Month: November 2012

Decorating With Boxwood

November 27, 2012


This past Fall Season was so busy for me, I really did not decorate too much for Autumn or Thanksgiving. The day after a quiet Thanksgiving this year, I was ready to go decorate something! Let the Christmas decorating begin!


Have you ever worked with boxwood when making floral arrangements? I think it is the prettiest green branch out there! I would buy the boxwood decorated Christmas trees more often at the florist’s, but they are very expensive- on average $100.00 per tree. But they are so beautiful!:

I gave instructions here on making your own boxwood,evergreen and pine wreath. It came out beautifully and lasted into January.

This year I found boxwood branches sold in bunches at Shaw’s Supermarket for only six dollars. So I collected my stuff together and choose my container:



Next fill the bottom of the container with floral oasis soaked for at least an hour in water for fresh flower arranging. Cut the stems to desired height and fill in with branches until you achieve a look you like:


I could decorate it with little balls and ribbon if I choose, but for now I like how it looks:


I found them very easy to make. A tip I found useful was a that good place to start putting the branches in is the middle of the container first.


Then fill around until you achieve the fullness you are happy with.


Simple and beautiful. They will last for a long time into the season if taken care of and watered. Have you worked with boxwood branches this year? Can you make a boxwood decorated tree like you find at the florists? I tried one years ago in a class and I remember it being the ugliest in the class. haha I will have to give it a try again someday.



Working With Existing Kitchen Tile

November 23, 2012


Like many of us working on a room redesign, my friend Rosie from Texas has been updating her kitchen in steps as money and time allows. Here is the original kitchen where we started:



Since Rosie has always dreamed of a white kitchen, her first project was to paint her dark cabinets with Benjamin Moore White Dove Int. Room in a semi-gloss finish:



Rosie has never been too crazy about the color of her range hood:


Until I showed her this beautiful picture :



Rosie wants to maybe replace her existing tile to an all white subway tile (but not in the near future), so for now we need to pick a wall color that will work with the existing tile:


Although Rosie would like to paint the walls white, the clean, bright whiteness of the existing tile made all of the white paint colors we tried next to it, look dirty. Below is a sample of Ben Moore Intense White:


Another color we tried was gray. I suggested a couple grays with different undertones such as Grey Wisp 1570 (green undertones) and below is the tile with samples of Tranquility AF-490 (blue undertones), on the right, with Revere Pewter HC-172 (green undertones- but sometimes looks pink depending on the light) on the left:



I was afraid the Tranquility color would look too baby blue once up on the entire wall. The Revere Pewter worked well with the tile, the hood,  the black granite countertops (black and Revere Pewter look great together!) and the white cabinets. She decided to go with Revere Pewter:



But wait! 🙂 She said that she liked it, but thought it looked a bit too beige and a little boring. She wanted something a little bolder with more personality. If you look at the tile, you will see that not many colors are going to work with it. Not yellow, red or green. The original kitchen had turquoise walls, which worked but Rosie wanted a change. What color is left? Neutral blue.


I know that Rosie loves navy and white together so I suggested that since her kitchen is so open and bright, to try a sample of Hale Navy HC-154 (above). A beautiful color with personality!

Well, she loved it and went for it!:


I think it is beautiful. I like how it toned down the blue in the tile and that it works well with the range hood. And navy with white- gorgeous!:


Rosie is not sure if she loves it. She makes me laugh so hard with her stories about her husband getting mad at her for changing her mind! For now, I told her to try and live with it and see how she feels about it in a couple weeks.

What would you do?? I will keep you updated! Thank you Rosie for letting me share!

If you need help selecting the perfect paint color for your home, contact me today.

Beautifully Simple Thanksgiving Centerpieces

November 15, 2012



It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week already! I am not entertaining any large crowds this year so I am not feeling too stressed about the Holiday this year.





Although dinner is not going to be a big deal, I still like a pretty centerpiece on the table. I am looking for real simple ideas and here are a few I found that I really like:







Remember the key word is simple!:







This might be my favorite (along with the first picture also):



Now how easy is that to put together and doesn’t it look lovely?




So pretty!!

I am going to get some berry branches and leaves and little pumpkins. I feel like doing some type of craft this weekend. Relaxing. I need relaxing things to do. Do you have plans yet?

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.



A Perfect Wedding Day

November 12, 2012


I just could not wait to share a few pictures from my daughter Meghan’s wedding this past weekend! These photos were all taken by Meg and Ian’s friends and family.

After two major storms in a two weeks period, their day ended up a perfect, blue-sky, New England warm day. The weather was just perfect! Friday night rehearsal night was so fun:


Bridesmaids shots at the rehearsal! Then we woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful morning on the ocean in Bristol, RI:

29573_10100106586930973_1014147160_n[1]Six AM! wakeup for makeup and hair and then before we knew it, it was time for Meg to get ready for the aisle:


561720_10100106589216393_1630043682_n[1]Awwww…. She looked so gorgeous.

Then off to be married in the church:

63185_787286649267_961223359_n[1]The ceremony was beautiful. I said that I was not going to let myself cry, but when I saw my daughter and her Dad coming down the aisle, I just lost it. And here is the whole family now:

image (5)From the left; our son Kyle, the groom Ian, my baby girl Meghan, me with what looks like a stiff neck 🙂 and my very handsome husband Mike. The reception was held at Linden Place in Bristol, RI. The town has a lot of old history I just love. Dinner and dancing was held in the carriage room. It was soooo beautiful!


A lot of pictures were taken. I can not wait to see them all!! Here was Meg and I just before the reception:


We were lined up outside for the grand entrance then all of a sudden this huge barn door slid open- and there we were!hahaha  Of course I played it up- I felt like a celebrity walking in. It was so much fun.


