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.

Briana Mowrey ON PINTEREST

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  • Chelsea Sofa
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POSTS BY Briana Mowrey

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When I say in my blog bio that I’m a “mid-century modern magpie,” it’s not just an excuse to get alliterative. Like the bird of the same name, I too hoard small shiny objects. Jewelry is a particular problem for me, and no matter how many boxes or trinket dishes I fill, I’m compelled to collect more baubles. Now that I’m in spring cleaning mode, I’m trying to get organized and part with the pieces I rarely wear, but what can I say? I’m sentimental. This Pinterest pin inspired me to start thinking of old jewelry in a new light and I found even more amazing craft ideas to turn my paste into priceless decor. Now I can keep it all! [insert evil supervillain laugh here]

Old Jewelry Crafts That Are Real Gems
Old jewelry is a perfect way to get creative with curtains. Use a beaded necklace as an eye-catching tieback that won’t break the bank, like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here. (Bonus: It picks up the colors in the wallpaper, too.)

Old Jewelry Crafts That Are Real Gems
Don’t have a beaded necklace you can spare? Thick bracelets or men’s cuffs also work well in this context. Cinching your curtains is a cinch with old jewelry!

MORE BRILLIANT OLD JEWELRY CRAFTS

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We’ve covered crafts you can make with wine corks, bottles, glasses and crates…what could possibly be left? This great post on Made + Remade reminded me: Wine barrels! Small scotch barrels make for attractive shelving and storage, but you’ve gotta think bigger for wine barrels. Take a look at some of our best ideas and if you’re inspired, hit up your local winery or hardware store’s garden center to claim your vessel.

5 Whimsical Wine Barrel Furniture Ideas

This wine barrel fountain‘s got a clever twist: the water flows out of the wine bottle on top! This would make a charming water feature for any oenophile’s garden. Get all the how-to details here.

MORE IDEAS FOR WINE BARRELS

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BRIANA: Today’s trend comes to us from the HGTV Home Studio Home & Garden Headlines newsletter: Black fences. I’ve heard what you think about black walls, but what about these hot garden backdrops cropping up everywhere? Are they a great contrast for all the flora and fauna or too dark and dreary for the outdoors? Do you prefer fences of the white picket variety or are you ready to embrace this trend? Talk to me!

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

Photo: The Landscape Architect Garden Design Consultancy via Gardenista

MARIANNE: I love the contrast of a deep charcoal fence against lush greenery. In fact I love the color combo so much we are contemplating painting our modern house in the woods almost black! The darker tones in this Brian Patrick Flynn design are my inspiration:

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

MORE BICKERING ABOUT BLACK FENCES

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Although you can never go wrong with a delicious home-cooked spread, trays are for more than just breakfast in bed. If you’ve got some wooden or metal trays taking up space in your cabinets, bust them out and give them new life with these pretty craft ideas.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays

A tray can add a little glitz to your vanity…and keep your cosmetics, candles and jewelry elegantly organized. Try this tutorial from Maureen Stevens for an Art Deco tray upgrade that has loads of Gatsby glamor.

MORE TERRIFIC IDEAS FOR TRAYS

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Sweaters used to be my winter uniform, but pesky moths seem to have made a feast of my fashions. If you’re like me and have a closet full of holey sweaters that you’d like to replace, don’t toss them out before you take a look at these cool ideas for upcycling sweaters.

5 Sweater Crafts That Are No Sweat

These dress shirt and sweater pillows from Brian Patrick Flynn are delightfully preppy and would add a wonderful menswear touch to any bedroom. Get all the how-to details and instructions here.

MORE AMAZING WAYS TO UPCYCLE SWEATERS

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No one but Hannah replied to my first proposed Defend the Trend topic of chunky knits (which are a real trend), maybe because we had done macramé and it was just too similar? Maybe because this winter has slowly crushed our spirits and sapped us of our collective will to live? (It’s been tough here in NYC.) Anyway, here are some of our thoughts about marshmallows, marshmallows with Instagrams printed on them and other things with Instagrams/pictures printed on them instead. Enjoy! And eat some marshmallows. Or don’t. I don’t know anymore.

LIZ: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/87609155225659761/

(NY people, just roast them over a radiator in your cubes.)

BRIANA: I’ve seen this with Oreos, but Thin Mints is next-level. Good thing I’m allergic to Thin Mints, because I feel like I’d eat a ton of these.

LILI: This looks delicious, even to someone who hates marshmallows.

LIZ: YOU GUYS: https://boomf.com/

FARIMA: Whaaat? That’s awesome. I wonder what else you can put your Instagrams on.

KAYLA: Probably the biggest waste of money ever.

LIZ: OR is it the best waste of money ever?

