Favorite Things

Get Some Green

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

This post is sponsored by H&R Block’s Emerald Card.

Raise your hand if you’re completely over winter and ready for all things spring? Count me among you! With St. Patrick’s Day arriving next week and tiny little buds appearing on the trees outside my home, I cannot help but get excited the season and the idea of bringing shades of green indoors.

Nature is the first place I look to for inspiration during the seasons and in spring, green takes the spotlight. When shopping for new accessories, I’m always looking for ways to get a high end look for less, whether it’s shopping flash sales, frequenting retail stores that feature discounted designer goods, or transforming pieces I chance upon in a thrift store or on Craigslist.

When it comes to decorating your home, I know one thing to be true. Anyone can have a stylish home on a budget, no interior designer needed, no “to the trade” furnishings required. Much like you, I don’t want to compromise style or quality, but I don’t want to spend any more than I have to.

The most important thing is to pay attention and be aware. What inspires you? What trends do you welcome or reject? Knowing what makes you happy, what colors you respond to, and what style you favor most keeps you grounded in your purchases. Patience is also key, resisting any impulse buys, and purchasing only what your budget allows.

We all know one of the easiest and cheapest ways to bring color into the home is with paint. I can’t think of any color that doesn’t go with green, after all green partners with every hue in nature so why not in home decor too. Blues, pinks, yellows, and the color of the year orchid all look beautiful with green.

apple green paint in bedroom

kelly green walls bhg

apple green paint on walls

mint green paint orchid chairs

house beautiful / better homes & gardens / country living / marmalade interiors

An alternative approach to paint is wallpaper, but a more affordable one is the use of a wall stencil – it’s a far more budget friendly way to achieve the look of wallpaper without the expense. This fern motif can be recreated with two slightly different green paints and a fern stencil applied to a wall in symmetrical repeat.

living room fern wallpaper

house to home

One of my most favorite ways to use green paint is with a painted piece of furniture as an accent in a space. These three examples show just how beautiful green paint can be!

green kitchen hutch bhg

 

green cabinet inspiredbycharm

green painted cabinet

 better homes & gardens / inspired by charm  / design*sponge

I think critics of green too often associate the hue with the Crayola version. I don’t see green that way at all. I see green as a cool and sophisticated classic.

We see so much “lawn green” in our daily routine that when decorating it’s better to move away from those predictable shades and deepen the intensity of green to jade or emerald, or adding a dose of blue undertone, or going the other way and lightening with a few drops of white or gray. Even a yellow undertone is appealing, like we see in the moss that grows on mature oak trees. Bright lime greens are fun for summer, and more olive tones are inviting come fall.

I painted my kitchen island and walls, family room, and dining room a soft gray green in 2011 and I’ve never looked back. Years later, it still feels fresh just as much as these cabinets in this kitchen from House Beautiful.

pale green painted cabinets

I pulled out all my fan decks and the hundreds of paint samples inside my big basket I keep, my thoughts turning to walls and furniture and I narrowed down nine favorites. Picture them paired with polished chrome or antique brass lighting or hardware, stunning!

 fresh green paint colors

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Watercolor Florals for Spring

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

When I was a girl, I would water down my tray of Crayola paints and create a little garden of petals and leaves with a single brush on a pad of paper. To this day, watercolor florals appeal to me as a reminder of those late spring afternoons spent at the table or on the floor attempting to capture in an artistic way what I was observing outdoors.

The painterly trend in textiles and design continues in 2014 with watercolors having a big moment in the spotlight. Spring is just around the corner and today the focus is on delicate blossoms in watercolor form. I believe so much what appeals to us in interior design comes from our fondest memories, both adult experiences and those from childhood, from exotic travels abroad to something as simple as your grandmother’s dishes.

Watercolor florals appeal to me in that same way. They remind me of the wild field of poppies that grew in the open space behind our backyard fence, the ones I tried to paint as a girl. 

watercolor fabrics

textiles by blue bell gray

watercolor floral bed pineconehill

pine cone hill watercolor floral duvet

 

Whether your style is bright and bold or soft and subtle, if you’re as drawn to watercolor florals as much as I am, here are a few accessories to bring them into your home.

watercolor floral home accents

from top left: peony wallpaperbouquet pillow cover / flower art / watercolor triptych / poppies print / watercolor petals in orange / watercolor upholstered chair / shower curtain / pink floral pillow / peonies clip art

..

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Entertainment Faves + Best of Jan & Feb

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Did you watch the Academy Awards last night? We don’t have cable so I had to wait for the updates and videos online and get snippets via social media, but I love love love Oscar fashion (all those starving stars in beautiful designer gowns!) and Ellen’s Twitter feed cracked me up because she instigates selfies like this (the most retweeted ever) which was amusing because the celebrities, you know, they are “just like us”. And Ellen delivered pizza, awesome.

I decided instead of being productive over the weekend that I would be a complete couch potato and catch up on my entertainment. We watched Gravity  which was good but gave me strange dreams of floating through space, and also 12 Years a Slave and I bawled all the way through, but I’m happy Lupita Nynog’o won Best Supporting Actress (her acceptance speech was so lovely) and that it also totally deserved Best Picture (says the girl who has seen 2 of the 10 nominated films).

I though Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance in that film was incredible, but I’m also happy Matthew McConaughey won for Best Actor – I secretly fell in love with him 18 years ago when he played Jake Brigance in A Time to Kill and I’ve been a fan ever since, I loved his heartfelt acceptance speech too.

There is always a connection between fashion and interior design, and the Oscars are the height of glamour when every detail is so exquisite. There were so many pale gowns this year, some embellished with sequins or glitz. I love a neutral + sparkle combo in fashion and interiors, these were my favorites.

cate kristin kate gowns

Best Actress Cate in Armani Prive / Kristin Chenoweth in Cavalli / Kate Hudson in Attelier Versace.

meryl jenna portia gowns

Meryl in Lanvin / Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Reem Acra / Portia de Rossi in Naeem Kahn

In the bold category, these were very glamorous.

sandra olga charlize gowns

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen / Olga Kurylenko in Suzy Amis-Cameron / Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture.

But I think the win for Best Dressed lady award goes to Lupita Nynog’o in her pale blue Prada, it had tiny crystals running down the flowing pleated skirt, so so gorgeous.

lupita nynogo oscar gown

See so much more up close of the red carpet fashion here.

Late Saturday night, I got caught up on House of Cards on Netflix, tell me you are watching this show! Kevin Spacey is perfect in the role of Francis Underwood and it is so good. His cufflink initials are not to be ignored, am I right? 

francis underwood quote

I’m halfway through Season 2 and I can’t stop watching. I appreciate that Netflix releases the entire season at once because I can sit and get completely absorbed and avoid the world without interruption until the end of the last episode, and then shut it off and return to my normal can’t sit still self.

And since I did nothing productive all weekend, here’s a look back on the top projects and posts from January and February when I was not being quite as lazy.

best of jan feb 1

We added some tailored touches to the master bedroom; and a DIY lined shower curtain to the hall bathroom. I released a few winter fabrics in pale hues and neutral colorways, and here is a formula for a fabulous foyer.

best of jan feb 2

We added a weathered gray wood top to a plain IKEA coffee table; and these are ten kitchen trends here to stay, plus how to sew an easy zippered pillow cover. Yes you can mismatch your nightstands; a fantastic dialogue in the comments about vinyl versus laminate plank flooring, also don’t miss this list of sources for affordable rugs.

What have you been watching lately and who do you think was best dressed last night?  .

.

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare