How To Prepare Your Guest Room For Visitors

The Habitat Collective

The Habitat Collective

It’s that time of year again; the most wonderful (and hectic) time of the year! If you’re planning to host family or friends at your house this year then you can just add this to your holiday to-do list. If not, then getting a head start for the next time you have guests never hurts! 

My guest room was the very first room that I decorated when we moved into our current home. Mainly because the guest room in our old house was so neglected that I wanted to make sure that when someone came to visit us that they would actually want to come back, ha! But seriously, there is nothing that makes someone feel more welcome than a well-stocked and comfortable guest room.

Here is my list for the most important items that you should always provide for your guests:

1. A good quality mattress or topper

If it’s in the budget, a decent mattress can make all the difference in whether or not your guests want to come back to visit. My husband and I went to a mattress store and tested every single mattress and had a debate over each one. It was super annoying, BUT we always get compliments when people stay over! We also purchased a waterproof cover so that our investment didn’t go to waste. If a new mattress isn’t in the budget, or even if you’re working with a super uncomfortable sleeper couch or futon, a mattress topper is the next best thing. It is much less expensive but can make such a difference. A memory foam topper like this one or pillow top topper like this one are both good options.

2. Cozy, fluffy towels

Monika Hibbs

Monika Hibbs

It doesn’t cost a ton of money or time to find super soft towels for your home. You only need about four so make sure that they are good ones! Look for towels that are thick and soft but also heavy, because this means that they have a better absorbency. Bonus points if you provide your guests with comfy robes!

3. Extra toiletries

This is a must-have when guests come to visit. Always keep shampoo and soap in the shower, extra toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine products, a hair dryer, and a first aid kit. If you live in a warmer climate, like we do, then sunscreen and bug spray are also a must. It’s the little things that show your guests that you are happy they are there. Also, don’t forget a trash can!

4. Good lighting

Raili Clasen Design

Raili Clasen Design

Have you ever turned off all of your overhead lights at night time and turned on all of your table and floor lamps? If not, try it. It brings coziness up to a whole new level. Keeping table lamps or sconces on each nightstand is one way to achieve this, or (if you want to get super fancy), install dimmers on your light switches. They are especially helpful for your guests who like to read books at night time.

5. Easily accessible Wi-Fi password

Etsy - KneadyBatchDesigns

Etsy - KneadyBatchDesigns

If your Internet provider is like ours, then they conveniently provided you with an Internet password that is a thousand digits long that you will never be able to remember. A fun solution is to type up a sign for your guests with the WIFI and password. You can make your own or you can download one like this one and frame it in a stylish frame by the nightstand. It is especially helpful when your guests get in super late and they don’t want to wake you to ask you for the WIFI password.

6. Bedside water carafe

Is there anything worse than waking up in the middle of the night dying of thirst, and then realizing that you have to walk all the way to the kitchen for a glass of water? Solution? Buy a water carafe. It sounds fancy, and it is, but they’re cheap and so convenient. I really love this one and this one

Amber Interiors

Amber Interiors

There are plenty of other small gestures you can add to your guest room (fresh flowers, framed pictures of your guests, city travel guides etc.) but these are a few of the must-haves in my opinion. What are some favorite things that you keep in your guest room? Let us know in the comments!


Sara E.


Holiday Gift Guide: Home Decor Gifts Under $100

Holiday Gift Guide - Home Decor Under 100 - The Habitat Collective

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope you're all spending the day celebrating with friends and family! What better way to kick off the holiday season than by sharing some of our favorite Home Decor gifts for your family and your besties (or, let's be honest, yourself)! And the best part? These beauties are all less than $100! Sara E. is back with the full round up below, so settle into that post-turkey daze and get shoppin'!  

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The holidays are here which means it’s the season for holiday deals, shopping and (even better), the season of gift giving. I love receiving gifts that are personal and well thought-out and so I try to do the same when I’m thinking about which gifts to buy for family and friends. If you happen to have friends or family who love home decor or possibly a friend who just moved into a new home, then these gifts are perfect and most of them won’t even break the bank! All of these products are under $100. I even included a few tech-y items in there that are functional but also aesthetically pleasing (like that awesome charging station which is definitely going on my Christmas list this year).

Let us know in the comments if you have any gifts that you are eyeing this season –we would love to look them up! Happy shopping and Happy Holidays! 


Xo Sara E



Top 10 Best Interior Design YouTube Channels


Hi everyone! It’s (the other!) Sara here. I am super excited to be the newest contributor to The HabCo team, and even more excited that I’ll be sharing lots of yummy content to the blog! If you live and breathe interior design, like we do, and you haven’t discovered these YouTube channels yet, you are in for a treat today! 

