White sofas with kids…are you crazy? Nope!

In my experience, its really been the best decision, like ever. My toddler loves Nutella and everything messy. I cannot count the number of times he’s wiped his cute little face right on my white sofa.

This is him in action.

But, no problem! Throw them in the washer, add some bleach and fabric softener and I now have brand new (looking) sofas that smell great! With 5 kids (!!), I have three white slipcovered sofas and have never regretted the decision.

Here they are:

Family Room

Living Room

Here are a few of my favorite Family Rooms featuring my favorite item, a white slipcovered sofa.

Here are my favorites that are tried and true and work every single time. Click on the number below to take you to it! Scroll down for a handy version for Pinterest.

What do you think?

 

Originally published by Laurel & Wolf 

 

When it comes to home design, we love a good mood board, and we’re all for collecting inspirational images on Pinterest, but nothing can replace the ease of working with an interior designer when you want to see a room come together fast (and on a budget!)

Here’s why: our designers have access to the best pricing–thanks to Laurel & Wolf’s longstanding relationships with all the best retailers and wholesalers–and they have years of experience in creating spaces that are deeply personal to their clients.

With this in mind, we asked a few of our favorite designers if they would be willing to spill their best design secrets; the hacks they use time and again, when they want to do a quick room makeover.

 

Focus on a Focal Wall

Interior designer Lori Evans suggests honing in on one or two areas in your space. Love color? Paint one wall your favorite color and let everything pop! Love texture? Create a statement wall with some appeal. “Wood strips from your local home improvement store, wallpaper with some texture and fake brick paneling can enhance your room and make everything look richer,” she said.

 

6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

 

Consider New Coffee Table Accessories

“Pick a great tray that is a different material than the table and fill it with a succulent, coffee table book, and decorative items,” said Rebekah Correll, an interior designer from Charlotte, North Carolina. “Use different heights and textures to give a layered look.”
6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

Slipcovers and Pillows are Your Friends

Your red floral sofa may be too busy for the room and might be throwing everything into disarray. So, Lori suggests opting for a neutral slipcover and injecting personality with fun, colorful pillows. “Pick up on the wall color, the rug or even the artwork,” she said. “Mix patterns and go crazy! My formula is typically a pattern, a solid and a geometric. Keep the colorways somewhat cohesive and you’re in business.”

6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

 

Create a Professional-Looking Gallery Wall

Rebekah suggests incorporating your art, family photos, and hanging plates and other cute knick-knacks from around the house. “This is a super easy, inexpensive way to fill up a wall,” she added.

6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

Buy a New (And Probably Larger) Rug

One major design mistake is buying a rug that’s too small for your space. Lori said your carpet should go underneath the furniture pieces, at least the front legs. “If it’s floating out in the middle, it’s making the room look smaller and choppy,” she said. “You can ground the space with a nice, new, big rug.” Lori’s favorites: a Seagrass woven look or soft, patterned rug.

6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

 

Shop Your Home

Gwendolyn Gibbish, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, believes it’s important to take stock of what you already own before making a fresh start. “Take a second look at pieces you might have hidden away in a closet or rearrange pieces from other rooms in a new space to make them feel different and updated,” she said.

6 Expert Hacks Our Interior Designers Swear By

If you think white-painted rooms are boring, it might be YOU that is boring. Harsh, I know, but it has to be said.

If you think you need color on your walls to make the room “complete”, I’d like to show you another way. White! White walls can be chic, fresh, clean…even warm. Crazy, but true.

Color on your walls does not insure a beautiful room, I promise. White on your walls does not unsure a boring room, I promise. You can paint the walls any color and still have a boring room. Like, put a bunch of matching furniture in that room, add some crappy art from Bed, Bath & Beyond and boom, you’ve got a boring room. Colorful walls, but still, a boring room.

Let me show you some AMAZING rooms, all with white walls to further convince you. Some are all white, some have lots of blue and white mixed in and some have bold, fun colors added. Each one chic and fresh. Each one NOT boring.

Before we start the tour, here are my favorite 8 white paint colors that look good every time.

Here we go!

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Here are my favorite 8 white paint colors that work every single time. Pin it for later! 🙂

We’re selling our house! With three of our five kids gone, the idea to sell and rebuild had been on the table for a few years. But…we love our neighborhood and didn’t really want to move. There were no new lots available here. But then, I caught a glimpse of a red FOR SALE BY OWNER sign one night on my run. A new buildable lot, a beautiful piece of property, on the other side of the neighborhood was available. What?!? I called and made an offer right then and there. He laughed and said the sign had been up for two hours. I discreetly took it down for him and went home and told my husband what I’d done. He was in full agreement. You’d do the same right?

 

Fast forward…our house went for sale in April and this week we received a contract. A lovely couple will take over this dream home I created in my mind and make their own memories here.

 

Before we let it go, I thought we’d take a last look at it. This was our family’s dream home and I created this floorpan over many sleepless nights. Thought was put into each and every square foot, literally. The selections were painstakingly made item by item. I channeled my sister-in-law, the best cook I know, to create the kitchen of our dreams. Nothing was left to chance. What started as a heavily wooded five acre lot soon became our family’s home.

