Let's Add a Little Fire to that Man Cave

This one’s for all the dudes out there that think they have to wait for a woman to come into their life to have furniture. Boys, listen up! I’m here to tell you that your dream woman may just run for the hills if she walks into your living room and sees nothing but a circa 1994 La-Z-Boy and an Xbox. This may come as a shock, but women find it attractive if you at least seem like you have your life together hah. Good thing there are people like me out there who can help!

I’m excited to share this Round Rock bachelor pad and the thought process behind this masculine, but female friendly design with you guys… It’s quite the transformation!

Can y’all even believe that the photo below is of the same exact room? When dreaming up the design for this space we talked about of course keeping it masculine for our bachelor client, but also adding in some feminine touches to make it feel more welcoming and balanced. Obviously his goal was to not be alone for the rest of his life, so we made sure that when that perfect woman came along he wouldn’t have to redo the whole house.

Before Photo

Before Photo

When selecting furnishings for a space you need to take into account walkways, doors, TV watching, and in this case a fireplace as well. With all of those factors in mind, the layout of this room was a bit tricky to nail down! After lots of Sketchup drawings and finding the perfect sized pieces we were able to create a space that was functional for entertaining and lounging… Whether you want to snuggle up with a glass of vino by the fireplace or watch a sports game on the tube!

I had an absolute blast finding accessories for this project. As I got to know the client more I took a few mental notes about ways I could incorporate things he likes into the overall design. I ended up adding a few masculine accessories like the cow skull below (thanks Room Service Vintage!) and a some books I knew he’d like about hockey, places he’s traveled, and a couple vintage medical books (he’s a doc). The great thing about accessories is that all of those items are very easy to replace. Sooo when that dream girl comes along you can throw in a few books about what she likes and maybe lose the skull if it creeps her out… Then voila! Masculinity level successfully decreased.

If you know of a dude that needs some help transitioning into a big boy house send him my way! And if he just happens to be a dad, the first hour of design time is half off. Father’s day is just around the corner!

Holiday Entertaining Essentials

This week is NUTS y’all, but I promised a post about entertaining during the holidays so you shall receive! Let’s just hit a few key points here… starting with the most important - cheese.

Cheese & Charcuterie

Image from  honestcooking.com

Every good party MUST have a cheese and charcuterie board. This not optional, y’all. And how adorable are those pine sprigs added for a wintery effect? If you’re thinking, “that’s great Alyssa but how the heck do I put this together” have no fear… Instructions and recipes for this exact spread can be found here. Also, if you need something pretty to serve everything on click here. Done and done!

Beverages

Image from  sugarandcharm.com

Along with your essential wines like a crisp white and a dry red (none of that sweet nastiness at my house!) you should consider serving a cocktail at your holiday soirée. This spiced apple sparkling punch recipe by Sugar and Charm caught my eye and sounds so delicious! This photo is also the perfect example of how mixed crystal glassware can take your party spread up a notch. So gorgeous!

Image from  sugarandcharm.com

Okay okay I wouldn’t necessarily call a hot chocolate bar “essential” to a great party, but come on… just look at this cuteness! I came across this idea on Sugar and Charm’s blog while I was checking out that apple sparkling punch post and I’m a little obsessed. Those marshmallows!! Click here to see what all goes into this fabulous little chocolatey masterpiece.

Table Decor

Image from  designlovefest.com

This tablescape is stylish simplicity at its finest. Greenery, metallic accents, and candles - boom. That’s really all you need folks! You could simplify even more and just do greenery and candles, especially if you have fun glasses to put on the table. Honestly, I think everyone knows by now that I’ll love it as long as there’s greenery. Learn how to make your own greenery table garland here!

Don’t forget I’m offering a discounted rate for holiday decorating until the 21st… that includes helping you wow your guests with mega fabulous party decor!

How to Decorate for the Holidays like a Pro

It’s now officially December and time to bust out holiday decor!!! There is just something about this time of year that makes me giddy. How can you not enjoy a month full of sweater weather, beautiful lights & greenery, and making memories with family?! Did I mention greenery? I’m a little obsessed… which brings me to my first decor item!

Wreaths

Image from  marthastewart.com

Wreaths aren’t just for the front door, y’all. You can hang them above your mantel, on a back door, or on a wall! And there are so many great DIY instructions online so you can create the wreath of your dreams and save a buck or two. Definitely check out this tutorial on how to create your own Advent-Style Olive Branch Wreath like the one below! Or if you’re looking for a more traditional holiday wreath style take a look at this tutorial by the Fresh Exchange.

Image from  monikahibbs.com

Image from monikahibbs.com

Mantel

Image from  southernliving.com

BRB have to go get a towel because I just drooled all over my keyboard. How fantastic is this mantel decor!? It’s a mix of faux garland, fresh eucalyptus and winter flowers, as well as snowberries placed in silver chalices. Fabuloussssss! If greenery and chalices aren’t quite festive enough for you, then add some candles, wood bead garland (this is one of my new favorite things) and some cute stockings like the ones below! ‘

Stairwell

Image from  Craftberry Bush

Image from Craftberry Bush

Your stairwell is another fantastic place for garland! I also love using ribbon to help fasten it to the railing. So festive and just GORGE! If you’re considering making your own garland, take a peak at this wonderful tutorial by Austin local Love, Alfa.

Christmas Tree (duh)

After scouring Pinterest last night and not finding a photo of a Christmas tree I absolutely loved for this year’s decor inspiration… I’ve decided to just show you guys a sneak peak into my tree! As most of you know, Chris and I are moving into our new house on the 15th sooooo no decorating for me until then. Sigh.

Christmas Tree Decor.jpeg

The fabulous tassel ornaments from Lulu and Georgia on the bottom left are from last year, as well as some faux floral stems I snagged from Hobby Lobby. I don’t know about y’all, but I have been using Etsy more and more to find unique items for clients and myself! I found these adorbs macrame ornaments, vintage brass bell garland, and wood bead garland all on Etsy. Can I get a hand clap! Then we have a set of mini retro ornaments from Anthropologie on the bottom right. How freakin’ cute are those?!

Keep an eye out for next week’s post all about holiday entertaining essentials and decor! If you’re gearing up for a holiday gathering, but need a little help with decorations, give me a call. I’m offering discounted holiday decorating packages now through Dec. 21st!

Tips for Timeless Neutral Fall Decor

Halloween is finally upon us, but as much as I love the black and orange spider web filled festivities and spooky decor I feel like it just doesn’t quite fit in my home. So it got me thinking that I should share some ideas on how to decorate for fall (slow down Christmas fanatics we still have Thanksgiving!) while still maintaining a neutral palette.

Image from  @c.b._designs

Image from @c.b._designs

Pumpkin Types:

At the epicenter of all neutral fall decor is the white pumpkin… and lucky for us it comes in all shapes, sizes, and neutral shades! Confused on which white pumpkins to go for? Here is a list with info on each courtesy of The Spruce:

  • Lumina. Skin: Brilliant white. Texture: Smooth.

  • Casper. Skin: Bright white. Shape: More round than squat with only slight ribbing. 

  • White Ghost (Also known as Valencia). Skin: Pure white. Shape: Squat.

  • White Pie. Skin: Ivory and somewhat smooth like its orange counterpart. Shape: Small and oval.

  • Baby Boo: These palm-sized minis are best in numbers--the more the merrier. Skin: Bright white; tends to turn yellow if exposed to direct sunlight. Size: Miniature. 

