Fall Color Schemes and Mood Boards

Have you ever made a mood board? They are an amazing tool, especially if you are decorating for a new season, or re-doing a room in your home. I really like using them when remodeling, or to help me get a more cohesive look for a tablescape or shelf display. Here’s a few tips on making a mood board that you can truly use:

Source: Pottery Barn

Source: Pottery Barn

-Decide what you’ll use your mood board for: There are several types of mood boards, and some are just for aesthetics. An aesthetic mood board would be something that you’d want to look at for inspiration, but may not use practically, or that would include actual items or colors. For example, an aesthetic mood board for a home might include examples of a farmhouse home, textures and colors that the homeowner likes, and a few pieces of hardware that could work with the look. While it may not have tangible products on it that you want to include on your home, it will keep the look foremost in your mind. A practical mood board could include links to products you’ve already chosen or bought, or photos of things you already own. It also works well with paint colors. 

-Decide what you want to accomplish with it: Do you want to use your mood board to guide purchasing, to help a client, to keep you on budget, or to stay inspired? These are all great options for using one, and they can truly help every purpose. I have used them for all of these reasons, and when it comes to decorating for a new season, I often let them help guide my purchasing when I’m out scouting for a few new pieces. This season, I am creating some as I decorate for the fall and harvest season, and heading into the holidays. Some of my favorite colors this season are the pretty shades of Terra Cotta, pretty dusty blues, and copper tones, so they have all made their way into my most recent mood boards:

Copper and Mango Wood Bowl: This Pottery Barn find is pricy, but will last for years and years. It will also move through the seasons, depending on how you style it, and I am already dreaming up ways to style some florals inside of it.

This beautiful rug: This stunning rug is also from Pottery Barn, and comes in a gorgeous hue of Terra Cotta, as well as a medium blue/grey. It is thick, substantial, and will really warm up a room with tile or hardwood, making it seem softer and more cozy. Not only that, but it will keep your toes physically warm, too!

This set of beautiful blue vases: Another investment piece, this set of vases is just beautiful. You can buy them separately or together, but we love them when they’re filled with simple eucalyptus or wooden stems. They also look amazing with olive branches.

Looking for something a bit more affordable? This terra cotta pot is under $30, and will bring the look of fall to your porch or backyard. It’s one of our favorite items from Magnolia lately, and it looks just right with a potted mum plant inside of it. 

If you’re looking for paint inspiration, look no further than these mood boards from Jolie Paint. The Aussie color scheme is a bit brighter than most of my autumn decor, but they are gorgeous and can help you shape what you want to accomplish in your own home. And, don’t forget that Allure with Decor is a retailer of these stunning paints!

Painting with Jolie Paint

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do for a room. I have seen such major transformations take place with just a stroke of a brush, and it’s why I always encourage the clients I work with to consider the role that color plays in their home. It can set the mood, tone, and atmosphere like nothing else! This is why I am so excited about the Jolie Home paint that we carry here at Allure with Decor…it’s high quality, goes on beautifully, and lasts for years to come. But when I hand over a gallon of paint, or I prepare to paint a room myself, I know there’s much more than just slapping a color on the wall. Here are my tips for preparing to paint a room or a piece of furniture: 

Source: JOLIE HOME

Source: JOLIE HOME

-Gather your supplies: This is crucial the process, and it’s not the time to pinch pennies. By investing in great painting supplies, you will achieve a better and more quality result in the end. Buy the brand-name paint tape, the good brushes or rollers, and the dropcloths that you aren’t sure you need..you will be so glad you did! Once you have gathered supplies, be sure to set aside plenty of time to prep your room or furniture item. Rushing only produces sloppy painting! 

-Measure properly: You know they say to measure once and cut twice…well, you usually aren’t cutting anything while painting, but it’s just as important to clearly know how much paint you really need for the area you are covering. Make your calculations based on careful measurements, and always add a little extra to allow for drips, spills, or touch ups (and you may want extra to touch up down the road so that the shade matches perfectly). If you are measuring a large piece of furniture like a hutch or dresser, make sure to calculate the width, depth, and height to ensure maximum accuracy. 

Source: JOLIE HOME

Source: JOLIE HOME

-Know what kinds of rollers/brushes you need: If your wall has a very thick texture, you will need a different roller than you would with a more flat or smooth texture. Your roller and brush choices make a huge difference in the appearance of your finished product, and choosing the right ones can even save you money because you will waste less paint. This tutorial on how to choose the right tools is extremely helpful


-Prepare your surface: If you are painting something like a cabinet or a laminate material, you will need to prep your surface. Jolie paint sticks to most items without sanding or prepwork, but it’s important to clean and prepare any surface you are painting, even if it’s just lightly cleaning and drying the area. Always test what you are painting in a small area that is inconspicuous. Another great thing about the paint is it works for both indoor and outdoor projects! You can read all about the FAQ’s on the Jolie website HERE


-Properly ventilate: It’s really important to make sure you have enough airflow and breathability when you are painting any area or item. Although Jolie paint is non-toxic and is also food-safe and baby safe after 14 days of drying, we recommend working in a well-ventilated area and always practicing safety first. Jolie paint is very low-odor, so there should be minimal noticeability, even right after painting. 

We are happy to answer any questions about the shades and types of paint we carry, and we would love to help you tackle you next big project!




