Create the Look: Eclectic Collector Bedroom Shopping Guide

Cozy, warm and a touch off-beat are solid adjectives to describe the eclectic collected bedroom. Lush velvet armchairs in rich tones, mix-and-match bedding and antique furnishings in delicate silhouettes make up this aesthetic.

1. Modern world map 2016, $598 from ZMaps

2. Birds ‘n’ Bees Wallpaper in Frost, £300 per roll from Timorous Beasties

3. Isle Rod Pendant, $199 from Cedar & Moss

4. Kantha Quilt in Pollen, $200 from The Little Market

5. Toile Linen Blend Hemstitch Sheet Set in Charcoal, priced from $90 from Gilt Home

6. Kaia Rectangle Pillow, $63 from Shiraleah Chicago

7. Terrace Sidetable, Antique Brass Finish, $199 (on sale) from West Elm

8. Chas Armchair in Cayenne, $429.99 from Pier 1 Imports

9. Queen Sunrise Bed Head Black, $459 from The Family Love Tree

10. Carl Aubock Foot Paperweight, $235 from The Line

11. 5’x8′ Block Print Cotton Soumil Area Rug, $149.99 from World Market

12. Weathered Oak French Country Partner Desk, $1,480 from Chairish

More posts in Discover Your Home Decor Personality: Eclectic Collector


A Designer’s Dramatic London Apartment in a Georgian Town House — House Tour

Name: Shanade McAllister-Fisher
Location: Little Venice — London, UK
Years lived in: Owned 6 months

Interior designer Shanade writes: “My husband and I bought this one bedroom apartment in leafy West London from our local authority. It was in a very sorry state and hadn’t been updated for many years but the magnificent Georgian sash windows and beautiful high ceilings won me over immediately and I knew I had to have it.”

“Our style is eclectic and not too serious; we bring this into our home through bold colours, big prints and lots of details. We wanted each room to have a strong identity but also work harmoniously as one space. The master bedroom is one of my favorite rooms, the inky blue walls are so tranquil and calm, making it easy to relax and get a great night sleep. One of my favorite things about this room is the large bee print roman blind, its bold, fun and a real statement piece that works perfectly with the shutters that we sanded back and distressed. The entrance hallway is always a talking point, the large monochrome print wallpaper packs a punch and the artwork works just perfectly to inject a pop of colour.

The bathroom is quite small with limited light so here we used lots of mirrors and glass to create a feeling of space and openness. I love the halo effect on the back-lit mirror over the bespoke vanity unit; it’s so soft and warming. We also installed a great geometric tiled floor, which is a lot of fun.

For the living kitchen room we wanted to create an open relaxed space with lots of different textures and colours. The bespoke kitchen made of ply is a complete work of art; the brief was to create a practical functioning kitchen but one that didn’t look like your average kitchen — it needed to have the appearance of a piece of furniture so it would sit more comfortably in its surrounds.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, Bold with a Sprinkling of Luxury.

Biggest Challenge: Proportions. What the apartment lacks in square footage it makes up for in ceiling height with some rooms being over five meters tall. This was a challenge when furnishing and decorating; standard furniture just appeared dwarfed by the room, therefore lots of the pieces sourced are oversized and exaggerated.

What Friends Say: When can I move in!

Proudest DIY: The stripped back window shutters in the master bedroom turned out so well and worked perfectly with the moody blue wall colour. The outdoor terrace also looks great, the lavender and rosemary planters turned out a treat and on a warm summers evening the smell is amazing. I used the lavender as inspiration to add a pop of colour to the outdoor cushions by piping them with a strong purple.

Biggest Indulgence: Our bespoke kitchen was a big spend, but it was well worth it. Mixing materials such as plywood and walnut worked brilliantly. The beautiful detailing on the cupboard fronts give it an edge and makes it more than just your standard kitchen. It’s truly a piece of art.

Best Advice: Be brave and don’t be afraid to use dark colours and big patterns.

Thanks, Shanade! See more of her design skills on her website.


