Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Welcome Home - 7 steps to creating a cozy home

'Tis the season for entertaining and keeping warm! There isn't much better than visiting a welcoming home or relaxing in your own. Whether you are hosting for twenty or enjoying a night alone, a cozy home is the perfect place to gather or rest. A home should be a refuge (cause isn't the world crazy enough?)...Everyone has their own ideal. I am constantly striving to make my home more welcoming. 

Today I am sharing a designer's perspective on creating a cozier home. Be safe if you are traveling today. xxx

1. Fresh Flowers
When I can, I purchase fresh flowers for my home. I love displaying them in small vases around the house. This is a great idea if you are entertaining.
Kate Spade
My bedroom
See the tutorial on this arrangement here

 2. Rugs 
Carpets and rugs can make a room. They beautifully warm up the space and are a great way to add color and texture. I love both new and vintage rugs and try to mix in each type on my projects. Always ensure it is the proper size. Postage stamp rugs in a large room don't work nor do rugs that don't fit properly.

3. A fireplace
I have a small house for my kids and on my wish list when I was looking was a fireplace! I light mine as much as I can....A warm fire cozies up a home in an instant. I love to arrange and rearrange the mantel top too.

Aerin Lauder

 4. A well stocked bar 
I love displaying vintage glasses and decanters. It's far from this elaborate but you get the idea!

5. Delicious homemade food (this is for entertaining of course but even when I cook soups on Sundays for just myself my home feels more inviting)

See this story on Waiting on Martha, she also has a cool shop here!!
6. Candles and layered lighting
I am not a fan of overly fragrant candles but something about the warm glow of a candle is both flattering and relaxing. I light them on my kitchen counter, in the bathroom and on my mantel.
A well lit house is the key to a beautiful space. I put as many lights on dimmers as I can and I always, always layer my lighting sources and types!
Who styles a table better than Tory Burch!????? Gah, her tables settings are perfection.
**Tory is having a great sale, Code: Thanks. Take 30% of when you spend $250+

7. Textiles
Blankets, crisp white towels in the bathroom, clean window treatments. The soft goods in your home will work wonders for making it more welcoming!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide.....for the home

Today kicks off the beginning of Shelter's gift guides...I'm hoping these come in handy and make your life easier this holiday season. I'll share any great deals and steals when I can! I won't be posting one every day but will be sharing as much holiday inspo as possible with your fabulous selves!!  

Here are my favorite gifts for the home. I often purchase goodies for my house, but that kind of goes with the territory. (most designers and creative types never stop thinking about how to beautify the world around them)...I find my friends and family much appreciate being given gifts for the their homes. 

Happy Monday! Cheers to a short and grateful week!!


#6 - a set of these salad plates are on my wish list!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shelter Loves

Thank god for Fridays! (insert prayer emoji).  In keeping with my life, my week was a little cray but I am thankful for that. Busy weeks mean more fabulous clients and healthy kids, all good things in my book. Here is what has been on my radar.....I LOVE finding inspiration in everyday life, so if you see something you are dying to share never hesitate to drop me a line or an email with something great!
Wishing you a fabulous and peaceful weekend...

Here we go....

1. Hand woven tapestries like this one from India will infuse your interior with depth and interest. What is really better than something hand made?? I would hang this on a dark wall for contrast.
2. This image resonated with me..First off, I wear my hair like this all  most of the time and her outfit looks like something I would wear to hang out on the weekend. Oh and I start every morning with a hot cup of green tea...
3.  How fun are these??? Resort wear anyone?? Find them here.
4. A simple thought with powerful results!!
5. Okay, I need to google research to see if magnolia leaves would actually survive two weeks in New England but I love the idea of having these beautiful greens woven into my wreath. (have I mentioned I love natural holiday decor?) Purchase this wreath on Etsy here.
6. This stewart plaid shirt is pretty cute, love the way they have it styled here!! (not sure I am the bow tie type though)
7. A bank of windows above a sink opens up a kitchen beautifully. If I get the chance to build or rehab a larger someday, this is something I will do!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Love the look - holiday style

I'm beginning to feel festive and think everyone could use a little cheer this year....Today's "love the look" post shares my favorite holiday fashion finds. Mix or match any one of these or do as we do at my house on Christmas day: choose a dressy item and mix it with a casual one. Snap up these goodies soon, because they are selling out quickly!! And like last year I already missed out on the black watch plaid pants at J. Crew, I just received the catalog yesterday!! 


 J.Crew has a slew of items on sale for 30%-40% off with CODE: ShopNow

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cali Casa

My design tastes really run the gamut: New England prep, California bohemian, Parisian chic, the textiles of Spain, Middle Eastern and African cultures are just a few styles I am inspired and intrigued by..... You name it, I can find something I love in each! When I read about this home in House Beautiful by California designer Erin Martin I was drawn to the rich layering and off beat mix of materials and furniture.....It is far from the norm and I am loving that!! Natural woods and ethnic graphics will continue to inspire in 2016. And that kitchen? Every detail is perfect,,,, right down to those fabulous stools and pendants. Eek..and the best part? All these groovy elements and unexpected colors come together to form one uber cool, cohesive Spanish casa.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Giving thanks - table top

Thanksgiving kicks off one of my favorite times of year. I think we will all be taking the time to focus on the good in our lives next Thursday! I have so much to be thankful for. My five year old daughter has been begging me to decorate the house for the holidays. I promised her that tonight we could put the little white candles in the windows around our home. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring the most joy, for me coming home to illuminated windows on a chilly, dark night makes my children and I a little happier. ( I think Matty will appreciate it too) I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year but I will be helping my Mom with as much as I can. These holiday table ideas each looked fairly easy to pull together but are impactful. I LOVE LOVE the idea of the top left-hand image. How ingenious is this? Simply display fruit, cheese and charcuterie selections along a piece of pine. Most hardware/building supply stores can cut a board to the exact length you need. 
 The items I shared layered with flowers, a slew of candles and some natural mixed    greens would create the perfect table for your delicious Thanksgiving meal. 