If white pumpkins just seem a little dull to you, throw some blue pumpkins in the mix! These babies still have a neutral vibe, but can add a subtle pop of color to your decor. Again, The Spruce has got you covered with an informative list of blue pumpkin options:

  • Kabocha: It's a squash masquerading as a green pumpkin and goes by the names Japanese Pumpkin, Ebisu, Delica, Hoka, Hokkaido Pumpkin. Skin: Tough and green. Shape: Rounded, irregular.

  • Jarrahdale: This is an heirloom pumpkin that was developed as a cross between the Cinderella and Blue Hubbard. Shape: Flattened but rounded like Cinderella. Skin: Light blue-grey. Ribbed: Deeply. 

  • Blue Lakota: An heirloom variety from the Midwest. A mix of blue and green. Ribbing: Slight. Shape: Oblate; top at step, comes to a point or cone-shape.

Greenery:

Image from  sprucemn.com

Image from sprucemn.com

You didn’t think I was going to just let you stop at pumpkins did you? The key to completing your neutral fall look is greenery! My personal favorites include eucalyptus (I prefer seeded), olive, and bay leaves. The photo above is an example of what it looks like when you combine all three… Gorge!

Mantel Decor

Image from  Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

One of the best places to throw up some holiday decor is the fireplace mantel. The photo above is the perfect combination of all the pretty fall things I’ve been harping about - white pumpkins, blue pumpkins, and greenery! I mean seriously, what else do you need?


Front porch DECOR

Image from  @ninaandcecilia

Image from @ninaandcecilia

If you have a beautiful front porch like the one above, then what better time do adorn it in adorable decor than the fall season? This is a great example of “less is more.” They didn’t go over the top with their pumpkins and there is just enough greenery between the mums and the simple wreath on the front door. Well done!

Image from  Boho Wreath Co.

Image from Boho Wreath Co.

If you don’t have a huge porch to fill with fall decor, then just go with a pretty greenery wreath like this one! I found this particular wreath on Etsy along with several other great options, including some really cute hoop wreaths if you’re feeling a little more minimalistic. Or you could always just swing by hobby lobby for a wreath wire frame and your local flower shop for some greenery and make it yourself!


Fall Door Mat

Image from  Sky to Creative Co.

This super fun door mat is another great Etsy find and the perfect pairing with your fall wreath! There is also this adorable “Hey there Pumpkin” door mat I found on Etsy as well… So many cute options!


Table Decor

Did I mention I have a thing for greenery? This might be the Thanksgiving tablescape of my dreams, and it’s so simple! Eucalyptus with white flowers, white pumpkins and added warmth with fringed natural fiber placemats.... And those crystal glasses add such a timeless beauty to the overall look!

If you are in love with the idea of decorating for the fall season, but the task seems a little daunting or overwhelming… This girl’s got yo back! Along with furnishings/decor and remodels I also offer styling services. I can help you turn your home into a thing of festive fall beauty!

My Top 10 Dreamy Kitchens

Since the idea of owning our own home has slowly become a reality over the past couple months (we close on the house tomorrow OMG) my head has been spinning with excitement over renovation details. Since we are planning on redoing the kitchen, along with everything else, I thought a blog post is a perfect opportunity to put my obsessive research to good use and share my top 10 kitchen designs with you guys. But first I must say these are in no particular order because I honestly cannot stop drooling over all of them.

Windsor Kitchen

by Jennifer Muirhead Interiors

I love everything about this charming little L.A. kitchen, from the backsplash tile to the roman shades, and of course the satin brass accents. It’s truly inspiring when a designer can pull off a space that looks fabulous and well put together, but also embodies a homey feeling that makes you picture yourself sitting at one of those bar stools drinking tea… Okay wine.


Instafamous Kitchen

by Jenna Rammell

Photo from  @Jennaskitchen

Photo from @Jennaskitchen

If you follow anything interior design related on the gram you may have come across this photo. It’s been shared by @studiomcgee, @mydomaine, and many more because it’s pretty freakin’ awesome y’all. It’s simple, yet interesting, and the perfect balance of femininity and masculinity with the blush rug and coordinating black window with the black island pendants. Bravo Jenna!


Highview Kitchen

by Bria Hammel Interiors

What initially caught my eye in this kitchen design is that countertop. I absolutely love the color and the movement paired with that simple backsplash tile and white cabinets. And guys, when you have a fab countertop a waterfall is always a good idea…. it really amped up this kitchen another notch!


Portland Modern Colonial Kitchen

By Caitlin Wilson

Image from  caitlinwilson.com


If I’m looking at one of Caitlin Wilson’s designs, I usually pretty much always have hearts coming out of my eyeballs. She has such a great use of color and effortlessly mixes traditional and contemporary pieces. Take this kitchen for example - eye catching pops of color with the perfect blend of traditional charm and modern flair.


West Project Kitchen (#yesifitswhiteclient)

By Kate Marker Interiors

Talk about a bright white kitchen! I think I would walk into this space and immediately feel overwhelming happiness. It’s just so clean and crisp… and then here comes the rug for the win with a fab pop of color! Nailed it.

Moody Blue Kitchen

By Emily Henderson

Photo from  @emhenderson

Photo from @emhenderson

If you like blue, this kitchen was definitely made for you. I love that it’s colorful, but toned down enough that it doesn’t make you feel like you’re having a sensory overload episode. Also, you seriously can’t ever go wrong with brass accents on a grayish blue background… It will forever and always look uh-mazing.

Charming Connecticut Kitchen

By @raquelgarciadesign_

Photo by  @alyssarosenheck

I wasn’t crazy about this kitchen at first, but it grew on me. I’m really into the soothing tones and simplicity of the space. I also just have a soft spot for Connecticut… I actually spent 3rd and 4th grade there. I have the best memories of the colorful trees in the fall and the giddy excitement of waking up to a snow day.

Mountain Ranch Kitchen

By Nicole Davis Interiors

Does that tile look familiar? Well it should because it was in the first kitchen on this list, and I’m not even mad about it because I love it. But seriously have you EVER seen a ranch house kitchen this incredible? It honestly might be the best take on contemporary rustic style that I’ve ever witnessed. Slow clap.

A Beautiful Mess Kitchen

By Elsie Larson

Photo from  abeautifulmess.com

This little button of a kitchen stole my heart the moment I saw it. What a fantastic use of a small space, and I just love the statement light fixture and that totes adorbs range. I’m thinking I may need to go for a range with a funky color in our new kitchen. It adds so much character! However I do not think I’ll be doing open shelving… that might be this OCD woman’s nightmare.

Encinitas Kitchen

By Brianna Partridge Interiors

Photo by  @ryangarvin

Photo by @ryangarvin

If this kitchen isn’t a prime example of an “on trend” California kitchen then butter my butt and call me a biscuit. White on white on white with warm textures and brass accents… Perfection!

I’d say I have a plethora of inspirational kitchen designs to keep in mind for our little remodel project. Follow along on my instastory to see the progress Chris and I make as we attempt (key word) a lot of DIY construction!

Tiny Home Living

Have you ever wished that you could minimize your material possessions and live an overall simpler life? Well if you have, a tiny home might be for you! These houses are built for simplified living and are fabulously fun-sized, but you don't have to miss out on trendy decor or even entertaining a guest. 

Image from  atxtinycasas.com

Image from atxtinycasas.com

I had the honor of staging that adorable home above built by the amazingly talented team at ATX Tiny Casas for the Austin Tiny House Jamboree this past weekend. If you've thought about downsizing into a tiny house, but haven't take the plunge because you're scared you might miss the beautiful qualities of a well finished out home... Well joke's on you because ATX Tiny Casas has this luxury tiny house gig figured out. I mean... Just take a look at the kitchen below! 

