Friday, July 29, 2011

Why This Works and the Winner Is...

Happy Friday!! It's time for the series Why This Works... where I show a designed space and talk about why (I think) it's perfection! This amazing living room space was seen in Cottage Living. I have held onto this image for so long, because there are so many fun elements that I love in this space.

The bright pops of color balance so well against the white walls, sofa and neutral seagrass rug. The room has great depth with the layering effect of the zebra rug and that works so well with the other black and white accessories and artwork in the space. This room also has a great balance of shapes and textures- there are round shapes in the side table and in the dramatic art over the sofa, rectangular shapes in the coffee table and picture frames and a great blend of upholstered and wood pieces to make this space eclectic and cohesive. The large art piece over the sofa frames out the seating area so well. The traditional silouette art works well placed on a more modern side table. The traditional style ottoman with nailhead trim gets a modern twist with a bold, bright upholstered fabric. To me, this space works! What are your thoughts??

And congratulations to the winner of the Olive Leaf Stencils Giveaway! I selected a winner through and the winner is...

Lucky #1!! (How often does that happen?) Congratulations Anne from her wonderful blog, Hello Newman's. I will be in contact with you today!! Anne said:

oh so fun! I just checked out her site - and don't know how I would chose just one if I were to win. Some of the modern and damask patterns are so fun - I could totally see one of those on the wall behind bed in master bedroom! :)

When you choose a stencil, please send the after pictures, and I'll post them up on the blog!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Pillow Alert and Last Day for Giveaway!!

Some changes are being made at the Simple Dwellings household! One of them being a new pillow for the guest room! I have spoken about my redesign plans for our guest room here and here, and this is the first purchase for the room! The color works well with the walls, which are Yarmouth Blue, by Benjamin Moore. I have some plans for the wall behind the bed- an idea from the wonderful Sherry of Design Indulgence. She designed a bedroom with this wall color and added two wide horizontal stripes in a creamy white to the wall behind the bed. I thought this idea was brilliant and a great way to add some interest and make this a focal wall. The rest of this room will have accessories in navy, green and yellow. So, this room is moving along very well in my head! But I do have one problem... when I brought this pillow home, it also works really well in our living room! What's a girl to do? Maybe I could just keep it in our living room while there are no guests! This way, I can see it every day. When the guests arrive, I can quickly place it back upstairs as if the guest room always looks put together!

I like that the pillow is two sided- I can change up the look when I want something different! It is a Dwell Studio for Target pillow and was bought with a birthday gift card! (Thanks so much, mom!) I love Dwell Studio's prints, and of course- the price! So, this little beauty just might have a place downstairs for a while- it's just between me and you, right?

And today is the last day for the fabulous giveaway from Olive Leaf Stencils! You can enter until 11:59pm EST. Click here to enter! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Marcus Design

Today is Wednesday and time for the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? Today, I am so happy to have Nancy here from her design blog, Marcus Design. She is a very talented DIYer, has glamorous and chic design taste and shows gorgeous before and afters of her home! Here is her great blog header:

And here is what she came up with! Take it away, Nancy-

Hello Simple Dwellings readers! I am so excited to be visiting Amber's fabulous corner of the blogosphere today. Thank you to Amber for inviting me to participate in her series, 'If my blog was a room.' I had fun imagining what it would have to include: white with a heavy dose of glamourous black; silver, gold & mirror; and finally a touch of fabulous pattern. Overall it would have to have a glam and elegant feel!!

Image 1 -
Image 2 -
Image 3 -
Image 4 -
Image 5 -

Wow- gorgeous images! I love the bold, dramatic effect that a black and white room makes! I love all of the pattern, wallpaper and the stunning pop of red in the last image's chandelier! Thanks so much for being a part of the series, Nancy! If you haven't already, definitely stop by her blog today- there are so many eye candy images to see!

And don't forget- tomorrow is the last day to enter the fabulous giveaway from Olive Leaf Stencils! Enter here!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coral in the Dining Room!

In previous posts here and here I spoke about my love for coral in any space! I think it's a great way to bring some summer chic into your home. Well... my mom is a faithful reader to this blog and these posts gave her ideas for my birthday gift this year! (Thanks so much, mom!) Every year around birthday time, I always try and get hints for my gifts (I've done this forever, so it seems to be more of a tradition now!) So she told me, One of your blog posts gave me the idea for your gift this year! Hmmmm..... I couldn't think of what it was! When I opened this year's present, I knew exactly what she meant! This unique, beautiful coral can go just about anywhere, in any room. Currently, it resides on our dining table. Now, I can see it all the time, and it makes me smile.