Back to School Organizing

Most of us here in Southern Oregon are preparing to send our little (or not so little) ones back to school, and I for one cannot wait. While I am always sad to see my kiddos head back and end the sweetness of our summer season as a family, I love getting organized and prepared for a successful school year. In fact, preparing and organizing is one thing that makes our year smooth and fun, and prevents me from having a mommy meltdown as we transition back into schedules and routines. Here are some of the things that I do to get ready for that big day back:

Source: pexels.com

Source: pexels.com

-Order new backpacks and lunch bags: Pottery Barn also has some gorgeous options for little ones, that you can even add their name to or personalize with their initials. If you have tiny ones, I love this cute little unicorn print for something happy and energetic. But for older ones, Amazon has some wonderful and affordable options that are sturdy and also qualify for Amazon Prime and arrive at your doorstep in just a few days. This pretty floral lunch bag is great for preteens or teens, and this one is a great, neutral stripe set the comes with a backpack and a lunch bag! I always try to order them with a week or so to spare, in case they aren’t quite right or they don’t fit my children when they arrive.

-Order the little things: pencil boxes, ice packs, water bottles, and bento boxes are all things that go with those adorable lunch bags and backpacks, and it’s important to label them with their names! You’d be surprised how easily that helps us keep track of the many different items for each child, and I keep a permanent marker in the kitchen for labeling everything. Some mamas I know color code everything with a different color for each kid, and that is a great system too, if your littles like a certain shade (ie: all pink items for one child, all blue for another) It’s always a great system if you have preschoolers or toddlers who can’t read yet. TJ Maxx and Marshalls have tons of these basics in their kitchen sections, for really inexpensive prices.

-Organize the mudroom or hallway: Wherever you tend to group shoes or backpacks can become your command center. I organize our mudroom in our home so that it’s simple to get out the door in the mornings. I use galvanized metal buckets for sports gear like knee pads and jerseys, and sturdy hooks for backpacks, purses, or other hanging items. I also lay out shoes and outfits in advance, when possible. We try to prepare everything the night before, because there is nothing worse than scrambling to find an uniform or missing shoe as we are getting into the car, trust me!

-Coordinate with all the members of the family: Whether you use a whiteboard calendar, or your smartphones, it’s great to have a family meeting before the school year begins. It can really surprise you when the school year gets rolling and you realize that you have double booked days or times, and people need transportation. Laying it all out before the year gets started will prevent misunderstandings and frustrations, especially if you are a working parent. It can also help kids to see the things they’re signed up for and involved in, and how to prevent burnout by not adding anything extra as you adjust to a busy schedule and homework, etc. I also recommend planning a few basic meals (lasagna, healthy soups in the crock pot, sub sandwiches, or easy things like a cheese and meat charcuterie board), and eliminating any extraneous parties or events for the first week..little ones are often very tired from the “newness” and they may need additional sleep. 

Want to book an event with us?

Our family farm is one of our favorite places to be, and we are so excited to be opening up our cottage to the public as a rental! No matter what kind of occasion you are needing a space for, we can’t wait to watch you make memories with us here at Sweet Rose Farm. We have been hard at work curating the perfect space for you and your loved ones. Here are just some of the things we hope it’s used for…

-AirBnB: If you or your family members are looking for a peaceful and cozy place to call home for a stay, this is the place for you. Our beautiful rental can accommodate up to six guests, which makes it ideal for small gatherings, or to spoil family members who are here for events like weddings or family reunions. We give attention to the smallest details to make your stay relaxing and stress-free. If you are local, consider using the AirBnB just to sneak away with your spouse for a mini-getaway! 

-Weddings: We will be opening our beautiful space for weddings, and our sweet cottage will be available for brides who book with us. The bridal party will feel pampered and peaceful as they prepare for such a big occasion. It’s the perfect space to hide away before your guests arrive, and truly savor your incredible wedding day. 

-Boudoir and photoshoots: Soon, our stunning property will be available for booking if you are a photographer. That means you can host mini sessions or marathon boudoir shoots, which will make your clients feel at-ease in a private and lovely setting. Boudoir sessions will have the unique aspect of privacy as well as the amazing beauty a farm will offer. We will also be offering availability for photographers who wish to utilize the setting for business branding photoshoots. 

-Education and Classes: If you’re wanting a place to teach or hone your craft, consider bringing your students to a class on the farm! It’s ideal for cooking classes, writer’s workshops, arts and crafts workshops, floral arranging classes, and more. Our space will be available for rental, and you can teach to your heart’s content. What better place to clear your head and explore your creative side?

For more booking information, click HERE. (All images by Betsy Blue Photography)

Turning Summer Days into Memories

It’s no secret that I LOVE summer (see our last blog here for some top notch ideas), but as a busy mom, it can be challenging to slow down and make the most of every day during a hectic season. I have found when I am more intentional about making memories with my family, and I carve out time to be together,  things flow more smoothly. Making memories can be something that we put pressure on ourselves to do, when we should just allow time to simply be together! That’s often all our children want. Over the years, I have learned it’s less about manufactured “activities” all the time, and simply about letting my kids lead and keeping things simple. We are finding joy more and more because of this mindset shift! On our farm, we enjoy some of these simple, easy evenings when the weather gets warm:

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-Long walks: Not only are these good for you, they are a great way to bond with your spouse or children. Especially since we have had a smoke-free southern oregon summer this year, walking is one of our favorite ways to spend an evening.

