ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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On every trip to High Point Market, I try to visit a few new-to-me designer showrooms in addition to old favorites. A standout on my recent trip was Design Legacy, a new-to-the-trade business featuring quirky vintage-inspired pieces, custom fabrics and amazing, inspiring vignettes. Here’s one I loved from this spring’s showing:

The fabric on the sofa and the window treatments features vintage-inspired botanical prints, and the space deftly combines shades of lavender, orchid, emerald and celadon for a pattern-heavy vignette that manages not to look too busy. A loosely-drawn Greek key pattern on the upholstered coffee table complements the romantic florals.

Not into the floral-on-floral look? Try one element, like a large-scale vintage botanical print or one patterned pillow, and see how it infuses spring energy into your home.

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

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Cherry red lips, bright red nails, red pumps — this simple and unexpected splash of color can transform an ordinary outfit in a snap. The same goes for interiors. Just look at that glossy red front door below. It gives the entryway an entirely new personality and character that wouldn’t be achieved with plain white. And let’s be honest, can you even imagine an ice cream sundae without a cherry on top?

Mood Board Monday: CherriesTop, L to R: Humans of New York, Tartelette, Harper’s Bazaar | Middle, L to R: BHG, Lonny, Magnolia Rouge | Bottom L to R: Averie Cooks, The Cherry Blossom Girl, Seventy Nine Ideas

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

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If you saw Liz’s decorating trends post you know that she and I recently spent several (blissful!) days taking in all that’s new and notable in furniture, accessories, lighting, fabrics and more in High Point, NC at the world’s largest furniture industry trade show — or as I like to refer to it: Disney for Designers.

While I certainly enjoy checking out the trendiest fabrics and finishes, the highlight of each Market visit for me is spending a few hours strolling thru the Market’s Antique & Design Center. Here, 60+ premiere antique dealers showcase centuries-old European rarities, architectural salvage, mid-century pieces and funky vintage finds.

Antiques have always been a go-to for interior designers but with each passing Market, the collected-over-time look is being realistically reproduced by more and more manufacturers. Although most of the items I point out below are available to-the-trade-only, meaning you have to go through an interior designer or dealer to buy them (sorry!), they’re just a few of the trending antique styles that caught my eye. So, the good news is, if you love antiques, like I do, they’re super hot in the design world right now — whatever type of vintage items you prefer, display them proudly!

Vive la France: French-inspired antiques have been the design world’s darling for quite a while and they’re not ready to raise the white flag yet. I spied all the Louis (13-16) plus several Empire and Rococo gems at Market. Below is a reproduction Louis 16 (or XVI, if you prefer, AKA the same Louis who lost his head alongside Marie Antoinette) gilt settee from Eloquence. They’ve done a fantastic job replicating the handcarved details, even subtly distressing the gilt finish so this new piece looks as if it might have been found at Versailles:
antique french furniture from Eloquence

Aged to Perfection: Weathered finishes are also nothing new and I spied plenty of legitimately timeworn finishes, like the salvaged wooden pediment on the left at Design Legacy alongside new pieces, like the bistro chairs and zinc-topped table at Dovetail, that have been distressed to look like they’ve spent decades outdoors:
antiqued furniture at high point market

3 More Antique Trends to Watch

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If you saw my post about High Point Furniture Market’s top trends, you already know that Camille and I spotted lots of decor in both blue and orange on our recent design scout. While many showrooms featured indigo, navy and deep orange, I especially loved fabric and wallpaper company Thibaut‘s interpretation of the color combination.

Spring Color Inspiration on HGTV's Design Happens: Aqua + Coral

Coral and aqua are a classic, coastal take on the blue and orange combination. And how adorable is that quatrefoil-shaped table from Oomph? Combined with white, light blue and gray, this combination is crisp, preppy and perfect for spring.

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

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If you’re a design fan, you’ve likely heard of High Point Furniture Market. Every spring and fall, the city of High Point, North Carolina fills to the brim with designers, furniture buyers and exhibitors, all ready to see the hottest trends in home decor.

Camille and I logged several miles a day walking around the many gorgeous showrooms in High Point last week, and I’ve gathered up the top 10 trends we spotted at this spring’s showing.

Bejeweled and Bedazzled
Think of this as the upscale version of that bedazzling gun sold on late-night TV. The agate trend continues this spring both in real-life slices, like this stone-covered sconce from Emporium Home inspired by the classic Sputnik chandelier, and agate-inspired fabrics, like this custom print spotted at Design Legacy.  This trend also starring: quartz and crystal.

Agate Decor From Spring 2014 High Point Market
Deep Blue
From Shibori-inspired rugs to floral fabrics to geometric patterns, indigo and navy blue were everywhere at this spring’s market.

Indigo and Navy Blue at High Point Market Spring 2014

Vibrant Orange
Along with all that blue, a complementary color was also on display: lots and lots of orange, like this lush bedding display from de Medici by Eastern Accents.

