2018 Holiday Home Tour

Hello friends both old and new.  Marty at A Stroll Thru Life has done it again and has a team of 30 bloggers ready to show you their homes decked out for the holidays. If you are heading over from Anita at Far Above Rubies – Welcome!  Isn’t Anita’s vintage bohemian style amazing?

If you are new here, I’m Jennifer – a Human Resources consultant by day and a design enthusiast and blogger in the wee hours of the night!  Our family recently purchased our dream home that we rented for 3 years, so are so excited to fix it up and make it our own one room at a time. Bye bye beige walls and hello color!

Let’s start the tour.  Come on in.  Here is a little sneak peak of the living room.

My favorite vignette this year is our tree.  In the past I have done a “Merry and Bright” jewel-toned theme, but last year, I bought all new ornaments at post-Christmas sales and went with a Parisian Blue theme.

Here she is with the lights on at night.  Such a cool effect!

I was lucky to snag some magnolia that I spray painted gold for the top of the tree.

 

I bit the bullet and ordered two luxurious trims from Frontgate and Balsam Hill.  I love the fringed look of the gold trim from Frontgate.

The ornaments are from Frontgate and these photos do not do them justice.  The are of such high quality and are so beautiful.

 

My other favorite space this year is our breakfast room.  That is because for the first time ever we have a second tree in there.  I hosted an event for our daughter’s school and live Christmas trees were donated and I was able to bring one home.  I went with a simple silver theme.  We are a little cramped in the space, but who cares, it is beautiful.

My daughter’s room has a simple pink, gray and white theme.

Adding a little garland around our bed made the bedroom feel a bit more dressed up for the holidays.

Last but not least, I decided to play up our zebra centerpiece and go with a zebra tablescape.

I found these fun zebra appetizer plates at H & M of all places!

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Up next is Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles.  I adore her colorful and fun style.  You are in for such a treat!

The entire line up is below.  You must check them all out!

Monday, Dec. 3  

 

Wednesday, Dec. 5

 

Thursday, Dec. 6

 

Friday, Dec. 7

 

Got Guests?

Hi friends!  Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is right around the bend.  I don’t know about you, but for us that means holiday guests.  We have a small home, so making room for guests is a challenge.  Being an excellent host or hostess requires providing your guests with all of the comforts of home away from home.  We do not have a designated guest room, so having guests usually means making our existing rooms that will house guests more comfortable.

Space-saving tricks such as a trundle bed or other small comforts such as a cozy throw and a candle can do the trick.  If you have the space, adding a reading nook with a chair and reading light is a definitely plus.  Another finishing touch is a bedside water carafe for your guests.  Nothing is worse being up in the middle of the night searching in someone’s kitchen for a glass of water!

Online retailer Joss and Main has everything you could possibly need for your home, including finds for the guest room.  You can shop my guest room essentials below.


Chunky Throw
This Throw
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More Blankets & Throws

Lap Tray
This Lap Tray
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More TV Trays

Quilt Set
This Quilt Set
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More Quilt Sets

Throw Pillow
This Throw Pillow
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More Pillows

Writing Desk
This Desk
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More Desks

Desk Lamp
This Lamp
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More Desk Lamps

Armchair
This Armchair
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More Accent Chairs

Carafe Set
This Carafe Set
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More Drink & Beverage Dispensers

Candle
This Candle
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More Candles

Daybed with Trundle
This Daybed
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More Daybeds

Turkish Hand Towel Set
This Towel Set
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More Bath Towels

Turkish Hand Towel
This Hand Towel
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More Hand Towels

Vanity Tray
This Tray
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More Decorative Trays

Luggage Rack
This Luggage Rack
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More Luggage Racks

Sheepskin Rug
This Sheepskin Rug
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More Area Rugs

Laundry Hamper
This Hamper
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More Laundry Hampers & Baskets

Alarm Clock
This Alarm Clock
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More Table Clocks

