Things We Wish We Knew Before Buying a House

With our one year home anniversary around the corner, we thought it would be fun to think back on the process of buying a home and some of the things we wish we had known before diving in. 

The Right Realtor Makes All the Difference

We learned this the hard way. We started looking for a house (somewhat) by accident. I downloaded a couple of the home-buying apps on my phone to entertain the idea of buying a house. We did a couple drive-bys. You know, driving by a house you can’t afford in the best part of town and staring longingly at the wraparound porch and lake view? During one particular drive-by, we really wanted to see the inside of a house. On one of the apps, a featured/sponsored realtor popped up. We thought, “What the heck. Let’s give them a call.”

Let me just tell you, do not choose a realtor this way. I’m sure there are great realtors on these apps, but I should’ve trusted word-of-mouth over convenience. Once this realtor showed us the house (it wasn’t for us, anyway), we felt “stuck” to them.

After a few months of trying to get our realtor to send us potential properties and even a house offer that fell through (more on that later), we were frustrated. In the end, this realtor was not our advocate and it felt like they didn’t want to give us the time of day since we were in the “starter house” price range. My parents were also listing their house at the time and had a great realtor who recommended a local realtor for us to try. She turned out to be the most informed, greatest advocate, tell-it-like-it-is boss lady ever. Shout out to Evelyn Broxterman at XcellenceRealty in Lakeland. 

You Will Fall in Love…and Have Your Heart Broken

Okay, story time. Chris and I found the perfect house. It was two-stories (pretty rare in good ol’ Florida, home of stucco track homes), had a brick facade, cute shutters, big windows, shady trees, huge fenced backyard, and everything inside had been remodeled by an investment company. We were in love. We could picture our dog running around the backyard, having parties on the back patio, and having kids to fill all of the rooms.

We put in an offer, negotiated with the seller, and finally had the offer accepted. Inspection day, we are wandering around the house waiting for the inspector. We are taking measurements, planning furniture arrangements, and spying on our future neighbors.

When the inspector arrives (a random inspector we found online), he tells us he had inspected the properties six months prior. He brings us around to the side yard and shows us a patch of dead grass and tells us there had been a 13' unidentified hole there last time he inspected the property. Say what!? In Florida, sink holes are a thing. A very, very bad thing. And this sounded a LOT like a sink hole. After a lot of research, we knew this was not the house for us. Our dreams were crushed, but at least we weren't sucked into a sink hole...AMIRIGHT? All that to say, the house you initially put an offer on may not work out for a variety of reasons.   

Pick "Your People" Carefully

When I say your people, I mean anyone who is representing you in the home-buying process. Choose people based on recommendations from people you trust instead of web searches. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Realtor
  • Inspector
  • Appraiser
  • Exterminator
  • Mortgage broker
  • Mortgage company
  • Title company

Be Prepared for Anything

No matter how thorough your inspection is, you will run into issues with your house no matter the age. The first week in our house, my mom came into town to help us paint. As I was moving the fridge out of the way to paint the wall behind it, I heard a crack and water started gushing out of the wall. In seconds, the main area was flooded with two inches of water. We had no idea where the master nozzle was. My mom felt like she should go to the side of the house and start digging below the hose spigot. Miraculously, she found the master nozzle and shut the water off. Totally a God thing.

Plenty of towels and phone calls later, we found out that the water connector from the wall to the fridge had a crack in it. Based on the waterline on the back of the molding, this had happened before. 

Side note: Find out where the master water nozzle is before you move in.

HGTV is the Disney-fied version of Home Buying

Don't be discouraged when the process takes a lot longer than looking at three homes and picking one. Tearing down walls, remodeling kitchens, and replacing floors is a lot harder (and messier) than it looks. It's great to want a fixer-upper, but be sure you are financially able and capable of doing the work it takes to fix it up. 

Saturdays Aren't for Relaxing Anymore

Once we moved in, we discovered we had a lot of new responsibilities. The yard had to be maintained, the additional square footage had to be cleaned, and basic repairs had to happen on a regular basis. It wasn't as simple as calling a property manager anymore. We learned early on that Saturdays were the only full day that we could work on all of these things.

Though houses come with a lot of work, I am so glad we bought a home. I love the security and freedom I feel in our home. We've made it ours and have already made some great memories. If it wasn't so rainy/dreary this weekend, I would've snapped some shots of the inside and outside of the house. Soon, I promise!

I hope these tips helped you if you are considering buying a home. If you have any questions or any advice for homebuyers, comment below!

