Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shop Around Your Home for This Styling Trick

Styling shelves and tables are always a work in progress... you either change them seasonally, get bored with the arrangement or find new treasures that you want to include.  Even better yet, you shop around your home and look for new treasures! I always tell clients to see what they have in their home first, before going out and buying new items. Maybe you can re purpose an old item, give it new life with spray paint or move things from one room to another for a change. I always love fun changes that are also free! Working with one of my most recent clients, we talked about styling the coffee table. I suggested to shop around her home for books and small trinkets or vases. A great tried and true idea is to stack a few hard cover books on the table and add a vase of fresh flowers, or an unexpected accessory on top. It's functional, because you will always have your favorite books within reach! Here are some great styling ideas for your coffee table:

Flowers or little treasures paired with books bring great texture and interest to the table. It's a mix of the practical with the pretty; something with straight lines vs. something sculptural. It's a great pairing! Take a look around your home... I'm sure you'll find amazing treasures!

Which of the above photos is your favorite??

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dressing Up Plain Drapery Panels

A great way to achieve a custom look for less, is to dress up plain drapery panels with ribbon trim or extra fabric. It's also a great way to bring in your accessory color and add a decorator's touch.

Source: via Pin on Pinterest

You can also add fabric to panels that aren't quite long enough:

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

When I present this idea to clients, I always like to provide them with a helpful DIY link, showing them how to easily complete the project. There is one site that I always like to go to, for great tips... House of Fifty blog! Janell shows how you can easily finish almost any DIY project! To dress up your drapery panels, follow her no-sew tutorial HERE!

Have you dressed up your drapery panels??

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Power of Paint- A Before and After E-Decorating Project

I have written here before about the power of paint. It's amazing what a different color can do to totally transform a space and make it look new. A recent e-decorating client contacted me for help with choosing the paint colors for her home. When working on the living room colors, we not only had the wall color to consider, but also all of the trim work and built in wall shelves.  The previous owners had all of the trim in a stained wood finish, and my client was looking for a change. She suggested painting out all of the trim white, and I was right there with her. I knew we would make a great team, because I was about to suggest the same thing. We all love a great before and after, right? Here is a before shot of the living room, with the furniture from the previous owners:

And here are the after photos, with the new paint:


I love how the nook is lighter and brighter! The painters did a phenomenal job covering the dark wood. It looks like a new space. The wall color is Classic Gray, the trim throughout the room and bookshelves is White Dove and the back of the bookshelves is Dragon's Breath, all by Benjamin Moore. I am looking forward to working on the design for this room! It will be fun to pick accessories for the shelves that will pop against the painted backdrop. A big thanks to my client for letting me share these photos!

What have you painted lately that has transformed your space? I would love to see photos- I'll post them on my blog!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Why This Works

Happy weekend and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and discuss what I love.  This gorgeous living room was designed by Nate Berkus Associates and can be found on his site here. Take a look!

What I love most about this room and the firm's design aesthetic is the curated, layered look they give to spaces. This room looks like it has evolved over time with its mix of antiques and modern accessories. It looks so liveable and effortless, but we all know that takes time and is not so easy to achieve. The dramatic globe chandelier makes you take notice and must reflect the light beautifully at night. That modern light is juxtaposed with a rustic, wood beamed ceiling, adding a nice contrast. The walls and subtle striped floors are the light, neutral backdrop for the pops of color seen in the sofas. I love the color combination of golds with deep teals. What also doesn't go unnoticed is the mix of different wood and metal finishes. The brass drum side table works well paired with the bronze metal fireplace gate and stools. The deep mahogany coffee table works well with the black painted wood hutches. The black is then repeated throughout the room, with the floor lamp shade and area rug. Overall, this space works! To see more of the firm's design work, visit here.

What are your thoughts??