What decor changes have you made to your home lately?

You have until Thursday to enter in the fabulous Olive Leaf Stencils Giveaway! Enter here!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why This Works

Happy Friday! It is time for the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and talk about why I think it's perfection. Today, I am showing you the living room of one of my favorite design bloggers. (I am sure you already read her blog!) Her blog is a daily read for me- Kirsten of 6th Street Design School. I love her stylish approach to design and all of the wonderful etsy sources she introduces. In a guest post she wrote here, she talked about how her style has evolved and her home is now a true reflection of her design style- I love that! That thought really stuck with me, because I think it's so important to be able to put your own stamp on your space and include your personality and personal style into your home! And she has done that so well.

This room works so well- it has a great mix of color, it's fun, inviting and stylish! The lumbar bird pillow on the side chair helps to pull all of the wonderful colors together, and then she uses these same colors throughout the space. It all looks so effortless, but so much thought and design has gone into this room. I love the fun, modern Love art to the right of the window, mixed in with the more traditional silouette art on the left side. The beautiful pink color in the lumbar pillow and Love art is seen again in the whimsical flower on the coffee table. I love that she has kept the walls and furniture neutral, but infused pops of color in the drapery and accessories. It gives the room such a great balance. The dramatic, overscaled clock and symmetrical lamps works great with the casual feel of the coffee table books stacked on each other. And of course, personal touches always make a space- the monogrammed pillow adds a personal, family touch that makes this space feel warm, inviting and oh so stylish! To check out more of Kirsten's home tour go here

Thanks for letting me share your living room, Kirsten! 

Join the party! Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling is hosting a linky party- join in the fun here!

And don't forget to enter in the fabulous giveaway by Olive Leaf Stencils!! Enter HERE.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm Taking the Plunge!

There has been a lot of thinking and planning and more thinking... and I am excited to formally announce that I am now accepting e-design clients!! The Design Services page is all set and ready to go! Interior decorating has always been a favorite hobby of mine and was something I have always enjoyed. With a lot of experience decorating my own home and some experience decorating for family and a few readers... I felt ready to take the plunge and start taking design courses! I have learned so much by taking classes (which I have spoken about here) and I plan to continue that in the coming fall. This has all been a dream come true for me, and I am so excited to see what's in store for the future! Here are some of the design boards I have created so far:

Living Room Designs

Office Design

Master Bedroom Designs

You can see more of my designs on the Design Services page at the top of this blog! So here goes- I'm taking the plunge! I have always been a believer of following your dreams and just going for it- life is too short to just imagine!
Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Strictly Simple Style

Today is Wednesday and time for the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am super excited to have Karen here from her design blog Strictly Simple Style. Her blog is so inspiring because she tackles DIY projects that are simple, affordable and very beautiful! I always like to see what she is up to next, and her genuine, sweet personality makes her blog so fun to read! Here is Karen's great blog header:  

And here is what she came up with! Take it away, Karen-


Hello Simple Dwellings readers. My name is Karen Evans and I'm so honored to be participating in Amber's "If My Blog Were a Room..." series. After searching high and low for the perfect image, I finally settled on the room pictured above, not because it precisely represents my personal style, but because it contains elements of the principles that I so often discuss on my blog Strictly Simple Style.

The objective of my blog is show others my approach to creating a beautiful home and lifestyle when time and resources are at a minimum. As a wife and mother of two, like so many blog readers, I don't have the patience or inclination to complete time consuming DIY projects that require loads of expensive tools. The image above is a great example of an attractive, family friendly look that is achievable on a limited budget and wouldn't require a huge time commitment to pull together. Let's examine what we have:

A White Slipcovered Sofa: I love me a white slipcovered sofa for its versatility and the ability to toss it in the wash whenever there is a spill. Believe it or not, white is one of the best choices for a slipcover. They can be stain treated, you don't have to worry about fading and simply switching out the pillow covers can give you a new look.

Simple Tables Painted White: A single visit to a thrift store would be all it takes to find a pair of end tables, or even two tables of different styles that could be sprayed white for a consistent look. I imagine the owner of the space above looking beyond the finish of tables and concentrating on ones with an appealing shape and scale that works with the sofa. The coffee table, which appears to be pine, looks as though it received a coat of white to the base but the top was left as is in an effort to avoid the need for constant upkeep.