Orange Color Trend at High Point Spring 2014 Furniture Market
Shades of Purple
Though we didn’t spot as much of Pantone’s radiant orchid as we expected, the displays we did see featuring this hue were stunning. Our favorite? This painterly vignette at Design Legacy.

Radiant Orchid at High Point Market Spring 2014

See More Trending Design Ideas

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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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DC Design House Exterior Patio AreaGarden design by Botanical Decorators

Attention design lovers and do-gooders! You gotta see this house.

The Washington, D.C. Design House is on a mission to showcase designer talent and help bring healthcare to children in need. The Design House got its start in 2008 as a one-time exhibition for designers to raise money for a local charity by showing off their work. The showcase was such a success, it was made into an annual event, and they raised more than $1 million for Children’s National Health System in just six years! Pretty amazing, huh?

Now they’re back for their 7th year with a spectacular house filled with bold blues and cool greys. Every nook and cranny (inside and out!) of the 2014 house has been personally crafted by top area designers, so each space has a unique look but still flows seamlessly into the next.

Exterior and Front Door of the DC Design House 2014Entry Garden by D&A Dunlevy Landscapers, Inc. | Facade by Rill Architects

See inside the Design House!

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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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Residents in Knoxville, home of HGTV.com, may notice an addition to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens — a small house solely made of shipping pallets. A local organization, Knox Pallet House, is behind this repurposed home. Knox Pallet House aims to provide quality, affordable housing to the radically poor and homeless by building homes made of shipping pallets donated from local businesses.

Knox Pallet HousePhoto Credit: R. Bentley Marlow

The model house at the Botanical Gardens aims to bring public attention to temporary housing for the homeless. Residents can interact with the house while listening to music from local artists during the city’s annual Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival this weekend. The ultimate goal — for the city to make building code exceptions to allow for a pallet house subdivision to be built around a community shower, laundry and kitchen facility for the homeless.

Watch More About Knox Pallet House>>

Check out our interview with project leads Bentley Marlow and Prat Singh.

Design Happens: What was your inspiration for this project?

Bentley and Prat: The inspiration came from two architects with I-BEAM Design in 1999. Their mission was to provide housing for Eastern Europe’s refugee population. We felt there was a strong possibility this could be an excellent model for housing Knoxville’s homeless population because it is a fact that housing first is the only proven and effective way to approach homelessness issues in any community.

DH: What is your ultimate goal for the pallet house?

B and P: The ultimate goal for Knox Pallet House is to start a dialogue in our city to explore the possibility of developing a housing community for Knoxville’s homeless population.

DH: How long is the display open?

B and P: From sunrise to sunset through April 14th

DH: How long have you been working on this project, and how many volunteers have contributed?

B and P: The construction took a total of three weeks because we were building outside of our regular schedules. The actual construction moves pretty quickly once it gets going. We had eight volunteers and several community business and organization contributions. This project would not have been possible without the efforts of every single one of them. This is why we think Knoxville is a great place for this project to take off. This city is exceptionally collaborative — it is a really unique place on the map.

What organizations make a difference in your community? Tell us in the comments below.

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Comfy sofas that look good are not exactly hard to find. There are so many furniture makers that really get that what we want when we plop down at the end of the day is a couch that not only feels good, but looks good, too. However, if you add a couple of key constraints about price and size, the field of options becomes considerably narrowed. When Kayla requested that I help her in her search for an apartment-sized sofa that worked well with a mid-century modern look, but was conventional enough to live with every day, AND cost under $700, I knew I had a tough assignment.

So for everyone who is in the camp of needing something small but really good looking, I present to you the following affordable and handsome options:
apartment sized sofas

The Chloe sofa on the left is from Macy’s and is currently on sale for $599. The sales at Macy’s come and go but the good news is they always come back around. Over the past several years, they’ve upped their furniture game and partnered with a bunch of great designers to put out some really refined looking pieces. On the right is a new classic from IKEA – the Kivik sofa. It’s actually one of the larger sofas on my list at 89″, but its proportion is right for not overwhelming a smaller space. Plus, it’s a perfect movie-watching couch.
apartment sized sofas

I’ve learned from designer Brian Patrick Flynn to always check Overstock.com when looking for pretty much anything. Chances are they’ll have something really close to what you want for a really good deal. That definitely holds true for this Signature Design sofa on the left at $679. Ditch the pillows that come with it and add some with a bright mid-century pattern and you’re all set. The loveseat on the right from West Elm is one of my all-time favorites. In fact if I had a need for another couch myself, I’d pick this Everett Upholstered Loveseat.
apartment sized sofas
An option I hadn’t considered for apartments before — but one that makes total sense now that I think of it — is a daybed. The one on the left is also from West Elm and has great mid-century modern lines. It would double as an excellent guest bed for company. Those of us who live in apartments often lament the lack of guest accommodations and this could be just the answer. It’s on sale right now, too, for $639. Last but not least is the Courtney Sofa from Target. Granted, it comes in at a fairly tiny 60″, but if you’re looking for something that’s an upgrade from a college-era futon, this is a pretty good bet. And at $499, the price is pretty hard to beat.

