In the Media

The 9 Best Shower Tension Rods of 2023

Not all showers have fixed doors, particularly if you have a shower-tub combo. And although you can drill a curtain rod into the wall, you may not want something quite that permanent. “If you don’t want to drill into your drywall or tile, a tension rod is your best bet,” says Lanna Ali-Hassan, owner of Beyond the Box Interiors, a full-service interior design firm located in the Washington, D.C., metro area. “They’re also a great option for renters or home stagers since they’re not a permanent fixture. They are super easy and quick to install.” A shower tension rod affords you the option of having a spring-loaded rod that exerts outward pressure to stabilize itself between two walls. And while there are many options out there in various sizes, materials, finishes, and—yes—prices, the quality varies greatly.


Kitchen Remodeling New Market Maryland

Alexandria TimesKitchen and Bathroom Updates That Pack a Punch

Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be two of the most utilized rooms in your home, so it may be safe to say that they are in need of a refresh if you haven’t remodeled or changed any features recently. If you are interested in updating your space but not yet ready for a full renovation, these tips may be just the key.

Backsplash Tile For the Win

Adding a tile backsplash or changing out your existing one can have a major impact on your kitchen. Tile trends have changed quite a bit over the years and unless you currently have a classic subway tile, you can most likely tell which year or span of years your current backsplash was installed. Now is your chance to add a cool pattern, color or texture to your kitchen walls – have fun with it!

Insider tip: Grout has also made leaps and bounds in the past several years so you will now be able to install a grout that has anti-microbial protection and sealant already built into it.


Gettin’ Crafty With Your Home Spaces

If you’ve been lucky enough to be bored at home this past year, you probably had a lot of time to reflect on your surroundings. We hope to inspire you to create positive change in your environment and spirit.

The Home Gym: Get Pumped

Gym rats are having a hard time right now. We know endorphins keep you healthy and boost your mood, yet some of us are still not comfortable returning to the gym, or maybe we never felt comfortable at the gym at all. Now’s the time to rethink fitness at home. There are a myriad of options like bikes, treadmills, virtual boxing and weights. Your home gym could be fully tricked out with all of the accoutrements or as sparse as a sleek “mirror” and yoga mat. Whether your home gym is a corner of the room or a posh dedicated suite, the more inviting you make it, the better the odds that you’ll use your space.


Home Library Gaithersburg Maryland

Alexandria Times

Get Ready for a Spring Refresh

With the sun shining brighter and longer, you may view your home in a new light and find that it’s looking a bit winter-weary. Here are some interior refresh suggestions that don’t require much of a budget or time investment.

Color (of the year) It

Treat your walls or just a feature wall to fresh color. Nature-inspired colors of 2021 are having a real moment. Fresh greens, including farrow and ball sap green, blues, such as Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal, and shades of the sunset are transforming rooms with the feel of the warm outdoors we all are craving. Dramatic colors like Sherwin Williams’ urbane bronze provide a huge impact with minimal investment.

Entry Refresh

Update a less than functional entryway with a tidy place to collect all things at the door. If you have shoes piling up at the door, make a nominal investment in a closed shoe catch-all. Depending on your entry size, your “landing pad” can be as simple as a floating shelf and mirror combination.

If you are lacking wall space for a mirror you can still use your entry table to house mail, keys and stash baskets underneath for additional storage. Lacking an entry closet? A wall-mounted coat rack will do the trick. There is a myriad of contemporary and sleek options to choose from.



10 Practical Kitchen Improvement Projects Based on How Much Time You Have

Whether you’re a professional-level home cook or a take-out fanatic who uses the oven to store shoes, the design and function of your kitchen is very important. No matter its square footage or number of built-in features, the kitchen plays a big part in how you live at home.

To find out what kind of kitchen refresh might be doable in the time you have, we reached out to a variety of design and home improvement experts. We found 10 projects that homeowners can execute themselves (or with the help of a professional) no matter how much free time they have. Have only 5 minutes to commit to cleaning up your kitchen? There’s a project for you. Ready to get your DIY on for an entire weekend? Grab your tool belt and get to work!



Regency Redux: Add a Dose of ‘Bridgerton’ Glam to Your Entryway

As we all slog through the past weeks of this pandemic winter, there can be no such thing as too much escapism. The smash success of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” in late December was a clear sign that people needed to trade bleak winterscapes and bad news for lavish, colorful sets and salacious gossip, 19th-century style.

