ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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It’s here! It’s here! The season of barbeque-grillin’, pool-swimmin’ and patio-sittin’ has arrived. We’ve spring-cleaned everything we can and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, preferably with a glass of sangria out on a deck or patio. Here’s a looksie at some of the outdoor spaces our editors enjoy at their own homes.

Jessica:

It will probably come as a shock to no one that I don’t have a nightstand or a functional workspace because I spend all my money on plants. One of the first things I bought for my apartment was an old soda crate—I lined it with fabric and turned it into a planter. Other “planters” include a bucket from the dollar store, one of those holiday popcorn tins and a miniature greenhouse from IKEA (I think I’m missing the point of the whole greenhouse thing by filling it with dirt and planting kale in it but oh well).

The lights (they’re solar!) and furniture are recent additions. I realized this morning that the patio set is the closest I’ve come to owning a dining table. My friend/neighbor and I have been calling my patio “The Outdoor Room” and will be eating all of our meals there from now until next winter.

Bonus: My apartment also sits right next to some azalea shrubs that have been an absolute delight after two unreasonably cold winters.

SEE MORE OF OUR OUTDOOR SPACES >>

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Folks, we made it. We survived our first semi-major renovation project with minimal tears, no bloodshed, and only a little bit over budget (spoiler alert: I ended up replacing the drawer and cabinet pulls in the eleventh hour and that pushed me over). After all these weeks since the kitchen “before” video I’m not going to make you wait a moment longer, so go ahead and watch the “after” video. I’ll wait.

YouTube Preview Image

Oh guys, I’m not going to lie: I am in looooove with my kitchen. There’s something to be said for every detail being just as you imagined. The only problem? Now the rest of the house is in my renovation sights. No room is safe!

Marianne's Vintage Modern Kitchen Makeover - HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Read on for my source list and more photos of the finished space.

STEP INSIDE MY BRAND NEW KITCHEN

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Windsor Smith
photo: Windsor Smith

Everyone is familiar with long distance dating (and how those relationships usually crash and burn). Long distance decorating, however, has a considerably higher success rate. Also called e-decorating, online decorating or virtual decorating, this design option is perfect for boosting your home’s style without blowing your budget. With e-decorating, you still work with a professional, but instead of meeting over tea in your living room, you collaborate via email, phone or Skype, or use a web portal. These services are more affordable, meaning you can get genius advice from your virtual designer and still have enough funds left for some non-virtual furniture. But how on earth would someone know how to decorate my room if they’ve never been in it? Should you give e-decorating a chance? Hmm…

Laurel & Wolf
photo: Laurel & Wolf 

How It Works

Many designers now offer e-decorating in addition to their traditional services. There are also websites that focus solely on “decorator in a box” type services. With either, you’ll first provide room dimensions and fill out a questionnaire. What are your goals for decorating? What inspires you? Do you have any special requests, such as kid-friendly storage? Is there a prized credenza that simply must be included in the floor plan? Take photos of the space, furniture and accessories and send them off. Two to six weeks later, voila! You’ll receive floor plans, color boards, detailed instructions and shopping lists. Some decorating services will send you fabric and paint swatches, and samples of tile or carpet. And, psst!: When it comes time to shop, you may be able to get to-the-trade discounts via your decorator.

Is It For You?

If you’re the kind of person who prefers hands-on help with measuring, shopping and making important decisions, an in-person consultation with an interior decorator is the way to go. Plus, a decorator standing in your dining room is going to experience the tiny details—the way light moves during the day, sight-lines and other nuances—that may be difficult to gauge remotely.

InstantSpace
photo: instant/space

E-design, on the other hand, is a great fit if you have a good sense of style and are willing to do some DIY work to put the decorating plans into action. It’s very affordable: One-room designs start around $250, while whole home looks start around $1,200. And since you’re paying a flat fee, you don’t have to worry about racking up the hourly charges. Another bonus? If you’re on a tight budget, you can go step by step through the decorator’s recommendations as time and money allow. Perhaps you’ll start by painting the room and moving around some furniture, and splurge on a swanky new lamp next month. E-design is an innovative way to distill your tastes and ideas, and turn a ho-hum home into a showstopper.

