A New Season!

It’s hard to believe, but Spring has come to a close. Between vacationing in England and France, and working on our family farm, this season in our lives has flown by. While our travel time was absolutely dreamy, it’s always nice to be home. When the seasons change, I typically change over decor and inspiration in our personal spaces as well, and this warm weather has me feeling extra inspired. Here’s a few things I’ve been up to…

Photo- betsy blue photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Roses-David Austin Cake-Mrs. Cards Cakes Decor-Allure with Decor

Photo- betsy blue photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Roses-David Austin Cake-Mrs. Cards Cakes Decor-Allure with Decor

-Pulling weeds to no end in my gardens: I recently found a helpful article by HGTV that gave me some tips for making this dreaded chore go faster. With our expansive land and garden spaces, there are plenty of weeds to keep me busy! My favorite new tips: to place mulch over areas where there is a lot of blank spaces for weeds to grow and expand, and to carry a mini trowel with a triangular head to really dig out the small weeds before they can spread their seeds!

-Fending off hawks and trimming roses: I definitely find one of these tasks more inviting than the other (I think it’s pretty obvious which one!). We have found hawks trying to prey on our beloved chickens, and one almost got to my favorite, Rosie. I like tending to my heirloom roses much better than trying to ward off the wildlife, and carefully prune them to make sure they grow strong and healthy. 

Photo-Sharon Westergard Photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Pillow Covers-Allure with Decor

Photo-Sharon Westergard Photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Pillow Covers-Allure with Decor

-Changing over my home decor to something lighter: I love things light and bright, especially as the weather gets warmer, and I’ve also added small vases of pink roses to all my tablescapes. I love having access to so many pretty blooms, right outside my own door. I have added in Jolie Marche pillows (we now carry these gorgeous accents) in pretty hues of pink and blue to coordinate and help things feel very cohesive and pulled together. After all, the best inspiration is always found in nature itself. And as a final finishing touch, I have added citrus scented candles. I love finding organic ones, as I am pretty picky about what I bring into my home and around my family, and this one fits the bill perfectly. 

Image: Jolie Marche

Image: Jolie Marche

Why to Have an Interior Design Budget (and stick to it!)

The word “budget” is one I heard frequently, and usually it’s used in negative terms, but it can truly be a positive idea. Having a budget is something that can eliminate stress, negate conflict in marriages, and keep you on track to meet your financial goals. It can also help anyone you hire, such as an interior designer (like me!), and can really give a clear picture of what you’re wanting and what’s realistic. Without a budget, these things are hard to gauge. Here are five reasons to make and keep your design parameters:

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Know what you’re really working with: Sometimes, a client doesn’t realize how much something truly costs. They may under or overestimate a piece of furniture or even how much paint they will need, and it can skew their perception of how much they have to work with. This isn’t their fault, because it isn’t their field of expertise, but it makes it harder for me to help execute their dreams without a clear financial boundary. Having a budget means we won’t get to the end of a project, and run out of finances.

A budget makes sure your true priorities are reached: If you have a major goal of getting a new couch, and then using the rest of the funds to decorate around it, then a budget makes sure you get that couch, and don’t run out before you find the right one. A clear budget lets you or your designer know what you truly MUST have, and how to allocate the funds appropriately.

A clear cut budget also allows to obstacles to come up: If we hit a major snag in your design, such as a structural problem or an emergency, a clear budget will allow for issues and obstacles, and it won’t be a huge crisis to your pocketbook. It’s always great for clients to have a little wiggle room with their finances, and it helps anyone you hire to make sure everything gets taken care of. Sometimes a client also discovers that they don’t love an aspect, or that they want something more pricy than they originally thought, and a budget lets you make those changes without much stress. 

Sticking to your budget won’t derail your long term financial plans: If you are currently trying to fund a large remodel, or you are saving up for a purchase (or just making a nest egg), sticking to your budget will help you breathe a little easier, and can get you one step closer to where you hope to be. It also cuts out the stress of loading everything onto a credit card with high interest, or taking out loans you know you cannot afford. You can rest easy when your design project is done, whether you hire someone or DIY, and know that you stuck to the amount you had available!

How to Define Your Design Style

With the rise of social media, design styles are all around us, almost all the time! It’s a different age for both interior designers and people designing their own homes. It can seem overwhelming to truly understand and know your own personal style, when you are shifted by the whims of your feed, but it’s so important. Knowing your personal design style shapes your buying habits, the feel of your home, and the way it makes you feel. It affects our loved ones and the way they feel when they walk into our home. It’s special and unique. Here’s a few ways to figure out what your personal style is, and how to hone it:

Source: Ballard Designs on Pinterest

Source: Ballard Designs on Pinterest

-Cruise the aisles of your nearest home store, and see what draws your eye: Sometimes, when you shop, you find out that what you thought you loved isn’t what continually draws you in. If you can, accumulate the things you love into one cart, and snap a photo. It can help you make an inspiration board or mood board, and can solidify the look you are going for. 

-Look at where you draw inspiration from: Do you love interior design magazines? Do you enjoy putting together boards on Pinterest? Do you find awe inspiring ideas when you’re in nature (hiking or walking)? These can help guide your design choices, whether they are bold, earthy, or bohemian. Oftentimes, your wardrobe reflects a little bit of your personal taste as well. People who love neutral clothing and staple pieces often also love a minimalist and stripped down design style. Those willing to take more risks usually reflect this in their wardrobe and their home.

