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December 31, 2012


I had a great Christmas break, exploring NYC (for the first time!) and visiting my family. 

I loved the holiday decor at Chelsea Market-- a million sparkly lights and adorable bunting!

And I was amazed at how green Central Park was, even in winter! My favorite spot in the city, for sure.

At home in Utah, we had family pictures taken by Lindsey Orton. She did a great job, no?

Back to regularly scheduled posting tomorrow-- 

December 14, 2012

merry christmas!

via (artist unknown)
I'm off to NYC this weekend for a fun, last-minute trip, then home to Utah to spend Christmas with my family.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 11, 2012

the best rug

When Kirsten shared this bedroom by White + Gold Design, I got heart flutters. It's so up my alley--white, gold, black, crisp, stripes, antiques. It's beautiful but accessible and not overly designed. AND THE RUG.

You've seen it before, I'm sure. I first fell in love with the offset black-and-white stripes in this room. It's the perfect graphic, modern compliment to the gilded frames.

The original is by Madeline Weinrib, but IKEA makes a spectacular copy (the stripes are just smaller). It's huge and cheap and the best rug ever, if you ask me. IKEA figured out it's popular and raised the price by $100, but it's still a steal. I've posted about it at least three times (here, here, and here). 

The faux camel hide I posted about was in here before, but it was way too warm beige/brown. I don't know how this happened, because I don't even like brown! So I took Emily Henderson's palette-picking advice and put in the "colors" I wear the most--black and white. (Really, read this post. It will help you.) It looks great with my favorite pillows, broke up the beige-y blah (as much as possible with that couch), and made the nailhead trim stand out more. I feel like it was a big step in the right direction.

December 5, 2012

chic cheap: camel hide rug

I love finding good substitutes for high-end pieces... but I really love finding the exact same pieces at a steal. I bought this rug from Overstock (always a treasure trove) and it's really good for a faux hide. It's not for high traffic areas and won't fool anyone as real up close. But if you want the look at an extremely reasonable price point, you've got it!

L: Payless Rugs' Camel Beige Area Rug | R: Overstock's Rawhide Camel Rug

December 3, 2012

guest room design (with a favorite rug)

I don't want to overdo "Holiday" before we're too far into December, so how about a design board?

This is a guest room design I completed recently (for the same house as this living room design). We picked a pale blue-grey for the walls and used one of my favorite rugs, the Sarafina Rug from Ballard Designs. I love the unconventional blue used in the traditional design.

So you can see what a change this design is from the original room, here are some before shots:

Totally different, right?

Have a design challenge you'd like help tackling? Lets work together
Holiday gift certificates, too.

online interior design, edesign, e-design, online interior designer, raleigh interior design, interior decorating, decorating blog

November 29, 2012

christmas magnolia

One of my favorite things about living in the South are the magnolia trees. If you've never seen one (or stopped to really look), the textures are amazing--the fronts of the leaves are waxy green and the backs are velvety brown.

My parents sent us a beautiful magnolia wreath this week and I started looking for more ways to incorporate magnolia leaves in our Christmas decor. I love these ideas:

Merriment Events/ Scott Clark Photography

Southern Living

Southern Living

magnolia wreath, magnolia decorations, magnolia garland, magnolia holiday

November 27, 2012

easy glitter bow garland

cutest garland ever-gold glitter pasta!
Since when does a Pinterest-inspired DIY ever come out looking right? This was a first for me--and it's so easy, it's almost kindergarten level. You can buy it for $31, but don't.

The supplies cost <$15 and make more than one mini-tree garland. I laid the pastas out flat, sprayed them liberally with fine glitter spray, then sprinkled on the larger glitter while they were still wet. I did that to both sides then tied them onto gold embroidery thread.

I'm never one to get through a craft project unscathed--my glitter spray paint leaked all over the place and made a huge mess. 
BUT the mini-tree garland turned out perfectly.

November 26, 2012

halls decked

I put up most of my Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Forget "rules," I wanted to see them.

I don't have a ton of Holiday decor, but I try to add at least one thing every year. This year I bought a trio of these mirrored Moravian-style Stars. In person, they're a little less shiny and a little more vintage looking (but not cheesy).

And if you can't have or don't want real pine in your house but like the smell, this candle is Christmas in a jar. Nordic Pine from Target's holiday line (the egg nog one is also great).

I also got my craft on a little bit over Thanksgiving. Glitter and pasta. It sounds like a kindergarten project and it practically was, but it turned out just like the inspiration. I'll show you tomorrow. :)

November 20, 2012

favorite (decorating) things

I watched Oprah's "Favorite Things 2012" special this weekend. I never get tired of watching her surprise people--the reactions are priceless. Nothing on her list really spoke to me, but it did inspire me to create a little list of my own favorite (decorating) things. I totally love each of these things and would recommend them 100%!

$34.99 Lyrical Branches Curtains from World Market
These curtains are perfect with so many things because of the organic, curvy lines of the vines. If they ever make these panels in longer than 84", I will snap up them up.

Meri Drum Chandelier by Oly Studio
I love they whimsy of this chandelier. It's high style but not too serious.

$200 O Holy Night Canvas by Lindsay Letters
I mentioned this canvas in a post about favorite Christmas decorations last year. Still adore it.

$50+ Mary Freer Portrait from Art.com
The only thing stopping me from owning this portrait now is deciding what size and where I'm going to put it.

$599 Harlow Vanity Desk from Crate & Barrel
I can't get this desk out of my head--it looks like wood with black finish, but it's actually wrapped brass. Love love love.

