Browsing "Design Steps"
Mar 18, 2014 - Design Steps, Open House    15 Comments

Creating a Gallery Wall

I love to decorate my home, you all know that.  That love can create a problem, where to store all of the decor that I am not displaying at any given time.  I like to change everything up for summer, fall, Christmas etc.  All of the art that I had collected was beginning to take up too much space!  It was stacked in piles in my basement storage room.  I had planned on building a wall system to hang all of it down there, but my husband had a different idea.   He suggested we hang it all up in our bedroom.  Our master bedroom has vaulted ceilings and the walls have been difficult to decorate.  Anything that I put on them seems dwarfed by the wall and ceiling height.  We had thought about adding a bunch of wainscoting here but haven't had the money or the time.  The gallery wall might give us a similar effect, his plan Read more [...]

Anthropologie Knock Off Ideas {a Tour of the London Store}

Do you ever like to shopping for decor ideas?  I'm not talking about going to a big furniture store looking for your next sofa, although I enjoy that too.   I'm talking about Anthropologie.  I'm that girl that loves to go to EVERY Anthro but I am not interested in the whimsical skirts and funky jackets.  No, it is their store displays that always have me coming back for more.  They are so inspiring and unique.  I can usually be found with my draw dropped, eyes wide open, and mind spinning trying to figure out exactly how they "did that" and figuring out where I could do something similar at home or on a job site.  I have to confess that doing store displays for Anthropologie would be THAT dream job for me, you know, the one you would do for free if they let you?  For now I'll just use one idea for my own Anthropologie Read more [...]
Nov 30, 2013 - Christmas, Design Steps    5 Comments

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

It is time to pull out the old artificial Christmas tree and trim it up!  I have a decent tree that I bought at Costco seven years ago and I love getting it showroom ready for the holidays!  But I know there are some of you out there that dread decorating that old tree and aren't sure how to make that old cheap fake tree look like a show stopper.  Follow these tips to make ANY faux tree look AMAZING! How to Decorate a Christmas Tree {On ANY Budget} 1. Find a great "Stand".  I use an old stone shipping crate that I found for $5.  Other great options include buckets, wine barrels, and baskets. (Via Migonis Home) (Via The Cavender Diary) (Via Southern Living) By adding a stand instead of just a tree skirt you can really add personality to your tree.  My shipping crate gives the illusion that the root ball Read more [...]
Jun 3, 2013 - Design Steps, Open House    10 Comments

Nautical Mantel

It is officially SUMMER here, and the kids are out of school!  As usual I have changed out my family room's decor into a summer theme.  It is similar to last year's All American Beach theme.  This is my Nautical Mantel. I already had the old pallet up on my mantel from past designs and decided I'd leave it up to add texture and depth.  Then I used silver thumb tacks from the dollar store to attach each of the nine nautical flags to the pallet.  I love how the pallet acts like a frame for all of the small flags and makes them feel like one large piece of art. Since my family room is two-story, I needed a huge mantel to balance the space, the over sized pallet helps fill the space above the fireplace. A bunch of random nautical, beachy or just cool antiques got layered in front of the pallet.   In a niche Read more [...]

37 Builder Upgrades You SHOULD Do

So you've decided to build a house.  What an exciting life event!  All the builder upgrades will be awesome! But wait, what if I screw it up?  What if I forget important details or my builder doesn't have the designer's touch?  Should I build the largest house I can or should I build the nicest house I can afford?  Well fear no more.  I LOVE the building (and remodeling) process, have been through it many many times, and am here to help.  Builder Upgrades: What you SHOULD and SHOULDN'T upgrade (because of the huge volumes of information I am sharing on this subject, this will be a mini series, so stay tuned for follow-up posts on what upgrades you shouldn't do and what you may want to change that could cost you nothing).  UPDATE: Read the 13 Upgrades You SHOULDN'T Do HERE. Whether you are building a large custom-house Read more [...]
Mar 12, 2013 - Crafts, Design Steps, Open House    4 Comments

Songbird Teen Bedroom

  My sister and I created this funky girls room a few years back for a Parade of Homes house.  We used all kinds of funky antiques mixed with new finds from Ikea, Urban Outfitters and TJ Maxx.  The quilts below were heirlooms from the owners parents with a green and white damask throw  from Urban Outfitters, layered on top. The walls were painted a very pale blue and the carpet was a dark muddied green.  We pumped up the color with hot pink and orange sherbert.  The tree stencil below was from Urban Outfitters.  A decorative bird-cage was packed with antique quilts with a bird perched atop the quilts.  A 3d chandelier covered in scrapbook papers and adorned with a tiny colorful bird was hung in the alcove. (Here is a close up of that chandelier in another space.  Read more about it HERE) Three light panes Read more [...]
Nov 30, 2012 - Christmas, Design Steps    9 Comments

Trimming The Tree {Champagne & Neutrals}

So earlier this week I shared my Christmas Tree crate.  Today I'm going to share with you my  entire tree.  I changed it up this year and went with a natural, neutral, burlap, and champagne theme. I started by putting my tree in the crate.  Then I wrapped burlap fabric around and around the entire tree. Then 5 champagne tinsel garlands that I picked up at Target this year.  I LOVE these.  They are almost matte and the perfect mix of silver and gold. Next I added the driftwood garland that I made earlier this year.  I love the natural wood element infused into my very faux tree.  I should have added my Merry Christmas burlap ribbon now, but I forgot and added it at the end working it in around the ornaments. I continued by layering in all of my ornaments.  On the left are collected pinecones that I simply Read more [...]

