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Refresh Your Art Collection

It’s a common known fact that summer is traditionally the perfect time to refresh just about all the areas of our lives—from our outfit staples and gardens, to our organization routines and hair dos. After months of living under winter’s blustery shadow and thawing out throughout spring, there’s nothing quite so invigorating as summer’s timely excuse to ignore our obligations in lieu of quality rest and relaxation under the sun’s warming rays.

While you’re kicking back this season, why not spend a bit of time considering ways to add a little life and personality to your walls with brand new art arrangements? Although it may sound like a small change, refreshing your gallery walls and framed prints has the power to completely transform a space into the oasis you’ve been dreaming of. Scroll on for a few seasonal tips that will have you feeling like a professional curator in no time!

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Before even thinking about your art, first while away some time wondering about frames. A cohesive collection of all-white (or all-black, or all-pink) frames will make your collection feel united and intentional. Anything from children’s art to black and white portraits will look natural alongside one another when set inside matching frames.

Are you a renter or chronic rearranger? There’s hope for you yet as an at-home art collector and stylist! Instead of peppering your walls with semi-permanent nail holes, try leaning your summer artwork on top of a surface, such as a buffet table or nightstand.

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Choose a variety of frame sizes to maximize this layered look, and don’t shy away from the idea of including an empty frame or two to turn the collection into an eye-catching focal point. Leaning the art rather than hanging it allows you to rearrange the look and prints in a flash all throughout summer as you make new memories.

In case the idea of a gallery wall is a little too chaotic for your contemporary, minimalist taste, try incorporating a single statement piece of art or just a pair of prints. This modern look allows you to put your absolute favorite piece or two front and center in your home, and really sets the scene for the colors and patterns in the rest of the room.

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As you think about your summertime space, consider choosing a light, bright, and airy piece of art that will bring the outdoors in and encourage a bit of longing for adventure. A vintage inspired city map or whimsical winged portrait, for example, gives you a visual excuse to venture out and properly celebrate the season.

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


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Sweet Freedom! We are now free to dine, read, explore and just plain watch the world outside now that spring is finally here! Priority number one – refreshing the place where you will want to spend all your time in the coming months. The fun in refreshing your outdoor area is to think of them as extensions of your living space. There’s just something about outdoor spaces that allows us to be less rigid and much more playful. With easy-to-please greenery as a backdrop, outdoor rooms are the perfect place to experiment with color!

Layering a bevy of patterns with varied scales, textures and colors will create a place that invites everyone to linger. I love, love this image because of all the subtle things going on with pattern here. There is pattern in the pillows, the candle holders, the baskets, the rug, and even in the lighting. This is all creating a very rich look with a ton of depth. If pattern has not quite been for you in the past, this is an amazing example of how you can embrace pattern without feeling too bold.

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Keeping to a tight color palette is also a great way incorporate lots of great pattern without feeling like the pattern is overwhelming the space. Be sure to vary the scales of the patterns you will use in the same space. It is always a good idea to mix in some solid and textured pieces as well so that the eye has several chances for some visual rest.

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Don’t neglect those toes! Outdoor rugs are a wonderful way to bring some pattern to your outdoor space. Have fun here! Be bold! Do something you may not necessarily do inside your home. Do consider the texture as well if you are like me and spend most of the season without shoes! This is a great example of how to pair something very rich and dense (the rug) with a pattern that is more open and airy – the pillow.

Whether your outdoor room craves a little color or a lot, even a few well-placed hits of texture and pattern can infuse your space with winning charm.

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure


3 easy ways to refresh your home decor for Spring
[photo from BHG]

Our weather in Oregon can’t decide if it wants to be cold and rainy or warm and sunny. But regardless of the fickle weather, Spring is definitely here! Our cherry tree blossoms have already come and gone, and one of my peonies–which I tried my best to kill with neglect–has five buds on it that are ready to pop. Now we just need to make the inside of our house feel as fresh and ready for Spring as the outside does. While it’s true that our holiday decor has long since been taken down and packed away, our living areas could use a purposeful refresh to make them look ready for the season. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to add some natural Spring touches to our house without breaking the bank.

