Sunday, April 21, 2019

Simple Outdoor Easter Table

Happy Easter!

Although we are not hosting Easter brunch, I wanted to set up a simple backyard Easter table where my family and I can sit and dye Easter eggs, enjoy light appetizers, and contemplate the blessings that come with the true meaning of the holiday before we head out to our Easter celebrations.

The sun was shining here in So Cal so my photography was compromised, but when you live in a place with perfect weather who’s going to complain about the sunshine!

This simple Easter table came about with little effort using materials I had on hand.

Happy Easter sweet friends!



Linen Napkins: Pottery Barn 
White Ruffles Tabkeskirt: Target
Paper Napkin Wrap: Paper Source
Floral Embellishments: Michael’s Stores
Metal Decortive Embellsishmebt: Kohl’s
White Plates: Crate & Barrel

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fall-ifying My Home...

 - Ideas for bringing a little fall style to your Home-

Now that fall is here, it's time to make our homes warm and cozy.
Out come the decor bins and off we go...styling away.

As you know by now, even when styling my home for the seasons, 
I maintain a cohesive look that blends in with my home's existing 
decor style. For me, this allows me to create a design that doesn't compete 
or overpowers my everyday design.

My objective when styling for the seasons is to blend new pieces
with existing pieces thereby allowing each one to enhance the other.
I begin by keeping (for the most part) with the same color palette that 
is visible throughout my home.  My decor palette is a neutral one so this 
really helps when bringing in new decor items.

 Fall is all about texture, and that's music to my ears.  
On the normal, I add texture to my home decor everywhere I can.

 A basket filled with pillows is the perfect 
solution for extra floor seating for those
fall family game nights.

 A galvanized bucket oozing with fabric pumpkins
adds plenty of whimsical texture to this corner of our great room.

Regardless of the season, candles are always a good decor choice. 
As the days get shorter, there's 
something about their soft glow of that makes
fall evenings feel even cozier than usual.  
This mason jar candle surrounded by a few fall novelties
creates the perfect fall mood in the dining room.

 Faux fall foliage (now that's a tongue twister)
is everywhere the days.  Faux greenery is a cost 
effective way to keep your vignette arrangements lasting 
all season long.  Faux greenery has come a long way and many 
pieces in the decor stores look so authentic, it's hard to tell the
difference from real or faux.

As well styled console table greets the season and 
sets the mood for the rest of your home.
This console table is fall ready with cozy throws, pillows, 
and plenty of pumpkins to welcome the season.


 Simple fall touches...

 I like adding special little touches around my home
when styling for the seasons without overdoing it. 
These adorable little olive leaf wreaths are the
perfect accessory for dressing up our great room bar stools. 


Signs are a beautiful way to express special sentiments around your home.
My GATHER dining room window sill sign ties
 in well with what the fall season is all about.


Fall opens up the holiday season and that means plenty of entertaining...

A beautifully styled table doesn't have to be much work.  Bringing in texture and greenery was a simple task for creating this easy fall centerpiece.  This line of faux greenery plants from IKEA running down the center of the table was all it took!

A more elaborate fall table like this Thanksgiving table design 
can be easily achieved by bringing in plenty of texture.
The gold charger plates dress up the table for a more formal fall gathering.

To bring in a little fall authenticity to the table, I added real succulents in terracotta pots
 as an addition to the fabric pumpkin centerpiece. 

 The place settings provide each guest with a take home memento 
of time shared at my table

So as is visible in the photos above, styling one's home for fall doesn't have to be an overwhelming task.  In fact, fall styling looks best when it's kept minimally introduced.  Overpowering your home with faux maple leaf garlands, an excessive over abundance of orange pumpkins, and messy hay bales will make your space look cluttered and forced.

My recommendations...
  •  Keep things simple.
  • Maintain cohesion with your home's overall decor, and...
  • Bring in pieces that blend well with what you already have on display.

Happy fall Ya'ALL!!!



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Creating an Inviting Ambiance is key when Preparing and Styling your Guestroom for Receiving Guests.

