The same goes for pieces in your dining room. Do you have a bunch of random wall hanging or collectibles? Donate them or give them away to someone who can use them.

This will allow you to make space for the items you truly care about.

Things like decorative items and fancy serving pieces that you got as a wedding gift can easily be stored in the bottom of a cabinet if you are not ready to part with them yet. But remember, they are taking up valuable space for things that you would actually use.

Choose White Flooring

The flooring that you choose for your dining room could be the biggest way to bring the Scandinavian design aesthetic to light in your room. Scandinavian spaces are defined by their white wood or concrete floors.

Choose a pinewood floor and give it a rustic whitewash to bring in more organic touches. If you don’t feel like taking on this project yourself you can always buy wood that comes pre-stained.

White tile or concrete floors add to the stark minimalist look and will help to highlight your furniture instead of the flooring. You can always add a rug under the dining room table to bring in some warmth.

Create a Dining Room You Love

You don’t have to live in Norway to enjoy the look of Scandi design. A Scandinavian dining room adds a flair of elegance and sophistication to your space. Follow these 5 tips to create a beautiful Scandinavian styled dining room today.

If you have any design questions be sure to contact us. We’d love to help you with your room’s design.

Timeless Interior Decorating Trends That Will Never Go out of Style

Your home is your sanctuary, your place of peace, and comfort.

It is true that a well-decorated home can ease your stress and anxiety.

Too much clutter, undesirable decor, and nonfunctional pieces can make you overwhelmed and leave you feeling anything but relaxed in your house.

There is a solution though…

We have put together a list of the 7 timeless interior decorating trends that will keep your house stylish and save you from outdated decor.

So say goodbye to that shag carpet and let’s decorate!

7 Timeless Interior Decoration Trends That Never Go Out Of Style

Let’s take a look at the trends that have stood the test of time.

1.Black and White

This color duo is a timeless combination. The classic colors are high contrast and give a room an elevated look. Consider trying the following:

  • A classic white kitchen with black appliances and cupboards
  • A clean and modern white bathroom with a black door and black framed mirror
  • A black recliner or sofa with mixed textures of white pillows and throws

These are just a few options to choose from. The black and white color scheme is incredibly versatile and easy to play around with.

2. Oversized Mirrors

Mirrors serve many purposes in the home. We use them to get ready, to take pictures in, and they reflect light within the room. Mirrors are both functional and decorative which is why they have never gone out of style.

Your eyes process images in just 13 milliseconds. Mirrors can help you trick your eyes into thinking that the space you are in is larger than it actually is. Try using an oversize mirror in your bedroom leaned against the wall for a more casual look than a mounted mirror.

3. New and Old

This is another timeless duo that is loved by interior designers. Mixing bold new pieces with classic heirlooms is a great way to incorporate favorite older items without making the space look too dated.

Here are some examples:

  • A modern dinner table with antique place settings
  • An older cabinet with updated fixtures or paint
  • An upcycled mirror in a newly renovated room
  • An antique chair that has been reupholstered

Upgrading older pieces with newer trims or finishes is a smart way to preserve the timeless items you care about and keep with current decor trends.

Consider buying items that you will get the most use out of new, such as, sofas, dinner tables, and office chairs. Then you can accent those items with older or antique decor.

4. Fireplaces

Nothing says timeless like a fireplace. They are another function staple in the home that doubles as a decor focal point.

While they are a timeless decor standard, they can look outdated if not maintained or updated. For example, if your fireplace has glass doors with gold trim, you should consider removing them to give the fireplace a more modern look.

Consider upgrading the fireplace by refinishing the mantle or if you have a brick fireplace you could try white paint with black accent bricks.

Even if your fireplace is purely decorative it still serves a function as a key piece. Fireplaces scream luxury and sophistication so long as they are maintained and clean.

5. Area Rugs

Whether your home is all wood or carpeted or anywhere in between, area rugs are a timeless decor option that your home needs.

Area rugs can completely change the vibe of a room in seconds. They can add color, texture, and dimension to a room.

Using rugs that have deep complex patterns can immediately make a room feel cozier. On the other hand, brightly colored more abstract patterns can liven up a room making it feel more youthful or energetic.

Try using rugs with different materials than carpet for an even more unique vibe. The area rug will help you to define space within a room with proper placement.

Placing a large rug under the dining room table can help split the room if you have an open floor plan.

