ALL POSTS TAGGED "decorating"

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Easter celebrations are right around the corner — time to banish winter blahs and freshen up indoors and out with a few springy touches. We’ve gathered 25 of our favorite Easter decorating ideas to inspire you. From quick-and-easy centerpiece ideas to a clever way to glam up your Easter eggs to a free, printable Easter banner — we’ve got you covered.

All 25 ideas have the official Easter Bunny stamp of approval (seriously!) but here are my 5 favorites: 

Delight Easter guests with this creative place setting idea featuring cute (and oh-so-fluffy!) feathered chicks and candy eggs:Set your Easter table with a creative place card like these cute (and oh-so-fluffy!) chicks and candy eggs

Weather permitting, bring your dining table and chairs outside and enjoy Easter dinner al fresco surrounded by Mother Nature’s changing scenery.
Weather permitting, bring your dining table outside and enjoy your Easter dinner al fresco.


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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

If you’re anything like me, there’s never a free or lazy Saturday in December. Somehow the month flies by as I spend every weekend marking things off my holiday to-do list. One of them, I’m sure, is finishing up (or starting!) outdoor holiday decorating. Today is the perfect day to do it. Grab a thermos of hot cocoa, crank up the holiday music and get to work.

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Not sure where to get started? We have plenty of outdoor decorating ideas for inspiration. My personal favorite is the wine bottle candelabras (pictured). Start stashing those empty wine bottles, remove the labels and spray paint black. Add tapered candles and light the wicks to create a bond between the candle and the bottle. Place them together in a grouping near your front porch for a dramatic holiday look.

Have you decorated your exterior for the holidays? Share your decorating ideas with us!


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Here at, we’ve been thinking about this Christmas since before last December 25th. That’s because we want to help you host the best-ever holiday party, give the coolest homemade gifts and make the best wreath on the block.

We know you can do it! That’s why we’re counting down to the big day, advent-calendar style. (24 days until the big day!) Every day from now until Christmas, come back for a new holiday decor project, handmade gift or party idea.

Countdown to Christmas - Advent Calendar

Today, why not make your own advent calendar? This kitschy takeout box version is unexpected, and holds more than just a token piece of candy. Fill each box with stocking stuffers for the kids, or stuff each one with an ornament to add to the tree as Christmas gets closer. How does your family count down to Christmas?


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Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention — and when you’re the mother of four kids and a top mommy blogger, designing kids’ rooms that are both fun and functional is a necessity. Enter Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child; she’s taking us on a video and photo tour of nurseries and kids’ rooms that offer big design ideas for your little one.

Start by peeking inside the whimsical world of Rebecca’s 10-month-old twin daughters, Reverie and Boheme, to get a taste of her eclectic style:


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Whether you’re throwing a casual party or you need a DIY centerpiece for your wedding, these stunning pendant centerpieces will do the trick. I couldn’t believe how easy these are to make once I read the instructions from Joyful Weddings and Events. All you have to do is wind string around balloons of various sizes, apply fabric stiffener, let it dry and pop the balloons. You can hang them from the ceiling or place them on a table along with bold flowers to create a beautiful centerpiece. How would you incorporate them into your design? Tell us in the comments below.

 DIY Pendant Centerpiece

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Do you ever get the feeling that things would be so much easier if you just had a totally-not-evil twin? If I did, I would dispatch said stylish twin to do half the home projects I had planned, leaving me to actually accomplish the other half. You see, we’ve been enjoying spring at our new house, as well as planting, raking and building flower beds (more on that later!). All this has left our bedroom project languishing a little.

But aside from amassing inspiration and used furniture, we did make one big update: After months of sleeping on the floor, we finally have a new vantage point, in the form of this Danish modern-style bed:

Modern Bedroom in Progress

Miles enjoys his new view.