-Lawn movie nights: You don’t have to get too fancy with these, but you can do a projector with your favorite family flick, and add popcorn and some delicious snacks (you can find “movie theater boxes” at the dollar store, and they won’t break the bank). 

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-Pond fishing and picnics: Although we have easy access to pretty spots from our personal property, there are plenty of options all over our region of Oregon that are just right for a little summer picnic! We recommend bringing along crackers, cheese, fruit, and salami for an effortless and easy meal (and no dishes!).

-Flower picking for beautiful bouquets: There is nothing sweeter than simple little flower crowns. You can make them with daisies, or little tiny clover flowers, and even bring along green floral wire if you have any. 

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All images courtesy Sharon Westergard Photography

Endless Summer Nights 

…And so it begins; my favorite season! Summer! I am such a lover of the sunshine, the cooler, long evenings, and all the things that accompany this unique time of year. Here in my corner of the world (Oregon), we have distinct seasons, but many of them entail…rain. So, when summer rolls around, we are always pretty excited! Here are some of our favorite summer highlight

-Making a fresh peach crisp: I think my mouth is watering just thinking of a fresh crisp! There’s nothing like warm, baked fruit topped with a tasty sugar and oat crumble, and it’s so easy, you really can’t mess it up. If you’ve never made one, you can start with this super easy recipe from AllRecipes, that comes together in just a few minutes. You can throw in some extras like walnuts or almonds to dress it up a little, but all it really needs is some ice cream or fresh whipped cream. We love to use peaches from our personal trees, or ones we buy at our local farmer’s market for the very best results! 

-If peaches aren’t your thing, try some easy berry parfaits (yes, even kiddos will eat this healthy and yummy treat!). Start with a base of Organic Straus Vanilla Yogurt, which you can find online and also at our local Co-op here in Southern Oregon, and top it with homemade or store bought granola and fresh berries. It’s super easy to throw it together, and it’s yummy enough for a healthy breakfast, or even a light dessert after a family barbecue. 

Source: Pexels.com

Source: Pexels.com

-Breezy linens: There’s nothing better than changing out my linens from those cozy fleece and flannels to light and crisp linen and cotton sheets and bed coverings. If you are searching out something affordable to change over to, you can check out this set from Target. It’s from Joanna Gaines’ line Hearth and Hand, and they come in several pretty and simple hues. They are also affordable enough for a guest room or a bed that isn’t as used. If you’re ready to invest in sheets for your master bedroom or your family’s rooms, try Brooklinen, which have a generous guarantee, and are well worth the investment. For the perfect bedroom aesthetic, add in a few blossoms in vases to give a pretty scent (we love David Austin roses and Orange Blossoms, for starters!)

Source: Pexels.com

Source: Pexels.com

-Summer wardrobe: NOTHING beats Free People for the best boho summer pieces. Although it’s on the pricier end, we like their basics, because they last and last. We recommend their long maxi dresses, and their distressed blue jean shorts. Try this gorgeous Saltwater Maxi dress, that’s under $100 and so lightweight and lovely. If you’re wanting something a bit more unexpected, check out a linen romper layered over a bralette or light tee. Lastly, these distressed shorts are under $70 and will take any old band tee or vintage tank to something a bit more fashionable. 

Happy summer!




A New Season!

It’s hard to believe, but Spring has come to a close. Between vacationing in England and France, and working on our family farm, this season in our lives has flown by. While our travel time was absolutely dreamy, it’s always nice to be home. When the seasons change, I typically change over decor and inspiration in our personal spaces as well, and this warm weather has me feeling extra inspired. Here’s a few things I’ve been up to…

Photo- betsy blue photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Roses-David Austin Cake-Mrs. Cards Cakes Decor-Allure with Decor

Photo- betsy blue photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Roses-David Austin Cake-Mrs. Cards Cakes Decor-Allure with Decor

-Pulling weeds to no end in my gardens: I recently found a helpful article by HGTV that gave me some tips for making this dreaded chore go faster. With our expansive land and garden spaces, there are plenty of weeds to keep me busy! My favorite new tips: to place mulch over areas where there is a lot of blank spaces for weeds to grow and expand, and to carry a mini trowel with a triangular head to really dig out the small weeds before they can spread their seeds!

-Fending off hawks and trimming roses: I definitely find one of these tasks more inviting than the other (I think it’s pretty obvious which one!). We have found hawks trying to prey on our beloved chickens, and one almost got to my favorite, Rosie. I like tending to my heirloom roses much better than trying to ward off the wildlife, and carefully prune them to make sure they grow strong and healthy. 

Photo-Sharon Westergard Photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Pillow Covers-Allure with Decor

Photo-Sharon Westergard Photography Venue-Sweet Rose Farm Pillow Covers-Allure with Decor

-Changing over my home decor to something lighter: I love things light and bright, especially as the weather gets warmer, and I’ve also added small vases of pink roses to all my tablescapes. I love having access to so many pretty blooms, right outside my own door. I have added in Jolie Marche pillows (we now carry these gorgeous accents) in pretty hues of pink and blue to coordinate and help things feel very cohesive and pulled together. After all, the best inspiration is always found in nature itself. And as a final finishing touch, I have added citrus scented candles. I love finding organic ones, as I am pretty picky about what I bring into my home and around my family, and this one fits the bill perfectly. 

