Sunday, November 27, 2011

More WOW for your Walls!

Just like in the Fashion Industry, trends in interiors are constantly evolving with new products and ideas introduced to the market, and what's old is new again.  This is what keeps me as a designer on my toes and causes my design style to change constantly, while still maintaining my signature aesthetic.  I love the latest and greatest when it comes to most anything, especially when what's new is a fresh take on something old (hence our original furniture pieces)!  One trend that has surfaced over the past several months (and is gaining more momentum now than ever) is Wallpaper.  It was an outdated trend, but luckily for all us pattern-loving people it's now been fabulously updated!  Take a look at these swanky spaces....

Liquid Metallic Wallpaper by Crezana!...YES!            


Wrting on the Wall
Murano Glass Bead Wallpaper!!! 

Glittered walls??!!  I NEED YOU like Oxygen!  Such a beautiful dream come true!

Typology Wallpaper by Wall &Deco

Not just the look of wallpaper has been reinvented, but the quality of it, especially when it comes to it's application.  If you are a DIY'er you're going to love this latest trend and advancement to what's behind the pattern and how to hang and remove these pretty papers.  It's all about the 'Self-Adhesive' wallpapers now.  Yes!  No more back breaking, sticky, time consuming, nightmare when you are ready to change up the wall and tear the stuff down! YAY!!!  One company who specializes in self sticking papers market is Tempaper.  Self adhesive wallpapers are like glorified contact paper, or massive vinyl decals (only in application, not quality, since the outer finish is like traditional wall paper).   Take a looksy at these 8 colors/patterns Tempaper currently offers:

They are not for the shy guy (or girl)!  But because these surely pack a design punch, it's quite convenient that you don't have to fret over their permanancy,  Slap some up in a niche, on an accent wall, backsplash, etc. then simply pull it off when you grow tired of it!  I would definitely re-apply the removed paper to the original paper backing for later use.  That's 'green' to me :)!  Quick side note... speaking of the aformentioned vinyl decals..sad to say..they are on their way out..well actually...they're just out.  Luckily, they are easy to remove without tearing up your walls! 
My all time favorite sources for stylish wallpapers is Bloompapers.  This is a MUST checkout!  Here are some samples of what i'm talking about :)


I told you so! L-O-V-E!!!!

Wallpaper is not the only new options for decking those walls out.. we're seeing a lot of painted patterns, typography, painted wall treatments again (new faux..not so much of the sponging variety..).  Basically, if it can be painted on the wall, it's posh.  I like that this trend is much more authentic than it's vinyl prediseter.  It's not just wall art, it's complete artisan walls with A LOT of 'WOW'!

This next wall idea isn't for everyone, but i'm drawn to it because I love nail head trim.  I think this would work well in a den or a small room.  We would LOVE  to hear your thoughts on nail head walls, is it a 'DO' or a 'DON'T '?..Even if not for your home do you think it's too much or tastefully unique?

Just like in all things trendy, you're best not to jump on the bandwagon of all the latest.  I like to infuse the latest in to all my spaces both commercial areas and home interiors, in key spots here and there, only using those trends that are most relavent to it's surroundings and purpose.  Pick an idea that blends well with the existing look and does not look too forced.  Nobody likes to see a grandma wearing teenager clothing....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{DAY 2} Festive Flair

Yesterday was about the adult's table so today we're going to take a turn to toddler and tween town and share our fave ideas for their table!  Not everyone may have a separate table for the short set in the group, instead opting for an all in one family table.  Several of these ideas would work in that scenario as well, or can be used on an all adult table too (who says it has to be all formal and stiff?)!  However, in my family, there is absolute need for a kids' table since there are sooooo many kids on each side of the family, including the three crazy ones I 'bring to the table'...pun totally intended ;). 

This first kids' table is very dreamy, but I realize it's not all that practical for most of us :)  I REALLY love the idea of this. I think i'll consider getting my Paul Bunion on and collect the wood in time for a fun spring soiree :)

In my opinion, it's a must to cover the kids' table in brown paper (reverse side of shopping sacks perhaps?), or butcher paper.  This gives them a creative (and hopefully) quiet outlet to during dinner time, and the look kind of just goes with the Thanksgiving feel anyway, right?!..I love a purposeful chic element!  Once the table is covered, start layering it with all kinds of fun (interactive) decor pieces.  These are two our faves...

