ALL POSTS IN Design Inspiration

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As a midcentury modern design fan, I’ve always dreamed of traveling around the country with a vintage travel trailer in tow. Just picture sipping on a martini outside this stylish 1961 Holiday House trailer:

1961 Pink Holiday House Trailer on HGTV's Design Blog - Design Happens

1961 Pink Holiday House Trailer; Image Courtesy OldTrailer.com

And I’m not alone: Preserving, restoring and enjoying these pieces of history is a growing trend. One amazing place to see these beauties? The Vintage Travel Trailer Show, taking place February 21 and 22 as part of Palm Springs Modernism Week, will showcase 40+ midcentury “tin cans.” Can’t make it to California? Here are some inspiring vintage trailers perfect for Wednesday dreaming.

Adorable Vintage Trailers That Will Make You Want to Hit the Road Immediately

Image Courtesy Vintage Revivals

The Nugget: Mandi of Vintage Revivals completely transformed this tiny, run-down camp trailer, from the midcentury-inspired exterior pattern to the updated cabinetry to the yellow stovetop. See Every Detail Here >>

Vintage Camper Kitchen - See More Vintage Trailers at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Image Courtesy Vintage Revivals

6 MORE MUST-SEE VINTAGE TRAILERS

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As a longtime film fan and onetime film critic, there have been countless occasions when I’ve longed to inhabit the reality of an incredible film. Who hasn’t wanted to savor a recipe, product, perfume or outfit that brings you closer to the sensibility and spirit of an influential movie?

Who better to inaugurate Design Happens’ newest series, “Live That Film,” than a director who creates undeniably appealing, seductive visual worlds set-designed within an inch of their lives?

There’s no denying director Wes Anderson’s (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox) visual sensibility. His films are so eyeball-satisfyingly scrumptious and meticulously designed you want to crawl right into them and stroll around, maybe snatch an ashtray or some towels to take home with you to savor the visit.

The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Poster

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Set at a dreamy make-believe resort in the Alps in the 1930s, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson’s melancholy homage to a never-to-be-recaptured period of Old World manners and elegance (and classic movies) before the downers of World War II and Soviet Communism laid a major bummer on the world.

Nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and — of course — Production Design from the uber-talented Adam Stockhausen, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson in prime form. Filled with elegant architecture and a general spirit of wackiness, the film is an experience you can bring home with you or recapture in a sojourn abroad. Check out these stylish elements that bring the Anderson world just a bit closer.

Luxury Hotels, Macarons + More

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I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas for the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). As a newbie to both Design Happens (first post!) and homeownership (first house purchased last year!), I was doubly excited to check out the latest kitchen and bathroom products to hit the market. The sheer amount of beautiful fixtures and finishes on display was rather overwhelming, but a few particularly glitzy and colorful items caught my eye. (What can I say? I’m drawn to shiny things.) If you’re looking for an update with big impact for your kitchen or bath, consider these four striking ideas:

Dimensional Tile

Metallic Tile by Ann Sacks at KBIS 2015

Lux by Ann Sacks

Ann Sacks Tile at KBIS 2015

Left: Geode Gemstone by Ann Sacks; Right: Lux Relais by Ann Sacks

You know those people who have to touch every silky shirt or fluffy blanket while shopping? I’m one of those, which made it hard to tear myself away from the tile work on display at KBIS. While the colors were largely neutral – lots of grays, khakis and creams – the styles were anything but bland with tons of texture, intricate patterns and lustrous metallic finishes. Must. Touch. These looks would add instant drama to any kitchen or bath.

See More Statement-Making Kitchen + Bath Trends

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It’s Friday, Feb. 13 — are you and your galentines planning on seeing 50 Shades of Grey tonight? I have to admit, my taste in sexy time entertainment is a bit more vanilla, so I’m probably going to spend my Friday night indulging instead in fifty uses of my favorite neutral shade in home design. I know my husband will be thrilled!

