allure with decor

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

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!

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!

Working with a Color Palette in Your Home

When creating a color palette for your home, there are many different aspects to consider. I wanted to share some ideas today, that will simplify the process. A color palette can be the starting point for all of your decorating decisions, and can really help hone in some of the big choices like furniture and wall colors. Here are some of my tips for searching for, and utilizing, a color palette:

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-Begin with your foundational pieces: Some items in your home, such as the outer color, cupboards, or carpets are already part of your home color scheme. If it is not ideal or affordable for you to renovate every piece of your home, you have to consider those items when putting together a color palette. Consider which items are not being replaced, and which items may be there for years to come. 

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-Build a tangible memory board: Sure, Pinterest is handy, but a regular poster board can actually be really fun to put together, and put ideas on. You can consider it your inspiration board, and can add clippings and paint swatches to it for ideas. You can also add carpet squares, or wood samples to a physical board, although it might be heavy. It can be a great poster to show your designer, if you go with a pro (like me! :)

-Decide if you want monochromatic or lots of different colors. I love the monochromatic look, and  if you know me, you know that clean whites, and warm creams are the stuff I go to most often. They make a room look larger, crisper, and more modern, while still warm. Harmonious colors are those that are close in the color wheel. These generally look very nice together. Complementary colors add a bit more contrast, and appear across from each other on the color wheel. Find more info about the color wheel HERE.

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Simple and Easy Valentine's Day Decor Tips

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and love is already in the air… but is it in your home? Sometimes, decorating for holidays can be stressful, since we feel like we need to change up our whole house to meet the standard. But there’s no need to be extravagant unless you’re in an extravagant mood, and you can create a wonderful atmosphere in your home with simple accents and additions in your decor. All of this applies very well to Valentine’s Day, as it just takes a pop of pastel pink here and a bouquet over there to make the whole house more romantic! Here’s a few easy ways to celebrate this holiday in your decor:

source: freshome

source: freshome

•Splurge on a fresh bouquet

Faux flowers are timeless - at least, when it comes to their shelf life. But for such a holiday as this, it’s not just about the look, it’s about the atmosphere itself, and a bouquet’s wonderful fragrance is a big part of that. Visit your local florist and spend a little extra just for the smell of it. The pops of color in your kitchen or on the coffee table will lighten up the whole room and get everyone more excited for the special day!

 

•Pillows are the perfect festive accent

Speaking of pops of color, pillows are great for shifting the mood of a room from everyday to holiday. They’re small, light, easily throwable, and they fit just about anywhere, which leaves a lot of creativity available to you. Mix and match shapes and colors by picking out some heart pillows to go with the regular squares, and create a palette in your living room by playing around with the Valentine’s color spectrum.

 

source: stylemepretty

source: stylemepretty

•Light up the room with colored candles

There’s something so romantic about a candlelight dinner. The dim light, the intimate conversation, and the gourmet food that’s become the holistic Valentine’s dining experience is one of the most wonderful ways to spend the holiday, no doubt. But you can bring that whole experience home with you if you want to skip the crowds, and you can start with the candles. Even in the bright light of day, rose petal pink candles can give off a festive shine to any room in your home. Take it easy this year and recreate that intimate atmosphere, from the candles up.

 

•Say ‘I love you’ with a lovely banner

There’s something truly wonderful about being able to hold the proof of your special one’s love in your hands, or to see it on display. Stringing up a banner that does just that not only lifts the mood, but is a wonderful accent piece to your Valentine’s decor. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like the phrase itself hung across your mantle! Keep the conversation going by hanging up a few banners across the house, and the romantic atmosphere will follow.

Keep things simple this Valentine’s Day by focusing on the accents instead of a whole room makeover. Trust me, you don’t need the stress! Keep the focus on your loved ones, and really make them feel truly loved on this special day.

Warming up your Decor

photo: timelesswroughtiron.com

photo: timelesswroughtiron.com

Like clockwork, December’s rolled around again, and with it came the bitter cold. I don’t know about you, but I love the snow, and the whole season! One of my favorite things is a landscape covered in a perfect blanket of snow. But I can only handle the cold for so long, until I have to retreat back indoors to warm up by the fire. During the winter months, our homes become our heated safe havens, but heating them can be incredibly expensive. Instead of turning up the thermostat, I like to use some of these inexpensive but warming decor styles to help me deal with the cold.

Farmhouse decor has this style integrated very well. Every time I walk into a house boasting the style, I feel so warmed, surrounded by the woodsy interiors and the rustic color schemes. The style has been making a comeback for a while, but its roots are in the rustic cabins and lodges out in the woods, and those that built them knew just what they needed to shield themselves from the cold. Today, we’re not in a fight against the cold as much as a century or so ago, but we can take some cues from their decor and translate that into modern style. The most obvious one is wood itself! It has an insulating effect, keeping in the heat, and the woodsy look has an ambient effect that just warms you up from the inside out.

