Friday, December 7, 2012

Easy Holiday Decor: Branches!

The simplest holiday decor you can ever do is laying in your yard, or someone else's... Branches! These natural beauties make for the easiest holiday decor that anyone can do!
Gather as many or a little as you can find and you can create a simple yet stunning centerpiece in your home. Place a few in a tall vase, and voila! Leave them bare, or add a few ornaments. This simple arrangement can be a fabulous alternative to a traditional Christmas tree if you don't have the space.
Spend a little time spray painting the branches you collect. Any color, or metallic can really brighten up the look! Ornaments, stockings, garlands, and even jewels can find a home for the holidays on your branches. Just look at a few of these creative and simple ways to display branches.
Several layers of red paint will transform your branches into a beautifully modern way to decorate.  I love the contrast of the birds on this display!

A few larger branches make for a great tree alternative.... 

... Or just a branch or two can be stunningly simplistic! 

Branches give a great opportunity to creatively display your holiday cards. 

Just some fishing wire and nails can really transform your space!  Just be sure it's secure!
No fireplace? No problem! Hang your stockings with care on a branch! 
Next time you're out and about, take notice of just how many branches are out there. You can really do a lot with just a one or two. The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy Holiday Decorating: Wreaths!

Nothing says holidays are here like a wreath on your door! Ranging from classic to modern, there are so many styles of wreaths available and they can really set the tone for the rest of your holiday decorations. Here are some of my favorite holiday wreaths! 
How sweet the holidays will be with this fun candy wreath! 
Jingle all the way! This wreath made with jingle bells is a treat for the eyes and ears! 

This may be one of my favorites, and it's easy to make using thumb tacks! I may just have to try it this year!
Always classic and beautiful. This wreath will never go out of style.

Another festive idea is to use not just one wreath, not even two wreaths, or three, but to make a whole wreath wall! Group several different wreaths of varying sizes and even materials onto one wall. This will make a huge impact in your room and be so festive and fun! 

Like in the photo, you can use the same material for all wreaths and just vary the sizes and the details of each. Another option would be to use wreaths made of all different materials. In this case, I would keep them all about the same size and hang them more uniformly to keep it from looking scattered. 
Whatever wreath you choose, its always a good idea to hang it with a gorgeous holiday ribbon. This just adds one final layer of care and holiday cheer! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Easy Holiday Decorating: Swap out your pillow covers!

A really easy, quick way to bring some seasonal cheer into your space is to swap out your throw pillow covers for holiday themed covers. If your pillows don't have removable covers, don't worry, you can buy just the pillow cover (without the insert) to fit over your existing pillows. And then when the season is done, just unzip, fold and store away for next year!

Here are just a few of the pillow covers available. Some can even be monogrammed for even more  "J - O - Y"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy Holiday Decorating: Wall Trees!

One of the joys of holiday decorating is the Christmas tree, but what happens if you don't have space for a full size tree in your Living Room? While the miniature trees are cute, they aren't your only option.
Clear some wall space and create an artistic tree outline. You can use twine, ribbon, painters tape, tree lights, or just about anything you can think of to create this! Check out these great pictures of what people have come up with.
A beautifully drawn Christmas tree done on craft paper and pinned to the wall can be re-used year after year. I love how they added the ornaments and tree topper! 

Use Christmas tree lights and some push pins to create a tree that really lights up the room! 

Simple tape (be sure it's one that won't peel off your paint) can be used for those less artistically inclined. Still a beautiful tree with opportunities for ornaments and a place to stack presents!

I love the dolies used to create this tree! They are so snowflake-like that they are perfect for a wintery, holiday tree! These would also look great against a colored wall! 
Another fantastic idea for a wall tree is to use a chalkboard and draw your tree. If you can't find a chalkboard large enough, then they are super easy to make with a sheet of plywood or canvas cloth and some chalkboard paint. What I love about this idea is that it can become interactive with your friends. Anyone who comes over can draw an ornament on the tree! Then you have a tree filled with fun memories! 
When the season is over, wipe off and use throughout the year as a ever-changing art piece, notepad, or whatever! Or, if you don't want the pressure, you can slide under the bed for next year :)

Happy Holidays! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

KTLA 5 Morning Show!

Decorating for the holidays is fun, but if you're limited in space it can be very challenging! Loralie Orr showed how you can still take part in all the fun of Christmas decorating even if your room is spatially challenged. Check out the segment from KTLA 5 Morning News!
We'll be posting more Easy Holiday Decorating tips on upcoming blogs to give you more information on how to make some of the things featured on the show and share even more easy decorating ideas! (psst... if you sign up as a subscriber to this blog you'll be notified when new blogs are posted!) But for now, here is a list of where you can find the products shown:

Wall mounted deer trophy: "Buck Jr." from
Pillow covers and Stocking: West Elm

Happy decorating! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Easy Holiday Decorating: Cover your books!