Y'all, let me just say... those cabinets are no joke. And the countertops! No cheap laminate here. If you take a look up at the top right corner you can see a little glimpse of the bedroom loft. I went up there to set up the bedding and what not and let me just say... It's pretty spacious! It can fit a king size bed (the one shown is a queen) and still have room for a bedside table. Throw some cute Anthropologie bedding up in there and you're all set!

I bet you're wondering how you actually get up to the loft. Levitation. JK on the other side of the house from the kitchen there's a full on staircase... None of that janky ladder business that becomes a hazard after a couple happy hour cocktails. At the bottom of the stairs you have the entry and a living area shown below. 

The fantastic thing about this living space is that (even though it is quite small) it's big enough for a few people to hang out... AND it fits a futon sofa like the one shown. That way you can still have weekend guests! 

Hopefully y'all noticed that freakin' adorable turquoise barn door at the far end of the kitchen... That beauty leads to this heavenly little bathroom. It may be on petite, but it get's the job done with a storage vanity/mirror and a spacious shower that even has a built-in bench. I also love that this talented tiny house builder though to add a window in the shower so you can have your natural light without the umm... exposure. 

OH MY GOSH I forgot to mention the most important detail of this tiny house... It has a wine fridge! Cheers to that and simplified living, y'all. 

My Top Outdoor Lounge Furniture Picks for Every Budget

Fall is quickly approaching and y'all know what that means... We will finally be able to utilize our outdoor living spaces again without bursting into flames! So with that in mind (and football, pumpkin spice, and comfy sweaters), I thought I'd share a couple design plans for a covered patio lounge space... Two similar designs, but with two different budgets. 

The first design plan I want to show you guys is sourced from mid-priced vendors like Serena & Lily and CB2. I'm totally swooning over this sectional... I mean who doesn't love a touch of gold in their life? The total price of the items shown is in the top left corner and the link to each piece is provided below. P.S. I would suggest 20" pillows for both design plans and don't forget you will also need an outdoor insert! 

Gold Sectional  - this comes with the cushions and 10 matching pillows;   Blue Pinstripe   Pillow Covers ;  Palm Pillow  - this one includes the insert;  Coffee Table  - this is one of my favorites and it's such a good price;  Planter  - I would go with the extra large and get a really fun big plant like the yucca tree shown;  Lounge Chairs ;  Lumbar Pillows  - these also come with the inserts;  Side Table ;  Hanging Bench  - I need one of these in my life ASAP;  Striped Pillow Covers .

Gold Sectional - this comes with the cushions and 10 matching pillows;  Blue Pinstripe Pillow Covers; Palm Pillow - this one includes the insert; Coffee Table - this is one of my favorites and it's such a good price; Planter - I would go with the extra large and get a really fun big plant like the yucca tree shown; Lounge Chairs; Lumbar Pillows - these also come with the inserts; Side Table; Hanging Bench - I need one of these in my life ASAP; Striped Pillow Covers.

Take a deep breath penny pinchers, this next design plan totals out to less than half of the first one! You still get your fab gold sectional (well a sofa and chaise in this case) and a hanging rattan beauty to park your tush, but this combo is a little easier on the bank account and it can fit into a smaller space. 

Gold Sofa + Chaise ;  Blue Watercolor Pillow Covers  - I just favorited this Etsy shop... She has so many cute pillows;  Palm Leaves Pillow Cover ;  Coffee Table ;  Planter  - again I would go with the large one so I can plant something big and awesome;  Faux Rattan Lounge Chair  s  - these may be faux but they are super durable and adorbs;  Lumbar Pillow Covers ;  Hanging Rattan Chair ;  Solid Light Blue Pillow  - this one comes with the insert. 

Gold Sofa + Chaise; Blue Watercolor Pillow Covers - I just favorited this Etsy shop... She has so many cute pillows; Palm Leaves Pillow Cover; Coffee Table; Planter - again I would go with the large one so I can plant something big and awesome; Faux Rattan Lounge Chairs - these may be faux but they are super durable and adorbs; Lumbar Pillow Covers; Hanging Rattan Chair; Solid Light Blue Pillow - this one comes with the insert. 

They say money can't buy happiness, but sitting on a beautiful patio with a glass of wine in 75 degree fall weather sounds like heaven to me! 

Vintage Finds & Wine in Johnson City

Like most Austinites I've heard Johnson City come up in conversation a time or two and I've even stopped there on my way to the Fredericksburg wineries. Although, I was on a wine tour bus so we just stopped at a little deli for a snack... Okay a pickle and a Shiner, but that's neither here nor there. Anyways, after hearing more and more about the fun little vintage furniture shops and wineries I decided I had to go... So I grabbed the beautiful and talented Amy Rankin with Twinty Photography and we loaded up in my husband's truck for a little girls' day out in good ol' Johnson City, TX. 

Our first stop was this amazing little shop called Echo. They had a ton of super cool art and vintage furniture... Along with a bunch of random odd items that are always entertaining to look through. We walked around for a solid hour in there and I'm sure we only saw about two thirds of the merchandise. There's just so much good stuff! 

I of course couldn't leave without buying a few things because everyone knows you shouldn't pass up a good find. Am I right? It was when I stumbled upon this gorgeous hunk of a driftwood console that I knew I was destined to make a purchase that day. It ended up fitting perfectly in the entry of my lake house project! 

I also ended up buying a crazy fun art deco rattan bench and the cutest swivel chair I've ever seen. TBD on where those end up! 

We then made our way down the street and stopped at Vintage 205. Unfortunately this place didn't have a ton of furniture and it did smell a little odd, but I still managed to find a few noteworthy items. 

After perusing through Vintage 205 we wandered next door into an adorable little boutique/leather shop called Stidham Outfitters. It was here that I came across this large and in charge peacock chair that seemed to be calling my name. I mean... Who wouldn't want to sit on this boho beauty throne? 

After seeing the price tag I had been toying with the idea of purchasing the chair but I wasn't totally sold. So we looked through the boutique a bit, I convinced Amy to buy some really freakin' cute earrings, and we then decided to go to lunch at the one and only Lady Bird Lane Cafe (and cue nerdy picture).

The food was so fresh and delicious! Not to mention the place was full of all of these super happy elderly locals that just instantly make you smile when you see them. I highly recommend!

After lunch we headed back to Echo to load up the goods (see below for evidence I will in fact get my hands dirty... even in 257 degree weather) and YEP I also bought the peacock chair. I just couldn't resist! If anyone is interested in renting it for an event let me know! 

After sweating our butts off and doing our best to secure my loot in the back of the truck we drove 45 mph (so the peacock chair wouldn't take flight) the whole way to Lewis Wines. This place was so cute, y'all! They had an adorable little patio and picnic tables surrounded by bistro lights... and if you follow me on Instagram you know how much I love bistro lights! 

I ended up having a couple glasses of the 2017 Albarińo and I'm thinking I have to go back and buy a few bottles. It was so light and refreshing! Definitely the perfect way to cool off on these unbearable Texas summer days. Also, I just really want to go back and enjoy this place again... Maybe when it doesn't feel like Earth is on fire. 

In vino veritas, y'all! 

My Favorite Affordable Online Art Resources

Before working in interior design I used to think you had to pay an arm and a leg for a good piece of art, but now my eyes have been opened! There are so many affordable resources out there these days, especially because of good ol' technology and how easy it is now to just purchase a print online. So, as promised, here are my top picks for affordable online art.

