Tag Archives: white couches

Real Readers: Caroline, Taylor, and Sheridan

23 Jan

These days, I am obsessed with the chic, sophisticated and downright pretty house of these cute girls!

Names: Caroline, Taylor, Sheridan

Age: 24-ish

Current City: Houston, TX

Caroline – Event/Fundraiser Coordinator for a Non-Profit Organization
Taylor – Law Firm Recruiter
Sheridan – Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse

Decorating Styles:
Caroline – Traditional,  anything “anqituey” — she likes having a neutral base and then throwing in a splash of color.
Taylor – Shabby Chic, French Country…a self-proclaimed “Plain Jane” who gravitates towards creams, whites, and neutrals over bold and bright.
Sheridan – Likes coming home to a soft, calming atmosphere. She chooses any piece that makes her happy.

Right when you walk in, you are greeted with a quaint little set up. The antique-looking carte goes great with the wall sconces and framed artwork.

The streamers hanging down from the door frames are not a part of their usual decor. They were party decorations for Caroline’s 24th birthday! (Happy Birthday!) This is the visual you get in when you come out of the entry way. Believe it or not, all of these pieces of furniture are hand-me-downs from their various grandparents. The chairs were a completely different fabric and got recovered in simple white from the Design Center of Houston to match the house’s clean motif.

Cute crystal-looking lamps! Try Target, Marshalls’, West Elm or Pottery Barn for some inexpensive ones.

Taylor already had this zebra print pillow in her possession but lacked its matching partner. Thankfully, she found it at a cute boutique in Houston called, A Bientot. Don’t forget to try gift shop and jewelry boutiques for small home accents.

This pretty piece is perfect for holding all your knick-knacks. I even have the same painting they do at the top! Love!

Pretty little dining room set up. All antique hand-me-downs from the grandparents again…slipcovered in a softer linen fabric to protect the seats and cover up older fabric.

It’s all about the crystal and clear glass. Classic and easy to find at so many stores.

Islands in kitchens add SO much space and personality. Obviously not everyone has one built in but if you have the room, you can buy a stainless steel table/island and use it much in the same way. Here are all of Caroline’s birthday treats laid out!

The  curtains actually came with the house! Rather than spending a fortune on new Roman shades (that’s what they’re called) they added a few cute candlitas (little candles? si?) and made it their own.

The couches were covered in white by Sheridan and the unique end tables are from Nadeua in Highland Village in Houston. The glass lamps are from Marshall’s, and the pristine linen lampshades are from Pottery Barn. The pine wooden coffee table is from her parents’ house, but try Craigslist for other people’s old pieces.


These paintings are another great bi-product of Pinot’s Palette…the place in Houston where you get to BYOB and learn to paint a famous painting in a group. It’s only $35 for the canvas and a 3 hour class then you get beautiful art work to bring home.


A beautiful 4 poster bed (handed down from her parents) with stunning white bedding from Kuhl-Linscomb make for a fresh combination or old and new. The walls came the pale seafoam color and Caroline used it to her advantage to keep it classy with the white linens and paisley euro shams (Pottery Barn). Although she is not the biggest fan of her room (she thinks the Pottery Barn pillows were a random impulse buy)…I think it is sooo much more sophisticated than I could ever hope to be. But then again I guess I am 2 years younger than her? Does that count? Let’s hope so.

Crystal knobs on the dresser are a fun add too! Pretty, pretty!


All of Taylor’s gorgeous bed linens are from Pine Cone Hill. At the store I’m working at now, we sell this brand all the time. It has so many beautiful options for a VERY reasonable price. And it looks custom! Check out their website for more details (or come into Nest & Cot to order!).


Even the bathroom is pretty! Baskets are an easy way to both hide and store all of your bathroom necessities. And wicker and white go so well together!


Coral, white and turquoise…oh my! This traditional bed belonged to her grandparents and she had it recovered by a local guy in a flax linen color. She then uses this linen again to create a romantic little vanity.

