Thursday, August 18, 2016

Room Styliing

People often compliment on the way 
I decorate my home.  It's very nice to hear that 
they find my style of decor aesthetically pleasing,
but they often follow the compliment with some very familiar
statements..."I could never pull that off" or "I just don't have the vision 
for decorating."  I always reply by letting them know that styling/decorating 
a room in one's house is not as difficult as they make it out to be.

Here are three tips that can make styling/decorating a room in one's home
 stress free and fun.

1. Don't over think it.  It's simple, go with what makes you feel comfortable.
If you like a room to feel lived in and comfortable, don't go for that over the top 
model home look. For one, you won't enjoy the decor, because it won't reflect your
personality nor your purpose of how you intend to use the room.

2.  Don't overextend your budget.  While it is always fun to shop for new decor items,
give what you already own a chance to shine by shopping your home for items that will
work in the space.  You will be surprised at how wonderful a vase you once stashed away in a closet looks 
atop a bedside table in your master bedroom.  Not only will you rediscover items that you once considered out of style or no longer necessary, but your budget will not waste away, and instead, you can save for those items that you will need but don't yet have.

3.Don't compromise your comfort level.  Don't replicate a look that ends up being too stuffy or impractical
simply because you saw it on a design show or in a magazine.  For the most part, stay true to your personal 
style.  By not straying too far from your comfort zone, you will prevent feeling stressed and regretful about the transformation of your space.  

Here are some pictures to show you how simple styling a room can actually be.

  Accessories make a bold statement when it comes 
to styling/decorating a room in one's home.
Keep your accessories simple and create complimentary 
vignettes that bring cohesion to the overall design.

Accentuate & Layer: 
If a window is a focal point in your space, 
accentuate it by placing an aesthetically pleasing decorative piece
in front of it.  To ensure you don't block the window and the light from 
filtering through, keep your pieces simple and low on the surface they 
are placed on.  Layering adds dimension to your design.  Place decorative 
items atop books or magazines in your space.  And, incorporate items that you 
love or use frequently as decor pieces as I have done here with one of my 
favorite decor books and magazines.

Create ambiance.   Ask yourself, what do I want my space to feel like.
For me, I want our master bedroom to feel like a retreat, a five start hotel, 
a that each time my husband and I walk in, we feel relaxed,and calm.
Here, I opted to give our bed that feeling one gets when they walk into a
beautiful hotel room with plush linens, beautiful pillows, and sweet personal 
touches.  A simple silver julet cup filled with white faux stems and a sweet 
zen message, greet us when we step into our bedroom.  The pillows are
my own design, and can be found in my Etsy store (MaddibellaHome) later this month. The pillows give our linens a touch of whimsical elegance.

Identify areas that you love within your space and style them up to best fit 
your purpose for them.  Here, I have placed a comfy throw over the arm of 
a simple wicker chair where I enjoy curling up to read my favorite 
decor magazines. Rather than keeping the throw stored away until I need it, 
I opted to display it as part of identifying the purpose of this relaxing spot within the room.

Personalize your space.  I didn't want our master
bedroom to feel like it was a girly girl room that only belongs to me.
I want my husband to feel comfortable in the space as much as I do.
Each of our nightstands reflects our individual styles and hosts items that
identify our taste.

   The Hubby's side reflects his interests.
 And there you have it, a beautifully styled space that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, 
but emits elegance, and practicality without fuss or stress in it's design.  Being true to your own 
personal style and not attempting to create something that simply "isn't you" will alleviate stress and make
the process of styling/decorating your space much more fun!
Now go and give it a try!  
Style away sweet readers!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Mood Board/Inspiration Board/Design Board

Whether you choose to call it an Inspiration,Vision, Design, or Mood Board,
it all comes down to this...every design idea needs a plan.  You might think when I refer to "a plan"
that I'm referring to furniture placement, or paint color, but it is far more important that those two elements.
By a plan, I am referring to a design board. 
  Let's first define the term (that actually goes by many pseudo names). 

 Design Board/Mood Board, Inspiration Board: A type of "poster design" made up of images such as photographs, texts, and samples of materials used to create a visual display of a design concept as conceptualized by the designer upon consulting with their client and learning of the client's desired needs.

On a side note; It isn't uncommon for a designer to create more than one mood board for their client. Because the design needs of a client may not be solidly clear even to the client themselves, creating more than one mood board will allow the designer to present various concepts thereby giving the client more options to choose from.

So now you understand what a Design Board is, and why it is used.  Something you may not know is that 
a design board will not only serve as a blueprint for your design concept, but it can and most often than not,  will save you money on your overall design budget.  How you might ask?...Well, very much like a rough draft/sloppy copy of a school paper, a design board will keep you on track by allowing you to stay focused on what it is your overall design needs, what can be omitted, and what will make your space the most useful and functional for the desired purpose you have identified.  