 

Artfully Walls

Artfully Walls.jpeg

This site has so many fun prints and is super easy to navigate/filter your search... And you get 10% off your first purchase which is pretty awesome. They also have an option to order your print framed and they tell you what the overall framed size will be with the matte and so on. I came across this print while I was looking through the site the other day and thought it was totes adorbs. 

 

Art.com

Image from  art.com

Image from art.com

This site has a TON of options and you really have sift through everything, but they carry a lot of great prints like this Picasso and have sales pretty often! Right now they have 40% off canvas/wood mount and 50% off photography collections. They also offer framing options, which is nice if you're looking for a one stop shop. 

 

Renwil

Image from  renwil.com

Image from renwil.com

This is one of my go to sources for large art when I'm working on a project. They have a bunch of unique pieces and their prices are phenomenal. They sell to the trade only, but if you see a piece you love just hit your girl up. I used this piece in my Triple 8 Management project at the end of their long hallway and absolutely love how it turned out! 

 

Etsy

Image from  etsy.com

Image from etsy.com

There are so many artists with Etsy shops these days! Some of it is still a little pricey if you're looking for a great deal, especially if you want an original, but every now and then you can find little low-priced gems like this print

 

Mammoth & Co.

Image from  mammoth.co

Image from mammoth.co

I just discovered this site not too long ago, but haven't had a chance to use it since they are closed for the summer. Womp womp. But when they reopen I will definitely be utilizing their quirky and unique (which I totally dig) prints like the one above!

 

Uttermost

Image from  uttermost.com

Image from uttermost.com

I've been using Uttermost as an art resource for my projects for quite a while now. They have a great selection of both contemporary and traditional options, as well as more transitional pieces like the one above. This is another vendor that only sells to the trade, but you know who to call if you see something you like. I'll give you a hint... It's not ghostbusters. 

 

20x200

Image from  20x200.com

Image from 20x200.com

I just came across this site recently and I absolutely love it! They have so many stinkin' cute print options like this one and their website is so easy to find your way around. Also it's their semiannual sale right now so jump on that 30% off framing deal, yo! 

 

Minted

Image from  minted.com

Image from minted.com

Okay I'm not gonna lie to y'all... I've never used minted for art. I have heard of them several times over the years and checked them out for invitations and what not, but now that I know they have so many fab prints like this one I will definitely be utilizing them in the future. They also have super cute framing options that a lot of other sites don't have like the whitewashed herringbone... I mean come on! 

 

Society 6

Image from  society6.com

Image from society6.com

Whenever I'm working on a project with a lower budget Society 6 is my absolute go to for framed prints. It's sort of like an Etsy just for graphic designers and they have sales alllll the time. You can search for the subject you're interested in and then all of the prints that fall under that category come up... So it does take some patience to find what you're looking for, but it's totally worth it! I used this print in the bathroom at my Nashville music management project because DOLLY. 

 

Z Gallerie

Image from  zgallerie.com

Image from zgallerie.com

I know you're probably thinking, "Z Gallerie... What?" But yes, Z Gallerie has tons of art. Also, if you live near a store you can find some really great deals in their sale section. They have a bunch of different styles and diptychs (pairs of matching pieces) like this painting and its mate

 

Vintage Printable

So I know you guys saw the word "affordable" in the title of this post, but did you know that meant I'd be showing y'all where to get FREE art?! Didn't think so. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Vintage Printable. It's an online source for a bunch of vintage prints like this little cutie that you can literally just print out at your house and frame. Doesn't get much easier than that! 

Top Wallpaper Trends of 2018

Like most designers out there I have a slight, okay borderline unhealthy, obsession with wallpaper. If I get a chance to use it on a project I practically jump for joy. So in the spirit of such joy I bring to you examples of some current wallpaper trends! 

1. Animal Print

This animal print inspired polka dot pattern is all the rage right now. I love Caitlin Wilson's line because she has this pattern in a plethora of different adorable colorways. The pattern above is shown in an entry which is a superb place to throw up some wallpaper, especially if it's a smaller accent wall. Below you can see a similar pattern designed by Katie Kime shown installed in her very own dining room. The dining room is also one of my favorite spots (pun intended) to wallpaper, whether it's an accent wall or the whole dang thing! 

Image from  @katiekime

Image from @katiekime

You thought I was done with animal prints didn't you? Heck naw. This next wallpapered space is one I've been dying to try... the stairs! 

Image from  @camilapavone

Image from @camilapavone

Okay last animal printed space I promise. You can find the adorable wallcovering below (along with a ton of other fun prints) at KatieKime.com. If you haven't noticed I love pretty much all of her stuff. Oh and she has peel and stick wallpaper too! I'd also like to point out that this wallpaper is in a laundry room... GREAT place to wallpaper. Laundry rooms are usually a smaller space (and no one likes doing laundry) so why not make it pretty if you're going to be forced to be in there?

Image from  @katiekime

Image from @katiekime

2. Botanical 

Botanical wallpaper has continued to steadily increase in popularity... and size! These large scale botanical prints are perfect for a bedroom accent wall or really any accent wall your little heart desires. If these "large and in charge" prints are too much for you, don't worry... Regular sized botanical prints are still definitely in style! 

Image from  One Kind Design

Image from One Kind Design

3. Grasscloth

Honestly, I really don't think grasscloth will ever go out of style, like ever. There are just so many options out there! Not to mention there are about a trillion different price points for grasscloth so you're pretty much guaranteed to find an option that fits in your budget. 

Image from  @lexi.interiors

Image from @lexi.interiors

This photo is the perfect example of expertly executing wallpaper in built-ins. I absolutely love this idea, but it can seriously go awry when the wrong print is used. That's why grasscloth is a wonderful option for this... It adds texture and color without taking away from the accessories. 

4. Abstract

Image from  Lindsay Cowles

Image from Lindsay Cowles

Abstract prints, especially when they have a watercolor look like Lindsay Cowles' designs (shown above), are quite possibly my favorite. I actually used one of her prints in my Elevé Cosmetics project here in Austin and it totally completes the look of the wine bar. Oh and if you're really going for a "blow your socks off" look in your home then definitely wallpaper a ceiling or two! 

5. Geometric

Image from  The Spruce

Image from The Spruce

Geometric wallpaper has been around for quite a while now, but it's still holding on for dear life! It really is a fantastic choice if you want to add a contemporary touch to a space like the powder bath shown above. And that brings me to my next point... wallpaper yo powder bath, y'all. It's really hard to choose a favorite space to wallpaper but the powder bath might be it. I just love it when I walk into one and SURPRISE!

6. Cork

Image from  @glamcoastal

Image from @glamcoastal

I have ALWAYS had a thing for metallic cork wallpaper. Maybe it's the texture? Or maybe it's the perfect blend of rough natural elements and man-made metals thriving together in perfect harmony. Okay sorry I got a little carried away there. Anyways cork wallpaper is the bomb.com and it comes in so many different colorways and even patterns too. I know I already brought up the importance of not overpowering your shelving with an intense pattern... so I'll just leave you with the fact that cork is also a fantastic choice for built-ins or shelving of any kind. 

7. Floral

Image from  @monikahibbs

Image from @monikahibbs

So remember when you used to walk into your grandma's house and you'd see floral wallpaper... okay floral everything? Well guess what guys, it's baaaaack! I'm not gonna lie, I was NOT hesitant to jump back on the floral train. I know a couple designers who still aren't into it (probably because of the overexposure during their youth), but I'm all about the florals baby. And speaking of baby, that brings me to my next favorite space to wallpaper... Kid's rooms and nurseries! Floral prints are absolutely perfect for a little girl's room accent wall and the photo above kind of makes me want a child just so I can decorate their room... JAYYYKAYYY no babies here any time soon. But seriously though... get into the florals. 