Cute knobs!

And she has a coral bowl! LOVE!

A plastic organizer for jewelry. It’s great for storage and being able to see exactly what you’re looking for.

In case you didn’t know…How To Be A Lady. I may actually need a copy of this?

A vanity is both romantic and practical. Every girl needs one! (I know all the guys are rolling their eyes at this point…if there is even one reading). The mirror is from Marshall’s. Further proof that you can always find something to fit your style for cheap there!

Caroline, Taylor and Sheridan’s house is proof that you can mix old and new, vintage and modern, inexpensive and expensive to create a comfortable and chic home. And despite all of their class and style, they say their favorite part is actually one of their more modern creature comforts: Speakers all over the house! This includes the backyard and the bathroom (I would know — I was listening to a football game while I was using it!). TMI?! Who cares.

Hope you enjoyed visiting their home as much as I did!


Color Me Happy: Green

18 Oct

In honor of my friend Sydney’s new blog, The Green Tex, today’s post is full of all things green!

A classic green for a dining room.

Inspired by: 30 Elm

Pretty flowers on this wall create a girly yet fresh aura. Love the beautiful canopy bed too!

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

I can't get over how amazing the teal hue of this green looks in this entry way. So dramatic with the zebra skin rug!

Inspired by: The Decorista

Classic thick stripes would look great in a guest room. Try this type of headboard and drapery to take up an entire wall without overwhelming it.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Picture clustering!! Looks so homey and warm against the green.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

All-matte green in the kitchen is so bright!

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Seafoam green never looked so modern. This looks nothing like the grandma-ish beach house I would imagine with this color...

Inspired by: Better Homes & Gardens, June 2010

A surprisingly harmonious combination: Pale green and turquoise. Paint a piece of furniture or two a bright turquoise for a pop of color in a green room.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Here is bright orange warms up the green. White couches are my favorite and look great with everything...

Inspired by: Holly Dyment

Green, navy and dark wood come together in a brooding and mysterious boudoir...

Inspired by: The Decorista

Obsession: Ikat

1 Aug

It’s not a brand new trend, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.

Ikat (pronounced “eee-kaht”) is a method of weaving and dying that has unknown origins, but it has been dated back to pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures. Besides being found there, many other countries have laid claim to the design in their own way especially Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Indonesia (Wikipedia).

Today in America, ikat can be found on all sorts of goods — from printed dresses and fashion, to pillows, to upholstery, the fabric has permeated everything design. You’ve probably seen it lately (even Gap has ikat dresses), but if not, here is a little sample:

Inspired by: HGTV

Inspired by: Lotus Haus

Inspired by: Company C

Recognize this little guy? I’m sure you’ve seen it around. Love it as much as I do yet? You will once you see all the different fun ways you can use it around the house. The best thing about it is that it can come in so many different forms. It can dress something up, dress something down, be fun and bold and loud, or a neutral way to add flair to a couch. Ch-ch-check it out!

This looks like an ikat Alison in Wonderland tea party gone berserk! Mama likee...

Inspired by: Absolutely Beautiful Things

Just a little touch of red ikat here looks fab.

Inspired by: Country Living

This room is full of ikat-esque fabrics: The light blue & white bed skirt and chair, and the red and white pillows.

Inspired by: Decor Pad

Or just buy a huge swatch of fabric and create a giant board on your wall. Fun!

Inspired by: Elle Decor

Here the black and beige ikat acts as a neutral.

Inspired by: Faith Sheridan’s Blog

Ikat + Turquoise = Perfection. What a serene room!

Inspired by: House of Turquoise

I love the designer Madeline Weinrib, these chairs are upholstered by her.

Inspired by: LA Design Concepts

A burst of ikat is a perfect way to spice up a white couch.

Inspired by: Material Girls Blog

A mellow green looks beautiful with this white couch too.

