How to Define your Design Style

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You just moved in or are looking for a new home, you started shopping around online, you made Pinterest & Houzz inspiration boards, you bookmarked all your favorite items, you watched reruns of HGTV shows, you took notes from a YouTube video on how to DIY everything, and you have been stock piling coupons for Bed Bath and Beyond like nobody's business. You did the research and you gathered inspiration but where do you start? I’m here to tell you how in this blog post!

5 Ways to Upcycle Furniture for a Fresh Look

Spring is here and it is the perfect time to reinvent your furniture or start a new project. Today's post is written by Kaitlin Krull of Modernize.com and she will be sharing 5 tips to upcycle your furniture for a new look. Revitalize your home this Spring with one of these furniture update ideas. If your home is anything like mine, there are days when it seems dull and lifeless. While I know my home will never grace the pages of Architectural Digest (unless I suddenly become best friends with the Kardashians, which is unlikely), I should still be motivated enough to breath life back into it.

My exhausted furniture and I are crying out for a simple, affordable way to look fresh and alive again, and upcycling is the answer. If this sounds familiar to you, then check out some of my favorite ways to upcycle furniture in order to give it, and your home, a new lease on life.

Pop of color

(Image via Elle Decor UK)

Fresh Coat of Paint

Seasoned professionals in the home improvement market will all agree that a fresh coat of paint can completely change just about any room in your home. At Modernize, we think the same goes for your furniture, too.

Liven up your old dining room chairs, nightstands, or wooden coffee tables with a bold and different choice of paint. Choose monochrome hues for a sleek and sophisticated look, or bright colors for a bold and trendy feel. If you want to go for a shabby chic feel, simply distress your newly painted pieces with sandpaper (and maybe a hammer) for something old and something new at the same time.

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Get Creative with Materials

If you opt to create your own upcycled pieces, then feel free to get creative with your building materials. Upcyclers tend to live up to their stereotype by working with interesting materials such as reclaimed wood panels, barn doors, pallets, and even marble and concrete (which are on trend for a striking and sleek modern look that is surprisingly simple to achieve).

We love a good Ikea hack, and this one from LoveLifeLoveFashon doesn't disappoint. It's a super simple marble-topped nightstand that anyone can accomplish, as long as you know how to place an order online.

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(Image via LoveLifeLoveFashion)

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DIY Upholstery

Reupholstering is perhaps at the very origin of upcycling: a new fabric, coupled with a paint or distressing job, can give an entirely new look to armchairs, sofas, or even ottomans. The DIY skill required for an upholstery job is generally in the moderate to difficult range, but the process is straightforward, and the Internet is absolutely full of step-by-step instructions that will help you on your way. Of course, you can always just pay someone to do the job for you.

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Use Unique Pieces

Part of the upcycler’s code requires that you use unique pieces throughout the home in new and creative ways. Recycle your unused household objects (from wicker baskets and wooden crates to African drums and vintage toys) by turning them into side tables, coffee tables, or statement pieces. The sky’s the limit when it comes to your unique furniture creations, because if you have the supplies and the imagination, you can create it. This kind of upcycling style works especially well in eclectic and retro homes, or you can theme your unique DIYs to match the style throughout your home.


(Image via Home is Where the Heart is)

Mix and Match Styles

For those of you whose homes don’t have one particular “style,” never fear. Upcyling is all about mixing styles, and there is no wrong style combination. Mixtures of modern and hipster, rustic and industrial, farmhouse and industrial, traditional and modern, or even eclectic styles are easily achieved with DIY and upcycled pieces. We particularly love the rustic industrial look in homes, which intertwines looks like beautiful pieces of reclaimed wood with wrought iron bars for a mash-up of rural and urban design style.

Mix and Match

(Image via Zw6)

I hope you have enjoyed this post by Modernize. Are you working on a Home Improvement project? Head on over to Modernize to get connected with lead-industry contractors to bring your home upgrades to life.