10 Favorite Items you can Find in my Home

The hubs and I currently live in an outdated duplex here in Austin so it's not exactly photo worthy, but we have done our best to spruce it up a bit and make it feel like ours. I thought I'd share a little peak into my home and tell you guys about a few of my favorite items... As well as a little insight on how to make an ugly rental bearable!

1. Artwork

Image from  lesleygrainger.com

So the painting shown above isn't in my home, but I have two of Lesley Grainger's pieces and they are probably my favorite things in the whole house. I have an abstract that Chris surprised me with at our wedding hanging in the entry (so it's the first thing I see when I walk in of course) and a piece from her "Faces" series hanging above the bar cart in our kitchen. There is just something about one-of-a-kind art, especially if it has as an emotional meaning... Both pieces instantly fill my heart with joy the second I look at them! If you want to see more of Lesley's work check her out here... You won't be disappointed! 

2. Bar Cart

Image from  westelm.com

Image from westelm.com

I mentioned my bar cart above... Well here it is! It's simple and gold and I love it. AND it's 20% off for the next couple days with code JULY4! 

3. Coffee Table Books

Image from  www.assouline.com

Coffee table books can add a super fun pop of color to any room and are a great way to showcase your interests and hobbies... Whether it's whale watching or pottery making, I guarantee you there's a book for it. When Art Meets Design (shown above) is definitely my favorite in our collection, and currently sits on the center of our media console on top of the Vanity Fair 100 Years book. Amazon is a great place to find books if you're looking for a specific one, but a lot of the time I will go to Half Price Books here in town. I can usually always find something cool and their pricing is where it's at! 

4. I Love Lamp

Image from  arteriorshome.com

Y'all I have this thing with lamps. I just feel like they can really make or break a room! I am all about splurging a bit on a cool lamp... especially a more neutral toned one like this lamp (shown above) who lives in my living room. It's perfect for me since it can go with pretty much any color and decor style... That way when I get the hankering to change things around (which happens often) it can stay put. If you find yourself perusing the Arteriors site and fall in love with a lamp then let me know... I can get you a way better price than the MSRP listed!

5. A Colorful Rug

Image from  luluandgeorgia.com

Okay I know I just said a lamp can make or break a room... But a rug TOTALLY makes or breaks a room! I have this beauty in my guest room/office and I swear once I put this rug in there the room transformed. Oh and it's also 20% off right now with code JULY4!

6. Agate Coasters

Image from  westelm.com

Image from westelm.com

I got these coasters as a wedding gift and I absolutely love them... And lucky for you they are on sale! The color is subtle with a little hint of blue, which I totally dig. Fun, unique coasters are just a must in my opinion. If you have plain cork coasters on your coffee table (or better yet ones with pictures or words on them) CALL ME. I will help you find a way out of this tragic life decision. 

7. Dining Centerpiece

Image from  crateandbarrel.com

If your dining table is nakey, go for a fun centerpiece bowl like this one to dress her up a bit. I think it looks fab as is or I actually put some faux succulents I found at Hobby Lobby in mine. 

8: Funky Chandelier

Image from  westelm.com

Image from westelm.com

Y'all, we had a ceiling fan over our dining table. No joke. It was the most hideous thing I've ever seen in my life. Thank God we decided to replace it with this chandelier so now I can look into our dining room and not feel like a little piece of my soul just died. Thank youuu West Elm for your affordable lighting options. This chandelier is also on sale at 20% off with code JULY4! 

9: Throw Pillows

Image from  anthropologie.com

I can't even explain how important throw pillows are. They are the perfect way to change the color palette of a room without changing everything you own... And how do you lay on your couch without throw pillows? That just seems like an odd situation to me. Our sofa and chair pillows are pretty neutral so I got this little ray of sunshine to go on our hall tree when you walk in. This pillow added the pop of color I was craving without me having to replace every single pillow in the living room. Win! 

10. Crystal Things 

Image from  zgallerie.com

Image from zgallerie.com

I'm not really sure why, but quartz crystals make me giddy. I just love them. Maybe it's the texture? Or maybe it's because they put out good vibes supposedly. Either way, this little tea light candle holder was the perfect addition to our coffee table. And it's on sale for 20% with code JULY20!

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read and hopefully you guys can take advantage of some of these holiday deals. Happy Fourth, y'all! 

Fourth of July Entertaining Essentials

IMG_4493.JPG

July 4th is quickly approaching and y'all know what that means... It's party planning time! Or just party going time, whatever you're into. I actually love to entertain, so I took the liberty of putting together a few Fourth of July party essentials as well as a few summer entertaining must-haves. I already have all of the Crate & Barrel items below (except for the serving bowl) thanks to my wedding registry and let me tell ya, I don't know what I ever did without them. P.S. my husband took the picture above from a 10' ladder sweating his butt off in 98 degree heat. That's love people.

Each item is numbered and the corresponding links are below! 

4th of July Party Essentials.jpg

1. Bistro Lights - we have these on our back porch and I literally turn them on every chance I get. 2. Beverage Tub - Perfect for outdoor parties and it fits a ton of wine. 3. Confetti Balloons - I mean who doesn't love these? 4. Wood & Marble Platter - This might be one of my favorite wedding presents... Probably because every time I use it it's filled with cheese. 5. Ice Bucket - Looks fab with the beverage tub and is great for drink ice. 6. Serving Bowl - this whole collection is adorable and perfect for the Fourth. 7. Acrylic Cups & 8. Acrylic Wine Glasses - Simple and reusable! 9. Table Runner - Not gonna lie the tassels had me sold. 10. Indoor/Outdoor Bar Cart -  You really can't beat this price and it comes in a few different colors. 11. Straws - Who doesn't love festive straws? 12. Plasticware - Simple, clear plastic cutlery to go with the glasses. Don't think I'd reuse these though. 13. Palm Leaf Plates - Eco friendly and freakin' adorable! 14. Napkins - Holiday specific napkins are a must in my opinion. 15. USA Balloons - Because 'Merica. 16. Cornhole - We have a set that get's busted out pretty much every time we have people over. 

I hope a few of you throw an awesome 4th of July party this year! Feel free to tag me if you end up using any of these items... I would love to see how they turned out. I hope everyone has a fabulous and safe Fourth of July! 

10 Must Haves from the new Target Opalhouse Collection

I don't think I've ever met someone who didn't have an undeniable love, or at least an appreciation, for Target. Every time I walk in that dang place I end up leaving with a cart full of pretty things that were definitely NOT on my shopping list. I am severely lacking in will power, but I know that I am not the only one who has fallen victim to their strategically placed aisles and decor vignettes. Okay now that we've all acknowledged our bank account draining addiction, let's take a look at some fabulous pieces from Target's new Opalhouse Collection... because we need every single one, duh. 

#1: Avocet Rattan Fan Back Accent Chair

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

Oh my gosh y'all. This chair. And it's only $160! That is an absolute steal. This rattan beauty would look incredible on a covered porch or even in a living room. I'm also thinking it would look super cute as a corner chair in a bedroom, but I think this baby needs to live in a more common area so it can be shown off to the world. Unfortunately this chair is temporarily out of stock at the moment, but you can sign up here (on the right side of the screen) to be notified when it becomes available. 