Want to buy some of your own ikat? A lot of what people do with ikat is buy fabric and then pay to get it re-upholstered onto a chair, couch, or ottoman. This can be a VERY expensive and time-consuming process. Especially for the young girl starting out who is short on income and prone to change her mind, it is better to invest in small ikat pieces.

Amazon, $50

Inspired by: Amazon

Anthropologie, $14

Inspired by: Anthropologie

Etsy, $35-$145

Inspired by: Etsy (If you just do an “Ikat” search on Etsy, you’ll come up with tons of amazing options)

Neiman Marcus, $160

Inspired by: Neiman Marcus

Etsy, $90

Inspired by: Etsy

Animal House: Fur

16 Jul

To mix it up a little from just looking at animal prints, today is about another HUGE obsession of mine that belongs in the animal kingdom.


This warm and hairy manner of decorating has been in pop culture in movies, books, and fantasies (bear skin rug by the fire, anyone?), and I am fully convinced it is a trend here to stay. In moderation, of course.

Besides adding interest and drama to your room, it is a GREAT way to add texture — a must in decorating.

Check out these digs full of the faux fur fabulosity:

The hairy pillows in this hotel room adds a touch of flair.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

white fur + white couch = glamorous and modern

Inspired by: Better Homes & Gardens “New Decorating Book”

Even one small fur pillow can stand out.

Inspired by: Better Homes & Gardens “New Decorating Book”

Fur can give an eclectic feel to a modern room.

Inspired by: Decor 8

The wood floor would be extremely empty without a rug, and this one gives it more interest than a boring old "flat" rug.

Inspired by: Design Sponge Online

If you're feeling really wild, go for fur bedding! Might be a little hot though...

Inspired by: Flickr

If you're timid about the trend, try a simple blanket draped on a couch or chair.

Inspired by: Living Etc.

Pair your pillows and a rug.

Inspired by: Living Etc.

A fur throw blanket can act as a cozy chair cover as well.

Inspired by: Lonny Mag

It seems like white fur rugs are the way to go.

Inspired by: The Decorista

This room becomes more elegant with a white fur throw.

Inspired by: The Inspired Room

Even West Elm is getting on in the trend!

Inspired by: West Elm

And in keeping with eco-friendliness and my own personal beliefs, I must stress that FAUX FUR is the way to go. It can sometimes be difficult to find, but you’ll be able to rest easier knowing a small woodland creature didn’t die only to lay on your sofa. (Sorry that’s a little grotesque…just trying to make a point)

Try these on for size:

White Fur Pillow only $6

Inspired by: Coffee House Vintage on Etsy

Here's a little white fur rug, $145

Inspired by: dluxo on Etsy

Black Fur Pillow, $16

Inspired by: Dyche Design on Etsy

Gorgeous faux mink throw blanket, $79.99

Inspired by: Saari Design on Etsy

A furrier brown fur blanket, $29.99

Inspired by: TopDog Couture on Etsy

Multi-color fur accent pillows, starting at $59

Inspired by: West Elm

**No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog.

Spotlight On: Marshalls and TJ Maxx

9 Jul

Let’s face it: Frugal is the new black.


Apparently they even made this saying into a t-shirt!

Or at least that’s what my intelligent mother keeps reminding me. And although I think she’s trying to teach me a valuable life lesson with this mantra (to not spend all of my money on clothes the minute I get it in my hot little hands), the woman’s got a point.

Besides being full of motherly life lessons and wisdom, my mom also has a GREAT eye for decorating a home to suit your personality. Our house is an eclectic mix of both traditional, modern, and even downright weird pieces (pineapple lamps?) — and somehow, they all come together in a beautiful mish-mash of our family’s unique charm.

That’s why, as I have been pursuing the best inspiration and ways to shop for decorating houses and rooms, she has continually brought up the wonders that are: Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

You’ve inevitably seen at least one of these stores in every large strip shopping center ever built… But now it’s time to make a trip there.