These next two are GREAT printable resources to give the kids.  
Done and done!
Thanksgiving Printables for Kids
More FREE Kid's Printables

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Four Days of Festive Flair!

Today is the start of 4 days where we'll be dishing out our favorite ideas to make your Thanksgiving table oh-so Tres Chic!  We've searched high and low to compile only THE BEST ideas just for you!  Today through Wednesday you'll receive generous servings of Table-Scapes for both the adult and kids' tables, thoughtful Thanksgiving touches, DIY decor, and kids activities to keep them out of the kitchen!  

Today is all about the Table-Scaping.  We LOVE the look of this black and white runner paired with pops of color, while still keeping it looking "fall-sey".  A fresh new take to the typical table!
Soooooo Adore this Ruffled Runner!..and everything else too :)

There is so much to love about this table!  The pop of green with the apple..perfect!  Everything looks so organic and natural from the wood plank, to the wheat stalks, corn husks, array of mini pumpkins, and the color theme.  And let's not leave out the chairs ladies!..The decor on these one somewhat resembles a pilgrim's ruffled shirt!  Genius!  It appears that even that is organic since the ruffle itself is made from coffee filters :)  Super easy, totally chic, definitely unique.

Don't Forget to Table-scape your Sideboard!...(an LDV Sideboard perhaps??)  :)

In or Out we're ALL ABOUT flowers paired with pumpkins and the planters!  Perfect for a centerpiece, on the buffet,or scattered about the front steps.

What's on the Decor Menu for Tomorrow?...The Kid's Table!  Don't Miss Out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Shopping Soiree!!!

This is my kind of math:  

What do you get when you have 25% element of surprise + 25% limited time frame + 25% ALL High end Artisan Decor - ridiculous pricing + 25% Limited Quantity - Long Lines and Women Thrown' Elbows'?....
You get a big fat fabulous that = a 100% one of a kind online shopping soiree at Joss & Main!

Sure, there are a lot of these limited time offering sites for fashion and home decor with great curated collections, BUT what I have to honestly say (just between us as friends :) ) that the items offered at Joss & Main are always stuff you are really going to freak for and totally want in your home to make the neighbors jealous!

Once the latest offerings draw you in and you are already super notice the sale price and nearly have a 'happy' heart attack!  Seriously, such great deals you don't want to miss.  It's about that it or loath get going on Santa's list, so if you want to be a gift giving goddess with amazing items to treat your mother in law, friend, boss, or sister with (they even have awesome stuff for the males in your life and kiddos too!) ... head no further than your sofa and click on to Joss & Main, and get the job done!
{SPECIAL PROMO just for La Dolce Villa Fans}

I would NEVER want to mislead you to a shopping spot that couldn't live up to the hype! the 'Joss' hasn't disappointed me and I am sure you'll be hooked quick soon too (don't say I didn't warn you)   If nothing else, it's always fun to window shop there from the comfort of your jammies, and you'll keep up to date on decor.

**Joss & Main is a 'Member's Only' kind of place, so click the link below and get signed up FOR FREE in a matter a few seconds. This is a referral link from us at LDV, which gives you some street cred over there on the corner of Joss & Main...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My British Invasion

One of my many design style obessions as of late is all things's just Brilliant!  I do need to make the point however, that my love for the London look took root before the royal wedding.... Although it's not new that cutlural events are large contributors to the latests trends in fashion and home, I like to consider myself a little innovative-creative on occasion with my interor ideas.  Most ideas I come up with are based from my own inspirations, not those mass-produced ideas that are fed to us through all types of media, that are two seconds away from being seen on the shelves at Wal-Mart.  Moving right along... So what was the spark of this aesthetic for me? I wish I could put my finger on one particular thing, but this one was more like a bunch of little sparks that ignited a fire!  

First..who dosn't love the idea of anything Royal...I mean hello fairytale!  But I much prefer the look and 'regal royal' as opposed to 'pink princess'.
Second.."Bridget Jones' Diary", "About a Boy", "Love Actually", "Knotting Hill"...the list goes on and on...ending with "Absolutely Fabulous"... My personal Emmy Award list of English movies/shows...LOVE!
Third..I can't get enough of an English accent (unless it's coming from Madonna)..everything sounds better/smarter when said with such a tone, even curse words sound intelligent! family roots on both sides are from England :)
(Not included on the list is English food..bland and uninteresting by taste, but some of the names on the other hand are not so "spotted dick"..a very popular UK desert..)