If you’re a fan of the show, then you know we’ve already laid out the ways you can bring “Bridgerton” into your home. But this week’s trends on Instagram show that there’s plenty of the show’s glamour to go around.

Like we do every week, we’ve brought you five of Instagram’s hottest decor trends, this time centered on bringing some of that Regency-era allure into your foyer. Here are the top looks this week that you can use to prepare your entryway to receive guests again—hopefully, in the near future.



Bingeing ‘Bridgerton’? Bring It Home With These 8 Beautifully Bougie Decor Items

If you’ve fallen in love with the lush decor on Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” here are designers’ suggestions for how to add Regency style to your own home.

“All is fair in love and decor,” or so we keep telling ourselves, in our best Lady Whistledown voice. If you’re one of those—like this author—who mainlined Shonda Rhimes’ new Netflix series, “Bridgerton,” chronicling the steamy love lives of a group of siblings in an alternate-universe Regency England (it’s now the streaming service’s fifth most-watched original series), you may be fantasizing about decking out your home in the show’s extravagant patterns and rich colors. Well, while your chances of landing a duke may be farfetched, you can certainly pull off some of the show’s lush looks in a way that’s worthy of a Whistledown write-up.

Inspired by top designers (also fellow fans), here’s our list of eight absolute must-haves to make your space as swoon-worthy as a 19th-century London home—in Shondaland.


Home as Sanctuary

Home as Sanctuary

Though the feeling of utter peace is the ultimate goal, creating a home sanctuary is not a one size fits all project. A place of peace can be as simple or extravagant as you’re able or willing to invest time and money. Now that you’re spending ALL your time at home, you may be determined to tackle that big renovation project. Or you may simply want to carve out a space in your busy home, away from your daily routine, to recharge and breathe.


Home Library

Home Library Design – Designers Offer Ideas for Spaces With Style and Comfort

Once thought of as space for academics to smoke cigars and sip whiskey, the era of covid-19 has transformed home libraries into now cozy places of refuge. Those who’ve grown tired of Netflix and election coverage might find solace in curling up with a book. From a reading nook with a small chaise to a grand room with a fireplace and soaring ceilings, five local designers offer inspiration for creating a home library.


9 Epic Wallpaper Fails You Can’t Unsee

Wallpaper has made a huge comeback over the past few years. From floral to geometric, wallpaper has been instrumental in creating the unique spaces we love and (these days) spend all our time in.

But sometimes, wallpaper—and the people who hang it—can seriously miss the mark. After scouring the delightful world of #wallpaperfails on Instagram, we bring you a few of our favorites, along with some snarky thoughts from our panel of design experts.


The Secret to Selling a House Quickly During a Pandemic? Good Listing Photos

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

There is no perfect time to sell a house—anyone who’s ever put a property on the market will tell you that. Sure, tradition tells us that selling in spring might be ideal. But at the end of summer? During a pandemic?

We went to real estate and design experts to discuss the changes made to this house—and how you can pull off a similar transformation in your own space.


6 of the Most Searched Outdoor Decor Trends of Summer 2020

Instead of going on vacation or even hitting the local beaches and parks, many of us are stuck at home this summer. But we’re still craving a change of scenery, even if we have to do it ourselves, as a report based on Google Trends data shows. Home decor retailer Living Spaces recently put together the report on the outdoor home decor trends that people are searching for the most this summer. Searches for some styles have more than tripled! So if you want to freshen things up around your home, get the scoop on the most popular looks that you can re-create yourself. Here are six of the hottest outdoor decor trends of summer 2020.


39 Creatives Talk Being Black in the Design Industry—and What Needs to Change

What does skin color have to do with making great art? Absolutely nothing. Yet for years, Black artists and designers have struggled to get eyes on their work, been passed over for opportunities, and made to feel like there isn’t a spot for them at the table. Associations like the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) and Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN) have been tasked with promoting Black creatives and fostering a sense of community when the larger design industry didn’t. As recent protests stemming from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more at the hands of police have led the country to reckon with its systemic racism, many in the design community have spoken out about how this racism exists there—and what many white allies don’t understand. In an effort to promote a better understanding, we asked over 30 Black designers to share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts on the current state of the design world. Here’s what they had to say.