Preparing & Styling our Guest Bedroom

We've all been there.  You know, that trip you made to visit family or friends and they insisted 
on having you stay with them.  While you appreciated their gesture, their "guest room" didn't feel inviting nor comfortable:

 The pet hamster ran on his wheel all night, there wasn't any room in the closet to hang your clothes, and it basically felt like you were sleeping in someone's "Catch All Room" with all of the storage boxes that took up half of the room.  You wished you would have declined their hospitable offer and made hotel reservations.

Why oh why do some people's guest's rooms feel cold and uninviting?...
I blame this lack of effective hospitality on the misconception that many often think 
providing their house guests with the spare bedroom in their home and clean bedding 
is all that is necessary when hosting their overnight guests.

While a designated room with a door is of course ideal, and clean bedding is a must...there is so much more that goes into preparing a guestroom for guests. 

I decided to write this blog post to give you my personal checklist on how to effectively prepare 
a guest room for receiving guests.

Here is my motto for making a guestroom inviting:
A guestroom should be a space that for the duration of their stay, 
your guests feel as if they are in their own private suite.

The question I asked myself when I designed our guestroom was a simple one... 

Q:  How do I like to feel when I walk into a hotel room?  
A:  I want the space to make me feel as if I am the first person to have ever stayed in that room. I want to see that the hotel staff took time in considering my needs and my personal preferences upon my arrival. I want to notice personal touches that were prepared just for me.

So having this mentality made it really easy for me to design a guestroom that would make my guests feel welcomed and special almost as if the room was designed just for them.

Here are my personal tips to creating a guest room that is inviting, and a place your guests will want to return to.
 Preparing the space:
Tip #1: De-clutter room of all personal belongings.  Remove fish/reptile tanks, kid's toys, papers, etc.

Tip #2: Clean your guest bedroom thoroughly.  This includes, dusting (windows/shutters/curtains included), sweeping floor/or vaccuming carpets, and don't forget to wash all bedding.

Tip #3: Make space in the closet and drawers, and provide extra hangers, a shoe rack, and a place to store luggage.  

Tip #4:  If you own a landline, lower or disconnect the ringer volume and answering machine so that your guests don't get awakened by a ringing phone.

Now that your guest room is ready to receive guests, let's talk about the extra touches that will make your guests feel that much more special.

I like to make the guest room look not only presentable, but pretty.  I want a space that is fresh smelling, and aesthetically beautiful, but most importantly, I like to make the guest room a space that makes my guests feel extra special when they are in our home. From personal touches to beautiful styling, I take great care in preparing our guest room for my overnight guests.

Personal touches to make your guestroom an inviting and comfortable space...
 Tip #5: In a basket or chest, provide a couple of throws.  You want to give your guests options depending on their comfort level during their sleep.  I recommend supplying them with a lightweight and a heavy throw. This way, depending on the weather or AC strength, they can choose which fits their personal preference.

Options are always a good thing especially when it comes to your guest's comfort...


The Bedside Table/Nightstand

Tip#6: Dress up the bedside table with flowers or small plants, a lightly scented candle (ask in advance what fragrances they prefer), and provide reading materials such as magazines geared to their specific interests. A city map, restaurant and excursion lists are always a great idea as well if your guests will be venturing out on their own. 

 Extra Essentials...
Tip #7:  Provide your home's WIFI password.  Sometimes guests are shy about asking for your password.  Having it accessible without their having to ask prevents those awkward moments. I place mine in a basket along with the TV remote controls.  If you have a desk in your space, you can place the card on the desk.

The Wardrobe/Closet/Bedding...
Tip#8:  Make sure to stock the closet with two extra pillows as well an extra quilt/ blanket for chilly nights.

 Tip#9: I like to provide a small basket with a couple of water bottles, 
packaged nuts (check for allergies) or cookies for those late night cravings.

 I purchased these baskets at HomeGoods...

