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

Friday Finds: Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels

Happy Friday, everyone!  I, for one, am really happy it’s Friday.  It’s been a long, emotional week and I’m ready to carve out some time for relaxation.  What about you?  Any fun plans?

This week I attended the Memorial Service for my friend, Carrie Gilmore, who recently passed away.  Some of you knew her as well, and it felt good to stand beside you and remember her spirit.  During the slideshow at the reception, images of slumber parties, snow days playing outside, dinners with friends and many such small moments were on display.  As I watched the photos cycle, I was again struck by how it’s the little moments that make up a big life.  It’s not the grand gestures, but small moments like pancake breakfasts or birthday celebrations with cake and ice cream that stay with us.

All of these moments need a back drop and it’s most often called home.  Our homes don’t need to look magazine worthy for life to occur, but we do need space for things like play, dinners, hobbies, relaxation and gatherings.  We need to be intentional about making space, both physically and emotionally, for the moments of life to unfold.

I was recently selected to be on the launch team for Melissa Michael’s new book, entitled,  Make Room for What You Love. I’m so excited to share this book with you because it so perfectly captures the habits and ideas that lead to creating a purposeful home and why it’s important.  In the introduction, she writes, “Whatever our style, our home should be life giving and soul refreshing, a soft spot to land on a hard day and a beautiful place to recharge and rejuvenate.  The things we bring into our home can be a reflection of who we are and the life we live.”

MOST COMMON PROBLEM: “Too Much Stuff”

The problem I most often hear clients and friends alike complain about is owning too much stuff.  Piles of “stuff,” better known as clutter, take over our homes and get in the way of living life.  So what do most of us do?  We feel overwhelmed and just choose to not make any decisions at all.  Melissa however, makes an incredible observation in this book.  Our indecision is actually a decision to continue living with clutter.  Stop and reread that last line.  I know, crazy, right?

This realization alone was so powerful and made me view my home in a whole new way.  It motivated me into action in a BIG WAY and had me questioning what things and spaces I had been postponing making decisions about, like my closet, our bonus room and our garage.  It turns out that, “the more decisive you can be, the less clutter you’ll face.”  This past week, I was making LOTS of decisions and filling the garbage bin and boxes destined for Goodwill.

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INSPIRATION & TIPS

This book is not only about clutter management.  Melissa offers so much inspiration and concrete suggestions for how to set goals, cultivate habits and reimagine our homes so that we can live the life we’ve imagined for ourselves and our families.  She invites us set goals and reconnect with the home we’ve dreamed of creating.  She provides great ideas for how to achieve those goals.  Here are some examples:

  • Embrace the Pursuit of Less:  “Simplification of both our inner and outer world will allow us to take a deep breath and appreciate more fully what we really value.”
  • Spend Mornings Intentionally:  “If you want to reorganize your home, you have to make order a priority in your day, starting with the moment you open your eyes.  Mornings become like dominoes, setting the pace and tone for the entire day.”
  • Know What to Keep and Where to Put It:  “The two most important decisions you can focus on to bring order to any space are: 1) what to keep, and 2) where it belongs.”  If you can’t find a place for an item, chances are you probably don’t need it or it doesn’t belong in that room.
  • Find More Joy in Your Home:  “How could you find more join the space you have?  Take a walk around your house and look at closets and rooms.  Are you honoring and making the most of the rooms you have, or are they filled with too much stuff?  How could you pare down to better reflect the space you have to love your home even more?”

I think there is something for everyone in this book.  I consider myself fairly organized, but this book galvanized me into action like no other book thus far.  And most significantly, it made me consider how I make decisions about the items taking up space in my home.  I think you are all going to love this one!

Make Room for What You LOVE, by Melissa Michaels, author of the Inspired Room blog.

Make Room for What You LOVE, by Melissa Michaels, author of the Inspired Room blog.

Enjoy your weekend!  Let me know what you think of the book…you can pick up a copy on Amazon!  xoxo ~Maria

Creating a Home on Purpose

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working with a family that is moving into a 7,000 square foot home. It might sound large (and it is!) but they also have nine – yep, nine – kids.  What I’m enjoying so much about this project is the intentionality and thought that is going into prepping this home for their June  move-in date.  We are painting walls & built-ins, adding lighting, selecting new furniture, changing out light fixtures, setting up kid spaces, home-office spaces and much more.  It’s very exciting for both them and me!

