home tips

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!

Last Minute Decorating Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week and guests are coming! Is your feeling home "party" ready? In today's #tiptuesday post, I will be sharing last minute decorating ideas for Thanksgiving and tips to help prepare your home for your feast.

A Warm Welcome

Create a warm welcome by decorating your Front door and porch of your home.  Cluster vibrant mums together for a fall touch. Update your welcome mat for guests to wipe their feet before entering.

Entry

(Image via placeofmytaste.com)

Craft a Fall Wreath

Feeling extra crafty? Welcome guests into your home with a DIY festive wreath. Learn how to create your own DIY Burlap wreath (it's easier than it looks).

Fall Burlap Wreath DIY

(Image via AMA Designs)

Prep Foyer for Guests

Prepare for guests by protecting your floors with an easy to clean area rug or add a mat near the door for muddy boots and shoes. Place an umbrella stand near the door so guests know where to store wet gear when they enter. Add extra hangers to your entry closet and make room for your guests coats.

Spruce up Your Guest Bedroom

If you are hosting out-of-town guests, tidy up the guest bedroom for them to stay the night. Put warmer blankets on the bed, make sure light bulbs work in bedside lamps, and keep a nightlight in the hallway to light the way to the nearest restroom. Guests will appreciate a cozy room while they are away from home.

Guest Bedroom fall

(Image via Better Homes and Gardens)

Fall Garland Streamers

DIY some festive fall garland streamers. String fall leaves together with invisible string and hang from your dining room chandelier for a "falling leaf" centerpiece that leaves the table space open for entertaining. You can also string magnolia leaves together with a ribbon and tape them up on a blank wall to create a backdrop for picture taking (and maybe a few selfies).

Bring the Outdoors In

Fall is the last big hoorah before the cold dark winter strikes and all the leaves die off. Bring the feeling of outdoors in by filling a small vase with flowers or fall foliage. I like adding faux branches to vases because they are no maintenance and fill up tall blanks spaces. Cranberry and maple leaf branches are a homage to fall and also add fall color to your space.

Fall Entry

(Image via savorhomeblog.com)

Get the Dining Room Ready

This tip goes without saying. Prepare your dining room for entertaining by taking out the "good china" and clean the silverware and crystal stemware that has been stashed away for special occasions.

Cozy up Dining Chairs

Sometimes style outwins comfort when it comes to dining chair selections. Create a comfortable seat by adding a comfortable and stylish seat cushion with a coordinating accent back pillow. You can find seat standard seat cushions from Pier1 or Bed Bath and Beyond.

Accessorize with Autumn Colors

Update your homes decor with shades of Autumn. Cranberry, Russet, amber, golden yellows, rich brown, and forest green. Add organic elements such as cranberry branches or maple leaves for simple pops of color.

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(Image via Pottery Barn)

Display Blankets

Display blankets in a basket for guests to grab and rest after their turkey dinner. At my house, we have "nap time" in between dessert. Run to the sofa and claim your spot...

A Doggie Bag for leftovers

Last but not least, create a goodie bag for your guests to take home a treat. Everyone knows the best part about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Share the love with your guests with packaged favors.

I hope you enjoyed this last minute tips to get your home party ready for Thanksgiving. Wishing you a holiday filled with laughter, much love, and second helpings! Cheers everyone!

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Fall DIY Burlap Wreath

It's been a while since I have crafted. Since, it has been cold and rainy, I thought it was the perfect time to pick up some supplies and create an easy Fall DIY project. I'm a big fan of simple crafts that aren't time consuming yet look like a million bucks after you complete them. I made two wreaths in one hour (not bad). I made one as a gift for my grandmother's 80th birthday. I can't wait to surprise her with it.

