The “ESSENTIAL B” TIMES THREE

Every time I accessorize a room, there seems to be a few recurring items that I use to make it nice and cozy. Thankfully, for the sake of a clever blog title, they all start with the letter B! So what are they? Glad you asked. Read on and find out…

#1 BASKETS

I can’t think of a room in the house that wouldn’t benefit from having a few well placed baskets in it. From game rooms and nurseries, to bedrooms, family rooms and kitchens, it seems like there is always a need for storage. The great thing is, you can mix any style such as woven, fabric or leather to create a great look. Baskets are also a fantastic way to fill up a big space or add texture to a room without breaking the bank. There are great options available from Homegoods, Target, World Market and other retailers.

#2 BENCHES

What I love about benches is their variety and versatility. You can find upholstered styles, wooden benches, with or without storage…even benches with wheels! The come in every imaginable length, width, shape and color and can be used in a variety of ways. Of course they are a low-profile way of adding extra seating in a room, but benches can also be used to fill space on a long, empty wall, and are a perfect place near the entry door to sit down and put your shoes on, or throw your purse. A bench can also be used in a smaller space in place of a coffee table. Adding a bench is a great way to add in texture, color and even patterns. Again, they are affordable and readily available!

#3 BOOKS

Books are wonderful to read, of course, but are often over-looked as a great decor piece! I use books in almost all of my designs to add texture and color in a book shelf, on a side table or even on trays and coffee tables. They are utilitarian too, in that they help provide height and dimension where needed. I love vintage books and use these gems in a variety of colors and textures whenever I can, but also love to find books with titles that are meaningful to my client. What a fun way to add personality to a project! Whether it's an antique book of love poems for a master bedroom, special children’s books for a nursery, photo books for a game rooms or large coffee table books for an easy read in a family room, books are always one of the ways I customize a space for a client. I buy many of my vintage books on Etsy, and also love scouring antique stores for vintage sets that make an impact in my designs.

So there you have it! The 3 Essential Bs for creating a cozy space. Happy shopping!

Gallery wall, the heart of the home!

I know everyone says that the heart of the home is their kitchen. It's certainly where most families spend a lot of time! That being said, I personally think there is nothing more heart warming than a gallery wall featuring photos of loved ones, friends and family!

Photo walls can be a great conversation starter, serve as a reminder of wonderful times past, or cause you to pause and reflect on the favorite people or times in your life. It's worth noting, however, that a photo wall doesn't just have to be a collection of picture frames. You can add in a pretty mirror, a shelf for more display options or wood signs to add some texture and variety into your space. Do you have a favorite bible verse that you would like to be reminded of? Get a custom sign made and hang it in your gallery wall. Maybe you have a favorite city that you visited or a beloved home-town? Frame maps of the areas that mean something special to you and group them on a wall. Etsy is a great place to find beautiful maps to fit any decor. By doing this, you have personalized your space in a way that it unique to you and your family. That's what makes a house a home!

One benefit of a gallery wall is cost-effectiveness. If you need to fill up a large, blank wall, photo walls can take up a lot of space for very little financial investment. Frames can vary in size and color, or all be matching. I love doing both depending on the style of the home it's going in. Family rooms, bedrooms and hallways are often areas with large walls and therefore, wonderful locations to display your gallery wall.
How about all of those lovely works of art your kiddos are so proud of. What do you do with all of them? Well that's easy! Frame them and create a display in their play room! It will not only help you stay organized and keep some of their childhood art safe for years to come, but it also gives your little ones a sense of pride to see all their hard work displayed for all to see.

One final thought...I am often asked what types of photos to feature in a gallery wall, and while those gorgeous, black and white, professional family photos of everyone in matching outfits and the perfect smile can look great, some of my favorite gallery walls are those that feature heartfelt, special moments in bright, blazing color. Silly, sweet, hilarious or whatever makes you smile every time you walk by is the right photo to put in the frame. After all, our home is a reflection of you and your family. Why not surround yourself with those moments that you treasure?