I’ve thought a lot about this process.  Specifically, the intentionality that is going into the planning of this home.  I think most people would agree that it’s motivating to move into a new home.  The process of moving always seems to inspire people to sift through their belongs, reconsider what they own and most significantly, reimagine how they want to live.  But here’s some wonderful news: you don’t have to move into a new house to reimagine how you want to live.  You can do that anytime you want.  Even today or this weekend.

It’s very powerful to look at your home and wonder, “If I were just moving in, what would I do differently?”  Or, “If I could start over with my home, what would I change?”  The beauty is that you can ALWAYS start over.

The first step to any kind of change is imagining.  For example, could you:

  • change the wall color? trim color?
  • change the orientation of the room?
  • add an architectural feature like a fireplace or bookshelves?
  • swap out throw pillows?
  • replace the carpet or add some rugs?
  • hang up some new art?
  • reframe existing art?
  • create a gallery wall of photos?
  • go through your belongings and purge what you no longer use or love?

My company tagline is, “Create a home on purpose,” and I stand behind this idea with all of my being.  I think home is the most important space of our lives.  Anna Spiro captures this sentiment beautifully in her book, Absolutely Beautiful Things, “My mother taught me there is nowhere more important than home.  Home is where we entertain, relax, celebrate, play, hide, nurture our children, create memories and rejuvenate our souls.  It is a reflection of all that we are and all that we love.”  I’m not religious, but I think that deserves an, “Amen!”

So, I want to inspire you to reimagine how you live in and use your home.  Reconsider what you own and what’s taking up space in your home.  Do you still love every vase, every pillow or knick knack you own?  If you’re not in love with something, you can change it.   And, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  You can change the entire energy of a room by rearranging or reorienting the furniture or removing some things.  Just play with it and see what happens.  It’s only through doing that we discover what’s possible both in our homes and in our lives.

I can’t wait to hear about what you’re going to take on!

Tune in tomorrow for an awesome new book by Melissa Michaels, blogger extraordinaire over at The Inspired Room, entitled, Make Room for What You Love.  I was selected to review the book and put its advise into action in my own home.  I’m really excited to share it with all of you, and it fits so nicely into this discussion of being more intentional about our homes.

xoxo ~Maria

A Tribute to Carrie Gilmore

I didn’t sleep much last night. Instead, I tossed and turned dreaming of my friend Carrie Gilmore, who passed away suddenly this Monday after a too quick battle with breast cancer. Carrie and I had a lot in common. We met while volunteering at our mutually favorite organization, Girls on the Run. We were both moms to two young girls, we both shared a love of friendship, enjoyed good food and spending time with our families. So many similarities… Then, a few weeks ago, I too had a scare with cancer.  But unlike Carrie, my further testing came back “normal” with a note from my doctor saying, “See you next year.” And that’s where the similarities ended. For Carrie, there would be no next year.

I unfortunately can’t claim to have known Carrie intimately nor had I known her for several years, like many others. It would seem that I shouldn’t be so affected, so upset, so ready to cry every time I think of her daughters or her widowed husband. But that’s what was amazing about Carrie. You didn’t have to know her very well to know that she radiated warmth, caring, inner beauty and pure love for the people and causes she fought for. She wore a tutu like no other, gave out hugs freely and shared a smile that enveloped her entire face – and made you feel at ease within a second of being in her presence. She was magical that way. And kids in particular knew it, but even we adults felt it.

Purely magical. Purely Carrie.

Purely magical. Purely Carrie.

Cancer sucks. And while I’ve known others who have had run-ins with its tentacles, this time it’s personal. I could be Carrie. You could be Carrie. We could all be Carrie: living our lives without a care in the world and then suddenly propelled into an unknown future leaving us wondering whether we’ll see next year.

If I take anything away from Carrie’s short life, it is this: to live and love so fully that it hurts. To smile as an offering of peace to every person I meet, just as she did. To wear a tutu to the office because it makes your coworkers laugh and makes work fun. To hug every child I can because they’ll remember it. And most significantly, to leave a mark on the community I live in through service, commitment and love. Carrie’s life was a testament to all of this, and more.

