Written on May 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi there! I’m Kelly and I blog about budget-friendly DIY home decorating at View Along the Way. My husband and I are attempting to fix up our previously-yucky foreclosure on a TINY budget and I’m sharing the steps, before-and-afters, tutorials and inspiration along the way.
1. Getting “The Email Heard Round the World.”
…or at least around my house. Possibly the nearby tri-county area.
I was THAT excited when a tiny little email popped up in my inbox from Kit, Better Homes & Gardens Senior Editor, saying that BHG was considering my laundry room makeover for an “I Did It!” feature. I read the email and reread it, then smoke came out of my ears and I exploded into a giant happiness crater right in my living room.
We took on this laundry room makeover as a simple, budget-friendly fix. (The cabinets came from a yard sale; we painted the linoleum floors; the wall is stenciled!)
It was the first room I’ve redone where I really stopped and mindfully considered what I truly love, regardless of what anyone else might think. I’m the one who uses the room, so it should be a happy place that speaks to my tastes. I finally gave myself permission to shed the burden of decorating for others or following trends, and it was so freeing. I shared the makeover on my blog knowing that it might not be everyone’s taste, but I was okay with that.
So, when the email came from Kit, it was an incredible confirmation that it is okay to eschew the trends. It is okay to design for you and your family. Can I get an amen?!
2. The giddy prep-work frenzy
Does Better Homes & Gardens do a white-glove test in your home before they let you be in their magazine? I wasn’t sure, so just to be safe, I turned my entire house upside down cleaning in preparation for the shoot! Under the sofas? Spotless! Behind the fridge? Immaculate! The guest room closet that stays closed at all times? Tidy and sparkling!
I have two kids under three, so it probably doesn’t need to be said: that never happens in my house.
I worked myself into a little frenzy getting the house ready for the pros, then I attempted to make myself presentable. Haircut! Brows done! Drop everything and run across the country Forrest-Gump-style for days straight to get in peak shape! (That last part was just a fantasy. Didn’t fit it into my schedule.)
…and I shopped. And shopped. And shopped. (What girl can’t use a good excuse to shop once in a while?) I wasn’t sure what I’d be asked to wear, so I wanted to have a million different options. I hastily populated this clothing rack with brand new clothes in preparation of the shoot and hoped that there’d be something worth wearing in there!
3. PHOTO SHOOT DAY- the prep!
My husband had taken off work to help me corral the little ones. We were up early and making breakfast when Annette Joseph, the stylist, arrived with her assistant Katie. We went straight to my little clothes rack to decide what to wear.
I don’t know where you live, but if you felt the earth stand still one day not too long ago? It was the moment when Annette said that the options I’d selected wouldn’t work for their vision and I felt sheer panic! We headed to my closet to see what else I had. (Nothing! of course!) Annette was able to work some crazy magic and pull together a cardigan, an old t-shirt I’ve had since forever, and a chunky yellow necklace. It took her five seconds, and it was perfect. (Dear Annette: Please come style my whole life. Please?)
With the clothes selected, I sat down with Dulce, who’d dropped by to do my makeup. By the way? This? Also never happens in my world.
The whole time Dulce was doing my makeup, my little three-year-old was hovering nearby, overseeing her work and asking five million questions. “What are you doing to mom? Mom, why do you need makeup? What’s this? What THAT? I’m THWEE! I poopoo in the potty! What are you doing?”
Meanwhile, Annette and Katie were upstairs putting the finishing touches on my laundry room and Lauren, the photographer, was setting up her equipment. Annette and Katie restyled the shelves with some new art and lots and LOTS of laundry soap. (I’ll never need to buy laundry soap again! Woohoo!)
They styled the room with lots of yellows to accent the teal. Perfect complement to that chunky necklace! Isn’t it cool how everything comes together like that?