photo: havenly.com

photo: havenly.com

One of my go-to’s when the snow starts to fall is an age old solution: a warm blanket. Turns out, just the sight of an afghan or a knit has a warming effect in the home, cozying up the whole room. Spread around a bunch of cozy blankets to warm up your decor instantly, and having a knit close by means you never have to be chilly again. Pair it with a nice reading lamp and a comfy chair in your favorite corner, and you have the coziest place to snuggle up with a good book. Work on the whole room by layering fuzzy or warming rugs, if you have a hardwood floor, and use pillows to lighten up the room and give it a very inviting, snuggly feel.

photo: havenly.com

photo: havenly.com

Leather is another one of those farmhouse staples. Back in the day, it was entirely practical to furnish your home with natural leathers, as farms were often self-sufficient and used every part of an animal. Today, there’s many options for those who have qualms with leather, and you can still get that heart-warming look no matter what you go with. A leather furnishing inherently has a sense of character to it, and that brightens up any spot it’s put in. Pair the rich color of the leather with a cooler gray or neutral palette, and you get a great mix that’ll warm you to the core. It’s easy to use some pops of green to really pull it all together, if you like having plants around the house. If you like a more southern rustic theme, use some cactus or desert flora to really sell the mood.

Lastly, take a look at how your home is lit. If you have access to a lot of natural light, either through your windows or through a skylight, utilize it! Light, of course, is naturally warming, so keep those curtains open during the day to heat up your house for free. Also, take a close look at your windows to make sure no air is escaping through them. You want to be able to retain as much heat as possible, and it’s no good if all of it is being sucked out from cracks in your window frame or a door draft. You wouldn’t expect it, but you can really feel the difference when you make sure your home is leak-proof. If you don’t have a lot of natural light, use some warming, brighter light fixtures, and make use of candles. Not only will your home smell great if you use them, but you’ll feel cozier just gazing at the flicker from across the room.

The winter season is one of my favorites. Snuggling up with my family around the fire is one of my favorite pastimes, it makes my heart so warm. Coming in from the snow when your whole home is full of cozying decor makes life so much easier, and adventuring out in a frozen wonderland much more enjoyable. Here’s to snow outside and warmth inside!

Using Vinyl and Quotes to Enhance Your Space! | Ideas and Inspiration

Photo by Betsy Blue Photography

I’ve discovered that I have an affinity for using words to personalize your space. Words, scripture, and quotes can make your space your own, and help capture the personality of your family or your business! It can make a large statement without a ton of expense, as well, and you can now custom order things on places like Etsy. Whether you choose things like wooden quotes, vinyl die-cut words or names, or large initials, you can make a big impact! Here are a few tips for using these in your home or office:

Photo Left:  Betsy Blue Photography | Right:  Olivia Leigh Photography

Size Matters: Before you choose your letters or quotes, be sure to measure and considering your wall space. As you can see below, the oversized letters from Pottery Barn are quite oversized, and meant to be a focal point for an entire wall! They could easily look too “busy” or overwhelm a tiny space, so measuring would be key, whether you choose a small grouping or large initial. 

Practical is best for small spaces: If you are working with a confined or small space, opt for smaller letters that include little hooks, or place them on shelves. If they can serve double-duty, you’ll have a statement piece that also holds things like coats and hats. 

Vinyl Letters: These are a great way to add some pizazz to children’s rooms, rentals, or other space where they might need to be changed out rather soon. I have beautiful vinyl quote with song lyrics wrapped around a chandelier in my girls’ room. It’s so sweet and adds a personal touch. 

Photos Left & Middle:  Betsy Blue Photography | Right:  Pottery Barn Website

Incorporating Beautiful Lighting into Your Home

The other day, I was thinking about how much of a difference that quality, beautiful lighting makes in your home. It can change the whole feel of a space, and add warmth and style in a way that even furniture cannot. I love quality lighting pieces, and some of my favorite pieces come from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. I know we often talk about affordable pieces here on the blog, and those two retailers are definitely not known for being the most affordable. But lighting is one of the areas I personally believe you need to invest in pieces that can withstand the test of time!

This Rope Filament Collection from Restoration Hardware is stunning. The sturdy piece will last and last, and will overcome changes in decor and paint to look beautiful for years. The classic styling will pair well with a farmhouse style decor for contrast, and with pretty neutrals and whites. You can find it here.

You can also make a big impact with key, smaller pieces like this table lamp from Restoration as well. The vintage mercury glass base pairs well with modern pieces, as well as multiple furniture finishes, making it another piece that you can easily use for years.

Pottery Barn is slightly more affordable, especially if you may want to change your decor before several years have passed. I love this six arm chandelier piece that has a rustic charm. You can use it indoor or outdoor, and it is beautiful and classic. It would pair best with items close to the “Fixer Upper” style we have been showing you recently.

This pretty piece would be right at home in a bedroom or sitting room, with it’s intricate inlay design. The subtle texture is not overpowering, but also adds interest to the surroundings. I’d love to see it with neutrals and pretty rustic wood furniture. 

a beautiful Christmas to you

During this time of year, it’s easy to get nostalgic, but I always do anyways!  I feel so thankful for the many friends and clients who have crossed my path this year. I still find it amazing that I’d be honored to enter into your lives and your homes to help make them special, beautiful, and practical for your family.  YOU truly are the greatest gift imaginable. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for allowing me that privilege. 

From my family to yours, we wish you a beautiful Christmas and a very, very happy new year!