Both of these stores are essentially low-price department stores. These are the stores where many other stores send off brand name and designer inventory they couldn’t sell (either overstock or slightly irregular goodies). In turn, Marshalls and TJ Maxx sell the products for an extremely discounted price. It’s really a win-win-win situation: The department stores move inventory, Marshalls/TJ Maxx get inventory, and you get the best deal possible. To put it into perspective — If you’re a heavy and knowledge-savvy shopper, then this idea is the equivalent of heading to a Nordstrom Rack, Off-Saks 5th, or a DSW.

Like every type of bargain shopping, it’s more about the “treasure hunt” than mass buying just for the sake of it. However, my mom did admit when she was just starting out and had no disposable income to speak of, these were 2 of her fav places to shop just so she could randomly fill up her empty home. For a lot of us young-uns out there (myself included), this is an extremely viable option to do just that.

So without further ado, my mom has some valuable bargain-shopping words of wisdom for all of us decoristas out there. When it comes to shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, here are her tips she has learned after years of practice:

1. Call ahead to find out when they get new inventory.

I know, for example, that the Marshalls near me in Austin receives deliveries on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Pick one day of the week right after one of the drops that works for you.

Friendly and helpful service -- just give them a call!

2. Location can make a big difference.

What’s that saying? “Location, location, location!” Like many consignment, vintage, and re-sale shops, the location of the store can change the type of merchandise found inside. If you are looking to spend a little bit more money or grab some upscale items, check out a TJ Maxx or Marshall’s in a more affluent area (ex: near the Galleria/River Oaks in Houston). A lot of times because the owners of the stores know the type of clientele that will shop there, they will tailor the goods accordingly.

Map out a plan of attack!

3. Items to look out for: Sheets.

Looking for sheets with a thread count of 300+? Look no further than Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Keep in mind that the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. So really you do want 300, 400, even 500 thread count sheets if you’re a cuddle bunny like me. But instead of spending 3 figures on them ($200 sheets from Pottery Barn? No thanks!), how about $60? Even better, how about $40? That’s what you’ll find when you treasure hunt at discount stores.

Check out these ones I just found at TJ Maxx for my bed — only $35, thank you very much.

I love how FUNKY the pattern will look next to my traditional floral duvet cover.

4. Items to look out for: Towels.

You can find GREAT deals on designer towels and brand names from department stores. And they’re just towels, no one’s going to know if they’re $75 or $15 so long as they get you dry.

I'm so jealous of these leopard print towels my sister got from Marshalls! They go SO well with the dark brown ones under it, which make it a sophisticated (and not obnoxious) look.

5. Items to look out for: Lamps.

As Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell’s character) of Anchorman says, “I Love Lamp.”

Honestly, this is my mom’s motto in life (or it should be), and I’m finally starting to agree with her. The design of and light from lamps can really make or break a room. Really nice and interesting lamps can sell for 100’s of $$. But again, when you treasure hunt at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, you can secure great finds like the ones below for $30-$50!

This great leaf/branch lamp sits in my sister's room -- again, jealous!

I love this red textured lamp. It really becomes the focal point of this entry-way table. (But the little white bird is cute too)

I told you there were pineapple lamps in our house...

This one is mine, all mine baby...

6. Keep an open mind.

I say this last but certainly not least. Check out these awesome odds and ends my mom has stumbled upon over the last decade or so in a Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

This colorful cube/chair/thing is the very epitome of FUNKY.

These fun pillows are great finds. And they look so FAB on the white couch AH!

This gold standing mirror acts as a useful centerpiece in my sister's room.

These striped pillows are another discount store purchase.

This might be the most amazing of all - 10 years ago my mom found this REAL (not knockoff) Vietri Italian plates. She had to fill in some of the collection with real ones, but most are Marshalls' finds. They retailed for $78 per dinner plate, but my mom got them for $20 a plate.

