Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chevron Chic

There are so many great fabrics out there that work when trying to blend modern with traditional. The new fabric print for me, that I would love to include in our home is... Chevron! I love the modern simplicity of the zigzag lines, and the color options are endless! I have seen chevron in so many unique ways: pillows, drapery, rugs and furniture! I cannot wait to include chevron in my own home! I plan to start with pillows, and I have my new source on etsy- this little home. When searching through etsy's site for some chevron inspiration, I came across this wonderful shop! This little home has beautiful chevron pillows, curtains and many other chic designs at fabulous prices! I am thinking about the light blue/white chevron pillows- but there are so many other color options to choose from! Here are a few photos from her site, which she graciously let me share with all of you. (Thank you!) Also included, are some other fabulous ways to include chevron in your home, sourced from two amazing online magazines! Enjoy! 

This last pillow is my favorite and would work well in our home. And chevron curtains... how amazing would that be? The above 3 are all from This Little Home.

Chevron on furniture... I am in love! From Lonny. Designed by Laura Day.

Also from Lonny. Designed by Michelle Adams.

I love this space! From High Gloss. Photo by Rachel Meiring.

What do you think of Chevron? How would it fit into your home?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Purchase and a Project

When I find an amazing deal, I can't wait to share it with others! I have been on the hunt for a larger rug in our front entry for a while. We had a small, 2x3 sisal rug that was too small for its purpose. When people would come in through the front door, trudging through the snow of the northeast, there wasn't much room for their snowy boots. And since this winter seems to be lingering on forever, I needed to make a change! I wasn't sure what I was looking for- I just needed it to be at least 3x5 and work with the decor. The foyer is off the living room, which is painted Mink (a deep brown) by
Benjamin Moore. Our foyer is painted Powell Buff (creamy gold), also by BM. I wanted a large print rug, a change from the solid sisal that was there before. So with the neutral, more traditional backdrop, I wanted to make a modern statement to change it up a bit. And there it was- not only a cool rug with the right dimensions- it was also a steal of a deal at $19.99! I found this steal at Target! I love that store!  

Couldn't pass up that opportunity! This girl always loves a stylish deal!

So while on the topic of snowy Northeast weather and purchases to help out the snow boots, I thought I would include a DIY project to help me think of spring! I always love to deck out the chandeliers in our house, for the holidays. Over Christmas, I bedazzled our kitchen chandelier with twine and evergreen. So for the new spring look, I decided to keep the twine- I thought it looked a bit like a nest!

Maybe, this will help spring arrive a little sooner. If the weather is warm where you are........... please send a little our way! Enjoy the week! (Do you see the snow in the background- crazy!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beautiful Linens - Come take a look!

For me, there's nothing I enjoy more than relaxing with family and friends, spending quality time together. So, why not also combine that with chic linens and beautiful entertaining! I recently came across an amazing shop that does just that- it blends meaningful gathering time with chic designs for your kitchen and home. The shop is
Hen House Linens, and I am a fan! Jenny, owner and creator of Hen House Linens, grew up in North Carolina with true southern hospitality. She has always treasured meaningful gathering time with her family and wanted to pass the tradition on to her children. Her philosophy is gracious living everyday, and she creates beautiful linens for practical, everyday use. Some of her wonderful line includes tablecloths, runners, cocktail and dinner napkins and pillows- just to name a few! Her line has been featured in several wonderful publications and can be purchased at her site here, or a nearby retailer. I have done both- I found a small boutique nearby, which carries some of her amazing line, and I also love to shop directly on the site! And what I love best are the beautiful designs are practical and affordable! Here is a glimpse into the beautiful Hen House Linens!

I love the beautiful prints! The designs all blend together so well! I have the above cocktail apron in this fabric below, which is called Tapestry Ocean:

I absolutely love it! It's so pretty combined with the large black ribbon, tied in a bow! For a gift, I purchased beautiful cocktail napkins in this fabric below, which is called Ornamental Scarlet. It was a Christmas gift, and I included them inside an entertaining basket:

If you haven't been to Hen House Linens, definitely check it out!

After this post, I feel inspired to whip up a batch of cookies and spend time with family!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Loving These Chairs!

I am a huge fan of mixing design styles and creating your own design story. I love to mix simple with elegant, rustic with chic and modern with traditional. When I came across this style chair from Anthropologie, I fell in love!

Image from Anthropologie. It is their Redsmith dining chair and retails for $198 each.

