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Destination wedding planning? I spent four days soaking in all things matrimonial at the 102-acre Terranea Resort, watching processions of magazine-ready brides and bridesmaids in the most exquisite landscape imaginable, surrounded by water as far as the eye can see. It would be hard to do better than the sun-kissed California resort on the Palo Verdes Peninsula: An easy 40 minute drive from LAX, Terranea offers an appealing blend of luxury and natural beauty, plus countless ways for guests to engage with its unique location hugging a Pacific hillside where whales, dolphins and sea lions are your neighbors.

Wedding at Sunrise

Image courtesy of Terranea

The resort is a celebrity hub, featuring a number of discrete bungalows, casitas and villas for maximum privacy. Mariah Carey once holed up here for months on a babymoon getaway, and stars like ER’s Goran Visnjic dined at resort hot spot Catalina Kitchen during my visit. Movies from Pirates of the Caribbean to This Is 40 have used Terranea as a stand-in for paradise. Terranea stages more than 100 weddings a year, from intimate sunset affairs to 600+ blowouts coming in at a million dollars (or more!). The superhumanly-flexible staff know how to go with the flow and acknowledge few arrangements are beyond their abilities, including accommodating an elephant (one way Indian grooms choose to make an entrance at traditional weddings) — a virtual requirement at high-end L.A. wedding destinations. While at Terranea I picked up a host of great tips for outdoor and destination weddings from the resort’s wedding experts, as well as the lovely wedding journalists at The Honeymoonist, 100 Layer Cake and Mooshinindy.

The Honeymoon Locale Has Become the Wedding

Outdoor Wedding

Image courtesy of Terranea

The beauty of a destination wedding is, of course, a gorgeous location. But it’s also a great way to entice guests to fly in for a mini vacation and allows for plenty of magical bonding opportunities with your guests and a way to extend your special day into a weekend or more. L.A. is an easy-to-reach destination, but more exotic destinations are also on the rise, say the wedding insiders I spoke with, including Bora Bora, Croatia and Vietnam. These spots are moving beyond honeymoon to destination wedding locales.

Be the Hostess With the Mostest

If you’ve planned a destination wedding, you’re the travel agent who’s going to ensure your guests have a good time. Sure, your wedding will be the high point, but think about the comfort and entertainment factor beyond your big day. How will they stay busy? What will they eat? You can have a variety of activity options lined up to keep adventurous guests busy, but also factor in plenty of down time if friends and family want to just enjoy the resort or catch up on work. Also, think about how your guests will get to the resort; consider a destination that’s relatively close to a major airport and won’t require guests to rent a car once they arrive. Remember, they’re going to a lot of trouble and expense to come to your wedding, so celebrate that gesture and make it easy for them.

Add Succulents + Terrariums

In the lush, low-water California landscape of Terranea, succulents grow like weeds. But you can add them to your event in lots of inventive, inexpensive ways even if your wedding is not taking place in California. Incorporate them into boutonnieres, place them in small terra-cotta pots on tables or create terrariums filled with succulents as a centerpiece. Better still, succulents are incredibly durable and do well with potting up well in advance. I loved these fabulously simple, easy-to-create succulents in a rainbow of shades that decorated the Terranea spa.

Succulent Decor

Go With Graphics + Bright Hues

It’s out with the old white and tasteful neutrals and in with the punchy hues. Brides are not settling for catering standards of generic plates and ho-hum glassware; they’re pulling in their own collections or migrating toward wedding planners who can rope in bright, graphic tablecloths, eclectic plates and flatware and lots of colors to make their big day unique. Think of your wedding as an extension of your home’s decor: if midcentury modern and retro combos of tangerine and gray are your jam, then bring that sense of taste to your special day.


More Destination Wedding Tips

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When I think, “Smart Home,” I imagine futuristic appliances that anticipate my every need — helping me get dinner ready, unlocking the door as I approach, or even helping me wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee. Crazily, these appliances are available right now, and they use the power of your home’s wireless network to let you operate them via app, and talk to other things in your home. They also usually come with a steep price tag, leaving many of us wondering if the expenses is truly worth it. Are these wifi appliances going to make my life easier? And will they truly do all that they promise? Let’s look at a few categories, and I’ll give you my opinion about whether you should splurge, or just stick to your “dumb” appliances for a little while longer.


