We started looking for a new sofa last year and I couldn’t find I liked.   We decided to put our sofa shopping on hold so it gives me the perfect opportunity to share sofa styling tips to help you (and me) find the ideal sofa.


The first and most critical step in picking a sofa is to determine the style of sofa that fits your needs and function as well as your design aesthetic.

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Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Every year when the Christmas decor comes down I feel like my decor has lost its luster.  My living room feel bare, my decor feels stale and everything that I loved before Christmas feels like it needs fresh, new energy.  I know I’m not alone in this feeling and that many of you are looking at your decor right now and wondering how you can inject some life and energy into it.

Over the years I’ve learned and employed some simple and inexpensive decorating tricks the refresh my decor for the new year.


Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Every now and then you need to change things up in your decor to give it a new feeling.  The start of a new year is the perfect time to try a new furniture arrangement, move pieces from one room to another or re-arrange your accessories.  Move lamps around a room or even consider layer a smaller rug over the top of a larger one.  Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift of perspective to see something familiar in a totally new light.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Many time when I’m feeling a sense of uneasiness with my decor it has to do with clutter and disorganization.  Dedicate the month of January to cleaning, organizing and purging every room in your home.  Donate the things that you no longer use, organized the spaces (drawers, closets and tabletop surfaces) that use most offend and give your entire home a deep cleaning.  Clutter in you physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Color is an immediate mood booster so try adding in a new accent color into your decor to refresh the palette.  Switching out pillows is easy and cost-effective and will add big pops of color within your decor.  Color accents can also be added with small accent furniture, blankets & throws, artwork and decorative accessories.  In decorating, it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact.

tip:  when shopping for pillows, look for covers with hidden zippers so you can reuse the inserts when you change your pillow decor

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

During the holiday season we are surrounded with and abundance of patterns and colors.  Once the Christmas decor is down your surroundings may feel flat and lifeless.  The quick fix for that is pattern mixing.  Combine different pattern styles and colors to re-energize your decor.

tip:  a winning pattern mix combines small patterns against large ones and includes one big solid ( on sofa, floor, or wall) in the room. 

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

You might think that once artwork is hung on the wall it’s there to stay.   That doesn’t have to be the case.  During the winter months you can bring a room to life by simply switching out a piece of artwork with a mirror.  Mirrors enhance the light within a room(both natural and decorative) and will instantly make a room feel lighter, brighter and more open.

tip:  oversized floor mirrors will make small spaces feel bigger in addition to making the decor feel more important

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Look around the rooms in your home and see where you can create a cozy seating area or reading nook.  Cozy areas will make your home feel more intimate and personal which is the feeling your home had when all your Christmas decor was up.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Plants and flowers will  make your decor feel special anytime of the year but during the winter months the emotional energy these elements add is enhanced.  Place small plants or a vase on flowers on tabletop surfaces in the main living areas of your home as well as the bedroom and bathroom.

tip: if you don’t have a green thumb, decorating with artificial plants and flowers–they provide the same emotional lift that real greenery does.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Candles are my go-to accessory during the cold winter months.  Not only can candles provide a sense of warmth but the glow increases the sense of relaxation and coziness that a room has.  Arrange a group of candles on the coffee table or along the mantel.


It doesn’t take a lot to give your home a fresh, new feeling for the new year so use one or all of these design tips to refresh your decor.


all images via Ballard Design

Hi there friends.  You may have noticed that it’s been quite here on the blog since Christmas.  I took a break during the holidays to relax and enjoy the season which I did in a major way. After Christmas I found myself motivated to clean, purge, organize and refocus. Boy does it feel good.  So good in fact that that’s what’s been keeping me away from the blog.

Part of my end-of-year clean-up has included outlining my goals for the year, both personal and professional.  I want to reach new heights this year with my design business, my Etsy shops and also here on the blog.  All of that starts with clarity and a refueled spirit about what I want to achieve and how I want to go about achieving it.

When it comes to the blog, I am going to be making some changes, all in an effort to bring you fresh, informative and inspirational content.  I’m still outlining exactly what they will look like so that’s why there has been radio silence.  As a creative person, there are times when my creativity is soaring and other times when I’m feeling empty.  Slowly but surely the my cup is filling up and I’ll be back Monday ready to tackle the new year with a vengeance.

