Living With Intention

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and found some time to relax, entertain, and bond with friends and family.

I am always filled with great anticipation in January. I look forward to thinking through all that I hope to accomplish in the coming 12 months. This year, I am taking this process VERY seriously and centering all of my aspirations around the following theme: living with intention.

I am looking at everything with greater questioning and intentionality. I’m asking important and sometimes hard questions in many areas – including our home, finances, possessions, physical health and even travel plans. I think many of us are often on auto-pilot or worse, functioning in the reactive mode instead of living with forethought and planning. I’m guilty of it in some areas as well, so I’m definitely not pointing fingers.  Instead, I’m hoping to bring awareness to the table and approach each month with greater planning and intention.

I’m hoping you’ll join me on this journey. Each month my goal is to challenge myself and inspire all of you to tackle a project that will help us achieve greater productivity, peace and joy at home. I’m going through all the rooms in our house with fresh eyes and asking:

  • How can we increase the functionality of this room?
  • Do we want/need everything that takes up space in this room?
  • How can we feel more inspired in this space?
  • What can we add/take away to increase our enjoyment of this room?

A Year of Intentional Living at Home

Here’s what you can look forward to in the next 12 months:

  • January ~ Home Office Challenge: How to Create a Space that Supports Productivity and Creativity
  • February ~ Bedroom: Your Place to Recharge, Relax and Sleep
  • March ~ Bathroom: Order, Storage and Function
  • April ~ What’s in Your Closet? Wardrobe Organization and How to Maintain Long-Term Order
  • May ~ Kitchen & Pantry: Where Zones are Key
  • June ~ The Great Outdoors : Porches, Patios, Decks and Balconies
  • July ~ Bon Voyage: Summer Travel Organization
  • August ~ Kids’ Spaces: How to Keep Them Clean, Organized and Functional 
  • September ~ Foyers, Entry Areas & Mudrooms: Where Function and Form Work Together
  • October ~ Living Room: Sit and Stay for a While 
  • November ~ Dining Room: Gather Around the Table (Also ideas for holiday entertaining!)
  • December ~ The Organized Home: Organizational Systems that Sustain Themselves

I will be doing a lot of work and reporting back to you to make your work easier. I will also be sharing resources, tips and strategies regarding both organization and design (both home- and life-related!), so you won’t want to miss the blog. Make it easy on yourself: SUBSCRIBE! That way everything gets delivered right to your inbox.

Here’s to a new year filled with greater awareness, productivity and intentionally driven decisions at home and life in general.  

 

Cheers!

Maria

Holiday Decorating Ideas

Happy Holidays, everyone!  It’s been a while, but I wanted to wish all of you who have supported me through 2016 a happy and peace-filled holiday season.  Since so many of us are busy with gatherings, errands, entertaining, etc. I thought I’d share some simple ideas for decorating your home for the holidays and creating a festive mood for you and your family.  The following ideas were just featured in this month’s Durham Magazine, but I’m including some bonus photos that didn’t make the magazine.  These beautiful photos were taken by the amazing, Merritt Chesson.  (Thanks, Merritt!)

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Simple Ideas for Holiday Decorating

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My holiday decorating shortcuts are based on a simple, pre-set color pallet and natural, seasonal elements.  I usually go with various shades of silver, gold and white (keep your colors to 2-3 selections).  Because the color pallet is simple, you can play with and add various objects that fall into the pallet and still have a unified look. I might take ornaments in shades of golds and silvers and sprinkle them along my table runner and then flank either end of the table with a few candles (of all sizes) in shades of white and silver.  The charges might be gold or silver with white linens laid neatly on top.  Then, I always add a natural element: magnolia leaves, pine cones, herbs, or something of this genre.  A little touch like this goes a long way in creating a festive table.
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Decorating with a few colors means you can carry the pallet throughout your house (at the entry, with the fire place mantle, on your front porch, etc.) and everything feels collected and unified.  Use creative color combinations like fuchsia and green or gold and blue, to keep it interesting and unpredictable.  This approach is also an economical way to decorate because you can switch things around and collect over the years without feeling as if you need to start over every time. I add something to my collection every year, but don’t need much since it’s easy to integrate into the collection I’ve been evolving over the years.
With this approach, everything works together because the colors are the unifying factor.  And – adding natural elements such as flowers, wreathes, garland and berries warms things up and makes your home feel more cozy.  I usually just clip branches from the magnolia tree in our front yard!  How’s that for easy and economical?
Silver Trees, pine cones and some fresh Magnolia leaves from my front yard.