Image: Jolie Marche

Image: Jolie Marche

Why to Have an Interior Design Budget (and stick to it!)

The word “budget” is one I heard frequently, and usually it’s used in negative terms, but it can truly be a positive idea. Having a budget is something that can eliminate stress, negate conflict in marriages, and keep you on track to meet your financial goals. It can also help anyone you hire, such as an interior designer (like me!), and can really give a clear picture of what you’re wanting and what’s realistic. Without a budget, these things are hard to gauge. Here are five reasons to make and keep your design parameters:

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Know what you’re really working with: Sometimes, a client doesn’t realize how much something truly costs. They may under or overestimate a piece of furniture or even how much paint they will need, and it can skew their perception of how much they have to work with. This isn’t their fault, because it isn’t their field of expertise, but it makes it harder for me to help execute their dreams without a clear financial boundary. Having a budget means we won’t get to the end of a project, and run out of finances.

A budget makes sure your true priorities are reached: If you have a major goal of getting a new couch, and then using the rest of the funds to decorate around it, then a budget makes sure you get that couch, and don’t run out before you find the right one. A clear budget lets you or your designer know what you truly MUST have, and how to allocate the funds appropriately.

A clear cut budget also allows to obstacles to come up: If we hit a major snag in your design, such as a structural problem or an emergency, a clear budget will allow for issues and obstacles, and it won’t be a huge crisis to your pocketbook. It’s always great for clients to have a little wiggle room with their finances, and it helps anyone you hire to make sure everything gets taken care of. Sometimes a client also discovers that they don’t love an aspect, or that they want something more pricy than they originally thought, and a budget lets you make those changes without much stress. 

Sticking to your budget won’t derail your long term financial plans: If you are currently trying to fund a large remodel, or you are saving up for a purchase (or just making a nest egg), sticking to your budget will help you breathe a little easier, and can get you one step closer to where you hope to be. It also cuts out the stress of loading everything onto a credit card with high interest, or taking out loans you know you cannot afford. You can rest easy when your design project is done, whether you hire someone or DIY, and know that you stuck to the amount you had available!

How to Define Your Design Style

With the rise of social media, design styles are all around us, almost all the time! It’s a different age for both interior designers and people designing their own homes. It can seem overwhelming to truly understand and know your own personal style, when you are shifted by the whims of your feed, but it’s so important. Knowing your personal design style shapes your buying habits, the feel of your home, and the way it makes you feel. It affects our loved ones and the way they feel when they walk into our home. It’s special and unique. Here’s a few ways to figure out what your personal style is, and how to hone it:

Source: Ballard Designs on Pinterest

Source: Ballard Designs on Pinterest

-Cruise the aisles of your nearest home store, and see what draws your eye: Sometimes, when you shop, you find out that what you thought you loved isn’t what continually draws you in. If you can, accumulate the things you love into one cart, and snap a photo. It can help you make an inspiration board or mood board, and can solidify the look you are going for. 

-Look at where you draw inspiration from: Do you love interior design magazines? Do you enjoy putting together boards on Pinterest? Do you find awe inspiring ideas when you’re in nature (hiking or walking)? These can help guide your design choices, whether they are bold, earthy, or bohemian. Oftentimes, your wardrobe reflects a little bit of your personal taste as well. People who love neutral clothing and staple pieces often also love a minimalist and stripped down design style. Those willing to take more risks usually reflect this in their wardrobe and their home.

-Think about what your home or space is used for: If you want a very cozy feel, with warmth and texture, then a farmhouse aesthetic is likely what you will gravitate to (or least elements of it). If you love entertaining and enjoy modern flair, you may love wide open spaces with accents like marble and gold. It also helps to take into consideration that your taste can change over time. If you have little ones at home, your style may reflect an easier, simpler version of your personal tastes, simply because of the utility of your needs. In ten years from now, you may be able to incorporate things you aren’t able to yet. 

Pinterest via Serena and Lilly

Pinterest via Serena and Lilly

-Start with anchor pieces, and work your way out: If you love kitschy items, and you buy a huge gold pineapple at Home Goods, you may have trouble building a room around it. It’s more ideal to start with a beautiful piece of furniture, like a couch or bed, in order to get a clearer picture and prevent yourself from ending up with tons of small, stylish pieces that have no cohesive element. Always start with a color palette, or anchor pieces of furniture in order to solidify your style. 

Fresh and New for Easter! Springtime Tablescape

Here at our family’s little farm, it feels like Easter year-round! I love it, because Easter and springtime always make me think of changes, and of new-ness. I love that the flowers are all beginning to bud, and the grass gets tall enough to hide those sweet little pastel eggs that the chickens are just beginning to lay. I find that my springtime inspiration creeps into my decor and purchases, as well. As you well know, a beautifully set table is something I am passionate about. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it makes me feel accomplished and inspired. I wanted to break down how I set a welcoming springtime table today!

Source: Rooms for Rent via Pinterest

Source: Rooms for Rent via Pinterest

-Start with a base layer:  Whether you have a butcher block style table, or one that you enjoy laying down a tablecloth on, start with a clean, uncluttered table. Clear everything off of it, and polish it if necessary. Don’t forget to wipe off any furniture polish with a clean cloth and buff a a wooden table down so your guests don’t get a sleeve of oily polish! If you’re using a tablecloth, always opt for a pretty neutral (taupe, white, cream). 

