origionally Posted 2-8-2011

It's Tuesday, Let's talk about Interior & Style.

Style to me for the most part is up to your individual taste. Not everything that designers suggest is for everyone. It's good to keep up on current trends, but don't let them dictate  how everything in your home needs to look. After all, if we all had the same thing, it would be a pretty boring world. My personal style is a traditional, but eclectic look. When my daughter Alyssa is older, she says she wants to have an ultra modern clean "feng shei"  type home.
 You can however, pretty much combine different looks into a couple of styles types. Next week I'll start to discuss what we at Willow House have identified this season as:
Chic Organic 

Cottage Romantic  

Bright and Bold 

You may like more than just one style type too, like I do. That's okay. It will give your home character. Most of us do not have million dollar budgets to hire top interior designers and custom order the furniture and accessories. I'm going to tell you that you don't need to have that kind of money either to have a great looking home.

My best advice to give you is that you should buy something that :
Really strikes you when you see it, You love it!
It is of the best quality that fits your budget.
Don't spend a lot of money on anything that is a Fad.

I hope you know what I mean by a Fad. It's usually something that is really popular, everyone has got to have it. It's fun to by something that is a hit in all the magazines and in stores, but don't invest a lot in it because 5 years from now, it will look very dated.
Well, that's it for this week. Next week and for a few weeks after, I'm going to explore what the current styles are and how you can get them.

 origionally Posted 2-4-2011

-Happy February! 
Now that 2011 has been here for a month, 
for February the motto should be
It's time for a Change! View this as a good thing :) 
Take a good look around your home and 
figure out what needs to change.
I've done it, now YOU should do the same. Are you asking: I like what I have, why would I want to change it? Also, where is all this money going to come from to make these changes? Let me tell you that, to answer the first question: 
What to change? It doesn't take much to make an impact on a room. 
You do NOT have to change every single thing in your room or spend a ton of money to make an impact on your home decor. It can be as simple as: 
  • Giving your room a new coat of paint.
  • Changing up a centerpiece on a coffee table.
  • The kitchen table with a new item to give you an updated style. 
  • Maybe your mantle needs a new focus. 

So remember one nice new something for your home can make your room feel brand new and give you a much needed boost as well.
This is the Viridian Oval Container one of Willow House's brand new products.
imagine this as a centerpiece on your coffee table. To change it up, why put it 
in your kitchen filled with green apples adding a little bit of color to your 
winter while making a nice healthy snack center for the family.
Why do you want to change it? Well, if you change everything all at once, it can be costly and who has the money to do that as well as the time and energy?! 

If you find a new style that you like, make a list and prioritize what is most important. Then buy a little at a time as it makes it affordable to make changes. If you don't take an honest look at least once a year, then suddenly you may find your home a little faded and jaded. Remember just because Aunt Milly gave you that vase, it doesn't mean you need to keep it for 20 years. If you feel guilty about getting rid of it, then give it away to someone that admires it. They will love it and so will you!

-Before you get something new, make sure that you buy something where you can find more than one way of using it. 
-Don't spend the money on something that you will tuck away in your closet for 8 or 9 months out of the year.
-Love products that are not only beautiful but useful. 
-Look at qualityIf you do not by something that is well made, it will fall apart before you are ready to change it up and when that happens you will be sad. Believe me, I have learned this the hard way. So it is worth it, to spend a little more.

Have an great day! 

The New Year... Change up the Mantle!
Part One: Nothing is better than sitting by the fire keeping warm and toasty to kill of the wicked winter chill that seeps into your bones. With that statement, I guess it's no secret that I live in the North! While you are sitting by the cosy fire, it is even better if you can have a lovely looking mantle to make everything look so picturesque.
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when deciding what you want to put up there:

What is your Theme.

Have a Color Scheme.

Highlight some of your "Treasures".

Pick a Style.

Our Mantle at Christmas, complete with Stockings!
(Click on any of the pictures to view them larger.)
THEME: A mantle is the perfect gathering place for setting up a theme. For instance, I bet you all had your mantles decorated to the max for Christmas. I know I do. Every year. Love it. Here's a Picture of it done up for the holidays.
But now, the holidays are over and hopefully you are now faced with a clean slate.
Using the holidays as your theme again, it's time to get ready for Valentines Day.
OR you can use the Seasons as your theme. Right now would be Winter. If you have a special collection, like my mom does of Milk glass, Fenton glass and Lenox Birds, she could use her collection as her theme. 
COLOR SCHEME: Once you've picked your theme, it is time to move on to color. YOu need to have a palette in mind. It can match what furniture you have in the room or coordinate. You definitely do not want to pick something that clashes- everything should compliment the other colors. The only time that that would not matter is if you are going with a color to match you theme. It's ok that you use orange and black when it's Halloween. Just make sure that you use enough of the color together, that it's obvious that it is meant to stand out from other parts of the room. 
This mantle design color theme is picking up on the red colors that took us through Christmas and now through Valentine's Day. I'll give you some close up pictures this weekend of the individual pieces that I'm using. Here are three different versions :
Version One Mantle: Basic with a RED color theme.
Version Two Mantle: Red with a Winter theme.
Version Three Mantle: Sea Blues and Butter Yellow Spring theme.
TREASURES: Treasures are things that you collect because they mean something special to you. Why not show them off on your Mantle? Enough said.
STYLE: Everyone is drawn to a specific type of design style. Whether you love Shabby Chic, French Country, Modern or Eclectic; (to just name a few) each of these different styles also looks better with the way you lay them out. Symmetrical or Asymmetrical. Minimal or Complicated Layers. 
Now there a couple of considerations that could pose a dilemma. One is how high off the ground your mantle sits and how much room you have above the Mantel until you hit the ceiling. Also how wide your mantle is from the wall? Both of these were two huge issues for me as the space between the shelf and the ceiling is not very wide. I chose a large narrow rectangular Watercolor painting to hang above it. Then, because my shelf area is not very wide, it limits how much layering I can do. It's not possible to put many of my lovely treasures up on the mantle as it won't hold them, it's too narrow.
Just make a choice and start to play around with different items that you want to use until you get it to look right. You'll know when you are done. It will just feel right to you.
My last piece of advice to you is that rules are nice, to help you to follow, but they are also made to be broken. Don't be afraid to try something totally different!

My next post will detail some of the different treasures I used in the pieces above.
Until next time- Blessings!