When it comes to home design, one of the things that can make or break your interior decor is art.
As a stylist, I’ve learned that regardless of your personal tastes (contemporary, transitional, mid-century, traditional, etc.) art can be your best friend… and your worst enemy. With all of the choices out there it’s almost an impossible task to find reasonably priced art to fit the scale of your space, the color palette of your home AND your own design preferences without busting the budget.
When creating E-DESIGN packages for clients, MINTED is one of my favorite resources for reasonably priced and customizable art prints. Minted aggregates thousands of works of art from independent artists all over the world and makes them available to regular ‘ole folks like us. In addition to high quality, archival prints, MINTED also offers custom framing for your selections. Ranging from clean lined brass, to actual repurposed barn wood, you can select from a number of frames to best suit your specific art selection and taste.
If you’ve ever been inclined to create a gallery wall, MINTED is the ideal art retailer to assist. I personally love to use theCOLOR PLAY feature which will sort their vast inventory of art by color and allow you to put together a grouping of art based on your color scheme.
Here are a few pieces of art that have caught my eye and just may have ended up in the homes of some of my clients!
While it seems like everyone else’s holiday stress is gearing up, I feel as though I can breathe a sigh of relief…
The past few weeks were a frenzy of home decor brainstorming, shopping and staging for the 2015 Rocky River Designer Holiday Home Tour. This was my second year (you can check out last year’s home HERE) participating as designer for one of 6 beautiful Rocky River homes selected for the tour and I wish I could say it was less stressful on the second go-around!
As every home and homeowner is different, finding a balance between the architecture/style of the home, the homeowner’s needs/desires AND your vision of what the space should look like is perhaps one of the hardest challenges as a stylist. Throw in 4 young children and a recent move (the homeowners only recently moved in) into the mix, and you just upped the difficulty level to 10!
This year’s home was a brand new construction with blonde hardwoods, modern design and streamlined finishes. The overall aesthetic was minimalist and contemporary and I wanted the holiday decor to seamlessly integrate into the existing look. More importantly, I wanted to holiday home to be an extension of the family and how they live on a day-to-day basis.
What did I come up with?
Well, I guess you can call it a designer (child-friendly) mash up of “Scandinavian Minimalist” and “Organic Nature Enthusiast!” We opted to keep the color palette a tight collection of tans, whites, creams, black and green — with a sprinkle of metallic. Textures were where we put our effort (and budget), investing in soft textiles, rugs, pillows, throws that provided a coziness and warmth that a modern space might otherwise lack.
Thank goodness for my design spirit animal, Stacy George and her textile business called, THE HUNTED. She generously loaned some of her inventory for the home tour and without her impeccable taste and curated collection of textiles and home furnishings, well… let’s just say, my home decor vision would never have come to fruition. If you haven’t checked out her online WEBSITE or INSTAGRAM, I warn you… it’s addictive!
Since open concept floor plans are becoming more and more common, let’s chat a bit about some styling tips for this kind of modern space:
• Focus on bringing in bold accessories and decor that can make an impact and will avoid looking lost in the vast scale of the space.
While holiday decor is often small and clustered, this house called for grander, oversized features — a large tree, oversized pillows, large scale arrangements, etc. Cathedral ceilings practically beg for design with height and one of my favorite design elements of the house — the family room centerpiece — really delivered with its tall silver branches.
I need to give major kudos to my florist — Mary Katherine Greve of Flowers, Etc. (email@example.com or 216-469-3216). She took my bare bones ideas and ran with them, creating really unique and original floral arrangements that perfectly suited the home. Tight combinations of ferns, succulents, pinecones, berries and birch kept the floral design as contemporary as the home itself.
• As in fashion, it’s best to contrast streamlined lines and hard edges with softness and texture which bring the eye in and keep the home feeling cozy and welcoming.
The most cost efficient way to get this effect is through natural greenery and organic decor. I splurged on over 75 yards of cedar garland that is this beautiful vibrant green with drippy, droopy foliage that can softly define any stair rail or entry way and just happens to smell divine.
• Repetition is important to gaining maximum design impact…
… Especially when working on a budget! When we selected our colors and themes for this house I bought supplies and accessories that could be used over and over again throughout the home. If you look closely, you’ll see the same ribbon from the garland winding around the Christmas tree… or the same touch of black and white flannel from the table runners make another appearance under the coffee table arrangement. Pom-poms were also a big theme running through the house. From the pillows, to the throw blankets, tree skirt and stockings, pom-poms finished off each item and added more cohesion to our decor.
• Keep it personal — get the whole family involved!
