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Simply Marble-ous: How Modsy Designer, Karina L, Decorates Her Home With Marble

In the past couple of years, it’s been all the rage to decorate your home with natural materials. They add so much organic texture, which is the design antidote to all the straight lines and manufactured materials that are often prevalent in modern homes. And this past year, especially, biophilic design—an approach that’s all about bringing both direct and indirect experiences of nature into your home—has risen in popularity.

Most people, when they think of natural materials and nature-inspired decorating ideas, probably think of woven pieces like seagrass baskets, jute rugs, or rattan furniture. But many people forget that stone is considered a natural material as well. From marble and granite to soapstone and travertine, incorporating stone into your home adds an elevated elegance to your space.

One of our forever-favorite stone materials to decorate with is marble. It’s versatile, beautiful, and each marble piece is unique with its veining and coloring. So, today, let’s explore marble decor and the many ways you can incorporate marble into your home!

Meet Karina, Our Resident Marble Expert

As Modsy’s Senior Visual Stylist, Karina is a lover of all things marble. (She’s the visionary behind our Instagram account and designs many of our blog and social media images!) She has a beautifully styled home that we’re absolutely obsessed with. And she’s an avid collector of marble decor—her ever-growing collection of marble decorative objects is elegantly scattered throughout her home with impeccable style.

We chatted with her to get the scoop on why she loves decorating with marble and how she brings this material to life in her own home. Read on for all of her tips and insights—then shop some of her favorite marble home decor!

How would you describe your personal style?

“In my home, I try to create a space that feels pulled together but livable and laid back. In Modsy terms, my style would be “Discerning Collector”—a mix of minimalist and eclectic styles. That’s because I love collected and unique pieces, but I’m definitely a minimalist in terms of color. In general, I keep my color palette neutral and I prefer using texture instead of color to add depth to my space. I also love natural materials and use them as the ornamentation in my space—where the texture or finish of a material itself adds the visual intrigue and nuance to a room.”

Want more of these gorgeous photos? Follow Karina on Instagram for daily doses of her content.

Why do you like decorating with marble?

“On a basic level, I just love the look of marble. But, more specifically, I appreciate the visual contrast it brings into a space, the uniqueness of each marble piece, and the level of craftsmanship that goes into creating a piece of marble decor.

“For example, I have a glass bar cart, and I always have a marble bowl or tray on one of the shelves to add more visual depth and contrast to the styling. And I use that same principle throughout my home, layering marble trays on my countertops and wooden surfaces for extra visual contrast.

“With real marble, the veining means that no two marble pieces are the same. The variegated veining gives each marble piece a unique look, which I love. That’s where the “material as ornament” comes into play.

“And, as a designer, I really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making pieces out of marble. Marble is a really tough material to work with; it requires a lot of attention and skill to make decor and furniture out of marble (which is generally why it’s a more expensive material). I have so much respect for how these pieces are made—and I love bringing that craftsmanship into my home.”

In what ways do you incorporate marble accents in your own home?

“As an apartment-dweller, I can’t have any big moments of marble, like marble countertops or backsplashes. So, adding pieces of marble decor helps me have moments of marble today, where I’d like to have larger pieces of this material in my home in the future. So, instead of marble countertops, I have a marble tray next to the stove that houses utensils and cooking oils. I also have a marble coffee table in my living room, which is a nice way to have a larger marble surface in my home, in a more renter-friendly way.

“I also love dispersing marble trays and catchalls throughout different areas of my home. On my desk, which is burl wood, I have a marble tray as a surface for a candle and my glass of water. Since burl wood is more sensitive than other wood, I use the tray not only for visual interest but also to protect the wood. I have a marble dish for jewelry on my nightstand, and marble pieces on my bar cart, as I already mentioned. I also tend to set candles on top of marble dishes throughout my home to create more visual depth in my surface styling.”

What other materials (natural or manufactured) go well with marble?

“Marble goes well with so many different materials. It’s going to look good with most wood pieces and finishes. Just pay attention to the tones in the marble; say the marble you have has bluish undertones; if that’s the case, consider pairing it with a warmer wood to offset those tones! However, my favorite wood tones and finishes to pair with marble are lighter woods or burl wood. Both marble and burl wood bring to life that concept of “material as ornament,” so I love mixing them together!

