It’s almost the Fourth of July! Are you throwing a party? Or just taking it easy and spending time in the great outdoors? No matter what your plans are, we have inspiration and instructions to make your day absolutely perfect. Follow the links below to learn more!
Ever get bored of your home’s decor? What once stood out as shiny and new can start to feel tired and old after it’s gone through the wringer. Yup, it’s time for a refresh.
Denise Nelson certainly knows that feeling. “I redesign my living room about every 5 years,” she says. “I like to choose furniture pieces that are comfortable, stylish and don’t break the bank. That way I can have the option of changing my furniture for a new look.” We fell in love with her latest redesign — pictured here — on Instagram, and reached out for her top tips and styling advice.
One of Nelson’s daughters — Danielle Oakey — is an interior designer who can help her change up her living room’s look without straying from what she loves. “Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a decorating rut and move on to a more updated look,” Nelson says.
Previously, Nelson had one couch with two upholstered side chairs, which made the room feel very formal, so Oakey helped her choose two of our Carlisle Sofas. The pair offers plenty of seating for 6 people — important for a family with 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren!
We love how Nelson and Danielle Oakey Interiors chose our Walsh Console Table to complement the new design, too.
“Many people would second guess my white furniture with small grandkids — I’ve never sacrificed style because children are present,” says Nelson. “There’s nothing more adorable than my darling grandkids sitting on my gorgeous sofas!”
Did you know blue can make you more productive? This expressive hue has a calming effective that’s proven to help people concentrate and get work done faster. That’s why we love using blue in home offices — especially deep, dark hues like Sherwin-Williams’ Naval. This color from the Sherwin-Williams Pottery Barn color palette makes a room feel serene, but still makes a statement — it works perfectly with subtle metallics and fresh, contrasting whites. Take a look at our favorite home office picks for Sherwin-Williams’ Naval, below.
1. Ava Wood Desk/ 2. Decorative Star Mirror/ 3. Ryden Chair & Slipcover/ 4. Antique Silver Display Tray/ 5. Silver Plated Bamboo Clock/ 6. Homescent Collection, Gardenia/ 7. Harrison Bedside Task Lamp/ 8. Shelby Rug
When you’re living in a small home, floor space is at a premium. You can only fit so many chairs, tables and accessories into a tiny room before it starts to feel like it’s going to burst at the seams.
That’s why we love wall shelves — they’re one of our favorite space-saving solutions. Instead of taking up valuable room on your floor, they take advantage of a home’s often underestimated vertical space
Take a look at our top 5 ways we like to use wall shelves, and get inspired to decorate your home!
Living. Tired of crowding your coffee table with all sorts of odds and ends? Clear the decks and put your favorite collectibles on display with wall shelves.
Bedroom. This decorative ledge almost looks like a mantel, but it’s much more versatile. Use this for an arrangement of your favorite pictures, or install over a desk or vanity to hold perfume and jewelry.
Office. Clutter piles up quickly in home offices. Use a wall shelf to get it up and off your desk and into organized compartments.
Kitchen. When you love to cook, it’s easy for your kitchen counters to start filling up with all sorts of stuff. Clear some room for serving and prep with a few well placed wall shelves. This is a great solution for small kitchens that don’t have very many cabinets, too!
Hallway. There’s no need to cram your entry console with framed pictures of your loved ones — give your hallway some breathing room and use a few wall shelves to open up floor space and draw the eye down your hallway.
You might also like: Small Space Styling Tips from Erin Gates of Elements of Style
Small spaces present their own unique set of decorating challenges. Everything from furniture layout, to color palette, to accessorizing has an important impact on the way the room feels — much more so than more spacious rooms. Erin Gates of Elements of Style is certainly familiar with the issues that come with small spaces, and embraces those problems as decorating opportunities with beautiful solutions. Read on to get her top tips for styling small spaces!
Gates’ first book, Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life, comes out October 7th and is available for pre-order.
Q: Sometimes styling a small space can be intimidating because people don’t want to just add more things to their home. What are your favorite ways to add style to a space without using too many items?
A: My number one piece of advice is to not fill a small space with small furniture and a bevy of small accessories! Think about maximizing your space with fewer, larger items that are functional but also grand: A rug that fills the space fully, regular scale chairs and sofas and BIG art — one big, fabulous work of art on a wall adds drama and makes a space look larger than a bunch of smaller pieces! Also consider painting your smaller spaces darker colors — it seems counter-intuitive but dark colors make walls recede and trick the eye into thinking they’re bigger.
Q: What are some easy ways to add function and style to a small home?
A: Before you plan your room or buy anything be honest about how the space needs to function for you —not how it would function in an ideal world, but it YOUR real world! This is especially vital in a small home. If you know your kids won’t put their stuff in a bunch of cute baskets, then it’s a waste to buy them even if they look cute on Pinterest — invest in a bunch of fun, awesome wall hooks instead! The most stylish home is one that serves you best AND reflects who you are as a family. When you have limited space it’s so important that everything not only serve a purpose, but also that it’s something you absolutely LOVE —the real estate in your living room is too valuable for it to be filled with a coffee table you are only so-so on. Wait for something you can’t pass up!
Q: Do you have any suggestions for people who live in studios? How can you make it feel like a living room and a bedroom at the same time?
