Holiday Decor Guides!

Guys, it's been quite the pause here on the blog but I AM BACK and ready to spread some holiday cheer! 

Anyone else love the holidays as much as I do? I have a serious excitement for this time of year. To be honest, I'm one of those that can't even wait a week after Thanksgiving to bust out the Christmas decor. In fact, I've been listening to Christmas music for a solid ten days now. Ohh, I just love it! And I loooooooove decorating for the holidays too. The twinkle from the lights on the tree, the little nutcrackers scattered about, just about every detail makes me so full of cheer!

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5 Simple Budget Friendly Updates For Your Home

Did you know that there are a gazillion ways to give your home a quick and affordable refresh?

Nope, none of these examples require thousands or even hundreds of dollars and they certainly don't require DIYing because even though I love a good DIY, who really has the time?

Maybe someday I'll have my own DIY workstation in my garage where I craft the most beautiful Pinterest-worthy creations but let me tell you something, that time ain't now. I mean, the thought of just having my own parking spot is mind blowing. I guess that's when you know you've made it.

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Fall Decor Ideas

Summer is coming to a close and while summer is my favorite season, fall holds a special spot in my heart. The crisper air is by far my favorite part of the change in season and living in New England makes fall that much more lovely to experience.

Being a designer means that I'm obviously a sucker for home decor and I've stumbled on some pretty sweet fall decor inspiration over on Pinterest. To be honest, I myself am not much of a fall decorator. I'm honestly not much of a seasonal decorator. I do and will always decorate for Christmas because that's my favorite holiday. One of my favorite memories from my childhood and even adolescent years was just hanging around my house watching the twinkle of the Christmas tree lights. : )

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HOP Loves

Hiya friends! How's everyone doing this week? All is pretty good over here. I can't believe it's already September!! Where does the time go people?! We'll be celebrating our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY in just under two weeks and man, oh man is that sh*t crazy or what?! Where did the past year go? 

Anyways, let's chat about the blog for a bit because that's the reason we're here. : ) I figured it might be fun to create this new series, HOP Loves. I'm planning on posting a HOP Loves post once per month and the content within each post will basically offer anything and everything that I love or have been loving - it could be an image I stumbled upon on Pinterest, a new recipe I've tried, a product I can't live without or even a tip that I swear by. 

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A Pulled Together + Affordable Bedroom Makeover

My client reached out me just a few weeks before she was moving out of her current apartment and into a brand new apartment. She was so eager to have a pulled together, adult-like bedroom but on a little bit of a budget. She had a collection of random furnishings in her existing bedroom and wanted a complete fresh start! Without having a super defined direction or interest in any particular new look, she was set on two very important things - first was that at the very least the new look would NOT consist of a mish-mosh of furniture and the second was that the new look would be cozy and almost like a small retreat for her to escape to when she wanted some privacy. I thought both were extremely achievable. ; )

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Tips + Habits to Increase Productivity + Efficiency

I'm a sucker for productivity and efficiency and thankfully those two qualities come in reaaaaaal handy when you're both a designer and organizer. I hate wasted time, but I definitely love having days off. My days off usually consist of getting household things done like laundry, cleaning or tidying, running any errands and getting myself ready for the week ahead.  I actually really enjoy those things when I have the time to do it and I can move at my own pace without having to think about work that needs to get done along with all of those things in the same day or couple of days. When I mix both household/personal with work, I get very stressed (FAST!) and to be honest I'm not the loveliest person to be around. 

...I promise I do enjoy more traditional means of fun and I'm not as boring as I'm making myself seem. Hah!

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A Fresh + Modern Living Room Makeover

Hey guys, 

It's been a long three weeks since I've posted here so I apologize for the radio silence! Instead of rattling off all of my annoying excuses that really aren't that good, I'm going to dive right into today's post. 

I finished an uber fun living room makeover back in the spring and last minute had it photographed by the talented WE Studio who also photographed this living room makeover, also from this past spring! After getting the photos back and loving how light, bright and (I think) pretty darn beautiful the space looked I decided to submit the project to Apartment Therapy in hopes of getting published and guess what? IT DID! I found out the great news when I had just got back from a big European adventure a couple of weeks ago. I knew I wanted to fill all of you in because for this small timer, the news was kind of a big deal! But then I read the comments...

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Packing Tips!

Greetings from the Netherlands! Hubby and I are in this beautiful country for the week and I couldn't be happier. This place is amazing and I can't wait to tell you about our trip, but unfortunately that's for another post because today I wanted to chat about how to pack efficiently for a trip, weekend getaway or even a longer adventure! These packing tips will be helpful for what ever your travel plans are. 

