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

  • Potted Indoor Citrus
  • love this lip balm
  • DIY Christmas tree c

POSTS BY Briana Mowrey

  • Tell Your Friends

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

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: I professed my tree & tree branch decor crush back in 2011 (still love you, Cole & Son Woods!), but even back then, I recognized that there was some trend fatigue. Fast forward to 2013. I just noticed an item in this month’s issue of People StyleWatch declaring that Tree Branch Decor was OUT. Their expert says people are going more modern and less rustic these days, but what do you think? Are you still a tree-hugger or do you wish this trend would make like a tree and leaf? (Sorry not sorry.)

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

DEANNE REVEL: I was just looking at my accessory tree that holds all my necklaces and headbands this morning and thinking, “Man, I need to get hip. This isn’t cool anymore.”

FARIMA: I was never really on the tree train. I say keep it to nurseries only.

MARIANNE: I prefer my trees petrified these days.

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

Photo: Charles Tilford/Flickr

MORE BANTER ABOUT TREE BRANCHES

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Put a fox on it? From the looks of it, this crafty creature has made everyone forget about birds. Abbi suggested foxes as a possible DTT topic a few months back because she was noticing them all over baby goods and nurseries – now they’re all over these products Kayla featured in her mood board*, not to mention viral videos. We may never know what the fox says, but what do YOU say about foxes?

Mood Board Monday: Fox Fashion and Decor

MARIANNE: Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox was my favorite book as a kid (I kind of had a crush on Mr. Fox?), so I love foxes…but it bums me out that they are so overplayed right now. Though I will confess to dressing my kid in a fox onesie and loving it:

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

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I love foxes. They’re like dogs you can’t tame. They look cuddly but they’re really wild and elusive. I agree they’re getting a bit overplayed, but I’m also glad they’re being used sans hunting scene this go ’round.

MORE FIGHTING OVER FOXES

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Move over, orange – there’s a new color in town. White pumpkins were once novel, but now they threaten to usurp the Halloween pumpkin throne. So, what do you think? Do white pumpkins look smashing or would you like to smash them?

Do you like the white pumpkin trend for Halloween? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

MARIANNE: I love all of the non-traditional pumpkins right now, white included. My mom just made this motley gourd tower and I’m digging it.

Do you like the white pumpkin trend for Halloween? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

HANNAH SLAUGHTER: Kelly Smith Trimble is single-handedly responsible for me embracing the white pumpkins. They  just seem so elegant!

READ MORE

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Barn doors have been making their way indoors and have landed on top of trend lists in the process. What do you folks think of these rustic accents? Do they make you say “OMG ILU” or “E-I-E-I-OH NO”?

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

Design: Linda Woodrum for HGTV’s 2011 Dream Home

ALYSSA: It’s not a look I’d typically go for, but I actually loved what Tiffany [Brooks] did with one for the winners of our Most Embarrassing Kitchen in America. Choosing to stain it blue allows the natural wood to show through while also making a rustic barn door work in a fairly modern kitchen.

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

Photo: Victoria Pearson for HGTV Magazine

KELLEY: E-I-E-I-NO! It’s an awfully big installation for something that’s gonna look dated in two years. 

BARN DOORS: YAY OR NEIGH?

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Bust out your ‘80s bedding – florals and chintz have been back in a big way this year. Though chintz typically refers to a type of floral fabric, blooms have been gracing wallpaper, china – even tech accessories.  Are you a fan of all this flower power or do you wish floral patterns would wilt and die?

Do you like chintz and floral patterns? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

MARIANNE: I think it depends on the floral. I can’t get enough of Rifle Paper Co’s floral prints, and I’m putting this little lady in my kitchen:

Do you like the floral trend, as seen in this print? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Rifle Paper Co. “Rosa” print

KAYLA: I wish that the floral decor in [the first picture] would die right this minute. Also, I hate those hotel comforters. (Sorry.) I think modern florals or retro florals are perfect. I’ll never get tired of them – on sundresses, throw pillows, upholstered side chairs, or as a wallpapered accent wall.

KERI: I’m with Kayla. The florals in [the first picture] remind me of my grandmother’s spare bedroom (except there would be a waterbed underneath – yikes). But I’m currently drooling over this pressed flowers print:

Do you like the floral trend, as seen in this art print? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

“Field of Dreams” 18 X 24 Pressed Flowers Limited Edition by HaleyJsNaturalArt on Etsy

DEANNE REVEL: Have you guys seen Kirstie Alley’s former house on FrontDoor? Brace yourselves. So. Much Floral.

