Luxury Baby Nurseries for Less | Creative Ideas for Delightful, Budget-Friendly Nursery Decor

Is it just (all around) us, or are baby bumps popping up like daffodils this spring?  (And like croci ~ we never tire of showing off what a good job our elementary school teachers did teaching weird plurals.)  Whether it’s the water where we live or the fruits of a particularly cold and snowy winter for much of the country, we can’t help but notice that there’s no shortage of maternity cuteness in our midst.

And all of that motherly radiance inspired us to look for some fresh nursery looks for those 2014 babies.  After all, they ~ and their mamas ~ deserve fashionable spaces in which to rest their heads, no?

One of the prettiest DIY-friendly new ideas we’re seeing is the ribbon mobile, which is infinitely adaptable to your color scheme and overall design plan.  Whether you use scraps of fabric, burlap and ribbon purchased just for this project, or order this exact mobile directly from HalosHaven on Etsy, we are crushing on this simple, chic idea for a baby’s mobile.  (When you check out the Etsy shop, be sure to notice the subway art canvases personalized with your little bundle’s birth details ~ adorbs.)  And of course, the paper lanterns embellished with sweet pink ribbons are kind of right up our alley, too.

Source:  HalosHaven on Etsy

Source: HalosHaven on Etsy

The delightful details abound in this fancy nursery fitted for (very lucky) twins, and we love them all.  To get the feel of a luxury nursery on a more modest budget, choose our versions of some of the high impact pieces for your baby’s room.  We love the watchful giraffe, the whimsical twist on chandeliers-as-mobiles, and the canopy effect of the cribs’ backdrops.

With a mix of Old World accessories and modern colors and graphic patterns, this little boy’s nursery would fit well into a modern home where form and function work together in key pieces. The bold wallpaper is interesting for babies and adults, and the Trojan Horse-inspired rocking horse is a commanding presence in the corner. Our puzzle lamp is a wallet-friendly light fixture that would work well in this space (*is* that our jigsaw lamp, btw?), and a garden stool would work well as an end table next to mama’s rocker.


A well appointed nursery includes a comfortable place for mom to lay *her* head during those long newborn nights. We love the neutral color scheme and the textured display over this double bed. We can easily envision a personalized burlap pennant to coordinate with the framed piece of jute and rustic chic accessories.

Another gorgeous, original nursery set up for twins features yards and yards of fabric and a variety of textures balanced by a soothing white color palette. Whether you’re hiding awkward ceiling height transitions or just swathing the walls in dreamy fabric to achieve this ethereal effect, mosquito net canopies can be swagged and tied in a variety of ways to replicate the cozy feel of this nursery with less expense. Jute accents fit seamlessly into this monochromatic color scheme, and the quote on this pair of affordable end tables is spot on for a newborn’s nursery.

Whether you’re ruminating on the what ifs of your not-quite-in-the-oven bun’s room, or planning your summer arrival’s nursery, we firmly believe that every child deserves a special space all her own.  By incorporating key details and your own creativity, you can create a custom space that your child will love to sleep, play, and grow in.

Total Room Transformations: Yanni Design Studio

One of the most perplexing ~ and most common ~ challenges for brides is to make their wedding ceremony and reception memorable, personal, and amazing regardless of the physical limitations of the venue.  Whether you’re working with an older church whose colors you don’t love, or getting married in the quintessential big, boxy hotel ballroom, you want to wow your guests with ambience that transforms the location into a truly special place and transports your guests beyond the four walls.

No one handles the logistics of total space transformations better than Yanni Design Studio.  With more than two decades’ worth of experience and a portfolio that includes some of the finest venues in the U. S., YDS specializes in total space transformations for large events, and their work is second to none.  Whether you are looking for a design studio to hire for your own big day, or searching for proof that your ballroom ceremony and reception can be intimate, stylish, and completely personal, look no further than these examples of Yanni Design Studio’s total room transformations.

Perhaps one of the most stunning hotel ceremony spaces we’ve ever seen, this unbelievable setting includes a custom floral structure, curtainsuplighting, and decadent tiers of chandeliers.  The combined result is simply stunning and so not your mama’s hotel ballroom.