 The En-Suite Guest Bath...
 Tip#10: If you have a designated en-suite bathroom, lay out shower essentials: Shampoos/Conditioners, two sets of towels, bath soap, razor (his/hers) shave gel, Q-Tips, cotton balls, band-aids etc.  I always like to include a small bottle of Advil/Tylenol just in case of a headache, etc.  If your guest bath is not an-en suite, then place these items in a basket on the bed or dresser.

Hotel-like Extras...
Tip#11: Providing robes is a great little extra touch your guests will appreciate especially if your guest room is not an en-suite. IKEA has affordable robes that are perfect for guests.  You can also purchase inexpensive slippers at IKEA for your guests to use and keep. 

(Robe shown Not from IKEA)

Welcoming Gesture...
Tip#12:  Hang a cute WELCOME sign, picture or saying.  By adding a little whimsy in the room it will make the space feel loved and comfortable.

And there you have it.  Some great tips on creating a soothing and welcoming ambiance for your overnight guests.  Happy Hosting!

I have many more personal tips to offer for creating a beautifully thought out guest bedroom, but for now, I think these simple rules will carry you through the next time you host overnight guests.




Monday, June 4, 2018

_: Summer Styling

_: Summer Styling: Oh Summer how I have longed for you... If you've been a longtime reader of this sweet little blog of mine,  you already know that...

Summer Styling

Oh Summer how I have longed for you...

If you've been a longtime reader of this sweet little blog of mine, 
you already know that summer is my favorite season.  

Getting my home summer ready starts long before school lets out!
 Aside from prepping our backyard and outdoor spaces, I bring a bit 
of the season indoor.

Now, while many people go over board bringing in summer, I opt for
a more subtle emergence of the season when it comes to my indoor styling.
Keeping things cohesive with the rest of my home's decor keeps my home
from looking overproduced and cluttered.

Staying true to my existing color palette is very important to me.  I strive to stay as close as possible to those colors that are visible throughout my home on the daily.
My home's every day color palette consists of neutral tones, 
so bringing in coastal accents in pale blues, soft sands, and whites 
gives me the cohesion I aim for.

Here's a quick glance of how I styled the dining room buffet hutch for summer.

The neutral colors represented in this photograph blend perfectly with the neutral 
tones of my home's decor.  Texture as you know is also very important to me.

  Texture is one of the decor elements that fills my home with decorative
substance; so when styling our dining room hutch for summer I made certain to bring in as much texture as possible.  

In this photo, the wooden spoons, wicker basket, drift wood, sea star and sea shells 
are all natural elements that envelop my love for texture in my designs.

The soft palette I've used here is also reminiscent of the beauty that is coastal living.  
The muted blue striped linens are soft and subtle and remind me of the ocean.

The white linen napkins and white dinner plates
 add a subtle elegance to the overall design.

Accessorizing with pieces that are true to the intended decor style 
defines my summer style without having to explain it.

 Bringing in natural elements in this coastal design was key.
Not only do the shells, coral, and driftwood fall under the classic coastal decor category, but once again their colors are found throughout my home thereby keeping my home's color palette consistent even in my seasonal styling.

In addition to achieving a cohesive color palette, using
these natural elements many of which I have collected while
on vacation offers me both the sentimental value of special memories

 as well as a design that is true to its coastal style.

So my tip to you when styling for summer...
 Opt for a design that is cohesive with the rest of your home.  This will ensure you maintain 
a well groomed style that doesn't compete or overpower your home's overall decor style. 

 Happy Summer Styling!

 All photos are property of MaddiebellaHome
and cannot be used without permission

Monday, March 5, 2018

A spring palette with the colors of a place that has special meaning to my family: Design a space that embodies the essence of who you are,and not the look that belongs in someome else' home.

Spring is almost here and that means down come the 
drab colors of winter and soon we will see pops of color everywhere.

As it's visible in my own home styling, brighter colors are showing up.
One advantage that I have this year over previous years is that our new home's 
decor color palette is very consistent with the colors of spring. How lucky and I 
that I don't have to do a huge turnover from winter into spring, and how lucky am I that 
my new spring color palette has become the permanent color palette for our new home?!

But perhaps the most meaningful reason my spring color palette is the right choice
for my home is that it represents my family and what we love.