How to Create a Wood Instagram Photo Backdrop

When I take Instagram photos, I always look for the best surface or texture for the background. In many cases, my laminate kitchen counters or tile floors aren't the best option (both are on the list of house updates). 

Often times, I use a basic white or colored foamcore board, which are a couple bucks at any craft store. I've even tried using scrapbook paper, but this has proven to be a bit on the small side. I spend more time compensating for the tiny crop size rather than composition.

Chris and I put our heads together to think of way to build a cheap wood background we can use over and over again. We came up with something very simple + quick.

What You Need:

  • 2' x 2' square of manufactured (OSB) wood
  • 1" x 4" x 8' pine wood planks (2)
  • Brad gun
  • 2" brads
  • Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Dark Walnut
  • 4" foam brush
  • Table saw
  • Power sander
  • Hook and loop 220 grit sanding disc

1. Cut

Take your pine wood planks and cut them every 2' with your table saw. You should end up with eight pieces. 

2. Nail

Use the brad gun to nail the planks to the OSB square. We used four brads per plank. These can be placed near the outer edge of the planks, with one close to the top edge and the other close to the bottom edge. See the picture below for reference.

3. Sand 

Use a power sander with a hook and loop 220 grit sanding disc to sand the corners and any sharp edges. Also, run the sander over the surface of the planks to create a smooth surface for staining.

4. Stain 

Take the foam brush and dip it into the stain. Stain the cracks first, making sure the stain reaches any visible areas in the gaps. Using a slow, steady hand, stain the top of each plank in one long line. Using short strokes will cause harsh lines in the stain.

Once we applied the stain and while it was still wet, we took a rag and wiped off the excess stain on the surface. This created a lighter stain and more contrast in the wood grain texture. We also stained the sides of the OSB square for a more uniform look.

5. Dry

After staining, set the board flat in the sun or a cool, dry place. It should take approximately 12-24 hours to completely dry.

Chris and I thought about attaching a handle to the side of the board for easy storage. Overall, it's a great multi-use piece that works with tons of photos. We may even make another with a different color stain for a little variety. 

If you have any questions about this DIY, comment below. Let me know what you use for Instagram backgrounds!

Why I Gave Up On Blogging

Hi there, Chelsea here. It's been a little quiet here around the blog. Ya know, life + all that jazz.

Have you ever discovered something you love to do, spend (almost) every waking moment learning about it, Googling every how-to, and then just getting burnt out in a matter of days? 

Yeah, blogging can be a little like that. 

I'm about to be a little bit vulnerable here. When we launched our blog barely a couple months ago, we knew we needed to build up a library of content so people had a reason to stick around. At the time, posting three times a week seemed totally doable. 

Inspired by the many people out there that make significant $$ through blogging, I thought we'd plan + write content on the weekends and post during the week. Easy peasy. 

Google and I Have a Love/Hate Relationship

Mid-obsession, I Googled everything about blogging how to come up with blog ideas, what kind of content to post, how to use social media for blogging, etc. What I kept finding were posts like, "5 Tips for Making Money With Your Blog," "How to Quadruple Your Followers," and everything in between. I really appreciate all of the people who try to share their knowledge about blogging and help others succeed.

However, I was discouraged. I tried to follow the tips. I tried to find our niche. I tried to pinpoint our audience. To be honest, there were days that we had zero views. Ouch.

After spending one weekend a few weeks back kayaking, I let the blog writing + planning slip. One week turned into two, and now we're onto three.

Getting Back on the Horse

After a great conversation with my good friend Kirstin of The Balance Culture (she's seriously the best), I came to terms with the fact that blogging is HARD WORK and I have to BALANCE my time. Blogging is something I love to do, in moderation.

I'm not actually giving up on blogging. I am just slowing down the pace a bit and posting once a week. We still don't have an exact idea of what Rosario Creative Co.'s blog is. It's a lifestyle blog (thanks, Kirstin). We're documenting our life + creations. Our real, messy and (hopefully) inspiring life.

If you've every struggled with digital comparison + discouragement, what did you do to get inspired again?


12 Pops of Yellow to Brighten Up Your Home

Everyone needs a little yellow in their life. I (Chelsea) am a huge fan of yellow. Can you tell by the Rosario Creative Co. brand? 

Years ago on my previous blog, 'Tis So Sweet, I created this yellow + gray styleboard that went Pinterest viral. Looking back at the styleboard now, most of the items have been discontinued. So, I've been inspired me to revamp the whole yellow + gray look and mix and match an eclectic mix of home decor. Here are some pops of yellow inspiration to brighten up your Wednesday!

