interior decorator

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

thanksgiving brooch

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.

glam table

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

Not your #Basic Nighstand

Welcome to the No Basic Zone! Say Goodbye to the ordinary nightstand and Hello to unique! Here are 10 unconventional nightstands that add a little extra character and charm to your bedroom. 1. LADDER

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2. NESTING TABLES

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3. SHELF

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4. STEP STOOL

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5. SWINGswing

6. TRUNK

trunk - yes

7. CONSOLE TABLEnightstand

8. RECLAIMED WOOD

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9. CHEST OF DRAWERS

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10. CINDER BLOCK (Why not?)cinder block

Stray away from standard. Are you willing to be daring with your next nighstand? Which nightstand style was your favorite? Share your comment below, I would love to know! My favorite is the vintage trunk. Love the extra storage that it can pack - great for seasonal items.

Nightstand DIY Tutorial

IMG_9133 I love finding great pieces of furniture that need some TLC ! This month I found a few new pieces of furniture that needed some love. Here is one of the pieces I updated. It was a time consuming process but it was definitely worth putting in the hard work!

I used this nightstand for a teenage girl's bedroom that I just redesigned (see the room here).

HOW I DID IT

1) Clean the furniture and prep for painting

2) Remove drawers and knobs before painting

3) Prime it ! For the base coat I used Krylon Spray Paint Primer in white.

4) Paint it! I sprayed the drawers and nightstand with Krylon White Semi-gloss spray paint. I chose a semi-gloss finish for this nightstand because I wanted a satin-looking finish.

5) Add cool Hardware. I gave this nightstand a face-list with super cool purple lucite hardware.

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Yay! What do you think of my fab nightstand?

 

5 Ways to Get Organized

organized Organization may not be your favorite thing to do but you can't live without it. I have created 5 easy tips that you can implement today!

1. Find a Home for Everything - The main reason why things pile up is because they don't have a place! Find a home for everything. Have a place to put your mail. Have a place to put your keys so you know where to find them later (I always lose mine). If everything has a home, you will know where to look!

2. Sort - Sort through the piles that have accumulated and create two smaller piles: 1) Recycle/Toss 2) File (if you want to break down the File pile even more you can separate it by kids, home, and personal).

3. Create Simple Solutions - Find what works for you. Create a simple organizing solution that you can follow on a daily basis. If you create a complicated solution, you are less likely to stick to routine. Organizing your work can be as easy as purchasing a few bins that are labeled: Do Now, Do Later, File.

4. Home Kits - I love this tip personally. Buy clear shoe boxes and create Task Kits. Think about all the tasks or projects you do. Group all the tools you need for that task in one bin. For example, I have a "Paint kit" with all of my paint supplies and brushes. Label the outside of the box so it is easy to pull off the shelf when you are ready to use it.

5. Schedule It - Some areas need more help than others. If you know an area that needs to be frequently decluttered, schedule a day to focus on that one space. For me, I clean my room at the end of each week and my office at the end of each day so I can go back to work the next day on a clean slate.

Looking for my organization tips? Check out my Pinterest board, "Organization Nation."

http://www.pinterest.com/byamadesigns/organization-nation/

Not-So Shabby, Shabby Chic

Distressed furniture, antique decor, and linen fabrics OOZE Shabby Chic style. Shabby chic is the sister-style to coastal chic, cottage decor, and french country. It is the blend of furnishings that are chosen for their aged appearance, elegant antiques and a soft color palette. My personal style is totally chic/stylish/glam than it is Shabby. Hence why I am sharing how to create a NOT-SO Shabby Chic Interior with my 5 Easy decorating tips:

1) COLOR - The color palette in a shabby chic interior is generally neutral. Colors tend to be pure white, ecrus, and faded out hues such as blush pink, soft blues, and pale green. The soft color scheme provides a neutral background to allow your vintage pieces speak for themselves. (Yes, furniture speaks to me :P )

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2) PATTERN - When I think of "Shabby Chic," instantly what comes to my mind is vintage florals and a classic ticking stripe pattern. You can also add toile or chinoiserie patterns (two-tone cotton or line fabric with a scenic pattern: toile is French/chinoiserie is Chinese).

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3) TEXTURE - I love playing with texture when it comes to fabric. To recreate the feel of shabby chic decor, incorporate cotton and linen fabrics. Since both these fabrics have a flat texture, I would personally add quilted fabrics and crocheted blankets that are soft to touch and make you want to snuggle! :) For storage, add wicker baskets or a wicker storage ottoman.

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4) LIGHTING - Add vintage chandeliers or period inspired candlesticks on a bedside table. If you are feeling crafty, I would spray paint a vintage chandelier in a soft pink or mint for a pop of color.

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5) DECOR - Now for the fun part; accessories! Go thrifting and find antique picture frames, a fabulous antique mirror, a gold side chair, distressed accent tables, old books, and trinkets to take your space to the next level.

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This weeks blog post was HIGHLY requested! Do you LOVE a certain style but don't know how to achieve it? Drop a comment below or email byamadesigns@gmail.com on what topics you want to read next. Ask and you shall receive! I would love to hear from you. :)

Hope your day is as AWESOME as you are!

Much love,

AMA DESIGNS

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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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5 Ways to Create the BEST Dorm

It's back to school season and it's time to move into your dorm. Enhance your space this year with 5 easy tips: 1) A Few Accessories Go a Long Way! Add color and style to your space by adding artsy pillows, faux potted plants, and add a pouf ottoman for color and additional seating.

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2) A Little Piece of Home. Frame pictures of your friends and family and create a gallery wall. Purchase vintage frames from a thrift store and spray paint them in bright colors to add more color to your space. Hang your frames randomly or in a grid for visual interest.

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3) Boost up Your Bed! Add bed risers to allow for more storage under your bed. Check out these bed risers from Bed Bath and Beyond that have power outlets in them! Perfect for plugging in your laptop during late nights of crunching deadlines.

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4) Cheer Up your Desk Space. Display inspirational quotes, your favorite pictures, and even your dream travel destination near your desk to brighten up your mood when hard at work. Purchase desk accessories such as folders, notebooks, and pencil holders in your favorite color to boost creativity.

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5) Perk Up Boring Walls! If you have white walls and cannot paint, don't feel limited. You can perk up your boring walls with removable wallpaper sheets that can be found at Target or Urban Outfitters. If you are feeling crafty, you can create your own back drop using an old white sheet, a stencil, and your favorite color paint! Place the stencil on the sheet and apply paint using a roller. You can even use tape to create a custom design. Once the paint dries, hang your backdrop to create an accent wall!

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After a days worth of class, your dorm should feel relaxing and inviting - After all, you deserve it!

If you LOVE this post, share it with your friends ! :) For more decorating tips, follow AMA Designs on Facebook and Instagram! (click the direct link)

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.

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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. 

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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