DESIGN PLAN: Tuscan Dining Room

I had the pleasure of creating a design plan for a young couple who have just purchased their first home.  The goal for the dining space was to merge his traditional style with her love for rustic yet refined decor.  They both love natural rooms with pops of color and wanted the overall feel of the dining room to be warm and inviting.

After dissecting their design styles, I came up with the theme, Tuscan Dining.  My vision was rich, warm colors with a mix of dark and light wood tones.  I also envisioned a mix of classic and transitional furniture, colorful textiles and lots of texture.


Tuscan Themed Dining Room Design Plan by ConfettiStyle


No.1 & No. 5–A traditional dining room set will work best for this couple who loves to entertain.  The oval table maximizing seating and helps with the traffic flow in and out of the room. The dark wood stain on the table adds depth and contrast against the lighter tones in the room.

No.2–To bring in a more modern touch, I suggested an upholstered settee for one side of the dining table.  This larger piece of furniture will add softness to the room and can easily be moved to other areas of the home when needed.

No. 3–All of the lighting for this dining room is in a bronze finish which adds even more warmth to the space.  The chandelier has lots of curves to it which create visual movement for the eye.   And if the couple wants an even more traditional feel they could add shades to each arm.

No. 4–These patterned drapes are the wow factor in the room.  The all-over damask pattern have a traditional vibe but the bold colors will help the room maintain a sense of playfulness.  I also like that the drapery pattern/colors will give the couple lots of options when it comes to accessorizing.

No.6–A sleek round mirror over the rustic sideboard keeps the wall decor statement simple.  Plus a round mirror has a more modern feel than a rectangular design.

No.7–Instead of lamps, wall sconces are another way to add lighting to a dining room and expand the wall decor statement above a buffet. These double arm sconces will provide ample lighting and visually draw the eye up.

No.8–I love a neutral colored rug with lots of texture.  The subtle diamond pattern of this sisal rug adds a cozy and relaxed feel plus lots of visual interest.

No.9–A good way to create dimension and depth within a room is by mixing furniture with different finishes.  The blonde wood finish on this sideboard ties into the lighter tones in the drapes and the rustic finish adds the dimension.

 No.10–I wanted to pull in some navy to coordinate with the drapes and a pair of ceramic garden stools flanking the sideboard will do the trick.  Plus I love the raised vine design which adds more visual interest.



Designer Tricks of The Trade | Ideas To Inspire

Designer Tricks OF The Trade

Have you ever wanted to know what tricks designers use to create unique rooms?  Well, today is your lucky day.  I’m sharing TEN designer tricks that you can easily incorporate into your own home to get a custom look with your decor.

Some of the ideas require a little DIY, the others are quick, easy and affordable decorating ideas.





Did you know that some rugs are designed with a defined pattern on each side?  That’s like getting two rugs for the price of one. Rugs with two usable sides are great because with a quick flip of the rug you can change the look of your decor.  The next time you’re rug shopping check the back side and see if it has a usable pattern.

tip:  pay attention to the weave and feel of the back side to make sure you like it

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Reversible Rugs


The same ‘reverse’ trick works with some fabrics too.  Designer Jamie Meares used the reverse side of this dot fabric as the welt providing the perfect contrast to give the chair a real designer touch.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Reversible Fabric



Have you ever come across the perfect lamp but it has an awful shade?  It happens all the time.  It might be that the shade is the wrong shape or color, or maybe the lamp needs a shade with more style.  The trick here is to buy the lamp and change or UpStyle the shade!