Why We Switched From Wordpress to Squarespace

Many bloggers debate whether Wordpress, Squarespace or Blogger (Blogspot) is the way to go. You'd be surprised to know that I (Chelsea) started blogging with the Blogger platform in 2010. Pinterest had just exploded and I was knee deep in home decor and craft ideas that I wanted to spread around like confetti. Blogger was the cheapest (FREE!) of all the options out there at the time, so I jumped in and launched 'Tis So Sweet on Blogger.

The Wordpress Days

Fast forward a few years. I needed a portfolio website and had a little bit of Wordpress experience from my job at the time. I researched free and premium themes and how to install and customize the html/css. There were so many options out there! I couldn't believe that $20-50 could purchase a theme to make your website look LEGIT. 

I launched my portfolio on Wordpress...however, I never migrated 'Tis So Sweet over. At the time, I had tried to rebrand 'Tis So Sweet and was never fully satisfied with the look + feel (curse of the designer, really). 

Rosario Creative Co. + Wordpress

When Rosario Creative Co. was in the works, I went through numerous Wordpress themes before I was (mostly) satisfied. However, I felt that most of my time was spent messing with the code and trying to rewrite/hack the theme. I'm not talking about your basic customization changesI'm talking about meeting with my developer friends and figuring out a way to change it all together. At that point, I thought, "What is the point of starting with a theme.?" I even thought about starting from scratch and building and coding the website myself. After all the hours messing with Wordpress, I had a pretty good foundation of html/css.

Why I Was Frustrated with Wordpress

  • I spent most of my time "hacking" the theme
  • Almost everything required an additional plugin and numerous steps + processes
  • I wasn't in love with the look
  • It was time consuming
  • Did I mention it was TIME CONSUMING?

The Stigma of Squarespace

I never considered Squarespace because I thought it was for people who didn't know anything about coding. I thought my website would end up looking like everyone else's out there and I'd have limited customization. I honestly thought Squarespace was a fleeting trend.

Rosario Creative Co. + Squarespace

As I've mentioned before, I love Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co. She is pro-Squarespace and has tons of great Squarespace tips on her blog. At the peak of my frustration with Wordpress and a raging desire to rebrand (yet, again), I made the rash decision to migrate over to in one night (I don't recommend that). We were early on in our blog, so it was pretty much now or never.

The moment I began working with the Squarespace interface, I was like, "Where have you been my whole life!" I realized that I had been spending valuable time troubleshooting when I could have been writing, posting, and inspiring. I was hacking a theme to create something that was just okay. 


Why I Love Squarespace

  • I spend majority of my time writing + posting  instead of messing with code
  • I still have the option to customize html/css
  • Easy integration with MailChimp
  • I LOVE the way my website looks and can easily change it if I get bored
  • It's easy, quick, and intuitive
  • Technical support is quick and helpful

Overall, I still see Wordpress a great Content Management System (CMS) for developers. It just wasn't a great fit for this blog. If you have questions about Squarespace or are thinking of making the switch, let me know! 

Feeling Uninspired? Where We Find Creative Inspiration

Chris and I (Chelsea) are creative people. If you know us in real life or through this blog, you've probably gathered that. Our inspiration is gathered from various sources, whether it's a place, website, other bloggers, etc. We'd love to share what's inspiring us these days. 

What Inspires Chris


Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. If you're not inspired by Instagram or at least someone on Instagram, then you are either living under a rock or think you're too cool for social media school. One of my favorite artists on Instagram is @sumbleby. He designs some great characters for BentoBox Entertainment (Bob's Burgers, anyone?).


A little known fact about me is that I love cycling any kind of bicycle is my favorite bicycle. Rapha is a cycling apparel company that actually has cool clothes. I love watching their films, especially the ones of the annual ride they do every year, the Rapha Continental. I'm pretty sure I spent half a summer watching all of them on their Vimeo account.


I. Love. Movies. I learned this early on in life. It started with The Sandlot. I thought those kids were my friends (I'm not kidding). Movies take you from where you are to an entirely new world. I use movies as a way to help me look through a different lens and change my perspective. They inspire me to tell a story through what I create. Some of my favorites include Toy Story (I, II, and III), Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.