In this stunning bachelor bedroom designed by Lindsay Boswell and Ali Levin of LABLstudio, gray dominates the wall, creating a masculine look that would please Christian Grey himself. Deep, charcoal grays (this particular shade is Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal) help create a moody tone and work well in intimate spaces.

Design by LABLstudio

Maybe you’re looking for something more demure, a la Anastasia Steele? I love this particular shade, which is more of a whisper gray, chosen by designer Regan Baker for yet another bachelor bedroom. It’s soft enough to serve as an understated backdrop to the bold orange artwork and can slip easily into both feminine and masculine styles.

Design by Regan Baker

Oh, gray. How much do I love thee? Flip through the gallery below and tell us your favorite gray room.

Want more inspiration for your home? Head to the HGTV Photo Library.

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We see a lot of stunning photography here at HGTV, which makes my job as photo editor not too shabby! I’m excited to start sharing with you my favorite photo discoveries each week.

When I’m not at work, I love spending time making a mess in my kitchen — my dark, dated, unstylish kitchen. I dream of the day when I have the budget to match my kitchen remodeling and redesign wish list. If that day ever comes, this design by Jeff Troyer Associates is at the top of my inspiration board:

Design by Jeff Troyer Associates

I mean, this kitchen has it all, right? A huge island with tons of workspace and a spot for the family and friends to gather, a built-in cutting board, a drink station, tons of storage, gorgeous hardwood floors and classic white subway tile. But what sets this kitchen apart is its use of color. Blue is a hot choice right now, and the mix of indigo and sky blue for the cabinetry is a great way to add color while still keeping the space close to neutral. Some brightly colored bowls and a red(!) oven at left add that bold pop of color that’s the cherry on the top of this sweet design.

And how about a bonus image this week? Jeff Troyer Associates not only remodeled the kitchen — they remodeled this whole Colonial home, adding a second story to the house and an addition to the back. Check out the backyard:

Design by Jeff Troyer Associates

After the cold, snowy weather this week, I would love a day by that pool. How about you?

Like these photos? Take a look at the rest of the home. Want more inspiration for your home? Head to the HGTV Photo Library.

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I had to spotlight one of my favorite celebrity couples of the moment — model Chrissy Teigen and singer-songwriter John Legend. They’re so adorably cute and in love that it’s disgusting. (I LOVE THEM.)

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend being cute, as usual.

In case you missed it, the February cover story for Architectural Digest is a swoon-worthy tour through Chrissy and John’s beautifully renovated New York City home. Every room features strong vintage elements (those dark leather armchairs!), eye-catching artwork and natural textures and colors that balance each other as you move from room to room. Designer Don Stewart of Desiderata Design combined sophisticated jewel tones with mixed metallics for a contemporary yet classic look that completely seals the deal.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen NYC Home

Living Room

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen NYC Home

Kitchen

Check out the full tour (and steal their look!) over at ArchitecturalDigest.com.

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If you’re a fan of the HGTV hit show Fixer Upper (who isn’t?), then you have undoubtedly coveted Joanna Gaines’ impeccable design taste. By mixing the rustic and repurposed with streamlined and modern elements, Joanna always creates beautiful, envy-inducing spaces. Check out five of her foolproof interior design rules below to bring Fixer Upper‘s timeless farmhouse-chic style to your home!

Joanna at her Waco, Texas boutique

NATURAL ACCENTS


When decorating in the farmhouse-chic style, it’s important to incorporate natural elements with modern. In this office area, Joanna complemented the sleek, grey color palette of the rug and walls with rustic preserved boxwood topiaries and a rough finished wood desk. Add natural elements to your space with fresh flowers, exposed wood beams, stone countertops, indoor plants and potted dried herbs.

SEE THE FULL MAKEOVER >>

4 More Tips to Try

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How to Start a Collection

Have piles of cash laying around the house and an insatiable love for snow globes? Then, congratulations! You’re ready to start a collection.

Kidding about the cash (mostly), but by far, the trickiest thing about starting a collection is…figuring out what in the world to collect. Can I get an “amen!?” So if you *do* love snow globes, you’re already ahead of the game. However, if you’re ready to expand your snow globe horizons or want to figure out something else that would be fun to collect, I’ve got some tips for you!