6. Neutral Walls

The world is your oyster with neutral walls. Having a muted color scheme on your walls will not only make your space look bigger, but it will also let you get creative with decor without competing with the wall colors.

Try sticking with time tested neutrals like off-white, light grey, or taupe. These colors are easy to dress up so to speak.

Once you have your walls painted you can decide on decor that will add flair to the room such as uniquely patterned throw pillows or antique mason jar vases.

Adding little pops of color with throw blankets or rugs won’t fight with your wall color if you stay neutral.

When you grow tired of the decor it is easy to change than the paint.

7. Minimalism

Clutter is always a big NO! Not only does it add stress to your day to day it just looks…bad.

No matter which decor options you choose, remember the mantra, less is more.

Minimalism also helps you keep your home organized and it makes it easy to keep clean. Not every wall needs a painting hanging on it and not every corner needs a little table.

Your eyes will see the negative space created by the minimal look and you feel more peaceful and relaxed.

Final Thoughts

Your decor is really up to you. You want your personality to shine. Creating a timeless interior is really about finding the pieces that are true to you and making them shine.

Check out our blog for more tips and tricks.

How to Design and Setup an Uber Comfy Reading Nook

Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a fairytale love story or a mind-intriguing mystery, there’s something to love about cuddling up with a good book. All book lovers know that having a designated reading space is a necessity in every home.

You love your books, and you deserve an area in your home where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a good story. Creating the perfect reading nook doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye, however. There’s a lot that goes into designing an ideal space for reading.

You’ll need to find the right location for it, decide on the furniture you’ll use, and so much more. If you’re ready to create a reading nook in your home but aren’t sure where to begin, then you’ll want to continue reading below.

Here’s everything you need to know about designing a super comfy and functional reading nook.

Discover the Right Location

Before you can begin to build on the design of your reading nook, you’ll first need to find the right location for it. The best location for your reading space might depend on the layout of your home and your own preferences. For example, some people read best in quiet areas, while others enjoy reading with a bit of background noise.

Keep this in mind when finding the right location for yours. Many homeowners also enjoy placing their reading nooks in a corner of a room next to a large window. This is a great location, but if your home’s layout doesn’t provide this option, you’ll have to improvise a bit.

Unused fireplaces, closets, and other tucked-away areas can also work well.

Decide on the Type of Seating

The seating you use is important as well. Do you want to sink into an oversized chair, or would you rather sit on a few fluffy pillows? The type of seating you decide to use might depend on the amount of room you have or it might depend on what’s comfortable for you.

If you have space, consider placing a small stressless table and an ottoman or bench in your nook. Having a table inside your nook is convenient for days when you want to cuddle up with a good book and a tasty cup of coffee.

If you don’t have much space, then consider placing a stressless office chair in a corner of a room. You only need these items and a small tucked-away area of a room to create a functional reading-nook space.

Keep Comfort in Mind

In order to get lost in a good story, you need to be comfortable. It’s hard to focus on what you’re reading if your back is aching and your legs are falling asleep. That’s why you need to keep comfort in mind when designing your nook.

You’ll want to use materials and textures that are comfortable to the touch and not itchy. Discover what warm colors make the area feel homey and appeal to your senses. If the area is located on hard flooring, you can also consider putting down an area rug for added comfort as well.

Provide Enough Lighting

The more light you have in the reading nook, the more ideal it’ll be for reading your favorite books. You need the light fixtures you choose to provide enough lighting to not cast shadows on your pages. The brighter the area is, the better you can read.

If you’re able to find a cozy spot by a large window, then you’re already on the right path to perfect lighting. If you can’t place your nook in an area by a window, then you’ll have a bit more work to do, but both scenarios require artificial lighting.

Place a reading lamp on a small side table next to your chair. Hang a light globe right above the nook. You can also consider placing rope lighting around the area as well.

If the natural light that comes through the window during the day is too bright, install light curtains that can help control the light without shutting it out completely.

Build a Canopy

It’s ideal to find a place in your home secluded from everything else. In some homes, this is an easy find. In other homes, it’s a much more difficult task.

If you’re unable to find a good location that’s secluded from everything else, you can build a canopy around your nook instead. Hanging a canopy over your reading chair will create the isolated area you’re looking to design. Climb up into your chair and keep the canopy open or shut it to really get lost in your own world.