ALYSSA: This is NOT okay. Even my food instagrams aren’t appetizing as a boomf marshmallow

KAYLA: Depends. Unless I got BOOMF marshmallows that say: “M-A-R-R-Y M-E?” in hot chocolate or on SOMETHING chocolate, I’m not interested.

LILI: I want to instagram a picture of marshmallows and have them boomfed.

BRIANA: Meta BOOMF! Inception BOOMF! (I really like saying BOOMF!)

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Decorating with Instagram photos is a great topic. We should all be investing in companies that make 4 x 4 frames. (Note: Pottery Barn.) I recently ordered a stack of Instagram prints from Printstagram (who has some nice related products, too). I kinda dig the giant frame with many, many Instagrams, like this:

Do you like the trend of printing Instagram photos? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Although, is Instagram pics in general what you’re talking about? Maybe not. Oh well. Instagram stickers are cute.

BRIANA: We can talk about anything we want! I am enjoying this very mild anarchy!

MORE GABBING ABOUT INSTAGRAM

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The winter Olympics may be over, but you can still add a little sporty spice to your home. If you have old baseball, golf, billiard or croquet equipment collecting dust in your home, these sports crafts are perfect for you. Take a look at these ideas and hit a DIY home run!

5 Sports Crafts for Your Inner Athlete

If you’re like me and played croquet a sum total of one time after watching Heathers, turn your old set into some way-cool wall art like this vignette from HGTV’s Cousins Undercover. Move over, starburst mirror! These mallets really make a statement.

MORE SPIFFY SPORTS CRAFTS

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It’s been snowing pretty much every other day here in NYC (or that’s what it feels like!), so I have been thinking a great deal about footwear. I’d been getting by with some cheap wellies and thick socks until one of the wellies sprung a leak. Now I’ve got proper snow boots (thank you, Sorel), but even though my old wellies aren’t made for walking anymore, they’re pretty perfect for fun projects. Take a look at these ideas for old shoes and achieve great crafting feats with things that used to go on your feet. (Oof, sorry. I think cabin fever makes me punnier than usual.)

Revive old shoes with these craft ideas on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Now here’s a wonderful way to give some new life to your old galoshes…literally! Grow a strawberry plant in boots with this tutorial on HGTVGardens. Sigh. This is definitely making me long for spring.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD SHOES

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BRIANA: Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Let’s discuss Cupid’s weapon of choice, the arrow. Seems like they’re equally popular as a motif and actual styling item these days. What do you think? Are you in love with arrows or do they miss the mark?

Do you like arrows in design? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Jeff Romaniuk

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Best example:

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

I think they’re a fun way to direct the eye and give a design an overt focal point.

MORE TAKING AIM AT ARROWS

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Wooden ladders are functional, but did you know they can also be fun? If you have an old ladder or two hiding in the garage or attic, check out these clever ideas for repurposing them as home decor.

Make a shelving unit out of wooden ladders! Get more wooden ladder ideas from HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Photo: Thomas Liggett

This wooden ladder shelving unit from HGTV Magazine is a bright idea, both literally and figuratively. (Don’t have two ladders to spare? Find some at your local flea market!)

MORE WAYS TO WORK A WOODEN LADDER

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Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)

Make adorable treat cups out of paper doilies! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES

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BRIANA: You may remember macramé from such ‘70s accessories as owls or plant hangers, but according to recent trend lists, it’s coming back in a big way – particularly as wall art. Are you ready to embrace the macramé revival or are you SO knot not feeling it?

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

Photo: Ace Hotel Palm Springs lobby

JESSICA:
Do you like the macrame trend or think it's for hippies? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

KELLEY: ::busts out laughing::

DAVID HAYNES: I love it. (We have that sign and also a side door.)

JESSICA: I did a lot of thinking about this and I have been desperately wanting to buy a dreamcatcher. Does that count? We had a handmade one when I was growing up (perks living close to a bunch of Native American reservations) and I’d like to have/make one again.

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

Photo: KeepAustinDreaming on Etsy

Oh no…..Am I the hippie?!?!?

LILI: J’accuse!

MORE MOANING ABOUT MACRAMÉ

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Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.

Make valentines and more crafts with game pieces from HGTV's Design Happens blog!
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.

MORE GOOD IDEAS FOR OLD GAMES

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I remember my dad tucking fold-up maps and road atlases in the car before road trips when I was a kid. These days, in-dash navigational systems are becoming standard and smartphones can call up directions with a few finger taps and swipes. Paper maps may be falling out of favor when it comes to travel, but they’re hotter than ever in the home. Take a look at these cool vintage map crafts and get ready to raid your car’s backseat pockets and glove compartments for supplies!

