interior design

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 .

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

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. 

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!

 

 

Making Your Home a Haven of Self-Care

We know, life is stressful. Your home shouldn't be. But how do you curate a home that makes you walk in and immediately drop all your stress and burdens? That's what today's blog is all about. Here are five ways to help your home become the place you always want to be:

Diffuse essential oils: Even if you don't believe in the medicinal properties of essential oils, they smell delightful and can really lift your mood. We recommend lemon or lavender oils for a very relaxing feel. They are also less toxic than some candles, which may be great for those with asthma or who are sensitive to strong candle scents. 

Source: Budget Decorator 

Source: Budget Decorator 

Mix up textures: We like the idea of mixing up textures in your living spaces, especially with pillows and throws. It's no secret that we love a good throw blanket, because they add instant coziness to a space. Plus, little ones love making forts or beds with them, and they're great for curling up with a good book or a movie! If you need a new throw, try this affordable, machine washable twin blanket from Target. It's bigger than a traditional blanket and extra warm. It comes in plenty of pretty neutral colors.

Get some fresh magazines and books to read: In the digital age, it can be hard to step away from your phone and laptop, but a good book can be just the ticket. Check out Oprah's book club for some great reads that will keep you inspired and expand your mind. A magazine like Real Simple or Southern Living is a relaxing read for a long bath, and you don't have to be too worried if the pages slip into the bathwater!

Source: Craftatholics 

Source: Craftatholics 

Try a bath bomb: The bath bombs from LUSH are our absolute favorites. They are cruelty free and made with organic ingredients that are good for your skin. They are definitely a pricey luxury, but you will love the way they instantly relax your muscles and make you feel capable of handling anything that comes your way!

Change out your photos: Studies show looking at photos can improve our mood and make us feel more energized! Swap out old photos in the frames and shelves in your home for newer memories, and make your home a place where your family can always look around and feel loved! Order fresh canvases or framed prints for photos that have been languishing in drawers or on your computer or smartphone...they will definitely make your home feel more personal and relaxing!

Creating More Space in Your Home

Modern-Farmhouse-design-ideas-designed-by-richard-cole.jpg

If you walk into your house after work and find yourself experiencing a strong sense of claustrophobia, it may be time to de-clutter. Your house is your respite away from all the stresses and pressures of life, a place to unwind yourself after your day’s wound you all up. Here’s a few tips to reclaim the calm in your home:

Get Rid of All of Your Stuff

Okay, so maybe you don’t have to get rid of everything, but another honest look at all the things you own, and whether they're really necessary or beneficial in your life would be a good place to start. As we’ve all heard time and time again, there’s a big difference between want and need. Often, it’s the things that we actually use day after day that are necessities, and most of the stuff we have we hold onto because we spent money on it once, and just can’t part with it. Maybe we bought something we don’t need, and that’s fine. Everyone does that, trust me. Or maybe you purchased something you needed for a while, but now it just sits around and collects dust. If you’re like me, you don’t like to see things go to waste. So rejoice with me that there’s so many options for giving things away to people who actually need them, or in repurposing stuff that can’t really do any good by itself. If you want to avoid the hassle of a yard sale, or if you’re living rural, then look around a bit on the internet or ask some friends where you can donate your clothes, your furniture, or anything else that you don’t use anymore that you think someone else could use.

Stock up on Baskets

There’s an awesome trend going on that involves wicker baskets. Lots of wicker baskets. What’s awesome about it is wicker baskets look great, and come in tons of shapes and sizes to suit your style and storage needs. Of course, if you’re not much of a basket person, there’s other options. For example, you could get (or make!) a couple of fabric covered boxes to use. There’s as many styles as there is of fabric, and they usually go for a good price. You can always mix and match, depending on your decor. If you get your hands on some cubby shelves, the decorative boxes can be just the pop of color you need in your home. Wicker could be just the accent to your room to give it a more rustic, or a more personable feel. You never realize the power a box or a basket could have over you until you change the mood of an entire room with it. HERE’s a great guide to wicker baskets; and HERE’s a great guide to your own DIY decorative boxes.