Muslim ceremony with layers of chandeliers

With a thoroughly modern look and a paisley theme, this ceremony space also relies on candles, curtains, bead strands, uplighting, and a custom floral structure to transport guests into the ceremony state of mind, but with a completely different aesthetic that is totally customized to the couple’s tastes.

Muslim ceremony with bead columns

Equally dramatic and completely unique, this architectural ceremony space relies on draped fabric, chandeliers, and custom furniture to create an awe-inspiring ceremony space within a hotel ballroom.  A little Gatsby and a lot fabulous, we can’t imagine that any guest wouldn’t be wowed by a ceremony space like this one.

Muslim Ceremony - chandeliers

For brides with generous budgets and a taste for florals, this wall of blooms combines texture, scent, and luxury for a truly one-of-a-kind ceremony space.  With every sense inspired, guests would be hard-pressed to forget this marriage ceremony.  The two large chandeliers balance the floral structure perfectly while bathing the evening’s main event in soft, romantic light.

Muslim Ceremony with floral wall and chandeliers

Low pillars with uplighting and tiers of chandeliers mark the entrance to this gorgeous ceremony space, where the dramatic mandap plays its starring role in the marriage ceremony.  A single large chandelier inside the mandap will further illuminate the couple as they become husband and wife.

Image Source:  Unique Design Studios

Image Source: Unique Design Studios

And before we move on to reception transformations, we have to share this simply stunning crystal column and floral mandap with chandelier.  Working in concert with vibrant florals, this totally transformed ballroom is simply a divine setting in which to begin a new life together.

Bead mandap with chandelier

When the hotel’s walls are not an asset to the reception’s ambience, draping them in layers of soft fabric is a doable solution that, when paired with LED color washes, changes both the feel and the color scheme of the venue.  The addition of lines of crystal bead swirl chandeliers fills the air space with cost-effective decor, maximizing the budget for fresh florals by putting them front and center in the room.

As we often point out, this is the sort of room transformation that makes a pro worth his weight in gold, both because he will bring an experienced team to do the set-up (not to mention the take-down) and because the necessary decor staples are often available in the designer’s warehouse.  Buying those swirl chandeliers for one wedding ~ prohibitively expensive.  Choosing a designer with a warehouse that includes staple pieces like those chandeliers?  A much better value.

Fabric drapery and crystal columns

Any design pro will tell you that lighting is among the top items for transforming a room regardless of budget, and this symphony of LED lights proves the point beautifully.  Add crystal centerpieces, a bead curtain entrance, and projected patterns on the walls drapes, and you have a showstopper of a reception space in what was once a plain hotel ballroom.

LED lighting and bead curtain entrance     If you’re fortunate enough to have a venue with good bones, complementing the architecture with imaginative gobos, vibrant uplighting, and manzanita tree and candle centerpieces reinforces the feel of the venue while putting a distinctive stamp on the reception space.Manzanita trees and lighting

For this daytime reception, tall black candelabras elevate floral centerpieces while repeating the lines of the generous floor-to-ceiling windows.

Tall black centerpieces with crystals hanging

Whether you are totally transforming a ho-hum space or accenting the features of a place that you love, hiring a professional is an investment that is well worth the expenditure in stress relief and in results.  We would love to see your total space transformations, and extra points if they include ShopWildThings decor.

All images show original work by Yanni Design Studio and are courtesy of Yanni Design Studio unless otherwise noted.  We strive to give photographers proper credit; if you know the photographer for any image on our blog, we would like to add a credit line and a link to the photographer’s portfolio.

Bring in Spring with These 10 Pretty Spring Wreaths

With cherry blossoms bursting and warm temps gracing us this entire week ~ and even a bit of spring “deep cleaning” under our belts ~ we’re turning our attention to a quick way to freshen up the outside of our home for spring.  These pretty wreaths make a statement that spring has officially arrived, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

With a burst of color and some adorable embellishments, this deco mesh wreath welcomes a new season with style.  A few sprays add some whimsy ~ in coordinating colors, no less.