-Think about what your home or space is used for: If you want a very cozy feel, with warmth and texture, then a farmhouse aesthetic is likely what you will gravitate to (or least elements of it). If you love entertaining and enjoy modern flair, you may love wide open spaces with accents like marble and gold. It also helps to take into consideration that your taste can change over time. If you have little ones at home, your style may reflect an easier, simpler version of your personal tastes, simply because of the utility of your needs. In ten years from now, you may be able to incorporate things you aren’t able to yet. 

Pinterest via Serena and Lilly

Pinterest via Serena and Lilly

-Start with anchor pieces, and work your way out: If you love kitschy items, and you buy a huge gold pineapple at Home Goods, you may have trouble building a room around it. It’s more ideal to start with a beautiful piece of furniture, like a couch or bed, in order to get a clearer picture and prevent yourself from ending up with tons of small, stylish pieces that have no cohesive element. Always start with a color palette, or anchor pieces of furniture in order to solidify your style. 

Fresh and New for Easter! Springtime Tablescape

Here at our family’s little farm, it feels like Easter year-round! I love it, because Easter and springtime always make me think of changes, and of new-ness. I love that the flowers are all beginning to bud, and the grass gets tall enough to hide those sweet little pastel eggs that the chickens are just beginning to lay. I find that my springtime inspiration creeps into my decor and purchases, as well. As you well know, a beautifully set table is something I am passionate about. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it makes me feel accomplished and inspired. I wanted to break down how I set a welcoming springtime table today!

Source: Rooms for Rent via Pinterest

Source: Rooms for Rent via Pinterest

-Start with a base layer:  Whether you have a butcher block style table, or one that you enjoy laying down a tablecloth on, start with a clean, uncluttered table. Clear everything off of it, and polish it if necessary. Don’t forget to wipe off any furniture polish with a clean cloth and buff a a wooden table down so your guests don’t get a sleeve of oily polish! If you’re using a tablecloth, always opt for a pretty neutral (taupe, white, cream). 

-Add some height: I like the idea of varied heights in order to draw the eye around the table. Of course, try not to add too many items, because you’ll need room for people to pass food around or place large dishes on the table for serving. If you have too many large centerpieces, it can feel cluttered and not relaxing. Some ideas for taller pieces would be wooden candleholders, glass cloches, or potted plants on tiered stands.

-It’s time for the dishes! I recommend that everyone own one set of quality, neutral dishes. Whether you choose white, taupe, or another simple tone, pretty dishes will be something you use for years and years to come. If they’re well-made, they may stay around for generations to enjoy, so make sure you buy plenty of place settings as your family grows. Decide what’s needed based on your meal and add soup bowls or salad plates accordingly. I also recommend some plain drinking glasses or Champagne flutes, depending on your audience!

-Add your personal touch: I love fresh greenery on a lovely brunch tablescape, and there are many ways to incorporate it into your place settings. Consider hand-calligraphies place-cards, little sprigs of rosemary or other fresh herbs, or mini greenery wreaths at each place setting. Little strips of burlap can be maneuvered into silverware rings for a rustic and classic farmhouse look, and you can also tuck little sprigs of greenery into those. 

Now, your table is ready for your guests! Happy Easter!

Welcome Spring!

Spring is always a time of personal inspiration for me. The fruit trees are just beginning to blossom, and I spy bold tulips sprouting up. I have been outside, elbow deep in the dirt, trimming my roses and also soaking up some much-needed sunshine! I wanted to share some of the things that I have my eye on, and that are inspiring me in this bright and cheery season:

-I am obsessed with all things blue and woven right now! I spotted these basket pendant lights at the Surf Rider Hotel recently in Malibu, and fell right in love. I love the beach vibe, and the simplicity of the design. You may also enjoy the whole gallery of the beautiful hotel, which you can find HERE!

Source: Surfrider Hotel Gallery

Source: Surfrider Hotel Gallery

-Everything blue: I am loving the blue-grey tones and the dusty blue colors that have found their way into the spring Pottery Barn and Anthro catalogs. This is a gorgeous new rug that I spotted at Anthropologie, and it’s an indoor/outdoor one that would be perfect for a patio space. 

-The Serena and Lily wallpapers come all so many gorgeous prints and textures, and I have begun dreaming up where I might include them! Here are some of my favorites: 

Priano Wallpaper 

Wentworth Wallpaper 

Fairfax Wallpaper 

Source: Jolie Paint Inspirations

Source: Jolie Paint Inspirations

-Blue is also a great color to paint a piece of furniture to freshen it up, like a dresser or a table base. My favorite type of paint is Jolie paint, which is known for it’s beautiful and lasting pigment. They are priced similarly to other matte paint brands, and they are well worth it for the finishes and quality that truly last for years! Their French blue and Slate colors would be a perfect addition to any refinish work. 

-The last way that I invite Spring into the home is with pretty baskets! Not only can they be used to organize papers and hide clutter, they can also group together pretty pieces like mason jars and florals/greens (I buy mine at Trader Joes), and decorate a countertop or island space .

Surviving the Winter Blues | Color and Inspiration

Are you feeling like the winter blues are setting in? In our little corner of Oregon, it’s been pretty rainy and snowy. The cold and dreary temperatures always make me feel ready to clean and organize everything with light and airy colors. I’ve found the bright and crisp tones help brighten my mood and my family’s space. Here are some of the colors that I love for giving any room a facelift…they are dependable and always fresh!