-Add some height: I like the idea of varied heights in order to draw the eye around the table. Of course, try not to add too many items, because you’ll need room for people to pass food around or place large dishes on the table for serving. If you have too many large centerpieces, it can feel cluttered and not relaxing. Some ideas for taller pieces would be wooden candleholders, glass cloches, or potted plants on tiered stands.

-It’s time for the dishes! I recommend that everyone own one set of quality, neutral dishes. Whether you choose white, taupe, or another simple tone, pretty dishes will be something you use for years and years to come. If they’re well-made, they may stay around for generations to enjoy, so make sure you buy plenty of place settings as your family grows. Decide what’s needed based on your meal and add soup bowls or salad plates accordingly. I also recommend some plain drinking glasses or Champagne flutes, depending on your audience!

-Add your personal touch: I love fresh greenery on a lovely brunch tablescape, and there are many ways to incorporate it into your place settings. Consider hand-calligraphies place-cards, little sprigs of rosemary or other fresh herbs, or mini greenery wreaths at each place setting. Little strips of burlap can be maneuvered into silverware rings for a rustic and classic farmhouse look, and you can also tuck little sprigs of greenery into those. 

Now, your table is ready for your guests! Happy Easter!

Welcome Spring!

Spring is always a time of personal inspiration for me. The fruit trees are just beginning to blossom, and I spy bold tulips sprouting up. I have been outside, elbow deep in the dirt, trimming my roses and also soaking up some much-needed sunshine! I wanted to share some of the things that I have my eye on, and that are inspiring me in this bright and cheery season:

-I am obsessed with all things blue and woven right now! I spotted these basket pendant lights at the Surf Rider Hotel recently in Malibu, and fell right in love. I love the beach vibe, and the simplicity of the design. You may also enjoy the whole gallery of the beautiful hotel, which you can find HERE!

Source: Surfrider Hotel Gallery

Source: Surfrider Hotel Gallery

-Everything blue: I am loving the blue-grey tones and the dusty blue colors that have found their way into the spring Pottery Barn and Anthro catalogs. This is a gorgeous new rug that I spotted at Anthropologie, and it’s an indoor/outdoor one that would be perfect for a patio space. 

-The Serena and Lily wallpapers come all so many gorgeous prints and textures, and I have begun dreaming up where I might include them! Here are some of my favorites: 

Priano Wallpaper 

Wentworth Wallpaper 

Fairfax Wallpaper 

Source: Jolie Paint Inspirations

Source: Jolie Paint Inspirations

-Blue is also a great color to paint a piece of furniture to freshen it up, like a dresser or a table base. My favorite type of paint is Jolie paint, which is known for it’s beautiful and lasting pigment. They are priced similarly to other matte paint brands, and they are well worth it for the finishes and quality that truly last for years! Their French blue and Slate colors would be a perfect addition to any refinish work. 

-The last way that I invite Spring into the home is with pretty baskets! Not only can they be used to organize papers and hide clutter, they can also group together pretty pieces like mason jars and florals/greens (I buy mine at Trader Joes), and decorate a countertop or island space .

Surviving the Winter Blues | Color and Inspiration

Are you feeling like the winter blues are setting in? In our little corner of Oregon, it’s been pretty rainy and snowy. The cold and dreary temperatures always make me feel ready to clean and organize everything with light and airy colors. I’ve found the bright and crisp tones help brighten my mood and my family’s space. Here are some of the colors that I love for giving any room a facelift…they are dependable and always fresh!

Pretty blues and crisp whites are always a beautiful combination that brings a ton of light to any room, whether it’s a bathroom, kitchen or family room. You can weave bright blues and whites into throw blankets, pillows, and towels for even more impact. I also love bringing in clean and pretty storage solutions. There seems to be an influx of “stuff” after the holidays, and it’s so nice to find clever ways to organize and store things to make daily life a little more streamlined. The space below is a little more modern and minimalistic than my personal, typical style, but it’s sure pretty and relaxing!

Source

Source

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This chic, rustic farmhouse hutch is also very pretty and a little more charming. The bright white is tempered with some bright greens, and a little bit of grey. While it’s a little more grounded, it’s just as lovely and holds lots of inspiration for  break from the winter blues! It is also something that is extremely practical, and can hold items like dishes, decor, or extra seasonal florals that you don’t have space for in linen closets!

Decorating for Christmas | Style and Inspiration

I haul out my Christmas decorations in November! I know, I know...it’s early. But my family and I absolutely love Christmas, and we love the feel our home has when it’s decorated for the holidays. As far as we are concerned, it’s never too early to get the holiday ambience going! I’m sharing some of my favorite pieces today here on the blog, ones that you can get in store right now! Some of my personal pieces are ones I’ve had for years and they aren’t available any more, but these would be the perfect addition or beginning to a Christmas collection and a very stylish, cozy home!

Image: Pottery Barn

Image: Pottery Barn

These wintery, textured stockings are at Pottery Barn, and you can add custom embroidery to each of them. I love the stockings from PB, because they last for years and years, and can become an heirloom item that can be passed down to generations. I love their mantle inspiration, with plenty of rustic wood, greenery (a-la-Joanna-Gaines), and industrial metal. They are the perfect look!