Deco Mesh Spring Wreath

We can’t pass by any door that includes a gorgeous wreath like this one.  Layers of swirling deco mesh accented by butterflies and flowers?  Right up our alley.  Or all up on our front porch.  Anyway, we want one.

You had us at “burlap and deco mesh,” so to see that this wreath is sporting butterflies and small florals is major bonus.  This is another wreath that we could so see on our own front door!

Deco Mesh and butterflies

Perfect for Easter and beyond, this deco mesh curlicue wreath is a happy harbinger of springtime, and the chevron and polka dot ribbons add a little preppy-trendy feel that is just right for 2014.

Spring Curlique Wreath

This pretty burlap and deco mesh wreath is perfect to grace your door through the end of the month, with just enough eggs to say, “Happy Easter!”

Of course we are suckers for anything burlap, and these nature-inspired wreaths combining birdsburlap, sprays, moss, and twine bring understated elegance to springtime.

Source:  DecoGlitz

Source: DecoGlitz

This wreath is another pretty take on using natural elements like burlap and moss for a look that will work well into summer.  And the florals and deco mesh add a bit of color that will pop against your front door.

Source:  DecoGlitz

Source: DecoGlitz

Anything with a monogram is super popular year-round, and this grapevine wreath heralds the family name and springtime equally well, with a touch of chevron to keep it current.  We heart the “H” monogram in moss and the sprays framing the sides of the wreath.

And in the same vein, this simple burlap wreath featuring the pop of a bright, big floral and a chevron bow welcomes visitors with simple springtime elegance.

And finally, we had to end with this lovely combination of bright florals and burlap.  (We love the door almost as much as we love the wreath!)

If you’d like to see a good tutorial on deco mesh wreath making, check out this one by The Sassy Momma.  We would love to see how you’ve used ShopWildThings decor to create your own signature front door!

Quality, Creativity, and Customization are the Hallmarks of this Successful Floral Design Business: Interviewing Fresh Affairs’ Michael Whaley

I often mention how much fun I have scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and seeing ShopWildThings design products pop up in beautiful images by top designers.  And how often I notice SWT beads, chandeliers, and pendants when I’m out and about window shopping, or even when I’m watching TV (esp. Bravo network shows, not that I’m addicted to anything with Real Housewives in the title).  But probably my #1 favorite part of this job has been interviewing some of the best working professional designers in the US to hear  how they create gorgeous, original events, week after week, for diverse and unique brides and clients.

And there’s no interview that I’ve looked forward to more than this one, as I got to sit down with one of the principal designers in a local business whose work I’ve long admired personally.  Fresh Affairs is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I had the chance to sit down last week and chat with Michael Whaley about everything from venues to schedules to how he translates a bride’s budget, vision, and style into a cohesive floral design plan for her wedding day.  (We did the interview on St. Patrick’s Day, actually ~ good (Scots) Irish luck for me.)

While I interviewed Michael (I’m more of a chat and take some notes kind of girl than a get-out-the-tape-recorder-interviewer), I got to see some of the finished products as well as the work spaces that are behind many of the Triangle’s most fabulous events.  I even took a few photographs of some of the building blocks and arrangements-in-progress.

One of the key points that quickly became clear is that Fresh Affairs is doing lots of old-fashioned things right ~ doing their homework, taking care of brides’ special wishes, and offering stellar customer service ~ while remaining trendsetters in floral design.

One of the most striking features that I noticed from Fresh Affairs’ recent Tabletop Extravaganza was the detail in the chair covers and table linens that compliment their floral design work.  I asked approximately 4072 questions about the chair covers in particular, and I was delighted to learn that Michael actually sewed most of the chair covers himself.  So, I got to touch pretty much all of them, and the luxe fabrics just *feel* fantastic.  The mirrored details and accents of diamond wrap on this silvery chair stand out against the soft, ruched fabric.)  Michael pointed out that, since the linens have such a large visual footprint in any room, they can make or break the overall effect of the event design.  There’s no doubt that these are the most memorable chair covers I’ve ever seen, and they’d be both a gorgeous accent and a stylish keepsake.


