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My Office Update for Under $200

Hello there! It’s me Nicole again from Making it Lovely. I’m transforming my so-so house into a lovely home, and I thought I’d share a little of my process with you while Holly’s away!

My office was one of the first rooms I finished when my husband and I moved into our home last year. As you know, I own Pink Loves Brown and I work from home, so I needed my office to be functional as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I didn’t put all that much thought into the design of it. It’s really not that bad, but I’m ready for a change.

(photo by Evan Thomas, from my Apartment Therapy House Tour last year)

Here’s my office as it is now:

The basics of the room will be staying. That means I’ll be keeping my desk, chair, bookshelf, lamp, and several other items. I’m even keeping the paint color! Normally, paint would be the first thing to go because it’s such an easy way to change a room for little money, but I think the color will work really well so it’s staying!

I’m only changing four things. That’s it! I think it will make enough of a difference to keep me happy for a while though.

I can make the curtains out of Robert Kaufman’s Purple Utopia fabric for about $50 and then splurge on a Thomas Paul Flourish violet linen pillow for $100. I’ll attempt to make a slipcover for my desk chair (around $10), and then I’ll pick up a new Helmer drawer unit in white from IKEA for $40. The red one I have now could be spray painted if I wanted to do this all for even less, but I actually need another draw unit in my studio so I’ll just bring the old one up there.

So with two purchases, two sewing projects, and $200, I can have a whole new look! That is unless I change my mind and go with something else first. It’s been known to happen. ;) So what do you think about my office ideas? What are some quick changes you’ve made to spruce up your home office lately?

(images linked to sources above, layout and text by nicole)

Posted in Decorating Tips, guest bloggers, workspace on August 26, 2008

Home Design-Inspired Party Planning

Hi Everyone! I’m Jenn Sbranti from Hostess with the Mostess, Inc. which is a resource for hip and modern entertaining ideas. I’m very excited to be guest posting at decor8 today! I’ve been blogging from my home in San Diego for a little over two years now, and I was lucky enough to “meet” Holly (albeit virtually) in only my second month as a blogging “newbie”. She actually interviewed me here at decor8 way back in the day, and has remained one of the most inspirational and warm voices on the web for me ever since – just as I know she is for many of you, so thanks, Holly!

Holly asked me to give you a little background on who I am and how I got started, so here’s my story in a nutshell… I started my own blog Fabulous Finds & Ideas for Contemporary Entertaining (sorry ? it?s a mouthful!) while my husband and I were working on developing HostessWithTheMostess.com which features contemporary, out-of-the-ordinary party themes and tips for how to easily recreate them at home. There’s also a recipe section, general entertaining tips, an entertaining-focused shopping guide… and a bunch of exciting new interactive features are currently in the works!

The idea for HWTM.com came about when I was searching for creative bridal and baby shower ideas online and kept coming up with nothing – or landing on things that were overly cheesy, frilly, or expensive. So, being a graphic/web designer by trade I finally decided that since I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I’d work on creating it myself. Aren’t most small businesses born this way, to fill a need? My main goal was to create a highly inspirational site that was heavy on the visuals and full of stylish, but approachable ideas.

Fast-forward a couple years, and we’re up and running and continuing to grow! I still post at HWTM daily, and also twice a week on Real Simple and once a week at GlamDish. And speaking of posting…let’s get to it, shall we? :)

Nicky Hilton’s Hollywood Home, Photographed by Paul Costello for InStyle – March 2008.

When it comes to designing parties, one of the questions I get asked most often is, “Where do the ideas for your party themes come from?”. The answer is honestly pretty broad – it can be anywhere inspiration naturally strikes – from a really cool, modern toy that would be a great foundation for a kids party, to a beautiful, unique flower bloom, to a fabulous pattern on a roll of contemporary gift wrap. However, one of my favorite places to turn to intentionally seek out inspiration is home decor/interior design magazines and websites (i.e. decor8!), the reason being 2-fold:

A) There’s so much creativity to get lost in and inspired by in the world of interior design – from great color palettes to funky patterns to retro looks and kids rooms…you can find it all, and there?s usually something for everyone!

B) It’s not usually feasible to actually change the decor of one?s home around all that often, (that whole ?budget? issue, you know!) so designing a party inspired by a cool room design that you’ve fallen in love with allows you to indulge your inner decorator on a less stressful/committed level – and ? even more importantly – without breaking the bank!

So for my guest post at decor8 today, I thought it would be fun to show an example of how easily a well-designed space can translate into a stylish party theme… The inspiration here being a gorgeous black & white dining room from Nicky Hilton’s Hollywood home, as featured in the March 2008 issue of InStyle.

Below are some partyware and decorative accessories I found that capture the same striking black & white damask motif as Hilton?s pad?


Pictured Above: Design Design?s Damask Black and White Partyware and Amscan?s Formal Affair Octagonal Partyware.

Pictured Above: Black and White Damask Gift Wrap ($4.50/roll) is perfect for creating inexpensive table runners and covering cylinder vases, and this Fancy Fake Utensils set ($20/service for 4) from Urban Outfitters has a pretty baroque quality that ties in nicely with the candlesticks and wall mirror in Hilton’s dining room. Beats the generic white plastic utensils from the supermarket!

Pictured above: This ultra-modern, easy-assembly 3-D Chandelier from Urban Outfitters has all the style for a fraction of the price ? just $36! And Rosanna?s Dauphine Candlesticks mimic the chic silhouette of Hilton?s pair and are a tried-and-true personal favorite when it comes to gifting (at least judging by the recipient reactions!). $60/set of 2 for black or white.

Pictured above: These decorative crystal ornaments and garlands from Jamali Garden are the perfect way to up the glam factor at your soir?e?and ? don?t worry ? they only LOOK like a million bucks! Drape them across tables, chandeliers, or your fireplace mantle; hang them from vases, flowers, and branches, or use them to dress up party favors and gifts. Crystal Ornament Drops: $3.50 – $5.99 each and Crystal Garlands: $5 – $20 each.

Have you ever been inspired to design a party around a cool room or interior space that you loved? Were you able to capture the look you were going for within your party theme?

(images, layout and text by jennifer sbranti, hostess with the mostess)

Posted in Decorating Tips, guest bloggers, inspiration on August 18, 2008

Color Notes

I just blogged a few notes on color over on Haus Maus and after writing it, I thought that some of you may enjoy stopping by to read it. If you’re interested, of course.


Here’s the link.

(mood board by holly becker)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips on May 27, 2008

Got a Passion for Purple?

PointClickHome just posted a slideshow with lots of purple finds, including some of their favorite paint colors by Benjamin Moore. They didn’t highlight Passion Plum 2073-30 but I have to add that to the list because it’s a deep hue that is so rich and delicious…

I really like this cane coat stand from Red Egg – the materials and design anyway. I can’t say I like it in this color because it’s a bit too Golden Girls for me — I’d paint it bright red, crisp white, tulip yellow, or black. I’d also love to reupholster that chair in perhaps that Duralee animal print and paint the frame white. Or reupholster it in some red and white geometric print and lacquer the frame in black. I know, I know, the whole point of this post is to highlight purple finds but I can’t help myself since I love to alter things, editing is in my blood. The Tokyo Dahlia wallpaper is lovely, it’s from the Oriental Garden collection over at Designers Guild.

To learn more about the color Purple and to view rooms in this sassy hue, here are a few decor8 links to inspire you:

Color of the Month: PURPLE
Lavender Love from The Washington Post
Poppin’ Purple

(images from pointclickhome)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips on March 31, 2008

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

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