Actually having a centerpiece for the room has motivated me to finish the makeover. This weekend, we’ll be painting the walls a warm gray shade, and adding accents in green, turquoise and yellow. (Sorry, tangerine fans, the brighter palette won out.)

Bedroom Color Palette Reveal

I’ll keep you posted on the progress! To see more about my inspiration for this room, follow my bedroom design board on Pinterest.

Bedroom Pinterest Board

My bedroom inspiration board on Pinterest

Read Liz’s previous House Diaries posts here and follow her home inspiration board on Pinterest.

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It’s still sinking in: In 2011, I bought a house.  My first house. A beautiful, 1957 tri-level home with lots of windows, an open floor plan and an amazing walk-in closet. But, it’s also a dated home with contact paper-covered cabinets and faded orange carpeting, not to mention a room full of paneling. In other words: In 2012, I’m going to be busy.

Liz Gray House From Road

Luckily, I have help. My boyfriend Josh shares my DIY spirit and love of all things mod. (We’re still figuring out how to get our hybrid corgie-bulldog-mystery puppy, Miles, to help us peel off wallpaper. Bacon grease? )

Josh and Liz at 60s Themed Party

Josh and I at a 1960s-themed party. Guest starring: my bouffant 'do. Photo by Jennifer Harper

Miles With Stick

Miles at play. Sticks > wallpaper.

Each week, I’ll share our progress, from room-by-room moodboards to finished projects to dramatic before-and-afters. I hope you’ll follow along! To keep it all in perspective, I’m making a few more promises, resolution-style. I pledge to…

Make Progress Every Week… I’ll do something to better my house every week, big or small.

But Don’t Expect It to Happen Overnight. As any homeowner probably knows and I’m about to find out…it’s a marathon, not a track meet. ‘Nuff said.

Appreciate the Good… I’ll remember every day, even when I’m covered in bits of popcorn ceiling and shreds of tiny floral wallpaper, what made me want this place. Things like waking up to this every morning:

New House Sunrise

Sunrise from master bedroom

And Tolerate the Bad. There’s plenty of design wrongs to be righted in this house (more on that later) but I can live with all of them…for now.  It will build character, right?

Get Input From You. Yes, you! I’ll need your help along the way to tell me if my color palettes look totally crazy and help me choose which lamp is the right one.  Right off the bat: Any tips on getting rid of those last few boxes?

‘Till next week…

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I mentioned last week that we have been decorating like insane little elves this holiday season. We just can’t help but be thrilled that this is our first Christmas in our newly-renovated home, and I suppose that means every corner is fair game for glitter, tinsel and pine cones. I know you thought we were exaggerating, so I’m here this week to present photographic evidence of our Christmas Decor Extravaganza.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

We dare you to find a corner un-decked.

That’s right; even our entryway dons a festive feather tree and metallic twig creation. After all, Santa comes through the front door when there’s a fire in the hearth, right? (By the way, kids’ silver beads make for stunning holiday decor. Cheap and chic!)

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

A festive entryway.

We, of course, continued the boosting of the entryway with a handmade tinsel wreath and turtledove, nestled safely between our winter coats and hats (and yes, a smashing swan purse that I house our dog leashes in). I don’t know if the swan can withstand the Christmas temps, but we’re rooting for her.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Of course a glittered bird is in order!

In our entryway shelving unit, a DIY glittered bird guards all Scrooges from entering. Her name is Francis Bea, and she’s quite the vibrant elder. Careful, friends.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Meet Edgar.

Of course, Francis Bea isn’t the only glittered forest creature that lies within. Gracefully resting in our living room is Edgar, our other DIY animal who is much less feisty than Francis Bea, but still makes a mean eggnog. We love him dearly for that highly valuable skill.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

What? You don't have holiday coasters?

Speaking of the living room, we go to great lengths to ensure a festive TV-watching experience, even down to our tree-trunk coasters and metallic-wrapped pine.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Sweet dreams, mini trees!