So with that partial list of inspiring ideas that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it brought about a lot of visual ways to show that through interiors of course (my brain is wired weird like that)..  Some of my favorite eye candy on this style...

First room I plan to add some Union Jack to is my 5yr old son's.  I had already decided I wanted a nautical feel to his space, but not with sailboats and such, more of a vintage approach that would withstand the test of time and changing ages/interest.  I'm anti-theme, pro-mood/feel, although in my.  This is the vision board I put together for his design plan (in which I am a mean mom probably because I gave him no say in the matter...he'll probably either love it, or just not care either way)

A lot of my style obsessions will occasionally manifest themselves through our La Dolce Villa retail pieces...I just can resist sometimes when given a blank canvas and more ideas than time!  This was obviously the case with our fab Union Jack dresser/chest:

You may have asked yourself, "Well what is it, a dresser or a chest?!".. We've decided to give it the combo name since's it's taller than a standard chest (like a hope chest), but not quite the full height of a long or tall dresser.  It also as the added use option as a bench!  If you are very space challenged in your living area, you could add more function to it and put your TV on it as well.  Basically, this British-Inspired piece has a lot of bang for it's buck and endless style appeal.      

One Great thing Always Leads to Another....

For me, London will be calling for a while when it comes to my home decor, but it can easily evolve (like all great design) every other month or so, when i'm ready for a visual update in my space.  What's on my mind for that next step?...  An equestiran style flair that derived a little bit from the british feel i've been loving.  The look for this is sort of like London mixed with Scottland, then thrown accross 'the pond' to the east coast where it lands in The Hamptons.  Makes sense, right? :)  Here's a very subtle sneek peak:

..Unitl then, enjoy yourself some spotted dick desert with tea...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Redesigning Design

