Kayla Kitts

"In a world full of beige, I'm not afraid to be neon."

Kayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com and co-editor-in-chief of Design Happens. Kayla is an overbearing cat mom with a love for vintage-modern furniture, decor with a past, artisan cocktails, organizing all the things, magazine subscriptions and eating outdoors all year round. Every piece of furniture she owns is proudly secondhand (and likely older than she is).

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POSTS BY Kayla Kitts

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There’s not a single hue that makes me think of Easter more than robin’s egg blue (or eggshell blue). The name itself is so synonymous with spring and post-winter rejuvenation. What’s your favorite way to use this sweet shade of blue?

Mood Board Monday: Robin's Egg BlueTop, L to R: BHG, Dustjacket (both) | Middle, L to R: Etsy, Green Wedding Shoes, The Paper Mulberry | Bottom, L to R: Etsy, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Soel Boutique

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Robin’s-egg blue inspiration from HGTV.com:

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…bring May flowers. I woke up to an unpleasant spring thunderstorm, and I just kept thinking, “It’s worth it. It’s worth it.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a nice seasonal rain every now and then, but I love starting out my week with sunshine. If I had to pick, I’d take the April rain and May blooms over a sunny Monday any day.

GET INSPIRED FOR SPRING WITH HGTV’S SPRING HOUSE >>

Mood Board Monday: April ShowersTop, L to R: Burnetts Boards, Etsy, HMTM | Middle, L to R: Living, Green Wedding Shoes 1 and 2 | Bottom, L to R: Canadian Family, Photobucket, Beautiful Living

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Happy spring, friends! To celebrate, we have a refreshing, colorful and totally inspiring home makeover you’re going to love. A few months ago, our design team got to work (and even battled a southern blizzard!) to redo an Atlanta bungalow, inside and out. The result is a home ready for alfresco lounging and spring soirees. I can’t wait for you to see all the ideas and inspiration we have to share, from sprucing up your patio and boosting curb appeal to styling bookshelves and picking the best window treatments.

Outdoor Living Room Ideas

Shake out the area rug and refresh outdoor furnishings to create the perfect alfresco living room. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

Outdoor Dining Room Ideas

Transform an underused deck into the ultimate outdoor dining space. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

And the winner of our Spring House Blogger Challenge is — Marianne! Her casual, midcentury-modern styling fit in perfectly with the exterior decor picked out by the design team. Plus, they loved her chevron ombre artwork and integrated it into the final design, along with other fun accessories. SEE THE BAR CART PHOTOS >>

Outdoor Table Settings

Take the party outside! Host a spring shindig even after the sun goes down. SEE THE PHOTOS + GET IDEAS >>

See Our Spring Makeover

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Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.

Blinds

Shutters

Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

More Money-Saving Tips

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It was a normal Wednesday. I had a normal breakfast. Then, Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse emails me saying users are searching for waffles and pancakes. At this time, it’s barely 11 a.m. and all I can think about is raiding the nearest Waffle House (I know). Over the past 30 days, there’s no denying which food takes home the win on the Yahoo front; users are searching for pancake recipes six times more than waffles. But I’m curious – what do Design Happens readers prefer when it comes to waffles and pancakes? It sounds like a simple dilemma, but I’ll let these mouthwatering recipes help with your decision, starting with waffles.

The Waffle: A Tried and True Breakfast Staple

Classic Waffle Recipe

Get the recipe for classic crispy waffles >>

Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Get the recipe for chicken and waffles >>

You Decide: Waffles Vs. Pancakes

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Y’all, my bar cart is my fav-or-ite piece in my loft. In 2012 I upsized to a larger apartment, and the first thing I bought was this vintage beauty for less than $30. When I downsized to my current studio loft last year, I was determined to find a spot for my bar cart, even if I trip over it every. single. day.

So, when Target asked the HGTV blog team to each style an outdoor bar cart, I couldn’t be more excited. I finally got to put my golden gal in the spotlight. While my bar cart at home is always weighed down with an assortment of alcohol, bitters, tools and trinkets, I wanted to create something super simple and colorful that can make the transition from AM to PM with ease.

Spring Bar CartBowls

The colors.

