interiors

How to Create Beach Chic Interiors

Hello All!

Since the summer is here, I've been traveling down the shore during any sunny weekend I can grasp. My beach trips and stays have inspired this blog post.

Coastal interiors can be adorable, and I mean A-DOR-ABLE! I love beach homes and interiors but sometimes it can be a little too cliche. I like to indulge in the details, but not over-indulge. Let's not go overboard! (ha - Shore puns! Yes, I laugh at my own jokes).

How to Create Beach-Chic Interiors

Today I will be sharing how to create Beach Chic Interiors (chic vs. cliche). The purpose of this post is to be "chic" and not "cliche". I want to share with you ways to create a more sophisticated shore home interior. Create the look and feel of a shore home without posting the word "Beach" all over.

Color Palette Choices: Light and Bright Neutrals, Nautical Colors, or Serene Ocean Colors such as Sea Foam green, soft blues, and serene greens

I love this neutral color palette with hints of green and turquoise. It adds a playful touch to the built-in book case.

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(Photo via mydesignchic.com)

Texture: Indoor/Outdoor Sisal or Jute area rugs, Driftwood furniture, rustic finishes, linen or cotton fabrics, woven grass window shades layered under white sheer curtain panels

Accessories: This is where it could be sticky. At this time of year, lots of stores have cute "Shore Home" accessories that are screaming for you to buy them. You can create the look and feel of a Beach home feel without the pillows that say "I love the Beach" on them. Although, I am sure they are adorable! :)

This sitting room really captures my point. With the combination of color, texture, and accessories - this room has the vibe of a Beach house but doesn't have the cliche accessories.

Beach House

(Photo via Indulgy)

For accessories, I like to add pops of color in the details in a neutral room. This could be anything from artwork to lighting and other home decor. If you have a rich wall color, you can keep it neutral with accessories such as Capiz shell picture frames and accessories (my absolute fave).

How to Complete the Room: Let's say we are designing a living room. For the largest object in the room, I like to choose a neutral color. The sofa will be a warm beige and it will be accented with two chairs in a soft print which could be a beige and white herringbone or stripe. The seating arrangement will be grounded with a thick woven sisal rug. The accessories will be a soft sea foam green color. To top it all off, I would have a statement chandelier. I would use either Capiz Shell or Sea-glass chandelier from Currey and Company.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks post. Please stay tuned this Thursday. I have been preparing an exciting post and special collaboration with one of my favorite Modern Furniture websites. Shop my curated furniture collection this Thursday! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the launch of the post.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

10 Decor Tips to Create a Warm & Inviting Home

The snow storm of the century is headed my way, a whopping 36" - Yikes!! While snowed-in, I couldn't help but cozy up on the couch and write about ways to create a warm and Inviting home (even if you're not snowed in). With a little accessorizing, you can create an inviting space for you and your guests.

Here are 10 Home Decor ideas that you can  use to make your space feel warm and cozy:

1. Lighting - Create a romantic setting with dim lighting. Use combinations of table lamps and glow from candle lights. Not only will this make your guests feel welcomed but everyone knows that warm mood-lighting always makes people look flawless.

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(Photo Cred: agirlandagluegun.com)

2. Tactile Fabrics - I'm a huge lover of tactile fabrics such as slubby linens, chunky wool knits, and delicate cashmere. Try layering different materials like a Velvet upholstery and a Monogolian fur pillow.

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(Photo Cred: Apartment Therapy)

3. Display Throws & Blankets - There is something about seeing blankets displayed that instantly make a home feel more snuggle-worthy. Display your throws in a wicker basket that is in arms reach of seating.

4. Warm Colors - Incoporate warm colors into your space to create a sense of warmth.

5. Layering Materials -  Layering different fabrics and materials creates visual interest and a more inviting home. Layering window treatments is my favorite example of how to layer materials. Use a grass shade as your under-treatment and soft sheer curtains on top. I love to mix soft and natural elements. For flooring, layer a soft cowhide rug ontop of a plush-cut pile rug or a sisal to introduce color, pattern, and another texture.

