Friday, October 10, 2014

LIVING PRETTY: HOW TO HIDE YOUR STUFF IN PLAIN SIGHT

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently shared a quick peek of my dining room and received lots of compliments on how great this corner of the room looks. In addition to the kudos and compliments,  people also seemed to want to know "where do you stash all the clutter that comes with living in a household with 5 children?"  To be honest, the dining room doesn't always look this spotless (gasp!), but using clever storage tricks makes it quite simple to take the room from clutter to classic chic in minutes.

Here's a picture of the other side of the dining room which features a wooden chest of drawers I scored at HomeGoods several years ago.  Because our house is over 90 years old I went with a more traditional design for the main areas of the house (ie kitchen, living room and dining room) but added interesting touches along the way (like the cheetah print pillows seen here).  Yes, it's a pretty room, but it's also quite practical.

So where do I stash the clutter?  Here's a quick breakdown of the smart and unexpected storage solutions that make this area the room's best kept secret:

As you can see, thinking outside of the box is key when setting up a multifunctional space.  My favorite pieces in the room are my lacquered jewelry box and the vinyl upholstered chairs (completely wipeable and super easy to clean). 

Do you have a best kept secret feature in your home? Or are you looking for ways to incorporate smart storage solutions?  Let's connect!  Email me here .

Friday, September 26, 2014

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX: HOW TO USE A RUG AS WALL DECOR

I'm loving all of the graphic and tribal print accents available on the home decor market lately. Recently, on one of my many trips to HomeGoods, I stumbled across this tribal print rug and fell in love with it.  Although I didn't have a room at home that needed floor covering, I did have a small project I'd been working on that still needed some artwork. I couldn't help but think "how cool would this print be as wall art?!"  


Rugs can offer more than just function. They can also add  lots of style.  At $14.99, this rug was definitely less expensive than any artwork I would find and with it's stunning black and white graphic pattern it would certainly make a great statement piece for the bare wall I was working on.  So without hesitation, I bought it. 

 Here's a peek at the wall after I hung the rug and added a few decorative accents.

The once bare mustard colored wall was the perfect backdrop for the black and white pattern.  I also added a few black and white accents to compliment the rug.  

Using the rug as a decorative wall hanging was a quick and inexpensive way to create interest on an otherwise ho-hum wall.  I decided to forgo framing the rug, allowing its natural beauty and texture to be seen and providing instant design gratification!
 
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Would you try this in your own home? Here are some of my favorite examples of rugs used as wall art/decor.

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Talk about creative! This rug was framed and centered behind the sofa truly making it a piece of  "art."

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With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can turn a rug into a statement piece too. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A SMALL SPACE

The most frequently asked decorating questions I receive, hands down, are questions on how to decorate a small space.  Both homeowners and renters want to know how to make the most of a small space without compromising style or function. To help answer some of your decorating questions I decided to start a series of posts called Small Space Decorating 101.  In these posts I'll provide simple tips and inspirational photos to help you tackle all of your small space decor issues.

Furniture that serves more than one purpose in a room is key when you're short on space.  In this edition of Small Space Decorating,  I'll show you a way to save space in your bedroom with a creative and functional alternative to using a nightstand.
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My go-to solution for styling a small space is using multifunctional or dual purpose furniture. In bedrooms with limited space, using a small desk as an alternative to a traditional nightstand allows for storage, function and style.  The desk serves as both a work surface and bedside catchall.  Here are some of my favorite examples of this genius decorating technique in action.
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Make sure you select a desk with a drawer to store your regular bedside necessities. Personalize the desktop with photos and flowers.  Add an alarm clock, a few books and a reading lamp and you've got the perfect double duty furniture set up!
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 Need help tackling your small space? Let's chat. Click here to contact me for a consultation!










Friday, September 12, 2014

What A Way To End A Week: I'VE BEEN FEATURED!

I have great news friends!  I'm being featured on Terrys Blinds, an amazing UK based resource for  affordable made to measure blinds and window treatments for your home. I had the opportunity to share  more about my own design process, my top design choices for the season, as well as share some advice for those looking to enter the design industry. What a way to end the week!