My advice when others are trying to find the decor style for their own home is this...
just because you see it on Instagram, doesn't mean it's your style.  It might work for others, but it may not be the perfect styling for your home.  I stick to what works for or me and my family.  I stick to what my family and I love, and it doesn't matter what the trends are, I don't waiver from the style that is unique to me and my family. 

 I am a firm believer that one's home decor style should reflect and define
who you are and what you love. I feel it creates a well defined home when the design compliments the passions and taste of those that reside within.

  I love neutral design styling with pops of soft colors.  And as
a family, we love New England.  So, it's only appropriate that our design meets our taste
perfectly.  When we decided on a New England / Hamptons' style for our new home, all three of us were on board instantly.  It just feels right for us, and we cannot wait to see the outcome of each space as it comes to life room by room.

So back to my spring color palette.  My love of white remains, and that's the beautiful thing about a white background... everything blends in well.   

Our spring and new home color palette will look something like this...

I will be mixing pale blues and soft greens with whites and light grays,buttery creams and
subtle yellows to create The Hamptons style my family loves. 

 I like to compare my design palette to that of a nest filled with robins' eggs, or the colors of the sailboats on Oak Bluffs Marina on Martha's Vineyard


Plenty of Texture...
 The New England /Hamptons style is filled with texture.
 I've incorporated  an abundance of texture 
in the use of linens, greenery, glass, weaved and wire baskets,
woods,personal photography as well as in decorative pillows and throws,
 to coastal accents and wood decor.  Fortunately for me, 
these are staple pieces in my home all year long so they 
will be a consistent part of the Hamptons style I am 
                                                         bringing into our new home.

 Greenery will be visible throughout...
This faux greenery shrub makes for an excellent filler 
in between natural floral shopping trips.

                   Wood, wicker, and wire baskets will be staples in my New England /Hamptons style home, as seen below.

White and blue/gray pillows bring that
 coastal charm to the greatroom couch. 
                                                                                My own framed photography
                                                                                    is a sweet reminder of our favorite spot on the 
                                                                                vineyard . Incorporating my photography is 
                                                                                   another example of making the design my own.   

 Soft textiles draped over our covered dining chairs
 bring forth an elegant Cape Cod lifestyle to the space.

These are just a snippet of how my New England / Hamptons style home is coming along.
I could not be happier with this subtle yet elegant color palette.
 What I love most about the colors I've chosen is that they are symbolic of  warm breezy days out 
on the New England waters.

 As when I'm designing for others, it makes me happy to bring to my clients a style that symbolizes the essence of their family, and I feel no different when designing for my family. 
 This color palette and design style is special for US.  

It's easy to get so caught up in the design style of others.  We see so many cookie cutter designs on Instagram and we are often tempted to recreate them in our individual spaces, but when you feel tempted to copy someone else' style, ask yourself, does that design style define me and my family? Does that design style feel natural in my home?
These are really important questions when designing your space. 
 You want to make sure your space is genuine. You want to make sure your space is comfortable for you and your family rather than having it feel like it's someone else space.  Don't get sucked in by the trends that in the end will feel disconnected from who you are and what you truly love. 

 You want to design a home that all design elements exemplify you and your family.  From the color, to the textures, to the accessories you use, they should describe you in one way or another.

 So as I mentioned, the pics enclosed in this post are just a snippet of the color palette
that I have chosen for our New England /Hamptons style home.  I can't wait to see this design come to full circle, because it is a design that resonates with a place my family and I hold dear memories of, and one that we will love for a very long time.

I hope you find the design that reflects and defines what you and your family love! Don't copy, stay original, because when your home doesn't feel like YOU, it feels empty and out of place, and it's visible to everyone who steps inside.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fresh Greens Place Setting & Guest Take Home Gift:

 Gifting my guests with a sweet little memento 
to remember cherished times at my dinner table is 
always part of my place settings...