4. PHOTO SHOOT DAY- the shoot!
When Dulce had worked her magic and with my “new” outfit on, I was ready to step in front of the camera. Ready, but so nervous! My husband and I always joke about how unphotogenic I am – it’s an actual physical condition, and I’ve come to terms with it – so I was more than a little scared about how the photos would turn out.
Pssh! Silly thing to worry about! These BHG pros are the best at what they do and they made me feel so natural, comfortable and at ease. I posed all over the laundry room, in front of the washer, in front of the dryer, with my toe turned this way and that, sitting on the dryer, holding towels and not holding towels. Meanwhile, Annette was on Hair Duty, keeping my crazy mane out of my face and tamed for each shot.
The actual shoot was in the books before I knew it, and I enjoyed a lunch out with my family to bask in the amazingness of the entire day. (And to get one more use out of my professional makeup job.)
5. Seeing my house in print!
I’ll be forever grateful to Better Homes and Gardens for making this dream come true for people like me. And for adding one more thing to the list of items I must grab if my house is ever on fire: my June 2013 issue of Better Homes & Gardens!
We have many more DIY projects just like this laundry room on my blog. You can check out our before-and-after room makeovers, or see a gallery of all our projects. And there’s lots more to come! I hope you’ll follow along via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. You can even get new posts sent right to your email!
Thanks again to BHG for this amazing experience and for all the inspiration I find in every issue!
Written on March 7, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi everyone, Kit Selzer here! As BHG’s remodeling editor, I’m always on the lookout for products and ideas to help people with their home improvement projects. Anything that makes the process a little easier and more satisfying scores high on my list. That’s why I find the innovative approach of one company particularly exciting.
Bath Simple is a San Francisco-based company that designs baths all over the country. They help you choose everything you need—from the tub to the cabinetry hardware—from their curated collection of products. Then, get this: They ship it all in one big crate to your home. No running from store to store to pick up each item. No stalling your contractor while you wait for that shower head or medicine cabinet to arrive.
When John Crowley, Bath Simple co-founder, visited our Des Moines office to explain his company’s concept, my colleagues and I thought it was a valuable service for people who want a well-designed bath without having to agonize over a multitude of choices. We were eager to share it with readers in a big way, so we worked with Bath Simple to create an inspiring example loaded with ideas. Check out the project below, which appears in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens.
Here’s some advice from John on making any bath remodeling go smoothly:
1. Choose products that don’t have far to travel. A faucet shipped from Europe could delay your entire project.
2. Stick to the plan. A layout or product change could end up costing you time and money.
3. If you can only change one thing, replace the vanity. It’s easy and affordable, and will make a big impact style-wise.
Good luck with your bath updates!
- Kit Selzer, Senior Home Editor
Written on March 1, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi everyone, Alicia Chilton here. I’m the Senior Associate Home Editor for BHG.com and I love color, as do my co-workers. Color is definitely a favorite topic of conversation around the office, so we asked some of our favorite designers to create fresh new color palettes and offer ideas on how to get the look at home. We were absolutely blown away by their creativity and are excited to share the palettes with you!
Click here to see the full collection! Below is more informaiton on the inspiration and designer of the new palettes pictured above:
- Blend of Blues Designer: Jessica Brende
- Cozy Getaway Designer Sara Gilbane Sullivan
- Dawn’s Sky Designer: Elaine Griffin
- Moon Over Marrakech Designers: Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke, Madcap Cottage
- Peaceful Grace Designer: Phoebe Howard
- Rethinking White Designer: Khristian A. Howell
- Posh, Pretty, Peppy Designer: Janet Lee
- Winter’s Reprieve Designer: Lauren McGrath
- Softly Modern Designer: Amanda Malson
Each of the palettes includes fabric and paint picks, plus plenty of tips on how to pull the look together and editor product picks from Shop BHG. Browse the palettes and get color-inspired. Plus, check out a few behind-the-scenes shots from the palette photo shoot!