I Just Can’t Get Over Him!

It’s like your marriage has been in a shipwreck and you’re all alone, bobbing in the sea, perched atop a rickety raft. You can see the shore and you know you can swim, but something stops you from diving in, kicking the raft away and going for it. What keeps you hanging on when you know you’re just drifting?

Source: Forest Woodward/iStock Photo

Many a woman whose husband left finds herself in this predicament. Years later, she still has that pain inside. She thinks of him every day, misses him, and hates to be alone. She is tormented and angry with herself for still being attached but she can’t break free.

Although he is not giving her a second thought, she has not successfully detached from the man and the marriage. When he left, he took her identity and sense of security with him. How can she rebuild her life, create a new identity and become strong enough to depend on herself, when throughout her whole adult life, she had felt secure because she depended on him?

When a man walks away from a marriage, particularly when the wife didn’t see it coming, it is often a profound emotional injury, which leaves her feeling abandoned. What does abandonment mean? When someone you depend on for your physical or emotional well-being leaves you without providing for your ongoing care.

A woman who feels abandoned sub-consciously keeps yearning for that person who used to care for her. Even after he has turned his back, moved on, or even re-married, there is a profound wish that he will wake up, come back and take care of her again. Until she can successfully disconnect from the fantasy that he might step back in and come back to her, the hurt will remain.

Some women don’t feel capable of taking their lives and their futures into they own hands. They don’t know how to make decisions with conviction and they second-guess themselves. They fear making mistakes and having to face negative consequences and that awful feeling of regret. They cringe when called upon to take full responsibility. Some women feel they are not smart enough to make the right choices.

And then, there’s the other reason why it is so hard to let go – if you do, aren’t you letting him off the hook? Giving him what he wants? Most ex-husbands profoundly wish that their ex-wives would just get on with it. By continuing to grieve, aren’t you declaring to the world what a horrible thing he did to you that has caused you so much harm? Aren’t you demonstrating how cruel and uncaring he is? If you let yourself be happy again, wouldn’t he feel relieved?

Fear is a lousy reason not to do what you know you need to do. To get your life back, you need to become a fighter for your happiness! You need to feel the fear but put your head down and keep going until you locate your new life as a single woman; keep fighting until you can feel proud of yourself.

How do you do this? One step at a time. Every time you feel tempted to check his Facebook page and you don’t, you can put a check in the “win” column. Every time you force yourself out of the house to go to a movie with a friend on a Saturday night, another check. Every time you sign up for a course, every time you go to lunch with your sister and talk about something other than him, check, check! Little by little, these things add up until you suddenly realize that you didn’t think of him at all yesterday and the flicker of hope for your future grows stronger and brings you into the light.

You know the things you need to do to take care of yourself. Don’t expect your new life is going to happen all at once. But you can make it happen with every choice you make from now on. Now kick yourself off that raft and start swimming.

I’m a psychotherapist, family therapist and the author of Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal; The Divorce Talk: How to Tell the Kids – A Parent’s Guide to Breaking the News without Breaking Their Hearts; and My Sister, My Self: The Surprising Ways that Being an Older, Middle, Younger or Twin Shaped Your Life and the editor of Planet Heartbreak: Abandoned Wives Tell Their Stories. I can be found online at

The Internet Has Reached Peak Geode: 5 Examples — Daily 5

Guys, we get it—rocks rock. We are no stranger to a geode here at Apartment Therapy, but the internet has officially taken it too far.

Agate + Gold

Weddings and homes have been overrun with agate and geode DIY projects (yes, we know we’re guilty of it, too). Bookends, drawer pulls, table numbers, place settings… if you can dream it, it’s probably already been pinned a thousand times.

Nail art

Nail art is often over the top, and that is what draws us to it. The attention to detail it must take to create geodes and agate patterns on the surface of a nail is mind boggling.

Wedding cakes

Kitchn did a roundup of these amazing confections, and no one is doubting their gorgeousness and the level of skill required to create these sugar crystal masterpieces. Some may ask why you want your cake to look like a rock, but you know what? You do you.