Pretty blues and crisp whites are always a beautiful combination that brings a ton of light to any room, whether it’s a bathroom, kitchen or family room. You can weave bright blues and whites into throw blankets, pillows, and towels for even more impact. I also love bringing in clean and pretty storage solutions. There seems to be an influx of “stuff” after the holidays, and it’s so nice to find clever ways to organize and store things to make daily life a little more streamlined. The space below is a little more modern and minimalistic than my personal, typical style, but it’s sure pretty and relaxing!

Source

Source

7ea411659ca99f1550074d604dfbb611.jpg

This chic, rustic farmhouse hutch is also very pretty and a little more charming. The bright white is tempered with some bright greens, and a little bit of grey. While it’s a little more grounded, it’s just as lovely and holds lots of inspiration for  break from the winter blues! It is also something that is extremely practical, and can hold items like dishes, decor, or extra seasonal florals that you don’t have space for in linen closets!

Decorating for Christmas | Style and Inspiration

I haul out my Christmas decorations in November! I know, I know...it’s early. But my family and I absolutely love Christmas, and we love the feel our home has when it’s decorated for the holidays. As far as we are concerned, it’s never too early to get the holiday ambience going! I’m sharing some of my favorite pieces today here on the blog, ones that you can get in store right now! Some of my personal pieces are ones I’ve had for years and they aren’t available any more, but these would be the perfect addition or beginning to a Christmas collection and a very stylish, cozy home!

Image: Pottery Barn

Image: Pottery Barn

These wintery, textured stockings are at Pottery Barn, and you can add custom embroidery to each of them. I love the stockings from PB, because they last for years and years, and can become an heirloom item that can be passed down to generations. I love their mantle inspiration, with plenty of rustic wood, greenery (a-la-Joanna-Gaines), and industrial metal. They are the perfect look!

Image: Pottery Barn

Image: Pottery Barn

These vintage inspired ornaments are so beautiful, and add just a touch of charm to your tree. You could even add them to a glass cloche or another display item for the most perfect little arrangement or tablescape. I also loved these mercury glass ornaments and the way they gently shimmer without being too sparkly.  

If you’re short on time, adding just a few key pieces can add a ton of warmth and beauty to any space. I always love a few warm, textured throws like this one, oversized throw pillows in seasonal colors, and of course, a warm, scented candle to set the mood! You don’t have to go overboard and spend a ton of money, especially if you already have large, neutral items in your home like a mantle, fireplace, sofa table, or counter top. We love the gorgeous look below as well, from West Elm..it’s simple and sweet. 

Image: West Elm Catalog

Image: West Elm Catalog

Handy Guide to Hanging Decor on the Wall

We have all done what I call “eyeballing”…enthusiastically hammering nails into bare walls without measuring, only to discover the item was in the wrong spot, the hanger on the back was in the wrong area, or it’s too low or high on the wall. But who has time to sit and painstakingly measure every bit of photos or artwork? Today, we are sharing our handy tips to hang your beloved photos and art on the wall, without losing your mind!

-Know where it should be: Artwork and decor should ideally be at eye level for the average adult. Many people place their art and decorations much higher, especially with high ceilings, which ends up looking awkward and disproportionate. The bottom of most artwork shouldn’t be much higher than four feet away from the ground.

-Do a trial run: You can test out where you may want to hang a picture or artwork by using sticky, removable adhesive or the removable 3M hangers to see if it’s right. This is much less permanent than a nail and can be moved around until you are happy with it. Mark the top of your frame or item with a pencil that can be erased.

-Measure: Yes, you do have to measure. We recommend measuring the top to bottom and the left to right on the wall or space you are hanging on, to find the center. Mark lightly with a pencil. Most importantly, measure the distance from the top of the frame to your hanger, if there is one on the back. This will ensure that you are not one or two inches off the top of the measurement. If you have two hangers on the back, measure to find the center and both edges so that they are equal.

-Ask a helper to hold it on the wall before you hammer! If you can find someone to hold up the photo or artwork on the wall where you intend to hang it, then you can step backwards and make sure it looks right from all angles. Walk around the room to make sure you can view it accurately and with your other decor. Treat a grouping or a gallery wall as one image, in order to achieve the correct look and impact.

Source: Contemporist

Source: Contemporist

Best of Amazon Holiday Decor

If you’re anything like me, you’ve discovered the benefits of Amazon prime! The one-stop shop even allows you to set up monthly deliveries of things like detergent or groceries, and you can basically knock out all your christmas shopping in one sitting with your smart phone! Amazon has grown and grown to include everything from organic products to inexpensive party supplies, and you can always snag a good book or two! Best of all, prime members get their purchases in just two days. But one area that is often overlooked with Amazon, is the home decor selection. They have the most amazing decor items, at super affordable prices! Here are my picks for holiday decor that will arrive quickly to your home, and look like you spent hours searching it out at expensive department stores!

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-Christmas Tree Pillow: this high-end looking pillow is under $10, and has free prime shipping! The cute print and little truck/tree design is perfect for any farmhouse inspired decor scheme, and best of all, it is 18x18 and slips right over your existing pillows as a slipcover. This means you can save space and utilize what you already own. Find it HERE.