 One of my favorite sources for lampshades online is Lux Lampshades. Lux has a quick ship program with in-stock shades of all shapes, sizes and fabrics.  And their custom program allows you to design a custom shade from a range of fabrics and  frames they have available.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--UpStyled Lampshade



Did you know that the only major difference between outdoor lighting and indoor lighting is that the finishes on outdoor lighting are created to withstand weather elements?  Beyond that outdoor lighting is suitable for indoor use.  Some of my favorite outdoor lighting styles to use inside are scones and lanterns.  Check out this chic outdoor light used in a bathroom by A Beautiful Mess.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Outdoor Lighting Used Indoors



I’m always taking about how important layering is when decorating and that concept even applies to wall decor.  If you have a framed art piece that’ to small, think about hanging it inside of a larger frame.  The two pieces combined will provide the impact you’re desiring and also give your wall decor statement a custom look.

tip:  don’t overlook ugly artwork at a thrift store because the frame might be of value

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--A Frame within A Frame



Did you know that designers sometimes create one rug from two? Let’s say you find the perfect rug but it doesn’t come in a  large enough size.  If the pattern works, you can actually use rug tape to create a larger size from two smaller rugs.  And if you want a more permanent fix, some rug companies can actually glue the rugs together.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Two rugs from one



This is one of my tried and true design rules.  Black adds a touch of drama to a room and helps to ground the decor.  Don’t think that it has to be a piece of black furniture or a wall painted black, all it takes is a touch.  A lamp base, a decorative object or a textile with black in it.  If you have a room in your home with no black, add the color and see the impact it makes.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--A Touch of Black in Every Room



Because I’m an avid vintage shopper, I love mixing high with low.  A high-quality sofa paired with inexpensive pillows or a budget friendly rug paired with a statement coffee table are just two ways to mix it up.  Mixing high and low will give your decor distinct flair, add personality and save you money.

My favorite budget friendly pieces are side tables, pillows and decorative objects.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Mix High End with Low


N0. 8  MIX OLD & NEW

Just like mixing high and low, mixing old and new is a great way to customize your decor.  Pair a vintage coffee table with a new sofa or a new lamp with a thrifted cabinet.  The days of shopping at one store for all your decor needs are gone so have fun mixing it up.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Mix Old and New



Ask any designer and they will tell you that pattern-work is key to any design statement.  You don’t have to go bright and bold because subtle colors and patterns can have just as much impact as bright colors and bold prints.  The key to pattern mixing is to pair patterns of different scales and styles.  You can read more of my tips on pattern mixing here.

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Pattern Mixing



I love designer fabrics but they aren’t always in the budget.  One of the tricks designers use to UpStyle off-the-shelf textiles is to add trim.  There are some many affordable trims that can be applied to curtains, pillows or just about anything.  Check out that seat cushion below that has been transformed with some greek key trim.  #brilliant

tip:  my favorite trim source are this, this and this

Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Add Trim


Designer Tricks OF The Trade--Add Trim


Designer Tricks Of The Trade--Add Trim


So there you have it friends.  A few of the tricks designers use when creating and decorating a space.

A little creativity goes a long way so get crafty, think outside the box and give your decor a unique spin.

Favorites Of The Week {a random mix of great stuff}

Whew! What a week it has been.  I’ve been running in 50 different directions sourcing products, working on projects and trying to wrangle the paperwork on my desk.

 I wish I could say this was going to be a low-key weekend but it’s not.  I’m spending all day tomorrow in meeting with the non-profit agency I work with then I’m doing some major house cleaning.  We do have a fun outing planned for Sunday morning but the rest of the day will be spent working and preparing for the busy week ahead.  Oh, I am planning to shut things down so I can watch the Oscars!

I hope you can find some downtime to enjoy a few of my favorites from the week.



This interior designers home is beautiful and the property is breathtaking.

I loved this interview with interior designer Danielle Colding and her answer to the question ‘what does success mean?’.



The image below is from one of my new, favorite Instagram feeds–@erinkestenbaum.

This is a gorgeous living room designed by one of my favorite designers.

I can tell this bedroom is really beautiful just from this photo.



These pastel teaspoons are perfect for spring.

Loving this market tote!  It’s on sale and I also spotted a similar design in stores on clearance for $17.99.

If you’re looking for a stylish rug in a neutral color, check out the Farrah rug.