I always enjoy giving my dinner guests a small gift token that is appropriate for the occasion.
whether it's an ornament placed at each place setting for each couple at our holiday party table, 
a tea towel at my ladies tea, or a bottle of olive oil at our Italian themed dinner party, these small
tokens are my personal way to make my guests feel extra special when they dine at my table.

In this post, I am sharing an aromatic and flavor filled guest gift that is not only practical, 
but it's gender neutral too. Keep reading to see what I came up with to go with this spring
 table place setting. 

The Place Setting:

Using fresh greens, I designed a simple spring setting.
My white Pottery Barn Hemstitch napkins are not only classic and elegant,
but they add texture to my table.  To incorporate added
texture, I tied the napkins with hemp twine.  

To complete the look and bring in color I wrapped fresh store bought 
 fresh greens around the tied napkin.  

The greens give this simple spring setting 
a feeling of freshness which is what I attribute when I think of spring. 


You know how much I love table linens, and my French Number Utensil Wrap
from my own collection (you can purchase by contacting me via Instagram)
were perfect for this simple place setting. 

The black number coordinates beautifully 
with my favorite black plates.

Sidenote: As I design my place settings, I create additional designs right on the spot.
Whether they become part of the finished design or not, I always snap a photo.  This is my way of 
utilizing my designs in multiple ways in future styling both for myself and my clients.

The styling of my soup spoon laid across my place setting might just pop up again in a future design for a ladies brunch or wedding shower.

In the lower photo, 
I added a mason jar with a striped paper straw. The added whimsy is perfect for a baby 
shower table or teacher luncheon.

My love for designing place settings is tied in with my passion for beautiful tables.
I take the utmost care and time into my table designs.  I feel this shows my guests
how much care and love I've put into creating a special space for them while they sit at my dinner table.

But, it doesn't end at the place setting for me.  Each time I host a gathering, I want my guests 
to remember the moment, the conversations, the laughter, and the people they shared time with at my table.  Years ago, I began designing special mementos to place at each setting for my guests to take home. Each token is tied in with the theme or occasion of  the gathering.  I take great care into what I design, and my main goal is to give something that my guests will want to use time and time again.  

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to know how much they appreciate this special little touch.  The greatest of joys for me is when I visit my guests, and I see one of my dinner party mementos displayed in their home.  I love it!

Guest Take Home Gift:

As I mentioned previously, my guest mementos revolve
around the overall theme of my dinner party table.  For this spring place setting,
I opted for a gift that exudes what the season is all about.  

When I think of spring, I think of 
fresh leaves on a tree, pretty new blooms on a stem, and a fresh new scent in the air.  Spring is all about natural fresh aromas, so I wanted to incorporate that into my guest gift design.

As I pondered on ideas of what I would design I instantly knew the perfect guest gift would 
be one that is fresh and filled with aroma, and one that my guests would not only appreciate, but one they will be excited to use.

My Fresh Spice Vile Guest Take Home Gifts...
Who doesn't love fresh spices?!  My spice vile guest gifts are sure to enhance the taste palette of every guest at my spring table.  And let's talk about how cute they look on my 
  fresh greens spring place setting!

So take a look at how I designed this special little memento that
will sure be useful in my guest's kitchens.  And, every time they use it
they will be reminded of a great time shared around my dining table.

I poured fresh herb spices into glass cork top viles. 
I threaded a mini name tag onto a hemp twine string and wrapped the twine several times around the vile
securing it with a plain knot.  


I labeled each tag with the name 
of the spice and that's all it took 
in creating these adorable and very
useful guest take home gifts.


I placed a random spice vile at each place setting...however, I want my guest gifts to be something my guests will actually use, so in the event of allergies to a specific spice or simply personal taste preference, I will have duplicates should my guests want to switch their vile with a different one.





Pretty packaging always catches the eye of the recipient.  

And who says the hostess can't have her own little stash...
 How cute will these adorable spice viles look in my kitchen?!

Thanks for stopping by the blog and reading all about

how I designed these fresh spice/herb guest take home gifts.

 They look beautiful layered over my fresh greens place setting!

I can't wait to gift my guests one of these sweet little viles at my next dinner party!