Do you want more Interior Design tips and inspiration? Join our monthly E-Magazine for design advice, tips, and inspiration for the home. Receive a Free Home Design Checklist when you join the A-List.

What's Trending: Lucite and Gold Furniture

Introduced at High Point Market, lucite and gold furniture combinations are making their waves this Spring. I have always been a gold jewelry type of Gal, so I am so excited that warm metals are making their way into the home. Today, I will be sharing inspiration for the home using lucite and gold in unexpected ways. I love crisp white cabinetry in Kitchens with marble countertops, however it may feel "cold". By incorporating brass and gold metals into the kitchen, it adds a bit of warmth to the space. The globe pendant lighting and barstools in lucite and gold add a bit of glamour to this space. The scalloped antique brass hood adds unique detail to this finished kitchen.

Lucite Gold Copper Kitchen

(Image via Luxe Interiors and Design)

One of my favorite end tables introduced at High Point is the "Connor" end table by World's Away. Add this sexy end table next to a sofa or chair to add a bit of glamour to your living room. I would even put a pair of these babies next to each other to use as coffee tables.

Lucite and Glass (1)

(Image via World's Away)

Bernhardt Bed

(Image via Bernhardt Interiors)

...and for the Grande Finale! This upholstered lucite poster bed introduced by Bernhardt Interiors. WHAT A SHOW STOPPER!

I am loving this trend and I hope you are too. Lucite furniture can add a little bit of glam to any space. The "barely there" furniture trend works well in small rooms since it does not obstruct the view and gives the illusion of a larger space. Whether your home is big or small, this is a trend that can be suited for any home.

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What's Trending 2016: Mid-Century Modern

The return of Mid-Century Modern design is back with force. I've always had a huge crush on the Mid-Century era. Mid-Century design celebrates clean lines and naturals hues with furniture made of wood, typically made of Teak in a natural finish. Although, this era is making its way back into 20th Century, I think the furniture is timeless. Mid-Century furniture is desired for it's unique design, versatility, and their iconic time in history.

Aside from furniture design, Mid-Century interiors embraces color, texture, and graphic prints.

But in 2016, I believe there is a new approach to modernism. I call it "Modern with a Twist". I foresee interiors in 2016 to be more eclectic by mixing old with new and/or mixing modern with other design genres. I see mixing colors, patterns, and textures in unexpected ways. Interiors are evolving into more collected and layered rooms that express individualism and personalization. My favorite example of this is the photo by Joshua W. McHugh.

Eclectic interiors AD

Image via. Arcitectural Digest

Whether you mix a few modern pieces here and there, or recreate an entire room inspired by mid-century design; I am enjoying this trend.

I am LOVING Lexington Home Brand's new collection, "Take Five" featuring updated mid-century designs. Here is a small preview of the collection. How amazing is that gold cabinet?! It's like the "jewelry" of the room, as well as that amazing ceiling pendant.

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Image via Lexington Home

A minimalist office featuring textured grasscloth walls as the backdrop to a beautifully handcrafted mid-century desk and chair. A Persian rug anchors the furniture and grounds the space. A little glamour is added with an oversized mirror and metallic table lamp. This is one work space that I would love to sit down at.

My Domaine Office

Image via My Domaine

I admire the dramatic contrast in black and white interiors. If you haven't discovered already from my website that I love black and white. :) What I love most about this room is the Milo Baughman cube chairs, a modern classic, upholstered in black velvet with a polished gold base.


Midcentury Modern

Image via My Domaine

Are you excited about the revival of mid-century modern design? What design era inspires you the most?

For more design inspiration, sign up for The Designed Life e-magazine. Design tips and inspiration sent directly your inbox every month. Plus, you will receive a Free Design Guide when you join!




Teen Bedroom Update

A full room transformation is not always necessary to make a room feel new again. In a recent project that I have completed, I transformed a teen bedroom with accessories, bedding, and new window treatments. Before I started the project, the room lacked a functional layout. The desk was shoved into a corner and their was no vanity area for the teen girl to get ready for school. Plus, the only lighting available was from a floor lamp.