I love the look and rustic patina, but I am on a mission for a deal- so I searched and found some other amazing budget options!

These stylish chairs are from Home Depot! The first home depot chair is their Garden Side Chair and comes in a variety of colors. Shown here is the brushed aluminum and retails for $99 each! Great deal! The last choice comes in this brushed aluminum shown here and is their Sandra Side Chair. It retails for $119 each!
I love that great style can come on a budget! I loved the rustic, modern simplicity of all 3 chairs. I started to imagine a great traditional, wood table to compliment this modern style chair.

The above three tables are from Pottery Barn.
And this last traditional table is from Wisteria.
And now to complete the look, some beautiful wing back chairs from West Elm.

There may be a little bit of a splurge for the tables and wing back chairs, but the stylish aluminum chairs from Home Depot help the budget a great deal!!
What great deals have you found lately?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What if there was only one store?

For this next post, I wanted to create a living space that boldly told a unique and traveled design story. I wanted the space to feel as if it had evolved over time with furnishings that are simple and chic. I didn't want the room to have pieces that matched, but rather different styles that can relate to each other. The space would need to be eclectic and tell a story, but also contain elements that pull it all together. And for this challenge, I wanted to try and do this using only one retail store. The store is Wisteria. I fell in love with their design aesthetic, and the way they eloquently combine different styles. If you haven't been to their site, definitely check it out! They also have a blog, which is fun to read! I was so inspired by this amazing black and white couch- that is how this all began! Their beautiful store made this design post challenge a piece of cake! (To make the images larger, click on the design board!)

This store is amazing! Their pieces are like art- I had so much fun with their site. Everything here, except the black wallpaper (which I plan to use on only one main wall) is from Wisteria.

What do you think of Wisteria? How would you change/edit this room?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Update on the leak!

Happy, Happy Valentine's Day! We'll have a fun day, except for the fact that we have to call a contractor to look at our ceiling- we found a couple water bubbles from either a pipe leak or all of this snow! Great! I will keep you posted. On a more cheerful note, I thought this beautiful photo was perfect for today. Enjoy!

Here's an update on the ceiling leak- the contractor came, and luckily, it's very minor. We have had so much snow and ice this winter, that the ice was trapping water on the roof- causing a small leak. They were able to chip away at some of the ice, making a path for the water to exit the roof. So, it doesn't seem to be a major issue. We should be able to add some joint compound to the ceiling and repaint the area, when spring arrives! And hopefully- that's soon! If you live where the snow buildup is high on your roof, you might want to hire someone to shovel it off, before it gets to the point where there's a leak! And now, it's truly a happy valentine's day! :)

From High Gloss. Photo by Douglas Sterling.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Dream Client - The Office

As in the previous 2 posts, I have enjoyed creating design boards for pretend clients! So far, I have loved decorating our own home, but I often wonder what it would be like to create for someone else. What started as an occasional post, turned into more of a continuous series! When thinking about creating an office space, I wanted to use a pop of interesting color and take more risks. I wanted this space to be comfortable, productive and functional, while also chic and a little daring. The pops of orange awaken creativity, while the comfortable furniture and functional storage make the space easy to use! I used 5 retail stores to achieve the look, using splurge and budget pieces. To make the images larger, click on the design board! As always, I appreciate your input.
What would you add or change? 

The desk chair, leather armchair, mirror, metal basket, lamps, rug and corkboard-
Curtains, candlesticks and clock- Pier One Imports.
Tall shelf- Pottery Barn.
Desk and cube storage- West Elm.
Wicker basket- Target.
Paint color- Metropolitan by- Benjamin Moore.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Dream Client - The Master Suite

I had so much fun creating the last design board for a pretend client, that I am at it again! And this time- it's the master suite! When I think about a restful night's sleep, I am always drawn to serene, calming colors. I think of creamy whites, soft grays and muted, warm tones. Sometimes floral, and other times more masculine geometric shapes- either way, I am on a quest for a relaxed, getaway retreat. As in my last dream client post, I wanted to create a space using furniture and accessories through retail shops and on a budget. The design has both splurge and cost effective pieces, while trying to create a cohesive, soothing space. This summer, I plan to incorporate some of these pieces (or inspirations) in our guest room! Our guest room is already painted the beachy blue color shown (yarmouth blue), so I decided to start there. For this master suite, I used 4 retail stores to achieve the look. As in the last post, I would love to hear what you think! (The images are smaller than I anticipated- for a better look, click on the design board.)
Would you add or change anything?

