Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nature's Way

Hi friends!!
I hope you've all had a lovely weekend.  I apologize for being absent in blogland lately.  I had quite a few work days last week!

I want to talk about something that, I feel, can be easily overlooked in homes.  Natural elements!  Obviously, we have wood in our homes, and natural fibers in the forms of textiles, but I want to talk specifically about plants and flowers.  An obvious place to dress a house with plants or flowers is by the front door.  Pots of greenery can really elevate a home's curb appeal.

via HGTV

And we all know that landscaping can make or break the exterior of a home.

via Better Homes & Gardens

But let's bring the outdoors in, shall we?  A great flower arrangement can complete an entry way.

So can a few flowered branches stuck in a vase.

Flowers and plants are great on bookcases,

As toppers on a stack of books,

Or as corner/room-fillers.

Orchids are really beautiful and popular choice, but can be really tricky to keep alive.

Fresh tulips are always a pretty addition to any vignette.

And I LOVE a nice bunch of white hydrangeas.

Trees are a really fun way to add live elements to a room.  The room below is really gorgeous, with it's potted ficus in the sunny window.  The silver orbs are a really glam way to cover up the potting soil.

Emily Henderson did an entire indoor garden in her client's home.  Below is a picture of part of it.  Gorgeous, right?

Preserved boxwood plants are also really popular, and a great and easy way to bring the outside in, as they need little to no maintenance.  (And they're real!)

via Little Green Notebook

A few words about flowers and plants: restocking your home each week with fresh cut flowers can be quite expensive, especially if you have more than one arrangement.  Consider planting flowering bushes in your yard or in pots on your patio.  I've heard gardening can be quite rewarding.  Live indoor plants, like orchids or trees, can be difficult to keep alive or difficult to tame.  Many rooms don't have the light, temperature, or humidity levels to successfully grow plants.  Before investing in live plants, make sure to research their requirements before  Faux arrangements can be cost-effective alternatives, but choose wisely and with a discerning eye: you don't want them to look... fake.

Could your home use some flowers or plants?  What option are you most likely to choose?  Fresh-cut, live, or faux?  Do you want some help?  ;)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Do It Your"shelf"

I spent part of my day Friday styling some new shelves for a client and yesterday working on the ones in my home office.  And, while none of them a quite ready to be debuted to the general public, it got me thinking about what makes a well-styled shelf.

Here are some tips I've come up with for making your shelves special.  Disclaimer: NONE of these are hard and fast rules.  Some of them contradict each other, as you'll see.  You have to decide which ones appeal most to you, your budget, and your decorating sensibility.  (And the amount of stuff you have to display.)


Think of each shelf as having a back, middle and front.  You can use the entire width of the shelf to fill up the depth.  (Does that make sense?)  You want the back, middle and front of the shelf to each be addressed.  Below is a great basic example of what I'm talking about.  Emily Clark used framed art in the backs of the shelves, books and decorative objects to fill up the middle and then addressed the front by hanging a picture on the facade of the shelf!  (Hanging things on the front is a wildly popular trend these days.)

by Emily A. Clark


When I was in high school drama, my theater teacher (Shoutout to Brook Doss!) was always worried about the "levels" of the people on stage.  She would rearrange blocking (the movement of the people on the stage) and make new pieces of set decoration in the form of boxes, furniture, ramps, or platforms for us to perch on just to get those levels.  What she knew then and I realize now is that it's important to fill up not only the horizontal space of the stage (or shelf, in this case), but the vertical space as well.  Find items that are tall, medium-height, and short.  You can use boxes or books to elevate things even further.


Do something to make your items stand out.  You can do this by painting the back of the cases a special color...

via Young House Love

via Suzanne Kasler

Or picking vibrant items that stand out on their own.

source unknown


Use your shelves as an opportunity to pull your room's color scheme together.  Dress them with objects, frames and books that complete the look found in the rest of your space!


Don't get too wrapped up in making everything "fit" the decorating scheme.  Use some things that mean something to you personally.  Kate used her husband's mandolin and record player in her built-ins that otherwise rely heavily on white ceramic pieces and books.  Personal touches like that make cases special and truly one-of-a-kind.


Us natural objects... Or natural-looking objects.  Faux flowers, moss balls, succulents... You get the picture.  A touch of green in any space adds character and brings the outside in.  


Use bins, boxes, baskets and other containers to hold any "business" you need to put on your shelves.  Not only is this more appealing to the eye, but it can help you keep organized.  Maybe.  ;)

via Mackenzie Horan


Or just one or two.  Things on the front, that is.  There's been several examples of this already (because it's a really popular thing to do), but here's another one.


(When he's calling for you... Get it?  Anyone?)

Seriously, though.  If you want all white books and accessories on a lime green background, do it!

You want a rainbow effect on your shelves?  Do it!

These tips don't apply to bookshelves alone: you can use them in many different places around your home.

You can see that Jen Wood maximized these floating shelves by layering the photographs displayed on them.

via Jen Wood

These mantels from HGTV and DecorChick demonstrate layering and levels beautifully!

via HGTV

You can also apply the tips to decorating console tables!

Some day soon I'll share my bookshelf projects with you.  Then you can see that I practice what I preach!  (Promise.)

Do any of you have shelves, mantles, or tables that could use a little style?  Do you want some help?  ;)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

These Walls Can Talk!

Can we talk about walls for a moment? I’ll bet that, when most of you think about covering them, you think about paint. Am I right? Granted, paint can be beautiful just on it’s own. Like this:

via House of Turquoise

But there are SO many options besides “just paint”.  What if you did a paint treatment? Perhaps a faux finish like this:

 Or a chevron stripe?

 A large single-letter initial painted on a wall can make a room really special.

A stencil can make a feature wall pretty special too!

Wallpaper has recently been spiking in popularity, due to designers like Kelly Wearstler and Thibaut turning out gorgeous wallpapers like these:

Grasscloth wallpaper also now comes in divine colors that instantly add a TON of character to a wall.

Of course, you can always dress your walls up with wood in the form of paneling…


Or beadboard.

What about a painted “lattice” treatment?!

If you’re fickle or indecisive like I have been known to be (see previous post) you could always do something temporary like (fanfare) WASHI tape!

Finally, I submit to you, something NOT for the faint of heart: a GOLD SEQUIN wall treatment.

I die.

Have I missed anything? Have any of you done any of these lovely wall treatments in your homes lately? Have I given any of you any bright (sparkling gold) ideas that need to be implemented soon? Do you want some help? ;)