Image: Pottery Barn

Image: Pottery Barn

These vintage inspired ornaments are so beautiful, and add just a touch of charm to your tree. You could even add them to a glass cloche or another display item for the most perfect little arrangement or tablescape. I also loved these mercury glass ornaments and the way they gently shimmer without being too sparkly.  

If you’re short on time, adding just a few key pieces can add a ton of warmth and beauty to any space. I always love a few warm, textured throws like this one, oversized throw pillows in seasonal colors, and of course, a warm, scented candle to set the mood! You don’t have to go overboard and spend a ton of money, especially if you already have large, neutral items in your home like a mantle, fireplace, sofa table, or counter top. We love the gorgeous look below as well, from West Elm..it’s simple and sweet. 

Image: West Elm Catalog

Image: West Elm Catalog

Handy Guide to Hanging Decor on the Wall

We have all done what I call “eyeballing”…enthusiastically hammering nails into bare walls without measuring, only to discover the item was in the wrong spot, the hanger on the back was in the wrong area, or it’s too low or high on the wall. But who has time to sit and painstakingly measure every bit of photos or artwork? Today, we are sharing our handy tips to hang your beloved photos and art on the wall, without losing your mind!

-Know where it should be: Artwork and decor should ideally be at eye level for the average adult. Many people place their art and decorations much higher, especially with high ceilings, which ends up looking awkward and disproportionate. The bottom of most artwork shouldn’t be much higher than four feet away from the ground.

-Do a trial run: You can test out where you may want to hang a picture or artwork by using sticky, removable adhesive or the removable 3M hangers to see if it’s right. This is much less permanent than a nail and can be moved around until you are happy with it. Mark the top of your frame or item with a pencil that can be erased.

-Measure: Yes, you do have to measure. We recommend measuring the top to bottom and the left to right on the wall or space you are hanging on, to find the center. Mark lightly with a pencil. Most importantly, measure the distance from the top of the frame to your hanger, if there is one on the back. This will ensure that you are not one or two inches off the top of the measurement. If you have two hangers on the back, measure to find the center and both edges so that they are equal.

-Ask a helper to hold it on the wall before you hammer! If you can find someone to hold up the photo or artwork on the wall where you intend to hang it, then you can step backwards and make sure it looks right from all angles. Walk around the room to make sure you can view it accurately and with your other decor. Treat a grouping or a gallery wall as one image, in order to achieve the correct look and impact.

Source: Contemporist

Source: Contemporist

Best of Amazon Holiday Decor

If you’re anything like me, you’ve discovered the benefits of Amazon prime! The one-stop shop even allows you to set up monthly deliveries of things like detergent or groceries, and you can basically knock out all your christmas shopping in one sitting with your smart phone! Amazon has grown and grown to include everything from organic products to inexpensive party supplies, and you can always snag a good book or two! Best of all, prime members get their purchases in just two days. But one area that is often overlooked with Amazon, is the home decor selection. They have the most amazing decor items, at super affordable prices! Here are my picks for holiday decor that will arrive quickly to your home, and look like you spent hours searching it out at expensive department stores!

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-Christmas Tree Pillow: this high-end looking pillow is under $10, and has free prime shipping! The cute print and little truck/tree design is perfect for any farmhouse inspired decor scheme, and best of all, it is 18x18 and slips right over your existing pillows as a slipcover. This means you can save space and utilize what you already own. Find it HERE.

-Rustic farmhouse sign: This is a great price, and looks adorable. It is really well made and is under $70, which is pretty affordable for a large sign. It also comes with two hooks for easy hanging and decorating, and looks good with any color theme, because it is such a pretty neutral. At 18x24”, it is large enough to make a big impact on your christmas decorating! Find it HERE.

-Plain burlap stockings: These are somewhat on the thin side, but they accent your existing decor really well, and they are just $12 for three stockings! They look great in front of a fireplace or hanging on a mantel, or you can fill them up and give them as gifts to teachers or friends. They are like a blank canvas, since they are just a simple tan and white design! Find them HERE.


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-Large christmas wreath: Wreaths can be quite expensive, and many are gaudy. This pretty, flocked artificial wreath is the best idea for your front door or even inside your home, layered on a big mirror or windowpane. It’s also filled with enough neutral greens and whites that you could use it year-round or add a little sparkle with added ornaments. It’s a bit spendy at $53, but pretty comparable to any other type of wreath you may find at Target or Home Goods. It’s available HERE.

As you can see, Amazon has tons of pretty christmas items, that are all affordable! Best of all, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own couch to find them!

Setting Your Thanksgiving Table

Setting your table for the holidays is so important. It might seem like a small detail, but the table (like the kitchen) can be the heart of the home. Especially during the holidays, meals and gatherings play a huge role in building community and hospitality, and we believe they can be an expression of your personal style, too! We are busy dreaming up our holiday tablescapes around here, and wanted to share our favorite pieces to inspire you. 

Photo: Pottery Barn

Photo: Pottery Barn

The Leila dishes from Pottery Barn caught our eye this season, because of their blend of sophistication and rustic elegance. They have a hand-applied glaze, and they look stunning paired with copper accents and natural wood pieces. Don’t forget the basic pieces you’ll need for a table setting, including matching flatware, and plenty of linens. You can forego a tablecloth if you want a more rustic look, but a pretty burgundy or mustard looks beautiful for Thanksgiving or harvest dinners. We also love the Scarlett dishes, which have a subtle and elegant grey/blue pattern. I’d pair these with shimmering silver accents and flatware for a dressier event. 

