Thursday, November 29, 2012

All I Want for Christmas...

With the holiday season in full swing, it's fun to daydream about gift ideas for others (Well, ourselves, too! Who am I kidding?) I thought it would be fun to gather up some of my favorite holiday gift ideas and new decorations for the home! Here we go...

All I Want for Christmas...


Ceramic Stag Head... I love this! This is not only great holiday decor for the mantel, but you can also keep it up all year long. It's on sale now- get one here.


This Chunky Cowl Scarf is so cool and perfect for cold winters. You can also wear this as a hood!



I love this shop's graphic watercolor prints and suggest at least a few for almost every client! It's time I pick some up, don't you think?? You can find this navy watercolor here.

This is a collection of some of my favorite pillow prints! This shop has all of the modern pillows you need to update your decor. Some new Chiang Mai pillows? Yes, please!


Anything from the Nate Berkus Collection at Target is a winner, in my book!

What do you have your eye on (for yourself or as a gift) this holiday season??
Here's a little hint... one of the above things has found a place in our home, even before Christmas! More info. on that to come...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Give the Gift of E-Design This Holiday Season!

Now that I am happily stuffed from turkey and trimmings, I am starting to think about Christmas decorating and shopping! {How did this happen so fast?} As I started to think about gift giving, I wondered how many others were like me and daydreamed about design related presents?? If you're wondering what to buy the person in your life that loves to decorate and has discussed making some changes... give the gift of e-design!


 {A breakfast nook and living room for the same client.}

E-Design is a great way to put a decorator's touch on a space! The process is done completely through e-mail and is a fun way to pull the room together yourself, with the help of a decorator's eye!

I have 3 spots left for January. Click HERE to view all of the design packages, then fill out the client form link at the bottom of the page!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

By the way, do you spy the beautiful burlap placemats on the first design board? They are from Renee's shop and can be purchased HERE. Also on that board, you can see how the amazing Emily framed her placemats into art for the kitchen!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Thanksgiving and the Holidays are here! Time truly flies by. Here are some inspiring Thanksgiving tablescapes and ideas to feast your eyes upon...













I love the feathers on the napkins! I also love the idea of writing your name or initial on a pumpkin with a craft pen. What a great way to show where guests are sitting. We will be headed over to my mom's for Thanksgiving. I finally get to see her completed chevron stairs! That will definitely be an upcoming blog post!

Thanksgiving is definitely a time to be thankful for everything and everyone in your life. We truly are blessed to be here and with the ones we love! I am so thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving! Will any of you be brave enough to hit the stores for Black Friday??

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creating a Functional Floor Plan and a Huge Giveaway!

When working with design clients, I love putting the floor plan together and drawing things to scale. It's like pieces of a puzzle that need to find their correct spot. With floor plan puzzles, however, there are always different solutions, rather than only one configuration. Especially with large, open living spaces. Here are some possible layout ideas for that large great room...

The sofa facing the fireplace with occassional chairs, side by side:


Sofas facing each other:
Source: decorpad.com via Amber on Pinterest


When creating a floor plan, function is a top priority. How will the client use the space? Here are the top things to consider when putting the floor plan together:

1. Where is the television? Make sure the main seating option faces the TV. Always having to turn your head when watching TV will get old, real quick.



2. Are there enough side tables for drinks? A great rule of thumb is to have a table within arms reach for every seat. 


3. Make sure there is great flow between seating spots. You don't want your guests to have to do cartwheeels to get to their seat.



4. Pull the seating away from the walls and allow the arrangement to be close together. This makes for an intimate conversation area with great flow around your seating. If you are able to pull your sofa away from the wall, make sure to have a console behind the sofa. It is much more interesting than looking at the back of your sofa! (I am all talk and no action on this one, since my floating sofa does not have a console at the moment! But, I digress...)



How about you... do you have a favorite floor plan arrangement?

Also, today's the start of the amazing Stuff the Stockings Giveaway! 15 bloggers and a bunch of sponsors have teamed up to create 12 amazing prize packages! I am honored Melissa asked me to be one of the sponsors. I will be giving away an accessory design package. Stop by Melissa's blog HERE to enter! The winners will be announced on Cyber Monday, Nov. 26th. Good luck!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

7 Table Styling Tips

If you are anything like me, your coffee and end tables are not always styled to perfection. Life gets in the way- newspapers, magazines and just about anything can take over! Just before you're about to upload house photos on pinterest, share on your blog or get ready to entertain, check out my fast and fun styling tips!

1. Pair the simple with the unexpected. A stack of books looks unique with a magnifying glass, or a treasure on top!



2. Bring everyday items together with sculptural pieces. Here are more books! They are the best first layer to any table. When something sculptural is placed on top, it instantly adds texture and interest.



3. Fresh flowers- one can never go wrong with that!



4. Whimsical Bookends! These can be placed on a console or even a large coffee table. Your favorite book will always be nearby, while also looking stylish in the meantime!

Source: westelm.com via Amber on Pinterest


5. Baskets! They are a great way to add texture to a space while also a perfect spot for storage and small books.



6. Small frames filled with the ones you love! That is always the best accessory. (Check out the side tables, not Uma and John!)  :)



7. Place a bowl of found treasures on a table. It can be nature inspired or something that reminds you of a fun outing!



Do you have a favorite styling tip that is not on this list?? Please share!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How Do I Love Nate??

