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Ah, the wedding invitation. It’s the first time your guests experience the event you are throwing. There are a few ways you can purchase your invites: from a retail online shop, like Minted or Wedding Paper Divas, from your local stationery store, you can hire a designer to create a custom suite, you can print them at home, or you can send digital invites.

Unless you have extensive experience in printing and graphic design, I don’t recommend trying to DIY your whole invitation suite from scratch. My favorite route is to purchase a pre-made design from an online retail shop and add personal, DIY elements to make the invitations feel completely custom to you. By simply adding some confetti, an envelope liner, or a stamped motif, your off-the-rack invitations immediately become totally unique. Here are 4 fun ways to dress up your invites.

confetti wedding invitations

photo by Judy Pak Photography

ADD CONFETTI

Toss a handful of metallic confetti inside the envelope to get the party started the moment your guests open your invitation. Use tissue paper confetti for a more casual, rustic wedding or shiny confetti for a modern, formal affair.

MORE EASY WEDDING DIYS

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I’ve got a real treat for you today. We’ve been in San Francisco for the past few days taking in the beauty of the annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase, one of the top show homes in the country. The showcase brings together some of the top names in design from the Bay Area each year to transform a stately home in the Presidio Heights neighborhood.

This year’s home was designed by architect Julia Morgan, who is best known for the legendary Hearst Castle, home of William Randolph Hearst. Thirty-eight different designers and countless vendors transformed 28 rooms and spaces within the 98-year-old, 9,758-square-foot, Elizabethan-style home, and each designer worked to honor Morgan’s brilliance and pioneering efforts through their designs.

Now for the good stuff …

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Kitchen

The kitchen, designed by Navarra Design, is every home chef’s dream: a chocolate La Cornue Chateau oven, an expansive quartzite-topped island, a family gathering space and a copper dune marble-topped breakfast table … with a view of the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Entry

The entryway, designed by Candace Barnes is a study on geometrics, a nod to Julia Morgan’s use of geometry and hand-drawn architecture sketches. Pyramidal details are incorporated throughout the space — in the stunning chandelier, graphic artwork, the bronze table base and the nailhead trim on the stair runner.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Kitchen

Inspired by a vintage Vogue cover, the master salon, by Tineke Triggs, celebrates feminism and fashion with its Art Deco sensibilities and soft, curvy lines. The crown jewel of the room — almost literally — is the tiara-inspired light that appears to rest on the head of the model featured in the artwork.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Kitchen

The showcase home is owned by a family with 8-year-old twins — a son and a daughter, and Allison Caccoma created a space for music rehearsal, art and play just for the pair. A lacquered orange art table pops against the blue suede-covered walls to make the space feel alive.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Kitchen

Design by Jeff Schlarb, Photo by David Duncan Livingston

For the adults, Jeff Schlarb of Green Couch Interior Design created the “Pent Room,” a space for gathering, gaming, entertaining and relaxing. Inspired by Marsala, Pantone’s color of the year, he chose a rich wine color as a theme and worked it in to every detail of the space, from the walls, to the rug to the billiards set on the pool table.

We will have lots more to share from the San Francisco Decorator Showcase after we get home, but you can get more sneak peeks by checking out our #hgtvinsf page on Instagram. If that’s not enough, take a spin through last year’s showcase home below.

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Twice yearly, in the spring and fall, a few (lucky!) HGTV.com editors visit our design mecca, High Point Market, to get a sneak peek of coming furniture, accessory, lighting and fabric trends long before they make it to stores. One of my favorite trendspotting categories is color and believe me, unlike the greige/neutral palette that was big a few years ago, right now — color is king!

Everywhere we looked there were saturated shades of orange, pink, yellow, green, purple — you name it. But there’s definitely one color that has clearly cast a spell over both designers and manufacturers — BLUE! And not just one shade of this happy hue; every variation from turquoise to cobalt was front and center in most showrooms.