No time to decorate for the holidays this year? No worries, Ellenor has some tips on easy, quick decorating that can have a big impact on your space...

Go back to your high school days and cover your books! Paper bags, holiday paper, or even just white paper can make a huge difference to your space. Bookshelves create a great design opportunity in any space, and if not done carefully they can be an eyesore. Covering your books will instantly make your shelves seem more chic, well designed, and will mask any faux pas!

Covering just a few or all of your books you will create a big change in your space. By eliminating all of the contrasting colors of the books, you create a uniform and neutral backdrop that will allow the holiday decor you place in front of it to really shine!

You can also cover just a few of your books and place them in a way that will create a holiday shape, or outline. Just a few covered books can create the shape of Christmas tree on your bookshelf!

And if the idea of breaking out the tape and scissors scares you away, you can cheat a bit by just slipping a piece of paper around the spine of the book. That's how the bookshelf tree was done in the photo above! It's a huge time saver and still looks great!

Until next time... happy decorating!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Team Spirit! ...In your home.

Forget the foam fingers, bright signs, and tacky team decor. Whether its you or your spouse that wants to adorn the house in team spirit, you can do it tastefully and while still upholding a respectable style by following these simple tips.

This room screams team in all the wrong ways.
Lets try to avoid this, shall we?
1. Be inspired by the colors rather than restrict yourself to them. Use small doses as accents against a more neutral palette. Or use one of the team's colors as your backdrop, but don't necessarily stick to their other color as you accent. Some team colors just don't translate well to home decor... sorry. But I promise your point will still come across.

2. Incorporate subtle accents into your existing space that represent either a team color, player, coach, or an ode to stadium. A throw blanket (or two) that represents one (or the second) color of the team can be easily worked into a room without throwing off any working color scheme. A framed photo of the coach, player, ticket, or stadium can be an accent on your bookshelf. A game ball, token from a game, or even a bobble head could work as a bookend. Coasters, picture frames, dish towels, or a single pillow can all be subtle nods to your favorite team. The idea is to use them thoughtfully and sparingly to keep the tribute subtle. Too many of these objects or too blatant of a display will make your room look like shrine.
These Crate & Barrel throws are a great
way to bring in your team's colors.  
This vintage ice bucket from To Hell in a Handbag Shop on Etsy
is a fun and subtle way to show your love of golf.

3. Adorn your walls with a images and objects of your team to create a gallery wall. This is a great way to contain the love by concentrating a large quantity of memorabilia into a controlled space. A gallery wall can be as small or as large as you want and can showcase your own photographs, others art or photos, game-day tickets, players cards, and great vintage items.
You can use both images and items to create a great gallery wall. 
Gallery walls work well in any place!
4. Simplify things... sometimes the mascot (or even a silhouette of it), the block letters of a name, or a team motto can make a bold impact. These are usually super easy to do yourself by printing out and framing or stenciling onto a plain pillow or blanket.
Go Bulldogs!
Silhouette pillow from ElsaBeta Shop on Etsy 
Letter Pillows from Jonathan Adler can easily be
 customized to represent your team's initials and color. 

So go ahead and invite your team into your home without compromising your home's style. And keep these additional tips in mind when shopping for and incorporating team spirit into your decor...

Vintage items are a great way to show your love for the team because people tend to "respect" vintage items over newer items. This work for you because they won't automatically pin you as a die-hard fan... and a tacky one at that. There are tons of vintage posters, postcards, souvenirs, or even vintage "how to play the game" books that you can use in your home (use them as a whole on your bookshelf or take out and frame individual pages). Check out local garage sales, antique shops, and online shops like Ebay and Etsy.
This great print from a 1940's dictionary would be an
awesome addition to a boxing fan's collection.
More sports available from Folie Dujour Shop on Etsy

Photographs are something else that people respond really well to, especially ones done in black and white. An old photo of you and your pop at the game or a new one of you and your buddies. Artistic shots of your stadium, a local bar that goes hand-in-hand with your game day tradition, or generic game or stadium shots can be a fantastic complement to team-specific shots. Look through your own photos and ask your friends, Etsy and other online sites are great for finding artistic photos.
Jessica Morgan's photo of Dodger Stadium
Photo of Busch Stadium by Gemini Complex on Etsy
This image of stadium seats could be a great "generic" image to
round out your own gallery wall or collection.
By HHHillaryyy on Etsy
Frame your items to make it look more thought out. Rather than tacking up a team photo to your wall or flag (al a my husband... and hanging these things crooked I must add) frame it, hang it straight, and add to it (thats right I said 'add to it') to make it into a gallery wall.