Oh and if you want to see the Netherlands through my eyes, I welcome you hit the follow button on my Instagram. There are so many beautiful sites and places here!

Let's jump on in, shall we? 

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Summer Sale Finds

Do you know what I love most about the summer? THE SALES! Don't get me wrong I love the heat, the sunshine, the later sunsets, the beach and all of those wonderful things that come with summer BUT the sales are the absolute best. Whether you're shopping for your home or your wardrobe, there are so many marked down things to buy.

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Our Deck Makeover - Final Reveal!

Oh hey there friends! It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted...sorry, I let life get in the way. Shame on me, I know. 

But guys, guess what? We have completed the deck and man oh man have I spent more time out there than I ever thought possible. I wake up and enjoy my coffee and even breaky out there. In the evening, we eat al fresco and during the day in between all of the day's to-dos I park my bum out there too! 

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Our Deck Makeover - Progress!

Hey all! How's it going? Can we talk about the fact that I think we're finally living in summer here in New England! Words don't describe how happy this makes me...really! 

Over the weekend, the hubby and I FINALLY carved out some time to clean off the deck. We borrowed our neighbor's power washer and went to freakin' town. It's like a whole new space now that it's clean and clear of the items we no longer want. I am one happy girl! I've been enjoying my morning coffee and even breaky out there almost everyday since we cleaned it and it has been so amazing to have another living space to easily access and enjoy. : )

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Dorm Room Style - For Her

It's June 7th and I'm already talking about the kids going back to school, yikes! Why, you ask? Well, this sounds so cray and you might all be thinking, "what on earth is this b doing, making us think of getting ready to ship the kids off again?!" but I assure you I'm writing this post now because TIME FLIES if you haven't already noticed. And who knows maybe you're already exhausted at the thought of having them home for the WHOLE SUMMER. ; ) You know, eating all your food, leaving dirty dishes around and runnin' up your electric bill. Ugh.

Let's chat dorm rooms, shall we?

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Living Room Makeover

Oh hi there! Anyone else struggling from the long MDW? Also, I'm starting to feel just a bit concerned that it's becoming more normal to see a cloud-filled sky without even the slightest hint of blue peeking through. Ugh, anyone else?

Anywaysss, more important things to chat about so let's dive right into today's post because well, I can't effing wait to reveal this before and after. 

There was sooo much transformation with this living room. I really am still blown away with the improvement, not to mention the budget was not large. Let's start with some befores, shall we?

Ohh the red walls. Ugh, I am just not a fan of red walls for so many reasons. I feel like there are so few spaces that include red walls that are BEAUTIFUL. It's a strong AF color and it can easily be done in a way that doesn't work very well.

So you guessed it, the red went BUH-BYE. Thankfully my clients were incredible and they were open to any and all changes within this space. They disliked just about everything except for the sofa which was only a couple of years old and was the one thing they wanted to reuse in the new design plan...totally fine with me! 

As you can see there was no real direction with this space. The space also lacked a color palette so in addition to establishing a style/direction, a cohesive color palette was MUCH needed. My clients described their style as traditional and somewhat craftsman. They didn't love a lot of frills or super modern shapes, but knew that they wanted it to have some charm and more importantly for the space to be polished.

They were extremely eager to have a collected look. As you can see, there are a lot of "random" things in this room and that was one thing that they wanted to improve on. 

There were a few things that were on my client's wishlist in which I agreed with all of them ENTIRELY and let me tell you something, I love when that happens. : )

  • new furniture layout - they were set on mounting the TV above the mantel so that was straight music to my ears. 
  • new paint.
  • with the exception of the sofa, open to all new furnishings. 
  • new lighting - THIS WAS HUGE and it made a WORLD of a difference. 

We made all of the changes on the above list and WOWZAS, were those changes just what the doctor ordered. 

This first "after" photo is basically the same shot as the first "before" photo all the way at the top of the post...so hopefully this helps you understand the new furniture layout okay! 

As you can see we swapped out the existing red and yellow-beige walls for a new soft gray, Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore. Now, obviously the "after" photos were taken in daylight and the "befores" were taken at night but we did add recessed lighting throughout this room because at night it was just so damn dark. The new dimmable recessed is perfect for nighttime. We removed the original wall sconces because they were just kind of random and not necessary once we decided that the recessed and the floor/table lamps were the right direction for us.

That fab arc lamp is a great light source and looks really sweet at night. When we installed the space, we finished in the evening so we just oooo'ed and aaaaah'ed at how darling the arc lamp looked...for about 15 minutes. Yup, it was a moment. 

