Liz Gray

"In search of Eames-worthy style on a Craigslist budget. And pie."

Liz is a Senior Editor at HGTV.com. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on remodeling projects with her boyfriend and mystery breed puppy, Miles, you can find her buying impractical hats, scheming mad scientist-style in her overworked kitchen and drooling over Danish modern furniture.

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  • Beyond the standard
  • wreath of pom poms
  • Kale & Apple Salad W

POSTS BY Liz Gray

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It’s been a loooong winter, and I, for one, am ready to pack up the heavy blankets and embrace spring color. If the new season has you feeling empowered to tackle a decorating project, HGTV HOME design director and HGTV.com guest editor Nancy Fire is here to help.

She travels around the country and the world in search of the hottest design, color and textile trends to create fresh, inventive collections. I chatted with her about six trends she’s seeing again and again this spring — and the best ways to use them at home.

Watercolor Florals + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com
Watercolor Florals
Forget your grandmother’s floral wallpaper: The freshest floral fabrics highlight painterly watercolor techniques on a large scale, Nancy says. She spotted this large-scale pattern at Paris’s recent Maison & Objet.  Embrace this easy-to-love trend with a new throw pillow or go big with a new rug or a set of window treatments.

Chunky Knits + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com

Chunky Knits
“I’m seeing lots of textural fabrics with a melange of color, ” Nancy says. Isn’t this bright pink pillow amazing? To keep the chunky knit trend looking sophisticated, choose a single piece — think pouf, pillow or throw — to highlight in your space.

Updated Metallics + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com
Updated Metallics
Copper is still having a moment, but it’s not the only shiny game in town. The newest metallic pieces feature a mix of color and shimmer, Nancy says: Think sparkling, natural pieces inspired by watercolors, like these plates she spotted during Paris Design Week.

Romantic Pastels + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com
Romantic Pastels
Pastels and spring go hand in hand, but purples, pinks and romantic hues (including the color of the year, Radiant Orchid) are having a moment all on their own. “I keep seeing more of these romantic, soft, fusion pastels,” Nancy says. Here, Coddington Design paired an ivory headboard with lavender, slate and orchid pillows.

Neutrals With Pop + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com
Neutrals With Pop

The freshest way to use new neutrals, like warm gray, light pink, army green or even navy? Layer unexpected pops of color on top, Nancy says. Here, Coddington Design mixed ivory and warm gray with bright pink and yellow.

Textured Ceramics + More Spring Design Trends From HGTV.com

Textured Ceramics
“Ceramics are exploding in the home as accent pieces representing color, texture and scale,” Nancy says. She spotted these large-scale textured vases at Maison & Objet. Grab one of these textured pieces to add an instant update to your coffee table.

What decorating projects are you tackling this spring? Check out our Spring Design Trends collection for more fresh ideas.

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I just returned from a quick trip to Key West, so I have beachy style (and warmer days!) on the brain. So when Target asked Design Happens bloggers to dream up an ideal spring bar cart with a coastal twist, I thought of one word: Simplicity.

As spring days heat up, I love to host small gatherings with just a few friends. Full-size bar carts are gorgeous, but you don’t need to stock a full bar for a casual affair. That’s why I decided to transform one of my favorite side tables into an easy-to-create, affordable bar cart stocked with repurposed items. You may even have most of the materials on hand! Here’s the finished product:

Orange Color Block Pillow

Ready to style your own faux bar cart? Here’s how to do it.

Find the right table. A small table with two or more open levels is ideal for a pint-sized faux bar cart. (This one serves as my bedside table in the cooler months.) Once you’ve shopped your home for the perfect table, move it to your sunroom, deck or patio to give guests easy access to beverages. You can even add casters on the bottom to move it from place to place with even more ease.

Pick a theme. A loose theme ties your bar cart together and helps you choose the cocktail and the decor.  I was inspired by both the hue and the flavor of in-season Meyer lemons. Since I have a lot of red-orange and turquoise pieces in my home, I decided to accent the cart with accessories in those hues.