DO YOU LIKE THE FLORAL TREND? VOTE NOW!

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: This topic comes to us courtesy of Lili and has been featured on our blog as a Daily Delight, in the Designer MacGyver column as a craft material and more. Yup, I’m axin’ about tree stumps! (Yup, I’m making terrible puns about chopping trees with axes!) So, are you a fan of the tree stump as a home accent? Or are you stumped by their appeal?

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

Pictured: Phillips Collection tables

LILI: I’ve shown my hand here already by “delighting” these in the not-so-distant past, but I love them. Paint them gold, leave them raw, sand them down and finish them with shellac; I’m in. I love the dichotomy created by how unbuttoned and raw they are when placed in a rather tailored environment like so:

Do you like tree stump decorating? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: via Love & Renovations

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON TREE STUMPS? VOTE NOW!

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: It seems the pouf has always been a divisive piece – even our own Lili wrote a Daily Delight called “To Pouf or Not to Pouf?” That IS the question, indeed. What are your thoughts on the pouf? Is it a fun, versatile accent? Or is it a lumpy waste of space?

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

LIZ: It’s like a medicine ball and a beanbag chair had a non-functional child. It’s too short to put your feet on and too big to not be in the way. I really don’t get the fascination.

KAYLA: I included a fabric pouf DIY project in my Dorm Room package, because I think they’re perfect in college rooms where space is limited. You can use them as ottomans, additional seating or tabletops.

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

But, I don’t personally see myself buying one because, for me, it would totally take up space or turn into a cat scratching post. I like the idea, but it doesn’t fit into my home.

DO YOU LIKE POUFS? VOTE IN OUR POLL!

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: This trend ranks high on the list of must-have amenities for lots of people looking for homes – I’d say it’s almost as popular as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Yes, I’m talking about open floor plans. Does an open concept give a home an appealing flow and extra light? Or does it make you feel lost in space? (Chad, I’m looping you in because I know you’re moving and in the market. Give us the dirt. Is it a feature you’d specifically seek out, a bonus or a dealbreaker?)

Do you like open floor plans? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Open plan…

CHAD PARIZMAN: IMHO, it’s a bonus. Very few houses we’re looking at have them, though. Mostly the conversation goes something like, “This is kind of a small space, but I bet we can just knock down that wall and really open it up.”

This is especially true as we’re looking at tiny kitchens with little counter space who share a wall with a dining room twice as big as anything we’d ever need. We’re finding lots of dining rooms that could seat 16 people with kitchens that couldn’t handle more than two people standing in it at the same time.

JESSICA: I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I grew up in apartments where your only option is an open floor concept. I feel super claustrophobic otherwise. I’m also one of those people that has to have every single door in the house open though, so maybe it’s just me…

My family moved into our first house just a few years ago and that has a big open layout as well. I love it – I can be lounging in the living room while someone else is in the kitchen and we are all still together. That’s a luxury I don’t feel in my current home: it’s a very adorable old cottage, but the rooms are all separated and it can make the house feel smaller than it actually is. If I wasn’t renting I’d have already taken a sledgehammer to the walls.

OPEN OR CLOSED? CAST YOUR VOTE NOW!

  • Tell Your Friends

We’re not shy about being totally obsessed with Pinterest here at HGTV. Shameless plug: FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST! WE PIN PRETTY THINGS! Anyway, I still can’t believe that using Pinterest is part of my job because it’s that much fun. I love it for research and trendspotting, organizing recipes I’d like to try, planning my upcoming wedding and yes, keeping up with what HGTV fans are digging at the moment. Thus, our latest Social Sound Off question!

On Twitter, we asked: What’s the best thing you’ve found on Pinterest recently?

Based on the trickle of replies we got, I’m guessing y’all were probably looking at stuff on Pinterest instead of checking up on tweets (ahem), but that’s okay. I’ll go first. The summer has me feeling very tropical and despite the fact that I claimed I was over my “put a bird on it” phase, this toucan print by komitaart on Etsy has made a liar out of me:

Found anything as cute as this toucan print on Pinterest recently? Tell us on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Print: komitaart on Etsy

I am all over that graphic, retro vibe. I mean, how cute would that print be with some classic Martinique wallpaper? It also reminds me of the paintable paper mâché toucan I bought as a souvenir in Cancun when I was 11, but I digress. I found the print through my friend Derya, who has delightfully eclectic pin taste. (Honorable mention: This apothecary bottle with the phrase “Acidic Wit” etched on it. I would love to keep that on my desk and threaten to bust it out at anyone who crosses me.)