So what do you think? Would you hire remotely for home styling? Let me know in the comments below.

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Editors’ note: Felicia is live from the Chelsea Flower Show! See her favorite photos and recollections from the show’s first day, and follow along with the action on the @HGTVGardens and @HGTV Instagram accounts.

Purple Foxgloves at Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Beautiful foxgloves in bloom

My London trip was off to a phenomenal start when I spent the morning of my arrival learning the ins and outs of beekeeping thanks to an innovative program at my host hotel, the St. Ermin’s where bees have their very own hotel home on a terrace landscaped with ground cover and beautiful containers. There’s nothing quite like donning a full-body beekeeper’s suit and walking with my fellow classmates through the hallways of the hotel up to the bee terrace. Combined with major jet lag, it felt like we were preparing to enter a hot zone, in this case a hive-zone featuring some 300,000 Italian honeybees. Led by the supremely knowledgeable London bee-guru Camilla Goddard, who tends bees across the city, the beekeeping crash-course has a year-long waiting list, though HGTV was lucky enough to snag a last minute spot.

MORE FROM THE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW >>

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I love a good chair. What makes chair rehab projects a bit more exciting to me than other furniture DIYs is that more often than not, a chair gives you the chance to play with colors on the chair itself and by using fabrics. Oh, the combinations! The possibilities! Chair makeovers can easily be one of the cheaper furniture projects you can take on, as Marianne showed us earlier this week in her chair upholstery tutorial. Let’s see how all of you handy DIYers have given your chairs new life.

Instagram user @designs_by_me2 gave these midcentury-style teak chairs a fun, modern update with fresh fabric. The shiny sheen of the fabric adds a luxe look.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @designs_by_me2.

Turquoise spray paint and some light sanding was all that @ournestof5 needed to transform this darling little piece. It pops perfectly against that dark armoire, don’t you think? And those hydrangeas…swoon!

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @ournestof5.

Turquoise and red is one of my all-time favorite color combos, so you know I love this retro set from @vitanovadecor. The bold, striped cushions are super fun, and now I’m craving a shot of espresso.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @vitanovadecor.

Instagrammer @kaylita20 gave us a double dose of chair rehab. This art deco-style chair now looks like it came straight out of a Fixer Upper episode. Below it, a bold, geometric black-and-white print goes a long way to update a chair that once looked like it belonged in a doctor’s office. The chair itself only cost $5! Well done.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @kaylita20.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @kaylita20.

For even more fabulous furniture DIYs from fellow readers, check out the #HGTVmakeover hashtag on Instagram, and keep tagging your projects for our upcoming posts. 

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Wedding photography typically accounts for a huge chunk of the budget, which means that you want your investment to yield amazing, beautiful, photos to share with generations. So, how do you get the biggest bang for your buck? Listen to your photographer. Take their advice on everything, including things you might not think they know about, like what color uplighting to choose (white, always white) and which way your ceremony should face during a specific time of day.

Straight out of the mouths of three top wedding photographers in New York City, keep these six tips in the back of your mind on your wedding day. From logistics to beauty, Amber Gress Photography, Judy Pak Photography, and brklyn view photography, spill their secrets learned from shooting hundreds of weddings.

unplugged wedding ceremony

1: CONSIDER AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING

A lot of wedding photos come with an unwelcome guest star: Brightly-lit smartphones. To combat this digital-age downside, consider asking your guests to stow their phones during your ceremony or reception. “It’s inevitable that you’ll be greeted with a sea of LCD screens instead of smiling faces as you walk down the aisle,” Judy Pak. “Sadly, the photos from your ceremony show likewise. Try an unplugged wedding to have guests enjoy the present and let the photographer capture the moment.”

invitations

2: MAXIMIZE THEIR TIME

You hired your photographer to take photos, not to gather all of your belongings. Make their job easier and more efficient by getting everything ready before they arrive. Judy Pak says, “Have all your details ready for the photographer to shoot on arrival (your dress, shoes, invitations, signage, heirlooms, flowers, etc.). This can help maximize the time your photographer has to take beautiful pictures, rather spending time gathering everything together.”

blonde bride

3: AVOID THE DREADED DOUBLE CHIN

You are going to feel silly, but you’ll look great! Jaine, from brklyn view photography, has a special trick to make your chin look smoother: “…stick your head out (like a turtle) and keep your neck back and straight. It feels awkward, but looks great on camera…trust me!”