“I also love pairing marble decor with vintage crystal—like layering a little dish of cut crystal on a marble tray. The crystal adds shine to the porousness of marble, but it’s see-through so you can still see the beauty of the stone, just a bit abstracted.

“A trendier approach would be to mix marble with metallic accents like copper or brass. But, personally, I prefer solid marble pieces, which feel more timeless. For me, simple is best. I think solid marble is so beautiful and a work of art on its own, without any additional embellishments.

“One thing I’d avoid mixing marble with in your decor is other stones, like granite. They’re too alike and will visually clash.”

Are there specific design styles that marble accents go particularly well with?

“Marble goes with every style. It’s so versatile! But I especially like it with styles that have vintage elements or those that feel layered and eclectic.”

Any tips for incorporating marble accents into your home’s decor?

“Start by looking at the areas of your home that you need the most decor. If it’s your surfaces, like coffee and side tables or consoles and dressers, add pieces like a marble tray layered with coasters, candles, and a small decorative object. You could also layer marble sculptures on shelves with other decor to add depth and dimension.

“If you want to add a bit of decor to your kitchen, there are some great marble kitchen decor pieces out there, like utensil crocks or a marble mortar and pestle. And with its beauty, marble is perfect for displaying things. So, marble cake stands, trays, and serving dishes are another way to incorporate this material into your decor. You can use them for serving, but they also make beautiful display pieces when not in use! And stores like West Elm and CB2 have marble bathroom decor collections if you want some marble in that space!

“Personally, I think a marble tray is one of the most timeless ways to bring small moments of marble into your decor. It’s a transitional piece that can be moved around and the way you style it can change as your personal style evolves.

“When looking for marble home decor, I just recommend reading the reviews on specific products! This will help you know if they’re made well or fall apart easily, how heavy they are, and help you make a more informed decision!”

Anything to avoid or be aware of when decorating with marble?

“Marble is a very sensitive material, so you  just want to be careful when placing things on top of it. Since it’s rather porous, marble easily absorbs liquids and can get stained. However, today most marble surfaces, like what you’d find on a coffee table or bistro table, are manufactured with a protective layer so you don’t have to worry about it as much. Just be sure to wipe up any spills right away!

“But also, part of the beauty of marble is that it ages and develops a patina over time, in the same way that leather does. So, a little wear and tear won’t ruin marble—it will just give it more depth over time.”

What are your thoughts on black vs white marble decor?

“Marble comes in all different colors—from white and black to pink and green. White marble is my personal favorite, but black marble is also really beautiful. It’s all about your personal preference and where you’re placing it. Different colors of marble simply add different character to your space. Dark marble adds more drama and is a bit more glamorous. So, if that’s your vibe, go for black marble! You can also find white marble with a lot of dark veining, which gives you the best of both black and white marble decor.”

How to Style with Marble Decor

Want to shop some of Karina’s favorite marble decorative objects and furniture—plus get some inspiration on how you can incorporate marble into your home? Read on for top picks! (Including some more affordable decorative options using marble!)

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Marble Shelves

Marble shelves add instant glam to any wall space (especially when paired with brass brackets). Hang this marble wall decor above a workspace or over a piece of furniture to add some stylish surface space to display decorative objects. (Bonus: marble shelves are also super durable!)

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Marble Coffee Tables

A marble coffee table is a great way to add a larger marble statement to a living area. Solid marble coffee tables will make quite a statement—and are super sturdy—whereas a marble-top coffee table with wooden or metal legs will look nice but blend in with your overall room design a bit more. And remember—the amount of marble on the table (if it’s just the top or if the table is solid marble), will help determine the price point and how much of an investment piece it will be.

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Marble Bowls

Marble bowls are both stylish and practical. You can place them on almost any surface to corral objects like keys, jewelry, and candles. But they can also sit empty, since they’re a decorative object all on their own. And marble bowls aren’t style-specific—they can go with a wide range of interior design styles!

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Marble Desks

A marble-top desk is an absolutely timeless piece of furniture. And because of this material’s versatility, marble-top desks can be made in so many different styles. A marble desktop can be paired with a base or legs made of stone, metal or wood, each of which will give the desk a different look. But whatever the style, this type of piece offers a crisp, bright, and clean surface to work on!