-Rustic farmhouse sign: This is a great price, and looks adorable. It is really well made and is under $70, which is pretty affordable for a large sign. It also comes with two hooks for easy hanging and decorating, and looks good with any color theme, because it is such a pretty neutral. At 18x24”, it is large enough to make a big impact on your christmas decorating! Find it HERE.

-Plain burlap stockings: These are somewhat on the thin side, but they accent your existing decor really well, and they are just $12 for three stockings! They look great in front of a fireplace or hanging on a mantel, or you can fill them up and give them as gifts to teachers or friends. They are like a blank canvas, since they are just a simple tan and white design! Find them HERE.


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-Large christmas wreath: Wreaths can be quite expensive, and many are gaudy. This pretty, flocked artificial wreath is the best idea for your front door or even inside your home, layered on a big mirror or windowpane. It’s also filled with enough neutral greens and whites that you could use it year-round or add a little sparkle with added ornaments. It’s a bit spendy at $53, but pretty comparable to any other type of wreath you may find at Target or Home Goods. It’s available HERE.

As you can see, Amazon has tons of pretty christmas items, that are all affordable! Best of all, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own couch to find them!

Setting Your Thanksgiving Table

Setting your table for the holidays is so important. It might seem like a small detail, but the table (like the kitchen) can be the heart of the home. Especially during the holidays, meals and gatherings play a huge role in building community and hospitality, and we believe they can be an expression of your personal style, too! We are busy dreaming up our holiday tablescapes around here, and wanted to share our favorite pieces to inspire you. 

Photo: Pottery Barn

Photo: Pottery Barn

The Leila dishes from Pottery Barn caught our eye this season, because of their blend of sophistication and rustic elegance. They have a hand-applied glaze, and they look stunning paired with copper accents and natural wood pieces. Don’t forget the basic pieces you’ll need for a table setting, including matching flatware, and plenty of linens. You can forego a tablecloth if you want a more rustic look, but a pretty burgundy or mustard looks beautiful for Thanksgiving or harvest dinners. We also love the Scarlett dishes, which have a subtle and elegant grey/blue pattern. I’d pair these with shimmering silver accents and flatware for a dressier event. 

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Marble is not only beautiful, but the new pieces from Williams Sonoma also are functional. You can find their whole collection of serving trays and cutting boards HERE, and they look gorgeous against colors like navy and gold for an unexpected pairing. If your wallet can’t quite handle the Williams Sonoma price tags, Target came out with a similar collection, and most of their pieces are under $50. Their pieces are a great way to begin introducing marble into your decor at an affordable price. This beautiful tray is just $19.99, and would look perfect for your next cheese and wine appetizer.  

Stay right here on our blog for the latest style news and tips, and how to incorporate them into your everyday life and home! Ar you having a large party or event this holiday season? Allure with Decor offers personalized styling and event decor,  in addition to interior design. Let us know via our CONTACT page if you would like to book your event today.  Hurry, as holiday schedules fill quickly!

How to find the Perfect Candle Scent

I don’t know about you, but finding the perfect candle scent is one of my favorite things in life! That perfect scent can make your home feel so cozy, and can make you think of home instantly when you smell it. When the leaves start changing, I always love to add candles to my home decor, and then when the holidays come, my living spaces smell warm and inviting. How do you find that perfect scent? Here are out best tips!

Source: Yankee Candle

Source: Yankee Candle

Consider where you’ll be using the candle: A candle for a large living room would be quite different than one for a tiny office or bedroom. Always consider the fire hazard in small spaces, and if it seems like burning a candle might be dangerous, use an alternative such as diffuser sticks, essential oils, or plug in scent warmers. Obviously, do not burn candles in children’s rooms where they could be tipped over or forgotten. A lightly scented, very small candle will do next to nothing in a large area with vaulted ceilings, and a huge, heavily scented three wick one will overwhelm a tiny space.

Know what scents you are drawn to: Many people feb strongly about their perfume or cologne, and will often choose similar scented candles. I personally know that heavily scented vanilla candles can give me a headache if I burn it too long, but I love a lightly spiced scent like cloves and cinnamon for my house for a holiday-esque feel. Whether you choose fruity, spicy, strong, or mild, knowing what you want is very helpful.

Buy candles from reputable sources when you can: Of course, we have all picked up a great candle at TJ Maxx or a discount retailer, but what often happens is we cannot find the scent again! Sometimes, they are discounted, or even from past seasons, so they can be old and not as scented. We love Yankee Candle, Woodwick (for a crackling effect) which is perfect in the winter), and Bath and Body Works. Plus, you’ll be more likely to find the same scent over and over as you use it for lengths of time.

-Check out candles from Anthropologie: One of Anthro’s lesser known points is their fragrance lines. We love their many types and brands of perfume, but they also carry candles. We adore the Tocca line and the Volcano candle that’s pretty famous among fashion bloggers for it’s beautiful, luxury look and light fruity scent. I enjoy burning it in the kitchen or bathrooms when guests arrive, because it’s uplifting and not heavy.

-Take care of the candles you have: Don’t leave them in a hot car or outside on the porch (if you order online). Carefully trim your candles according to the instructions they come with, and don’t burn them longer than indicated on their packaging. This will increase how long they last for you, and will ensure you get the most for your money, especially for the pricy candles that you want to maximize!

It’s now just about fall here in Southern Oregon, and I can’t wait to bring out my personal candle collection to welcome in my guests and family! What’s your favorite candle scent?