As many of you know, I have been working on our Home Office Re-Do project.  However,
  With summer vacation travel, there has been slow progression, but once it is completed, I will post the reveal.
 Design Boards:
This is how I started the project; with a raw design board.  A simple board with cutouts that I created way back in April.   

 Once I secured my overall color palette and desired decor style,
I collected images of suitable pieces that complimented my decor style as well as the
functionality of the room.

Everything from furniture to artwork can be seen in this Design Board.

One advantage of being the designer in your own personal project, is that it gives one the opportunity to 
not only create this board, but to enhance it without needing a client's approval.

Once I secured that this in fact was my final design, I created a digital version of my Design Board that 
would allow me to take take it along while shopping. The ability to transport the entire room design via my phone or tablet was incredibly efficient..

There are numerous Design Board programs that designers tend to favor.  Finding 
the right program just depends on personal preference.  I started my layout by using 
a presentation program such as power point, and because of summer travel, I didn't have
time to transfer it to an actual design program.  Nonetheless, this worked out fine as I was able to 
view my design throughout my shopping ventures. And YES, I even took it on vacation in case.


So there you have it...A little background on the Design Board Concept.

I can't wait for this room to be completed so I can share it with all of my readers.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Backyard Tablescape Designs...

Everyone knows that I love dressing up a table.
From Elegant to Rustic, I love all of the possibilities a bare table allows.
For me, a table ready for designing is like a blank canvas awaiting the stroke
of the artist's brush.

Since the beginning of summer, we have been busy having fun, when you 
have a teenager in the house, fun is what it's all about. And while she's out having summer fun 
with friends, I am able to sneak in one and sometimes two projects to design.

I designed this table for Father's Day Lunch.  
I hope this design inspires you to dress up a table or two!

French- Farmhouse Rustic Number Table..
This table was inspired by the French Farmhouse pillows I made
for our home office re-do (almost done, and cannot wait to share with you).
 After making the pillows, I got the idea to make number napkin rings and plate wraps
(plate wraps not shown in picture).
I was pleased at how the French Farmhouse pillows added to the simplicity of the rustic table.

Here are more shots of my French Farmhouse Rustic Number Table...

The napkin wraps complimented the number pillows, 
and created a cohesive design altogether.

My number napkin rings will be available in my Etsy Store soon...

My French Farmhouse Pillows will also be available in my Etsy Store soon.

A simple floral arrangement using back yard clippings tucked 
into a glass mason jar is all this rustic table design needs for a centerpiece.

The plastic tumblers and black and white paper straws
bring a little relaxed, whimsy touch to the overall design.

This table is a perfect example, that it's not necessary
to go overboard when designing a tablescape.
A simple table is often much more beautiful without frills 
or over-the-top floral centerpieces.  This table gave off a relaxed
vibe, and complimented the backyard surroundings just perfectly.  


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Re-Doing a Room in your Home? Make sure you have a PLAN, PLAN, PLAN...

Let's face it, as fun as redoing a room in one's home is, 
it can be equally stressful.  For many, the task can become 
so ominous that the redoing process often ends with the room being 
repainted and nothing more.

I have had friends and clients tell me that they've started a room re-do
only to completely become overwhelmed, and they end up putting everything they've taken
out of the room right back in and the project was completely forgotten.

There is a simple answer to why someone would become so overwhelmed
and cancel the re-do project all together....And the answer is, NO PLAN!!

Just like a well written paper where planning via outlines and rough drafts is key,
a room re-do pretty much requires the same type of planning in a more visual way of course...I will be writing a post about Mood/Inspiration Boards soon, but let's take it one step at a time.

If you are lucky enough to hire a good designer, then, all you have to do is define your decor style, 
the purpose of the room's use, and some basic likes and dislikes, and it's up to them to create 
a room based on the information you've provided them.  Now, don't get me wrong, don't think 
hiring a designer gets you off the hook...after all, it's your room, your home, and you should act as a well 
informed participant in the design process.  In other words, periodically touch base with your designer 
to ensure that everything is flowing as it should, or to share a thought or two of something you might want to 
change or add.  

Believe me, each time I have worked on someone's home, I love when they become involved in the process, because it allows me to have those "A-Ha" Moments, where something they said, or something they wore prompted me to tweak my original design concept, and when I present the change to them,
 they more often that not agree, and we both laugh at how something so impromptu had such a positive impact on the overall design.

