Briana Mowrey

"I want the Eames chair and I want the Saarinen table and I want them both."

Briana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey, and approximately one million old shelter magazines. She cannot wait until she is a home owner, and can wallpaper and/or tile just about every available surface.

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POSTS BY Briana Mowrey

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LIZ: The 2015 Pantone Color of the Year…is Marsala. AKA reddish-brown. Here’s a video of the announcement. I mean, come on. It’s the worst:

Do you like marsala, the new Pantone Color of the Year? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Does anyone like this?

LILI: SIIIIIIGH.

BRIANA:

Do you like marsala? Or does it make you make this face? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

via reactiongifs.com

 

MALLORY: Not a fan. We’ve been renaming it here all morning. It’s just…muddy.

LIZ: Looks a lot like “oxblood” to me.

LILI: It looks like how oxblood would taste.

JESSICA: -steps up to the mic-

I kind of….

Like it…..?

A little?

HANNAH:

via a-gif-for-you.tumblr.com

JESSICA: I’m of course, completely ignoring everything about it except for the pomegranate seeds I saw on the landing page. I’ll only accept the pomegranate color. Please don’t throw oxblood on me this is a new cardigan.

HANNAH: I would argue that they put the pomegranate seeds there to throw you. It’s like how Real Simple keeps putting pomegranate seeds on vegetables people would, under less pretty circumstances, not want to eat.

FARIMA: I only like this color in my wine glass.

KAYLA: In fashion, yes. In decor, no.

LIZ: This seems like a relatively okay way to use it:

Do you like marsala? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

via Pinterest

I’d probably wear marsala pants.

KAYLA: Ariana Grande sort of has marsala hair here…She’s so trendy.

Do you like the marsala color of Ariana's hair? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

via Pinterest

CAMILLE: I could get behind this color if it were just more saturated and not so wishy-washy – is it brown? Is it red? I agree w/ Mallory – it’s just too muddy. The Pantone peeps are supposed to be color experts; they need to select colors not color fence straddlers. Now aubergine or pomegranate (like I think Jessica said) or even an intense ruby – those are reds I would embrace.

LIZ: I agree. I think this is their attempt to embrace the “neutrals with a hint of color” trend that’s been going on for awhile, but it’s too wishy-washy.  However, there’s typically a pretty wide-ranging interpretation of the color, so we’ll probably see some more saturated versions being billed as “marsala.”

KELLY: I have to say that I like this color. Do I want to paint a whole room with it? No. But maybe an accent wall … or chair covers. It reminds me of the Southwest and certain colors of rock and shades of adobe. What I don’t like is the name. It makes me think of overcooked chicken. I’d much rather call it Canyon or Terra Cotta, something that alludes to the earthiness.

MALLORY: I mean….ew:

BRIANA: Do you think marsala is gross? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

LILI: Maybe they thought they were picking Masala instead of MARsala:

Do you like marsala or do you like masala better? Vote now on HGTV's blog!

via food.lohudblogs.com

JESSICA: Maybe they should have picked blue like I wanted them to and none of this would be happening. When do we get to overthrow?

LIZ: Not that it really matters, but the Sherwin-Williams color of the year is “Coral Reef.” Better, no?

Do you like the Sherwin Williams color of the year? Or do you prefer Pantone's? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

JESSICA:

via wikimedia.org

LILI: I might hate that more.

KAYLA: Yeah, that’s bad.

LIZ: Well, at least it’s not named after wine too crappy to drink.

We’ve given you our colorful opinions about marsala, now tell us what YOU think:

 

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As a writer, I’m pretty partial to letters, but it seems like you readers may be, too. Since my post about paper mache and cardboard letters got a good response (I see you pinning away!), I thought I’d dig up some ideas around wooden letters that may be up your alley as well. Take a look at these easy wooden letter crafts and get inspired to start spelling.

5 Wooden Letter Ideas That Add Personality: Personalized Wall Art

Design: Susie Fougerousse

WOODEN LETTERS –> PERSONALIZED WALL ART
Use wooden chipboard letters to personalize a kids’ bedroom, like designer Susie Fougerousse did here. This is especially handy for making kids feel like they have their own space in a bedroom shared with siblings.

MORE EASY IDEAS FOR WOODEN LETTERS

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I feel like lace has an unfair reputation for being too frilly and old fashioned, but I’ve noticed it starting to make a comeback. AKDO even has a whole lace tile collection, so it seems other people have noticed, too! If you’re ready to embrace lace, I’ve found five crafts that make the fabric feel modern and fresh again.