Stylish, Kid-Friendly Spaces

You have kids, so inevitably, you are going to have some clutter in your otherwise spotless home. However, it doesn’t have to take over your entire house! I have been asked to re-imagine plenty a playroom, and have a few tried and true tricks to hide the messes made by your little cuties. You can reclaim your home while still allowing your little ones a comfy, cozy place to play.

#1- Pick finishes and fabrics that are beautiful…but KID FRIENDLY.

Anyone with a 3 year-old knows that coffee tables make the perfect race track for match box cars or dance floor for Barbies. Don’t fight it! Choose a table that won’t scratch easily or show wear and tear like barn wood or a hammered metal. Or better yet, choose an upholstered option so that when the coffee table becomes a trampoline or part of a fort, you won’t have to worry about anything breaking.

Side and game tables with rounded corners protect little heads from being bruised. I love to add in as many upholstered poufs and ottomans as I can. These are perfect for moving around the room for gaming.

Sofas and side chairs can be upholstered in washable fabrics, slip covers that can be cleaned or replaced or leather that can easily be wiped down.

And, I always do my best to incorporate pillows that have a cover equipped with zippers. This allows for easy removal and are washing, if necessary.

#2- Storage, storage and MORE storage!

You can’t have enough baskets! Feel free to mix deep baskets, baskets with lids, open baskets, stackable baskets , all in a variety of sizes. You can hide anything from books to dolls (and their many outfits) to train sets and even those pesky legos in easy to access spots for your little ones. All of our favorite stores like Homegoods, Target and World Market have fabric, metal, leather and woven options to choose from that will fit any style of home. Baskets provide a way to keep your playroom organized and pretty, while allowing your child an easy way to clean up after themselves. Now that’s a WIN-WIN!

#3- No theme necessary

OK, just because these are technically “kid spaces” DOES NOT mean you have to plaster the walls in Disney Princesses or dinosaurs to make your kids feel welcome. Take into account style throughout the rest of your home and allow it to flow through your playroom. Add in additional colors and textures, creative toy storage and kid friendly furniture. Make the room come alive with fun pictures of your kiddos or their artwork framed. You will have a finished space not only for the kids, but for your entire family to enjoy.

Color Trends 2019

I don't know about you….but I am ready for some more color in my life! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a GRAY fan through and through. But every now and then, my eye wanders to the lovely jewel tones, sherbets, and pastels that are on the shelfs hidden behind all the grays and whites out there. Though you may not always see it in my designs, I do love color!

Right now, my absolute favorites of the new colors are GREEN and BLUSH PINK. These colors look great on their own, or together. Here are a few examples of how these colors can be combined to pack a huge design punch...

As far as the GREEN trend goes, I say the darker and richer, the better. If you don’t want to commit to the point of painting every wall in your home the 2019 color trend Hunter Green, you have some options. Velvet hunter green pillows, silk chartreuse window panels and lush green chairs can (thankfully) be found in every Homegoods store these days. Perhaps try adding into your current decor, some lush velvet curtain panels or this amazing pillow top bench from Pier One? A grouping of green fern prints may be just the touch you are looking for, like this collection from World Market. Just placing these amazing green glass lamps from World Market on your bedside tables can incorporate this trend and liven up your space.


As far as the PINK trend goes, my absolute favorite color is BLUSH PINK! I am obsessed with this amazing tufted bench from Wayfair and these beautiful blush curtain panels from Anthropology. You can add in smaller details like this woven throw from World Market or this sweet little cake stand from Wayfair.

One of my favorite design challenges is when I have a client who is willing to explore past the neutrals and let me add in some beautiful colors. Here are a few design boards I am working on for current clients utilizing these colors. I can't wait to see how they turn out!