But enough about me! Here’s what’s floating your boats lately…

SEE MORE PINTEREST BAIT

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Dip-dyed pieces have been on our radar for a while, but Apartment Therapy just featured this chair from the 508 Restoration and Design Etsy store with the headline: “Half & Half: New Painted Furniture Trend?” Thoughts? Is this a cool hybrid look or does it seem like someone ran out of paint in the middle of the job?

Do you like the half-painted furniture trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I say it rules. It’s a great alternative to painted patterns, plus I have done it myself, so that means I have to like it or risk being labeled a hypocrite.

LIZ: I love the look of natural wood paired with graphic paint designs. With its painted-on flava, this regular old dresser looks almost like a Saarinen table:

Do you like the half-painted furniture trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: ScrapHacker

READ MORE

  • Tell Your Friends

When I first got engaged, planning my wedding = fun daydreaming for me. Now that I’m less than two months away from the big day, I need daydreams to keep my mind OFF of the stressful wedding details! But that’s what I have our little Social Sound Off questions for, eh?

We asked: Which celeb’s home would you love to design and why?

Here are some of our fave star-studded answers from Twitter…

Which celeb's home would you like to design? Tell us on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

SEE WHICH CELEBS TOPPED YOUR LISTS

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Watch your mouth! Or hang it on walls, or adorn your sofa with it. Mouths and lips are popping up everywhere these days, from posters and prints to mugs and more. Is it a hip throwback to the days of The Rolling Stones and Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground album art? A surrealist nod to Dali? Or is it just the feminine equivalent of the mustache? Mouth off…

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

Photo: Made by Girl/Lips Watercolor: Jessica Rowe

KELLEY: Sorry – all I see are the lips from Rocky Horror. ;)

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

CAMILLE: Totally. It looks like Magenta is going to eat that Chanel bottle.

DO YOU LOVE LIPS? CAST YOUR VOTE NOW!

  • Tell Your Friends

I never have luck with lotto tickets, but that doesn’t stop me from buying them when the jackpot is too big to resist. I’m sure some people fantasize about quitting their jobs and living off of their winnings, but since I like my job a lot, I tend to think about what I might purchase (after I pay bills, buy lavish gifts for family and friends, donate large sums to charity and invest wisely, that is). This luxe French chateau is pretty tempting, but your Twitter answers may have swayed me.

We asked: If you won the lottery, what big-ticket home item would you purchase first?

Here are some of our fave answers and a peek into what’s topping your big-ticket item wish lists…

If you won the lotto, what would you buy for your home? Tell us now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Cannonball!

YOUR CHAMPAGNE WISHES AND CAVIAR DREAMS

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Facial hair seems like it’d be a more appropriate topic for a men’s fashion site, but mustaches have been making their way into the design world for some time now. Pillows, wallpaper, mirrors and more have been emblazoned with whimsical whiskers and searches for “mustache party” have been spiking on Yahoo! So, what are your thoughts on mustaches? Do you think the bristles are fun or should they stay where they belong (on Tom Selleck’s face)?

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

From Kirkland’s, available July 21

LEANNE: I do not understand this trend. At all. Tom Selleck, I understand.

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I love Tom Selleck, but I really hate this trend. Mustaches are meant for men, not pillows and especially not children. I mean, I know the hormones in our meat are messing with kids’ biology, but mustaches on 5-year-olds is just weird. Quit forcing kids to grow up so fast. This little boy doesn’t want to wear a mustache — I can see it in his eyes.

DEANNE REVEL: That picture. Hahahahahaha

READ MORE

  • Tell Your Friends

We talk amongst ourselves a lot here on the blog (hello, Defend the Trend dishfests), but we’re always looking to hear more from decorators, designers and design enthusiasts. Aka, you! That’s why we’re taking to Twitter with our burning style questions. If you’re not already getting updates from @hgtv and @hgtvdecorating, follow us today. And talk back to us — you never know, your Twitter insights could wind up on the blog.

This week, we wanted to know: What’s Your Biggest Design Pet Peeve?

I was expecting answers like avocado green bath fixtures or shag carpeting, but as it turns out, most of you seem to be annoyed by matching, whether it be in colors or furniture sets:

matching pink bedroom

(You’re probably hating this picture right now.)