Like these chairs? See 4 more cool map crafts you can make on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Plain wooden chairs for little explorers are a lot more appealing after a decoupage map makeover! Follow Brian Patrick Flynn’s tutorial and jazz up your kids’ bedrooms or playrooms on the cheap.

MORE EYE-CATCHING MAP CRAFTS

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BRIANA: It’s 2014, which means we’ve got a whole new class of trends to defend…or not. One look that stood out on House Beautiful’s 2014 design trends list was mixed metallics. Our own Brian Patrick Flynn played with different shades of gold in a recent office makeover. So, what do you think? Have you taken a shine to mixing silver and gold or do you think metals should stay solo?

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

MARIANNE: I am all for it. I don’t decorate with silver or chrome much but I love to mix warm metallics like gold, copper, and brass. I mean, get a load of this glamourkitchen from designer Jean Louis Deniot. Hubba hubba:

Do you like the mixed metallics look? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

WOULD YOU MIX METALS? VOTE NOW!

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I live in the land of subways and taxis here in NYC, so while I rarely get a chance to drive anymore, I still appreciate the look of license plates. I particularly love vanity plates and the designs on plates that support worthwhile causes. While I may not be behind the wheel anytime soon, these eye-catching license plate crafts mean I can surround myself with road-tested style. Check out my finds and get inspired to snatch up vintage plates the next time you’re thrifting or browsing an online auction site!

Learn how to make this license plate divider and more license plate crafts on HGTV's Design Happens blog
This license plate room divider by Brian Patrick Flynn provides a jolt of color and a little privacy to boot. It looks super cool in this outdoor room, adding a bit of art where it’s usually hard to find.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD LICENSE PLATES

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It’s been a while since we featured projects specifically for oenophiles, but if you’ve crafted with all of your corks and are still looking for more raw materials, look no further than the wooden wine crate. Like milk crates, these sturdy boxes are surprisingly simple to transform and have a certain rustic flair. (Not big on wine? Fruit or soda crates may work for many of these makeovers, or you can head to your local craft supply store for plain crates.) Drink in these clever ideas and when you find one you like, try the tutorial!

6 Crafty Ways to Update Wood Crates: Toy Box
Keep kid clutter to a minimum with these mobile wooden crate toy boxes from Brian Patrick Flynn. Names spelled out with stencils are a cute, personal touch.

MORE WOODEN CRATE CREATIONS

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BRIANA: Over-the-top holiday light displays aren’t exactly a new fad, but this 2013 trend list suggests that social media and Pinterest are inspiring people to get more creative. Themes like “winter wonderlands, candy canes, Santa’s workshop and character themes” are apparently in-demand and hey, looks like someone found a way to tip a hat to that fox trend, too. Some homeowners have even gone high-tech with smartphone apps so they can orchestrate the whole setup with just a tap or flick of the finger. So, what do you think? Are souped-up holiday light displays merry or scary?

Are over-the-top holiday lights merry or scary? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

MARIANNE: Do I love to take my kids out in their Christmas jammies for a holiday light tour? Definitely. Do I put lights on my house? Nope.

KAYLA: I’m with you, Marianne. They’re great to look at it but I’ll never, ever, ever put lights on my house like that. I’d rather sit on my sofa and sip a hot toddy. I do appreciate those that go the extra mile, though.

MORE HOLLERIN’ ABOUT HOLIDAY LIGHTS

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BRIANA: Pantone has released the 2014 Color of the Year and it’s [drumroll, please] Radiant Orchid!

Do you like Pantone's Color of the Year 2014? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photos: Courtesy of Pantone

Are you glad this purple/pink has put down roots and blossomed or is the hue too much for you?

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

Design: Mary Jo Fiorella/Fiorella Design, Photo: Frank Paul Perez

LILI: Make way for this gorgeous pink, y’all.

KELLEY: Oh wow – way better than Honeysuckle. And quite ’80s, too. Our whole senior class seemed to have ruffle-necked shirts in that color, LOL!

MARIANNE: It’s very Unicorn Club (points if you get that reference).

MORE OPINING ABOUT ORCHID

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There’s nothing like a classy beverage to make a holiday party feel more festive or to whet everyone’s appetite for small bites. My husband and I are cocktail enthusiasts, but as much as I love drinks with lots of exotic ingredients and elaborate garnishes (hello, flaming limes!), we’ve found it’s best to keep it simple behind the bar when you’re entertaining for a large group. It’s also a good idea to keep drinks on the low-alcohol end of the spectrum so guests can sip the night away without feeling the negative effects the next morning. So, what do you mix when you’re looking for something simple, low-alcohol, festive and tasty? Enter the shim!

The Pleasant Evening cocktail on a tray

TWO TASTY COCKTAIL RECIPES TO TRY

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

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