Target's new collaboration with Chip & Joanna Gaines

This last Saturday, I was doing a little shopping at my local Target and noticed a huge tent set up at the back of the store. You could hear all kinds of shuffling, mumbling and laughing going on behind the secrecy of the tent. I was so curious as to what was going on in there, I tried to find an opening to take a peek. I caught a disapproving glance from a Target employee who saw what I was trying to do, so I abandoned my effort and went on with my shopping.

The next morning I was basking in the glory of gaining an extra hour from the end of Daylight Savings when I got this text from my daughter "I bet the tent at Target was the Joanna Gaines stuff. It launches today!" 

You see, we have been discussing the launch of this collaboration for several weeks now. With the popularity of their show, Fixer Upper, it was only a matter of time before Target jumped on the bandwagon and featured their product in their stores. So, with mild curiosity, I decided to leave the comfort of my pajamas and head on down to Target to see what the fuss was about. 

I entered the parking lot at approximately 8:15 a.m., 15 minutes after the doors opened. There were a smattering of cars, but not what I would call overly full. I really thought there would be more people, so maybe all the hype was just that, a bunch of hype. Even as I went inside, I only spotted a few other customers in the store. Great, I thought, I will get to view the goods without a bunch of other shoppers getting in my way.

I grabbed a cart, not that I was really intending to buy anything, but wanted to be prepared just in case. I made my way to the back of the store where I had seen the tent the day before. All of a sudden I started to hear a mild humming, like a swarm of bees in the distance. As I got closer, the humming turned into voices, the voices of approximately 50 frantic, giddy shoppers piling home decor products into their carts. I quickly realized that the store was not empty, they all just happened to be in one department, the Chip & Joanna Gaines Hearth & Hand department.

It was sheer pandemonium! Items were being ripped off the shelves at record pace, shoppers with two and three carts per person, piled high with candles, blankets and vases. I had never seen anything like it. Before I knew it I got caught up in the action as well. I don't know if it was the attractive home decor at ridiculously low prices that got me, or the competitive nature of what was happening. I spotted a shopper ogling a Christmas wreath, the last one on the shelf, and out of nowhere I grabbed it and threw it into may cart! Sorry lady, you snooze you lose (and if that was you at the Roseville Target Sunday morning, my sincere apologies).

Twenty minutes later I'm standing in the checkout line, dazed and confused. I can't even remember putting all of these things in my cart, but there they were, smugly staring back at me. Do I really need these Christmas kitchen towels? Or this balsam spice candle in the galvanized tin (that by the way smells exactly like a walk through a forest)?. Yes, yes I do!! The lady in front of me had three carts full, so I didn't feel quite so bad.

I made it home with my wares and sheepishly carried all my bags into the house. "Just going to check it out, huh?" my husband says with the faintest hint of sarcasm in his voice. "I needed to do some research for the blog"  I said ;)

I'm not sure what is left from the collection, but this is what made it into my cart:

 This is the wreath I stole from the unsuspecting shopper. Sorry, not sorry!

This is the wreath I stole from the unsuspecting shopper. Sorry, not sorry!

 I got this for my new granddaughter. My grandson's stocking is solid green so this will coordinate perfectly!

I got this for my new granddaughter. My grandson's stocking is solid green so this will coordinate perfectly!

 The aforementioned balsam spice candle in galvanized tin (that smells exactly like a walk through a forest)

The aforementioned balsam spice candle in galvanized tin (that smells exactly like a walk through a forest)

 I am actually always on the hunt for simple gold frames for styling bookcases. I might go buy more of these!

I am actually always on the hunt for simple gold frames for styling bookcases. I might go buy more of these!

 See, I couldn't put them back! And for any family member reading this, do not use these for cleaning purposes. These are just for hanging in the kitchen and looking cute!!

See, I couldn't put them back! And for any family member reading this, do not use these for cleaning purposes. These are just for hanging in the kitchen and looking cute!!

 I love tall vases like these anytime of year for displaying branches. But at Christmas, I will use evergreen cuttings!

I love tall vases like these anytime of year for displaying branches. But at Christmas, I will use evergreen cuttings!

 Ok, I kind of love this taper candleholder! It will be great for the holidays filled with greenery, but you can mix it up the rest of the year with other things.

