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Archive for December, 2010

Guest Blogger {Jenni 20 Designs}

Today Jenni from Jenni 20 Designs is sharing her new home and plans for organizing and displaying her large collection of books! She creates travel accessories and gifts that will help you and your loved ones reduce and reuse! I LOVE LOVE LOVE her laundry bags, super vintage and chic!
Her new packaging is awesome and the products are packaged in biodegradable & compostable clear sleeves. These bags are PLA products which mean they are made from plants! If you don’t have a compost pile, just bury this bag in the back garden. 🙂  Check out her fabulous Etsy Boutique and The Laundry Bag.
Her gorgeous pasport covers were even featured in Lonny Magazine!

There’s little in life that I love more than a good book. Perhaps the only “treasure” in my house I have more of than piles fabric (and dust bunnies) is a collection of books. And that collection does not discriminate: textbooks, notebooks, coffee table books, trashy paperback books, literary elite books, foreign-language books (that I pretend I can read). You name it, I probably have it.
But can I tell you where it is? Perhaps not. I have books in my bedroom, in my closets, in my garage, in my living room, in my sewing/guest room. I’m pretty sure I have some books stacked in my hallway and I know I have even more books in my bedroom at my mother’s house 350 miles away.
I fell in love with my little post-war cottage when I saw it. Its gleaming hardwood floors, “charming” vintage bathroom, refurbished kitchen, and enormous light-infused windows. And I didn’t listen when certain persons reminded me that moving from a 1600 sq-foot duplex rental into a baaaaarely 1000 sq-ft. home might not be the best choice.

But those floors! Those windows!

I bought it. And I parted with boxes and boxes of books. But there are still more.
But I have a dream for those books—and it doesn’t involve adding on a library wing. I just need a little nook. No, not the digital e-reader—anything but that!

Source: Left, Top & Bottom

Although I’d love a bay window with a window seat like I had when I was a little girl, that is not in the cards. But as my amateur telestrator below shows, I could very easily get some bookshelves (either the Ikea variety or if I’m lucky some custom built-ins), hang my beloved red dupioni silk drapes between the shelves to create a little cove, and put a cozy little velveteen-covered chair in the space between. (Pardon the illustration: I’m working with primitive tools here over the Christmas break, folks.)
What décor dreams can you make a reality in the new year?

(I bet there’s even room for my dust bunnies in that setup.)

PS—I’d also like to fill my shelves with these lovelies:

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Travel fabulous

Guest Blogger {The Decorista}



The Decorista

2011 is sure to be a fantastic year! I am so excited about what is to come in the new year for decor.
The magazines are only getting better and blogging has totally revolutionized the way I see decor trends, it’s just fabulous + I can’t get enough of it.
Here are a few trends that I am uber thrilled about for this next season…

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Shop Ten 25’s Top 10

I have been wrapping  up 2010 in The Shop and am preparing  for many new and fabulous pieces in 2011. I though it would be fun to share the TOP 10 pieces in the shop from this past year!   SHOP TEN 25 officially opened in  April 201o as a small online boutique with no more than 200 pieces. We were so blessed and overwhelmed by everyone’s support that we just had to expand! In October 2010 we launched a much bigger, fancier Shop and loaded it with over 1000 gorgeous pieces!

One of my favorite features at The Shop is the GALLERY. It’s a great place to see the pieces from the shop in a real life application.

Take a look at the top 10 selling items from The Shop from 2010! And because you loved them SO MUCH, they are all 20% through Friday January 7th..WHOO HOO!

Stairway to Heaven Print | Barbara Barry Luxe Organizers |  You Are My Sunshine Print | Turquoise China Horse | Rome Gold Rug |  Wood Starburst Mirror | Peabody Mirrored Console | Hyperion Black & White Rug | Faux Malachite Boxes | Brown Zig Zag Pillow

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Guest Blogger {Green Bridge White House}

Today we welcome Kelli from Green Bridge White House Blog!  Kelli is an interior designer in Colorado and recently started her blog to share her work, inspiration and life in Colorado! I think your going to want to add this one to your blog roll!  Thank  you Kelli for this fabulous post! I love your take on the 2011 color of the year, Honeysuckle!