“Having a very monochromatic room without any contrasting pieces. Can you say overkill?” -@KreatveCreatnz

“It drives me crazy when everything matches. Have a little fun and switch things up a little! Throw some color around!” -@EndlesslyJenn

“going too overboard with themed rooms & being too ‘matchy matchy’ with colors, using diff shades is better on the eyes.” -@lindsay_lajoie

“Pet peeve….a ‘matchy-matchy’ room. Individual pieces are so much more interesting.” -@LaFuenteImports

“a space that is too matchy-matchy. Rooms should feel like they evolved over time, not purchased from a store as a ‘set’…” -@gabbi_zac

Also bugging you folks: Overcrowding (@DEMuha2500), too much texture on walls in homes with pets and kids (@mammafaus), overwhelmingly brown color palettes (@kcrox26), garages on the front of homes (@_MrsFerguson_), failure to see anything other than entry & exit (@socetious), electricians who cut holes larger than switch plate covers and outlet covers (@Blissitydoodah), when interior designers remove TVs because they don’t know how to incorporate them (@anthonycgonza), cluttered eclectic looks (@MareyPony), plastic-covered furniture (@FromWineToWhine), not replacing old, overgrown shrubs (@dsparkhill) and when decorators don’t take clients’ tastes into consideration (@GSand1804).

I feel like we’ve learned a lot about each other…and about design. Stay tuned for our next hot topic on Twitter and, hey, don’t be afraid to sound off in the comments below!

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: If you’ve been holding your breath wondering when we were going to get around to Mason jars, stop waiting to exhale. Crafters and design bloggers have turned these practical vessels for food preservation into: vases, chandeliers, planters, cocktail glasses, candy jars, lanterns and the ingenious organizer shown here, amongst other things. But it’s that very versatility that puts the Mason jar in danger of Pinterest over-saturation, no? What are your thoughts on Mason jars and Mason jar crafts? Are they playful or played out?

Have you moved on from mason jars? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Lincoln Barbour

KELLEY: Considering I have the world’s largest Mason jar on my desk right now (sadly not filled with moonshine, but iced green tea), I’m going to have say I haven’t moved away from the trend. In fact, I’m smack in the middle of it. Though in the South, it was a trend that never went away – the rest of y’all are just catching up. [wink]

Are mason jars playful or played out? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON MASON JARS? VOTE NOW!

  • Tell Your Friends

Hey, MacGyvers! Planning a summer vacation? Don’t bring excess baggage — craft with it instead. If you’ve upgraded to an ergonomic roller bag but still have some vintage suitcases hanging around, try transforming them into these fabulous crafts. (If you don’t already own vintage suitcases but still want to look like a jet-setter, you can find them at flea markets or via various online marketplaces like Craigslist and Etsy.)

Fido will love this repurposed suitcase bed! See more clever things to make with old suitcases on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

EVEN MORE VINTAGE SUITCASE AWESOMENESS

  • Tell Your Friends

I feel like every kitchen has one or two cookie sheets that are past their prime. (I’m guilty of holding onto bakeware until the bitter end, so no judgment here!) If you’ve got a few cookie sheets that need to be retired, don’t throw them away until you see what else you can do with them. I think you’ll fall for these adorable crafts — remember, nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven! [wink]

Give an old cookie sheet new life by turning it into a tray! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

SAVE YOUR COOKIE SHEETS FOR THESE CRAFTS

  • Tell Your Friends

BRIANA: Concrete and faux concrete finishes have steadily been gaining popularity over the past year – Stylus recognized concrete as a High Point Trend, and Liz and I spotted these pieces at ICFF. But what do you think of the trend? Is the concrete look cool or does it leave you cold? Is it industrial chic or way too bleak?

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

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I seldom use concrete due to its lead time and also the finish costs associated with getting it just right; however, when I opt for concrete, I think its success is all about juxtaposition. Usually, I’ll pair a concrete table with super textural seating, like boucle upholstery. Concrete also warms up a lot when it’s paired with wooden pieces, either with rustic or refined finishes. Dammit, all this talk of concrete now has me wanting to use it again.

MARIANNE: Brrrr. Way too cold for me. Concrete counters in a kitchen can work in a lot of spaces, but even that is not my style. Plus I would break all of my wine glasses.

SEE MORE CHATTER ABOUT CONCRETE AND CAST YOUR VOTE

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"