BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Posts by Style Spotter Editor

Editor Karman Hotchkiss here!

I’m Style Spotting this time from Bologna, Italy, the epicenter of the tile industry, where the annual CERSAIE title show is held each fall. Acres and acres of showrooms displayed the latest tile trends, which I’m happy to share with you.

Trend #1: Tile that looks like wood
It’s not brand new, but it was everywhere at the show. And in heavy Italian accents the showroom staffers told us these designs are very popular in American markets. Look for tile in just about every wood finish, grain, and plank size imaginable. It’s easier to clean and maintain than the real thing!


Trend #2: High gloss
Super-glossy finishes showed up on everything from marble lookalikes to solid-color tiles. It’s a glitzy counterpoint to all those wood looks.


Trend #3: Thin tile

Super-thin tiles are easy to install and less expensive to ship. Mounted to the front of a fireplace, for instance, they can create a wood-look surface that’s fire resistant. I also saw thin tiles installed on the fronts of bath vanities to create the look of wood, marble, or other stone.

Trend #4: Three-dimensional applications

No word on whether it’s easy to clean, but I saw many surprising and stunning applications of tile that juts out—like faux clapboard or to create the effect of irregular bricks. After the show, I saw a kitchen backsplash that used this irregular 3-D tile for a redo. Amazing.

Trend #5: Trapezoids

These not-quite-triangles showed up at the show in everything from wood-look tiles to colorful, glossy applications. I predict the shape will be big in fabric, rugs, and other home decor accessories soon.



If you’re thinking about new tile, don’t miss these fun trends in a tile showroom near you.


-Karman Hotchkiss


Hi, my name is Kim Hanou from the blog Too Much Time on My Hands. Now, I don’t really have too much time on my hands, but with the little time I do have, I love to find, create, and share crafty, DIY, and upcycling projects that I complete around my home in Arvada, Colorado.  I have been blogging for almost two years and love every second of it. When I began, I had no idea where it would go.  Would anyone  follow along, would people appreciate my rustic and environmentalist style, or would  I would be laughed right out of blogville. Last May, I knew I had done something right when a mysterious and very exciting email popped into my inbox. I am so happy to be here at Style Spotters to share my exciting little Better Homes and Gardens story with you today. Because it was pretty much the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me and it could happen to you too!



One run-of-the-mill morning in May 2012, I settled into my office nook with a steamy cup of coffee and opened my e-mail to see what was in store for the day. The subject line popped off the screen and read, “Possible Better Homes and Gardens Story.” That was my first thrill. I sat in a stunned silence for 3 minutes, just staring at the screen. “This is probably a joke…Let this NOT be a joke…This is probably a joke…” was the running commentary in my mind. It was not a joke, and a sensational adventure began.


After talking with Senior Editor, Kit Selzer, about some of my environmentally friendly Christmas projects from 2011, she challenged me to come up with Holiday projects, decorations, and crafts that would classify me as the “Christmas Recycling Crafting Queen.” I started creating with reckless abandon and my home turned into this:

My second thrill came when I arrived at Fedex with a bundle of samples in my arms and shipped them off to the Better Homes and Gardens Headquarters. I stood in the parking lot thinking, “I just sent samples to BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS!” 


A few weeks later, the story was approved and my projects selected. I had to create my stick and chicken wire tree topper and enough shopping bag garland, and recycled paper ornaments for a nine foot Christmas tree.

My third thrill came when famed photographer, Edmund Barr, and photo stylist extraordinaire, Stacey Heston walked through my door with a fresh Oregon Christmas tree on July 19th.  It quickly turned into Christmas and I spent a lot of time watching, asking questions, standing around, and primping while Edmund, Stacey, and 2 assistants made the magic happen.


Everyone was outrageously friendly, fun, and easygoing. It felt like two days hanging out with old friends. Posing for the photos was a riot. Edmund was so funny and kept shouting things like, “Every dentist’s office in America baby!” and “Work it, girl!” which resulted in many photos with my wildly crazy laughing face. At one point in the middle of the shoot, Edmund and Stacey were checking out some shots and I was just hanging out on my ladder and I had my fourth and most profound thrill.  It was quiet, I was alone in my head and said to myself, “look around, take it in, really feel this amazing experience that is happening right now.” I almost got teary, and now when I reminisce, I really can put myself right back there and feel the excitement of that moment.  At the end of the day, I spotted the photo order on my entry table and it hit me one more time, “this is really happening to me!”

I am so happy to share my BH&G story with you. I love how the recycled decorations turned out and if you want  to make some for yourself all of the instructions are right here.  Or if you aren’t feeling very creative, you can buy them in my ETSY shop, K & H Homegoods. I would also love for you to stop by my blog, Too Much Time on My Hands, look around, and say hi!

-Kim Hanou, Too Much Time on My Hands

Hi Everyone, this is Samantha Thorpe from Storage magazine. We are really into using labels to help keep you and your family organized. No matter what area you need to get in order in your house—closet, pantry, bathroom, entry, or kid’s room—labels help everyone know where to return items so the next person can find them. Now, that is easier said then done.

