We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

Easy Ways to Make A Temporary House Feel Like Home with CORT Furniture

Easy Ways to Make A Temporary House Feel Like Home with CORT Furniture

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine.

CORT furniture review featured by top US home decor blog, Love + Specs

You guys I’m so excited for today’s post because we’re diving into a home décor and design subject I’ve been wanting to touch on basically since we started this little blog of ours, but have never felt like I had really solid, concrete advice to give on this front... until now. The topic? Flexibility. I recently saw a huge conversation happening in the home décor and design blog space on social media all about bloggers outgrowing the real needs of their audience – i.e. they’ve gotten a little bit out of touch to be relatable for the average homeowner, renter, etc. facing real homeowner/renter design and décor challenges and in general, the lifestyle of the average human today!

And one of the most talked about topics within than conversation and something that design blog readers mentioned the most was that they needed real, relatable advice that spoke to the need for flexibility, budgetary creativity, ease of execution, and the generally nomadic or somewhat temporary nature of so many people’s living situations in this day and age. Hey, it’s 2019! Taking chances, making changes and living comfortably in transition is what it’s all about, whether it’s moving temporarily for a job and chasing dreams wherever they take you, waiting for a house to be built, or simply wanting the freedom to pick-up and try a new city, new state, or even just a new part of town.

And as I watched this conversation unfold and the reader input and insights flow in, it was a total lightbulb moment for me! You guys have spoken and it’s our mission to deliver. Which is why it felt so serendipitious when the genius folks at a brand you’ve probably all seen or heard of at some point, CORT reached out and wanted to talk all things furniture rental and the art of making any temporary abode feel like home! It's also why I'm so excited to share the magic of their offerings with you guys - to fill you in on exactly how they can help make your design and décor dreams come true, especially if you’re not currently living in your permanent forever dream home, or you need flexibility due to your job, your wanderlust or anything in between! CORT helps real people, with real lives full of interesting twists and turns, make whatever space they’re currently living in a home without having to invest in and accumulate a house full of pricey furniture pieces that they’ll then have to turn around and figure out what to do when the winds of change in life blow… as they tend to do. How awesome is that?!

So if you’re living a life of transition or adventure or seek to create a home you can love with furniture that doesn’t bog you down and own you , even if it’s only temporary, and you need a little flexibility, let me be your guide! With the help of my friends at CORT and their abundance of gorgeous pieces available to rent, I dreamed up a cozy, tranquil, cottage-inspired living room space to love, and I’m breaking down all of my favorite simple tips and tricks for easily creating beautiful, inviting spaces that make any house a home, no matter what your lifestyle looks like or how long you’ll linger there, without the permanence of renovating or dedicating tons of time toiling over the design process! Alongside those tips I’m showing you some snaps from our home (and some of our other favorite spaces we’ve photographed recently) that illustrate what I’m talking about so you can visualize. Above you can see tons of snaps from around the CORT showroom here in Phoenix that give you a little tasty taste of the design and decor goodness they have going on and the abundance of possibilities available for creating comfy-cozy spaces to love, with ease, on your own terms! CORT also has tons of design and decor tips and inspiration over on the CORT blog so make sure you hop over there for more ideas!

CORT furniture review featured by top US home decor blog, Love + Specs
CORT furniture review featured by top US home decor blog, Love + Specs

Pick a Palette

The quickest way to make your interior design life so much easier and more manageable? Choose a complimentary 3 (or even 4) color and stick with it throughout the spaces in your home. Now that doesn’t mean that palette can’t be fun and filled with character (um hello, seafoam and pink!), but sticking with a pretty consistent color palette throughout your home will make it all more cohesive, less manic and so much easier to decorate. Making design choices that don't keep you up at night and pulling spaces together will be such a breeze if you settle on some palette parameters early on in the design process!

Always Add Softness

If you’ve been hanging around this little blog of ours for a minute or two, you’ll know that we firmly believe that keeping comfort at the top of your design priorities when dreaming up and outfitting a space in your home is the best way to ensure you’ll love living in a space over time. If you put form or style first and comfort last, I just don’t think you or anyone who visits your home will really the spaces over time. And that can be done so easily - adding lots of snuggly textiles through fluffy pillows, super soft blankets and cozy rugs (layer them up, even!) requires minimal effort, but those small additions to a space will have max impact on the comfort front. I'm absolutely in love with CORT’s cozy, rustic cowhide Duke Area Rug, the super soft Berkley Area Rug, the oh-so-adorable Estella Area Rug and the simple, elegant Ravena Area Rug, along with their Buckle and Lake Pillow Packs!

