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Do You Dress Like Your House?

6 Sep
KirstenDunst.Vogue

Kirsten Dunst attends the New York premiere of her movie Bachelorette dressed in Stella McCartney. Look familiar?

We’ve all heard that some people start to look like their significant others, or even their pets, after years together, but how about their houses?

Do you dress like your home? By that, I mean, do you decorate your place with the same style – colors, patterns, etc. – as you decorate yourself with your wardrobe, accessories, etc.?

For me, I’d say yes. I tend to gravitate toward a romantic fashion style, as my friend Penelope would say, and I think the same is true for my home. I like found objects combined with classic pieces in both my closet and my decor.

My friend Kirsten (I can say that because I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this blog) has already demonstrated dressing like home by dressing like MY home at the New York premiere of her new movie. It’s a little Sound of Music in that the the fabric is very retro home fabric, but in the same breath I’m kind of digging it, in a Moonrise Kingdom sort of way. What do you think?

As I thought more about the similarities between my closet and my home, I pulled a few comparisons (using some clothes I actually have and and others similar to clothing I have, all via Polyvore).

Living Room Outfit

WhiteGreyPink

 

Maybe that’s why I like my house so much; I want to wear it!

What about you…do you dress like your house?

10 Tips for Stretching Small Spaces

20 Jun

Hi there! This week I’m having fun and learning like crazy at the Haven Conference. While I’m there, check out the Every Day Pretty Facebook page and Instagram for real-time updates. I’ll be back next week to share all the Haven fun!

Remember Andrea, my friend with the cute new loft? Last week, we explored tips for maximizing space in her kitchen.

Today, we’ll take a look at overall tricks for making a small space (in this case, a 450-square-foot studio apartment) look and feel bigger.

maximize space

via Creative Space Organizing.com

living room curtains4

  • Hang ’em high: Nothing changes the feel of a room like curtains. To make a room feel open and airy, always hang the curtain rods at least a few inches higher than the window. Stretch out the rod a few inches beyond the width of the window too, to let the maximum amount of light in.
  • Mirror, Mirror: You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s so true. Hanging a mirror, especially a large one, can help trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it is.
gold coffee table

You may recognize this as my dream coffee table. Still on the hunt!

3. Light and Airy: Think of a breeze flowing through your room. With a small room, you want that breeze to be able to flow under and around furniture. Choose seating with exposed legs and tables that feel light. Heavy furniture will stop the eye; light furniture will present a continuous flow, making the room feel larger.

light rug

4. Light Underfoot: If your home has hardwood floors, choose a rug that isn’t too much of a contrast with the color of your floor. A sharp contrast will catch the eye and reiterate the size of the room.

multi-functional room

See how these chairs are almost the same color as the floor? Your eye flows right through them, making the room feel larger.

5. Clear the Clutter: In small spaces, it’s even more important than usual to keep the clutter at bay. An eye will land on clutter and the room will feel smaller if there’s too much hanging around. Ottomans with built in storage space are great choices, as are open shelves with drawers like those in the image above.

6. Think Light: For the most part, lighter colors make a room feel bigger, while darker colors make a room feel smaller. Apartment walls are usually white. Consider emphasizing the hue with sheer white drapes and lighter furniture.

7. Pops of Color: Lighter colors make a room feel bigger, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love color! The eye needs a place to rest, so pops of color in the form of pillows, art or even a piece of painted furniture provide resting places and show off  your personality.

Wall Art

The art is awesome, yes, but do you see those chairs? Obsessed.

8. Less is More: When it comes to decorating the walls, consider one statement piece rather than several smaller pieces. Yes, gallery walls are all the rage right now, but they tend to make a place look smaller, not bigger. A large piece of art with plenty of wall space around it can make a room feel open.

Tip: Wait until large canvases are on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, wrap it in some pretty fabric and hang it on the wall for instant art.

Open and Airy Room

9. Use What Ya Got: Andrea’s studio was built in the 1920s so it has some of that great architectural charm you just don’t find in newer homes. Flaunt it! Using your home’s natural attributes will make your furniture look more at home, keeping the room balanced.

10. Decorate the Whole Enchilada: Often times, we think about decorating in terms of rooms. I say think about the entire home at once. Colors should flow throughout the home, to give each piece and color a sense of belonging. This is especially important in a studio apartment.

Consider this rule of thumb: If I put all of the colors and patterns in my home together on one board, would they go? (Go, not match!) If so, you’re on the right track.

So there you have it: ten tips for making any space feel a little bigger. Andrea, I hope some of these tips are helpful as you continue to make your new place into a lovely home!

Do you have tips to share with Andrea? What are your favorite maximizing space tricks?

It’s All Coming Together

4 Jun

Remember when I shared this tea shop inspiration for my kitchen’s open shelving?

tea shop

I wanted my retro kitchen to have an open and airy feel (because it’s certainly on the small side), while maintaining its quirky charm.

I think I’m getting there…what do you think?

kitchen shelving4

kitchen shelving 2

I wanted the shelves to be an eclectic mix, but not cross the line into messy.