Even though I was a stranger decorating someone else’s home, I wanted the family’s personality to show through. One of the ways I got the whole crew involved was with black chalk painted ornaments. I left a bag of chalk ornaments for the children with the only instruction being: go wild! From snowmen, to stars and even some scribbles, the kids did not hold back. The black chalk themed place settings were also decorated by the kids — each setting was given a silly holiday themed name and made a formal dining space a bit more lighthearted and fun.
• Get creative to make the most out of what you’ve got.
Since there was an abundance of colorful toys in the home, I decided to just go with it! Instead of storing the kid items away in a box or behind a closet door, I selectively arranged them and incorporated this family’s “stuff” into the mix! A wooden train set was on full display in a rec room/guest room, while holiday sheet music, blocks and more trains were tucked into the corner of the family room. Books from the family’s collection were artfully arranged on the landing shelves to complete the look.
By the way… if you take a close look at the image above, you can see an illuminated little nook under the bookshelves. That’s a secret craft room designed by the homeowners and their architect to allow access from their daughter’s bedroom closet and a hidden door under the shelves into a well-lit, private space perfect for creativity!
Speaking of the lucky little girl with the craft room… she specifically requested a tree for her bedroom and I hope she loves this pretty little beauty as much as I do! A $3 white tree from a craft store was bedazzled with pink LED lights, candy inspired ornaments and a little disco glam. A bit of sass and flash in an otherwise muted home!
I hope these images and design tips gave you the inspiration and fresh ideas you need to make your own home designer home tour worthy! Remember, it’s just decor when it’s on the store shelves… style is what you do with that decor once you take it home.
One of the best parts of running The Heart’s Delight (THD), is the relationships I’ve made with other creative and entrepreneurial women. From fashion to interior design, there have been so many talented people that I’ve crossed paths with who are taking on the world in their own unique and inspiring ways.
From my own selfish viewpoint, it’s also nice to have an arsenal of “experts” at my fingertips whenever I’m creatively stumped, looking for a sounding board, or just need some outside counsel over coffee or a glass of wine! Which needless to say, is quite often…
My gal pal, Megan DiVincenzo is one of these special people in my life who left behind her successful law career to pursue her dream of owning her own business. She and her sister are the talented duo behind the contemporary accessory brand, THE SIS KISS. Somehow, Megan also manages to squeeze in a second day job as an interior designer AND balances her household, family and 2 dogs without batting an impeccably curled eyelash.
Yeah… the b*tch.
Most importantly, Megan was the perfect person to help me out with a design dilemma involving some of my interior styling clients who love the glam holiday look, but don’t want to splurge on expensive decor. While my own personal style is a bit more rustic and minimal, Megan incorporates her love for baubles and bling (check out THE SIS KISS and you’ll understand!) into her home decor and the results are spectacular — and budget friendly.
Don’t think it can be done?
Take it away, Megan…
Its hard to miss all the sparkle and sequins that has been emerging lately for the holidays! If you are anything like me, the more sequins the better; especially this time of year.
But how expensive does it have to be?
I’m here to tell you, a glam and haute holiday home doesn’t have to break the bank! The key to decorating success is getting creative to score that glam look on a budget and utilizing décor you already own. For instance, a pack of goldSPARKLE SNOWFLAKE ORNAMENTS from TARGETcoupled with a strand ofGOLD GLITTER FERN makes for a gorgeous glam chandelier!
Your home’s fireplace is also another amazing focal point for the holidays — but it doesnt’t have to be expensive, difficult or stressful to glam up. What’s better than adding just a gold boa (or two!) to your mantel and an array of sparkle Christmas trees to accent your FAUX FUR STOCKINGS?!
Need more bling?
Add a rhinestone, angel or meaningful brooch that you already own to your stockings. And of course, no Haute Holiday fireplace is complete without a painted and framed FAUX DEER HEAD; with DIY glitter antlers… obviously.
… and let’s not forget to “dress up” our furniture. There is no easier or more affordable way to make a Haute Holiday impact than with pillows, pillows and MORE pillows. Pillows are easily my favorite accessory. Do not be afraid to mix patterns, styles, or fabrics — throw it all together, literally! Fur, sequins, studs, floral, plaid… OH MY! Never underestimate the power of a good throw pillow.
Does decorating your foyer table or coffee table overwhelm you? This is my most favorite surface to decorate! Need fake snow? No problem! I found aFAUX SHEEPSKIN RUG (mine is from HOME GOODS!), folded it in half and voila… snow!