Inexpensive and Creative Use of Accessories: The accessories in this room are without a doubt my favorite element for a couple of reasons. First, the use of multiple patterns and colors gives us a sense of the homeowner's personality. I envision a young, single woman with more creativity than cash. She loves to sew and uses scraps or remnants that she buys at a discount to sew her own pillows when she is craving a new look for one of her rooms. Short on money for wall art, she frames more of her fabric scraps in inexpensive embroidery hoops. (I have no doubt that this frugal girl would use those 40% off coupons that Hobby Lobby and Michaels offers weekly to get the hoops at a discount!) Finally, this thrifty homeowner knows how to embellish what's plain to make it special. Plain white lampshades get a fresh look with the addition of ribbon, a quick and low-cost way to get a finished look.

A Neutral Background: If you love to switch up the look of your space quickly and without spending a small fortune, going neutral with your wall color and high ticket pieces is a smart choice. Let's say our young, single homeowner got engaged to a man who wasn't about to live in a house with even a hint of pink, it would be no problem to update the space in an affordable manner. Swapping out the pillow covers for ones in his favorite colors, replacing the wall art for another piece (maybe a thrift store mirror with its frame sprayed in a coordinating color), and removing the pink rug and ribbon on the lampshades would result in a more masculine look while still retaining the feel that our homeowner loves. The best part, all of this could be completed in a single weekend.

The simple principles that were used to pull together the look of this room are an accurate representation of the type of information that I like to share on my blog. If you are interested in saving time and don't want to sell a kidney to afford the lifestyle you desire, stop by my blog for more strictly simple ideas for your home.

Thank you Amber for allowing me to be apart of "If My Blog Were a Room..."


Karen is my kinda girl- I love that her vision for design has affordable DIY projects that are also so chic and beautiful! I love the ideas of white slipcovers and neutral backgrounds- the accessories can be the color and get changed out without breaking the bank! And the way the leftover fabrics are displayed is an amazing idea! Thank you so much Karen, for being a part of the series! For more affordable, chic design ideas, visit her blog here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Amazing Giveaway by Olive Leaf Stencils!!

Happy Tuesday! Are you ready for an amazing giveaway?? I am so excited to begin the day this way... one lucky Simple Dwellings reader will win a brand new stencil from Olive Leaf Stencils... a prize worth up to $60! Cate Olivia (Olive for short) is an illustrator, visual artist and creator of Olive Leaf Stencils- an amazing shop with gorgeous stencil designs! I have used two of her stencils for client design boards and love her creativity. Her shop has so many beautiful, unique designs to choose from, and she is gracious enough to giveaway a stencil up to $60! Here are amazing images of some of her stencils:

Aren't they gorgeous and chic? She has so many beautiful stencils to choose from, for every design style and space! Here are the requirements for this giveaway:
1. Visit her website here and then come back to my blog and leave a comment about your favorite stencil.
2. Be a follower of Simple Dwellings.
3. Live in the United States.

For additional giveaway entries:
1. Tweet about this giveaway and post a separate comment that you have done that. (+1)
2. Mention this giveaway on Facebook and post a separate comment that you have done that. (+1)
3. Mention this giveaway on your blog and post a separate comment that you have done that. (+1)

Entry for this giveaway will end on Thursday (7/28) at 11:59 pm EST. A winner will be announced on Friday morning (7/29)! Best of luck!
(And please leave your e-mail address in your comment, if you are not linked up to a blog!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Home by Novogratz is Here!

I loved watching the series premiere of  Home by Novogratz Saturday night on HGTV. This married duo in design have such creative, thoughtful ideas that completely transform spaces. I loved watching their Bravo tv show, 9 By Design and was bummed when it went off the air. Their new HGTV show does not disappoint and is filled with beautiful, unique interiors! Cortney and Robert, along with their 7 kids, make a great team and are so fun to watch. They are the owners behind Sixx Design, a design company that transforms and rebuilds spaces using unique pieces from around the world and mixing high end with affordable, to give each designed space depth and character. They also have a book out, called Downtown Chic. I think I'll be picking that up!

All images via Sixx Design

Did you watch the series premiere on Saturday??
Make sure and come back tomorrow, for an amazing giveaway!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why This Works

Happy Friday! Welcome to the series Why This Works... where I show a beautifully designed space and talk about why I think it's perfection. Today, I am happy to show a gorgeous space from a fellow design blogger. Shelli from a la mode writes one of my favorite blogs and has great design taste! Today, I will share some images of her beautiful guest bedroom. (I couldn't choose just one image because there are so many pretty spaces in this room!)