As a musician and audio technician, I naturally am drawn to music. I listen to all kinds of music depending on how I feel (however, I'm never really in the mood for country...hmm...weird — sorry y'all). Some of my favorite artists include Mute Math, Death Cab for Cutie, Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, Jose Gonzalez, S. Carey, and many more. Listening to music sets the tone and provides the soundtrack for the magic to happen (creativity, that is). As I write this post, we are listening to Passage by Lower Case Noises  great working/studying music!

What Inspires Chelsea


Instagram has evolved into this colossal microblogging platform that inspires creatives to be intentional and artistic with their memories. I love the explore feature and am always finding new artists, bloggers, and people that live inspiring lives. Some of my favorite Instagram peeps include: 

@chelsieantos — Photographer traveling the US in a camper with her husband
@melodyjoymunn — One of my best friends; killer photographer + designer + coffee drinker
@loree.1 — An amazing photographer (and co-worker, yay!) that has beautiful Pacific Northwest scenes
@_kayleedaily — She rocks purple hair like it's nobody's business; love her playful + colorful style

Elle & Company

I came across Elle & Company just a few weeks ago. This little gem of a blog has the most helpful posts on Squarespace and all of the practical elements to running a blog. You go, Lauren!


Spotify has a playlist for everything! Seriously. I usually start the morning with a study or ambient playlist. After lunch, I jam out to millennium hits or acoustic covers. After work, I listen to various cardio/fast-tempo running playlists for my workout. It's like the soundtrack of my life.


Okay, okay. I know every blogger out there is a coffee addict. I will sheepishly admit that I'm one too. Besides needing coffee to get going, I love enjoying a cup of coffee with Chris or a friend. It helps me slow down and enjoy moments. Sometimes all I need for a creative breakthrough is a good, strong cup of coffee. 

Hope these sources of inspiration help you combat burnout and begin to create! Figure out what inspires you to use your God-given talents and gifts! Let us know in the comments what inspires you!

How We Survived A Close Encounter With An Alligator

Why We Decided Kayaking in the Dark Was a Good Idea

Driving an hour and a half to kayak in the dark is not something we do every day. We decided, for the sake of this blog and our craving for adventure, we were going to get out of our comfort zone and try something new!

Cue numerous Google searches for things to do in Florida. I, the mighty fine Googler that I am, found Adventures in Florida and the Bioluminescence Paddle tour.

You may have seen that photo floating around Pinterest of the glowing algae in Puerto Rico. To our surprise, you can find that same algae in Florida during the summer months! It's basically little organisms that produce light when disturbed.

The Point of No Return

We met up with nine other people (total strangers) and our tour guide, Dave, at Kelly Park on Merritt Island as the sun was setting. As the sky faded from a pale purple to a deep indigo, we got in our kayaks and headed out into the black water.

During the summer (or anytime, reallyI'm not a fish expert), schools of mullet fish like to frantically jump out of the water into the air. Flying fish seemed like quite the attraction until we realized what was happening. Each mullet fish caused a little neon sparkle in the water and into the air. As we continued through the shallow water into a darker area, the tiny wakes streaming around our paddles glowed neon blue.

At this point, I'm sure you're wondering where the heck the photos of the glowing water are. I'm right there with you. I didn't bring my DSLR since we were inches from the water, and the GoPro just shows a glowing red recording light. If you are interested to see what the glowing water looks like, check this video out. 

As we continued to paddle, we see lights like shooting stars erupt underneath us. It's like the fish version of Tron. Slightly frightening to be sitting in the middle of dark water and seeing how many moving, squirming things are really in there.

Where It Gets Interesting

As we were chatting, we noticed a small branch sticking out of the water ahead. (This is the point where all true Floridians start to chuckle). We were moving quickly and figured we would brush past it. Nope. Inches away from the branch, two little eyes shut and this so-called branch launches under Chelsea's boat. Loud slapping and banging ensues as the ALLIGATOR shakes beneath the boat, lighting up the water and illuminating its magnificent, horrifying, reptilian shape.

Now get this...the alligator shot forward ahead of us and it happened all over again!

Aside from dodging a fist-to-tail battle with an alligator, the tour rocked. The guide made us feel safe (meh, he couldn't control that alligator's route) and the hours you spend on the water are well worth the price. It even made us realize how much we liked kayaking (we just purchased two awesome LifeTime Kayaks). If you're in the mood for an adventure that you will never forget, head over to Adventures in Florida and book an awesome bioluminescence paddle trip!