1. “Sherlock Holmes” your Pinterest boards. If you’ve been pinning pretty pics for any length of time, chances are there are some patterns hiding among all of your boards. Start looking through your interiors/home decor boards and see if you have been inadvertently pinning spaces that feature 179 variations of elephant garden stools or 1970s needlepoint canvases. If you look hard, you’re likely to uncover some of your collection crushes.

2. Visit some thrift stores or flea markets. Walk around and let your eyes be your guide. Try to pay attention to the types of things that you’re drawn to or want to pick up. You may even surprise yourself: just because you don’t drink tea, that doesn’t mean you can’t love a teacup.

3. Make a list of all the things you love. Are you sports obsessed, dog obsessed or Canadian holiday obsessed? In this case, obsessions are kind of a good thing. Let all the things you love inspire you to think about what you might like to collect. When it comes to collections, anything goes.

42 Items You Could Start Collecting Now

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When it came time to pick this month’s featured color, we were stumped. So, we asked for your help! We tallied up the votes, and your pick for January 2015′s color of the month is…

HGTV Color of the Month 2015

Blue Paisley! This beautiful, bohemian color won by a landslide. Here’s the final vote breakdown:

HGTV January 2015 Color of the Month

What helped you decide? Some thought that merlot just didn’t suit January. “Blue Paisley seems like a January color while Merlot seems more February,” says Courtney R. on HGTV’s Facebook page. Some thought Merlot’s time had passed: “We have shades of reds and greens for the holidays in December. So blue is the way to go!,” says blog reader Linda.

Blue Paisley Living Room With Built-In Bookshelves

Design by Ann Lowengart

Some were swayed by thoughts of toes in the sand. “In winter everyone wants a little Caribbean waters in their life! At least I DO,” says blog reader Donna. Blog reader Sheryl agrees: “Blue blue blue, reminds me of a warn breeze blowing off the Caribbean Sea, while I’m sipping a glass of red wine in the frozen tundra,” she says.

Blue Paisley Powder Room With Chinoiserie Wallpaper

Design by Ann Lowengart

And some had decorating potential on their minds. “Merlot is to hard to color match for accessories. Blue is a nice summer by the sea color all year round,” says blog reader Marnie.

Blue Paisley Room WIth Built-In Daybed

Design by Jeff Troyer and Associates

Congratulations, Blue Paisley! Visit our Color of the Month Pinterest board to see more ways to use this beautiful hue.

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If you follow Pantone‘s color forecasts like we do, then you probably recognize this French-inspired hue. Cognac (Pantone 18-1421) appeared on Pantone’s Fall 2014 Fashion Color Report along with Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-3224). While most of the editorial team pitched brighter palettes for our December Color of the Month (lavender won, as you know), Briana was on the Cognac train, favoring a softer, calmer color to end the year. Her description of the hue: “Smooth. Intoxicating. Refined. Notes of nuts, caramel, honey and spices.” Bartender, make it a double.

Mood Board Monday: CognacPhotos: Living Room, Shoes, Necklace, Coat, Throws, Dessert, Dress, Living Room

Did you miss a mood board? Catch up here.

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Every year over the winter holidays I do a major purge and winter cleaning while I’m off from work. Knowing I’ll be trapped inside for much of the next few months makes me want to organize and create a more cozy, inviting home. I hit all the major areas: the living room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. An intense scrub-down does wonders, but there are lots of other ideas for creating order and a freshened-up look that really help, too.

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions to organize your home I thought I’d share some of what I do and more of HGTV’s tips and tricks.

sabrina soto cleaning

Sabrina Soto shows us how it’s done.

1. Clean

First off: take advantage of any cleaning urges you get! I tackle one room at a time so a whole-house cleaning doesn’t seem too overwhelming. If for some reason you lose initiative, tackle the next room the next day. Gather everything you’ll need for cleaning in a bucket or cart. I’ve got a little cleaning caddy that holds all the sprays, cloths and sponges so I can carry it from room to room. It’s a huge help.

