How To Have A CHIC Home Instantly…….ONLY 3 Items Needed!!

It is usually the small things in the right places that give one that extra touch of style and chicness.  It is the string of pearls, the diamond studs, the addition of truffle oil or champagne, that will take things from good to great. Every so often our home needs the same boost.

There are really only a handful of items that can immediately up the chic factor of any space.  When a small but impactful update is in order, these three items will be all you need!

A BAR CART

Veanne Bar Cart, Misha Bar Cart, Jacques Bar Cart, Vince Bar Cart, Gerard Bar Cart

Check out this chic outdoor bar cart

Horchow Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart $795

Horchow Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart $795

This bar cart is my favorite; it is stocked, styled and ready to go!

Image Via Elle Decor -Nicole Gibbons

Image Via Elle Decor -Nicole Gibbons

CHIC LIGHTING

People usually think to add unique lighting in the kitchen.  However, I feel that pendant lights and chandeliers make an even bigger impact in more unexpected areas like the living room or hallway. Here are a few that have major style.

 Roxbury Pendant, Crystal Drop Pendant, Lucia Semi Flush Mount, Olive Leaf Pendant

Image via Coastal Style

Image via Coastal Style

Don’t have an electrician on speed dial?  Here are some table lamps that will also do the trick.

Lamps I Love:

Madison Crystal Lamp, Ripley Geometric Lamp, Diamond Omega Table Lamp, Alexis Lamp, Loring Table Lamp

STATEMENT MIRRORS

I love the use of mirrors for so many reasons.  They are the design equivalent of Houdini.  They can give the illusion that a space is larger, ceilings are taller, rooms are brighter and make a space look as though there are more windows than there actually are.  Without a doubt, mirrors are a designer’s best and most used tool.

Petal Mirror, Frederick Wall Mirror, Evie Geo Mirror, Cassia Mirror, Studded Mirror

My favorite:

Quatrefoil Mirror $347

Quatrefoil Mirror $347

These mirrors below not only make a statement, they serve to balance out a wall with a single window!

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Napoleon Hill said “If you can not do great things, then do small things in a great way”.  I hope this post inspires you to the make small, impactful additions that will elevate and revitalize your home.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

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Green With Envy!

Green can be a precarious color to decorate with.  It is bold and demands attention.  However, it is one of the few bold colors that can actually serve as a neutral.  We associate this color with life, nature, growth and renewal.  It can also be associated with greed, jealousy and money.  Whether you have an affinity or an aversion to this color, there is always a place in any room to make this color work harmoniously.  With a myriad of variations, there is a shade of green for everyone.  Green plays well with navy, gray, brown, gold and black.

If green is a favorite color of yours, you can make this color the star by using it on larger pieces such as bedding or upholstery.  However, if you’d rather use more restraint when decorating with green, you can use it on your accent pieces such as pillows and throws.

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here is my post on all things green.  I hope this serves to inspires some new additions to your home.

 

Below, these rooms utilize this color successfully.  The first room shows this color used with a black and white palette. This palette is bold, graphic and masculine.

This dining room is a more refined use of green. This color is just used on the drapes and accent pillows.  It is paired with gray, cream and gold.  It is a more sophisticated and feminine use of green.

Image via Pinterest - Blogspot

Image via Pinterest – BlogSpot

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more

And nothing but happiness

come through your door

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

 

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Spring 2016 Style Preview! The Fashion-Home Design Connection

Historically, home design follows fashion.  However, the converse is also true.  Fashion designers often proclaim that architecture and interiors serve as their inspiration, and I can personally attest to having found design inspiration from a beautiful or unique piece of clothing.  Below, I will illustrate the parallels that can be found in fashion and home design.  Here are some key trends for Spring 2016:

Blush tones for home

  1.  It is no surprise that soft pastel colors take the spotlight as Spring draws near.  One can argue that both fashion and home design take its cues from nature. Therefore, it is not surprising that as nature’s palette of colors expands and the trees and flowers begin to bloom that fashion and home decor follow suit.  Of all the pastel colors that have been highlighted for Spring 2016, Blush is the “IT” color.  Blush has long been a favorite color of mine.  This soft pink works on every skin tone.  Everyone looks healthier when wearing blush tones.  It is soft, chic and understated.  The same can be said when using blush in one’s home.  This color serves as a perfect complement to almost any color.
Image via Style Me Pretty - Design by Anne Hepfner

Image via Style Me Pretty – Design by Anne Hepfner

2.  Mixing Stripes and Floral

This is a classic mix.  This mix is fun,preppy and will always look chic.  There is no one who does this look better than Ralph Lauren.  Below, I love this wide stripe rug from Lulu and Georgia paired with a classic Louis dining chair in a modern floral from Ballard Design.

 

Floral and Stripe Dining Room - Image via BHG

Floral and Stripe Dining Room – Image via BHG

 

Texture is IN

3. In the image below, Christian Dior mixes a chunky knit sweater in pastel blue with white delicate, scalloped sheer shorts.  The pillow from Williams Sonoma Home beautifully mixes lush velvet with a leather croc banding.