Musical Design

 

Design Tip #2

As much as I believe a person's home tells a lot about them, there is also no doubt that the type of music a person listens to tells you a lot about them as well. Are there special songs that mean something to you that you that you could incorporate into your design?  Musical instruments and album covers are often beautifully designed and can make a great statement in a room, especially a game room or a child's room who loves music.  If you are opting for something a bit more subtle but still want to incorporate Music into your design,  select a song that means something to you, buy the sheet music and frame it.  This is a very inexpensive way to incorporate music and personality in your décor. Another way you can personalize your space through music is with something called  sound wave art.  Maybe it’s the song you danced to at your wedding incorporated into a gallery wall with your wedding photos, the waves from your baby’s ultrasound hanging in her room, or the fight song from your college university hanging on the wall in your man cave-the possibilities are endless! There are a number of retailers on Etsy who can create custom pieces for about the same price as a cassette tape of your favorite band. Wait…what’s a cassette tape?

Sound Wave Art 

Sound Wave Art 

Sound Wave Art : baby heart beat

Sound Wave Art : baby heart beat

Framed music lyrics

Framed music lyrics

Framed music lyrics

Framed music lyrics

Designer Tips & Tricks

As a designer, it is my job to help my clients translate their likes, dislikes and personal style into their décor. There’s a lot to think about…spacing, balance, contrast and texture- but perhaps the biggest challenge is finding a way to incorporate each clients’ personality into their design. Anyone can copy a page from Pinterest or Pottery Barn- but a truly beautiful home, one that is warm, welcoming, and a place that people want to be- is something more. A HOME is a place where people live- where their story plays out. Over the next few posts I will reveal a few of my suggestions/tips for creating an environment that exudes personality and will guarantee you LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE!

Tip #1

Photo walls!  Anyone who know's me, or any of my clients, knows I love me a good photo wall.  It is one of my favorite most cost effective ways to bring amazing decor and interest into your home.  Now, staged professional photos can be a lovely focal point in your home. Photographs of our families with serene faces, in coordinating outfits with soft filters remind of how lovely life can be. But as nice as those photos are to look at, do they really tell your story? Are they the photos that make you smile and tug on your heart?  We suggest combing through your photos to find those that you love the most-you know-the ones that give you warm fuzzies or make you laugh. Something unexpected! Your kids may be teenagers now, but Im all for adding in some of your favorite baby photos of them, you know the ones that makes you tear up every time you see it. And, there was a time, before kiddos came that we did in fact have our wedding photos up, didn't we? A photo wall is  a perfect place to add one in, your kids love to see it up and it serves as a beautiful reminder of where your story began.  Add in a wood sign or two, a shelf for dimension and an old empty window frame for interest..in other words, get creative! It could be a focal point on a blank wall, decor for around a TV, in a kitchen or even a nursery... photo walls are the perfect addition to any home decor.  Not only will you smile every time you look at this interesting combination of objects and past and present photo's, it will help incorporate warmth and movement into your décor- and will be a GREAT conversation starter! 

ENJOY!

 

 

It's never too late for a Christmas miracle!

Are you hosting a holiday party this year? Having company come? Would you like to welcome your guests into a festive, yet tastefully decorated holiday home? Here are 3 quick and inexpensive ways for you "deck the halls"...without making your house look like Santa's workshop!

(PS...some of these beautiful photo's are from the amazing home of my partner in crime....she is by far beyond talented at design!)

#1 - Add greenery! If you want to change the atmosphere in your home to project a wintery, holiday feel, adding in some natural elements might be just the right touch. It's not hard to find beautiful artificial garlands, sprigs or plants to incorporate into your existing decor. Or, if you want to take it a step further, use pine boughs, pine cones, a rosemary bush or poinsettias for a fragrant touch. What a great way to appeal to all of the senses!

#2 - Pillows! There are TONS of cute holiday pillows available at a variety of retailers that you can use to add some holiday flair. Maybe a sparkly snowflake, a skier or a cute buffalo plaid? You can also accomplish a holiday/winter feel by switching out light colors and airy fabrics for fur, velvet, cable knit or sparkly pillows/throw blankets. Not only will you transform your home, you will be providing lots of cozy accessories for your guests to use when they come for a visit!

#3 - Wreaths! They aren't just for inside anymore. There are a number of places you can use an ornamental wreath in your home. Hang it from an interior door, on a mirror or in the window where it can be seen both inside and out. There are wreaths made from ornaments, feathers, dried wood, and just about anything else you can think of. If you can't find something you like, go to Michaels or a similar craft store and have them help you put one together.  It doesn't have to be expensive...a lovely wreath of greenery in the right spot can make all the difference. Add a bow or lights next year if you'd like! 