Until then, enjoy this round-up of some of the most read posts in 2016.  I love that some of these are oldies but goodies.



You all seem to love my Design Guide posts so I’m planning to deliver more in 2017.  If there are specific design challenges you’d like me to address, just leave a comment.

Design Guide: How To Style A Sectional Sofa

Design Guide: Styling A Super Sized Sectional Sofa

Design Guide: Curtains 101

It seems lots of people are looking for tips and ideas to decorate their bathrooms so if you fall into that category, you’ll want to check out the next two bathroom posts.

Anatomy of Accessorizing A Bathroom

How to Make Your Bathroom Look More Expensive On A Budget

Even in the design world Michelle’s quote of “when they go low, we go high” has meaning.  Check out my tips of decorating the tops of bookcases and armoires.

5 Decorating Tips for Tops of Bookcases & Armoires

Upholstered Headboards:  The Pros and Cons

The Great Frame Debate

I love pulling together these part shopping , part design Product + Inspiration posts so you’ll continue to see more of these in the new year.

 Product + Inspiration:  Hemnes Shoe Cabinet

Of all the posts I’m sharing today, this one really surprised me.  The ideas of living small is gaining in popularity and the TV show continues to be a top rated show.  Not only do I love seeing how they pack tons of style into such a small space but the show if filled with design ideas and inspiration for everyone.

The Tiny House Movement

Happy New Year!

Now that the halls have been decked, presents are nestled under the tree and we’re settled in for a cozy night of movie watching, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I’m signing off for the year to enjoy some much needed downtime and to begin planning for 2017.

Thank you all for reading the blog and for all the wonderful comments and support you’ve shown throughout the year.  Cheers to the season and hoping all your holiday wishes come true.

Between work, parties, shopping and all-around busyness of the holiday season, you may still working on getting your house decorated.  Don’t fret, because I’ve rounded up 7 Quick & Easy Last-Minute Christmas Decorating Ideas you can knock out in no time flat.  And the best part is that most of these ideas use items you probably already have around the house.


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The countdown to Christmas is officially one and like many of you I am scrambling to get all of those last minute tasks complete so I can relax and enjoy the beauty of the season.

If you’ve followed the Merry & Bright Holiday Home Tour this year, I hope you found lots of inspiration for decorating, entertaining, gift wrapping and celebrating the season.  If you missed any of the posts, I’ve created what I’m calling the Merry & Bright Highlight Reel to share snippets from each bloggers holiday home.   And if you want to catch up on Part 1, 2 or 3 of the tour, I’ve included links to each of the bloggers posts.

‘Tis the Season!


Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Love Your Abode

Love Your Abode:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Design Asylum

Design Asylum:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Chic On A Shoestring Decorating

Chic On A Shoestring Decorating:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--My Life Well Loved

My Life Well Loved:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Refresh Restyle

Refresh Restyle:  Part 1 //Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Green With Decor

Green With Decor: Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--M. Jones Style

M. Jones Style:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Positively Southern

Positively Southern:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--Life and Style at 60

Life and Style at 60:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel-- Wife In Progress

Wife In Progress: Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--The Home I Create

The Home I Create:  Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Merry & Bright Holiday Home Highlight Reel--ConfettiStyle

ConfettiStyle: Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

Thank you to Paper Mart and Silk Plants Direct who were proud sponsors of the 2016 Merry & Bright Holiday Home Tour.

Shop Paper Mart for all of your of gift wrap, ribbon and packaging supply needs.

Shop Silk Plants Direct for a great selection of artificial and preserved plants, greenery and flowers.


I know it’s a bit of a cliché to give men power tools for Christmas, but the reality is, they love these pieces of equipment as much as their favorite sports teams and their poker nights. When it comes to the boundless and fascinating world of do-it-yourself, new tools are always fun to try.

With proper safety measures and common know-hows, these state-of-the-art tools, which range anywhere from cordless drills to glue and heat guns, can do miracles in our homes. Last week, I went looking for a specific power tool on my husband’s Santa wish list, one that can accomplish simple project concepts and have plenty of uses. I’m talking about a heat gun.