Just recently I worked on a  laundry space for one of my friend's colleagues.  She wanted to remove the existing cabinetry and add open shelving in the space.  The first time I viewed the space, it was completely bare as they had just moved into their home.  However, after meeting with her once she moved in, I realized that open shelving was probably not the best decor concept for her space...the reason you ask, well let's just say that after seeing how she maintained the space once she had moved in with detergent containers not properly stored inside the cabinets, lids not placed back on the containers, her dog's leash on top of the washer, children's toys strewn around the room, and mail on top of the counter, I didn't think open shelving would work for her. After explaining to her that open shelving requires a well maintained and organized disciplined plan, she agreed that open shelving was not the way to go, and instead we went with repainting her existing cabinets, adding molding, and new hardware, and she was beyond pleased with the results.

So that's just a quick little tip to keep in mind when re-doing a space in your home.  Have a plan, and remember, just because something looks great in a magazine or decor site, doesn't mean it will work in your space. Here are 3 simple tips to consider when re-doing a room in your home...

  • Define the purpose of the room- What will you be using the room for?
  • Create a Plan- This will save you time, money, and keep you on track.
  • Be willing to be flexible with your plan, but stay focused and don't deviate from it unless what you have envisioned will clearly not work in the space. Too many changes might overwhelm you in the long run causing you to lose focus and spend way more than you initially envisioned.

Most of all...Have fun, and anticipate the space that you've always envisioned!



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Beautiful New Wood Signs and So Much More!

Sharing beautiful decor inspiration with all of you  through by blog is so special,
and your sweet is always so kind.

I realized I had not shared the wonderful news about my new Etsy Shop with all of you!
It's no surprise I love beautiful decor, and I thought what better way 
to share my passion for beautiful items for the home than creating 
these beautiful pieces for others to enjoy in their spaces as well.

I hope you get a chance to stop by my Etsy Shop.
Just go to Etsy, and type in my store name MaddiebellaHome 
where you will find an array of home decor items all handmade by me.
 From wood signs in a variety of decor styles to hand painted French Number Pillows,
I am sure you will find something special for your already beautiful homes.

Also, please follow me on Instagram @maddiebellahome 
to keep up with the latest decor trends.

 Here are a few of the wood signs in the shop now.  But, head on over to my MaddiebellaHome
Etsy store to see all of the beautiful handcrafted products available.

Distressed & Hand painted Motivational Wood Block Sign. 

Hand painted & Distressed for that weathered beachy look, 
this adorable pale blue sign would look amazing as part of your coastal decor!

Whether you live on the beach, or a hundred miles away,
this beautiful Beach House sign will enhance your summer decor beautifully.

 And, if your style is more Cottage and Farmhouse,  or just prefer a more
neutral decor, then this MARKET sign is perfect for you.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Little Red, White, Blue and LobSTAH!!

Nothing I like more than a clambake!!!
It's one of the reasons I love visiting New England.

(Here is a little backstory of what inspired my Clambake LobSTAH table design.)

While on vacation in NE a few years ago, I came across the cutest
little shop ever in Kennebunkport Maine to be exact! It was filled with everything from coastal  and nautical decor, to novelties, to beautiful gift items.  In fact, the store name doesn't surprise me, as it is named..."The Best of Everything."

It was almost time to head back to our hotel in New Hampshire, and this little shop 
caught my eye. I came upon an entire section of the most adorable Kitchen accessories and 
cookware that were perfect for a traditional New England Clambake. A gorgeous platter caught my eye!  I  picked it up and new it was coming back to California with me regardless of its hefty price tag.  As I continued on before checking out, I saw adorable scarves packaged beautifully in a corner bin in a section of the store.  I picked a scarf with bold blue stripes and bright red lobsters all over it!  I just could not stand the cuteness, but in an attempt to be somewhat conservative with my spending that day, I put it back and walked to the register to check out.  I contemplated turning around and picking it up to purchase it, but the store was about to close and I didn't want to hold up the people that remained in line after me.   On the drive back to NH, I could not stop talking about that scarf, and my sweet hubby offered to turn around and go back so I could buy it.,..I sadly explained that the store would be closed by the time we turned around.
The next day, which happened to be our last day in New England, I kept telling my hubby how I regretted not picking up that scarf.  He suggested I call the store to see if I could order it over the phone and have them ship it to California for me.  I was skeptical that they would even consider doing it, but I gave it a whirl, and to my surprise, they said it would not be a problem at all!!!  I was BEYOND excited!  I could not wait to get back home from our vacation to see that little package arrive.  And here I am, three years later, that perfect Lobster scarf and Nautical Lobster Platter are the inspiration for my Clambake LobSTAH Table Design!