This closeup shows another avenue for mixing diamond wrap with textiles to create a layered, luxurious chair cover that would work visual wonders at a sweetheart table for the B&G.


I joke about the fabric monster who lives at my house and must be fed (about 10 yards this week, but who’s counting?), and I find that everyone who loves textiles has a similar beast at work somewhere in his or her home or studio, gobbling up fabrics.  So, we *have* to stockpile scraps, remnants, and of course huge amounts of yardage just to keep the monster in fabric.  There’s obviously one hiding in the work room at Fresh Affairs.  I love getting a little look “behind the curtain” (in this case literally) into the work space of a creative and finding that the messy desk theory of creativity is in fact supported by anecdotal evidence as well as empirical data.


Once I satisfied my significant curiosity about the chair covers that Michael creates, we were able to move on to talk about, well, floral design.  When I asked about this stunning photograph from the Tabletop Extravaganza…

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Michael talked about both his personal design aesthetic and the types of events that might be well served by such a cutting edge arrangement, as well as ways that a bride with a more traditional style might incorporate elements of modern design into her wedding.

With a strong background in modern floral design and ongoing education to stay on top of both European and American trends, Michael is truly gifted at synthesizing a bride’s vision for her day (however general or specific), her budget priorities, and her venue’s look into a design plan that is personal, effective, and most of all fabulous.

By shopping often for great textiles (the sacrifice, sigh), reusing key design elements (do you recognize the calla lily cascade frame in this design done by students in one of Michael’s recent floral design classes?), and prioritizing to get the best impact for every  event’s budget, Michael shows the benefit of trusting a professional with the key elements of any major event.  Of course, the bead strands in this student project caught our eye.


We can’t resist a closeup of those lovely orchids suspended from bead strands.  Those tiny little orchid clips are genius.


Since Michael was kind enough to give us a tour of the work space that Fresh Affairs uses to produce its events ~ and to store much of its inventory of staple decor items ~ we *have* to share a few more behind-the-scenes images with you.

The collection of glassware and branches alone is truly impressive, with many of the branches having been harvested and dried from trees and then painted and repainted to match a series of events.  (Sustainable design the old fashioned way.)


The “aerial storage” (on top of a huge frig for fleurs) was full of lanterns and other essentials.  (We haven’t made any secret of our view that one of the hidden benefits to hiring an experienced pro, perhaps second only to the vision that they bring to your event, is the access to a great stock of quality pieces from which to build your centerpieces and other design elements.)


We like to see a messy worktable, partly because it makes us feel better, and partly because ~ did we mention this already? ~ creativity and a little mess go together.  Take that, Container Store.


So, we kind of love being able to show you what goes on behind the scene at a top floral designer studio, but we also want to show you the polished finished product.  Fresh Affairs’ exterior has been updated recently, with everything from new paint (if you want to stress out a designer, get him talking about what undertones you have to consider when choosing gray paint ~ hypothetically, of course) to a consultation area that doubles as an example of a stunning ceremony space.

We heart the contrast of metallics in the branches, credenza, and end tables with the soft drape of curtains and the nature-inspired textiles.   (And the gorgeous floral arrangements, but you kind of expected that at this point, no?)

And of course, you had us at beaded backdrop ~ Michael was quick to point out that the bead strands need to achieve critical mass to “work” as a backdrop, and here the strands are layered both vertically and horizontally, giving the backdrop a dimensionality that is truly luxurious.


Clearly, we aren’t the only ones who think that beads make a great entrance.


And we had to take another shot to show that cabinet off.  We were kinda delighted to find that, for all of the education, upscale events, and design knowledge he brings to his business, Michael has a secret love of thrift stores and paint that culminates in little things like this cabinet.


We so enjoyed our afternoon with Michael Whaley at Fresh Affairs.  The attention to detail, the quality, and the overall vision that this company brings to weddings and events is second to none, and we are so pleased to have been able to spend time seeing how the process supports the outcome, which truly is fabulous every time.