Blackout Curtains
This Blackout Curtain Panel
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More Curtains & Drapes

Personalized Soap
This Soap
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More Bath Items

Faux Floral Arrangement
This Faux Floral Arrangement
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More Faux Plants

 

Having these essentials in place can make the holidays go much smoother.  Do you have any tips for hosting guests for the holidays?  Please share in the comments.  Happy Holidays!!

xo

Best Interior Design Sales: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Hi Friends!  Happy Thanksgiving.  Here in Northern California we have been devastated by wildfires that have caused loss of life and homes.  What I am thankful for today is my family and having a home to be cozy in and cook in.  I as well as many others are very thankful for the rain we just received that has helped clear the smoke out of our air.

That being said, I am also very thankful for the amazing sales going on right now for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Here are a few of my favorite sales.

Serena and Lily:  Take 20 percent off of everything with code: GATHER

West Elm:  Take 15 percent off $100; Take 20 percent off $500; Take 25 percent off $1,00; Take 30 percent off $3,000.  Use code: SAVEMORE

Wayfair:  Take 60 percent off kids furniture and nursery furniture; Take 70 percent off living room furniture, bedroom furniture, outdoor furniture, kitchen and dining furniture, and office furniture

Lulu & Georgia:  Take 25 percent off everything with code BESTEVER

Crane and Canopy:  Take 20 percent off everything with code: CHEER

Pottery Barn:  Take 20 percent off regular-priced orders with code HOLIDAY; Take up to 50 percent off furniture

Rejuvenation:  Take 15 percent off orders of $100 or more; Take 20 percent off orders of $500 or more; Take 25 percent off orders of $1,500 or more

Speaking of sales, I was just reading an article discussing the psychology behind email marketing campaigns and it is fascinating. These days we are bombarded with emails from companies advertising the benefits of their product and their sales.  I don’t sell products on my site, but have often thought about it, so this topic is of interest.  One strategy marketers use is called the “sunk cost effect.”  The theory is that since we have already spent time, energy or money on something, we become determined to make it work.  We have all seen those message at the bottom of an email suggesting other items we may want to complete the set or that compliment what we have purchased.

Another example is with respect to subscription-based services where you are already committed to spend a sum of money.  The article I read highlights that retailer Dollar Shave Club has done this brilliantly with their “toss more in” email campaign.  So when they present this message allowing them to “toss more in,” it can dramatically increase average order value. It does this by reminding folks they’ve already ordered and highlighting how small the extra sum required would be to “complete the set,” which plays on our inherent desire to complete collections.

Another strategy highlighted by Emma, an email marketing service, suggests creating a VIP program or widening your existing program.  Programs can be widened by asking existing VIP’s to share invitations and offers to friends.  It is called the “entourage effect” and Emma explains it as:

“In life, being a VIP is all about social recognition, right? So if no one in your social circle can participate in your VIP status, it won’t actually mean that much to you. Here’s the deal…

VIPs don’t want to be lonely.  They want public visibility of their social position.  They want to be able to share their resources with others.  They want to create a feeling of indebtedness

That’s why widening VIP treatment doesn’t dilute its value – it amplifies it. If a brand wants to make a VIP feel really special, it should adapt its existing program to let his or her peers get in on the action.”

So much psychology behind the marketing emails we receive.  I may have been bombarded with so many emails I missed some sales.  If you have others you are shopping, share away in the comments.

Until next time . . .

 

Favorite Interior Design Books

Hi Friends!  Sorry I have been absent lately.  The hecticness of life has just taken over.  I am hoping to post a bit more frequently in the coming months.  I have a holiday home tour I am working on behind the scenes, so stay tuned for a holiday home tour!  I the meantime, I thought I would post a roundup of my favorite interior design books.  These make wonderful coffee table books or gifts for the design lover in your life.

