2018 Christmas Gift Guide

When creating this gift guide, I was not emotionally prepared for the sheer multitude of ADORABLE coffee mugs there are out there! Seriously! Its overwhelming.

Buying Christmas gifts has always been something I love thinking about. Barring that one time I got my big brother a stuffed animal just so he would never play with it and I could swoop in, I have always tried to get loved ones things that they need/really really want. As a designer, I couldn’t help adding a few design-centric things in there, but for the most part these are items that could be useful and/or cozy.

Today I have for you three guides tailored to three different, yet still budget friendly price points. Everything is either at or under the price point.

$15 women's gift guide2

(1)Cozy Sweater / (2)Infuser Water Bottle / (3)Earrings / (4)Hyperbole and a Half / (5)Scarf / (6)Candle / (7)Stone Paper Journal / (8)Apron


$30 (1)

(1)Sloth Mug / (2)Velvet Journal / (3)Throw Blanket / (4)Leather Tote / (5)Fancy Soap / (6)Hourglass / (7)Breakfast Book / (8) Candle Holder and Sticks


$60 Gift guide

(1)Shoes / (2)Trenchcoat / (3)Jigger and Shaker / (4)Speaker / (5)Print / (6)Decorative Beads / (7)Earrings / (8)Throw Blanket

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas! Let me know if this guide was useful.

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Budget E-Design – Entry

Happy Friday! Today is the next installment of the Budget E-Design series. First we had the bedroom with a budget of $2,500, next a cute living room for only $3,000, and today at the lowest price point yet, is an area that is often neglected but can be high impact – The entry!

The entry is important because not only is it the first impression that someone gets of your home’s aesthetic, but it also needs to be highly functional, promoting neatness by storing coats, keys, umbrellas, bubbles, tequila, purses, a yodeling pickle (actual thing), and whatever else you might need in order to leave the house on a daily basis. (Please note: I actually carry bubbles around with me on a daily basis. No joke.)

Today’s entry has a budget of a mere $1,000 including:

  • Lighting
  • Rug
  • Credenza
  • Artwork
  • Mirror
  • Styling objects

Here is the floor plan for the area:

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 2.34.49 PM


Because this is a shared area, the vibe for this entry plays heavily off of the design from the living room:

OB-Restricted Design Plan #2

Airy and floral with scandi/midcentury accents and a colorful palette of pastels, this entry is functional and economical.

OB-E-design entry design plan2

The Credenza – This credenza serves as a platform for styling goodies and to ground the space. I have a nasty tendency to dump a bunch of junk on surfaces like this credenza, so in order to curb that habit I like to keep pretty object on the credenza, making me reluctant to muddy the waters with the detritus of a busy life.

The Rug – When considering a rug for an entry, you want to make sure that there is enough color variation in the weave so that dirt and other odds and ends don’t show too much. You will also want to look for something with low-pile (not shaggy) so that it wont get worn down as easily. Thankfully this rug from CB2 checks both boxes and is super cute to boot!

The Art – This print from minted is a neutral B&W but plenty floral and feminine so it fits well in this apartment without shouting GIRLY!

The Mirror/Hooks – I have something similar (can’t find) in my entry and I love having somewhere to do a last check. The usefulness of the hooks is hopefully obvious but I’ll say none the less that hooks by the door are SO HELPFUL. Such a little thing, such big impact.

The Tea Set – Totally decorative. You can’t be practical with everything in life, sometimes you need a useless tea set in your entry!

The Sconce – This sconce is great because it is long enough to engage the whole wall and it has two different light sources. As you can imagine, plenty of light in an entry is very important to the feeling of comfort when you first walk into a house, especially if you are feeling rushed or tired from a long day!

The Cork – One thing I love in entries (and, lets be honest the rest of the home as well) is BIG ART! (shocker) but if I was going to stay in budget, that couldn’t happen to the scale that I wanted. Enter – the cork board. Not only is it a welcome warm tone, but it is a great place to store little reminders, tickets, or pictures, and at a much lower price point than a piece of art. Plus, think of all the glorious push pin possibilities! Mwahahahaha!