This collection of team pennants could have looked like a huge mess,
but grouped together and framed make a great impact on a space.

To sum it all up... Use your pieces thoughtfully and sparingly to create a tasteful tribute to your team, and let the colors inspire you rather than dictate you. Remember, you can still represent the team while also representing stylish interiors.

Go team!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Turn an Outfit into a Room: Simply Structured

Last night's Project Runway, season 10, challenged the designers with creating a look for a "Woman on the Go." Overall, the designers stepped up to the challenge and created looks that were really going somewhere... others should have been going home to change. Fabio Costa created a so-so look, not really great (other than the fabulous print) but not really bad either. Still, he ended up in the bottom three which means that we can now turn this outfit into a room! 

So here's the look that Fabio created for his woman on the go...

And now, lets go to the lounge for happy hour! The chic simplicity of this outfit can be turned into a perfect lounge to catch up with your friends and a drink after a busy day.
In this space, place 4 high-back, comfy chairs around the cocktail table to create an inviting and intimate place for conversation. Then throw in a little pouf for additional seating or propping your feet up, and add a couple of "wow" pieces to give this space the chic look that every lounge needs.
Just like with the patterned dress in the outfit above, the rug is the central element in the room to provide the pattern and pizazz. Furniture with very structured, clean lines give this room a similar aesthetic that Fabio was after. Modern accessories, also with very linear characteristics are the perfect finishing touch to this room.
Simplicity is key for this outfit and for this room. Pure function, but with with the chicest of style!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Turn an Outfit Into a Room: Sleek, Edgy, and Glam

Last night's Project Runway was a bit underwhelming. The designers were faced with their first team challenge and it seems that everyone toned down their point of view so much that no point was made. There were however a few stand out outfits that could be turned into fabulous rooms, but what kind of challenge would that be for Ellenor? So here we go, from the lowest scoring designs on the runway here is what Christopher Palu and Andrea Katz put together.

With last season's winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee, as their client these designers should have been able to create a look that was fresh, relaxed, and sexy. Unfortunately this dress missed the mark in both identifying with their client and with execution. However pull the same basic ideas from the design of the dress, such as sleek and edgy with a touch of glam and you can put together a pretty good room. 

Streamlined furniture and monochromatic materials create the same basic aesthetic of the dress's design.  Details such as the blown glass lamp and gold accents give just the small bits of glamor to the room to keep it from being too boring. Variations in the same main color also help keep away the blah factor. Leather and industrial elements such as the design of the bar cart and details found in the drum side table, give the edge to the room that the studded leather belt had tried to give in the dress. A palest pink on the walls in a very high sheen would be the perfect way to finish this room.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turn an Outfit Into a Room: Crazy Girly

On last night's Project Runway, season 10, the designers faced their "Unconventional Challenge" where they had to create a fashionable look using... candy! The variety of candy from Dylan's Candy Bar provided the designers with good n' plenty to work with in way of color and textures and many of the designers were able to use their creative abilities to create "Candy Couture,"as the great Michael Kors stated. However some of the designs were a bit sour.

Buffi Jashanmal is a sweetheart, but her design last night was a bit skittles.... oops, I mead scattered. I love her vibrant personality and ideas, but it seems like she just couldn't channel them into one coherent look. But with a little bit of editing, this outfit could be a great room. 

Take these girly hues and feminine flair and you've got yourself a crazy girly room that's full of fun. Like with last week's design, the key to making this outfit into a successful room is using your pops of color wisely. A neutral background on your walls and floor will allow you to be more bold with your color choices. 

To keep the feminine touch about the room, select furniture pieces that have soft curves. Curves are easily read as feminine, as is a skirt on a sofa... especially when in pink! A lightweight curtain will also help soften the harsher colors of the room. And to keep it from getting out of control, keep the majority of the pieces in solid colors, but you should have one piece that pulls them all together. Here, the curtain is that piece in the room, but the rug also helps without adding any additional pattern. 

While this room is not a relaxing room, it is definitely a room to lift your spirits... or give you a sugar rush. 

Until next time,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Turn an Outfit Into a Room: Modern Funk

Another season of Project Runway is upon us, and you know what that means don't you? Another season of Turn an Outfit Into a Room! That's right design lovers check in with Ellenor weekly to see a fashion design transform into an interior design.

However this season will be a real challenge in that the transformation will come from one of the not so successful designs from the runway. We'll see how something that doesn't work as an outfit can be re-imagined to work as room. So let's get started of the premier of...

Turn that (bad) Outfit into a (great) Room!

On last night's premier of Project Runway, season 10, Kooan Kosuke made us all laugh with his quirky and bright personality. But when it came to his runway design his bright personality and bold designs fell short.