3 MORE WEDDING PHOTO TIPS

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You don’t have to have an elaborate outdoor space or a spacious backyard to enjoy the benefits of alfresco entertaining. All you need are a few key items to turn your space — big or small — into a festive and stylish space everyone can enjoy.

Outdoor Entertaining

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

ILLUMINATE THE NIGHT

Outdoor Lighting

Design by Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Glowing string lights — there’s nothing better. If your gathering goes into the evening, add some ambiance with outdoor lighting. You can have the tiniest patio and a strand of string lights will add the perfect glow. Strands of small globe lights look especially beautiful woven through trees and fences or strung overhead. Get more ideas >>

COZY UP YOUR UNDERFOOT

Outdoor Area Rug

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Stylish and durable all-weather rugs can make any outdoor space feel more like an extension of the home. So cozy up your deck or patio with some chic underfoot that beckons you to toss of your shoes. Get more ideas >>

SET UP A MINI BAR

DIY Wine Rack

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Mix up refreshing summer cocktails at a mini serve-yourself bar filled with nuts, olives and cheese varieties. Get more info >>

Take the Party Outside

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George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road reboot is one of the most anticipated action films of the summer. (It opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow!) Miller made his name with his ultra low-budget indie and original Mad Max in 1979, but has a mite more money to play with to the tune of $100 million this go around.

George Miller’s thrill ride with a message, Mad Max: Fury Road opens May 15 in theaters nationwide. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Super-stylish, often deliciously tongue-in-cheek and with an eco-feminist message to boot, Miller’s film marries environmental cautionary tale with cool explosions, bloody mayhem, rock ‘n’ roll costume design, muscle cars and monster trucks. There’s very little not to like in this action-packed adventure with a soul.

Step Inside the Film

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Ever since I saw The Royal Tenenbaums (and this Tenenbaums-inspired room from Domino), I’ve been obsessed with the idea of having a gallery wall. Together, my husband and I have more than enough posters and art prints to fill our space, but there’s one thing stopping us: We haven’t framed any of them. And we’ve had them all for years. I’d feel more sheepish if I thought we were the only ones in this predicament, but I spotted this exchange in my Twitter timeline and I think Emily sums up the dilemma nicely:

Then, serendipitously, a colleague sent along an email from the folks at Framebridge. It was like we all collectively willed the service into existence, The Secret-like, with our powers of visualization! We’d all been waiting for a solution to the framing problem that was low-hassle, attractive AND affordable, and it seems like Framebridge is the answer.

LEARN HOW IT WORKS + GET ARRANGING TIPS

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I’ve cut back my coffee, try to exercise once in a while, and keep my trips to the donut shop to a minimum. It turns out, however that the worst thing I do for my body has nothing to do with honey-glazed pastries … according to research, sitting is the new smoking. Since reading about all the dire effects of spending my days sitting at my desk (I’m bringing on heart disease, a permanent slouch, and shortening my life expectancy?!), I have jumped out of my chair and vowed to change my ways. So even though it seems a bit foreign  – and a bit awkward, design-wise — I’m checking out standing desks.

Here’s the ergonomics 411 if you’re contemplating taking a stand: Your desk height should be at or slightly below elbow level. Your screen should be about 20-30” away from your eyes, and you should be looking straight ahead at the upper half of it (if you’re looking down, it needs to be additionally elevated.  This means that, if your’e working on a laptop, you’ll need to have a separate keyboard and mouse by your hands, and prop your laptop screen up by your eyes.

Okay, let’s get down to business and see the first option!