We are all hurting right now, Carrie. Really. Truly. Hurting. We miss your smile, your positive outlook on life and your unwavering optimism. However, we’re willing to experience this hurt because you were worth it. Your life left a huge imprint on your community, friends, and family. Thank you for sharing your spirit with us. We are all better people because of it.

#Carrieon

 

 

Spring/Summer Home Prep List

Hello Everyone!  I’ve just returned from spending two days in High Point for the Spring International Furniture Mart.  It was exciting, inspiring and exhausting all at the same time!  I will be sharing furniture trends and what I saw on Friday Finds…you won’t want to miss it.  Today however, I’m busy regrouping at my own house and trying to get my head around all that needs to be done now that spring (um…summer?!) is finally here to stay!

Here’s my master “Get Ready for Summer” Home To-Do list:

  1. Power wash the exterior of the house to get all the pollen and winter grim cleaned up.
  2. Clean windows – inside and out.
  3. Change filters around the house.
  4. Plant flowers in pots and containers — which is a feat for me!  I have a black thumb….
  5. Re-work landscaping in front of the house.
  6. Install new solar lights around perimeter of walkway.
  7. Schedule mulching with landscaping company.
  8. Clean out the garage.  (A big job that will require family involvement.  My husband is cringing as he reads this!)
  9. Once power washing is complete, set up screened-in porch and take out cushions, pillows and decor from winter storage.
  10. Put away winter gear, boots, sleds, etc.
  11. Dry clean winter wool and down coats…. also, cashmere and wool sweaters.
  12. Put winter clothes into summer storage.  Take out summer clothes from storage bins.
  13. Have inside carpets professionally cleaned.
  14. Go through kids’ clothing and decide what’s worth saving for next year and what can be given away.  Store winter clothing and take summer clothes out of storage.

That’s a LOOONG list!  These are the things I need to do to feel ready for the summer.  I pace myself because it can’t all be done in a day or even a weekend.  I also decide what tasks I’m going to hire out.  For example, last year I rented a pressure washer and power washed our porch and the exterior of our house myself.  This year however, I have neither the time nor desire to do it — so I hired the guys over at Top Notch (in Durham) to do it.  They were great and I was happy to outsource that task!  I also make sure my family is involved so that we all share the work of making our home functional and beautiful for the change of season.

What’s on your list?  Do you have a master list that you do every year?  I’m curious how you guys approach the seasonal change…  Please share what’s a MUST-do for you.  My absolute must is setting up the screened-in porch.  I love sitting outside to entertain, read and share meals with our family.  Here’s what my porch looked like as of this morning….That’s Southern POLLEN, y’all!

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Pollen is REAL in the South.

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A winter and spring’s worth of grime and pollen.

Tune in tomorrow to see the “AFTER” shots of this porch.  Can’t wait for you to see the transformation…and get inspired to tackle your own outdoor space if you haven’t already done so!

xo ~Maria

Beauty is in the Details

They say, “The devil is in the details,” but I believe that beauty lies in details. It really is the little things around your home that can make a big difference in the feel and mood. For example, add a simple ficus tree to a corner and you can transform the feel of a space, or light a candle with a warm, citrus scent, or a fill a vase with fresh tulips…all of these little details create the overall feel of your home. Moral of the story? Pay attention to those little things.

With that, I thought I’d share some of my favorite home items –- small in stature, but big in creating impact and mood.

  • Linen Bathroom Hand towels – I love putting out special linen hand towels for guests. I have about four sets that I rotate depending on the season. I feel as if they let my guests know how special they are.
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Monogramed linen hand towels for your guest bathroom make your visitors feel special. Available at places like Pottery Barn, Wayfair and finelinens.com.

 

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Matouk linen hand towels.

 

  • Fine Paper Hand Towels – I also provide a small basket of fine paper hand towels for guests that would rather have something fresh.  Caspari makes lovely, patterned disposable hand towels in hundreds of patterns and colors, like these…

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Check out the collection at Amazon.

  • Mer Sea Diffusers – My husband says I have a bionic nose. I’m not kidding. And he’s actually right. I am very sensitive to scent – both good and bad ones. I love clean scents, and Mer Sea Co. makes the BEST diffusers. I put them all around my house – and in my guest room, which everyone comments on! They are available at fine home stores or online. I wish I could permanently have my house smell like the “Crisp Sails” collection. It’s $40 well spent – I promise (they last for months).  Available at www.merseaco.com
Mer Sea Crisp Sails Diffuser....smells like a crisp ocean mist.