For this project you will need:

(1) 12" Wire Wreath Frame (you can choose a bigger size but for beginners, start small)

(1) Roll of 4" wide Burlap (20 ft. Roll)

Ribbon of choice to hang wreath

Flowers and Accessories of choice to decorate

Hot Glue Gun

Fall Burlap Wreath DIY

How to Create a Burlap Wreath Step by Step

  1. Preheat your glue gun before starting
  2. Tie a knot to start and to prevent the ribbon from sliding while you work
  3. Weave loops from section to section. Start from the top row and weave your way to the bottom row then weave back up to the top row until you complete the section.
  4. Continue step 2, until you weave your way all the way to the end.
  5. Tie a knot to complete
  6. If you are using fake flowers: pop the flowers off the stems
  7. Arrange your flowers on the wreath to your liking
  8. Hot glue all the accessories in place

Beginner Mistake: This was my first fall wreath DIY project. To me, 20 ft. of Burlap sounded like a lot. I thought I could make two wreaths from that one roll and but it wasn't enough because I made my wreath full. After wreath 1, I only had a couple feet leftover. For the second wreath, I used a smaller roll of burlap. I actually hot glued the loops together to hide the frame and make it look "fuller" than it actually was. I ran out of burlap at the end and "faked it" with some large flowers. Learn from my mistake, if you run out of burlap.. it's not the end of the world. Glue the loops together to hide the wire frame and use large flowers to cover gaps. Here is the finished result of the other wreath:

 

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please tag @byamadesigns on Instagram if you have decided to attempt this DIY project yourself! I would love to see the beautiful wreaths that you have created.

If you loved this post, please share it with a friend!

 

Happy crafting,

Amanda of AMA Designs & Interiors LLC.

10 Tips How to Bring Nature Indoors

In this weeks blog post, I am sharing 10 tips how to bring nature indoors. Create a warm and inviting space by infusing elements of nature into your home. We feel more connected and happy when we spend more time relaxing outdoors. With organic shapes and natural textures trending in the design industry, it is easier to bring the outdoors in whether your design style is modern or traditional.

10 Tips How to Bring Nature Indoors

1. Select A Wood - Wood comes in a wide variety of stains, finishes, and species. It could be polished or left unstained to reveal its unique imperfections and character. Wood is also one of the few materials that can be used for several different applications, from floor to ceiling. I love this contemporary and rustic staircase because of the mixture of reclaimed wood on the walls.

contempary rustic

(Photo via Home Adore)

2. Choose a Stone - Another finish I am fond of using is stone because of its durability and versatility. Choose the stone that works best for your lifestyle, personality, and application type. Each species of stone has its characteristics: good and bad. If you are using stone as a kitchen or flooring it is important to understand the quality and what application it is best used for.

bathroom - zillow

(Photo via Zillow)

3. Create Zen-like Center Pieces - Surround pebbles around tea light candles on a long narrow tray to create a zen centerpiece on your coffee table or dining table.

4. Furniture - With nature trending in the design industry, I have seen some extraordinary furniture with natural materials. Whether it be a coffee table crafted from an exotic piece of wood or a slab of agate stone for an end table, there is plenty of variety available that could be used in any design setting or style. You don't have to have a rustic style home to add a touch of nature to your space. Check out this beautifully crafted console table from Phillips Collection.

console

(Photo via Phillips Collection)

5. Accessories and Lighting - Add a table lamp featuring a stunning slab of semi-precious stone or agate stone coasters in your dining room.

table lamp - ruemag

6. Natural Lighting - Natural lighting is a desirable design element in any space or home. Natural light also makes us feel inspired and energized. The power of natural light has an affect on how you feel like no other. Leave your windows open to the elements to feel more connected to the outside.

indoor outdoor living

(Photo via Architectural Digest)

7. Artwork inspired by Nature - If you don't have a room with a view, create one with art. Add a large abstract scenic painting over a sofa to create a statement or reminiscent of the the outdoors. If you're not into scenic prints, group photography of close up of nature. I love black and white close-ups of flowers.

8. Table top Waterfalls/fountains - There is something Oh-so-relaxing about the sound of trickling water. Add a table-top waterfall in a bedroom for a soothing nights sleep.

9. Indoor Plants & Blooms - Perk up rooms with indoor plants. For low maintenance, consider creating your own mini succulent garden. Add flowers for color or even display your fruits in a bowl in a kitchen for a pop of color (and also a convenient snack).

plants bhg

(Photo via Better Home and Gardens)

10. Branch Out - If your not into the upkeep of plants, try adding branches to a vase for super low maintenance and natural look. Visit your nearest craft store for a wide selection of faux branches with flowers.

Welcome the outdoors in with one of these ten tips. I hope you have enjoyed this post. Which tip will you use to bring the feeling of nature into your home? I would love to hear what design tip was your favorite, make sure to leave a comment and share below.