$75+ Flame Velvet Pillow Cover from Ariana Belle
Flame was the Pantone color of the year, and it definitely sucked me in. The color of this soft velvet is perfectly red/orange.

$20 March Fox Print from Amber Alexander
I love the scale of the perfect little fox in this landscape, and the colors are so perfect.

$9.99 Rugby Stripe Bins from The Container Store
I never met a black-and-white stripe I didn't like, and this one is so perfect for chic and functional kids storage.

$699 Clairemont Coffee Table from Crate & Barrel
I wish this coffee table weren't all wrong for my living room-- I have half a mind to scrap it all and start over based solely upon this table. It's perfectly classic and current.

This rug is perfection. Who needs a Weinrib when IKEA is so dead on?


Do you have a favorite something? I'd love to hear about it, please share!

November 16, 2012

DIY do-over

This is actually version 4 of this console:
first it was raw wood, then a bad version of "faux marble," then a dull grey, and finally white and gold.
My two favorite colors, go figure!

P.S. As you can see, I'm debuting a new look on the blog-- hopefully a little cleaner and easier to navigate?
Tell me what you think!

November 13, 2012

eclectic cool living room design

Lately I've been up to my eyes in work-- which is not a complaint! Thank you for supporting my business! My blogging has definitely taken a back seat, though. So I thought I'd show you one of my favorite projects I've been working on.

 My client Nancy has a beautiful old home in California that she wanted some help modernizing with a palette of neutrals and cool tones. This design is for her living room, which already has a beautiful traditional rug and great windows. I like this design because it's eclectic and interesting and relevant, but not so trendy that she'll want to throw the whole thing out in a year.

Plus it uses my favorite coffee table--which is from a big box store for a fairly reasonable price! Crate & Barrel's Clairemont (everything in the Clairemont line is fantastic).

Have a design challenge you'd like help tackling? Lets work together!
online interior design, edesign, e-design, online interior designer, raleigh interior design, interior decorating, decorating blog

November 9, 2012

"faux marble"

This week I finally painted my unfinished IKEA console-- behold, "faux marble."
Oh it is so bad! I clearly have no painting skills!
Know any great (and legitimately easy) furniture DIYs I might try?

Happy Weekend!

November 6, 2012

oil portraits

I'm completely fixated on owning an antique oil portrait: mostly black, pops of white, of a total stranger.

Nate Berkus for Target

Architectural Digest

I missed my big opportunity on eBay a couple months back-- a large original oil portrait of a seriously beautiful lady for only $100. My husband thinks this whole stranger portrait thing is creepy, and I thought it might be a fleeting fancy, so I passed on it. Big oops.

I haven't found anything even close to as wonderful as that portrait. 
Here's what my Internet searching has offered up recently:

Aside from the fact that a reproduction portrait of a famous figure is kind of cheesy, the lighting and color (or lack thereof) are perfection.

eBay | Etsy
And I'm drawn to the leprechaun dude's colors. But he gives me the creeps!

November 2, 2012

sale steals

Just a handful of great sale finds from this week-- they won't work for any of the projects I'm working on, but someone should snatch these up! 

Looks like a cot from a pre-war hospital, and for some reason I love it. 

Okay, this first one isn't that cheap... but it's a bed. Don't give up on me, the rest are under $50!

I love the star print for a child's bathroom.

Velvet is perfect for fall, and the color is beautiful.

Subtle and totally sweet.

October 30, 2012

trending: oxblood

I've been waiting to see when the brick red and taupes of the mid-90s would make a return... HERE WE ARE. It's browner than crimson, redder than burgundy, darker than scarlet, and totally on trend: 

The name is so... gory (Happy Halloween?). But it's THE color this Fall, they say.

I could see using it in small doses, but I've never been much of a red fan.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

October 23, 2012

black window trim

Add this to the list of "things to do when we buy a house": 
Black. Window. Trim.

Even without grand windows, painting the trim black makes them so important and dramatic.

Would you do it?

October 15, 2012

etsy antiquing

I love antiques--glamorous old stuff is so beautiful (bonus if it's slightly decrepit). The problem is, I don't really like antique stores. They smell gross. And forget finding treasures at Goodwill, that has happened to me exactly never.

My favorite place to find old accessories with character is Etsy! It's easily searchable antique shopping without the smell or frustration. Just like regular old antique shopping, there are good prices and totally ridiculous ones. Here are some beautiful antiques I've been coveting:

Botanical Charts from Bonnie & Bell

Art Nouveau Brass Hangers from Ma Maison Francaise
(No clue what you'd do with these big, heavy things... but they're gorgeous.)

Dictionary Sheet from Green Shed Vintage

Black Horse Lamp from High Street Market

(Expensive) Persian Rug from Old New House

Have you found any great antiques on Etsy?

October 11, 2012

biltmore estate

This weekend, my parents are coming to visit and we're taking a short trip out to Asheville, NC to see the fall leaves on the Blue Ridge Parkway (possibly my favorite thing in all the world) and tour the beautiful Biltmore Estate.

May I draw your attention to the hanging lanterns? The suzani on the settee? The incredible ceiling details? The mere fact that they had an indoor "winter garden" room?

It's probably strange that, of all the beautiful things in this incredible house, the indoor swimming pool is one of my favorites. I love the tile, brass, wood, and rope.

The Biltmore is about as close to a castle as you'll get in America, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

Have a lovely weekend!