Let me Count the Ways...


1. Cream Tortoise Shell


2. Brass Urchin


3. Chevron Urn





5. Aztec Diamond Bath Rug




Accessories heaven, in my book! Check out all of the amazing collections from Nate Berkus HERE.

What are you eyeing from the new collection?

Friday, November 9, 2012

What does 'Design Style' Really Mean?

Happy Friday! I am happy to introduce Eva as a guest post for today! She has some great inspiration for us, as well as some clarification for design styles!


Vintage with Elegance

Hello Simple Dwellings readers. I am Eva Stephen from Shop 4 Furniture and I am feeling so happy and excited about being guest here. I dedicate my guest post to the fans of vintage styling and decoration as I am also a vintage fan.

In recent years, the hot trend for bedrooms has often revolved around the ‘shabby chic’ style. Old pieces of furniture and well-chosen antiques have all held a place close to our hearts in our most intimate room in the house, and for once many of us have learned to accept the flaws and tattiness that comes with original pieces as part of their charm and have embraced the shabbiness of older furniture.


Image Credit: Pinterest

As time has moved on, so have tastes, and today it seems that the style to embrace in our sleeping quarters has more of a vintage flavour. You might be forgiven for thinking that vintage and shabby chic are one and the same, but when you start to scratch the surface of these styles, you will start to see that there are some fundamental differences in creating that perfect look for your contemporary bedroom.

Vintage vs. shabby chic – what’s the difference?
Over the past decade or so, vintage has risen from the depths of totally uncool to become one of the hottest trends around. In fact it seems to have swept up everyone from the old rockabillies of the 40’s through to the lovers of 80’s chic and emerged as a fairly dominant sub culture in the world of style. But what does ‘vintage’ mean, and how do you get the look?
Here are some key points about vintage style, which can relate to everything from clothing to furniture and even music:
  • Vintage means ‘original’, so no reproduction items here!
  • Good vintage items will capture the style of a period
  • Vintage items can be anything from 30 to 100 years old, as long as they are original and represent the style of an era
  • The hottest form of vintage style is definitely revolving around the 20’s to the 40’s, although you could focus on the 80’s and still be classed as ‘vintage’.

    Shabby chic, on the other hand, has been a popular style of decorating and furnishing a home over the past decade or so. The style hasn’t really applied itself to clothing or music, and is really only used to describe furniture, soft furnishings and ornaments. The whole ethos of it is to give the home a pleasantly worn, distressed look and feel, whether the pieces in the room are truly old or not.
    Here are the key points about shabby chic style, which you can compare and contrast with the vintage elements above:
    • Shabby is all about looking old, worn and distressed
    • Often pieces of ‘shabby chic’ are actually not period pieces, but more modern items that have been purposely fashioned to look older and more tired
    • A typical shabby chic piece will be heavily painted, often in white but also sometimes in pastel shades, and frequently the finish will be rough and scratched in places
    • Shabby chic allows for new creations and homemade styles, using old fabrics to customise or upcycle things like chairs and cushions to match your style
    So, in summary, vintage items are period pieces, whereas shabby items can be non-period but customised to match the style.

    Getting that vintage look in your bedroom
    For many people, the vintage style holds lots of positive elements, particularly in the bedroom environment. Some householders may not relish the idea of having shabby looking pieces and peeling paint in their bedrooms, so the introduction of a vintage style allows them to create their own, unique look whilst still keeping everything clean and in good condition.
    The elements of a vintage bedroom are easy to adopt, without spending a fortune. Soft colours, textured fabrics and delicate patterns all add up to create that vintage style you are looking for. The beauty of vintage styles is that you have the flexibility to create a style that is all your own, as there are no set rules or formulas to follow. However you choose to create your vintage bedroom, you are sure to be able to inject your own personality and style into the mix. Don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on iconic pieces for your room, as many great bargains can be found in charity shops, car boot sales and online auctions. Once you know what you’re looking for, hunting out those bargains will be half the fun in creating your unique vintage bedroom style!

    Thanks for being here, Eva! I love what you have put together. And great design definitely doesn't have to cost a fortune! Classifying the 80's as Vintage definitely makes me feel old!  :) Thanks for inspiring us today.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Should I Go For It??

Thank you all for your encouraging comments about my last post. I am happy to say that my writer's block is dwindling and I am slowly getting my blogging mojo back in gear! I have been thinking about trying out a little project in our foyer, but not ready to commit. Here is where your input is key! This is what our foyer looks like as of right now:

Our Foyer

While I love the light that comes in from the sidelights, there is no privacy at the front of our house. I would like something that can be swept away, so the sidelights can still be used during the day. Here is what I found on pinterest that has me thinking...





What if I installed a curtain rod and drapes? I could pull the panels back during the day and have the privacy I need at night. Here's the dilemma and where I need your opinion...
I am trying to go for the less is more mantra and don't want to crowd my spaces too much with things. I am worried that if I try this, it might look too busy in my little foyer nook, as the space isn't that large to begin with. I love the way these two images look, but their foyers are also larger than mine. I also worry about drilling holes into the wallpaper, as that would be so permanent.

Any thoughts? What would you do??
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