Tuesday’s Tips: keep living furniture interesting and avoid buying sets

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I know it’s more cost effective to buy a set of furniture as they tend to have better deals. However if you want to have a super interesting space, try to avoid sets. You can still have a cohesive look by keeping with the same design style or color scheme. You can also do a monochromatic palette and have slight variations of hues for the furniture. This living room above is fun even though the sofas are two completely different styles. They work because they bring out the burnt orange and ivory tones from the artwork and rug…

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These half donut shaped sofas and chairs are a good pairing even though they are different…

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The beige and camel sofas look wonderful together and really bring out the bronze and gold accents of the room. You have two different styles of seating with one armless and the other with armrests so they can appeal to all guests. You can always buy the same type of throw pillows to place on the different seating options as well to unify the look…

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If you stick with a neutral sofa that can transition over time with different color schemes, maybe select a bold hue for the chairs. I actually like when there are two matching chairs in replace of a loveseat. Using the same color as the accent chairs,  place a throw and pillows on the sofa to tie it all in…

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I love the look of the matching chairs…

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Consider using ottomans and benches for smaller scale conversation areas…

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Tiny Tot Thursdays: brown pouffes in nurseries

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While reading Erin’s debate on whether to do a bold or neutral nursery, I noticed something in several of the ones featured and thought I’d search for more. Moroccan poufs are nothing new but I still love them no matter how trendy they are. Seeing different variations of brown designed ottomans and in different textures is a great look for a child’s room or nursery. It gives the right amount of warmth to a room to compliment any brass or gold fixtures and accessories.

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It also looks incredibly chic in a white, cream and neutral palette. Most importantly, it can easily get swapped out of the kids room and get placed in an adult setting.

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To me it’s best to pick furnishings that can truly grow with a child along with something that can easily transition to other rooms should the child grow up to want a Disney themed room. Notice some of the storage baskets and rugs….

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{Images via Summer Thornton Design, me oh my mama, lauren conrad, project nursery, brittany makes}


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My introduction to Arhaus…

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I meant to post about my first introduction to the Arhaus showroom a couple months ago but forgot. I was in Shaumburg, Illinois at the Woodfield Mall heading to another store when store windows captured my eye. Everything was so glamorous and dramatic. The lighting was moody and gave this deep glow everywhere. I felt like I was in furniture heaven.

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Then Jayson approached us. He was incredibly knowledgable about the products and even went as far as to rearrange some showroom pieces so I could get a better vision on what I had in mind.

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I think I even mentioned that the pieces were out of my price range and he could have easily left me alone to approach other customers, but he didn’t. Even when one rude lady interrupted us to ask him a question and even tried to take him toward the area she needed help in, he politely informed her that he would finish up with us first before helping her. I was stunned as I never get that quality of service. Unfortunately some salespeople assume what customers will spend money based on appearance and even race. I’m a designer and though I was looking for myself, I could have been shopping for a client. Often times my experience in a store determines where I spend my client’s money. In college, one of my instructors told us if we ever design or work in a showroom, to treat all people equally. You never know who is sitting on money! In his experience, the most casual dressers ended up being the ones to spend a lot. So I appreciated Jayson’s professionalism during that time.

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But the furniture….and the fabric….

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Everything there made me wish I was rich…

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You can browse digital online catalogues…
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Some of my favorite lighting by them…and a fab mirror!

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What I like about some of the pieces at Arhaus is the craftsmanship of the furniture. The distressing and carving in some of their furniture is all done by hand by Italian artisans to make each piece feel as if it has history.  They are having an annual storewide sale 20-40% off so you may want to check them out. No this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really like what they have to offer and can’t wait to make my first purchase.

 


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Warren Barnett Local Home Furnishing Store…

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There is a showroom furniture store here in a Milwaukee suburb that I have to get to. Warren Barnett offers accessories, home furnishings and even interior designers to help you with selections. I always forget about them until I pass them up on the road. Here are some of what they have to offer..

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What is your favorite local home store?


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Hotel Indulgences: My review of the vibrant The Saguaro resort in Scottsdale Arizona…

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Beware of sensory overload with these colorful images of The Saguaro-Scottsdale. This above is my own picture. I lost a lot of photos when my Galaxy S4 wouldn’t turn back on so I had to resort to instagram screenshots and pics I emailed myself along with others found online.

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Yeah I know I am a whole 10 months late with this but with the constant rain and flip flopping 80-one-day-55-the-next tempertures, I have done little else than dream of going right back there…somewhere hot consistantly. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just really loved my two night three day stay there last August.

