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The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

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Friday Finds 1.16

Hello again! I hope the week has treated you all well–I know I’m ready for a nice, long relaxing weekend. Whether you’re going to spend it inside curled up on the couch or out and about, enjoy it! This week I came across a few amazing home photos that I wanted to share. Get ready for some major home envy.


Take a look at this living room makeover from Jones Design Company. I love the neutral color palette with the small splashes of color!




I love being outside, and this lovely fireplace I found on Cocoon Home brings together the best of both worlds. This house brings the outdoors in with these amazing paneled windows.



I am absolutely in love with this red leather couch. This living room from The Inspired Room is everything I’ve ever wanted in my home–dog included.



If you’re more interested in dark and mysterious, check out this boys’ room decor from The Hunted Interior. The window brings in enough natural light to brighten up the room, but the dark paint keeps it closed and cozy.



And I saved my favorite for last. I adore this nursery room on Live The Fancy Life. I think I might need to go find myself one of those whales.



Take care, friends! See you next week.


Get the look: jewel tones

Maybe it was all the sparkle and glitz of the holiday season, but I’m having a moment right now with jewel tones. Not as gawky or juvenile as a primary color, these deliciously rich tones are positively sumptuous when used in a variety of materials. Think velvet upholstery and lacquered walls for maximum drama. And ohhh how fabulous it is when paired with metallics of any kind.

Case in point: this utterly stunning emerald velvet Chesterfield sofa I saw in our OKC Anthropologie a few weeks back. My head started spinning a million different directions with how this sofa could be used. The depth of the color makes it absolutely unforgettable and  I could envision layering it with tons of gold pillows in a library setting. And no library would be complete without a rolling ladder, would it?  A girl can dream!

But jewel tones aren’t just limited to ruby and emerald, so I pulled together a few favorite images to get my ideas flowing, plus a few actual gemstone images to round out the color palette.


Marsala was named the Pantone color of the year for 2015, and it fits perfectly into the jewel tone trend. It’s rich and sumptuous in this dining room below – and the glossy finish only adds to the drama. It reminds me of the deep red of the velvet ring box shown above (swoon – can I have one of each?).


If I could give a standing ovation to this homeowner below, I would – who else has the courage to layer a gorgeously bright emerald green room next to a hot pink entryway? And it totally works by keeping both shades equally bright. Plus I love the jewel tone accessories like the orange lampshade and bright blue table.


Vibrant turquoise plays perfectly with the dazzling persimmon wallpaper of this room.  Plus those tassels on the buffet offer the perfect little attention to detail – almost like jewelry itself.


But if you’re too nervous to commit to an entire room of persimmon, how about just a single element? The color of the sofa below creates the ultimate focal point in this quirky living room.



The cool hued gemstone rings pictured above immediately came to mind when I stumbled on this aqua paneled living room below.  Again, notice the theme with the velvet sofa too — rich rich rich!


Monochromatic jewel tone rooms are perfectly balanced with white trim and ceiling details, not to mention crisp linens on the bed. The emerald green color skews sophisticated – don’t go too muddy on this color as it tends to turn more of a hunter shade and looks dated.



Are you inspired yet? I’d love to hear how you would use these gorgeous gemstone hues in your home!

Get the look: Kohler Brockway sinks

A friend recently moved into a new house they just built and she showed me the most stunning double trough sink in her boys’ bathroom, a completely stylish and unexpected addition to the space. “Where did you get THAT?” I squealed. With a soft spot for anything remotely industrial, I was instantly in love. And since then, I’ve seen the same sink pop up in a few other houses, such as in this fun guest bathroom (above) on a holiday house tour I attended over the weekend. In this particular bathroom, there’s actually a pair of these sinks, each directly across from each other, completely framed out with custom cabinetry.

Initially I assumed these were vintage finds (lucky ducks!). But after a little sleuthing I discovered that they’re manufactured by Kohler in the Brockway series. Available in either a 3-foot or 5-foot version, they’re constructed of cast iron with an enamel finish. The soap dish and matching faucets are separate. If you choose to go the 5-foot route, the sink offers 3 faucets.

Obviously these sinks aren’t going to be for every space given their large size. But I’m loving the possibilities. Beyond being perfect for a large utility room, they are also great for shared kids’ bathrooms.  The lack of counter space means zero clutter – which could be good or bad depending on your needs. I liked how the homeowner designed a built-in cabinet around the original photo at the top, offering room for necessary items like toothbrushes, hand soap, etc.  Additionally, you may notice that the sink often appears in different colors on the underbelly of the basin. While it originally comes in solid black, you can have it painted to practically any color, instantly changing the overall vibe of the bathroom.

Here are some of my favorite images to get you inspired for your own space.


I’m loving the serenity of this all-white bathroom below. It’s all about the contrast of materials from the unfinished feel of the wood mirrors to the polish of the nautical light fixtures.



Here’s a smart little ledge to keep items close at hand. The sconces add a little more polish to the room.





What do you think? Are you digging the industrial look of the Kohler sink? I’d love to hear your spin on it in the comments!

