How to elevate your style

Do you look at your home and wardrobe and think… something is missing?  You just can’t put your finger on it.

I truly believe the key to elevating your style is to add accessories. Sometimes a space in your home needs a refresh but you don’t want to do a complete remodel.  You CAN redesign and refresh your space on a budget by accessorizing.

You can completely change the look and vibe of a room by changing out the accessories.

Accessories add color, texture, pattern, depth and so much more.

For your home… Think throw pillows, curtains, rugs, decor, books, art, lighting, candles, plants and flowers.

For your wardrobe.. shop your closet and mix up your looks with jewelry, scarves, shoes, handbags, third layers and hats.

Questions to ask yourself when it comes to interior styling or creating outfits:

Are you not sure how to define your personal style?

Do you know what you like when you see it but have no idea how to put it together?

Do you struggle with how to combine colors and patterns?

I am here to help if you need it!

-Kristina

Style your space for the New Year

Have you noticed when you take down the holiday decorations you feel better without all the clutter BUT it can look a little sparse and sad?

It is a New Year after all so change some things up and refresh your space!

My favorite thing to do after the holidays is give all the surfaces a good wipe down. (get all that glitter off).

Once you have cleared the spaces and wiped them down then get creative when putting things back.

Is there any excess clutter or things that have just landed there accidentally? This is your chance to start with a clean slate.

Only put back what you love. I realize things have to be functional as well. But they can be beautifully styled and be functional. One of my absolute favorite ways to elevate a space is to add a decorative tray. We have 2 decorative trays on our entryway table. One has to be functional and holds a bowl with our keys, my husband’s sunglasses and a few other things.

But the second tray is my fun area where I like to decorate seasonally. I have battery powered candles in various styles of votives on there. And I also have my favorite scented candle and I burn it all year long.

I have a faux plant or a vase of faux flowers depending on the time of year and then I add some twinkle lights.

You would not believe what a difference these details can make. They add so much warmth and coziness.

There are so many ways to accessorize your home without spending anything or spending very little.

Some of my favorite accessories to change the look and vibe of your home:

-Throw pillows and blankets

-Candles and twinkle lights

-Faux or real plants and flowers

-Decorative trays, bowls, boxes (these are a great way to add beautiful storage and still have a practical space.)

-Display favorite mementos from travel or sentimental items in creative ways.

-Go to thrift stores and find unique pieces that tell a story. Mixing old and new gives a home some interest.

-Do not display and keep things out of guilt. (because someone gave it to you or you spent too much money on it).

Display what you love and what represents your personal style.

What do you already have in your home that you can restyle and refresh your space?

Peppermint Themed Holiday

The past several years I have done different variations of this peppermint themed Christmas display on my client’s kitchen island. It is such a fun easy way to create a festive display that is edible too! Because who doesn’t love some chocolate during the holidays? I use  anything that is peppermint themed, red or white. My only rule with the candy is I try to find something with either a red wrapper or peppermint themed. You can get creative and use what you have on had to hold the candy and chocolate. I grabbed some stuff from the bar and used a crystal ice bucket, martini glasses, cocktail glasses and vases. I even use a white cake stand she already had on hand because it adds another layer of height.

I added some greenery and lights to make it fun and festive. It is a big hit with family and friends who come for the holidays. Just make sure you have some spare chocolate to replenish your display as it gets eaten. Chocolate covered pretzel sticks are one of my favorite things to add. They look great in a glass and taste delicious too! Would your family like this for the holidays?? Go get creative…

A simple way to add warmth to your home

Do you ever feel like your home is missing something? Maybe it just doesn’t feel warm and inviting?

A really easy and inexpensive way to add warmth to your home is by adding texture. There are so many ways to do this without running out and buying a bunch of stuff. You can repurpose things from other areas of your house that aren’t being used or appreciated. Texture can instantly elevate a space and add those finishing touches that were missing. 

Here are a few easy ways to add texture to your space:

– Plants, flowers, vases

– Decorative boxes and trays 

-Baskets

– Pottery

-Throw pillows and blankets 

-Art

-Rugs or tapestries 

-Books

Search your home to see what you can use in a more creative way!

 

Styling and Simplifying your home

Do you know what one of the easiest ways to refresh your home is? Take away some of the excess clutter and only display things you love. Be a ruthless editor of what you allow in your space.

These days we see so many influencers on social media redesigning their spaces every few months with all new things. This makes me crazy. Not only do most of us not have the budget for that but it also sends the wrong message that things are disposable and something shiny and new is always better.

My favorite thing to do for my clients and at my own house is to first shop your home. Look at all of your decorative items and collections and see if there is anything you can display or use in a new way. I find that one overlooked area can be the kitchen or china cabinet with small decorative bowls or other interesting objects. Mementos from travel or family members can also be great to incorporate into your design.

Be very selective and take away anything that doesn’t add to the space or make you happy. Less is more. If you want to add a few new things then consider small changes like a new throw pillow, vase or picture frame.

My 3 main tips would be:

-Calm down the space by de cluttering and removing the excess.

-Create a cohesive color palette.

-Display old items in new creative ways and mix old with new. Make sure to add texture and color.

Is there an area in your home you can tackle today? You will be surprised at the impact even the smallest changes can have.

If you need some inspiration here are 2 of my favorite books on simplifying and styling:

I highly recommend them both!

Modern Office Design Reveal

 

Guess what my client’s first thoughts were on this wallpaper that was already in her office space when they moved in?