Just a few small touches can really go along way - and you don't have to break the bank to make your home look festive! From about Thanksgiving on, you will find plenty of holiday home sales with anywhere from 10%-60% off.  And of course the day after Christmas is a great day to stock up for next year! Grab a fun roll of ribbon, new ornaments for the tree or some decor items that you can pack away and give to yourself as a gift as you begin your decorating the next year.  If you shop smart, some of your "holiday decor" may be used all winter to add warmth and depth to your home. Christmas in July? Maybe not...but we hope these tips will help you and your holiday guests love where you live.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from all of us at Laura Aguilar Interiors!

 

Turning a House into a Home

My clients live in a beautiful house...it just didn't feel like "home" to them.  There were some major changes they wanted to make, and finally were ready to get this process started!  The yellow oak floors needed to be re stained to a rich dark brown,  oak cabinets painted a crisp white and new back splash in the kitchen, some new furniture and decor for the nook , family and entry rooms of their home.  They had a pretty good size budget for all the structure work on the home, but we really needed to make it stretch for the decor part, and we made it work!  We added in a couple new key pieces of much needed furniture, painted an existing pre owned piece to make it work in the new color scheme , and added in plenty of beautiful rugs, curtains and decor to pull it all together.  We replaced her aqua blue she had in her home with a rich deep navy blue,  and added it to every room we worked on to pull it all together.  

My clients are so happy with their beautiful results.  They said their house finally felt like their home!  Now they can honestly say that they Love where they Live!

Family Room Before

Family Room After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Entry Before

Entry After

4 ways to add texture and warmth to your space!

Have you ever noticed, the more texture a room has, the more time you want to spend in it?  Well, I have!  Texture creates interest and can easily be added to existing decor.  From walls, furniture, accessories, floors or pillows, you can add texture in a number of ways. Here are 4 of my favorite techniques  for adding texture to create a cozy, welcoming feeling in any home. 

  1. Architecturally -  This is sometimes pricey, but well worth it if you can work it into one or a couple rooms! Examples are Brick or stone walls & fireplaces, wooden ceiling beams or mantles, ship-lap, board and batten or panaling on walls, coffered ceilings, built in shelves or bookcases.

 2. Furniture - You can have fun and create texture by adding in furniture of varying or unexpected materials, such as a leather bench or sofa, a velvet side chair, a tufted ottoman or even a concrete top coffee table!  Have fun, and don't be afraid to mix it up a bit.

3. Pillows, throws, curtains, oh my! You can really change a room by paying attention to these often forgotten pieces - and with very little expense. Stick with sheer, light and soft fabrics for your pillows and throws in the spring and summer, then create warmth by layering in velvet and fur in the fall or sparkle for the holidays.  And don't forget your windows!  Layering windows is one of my favorite ways to add texture.  Hang bamboo roman shades under velvet panels to add softness, or add a patterned window panel to create interest to a room. You really don't have to spend a lot to create an cozy environment.

4.  Accessories - can we all just take a moment to thank the Good Lord above for Homegoods? This store has made accessorizing any home, regardless of the style, so much easier.  In addition to being affordable, the folks at Homegoods separate the decor  into different types of styles or different rooms. Whether your look is traditional, modern farmhouse, beach, modern or eclectic, they have it all. That being said, there is no excuse for not having a wide variety of accessories in varying textures to help add interest, depth and personality. So have some fun!  Set a sparkly candle holder on a reclaimed wood tray or layer some antique boxes with a sparkly mirror.  It's OK to mix it up- but don't forget the greenery and flowers to bring life into the room.  For those of you who have more of a "black" thumb as opposed to green one, there are some amazing faux plants and flowers to choose from.  Anything with a patina, either aged or new adds instant warmth and texture.  Try visiting antique stores or flea markets for some fun treasure to add to your home.  Basic rule of thumb, if you love it, it will look perfect in your home, I promise! And most importantly, you will LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE!