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Two Minds are Better Than One

When working with clients, I try my best to truly listen to their wishes and how they envision the space. With a recent nursery e-design project, I worked with an amazing client with great ideas for the room.  She is having a girl and I wanted to go with a wall color that was a little unexpected. I immediately thought of Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore. It's a soft blue and would look great with pinks and creams. Here are a couple of the inspiration photos I used:

Source: via Amber on Pinterest

Source: via Amber on Pinterest

The client ended up finding beautiful pink and green bedding on sale and was thinking about changing the wall color to match with the bedding. At first, I thought it would be great to keep the blue wall color, because pink, green and blue also look great together. Here is a great example of that working well:

After seeing the bedding at her home, she really loved the idea of green walls instead, so we tweaked the design a bit. We ended up going with Hancock Green for the walls, which is a soft, pale green. Here is an image of this color in a nursery:

She loved the new color choice! Here is the final design board, with the color changes:
(Click on board to make larger)

She loves the design and has already purchased most of the items! I am so glad she is truly happy with the outcome, and I have to say, I also love the changes! Two minds were definitely better than one with this project, and we made a great team.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Posting at The Mustard Ceiling

I am so excited to be guest posting over at Elizabeth's amazing blog, The Mustard Ceiling. She always tackles creative DIY projects and has a great personal design style. She is in the process of moving, and I am honored to be one of her guest bloggers!

Check out her gorgeous dining room and beautiful Ikat covered chairs:

You'll be there for a while, enjoying her great design ideas! Today, I am showing some of my completed summer projects over there! Stop by and take a look!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Pop of Color Makes a Difference

Every neutral palette comes alive with pops of color! Even the most monochromatic space looks completely different with the addition of just a few brightly colored accessories.  I love this look, because as your color tastes change over time, a few small changes can totally transform the space. Even if you have a very small budget to work with, a neutral backdrop can look like a different room with the addition of some color in the pillows, throw blankets and drapery panels. Take a look at these great examples of the power of color in small doses!

Just a little pink:

Color in the Pillows:
Source: via Amber on Pinterest

Add Some Coral:
Source: via Amber on Pinterest

Some Red and Blue:

Bright, Fresh Flowers:

Paint a Door a Bright Color:

Have you added a pop of color lately?? 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why This Works

Happy weekend and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and discuss what I love. Today's classic living room was designed by Kate Jackson and is seen in Houzz. Take a look!

This room is part of a beach cottage home in Rhode Island and is the perfect blend of coastal living with modern chic. I love the bold mix of patterns in the space, from the throw pillows to the ottoman, to the chairs- it all works together! The creamy white walls allows the prints to take center stage and does not compete with the room's accessories. The creamy natural fiber rug is perfect for sandy feet and adds nice texture to the room. The woven basket on the floor, the fresh flowers and books on the table, invites you to relax and stay a while. It is definitely a laid back home, with style. This home is near the beach, yet shows subtle hints of coastal decor, with the framed vintage bathing suit and coral on the side table. I love that! The modern swing floor lamps balance nicely with the traditional seating, allowing for a mix of modern with traditional. Geometric prints are paired with stripes, zebra and florals, and they all work! The designer worked with a neutral backdrop and only used a few colors to bring the room together. When colors are repeated throughout the space, mixing different patterns is a great trick to achieve depth and interest. Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Unexpected Place for China

When decorating, I try to add a touch of whimsy to the space. I think it speaks to your personality when you add a bit of quirkiness or yourself to your home. My mom recently gave us some espresso cups and saucers that were given as a wedding gift by her parents. I love being able to use heirloom pieces passed down from family members. It adds such a sense of history to your table setting. My husband and I have started having cups of espresso and cappucino on the weekends, and these will definitely come in handy! Here is the beautiful set:

I love the gold detail on the outside! I wanted to place them in an interesting location, so I would be able to see them all the time, while also being a little unexpected...

A great solution to a full china cabinet?? Place some dishes in an unexpected place, like this lantern! You will always be able to see it when you walk by, and enjoy it all day long!

Have you done something unexpected with your decor??