Five Things We Love About Fall

When you think about making a list of things to love about Autumn, well, that list can get pretty long! It’s one of my favorite seasons, mostly because it feels so…cozy! Everything from blanket scarves to lattes, to the changing leaves and the tones of red and orange that are around, make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. They inspire me to make my home a place of comfort, and of physical and emotional warmth. Here are five things I just love about this season, especially in gorgeous Southern Oregon!

-The colors: Decor often echoes nature, and fall decor is no exception. I love the golden pumpkins, cranberries, and sparkle of gold as I prepare for fall. And although you know I love neutrals with a passion, I also love the fun and happy hues that arrive with the changing leaves. For another take on things, try a cream and sage green theme for something a little different, that also looks beautiful in the farmhouse aesthetic if warm tones aren’t your thing.

Source: Finding Silver Pennies

Source: Finding Silver Pennies

-The Clothes: Who doesn’t love fall fashion? I especially love dressing in blanket scarves and boots, because it does get chilly here in our part of the country, and I love being able to be outside without worrying about being cold. If you’re looking to add to your fall wardrobe, check out the new collection from Anthropologie! It is on the pricier side, but their fall items are so beautiful and can become classic pieces if you take care of them. While you’re at it, you can always peruse the house items…we won’t tell!

-The Scents: As time creeps closer to the holidays, something I love are all the fall scented candles. I love a good, spicy cinnamon and clove type scent, and burning candles always makes it feel like home, no matter where I am. Try the Bath and Body Works scent called “Leaves”, which is a perfect candle for anywhere in your house…it will really put you in the mood for the season. If candles aren’t for you, consider diffusing an essential oil like Thieves from Young Living to give your house a holiday-esque scent while also killing germs.

Source: Genius Kitchen

Source: Genius Kitchen

-The Food: Ohhhh, you know I love to cook! Spending time with my family around the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes, and baking pumpkin or cinnamon flavored baked goods is another way to make your home smell delightful! Not to mention, you’ll be ready anytime guests come by. Try this recipe for pumpkin bread that will rival Starbucks, or check out a simple Snickerdoodle cookie for an even easier dessert.

-The decorating: Swapping out my summer items for fall decor may not sound like the most fun to you, but I love it! It reminds me to clean and purge out certain pieces, and it keeps me inspired to change up little areas and nooks and crannies in my house. To make it very cozy and welcoming, I plan around things that guests will love, as well as my family…big throw blankets laid across couches and oversized pillows make things picture-perfect for a movie night. A pretty tablescape with pumpkins and candles invites guests into our home for a dinner party with a warm soup and bread buffet. Cookies baking in the oven invite my children to plop down at our counter and share with me about their day!

These are just some of the reasons we love this special season!

Decorating a Room with High Ceilings

If you have a room with a vaulted ceiling, it can feel insurmountable to decorate it correctly. You know I'm always at the ready to work with clients to find the right pieces for their home, but I also wanted to share my best tips for working with vaulted ceilings today. If you're someone on a budget, or who struggles to shop for and acquire the "right" pieces, this one is for you!

-Think about the light: Many homes with vaulted ceilings are also blessed with tall, open windows. This is a big blessing when it comes to decor, because flooding areas with natural light is always a positive! If you decide to add additional lighting (which we recommend), look for large, substantial chandeliers or fixtures that won't be dwarfed. You want something that will make a true impact when dealing with such large areas. 

Source: Homethetics 

Source: Homethetics 

-Add warmth and lots of cozy elements: Long, beautiful drapes in a neutral tone can be just the thing to bring the eye towards the middle of the room and not always to the ceiling. We love the idea of white or cream colored curtains, made of thicker linen or even velvet, if you're feeling adventurous. Drapes tend to look nicest in dining areas or common areas of the home, and can even add actual warmth during the winter (which helps with heating those rooms with high ceilings!). 

-Use the right paint color: White and pretty cream shades are ideal for high ceilings...they work well with natural light, and they act as a neutral palette to decorate in the style you prefer. Black and white with a modern farmhouse appeal is a very popular trend right now, yet is timeless enough to last for years. 

Source: Homethetics

Source: Homethetics

-Choose your anchor pieces wisely: While you may love a shorter lamp, or a a tiny coffee table, these items can easily be drowned by the height of your room. Mix your smaller, less impactful pieces with heftier items like a sturdy wooden lamp, tall plant, or large armoire. Tall pieces should be the ones your eyes go to first (along with your lighting), to make your guests feel the space is "evenly laid out". Don't forget to place artwork at appropriate levels where guests can see them, even if it seems tempting to place them really high on the wall. 

-Add stunning wooden beams to your vaulted ceiling. Beams are one of the best ways to make a strong visual impact in an enormous space. Whether you choose painted or natural wood, be sure to have them professionally installed and tested for weight bearing and stability before planning around them! They add a true bit of country and rustic charm, and look incredibly beautiful in open concept homes.

