ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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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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Oh lowly trash can, where would we be without you? We would be surrounded by piles of trash, that’s where.

Silly odes to the waste bin aside, this kitchen necessity is often overlooked as an accessory that is deserving of good design. Understandably, many trash cans are made of hard plastic, straight-lined and completely unadorned (all the easier for cleaning). But for those of us who are looking for a more — dare I say? — classy trash can that you can proudly display out in the open, there are some real beauties out there:

I’ve coveted the classic Wesco Kickboy for some time, but it’s a bit of an investment piece. That hot pink (radiant orchid?) Premier Housewares bin, which I could only find available in the UK, would look dynamite in an all-white kitchen. So what do you guys think? Do these trash cans make your “want” list?

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I’ve been chatting with HGTV.com guest editor Nancy Fire for our upcoming spring trend report (out later this week!), and one of the color combinations she’s loving this season is a neutral room with a bold pop. As an example of the growing trend, she sent this bedroom featured in Homestyle magazine. I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this palette ever since:

Neon and Neutral Bedroom Color Ideas

In both home and fashion, designers have been redefining the term “neutrals” for quite awhile now — the color category has evolved to include not just basic beige but also light pinks, soft grays, dark navy and even olive green.

I love how this room combines several new neutrals with unexpected shots of blue, orange and neon yellow. This same palette works equally well for a twist on traditional wedding florals, like these boutonnieres spotted on Style Me Pretty. In both examples, a mix of neutral hues provides a classic base, with the bright accent colors lending an eclectic vibe.

I’m ready to try this palette in my bedroom — what about you? Tell me what you think of these colors in the comments below.

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Okay, so I obviously didn’t take these photos at a beachside cabana, but I imagine this cart fitting in perfectly on an exotic beach. I stocked the bar with the essentials — libations, glasses, stirrers and lemon and limes. A nifty carafe keeps white wine chilled and frees up the ice bucket for other drinks.

 

Beachside Cabana Bar Cart

To give it a beachy feel, I made a CHEERS banner using wrapping paper, glittery miniature clothespins and scrapbook paper in coastal-inspired colors. I kept the bottom level simple, filling the ice bucket with sparkling water and the acacia wood wine holder with a few bottles of choice.

Outdoor Bar Cart Banner

A few simple additions include a square jar filled with seaglass and books on — you guessed it — cocktails and beer.

Outdoor Bar Cart Sea Glass

However, I think the bright polka-dot straws in a gold pencil holder steal the show because of the bright contrast. I filled a gold candle holder with disposable stirrers, while a simple tray holds the lemons and limes. I filled a small wood serving tray with sand and topped it with crisp white bowls filled with one of my favorite snacks, Goldfish Crackers. To finish the look, I placed fresh flowers on one end of the cart and artwork on the other end. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Beachside Cabana Bar Cart

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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A few months ago, Target asked Design Happens to host a Blogger Challenge in which five bloggers — four regular D-Happ contributors and one from our sister blog, Made + Remade — would shop, style, photograph and then pitch their design ideas for the outdoor entertaining setup at HGTV Spring House. The HGTV Spring House team shared their ideal color palette and style inspiration with each blogger, and they created true or faux bar carts using products from Target, among other items.

We’re all friends here at Design Happens, but things can get a little competitive when it comes to design. (I mean, you’ve seen our Color of the Month series, right?) It was fun to see how a spring color palette and “casual,” “coastal,” and/or “nautical” inspired a slew of different design styles.

HGTV Spring House Exterior BeforeHGTV Spring House: Here’s the Atlanta bungalow’s back deck before its makeover, waiting for some spring entertaining action.

Each week, from now until April 1, we’re going to share the five bloggers’ spring-inspired bar cart designs with you. Check out a teaser of each one below:

HGTV Spring House Bar Cart

Unfortunately, we have to keep a secret from you for a few weeks. You’ll have to wait until April 1 to find out whose winning design inspired the outdoor bar cart design at HGTV Spring House. Womp, womp.

Until then, keep checking back each Tuesday and Thursday for a bar cart project reveal from your fave bloggers.

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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I can’t fully say spring has sprung here at HGTV Headquarters, but we had some pretty incredible spring-like weather over the weekend. And with Plant a Flower Day coming up on Wednesday, the timing couldn’t be better. Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse said users are already searching for spring flowers, and some of the top-searched picks  are everything from sunflowers and carnations to lilies and irises. Clearly you can see where my inspiration for today’s board came from.

