ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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We’re in the dog days of summer here, and sometimes you just want to get inside, out of the heat and into the blissful air conditioning. If your kids are in need of a project to occupy their time, I have just the thing for you. These sandpaper transfers are as fun to make as the resulting t-shirts are to wear.

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I love that in two simple steps you can turn your kid’s work of art into a t-shirt. Make sure you put the finished t-shirt in the dryer on high to set the color, and wash it alone the first time.

Crayon Shirt

What’s your favorite way to beat the late-summer heat?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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As crazy as it may seem, it’s already time to stock up on school supplies. There’s nothing quite like a fresh pack of ballpoint pens and a color-coded assortment of spiral notebooks to start the year out right. But for many, it’ll be more than just basic supplies on the shopping list. Some of our HGTV.com readers will be packing up and heading into the brand-new cramped quarters of a shared living space. Yay, college! The key to this new living adjustment is making the space feel as comfortable and homey as possible. And just like living in a rental, there are plenty of ways to add decorative charm to the walls, floors and doors of your temporary living space without breaking the bank.

Check out a few of my favorites:

DIY Desk Accessories

Keep Your Desk Tidy: Make these custom desk accessories >>

DIY Corkboard

Hang Custom Artwork: Make a corkboard map to showcase travel adventures >> 

Top Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

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Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most fun. This week we’re taking cheap cork coasters, dressing them up with paint pens, and turning them into adorable party favors and hostess gifts. Check it out:

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I was able to make a dozen of these coasters in minutes, and they have me in the mood to throw one last end-of-summer party.

Decorated Cork Coasters

Missed an episode of Weekday Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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You know the saying: nothing says party like a piñata. Isn’t that a saying? It is now! I had so much fun making this adorable beehive piñata that I can’t bear to break it. I think I might hang it in my daughter’s room instead.

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Pretty cute, eh? Those puffy bumblebees are the perfect touch. This would make any summer party one to remember, don’t you think?

Bumblebee Pinata

I haven’t done paper mache since I was a kid, and it was good, goopy fun. Have you ever attempted a homemade piñata?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? See them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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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.

MORE TIPS

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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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I think we’re all still recovering from 2012 or “The Year of Neon.” While neon accents are still super fun and trendy, we’re now seeing a refreshing resurgence of pastels that are anything but bland. HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams takes this pretty and sophisticated color trend to a whole new level with their brand-new color collection, Softer Side. These nature-inspired hues will translate beautifully in your interior, no matter your design style.

With the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Softer Side color collection, you can take pastels and mix them with neutrals or add unexpected pops of color. Check out our favorite ways to use this versatile palette:

HGTV Home Softer Side Collection

These pastels coordinate beautifully with HGTV HOME fabric, upholstery, furniture and lighting.

HGTV Home Softer Side Collection

Plus, this color collection can even be bold, balanced or showcase hints of subtlety like in these contemporary spaces.

HGTV Home Softer Side Collection

HGTV Home Softer Side Color Collection

Explore more of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams’ brand-new Softer Side color collection to see how you can add these hues to your home.

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Cake decorating is an art (I mean, truly), but let’s be honest…sometimes the idea of all those piping bags of frosting (or wrestling with fondant) can be a bit overwhelming. With this in mind, I set out to make colorful candles that dress up even the most basic grocery store sheet cake. They are easy to make and can be customized for any occasion (make the patriotic star candles now and stash them away for your Fourth of July barbecue!). Watch the video to learn how, it’s a real toe-tapper:

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I started off making these candles for my daughter Lulu’s birthday but then I couldn’t stop. They are seriously fun to make. What shape would you make?

DIY Monogram Birthday Candles

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As a child, I was obsessed with changing up my room’s design scheme and color palette. It started with a frilly pink bedspread and canopy, then gradually matured to sunshine-yellow walls with a cool denim comforter. By the time I was midway through high school, I was sporting tan walls and leopard print everything. My parents let me express myself through the years, and while cringe-worthy at times, it has been important to my personal design style today.

Look at your child’s room as a place to lay the foundation, a place where they can grow. First, decide what purpose the space will serve; is it just a room for rest, or does it double as a playroom, too? This will determine the palettes you choose. Hues like gray, turquoise, lime and creamsicle are soft enough for a child but can take them into the tween and teen years with ease.

Looking for inspiration for your kiddo? Here some of my favorite youthful paint palettes:

Kids Bedroom

Bright Green Boy’s Room: Designer duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz took the bright green hue from the crystal chandelier and painted the ceiling a matching shade. The fifth wall is also a nice complement to the toile wallpapered accent wall.

More Playful Kids’ Palettes

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If I’m throwing a summer party, I’m not about to blow my budget on a tiny strand of decorative string lights (I’d much rather splash out on the food!). With this in mind, I set out to make some custom lantern string lights out of simple paper bags. The results, if I do say so myself, are pretty adorable. Watch the video to learn how:

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These lanterns make a cute centerpiece as well. They scream summer to me! Just the thing to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

DIY Paper Bag Lantern String Lights

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It’s no secret that I’m the resident cat lover here at HGTV.com. Don’t get me wrong, I adore dogs. But when I adopted my four-year-old cat, D’Artagnan, I became enamored by these sassy, independent animals. As someone who was raised with canines, I’m still figuring out my cat’s unique personality every day. I’ll tell you this, though: I’ve raised one cuddly cat.

But, as all pet owners know, creating a pet-friendly home is a key element to your pet’s happiness and your sanity. Here are some ways you can keep your home chic, stylish and comfy for your pets, too.

Get More: 12 Tips for Pet-Friendly Decorating

Cat on Bed

Buy washable fabrics. Pets have accidents. It’s just part of it. So, protect your bed by using duvet covers, cotton bed sheets and other durable fabrics that can be washed regularly.

Slipcovered Sofas

Slipcovers FTW! Until you’ve deterred Fluffy from using your beloved sofa as a scratching post, a durable slipcover will definitely do the trick. You can also look into purchasing a sofa made of Ultrasuede, a stain-resistant, machine-washable microfiber your cat will adore.

Living Chic + Happy With Your Pets

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I could write a book about how much I adore Tina Fey and her sense of humor, which is why the teen comedy Mean Girls never ceases to make me LOL and feel painfully awkward at times (remember “grool”?). So, when I found out that today is the 10th anniversary of the Mean Girls release, I was shocked and overwhelmingly nostalgic for my teen years. Where did those 10 years go?! Now, I could sit here and transcribe the entire movie from beginning to end, but I won’t put you all through that. Instead, I’ll celebrate by sharing my favorite pink rooms, because “on Wednesdays we wear pink.” Duh.

Pink Bathroom

Photography by Max Kim-Bee for HGTV Magazine

Step into this colorful, eclectic cottage >>

Pink Bathroom

Design by Drew and Jonathan Scott

See more designs by Drew and Jonathan Scott >>

Pink Bedroom

Design by Liz Carroll

Check out more colorful designs by Liz Carroll >>

Pink Bar

Photography by Max Kim-Bee for HGTV Magazine

Get a room-by-room look of this colorful home >>

Pink Nursery

Design by Elizabeth Krial for DC Design House

See more showstopping designs from the DC Design House >>

Pink Bedroom

Design by Barry Dixon

Discover more inspiring designs by Barry Dixon >>

Think pink! Here’s more inspiration for the hue whether you prefer a bold shade or more subdued ballet pink tone.

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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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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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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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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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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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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!):

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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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  • Host a green-and-white brunch for St. Patrick's Day

  • Host a Green-and-White Brunch for St. Patrick's Day