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.

DIY Centerpieces from Items Around the House

When it comes to summertime centerpieces, there's no need to bust your budget on overpriced items. In fact, you probably have all the makings for a stunning centerpiece lying around your house. If you are looking to put your DIY skills to the test, take a look at these stylish centerpieces that are perfect for summer. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.16 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

While crafting a summer-inspired centerpiece, never underestimate the power of fruit and flowers. A truly perfect pair, these items can be mixed and matched to complement your surrounding decor. As a nod to the season, choose bright colors like those provided by lemons and limes, and don't be afraid to have a little fun with the container that holds them. While you can certainly use your favorite decorative bowl, you can also use cake stands and cupcake holders. When choosing flowers, both fake and live blooms work well, but stick with in-season varieties for a natural look.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.30 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

In regard to vases, you don't have to spend countless hours hunting for the perfect style. With tape and spray paint, you can create your own unique designs with vases you already have. Using painters tape, you can section off stripes like this picture depicts, or you can create whatever style you fancy. Once the tape is applied, use spray paint to transform the vase into a stunning decor piece. From metallic gold and silver hues to vibrant shades of yellow and green, your color combinations are endless.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.41 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

Instantly adding a stylish flair to any space, feathers are just fun. While stark white varieties are stunning, you can choose any color and pattern you like. To add more interest, consider placing them in clear vases that are filled with colorful marbles, dyed rice, spray-painted beans or split peas.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.50.17 AM

(Shabby Chic Porch by Savannah Photographers Atlantic Archives, Inc.)

To achieve this look, you can repurpose old wine bottles, mason jars or any other glass containers you can find. Keeping the bottles in their original state produces a clean, classic design, but you can also dye the bottles for a livelier look. Simply pour a small amount of craft glue into your jar followed by several drops of food dye. Using a Popsicle stick, stir the mixture until a uniform color is created. Then, tilt the jar in all directions until it is completely covered with the glue mix. Place it upside down on a plate to let any excess glue drain out. Placed upside down on a baking sheet, bake the jar in the oven for about 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, flip it over to cook for the remaining 10 minutes. When done, fill each bottle with a freshly picked tulip or daisy for a centerpiece that smells as good as it looks.

This post was written by Jane Blanchord. Jane is a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA. She currently writes for Modernize.com. For more design ideas and inspiration, visit Modernize.com.

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.

Design Trend: Blue Hues in Home Decor

Boy oh boy, do I have the case of the blues (not the boo-hoo blues)!! Shades of blue were introduced at High Point Market this Spring. In the fashion industry, Pantone may have announced "Marsala" to be the fashion color of the year but blue is the color of the year in furniture, accessories, and home decor as well. Today I will be sharing my inspiration and home decor in bright blues that you can add to your home and reinvent your space.

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If you follow me on Instagram, I shared my inspiration of a vignette with vibrant blue plantation shutters and moroccan tile around it. Pigmented blue hues ranging from royal to indigo to watery azure are trending for this season on the runway and in home decor.

Introduce shades of blue to any decorating palette in doses or as the main focus. Blue plays well off of primary colors such as yellow or red for a bold impact. Pair blue with orange for a energetic color combo. On the contrary, couple blue hues with purple or green for soothing and cool palette. Blue could also serve as an accent color when paired with neutrals like the room featured below.

c70e1abd50d8a6669f68dfe9b77f4cff (Photo via 6th Street Design School)

Whether you choose to add vibrant blue tones in big way or subtle way, I have found a few options that will suit your decor needs. Here are some blue decor ideas that you can incorporate into your home.

FAB FRIDAY

1. Silk Pillow // 2. Cobalt Table Lamp // 3. Porcelain Chinoiserie Vase // 4. Indigo Scarf // 5. Tufted Sofa // 6. Botanical Watercolor Art // 7. Hall Chest // 8. Ikat Rug

Did you find something you liked? Pin this image to your Pinterest board so you can shop later. Are you following me on Pinterest? Let's be friends :)

http://pinterest.com/byamadesigns/

For current photos of my work and progress photos, follow AMA Designs on Facebook or Instagram.

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.