Jarvis standing desk
Photo credit: Collin Ferry

The Jarvis desk— yep, this is pretty much what I thought all standing desks looked like. Yeesh. This doesn’t exactly ring bells in the design department. But in terms of standing desk features, this guy is optimal. It can adjust 26” up via electric control, with it’s top height at 51”, so tall standing workers will be comfortable. It can lift 350 pounds of monitors, hard drives or cinderblocks you choose to put on your desk, and it has collision detection technology, which means it won’t size-down and crush your chair (or cat). Best of all, an LED panel means you can adjust your desk from sitting to standing height with one touch, and it even has pre-set memory settings so you don’t have to guess on height each time. Not pretty, but very functional… and at $700, standing doesn’t come cheap.

Mint Design Blog DIY Standing Desk
Photo credit: Ellie Snow

 Next stop, the DIY route. There are no shortage of DIY standing desk projects online, but I like this one from Mint Design Blog that uses some Home Depot sawhorse brackets, 2x4s cut to size, a little paint and an IKEA countertop. Seems like it couldn’t be simpler, and I think it looks beautiful. But you’ve got to commit, or at have the real estate for both a sitting and standing option, because this baby doesn’t move up and down at all. I’m not sure I could permanently toss my sitting desk in place of this solution, but hey, at least you’re not making a major investment.

MORE STANDING DESK OPTIONS >>

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Last week was gorgeous at HGTV Headquarters: warm, sunny and clear. This time of year, I want my decor to follow suit, with bright colors and nature-inspired patterns. Of course, I can’t totally redo my house every time the weather changes, but if I start with a neutral palette, I can swap out my accessories for a seasonal mini makeover. Taking cues from this airy, contemporary living room by Kapito Muller Interiors, here are some tips for infusing a neutral space with the freshness of spring.

Copy the Look of This Clean, Contemporary Living Room1. Crate and Barrel / 2. Society6 / 3. Etsy / 4. Dot & Bo / 5. Wayfair / 6. CB2

6 Ways to Add Spring Color to a Neutral Space

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Weddings are typically full of traditions. Everything from who walks the bride down the aisle to where your guests sit to what you serve for dessert have an expected tradition tied to them. In your planning process, I’m sure you’ve discovered that you agree with some traditions while wanting to do away with others. So what do you do when you don’t like cake and want to walk the aisle by yourself? You do what you want! Modern couples, like yourselves, want to put a personal spin on their weddings. In other words: Do away with some traditions and update others with contemporary flair. A good place to start? Giving the decor a personal touch.

film strip placecards

photo by Les Loups

THE TWIST: PERSONAL PLACE CARDS

Using long tables instead of the traditional round ones? Then you are definitely going to need place cards. Marking each guest’s seat makes them feel taken care of and comfortable. Use unexpected materials for your place cards that speak to something that you and your fiance love. One of my couples last year are both film writers. We purchased old movie reels of their favorite films, cut them up, and had a calligrapher write their guests names right on the film. Such a personal detail!

record table numbers

photo by hart & sol photography

THE TWIST: CUSTOM TABLE NUMBERS

To let your guests find their table, each table will need what is traditionally a number. Use this decor detail as an opportunity to infuse your personalities into your wedding! This couple loved the 1960s. We sourced real, vintage records all from the 1960s that had a love theme and used them as table “numbers”. Each escort card had a picture of the record instead of a number to help guests find their table. You can use cities you’ve traveled to together, names of your favorite foods, the restaurants you went on your firsts dates at, or even your best photos together.

READ MORE

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It’s getting warm here at HGTV Headquarters, and all I want to do this weekend is sit on a patio with a cool beverage. I love the heat and the sun for about two weeks before I’m ready to nest inside with the air conditioning, but this stunning backyard oasis designed by landscape architect Eva Knoppel would keep me outside year-round no matter the temperature.

Design by Eva Knoppel, Garden of Eva

The property sits on a slope, so Knoppel designed the outdoor area around terraces with multiple levels. The above outdoor kitchen and dining space sits just outside the home’s living room, making it a natural extension of the indoor living areas and perfect for entertaining. Next to the outdoor kitchen is a large seating area with a cozy fireplace nestled among mature olive trees.

