Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's the Occasion?

Occasional tables are making a flashy comeback. The tables that were once covered in doilies cluttering your great-aunt’s house are a statement of the past. Today’s occasional table is bold and doesn’t necessarily have to match your d├ęcor. These tables can add a much needed pop of color or texture to any room.

A great place to hunt for a table is at thrift stores and garage sales. Because the table is small, it is easy to refinish or add a new coat of paint. Look for tables that have sturdy legs and at least one interesting design element.

Occasional tables aren’t large enough to be practical, they’re meant to be decorative. They are designed to perform no task other than to hold a lamp or display a few picture frames. Traditional locations for occasional tables are adjacent to the couch, a reading chair, or the bed. Feel free to try something new! How about in the bathroom displaying a container of delicate soap bars? Or paired with a chair in the entry to provide impromptu seating? Whatever the occasion, be sure to have a table nearby.

What's the Occasion?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Study Break

Study Break

My desk seems to catch more clutter than anything else in my home. Lately I have been stacking loose items on the desk when I'm too lazy to find their proper spot. One of the reasons I think I do this is because my desk is not a inviting, creative place. I've seen so many darling desks in magazines lately that it is inspiring me to start using mine.

A desk can actually be a fun place to sit even if you do need a study break. Bring in elements that are functional but pretty. If your desk is drab like mine, paint it a bright color. Look for a chair that has the opposite of your personality. Pile your pencils in cute jars and keep random objects out of sight.




Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dinner at Eight

I love throwing dinner parties. This weekend I had The Lumberjack's family over for dinner and the six of us crowded into my apartment for pot roast. When hosting a dinner party it's fun to have a theme to inspire the evening. For this weekend's dinner my goal was a refreshing summer vibe. To keep things simple but also bright and cheery, I folded fuchsia linen napkins over classic white porcelain plates. A simple mercury glass vase held a bouquet of purple daisies in the center of the table. Sangria served from a mason jar dispenser added an extra touch of summer whimsy.

Think of throwing dinner parties as an extension of your home decorating style. What a great excuse to have family and friends over to show off your home.

A recipe for Sangria:

1 bottle of Merlot
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups berry lemonade
1 liter ginger ale
1 lemon
2 tangerines
2 tbl spoons sugar

In a large pitcher combine all liquids and add sugar. Slice fruit into quarters and squeeze juice into the mixture. Add fruit and ice to the pitcher. Stir and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bracelets and Baubles

Where do you keep your bracelets and baubles? Recently I decided to re-do the way I store and organize my jewelry. What I had before were left over pieces from my college dorm. I bought the below gold stack-able set from Bed Bath and Beyond last weekend which is much more sophisticated.

Display jewelry in a fun and easy way so that when you are getting ready you can find exactly what you are looking for. Cases with compartments are great because they will keep your pieces tangle free. You could also hang your jewelry on the wall or delicately arranged on a cake pedestal. There are so many cute options out there right now. I'm loving the below shadow box frame with inlaid hooks from Cost Plus World Market.

Bracelets and Baubles

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Do it Yourself: A Dresser Drawer Makeover

An easy fix for an old dresser is to update the drawers with contact paper. Adding some color or a new design to the inside of your drawers will keep you delighted each time you open them.

These drawers are just calling for a makeover


I found this drawer lining paper at Home Goods for $3.99 for 5 sheets..not bad!

A friend gave me these scented sachets just in time for the DIY :)

Step 1: Thoroughly vacuum all the drawers

Step 2: Begin to line the contact paper in the drawer. You may need to overlap two sheets depending on the size of the drawer. If you can’t find contact paper you can also use a thick sheet of wrapping paper. A lot of craft stores sell single sheets of paper in dozens of darling designs.

Step 3: Tuck in your sachet under the paper towards the back of the drawer. In place of a fragranced sachet you can also use a pouch filled with dried lavender. If you are really in a pinch try scented tea light candles or spray the paper with your favorite perfume.

Step 4: Use scotch tape to secure the paper to the drawer so it doesn’t move around.

It’s that easy! And look how cute! Can’t wait to open my drawers tomorrow to the new motif.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Magic Number

One of my favorite parts of home decorating is all the final touches that go into making a room come alive. Searching for the items that are going to rest on the top of a vanity or line the rows of a bookshelf takes a lot more work than it sounds. A simple trick for getting it right: group items in odd numbers. Three and five are generally the magic number

A lovely way to make a house a home is to incorporate vintage family photos, display a collection, or use meaningful dishes as catchalls. Tell a personal story.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Small Space, Big City

After The Lumberjack and I got back from New York, my company flew me back so I could work for a week out of our office in the Empire State Building. I had no idea I would be going back so soon! Swiss Miss came down from Boston and we got to play for a few days (i.e. mostly drinking and shopping).

This trip to New York gave me a little taste of what it was like to live in a big city. When I got back home it got me thinking about living in the city and I started researching apartments in San Francisco. As amazing as it would be to move to the city, I can’t get over the sticker shock. For twice what I pay now I would have less space and no parking. I really feel for those out there who are living in cramped quarters so I’ve decided to dedicate this post to home design in a small space, big city apartment.