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Designed by Stamberg Aferiat Architecture, the Saguaro Scottsdale is a very vibrant, colorful fun stay in Arizona. It was a standout search for me as everything else is the color of sand and neutral. That’s because there are building codes prohiting the exteriors to be anything other than that. The colors are based on Arizona’s wildflowers.  It’s located in oldtown Scottsdale which is simple walks and short golf cart rides to restaurants, bars, and shopping. The golf cart rides are free, you just tip the drivers and that was a ball of fun. One recommendation is have them take you to the nearby CVS so you can stock up on snacks and waters for your room as there are no……..I repeat………NO soda machines or vending machines which I find incredibly odd. For the resort fee, the least they can do is offer you one complimentary bottled water per day per guest.

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The hotel used to be a motel so you walk outside to get to your rooms which can be noisy depending on where you face (pools vs cityview). We opted for a city view which pretty much was just the hotel’s check in area and landscaping. The balconies aren’t really big at all, just standing room but still nice to get fresh air. It would be nice if they had small stools that are bar height to sit on while out there. However people on ground level with pool views had little patios to lounge out on.

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The hotel looks exactly like the pictures which is all I really cared about. The beds were super comfy and the Kuerig coffee makers were a nice touch each morning. The landscaping and colors just really perked up my mood. One minor goofy thing was the bathroom sliding door. The idea is cool but it really didn’t leave you feeling private. It wasn’t as if there was a gap or anything just a little odd for a bathroom setting. I roomed with my friend so it was fine.
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Although we didn’t dine out at the hotel’s restaurant, we did partake in cocktails poolside at the main pool which was super chill.  We lounged at the pool before our spa appointments (which were affordable for an hour service and had complimentary drink vouchers to be used at the pool)! We soaked up enough sun to have 2 rounds of cocktails and burning skin. I guess the crowd didn’t come until after our spa appointments because afterward the pool was packed and the music was more lively than when we were there.

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I just loved the southwestern landscaping. The furthest west I’ve been was Vegas but I don’t remember much except the strip, the ride on top of the Stratosphere and seeing West Side mountains for the first time.  So this was a way for me to soak up all of the landscaping the desert has to offer.

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I just couldn’t stop staring at the unique formations of cacti…

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The pool was such a calming place on Monday. I guess everyone had left the resort on Sunday…

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Although we didn’t use them, I liked how the resort offers free use of the bikes.

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The pool bar had water misters that cooled you off and some shade for sun relief…

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Have you seen Zara Home’s new lookbook?

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One thing that can describe Zara Home’s new lookbook is tailored comfort. The bedding is classic and the colors are very neutral. What I like most is how the lookbook is styled and shot. The backdrops especially are very beautiful. I found some gems I will do a collage about soon.

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Have I ever mentioned how much I adore lanterns? The can get a bit pricey but they are on my list of wants…

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For those of you expecting but don’t want the common areas of your home to turn into colorful kiddie patterns, this bassinet/stroller thing is for you…

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This just makes me want to ask someone for an old twin mattress to cover with a fun fitted sheet and stroll out on the grass in the backyard. Seriously…

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Love the use of baskets to hide planters…

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Since I have a cat…I really like elevated tripod planters…

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I know cats like to munch on plants but I really don’t want to see the remains of plants in my cats bodily fluids so I think an elevated plant stand is the way to go. My cat is trained not to go on my counters but I’d rather not put anything else on the countertops. I could put a cluster over my fridge but I don’t want to grab a step stool everytime I need to water them. Lazy, I know.

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I think a tall stand will prevent her from trying to snack on the leaves provided I place them away from the sofa. Decorating in 3’s makes this so much cooler but I may just do one to see how my green thumb is first.

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Then I came across this tomato cage diy which can’t possibly be any easier. I’m making a trip to a Home Depot this weekend to see if my location sells colorful ones…

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This one is super fun visually…

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The copper legs are really neat on this diy…

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They give height to smaller plants both inside and out.

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You can shop the above here.

{Images via remodelholic, the house that lars built, camille styles, 4 men 1 lady, KKDW, crate and barrel, & our gathered home, & amber interior designTessa Neustad}


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What are characteristics of your ideal bar stool?

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Some like ’em modern with clean lines or unique with odd interesting shapes, some prefer natural earthy wood materials while many like the industrial metal styles. Some love the cafe style while others need one with a back. I like them all from upholstered to masculine ones but lately I’ve really been wanting metals stools. There are so many fun styles and you don’t need a cocktail bar to use a stool. If you have a bar height dining table, you can use them on one side for a different loo,a breakfast bar, the laundry room counter, etc. I also like them used outside under a thin ledge for drinks or against a back wall for additional seating or to balance an entry vignette by filling space.

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Tuesday’s Tips: how to live with dated bathrooms

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There are often times budgets and circumstances doesn’t allow us to do exactly what we want. If you rent, you’re limited what you can do but there are ways to live with awful bathrooms for a little money. Using wall and cabinet paint, adding new knobs, placing a larger shower nozzle, hanging decorative mirrors or mirror trim (window casing trim) are some quick fixes.