Design by Eva Knoppel, Garden of Eva

The outdoor living area overlooks a pool, hot tub and cabana on the lower level of the backyard. The homeowners love to entertain, so there’s extra seating around the pool to accommodate large gatherings. The space beyond is terraced to accommodate the slope of the property and planted mostly with succulents, which easily tolerate California’s drought conditions.

Design by Eva Knoppel, Garden of Eva

It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about this yard, but mine might be the inside of the cabana — it’s got the best of both worlds with curtains which tie back to let the breeze in, a ceiling fan to keep it comfortable, plus colorful, comfortable built-in benches where you can read, watch TV or nap. Yes, please.

Design by Eva Knoppel, Garden of Eva

This yard moves easily from daytime to night, thanks to the smart, ambient lighting choices and the fireplace seen above. That fireplace would be so cozy on spring evenings when the temperatures decide to dip back toward the winter end of the thermometer.

http://photos.hgtv.com/photos/viewer/outdoor-entertaining-/patio-prepped-for-outdoor-entertaining-at-night

Design by Eva Knoppel, Garden of Eva

What are your plans for the weekend? Tell us in the comments below.

Did you know that all of these images are shoppable? Click on your favorite image above to head to the HGTV Photo Library and look for the “Shop This Look” button on photos for more details.

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May we take a moment to look ahead and see what may be trending on Pinterest in May? Okay, okay, you get it. It’s May! There’s a good chance that if you’re a Pinterest junkie like me, you’ve been using the site to find a gift for Mom (the clock is ticking!) or plan your wedding like Kayla and Liz. We rounded up some other trending topics we’ve seen popping up on Pinterest this month.

Organization and Storage

Spring cleaning is in full swing. Pinterest is a hotbed of inspiration and ideas to help you squeeze every bit of storage space out of your home. Case in point:

Storage Ideas From HGTV on Pinterest

1. Menu holders out of plastic folders

2. Create a wrapping paper center

3. Tension rod cleaner storage

4. Keep cords under control

Big, Bright Kitchens

Raise your hand if you’re planning a kitchen remodel! Marianne recently took the plunge and we can’t wait to see how this “before” was transformed. If you’re collecting ideas for the kitchen of your dreams, you’re not alone.

Kitchen Design Ideas on Pinterest

1. A Fixer Upper kitchen

2. High-End Countertop Choices

3. Bold Kitchen Islands

4. Crave-Worthy Cabinets

Are you a Pinaholic? What are you using Pinterest for this month? Tell us in the comments! 

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Camille joked that I’m a magpie after I spent most of our trip to High Point Market taking pictures of shiny things and beautiful light fixtures. What can I say? I like the design bling! Plus, it’s hard not to be drawn to the glitter light and gilded finishes when they were all over the showrooms in High Point, N.C.

Lighting Trends

These are not your mother’s pendant lights. The humble shape had many a luxe upgrade by designers at High Point Market, following the overall trend away from the rustic look. Be it a meticulous lace-inspired shade design, geometric shapes or rosy gold finishes, hot new lighting designs are all about making a statement. Designers are even getting inventive with the materials they’re using for pending lights, such as Shiner International’s use of corrugated cardboard, as seen in the bottom right image below.

Though its roots go back to midcentury style and the Space Race days, the Sputnik chandelier is well-represented in modern design. Inspired by the Russian Sputnik satellite, the classic look of the fixture features a central globe supporting many arms, each with a single bulb at its end. While that design hasn’t gone out of style, designers are getting creative with their interpretations of the Sputnik. We saw fixtures with agate slices, quartz crystal lights, black and rose gold finishes and even arms inspired by coral.