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By centering the bed on the window, there is now more floor space in the center of the room - giving the illusion of a larger space. It also makes the bed a focal point. I also centered the desk on the window as well. The desk doubles as a vanity area too by adding a storage organizer for curling irons and brushes. A navy storage cabinet was added next to the desk to hide away hair products and make-up.

The polka-dot wall decals were removed, but the wall color remained the same. The window treatments and bedding were all updated. New lighting, the white fluffy area rug, and accessories were added to the space.

To display Medals and Ribbons, I added blue and white ceramic decorative hooks to hang all the teen's accomplishments.


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A little updating can go a long way. Does your space need a refresher? What can you switch out or add to make your space feel "new" again? Need help with your space? Send your photos to info@byamadesigns.com and we can discuss your space.

Want more design inspiration? Sign up for The A-List and receive monthly issues of my E-Magazine, The Designed Life which is filled with inspiration for the home and life. Receive a Free Design Guide when you join the A-List.

End of the Year Reflection: How Design Impacts People

Have you ever woke up one day and felt like everything is happening as it should be? That everything you have imagined is finally starting to take shape? Yea, I am having one of those life moments and I am feeling so gracious. As the end of the year is approaching, I have reflected on this year. I have come to the realization that life right now is pretty darn awesome. I am fulfilling my passion and I get to help people with my creativity.

I always wanted a career that helped people but I never truly realized the impact that design has on others.

The result of a great design can change lives. Okay, I may not be changing the world but I get to change how people feel and that to me, is pretty incredible.
When the dynamic of a room changes, the entire energy of that spaces changes. It brings a whole new mood to the space that translates to the client. That room that once caused frustration to the client is now transformed into a space to retreat to and relax. A once dysfunctional floor plan that caused entertaining issues is now a usable space for more friends and even more memories to create.
My job is so fulfilling in so many ways. I love seeing my sketches come to life and watching a project come together full circle. Interior design is not just about the pretty things. Interior design to me is about creating a space that you are excited to come home to. It's about creating a space that recharges your spirit. It's about feeling good as you enter the door.
Life can be hard sometimes and your home should comfort you, not stress you. Which space do you like to retreat to? Is your home not generating those feelings for you? Let's talk about it. Schedule a design consultation with me by e-mailing amanda@byamadesigns.com

10 Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas

'Tis the season to be giving! And with that, comes the gift wrapping. Add style and personalize your presents with these decorating ideas. I'm a little last minute with my gift shopping this year so I will be sharing 10 of my favorite gift-wrapping ideas from Pinterest. I love wrapping gifts. I find it so therapeutic. I take the time to fold the corners real crisp. I take gift wrapping seriously. I used to work at Pier1 Imports and I was the cashier who could wrap any gift, any shape, any size with ease.

I will be sharing my gift wrapping techniques on Instagram so follow along to see what ideas I come up with.

Black, White, & Gold - My favorite glam color scheme. My favorite gifts have the bells hanging from them and of course the big full bows. For more gift wrapping ideas, head over to Boxwood Clippings blog.

Black and Gold gift wrap

Rustic Red and White - Mix craft paper and wrapping paper for a layered look. Mix in Christmas Clippings for a Natural touch and the person's initial for personalization. You could also add an ornament for a little more sparkle. For the tutorial visit, On Sutton Place blog.

Red and White gift wrap

Stamp it - Personalize brown paper with alphabet stampers with each individual's name for a homemade touch or stamp some holiday cheer with the word "joy". For more gift wrapping ideas, visit Babble.com


Chalkboard Packaging - Wrap your presents in black craft paper and draw with white pencil or paint pens to give the look and feel of Chalkboard presents. For the tutorial, visit Going Home to Roost blog.