Install a Bookshelf

What would a reading nook be without a bookshelf? If the space permits, install a bookshelf inside your nook. You’ll then have easy access to all your favorite stories all in one place where you can also sit down and read them.

Built-in bookshelves work well because they don’t take up much space. They can be installed inside a window reading nook, a corner nook, and about anywhere else as well.

Design Your Own Reading Nook Today

Your home deserves the proper reading nook for all your reading needs. Use these tips given above to help create your own reading space. Remember to keep comfort and lighting in mind when designing it, and you’ll have the perfect reading nook in no time!

Once you have your nook all designed out, it’s time to start choosing some Stressless recliners and furniture to finish your new relaxing area. Click here to browse through our Stressless furniture options today.

Tips For Working Remotely: Productivity and Office Setup

Let’s face it: before the Coronavirus outbreak struck the nation, more than 5 million Americans were already working from home. Now, that number has likely skyrocketed as people who ‘could’ work from home (but didn’t) are now forced to. If you are new to working remotely, it may be difficult to know how to get the perfect home office setup for you.

That’s where we come in. If you’re looking for tips for working remotely, take a look at our productivity and office setup guide today!

Tricks to Make the Transition

For those of you who are working from home for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. We understand how difficult it can be to make the transition, so that is why we have a few tips for working from home up to our sleeves.

Here’s the thing. It’s not uncommon for you to feel anxious, frustrated, or isolated at first.

On the flip side, some of you may be feeling energized, relax, or relieved. Wherever you are on the emotional spectrum, it is important to give yourself some time to adjust to this challenging transition.

One of the first things you should do is set an alarm to take a stretch break every half hour or so. Even those of you who work at a standing desk can benefit from walking around your home while talking with a colleague or a friend.

Another word of advice is to take a 30-minute scheduled lunch break away from your computer.

In addition to this, it is a great idea to stick to your office hours, whether you are “in the office” or not. Better yet, ask your roommates or family members not to disturb you during the working hours either. If you are not a fan of confrontation, just tape a simple “Do Not Disturb sign” on your door.

Pro tip: it doesn’t hurt to buy a white noise app or machine to reduce noisy interruptions in your at-home office.

Besides this, you’ve got to have the comfiest, ergonomic office chair that you can get your hands on. Plus, finding a hands-free headset is a super useful addition too. Problem solved!

Tips for Working Remotely

When it comes to tips for working from home, we’ve got you covered. First things first, it never hurts to over-communicate with your colleagues. This is particularly true if you have two members of different ages on your conference call or email conversation.

While you’re at it, it pays to know your new work policies for remote workers too. Has your company has made you work from home due to the Coronavirus? If that’s the case, your human resources department has probably sent out guidelines or handbooks for you to review during this time.

What better time than now than to look over all this essential paperwork?

Also, if you’re a manager at your company, it’s important to let your team members know how they can get in touch with you as well. So, this can include letting them know if you prefer to communicate via:

  • Email
  • Text
  • Instant message
  • Skype
  • Zoom

Again, the only mistake that you can make is not communicating with your team members. Additionally, it is a smart idea to let your coworkers know when the best time to reach you will be.

For example, do you prefer to check in during the morning or in the middle of the afternoon? The sooner that you let your colleagues know what your time preferences are, the better. This is especially the case if they work in a completely different time zone than you do!

Setting Up Your Home Office

And now, for the fun part: setting up your home office. Before we dive in, you should know that having a proper workstation is more than just a chair and a desk. The way you furnish or decorate your home office will set you up for success for weeks (or months) to come.

To begin, choose the space in your house that is the best location for your office. If you’re lucky enough you may be able to relocate to an empty basement or even an empty corner of your bedroom will suffice. Otherwise, setting up shop at your kitchen table is a more space-friendly idea.

Additional ideas include the following:

  • Unused corners
  • Large closets
  • Under the stairs

To be quite honest with you, all that it takes is some creativity to get the job done. That said, there’s no harm in purchasing a room divider to separate your office from your home if possible. Even better, hang up a curtain from a rod or the ceiling to give you some privacy for your office.

Also, think about who else will be using the furniture in the space along with you. For instance, will you share your office with your kids to do homework? Is your partner also working from home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to pick up a desk setup that can fit two people at once. And even though you may not have clients stopping by for a while, it’s always nice to add some chairs or seating to your office for others in your household.

Your Work Setups Is Key to Office Productivity

Looking for more tips for working remotely?