(Pottery Barn Hemstitch Napkins in White)
Plastic Tumblers ( Home Goods)
White Caterer's Plates (Cost Plus)
Nautical Napkin Rings (DIY using Michael's Dollar bin Novelties)
I mean really...could this platter and scarf be anymore perfect!!!! 

I also found these adorable anchors in the dollar bins at Michael's and 
created napkin rings for my Pottery Barn Napkins...

 I don't know what I love more, designing tablescapes 
or creating one of a kind Napkin designs.  I just 
love this mamma whale and her calf...

Tommy Bahama Soup/Salad Bowls (Home Goods) what a treat to find these beauties...
 They almost perfectly match my Losbster Platter!!!!!!!

I would have never thought that the Lobster Scarf that I fell in love with in that 
adorable little store in Kennebunkport would be hanging from my backyard trees three years later...

I'm still as in love with this Lobster Platter as I was when I first 
saw it in that sweet little shop!

I had an adorable assistant that took the most amazing photographs 
for this shoot... My sweet daughter. She loves decor as much as I do!
I love that we share this passion.

 Oh, I forgot to mention, I also picked up these adorable 
 clambake dipping cups in Boston!  Aren't they the cutest!  
And, they compliment the lobster theme quite nicely!

And here you have it...My LobSTAH Table...I think I'm ready for a Clambake!

And every designer needs to end her project up in the AIR!

 Special Thanks to my daughter for her mad photography skills!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sail Away With Me Table...

 Sail Away with me Table...

Sail Away with Me to The Crystal Blue Caribbean Sea: 

Most of you know that I love coastal and Nautical decor, so 
once summer approaches I go into beachy mode! And, nothing I love more
than the Caribbean Sea which always inspires my summer decor.

This year, with some very exciting things happening around here (can't share just yet)
 I have believe it or not scaled down my summer coastal decor just a tad...Don't get me 
wrong, there are definitely Coastal touches in every room, but just a little subtle this time around.

Each summer I design one tablescape that I maintain throughout the season...
My hubby and daughter don't really love the idea, because it means the dining room table is 
off limits the entire summer unless we are entertaining, of course, at which point, everything gets taken down, and put right back up once dinner guests leave.

This year, I decided to create various tablescapes on our outdoor rustic table, and interchange
them as design ideas pop into my head.

I am sharing my latest Coastal tablescape...
The color palette reminds of the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea which is my favorite place in the whole world!

Welcome to my "Sail Away with Me" Tablescape 

As I mentioned earlier, The Caribbean Sea is my favorite, so I wanted to replicate 
the beautiful blue of it's waters...For my linens, I paired a long sea blue fabric with 
stark white napkins to give the illusion of the white foamy waves as they softly move across the crystal blue Caribbean waters...

Nothing I love more than looking for beautiful sea glass along 
the sweet Caribbean shores...These sea-blue bottles are the perfect accents 
to bring the illusion of found sea treasures to my table...

Every dinner guest likes to feel special...I designed a coastal place card
in the form of a sailboat by using a lime to create the vessel...The nautical cardstock
made for the perfect sail to take my guests on a summer venture in the deep blue sea...The little  personalized flags wave in the wind, and remind each friend that they are my special guest aboard this voyage...

My coastal banner was an easy DIY using twill fabric and sea foam color paint...I can just imagine 
this sweet little banner hanging from the mast of a beautiful sailing vessel along the waters of the Cayman Islands where nothing but blue seas meet the beautiful horizon as the sun sets over the Caribbean and steel drums are heard in the distance...

Simple white pillows make seating comfortable for my guests to sit and enjoy
after dinner conversation... 

Clear plastic tumblers give the look of fancy crystal while allowing 
the beautiful colors of the table to come through without obstruction...

A simple vignette of sea-blue bottles and white ceramic vase
is the main centerpiece at this table...

Just like the transparent waters of the Caribbean, 
my table accents mirror the look of the beautiful sea...

The rustic table in it's brown hue pairs beautifully with the sea-blue and white color palette of the 
overall design..

Message in a Bottle...
Send your guests home with a sweet little message tucked into a sea bottle...
I filled the bottles with sand to ensure stability, tied a little nautical map tag from its cork.

 Creating extra seating areas within your backyard space is key when entertaining..
My backyard bench made for a perfect dinner banquet,
and complimented the rustic patio table quite nicely.  Once dinner is done, 
the bench serves as a spot where guests can sit and enjoy after dinner cocktails and great 

And there you have it...A table that will take you to the sea where the crystal blue waters of the 
Caribbean greet you with open arms as you listen to the sounds of the rolling waves and watch the
 pelicans as they sit still over the water as you sail past...
 Happy Sailing...