One of my favorite rooms to decorate is a dining room. Not only is this where family connects and makes memories, but it’s also a space to let your design creativity and personality shine. Something I’ve noticed in design is the shift away from having everything match. I love the idea that you no longer need to buy a complete dining set. You can choose an old wood harvest table and combine it with ultra-modern molded chairs or pair a glass top table with a set of upholstered armchairs. I’m also thrilled to see a return of benches and settees to the dining table. Who says you shouldn’t be comfortable?
I recently came across this stunning cottage-inspired dining room. I’m really attracted to the whole space, including the wonderful curtains and light fixture. However, what really caught my eye was the seating. Two slipcovered chairs and a bench with beautiful details, all perfectly complemented with adorable pillows. It doesn’t get more inviting and comfortable than that.
Spurred by my new obsession with benches, I pulled together twelve of my favorites. I hope they inspire you to try something new in your space.
Let’s break the rules together to create dining rooms that are cozy and welcoming, but most importantly, places that we truly love!
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm
Editor Karman Hotchkiss here!
I’m Style Spotting this time from Bologna, Italy, the epicenter of the tile industry, where the annual CERSAIE title show is held each fall. Acres and acres of showrooms displayed the latest tile trends, which I’m happy to share with you.
Trend #1: Tile that looks like wood
It’s not brand new, but it was everywhere at the show. And in heavy Italian accents the showroom staffers told us these designs are very popular in American markets. Look for tile in just about every wood finish, grain, and plank size imaginable. It’s easier to clean and maintain than the real thing!
Trend #2: High gloss
Super-glossy finishes showed up on everything from marble lookalikes to solid-color tiles. It’s a glitzy counterpoint to all those wood looks.
Trend #3: Thin tile
Super-thin tiles are easy to install and less expensive to ship. Mounted to the front of a fireplace, for instance, they can create a wood-look surface that’s fire resistant. I also saw thin tiles installed on the fronts of bath vanities to create the look of wood, marble, or other stone.
Trend #4: Three-dimensional applications
No word on whether it’s easy to clean, but I saw many surprising and stunning applications of tile that juts out—like faux clapboard or to create the effect of irregular bricks. After the show, I saw a kitchen backsplash that used this irregular 3-D tile for a redo. Amazing.
Trend #5: Trapezoids
These not-quite-triangles showed up at the show in everything from wood-look tiles to colorful, glossy applications. I predict the shape will be big in fabric, rugs, and other home decor accessories soon.
If you’re thinking about new tile, don’t miss these fun trends in a tile showroom near you.
I started blogging over at IHeart Organizing about three years ago, sharing the story of our home updates, projects, DIY triumphs and fails and our storage and organizing strategies. Blogging has been an incredible experience in itself, but little did I know that it would bring some amazing opportunities along the way!
One of those opportunities was being contacted by an editor of Better Homes & Gardens Storage Magazine! Say what?!
I went through emotions of every nature, ranging from hopping up and down with insane excitement to overwhelming nerves. I have been reading Better Homes & Gardens for years and years (since I was a little lady), and own every issue of Storage magazine from the past few years, so the idea of our home gracing the glossy pages was beyond words incredible!
Although my blog is focused on simple DIY projects, my love for storage and organizing has basically consumed the majority of the posts, so that is where the insane excitement came in. But the question I receive more than any other is…. “Does your home always look perfect?” And that is where the nerves came in, because the answer is, “Ha, no! I have three little boys, an amazing husband and two furry pups!”. Our house is very loved and lived in, and it is important for me to keep it that way. Over the years I have gotten less and less concerned with finger prints and dinged trim and more focused on using our home as a place to create incredible family moments and memories.
But what does work in our favor is the storage and organizing solutions we have put in place. Having a place for most everything allows us to whip our home into shape at the drop of a dime. Luckily, Storage magazine gave us more than a few days to prep for the upcoming photo shoot!
With a lower level renovation under way and a list of unfinished projects, we did a mad dash of getting things done! Everything from finishing a playroom update to painting walls and furniture to upholstering the boy’s bedroom headboards.
And labeling every, last, basket….
It was just the push we needed to finish all those half finished “honey do” list projects (and some got done only minutes before they arrived!)
I was a little anxious about their arrival and completely clueless about how things would go down, but as I should have known, they were a team of all-stars!
Molly has years of talent styling homes and Jay has an impeccable eye for photography. And together as a team, they worked magic all over our home for an entire week!
One thing they did that made all the difference, was fill our home with fresh blooms. The smells and colors were so invigorating and really gave new life to every room.
Molly also came prepared with boxes and bags of accessories, to help set the stage of the season and give our home some of those final finishing touches for the shoot.
A quick furniture move here, a vase there, lots of singing and laughter and you have the perfect formula for a fantastic home photo shoot!
They went room by room, project by project and captured all things big and small.
Because I photograph and chat about our home so frequently for my blog, the whole process also turned into an amazing learning experience. They have such an attention to detail and are always looking to capture a great photo that tells a story with each and every shot. Everything is reviewed and if it isn’t just right, they take it again until it is.
Because school was out for summer, and my husband works full time, the kids were home throughout the entire photo shoot. This made me a bit nervous, but the crew was so wonderful to work with, and they were amazing with the kids! They even played with them on their breaks and got to know them quite well before heading off…
Looking back, I had zero reason to be nervous. They are real people capturing real homes. And after hanging out with them for a week, it was like they were part of our family! I am confident they captured our home, our family and our storage solutions with extreme thoughtfulness and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the release of the magazine this December!