2. Purge!

As you’re picking up clothes, putting away all those odds and ends that pile, and stacking magazines and books, set aside the things that you haven’t used over the past few months. For me, if I didn’t (or my kids didn’t) wear a piece of clothing the previous season, out it goes! Donate any books that you know you’ll never read again. Cut out and file away the pictures from magazines that you want to keep (or find that article you love online and bookmark it) and recycle the rest. File away any bills and see if there are any old ones that can now be shredded.

3. Everything in Its Place

Once you’ve made space in your closet and cabinets and drawers, you should have some more room for what you’re going to keep. I worked in clothing stores when I was younger and still love the look of a well-folded stack of clothes. (Perfectionists can even steal the store’s trick: folding boards.) You’ll be surprised to find out how much more likely you are to keep up a nice looking closet than a messy one. I found that I am probably going to need more storage, so I’m looking at something like this media console for my bedroom. I love that it has doors to hide messier necessities.

4. Update Accessories

If you haven’t done so already, swap out some of your lighter accessories for cozy winter ones. Thick blankets, fluffy pillows, shag rugs: this is the stuff winter design is made of, so take advantage! If you want to be very of-the-moment, add Pantone’s Color of the Year to your home with a throw pillow or flower vase. Even something as simple as installing an additional towel rack in the bathroom made the difference for me. Winter white sales can also give you a chance to update your bedding to give your whole room a fresh feel.

5. Lighting

Winter blues are no joke, but you can combat them with good lighting. If you’ve got overhead lighting, adding a table lamp makes a huge difference. Believe it or not, spring lines are coming out now. While the snow falling outside may contradict the timing, brand new lighting is good any time of year. Faceted bases and metallics are still going strong. If you go for a classic shape, it’ll look good all year long.

While I’m not big on resolutions that I can’t keep, organizing my home is one that I love to have. What about you? Do you have any resolutions for your home this year? Let me know in the comments.

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We pride ourselves in inspiring our viewers and readers with pretty, pretty pictures of gorgeous rooms and smart ideas here at HGTV. So it’s no surprise that our Pinterest fans eat up what we share.  Some of the pics rose to the top to be the clear leaders as this year’s fan favorites. Take a look, pin for yourself, and let us know if you think these are the best – or which HGTV shots you like even better.



So what do you think? Are these the best of the best?

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brown butter eggnog waffles

The big morning has almost arrived and between all of the shopping and wrapping of gifts, have you stopped to think about what you’ll be eating? A great way to begin the special day is with a tasty and filling breakfast (or brunch, depending on how early you awake) and serving Brown Butter and Eggnog Waffles will make it extra special. The golden brown squares have a crisp crust and moist fluffy interior with bits of brown butter streaked throughout. Also, the recipe helps put the last of the eggnog to good use. The batter is purposefully designed to be made the night before, saving you precious time. In the morning when you’re ready to make the waffles, simply heat and oil your waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve with a spoonful Strawberry and Orange Topping and a hefty dollop of whipped cream for extra decadence. Complete the meal by serving the waffles along side cooked thick cut bacon and plenty of orange juice. Happy Holidays!

Get the Irresistible Recipe

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After an extensive selection process involving 100+ submissions from talented designers across the US and weeks of online voting where HGTV fans cast hundreds of thousands of votes, we have a winner. Drumroll, please.  Everyone join us in congratulating Caitlin McCarthy, the winner of our Fresh Faces of Design competition!