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Marble is not only beautiful, but the new pieces from Williams Sonoma also are functional. You can find their whole collection of serving trays and cutting boards HERE, and they look gorgeous against colors like navy and gold for an unexpected pairing. If your wallet can’t quite handle the Williams Sonoma price tags, Target came out with a similar collection, and most of their pieces are under $50. Their pieces are a great way to begin introducing marble into your decor at an affordable price. This beautiful tray is just $19.99, and would look perfect for your next cheese and wine appetizer.  

Stay right here on our blog for the latest style news and tips, and how to incorporate them into your everyday life and home! Ar you having a large party or event this holiday season? Allure with Decor offers personalized styling and event decor,  in addition to interior design. Let us know via our CONTACT page if you would like to book your event today.  Hurry, as holiday schedules fill quickly!

How to find the Perfect Candle Scent

I don’t know about you, but finding the perfect candle scent is one of my favorite things in life! That perfect scent can make your home feel so cozy, and can make you think of home instantly when you smell it. When the leaves start changing, I always love to add candles to my home decor, and then when the holidays come, my living spaces smell warm and inviting. How do you find that perfect scent? Here are out best tips!

Source: Yankee Candle

Source: Yankee Candle

Consider where you’ll be using the candle: A candle for a large living room would be quite different than one for a tiny office or bedroom. Always consider the fire hazard in small spaces, and if it seems like burning a candle might be dangerous, use an alternative such as diffuser sticks, essential oils, or plug in scent warmers. Obviously, do not burn candles in children’s rooms where they could be tipped over or forgotten. A lightly scented, very small candle will do next to nothing in a large area with vaulted ceilings, and a huge, heavily scented three wick one will overwhelm a tiny space.

Know what scents you are drawn to: Many people feb strongly about their perfume or cologne, and will often choose similar scented candles. I personally know that heavily scented vanilla candles can give me a headache if I burn it too long, but I love a lightly spiced scent like cloves and cinnamon for my house for a holiday-esque feel. Whether you choose fruity, spicy, strong, or mild, knowing what you want is very helpful.

Buy candles from reputable sources when you can: Of course, we have all picked up a great candle at TJ Maxx or a discount retailer, but what often happens is we cannot find the scent again! Sometimes, they are discounted, or even from past seasons, so they can be old and not as scented. We love Yankee Candle, Woodwick (for a crackling effect) which is perfect in the winter), and Bath and Body Works. Plus, you’ll be more likely to find the same scent over and over as you use it for lengths of time.

-Check out candles from Anthropologie: One of Anthro’s lesser known points is their fragrance lines. We love their many types and brands of perfume, but they also carry candles. We adore the Tocca line and the Volcano candle that’s pretty famous among fashion bloggers for it’s beautiful, luxury look and light fruity scent. I enjoy burning it in the kitchen or bathrooms when guests arrive, because it’s uplifting and not heavy.

-Take care of the candles you have: Don’t leave them in a hot car or outside on the porch (if you order online). Carefully trim your candles according to the instructions they come with, and don’t burn them longer than indicated on their packaging. This will increase how long they last for you, and will ensure you get the most for your money, especially for the pricy candles that you want to maximize!

It’s now just about fall here in Southern Oregon, and I can’t wait to bring out my personal candle collection to welcome in my guests and family! What’s your favorite candle scent?

Five Things We Love About Fall

When you think about making a list of things to love about Autumn, well, that list can get pretty long! It’s one of my favorite seasons, mostly because it feels so…cozy! Everything from blanket scarves to lattes, to the changing leaves and the tones of red and orange that are around, make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. They inspire me to make my home a place of comfort, and of physical and emotional warmth. Here are five things I just love about this season, especially in gorgeous Southern Oregon!

-The colors: Decor often echoes nature, and fall decor is no exception. I love the golden pumpkins, cranberries, and sparkle of gold as I prepare for fall. And although you know I love neutrals with a passion, I also love the fun and happy hues that arrive with the changing leaves. For another take on things, try a cream and sage green theme for something a little different, that also looks beautiful in the farmhouse aesthetic if warm tones aren’t your thing.

Source: Finding Silver Pennies

Source: Finding Silver Pennies

-The Clothes: Who doesn’t love fall fashion? I especially love dressing in blanket scarves and boots, because it does get chilly here in our part of the country, and I love being able to be outside without worrying about being cold. If you’re looking to add to your fall wardrobe, check out the new collection from Anthropologie! It is on the pricier side, but their fall items are so beautiful and can become classic pieces if you take care of them. While you’re at it, you can always peruse the house items…we won’t tell!

-The Scents: As time creeps closer to the holidays, something I love are all the fall scented candles. I love a good, spicy cinnamon and clove type scent, and burning candles always makes it feel like home, no matter where I am. Try the Bath and Body Works scent called “Leaves”, which is a perfect candle for anywhere in your house…it will really put you in the mood for the season. If candles aren’t for you, consider diffusing an essential oil like Thieves from Young Living to give your house a holiday-esque scent while also killing germs.