Kitchen counter

This kitchen redo from Kentucky-based Infistone features amethyst embedded into a concrete countertop. This Pinterest-popular image split our editorial team, with some likening it to a monster bite and worrying about constantly scraping an elbow, to some picturing it working in a super boho space, or a less-trafficked area like a wet bar.

Geode lips

That brings me to the trend that has officially put us at peak crystal—the geode lip. This super-detailed makeup art is by NYC-based Johannah Adams, and has been taking over Instagram as of late. You’re not about to eat a burger in this look, but you sure will make a stunning statement.


Tooth Be Told: Do Natural Toothpastes Keep Your Breath Fresh? Here’s What We Thought of 9 Top-Rated Varieties

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we all need to brush our teeth. What you use to carry out the chore is up to you, but if you’re looking for some natural toothpaste alternatives with minimal chemicals (more on that later), we rounded up 7 willing mouths at Apartment Therapy HQ to test out 9 top-rated natural pastes. Did they stand a chance against the raw garlic test? Read on to find out!

We’re not here to take a stance against conventional toothpastes, but it’s important to note that they are formulated with some ingredients that have come under scrutiny, you know, considering this is going straight into your mouth.

A few of the somewhat controversial chemicals you’ll find in conventional toothpastes are:

  • Artificial sweeteners and flavors
  • Detergents and foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate or lauryl sarcosinate
  • Triclosan (an antibacterial chemical that has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption
  • Propylene glycol (a type of mineral oil that, in the industrial grade, is used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers)
  • Fluoride (though it can be found in some varieties of natural toothpaste.) If you’re curious about this one, considering it feels like we’ve always been told the additive is necessary for healthy teeth, check out this article from The Huffington Post or this one from Dental Buzz for some more information on the matter.

So, if you’re curious about whether these natural toothpastes get the job done, here’s what our testing panel had to say about 9 top-rated varieties:

  • Price: $5.99 for 5.29 oz
  • Test subject: Arlyn Hernandez, Design Editor
  • Consistency and flavor: This was thick yet creamy and felt sort of luxurious, you know, if toothpaste could feel luxurious. The flavor was completely unexpected. I wasn’t sure what neem was (still don’t) and was intrigued by what the pomegranate would materialize as, but overall, it was…interesting. Kind of earthy and herby, but sort of addictive. I kept using the paste because I wanted to pinpoint what the flavor was. I felt a little more exotic with every use.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Greek salad with extra olives, extra red onion, extra feta cheese and extra pepperoncini. (I’m an extremist, what can I say?)
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 3.75, though honestly, it was hard to tell because the toothpaste tasted food-y, so I didn’t know if what I was tasting was the paste or meal residue. Case in point: After one brushing experience, my S.O. started sniffing the air as I spoke and said “Why do I smell thyme??”
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 4

Overall thoughts: I loved the packaging it came in (though I know that doesn’t get you closer to fresh breath), however I wish it featured a flip-top for easier one-handed application. The flavor is probably not for everyone, and though I liked it, I’ve decided I’m definitely more of an extreme make-your-mouth-burn-mint flavored girl.

Final Grade: B-

  • Price: $7.20 for 6.25 oz
  • Test subject: Anna Hoffman, Creative Services Director
  • Consistency and flavor: I liked the texture of this. It’s paste-y, but has a little unctuousness (in a good way) that keeps it from feeling heavy. The mint flavor was sufficiently strong and tasted like real mint. There’s also a touch of baking soda taste, which I like, because it reminds me that I’m using the healthy stuff. Behind the mint and baking soda, there’s another, somewhat earthy note (tea tree oil?) that didn’t bother me at all, and only contributed to my feeling of virtuousness.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Tomato and corn salad with a lot of red onions
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 4.5 (Husband review: “It’s fine. Smells like a hippie.”)
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 5 (Husband review: “I don’t smell anything at all,” which I took as a good thing.)

