Labor Day your way!

Labor Day, Summer’s last celebration. What are your weekend plans? If you have yet to make plans but desperate for ideas, I’ve got your back. For my last minute, fly by the seat of your pants readers, enjoy my Top 3 Labor Day weekend ideas.

Away:

With less than 2 weeks away, last minute travels rates could put a damper on the destination of your choice, so think outside of the box and stick close to home. Experience the joy of a road trip getaway without venturing too far – visit a nearby city to get your fix of the hustle and bustle, embrace the staycation trend and act like a tourist, visit popular hangouts and indulge in the local fare. One of my staycation musts, “The Jewel of the Desert”, better known as Arizona Biltmore. 8 swimming pools, fine food and drink, live music, activities for the kids and some drool-worthy decor – sounds like a backlist staycation to me! Designer side note: The incredible, world renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was the mastermind behind this popular structure. [Read More

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Host:

Prefer to gather and be merry? Call up some of your favorites and create the perfect potluck soiree in your own home. Let everyone pick a dish and choose a cocktail, get together and make some memories in the kitchen. Get your fun on with some backyard games – corn hole is always a winner with kids and adults alike. Throw a few festive floats in the pool, open the umbrellas and create your own resort.

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Need some menu inspo? Delish has some mouth watering ideas! [Read More

Stay:

Need a break from it all? There is nothing wrong with celebrating on the low down. Stay home with the family, don’t change out of your loungewear, read, order-in, rent a movie, catch a tan, and just be still. There is no rule book for celebrating Labor Day weekend, do it your way!

xoA

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Sourcing For Perfection

When it comes time for product sourcing for design projects, there are many hours spent scouring through catalogs, showrooms and websites to find that one perfect piece. Over the years, I have accumulated quite a few favorites in the sourcing department, and one of my absolute favorite manufacturers is Alfonso Marina. Their furniture goes from elegant to eclectic without skipping a beat and I just love the timeless beauty of their furniture. There is almost always a spot in someone’s home for a piece of Alfonso Marina!

Swooning over these new armchairs – the perfect accent chair for a conversation nook.

This glorious armoire will bring so much ethnicity to any space it occupies!

This handsome desk doesn’t demand much space, but it certainly grabs your attention! (Tip: For a unique take on a desk chair… an upholstered dining chair fits the bill.)

I have nothing but heart eyes for that console table! (Tip: Make a statement with oversized accessories on a featured surface)

 

Visit Alfonso Marina and tell me what piece you fell in love with!

xoA

Back to School: Redesigning Kids Rooms

It’s almost that time of year again – back to school! Another year down, another grade higher and another year older, where is the time going? Growing up naturally includes growing out, of clothes and shoes and their bedroom decor. Lets not forget our littles (and grown up) loves’ personal nests – where they sleep, play, work and host, it’s a space they get to be proud of and love being in. Who’s up for putting their personal project on the back burner and sprucing up your babe’s boudoir? Here are some tips and a little bit of inspo to get you on your way…

 

Room For More

Play dates and sleep overs are top priority in the life of a kid, so why not incorporate entertaining into your plans. Maximize all the space to make way for an extra bed, a play table or even a sofa!

HGTV / Photographer: Suzanna Scott Photography / Designers: Heather Brock and Jennifer Wundrow

Architectural Digest / Photographer: Thomas Loof / Designer: Miles Redd

 

Work, and then play

As they get older, the homework book gets thicker and the days get longer. Create a functional space they will be motivated in and inspired by.

Domino / Photographer: UNGANO + AGRIODIMAS / Designer: Lauren Wills

Domino / Photographer: Brittany Ambridge / Designer: Sally King Benedict

 

Storage, storage, storage!

When their beloved belongings look like nothing more than clutter, it’s time to get creative with your choice of storage.

HGTV

 

House & Garden UK

 

Art of Choice

Why not make this project extra special and ask for some guidance from your client – what artwork would they choose?

HGTV

 

Architectural Digest / Photographer: Scott Frances / Designer: Michael S Smith

 

Let Them Grow

This time of year will come and go, and come and go, but it doesn’t require a makeover every year. When you are ready to get your hands dirty with this labor of love, think of a space that allows them to grow. Classic colors or gorgeous fabrics that will stay current, swap out the bunk beds for a “big kid” bed – think guest room down the road (ok, maybe not that far down the road!) or add a sitting area for some alone time.

House & Garden UK / Designer: Katharine Pooley

 

Elle Decor / Designer: Megan Winters

 

Are you planning on making some decor changes before the school year commences? Please do share your ideas and inspirations!

 

xoA

Designer Tips: Mixing Metals

Can metals really be mixed? Yes. I don’t know where to start! Well, you came to the right place!

Mixing does not mean competing –

Your first step should be deciding which metal you would like to be the most dominant in your space. Once you have established your fancy foundation you can start playing with the accents. Your eyes need something to rest on – an even amount of mix can be overwhelming.