One reason for blue’s prime position is its chameleon-like quality; this oh-so-versatile color pairs beautifully with all other hues, but looks especially crisp when partnered with other cool shades:

High Point Furniture Market Spring 2014 Blue and Green Clockwise from left: Tobi Fairley for CR Laine / Arteriors / Global Views / Legend of Asia

Keeping it cool is design-diva-turned-furniture-designer Tobi Fairley. Tobi partnered with CR Laine to create her just-launched line that perfectly pairs the luxe, traditional look that made CR Laine a designers’ go-to with Tobi’s playful and always on-trend approach to mixing patterns and colors.

Tobi Fairley for CR Laine living room

More Ways to Use This Happy Hue

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For the past 45 years, the Atlanta Symphony Associates, an all-volunteer guild of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), has presented a Decorators’ Show House & Gardens each spring as its signature fundraising event. But this year’s home has gone to soaring design heights. Leading interior designers from the Southeast and beyond graced “Château Soleil,” a French-style estate designed by renowned architectural designer William T. Baker. Located in Atlanta’s affluent uptown district of Buckhead, the home’s sprawling 14,500-square-foot property lends itself to plenty of opportunity for design creativity. A select group of 28 designers, including HGTV’s own Vern Yip and Chip Wade, were chosen to showcase their individual talents and design styles while incorporating creative and inspiring trends.

2015 Atlanta Symphony Decorators' Show House & Gardens

Photo by Mary Powell Photography

Each and every room was transformed inside this sunny, golden home. And the best part? You can explore them all. The 2015 Decorators’ Show House & Gardens is open to the public from now until Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10. Show House guests can interact directly with designers, shop everything design-related and bring home a myriad of creative inspiration and ideas. Plus, there’s plenty of events both inside and out to complement your home tour, from trunk shows to design seminars.

We hope to bump into you in one of these drool-worthy rooms IRL. But in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek inside a few of the designer transformations. Take a look:

FAMILY ROOM

DESIGN BY VERN YIP, VERN YIP DESIGNS

2015 ASO Show House Family Room

Photo via @occupymyfamily

STUDY

LANCE JACKSON & DAVID ECTON, PARKER KENNEDY LIVING

2015 ASO Show House Study

Photo via @occupymyfamily

LIVING ROOM

MICHAEL BOYD, SMITHBOYD INTERIORS

GUEST BEDROOM

MELANIE TURNER, MELANIE TURNER INTERIORS

2015 ASO Show House Guest Bedroom

Photo via @occupymyfamily

POOL DECK

HANNAH SEATON & ED CASTRO, ED CASTRO LANDSCAPING

2015 ASO Show House Pool Deck

Photo via @asoshowhouse

I know, right?! When can I move in?

Get more info on tickets, house hours, events, designers and more: 2015 Decorators’ Show House & Gardens.

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Sure, the official season is spring, but unofficially? It’s remodeling season. Lots of us here at Design Happens have been caught by the reno and decorating bug: Marianne is taking on a full-scale kitchen renovation, Kayla is dreaming up ways to deck out her new apartment, and I’m scouring the Internet for the perfect kitchen backsplash.

If you’re with us, we have an amazing giveaway for you: one Design Happens reader will win up to $2,000 in free, gorgeous handmade backsplash tiles from modern tile maker Fireclay Tile. Read on to see more gorgeous modern tile inspiration, and enter for a chance to win.

Recycled, Handmade Tiles From Fireclay Tiles

Ogee Drop Tiles in White Wash; Design By AIH Development; Photo by Shooting LA

This backsplash tile isn’t just beautiful, it’s sustainable, too. The company gives discarded materials like curbside recycled bottles, discarded glass and bathtub porcelain new life as beautiful, unique tiles that come in 114 colors. Here, AIH Development used the Ogee Drop pattern with gray grout to create a neutral kitchen backdrop that’s modern and classic all at once.

