Friday, December 30, 2011

Amy Butler's AH-mazing Rugs!

Hi all,

Ok, so I know its been forever since I've posted on this site-- since you last heard from me I've gotten engaged, planned a wedding, gotten married, moved to a new city, and started a new job.  So to say I've been a little busy is the understatement of the year!  However, now that I'm settled in my new home in Dallas, TX and have gotten acclimated to my new job, I've got the blogging itch again.  So here's to my first post in almost a year!

I've been wanting to get a new rug for our dining room but since it's right after the holidays, I'm holding off spending money on my house for a little while.  I did find the perfect rug designer though, and what's better than buying myself a new rug? Telling other people to buy themselves one! (Note:  if you want to go window shopping, don't EVER ask me to come along-- I will ALWAYS tell you to buy whatever it is you say that you want.  If you want to spend lots of money, however, I'm the perfect partner-in-crime!)

Amy Butler is an AMAZINGLY talented pattern designer with such an eye for texture and color-- I've always loved her beautiful scrapbook papers and have used them for many of my craft projects.  I recently discovered that, not only does she design craft supplies, but she has turned many of her most fabulous paper patterns into rugs for your home.  Check out some of my favorites...

Caracas by Amy Butler-- LOVE the bold colors in this one!

Bright Buds by Amy Butler

Coventry by Amy Butler

Temple Garland by Amy Butler-- perfect for a baby nursery, and they even have it in blue too!

Modern Love by Amy Butler-- such a cool '70s vibe.

This is just a sampling of a few of my favorites from her website-- if you're inspired and want to see more, click here.

It's so good to be back in the blogging world-- I've SO missed this creative outlet!


Julie DORMAN (my new last name)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Decorator's "Scents"

One thing that I think makes a home unique is what smells you are reminded of when you're away from it. I think scent is one of the senses that is most tied to memory; I know that when I smell certain things, they remind me of different experiences that I've had or people that I've known throughout my life.  For that reason, I think the scent of your house is a very important aspect of the role that it plays in your life.  While certain elements and activities that you perform in your home can produce a natural scent (such as cookies baking in the oven, dryer sheets that perfume your laundry room, or the fresh scent of a clean kitchen), sometimes candles, diffusers, and other fragrance aids can provide a signature scent or seasonal ambience for your home.

For this reason, I'd like to share some of my favorite candles in hopes that I can inspire some of you to perfume your home with your own favorite aromas.

#1:  Paddywax Library Candles in Edgar Allan Poe scent
This musky scent has light floral undertones, making it very gender neutral.

#2:  Votivo Candles in Vanilla Bergamot Blossom scent
When I first smelled this candle, it definitely wasn't my favorite, but as I've burned it, it has definitely grown on me  It is such a light, fresh scent that fills your entire house without being too overpowering.

#3:  Voluspa Candles
This is one of my overall favorite candle brands- I have too many favorite scents to name them all!  My first of many from this brand was Pomegranate Patchouli, which is wonderful, but I also like Baltic Amber, Santiago Huckleberry, and Truffle White Cocoa.

#4:  Slatkin & Company
Again, this is a great cheap candle with such a deep and permeating scent that it fills your entire home.  If you are the kind of person who likes to buy candles for each season, this line is perfect for you.  My all time favorite is Leaves, the ideal fall scent; it smells like applesauce and cool, crisp autumn air.  The Slatkin & Company Christmas candles can't be beat-- try Winter and Holly Wreath.

#5:  For Everybody Candles
I've never seen these candles anywhere but TJ Maxx, and they don't have a lot of variety in their scent selections, but if the scent of baked goods and birthday cakes is something that you crave, check out their Vanilla Sugar Cookie and Birthday Cake candles.  If you're into natural soy candles that aren't very expensive, these might be perfect for you.  Just try to ignore the folksy labels and less-than-stellar packaging.

#6:  Aspen Bay Candles
This one is a new discovery for me, and I have to admit that I have never actually owned an Aspen Bay Candle, but it seems as if the past few times I have gone into a store and smelled something heavenly, an Aspen Bay Candle has been at work.  I believe that the Fire scent is my favorite, but stay tuned for my informed opinion.

#7:  ROOT Candles
These candles may look small, but they sure do pack a mean punch!  You can't go wrong with any ROOT candle, so make sure you try them all.