Fortunately for you, we’ve got exactly what you are looking for. We can’t emphasize this enough: a clean and organized work set up is the key to office productivity. Now that you know what to do, good luck!

Searching for Stressless ergonomic office chairs? Don’t wait – call us for the best price today!

Modern Scandinavian vs Minimalism

Understanding the Key Similarities and Differences between Scandinavian Design and Minimalism

If you follow trends in contemporary design, two terms you will often hear are “minimalism” and “Scandinavian”. And ever since Ikea rose to prominence, the two terms have often been conflated.

But while the two styles share similar roots, minimalist and modern Scandinavian styles do differ in a few substantial ways.

They reflect different mindsets. They demonstrate different reactions to social and environmental conditions. 

But how do two seemingly similar styles represent a clash in conception? And how does that difference manifest itself aesthetically?

Keep reading to learn more about these two styles and answer these questions.

Modern Scandinavian vs Minimalism

The way people decorate their homes reflects the society in which they live. In this respect, both styles reflect similar but distinct reactions to industrialization. 

As the 19th century ended, the effects of the Industrial Revolution crept into day-to-day life. What we would now call “modernism” was beginning to manifest.

This point is important because the two styles we are looking at demonstrate two different ways of reacting to a changing cultural landscape.

Minimalist Design

The term “minimalism” first appeared in the 1960s. It was used to describe the work of American visual artists like Robert Morris and Anne Truitt. 

The movement was a reaction to contemporary art. Specifically, abstract expressionism, which the minimalists felt was self-indulgent and stale.

Abstract expressionism relied heavily on a biographical component to relay meaning. Presented in a vacuum, a piece would appear either incomprehensible or meaningless altogether.

This was one of the primary philosophical differences of the minimalist mindset. Eschewing biography, they attempted to make art that could be anonymous. In a way, this also made it more universal.

This reaction would extend into all areas of art, including interior design. Minimalist design is defined by functionality, geometry, and its penchant for prefabricated industrial materials.

Its functionality comes from the absence of clutter. Say you knew nothing about minimalism but the word. You would still probably image an open-concept floor plan with sparse ornamentation.

Minimalist design is also characterized by bold, clean lines and geometric patterns. In terms of color, it favors a neutral base with accents of black and chrome.

In regards to how minimalism reflects changing attitudes, it embraces modernism.

Modern Scandinavian

Scandinavian design as we now know it was codified around the same time as minimalism. The style emphasized sleek, accessible, affordable furnishings and interiors. It also drew inspiration from the region’s climate.

During Scandinavia’s long winters, the days are cold and short. The popular design reflects this by contrasting that reality as much as possible.

Light, for example, is a key aspect of Scandinavian design.

The style combine open spaced-floor plans, pale colors, and minimal ornamentation. All aspects which contribute to an effort to maximize the amount of light in the space. The idea is to make the home bright and inviting as a reprieve from the cold gloom of the outside world.

Functionalism is another defining attribute of Scandinavian design. Again, due in large part to how harsh the Scandinavian climate can be, function has long been favored over form.

As part of the effort to de-clutter the space, single-function areas like dining rooms are eschewed. Instead, the open design is intended to be flexible. Each space can accommodate a variety of activities, maximizing the economy of space. 

But that is not to say that Scandinavian design is just about empty rooms with muted walls. On the contrary, it expresses a desire to marry function and form rather than favor one over the other.

It takes inspiration from nature in its choice of materials. And that distinction is one of its big differences from minimalism. 

Material and Mindset

A primary distinguishing characteristic between modern Scandinavian and minimalist design is the materials used.

Minimalism is distinguished by its industrial inspirations. It incorporates materials like steel, chrome, and lacquered plastics. While minimalist spaces can feel open and streamlined, they can also feel sterile and cold.

By contrast, modern Scandinavian seeks to move in the opposite direction. In creating a respite from winters of northern Europe, modern Scandinavian goes for a space that is open, but still lively.

It incorporates natural materials and organic shapes that appeal to the human eye on a basic level.

Minimalism can feel almost brutish in its utilitarian functionality, Scandinavian design is softer. It is cozy, without being overly rustic.

It is still defined by functionality but lends itself much more to a home than to a factory or a workplace. It typically allows for a wider range of colors than minimalism. Using bursts of blue as an accent is a trendy choice in Scandinavian design right now.

