Style Picks

I discovered IKEA five or six years ago and ever since I did, I’ve been a big fan of their affordable products.  We’ve turned their Billy bookcases into built in shelving, used IKEA kitchen cabinets to make a window seat, and their Vittsjo shelves to store books and games too. 

IKEA products have been popping in homes featured in Better Homes and Gardens for years!  Some of their units have been discontinued but other popular pieces like the Expedit and the Maskros ceiling pendant are still available. 

IKEA’s Expedit shelf is a popular choice for its contemporary clean lines and functionality.  When paired with the Knipsa basket, it makes a great organizer for the home office or playroom.


expedit with knipsa basket bhg


Since the piece is finished on both sides, it works equally well as a room divider.


expedit room divider bhg


Consider it for your collection of dishes, bowls, and ceramics for an open display in a dining space. 


expedit in dining room bhg


Some Lack shelving units (since discontinued) were turned sideways to create a unique storage center in the dining space below, but today’s narrow Expedit could achieve a similar look. 


lack storage in dining bhg


Stand it straight up to maximize vertical space in a small room in need of storage.


ikea lack storage bhg


The IKEA Maskros chandelier for makes a big statement in a bedroom, dining room, or office. 


ikea maskros pendant bhg 

IKEA’s Majby woven chairs are no longer available but there are few similar rattan chairs in stock that work in any casual dining or gathering space. 


ikea majby chair


Navigating an IKEA is practically an all day event when you visit their design center, but I’ve learned if you know what you want before you go, you can find the larger pieces by bin or aisle number online, saving yourself valuable time by heading straight for the stock room.


Here are 12 very versatile IKEA staples for the home!

versatile ikea picks

From top left: Maskros fixture, $90; Byholma chair, $90; Jonsbo Barby table lamp (three colors), $60; Vittsjo shelf, $70; Bjursta table & 6 chairs, $899; Stockholm coffee table (2 colors); $199 Billy bookcase (with doors); 149; Expedit shelving (five colors), $90; Ektorp chair (five colors), $150; Nordli bed, $249; Hemnes dresser (four colors), $299; 5 x 7 Alvine rug, $199.

Have you shopped at IKEA for your home?  What is your favorite piece?



It’s hard to resist the appeal of beautiful tall trees and there’s nothing like a nice long walk in the woods to clear the mind!  So it makes perfect sense that when we decorate, we embrace the patterns found on the surface of bark or in the grain of wood.  “Faux bois” is French for “false wood” and the term defines the reproduction of wood patterns in home decor. 

Natural wood accents and finishes are en vogue right now and rightfully so.  Nature is one of the best sources we look to for inspiration and to emulate by bringing the patterns we find outside indoors.  I’m a lover of this popular pattern myself, and even made my own faux bois vases last year – they remain one of my favorite craft projects to date. 

Ask many designers and they’ll tell you one of their best tricks when sprucing up a space is to pull the look and feel of the outdoors inside, and the use of faux bois treatments on walls or underfoot is one way to capture the feel of nature indoors, but no need to restrict yourself to earth tones!  Choose faux bois treatments in colors that complement your chosen palette, whether subtle or bold. 


faux bois wallpaper bhg


birch stencil bhg


branch wallpaper bhg


A variety of home furnishings are available in this style, including end tables and chairs, and smaller accessories like pillows, vessels, and table decor also add the touch of twig or wood grain to the home.

branch leg table bhg

 faux bois white tables bhg


Want to bring the look of faux bois into your house? 

Here are a few favorite style picks!


faux bois collage bhg

From top left: Woods wallpaper, Anthropologie, $198/roll;  Birch Stencil, Cutting Edge Stencils, $68; Oscar lamp, Lamps Plus, $87; Bark Pot, Terrain, $12; Floor lamp, Oly Studio; Stray Dog Stump, Zinc Door, $363; Mirror, Zinc Door, $462; Mousepad, Zazzle, $11; Faux bois pillow, Shop Ten 25, $160; Set of four placemats, Design Public,$52; Wood Grain pitcher, Terrain, $10; Arbor Chair, Currey and Co; Fountain, Ballard Designs, $119; Plate, Zazzle, $26; Faux Bois rug, Home Decorators, $267; Twig Table, CS Post, $369.


We all love to bring the outdoors inside, have you embraced the faux bois look with your decorating?  


It’s fun to observe what is on the horizon in interior design, what styles have staying power, and what looks are simply trends that will pass.  Industrial chic has been a popular look in design for quite some time with galvanized and oxidized metal furnishings and fixtures popping up in retail stores, and making an appearance in kitchens, offices, and dining spaces.    


industrial metal stools in kitchen bhg


Cage lighting and open storage units that combine metal framing with reclaimed wood are all the rage, popular in commercial stores for their open display and in restaurants because they introduce a contemporary cool vibe.


stainless shelving wood crates bhg


Industrial is criticized by some as cold, but when layered with other styles from traditional to cottage, a unique industrial pendant or set of stools make a chic statement in a space.


industrial stools wood table bhg



Layers of texture always add interest to a room and metal surfaces are yet another finish to consider when decorating your home.  If you’re looking to introduce some touches of industrial to any of your spaces, here are a few favorite picks!  

industrial decor bhg


From top left: Basket Chandelier, Junkyard Lighting, $189; Backless Stool (three colors), Barn Light Electric, $385; Wire Crate Chandelier, Terrain, $1,398; Magazine Rack, Urban Outfitters, $129; Metal Pharmacy Cabinet, Restoration Hardware, $395; Extender Lamp, Hudson Goods, $595; Tabouret Barstools, Set of 2, Overstock, $99; Metal Office Storage, Restoration Hardware, $75; Coffee Table, Hudson Goods, $895; Quindici Metal Cabinet, Napa Style, $1,799; Bar Cart, Clayton Gray Home, $1,105; Aiden Etagere, World Market, $219; Steel Chest, Clayton Gray Home, $4,150


Are you a fan of industrial decor?  Do you find these accents too cold or très chic?