A few reasons behind the details:

-My girls wanted to be together, so I created their little pod to have their beds face each other through pocketed doors.

-Groceries for seven were a hassle, so I created a walk through pantry right off the garage to minimize trips.

-The kids’ playroom had the sofa in sight of the glass doors from the family room, so we could easily see what was going on. Computer area was allocated to the wide back hall so we could walk by and see what was going on, too.

-The laundry room received custom “garbage pull outs” in the cabinets, which I replaced with laundry baskets for colors, darks and whites.

-My husband makes a mess with his coffee area, so we created a built in coffee area for all of his “stuff” thereby keeping the countertops clear.

-The kids wanted a trampoline, se we dug out a HUGE hole and recessed into a custom built home.

There are too many details to mention! Let’s dive right in and take a look!

 

The Exterior

Brick, copper roofing, siding and black shutters.

 

The Interior

Living Room, Entry and Dining Room

Warm paint, cream trim, extensive moldings and 12-14′ ceilings

Family Room, Kitchen and Breakfast Nook

Custom cream glazed and walnut cabinetry, black and delicious granite. Contrast ceiling color.

Master Bedroom and Bath

Travertine floors and walls, marble countertops and tile details. Polished nickel plumbing.

Four Kids Bedrooms Plus Playroom

Front and Rear Powder Baths and Laundry Room

Alligator wallpaper, reclaimed wood mirrors and polished nickel plumbing

Office, Kids Foyer and Kids Workstations

Pool, Outdoor Kitchen and Fire pit

Thanks to our realtor extraordinaire Jeff Tice of Berkshire Hathaway for making it all happen!

Custom Home Built by Evans Construction & Design

You’re excited, you’ve got your ducks in a row, your Pinterest boards are full, your Houzz account is overflowing with images… you’re finally building your dream home. Exciting! What could go wrong?

I’ve been in the home building business for 20+ years now (please, don’t do the math) and I must tell you the 3 things that happen EVERY SINGLE TIME we build a new home that surprise the client. Seriously, every single time.

1. Your slab is going to look too small

I know this, I preach this, but guess what? When we built our last personal home, I went to my lovely husband, the General Contractor extraordinaire, and informed him that our slab, was indeed, too small. He laughed. I cried. We measured. Guess what, it was exactly correct. How could I doubt my dear husband? The lesson here is, for whatever reason, the slab will look tiny, but it’s still correct. I know, I know. How can you possibly take a shower in that teeny tiny rectangle? It’s going to feel much larger once the framing goes up. I promise.

Why is this so small? Umm, I think there's been a mistake.

2. Your interior paint color is going to look too dark. Like way too dark.

Color is funny. By funny I mean tricky, mean-spirited, and anxiety inducing. You’ve researched this color, pinned this color, bought samples, dreamt about it…why does it look so different now that it’s on the walls? Several reasons.

First, looking at a color in FRONT of you is very different from having the same color SURROUND you. Imagine looking AT a large red wall, now imagine being INSIDE an all red room. It’s a completely different experience. Give yourself some time to adjust.

Second, you’ve gone from the whitest-white plaster everywhere to a rich, beautiful color. The shock of that alone is enough to put you in panic mode.

Lastly, there’s nothing in the house to help balance (aka suck out) the wall color. Cabinets, flooring, tile, fixtures, trim paint…they all bring color into the space and help balance out the walls.

Take a breath, stick to your original choice. You’ve researched it to death, remember? 🙂 Once everything goes in, it will become the beautiful masterpiece you’ve envisioned. Pinky promise.

Revere Pewter Paint Color which originally looked WAY dark

3. Your sod is going to look dead

Lovely image, isn’t it? You’ve worked with the landscape designer, selected just the perfect amount of shrubs versus flowers versus trees. It’s going to be a garden for the ages!

Then they deliver the sod. What is this shit? Why are you ruining my dream home with this? Take it away! Get it out of my sight!

Relax! It always looks a little, umm,“less than perfect” when delivered. Maybe it was the long trip, maybe it was the installation, who knows. Once it’s laid in place, watered, and starts to “take,” it will magically transform into the green lawn you’ve always dreamt of picnicking on in a few short weeks. 🙂 I swear.

Green Grass! Custom home built by Evans Construction & Design

Well, there it is. These three things have happened on every single house we’ve built. I even fell into the trap of the slab being too small after preaching this for years.

Take a breath, relax, stick to your guns, and trust those pinterest boards full of ideas you’ve been creating over the years. You got this!

What surprises have you encountered while building your new home or remodeling? Please share below! I’d love to hear or talk you off the ledge if needed. 🙂

Bare walls? Eek! No excuse! Your walls, along with your entire home, should tell your story and reflect your life. Big, empty walls really bring into focus an unfinished room. I can help!

There are lots of ways to fill up a large wall, but today we’ll just focus on framed artwork.