 

A Beginner's Guide to Indoor Plants

One of Joanna Gaines' best tips is to add greenery throughout your home, to add a bit of whimsy and interest. I love the look that is accomplished by adding plants, they keep things pretty and filled with positive energy. If you aren't a person with a green thumb, so to speak, the thought of adding plants to your home may seem like a ton of work, not to mention a time commitment. We wanted to share some of our ideas for those of us who may be less inclined to have a gardener's heart...Okay, so maybe we have killed a few houseplants on accident! Here is our beginners guide to getting those beauties to stay alive and look gorgeous:

Source: Barely There blog

Source: Barely There blog

-Head to your local nursery and find an expert: While some employees at home decor stores may have a few ideas for you, they may not be plant experts. You will want to find a true nursery to locate plant experts, and if you don't have any locally, try your local 4-H or horticulture branch (which you can find using Google). Ask them which plants are easiest to grow for a beginner, and which grow well in your climate. The Philedendron and Spider Plant are two easy ones that may be a good start. 

-Consider the temperature and humidity of where you want to put the plants: Most houseplants like humidity, and you can achieve this even if your home isn't very humid. Try grouping plants together, and misting them with a spray bottle. You can even add an electric humidifier and run it at night or when you're at work. Try to avoid places where the temperature swings wildly from one extreme to another, such as an attic or basement. 

Source: NW Rugs

Source: NW Rugs

-How to water: When watering, be sure to place a run-off tray under your plants. Avoid filling decorative planters up with water, and "drowning" the plant in several inches of standing water. Don't water with freezing tap water, instead try to room temperature water to prevent "shock" to the roots and stems. Pay attention to the leaves drooping, or the soil becoming too wet, and you will eventually find a rhythm that works for you! If you forget to water at the frequency your plants need, try setting an alarm in your phone or calendar to remind you.

-Take care of them: Pluck off dead pieces and heads of the plants, and rotate them frequently so they can all get adequate light and air. Keep an eye out for harmful diseases by examining leaves and flower petals for dark spots and anything that looks off (like dark, sticky spots or large holes). Also be sure to choose pet-safe plants if you have furry friends that may chew on them or play near them.

With these tips, you will be on your way to becoming a successful houseplant parent! Want more gardening tips? 15 Best Houseplants For Beginners | Balcony Garden Web

A few Favorite Retailers for the Home

When it comes to shopping and sourcing items for my design projects, there's not really a single place where I find items. I work hard to find just the right chair, table or piece of art, and sometimes, that means hunting it down at a few different stores (or maybe a dozen! Ha!) I have made a list of some of my favorite home stores and retailers below. This post is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the brands below:

Source: West Elm

Source: West Elm

-Pottery Barn: Always a classic, this store has both brick-and-mortar locations, as well as online inventory, which means you can find nearly everything you may need. Rather than purchasing their "entire room looks", I like to choose some larger, more dramatic pieces to accent design plans. They also have amazing light fixtures, throw blankets that hold up in the washing machine, and occasionally, really unique wooden furniture that you can't find anywhere else. Lastly, their duvet covers hold up incredibly well, for years and years, without shrinkage. 

-West Elm: If you want a lighting fixture or chandelier that will be a total showstopper and the center of your home, West Elm is the place for you. They have stunning lighting fixtures, although the price tags make them a true investment. Their sofa and sectional couches are also beautiful, not too trendy, and made to last for generations.

-Target: Yes, it's true! Not every item at Target is well-made, but for smaller items like the occasional throw pillow, faux plant, and anything from the Magnolia collection, it's a great option and very budget-friendly. Avoid furniture and large pieces, as they are often made of particle board and the paint chips off very quickly. 

Source: West Elm

Source: West Elm

-Home Goods: If you have the time to dig through a bargain marketplace like Home Goods, you can find some treasures. When you're searching, look for quality fabrics and nice frames, artwork for children's rooms or places where you may want to change it up in a year or so, and smaller items like candles and vases. We have also found gorgeous faux trees and larger plants, such as faux Fig leaf trees in baskets for under $100. It takes some digging through the unorganized aisles to find the right items, but it's possible!

-Thrift vintage stores and yard sales: When you're on the hunt for something very specific, or something vintage or retro, thrift shops can be a goldmine. We suggest taking a full day to hit up larger thrift stores, and go with a specific list of what you're needing. Don't forget to measure your space beforehand, especially if you're trying to find large furniture items that need to be in an assigned room or area of the home. Bring along a tape measure and notebook, and never be afraid to haggle down prices if you're yard-saleing. Estate Sales can also be a great place for solid wood furniture and large armoires. 

If you keep an open mind, you can find gems for your space just about anywhere. You can even do it in a tight budget, if you're willing to put the time and effort in. 

How to Mix High End and Budget Items in Your Decor | Southern Oregon Design Blog

If you're an Instagram or Facebook user, you've surely run into the latest fashion bloggers; ladies who have learned to expertly pair budget friendly items with their high-end Gucci belts and Fendi bags. It's seriously an art form, and the concept applies to decor, as well. You can mix items from Target, with items from thrift stores, and luxury pieces from Anthropologie. Your home shouldn't reflect how much you spent on an item, it should reflect the things you love and the pieces that you find inspiring, no matter how much they cost. Here's a few pointers as you strive to mix splurge items with ones that are thrifted or from the bargain bin:

-Take good care of your furniture: Even if you have low-end pieces from Craigslist, giving them a proper dusting and cleaning and fixing up loose hardware can go a long ways. There are even dark markers and stain pens that can cover up dents and scratches for a low cost. When looking at thrifted pieces, look for solid wood with classic stylings that you can easily update with fresh hardware. In fact, Anthropologie has beautiful hardware that you can splurge on and make your thrift-store finds look more high end like these knobs.