Above, left: Plenty of props were on hand for photographing the palettes, including pretty fabric and swatches! Above, right: One of the color palettes on the photographer’s table, all framed up and ready for its photo op.
What colors and textures have you added to your home? If you’re looking to redecorate, we hope you’ll be inspired by our new Designer Color Palettes this spring.
-Alicia Chilton, Senior Associate Home Editor – BHG.com
Written on February 26, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi, I’m Haeley from Design Improvised and I’m excited to share some Easter decorating ideas on Style Spotters today! At Design Improvised, I’m always on the look out for easy home décor and entertaining projects that can make a big impact for minimal time and money invested. At the holidays, I particularly love creating a special table for our meal using inexpensive materials and everyday items. Easter is on my mind already and when I saw this table setting in a unique pale blue and pink color scheme, I fell in love. I decided to put my own twist on it for our upcoming Easter brunch!
For my table, I found some pretty ric rac, pom-pom fringe, and ribbon in the same blue and pink color palette and made them the stars of this simple tablescape.
These pretty notions just remind me of spring and Easter eggs! I used them to dress up some plain cloth napkins, make an inexpensive table runner, and embellish dyed eggs to use as place cards.
For the napkins, I just added a row of ric rac and pom-pom fringe to one edge of an inexpensive set of white cloth napkins. Affix them with fabric glue and/or run a stitch through them with the sewing machine.
One of my favorite tricks for a super quick and inexpensive table runner is to roll some sturdy wrapping or kraft paper down the middle of the table. For my Easter runner, I added a few rows of ribbon, securing them with double-sided tape every few inches. That way I can reuse the ribbons after the brunch (always save your ribbon scraps!) and just throw the kraft paper away. You could easily make a more permanent version of this by sewing the ribbons onto a plain cloth table runner.
For the egg place cards, I added a band of ric rac to pink dyed eggs with a little hot glue, and then wrote each person’s name with a metallic Sharpie!
It couldn’t get much easier and the only thing I had to purchase for the tablescape was a few rolls of ribbon – talk about my kind of project!
Have a happy holiday!
Written on February 15, 2013 at 10:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hello! Kelly Eagle here! We see a lot of kitchens around here and in every style you can imagine!
The majority of the kitchens have white cabinets, with fewer having stained wood, but lately I’ve noticed another cabinet finish gaining popularity: greige painted cabinets.
In this month’s Better Homes and Gardens, designer Ann Rae’s kitchen has a perfect example of the color.
She painted her cabinets with Fawn, by Farrow and Ball. The color is a light tan-greige-green that is versatile, fitting into traditional kitchens, country kitchens, and even those with a more modern flair. She noted that she loves how in some lights the color reminds her of stones on the beach, but can also read as pale leaf green.
If you’ve been considering painting your cabinets, but want a color less predictable than white, this may just be the inspiration for you.
Here are couple of other examples I love:
This shade of beige reads a little green, but the color is subtle enough to act as a neutral, yet interesting enough to not need much accessorizing. Crisp white counters and accents modernize and lighten the space.
If you are a bit braver with your color choice, try painting your cabinets a dark greige. Pair dark lower cabinets with light – or white – upper cabinets.
Since these colors are rooted in the most basic of neutrals, accent colors can vary as wide as the rainbow, adding life and excitement to your kitchen.
What about you?
Would you paint your kitchen cabinets anything other than white?
Written on February 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm , by Style Spotter Editor
We’re excited to announce a new post series on Style Spotters that highlights a few of our favorite blogger projects. Every month we’ll share a round-up of ideas we love, focused on a specific topic. Sounds fun right? First up: DIY Valentine’s Day crafts from a few of our friends from Alt Summit!
What are you crafting for Valentine’s Day? We love to share something handmade and from the heart with our friends and family. If you have a project you’d like to share with us, send an email to BHGBloggers@Meredith.com for the chance to be featured in our monthly Best of the Blogs series.
-Liz Frantz, Social Media Editor