  

What to expect with a Designer

Have you ever wanted to work with an Interior Designer but have no idea where to start?  This blog post will take into account my 12 years in the business and provide you with some basic information to set your mind at ease.

Here are THREE of the most COMMON QUESTIONS I get from potential clients: 

#1- WHAT DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER DO? 

Answer: WHAT DON'T WE DO??? It differs for all designers, but for me, there isn't any job too big or too small to take on. Anything that you need help with, a designer can lend a hand. I have helped clients with something as simple as choosing paint colors, rearranging existing furniture, selecting finishes for kitchens and baths, coordinating upholstery and window treatments selections, or designing boards for individual rooms. I have also decorated entire homes and rooms. My clients' budgets have ranged from a few hundred dollars to unlimited.  I have even been hired to "break a design tie" between a husband and wife!  The point is, a designer can simply help you make a decision you are stuck on, point you in the right direction or make the decisions for you. No job is too big or too small for this girl- and I enjoy them all!

#2 - WHAT DOES A CLIENT NEED TO DO BEFORE HIRING A DESIGNER? 

Answer: There are two important things you can do before your first meeting that will make the design process much easier. First,  have a general idea of the style you like and share it with me. Pinterest is my preferred tool. You can find a lot of beautiful rooms and designs that will help me understand your style. Not technologically inclined? Show me your favorite design magazines or let me know what your favorite HGTV show is to watch- this all helps me piece together your style. This is the most important piece because while I can design rooms/homes in my sleep...the biggest challenge is making sure I am able to select the pieces and special touches that will make your home truly yours. Second, budget is a huge component! Having a good idea on how much you want to spend really helps me know how much I can do to each room, giving you a more realistic picture of how your room will look when finished. I offer a one-hour free design consultation. If you can provide this information to me at this time, it will help me make the most of your time and get you the best results. 

#3 - HOW MUCH DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER COST? 

Answer:  Of course, the cost depends on the scope of the project, and may differ depending on the designer you hire. However, there are a few more common ways designers charge for their services. I try to be flexible and work with my clients to determine the best billing method for the project. One option is hourly. This method makes sense when you want me to help you with specific design decisions such as, which paint color to use, which curtain fabric to go with or how to arrange furniture.  This is also great when you just need a little help shopping too!  The second option is whole room or whole home charge.  Designing an entire room/house is a huge project and if charged hourly, would exceed most budgets. This payment usually makes the most sense for a client who has a larger project, would like to delegate more responsibility to me and would like to know their budget in advance.  Of course this budget/quote does not include the cost of furnishings, though I will provide an estimate so that clients have all of the information they need to make a decision they feel comfortable with. For both options, a deposit is required, then depending on the scope, the remaining balance is typically due on install day.  

I hope this information helps you feel more comfortable with the prospects of hiring a designer. Now call me already, and let's get started! 

 

A Room for the Whole Family!

My client needed her upstairs play room to be multifunctional. Yes, it was a place to keep toys and watch fun movies with the kiddos, but her husband also used this space as his home office and soon, the boys would be doing homework up there as well.  Challenge accepted!

We got rid of every piece of furniture in the room with the exception of the TV  and TV table. We needed comfy, durable furniture for the kids, desk and storage for the husband, and art and homework areas for the boys. And don't forget plenty of toy storage!  The room wasn't large in size, but that didn't matter. I think you will see amazing things can be done as long as you lay the room out correctly.

 We created a cozy, functional and fun family room/office/play room for all to enjoy!

Before

  After

Adding in Pink...

Its not often that I get to work with the color PINK.  Sure, a nursery or child's room here or there, but we forget what a beautiful and versatile color pink can be!  This client hired me to add some much needed decor and storage to the family room in her beautiful new home. In the entry way, I walked past a table that had a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers sitting on it. For some reason, it caught my eye and stuck with me. In talking with my client about her style, we decided to go with lovely soft shades of grey and creams and whites...and then add in some pink!  As always, personalizing the home for my client was one of the best parts of the job. This client had some amazing photographs of her wedding bouquet that she had always wanted to use, and yup you guessed it...they are pink! Glad we could work it in!