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Marble Kitchen Decor

Love the look of marble countertops but live in a rental? Bring in marble kitchen accessories instead—from marble utensil holders to marble cookbook holders, cake stands, or a mortar and pestle.

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Marble Bar Carts

The clean, smooth surface of marble makes it a beautiful material for a bar cart. It instantly elevates your drink-mixing station, creating a timeless look that pairs well with any style of decor and bottles you put on it.

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Marble Bookends

Add instant style and sophistication to your bookcase with marble bookends! Marble is actually a perfect, practical material for a bookend, since they’re so heavy. We love a good mix of practicality and style!

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Marble Side Tables

Solid marble side tables can add a bold, dramatic touch to your living room. An accent piece like this is a great way to introduce marble into your space. And, since marble comes in so many different colors and tones, you can choose a colorway that suits the rest of your room!

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Marble Trays

Marble trays come in many styles and sizes and are one of the easiest, most timeless ways to incorporate a pop of marble into your space! They’re perfect for corralling small items on a tabletop while also protecting table surfaces. We love layering them with a candle, vase, book, or small decorative object—or a mix of all four!

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Marble Console Tables or Credenzas

Marble-top consoles and credenzas are very stylish and add a sleek look anywhere they’re placed. We love them in dining rooms, entryways, and as media stands in living or family rooms. It’s a subtle way to add a bit more polish to any room. Most marble-top consoles and credenzas have wooden bodies—but you’ll also find them made of lacquer or another sleek material that complements the marble.

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Marble Lamps

Marble accents on a lamp adds a classic touch to even the most modern lamp style. But you can find lamps with marble elements in all styles of lamps. Most often, the marble part of the lamp is the base, which makes for a very sturdy light. But you can also find lamps with a marble body or even shade!

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Marble End Tables

Marble end tables are a chic way to add marble to a seating area. Most marble accent tables are just marble-topped, which will always be classic. But it’s the base that can give the table its style direction—a brass base is more glam while a wood base leans more contemporary.

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Marble Bistro Tables

A marble-top bistro table is a great way to add marble to an eating area without spending too much money. Bistro tables, especially those with marble tops and iron bases, have that lovely Parisian cafe vibe—giving your dining space or porch a classic, timeless vibe.

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Marble Canisters

Marble canisters can be both functional and decorative—and they’re also sturdy and will last a long time if well taken care of. When placed on a console or credenza, they can conceal matches, remotes, or even dog treats! Whatever you want out of sight but within reach.

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Marble C-Tables

C-tables are practical and multifunctional. Opting for a marble-topped style adds a classic touch, while offering a sturdy surface for drinks, books, or a laptop.

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Marble Nightstands

A nightstand with a marble top is a classic way to add marble to the bedroom without it feeling too cold. The polished tops brighten up a bedroom, but, like other marble-topped tables, the base of the material will have a big impact on the style—with a metal base leaning more glam or modern while a wooden base will lean more traditional or rustic. Regardless, marble-top nightstand offer a beautiful surface to layer lamps and meaningful decor, as well as phones, books, and water glasses.

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Marble Dining Tables

Looking to make a big statement with marble? Go for a solid marble dining table. A piece like this adds a very modern and elegant look and is typically the boldest piece in the room. After all, marble is a material that demands attention! We love that marble tables can go well with any color scheme. But just remember—solid marble tables are a major investment!

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Marble Kitchen Islands

A kitchen island can offer extra prep space, as well as adding seating and a place to gather in a kitchen. Marble-top islands give you the perfect way to inject some marble into your kitchen without going for marble on all your countertops! (The perfect way to get the look for a little less money!)

Want help incorporating marble decor into your home?

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Modsy Gift Cards: Why Online Interior Design is a Great Gift For Everyone on Your List

If you’re like us, the holidays lurking just around the corner have you feeling more stressed than jolly. Finding the perfect thing for that special someone (or everyone) on your list can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Sleigh the gift exchange this year with the gift of a Modsy Design gift card. It’s the perfect gift for every(home)body on your list!

Ready to get gifting? Shop Modsy Design gift cards here!

The perfect gift for…

modsy gift card

Have a friend who thinks home design and says “who has time for that?” If so, you’ve found the perfect gift. The easiest and fastest way to design their home, with a Modsy Design gift card, they’ll go from blank slate to beautiful space in no time.