House Beautiful / Designer: Matthew Quinn

 

Blend Warm and Cool Tones –

The warm metals, like gold or brass, are perfectly balanced when mixed with a cooler metal, like silver or chrome. Consider a gold light fixture above an island in a kitchen with brushed nickel hardware.

Laura U Interior Design

Texture is Key –

Using varying shades of the same metal is technically considered mixing, but do consider texture (and shape). Contrasting textures and lines can be the deciding factor when it comes to making it or breaking it when mixing your metals.

Kelly Wearstler / The Avalon Hotel

xo A

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How to: Mix Old & New

I don’t know about you, but I am a firm believer in bringing personality into your home. Walking yourself into your living room does not count as “adding personality.” No, I’m talking about a piece of furniture, an artifact or a piece of art – something that has a story and only you can tell it. Antiques and special collections passed from generation to generation top the list of items that tell a story and add personality. But how do you use that piece in your home – where do you put it if you have created a beautiful modern space or a rustic aesthetic? Here is your answer:

You use it by using it! Put that piece you love so dear in that beautiful modern space or rustic aesthetic. Yes, it will make a statement, but when mixing old with new that is the exact idea you are creating. It doesn’t necessarily need to become the focal point, but believe me, it has its place in that room.

Let me say one thing, mixing old and new does not necessarily mean it has to be an antique or generational sentiment… it can be an old piece you discovered at a local estate sale or on a trek to Timbuktu (what?!).

Some of my favorite ways to incorporate the old with the new and add personality to your home:

– An ethnic sculpture brings a lot of masculinity to this sweet space, and the bold piece of art creates the perfect bridge between the two.

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Alfonso Marina

– A beautiful 19th-century elm-wood altar table. What a gorgeous addition to an entry way.

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Luxe Magazine / Interior Designer: Andrea Goldman Design / Photographer: Michael Robinson 

– A unique, carved bench creates the perfect anchor in this large, airy bedroom designed by the talented Mary Flanigan.

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Mary Flanigan Interiors

I would love to see how you have incorporated old with new in your home, antique or recently discovered, please share! If you haven’t quite yet found that piece of old, 1st Dibs is a great place to start, or continue your search. Some of my latest loves…

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  1. Carved Wood David Bust / 2. Pair of Blue and White Chinese Jardinieres / 3. Pair of French Giltwood Chairs / 4. Antique Marble Table / 5. Carved Bone Calligraphy Brushes on Stands

xoA

Designer Tips: Add Texture to your Space

Happy Tuesday to all! I love Tuesdays, the second day of the week and the chance to set your week off on the right foot… just incase Monday wasn’t so fantastic!

I also love Tuesdays because I get to share some Designer Tips with you! Today’s tips are all about texture. What is a space without some texture? For me, texture is an opportunity to add warmth to a room and a chance to add more. More is more!

If you are a reader of the newsletter or have recently signed up, you will know all about my 5 tried and true ways to add texture to your home and feel the need to (x) out of this post… please don’t, I have something for you too! Today, I am adding 3 more tips to that list because there truly are so many ways to add a little “oomph” with texture. And for those of you who haven’t signed up – 8 ways is better than 3! 🙂

Lighting: In addition to the general lighting add mood lighting. Add a small lamp or two to bring in a different shade of light and cozy up the space. Let’s call this layered lighting.

Andrea Wachs Interior Design / Formations Lighting

Formations USA / Interior Design: Amy Morris

2. Wall decor: Whether you hang one piece of art, or 5, you are adding dimension with contrasting colors from the art and a contrast of materials with a frame.

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Interior Design: John De Bastiani

 

3. Textiles: This can be a bold, or subtle print fabric as window treatments, or a woven throw to add an extra layer to a sofa or chair.

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Luxe Magazine / Interior Design: Brant McFarlain, R Brant Design / Photography: Nick Johnson

 

Entertain: Be the best hostess

It’s almost Easter, and another lovely opportunity to host a few of your most special guests. Playing hostess is such a treat for me, though it can bring on some minor anxieties – What will the menu be? What time? What drinks? What to wear…seriously, am I asking myself this question? Ultimately, I know when it comes down to the end of the evening there is going to be a delightful buzz in my home with full bellies, refilled drinks and laughing guests. I know when the sink is full of dishes, my heart is going to be full of joy, because… playing hostess is such a treat for me!

Drinks, dinner and decor… here’s what I’m loving…

First things first, quench the taste buds with a delicious cocktail. My suggestion is the popular and well-loved cocktail from Mexico, The Paloma. A refreshing alternative to the margarita.

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Reef Highball Glass – Crate&Barrel / S/4 Cocktail Napkins – One Kings Lane

 

The Eats? I love Jenni Kayne’s guide…

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Kiss Dinner Napkins – Kelly Wearstler / Granada Agate Serving Board & Acropolis Platter – Z Gallerie

 

The tablescape? Say no more, Filigree Suppers by Elise Metzger & Brita Olsen have taken the cake with their decor! Oh. My. Goodness.

