BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

decor

It’s a new year, and with the holidays behind us now, most of the decor is put away. Everybody has organization on the brain and I’ve started mentally planning out a few projects I want to tackle over the next few months. Sometimes the itch comes along for something new — a new piece of furniture, a new style, or maybe an entirely new house(!). And frankly, that isn’t the best feeling, is it? It’s easy to let discontentment start to simmer when the Internet and bookstores are full of images of perfect spaces. I completely understand the feeling of being tired or uninspired by your current space and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for a fresh outlook! So what’s a budget-conscious girl to do? Time to get creative, my friend.

REARRANGE

Colorful Christmas tree; white Christmas tree with colorful ornaments www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

Rearranging is my favorite way to get an entirely new look without spending a dime. Try your existing furniture in different configurations or in different rooms. In our house, I pulled a vintage wing chair into the dining room as a dramatic head-of-the-table focal point, and I love the visual impact it makes. I especially love the idea of breathing new life into unused corners of your home. Make a library out of your never-used dining room or put a desk in the window of your formal living room.

CLUTTER CLEAN-OUT

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Time to get ruthless with the junk. No less than four bags full of toys and clothes that no longer fit my kiddos went away to Goodwill before Christmas, but it feels like we might need another little purge again soon. Get two trash bags in hand and ruthlessly purge. Trash goes in one bag and donations go into the other. If you lose momentum before you can get those bags of donations dropped off, check in your community to see if any charities offer donation pick-up services. Busy moms will especially appreciate being able to schedule it online.

PAINT SOMETHING

Hudson Bay Point blanket - Navy blue bedroom at Carlton Landing - lake house master bedroom - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

Want a fresh new spin on your current space without a huge financial investment? Paint is your new BFF. Over the holidays, I painted our lake house’s master bedroom a deep, rich navy blue and it immediately felt like a new room without having to change a single piece of furniture. Paint is inexpensive and simple, plus it’s a great way to test out a trend without committing to new upholstery. Sample a few different colors before choosing a hue; try something moody and dark like a masculine hunter green, or go soft and soothing with a pale blush.

INVITE A DECOR-SAVVY FRIEND OVER

Sometimes it’s fun to see how other people would live in your space. Invite a friend whose style you admire over to have coffee and get a fresh pair of eyeballs on your least favorite room. What would he or she do differently? Maybe there’s a solution lurking that you hadn’t yet thought about. I’ve really enjoyed hearing other creative friends’ perspectives on how they would use a room and there’s usually a new idea to take away.

Happy New Year! Hop over and tell me in the comments what you do to give your space a new look on a budget!


Whether it’s a lack of space or just an aesthetic preference, there’s something to be said for small Christmas trees. I’m particularly charmed this year by small potted Christmas trees; they remind me of the little tree my grandmother always had in her living room when I was young.

Smaller trees are great for spaces where square footage is tight. They’re less mess should you choose to go the real route, and require fewer ornaments, which means you save money overall. But they’re cute too, which makes them perfect for decorating kids’ rooms, front porches, dining room tables, and more. Decorating with a small Christmas tree opens up so many more decorating possibilities.

In our house this year, I put up a big tree in the formal living room (out of sight, out of mind for grabby toddler hands), but I wanted something festive in our family room too as a nod to the season. We did a small tree decorated sparsely with lights and a few unbreakable ornaments, and it feels fresh and happy.

Christmas home tour with Pencil Shavings Studio; Boxwood wreaths, simple Scandinavian inspired garlands, red stripe ribbons, and the soft glow of lanterns. www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

Get creative with the type of container you put your tree in; there are so many more options than your basic Christmas tree stand. Look for interesting baskets, pots, wooden crates — the opportunities are endless.

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This little tree gets some added height thanks to the wooden crate it sits on. I love that it’s decorated with natural elements like oranges!

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If one is great, a pair is even better. These little evergreens are happily wrapped in toile-covered boxes and strung with white lights. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to bring festive flair to any corner of your home.

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How cute are these adorable tiny “trees” made out of evergreen boughs?

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Look for a cozy corner in your home that needs a little bit of holiday cheer. A miniature Christmas tree draws attention to this back door windowseat.

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Here’s a colorful spin on the small Christmas tree trend that would be perfect for any playroom. Look for kid-friendly ornaments made out of felt or yarn.

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A sweet little pink tinsel tree is perfect for a baby girl’s nursery. I love the different sizes of glass ornaments.

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I love the repetition of this scene with multiple woven baskets. This is a great idea for organizing and transporting gifts if you’re traveling multiple places this holiday season.

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A pink container provides a happy pop of color to the evergreen branches of this little tree. Strands of pom-poms are an easy DIY to do with kiddos — this would be a perfect tree for any kid’s room or playroom.

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A Hedgehouse velvet throwbed on the hearth is the perfect place to curl up in front of the fire and wait for Santa to come down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Giveaway at www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

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As for me, we now have a total of three Christmas trees in our house this year. My oldest son was set on having our mini Christmas tree in his room, complete with a foam finger from the University of Oklahoma as the tree topper. I can honestly say it’s the first time I have seen one of those topping a tree. Merry Christmas!