Your kitchen is one of the best resources when looking for home decor items and inspiration. I added further dimension and height to my foyer table décor by incorporating aCRYSTAL CAKE PLATE I already had in my kitchen and putting a smallFAUX CHRISTMAS TREEon top!
Have a summer lantern? Great! Spray paint it silver or gold to finish off your Christmas look. A $6 can of SPRAY PAINTcan go a very long way. No need to buy new décor when you can make it your own with a just little bit of paint! I also use the same spray paint on branches actually found outside to complete my wintery scene.
My existing bar area was given a quick facelift using with a few strategically placed wrapped gifts. One of the simplest ways to create a holiday scene is using some empty boxes and extra wrapping paper found in your home. Get creative with your wrapping and incorporate colors and elements that coordinate with the rest of your Haute Holiday Home for the most impact!
When Megan sent me the image of the bar above I had to ask her about the artwork hanging front and center. She explained that she likes to find local talent in her area and commission them to create custom pieces for her home. In this case, the tree art was created by a woman named Debra Darnall — for inquiries please contact: Debradarnall@gmail.com.
Speaking of bars… I’m not going to lie — that bar is looking fantastic right about now. Got any champagne Megan? I just might be dropping by…
Oh, and if you’re in the NE Ohio/Cleveland area and are in desperate need of glam (or just a professional interior design consultation!), Megan is your girl. You can find her on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM, as well as via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My house is generally in a state of organized chaos.
The organization side of things is generally all me and my husband — hey, I give credit where it’s due. The chaos piece is courtesy of a very handsome 7 year old boy and a feisty, little 4 year old girl.
As much as I stage, tidy and clean it’s only a matter of minutes before Barbie decides to have a fashion show, or Jake and the Neverland Pirates enter into an epic battle with Hook directly in the middle of my living room. A stray Lego (or 3) underfoot is practically a guarantee.
For the next 10-15 years, that’s just the way things will be (although the nature of the mess may change) and I’ve resolved to make the best of the situation. That’s life. At least MY life. Nothing in my house is too precious or delicate and nothing is off limits to my children. This is their home, too.
As such, I’ve made design choices that specifically cater to my un-perfect home and the presence of young children. None more strategic than the pouf! Perfect for climbing, jumping and injecting a fun pop of color into my mostly neutral living space, my leather moroccan pouf is a home decor purchase that 2+ years later, I’m still patting myself on the back for.
From formal living space to nursery, a pouf can lend an air of playfulness as well as additional texture and color to complete a space. Just take a look at some of the rooms below to get inspired by the pouf!
This past week a critical point in my home-ownership was reached — we’ve been in our Cleveland home longer than any other apartment or dwelling!
4 whole years.
It’s amazing how quickly time flies, no?! Here we are 4 years later and for the past 3.999 years my home decor efforts have been at an almost total and complete standstill. I gather the motivation to make a small tweak, then realize that with an open loft design, any small change inevitably becomes a big change as I then have to make sure that everything else on the first floor of my home works with my new decor.
Small tweak = big effort and even bigger budget! Frustrating, I know.
So where does all of this leave me? Well, with a 1/2 decorated home.
One of my biggest complaints about the interior of my home is that nothing feels quite finished. The basic layer of design is there, but the add-ons that make a space feel warm, comfortable and lived-in are still very much missing.
The last two weeks I spent thinking about what I wanted my finished product to look like and made a list of the crucial steps and pieces required to get there. Like building a cohesive and functional wardrobe, decorating a home is all about building layers and texture in order to make a space look and feel finished. I want my home to feel warm, inviting, but with a graphic and modern edge. Not exactly the easiest combination of styles.
The only thing I am certain of is that I definitely want shades of moody blues involved. None of that pastel-ly soft stuff. I think I want a balls-to-the-wall bold navy! With high ceilings, large walls of windows and tons of white woodwork accents, I think the navy will help ground the space and make it feel less vast and cold. Accented with neutrals in rich textures like jute, natural grasscloth, sheepskin and soft woolen rugs, I’m excited to finally feel at home in my own home.
In addition to the images posted above, here’s my inspiration board that I’ve been referencing throughout this process:
(Click the images for shopping details!)
When creating an inspiration board such as this, all of a sudden a huge project seems much more doable and realistic. Referencing this image also helps keep me on track when it comes to selecting colors, prints and any other add-ons that I may come across over time.
Each year, during the dead of winter I dream of the days when I can enjoy the outdoors again. The cool evenings when I can sit back on my patio, with a glass of rosé in hand while the scents of dinner cooking on the grill float through the night air. The sky is illuminated by stars and scattered lanterns envelop happy faces in a warm candlelit glow.
