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Thistlewood Farms

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Do you read the blog, Thistlewood Farms?  If you do or have had the pleasure of meeting KariAnne in person like I have, you know why I wanted to include her in my Behind The Blog series.  I’ve been reading KariAnne’s blog for a few years and I’m totally captivated by  stories, inspired by her projects and energized by her spirit.

I had the pleasure of meeting KariAnne at the Haven Conference a few years ago and just like she comes across on her blog, she had a big smile on her face, was rocking some red lipstick and had a warm and genuine energy about her.    Using one of KariAnne’s favorite words, Thistlewood Farms is a ‘rock star’ blog, written by a rock star person and I’m thrilled to feature her on the blog today.

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Let’s start by first telling us a little about the Thistlewood Farms blog. When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start your blog?

I started blogging in December of 2011. I finished remodeling the farmhouse (wait….pause….are you ever really finished?) and I wanted to be part of a creative, unique, engaged community. So I started a blog to connect with the DIY/home decor community.

living room dining room

Your blog is so refreshing, inspiring and personal. How would you describe your writing style and what do you enjoy most about blogging?

I write just like I talk. Seriously. Like I just interrupted this question. I didn’t mean to. I was just so excited about answering that I totally interrupted.  And now back to the rest of the question. I enjoy the photography and learning new skills. And the readers? They are truly my favorite.

tulips flowers

Running a successful blog and business isn’t easy. Any advice you can share with someone wanting to build their blog into a business?

Write the type of blog you want to read. Truly. If you like stories, write them. If you like beautiful pictures, take them. If you like painting pink flamingos and decorating your lawn, embrace the project. 🙂

family room picture

What’s a typical day like at Thistlewood Farms for you?

I start after the kids go to school, typically about 8:00. And coffee. I always start with coffee. I post about five times a week, so I get the post ready for the day and answer e-mails. Then more coffee. In the afternoons, I usually style the post and photograph it. Then the kids come home from school and I listen to all the day’s gossip. Sometimes I edit photos while the gossip is going on. Then I usually have an event with the kids and go to bed and start all over again.

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How would you describe your design style? Has it evolved over the years?

I like farmhouse. Wonderful, glorious, industrial, chippy, farmhouse. I’ve gone from neutral to color to neutral again, but farmhouse remains the constant.

You can tour KariAnne’s home here.  Warning–you may want to move in!

kitchen


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u’ve partnered with Hoffman Fabrics to develop your own fabric line which launched at the beginning of the year. Tell us a little about it and where your inspiration comes from.

The newest collection is called Simply Eclectic and I was inspired by all things farmhouse (no surprise if you are visiting from the previous question). I wanted it to feel at home if Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Queen of England came to visit, so it has a little bit of country and a little bit of elegant.

Simple Eclectic by Thistlewood Farms

Which room in your home is your favorite and why?

I love the kitchen. I don’t cook, but it’s the best room in the house. It’s where all the problems of the world are solved.

kitchen farmhouse style-1

What is the most treasured piece in your home?

There’s a table in my kitchen that I got at a yard sale in the middle of a flood. It is the best $20 I have ever spent.

farmhouse kitchen organization


You create some amazing DIY projects. What’s your favorite material to work with?

I like paint. I think that paint is the easiest and most inexpensive way to transform a space. You can create faux finishes or stripes or simply change the color. All for under $50

You can check out all of KariAnne’s DIY projects here.

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If you could lunch with any famous woman, who would it be and what’s one burning question you’d ask her?

I would go to lunch with Joanna Gaines. And I would ask her about her farmhouse and if she likes the color SW Mindful Gray.

front entry


Tell me one or two things that are on your bucket list?

Visit England
Canoe the Cumberland River
Learn to knit

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It’s time to share a few of your favorite things…

Favorite Color: Gray (obvi)

Favorite Movie:  Steel Magnolias

Favorite Flower: Hydrangea

Favorite Food: Broccoli

Favorite Splurge:  Anthropologie Candles

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And I just had to throw this one in…favorite red lipstick color?  

 Fresh (it’s from the dollar store)!

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A big hug to KariAnne for stopping by the blog today and sharing a bit of her world with all of us.

 If you don’t follow KariAnne’s blog, Thistlewood Farms, I highly recommend that you do.  It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and brighten your day.  And mark your calendars because KariAnne is working on her first book which will be released next fall.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and I’m hoping she’ll invite me over for a glass of sweet tea so I can have her write a rock star message inside my book!

