Archive of ‘Design Tips’ category

Stylish Decor Steals – The Look for Less

Browsing through magazines and window shopping in stores can be fun, but also discouraging if you find something you love but it isn’t within your budget, which personally, happens to me a lot.  Thankfully, I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding the best price, so today I’m sharing some of my favorite stylish decor steals with you! {This post contains affiliate links.}

One caveat to this post….often times {but not always}, there’s a reason one item costs less than another, whether is material quality, size, construction, details, etc.  Before buying a less expensive item, give thought as to whether the quality is good enough to suit your needs.  Sometimes, it really is necessary to go with the more expensive piece, but if not, why not score the look for less!  For more information on this topic, you can view {THIS POST}.


Crystal Orb Chandelier

One of my favorites!  My husband really liked the 32″ chandelier from Restoration Hardware, but the price just wasn’t realistic for us.  Thankfully, there was an almost identical one available from Amazon!  This exact one now hangs above our staircase.


French Tufted Bench

A beautiful tufted bench with carved wooden details makes a perfect statement in a foyer or at the end of the bed.  If you’re not planning on sitting on it a great deal, though, why spend the big bucks when there are lots of less expensive alternatives available, like this one from Wayfair!  Plus, Wayfair includes free shipping but Layla Grace charges $75 for delivery.  {I specified that you’ll need to take into account how much use it’ll get because sometimes, less expensive seating is not constructed as well and doesn’t hold up over time.}


Balustrade Dining Table

While beautiful, the Restoration Hardware table comes at a hefty price!  It’s fixed at 108″ long, plenty of space for 12 people.  The World Market table is crafted of a combination of solid Acacia wood and MDF, resulting in a significantly lower price.  What’s nice, though, is that it is an extension table and so can expand from 78″ to 110″.

Vintage Velvet Drapery Panels

Vintage velvet feels and looks so luxurious, but the price often makes it unaffordable for most.  Thankfully, Half Price Drapes is a great resource for high quality drapery panels without the expensive price tag!  The two products below are both 100% cotton, 50″ x 96″, and lined, yet the priced couldn’t be more different.  And I’ve purchased several panels from Half Price Drapes so I can attest to the craftsmanship. :)



Let’s be honest, when we score something amazing at a great price, we get a thrill!  Plus, money saved can be put toward other projects and purchases, and there are always more projects…


A stylish home doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful!








How to Virtually Decorate Your Home {for FREE}

Isn’t it funny how sometimes things happen at just the right time such that it makes you think, “This was meant to be!”  That is exactly what happened to me when Jenny, a sweet Facebook follower, contacted me and asked for my thoughts about what she should do on either side of her fireplace.  I had been wanting to post a tutorial about a free online site that allows you to virtually decorate your home, and Jenny’s request gave me the perfect opportunity.

So today, let’s learn how to use Olioboard.  Why?  Because you can take a picture of a room in your house, and then virtually decorate it so you can see what works and what doesn’t!  Most of us have a “problem” area somewhere in our home where we just can’t figure out what to do, and this will be an easy way for you to try out different styles, furniture placements, etc.  And let me be honest with you….I sometimes use Photoshop when I’m doing a virtual makeover because of its limitless options for designing; however, I realize that most people probably don’t own Photoshop unless of course, you are in the design field.  It’s also quite pricey and not very user-friendly, so not really the best virtual decorating option for most people.  But you know what is?  Olioboard!  And no, this isn’t a sponsored post.  They don’t even know I’m writing it {but if they read this and want to contact me, please do!}.

I’ll be using Jenny’s room as my example and stay tuned because at the end of this post, I’ll reveal how her virtual makeover turned out!  And yowza!  It turned out amazing, if I do say so myself. ;)


Okay, so here’s the picture that Jenny sent to me.  She asked me for some ideas as to what she should do on either side of the fireplace.  Great space, right?!


Thankfully, Jenny also gave me some inspiration that she’s Pinned to give me an idea as to her style.  Clearly, the girl’s got great taste. :)




So here’s a step-by-step tutorial for making a virtual design of your own room using Jenny’s room as an example.


1. Go to  You will need to create an account for yourself, which is how the site saves all of your designs, so it’s a good thing!

2. Once you have your account and are logged in, click “Create” at the top.

3. From there, click on the My Items tab on the right.



4. Click Upload Item and follow the onscreen instructions to navigate to the picture of your home and add it to the site.  Once uploaded, your photo will appear in the top left of the My Items tab.  Here you can see I added the picture of Jenny’s room.  Why is this step important?  Because this allows you to use YOUR room as the backdrop for the design.