Jonathan Adler is a master at mixing textures and prints. Below, he artfully mixes grasscloth wallpaper with mirrored furniture, which he then pairs with his soft Maxime lounge chair.

Jonathan Adler Delphine Bar $2995 and Maxime Lounge Chair $2250

Jonathan Adler Delphine Bar $2995 and Maxime Lounge Chair $2250

White HOT!!

4. Is there ever a Spring where white is not in?  This color signifies purity, innocence and new beginnings.  A fresh update this year on the runway is seeing all white looks for evening.  This trend lends itself seamlessly to home design, and unlike its fashion counterpart, an all white room is always stylish (see my post here on this topic).

Photo via Pinterest - My Domaine/Every Girl

Photo via Pinterest – My Domaine/Every Girl

Metallics

5. Adding metallics to your space is like adding jewelry to your outfit.  Jewelry adds the finishing touch to every outfit.  No one did jewelry like Elizabeth Taylor.  She was quoted as saying “Big Girls need big diamonds”.  She understood the importance of sparkle.  Metallics add life and dimension to a room.  EVERY room needs to have metals in them.

On the runway this Spring, silver held just a little more of the spotlight than the other metals.  However, every shade was represented.  In the room below, bronze and gold add depth and drama to this dining room. I love the gold dining table.

Image via Elle Decor

Image via Elle Decor

I hope you enjoyed this post.  The trends that I highlighted from Spring 2016 were among my favorites.  Let me know what trends you are loving for Spring.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

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Shop Like A Designer! Where, When, How……!

One of the most FAQs I get is where I shop for Chic home decor.  My answer: EVERYWHERE!  The honest answer is that great things can be found anywhere.  It is learning what elements are critical to the look trying to be achieved, that will determine one’s success.  However, I do have my little black book of the best places and websites for certain things (I will save that post for another day).

Every designer will use elements that are a splurge and that eat up a hearty portion of the budget, as well as elements that cost next to nothing.  This high/low design strategy is used often because it keeps the budget in check, as well as provides the perfect juxtaposition that is crucial in successful design.  Now, Juxtaposition is a design buzzword.  Personally, I find buzzwords annoying.  At their best, they clarify a concept that has become mainstream; at their worst, they anesthetized us to their impact, rendering the word meaningless.  That being said, juxtaposition is a VERY important design concept.  If I had to choose only three design principles that are crucial to good design, juxtaposition would be one of them.

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

driftwood and glass

driftwood and glass

Williams Sonoma mixes a cozy faux fur throw with leather; coincidence?  Crate and Barrel artfully mixes rough organic driftwood with sleek glass.  The mix of yin and yang creates the perfect visual tension.

Determine what elements are crucial in aligning you with your theme.  If you are going for a Farmhouse Chic look, the accessories and wall decor will be the elements that make this look successful.  If it is a mid-century modern look you are going for, it will be the furniture that will be the star of the room.  Spend your money on the things that are crucial in establishing your theme.  Upholstery is always a wise place to invest.  Historically, January and August are the best months to buy furniture.  This is when the new inventory for the upcoming season arrives, resulting in deep discounts on last season’s pieces.  If you are looking to buy a splurge worthy piece, it is worth it to wait to purchase during these months.  A couple of my favorite places to buy furniture are Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and Crate and Barrel.

Undoubtedly, accessories make the design.  They are the jewelry that serve as the finishing touches.  Accessories bring one’s theme to fruition, as well as add authenticity.

Below, this glam (albeit tiny) living room is well-appointed due to the shag rug, tactile throw pillows, gallery wall and table top decor.

Image via Home and Fabulous

Image via Home and Fabulous

Below, this rustic chic entertainment area features a TV mounted on a distressed white washed wall panel.  The vintage suitcases add another rustic layer to this room.

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

Here are some accessories I am loving now:

Spring is drawing near.  Rough organic elements (such as the driftwood bowl) and soft colored decor (such as the blush velvet pillow) are very on trend for Spring.  Although Spring in not here yet, it has already sprung in the stores.  Now is the time that Designer’s start shopping for elements to update client’s homes for the upcoming season.  Start making a mental list of all of the Winter accessories that you would like to put away, so you can make room for the new accessories you bring in.

I hope this post helps you to shop like a Designer!  Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

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5 Ridiculously Simple Things For A Better 2016!

The new year is always filled with such promise.  We make resolutions to do or not do things to make our lives better in the new year.  We are always so well-intentioned when we set these lofty goals, only to feel defeated when we do not succeed.  We set the bar high each New Year’s Eve, vowing that the upcoming year is going to be the best year yet.  However, embarking on creating THE BEST year can be a little overwhelming.  Why can’t we strive for a year that is just better than the last?  If we look to make small improvements throughout the year, then creating a year that is better than the last becomes inevitable.  We can finally have a year where we successfully meet our goals and feel good about it instead of beating ourselves up for the goals we did not achieve.