Hey guys! I’m so happy to be over here guest blogging while Abbe is on vacation and today I want to talk color. As you may have heard, Pantone has named Honeysuckle as their color for 2011. I can tell you that personally I love this color; maybe becuase it is very close to the color scheme used on my blog! However, as an interior designer I’m thinking that it could pose some design challenges this year so I thought it would be a good idea to explore how to use this color in two different scenarios.

The first design concept that we are going to explore is using Honeysuckle as an accent color. This is an easy approach when designing a space, create a neutral pallet like this and let the pink really punch out and liven things up. This approach is great when designing for clients who like to have the latest trend or who often like to change their look.

This approach also allows clients to be a part of the latest trend without spending thousands on an entire new living room every year. Paint, pillows, accent rugs, artwork and accessories can be easy to work around with a client who is on a budget so incorporating Honeysuckle in these areas can be a win win! And when the next color trend or season comes, look how easy it is to change the space by changing the accent color?

The second design concept for incorporating Honeysuckle is for that client who wants the latest trend in every way, every day. We see here that Honeysuckle is the main color used but in varying degrees of light and dark. This creates depth and interest without being totally monochromatic and boring. In this design we used Honeysuckle for the wall color but also in the floral print wallpaper. We all know painting a room is a great way to change a look without spending tons of money but making the commitment to wallpaper should be considered a long term investment. Also incorporating Honeysuckle in the main sofa fabric and area rugs makes a big impact on the design of this space and again are investment pieces that should last longer than the season or trend. Accents of honeysuckle are found in the artwork, pillows and accessories to bring the design full circle. There is greater risk involved with this “all in” approach as the design could feel dated in a shorter period of time but with great risk can come great reward. Maybe you would find yourself getting published for such an innovative design and bold use of color!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post today and I please stop by Green Bridge White House anytime!

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Guest Blogger: {Paloma Contreras from High Gloss Magazine}

{One of My Favorite Images from the Upcoming Premiere Issue of High Gloss Magazine}

It may go without saying that the thing I am most looking forward to in 2011 is the official launch of my new digital lifestyle magazine, High Gloss. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of our first issue and to watch it grow and progress over the course of the next 12 months. Deciding to start the magazine, creating an amazing team, and working on the first issue has been a complete leap of faith, an incredible learning experience, and the most fun I’ve had in quite some time. So, what am I looking forward to the most in 2011? Besides sharing High Gloss with our readers and hopefully inspiring them to live as stylishly as possible, this is what tops my list.

1. Working with my Amazing High Gloss Team

{High Gloss Editors Kyle Knight, Shannon Wollack, Paloma Contreras and Art Director, Ashley Steen at Maisonry in Napa- Erin Gates and Lauren Rauter were unable to join us on that trip.}

I’m sure every editor in chief must feel like her team is the best, but I really have the most incredible, talented, passionate team out there. I hand-picked each of the amazing editors on the High Gloss team and while I thought I knew how talented they were when I invited them to join this venture, they have floored me with their creativity and fabulous ideas.

2. Conceptualizing Photo Shoots and Working with Some of the Best Talent in the Business

{Dinner in Napa After a Big Shoot- From Left: Art Director, Ashley Steen, Stylist, Maura Nealon, Editors, Shannon Wollack, Paloma Contreras, Kyle Knight and Stylist, Jennifer Keszler}

One of my favorite things about working on High Gloss has been coming up with the concepts for our stories and being very hands-on at photo shoots. Styling has become one of my favorite things to do and I absolutely love collaborating with our photographers, interior designers, floral designers, etc.

{Working on a photo shoot with the amazing interior designer, Tia Zoldan, stylist, Jennifer Keszler and renowned photographer, Grey Crawford was an experience I will never forget. It was such a surreal, amazing day.}

3. Traveling for High Gloss

{Laguna Beach, California}

I absolutely love to travel. It is my favorite thing in the world, so the fact that being the editor in chief of High Gloss requires me to travel quite a bit is just the icing on the cake. Within a period of three weeks, I visited both Southern and Northern California. We have a lot of exciting shoots planned for 2011, so naturally, it will be a year filled with travel. I’m also hoping that my husband and I will be able to return to London and Paris in 2011. He has been so incredibly supportive and I would have never started High Gloss without his unconditional support. I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband!

{St. Helena, California}

Thank you for having me today, Abbe! I hope that 2011 is a wonderful year for everyone!