Overall thoughts: Overall, I really liked this toothpaste–it tasted pretty good and was effective at keeping my mouth as fresh and non-swampy as my normal drugstore toothpaste. It’s really important to note, though, that this toothpaste doesn’t have fluoride. I’m aware of some controversy around fluoride as an additive to our toothpastes and waters, but in general I am pro-fluoride, and so is my dentist….so even though I liked this toothpaste, I’m going to have to go back to my drugstore brand.

Final grade: A if you don’t like fluoride; C if you do…

  • Price: $4.45 for 4 oz.
  • Test subject: Peggy Lin, Production Coordinator
  • Consistency and flavor: It was extremely light and dissolved almost completely after about 10 seconds of brushing. I tried using double the amount I usually use to see if it would still disintegrate, but the result was the same. 10 seconds = poof, it’s gone! The paste has an unappealing brown color that I was dubious would give me the peppermint flavor the packaging promised, but it did! The mintiness level was just right.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Cheese pizza with garlic.
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 4; it didn’t stand a chance against the garlic, but my teeth felt clean.
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 3

Overall thoughts: The texture and taste was okay, but my mouth and teeth just felt like they were never clean enough.

Final grade: C+

  • Price: $6.98 for 4.2 oz
  • Test subject: Meghan Splawn, Associate Food Editor @ kitchn
  • Consistency and flavor: It’s quite thick with a color and consistency of chalk that made me nervous to try it on first inspection. Though, to its credit, I have tried other natural toothpastes that were too thin, making a mess while applying to my toothbrush and while stored, so the thickness of this toothpaste was quite welcome. My one previous experience with cinnamon toothpaste was painfully too strong, so I was quite delighted by the subtle nuance of the orange/cinnamon/mint combination.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: A very garlicky batch of guacamole thanks to my daughter helping to make it.
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 5
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 2

Overall thoughts: I enjoyed this toothpaste experience—the paste foamed up surprisingly well while brushing and I really felt like my teeth got clean. The flavor was great and I enjoyed not having an overly minty mouth post brushing. The down side was that the fresh mouth feeling did not last as long as with traditional toothpastes.

Final grade: B

  • Price: $7 for 4 oz
  • Test subject: Andrew Forcier, Audience Development Manager & Employee Extraordinaire
  • Consistency and flavor: This was awesome and way better than chemically-enhanced toothpastes. It tasted great, and I felt like my mouth was clean but not chemically.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Italian supreme sub with tons of hot peppers and cheese.
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 4
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 4

Overall thoughts: I love this toothpaste and would definitely buy it on my own (after being given it to try). I think this is a fabulous alternative to chemically-enhanced toothpaste and I would definitely recommend this to friends!

Final grade: A

  • Price: $3.48 for 6 oz
  • Test subject: Kaitlin Flannery, Social Media Manager @ kitchn
  • Consistency and flavor: Extremely runny. It dripped on the counter when I tried it the first time. I never really got used to the fact that it wanted to drizzle out of the tube. It also foams a lot more than my regular toothpaste while you’re brushing. Not bad, just noticeable. As for the flavor, the “crème de mint,” which, having spent a summer in high school working at DQ, sounded delicious and reminded me of simpler times (and Thin Mint blizzards). However—no surprise—it really just tastes like mint, but not quite fresh-off-the-stem mint. It’s not bad, but it’s very different from the minty flavor I’m used to in regular toothpaste. Again, I never really got used to it.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Garlicky grilled shrimp
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 4; it mostly worked. It got the shrimp taste out, but the garlic lingered.
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 4; I found myself reaching for the mouthwash after a few hours.

Overall thoughts: For the most part, this toothpaste made my teeth feel clean, but left a little something to be desired. My mouth just didn’t feel as fresh as I’m used to after brushing. That said, following with mouthwash (albeit, it’s not natural stuff) did the trick, which is a step I incorporate into my regular brushing routine anyway.

