It’s full of unexpected twists and turns with new surprises around every bend. You birth this tiny human with absolutely no clue what kind of person he/she will turn out to be. You then have the ultimate responsibility of helping to shape their story and play a supporting role. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but you know, actually REAL and with no alternative endings!
With each spring, my motivation kicks into turbo charge and I take on the challenge of a home decor refresh.
Clutter gets eliminated, furniture gets moved around and small tweaks are made throughout my living spaces — swapping textiles and throws, the addition of a new statement piece, switching art prints, etc. None of this is overly difficult or expensive, but the end result is always a breath of fresh air.
Man, January seems to be the month of the Great Purge.
Throughout the year, the needs of my clients shift. There’s always a natural ebb and flow between the shopping/styling requests and the cleansing/reorganization requests and currently, we’re leaning heavy into the latter.
I kept reminding myself of that fact as I circled my soggy yard and stalked my street looking for my missing garbage can that had blown away in the cold, gale force wind. No garbage can, but I did find 4 different recycling bins, a milk container, 2 pizza boxes, and assorted magazines belonging to neighbors. Oh, and the forecast now calls for snow on Sunday.
Although it may not always feel like spring outside, there is no reason why your home shouldn’t get a taste of spring fever. One of the easiest ways to add a dash of seasonal flair is with a throw pillow refresh. Throw pillows are inexpensive accents that draw in color and pattern in what can be an otherwise pretty neutral space. Those little squares have the ability to give your space depth, visual interest and an entirely new look in a matter of minutes.
Just like the clothing on our body, throw pillows are a great way to layer pattern and texture. Don’t be afraid to mix and match to create a unique look that will have you feeling the spring in no time!
• When it comes to pillows I like to mix a large scale pattern with a small one — it looks great and keeps the pillows from visually competing with each other. A no fail throw pillow combo is: a geometric, a floral and a solid, textural option.
• Select throw pillows with down/feather inserts — unless you’re allergic, of course. In that case, you do you! The down/feather insert might be slightly more expensive than the polyester fill alternatives, but they look so much nicer and “full” as the pillow gets used. Equally as important, a down/feather insert can be removed and/or reused with a new case which can save you a bit of cash and headache down the line.
• Take your throws to the floor! Have you considered using a leather or upholstered pouf? I’ve had a cobalt blue, leather, Moroccan pouf in my family room for a few years now and it’s held up beautifully as an ottoman, an extra casual seating option, a platform for my kids to jump off of and a small stage for impromptu kid speeches and performances. A great investment, if I say so myself.
• Get creative with your resources — look for pillows at some of your favorite women’s wear retailers!H&MandZARAboth have under-the-radar home sections on their e-commerce sites containing really stylish and inexpensive home decor options.
• If all else fails, go custom. A throw pillow is perhaps one of the easiest DIY sewing projects we can take on. All it takes is a trip to your local craft or fabric store, a pillow insert and a sewing machine. If this DIY take is not for you,ETSYis an amazing destination for inexpensive and practically-custom throw pillow options. Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for from a seller? Message them directly and inquire! Many times Etsy sellers can custom create whatever size or pattern you are looking for even if it’s not listed on their site!
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.
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.
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?!”