Loving this emerald green soap dispenser from H and M Home. This glass cup and this glass jar are also part of the collection.

For all you fashionistas out there, there’s a postage stamp made just for you!

Speaking of fashion, I’m totally in smitten with the pom pom sneaker trim.  These are the cheapest I’ve seen so far but this brand does not fit my foot. I’m thinking a DIY might be in order. You can buy shoe clips here and a pom pom making tool here. {affiliate links}

Enjoy your weekend!

Product + Inspiration: Decor Meets Christmas Tree

When I teach a holiday decorating workshop, the question always comes up about whether your tree decor needs to match your room decor.  My response is NO but for a truly cohesive look its best if your everyday decor inspires your tree decor.

Take a cue from the tips you use to decorate a room in your home.  You start with one or two key elements (art, rug, curtains) and use those as the building blocks to create the overall design.  When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, find inspiration within your decor and use that to build the theme for your tree.

Here are 3 holiday tree designs and the accessory and furniture pieces that could have inspired them…



Product + Inspiration: Decor meets Christmas Tree

This is the Christmas tree I’d create if my inspiration was colorful and bohemian inspired space.  The gold accents play off of the gold finish on the furniture and the bold mix of colors tie back to the textiles within the room. During the holidays, sparkly details are a must and a grouping of beautiful mercury glass candle holders would inspired the ornaments, ribbon and giftwrap I’d use.

Shop these items:  Embroidered Floral Bouquet Throw Pillow // Gold Cole 3-Tier Rolling Bar Cart
Sabyasachi Print Round Tray // Mercury Glass Candle Holders //Tufted Ottoman



Product + Inspiration: Decor meets Christmas Tree

If I were decorating a Christmas tree based on decor that included classic holiday colors like red, white and green, it would look like this. The varying shades green found in the jars and artwork,  along with whimsical details like the fur pillow would inspire the ornaments and ribbon used on the tree.


 Shop these items: Charlotte 3-Drawer Campaign Chest // Red Rhododendron Framed Prints // Oversized Wine Bottle
Reese Velvet Ottoman // Mongolian Faux Fur Pillow


Product + Inspiration: Decor meets Christmas Tree

A neutral color palette relies on texture, a variety of finishes and a subtle graduation of color to bring it to life.  This elegant and glam Christmas tree would be inspired by a mix of gold and silver decorative elements, antique surfaces, lots of visual texture and shimmery finishes.



Shop these items: Carys Hurricane Table Lamp // Diana Accent Table // Moravia Wall Mirror
Holston Area Rug // Baylee Aluminum Accent Table


So the question still remains–which comes first, the chicken or the egg.  In the case of holiday decor, take a look around your home and let the pieces you live with everyday inspire you!

Shelly Signature



Fab Finds From Pier 1–(budget friendly decor)

Budget Friendly Accessories from Pier 1

I received an email the other day from Pier 1 and it prompted me to head over to their website to see what was new.  Pier 1 is one of those stores that has lots of hidden gems amongst the array of pillows, plates and decorative objects.  While surfing their site I discovered quite a few items that hit on all cylinders–style & price.  Check out my favorites pieces available from Pier 1 right now.

Budget Friendly Accessories from Pier1



No. 1 — I don’t often look to Pier 1 for rugs but I love the pattern and colors in this Diamond Scroll Blue Rug.  I can envision it in a living room with a linen sofa and leather chair. Or in a bedroom along side a linen headboard and sleek ceramic lamps.  This rug ranges in price from $110 to $679 and is available in 6 sizes.
No. 2  — I have to tell you this Bayan Ottoman stopped me in my track.  I of course love the faux bamboo frame and the price of $79.98. #yesplease A pair of these at the foot of a bed or nestled under a console table would be great.
No. 3  — Quatrefoil patterns are a classic design element and this Mother of Pearl Quatrefoil Mirror is a beauty.  It would look great in a powder room or over a nightstand in a bedroom. $239.20.
No. 4 — When it comes to Christmas pillows, Pier 1 has a one of the best selections I seen so far.  If you decorate in non-traditional colors or want a subtle Christmas statement, this PomPom Merry Christmas Pillow is perfect. And it’s only $29.95. ***through Nov. 1st you can save an additional 20% on Christmas decor with the code HOLDIT
No. 5 — Copper is a big design trend right now and I think were going to see it being used in holiday decor too.  This Copper Hammered Charger Plate ($14.95) would look really pretty mixed with fall colors as part of a Thanksgiving tablescape.
No. 6 — It’s hard to pass up a Monogram Letter Tray especially when it has a gold rim and it’s only $9.95. 