I have to be honest...I USED to believe that anything "affordable" was horrible.  Shopping at a certain mass-retail 'all in one' big box store was not just out of the question, but down right depressing.  Second hand (even if deemed 'vintage') was horrifyingly embarrassing and a store of such mothley merchandise was certainly not a place to step foot in, let alone bring something back to your home  from thee there...and then live with it.  Anything previously owned, even a home, was not a consideration.  I'm not proud of this fact, actually, my narrow-minded opinion on the matter is quite embarrassing to me.  I frequently feel the urge to offer a wide-spread apology to all those whom I would have offended, if I had voiced my opinion on the subject in any type of public setting.  I believe in taking the negative, lesson-learned situations in life, and using them to bring about a positive change.  I did just that and turned a very important page in my book, which began a new chapter in a frugality that brought about fabulous endings.
 Anther confession...I LOVE packaging, advertisements, glossy/sparkling product facades, and the latest and greatest of just about any type of product on the market (side note: fave marketed merchandise I can think of off hand...Victoria's Secret, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren anything, endless brands of department store fragrances, the Cadillac Escilade..which turns out to be, in my opinion..substantially sub-par quality, and embarrassingly... Hello Kitty name a few).  This hasn't changed even with my new shopping mindset, which I am perfectly okay with because of a little think called 'balance'.  See, in the past.. when presented with a retail opportunity of any kind, I always came away with a purchase(s) in hand,  especially when tied up well with a pretty bow.  I was an easy target in the exact demographic all the advertisement was aimed at...they always won.  Then I mentally woke up one day and realized what was going on. I was being duped by advertisements,  and the rhetoric they verbally and non-verbally fed me.  I felt kind of ridiculous at that thought, especially as a sat in a room filled with tagged items I had purchased over a year ago..and didn't even really care for them (hence the non-use/still tagged status).  Then a specific event happened that brought about my new awakening, which although I find to be embarrassing, I am forever greatful for in so many ways.  Each month when the bank statements came I paid no attention to them, didn't even open the envelope, it always went straight to the wastebasket, along with all the other 'boring' pieces of mail like the utility bills.  I hadn't had a credit card since college, when my mom paid off the monthly balance, and now I was married, my husband was great at his job, and provided a substantial living, which equipped me with a platinum status debit card and a lot of free time...that was quickly filled up with a daily shopping, and other such luxury time spenders.  A couple years into the money madness that I didn't think twice about managing, the monthly statement came right on schedule, and as usual I tossed it on the table (unopened of course), then headed out the door, with my new guessed! That night when my husband and I were winding down for the evening, he looked at me with surprise (not anger), opened bank statement in hand, saying, "did you know that you spent $45,178 last month and $46,382 this month on debit card purchases alone?!  What did you buy?!!"  This shocked the both of us since I struggled to determine the purchases to account for it all.  It was scary to think I had carelessly wasted just under $93,000 in only 2 months, with seemingly little to show for it.  Sure, the basic bills were paid from our debit account, but that only totaled roughly $8,000 per month.  I had bought some furniture as well, which was the only sizable purchase of the many I  had made within those months, but even that had still left a lot I lost in the daily frivilous spending.  I literally 'spent' my afternoons wasting money, with very little gain.  The spending shock caused me to slow it down a bit and find more constructive habits to fill my day.   I knew I was not stupid or shallow, but this was exactly what my behavior represented.  Now, flash forward a couple years from then, to the massive decline in the economy, which personally brought about a 180 degree change in my money mindset.  By nature I am creative and constructive, two traits which had previously been buried by my shopping obsession.  Those God-given traits were making their way back to the surface in the face of adversity, and I couldn't have been more grateful for the change, even though at first it sure didn't feel anything close to that!  After the sulking had subsided, mental clarity set in, along with an addicting amount of motivation.  
I had my typical need to redesign my home again, this time to accommodate my renewed spirit (which was really me just coming back in to who I truly am).  I thought about how annoying it was that I had purchased a $4000 entertainment center a few months prior, and it wasn't even what I really wanted for the family room anyway.  I liked it well enough, it was from a much adored retailer, but it wasn't doing anything for me, nor did it speak to my overall personal style that my home should represent.  I have always really, REALLY, loved...well, been completely obsessed with... interior design, color, textiles, and art since I was at least 9 years old (which was when I got my first subscription to Architectural Digest and spent my summer break watching hours of HGTV). I soon realized there is always more than one way to do pretty much everything.  The easiest, in interior design,  is typically the most expensive (see pretty= buy many, mentality to getting a room done).  But that leaves very little room to the imagination in designing a space.    Also, buying the most obvious (and well advertised) furniture and decor, deprives your home design of the self interpretation it desperately needs to make it comfortable, perfect, and different from all the other's in your town.  It was apparent to me at that point, that what the interior design industry lacked most was the high end look/style, we live to create, at an affordable rate.  Of course there are standard, mass produced, affordable interior options out there, but they leave a lot to be desired, and basically just aren't worth even the little amount of money they cost, especially if you don't LOVE it.  Having attained a lot of high end product experience/knowledge (see,  not all was lost in my frivillous endeavors), I knew what made these items 'high end', to somewhat justify the high end price.  It comes down to three aspects, quality materials, (usually) impeccable construction, and brand recognition.  The last of these (brand), it what we typically pay for most, it comprises the largest percentage of the overall cost.  Since so much $ goes into advertisement to build a brand,  the company needs the fabulous return on their investment.  I'm not discrediting advertisement and branding all together, don't get me wrong, there is a lot of ingenuity and creative genius that goes in to that which I truly respect, and it should be recognized and rewarded.
I began La Dolce Villa with the goal of changing the look of affordable interiors, to one that feels curated over time, is high quality, stylish, and aesthetically represents the individuals that reside there.  Every piece we produce and room I design, are done from an artistic point of view.  Colors, balance, scale, etc. will always be in harmony and flow effortlessly throughout the space.  My obsession with the industry and type of work I truly love to do, has me constantly keeping up on all the latest and greatest styles and design tools.  Most importantly though, I am in touch with reality, real budgets, people's lifestyles, and their personalities.  I listen to your needs, wants, and limitations, never imposing my personal opinions on what you should do.  Home design is always a collaborative effort between myself and the client(s), taking what you tell me and what I see, and orchestrating it into several flexible design plans for you to choose from.  What goes into these plans is my knowledge of interior design, high end styling/merchandise, and endless creativity.

'Home' can now be redefined with great design that truly represents it's residents.  Affordability has never been so beautiful and attainable.  Now is the time to not just live in your home, but really love your home!