Chalkboard packaging

For the Traveler - wrap your gift with a recycled map or Atlas. Bonus points for using a map with a place that actually traveled too. For the tutorial, visit Lime Doodle Design.

Map gift wrap

Gold Tipped Paper Feathers - No bow? No problem. Create a feather pattern out of colored construction paper or even a newspaper. Add a little glam by spraying your faux feather with gold spray paint. For the full tutorial, please visit Lia Griffith.


Girlie Gifts and Gift Tags - Simple yet adorable. One single ribbon for a pop of color and then black and white string to hold the decorative tag. For free graphic gift tag printables, visit Birds Party blog.

Gift Tag and Twine

Sticker it! - Cover your package with craft paper, wrap with raffia, and apply holiday stickers of your choice. For the tutorial, check out Midwest Living.

Scrapbook Stickers

Boxwood Wreath - I love boxwood plants. For a rustic yet holiday gift wrap idea, use boxwood branches and burlap. For the tutorial, visit Craftberry Bush blog.

Boxwood Wreath Gift Wrap

For the bookworm - Wrap small gifts with bookpages and add a monogram for each of your friends. I would take this gift wrap technique one step further by adding a mini candy cane or fake holly berries for a holiday touch. Tutorial via Erinnish.

Bookpage Giftwrap


Are you behind on your holiday shopping like me? These gift wrapping ideas are simple and will make your friends/family feel special when they open them. Which Holiday gift wrap idea will you choose?

Are you a gift-wrapping fanatic like I am? Tag @byamadesigns on Instagram so I can check out your holiday gifts ! I would love to see them.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Want more design ideas? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine filled with inspiration for the home and life. Receive a free Home Design Shopping Guide as a gift when you join.

Holiday Decorating Ideas for the Home

Tis' the season to be decorating! In today's Tip Tuesday post, I will be sharing my Holiday Decorating ideas for the season. Decorating for the holidays can feel like such a task. At my house, we store all of our seasonal decorations in the attic.... so it is always a project to shlep the boxes down the stairs. We make it a family affair. Who's on the stairs reaching for the next box, who is passing down, who is opening boxes; it's an assembly line of little Italian elves. After we spent all of our efforts bringing the boxes down, who the heck still feels like decorating? If you know this feeling too well, please comment below :)

When you get a boost of energy and holiday cheer - it's time to decorate for the Holidays. Today, I will be sharing some Holiday Decorating ideas for the home.

  1. Festive Glowing Bottles: I save empty wine bottles and spray paint them or hand paint them with a design, then add ribbons, and string lights inside. Last year, I made a snowflake scene.. I used frosted spray paint and painted snowflakes on clear bottles, it looked so pretty at night on my mantle.

winter bottle

(Image via AMA Designs)

2. Faux Presents: Wrap boxes in festive wrapping paper and display in hallways or on stairs in your entry

3. Scenic Cake Stand: Create a wintery wonderland on a cake stand or under a cloche.


(Image via Common Ground)

4. Turn ordinary items into decorations with function such as turning a decorative sled into a serving platter

5. Dress up your Piano with a Holiday display

piano decor

(Image via Cherishedbliss.com)

6. Turn your desk into a wintery wonderland for some holiday cheer and inspiration while you work

7. Create a festive holiday scene on your sideboard with snow-covered trees and glass hurricane candle holders. It will create a whimsical backdrop while you dine

Glam Holiday Table

(Image via Pottery Barn)

8. Another place you can get creative with is decorating your bookcase. Display collections and hang wreaths on the front of shelves

Holiday Bookcase

9. Put statement pieces or large decor in empty corners of stair landings or on the hearth of your fireplace.

10. Add some joy to your coffee table by grouping lanterns and holiday garland. Ground the setting on decorative tray so you can be easily pick-up and move your display if you need more table space.

festive cocktail table

(Image via The Frugal Homemaker)

Hope you enjoyed this weeks design inspiration. How will you decorate your home for the holidays?

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