Can you believe that it’s almost November and the unofficial start of the holiday season?  If you’re looking to refresh your home for the holidays now’s the time to jump on these great finds and the extra savings on Christmas decor. Plus there’s free shipping on order over $49!

Happy Shopping!

p.s.  this is not a sponsored post.  I’m just sharing the things I love and the places I shop.


Shelly Signature


Design Chat: What Size Area Rug Do You Need?

Living Room Rug Guide.002

Hi friends.  The focus of this Design Chat post is area rugs.  Quite often I get questions from readers who are challenged with what size area rug to get for their living/family room.

The most recent question came from Rocio who was having a hard time with a rug for her family room.  Here’s the question Rocio posed to me…

“Hi Shelly, I have a sectional it measure 9 feet by 7 feet for the chaise part of sofa. I have no clue on what size area rug I need to buy. I do have a rectangular coffee table/ottoman in front and just order 2 Moroccan poufs. Do I need to place the poufs on the rug? Please help!!!!  Thank you so much! Rocio”



Many times the shape and size of a room will dictate the size of rug the room needs.  Other times the size and scale of furniture will influence which rug is best for the space.  Selection the right size rug boils down to a few simple things:

  1.  The rug (size, placement and color) should like its part of the overall design plan of the room.  The rug will serve as one of the key focal points within a room.
  2. The rug should anchor the seating area and help create a sense of coziness.
  3. 3.  The rug should not overpower a room or the furniture that surround it but should enhance the space.


Here’s a visual graphic I created that with tips on selecting the right size rug.

Living Room Furniture Guide.001.jpeg.001.jpeg.001


After providing a few tips and suggestions to Rocio, she purchased a rug and sent me a photo of the design and color she selected.  Given the small footprint of the room, this rug size works well to anchor the sectional and not impede into the dining area to the left or the area to the right.  And since design is all about the details,  here are some additional suggestions I have for Rocio to really pull this space together:


♦  Add a couple of pillows to the sofa at will bring in more color and pattern work.

♦  Replace the grey throw with a lighter color to highlight the lighter color in the rug.

♦  Add a side table on the short end of the sectional. A table with a metallic finish would relate to the material on the metallic poufs.

♦  Hang curtain panels on the window to anchor the eating area and add additional softness to the room.

And I quickly pulled together an inspiration board to illustrate the ideas.

Living Room Furniture Guide.003


Blue Ikat Pillow / Gold Metallic Leopard Pillow / Navy Velvet Pillow / Gold End Table / Woven Throw / Navy Curtain Panels 
Gold Metallic Pouf / Navy Velvet Ottoman


Until next time…

Shelly Signature

Blue and White Decor at Target

blue and white decor

House Beautiful

When was the last time you went looking for something on a stores website only to find yourself going down a rabbit hole of endless surfing?  It happens to me more times than not.  The other day I went looking for a specific item on and an hour later I found myself looking at completely different things.

During my search I stumbled upon some fantastic blue and white decor pieces and knew I had to share them with you along with some design inspiration.