Just because you shop at these stores doesn’t automatically mean you can’t afford $300 Pottery Barn sheets. But that’s just plain STOOPID when you can get the same darn things for $60 at Marshalls. It doesn’t make you “cheap” to shop at discount stores like these — it makes you smarter than the Average Jane (or Joe). And look at these famous (and rich) peeps who have been spotted shopping at Marshalls and TJ Maxx!

Jennifer Aniston in Marshall's. Must be cold in there for how bundled up she is...

Kim Kardashian chats on the phone as she peruses TJ Maxx.

Even vampires shop! Robert Pattinson spotted coming out of a TJ Maxx in California. No doubt buying some nice home goods for his gf Kristen Stewart.

Okay, just kidding. I photoshopped all these pics. But I’m SURE they’ve checked them out before — Like I’ve been trying to explain, NO ONE (not even R Patz) can resist a bargain.

So now it’s your turn!

Find your nearest TJ Maxx or Marshalls location, call ahead to see when their newest goodies are delivered, then shop until you drop!

Obsession: White Couches

7 Jul

Hello, hello my little Funky Bears.

Hope you enjoyed the great long weekend for the Fourth of July/my birthday. I know I sure did. I have some extremely embarrassing pictures that involve me wearing a “Birthday Princess” sash and a tiara that I will NOT be sharing. But you can just know that’s what was going on this past Saturday.

Although I didn’t do a Fourth-friendly “red, white and blue” themed post over the holiday weekend, I have been inspired as of late by one of these colors in particular. It’s Summery, clean, and crisp, and can be incorporated into every design style out there.


Probably no one ever says white is their favorite color because it seems so “blah” and not many people have strong feelings attached to it. But that is where most people are mistaken. White conveys feelings of purity, cleanliness, innocence and apparently is super Feng Shui. According to this art/science, white will soothe your psyche, spread healing vibrations through your home, and fill your subconscious with expanding feelings of possibility and a bright new future.

Where do I sign up?!

Despite all of this valuable info, most white (to me) seems pretty dull with one major exception: White Couches.

I LOVE the way a white couch adds all of the above-mentioned reactions to your home without foregoing being easily pair-able with fun pops of color and personality.

Whether you go out and buy a brand-spanking new white couch or find a fabulous slip cover to re-vamp an existing couch, you’ve got to try this trend. But don’t take my word for it, examine the pictures below and prepare to be amazed!

Elegant, yet warm, this white(ish) couch with its tufted back adds a lot to the room.

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

So feminine and pink!

Inspired by: The Decorista

This one might be my favorite: love, love, LOVE the bold blue walls with the white and yellow accents.

Inspired by: Canadian House & Homes

Another elegant style -- and what a sweet couch skirt!

Inspired by: Avian Inc.

Are those ostriches with their head in the sand on the wallpaper? I dunno if I’m hip enough for this trend…

Inspired by: Lonny Mag

All white yet so feminine -- very shabby chic.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Bare essentials...White and Wood.

Inspired by: Kelly McCaleb

Pair a white couch with a fun color wall, mutli-colored rug, and different fabrics to re-create this busy and home-y look.

Inspired by: Lonny Mag

Oooh mama likee! The turquoise + lantern + white couches = SO fun.

Inspired by: Casa Pinka

Here is another lived-in way to incorporate a white couch with color and FUNK. And I'm OBSESSED with the pattern on the pillows. What is this called?

Inspired by: The Lovely Undergrad

What do you think of this modern living space? The sharp white couch adds a new dimension to the room.

Inspired by: Lonny Mag

Add some color to a plain room with loud, patterned pillows and a rug.

Inspired by: Living Etc.

Such a pure room -- but the surprise eclectic-ness of the picture clustering is amazingly well thought out.

Inspired by: The Decorista

Here's a little peek into a living room that is neutral yet has muted color and tons of personality.

Inspired by: Kelly McCaleb

Ooh, I love the Ikat patterned pillow with this!