But take those same pops of color and funky patterns, shake them up, and lay them out in new way and you can come up with a room that is super cool and modern. The key is using the colors and patterns in a bunch of small doses with an underlying simple background. In this room the walls should be a simple white, and the floors would look best as a light stained wood. This creates a perfect backdrop to allow for bold colors and patterns.

Streamlined furniture and modern materials, such as metals and acrylic, help to punch this room up and achieve some of the futuristic accents that Kooan had in his design. While you may never see yourself walking down the street in this outfit, hopefully you would love hanging out in this modern, funky room.... Ellenor would!

Til next week,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Customize and Add Length to Ready-made Curtains

Ready-made curtain panels can easily be purchased at most stores. They are an inexpensive way to help complete a room’s look. However, many ready-made curtains come in standard lengths, which don’t always work in your home. Adding a fabric to any curtain panel will not only add length to the panel, but will also add your own personal touch to them. Select a contrasting or coordinating fabric, solid or patterned, to go with the curtain panels you already have and help achieve the look you want and create your own custom curtains!

Materials Needed: Store bought curtain panels, fabric of your choice, fusible fabric iron on, scissors, yardstick, iron, and curtain hardware
1. Before you get started, measure where your current curtain panels hang and then measure how much additional fabric you will need to add in order for them to just skim the floor. Typically, curtains should be mounted about halfway between the top of the window frame and the ceiling. However, with higher ceilings measure the distance above the window frame to the ceiling and then mount the curtains about 1/3 of that distance.
2. Shop for your fabric! The fabric can be added to either the top or the bottom of your existing panels. The directions given are for adding fabric to the bottom of the panels. As a rule of thumb, the darker fabric should be at the bottom to keep the curtains visually balanced.
3. Lay out your ready-made panels flat and then lay your selected fabric over these panels so that you can copy the width. Add a couple of inches at each edge so that you can fold over for a nice seam. Measure and cut the desired length as well, also leaving a few inches to fold over.
4. Place a strip of the fusible iron about an inch from the edge of the selected fabric, fold over about a half-inch of fabric, and iron the fabric together to create a hem. Do this all the way down each side of the fabric length-wise only.
5. Once the length of both sides of the fabric has been hemmed, position the panel onto the ready-made panel with about an inch of overlap. Once positioned, place your strip of iron-on between the fabrics and iron for about 10 seconds on each strip until you’ve adhered all of the fabric to the panel.
6. Once the fabric has been ironed onto the panel you should have a couple inches of fabric left over on each side. Cut off additional fabric on the ends so that about one inch remains
7. Again, lay down a strip of iron on fusible tape about an inch from the edge of the fabric, fold the edge over, and then iron to fuse fabric together. Do this on both ends and this will finalize all hemming.
8. Attach your new longer curtain panels to the curtain hardware and enjoy your custom curtains!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How To Arrange a Bookcase

Bookcases can be a blessing and a curse to the overall design of a room. A blessing because, when done properly, will add beauty and comfort to a room. A curse because, what is the “proper way?” Here are a few tips and tricks to arranging a beautiful bookcase and containing the clutter:

1. Take account of what you have. If you don’t have a lot of books, plan on putting the books you have on the bottom shelves and leave the upper shelves for accessories. Bookcases should visually be heavier on the bottom and lighter on the top.

2. Think about how you’ll use the bookcase. Arranging the books by genre, subject, or author may be the most useful. However, if the bookcase will be more of a visual piece, then arranging the books by color looks great. You can also do a combination of these techniques. Whatever is most useful to you and looks good!

3. Start placing your books. Put your best looking books at eye level and try to hide the most ragged ones. Remove the dust covers (unless they are collectable) to display the books in all thier gorgeous glory. Sometimes books have beautiful leather and gold embossing which really add beauty and warmth to the bookcase.

4. Paperbacks need a place too. Mix these in with hardbacks and don’t group too many of these together because they tend to all be a similar small size which does not fill up a shelf very well. Be mindful of book sizes when placing books on the shelves together and try not to put really tall books next to short ones.

5. Mix up the orientation of the books. Place some upright and lay others on their side. These stacks of books can serve as ‘bookends’ to the rows.

6. Don’t over crowd the shelves, leave a little bit of breathing room on each shelf. And never pile excess books, magazines, or papers on top of a row of books.

7. Accessorize with some non-book items: picture frames and other knick-knacks work great as bookends, sitting on top of a stacked pile of books, and breaking up a long row of books. You can also hang a framed artwork over some of the shelves if you have enough space (or too much!)

8. Put telephone books, loose papers or magazines out of site. Use nice looking magazine files or storage boxes to hide these items.