Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Great Place to Shop That Also Helps the Environment!

When shopping on line, I haven't found many sites that offer unique home decor items and gifts while also helping the environment and creative artisans. Sounds like a tall order, if you ask me! But the creators of Uncommon Goods do all of that and so much more. Half of the items in the shop are made by hand and several items are even from recycled materials! With Earth Day right around the corner, now is as good of a time as any to think about how we can make the world a bit greener. And I can definitely appreciate the hard work ethic of this company... their belief is that it is their responsibility to use their business as a way to positively impact others. I was truly blown away by that powerful message. And now, onto some of the amazing products from this very special site!

The chef in your life would love this reclaimed wood cookbook stand!

Can you get any more beautiful and whimsical than this handmade butterfly map? The regions on this map are populated by colorful butterflies. What a great way to bring some color into a space!

This personalized love cuff made from real birch bark is the perfect gift for your loved one! I can't get over the detail and craftsmanship of this piece!

It's safe to say I am very impressed and hooked! Anytime I can find a special, one of a kind gift that also supports crafters and the environment, I'm sold. I could go on and on showing more crazy unique items, but I want you to check it out for yourself! Start your shopping HERE. If you make a purchase, let me know. I would love to see what unique find you fell in love with. I'll post it here on the blog. :)

Happy Shopping !!!

This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but all of the opinions are my own, as always!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Working with What You Have {Living Room E-Design}

When designing a space, there are things we may want to change, but working with what you have is often more of a priority. I recently wrapped up a living room e-design project where we worked around the oak stained beams, window trim and fireplace surround. Often times, my first inclination is to paint that all out, to create dramatic, updated change. When that is not an option, it's on to plan B. Plan B doesn't always have to be the lesser option... it's just a matter of selecting colors and fabrics that compliment the oak stained wood work, as opposed to competing with it! Since the space has a lot of warm wood tones (also including oak stained floors), the name of the game has to be to bring in some cool colors. Grays, blues and greens will be your friend and balance well against the warm woods. Here is the design board I created for them, where cooler tones reigned supreme...

Can I please have that blue chair all to myself?? By adding the blues, greens and grays, The warm woods will feel more welcome and will bring that mix of traditional with modern. The walls will be the soft gray color on the top left corner of the board and we will whitewash their brick with the color to the right of that. When showing my client this whitewash idea, I came across this blog post that showed an amazing before and after of their fireplace. I included a shot of the after on the bottom right side of the board. They also painted the brass fireplace insert black, which I also recommended to my client! It will be an instant modern update. They love the plans and I can't wait to see their progress!

By the way, when researching rooms with stained oak trim, I came across the amazing parlor room of Nicole Balch, from the blog Making it Lovely. Her space is proof that stained oak trim can be chic...

It's all in the mix of adding cool colors!

How about you... what have you had to 'work with' in your home??

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How Do You Like Your Kitchens??

My favorite look is an all white kitchen... white cabinets, some sort of white stone for the counters and some sort of white tile backsplash. {Or, the same white stone carried up as the backsplash... dreamy!!} But as our design tastes tend to change over time, I have also recently had my eye on the look of painted cabinetry in soft, muted colors. Taupe/gray cabinets with that same white stone lends depth and charm. Here is a round up of some great kitchens, where they have done just that!





Mix it up with bold contrast...

Black and white...

Now, one might argue that these kitchens are gorgeous already. I mean, look at them??? Is that really how mine would look if I painted my cabinets? So, I thought it would be fun to also include an amazing before and after of a kitchen that changed their builder grade cabinets from a stained finish to a wow gray! Julia, from the blog Hooked on Houses, showed us this...



To see the chosen cabinet color and more photos, visit HERE.

So... how do you like your cabinets???

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Moody Walls

Even though spring is on its way around here, I have still been enamored with deep colors and moody walls. For the most part, I like to keep walls light and airy and bring color in through the accessories. But, there are some rooms that can tolerate a dose of a deep hue that is bold and dramatic. I think it's a touch of the unexpected when you have deep walls in one room in your home. Dark walls can be great for bedrooms, offices or any space with a ton of natural light. Here are some great spaces where the walls take center stage. Without this deep wall color, each room would be so different!

I am a fan of dark walls in my own home and have painted our living room a deep brown color...

It's Mink by Benjamin Moore and I love it! Designer Bailey McCarthy has recently used it in her home and I love how she wrapped the color on the window trim, too...

Although it might seem strange to be talking about such deep, saturated hues when spring is finally here, but these rooms are proof that it's a chic look year round!

How about you... do you stick with light walls or do you like deep hues?? Do tell!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You Need to Check Out This Etsy Shop!!

The best thing about blogging and working in the design business is building relationships. Relationships that last and grow and can support one another. One of my past e-design clients, Sandra, has opened up her own etsy shop and I couldn't be happier for her! I have worked with Sandra on a few of her spaces in her home and even worked with her daughter in creating a fun room to call her own. Sandra's new shop, Swanson Lane Home is a true reflection of her eclectic, vintage style. From collectible French pieces to Hollywood Regency style, this shop has it all. I love putting a space together that looks collected... a room that doesn't feel too matchy matchy, but rather looks like it has been put together over time. By adding some pieces from Sandra's shop, you will get that style. Here are a few of my favorite accents from Swanson Lane Home...