Mer Sea Crisp Sails Diffuser….smells like a crisp ocean mist.

  • Molton Brown Hand Soaps – This hand soap is my favorite. It’s definitely a splurge, but like so many things, the British get this right. My favorite scent is the Mulberry & Thyme. The brand makes all sorts of other soap and wash products, but I love the hand soap in particular. I have a special bottle I always reserve for the guest bathroom to have visitors feel extra loved.
The British know how to make scones, tea and hand soap.

The British know how to make scones, tea and hand soap.

  • Linneas Lights Natural Soy Candles — This is another splurge item, but the scents of these candles are amazing.  Locally, I purchase them at Vintage Home South in Durham, but they are available online as well if there isn’t a retailer close to you.  My favorite scents are the Persian Lime and Vetiver.  The candles even come with a little box of matches.  Details, I tell you.
Linneas Lights Candles are naturally made from soy and smell incredibly clean and beautiful.  Truly worth the splurge -- and make wonderful hostess gifts.

Linneas Lights Candles are naturally made from soy and smell incredibly clean and beautiful. Truly worth the splurge — and make wonderful hostess gifts.

So there you have a few of my favorite things.  What small things do you add around your home to make it feel special? Do you have something you swear by?  A favorite plant? candle? or something else?  Please share! I’m always looking for ideas to incorporate into my home and client projects.

Happy spring!  xo ~Maria

Custom Framing Without the Custom Cost

Hello Everyone!  I have missed you over the last few weeks.  We have been migrating the site and blog from Bring Home Order to Goldenrod Place and it’s taken much longer than I anticipated.  Luckily we are just about there and I can now resume sharing inspiration and ideas with all of you!  Thank you for hanging in there with me.

Today I’m sharing a creative way to approach custom framing for art and photography.  If you’ve ever used a custom framer, you know that this is not an inexpensive endeavor.  Costs for a matted, 8×10 print with anti-glare and UV protection glass can cost around $400-500.   It can be more depending on the size of your matting and grade of the frame.  If you want to use double or triple matting, the cost will be even higher.

I most frequently use Michael’s for my custom framing projects because they run promotional sales which can provide savings of 50 – 65%.  That’s a lot of savings! But even so, it’s not a bargain.

Recently, I was scouring the PTA thrift shop and came across two framed prints that were $6 each!  The framing had been customized, as evidenced by the matting and backing of the frame.  I purchased these two pieces with the intention of repurposing the frames and ditching the art and mats.

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Lovely custom frames for $6!

I had photos from my wedding that I wanted to frame and these frames were perfect!  I took the frames and my photos to Michael’s and replaced the matting and glass.  For less than $200 I had custom framed two pieces for less than half of what ONE piece would have cost!

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I have long since gotten rid of my dried up wedding bouquet, but this photo reminds me of its beautiful colors.

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I framed a collection of smaller photos depicting walking down the aisle and being greeted by husband under the chuppah.

These were a perfect addition to our foyer…

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So, check out places like Goodwill, The PTA Thrift Shop and consignment stores for framed art that can be up-cycled.  It can save you hundreds!  The search is really fun, too!  Let me know if you find something good.

Happy hunting… ~Maria

 

 

Friday Finds: PICNIC

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope you’re staying warm on this chilly day!  Who’s ready for the impending snow?

Today I’m sharing a culinary find that’s sure to keep you warm: the new Durham Barbecue restaurant located off of Cole Mill Road called, PICNIC.  The restaurant just opened last Friday and is the latest addition to North Durham’s budding food scene (think Gocciolina on Guess Road & Bleu Olive on Front Street  — both of which are excellent!!).

I went to PICNIC for lunch today and was impressed with the diversity of the crowd: everything from old southern men to families with young kids to young hipsters in their 20s.   It was nice to see a crowd that truly reflects the Durham spirit…truly a beautiful thing.