This is going to give me a headache. I cannot work in here and this is really not my style.  We debated removing the wallpaper but the rest of the office had bold patterned wallpaper and I did not want her office to feel like it wasn’t even part of the same space. So we worked with the wallpaper and let me say it was definitely a design challenge. I needed to add some traditional elements to make the client happy and calm down the overall space. However, I wanted her office to still feel like it could flow with the rest of the other work spaces around her. I love the way it turned out and the client was happy which is the most important thing!                                  

So what did we do to calm down the overall space?

Here are some of our design tricks and tips:

-We added some ivory into the color palette with chairs and a rug to soften things.

-We added some greenery and florals to add contrast against the busy wallpaper.

-We added a mirror to reflect light and the beautiful view.

-We added pops of teal with furniture and artwork so it still felt modern and bold and brought in the wallpaper.

-We chose a natural wood color for her desk so that she could keep the traditional feel she wanted.

Are you ready for summer guests?

photo credit: Pure Salt Interiors

Summer can be such a busy time filled with lots of activities and trips. It can also be a time for last minute guests.

-A visit from family or friends or a last minute sleepover for the kids.

– Birthday parties and cookouts, Special occasions and events.

-A neighbor dropping by for a play date or glass of wine.

-A last minute weekend get away or day trip to the beach or lake.

So what can you do to make summer a little easier and less stressful? How can you be ready for your guests and stop that last minute panic?

Guest Room:

-De clutter your guest room now. If it is always ready for guests then there is no last minute panic and shoving everything in a closet.

-Update the bedding and towels. Make sure everything is clean and fresh.

-Make sure the room is clean. Dust and vacuum regularly to keep the cobwebs and dust away.

-Make sure there is a working lamp or some sort of lighting.

-Check your guest bathroom inventory for soap, shampoo and any necessities guests may need.

-Have a space for guests to put their suitcase or hang up a few items.

Household Systems:

Set up household systems so that everything has a place and it is easy to maintain. This makes a last minute clean much easier.

Keep surfaces clear from clutter:

Keep main surfaces as clean as possible. Try not to use your dining room table, kitchen table or kitchen island as a drop zone for papers and other clutter. If these surfaces are easy to clear then last minute entertaining is much easier.

Kids Areas:

Create a summertime routine so that kids areas do not get completely out of control.

There is no reason for “mom” to keep spinning her wheels cleaning up all the time. Kids can be taught routines and taking care of their things; then when they ask to have a friend over no one has to be stressed and cleaning frantically at the last minute.

 

How does your home make you feel?

 

 

Does your home feel like a sanctuary or is it a source of stress and anxiety?

I had an interesting conversation with a longtime client last week. She commented that she loved her powder room and it made her happy. It was recently redesigned with a new bold patterned wallpaper and a textured tile backsplash. Along with a new beautiful navy vanity and a fun piece of artwork.

Before my client even said anything I had been thinking how much the powder room represented her fun bold and colorful style. And how streamlined and clutter free it was compared to other parts of her house. So I asked her “What if your whole house could feel as good as this powder room?”

You don’t have to tackle your whole house at once. Just take one space at a time. Walk around your house and take inventory of what spaces and things you truly love. Less is more..you can create the home you have always wanted.

Take one room at a time and be a ruthless editor. De clutter, organize and style it so it represents your current lifestyle. And your style right now. Not the you from 5 years ago, not your ex-husband’s style and not the hand me downs from your family and friends you are keeping out of guilt. Keep only the things that feel like you and make YOU happy. (Of course, you do have to be mindful and respectful of other family members and their spaces.) But start with what you can change and you and everyone else will notice a difference I promise!

Tips on packing for your next trip

One easy way to pack light is to pack some staple pieces and then pack accessories to change up the looks. This is a perfect example of a black faux leather moto jacket that can be dressed up with a skirt or worn over a dress. Or you can wear it with jeans or leggings.

You can really change the look of the outfit just by changing the scarf and earrings. Scarves and earrings don’t take up much room in a suitcase and can really help you create so many more outfit combinations! So get creative and have fun with your wardrobe!

The benefits of Shopping Secondhand

Shopping secondhand may take time but there are so many advantages to it!  After years of helping women with their closets I can honestly say there are so many clothes out there that are in new or like new condition that end up at consignment or thrift stores.  Taking items to consignment is a way to make a little money and pass your items on in a responsible way where they don’t end up in the landfill.  If you aren’t worried about getting any money back for the items then there are so many great thrift shops that support wonderful causes  that you can donate to.   And the best part is  that someone else benefits from something that was just taking up space in your closet and never being worn.

What are some of the biggest benefits of shopping secondhand?

-You can try a variety of brands all in one place and you may even discover brands you didn’t know about.

-Once you identify the brands that fit you best you can look for those specific brands in the future.

-If you have an item, style or brand that is no longer made sometimes you can find these gems hidden at consignment and thrift shops.

-You have the opportunity to buy brands that are higher end and better quality for a fraction of the price.

-If you need some transitional pieces for weight fluctuations ( as many women struggle with, myself included) then you can buy some staple pieces at an affordable price.

-If you have a special occasion that requires an outfit you are not likely to wear often you can buy secondhand to stay within a budget and not have to spend money on something new.

I hope these tips helped and you are inspired to buy secondhand or at least do some  browsing! Its’ fun to see what you might find!

Some of my favorite local shops are:

Pennies for Change Thrift Store, Durham, NC

http://thedcrc.org

My Secret Closet, Hillsborough,NC

http://www.mysecretcloset.com

The Stock Exchange, Chapel Hill, NC

http://www.shopstockexchange.com