The Plants – Anyone who knows me know what a huge fan of plants I am. Having vibrant plants in an entry can also help with that bright/open feeling that we love so much in entries.

Now comes the most important part of E-Design, the 3D version. This is an approximation of the actual design, created to ensure that the size of the items work in the actual space. If I were to skip the 3D sketch up, I would risk things not fitting or being the right scale in the actual room. In short – this step lowers the risk of expensive mistakes!

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 12.11.58 PM


edesign entry graphic.jpg

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

So when it comes to entries you always want to incorporate these three elements:

Storage: In the form of a credenza, hooks, baskets, and bowls. you should have at least a few of these things to allow a proper place for potential…DUN-DUN-DUN…clutter…

Lighting: Sconces, ceiling lights, or lamps, but it helps if it has a light switch connection for easy access (instead of fumbling with a lamp in the dark).

Decoration: Rugs, art, plants, and useless tea sets, all serve the warm feeling you want when you or your guests arrive!

If you need help with your entry, or any other part of your house, I offer  E-Design services! Tailored to your specific space, this process is SO easy, worry-free, and budget friendly.

The Anatomy of a Shelf

Happy Saturday! Today we are going to talk all about the anatomy of  shelves, what to put on them and how to style them. Like the coffee table, shelves are a microcosm of styling where all of the principles will come into play on a small scale.

You’ve seen it. The effortless collections of beautiful things, arranged in perfect vignettes all over Pinterest, Instagram, and magazine covers. How do you do that?? What should go on your shelves?! What are the proper ratios?? How do you make sure it all goes together, while also being personal and meaningful?!? Ahhh!!! CALM DOWN! Once again, simple rules break down this process into something supremely manageable. Here are some now:

If you remember in my last post in this series “The Anatomy of a Coffee Table Top” we talked about the rule of 3’s which is that the eye likes objects in groups of 3’s which feels the most balanced. We also talked about the vertical + horizontal + sculptural rule, which means that you should have something horizontal to ground the space, something vertical to add height, and something sculptural to tie the two together. Like so:

Vertical horzontal and sculptural


Source: 1 / 2 / 3

This vignette satisfies both the rule of 3’s and the VHS rule.

Before we get started on the steps, I want to talk about what to actually put on your shelves. When it comes to styling a shelf you can technically use anything that fits! There aren’t any hard and fast rules about what can and can’t go on a shelf, however here are a few things that are helpful to have around when trying to fulfill the rule of 3’s and the VHS rule. Items that are commonly incorporated are:

  • Books: I really hope this was obvious. When looking for books you can easily buy pre-collected vintage books in pretty much any color scheme you can think of, which sounds convenient, but the price tag is shockingly prohibitive! I would therefore suggest taking your time to build up a collection – it will be much cheaper in the long run, not to mention fun! Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to thrift shop??
  • Plants: This is my favorite thing to put on shelves. They provide color and life as well as freshening the air. Low light plants like ivy are hard to kill and can grow out in many directions, changing the landscape of the shelf in a pleasant way. Plus, you can stick them in some really pretty pottery!
  • Statues and decorative objects: This part can get really wild! Here is where personality comes out and things get quirky. If you have any historical family items, or travel souvenirs you want to display, this is the perfect opportunity. Personal opinion that my husband doesn’t share: the quirkier the better.
  • Baskets, Bowls, and Boxes: These are handy for fulfilling the “horizontal” element of your vignette. This is also a great surface to display those decorative objects, or plants on. They also tend to be more visually heavy which makes them great for grounding the vignette (but don’t tease them about it).
  • Art: art is another great place to get some quirk in, but it also can add a vertical element. This is a great opportunity to incorporate color and personal touches.
  • Pottery: Next to books, pottery is probably the most popular thing to put on bookshelves because it can really fill out the space and add verticality, or horizontality. A tall shelf is obviously the most safe place to display any treasured, delicate pottery. Collections of pottery can be pretty baller, especially if its handmade or vintage.
  • Lamps: Lamps are the least common way to fill out your shelves but if you have an outlet near by and it can fit, it is a great way to literally add warmth and dimension to a shelf vignette.