We were also pretty pleased that Michael agreed to let us take a picture of him, in front of this ribbon entrance that we (again) had admired at the Tabletop Extravaganza.



Tabletop Inspiration | Luxe Wedding Design by Fresh Affairs

Once again, our Facebook newsfeed brought gorgeous goodness right into our morning coffee break last week, this time in the form of stunning images from the Tabletop Extravaganza hosted by Fresh Affairs and photographed by Walters and Walters. We are delighted to have the chance to interview Michael, principal designer with Fresh Affairs, next week, and in the mean time we can’t resist sharing some images to whet your appetite. Really, who wouldn’t want to eat at a table that looks like this?  Hydrangeas, textured linens, and of course beads in the background…  Simply sumptuous.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

One of the standout stars of Fresh Affairs’ Tabletop Extravaganza was the unique custom chair covers that they designed.  We’re lovers of chair covers anyway, and these are just a cut (or two or ten) above what we’ve seen.  Elegant fabrics and just the right touch of bling set the tone for a memorable wedding and show every guest an extra measure of Southern hospitality.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Did we mention diamond bling wrap? It’s hard to beat for versatility and star power, whether you need yards of sparkle or just an accent of diamonds.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

This gold sash embellished with diamonds is an understated approach to the 1920s feel that is hot for 2014.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

And we love this lace-and-silver ruched fabric cover ~ unique and fabulous.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

And that doesn’t even show you the tabletops that first stopped us in our Facebook tracks.  Unique interpretations of spring and summer florals like this waterfall of lilies into a pool of candlelight.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

And this long row of high florals dripping bead strands illuminated by candles had us swooning as well. We love florals that are high enough to be out of the way of conversation, and dramatic enough to become part of the room’s decor rather than just centerpieces.  Hint:  That’s just one of the advantages of hiring skilled professionals to design your event ~ statement pieces like these stretch your decor budget by getting huge impact from a smaller number of focal points.  (Thereby avoiding a common event design faux pas that we like to call “a hot mess:”  too many small features competing for attention.)

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

In addition to the tablescapes that Fresh Affairs featured at this event, we were struck by the ceremony spaces that they created. These looks would transform any ballroom or other large venue into an intimate, unique space for a wedding ceremony.  A key piece of their design strategy is the entrance. By inviting guests into an experience and appealing to all of the senses, a Fresh Affairs event sets the mood for the ceremony at its doorstep. What a memorable way to begin a new life together.

Of course, we can’t help but love a ceremony entrance that features beads for the bride to step through on her way down the aisle.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Need a closeup? We kind of did, too.  Love the fabric that echoes a bridal veil, too.

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

And then the bride is heading toward a backdrop of gauzy curtains, tiered candles, overflowing florals, and bead strands? (And her groom, of course.) We were invited, weren’t we?

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

We can’t resist another closeup…

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

Image courtesy of Walters & Walters

So, do you want to hear how Fresh Affairs creates these amazing spaces for top weddings and events?  We could feature dozens more images, but we have to save a *few* to go with our actual interview of one of the creative geniuses behind Fresh Affairs.  Check back next week to hear how Michael sculpts florals, beads, candlight, fabrics, and other tools of the design trade to make each of his weddings and events a memorable experience not only for the bride and groom, but also for their families and friends.  Oh, and we’ll have a few more pictures, too.

Mission Possible: A Chic Big Girl Room on Modest Budget

One of our favorite sources for inspired DIY baby and child rooms is  The featured nurseries and children’s rooms run the gamut from ultra feminine to all boy, but they are always soothing, well lit, and, well, chic spaces that are uniquely suited to children without being childish.