In a few weeks we’ll be heading down to our lake house at Carlton Landing (remember this post?) and prepping for the local holiday house tour. I couldn’t be more excited to decorate our cute little green cottage in time for the holidays. But there’s a few considerations to make since (1) it’s not our main home and (2) I’m 8 months pregnant (read: I can’t go overboard decorating because what goes up must come down!). So I’m on the hunt to make a maximum visual bang for my proverbial buck. I also want to put my own distinctive spin on the theme of “holidays-by-the-lake.”
First thing’s first: we absolutely must have a Christmas tree of some kind, don’t you think? And in our all-white space, nothing would be prettier than a small potted Christmas tree. We have faux white Christmas trees in our year round house, but for the lake going more natural seems to make the most sense.  And of course it will need a fun container of some kind too.
I’m also bringing some of my favorite knit stockings and designing a few throw pillows for the rocking chairs on the front porch. And while I normally resist the idea of an uber-traditional red and green color scheme, somehow I’m feeling more inspired by it this year than in the past.  It feels fresh especially against the crisp white walls in the house.

I’ve been pinning images like crazy to help me get my overall look together. Here are a few of my favorites:

I’m more inspired than ever to pull it all together. Here are some of my top picks to help you get the look for your holiday home!

Get the look: kitchen banquettes

Last year we did a light makeover on our combined kitchen/family room which involved painting everything a glorious white and bringing in color through furniture and accessories. Our bright little breakfast nook in particular is one of my favorite corners of our home and the space we primarily eat in as a family. It’s the place where I tap away on my laptop in a pinch, and where my son does homework right after school. We’ve colored, crafted, and cooked all over this little corner and I have so many happy memories here.  We went with a vintage Saarinen-inspired tulip table which comfortably seats our four Tolix chairs. But there’s definitely still room for more seating, which is one of the best perks of a round table. There’s always room for someone else!  Which got me to thinking – what about doing a banquette against the window to offer more seating and a dash of drama to the room?

And inevitably I fell down the rabbit hole over on Pinterest


While most people seem to go the built-in route, we probably wouldn’t be able to do a built-in due to the arrangement of the kitchen and the air conditioner vents. And to be honest, I’d prefer something a little more flexible (read: less permanent) like a long bench or upholstered piece of some kind.  In fact, this photo just below from BHG was one of my inspiration pics when I was designing the space. I LOVE that freestanding banquette!

How fun is this pair of whimsically upholstered banquettes in a clean, modern space?


I think we definitely have the room to do something somewhat substantial, moreso than just a backless bench. I envision something cozy because despite how much I love the look of our red Tolix chairs, they do sit a little bit cold, especially in the dead of winter when you’re trying to wake up over that first cup of coffee.  I envision something cozy but practical. And fabric choice is obviously a huge consideration as we have little ones and would need it to be ultra durable – maybe a Sunbrella option would be best?

Overstock seems to have a lot of good options but with minimal fabric choices, and Ballard Designs has several different fabric options but is maybe a little more formal than I’d like to try.

Here are some of my top picks for what I’d put in the space. I really love the whimsy of that striped option.

one // two // three // four (easiest to clean?)

I’d love some input on this. What are your thoughts? Upholstery? No upholstery? Arms? No arms? The sky’s the limit, isn’t it?


Vintage-Inspired Farmhouse Kitchen

Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips & Trends

Hi! I’m Julie Blanner & I was named Better Homes and Gardens Entertaining Blogger of the Year! I share effortless entertaining, home design & thoughtful gift ideas on my blog,! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s not only okay to graze, but it’s encouraged. It’s where rustic & relaxed style are embraced & we take time to truly enjoy a great meal, family & friends. I enjoy creating a table setting that allows for great conversation & flexibility so that I can relax & enjoy dinner as well. Today I’m sharing my favorite tips, trends & finds for Thanksgiving entertaining!

Thanksgiving ideas

Choose some make ahead dishes:

Prepare side dishes & appetizers in advance, when possible, to eliminate stress once your guests arrive.


Don’t be afraid to mix metals:

One trend I’m obsessed with this year is copper! Copper mugs aren’t just for moscow mules. I’m serving apple cider with cinnamon sticks in them. I can’t get enough of gold flatware either!

Thanksgiving trend

Create your own centerpiece:

Use a bowl or platter to create a centerpiece in just a few minutes!

Thanksgiving table setting

Thanksgiving table setting

5 minute table runner | 5 minute apple & pear centerpiece | 5 minute gathered centerpiece

Preset the table:

Setting the table adds both ambience & convenience. Even if you’re serving buffet style, place napkins & silverware at each place setting. If you’re serving at the table, add appropriate plates. Always preset wine & water glasses to minimize your tasks as a host or hostess during dinner. Don’t be afraid to mix & match china & glassware.


Keep your guests entertained with activities:

Grant yourself time to put the finishing touches on the meal without stress, keeping your guests entertained with activities.

free printable thankful for cards

Free printable thankful for cards are a fun way to reflect on the year. Keep & share them after dinner!

Test your  family & friends knowledge with a free printable crossword puzzle

Kids & adults will all enjoy a Thanksgiving word search

free printable Thanksgiving activities

Create a self serve bar:

Create an environment where guests can serve themselves. Learn how to style a functional bar cart here.

Learn how to style a bar cart

This bar cart is affordable & beautiful!



Relax & enjoy it!

Nothing puts your guests more at ease than making them feel welcome & seeing you enjoy the occasion as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Julie Blanner

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