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Hello my friends!

Complete Rest

Have you ever felt like you needed a break to regaing control of your runaway life?  Well, I’m facing one of those times.  My lengthy to-do list needs priortizing, I’ve been on the verge of catching a cold, I haven’t fully organized myself for the new year, I’m lacking creative energry and I just need some time to re-group and find my joy.  So I’m taking the week off from blogging to get things in order and will be back on Monday with a fresh mind, body and soul.

Until then, here are a few things that are bringing me inspiration.

I’m working on a guest bathroom update and this rug might be the winning look.

Threshold Rug

I wish someone would DIY this gorgeous headboard for me (hint, hint Tina)!

Black headboard

I’ve got a black and gold barcart in the works, inspired by this image, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Black and gold barcart

Have a great week and I’ll see you back here Monday.  I’ll be sharing a highlights of the week on social media so you can follow along there.

   Instagram Twitter pinterest facebook

Shelly

 Happy Saturday to you all.

Just dropping in today to share a fun spring-is-coming DIY craft you can make this weekend, along with a few links I think you’ll love.

Flower Monogram

how-to tutorial 

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If you’ve ever thought about opening an Etsy shop or already have one, here’s a great article on Embracing Your Inner Entrepreneur.

This quote is a driving force in my life right now.

15 Ways to Live a Year With No Regrets!  Powerful wisdom.

This kitchen renovation is pretty amazing.  I especially love the free-standing console and that chalkboard.

If you love food served in a bowl like I me, you’ll want to try these healthy recipes.

Shelly

Watercolor Floral

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When I shared my 2015 Design Trend Forecast a couple of weeks ago, one of the trends I mentioned was watercolor florals.  Now I’m seeing another watercolor concept making a wave in the design world–watercolor walls.

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Hello there.  I hope you week is going well.  Today I wanted to share my thoughts on a design idea that is quickly becoming a trend.

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Have you noticed more and more kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms and closet spaces are going doorless? New homes are being built with open shelving and lots of homeowners are removing the doors on their existing cabinets to create the open shelving concept in their homes.

New Home with Open Shelving

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I must say that I really love the look of open shelving, not only for a kitchen but the other rooms in the home too.

One of the things I like most about this design statement is that open shelving makes a room feel more spacious and airy.

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Cabinet doors can become a visual blocker and sometimes limit the storage capabilities in a kitchen.  Open shelves allow you to use every inch of space to display collectibles and functional items, providing a more personal and stylized design statement.

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In a laundry room, open shelves make functional items easily accessible and provide a less industrial feel overall.

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Don’t think your open shelves have to be plain and boring–you can incorporate decorative hardware or a decorative paint application to make your shelves stand out.

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And, standard shelving can be replaced with another material to provide more visual interest.

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If you’re considering open shelving in your home, here are a few tips that will help you create the best possible look:

1)  Keep items organized–open shelving will look intentional if items are grouped and organized in an attractive and orderly way.

2)  Create depth and dimension with the items on your shelves by stacking pieces at different heights and layering items from the front of the shelf to the back.

3)  Incorporate decorative elements like decorative platters, vases or collectibles to give your shelves personality.

4)  Use storage baskets and containers to hold smaller items and create areas of impact on your shelves.

5) Consider a contrasting background so that that contents on each shelf stand out.

And remember that design is in the details so approach your open shelving the same way you would decorating a tabletop or bookcase.

So what do you think–do you like the open shelving concept or would you rather keeps things behind closed doors?

Shelly

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fiber rugs have been a popular design element for many years and I think they will continue to be a staple for years to come.  Educating my design clients on the difference between a sisal, jute and seagrass rug is something I do a lot. These rug varieties are somewhat similar in look but there are some distinct differences.

I know many of you probably have some confusion about the difference in these rugs types too, so I wanted to share a little about each style.

JUTE RUGS

Jute Rug

Here’s an example of a braided jute loop rug below

Jute Rug

Jute is actually a plant grown in India and Bangladesh and the fibers are stripped from the plant’s stalk rather than the leaves.  Once the fibers are stripped, they are spun and prepared for weaving. Jute is actually the same material that burlap is made from  and has similar characteristics to burlap.  One of the other great features of a jute rug is that the fibers can be dyed in different colors which is one of the reasons they are so popular.

 The weave of a jute rug is strong and once woven will have a coarse hand but it is actually softer than sisal.  Because of its performance nature, jute rugs are best for low to medium traffic areas like bedrooms, dining rooms and home offices.  If you’re using a jute rug in a home office, consider what types of moveable furniture that you’ll have on the carpet because they will be difficult to move around on jute.

Keeping your jute rug clean is pretty easy but it is not recommended that you steam clean them since the fibers are very absorbent.

SISAL RUGS

Sisal Rug

Sisal Rug

Sisal is a fiber that comes from the Mexican agave plant and is then woven into a yarn-like material which can be left is it’s natural neutral color or dyed.

Sisal is a super strong fiber so these types of rugs are ideal for high traffic areas like hallways, stairs or family rooms. The fiber also pulls moisture and humidity from the air which makes it a great carpet for sunrooms where you want something cool underfoot.

Natural Sisal rugs tend to be very coarse, however a synthetic sisal rug can provide the same look, but will have a softer feel and much better durability.  Pure sisal rugs tend to warp when they get wet, so they can be tough to clean.