Caitlin’s genius small-space solutions and approachable high-meets-low design style wowed HGTV fans who voted her design tops in the small space category, then won over the judges who crowned her the winner overall. Here are a few photos of Caitlin’s award-winning downtown Los Angeles loft plus the judges’ POV on why she swept the competition:

Becky LaFranchi, Communications and Interior Design Manager for Ikea USA, had this to say: “When designing a small space, every detail is important, each decision impacts another, and the ability to edit is key.” Caitlin pulls together a beautifully balanced, collected-over-time look that tells a story but is well edited and doesn’t feel cluttered:  grouping on side table
Jillian St. Charles, Vice President of HGTV.com adds, You don’t see many luxe-looking galley kitchens. This very functional space combines materials and judicious use of color in a way that’s really engaging.”small-space-urban-kitchen
Brian Patrick Flynn, Interior Designer and Founder of FlynnsideOut Productions was impressed with Caitlin’s mastery of scale and the way she incorporated the loft’s century-old architectural elements, like the exposed brick and original hexagonal tile floor:
Caitlin McCarthy urban loft seating area
All the judges could agree that Caitlin’s design is approachable and deftly combines bargain finds with glamorous touches, like these Thomas O’Brien Hicks pendants that illuminate the hallway-turned-dining room: Hicks pendants
Off the dining room is the loft’s main bedroom. Doorless white walls give the loft a cohesive feel that helps the small spaces flow one into the next:
small urban bedroom
The jewelbox of a bedroom conceals a real gem: a boutique-worthy glass-doored closet:
illuminated closet in urban apartment
But that isn’t the loft’s only surprise — what looks like a built-in in the living room is actually…
apartment living room
a Murphy bed that cleverly tucks away when not in use. Genius!
murphy bed hidden in built-in cabinet
Judge Becky LaFranchi summed up this petite pied a terre best, “Caitlin’s design proves that small-space living can be both stylish and comfortable. It also feels very individualized, and not at all cookie-cutter, like you might expect a tiny space to be.” Brava, Caitlin, congrats on your win!

But Caitlin isn’t our only winner, HGTV fans chose the designers listed below as a stand-out in their category. Need a little design inspiration? Be sure to check ‘em out!

Best Outdoor Space: Mike Albert, Design Workshop, Inc.
Most Serene Retreat: Angela Rasmussen, House 2 Home Design & Build
Best Use of Color: Bria Hammel, Bria Hammel Interiors
Most Family-Friendly Space: Jordan Iverson, Iverson Signature Homes
Best Space for a Party: Katie Marvin, S&K Interiors
Best Kitchen: Katy Lyons, Jamestown Designer Kitchens
Most Dramatic Transformation: Lauren Levant Bland, Lauren Levant Interior
Most Unusual Space: Angela Rasmussen, House 2 Home Design & Build
Best Use of Pattern/Texture: Sadie Sanchez Johnson, Amanda Austin Interiors
Best Small Space: Caitlin McCarthy, Caitlin & Caitlin

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Hanukkah starts tomorrow, and we have some pretty festive ideas to keep your celebrations rocking until the 24th.

Mood Board Monday: Hanukkah HuesPhotos: Dining Room, Place Card, Tree, Favor, Doughnuts, Cupcake, Centerpiece, Garland

Check back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss one? See all the posts here.

More last-minute Hanukkah ideas:

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happy hanukkah

Ceramic Dachshund Menorah: Jonathan Adler

 

Hanukkah is coming! Hanukkah is coming!

While those of us who celebrate the festival of lights don’t have elves on shelves or themed frothy alcoholic beverages, we’ve still got some pretty fab ideas on how you can make your 8-day holiday extravaganza totally rockin.’

1. Listen to SiriusXM Radio Hanukkah

From December 16-24, you can tune into channel 68 on SiriusXM for more Hanukkah tunes than you’ll know what to do with. You can keep Radio Hanukkah on in the background while you’re whipping up some sweet potato latkes with feta and leeks #ifyouknowhowtocook #idont

hanukkah manicure

Photo credit: Flight of Whimsy

2. Get a Hanukkah Manicure

We all know that you can decorate your home to get more into the Hanukkah spirit, but why not decorate your nails? Nothing says “Happy Hanukkah” like a custom nail art glittered menorah on your nails. Amirite??