Silver Trees, pine cones and some fresh Magnolia leaves from my front yard.  We have white a Nutcracker because I’ve taken my girls to see the performance every year since my oldest was 3.

Natural elements warm this up.

Natural elements warm this up.

Even my butler’s tray get’s a little decor…

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I use the same formula in every space: white, silver, clear glass, light, and some natural elements (here pine cones).

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And the buffet shares peace…

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Again, white, silver, light and some natural elements! This easy formula leave you with time to focus on what’s really important: sharing time with your loved ones.

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I hope this has inspired you and helped provide you with some ideas for your home.  Questions?  Reach out and comment!

Happy Holidays, friends!  xo Maria

Welcome Spring: Creating an Inviting Outdoor Space

Happy Monday!  Last week, I decided I wanted to reclaim our screened-in porch from what had been a long winter and pollen-filled spring.  After a thorough power washing, it was ready to be transformed!

Creating an inviting outdoor space is relatively easy if you think of your deck or porch as a mere extension of your home.  The same elements that make the inside of your home inviting will make your outdoor area a relaxing retreat:

  • Colorful throw pillows
  • Outdoor rugs
  • Throw or light blanket (for cool nights)
  • Candles & Lanterns
  • String lighting and/or lamps
  • Art
  • Accessories
  • Tables for various purposes (dining, end tables, coffee table, & even console tables)
  • Plants and flowers of various sizes and colors.

I made it a point to approach this space just as I would my living room or bedroom, wanting it to reflect our family and what we enjoy doing outside: dining, entertaining and reading.

BEFORE...

BEFORE… The pollen is strong in the South, y’all!

AFTER: I stored all of the pillows and cushions in large, plastic garbage bags over the winter so they were ready to go!

AFTER: I stored all of the pillows and cushions in large, plastic garbage bags over the winter so they were ready to go!  No cleaning or anything required because I did it all last fall.

Our new puppy, Gypsy, thinks it's pretty great to be out here!

Our new puppy, Gypsy, thinks it’s pretty great to be out here!

A fun tablescape adds SO MUCH to your table.  Use elements from the outdoors like shells, sand, stones, lanterns, candles and more.  Vary the height of the objects on the table and mix up textures.  Here’s a close up of the one I created on our porch.

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Ready for dinner on the porch – one of our favorite things to do in the spring!

Finally, I decorated our old console table with art and candles to create a vignette that adds interest to the porch and makes it feel more home-like.

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In the end, creating an inviting outdoor area is all about mindset.  If you approach this space as an extension of your indoor space, you’re bound to create an area that seamlessly integrates into the rest of your home.  It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Most of my throw pillows and even the furniture are from Target.  I used Pottery Barn to source interesting accessories for the tablescape, but went to Home Goods for other items.  Look around your own house….you’re bound to find something that you can use outside. (I repurposed our old living room console table and discovered it was perfect for the porch!)

Finally, I want to leave you with this lovely and appropriate quote from Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room…

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I hope I’ve inspired you some.  Have a great Monday!

~Maria

New Name, New Logo…and New Site (coming soon!)

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I’m really thrilled to share some exciting and big news…my little company, Bring Home Order, is growing in fun and unexpected ways.  What started as a mere idea has become a full-fledge, real company.  And, what started out as just professional organizing and a passion for all things home, has morphed into interior design, blogging, Friday Finds, and more!  I’m excited to share that Bring Home Order is now Goldenrod Place Interiors…check out our new logo:

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I’m really thrilled and can’t stop looking at this logo.  I feel somewhat like I did when I got to see the ultrasound of my children – I couldn’t believe it was real and could not stop staring at the image.  I guess, in a way, I’ve given birth again to something new & wonderful.  (Although nothing compares to children.)  I hope Goldenrod Place Interiors will grow into something beautiful and strong, just like my children.

The new website is currently under construction and I hope we’ll be able to launch it by the end of March. (Fingers crossed!)  In the meantime, bringhomeorder.com will continue to work and the blog will in the same exact place!  I will keep you posted on it all!

Thank you again for all of your support, encouragement and general cheerleading!  It means the world to me.

xo ~Maria

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