White Moroccan Tile From Fireclay Tile

Paseo Tiles in White Gloss; Design by EAG Studio; Photo by Malcom Fearon Photography

This stripped-down take on a classic Moroccan shape gives this modern kitchen design by EAG Studio a glossy, monochromatic backdrop.

SEE MORE BEAUTIFUL BACKSPLASHES + ENTER TO WIN YOUR OWN

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I’ll just come right out and say it: I’m a mama’s girl. So naturally, Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. My mom is a rock star and it’s so much fun showering her with love on her special day. Whether you’re celebrating a mother, grandmother, sister, friend or mother figure this May, let her know how amazing she is with some of our favorite DIY gift and project ideas.

DIY Ideas for Mom

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Looking to replace your tired or outdated floors? Just like color and pattern, there are trends in the flooring world, too. This week we want to know: what type of flooring do you prefer — durable, eco-friendly bamboo or the sleek, modern feel of concrete? Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why in the comments.

Vote for Your Favorite Flooring

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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Incandescents. CFLs. Halogens. Watt? (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)

How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

If you’ve found yourself standing in the light bulb aisle, you might be staring at packages and feeling totally in the dark about what to buy (pun intended). The classic “I’ve got an idea” incandescent bulb has been totally reimagined, yielding an array of unfamiliar products and descriptors. Before you start missing old days, consider that the old bulbs burned 90% of their energy as heat, not light.  Sorry, Edison, but we’ve got more efficient bulbs now, it just takes a little knowledge to purchase the right ones.

Read on for a shopping primer.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST LIGHT BULBS

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Me and my gals at HGTV Handmade just love a good challenge, so this week we all tackled a summer classic–cool and crisp white canvas sneakers. After a lot of thought (and, I confess, while watching Big Hero Six), I zeroed in on my idea. Could I take my sharpie tie-dye idea and use that as a base for a DIY galaxy print? Watch the video to see if I hit the mark.

YouTube Preview Image

These sneaks would be an excellent addition to festival fashion, but me? I think I’ll be rocking them on my deck all summer long. What do you guys think about galaxy prints? Too out there for you? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

DIY Galaxy Print Shoes for Festivals and Summer Parties

See how the rest of the HGTV Handmade crew transformed their sneakers in the White Sneaker Challenge playlist.

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Everyone has a different way of incorporating spring’s seasonal beauty in their home; I tend to swap out bedding and keep fresh flowers in every room. But our design team took “spring decorating” to a whole new level with this year’s HGTV Spring House. A palette of high-energy hues, like coral, tangerine, grass green and hot pink, create a space that feels upbeat and family friendly.

Take a tour of HGTV Spring House and discover design ideas for your own home.

FAMILY ROOM

HGTV Spring House Living Room

You can still have a chic and stylish home that caters to your active and growing family. From washable wall paint to indoor-outdoor area rugs (that simply require a hose to clean), this living room is designed to be durable, comfortable and almost indestructible. Create a Kid- and Pet-Friendly Living Room >>

OPEN-CONCEPT FLOOR PLAN

HGTV Spring House Breakfast Nook

HGTV Spring House Prep Area

Open floor plans are all the rage right now. But once you get an open-concept home, how do you decorate it? From a cohesive color scheme to a functional furniture layout, we’ve got you covered. Get Our Open-Concept Decorating Ideas >>

See the Dining Room + Outdoor Spaces

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Hello from High Point, N.C.! Camille and I have spent the past few days at the biannual High Point Market, the largest furniture show in the world. Furniture and home decor buyers and interior designers travel from around the world to see manufacturers’ latest lines and hottest styles, bringing about 75,000 people to town.

High Point Market is like a giant peek into the future of home design. What we’re seeing in the exhibits here will start appearing in stores over the next few months, and the new styles and trends here represent the direction of home decor for the next couple of years.

What really strikes me from visiting the largest and most celebrated manufacturers is seeing a move toward a more luxe look that’s quite the contrast to the rustic industrial style that has been so hot for the past few years. Sofas and chairs are covered in plush, highly tailored fabrics. Tables are made with richly grained and colored woods or elegant stone (or both). Brass and gold finishes are all over light fixtures and accents. And color — bold and bright colors are everywhere!

