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10 Light and easy dessert recipes to try this summer that won’t weigh you down

What you truly desire. Imagine what you could

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Life’s challenges force us to harden up. Relationships, work, children, family and finances all combine to put us under a lot of pressure and the way we are expected to deal with these is to develop resilience and to some extent indifference. We are required to be tough.

To teach our kids to be tough and with each blow life delivers to knock us down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and pick up where we left off. The more times we start again, the colder and more jaded we become.

1 Embrace Infinity… Expand Your Horizons

Embrace Infinity… Expand Your Horizons

To make a room feel larger, use a round rug on the floor. The circle represents infinity, and a round rug brings that esoteric idea of ‘no boundaries’ into reality as a visual element. In this client’s dressing room, I used both a round rug and an overscale round tufted ottoman to create a sense of unending space. Besides helping to increase the perception of space, the round ottoman provides a panoramic view of that gorgeous Virginia countryside.

Barry Dixon Interior Designer

2 Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Opening an enclosed staircase can create interesting display options in most any venue. Here the walls that had run floor to ceiling, encasing the staircase, were removed. This relatively simple change added architectural interest and a far greater sense of space in this kitchen.

Darryl Carter Interior Designer

3 Live Large, Open Up

Live Large, Open Up

Sunrooms should have a feeling of openness and be bathed in light. That's why I typically recommend not obscuring the views with curtains, particularly in a sunroom like this with windows on three sides. I like to use a very warm ivory palette because it reflects the light so beautifully.

Darryl Carter Interior Designer

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4 Think Sunny

Think Sunny

A great rule of thumb that I learned years ago is to take the width of the room in feet, double the number, convert it to inches, and that is the minimum dimension for your chandelier’s diameter. I say minimum because it can always be fun to oversize a chandelier, but one should never have it look dinky.

Alexa Hampton Interior Designer

5 Do The Math

Do The Math

Start a map collection and decorate with it. Decorating with maps is one of my favorite things to do for clients. Maps of the region personalize any interior. Use them as art or blow them up and use them as a whole-wall covering. This one’s sepia tone is beautiful—that wonderful ‘colorless’ thing—but hand-colored ones can be a room’s colorful accent.

Thomas O'Brien Interior Designer

6 Find Your “Little Black Dress”

Find Your “Little Black Dress”

Use a patterned wallpaper to strengthen a room, and an unpatterned paper to soften a space. One of my favorite patterns is this floral, with its creeping branch and blossom designs in chocolate, blush, and green. It’s a perfect example of how a patterned wallpaper, as a single design element, can enliven a space and set a new decorative direction.

Barbara Barry Interior Designer

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7 Get A Grid Love

Get A Grid Love

Design is like fashion. Every home, like every woman’s wardrobe, benefits from a little black dress. In my family room, the oyster-colored Belgian linen sofa, along with the raffia on the ceiling and the sea-grass rugs on the floor, work like the little black dress—they are a versatile starting point for building a fashion statement. They create a neutral palette that allows me to accessorize with a mix of patterns on the throw pillows and on the chair cushions.

Barclay Butera Interior Designer

8 Soothe Yourself

Soothe Yourself

Deciding what kind of art is right for the big wall behind the sofa is an easy problem to resolve when you remember that there’s power in numbers. Groups of similar images in matched frames add graphic punch and interest to the behind-sofa wall—which really is a blank canvas…an opportunity.

Tom Stringer Interior Designer

9 Mix Freely & Deeply

Mix Freely & Deeply

To create the most serenity in a bedroom, use a tone-on-tone palette of a restful blue or green, then make it dynamic by using a wide variety of textures. Here the wall color is what I call a ‘tall glass of water’ aqua blue—which also happens to be my client’s favorite color.

Celerie Kemble Interior Designer

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10 Map It Out & Up

Map It Out & Up

I’m a big believer in the mix. A single object on a tabletop or a single work of art on the wall can be nice, but for me, mixing collections provides the most excitement. Instead of grouping the pieces from only one collection, which typically limits you to ‘like’ objects, I like to combine different collections to ensure a mix of textures and shapes and even history, to increase the visual interest of the arrangement.

Charles Faudree Interior Designer

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To teach our kids to be tough and with each blow life delivers to knock us down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and pick up where we left off. The more times we start again, the colder and more jaded we become.

What you truly desire. Imagine what you could accomplish

Some people believe that showing tough love is an important way to ensure that their children are able to take care of themselves in the future. If you were the recipient of this approach on a regular basis, you might even believe that this has had a positive impact on your life.

Perhaps what’s needed is a shift in attitude. To become stronger and resistant to the tribulations of life, maybe the answer is that we need to become softer not tougher. Maybe what the world needs is more nurture.

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