Even our bedrooms have mini Christmas trees on each nightstand, perfect for late-night wishlists and sugarplum-dreaming.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

A very plywood tree.

And yes, the office has been decked out in its own unique way. A traditional tree just won’t do, so this handy plywood number (from Modernica) is the perfect accent to our plywood shelving and wood ceiling. Also? White tinsel. Always, always white tinsel.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

More DIY Christmas!

In the kitchen and dining area, Christmas is in full swing with plenty of lovely little accessories to see. Near our oven, metallic spray-painted rocks and a vase house glittery leaves, branches and twigs from the local craft store.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Finally --- a solution for extra baubles.

And those pearl strands and spare ornaments that didn’t quite make it to the tree this year? A glass bowl rounds them up nicely. After all, it’s Christmas — no ornament should have their feelings hurt.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Wreaths everywhere!

In the dining room, another tinsel wreath hangs with glee, introducing the most lovely Christmas decoration of all:

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Behold --- the tree!

Ah, yes — the tree! You all had a sneak peek last week, but isn’t it just glorious? It’s our perfect little Scandinavian cabin tree, and we can’t wait to box it up year after year until we grow tired of the color white.

Which, of course, will never happen. Ever.

Happy holidays, friends! And do share your own decor in the comments below — I can’t wait to see!

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When I was living in New York while working on Design Star, I remember season six winner Meg Caswell discussing her idea of a series all about design crimes. Up until that point, I’d never used that term. Well, I kinda love it. In fact, I would probably steal it and pass it off as my own term if Meg hadn’t created it in front of millions of people on national TV. (Her new show is called HGTV’s Great Rooms; I like that, too.) The term is rather silly if you think about it; how criminal can decorating get? Well, perhaps if you rob a bank and then use the loot to buy custom window treatments. But for the most part, the term “crime” seems rather severe when applied to an industry heavily focused on fabrics and chandeliers.

After stepping off a plane to Atlanta from Fort Lauderdale where I’d spent a week troubleshooting some kidspace and kitchen renovations, I started to make a list of decorating dos and don’ts. While I’m not the end all/be all expert when it comes to decorating, I have for the most part pretty much seen it all, the good and the bad. Sometimes, there are happy accidents, such as running out of vases, then using a soup can to hold flowers, which surprisingly turns out to be kind of adorable. On the other hand, there are wimpy, completely uncreative acts like throwing sticks into a vase, shoving them into a corner and calling that “decorating”.

From smooshing sofas into walls to turning master bedrooms into showrooms for matching sets, here are a few design don’ts to keep in mind before tackling your next project. And if the term “design crimes” will persuade you not to do them, let’s go ahead and steal Meg’s catch phrase for the sake of saving a room from possible incarceration. PS – Can you imagine getting twenty-five years to life for blocking a window with a bookshelf or using floral chintz in a bachelor’s master bedroom? Hmmm, maybe there should be decorating jail after all.

Stick In A VaseDON’T #1: Shove sticks into a vase and use them as centerpieces. This was invented somewhere, probably in hell, and it doesn’t make any sense or even remotely add anything to a room. Well, except for some sticks. And a vase.

PlantDO: Use potted fiddle leaf fig trees indoors. As seen in this photo from The Marion House Book, they’re architectural, hardy, fill negative space beautifully and are an excellent choice for bachelor pads since they borderline on masculine.

Floating RugDON’T #2: Throw an area rug into a living room just for the sake of throwing an area rug into a living room. In order for an area rug to do its job—to ground and/or delineate space—it needs to not look like it accidentally fell from a magic area rug stork.

RugDO: Choose an area rug large enough to encompass all seating in a living room. Ideally, select one that is large enough to tuck either halfway or all the way under the sofa and any other chairs or settees in the space. In this Charleston home featured in Veranda, designer Deborah Lipner used this technique to help create the feeling of a room within a room, similar to the way putting disparate objects on a tray makes them look like a uniform grouping.

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