Blue and White Decor2

Tobi Fairley




Blue and White Decor--Target.001


Shop these items:

Dinner Plate$1.49 ea Ginger Jar–$22.95 / Blue Seersucker Pillow–$16.99 / Ceramic Lamp–$47.24
 Kensington Rug–$229.99 /  Sheer Curtains–$24.99 to $29.90 / Snowdrift Pillow--$47.50 / Paisley Rug–$79.99 and up
Floral Pillow$47.50 /  Solana Pouf–$216.00  Ceramic Vase–$26.35   Skyline Ottoman with Storage–$99.99 /
 Parson Chair–$171.00 set of 2 / Natasha Ottoman$649.99


Blue and White tablesetting

House Beautiful


Shelly Signature


***  this is not a sponsored post, I’m just sharing the things I love

Design Guide: Key Measurements You Need to Know When Decorating Your Home

Key Measurements For Decorating.001.jpeg.001.jpeg.001

On Monday I’ll be outlining my full list of blog goals for 2016 and one of  them is to develop a series called Design Guide. I wrote the first Design Guide series last year, all about sectional sofas.  I’ve been so surprised at the response this blog post and pin has gotten and just how many people are struggling with sectional sofa decorating.  I receive emails weekly (4 this week alone) from people who’ve found the blog post and want additional decorating tips for their sectional.

The Design Guide series will fulfill my desire to share my design knowledge with you so that you can decorate your home with confidence.  If there is a design topic you’d like me to write about just leave me a comment below.

Today’s post is the first installment of  the Design Guide series for 2016 and it’s all about the key measurements you need to know when decorating.  Before you jump into the guide, let me say that while these measurements are ideal in most situations, they won’t work in others.  Every home is different and every design layout and plan requires some adjustments so keep that in mind as you read through the guide.  Your home needs to work for you and your family so make adjustments where they are needed, so they will work for your decor.


Dining room



♦ Allow 36″ – 48″ of space between the back of each dining chair and the wall or furniture behind it to so chairs can be pulled in and out with ease.

♦  The distance between the top of the table and the chair seat should be about 12″. To determine the best seat height for your table, take the height of your table and subtract 12 inches.  Example: A 30″ high dining table (standard height) works best with chairs with a seat height of 18″ (30″-12=18″).

♦  For comfortable dining chairs, look for chairs with a seat depth of between 16″ and 18″.

♦  For rectangular dining tables, allow a minimum of 24″-28″ of table length per person and keep in mind the  width of the chair seat may impact the space needed for each place setting at a table.


Furniture Placement


♦  18″ is the ideal distance you want between the couch and the coffee table.

♦  Walkways between furniture and walls should be at minimum 36″ to allow for easy movement in all directions.

♦  The ideal amount of space you should allow between two chairs placed side by side in the living room is 42″.  A standard size side table will easily fit between the two chair.

♦  The height difference between an end of table and the top of a sofa arm should be 1-2″.




♦ When hanging artwork over a sofa or another piece of furniture, leave 5″- 9″ of space between the top of the sofa/furniture and the bottom of the art. You want to have some separation between the two elements.

♦  When hanging an art grouping above a sofa or piece of furniture, the grouping should be approximately 2/3 the width of the furniture below it. Your goal is for the artwork to be balanced (not too large or too small) with the element below it.

♦  For a single piece of art, the center of the image should be at 56″ – 60″ from the floor, which places the middle of art at eye level. Naturally if the entire family is extra tall or short, you can and should adjust the art so it feels comfortable for viewing.

♦  When hanging multiple pieces of artwork in a stacked layout above a piece of furniture, handle the art as if it was a single, larger piece. The space between the top and bottom piece of artwork should fall at 56″ to 60″.

♦  For symmetrical gallery wall displays, hang wall decor pieces about 2-3″ apart.  For asymmetrical and artistic layouts, arrange the wall decor so it’s pleasing to you.  Keep in mind you want the overall arrangement to feel balanced top to bottom and left to right.


Window Treatments


♦  It’s always a good idea to hang drapery rods as high as possible above window casing/trim which will make your room and windows feel taller and more expansive. A good rule of thumb for the average window is to mount the rods 5″ to 10″ above the trim.