Graphic Design Hacks to Look Like a Professional

So, you want your website, personal brand, resume package, online store, brick and mortar retail space or restaurant environment to look good? If the answer is yes (which I would hope it is), then keep reading for some great tips on looking like a million bucks.

I know that not every one is a graphic designer (although it does feel like these days anyone with a copy of Adobe Photoshop claims to be a "designer"). There are some great ways to achieve a professional look without breaking the bank, wasting all of your time learning new software, or looking like everyone else out there.

How to Design Like a Professional

1. Stay away from overused fonts

There are a handful of easily-recognizable fonts that will make your designs instantly look amateur. If you are currently using one of these fonts, it may be time to reconsider.

Comic Sans

Comic Sans is a casual script typeface that's inspired by comic book lettering. It reminds me of a cheap circus or elementary school newsletter. There are plenty of websites and forums devoted to the death of Comic Sans. Just don’t do it. A designer cries every time someone does.


Even if you sell Egyptian baskets, please don’t use Papyrus. I’ve seen it on bistro menus and movie posters alike (Avatar, anyone?). This particular font isn’t necessarily bad because it's overused (although it is), it’s just…ugly.

There are many great resources for fonts. DaFont and FontSquirrel are my top two for free fonts. A word of warning though—be careful when using free fonts. They have a tendency to look, well, free. More on that in #4.

2. Use the right stock photography

A classic sign of amateur design is cheesy stock photography. You know, where an ethnically diverse group of employees (all in blue and white button-ups) are laughing and looking at the camera in a generic office space? I’m not against stock photography. It’s important to find ones that are specific and believable. Some of my favorite stock photography websites include Lightstock and Stocksy.

If you’re on a budget, there are some free stock photography resources out there. My all-time favorite is Unsplash. I also subscribe to Death to the Stock Photo, which provides a pack of free photos to your inbox each month.

3. Use high-resolution photos

Still on the topic of photos, it’s important to use high-resolution photos in your pieces. What is high-resolution exactly? In designer-speak, it’s when a photo has at least 300ppi (pixels per inch). In layman’s terms, it’s a photo that is crisp/sharp and not pixelated. Pixelation is when you notice the individual pixels (small colored squares that make up the image).

The unfortunate reality is that most phones are not able to provide high-resolution photos. Yes, you may have a 12MB camera on your phone, but there are many factors that need to work together to create a high-resolution photo (lighting, white balance, shutter speed, ISO, etc.). You don’t have much control over these on your phone.

Another tidbit — pulling photos from Google or Facebook is not sufficient. Photos on the web usually have a resolution of 72ppi and are small. Facebook actually compress photos 80% (this is bad). More on that another day.

Your best bet for high-resolution photography is using a DSLR or good point-and-shoot camera. There are many economical options out there, depending on your budget. I use a Canon Rebel T3i and it works wonderfully.

4. Margins, spacing, and kerning

Margin/spacing is the area around and between elements. It’s important to use white space (breathing room) in your designs to draw attention to the important elements. In print, margins are important because they provide the space to keep your designs and text from getting cut off. Margins and proper spacing can create a clean and well-balanced design.

Kerning is the space between letters or characters in a piece of text. This is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. Fonts come with a default kerning/tracking setting. Some fonts (especially free fonts) do not line up in a way that is pleasing to the eye. For example, in a poorly-kerned font, the uppercase A and V sit farther away from each other than the rest of the letters. Depending on what software you are using, you may or may not have control over this.

5. Use drop shadow sparingly

With the popularity of flat design, the drop shadow effect tends to look dated. Drop shadow is when an artificial shadow is applied to an object. Drop shadow can work in more elaborate pieces, but let’s learn the rules before we break them.

I've created a video to give you a tangible example of applying these principles. Check it out below!

We’ve Finally Done It: How We Found Our Creative Passion

Chelsea and I have finally done it! We have finally figured out a way to use our creativity, in its many forms, to inspire others! For as long as we can remember, we have been creative people. From illustration to graphic design, we have a passion to convey inspiration in creative ways.

The message behind Rosario Creative Co. and our blog is simply this: to help people discover what they are passionate about! We post about all kinds of things, including design, illustration, furniture, and our adventures. All of these things inspire us and we want to share them with the world!

As we mentioned in our very first blog post, we had been thinking about starting this bad boy for a few years and, quite honestly, we aren’t sure why it’s taken so long! This blog was birthed out of the question: Why Not!?

Why not start something that we are both passionate about? Why not make this project a helpful tool or a springboard to launch others into discovering what their passions and talents are?

Chelsea and I would be remiss if we didn’t let everyone in on a hopefully not-so-secret, secret…we are Christ-followers. Although we may not throw this in your face or write post after post about scripture, we believe that Christ died on the cross, was buried in the grave and rose again. Christ is the originator of the talents and passions in our lives. In 1 Peter 4:10 it says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

For the two and a half years that we have been married, we have done everything in the book that we believed we were supposed to do. We graduated college, got jobs, got married, rented an apartment, got a dog (and a cat…and another…….and yet another. It’s really a counseling session for another time) and bought a house. We came to realize that we were missing one thing. We were not allowing God to use our talents to inspire others on a daily basis.

I love what Bob Goff says:

“Gods plan for us is usually where our passions, our purpose and our capabilities intersect.”

We concluded that God has given us talents and passions for a reason, to share them! What does that mean for you? It’s time to discover what you are passionate about and take the steps to begin to use those passions and talents to change the world around you. So, if you’re trying to figure out what you’re passionate about, think about this: the definition of the word passion is “strong and barely controllable emotion.” What gets your blood pumping? What is it that you can barely control your emotions about? What do you love to talk about or do for hours on end? Once you figure that out, ask yourself, how can I use this to change the world and inspire others to do the same?

We believe that if everyone utilized the talents and passions that God has given them, the world would be a very different place.

Let us know what you’re passionate about in the comments below!

Lakelandia: Simple Vintage with Scout & Tag

Chris and I love exploring Lakeland. Over the past eight years (has it really been eight years already?!), we’ve discovered charming retail spaces, eclectic restaurants, and a thriving young community. Many new spaces have popped up on the horizon in the past couple of years, making Lakeland a little more “Lakelandia” every day. One of our favorite new places downtown is Simple Vintage + Scout & Tag, a carefully curated collection of vintage and refinished furniture.

Our Experience at Scout & Tag

Walking through the door of Scout & Tag is like walking inside a Pinterest board. You know, the one with all of the DIY projects you never have the time to attempt? The good news is that Scout & Tag exists beyond the pictures on your computer and you can purchase the gorgeous vintage furniture and handcrafted pieces on site.

As we make our windy path through Scout & Tag, it’s hard to focus on just one beautiful piece of furniture. Dressers, desks, handmade jewelry, and various home accents fill the space. Beautiful light fixtures hang along the walls and illuminate the modestly-priced vintage pieces. Each corner of the space is thoughtfully arranged and carefully curated.

The great part about Scout & Tag is that they not only have vintage furniture, but they also sell various art, decor, and prints created by local artists. We walked away from Scout & Tag with an amazing set of chairs and a fun pineapple-patterned scarf made by East of These.


Where to Find Scout & Tag

If you are looking to give your living space a face-lift with Scout & Tag’s one-of-a-kind furniture pieces or simply looking for a place to find local art/decor, make your way to Scout & Tag. They are located at 244 N Kentucky Ave, Lakeland, Florida and are open until 6pm Monday through Saturday. You can also check them out on Facebook.

5 Popular Design Trends That Aren’t Dead (Yet)!

 1. Cinematic

Whether it’s websites, imagery, or film, cinematic is this year’s buzzword. Photography is more epic than ever, with stock photo resources like Unsplash and Stocksy leading the way for Instagram-esque images. Films are characterized by poetic voiceovers and slow motion landscapes, usually looping as html5 videos on website landing pages. And in web design, everyone is looking for their own take on the Squarespace workspace.

2. Workspaces

Speaking of workspaces, the whole “from above” trend is going strong, especially as Instagram continues to be this year’s most popular photo/social media app. A couple succulents, a Wacom tablet, colored pencils, an iPhone, and a copy of #GIRLBOSS — voilà, you have a blogger workspace.

3. Flat Design with a Twist

Thanks ios7 for launching us into the era of flat design. Since flat design has been big for the past few years, I’m seeing more flat illustrations garnished with subtle gradients and geometric shadows to add depth and dimension without being overtly skeumorphic.

4. Sketchy

Shirts, prints, decor, and designs look like they’ve been ripped right out of a sketchbook. From hand-lettered typefaces to simple black and white doodles, sketches are fun and quirky and add a personal touch.

5. Squares + the Grid

It always comes back to the ‘Gram. With the popularity of square photos, grid-like layouts are conducive to square images and designs.

Hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the current trends in the design-sphere. Do you hope these continue to thrive or are there any you are itching to ban? Let me know in the comments!