First up is new book published this  year by blogger turned interior designer Paloma Contreras.  She is seriously my design girl crush.  She demonstrates that it is possible to quit your day job and pursue your passion.  Paloma used to be a high school Spanish teacher!  Her new book Dream, Design , Live is chalk full of inspiration and practical advice.

Who does not love black and white as a classic combination?

The king of blue and white Mark D. Sikes.

This book is just so lovely and also gives very interesting detail on Aerin and her relationship with Estee

Interior designer and blogger Erin Gates first book is a must have.

This beautiful and elegant book is on my coffee table right now!

This book is photographed in vignettes all over Pinterest.

The first book by the editors of Domino magazine is part eye candy and part practical advice.  It is a must read.

These are a few of my favorites.  Any you have on your list?  Luckily, new design books come out all the time.  Hello Amazon wish list.

Have a great week and safe travels if you are traveling for Thanksgiving.

xo,

 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s New Collection for CB2

Hi friends.  Happy Monday.  I was just looking at the CB2 catalog over the weekend and apparently now Gwyneth, the actress, singer, lifestyle guru can add decorator to her repertoire.  Her popular lifestyle brand Goop now has a collection for CB2.

It had me at peacock.  I love peacocks!

The lines are a bit modern for me and some of the designs a bit impractical for living with kids, but it is all unique and feminine.  Here are a few of my favorites.

The line of accessories is very beautiful and curated.


What do you think?  Perfectly chic or too modern?  Or do you love it just because Gwyneth can do no wrong??

Until next time . . .

2018 Fall Home Tour

Hello friends both old and new.  Marty at A Stroll Thru Life has done it again and has a team of 30 bloggers ready to show you their homes decked out for Fall. If you are heading over from Alicia at Thrifty & Chic– Welcome!  Doesn’t Alicia have the most amazing DIY ideas?

If you are new here, I’m Jennifer – a Human Resources consultant by day and a design enthusiast and blogger in the wee hours of the night!  Our family recently purchased our dream home that we rented for 3 years, so are so excited to fix it up and make it our own one room at a time. Bye bye beige walls and hello color!  You will see what I mean when you tour my daughter’s new room!

I don’t normally do too much fall decorating.  Maybe it is because my birthday is in October and growing up I disliked orange and brown, and those were always the featured colors for my special month.  There are also some elements of my tour that are not per se fall, but I am so excited I wanted to show them to you anyway!  First off, we remodeled our kitchen and I am in love.  Second, I made over my daughter’s room.  I hope you enjoy and find inspiration in them even if they are not screaming fall.

So, let’s start the tour.  Starting first with our porch.  I was tickled pink when Trader Joe’s had pumpkins last week.  It is still soo hot here in Northern California, I was not sure if I could track down any real pumpkins.  This is about as fall as I get with our outdoor decor.  My girls are dying to have a graveyard and corpses for Halloween but it is sooo not me.

In the dining room, I went with rustic elements.  Eucalyptus just screams fall to me and I had these fun antlers to play into the rustic/glam vibe.

To the living room I just added some soft florals and added some new pillows.  I was so happy to find these pastel pumpkin pillows at HomeGoods. Orange and brown just do not go with the softer tones in my home.

To me nothing says fall like soup!  Our breakfast nook is where all of our cozy meals take place.  I adore these little lionhead soup bowls I found at Target.  I think they are a Williams-Sonoma knock-off.  I also used our vintage soup tureen to hold our fall-hued flowers.

Now here come the not so fall, but new spaces.  First  up is our kitchen.  We recently did a refresh by redoing the counter tops, backs plash, sink and appliances.

I will have a full post on it soon, but we went with Quartz counter tops that look alot like marble and beveled subway tile.  I am also giddy to report that I now have a deep farmhouse sink.  I was always sooo jealous of all of those Instagram photos of beautiful sinks with flowers haphazardly arranged (aka totally styled) in them.  Bam!  Take that social media.  I am now a flower in the sink kinda gal 🙂

 

Another one of my favorite features is doing one section of the back splash in this herringbone pattern.  Our floors are hardwood in a herringbone pattern, so I didn’t want to go crazy up top, but I didn’t want it to look boring either.  I think this small vignette is a compromise.