Sputnik-Inspired Light Fixtures at High Point Market

Clockwise from upper left: Emporium Home / Emporium Home / Arteriors / Nuevo

Metallic Finishes

While trends are slowly veering away from rustic, nature-inspired decor is still popular. Well, sort of. Patterns and shapes inspired by nature were everywhere at High Point Market, but came with a metallic finish. Warm metallic finishes are especially hot, as you can see below:

Nature-Inspired Furniture Pieces With Metallic Finishes

Clockwise from upper left: Global Views / Dwell Studio / vanCollier / Tommy Mitchell Co.

Metallic finishes have even made their way over to the taxidermy accents that have been hot the past few years. And maybe metallic skulls don’t exactly fall into the taxidermy category per se, but I can tell you they were EVERYWHERE. Next big thing, people!

Metallic Taxidermy

Clockwise from upper left: Phillips Collection / Grace and Blake / Noir Furniture

What do you think of all this design bling? Tell us in the comments below.

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The “where to put the TV” conundrum has become a lightning-rod issue for interior decorators and design enthusiasts alike. Some revel in the challenge of how to display their beloved flat panels, and others wish to pretend it wasn’t there (often by hiding it and rarely fooling anyone).

Gone are the days of giant heavier-than-you TVs that begged to be “housed” in something attractive. TVs today can be hung like a picture or placed on a credenza like an artifact. And with super-thin bezels and curved screens, they’re getting prettier, especially when you run a photo gallery of art or photography when they’re not in use.

So what do you like to do with your set: Keep ‘em covered, or show ‘em off? (Wait, we’re still talking about TVs, right?) Let’s look at some fun and beautiful ways to hide (or not?) your television.

HGTV Smart Home 2015 Living Room TV

Mounted in a Cedar Niche: At the HGTV Smart Home 2015, they know how to do it right: the TV in the living room hides in plain sight on a rustic cedar accent wall, and when I saw it, it was displaying works of art. It’s nice to have a little culture … when you’re not in the middle of a House Hunters marathon, of course.

HGTV Smart Home 2013 Living Room TVs

Motorized TV Covers: When I saw this media wall at HGTV Smart Home 2013, the geek in me was smitten. Artwork on a canvas rolls up to reveal three. separate. screens. Sports fans, commence drooling. Of course, when you’re done watching, the art rolls down and your living room reclaims its pretty.

TV Hidden in Ceiling

Design by Lori Carroll

Hidden TV Screen: Where’s the TV? It’s in the ceiling! This means that the intricately detailed stone mantel isn’t covered up by a screen, but you’re ready for movie night when you need it.

MORE CLEVER WAYS TO HIDE THE TV

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Welcome to the first installment of our new series, HGTV Design Fix! Everyone has those nagging design issues, from how to move forward on a living room decorating project to how to stretch your budget to the max and still have a stylish home.

Each month, we’ll answer a reader’s question about their biggest design dilemma. This month, we’re talking patio design on a budget. HGTV Facebook fan Tobey M. asks: “When i bought the house, it had a patio with a roof and a concrete floor. It is very dark and dreary. How can i add some privacy and brighten up the area on a very low budget?”

Patio Makeover - HGTV Design Fix

Tobey, you’re in luck — our HGTV.com staff is all about stretching a dollar in the name of good design. Here are some of our favorite ways to add privacy and style to a patio without breaking the bank.

4 Ways to Get the Look >>

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The Kentucky Derby is finally here! The annual Run for the Roses is one of my favorite spring events — the fashion, the mint juleps, the beautiful horses with clever names and, oh yeah, the fastest two minutes in sports. Did I mention the fashion? On my bucket list is a trip to the Derby with tickets in the grandstands, a brand-new sundress and a GIGANTIC hat that the Queen herself would envy. Ok, let’s be honest, I really just want the hat. I love a big, beautiful hat and the fashion and design statement it can make. The hats that ladies famously wear to the Derby are so remarkable and chic, you could design an entire room around them!

Traditional Bedroom With Floral Fabrics

Room Design by Ann Lowengart; Inset Photo by Weasie Gaines, Kentucky Derby

This hat may be simple when it comes to Kentucky Derby standards, but it’s a classic design that works for many events. A simple straw chapeau with a hot pink ribbon flower offers a tailored feminine look, much like this bedroom design by Ann Lowengart. The hot pink manages to be feminine without being overly precious or young looking, and the upholstered bed and crisp, white linens with navy trim and monogramming offers the same timeless style as the lovely hat.