I was inspired by a palette of white, brass, spring pink and shades of sea green. A few key pieces like the porcelain tray and vintage glass buoy are eyecatching on the streamlined cart. But, I let Mother Nature do the “talking” when it came to color. Fresh-cut fruits and flowers instantly bring vibrancy and boldness to the setup.

Spring Bar CartTumblers | Vase

The purpose.

Where’s the gin? Where’s the bourbon?! Well, I decided to opt for a casual, family-friendly bar cart setup during the day. [Mom and Dad can take over once nighttime falls.] Once the sun comes out and the weather warms up, kids are going to be outside until it gets dark. Although I used glass tumblers and a hefty glass pitcher, feel free to opt for plastic pieces instead. Try this: A kid-friendly bar cart filled with a variety of snacks and chilled drinks is perfect for playtime breaks.

Spring Bar CartTowels

Style a Vintage Bar Cart

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I’m obsessively mad about stripes. I actually have to space out my stripe wear throughout the week to make sure I don’t overdose my coworkers. Horizontal, vertical, skinny, thick, zig-zag — you can’t go wrong. And there’s nothing quite like a lovely nautical stripe to prep for loungy beach days.

(Gossip Girl voice) [Spotted, editor Liz Gray wearing a black and tan striped top that's so perfectly suited for today's post.]

Mood Board Monday: Stripesvia: Orange + Blue Dress | Blue + White Sofa | Vintage Fashion | Black + White Jumpsuit | Vintage Dress | Vases | Socks | Umbrella | Gallery Wall + Sofa | Man on Stairs

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I know this holiday is typically an emerald green kind of day, but I decided to go with something that feels a little more peppy. Chartreuse may be a nontraditional St. Paddy’s Day shade of green, but it sure puts a spring in my step.

Mood Board Monday: ChartreuseFashion | Doors | Tiered Florals | Arrangement | Chair | Dining Room | Leeks | Bathroom | Shed

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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A few months ago, Target asked Design Happens to host a Blogger Challenge in which five bloggers — four regular D-Happ contributors and one from our sister blog, Made + Remade — would shop, style, photograph and then pitch their design ideas for the outdoor entertaining setup at HGTV Spring House. The HGTV Spring House team shared their ideal color palette and style inspiration with each blogger, and they created true or faux bar carts using products from Target, among other items.

We’re all friends here at Design Happens, but things can get a little competitive when it comes to design. (I mean, you’ve seen our Color of the Month series, right?) It was fun to see how a spring color palette and “casual,” “coastal,” and/or “nautical” inspired a slew of different design styles.

HGTV Spring House Exterior BeforeHGTV Spring House: Here’s the Atlanta bungalow’s back deck before its makeover, waiting for some spring entertaining action.

Each week, from now until April 1, we’re going to share the five bloggers’ spring-inspired bar cart designs with you. Check out a teaser of each one below:

HGTV Spring House Bar Cart

Unfortunately, we have to keep a secret from you for a few weeks. You’ll have to wait until April 1 to find out whose winning design inspired the outdoor bar cart design at HGTV Spring House. Womp, womp.

Until then, keep checking back each Tuesday and Thursday for a bar cart project reveal from your fave bloggers.

How can you make your next party sizzle? Shop Target’s newest spring decor and entertaining products (available in store and online now) to bring coastal inspiration and create a summer beach house look with a little French Riviera.

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I can’t fully say spring has sprung here at HGTV Headquarters, but we had some pretty incredible spring-like weather over the weekend. And with Plant a Flower Day coming up on Wednesday, the timing couldn’t be better. Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse said users are already searching for spring flowers, and some of the top-searched picks  are everything from sunflowers and carnations to lilies and irises. Clearly you can see where my inspiration for today’s board came from.

Mood Board Monday: Sunflowers Hair | Flower Heart | Print | Fashion | Bouquet | Dress | Child | Arrangement

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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I was that girl with the Barbie™ mansion, pizza shop, post office, supermarket, boutique, classroom — I mean, should I really continue? I was the mayor of Barbieville™. So, when I found out that party stylist and HGTV contributor Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio partnered with Barbie™ in celebration of the iconic doll’s upcoming birthday, I immediately took a turn down Memory Lane.

To kick off Barbie’s™ month-long birthday celebration (starting March 9!), Kim styled this glamorous girls’ birthday party. Read on for Kim’s ideas and party inspiration.