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Summer Peach Caprese Salad

Food in a Jar

Cheese Plate Centerpiece

Canoe Serving Station

Wood Cutting Boards

Paper Dollie Place Setting

Leaf Place Cards via La Crema

Floral and Greenery Centerpiece

Lush Lantern Centerpiece

SUMMER ENTERTAINING IDEAS 

Outdoor entertaining takes on new meaning this time of year.  Finding new ways to use pieces you already own & incorporating the bounty of the season will help make entertaining outdoors even more fun and exciting.

♦  Put on twist on a caprese salad by replacing the tomatoes with sweet Georgia peaches.  

♦  Use oversized glass jars as serving bowls for salads and fresh fruits.  Jars allow food to be visible while adding impact to your buffet setting.

♦  Instead of expensive flowers for the centerpiece, let the food be the focal point.  A long wood board piled high with a variety of cheeses, fruits, meats and nuts will be the center of attention.

♦  Get creative with the things you own.  A recycled canoe makes a charming outdoor serving station of finger foods.

♦  Place those delicate china plates with small rustic wood cutting boards which function just a good as traditional serve ware.

♦  Keep thing simple but elegant and create personalized place setting with oversized dollies.  Use a Sharpie to pen the name of guests or pull out that collection of letter stickers and give each dollie its unique spin.

♦  Use elements from mother nature as decor for your party.  A handful of pretty leaves and a metallic pen is all it takes to make these stylish name cards.

♦  Make a single bouquet of flowers go the extra mile by mixing in greenery pieces you cut from the yard to create a dynamic centerpiece.

♦  And when impact is called for, drape the center with an assortment of summer lanterns surrounded by lush greenery and foliage.

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Summer entertaining is about letting loose, having fun and enjoying the season!

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Image source: 1) Say Yes 2) Crate and Barrel 3) Plum Pretty Sugar 4) Simple Bites 5) Style Me Pretty 6) Paper Mart 7)La Crema 8) Wedding Colors 9) Elle Decor (photo by Jenna Elliott–One Eleven Photography)

 

Blog Life University Conference

Last week I attended the Blog Life University Conference.  The conference was held here in Atlanta and attracted bloggers from different parts of the country. Melissa from the blog Serendipity and Spice started the conference two years ago as a food bloggers conference but has transitioned it into conference aimed at bloggers from all blogging niches.

When asked why Melissa started BLU here’s what she had to say…

“I began this journey of Blog Life University as another venue for bloggers and social media influencers to connect, learn, and prosper with each other. Besides writing epic content, the BEST thing to do for your blog is to get out from behind the screen and connect in real life! It’s the relationships that I make when attending conferences that have helped me the most in growing my blog.”

And after attending BLU, I must say that I couldn’t agree with Melissa more.

I’ve attended several larger blog conferences and they all provided a great networking and learning opportunity but there are some things that set BLU apart from the others.

FOUR REASONS TO ATTEND THE BLOG LIFE UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE

  1.  The Connections Are Real.  Melissa planned BLU to be a boutique blog conference and limits the number of people who attend.  Since there were a smaller group of bloggers at the event, it was so easy to mix and mingle and meet other bloggers.
  2. BLU fostered an environment of sharing.  All of the speakers were open about sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with us and were transparent with their successes and failures.  It was good to hear so many bloggers speak the truth about how much work goes into blogging and what rewards can come from it.
  3. The presentations were educational & relatable.  Sometimes conference presentations can be delivered in a way that not everyone benefits.  At BLU , all of the information shared is something that any blogger, in any area of blogging could benefit from. I really enjoyed the presentation by Becky Mansfield on Ebooks for Passive Income and Melissa’s presentation on Growing Passive Income from Affiliate Links.
  4. No one was wearing their super woman cape.  BLU attracted bloggers at all levels, some just starting their blog and others with very successful blogs.  Despite the level of achievement (or not) everyone was friendly and open which created a great atmosphere for building friendships and relationships.

Blog Life University Conference

photo via BLU

In addition to all the learning that was going on, there was fun to be had too!

Chateau Elan was a sponsor and treated us to a wine tasting!

Blog Life University Conference

photo via BLU

Dixie Crystals was another sponsor and they treated us to sweet treats and gave us the opportunity to make our own sugar scrubs.