5 Lace Crafts We're Loving Now: Lace Vases

Design: Michelle Edgemont

LACE –> MODERN VASE
This craft from Michelle Edgemont is an easy and elegant way to use scraps of lace. Just add white paint and some hurricane vases, and you’ve got a modern-looking vessel with tons of texture. Check out her tutorial for more how-to tips.

MORE COOL LACE CRAFTS TO TRY

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BRIANA: It seems like we’ve had our eye on agate for a long time, but it’s been even bigger in 2014. It’s been cropping up in kitchen counters and is prominently featured in Target’s Threshold Fall 2014 collection (seen here). So, what do you think of the agate trend? Do you think it rocks or does it leave you stone cold?

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Target Threshold Agate Coasters and Agate Trays (available Sept. 7 – Oct. 16)

MARIEL: Agate rocks! (Ahem.) Seriously, I’m digging this trend. I’m not sure I would go this far…

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Credit: Photography by Eurotech Cabinetry, Inc

but I’m coveting the agate accents on this starburst chandelier.

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Emporium Home Agate Burst Chandelier

MORE ARGUING OVER AGATE

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Craft supply stores are dangerous places for me. I’ll go in for one specific item and walk out with dozens of random treasures that caught my eye. (Hello, iron-on patches and calligraphy pens!) If you’re an impulse shopper like I am, you may have picked up a few plain cardboard or paper mache letters…aaaaand then wondered what exactly to do with them when you got them home. Well, fear not, because I found some easy ways to pretty them up in no time.

5 Lovely Ideas for Paper Mache Letters: Jute-Covered Monogram Wreath

Design: Chelsea McDonnough

PLAIN PAPER MACHE LETTER –> JUTE-COVERED MONOGRAM WREATH
The return of Pumpkin Spice-flavored everything signals that it’s time to switch up your seasonal decor. This jute-covered monogram is an unexpected but appealing alternative to all those fall wreaths covered in leaves and corn. Get the instructions here.

MORE PAPER MACHE AND CARDBOARD LETTER IDEAS

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I always wanted a wagon as a kid, though I can’t quite remember why. Maybe I had visions of racing one down a hill or using it to haul my dolls all over the neighborhood? In any event, I think I must have known then what I know now: Kids’ wagons are fun and functional, all in one shiny package. Even if you’ve long outgrown the days of pulling your stuffed animals or little siblings around in a wagon, there are still plenty of uses for the classic toys. Take a look at these fresh ideas for kids’ wagons and embrace your inner child’s style.

5 Fresh Ideas for Kids' Wagons: Container Garden

Design: Nancy Ondra

Old Kids’ Wagon –> New Moveable Container Garden
If you’ve read this column before, you know lots of unusual items turn out to be fantastic container gardens, but I like this twist of using a wagon, because your plants become portable! Don’t like where you’ve placed them? They need more sun or more shade? Wheel them where you please.

MORE COOL WAYS TO USE KIDS’ WAGONS

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BRIANA: Chunky knits and macramé have been fairly divisive around these parts, so I’m curious as to what you make of the tapestry and woven wall hanging trend. The look can be very artisanal and DIY, but you could even display a colorful rug as Brian Patrick Flynn did here. They add dimension and texture to a space, but do you think woven wall hangings are beautiful pieces of art? Or is this tapestry trend just too off the wall for you?

Do you like the tapestry and woven wall hanging trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: It all comes down to the scale of the rug. If it’s teensy weensy, then the rug is wimpy and the effect is lost. If it’s medium or large scale, you’re good. Also, muddy colors tend to just look blah and drab on a wall. Try to stick with rugs that have deeply saturated colors.

LILI: All I see when I see a tapestry is its dust-collecting potential.

MORE TAPESTRY TALK

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Last week I featured some clever birdhouse projects and since I’m on a roll with the theme, I thought I’d keep it going with birdcages. Whether they’re modern or antique, wooden or metal, birdcages can be charming home accessories, even if you don’t have any feathered friends. Check out these birdcage decor ideas for inspired ways to revamp a roost.

5 Birdcage Decor Ideas: Wedding Centerpiece

Credit: Courtesy of BHLDN

MORE BEAUTIFUL BIRDCAGE DECOR IDEAS

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Did you know it’s the perfect time to start thinking about birdhouses? Many birds won’t use a house until it has a weathered look, so some experts suggest getting birdhouses up by late summer or early fall in preparation for the spring. Even if you’re not an avian enthusiast, the charming little boxes can be used in so many other contexts. Take a look at these birdhouse decor ideas and get inspired to feather your nest with some of these structures.