This room is stunning and works in so many ways. The light, serene color palette is a great way to style a bedroom and feel relaxed. The neutral color scheme works so well paired with the texture in the drapery and beautiful driftwood sculpture. (The sculpture was a Home goods find- I think I might make a trip there this weekend!) The rustic, coastal inspired driftwood is a great compliment to the elegant bedding and other accessories in the space. The drapery looks elegant slightly puddled on the floor, and works so well paired next to the french inspired settee. The hint of gold in the seating and accessories gives a formal touch and works great paired with the casual driftwood and whimsical bird vase. I love this space, and I'm sure her guests do too! To check out more of Shelli's amazing home tour, go here.

Thanks to Shelli, for sharing her guest room with us today!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reality Shows and Design - Are you Hooked?

I probably watch too much reality tv- there's just something about it that's so intriguing. Maybe because most (if not all) of it is so over the top, out there! I guess it's just fun to watch people act crazy! I have written a while back here about my love for the reality show Flipping Out. To me, it's laugh out loud funny- Jeff and Jenny make a hilarious team. This season has changed a bit, since Jeff no longer flips houses, but does designing and renovating for clients instead. Either way- I'm still hooked!

And then there's the new bravo reality show, Million Dollar Decorators. As ridiculous and unrealistic as this show may be, I still find it fun to laugh at, explore the designs and actually see what these super expensive items look like. (To me, they still don't look like they should cost that much. What do you think?)

I know this show has been discussed on many blogs already, but I'm interested to hear your opinion- do you watch it? For me, I just take this show with a grain of salt- it in no way shows realistic design as I see it. I would never dream of spending $30,000 on a rug, $16,000 on an end table or believe that spending $50,000 on a room is a tight budget. And for the most part, these designers have icky personalities. But, I might just like it because it's so out there and unrealistic. I guess that's what reality tv is all about. So as crazy as it is, I watch these shows!

Do you???

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - The Design Pages

Happy Wednesday! It's time for the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am super excited to have Carol here from her amazing blog, The Design Pages. Carol's design blog is packed with creative, beautiful DIY projects, beautiful design and a very talented lady! I am so happy I found Carol's blog and that she is a part of the series! Here is her great blog header:

And here is what she came up with. Take it away, Carol!

Hi everybody.  I'm so happy to be part of Amber's awesome series.  I love that Amber is trying to see whether there is a correlation between our blogs and the things we love in design.

When I started looking for images I knew I had to start with the colours.  It took me a really long time to decide on the colours for my logo.  I told my graphic designer that I didn't want blue and orange but like all good designers she was able to read between the lines and in the end that's the one I loved the most.

This room says simple, uncluttered, slightly retro and stylish.

I also love a space that has one perfectly put together object or element that says wow.

I love the warmth of an exposed brick wall and I really love how this homeowner mixed in some industrial elements.

I always go for a simpler kitchen but think the collection makes it anything but dull.

At the end of the day I would love to kick back with friends and family and enjoy some amazing times by the pool.

Thanks Amber for having me today.  It's been really fun exploring my blog's personality.

Thanks so much for being here today, Carol! These images are stunning- the orange runner down the stairs is so stylish. Definitely stop by and check out Carol's blog! While you're there, check out her DIY Projects tab- I am sure you will want to try one of her amazing projects!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our Wallpaper Has Arrived!

I am so excited to be writing this post- our wallpaper is here!! I have had my eye on this wallpaper for so long. It all started almost a year ago, when my mom and I went to our area's parade of homes. I walked into this one home and fell in love! I wish I had the home's pictures to show you, but I wasn't writing a blog back then and didn't bring my camera. Can you believe that- no camera!  :) The showcase home had gorgeous large print damask wallpaper in the foyer, and it made such a statement! So I kept the wallpaper design in mind and knew I had to try it in my own home. I e-mailed the designer to get a quote on the exact wallpaper and found out it would be about $68 per roll! Not going to work for me- I happen to have a large foyer and need a whopping 12 rolls! So, I did my research. I found an almost exact replica for less than 1/3 of the price! And since it was my birthday recently (yay!) my wonderful husband got the wallpaper as a gift! My mom and I plan to do the work ourselves (thanks so much, mom!) I can't wait to see the outcome! Here are some images of the wallpaper, from the main site. (I believe the wallpaper was actually purchased from, which is a great, inexpensive source to purchase wallpaper!)

Our Wallpaper!!

I am so excited to get to work! Here are some other gorgeous prints they offer:

The second peacock image is a closeup of the first. I also love this paper and have been daydreaming a room design around it! E-mail me for rates, if you would like a room designed around this paper. I have so many ideas!

And here is another traditional print, but appears more modern with its dramatic large scale size.

I will post before and after pictures soon, along with a step by step process! Wish us luck!!
By the way, do you have any great wallpaper hanging tips??

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