5. Thankfully, from here on out it’s just drag and drop!  Put your cursor over the picture you want, click and drag it to the white canvas on the left.  In the lower left corner, you can scale your canvas so that it’s smaller and fully visible on screen.  Then just size your photo to fit the canvas as best you can.



Once you have your room set as your background, you’re ready to start designing!  Jenny asked me for what she should put on either side of her fireplace.  As much as I love a tall cabinet, I didn’t think it was right for her room because tall cabinets would compete with her lovely fireplace.  Instead, I opted for shorter cabinets.  Here you can see I navigated to Cabinets from the Categories – Living Room – Bookcases – Cabinet.  There are TONS of items already available on Olioboard, from furniture, to rugs, to decor, and even plants!  But if you can’t find what you want, you can always add it.  If you need to add an item from somewhere online, just save the picture and then follow the same steps you did to add your room as the background.


Now for the fun part!  Let’s start trying out different furniture pieces in Jenny’s room!  On the left side, I tried a  dark cabinet closer to the color of her mantel.  On the right, I tried a lighter wood tone.  I like the lighter one better, but it’s not THE ONE just yet, but at least I’ve started to narrow down the color family.  Again, everything is drag and drop.  You can search by Category or you can look for a specific item.


A few more tries and I finally settled on these beauties!  These weren’t already available on the site, so I saved the picture online and added it just as I did when I added Jenny’s room.


I could have “hung” art above the consoles, but I opted to try some mirrors instead.  Square?  Round? Oval?  It’s easy to try them out.  I like the real estate that the rectangle takes up but the softness of the curved one adds…still, neither is THE ONE.


After trying out a few different options, I decided to get the best of both worlds with these wood-framed mirrors that are rectangular on the bottom but have a delicate curve on the top.


Technically, at this point, I’ve answered Jenny’s original question, which was what to put on either side of the fireplace.  I could have sent her this photo, but I didn’t think she’d really get a sense of my vision for this room and I feared she would open it and think, “Hmmm…’s okay I guess.”  Well, that wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for, so I decided to finish “decorating” this room.

Are you ready for the transformation?  Remember, this is Jenny’s BEFORE:


And here’s her AFTER!



What do you think??  While this program doesn’t tell you whether something will fit in terms of size, it gives you a great idea as to what works and what doesn’t in your space and allows you to try things out before you make purchase decisions.  So for example, if those particular cabinets don’t fit in Jenny’s room, she at least now has a vision in mind as to what she should look for!


I hope you’ll give it a try with your own home and see how you can put your decorating skills to work for yourself.  I sometimes get a little addicted….  And it’s not just for creating 3D rooms.  You can also create Vision Boards {or Mood Boards} for yourself of what you WANT a space to look like.  Then just save the image to your phone {or print it out} and bring it with you when you’re shopping to help keep you on track.  Here’s one that I made for my living room some time ago.



So now I’d like your feedback.  Would you be interested in having me make more of these BEFORE and AFTER designs using pictures of your homes that you send to me?  Let me know via the Comments and if enough of you are interested, I’ll make it a regular feature on the site.






Like this post?  Be sure to PIN it!







Love My Style? Shop My Look!

You might notice I’ve added a new page to my site called “Shop My Look” and I’m super excited about this page because I’ve been trying to collaborate with the company that makes this widget for two years now!  And after all this time, it’s finally up and running!

Basically, this page houses home decor that I love and think you might, too.  These are affiliate links, meaning that I might make a small percentage from any sales resulting from clicks {the money earned is how I pay to keep this website up and running!}; however, I am always 100% honest with you about what I like and what I don’t and this page is no exception.  If I don’t love it and wouldn’t put it in my own home, you won’t find it on this page.  I promise. I personally searched all of these items and gathered them on this page to make shopping easier for you.

I get questions from time to time about where I’ve bought things that I’ve featured in my home tour.  Like this flatware.


Or these mini boxwood wreaths.


And even the oversized wall mirrors in my living room.


You can now find – and shop for – all of these items in one place.  From the “Shop My Look” page, you can hover over any image to see the retailer and/or share on social media.  Click the image and you’ll be taken directly to the retailer’s website to see additional product information.


I hope you like this new section as much as I’ve enjoyed curating it.  I’ll add new items often, so check back to see the latest!  Please stop by to take a look….your clicks help keep my website up and running!


Happy shopping!






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