Source: Pulte Homes

Source: Pulte Homes

-Frame cheap art in nice frames: You don't have to spring for pricey pieces of art to improve the aesthetic of your home. You can purchase inexpensive pieces at Goodwill or Home Goods, and remove the wooden or plastic frame that they're in. You can re-frame them in a solid wood or luxe metal frame for a piece of art that looks way more polished. You can also use this theory for photographs, by framing them in really nice metal and wooden frames to create your own, personalized focal points in your home.

-If you splurge, splurge on the main pieces:  sturdy headboards and beautiful rugs can be staples that lasts for years and years, whereas candles, pillows, throw blankets, and wooden trays can be found at mass-market shops and swapped out seasonally or yearly. If you're planning to spend a large chunk of money on a dining table or couch, look for classic colors and neutral tones that won't go out of style very quickly. 

Source: Home NBC

Source: Home NBC

-Remember that expensive doesn't equal perfect: Just because something has a hefty price tag doesn't mean its right for your house. You have to go with your gut, and pursue the things you love, even if that means it's free on the side of the road. Budget for what you love, and the pieces will work together because it's the look that you wanted and the one you worked hard on. 

-Choose items with purpose: When you design a room, think of the pieces you want to be in it, ahead of time. If you know you absolutely want a long console table, then search high and low to find it. You may find a treasure hiding at a flea market, or commission someone to make a custom piece for you, but you want to be sure it fits in your overall plan and idea for a room before adding it. If you shop without a purpose, you'll be more tempted to overspend your budget, and buy things you have no real place for. 

With these ideas in mind, you can begin integrating your thrifted finds alongside that piece you saved for, for years. Your design will always be a piece of who you are, so make sure it reflects that. 

Simple Tips to Keeping your Home Tidy

As a wife and mom, I can definitely assure you that my house is not always magazine-ready. It might look like I just sit back in my perfectly-decorated home (haha!!! As if!), but the truth is that our life is real, messy, and beautiful. We live here. It's where our story always starts. And that means my home isn't always ready for a photoshoot. But I have learned a few tips along the way, about keeping things tidy and organized. A peaceful home really brings joy to me and my family, and helps us keep clutter and chaos (mostly) at bay. Here's a few easy ways to keep up with the cleaning:

Source: Stocksy

Source: Stocksy

-Everything has a place: If you're struggling with your little ones picking up their toys and keeping their things nice, try a visual system. You can print out little cards with the item on it (like a doll or stuffed animals) that you can attach to pretty, practical bins. Then, your children can easily see where things go, and can tidy up on their own. They will probably even think it's a game!

-Get rid of the things you don't need: The best tip I can give is that purging belongings really helps keep things streamlined. I toss old papers, artwork that isn't sentimental or special, school assignments, and old clothes. You can donate things like older dishes, clothes in good shape, and books. I love keeping sentimental items, but it can really fill up too much space and cause me to waste time cleaning up things that don't even need to be in our home. 

-Figure out a weekly system: Instead of doing a big task every day (like scrubbing bathrooms), I try to do one or two large tasks a week. For example, if I deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms once a week on a Monday, then I can just tidy things up and wipe down counters the other days of the week. It helps keep things from piling up and becoming overwhelming for our family.

-Invest in good cleaning products: I like to buy natural and organic cleaners, or use things like baking soda and vinegar to get my home clean without tons of harsh chemicals. I have also found that if I like the scent of the cleaner, it makes me feel better when I clean. I love the smell of essential oils like lavender, because they make the house feel cozy and welcoming, as well as clean. You can make your own cleaners with a tutorial like this one. I also make sure that I have a good mop, vacuum, and dustrags that are in working order and not too hard to use, because it saves time and effort. 

-Get some "hiding" baskets. If you have some catch-alls that you can easily hide some of the more clutter toys and clothing in, it will make picking up in a flash, a little bit easier. You can find large, attractive baskets at places like Home Goods, and stow them in closets or by bookshelves and toss everything in them when you need to stash away belongings for company. 

-Lastly, value your people. No clean house is worth stressing out, snapping at your loved ones, and creating an environment where your children are scared to touch anything! Remember that if you are truly making memories in a happy home, it's okay if it's not perfect. I've learned that sometimes there are dishes in the sink, but I get to bake cookies with my kids! And maybe every surface isn't clutter free, but there is artwork on the fridge, and fresh flowers on the counter. Treasure memories more than perfection. 

Hopefully these ideas helped you realize that not everyone is perfect (even an interior designer), and that doing the best you can is more important than having a home that is not truly lived in!

 

 

How to Make a Rental Feel like Home

When you’re renting, there is a feeling of your house not being quite yours. Whether you’re renting for a short time or for years, it’s never fun to feel like you’re always waiting for the next step. It can be even harder to make your rental property feel warm, cozy, and full of your personality. You want your rental to feel like home, and for it to feel like YOU and your family’s space to relax and unwind. Here are our best tips to making your rental space feel homey without losing your deposit or making changes that can’t be undone:

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: Apartment Therapy

-Peel and stick decals: These are awesome for infusing some design and inspiration into spaces like small bathrooms, kids rooms, or large blank walls, especially if you can’t paint. You can even do peel and stick backsplashes. Be sure to test out the adhesive and removal process, so that you don’t damage any paint when you move out of your rental. We also love things like little polka dots, name monograms, and simple, neutral patterns to give your blank walls a little panache!

