entertaining

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.

Can't get enough AMA Designs? Sign up for our newsletter so you can snuggle up and get free design tips for your home.

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

A Thankful Thanksgiving

Hello from Pleasanton, California! (and it sure is pleasant)

I have everything to be thankful for this year. I am especially grateful that I get to spend my Thanksgiving with my family in California. I have never been on a family vacation before with my parents that I can remember. Twenty-three years later, we are taking one of our first family vacations. Although, later is better than never! I am so grateful to finally have the chance to spend a week with my family and also my cousins, my Aunt, and my Uncle.

Aside from family time, I am so blessed to have such an amazing support system behind me. My boyfriend and my friends are my backbone. I am so grateful to have an awesome circle of friends to laugh with and lean on when I need it. My boyfriend is my bestfriend and my rock. I am not sure where I would be without his continuous support and encouragement! Thank you <3

This year I have definitely noticed growth within myself and my business. AMA Designs was always something I did "on the side" but finally I have launched my business full-time and pursuing my passion. Starting is always difficult. I have realized as long as I keep taking that step forward each day, I can accomplish my dreams. After all, success is a series of small wins and small wins are better than none at all. I am so thankful for all my experiences so far and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

I am also thankful for all of you!!!! YES, YOU READING THIS! <3 Without you, AMA Designs would nonexistent. Thank you for reading and I appreciate all your feedback. I love hearing from you. It truly brightens my day! I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Sending all my love!!! - Amanda

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

5 Ways to Create the Perfect Gallery

IMG_8571 1) Choose your Color Palette - Stick to one color or a few. Establishing a color scheme will give a more cohesive look. You can still experiment with different styles of art if the colors relate with each other. Another way to create a more unified gallery wall is to use the same color frame or matte your art the same. After you identify your color scheme and frame style, it's time to start planning how you want your pictures to hang. Lay out your frames on the floor and start planning.

2) RULE OF THIRDS - Choose three of your favorite pieces. One large, one medium, and one large frame. Place the small and medium photos on one side and the large photo on the other side to create balance. the Matte your photo to add more dimension and unity.

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 3) ALIGNED - There are two different ways to go about this look. For pieces that are all of the same size, hang items all in a row. If your pictures are different sizes, align either the tops of all the pictures or the bases.

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4) GRID-LIKE - Create a grid using your favorite photos by evenly spacing photos.

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5) GET CREATIVE - Go wild! Mix and match photos and frame sizes. Display items in a whichever way that pleases you!

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You can even choose one of these styles too! Have fun creating your perfect gallery. Tag your pictures with #amadesigns so I could see what style you chose!

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Design Tip: The DO's of Home Shopping

When shopping for your home, items can add up quickly! I believe that you shouldn't cut corners in the wrong places. So where should you invest and where should you save? The do's of purchasing for your home.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/875193/Tarrytown-remodel-contemporary-family-room-austin]

DO Invest in Better Furniture: Use your best judgement - invest in the rooms that you use everyday this way you can enjoy them for years to come! That means purchasing a well constructed sofa that you won't have to replace after a year. The cushion contraction and the frame are important. Check the construction of drawers when looking for your bedroom or office. Dovetail drawers are the best - it is the interlocking grooves that hold the sides of the drawer together (rather than glue). 

SAVE: In areas of your home that aren't used as frequently or on items that are solely for decorative purposes like accent tables or console tables. Anything with drawers that you will opening and closing frequently should be of better quality.

DO Purchase Quality Carpet: For high traffic areas, I believe purchasing a higher quality carpet is pertinent. Investing in stair runners will be worth the investment for years to come.

SAVE: In certain situations, an inexpensive area rug will do the job.  For example, rugs in kids rooms are most likely to be replaced so an inexpensive rug is more ideal. 

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/387171/Milton-contemporary-staircase-toronto]

DO Invest in Custom Window Treatments: Using the word "custom" may scare you, but don't be afraid. It really depends on the material you use and the style you are trying to achieve. More intricate designs that include, trim, swags, pleats, valances, etc. will cost more. I like to high my curtain rod higher to the ceiling to elongate the height of the space so typically, stock curtains run a little short. If you are savvy with a sewing machine you can add a pretty base fabric or buy super long curtains and hem the bottom. I am not that savvy.... but I encourage anyone who is to try! :)

I have a very large kitchen window and standard size blinds would not fit. I opted to invest in faux wood blinds from JcPenny (which has an awesome window treatment department). If you open up a credit card, you can save more money plus they generally have sales and coupons. 

I love these top down bottom up shades in this Tribeca penthouse. It adds privacy but doesn't hide the beautiful view of the city.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/204956/Tribeca-penthouse-contemporary-living-room-new-york]

DO shopping at Yard sales, Estate sales, Thrift Stores, Consignment Shops, and Discount Stores: I can't tell you how many garage sales I have visited or thrift stores I have stopped at. I visited the nearest Goodwill and found a coffee table for $5 that was solid hardwood ----- $5!!!! It needed to be sanded and stained but it had great lines and it was solid furniture. I love finding items and adding my own personal style to it.

Need help with other areas of your home? Please comment what you need help with. I am always willing to help and most of the time your questions turn into blog topics! So don't be shy!!

and remember.... if you like this post, SHARE it :)

 

Yours truly,

AMA DESIGNS

 

 

From my Notepad ... To Reality

20140806-004211-2531306.jpg To you, this may be just an empty room. Well, it is.

However to me, it means so much more than an empty space. I love this profession because my visions become reality. There is nothing more gratifying then seeing your sketches come to life !

This may be just an empty room but the stages to get to this point were bumpy! It's rewarding to see progress and comforting to know that we are only a few steps away from completion !!

I am so excited to share with you all! Plus, I hand painted artwork specially for this space!! :)

For progress pictures, visit the "Portfolio" Tab to view more of this project.

Have an amazing day!

Eclectic Design: How to Mix n' Match Styles

I mix and match things on a daily basis. I mix gold and silver jewelry, fitted shirts with the perfect boyfriend jean, and traditional style with modern accents. Call me crazy but it's possible! You can rock any style your heart desires by flawlessly executing: "cohesiveness".

Eclectic style encompasses a variety of time periods and styles with uses of color, texture, shape, and finish. Eclectic may be the catch-all phrase that terms for any room that doesn't fit a particular style but it is more than a miscellaneous style. To create a "Collected" look it takes thought, knowledge, and balance.

Ultimately, choose your color palette. Pick one item as your jumping off point for design. This could be a piece of artwork, an oriental rug, or a family heirloom.

This living room has used the Persian rug as the foundation for this room. Pulling the colors from the rug by use of artwork and accessories really blended the different styles effortlessly.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/84399/LINDENWOOD-CIRCLE-eclectic-living-room-austin]

Although this room could be classified as contemporary, the slipcover sofas, the traditional ottoman, and the modern chairs create a cohesive look by sticking to the same color palette.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/106780/Living-Room-Dining-Room-contemporary-living-room-other-metro]

A black and white color palette seamlessly ties together diverse items to create a collected look. Notice the global influences and textures mixed with contemporary bedding and side trays. There is even a dinosaur head that pops his way in!

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/117353/The-Olivers-House-eclectic-bedroom-dallas]