11.24.2013

the Look for Less: Moroccan Wedding Ottoman


I hope you're having a great weekend!  It's time for another Look for Less post.  I absolutely love Moroccan wedding blankets.  They are unique and beautiful--especially at the end of your bed. When I found this floor cushion version at Anthropologie, I was smitten.  I loved all the sparkle and texture, but I wasn't crazy about the price. Problem solved!





Which would you prefer?  The high or low?  Can you even tell a difference?
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 Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply! **



If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, 
click here for more information on my interior design services.  

11.20.2013

Holiday Cheer for less



A trip to Costco is like a treasure hunt; you're never sure what you'll find.  Yesterday I found holiday gold in these potted trees.  They're larger than a typical rosemary plant you'd find at the grocery store-- they are actually small trees in lovely pots.  Don't feel locked into the red color, either.  I would paint mine glossy white or black, or I'd even like a black and white horizontal stripe!

There are so many places to put a tree like this, especially if you have a small space, or you're traveling over the holidays, this is just what you need.

I've gathered images to inspire you to get started with your small tree!  All images can be found here.


I love the idea of using a tree in the kitchen.  I spend so much time there, I could use the holiday cheer!


Potted trees look very welcoming flanking your front door.

Do you have an empty corner that could use a little something?  Try adding a potted tree in a unique container.

 Who wouldn't want to be greeted by a small tree in their entry?

 This is Kristen's entry that she decorated for the Home Depot Challenge.  The Costco trees aren't as tall, but they would still look pretty and add greenery to your entry.

I'd like to use two of these trees to flank our corner fireplace.

Do you have steps leading up to your front door?  Mix potted trees in with lanterns for a lovely and simple look.

What do you think?  Would you try this look for less?

**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the
 Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply! **
If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, 
click here for more information on my interior design services.  

11.18.2013

Simple Scents for the Home


You can have the most beautiful home, but if it smells like wet dog or stinky boys, I won't want to stick around.  Not that I'm talking about my own house here (cough), but let's be honest: smell has a huge affect on our mood.  While waiting out a huge storm yesterday, I put together this simple potpourri to make our home feel warm and cozy. We had everything in the house and the smell was delicious and lovely.

Step 1: Peel a few "cuties" for snacks and store in your fridge.

Step 2: Fill a saucepan with water and add a cinnamon stick, orange peels, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.  I also added a dash of vanilla extract.  


Step 4: Bring to a low boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer on the stove for hours.  Your home will smell amazing!  Add more water to your pan as needed. 
Step 5: Strain your remaining simmering sauce into a jar and save in your refrigerator for the next time you want to warm up your home.  

Now that I've made this once, I have a feeling I will try a few other versions.  Lemon peels with thyme and vanilla sounds wonderful to me!  Is this a housewarming trick you would try?  I also think this saved mixture would make a wonderful gift for the holidays.  You could add a cute gift tag with directions to simmer and enjoy.
**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the
 Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply.**



If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, 
click here for more information on my interior design services.  

11.16.2013

Dark Chocolate Butter Toffee with Sea Salt: Shauna Nieuqist



Making your own candy sounds intimidating.  At least to me.  There's the candy thermometer, the risk of not cooking it long enough, imagining it must be difficult...need I go on?

But Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine, changed my mind.  If I could recommend one book to you this year, it would be Bread & Wine.  Not only does Bread and Wine include many wonderful recipes, that have become staples in our home, but it is the stories inside that will change how you view life and gather around the table.

Did you realize you don't even need a thermometer to make toffee?  True.  I've made this recipe twice.  Once I slightly under-cooked the toffee and then I made it as directed.  Either way, it's delicious and it really depends if you want to get the toffee stuck in your teeth or like it more chewy.  


Here's the recipe from Bread & Wine:

2 sticks of salted butter
2 C sugar
1/4 C water
1 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1t course sea salt

**Bring butter, sugar, and water to a boil, stirring constantly.  Near the 7 minute mark, the butter will turn from buttered popcorn color to an amber.  The darker the color, the harder the toffee.  
**Once your mixture turns a mocha amber color, pour out onto parchment paper using a spatula.
**While toffee cools, melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl over boiling water.  {I melt mine in a small saucepan and stir constantly.}  Once chocolate is smooth, spread over toffee and top with sea salt.  Let cool in the refrigerator.  
**Break into irregular pieces and enjoy!



