ALL POSTS TAGGED "Design Inspiration"

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As a star-struck fan of cottage-style decor, A Beach Cottage is my daily (and healthy) dose of eye candy. Sarah, the blog’s author, is a wife, mother, decorator and lover of all things sea-inspired, vintage and unique. She created A Beach Cottage as an outlet for her projects and decorating ideas, as well as inspiration for those trying to achieve their own cozy beach cottage look.


The Joys of Cottage Living

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Lady tiling

Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s time to take your home improvement projects indoors. The holiday season will be upon us in a few weeks, so you better get started. But before you do, check out our list of costly pitfalls to avoid and the important must-do steps to make your project a success.

After that, take our toolbox quiz to see if you know what tools, trick and tips are needed for several household jobs.

If you’ve just finished a successful home improvement project and you found a secret that made things go easier, add it to our tip jar and share it with other readers.

Good luck and happy home improving!

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Our next bInspired designer is Atlantan Suzanne Kasler. You can find her lovely book, Suzanne Kasler: Inspired Interiors, if you want an in-depth look at her comfortable, French/Continental style. I particularly appreciate that she rejects over-designed, fussy elements, which allows the architecture of the room and the furniture to take center stage.


Area rug by Antique Oushak, Moattar, Ltd. Finer Rugs/ADAC

Woodward bench by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

Amsterdam dining chairs by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

A few of her inspirations:

Paris: “To me, it is the most beautiful and inspiring place in the world.”

Objects That Carry Emotions: “I’m a collector. I find things I love and I buy them, not always knowing exactly what I’m doing to do with them. These collections and pieces set a tone, create a mood, are stylish and personal and timeless.”

Eiffel Tower: “Metal, wire, crystal, paper, silver, porcelain… you name it…”

See pics and find out what inspires Suzanne’s design »

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Water features usually take a lot of planning and, depending how large and complex they are, a fair degree of digging and assembly time. In fact, my husband and I have talked endlessly about creating a waterfall and pond and have yet to dig out more than a 20th of it.

More on affordable water features »

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Last month I went down to Atlanta for the bInspired (Be Inspired, for those who had to look at it sideways, as I did) Home Design Showcase. Six designers created an entire room based on things they found personally inspiring . Each week we’ll feature one of these designers along with photos of the room and product information.

This week it’s Bob Brown from Robert Brown Interior Design.

More + 4 Inspiring Pics »

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Last weekend I attended the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. The best part of visiting the show was seeing creative and innovative uses of materials. The worst thing was that most were completely out of my price range (but a girl can dream).

There were many highlights but two of my favorites were Cosmopolitan Glass and Lights Up!, both from Brooklyn.

Cosmopolitan Glass creates beautiful custom glass pieces that can be used as room dividers, shower doors or just as hanging art:

Glass panel by

Glass panel by

Lights Up! creates beautiful simple lamp shades. The fabrics are soothing and colorful (a combo that is sometimes elusive). Check out these lovely shades:

Lights Up! Oscar lamp, photo from

Lights Up! Meridian lamp, photo from

Lights Up! Meridian lamp, photo from

Even if I couldn’t take home everything I saw at the show, it was great to get some design inspiration.

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to venture from HGTV’s headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. to the Big Apple – and had a wonderful NYC adventure. How did I spend most of my time? Eating my way through the city in one great restaurant after another…of course!

What I love most about NYC dining is that you can be as inspired by the incredible decor you find in a restaurant as you are by the food – and I now want to replicate several of those beautiful interiors in my own home. I was first inspired by Buddakan with its contemporary Asian flair and incredible two-story loungey vibe. You may even remember Buddakan from the Sex & the City movie.

Buddakan, photo from

Buddakan, photo from

On my second night, I had the pleasure of going to The Stanton Social with its great white brick walls, and incredible chandeliers – not to mention the crab cake corn dogs that still make my mouth water at the mere thought.

The Stanton Social, photo from

The Stanton Social, photo from

Finally, I went to a casual brunch at Norma’s with amazing food and a cool Art Deco vibe.

Normas at Le Parker Meridien

Normas at Le Parker Meridien

Basically, I found inspiration at every turn. What restaurants have inspired your design aesthetic?  I’d love to know!

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time in West Palm Beach, FL. We were shooting the 1-hr HGTV Green Home special in nearby Port St. Lucie –- and let me tell you that West Palm had some of the coolest antique and consignment shops I’ve ever seen in an area called Antique Row. Check out the 20th century antiques from — I spent about an hour in there, and all different price ranges were represented, including the high end, like this Jay Spectre Eclipse chair:

Jay Spectre Eclipse Chair

Jay Spectre Eclipse Chair

I also loved some of the funky art in the area, especially the underwater photography I found at And while you’re shopping, you have to have lunch at Belle & Maxwell’s, which is right in the heart of Antique Row. It was the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life, and the sweet potato fries were to die for!

Got any design or shopping tips from West Palm? Share!

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As you could probably imagine, working at HGTV has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the big pluses is I get to see one fabulous home after another on our shows each and every day. The disadvantage? I don’t get to live in one of them! So for the winter holiday, I decided to live the good life in the only way I could afford to: VACATION in one! I went searching all sorts of sites from Vacation Rentals by Owner to Vacation, etc. in search of the perfect home. I ultimately found this beauty in Palm Springs and gathered ten of my closest friends to join me on the trip of a lifetime to the California desert. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny!

Exterior of Palm Spring Rental

Ultimately, we got to stay in an absolutely gorgeous mid-century contemporary home (my favorite type of architecture), and met the owner of the home, who was one of the kindest and most charming people I have ever come across. Upon our arrival, she even baked us cookies and a cake! Talk about great customer service.

In the Living Room of the Home

But the coolest part was that we had the opportunity to stay in a Wexler Butterfly Home for a fraction of the cost of a 5-star hotel, pool and spa included, and yes, it looked exactly like it did in the pictures.

Stunning Views of the Interior

I’d highly recommend this for your next trip, before automatically just calling to make generic hotel reservations!

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