Like most design challenges, making a big girl room both functional and fabulous is largely in the details, and investing in some “wow!” touches stretches your design dollars.  Let’s take a look at an adorable big girl room that is chic without busting the budget, and that will transition well throughout the preschool and elementary years.  The mosquito net canopy adds height and a cozy feel to this timeless metal frame bed, and the contrast between the neutrals in the room’s main features (walls, curtains, furniture) and the high impact textures and colors in the pillows and bed linens get big design *and* budget points.  If this little girl rebels against pink in the future, a new bedspread and pillows will give the room a whole new look.  For right now, it’s a little girl’s delight, and we kind of love it, too.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

The furniture in this room will serve well for years.  With new drawer pulls, this desk can evolve throughout her school years, and the bed could easily transition into an adult living space.  We like the addition of little girl cupcake art and a pretty, neutral lamp for a finished look that is not overly fussy.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

Finally, the chalkboard wall adds a touch of whimsy now, while having great future workspace and organization potential.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

With a totally different feel but a similarly long lifespan, this big girl(s) room also features bright, airy neutrals on the walls and furniture, and it’s enlivened by bold embellishments that make a dramatic statement without costing a fortune.  We love the gold polka dotted ceiling ~ whether you choose paint or vinyl decals, this is an affordable, memorable design statement that is easy to change.  The brightly colored book shelf and picture frames coordinate beautifully with mostly white linens, and of course we rarely meet a beaded chandelier that we don’t love.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

As you can see, this is a room built for two, and it’s indisputably chic.  The details are well chosen, inexpensive, and easily changed, and the overall look is funky *and* coherent.  We can’t think of two little girls who wouldn’t be happy to call this room their own, or a mom who wouldn’t be happy with the final price tag.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

If you want a starter kit from which to build a similarly inspired room for your little girl, our room-in-a-box kits offer three coordinated basic pieces ~ a chandelier, a canopy, and a beaded curtain ~ at an affordable price to help you build your own budget-friendly little girl’s room. We’d love to see your take on an affordable design for the perfect little girl’s retreat.

Inspiration Finder: A Luxury At Home Wedding by Colin Cowie

As we head out of winter (please!), we’re taking one last look at the elegance of icy colors and sleek details, punctuated by just the right combination of florals and bling. No one knows better how to balance fire and ice than Colin Cowie, and this elegant silver and purple at-home wedding is a perfect example.

We love the set of dramatic arches that define the ceremony space on the lawn.  Set against late all foliage, this display of hydrangeas, silver branches, and crystal bead strands weighted by pendants is a focal point that doesn’t even have to try.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

The center aisle edged in diamond wrap and shimmering organza flowers is too good not to show you a bit more…  What a way to make an entrance.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

And we can’t resist including some varied views of the arches to show you how it’s accented in crystal bead strands and pendants.  They add subtle sparkle without overpowering the arch itself.  And we love seeing how Colin Cowie sets trends ~ the metallic tablecloth is a little note of the Next Big Thing before it’s everywhere.  Love the creative vision that he brings to every event.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Another detail that we can’t *not* highlight ~ and one that takes advantage of the late fall sunshine while contributing to the fire and ice interplay ~ is the script double initial that is carried throughout the wedding and reception.  The happy couple’s KK looks stunning on these sophisticated acrylic chairs, and they reappear in killer details at the reception, too ~ so stay tuned.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

This tablescape ~ one of several distinct looks created within this one event ~ shows the value of highly textured linens for setting a luxurious tone, and the mercury glass votives and bling wrap napkin accents add a touch of the antique and the opulent.  Once again, CC is anticipating trends before they’re trends.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

This view of the head table and the amazing wedding cake show a completely different tablescape that meshes perfectly with the rest of the event.  Balancing the principal player silver with warm cream notes in the florals and cake ~ and starring some of the most sumptuous chair covers we’ve ever seen, ever ~ we love this long rectangular setting for the bridal party.  It’s hard to go wrong with elevated florals on delicately beaded stands.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Did you notice that even the cake is wrapped in diamonds?  Love.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

And we’ll treat you to one even closer up closeup of the cake.  Just this once.  Notice the repetition of the new initials KK here, too.  Colin Cowie does nothing if he does not pay attention to details.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

And the details never stop ~ from diamond wrapped roses adorning place settings…

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

To carrying the KK initials through the linens.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Colin Cowie Weddings are truly celebrations to remember.  The overall ambiance created by all of these details, working in concert with big splash statement decor such as chandeliers, tall florals dripping with crystal bead strands and pendants, and fabulous lighting ~ makes for a show-stopper event.  And a lovely way to start a new life together.