Every home is much improved when it’s filled with well loved books.  I admire any well styled bookcase that incorporates found objects and also smart, stylish bookends.  Not just for function, bookends are that fabulous opportunity to inject sophistication or whimsy, or to tell a story about travel adventures or place your personal style on display.  


bookends in living room bhg

bookends bhg

small green bookcase bhg


Bookshelves make themselves at home in so many spaces from living and family rooms, to offices and even dining rooms, so why not give them a dose of style with unique and decorative bookends that blend with your décor.  Here’s a roundup of bookends from fun to fabulous to consider for your bookcases at home.   

 best of bookends

From top left:    Glass Jar Bookends, Generate, $59; Gear bookend, Graphic Spaces Wood on Etsy, $55; Knowledge bookends, Shop Horne, $200; Silver Books, set of 8 by Z Gallerie, $159; Adler Dachshunds, Barnes & Noble, $40; Deer Bookends, Shop Ten 25, $90; Gold pigs, CB2, $30; Metal Oranges, Design Atelier Article, 34€; Blue Agate Bookends, Higher Heart, $40; Wide Eyed Owl, Amazon, $37; Bicycle bookends, Shine on Sporty Girl on Etsy, $35;Brass Foo Dogs, Chic Shop LA, $175;  Book End bookends, A Place for Everything; 18£; Iron Ships; The White Pepper on Etsy, $38; The End bookend, CB2, $15


Do you have a pair of special or unique bookends in your home? 



We’ve had a single plain chandelier hanging in our kitchen for a few years and the more I browse the galleries of modern kitchens, the more I notice the wow factor from eye catching pendant fixtures suspended over a kitchen island.  We’re convinced it’s time to upgrade to a similar look.


white kitchen chrome island pendants bhg

chrome pendants above marble top island bhg


Polygonal faceted fixtures are hugely popular right now – their multiple angles reflect light all around the kitchen, and they make a major style statement suspended above the center island in these modern spaces. 


faceted globe pendants in kitchen bhg

faceted pendants above island bhg


You can’t go wrong with classic shapes in classic finishes from chrome to nickel to oil rubbed bronze, large pairs on display are guaranteed to give your kitchen a fresh and modern look.  


blue kitchen cabinets nickel pendants bhg

nickel lanterns above island bhg


Looking to jazz up your kitchen island with some spectacular light fixtures?  Here are a few of my favorites, guaranteed to kick the style factor up a notch!

kitchen pendants that wow

From top left: Hollywood Art Deco, Rejuvenation, $500; Globe Pendant, West Elm, $99; Oldham Pendant, Jayson Home, $350; Worlds Away Dottie Pendant, Clayton Gray Home, $430; Carousel Lantern, Currey & Company; Metal Band, Circa Lighting, $525; Rectangular Framed Linen, Shades of Light, $299;  Glint Pendant, Crate + Barrel, $329; Iron Pendant Lantern, Wisteria, $479; Regatta Pendant, Home Click, $352; Grosvenor pendant, Circa Lighting, $1,050


Which style fixture is your favorite for hanging above an island (pictured or not)? 

Lantern, schoolhouse, glass, industrial? 



Travel abroad is inspiring for all of the sights, sounds, and flavors we experience, but it also has a dramatic impact on the way we decorate our homes.   Design elements from the east have influenced interior design over the decades, and internationally inspired accessories are again surging in popularity.  

Global inspired textiles possess amazing hues in spice and jewel tones arranged in traditional or bold patterns crafted with threads of saturated color.   Many retailers and designers have been so inspired by their own travels they are now including Moroccan or Indian inspired fabrics or accessories in their seasonal collections. 


global inspired textiles bhg


Remaining in the interior design spotlight are quatrefoil and trellis patterns, burnished metals and carved wood furniture.  Suzani and Ikat patterns from Asia continue to be as en vogue as Dhurrie and Kilim rugs, block prints from India, and lanterns and pendants with Moorish styling.   

   global inspired textiles and pillows bhg


global inspired pillows bhg


Adding colors and patterns inspired by Morocco, Turkey, and India to your home will add an air of the exotic to your spaces.  Here are some of my favorite style picks this season!  

  global inspired accessories bhg


From top left:  Quatrefoil Mirror, Shades of Light, $329; Silver Hanging Lamps, Viva Terra, $295-$485; Marrakesh Tray Table, Pottery Barn, $399; Hexagon Table, Clayton Gray Home, $675; Casablanca Lanterns, Z Gallerie, $15; Metal Ball Pendant, World Market, $70; Marrakech Curtain, Anthropologie, $168; Gold and Blue Wall Panels, Horchow, $975; Gather & Glean Pillow, Anthropologie, $188; Embroidered Suzani Pillow, Sukan on Etsy, $149; Bone Photo Frame, Wisteria, $39; Multicolored Suzani Pillow, John Robshaw, $275; Kilim Floor Pouf, West Elm, $249; Suzani Doormat, Wisteria, $34; Vintage Suzani, Jayson Home, $795;  Carved wood daybed, Mosaic House; Vintage Moroccan Carpet, Madeline Wienrib; Antique Settee, Jayson Home, $3,495; Sumba Stool, Serena & Lily $98; Carved Wood Table, World Market, $399; 8 x 10’ Karmen Medallion Rug, Pottery Barn, $799

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of global inspired textiles!  Have you brought any internationally inspired decor into your home, or incorporated a favorite accessory from your trip abroad?  




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