Photo courtesy of Honeywell

Thermostats? 100% yes. Having a wireless thermostat is fantastic on a few fronts. One, it really helps you take control of how much money you spend heating and cooling your home. The data is all there for you to see, and tweak over time, to save you money. Two, you can operate a wifi thermostat remotely with a smartphone app, so if you can set the house to “away” mode while you’re on vacation, and have it warm up for you while you’re on your way home from the airport. Lastly, you know those moments when you’re lying in bed, and it’s too hot or cold, but you don’t want to get up to change the temperature? Enough said.


Photo courtesy of Dacor

Ovens? No thanks. While I love to see innovation in kitchen appliances, so far the applications for a wifi-enabled oven are that I can pre-heat it while I’m away from home with it’s app (which, I dunno, sounds kind of scary to me), and that it might even have an internet-connected screen on it that can find recipes (I have screens that can handle that already, thank you). I’m feeling like you can pass on paying the premium price for a wifi-enabled oven range and invest elsewhere.


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We’re big fans of Dan Faires here at HGTV.com. (You may recognize him from season 5 of HGTV Design Star or from his HGTV web series DanMade.) Dan has an eye and the skills to show our fans how to transform scrap pieces of wood and other budget-friendly materials into eye-catching, custom furnishings. Can you believe the midcentury modern table below is made with PVC pipes and wooden dowels? Get the full instructions here>>

DanMade Project

Since we love Dan so much, we wanted to get to know him a little better. See his answers — and amazing drawing — to our questionnaire below, and don’t forget to check out his easy how-tos on DanMade.

Dan Faires Interview

Who should we interview next? Tell us in the comments below. 

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It’s hard to come back to work after the holiday weekend. If you’re like me, you ate your weight in delicious grilled foods and revelled in the sounds of patriotic songs and explosives in the name of American independence. And because we all love holidays so much, let’s go ahead and prep for the next occasion that allows us to dress up and go all out with decor and entertaining. You all must be ready because Halloween is already a hot topic on Pinterest.


1. Halloween Party Favor: Mummy Candy Cans

2. Adult Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Mermaid

3. How to Make Glittered Pumpkins

4. Trash Bag Spider Webs


A good gray room is timeless. Gray conveys a sense of formality and peace in a room and plays well with many accent colors. It also looks stylishly chic on its own, with dark and light shades mixed to create interest. Some of our most popular pins of all time showcase the versatility of gray rooms.

1. A House That Plays With Pattern

2. Budget Bedroom Decor: Our Favorites From HGTV Fans

3. Designers’ Best Budget-Friendly Living Room Updates

4. Hollywood Regency Style: How to Get the Look


Fixer Upper style is still a fan favorite. Shiplap is a decorating go-to for Chip and Jo, and this rustic barn look is still making waves on Pinterest.

1. As Seen on HGTV’s Fixer Upper

2. Fixer Upper Coffee Table

3. Rustic Bedroom Style

What’s filling up your Pinterest boards these days? Follow us at Pinterest.com/HGTV to repin your favorite looks.

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I’ll be honest: I’m far from a world-class chef, but I’ve recently hit a real streak of stumbling upon chef-worthy kitchen goodies for bargain-basement prices. First, I found a pristine set of celluloid-handled steak knives still in their original box at a barn sale, then while thrifting in Asheville, NC, I spied a beautiful end-grain cutting board (below) at the Brother Wolf thrift store for just $3. What a steal! (A similar board would cost upwards of $150.) Best of all, the money from my thrifty score goes to rescue and rehome dogs and cats in need. That’s a win-win in my book.

It had definitely seen its fair share of use, but I knew that with a little elbow grease, I could fix it right up.

How to Restore an Old Cutting Board or Butcher Block Instructions

What are the 3 steps, you ask?

1. Make a conditioning cream. Don’t worry, you need just two inexpensive ingredients.

2. Thoroughly sand the board to remove scratches and stains.

3. Work the conditioning cream into the wood.

That’s all, folks. It’s that easy to take an old cutting board or butcher block from used and abused to looking like new. So, show your old butcher block or cutting board some love.

Get step-by-step instructions >>



Adventures in Antiquing: How to Make a Short Headboard Look Taller
Adventures in Antiquing: Take a Virtual Tour of a Spring Antiques Fest
Adventures in Antiquing: Trending at High Point Furniture Market
Adventures in Antiquing: How to Restore an Old Wooden Bowl
Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 2
Adventures in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

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July is a time to celebrate America’s birthday, but it’s also a time for summer fun: Think carnivals, amusement parks and backyard parties. So when Chelsea pitched this classic, all-American red for July’s Color of the Month, we were smitten.