Yeeeeeaaaaah, that doesn’t happen. Let’s not kid ourselves.
The current state of my recently-built paver patio, stone seating wall and pergola leaves much to be desired. Unless you’re desiring an “awesome” play house and a mini slide/play fortress– don’t worry, guys… we have that.
Last year, we finally invested in a TEAK TABLE for 8, and coordinating teak chairs but the patio progress came to a dead halt right there. It was just too much — too expensive, too high maintenance and too time consuming to complete. This year, we’ve added potted greenery/flowers and perimeter landscaping… so baby steps, I guess?!
To get me over that proverbial decorating finish line, I knew I had to find design-on-a-dime alternatives that would give me the high end, designer patio look I was going for without the hefty price tag. Fortunately, I’m not one to shy away from research, especially when it comes to shopping. With some point and click elbow grease and a few hours of uninterrupted time (thank goodness for day camp) I was able to come up with a list of great outdoor patio design ideas on a budget that could turn any outdoor space into actual living space. Like, space you actually want to spend time in… while you’re alive.
Just like a sleek wardrobe, keeping your outdoor design within a limited color palette will add a layer of sophistication and help make even the least expensive accessories look like a million bucks. Muted, monochromatic tones like greys, beiges and whites will bring the focus outward on that gorgeous green backyard and scenery.
Rather than shop at big box stores or patio furniture warehouses, have you ever considered a restaurant supply store? Stores like THE WEBSTAURANT STORE or CENTRAL RESTAURANT PRODUCTS are chock full of outdoor friendly finds that top restaurants turn to for their own alfresco dining and lounging spaces. Where else can you get MODERN ALUMINUM SEATING that will hold up to the elements for under $50?!
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but adding a graphic rug will ground any space and make it feel more intimate, purposeful and “finished.” With today’s technology, weather resistant textiles and fabrics are widely available and at totally affordable prices, too.
Have a basement/storage room full of mismatched old patio furniture and accessories? Get a little DIY-action going and spray your wares with weather resistant paint to make everything look more cohesive and fresh. A $10 can of spray paint can go a very long way in terms of visual impact.
Some of my favorite spray paints can be found in your local craft or hardware store and can be purchased in some really cool colors and finishes… like this ROSE GOLD for example! Just make sure that the product you select is specifically formulated to stand up against the elements and time. A WEATHER RESISTANT PRIMER also helps ensure a smooth application and great color for years to come.
OK, so who’s motivated to give their patio an overhaul? Let’s get crackin’.
As much as I like to think I can multitask, when it comes to my house and interior design and decor, I’ve very much a one track mind kind of gal. My (already over-capacity) brain seems to be able to only focus on one room, or one design element at one time.
For the past few weeks, that object of attention has been my poor office which is in shambles post winter-ice-dam-roof-leak. Peeling paint, ruined woodwork… it’s not pretty. To add insult to injury, my favorite piece of artwork decided to throw itself off the wall in disgust, taking out a chunk out of the drywall in the process. The good news is the insurance claim is finally in progress and I hope to start renovation/restoration work soon.
Throughout this whole mess, I’ve been using the time to think about any changes I would make to the space while I have the opportunity and a professional contractor under employment. While I’m pretty happy with the original design and layout, I think I’d like to incorporate a few more elements that I’ve been loving lately, like black + white, gold hardware/accessories and a few bright pops of color. Since I spend so much time in that room, I really want the office design to be a true reflection of me and the work that goes on in there. Obviously, I want it to look pretty.
Kind of like this…
Spots look familiar? This wallpaper pattern is the inspiration behind my blog design! I’m also loving the overdyed navy rug underfoot that would totally tie into the navy details in the rest of my home. Not to mention, BLACK + WHITE + NAVY = so CHIC.
Don’t think I’m brave enough to paint all of my walls and woodwork black, but I love the drama of the dark tones against the natural woods in the space. That Moroccan rug is something I can definitely get behind as well!(via)
I love the visual impact a simple green plant can create in a minimalist black and white space!
I’m back as promised, with my full round-up of the most stylish home decor scores at everyone’s favorite mass retailer: TARGET!
Honestly guys, it was really hard narrowing down my favorite home decor finds this season. Target seems to be getting better and better in terms of home design aesthetic and there were so many wonderful options to choose from for every style of home. Don’t even get me started on the NATE BERKUS home collection… it’s mid-century modern perfection at a fraction of the price. By the way, Target is currently running a spring home sale, with up to 30% off stylish spring updates. You can also save an additional $10 off a $50+ home purchase, with code: DECORATE, so get shopping before these awesome finds sell out!