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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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When I moved into my first apartment too many years ago to admit, my stepfather gifted me with a toolbox full of all his “doubles.” Later when my brother moved to a tropical island, he handed down his steel toolbox to me and I was thrilled. I truly love my trusty tool kit and even love sorting through it to find just the right instrument for a given job. My toolbox and the tools in it are feeling their (20+ years) age, however. So I’m daydreaming about replacing everything with tools that help me make the fixes around my home and are beautiful to boot.

Not only are these tools functional, but they’re even gorgeous enough to display — maybe on a magnetic strip? I love how self-referential the wood handles are and the care that was clearly taken in designing and crafting them. But tell me: am I alone in my handylady desires? Or are you a fixer with an enviable tool set, too?

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I’ll be the first to admit that a bar cart is not even big enough to house our stash of whiskey, so when I was asked to style a bar cart for Spring House, my immediate thought was: Party! In the spring our get-togethers usually involve lawn games and lemonade, in which case a bar cart on the front porch is a perfect solution or in my case a “faux bar cart.” You see, the idea behind a bar cart is to have all cocktail items in one consolidated space, which means if you don’t have a “bar cart” you can easily just pick a side table and use the same small-space techniques. Here’s what I did to style our casual “faux bar cart”:

Define the space.

First things first. To define this “faux bar cart” space, I pulled out my favorite side table. Because carts usually have two levels, one for the main cocktail mixings and another to hold extra bottles and such, I got this metal bucket to put underneath and stow bottled beverages. Finally, to define the space, I bought tissue paper in spring colors and made a garland to call out the space for guests. (Learn how to make your own tissue paper tassel garland.)

Faux Bar Cart Ideas

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Sometimes all it takes is one photo to start a brand new color crush. It happened to me today, thanks to a stunning display of bright purply-pink from Design Addict Mom that popped up on my Instagram feed. She’s dubbed this rose hue “spring’s it color,” and I have to agree. A shade lighter than our March Color of the Month, Orchid, it’s the perfect hue to embrace the new season.

Rose and Mint Kitchen Color Palette

Paired with dark and light shades of gray, it’s a modern take on the classically chic pink, black and white combination. A hint of mint adds more spring freshness. And who could resist that mini vintage-style refrigerator? It’s equally charming atop these pink-glazed eclairs from Sweetapolita.

I don’t think of myself as a “pink person,” but I’ve found that I’ve been more drawn to the color these past few months. Are soft pinks and purples growing on you? Would you add them to your home this season? Let me know in the comments below.

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I don’t know if you’ve heard, but macrame is back in a big way. To bring this craft out of the 70′s and into the 21st Century (not to mention close out National Craft Month), we’re using a chic neon and metallic color palette and two clean and simple knots. Watch the video to learn how (and see me do a little disco!):

YouTube Preview Image

It’s the perfect size for a small vase or planter–I filled mine with cheery yellow flowers, but it would be a great way to show off succulents or air plants as well.

How To Make A Macrame Hanging Planter

Catch up on all of our National Craft Month projects–these easy felt bowls, festive pom-pom banners, and this gorgeous herringbone tray and box. Check in next week for another great how-to!

Brought to you by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, where ideas and inspiration come together.

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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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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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Last night I noticed something after dinner: it wasn’t quite dark yet. Spring is coming! I have a huge deck and an even bigger group of close neighbors and family, so welcoming spring means welcoming guests. First order of business? Creating the perfect bar cart for outdoor entertaining. Here’s my plan:

When you are entertaining a big crowd a full bar can blow your budget. Keep things in check by offering a signature cocktail in addition to beer and wine. I made refreshing Cucumber-Pomegranate Gin & Tonics (recipe below), and kept a dish of limes on the cart for the purists that prefer a classic G&T.

Cucumber-Pomegranate Gin & Tonics

Muddle a slice of seedless cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail glass and pour 1 oz. of gin over. Add ice, top with tonic water and a splash of pomegranate juice. Garnish with a cucumber spear.

Cucumber-Pomegranate Gin and Tonic

Not everyone is a liquor (or alcohol!) drinker, so I always fill a tub with ice, beer, and a couple of non-alcoholic options for my guests. Don’t forget the bottle opener!

My #1 tip when setting up a bar cart for outdoor entertaining this spring? Put a tray on it. Or rather, put a tray under it. Having drinks on a tray makes it easy to move the party outside, and filling a second tray with your cocktail essentials means a refill is never far away.

I don’t know about you, but this has me in the mood for spring, and a cocktail! With my bar cart stocked and at the ready, you can be sure I’ll be entertaining soon. Wanna come over? Drinks are on me.

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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