After all, it’s all around us this time of year, from old-fashioned popcorn boxes at outdoor movie screenings…

Circus Party Popcorn Cups

…to bright red wagons toting picnics, beach gear, or even the littlest family members.

Red Wagon Picnic

Bright red may strike you as more of a fall color, but trust us — it works for summer, especially when paired with deep blue, crisp white and light gray. This classic, bright red door just screams summer, don’t you think?

Red Front Door From Lulu Designs


What do you think of our latest color pick? Tell us how you use bright carnival red in the comments below. 

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too. 

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you’re ready to celebrate our wonderful country today with an outdoor barbecue, fireworks and a little booze. I’m normally a red wine person, but white wine is my go-to during the summer months. For that extra refreshing summertime flavor, I love to mix a little lime soda and orange juice with my wine. To keep your drink cold (and for a patriotic touch), add frozen blueberries in lieu of ice and incorporate strawberries for added color and flavor.

Patriotic Wine Spritzer

Patriotic Wine Spritzer

6 ounces white wine
2 ounces lime soda
splash of orange juice
handful of frozen blueberries
handful of strawberries
wooden skewer
patriotic scrapbook paper or washi tape (optional)

Combine white wine, lime soda and orange juice in a wine glass. Alternate strawberries and blueberries on a wooden skewer, and place in the glass with a handful of frozen blueberries. For a patriotic touch, use double-stick tape to attach a piece of patriotic scrapbook paper to the top end of the skewer. Cheers to America!

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour. 

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

Oh, summertime. I’m more of a glass-of-wine gal for the other three seasons, but hot weather makes me crave fruity, tropical cocktails. One of my favorites is the classic Painkiller, a coconut-pineapple rum drink popular in the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. It’s an easy-drinking cocktail perfect for a hot summer day — but careful, they tend to be strong. This take on the classic moves more in the dessert direction, with scoops of coconut ice cream floating in a rum-orange-pinapple mixture.

Tiki Pineapple Coconut Orange Float

Top the rum and juice mixture with 2 scoops of coconut milk ice cream, or more if you like. The maraschino cherry is optional, but don’t skip the dusting of freshly-grated nutmeg for true Painkiller flavor.

Are you a fan of boozy floats? Tell me your favorite tipsy ice cream concoction in the comments below.

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Oh, say, can you see decorating with red, white and blue in your home? The U.S. flag never goes out of style, and for good reason. Those colors create a classic combo, and there are so many ways you can work them into home decor. So with Independence Day upon us, let’s check out some rooms that do it up right, and just in time for the Fourth of July.

Custom Shelves Designed to Display Transferware Dishes

Design by Eric Gedney

This Seattle kitchen designed by Eric Gedney just feels classic and American in every detail. I love his use of a warm, ivory color on the wall, which creates depth with the crisp, white cabinetry. With a neutral background, the rustic, red wet bar and blue and white china prove that a little color can go a long way.

Eclectic, Blue and Red Dining Room

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn has never met a saturated color he didn’t like, and he fully embraces an Americana color scheme in this East Tennessee breakfast nook. The key to this design is the plaid curtains, which break up the intensity of the solid blue walls and vinyl red chairs.

Red, White and Blue Bedroom With Painted Headboard

Design by Jennifer Mehditash

If a more muted approach suits you better, try working patterns in with your reds and blues. Designer Jennifer Mehditash selected a red kaleidoscope pattern for the headboard, blue polka-dotted sheets and a classic striped linen throw pillow to create a fun combo in this bedroom at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, NY.

Flea Market Chic Living Room

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

If you’re worried that red, white and blue may feel too summer-specific, then try some unexpected shades of the colors. Here, Brian Patrick Flynn uses rusty red walls with paisley blue pillows and a taupe sofa for a fresh take on the color scheme.

Bunk Beds Offer Shared Room Solution

Design by Jenna Buck Gross

You can’t go wrong with red, white and blue in a kid’s room. Designer Jenna Buck Gross uses the color scheme in a superhero-themed space. Like the other designs, pattern is key to keeping the design feeling fun and fresh.

Would you decorate a room in red, white and blue? Let us know in the comments below.

Like these photos? Head to the HGTV Photo Library for more home design inspiration.