 

modsy gift card

Have a friend who moved into a new place but is still living out of boxes, even months later? Help them finally bite the bullet and turn their new house into a home with a little help from the pros. Once they see their exact room designed in 3D, bringing it to life will be a cinch.

Need proof? Learn how Lauren designed her home before she even moved in

 

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For your friends with kids, give them a gift that the whole family can enjoy. With a Modsy Design gift card they can create the perfect nursery or “big kid” room of their little one’s dreams. Or, maybe transform the living room into the perfect family-friendly hangout space!

Read This Next: 5 Tips For Designing a Kid-Friendly Living Room

 

modsy gift card

For that friend who has 100+ Pinterest boards, help them finally bring all those ideas to life! With a Modsy gift card, they can turn all that inspiration into reality with a few clicks.

Read This Next: See how Katie brought her “Pinterest dream home” to life.

modsy gift card

Know a couple who, when it comes to designing their home, just can’t agree? One says modern, the other declares rustic. Help them marry their styles this season and design a home they both love. (Our Designers are pros at combining different styles into one cohesive look!)

Read This Next: 5 Design Tips for Couples – How to Style a Shared Space

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New year, new you – tackle 2021 in style! If you, or someone you love, is resolving to finally buy some furniture, give the gift of home design help.

 

Ready to get your gift on?

Shop Modsy Gift Cards

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Stylists Picks: 6 Best Gifts for New Homeowners

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Buying a home is a life milestone worth celebrating. But it can also be an extremely stressful time, with all the paperwork and packing and moving and decorating. And as the friend of a new homeowner, buying a housewarming gift can be pretty stress-inducing too! What to get that’s meaningful but doesn’t impose a design style on them? What’s too little or too much? Where to even begin?? To help you out, our stylist rounded up our favorite easy and thoughtful ideas for new homeowner gifts that aren’t a bottle of wine. Though, let’s be real, no one will complain about that one!

1. Candles

Candles are a fan favorite for housewarming gifts. They immediately cozy up a room and create a serene ambiance. We love soy candles for their clean-burning qualities – and bonus points if the scent is crafted with essential oils! This is a simple, lovely welcome gift for your new homeowner friends.

2. Coffee Table Books

Help you friend show off their style and sophistication with a lovely coffee table book. Simply pick one that goes along with their interests – whether it’s design, art, architecture, or even pop culture. You know your friends best, so find something that would inspire and delight them!

3. Door Mat

A doormat is probably not the first thing on the shopping list of a new homeowner, but it’s an item that helps set the tone and style for the rest of their home! This makes a welcome mat a lovely way to celebrate a new home and a great gift for new homeowners. We love welcome mats with a cute saying or sweet pattern. Though you could also go custom and opt for a personalized saying if your friend has a signature catchphrase!

4. Potted or Fake Plant

Who doesn’t want a feeling of life and vibrancy in their new home? This makes a bit of greenery a great way to celebrate a friend’s new digs. Whether its a real or fake plant (you know your friends best, after all), pick one that suits them and personalize it further with a cute pot or basket. If space is at a premium, opt for something small. Succulents are favorites of ours for their low-maintenance existence and loads of desert minimal style!

5. Coasters

A coaster set is a small gift, but one that will get a lot of use over the years. With so many style options, you can certainly find a set that suits your friend’s style. Our favorite part? They’re decorative, but unlike an art piece, you’re not making a major design decision for your new homeowners.

6. Modsy Design Package

Ready to get the friend-of-the-year award? Gift your friend a Modsy design package! Designing a new home can be stressful, but we help make it easy with designs that showcase exactly how new furniture will look and fit in their new home. And since you can shop hundreds of brands right through our website, we can save your friend the hassle of shopping for furniture and decor at a million different stores. Just imagine all the fun you’ll have browsing design ideas together! Trust us, this one will be a definite hit.

Get Your New Homeowner Gifts Going

Shop Modsy Gift Cards

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Modsy 2018 Holiday Gift Guides – Gifts For Everyone on Your List

Modsy Gift Guide

Tis the season for gifting! We all know the feeling when you find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list – a sense of pure accomplishment!

But more often than not, you might find yourself racking your brain for gift ideas and coming up empty handed. We know the feeling.