Blog Life University Conference

Blog Life University Conference

They also sponsored a dessert recipe contest and here are all the winners including my friend Marsha (third from the right).

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On Thursday evening a group of about 25 of us went to dinner at Pappasito’s.  It’s one of my favorite restaurants and they treated the entire group to delicious appetizers.

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And we had a fun outing when we took Lisa from Clutter Cafe to Chick-fil-a because she’d never been before.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend Blog Life University and I’m already looking forward to next year.

Blog Life University Conference

photo via BLU

To learn more about Blog Life University Conference head here.  And you can enter to win tickets to the 2017 conference here.

I hope to see you there.

Shelly Signature

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Hey there friends.  Sorry I skipped out last week here on the blog but things have been extra busy and I just didn’t have time (or energy) to complete all the blog post I had planned for you.  My busy schedule included 5 days at the Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings show followed by two days at the Blog Life University Conference and I’m tuckered out.   I’ll be sharing more about the gift show and the conference later this week but today I’m sharing one of my favorite shopping events of the year, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

When I lived in Seattle, I actually planned a couple of vacation days around the sale so I could be at the flagship store the day the sale went live. I didn’t want to miss out on any of the deals.  Now I shop my local Nordstrom or when I don’t want to deal with the crowds, I hit their website.  That’s just what I did Saturday afternoon while I crashed on the couch.

There are so many great items in this years sale but a few really caught my eye and I just had to share them with you.

Here are my top picks from the sale…

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A classic backpack is a handbag staple in my book.  They are great for traveling and weekend shopping when you want your hands free. I love the sleek lines of this Sole Society Ellie Backpack and the tassel charm on the flap.  And you can’t beat the $29.90 price.

Cardigans are my go-to fashion item during fall and this Halogen Cashmere Kimono Cardigan has so much going for it.  I love the oversized fit, the soft drape and the fact that is it cashmere.  This piece is available in three colors and is on sale for $98.90. ($148 after sale)

I never met a tassel I didn’t like, especially if it’s an earring.  These Sole Society Tassel Earrings are such fun and will look great with sweaters this fall. $36.95

The combination of the cord necklace and crystal pendant is what caught my eye.  This is a perfect piece to wear day-to-night and with everything from jeans to dresses.  Bauble Bar Bijoux’ Pendant Necklace  $42.00

I’ve been wanting this Jonathan Adler Zebra Porcelain Stacking Dish for ages and couldn’t pass up the $15.90 price and my new favorite color, navy. The gold version is also available but at a higher price.

In addition to clothing and shoes, you can find some great home decor items in the Nordstrom Sale.  This Levtex Diamond Straw Basket is perfect to hold blankets or just about anything you want.  $38.90 Available in natural & navy and natural & tan.

An oversized sweater and jeans is the perfect fall outfit in my book.  This Halogen Ribbed Cashmere Poncho has a great shape and subtle ribbed texture. Available in 4 colors. $148.90

So now that I’ve got you ready to do some shopping, here are some tips I’ve learned from shopping the sale for many years…

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Insider Tips For Shopping The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

  • Shop early!  I can’t stress this enough.  Many items will sell out within the first few days of the sale so plan to do your shopping early.  p.s.  this years sale ends on Aug. 4th. 
  • Did you know that Nordstrom has personal stylist to help you shop?  This free service is great if you’re needing special pieces or want pulling together outfits.  You can schedule an appointment or ask for an available stylist when you’re at the store.  p.s.  the stylist have all the inside tips on products and can often find items that are sold out in your area.
  • For even better deals than you can find in the main for jewelry and accessory department, shop the Brass Plum department. You can find the latest styles and designs at a fraction the price.  This tassel handbag didn’t make my top 7 list but is definitely a great buy.
  • If you’re stocking up on fall clothing, purchase the items you’re interested in, take them home to try on them on and return what you don’t want.  The dressing rooms are typically crowded during the sale so take items home so you can try them on in the comfort and space of your own bedroom.
  • If your local store doesn’t have the size or color you want, a Nordstrom sales person can order the item for you at no shipping cost.
  • Nordstrom offers samples of almost any beauty product in store every day. During the Anniversary Sale you’ll find limited-edition offerings, plus 300 beauty and fragrance exclusives so just ask for a sample at the counter.
  • Think Christmas gifts.  This is a great time to buy higher priced items and save a little money, especially on handbags, footwear and mens clothing.