At the very least, most of us have an inkling on the things we can do with a heat and glue gun. From simple gift-wrap pom pom ties that I created, to expensive-looking Christmas ornaments featured on Felt Magnet, anyone with this type of tool can spruce up their holiday festivities.

As an avid DIY crafter, I’ve used a variety of heat-emitting tools. I wasn’t sure how different this particular one was going to be compared to the others. But upon researching, I was amazed at all the creative ways we can use a heat gun around the house.

A heat gun is a very practical tool. It generally has some routine uses that can be quite effective and trouble-free. Screwfix elaborates on the advantages of owning a heat gun, sharing how it can be used to melt, shrink, and loosen a lot of materials in a safer method compared to an open flame. Conversely, there are other clever uses for your dependable heat gun.


Clever DIY Home Remedies Using Your Heat Gun

Remove Old Paint Drips, Stickers, and Labels

Sometimes, placing old newspapers below a do-it-yourself home redecorating endeavor just won’t do the trick, as paint still finds its way on our floors. By using a heat gun’s deflector nozzle on a low setting, we can easily wipe or scrape this stain off after it bubbles. Finish this cleaning task with a simple light scrub using a sponge. The same goes with trying to remove a product label from an item you just bought at a furniture shop like Ikea. A heat gun will take care of that in flash, leaving a clean and smooth surface.

Stick Floor Tiles and Molding

Throughout the years, window moldings loosen and floor tiles’ edges lift off the ground. A trouble-free remedy for these is to heat the materials’ sticky parts to somewhat renew its adhesive nature and prolong the bond. With this, I can easily make some repairs to my mom’s laundry room.


Repair Leather and Vinyl

Did you know that a heat gun could repair cuts in leather and vinyl? All it takes is a simple application of low-cure leather repair compound over the cut and use the heat gun to cure it off. Make sure that the tool’s nozzle is at a fair distance from the area you’re repairing so the compound won’t shrink or, worse, burn the material. Now that I know this, I’ve got a handbag with a tear on the bottom waiting to see the light of day again.


Remove Bicycle Decals

Our bikes have been sitting in the garage for the last two summers. Honestly, they need proper repairs and a facelift. My goal is to restore the bikes and give them a more modern vibe. I recently discovered that a heat gun easily removes the paint from the steel frame. With this, I can give my bike a prettier pink color. Furthermore, a little heat on the gears will get them back in working order.


If you’re looking for a good men’s gift this holiday, check out a heat gun. And I guarantee that not only will he love it but you’re going to find lots of ways to use it too.


#contributed post

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

It’s no secret that I love wrapping paper. And you may have even noticed that from time to time here on the blog I use wrapping paper for more than just wrapping gifts.

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

When I received this beautiful gift wrap from Paper Mart in November I knew immediately I wanted to use in my holiday decor.  So I got creative and here are a few ways I decorated for the holidays with gift wrap.



A gift wrap table runner is a no-brainer and such an easy and inexpensive way to dress your table.  The poinsettia wrapping paper is perfect as a runner because of the all-over pattern and bold colors.  You may have noticed that my table scape is different from what you saw in the Merry & Bright Holiday Home Tour.  I made a few simple changes to give my table a new look.

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Pinecones and Poinsettia Gift Wrap // Preserved Boxwood Wreath

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Red Satin Reversible Ribbon



Another creative way I used the wrapping paper is as a liner to a serving tray.  This is such an easy way to UpStyle any tray to match your seasonal decor or a party theme.

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Black and White Plaid Ribbon



Another one of my favorite decor ideas using gift wrap is to use the paper as a decorative matt in a frame.

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Holly Jolly Print

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

Similar Plaid Gift Wrap

Creative Ways To Decorate With Wrapping Paper

And here’s a few other ideas for decorating with wrapping paper…

♦  Make seasonal pennant flags to hang from the mantel

♦  Wrap plain pillar candles to make them more festive

♦  Line drawers or cabinets

♦  Wrap books for a decorative book cover

♦  Use wrapping paper as a wall paper alternative in a small room or closet

♦  Frame it and hang as artwork

With only 10 days until Christmas, I know some of you still have decorating and wrapping to do so I hope you’re inspired by this gift wrap inspiration.