If you know Sandra, then you know she has poured her heart into this shop. Every piece has been picked with love, because they truly reflect her style and personality. Head on over to her shop and get inspired! Act quickly, because some of these accessories might just have to find a way into my home!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm Feeling Blue Lately

That is, in design, of course! In many ways lately, I have been incorporating blue, either in small or big doses. Many shades of this color have shown up in my local and e-design projects, as well as in my own home! I thought I would dedicate this post to one of my favorite colors and why it continues to work so well in design...

With a coastal twist 

Blue patterned draperies

A statement blue sofa

Blue all over

Bits of blue sprinkled throughout

Blue as an accent

Amber B Interiors... that's me!!  :)

Subtle blue accessories

I have always been a fan of blue in all of its shades. I love that it goes with so many colors.

What's your take on the color??

Sunday, March 23, 2014

E- Design Board Reveals {Recent Design Projects}

I have been busy plugging away at design boards, both e-design and local, and I love it! The recent designs have all been so different... from a finished basement family room that is eclectic and bohemian, to a chic and high glamour living room for a stylish girl right out of college. Let's get right to the finished boards, shall we??

An Eclectic, Fun Basement Family Room

The Fun, Asymmetrical Gallery Wall in their Media Zone

We Packed a lot of Fun Into their Floor Plan

Onto my next client, who was looking for a space with glamour, a mix of modern with traditional and pops of pink, green, black and white.

High Glamour Living Space

Every young woman needs a bit of Audrey in their lives! And I had to include a photo of Pam's recent stenciling project. We will be using that same stencil in a different colorway and I can't wait to see the results!

The Chic Gallery Wall Around the TV

A Floor Plan for Guests and to Invite Conversation

So there you have it... some recent projects that were so much fun to create! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

{E - Design} A Chic, Fun Playroom

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I wanted to check in and show you an e-design board that I recently completed. My client was looking for a fun, stylish space for her family to spend time together and relax. It will be used as a playroom, but since it is off of the upstairs hallway, they also want it to be a chic room that flows with the rest of their home. I wanted it to be fun and colorful for the kids, but also neutral with a modern/traditional mix, like my client enjoys. My client already has a sofa and bookshelves for the room. I came in and added additional furniture, accessories and paint colors.

The Design

The Floor Plan

The wall color is the soft gray on the top left corner of the board. The dark brown/black shade will be for a full wall chalkboard. The coral color is for the back of their existing bookshelves. The triptych octopus art will go above the sofa. She will be able to recreate this art piece by following this tutorial. The pillows are on the bottom of the board and really bring the color palette together. I am so excited she loves the plan and can't wait to see after photos!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

E - Design Client Sneak Peek {Before and After}

I am so excited to show you this before and after today! My client has worked very hard to finish up on the rooms I have designed. Today, I am able to show you an amazing sneak peek of the living room. When my client hired me, she was looking for a complete change in her space. She wanted a start fresh on all of the seating and an overall relaxed, coastal/traditional/vintage inspired vibe. This design was aptly named #projectfarmhousechic. This is the space when we started...

The only item staying in the room was the television. We also kept the wall color, which is a soft, pretty gray. Here are the design boards I came up with...

The Plan

The Media Gallery Wall

I am over the moon excited to share the progress so far...

Sneak Peek

Yay to my amazing client!! I love that you can see the media gallery wall through the mirror. She did such a wonderful job on the plates/mirror installation above the sofa and I love how the pillow combination came together. Originally, we were going to go with the CWD Greige Deco pillows, but my client really started to love the way blue was entering the room. So, we made the switch to the Navy Deco and I couldn't be more thrilled. There is so much more going on in this room and I can't wait to post more about this design! Thanks so much to my client for allowing me to share her living room with all of you!

If you would like to work together to make your house a home, please e-mail me and see my Design Services page for more information! I am currently booking clients for May 2014.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Embrace Color & Be Fearless

There are some home renovations that stop me in my tracks and make me love the career of design that much more. Some spaces remind me of how much fun using color can be and how decorating and surrounding yourself with pieces you love, is so much more important than worrying about everything matching and being 'perfect.' I have been following Bailey's blog, Peppermint Bliss, for a while now. And I think what inspires me most about her design work is her ability to be daring with color and go for it, no matter whether it's a popular trend or not. She is a trendsetter in her own right, bold and just plain fun. Her most recent work was shown in Style Me Pretty Living and gives great examples of how being bold and having fun with design can pay off...

all images via style me pretty living, photographed by kimberly chau

Crazy, right? Are you inspired yet?? I think Bailey is the one who made pom pom/tassel fringe cool again! I seriously cannot stop looking at this home remodel. Often times (myself included), we can be a little safe with color choices, worrying that we may tire of it soon. This home feature reminds me to step out of my comfort zone a little and try something a bit more daring. To see more of Bailey's fearless projects, including her own home, stop by her blog, here.
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