Ok, I kind of love this taper candleholder! It will be great for the holidays filled with greenery, but you can mix it up the rest of the year with other things.

 I am seeing black candles everywhere lately instead of the usual white. I'm a fan!

I am seeing black candles everywhere lately instead of the usual white. I'm a fan!

 I did manage to get one Christmas gift off my list. Hopefully my grandson doesn't see this (I know he's only 3, but he's pretty computer savvy).

I did manage to get one Christmas gift off my list. Hopefully my grandson doesn't see this (I know he's only 3, but he's pretty computer savvy).

So, here are my final thoughts on this highly anticipated collection. My design aesthetic leans more towards Bohemian chic than modern farmhouse, but there were plenty of things that blended quite nicely with my design style. In fact, if you are just looking for some basic filler pieces, at a great price point, you will probably find some things that work for you too. The simplistic nature of their collection will work with most design styles, including modern, industrial, traditional and of course their mainstay modern farmhouse. I think the reason they are so popular is they have tapped into what everyone wants for their home, a warm, beautiful place to share and create memories with the ones you love.  

I would love to hear if anyone else braved the crowds for the big launch. Let me know your thoughts and what you purchased in the comments!


Need help with a decorating project? Let's get started today! 

My top 10 favorite paint colors for home staging

One of the best things you can do to get your home ready for sale is to give it a fresh coat of paint. A nice neutral color let's potential home buyers visualize their furnishings in your space and gives it that "move-in-ready" appeal.  That perfect shade of red you agonized over in your dining room may be perfect for you, but not necessarily right for the majority of buyers. A versatile choice like gray, however, will work with all styles and and all accent colors.

So, now that I've convinced you to go ahead and pull out the brushes and rollers, what color do you choose? Standing in front of that HUGE paint color display can be quite intimidating, I know. Not to worry, I've got you covered with my Top 10 Favorite Paint Colors for Home Staging list. And even if you're not selling your home anytime soon, you might want to consider an update with one of these classic colors.

BM Decorator's White  It's not called Decorator's White for nothing! This is one of Benjamin Moore's Designer Classic colors and is a favorite among homeowners and designers alike. It is a great color to use if you lack natural light and need to brighten things up. It is also a nice backdrop for art collections.

BM Gray Owl  This is a soft, versatile gray that is easy to work with. It is both warm and cool and light enough to work in rooms that tend to be dark. I would use this color anywhere!

BM Simply White  This bright white is perfect for all your trim. If you have lots of interesting molding or wainscoting, paint your trim and walls the same color for simply stunning results!

BM November Rain  This goes a little more cream than gray and has a slight green undertone. It looks gorgeous with warm, hardwood floors and is definitely a classic with Simply White trim.

BM Revere Pewter  This seems to make every designer's top 10 list. It is a classic gray with warm undertones and has a unifying effect that calms and restores. One of my favorite colors to use in a bedroom!

BM Pale Oak  This gorgeous neutral is graceful and elegant. On the paler side of gray, it is another good choice if your home tends to be on the dark side, but will still contrast nicely with Simply White. It works well in a modern, open floor plan.

BM Jute  This is a super creamy beige that is beautiful with spa colors like blues and greens. It really works with anything, but I especially love it in a home with a coastal cottage vibe.

BM Moon Shadow  I dare you to say the name of this color without busting out a little rendition of the Cat Stevens classic. It has been described as "the perfect gray"'s not too's not too's just right! For this reason, I'm giving it the coveted Goldilocks Award! 

BM Half Moon Crest  Depending on the lighting, this gray will sometimes have a green or blue undertone. It is a rich, restful gray that will add a level of sophistication to any room. Particularly stunning in a kitchen with white cabinets!

BM White Diamond  Another great white option, this one pairs especially well with cool blues and greens.

All of my color choices are from Benjamin Moore, one of my favorite paint companies to work with. But if you, or your paint contractor, have a specific brand you like to work with, most will do a color match for you. I always suggest buying a small sample to try out in your home, as colors will look different based on the amount of natural light and your home's orientation (north/east facing will appear cooler than south/west facing). And rather than paint directly on your wall, paint a large square onto a poster board. That way you can move it around the room to see how it will look on every surface and you won't have ugly splotches everywhere.