To help you “sleigh” the gift exchange this year, we rounded up some of our favorite gifts for all kinds of home owners and homebodies in one place. So no matter if your special someone just purchased a new home or is expecting a new addition, we’ve got gifts galore that are sure to delight!

Read on for this year’s Modsy gift guides for homes of all shapes and sizes!

Modsy Gift GuidesGifts for New Homeowners

Welcome home! If someone you know just purchased a new home, you’re in luck. Not only does this mean a housewarming party in your near future, it also makes gifting that much easier. Peek some of our favorite gifts for new homeowners below!

Shop Gifts for New Homeowners

1. Cookbook Stand

Now that they finally have a kitchen of their own (and – hopefully – a dining room to go with it) help them make the most of it with a cookbook stand. Hopefully they’ll take the subtle hint and invite you over for a home-cooked meal!

2. Ceramic Vase with Olive Spray

Historically a symbol of peace, extend a faux olive branch to your new homeowners this holiday. Complete with a matching ceramic vase, this is the perfect way to instantly warm up any new home.

3. Oil Splatter Lacquer Tray

Like a piece of art, but for their coffee table. This splatter tray is perfect for serving cocktails, organizing magazines, and even for serving breakfast in bed.

4. Ona Large Pitcher

Sleek and stylish, you might mistake this pitcher as a work of art on loan from the MoMA. New homeowners will love serving drinks in this statement pitcher. You can even suggest they use it as a vase for an extra eclectic touch!

5. Velvet Throw Pillows

New homes often take a while before they feel fully designed. Gift these plush velvet pillows to any new homeowner in your life and watch as they instantly polish up any space.

6. Cozy Up Doormat

Nothing says welcome home like a doormat! The perfect housewarming gift, this Cozy Up doormat is both stylish and functional.

7. Fold Gold Serving Platter

Serve up a pop of texture with this gold hammered tray. The raised edges make for easy set down/pick up and add a distinctly eclectic touch.

8. Cocktail Glasses

Help your new homeowners ease into their place by gifting them these sophisticated and stylish cocktail glasses. A step above your usual glassware, the textured stem makes these an instant favorite for 5 o’clock drinks any time.

9. Modsy Design Package

Living out of boxes is certainly no fun. If your new homeowner friend needs a little help cracking the design of their new pad, a Modsy Design Package might be the perfect solution. Shop our gift cards here!

Modsy Gift GuidesGifts for Empty Nesters

On the other hand, you might know some folks whose kids have flown the coop and are now looking at a new phase of their life as empty nesters. Aside from rethinking their entire home (and turning those extra bedrooms into home gyms) help your empty nester celebrate this new phase of their life with some of our favorite gifts below!

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1. Man Ray Chess Set

Based on the original design by Dada-Surrealist artist Man Ray, this chess set is the perfect gift for lovers of modern art and design. Each piece in the set is comprised of an abstract geometric form, making this both a game and a work of art!

2. Acropolis Bookends

Marble bookends wrapped in gold foil are the perfect addition to any bibliophile’s collection. Empty nesters can use them as simple decor or to hold your old photo albums.

3. Wall Frame Triptych

What do you get the parent who doesn’t want anything? Framed photos of yourself always do the trick! This trio has room to house photos of the whole family.

4. Salon Black Tray

Add a little French bistro flair to your empty nesters’ home. With its unique caned surface, this serving tray is sure to spice up any interior.

5. Large Brass Bowl

You really can’t go wrong with a beautiful decorative bowl. Especially this brass number that sports a gorgeously antiqued exterior.

6. Brass Candle Wick Trimmer

Leave it to the empty nesters to have all the bits, bobbles, and gadgets that take a simple house into a well-collected home. This brass candle wick trimmer is the perfect piece to not only extend the life of their new favorite soy wax candle, but also looks pretty sophisticated on the coffee table.

7. Empoli Tall Rectangular Vase

Now that the kids are out of the house, your empty nesters can feel free to display beautiful and fragile ceramics anywhere they like! This handcrafted vase is the perfect addition to a credenza or fireplace mantle.

8. Islay Whiskey Set

You don’t have to love whiskey to add this gorgeous whiskey set to your living room (although it certainly helps). Featuring a decanter, two tumblers, a serving jug, and walnut accessories, this whiskey set is the perfect addition to any empty nesters’ home bar.