How to Stage Your Home to Sell

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale and moving to Dallas or Atlanta, now is the right time to start getting your home staged properly. Staging is much more than just cleaning and decluttering your space. It emphasizes the beauty of your home and shows it in the best light, giving potential buyers a great first impression of the space they could call their own. We had experts in the field share their tips with us on how to stage your home to sell.


6 Easy DIY Projects to Give Your Laundry Room Some Love During Quarantine

Laundry rooms are notoriously cheerless spaces, but with all the extra laundry you’re doing in this era of COVID-19? Chances are you’re spending more time in the laundry room than ever before.

We wanted to help you make your laundry room a brighter and better space, so we called in a few expert designers. Here are six easy projects you can tackle during quarantine to transform your laundry room.


Spring Home Design Trends to Use Year Round

Whether you’re renting, building a new home, or just looking to refresh for the spring, your home should be a haven. “It’s all in the details,” says Lanna Ali-Hassan, owner of Beyond the Box Interiors. “The little things kind of bring the whole room together and make it personal to you. The goal is to walk into your home and feel comfortable, happy, and at ease.”


How Your Home Affects Your Health

The expression “home is where the heart is” relates to your deep emotional connection to your home and loved ones but one should also keep in mind that your surroundings can affect your physical and mental health. The average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors with a majority of that being in their own homes so it is imperative to educate yourself on the ways your home may be affecting your health.

The colors you choose to decorate your home can play a major role in your mental state as specific color palettes have been known to impact your mood. Blues and greens promote tranquility while reds and yellows are stimulating. Painting your bedroom in a calming blue can promote sleep which in turn affects your overall well-being as your mind recuperates and relaxes while you are resting. Dark rooms without a lot of natural light are perfect areas for brighter tones such as yellow or even shades of white as they will reflect more light and open up the space essentially lifting your mood.


Scandinavian Kitchen

12 Scandinavian-Inspired Kitchens for Your Inspiration

Scandinavian inspired kitchens are rooted in minimalistic design, but that doesn’t mean they look boring! Here the decorating expert behind Beyond the Box Interiors shows how neutral kitchen features can make a sizable impact. Two-toned cabinets with white on the top and lightly stained on the bottom add a massive helping of visual interest. Note the backsplash that piles on a soft layer of subtle, yet impactful color. Another excellent design trick to steal is using wall art to introduce vibrant colors. Here two prints with robust sherbet-like hues enlivens things.


Women in Business: 9 Women Owned Businesses to Watch on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also a day focused on supporting and promoting women’s equality.

You can learn more about the day by visiting the International Women’s Day site.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to shed some light on just a few of the amazing local women business owners who are actively contributing to Frederick’s community and economy in meaningful and exciting ways.


5 Design Ideas From Instagram That’ll Take Your Foyer From Drab to Fab

There’s truth in this cliche: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And the initial impression of your home happens in the entryway.

Yes, the foyer—that oft-overlooked area designed as a simple stopover to whisk guests into your more important rooms. But don’t neglect your entryway! Use it to create a welcoming vibe right from the jump, and make your visitors say, “wow.”

How, pray tell? We looked to Instagram, as we do each week, to pull inspiration from the most-liked decor posts, this time with a focus on the foyer. Here are five entryway ideas that are guaranteed to make a lasting impression—along with items you can buy right now to steal the look.


Forget the Groundhog! Spring Has Sprung in the Bedroom With Instagram’s Hottest Decor Trends

After the most wonderful time of the year comes plain old winter—and boy, is it long. All the gloomy weather (minus the presents and festive cookies of December) is enough to make anyone feel blue. So it comes as no surprise that designers everywhere seem to be flocking toward one definitive idea in this week’s trending bedroom decor: a call for an early spring.

Like we do every week, we’ve scoured Instagram for the most popular posts to inspire you—and what we found is the trending decor right now brings spring into your tired bedroom digs.

So let Punxsutawney Phil say whatever he wants this weekend! We’re starting spring early with these five top looks.


The 6 Commandments of Styling a Coffee Table, According to Home Stagers

Even in the best of times, your coffee table can be the scene of the home decor crime. We’re talking cluttered piles of magazines, a Jenga-like stack of remote controls, and a bowl of peanuts that may have been taking up precious real estate for one too many days. An easy way to remedy this? Take a cue from professional home stagers, who probably know how to style a coffee table better than anyone. Even if you’re not putting your home on the market anytime soon, we promise these six tips will help you never have a blah coffee table again.