Tart Pan

Gather the essentials. With your theme in mind, shop your home for essentials. Here are the basics you’ll need to stock your cart:

  • Signature cocktail ingredients
  • 1-2 non-alcoholic beverages
  • Bottled beer (optional)
  • Shot glass or shooter glass for measuring ingredients
  • Container to chill cold beverages
  • Drinking glasses for the group
  • A serving tray
  • A hand towel to clean up spills or drips
  • A piece of art or fabric to display behind the cart

Use what you have. Take a walk around your home and make a mental list of what you already have on hand. Don’t limit yourself to traditional barware: I repurposed a colorful tart pan as a serving tray, and hung a springy scarf as an impromptu curtain. Large terracotta flower pots make fantastic drink chillers. (Choose one without a drain on the bottom.)

More Spring Bar Cart Ideas

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Spring’s official start isn’t for two more days, but I’m already plotting for the new season. Case in point: I’m ready to sit down…outside…at this fresh, whimsical table featured in Lonny (via Mix and Chic.) I love every detail: The painted mint table runner, the unexpected sod placemats and the mix of floral and citrus accents.

Green and Peach Table Setting Color Palette

Blushing pastels (like our February color of the month, Pink Grapefruit) look ever-so-fresh against nearly-neon florals, citrus and springy greens. Once you’ve tried this on your tabletop, it would make a lovely gender-neutral nursery palette.

Get more color palette inspiration from our previous Tuesday Huesday posts.

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If you’ve read my Design Happens bio, you know that I’m slightly obsessed with pie. So, it’s no surprise that I couldn’t let the annual day devoted to pie pass by without a mention. Okay, March 14 is actually devoted to Pi (3.14159, the mathematical constant). But, the best way to pay tribute to the ratio of a circle to its diameter? A slice of pie, of course. (Learn more about the math side of this holiday here.) Here are 3.14 ways to enjoy a slice today.

Celebrate Pie Day With Pie

1. Pi-Shaped Pie: This impressive tribute in the shape of the Greek letter for Pi is stuffed with cherry compote and topped with a lattice crust. Math has never looked so delicious!

Blueberry Pie Recipe

2. Blueberry Pie: If you can’t commit to a custom-shaped pie, how about a classic blueberry model? Use fresh blueberries, and don’t skimp on the lemon zest!

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Pie

3: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie: Chocolate lovers, take note: This candy bar-inspired pie is studded with caramel, peanuts, peanut butter and pretzels.Yes, PRETZELS.

Mini Apple Pies

And what’s the .14, you ask? An itsy, bitsy mini pie. Try these petite apple pies, complete with a tiny lattice crust. Or, you know, just snag another sliver of your full-sized version.

Happy Pi Day!

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I’ve been chatting with HGTV.com guest editor Nancy Fire for our upcoming spring trend report (out later this week!), and one of the color combinations she’s loving this season is a neutral room with a bold pop. As an example of the growing trend, she sent this bedroom featured in Homestyle magazine. I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this palette ever since:

Neon and Neutral Bedroom Color Ideas

In both home and fashion, designers have been redefining the term “neutrals” for quite awhile now — the color category has evolved to include not just basic beige but also light pinks, soft grays, dark navy and even olive green.

I love how this room combines several new neutrals with unexpected shots of blue, orange and neon yellow. This same palette works equally well for a twist on traditional wedding florals, like these boutonnieres spotted on Style Me Pretty. In both examples, a mix of neutral hues provides a classic base, with the bright accent colors lending an eclectic vibe.

I’m ready to try this palette in my bedroom — what about you? Tell me what you think of these colors in the comments below.

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Congratulations to this month’s random winner, Kristin! Check back on April 4 for another great giveaway.

I’m sensing signs of spring all around East Tennessee: My yard’s first crocuses and daffodils are starting to bloom and temperatures are climbing, if only a little. That’s all the encouragement I need to start thinking about spring parties. A set of table linens in fresh spring hues is a great way to get ready for that first warm-weather event, and this month we’re loving Coyuchi’s new line of natural-fiber tabletop pieces featuring colors inspired by flowers and plants. The company even has a collection inspired by our March Color of the Month, Orchid:

Organic Table Linens From Coyuchi
One lucky reader will win 1 set of napkins, 1 table runner and 4 placemats from the Coyuchi tabletop collection of their choice. Read on to enter for a chance to win this great prize!