9. Marble Tray

Pure and simple, this marble tray is a classic and beautiful addition to any home. Your empty nesters can serve up a gorgeous charcuterie board, keep remotes corralled on the coffee table, or keep the sugar and cream close by for their morning coffee.

Modsy Gift GuidesGifts for Renters

The best gifts for renters are usually small, easy to move, and functional. Please don’t gift your renter friends a new marble coffee table – they probably can’t take it with them to their next place and that will just be awkward for the both of you. Instead, consider one of these gifts from our Renter Gift Guide below!

Shop Gifts for Renters

1. White Sand Hour Glass

Looking for a cute (but functional) piece of decor for your renter? Try an hourglass. These guys are fun, compact, and kind of useful. Easy to pack up, your renter won’t have to stress about moving it from place to place with them in the future.

2. Faux Green Echeveria

One of the biggest takeaways from our 2018 Trend Report? Plants are in! And not just any plants – faux foliage is trending big time. We love this faux succulent arrangement to bring some greenery to your renter’s abode, without the stress of caring for a real plant.

3. Amber and Cardamom Soy Candle

The best way to add a little ambiance to any interior is with a scented candle. This soy number from CB2 is equal parts spicy and woody. It comes in a cute ceramic vessel to boot, making it useful even after all the wax is gone.

4. Black Band Floor Basket

Often times storage is at a premium in rented apartments. Baskets are a great place to stash excess clutter, and we love the minimal style and sturdy construction of this floor basket.

5. Mantis Wall Sconce

When it comes to added lighting, a plug-in sconce is a renter’s best friend. The Mantis sconce features a 360 degree swivel and is a great way to save floor space in small apartments.

6. Bermuda Pouf

Not only did this pouf make our best seller list, it is also one of the most versatile pieces of decor out there. Use it as an extra seat, a foot rest, or even topped with a tray as a side table in a pinch. Renters are sure to love this pouf!

7. Smeg Retro Electric Kettle

If your renter can still recall their collage days with ease, this electric kettle will be a welcome upgrade to an old standby. Perfect for making a cup of tea (or even top ramen in a pinch), this retro kettle also looks good doing it.

8. Chemex Coffee Maker

One of the simplest ways to brew coffee, the Chemex also yields a delicious result. A staple for all instagrammable kitchens, your renter can also use their new Chemex as a vase for beautiful flower arrangements in a pinch!

9. Faux Mohair Faux Sherpa Throw

Help your renter stay cozy year-round with this faux sherpa throw. It’s an ultra plush upgrade that features a minimal plaid pattern for extra style.

Modsy Gift GuidesGifts for Expecting Parents

Soon-to-be parents on your gift list? When it comes to babies and nurseries, it can be extra tricky to find the right gift as many key purchases are highly personal. Our gift guide features a few tried and true gift ideas as well as some outside the box options you may not have thought of.

Shop Gifts for Expecting Parents

1. Round Belly Baskets

Help your expecting giftees conquer clutter in a cute way with these baskets. The natural and white colors pair perfectly with any nursery theme and can still be used years from now in a toddler room or even the living space.

2. Matte Black Picture Frames

You really can’t go wrong with a nice set of frames to help expecting parents put their precious memories on display. These matte black options can be hung or propped and go with any style of decor.

3. Nespresso

Because sleep will no longer be their friend. Give your expecting parents the gift of an easy-to-make espresso to help them get through the long days after the sleepless nights.

4. Emily & Meritt Star Ceiling Mobile

This magical mobile is the perfect gift to crown any crib. Perfect for boys, girls, and gender-neutral nurseries alike, it’s a gift that they’ll be sure to use.

5. Faux Mohair Sherpa Throw

Help your expecting parents stay super cozy with this faux sherpa throw. It’s an ultra plush upgrade that can be tossed in the wash for easy cleaning.

6. Kids Books

You can’t go wrong with some cute and classic kid books. These are just a few of our picks, filled with amazing illustrations to delight parents and kiddos alike!

7. Nuuk Sheepskin Throw

So soft and plush, you may decide to keep this throw for yourself. Like snuggling into a cloud, this is sure to make a fantastic backdrop for all the adorable baby photos soon to come!