A: Studios are one the trickiest spaces to decorate because you want to be able to entertain a friend or two without it feeling like you’ve invited them to a cocktail party in your bedroom. I love the use of bookcases and screens to divide a studio space into dedicated areas. Also it’s possible to use ceiling mounted tracks (like those in hospitals) to hang drapery panels into functional room dividers (even when sheer they do delineate “sleeping space” from “watching Scandal” space).
Q: We love color, but too much of it can feel overwhelming in small homes. What are a few simple ways to make a small space feel bigger without going all white?
A: DO NOT FEAR COLOR IN SMALL SPACES! As I mentioned earlier, dark colors can be your friend in small spaces- but color can be a great way to define one space from another. Just don’t paint every room in your home a different shade — it feels too choppy and scattered. You want to unify your spaces with an overall theme — say it’s grey — do a light grey in living areas and then a darker grey in the bedroom and maybe a blue-grey in the bath! I find guest rooms and powder rooms to be a great space to go a little crazy and experiment — either with wallpaper or bright color!
Photography courtesy of Erin Gates
Another week, another 7 days of tips, tricks and home decor eye candy here at Inside & Out. This week, learn about one of our favorite florist’s tips for working with peonies, how to make one amazing batch of chicken and waffles and the story behind the design of one of our favorite San Francisco restaurants.
Happy International Picnic Day! We can’t wait to celebrate outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and some of our favorite snacks with our best picnic essentials. Take a peek at the must-haves we plan on bringing to picnics all summer long, below!
1. Rattan Picnic Basket for 2/ 2. Round Market Umbrella/ 3. Outdoor Travel Bar/ 4. Outdoor Party Bucket with Table/ 5. Bocce Set/ 6. American Flag Picnic Throw/ 7. Gingham Check Napkins/ 8. Outdoor Party Caddy/ 9. Picnic Table Stake
Hurray, it’s peony season! From the looks of our Instagram feed, it’s clear we aren’t the only ones who love these luscious looking flowers (we love this shot from Sara Mueller with our Beachcomber Tray, below).
We asked one of our favorite florists, Kiana Underwood of Tulipina, to share her best tips and tricks for working with these beautiful flowers. Read on to see her suggestions for using and caring for peonies!
Q: Everyone gets so excited when it’s peony season! What are your suggestions for working with this fragile flower?
A: I actually don’t think that peonies are very fragile in comparison to other flowers, like gardenias! However, as with most flowers, you want to make sure that they are hydrated and are not placed in direct sunlight.
When I bring peonies back from the market, I trim their stems in an angle and place them in water somewhere cool — that is where they stay until I begin working with them.
Q: What are your favorite flowers to include in peony arrangements?
A: Since peonies are such big flowers, I consider them to be statement flowers. They are sort of the star of the show and the focal point of the arrangement. So I like to use smaller flowers, such as mock orange (when in season), sweet peas, or ranunculus along with some foliage and possibly some type of fruit or berry branches for added texture and beauty.
Q: What is the best way to keep an arrangement of peonies lasting as long as possible?
A: The best way to keep any arrangement is to use flowers when they are not quite fully opened and at the end of their life. You don’t necessarily want to use closed buds either, but somewhere about halfway is usually the best bet for having your arrangement last long and continue to flourish.
You might also like: DIY Centerpiece Featuring Our Wire Bag Baskets
We love brunch! Mimosas, bagels, breakfast pastries and Bloody Marys — need we say more? But hosting a brunch isn’t always as fun as attending one. Running around, taking things out of the oven and mixing drinks can be stressful. That’s why we love this adorable, girly brunch from the gals at Mimosa & Monroe. It’s easy, beautiful and fun for both the hostess and her guests. Take a look at some of their decorating and entertaining tips and tricks, below!
“At Mimosa & Monroe, brunch is our favorite kind of soiree. A mid-morning excuse for a peach bellini? Color us smitten! We love to set up brunch stations on our balcony, allowing guests to circle and chat as they pick up their favorite things. We love colorful fruit of every variety stacked in bowls, sweet pastries, fresh bread with jam and of course, champagne. We always fill the table with bunches of seasonal flowers, and on this occasion we even stumbled on the cutest baby pineapples at the market. There’s something so summery about the mix of fresh blooms and ripe fruit!”
You can find most of the dishes and accessories in this shoot at Pottery Barn: Rhodes Wine Cooler, Beaded Outdoor Bowls in Coral, Rhodes Drink Dispenser Stand, Eclectic Glassware: Clear Tumblers, Rope Cocktail Plates
You might also like: TGIF: Weekend Brunch Cocktail Recipe
Despite its reputation as a melancholy color, we find blue to be a surprisingly expressive hue. When paired with white in classic silhouettes and patterns, it feels fresh and energizing. That’s why we love this combination in the bedroom —it’s perfect for any time of year, and never goes out of style.
From left to right: Asher Medallion Duvet, Ceramic Stool, Polka Dot Pillow Covers, Lily Outdoor Rug, Bone Quatrefoil Mirror, Quinn Enamel Clock, Bartlett Upholstered Armchair, Colorful Blue Stepped Frame, Blue Shutters by Nichole Robertson