I got there shortly after the doors opened for lunch and it was packed!  It seems that chef and owner Ben Adams has once again created something exciting.  He left Piedmont Restaurant last year to begin his own venture and it’s off to an amazing start.  Here are some shots from Friday’s grand opening (where rumor has it they nearly sold out of food!).

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Picnic glows in the night! Photo Credit: Buck Ferguson

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The full-service bar @ PICNIC serves up Southern spirits and merriment. Photo Credit: Buck Ferguson

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The lively crowd @ PICNIC’s grand opening. Photo Credit: Buck Ferguson

The menu is full of new takes on traditional Southern dishes and some of the usual suspects like pulled pork, fried chicken, hush puppies and mac ‘n cheese.  They even offer a cool take on one of my favorites, Cobb salad…

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Here’s the menu…


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And for those of you needing a drink with dinner, you won’t be disappointed:

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Here’s all the details you’ll need to get over to PICNIC and try it out yourself:

On the web:  http://www.picnicdurham.com

Address: 1647 Cole Mill Road, Durham 27705

Enjoy, Y’all!  xo ~Maria

Bedroom Side Tables – A Few of My Favorites!

When you think of the main “pieces” of a bedroom, you probably imagine a bed flanked by two side tables.  Those side tables are pretty important because they provide the surface for your reading lamp, books, glasses, phone, etc.  In days gone by, many people purchased bedroom “sets” which consisted of matching beds, end tables and dresses, BUT NO MORE.  Trends today call for a more “collected” look composed of pieces with different finishes.  Take a look…

I love mixing finishes, like in this bedroom: brass side tables with mirror & glass surfaces paired with an upholstered bed. Photo Credit: West Elm

I love mixing finishes, like in this bedroom: brass side tables with mirror & glass surfaces paired with an upholstered bed. The heaviness of the bed is balanced with the lighter end tables. Then, a whole new finish is introduced with the lamps.  Perfection. Photo Credit: West Elm

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite choices for bedroom side tables.  You’ll notice some choices aren’t “traditional” bedroom furniture, but I actually think that’s kind of fun.  Like in this room, where they used a small, glass console table… Pretty cool, right?

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Things to consider when selecting a nightstand:

  • How High?  In general, you want the height of your side table to match up to the height of your mattress.  That way, when you reach over, you can easily get what you need, set down a drink, etc.
  • Storage: The big toss-up for many is whether to have a drawer or open shelf style nightstand.  This is totally a personal preference. If you tend to keep things at your bedside like medicine, notebooks, books, ear plugs, etc. you probably want something with a drawer (or two!). As always, consider how you live first, then find something that matches your aesthetic style.
  • Finish:  Today’s night stands come in a variety of finishes – not just wood!  You can even get fabric-covered nightstands.  You can always have a piece of glass made to cover the top of your nightstand so that you don’t damage the finish with water stains, etc.  Any glass/window store can do this for you at a nominal cost.

Without further adieu…these are a few of my favorites:

  1.  The Terrace Side Table from West Elm – Brass finish with glass and mirror shelves.  I love how light this table is.  It looks great paired with wood or upholstered beds.  (I have them in my bedroom!)  At just $299, you can’t go wrong — unless you need drawers.  This is also a great piece for living rooms.
The Terrace Side Table from West Elm.

The Terrace Side Table from West Elm.

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2.  The Hestton – From Ethan Allen.  Love this one!

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With this side table, you get the best of both worlds: open shelving AND drawers to store all of your things. This was featured in the HGTV 2016 Dream House.

3.  A few from Bungalow 5 – Bungalow 5 makes fabulous furniture pieces.  I love all of their offerings. They tend to be unique in design with a modern aesthetic.  They incorporate some surprising elements into their designs, like this nightstand, which is made of lacquered grasscloth…

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The Bardot 3-Drawer side table has a deco-inspired design that appeals those who want polished, decorated rooms. The romantic, serpentine front profile is finished with lacquered grasscloth that resembles the look and texture of a painted strié finish.

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A closer look at the finish.  This night stand comes in 3 colors and you can customize the hardware. LOVE!

Other options from Bungalow 5…  These come in various colors/finishes and you can select other finishes for the hardware.

Night Stands from Bungalow 5

And last but not least…this one from Zinc Door:

The Redford House "Fiona" Nightstand. It comes in over 2 dozen colors/finsihes!