Final Grade: B

  • Price: $8 for 2.5 oz
  • Test subject: Andrew Forcier, Audience Development Manager & Employee Extraordinaire
  • Consistency and flavor: The consistency was fine, but the flavor was just meh. Well, honestly it wasn’t good.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Cumin-y steak tacos with extra sour cream
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): Can I do half points? 0.5??
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): Not calculable. Just meh.

Overall thoughts: I used this toothpaste twice and was not impressed with the flavor or with how clean my mouth felt after brushing.

Final grade: D

  • Price: $5.95 for 6 oz
  • Test subject: Arlyn Hernandez, Design Editor
  • Consistency and flavor: Imagine if someone whipped your toothpaste (like whipped yogurt, or whipped butter)…it was like that. Kind of airy, but still a paste. It had a subtle mint flavor, which was nice and familiar, though I wish it were stronger (again, I like an exaggeration of flavor.)
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Straight raw garlic. I wanted to put this thing through its paces. It was not pleasant, but I believe in suffering for your work.
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 2, and after I realized I probably wasn’t giving this a fair chance (no one eats straight raw garlic, do they?), I tried again later on in the week with a normal meal, and can report back a 4.
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 3.5 (with the normal meal)

Overall thoughts: I liked this paste, but again, I wish it were more powerful. I like my mouth to be almost painfully minty, so it took a few rounds to get used to this. However, even though it wasn’t crazy minty, it still worked pretty well and I liked that it had no artificial sweeteners, flavors or dyes and was vegan (and cruelty-free.)

Final Grade: B+

  • Price: $3.89 for 4.5 oz
  • Test subject: Carrie McBride, Managing Editor
  • Consistency and flavor: The gel was a tiny bit gritty but not in an unpleasant way. It didn’t get super foamy which I’ve been conditioned since birth to equate with “clean”, but I think I’d get used to the reduced froth rather quickly. It has a traditional minty flavor, but I could taste a hint of tea tree oil which is in the ingredient list. I’m not a fan of tea tree oil scent or flavor, but it’s super mild here.
  • Most dragon-breath inducing meal consumed while testing: Coffee + morning breath
  • Breath grade immediately post brushing (scale of 1-5): 3
  • Breath grade a few hours removed from brushing (scale of 1-5): 2

Overall thoughts: The tube I used had text in both English and French so it immediately felt more fancy than my usual Colgate gel. It lists “Iceland moss extract” as an ingredient which seems exotic and slightly mysterious (especially if you focus on the “Iceland” part instead of the “moss” part). I didn’t use it long enough to learn if it would be effective as a whitener, but I enjoyed the taste and experience of using it more than I expected and would consider switching if I could find it easily in my neighborhood. The one downside is that the tube doesn’t stand on its own and takes up a lot of room in my medicine cabinet. My husband was out of town on business during my testing period so I can’t say if it made me more “kissable”.

Final Grade: B+


Before & After: Reviving a Dark & Dated Rental Bathroom

Amy was #blessed with two very crucial elements of a rental makeover success: an apartment with good bones and a generous landlord. She took those gifts and ran with them, turning her bathroom into a totally lovely, stylish and calming sanctuary.

From Amy: The first thing I did when I signed my lease was ask my landlord if I could paint the bathroom. The tile flooring is a beautiful sea foam green, but someone long, long ago thought it would be a great idea to paint the wainscoting deep teal, the trim white, and the walls beige … needless to say it was very dark and very dated. Thankfully, my landlord said “Sure!” and the final results were well worth any sweat and tears shed while trying to paint behind a vintage (and heavy!) clawfoot tub.

I also swapped out the 2-light vanity fixture for a 3-light fixture, installed oil rubbed bronze bathroom hardware, and hung a giant vintage mirror that I got for $15 at a yard sale and spray painted white over a small (and unnecessary) built in medicine cabinet to keep things bright, white, and clean. Now if I can just find someone to help me remove the flow restrictor from my shower head …


SPONSORED POST: Commit to Yourself: Make a Mindful Moments Wall — Sponsored by Command™ Brand

As summer slips into autumn, the return of the hectic schedule is inevitable: taxiing the kids (or yourself) to and from school and sports, working longer hours, squeezing in grocery runs for weeknight dinners. But as fall gets going, don’t forget to make some me-time.