1. Add fresh flowers or greenery

Fresh flowers add such a nice, natural burst of color and texture to any room. Whether you buy a bunch, cut some from your garden, or trim a few long branches of blooms from flowering trees, fresh flowers (or greenery) will make a room come alive. I started treating myself to a bouquet of fresh flowers every week right around Valentine’s Day. That might sound extravagant, but they’re just simple bouquets or bunches of flowers from the floral department of our local grocery store. I put them in a vase or jar on a rustic wooden tray along with some pretty candles on our kitchen table, and it brightens up the whole kitchen! Add some fresh (or even realistic-looking faux) flowers or greenery to every room that you want to freshen up.

fresh flowers help bring a touch of Spring to your home
[photo from Kindred Vintage Co]

fresh flowers help bring a touch of Spring to your home
[photo from Just a Girl and her Blog]

fresh greenery helps add a touch of Spring to your home
[photo from Maison de Pax]

2. Add some Spring touches to your mantel, bookshelves, or console tables

Adding a few thoughtful, Spring-themed pieces of decor to your mantel, table tops, or bookshelves is a breeze, and helps your house look fresh and bright. I have basically 3 sets of decor for my house: Fall decor, Christmas decor, and then the rest of the year. For 8 to 9 months every year, I have pretty neutral decor up, and it would be really easy to add a few Spring touches–fresh flowers, moss, lots of white–to brighten everything up.

add a few Spring touches to your regular decor
[photo from Jenna Sue Design]

add a few touches of Spring to your regular decor
[photo from The Lettered Cottage]

add a few touches of Spring to your regular decor
[photo from Rooms For Rent]

3. Swap out your throw pillows

Throw pillows are just about the easiest things in the world to switch out seasonally. They aren’t expensive, and you can literally just throw the old ones in a storage tub or garbage bag and put them in the attic or basement until their season rolls around again. I think all the time about getting new couches in the family room, but what would help the room look different immediately and for a lot less money is just replacing our tired, boring throw pillows. There are so many cute ones available in bright, pretty Spring colors.

Swap out your throw pillows for a Spring decor refresh!
[photo from House of Turquoise]

Swap out your throw pillows for an easy Spring decor refresh!
[photo from Sarah Hearts]


Some people fantasize about beautiful master bathrooms or glamorous dining rooms. And while I love all of those, I probably fantasize most about a fabulous laundry room. Our 1960s-era laundry room is what I refer to as a glorified hallway, almost an after-thought between the garage and the kitchen. I talk to my husband all the time about how I would redesign it to maximize efficiency, add personality, and generally not be the giant hot mess it currently is.

What makes a fabulous laundry room? In my opinion, it’s the magic mix of form and function: ample space to fold and sort, storage space for cleaning gear, and because I’m nuts for color and pattern I’d also want some personality in the form of paint and wallpaper to keep those chores from feeling too, well, chore-ish.

So today, let’s imagine ourselves with a perfectly clean laundry room, everything already folded and put away.

First up, this beautiful aqua laundry room from the Sunny Side Up blog features a built-in nook for the actual front loader washer and dryer units. It’s definitely not short on storage space. It seems like aqua is one of the favorite colors for most designers when it comes to laundry rooms, which makes sense given the calming and cleansing element of the color blue.

aqua millwork sunnysideup blog pencil shavings studio

Navy blue front-loaders pop against ocean blue cabinetry and dainty patterned wallpaper (below, via BHG). Striped floors add a large-scale pattern to balance out the small scale paisley paper. This looks like such a fun space that anyone would be happy to fold unmentionables in! Or in my case, tons of school uniforms and unmatched socks.

bhg bright blue laundry room pencil shavings studio

Another brightly colored corner with painted clothespins that create a mod pattern. Creative and eclectic.

bhg green laundry room

A modern interpretation of sliding barn doors is even more functional thanks to the chalkboard panels leading into the melon-hued laundry room in this photo from BHG.

bhg sliding barn doors chalkboard pencil shavings studio

I’m in love with this black floral wallpaper. So dramatic and romantic. Much like a powder bathroom, the laundry room is a great place to experiment with scale, pattern, color, and wallpaper, especially because it’s not as big of a commitment in money or aesthetic as other more public spaces in your home might be. Check out how the wood countertops bring in an element of warmth to what could have been a cold room.

black floral wallpaper laundry room pencil shavings studio

Pale and pretty, this laundry room features an accent wall with floral wallpaper that echoes the same aqua shade of the back door.