♦  The trend today is for window treatments to skim the floor.  Letting your drapes puddle on the floor is matter of preference and tends to look best in more formal environments.

♦  To give the impression of wider windows extend the drapery rod 6″ to 12″  beyond the window casing not counting the length of a finial is you are using one.

♦  Many people hang curtain panels for decorative purposes only.  If you want your drapes to be functional, your panels should be 2 to 3 times the width of the window.  You can have custom drapes made in the appropriate width or you can hang multiple off the shelf panels together to achieve your desired width.



Dining Room Light


♦   The bottom of the chandelier should hang between 30″ – 34″ above the surface of the table for ceilings that are between 8′ and 9′ high. Higher ceilings will require the light fixture to be hung higher, approximately 3″ for every additional foot of ceiling height.

♦  Height–the higher the ceiling, the taller the chandelier. The rule of thumb is 2.5-3 inches for each foot of ceiling height. A standard 8-foot ceiling will accommodate a chandelier that is 20-24 inches in height.

♦  Diameter–add the height and the width of the room space together. Treat that sum as inches, and you have the suggested diameter of the chandelier for that room. For example, if the room is 20-feet by 18-feet, the sum is 38 feet. The approximate diameter of the chandelier should be 38 inches.


Foyer Light


♦A chandelier should be hung in the center of a foyer or entryway.

♦If your foyer has a window above the door, the chandelier should be centered in the window so that it can be seen from the outside of the home.

♦If an entryway is two stories tall, the chandelier shouldn’t hang below the second floor.

♦ A fixture hung in an open space like a foyer should hang approximately 7′ above the floor.


Kicthen Lights


♦  The standard distance between a kitchen island and a pendant light (top of counter to bottom of light fixture) is 30 to 36 inches.   Adjust the height to ensure the view across the island is not obstructed.


♦  To determine the fan size that’s most appropriate for your space (fans are sized by the number of inches that their blades span), first determine the square feet of your room by multiplying the room’s length by its width. Then use these suggested guidelines:

For rooms up to 75 sq ft, choose a 29″ – 36″ fan
For room 76 to 144 sq ft, choose a 36″ – 42″ fan
For rooms 145 to 225 sq ft, choose a 44″- 48″ fan
For rooms 225 to 400 sq ft, choose a 48″- 54″ fan
For rooms over 400 sq ft, choose a fan that is 54″ or larger
For large great rooms, a fan as large as 72″ may be appropriate
If the room is over 400 sq ft, consider using two fans




♦  Rugs under a dining room table should be at least 24-30″ wider and longer than the table, allowing the back legs of the chairs to stay on the rug even when the chairs are pushed out.

Here’s an easy guide to follow:  

Rug Chart.001.jpeg.001

♦  Area rugs under a bed should extend at least 18-24″ beyond each side of the bed.  Also note you can place runners at each side of the bed as an alternative to a full area rug and runners can be placed along the side or at the foot of the bed.

Runner in bedroom


♦  For standard size living, family there should be between  12″ – 24″ of bare floor between the edges of the area rug and the walls of the room. Smaller rooms should have between 6″-10″ of bare floor exposed.

♦  In living and family rooms, the rug should be larger enough so that the front legs of furniture sit on the rug.

Rug Size



♦  Allow 20″ to 28″ inches for leg clearance below a desk and the seat height of the chair should be 14″-18″ with your feet flat on the floor.

♦  Bookshelves that are used to hold books, including oversized art books should have depth of at least 15″.

♦  For optimal viewing, size your TV based on its distance from the sofa. To get the minimum screen size in inches, divide the viewing distance by 3; for the maximum, divide by 1.5. Already have a TV? Use these guidelines to position your couch. Aim for a 15- to 20-degree viewing angle to the center of the screen.

♦  Always measure your rooms, ceiling height and doorways before you go shopping for furniture to ensure pieces will fit through doors and in their planned space.




These measurements will get your started on a solid design plan for your home.


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