3. Play Connect Four or Checkers with Hanukkah Gelt

You know those surprisingly delish little gold coins you buy to get the kids all hopped up on sugar? Well they’re also the perfect size game playing pieces! Here’s a great tutorial on how you can get the kiddos into the holiday spirit by using their gelt as playing pieces in some of their favorite games.

4. Embrace the “Mensch on a Bench”

Ok, I know I already said us Hanukkah folk don’t have an elf on the shelf option, BUT, we do have a “mensch on a bench!” This handy alternative was invented by a Jewish father who felt bad telling his son that they couldn’t get onto the elf on a shelf train with the rest of his Christmas-celebrating friends. So voila: he invented the mensch on a bench! (a “mensch” is a Yiddish term that means a really good, kind person). After raising some money on Kickstarter, the mensch was ready to hit the streets.

dreidel surprise cookies

Photo credit: Tablespoon

5. Make Dreidel Surprise Cookies

What’s better than a cookie? A COOKIE FILLED WITH CANDY! These dreidel surprise cookies are kind of like a Hanukkah piñata for your mouth. I would make as many as you can fit into your oven…and then make some more.

dreidel garland

Photo credit: Scrumdilly-do

6. Make a Dreidel Garland

If cookies aren’t your thang, than this adorable dreidel garland should be on your to-do list. It’s made with old ties that you might have laying around (and if you don’t have any, a quick trip to Goodwill or any thrift store could hook you up with everything you need). There’s no sewing involved either! The whole thing can be whipped up with scissors and glue.

Dr. Dre-del

Photo credit: Sillyreggie

7. Send out Some Funny Hanukkah Cards

Bring a smile to your kids’ faces, or any of your Hanukkah celebrating friends with some hilarious cards like these that offer a”Dr. Dre del” or “Happy Challah Day” options. Who says hip hop and Hanukkah don’t go hand in hand?

Happy, happy Hanukkah everyone!

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Calling all House Hunters Renovation fans! We’ve teamed up with Overstock, so you can now shop the looks you love from your favorite show using our shoppable photo gallery. Each photo in the gallery consists of clickable hotspots, so you can easily buy the products you love. When you see a product you want, click on the blue hotspot to buy the product or get more information. So, what are you waiting for? Your favorite product is just a click away from showing up on your doorstep!

House Hunters Shoppable Photo Gallery

House Hunters Renovation Shoppable Photo Gallery

Shop Now!

This post brought to you by Overstock, where you’ll find everything Holiday at prices you’ll love.

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custom throw pillows
I’m not afraid to admit that me and sewing machines are not exactly BFFs…in fact, we kind of hate each other. And so through the years, I’ve had to get creative when the “custom pillow” mood strikes.

Haven’t you ever just been sitting around, eating your cronuts for breakfast and then BAM! You think to yourself, “If I don’t get some custom pillows all up in here, it’s going to be a p-r-o-b-l-e-m.” Just me?

After getting these bad boys made many, many times now, I’ve picked up a thing or two. Here’s all the inside scoop you’ll need:

1. Size does matter (and so does shape)

In my early custom pillow days, I was unsure what sizes I wanted or what sizes really made the most sense. But I had a couple of throw pillows on my couches that I hated and wanted to replace, so I simply replicated the size–easy peasy.

TIP: If you don’t have any pillows to replicate and want to just wing it, I would suggest going to a store like Home Goods with a measuring tape, and see if anything there tickles your fancy (if so, measure it up and write down the dimensions, and try not to buy a multi-colored, rope dyed ram’s head for no reason whatsoever).

throw pillow fabric

Photo credit: pies+ travel

2. Now you need some fabric

There are about a billion amazing sites online to get gorgeous, reasonably priced fabric (buenos dias, spoonflower.com), but I like to go out and get my fabric my own damn self. You can always hit up a general crafts store like Michaels, or Joann’s, but I prefer to go to a real deal, mom and pop, fabric store. I think this a great option because you can see and feel and the fabric in person, and also talk to someone directly regarding how much yardage you’ll need (I’m very bad at math, so I need help with this stuff). Also think about whether or not your fabric is machine washable (and if you care?).