Comfortable Seating is a Must

Comfortable, cozy, inviting seating whether it’s a sofa or cozy club chair is everything and goes back to what I talked about above - considering comfort first when you’re designing and decorating a space will help make any house a home you can love, for however long you’re there. Trust me! Including an abundance of comfortable seating in a space that you can curl up in or stretch out on is my number one priority when designing a living room space. I always say start with seating that’s plush, comfy and cozy, and the rest of the design process is a breeze. And CORT has SO many options to love on that front. For the tranquil, cozy, cottage-inspired living room I dreamed up here I’m loving the Watson Soft, the Landon Settee, the comfy-cozy, striped Henry Accent Chair, the fun Asher Wing Chair and the Ballard Sectional. Cozy, fresh, inviting and perfectly tranquil to promote rest, relaxation and zen.

Simplify Your Tabletop Decor

I’ve always been of the mind that decorating your tabletops or countertop surfaces with intention and carefully choosing just a few awesome, impactful key pieces that enhance the room and give that tabletop or countertop some character will not only make your cleaning life easier, it makes the space feel more inviting, more relaxing and generally easier to live in and love. Besides, less stuff equals less design work for you, right?! Without the overwhelm, your eyes rest when you’re taking in a space, which is always a good thing. CORT's showroom has inspiration in abundance on this front, as you can probably tell from the snaps! Well-placed, intentional tabletop and countertop decor everywhere, like the sweet and simple bowl of mixed faux succulents I included in the mood board above!

Add a Splash of Greenery

I’m also a firm believer that adding a small amount of real or faux greenery is such an easy and effective way to breathe a little bit of life into a space, especially if you’re going with a neutral, tranquil palette like I did with the living room space in the mood board above. Bringing the outside in is always a great way to make a space feel fresh, upbeat and full of life, and even if you're not a plant lady or don't exactly have a green thumb, even just adding a faux plant or two on a tabletop or in a cozy corner will make any room come alive and I love CORT’s faux fiddle leaf tree and the faux succulent centerpiece I mentioned above. Again, both are super sweet and simple, but they make a huge difference in quickly making a space feel like home.

Include Natural Elements & Textures to Ground the Space

If you’re sticking with that 3 or 4-color palette I mentioned and using white or light backdrops (I talk about that more in depth below), I love grounding a space and making it feel so much more cozy and less sterile or stark by integrating pieces made with natural materials like wood or seagrass anywhere possible. Think a woven bowl, basket, light fixture or tray, or a wood coffee table, sofa table, accent table or media console. I’m absolutely loving CORT’s super unique Topanga Bench, the cozy and elegant Patta TV Console, the Hippo Stool, the awesome Live Edge Bench and so much more!

White Backdrops Make Mixing Easier

You guys know that I love fun colors and I’m all about adding color wherever I feel so moved, but for the sake of making it easier and less headache-inducing to design spaces when you’re in transition or in a temporary home, painting your walls cream or white or a really light shade of grey may be just the ticket! As you guys know and can see we have mostly white and light grey walls throughout our home, and it not only makes designing and decorating spaces so much easier because it’s a clean blank canvas of a backdrop, it brightens up our otherwise somewhat cavernous and dark home, making it all so much happier!

Pattern Play with Chairs

This is one of our go-to moves when designing a space you’ll love with ease, especially if it’s just temporary stop in your story - keep your big, impactful pieces like sofas, rugs and walls neutral and inviting, and add character and personality in the decor you layer in after that like armchairs! I absolutely love a neutral space that’s punctuated with fun, funky, character-packed chairs, and that’s just another way to make decorating a space super easy and effortless - once you have a neutral backdrop, you can stress less over the pieces you add in after that because chances are, it will be awesome no matter what you choose! As I mentioned I absolutely love CORT’s striped Henry Accent Chair, the fun zebra-patterned Asher Chair, and the super cool green velvet Jaden Chair!

I love any company that pays attention to how real people like you and me live our lives, and accommodates those needs with awesome, accessible solutions that enhance the lifestyle we love, don't you? It makes me so happy, so slow clap for CORT furniture for coming in with home design and decor solutions that make it easier for everyone to get out there and make life happen! And if any of you guys live in transition or have done the temporary home thing your fair share of times, make sure you drop a comment and tell us your tips and tricks for making a temporary house a home - we love hearing from the pros on this topic!

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