Source: Genius Kitchen

Source: Genius Kitchen

-The Food: Ohhhh, you know I love to cook! Spending time with my family around the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes, and baking pumpkin or cinnamon flavored baked goods is another way to make your home smell delightful! Not to mention, you’ll be ready anytime guests come by. Try this recipe for pumpkin bread that will rival Starbucks, or check out a simple Snickerdoodle cookie for an even easier dessert.

-The decorating: Swapping out my summer items for fall decor may not sound like the most fun to you, but I love it! It reminds me to clean and purge out certain pieces, and it keeps me inspired to change up little areas and nooks and crannies in my house. To make it very cozy and welcoming, I plan around things that guests will love, as well as my family…big throw blankets laid across couches and oversized pillows make things picture-perfect for a movie night. A pretty tablescape with pumpkins and candles invites guests into our home for a dinner party with a warm soup and bread buffet. Cookies baking in the oven invite my children to plop down at our counter and share with me about their day!

These are just some of the reasons we love this special season!

Decorating a Room with High Ceilings

If you have a room with a vaulted ceiling, it can feel insurmountable to decorate it correctly. You know I'm always at the ready to work with clients to find the right pieces for their home, but I also wanted to share my best tips for working with vaulted ceilings today. If you're someone on a budget, or who struggles to shop for and acquire the "right" pieces, this one is for you!

-Think about the light: Many homes with vaulted ceilings are also blessed with tall, open windows. This is a big blessing when it comes to decor, because flooding areas with natural light is always a positive! If you decide to add additional lighting (which we recommend), look for large, substantial chandeliers or fixtures that won't be dwarfed. You want something that will make a true impact when dealing with such large areas. 

Source: Homethetics 

Source: Homethetics 

-Add warmth and lots of cozy elements: Long, beautiful drapes in a neutral tone can be just the thing to bring the eye towards the middle of the room and not always to the ceiling. We love the idea of white or cream colored curtains, made of thicker linen or even velvet, if you're feeling adventurous. Drapes tend to look nicest in dining areas or common areas of the home, and can even add actual warmth during the winter (which helps with heating those rooms with high ceilings!). 

-Use the right paint color: White and pretty cream shades are ideal for high ceilings...they work well with natural light, and they act as a neutral palette to decorate in the style you prefer. Black and white with a modern farmhouse appeal is a very popular trend right now, yet is timeless enough to last for years. 

Source: Homethetics

Source: Homethetics

-Choose your anchor pieces wisely: While you may love a shorter lamp, or a a tiny coffee table, these items can easily be drowned by the height of your room. Mix your smaller, less impactful pieces with heftier items like a sturdy wooden lamp, tall plant, or large armoire. Tall pieces should be the ones your eyes go to first (along with your lighting), to make your guests feel the space is "evenly laid out". Don't forget to place artwork at appropriate levels where guests can see them, even if it seems tempting to place them really high on the wall. 

-Add stunning wooden beams to your vaulted ceiling. Beams are one of the best ways to make a strong visual impact in an enormous space. Whether you choose painted or natural wood, be sure to have them professionally installed and tested for weight bearing and stability before planning around them! They add a true bit of country and rustic charm, and look incredibly beautiful in open concept homes.

 

A Beginner's Guide to Indoor Plants

One of Joanna Gaines' best tips is to add greenery throughout your home, to add a bit of whimsy and interest. I love the look that is accomplished by adding plants, they keep things pretty and filled with positive energy. If you aren't a person with a green thumb, so to speak, the thought of adding plants to your home may seem like a ton of work, not to mention a time commitment. We wanted to share some of our ideas for those of us who may be less inclined to have a gardener's heart...Okay, so maybe we have killed a few houseplants on accident! Here is our beginners guide to getting those beauties to stay alive and look gorgeous:

Source: Barely There blog

Source: Barely There blog

-Head to your local nursery and find an expert: While some employees at home decor stores may have a few ideas for you, they may not be plant experts. You will want to find a true nursery to locate plant experts, and if you don't have any locally, try your local 4-H or horticulture branch (which you can find using Google). Ask them which plants are easiest to grow for a beginner, and which grow well in your climate. The Philedendron and Spider Plant are two easy ones that may be a good start. 

-Consider the temperature and humidity of where you want to put the plants: Most houseplants like humidity, and you can achieve this even if your home isn't very humid. Try grouping plants together, and misting them with a spray bottle. You can even add an electric humidifier and run it at night or when you're at work. Try to avoid places where the temperature swings wildly from one extreme to another, such as an attic or basement. 

Source: NW Rugs

Source: NW Rugs

-How to water: When watering, be sure to place a run-off tray under your plants. Avoid filling decorative planters up with water, and "drowning" the plant in several inches of standing water. Don't water with freezing tap water, instead try to room temperature water to prevent "shock" to the roots and stems. Pay attention to the leaves drooping, or the soil becoming too wet, and you will eventually find a rhythm that works for you! If you forget to water at the frequency your plants need, try setting an alarm in your phone or calendar to remind you.

-Take care of them: Pluck off dead pieces and heads of the plants, and rotate them frequently so they can all get adequate light and air. Keep an eye out for harmful diseases by examining leaves and flower petals for dark spots and anything that looks off (like dark, sticky spots or large holes). Also be sure to choose pet-safe plants if you have furry friends that may chew on them or play near them.

With these tips, you will be on your way to becoming a successful houseplant parent! Want more gardening tips? 15 Best Houseplants For Beginners | Balcony Garden Web