5 Birdhouse Decor Ideas That Aren't for the Birds: Fence Flair

Credit: Janell Beals

Birdhouses –> Fence Flair
Give an old, drab fence some pizzazz by adding a collection of decorative birdhouses. This idea from Janell Beals works well with a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes. Check out her tutorial to see how you can copy the look.

MORE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS FOR BIRDHOUSES

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BRIANA: Colorful appliances were a top trend at this year’s Architectural Digest show and the look is really starting to get some traction. GE is even exploring the idea of colorful “skins” for appliances, a concept that would allow consumers to swap colors on their refrigerators and dishwashers, much like you’d swap out your cell phone case. What do you think of colorful appliances? Are they eye-catching expressions of individuality and fun jolts of color? Or are they gaudy and expensive eyesores?

Do you like the colorful appliance trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

KAYLA: This might be my favorite DTT yet. I love colorful appliances so much. I don’t want a retro kitchen, but I love retro appliances like this. It’s almost like you either have to have a black refrigerator, a white refrigerator or a stainless steel refrigerator unless you do something built in to the cabinetry (which isn’t my style). A fridge is a necessity and it’s super clunky, so why not turn it into something eye-catching? GE is smart.

I pinned this [pink mini fridge] forever ago and I keep going back to it. So dreamy. It’s a tad small, but so sweet in this space. Also, I love this bright red fridge from my color pitch last year, and this kelly green espresso maker. I could go on…

DO YOU LIKE THIS TREND? VOTE NOW!

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My parents are in the process of moving, so I’ve got real estate and curb appeal on the brain. Of course, house numbers can be an important part of amping up your home’s curb appeal, but did you know they can pack a visual punch inside the home as well? Take a look at these eye-catching ideas for house numbers and try not to be too tempted to pry yours off the side of your place for crafting purposes.

5 Hot Ideas for House Numbers: On the Stairs

Photo: Björn Wallander/HGTV Magazine

On the Stairs
This example from Sarah Richardson’s cozy farmhouse retreat makes great use of an often overlooked area of the house: the stairs. Here, a trompe l’oeil stair runner adds some welcome color and the old house numbers feel kid-friendly and whimsical. Check out the rest of Sarah’s home in HGTV Magazine‘s spread.

MORE HOT IDEAS FOR HOUSE NUMBERS

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I’m not sure where the summer went (seriously, where did it go?!), but it’s getting to be time for pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, aka back to school. Whether you greet the school year with dread or excitement, the upside is that school items and supplies offer plenty of DIY decor inspiration. Take a look at these crafty ideas that totally make the honor roll.

5 Back to School Crafts: Pennant Banner

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

This vintage pennant banner from Brian Patrick Flynn really gets me in the school spirit. Though it’s intended for a themed party, I can easily imagine this dressing up a kids’ bedroom or even a game room, can’t you? Check out all the instructions over on DIY Network.

MORE BACK TO SCHOOL BEAUTIES

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BRIANA: Here’s a seasonable topic from our own Camille: Outdoor living rooms. It seems like people are making their decks, patios and yards more elaborate and bringing all the comforts of the indoors outside. There are plenty of beautiful examples of this trend, like this cabana, but what are your personal feelings on elaborate outdoor living rooms? Are living rooms even greater in the great outdoors or are they big wastes of space?

Do You Like the Outdoor Living Room Furniture Trend?

Image: Courtesy of Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

MEG: That cabana makes me want to lounge outside in a caftan with a turban on my head and a spritzer in my hand all day long. I think it’s crucial to create spaces in your home that are intended for rest, relaxation, and time spent outdoors. The more we can make our homes invite that type of chill vibe, the better! If I had a backyard big enough to hold my own cabana, you better believe I’d be on that in a heartbeat. And let’s just ASSUME a hammock is involved, okay?

GRANT: I’d love to have a space like this, but l always wonder where the people put all this mess after the photo op is finished.

Do You Like the Outdoor Living Room Furniture Trend?

Design: Jamie Durie

As it is, my tiny outdoor set gets so dirty so fast and I’m super resentful of the citronella candles I need to bring inside.

MORE ARGUING ABOUT ELABORATE OUTDOOR LIVING ROOMS

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Did you like my post about musical instrument design ideas? Then I’m betting these sheet music crafts will be up your alley, too! If you’ve got old sheet music that hasn’t seen love since your childhood piano lessons, consider turning it into something you can enjoy and admire every day. (Of course, you could always keep an eye out for old sheet music at flea markets, too.) If you object to repurposing the original sheets for crafts, you can easily make copies on similarly-colored paper.