The best way to care for a Sisal rug is the vacuum regularly but never use a steam cleaner on a sisal rug.

SEAGRASS RUGS

Seagrass Rug

Seagrass rug2

Seagrass rugs are my favorite amongst all natural fiber rugs.  These rugs are made of twisted seagrass fibers and although they have somewhat of a coarse hand I love the unique look that they have.   Seagrass rugs are khaki and green in color and usually have a twisted fiber as part of the weave.  Like other natural fiber rugs, Seagrass is coarse as well, yet it has more of an oily feel to the touch.  Seagrass rugs do not come in different colors but you can find different weave patterns to choose from.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fiber rugs are an excellent way to bring a solid color and minimal pattern into the room as well as add visual texture.  They are also a great foundation rug when you want to layer something decorative on top.

Layered natural fiber rug

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Layered Rug

Shelly

I’ve always tried to stay one step ahead when it comes to holiday gift giving.  I usually take advantage of the after-Christmas sales and pick up a few gift items for the coming year. January is a great month to begin creating a gift list and checking out stores for sales.  Several of my favorite stores have amazing clearance events going on right now and there are some fabulous items to be had.  I’ve rounded up a few of my faves in case you want to get a jump on your 2015 holiday shopping.

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Mark and Graham is one of  my favorite online shops and when it comes to monogrammed accessories, they have some amazing items to choose from.  All of their monogrammed items make great gifts for Christmas or any other gift giving occasion for that matter.

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Gift shopping for men is always a challenge.  This Leather Credit Card Case–($19.99) is a great buy and makes the perfect gift men {and women}.  And if you have someone graduating this year, it’s a great grad gift too.
A classic like this Monogrammed Weekender–($119.99) is a gift that will last a lifetime.
Who wouldn’t love this Leather iPad Envelope–($59.00).  Available in 9 colors.
  I’m all about zippered pouches that I can fill with essentials and throw in a larger handbag–so many uses for an item like this.  Striped Zip Pouches-($34.99-$35.00)

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 If I’m out shopping the day after Christmas, Pottery Barn is one of the stores I always go to.  I love finding holiday ornaments, tabletop items and textiles on sale.  Here are a few items that I think are worth adding to your gift closet.

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How fun is this Globe Ice Bucket–($54.99).  Because it has a chalkboard exterior it can be used for any occasion and when not in use as an ice bucket, I think it would make a pretty cute nut or candy bowl.
Luxury at a great price.  Faux Oversized Mohair Throw ($39.99-$55.00)
These Alphabet Tags-($3.99) are just adorable and their classic design means you can use them now until Christmas.  And don’t forget that tags like them can also be used a napkin rings, wine bottle tags or as holiday ornaments.

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Crate and Barrel is also a store worth shopping after the holidays.  Here are a few decorative items that are definitely worth buying.

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If you’re looking for a unique gift for someone who loves to decorate I highly recommend these Brass Letter Art pieces.  They are a great buy at $9.97 each and are available in letters and numbers.
January is a great month to pick up seasonal candles and these Branch Taper Candles are definitely a stylish steal.  $2.97
Stocking up on wrapping paper after the holidays can save you a lot of money when Christmas rolls around next year. I love the elegant style and color of this Lacy Snowflake Wrapping Paper and love the price even more–$3.58!
When it comes to setting a holiday table, you can never go wrong with classic white dinnerware.  This Nordic Plate ($2.47) is really pretty and has a design that will work from fall through Christmas.

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There are lots of deals to be had right now when shopping the after Christmas sales so start making that list of checking it twice.  Christmas is only 339 days away.

For more gifting ideas, read all about my essentials for a well stocked gift closet here.

Happy Shopping!

Shelly

Decorativ Knobs2

When it comes to decorating, there are a lot of decorative elements that I’m obsessed with.

I love bamboo picture frames and brass planters.  I have a weakness for decorative boxes and animal print pillows. I rarely ever pass up a piece of milkglass or ironstone when I’m out antiquing. And then there’s my love of decorative knobs.  Whenever I’m at Anthropologie or Hobby Lobby, I always visit the knob bins.  The bins are like jewelry trays and I just love checking out all the sparkly, colorful knobs and envisioning how I can use them to update a piece of furniture or use them on a diy project.

I recently looked through a basket when I store my knobs and realized I have quite the collection.  Some of the knobs I have plans for and others I just loved and couldn’t pass up.  Last year I gave our bedroom armoire a makeover and UpStyled it with paint and knobs from Hobby Lobby.

Summer 2013 Bedroom Update (51)

Decorative knobs are one of the most cost-effective decorative elements you can buy, to easily and quickly transform a piece of furniture.  But finding the perfect knob can sometimes be a challenge.  To help you with the hunt, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite knob sources and what each of them has to offer.

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It’s about this time of year that I am sick of wearing winter closets and dream about warmer days and spring fashions.  I know many of you probably feel the same way.   Unfortunately we have a few more months of cold weather ahead so it’s time to refresh your wardrobe to give you a lift as we wait for spring to arrive.

Those of you who have read my blog for a while might know that I have a degree in fashion.  I spent 20 years working in the fashion industry and ever since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about fashion.  Today I’m going to share a few tips to help you refresh your winter/transition wardrobe and a few items that are worth investing in right now.  As you refresh your wardrobe, it’s also a great time to give some thought to your fashion style and whether or not you’re presenting the fashion statement you want to the world.

Fashion Quote

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