Repositioning the sofa and removing the existing black media center was such a great move. The new layout opens the space up and feels so much more inviting. 

Disclaimer - a lot of the new furnishings are from Target so don't be alarmed! Hah! 

New side chairs and curtain panels are from Target as well. The panels are great and even though they're solid in color, the texture (in person) is just the right amount of added warmth to the space. The existing wood blinds pop off the blue curtains quite nicely which makes it look like we put way more thought into the windows than we really did, if I'm being honest!

We repurposed the trunks that were originally being used as the coffee table and I love how they look as a side table. They add that "craftsman" vibe that we were going for. 

Love, love, love this Minted art that we kinda splurged on. The copper frame is soooooo good in person and I mean, how adorable is the Stockholm cityscape?!

The addition of the custom built-in adds some character and space for decorative accents. We also had to disguise the ugly cable box so we just decorated around that. We added a new gas insert for the fireplace as well!

And lastly, we added this sweet little entryway situation right near the front door, basically right where the sofa used to live (see photo below). 

Back to the new situation because it's honestly the sweetest little spot in this new and improved room...

Cabinet was a HomeGoods find and the lamp, tray and round mirror are all from Target. The other accents are thrift store finds with the exception of the books because well I'd die if I saw a Kinfolk book at Goodwill. 

Having this entryway "station" is great for so many reasons. First reason being it just feels like adults live there. I know, that sounds so weird in a way but it's true people! Had we not incorporated this collection of items then that spot would have been bare because nothing else would have made sense. We didn't need more seating and sure we could have just put a piece of art on that wall but it would have felt too blah and perhaps too much art in the small space. 

The cabinet also acts as a designated entryway spot - meaning when you enter and exit the home, you can utilize the mirror to make sure you don't have food in your teeth (hah!), the interior of the cabinet acts as extra storage and the surface is utilized for an additional light source to live on, some decorative accents to add life and a spot for mail, keys or sunglasses to live. 

Seeeeeeee! Good, right?

And that's a wrap! What do you think? I am so pleased with the finished product. We put the bulk of the budget into the new lighting, custom built-in and paint so we didn't have much money left for furnishings but that was completely okay! Thankfully Target and HomeGoods had some great affordable pieces for us. : )

Thanks so reading and feel free to drop your feedback and/or questions below!

Candace

Inspiration For My New Home Office

As if beefing up our deck wasn't enough of a project, we've or more like I've decided that I need to revamp my office. And I need to revamp it like yesterday. Hah, yup I'm so over it as of late. 

Currently, my office is also our guest bedroom which is great because who doesn't love a dual functioning room? We have a Murphy bed and a wardrobe cabinet that's built off the side of the unit. We've grown to love the Murphy bed because we can keep the bed up against the wall when we don't have guests and I can have a good amount of space for working. And then when guests stay over, we pop the bed down! It's really great, BUT we honestly don't have many guests so it's kind of a waste of 1/3 of a rather small room! If you learn anything from living in 640 square feet it's that space IS PRECIOUS AF.

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Kid Friendly Furnishings + Design Tips

I work with a lot of families, young ones at that so most of the spaces that I have designed have had to be kid friendly. Now, I don't have kids (yet!!) but I'm a pretty firm believer in not having to compromise on style and "nice" pieces just because you have kids with dirty fingers, snots, drool and milk spills galore.

So to kick things off, my first piece of advice is just that - don't feel like you have to hold onto your existing tired (because it's 7+ years old and has seen MUCH better days) and somewhat dated furniture just because your children are still exploring their surroundings. 

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Salem, MA Office Makeover

Guys, I've been so over the top excited to share this big office makeover with you all! First things first, this beautiful charming little office belongs to my fellow girl boss friend, Catherine of Catherine Threlkeld Photography. If you haven't already heard of her or clicked on her website that I linked, she is an incredibly talented photographer and shoots just about anything but her true speciality is wedding photography! She's good guys, like reaaaaaal good. 

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Our Deck Makeover - Update!

Guys, we're facing a dilemma with our deck makeover (you can read more about it here!) and I need your advice!! HELP!

Initially we really liked IKEA's Arholma sofa w/ footstool. We saw it in person, tested it out and honestly NO COMPLAINTS. It's great. It would fit really nicely in our small space and everything. 

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Favorite Neutral Paint Colors

Almost all of the spaces I design, begin with a neutral paint color. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE color and wallpaper but not everybody else does. In fact, some people have a hard time committing to color or patterns (on wallpaper) in general. So that's why I suggest starting with a clean and neutral wall color which creates a beautiful "clean" slate to bounce furnishings and décor off of. 

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