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Guest Blogger: {Chic Modern Vintage}

Hello everyone, I’m Tonia from Chic Modern Vintage. I’ve been asked only a handful of times to be a guest on someone’s blog, and each time I’m surprised like it’s the first time. Thanks, Abbe for having me fill in for you while your relaxing over the holidays. You asked a really hard question and a great question.  What am I looking forward to most in 2011?” Here are a few things that I’ll looking forward to working on in the new year.
My two children are no longer little and can take care of themselves, as a matter of fact my oldest has his own apartment, but they still look for a home cooked meal on a regular basis.  I intend to make cooking more at home a top priority.
My home was built in the 50s therefore I’m short on storage space, yet I have so many clothes, shoes and other things. To top it off, I’m not as organized as I could be. I’ve already started the process of purging things I am not using or have not used in the past 6 months to a year by donating my reusable items to local charities.
I am a big procrastinator. There are several projects I’ve purchased materials for but the project has yet to get done. Something comes up and I put it off. I intend to create a “punch list” of things that need to be done in each room and set a timeframe to have them completed.
In the past, I’ve spent tons of money on things that I really didn’t need. I thought I would use these things in some way at a later date only to have it take up space in my home. I’ve realized that buying something just because it’s $1.00 doesn’t make sense. Dollars add up. Since I’ve started my organization process {see #2} I totaled  all  the items I’ve given away or donated and it has added up to quite a bit. Let’s just say I could have fed plenty of hungry people. If I don’t need it. I’m not buying it.
I’m a big thrift shopper especially with furniture and decor items.  Yes, I enjoy new things too but I always check with my local thrift stores before-hand. You never know what you might find.  I’ve saved money on certain things by doing this. However, I’ve gotten carried away plenty of time too. {see 2 } When you find such great things at great prices you tend to buy things that you personally don’t need {see #4} I’m learning to control that urge.
Notice how things effect each other? I’ve only noted 5 things that I want to work on for the new year, and they all have something to do with each other. If you work on one thing you could end up working on something else you’d like to work on at the same time. Who knows?
Abbe thank you again for having me. I hope that these small things that I look forward to working on in the new year will inspire someone else to take baby steps to change things they need to. We’re all a work in progress.  Well wishes to everyone in the new year and attempt to accomplish something that you didn’t last year.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Guest Blogger: {Shoebox Decor}

I’ve shut down the Studio this week to spend time with my family and to prepare for the year ahead.  While I am out, I thought it would be nice to have guest bloggers instead of leaving the blog on vacation as well.  I have lined up 6 days of guest bloggers and the topic I asked them to focus on is: What are you most looking forward to for 2011?  The bloggers can focus on design, color, style or personal topics. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. Enjoy and I’ll see back here January 3rd!

So today we start the guest blogger series and are excited to welcome Typhanie from SHOEBOX DECOR!   Shoebox Decor is full of great how-to’s, design inspiration and easy ways to implement affordable style in your home without breaking the bank!

Three Top Trends of 2011

Here are three trends in design that I’m looking forward to in 2011. They are in no particular order except for number one because I think vintage is always in style.

1. Vintage: As we all know we are still in a bit of a recession so feel free to pull out your grandmothers’ hand me down wingback chair and turn that neglected baby into a one of a kind show stopper. I love redoing vintage furniture because you can create something very unique on a very small budget. Whether it’s sanding and painting a Goodwill desk or reupholstering a craigslist find, redesigning vintage pieces will be a staple in 2011. I suggest picking up “TheFind” by Stan Williams to boost your inspiration in the New Year.

(Small Space Tip: Use rugs with bold colors or patterns to define and anchor your rooms.)

2. Honeysuckle: Remember when pink was a standard not a question? Well thanks to Pantone this will be true again. The Barbie in me was so excited when they announced Honeysuckle as the 2011 color of the year. You just don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use pink any and every where I can. The sad thing is, in design this color should be used cautiously and sporadically. A hint of pink on the walls, accent pillows or an area rug will do the trick. Avoid the desire to go full Barbie Dream House if you can. This is especially true if decorating for both sexes. The man in your life may not quite understand if he comes home to Honeysuckle Striped Walls.