#8:  Henri Bendel candle in Tonka Bean scent
My mom and I smelled this candle in a decorator's showhome about 3 years ago and were both obsessed with its rich scent- for the next 2 years its all we would burn.  Since then this scent has been discontinued, but sometimes you can find it on eBay and, trust me, you won't have buyer's remorse.

Hopefully this post gives you a good basic knowledge of great candle companies from which to start your search for your home's signature scent.  If you don't like my suggestions, try other options from the same lines--  there is a reason that there are so many varieties!

Hope your house is filled with beautiful smells that make it feel more like a home.

God Bless,


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Best "Christmas Wreaths" on Etsy

The front door of your house is the first thing that people see when they visit, so it should make a good first impression. And the holidays are a time when your home will have lots of visitors, so its especially important to decorate your front door for Christmas.

Cue the next installment of The Best of Etsy!  Here are some of the best Christmas wreaths for your front door, each one with its own unique twist.

This wreath, sold by MyGardenGate, is a greenery wreath with a light and wispy feel, perfect for the traditionalist.

$74, MyGardenGate

If you're a traditionalist with a twist, this garland and berry square wreath might just do the trick.  You can find it at ThePetunia's Etsy shop.

$30, ThePetunia

You could also set the square wreath at a diagonal to create a diamond shape-- another way to change up the traditional wreath.  This one, sold by NHWoodscreations, is made of boxwood.

$29, NHWoodscreations

This wreath, made of fir, juniper, cedar, and real peacock feathers and sold by solidagowreaths, is perfect for the fashionista homeowner.  This company also sells lots of beautiful greenery and berry wreaths in a variety of colors.

$50, solidagowreaths

This dried hydrangea wreath is great for the shabby-chic decorator.  It can be found at CherubinoCrafts' Etsy site.

$50, CherubinoCrafts

This aptly-named Sugar Cream Pie Berries wreath, from twoinspireyou is a beautiful, wintery wonderland right on your own front door.  

$65, twoinspireyou

This pinecone wreath, made by NHWoodscreations is a rustic take on front door decorations, and I think it would be beautiful in a country home or rustic cabin.

$35, NHWoodscreations

Finally, these mossy green letters could make a unique winter door decoration even after the holidays are over.  They're sold on Etsy by SpottedLeopard.

$150/2, SpottedLeopard

The holidays are the time when your house should have its best foot forward, so consider using one of these beautiful door decorations to turn it into a home.

God Bless,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

This "Deer" Old House

I love the Christmas season, and decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do.  The garland, the trees, the ornaments, the pretty wrapping paper-- it's all beautiful to me!  I especially love the decor that seems wintery but can be used year round, and deer antlers are a great example of this.  There are so many ways to use antlers in your everyday decor, and not all of them look masculine or woodsy.  Here are some great ideas on how to incorporate this natural element into your house:

The antler chandelier on the left is so amazing and, when used in a more modern home. it evokes a cool, chic feeling.

By using a collection of antlers in a wall collage (such as those in the picture below), you can create a cool sculptural design element.

The antler theme in this room has been carried from the walls to the tablescape.  When used with the sunny red and yellow flowers and blue patterned tablecloth, they seem less masculine and harsh.

Antlers mounted above a fireplace as a statement piece create a great focal point for any room.

These antler lamps would be such a funky, cool element in any room.

Winter decor elements can be implemented throughout the year in any home-- you just have to be brave enough to try new things and embrace the potential your house has to become a home.

God Bless,


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The BEST "Throw Pillows" on Etsy

Some of my favorite accessories in a room are pillows-- they make everything look cozier and can add a huge dash of style and pattern to any decor.  One of the best places to find amazing throw pillows is Etsy.  For those of you who haven't heard of it, Etsy is an online marketplace on which people can sell anything from handmade goods to vintage clothing to graphic designs.  Basically, its heaven on the internet!

This will be the first of many posts about you can find so many unique items for your home at very affordable prices, which is why I'll be doing a weekly post about "The BEST ______ on Etsy" (fill in the blank with popular design trends and topics). If you have a type of design in mind that you want to see from the popular site, let me know and I'll try to accommodate!