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It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas decorating is my favorite part of the holiday season, and this year I’m feeling particularly inspired by Scandinavian design. Simplicity, texture, crisp whites, natural elements like evergreen boughs andrustic wood, and pops of contrasting color (in small doses) feel refreshing and modern right now.

I’ve pulled together some of my favorite inspirational images, so let’s take a look at each room’s Scandinavian elements to help you get the look.

A neutral white backdrop is key to minimalistic Scandinavian decor, and there’s something so charming about rustic wood accents like the Christmas trees on this mantel and piles of logs in the hearth. Red felt cushions with a reindeer motif parallel the design of the stockings and felt wool garland.

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Shiplap is the perfect backdrop to this simple Christmas tree potted in an old wood crate. An evergreen garland surrounds the window that’s left bare to allow all the light to come in.

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Scandinavian style is all about an attitude of “less is more” and maximizing the use of everyday items. A basket that might otherwise be used for holding kids’ toys or throw blankets is a perfect pot for this simply-decorated Christmas tree.

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Don’t feel like you need to embellish your garlands too heavily. Instead, experiment with repetition, whether it be with mismatched candlesticks, a selection of wreaths, or stacks of wood in the fireplace.

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Texture adds depth and interest to monochromatic interiors, such as the stacked stone in this fireplace. Again, natural elements like warm woods, burlap, and kraft paper are simple additions that bring festive flair.

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Clip a few evergreen boughs from your trees outside and layer in some candles for a simple and festive holiday tablescape. Red berries and pinecones round out the look with a pop of color and texture.

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I think the main reason I’m attracted to the Scandinavian aesthetic is that it’s a simple and calming response to an extremely busy season. It doesn’t feel overdone or overwhelming; it visually suggests peace, don’t you think? And that feels so right these days.

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A beautiful rustic mantel holds a simple and lush display of citrus fruits and evergreen boughs, while the brick fireplace surround provides texture. Throw in a few pillar candles for a warm glow on a chilly evening.

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Keep a few cozy throws nearby to provide color and warmth as we head into the colder months; red is the perfect hue to remind you of the season and it’s so cheerful against the deep forest green of wreaths and garlands.

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The Scandinavians definitely know how to do simple with high style. Are you into the minimalist Christmas decor trend? I’d love to hear how you’re decorating this year!


When we first moved into our house, which was just a little more than two years ago, we had lots of rooms already planned out. We knew which beds would go in which bedrooms, where to put the couch and love seat in the family room, and who got each dresser. But there were a few odds and ends with nowhere to go, and because the living room had nothing in it besides the piano, all of those mismatched pieces of furniture went in the living room. And never left. For the past two years, our living room has been home to our ancient upright piano, two glass-front book cases, a refinished black and gold end table from my mother-in-law, and not much else.

A few months ago, my husband and I decided that we finally needed to turn the living space into a room worth spending some time in. We ordered a new love seat, bought some new artwork for the walls, and figured out what we wanted to do with the space. After what felt like forever, the couch was finally delivered this week, and we’ve been shuffling things around, framing pictures, and making plans. We’ve decided to go with a naturalist decor theme in the room: neutral tones, some black and gold, and lots of greenery. I’ve always loved science and nature, and over the years I’ve collected lots of pretty things that will work beautifully in the room. I’m excited to get it all put together, and I’ve enjoyed finding lots of inspirational photos to help. A lot of the photos I’ve found tend to swing a little to the steam punk side of things, but I’m determined that we can make our living room light, bright, and beautiful. Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos.

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I’ve had my eye on vintage botanical prints for years and finally ordered some. Ours are a lot smaller than these and are reproductions, but the style is similar. If I could find authentic, vintage botanical charts, I’d be over the moon! [photos from Vibeke Design]

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Instead of a few huge botanical illustrations, we’re going with a grid, similar to this one. Except ours are matted and framed, and don’t look like they were torn from a textbook. These are amazing and so is the large-scale subway tile on the right wall! [photo from Sanna & Sania]

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This bold gallery wall is stunning, thanks to black paint and an eclectic mix of vintage prints, neutral artwork, and a few specimens. [photo from Ginny Branch]

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This drawer display from Melbourne shop owner The Naturalist makes me swoon! The feathers, butterflies, vintage tins, and reference book pages create a beautiful collection.

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It took me forever to hunt down the original source for this amazing photo of terrariums, but it was worth it! This collection is spectacular! [photo from Amy Merrick]

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I love how simple and chic this room is. It has natural elements, but is still clean and classy. The framed specimens really pop against black backgrounds, and the terrariums on the bookcase bring in some life and color. [photo from Ethan Allen]

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In addition to the smattering of furniture we’ve had in the living room for the past two years, we’ve also kept most of our houseplants in there. And that’s where they’ll stay. I love a room filled with green! [photo from Haarkon via My Unfinished Home]

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So there you go! A little naturalist decor inspiration for you, and for me as well. I think I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me to keep the room from going too gothic (no animal skeletons or skulls!), but giving it a lovely, Victorian collector vibe. Cross your fingers for me!


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