The tufted head and footboard, drapery, mirror, rug and chandelier- Ballard Designs.
The basket style storage trunk- Target.
The coral table lamp, mirrored dresser, armchair, flower art, and clock- Pier One Imports.
Bedding and green side table- Pottery Barn.
Paint chip (yarmouth blue)- Benjamin Moore.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Dream Client - The Dining Room

I often find myself daydreaming about completely transforming a space from scratch! Whether I'm designing for myself or pretending to design for someone else, I'm always thinking what to do next. I am not an interior designer and have never designed a space for a client, but I often daydream about the pretend experience! What would my presentation board look like? How would the reveal come out? So for now, it's fun to dream! Every now and then, I will post inspiration boards for potential dream clients! I am going to use only a few retail stores to create the space and show how a room can come together on a (sort of) budget. My first dream client space is the dining room! Many of you out there are designers or have been design bloggers for a while now, so I appreciate your honest comments! What else does this room need? (This is the first time putting together a design board like this! I had my husband help with the layout!!)

The vases are from Pier One Imports.
The gray and white wallpaper on the top of the board is from Design by Color.
The rest of the furniture and accessories are from West Elm.

Well, here it is! This was fun to do, and I can't wait to hear your honest opinion!
What would you add or change?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Magazine #3 in the Series Revealed!

I have had so much fun with this magazine series! I have learned so much about amazing entrepreneurs and their inspiring talents! This will be the 3rd and final innovative virtual magazine in the series, and is one of my favorites. I am so excited this magazine is now with us!  #3 to be highlighted is none other than... High Gloss! Founder and editor in chief Paloma Contreras is a chic blogger who started the very popular La Dolce Vita. Her blog was so popular, that she decided to pursue her dream and further enter the design world! She met her current editorial staff through their own amazing blogs, and realized they shared many similar interests. Paloma is a former high school spanish teacher who started a popular blog, and is now editor in chief of an innovative, new design magazine! The fact that she's following her dream is so inspiring! Out with its very first issue, High Gloss is a beautiful blend of interior design, fashion, inspiring people, food and travel. One of the reasons I am so drawn to it, is the wonderful way the magazine blends different design styles in such a chic, new way! If you haven't checked out this stylish magazine, here's a glimpse into the amazing High Gloss!

I love this living room, with a peek into the chic dining room. There is more of the dining room in this issue! Homeowner and designer, Tia Zoldan. Photographed by Grey Crawford.

I love everything about this space! Also from Tia Zoldan's home. 

I love the framed art covering the walls of the hallway! Also from Tia Zoldan's home.

Great use of space! I love the blend of modern with traditional. Designed by Sally Wheat. Photographed by Anthony Rathbun.

What a great cover! The rest of this space is also beautiful and can be seen in this issue! The photography from this space is by Rachel Meiring. 

What do you think of High Gloss?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Grateful Award Recipient

When I turned on my computer and checked on my blog, I was amazed and honored to find out that Maureen from Eclectic Revisited chose me as one of the recipients of the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you so much, Maureen, and congratulations to you for also winning the award!
Words cannot express how truly excited I am that Maureen thought of my blog! Starting Simple Dwellings has been an amazing journey, and I love seeing so many talented design bloggers! We may have never met, but I feel as though we are all connected through design. So without further adieu, I will continue with the rules of this award, which consists of sharing seven things about myself, then passing the award to 10 wonderful bloggers!
7 Things you may not know about me!
1. I love my family with all of my heart! They are my biggest support system and the loves of my life!
2. I have loved fashion and interior design for as long as I can remember. Even at a young age, I would rearrange furniture and set up my play area as a clothing boutique store!
3. I have a degree in education and was a grade school teacher. I almost transferred to a different school to pursue a design career, but didn't. I don't regret the decision, because I loved teaching... I think I may just follow my design dream a different way.
4. When in college, I was a member of the Alpha Phi fraternity. My sorority sisters are some of my best friends to this day, and we still get together over lunch.
5. I married the love of my life, and we began our marriage living in Germany. We have so many fond memories there, including me falling for interior design!
6. Eventually, I hope to take this blog a step further, and enter the interior design world in some way! It has always been my dream!
7. To end it on a quirky note, I am a bit of an obsessive cleaner. It seems to get worse every year! Although, I'm slacking a bit now, because of my new obsession- this blog!