But fun labels are a great reminder that there is “A place for everything and everything in its place,” as Isabella Mary Beeton first wrote in The Book of Household Management in 1861.  So try downloading these labels to get organized today.

Make it easy to find food you have stocked in your pantry with these mix-and-match labels (above left) available at You can add your own categories as well!  These free downloadable labels come in a variety of patterns and sizes. They’re easy to customize to describe your containers’ contents.

You can also get your kids organized with labels that make it easy for them to put things away. For kids who can’t read quite yet, use labels with photos to help them put their trains, stuffed animals, and other items in the right place.

-Samantha Thorpe, Storage Magazine

Hello! Maria Charbonneaux here, and I’ve recently returned from an editor’s conference in Kohler, Wisconsin, home of Kohler Co. While I can’t easily share with you the gourmet chocolates from the company’s Craverie Chocolatier Café , I did bring back some eye candy—photos of the new Mick De Giulio designer room at the Kohler Design Center!

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

De Giulio is a Chicago-based designer and author of the book Kitchen Centric. At BHG, we know his work well—he also designed the Better Homes and Gardens Showcase Kitchen at our headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.


De Giulio’s newest kitchen did not disappoint—it combines both rustic and glam elements in a completely chic and sophisticated way. I love the contrast of the shimmery tile, vent hood, and cabinetry with the warm wood floors below.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

The Kallista Multiere 45×18.8″ multi-tiered sink designed by De Giulio makes the peninsula the hub of the space. Made from 16-gauge stainless steel, the sink offers a variety of accessories, including a colander holder and a movable teak cutting board.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

De Giulio dubbed the space Crystal Clear, and the glass-front doors of these display cabinets certainly help it live up to the name. This solution allows dishware and cookware to be glamorously showcased without collecting dust. Notice how the pots and pans hang from hooks inside the cabinet for easy access? If you have a panty or large cabinet, consider bringing the look home by removing the shelves and adding a rod, hooks, and glass-front door.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

And in case you’re wondering where the lids are, they’re neatly filed away in compartments below.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

The space is actually divided into two main areas: The front portion, shown above, features all the main components of the kitchen, and the back portion contains an intimate sitting area and wet bar.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

Wood floors set in a herringbone pattern help delineate the entertaining area from the main kitchen space. Open shelves keep bar necessities close at hand and allow the mirrored backsplash to shine. A long, narrow wet bar sink makes it easy to rinse glasses while still preserving work space.

Mick de Giulio Kitchen at Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI. Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

So what’s your favorite part? I’m infatuated with the display cabinets and the herringbone floors. If you’d like to see this space in person, the Kohler Design Center is open free to the public and contains many other designer kitchen and bath spaces, a product showroom, and a museum. Be sure to check out the factory tours as well if you’re in the area!


Photos courtesy of Kohler Co.


—Maria Charbonneaux, Real-Life Kitchens & Baths

When you work at a fabulous magazine like Better Homes and Gardens, people assume your home is beautifully decorated and filled with clever projects and great ideas. Confession: That’s not true. At least not for me! I have problem spots, not enough closets, really boring white walls (and I’m the color editor!), and bad layouts. But when I’m ready to tackle a project, I know exactly where to turn for inspiration.


On my fall must-do list is figuring out what to put on top of my small console piano. This photo shows it at its best with leftover flowers and veggies from this fun shoot.


But they wilted and now I need something more permanent. Here’s a little roundup of inspiration photos. I’m trying to find a style that feels “me.”


My sweet spot is a cross between the graphic modern stuff in number 1 and the sweet charm of number 3. (And I love the idea of putting a table lamp on the piano. For an amateur player like me that’s about right!)


If you have a piano, what do you have on it?


–Joanna Linberg, Associate Home Editor, Better Homes and Gardens

Sources: 1. Bright Modern Condo 2. Living Room Designs 3. Handmade Cottage Charm 4. Garden-Inspired Living Room




Hi all! Kelly Eagle here!

The warm summer nights are gone and as the temps drop for so many people, I find the pile of books on my nightstand getting taller. What is it about cool weather that makes me want to curl up with a book?
There is nothing better than getting cozy with a book, propped up by overstuffed pillows under a plush throw on a Saturday afternoon. Or, in my case, late in the evening after my noisy toddler is in bed for the night.

Most of us don’t have an entire room we can dedicate to reading, but you can create your own reading nook just about anywhere: in an unused corner of your bedroom, tucked under the eave in a guest room, or just add a few extra pillows to a window seat. That perfect spot doesn’t need much, except a comfy spot to sit, a lamp for after the sun goes down, and a little table to set a snack and a cup of tea Diet Coke.


My ultimate dream is to have a wood-paneled library stocked with hundreds of books that reach the ceiling, requiring me to have to have a fancy library ladder. One can dream right?



Until then I’ll continue to read in bed or in the corner of our sectional sofa (the best spot on the couch!), though I would love to have one of these cozy reading nooks in my house. With a door. And maybe a lock.


So find that spot in your house and add big pillows to your favorite chair or chaise and hide out for a few minutes (or hours) with a good book. You have some time until spring rolls around.


-Kelly Eagle, BHG,com

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