If you live in the greater Sacramento area and need some help getting your home ready to sell, I would love to help! Contact me now to get started!


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3 tips for perfectly placed artwork

Hanging artwork is something I get asked about all the time. It is also one of the biggest decorating mistakes I see on a regular basis. When hung correctly, artwork can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. It injects color, personality and completes the space. If hung incorrectly, however, things can feel disjointed and out of sorts. It's like wearing the wrong pair of shoes with an otherwise stunning outfit - devastating!

So follow these 3 tips and make your walls WOW instead of WOOPS:

1. How Big - In artwork, size really does matter (insert your own joke here). It matters in relation to where it is being placed, whether above an anchoring piece or on a blank wall. Just remember the rule of thirds, which is most pleasing to the human eye. So whether it is a single piece of art, or a grouping, the overall area should be roughly 2/3 the width of the anchoring piece or 2/3 the width of the blank wall.

2.  How High - Just like a perfectly hemmed pair of pants, artwork needs to be hung at the appropriate height in relation to an anchoring piece of furniture, or the floor if hanging on a blank wall. The biggest mistake I see is hanging artwork too high (think about a pair of pants that are hemmed to short). 

3.  How Far - When hanging a grouping of art, keep it tight. A good rule of thumb is 2" - 3" apart. This may fluctuate depending on the different shapes you are using, but closer together is always better.

And just so you can keep these tips handy the next time you need to hang some artwork, I have created a cheat sheet with all the info for you. Just sign up for my newsletter, Stylish Solutions, and it will be sent right to your inbox. You're welcome! 

2016 Gift Guide for Her

If you are still looking for some last minute gift giving ideas, I've got you covered. These are my top picks for all the stylish gals in your life:


The #girlboss

  1. This chic stapler will make office work much more enjoyable.
  2. I'm a doodler, so this desk blotter is right up my alley.
  3. I don't know any working girl who wouldn't love this tech organizer.
  4. A new year calls for a new agenda, and this one is my pick for 2017, along with these personalized notebooks.
  5. Handing out business cards has never looked so good with this card holder.

The Mixologist

  1. Mad Men has nothing on the stylish gal who uses this jigger.
  2. Shaken, not stirred please!!
  3. Any cocktail will taste better in this beautiful glassware.
  4. This is the ultimate cocktail guide to host the ultimate happy hour.
  5. She definitely needs a place to store all her chic new bar accessories, and this bar cart is just the thing.

The Baker

  1. She will deliver baked goods in style with this vintage inspired cake carrier.
  2. These lovely baking dishes and accessories will become her new favorites.
  3. Serving tea from this kettle will be the perfect accompaniment to all her delicious baked goods.
  4. And don't forget the mugs.
  5. Any good baker knows an apron is a must for keeping flour at bay, especially when it says "Eat Cake Before Breakfast".

The Gardener

  1. She will love this little boot ornament for the tree.
  2. But even better, are a pair of real gardening boots.
  3. Of course gardening gloves are a must.
  4. These pocket snips are perfect for flower gathering.
  5. She definitely needs her own selection of gardening knives, and these are so pretty HE will leave them alone.

The Girly-Girl

  1. This hybrid smart watch is what stylish girls wear when they want to track their steps.
  2. Girly-girls like flasks too, especially when they are rhinestone encrusted!
  3. What girly-girl doesn't like makeup? This box set from Laura Mercier is the ultimate beauty gift.
  4. Where does the girly-girl keep her trinkets? In a French bulldog trinket box, of course!
  5. New Year's Eve requires that perfect going out clutch. And this one will have her saying "Who...Moi?"

I know there are at least a couple of items on this list that I hope make it under my tree! What's on your list?

Happy shopping & the happiest of holidays!




In the beginning . . . the first chapter in a new home project

Anytime I take on a new project, especially when it's a brand new home with a clean slate, there is inevitably that feeling of "where the heck do we start?" There are so many decisions to make, flooring, counters, cabinets, fixtures, paint, not to mention furniture and accessories. The thought of it can be quite daunting, but it doesn't have to be. The key is having a plan, and a good plan starts with inspiration. When you have inspiration, all decisions are effortless and just come naturally.