#2: Lory Pouf

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

If you're planning on buying the Avocet Rattan Chair and need fun, little Bohemian place to rest your feet, Lory is your girl. Not to mention, poufs are a great way to add extra seating when you can't quite fit another chair. I have 2 poufs in front of our fireplace and they are perfect for when we have guests over. They can just scoot them toward the coffee table and voilà! This pouf is only $50 y'all and it comes in several different colors! You can find them all here.

#3: Lyre Chanel Tufted Velvet Ottoman

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

So I am a huge fan of mixing styles... I just think it makes things a bit more exciting and unique. After finding the Avocet Rattan Chair, I stumbled on this sweet little ottoman and I thought they just looked like they wanted to do a little dance together! Maybe it's just me, but I think that pair would look super cute. There's just something about this ottoman... I can picture it with so many different types of chairs and it just works! Also I love that fact that it's only sixty freakin' dollars! You can find this blue beauty (along with a couple other colors) here.

#4: Morpho Swivel Velvet Arm Chair

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

I promise you this post isn't all about chairs, but I just had to add this cute little swivel! It also comes with a matching ottoman that you can find here. One thing I love about this chair (besides its obvious adorableness) is that it has more of a midcentury vibe. Here I go babbling about mixing styles again, but I just love that Opalhouse chose to include this in their collection that's full of Boho stuff. Because guess what guys... mixing styles is COOL! The Morpho Swivel comes in blush (sorry out of stock temporarily!) and a dark blue. Find them both here

#5: Seagrass Basket

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

I actually just bought this basket for a little pop of color and I love it! My husband isn't crazy about pink (and I've kind of been on a pink rampage lately) so I have to be strategic about where I throw in pink accents, hah. I ended up putting it next to our side chair in the living room and tossed a few cute throw blankets in it. The quality is great for the price and I love how the color is bright, but not overwhelming. You can find this fun little basket here!

#6: Platform Bed

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

Target has a plethora of platform beds but this Opalhouse one takes the cake. I mean how adorable is this fabric? And the brass legs! I seriously want to order this for our bedroom, like yesterday. AND y'all it's 25% off right now! This bed comes in all sizes and a bunch of other fabric options, including a peacock blush fabric that also looks super adorbs. Find it here!

#7: Oslari Painted Accent Table

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

If you have a smaller bedroom and have been looking for a cute little nightstand, I think you just hit the jackpot. I honestly wish my bedroom was a bit smaller so I could throw in a couple of these little stinkers! I have always been a fan of faux bamboo so as soon as I saw this piece it spoke to me. It also comes in a dark blue color which is pretty darn cute. Find them both here

#8: Global Stripe Pillow

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

Target has some super fun pillows, but one thing that I've noticed is that they are all pretty small. If you know me and pillows... It's go big or go home. That's why I fell in love with the Global Stripe Pillow! It's 24x24 and the textures, patterns, and colors look just as fab in person as they do in this picture. I just bought one for our guest bed and I freakin' love it! It also comes in a pink/orange color which is super cute. Find them both here!

#9: Artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Image from Target.com

Image from Target.com

As I was looking through the entire Opalhouse Collection for this post I noticed that they have a bunch of pretty impressive looking faux plants. I personally don't own a fiddle leaf fig tree, but I've heard they can be really finicky and hard to take care of... so I thought this might be a great addition to the list for all those black thumb peeps out there like me. This guy has great reviews and would look even cuter if you stuck him in a fun basket for some added texture. Also, did I mention that it CAN'T die? Find this faux fiddle leaf here! 

#10: Canary Floral Peel & Stick Removable Wallpaper

Image from  Target.com

Image from Target.com

This should come as exciting news for all you DIYers and renters out there... Opalhouse came out with peel and stick wallpaper! There are a ton of super fun options, but the Canary Floral shown above is by far my favorite. I am totally drawn to the colors in this print and honestly it just makes my heart happy! Pair it with the Morpho Swivel and I seriously might never leave your house. Sadly, the Canary Floral wallpaper is temporarily out of stock, but you can find it and the other Opalhouse wallpaper options here.

I hope y'all enjoyed this tidbit about the Target Opalhouse collection! I know I'll definitely be purchasing a few more items from this list throughout the summer... Just don't tell my husband!  

5 Stylish Father's Day Gifts Your Pop Will Love

Father's Day is quickly approaching, which means it's time to start scrambling for gift ideas! There are a ton of Father's Day gift guides out there, but I thought I would share some of my favs with you. I don't know about you guys, but I always have the hardest time trying to find presents for my parents... So hopefully this post will help some of you fellow lost gift seekers out there! 

"Call me Old Fashioned" Canvas

Image from  katiekime.com

Image from katiekime.com

If your dad is an avid whiskey drinker (like mine) he will love this canvas, especially if he has his own bar area. Although, I think this gift would be mom decor approved... I think it's pretty stinkin' cute! You can find this cheeky canvas through Austin local, Katie Kime, here.

Vintage Whiskey Glasses

Image from etsy.com

Image from etsy.com

And here we have another whiskey inspired gift idea! I love this option because you can really find your dad something special and unique, which will definitely land you in the favorite child slot for the year. From timeless crystal to retro glasses that come in every color, Etsy has a plethora of choices. You can go with just glasses or take it up a notch and find a set with a matching decanter... because, YOLO. This particularly stunning crystal set can be found here.

A Cookbook

Image from  amazon.com

Image from amazon.com

Over the last few years my dad has REALLY gotten into grilling and smoking all the things. So while trying to come up with some gift ideas a cookbook popped into my head. I did some research and this book is actually #1 rated on Amazon for grilling cookbooks... And just so happens to be written by Aaron Franklin, the owner of the insanely famous Franklin Barbecue here in Austin. Also, I would like to point out that (especially if you live in Austin) this book would look pretty badass on display in a shelf or on a coffee table. I ordered a copy for my dad (sorry if you read this and spoil your gift, Pop) here.

A French Press Coffee Maker

Image from  amazon.com

Image from amazon.com

I actually don't particularly enjoy coffee (I know I'm a lunatic), but from what I've heard it's impossible not to fall in love with the French press. Apparently you can control the flavor and strength of the coffee so you can tailor each cup to one's own individual taste. Not to mention this shiny little beauty would look pretty cute on a coffee bar cart... If you use bar carts for that sort of thing. The French press shown above is super popular with a bunch of great reviews and can be found on Amazon here.

A Pair of Slippers

Image from allenedmonds.com

Image from allenedmonds.com

So my dad literally has no shame and will run errands in his slippers just for the sake of comfort. I guess if us girls can wear Ugg boots than he's allowed, but it would definitely be an improvement if he wore some more socially-acceptable looking ones like in the photo above. Allen Edmonds makes those particular slippers and according to reviews they are super comfortable. Only complaint is that sizing is very specific and could be a little off, so I'd probably just do some research about what size your Dad needs before ordering. You can get these slippers here and they are currently $57 (instead of $149) with free 2-day shipping and returns!

Dad's are pretty freakin' awesome (especially mine) so I guess they deserve cool presents every now and then. I hope these gift ideas are helpful for you guys and you're able to get your dad something he will love for Father's Day this year! 

Top 11 Austin Spaces with the Most Instaworthy Decor

It's finally summertime, y'all! I'm sure there are a few of you Texas heat haters out there, but I am all about it. This girl does NOT do well with the cold! During the winter months I tend to stay in the house and spend my time arguing with my husband about the thermostat, BUT now that the weather is fabulous I will be out galavanting about the great city of Austin! So I thought why not make a blog post about some of the best places to cool off with a delicious cocktail (and snap a few cute photos) during these beautiful summer days. Low and behold, the top 11 spaces (in alphabetical order because I hate picking favorites) in Austin with the most instagrammable decor. 