Inspired by Fashion: Chinoiserie Decor

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting its "China: Through the Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala. During this event celebrities and fashionistas alike gather for the style world's biggest night of the year. Various famous designers will be featured in the exhibit such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Travis Banton, Bulgari, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Callot Soeurs, Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino Garavani, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin and many more. Chinoiserie print strongly debuts in this exhibit. Not only does this event mark a pivotal point in fashion but the interior design industry as well. If you are unfamiliar with the term "Chinoiserie," it is a print that reflects Chinese artistic influences.

In today's post, I will be sharing how to incorporate Chinoiserie decor into your home inspired by the popular fashion trend seen at the Met Gala.

China Through the Looking Glass

(Photo via gotamist.com)

The Chinese-esque pattern is impacting decor for the home with fabric, wallpaper, and accessories. Incorporate Chinoiserie decor by grouping porcelain blue and white ginger jars for a more decorative and temporary approach like the room below.

house beautiful

Designer and Blogger, Erin Gates featured chinoiserie decor in her guest bedroom by framing fabric on either side of the bed. I adore this transitional incorporation of the pattern.

Erin-Gates-Newton_008

(Photo via Erin Gates, Elements of Style)

Elements of Style

(Photo via Erin Gates, Elements of Style)

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/110000/Hollywood-Residence-transitional-living-room-los-angeles]

For a dramatic look, Los Angelos designer, Elizabeth Gordon added gold chinoiserie to the ceiling with a decorative ceiling mirror with a gorgeous guided frame. Whether you choose to introduce this Chinese-chic pattern in a bold way or a small way, Chinoiserie is a trend that is here to stay. Chinoiserie is a classic pattern that has evolved through design and making a modern comeback in fresh color palettes.

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If you are feeling super inspired by this fashion-forward trend, comment below! Will you be visiting The Metropolitan Museum for the exhibit? If you are into fashion, design, art -- I urge you to go! I went to The Met for the Alexander McQueen exhibit, it was beyond inspiring. It was such a memorable experience. For a preview of the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit, visit this gallery from Vogue.

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.

How to Add Color to your Space for Spring!

It's officially Spring and okay, I admit - I've got Spring fever! Woot woot! What I love about spring is bright cheery colors so today I will be discussing how to incorporate color into your home with ease! You can add color into your space with either soft pastels or bold colored accents. Whatever side of the color spectrum you choose, it will still breath life into your space. Bold colors are more energizing and pastel colors are soothing to the eye yet welcoming. I love bright colors balanced by neutrals. Use a neutral color as a background then layer color on top for a look that you won't grow tired of.

Explore color and find out what colors work for your home and personality. Don't know where to start? Take a look at your wardrobe, you tend to gravitate toward your favorite colors. 

How to Add Color to Your Space

1. Decorative Accents - I love adding color and switching out color with decorative accents such as picture frames, candle holders, and vases (inexpensive ones that you can pick up at Target or Home Goods).

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/14550183/Walnut-Creek-Bungalow-living-room-san-francisco]

2. Area Rugs - Mix in area rugs with a colorful pattern to amplify your entry way or kitchen. You can even add a bright mat to your laundry room to boost your mood when folding your clothes.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/18608984/2014-Parade-Home-Lehi-transitional-entry-salt-lake-city]

3. Accent Pillows - Now that is getting warmer out, all the bright colors are out in stores. It makes me so happy! Not only can you add playful pillows indoors but outdoors too! Outdoor pillows make your backyard more inviting. The color and pattern draws your eye outside, making that lounge chair look super tempting to lay on!

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/9428265/2013-Coastal-Living-Showhouse-beach-style-bedroom-atlanta]

4. Stationary - Is your work area feeling tired? Brighten it up with colorful stationary. Notepads, pens, storage boxes, and file holders can cheer up your desk.

5. Flowers - What is Spring without flowers? Place flowers (or faux flowers) in areas of your home that you will see them often. There is something about flowers that make your home feel extra special. Even if they are fake, flowers can add elegance and color into your space subtly.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/2550186/wwwmyplumdesigncom-transitional-family-room-toronto]

6. Fresh Paint - Give an old piece of furniture a new look with a fresh coat of paint.

I hope you found these 6 tips to add color into your home helpful! Which tip was your favorite? Please share below! I would love to hear from you.

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