POSTS BY Kristine Thomason

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In the June issue of HGTV Magazine, one article advised readers to check their closets for design inspiration. The logic behind this advice is that whatever hues dominate your wardrobe are the ones that make you most happy, therefore you should use them when decorating. I couldn’t help but think, What about the trendy pieces I bought for summer? Those are serious outliers in my closet. Then I had another thought: As Trevor mentioned earlier this summer, throw pillows are the easiest way to change up home decor. So, why not use trend-inspired pillows to spice up our couches just as much as we did our summer wardrobes? If you’d like to give this idea a try, here are 6 throw pillows inspired by summer fashion trends.

Shirt: Ohne Titel, Pillow: HGTV

Geometric Patterns
Loud patterns ranging from floral to geometric are making strong statements across runways and streets alike. Inspired by this summer trend, add some punch to your decor with a bold-patterned pillow.

Shirt Dress: Joie, Pillow: Linda Woods

Chambray
Material that was once used for men’s work shirts is now on trend for both men and women. In your home, different shades of chambray can give off very different looks. Create a rustic look with dark chambray and a traditional feel with light. Or, for a more eclectic touch, try a chambray ikat pillow like this one designed by Linda Woods.

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Happy Bastille Day everyone! I must admit, I’m feeling pretty nostalgic. I was lucky enough to watch the fireworks erupt behind the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day last year (take me baaack), so I’m having a serious case of wanderlust today. Even if we can’t all go to Paris to join in traditions like watching the fireworks or attending the Military Parade on the Champs-Élysées, we can certainly celebrate this historic day in our own way here in America. Here’s a few HGTV takes on La Fête Nationale traditions:

Bastille Day Ideas: Red, White and Blue Decor
All Things Blue, White, and Red
Remember all those cute Fourth of July decorations you put so much thought into two weeks ago? Good news: Bastille Day gives you a reason to re-use your festive red, white and blue pieces. Just remove anything involving stars and stripes and voilà — your home is ready for French festivities.

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I’m once again suggesting you take the party outsideCrafternoon style this time! My good friend Whitney threw a wonderful crafting party in Washington Square Park last week. The event was a hit and I highly recommend throwing your own crafting party in the park, or any outdoor venue you prefer. After staking out a perfect spot in the shade, the afternoon was comprised of great friends, delicious food, adorable puppies, lots of pictures and beautiful paper flowers. While bringing craft supplies outdoors may seem counter-intuitive, the open setting gives you ample space to create. (Plus it’s so nice to be out in the fresh air during these hot summer days.)

Whether you host a big crafting event or just a get-together with a few close friends, this summer party idea is great for guests of all ages. Here are a few tips to make your own Crafternoon a success:

Throw a Crafting Party

Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Penn

Pick a Convenient Craft
Make sure you pick a DIY project that is nature-friendly — in other words, nothing that requires excessive materials, cleanliness, or, of course, electricity.  Whitney cleverly chose paper flowers for her party craft, which fit both thematically and logistically. The craft itself was simple and the components were easy to transport. Plus, if the petals got a little crumpled or dirty, it just made them seem more realistic.

More paper flower crafts: Fourth of July Wreath, Wedding Bouquet

Other easy outdoor crafts: Coiled Wire Ring, Felt Bowls, Friendship Bracelets

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Calling all Harry Potter fans: Your favorite scar-sporting wizard is back. Even if you’re not a Potter nerd like I am, you’ve probably already heard about the new story J.K. Rowling published Tuesday on Pottermore. Loyal HP fans flooded the site, eager to read more about the famous fictional wizard. Considering it’s been seven years since Deathly Hallows was published (crazy, right?), the reaction is no surprise. The frenzy even crashed Pottermore.com for a period of time, but don’t fret! The site is back up and running!

The short story comes in the guise of a Rita Skeeter gossip column in which Rowling gives readers a glimpse at the lives of Harry and crew, now in their mid-30s. We learn sparing details, like how Harry has a new scar and “a couple of threads of silver” in his hair sorry, no more spoilers. Instead, to honor this momentous day in the lives of HP fans everywhere, I’ve compiled pictures of furniture and accessories that are reminiscent of the Wizarding World — without resorting to the obvious broomstick or wand. Here are 6 ways to translate elements of Harry’s world into decor even us muggles could actually use:

Harry Potter Inspired Decor

Top, L to R: Red and Gold Living Room (Gryffindor Common Room), Tree Canopy Bed (Enchanted Forest) | Middle, L to R: Eclectic Mirror (Mirror of Erised), Upcycled Bottles (Potions) | Bottom, L to R: Telephone Box Book End (Ministry of Magic Entrance), Stair-Step Bedroom Dresser (Cupboard Under the Stairs)

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Summer is a season for travel. I’m not much of a go-on-vacation-to-relax kind of girl, but I do love exploring new places and taking in different cultures. Decorating my room to remind me of the places I’ve been is a fun way to keep those memories alive. Every time I see the mini Dutch shoe I bought in the Netherlands, I remember how wonderful it was to go there with my family. And I love that I can simply look at my shelf to spur those memories, rather than yanking out scrapbooks or browsing Facebook albums. (Although, who am I kidding? I definitely still do that, too!)