Mood Board Monday: Sunflowers Hair | Flower Heart | Print | Fashion | Bouquet | Dress | Child | Arrangement

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

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I was that girl with the Barbie™ mansion, pizza shop, post office, supermarket, boutique, classroom — I mean, should I really continue? I was the mayor of Barbieville™. So, when I found out that party stylist and HGTV contributor Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio partnered with Barbie™ in celebration of the iconic doll’s upcoming birthday, I immediately took a turn down Memory Lane.

To kick off Barbie’s™ month-long birthday celebration (starting March 9!), Kim styled this glamorous girls’ birthday party. Read on for Kim’s ideas and party inspiration.

Barbie Birthday Party

Following Barbie’s™ classic style, Kim chose a black, white and pink color palette.

Barbie Birthday Party

Oversized balloons, ribbons, striped table runners and cupcake stands keep the table chic and stylish but simple to re-create.

More Glam Party Ideas

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If there ever was a product that screamed: “Please, just leave me to my function and forget my form. I’ve got a job to do!” it’s the lowly doormat. And who could blame it? Its sole purpose is to be stepped on with dirty shoes. When Briana suggested we look for some mats that were not-too-kitschy yet not too plain I knew I’d have some hunting to do. I think I’ve found some good options in a range of styles that meet the aesthetic requests and don’t shirk their function altogether:

door mats

1. Anchor West Elm; 2. Tvis round mat IKEA; 3. Wink Orange Rug; 4. Oceanstar Bamboo; 5. Branch Door mat; 6. Magical Thinking Southwest Geo Rug; 7. Turkish Doormat

I have to admit, at my own apartment, I go for pure function in my entryway. I’ve got a recycled-tire doormat that you can stand on with dripping, snowy boots and just wipe down later. However, these are all so pretty that I might reconsider my choice of pure utility leaving me, as usual, with a case of the wants.

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Pale Blue in Home DecorJamie Herzlinger | HGTV’s Renovation Raiders | Stools From Fab.com | Betty Lou Phillips

Lupita Nyong’o's style is always amazing, but the Prada gown she wore to the Oscars was a jaw-dropper. The color of the dress has been dubbed ‘Nairobi blue’ since Lupita said it reminds her of her home in Kenya. The 31-year-old looked stunning as she picked up an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Patsey in “12 Years A Slave.” Seeing her epic acceptance speech got me thinking, “How can I use that beautiful shade Nairobi blue?”

Pale blue Dining Room from Design On A DimeHGTV’s Design on a Dime

Blue and Red Living Room from Bright Bazaar

Bright Bazaar Blog

Blue and Red Living Room from HGTV's Renovation Raiders

HGTV’s Renovation Raiders

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Property Brothers spring green table place settingsSt. Patty’s Place Settings from HGTV’s Property Brothers

Spring officially begins this month (March 20!), and we at HGTV are beyond ready. It’s time to break out of your post-winter slump and start fresh with some Spring cleaning and new decor. Not feeling like you want to take on any major projects yet? Start small with your dining room or patio table. These place settings from HGTV’s Property Brothers are so fun and vibrant, you might just catch Spring Fever. So set your table for Spring and be sure to catch the new season of Property Brothers premiering March 12 at 9pm/8c.

More Spring-inspired table settings

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DIY Yarn Chandelier

I love yarn. I’m what you would consider to be a yarn addict. I love its texture and versatility. As I browse through the aisles of my craft store I always pause and flirt with all the bright colored yarn. If that yarn is on sale you can bet a few rolls sneak their way into my cart. And I’m a huge sucker for yarn crafts. Can we talk about the craft potential yarn has? It has so much more to offer than knitting. And with an obnoxiously large bundle of sale yarn, I came up with a lovely craft I feel does yarn justice: a yarn chandelier.

Get Started

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Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for this spring is drool-worthy. From Placid Blue and Paloma to Dazzling Blue, I was — well — dazzled. My favorite, however, is Hemlock. It’s a more subdued version of mint green and the perfect spring-inspired hue. Pantone says, “Similar to the verdant shade of springtime foliage, Hemlock, a summery, ornamental green, provides a decorative touch that’s very different from the greens of recent seasons.” What’s your take on this versatile pastel?