Image by Colin Miller

Image by Colin Miller

Can You Incorporate this Comeback Kid into Your Decor? | Gold Comes Roaring Back in Chic Chandeliers, Bead Curtains, and Accessories

We have a soft spot in our heart for things that are timeless and classic. And if something is timeless, classic, and also shiny, we’re all in. So you can imagine how thrilled we were to read/see/notice/know-in-our-very-soul that yellow gold is an “it” color in home decor again. Whether you’re buying jewelry or redoing rooms, this queen of metallic finishes is everywhere, in heritage and cutting edge pieces that are defining everything from outfits to rooms to whole events. Really, can more sparkle be bad? We think not.

And that’s why perhaps one of our favorite uses of yellow gold is in chandeliers. We don’t know if it’s “The Great Gatsby,” “Downton Abbey,” or just simple good taste that is driving gold’s reappearance in lighting, but the trend is undeniable. And if you’re wondering why, check out this delightfully feminine, sexy dining room. Layers of gold on the walls and ceiling, in the artwork, and in a statement piece of a chandelier and matching chandelier-ish sconces prove that too much of a good thing is just about perfect. You can recreate this sumptuous look on a budget, and any good designer will tell you that lighting is the place to start.

And gold light fixtures aren’t limited to overtly luxurious DRs. This modern dining room is nothing if not elegant, and the chandelier offers just the right blend of style and sparkle for the room.

If injecting a note of this season’s hottest color into your existing color palette is more your style, this photograph showcases well designed storage and subtle incorporation of gold accessories and window treatments. And you *know* that we love a gold curtain.

Another way to dip your toes in the water of this season’s hottest trend is to include metallic accessories that can easily be reassigned, relocated, and even repainted in the future if you so choose. Garden stools are one of the most versatile pieces that we sell ~ they’re mobile and can function shift from seating to end table to outdoor decor as your needs (or your party’s center) change.

Or, if you’re all in for gold, glamour, and gorgeous colors, this Moroccan-inspired sitting room combines bold walls and some of our favorite hanging lanterns in a room that delights everywhere you turn.

This to-die-for master bedroom has it all ~ gorgeous four-poster bed, great light, decor that invites you to stay in bed, and even a romantic canopy to balance the sleek lines of the bed frame. We could easily see gold string curtains incorporated as sheers to enhance the sense of color and light on a budget.

And the gold butterfly accents in this pretty room bring a touch of whimsy that lightens the mood without detracting from the luxurious vibe of the room as a whole.

Finally, perhaps the most dramatically sensual boudoir we’ve ever seen ~ no surprise that it incorporates a stunning chandelier, fabrics that beg to be touched, and delightful gold nightstands. Makes us want to *ahem* take a nap.

Whether you want to add a few pieces to embrace the trend or commit fully to this classic finish, yellow gold is both timeless and hot, and we love the way that it is making a comeback in everything for the home.

Putting Your Home on the Market? | Bead Curtains as Room Dividers to Showcase Space in Your Kids’ Rooms

We are pretty darned sure that we saw some of our sparkliest curtains on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” last night (backdrop of Ken’s and Mauricio’s combined birthday party?), and we kinda love flipping channels and seeing our sparkles on television.

But one of the best everyday uses that we see for bead curtains is as room dividers, and especially as housing markets heat up around the country, we love sharing budget-friendly home enhancers that will help make your home show well and sell quickly.  Bead curtains provide a visual line between functional areas without interrupting the flow of light at all ~ actually some of our acrylic bead curtains sparkle so much that they seem to add light to the room.  And as we head into spring real estate season and a hot home market for most of the country, we wanted to show off some very easy home installations of bead curtains that will help you get the most bang for your buck in children’s and teens’ rooms.  Whether you’re loving it or listing it, your home will benefit from these very manageable, functional space savers as you make the best use of available nooks, crannies, and closets.