I am proposing something a little different this year.  Since I truly believe that it is the environment in which one places oneself that determines one’s success, why not change our environment to foster some of the changes we are looking to make.  Here are 5 SIMPLE (key word) things we can do to improve our environment, thus allowing us to reach our goals in 2016.

  • CLEAN OUT ALL DRAWERS AND CABINETS IN YOUR KITCHEN.  This is the room we spend the most time in when we are home.  We spend countless hours here making breakfast and dinner for our loved ones, setting our kids up to do their homework and where we entertain our family and friends.  Pick one day (preferably the same day) for the next 4 weeks and choose a section of drawers and cabinets to tackle.  Predetermine and write down what section you will tackle each week.  Go to Container store or go online and buy drawer liners and dividers that will help you maintain your nice neat drawers and cabinets.  Pick something pretty and fun to get you excited about your project.  Here are some things I will be getting for my kitchen.

Below are shelf paper options from Chic Shelf Paper and Container Store:

If you don’t like these options, Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond sell other options as well.

Below are some drawer dividers from IKEA that I already own and love:

I love bamboo because It is not a porous wood; therefore, you do not need to worry about it warping or fading.

So, I know that you are thinking, “how is this going to help me have a better 2016?”  Well, if one of your goals is to spend more quality time with your family, or to eat more meals together, think of how much more relaxed you will be when you are making dinner and you can actually find everything you need.  With each drawer you open, everything is neatly organized with a bright, pretty drawer liner peaking out from underneath.  Cleaning out all of your drawers and cabinets helps create an environment that fosters stress free family meals.

  • BUY YOURSELF NEW BEDDING.  Throw out your worn sheets with the bleached out spots from whatever face cream you bought last New Year’s (that promised better, younger looking skin).  New sheets are such a luxury that makes one feel better and instantly make one’s bedroom look more put together.  This is a great time to score great prices on bedding just before the spring bedding rolls out.  Here are a few sets from Pottery Barn I just picked up for myself (Right now, Pottery Barn is having a 20% off white sale and free shipping!!…..hop on that, girl!):

If your resolution or goal for 2016 is to get more sleep, or to spend more time reconnecting with your spouse 🙂 create the environment that will increase the chances of your success.  An addendum to this tip: make your bed every morning before you leave the house!  Don’t underestimate the benefits of this simple act.  It is a great visual and mental cue that your day has started off right. It also allows you to accomplish at least one thing each and every day, thus paving the way for more accomplishments throughout the day.

  • CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS INSIDE AND OUT.  If money is tight, use the same strategy as with your kitchen drawers.  Sit down and set a 4 week schedule in the Spring to tackle this project.  Determine what windows you will clean and on what day (again, choose the same day each week).  Put it in your phone now, and when the time comes, just DO IT!  If you can afford to hire someone to come and clean all of your windows, put a reminder in your phone now to schedule it at the end of Winter.  Keep a look out in your mailers for coupons…..there are always a ton of coupons for this service.  If it has been a few years or even after just one winter, you will not believe how dirty your windows are!

If some of your resolutions are to keep up on house cleaning, delegate more duties to others or create more time for yourself, this is a great way to accomplish all of these goals.,

  • BUY YOURSELF FRESH FLOWERS, OFTEN.  This might sounds frivolous or silly, but to me, flowers are a metaphor for life.  They reminds us of a few very important things such as:  there is always beauty to be found even in the depths of winter (or sadness), their only meaning is the meaning in which we give it (we determine if they are a symbol of love, sympathy or celebration), and to take time to savor and appreciate them and their beauty, for their beauty and life are fleeting.  Choose a flower that is bright, happy or fragrant. Some of my favorites are peonies, tulips and orchids.

This practice would help in creating an environment that supports your resolution of doing more things for yourself, or in being more present to enjoy the blessings in your life.

  • ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, ONLY DO THINGS THAT BRING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOALS.  The last step I recommend in creating a better year ahead would be something I practice every New Year’s Day:  It is my belief that ANY and ALL actions and behaviors you partake in on this day sets the tone for the entire year.  Therefore, I make sure to spend some time with family, spend some time alone, time improving my health and wellness and spend some time in activities that will make my year more productive.  I try to plan a day that is as well balanced as possible.  I do not spend all of New Year’s Day loafing around or pampering myself.  Also, because I am fairly superstitious, I NEVER pay bills on New Year’s Day (this would symbolize a year of money going out).  So, my day tomorrow will consist of going to work out, going to the spa, making my family a nice Spaghetti and Meatball dinner and finishing watching a movie with my sons that we started the other day.

I wish that your year ahead is filled with love, beauty, health and happiness.  I truly appreciate your support, and I look forward to posting things that I hope help and inspire you!  I would love to hear some of your New Year’s Day rituals.

xo Laurie

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