Terrys Blinds has a fabulous collection of window treatments with choices to compliment the style of any home's decor.   Head over to see for yourself and read my full feature here.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

6 Tips for Creating a Stunning Neutral Living Space

Decorating with a neutral color palette doesn't have to be boring.  Yes I love color but a neutral space designed right can be just as exciting. Whether in a dining room, living room or bedroom, decorating with neutrals creates a restful elegance. 
Using contrasting patterns can seem scary to some, but the key is to use a coordinating color palette. If you stick with the same color or color family, the mix of patterns will complement each other rather than seeming too busy or distracting. - See more at: http://www.rent.com/blog/10-tips-for-creating-a-non-boring-neutral-space/#sthash.UyG9bIWY.dpuf

You can create the soothing and serene aesthetic of a neutral chic space with these 6 easy tips: 

Layer a mix of rich texture via rugs, pillows or throws - The texture used in a space is just as important and the hues used. When decorating with neutral, incorporating textures like leathers, chenille, wicker, fur, and even bamboo all help to add warmth and personality in the space. Layer different textures in neutral tones to create visual interest in the room.
Using contrasting patterns can seem scary to some, but the key is to use a coordinating color palette. If you stick with the same color or color family, the mix of patterns will complement each other rather than seeming too busy or distracting. - See more at: http://www.rent.com/blog/10-tips-for-creating-a-non-boring-neutral-space/#sthash.UyG9bIWY.dpuf

ng contrasting patterns can seem scary to some, but the key is to use a coordinating color palette. If you stick with the same color or color family, the mix of patterns will complement each other rather than seeming too busy or distracting. - See more at: http://www.rent.com/blog/10-tips-for-creating-a-non-boring-neutral-space/#sthash.UyG9bIWY.dpuf
 
Add subtle pattern - Tone on tone pattern in a neutral space helps to creates visual interest without disrupting the room's overall neutral palette.

Incorporate metallic finishes - Use metallic finishes to add a bit of sparkle and contrast. Metallic finishes can be introduced via chandeliers, draw pulls, sconces, vases, accent furnishings and accessories.
     
Use furniture with interesting or eye catching shapes - The shape of the items used is very important when the design elements in the space are the same or similar hues. In order for pieces to "stand out," use furnishings with lots of structural detail,  interesting lines and shapes.



Look Alive - Incorporate some greenery/plant life and natural elements to keep the space from looking too sterile.
 


Use varying shades - Incorporating different shades of the neutral color in your design will create a well-styled look and a sense of depth and sophistication.
 
 

 What are your thoughts? Ready to get your neutral on?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Creating a Sophisticated Space Using Children's Home Decor



Children's home decor retailers have always been a "best kept secret", go-to source for interior designers looking to add a touch of unexpected whimsy and playfulness to a space. However, the new stylish, chic and affordable selection of children's furnishings currently available on the market is quickly changing that. Instead of whimsy, these pieces are actually adding a huge dose of sophistication and style.  No kidding! Have you seen the home decor offered by traditionally kids' brands lately?   Pottery Barn Teen, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, Home Decorator's Collection Baby and Kids, Land of Nod all carry stunningly sophisticated pieces suitable for adult spaces.

I'm really impressed with the style of furnishings these retailers are offering and how easily these pieces can work when styling an adult space.  From bedding and rugs to lighting and pillows, these design conscious children's furnishings will make a real statement in any room.

 Here's a roundup of a few of my favorite sophisticated children's home furnishings:


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 So what do you think? Which is your favorite? Are you ready to add some stylish kids' decor to your living space?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ARTIST FEATURE: Amira Rahim

 
Since I joined Instagram a little over a year ago, I've "met" and become "insta" friends with inspiring artists, designers and creative souls like myself.  Recently while scrolling through all the pretty photos in my feed, I came across the absolutely ahh-mazing work of talented artist Amira RahimAfter seeing more of Amira's stunning work and falling in love with her bold and colorful pieces, I knew I had to share this gem of an artist with you here on the blog. 
 
Amira was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey--an urban melting pot with a rich history of artists and creators, and describes herself as a "big-city girl at heart.I fell in love with the range of abstracts Amira offers in contrasting and playful hues.  They are the perfect statement piece of artwork to compliment any room's design.

 
 

It's evident with just a glance at her work that Amira is passionate about color.  Her expert choice of vibrant and bold colors is simply perfection! "Captivated by color itself, I am most interested in exploring its effects on the human psyche. With acrylic mediums, I experiment with combinations of patterns and color schemes, continuously searching for the odd match, the unexpected contrasts and the soothing abodes on my canvas,"says Amira.

 

 Amira is primarily self-taught and says that she allows her intuition to guide her as she creates each painting.  "I enjoy creating works of art that lift my mood and bring good energy to a space." 



Amira draws her biggest inspirations from textiles, photography, and nature and is deeply influenced by the late Abstract Expressionist movement. "By exploring my own happy color fields using both vigorous and subtle brushwork, I enjoy the act of painting itself," Amira says.  "The mixing, the scraping, the wiping, the pouring of paint—all of these actions form the heart of my paintings."

 
 

Although Amira currently lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE with her husband, her work (originals, prints and custom pieces) can easily be purchased in the states hereIn fact, I just used one of her works of art in a design project I recently completed! Turned out pretty fabulous!

Amira is a real joy to work with.  Take a moment to view more of Amira's work here.