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Sometimes it’s simply about accessories and styling and faking the funk to to take the eye away from eyesores. If you style a bathroom right, people will notice the things you styled it with, the décor, the details like the packaging of pretty hand soaps or the smells of decorative soaps.

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Treat yourself to higher end quality products instead of the  usual because it will make you feel like you’re in a spa setting. I really like the assortment of soaps and bath products that places like homegoods, Tjmaxx, & Marshalls sell. I am a sucker for packaging and they have the nicest smelling items and prettiest labels to go with any color scheme.
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You can also shy away from colors and go with a basic set of soap/lotion sets that looks like something you would get at a high end hotel. Speaking of, think about how hotel products look. They are all so nicely packaged and setting them on pretty trays really makes a world of difference.

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You can also re-glaze outdated colors like blush pink and pea green for the tub and sinks if they are in good condition..
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Painting tile is another easy way to go. Swapping out hardware and adding decorative knobs are things you can take with you when you move but the add so much personality to doors.
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Taking the time to replace blown light bulbs can a world of a difference. There are many times I see fixtures in people’s homes be it the bathroom or kitchen or ceiling fans and they look so unattractive when there are missing or blown out light bulbs. Taking  the time to stock up ensures you can replace right away and you will see the difference it makes, especially the bathroom.
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Another thing you can benefit from is displaying only towels that complement the look of the bathroom. Far too often you see people’s bathroom selfies and they have the most raggedy towels hanging up. Most are just thrown to dry any sort of way and it’s so tacky and just looks…..nasty. Even if you aren’t, mismatched towels with threads tearing off is not attractive at all. You owe it to yourself to buy and keep nice towels.
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You don’t have to spend a lot, but moving old towels to the rag stash will make a difference. For guest, keep white towels within reach and rolled up nicely like hotels so they don’t have to ask. Keep more wash towels on hand too as most people use a different one for the face than the body. If you can squeeze it, also have a small laundry basket for towels so they don’t have to have a cluttered pile on the floor. If white towels aren’t your thing, just make sure the ones on display match the bathroom. I always noticed how my cousin always had their whole family (husband and 5 kids) towels on different racks and they all matched. It was such a nice cohesive look.
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I cannot stress more than to have enough paper towels on hand for guest. Nothing irks my soul than to use the rest room in someone’s house and they only have their bath towels hanging up. I’m not  using your bath towels that you wiped your @$$ with to dry my hands!!!!! So do your friends and family a favor and keep a roll of paper towels there. You shouldn’t even WANT your guest to wipe their hands on your towels. Some people don’t wash their hands properly as it is………………but that’s another story lol.
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Also while we’re at it….you may want to toss that idea of having toilet lid carpet and toilet rugs to the side. It’s really not sanitary at all when you think about it. A bathroom rug by the sink and tub is really the only rugs you need. Jazz up the rug too, you don’t have to use the basic old school carpet rug.
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😂 So many style options are available in fluffy piles, shags, and designs. You can even use a runner if you like (esp in an apartment styled bathroom where it’s typically long and narrow).

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If the floor is leveled and decent you can top it with stickable vinyl tile. They offer some that are made to look like slate and stone and others made to look like wood and this could be a really easy cost effective fix for a bathroom you don’t want to spend lots of money on. Personally I love high end updates to bathrooms because the area is small and you can really get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to the floor. However everyone can’t hire contractors or want to do it themselves and deal with grout so peelable vinyl is an alternative. Keep in mind that if you have kids or bad pipes or just plain clumsy and prone to getting a ton of water on the floor, this option may not be for you.

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If all fails, simply embrace what you have. if you’re renting, you won’t always live there but you want to at least enjoy the space you have for the time you’re there and if you’re really on a budget and funds are tight, you can still do small things to make you at ease in your own space. My very first apartment had mosaic tile on the floor in an odd green color. I hated it. I hated that entire bathroom but it was my first spot. I made do with what I could. I had a fish theme and got the boldest aquatic shower curtain I could find, the prettiest turquoise glass soap dish accessories from Pier 1 and a metal fish candle holder from pier 1. I bought a pretty woven laundry basket that had blues on the outside as well as the liner and filled the space with candles and shell stuff. I simply used the color of the tile and decorated with it versus against it. In the end, the way I decorated it made me like the bathroom. The tile no longer became an eyesore to me, instead it matched. So try your best to find a color scheme that compliments the dated colors or use classic black and white. That will make almost anything look fly. Happy Decorating!

{Images via (in no order) design sponge, my fabuless life, mimosas in the morning, inspiration for moms, domaine home, remodelista, young house love, a graceful life, & see this painted faucet tutorial transformation.


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