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(Photo Cred: nousdecor.com)

6. Bring the Outside In - Inviting nature inside is a great way to make your house feel more inviting. Add natural elements by grouping a few branches together in a decorative vase. You can even create a low-maintenance terrarium. Check out my Mason Jar Terrariums I made for my office.

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(Photo Cred: hgtv.com)

7. Intimate Corners - Don't leave dead corners in your home instead, create inviting vignettes. Spruce up an empty corner with a small-scale chair, ottoman, and floor lamp. Don't have enough room for seating? Add a pedestal table with a table lamp and chair; a small setting for writing or blogging ;)

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(Photo Cred: homebrunch.com)

8. Mix 'n Match Materials - Following the them of texture, I also like to mix and match other materials. For a more organic feeling, bring pieces of reclaimed wood into your home. Wood has so much texture and depth to it, which in hand adds lots of warmth to any space. A great way to add reclaimed wood to your space can be with, wood serving trays or free-form wooden bowls (as pictured in example 6).

9. Be Eclectic - Go for a more collected look. Add vintage touches, trinkets, or items that have a more worn-in look. it gives a more personalized look to your home and shows your unique personality and interests.

10. Unique Artwork & Photography - Whether you paint your own artwork or have black and white family photos, dress up blank walls by adding art or photography to your space which also adds character to your space too!

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(Photo Cred: arcadiahome.com)

I hope you have enjoyed my decorating tips and can use them to snuggle up in style this winter!

Did this blog post make you feel warm and fuzzy? Share this with your friends or comment below your favorite tip :) Want more ideas to make your space feel warmer? Check out last week's post on how Copper Accents can charm any space. You can also find cozy style by peeking at a few sunny Florida homes.

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The Copper Comeback and Why I am Excited about it

Warm Copper hues are making a hot comeback and I don't mind at all! I am usually weary when styles come back. For example, do you remember when bell bottoms jeans came back? I hopped on the bell-bottom bandwagon so fast. My wardrobe couldn't live without them (now it can). Being short, that style was not flattering on me. I looked shorter, wider, and they dragged on the ground - not cute. So anyway, back to Copper. Why am I loving warm metals right now? Because it is freezing on the East Coast!! The weather outside is still frightful. By adding copper and bronze hues into your home, it creates a warm and cozy environment. Two things I am craving during the frigid weather. (Sidenote: If you live somewhere warm please consider having me as a potential roommate. I'm very neat.)

Copper accents can charm up cool palettes. Copper is the perfect complement to white and gray. The look of marble is beautiful, but it doesn't make the room feel warm and inviting. Copper accents add a bit of coziness. My favorite example is from Smitten Studio. I love the use of mixed metals. The copper, brass, and natural accents add warmth to the stone and white upper cabinetry.

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(Photo: Smitten Studio)ca5c3fbbab7cd56c3df2f7e15a245d48 (Photo: Smitten Studio)

Copper also compliments deep hues like plum, burgundy, black, and navy. I love the copper stool in this transitional living room by Laura U Inc., and also the beautiful built-in color! What do you think of the purple hue?

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/12581339/Heights-Classic-transitional-living-room]

 I admire the copper lighting in this gorgeous open concept kitchen by John Kraemer & Sons.

8c3a17e5271f2439e137216bdb7b2bea(Photo: John Kraemer & Sons via Homebrunch.com)

 What do you think of adding copper accents to warm up your home? Do you love the copper comeback as much as I do? Comment below :)

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All the best,

Amanda M. Amato

2015 Color of the Year: Marsala

If you don't follow fashion or design, you might have not heard of Pantone (and that's okay!). Pantone selects a color of the year which sets the tone for the entire design industry. The 2015 Color of the Year is Marsala and I couldn't be more thrilled. Before the color was even announced, I was already obsessing over this color. I was wearing it as lipstick, nail polish, even fantacising wall colors (it's true)! Look at me, before the trend. Woot woot! This red-brown hue is perfection all the way around. Marsala is a gender neutral color in fashion that can be worn on men and women. For beauty, marsala is the perfect lipstick shade that many different skin tones can pull off. In interiors, marsala in a matte finish can bring out the earthy texture. Opposingly, marsala in a high-gloss can bring drama and glamour to your space.