There is so much inspiration online and Pinterest is my definite go-to, but there is nothing that beats being able to actually watch other designers work their magic and learn their processes behind it. Today I’m sharing our Top 10 favorite YouTube channels geared towards Interior Design.

1. Studio McGee

Studio Mcgee

Studio Mcgee

Studio McGee is based out of Utah and was started by husband and wife, Shea and Syd Mcgee. Their web series are fairly new to the YouTube world but they are put together in such a beautiful way that I promise you will be hooked and want to watch the same episodes over and over. They share design tips and home tours that highlight their unique aesthetic. If you follow them on Instagram, then you'll know what I mean.

2. House and Home

House and Home

House and Home

House and Home is an interior design brand and magazine from Canada. It’s very refreshing to see the designer’s Canadian influence on all of their designs. The home tours are addictive to watch because each one is unique to each deisgner. I have yet to find a design reveal on here that I don’t love!

3. Three Birds Renovations

Three Birds Renovations

Three Birds Renovations

Three Birds Renovations was created by three Australian Moms who quit their corporate jobs to renovate and flip residential homes. They are hilarious to watch and I love how the homes they design are bright, fun, and always complemented with the signature Aussie laid-back vibe.

4. Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson is one of our favorite designers so it’s obvious why her YouTube channel makes this list! Her channel features “how-to’s”, room makeovers, and lots of useful home styling tips.

5. Apartment Therapy


Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy’s channel features on-trend DIY home décor projects as well as home tours of some super chic apartments around the world.

6. Mr. Kate

Mr. Kate

Mr. Kate

There’s not much to say about Mr. Kate other than she is hilariously and creatively brilliant! She designs killer rooms and is a DIY queen. Her “OMG We’re Coming Over” series on her channel is one of my favorites to watch because she decorates rooms for other famous You Tubers and each one has their own unique style. You will be hooked, promise.

7. Jenna Sue

Jenna Sue

Jenna Sue

Jenna Sue recently flipped an old cottage in the mountains and documented the entire process on YouTube. Her style is very unique and sort of reminds me of a more feminine version of the homes that Joanna Gaines designs. She DIYed a lot of the projects in the cottage and created videos to show how she completed each of them. The before and after’s are so, so good! 

8. Karin Bohn

Karin Bohn

Karin Bohn

If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur and start your own interior design business, Karin Bohn’s channel will be your new favorite. She gets into the ups and downs of running her own business and lets you follow her day-to-day journey of being a busy entrepreneur. She recently started a new series on her channel that I’m really excited to follow called “Bohnafide”, which documents her own home renovation.




HGTV is already an addictive channel if you’re a fan of interior design but their YouTube Channel has even more exciting stuff to watch. They have lots of DIY’s and behind the scenes with the designers they feature on their TV shows (hi, Joanna Gaines!). 

10. HouzzTV



There are tons of videos to watch on the Houzz channel but my favorite is the “My Houzz” series, where celebrities (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and even Ludacris!) makeover rooms in a friend or family member’s house using designers they find through Houzz.

And that concludes our Top 10 - happy viewing!! We'd love to know what your favorites are too - leave us a comment below if we've missed any good ones! 

Xo Sara E

get the look: elegant bohemian bedroom

The likes have spoken: our most popular mood board of 2016 (and one of our most popular posts of the year!!) is this little classic bohemian number riiiight here.

the habitat collective mood board

We love the layered textures and the mix of styles in this look - from the raffia chests to the leather stools and brass lamps, there's plenty of eye candy to obsess over. Waking up here on a weekend morning? YES PLEASE! Check out the graphic below to shop this look AND learn how to get the look for less. Shop the entire look on our pinterest board!

get the look - the habitat collective

Ooooh Ottoman Round Up!

People sometimes forget about this coffee table alternative when they're putting together their living spaces, which is a REAL SHAME for the following reasons:

1. Ottomans can be really multi-functional; you can use them in exactly the same way as you would a coffee table with the simple addition of a large tray for holding drinks/books/vases etc. PLUS they offer a comfy place for you to put your feet up, provide additional seating when necessary, and even extra storage in some cases! Winner winner, chicken dinner. 

2. If you have kids (or in Sara's case- the world's clumsiest Great Dane), they're probably less likely to decapitate themselves crashing into an ottoman rather than a glass coffee table.

3. Want to inject a pop of texture/pattern/color into your living space but don't want to invest in a green, velvet sofa? Be non-committal and do it with an ottoman instead!  