Here is an example of one such project. A brand new home, construction has not even started yet. The clients want something totally different than they've had before. They might keep some artwork and a couple of small pieces of furniture, but that's it. So, where do we start? Let's start at the beginning, the architecture.

The exterior elevation they have chosen is a Spanish ranch style, with arched windows, tile roof and wrought iron fixtures. This is our first, and most important, clue to where our inspiration will come from. Next we talk about color, are they drawn to warm earth tones, like olive greens, reds and gold? Or are they more inclined to cooler blues, greens and maybe a splash of fuchsia? I show them some examples of warm and cool color palettes and they both agree that the cooler blues and greens are the way they want to go. Yes! We are on a roll.

Now that we have a jumping off point, I start my search for inspirational photos to create a mood board. This mood board will be the basis for every decision we make; light fixtures. tile, paint and right on down to the knobs on the cabinet doors. As I sit in front of my computer to get started, what happens next can only be described as divine intervention. I get an email from Wisteria, one of my favorite online sources. It reads "Join the Adventure: destination Andalusia". Hmmm, I'm not a cracker jack geographer, but I'm pretty sure that's in Spain! I click on the link and as the images start to appear I could hear a choir of angels sing "hallelujah"! The inspiration we have been looking for is all right there. Thank you Wisteria!

This is the first mood board, one of many for this project, Color Inspiration:

I will be sharing more details from this project as it progresses, from finish selections to room by room detailed plans. If you would like to follow along, be sure to subscribe here!



Why Interior Design is Important (even during the Zombie Apocalypse)


I recently watched a movie, not a particularly great movie, but one that sparked an interesting conversation. What occupations and skills will be most valuable in a post-apocalyptic era where zombies roam the earth and terrorize its inhabitants? Certain abilities rise to the top of the list pretty quickly. Medical training, obviously, is a necessity for treating the wounded and keeping the colony in good health. Farming, another biggie, since the non-zombies will want something to eat other than brains. 

As the conversation went on, and numerous jobs were added to the list of must-haves, there was one that was not mentioned and it was causing me to feel a little insecure about my future in this new-world colonization. So I just threw it out there, knowing I would have to defend my position, but I was up for the debate - Interior Designer!

Of course, my suggestion was met with scoffs, laughter and downright rudeness. "Yeah right, interior design will save us! Bahahahaha!" I calmly listened to the snarky comments and laughter while I quietly planned my defense. Then when they were through, I listed the reasons why interior design is so important:

1. Organization - One of the most crucial aspects of any home is organization. You know how great it feels to have a clutter-free, organized environment. Everything has a place and you know exactly where to go to find it. Putting these systems in place is a function of good interior design and form is just as important as function. When things function properly and are beautiful to the eye, it creates a feeling of calmness and peace. I would think this would be a welcoming idea to our little colony.

2. Utilization of Space - I have never lived in a post-apocalyptic colony, but I would imagine we will be in pretty tight quarters. Knowing how to maximize the space and make it feel more expansive will be key to keeping everyone in good spirits. 

3. Color Theory - Color is a powerful element in the overall design of a space. It can enhance feelings of health and well-being, change the perception of temperature, make smaller spaces seem larger and large spaces seem cozy. But if the color is wrong, well that could prove to be very problematic to the inhabitants of the colony.

4. Self-Expression - Studies show that those who are encouraged to explore self-expression and creativity are healthier, happier, more innovative and more productive than those whose creativity is quashed. Innovation and productivity will be crucial in re-building the new world, and besides, if we are forced to live in boring, uninspired spaces, we may as well go join forces with the zombies!

5. Psychological Well-Being - Last, but certainly not least, good interior design creates an atmosphere that promotes a feeling of happiness, satisfaction and psychological well-being. When you come home after a long day of slaying zombies, the last thing you want is an unattractive, chaotic, dysfunctional space. You need a sanctuary, a place to unwind, to be inspired and to recharge for the day ahead; because let's face it, those zombies will be out there again tomorrow!

So hopefully, having listed several reasons why interior design is so valuable, I have negotiated a place for myself in the new world. But you don't have to wait for the zombie apocalypse to have the home of your dreams. If you need help with organization, space planning, color or design inspiration, I would love to assist you! Contact me today to schedule a free phone consultation!