This is a perfect recipe to give as teacher gifts, neighborly Christmas presents, or just enjoy yourself!
If you'd like to read more from Shauna Niequist, I'd encourage you to read her blog, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.  

**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the
 Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply.**

local client new build: a design plan


Isn't this house wonderful?  My clients are building their new home and I had the privilege to give them a tiny bit of help in the interior design.  After making a million decisions, they just needed me to step in and pull some last minute choices together for them.

When I visited the house, they had yet to install drywall, and the exterior was not finished.  They wanted to keep their design hours to a minimum, so this plan is not as extensive as most.  

Let's start in the entry.  As soon as you walk in, you'll be greeted by this light.  I know it will cast  beautiful shadows and make a pattern on the wall.

Their family room is where she wanted the most help.  They have a leather sectional and coffee table that they needed to keep, so I was working around using what they had.

One of my favorite tips to creating more custom looking drapes, is to buy inexpensive drapery panels and add trim the inside edges.  Fringe Market on Etsy is one of my favorite sources for trim.  I also suggested a tightly placed gallery wall behind their sectional, for family photos.  Add a pair of plug-in sconces and you've got a polished but family friendly space.

Is this a family room you could enjoy?
If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, 
click here for more information on my interior design services.  

**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the
 Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply.**

11.15.2013

Christmas at my 70's Ranch: the plan


Hi all!  I know I'm early, but I just can't help myself.  I've caught the holiday decorating bug.  Granted, I still have pumpkins out on our porch, and there is no tree in our living room, but it's coming fast and I'm doing the prep work.

First step?  Decide on what colors to use.  I'm shooting for an organic glam vibe on our tree.  The overall colors will be black, white, green, and gold.

I think this scheme fits our house nicely.  The traditional red and green colors wouldn't really work for our living room, shown below.  


So much has changed in our living room since Tracy Anne Photography took these photos, but you'll have to wait to see what I've done.  Reveal coming soon!  

I was searching for inspiration for a black, gold, and green Christmas, but there wasn't much I loved.  Here are a few examples...





Are you catching my vision?  It seems like most either go very glam, or too sparse for my liking.  

I decided to put our tree in a basket this year.  I love the texture and organic touch.  Plus, I'm not crazy about our tree skirt, so that solves that. :-)

As you can imagine, black ornaments are not easy to find.  And I don't want the black to feel too harsh.  So I've decided to paint all my own ornaments this year.  I know what you're thinking--who has time for that?  Well, you do!  Once I decided how to paint them, and the best way to let them dry, it took very little time and effort.  This is the easiest way to get the exact look I want.  I even picked up some very wide, black velvet ribbon to wrap around our tree.  (not pictured) I'm pretty excited about this and I think I'll have the kids paint some ornaments as gifts this year.  Truly, it's so simple and easy my 3 year-old can do it.

What do you think?  Is this a color scheme you would try?  Or are you just trying to make it through Thanksgiving before you even think about holiday decor. ;-)

If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, click here for more information on my interior design services.  

**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply.  




11.12.2013

swanky colonial project: client update




I think a dining room is at its best when the chairs and table aren't an exact match.


Currently, I've got rustic tables paired with white chairs on the brain.


Don't they look lovely?  Relaxing?  Stylish?


If this heavy wood table was paired with "matching" heavy wood chairs, this space would just fall flat.  

I'm especially fond of white chairs with a black seat.


Here's this example, again, of a heavy wood table with light, white chairs.  Winner.  

All of this leads me back to the Swanky Colonial Project.
Let's do an update.

The huge mirror was picked up from the other side of the state over the weekend.  Dying over this mirror!  
Love all the details.


Since this plan was created, we've changed the rug to a better option from Home Goods.  And my clients have decided to replace their current dining room chairs.  I knew exactly what I wanted for them so I started hunting on Craig's List.  I found six cane back chairs for $25 a piece. What?!  Yes, and Julie from Simple Redesign is going to lacquer them in Benjamin Moore's Snow White.  High gloss, of course.  Then we'll cover the chair cushions in dark faux ostrich vinyl.  This will be the modern twist for these vintage style chairs that their dining room needs.


I think they'll look very similar to the chairs below.

What do you think?  Are you a fan of the non-matching dining set?
If you would like to work together creating a home you absolutely love, click here for more information on my interior design services.  

**If you would like to make a comment on this post, please click over to the Abby M. Interiors facebook page.  I'll be sure to reply.  

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