Barbie Birthday Party

Following Barbie’s™ classic style, Kim chose a black, white and pink color palette.

Barbie Birthday Party

Oversized balloons, ribbons, striped table runners and cupcake stands keep the table chic and stylish but simple to re-create.

More Glam Party Ideas

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St. Patrick’s Day — a holiday where I can add stout to, well, everything (even pancakes!) and wear an excessive amount of my favorite color. But most importantly, a day where I can say no to green beer and yes to Irish-inspired or just true green cocktails that are in the spirit of the holiday. Plus, let’s be honest, they just taste better.

Bloody Rosemary

Bloody Mary Recipe

It’s not green, but just LOOK at it.

Get the recipe >>

Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Kiss Me I'm Irish Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

2 1/2 ounces VOGA Sparkling
1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1 1/2 ounce lemonade
lemon slice, for garnish

Instructions

In a shaker, combine ice, vodka, Midori and lemonade. Stir gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with VOGA Sparkling. Garnish with lemon slice.

Green Cocktail Recipes to Try

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Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for this spring is drool-worthy. From Placid Blue and Paloma to Dazzling Blue, I was — well — dazzled. My favorite, however, is Hemlock. It’s a more subdued version of mint green and the perfect spring-inspired hue. Pantone says, “Similar to the verdant shade of springtime foliage, Hemlock, a summery, ornamental green, provides a decorative touch that’s very different from the greens of recent seasons.” What’s your take on this versatile pastel?

Mood Board Monday: Pantone HemlockVignette | Arrangement | Paint | Runway | Pantone | Shake | Cookie | Drink | Print

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Award season concludes Sunday with the most glamorous of them all, The Oscars. I’m eager to tune in, not only for the red carpet fashion, but also because I actually made a serious effort to see the Oscar-nominated films this year. When it comes to Oscar night, I have three words: glitter, champagne and girlfriends.

How to Host an Oscar Night Party

Oscar Night Party

Oscar Night Party

Create a “Golden Age of Hollywood” theme in your home by using all white linens and incorporating bright pops of gold. Metallic gold confetti and white blooms create an elegant and sophisticated tablescape. Get More Oscar Party Ideas >>

Oscar Night Party Recipes

Whip up these glam recipes for awards night:

Blood Orange Dates Almond Salad
Duck a L’Orange
Chocolate Panna Cotta

Oscar Night Party

You’ll already be pointing out his tux choice and her OMG-worthy dress, so why not turn the night’s most memorable moments into a game? Download Our Free Printable Bingo Cards >>

Happy viewing!

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Designer Jonathan Adler has teamed up with TOMS Shoes to create a limited-edition collection of spring-inspired shoes and sunglasses. The collaboration features TOMS’ classic shoe and sandal with Jonathan’s iconic designs. Plus, plain eyewear is transformed with splashes of colorful stripes and patterns. “I’ve been a long-time fan, wearer and devotee of TOMS, so when the collaboration came about I was ecstatic because it felt right and organic,” Jonathan says. “I wanted the collaboration with TOMS to reflect the spirit of my work, which is what I call style, craft and joy.”

Jonathan Adler for TOMS

Jonathan Adler for TOMS

Jonathan’s collection will be included in the “one for one” plan. So, with every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. And with every pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS will help restore the sight of someone in need.

Jonathan visited The Action Center in the Rockaway Community of NYC to fit kids with TOMS shoes. Hear what Jonathan has to say about his collaboration with TOMS and his recent giving trip >>

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Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, March 4, so now’s the time to make your way to the Big Easy to catch the most popular parades before Fat Tuesday. And if you can’t make it down to New Orleans this year, then I can almost guarantee your city will have a sampling of Bourbon Street in celebration. Joyeux Mardi Gras!

Mood Board Monday: Mardi Gras 2014From left: Costume | Masks | Beads in Tree | King Cake | Entrance | Print | Balcony | Float | Shots | Dog

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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So, Saturday is National Margarita Day. According to the official website, “We pay tribute and honor the margarita on this special day of celebration. We so deeply respect and value its place in our history that we have set aside February 22 of every year as National Margarita Day.” Well said.