A few white pumpkins bring in a touch of fall.

Fall flowers were a bit sparse in our stores, so I went with the bounty of the season to display on our counter tops.

I also made over my daughter’s room and bit the bullet by wallpapering it in a wallpaper I have loved for years.  It is bold and bright and totally me!

So that’s it.  I hope you found some inspiration for fall and for seasons to come. Up next is Kristy at Starfish Cottage.  Her chic coastal style is not to be missed.  You can also find the full line up below.

Monday, Sept. 10th   

 A Stroll Thru Life  | Nesting With Grace  | Pink Peppermint Design  

Southern Hospitality | Decor To Adore | Cuckoo4Design 

Tuesday, Sept. 11

  ZDesign At Home  | Duke ManorFarm  | Setting For Four      

Simple Stylings  | Seeking Lavender Lane | Life On Virginia Street 

                                                                                          Wed. Sept 12

Our FifthHouse | Our Southern Home | Clean & Scentsible 

House By Hoff |  Follow The Yellow Brick Home 

 Remodelando La Casa 

Thurs. Sept 13

Inspiration For Moms | Life Love Larson |  Monica Wants It

Haneens Haven | My Sweet Savannah |  11 Magnolia Lane  

Friday, Sept. 14

Thrifty & Chic | Decorating Delirium  

 Starfish Cottage | Thistlewood Farm 

                                      Hymns & Verses Far Above Rubies 

Until next time  . . .

Sneak Peek of Charlotte’s Bedroom Makeover

Hi friends!!  I have an exciting preview to show you of Charlotte’s bedroom makeover.  I posted here about what I had dreamed up.  Only thing holding me up was the wallpaper which was quite expensive, once you included installation.  I can DIY a lot of things, but everything I had read said NOT to DIY wallpaper!

Well guys, I bit the bullet and did it.  Here are some quick preview photos.  I still have a ton of details to put into place like new curtains and curtain hardware, a new area rug and I need to hang the art.  In fact, as I look at these photos, the curtains and curtain rods drive me CRAZY!!  I have brass and acrylic rods on the way that I bought on sale Labor Day weekend at Ballard Designs.

Since the pattern on the wallpaper was pretty busy, I tried to keep the other elements in the room simple.  I got her new crisp, white sheets from California Design Den.  They are a classic percale sheet made with organic cotton.  I have washed them several times and they truly get softer with each wash.

My motto is everything is always better monogrammed, so this euro Matouk pillow case was monogrammed in the same pink hue as the wallpaper.

Here is some of the art I have chosen that still needs to be hung.

I wrote here about making over this vintage cane chair.  I am pretty sure I will never attempt to re-cane anything again!  The end result was beautiful, though.

I found this vintage pagoda lamp on Ebay which pairs perfectly with the wallpaper.

Here is one of the art pieces, which will probably be propped up on the wall for the next year.

So there it is.  It is big and bold and no one will ever want to buy our home should we sell it.  But I don’t care.  I love it and that is what creating a home that is uniquely “you” is all about.  I secretly have to admit that I now want to switch rooms with my 9 year old.  Have you decorated recently with wallpaper?  If so, did you go bold or for a more neutral pattern?

Until next time . . .

 

 

 

California Design Den provided the sheets for my review.  All opinions, as always are my own.

Mixing High and Low Using Vintage Designer Furniture

One of my favorite decorating tips for decorating on a budget is mixing high and low decor.  Pulling in older, vintage pieces definitely helps give a space a collected look.  Luckily, for  everyday design enthusiasts, there are now abundant sources for sourcing such vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind antiques.  Now everyone has access to pre-owned vintage and designer furniture that is curated.  No more searching high and low through estate sales or on Craigslist for rare finds.