Easy Tutorial for Giant Chalk Art

My good friend Erik hired me to help him design his new office space for his laser hair removal company named "Simplicity".  This was my first non-residential space and it was a blast.  The over all office has a warehouse feel so when it came time to design the break room, I suggested one wall be a giant chalk board.  The wall is pure black but since there are huge bright windows on the adjacent wall, it doesn't feel dark at all.  Strangely enough, it really warms up the space.  The ceiling is also painted black for an industrial feel.  When the company moved from their old location to their new digs, I wanted to welcome them with a quick chalk art design on the large wall.  Here is the design I came up with after cutting and pasting a few images and fonts in Publisher. For less than a dollar I had it copied onto Read more [...]
Sep 14, 2012 - Design Steps, Open House    25 Comments

Restaurant Supply Shelving at Home

I picked up these great shelf brackets from Pottery Barn at a local outlet (Down East Home) tent sale.  They were two to a pack and in perfect condition, never opened.  At just $5 a box, I couldn't help myself and bought 10 pair!  I wasn't sure where I'd use them so I wanted to have plenty to work with.  I looked them up on Pottery Barn's website and noticed that they were selling them with either a glass shelf or a matching medium wood shelf both of which were unavailable for purchase a la carte (they are no longer on their site).  I figured I could have glass cut and polished for shelves, make my own wood shelves or come up with something different.  I took the bracket with me to Ikea and found that one of my favorite shelves would work perfect!  The EKBY Mossby shelf at almost 47" and only $29 would be the perfect Read more [...]

Seascape Centerpiece in Reclaimed Wood

I love bringing nature inside my home, and I'm not talking about a silk plant from JoAnn's.  A beautiful piece of salvaged wood, I picked up on another adventure, was the inspiration for this nature beach arrangement. Here are the supplies I used: I started layering with coarse sand I bought on sale at Pottery Barn a few years ago. Then I scattered shells and tucked them into the sand. Next came the coral pieces. And finally a few treasures like a starfish and a sand dollar.  The starfish's leg was broken off by one of the boys in our house, but no worries, I just "buried" that leg in the sand. And voila.  Nature, specifically my favorite place the Beach, indoors. I love the depth of the wood and the rustic sides.  They are great to look at from either side of the table. The shells and sand dollar Read more [...]
May 8, 2012 - Design Steps    15 Comments

American Beach Summer Mantle

To me there are two decorating seasons, Winter and Summer (OK, three if you include my Christmas overhaul).  Well I've been antsy to put up my Summer theme mantle so here it is.  As usual, I gathered anything that might work with my theme.  This year I am going for a Ralph Lauren meets Pottery Barn beachy nautical collected look. To me, this included items that were: American (the flag) Cotton Wood Stainless Steel Galvanized Rusted Red, White, or Blue Glass Sand, Shells, & Rocks Nautical Decor Here is how I layered all the junk. My mantle and the space above it are very large.  The American Flag does a great job of filling the space.  Then with lifts and levels created with blocks of wood, a favorite book, a cake stand and an old piece of luggage help to give height to the smaller items Read more [...]
May 4, 2012 - Design Steps, Open House    17 Comments

Black and White Gallery Wall

Last week I posted about my Summer Chalkboard and I figured you'd all like to see where I hung it!  This is my new entry layout with my black and white summer gallery wall.   This layout cost me exactly $3.19.  Here is how it all went down.  I started by gathering any and every frame that I had that was black.  After rearanging another part of my house, I realized I also had this black little chest that I added to the pile.  I started working on the arrangement and weeding out the frames I didn't have room for (there were a lot, I was willing to take art out of old frames from years ago and put my own photos in them but they were too big in the end).   Start by removing everything from the space Check your space limitations including door openings Arrange the largest items first Begin to layer Read more [...]

Summer Chalkboard Art

I've been kind of obsessed with chalk board signs lately (check out my Pinterest board).  While creating a gallery wall in my entry, I decided to add a large chalkboard that I have.  I wanted to create a temporary piece of art for the summer in black and white to match the gallery (I posted about the gallery wall HERE).  First I gathered the necessary supplies: paper towels, chalk, Q Tips, and Aqua Net (also needed but not pictured: ruler, tape measure, and level).  Then I measured the board and created a layout that I liked.  About the beachy layout:  I love the art (by Katie Daisy) with the quote "I long for Salt Air in my hair", we take a road trip from UT to Laguna Beach every summer, and we love to sit on the sand or surf in the ocean as a family. I added an orange grid and printed off the template. With a Read more [...]