Posts by Alexa Fornoff
Trend: Nautical Home Decor
Maybe it’s because I live in a landlocked state, but I’ve always been drawn to the sea. It feels exotic yet familiar, and the lived-in style of coastal cabins probably has a lot to do with that: crumpled linen, sun-bleached colors, and sturdy finishes that can stand up to salty spray and sandy feet.
I love the mix-and-match nonchalance of the bedroom, which proudly displays several humble collections (nautical flags above the bed, stick-straight arrows on the night table, and rough-and-tumble baseballs and softballs nestled in a basket). Plus, the classic color combo is nothing to scoff at!
And the more formal living room, with it’s tufted yellow leather ottoman and chic rope-wrapped tray, shows how to play up texture while still maintaining a sophisticated style.
To bring the nautical look to your own space, you don’t need to complete a full-on makeover. Add a few key pieces to refresh the room — think thick rope accents, woven baskets, sea-inspired patterns, and a little candlelight for ambiance. Here are my picks:
Want more? Check out another sea-inspired guide here!
– Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor
Trend: Pennant Decor for the Outdoors
To me, summertime is all about hanging out on the porch, deck, or patio with friends, the pup, and some grilled fare. And while the great outdoors offer up plenty of pretty, a few quick accents go a long way in creating a festive gathering. My decor of choice? The pennant. It’s throwback style, when partnered with carnival lights, makes for one magical evening. Here are a couple of my favorite DIY pennant projects — but keep scrolling, and I have an even easier version for you!
How to: Quick and Easy Napkin Pennants
1. Find a stack of cheap, vintage, or thrifted square cloth napkins. Any size will work — the larger the napkin, the larger the flag!
2. Gather a thin rope, thick string, or other cording in the length according to your space. Remember to include a bit extra so you can swag the flags!
4. Straighten out the rope, and fold each napkin into a triangle, fabric right-side-out. Slide the rope into the fold so the length of the napkin is covering the rope.
5. If you’d like to reuse the napkins after this, simply use safety pins to attach the napkin to the rope. (See image above for details.) If you’d like a more permanent attachment, use seam tape and an iron to adhere.
6. Repeat with remaining napkins. Once everything is attached, string up the handmade pennants up and enjoy!
My garden shed has never looked so cute!
–Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor
PS: We used napkins in shades of white for our wedding — it was a cheap solution that made a huge impact!
Trend: Hand-Lettered Artwork!
I’ve long been an admirer of pretty penmanship (it was my favorite class in second grade–I still have a secret stash of the blue-line, wide-rule paper at home!), but even I can barely read my own to-do lists. I blame my sloppy script for why I’ve been coveting all of the gorgeous posters and prints covered with beautifully illustrated words.
And while I want to buy them all, my wallet thinks otherwise…but, good news! With a few free fonts and a normal word processing document, you can create a chic, on-trend poster of your very own.
It’s really simple: Find a favorite font or fonts (free for personal use) at dafont.com, Font Squirrel, or by doing a search for “free handwritten font.” (I used Mighty to Save, Fragment Core, and KG Two is Better Than One.) Download it to your computer, and add it to your fonts. Next, open up a new document, and play around with alignment, fonts, styles, and placement. Try mixing a serif and a sans serif or regular and italic, or keep things classic with one font. It’s up to you! Finally, print out your newly created wall art on a sheet of 8.5×11-inch card stock. To make it even more custom, use washi tape to mount your new masterpiece on top of a larger mat. Frame, hang, and be inspired!
–Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor
I’m not exactly sure when it all started, but a few years ago, while planning my sister’s med school graduation party, I fell deeply in love with vintage doilies. I suppose there are worse things, right? And now that I’m planning my own wedding (which is 15 short days away–yikes!), I knew that I wanted to incorporate these handmade hand-me-downs and decided that table runners would be just the thing.
My mom and aunts have been on the hunt for these crocheted, tatted, and knitted masterpieces (estate sales are their favorite for buying in bulk and have the best prices) for nearly six months. And they’ve uncovered dozens in all shapes, materials, sizes, and tea-stained colors. I didn’t want anything too matchy-matchy, so these variations couldn’t have been more perfect. In one afternoon, my mom, sister, and I transformed more than 80 doilies into six table runners. First, we measured how large the finished product should be and marked it on my dining room table. From there, we laid out different-size doilies and formed a loose, organic pattern with overlapping edges. Then, using a needle and white thread, we stitched together the overlaps. When each was finished, we rolled it up in tissue paper and stowed it safely out of my dog’s reach (!). After the shindig, we can easily snip the stitches to disconnect the doilies and dream up another project.
What do you hunt for at estate sales or flea markets? I’d love to hear what catches your eye (and some potential replacements when I move on from my doily addiction)!
P.S.: I even used French paper doilies as part of our invitations. I tell you, I’m obsessed!
-Alexa Fornoff, Shop BHG Editor