My solution was to keep all of the canisters the same. They are three different sizes of the same design, all purchased from Target. (They’re not available online, but check your local store’s kitchen section.)

So what’s in them?

open kitchen shelving

Top row (L to R): Whole wheat flour, chocolate chips, sugar, flour

Middle row (L to R): Brown sugar, oats, flax seed, quinoa, coffee, pasta

Bottom row (L to R): Frosted Mini Wheats, Multi-grain Squares cereal, pretzels (snack shelf!)

open kitchen shelving

I also mixed in some of my favorite dishes and mugs for some color. The bowls and mugs are from anthropologie and the plates are a mix I’ve picked up from antique stores over the years (like this one).

The shelves make me smile when I walk in the kitchen, so I know I’m on the right track. They’re pretty, but totally functional (in fact, one of the bowls is missing in the last picture because I was eating cereal out of it while I shot pics).

It’s surprised me to see how beautiful regular old everyday food can be.

My favorite might be this canister of rotini pasta:

rotini pasta

Pasta as art! Who knew?

Up next for the kitchen, I hope to replace the cabinet hardware with something bright and fun.

Since it’s a rental, it’ll be a temporary switch, but I’ll hang on to the original hardware and swap it back when I move out. It’s a simple switch I’ve made in every home I’ve been in and it really makes a difference!

I’m also thinking I will eventually paper the backs of the shelves for some additional color and pattern. I’m on the lookout for some pretty wallpaper, shelf liner or even scrapbook paper! I’ll share the DIY with y’all when I get there.

So how about you? Do you have open shelving in your kitchen? Any crazy pretty food on display? Or is it just me who buys the “pretty” pasta?

Best of Pinterest: Three of My Fave Boards

30 May

Pinterest is such a treasure trove of inspiration.

Every time I click around on the site, my brain starts spinning to new patterns, textures or colors I could introduce into my home.

There are thousands of beautiful boards out there, but three boards are bursting with inspiration for me right now.

Bri Emery, Patterns


Bri Emery is the mastermind behind Design Love Fest and a queen of all-out style. Her Patterns board is a lovely mix of quirky and colorful patterns. Since I’m looking to pump up the patterns in the new place (hello, yellow couch), her board is a major source of inspiration. (PS. How cute would that watermelon print be as a DIY. Totally on it.)

Paloma Contreras, Wise Words

Paloma is the visionary behind La Dolce Vita, the glam design blog that first hooked me with its fabulous weekly quotes. So naturally, her Wise Words board is one of my favorites (and this quote above is my current top pick).

Centsational Girl, Tips and Tricks

Centsational Girl, a.k.a. Kate, runs a wonderful blog full of tips and tricks. Yet, her Tips and Tricks board houses even more. These tips are curated from some of the best home mavens around the web (yes, Martha makes several appearances). It’s a great board to have on hand for anything your home throws your way.

What Pinterest boards are inspiring you lately?

Tip Week: Wrangle Your Yarn!

16 May

Tip week continues friends!

Source: homemadesimple.com via Katie on Pinterest

Picture this: You’re working with a ball of yarn, and as you pull on one end the other end rolls down your lap, under the couch and pretty much as far away from you as possible. Or, you’re pulling yarn out quickly from a large pile, not realizing as you pull you are slowly creating the world’s biggest knot.

Been there? I have, while making projects like this yarn wreath.

Today’s tip comes from Home Made Simple, a great site dedicated to helping us, well, make things a little simpler.

Tip: Use jam jars to contain balls of yarn, and drill a small hole in the lid for easy gliding. How simple, and pretty to boot! (Seriously, people…what can’t a mason jar do?)

What’s your favorite DIY/home-making tip?

How Big Should a Rug Be?

9 May

As I work to unpack at the new place, I’m trying not to let my mind wander to decorating just yet.

Um, yeah right.

First on my decor to-do list? A living room rug.

The living room has so far gone from looking like this on moving day:

living room moving

To this:

living room

I have most of the boxes cleared out, and I’m ready to make the space a little bit cozier with a fabulous rug.

Common decorating wisdom is that an area rug should be large enough that the front legs of each piece of furniture sit on top of it, like this:

Source: gallery.apartmenttherapy.com via Youa on Pinterest

That’d be an 8 x 10 rug in this space.

The room above is big enough to sport the traditional layout and still show off the hardwood floors, but my little room is not.

Since I’m not into completely covering up these lovely floors, I’m going with a 5 x 8 area rug.

I’m a rebel!

A 5 x 8 rug will leave a little gap of hardwood between the couch and the rug, and a nice border of hardwood around the rest of the room, kind of like this:

Source: pinterestgreatdeals.com via Keitha on Pinterest

Although, the rug won’t be patterned, the couch won’t be slip-covered and no creepy guy paintings are allowed.

How big do you think a room should be? If you’re trying to lay out a room/rug combo, check out this Apartment Therapy post on different styles.

Update: I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger just yet, but when I saw West Elm’s rugs were all 15 percent off right now, I just had to act. I’ll share the pictures of the updated living room as soon as the rug arrives (hopefully, it works!).