Hello friends.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and a great weekend.  My Valentine’s Day was super casual and instead of taking me to Jared :), the hubs took me somewhere he knew I’d like even better…antique shopping.  I found some great goodies which I’ll show you tomorrow, but today I wanted  to address a question I get asked a lot–how to add high-end design style, on a budget?

When it comes to design, one thing I know for sure is that most people desire to have a high-end look for their home but want save money doing it. Of course to get a high-style look you can go out and buy expensive furniture, lighting and accessories but when that’s not an option, there are ways to get the look without breaking the bank.

 If you’ve ever wondered what design tricks designers use to achieve high-style, today is your day because I’m sharing NINE Ways To Get A High-End Look On Budget!

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Valentines Tablescape--Dinner for Two


Setting a pretty table is one of my favorite things to do and Pinterest supplies me with an abundance of creative ideas and inspiration.  I’m typically not one to decorate with pastels but this gorgeous table decor felt like the perfect Valentine’s Day table setting.  It exudes elegance but it’s not fussy. And I just love the warmth the mix of pinks and gold creates.  With all this beautiful inspiration, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to recreate this look for Valentine’s or whatever special occasion you might be celebrating…


Valentine's Day Table Setting--Shop the Sources and Get The Look.

 Silk Flower Arrangement // Gold Charger Plate // Brass Taper Candle Holders  // Glass Votive Holders1/2/3
Luminous Coupe Dinnerware // Gold Flatware // Pink Linen Napkins
Metal and Glass Terrarium //Pink Wine Glasses


Three Styling Tips for an Elegant Table:

 Gold and metallic finishes will make the entire table feel more expensive

 For a dramatic centerpiece, arrange flowers to fill the table side to side and top to bottom

♥  Create layers with candles using different size, shapes and styles of candle holders

What’s great about all of these items is that they can easily be mixed and matched with seasonal decor to create a table for Easter, a ladies luncheon or even a New Year’s Eve celebration.

If you were creating this Valentine’s Day table for two, how would you put your own spin on the decor?

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Absolutely Beautiful Things

Do you ever have one of those fleeting moments when you see the decor in a home and it makes you think about redecorating your entire home.  I have those moments a lot but recently I started delving in one of my design books and it really has me itching to change my look.

The book I’m talking about is Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro.  Anna is an interior designer and shop owner based in Brisbane, Australia.  Her store, my Black & Spiro is filled with a unique collection of colorful, eclectic and interesting decor and accessories.

When it comes to designing rooms, you can tell that Anna’s approach is all about infusing color and vibrancy into the space.  Let’s take a look at her style shall we…

Anna Spiro

The wallpaper above is just one of Anna’s designs available through Porters Paints.

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You have to love this eclectic gallery wall arrangement.

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Classic with a pop of color–yes please!

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The white piping and monogram take these black end chairs to a whole new level.

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Colorful pillows on a traditional settee is the perfect combination.

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I’m crushing on bold sofas these days and love the decorative boxes on the coffee table.

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A traditional chair with a twist–such a statement piece.

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This entire banquette setting has me drooling.  I just love the colorful mix.  It’s such a happy place.

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And if you ever questioned whether bright colors and traditional furniture could mix, here’s proof.

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One thing I know about my personal design style is that I love classic styling, whimsical touches and pops of color so that’s why I’m so drawn to Anna Spiro’s style.  A trip to Australia and a visit to Black and Spiro are on my bucket list but until that happens I’ll keep arming Anna from across the pond.

To learn more about Anna and Black and Spiro, you can visit her site here and follow her on Instagram here.

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Printed Lampshades
Melodi Horne, London

The other day I was flipping through some magazines and I started to notice a design trend that appears to be coming back in a strong way–patterned lampshades. While I don’t think patterned lampshades ever went completely out of style, the last few years it’s been all about neutral, white and black shades.

When you look back at the history of patterned lampshades, I think they have gotten a back rap and are associated with old-fashion, dated decor. Given the right setting and in the right pattern, lampshades with a pattern are be a fabulous design accent.  If you’re not already, here’s a few inspirational photos to get your on board with this trend…

Printed Lampshade


As in any decorative situation, an animal print always works to add a sophisticated and elegant look to any space.