 

Happy shopping!

Shelly Signature

 

 

 

Hi folks, I’ve got a great round-up of links for you today with a little twist.  Instead of sharing some of my favorite pins, this week I decided to share some easy and inspirational diy/craft projects for you to check out.  I loved all of these projects so much that they have made it onto my ever-growing craft to-do list.   Enjoy these links and most of all enjoy your weekend!

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FAVORITE POSTS

This is how to have fun and give back to others.

gallery-1468245136-landscape-1460406802-mattress-worldrecord

This home tour had me swooning…every inch of it.

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My girl KariAnne shows you how to create really stunning centerpieces with these 5 unique  centerpiece ideas.

dining-room-garden-centerpiece

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FAVORITE PROJECTS

This DIY Pom Pom Door Hanger is so fun and I can think of a million different ways to use it (ie:  gift wrap, wine bottle charm, curtain tie-backs….)

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I have a thing for mugs and this Alcohol Ink Project is a fun way to create your own designs.

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This DIY Tassel project will make you want to add tassels to all your summer sandals.

DIY Tassel Shoes

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FAVORITE PRODUCTS

I just ordered this Crossbody Clutch and can’t wait to get it.  And it’s on sale for $39!

Black Clutch

Love these Hexagonal Pillar Candleholders.  They are also available in a silver finish.

Kline Hexagonal Pillar Candleholder

This Multicolored Striped Knit Bag would make a great weekend bag when out shopping.  Don’t miss out on the $5.99 price.

Multi Colored Striped Knit Bag

The Chinoiserie Melamine Plates are selling quick so don’t hesitate to snag yours.

Chinoiserie Melamine Plate

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Today is a really special day in my life because the hubby and I are celebrating a major milestone.   It’s our 25th wedding anniversary!

25 years ago I walked down the aisle to my love and best friend and said I do.  As I look back on the last 25 years I am grateful that we’ve been blessed with a marriage that has grown in strength and love.  Marriage is not always easy but with dedication, respect and love it can be great.

25 marriage tipsI swear by

 

True love blossoms when you care about another person more than you care about yourself. 

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Communicating is far more about listening and understanding than it is about talking.

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Always give a hug or kiss before leaving the house.  This might seem like a little thing in a marriage but often times it’s the little gestures that can have the biggest impact over time.  Even today when my husband leaves for work at 6:15 in the morning, he comes and gives me a kiss on the forehead.  I may not always feel the kiss on my forehead but I feel it in my heart.

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Go out of your way to do things that make each other happy.

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Don’t say things you’ll regret! If I had to pick one thing about my marriage that I am most proud of, it would be that in our 25 years of marriage we have never used profanity towards each other, screamed at each other or called each other names.  We respect our marriage and each other enough not to use words that are demeaning, disrespectful or belittling.

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Respect each other with both your words and your actions.

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Don’t sweat the small stuff!  My parents were married for 27 years before my dad passed away and this is one of the pieces of wisdom she shared with me before I got married.

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Create a clear vision of your shared future together. Sit down, listen to each other and write out how you want your future as a couple to look.

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Marriage Quote

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Don’t go to bed angry!

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Don’t keep score! Trying to make your relationship fifty-fifty proposition will cause a lot of unnecessary tension and you don’t need that. So unless your spouse is a total slacker,  recognize that in a happy marriage both partners try to help their mate carry the load.

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Love is as much about saying I love you as it is about showing the other person you love them.

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Marriage Quote3

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Never lose the art of dating.  Select an activity where the two of you can interact, talk, and just be together enjoying each other’s company.

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To have a really happy marriage, you need to work at it. As the saying goes, the only place you find success before work is in the dictionary.

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Marriage Quote8

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Take time to have some fun together every day!

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The best way to strengthen a marriage is to support and assist each other in being the best you can be. A strong marriage is one in which both people understand that the other person needs to have outside interests and activities which help them to feel happy and fulfilled.

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A strong marriage is one where both people understand that it is more important to be happy than it is to be right.

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Marriage Quote7

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Never stop growing together. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

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Marriage Quote5

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And above all, thank God everyday for your marriage and your mate.

Here’s to another 25 years of love and happiness!

 

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Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

When it comes to finding unexpected items to wrap gifts with, nothing is off-limits in my book, not even coloring books.