Sheet Music Crafts: Decoupaged Dresser

Design: Marian Parsons

Old Sheet Music –> New Decoupaged Dresser
This idea for old sheet music from Marian Parsons serves another purpose: hiding imperfections like gouges or water marks on furniture. The lovely aged color of the music looks totally at home in this shabby-chic style setting, too.

MORE CRAFTY USES FOR SHEET MUSIC

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Baskets are something that mysteriously accumulate in my home. I think between flower arrangements and gifts of fruit, they just pile up in my hall closet, waiting for their time to shine again. If you can relate, take a look at these cool crafts and ideas for baskets and get inspired to use yours for something beyond bananas, pears and apples.

5 Brilliant Basket Ideas and Crafts: Light Fixture

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Old Basket –> New Light Fixture
This idea from Brian Patrick Flynn is perfect for deeper baskets that already resemble lampshades. The rope adds a touch of coastal-cool to this nautical light fixture. Get the full tutorial on DIYNetwork.com.

MORE BRILLZ BASKET IDEAS

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BRIANA: We’ve hashed out our feelings about hand chairs, but now I want to know your thoughts on a whole other type of hand: the hand sculpture or accessory. Hands have long been artist’s models or glove molds, but they were spotted at High Point Market and are making their way into the home as decorative objects,  jewelry holders and even hardware. Do you give them a high five or thumbs down?

Do you like the hand sculpture and accessory trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

JESSICA: I just thought of about 10 hand sculpture possibilities that would work for me. Most of them are offensive.

FARIMA: I would keep a hand sculpture flipping the bird in my car. Otherwise, no.

MORE HEMMING AND HAWING ABOUT HANDS

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We’ve covered some cool ideas for buckets in this space, but since you might be doing some more outdoor entertaining these days, I’ve gotta share these ideas for galvanized tubs. Whether you use them to add ambiance to your yard or to keep drinks chilly for your guests, they’re sure to come in handy. Take a look…

5 Outdoor Ideas for Galvanized Metal Wash Tubs: Light Fixture

Old Galvanized Tub –> New Light Fixture
A galvanized tub light fixture has a rustic industrial charm that looks just right over an outdoor dining table. Check out Brian Patrick Flynn’s project on DIY Network to see how to make your own version at home.

MORE WONDERFUL WASH TUB IDEAS

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Are you musically inclined? I never played an instrument when I was growing up, but one of the first gifts my husband bought for me when we started dating was a silver glitter Danelectro bass. He was teaching me how to play and my lessons were coming along nicely…until we got noise complaints from our neighbors across the hall. (Uh, sorry for rocking too hard, guys!) While it might not be practical to play again until we eventually move to the suburbs, I hate to see Estelle (that’s what I named her) collecting dust up in our loft, so I may take a cue from these smart ideas that turn musical instruments into decor worthy of admiration in the meantime.

5 Interesting Musical Instrument Design Ideas: Coffee Table Conversation Piece

Coffee Table Conversation Piece
I love the space-saving musical instrument idea in this small studio by Casey Noble. Nestled inside a cool custom coffee table, the guitar has a place of honor and is protected, as the table acts as a kind of guitar case.

MORE IDEAS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

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BRIANA: Sculptural busts go way back – like classical antiquity way back – but it seems like they’re having a moment again. Whether they’re old-school, updated with a flashy coat of paint or placed in an unexpected context (like these Mineheart pendants spotted at ICFF), they’re cropping up all over the place. What do you think of the trend? Is it cultured and cool? Or are bust sculptures too stuffy for you?

CAMILLE: Needless to say that as a traditionalist and antiques super fan, I’m all in when it comes to classical busts – especially when they represent Greco/Roman mythology. Like this bust of history’s original wild woman Artemis (aka Diana) that I scored at an estate sale in 2012.

Do you like the bust sculpture trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

In fact, I did a blog post about this trend and explained a bit about the different materials used for busts here…

MORE BUSTING ON BUSTS

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Did you go anywhere fun for the 4th of July holiday? I went to the beach with my folks and bought a handful of souvenir postcards to send to friends, but then I saw these adorable postcard ideas and considered keeping them myself. Hey, can you blame me? Take a look at these creative ways to use and display old postcards and you might be tempted to hoard yours as well.

5 Pretty Postcard Ideas to Try: Banner

Credit: Emily Fazio

OLD POSTCARDS —> NEW BIRTHDAY BANNER
This birthday banner (made with Pantone postcards) by Emily Fazio is festive, cute and cheaper than a banner you’d find at a party supply store if you use postcards you already have. Get all the how-to instructions on DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog.

MORE PRETTY IDEAS FOR POSTCARDS

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