Inspired by: The Decorista

White may seem bland and blank at times, but paired with the right accessories, accents, and wall color, these white couches can scream “young,” “fresh,” and “fashion-forward.”

Just don’t spill anything dark on it. Or let small children around it. Or puppies. Or eat on it. Or jump on it when you’re muddy. Or paint your nails on it.

Okay — just be careful. It’s still white and oh-so-stainable.

Alphabet Soup: Time to Scrabble-ize

16 Jun

In keeping with the theme of words and their roles as decoration around the house, I decided to turn to the ultimate word game for a little inspiration. Scrabble is a game that most everyone on the planet knows how to play and has enjoyed at least once in their life. That being said, if you have been living under a rock or in Antarctica for your entire life and are unsure of the significance of this game, then Google “Scrabble” to learn how to play. For those of us living in the 21st century who are extremely familiar with this game, recently “Words with Friends,” an iPhone application, has re-sparked the Scrabble craze among the younger demographic. Competition has been fierce. I’m not going to name names, but I ALWAYS beat a certain significant other of mine by hundreds of points. Can’t deny it if it’s true.

Anyhoo, with Scrabble as my muse, I have found tons of accent pieces you can use around the house. Obviously, you wouldn’t want an entire room of letters (or maybe you would — if you achieve this, get back to me with pictures ASAP. I’m going to want to see that). Therefore, choose a few cute pieces sparingly and have fun reminiscing on this youthful game…

If you’re unsure about this whole use-a-board-game-to-decorate-your-house thing, start off simple with a few cute magnets. At only $6 or $7 for a set, you can’t go wrong.

Aw! Cheesy, but you know you like it.

Pillows are another relatively easy and painless way to add some verb-age to your home. Throw these on a plain colored couch or with lots of different textures to mix it up.

Click here to see the customizable options of these pillows. They are a little more expensive at $160 for 4 letters, but clearly add another level to this room. You can also order just one letter (an initial, perhaps?) for less.

Scrabble: The New Aphrodisiac

Another cute, homemade idea is this small burlap sack Scrabble pillow. So presh!

It's all about LOVE today.

Now, if you want to get crazy and proclaim a gigantic word or 3 to the world, this next idea is for you. You can pick and choose words to create a gigantic Scrabble board on your wall! Even though the pictures here are a little dull (they are the demo pictures from a wood-crafts website)…imagine them set against a deep turquoise wall or surrounded by your favorite pictures with your favorite words (Off topic: Do you even have a favorite word? Go to www.myfavoriteword.com to find one. You’ll be agape with all the eclectic choices).

Organization is not my forte in life (although my color-coded closet is looking pretty darn good these days). But even I know that labels always make things easier to locate. Instead of using a boring old black Sharpie or the guess-and-check method of finding things, why not try this? Use a hot glue gun to place Scrabble tiles on a bin, basket, or box so that you can easily read the label.

I just made this virtually on Photoshop so forgive the awkwardness...You get the picture though.

Last but not least (and this is my favorite), you can use Scrabble tiles to brighten up an old picture frame or personalize a new one. Here I chose to use an old antique-looking frame and created it via Photoshop just to let you see what the general idea is. I chose to use the word “Spain” to represent my study abroad trip to Barcelona. Another vibrant and funky type of frame would be a big chunky baroque one like the hot pink one below it. But technically, you could do this on any frame with your best friend of this post — hot glue.

Claire & Blair in Barca. Yes, we know our names rhyme.

Love these big, fun baroque-style frames in bright colors.

Using Scrabble accents in your home is an affordable and fresh way to add some spunk to your style. You don’t have to change a lot or have some grand upheaval of furniture — but just a touch of Scrabble here or there could be a genius touch, or at the very least, be a blast from the past to your childhood. And remember… there is nothing geeky about indulging in a game that encourages studying and/or memorization of the dictionary!

Or is there?

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