Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - A Year in Review

What a year it has been! At this time of year, when you are in between holidays and wondering when to take the Christmas decorations down, you {or at least I} tend to reflect on the happenings of the year and how to improve the next. I think the best way to move forward is by remembering where you have been... each and every circumstance and occurrence molds you and shapes who you are. For me, I want to focus on the accomplishments and successes, so to be able to start 2013 on the right track.

A while back, I wasn't quite sure where to take this blog. I knew I wanted to be involved in design in some way. There were times I thought I was wasting my time with my dreams, or it wasn't for me. But this quote is so true. Sometimes, dreams come more slowly than anticipated. I sometimes wish I could have a crystal ball and see into the future... but what fun would that be? This year, I've tried to take risks with my business and put myself out there more. If you don't try, you will always wonder what if?? I am so happy I did that and thankful to my supportive family for believeing in me! Also, a huge thank you to my clients, who have trusted me with their homes and supported my design vision for their space! It's amazing how these clients have become like friends. I have been so lucky to have found amazing people to work with. I am not sure what 2013 will have in store, but I'm along for the ride!

To switch gears a bit, I did have fun with some projects this year! {Don't you just love when 'to do' lists are completed?!?} Here'a bit of a review...

Joined instagram and have been loving the photo editing!

I won't make a resolution list and vow to eat better, work out more and read more books, because it's not going to happen!  :) What I will do, is try to take risks, relax a bit more and enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year and Thanks for Reading!!

Happenings on Instagram

I am now on Instagram! It has definitely become a fun new addiction. Follow along at AmberBInteriors. Here are some recent design ideas and happenings around the house...

{The silk drapes are now also up! I show that on instagram!}

As many of you savvy bloggers already know, instagram is such a fun way to share what you're up to. I love the different special effects you can do with the pictures. I will mostly use instagram to show design updates from clients as well as my own home. If you're on instagram, leave a comment with your page and I'll follow along! Follow me at AmberBInteriors. You can also go to my sidebar on the right and visit my page there.

See you there!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Product Review - New Glasses from Firmoo!

Over the past year, I have noticed my eye sight getting worse. Every time I couldn't see things as clearly as before, I kept reminding myself that it was time for an eye exam and new glasses. It must have been my lucky day, because the amazing eyeglass company, Firmoo, e-mailed and asked if I would like to review their product and receive new prescription glasses. I jumped at the chance! I was so happy to find about this company, because I was ready to pay at least $150 on new glasses! I went and had a quick eye exam at the eye doctor and then went to the Firmoo site to browse my options! I was so excited to find so many different frames to choose from. I knew I wanted new black framed glasses and there was a huge selection! This is what I ended up selecting...

{This is me trying to be cool and serious - not working so well!}  :)

The type of frame I chose can be found HERE. I was a little nervous that I wasn't able to try them on in person, but Firmoo offers the next best thing. Not only can you see multiple images of your chosen frame on models, you can also upload your own photo to virtually try them on! I was also worried that I didn't fill out my prescription correctly and they would be a blurry mess when I put on the glasses. I was so excited to try them on and see that they were a perfect match. I loved the style, the fit and how crisp everything looked. I could see again!  :) Firmoo offers prescription and non prescription glasses and sunglasses. Since I wanted mine with a prescription, I just needed to fill out the necessary information that was already given to me when I had my eye exam.

The glasses came quickly and well packaged. The package included a soft case, hard cover case and a smudge cloth for cleaning. It also included the tools to tighten any loose areas of the glasses, when needed. I was so happy with my decision and I would highly recommend using Firmoo for any eye wear!

Now comes the fun part for you...

How do you take advantage of this great deal??

Firmoo offers a First Pair Free program! The only payment will be the shipping! And if you are not happy with the glasses, you can receive a refund/exchange. Why not give it a try?!?

Prescription glasses can be so expensive, so this site was right up my alley. I loved the trendy selections to choose from and the ease of use with the site. Now, I just have to work on my model pose!  :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

DIY Chevron Stairs!

I wanted to check in and show you an amazing project my mom recently completed. This is one of those projects that I wish I could take credit for, but unfortunately, they are not my stairs. My mom painted these chevron stripes on the stairs, herself! I love the way they came out. It really stops you in your tracks the moment you walk in the front door.

Isn't this project incredible?!? Chevron is no longer just for pillows and drapery! I also love this last image, which shows a glimpse into her wall stripes. I keep telling her she needs to start a blog and document these projects! I love that she painted every other stair. I think it's the perfect amount of pattern. I also love that the alternating stairs are painted a soft gray, so there is not too much contrast. To follow the same step by step instructions she did, visit HERE.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Feature at 6th Street!

Stop by Kirsten's blog, 6th Street Design School, where she is featuring photos of our home's holiday decorations! I have been following Kirsten's blog since I began my own, so it is a huge honor and treat to have a little time on her amazing blog.

Kirsten has a weekly home tour series every Friday, but this month she has decided to include multiple bloggers for a holiday re cap! Stop by and see the other featured homes and decorations HERE.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Dining Room is Painted- Here are the Afters!

Here is a sneak peek into our dining room transformation. I am so excited to be done before the holidays. If you missed my recent post, I decided to add one more thing to my to do list and paint our dining room before company arrives!

Here is the after...

The color is Halo by Benjamin Moore and is a soft green/gray color. It's lighter and brighter and quite a change from the previous dark golden brown walls. If you're wondering why the Christmas decorations aren't up, it's because I have news! Part of this room will be on a fun web site soon and I had to take photos for the article! I think it will go live after the holidays, so no decorations for now. I will post a holiday themed room soon, when I get it all back up!