Let's talk about how you can incorporate Marsala into your home.

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Marsala can be perfectly paired with neutrals such as ecru, beige, and ash grays. Marsala also compliments soft purples, blush tones, and shades of blue. Pairing Marsala with other warm tones such as mustard, lemon grass, sandy browns and earthy greens is also a beautiful palette.

Introduce Marsala with luxe fabrics, pillows, candles, accessories, artwork, or even paint a piece of furniture or wall if you are feeling extra daring. Here are some of my favorite rooms that I found on Pinterest:

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Which photo was your favorite? How will you incorporate Marsala into your home in 2015? Please share below :) Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @byamadesigns

Dollar Store DIY: Gold Dipped Glass Holders

Hello beautiful friends! I am a little delayed on the my usual blog schedule because my first attempt failed.  I sprayed my glass holders and then added a clear acrylic coating to protect the paint from chipping. I guess my paint wasn't completely dry and the clear coat actually removed all of the metallic paint. So I had to recreate my project and fell short from my posting deadline. Sorry, folks!

If you haven't noticed, I love to DIY and I love gold. I actually love metallic paint so much that I purchased all the metallic paint from the hardware store. They know me by name. They also love all my crazy ideas - like my spray painted heels but that's another DIY project ;)

Ok, so on to my dollar store find! I purchased these babies at my local dollar store. You can apply this technique to wine glasses, candle holders, even tin cans. Let's get crafting!

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MATERIALS:

Metallic Gold Spray Paint

Glass Holders (in whatever shape or size you wish)

Blue Painter's tape

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Clean the glass containors and remove any price tags from the bottom. To get the tags off, soak in very hot soapy water. It usually comes off easily but for those stickers that won't budge, use Gooby-Gone to take off the excess.

Step 2 - Tape the top half of your glass holder and fold over the top edges. Make sure tape is sealed tight so the paint does not seap underneath.

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Step 3 - Spray paint ! Don't forget to spread out newspaper.

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Step 4 - Let your holders dry

Step 5 - Remove the tape

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Ta- daaaaaa!!! You are finished. Great job! ;) Be sure to tag @byamadesigns on twitter or instagram so I could see your recreations. I would love to see your work. All my favorites will be reposted! :)

Yours truly,

Amanda M. Amato

AMA DESIGNS

High-end Interiors without the High Price

I lust for luxurious fabrics, sparkling accessories, and jaw-dropping designs that are showcased in Hotels or high-end interiors. I admire streamlined and serene design or high-contrast color interiors. So how do you achieve a luxe look without the high-end budget? I will tell you how!

How to Get the Look:

Faux Custom Curtains - I am a big believer in window treatments. Custom designed curtains are like the scarf that ties your entire outfit together. By adding a decorative trim or tape to store-bought curtains, it will take your curtains from standard to extraordinary! It will also create a more high-end and custom designed look.

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(Photo from Style at Home)

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(Photo from chinoiseriechic.blogspot.com)

High Contrast Doors - If your wall color permits, painting your doors a semi-gloss black will take your bedroom or hallway up a notch. There is something oh so sexy about high-contrast interiors. Black and white hues scream "chic". I have also seen really dark walls, depending on where the application is, it can really look drop-dead gorgeous, if you dare!

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(Photo from Apartment Therapy)

Flowers - Something about fresh flowers can make a home feel so welcoming. Maybe because we often use fresh flowers for special occasions? I am all about the flowers, but not about the maintenance. Girl, nobody's got time for that! Polyvore, Michael's Craft Store, and Nearly Natural, have some great faux alternatives. You can even thrift vases and spray them white or gold. My personal favorite right now is mercury glass vases - so glam.

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Fluffy Pillows - You might be thinking, "What is this girl talking about?" The softer, the plumper, the better. Add pillow inserts that are larger than the actual pillow size for a more volumized look. I love the down inserts. If you have allergies, there are some great hyperallergenic alternatives that are available in the market.