So there are some of the building blocks of shelves! Time for the steps to actually arranging your shelf vignettes! Keep in mind that these steps are just my guidelines to get you started and there are plenty of other perfectly successful (and perhaps more efficient) methods out there that I haven’t found yet.

step 1_

Determine your palette. “Palette” here is referring not just to colors but also textures, and the energy or style of the room. Is it a globally themed room? Is it pretty monochrome? Traditional? Gather items that fit within that theme. Here are 3 different directions you could potentially head but this is completely up to your personal style: 

beachy minimalist (1)

Beachy Minimalist: 1 / 2  Edgy Modern: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 Warm Traditional: 1 / 2 / 3


step 1_ (1)

The next step is to pepper rectangular objects horizontally and vertically throughout the shelves. You can put as many or as few as you like, but make sure not to put them directly above each other so that nothing looks lopsided. These items are more visually heavy and will be the grounding points of your vignettes.

Shelf Styling (2)


step 1_ (2)

Mix in art and pottery. Again, don’t let things get too lopsided, try to balance out the heavier items, adding something vertical or horizontal wherever it is needed to fulfill the rule.

pottery and art shelf styling (1)


step 1_ (3)

Add in plants, decorative objects, and figurines. As you can see, these really can be anything. For the decorative objects, I have added some round circle things (?), a collection of little house figurines, a brass duck, a camera, and a magnifying glass. I tend to go heavy on the plants so I have something on every shelf but one or two will be sufficient.

Step #4 (1)

step 1_ (5)

Fiddle! Get obsessive about details. I give you permission. Fuss over and polish your styling until its perfect. This is the part that you imagine when you think about styling your shelves. This is also a multi-part process:

Step 1: Move something.

Step 2: Stand back.

Step 3: Stroke your chin thoughtfully.

Step 4: Feel superior and artsy.

Step 5: Move it back to where it was before.

You’d be amazed what this exercise does for your self esteem!

But really, fiddling is the most important part of shelf styling. You have all the right elements, in the correct scale, texture, and colors, all in the general area that they need to go, and you are almost there! Now you just need to shuffle things around until they feel right, adding and subtracting items as needed. Don’t be afraid to nix items that aren’t fitting in well, scrap everything if you need to!

So to recap:

#1 Determine your palette. Gather your items.

#2 Pepper rectangular objects horizontally and vertically throughout the shelves.

#3 Mix in pottery and art, filling in the horizontal, or vertical items needed.

#4 Add in plants, decorative objects, and figurines.

#5 Fiddle! Fuss over and polish your styling.

Miscellaneous guidelines:

  1. Make sure the vary the materials of the objects on the shelves. If you have natural wood shelves, make sure to separate a natural wood bowl by using a book or tray.
  2. If you’re dealing with a shelf thats super long and stretched out, make sure to arrange the vertical items in a way that flows well and adds height so that it doesn’t look accidental.
  3. When trying to child proof shelves, include some linen or wicker baskets on the bottom shelves to hold toys and stuffed animals, and keep more delicate items on the top shelves.

There you have it! Shelf styling. Leave a comment below if you have any questions at all! I leave you with some purse and simple shelf inspiration:

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Colors Today – Sage Green

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day weekend. Life has definitely gotten crazy for me over the past month or so and I have felt out of touch with the design world as of late. But now I am diving back in and I am seeing A LOT of sage green!