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Personality PLUS in this laundry room designed by Carla Lane Interiors. Anna Spiro wallpaper in a cobalt blue is the perfect match for a yellow pendant and matching pocket door. Obsessed. Yes.

carla lane interiors anna spiro wallpaper laundry room yellow door pencil shavings studio

Another vote for blue wallpaper with this hexagon-happy laundry room by Laura Casey Interiors. The hanging rack is perfect for those items that need to air dry. The flooring laid on the diagonal also makes the room feel more spacious – a subtle but significant design decision.

laura casey interiors hexagon wallpaper laundry room pencil shavings studio

There is absolutely no way you could be unhappy in this laundry room makeover by Paige Minear. A colorful floral wallpaper paired with tropical hued textiles and gold accents – it’s like a Palm Beach explosion of happiness.

paige minear laundry room wallpaper pencil shavings studio

And finally, a super-chic chinoiserie laundry room with dual stacked washers and dryers for the ultimate in laundry efficiency. The chrome x-bench adds just an extra touch of polish to an already fab space.

pencil shavings studio wallpaper laundry room

What are your must-haves when it comes to your laundry room?


Hi everyone, it’s Liz Lidgett, The Art Hunter. I’m here as a guest on the Style Spotters blog today to talk about thinking outside the box when decorating with art.

As an art advisor, the success of my company relies on me coming up with new ways to display artwork. There are always new trends in the interior design world — it seems like every stylish home has a great gallery wall, for instance. The next trend I’m looking to in decorating with art is going to be hanging artwork anywhere but the walls.

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The above image shows the incredible restaurant Earth at Hidden Pond in Maine. The vintage paintings on the ceiling perfectly highlight the peaked shape and gives visitors a reason to look up. Such an unexpected design that I would love to see replicated in a home.

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The perfectly sized horseshoes are a great addition to this country-chic home. While many would have placed the series along side the staircase on the wall, this placement shows off the collection with a twist.

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While so many would think this photo is all about that amazing chest, I’m focused on the photographs hung to the door. The paint blocking and gallery wall being included over the door gives such a rich and cohesive look to the room. Pro tip: If you attempt this, be sure to use sticky tack on each of the back corners of the frames. This will keep the frame from rattling each time you shut the door!

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Hanging artwork directly on your bookshelves can kill two birds with one stone. It can add high style to your room, all while hiding any unsightly storage. This could be the perfect way to cover any electronics you don’t need to access regularly, like your wifi box. Setting the artwork directly onto one of the bookshelves is also a nice alternative.

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This is something I really want to try in my own home. What a cool idea to hang artwork on a window frame. If you have nosy neighbors, it can pull double duty as a privacy screen and bring big style into the room.

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Finally, speaking of privacy, if you have a tiny space– I’m looking at your NYC apartment dwellers– try hanging artwork from the ceiling to create a room divider. This artwork is a great way to divide living spaces like an office and a den or a bedroom from guest space.

So what do you think about hanging artwork anywhere but the walls? Just by trying one or two of these ideas in your home, you can make a big change using artwork you already own. Low cost + high style is what I am always aiming for!

For more ideas on how to decorate with artwork, check out my new video series The Art Hunter with BHG.com.



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This year was full of pretty pattern! This make a pattern loving girl like me very very happy! Here’s a little highlight reel of the patterns that really got our attention.

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What’s old is new again. This year the print made famous by the old Hollywood Regency Hotel was everywhere and it is easy to see why. So much impact and so versitile, these banana leaves pack a huge punch in any space. I love this print because every space needs something living and green. If you are like me and you don’t exactly have a green thumb, this is a great way to interject something organic into your space. You can go big and use this amazing wallpaper to fill the room or you can have just a taste and use the print on the back of a bookshelf. Either way these iconic leaves will always be a conversation starter.

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How can you not love a dot?? I can never have enough. Good thing there were lots of good ones to choose from this year. Whether you want organic and playful or structured and architectural, there were lots of choices for all you fellow dot lovers. Dot’s are such a great easy pattern to use when you are experimenting with pattern mixing – and they are just happy! Love!

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Stripes have been going strong and continued to be a big part of decor trends in 2015. I love the versitility of a great stripe. They work in traditional and modern settings. We’ve seen them on floors and ceilings and certainly in textiles and in all instances they are a great way to add some movement into an room.

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Raise your hand if you are loving all the pretty florals in the market! I have a secret romantic streak and just can’t get enough of the incedibly sophistocated and lush florals on wallcovering, textiles, rugs, paper – they are everywhere! Florals although inherently feminine can work well in any space. Work in perhaps a pinstripe or plaid or leather accents to help balance with space out.

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