#1: Café No Sé

Image from  Eater Austin

Image from Eater Austin

This bright and cheery café has been around since 2015 and continues to hold its place on my favorite restaurant list year after year. Not only is the food amazing (brunch is to die for), but this space is filled with beautiful details and natural light that instantly bring joy to my heart the second I walk in. From the tile work to the abstract art, this place is breathtaking! 

#2. Eberly

Image from  eberlyaustin.com

Image from eberlyaustin.com

If you're looking at the photo above and feel a bit nostalgic, it's probably because you've been to the "Big Apple." This cocktail lounge in Eberly was designed with the New York City subway in mind, hence the tile design and concrete walls. Also, make sure to look closely at the bar while you're there... Why you ask? Because that mahogany beauty is a freakin' relic. Built in 1866, the historic Cedar Tavern Bar lived in three different locations throughout NYC over 140 years. A bunch of old school celebs like Jackson Pollock, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix used to sit at that very bar, sipping a cocktail and contemplating life's mysteries. 

#3. Elevé Cosmetics

As I was researching and putting together the top places for this post, naturally Elevé Cosmetics popped into my head. But then I thought, "would it be a little self-centered of me to put one of my own designs in here?" Nahhhh. I may be a little biased, but I thoroughly enjoy this place. Their wine list is phenomenal and the makeup is bomb. So why not get your makeup done sipping a glass of grade A champagne and then take some cute photos? Sounds like a great afternoon (or morning) to me! 

#4: Elizabeth Street Café

Everything about this place is just absolutely adorable. I mean they have a pink door! What could be cuter than that? The inside is decorated just as thoughtfully as the exterior and their food is on point. Especially if you're into pastries... Beignets all day s'il vous plaît!

#5: Hank's

Image from  austin360.com

Image from austin360.com

Hank's is a new spot here in town that I have yet to experience, but their menu looks off the charts fantastic. Also, from what I can see in pictures the decor looks super fun... Definitely a minimalistic vibe, but with a Texas twist. I am going to have to make it a priority to hit this place up this summer and enjoy a cocktail in one of those amazing patio chairs. Hank's date anyone? 

#6: Hotel Saint Cecilia

If you're an Austinite you've probably heard of the famous SOUL neon sign at the Hotel Saint Cecilia pool... If not, now you have! Although, the pool isn't the only fabulous thing about St. Cecilia. This whole hotel is decorated to the nines in eclectic, colorful decor and is just a total treat for the eyes. Only bummer about this spot is that you have to be a guest at the hotel or a private club member to enjoy it's one-of-a-kind beauty. 

#7: Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile

Jacoby's has been around for about 4 years now, but I am still in love with this place. Funky rustic decor, giant patio with succulents galore, and gorgeous river views topped off with an out of this world bloody mary. Honestly, if you don't enjoy yourself at Jacoby's there's something wrong with you bro. 

#8: Josephine House

Image from  bylondonay.com

Image from bylondonay.com

If sipping cocktails at a cottage is your jam, you will fall in love with Josephine House. Believe it or not the inside is just as quaint as the exterior with wood floors and a cute little bar that I would gladly insert into my own home. You know a restaurant is doing something right if it's continued to thrive in Austin for over 5 years. Josephine House is the perfect example of an established Austin gem!

#9: Le Politique

Do you ever just wake up in the morning and be like "I feel like going to France today," but you don't quite have the funds to make it across the pond? Well if you do, then just head downtown to Le Politique for some croque madame and a glass of bubbly. This place has the perfect combo of natural light and pops of color with a Parisian feel that will have you feeling all warm and gooey inside like a crème brûlée.

#10: Pool Burger

Image from  @atasteofkoko

Image from @atasteofkoko

I had never heard of this place until today, but I am totally intrigued. Burgers and tiki drinks served out of an airstream that you can enjoy in an adorable tiki hut setting!? Sold. This place is definitely unique and photo worthy (as you can see from above), and it just looks super fun! 

#11: Yuyo

Image from  texasmonthly.com

Image from texasmonthly.com

A newb to the Austin restaurant scene, Yuyo specializes in craft cocktails and Peruvian food served up fresh on the east side. If you're looking for somewhere out of the norm, this is your spot. Who would have thought contemporary with a Peruvian flare would work so well? And those basket light fixtures... Perfection! 

Well guys that about wraps it up for my top picks. I don't know about y'all, but I plan to enjoy each and every one of these fantastic places this summer. Cheers! 

5 fabulous gift ideas for the ladies in your life

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I always have a harder time picking gifts for the women in my family and my girlfriends than I do my husband or men in general. With men it's pretty straight forward - knives, anything hunting related, a funny t-shirt, etc. BUT with girls there are about 20349309 options and I start second guessing myself so everyone just ends up with Target gift cards after I have a mental breakdown. So I found five gift options under $35 that are sure to have the recipient singing "all the jingle ladies." I'm not really sure what that means, I just saw that on a Christmas ornament and wanted to insert it into my post somehow... But let's just assume its synonymous with "I love it!"

The first gift option is a candle (I know you're thinking how cliché and boring but hear me out) that I am absolutely obsessed with. Chris and I got one for a wedding present and burned through it in two weeks. No joke. This magical 8 oz candle is from a new adorable little shop in Austin called Slow North. What makes Slow North special is their mindfulness of sustainability and health. Their candles are scented with 100% essential oil fragrances, burn cotton and paper wicks, and are vegan and free from artificial dyes and ingredients. Each candle is made from soy wax, a long-burning, biodegradable and renewable resource, and is hand-poured into reusable, recycled-glass tumblers, and topped with an environmentally-friendly cork lid. The candle I have now decided I cannot live with out (this time of year anyway) is called Cheer and is currently priced at $29. Cheer is a "custom blend of cinnamon, cypress and peppermint essential oils - designed to lift and enliven your senses - is minty and sweet; with tones of merriment and festivities and a crisp, cheerful top note." If you're not located in Austin do not fear, you can order via the website and enjoy free shipping until 12/10. Cheer will only be around for a limited time so make sure to stock up! 

Image from slownorth.com

Image from slownorth.com

The next gift option is for the coffee lovers, or discrete vodka drinkers. I personally don't drink coffee (insane I know), but I'd gladly pour a martini into this beauty. Anthropologie is full of pretty things and unique gifts, but this mug in particular caught my eye. It is hand made in Portugal and is seriously gorge. It comes in slate and pink, my recommendation is definitely the pink. You just can't go wrong with pink, bits of turquoise, and gold flecks. This magnificent mug is priced at $26 and can be found here.  

Image from anthropologie.com

Image from anthropologie.com

Gift option numero très is customizable, which is always fun and comes across super thoughtful. If your girl loves elephants, bright colors, and/or pretty things she will love this tea towel from Katie Kime. I just ordered her napkins with the same elephant print and I'm (you guessed it) obsessed! Not only is this towel full of pinkness and fun, but it can be monogrammed with your girl's initials to make it extra special. The Elephant Tea Towel is priced at $24 and if you sign up for the Katie Kime newsletter you get 10% off your first order. Bonus: Katie Kime is an Austin local, so if you love shopping local you can check out her brick and mortar or order via the website here.