Here's a round-up of our top 20, which are all available right now:


Before you go rushing out to replace your coffee table with an ottoman, here are some helpful tips to bear in mind:

- Make sure the dimensions of the ottoman work with the dimensions of your sofa, you don't want to be relaxing on your sofa with your legs elevated above your head (ok, slight exaggeration but you know what we mean).

- If you have kids and/or pets consider leather rather than fabric upholstery- this will be easier to keep clean. If you're adamant on using fabric and are still concerned about maintenance, opt for something with a removable, machine washable cover (like no. 3 from our list above!).  

- If you do want to utilise the surface with a large tray, make sure you choose an ottoman with a relatively flat top!

- We recommend going for an ottoman which subtly contrasts with your sofa in some way; either with color, pattern or texture.  This will add some sophisticated personality, rather than keeping things too matchy-matchy.

- If you fall in love with a particular fabric and want to nail the dimensions of your ottoman so that it fits perfectly with your sofa, there is always the option to have one custom-made! May we present to you, The Queen of all Ottomans, from Project Bright & Breezy:


This ottoman was a beast (a very beautiful beast); perfect for the enormous sectional we'd specified. These photos totally don't do it justice but we had it upholstered in the most gorgeous patterned Batik Linen from Walter G. To maximise functionality we designed an ottoman tray with Grove & Anchor and, OH MAN, we're pretty sure that this might just be the perfect OTT-O-MAN situation! Let us know what you think and which are you faves from our top 20 round-up!

Sara + Laura xx 

2017 Trend Report

1. Greenery. Let's start with the obvious and quickly mention Pantone's new Color of the Year- we're saying farewell to Rose Quartz and Serenity and welcoming in Greenery, "a refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings". Amen to that.... But we think it's also safe to say that we won't be going crazy with this yellow-green shade. We do, however, think it can be cleverly worked in; see below for evidence! 

HOORAY for another excuse to use more plants.... and limey hues aside, we think that green, in general, is going to be big this year. 

2. Jewel tones. Greenery won't be the only show-stealer in 2017. Jewel tones are IN, we're talking deep, rich, saturated colors from amethyst purple to sapphire blue. 

3. Art Deco. We couldn't be in a more perfect place for this one; we're lucky enough to have some of the most beautiful art deco architecture right on our doorstep, here in Miami! Elements we're thinking might make a come-back include soft shapes, rich velvet, reflective surfaces, fringe and tassels and, contrary to what some people are saying, we think marbles and metals are here to stay.... for the time being anyway! 

4. Texture. We're reluctant to call this a trend BUT we're going to be seeing more and more of it, in every form, this year. We're talking fabrics, wall papers, light fixtures, furniture, EVERYTHING. We're personally big fans of natural texture!

5. Black steel frame doors and windows. We're predicting more of this (and we really hope we're right!):

6. Matte details. If you're not a fan of the new opulence trends maybe this one's for you. Matte finishes can add sophistication and help highlight the form of an object, with no distractions from shiny reflective surfaces and we think they're sticking around for 2017! 

7. Monochrome kitchens. Monochromatic color-blocking = timeless style. Feast your eyes on these: 

2016 Year In Review

Happy New Year form The Habitat Collective! Is it just us, or did this year absolutely fly by? We could have sworn it was January just a minute ago! This year has been nothing short of ahhh-mazing for this little business of ours, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings! So, before (or while) we pop open the bubbly and celebrate, we’re getting a little nostalgic about everything that’s happened this year. 2016, we love you!



We kicked off the year with a super fun collab led by Adriana from The Creatives Loft. We spent a morning wth some of the coolest, most talented ladies in Miami creating and styling a wedding set for a photoshoot. Can we just say…that table was BEAUT and the florals by Primrose Florals? To die for. See all the photos and get to know the fab vendors here.



We had so much fun with our client from #projectundercoverbalcony. We designed this little oasis in the sky on the DL and then spent a (very hot) afternoon getting down and dirty potting a mini-jungle for her and her boyfriend AND very adorable Cavalier to enjoy. Mission accomplished.


undercover balcony - the habitat collective


We always love a good small-space challenge and #projectprettyinpink did not disappoint! This little apartment nestled in Coral Gables was tiny, but had amazing natural light and an easy-to-work-with neutral base. Plus, the sweetest client that made our jobs easy as pie. Win - win - WIN!

project pretty in pink - the habitat collective
project pretty in pink - the habitat collective


We can't say enough good things about our local West Elm store in Midtown. Over the past year we've partnered with them to style and shoot vignettes for social media (access to some of the most gorgeous furniture and accessories = every designer's dream!!) and were even featured on the company's main Instagram feed a few times! Fun Fact: BOTH habco dogs were featured in West Elm marketing campaigns this year!