Patterned lampshades on a brass lamp can create an old-world feel which it totally in style.

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I love the idea of a patterned lampshade to match the theme of the decor.

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It’s aways good to have a variety of patterns within a room design and a patterned lampshade is an easy way to incorporate a fun pattern.

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A patterned lampshade that fits the color theme of a room just gives the room more visual depth and interest.

Print Lampshade


A patterned lampshades can add color and energy to a neutral room.

Patterend Lampshade in neutral decor


Patterned lampshades can unify the colors within a room.

Black Patterend Lampshade via

Patterned lampshades can add an unexpected twist to the decor of a room.

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If your crafty, you can make your own printed lampshades.  Here’s a great tutorial that walks you through all the steps.

Printed Lampshade Tutorial

You can find patterned lampshades in most home decor stores, this is a great online source with a great selection of patterns.  And I recently spotted several really great designs at HomeGoods.  To make shopping easy, check out a few of my favorites in stores and online now…

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Seedling–available in 16 colors /  Watercolor Floral /  Giclee Greek Key Lampshade–available in tons of colors
Northern Lights / Animal Print / Diamonds Giclee
Teal Bamboo Trellis / Birch Blonde /Jigsaw Drum Shade

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Valentine's Day Gift Wrap.001

If I had the time I would find an excuse to wrap gifts everyday.  I just love a beautifully wrapped gift and always want my gift wrapping to be part of the gift giving experience.

With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, I had the perfect opportunity to get creative and wrap gifts for the favorite people in my life.  I decided to keep things simple and use embellishments to add the wow factor to my gifts.

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Have you ever heard the saying, ‘decorating is in the details?’  I believe that the design details within your decor are the that bring it to life and give your home its personality.  Take decorative bowls for instance.  They look good on coffee tables, console tables, on bookshelves and just about any other place you put them.

The other day I was shuffling some of my accessories around and put a decorative bowl on the coffee table and one on the console table in the dining area.  The bowls looked great where they were but the question of what to put in them popped up.  After rummaging through my stash of accessories and crafts, I came up with a few options.  Here’s what you might consider putting in a decorative bowl.


Scrabble Pieces

I’ve bought a couple of old scrabble games at thrift stores, planning to use the tiles in other projects.  Since that hasn’t happened, I decided to use them as decor and placed them in a beautiful blue and white bowl I have.  The tiles add an eclectic and fun detail to the coffee table.

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I’ve got two baskets filled with pinecones that travelled with us all the way from Seattle when we moved 15 years ago.  They add a rustic and wintry feel to my decor this time of year and look really great piled up in a vintage brass bowl.

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When my store was open, these alphabet balls were a bigger seller.  In the store I displayed them under a glass cloche or in a lidded glass jar but for my decor, I love them in this gold pedestal bowl I found at Hobby Lobby around Christmas.  The balls are whimsical but still have a classic vibe to them.

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Here’s another look I created for my coffee table last week using Dominos in a gold leaf bowl.  What I like most is the contrast of the black and white dominos against the gold bowl and animal print tray.  The dominos also add a playful feel to the table.

Coffee Table Dominos

If you’re looking for something to put in the decorative bowls in your home, these are just a few ideas. You could also try one of these decorative accessories…

DICE or VINTAGE POOL BALLS ( This set of dice is a great price and I just bought a set for myself)



MARBLES (Etsy is a great source for really unique vintage marbles)



OLD BOOK PAGES (hit up your favorite thrift store)

Book Pages


MOSS BALLS (check out this great source of all types of unique bowl fillers)

Moss Balls

Of course you know I’m going to ask?  What do you fill your decorative bowls with?

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There are several areas in my home where I am constantly tweaking and changing the decor and one of those is my coffee table.  I love changing the look by rearranging the accessories, switching up the items or adding flowers.

If you search coffee table decor on Pinterest you’ll find hundreds of different ways you can decorate your coffee table and trying to recreate those looks can be challenging. To make decorating a little easier, I’m outlining SIX of the most common (and easiest) ways to style a coffee table using items that you probably already own.

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Inspiration Notebook--February 2016-2

Inspiration Notebook--February 2016

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