Monday, August 13, 2012

How One Change Changes Everything

I recently wrapped up a living room e-decorating project.  The client was looking for a modern, mid-centurystyled space with neutral furniture and pops of color in the accessories. She also loves graphic prints and wanted them incorporated into the design. Here is one of the boards I came up with:
(Click on design board to make larger)

 Remember my Ombre post? It was inspired by this design! The pops of gold are fun in the space. The oval gold/cream object on the left of the board is actually a dresser knob that I suggested for the media cabinet. I think it would really jazz up the piece! She really loved the design, but we went back and forth on a few options for the area rug. This ended up being a fun little project for me, because I was able to see how one change can change the whole look of the space. Let's take a peek at replacing the ombre rug with a natural, jute option:

It definitely tones the room down and neutralizes it a bit more. I think the ombre option above might be a little more trendy and help to incorporate our accessory color. When I went with the blue rug, I decided to take out the black and white pillows, as I thought the colors would compete too much.

Which would you choose? I think I know my choice!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why This Works

Happy weekend and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and discuss what I love. Today's sitting room is from the home of Jacqui Getty and was seen in the 2011 issue of C Magazine.  Enjoy!

What first gets me about this space, besides the zebra ottoman, is the amazing corner gallery wall! I just recently suggested this idea for a client, because it's a creative way to make use of the corner of a room!  The pictures are hung in a random, asymmetrical way and the frame finishes are different, making this side of the room so stylish and fun! It's such an achieveable look, because we all have mismatched frames around our house and there is no right or wrong with this frame layout. It can be a mixture of art with family photos and it really draws your eye to that side of the room. I also love the corner table vignette, with the gold lamp and fresh flowers. Every room looks better with fresh flowers!  :) The gold is then seen again in the space, with a small accessory bowl on the right side of the image. A room's accessory color always works well when the color or finish is repeated throughout the space. The gorgeous cane chair and sofa are painted black, giving them a modern edge. The wall color is a light, airy neutral, along with the seating's upholstery and window shade, to allow for the showstopping ottoman to take center stage. I love large ottomans, so you can put your feet up and layer books. Overall, this space really works! To see more of this amazing home, visit here

What are your thoughts??

I first came across the idea of a corner gallery wall, when I saw my blog friend Elizabeth's hallway! Look at her amazing framing and styling work:

Isn't is beautiful?!? I have to find a corner in my home to try this. Check out Elizabeth's blog here. Have a great weekend!  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Go- To Paint Colors

When I'm sourcing paint colors for a client or choosing for my own home, I am drawn to a few favorites that always work! I almost always choose Benjamin Moore paints and use their line of Pure Performance, Low Odor paints. They are self priming, go on great and hardly have any odor. They are also supposed to be their green option for paints, because of the low VOC's. So, it's a favorite! Here are my go- to colors:

Alaskan Husky

This is a very light, blue/gray that works with so many other colors. I have used it to bring warm and cool tones together and for a light, serene backdrop. It's also the color choice in our master bedroom, kitchen and family room.

Our Family Room

This is a very pale gray with a subtle hint of green. I have to find a place for this in my home! I did just suggest this color for a client, and I can't wait to see it completed!

This is a true gray. It is a lighter shade, and will go with just about any color!

This is a beautiful shade of pink that resembles ballet slippers. I can imagine this hue paired with gray or green!

This is a classic, deep blue great for an office, bedroom or dining room. It can be paired with white, yellow, orange or red.

This a deep and bold brown that almost appears black on the walls. This color looks amazing paired with coral, turquoise and gold.

Our Living Room

This is a great color for doors and stair railings. it's a muddy gray/black with a hint of brown. I'm a huge fan!

Our Foyer

This is a fun color in small doses. I would love it for the back of book shelves or on a door! Here, it's used on a ceiling and part of the wall- beautiful!


So there you have it- my favorite paint colors! I always like to go with an eggshell finish for walls. It's scrubbable with just a light sheen.

Do you have a favorite go - to paint color? Is is on this list??

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