It’s that time of year. Yippee. Whether you decorate your whole house or just a room, holiday decorations should be fun and no stress. If you’re stressed out, you’re doing it wrong. 😉
Follow these 3 easy steps and sit back and enjoy.
1. Pick a Theme
I love traditional Christmas plaid and tartan decorations. Think Ralph Lauren in Connecticut on Christmas morning. Having this base to refer to makes shopping easy. Do you like all white? Modern? Country? Pick a theme and go with it.
Now that you have a signature look, vary it slightly from room to room. I mix different tartans and plaids in different areas. More formal rooms get silver champagne buckets holding mini trees with tartan ribbon. Kids areas get buckets holding trees, tartan blankets and shams. Keeping the same thread running throughout keeps everything working together.
3. When In Doubt, Add More!
This is not the time for subtlety. Your house is only going to be decorated for a month, max. Pull out all the stops and enjoy. It will be gone before you know it.
Now that we have a few guidelines, let’s see some inspiration images in my favorite look. Several are from my home. Enjoy! Sources and buying info at the bottom.
It’s almost the holidays, are you ready to get your home in gear? I know, you’re sick and tired of looking at your same boring room that you never really liked. I get it. You had grand plans for this room, remember your Pinterest board…it was going to be AWESOME!
But, then, you know…that sofa was such a good deal… you didn’t love it, but you couldn’t pass it up. Then those pillows, I mean they’re cute, right? The rug…it was from your old house, but it kind of goes. The stuff on the walls… its ok, maybe? You’ve ended up with a bunch things you sort-of like and a room you really don’t. Your husband has a nice big TV and recliner, so he’s happy. You’re not.
I hear you! We can do better! And you don’t have to spend a ton. Over the past 20+ years I have seen more rooms in need of a facelift than I can count. Honestly, all of them could have used this 10 step process and been given a whole new life. Were going to approach this as LAYERS. Here we go!
Clear the room and the surfaces
Take everything off every surface. Like everything. Nothing messes up a room more than clutter all over. Take the prints off the walls, the curtains down, every single thing. Take a good, hard look at what you have to work with and let’s start from there.
My guess is the room could probably use a fresh coat of paint. Instead of the current color, why not ramp it up a notch and go with an actual color-color? You can read more about color selection here. I mean it’s just paint. Live a little. If you don’t like it, you can always repaint it.
Slipcover your large pieces, if you need to
Your red floral sofa may be the problem. It may be too busy for the room and just throws everything into disarray. A nice neutral slipcover can solve a world of problems. You can find great ones here and here. Now that we have a rich background and a neutral upholstered pieces, let’s inject some personality.
Your rug is probably too small, I’m guessing. Your rug should really go UNDERNEATH the furniture pieces, at least the front legs. If it’s floating out in the middle, its making the room look smaller and choppy. You can ground the space with a nice, new, big rug for not that much. A woven seagrass rug always looks good and can be found very inexpensively. Check here and here. A soft, patterned rug to add some pizzaz doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Target.com (really!) and Wayfair.com have a ton that don’t break the bank.
Drapes can really make or break a room. What’s worse than no drapes? Cheap drapes. You know the kind…thin, lifeless, too short, just bad. You don’t need to overthink this, it’s easy! My go to formula is to choose a nice neutral drape, double them up and then hang them as high and wide as possible. So, you want them to go all the way down to the floor and probably double them up on each side. This creates a rich look, even with a Target drape. 🙂 French rods are my favorite, since they don’t interfere with the room. You can find them super cheap here.
Is your furniture lined up on the wall? It shouldn’t be. “Conversational grouping” is your new go-to term. You want to create an area for people to sit and have a conversation easily. Place the rug in the center of the room, maybe centered on the fireplace or TV if that makes sense. Then put your table in the middle, again centered. Then place your sofa, love seat, chair, whatever around this. Does it leave room behind the sofa? That’s ok. I know its scary, but give it a try, you just might like it. You can practice online with websites like this one, or just move things around your house.
Because it’s at eye level, whatever is hanging on your wall is of utmost importance. You definitely don’t have to spend a ton here to create something unique, interesting and perfect for your room. I dedicated a blog post to exactly this subject that you can read here. My favorite frame is $18, for goodness sake! If you’re looking for “art-art”, take a look at these sites. They have basically everything you could ever want, in every size you can imagine. Art.com and GreatBigCanvas.com
Add new pillows to accentuate something else
Here’s where you can have a little fun. Add some personality here with fun, colorful pillows. Pick up on the wall color, the rug or even the artwork. Mix patterns and go crazy! My formula is typically a pattern, a solid and a geometric. Keep the color ways somewhat cohesive and you’re in business. Great pillows don’t cost a lot but have a major impact on the room. If you can swing it, down inserts instantly upgrade everything. Check TJMaxx for great deals!