The Redford House “Fiona” Nightstand. It comes in over 2 dozen colors/finsihes!

I hope this has given you lots of ideas for that little table next to your bed.  Though it be small, it plays a mighty role!

Stay warm today….and TUNE IN tomorrow for a great Friday Find.  You are going to LOVE it – especially if you are a Durham local.  Hint: It’s another food-related find!

xoxo ~Maria

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bedding & Sources

This week we’re focusing on the bedroom and ideas for creating a peaceful retreat in the space where you begin and end each day.  If you missed Monday’s post, check it out HERE.  It’s full of great tips and inspiration to get you started on reimagining your bedroom.  Like this…

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Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite picks for bedding.  This is a place where I think the extra cost is worth it. Think of this way: if you get 7 hours of sleep a night, you’re spending nearly 50 hours a week on those sheets!  If you get more sleep, it’s even longer!  So, pick wisely, friends.   If possible, own at least two sets of sheets so that you can rotate them during washings.

A few things to know about bed linens:

  • Content:  Cotton is usually king when it comes to fabric choices for sheets, but sometimes Polyester is also blended with cotton.  Poly mixtures tend to pill and not be as soft as pure cotton.  Purchase the best you can afford.  Look for high quality cotton such as Egyptian, pima or Supima.
  • Thread Count:  Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric.  In general, the higher the number, the finer/softer the sheet.  A decent thread count starts at about 200 and ranges to about 800.  I find that 250 – 500 thread count sheets wear well over time and last longer.
  • Washing & Care:  Check the care label on your sheets for specific instructions, but in general, avoid high temperatures and harsh bleaches.  Wash on “gentle” cycle in warm water with a mild detergent.  When drying, use a low setting (again, avoid high heat as this will deteriorate the fabric over time).
  • Storage:  Fold sheets and put them in one of the pillow cases!  Brilliant, right?  (Wasn’t my idea, but I’m sharing it!)
  • How to Fold a Fitted Sheet a la Martha Stuart Style (it’s actually pretty awesome):  Video and Directions – HERE!

My Favorite Sources for bedding:

  • If money is no object, then head over to Matouk.com.  This company produces some of the most luxurious and beautiful bedding around.  You pay for it, but it is amazing: 500 thread count, Egyptian Cotton woven in Italy and made in the USA .  If you want to see and feel the various options available at a local shop, head over to SOUTH in Chapel Hill (Meadowmont Village).  SOUTH carries the entire Matouk line, and they can order anything for you!  They’ll even monogram it for you to make it extra special.
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I have always loved this bedding. It’s called Butterfield and is available in 11 colors. I think it would be so beautiful in a girl’s bedroom.

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I’ll know I have arrived when I can afford this bedding! This is the Gordian Knot and is available in several colors.

  • Serena & Lily is probably my all-time favorite source for bedding.  I’ve loved this company since it started about 10 years ago!  Serena & Lily is now a household name associated with simple, modern beauty.  I love their prints and color pallets, and the linens are made of such high quality fabrics.  Their nursery collection is particularly lovely.  I sometimes wish I had a baby just so I could decorate a nursery in Serena & Lily!  Check it out…

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This bedding SLAYS me! It's called "Dylan" and if it had been around when my daughter Dylan was born, I would have used it.

This bedding SLAYS me! It’s called “Dylan,” and if it had been around when my daughter Dylan was born, I would have used it.

  • Pottery Barn – They do such a good job with their bedding collection and are constantly updating offerings with the latest colors/styles.  These sheets are a nice middle of the road option price-wise.  I love their simple white sheets with embroidered edges, like this one:
Pearl-embroidered sheets: 280 thread count. They are so soft! And, you can have them embroidered.

Pearl-Embroidered Sheets: 280 thread count. They are so soft! And, you can have them monogramed for a small additional cost.

  • Yves Delorme – This Parisian company has been making fine linens since 1845 so they know what they’re doing.  These linens are not cheap but they are incredibly beautiful, soft and luxurious.  Egyptian cotton is mostly used to make their bed linens.  They have an online outlet, which is definitely worth checking out for discounted products.

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Others that have great selections… (Click to be directed to the sites)

I hope this has been informative and inspiring, y’all! Ready to update your bedroom yet?

Sweet dreams…. xo ~Maria