To help you remember, we developed this simple Mindful Moments Wall that uses Command™ Strips, Clips, and Hooks to help keep you at the center of your scheduling. It’s attractive enough to keep in plain sight while still a helpful daily tool. You can download and print some mantras we came up with to help you stay centered, clear and calm — if even for only a moment — or come up with your own.

Gather Your Materials

The idea behind this display is to create space for yourself. At the center of it all is a place to post a daily or weekly mantra. You can of course get creative with your display, adding meaningful mementos and other inspiring objects, but here are the basics of what to round up…

  • Things You Love: Collect a few easy-to-hang things that make you feel good. Photobooth pics of your best friends, a card from Mom…whatever gives you a little lift when you look at it. Just make a note of what these objects weigh because this will determine which of the Command Brand products you’ll need.
  • Something Living: Add something that makes your home feel fresh, whether it’s plants you can hang on the wall or a vase of cut flowers. (Same note as above on weight!)
  • A Wall Calendar: Something you can write on is best, but anything that lets you see multiple days at a glance works.
  • A Picture Frame: Use this to frame a motivational message at the center of your display. A simple phrase like “This Week I Will…” or “My Mantra for Today” reminds you what’s really important.
  • Mindful Mantras: You can download our mantras below, or write your own to help you stay centered.
  • Command Spring Clips: These peel-and-stick clips won’t damage walls, they work on various surfaces, and come in two colors: sleek, sophisticated Slate and simple, clean Quartz. Just read the box for installation instructions, noting the max weight each will take.
  • Command Picture Hanging Strips: No nails needed. Just like the clips, these don’t damage walls and come in a few different sizes, depending on the weight of what you need to hang.
  • Command Designer Hooks™: This is what we used to hang the planters. (We used the medium size, with a 3-pound capacity; the largest sizes can hold up to 7.5 pounds!) Use them, damage-free, on paint, wood, tile and more.

Make Your Mindful Moments Wall

To treat yourself to an oasis of calm in the middle of your busy day, install your display. Here’s how…

  • Hang Your Framed Motivational Message With Command Picture Hanging Strips
    Find the weight of your frame, then choose the corresponding Command Picture Hanging Strips. Max weights are listed on each product. Clean and prep your wall with rubbing alcohol, then follow the instructions on the package to hang them. (We covered Picture Hanging Strips in this post; click through for detailed application instructions!) Repeat the process to hang your calendar and any other framed pictures.
  • Add Command Spring Clips to Hold Your Daily Mantras
    Now comes the star of the wall. Install the Spring Clips on the wall where you’ll store your mantra bank, and on wherever you’ll clip the mantra in focus. The great thing about the clips is that they work on different surfaces: paint, wood, tile and more, so you can use them on frames made of almost any material.
  • Hang Larger Objects With Command Designer Hooks

    As with almost all Command Brand products, Command Designer Hooks come in different sizes. They also come in multiple styles and finishes. Our hanging wall planters are less than three pounds each, so we used the medium size. To install, follow the instructions on the box.

Make Your Mantras

This is the most important part! For whatever period of time works for you, channel one thought to help keep you centered. We’ve come up with a few that we can all work on. Download them here and cut them out. (We used edging shears to get the fancy borders.) Make a short but deliberate ritual of posting your mantra, and return to it as your day wears on. You’ll be amazed at how the little things can create a bigger, happier whole!

And, if you have any mantra ideas of your own, be sure to share them with your fellow AT readers in the comments below.

(NOTE: If your project requires other Command Brand products such as hooks and ledges, make sure to check the package instructions!)

Whenever you need a little extra motivation, simply switch up your mantra wall. With no nail holes and so many different ways to display things, it’s easy!

This post is sponsored by Command™ Brand.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.