In spite of the huge surge of warm, earthy colors exploding all over the internet, (see: Vermillion, Mustard and Millennial, Terracotta, and Wine) this color has remained highly popular. It used to be called mint and was usually paired with peachy salmon colors, sea shells, and some hydrangeas, but these days it has grown dusty and much more grown up…

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1 / 2 / 3

Unlike a lot of color crazes these days, sage green is being seen mostly on walls and other large surfaces! It is breaking up the barrage of white walled pictures on the internet (nothing against white walls of course!) But to see this color being used so boldly is refreshing. This is due in part to sage green being such a soft and delicate color. It wont overpower the other colors, or darken the room. It is also style ambiguous! It is not only paired with scandi design, but also with french provincial, and traditional styles.

sage green styles

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Sage green loves to be paired with warm wood tones (opposite to it on the color wheel) as seen above. It also does very well being paired with a dark forrest green:


Which fits with the trend of mixing colors in the same hue but with different tones as a way of creating contrast.

Here are some of my favorite ways that I see sage green being used in design these days:

In Interiors:

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

In Fashion:

10d54cda1ef59ff24a06cfff6afb9582  6111978a7f11e611de6c0c175adbb91efc33286dd8ab1204e9a11f9560df8178  ddc455fbb9a3a00109fddd7276cc3d9ef0458b154a46836e7fb9228dfc6f44ad  beed601d2fc93fea820c7aa1c4d0797f325a55901429442671d4b9481d1386c5

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

In Vingette:

OB-Sage Green alt
Sofa / Chair / Rug / Coffee Table / Art / Art / Planter / Sconce / Candle / Pillow / Books

Want to incorporate sage green in to your home? As always I suggest starting small, to make sure you like it before you commit to a whole wall, sofa, or other piece of large furniture. Check out some of this stuff:

Sage Green

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

1 Bathroom 3 Ways

Happy Friday! Today is another installment of 1 room 3 ways, this time – a bathroom! A bathroom is a great place to do this because even though there are a lot of permanent fixtures, there are endless fun little accessories you can style with. Which means that picking just 3 combos was very very hard!

First we look at the bare bones of this bathroom:

OB-1 Bathroom 3 Ways Original #2

The Vanity: This simple midcentury modern vanity is from Rejuvenation, which has some really fabulous vanities that go with most styles! With everything included, they are customizable and a great backdrop.

The Mirror: This mirror is from Pottery Barn and is an interesting shape with the fun chain detail, but is still simple enough to go with anything.

The Pendant: This pendant is a gem from Lulu And Georgia! It is the perfect blend of unique and simple. You’re not likely to find this ziggurat style anywhere else.

I also chose a white penny tile for the floor and shower. Penny tile is probably the most versatile (ha! get it!?) tile there is.

The styling variables:

  • Sconces
  • Art
  • Rug
  • Chair
  • Basket
  • Towels

The goal is to take these variables and change them around to demonstrate how different a room can look just by changing out the cosmetics.

Global Version:

OB-1 Bathroom 3 Ways #1 of #2

Sconces / Art / RugChairBasket / Towels / Vase

For the global version of this bathroom a vintage kilm rug was the jumping off point. Global style is characterized by ethnic patterns, wood, and warm tones. It is a very layered style that is great for mixing in to other styles.

Wallpaper Version:

OB-1 Bathroom 3 Ways #2 of #2

Sconces / ArtRug / Chair / BasketVaseWallpaper

We take a hard left turn with this wallpaper, turning the bathroom whimsical, colorful, and almost childlike. There is something very colonial about this iteration but I can’t pin down a specific style. It hints at a lot of different things.

Modern Scandinavian:

OB-1 Bathroom 3 Ways #3 of #2

Sconce / ArtRug / ChairLadder / Towels

The Modern Scandinavian bathroom is really minimalist and simple with clean lines and warm tones. This style is similar to global in that it can be mixed with any other style effortlessly. Unlike global style it is characterized by color blocking (no pattern), simple lines, and minimalist, open spaces.

1 Bathroom 3 Ways

Styling is magic! It can completely transform a room into different versions of itself. In this series I demonstrate how to restyle the same room 3 different ways and completely transform it!

Don’t miss the other posts in this series!

1 Bedroom 3 Ways, 1 Living Room 3 Ways, 1 Nursery 3 Ways