-Utilize stand-alone shelves and furniture: If you are hesitant to nail things into the wall, try stand-alone shelves (ladder style ones), and over the toilet cupboards to increase your storage space, and give you the look of bookshelves and mantle shelves without the commitment and damage to the wall. We like the look of this one for small bathrooms. Aim for higher, taller pieces for more design impact in small apartments and townhomes, because they will draw the eye upward. 

-Mirrors and wall hangings: If you do decide to hang items on the walls, try using the 3M removable tape and hangers that come off without damage. Mirrors and large paintings can make a big impression, especially in small rooms that don’t have a lot of natural light or windows in them. Look for round or square mirrors in neutral colors, like distressed wood, white, and dark wood tones that will go with your decor even if you change color palettes.

-Add cozy elements: If you want to make your rental feel cozy on a budget, look for textured throw blankets, pretty pillows, and curtains. Look for curtains that are the proper length (ones that are too short or bunched up on the ground will draw the eye to that first and will look cheapy), and use neutral tones to make a small space look larger. We love places like HomeGoods and TJ Maxx for inexpensive items that look more high-end. 

Source: Apartment Decorating

Source: Apartment Decorating

-Incorporate plants and fresh flowers: Purchasing fresh flowers is a great way to add a little life to your apartment or rental home, and also can add a pop of color. Faux plants in little pots are another way to get some greenery into your rental without the upkeep of real ones and the watering duties that come with them! If you have a patio or backyard area, large potted plants and trees (faux) can add a little more personality as well.

No matter where you call home, these tips can help your rental feel like the place you can’t wait to come home to!

Best of Target Decor under $50!

Springtime and summer is filled with extra expenses: camping, extra snacks, and sports camps, just to name a few. So when it comes to sprucing up little decor pieces around my house, I love to keep it budget-friendly in this season. As a mom, I think we all know how often we do a "Target run", so I wanted to highlight some of their very adorable and affordable pieces. They have a brand new line called Opal House, and of course, some awesome Magnolia inspired items. Ready? Let's go!

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 12.50.59 PM.png

Opal House is very trendy, and has a boho/Anthropologie vibe. Some pieces are a bit trendy and cheap looking for my personal style and taste, but there are some true gems in the collection as well. These cute mugs would make darling teacher gifts, and they look just like Anthro for only $6 per mug. We also love their serving dishes, which are all under $20, and have a boho summer feel that's perfect for hosting friends on your back porch.

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Hearth and Hand by Magnolia is a little more my speed, and I always have to zip by the aisles quickly, so everything doesn't land in my cart! Here are a few favorites: This steel punched tray is just $35 and it can go basically anywhere in your home! We think it'd look awesome on your dining table, or serving drinks on the patio. It'll also wipe clean and be useful year round because of the natural color. For your table or mantle, you'll also love this darling vase. The edged lip is classic and timeless. 

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 12.57.45 PM.png

When it comes to a versatile item, if you have $35, check out this adorable Threshold pillow with timeless ticking stripes. It's not made of outdoor fabric, but you could put it on a settee that's under cover in case of rain. We also think it looks great piled up with floor cushions around a fireplace, or on a bed that's a neutral palette. This white eyelet pillow has great texture, and of course, you know I love all things cream and white! I hope these ideas have given you inspiration on how to add some spring and summertime flair to your space without going over your budget or spending very much money!

Stay tuned to our blog for the best money-saving and inspiration tips!

The Beginner's Guide to Painting a Room

For some, the mere idea of painting a room strikes fear into their very heart. It conjures up visions of yards and yards of that infamous blue tape, and gallons of paint tipping over beautifully cleaned carpets on accident. Yes, we have all had painting mishaps, but it's not as overwhelming as it may sound. Here are some simple ways to get started when you are considering painting a room.

Source: Becki Owens 

Source: Becki Owens 

  • Get your supplies (and double check them): There's not much worse than beginning an enormous project only to keep making trips to the hardware or paint store! Gathering them at the beginning helps immensely. Here's a shortlist of the items you need: paint (obviously!), paintbrushes and rollers, painters tape (get the brand name kind that peels off easily, such as Scotch blue), a small container for paint that you can easily hold (like a tupperware), paint trays, stirrer sticks, gloves, spackle material for any small holes, dropcloths (and regular, cheaper masking tape to affix them to the floor). We also recommend rags, paint remover, and paper towels, as well as a trash bag or can.
  • To calculate how much paint you may need, the general rule is 400 square feet per gallon. It is wise to get additional paint, in case you spill any, or you need more to cover a tough color like red. If you are using a very large amount of paint, it is recommended to mix two gallons together it in a 5 gallon bucket to prevent variances in color from being very obvious when you change buckets. 
  • Make sure you have adequate ventilation, including fans: Wear a mask if you need to, and be sure to open windows/doors to avoid breathing in paint fumes. Many paints these days are fume-free or low-odor, but you may still get a headache from being in a cramped area and painting. Work from the top down, so paint the ceiling first.
Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

  • If you are up on a ladder, us a small bucket or container: Going up and down a ladder is certainly not a pleasant experience, and also wastes a ton of time. Pour your paint into a smaller bucket to do trim and more detailed painting, rather than walking around over and over. We recommend using a brush along trim and to "cut in" (the first strokes along the edges), and then swapping to a roller to cover more ground. 

For more tips, be sure to check out our post about choosing a paint color HERE!