1. Votive
2. I want to invest in a set of cabbage plates. I love the green too but I think food always looks best on white plates.
3. Serve sides or nuts in a few tortoise dishes. I love the depth tortoise brings to design.
4. I love sipping wine and water out of a large goblet.
5. I usually prefer cloth napkins but these were too fun not to post! Furbish always does a fabulous job sourcing their goodies. Purchase napkins here!
6. Pretty bamboo flatware is always a hit

Je t'aime Paris

Before I share my regularly scheduled post today, I wanted to mention the tragic events in Paris. My hearts goes out to all who were directly impacted by the horrific violence last Friday. My love, thoughts and prayers are with all the people of France. My parents gave me this book when my world was feeling pretty lonely. It is full of uplifting quotes but today I wanted to share this particular one. I have to believe we can build a better more peaceful world. I do know, there is more good in this world than bad....

Friday, November 13, 2015

Love the look..In the Navy

In all seriousness, a huge thank you to all those who have served and all who are currently serving for our country! (Including my Dad who was in the Air Force when I was a baby)

The cooler weather has arrived for sure here in "Bean" town. It's about time to purchase a new wool or down coat. I love the option of navy blue over black. Don't most of us already own a slew of black jackets and coats anyway??

1/2/3 - 25% off/4 - 25% off/5/6/7/8

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gallery Wall thoughts and an insta-peek

Hola! There is lots going on here at Shelter! All good stuff, of course....As you know, I'm finishing up my own home too. My goal is to have it photographed after the holidays. Most designers use their home as a design laboratory of sorts. I am often moving furniture around and changing things out. I have a gallery wall hung in my living room but plan to tweak it later today with a fat glass of Apothic wine near by. I set some of my art on the floor (last image) this morning in preparation. (this is not the layout) 

In the meantime I wanted to share a few gallery walls that work and why. The top one is in the Kate Spade Soho store. They have done a nice job laying it out. Choosing a focal or keystone piece of art is an important first step. Next, place the art around that "keystone" in a cascading design. Be sure not to hang one piece in the center. Notice that no two frames are perfectly aligned on top in this example. For more on this gallery wall visit A.T. Another important tip to follow is the 57" rule. Hang a focal piece or number of pieces at or around gallery height, which is 57" on center, off the floor. I have done that with my own wall and have spaced my artwork around it, at least three inches apart. I also have the challenge of grouping the art around the t.v. (which is not my first choice but I have limited places to put it) Finally, be sure to visually balance your layout. I tackle this process organically but in the past I have taped pieces of craft paper to the wall too. Simply cut out pieces of paper that match the various sizes of art you plan to hang. This saves you from accidentally creating too many nail holes in the wall. It also allows you to move around various layouts, step back and choose your favorite.

This wall (above) feels nicely balanced to me. I also like that each piece has space to breathe.

Here is a peek at some of the art I am working with. I like to mix vintage with newer pieces. Some are originals and a couple have been created by my children. Try to gather an interesting mix of pieces and frames types. I also combine various mediums. Painted pictures, prints, photography and sketches all work beautifully together. Poppy, my kitty, wanted to join in on the fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunny on a dreary day

Honestly, I'm not going to beat around the bush. Life can suck. I'm actually trying to follow all of my advice and pay mind to the quotes I often share here and occasionally on "the book".  For one reason or another each and every one of us experiences the highs and lows of life. (sometimes other people's lives appear so picture perfect don't they? I am guessing and learning, they aren't) I pretty much believe you can fight through just about anything (as long as you have your mental and physical health) and often at times we even survive those terrible scares. I recently celebrated what I would call a "mile stone" birthday, you know, one of those years where you feel you cross over from "youngish" to "oldish". I am there. I guess it is all relative but after these b-days I question my overall purpose more. Am I doing the right thing? Am I being all that I can be? At times I feel stretched so thin but have found through trial and error the only way to make it through all the bs life throws you (me) is with determination, courage and a positive attitude. I am working on becoming even more positive.

I think a lot of who I am as a person spills over into my work. When I can transform a drab, somewhat non-descriptive space or home into something beautiful, it is very rewarding! I'd have to say that is and has been one of my goals in life: to ultimately leave a little slice of this world more beautiful and help make people's lives happier. (oh and of course to raise thoughtful, kind, fulfilled children) 

I think it is the reason I tend to gravitate towards color, amazing lighting and interesting graphics when designing.  I adore sophisticated spaces but don't tend to design anything too serious! I mean isn't life serious enough? Happiness is truly what most of us want to achieve in life, isn't it? But I also want to share happiness with others......with each year I may be a pound heavier but I also feel a tad wiser.
Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest....I've also been writing down things that bother or sadden me and aspects of my personality I would like to change for the helps, try it out sometime.

Onto my post.....
It is dark and dreary here today..November tends to kick off the truly depressing weather in Massachusetts. This house tour featured in Lonny Magazine by Jenny Wolf Interiors speaks of what I said above. It's fun and cheery with just the right amount of sophistication....the view doesn't look too shabby either. 

Jenny Wolf Interiors, Photography by Patrick Cline. 


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