How to fall back in love with your home

Photo by hikesterson/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by hikesterson/iStock / Getty Images

Do you ever feel like you get so bogged down with day-to-day life that you maybe don't show enough appreciation to those around you? A simple thank you for a job well done or being grateful for their love and support? I sometimes think we do this with our homes as well. We start taking them for granted, wishing they had this or that and wondering if we might just start looking for another place to call home. But what if your home had feelings too. What if your home could tell you “Hey, this isn’t a one-sided relationship here. What have you done for me lately?” Hmm, puts a whole different perspective on it doesn’t it? You once loved your home and thought it was perfect for you and now you are ready to kick it to the curb for a younger, newer model. Ouch, that hurts! Let me tell you, it is not too late to fall back in love with your home. The best way to show your home some love is to really listen to what it is trying to tell you. I know it can’t actually talk, but if it could, it might sound something like this:

Does all this clutter make my butt look big?  Awww, your home is feeling a little self-conscious about all the clutter everywhere. And can you blame her? How can anyone see her beautiful bone structure hiding behind all that stuff. Having a plan of attack will make it easier to get started. If you can commit to just 10 minutes a day of de-cluttering, you would be amazed how quickly you can turn your home around. Pick a place to start, put 10 minutes on the timer and go! And here’s another trick I like to use. Box up everything that you want to donate and put it in the trunk of your car. You won’t be able to buy anything new until you make space in your trunk by dropping off your donations. Ha, sneaky right?

I see you looking at all those model homes! What do they have that I don’t have? You think your home doesn’t know you’ve been traipsing around on the weekends ogling all those beautiful model homes? She feels it when you come home with that disappointed look on your face knowing she will never be like those newer, fancier homes you’ve been looking at. But maybe you could use those model homes as a source of inspiration, a way to bring home some ideas to spruce up your house and make it feel fresh again. Look to model homes for inspiration on paint color, window treatment ideas, furniture arrangement and accessories. Then you can come home and say “I saw a lovely shade of gray in this model home I was just at, but I think it would be even prettier on you. What do you say, shall we do a little painting this weekend?”

You don’t bring me flowers anymore!  Did you just sing that?? Well, when was the last time you brought home flowers, just because? You don’t have to have a reason other than a beautiful bouquet of flowers will always make your home feel fresher. Even an inexpensive bouquet from the grocery store, when cut and put into a pretty vase, can brighten any room. Your home will love you for it.

We never have friends over.  Are you embarrassed of me?  Having a little get-together is a fantastic motivator to get your house in order. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a little cocktail party with drinks and appetizers will do. Set the scene with some lit candles and a little mood music. Pull out your best china and cloth napkins to make it feel extra special. Put something on your calendar each month so you will have the motivation to keep your home looking at its best all the time. Your home wants to put on that little black dress and party, don’t deny her this!

Hey, I’m over here! Can you please get off Pinterest for 5 minutes and pay some attention to ME? We are all guilty of it, spending hours and hours on the Internet, gathering ideas and making plans. We have the best  of intentions, pinning all those cute projects and decorating ideas, but do we ever actually get around to implementing any of them. Take a look through your Pinterest boards and pick one thing you can complete this weekend that will be easy, affordable and inspirational. Let your home know that all that time on the Internet was not a waste, you just wanted to do something nice for her.

All I do for you and you don’t appreciate any of it. I don’t know why I even try! The truth is, there is no perfect home. We can spend all our time wishing for something that our home will never be, or we can appreciate and give gratitude for everything that it is. It is a shelter from the elements, a roof over our heads, even though the roof may be leaking in a few spots. It is a place to make memories with family and loved ones, a refuge from a bad day at work and a safe place to dream big dreams. It is a place to cultivate our creativity and weave a story only we can tell. For everything my home isn’t, I’m so thankful for all that it is. She has never let me down, although at times I may have let her down. I have watched my children grow up here, celebrated holidays, birthdays and so many parties just because. Now I see my grandson running down the hallway to my husband’s office yelling “Pop Pop” and I know my house is smiling as big as I am. Yep, I love this old house and she knows it!