1 // 2 // 3 + 4 // 5 // 6(a cake pedestal, but how cute would this be for cheese?) // 7 (I own this cart and once stocked and styled it’s a compliment magnet!)// 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 (looks exactly like a much more expensive version found at CRATE AND BARREL)// 13
When it comes to interior design and home decor, I’m a big advocate of high-low shopping. I always advise to spend up on the major anchoring pieces- couches, large consoles, dressers, etc., then find value accent furniture and accessories to give the room personality. I’ve come to expect my personal decor style to evolve over time, so it’s much easier (and economical) to swap out a few relatively inexpensive accessories versus a complete room overhaul.
Also, with 2 kids running around the house, you never know where the next spill, bump, or crash may be. It’s nice to know that whatever gets destroyed (because things will get destroyed) didn’t come with a huge price tag.
Have you found any great home decor pieces at Target that you simply could not live without?
If you’re anything like me, your bedroom is your sanctuary. It’s your calm eye in the middle of a storm of domestic frenzy.
At the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and all of my work is done, I can retreat to the bedroom and breathe out the crazy (there is usually a lot of it) and inhale the peace (or the scent of my favorite LE LABO SANTAL 26 candle). I’m a big advocate of creating a master retreat and surrounding myself with a tranquil, soft color palette. Like this one, for example:
Not exactly feminine, definitely not overtly masculine… just a perfect combination of neutral tones, patterns and textures. Contrary to the popular belief, when used correctly neutrals can be far from boring! Take this amazing master bedroom design. Boring? I think not.
While this designer bedroom is a combination of fine art, valuable antiques, custom design and splurge-worthy linens and accessories, recreating this look can be easily done on a non-designer budget. Here’s how:
What do you think is the singular most important piece of furniture in your home?
After some serious internal debate, I’ve come to the conclusion that in my home, it’s definitely the couch. It’s pretty much the epicenter of all activity from morning play-time, to after-dinner movie nights and everything in between. For better or worse, we spend a lot of time on our couch. Luckily for us, our giant sectional is a combination of clean lines and relatively neutral color that has easily transitioned with my tweaks in decor.
But what do you do if you’re not feeling the love for your couch?! It’s a large, dominant piece of furniture that unfortunately does not come cheap. It can easily become the oversized, overstuffed elephant in the room that’s a constant reminder of bad interior design decisions of your past. Aside from spending a fortune to invest in a new couch, I’ve got some easy styling tips to finally rid yourself of the elephant and create the home environment you crave.
Kind of like a sophisticated interior design version of military-grade camouflage, even if you dislike the particular shade of couch, you’ll actually pay less attention to it if the surroundings are styled in a similar hue. Paint your walls a coordinating shade and voilà, the couch suddenly disappears. The same can be said for the rug underfoot. If it’s selected in a tone that matches the couch, your big “elephant” suddenly becomes less of an eyesore and settles right into your decor.
Throw pillows are the costume jewelry of the design world. Got a plain jane outfit, err… couch?! Jazz it up with some fabulous throw pillows in assorted modern textiles! Easy as that. Pillows can also add a layer of texture, warmth and pops of color to an otherwise bland space. Best of all, no worries about that 3-year old milk stain on your upholstery. No one sees a thing when it’s hidden behind a beautiful geometric trellis printed pillow!
If you’re a little more minimalist and streamlined, perhaps an abundance of pillows is not for you. That’s OK. That’s why man invented the throw blanket. Well, for that purpose and for those of us who are constantly freezing. A throw blanket folded neatly and draped in a vertical line over one end of the couch can instantly change the entire look of your “elephant.” It becomes intentional and the wide, crisp stripe that results can dramatically alter the shape and/or pattern that you dislike. For a slightly different look, why not invest in a small sheepskin throw and place it on the back of the couch? Instant snuggle magnet.
This final quick fix, is actually not the quickest or the cheapest, but can be the ultimate solution that will still run you way less than purchasing a new couch. If the bones of the offending sofa are good and the silhouette of the frame is something you can live with, a reupholstery job might just be your ticket to couch love. A custom fabric selection lets you really express your personality and seamlessly mesh your couch into whatever interior design you want. Professional furniture upholsterers can be found in most areas and are treasure troves of knowledge when it comes to picking the right type of fabric that will ensure your favorite couch lasts for a long time.
Oh, AND when someone asks you where you got that fabulous couch, you get to bat your eyelashes, feel all fancy and say, “Oh, this couch? It was custom… don’t you just love it?!”