Further, if minimalism is industrial in nature, then Scandinavian is lived-in by contrast. Gently worn leathers and other natural textures are ways in which the style makes itself feel homier and more inviting.

If minimalism is embraced modernism, that Scandinavian subtly resists it. Its penchant for natural materials and organic forms is something of a throwback. It brings to mind the arts and crafts movement of the early 20th century. Which itself was a sort of post-romantic resistance to industrialization.

This places the two styles in contrasting positions.

A Homestead or a Workshop

While the two share some core similarities, the difference between them is primarily a matter of philosophy.

Minimalist design is an offshoot of an artistic movement that drew inspiration from the inorganic and was in part defined by its anonymity.

Modern Scandinavian came about in response to the environment. It was to provide a warm, inviting escape from a long, dark winter.

This difference in philosophy manifests itself in the choice of material, form, and color.

If you want to see more Scandinavian design, check out our 25 favorite Scandinavian style blogs. Or consider visiting our showroom to view examples of Scandinavian-infused design in person.

An Introduction to Himolla Furniture from Germany

Updated for 2020: European Leather Gallery is proud to be the United State’s Largest Himolla Dealer

In recent years, Americans have fallen in love with modern European design through the likes of mega stores like Ikea. Suddenly, hard-to-pronounce, mass-produced DIY furniture kits became the latest craze in home furnishings.

But, unlike Ikea, other time-tested European manufacturers have been humbly perfecting their craft for generations, offer the utmost in stylish, modern furniture, build products inherent with renowned quality, and bring incredibly comfortable furniture that’s uniquely suited for discerning modern families.

One of those manufacturers is Himolla. Himolla offers some of the most contemporary European designs available on the market, specifically made of the highest-grade leather and components, and yet, many people simply haven’t heard of this worldwide sensation. Read on as we introduce you to a leader, both in European styling and ultimate family comfort. We promise you won’t be left putting these show-worthy pieces together yourself.

Quick History of Himolla

In the mid 1940’s, a small community south of Munich in southern Germany called Taufkirchen saw the birth of a family-run furniture producer named Himolla. Himolla began manufacturing furniture on a simple premise – quality craftsmanship and innovation over stagnation. The company quickly grew in size to start mass producing upholstered furniture lines. By the 1970’s, Himolla was investing heavily in new buildings, fleets, and equipment to keep up with rising demand. It was during this time, Himolla would become one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of upholstery. By the early 2000’s, Himolla had grown its distribution to include more than 40 countries, worldwide. Today, Himolla USA continues to focus on its roots by producing artisan-inspired and fanatically-engineered armchairs and sofas centered around ultimate relaxation and built to last a lifetime.

What is Quality From Germany?

Germans are somewhat persnickety about quality. Even with furniture making, as a society they have even instituted laws around producing at a minimum standard of quality, which, compared to other countries, is actually quite high. Even so, Himolla design staff institute far stricter quality assurance standards for each piece of furniture to meet. From the first stitch of material through the final sale and delivery, Himolla embodies a culture of quality throughout the entire organization. Himolla stands proud to represent this culture in every product and every customer interaction. Employing some 3,000 workers, it can sometimes be difficult if not unwieldy to manage a company this size. But Himolla deploys continuous training programs and even a lengthy apprenticeship program to ensure workers are given the best tools available to make the best possible product for customers. This complete package means Himolla furniture is at the same time durable, as it is reliable, but also ingrained with unrivaled beauty inherent to its modern European designs.

In a World of Compromises, Himolla USA Makes None.

It has become commonplace in our society for consumers to have to fight businesses for even clear-cut warranty issues or simply to have a job finished in the manner agreed upon. Himolla doesn’t believe you should ever have to compromise form versus function or quality versus price and you should never have to fight for a warranty issue. Himolla builds some of the world’s most advanced ergonomic designs, engineered for a lifetime of faithful service. After putting their furniture and materials through a stringent series of tests affectionately known in-house as the “folterkammer”, or torture chamber, Himolla has absolute confidence each and every component will stand up to years of use for you and your family.

The torture chamber proving grounds includes:

  • Furniture covers that have seen abrasion testing over and over again so they withstand any and all abuses thrown at them.
  • Electrical components that are put through the most extreme conditions possible for days at a time, so you know they won’t fail when you simply need to relax.
  • Upholstery inside Himolla pieces that are compressed tens of thousands of times with heavy weights to make sure their cushions stay hard and remain at their intended height for years and years.
  • Critical foundation pieces like the frame and non-moving bearing components having to meet rigorous strength training involving hundreds of pounds of weights being summarily dropped on them thousands of times.

