Month: September 2013

Styling Tips from Elle Decor

“Before a magazine shoots a home, it sends one or two experts to make the space look its best. To make the scene picture-perfect, a stylist will fluff pillows, organize shelves, and arrange flowers—anything that makes a great room look even better in photographs. We spoke with three interior stylists: Noemi Bonazzi, set designer and stylist, Emily Henderson, of HGTV’s Secrets of a Stylist, and Scott Horne, a prop stylist and set designer. Here they share their tips and tricks for giving interiors that elusive “done, but not too done” look whether you’re having your work shot for a magazine—or your own website:

De-clutter. Bonazzi notes that even the finest homes naturally fill up with the detritus of everyday life. “You want to simplify. You don’t want to shoot through too many things,” she says.

Bring never-fail props. “Even a boring room can look awesome with beautiful flowers and art books,” says Henderson. Horne has trays and throws on his list of must-haves.

Opt for simple, subtle flowers. Bonazzi cautions against huge or elaborate floral arrangements. Instead she says to opt for simple arrangements of one kind of flower. “Try to think what flowers go well with the artwork or furniture,” she suggests.

Pay attention to reflection. “When you’re shooting towards a mirror, it’s an opportunity to bring something chic into the shot in a subtle way,” says Horne, who suggests positioning flowers or a piece of art so that they appear in the mirror’s glass.

Clear surfaces. “Keep countertops clear, unless they are specifically set up to display for something,” says Horne. A collection of Limoges vases looks elegant, but a random mismatch of objects won’t work in a photo.

Avoid styling clichés. “The bowls of Granny Smith apples on a coffee table? The half eaten scone? Nope,” says Henderson. Bonazzi warns against the ubiquitous glass of wine and cheese board.


Break up the bed. “King-sized beds are the bane of stylists,” says Bonazzi. If you’re confronted with a giant, break it up with a blanket at the foot and decorative pillows at the head. “Otherwise it looks like landing strip,” she warns.

Put shelves in order. When styling bookshelves, Horne says to group like with like, while still keeping things from looking too uniform. To break up the books, Horne suggests introducing a plant or a piece of art leaning against the back.

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Don’t make it too perfect. “Decorators tend to obsess over perfection,” says Bonazzi. “Let the room breathe a bit. The pillows don’t have to be perfectly, perfectly aligned. Let things slip a little, it’s what makes them more interesting.” All three stylists said at least one thing in the camera’s frame should be “just a little off,” to keep things from looking boring.
Read more: How to Style a Room – ELLE DECOR
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Classic Living Room Under $1,000

My friend Kara has moved into a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l apartment with her boyfriend – visualize high ceilings, hardwood floors, old school Bostonian moldings – its gorgeous! Lucky bastards…

Since moving into their home, they have made the style transition from ‘post college decor’ – to ‘we are grown ups living in this beautiful apartment- go us.’ And I love their style, which is comfortable classic  with a modern twist because we’re only 26, GAWD. Below I made a CLASSIC MOODY Board all under $1,000!


Everything totaling out to be….drum roll please – $953  (and that’s if she got two side UO side tables and three sets of curtains!)

Ikea Bookshelf $135

Ikea Curtains, $15 per pair (Kara would need 3) $45

Overstock Coffee Table ,$177

Christmas Tree Shop Baskets, $6.99 (You can probably even find cheaper!)

Urban Outfitter Dip Dye Pillow, $34 (Let’s be serious 30 bucks is kinda of a lot to spend on pillows, you could probably find cheaper – but I just loved the shapes and simplicity of them).

Urban Outfitter Cute Circle Pillow, $29

Urban Outfitters Accordian Metal Table, $78 (Kara would need two each side of her couch)!

Sexy Safavieh Manchester Antiqued Brown Club Chair, $350

West Elm ‘Favorite Throw’ Bordered, $20

(This Moody board was based on things Kara already has in her home like, couch, neutral area rug, large TV, etc. If I factored needing those items I think the room would be around $2,000)

Trendspotting – The Next Chevron

Munro Shea Designs is a fan of chevron, a super fan if you will. Curtains, towels, bathmats, rugs – its all good in my opinion.  But  – I am reaching the point of overkill, like when rhinestone fleur-de-lis blew up on the Real Housewives of Orange County, enough is enough.