Lighting is key and having the light not just come from the ceiling creates a soft, balanced room. Lamps solve this problem and look great while doing it. Even with a more traditional style, a clean and modern lamp always looks great. Again, Target and Wayfair have just what you need for like $40. Boom!
Get a few new accessories and display them thoughtfully
To finish off the room, display a few things you already have or grab a few new ones. Just think about it before you throw everything in there. A few well placed items always looks better than a bunch of “stuff”. Stuck? Here’s my go to formula…For your coffee table, buy a nice tray, place a few coffee table books on top, add an object on top, then plop candle to the side and finish it off with a plant. Done and done! Looks amazing! 🙂
Remember when you bought your house? That DINING ROOM…it was PERFECT…you were going to use the hell out of that thing! Every holiday, every occasion, everything! Each and every family gathering would be right there! Well, have you ever really given it the attention it deserves?
With Thanksgiving and the Holidays quickly approaching, now is a good time to get a handle your Dining Room. How? Let me help!
You probably already have a table and it’s probably fine. To be honest, although it’s the largest piece in the room, it’s really the least important. Your chairs cover up the sides and your centerpiece and place settings cover up the top…not to mention the beautiful tablecloth you probably have in mind. The most important pieces are often the most overlooked. What do your chairs look like? Could they use a reupholstering? Have they served their time and might need to be replaced? What’s on your walls? What about the windows? Is there a great centerpiece on that table? What about the light fixture?
My guess is a few new pieces…carefully thought out new pieces…are really all you need. A new focal point on the wall (art, a collage, a mirror), a striking centerpiece and new chairs might be just what the doctor ordered. Sound overwhelming? I can help! Online design is here to save the day. Set a budget you’re comfortable with, gather a few photos of rooms you like and upload your info. Done and done! We work back and forth for 10 days and at the end you have everything you need for your room, including a shopping list with links to new items, instructions and a floorpan. You can learn more about it here and start your project here. It’s super fun and more affordable than you probably expect.
To inspire you, here are a few of my favorite Dining Room photos from over the years.
Do you know about “Greige”? You should! It’s the hot new color on the block and is everywhere. You’ve probably seen it around, but didn’t know its’ name. Greige is defined as a mix between gray and beige. Not too warm, not too cool. While I typically turn my nose up at trends, this is one I can get behind.
The reason I’m so on board with the Greige trend, is because it serves a legitimate purpose. Sometimes beige is just, well, boring. Gray is everywhere and super on-trend, but sometimes it can be too cold. Greige bridges that gap and and makes things work together that night not otherwise. Gray is the top choice these days, but who wants to live in a prison? And even if you do, what are you going to do with all of your furniture that is warm and not industrial looking? Enter Greige!
But…finding the perfect shade of Greige can be a tricky task. Search it on Pinterest and you’ll be overwhelmed with results, some good and some not. A warm gray is the goal, but there are just sooooo many to choose from! But, we are in luck! I have combined my very favorite Greige colors that are tried and true, with photos showing them in real world applications below. Enjoy and pin the chart for future easy access! 🙂
How exactly DO you bring your Traditional decor into today? Two words: MIX STYLES
Mixing styles can be tricky, though. Too much and you look like a crazy person., not enough and it’s boring. But it can also be AMAZING! Interesting, unique, designer-y. It’s what takes a room from looking like a furniture store set to a well thought out mix of collected pieces.
Yes, it’s tricky. But, good news, I have a trick…a five part trick!
I typically abide by the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the room is traditional, then add twenty percent modern. It’s just my little rule, certainly not set in stone. It works for me. Is it always exactly 80% and 20%? Of course not. But it’s something to keep in mind.
With that in mind, follow these 5 steps:
COLOR – Keep it consistent for cohesion. It keeps the room from looking mesh-moshy.
It’s that time of the year again. Give your porch a Fall makeover to celebrate the season. How? It’s easy! Let’s walk through it together!
Get a Plan
Do you like the all white, monochromatic look? A more traditional Fall color scheme? Look through some images on Pinterest and see what you’re drawn to.
Assess & Buy
Do you already have a few things on hand? No reason to buy everything all new. See what you have and make yourself a quick shopping list. I personally like to overbuy and return what I don’t use. It makes life much easier.
The key to a great vignette is the mix. Don’t use too much of one thing. Mix it up! Color, texture, materials, everything.
Keep tall things tall and short things short. Again, the mix is what you’re aiming for. See the photos below for a few examples.
Here are a few of my favorite Fall porches, including my own!