A beautiful New York City studio apartment by Nate Berkus:

Move your couch up against the foot of the bed. This works best when the couch is the same size as the width of the bed. It will also help the “bedroom area" to feel more obvious.

If you want to have a free floating couch in the center of the room, think about placing a desk behind the couch to create your work station. This is much more interesting than having a desk up against a wall.

Place a focal point over the bed to draw the eye up. Since your bed will most likely be the largest piece of furniture in the room, you might as well make a statement. Think: over-sized sparkling mirror or an elongated mural.

The coffee table should be on the smaller side. If you can’t find a glass table then try placing two identical square tables side by side.

Remember, you want to create defined living spaces while still allowing the room to feel open. You’re basically trying to fit a living room, bedroom, kitchen and more into one room. Everything in your apartment needs to be functional and shouldn't take up very much visual space. Minimize clutter and keep in mind that a lighter color palette will work wonders.

Mix it up! When space is limited you have to get really creative. Keep moving furniture around until you feel you’ve gotten it right.

Get Inspired - Studio Living

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Popping up Everywhere

A while back I went through a huge phase where I was obsessed with poppies. I wanted to make them my signature household look. I have no idea why I became so enamored with the Californian state wildflower but it seems interior design did too. Starting back in 2010 poppies were popping up everywhere. You can still find them now however I assume they won't be as hot for much longer. Do you have a favorite flower? Think about ways you can incorporate your favorite flower into your home.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Patio Playground

What is more lovely than sitting outside on a hot summer day in a environment that evokes inspiration and whimsy. There is no reason why your outdoor space can't be as intimately designed as the inside. Create an outdoor living room that you can retreat to by incorporating vibrant colored pillows, throw blankets, and candles. Take advantage of the weather while you can and spend as much time as possible in your patio playground.

Inspiration: (Via)
Recreate the look:
Patio Playground

$149 -

Carmichael Dining Table
$280 -

Casbah Chair White
$100 -

Petite Rose Metal Tray
$25 -

Capri Blue Candle-In-A-Jar
$25 -

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do it Yourself: Closet Makeover

Oh my goodness! It has been so long since I have posted! Things have been crazy busy at work and The Lumberjack and I just got back from a two week vacation in New York and Boston. The trip was very inspirational and I promise I will be posting more often. This is a project I worked on a few weeks ago and something I was planning on doing for spring cleaning last year. Getting these two closets in working order probably only took a few hours of my weekend and was totally work it. So much less stressful to open them now! The first thing I did was decide what I wanted the purpose of each closet to be. The entryway closet I dedicated as a utility space to store cleaning supplies, tools, etc. The second closet I turned into a craft closet. Someday I hope to have an entire room for crafts but for now the closet will do. I went to Target and bought some storage containers. I wanted to get ones with pull out drawers to make everything easily assessable. For the craft closet I salvaged an old pink hanging shoe rack which has a lot of room for storage. Take a look at the before and afters below and get started on your closet make over this weekend.
Closet 1 Before (please don't judge me):
Utility Closet After:
Closet 2 Before:
Craft Closet After:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring is Here!

I once read somewhere that having fresh flowers in the home boosts and brightens mood. There is something so wonderful about coming home or waking up to a vase full of fresh flowers. The hardest part for me is deciding which kind of flowers to buy since there are so many choices. Consider featuring a new flower for each season. I love Hydrangeas for the Spring and Sunflowers in the Fall. Or for a pulled together look, pick flowers to match the color of the room they will be displayed in. I continually buy Carnations, Mums, and Dahlias since they can last up to two weeks or more if you keep the water fresh.

Don’t forget to think about creative containers for your arrangements. Look around your home and think outside the box for unexpected vases. How about a glass milk jug, a vintage water pitcher, a cookie jar? If you don’t want to pour water directly into a container, fill a drinking glass instead and set inside the container. Then feed the stems directly into the glass. This way no one will be able to see the glass and it will protect your container from water damage.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anthropologie Finds for Less

Anthropologie has some of the most beautiful and unique home items. What a lot of people don’t know about Anthropologie is that they have a team that travels all over the world searching for those one-of-a-kind items. Some of the furniture is straight from Paris flea markets and could be over a hundred years old. This could be one of the reasons these home items are so expensive. I love Anthropologie but can barely afford them!

Here are two items I have coveted for years at Anthropologie: The Flamenco Shower Curtain and the Mirrored Dresser.



I actually considered purchasing the shower curtain at the $118.00 sticker price but am so glad I waited. I found an extremely close match at Bed Bath and Beyond (of all places) for less than half the price.

Bed Bath and Beyond

I’ve had my shower curtain for a few months now and absolutely love it. It is soft and flowing and makes me smile every time I see it.

The dresser was a little harder to find. While mirrored furniture is really in right now it’s hard to find pieces that looks legitimately antiqued. I spent a long time searching for this nightstand and found it at Home Goods. Home Goods can be tricky because sometimes their furniture can look cheap and mass produced; but I have had a lot of people who have come over and was surprised it’s from Home Goods. It is very sturdy and well finished.