But ultimately the craftsmanship from the maker movement that’s been a driving force behind the rustic trends is still at the heart of everything we see. As Caroline Grant of Dekar Design put it in a speaker panel about up-and-coming trends, the farm-to-table concept that currently is rooted in the food industry is making its way into the design community. “There’s always a story behind this furniture,” Grant says.

Designer Tobi Fairley Next to a Display of Her Soicher Marin Artwork Line

Designer Tobi Fairley with her mother, Beverly Wells

The most impressive pieces we saw were handcrafted. Many pieces are customizable for a one-of-a-kind look. Materials are consciously sourced. Imperfections are embraced. And we got to meet the designers behind many pieces and hear their stories about how their designs came to be.

We’ll be sharing more over the next few days about the specific trends we’re seeing, but in the mean time check out out our #hgtvhpmkt page on Instagram for a look into our favorite items.

What design element or trend do you want to see more of? What trend are you ready to bring into your home? Tell us in the comments below.

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Let’s be real: Most couples aren’t working with an unlimited wedding budget. So, how do the rest of us decide where to spend the bulk of the floral budget, or whether to spring for fancier napkins? As a professional wedding designer, I’ve learned some things about when to go “all out” and when the basic option will do. Read on for my tips to stay within your budget and still wow your guests.

burgundy tablecloth reception

SAVE ON NAPKINS, SPLURGE ON TABLECLOTHS

Those specialty napkins you had to have? As soon as a guest sits down, they’ll be dirty or on the floor. Save some money by using the standard, white napkins that your caterer or venue normally provides. To really make a design impact, splurge on upgraded tablecloths. You can rent specialty linens that are boldly striped, full of sequins or made from delicate lace.

dahlia bridal bouquet

SAVE ON BRIDESMAID FLOWERS, SPLURGE ON THE BRIDAL BOUQUET

I always recommend to my clients to put their money towards the items that will be in the most photographs. Your photos are what you will look at for the next 50 years. The bridesmaids bouquets will be in a few photos, like the ones of them walking down the aisle and a group shot. The bridal bouquet, on the other hand, will be in almost every photo of the bride, the ceremony, and the portraits. Ask your florist to propose smaller bridesmaids bouquets and then use the extra money to make the bridal bouquet extra special. It could be using more flowers, making it larger, or adding some beautiful French silk ribbon. Whatever you choose, that bouquet will live on in your photographs. For that reason, you want it to be as spectacular as possible.

MORE WEDDING SPLURGES AND SAVES

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Everyone knows that spring is the season to clean and get organized, but it’s also a perfect time to break out of a home decor rut. Beth, who manages all the gorgeous room photography that goes into HGTV’s Photo Library, recently put together an amazing gallery of 2015′s top trends in home decor. Designed by Ann Lowengart, this living room hits many of the year’s hottest looks, from shades of blue to warm metals to geometric patterns. If you want to try something new in your home this season, give your space an on-trend update with these tips and products:

Copy the Look of This Traditional Yet Trendy Blue Living Room

1. Behr / 2. Ethan Allen / 3. West Elm / 4. Bellacor
5. Wayfair / 6. Wayfair / 7. Home Decorators Collection

7 Ideas for a Trendy Yet Traditional Living Room

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After a long and daunting winter, there’s nothing I love more than giving my home a little seasonal spruce up. After all, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. Now’s the time to open all the windows and tackle that to-do list you’ve put on the backburner. Start with these five easy updates to refresh your home for spring.

CLEAN UNDER FURNITURE + APPLIANCES

Spring Cleaning Tips

We never think about what’s happening behind the refrigerator, sofa or buffet, but now’s the time to conquer that fear. Scoot these big pieces out as much as you can and use a vacuum hose to take care of business. Now’s a good time to clean under area rugs, too.