Leave A Comment to Enter for a Chance to Win

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When Pantone first unveiled Radiant Orchid, its 2014 Color of the Year, the hue got mixed reviews from the Design Happens staff. But now that spring is on the horizon, we have purple on the brain — our top two color pitches this month were Orchid and Lavender! But which purple to choose?

We turned to guest editor Nancy Fire to cast our tie-breaking vote. Fresh from international design shows like Paris’s Maison & Objet and Cologne, Germany’s IMM, she looked to the marketplace to help her decide. The answer came quickly: Orchid. “The world is orchid crazy right now, with Radiant Orchid showcased on products all over the universe, from fabrics, lamp shades, hand-painted chairs as well as other decorative accessories,” Nancy says. “So, my pick is orchid for obvious home decor reasons. ”

Even if you’re on the fence about orchid, it’s time to give this color a second look. We love how just a tiny bit of orchid adds necessary early spring vibrancy to a room. See how orchid accessories, like the amazing string art, chandelier and chair, reinvigorate this modern kids’ room?

Radiant Orchid and Mint Green - HGTV Color of the Month March 2014

Unless you’re purple-crazy, small doses are the way to go: Try pairing it with soft greens, like hemlock or mint, or soft grays for a more muted look.  For a modern take, try bright white and citron paired with pops of orchid. This tween room’s inviting bedding and fun striped ceiling makes me kind of want to move in.

Radiant Orchid Project Nursery Teen Bedroom

And as days (finally) start to warm up, don’t rule out orchid for your outdoors spaces. We love how (purple-obsessed) designer Brian Patrick Flynn incorporated the hue into this eclectic outdoor living room.

Radiant Orchid Back Porch - Design By Brian Patrick Flynn

What do you think of orchid? Will you use the hue in your home this spring? Tell me in the comments below.

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Confession time: I’m not in love with Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid. As with most purple-pink shades, it’s one of those beautiful colors I just prefer to see in someone else’s home. (I’m still lobbying for one of my fellow editors to paint their cabinets like this.)

Radiant Orchid Spring Color Palette on HGTV's Design Happens Blog

So, I’m surprised to say that when I saw this modern dining room with mint and orchid accents from Elle Decor, I kind of fell for it. In a “maybe this is my new guest room color palette” kind of way. Paired with blush pink, white, black and antiqued gold, it feels so spring-fresh, doesn’t it? I also love the combination on a smaller scale in this floral pillow and this metallic necklace.

Are you a fan of the 2014 Color of the Year? Would you add it to your home? Tell me in the comments below.

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It’s Palm Springs Modernism Week, so that means my Instagram feed is full of amazing midcentury modern houses perched atop desert landscapes. One of my favorites is the low-slung Edris House, designed in 1954 by architect E. Stewart Williams.

Palm Springs-Inspired Neutral Bedroom Color Palette on HGTV Design Happens

The rainbow-hued Saguaro Hotel aside, I love the classic midcentury Palm Springs look: stark, minimalist exteriors that blend seamlessly into the desert landscape. Even if you don’t live in a historic 1950s masterpiece,  you can bring the desert minimalism inside. I love how designer Lori Dennis created this hotel-inspired master suite that features bright white walls, dark wood furniture and trim and blue and green accents. There’s even a bedside cactus!

We’ll, I’ve admitted my midcentury modern design obsession. Do you go for the minimalist look, too?

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Hey, guys. I’ve been busy with Dream Home (today is your last chance to enter!), but I couldn’t resist the chance to restart my Tuesday Huesday series with a Valentine-inspired color palette. You see, my very first Tuesday Huesday post was inspired by the holiday of love, too! (Catch up on all the past posts here.)

So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a sweet color palette for you all. I kind of fell for these adorable, printable doughnut boxes over on Sugar and Charm, and that made me think, “What would that look like in room form?” Well, this:

Blue and Pink Kitchen Color Palette on HGTV's Design Happens Blog
Turquoise-y blue and soft pink often create a vintage vibe that I’m very fond of, but I love how the color combo gets a modern spin in Jutta Rikola’s kitchen featured on Design Sponge.  And the adorable raincloud motif would be a fun update for the coming spring, too.

What’s your take on this color palette? And, what combos do you think I should feature in the future? Ready…go!

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