And my prediction is that crosses are going to be the next chevron…  Check out the pins below and you’ll see what I mean!

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Gotta say… I don’t hate it! Here is where you jump on the cross bandwagon and grab a cross blanket.

7,000 hits – Card Goal

I made a little promise to myself that once Munro Shea Designs got 7,000 hits I would celebrate by ordering business cards – because who doesn’t want to walk around with a card in their purse making them feel like a baller?

I’ve been searching online trying to find the best card on a very small budget (we have over 7,000 hits, not dolla bills). So I decided to go with Moo printing – I’ve used their mini cards in the past with my art website and I really like the thicker cardstock that they use and the imagery/design never looks pixelated. And now they’ve introduced their, ‘Luxe Business Card,’ so obviously I had to test the waters with that.

Here is the design I made up for the front of the card, drum roll please:


Keeping it simple with black and white and I wanted a ‘sketchy vibe’ to the chairs, so I traced the outline of some mid century modern chairs on Photoshop – and the rest was history. I definitely will be gramming up a storm once these bad boys arrive!

Falling Leaves, Apple Crisp & Colder Weather Can Only Mean One Thing…

Time for some seasonal (Maybe Halloween geared) cravings Etsy style!

1. From the Colette Bean Shop – Knitted Animal Tails

2. Figure 19 –  Original Silk Screen Soft Canvas Pillow (really cool stuff in that shop!)

3.  Andie Speciality Sweets – Edible Bird Feathers!

4.  The Ramblin Worker Shop – Glow in the Dark Full Moon Print

And last but not least – my favorite item – the Ceramic Skull Planter from Mudpuppy

We’re Digging…

I first fell in love with 2of2 when I saw them on Etsy and with over 8,000 admirers you can see why!  I was looking for a present for my Dad and I thought something for his office would be best, and that is when I laid eyes on this bad boy:
I can’t even begin to explain how perfect this was for my Dad. It had all the elements that we bond over –  fine motor skills, wood structure of some sort, design and love of architecture. And the fact that 2of2 is run by a brother sister duo, Dan and Mer, makes it even better.
“We opened the shop on what would have been our mother’s 61st birthday, 10/27/12.   She passed away in July 2012 after a year battle with cancer.   It was during that time that Dan and I put our careers on hold  (so did our other 4 siblings 🙂 to be home with our mom.   While home, Dan, always an artist, began creating what we now call Ghost Houses and Tabletop Forests.   And I started to reevaluate how much time I spending in the office instead of with those I loved.   So we made the decision that summer that in honor of our mom, we would pursue 2of2 goods.   When we opened it was as much a healing exercise as anything, but as business grew, we knew we were beginning an exciting new chapter of our lives. “
“The first house was probably made a year before we opened our shop. The original design required us to hand cut each individual piece of wood and glue the frame together one tiny piece at a time – it could take a day to make one house!   We now laser cut pieces of the frame, which we then have to assemble. “
“Working with the wooden frames are the easiest because they are the most consistent material.  The reclaimed wood is a different adventure every time and the acrylic houses can be “temperamental.”  429868-610x610-1372610799-primary.png
(All the bases are made out of reclaimed wood) “We search farms in Pennsylvania (where our dad lives) for the reclaimed wood – a fun Sunday activity! We tend to work on batches of different steps (i.e. carve 100 trees, cut 50 bases), so hard to say how long it takes or how many we make.   We are still very new to this, so we are constantly brainstorming about new designs and ways to make our existing designs better and more quickly.”il_570xN.497063509_ew61
In the future we hope to expand our company and our designs – we have more ideas than we could ever possibly keep up with, but right now we are just happy to be doing what we love and chasing a dream 🙂
And they are constantly updating their Etsy page with their creations! Every time I look there is something new in their shop. In true artist fashion they are taking risks with their craft. Dan and Mer are such inspirations – true artisans. Their little homes are pieces of artwork created with so much thought. Read their tumblr blog to see more of Dan and Mer! And thank you to both for sharing their story and work with Munro Shea Designs!