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(Photo from emilyaclark.blogspot.com)

Hotel Style Bedding - Crisp, clean, white linens just ooze luxurary. I love the Restoration Hardware bedding or the Matouk Bedding from Bloomingdales.

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Chunky Crown Moulding - Thick crown moulding adds architectural detail to your space and also draws your eyes upward to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. I must admit, the beautiful and thick molding can add up in price. I did find on pinterest an amazing trick if you need a more budget-friendly option. Check out how to cheat when it comes to creating thick moulding (the tutorial is for base moulding but the same concept can be applied to the crown).

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(Photo from sheknows.com)

Details, Details, Details - Accessories are the jewelry of your room. I'm all about the details. I love touches of gold or polished silver. If your room has more warm tones, choose gold or bronze accents. If your room has cooler tones, pick silver, nickel, or even lucite accessories. Add stylish coffee table books and a tray to your cocktail table, or even a few bone-framed picture frames. Add the details where necessary, but don't over do it! Too many accessories will make your room feel cluttered. Check out this coffee table vignette from The Glitter Guide.

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(Photo from the Glitter Guide)

black and white vignette

 

(Photo from Style at Home)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.32.21 AM

 

(Photo from Lauren Conrad)

Random Thought: Did you know that H&M came out with a home decor line? Say what?!! I am the last person to find out? I'm not sure when this happened but I am happy. The items are super cute and affordable! I'm loving the vases with the polka-dot relief detail. I saw clear vases too but I thought this ombre color glass was different! What do you think?

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Kick off the Holiday Season with STYLE!

In honor of Thanksgiving coming around the corner, I am surely in the holiday spirit! This year I will be visiting California and spending Thanksgiving with my cousins and family. I could not be more grateful to be celebrating with them this year! I am very close with my family but the distance hinders communication. I can't wait to spend quality time with them. Since I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, I thought it would be nice to share gift ideas for the host to show my appreciation for having me. After all, it does take a lot of time, effort, and stress to be a host !! I feel they should be rewarded for their tremendous effort for putting together a wonderful evening. As it is the season of giving, I like to give gifts that are both functional and thoughtful.

Gift Ideas for the Host or Hostess

For the Wino (If you love wine say AYE! ..... Ayeeeee! ) - A bottle of wine with gourmet cheese, bread, and fig jelly spread. Or you can create this fabulous dinner basket with a pasta strainer and fresh pasta. Great idea for the couple who just moved in.

pasta basketwest elm stoppers

For the Tech Savvy - I have tech savvy people in my family. I found a list of cool tech gifts. I couldn't decide which gadget I liked most! Here is one of my faves. A charging case, which is totally needed for any person who is constantly on their phone (guilty).

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For the Dream Chaser - Okay, I admit. I even want one of these beauties for myself! I found these mantra bands on Etsy.

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For the Beauty - Create a beauty basket. It can be filled with nail polish, facial masks, or an amazing body scrub. Learn to make your own body scrub, here!

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For the Cozy - A fuzzy blanket from West Elm paired with a great read, a fun mug, or a starter log if they have a fireplace.

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For those of you hosting the part, I've got your tables decorations covered! The focal point during dinner parties is always the dining table or wherever you are serving the food. Learn how to create the perfect table scape for your dinner party!

5 Steps to a Fabulous Table Setting:

1. Candles - Nothing sets the mood of your evening than some candles burning! Place a couple votives or hurricane candles on the table as a centerpiece.

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2. Linens - Add texture and interest to your table by layering linens. Add a table cloth to protect your table and to anchor the table with a basic color or pattern if you wish. Then add a table runner and contrasting placemats.

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3. Glam Napkin Rings - I'm a sucker for some glamour! I am loving these brooches

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4. Flowers and Naturals - I love fresh flowers but they don't have to be used for every holiday. Try using pinecones, white pumpkins, or gords for Thanksgiving.

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5. Personalize It - If you are having a large gathering, sometimes it is easier to pre-determine where everyone is sitting first. This way you can avoid that awkward moment of people aimlessly standing around the table saying. "Where am I sitting?" or "I think I put my drink here...." Create decorative place cards or use Initial Ornaments that guests can take home after the party.

Initials