FORGOTTEN SURFACES

Spring Cleaning Tips

Those crisp, white surfaces collect a lot of dust. At least once a year, give door frames and baseboards a good, solid clean. After cleaning your floors, vacuum the baseboards with a brush attachment. Then, working room by room, spray them with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe clean. Clean with non-toxic products, like this homemade all-natural citrus cleaner, to help improve your home’s indoor air quality.

More Quick Tips

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Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month? I certainly was unaware, but I have no problem celebrating the occasion with an extra-focused attempt at relaxation. While some people turn to a nice warm tub and bubbles or a sweat-inducing workout to ease anxiety and stress, my personal preference is to get my body in a position primed for reading or napping. While a bed or sofa is a perfectly fine solution for this, I’d much rather stretch out in a chaise.

White Tufted Chaise and Black Dresser

Design by J&J Design Group

You can’t go wrong with this classic design selected by J&J Design Group for this inviting living space. The chaise’s scroll shape, tufting and tulip feet make it a choice that will age elegantly in any design.

Cozy Gray Furniture in Modern White Living Room

Design by Sawhorse Design and Build

For me, the word chaise evokes a sense of traditional style, so I love to see a piece like this one chosen by Sawhorse Design and Build. The shape is unexpected and, with the bright fuchsia pillows, adds a touch of whimsy and softness to this otherwise geometric, modern lounge space.

Pool With Patio, Hot Tub and Submerged Lounge Chairs

Design by Addison Bruley

Here’s a nice two-fer for you by Addison Bruley. You’ve got a soft, cabana-style loungers at the edge of the pool deck for naptime and partially submerged chaises for when you want to cool off. Leave your stress behind, but don’t forget the sunscreen!

Awkward Hallway Space Transformed Into Cozy Reading Nook

Design by Nina Green

There’s something instantly cozy and restful about a leather lounger and rustic decor. The deep tones of the chaise and cowhide rug and flooring in this room designed by Nina Green are warm and welcoming and have me ready for relaxation!

Green Transitional Bedroom With Plush Chaise

Design by Susan Manrao

My bedroom tends to be the most comfortable spot for relaxation in the house, but I find that if I lay on the bed I have the urge to fall into a deep sleep. I like how Susan Manrao included a chaise in this bedroom for lighter naps and reading time — it’s a way to relax without confusing the internal body clock.

How do you chase the stress away? Tell us in the comments below.

Did you know that all of these images are shoppable? Click on your favorite image above to head to the HGTV Photo Library
and look for the “Shop This Look” button for more details.

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Sure, spring is still new, but another season is fast approaching: Wedding season! Whether you’re attending a friend’s ceremony or are busy planning your own big day (like Kayla and me!,) spring and summer are the most popular times to tie the knot. (If you’re as excited as we are, check out our new Wedding Survival Guide series!)

And the hottest color to be surrounded by while gettin’ hitched? You guessed it: cool mint green. From retro glassware to bridesmaid dresses to delicate French macarons, this color is everywhere. So, we’re naming April’s Color of the Month after the original mint green wedding fixture: Those melt-away wedding mints.

Succulent Wedding Bouquet
We’ve featured mint before, but Wedding Mint is softer with gray undertones — think of the soft green of succulent petals or a vintage jadeite platter. Isn’t this succulent bouquet gorgeous? (Confession: It’s already on my wedding Pinterest board.)

Mint Green Kitchen Design by Mark Williams

Design by Mark WIlliams

Okay, let’s say you don’t have weddings on the brain. This color is bright and cheerful, yet muted enough to cover all four walls. Here, designer Mark Williams painted this entire eat-in kitchen — even the trim — with a minty hue.

MORE GORGEOUS WAYS TO USE MINT GREEN

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No one can deny how wonderful spring is — flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and bright hues are replacing the dark shades of winter. And I have to say, our design team created the most colorful home on the block. Here’s a sneak peek at HGTV Spring House, coming to HGTV.com this Monday.