So, as I was saying, here some of my favorite throw pillows from

First, the pillows from seller TheHomeCentric.... I can't even choose just one from her site, they are all amazing!  Definitely check out her website on the link above, she has hundreds of pillows in amazing styles and colors.

This gold mosaic pillow would add a touch of drama to any room.

This Terra Cotta-colored pillow is a beautiful color, and the flower detail is adorable.

This teal damask is such a bright pop of color, and the velvet sheen makes it even more unique.

This peacock detail provides some pattern and color for any decor.

I also love these chic monochromatic pillows from the WordGarden shop.  The Paris theme is subtle but oh so stylish!

These scripted pillows add pattern without being too bright.

Here is another wordsmith pillow, but instead of flowery script, these block letters describe famous sights in Paris.

HomemakerMovement, the third Etsy shop on my list, has a more traditional offering of patterns and colors.

This Suzani pillow adds style and color to any home with an ethnic flair.

This floral cut velvet pillow has texture without being overwhelming.

I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The BEST "Throw Pillows" on Etsy... stay tuned next week for more Etsy fun!

God Bless,


Monday, November 15, 2010

My Dream Design Destinations

First of all, SO sorry for the huge lapse in blogging-- no excuses, but I've been a little busy lately and I let my blog fall by the wayside! Never again...

Today I'm going to be telling you about two of my dream design destinations.  First, ABC Carpet & Home in NYC.  This store, around since 1897, is 6 floors of amazing furniture, lighting, and home accents and, of course, rugs and carpets.  Located on Broadway in New York City, it is a must see on any home decorating lover's list.  The decorating giant has also recently opened a warehouse outlet in the Bronx where certain items are up to 75% off!  Next time you're in NYC, make sure to check out this amazing store-- I know I will!

The exterior of ABC Carpet & Home

An interior shot-- such amazing chandeliers!

Interior Shot #2-- loads of furniture

Interior Shot #3-- lamps, rugs, and linens galore!

Second, Nell Hill's in Atchison/Kansas City.  Since 1981, this store has been the inspiration of Mary Carol Garrity, Atchison, Kansas native. Hundreds of women from all over the country make decorating trips to Mary Carol's Atchison store annually, leaving with truck and Suburban-loads FULL of amazing and unique home accents and accessories.  In fact, Mary Carol recently expanded her reach by opening an even larger location in Briarcliff Village in Kansas City.  Both locations are a must-see on my list of design destinations-- check out a sneak peek below!

Exterior shot of the Atchison store

Interior shot #1-- What amazing monochromatic bookshelves!

Interior shot #2-- love the grass blinds.

Interior Shot #3-- great juxtaposition of cream and black.

I hope both of these stores have made your list of must-sees if you're ever in New York City or Kansas City-- they would be well worth the stop!  I'm glad to be back into blogging, and I hope that I've inspired you to take time to turn your house into a home.

God Bless,


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Good Paint Job

Sometimes installing new cabinets to update your kitchen can be a huge task that is too daunting both physically and financially.  If new kitchen cabinets are not an option for you, another great way to quickly update your kitchen is to paint your cabinets a unique and fun color.  Here are some beautiful painted kitchen cabinet updates that you can try at home:

These teal kitchen cabinets are beautifully paired with white walls and large-scale checkered wooden floors.

Another view (I love the black pendant lights hanging above the island):

Images from Southern Living

This monochromatic gray paint is a very chic option.

This sage green is a very welcoming color, and I think it would look great with white marble or a light-colored granite.

The sage green is paired with wood floors, a beautiful rust-colored hood, and square glass pendant lanterns to create more of a rustic feel.  The walls are even painted the same color to make a beautiful statement.

I love this dark plum color, and while it looks great with the sandy colored walls, I think it would also be beautiful paired with another color, like light blue.

Image From Apartment Therapy

These bright red cabinets are so fresh, bold, and modern.

If the previous option is too much for you, choose a darker red color, and paint only the bottom half of your kitchen cabinetry red to ground your space and provide a pop of color.

Image from Agnes' Kitchen

This buttery yellow color lightens up the room and brings a sunny, cheerful feel to your home.  Notice that the walls are again painted the same color to provide a monochromatic canvas for your design.

I hope these pictures have inspired you to grab a few cans of paint and update your kitchen in a unique and easy way to turn your house into a home.

God Bless,