Still to do {At some point}
- Hang the curtain rods near the crown molding and install silk drapes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Vignette Link Up!

The holiday decorating is in full swing around here and I'm here to show you my mantel for this year! I always like to keep things simple, with touches of natural elements and a bit of whimsy. Enjoy!

 The evergreen was trimmed from my tree in the front yard! The art was switched out for holiday themed scrap book paper.

The ceramic stag was on a great sale at Target! 

I have added my mantel to Courtney's holiday link up party. Make sure to stop by Courntey's blog and link up with your favorite holiday vignette from your home!

Monday, December 17, 2012

At A Loss for Words

Words cannot even express the heartfelt sympathy we all feel for the victims in the Connecticut tragedy. My hope is that time and happy memories will help them heal during this unthinkable time. My thoughts and prayers are with the families. Our greatest wish is for peace on earth...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Product Review - Shop for Decor at NOVICA!

I am excited to introduce a shop that has something for everyone! When a representative from NOVICA contacted me about a product review, I did not know about this site. I am so glad I do now! NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and we have the opportunity to own handmade, well crafted pieces. They have thousands of  accessories, jewelry and home decor items on the site. I was surprised and excited to see how much there was to choose from, which made the narrowing down even tougher! The fun part was browsing through their site and thinking about what to pick out! I was torn between a few things, but ultimately decided on...

This throw is so soft and comfy! It is made from a warm alpaca blend and is a treat to have on our sofa! I love the golden color and pattern that resembles chevron. It is so inspiring and special to know that this blanket was made by hand from an artist in Peru who believes and thoroughly enjoys his craft.

My next exciting purchase was...

I was so happy to see these at my doorstep! The texture and color of these place mats are so beautiful. They will add depth and dimension to any table setting! These place mats were made by an artisan in Indonesia. He crafted these table accessories by weaving together fragrant roots with cotton threads. The subtle fragrance of these place mats is so pretty.

Here are the new pieces, in my home!

{This last picture shows a glimpse into the new lighter paint color!}

Overall, I am so pleased with my new products! I would definitely shop at NOVICA again! The products were well packaged and included hand written notes and postcards from the artisans. There is still some time to shop at NOVICA for the holidays. Look for the small red bow next to the item, to see if it could get to you in time for Christmas! The links at the end of this post also show great, fun products for anyone on your list...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Dining Room is Beginning Its Transformation!

There is nothing like the holidays and company coming to get your act together and finish design projects. As if this time of year isn't busy enough already, I have decided to add one more task to the list... painting my dining room! Call me crazy, but sometimes I work better under pressure! I have committed myself to one wall a day, with some time off in between. That will be a very manageable way for me to complete this on time. I am a very slow, meticulous painter, so one wall a day allows me to take my time and not get too sloppy when I'm dog tired! Here is one wall down...

Don't mind the painting supplies in the right corner! 

The new color is Halo by Benjamin Moore. It's part of their off white color collection and is a putty gray/green color. On sunny days, it will appear more white and when it's cloudy, you can truly see it's gray/green color. I decided to paint all of the walls, including the wainscoting. With this lighter color, I thought it gave interesting depth and dimension to the walls. The art also works well with the new color and the white background pops against the walls. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I had a stencil above the wainscoting for this wall. Here is the before:


While I loved the trellis pattern on the stencil (and still do), I was never happy with the contrast of the dark walls. We have wallpaper in our foyer, and I just thought it was too busy for this space. I was looking for something lighter and brighter. Don't worry- this stencil will show up somewhere... stay tuned on that one! I still have three more walls to go and over a week to complete it all!

Wish Me Luck!!

The after shots also show some holiday decorating and new placemats. More on that soon!

Are you like me and decide to make fast home updates right before holiday company arrives??

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Holiday Wrapping Plan

I have really been drawn to simple wrapped packages this year. As my blog name shows, I like things that are simple! But that doesn't mean the Christmas packages will be boring! Here are some great inspiration images for my packages this year...

I am leaning towards red and white wrapping this year. I am planning on using simple craft paper for the package and decorating it with amazing red ribbons and bows! Easy, but pretty!

I also plan to wrap some in brown craft paper and adorning them with a pretty ornament! I found some great ornaments on clearance at Cracker Barrel. I plan to use those!  This is great, because the ornaments can be the additional gift- bows and ribbons just get thrown away.

Here's another great present wrapped in craft paper. You could easily include a small evergreen branch from a tree in your yard, and call it a day!

I love the natural element of the twine. The candy cane adds a festive touch to an inexpensive paper bag!

Do you have some leftover fabric laying around from a DIY project? Use it to wrap a gift! I first saw this idea from Sarah Richardson in the newest HGTV magazine and fell in love!

This last idea might be my favorite! I also saw this idea in the newest HGTV magazine. {Has anyone else seen that spread? There are so many great tips to wrap presents in that issue!} There is no need for a name tag with this idea! I plan to develop pictures in black and white and use them as name tags!

Do you have any special present wrapping traditions or new ideas to try??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Pinspiration

I'm pretty much addicted to pinterest... have been for a while. Seriously, what did I do before it?? Here are some amazing ideas for projects. Now, I just need to get cracking on some of them!  :)

I hope to adapt my own version of these ideas soon! What's up your holiday crafting sleeve??
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