Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Quick Fix With Six

These days society is obsessed with what they eat, but personally I am consumed with where I eat :)  Your dining room is a major part of your home that is often overlooked.  Don't you want to eat with your loves ones in a place that you love?   Going to a restaurant with yummy food plus great decor and ambiance makes the experience even better. You should think the same towards your own home.  I will provide you with a list of the six essentials for any dining room and show you pictures of my space.  Before you get started you must figure out what you want your dining area to feel like?  I personally wanted an inviting and relaxed feel. Pottery Barn is great at what they do, but they are not you.  Make this important room your own!  You can do this by using my list and applying it to any style whether it is rustic/bohemian, modern, or transitional. 

1.  Table: (Obviously)  A table should be centered in the room to define the space.  I personally went for a farmhouse table to compliment the relaxed feel I was going for.  I had the designer use a dark stain to give it longevity and I like the contrast with my floors. A 72 inch table is usually a good size for most spaces, unless you are lucky enough to seat 8-12. 

2.  Chairs:  I chose a bench, because it is easy for the kids to sit on and I like the fact that I can push it under the table and create more room in my dining area when it's not being used.   I deliberated and deliberated about my chairs, and decided I wanted pops of color and nothing too matchy matchy.  These overdyed terai chairs from Anthropologie are fun and comfy!  You can use a chair that you currently own and go for a mix match look.  That always works as long as the styles compliment one another. 

3.  Chandelier:  The lighting is what creates warmth and I thought this mason jar piece added a touch of kitchen charm.  I like that it looks rustic and not out of a catalog.  No I didn't make this.  I do not have any electrical skills, but I wish I did!  Make sure your lighting is centered over your table and not too big for the area.  It can make your whole room look cluttered.

4.  Centerpiece:  This is a way to personal your space and be original.  I like to bring an element of nature into my rooms, so this terranium works perfectly for me.  The trivets are practical, because I use them often, and they are pretty enough to stay on the table so I dont have to go searching for them. Make sure your centerpiece is short if you have a long chandelier and vice versa.  (Refer to #3 )

5.  Wall Art:  The options are endless.  I suggest using mirrors if you do not have a window near your table.  I chose to use white trivets as wall art, because well why not. I brought in color with three mirrored pieces.  I scattered them, so they weren't in a perfect formation.

6.  Offset Pieces:  These pieces bring the room together and make it feel full and complete.  I used a ladder shelf in the corner to display fun objects I have collected over the years.  i also hung this awesome ceramic cactus hanger that I found at a recent Brooklyn Fair. You can purchase this piece from the talented Elizabeth Benotti.

Bonus:  The teacher in me loves to give a bonus :)  I have a few extra ideas for you to personalize your dining space.  You can blow up family recipes and frame them, create a chalkboard wall and write a menu or a list of helpful kitchen conversions, press and frame herbs that you grow in your garden, hang plates that spell your last name...The ideas are endless!!!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's Backkkkkkkkkkk!!!!

Whoever would have thought that wallpaper would make a comeback?   I am a big fan of wallpaper, because it can make a large room feel cozy, add visual interest to a space and create a great focal point.
I wanted my sitting room to have a bohemian yet sophisticated vibe.  The wallpaper I chose is called Farfalla by Nina Campbell.  It is impossible to find in the U.S., so I had it shipped overseas.  (Yes I am bananas and couldn't find a wallpaper in the whole United States that I liked.)  I added the same wallpaper inside the frame below to add a bit of visual interest to the space.
My master bathroom is a mixture of old meets new.  I wanted to keep a very clean white palette and make one unqiue wall. I chose Lacework in Ocean by Amy Butler, because the soft blues and floral pattern possess a calming feel. This wallpaper can be found at Graham & Brown. This is my favorite site for wallpaper, because it has a great variety of styles.

This paper is called Frames and it comes in Black & White at G & B.  Your family can fill in the frames with personal art and pictures.  Great for a playroom!
 Small square wallpaper found at G & B is paintable so you can make it any color you want!!  It adds a great texture to the wall.  Perfect behind a headboard!!
I have already spoken to you in my blog post  Express Yo'Shelves about using removable wallpaper.  This is perfect for renters or people who change their decor often.  The company Chasing Paper  sells amazing  wallpapers that can be put up and taken down easily.  Here is an image of Tri-Angled,  which is very interesting to the eye.  You can also use their paper on dressers and furniture to dress up a boring piece. 

Another super cool option is to use Temp Paper. It is a self adhesive wallpaper that you can paint over for an adult space or have kids create their own wallpaper, which is very clever! 

Beyond walls you can use wallpaper inside of drawers, as a black splash, on stairs, or put inside of frames if you cant commit to a whole wall. Get to it!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Party! Party! Party!

Who doesn't love a party?  There are so many things to celebrate in life, whether it is a birthday, engagement, graduation, the birth of a baby and more.  I love to be a part of special moments and I love love love party d├ęcorations.  In order to make a party memorable you have to give your guests something to remember.  I am a very visual person, so I will go through some of the most essential aspects of party planning and show you pictures from my son Shay's 1st birthday party that we celebrated this past Saturday. 

1.  You need to pick a theme.  A party without a theme is like eating the best pancakes you've ever had without syrup.  Something will feel like its missing.  The theme for my Shay's party was a BaByQ.  I wanted his invitation to evoke a mixture of little boy meets vintage barbecue (if that makes sense).  I think this invitation achieved that.  I worked with Sarah from Delight Paperie and together we created the perfect invitation. 

2.  You need to pick a destination.  Obviously a backyard is the perfect setting for a BBQ, so having the party at our house was a no brainer.  In addition to a destination you need age appropriate activities.   You can get an entertainer for a children's party, but we chose to put out an assortment of activities so the kids could play at their leisure.  We have a swing set, put out toys and blankets for the little ones,and two blow up pools. We put crayons, coloring books and bubbles on each table.  The kids had a blast!
3.  Menu is important, especially when you have to make kid friendly foods.  I made burgers, hotdogs, turkey burgers, veggie burgers and more.  You have to provide options for all of your guests.  Make sure you have juice boxes for the little ones, water bottles, lemonade, beer and most importantly Sangria :)  I used our Radio Flyer to keep the drinks cold and it was a cute little display as well.  I used striped paper straws to bring in the vintage feel and made fun drink tags to add to the party spirit. Also putting watermelon on sticks is a fun touch for the kids. 

4.  Part of the decor is the "person of honors" outfit.  Shay was dressed in a BaBy-Q utensil onesie, gingham suspenders, rolled up jeans and red Converse hightops.
5.  Cake is such an important element to a party.  Shay had a personal hamburger cake for his smash cake and the guests enjoyed a red velvet cake with a fun Barbecue landscape and red and white checkered sides.  I found the BBQ items online and Allison from The Sweet Peace in Lynbrook brought my vision to life. 
6.  Party favors are a must. I wanted to make a favor that was kid friendly, summerish (It's not a word but you get it), and stuck with the theme.  I stuffed beach pails with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and hamburger/hotdog lollipops.

7.  Have the best time and enjoy the day.  Not everything will be perfect, but it is about being with family and friends and the people who love you....oh and the decorations of course :) Here are a few more pictures from Shay's BaByQ.