HGTV Spring House Sneak Peek

We can’t wait for you all to see what we’ve been working on for, well, months now! Here’s the scoop: our dedicated design team has been hard at work for the past three months getting this Atlanta home ready for the spring season. What can you expect?

  • Family-friendly decorating ideas
  • Easy spring-inspired DIY projects
  • Flower arrangements for beginners
  • Deck and patio decorating tips
  • Alfresco entertaining ideas
  • Spring recipes for any occasion

From the deck to the dining room, we have you covered. We get that it’s been a long winter, and we’re ready to infuse your life with color and inspiring ideas that will take you through summer.

So, log onto HGTV.com Monday, April 20 to see HGTV Spring House in its full glory. (We promise lots of tulips and citrus-y hues.) See you there!

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Last week, we asked if you preferred a traditional or Mediterranean sunroom. This traditional room was the clear winner, with 77 percent of the votes.

Traditional Sunroom With Classic Color Combo

Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo

Most of you agreed the furniture and classic colors felt more like a sunroom should. “The traditional room has a peaceful feeling. When I’m in a sunroom I want to relax,” HGTV fan Nancy said. To get a similar look in your home, follow our tips below.

Classic Color Combo

Traditional Sunroom With Floral Chairs and Striped Drapery

Traditional rooms often feature neutral color palettes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The key: Go with classic color palettes. Combine navys and reds or peach and green tones in damask and floral patterns. Pair the fabric with rich wood or plain white furniture to complete the classic look.

Warm Flooring

Traditional Sunroom With Rug

Traditional style is all about comfort. If your sunroom has concrete or tile flooring, warm it up with a large area rug.

Natural Light

Traditional Room With French Doors

Design by Elinor Jones

Traditional style reflects that of French countryside. Glass or French doors will add a traditional touch, along with plenty of natural light.

Timeless Pieces

Symmetrical Living Room

Design by Julie Dodson

Accessorize with intricate furnishings that stand the test of time. Oil paintings, ornate pieces, fringe accents and symmetry are key in accomplishing a traditional look.

Browse through our favorite traditional spaces>>

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It’s that time of year again: everyone is gearing up for a season full of proms, formals, weddings and more. I’m not exaggerating — all three ladies on my team are currently planning weddings (something that makes my event-planning heart sing!). So why not make a special pair of dancing shoes to celebrate these occasions? Or, you know, just a regular date night. Check these out:

DIY Heart Glitter Heels - HGTV's Design Blog Design Happens

Watch the video to see how you can add a little sparkle to a basic pair of pointed-toe shoes.

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I just love how these turned out, and they couldn’t be easier to make! I’m already planning to make a pair of flats for my little girl Lulu. What are you inspired to add glitter hearts to? Do you have any special occasions on deck this spring?

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Alright, D-Hap readers. I need you to go way back in your memory banks for a minute. Back in 2012 and 2013 we shared some beautiful design vignettes created by our Home Studio interns that focused on both current and iconic design trends. Aspiring interior designer Justin DiPiero spent two quarters as an HGTV design intern and I’ve been shamelessly Insta-stalking him ever since he left.

Fast forward to 2015 and Justin is now a Homepolish interior designer in New York City. But finding the perfect job came with a bit of a nightmarish task — house hunting in the Big Apple. After finding the perfect spot in Brooklyn, he wanted to throw a city-style housewarming party to thank his friends for hosting him during his search. Certainly one of the perks of being an interior designer is being able to source beautiful products and inspiration to throw a killer soiree on a budget, and that’s just what he did. We love how he infused coastal style with elements found in NYC’s Chinatown. Check it out:

Justin’s Party Tips:

I tried to bring my two worlds together. Since I went to school in the South and identify myself as Southern, I wanted to pay tribute to the past but also inject some of the present; that’s what led the look and decor for the party.

Homepolish Housewarming Party

Homepolish Housewarming Party

Chic + Budget-Friendly Party Ideas

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