Bold, Blue Kids' Lounge

Room Design HGTV Smart Home 2014; Inset Photo by Power Creative / Laura Robinson, Kentucky Derby

I love this preppy navy fascinator. Blue is a great go-to color in both fashion and home decor, and the wood paneling and sofa piping detail add to the preppy look in the kids’ den at the HGTV Smart Home 2014. A little yellow can go a long way, and the forsythia blooms, artwork and throw pillows add a pop of fun to this space.

More Derby-Inspired Fashion

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Ah, the wedding invitation. It’s the first time your guests experience the event you are throwing. There are a few ways you can purchase your invites: from a retail online shop, like Minted or Wedding Paper Divas, from your local stationery store, you can hire a designer to create a custom suite, you can print them at home, or you can send digital invites.

Unless you have extensive experience in printing and graphic design, I don’t recommend trying to DIY your whole invitation suite from scratch. My favorite route is to purchase a pre-made design from an online retail shop and add personal, DIY elements to make the invitations feel completely custom to you. By simply adding some confetti, an envelope liner, or a stamped motif, your off-the-rack invitations immediately become totally unique. Here are 4 fun ways to dress up your invites.

confetti wedding invitations

photo by Judy Pak Photography

ADD CONFETTI

Toss a handful of metallic confetti inside the envelope to get the party started the moment your guests open your invitation. Use tissue paper confetti for a more casual, rustic wedding or shiny confetti for a modern, formal affair.

MORE EASY WEDDING DIYS

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I’ve got a real treat for you today. We’ve been in San Francisco for the past few days taking in the beauty of the annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase, one of the top show homes in the country. The showcase brings together some of the top names in design from the Bay Area each year to transform a stately home in the Presidio Heights neighborhood.

This year’s home was designed by architect Julia Morgan, who is best known for the legendary Hearst Castle, home of William Randolph Hearst. Thirty-eight different designers and countless vendors transformed 28 rooms and spaces within the 98-year-old, 9,758-square-foot, Elizabethan-style home, and each designer worked to honor Morgan’s brilliance and pioneering efforts through their designs.

Now for the good stuff …

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Kitchen

The kitchen, designed by Navarra Design, is every home chef’s dream: a chocolate La Cornue Chateau oven, an expansive quartzite-topped island, a family gathering space and a copper dune marble-topped breakfast table … with a view of the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Entry

The entryway, designed by Candace Barnes is a study on geometrics, a nod to Julia Morgan’s use of geometry and hand-drawn architecture sketches. Pyramidal details are incorporated throughout the space — in the stunning chandelier, graphic artwork, the bronze table base and the nailhead trim on the stair runner.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Salon

Inspired by a vintage Vogue cover, the master salon, by Tineke Triggs, celebrates feminism and fashion with its Art Deco sensibilities and soft, curvy lines. The crown jewel of the room — almost literally — is the tiara-inspired light that appears to rest on the head of the model featured in the artwork.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Music Room

The showcase home is owned by a family with 8-year-old twins — a son and a daughter, and Allison Caccoma created a space for music rehearsal, art and play just for the pair. A lacquered orange art table pops against the blue suede-covered walls to make the space feel alive.

San Francisco Decorator Showcase Pent Room

Design by Jeff Schlarb, Photo by David Duncan Livingston

For the adults, Jeff Schlarb of Green Couch Interior Design created the “Pent Room,” a space for gathering, gaming, entertaining and relaxing. Inspired by Marsala, Pantone’s color of the year, he chose a rich wine color as a theme and worked it in to every detail of the space, from the walls, to the rug to the billiards set on the pool table.

We will have lots more to share from the San Francisco Decorator Showcase after we get home, but you can get more sneak peeks by checking out our #hgtvinsf page on Instagram. If that’s not enough, take a spin through last year’s showcase home below.

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