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A long-time favorite designer of the HGTV editorial staff, Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors creates spaces that are practically overflowing with modern details, like fun wallpaper, bright tile and brilliantly-mixed patterns. The best part? Her spaces bring in these details while still remaining comfortable and livable — a winning combination in my book!

Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors

Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors

Even though designing a nursery isn’t in my (immediate) future, I’m obsessed with this sophisticated little boy’s room — it’s fun and colorful, yet anything but juvenile. And that wallpaper? Amazing.

Nursery Design by Niche Interiors  - HGTV Design Blog

Nursery Design by Niche Interiors

We already love her designs, but we wanted to know more about Jennifer, from her favorite color to her design pet peeve. See her fun answers to our Design Happens questionnaire.

Design Happens Interview with Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors

 Thanks, Jennifer! See more of her latest designs on her HGTV Professionals Network page.

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

It’s officially the lazy, hazy days of summer, that time of year when all I really want to do is enjoy a cocktail on my deck. Or by the pool. Or the beach. You get the idea. With this mindset, it was pretty easy to come up with my player for HGTV Cocktail Week. Glamorous people of the internet, I bring you the cocktail most likely to make you friends (or friendly!): The Magic Hour.

The Magic Hour Cocktail Recipe

I can’t explain how delicious this cocktail is. The gin is herb-y, the mint and cucumber are refreshing, the fruit and lemonade add sweetness, and the secret ingredient of Aperol adds a bitter note that keeps it all oh-so-delicious and very easy to drink. The name is inspired by the “Magic Hour,” that idyllic time of day when then light makes all of your photographs look like you’ve run them through your favorite Instagram filter. It also just so happens to be the perfect time to enjoy a cocktail. Cheers!

Get this easy 5-step recipe >>

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

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Where you live influences your home’s design style. If you live in the Southwest, you most likely live in a stone or adobe-style home. If you live in a small town in the Southeast, you may live in a cottage- or colonial-style home. We want to know — would you prefer to live in a Craftsman-style home with plenty of windows and multiple roof lines, or do you like the sleeker look of a midcentury modern-style home?

Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why in the comments section below.

Craftsman Vs. Midcentury Modern

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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My daughter, Lulu, recently spotted a shirt that she loved – a dip-dyed watermelon number that set her six-year-old heart a flutter. And bless her heart, I gave her the dreaded “I could totally make that” answer. If you were raised by crafty people, you’ve probably heard that one before. But I held my end of the bargain by creating this simple and oh-so-adorable watermelon shirt that she will wear all summer long. Watch the video below to see how you can make your own just in time for the Fourth of July.

easy diy watermelon shirt

YouTube Preview Image

Dyeing fabric may seem daunting, but it’s so easy! I think this treatment would be really cute on a picnic blanket as well, don’t you? We are just all about some watermelon around here today!

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In case you missed it: A couple of weeks ago, the Design Happens team held a craft challenge here at HGTV Headquarters. We handed nine of your favorite D-Happ bloggers a basic, unfinished, square-shaped wood tray and let everyone’s clever and totally unique ideas take over. The only parameter? With the exception of a few general in-house supplies, each blogger had a $20 budget for materials.

DIY Jewelry Organizer

I’ll admit, I was a bit stumped when I first starting thinking about this craft challenge. I knew I wanted to transform my tray into something other than a tray, but what? So many possibilities. My idea came to me when I stumbled upon a section of decorative aluminum sheets at the craft store. The patterns were not only cute and trendy but also the perfect shape and size for displaying French wire earrings. I decided to make my tray into a hanging jewelry organizer with additional hooks for necklaces. If you’ve been searching for a way to stylishly keep your jewelry in order, here are the steps I followed for this easy DIY project.

6 Steps for a DIY Hanging Jewelry Organizer

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

The taste and smell of fresh watermelon always take me back to summers spent in my grandfather’s garden here in East Tennessee. My cousins and I would crack open ready-to-eat watermelons and let the juices just run down our faces. I ate so much watermelon as a child that it’s probably my least favorite fruit these days, but this refreshing cocktail has brought it back to the top of the list. A fresh and colorful twist on the classic Moscow Mule, this summery version features the perfect mix of fresh watermelon juice, vodka, lime juice and both ginger beer and ginger syrup for fizz and spice.

If you’re looking for me I’ll be on a patio somewhere drinking THIS.