Take a look at her beautiful room, and you too may RETHINK PINK!

Before

After 

Golden Art

OK, I admit...I don't know the first thing there is to know about the art world-and there is a lot to know I'm sure! But, my client has a love for it and an amazing eye for beautiful pieces. Her home is full of them!  On my first job with her, (I worked on two rooms in her home - the next one will be featured in a separate blog post coming soon) she just needed me to help arrange some of the lovely pieces she had in her family room so that they made more sense. Additionally, I rearranged the existing furniture in her family room and suggested several new pieces that will help complete the look. I made sure to keep in mind that while the focus of the job was highlighting the amazing art collection I still needed to keep it elegant. I also kept in mind the function of the room, and making sure it was welcoming to her two small boys. We added in a new larger coffee table as well as some beautiful bookcases for hidden toy storage. We were absolutely thrilled with the results. Take a look...this room shines just like gold!

It was a quick job, but the results were dramatic!

I feel pretty confident saying, my clients LOVE WHERE THEY LIVE! Wouldn't you? 

Cozy Family Home

I fell in love with my clients home the minute I pulled in the driveway! On a beautiful, tree lined street, the layout of this home is perfect for the gathering of family and friends. I could certainly see why they chose to move there!  But like any home, after 10 years, it was time for a little update. They didn't want a complete overhaul but a few tweaks couldn't hurt. They decided on stripping and staining all the wood floors in their home as well as adding in some much needed decor and accessories to finally make their house feel like their home.   We kept the sofas, but added in some key pieces to update the home to fit their evolving style and finish off the rooms.  New rugs, tables, lighting, decor, and new kitchen nook furniture helped to compliment the more "significant changes they made to appliances and countertops in the kitchen.    

Take a look at these great before and afters!  My clients were so happy with the results, they finally feel like they "Love where they Live" :)

Before

After

 

Such a lovely home and an even more lovely couple!  Thank you for allowing me to come into your home, I had such a great time!

 

 

Lovely Little Nursery

When my client said to me "I'm going to need a nursery designed for our new home" it was music to my ears!  Nurseries are one of my favorite rooms to decorate because I love babies!  My own "babies" are now 14, 13 & 11, so the thought of surrounding myself with sweet little decor again made me so happy.  And the best part was that this nursery was for a little girl! You have to understand, the aforementioned "babies"  are now smelly , crazy, un-frilly boys...so anytime I can get my hands on something pink and pretty it just makes my day!

My client had already selected a light grey crib which served as our starting point. She wanted something feminine and pretty for her soon-to-arrive baby girl, so I chose a soft, peachy pink to go above the white Board & Batton.  This helped to add interest to the walls.  I also added a beautiful crystal chandelier, a big comfy chair perfect for late night feedings, lovely bedding and baskets full of cuddly blankets and bunnies.  I absolutely love the way this nursery turned out...and the sweet little princess who occupies this space just makes the room sweeter!

BEFORE

AFTER

 

This is the sweetest nursery for the sweetest lil princess!  

Miss Cameron, I hope you love your room even half as much as your mommy & daddy love you:)

 

 

From c.a. to n.c.!

OK, when my family and I made the move across the country form California to North Carolina , it was an adventure to say the least!  Don't get me wrong, we love it here....just took some getting used to thats for sure.  In California I was used to always being in a hurry, having a drive through Starbucks on every corner, never having to say the word "y'all"  and absolutely no mosquitos! Now I have had to learn to slow down, wave to EVERY CAR that passes by, have full conversations with check out people, & buy tons and tons of bug spray.   Oh, and actually getting out of my car to pick up my Starbucks (seriously though, we need way more drive thrus out here, don't y'all agree??)