I’m so excited to bring this series to life. Over the next 12 months, we will be following the progress of building our personal home. Before we get in to the particulars of this new project, let’s set the stage. We recently sold our home (you can see all the images here) and are rebuilding in the same neighborhood. We have a heavily wooded piece of property that will soon hold our dream home! We are excited and have one year to complete the project. No pressure.
Where do you start?
So, where do you start when you’re a builder and designer and decide to build your own dream home? For us, inspiration! A clear vision that will help us turn this idea into reality is a must. Before we dive into the particulars of floorplans, kitchens, baths and materials, we need an overriding theme, a vision. I have one! I like to call what I have in mind for this home “If Ralph Lauren moved to the Hamptons…but he was poor…” That’s a pretty clear vision, isn’t it?
Anytime I start a new project, I like to pull inspirational images from various sites and view them all together. Pinterest works great for that. (You can follow any or all of these boards on Pinterest here).
So, there you have it. The initial inspiration for our dream home. What do you think?
Over the next year we will be documenting the progress of this home from conception to completion. I hope you’ll stick with us!
Your Master Bath…cool, calm, serene…an oasis, a spa within your home…right? Right? Well, it can be and it doesn’t have to break the bank!
We’ve gathered up seven of our favorite Master Baths, including some we’ve created. 🙂 We’ve broken them down and found the pieces you can add to your bath to create the look you love. Take a tour of each of the baths, below, and then click on the links underneath to see where to get the key pieces for less.
How exactly DO you pick the perfect paint color, particularly when it’s an IMPACT color? I have a 5 step plan! It’s tried and true and works every single time. I promise.
Before we dive right into the process, let’s walk through it with a real life example. The room we are planning to add green to is a client’s former Sunroom. We’ll revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the inspiration and plan.
So, as you can see, GREEN is a main design element here and we plan to paint all of the walls in it. This is what I call an “Impact Color”. In this case, you’re definitely NOT looking for a whole house interior color to tie everything in. We’re looking for impact! Drama! A statement!
So, how exactly DO you select the perfect impact paint color? Follow these 5 steps
1. Start With SOMETHING
You need inspiration. A pillow, a plate, hell…a shoe will work. Something you love, something you see as an inspiration for the room. Some place to jump off from. This Kate Spade plate is our inspiration piece for the room. Super cute, isn’t it?
2. Gather and Narrow
Next, we’re heading to the paint store. This is the dangerous part! Paint stores can just suck you in with all their fancy dancy displays and trick you with their lighting. Bring your inspiration item with you and use it to pull some paint chips. Hold them together, see what “goes”. Look at the lighter areas, the darker areas, the middle, and so on. You can see this above in the top photo. Bring home ALL of your chips. Pay no attention to the cashier giving you the dirty look as you walk out with a bag full of paint chips, they’re free after all! Once you’re home, spread them all out and look at them in YOUR house with YOUR lighting. You will likely change your initial thoughts and that’s OK. Now we NARROW! We are going to eliminate the ones that don’t work and narrow it down to 2 or 3…no more than 5. Really. Now we have a short list of 3 or so paint colors we like. Progress!
3. Research, But Not Too Much
Now, we head to the computer. Pinterest is your friend here. Search the name of the colors you’re considering and see what you think of them on a big wall. Of course, computer screens look different than real life and you have the actual color sitting in front of you on the chip. I believe it’s still helpful. Don’t go too far down this rabbit hole, but get a good overall feel of what these colors look like in a room. It’s helpful to see a color used over and over again, by many designers. It’s a little confidence booster! Many designers (like me) create handy charts of our favorite colors, so lean on our expertise. Here are my favorite tried and true greens. Pin it before you forget it!
4. Put Up Samples
Another field trip! Head to the paint store and buy sample quarts of the short list of colors you’re considering. Put them up on the wall, live with them and see what you think. How does it look in the morning? At night? With the adjacent room? Again, keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you. Here is my favorite Bunker Hill Green up on the wall.
5. Marry It
Make a decision and stick with it. You’ve done your due diligence and you should be confident in your decision. Paint the wall(s) and enjoy. It’s going to look great! Here is the color we selected up on all the walls. It looks amazing.
When you love Football and Interior Design (like me!), this can be the best time of the year! What better way to spruce up your home than to give it a Football Facelift? The real question is, can you actually add a few touches to your home without it looking super tacky? I think so! The key is to keep it light, general and not too heavy on the actual team. For example, if you love the Florida Gators (like I do!) then adding orange and blue touches throughout, with a few key Gator pieces, is enough. Everything doesn’t have to be logo-ish. Know what I mean? Restraint is your friend. Let’s walk through it together! (Make sure your scroll all the way down, the best is saved for last!)