Image from katiekime.com

Image from katiekime.com

The next gift idea is from another Austin local and one of my favorite clients! If you have any girls in your life that love cosmetics, but don't want any of that harsh chemical nonsense, Elevé Cosmetics will be life-changing for them. There are so many amazing products at Elevé, but my daily must-have right now is definitely the Lip LUV lip treatment. The "treatment contains two natural peptides – Maxi-lip™ and Dermaxyl™ – and patented ingredients to instantly volumize, plump, hydrate and smooth. When used 3 times a day for 29 days, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will be visibly reduced and lip volume will increase up to 40%!" Lip LUV is especially wonderful during the winter months when dry lips is a common enemy for us all. Lip LUV is currently priced at $26 and you can get 15% off your first order when you enter your email into the pop up when you first get on the site. Also, enjoy free shipping on all orders through Christmas Day! For now you can only purchase Elevé Cosmetics online here, but keep an eye out for the Austin store opening early 2018... designed by yours truly! 

Image from elevecosmetics.com

Image from elevecosmetics.com

The last (but not least) gift option I have for you is for the booze lover... or lover of fabulously decorated bar carts, or both. This gift is sure to look amazing in any bar decor and will definitely generate a smile or two. Whether your girl likes vodka or scotch, they can fill this retro-inspired glass decanter trimmed in gold and be sure that no one will mistake the liquid for anything other than, well, booze. The Rosanna Booze Decanter is currently on sale for $21.69 (regularly $54) and can be found on the Express website here. I originally found this item at Nordstrom and it's now sold out there... so I would dare to assume it's flying off the shelves. Get it while you can! 

Image from express.com

Image from express.com

Well, there ya have it. Five gifts that I know I would love to get! Hint hint. Just kidding, but seriously, I hope this helps all you ladies out with your gift search this year!

3 ways to get Christmassy with your mantel & my favorite stocking picks

Guys it's Friday!!! AND all of the decorations I ordered for our tree are supposed to be here tomorrow so y'all know what I'll be doing this weekend. On my last post we just talked about all things Christmas tree so I figured today we could take a look at a few ways to decorate that beautiful fireplace mantel you have in your home. Here are the top three things you can use (maybe just a couple if you want to keep it simple!) to bring a little Christmas cheer onto your mantel:

1. Greenery

2. Candles

3. Stockings *don't forget hooks/holders*

You can find faux greenery (garland) at several stores around town like Home Depot, Target, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few. OR you can go to any local nursery and buy the real stuff. Real greenery looks absolutely gorgeous, especially if you have a real tree in your home to compliment it. If you go the live greenery route, there are a few steps you can take to make sure it lasts throughout the holiday season. You will want to spray the greenery with water and then treat it with an anti-desiccant spray, which is usually sold at nurseries. This seals the pores on the leaves and bark and helps the foliage retain moisture (thanks for the tip Martha Stewart). Check out this mantel with real greenery and candles.. simple and timeless!

Image from Lonny.com

Image from Lonny.com

Candles are a must for holiday decor and luckily you can find them for pretty cheap. Heck you can go to any discount store and buy candles... No one would know the difference! Whether you actually light them or not, candles can add elegance to any mantel decor style. I personally love to grab a few in different heights to bring a little dimension into the overall look. You can also use candle holders with varying heights like this next mantel. 

Image from randigarrettdesign.com

Image from randigarrettdesign.com

I love the metallic accents of this mantel decor and the varying textures of the stockings. You can't go wrong with linen and fur! This is also a great example of how beautiful faux garland can be. 

This next mantel sports real greenery, more fur (duh) and BLUSH accents. I'm in love! The little village houses are super fun too, but I think I would have gone with some big chunky candles with different heights. It's beautiful nonetheless!

Image from @monikahibbs Instagram 

Image from @monikahibbs Instagram 

So in my last post I told you a little about how I want to shake things up a bit with my Christmas tree decor by adding metallic, pink, and black & white accents. Sadly, we don't have a mantel and the only place to put our tree without moving furniture around is in front of the fireplace. BUT if we actually had a mantel I would want some super fun stockings to coordinate with my tree decorations. So I put together a little group of stockings I found on Etsy... And I put the links below in case you guys decide you want any of them :)

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Gold Polka Dot

Pink Fur & Minky

B&W Gingham

Silver w/ White Fur

Next week I'll post the before and after pictures of our Christmas tree! Until then.. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend full of decorating and holiday parties! 

Christmas Tree Tips & Staying on Trend

Thanksgiving has come and gone so y'all know what that means... it's time to bust out the vacuum because my house is about to be covered in glitter from my obnoxiously sparkly Christmas tree. Maybe it's only Chris (the hubs) that thinks it's obnoxious since he's the one who actually assembles it, and he usually rocks a sparkly beard for a few days afterwards. Anyways, sparkly beards are a super riveting conversation topic, but I'm sure you guys would like me to get to the point and talk about some fun holiday decorating tips and ideas!

Image from los40.com

Image from los40.com

I think today we should talk about the most important holiday decoration, which is obviously the tree. Christmas trees have been around since the 16th century so I think they deserve first dibs. Here we will talk about how to determine your perfect tree size, whether faux is the way to go, and going old school vs. shaking it up a bit with your holiday ornamentation. 

Image from lifehacker.com.au

Image from lifehacker.com.au

I feel like a lot of people struggle with figuring out what size Christmas tree they need for their home. I know I had no idea when we first decided to get our first tree. A good rule of thumb is to to allow 1.5 feet to 6 inches minimum between the top of the tree and the ceiling. Also, make sure to factor in the height of your tree stand and the tree topper you want to use since they will be included in the overall height. As far as width goes, you can gage that based on the area where you will put the tree and what's around it. You want to make sure the tree isn't encroaching on your furniture or rubbing against the walls. Generally, you will need 5.5 feet of depth for a 7.5 foot tree, 6 feet of depth for a 9 foot tree, and so on. Another good rule to remember is to leave 3 inches between the tree and the wall to avoid any tree to wall contact. 

I personally am a huge fan of faux Christmas trees. We got our faux tree from Home Depot 2 years ago and it's super easy to assemble with minimal messiness, give or take a few thousand sparkles. I am a tad bid OCD (I think most interior designers are) so the idea of a real tree inside my house shedding needles everywhere gives me the heebie jeebies. I do however really enjoy them in other people's homes and places like the Driskill Hotel where they immaculately decorate a giant fir tree carted in from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. 

For years there were two options for your Christmas tree ornament style. You either went the traditional route with red and green along with emotionally significant family ornaments or the more design conscious metallic look. As beautiful and organized as the metallic look is I personally love putting up our ornaments each year that bring back specific memories with each one. Chris and I have tried to make it a point to buy a Christmas ornament every time we go somewhere new together. This little tradition has made decorating the tree really special for us. Sappy I know! So while our tree currently leans more toward the traditional look, I have been getting inspired by the increasingly more funky, daring Christmas tree styling going on lately. Also, my personal design style is definitely transitional, so I would like my tree to reflect that as well. I think the tree below is a little over the top for my taste, but I love the idea of incorporating some brighter, colorful ornaments like these in with metallic ornaments and the ones we find together over the years. Pink has been all the rage lately, so I'm thinking about adding some pink ornaments into the mix this year and investing in some more contemporary metallic ones... Maybe some turquoise and black and white as well. 

Image from the Glam Pad

Image from the Glam Pad

If you know me you know I have an obsession with statement earrings. So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across these super cute ornaments at Lulu & Georgia (click here). It only makes sense that I expand my collection of fabulous tasseled and fringed accessories to include Christmas tree ornaments. You know I was thinking, I love my home decor, clothes and jewelry to be on trend, so I should probably make an effort with my Christmas tree too! 

Image from Lulu & Georgia 

Image from Lulu & Georgia 

Stay tuned to see our Christmas tree makeover!