 But we do love it, people couldn't be nicer, the change of seasons is amazing and leaning to slow down has done wonders for my family.  But then there was my work...I was used to being in high demand in California as an Interior Designer!  Fast forward to living in the South and not a soul knew who I was and what I did.  Then, along came the Kline family.  Not only were they kind enough to take a chance on this unknown designer from CA, they gave me full run on their brand new custom built home! I will forever be thankful to this sweet family for not only giving me and my business my start I needed here in the South, but for having so much trust in me to do what it is I love to do! I had a blast working on this home, and I hope you love the way it turned out just as much as they did.

Here are the before's and afters of their family & kitchen rooms of their home.

Enjoy!

BEFORE

AFTER

Thank you Kline family!   I will always be grateful for this opportunity you gave me, I hope you enjoy your home as much as I enjoyed designing it!

 

 

 

 

 

Too Blessed to be Stressed!

How great is this saying?!  I remember my Grandpa saying this so many times and I often think of it.  I obviously just took it as "one of Grandpa's sayings" when I was younger.  He had a few...often when someone would ask how he was doing he would answer "Better than I deserve!"  Loved that one too.  But this one is my favorite, and it means so much more to me now. Stress is a horrible thing, and the last last thing anyone needs is for their home of all places to be their stress point!  How horrible.  Your home should be your sanctuary.  The place everyone in your family feels comfy, loved, accepted and especially not stressed.   I believe design plays a huge part in how you feel when you come home each day.  If you come home with a lot of un-finished projects, paint on your walls that you hate & clutter everywhere, you just don't feel "at home"  right?  You tend to look around thinking "I should replace that" or "I need to find a place for that"...you are not relaxing , you are  stressing over all the things that still need to be done or changed.  And believe it or not, it doesn't take a lot to change some things to help you Love where you Live. Even something as just the right color on your walls can change a room's mood completely.   When you walk into a room that is cozy and well put together and organized, you want to stay a while right? Take a look at these pictures below from Laura Aguilar Interiors..what one would you want to stay in?)

Now, I'm not saying go out and buy all new things and completely redesign your home.  Simple changes here & there can be huge! Let's say your kids love to play in your family room with all their toys while you make dinner.  So why not store their toys in some beautiful baskets or cool book shelves? If you have tons of photo albums you love to look through but they are just piled up in a corner or cupboard somewhere, why not put them up on a pretty shelf so you will have easy access to them any time.  You dont have to spend a ton of money to do these things either.  I for one love Ikea book shelves.  I used them in the nursery, master bedroom and photography studio I did in the photo's below.  You can dress them up in so many ways by combining different sizes together, adding molding around the edges, add pretty knobs to doors and even painting or wall papering the backs of the book shelves to add color and detail.  

 

 And if you walk into your home from the garage or front door with your hands full of keys, mail and a dog leash...why not put in a pretty table with a tray on top and a cool rack of hooks across it. Not only is it something pretty for you to look at as soon as you enter your home,but you will be  instantly organized and less stressed. Like the the Entry Way photo below, the table is from Cost Plus World Market along with the tray, basket & rug from Homegoods, and lamp from Target. All in-expensive items,  but together they created such a better feeling for the homeowner then dumping everything onto the kitchen counter when she came home every day.  Baskets by stairways are a great idea too...just drop things into the basket the belong up stairs, so when you do happen to run up for something, grab whats in the basket and take it with you.  The stuff is not lying around on the ground making a mess and making you stressed, its put away until your ready to put it away!

 And don't forget your kids rooms.  Its a great thing to teach them young to put stuff away, and know where their stuff is.  Homework stations and toy storage are great things to do in bedrooms and play rooms. Bookshelf's, baskets, wall shelves, & trays all help making things not only clean, but look great too! These small changes can really help how you feel in your own home.  Basically any room in your home can benefit from a book case or shelf's or the combo of the two, like home office's or craft rooms.  Take a look at some more of my clients rooms below for more inspiring ideas of your own!

So there you go, add those book cases or wall shelf's to organize your favorite trinkets, go ahead and change that paint color you have hated for years, add a little entry table and organize your life as soon as  you enter the door.   These little inexpensive changes will do wonders for you and your home, I promise!

  And always try to remember....you really are "Too blessed to be Stressed!" 

 

 

 

Because Coffee is Awesome.