Mood Board Monday: Pantone HemlockVignette | Arrangement | Paint | Runway | Pantone | Shake | Cookie | Drink | Print

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

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I’ve been on a hunt for “ugly things that aren’t ugly,” since last week’s post about modern filing cabinets. I received some really great requests to be on the look out for and I’ve added them all to my list. (If you’ve got a request, let me know in the comments!) This week, Liz wants a good looking ceiling fan. Challenge accepted. Since I wasn’t quite sure what style she might have in mind, I found a variety that could fit well into almost any setting. Here’s what I came up with:

attractive ceiling fans

Top Row, L to R: 1. Stella Ceiling Fan by Dave Ellis; 2. Flyte by G Squared; 3. Haiku Fan; Bottom Row, L to R: 4. Lit Modern Ceiling Fan #4; 5. Avian Ceiling Fan; 6. Plum by Modern Fan Co

RELATED: How to Install a Ceiling Fan

The key to finding a really beautiful ceiling fan, unfortunately, is looking beyond some of the big box home improvement stores. They’re so convenient, but their selection can leave the design enthusiast unsatisfied. And sadly, a lot of the better looking fans come with an equally “impressive” price tag. If you think of them as an investment — one you’ll be staring at every day — perhaps it’ll help get you over the sticker shock.

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Confession time: I’m not in love with Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid. As with most purple-pink shades, it’s one of those beautiful colors I just prefer to see in someone else’s home. (I’m still lobbying for one of my fellow editors to paint their cabinets like this.)

Radiant Orchid Spring Color Palette on HGTV's Design Happens Blog

So, I’m surprised to say that when I saw this modern dining room with mint and orchid accents from Elle Decor, I kind of fell for it. In a “maybe this is my new guest room color palette” kind of way. Paired with blush pink, white, black and antiqued gold, it feels so spring-fresh, doesn’t it? I also love the combination on a smaller scale in this floral pillow and this metallic necklace.

Are you a fan of the 2014 Color of the Year? Would you add it to your home? Tell me in the comments below.

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Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, March 4, so now’s the time to make your way to the Big Easy to catch the most popular parades before Fat Tuesday. And if you can’t make it down to New Orleans this year, then I can almost guarantee your city will have a sampling of Bourbon Street in celebration. Joyeux Mardi Gras!

Mood Board Monday: Mardi Gras 2014From left: Costume | Masks | Beads in Tree | King Cake | Entrance | Print | Balcony | Float | Shots | Dog

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

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When I get my home to myself for an extended period of time — no kids, no husband — I tend to go on the sort of cleaning and organizing binge that a normal working mom would think was…well, excessive. Instead of lazily reading books, or going out to brunch with girlfriends, I revel in the chance to fix my apartment knowing that no one but me will mess it up.

I was telling Briana that I could see the surface of my desk for the first time in ages and that led us to searching for a filing cabinet for her that would inspire her to file her piles of papers. She’s been looking for just the right at-home desk storage for a while and she indulged my current organizing mania by letting me window shop for her.

Here’s what I found in the way of cute, modern filing cabinets to fit her bill. The only downside? Now I want new office organizers, too:

Browsing for these filing cabinets got me thinking there are loads of high-function everyday objects with less-than-high style. What everyday item or household necessities do you wish you could find prettier versions of?

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As one of the HGTV Home Studio interns I get to work on some of the coolest projects at HGTV Headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., travel all over the country and work behind the scenes on production shoots for network shows. I can honestly say I have the best job. Fellow intern Sam and I recently got back from a trip to New York City where we got to meet with both the licensing and branding agencies for the HGTV HOME product line, Nancy Fire (the design director for HGTV HOME) and, one of my favorites, HGTV Magazine.

HGTV Magazine

HGTV Home Studio intern Catherine Blubaugh in the HGTV Magazine offices

Not only are the HGTV Magazine images and layouts always so bright and fun, but there is always amazing content so I’m constantly picking up new ideas on ways to style my little college apartment. I was so excited for the chance to go “behind the cover” and meet the people that help make the magic happen. Although this was my second time visiting the magazine*, this time I got to learn about what’s currently happening at the magazine, as well as get a sneak peek of what’s coming up.

The editors truly embrace and embody the spirit of HGTV and make sure that all of the makeovers they showcase in each issue are totally doable for readers. In fact, a lot of the projects featured in the magazine are actually done by the creative editors that work on the content, including one of my favorite features — the front cover. One of the awesome editors we met with was Rae McConville, associate home editor, who helps stage the scenes featured on the cover in collaboration with editor-in-chief Sara Peterson.

Other than the amazing visuals they put together, I love how much of a collaborative effort it is between the magazine’s art and editorial teams, the advertising and marketing teams and the editor-in-chief. The team was so enthusiastic and really made us feel welcome and a part of the action. Now, I can really enjoy flipping through the pages after catching a glimpse of all of the hard work (and fun!) that goes into making each vibrant issue.

*PS – As an intern during the summer of 2013, I helped contribute to the conference room redesign that was featured in the January/February issue of HGTV Magazine. Check out the makeover here >>

Go inside the pages of HGTV Magazine each month with our sneak peeks, contests, polls and more!

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past