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Filigree Suppers / Photographer – Carolina Mariana Rodriguez

Are you planning on hosting? Have you planned your menu? What’s on your bar cart? And what are you going to wear!? From one hostess to another, do tell!

xo A

Refresh Your Kitchen

The Kitchen: It’s a place we spend so much of our time standing in, cooking in, entertaining in, and sometimes just quietly drinking a glass of wine in (alone). If you’re anything like me you need a little change here and there, whether it be moving a table or adding an accessory, a little something to update the everyday scene. A refresh. Let me be clear here – a REFRESH, not  renovate! This post does not require knocking down any walls.

Here are a few small ideas that may help you feel like a brand new you in a brand new kitchen.

A fresh coat of paint – For some, this may be considered a renovation, but it really is worth the day (or two) sacrifice. It is truly one of the most noticeable ways to freshen up a space. The bold, yet subtle, choice of a new ceiling color is always an interesting.

Andrea Wachs Interior Design, Benjamin Moore Kitchen Paint

Benjamin Moore / Cabinets: Grasshopper AF-415 / Ceiling: Iced Green 673

Change out cabinetry hardware – This requires one trip to the hardware store and depending on your decisiveness, 15 mins – 1hr choosing the new look. I suggest some research before you dash out the door – consider your overall design, color scheme and don’t forget to take into account those already drilled holes! And, one last thing… keep in mind that the choices are endless! Love these selections from House Beautiful

Andrea Wachs Interior Design, House Beautiful HardwareHouse Beautiful

Plants – There is nothing like a living plant to freshen up a space. Yes, I said living. Raise your hand if green thumb is not in your vocabulary. Well, here’s your solution raised hands – succulents. They are low maintenance and come in so many different shapes and sizes – whether it be placed in a pot or terrarium, it will suit any place it occupies.

Better Homes & Garden

xo A

 

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Designer Tips: Andrea’s Tricks to Selecting Art

Art is the perfect outlet to express your personality in your home, furniture and accessories are part of your home decor story telling, but art is an expression of you. There is a reason one piece stands out to you more than another – so, what do you do once that to die for piece speaks to you? Buy it on the spot and hang it wherever you can as soon as you walk through your front door? Well, Mr or Ms go getter, it may not be quite so easy. When you are going to make an investment in a work of art (no pun intended), you may want to consider a few things before you commit. I would like to share a few tips and tricks with you so when you unexpectedly fall in love with a beautiful painting on your way to the grocery store, you will have been prepared for that moment.

 

1.  Scale. Envision where that piece will go, is it the right size for the space? As a general rule, you don’t want artwork to overpower the piece of furniture it is hanging above and you certainly do not want it to be too small. If you have a large empty wall don’t be shy to use the whole space for one piece, and on the other hand, if you do not have a large piece to fill that space, then consider a grouping of small pieces.

 

MILIEU Magazine / Interior Design: Richard Hallberg / Photography: Max Kimm-Bee

 

2. No rule. There is no rule of thumb that art should blend in with its’ surroundings, but you may hear the advice that your artwork should balance your interior and remain consistent. Once again, there is no rule of thumb! In fact, I’m going to let Canadian artist, Zoe Pawlak‘s words talk us through number 2.

“While your home decor can obey certain rules, such as investing in neutral couches or flooring, I urge people to use their walls for irrational or eclectic choices. Art is a place for expression through color content, and texture. Choose art at a heart level…”

 

Alfonso Marina (foot note: THAT CABINET!)

 

3. Compliments. Number three is a carry-over from number two. There is no rule that art should match your furniture, however, consider complimenting. Pick a color or two from your piece of art and coordinate that color with an element in your room – whether it is an accent chair or throw pillow. Let your artwork have one or two things in common with the room, this, in fact, will increase your art’s statement in the space that it is hung.

 

Laura U Interior Design

 

4. Framing. Not all art should be framed but when you have a piece that requires a frame, take a moment to consider your choice. Does your selection compliment the furniture or features of your room? Choose a frame to match your flooring, or on a more subtle level, if you have a pair of silver lamps consider a silver frame. Even if you are choosing a frame to add contrast to the style of your room, like a contemporary piece to a traditional room, just like we said in Number Three, a little compliment will effortlessly tie it together.

 

Laura U Interior Design

5. Hanging. Position your artwork at eye level. If your room has high ceilings you may be tempted to hang the piece higher, but consider an art gallery’s standard – the center of your artwork should be about 60 inches from the floor. If you are hanging a grouping or collection, to find the center, treat them as if they were one piece.

 

Holly Hunt

 

 How would you hang you art? Comment below, I would love to share your ideas!

xo A

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