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FREE PRINTABLE ARTWORK

Did you know you can print out A LOT of prints for FREE online? Yes, it’s true. Good quality, designer prints are yours for the taking. A few of the best sites are here, here and here. Print them at home or take them to a local printer. Either way, you can create a wall full or artwork for super cheap.

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FRAMES

Now, for the frames. You don’t have to spend much for great frames. Target, Wayfair and other online retailers have every option imaginable. I like to stick with clean, authentic materials. If it looks like wood, it should be wood, metal should be metal, etc. Light or white frames put the focus on the print or art inside. Dark or black frames put the focus on the structure and layout of the arrangement. A few of my favorite with links below.

Perfect frame in white or black with nice, big mat, here

Brass frame with white mat, here

 

 

 

HANGING

So, you have the artwork, you have the frames, now where are you going to hang them? You need a plan! If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can cut out templates of your sizes with paper and try a few arrangements on the wall. Here are a few to get you started.

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TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Want something a little more creative? Try framing something unique to you. Favorite scarves or shopping bags always look chic. Kids artwork can look extra important framed and grouped together.

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FAMILY PHOTOS

Family photos instantly tell a story. To keep things current, try frames with an extra wide mat and keep the photos either all black and white or all color. Consistency is key. Another way to go is blow them up nice and big, with no mat. Both look fresh and not like your Mom’s house. 😉

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GALLERY WALL

Ready to take it up a notch? Mix frame sizes and materials, maybe even pop in a mirror. The mix of textures and colors makes for a very interesting mix.

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So, no excuses for a big empty wall! Calculate a plan, buy some inexpensive frames (my favorite are $18.99!) and print out some artwork online. Mix in a few of your existing pieces and boom, you’ve got a super chic wall!

 

What do you think? Which style is your favorite?

 

Have you heard of Christopher Peacock? Many people have not. If you love Kitchens and Baths like I do, you may want to get to know him. Love the striking white on white on white Kitchens you see everywhere? He started them. Designers and homeowners use his designs for inspiration every day, myself included.

Always made in the USA, Christopher Peacock Cabinetry was launched in 1992, beginning with a single kitchen display inside a small store in Greenwich, CT. The vignette drew the attention of architects, designers and a discerning clientele. The rest is history.

Peacock Home now encompasses everything you need for a stunning Kitchen, Bath or really anywhere in your home. Check out a few of my favorite rooms below.

 

Kitchens, my favorite. Notice the details in the hardware.

 

 

Bathrooms, too. Fresh, clean and understated.

 

 

Dressing Rooms to die for.

 

It’s easy to see why Christopher Peacock is an industry leader. Which is your favorite?

 

Can you really build a fresh, clean, modern family home for under $180,000? Yes, yes you can!

We set out to do just that in High Springs, Florida and we couldn’t be happier with the result! How did we do it? Here was my plan:

Budget friendly selections, like basic chrome plumbing and 99 cent tile

Monochromatic color scheme inside. Light and bright neutrals amplify the wide open floor plan, keeping everything fresh and clean

Bold colors on the outside. Paint is cheap so let’s use it to our advantage. A rich, warm gray exterior and a fresh, bold yellow door make a striking exterior

Splurge on a few key pieces. The island lighting was a bit pricey for this home (here) but it was such a focus, the splurge was warranted

Keep ceiling heights high

So, let’s take a look and see the end results!

 

What do you think?

I know, I know, you think warm colored rooms are out. You want gray, it’s everywhere. But, warm is not a bad word. A warm room can look chic, inviting…cozy….while still being fresh and current. I promise! I have a trick, so stick with me.

 

When you think of a room with a warm color scheme, you likely think of the 1990’s “Tuscan” look that was prevalent. It was bad. Really, really bad. Let’s take a look.

Bad

“Badder”

“Baddest”

 

So, what was so bad about these  rooms? Let’s break them down before we look at how to do a warm color scheme successfully.

Each room had

-huge bloated furniture

-matched sets…bad ones

-dated furniture pieces

-fake materials

It’s not the coloration that’s wrong with these rooms. It’s the items IN the rooms. Dated, ugly and just tacky.

 

What To Do Instead

Let’s take a look at some rooms done in a warm color scheme done “correctly”. Timeless, classic, and WARM. Then let’s talk about that trick. 🙂

What is so great about these rooms is that they are warm AND fresh. Hard to pull off? No, not really. I have a trick.

MIX WITH WHITE

Do your thing with the warm furnishings…leather, cinnamon fabrics, rich brown accents, you name it…but mix it all with white. Keep the walls fresh and clean, slightly bare. This keeps the warm palette from becoming too much and will definitely never look dated. My favorite white paints EVER area all in a nice little chart for you here.

Let’s look at some more.

 

Do you see what I mean? The rooms are fresh and still warm. This whole gray fad is going to go away, I promise. A warm, cozy room will stand the test of time. Mix with white and you’re golden!

 

Here are my favorite white paints again for your reference. Plus not to pin to your Pinterest boards for future reference.

 

 

What do you think?

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