ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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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!):

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

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

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

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