This awesome children’s room, complete with a modern canopy bed (and under bed storage – hurrah!), makes the most of its available sunlight with soft white, light diffusing sheer curtains and fun, colorful bead curtains in the window. We love the way that the over bed chandelier echoes the colors and design of the bead curtains, too. This room brings just the right amount of bright color balanced with pastels and light wood, and form and function meet beautifully on a real world budget.

The bead curtain entrance to a purple haven of a girl’s room sets the tone for a fun, funky room that is not too childish and not too grown up. (Do we spy a jigsaw puzzle lamp on the nightstand, too? Sure looks like one.

We just adore a window seat almost anywhere, and the bead curtains separating this one from the desk hit just the right note of form and function. Makes us want to draw the curtains across and cuddle up with a good book. Or four. Or maybe even a little homework.

If you’re lucky enough to have ~ or to be able to build ~ a wall frame like this one, we love the beaded curtain divider hung from it. Another great way to divide visual space without sacrificing light or investing too much money. And many people get a similar effect without the framing, just by hanging the curtains from the ceiling itself.

If you’re fortunate enough to have privacy and great light, a corner installation of some of our funkier bead curtains alongside bright string curtains is a great way to capitalize on both the architectural features (those windows are to die for) and the play of sunlight on beads without losing a great view.

And we love this colorful room fit for a teenage style queen. The chunky bead curtains let every friend make an entrance through a single panel of beads that is visually interesting and budget-friendly. Repeating the circles on the wall, either in paint or in vinyl decals, is an easy way to step the design up a level, too.

Whether you’re showcasing your home to sell in this revved up market, or making the most of the space you’re in, bead curtains are hard to beat for a stylish, space saving addition to your kids’ rooms. We’d love to see how you make the most of your space with bead curtains!

We Have Found the Cure for Winter Blues: Virtual Vacays that Will Inspire Your Outdoor Space Transformations

As we head into our second week of frigid temps in the Southland (and most of the rest of the country), we’re seriously ready for some springtime.  Dogwoods blooming.  Baseball practice.  Going outside without layers of wool and fleece.

Since we’ve got at least a month or two of winter left, we are making our own fun break from this winter ick by taking an out-of-body mini vacation.  Destination(s):  Amazing Outdoor Spaces that Transport Us to a Happier (Warmer) State of Mind.

Here are some of the most inspired spaces we’re visiting (mentally) and planning to incorporate into our springtime outdoor redo.

We’re total suckers for vibrant colors, romantic curtains, and a Moroccan vibe. This stunning outdoor lounge combines curtains, a to-die-for Moroccan chandelier, an array of tabletop lanterns, and vibrant oranges, reds, and pinks in a retreat that will truly transport.  Two tickets to wherever this is, please.

With a completely different ambience but a similar capacity to lure us into a tropical state of mind, this sunny outdoor living room is both functional and fabulous.  Tall, dramatic curtains offer shade and diffusion when closed and can be tied back for basking in the sun and taking in the views.  We especially love the neutral color scheme enlivened by pops of mango, coral, and green.  Pillows are such a versatile, high impact way to set the tone while leaving room for changes of tastes and seasons.

This porch seems made for lounging, and that sweater style couch is totally calling our name with a nap time invitation.  The boho chic curtains add to the relaxed attitude of this cozy porch, and the strand of party lights adds a cool nighttime accent above them.  The suspended bird cage and glass globes are a pretty, cost-effective alternative to a chandelier, with none of the electrical wires to install and hide.

We’ve long loved the look of layered lanterns, and combined with comfy seating and this view, we can pretty thoroughly forget our wintertime troubles as we step into this photograph and sit a spell.

And we kind of love this charming, doable retreat right in an everyday backyard.  Repurposing a four poster bed frame as a stylish lounge area, complete with sunshade curtains, string lights, and lanterns makes this corner of the yard a sexy spot for sipping a glass of wine and unwinding from the day.

Whether you live in an area that’s been blanketed by white stuff or are coming out of the post-holiday winter madness in a warmer clime, we hope that you’ve enjoyed our mental vacay to inspiring outdoor spaces.  We can’t wait for a little thawing and the chance to redo our own outdoor space this spring.