If a single component doesn’t meet Himolla standards, it’s back to the drawing board where a team of more than 100 research and development specialists continue to design, test, and improve the products again and again, year in and year out. Even with all of this testing, Himolla wants you to have peace of mind in your decision to purchase their furniture so offer a 5-Year guarantee on most all components of their furniture.

Himolla Furniture Frequently Asked Questions

Himolla stands for nothing less than perfection in design, function, and quality. Below we’ll explore some of our more frequently asked questions from your fellow discerning furniture buyers regarding Himolla furniture pieces.

What types of furniture does Himolla manufacture?

Designed for other-worldly comfort, Himolla offers pieces for both home and office. Himolla furniture from Germany is the global leader in luxurious furniture options including zero stress recliners, recliners with integrated footrests, recliners with footstools, and reclining sofa sets. Most pieces have integrated power systems to let you kick up your feet at the push of a button. While Himolla’s North American offerings are somewhat less than what they offer currently in Europe, European Leather Gallery continues to add new Himolla lines so be sure to check back for additional options.

How do you transform raw leather (rawhides) into a beautiful showpiece?

Sourced only from rawhide producers with the same quality mindset as Himolla, raw hides are first preserved in salt to prevent decay and sent to Himolla’s tannery. After cleaning, rawhides are softened in rotation barrels and get a water bath. Hair and dirt fall away and the hides are then rolled to remove any remaining impurities. As the pieces move down the assembly line, they are cut to fit into a thickening machine that splits the hides into a uniform thickness. Back to the baths where a special mineral bath is used to preserve and strengthen the now not-so-raw leather. Tanning takes about 24 hours after which hides are hung and then rolled to remove moisture. Next, a thin layer is shaved off and the hides folded, ready for coloring. Back into the barrels they go to receive color and oil for softness. 24 hours later, hides are placed on special stretching racks that gently stretch to remove wrinkles while hot air is circulated. At this point the leather is largely finished and can be used in different production capacities depending on the furniture piece. Watch the full process here.

How should I clean my Himolla furniture?

To maintain a fresh from the factory look, Himolla includes a free leather care kit with each purchase. Himolla recommends cleaning your furniture every 6 months and as soon as it arrives because it’s possible for a few months to have passed between when a piece is manufactured and arrives at your location. After the initial cleaning, maintaining your furniture with a quality leather care kit will keep each piece looking as fresh as the day it rolled off the factory floor. As a general rule of thumb, leather pieces should be wiped with a clean, dry cloth at least weekly to remove dust. Your leather care kit will include wipes to remove any dirt and body oils on the leather’s surface. As with a small child, be careful with any sharp objects around your leather furniture. While durable, a knife or pair of scissors can easily puncture your upholstery.

Where can I view the Himolla furniture lines European Leather Gallery carries?

European Leather Gallery carries a variety of different Himolla pieces including recliners, zero gravity chairs, and sofa sets. We are also continuing to add to our Himolla product line so be sure to check in often for the latest options. All of our Himolla products can be viewed under the Himolla Furniture tab in the navigation menu.

What is the Zerostress?

Everyone is different, yet most furniture is uniformly made for the masses. Your furniture should match you. After all, it will be apart of your life for years to come. Himolla’s Zerostress lines offer not only hundreds of color, fabric, and leather options, but can be form fitted especially for your body. When you kick back in a Zerostress recliner, perfectly molded to you, you are immersed in unparalleled relaxation. The experience is only made better knowing your favorite chair will stay as supportive and beautiful as the day you bought it for years.

Most every piece of Himolla furniture boasts the ability to independently adjust the unit’s footrest, backrest, and headrests – making the pieces completely form-fitting to your individual needs.

Ready to enter a world of absolute relaxation with Himolla Furniture?

Recline in lavish style while being mind-blowingly comfortable. Himolla offers the best in ergometric, stylish design mindfully engineered to last for years of enjoyment in your home. When you want the very best in fine, European furniture, skip the DIY furniture kit and step into the world of stress-free furniture that is Himolla. Contact a knowledgeable Himolla furniture specialist today for a complete listing of our current products and for the best prices available.