Here are a few items I found when searching for designer items at a fair price.  I have been having a major love affair with burl wood the last few years.  This dresser foots the bill.  The wood has so much depth and character.   Viyet- French Louis Philippe Fall Front Burl Secretary

If you have been reading the blog for a while, you know my deep obsession with all things Chinoserie.  These framed Chinoserie wallpaper panels had me at “hello.”  If you can’t afford custom Chinoserie wallpaper from floor to ceiling, framed panels are the way to go.  It has the same effect without the hit to your budget.  https://www.onekingslane.com/p/4774042-henredon-faux-bamboo-mirrors-pair.do

This antique Oushak rug would be amazing in a feminine space.  This would be beyond chic in a little bagy girl nursery.

One Kings Lane- Antique Turkish Oushak Rug

These Chinese Chippendale mirrors are close to my heart.  I have a set in a different color.  Although seeing them in glossy black is marking me want to switch things up.  These retail for a pretty penny.  I don’t want to brag, but mine came from an estate sale where they just threw them in with a dresser I purchased.

One Kings Lane - Henredon Faux-Bamboo Mirrors

This coffee table makes more than a statement.  You can’t find this in any design/decor catalog.  I am a huge lover of brass and glass.

Everything But the House Figural Brass and Glass Coffee Table

 

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that bar carts have been hugely popular in the last few years.  Almost any home decor retailer sells them.  So, why not make a statement with yours and go with a vintage faux bamboo bar cart?   I promise your next party will be better for it.

Viyet- Brass Faux Bamboo Service Cart

 

Having easy access to online marketplaces has saved me so much time in my hunt for the perfect pieces for my home.  Do you have any secret sources for vintage or designer furniture.  Please do tell in the comments.  Like I need one more place to shop!

Until next time . . .

 

 

 

**This post was sponsored by Nakturnal.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Designer Spotlight: Sarah Bartholomew

Hi friends!  Boy are you in for a treat with this designer spotlight.  I have followed Sarah Bartholomew for years after I saw her home in a Better Homes & Gardens spread.  And then just the other day, I was looking at the Pottery Barn catalog and I saw that Sarah Bartholomew has curated a new collection for PB.

Here are some examples of her work,  It is classic and traditional style with modern twists added in.  For example, below the console, lantern, pottery and chairs are pretty traditional, but the fun and bold batik patter wallpaper makes it all so modern and fresh.

Sarah really has the blue, white and green combo down pat.  The feminine pattern and details on this sofa are perfection!

I love the repeat of the pattern on the headboard, drapes and pillows.

I would do laundry in this room all day!

The wood paneling in this room might feel heavy without all of the crisp blue and green surrounding it.

I would be a guest in this beautiful guest room any time.

Here are a few items I am loving from Sarah’s collection at Pottery Barn.

I am seeing a big trend in wicker and canning lately.  I recently re-canned a chair, so I am feeling quite on trend.

Hope you are having a lovely week!

xoxo,

Storage Solutions: Skirted Tables

Hi friends!  We are on vacation this week, but I am trying to get in some extra posts on the blog since I have a little extra time to do what I love!

As some of you may know, for my day job, I work as a Human Resources Consultant.  My job is wonderful and flexible, and I get to work from home.  The one problem, however, is that I do not have a home office.  So, all of my files, my printer, etc. are in my bedroom.  NOT the ideal setting for where the majority of relaxation is supposed to take place.

I have done a ton of searching for the perfect small desk that would fit in our bedroom.  The only problem is that the desks that would fit, did not have much storage.  So, I have been exploring the idea of just using a round table with a custom tablecloth similar to those below.

I primarily work at our breakfast nook table, so it would primarily be used  for storage, not for a  work space.  I am thinking I could store my printer and files underneath it??

Or, I could also do a skirted console table like these.  Although I might be pretty hard pressed to fit a printer under a table this size.

Do any of you work from home?  How do you keep that work/home balance?  What are your best storage solutions?

Until next time . . .