(Small Space Tip: Make the largest wall in your small space an accent wall and your home will look a great deal bigger)

3. Wallpaper: Paint or wallpaper is always a big question for home owners when redesigning. With great new geometric patterns and vibrant colors on the market wallpaper will be making a comeback for home owners in 2011. I know there are a number of factors that go into making that decision but if price and maintenance aren’t an issue then bring out the rolls and plaster. To add more drama to your home (drama is always in style) choose wallpaper that has texture, beading, or even sequins. I myself am a big fan of linen paintable wallpaper and expect to see a lot more of it in 2011.

(Small Space Tip: Use a combo of wallpaper and paint to define the different rooms in your home.)

Well those are my top three trends for 2011. I hope you enjoy them but most of all I hope you enjoy redesigning your home in the coming New Year. If you would like more small space tips and DIY projects make sure to check out Shoebox Décor…Happy New Year Everyone!

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Modern Gingerbread

I love the look of a homemade gingerbread house!  But, I have never seen one that has a modern updated look in a store. They are always the standard cottage with gumdrop and peppermint accents. I’m not complaining, I love the traditional gingerbread house but how awesome are these?  I think I will have to make a custom gingerbread house next year!

Image Via: Kristina Hahn Atelier

Image Via: Flicker

Image Via: Apartment Therapy

This house is so awesome! It doesn’t even look like gingerbread.

Image Via: Interior Warrior

Image Via: Red Envelope

Image Via: Stacy Kelley

Image  Via: Bliss Tree

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Merry Christmas

Thank you for supporting my blog in 2010. Your comments, kuddos & loyalty have kept me going this past year and I am looking forward to a great 2011 with you all!   Merry Christmas.

With Love,


{Part Two} The 2010 Home For The Holidays Dining Room

Yesterday I posted details on the lounge are in the Home For The Holidays Dining Room. So today, I wanted to share the details of the actual dining area and it’s Christmas decorations.

The dining table was the most challenging piece for me to finalize in the room. The two tables that I had my eye on were the only models in the showroom so I was not able to bring them down to the Holiday House. BUT, the sweet guys at The Platt Collections made it happen.  This Vintage Collection table screams Hollywood Glam and I was jumping up and down when they called to tell me that I could use it!!

The table scape was a piece of art in itself. Terry placed three stainless vases along the center of the table and filled them with pheasant feathers and three colors of the beautiful glitter “astroid” flowers. I loved the way they fell from the vase creating a whispy feel.

He also placed multiple sizes of resin horns along the length of the table and filled them with the green and aubergine ornaments, glitter astroids and other metallic pieces to tie everything together.

Since the table had a glass top, the black and white  Hyperion graphic rug anchored the area and I loved the way the pattern popped through the glass. When walking around the second and third levels of the Trade Mart, the pattern of the rug looked beautiful.  I selected this indoor/outdoor rug from The Rug Market and since they did not have the 8×10 available, I placed two 5×8 rugs together. I think it turned out perfectly and even created a larger anchor for the table.

The Alyce Side Chairs from The Platt Collections are stunning and were perfect for the Vintage Table but they were the only ones in the showroom.  I asked  Global Views for these Marilyn Leather Chairs and they came through for me again!  The ivory leather and dark espresso finish looked beautiful in the room and the nail head detail brought in a masculine touch.

I must have spent two weeks looking for the perfect chandelier to go above the dining table.  I found a few that I loved but the same issue of it being the only piece in the showroom kept me from finding a piece.  The girls over at Cyan design hooked me up with the brand new Jellyfish Chandelier. I was once again jumping up and down and couldn’t believe that I was able to snag such a unique piece.

The black silk drum shade has a silver metallic lining and the clear Murano Glass tentacles are absolutely beautiful!

To finish off the space and balance out the other end of the room,  Terry brought in two tall Christmas trees and placed them in aluminum urns for a chic and glamourous look.  He stuffed the trees with green, aubergine, white and silver ornaments in sets of three and in singles.  Just when I thought we couldn’t add anything else to the tree, Terry brought out more flocked ornaments, glitter astroids like the ones on the table and glitter evergreen sprigs to create movement around the tree.

The room also needed something bold and graphic to complete the end corners and balance out the Christmas trees. These black octagonal mirrors look beautiful in a grouping, we stacked three of them next to each tree.


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