November 2015 archive

Answering Your Questions

I *love* getting comments and emails from readers and I do my very best to always respond {apologies if you sent one that I missed!}.  Your comments and questions give me a chance to get to know you better and the connecting with others over a common interest is why I started this blog in the first place!

I know not everyone feels comfortable sending in comments or questions, so today I’m sharing with you some of those that I’ve received in case the answers help you, too!

1. “We have just purchased our first home and our new fireplace arrived today, this mirror is perfect! Can I ask where it’s from or if you know anywhere that makes similar? Thank you!” – Ayisha

Master Bedroom Mantel

Master Bedroom Mantel



I get this question A LOT and I wish I had a better answer for you!  I purchased the mirror from HomeGoods years ago but there aren’t any identifying marks on it that give an indication as to the brand or the manufacturer.  The closest one that I’ve come across if from Restoration Hardware, although it is considerably more expensive.


2. “Your round back chairs are from restoration hardware, correct? Could you please share the finish of the wood on them to ease my mind before I order today.” – Free


Yes, my dining chairs are from Restoration Hardware and they are the Burnt Oak finish, but I added the numbers to the backs myself, tutorial {HERE}.


3. “How far back should to the front part of the back of the chair be from the apron of the table?” – Amy

In my opinion, the distance between your table apron and chair back depends on 1) your space 2) how often the chairs get used and 3) your decorating style, in that order. If the space around your table is restricted, you’ll want to ensure that your chairs push in as much as possible so that you don’t restrict the flow of traffic. If space isn’t any issue, then how far out the chairs sit from the table is a matter of personal preference. If they are pushed in tightly, they have a more formal feel – pulled back a bit they have a more relaxed look. In my own home, I have a more casual look so my dining chairs tend to be pulled away from the table anywhere from 4″ – 10″. (4″ in the dining room, 10″ in the kitchen.) The key, though, is to not have the chairs sit so far away from the table that they look pulled out. In general, I determine this by seeing whether someone could sit down without moving the chair. If you can, the chair is pulled out too far.

4. “I really love your dining room chandelier and was wondering if you could tell me where you purchased it from. ” – Mary Ellen

Rodeo Chandelier

I purchased my chandelier from Lamps Plus a number of years ago and it’s been a great addition to the dining room.  It’s the Rodeo Collection Round Twelve Light Chandelier.  Here’s a link:

Not too long ago, I decided to give it a bit more femininity with the addition of some crystals that I added myself.  In case you’re interested, you can find a tutorial {HERE}.

TIDBITS & TWINE Chandelier Makeover


5. “I always wonder how long the curtains should be and what the rules are here. Any thoughts?” – Jessica


I feel that curtains should be hung as close to the ceiling or crown moulding as possible in order to help elongate the look of a room. If you don’t have crown, consider 1″-2″ below the ceiling. If you have crown, try mounting the rod directly underneath it. Then measure that distance from the rod to the floor to get your total length (be sure to account for the type of header you are using, as this will affect the location from where your drape actually starts in relation to the rod). If you want a puddled look, add anywhere from 2″-8″ to the total length depending on your preference.


6. “You mentioned how deep a bench in front of a bed should be, but how wide should it be? 48″ for a Queen? 60+ for a King? I’ve also heard 2/3s of the width of the bed. Any thoughts?” – Joe

My personal preference is about 12″ less than the width of the bed, but depending on the shape of the bed frame and of the bench, sometimes they look good even when they are both the same width! At a minimum, though, I think it should be at least 2/3s {anything less and the scale starts to look disproportionate}. So a 60″ queen-sized bed would have a bench that is no less than 40″, but closer to 48″ +/-.



I do love hearing from you so please feel free to comment on posts or send me an email!


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How to Achieve a Timeless Decorating Style

It’s easy to get swept up by the latest in decorating trends, isn’t it?  After all, when we go to stores or shop online, we are surrounded by what is currently “in”.  The problem, of course, is that in time, homes decorated solely with trendy decor will eventually look outdated.  {I’m dating myself here, but I grew up in a home with avocado green shag carpet with orange walls!}

To get the biggest bang for your buck, create a timeless, classic look that is as relevant 10 years from now as it is today.  This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid trends, but rather that you create a timeless backdrop and buy investment pieces that are sure to last.  Here are 5 ways to ensure your home has a timeless decorating style.



1.  Great Millwork

You can never go wrong with architectural details.  Today’s design still draws upon the historic Greek and Roman architecture because these styles are considered to have a “classic” look that withstands the test of time.  In a similar fashion, details like quality baseboards, crown moulding and other millwork have a classic look that will still look good years from now.

Idea:  You can always update or modernize the look of classic trim by painting it a trendy color or “hiding” it by painting it the same color of the wall, but the millwork itself will remain timeless.


2. Natural Elements

The use of man-made elements, like Corian or laminate, come and go as technology and manufacturing processes change.  Natural elements, however, remain classic.  Using natural elements in your design choices will lead to a longer staying power, so think wood, stone, natural fibers, etc.  Elements that pull from nature tend to have a more timeless look.

Idea: You can modernize based on the style you choose.  For example, you can select marble subway tiles instead of a slab, or hand-scraped wide plank wood floors.  These style choices give a more contemporary look but utilize timeless materials which will help give them more staying power.


3. Neutrals

The beauty of neutrals is that they blend into the background and let the space itself take center stage.  If you keep the bones of your space in a neutral color, then your backdrop will be timeless and will coordinate with the rest of your space regardless of the style or color you choose for furnishings.  So think beiges, whites, browns, when it comes to walls, fireplaces, trim, flooring, etc.

Idea: Since neutrals coordinate with a wide array of colors, you can update the look of your space by simply changing the accent color to whatever is trendy at the time, or whatever color you love the most!  Add colored pillows, window coverings, area rugs, etc. to change up the look without having to redecorate the entire space.



4. Simple Yet Functional

Function is one of the most important elements of a timeless design…after all, if it doesn’t work for you, you won’t keep it around long!  In addition to function, though, look for items that are simple in the design and style.  Opt for patterned fabrics that aren’t overly fussy or furniture that is neither oversized or under-scaled {the Goldilocks rule!}.  Items that are too big, too busy, or too complicated become tiresome, but the same is true to rooms that are too simple, stark, or sterile.  Instead, look for pieces that are functional with great bones that are interesting without being overly complicated.

Idea: If you love a particular pattern, introduce it on a smaller scale.  Not only will you not tire of it as quickly when used in a small dose, but it will be easier to update in time if your taste changes.  So instead of upholstering your bed in your favorite floral print, upholster your bed in a neutral and use your favorite floral as the bedding!


5. Variety

Variety in decorating helps to keep a room from looking repetitive and boring, and thus extends its staying power.  Using a mix of textures, metallic finishes, wood tones, materials, colors, etc. means that even if one piece goes out of style, the room itself won’t.  Also consider adding in some antique or vintage pieces with your new furnishing to give the space a more collected look.  Using a variety helps to create a warm, inviting space with classic elements and lots of visual interest!



So does creating a space with a timeless design mean that you’ll never have to update it?  Unfortunately the answer is no!  A timeless design might need to be updated, but will rarely need to be replaced.  For example, hardwood is a timeless flooring choice, but trends fluctuate between light and dark stains so to keep your home looking current, you might need to refinish them.  A side chair with great bones might need to have the upholstery updated someday, but you won’t have to replace the entire chair because the chair itself will be timeless, even in the upholstery isn’t.


Do you consider your decorating style to be timeless?


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