INSTAGRAM HITS 1K and then 5K!!

Ya’ll know how much we looove the little world of Instagram. So many pretty feeds to follow, so little time!! Anyway, we were totally floored when we hit 1K after only a few months of ‘grammin - and then 5K a few months after that. We're so thankful for all the insta love and support - seriously you guys are the best!



Hab Co’s first feature! We were SO excited to have #projectstaybrassy's transformation featured for the world to see - HELLO crazy before and afters!!

apartment therapy feature
project stay brassy - north miami kitchen - the habitat collective


We're so lucky to have met some awesome creatives in Miami! We met Katie of The Modern Local through Instagram, and a few months later she asked us to be a part of her blog's "Five Questions With..." feature which highlights members of the community in Miami. Check out the feature here.



This year we partnered with not one, but TWO talented photographers to do fun Instagram Giveaways of their gorgeous prints! We styled vignettes to photograph for Lauren Marttila Photography and Emily Roggenburk Photography  and (very sadly) shipped the prints out to their brand new homes!



So much to say about #projectbrightandbreezy, so little time. First of all, they were the most amazing clients to work with. Like, super chilled out, trust your designer, awesome taste having clients. The kind of clients that come around once in a blue moon that you just want to hang on to forever and keep redesigning their house and only their house because they're so great. PLUS the house had great bones to work with - the tallest ceilings and tons of natural light were a dream come true!

breakfast nook - the habitat collective
project bright and breezy - the habitat collective

Small Space Living: #projectprettyinpink

Nothing excites us more than designing small, unconventional spaces here at the HabCo (the more unconventional the better- anyone have a boat or a caravan, or maybe even a lighthouse that we could help with?!).  Anyway, so we were pretty happy when we were hired to help with the layout of a living space in a lovely apartment nestled in Coral Gables, measuring no larger than 140 square feet, earlier this year. 

Requirements for this little space included a comfortable seating area for watching TV and movies, a small dining area, a bar area and a gallery wall. The main challenge we faced (other than the size!) was that we only had 6’8” of usable wall space to work with (due to the kitchen, built-in storage and a wall of floor to ceiling windows).  Here’s a quick floor plan to better explain:

When it comes to small space living, we have a whole array of tricks hidden up our sleeves, so we thought we'd share some that applied particularly well in this space: 

1. De-clutter – if you’re moving into a small space, sacrifices have got to be made – if you don’t use it, get rid of it! What’s the opposite term of a hoarder? Hmm not sure (minimalist?!)… luckily for us our client was one of them!

2. Scale and proportion - nothing is going to make a room feel smaller than it already is, more than a HUGE piece of furniture, which takes up three quarters of the space! If you have low ceilings, for example, low profile furniture will help to open up the space. Thankfully our client was as cool as a cucumber and was completely open to switching out her three-seat sofa for a cozy loveseat, which better fit the space. 

3. Keep things light and bright - we're not only talking about colors here (you know we love white), we're talking about actual LIGHT, if you're living in a tiny space natural light is going to go a long way with tricking the eye into thinking it's larger than it actually is. So, draw back those curtains and make the most of the windows that you have- opt for simple, clean, minimal window treatments and let that sunlight shiiiiine through! We didn't have to worry too much in this instance because we had a 6ft wall of floor to ceiling windows with simple white blinds and a great neutral color palette to work with *smug face* - phew! 

4. Mirrors! - this follows on nicely from light! Mirrors reflect light and will help open up any space (we're not advocating mirrored walls though, just FYI). But seriously, if you can squeeze a pretty mirror in somewhere, go for it - we used a tall rectangular mirror to cover up an ugly electrical panel in this living space (two birds). 

5. Multi-functional furniture - so, you've de-cluttered and got rid of some of your stuff - the pieces that you choose to keep should be working extra hard in your space! Without a doubt, the most multi-functional piece of furniture in this space was the sofa table/dining table/bar table/work from home table! We popped a couple of stools underneath it so not only does this table define the kitchen and lounge areas, it also serves as a place to eat dinner, work from home AND sit and have cocktails. Unfortunately there wasn't space for a bar cart so we opted for this little cocktail station instead (see pic above!). 

Here's the final layout we came up with:

Carolyn FP 2 for blog.jpg

Anything's possible with some good planning! 

Let us know what your best small space living tips are in the comments below!

xx Sara + Laura