TIP: I have a dog, so I’m always thinking about anything nice I have getting ruined. When I’m particularly excited about a custom pillow I’m getting made, I’ll sometimes buy enough fabric for two pillows! One pillow to keep on the couch that can get all slobbery, and one pillow to keep in the closet that I can bring out when guests come over and I want to pretend that my place is actually clean.

throw pillow stuffing

Photo credit: lovesac

3. Get stuffed

Ok, I’m going to give it you straight: pillow inserts are not cheap. In fact, you could easily spend more on your pillow insert than you did on your fabric…especially if you’re a down pillow insert girl like me. But, believe it or not,  even the poly/foam inserts are pretty expensive too. Unfortunately, there is no getting around this–in order for a pillow to be a pillow you need that soft, fluffy, insert-y piece to make it happen. Here are a few options for making this less painless: buy extra inserts any time you come across a sale; scour ebay and etsy to see if there are any good deals there; or just suck it up and buy the nicer insert. We all accept that cereal is strangely and ridiculously expensive, so why not pillow inserts?

TIP: Awhile back, I read this fantastic post from Vintage Revivals (Confessions of a Pillow Addict: My Secrets to the World’s Cheapest Pillow Inserts), and she shares a really great tip on how to score some super cheap down inserts on the regular.

pillow art

Photo credit: made by meg

4. Get sewing

At this point you realize: “If I’m not sewing this thing, then who is??” As a newbie throw pillow dabbler, I’d highly recommend that you track down the dry cleaner in your area with the best tailor and head on over there. How can you be sure they’re good? Yelp it up! Sort the reviews by “latest” and read all about what people are saying. You can also find seamstresses by asking for recommendations at fabric stores, but I find that this tends to be a more expensive option. Bring in your fabric and your insert, let them know if you’d like any extra options (zippers, etc) and they’ll give you a price right away. A few days later, voila! You’ll have some kickass custom pillows!

TIP: Keep in mind that any extras will…uhm…cost a lot extra. There are so many little add-ons that you get on your pillows, and all of them look snazzy, but they cost extra bank. Zippers, hidden zippers, piping, tassel trim, etc. So for your first go at this, I would suggest you keep things as simple as possible and move on to the double reverse, inside out, pom pom trim on your next go around.

Once you have your new collection of custom pillows, here are all the tips you’ll need on how to mix your patterns!

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Ah, the fireplace mantel — a homemaker’s canvas and a stylist’s playground. The mantel has always been an outlet for stylistic expression. New artwork, fanciful mirrors and decorative candles are always welcomed to my mantel. But during the holidays, this versatile shelf space can easily become a rest stop for less-than-spectacular holiday staples.

What do you say we step up our fireplace game this year with some new designs? Here are a few unexpected ways to wow your holiday guests starting with your mantelpiece.

Holiday House Mantel
Add Height: Here, watchful owls and glam trees add staggered height alongside more vertically-challenged holiday fare: ornaments and plush toys. Learn how to make a rustic mini tree here.

Joy Marquee

Light Bright: Sparkling lights of any kind are a quick way to freshen up your mantel, but a DIY marquee sign will really set your style ablaze. These simple instructions will show you how to design your very own, a feat that will turn any guest Grinch-green with envy.

White Wantel

Winter White: When in doubt, hone in light. Bright whites never look dull when paired with new neutrals. See how designer Brian Patrick Flynn decked out this crisp winter mantel. Bonus: Metallics and neutrals go together like Santa and cookies. Make your own gold-leafed log candle holders or mercury glass votives for an extra splash of holiday magic.

Chalk Mantel

Chalk in Spite: No fireplace? No problem! Design the holiday hearth of your dreams in just a few easy steps. Keep this warming accent up all season long for heaps of added cheer. You can even hang handmade stockings or a DIY pinecone garland for an extra kick of kitsch.

Don’t get caught in the same old same old. Fancy up your furnace with these simple steps and your holiday style will be ho-ho-hot!

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