Watermelon Cocktail Recipe

Get this easy 5-step recipe >>

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

Thanks to Bespoke Post for sending over a specially branded kit including the Smirnoff Vodka, Liber & Co’s Fiery Ginger Syrup and copper mugs.

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

I don’t know what the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods (paging Al Roker…), but here at the HGTV offices it’s been downright tropical — muggy, steamy and hot, hot, hot! And what could go better with tropical temps than a tropical cocktail? Usually, a margarita is my summer go-to, but this unrelenting heat calls for something special — a drink that’s as colorful and fun as the waterbird for whom it’s named:

Pink Flamingo Cocktail Recipe and Ingredients

Pink Flamingo

1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce vodka
3 ounces cranberry juice
3 ounces pineapple juice
splash orange juice
4 ounces clear soda

Combine ingredients in a tall shaker with crushed ice. Shake, strain, then pour into a stemmed glass. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and a strawberry. Enjoy a taste of the tropics wherever you may be!

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

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guest rules

Photo by: Zach DeSart (styled by Christina Wressell)

Manners. They’re instilled in us from a very young age, but over time the rules about how to be on our best behavior can get sort of … forgotten. The power of being polite is never more evident than when you host visitors or are a guest yourself — so HGTV Magazine wants to help you out of sticky situations.

Take a look at the short poll below, then let us know how you would handle the following scenarios. Our editors will use the results in an upcoming story. Oh, and thank you!

Take the poll

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

Lately, I’ve been on a beer+rum cocktail kick, so when Liz introduced to me to grapefruit beer, I knew I had to try it. Turns out, it’s pretty delicious and I had a hunch it would pair well with the coconut rum sitting in my freezer. So I started experimenting and came up with a summery beer-tail using pineapple, orange and lime juices, coconut rum and, of course, grapefruit beer. It sounds super sweet, but the lime and beer give the mix a light, crisp flavor that’s refreshing instead of sugary. It’s absolutely perfect for those sweltering days on the lake here in East Tennessee.

The Tennessee Fizz

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 small lime
3 ounces coconut rum
1/4 cup grapefruit beer
lime wheel, for garnish

1. Add rum, pineapple and orange juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker.

2. Cut a lime in half and lightly squeeze about 1/4 teaspoon of juice into a shaker. Shake well. (Don’t add too much or it will overpower the other ingredients.)

3. Pour over fresh ice in a glass tumbler until 3/4 full.

4. Top with about 1/4 cup of grapefruit beer or to taste. Stir twice quickly with a spoon.

5. Garnish with a lime wheel. Enjoy while fizzy.

Tip: You likely won’t find grapefruit beer at the grocery store, so save yourself some time and stop by your local beer market or package store first. It’s definitely worth the trip!

Do you have a favorite beer-infused cocktail? Tell us in the comments. And for more delicious cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

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With Independence Day right around the corner, you may be sprucing up your home with star-spangled decor or whipping up tasty red, white and blue treats. (Need some help? Check out our best Fourth of July ideas.) But what if you want to add a touch of all-American style to your home year round? Looking back at HGTV Dream Home 2012, designer Linda Woodrum did just that with a guest bedroom decorated in timeless patterns, classic furnishings and a patriotic color palette. Inspired by this space, we’ve gathered some tips for adding a touch of Americana style to your home.

Copy the Look of This Americana-Inspired Guest Bedroom1. Pottery Barn / 2. Ethan Allen / 3. Cafepress / 4. Pottery Barn
5. Pier 1 Imports / 6. Wayfair / 7. Wayfair

7 Ideas for an Americana-Inspired Bedroom

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

When I think of summer I think of hand-churned ice cream, soft-serve swirl cones and Nutty Buddies from the Good Humor man. This absurdly easy-to-make cocktail is a grown-up version of those sweet, creamy desserts, but in drink form. It’s the perfect refreshing sip when the weather turns steamy. Through some alchemic magic, the combination of vanilla vodka and ginger ale transforms into a dead-ringer for a cream soda. Since we’re in the midst of bathing suit season, you can sub the calories in regular ginger ale for diet. But don’t skip the maraschino cherries or a tall soda glass in order to really savor the frothy goodness.

Cream Soda Cocktail Recipe

Cream Soda for Grown-Ups

2 ounces vanilla vodka
6 ounces ginger ale
2+ maraschino cherries
crushed ice

Combine vodka and ginger ale in a tall soda glass with crushed ice. Garnish with at least two maraschino cherries.

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

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