7 Expert-Approved Bedroom Staging Tips That’ll Help It Go From 0 To Zen

A bedroom, when staged correctly, can feel like a peaceful retreat. In fact, staging the master bedroom was found to be the second-most important space for buyers according to a March 2019 report by the National Association of Realtors. Of the buyers’ agents surveyed, 42 percent said it was the most important room to stage, just behind the living room (47 percent), and ahead of the kitchen (35 percent).

Ready to get this right? First things first: Hide that ironing board! Then, follow these nine tips from professional stagers, whether you’re prepping for a move or just want a bedroom that will take you from 0 to zen—real quick.


How to Put Impractically Small Kitchen Cabinets to Good Use

Impractically narrow kitchen cabinets—usually located between appliances or at the end of a row of cabinets—can seem like a design after-thought, something used to fill space rather than be useful. But, “narrow cabinets in a kitchen can actually be quite useful,” promises Lanna Ali-Hassan, co-owner of Beyond the Box Interiors, if you learn to use them correctly. Here are five tips to get the most out of these frustratingly small spaces.


7 Tips for Styling Your Entryway, According to Professional Home Stagers

When it comes to your home, it’s helpful to think of your entryway as a preview to a movie.

That’s advice from Erin Powell, design director and principal designer at roOomy, a virtual staging, CGI, and 3D-modeling platform. “You want to create an entryway that gives a glimpse of who you are style-wise but not a full scope look,” she says.

With that in mind, here are seven tips from Powell and other professional stagers to create a functional, aesthetically-pleasing entryway. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want an impressive entrance, these tips will help give off that good “welcome home” vibe.


Living Large: Tricks to Make a Small Space Appear Bigger

“Living rooms that lack floor space can feel larger if you accentuate the vertical planes,” said Lanna Ali-Hassan, co-owner of Beyond the Box Interiors in the Washington, D.C., area. “This can be done with paint treatments, tall bookshelves or even window treatments that are hung well above the trim. Your eye will follow the vertical elements in the room, making the space feel more expansive.”


Office Design Trends for 2019

It used to be that the office was — and had to be — a place for everything. Data entry, executive meetings, recordkeeping, and of course, all of your employees. Now, technology has completely changed the way that businesses look at their workplace.

With many workers able to do their jobs remotely, and most business-centric data stored in the cloud, companies have more freedom. Instead of providing a floor of cubicles, they can use office layout ideas that enable collaboration, knowing that workers can do solitary work at home. Rather than finding large spaces to keep everyone under one roof, they can create more relaxed environments for a small, tightly-knit team.

As a result, modern office design trend towards the creative and idiosyncratic, with businesses much more targeted towards the needs of their own particular workforce. We interviewed several experts, from office designers and builders, to workers who had recently gone through an office revamp. Here are some of the most popular office design and layout ideas we found for 2019.


The Week’s Most Popular Bathroom Decor on Instagram—and How to Steal the Look

Having a beautiful bathroom is a bit like having a personal spa—one you don’t have to share or book in advance (unless you have teenagers, that is). It can be a refuge with wine and bubbles after a long day, or just a place to freshen up before work.

We think bathrooms should be more than just a wasteland of cosmetics and unread magazines. Which is why we so often look for dream-loo decor inspiration wherever we can find it. The best place for that these days? Instagram, hands down.

As part of a new series, we’re uncovering the top trending looks on Instagram each week, room by room. And best of all, we’re telling you how you can manage to recreate these dreamy designs in your home.


Paint Small Rooms These Colors to Make Them Feel Instantly Bigger

We’d all like a bigger bedroom. Everyone under the sun wants a more spacious living area. And who in the world wouldn’t want a more expansive kitchen? But without a sizable nest egg in your savings account, conjuring up extra square footage isn’t usually a viable option. Thankfully, there’s an easy, affordable solution: repainting.


How to Handbook: How to Remodel Your Bathroom

As remodels go, bathrooms are known in the biz for being notoriously difficult and costly. Don’t be fooled—bathroom renovations are no small undertaking. Yet that doesn’t mean they can’t be relatively stress-free, provided you follow our fool-proof how-to guide. Keep reading to discover the exact steps you need to take to remodel your bathroom.


BizInk: Creative Spaces

Lanna Ali-Hassan and Barri Branker, owners of Beyond the Box Interiors, have a motto: “Design for the real world.” The duo does just that by offering design help in interior decor, kitchen and bath design, home staging, holiday and event decorating packages, and e-design services.


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