Lets take a break from talking about Interior Design to talking about wonderful Coffee.  Like many many of you,  I love coffee.  I love the taste, the smell,  and the whole routine of it all!  I love how it sounds when its being poured into my cup, I love how the creamer looks as I stir it in, I love how cozy coffee shops are and how special you feel when someone invites you for coffee.  And you really do know someone loves you when they know your coffee order , right?  So as you can tell , I love coffee.  I even believe that a beautiful, or meaningful, or seasonal mug can effect how my coffee taste that day too!  I know, you are scratching your head trying to figure out if I have just completely lost it. (you know, basically how my pre-teen looks at me Every. Single. Day.) But let me explain.  When you reach for a beautiful mug with a snowy scene or a sweet Christmas message,  you cant help but feel excited for the holidays right?  And when you pour your yummy cup of Joe into a mug covered in lovely spring flowers you cant wait to take that mug of yummness outside and go smell some roses, right?  Take a look at what I'm talking about...

 See, don't these make you excited to wake up in the morning to pour your own cup of wonderfulness? 

And,  when you need to say something without really saying something...Well here are a few examples of those too. 

 

And if you enjoy your coffee as much as I do,  then why not also designate a space in your kitchen for just that!  (wait....did I just connect all this chit chat about coffee to Interior Design? Go me!)  You can choose a cupboard or wall in your kitchen,  fill it with beautiful mugs, sugars & syrups, a jar full of spoons or tea bags, place the coffee maker below that & voila!  Your have a Coffee House right in your own home.  You come to the kitchen every morning, pick a mug to match your mood (or season :), and you are off to a great start! No more searching for your favorite mug, or looking for a spoon or wondering where you even put the coffee in the first place.  Here are some cool ideas to get you started...

So there you go.  A whole blog just on Coffee that somehow got connected to Interior Design.  

Because coffee is awesome. 

Now onto Wine.......

 

 

 

Diamond Rings and Old Barstools

Best title of a country song ever! This is the title of the latest hit by that hunk of a man named Tim Mcgraw.  I just love this song.  But sadly enough, and this is so my way of thinking, this song did not make me think of a love story gone wrong....but rather how great old and new look together in design!  Ya, I know. Its not normal to think of design when someone like Tim Mcgraw is singing a love song but I do.  So let me try to explain this brain of mine..OK, never mind.  I don't think I could ever explain that.  Instead let me tell you why mixing the old in with the new is pure perfection in the design world.

Lets start with some  pretty pictures of what I'm talking about.  I just love pretty pictures.  Here you go...

I love the old wood beam in a new sparkly white kitchen, and the rustic table in front of the beautiful tufted sofa is perfect!  And seriously, who wouldn't love  sleeping in a bed with a newly upholstered headboard up against this amazing old brick wall. So great!   I just feel when you mix things up a bit, these rooms become so much more interesting to look at and be in.  When the whole room is fancy, or the whole room is antique, you really don't know what to look at first.  The room becomes to serious, and not so cozy.  

But lets bring our conversation back to Mr. Mcgraw shall we?  One of the lines of his songs says  "ones the future and ones the past".   Again, fantastic idea!  Why not add in your grandma's old kitchen table or vintage trunk into your newly designed living room as a coffee table or a great game table?  What a wonderful conversation piece and memory you will have every time you pass by it.  (another pretty picture of what I'm talking about...)

Isn't this great!  So beautiful and well put together, but you are not afraid to sit down and put your feet up.  And honestly, the more scratches or bumps or scraped paint there is, the better.   A well designed room should be lived in, not just looked at.  And the more memories and stories you can pack into a room, the better.  A beautiful silver lamp on top of a thrift store dresser instantly adds interest.  And ,  wouldn't you love to sit for hours at a dinner party in a beautiful freshly painted dining room with an amazing old barn wood table?   Take a look at what I mean...

So, there you go.  Thank you Tim Mcgraw! You can never go wrong mixing a little old with a little new, just like  "Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools".

Oh...I almost forgot the most important picture in this post.  (you can thank me later ;)

  Enjoy you're day!