I have to thank everyone over at Better Homes and Gardens and the Storage crew, for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Some kids grow up dreaming of becoming a firefighter, veterinarian, all-star football player, Miss U.S.A or the president. I grew up drawing pictures of houses and building mansions out of Legos. I organized my bedroom, locker, first apartment, office desks and now my home with thoughtfulness and love, while spending every spare second looking at my shelter mag collection and dreaming of the day that we would maybe fill a page with our story. Better Homes and Gardens has really made this imperfect small town gal’s big dreams come true and for that, I will be forever grateful!
I also had the opportunity to interview the talented stylist, Molly Sinnett, and you can read all about some of her favorite tips here.
Be sure to check out Jen’s home in the newest issue of Storage Magazine, on newsstands Christmas day!
Somehow, I always seem to have lots of cardboard boxes piling up, so any way I can find to put them to better use is a winner. Here is a simple little DIY for a garland made of cardboard letters glammed up with glitter. (I found the glitter ball filler at Michael’s and stockings are from Yes, Please. Studio.). Merry Merry!
Hi, my name is Kim Hanou from the blog Too Much Time on My Hands. Now, I don’t really have too much time on my hands, but with the little time I do have, I love to find, create, and share crafty, DIY, and upcycling projects that I complete around my home in Arvada, Colorado. I have been blogging for almost two years and love every second of it. When I began, I had no idea where it would go. Would anyone follow along, would people appreciate my rustic and environmentalist style, or would I would be laughed right out of blogville. Last May, I knew I had done something right when a mysterious and very exciting email popped into my inbox. I am so happy to be here at Style Spotters to share my exciting little Better Homes and Gardens story with you today. Because it was pretty much the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me and it could happen to you too!
One run-of-the-mill morning in May 2012, I settled into my office nook with a steamy cup of coffee and opened my e-mail to see what was in store for the day. The subject line popped off the screen and read, “Possible Better Homes and Gardens Story.” That was my first thrill. I sat in a stunned silence for 3 minutes, just staring at the screen. “This is probably a joke…Let this NOT be a joke…This is probably a joke…” was the running commentary in my mind. It was not a joke, and a sensational adventure began.
After talking with Senior Editor, Kit Selzer, about some of my environmentally friendly Christmas projects from 2011, she challenged me to come up with Holiday projects, decorations, and crafts that would classify me as the “Christmas Recycling Crafting Queen.” I started creating with reckless abandon and my home turned into this:
My second thrill came when I arrived at Fedex with a bundle of samples in my arms and shipped them off to the Better Homes and Gardens Headquarters. I stood in the parking lot thinking, “I just sent samples to BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS!”
A few weeks later, the story was approved and my projects selected. I had to create my stick and chicken wire tree topper and enough shopping bag garland, and recycled paper ornaments for a nine foot Christmas tree.
My third thrill came when famed photographer, Edmund Barr, and photo stylist extraordinaire, Stacey Heston walked through my door with a fresh Oregon Christmas tree on July 19th. It quickly turned into Christmas and I spent a lot of time watching, asking questions, standing around, and primping while Edmund, Stacey, and 2 assistants made the magic happen.
Everyone was outrageously friendly, fun, and easygoing. It felt like two days hanging out with old friends. Posing for the photos was a riot. Edmund was so funny and kept shouting things like, “Every dentist’s office in America baby!” and “Work it, girl!” which resulted in many photos with my wildly crazy laughing face. At one point in the middle of the shoot, Edmund and Stacey were checking out some shots and I was just hanging out on my ladder and I had my fourth and most profound thrill. It was quiet, I was alone in my head and said to myself, “look around, take it in, really feel this amazing experience that is happening right now.” I almost got teary, and now when I reminisce, I really can put myself right back there and feel the excitement of that moment. At the end of the day, I spotted the photo order on my entry table and it hit me one more time, “this is really happening to me!”
I am so happy to share my BH&G story with you. I love how the recycled decorations turned out and if you want to make some for yourself all of the instructions are right here. Or if you aren’t feeling very creative, you can buy them in my ETSY shop, K & H Homegoods. I would also love for you to stop by my blog, Too Much Time on My Hands, look around, and say hi!
-Kim Hanou, Too Much Time on My Hands
With the holidays here, the decision on how to decorate your house can feel overwhelming to some. Do you go traditional Santa? Do you go contemporary with jeweled tones? Do you scratch it all and have a quiet Christmas? If you are somewhere in between, consider having a serene, green Christmas with light splashes of red. It’s calming, it’s organic and it can be set up weeks before Christmas without being too flashy. Inspired by this cool ensamble, all you need to do is use several tones of green to create a nice festive backdrop with other colors accessorizing. Here’s the look:
For the rest of this shopping guide, including more products from this color palette, go here.
Color Inspiration: Jacket.
For a dramatic color on the walls or other focal places, try Green Brook (517). It will instantly create a lovely mood.
Color Inspiration: Jacket.
Garland Green (429) is a light and airy. It makes for a great accent color and can be used in blankets, ceramics and even upholstered pieces.
Color Inspiration: Jacket.
Use a hue like Forest Hill (433) in garlands and other accessories.
Color Inspiration: Shirt.
Universal Black 2118-10 is great for breaking up color.
Color Inspiration: Lipstick.
If you need some more color in your palette, use Smoldering Red in ornaments, bowls, throws and other accessories.