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Get Multi-Purpose Furniture

It’s not just the cabinets, or the closets, or the dressers that should have all the fun of storing things. The whole idea of multi-purpose furniture is taking something that’s known for one use - say, a couch - and redefining it into something that can accomplish many things at once, while still retaining its original purpose. Minimalism is trendy lately, and I think it’s one of the best trends to come around. Or, really, come back around. It’s an age old practice, and one that brings a lot of calm and restfulness into your home, due to all the open spaces and organization. There’s so many different styles and types of multi-purpose furniture to choose from, and a lot of them are very well made and look fantastic. They’re valuable, so the price tag may go up, but remember that what you’re getting is essentially two or three pieces of furniture in one. It may just come out to be quite the deal. And you’ll feel better about conserving the space, too.

Hopefully this small list has helped you in some way. I know for me, de-cluttering has helped me unwind much easier, and it’s been so nice to be able to come home and start to relax the moment I walk in the door. Even on days spent indoors I feel more peaceful seeing everything organized and spacious. It makes me happy, and what’s better than that?

Cottage Remodel for Life at the FARM

We recently freshened up this cute little cottage, and I wanted to share it to inspire you, especially if you have a space you don’t absolutely love! We started by installing elegant, clean lines with batten boards to give character to the walls. It now is reminiscent of an old caretaker’s cottage. Then, we moved onto new flooring that felt like washed, aged oak, and began the journey to change the layout of the kitchen. 

Of course, you know my love for lighting fixtures, and we changed the one out above the table and throughout the little house for a brand-new look. It made a world of difference!

The dated bathroom had three mirrors, so we streamlined with two beautiful oval ones instead. we added vessel sinks, beautiful faucets, and new hardware. We also painted the cabinets a creamy white, and added dark hardware for a cottage look. And of course, you’ll see a touch of shiplap!

Above, you can see the dark, dated, and closed off space that was here before! What a big difference!

We added fresh dark lighting fixtures to get some nice contrast, more shiplap, some elegant marble counters, hardware, and newly painted cabinets! We framed into the mirrors and also re-did the floors in here. It’s hard to believe it’s the same space, but these changes made a big difference and now, it’s ready and filled with light!

Wallpaper! It’s back, in a big way! | Trends and Style Inspiration

“Ewwww.....wallpaper!” I hear that every now and again, from clients or friends who instantly envision grandma’s beige and red floral print, or a neon yellow and green seventies concoction. I’m here to tell you, wallpaper is back, and it’s certainly not the wallpaper from yesteryears! Wallpaper has historically been known to make spaces feel smaller, or clutter-y, and the heavy patterns and dull tones of old wallpaper (along with the horrible process of hanging it) has made most homeowners cringe at the mention of putting some back up! Let me introduce you to the new, beautiful, and modern wallpaper styles:

Photos:  Left Pam Cards Hallway | Middle Nicety Live Journal | Right Pam Cards Guest Room

Photos:  Left Pam Cards Hallway | Middle Nicety Live Journal | Right Pam Cards Guest Room

Rifle Paper: This artisan paper company has everything from gorgeous prints to their stunning, statement wallpaper. Whether you’re doing a small space, or a whole room (we love the idea of a small single wall for a big impact), their unexpected prints (like pineapples and bold florals) keep things polished but a little bit quirky. Find their whole wallpaper shop HERE.

Anthropologie: Ever our go-to for all things pretty and fun, Anthro always can be counted on for gorgeous wallpaper prints. We love their interesting takes on colors and textures, like this “Greenest Garden” style, which you can find HERE. Their “pergola” wallpaper, with it’s elegant blue and white color scheme would be so unique in an office, and offer a very classic feel. Be sure to measure carefully or have the installer measure for you before ordering so you know how much you need...the prices are pretty steep for paper, and you don’t want to buy and cut extra rolls!

Photo Amazon

Wondering how to hang your newly acquired purchase? We like this tutorial from This Old House, which although tedious, offers careful and precise directions. Not ready to make the jump to spendy, semi-permanent wallpaper? There are tons of adhesive wallpapers that peel right off...these would be ideal for apartments or rented homes, where you are not allowed to hang more permanent coverings. Would you believe the brick beauty above is temporary?? We found that piece at Amazon.com . It’s the perfect way to test out a print or theme.

Considering wallpaper? We would love to offer consultations on your personal space and how to incorporate this trend today! Contact us here

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.