So, whether you prefer a classic ‘rita, one with a little spice, one with absolutely NO tequila or ideas for adding a fun kick to entrees, give these margarita or margarita-inspired recipes a try. You know, for the sake of celebrating … of course.

First, Your Classic Margarita

Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Classic Margarita >>

Then, Onto the Margarita Twists

Melon Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Tom’s Mellow Melon Margarita >>

Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Margarita >>

More Margarita-Inspired Recipes to Try

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Does this guy look familiar to you? He should. This is fashion expert and celebrity stylist Brad Goreski whom you’ve likely seen on Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project and It’s a Brad, Brad World. His celeb clients include everyone from Jessica Alba and Rashida Jones to Demi Moore and Stacy Keibler. NBD.

Brad recently partnered with Post-it Brand to launch their brand-new Colors of the World collection inspired by destinations around the globe in four fresh palettes. “Trends in fashion, design and pop culture are taking on more global influence, and of course, one thing that’s always in style is color,” says Brad.

Design Happens interviewed Brad and asked him about upcoming fashion trends, fashion faux pas, colors and everything in between. Check out our chat below.

Brad Goreski for HGTV

Brad Goreski for HGTV

Fashion expert and celebrity stylist Brad Goreski

Design Happens: What are the colors to look for in 2014?

Brad Goreski: Right now, I’m all about bright and vibrant colors, especially blues and reds. I’m loving the blue shades from the Post-it Brand World of Colors Mykonos collection. The blue is the same hue as one of my favorite suits, and it’s one of those standout colors that always makes people feel happy and smile.

The new collection of color palettes just introduced by the Post-it Brand features the hottest colors of 2014. They include colors inspired by the world around us, including four of my favorite destinations: Bangkok, Mykonos, New York and Rio de Janeiro.

DH: Fill in the blanks when it comes to your color picks for spring: More ____ and less ____ .

BG: More vibrant and less dull.

DH: What is the number one fashion faux pas you’re seeing right now (men or women)?

BG: Enough with jeweled headbands; I think we’re done with that moment.

DH: What are some timeless or classic pieces in fashion?

BG: Marilyn Monroe is my go-to, because she, to me, is the epitome of glamour. On and off the red carpet, everyone remembers her. I’ve seen her “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress in person and almost fainted. I have a photo of her in my bedroom where she’s in a Lee Strasberg acting class and she’s sitting with a trenchcoat wrapped around her with the collar up, smoking a cigarette. There’s something so elegant and timeless. I also love her mixture of textures, like a short-sleeved mohair sweater with a pencil skirt, a pair of heels, a red lip and that iconic hairdo. I wear a lot of mohair in my own wardrobe and that’s probably from her, but that’s just a style I go back to. I also love a pencil skirt look.

DH: When you’re at New York Fashion Week, what shows or designers are you most excited to see?

BG: I love Christian Dior, Versace, Oscar de la Renta and Altuzarra.

DH: Clearly you’re a man of style when it comes to fashion. Have you ever thought about getting into interior design?

BG: I’ve had so much fun decorating our new home, so yeah, sure — why not! I like to leave all doors open!

DH: We’ve seen your home on your show, but describe your aesthetic. What design style do you prefer?

BG: Our house is a traditional 1930’s house but the inside is very modern, so I like to mix the old with the new. I like the sound of the creaky floorboards and the wrought-iron railing going upstairs, but then we have, for example, Christian Lacroix furniture and my living room is the perfect example of using your decor to incorporate color. We have a black couch and two grey chairs with a crazy, colorful Paul Smith rug underneath. That’s basically my entire personality in one room.

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We celebrate the third Monday of February each year, known as President’s Day, to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. (February 22 is George’s actual birthday, though.) Across the country we use this day to celebrate and remember all of our nation’s presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday also falls in the month of February. Happy birthday, Abe and George!

(I’ll happily take all of the below to add to my vintage presidential collection.)

Mood Board Monday: President's DayGeorge Sculpture | Print | Terrarium | Office | Bookends | Figurines | Blocks | Pillow

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Top off the evening with this fruity concoction from mixologist John deBary of New York speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

Valentine's Day Cocktails

BLVSH Cocktail

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounce SKYY Infusions Vanilla Bean
1/2 ounce SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 cup organic raspberries

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a coupe glass.

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