Vintage Bohemian Stair Runner

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Photo by  Justin Coit

Photo by Justin Coit

We all fell involve with Hillary Duff’s Boho approved stair runner when Better Home and Gardens published her remodel. The witty take on a traditional element of design makes the space feel lively and brings a sense of much needed character. Her runner consists of 3 rugs, cut down and tailored into one. This concept is so simple you could do it with any rug! Whether its your grandma’s Persian rug you cant bare to get rid of, your your most recent Etsy find, you can easily have this bright, eclectic look. I have pulled a few of my favorite runners out there there right now to help you envision this in your space!

While Duff’s Pink aesthetic might be for everyone, we think this approach could be done in a variety of colors to bring the life back into space. See these unique colors below.

Colorful Christmas: Parent and Kid Approved Decor

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Every parent does the battle once their children are old enough to want to put their own ornaments on the tree. My mom could not bare to let me ruin her perfect, glowing tree. She solved the issue by buying me my own mini tree to keep in my room, away from the holiday party guests. That worked through elementary school when I was still making ornaments out of popsicle sticks, but when hit pre-teen years, I wanted to help with the REAL tree. Being an aspiring designer, I had my own opinion on the color scheme of the tree every year and could not settle for silver, gold, and crystal ornaments. One year it was teal and silver, the next pink and gold, then the colors all combined in year three… the list goes on… As I have grown, I have learned that I was not wrong at age 12. There is no rule book that says Christmas trees must only contain the pre-approved colors: green, red, gold, silver, and glass. This year I am spreading the word - COLOR IS GOOD! Color is exciting and festive! To prove it to you, I have curated images of my favorite colorful Christmas Decorations sure to be approved by both parents and kids.

Styling by Heather Nette King

Styling by Heather Nette King

Designer Unknown

Designer Unknown

Photo Courtesy of Target

Photo Courtesy of Target

Table Setting by Coco + Kelly

Table Setting by Coco + Kelly

Design by My Scandinavian Home

Design by My Scandinavian Home

Accent Pillow Trends

We can not say enough how much we love the addition of accent pillows in a space. Accent pillows add warmth, character, personality, humor, drama and an opportunity to refresh the space quickly.  I am not one for seasonally themed pillows but a refresh to my living room, guest bedroom or master can completely change the tone and design direction. We love good pillows and are constantly on the hunt for a fresh selection. Scroll down for a few of our favorite spots to shop. I also often image a perfect pillow, color way or pattern that I can not find, so we source the fabric and have them made. It only take about 1.5 yards of material and a trip to your local dry cleaner to get a custom pillow made!

Our top places to shop for pillows.

1. Etsy 2. Lulu & Georgia 3. Burke Decor 4. Wayfair 5. Furbish Home 6. Kudd Krig Home

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How to Decorate with Plants

Plants are often overlooked as a potential element to design a space. Plants not only bring in needed color and life, but can be integral in finishing a space. Plant life is also a great way to keep the space fresh visually and satisfy the need to mix it up.  One of the most popular "designer" plant trends is the Fiddle Fig tree. It has big waxy leaves on a long stem and is very sculptural. 

Below are a couple examples of plants being used in the designing of the space. Imagine the rooms with out the plants or hold up your finger to block out the pops of green and see how different the space would feel without. 

I love plants and find it relaxing to do my Spring plantings, but I also understand are not for the fait of heart and not everyone has a green thumb or patience to care for a plant.  There a several companies that are doing a great job with high end artificial plants. They are not cheap, but the investment is a pay off verse killing a $180- $250 Fiddle Fig tree several times over. One of my favorite companies is here

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A Stylish Shelf- Best Practiced for a Perfectly Styled Shelf

For some reason people commonly struggle with how to style a shelf and make it look natural and an organic collection. The key is actually collect personal items from travel or a particular memory- over time. If everything is purchased at once or at one store, it starts to feel artificial and not personal. The trick is a happy balance! I always tell clients I love "shopping" at a clients home. I get the advantage of seeing their items with fresh eyes, which helps reorganize and edit. Then we can determine if we need to sprinkle in a few new items- which is often the case for a refresh. 

There are three things I keep in mind when I am working on a styling project:

1. Be sure to incorporate a mix of types of shapes. For example, be sure to include solid vases- NOT glass. Open or woven elements, medium and small shapes. Be sure that all the shapes are not the same thing- not all circle, square, etc. And I always include several good coffee table books. Leaning small picture frames are also a great way to bring in another element.  

2. Make it look natural- but not messy. The goal is always asymmetry. Balance out the each side with colors and shapes not completely opposite, but try one shelf down. The hardest part for most people is to not make it symmetrical. Humans naturally wants things in order. It should look curated and thoughtful.

3. I always start with a couple grounding areas, such as I map out where my book vignettes will go in the overall composition. Then I start to work in the shapes- working quickly I try not to think too much and over analyze. You can do that later. Also this quick approach allows this first pass just the "setting" phase. After I have gotten about 50% of the selections up, I step back and see where I need to fill in the whole and what shapes I need. 

4. Another tip, walk out of the room for 10 minutes and then come back. Letting your mind and eyes visually rest, allows you to see things fresh when you return to the room. This is when you can start to analyze what is working and where some items need to get moved. If you get to a standstill- just start over. Take everything off the shelves, and start fresh. If needed rinse and repeat. 

5. Lastly, do not be afraid to edit the items that are not working, even though it was passed down from your Grandma or a memory from your first trip to Paris. If it doesn't work, find another special place for it. Clients often get to emotionally attached to an object that may just need a new place to live in the home. 

 

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West Loop Project- Office Shelf Styling

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Westhore Dr Project- Kitchen Shelf Styling

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West Loop- Bar Cart Styling

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Elmwood St Project- Office Shelf Styling

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Kenwood Manor- Bar Built In Styling

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Westshore St Project- Library Built In Stlying