If you’ve gone somewhere incredible in the past or you’re heading on a new adventure this summer, consider translating your travels into decor. Whether you plan on completely revamping your home or just incorporating a few trinkets acquired on your journeys, here are 7 tips for creating a room inspired by memorable trips:

Travel Design Inspiration: Start With Souvenirs

Photo: Courtesy of Ore Studios

Start With Souvenirs
You may not have bought that magnificent hand-carved chair you saw in Morocco, but you did bring back a colorful vase. Good news: Small souvenirs are a great way to add global charm to your space without breaking the bank (or your back)! Simply placing your find on a bookshelf or coffee table will add some fun flair. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious, use the souvenir as inspiration to redesign an entire room. Pull some bold colors from the piece, like the orange on this vase, to use for accent pillows or a bright new wall color.

Travel Design Inspiration: Throw in a Textile

Photo: Courtesy of Thibaut

Throw in a Textile
Every country has a unique textile heritage, so while you’re traveling, keep an eye out for traditional fabrics! Whether you bring back a Moroccan wedding blanket, tribal rug, or French toile curtains, use them to transform a room. Like the beautiful French fabric in this space, a textile can be a lovely way to add a sense of your travels.

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In case you haven’t heard, it’s National Candy Month! However, June is quickly drawing to a close, which means there’s only 5 days left to celebrate this tasty occasion. You can either gorge on candy from your local convenience store, or you could go for a slightly different approach. In the spirit of Ogden Nash’s wise words, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,” here are 6 candy-inspired cocktail recipes for you to try:

6 Candy-Inspired Cocktails: Heath Bar Cocktail Recipe

Heath Bar Cocktail: Heath Bars are one of my personal faves, so this toffee-flavored cocktail topped with shaved chocolate looks absolutely irresistible to me! GET THE RECIPE>>

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June is Great Outdoors Month, and for good reason. These warm summer nights are begging us to get out of our homes. So, while the nights are still balmy, why not throw a movie night with the stars? No, I’m not saying you should invite Leo DiCaprio. What I mean is, move the party outside and screen movies in your own backyard! Here are a few tips for making your cinema soirée a success:

Throw an Outdoor Movie Night
Create a Display
First things first: set up your theater. DIY Network shows you exactly how to transform your backyard into an outdoor entertainment center. Renting an inflatable screen for your movie night is a great option, but you can also project the movie on a white drop cloth or large white wall.

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Who doesn’t love a good snooze in the shade? This bear in Daytona Beach, Florida certainly did (much to the homeowner’s surprise). But hey, it’s summer! Sounds like this bear has the right idea!

Here are some more outdoor sleep spots, daybeds and backyard hammocks where we think this bear (and you) would enjoy getting some shut-eye.

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Anne Marie Allen

This gorgeous canopy bed will put Hammock Bear right in the thick of his natural home while still offering luxuries like soft flannel sheets. The whimsical curtains block out the sun and give him some privacy from those pesky humans!

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Jamie Durie

Although this bear seems to enjoy human amenities, he’s still a bear, so we think he’d enjoy this cool hammock suspended high in the tree tops; it combines his natural tree-climbing instincts with a comfy net for napping.

10 Summertime Nap Spots

Design by Jamie Durie

When the rest of the world is starting to feel un-bear-able, this suspended hammock-daybed hybrid is the perfect place to escape. Equipped with a serene lily pond on one side and dining table on the other, what more could you need for a relaxing afternoon?

MORE BACKYARD SPOTS TO CATCH SOME ZZZs

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In honor of today’s Season 2 release of Orange Is the New Black, here are a few examples of how you can incorporate orange in your home. This vibrant color is perfect for infusing some energy into your decor. Try pairing it with my personal favorites, turquoise or aqua, for a playful accent.

So, if you need a break from your OITNB binge, peel your eyes away from Netflix and check out some of these design ideas:

Orange Really IS the New Black: How to Use Orange at Home

Top, L to R: Orange Padded Chair, Vintage Book Display, “Goldie” Sunflowers | Middle, L to R: Cocktail Cart, Orange Throw Pillows| Bottom, L to R: Eco-Chic Serving Tray, Outdoor Living Room

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