After receiving The Inspired Room Coloring Book a few weeks ago, I knew immediately that I wanted to use some of the images as gift wrap.

The Inspired Room Coloring Book

via The Inspired Room

The pages I choose had designs which reminded me of beautiful wrapping paper.  Here’s one of the pages before I colored it.

The Inspired Room Coloring Book Page

When selecting colors for the pages, I decided to use two of  my favorite color combos–red & hot pink and royal blue & green.  After the pages were colored I used them to wrap small cardboard gift mailers.  Gift mailers are a great alternative to a traditional box for wrapping small items.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

And because I’m all about the details, I added small grommets to the egde where the paper overlapped. And then I added some cute tassels.  Aren’t these tassels the cutest things ever?  I followed Amber’s hula tassel tutorial which you can find here.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

COLORING BOOK PAGE GIFT WRAP

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Hand coloring your gift wrap is definitely more time-consuming than using store bought paper but for  special gifts it’s  worth the time and effort.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

You can pick up your copy of The Inspired Room Coloring Book on Amazon.

p.s. I used these art markers to color my pages.

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I hope everyone had an ok weekend.  I know that with all the turmoil going in these days, it’s hard to find a sense of peace and calm.  One way I did that was not watching the news and spending time doing things I enjoy.  Sometimes it the simple things in life that can brighten our day.  Anyhow, todays post is all about color and decorating, two things that definitely impact your world.

Design Rules_ Color

 

Last week as part of my Design Guide series, I talked about picking the right paint finish.  Several of you asked for tips on starting at ground zero and picking the right paint colors for your home.  Last year I shared 4 tips to picking paint colors with you and today I’m going a little deeper and talking about Color Rules. I think giving you a better understanding of colors will help you have more confidence in selecting colors for your home.

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♦  Start with a color you love.  Are there colors you consistently wear in your wardrobe?  Or maybe every time you see emerald green pillows you heart flutters.  Take note of what colors you have a positive response to and those that make you feel good.  These are the colors (or color families) that you will fee most comfortable with in your décor.

Color Rules

my domaine

♦  Once you hone in on the colors you like, keep in mind the feeling that specific colors will convey.  Warm colors like red, yellow and orange have an energizing effect and will feel more vibrant.  Blue, green and gray are calming colors and will add provide a soothing feel to the rooms you decorate.

Color Rules

via bhg

Color Rules

via ralph lauren

♦  When it comes to pairing colors use a color wheel to guide you in picking color families that work best together.  Colors close together on the color wheel are analogous and will make a room feel calm.  Colors that are farther apart are complementary and are more dramatic when paired together.

Color Rules

Here’s an example of an analogous color scheme…

Color Rules--Analogous

via apartment therapy

And here’s an example of a complementary color scheme…

Color Rules: Complementary Color Scheme

via Laurel Bern Interiors

♦  In open floor plans where rooms open on to each other and avoid choosing radically different colors and color families or the space will look choppy and disconnected.

Color Rules

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♦  If you find a color that you love but you feel it is too dark, ask the paint counter to do a 50 percent tint of the color.

♦  One of the best color rules to follow is layer bold colors with mid-tones and neutrals to create balance within the room.

Color Rules
via hgtv–Photo By: Allison Corona Photography, Let It Shine Photography, Doug Petersen Photography 

♦  If you love bold colors but don’t want to overwhelm a room by painting all the walls in that colors, pull those colors in through decorative trims on chairs, curtains or pillows.  Small doses of vibrant colors can be easier on the eye and you won’t tire of the color as easily.

Color Rules

via Society Social

♦  Always sample the paint colors you are considering and try them on your walls.  Look at the color in the morning and at night and put test swatches near your furniture.  I just started using these ingenious paint sample boards with clients and boy oh boy are they great way to try colors on the wall without damaging your current wall color.

Color Rules

via Elle Decor

♦  As you consider the color for your walls, make sure to also consider the trim and ceiling color to make sure it all works together.  White trim color can reflect or absorb the tones of your wall color and in some cases make it look brighter or duller.

Color Rules

 via bhg

Selecting the right colors for your home is just as important as selecting your accessories so spend the time it takes to find the right the colors that brighten your world and your home.

Design Rules_ ColorDesign Rules_ Color

I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun gift wrap inspiration post using two of my favorite color combinations.

Shelly Signature

top paint image via bhg