And then introduced for the first time- Mr. and Mrs. Ian Walch!:


Aren’t they a beautiful couple?


Then a magical night of dancing:


A perfect wedding day! I am still on a high today. I miss everyone though, it went by way too fast. Thanks for letting me share everyone! 


                                                                                 Kelly  xo

New Design Books of 2012

November 6, 2012


An article in The Washington Post today gave a rundown of newly released design books. Wonderful new decorating books to look through page by page! from leading designers. Although I haven’t had a chance to read these books quite yet, I wanted to share the thoughts and reviews of those who have had a chance to read them. These are a few of my favorites:

The Things That Matter:


“In The Things That Matter, Nate Berkus shares intimate stories from his life, introduces us to people who influenced him and helped him forge his sense of style, and opens up about the remarkable experiences that have left him forever changed, all of which find expression in how he lives today. From his most cherished flea market finds, to his beloved books and photos, to the many extraordinary mementos he’s collected in his travels, every piece defines who he’s become and what endures in his world.” Review from Amazon

Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love

“This debut book by bloggers Sherry and John Petersik is filled with hundreds of fun, deceptively simple, budget-friendly ideas for sprucing up a home. With two home renovations under their (tool) belts, 5 million blog hits per month, and an ever-growing audience since the launch of Young House Love in 2007, Sherry and John are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks, and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Whether an experienced decorator or a total novice, on a tight budget or with money to spend, any homeowner or apartment dweller will find ideas for his or her own home makeovers here. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, “hack” your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more.” Amazon Summary

Home by Novogratz


“In this book, design duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz (stars of HGTV’s Home by Novogratz) give us an inside look at twenty of their favorite projects to show us how to achieve their signature “vintage modern” style. See how they effortlessly mix contemporary furniture with thrift-store finds, and learn all sorts of tricks for creating a stylish home no matter what the obstacles: seven children, small spaces, or a tiny budget.” Amazon Description

The Collected Home


“Readers who love new traditional design that’s clean and refined yet comfortable will find inspiration and liberation in how acclaimed designer and author Darryl Carter perceives the home as a collection of beloved hand-selected items. The Collected Home dazzles with gorgeous photographs of rooms and details, and enlightening text about what makes a space extraordinary. Additionally, Darryl provides–for the first time ever–hands-on advice for approaching home design, such as defining short- and long-term goals, from selecting an antique door knocker to planning the architectural elements of an addition.” Amazon

Barbara Barry: Around Beauty


“Anyone who has ever met Los Angeles designer Barbara Barry knows she is someone who cares deeply about every little thing, from how to properly arrange a tea tray to how to display arugula in the fridge. The goal for Barry is always beauty. In this, her first book, she uses stunning photography and carefully composed prose to explain how you can achieve her well-ordered and Zen lifestyle. If you let Barry be your life coach, you will learn to simplify and elevate what you have. The photos of the flower-filled bedside tables, crisp linens and carefully composed firewood stacks make you feel calm just studying them.” The Washington Post Summary

Rhapsody Kelly Wearstler

Rhapsody: Kelly Wearstler

“If your life is lacking in glamour, flip through the latest book by Beverly Hills designer Kelly Wearstler. Her decoration of high-profile boutique hotels and a stint as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Design” series brought national attention to Wearstler’s bold personal style and her way with textures, colors and gilded Rococo mirrors. The Wearstler inspirations offered in this book are more in the lavish photographs than the text. She illustrates how some of her large projects using mixed materials such as marble and crystal can be recomposed in a smaller environment. By the last page, you might be tempted to invest in some purple leather chairs, mirrored doors and studded metallic walls.” The Washington Post Summary

Dazzling Design

“As one of today’s most sought-after designers, Amanda Nisbet brings a fresh, energetic approach to the traditional sense of luxury. Color, texture, and form blend to create her trademark comfortable elegance, and her work seamlessly balances function and style, classicism and modernism, in beautifully unexpected ways. With over 250 spectacular photographs of New York City apartments, country houses, and Hamptons beach homes, this extraordinary volume will show readers how to bring punch and color to classic rooms.”  Amazon Summary

Have you noticed that the common theme of all the books seems to be ‘Your home should reflect who you are?’ I agree wholeheartedly!!

Which book do you think you will choose first? I love Nate and Amanda Nisbet, but I really would like to look through Young House Love’s new book. New design books to decorate our coffee tables!  Hurray!

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.

Easy Bedroom Update

November 4, 2012



One of the easiest, least expensive and quickest way to update your bedroom is so simple, you will wonder why you did not think of it yourself!

If you are still living with a matching dresser and mirror set that you purchased over ten years ago, it is time to get rid of that matchy-match look and bring some personality into your bedroom!

bedrooms - Arteriors Nikita Mirrors Bedroom dresser circles mirror sconces glass chandelier  My favorite mirrors



I know they came as a set, but imagine how original you can be with a different mirror! The sizes and shapes of mirrors today are endless in variety and you can find a great mirror at a very reasonable price.


Here are a couple I love from Lamps Plus:

Mirrored Frame 35 1/2" Wide Moonlight Wall Mirror


Sunrays 32" Wide Antique Silver Wall Mirror


You can also find some great-looking inexpensive mirrors at big box stores such as Target:

- Brown/Natural Wall Mirror



Global Direct 42" x 32" Dorigrass Rectangle Framled Mirror


And Home Depot:


Another easy, inexpensive way to update your existing mirror is to paint it like I did in my room here:





Another original idea with mirrors:



If you like the idea of your mirror and dresser matching, that is fine! But if you are looking for ideas to bring some personality and originality to an old dresser set, I hope I have given you a few new ideas!

Does your dresser and mirror match together as a set? Or have you made changes to the mirror or dresser?

If you need help decorating your home, contact me today.