Now on to the really fun part! I cannot wait to pass this award to 10 stylish bloggers! They are creative, stylish, and I can't wait to see what they blog about next!

If you haven't yet, please check out these amazing blogs!

Stylish Blog recipients, please do the following on your blog:
1. Thank and link back the blogger that awarded you.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 10 other stylish bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers to let them know they have won the stylish blogger award!

This has been so much fun! Thanks for stopping by Simple Dwellings! I really appreciate it. Also, a thanks to Lulu at Belle Francaise Interiors for being my first blog follower! When her chandelier picture popped up, I began to think that I really could do this.  :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Magazine Series Continues! #2 Revealed

To continue with my series on influential and innovative virtual design magazines, I am brought to my second pick! I am in love with this magazine, which made its debut in 2009- Lonny! Led by Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline, this chic bimonthly magazine allows the reader to see amazing interiors that take your breath away! The duo met while on a photo shoot for the former Domino magazine. Michelle, a former market editor for Domino, and Patrick, a photographer, began this magazine along with many talented friends and designers. And two years later, Lonny continues to amaze us with jaw dropping spaces and amazing photography. While doing this research, I found out that Michelle is also the founder of Rubie Green, which sells eco-friendly upholstery fabrics and bedding made with only 100% organic cotton. It is plain to see that these entrepreneurs have amazing talent, and it shows in their work! Without further adieu, here are some amazing spaces!

I love stately lamps in a dining space! Designed by David Cafiero.                                                                          

I love the drum shade chandelier and pops of color! Designed by Eileen Kathryn Boyd.

The bold, graphic print on the drapes is amaaaaazing! Also designed by Eileen Kathryn Boyd.

Wow- look at that rug! Designed by Laurann Claridge.

I am a huge fan of large print wallpaper! This print is so chic! Designed by Trip Haenisch.

I love that the stripes even cover the molding! Designed by Jenna Lyons of J. Crew. The above photos are all from Lonny.

Photo of Michelle Adams's home office. Posted on her blog and featured                           
in Real Living Magazine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Tell me your thoughts on the amazing Lonny!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Let the Virtual Magazine Series Begin!

As I mentioned in my last post, The Power of Design, I was so inspired by the innovative entrepreneurs of the virtual magazine world, that I decided to start a series on influential design magazines! And the first design mag in the series is the fabulous......... Rue!
Many of you stylish bloggers out there are already fans, but I couldn't wait to gush about it anyway! Recently out with its 3rd issue, these fabulous ladies and their team produced another great read with jawdropping spaces! Led by editor in chief Crystal Gentilello and executive director Anne Sage, the magazine is a chic, stylish addition to virtual publishing. With these ladies already having popular followings in their own blogs, Crystal and Anne gathered a team of fabulous editors, stylists and photographers to put Rue on the map. The magazine effortlessly combines interior design, fashion and entertaining in a playful, chic way. And it is here to stay! I'm definitely a fan, and after seeing these amazing spaces, what's not to love?

I love this space! The neutral palette is so amazing, and you can't go wrong with Audrey Hepburn art!

I love the mix of rustic with chic. I am drawn to those beautiful drapes!

This neutral, soothing office space is another great way to work!

In this space, modern and traditional blend to perfection. I love the look of loungy arm chairs for dining!

I am drawn to the beautiful white couch, paired with dark gray/black accents!
Congratulations, Rue! Many of us are excited to see what's ahead in the future.

And check back soon to see the 2nd magazine in this series!

The Power of Design

Yesterday was a big day in the virtual magazine world........ the first issue of
High Gloss out for the world to see! For those of you who haven't seen it yet, it's amazing! Congratulations to the entrepreneurs that started this stylish magazine.
I have only been a blogger for about a month, but I continue to be blown away by the creative and stylish design bloggers and entrepreneurs out there! Whether your blog is a journal or a springboard for a business, I have truly enjoyed reading so many innovative thinkers and decorators! This has been an amazing journey so far. I applaud the art of blogging and getting creative thoughts and ideas on paper! It's inspiring to see so many people with a passion for design! It's also so inspiring to hear stories of people who started a blog, then turned it into a business of their dreams. Whether it's interior designers, book writers or virtual magazine owners, the creativity of these stylish entrepreneurs is evident!  
These innovative thinkers have inspired me to start a blog series on virtual magazines! For the rest of this week, I will feature some amazing design mags that continue to keep me inspired! And welcome to the list, High Gloss!
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